Friday, October 21, 2011

Stockholm R2 - David Dispatches Dodig

(Highlights by Noubar - thanks.)

Posting impressive numbers, also in terms of his serve, David cruised to what's been his easiest victory in a while now, dispatching Ivan Dodig 6-1, 6-1 in merely 58 minutes. In today's quarterfinal match against James Blake, however, David will face an opponent who has presented himself in fine form too. And one he hasn't managed to beat before.

(photo by Denise Yoko Berndt)
Initially, it didn't necessarily look like this match would be as one-sided as it turned out to be. David seemed to be catching another slow start and faced a break point in the very first game of the match. But it would remain the only break point against him. And after breaking Dodig in the second game (helped by some errors from the Croat), David began to pick up steam. In this context, commentators like to talk about the best shots of a player as indicators of his form. But another indicator are those shots that don't work often enough, in David's case the running forehand - and it did work yesterday. In general, David moved a lot better than he did on Tuesday, seemed much more agile and had therefore enough time to set up his shots.
At 3-0, David broke serve again, after Dodig had already been up 40-0, showing his determination not to give away any ground in this match. Dodig was able to avoid the bagel, holding serve for 5-1 but then David comfortably closed out the match, converting his first set point with an ace.

At the start of the second set, Dodig managed to hold serve again, getting his second and last game of the match. After that, and if that's at all possible, David even more in control of the match than during the first set, using this position for a display of his best shots and favourite combinations. Watching it, you could almost get the impression that he was trying out how perfectly he could play those combinations like for example the backhand approach down the line, followed up by some of the great volleys and drop-shots (and lobs) he played in this match. David was cruising and occasionally showboating a little, getting "aahs" and "oohs" from the crowd. He broke Dodig three further times during this set, including a last time when Dodig served to save the match, converting his first match point with a return winner.

(Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

It's not often that you get to see David as dominant and as comfortable on serve as he was in this match. Making a respectable 65% of first serves and dropping only 3 points on his first serve in the whole match (while winning 62% of his second serves). The Stockholm scoreboard showed 33 winners for David and only 6 unforced errors - which does seem a bit too low, as far as I'm concerned. Still, it was a very clean match from David, the complete opposite of his performance against Malisse. A highly enjoyable match for those who got to see it - but also for David, himself, against an opponent who was unable to put him under any kind of pressure.
Whether David will be able to build on this match and his performance - we'll find out tonight.


  1. a less then 2 minutes highlights for this awesome performance, Noubar? It's a shame :)

  2. Julia,when you say too little UEs do you mean you felt he made more or that you want him to make more errors haha.

  3. Just joking around :).I know its the first situation.So what do you think about Javier being in Stockholm?Full time again?

  4. It's Claudio Galasso (physio) and Diego Rodriguez (kinesiologist) in David's box, this week. ;)

  5. I thought it was Javier honest to God hahaha.

  6. This is Javier. ;)
    He's coaching Argentine junior players these days.

  7. Looks like him a little bit.Anyways Im watching Del Potro and Baghdatis playing doubles,theyre looking pretty good.I think they have to play Delpo all three days in the final.

  8. Ashot, even 10 minutes highlights isn't enough for this match, but i didn't have time and thats the fastest thing i was able to come up with.