Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Australian Open R2 - David loses to Isner

(Mark Radswell/Getty Images)
UpdateII
He was the better player in this match and he won more points in total. But in the end, it was Isner's serve that made the difference. After four hours and 41 minutes (and 43 aces, most of which came in the last two sets), John Isner prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8.

So again, the Australian Open end for David in the second round. What can be taken from this match is that he played some great tennis. And that he was (hopefully) able to finish the match without physical problems.
Next up for David is now the Davis Cup first-round tie against Germany (February 10-12).

That's it from me for the moment. Photos as soon as I've set up my new computer...



(Getty Images; montage by VD)













Update
3.23pm local - David's match is now next up on Margaret Court Arena.

David likes to play late. And David also likes to play against opponents who give him a certain rhythm. On Monday, with his first-round match against Nieminen, he got both. This time, he'll get to play on the same court again but in the afternoon, in the heat. And rhythm surely isn't what he's going to get from his opponent, 16th seed John Isner.

It's the third time they meet and David won both of their previous encounters - though in very different ways. At Cincy 2010, he had a lot of problems with Isner's serve but then profited from the American's early retirement. At Auckland last year, however, David was able to handle the serve and could outplay him during the rallies.
Isner has played two matches this year. One at Sydey last week, where he lost to Bobby Reynolds in the second round (after a bye in the first). And the other one in the first round at Melbourne Park where he beat Australian wildcard Benjamin Mitchell (#222) in straights.

In this match, a lot is going to depend on the serve. On how well David will be able to return and force Isner into longer rallies, but also on David's ability to hold his own serve. Especially in the important moments. He will try to entangle Isner in as many rallies as possible, he'll try to move him around. And during the rallies he'll always have a good chance. Still, a lot will depend on the serve...

Note: Due to computer problems there will be no recording and no report of this match. Also because Krystle, who would otherwise cover for me, is in Melbourne at the moment. She'll watch and probably report this match, so I recommend taking a look at her blog.

119 comments:

  1. Yes, the time of day isn't good for playing. It's the equivalent to the time Andy Murray played yesterday and there were lots of comments about the tough conditions during that match.

    Enjoy the match, Krystle. :)
    Don't forget your hat.
    ;)

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  2. Hantuchova's done and now we need a double bagel from Schiavone. Fat chance of that. Weather's not near as hot today.

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  3. enjoy Krystle!
    looks like it's hot in here!! :)

    ssshhhh Oprandi takes the 1st set...
    knowing Schiavone, we'll probably have a 3rd set...

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  4. Yep, I would agree, Mira. Schiavone doesn't know how to win quickly. She does know how to win, though.

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  5. Im watching Haas Nadal,its a good match.

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  6. I'm switching to Rafa until MCA is ready to welcome David :)

    Oprandi gets a break in the 2nd set, things are getting complicated for Schiavone but it's never over until it's over with her :D

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  7. Too bad they put this long grinding match before David.Im pretty scared it might go to a 3rd set.

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  8. Finally,Lopez awaits the winner of ut match of interest.

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  9. too bad for Schiavone, no 3rd set.

    Coming up in a few minutes : David/Isner!!

    :D

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  10. warmup on MCA.

    hope we'll all enjoy the match :)

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  11. Its probably just going to be frustrating just watching Isner hit bomb after bomb and hoping David gets some chances.

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  12. Horrible David,horrible...

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  13. Isner is not even playing that great.
    Mostly errors by David right now...
    come on!!!

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  14. These last two games are 2006 flashbacks.

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  15. very poor service games from David :(((

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  16. Should have really won this set too.Im very surprised tho how many looks Isner is getting on Davids serve,a little too much.

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  17. its just deja vu all over again
    david playing great then playing so bad on serve
    any other top 20 player would have raced to 2 sets to love lead
    such a disappointment

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  18. Hes playing OK,if he doesnt have too many mental breakdowns he should get through.

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  19. I'd say he's playing really well - in patches. We'll have to see how he holds up, physically.

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  20. adrian i hope so isner is not impressing me

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  21. Ya thats why I put it at OK,because of the breakdowns in the 2nd set.I think this set might go to the tie break.

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  22. What a rally, what a point from David to hold serve. Wow.

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  23. nalbandian at his very besttttt

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  24. Hopefully he can put pressure on right now while Isner is down on himself.

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  25. Yep, he's got to put the hammer down.

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  26. He must win it in 4 sets. One more break please!! The match please won't go into 5 sets! It won't be good to his body!

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  27. 2:2 Isner is serving concentrated right now

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  28. Isners just serving too good right now.

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  29. it's getting now very dangerous

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  30. Hopefully some pressure can be put now on Isners serve.

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  31. Isner is now pretty save with his serve even with his second

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  32. Isner won the 4th set...

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  33. i cant believe he cant close up a match against that lousy server

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  34. if he loses this match im quitting tennis for good

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  35. even with second serve with which Isner had a few times to play David had hardly a chance

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  36. omg this is too much :(

    hold on David!!!!!

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  37. Isner's serve has got to go off. For the most part that's all he's got. David is playing really well. Lots of variety today.

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  38. David wasn't really bad but Isner to good with serve and even in rallies on his serve he put pressure

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  39. If only Isner was a lousy server...

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  40. same here, not impressed by Isner so far except for his serve.
    David has to be patient.

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  41. It wouldn't end so if he played in second set like in his third and fourth set.. again again a service winner with second serve. Poor David...

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  42. i meant he is a lousy player with a great serve thats it

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  43. can't believe it he hammers with second serve all the time

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  44. If he was a lousy player he wouldn't be ranked #17.

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  45. he had a good run last year other than that he is medicore

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  46. Well, we've found out before that you and me, we tend to look at things differently.

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  47. also, it looks like the weather is less hot, could be good for David.
    nice hold.

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  48. I was almost expecting these services from Isner after 15:40

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  49. damnnnnn 2 break points saved by his strong serve :(
    it's not like David is a poor returner..

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  50. How clutch is this guy,ace every break point.

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  51. Isner is cramping and looks tired. Really not used to this type of long matches.
    Come on David, hold on!!!!

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  52. Now its just put the ball in play,Isner is suffering.

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  53. I'm craving for some green tea and muffins but I don't want to leave the couch, I want a turning point by David!!!
    come on!!!!!

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  54. i cant seem to upload messeges
    isis

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  55. David's got to force Isner to run and then just get that one break.

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  56. You can. But I get to decide what stays on here.

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  57. I dont know if he can be broken....

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  58. I am very nervous. He must PLEASE win because I want to see him playing against Nadal in R4!!!!!

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  59. how brilliant was that.
    David is such a talent.
    I love how the commies on Eurosport talk about him.

    ok but that's not enough, Isner and his serve grrrrrr

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  60. i can hardly breathe...
    no drama please, come on David

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  61. critical time right now.

    again, saved by his serve

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  62. please david dont lose please

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  63. he is playing the best tennis iv seen him in a couple of years

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  64. liked that "ALLEZ" from David, really like his attitude. Come on, he deserve to win this one.

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  65. Isner isn't getting tired by serving

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  66. Isner can serve so on until 70th 80th service game in 5th set like in Wimbledon so it's very damage for David playing first time in 4 years a great tennis in a Grand Slam but having such an opponent :(

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  67. ah okay, thank Julia! :)
    all this time I thought he said "Allez" in French lol.

    Andrea Petkovic just tweeted she was watching John and David aka the coolest person ever!

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  68. again, Isner can count on his serve...

    David is still determined though, Vamos!

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  69. i cant believe this is unreal

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  70. So much for the drama... Hope he calms down again now during changeovers.

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  71. in rallies David was mostly great but then 2 UEs at these rallies by breakpoints

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  72. David got robbed. What a joke.

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  73. what a dramatic end for David :(

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  74. No I don't agree with the commies, Isner was not fantastic, his serve was.
    Too bad for David, the drama of the challenge, and all... :(

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  75. i have nothing left to say im shocked and nalbandian just showed us why is career is like this

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  76. The retrospective hawkeye was called out

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  77. On ESPN, Brad Gilbert said it was one of the worst calls he's ever seen. The referee should be banned from ever calling another match. The good thing is that David is really back.

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  78. to match points just pass the god damn ball over the net
    he is not a winner thats it
    murray nadal ferrer would finish it off with ease
    and they together dont have half of his talent

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  79. It is soooooooooo sad to accept he lost, after getting quite a few break points in the 5th set, sigh...

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  80. Didn't you say you'll stop watching if he loses this match?

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  81. But also in rallies he wasn't bad but David was much better. David was also serving from the third set so if he had won the second he would have a good chance knock out Nadal and get into quarterfinal. First time since years David in a very good form in a GS but so unlucky, I wish he lost the match against Hewitt and won this instead. David was simply to nervous in last game and didn't play perfect the last shots so Isner could run and get the ball.

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  82. at least, David was fine physically... he could've stayed on the court dozens of minutes more!

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  83. i just did julia thats it for me

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  84. Just feel terrible for Nalbandian. What misfortune. He was playing so well, and doing more than just hitting aces. A shame.

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  85. im so sad i just feel everything is ruined what did we ask? a win going deeper into the tournament is it too much to ask

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  86. Oh no poor David, of course he didn't make the BP but I feel so sorry for him. He was the better player imho. That hurts. On the positive side he was physical able to play so long and good and he played really good. I hope he can keep that.

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  87. In the begin he was not so great, but from the third set he was almost in best form. Serving good, physically ok, playing great and returning great. Now must wait till Indian Wells as the next big tournament. He could go very deep in this slam if Isner wasn't so good today, very very damage.

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  88. I feel sorry for that netted backhand, but I don't blame David.

    I'm sad but not angry, it's a really tough feeling :(

    the frustrating thing is that he was in a "good" part of the draw...

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  89. what an ending.. Even though Nalbandian had 2 backhands to take the break, its just not fair he couldn't challenge a ball that was 100% out like they showed on ESPN. I totally agree with the American commentators that in the commotion and noise from the crowd Nalbandian didn't realise immediately what was happening with that overule and therefore he couldn't challenge straight away.

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  90. I didn't know the serve ended up being long.

    Anyway I'm back now, and still feeling a huge range of emotions. That was a very crazy match. David played so well in the fifth set to start with that I really thought he should be winning, that it got very stressful and nervewracking watching it. Nothing worse than watching the possibility of David blowing a match where he's playing well, and better than his opponent. Then Isner steps up his serve (fair enough) but starts cramping later. Even more reason for me to feel the pressure.

    I really liked seeing David's game today. It felt like his brain was really switched on the whole time, and his shots were so accurate and deliberate. But his serve let him down at times. His second serve is not effective at all. Those stupid dropshots at the end burnt him though. Yes it was a good idea to hit them, but dropshots once they can be anticipated can be dangerous...

    Wait a moment for the report to go up on my blog. I'll do it after I finish my drinks here, and calm down. I was close to the action and saw all the reactions, the body language and everything so in a way it surpasses the Hewitt match for me.

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  91. Never mind the call, I really think David should have made that backhand on break point where they were having a really long rally... To be fair, he played most other important points well though.

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  92. do you think it was out the that serve from Isner? I wasn't sure at that moment when David argued. And TV didn't show it if it really was. So David could have his third chance on 2nd serve to finish the match, so unlucky.
    But I wouldn't be so sad if I know that he would be to tired in next round again like last year and lose the match or win it in 5 sets.

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  93. on eurosport UK they have just uploaded the scene Isner was serving end after that. When I replay the serve I see it is clearly out :OOO damn referee

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  94. I didn't watch the match but from the news, now I realized the controversy involved. He should have won. It seems the chair umpire did an unfair job at the end.

    Anyways, no one expected him to win this GS (although we did hope he could reach R4 to play Nadal), but I hope he would take this match positively, as he lost to world #17, which is not a shame. The match was so close. I hope he will do better in the small clay tournaments next month (PLEASE, no more injuries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    Sometimes it did happen that a player played a great match but still failed to win, e.g., Davenport in Wimbledon 2005.

    I have a feeling that Nalby would soon have a breakthrough performance in a Slam. Hopefully it would happen at Roland Garros...

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  95. OMG can you guys imagine following this match on a scoreboard! I just wish I was home to watch it. According to your comments he played well. It's too bad he didn't win. I hope somebody recorded it

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  96. Wow, 111 comments!

    I had to sleep mid-match (don't tell David!) but was back for the 4th set tie-break onwards. And I was 45 minutes late leaving for work - I just couldn't miss the end.

    How heartbreaking - he so deserved to win. I saw the stats flash up but only quickly as I was on my way out... 43 aces for Isner I think it said, and about a million UEs. So his serve kind of cancelled those out.

    Most of the points in those last few games were all about Isner's serve saving his skin, and David playing cleverly. It really didn't seem the right and fair result - though credit to Isner for forcing himself to move again when it mattered most.

    At least it was good to see David appearing still fresh at the end of it (especially thinking back to last year).

    I had no idea about finding out afterwards that the serve was out until reading these comments just now. Outrage!

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  97. already there is lots of discussion about the referees call on internet

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  98. Wait till US Open because on clay he has no chance and on grass it will be tougher than on hardcourt

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  99. But I thought his chance on grass is the best, because there are only +-10 players who play well on grass + the raliies are shorter so it will be good to him (but too bad he is not grass specialist).

    I really hope he would win 1 GS, so that his career would be on par with Safin. I still can't believe someone like Gaston Gaudio could win a Slam, while Nalby can't.

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  100. here it would be a good chance if he finished the match in 3 or 4

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  101. Wow, waking up after a very late night doesn't make the loss any better. Read much commentary this morning and it sure is a shame that the umpire made such a bonehead decision. Nouni showed no sense of flexibility in his ruling. To his credit David didn't blame the mistake for his loss, but it certainly affected the outcome. As Brad Gilbert on ESPN said, David was "robbed." Nouni should definitely be disciplined for this episode. Hope there aren't any injuries from the match. Nice post on your blog, Krystle.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jan/18/david-nalbandian-stupid-umpire-australian-open?newsfeed=true

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  102. at 8:9 30:30 on David's serve Nalbandian's last shots were to week. At first at 30:30 that drop shot volley then the drop shot when Isner came to the net and won the match. He has done so many difficult drop shot volleys perfect before also in this match, the last one was easier but he was too nervous and didn't play it perfect so that Isner could reach that one. I just watched the last 2 games on youtube, very tough to watch. An unforgottable match.

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  103. Very good article on the contreversy concerning the challenge.

    http://tennis.si.com/2012/01/18/controversy-erupts-as-john-isner-edges-david-nalbandian-in-marathon-match/

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