|(John Donegan/AP Photo)|
It was a very nice match and a good test run for the Australian Open, even if in the end it was Andy Murray, who prevailed 6-3, 7-6(8).
Edit: Recording now available via David on Screen. Photos on the Photo Page.
Good news: David's exhibition match against Andy Murray will be streamed, after all.
Due to a rain delay the match will start later than expected.
David has been drawn into the bottom half and there into the lower, i.e. Nadal's quarter. As usual, one is tempted to say... Anyway, that quarter looks like this:
 Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Albert Ramos (ESP)
Olivier Rochus (BEL) vs [Q] Björn Phau (GER)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [Q] Iliya Marchenko (UKR)
[Q] Frederik Nielsen (DEN) vs  Kevin Anderson (RSA)
 Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) vs Benoit Paire (FRA)
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) vs Benjamin Becker (GER)
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) vs Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
Lukas Kubot (POL) vs  Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
 John Isner (USA) vs [WC] Benjamin Mitchell (AUS)
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) vs David Nalbandian (ARG)
Flavio Cipolla (ITA) vs Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Leonardo Mayer (ARG) vs  Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
 Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) vs [Q] Lukas Lacko (SVK)
[Q] Peter Gojowczyk (GER) vs Donald Young (USA)
Tommy Haas (GER) vs [Q] Denis Kudla (USA)
[Q] Alex Kuznetsov (USA) vs  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Complete draw here.
In the first round, in his first official match this year, David will be up against someone he has known for a long time - Finnish lefty Jarkko Nieminen. This match is going to be their altogether twelfth encounter since 2002, with the overall match record at 7-4 in David's favour. And it's the second time that they're going to meet at the Australian Open. The first one took place in 2006 and back then David beat Nieminen in the third round. As his preparation for the Australian Open, Nieminen chose to play both Brisbane (where he lost in the second round to Stepanek) and Sydney this week, where he has by now reached the final. A good showing from Nieminen but perhaps one that will leave him a bit tired.
If David makes it past Nieminen in the second round he's bound to meet 16th seed John Isner. David's record against Isner is spotless, they've played twice and both times he won. With a bit of luck at Cincy 2010 (where Isner had to retire in the first set) but then rather convincingly at Auckland, last year.
In a hypothetical third round, and going by the seeding, David could then face 18th seed Feliciano Lopez. Who David has also met twice before and defeated both times, only that those two matches took place at Montréal 2003 and Basel 2006. In other words - a long time ago.
In any case, it's not until the fourth round that David can meet one of the top players - his training partner Rafael Nadal.