Thursday, January 12, 2012

Australian Open Draw

(John Donegan/AP Photo)

















UpdateII
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.


Update
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:

[7] 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 [30] Kevin Anderson (RSA)
[21] 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 [10] Nicolas Almagro (ESP)

[16] 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 [18] Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
[28] 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 [2] 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.

124 comments:

  1. thank you Julia, I don't know if you're still up, I hope I won't be alone to follow the live stream from here lol :)
    fingers crossed!

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  2. Of course I'm still here, waiting for the draw. :)

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  3. yaaay :)

    last year I wasn't that excited to follow it live... This year every event's intensity will be decupled lol.

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  4. I'm following the draw too, Mira and Julia! Hope for a little bit of luck, David deserves it!

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  5. yeaaah Bibi, I hope this Friday 13th thing brings luck to David :)

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  6. Last year, the AO draw got lost along the wayside a bit because we were still busy with Auckland.
    But yeah - full intensity, this time. :)
    And yeah, Bibi - hopefully a bit of luck for David...

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  7. will Hewitt play this year?
    no Hewitt in 1st round!!!

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  8. I'd say what are the chances for that to happen - but after Isner/Mahut at Wimbledon last year... Anything is possible.

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  9. Fingers crossed, eyes crossed, anything crossed that David gets a qualifier in R1 and maybe a light-weight floater in R2. R3, how about someone seeded No. 24 to 32? I'm not asking for much, am I?

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  10. Very sensible suggestions. ;)

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  11. nice dream John )))
    does anyone has an idea how long does it take usually, right now it's women draw

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  12. I saw Nalbandian near Nieminen :O

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  13. Yeah, I think it's Nieminen in R1.

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  14. yeah, that's not that bad, i guess.
    I don't see in which part of the draw they are though

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  15. Hello everyone, I miss you all guyz, Julia such a lovely new look for VD, perfect work and commitment like always. I am watching the draw ceremony. Hope John's dream come true. Fingers crossed to that.

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  16. hey Noubar!! welcome back!!!! :)
    just in time for the draw analysis lol

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  17. Hey Noubar. :)
    So good to see you here again.

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  18. I see Davydenko is close,possibly 2nd round?

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  19. I think it's Isner in R2. But have to wait for the full draw. All IÄ'm pretty sure of right now is bottom half, Rafa's quarter and R1 vs Nieminen.

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  20. I hoped that they show David's side again to make a screen shot lol

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  21. thnx both of you.
    Nieminen is tricky, but easier than a Hewitt for sure, Isner is not a nightmare.

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  22. when can we get the full draw? any idea?

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  23. Isner isnt that bad if he can get through because its not gonna be a grueling match filled with long and tough rallies.I usually wouldnt be worried about Jarkko but him and David always play fun a tricky matches so anything can happen.

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  24. True, they've had some tough matches in the past.

    Draw should be out soon. They're usually relatively quick.

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  25. Noubar, good to see you back.

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  26. I have a tip that this link might work for Murray vs Nalbandian:

    http://www.oleoletv.com/watch/live/stream/online/free/tv/video/channel/feed/link/broadcast/vivo/gratis/p2p/4/january/13/2012/14/122/v-352267/aami-classic.html

    From an Andy fan. Good luck to both plays in the AO

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  27. That's nice of you but the problem isn't finding a stream for Kooyong, it's finding a stream for that particular match because it's not part of the exho tournament.

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  28. Its Isner for sure in round two.So Nadal is 4th round possibly?

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  29. I just saw that Nieminen is in the semifinal after a 6:3 6:3 win against Reynolds. It was not a really good draw. I am mostly worried about the first round because. We know how good he can be already in 2nd round after a bad and errorful first round performance. Think about his last Stockholm Open against Malisse and then against Roddick. aaahm... sorry.... Dodig :)

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  30. While all this is going on, I see David v Murray was just posted on LSH.

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  31. Tough draw for David to play against Nieminen. :( I forgot about daylight saving and didn't realize the draw had already been done.

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  32. yaaay John i see it too on LSH

    hope it'll still be there in an hour! (will try to stay awake... tough timezone gap

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  33. Great news!
    And now it's listed on Bet365! It wasn't, all day. Thanks, John. :)

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  34. Nice, it will be good to catch a glimpse of David before the AO.

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  35. So to get to Nadal its has to be Jarkko,r2 Isner,r3 Davydenko or Lopez.Thats possible in my opinion.

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  36. Good night everyone and have lots of fun with the match!

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  37. Adrian, if it's so we can say for David is getting from round to round easier until he faces Nadal

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  38. good news, draw is already up on the official website :)

    http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/ms/r1s1.html

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  39. Ya,also Isner and Lopez wouldnt really be very tough matches in terms of fitness,he could have some in the tank.But Nadal has to deal with Haas who maybe could give a challenge and Ljubo possibly.All in all a good draw in my eyes.Not the best ever but really the last 2 slams he had to go up against Nadal and Fed 3rd round so this time he gets a chance to get to a 4th round.

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  40. 3am here, I really need some sleep :(
    not sure I'll be back for David/Murray... too bad since we've been hoping for a stream, and there will be after all :(

    hope someone can record the match :)

    night night everyone!

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  41. I'll see what I can do. I've been having some computer problems here but I'll try to record it.

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  42. thank you Julia, if not, I'll get to read some reports here anyway :)

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  43. And now it's raining in Melbourne...

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  44. Hey, you're still there. :)
    Well, at least it's possible to keep an eye on the court via the stream.

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  45. Yes, I've decided to stay awake and use the chance that there is a stream and watch the match, so it better stops raining and play resumes as soon as possible!

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  46. Yeah... I was so happy when I saw that it looked like the first match would finish quickly. And now this... :(

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  47. It looks that they are just waiting the court to dry.

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  48. They're drying the linesmen's chairs... lol

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  49. I must admit I've never been as happy to see Mardy Fish and Jürgen Melzer as I am now. :)

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  50. And I'll be happier if Melzer does not suddenly try to turn the score around!

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  51. Normally, I'd be for Melzer. But not tonight...

    Looks like it's very windy. David won't like that.

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  52. Yes, on normal circumstances me too.

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  53. Good tennis tho,wouldnt mind if it continued haha.I like Melzer too,his girlfriend is a croatian swimmer that competes for Austria and hes in croatia a lot.

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  54. You cannot be serious! lol
    Melzer is with Benesova now, isn't he.

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  55. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirna_Juki%C4%87
    I think hes with Mirna

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  56. Nope, they split up last summer (link in German). And now he's obviously back to his previous ways of dating WTA players.

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  57. Ah, almost over. Now serve it out, Mardy.

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  58. Thats sad I even remember she used to bring him to the national handball games :(.

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  59. Wow hahaha,thats some oldschool shirt hes got going on.

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  60. Hi there, David.

    What an ugly shirt...

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  61. Love it haha,reminds be of the 90s

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  62. Serve is looking pretty good.

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  63. Good serving so far. I think David's shirt is the kind you'd wear to the beach.

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  64. He's looking really good out there so far. Despite the shirt and despite the windy conditions.

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  65. Not sure if something is bothering Murray or its just his usual match expressions?

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  66. So many break points missed.

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  67. Mirna was the best thing that happened to Jürgen. He's always been such a head case, I have no doubt that her influence was a major factor in his improved performances. It really looked (for a couple of years) like he'd grown up and settled down. And now he's back to his old ways - I bet he won't see that top ten ranking again.

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  68. omg what a horrendous draw!!!

    nieminem first round!! then isner, then lopez/denko and then nadal.

    jarkko is no push over, nalby will have to fight hard in his first round to win.

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  69. Horrendous would've been Djokovic in R1.

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  70. I don't think the shirt's so bad - but it belongs on the practice court. Or - as John says - on the beach.

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  71. Hell yeah, the draw could have been a lot worse, especially for an unseeded player.

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  72. Can I get an update of what's going on?

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  73. I think it's pretty bad - but I'm still hoping he'll wear something else for the AO.

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  74. David serving to stay in the first set at 5-3 Murray.

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  75. First set 6-3 Murray. After David had various break points, earlier on.

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  76. And break consolidated. Up 2-0 in the second.

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  77. Seems to me they have started playing a little bit more serious this set.

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  78. And just holds onto it. :)

    Edu Schwank is out of AO qualies - he lost in straight sets to Denis Kudla in r2. :(

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  79. David's part-time doubles partner lost to David's part-time training partner.

    I think they're both taking this match pretty seriously.

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  80. I remember reading a opinion on MTF that Schwank should just quit singles and find a steady doubles partner.

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  81. I'd been thinking myself for a while that Edu's success in singles and doubles seem to be moving in opposite directions. But he's still quite young. It must be a tough decision for any ambitious player to give up singles and concentrate only on doubles.

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  82. It was his French Open doubles partner he beat in the first round!

    I see a lot of changes in doubles partnerships lately - many more sticking with a fellow countryman, presumably with the Olympics in mind, even if it means breaking up a successful pairing.

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  83. And there goes the break... 4-4.

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  84. Dont know exactly how it goes but if they can David and Schwank could give it a try at the olympics.

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  85. I would love to see that at the Olympics. I didn't manage to get any tickets though :(

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  86. Not sure David would want to play doubles at the Olympics.

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  87. Also Idk if its just me but this commentator has a very irritating voice.

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  88. cant take a lousy set out of medicore murray?

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  89. Yes, horrible voice. I've turned her off. ;)

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  90. really disappointing performance

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  91. There's nothing medicore about Murray.

    And he isn't the word you actually meant either. ;)

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  92. Both are going I think 80%.Good to get a feel of a elite opponent before the AO.

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  93. That was not good at 40-15. And now it's gone to match point against ... good serve... oops - ha ha, that was a bit lucky.

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  94. Murray isnt a really happy man on the court haha.Never smiles.

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  95. Just as I write that he does probably the most epic thing Ive ever seen on a tennis court ahahahaha.

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  96. Great return on match point. :)

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  97. Haha,even in exos he doubles on set points.

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  98. i am so angry right now that im willingly gonna smash my nalbandian racquet to pieces

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  99. Murray returns the favour haha

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  100. I turned the commentator back on. When she said that it was bad news for Murray fans that it was on David's own serve... Well, you know what I was thinking. :/ And sure enough... DF.

    Wow, Andy's just done the same thing.

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  101. Ahh,too bad.Had chances for the set.But good practice imo.Jarkko should be tired since hes in the final of Sydney.

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  102. Yes, nice match practice. A 3rd set would have been good, but it was not to be.

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  103. I thought the same thing. I knew a DF was coming. Oh well, it was a good warmup.

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  104. nalbandian should improve rapidly if he wants to win against neiminen
    his racquet is strange its not the vcore
    and he is doing to many unforced errors
    when will he improve to the dodig stockholm form?
    he was top class nalbandian there

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  105. Well see what happens in Melbourne.

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  106. This match was in Melbourne. ;)

    I think it was a nice, entertaining match. And David did well, seemed to be moving well.

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  107. I went to Kooyong once, but they still had grass courts then! It was one of the last AOs held there. It was a long tram ride out of Melbourne city centre - a suburb a bit like Wimbledon. :)

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  108. The match against Nieminen will be close and tricky (I predict it will be a 4-set match), and long rallies. This is the type of match Nalby needs so he could improve his form further, but the most important point is to WIN the match! They always had close matches.

    I really hope he could make it to R4, since I love him playing Nadal (those beautiful rallies).

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  109. Was talking about the real deal thats gonna start on Monday haha,but yeah I thought it was solid.Im optimistic about the upcoming tournament.Maybe David can make a run,at least to Nadal.

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  110. thank you guys for your live comments here! I had some fun reading some of them, like the ugly shirt! lol (was it that ugly?)

    also, the racquet worries, hope it's nothing confusing.

    tricky conditions and wind. Great preview of what David has to expect.

    reading your comments, I guess it was a good warmup for David eventually

    can't wait to watch the match!!! :)

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  111. Even though he is older than David, Nieminen has been playing some of his best tennis in his career since the indoor season late last year. The formerly weak forehand is actually looking good and his movement is sharp even though the high-end footspeed may be gone.

    One of the tougher non-seeds to draw, and a tough quarter overall, although David's craftiness usually matches well against those big servers who would be up next.

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  112. thank you Julia, I'm downloading the match now :)

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