Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Water-Throwing Incident, The Auspicious Lack of Other News, David's Knee and an Interview

We all wanted David to make headlines at the Australian Open. But this is not necessarily what we had in mind. After the challenge incident during the match there is now also the "water-throwing incident" that took place afterwards.
And the $8000 fine David got from the ITF, a decision he intends to appeal. But what happened?

After the Isner match and the press conference, David had to undergo a routine doping test. That's as far as the undisputed facts go. Of what followed there are two slightly different versions. One on the Facebook and another one on the Twitter of David's official site (where the news agencies and sites seem to have taken their info from). According to which David's side of it is that either before or at some point during the doping control he was washing his hands when either an "ATP official" (should be ITF) or the "physician in charge" suddenly and inexplicably accused David of having thrown water at or poured water over him. An allegation that he "categorically" and "emphatically" denies, calling the fine "absolutely unfair" and adding that "by imposing this fine the ITF would be committing two acts of injustice, one on court and the other off of it, within one hour". As mentioned above David is ging to appeal the ITF's decision.

Still, with all this drama going on it's easy to overlook what's positive. - The complete lack of any news from the injury/physical problems department, in spite of the long and gruelling match against Isner. According to Fue Buena, for the first time after three years and despite the problems with his knee (which I'll get to in a second), David was able to do a proper pre-season training. Allowing him to begin this new season much better prepared physically than in previous years. And the first signs of it could be seen during the Isner match.

As for David's knee troubles, those have by now been identified as the Osgood-Schlatter syndrome (also according to Fue Buena). An irritation of the patellar tendon that typically afflicts male teenagers but can continue into adulthood. And if you look at the example photo on the Wikipedia entry for it, then that's exactly what David's knee looks like. The good news: It's nothing serious, the condition is manageable.


Last but not least, here's the interview (published at the beginning of this week by La Nacion) I didn't have the opportunity to post yet. It starts with David's answer to the question how and where he spent the holidays:
I was at home during the holidays, I was in Córdoba. We travel too much during the year for me to go somewhere during the off-season. Quiet, at home, I didn't go anywhere. I have everything I need there. I enjoy getting to spend time with my girlfriend, with my friends. I stay at home.
In this particular case, New Year's Day also meant celebrating his 30th birthday. In tennis terms, he's officially an "old man" now...
David: Turning 30 is fine, just another year, nothing special, nothing unusual. I'm looking forward to facing this season. I know these are the last years I have left [on the Tour]. I'll try to make the most out of them and enjoy it.

Q: Is it difficult to enjoy yourself while you're still on the Tour?

David: This kind of career goes by very quickly. It's a maelstrom without any pauses, day after a day you live it to the max. Is this the eleventh year I'm on the Tour? [It's the twelfth.] And then, when you look back at it you see that many years went by and many things happened. Great moments to remember and enjoy.

Q: And you don't really get to realise that?

David: Most of the time, everything happens fast. You don't have time to enjoy it, to stop and think. During those last couple of years you have to be more relaxed. So I want to enjoy myself.

Q: Do you think about getting married and having children?

David: I don't think about that. I'm relaxed, we're doing fine and I still think that the life of a tennis player is very tough. You're never at home, it's complicated. But I still think like a tennis player. The idea of starting a family is there in my head, to finally slow down, calm down a little after this life that is madness. But it's the game we play.

Q: And when you'll leave, are you going to miss this world?

David: It depends, doesn't it. Maybe I'll find things in life to replace them with. Those are different stages. I'm still going to make the most of those last years as a tennis player and then I'll see about the next couple of years. Enjoying other things.

Q: Two more years?

David: I don't know, depends. The most important thing is to have continuity, without injuries. If I don't get injured and I feel good then I'm going to play for as long as possible, without setting a limit, a date.

Q: If the season ended today, what would you want to have achieved the most?

David: To finish it healthy because the rest will take care of itself. With continuity the rest will take care of itself.
Right now, it looks like there's a chance of more continuity this season.
And that's the good news from the Australian Open.


  1. so his physical level could let him go very deep in this tournament, in this form and physical level he would beat Nadal in straight sets or in 4 I think but probably he would smoke Nadal in straight sets again.

  2. Good to hear that the physical side of things is going well, Julia. You worried me a bit when you mentioned the knee problem without elaborating on it in the comment.

    I did think he seemed to be enjoying himself this AO (he seemed motivated as well), and I think that's another reason why I enjoyed watching him. :)

  3. very clear and detailed update, Julia :)

    when I read these complicated disease names, I'm always worried it might be something serious, I'm relieved it's not.... quite manageable, like you say.

    as for the interview, it's funny he's always saying the same thing when it comes to the question of starting a family... I hope his girlfriend is still patient! lol (isn't she older than him? are we still talking about Victoria?)

    as for the water-throwing, I really think "atp officials" are being insincere on this case, otherwise David wouldn't appeal the decision. Wait and see..

  4. Yeah, we're still talking about Victoria, she is older than him and obviously she's one of the most patient women on this planet. lol

    Krystle, yeah - my thoughts exactly. He seemed to be enjoying himself, enjoyed playing. And that really is so good to see. :)

    Ashot, for me it's mostly about what this (hopefully) means for this season. Less injuries, more matches. And hopefully also more fun. ;)

  5. i want nalbandian to do great things this season i have never in my life enjoyed a player more than him he is simply the best i have ever seen on a tennis court regardless for titles
    i want him with a davis cup and a grandslam
    if not so at least couple pf masters series titles

  6. Thanks for the "watergate" update, Julia. Glad to know there's nothing to report from the injury/physical problems department. Isner obviously is the one who came out of the match the worse for wear. One of my daughter's soccer mates played with Osgood/Schlatter syndrome and it didn't seem to slow her down much. I didn't know adults get it. David clearly seems to be in much better shape than he was at this time last year.

  7. I actually felt tempted to call it "Watergate" in the headline for this post... lol
    Apparently, Osgood-Schlatter usually stops being a problem as you get older but can continue to be, in some cases. At least it's nothing serious. And yeah, David does look good at the moment. :)

  8. Excellent post Julia, thumbs up !
    btw even ROger Federer talked about david;s sutuation yesterday, he said "I felt bad for david", I liked that.

  9. Thanks. :)
    Good old Fed... It's practically becoming an AO tradition. Remember, last year he also commented on the retirement, saying David didn't have a chance to recover.

  10. I remember of course about Fed's comment last year, but would like to know all what he said about this match. Where did you read that, Noubar?


  12. Only seconds after my last comment I typed in google "federer I felt bad for david" and there were the right pages lol
    but thx Andvari :)

  13. I think he would have made it to R4 and then lost to Nadal.

    I hope he would do well in the 3 clay tournaments next month, but are the Davis Cup R1 matches played on clay as well?

  14. im not sure he would have lost to nadal
    he seems to play great against isner and he improves with each game
    he was in so so shape in the us and he should have taken nadal to 4 or 5 sets

  15. Anonymous, yeah, the Davis Cup tie will be played on (indoor) clay.

  16. on indoor clay he may be as strong as on outdoor hardcourt and stronger then on outdoor clay

  17. I really hope the small clay tournaments would give him more match practice, to get used to playing full-time in the tour again. Hopefully the fields would be weak + he has good draw. I don't have much hope on him on the 2 big hard court events in March, but I hope he could make it to R3/R4.

    He needs one VERY BIG win (e.g., 2007 indoor wins) to turn his career around. I hope it would be a victory over Nadal in Roland Garros early rounds...

  18. Rolland Garros? your kidding right?

  19. There's a reason David hasn't played RG since 2008. Getting through the clay-court events without injury would be a victory for him.

  20. I feel sorry for Victoria every time I read David saying things are fine as they are, he doesn't want to start a family yet. I think she's about three years older than him, so if she's 32 or 33 she must surely be gettting a bit restless by now. I'm assuming, of course, that SHE wants to have children.

    I know David has said in the past though that he doesn't want children while he's still on the tour, and you can't really argue with his reasons.

  21. And yes, it was a pleasure to see David apparently fit and ready to continue by the end of his 2nd match, even if the end result was rather unfortunate. Especially contrasted with the state of his younger opponent, and with this time last year.

  22. Well, I think it's safe to say Delpo isn't back yet. I watched his match with Fed until 3-1 in the second set and then turned it off, knowing he was going to lose. It was a very uninspired performance. I'd forgotten how one dimensional the big guy's game is. He has no Plan B. He either bludgeons the ball and wins or has no answer when that isn't working. Such a contrast with David who has every shot in the book and is such a master tactician. And David has so much more fight in him too.