Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Acapulco R1 - David vs Santiago Giraldo

Update II
Perhaps David's schedule was a little too ambitious after all... In any case, his streak of consecutive clay-court matches has now been stopped at match #10, with a defeat at the hands of Santiago Giraldo, who won 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 20 minutes. Whether David ran out of steam, whether it was a bad day that he had or whether there was more to this defeat
- I'll try my best to find out.

Post and pics tomorrow...


(Getty Images; montage by VD)













Update
3.17pm local - David's match is now about to begin...

It's the last week of the Golden Swing and this week traditionally belongs to the 500 event in Acapulco. The "Golden Swing's crowning jewel", as the ATP website still insists on calling it. Some things apparently never change. But what's different about Acapulco this time is David's name in the draw and on the order of play for today.
For the first time since hip surgery David has now played two clay-court events in a row (plus a Davis Cup tie) without getting injured. That's nine consecutive matches on clay and counting, when during the last two seasons he never managed more than four until the next injury. At Melbourne, David said he had a feeling that this could be a better and more regular season for him. And it looks like was right. So after having had to pull out the last two years, today David will play his first match at Acapulco since 2009.

24-year-old Santiago Giraldo, currently ranked #80 (his best ranking was #44, last year), hasn't been too successful during the Golden Swing so far, going out in the first round at both Viña Del Mar and São Paolo. With his only victories on clay this year having come in Davis Cup, where he played for Colombia against Ecuador (America Group I). Giraldo had his best result at his first event of the season, with the quarterfinal he reached in Brisbane, followed by second-round exits at Auckland and the Australian Open. But judging by his results, Giraldo can do well both on hardcourt and on clay, and he was a quarterfinalist at Acapulco, last year (lost to Nicolas Almagro).

David and Santiago Giraldo have never met before, at least not to play an official match (they went on the visit to the samba school in São Paulo together). And I must admit that my knowledge about Santiago Giraldo and his game is rather limited...
But unfortunately, that's not going to change today, as there will be no stream for this match, only the scoreboard.

Edit: You may have seen it, Blogger has revamped the layout of the comments page - and not really for the better, as far as I'm concerned. Therefore, I've changed the settings so that if you open them, the comments will now appear on the front page, below the respective post. And it's now also possible to reply directly to specific comments. I hope you'll like it. :)

43 comments:

  1. Losing fairly quickly to Ferrer at the Copa Claro was a blow, admittedly. But Ferrer is an especially forbidding opponent for lower-ranked players. His greatest strength is consistency, and it can be very disheartening to play your best and still fail to make much impact.

    I suppose on silver lining is that now David (Nalbandian) has more of a gut understanding of why Del Potro lost to Ferrer in the Davis Cup. They will need to be on terms of genuine mutual respect and liking if they are to win the trophy - not just polite tolerance.

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  2. Had David been able to play his best he might have been able to make an impact. But unfortunately, that was not the case.
    Still, it's not like he didn't know before what it means to lose to Ferru, and epic battles at that. I'm just not really sure why you bring this up now or what Delpo has to do with it. After all, David has never blamed Delpo for his loss to Ferru in the final. They found a way of getting along in Belgrade and I don't see a reason to doubt that they also did in Sevilla and can do so again when Delpo is once more part of the team.

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  3. And for the record, for me, the silver lining of it is something else (see post).

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  4. I agree with the silver lining. I think the same and I'm unbelievable happy about that and I think it must be also a tremendous positive feeling for David playing matches without injuries. So he can improve and get better and better. And not to forget it is more fun playing without physical problems and being able to get near to your best.

    For the new layout: I think the new settings with comments you made are way better that way than the new way before. It is easier to read it! Thank you Julia!

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    1. I'm glad you like it. :) And this is me, testing the reply function...

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    2. wow I've been here a couple of hours ago, and the comments sections was still tricky. I agree with Mina, it's way better now :)
      and I'm testing the reply fonction as well... lol :)

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    3. - And it works. :)
      Yeah, I think it's better this way.

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    4. Though we're somehow in the wrong time zone now, as far as the posting times for the comments are concerned... Mysterious.

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  5. It is difficult (and a bit too demanding) to expect him to beat the very top players, due to his 'part-time' tennis player title in the last 3-4 years. 2008 was the last time he played a full-time schedule (he was already suffering injuries on-and-off in 2007 and 2008).

    He needs a healthy body and most importantly, TIME (although we know time is running out). But I hope he would keep playing (like Haas and Ferrero) at an 'old' age until 32-33 (hopefully until 2016 Olympics!!!). In career duration terms, he is still 'young' because he really did not play too much in past few years.

    I really hope he would first win the Davis Cup (would he stop playing for a year next year, assuming Argentina wins it this year?), so that he could spend 1 year exclusively focusing on his individual success. He should still have 1 deep run in a Grand Slam (hopefully he will surprise everyone by winning it - but he needs a lot of hard work and luck in the draw, by avoiding Wawrinka/Ferrer/Djokovic in the draw...). At least I hope he would be a 1-Slam wonder like Sabatini / Martinez / Novotna / etc., instead of being Slamless. I still could NOT believe Gaudio could win a Slam, while Nalby (and even Coria) could not...

    And from his matches last year, it is clear that if his game is on (even only at 70% of his best form), he could have close matches against Nadal and Murray.

    P.S. I wonder if he would be given a wild card for Indian Wells. I actually hope he would skip Indian Wells for a rest, then only play in Miami, and then immediately focus on the Euro clay season. I hope he would finally reach R4 or QF in a slam in Roland Garros (he has not reached R4 or better in a Slam for 5 years - I can't believe it!!!)

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  6. He's been suffering injuries throughout his career, also before 2007. But because he never talks about these things, they usually went unnoticed. Take 2008, he played most of that season with his hip injury but back then, nobody knew what was going on... He may not have played as many matches as other players his age. But there's a reason he wasn't able to and those matches he has played have taken their toll.

    I think David has long since said goodbye to any Slam-winning ambitions and I think that's realistic. But winning DC is still possible. And he has said at least that continuing to play won't depend on winning DC but exclusively on his health. But he'll decide on a year-to-year basis.

    IW - we'll see if he gets a WC. I wouldn't mind if he skipped it, either. But if he feels ready to play there (and gets a WC) then why not. In any case, after the last couple of weeks there's now a good chance that we'll finally get to see David at the European clay events again. :)

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  7. the reply fonction and being able to comment below the article is really cool, thank you Julia :)
    it's more like an easy thread to read. And the comments appear more quickly!!! :)

    Hope David won't drink too many cocktails this week haha. Acapulco has always sounded like a "vacation-tournament" to me... lol.

    No stream, stressing in front of the scoreboard then... :)

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  8. Well, Blogger basically forced me to change it, by altering the old extra page layout... But yeah, I like it too. :)
    Not so great: scoreboard stressing again, tonight...

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  9. Somehow I think I shouldn't have tried to stay awake... when I fell asleep last week the endings were way better than it looks now...

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  10. Well, maybe his schedule was a bit too ambitious, after all...

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  11. Jep, that may be true. So he will (probably, as it looks now) get more rest for the upcoming tournaments.

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  12. Yeah, it looks like 3 weeks in a row plus DC was a little bit too much.

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  13. Wow, this is not good. Thought I'd check the scoreboard and I don't like what I see. Yeah, maybe way too ambitious.

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  14. Well, he must be tired from the schedule he's had and let's remember he's not someone at his age that can play week in week out regularly. He needs to take some breaks and make sure he doesn't get injured because after all, that's one of the biggest aims this season. Yeah and the slam stuff, cant really blame him, hes been so unlucky with injuries and its been tough to us and for him but now let's look foreward. I wouldnt mind seein him get a WC for indian wells, it would be good to play in a bigger stage and just us seeing games, seein as hes got a week to recover

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  15. Well, in the end it's not really unusual for him to go out early at Acapulco. He always did, except for 2008. It's just a little worrying not to know what really happened in this match. Apart from his horrible serve stats...

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  16. Yeah exactly, true. We'll have to find out but I just hope it's no injury but to be fair, David has had quite a few of these kind of days so I wouldnt be surprised if it was a bad day, neither if it was fatigue

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  17. First things I'm reading now on Twitter is that David seemed tired and appeared to be struggling with the heat while Giraldo apparently played very well.

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    1. I didn't even see the results until this morning. The drawsheet says Pico retired due to dehydration. :(
      So I imagine the conditions are quite tricky.

      Bah! Blogger doesn't believe I'm not a robot. I have to have a second attempt at the letters. Still hate those, but the reply function is cool. :)

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  18. Well, okay thanks for the update. At least it's nothing serious and he can fully recover for possiblyy indian wells, defo miami and davis cup

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  19. But those are really just the impressions of someone who saw the match. We'll know more tomorrow.

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  20. Well thanks for the news. At least it's not any injury but he'll be able to recover and get ready for maybe indian wells, defo miami and davis cup. And julia follow me on twitter Kevork_7. It's always good to have a nalby fan to have on twitter ;)

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  21. Ohh soz I sent it again coz I thought the other one didn't send :/ sorry :) But yeah we'll see clearly tomorrow

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  22. Yeah, we will. :)
    But I'm not on Twitter, sorry.

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  23. Well.let's be confident. probably he was just tired.I mean he's not 20 anymore... and I unfortunately I know what that means :)So now he can have a break..he'se not losing points. So I think it could be worse..

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  24. After pulling out of Stockholm after the Dodig match I realized that after even the best of matches something could be up, so all we can do is hope for the best.I watched Giraldo a few times, if he has his day he can beat really good players.

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  25. I guess he initially was committed to all 3 clay tournaments because (1) he really wants to enjoy a longer time playing in Latin America (his home country/continent), (2) he 'under-estimated' his potential results? That is, he was expecting to win only 1 or 2 rounds in each tournament and want to get more match practice, but at the end his performance (QF + SF) in the first 2 exceeded his expectations, so he runs out of gas now? [I really hope there is NO injury!!!!!]

    But with Indian Wells (assuming he really gets the wild card as rumoured), Miami and Davis Cup QF coming up, it is really better to take a 1 week break. Playing 10 clay matches in a row in the last 3 weeks is just too much for a 'part-time' tennis player like him...

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    1. He's playing all these events because he needs ranking points for a chance of playing the Olympics.

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    2. I agree with u Julia. He is so anxious to play for his country in Olympics. Thats why he played much better this time. Just like play for DC.

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  26. I really hope he has a decent draw + the weather in US is not too humid, so that he could reach R3 or R4 in the 2 hard court tournaments! It would be great if he reaches the top 50 by the end of March...If he gets one or two decent results in the Euro clay season, he might have a chance to be seeded for Roland Garros.

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    1. If David could once more play RG (without getting injured) then that would be great. But the main focus is the Olympics (and DC, of course).

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  27. its a nightmare this loss really
    i couldnt believe it i checked four times to finally believe how bad nalbandian is playing

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    1. Actually i wanted to write something, but all i do is giggling cause I had the same thought when I read this :D

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  29. I really hope he plays Indian Wells and hopefully without qualis

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  30. i wish i could take his losses as you are

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    1. Well it's just not the end of the world. It's not that I am not dissapointed when he lost, but it depends on how he played and how he's acting on court. He's not always losing because he plays bad, sometimes the opponent is just better playing.
      Emotions are good, but don't go overboard with it..

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  31. It also depends on how well he was able to play, physically.

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