Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adios Acapulco - David Loses to Giraldo

(Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)



















To start with the good news: It was not another injury that was behind David's first-round loss yesterday. Instead, and to quote David, there were different reasons why this match turned out to be so very tough for him and why it ended with Santiago Giraldo prevailing 6-2, 6-2.
The hot weather probably was one of them. And having arrived in Acapulco only the day before, David didn't have much time to prepare and get used to the conditions. But most of all, as he had to admit, he felt "a little fatigued". And that's no surprise, really, considering the amount of tennis he has played in the last few weeks.

Having missed three opportunities to break in the first game of the match, David increasingly struggled on serve. Making as little as 35% first serves halfway through the first set, he got broken to give Giraldo a 4-2 lead and then again when he was serving to stay in the set.
At the start of the second set David managed to break Giraldo but now struggled even more on serve than before, making more first serves but winning less of them. After immediately handing the break back, David only managed to hold serve once (for 3-2) before getting broken to lose the match.

Talking to the press afterwards, and having admitted to feeling "a little fatigued", David went on to explain why he's playing such a demanding schedule these days. One that's perhaps a bit too demanding but has been designed for a specific purpose, namely making it onto the list of those 56 players, who will get to take part in the Olympics tennis competition:
I'm still not on that list, I have to improve my ranking. But it's one of my goals this year and that's what I'm working for.
It's going to be weird because two weeks after Wimbledon the Olympics will take place. That'll be something different but also nice. Let's see what fate will have in store when that moment arrives.
And in spite of yesterday's defeat and having reached his physical limits, he plans to continue playing as much as he possibly can.
I'll now go to Indian Wells. Now I need to improve that ranking. (Source.)
So he'll get a wildcard for Indian Wells.
And the quest for ranking points continues.

(Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

35 comments:

  1. It always takes so long till they announces wildcards.. But we'll see. I am confident as always :D. I haven't seen him playing qualification and I don't expect him to start now. So I guess if he says he goes to IW now he gets a wildcard ..

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  2. Yep, if he plays IW then it means he'll get a WC because his name is no longer on the IW qualifying entry list. :)

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  3. Well, David can look at Acapulco as just a pit stop on the way to Indian Wells. If he's going to play IW, he had to come north anyway. I had seen the weather forecast for Acapulco and it looked pretty brutal for day matches. Glad the problem was just fatigue and the heat. I think David going to California forces the issue. They've got to give him a wildcard. The dry desert weather and faster conditions suit his game better than Miami. He'll have more than a week off if he gets to play there, so that is good.

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  4. Yeah, he gets a bit of a break now and he definitely needs one... We'll see how far he can go at IW/Miami and playing on HC again. Strangely enough, IW, Miami and Cincy are the Masters events where he has had the least success over the years, less than at Rome or MC on clay (while doing better at the Rogers Cup).

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  5. Sometimes I wonder what he would say if he knew what sympathetic and caring Fans he has :D And Fans who share the thrill with him.. outside Argentina
    Not ironic.. I really wonder ...

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  6. good thing he's not injured or something, just a little tired, hope he'll have some rest throughout the week until IW. I thought they wouldn't give him a wildcard, that's really great! Hoping for a "good" draw now!

    As for the caring fans, I hope he knows they're not from Argentina only, and that he has worldwide supporters :D

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  7. fast first round exit in Acapulco without injury and getting a WC for Indian Wells is the best I hoped for :D
    And last week he had also easy matches with all clear wins in 2 sets and a fast defeat in 2 too :D

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  8. now one good draw and he has all conditions to make a deep run in IW :)

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  9. http://tennisconnected.com/home/tag/david-nalbandian/

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  10. http://www.bnpparibasopen.com/News/Tennis/2012/Pretournament/2012-Wild-Cards.aspx

    official :D

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  11. david has to improve his serve like nadal and djokovic did
    his game is great besides that if he can up it a notch he would be succesful otherwise he will suffer losses because he is prone to errors here and there and the serve is what saves federer djokovic and nadal from this moment in a match
    i really hope for a good masters swing

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    1. At age 30, David's serve won't be the subject of any major changes anymore. But I think all players are prone to errors here and there and suffer losses. Even Djokovic.

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  12. when i see matches from his good days in 2007 era or washington 2010 he served much better but i have to agree he did less unforced errors which are coming from the poor second serve which putting him on the backfoot
    what strikes me as little odd is that nalbandian played great in australia against isner and was good at the davis cup but his performances against ferrer and giraldo were really really weak so its really scaring me he will play poor in indian wells
    i hope he regroups and play great on hardcourts
    common you have a masters in you
    i am tired of the boring defensive top players
    show them a lesson or two

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    1. The unforced errors don't necessarily come from his second serve. Weak second serves are more likely to result in forced errors as they allow his opponent to immediately take control of the rallies. The unforced errors can have different reasons but they usually have something to do with his movement. This is an issue especially on clay, as David always has to be a little careful. (Maybe you have noticed that he unlike other players, he doesn't slide on clay.)

      The way you seem to see things is that David only loses matches because he can't be bothered to win them. When he should by all rights be able to beat any given player in any given match and on any kind of surface, because of his talent. But that's unfortunately not the way it works. Talent doesn't win matches. And talent can only be used and allowed to shine if the physical fitnesss makes it possible.
      David is 30 years old now. He has undergone hip surgery, which could have ended his career. It didn't. But it has a lasting impact on his movement, also because he can no longer train the way he did before. So he has to work within those limitations. And those limitations are there, even if you choose to ignore them.

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  13. moreover what i noticed is that in his prime he was constructing the points slowly with staying in the rally first then starting to up the pace when these days when he is not playing well he shanks wild shots which are losing him the match eventually
    i hope for a resurgence in this department

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    1. David doesn't have the physical strength anymore to remain patient during plenty of long rallies. His focus has to be on using wisely what physical resources he has. And shanking shots is usually a matter of not getting to the ball in time, i.e. a movement issue (see above).
      Hoping that David wins his matches is not the same as expecting it from him or feeling entitled to it. Accepting his defeats and taking them for what they are is not the same as not caring.

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  14. so julia i understand that you are not expecting him to win anything major such as masters or atp tour tournament
    not even hinting at a slam run?

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    1. First and foremost, I am happy that he still playing tennis, after all he has been through. I'm a David fan because I like watching him play. I love his game. And titles are nice but they're not all that is to it.
      I think that to win a Masters or in order to go really deep at a Slam he would have to be able to beat the Top4. And that's something he hasn't managed since his hip surgery (see above).
      Being a fan and being realistic is not mutually exclusive. At least not necessarily.

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  15. if he would not believe he is able he would have retired in my opinion

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    1. I know that you don't care about the Davis Cup. But David does.

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  16. i care about the davis cup but he has to have at least one more significant title on the tour

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    1. See, I would never put it that way.

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  17. Tbh I agree with Julia in everything she said 100 percent. We all have to acknowledge that David isn't the same player he was, and he will never be. But considering what he's been through, I'm glad with what we've seen. For one, I'm glad to have witnessed such a talented tennis player and from supportin him since 2002, he's shown us that. Now, being 30, I'm fine with seeing him play tennis, and doing good, but not expecting him to really win anything. Next week, it'd be nice to have a good run, coz I think he's capable but the body isn't and the fact is, like julia said he won't be able to play long rallies with the likes of djokovic and nadal, their fitness is nmuch better and they're at their prime which David has past about 4 years ago

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    1. Thanks, George. Yeah, he's at a different stage of his career now. So the expectations have to be different, as well.

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  18. I actually think his career is quite unique - he won the Masters Cup (the only player to have won it without a GS title!), and several 1000 Master series, but only had 1 GS runner-up + 3 Davis Cup runner-ups appearances.

    I hope to see him appear in the Olympics. Would he be allowed to play in the doubles, assuming he could not make it to singles?

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  19. Davydenko has also won the Masters Cup without having any grand slam title

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  20. True, Kolya pulled it off, as well. About the doubles competition at the Olympics, the entry rules are very complicated. And I'm not going to pretend that I've understood them...

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  21. I still believe that if Davids playing the best he can on hardcourt beat anyone except the top 4.Maybe Nadal indoors, so I still believe a deep GS run can happen.I dont think winning one is possible but with good luck he can go deep, it wouldnt definitely be the biggest surprise ever.

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  22. Doing it in one match is one thing. But doing it in several best-of-five matches in a row is a different matter. I mean, at Slams the physical aspect is even more important than at other events. I'm not saying that I think it's impossible for David to reach another QF, for example. If he gets lucky with the draw, is fit and able to play well, and doesn't have to spend too much energy in the first rounds. But it's always going to depend on a variety of factors.

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  23. Adrian, I've had another look at the Olympics regulations, concerning Berlocq and the DC requirement. And it merely says that players have to "make themselves available for selection", which I'd interpret as meaning that they don't have to have actually played DC. So I guess David has to get ahead of Berlocq in the rankings, after all.

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  24. I think that he actually has to play.I read that on the Wikipedia page and that at least once in the last two years.

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  25. What I quoted is straight from the ITF rulebook for the Olympics. It doesn't explicitly say that he needs to have played, only that he needs to have "made himself available". Whatever that's supposed to mean.

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  26. Hmm, my impression was that a match has to be played and I remember that there was some talk on MTF about Dolgopolov not being able to play since he hasnt played DC for Ukraine.I dont even remember Berlocq being called up for a DC tie.The safest thing we be to pass Berlocq and remove all doubt haha.

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  27. Yeah, that would be the best and the safest thing... :)
    I mean, it would actually be unfair to players who don't get the chance to play for their country, for whatever reason. We'll see.

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  28. I hope he would win a medal in doubles in the Olympics!

    True about the comments on his deep run in GS - if he struggls in early rounds (playing 4-setter or 5-setter), he would run out of gas and lose before QF. His best years to win GS was already way back in 2003-2006.

    He really is past his peak, but he could still occasionally post some upsets, and 'teaching' few lessons to the younger players.

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