David has won his first match at the Copa Claro, defeating Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 6-3 in 81 minutes. In the second round on Thursday, he'll now get to face his Davis Cup teammate Juan "Pico" Monaco.
Report and photos tomorrow.
|(Reuters/AP Photo; montage by VD)|
As you'll know, I like to occasionally poke fun at David's habit of often enough not knowing (or not remembering) anything about his lower-ranked opponents. But in the case of his opponent today, and although they've never met on the Tour before, I guess it's safe to say that David will have at least heard of him. After all, Wayne Odesnik is what you could call the most notorious player on the Tour today.
Here's an attempt at a short summary of how he came by that reputation. In January 2010, Australian officials discovered HGH (human growth hormone) in Odesnik's luggage. In court, Odesnik pleaded guilty in March (and was sentenced to pay a fine) but he was allowed to go on playing until in April the ITF banned him for two years. A ban that was lifted at the end of 2010, due to "substantial assistance provided by Mr Odesnik in relation to the enforcement of professional rules of conduct" (source).
Odesnik took up playing again in 2011 (without a ranking) and within months he went from playing qualies at Future events to winning Challengers. By now, he's ranked #107 and the Copa Claro is his second ATP-level event since his ban.
Around two months before he got caught with HGH I saw Odesnik play live at the tournament in Vienna. What I remember from that match is that unlike other American players he doesn't possess a big serve (he's a lefty, by the way) but he defends and reads the game well, with the forehand his stronger wing, and his results show him to be at home, playing on clay. So David might find himself getting caught up in longer rallies, something he'll try to avoid.
Apart from that, there's a new interview that David gave Clarin yesterday. In it, he talks, amongst other things, about the current state of affairs and his loss to Volandri. But he also talks about the possibility of not making the main draw at Indian Wells and Miami. As apparently, there's no deal about him, getting a wildcard...
The interview (in form of a back-dated post) you'll find here.
Edit: David's name is on the qualifying entry list for Indian Wells. Whether that means he'll actually play qualies - we'll have to wait and see.