Thursday, February 23, 2012

Copa Claro R2 - David vs Juan Monaco















Update
I thought this match would go the distance and that it would turn into a huge, long battle. But today, David found the balance between playing aggressively and not making too many unforced errors. And after just under one and half hours, he prevailed 6-3, 6-1.
In tomorrow's quarterfinal, David will now meet Carlos Berlocq (who beat Gilles Simon).
Apart from that, David will receive a wildcard for Miami (thanks, Mira).

Report and photos tomorrow.


(Getty Images/Reuters; montage by VD)













Less than two weeks have passed since David and Juan Monaco played and fought side by side for Argentina in the first round of Davis Cup. And from what I saw they also had a pretty good time, hanging out together on the third day, during the dead rubbers. Today, however, they meet as opponents in what's the match of the day at the Copa Claro.

Juan "Pico" Monaco, ranked #20 as of this week, began the season with a first-round exit at the Australian Open but then went on to win the title at Viña del Mar, his fourth career title and the fourth one on clay. From Chile, Pico came directly to Bamberg, where he won the first point for Argentina. With his easy victory over Filippo Volandri (who retired) in the first round as the only match he has played since then.
It's the fourth time that David and Pico play an official match against each other and in terms of the match record, David leads 2-1. But those two victories date back to the year 2005. Their most recent encounter took place at this very event (when it was still called Copa Telmex), in the semifinal 2009. Back then, David served for the match in the second set and was two points away from victory before eventually losing in a third-set tiebreak. A match that took place during David's months with the hip injury (as became known much later), a time when he struggled even more with closing out sets and matches.

Today, a lot will depend on whether David can find the balance between playing aggressively in order to keep the points short and not making too many unforced errors. Pico's defensive skills will force him to take risks, to go close to the lines and advance to the net whenever possible. Otherwise David will find himself getting entangled in those long, gruelling baseline rallies that will take their toll, and more so on him than on Pico. In short, it'll be David's offense against Pico's defense and chances are it's going to be a battle...

(tournament website)

81 comments:

  1. I can't wait!!! big battle for sure, I hope David will handle the physical pressure that will be put on him, long rallies and all...

    awwww I really like this pic of David & Pico, they're so gorgeous <3
    I have to keep this one in my phone as well :D

    Julia, how come you always choose the perfect pics and make a montage of it, they both shot the exact same extended forehand, good choice! :)

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  2. in other news, Chucho Acasuso just tweeted that he retires from tennis... one of the many Argentines I used to support back then, with Coria and Zabaleta, etc.
    Time flies so fast :/

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  3. Yeah this is going to ebe a tough test for David in terms of the balance as you said but to be honest, if David's playing well I think he should get through! Hope it doesnt damage him physically so he can play on well in this tournament.

    Yeah everytime, Julia, you pick the exact same shot of each player. Takes a bitta skill to do that one eh? ;)

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  4. Its gonna be real tough for David becouse Pico plays best tennis in his career i think but we all knew who is better player out there.:-)

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  5. Thanks, Mira & George. Though it's mostly about finding the right pics and that's simply a matter of luck. ;)

    And yeah, Chucho has made his retirement official now. And soon, Feña will be gone, too... :(

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  6. I think Berloq awaits in the QF.

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  7. The match has just started and the streaming already sucks :s

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  8. It's been jerky but it gets better as the match goes on though :) I'm watching via the ILive.to stream on LSH

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  9. Yep, I agree Camilia. I've already had to switch to another stream. Oh well, you can't beat the price. This is looking like a 3 hour match.

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  10. Well, I'll stick to TTV. ;)
    And yeah, if they continue at this kind of pace we could be here all night.

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  11. Yep it looks like it's gonna be a long match! It's already 3 am over here, so happy it's the weekend tomorrow and I can sleep in

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  12. oh, where are you Camilia? :)
    It's 2am here, thank God it's Friday haha!

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  13. The stream is good, nalby a break up, it's all goood stuff #happy

    Some long rallies tho as u rightly say!!

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  14. yeah, my stream is better now :)

    thanks Camilia, I thought it was late night for me only, I won't complain anymore it's later there haha :)

    as long as David is up a break in this set, I feel good!!!

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  15. great news guys, seems like David will get a wildcard for Miami :D
    https://twitter.com/#!/USATgolftennis/status/172823629711679488 (from the USA Today tennis editor)

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  16. What a great set of tennis.

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  17. thanks for the news Mira
    It's only one hour eariler than you :p
    Where are you from?

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  18. Good stuff so far. Great news on Miami. It's what I thought would happen.

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  19. I'm so excited for this Miami wildcard :)

    And solid set, he keeps up the momentum so far!!

    Camilia, I'm in Madagascar :)

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  20. Well, he's up a set and a break, it's all great. Playing good tennis as well, which makes us all happy :)Although the rallies have been long, don't think he'll have any physical problem.. hopefully not! And I am absolutely delighted with that wildcard in miami thanks mira

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  21. Listening to this commie is like being at a pub in Britain and having this excited guy sitting next to you tell you what's going on with the match... lol

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  22. nalbandian at his very best
    i am so happy

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  23. Started watching at 4-2.David is playing ok but Pico is just to frustrated,to many unforced errors.

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  24. lol exactly, Julia! he knows how to keep the excitement out there :D

    so far so good!

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  25. David looks determined. Great attitude.
    He just needs to hold 'til the end now, and give us some delightful winners!!

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  26. @ Mira cool! I've never known somebody from there before :)

    Honestly I've been stuggling for a while to comment here because of the verification characters, next time I'll try to remember to have my eye glasses ready before the match :p

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  27. Camilia, glad to be the 1st Malagasy person you know, thank you VD! :)

    you're right Julia, looks like Miami will be Gonzalez's last tournament :(

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  28. "reaaaal opportunity for David Nalbandian". "oooohhhh that's just long". Haha I like this commie!
    "annooootherrr brreaaak poinntt" lol

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  29. definitely the kind of victory that David needed this week, boost of confidence, great points, I've thought it would be that easy. Pico is struggling with his wrist though, but, oh well, David was amazing anyway!!!

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  30. brilliant
    nalbandian impressed me allot
    really hoping he keeps it up abd his top 10 in no time

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  31. A job well done!

    At some point I stopped counting how many times the commie said "the former world number 3"

    Off to bed! Good night everybody

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  32. My comment didn't post. :(

    I was saying it was my first attempt with the horrible new character verification, lol! But i think the 'error' was about something else.

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  33. "An absolutely stunning performance." So said the commie. I would agree. I was sure it would be a lengthy match at the beginning. Not so. David is really playing well. I hope this commie calls David's next match. He's good luck.

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  34. Now it works, and I left out any reference to David because I didn't think it would. :-(

    That was the first match of his I'd seen since the AO. :)

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  35. Pico was a bit of a misery at the end. Was it just that he was cross with himself?

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  36. Beating Monaco,a top 20 player,in his prime on his favorate surface is just huge.Still proves that David if healthy is a really good player.Now that the Miami WC is here,maybe it wouldnt be too bad to skip IW qualifying if he indeed goes to Acapulco.

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  37. Istabraq last week I tried to post here for a few times but the characters gave me a hard time, so I gave up and just read the comments you guys were posting during the matches :p

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  38. Yeahh, he was quality today.. Gave us a lot to cheer!! The wildcard in miami was even more of a bonus. I just hope we keep seeing him play and that he keeps fresh, free from injury. Looool that commentator's jokesss, commentatin durin a point as well. Anyways people, we can all have a good night's sleep now, well whoever is at night time, hahaa bye everyonee :)

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  39. OOP is out: http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2012/506/op.pdf

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  40. such a nice way to be off to bed :)
    hope the same man will comment on his next match! :D

    good night everyone!

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  41. thank you Andvari. looks like we'll have another late night/early morning match, will need to set the alarm lol

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  42. Yeah it's gonna be a late night again. I'll have to work night shift tomorrow so I get paid to watch Nalby :)

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  43. Let's hope it's going to streamed. Different slot and not confirmed yet.

    I just can't believe it. The last time David and Pico played at this event, my stream died when David was two points away from winning the match. Tonight - my stream died when David was two points away from winning the match...
    But at least, the outcome was very different this time. :)

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  44. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN9DK7bCduw&feature=player_embedded

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  45. Oh no, the good old Tafirol ad... lol
    Shot especially for Mar del Plata...

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  46. Yesterday I watched Gonzalez vs Ramos and it was also the second match of the nightsession. They streamed it on justin thankfully so we have to hope for a stream on there..

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  47. David the gladiator haha.Would be nice to take another Argentine out tomorrow.

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  48. Justin.tv, I mean.

    As for the ad, well, I just can't watch it without being reminded of MdP...

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  49. Sad memories.Hopefully this year will be the year!

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  50. Yeah. :) Both Ferru and Verdasco keep telling the Argie press (at Buenos Aires) that this is going to be Argentina's year in DC. Hopefully.

    And by the way, sorry Istabraq and camilia about the posting problems. :(

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  51. hopefully, hopefully :)

    yes I remember this ad, El Rey David... too bad its memory is associated with Mar del Plata :(

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  52. To help the cause he should tell his buddy to join him in 100% skipping the DC this year haha.While hes at him he can convince Verdasco too haha.

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  53. By buddy I mean Nadal :) .

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  54. I thought so. ;) But isn't there already talk about Rafa playing DC this year, after all?
    Well, won't have to worry about Spain until the final...

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  55. Some rumor going around that hes gonna play the QF as the start of the European clay season.Maybe if it comes down to the final he decides to stay home a give a little joy to his friends David and Pico haha.

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  56. Well, he did stay home the last time around... Not that it helped.

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  57. I think David and Delpo deserve a second chance :).His form is picking up too.Monaco not looking bad either.The QF wont be a problem.

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  58. And that from our resident Croatian. :)
    But yeah, they definitely deserve another chance.

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  59. Haha, its the truth.Im just happy Ill get to see it on TV.My only David match was also Argentina-Croatia.He got killed bt prime Ljubo, I was rooting for David but wanted my guys to get through.Now tho,since we already one it once and it would mean the world to my favorate player Im gonna be pulling for Davids guys.

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  60. Yeah, Ljubicic used to mean all sorts of trouble for David...
    But well, I've had my round of supporting David & Argentina against my home country. Now it'll be your turn. :)

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  61. Yeah,its gonna be tough for me but in the end anything better than a 5-0 loss and I think Karlovic and Dodig will be opening bottles of wine on the flight back haha.

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  62. Well, I have to admit it wasn't particularly tough for me... Then again, according to David, Germans don't really know how to cheer, anyway. lol
    And yeah, I think both Dr. Ivo and Dodig are big fans of David. :)

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  63. Dodig got some free lessons last season, Im sure he cant wait for another one haha.When it comes to fans tho,in Croatia or Serbia if we were playing curling against someone we would get fired up about it haha.The 2006 QF was packed I remember,most people actually saying they came mostly because they wanted to see Nalbandian,ah the good old days.

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  64. I heard a lot of comments like "Nalbandian is simply amazing", "Nalbandian was just too good" etc in Bamberg. Which was very nice, of course. :) Though when it comes to football, Germany vs Argentina is a very different matter... ;)

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  65. Haha,when it comes to football we have had some nice moments vs Germany(WC 1998 QF,Euro 2008).It really comes down to it,that football is a game played by 22 players for 90 minutes and the Germans always win...unless they play Croatia haha.

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  66. Remind me, how many titles has Croatia won again...? :P
    Those were just little mishaps, somewhere along the way... ;)

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  67. The same number of titles that Argentina has won in DC haha.Hopefully both will change!

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  68. I'm a little bit more concerned about Argentina and DC. Just a tiny little bit. ;)

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  69. Just hit my mind that David doesnt need to pass Barlocq in order to qualify for the olympics because Berlocq doesnt grant the requirements of DC since he hasnt played in 2012 or 2011.So the only task which need to be achieved is getting under the 56 spot which could be done even by the end of this week.

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  70. Come to think of it - you're absolutely right about that. :)

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  71. So pity I was too tired and went to bed early before the match. In first round only I saw the first and was too tired then. And today I won't be at home but I'm sure tomorrow when I am back I will watch the semi with David. And no record of the match? :D

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  72. and no news about the WCs in IW? :(

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  73. It actually wasn't the graphics' fault my first comment didn't post. I got a new page with an error message, but it didn't say what the problem was.

    I've met (and disliked) this new graphic style before, I think they're the ones Tinypic used to use. They are hard on the eyes and it's easy to get a letter wrong, plus they take longer to type. The old ones were nice short words.

    You don't appreciate what you have until it's gone... ;)

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  74. Probably part of the general Blogger update/revamp. And trust them to make things worse, as in more difficult than they were before...

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