"Nalbandian cruises into Buenos Aires QFs", "Nalbandian crushes Monaco", "An inspired Nalbandian proves to be too much for Monaco" and last but not least "Lessons by the King". Those are some of the headlines David made last night with his amazingly easy 6-3, 6-1 victory over his compatriot, teammate and training partner Juan "Pico" Monaco. In a match that lasted just under one and a half hours, David didn't lose his serve once and though "Pico didn't have his best day, unfortunately" (quotes from the post-match interview), David played a simply fantastic match that has earned him a place in today's quarterfinal. There, he will meet another Argentine, Carlos Berlocq (match record: 2-0).
The second set began with another early break and another 2-0 lead for David, who was now firmly in control of the match. And who, whenever things got a little closer during his service games, managed to take it up a notch.
At 4-1, David got the double break after initially squandering a couple of break points before closing out the match on his own serve. 6-1.
That's merely the order in which things happened during this match. But the real story of it is of course David's brilliant performance, last night. While it has to be said that Pico didn't play well and committed an uncharacteristically large amount of unforced errors, David managed to impose his game on him and the variety he displayed during the rallies left Pico without any answers. Taking risks, whether with his groundstrokes (and with his forehand more solid than before), occasional drop-shots or well-timed approaches to the net, David took control of proceedings early on in this match and unlike the last time these two met at this event - he remained firmly in control until the end. In David's words (who also told the press that he's fine, physically): "I played a very good match and I'm happy about that. I made some errors but fortunately at moments that were not that important. Being in the lead from the start was an advantage. Now I get to play in front of the people here, again."
- Tonight, in the quarterfinal against Carlos Berlocq.