David has begun his campaign at Indian Wells with a 7-6(4), 6-0 victory over Potito Starace in an hour and 25 minutes. In the second round on Sunday he'll face 24th seed Marin Cilic.
|(abiertomextenis.com/Reuters; montage by VD)|
2.40pm local. The second match on Court 2 has just ended. Next up: David...
Actually, this match is late by a few weeks. The paths of David and Potito Starace usually cross during the Golden Swing, especially at Buenos Aires. And it was there that David played a very memorable match against Starace, a little more than two years ago - his comeback match after the hip surgery pause. Today, however, it's time for something new: their first ever encounter on hardcourt.
For Potito Starace, 30 years old and currently ranked #68, Indian Wells is already the eighth tournament of the season. But whether on hardcourt, indoors or on clay, he didn't make it past the second round at any of the events that he played.
All four previous encounters between David and Starace took place on clay, during the Golden Swing, and David won all four of them. Three out of those four times they met at Buenos Aires, including the only real battle they had (quarterfinal 2008, on David's way to winning the title), the comeback match, and their most recent encounter, last year. A match that David played an won without any apparent difficulties - or so it seemed.
Although Potito Starace has won all of his four career titles on clay he also likes playing on hardcourt. And he has a stronger serve than most classic clay-courters, even though David did well, dealing with it in the past. In their previous matches, the one thing Starace was able to trouble David with were the drop-shots that he likes to play. But whether he'll also try to use them on hardcourt today - we won't get to see it. As usual, there's no coverage during the first round at Indian Wells, so for following this match it'll once more be the scoreboard.