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It was a little strange match.That's David's very own assessment of his 7-6(3), 7-6(4) victory over Marin Cilic. A match that saw only few good rallies but lots of unforced errors, shaky serving, re-breaks and missed opportunities. Still, at least in the two tiebreaks David was once more able to take it up a notch. And although he really wasn't playing his best, he managed to get the win in the end, and that's definitely not a given with David, on days like the one he had yesterday.
In the third round against tenth seed Janko Tipsarevic tomorrow, however, a tougher test is going to await him.
Often enough there are early breaks after tiebreaks. But in this case it wasn't until 3-3 that David managed to break serve again - but only to hand the break straight back with what was once more a series of unforced errors (4-4). Cilic's service game at 5-5 then saw a lengthy deuce battle with several break points for David the fourth of which he was finally able to convert for a chance to serve for the match at 6-5. And David had a match point in the following game but Cilic saved it with courageous play and then once again broke back to force another tiebreak. At 5-4, up a mini-break, David set up his second match point with an ace before a last backhand error from Cilic ended the match, 7-6(4).
We both play a match with a lot of mistakes. It wasn't really good one. But happy to win, to keep going and I know I have to improve my game to get better or longer [go deeper] in this tournament.18 winners, 36 unforced errors for David and 22/44 for Cilic. Numbers that say a lot about this match and also about how difficult David found it to try and take control of the rallies, the way he did against Cilic in the past. And successful strategies from their previous matches, like keeping Cilic on the backhand and then going quickly to his forehand often enough didn't work - because another unforced error got in the way. Apart from that David did seem a bit sluggish, defending well when he had to but often not moving well to hit his groundstrokes.
(Quotes from David's post-match video interview, you'll find it here.)
In short, it was a rather bad day that David had but he still found a way of winning this not exactly pretty and "little strange" match.