Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Look ahead at Indian Wells & Miami

Update (05/03)
It's Monday, time to take a look at the rankings. David hasn't lost any points but he has been overtaken by other players who gained points last week, so he drops down four places to #74.

They are the only tournaments in the calendar that take place over the course of ten days and they feature the biggest draws outside of the Slams - Indian Wells and Miami.
Last March, his hernia/adductor surgery kept David sidelined. But this time, he'll be part of the action at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and at Crandon Park once again, also thanks to the wildcards he has received from the organisers of both events.

BNP Paribas Open - Masters Indian Wells (March 8-18)

(Getty Images)

















When it comes to David and Indian Wells, there's that one match everybody remembers:
his loss to Rafael Nadal and those five match points he famously held - but failed to convert.
At that time, in March 2009, it was the latest example in a series of matches where David struggled more than usual with closing it out. And this, as well as his inability to keep it up physically, was something of a mystery... Two months later, David had hip surgery. And as became known later, those problems started at Indian Wells - but already back in 2008.
But the 2009 edition not only saw David's famous loss to Rafa, it was also the backdrop for what I called "an unexpected alliance" back then: David and Delpo played doubles together and reached the quarterfinal.
For David, this year is going to be his ninth time of playing Indian Wells since his first appearance back in 2002, with his match record at this event standing at 13-8. So far, David's best result has been the quarterfinal he reached back in 2008 (despite hip problems; lost to Mardy Fish), with making it to the fourth round as something like his standard result at Indian Wells (four times). The remaining three times he went out early, including his last appearance in 2010, which ended with a second-round defeat against Jürgen Melzer.
The draw for Indian Wells will be pulled next Tuesday, at 3pm local (11pm GMT).

Sony Ericsson Open - Masters Miami (March 21 - April 1)

(miamidade.gov)

















When David played this event for the first time, it was also with a wildcard. But back then, it was one for the qualifying event. That was all the way back in 2000. And David, merely 18 years old at the time and having only just turned pro, made the most of this chance that had been given to him. He won both qualy rounds fairly easily and was rewarded with a place in the main draw - and his first ever match at ATP-level. In that match, he got to face Jim Courier. But although David lost he didn't do so without taking a set off the former world number 1. In other words, Miami is where David's career on the Tour began.
Now, twelve years later, he'll return for what's going to be his altogether eleventh appearance. But although David has a long history at Miami, it's not exactly an impressive record that he has at this event, with an overall match record of 9-10. And over the years, there has only been one occasion where he managed to go deep. That was back in 2006, when he reached the semifinal (lost to Ivan Ljubicic). But apart from that, with the sole exception of his last appearance in 2010, David has never won more than one match at Miami. As long as he was still seeded and got a bye that was enough to reach the third round (three times). But altogether five times he lost the first match that he played, whether in the first round or in the second (with a bye). Which makes his third-round defeat against Rafael Nadal in 2010 (without a bye) David's second-best result at Miami.
The draw for Miami will be pulled on Monday, March 19, at 12.15pm local (5.15pm GMT).

10 comments:

  1. Waiting on getting tickets for Indian Wells. Got to wait til Tuesday since I need to see when he plays!

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  2. I hope you'll have have a great time at Indian Wells, watching David play. :)

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    1. Thanks Julia! By the way, you've done a great job with the site. This web site has made following David's career relatively easy compared to before I discovered the site.

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    2. Thank you. And yep, that's exactly what I'm trying to do with VD. :)

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  3. thanks Julia :)
    if we have the chance to get a stream for David's match in IW, we'll sure have a commie who'll remind us that epic match against Rafa in 2009.
    I'm really glad the organisers gave him wildcard for both events, especially Miami where he didn't have good resultats when he played there.
    Can't wait to see the draw, may the wildcard bring him so luck!

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  4. Yeah, hopefully he'll get lucky with the draw... :)
    Coverage won't start until Saturday, by the way. It's always the same with IW (and also with Miami)...

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  5. i am little bit dissapointed in david's last two matches. Volandri was so lucky playing that well.He played only once at the same level it was against federer in Rome. i hope david can get into the top 50 again after IW and miami.He has to be stronger mentally for sure.

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  6. I think you forgot the week at Buenos Aires between Volandri and Giraldo. ;)
    But in both of those matches David was struggling physically, rather than mentally.

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  7. i did not forget about that!He had prety easy matches before.against ferrer he hit so many unforced errors even at the begening of the match from his favorite wing.Maybe it was because of the pressure of the home crowed, or the difficult conditions but i dont think so he was tired on that match.anyway the organizers could have put this match a little bit earlier.I am not a meterologist but i saw the bad weather in the morning.the giraldo match was a different story.lets hope for luckier future tournamentes.

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  8. I just thought because you mentioned Volandri. ;)
    And I meant he was struggling physically against Volandri and Giraldo. Against Ferru it was definitely more of a mental thing. Then again it was a special match in a special kind of setting.

    But yeah, let's hope for some luck with the draw at IW and Miami...

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