More often than not, David struggles in the first round, having done well at the previous event. And at Miami, he tends to struggle in general. Still, this really was one chaotic match, even by his standards...
But in the end, after just under two hours, after getting broken twice when serving for the match and wasting a total of six match points, David came through, after all and beat Steve Darcis 6-4, 7-6(0).
In the second round on Friday he'll face Janko Tipsarevic - again.
|(Getty Images; montage by VD)|
5.00pm local - David's match is now about to begin... on the scoreboard.
After his run at Indian Wells and the big match against Nadal in the quarterfinal, today it's back to the beginning for David, back to making a new start in the first round of Miami.
And his opponent in his first match at Crandon Park will be new for David as well, as the two of them have never played against each other before.
Steve Darcis, 28 years old and currently ranked #68 (his highest ranking was #44, in 2008), prefers playing on hardcourt and usually moves back and forth between playing Challenger and ATP-level events. After early exits at Auckland and the Australian Open, in form of a walkover he had to give and a retirement, Darcis made the final at the Challenger in Dallas before reaching the quarterfinal at San Jose (lost to Julien Benneteau) and then losing in the second round at Delray Beach (to Ernests Gulbis). At Indian Wells, Darcis beat Donald Young in the first round and then lost in three sets to Alexandr Dolgopolov.
I'm not going to pretend that I know more about Darcis and his game. And that's not going to change today as coverage won't start until Saturday (so if David wins today - no coverage of his second-round match, either). But this could be a difficult match for David. Not just because it's Miami but also because keeping it up after having done well at the previous tournament, that's not always the case with David. Hopefully it will be, this time.
And now for a surprise addition to David's schedule: For the first time ever, his name is on the entry list for Belgrade (April 30 - May 6), which takes place the week before the back-to-back Masters events at Madrid and Rome. No sign of David on the entry list for Monte Carlo.