Friday, April 27, 2012

Belgrade Draw

After more than a month, here it is at last - a draw for an ATP tournaments with the name David Nalbandian in it. This time, as the fourth seed at Belgrade, David has "his own" quarter of the draw, namely the top quarter of the bottom half. And that half looks like this:

[7] Ryan Harrison (USA) vs Joao Souza (BRA)
[WC] Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) vs [WC] Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
[Q] Aljaz Bedene (SLO) vs Martin Klizan (SVK)
BYE vs [4] David Nalbandian (ARG)

[8] Gilles Muller (LUX) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK)
[Q] Eduardo Schwank (ARG) vs Dudi Sela (ISR)
Ivan Dodig (CRO) vs Adrian Ungur (ROU)
BYE vs [2] Andreas Seppi (ITA)

A look at the complete draw you can take here.

It's not clear yet who will get the qualifier spot, of course but what is clear is that David has never played against any of the players in his quarter before. His first opponent in the second round could be Martin Klizan (#98), who recently won two clay-court Challengers in a row.
Going by the seeding, in a possible quarterfinal David could then face Ryan Harrison, currently ranked #58, whose last result was the quarterfinal he reached at Houston.
In the bottom quarter, there are a couple of players David has met before and some of them not too long ago, like Ivan Dodig and Adrian Ungur. I'd say that quarter is pretty much wide open but in case David gets to face second seed Andreas Seppi (#46) in a possible semifinal, he'll do so, knowing that he has won both of their two previous encounters.
As I wrote in my preview post, the weaker field was probably the reason David chose to play Belgrade. Now he also has a good draw, so here's hoping he can make the best of it.

Update (28/04)
The doubles draw is now out as well. David and Edu will play their first match against Jordan Kerr and Dudi Sela. After that, in what would be the quarterfinal, they could meet the second seeds Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram. The doubles draw you'll find here.

(tournament website)


  1. Draws cannot get much easier than this on the ATP tour. Hope David will take the 250 points and build some confidence again following up on the good result in Indian Wells.

  2. Wow! What a draw. I always thought David should have played some of these kind of tournaments when he was coming back from hip surgery. Not all, but some. Hope he looks across the net and plays the matches in Belgrade like he thinks it's Nadal on the other side. This is too good of any opportunity to waste.

    1. Yeah, we can only hope that he'll approach his matches that way. Or maybe thinking that all of his clay-court matches are preparation for the DC SF. And not just the doubles matches... And yeah, he could've made things easier for himself, back when he returned after hip surgery. Then again, he has never made a secret of preferring the big events.
      Well, I still hope he'll have a good time at the Tennis Center Novak, playing opponents he has never seen or heard of before.... ;)

  3. I am always worried when the draw is easy, he will crash out in the first round!

    He must get into the match very very quickly and win it in straight sets.

    This is the very critical tournament that could decide his (1) seeding for Roland Garros, (2) Olympic chance, (3) confidence boost for the two Master cup series, (4) fate in the European clay season, (5) stamina (if he could play 3-4 clay matches in a week, that will show his fitness definitely improves to another higher level).

  4. It's a good opportunity to gain ranking points for making it to the Olympics. And it would be nice if he could have a good start into the clay-court swing. But his fate won't just depend on his showing at this tournament. And there were times when I never thought I'd get to say this but his fitness and stamina haven't been the problem, this season. So I hope he can play a complete clay-court swing this time around and qualify for the Olympics.

  5. Vamos David!
    Interesting field (for him), good draw, a nice way to start the European clay swing. Points are needed.
    Even if David doesn't know much about most of the players playing in Belgrade this week, I hope he won't need more than few games to "warmup" and figure out about the opponent for every match lol :)

  6. And there's hardly anybody he'll have heard of before in the qualifying draw but the one player he does know very well has just reached the second round of qualies - Edu. :)

  7. Well, this is really a good chance for David to go far in this tournament, looking at his half of the draw the final seems possible to me. Hope he does well and gets good clay-court practice before Madrid and Roland Garros. And, of course, that he doesn't get injured, although that seems a thing of the past now, but you never know with David :)

  8. Yeah, you never know with David on clay... I mean, I'm optimistic after the Golden Swing and the two DC ties he has already played on clay this year. But he still has to be a bit careful with his movement on clay, that hasn't changed.

  9. I'm also optimistic, as always :-). The draw looks good, vamos! Hopefully he has a good run.