|(Daniel Garcia/Getty Images)|
This surely wasn't how David will have pictured his return to the Parque Roca: After a record-breaking five hours and nine minutes on court, Marin Cilic sealed his first ever victory over David, prevailing 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3.
Afterwards, it was reported that David suffered an adductor injury during the match, a claim that he denied during his post-match press conference. But although there's apparently no actual injury, it seems that David did experience some problems with his left adductor during the match (source). However, it looks like these problems are not too serious and they won't keep him from playing the doubles, tomorrow.
In the second match of the day, Delpo (who had been sick in the morning but still played) won the first point for Argentina by defeating Ivo Karlovic 6-2, 7-6(7), 6-1. So after the first day of play, Argentina and Croatia are tied at 1-1.
It was a difficult match, for David and for Marin Cilic, and not just because of its epic length. Both players not only had to battle against the opponent but also against the elements, in form of strong and constantly changing winds, sweeping through the Parque Roca, occasionally causing little "sandstorms" on court and often making it difficult enough to merely keep the ball in play. With a staggering amount of unforced errors on both sides and eleven double faults for David (whose serve is particularly vulnerable to windy conditions) as the result. In short - it was a rather ugly match.
|(Daniel Garcia/Getty Images)|
In the second set, he got an early break (for 2-1) but then handed it straight back. Cilic broke David again for a 4-2 lead but then failed to serve it out at 5-3. David got the re-break and to 5-4 but only to drop his serve in the following game, allowing Cilic to take the second set, 6-4.
The third set was the only one in the match that saw only one break of serve. It was David who broke to go up 3-2 and then closed out the set, winning it 6-4.
Early on in the fourth, David was under a lot of pressure on serve but managed to scrape thorugh after saving altogether nine break points in his first two service games. They stayed on serve until the eventual tiebreak, where a series of errors ended up costing David the set, with Cilic taking it 7-6(2).
In the fifth set, it was Cilic, who managed to get an early break (for 2-1). At 3-2, David had three break points but failed to convert any of them. Serving to stay in the match at 5-3, David saved two match points but couldn't keep Cilic from converting the third one. 6-3.
It was a tough match for both of us. In the fifth set I had the chance to draw level but I couldn't make it. He played a great match, especially in the fifth set, so he won. (Source.)And it was especially in the fifth set that David was no longer able to keep up with Cilic, physically. Even though he tried, as best as he could. But from the fourth set onwards, David's movement deteriorated, which led to even more errors, also at inopportune moments.
I made lots of errors at crucial moments during the match and I'm angry that I've lost. (Source.)David's post-match interview for the Davis Cup website you can listen to here.
So that was it - the second ever defeat that David has suffered at the Parque Roca (after losing to Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinal 2008). A bad match but hopefully one without consequences.
I'm fine. I simply had a bad day. (Source.)Let's hope he's right.