Saturday, April 7, 2012

Davis Cup Quarterfinal - Day 2 Review

(AP Photo)

It was an emotional match, it was not a good one. (Source.)
That's David's personal verdict on his and Edu Schwank's 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-7(6), 8-6 victory over Marin Cilic and Ivo Karlovic. A match that, as both David and Edu told the press, they couldn't have won without the support of the indefatigable crowd at the Parque Roca.
With Argentina now in the lead and after a combined total of ten hours and eight minutes on court, David has done his share. In tomorrow's reverse singles, Delpo (troubled now by an eye infection but fit to play, according to Jaite) will take on Marin Cilic, who has also already spent more than ten hours on court. In case there's a live fifth rubber, Pico will face Ivo Karlovic.

Just like yesterday, during David's singles match against Cilic, the strong and changing winds at the Parque Roca, including further sandstorms, made things rather difficult for the players. And for David, on serve. Apart from that, there was a lot of pressure and consequently a lot of nerves on both sides of the net. Resulting in a rollercoaster of a match that had everything from spectacular rallies to gruesome errors and altogether 25 double faults for both teams.
To quote David, it was a "strange match, very strange".

(Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images)
The first set began with the Croats going up 2-0 after Edu Schwank dropped his serve. But David and Edu recovered the break immediately by breaking Cilic. At 4-3, David threw in one of his bad service games and lost his serve on a double fault. And with the Croats up 5-3 now, Karlovic served out the set.
At the beginning of the second, Edu got broken again but once more the re-break came immediately (against Karlovic, this time). After that they remained on serve until the eventual tiebreak. There, David and Edu wasted two set points before David converted the third with a clean return winner, 7-6(6).
In the third set, David and Edu managed to break Cilic for a 4-3 lead before securing another break against Karlovic as he served to stay in the set, taking it 6-3.
The fourth set was probably the most dramatic one of the match. After saving three break points in a row, David still lost his serve (on a double fault) to give the Croats a 4-3 lead. At 5-4, Karlovic got broken, serving for the set. But another bad service game from David, including another double fault on break point, then meant another chance for Cilic to serve it out at 6-5. David and Edu broke straight back again and forced the tiebreak but only to lose it, due to a series of unforced errors.
The Croatian team served first in the fifth and deciding set and at 5-4 and 6-5, first Edu and then David had to serve to stay in the match but they both held easily. At 6-6, David and Edu then managed to get the decisive break against Cilic before Edu served out the match to love.

Exactly how David, the "Marathon Man" as the press is now calling him, managed to play another five-setter after his epic battle against Cilic yesterday - that's still beyond me. Even more so because after the chaotic fourth set (and the horrible tiebreak that ended it), David and also Edu were still able to take it up another notch in the fifth - with the help of the crowd.
I don't know if I played well or badly. The conditions were not the best because of the strong wind and the pressure to win. I think the support that we got from the crowd was the key. I want to thank them because there were moments when it was spectacular. (Source.)
David's post-match interview for the Davis Cup website (in which he talks about the "strange match" that it was and says that he feels good after it) you'll find here.

As far as I've been able to see, David hasn't said anything about further problems with his adductor. Then again, those might not manifest themselves until all the adrenaline is gone.
In any case, David now gets a much-deserved break until playing his first tournament of the European clay-court swing, the Belgrade Open (April 30 - May 6). But first of all a third day, courtside, when Delpo (or Pico) will hopefully secure a spot for Argentina in the semifinal.

(Alejandro Pagni/AFP/Getty Images)

5 comments:

  1. my first reaction at 6-6 5th set was : "thank God there's no tiebreaker in the 5th"... Pressure was still there, though.
    And of course, amazing crowd behind the guys, it must be incredible to play for people who really support you no matter what. Numerous times yesterday, I wished I were Argentine lol :)

    now DelPo, we count on you! hope that eye infection is not serious, the windy conditions won't help him but.. Vamos!! I hope we won't need Pico later today. (DelPo can wear some glasses a la Tipsarevic in case the dust is dangerous for the eye lol)

    I want to salute David and Edu, really a good pair, they know how to cheer each other, even when Edu made some errors, or when David hit some DF, they always remained focused despite the pressure.
    You know it's DC David when he's able to stay almost 10hours on the court and not give up! Cilic was great as well, Croatian team will have lots of "tough" memories when they come back to Europe lol :)

    Happy Easter everyone! talk to you later!

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    1. haha Mira, at 6-6 I thought exact the same thing, I was glad that there was no tiebreak lol
      In the other news, Czechs have a good chance to beat Serbia tought they could have lead already 3:0 if Stepanek didn't lost the fifth set 7:9 in first match. But instead he showed his middle finger to Tipsy lol

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    2. You certainly hit the nail on the head, Mira. David and Edu were so supportive of each other. Both on mistakes and brilliant shots. They were constantly pumping each other up. Great sportsmanship. And the crowd was something else. Argentina certainly is a proud country. Yeah, maybe Delpo should wear the Tipsy goggles.

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    3. Lol everything was set to make us want to be Argentine yesterday :)
      30mn left before DelPo/Cilic, Vamos Argentina!
      hope they'll show David courtside from time to time :)

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  2. What a battle! I was completely knackered after it and I agree with the TB, but I also was worried that Karlo/Cilic served first in the 5th.
    Wow! I hope Delpo feels good and finishes the tie with a tired Cilic playing.

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