After 80 minutes of play and having just sealed his 6-4, 6-3 victory over Aljaz Bedene, David walked over to the net to shake the young Slovenian's hand. On his way, he took off his wrist band to throw it to the crowd. But instead of casting it at the eagerly waiting fans, David managed to hit chair umpire Damien Dumoisis with it (from 9:10 on in the clip above). A little mishap they both had to laugh about. And together with dropping his serve in the second set it was the only blip that David allowed himself last night.
It was David's first match since the Davis Cup quarterfinal tie a month ago, so a bit of rust was to be expected. As well as a slow start. But after initially struggling with the timing on his shots, both on the forehand and the backhand, David quickly found his range and his rhythm.
After having been taken to deuce in his first service game of the match, David had a first couple of break points at 1-1, but Bedene managed to save them. Following the slightly shaky start, David now grew much more solid on serve and didn't face a break point throughout the first set. At 3-3, Bedene set up two further break points for David with two double faults in a row and after saving the first he handed David the break with a forehand error. With Bedene serving at 5-3, David held a first set point but his attempt at a return winner landed wide. But after that David served out the first set to love.
The second set David began with an immediate break. Putting Bedene under constant pressure now with deep returns and also dictating most of the rallies. At 2-0, David broke again, going up a double break and 3-0. But just when he looked to be in complete control of proceedings, two untimely forehand errors in a row (from 30-30 onwards) cost David his next service game. A typical blip for him, though he didn't drop his serve to love, this time. With David still up a break, at 5-3 Bedene served to stay in the match and quickly went down 0-40 before David converted his first match point with a blistering first-serve return that Bedene couldn't put back into play.
It was a nice match to watch, as the clip above shows, and not as close as the scoreline seems to suggest. And once he got past the initial bit of rust, David not only found the timing on his groundstrokes and on his returns but also displayed some great touch at the net. He has to be a bit cautious with his movement on clay and it could be seen again, last night. But apart from that, I thought he was moving well. What could still use some improvement is his serving. While he dropped only six points on his first serve in the match, his first-serve percentage went down to 43% in the second set (52% for the match).
Still - a good start for David and one he can hopefully continue to build on.
|(Mirko Jovanovic/tournament website)|