It was David's comeback at Roland Garros after four years - but after just under three hours, it was all over. For in the end, it was Adrian Ungur, who prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
A poor match from David, who played too passively and allowed himself to get pushed behind the baseline. Never really playing the match on his own terms.
The good news is that David has played a full clay-court swing without any injuries. And also, that this defeat won't have any consequences for his chances of qualifying for the Olympics. Unless Chela reaches the semifinal at Roland Garros, David will make it to the Olympics.
His next stop will now be the Queen's Club (June 11-17).
A first round of photos now on the Photo Page, report coming tomorrow.
|(Getty Images/Mediafax; montage by VD)|
12.25pm local - the first match on Court 6 has already finished. Next up now: David...
When David played his last match at Roland Garros, Roger Federer was still #1 in the world, and had been for years. And David was ranked #7. It was the year after his run at Madrid and Paris. And he came to Roland Garros, having won the Copa Telmex and having reached the final at Acapulco, the longest winning streak of his career at the time. Back then, clay was just another, and not a potentially dangerous surface for him to play on. Though already back then, David was carrying the hip injury that would change the course of his career...
Today, four years later, almost exactly to the day, David finally plays a match at Roland Garros again. And he gets to face someone he'll remember from Davis Cup.
27-year-old Adrian Ungur is, at #91, currently ranked as high as he's ever been in his career. Mostly because of his results at clay-court Challengers: Ungur reached the final of three of those, this season. At the ATP-level, however, he hasn't made it past the first round at any of the tournaments he played this year, while at the three clay-court Masters events he didn't manage to get through qualifying.
As mentioned before, David (still ranked #40 this week) and Adrian Ungur met in Davis Cup last year. A match that David played despite suffering from an acute case of hernia and won despite suffering an additional adductor injury during it, both of which required surgery. And basically all I remember from that match is the injury drama (and the tears).
But what's clear is that Ungur is a clay-courter, who will give David the rhythm he likes but who will also try to entangle him in long rallies. While David will try to take control of the points and keep them short.
After four years, today it's welcome back to Roland Garros.
And here's hoping that it's going to be a good new start for David.