Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cincy R1 - David vs Tommy Haas















Update
It took an hour longer than last week, there were two tiebreak sets this time and up 6-5 in the second set David had a match point. But in the end, after almost three and a half hours, it was once more Tommy Haas, who prevailed 6-7(0), 7-6(4), 6-3. The streak continues.
The next tournament for David will now be the US Open, which start in 13 days.

More tomorrow...


(AP Photo; montage by VD)













Usually, I try to find photos that are visually as similar as possible. But these two are closely related for a different reason: They show David and Tommy Haas during their most recent encounter. And "recent" is the right word in this context - a week ago to the day they met in the first round at Toronto. Haas overcame David in three sets, improving his match record against him to 4-0, and then went on to win two more matches at Toronto (against Gilles Simon and Radek Stepanek) before losing to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal, though not without taking a set off him.

At now 34 years of age and the survivor of more injuries and surgeries than David, Tommy Haas (ranked #23 this week) is in excellent shape at the moment and has been, these last few months. Against David last week, he played well, though not spectacularly so - and he didn't need to. David made things fairly easy for him by committing way too many unforced errors and also by not serving too well. The only exception was the second set, where David went for a more varied approach, including attacks at the net and drop-shots, and perhaps we'll see more of that, today. But most of all the question is whether this time, the timing on his shots will be better than it was last week.

I'm no statistician but the odds of David, drawing the same difficult opponent twice in the first round, two times in a row must have been rather slim. Now this scenario has come to pass, and it will be a crucial match for David. Winning it would mean to break the losing streak he's been on since the Queen's Club final. It could signify a new start. Another loss on the other hand would not only mean no further matches ahead of the US Open but also going there with what certainly wouldn't be much confidence and probably thinking that everything continues to work against him. - A crucial match. Let's hope he'll be ready (and awake) for it.

89 comments:

  1. The practice court schedule says that David trained with Kei Nishikori on Grandstand at 9.30am local - so he should be reasonably awake and ready to go.

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  2. Can't wait for the match!! Going back to London from holiday tonight but will still be able to watch it before. Vamos David! Thanks Julia for the update we hope so too

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  3. Got lucky with the scheduling there. ;)

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  4. Have a safe trip George.
    I miss home guys, there was always a great chance to get tennis matches on TV. I need to ask which sports channels have tennis on the most here in US and get it!

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  5. I hope you'll get settled in soon - with tennis on TV. :)

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  6. Goodness me, it's even the same umpire as in Toronto...

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  7. I hope so Julia. So far I haven't got my lease and I'm staying in a hotel, I so wanna settle in as soon as possible

    Hopefully the result will be different this time

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  8. What a fight back in the first set! I'm ashamed to say I lost hope the moment he was broken

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  9. David is always good for a surprise - in any given sort of way... ;)

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  10. hi, I began to watch this match at 5:6, can someone tell me how ran the first set?

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  11. Haas broke for 2-0 and served for it at 5-3 but David broke back and saved 6 set points before the tiebreak.

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    1. thanks Julia, David seemed from nowhere a bit tired in his last (long) service game when he gifted the break

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  12. Funny the commentators were talking about how David can overplay the drop shot at big moments, he really proved them right, after setting up game point with a really nice one he plays two awful ones to throw the game away.

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  13. I can't believe it, David double faulting at break points, and Haas saving both with service winners, why is he struggling in every tough match so much, no constance :/

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  14. "Knowing the kind of person Nalbandian is, he didnt lose any sleep over it" What a diss from the commentator regarding the Queens incident.

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  15. Knowing the kind of player Nalbandian is, he is struggling physically if he is serving badly.

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  16. oh, a premier after a long time, Nalbandian wins the hawk eye challange and the serving his first ace after a looong time. I don't know how to describe the player David Nalbandian.

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  17. If he makes a dozen or more DFs then than can be sign of abdominal issues. What we're seeing here is, amongst other things, his lack of match practice.

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  18. 2 times in a row Tipsarevic, 2 times in a row Haas, and both opponents saving nearly all break points and mainly with big serves

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  19. I think he's not playing too bad. The tie break andt he first two games-that was just to easy and David kind of felt asleep. :)
    But he woke up just in time so I think everythings fine

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  20. Interesting that it's mostly the same when David is up 30:0 on a good serving opponents serve, he is mostly losing the next 2 points, for example against Murray.

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  21. In lots of matches where David loses he isn't playing bad, only his serve is making him diffucult, it's hardly possible to win all rallies on the own serve, therefore service winners are very important against top players, that was and is a big disadvantage for David in his career.

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  22. I think we all agree that a better serve would make life much easier for David. But at this stage of his career there won't be any major changes anymore.

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  23. Haas is 34 but is serving constant in every game, I can't remember when David did it last time.

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  24. Whether or not the serve is one of your personal strengths has little to do with how old you are.

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  25. I have seen him serving worse...and if he loses today its not because of his serve..
    But I am sure he wont lose :) pretty sure

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    1. Sorry.did't want to post anonymous :)

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  26. I got home in time to see David serve that ace for 6-5, then saw him reach match point.

    I really, really thought he was about to win. I would have been quite happy about only seeing one-&-a-bit games for David to win in straight sets.

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  27. Yeah, it looked like it for a moment...

    Not a good sign that he's now arguing again.

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  28. I missed that. I am cleaning out the fridge (milk spillage - not even mine, grrr.) so only getting occasional looks at the match now.

    Noooo... break point. :(

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  29. I don't seem to be helping him. I had better return to the fridge.

    I now feel like crying... and not over spilt milk.

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  30. What a sad match, no luck for David these days.

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  31. The only positive thing I can think of is that maybe David will look at how Haas is going so well at 34 and after all the injuries and surgeries, and think that could be him in four years.

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  32. I would be very surprised if David has a good draw at US Open but not surprised if he has a good draw and gets injures before the match.

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  33. Please let him get a good draw at the US Open. (I'm going to pretend I didn't read the bit about injury, Ashot!!!)

    Please let him draw Donald Young. ;)

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  34. Haas was done with his fitness, and still he cant win....i saw the WHOLE match and it was terrible from both...:)

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  35. I'll have to agree with the commentators here - no, it wasn't.

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  36. My new approach to watching David and then not watching him didn't work. I left for a while when he blew a 40-0 lead in the 2nd game of the match, and again when he squandered a 40-0 lead up a break at 2-0 in the 2nd set. I'd had it after the tiebreaker and didn't resume watching until I saw him drop serve at 3-4 in the final set. Very frustrating match. The bottom line is that the top players win the important points, and David doesn't do that much any more. And Haas' serve gave him so many freebies. David has to grind for every point. None of this is to say that David played bad, it's just that Haas is the better player now. Still, this is really getting old.

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  37. You're right about winning, or rather not winning the important points. And I think it's something that has a lot to do with confidence and match practice. Or rather the lack of.

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  38. It's become kind of a vicious cycle - he needs to win matches to get confidence and rhythm but he doesn't because he's lacking these things.

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    1. So true. And in Masters events or the Olympics you're not going to get a slug in the 1st round. London really screwed up opportunities to play in 250s, but, of course, David wouldn't have played in them anyway. Winning 1st round matches in his last three tournaments was really his only way to get match practice and regain confidence. Indeed, a vicious cycle.

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  39. I think he lost the game in the second set when he took his little break. Haas was fighting and got some new strength, wherever he took it from. And at the end it just seems like Tommys will to win was stronger and has has a roll and David not. But it was also a match which makes me more confident for future games. He moved well, played some good pints.

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    1. I dont know whats wronh...sometimes it takes my name and sometimes it doesn't :(
      Sorry..
      Marion

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  40. Yes. He needs one comfortably-winnable first round draw to start him back on track, and then see what he can do from there.

    Although, to be fair, not many players provide comfortably-winnable matches. Let's say a potentially tough match that he wins. Today was almost that. What confidence he could have taken from beating the player that beat him last time. Better than a win over an "easier" opponent really.

    If he draws Haas in the US Open, we'll all scream in horror, but it would be a lot better than drawing one of the top seeds. David did have match point against him, and Haas won't have considered either of these wins anything but difficult.

    Btw, I see they won 144 points each. Whenever I looked during the match, David always seemed to be a fair few points ahead.

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  41. I think he needs to be more focused in important games, and improve his serve,but i dont know why these matches run away from him, like the match against Rafa or Murray, or even easier rivals like Seppi or Volandri.

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  42. Man this match was a very painful defeat. Very tough to take, 3 sets, long match, he actually played well, but in the third, the big points haas played better. So upsetting but at the moment he is having a nightmare even when he plays well

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    1. Watching him serving like that from the second part of the match it was clear that sooner or later he will get broken if he doesn't use his chance to break.

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    2. Well it was a tough and tight match and there is nothing to complain about. If you have a roll you gonna win those matches and if you dont then you lose. And Haas has a roll and confidence. Sometimes it is just that simple.

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  43. He has to serve much better and train a little bit harder because it was realy bad to see him running out of gas!At this level Mybe Rafa can win matches without first serve!I also dont understand why he needs to argue with the umpire he loses energy with it (mentaly) and also bad for the crowd and the fans.He is getting closer to the end of his carrier he should act calmer a little bit.The key moment was in the second set when he was 30:00 up he hit 3 bad errors.

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  44. miklos you are thinking as i do
    as soon as he lost his multiple chances at 2-0 at the second set to go 3-0 with double fault then easy volley to the net and for desert a poor drop shot.
    as soon as that happened and haas broke back i knew he will lose this match
    common doesnt he care anymore?
    he needs these wins
    look how haas is fighting his life out there screaming and fighting for every point
    and david who is in need for a win is double faulting in return,
    i cant seem to understand him anymore
    is he enjoying making matches whicj are easy to a difficult ones?
    i would die on the court if i were him!
    and losing 5 times to haas without wining a single match?
    haas is no federer or nadal and even against them he has the wins
    i am truly disappointed
    and i am tired mentally at watching these matches he lose

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    1. Then stop watching!!
      If you want less drama you have to watch another player.
      And yes... you are right. Nobody cares about whether he loses or he wins. Except from you.
      Sorry. Need to say that.

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    2. marion i said here the truth
      haas to me seems like wanting it much more than david
      and its sad because he is 34

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    3. Marion said it above, Haas is on a roll, has been the past few months, he's playing with a lot of confidence. And sometimes it really is that simple.

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    4. Thats what I said before that it seems to me that Haas' will to win was stronger. And that David lost the match after 2-0 in the second set cause he obviously felt asleep cause everything went so easy.
      But you cant accuse David of not fighting.
      Personally I still think that if you have a roll, like Haas, you are the one who's winning such a game.

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    5. I was to slow :D
      But two are better than one...

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    6. Well, I don't think that Haas "wanted it more" than David did. For me, all this talk about not caring, not wanting it enough, etc seems to come from thinking that he can play better than this - then why doesn't he just do it? Whereas I think that (for a variety of reasons) today was about as good as he can play at the moment.

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    7. maybe you are right
      but i still believe he can do much better than this

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    8. Not under the current circumstances. And I don't think he played badly today. After all, he was a point away from winning. Though that won't make this defeat any easier for him - on the contrary.

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    9. What i meant when I say "his will was stronger" it has something to do with confidence which David doesn't have at the moment.
      It's not about playing better than he can.
      This confidence which releases energy when you are actually too tired.
      I hope you understand what I mean, cause I dont really know how to describe it :D

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    10. Yeah, now I get what you mean. :)
      It's just that you get to hear things like that ("he just didn't really care" etc) everywhere, also about other players...
      But yeah, it's that ability to trust yourself, to know that you're going to do the right thing in that moment. And that's all about confidence.

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    11. Good :)
      I think we can assume that David plays to win and that he wants to win.
      But like you said it's a vicious cycle. you need confidence to win, but you only get confidence if you win

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  45. I missed the entire match due to a long meeting :( and after reading all your comments and the details... it's a really vicious circle for David but he can't get out of it as long as he doesn't win some matches. He was so close this time around, I'm looking forward to read Julia's report. And the number of break points he had but couldn't convert, and so on...
    US Open, let's keep the faith :(

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  46. mira you are better of not seeing it
    i almost broke my computer my iphone and smashed my remote control twice
    i am disappointed that this is all that is keft of the great player he was
    played good but againd cant seem to read the serves
    as like tipsarevic
    only this time worse
    haas serveng to the same place and david cant return it back in play
    poor return games by him this year

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  47. David desperately needs matches. What he should do, although we know he won't, is try to get a wild card for Winston-Salem. Berdych just got one today and Monfils did earlier. David can't possibly be tired. He's only played 3 matches since Queen's. With the way he's playing, he might draw a tough opponent in the 1st round at the U.S. Open and go one-and-done once again. Imagine going into DC with possibly only four matches under your belt since the middle of June. If he were to win a couple of matches at Winston-Salem, or maybe more, it would do wonders for his confidence. As far as damaging his chances in New York, no worries. He doesn't really have any right now. David should look at the big picture, and that's being prepared for the U.S. Open and DC. He certainly isn't now.

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    1. what dc?
      do you believe martin will favor him over monaco?
      with this poor record and play lately he wont play in the dc maybe in the doubles but we all wanted him to be strong in the singles matches
      you are right he needs to play winston salem but he doesnt care much because he is a top player and its not in his respect to play small tournaments
      what do you think julia?
      why he is not accepting it he needs match practice?

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    2. I think that he won't ask for the remaining WC though I think it would be a good idea to play Winston-Salem. But I don't make his schedule.
      And he will play doubles in DC. That I'm having my doubts about the rest I've said before.

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    3. i just want him to be good again
      is that too much to ask?

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    4. Do you think everybody else here likes to see him lose?
      I want him to play another season. And the way things are going now that might be too much to ask. So for my part, I'll try to make the best of it, as long as I still can.

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    5. it will be the saddest ending to retire when you are down like this
      he should retire on a higher note
      i cant believe he will retire like that

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    6. Well, for me, the saddest thing will be tennis without David.

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    7. Same here... :D
      But he's still playing. So I try to enjoy it as long as I can

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    8. i agree i simply will stop watching
      no other player is coming even close to make me enjoy watching tennis and as talented and beautiful to watch as david
      i used to love sampras back then
      but since watching david i am clearly could say he is my favorite tennis player and sportsman ever

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  48. I just read (via Fue Buena) that David has asked for a WC at Winston-Salem. But he doesn't know yet whether he'll get it.

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    1. yessssssssssss
      so he does read our comments?

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    2. No. He knows he needs matches. And he does care.

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    3. haha :) that made me laugh.

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  49. Maybe I enticed him to do it. It made sense to me. Hope he gets the last WC. I don't know, Julia, I'm not so sure he doesn't take a peak at VD from time to time.

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  50. Yeah, makes sense, eh? ;)
    Well, I am sure.
    But yep, let's hope he'll get the WC...

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  51. Just got back from the matches today, David's was a long one! Haas and David both practiced before the match on the court with David playing pretty well agaisnt Nishikori. I had great seats right behind David and was there from start to finish. Before the match started I knew it could have gone either way. For the first half of the first set David was not making any first serves in and it was bringing the rest of his game down. Haas was playing well and got up a break, but when he served for the match Daivd buckled down and got to work and broke back. After that point both players started serving really well and they both saved many breakpoints and got out of trouble with well placed first serves. Haas really lost his focus during the tiebreak and the beginning of the second set had all the momentum going to David. He broke Haas right away and I thought the match was going to be over shortly after but Haas started to yell and scream and throw his racket which got the crowd riled up and rooting for him. This brought some life back to Tommy and he broke back. For much of the rest of the set both men had many chances to break but neither could take it and when it went to a tiebreak David was the one who crumbled. The third set was much like the second set but David, who was very calm and focused for most of the match got unnerved by a linecall that he wasn't allowed to challenge (even though he would have clearly been wrong). Really Daivd did not play a bad match at all, he held match point, but Haas saved it with a good serve. The match really could have gone either way and really there wasn't anything else David could have done other than converting on more of the bp chances. I think formwise David is in good shape, he just needs to get a better draw since Haas has been playing very well for the last couple of months.

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    1. Thanks. :) Also for the additional impressions from the warm-up. That pretty much corresponds with what I saw, maybe except for the the challenge intermezzo in the third set. I thought it seemed more like a symptom than the cause, to put it this way.
      Anyway, thanks again and I hope I'll hear from you about the photos. :)

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  52. Not that I want to make excuses to defend for Nalby, but his draws have been very unlucky in the past few tournaments, and Tipsarevic is enjoying his best career year + Haas is playing like a top10 player. They have got the momentum to win.

    Nalby could have won against Haas had he been on a roll like same time in 2010.

    Perhaps his schedule is not good. It would be great if he skips Olympics to play in the US hard court tournaments like Haas, but of course it is understandable he wants to enjoy Olympics one last time.

    He must be realistic and plays on the Asian + Indoor small 250 + 500 tournaments, to pick up more points and finish the year in the #26-30 range, so that he will have better draw next year (IF HE CONTINUES).

    But I can clearly see he will only continue for 1 more year maximum... At least I hope he could win 1 big Master series + finish in the top10 before retiring.

    We mustn't be silly and think he could win a Grand Slam again! We should cheer for him if he could reach R4 again!!!!!

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  53. Haas didn't skip the Olympics to play the US hardcourt events. He simply didn't get nominated by the German Olympic committee, something he was very angry about.

    As for David, I think that first of all we'll have to see what happens at the USO and the DC semi. As the latter could have a lot of influence on the rest of his schedule.

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  54. I am sad guys. Can't believe this streak. I still believe Nalbandian draws this year have been the worst on tour for any player in last decade. I don't think he is playing bad at all! Just hope he does not get discourage by this. For me he is in great shape, it's just about confidence I think. It was always about his fitness not his tennis. Now it's not fitness anymore, his tennis WILL start to flow I believe. 100% sure about this.

    I just feel for Nalby thoug these days...

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  55. Once again he has to find the rythem on serve somehow like in 2007 because that would give him confidence otherwise it is realy hard to stand those long ralies from the baseline! he served really well in the end of the first set but he could not keep it up. I think haas was also a little bit lucky to get away with it.

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