David has finally managed to break his losing streak: After 84 minutes on court, he defeated Robin Haase 6-2, 6-4 for a place in the third round, where his opponent will be fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov. Tomorrow's match will be their first meeting.
Also tomorrow: more about this match. And photos - if I can find any, that is.
|(EFE/Getty Images; montage by VD)|
3.40pm local - David's match is now next up on Court 2.
Usually, it's one of the weeks in the calendar where we don't get to see much of David. As he normally spends it at Flushing Meadows, preparing for the US Open. This time, however, after only two matches at Toronto and Cincy, there has been a change of plans. So David will play his first match at Winston-Salem today, against an opponent he has never faced before but probably knows from the practice courts. Whereas his opponent most certainly knows him.
25-year-old Robin Haase, at #46 currently ranked directly behind David, apparently considers clay to be his favourite surface. And on clay he's had his best results this season, with his successful title defense at Kitzbühel (against Kohlschreiber in the final) and the quarterfinals he reached at Monte Carlo (lost to Djokovic) and Estoril (lost to Wawrinka). Apart from that he reached the quarterfinal at Zagreb, earlier on in the season (lost to Lacko). However, at all other events Haase played this season, he went out in either the first or the second round, including Cincy last week, where he lost in the first round to Andreas Seppi.
For David, this match is going to be the chance to end his losing streak and make a new start, his best chance since the Queen's Club final. In a very different scenario - from the big stage to the, let's call it intimate setting of Winston-Salem's Court 2. And against an opponent, who calls him one of his "heroes". Against Davdyenko, Haase did play a solid match, mostly rallying from the baseline but also mixing it up with attacks at the net. But Davydenko struggled with his serve and his groundstrokes and only rarely managed to put Haase under real pressure. Something that David will be aiming to do very differently today.