David's "training camp" at Winston-Salem has ended in the third round with a defeat against Alexandr Dolgopolov, who prevailed 6-3, 6-4.
So now it's on to New York and the US Open, where David will be playing both singles and doubles (with Edu Schwank). More about the match tomorrow, as well as about the draw ceremony for the US Open, which will take place at noon, local time.
|(AP Photo; montage by VD)|
1.35pm local - David's match is now about to begin.
A while ago, talking about his preferences when it comes to following matches, David said that watching a player "who just bashes the ball, and bashes, and keeps bashing it for two hours, that's not fun to watch because it makes you want to say - go for something else, try something different in the rally..." (Source.) And trying something different in the rally, that's exactly what his opponent today is known for.
Alexandr Dolgopolov, 23 years old and currently ranked #15, has by now established himself as a Top20 player and he's the fourth seed at Winston-Salem. His best results this year include the quarterfinal he reached at Madrid, a semifinal appearance at Umag (lost to Cilic), making the final at Brisbane (lost to Murray) and, more recently, the title he won at Washington, where he defeated Haas in the final. After that, Dolgopolov went out in the first round at both Toronto and Cincy (against Stepanek and Davydenko). In his first match at Winston-Salem, however, he had no difficulties at all with Yen-Hsun Lu.
Today's match will be the first meeting between David and Alexandr Dolgopolov, the first time that David will find himself confronted with the Ukranian's unorthodox but also versatile game. As Dolgopolov is among the few players to employ different strategies and also change them in the course of a match. And his quick, unusual service motion might take David a while to get used to. In any case, Dolgopolov is a player who's able to place the ball well, making use of the whole dimensions of the court. So David might end up having to cover a lot of ground, unless he can take control of the rallies and keep Dolgopolov on the back foot. And a better serve performance than yesterday would help with that.
On a different note, the entry lists for Tokyo and Beijing came out last night and David's name is to be found on neither of the two. Whether he'll be going to Shanghai for the Masters we'll know next week.