Monday, February 18, 2013

Adeus e Obrigado São Paulo - David's Comeback Week

According to Charly Berlocq (who should know) the Copa Claro first-round match between David and him will take place Tuesday night, local time.
Edit: And it'll be the first match of the night session (source), which means there'll be a stream for it.

It would've been the perfect happy ending for an amazing comeback week - winning a title after almost half a year away from the Tour. In the end, it was Rafael Nadal, who won the title, defeating David 6-2, 6-3.
But even without the happy ending, it was a great comeback from David and not just his return to the Tour after almost half a year but also, at long last, a return to normality. And to winning more than one match in row, something that prior to this week David last did at the Queen's Club. At São Paulo, he won four in a row and especially the one against Almagro stands out as the kind of victory and just brilliant match we didn't get to see from David in a long time. And not just because of the injury pause.
Playing five matches in as many days turned out to be a bit too demanding for David. But this was only the beginning. And it was a great und somewhat unexpected start for his 2013 season.

But back to yesterday's final. Both David and Rafa Nadal seemed rather tense at the start, and the early stages of the match barely saw any longer rallies. With especially David often going for too much with his shots too quickly. At first, I mainly took it to be a sign of nerves and perhaps a bit of over-ambition. But David, consistently (if not to say desperately) trying to keep the points as short as possible is usually a sign for something else, namely that he knows he's not going to last, physically.
David first dropped his serve to give Nadal a 4-2 lead and then again when he served to say in the set, after having been 40-0 up, so Nadal took the first set 6-2.

At the beginning of the second set, however, it looked like David would finally find his way into the match, playing much more freely and much better now. And for a while, the tables seemed to be turning. David broke Nadal in the first game of the set and when at 3-0, he led by a double break it looked like he still had his chance to win, with the match bound to go into a third set.
But that 3-0 lead proved to be David's last hurrah in this match.
Still fighting and still playing better than in the first set, David now ran out of what gas he still had left, while Nadal gained more and more momentum. And in the end, when Nadal closed out the match after only 78 minutes David had lost the last six consecutive games - from 3-0 for David to 6-3 for Nadal.

So the end of it wasn't really pretty. But although the final will have been a big disappointment for David, the positive aspects from this week should outweigh the frustration. I'd love to be able to tell you what David himself had to say after the match. But I haven't been able to find any interviews or quotes.
Something that's bound to be different this week, when David returns to Buenos Aires for the Copa Claro. His first match, against Charly Berlocq, will take place either Tuesday or Wednesday and hopefully in the night session as it seems that just like last year, only the first match of the night session will be streamed.

And then there is, last but not least, the ranking. I'll admit that at the beginning of last week I thought we might see David drop out of the Top100 today, when the new rankings come out. But now his runner-up points have taken him up 15 places to #78. And it's good to see David listed as one of the "Movers" on the ATP website, with that little green arrow pointing upwards next to his name.

(Andre Penner/AP Photo)


  1. ouch 1:30am in my timezone... but good thing there'll be a stream so I'll stay up :)
    Hehe David's face on the Movers this week on the homepage, I don't always pay attention to this part of the rankings but now that it's David, it feels relieving to see him still in the Top100.

  2. Yep, that's what I thought too - it's good to see him there. :)
    (Though he might move in the opposite direction next week...)

  3. How many points has he to defend here?

    1. I suppose you mean the Copa Claro - 90 SF points to defend.