So far, whenever the Davids met whoever won the first set also won the match - but not today. After an absolutely stunning display in the first set, "our" David ran more and more out of gas until there was nothing left. And after an hour and 32 minutes, the other David prevailed 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.
|(Inovaphoto/Getty Images; montage by VD)|
Last year, it was one of the semifinals. This year, they already meet in the second round - today's night session at the BALTC will see the 14th edition of what I like to call the Battle of the Davids.
Hopefully without rain interrupting play, this time. And with a different outcome.
For David "Ferru" Ferrer, soon to be 31 years old like "our" David and currently ranked #4, the Copa Claro is the first clay-court tournament of the season after winning the title at Auckland and reaching the semifinal at Doha and at the Australian Open. Playing on clay now, in the first round he took a bit longer than expected against Agustin Velotti, his self-confessed fan, but still won very comfortably (6-4, 6-1).
The 13 previous encounters between the two Davids (the first of which dates all the way back to 2001) include plenty of close and hard-fought battles, epic five-setters at Slams, many tiebreaks and general drama, as well as the only match during David's fabulous week at Paris 2007, where he dropped a set. But all of that took place on hardcourt, where it's David, who leads 5-3. On clay, it's Ferrer, who leads 5-0. With last year's semifinal as the most recent addition to his list.
Matches between these two usually involve a number of breaks, and whoever takes the first set wins the match in the end - at least that's how it's always been so far, regardless of the surface. But especially on clay, Ferrer's defense makes it very difficult for David to finish points. Long and gruelling rallies - that's what "the other David" will be after and what "our David" will try to avoid. Which often leads to him, going for too much with his shots and making lots of unforced errors. Here's hoping that it'll be different tonight.