They say that the really good players also manage to win matches if they're not at their best. In that case, today's match makes David a really good player. He wasn't playing his best tennis, he was often half a step late, getting to the ball, and apart from that he was also quite grumpy. But he still found a way of winning this match and in the end, after 85 minutes on court he defeated Simone Bolelli 6-3, 7-5.
In tomorrow's final both David and his opponent will come full circle, so to speak. They played their first match at São Paulo together and now they'll play their last match against each other - David and Rafa.
It'll be the seventh time they meet on the Tour but the first match they play on clay.
The second set was a rather close affair and saw altogether five breaks of serve. The first David gifted Bolelli with two double faults in a row (for 3-1) but then managed to break straight back. At 3-3, Bolelli lost his serve again on a double fault that consisted of only one serve (but also a penalty, I think, as it was his second time warning). But David couldn't consolidate the break so at 4-4 they were back on serve. The decisive fifth break in this set David finally got (after saving a couple of game points) to go up 6-5. And after setting up match point with his last ace of the day David converted it as Bolelli failed to make the return.
For my part, I think it's completely understandable that his level dropped a little after playing a match yesterday that must've cost an awful lot of energy. And I think he handled the situation really well. The part of this match I didn't really like was David first arguing with the chair umpire and then with Lars Graff (apparently ATP supervisor now) about a linecall at 1-1 in the second set. But at least it didn't take very long for him to focus again.
And now David is in the final. At his first tournament in almost half a year. If tomorrow he plays like he did today it'll be really difficult. But if he can find a way of playing like he did against Almagro...
Here's what David had to say after the match:
Apart from all that there's the draw ceremony for next week's Copa Claro that took place today:
The complete draw you'll find here.
But before we move on to the Copa Claro, there's still another match David has to play at São Paulo...