Sunday, February 17, 2013

São Paulo Final - David vs Rafael Nadal















Update
In the end, it was not the trophy but the runner-up plate for David. After merely 78 minutes on court, Rafael Nadal prevailed 6-2, 6-3. Not the end that David will have had in mind but it's still been a great comeback week for him.
Next up is now the Copa Claro, David's home tournament.
Wrap-up post about the final and the week at São Paulo coming tomorrow.


(Inovaphoto; montage by VD)













On Tuesday, they practiced together and then played and won a doubles match together. Now, five days later, the two of them will walk onto the centre court at São Paulo again (on Tuesday it looked like this) but this time as opponents in the final - David no longer with but now against Rafael Nadal.

Few could have foreseen - and I certainly didn't - that David's first tournament would end this way, with an appearance in the final. A great comeback after a long absence and an amazing return to form during this week. And no matter what happens today, David has already exceeded the expectations.
Still, now the title is within his reach and even though he'll face the King of Clay today, there's probably never been a better time for playing against Nadal on clay than right now. On the comeback trail himself after a seven-month pause, Nadal lost the final at Viña del Mar to Horacio Zeballos last week. He dropped sets against Charly Berlocq and also against Martin Alund yesterday. In short, Nadal seems vulnerable and he has a problem with the conditions, which are too fast for his taste.

So far, David and Rafa Nadal have only met on hardcourt. David won at Madrid and Paris 2007, indoors. Since then it's been four wins in a row for Nadal, all of them outdoors, most recently in the quarterfinal at Indian Wells, last year. And as is usually the case if he plays against Nadal, David had his chances.
Today, indoors and on a fast-playing court against a vulnerable Nadal - anything seems possible.

Finally (and thanks to Andvari for alerting me to it) - there's been a time change in Brazil last night.
And that means the starting time is still 1pm local but 4pm GMT and 11am EST.

55 comments:

  1. I cant wait today. We got to see all his matches this week except for pella and in my view its been good considering its his first atp tournament in 6 months. Its great hes reached here and we can hope for the best today! But even if he doesnt win.. its been an amazing week exceeding expectations from us all. Vamos davidd!! Hopefully he wont be tired

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  2. So, they "fall back" this time of year. Ok...thanks for the info.

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  3. Rafa is suffering .
    Ì bet on straight sets win for David ,he can do it easily today.
    But he may gift a set if he is a generous guy.

    Greetings to you julia and all ...

    Hani

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  4. thanks Julia, 4pm GMT.
    one hour left!
    a great opportunity for David to win against Rafa today, let's hope he will! Vamos!

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    Replies
    1. Well, without Andvari I'm not sure I would've noticed. ;)

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  5. The match started there is no TV!
    Julia Bpest

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  6. No, it hasn't started yet. It's 4pm GMT, that's 5pm for you and me.
    They turned back the clocks last night in Brazil so the time difference is one hour more than before.

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  7. Sao Paulo arena on my screen. Vamos David!!!!

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  8. the stream freezes most of the time, doesn't look good for us

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  9. My stream is crappy too, it might be my connection though. But yesterday it was okay.

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  10. David should break in that game, Nadal gave him all chances.

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  11. David had the AD and now it's back to deuce.
    AD Rafa.
    5-2 Rafa. Missed opportunity.

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  12. This is not the match I was imagining :s Vamos David

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  13. that's the worst match from David this week after the first round match, he even isn't serving good, 2nd serves all the time, or poor first ones

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  14. and now a missed dropshot

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  15. that's what we were afraid of, he has not tanked enough for today

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  16. I'd say he was tight as a drum in the first set. But he seems to be loosening up now.

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  17. mixed feelings about this match right now :/
    David up a double break in the 2nd so vamos!!!!

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  18. And about ready to give it back too.

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  19. his first serves are harmless and Nadal makes use of it, when Nadal serving David is returning like Federer. I hope Ronaldo isn't bringing luck to Nadal, a double fault, no he is... and 0:30 David is helpless.. Nadal is playing his second final in 2 weeks, but has no physical problems

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  20. They train together. Of course Rafa knows all there is to know about David's serve.

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  21. a great week but an ugly finalmatch from David

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  22. And a double bp for Rafa to win 5 games in a row and serve for the title.

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  23. And there it is...Rafa to serve for the title.

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  24. that he loses on that way that was the worst I expected, 6 games in a row he is making one UE after other, I hope he is not injured

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  25. Too bad he didn't win today but I'm still so proud of him! He did really well this week, better than I thought

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    1. Better than expected. That's got to be a boost for him going forward. I don't think he'll do well in BA...maybe marginally well in Acapulco (if he gets in) and IW...and I'm not so sure about the Ericsson. So, with the rest of the schedule, what is known of it, let's just savor the good and move on.

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  26. Not a good match from nalby but he was obviously tired from the week was quite visible but lots of possitives to take hes had an amazing week for his first tourney back.. Shame he couldnt do better after being 3 up in the 2nd.. looked quite tight after. Vamos david, onwards and upwards

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  27. I have the feeling the last games he was loosing intentionally, or he was injured..

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    1. I've never known David to tank any matches...so I'm not going to go on that first assumption.

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    2. Nah ashot, toun hayes? That defo wasnt intentional, crazy statement mate

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    3. As for never tanking any matches, all I'll say to that is Halle 2005... lol

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  28. No, he simply wasn't good enough and not fit enough to win today. There's nothing mysterious or ugly about that.

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  29. Yeh thats exacly what im saying julia but i think its more about fitness because a fit david couldve troubled this nadal to a third..

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  30. a very good week, I don't know if he will be fit enough for next week. But at first he must stay healthy.

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  31. A fit David today wouldn't allow Nadal to win more than 4-5 games in the whole match. And the David from Masters Paris 2007 wouldn't allow him a game probably :)

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    Replies
    1. That David was the David before hip surgery.
      He's gone and won't come back.

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    2. I know but always when watching David vs Rafa I always remember the old days :)

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    3. I mean, of course I was hoping he'd win today. But he did so well this week, so much better than I thought he would - I just can't be disappointed with the David we have now. :)

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  32. Ah David :(
    Great week overall though!
    and I think he was not fit enough today, sadly he can't play two intense matches like the one he played vs Almagro in the same week, and that's it.
    And of course, it's Rafa, he may be back little by little too. But Rafa knows David's game very well so...
    Anyway, again, good week, thank you everyone for your comments :)
    Let's focus on Copa Claro now! ;)

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  33. Yep, it's been a great week. :) And one more post I'll still write about it.
    But then it'll be Copa Claro time. And a repeat of David's draw last year, only that he'll meet Charly and Ferru in R1/2 this time, and not in QF/SF...

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  34. Look on the bright side my friends :

    1 - David will want to play great tennis on his home soil to make up for this defeat
    2 - Nadal won't play the Copa Claro !!!!!

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  35. Yeah, but David Ferrer will...

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    1. Ferru is in an amazing form! I have watched every match he played this year and except for the match he lost to Nole, the guy is carrying on what he started last year. So if David Nalbandian wants to defeat David Ferrer, he has to play as perfect as he can!
      One thing though, Ferru hasn't played since that loss to Nole, so who knows

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    2. This is clay. Every time those two played on clay, Ferrer has had the upper hand. Expecting something different this time?

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    3. I'm a fan of both Davids but of course Nalbandian is my favourite. So from an emotional perspective I want him to win but logically I'm giving the edge to Ferrer.
      Usually when I say who knows that's me acknoweldging that there is always a a chance even if it is 1% it still exists

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  36. but do you think he will be enough fit for next tournament?

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  37. Yeh hopefully he will. He will have extra motivation because its copa claro exactly.. I think he'll have enough in the tank for berlocq quite easily.. but vs ferrer i think its too soon for him, and on a claycourt vs ferrer he wont have the stamina to last but hopefully we'll get to see some great tennis like this week, been great in my opinion this week. Beating almagro on the clay especially must have given him great encouragement

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