Friday, February 15, 2013

São Paulo QF - David vs Nicolas Almagro















Update
David has defeated the defending champion - after two hours and eighteen minutes and despite 28 aces he defeated Nicolas Almagro 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(3) for a place in the semifinal. There, his opponent will be Simone Bolelli. It will be their first meeting.
More tomorrow plus the draw for the Copa Claro.


(Inovaphoto; montage by VD)













On the Tour, there are certain players David gets along with particularly well. Most of those players are either Argentineans or Spaniards, and one of the Spaniards is Nicolas Almagro. You may remember the laughter and the banter when they met at the Copa Argentina last December. And according to Almagro, "there's always some entertaining stuff that happens" in their matches. During the rallies, that is.

At São Paulo this week, everything seems to revolve around Rafa Nadal. But whenever the tournament website speaks of the "King of the Brasil Open" then it's not Rafa they're referring to but Nicolas Almagro. Champion at this event a record-breaking three times, twice at Costa do Sauipe and then also last year when it moved to São Paulo. The Golden Swing in general is usually Almagro's best part of the season.

David and Almagro (currently ranked #11) have met five times so far, with the overall match record at 3-2 in David's favour. On clay, however, it's Almagro, who leads 2-1, including the final of Acapulco 2008, which he won in straights. Whereas, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, David's only victory over Almagro on clay came in one of the last matches he played before hip surgery (at Barcelona 2009).
Nicolas Almagro is not what I'd call an easy match-up for David. Mostly because of his serve but also because he's able to simply beat David for speed with his groundstrokes. Add to that a strong backhand and the ability to exploit David's movement by going down the line. Although both of them could be struggling with their movement today, depending on the state of the (much criticised) court.
But one thing is certain - this will be the first real test for David.

55 comments:

  1. It's interesting that he chose to serve first.

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  2. The last 2 Australian Open tournaments from David, Washington 2010 and this week, in all these tournaments we saw the strongest David formly and physically. Why? Because these were the first tournaments he played after his pre-season training or after a break time during which he was injured and trained for a comeback. So for me isn't a surprise that he was so good yesterday and won't be too if he wins this tournament. But then after some weeks we will see the David from last years again I think. Therefore I it was very pitty that he skipped the AO because I thought that maybe the 3rd time after his comeback he won't get a bad draw and can go very deep. Against Hewitt it was his first match but if he had won it in 3 I think he would play better and better after rounds. Against Isner was the same, he got in a good form after 2 sets but Isner served in the last sets he served perfectly in every game, I think he would have better chance to win the last sets in that match with the same form he had against anybody who wouldn't serve so strong as Isner. I still think that a top form David can beat anybody in top form in the tour. But we have hardly seen him beeig so good during his career while you see that in almost every tournament from some top players.

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  3. oh, I am writing without knowing when the match will begin lol. Has it already began? So early? Well, I wasn't waiting it lol. Now quick open a live stream)))

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  4. The match has begun. David up a break at 4-2, but looks like he's gonna hand it back at 0-40 on serve.

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  5. Welp...yeah, we're back on serve. David broken at 30.

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  6. Right now, I'm watching the Benneteau-Feds match from Rotterdam. Benneteau is playing really well..up a set and on serve in the second 4-3. Benneteau just lost his serve.

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  7. Fed is out of Rotterdam. David has two set points...just got a mini-break. Almagro saves one. Serving for the tiebreak is David. And David wins the opener 7-6(5).

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    1. What a point to win the set. When I opened I saw the live stream it was 4:2 and 0:30 and listened from the commentator that David had just broken, so a break and rebreak, well, now we see the old David again)). Good thad David won that set, Almagro had some lucky points in the end.
      First or second serve, it's the same, David can't return the serves from Almagro.

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  8. Nice set. Especially against a serving machine.

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  9. This scoreboard takes semi-forever to update!

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  10. No s**t f**k s**t f**k f**k s**t !!!!


    I can't even feel hope anymore

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  11. Oh, my stream was off immediately after 3:3 and when I refreshed it after a minute it was 5:3 Almagro serving, what a bad surprise :(
    now good comeback after 0:30

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  12. Yes nice hold Nalbiiiiii commmmmmeeoooonn

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  13. I don't like players who win their own service game mostly due to good service. But Nalbandian does it with beauty and style like now :)

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  14. Nalby needs to use the slice, high balls are candy to nicolas

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  15. again a terrible service game from Nalbandian like in each set he has

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    1. oh he hold after 15:40, normally he should do another double fault at break point, now please better serves, he stopped serving good in this set and instead he begins double faults to do

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    2. the problem for not serving good any more is physical probably, Almagro is serving aces till the end

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  16. He survived the test...7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(3).

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  17. OMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. nalbandian is backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

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  19. A win like this from nalby is better than sex...Well not quite but close

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  20. Whoo! Chewed off my nails.
    :)))) Julia from Budapest

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  21. both sets he ended spectaculary, especialy the end of the match. Wow, what a win from David! Vamos David!

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  22. Wow, to beat the No. 11 player in the world in your third match back after a 6-month absence is pretty amazing. And survive 28 aces too. Great stuff.

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  23. Woooo he won!!! I bite my nails off!!!

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  24. Nalbandiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan
    you killed my nerves, but you did it man, you sent the "king of tournament" packing, will be on the news tomorrow.

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  25. Amazing win congrat to David He deserved the win there!Almost 30 aces from almagro. It is one of the best match of the year so far! Good preperation for buenos aieres!

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  26. Too bad he wasted all his strengths here, the tournament is almost over for him, like in Stockholm after the Malisse match

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    1. after the Malisse match we saw a topform Nalbandian with twice 6:1 against Dodig. Then he retired from the next match because of injury I think.

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    2. Actually he withdrew after beating Dodig not Malisse !!!

      My bad sorry ! So what I said didn't make any sense after all

      Either way I hope David has some energy left !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. I posted my last comment before reading you Ashot, and yeah that was after Dodig...

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  27. Comeeee on!!! What a win!!!!!! I wasss so nervous ive never felt so buzzzed though!!! Played very well throughout great match except 1 game 3-4 second set but really happy! EL rey is back!

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  28. almagro is one of the best claycourt player. He is in the top 5 thats for sure.

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  29. Oh, so happy! He just had to win to burst his confidence and the self-believe that he is still capable of playing top level tennis! Go, Nalby! Vamos!

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  30. Those two games in the third set where he saved those break points - that was really something. It was the exact kind of situation for major drama. But not this time. Just - wow.

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    1. last years in situations like that against top players or in close matches he always got broken and therefore lost in the end, he was not constant again making 2 double faults in one service game and I didn't expect him to survive from that, but this is what happens when you don't expect something from David any more :)

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  31. And just to see how dramatically he has improved within days, compared to his first match against Aguilar... :)

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  32. That was always with David when he was prepared good physically :) after playing with a top 150 level in first round he played like number one from the next days :)

    It's the best match from David on clay since long, maybe not only on clay because against Top players he always lost in close matches in last years with some exceptions. He played on the same level till the end right (I didn't saw the break after 3:3)? Only his serve got worse the longer the match was going. That was the only sign of tiredness I saw.
    But the real reason that he won was maybe something different. I was not so nervous during the whole match today, for first time maybe in a close match from David since 2006 because I had written him a bit off in last months. I was already happy that he choose to play another year and I didn't expect too much from him, just to enjoy him sometimes during the year if he shows good tennis.
    Always when I expect something from David he disappoints, but when I don't expect anything he makes a positive surprise.
    But let's not be too happy, let's hope he stays healthy at all.

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  33. There are some players on the tour that i don't know much about (and they are very few) Bolelli is one of them, i only remember he is a single handed backhand, David should pass him, everyone is waiting for the dream final between friends, thats what i kept reading on the stream chat box :)

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  34. Can't wait to read the positive headlines about David again like in old days :)

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  35. Wow what a match, and what clutch play from Nalbandian in the end of the 3rd set. Almagro served very well, but Nalby withstood all the aces and BP's to strike in both tiebreaks. I was 20 minutes late for work, but I just had to see the end of match haha! Congratulations everyone :D

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  36. yeah there is extended highlights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmGoR0gnJu8

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  37. that record of that brazilian channel has a HD quality, If I knew there was a life stream for this channel I would watch it instead the stream that I had today where I hardly could see the ball, didn't even get in which direction David returned the ball in the end lol, it was such a great return I see now

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  38. okay just watched the entire match recorded by a friend for me.
    David is baaaaaaack!!!!! how come he had the nerve to save the break points in the 3rd set, something we can be happy about on this match!
    hopefully he won't be too tired this weekend for the SF!!

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