I played well at times. Had I played better throughout the whole match I would've won but that wasn't the case. I made things difficult for myself.David's summary of yesterday's match and his defeat at the hands of Jarkko Nieminen, who won 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. It's relatively normal for David to lose the first match he gets to play in Miami, this is already the sixth time that it has happened. But what separates this defeat from his other early exits at this event is how it happened. And that it happened after David was leading by a set and a double break.
Obviously it's difficult sometimes but still, a match like this shouldn't slip from my hands the way it did. I think it's a mixture of everything. Each time it gets more difficult, I think that's normal. But yes, defeats like this one here hurt a little bit.
Carrying the momentum over to the next set doesn't always come easy to David but in this case, he extended his streak to a total of nine games in a row, including two further breaks in the second set. Up 6-2, 3-0 he seemed in control of the match but that was the moment David began to struggle on serve. After a deuce battle and a couple of game points he didn't convert, Nieminen recovered one of the breaks for 3-1 - and the momentum began to shift. At 4-3, David got broken again (once more after he had a game point) before dropping his serve for a third time in this set when serving to stay in it, with Nieminen taking it 6-4.
Early on in the third set, David two further chances to break (at 1-1 and 3-1) but couldn't convert either. Whereas Nieminen managed to get the decisive break for 3-1, carried it through the set and eventually served out the match to love.
Going by the highlights clip above (and by what those people said, who saw it) it was a very entertaining and also very intense match. With plenty of great rallies, plenty of not so great serving from both but also some great ball-striking. And with David, dominating proceedings and playing really well - until he once more proved unable to keep up this level and eventually finished the match basically at the end of his tether. A pattern that in its most drastic form we got to see against David Ferrer at the Copa Claro.
A defeat that "hurts a little bit" and that's also going to send him further away from the Top100 and the kind of ranking he'd need for a direct entry at the Slams. So for the time being, David's schedule will depend on the organisers:
For now I'm asking for wildcards, I'll have to see if I get them. I received a wildcard for this event [that in the end he didn't need] and I hope that I'll get to play some tournaments ahead of Roland Garros.
Which makes me think he knows that this is going to be the last chance he'll get to play there. We'll see if it'll really come down to playing qualies for David (who insisted after the match that he's not injured and doesn't have any real physical problems, except for the normal niggles every player has to deal with).
But before we get to the European clay-court swing (whatever it's going to look like), the bigger and more important event for David coming up now is of course the Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against France.
I have to keep working, keep getting better and try to be ready for the Davis Cup, which is up next. (Source.)- Two weeks from now to the day, at the Parque Roca. Last night in Miami, the team got together for the first time ahead of the tie, David, Pico, Charly Berlocq and Horacio Zeballos as well as Martin Jaite and Mariano Zabaleta. And they will have had plenty of things to talk about, especially concerning the two singles players. While Pico hasn't won a match since the last tie, Charly Berlocq retired after 11 minutes on court yesterday, though as a precaution, as he confirmed afterwards. As he's not injured but has problems with tendinitis in his left knee and therefore didn't want to be taking any risks (source).
All in all not an ideal situation, ahead of this very difficult tie... More in the coming days and weeks.