Thursday, March 21, 2013

Miami R1 - David vs Jarkko Nieminen

(@Rede_Tenis)



















UpdateII
The Curse of Miami continues: David has added another first-round exit to his list at this event, only that this one was apparently more eventful than most of the others. In any case, it was Jarkko Nieminen, who prevailed in the end, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 after an hour an 49 minutes.
Next up for David is now the Davis Cup quarterfinal against France, in two weeks' time.
Pics, post and everything else tomorrow...


(AP Photo/Getty Images; montage by VD)













Update
3.36pm local - David's match is now next up on Stadium, i.e. centre court.

Three days ago, when the Miami organisers announced a partial schedule with the highlights of the coming days, David was among those who got a mention. And today, like at Indian Wells, he'll get to play his first-round match on centre court - but once more without coverage. Which really is a pity because this match-up usually makes for entertaining matches.

Finnish lefty Jarkko Nieminen, currently #49 and at 31 as old as David, is playing a good season so far, with two quarterfinals (Sydney and Rotterdam) and a semifinal (Montpellier; lost to Gasquet) to his name. At Indian Wells, he won two rounds, against Sijsling and Verdasco, before losing to Anderson in the third.

There are not too many players on the Tour David has such a lot of history with, spanning more than a decade. And there's no other player David has defeated twice in finals, at Estoril 2002 (to win his first ever ATP tournament) and then again at Sydney in 2009. The two most memorable of their altogether twelve encounters, with the overall match record at 8-4 in David's favour. Their most recent meeting, on the other hand, perhaps not too many remember. At the Australian Open last year, Nieminen was David's opponent in the first round, ahead of the drama match against Isner. Today's match is the second time they meet at Miami, the first time around (back in 2007) Nieminen won.
What's going to happen today - I'm not going to make any predictions. And we won't get to see it, anyway. The weather at least shouldn't be a problem, according to the forecast.

Last but not least - so far, David has shown himself to be rather elusive this week. But he talked to Clarin, about the stage of his career he's at now, his current ranking, Roland Garros and wildcards and, you guessed it, the upcoming Davis Cup quarterfinal against France.
D: I'm at a different stage now, it's not like it was ten years ago. The circuit is tough, it always was, and time flies. But I can still enjoy these nice tournaments and keep following this path.

Q: Is this what you thought it would be like, at age 31, after the long journey it's already been and after the injuries that have made things difficult for you?

David: I thought I was going to play less and I'm still here. It's been 13 years, a very long time, on a circuit that's very tough, physically and mentally.

Q: At this stage your prepare in a different way.

David: For sure. I no longer have the pressure of having to play all the tournaments. I don't feel any obligation. That's why I can be more relaxed when it comes to planning my schedule.
The interview continues in this backdated post here...

42 comments:

  1. Time flies, looks like Nieminen and David played at least one time every year since 2002 or so... (haven't looked at the correct stats). Wow. They must know each other so well, hopefully David can pull a win against a good Nieminen so far lately :)
    and thanks Julia for the interview, looks like David doesn't worry about getting a WC (or not) at RG or the other slams haha. And he even doesn't worry about his rankings (we knew that he didn't care, but at this point, he doesn't even have an idea of a figure lol).

    and of course, a DC part in every interview :D

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  2. Yep, no way around DC. Though it's really drawing close now. Just two weeks left until the QF tie.
    As for perhaps not getting to play Slams this year, he's making light of it here but I doubt that he really doesn't care about it, at all. The same goes for his ranking. I just don't think he'd admit that these things are bugging him, not in an interview.

    As for today's match, Jarkko expects it to be a tough one, as he wrote on his Twitter.

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    1. Please Julia read my comment below !!

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  3. I have some pictures of David Training from today how can i show them yo you?? Also some vídeos !!!

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  4. You can upload them somewhere and post the link or you can email them to me: julia(at)vamosdavid.com.

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  5. So at last we have some pics of David on a tennis court in Miami, now on the Photo Page.
    Thanks, Conejazo. :)

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  6. After a slow start goin 2-0 down he' looks on firee 4-2 vamos el rey

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  7. Now the set 6-2 I wish we cdve seen this!

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  8. yaaaaay keep it up David!!!!
    shame there's no stream, vamos!!!
    thanks for the pics Conejazo! :)

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  9. so far so good!!! too bad we can't see the match when he's cruising like that! Vamos!!

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  10. Conejazo, thanks for the photos.
    Vamos, David!

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  11. Once again when I'm not following one of David's matches he plays better. Got the scoreboard up now, though.

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  12. Is that supposed to be a warning? ;)

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  13. haha John just when you tune in, Nieminen gets one break back :p

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  14. Maybe so. He just lost serve.

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  15. Looks like he is not there mentally again!

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  16. Looks like he's running out of gas again.

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  17. Charly Berlocq retired from his match. :( Don't know why yet. Not what they want, so close to the next DC tie.

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  18. Yeah, I've seen it. I'll try to find out what happened.

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  19. OK. I just signed off LSH. Seriously. I'll check back here in an hour.

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  20. no no no no please hold David!!! no 3rd set, we know what might happen...
    ugh Charly, hope it's nothing serious :/

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  21. this is disgusting!!! shouldn't david be in his room taking a hot shower right now??
    up with a double break in the 2nd set. and gives it away, just like that.

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  22. The pattern isn't really new, is it. But it's been a relatively quick match. Maybe he still has enough left in the tank.

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  23. ouch ouch this is worrying... running out of gas...

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  24. Another disappoiting lose for him!

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  25. running out of gas in his 1st match after an early loss in Indian Wells and a few days of rest... it is what it is but still, disappointing...
    DC time then!

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  26. Unbelievable.

    6-2, 3-0.

    I do not know what happened.

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  27. It is absolutely incredible. If he ran out of gas that's understandable but he shdnt have as he had rest and the match had been going on less than an hour at 6-2 3-0. Very gutted now not gunna see him play for a while oh well we'll have to move on.. We hopefully could find out what happened because we r all confused as to exactly what happened

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  28. Seriously...these losses have me thinking something is up with him physically. No other way to explain it.

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  29. 2 weeks isn't long but we'll still miss it :/

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  30. Yeah.Maybe he started to think that he is already in the second round but unfortunately the tennis match always ends at the handshaking

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  31. I've said it before, it's tempting to think that David just needs to really try and then it'll all work out again. But I think it's not that he doesn't try.
    I think that physically, he's no longer strong enough to keep up a high level of play for two or three sets, let alone for more than that (with the Almagro match as the exception that proves the rule).
    We'll see what he says. If he says anything. But reading those interviews I posted today, I think it's pretty clear where he's heading.

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  32. First quotes in after the match. Defeats like this one really hurt, David says. And he "doesn't rule out playing qualies at RG" (according to Danny Miche). That's new.
    More tomorrow...

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  33. I think he will spend the rest of the year playing (if given wild cards) the tournaments he would like to play, even if the results are dismal. Then he would retire either playing an exhibition match at home or in the Buenos Aires tournament in February to say goodbye to his fans.

    I have already accepted with peace that, physically, he cannot handle 5-set matches anymore, and now he is even struggling with 3-set matches.

    A very sad ending to a decent career, but unfortunately, not all players can end a career on a high note...

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  34. How many players end their career on a high note? Or while they're still playing their best tennis? This is not the exception but the normal way of things. It's not easy to deal with when it happens to your favourite player. But he'll be gone soon enough - and that's going to be sad. And an awful lot worse.

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  35. It is very strange his first tournament of 2013 was so promising, and now he immediately reverts back to the 'normal' version in the next 4 tournaments.

    Perhaps the motivation, and physical + mental strengths are just not there anymore...

    It is funny that Tommy Haas is not well-known to be a strong + fit player, yet his comeback is surprisingly good since last year, exceeding everyone's expectations, and he is so consistent these days.

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  36. At the risk of sounding like a broken record - David is not Tommy Haas. Nor is he Lleyton Hewitt (and I think he'd be very adamant about that).
    He had a good week at São Paulo but the only really good match he played against a strong opponent was the one against Almagro.
    As for what's missing these days, I'll quote my post from a little further above:

    I've said it before, it's tempting to think that David just needs to really try and then it'll all work out again. But I think it's not that he doesn't try.
    I think that physically, he's no longer strong enough to keep up a high level of play for two or three sets, let alone for more than that (with the Almagro match as the exception that proves the rule).

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  37. @Julia
    As much as I like David for his unique style of play... he was always mentally weak. Like somebody said above... at 3-0 he thought the match is won. This is the difference between him and Nadal for example. Nadal is ruthless when he has advantage and going for the final games. And it has nothing to do with his fitness. At 3-0 it was a very tight game and I knew that if he doesn't make 4-0 he will lose the set. Didn't think the whole match... It was 3-1, then a white service game for Nieminen and instead of 4-0 it was 3-2 in 3-5 minutes. That was it... I don't think David is mentally strong enough to recover from his 130+ ranking.
    Hope I'm wrong

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  38. This isn't about David's traditional problem with serving out sets or matches. Or with being a front runner. I'd be very happy if it was only that.
    It's difficult to know what exactly happened yesterday, without having seen the match. But from I've read David played great tennis for some time but then proved unable to keep it up long enough and eventually finished the match, running on empty. Which sounds only too familiar, doesn't it.

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  39. @Julia
    It sounds familiar, but also after the first set Nieminen had less than 40% of first serves in. I also know that you shouldn't let your opponent back in the game and I think that is what happened. Until the very last game of the 3rd set, David pushed Nieminen's serve to deuce, having break points also. So... I think this time he just let the match slip away. From all the years I watched David play, he played well in balanced and tense games (like with Almagro at Sao Paolo), wining tiebreaks and so on. On the other hand he lost a lot of matches, when having clear advantages, due to lapses in concentration when thinking the match is already over. It may be my frustration speaking, but it happens way too often recently. But I'll still watch his matches until he retires, even if it's driving me mad to see how he loses games he has in his hand.

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  40. David had a last break point at 3-1 in the third set. Then there were no further deuces or break points on Nieminen's serve.
    Nieminen had less than 40% first serves in the first set, after that he went to just over 50% in the other two.
    Of course you shouldn't let your opponent back into the match. And of course it's not the first time that David does something like that. The point is that nowadays, he can no longer recover from it.
    And as for strange dramaturgies in matches and losing after commanding leads - most of those matches date back to those days when David played with his hip injury and nobody knew about it (e.g. against Nadal at Indian Wells, Chardy at RG etc).

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