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)|
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.The interview continues in this backdated post here...
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.