Friday, November 29, 2013

In Pictures V

(Getty Images)
And so, after one last week, reminiscent of the good old tournament days with its matches and press conferences, David now really is retired. I don't know about you but I'm still finding it difficult to get used to the thought.

And while David has apparently returned to the privacy of his home in Unquillo, the question is - and now?
There are some posts that I still want to write, including for the "A Look Back..." series. Plus the more general reviews I've mentioned in the comments. In short, for those very few still sticking around at this point - there will be several new posts next month.

But first of all, here's another edition of "In Pictures".
This time with eleven photos taken on eleven very happy days for David - those days when he got to pose with the champion's trophy, and not just with the runner-up plate like in this case here (Montréal 2003).
To view click "Read more" below.

Estoril 2002
A few weeks before his big breakthrough at Wimbledon David won his first ATP title against the same opponent he'd face in his last match on the Tour, almost exactly eleven years later - Jarkko Nieminen.
On his way to the final and to winning the famous Estoril vase, a 20-year-old David beat three Spanish clay-courters, including Juan Carlos Ferrero, ranked #3 at the time.

Basel 2002
Six months later David got to lift (and kiss) the rather more old-school trophy at Basel. Back then, indoor tournaments were still held on carpet and the final at Basel was still played best-of-five. Though David only needed three sets against Fernando Gonzalez (after wins over Tim Henman and Roger Federer in the previous rounds).

(Getty Images)
Munich 2005
After an epic battle against Nicolas Lapentti in the first round David didn't drop more than five games in any of his other matches that week, also not in the final against Andrei Pavel. A great week at Munich and every reason to be happy. But it can be assumed that David was a lot more happy about the BMW he won along with the title than about the trophy.

(Getty Images)
Masters Cup Shanghai 2005
Seven months later, David won another German car. Though it was a Mercedes, and this time the car was a welcome side effect of David's biggest triumph. How it all happened, from David getting called back from his holidays to his comeback victory over Roger Federer in the final, all of that will be the subject of another "A Look Back..." post. Coming soon.

(Getty Images)
Estoril 2006
It's the only tournament he won more than once - in May 2006 David got to lift the Estoril vase once again (while getting doused with champagne by Diego Rodriguez). He had a bit of luck with the draw that week, facing opponents ranked from #78 (Mahut) to #522 (Chardy). In the final, however, he beat Nikolay Davydenko. (And this point from the match was chosen as Play of the Week.)

(Getty Images)
Masters Madrid 2007
When David lifted this Masters Shield on the court at Madrid it was after achieving something that was first achieved by his childhood idol Boris Becker - beating the world's number one, two and three in the course of the same week (a look back here). And a new myth was also born that week - the one about David's full name being Gervasio Esteban David Ezequiel Nalbandian (debunked here).

(Getty Images)
Masters Paris 2007
Exactly two weeks later, David added a second Masters Shield to his collection. As well as the Paris trophy, easily the ugliest one among his ATP trophies (photographical evidence and a look back here). But in terms of the level of play he showed that week, it was probably the best and most impressive performance in David's career.

Buenos Aires 2008
Out of the titles he won at smaller events this one has to be the one that meant the most to David - winning his home tournament at the BALTC. The most dramatic match was the night-session quarterfinal against Potito Starace, with a raucous Diego Maradona in the stands. The final as well was no walk in the park but after almost three hours David overcame Chucho Acasuso.

(AFP/Getty Images)
Stockholm 2008
A much easier week David had in Stockholm that year. About an hour on court per day and never dropping more than five games per match - that was how David made his way through the rounds. Only Robin Söderling in the final put up more of a fight (post here) but he as well couldn't stop David from getting his hands on the Stockholm trophy.

(Getty Images)
Sydney 2009
Three months later David won his first outdoor hardcourt title at Sydney. With the added bonus of a win over Lleyton Hewitt along the way. As well as over Richard Gasquet, who seemed to know what would happen (clip). In the final, David got to face another old acquaintance - Jarkko Nieminen became the only player David faced in two finals and beat both times (highlights here).

(Getty Images)
Washington 2010
David's only title after the first hip surgery came when nobody expected it - after another injury break and only two matches in the previous four months. A wild card at this event, David marched through the early rounds (including a win over Stanislas Wawrinka) and only dropped one set on his way to the final, where he beat Marcos Baghdatis (post here). Who called him a "pain in the ass" during the trophy ceremony
- affectionately, of course.


  1. (Sigh) He looks so young in the first few pictures. I like his hair a bit shorter, like in the first picture.

    I can't believe that Washington title was over three years ago. I thought waiting for him to come back after the 2009 hip surgery seemed endless.

  2. It might sound strange but to me those months after the first hip surgery seemed to pass relatively quickly. Because that was when I started translating interviews and transcripts (by Tamar) and began to read the Argentine press, which kept me rather busy. It was also back then that VD became my blog officially... Long time ago.

    As for David's look, well, I always preferred as much hair as possible, long plus beard. :)

  3. Here are some photos of David, getting interviewed by Martin Vasallo Arguello for Fox Sports.

  4. Oh, I wondered what happened to Martin V A. I never noticed him retiring, just assumed he must have.