Many years later, tying his shoelaces was a ritual for the professional tennis player called David.
Ahead of every match he'd devote a moment to it, sitting down on his bench or chair before joining his opponent and the umpire for the coin toss. That brief moment, the little ritual was always the same.
What would happen afterwards, however, wasn't always as easy to predict.
Opponents like that young David couldn't possibly hit off the court. But he could find ways of of hitting around them if he managed to control the ball and if he placed it smartly enough. Technique and tactics became the pillars that David's game was built on.
The aesthetic aspect was the seemingly effortless elegance with which he executed it, especially his famed backhand. And which was even more impressive if you got the chance to watch it live. On a good day, David's game could be completely devastating for any given opponent and it was an absolute joy to watch, not only for his fans.
Consistency, however, was something he reserved for his Davis Cup appearances and the scenario he liked best - David the national hero.
On the Tour it was a different matter. Much has been written about David's lack of consistency and what a player he could've been, had he only been more consistent. - But in that case he wouldn't have been the player he was (to say it with a line from Marcelo Gantman's great article).
It didn't include, and never would have, hiring a non-Argentine coach or employing some of the latest fitness training techniques. We would've never seen David playing Challenger events to improve his ranking, nor would we have ever seen him interacting with his fans via "his" Twitter or Facebook.
Had it been up to David he also wouldn't have talked to the media. Even if he invariably relied on the media when it came to spreading news. Though what we got to hear or read wasn't necessarily the whole truth, especially not when it came to hip injuries and surgeries.
And now that the first tournaments of the 2014 season have already begun it's quite strange to think that I will never get to ask myself again. Or that I will never cover another one of his matches for this blog.
It's a big change for me and a much bigger one still for David, of course.
But on this first day of 2014, David's 32nd birthday, there's absolutely no reason to worry about him. The Davis Cup - that one might still bug him a little bit. But as far as I can tell he seems very happy with his post-tennis life. As a father and also as an aspiring polo player - he's going to play another tournament next weekend.
My objective with this blog was to keep track of David, the tennis player and his career. That part of his life is over now and so is my "live" coverage.
So for the last time here on Vamos David it's
Happy Birthday, David