The former Wimbledon runner-up bounced back from a nightmare start to push Murray hard in the decider but the British number one, celebrating his 25th birthday, eventually prevailed 6-1 4-6 7-5 win. There was no hint of the drama to follow when Murray, returning to action after missing last week’s event in Madrid with a back injury, swept through the first set and looked ready for a quick night. But Nalbandian battled back to level the match and went a break up in the decider before his frequent unforced errors began to tell and Murray clawed back to serve out for the match after two hours and 37 minutes. There were no signs in the first set of Murray’s stuttering start to the claycourt season, which apart from his back injury also saw him suffer a shock loss to Milos Raonic in the Barcelona Open last month. Murray broke Nalbandian twice to blaze into a 4-0 lead and after breaking the Argentinian for a third time the Scot served out to take the set, with Nalbandian complaining about glare from the setting sun. Nalbandian looked much stronger from the start of the second set, and both players found their form on serve with no break points for either until Murray served to stay in the set at 4-5 down and was broken. Murray had the first chance in the decider, fashioning two break points on the Nalbandian serve at 1-1, but the Argentinian hung on and went on to break Murray to seize the advantage. But Murray responded by breaking back immediately and grabbed the crucial second break at 5-5, when after spurning his first two of three break points, he only converted the third after the most fortunate of net cords. Nalbandian was not quite finished, going 15-40 up on his opponent’s serve as Murray served for the match, but a backhand drive which clipped the outside of the line helped Murray haul back to deuce before rounding off a gutsy win.
Posts Tagged ‘David Nalbandian
Milos Raonic dominated former grand slam finalist David Nalbandian 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday in the first round of the Madrid Open. The 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., defeated the Argentine in just 74 minutes with his 16th ace of the match. Nalbandian played in the Wimbledon final a decade ago and won the Madrid tournament when it was played indoors back in 2007. Raonic, ranked No. 23 in the world, will face Swiss ace Roger Federer in Wednesday’s second round, having lost to the world No. 3 in the third round at Indian Wells in March. “I hope I can do much of the same stuff (as I did) in March. I need to serve better than I did then,” Raonic said. “I’m playing well and confident and I’m serving well, so that should be a big help.” Raonic says playing a star like Federer is a big challenge, but tennis a simple game once the players step between the lines. “He’s achieved a lot of great things, but when we step out onto the court he’s just another tennis player who wants the same thing that I do,” Raonic said of Federer. “You respect him, but you don’t respect him too much. “He’s set a new level for others to aim for. But on court he’s trying to take away from you something that you want.” Raonic ended his win over Nalbandian with 28 winners and just 13 unforced errors in a controlled display of his serving power on clay. He broke twice from three opportunities while never facing a break point on his own serve. The hard-serving Raonic started the match with a break and added another in the eighth game of the opening set. The second set was more one-way traffic for Raonic, with a break of his opponent yielding a 5-4 lead. He completed the win on the first of three match points. The match marked Raonic’s first appearance on the controversial blue clay in Madrid. Several players, including Raonic, were critical of the surface in the leadup to the tournament but it didn’t seem to affect the Canadian on Tuesday. “I got her early and have been training for almost a week on it. I like the conditions (but) the only tricky thing is the movement,” Raonic said. “It’s not a natural clay so it bundles up after some time. You get a few bad bounces, but other than that it’s not so different. “It’s slippery and hard to change direction, but that benefits me in a way. “
Isner won the thrilling five-setter 4-6 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 10-8, giving the American his second headline-grabbing match at a grand slam after his 11-hour marathon at Wimbledon two years ago against Frenchman Nicholas Mahut. But on Margaret Court Arena last night the man in the hot-seat was chair umpire Kader Nouni, who over-ruled an Isner serve called out by the centre lineswoman. Nalbandian was on a break point with the games at 8-8 in the fifth, which took 99 minutes to complete. The Argentinian did not hear Nouni say “the ball was good” because of the noise from the packed arena. But when he realised the change, he went to look at the mark on the court before issuing a challenge. Nouni denied Nalbandian a Hawk-Eye replay, saying it was too late to challenge.
Play was held up for several minutes while a supervisor was called. Television replays showed the ball was out. But the supervisor said he could not change the chair umpire’s call. Isner won the last two games and later Nalbandian said the controversial call was not the reason he lost the match. But he wanted the ATP, which governs the men’s tour, and the ITF, which runs the four grand slams, to investigate.
“If they really want to do something, I don’t need to do anything, because it’s on the TV, on the video,” he said. “And every time I talk to ATP, it’s like nothing, so what is ATP … is it for the players or for somebody else?” He had no doubts Nouni should not be allowed to officiate again. “I don’t think he’s gonna be able to do this kind of matches. I mean, it’s no doubt about it,” Nalbandian said. “I mean, it’s ridiculous playing this kind of tournament with this kind of umpires.”
Janko Tipsarevic looks to level the score in Belgrade against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the second rubber of this Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal clash, following David Nalbandian’s early win over Viktor Troicki.
Tipsarevic is in the form of his life. He enters today’s match having reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open, where he was forced to retire with a leg injury against his team-mate and countryman Djokovic. But Del Potro will prove a tough test for the Serbian. The tall Argentine dispatched both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal en route to his first and only Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open and holds the notable distinction of inflicting the worst Grand Slam defeat on the mighty Spaniard. Del Potro has a perfect record against Tipsarevic in his two previous meetings and he and his team will be hoping for more of the same today. Novak Djokovic’s exhaustion from winning the U.S. Open and the long journey home have already dealt a blow to Serbia’s hopes of retaining their Davis Cup title, after his replacement Troicki was blown away by Nalbandian in their opening singles rubber. Former world No. 3 Nalbandian, now ranked 74th, produced a performance reminiscent of his prime to win 64 46 62 63 and give the Argentines a 1-0 lead in the Belgrade Arena, where a small but colourful and vociferous band of away fans had much more to cheer about than the partisan 15,000 home crowd. Troicki drew first blood when he broke his opponent in the third game of the opening set but Nalbandian showed no nerves, as he broke back in the sixth and again in the ninth before he held serve to take the first set. The roles were reversed in the second set, when Troicki carved out a double break point in the ninth game and took the second before he levelled the score to send the home crowd into raptures. Serbia’s fans, however, were silent for the rest of the contest as Nalbandian produced a flurry of winners in the third set, including an audacious lob which had the Argentinian contingent in the terraces, all wearing the country’s blue-and-white soccer team shirts, in full swing. Nalbandian raced through the fourth set just as impressively to seal the tie in 2 hours and 51 minutes, putting Argentina in the driving seat ahead of the day’s second rubber between Janko Tipsarevic and 2009 U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro.
Andy Murray will try to kick-start his US Open preparations when he takes on David Nalbandian in his opening match at the Western & Southern Open. The Briton suffered a surprise loss to Kevin Anderson in Montreal last week and Cincinnati is his only remaining tournament ahead of Flushing Meadows. Murray had a first-round bye as the fourth seed, while Nalbandian defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Murray is in the same half of the draw as world number two Rafael Nadal, while Djokovic is seeded to meet Roger Federer in the semi-finals – although the Swiss has a tough opening match against 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro. World number 66 Nalbandian and Murray have met four times and share a 2-2 record, with the Scot having won their last two matches.
Defending champion David Nalbandian dropped out of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington DC at the first hurdle as he was defeated by James Blake. Nalbandian, seeded eighth, never found his rhythm as he lost 6-2 6-4 in the second-round clash. The Argentinian was the only seed to lose as number 11 John Isner topped Tobias Kamke 6-1 6-3, 13th seed Kevin Anderson rallied to dispatch qualifier Chris Guccione 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-0) and number 16 Jarkko Nieminen beat Igor Kunitsyn 7-5 6-4, all in second-round clashes.
The rest of today’s action was in the first round, and was highlighted by a lengthy battle between Grigor Dimitrov and Tim Smyczek, which eventually saw Dimitrov come through 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3). Ryan Sweeting beat Alex Bogomolov Jr 6-2 6-4, Flavio Cipolla dispatched Marsel Ilhan 7-5 6-0 and Michael Berrer was a 7-5 6-1 winner over Paolo Lorenzi.
Wildcard Ryan Harrison advanced with a 6-4 1-6 6-1 win over Mischa Zverev, Somdev Devvarman beat Denis Gremelmayr 6-2 6-3 and Tommy Haas beat Amer Delic 6-2 6-3.
The last time Argentina played at home was in 2009 first round victory against Netherlands. Since returning to the World Group, in 2002, Argentina has never lost in the first round and has an 11-1 record as the home team. Their only loss came in the 2008 Davis Cup Final, against Spain, in Mar del Plata, also the only time Argentina played outside Buenos Aires.
The full draw is listed below.
R1: David Nalbandian (ARG) v Adrian Ungur (ROU)
R2: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Victor Hanescu (ROU)
R3: Juan Ignacio Chela/Eduardo Schwank (ARG) v Victor Hanescu/Horia Tecau (ROU)
R4: David Nalbandian (ARG) v Victor Hanescu (ROU)
R5: Juan Monaco (ARG) v Adrian Ungur (ROU)
Top seed David Nalbandian crashed out of the Movistar Open in Chile with a straight-sets defeat against unseeded Horacio Zeballos. In the night match in Santiago, Nalbandian had been expected to progress from his last-16 clash without too many problems. However, he was shocked by his unfancied Argentinian opponent as he crashed to a 6-2 7-5 defeat, outclassed in the first set and putting up a futile fight in the second.
Also on Thursday, Colombian Santiago Giraldo beat Igor Andreev 7-6(7) 5-6 6-2 and meets Juan Ignacio Chela next, after the Argentinian beat Brazil’s Caio Zampieri 6-2 6-3. Italy’s Potito Starace beat Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1.
David Nalbandian saved two match points as he won an epic contest against home hope Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open. The Argentine prevailed 3-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7/1) 9-7 in a classic contest lasting four hours and 48 minutes. The clash, a rematch of the 2002 Wimbledon final, was clearly the pick of the first-round ties when the draw was made and it lived up to expectation. It was a rollercoaster affair. Hewitt took the first set but Nalbandian appeared to be in control when he won the second and immediately opened a 2-0 lead in the third. However, the Australian stormed back by winning eight of the next nine games to open a two-sets-to-one lead with an early break in the fourth set. The see-saw nature of the match continued though as Nalbandian levelled the set before sweeping through the tie-break to force a decider. The Argentine broke Hewitt in the third game of the final set and stepped up to serve for the match at 5-4.
But with the clock well past midnight, Hewitt, roared on by those fans who had stayed to see the finish, managed to break back and stay alive. Hewitt, who beat Nalbandian 10-8 in a fifth set at the 2005 Australian Open, saved two break points in the following game and then held match points in game 12 as the atmosphere on Rod Laver Arena reached fever pitch. However, a superb half volley from Nalbandian saved the first before a nerveless volley snuffed out the second chance. Former world number one Hewitt again staved off break points as he moved 7-6 ahead. Hewitt, who is now down at 54 on the ranking list, again found trouble on serve at 7-7 though and lost the game to love, gifting it away with a double fault. Nalbandian managed to serve out int he following game and the quality of the fifth set was summed up by the superb lob the 27th seed produced to seal victory well past 1am local time.
David Ferrer needed barely an hour to dispense with Argentine rival David Nalbandian to capture the 2011 Heineken Open singles title, 6-3 6-2. The tournament top seed made no race of a match that promise so much, running down anything his rival had to throw at him and eventually breaking down his game in convincing fashion. “I think David did not have a good day and when I broke him to win the first set, he lost concentration,” reflected Ferrer. “I knew to win, I had to make the points long and the match long to make him tired … but it wasn’t a long match today.” Nalbandian started the stronger and had chances to break service twice early in the opening set, but could not convert them. Gradually, Ferrer turned the momentum his way. He achieved his only break of the first set at 4-3 and Nalbandian showed his frustration by smashing his racquet into the court. He was never the same from that point. “I had some chances and didn’t take them,” he lamented. “Sometimes, I missed easy shots … one an easy backhand on break point. “If that had gone in, it might have been different.” Ferrer served an ace to close out the set and immediately had Nalbandian’s serve under pressure in the to start the second. He broke at 2-2 and won the final four games to wrap up the contest in 68 minutes.
This is Ferrer’s second title in Auckland and the 10th of his career.
Earlier, Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo saw off Swede Johan Brunstrom and Aussie Stephen Huss to capture the Panasonic Doubles title. The eventual winners broke once to capture the opening set, but had to withstand a strong comeback from their rivals in the second. Brunstrom and Huss staved off one match point at 5-3, but squandered a chance to steal the set at 6-5 in the tiebreak. The Spanish duo held their nerve to win the final three points for victory.