Nalbandian Survives Scare
Monday, 16 January, 2006
by Ashley Browne
No.4 seed David Nalbandian has survived a scare from Thai qualifier Danai Udomchoke to win through to the second round of Australian Open 2006 on Day One at Melbourne Park.
In the second match for the day on a muggy Rod Laver Arena, Nalbandian eventually prevailed 6-2 6-2 1-6 7-6 (4/7) 6-1 in a dour, 211-minute struggle that took the Argentine longer than it should have, bearing in mind that he withdrew from a warm-up event at Kooyong last week because of illness.
Udomchoke, ranked No.121 was making an overdue debut appearance at Melbourne Park after having failed to qualify on six previous occasions. But he came through last week as the No.3 seed in the qualifying event after his opponent defaulted with cramp in the final round.
Nalbandian has been a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park for the last three years.
Some match facts:
Nalbandian landed only five aces compared to Udomchoke's 10, but successfully converted 62 per cent of his first serves
Nalbandian hit 47 winners to 35
Nalbandian successfully won nine of 15 break-point opportunities