Evergreen Nalbandian turns back the clock on grass

 

Paul Newman
Saturday 16 June 2012 21:39
Comments
Nalbandian, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in his only Grand Slam final, has won 11 titles in his career
Nalbandian, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in his only Grand Slam final, has won 11 titles in his career

Ten years after he was runner-up at Wimbledon, David Nalbandian will appear in the second grass-court final of his career when he meets Marin Cilic in the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in west London this afternoon.

Nalbandian, who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in his only Grand Slam final, has won 11 titles in his career, but that is a meagre return for a player of his talent. The former world No 3 is arguably the best current player other than Andy Murray never to have won a Grand Slam title and he showed his talent with a masterful display in difficult conditions in yesterday's semi-finals, beating the talented Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4. While Nalbandian played conservatively, his young opponent was often too ambitious.

Weather delays had forced the 30-year-old Nalbandian to play his third-round match and quarter-final – which both went to three sets – the previous day. The world No 39 might have been expected to tire but he won in impressive fashion. The finish was typical. After Dimitrov had retrieved an early break, Nalbandian broke at 4-4 thanks to a beautifully judged drop shot and then surprised the world No 72 by twice playing serve-and-volley in the final game.

"Today was very tough," Nalbandian said. "It was so windy there were a lot of mistakes. It's been a tough week – a lot of rain, late matches, a lot of waiting."

Cilic reached his first grass-court final by beating the American Sam Querrey, the 2010 champion, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Nalbandian has beaten Cilic four times out of five, but the Croatian won their most recent meeting, over five sets on clay in Buenos Aires in the Davis Cup.

Roger Federer will attempt to win the Halle Open in Germany for the sixth time when he faces Tommy Haas in this afternoon's final. Federer, 30, beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-4 in yesterday's semi-finals while Haas, 34, beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6, 7-5. It will be the first final on the main men's tour between two players over the age of 30 since Carlos Moya beat Andrei Pavel at Umag in Croatia five years ago.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in