Alejandro Davidovich has got the long-awaited clay season under way. It's his favourite surface to play on, the one that has seen his biggest successes in his career, with two semi-finals in Estorial and one quarter-final in Roland Garros, and where he hopes to improve his game as he continues his development.
After starting the year off with four wins and eights defeats, the Andalusian has still managed to leap from 50th to 45th in the ATP rankings. He's hoping that the upcoming clay season relaunches his career, as he hasn't developed as much or as quickly as other years, though his evolution on the court is undeniable.
A lack of consistency is what has held Davidovich back for most of 2022. He has suffered defeats in most of the matches that have been balanced, which happened in a lot of tours. However, it's important to note two aspects that explain his form: all his losses have come at the hands of better or equally-ranked players, and that he has made brave decisions regarding his playing calendar.
Davidovich has faced tough opposition so far in 2022, but he has managed to put on good displays against three, top ten opponents. Against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Australian Open, Davidovich lost by four tie breaks and was vastly superior throughout the match; he forced a third set against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rotterdam; he also wasted three match points against Jannik Sinner in Dubai and forced another third set when he faced Denis Shapovalov.
Moreover, only two of Davidovich's defeats weren't against stronger opposition, but of a more equal level: he suffered when he faced Mannarino in Montpellier, when he won just six games; and his defeat to Lajovic at the start of the year.
Davidovich's results so far led to a very demanding hardcourt season, with small moments where improvement was clearly seen in his gameplay and his serves, but which was ultimately conditioned by his opposition and his luck in the draws.
But that's the plan his team has for him. Instead of putting Davidovich forward for tournaments of a lesser level, and in which he would have a much better chance of making it further, they prefer to have the Andalusian compete at a higher level to round-off his skills, to become a more complete tennis player and to be able to compete all year.
Davidovich will compete this week in Marrakesh, before heading to Montecarlo, Barcelona, Estoril, Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros, provided he's physically fit until the end to the clay season.