There’s been a fair bit of DelPo-related news after Wimbledon. Here is a combined recap and photo post:
- Update about the knee: DelPo’s left knee, which was hyperextended at Wimbledon, has been in fine form ever since. He visited his doctor in Argentina, who diagnosed a sprain (no damage to the ligaments or meniscus). A meniscus tear would have been a headache, so it’s good to know he got off relatively lightly. He says his knee has now recovered.
- Children love DelPo: DelPo resumed training a week after his arrival in Argentina. He took time to visit an orphanage, as part of his partnership with UNICEF.
He also enjoyed a late serving of strawberries and cream, presented to him by his adorable friend, Delfi. Although DelPo lost in the SF at Wimbledon this year, he’ll be working to take that extra step in 2014! Otherwise, Chef Delfi will be upset:
- Fun Times in Miami: After a short stay in Argentina, where he visited his family in Tandil (and took a photo with fans at a Tandil petrol station) and resumed training in Buenos Aires, DelPo flew to Miami on July 19. He flew out early to the USA, in order to adjust to the summer heat (it’s currently the middle of winter in Argentina) and prepare for summer HC season. DelPo often trains in Miami and it appears he trains at the same Miami tennis club that Muzz frequents. DelPo’s early trip to Miami led to one of the most adorable photos of all time:
Rafa has a tradition of visiting Disney Land in Paris, after he wins Roland Garros. DelPo, however, went to Disney World (which, as everyone knows, is better than Disney Land) and DelPo got to kiss Minnie’s nose. Rafa, on the other hand, has only ever taken anti-septic and somewhat lame photos with Minnie. Minnie is clearly Team DelPo, no? I’ve got photo evidence, Minnie, so don’t you try and deny it!
- DelPo, the Body Issue: Tennis players Aga Radwanska and John Isner posed nude for ESPN Magazine’s annual Body Issue, which features tasteful photos and candid interviews with athletes from many different sports. I’m fairly confident DelPo would never agree to participate in ESPN’s Body Issue. That said, his recent FB activity indicates an heretofore unseen willingness to show off his muscles and body. DelPo has been doing his own take of the Body Issue. Let’s start at Wimbledon, where he unveiled this photo of his backside:
While the concerns over DelPo’s knee were quite serious at Wimbledon, this photo of him was also inappropriately funny because of the way he seemed to be showing off his butt to maximum effect:
Those photos are the appetizers. Fast forward to summer HC season. DelPo shared a photo on FB where his butt was again the main focus. Is anyone sensing a pattern here? I guess DelPo has been training very hard to tone his gluteal muscles, in which case he should shake what his mother gave him (in a tasteful manner, of course).
Then, things got taken to another level. Here’s DelPo in Miami, after a hitting session with 15-year old junior Stefan Kozlov. The contrast between the two players (in age, body hair, height, etc) is hilarious:
Stefan Kozlov (@StefanKozlov) July 25, 2013
DelPo then released a photo album of his training photos on FB. These photos feature a shirtless DelPo who is training very hard in the Miami heat. For some reason, he has chosen to hike up his shorts so that his upper legs are exposed. It’s an impressive visual, for sure. I remember Feli used to do that with his shorts too, so maybe it’s a habit among tennis players. Perhaps his Nike shorts are too baggy. Perhaps he wants to just wants to show off his long levers!
My main point is that DelPo seems to have more body definition. He’s always been lanky, rangy and toned, but perhaps he’s worked on strength training in preparation for HC season. It’s not uncommon to see other tennis players “tone up” a little during a break. Look at those arms:
On Monday, DelPo traveled from Miami to Washington DC, where he will play the Citi Open. A fan captured DelPo at Miami International Airport, where DelPo was adorably seen wearing the Bruce Springsteen t-shirt he picked up right before Wimbledon at the Boss concert at Wembley Stadium:
- DelPo Aims for His 3rd Citi Open Title in Washington: DelPo accepted a late WC for the Washington tournament, after Tsonga withdrew with a knee injury. As top seed, DelPo has a tricky draw in his first summer HC tournament. Nishikori, Haas and Raonic are the other top seeds after DelPo.
DelPo’s potential route to the title: BYE – R2 Hewitt/Harrison – R3 Tomic – QF Anderson – SF Haas/Dimitrov – F Nishikori/Isner.
Although DelPo has been training regularly and he seems physically fine, he will be a bit rusty. He will need to hit the ground running, especially if he ends up playing Hewitt in R2. Expectations are high for DelPo, given his strong showing at Wimbledon this year. Given the highs and lows he went through in the first half of 2013, it’s probably best to be cautious. The best thing to hope for is that DelPo gains decent match play. By playing Washington, DelPo has committed himself to play 3 straight weeks of tournaments before the USO. If an early loss in Washington improves his chances of strong showings at the Montreal and Cincinnati Masters, then so be it.
In any case, DelPo showed up in very fine form at the Citi Open Players Party, which was held at the W Hotel in Washington DC. Here he is with Nenad Zimonjic and potential R3 opponent, Bernie Tomic:
Quite a few fans are on the grounds at Washington, which has led to welcome videos of DelPo cheerfully hitting FHs and fun anecdotes of his mishaps during training. Things seem light-hearted and fun on the DelPo front. He even managed a short re-enactment of Blow-Up, where he got behind the camera.
In his pre-tournament presser, DelPo responded to a question about the friendliness among top players and whether or not he agreed with Jimmy Connors’ argument that tennis players should be more at odds with each other (at 2:12):
DelPo: “Of course, at the end of the match, I would like to kill Novak [for beating me], but I couldn’t do that (laughter). I like the way it is now—more friendly.”
Take that, Connors!!
DelPo will start his Washington campaign on Wednesday, where he will face the winner of Hewitt and Harrison. For those interested, this is his Nike kit for the summer HC season.