(*Update: Del Potro had problems with his right shoulder prior to his match. No word yet on the extent of the problem)
When I said the first step to defeating the Armada is defeating the “other Armada,” I did not entertain the idea of Granollers defeating Del Potro. I stand corrected and humbled.
Although JMDP had a strong start, Granollers proved too much of a battle. Credit to the Spaniard for his wins over Cilic, Monfils, and Del Potro this week. He is like a cat at the net and his retrieval skills made life very difficult. After today’s win, Granollers (he of the silky hands) will move on to face the winner of Ferru vs Pico in the final.
DelPo was under the weather today. He called for the trainer after Granollers took the first set. I’m not entirely sure what was wrong but he did complain of feeling very weak after two or three points. He took medication during the changeover and at one point, was advised to retire if he didn’t feel better.
An on-fire DelPo could have made this a very competitive battle. Unfortunately, his form went up and down during the match. He was somehow up a break in the second set, at one point leading 5-2. Then he was broken serving for the 2nd set, and it was curtains after that. I get the feeling he checked out before the match was even over. In the last half hour of the match, it was sloppy error after error, followed by weak forehands to the center.
Given JMDP’s mixed results and Granollers’ great play, there’s no guarantee he would have beaten Granollers even if he were healthy. Still, things had looked so hopeful in Valencia because DelPo played some great tennis this week. This is a disappointing result after looking so fabulously on-form in his QF match against Querrey.
In the absence of further words to describe today’s match, I leave you an artistic photo of DelPo. I imagine this is how he felt during his match today. It’s an accurate rendition of how I feel about his latest result. If you hear thunder in the background, do not worry. That is just the sound of Nalby smashing all the doors and walls in Argentina.