The first matches of the Nokia Summer Cup exho tournament took place at Punta del Este.
DelPo has debuted black ninja socks for 2012. He appears nonchalant in the photo, although everyone can see the hyperactive tweet he posted earlier, where he talks giddily about playing “el GRAN Guga Kuerten.”
Luckily, Guga was also in a cheery mood for the match. In addition to Guga’s 1H backhand and DelPo’s forehand, the match had many fun-filled moments, including:
- Guga laughing at DelPo’s poor attempt at a tweener. You know you’ve embarrassed yourself when even Guga, the patron saint of kindliness, is laughing at you! 🙂
- A DelPo & Guga shirt change that ended with each player throwing the other’s shirt into the crowd.
- Each player teaming up with a ball boy to play doubles. Guga was an encouraging instructor/doubles partner. DelPo showed a bossy OCD side with his junior doubles partner (His demeanor said, “Stand here. No. Here. Arghhh let me manually move you to where you’re supposed to be standing on the T”). His ball kid won the point, though. This scene was inordinately funny because DelPo’s own coach, Franco Davin, seems the ever-patient and obliging Zen-master type.
- Pico sightings. He was present in Uruguay, along with ARG’s DC captain Martin Jaite, who was presumably there to convince DelPo to play the Feb. tie against Germany.
Sadly, Uruguayan player Pablo Cuevas had to withdraw from the exho due to a lingering knee injury. He pinpointed the February Davis Cup as a possible return date. Let’s hope he recovers quickly. He is also in search of a new coach.
Gonzo filled in for Cuevas and he defeated Gaston Gaudio in the earlier match today.
This means that Gaudio and Guga will play for 3rd place tomorrow, in a match that will surely tug at the hearstrings of those who admire the two former RG champions and their refined 1H backhands.
Among the four players at the Summer Cup, DelPo is the only player with a 2H backhand. I kept willing him to hit a BH winner, just so he could make a statement on behalf of the 2H backhanded masses. Perhaps tomorrow, when he plays Gonzo in the final!