Sydney: DelPo Starts 2012 With a Win. No Dance.

Del Potro defeats Lukasz Kubot, the Polish can-can dancer, to advance at the APIA Int’l Sydney.  He’ll meet former dubs partner Marcos Baghdatis in the QF.  Last year, DelPo lost to Baggy in R2 at the Oz Open.  Their rematch in Sydney holds symbolic importance and a DelPo victory here could boost his confidence.

(Photo: Getty Images)

I only caught parts of the first set of the DelPo-Kubot match.  Literally two points into the match, DelPo winced and grabbed his knee.  Since he was previously wearing knee tape, that was concerning.  Given the current injury count for tennis players, I wanted a refund policy for 2012.  Video replay later showed that DelPo had actually hit his knee with his racquet.  Luckily, his knee didn’t visibly hinder him and he shook off that early incident.

From what I saw, his serve was solid, despite windy conditions.  However, he was error-prone on his ground strokes.  To be pessimistically honest, I think Kubot imploded and didn’t play well enough at all to test DelPo.  The DelPo vs Baggy QF will hopefully be better-contested, and then won by DelPo.

DelPo’s presser comments after the match: Surprisingly, DelPo says his 2011 R4 loss to Nadal at Wimbledon was his best match of the year.  He also says, “Right now, I’m still far away from [winning a Grand Slam] …  I have to take it step by step.”  He wants to reach the 2nd week at majors, although he needs a shot of confidence, which he will hopefully gain through match play.

Note: Despite DelPo’s advertising for the new Wilson Juice racquets, he seems to be playing with his old racquet.  Given how his change to a different model of the Wilson BLX actually aggravated his wrist problems in 2009-10, his reluctance to switch racquets is understandable.

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About mariposaxprs

I play favorites with Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the long line of mercurial talent that drives me to despair in front of the screen at odd hours during the week.
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9 Responses to Sydney: DelPo Starts 2012 With a Win. No Dance.

  1. Pingback: Sydney: Baggy Defeats DelPo. Body Baghz Needed. | mariposaxprs

  2. queridorafa says:

    Refund policy for 2012–yes please! Really disspiriting start of the season for both tours. At first I thought he meant “far away” as in–several months, which seems a bit excessive. But maybe he just means one match at a time, round by round? That would make more sense.
    Now I’m also reminded that Kubot beat Monfils at Wimbledon once…which is making Rafa’s loss to Monfils last week seem a little less “quality”…:)

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yes, I feel like too many injuries are happening in 2012. Even if they don’t accept refunds, where’s the trash bin? I’d like to throw out these first 2 weeks!

      I’d completely forgotten Kubot beat Monfils at Wimby before I saw the video! He was actually up 2 sets on Feli too, before Feli came back to beat him. But I agree Monfils is such a frustrating player to lose to—he’s clearly talented but so streaky. When he’s “on,” he’s on but he can also go haywire. Gael should have beaten Kubot last yr!

  3. ariennalee says:

    I agree with Delpo on his assessment of that Wimby match. I think it was only four sets, but I remember posting something to the effect that I hoped that Delpo was on the opposite side of the draw from Rafa & playing both Andys at once at the USO. 🙂 I thought he played a fantastic match– so aggressive at net, good strategy against Rafa & excellent movement. I thought Rafa was a bit lucky to come out of that one, frankly. Is it me, or does JMDP seem to be setting surprisingly small goals for himself? I know we’ve talked about this before– but this is the same guy who, as a teenager, went around telling anyone who would listen that his dream was to the win the USO.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      That’s true, I loved the net play DelPo showed at Wimby. Also, the 4th round was the farthest he had ever made it at Wimby, so that’s a sizeable accomplishment. Given how I was rooting for DelPo, I was upset at how he fell apart in the TBs. Still, it was a close match!

      I think DelPo set a good pace for himself in 2011, but I was a bit dejected to hear him say, “I’m still far away from a Grand Slam.” I like that he says “I want to return to the top 5 this yr”—that’s a bold goal, but why would he dismiss himself outright for a GS? Even if it’s not inaccurate to say he has things to work on before he’s beating the best, I don’t like that he discounts himself. When the going is a little rough, I prefer a little delusion!

    • Yeah, you said you hoped that Del Po was playing Fed and Nole simultaneously at the US Open.

      You may be right that part of his trouble was accomplishing his dream at 20. I’ve heard that athletes who win the gold medal at the Olympics are often disoriented after they’ve won. They devote their whole lives to achieving one goal, once it’s done, what is left to do?

      • ariennalee says:

        Good memory, Emma!

        And I agree with you about the Olympics comparison. What to do when you’ve accomplished your life’s dream before your quarter-century anniversary.

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