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.
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.