Sydney: Baggy Defeats DelPo. Body Baghz Needed.

Baghdatis defeats Del Potro 7-6 6-4:

Remember I said this would be a symbolic rematch of last year’s Oz Open, when Baggy beat DelPo?  Well, Baggy beat DelPo again at the start of 2012.

IS THIS A THING NOW? ...OK (Photo: Reuters)

Baggy played an aggressive game.  DelPo was playing better than he did against Kubot, but he faltered at key moments.  DelPo was broken serving for the first set at 5-3.  He went up a mini-break in the 1st set TB, but lost the 1st set.  Much credit goes to Baggy’s gutsiness.  Still, the 1st set was there for DelPo’s taking, had he had more confidence/wits/luck, or some combination of the 3.

The rowdy Cypriot fans irritated DelPo.  This was an issue the last time they played at the Oz Open.  DelPo asked the umpire to give a warning to Baggy for his fans’ cheering, but that’s a rule only applicable to Davis Cup ties.

In the 2nd set, Baggy broke and held on to win, with some ace serving.  Baggy’s aggressive game plan paid off.  Perhaps it’s also the boost from new coach, Miles Maclagan (former coach of Muzz).

In his presser, DelPo said the crowd didn’t bother his game and that he had no hard feelings.  He said, “I don’t know where is Chipre, if it’s close to Australia or not, [but] many guys come to here to see [Baggy’s] game.” (Chipre is Spanish for Cyprus).  Even though he lost, “Chipre” was precious.

What does this say about DelPo’s form, heading into the Oz Open?

(Photo: Reuters)

DelPo’s return games are still a weakness.  Baggy, not a big server, won over 70% of points off his 2nd serve.  If the big swings DelPo takes on his return-of-serves aren’t creating enough BP chances, shouldn’t he step forward to the baseline in order to return?

That, plus his lack of confidence, a problem which this latest result will exacerbate, stood out during the match.

Also, DelPo’s team should hire a scheduling consultant.  He prepped for the season by playing exhos against retired players, while the top players played against each other.  The top players played last week, whereas DelPo made the choice to play this week, days before a Slam.  He’s skipping the DC tie because of injury risk, yet he’s scheduled to play 7 straight tournaments this year.  He actually has a committed team surrounding him, but their scheduling choices are puzzling to understand.

Sorry, I realize I’ve assumed an Uncle Toni persona in my overview of DelPo’s pre-season form.  I will take it down a notch or three.

**

If DelPo had won Sydney, he would have reached the top 10 ranking.  If he continues his current form, his Oz Open prospects are worrisome.  He has a cushion though: If DelPo reaches R2 at the Oz Open, he will have defended his points from last year.  He just needs to win one match at the Oz Open.  JUAN MATCH.

**

Geography Lesson:

Chipre: Home of the chipriotas

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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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2 Responses to Sydney: Baggy Defeats DelPo. Body Baghz Needed.

  1. ariennalee says:

    Like your “Juan Match.” What’s buggin’ Delpo?? He is living up to the melancholy joke too much of late!

    Also, no need to take your Uncle Toni persona down a notch or three. You make some very sound points. One of the reasons I like reading your blog is that you have such a reasoned, steady reaction to the game and the surrounding refinements. You usually have a different perspective from me also, so I get to see something new here… which brings me to your post on the draw…

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Thank you 🙂 The Uncle Toni persona is harsh, but it’s hard not to notice the tweaks that could *really* improve a player’s game. Although of course, for a player, knowing that and actually being able to act on it is another thing altogether…

      Seriously, anything extra will be a bonus if DelPo wins “Juan Match.” I’m not entirely sure what, if anything,is bugging him. To some extent, he has seemed adrift for the past 5-6 months. I think it could be confidence, which is such a can of worms. How does one fix a problem of confidence, if his lack of it is preventing him from accruing further confidence?

      First step is Mannarino. I have renewed scorn for the mullet that Mannarino will be wearing on his head, esp if he decides to have an inspired performance at the Oz Open!

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