Del Potro d. Mannarino, 2-6 6-1 7-5 6-4:
He’s into R2!!
DelPo won a messy match. He was slow to start, and seemingly unable to keep the ball inside the lines for the 1st set, losing 2-6. DelPo quickly stepped up his level in the 2nd set, which was easier, thanks to Mannarino’s loss of focus and increased error count. Mannarino plays an impish style of tennis, with plenty of flair and sneaky vollies. It was Mannarino who lost to Ferru in Madrid after bagelling Ferru in the 1st set, only to then get bagelled himself. He can be a tricky player and he gives the impression of putting very little effort and often, little thought into his shots. His on-court manner also swings between downright eccentric and dazed:
If DelPo is an elf, then Mannarino is the imp:
Although DelPo and Mannarino traded breaks on many occasions, DelPo pulled through with an aggressive game and saved many BPs en route to his win. In an encouraging sign, he was on the baseline to receive Mannarino’s 2nd serve, instead of standing a meter behind. A spectator collapsed from heat stroke in the middle of the match, but play quickly resumed afterwards. Before serving for the match, DelPo called for the trainer and received a light massage near his groin area, during the changeover. He DF-ed on his first MP, but closed it out.
He faces Blaz Kavcic in R2. DelPo defeated Kavcic in R2 at last year’s Roland Garros, but the Slovak could be a surprise if he starts strong. If DelPo could just grind out a win over Kavcic, his passage to R4 has been made slightly easier, due to Florian Mayer’s withdrawal from the Oz Open (strained hip injury).
Now DelPo, don’t go pulling the “Beating a guy in a Grand Slam, only to lose to him at the next Grand Slam” hijinks that you did with Gilles Simon last year!
After his R1 win, DelPo told the Argentinean press, “My head is much more calm now … Last year, I came to AO ranked near no. 500 and asking, ‘Please, don’t make me play Federer or Nadal in the first round,'” he said. When asked about injury concerns, he said that his health was good. He said, “There’s always something, but thank God my thoughts are much calmer now.” Following this line of logic, beating Kavcic will calm his thoughts even further. Let’s do this!
I’d like to see more imaginary trombone action (or whatever he’s doing in the photo):