Australian Open: Del Potro Hits a Tweener, A Panda Applauds

DelPo defeats Blaz Kavcic 6-4 7-5 6-3

Photo: Getty Images

DelPo played better than he did against Mannarino, and he needed to, because Blaz Kavcic was in fine form at the beginning of the match.  Kavcic reacted to DelPo’s FHs with power shots of his own and he kept the Argentine in long rallies.

It was worrying that DelPo was unable to hold an early break for an entire set.  He would break in the 1st game, only to be broken back two games later.  While he had aggressive patches, he also hit a fair share of forehand shanks.  Still, Kavcic started making more errors and he went for too much on his serves, which led him to give up costly breaks and the match.  This match actually mirrored the one they played at Roland Garros last year, where the pair constantly traded breaks.

DelPo faces Yen-hsun Lu in R3.  Lu is a dangerous lurker, who defeated Roddick in 2010 at Wimbledon and Fer in 2011 at Madrid.  This is a potentially dangerous match.  The draw has unexpectedly opened up for DelPo.  Fish lost grumpily in straight sets to Falla, which means a potential R4 meeting with Fish is no longer possible.  DelPo should take advantage of this opportunity.


If there’s one other concerning thing, it’s DelPo’s response to a post-match question:

Q.  How are your confidence levels in general?  Feeling like you’re very close to returning to your best?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I don’t know.  I already won a very tough match.  I want to think in my next round.  Will be against Lu.  He’s dangerous also.

So if I play like today, maybe I have little chance to win.  Even if I lose and play in the same way, I will be happy, too.

Why is he already prepared to be happy after losing?  Why even mention the prospect of losing?  This sounds a tad defeatist, but I’m going to pin it down to a language issue.


On a happier note, DelPo hit a tweener during his match.  Given his height, it’s not the easiest shot in the book for him.  The odds are usually high that his tweener shot will fail and everyone starts laughing at him.  This time, it worked!

It’s not quite a Federer-esque tweener.  In fact, DelPo’s tweener shot reminds  me of this unwieldy panda:

In his defense, however, he had no other choice but to hit the shot.  Also, he showed amazing scrambling abilities and won the point in impressive fashion.  So, thumbs up for DelPo and panda bears!


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 Australian Open: Del Potro Hits a Tweener, A Panda Applauds

  1. queridorafa says:

    So impressed w/ DelPo’s movement/scrambling on the Tweener–and making the passing shot, too! Also love the delayed air-punch. He really has a flair for the dramatic, he does! Rafa did that a lot last year–breaking only to lose it soon after. Drove me nuts–got to the point where he would break in the first or second game, and I would just think “now he has a reasonable chance of going to a tie-break!”

    • mariposaxprs says:

      I liked that he didn’t win the point off the tweener, but through a passing shot afterwards. Showed nice reflexes. I think he just has a delayed reaction to many things. He prob realized 5 seconds after winning the point that he’d….won the point. Then it took him a few more seconds to process a reaction, hence the delayed punch 😛

      You described the very thoughts I was having during DelPo’s match. Once he broke early, it really was “now he has a reasonable chance of going to a tie-break”! Followed by a “oh dear, what if he gets broken TWICE?” And then major frazzling commences… I guess that’s one thing Karlovic fans don’t have to worry too much about!

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