Del Potro defeats Yen-hsun Lu, 6-2 6-3 6-0.
I don’t know if it was because he started by breaking Lu’s serve in the 1st game, but DelPo played confidently. His first serve % was high and he controlled the rallies with deep shots that overpowered his opponent.
There was a funny incident when DelPo asked for the baseline to be wiped, due to some moisture. The ball kid scurried over and started wiping with a towel. DelPo’s OCD emerged, he took the towel and mopped the baseline himself (it’s more efficient when one’s hands are larger than the ball kid’s face). Then he pretended to wipe the ball kid’s face with the towel.
This happened in the 1st set. Usually, this type of joking behavior leads to DelPo’s loss of focus, and consequently the match. Thankfully, that did not happen this time around.
In his presser, a reporter asked DelPo about the ball kid incident. DelPo joshed with the reporter and gave a cheeky answer:
Q. I wanted to ask about an incident in the first set with the bugs on the court. Were you trying to help clean them up with the towel? … What happened?
JMDP: Yeah … The court just close to the line was so wet and I need the help. The ball boy come with the towel and I made a little job with him. It was fine.
Q. What was the joke? We couldn’t understand on the TV.
JMDP: No, I did with the towel his face. What, you was watching the Tomic match?
HOW DARE YOU, reporter. Showing up to a DelPo presser without watching his match in person, then possibly revealing you were at RLA watching the Dolgo-Tomic match instead? How.dare.you. DelPo is also an attention hog, isn’t he? 😉 I think it’s a somewhat positive sign that he feels comfortable enough to make jokes.
Next up is Kohli, against whom DelPo has a positive 4-0 H2H. However, the German 1HBH-er has lately been playing very well, and he can create angles that will test DelPo’s footwork. Kohli has a strong H2H against big hitters like Soderling, too. It took DelPo 3 close sets to defeat Kohli last year at Miami. Plus, Kohli is a step up in calibre from DelPo’s previous opponents — this is slightly reminiscent of DelPo’s Valencia run, where he played solidly until he ran into an in-form Granollers. Kohli is the first real test. This match-up is somewhat ironic, given the upcoming ARG-GER Davis Cup tie, which DelPo is not playing. Kohli may be eager to make a statement as Germany’s #2 player.