Del Potro d. Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-2 6-1
He debuts his “hearts-made-of-gigantic-hands” gesture, after crossing himself. After his 2009 USO victory, this marks DelPo’s first QF appearance at a Slam since the wrist injury that kept him out for most of 2010. Following Nico Almagro’s defeat to Berdy earlier in the day, DelPo’s R4 win also confirms his return to the top 10 ranking.
He’s a top 10-ranked quarterfinalist at a Grand Slam. How amazing is that? DelPo has played his way into something resembling form, and he should be confident for his QF.
DelPo’s post-match interview:
Q. How excited are you? You seem very, as usual, quiet and calm.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah.
Q. A little bit of excitement perhaps? Quarterfinals?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah I can say I’m very happy to be in quarters, but this is my personality, and I don’t want to change. I just do my job as better I can.
Lulz. DelPo is quiet, calm and cannot be bothered with chipper exuberances. He gave them hearts with his hands, what more do they expect from him? Somersaults?
DelPo was asked whether his performance in the Sevilla Davis Cup final gave him belief that he could beat players like Ferru or Rafa in the future. He replied, “I don’t know if I can beat them in the future or on this tournament or the next one, but if I’m still working on this way, maybe I get it closer soon.”
Again, he sounds a tad defeatist but I think it may just be the commonly used method among tennis players of providing non-answers to a loaded question.
Federer d. Tomic 6-4 6-2 6-2
In the quarterfinal, DelPo will play Federer. Federer just defeated Bernie Tomic, 6-4 6-2 6-2. Despite the scoreline, the match felt like it was more closely contested. Bernie actually gave a very strong performance, although his nerves and loose errors revealed his inexperience at the end. Fed was too polished a veteran for Bernie’s wrong-footing and slicing tactics. He won the match in straights and will head to the QF feeling fresh.
Fed also aced his post-match interview with Jim Courier. He had nice words for both Bernie Tomic and DelPo. He encouraged the Australian crowd to not place too much pressure on Bernie, evoking his own youthful days, when Fed was touted as the “next best thing” before he had even won a title.
Fed had lovely words for DelPo, his QF opponent. He said “I missed him in that year he got injured. I thought he had a chance at world number 1.”
DelPo and Fed will meet again in the QF. The last time they played the QF at the Oz Open, Fed inflicted a humiliating defeat by the scoreline 6-3 6-0 6-0. No matter — reaching the QF this year is a solid accomplishment for DelPo and I think he can put up a greater fight this time around.
DelPo will need to overcome his Fedipal complex though (Every player on the ATP has a Fedipal complex. Some lash out at him. Others profess their admiration or go one step further, calling him “the greatest of the history.” Even when Rafa criticizes Fed, he uses words like “rose” and “gentleman.” Each player has his own take/issues). During DelPo’s injury layoff, Fed was one of the players who called DelPo a few times and touched base with him over the phone. At the 2006 Basel Open, Fed decided he liked then 18-year old DelPo and gave him a wildcard to his hometown tournament.
Seriously, they should rename Stockholm Syndrome after Fed. If DelPo wants to win this QF, he will need to spread his wings and stay self-assured enough to overpower Fed from the baseline, and to keep the first serve % high.
DavidLaw (@DavidLawTennis) January 22, 2012
Unless Fed were to grow wings of his own before their QF match…