Fed d. Del Potro 6-1 6-4
DelPo lost in straight sets. He could not convert on the 7 BP chances he had this match. He took idol worship to new levels in his Rotterdam final against Fed.
Similar to his QF loss to Fed at the Oz Open this year, DelPo seemed to struggle tactically. He hit quite often to Fed’s BH, which was more than ready to take on the challenge. Fed was also retrieving very well in the 1st set, which frustrated DelPo, whose shots started to go astray after the first dozen attempts. He was also caught by surprise on the baseline with Fed’s numerous dropshots and variety.
I hate to say it, but he was simply outplayed in this match. What stands out is that Fed was not serving well at all. Fed’s first serve hovered below 50% in the first set, while DelPo’s own serve was slightly above his usual average (just above 60%). Fed hit beautiful passing shots on BP, leaving a frustrated DelPo stranded at the net.
DelPo punched himself on the head after Fed served to hold, after facing BP. I think this is a positive sign for DelPo. I wouldn’t wish a Youzhny-head-smashing moment on anyone, but a little frustration and disappointment shows that at least DelPo was intent on winning the match, even if his shots did not follow. It would seem obvious for any player to want to win, but sometimes the “Fed aura” can skew an opponent’s perspective. This final can be a good experience for DelPo, and a lesson in how to better construct his points at the critical moments, when facing or having BPs.
At the trophy ceremony, Richard Kracijek stood next to Fed, in a slightly awkward moment. Kracijek must have been happy for the way this year’s Rotterdam tourny played out — he had world favorite Fed and a younger contender (the top and 3rd seed) in the final, with Berdy reaching the SF.
DelPo gave an understated runner-up speech, conceding that Fed had simply played better than him. Meanwhile, Fed praised DelPo for the week he had and also expressed his hopes that he would see DelPo at the London WTF this year. I would not mind that at all.
As one-sided (and hence, disappointing for me) as this final was, DelPo’s win over Berdy is still something he can take heart from this week. He plays next week in Marseilles.
Rotterdam is Fed’s 71st title. He extends his winning streak on indoor HC since 2010 Paris.