Marseilles: DelPo vs. Playstation

DelPo has a R2 match in Marseilles with Davydenko.  Davy’s been in great form this past week, where he pushed Fed to three sets at Rotterdam.  He’s a skilled player on indoor HCs and he will push DelPo to the limit (last time they played was the WTF final in ’09, where Davy defeated DelPo).

For a 250-level tourny, Marseilles has a stacked draw, featuring four top 10 players in Berdy, Fish, Tipsy, and DelPo.  In order for DelPo to win Marseilles, he would likely have to go through Davydenko-Gasquet-Tsonga-Fish.  Fun fact: DelPo and Tsonga are each poised to take their 200th career victory in Marseilles this week — Tsonga is already at 199, with his win over Mahut yesterday.  Tsonga is 3 years older than DelPo,  yet has played a fewer total number of matches in his career.  It really highlights the different career arcs that tennis players have.

People have questioned why Fish is playing Marseilles, instead of his home tourny in Memphis.  They would probably ask the same of DelPo, who is not playing the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires this week.

DelPo only played Copa Claro, a clay-court event, once in his career in 2006.  Given the South American clay swing takes place at the same time as the HC events, just prior to IW and Miami, the surface makes it inconvenient for DelPo to play in Buenos Aires.  TD director Martin Jaite (who is also ARG’s DC captain) even campaigned for Buenos Aires to change its surface to hard-courts, in order to lure DelPo.  That seems an unlikely proposition though, as players travel to South America precisely to play on the red clay.  It’s a bit unfortunate, but it’s really the only decision, given DelPo’s focus on maximizing his HC game.  Perhaps in his older age he may play?


In Buenos Aires, Ferru just defeated young Argie Facundo Bagnis (the zurdo who traveled as a sparring partner for ARG’s DC team at Sevilla last year).  The umpire kept referring to Bagnis as Baggins, so he is now hereby christened as Frodo Baggins.  Frodo put up a great fight against Ferru.  He’s a bit of a late-bloomer (21 yrs, ranked no. 162), but it could be interesting to see where the hobbit goes from here.

Photo: Getty

Frodo was in tears after his loss to Ferru.  It’s a very special atmosphere at Copa Claro, with a strong Argie crowd.  Here’s hoping that Frodo makes it farther next year.

Meanwhile, home favorites Nalby and Pico will face off in R2 at Copa Claro.  This is sad news, that one of the two will be sent out of the tourny at such an early stage.

Ferru was recently interviewed by Argie media and he told them that after Guillermo Vilas, Del Potro was the best tennis player from Argentina.  He also said DelPo would definitely return to the top 5.  I’ve learned how to interpret these quotes from tennis players.  In 9 out of 10 cases, a tennis player is simply affirming a leading question posed by the journalist.  If an Argie journo asked you, “Do you think DelPo can return to the top 5?,” it would take someone special to say “No.”  That said, I think it can definitely happen.  It can happen!  But it’s also the strangest question to ask of no. 5-ranked Ferru, because DelPo reaching the top 5 would necessarily mean someone (read: Ferru) dropping out of the top 5.  You wouldn’t ask no. 10-ranked DelPo for his thoughts on whether no. 11-ranked Nico could return to the top 10, right?  I like Nico, but that cannot happen.

I digress … so there’s a tough match coming up for DelPo against Davy in Marseilles.  Pico-Nalby in R2 at Copa Claro!


Update: There was a big train accident in Buenos Aires yesterday, with as many as 50 deaths and 550 injuries.  DelPo, Nalby, Ferru, Facundo Bagnis, Gisela Dulko and many others expressed their condolences via Twitter for the affected families.  It’s a tough week for people in Buenos Aires.


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 Marseilles: DelPo vs. Playstation

  1. Iram says:

    Hi, hope u’re fine!

    First of all, my heart goes out to all those who suffered in that train crash- even the families of the victims. What a tragic accident.

    I love how u’ve nicknamed Ferru’s first round opponent as “Frodo Baggins”. That’s funny. But how do u know that the guy was in tears after his loss? I know David said some nice things about him in his post match interview. Anyway, I wish him the best of luck in the future. Everyone starts somewhere. Unfortunately for him he was up against one of the best claycourters currently.

    About what Ferru said in regards to Delpo returning to the top 5. Here’s my take, I get this small feeling that David might be saying it to be “polite” in Delpo’s home crowd. (OF COURSE he might believe it a little too!) I mean their putting him on the spot, he’s not going to say anything negative about their countries “golden boy” right there…otherwise Argentinian media would have taken offense to Ferru’s comments. And yeah you’re right, Delpo will become ranked 5 if Ferru loses his own ranking.

    I wonder who the crowd will be mainly rooting for: Pico or Nalby??!! I’ll make a guess and say Pico in 3 sets. It’s always tough playing against a fellow compatriot in a “home” crowd.

    Last thing, I’m looking forward to Ferru-Gonzo meet up. It’s going to be one of Fer’s last matches (even if he wins) because he’ll retire next month.

    Okay enough with my rambling. 🙂 Take care. Look forward to your upcoming posts.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hi Iram!

      I was reading the Fue Buena (Argie tennis) Twitter feed, and they said Frodo was crying after he lost to Ferru. I was able to watch the last games of the match, and he put up an impressive fight against Ferru. Maybe it’s something he can take heart from! Ferru’s on to play Gonzo in the next round—That should be a fun match, I hope to record or at least watch parts of it!

      I totally agree with your take on players answering media questions when they’re playing at tournaments in other countries. At the Australian Open, players were answering questions about how far they thought Bernie Tomic would go. At the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires, many of the Spanish players are answering questions about their thoughts on the Argie players. Someone would have to be pretty rude or lacking in common sense to give a negative appraisal of the home country’s top player. That said, I hope Ferru’s comments turn out to be right! 😉

      I like your ramblings!! 🙂 I’ll be rooting for Ferru in his next match, although it would be nice to see Gonzo make a real match of it. And I’m happy Nalby won his match over Pico, though I feel bad Pico’s winning run came to an end…

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