Overall, he showed great mental strength in saving BPs and SPs in a fun-filled match (although he did fluff a very easy BH on his 1st MP in the 2nd set tiebreak).
But he’s into his 2nd final in as many weeks! Tsonga is also DelPo’s second win over a top 10 player this year! Yen-hsun Lu or Blaz Klavcic don’t provide quite the same test as a Berdy or Tsonga, so it’s great progress that DelPo defeated all of them. His victories over Davy-Gasquet-Tsonga are very impressive for a 250-tourny.
[To show just how weak the 500-level Memphis draw has been, seven of the seeds at Marseilles and Copa Claro (each one of them 250-level tournys) would have been top seed at Memphis].
In any case, Davy, Tsonga and Llodra, along with Fed, are some of the best currently active players on indoor HCs. DelPo’s win over Llodra last week was very close and he’ll face a big challenge in the Marseilles final against Llodra (who defeated Tipsy).
DelPo has faced a couple of career milestones in Marseilles: He notched his 200th career win, and now he has his chance to win his first indoors title. DelPo has 3 runner-up finishes at indoor HC tournys (WTF to Davy, Vienna to Tsonga, and Rotterdam to Fed). This final against Llodra is a tough nut to crack, but it’s fully possible.
- Reporters in Marseilles asked DelPo why he always looks so calm and zombie-like. DelPo assures them he does not feel that way inside. He says when he missed his first MP against Tsonga, “I was on fire inside of my body.” What does that even look like?
- Here is a photo capture from the Marseilles tourny’s newsletter:
If you read the caption, they refer to DelPo as a “Skunk Dog.” I’m just going to assume that Skunk Dog is a French term of endearment for friendly giants who make lopsided hearts with their hands. I’m still puzzled by this so-called nickname.
Tsonga’s father was present, cheering for Jo in the SF. According to commentators, Tsonga’s father attended all of DelPo’s previous matches in Marseilles. That’s scary, to have the top seed’s father following you, watching all of your matches (especially because the Marseilles stadium is small, so the player boxes are literally 2 meters behind the players). I caught parts of the Llodra-Tipsy SF, and Tsonga’s father was there as well, so perhaps he just enjoys his tennis! He has every reason to in Marseilles, as Tsonga reached the doubles final with his partner Dustin Brown.