Del Potro d. Tsonga, 7-6(1) 6-2
Heavy strapping on the shoulder.
That’s DelPo’s second win over newly minted world no. 5 Tsonga, in the past two weeks. DelPo’s H2H against Tsonga now stands at 5-1. This feels similar to DelPo’s H2H against former world no. 5 Soderling (4-1). Also, DelPo won another TB! Apparently, Tsonga DF-ed at the beginning of the TB and then never really recovered. Still, I’ll take it. This QF victory also means DelPo moves up to no. 9 in the rankings.
I couldn’t watch this match, but here’s a nice summary from the Tennis.com site. I like Richard Pagliaro’s description of DelPo as a “power merchant.”
That’s my short coverage of the positives from DelPo’s win over Tsonga, which puts him in the SF against Fed. DelPo meets Fed for the third time this year, and it’s only March.
Some of the worrisome aspects from this match:
DelPo played with taping on his shoulder, and at one point, asked for a trainer to attend to that area. Umpire Gerry Armstrong denied him a trainer visit, because the injury concern was a pre-existing condition, and not something that happened during the match. The shoulder did not seem to hinder DelPo too much (from what I can gather), but DelPo did occasionally stretch out that area in between points.
Given DelPo’s questionable shoulder and his likely exhaustion, I am even more doubtful about how he plans to defend his SF points at Indian Wells, never mind his R4 points in Miami. I think the downside to his heavy scheduling in February is now starting to rear its ugly head. In any case, a SF is a SF and I hope DelPo puts up a good fight against Fed (take Juan bloody set)! The other SF in Dubai is Djoko-Muzz.
I’ve seen this shirt at an Adidas store. In person, it doesn’t look that offensive. That said, I still wouldn’t gift it to my worst enemy.
In Acapulco, former finalist Nico Almagro lost to … Fer Verdasco. Fer seems like the Armada’s version of Davydenko. He puts on a string of fine performances, and leaves many people hoping that he’ll make waves at the next tournament. Only to then fall underneath the radar. I was starting to think Fer had permanently taken his place there. Then, he won a dubs title in Buenos Aires and whether that confidence boost spurred him, no one knows. Either way, he beat world no. 12 Nico Almagro. That’s a big win for Fer, who reaches the SF of a 500-level tourny. He also reached the SF in doubles at Acapulco.
Fer meets (a surprisingly sculpted) Stan Wawrinka in the SF.