DelPo re-surfaced at Indian Wells and he has kept busy with a promotional shoot and training sessions. I guess IW did finally deign to invite him to a photograph session, despite snubbing him earlier! So there’s that.
His R2 opponent will be the no. 129-ranked Australian Marinko Matosevic, who was the surprise finalist at Delray Beach this year. Matosevic beat Karlovic, Bogomolov Jr. and Gulbis en route to his finalist run. Ranking-wise, Matosevic is currently on a career-high.
Steps, the DelPo-stalker. It could very well be the other way around though. I think DelPo’s improved his volleying recently, so I cautiously approve of Steps’ presence.
In lieu of official photos, I’m culling the photos I’ve found via Twitter, courtesy of the lucky spectators who are actually there! Here is DelPo stretching. I’ve been curious about his fitness routine, mainly because his tall lanky frame probably requires extra maintenance. Here’s how he does it:
That does not look very comfortable…
He’s flying over the grass! He would make one scary land-based bird … the only one that comes to mind is an ostrich. Or a flamingo?
Pico and Ferru also had a training session together:
Ferru flexes his muscles in front of Pico. That’s not humble, Ferru!
Lovely capture of Nalby and Nico. Two misunderstood players whom I feel should play doubles at one point in the future.
In other related news,
- Nalby won his R1 match over Potito Starace, 7-6 6-0. The R1 matches at IW aren’t streamed, but going by Twitter reports of spectators at the match, Potito was playing too aggressively. Nalby now faces a R2 with Marin Cilic. This one will be a precursor to the Davis Cup QF between Argentina and Croatia.
- Speaking of Davis Cup, DelPo may announce on Tuesday whether or not he will play the QF at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires. DelPo did say he would be in Argentina for that week in April, so there are hopeful signs that he will commit to play.
- On a sad note (that’s also related to the upcoming DC QF), former world no. 3 and overall class-act Ivan Ljubicic announced he will retire from tennis after the Monte Carlos tourny this year. Ljubicic pretty much single-handedly guided Croatia to its first DC title in 2005 (he won all 3 rubbers and d. Agassi, Bryan bros and Roddick in Croatia’s R1 win over the USA), and he was also the 2010 IW champion. He’s had a great career and hopefully, he will resurface in a tennis-related capacity very soon!
- In other DC QF-related news (there’s been a lot recently), Ivo Karlovic lost his R1 match to Lukasz Kubot. Dr. Ivo’s QF against Rafa last year was a nail-biter, so this is a fairly disappointing result to see.
- The IW Players’ Party provided a steady stream of fashion fails and successes (leaning more toward the fail side). Here’s a link to photos from the event! Ferru looked nice, as did Caro (I rarely compliment Caro, so this is a big one). I’d comment on Rafa’s jeans, except my father wears similar jeans — therefore, I will only say that Rafa looked nice 🙂 Muzz did not make an effort at all, although upon closer inspection, his hoodie looks to be in the >$200 price range. I’ve never understood that. It’s a hoodie! Fer tried the denim-on-denim look. Aww, Fer, he’s always up for a fashion challenge. Dolgo and Denis Istomin attended and looked chipper. Milos blatantly tries to steal Fed’s sweater-draped-over-the-shoulders look. Sorry Milosh, that’s for Fed and Fed only. Who does Milosh think he is? The nerve of this guy!
This is probably my favorite photo from the party. Ferru looks like a giant in the car. I think it’d be physically impossible for someone like DelPo to fold himself into the seat.
- Futbol action at the IW venue: Feli and Rafa, among others. Gilles Simon with his wife and adorable baby son. Fed meets his greatest fan in actress Elizabeth Shue (she’s seriously fawning over him in the photos. It’s a tad embarrassing to watch :))
The top half of the draw plays on Saturday, so it looks like DelPo’s R2 match against Matesovic will be on Sunday. Hopefully, the match will be televised!