Miami: Welcome to…


Photo: Getty

The Miami draw has been released.  Fernando Gonzalez “aka GONZO,” who will be retiring after Miami, helped out at the draw ceremony.  Gonzo plays Frenchman Mahut in his R1 match — the winner of that R1 encounter plays Berdy in R2.

Photo: Getty

This is the last time Gonzo will stand in front of a draw sheet like this.  Mucho Kleenex will be needed for his final tournament.  

Adidas threw a farewell party for Gonzo, who has won gold/silver/bronze medals at the Olympics for Chile and was a former AO finalist in ’07 — DelPo, Gael and Novak were in attendance at the party.  It will be sad to see the charismatic and tempestuous Gonzo retire from tennis.  Hopefully, there will be coverage for his last professional match(es) in Miami (TV coverage does not start until March 24).

**

As for DelPo, his likely opponents in Miami will be:

  • Winner of Kubot vs. Karlovic in R2 (Karlovic’s H2H against Kubot is 0-3)
  • Marin Cilic in R3 (a potential Davis Cup preview)
  • David Ferrer in R4
  • Djokovic in QF
  • Federer in SF

I’ve simply listed DelPo’s likely opponents, according to their current form and ranking.  He’s defending R4 points from last year (when he lost to Fish, after defeating Soderling).  DelPo’s best showing in Miami was a SF in 2009, when he lost to Muzz in 3 sets after defeating Tipsy, Ferru and Nadal.  Miami in 2009 was DelPo’s first breakthrough run against the top players that year.  This year, Karlovic looks like he could be a potentially troublesome (very troublesome) opponent.

This year, the prevailing hope is that DelPo stays healthy and that the shoulder that bothered him at IW does not escalate into a serious issue.  After running into Fed four times this year, DelPo is now in Novak’s quarter of the draw.  What he will make of this occurrence is an open question — Novak does provide more rhythm for DelPo, which benefits DelPo’s style of tennis, although Novak’s SF loss in IW could mean a resurgence in the no. 1’s form.  DelPo would have to navigate a tricky draw to reach the QF, but it’s reasonable to expect him to put in a major effort on the HCs before the clay season begins.

  • Also, ARG’s DC Captain Martin Jaite announced his team for the QF tie against Croatia.  As expected, it will be DelPo, Nalby, Pico, Schwank and Chela.  At this point, Schwank will be used exclusively for doubles, while the rest of the singles slots are unknown.
  • DelPo confirmed he will be returning to Queen’s in June, to warm-up for Wimbledon.  I like this video clip where he talks about wanting to win a title on grass this year.  After his title in Marseilles, grass is the only surface where DelPo has not won a title.

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In other draw-related news, here are other potential early-round matches to watch:

  • Nalby faces Steve Darcis in R1.  If he gets past Darcis, he faces a R2 with Tipsy (whom he defeated in 3 sets at IW).  An exciting match could be in the making, as Nalby could play Dolgo in R3 (provided they win their requisite earlier matches).  Also, news alert: Dolgo has cornrows!! (what-were-you-thinking-Dolgo?!)
  • Another potential match-up could be Gasquet vs. Feli in R3.  I’d personally like to see this one happen, for the sight of the BHs and BH slices.
  • Fed could play the American teenager Ryan Harrison in R2.  Provided he gets through that match, a R3 against Roddick may be in waiting.
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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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3 Responses to Miami: Welcome to…

  1. Pingback: Head Tennis Racquet

  2. I hear there will be streams available for Gonzo! More to the good. Unfortunately, I will be working every single hour of Thursday (perhaps a SLIGHT exaggeration) so I really hope it wins. I’m sorry for Mahut thought, that will be one PARTISAN crowd.

    I notice that everyone seems to be penciling Ryan through his first round match against Potato. This makes me very nervous! But I really WOULD like to see him play Fed. He took him to a tiebreak in the second set at IW in 2011… of course, Fed was rather unprepared for Ryan’s amazing-greatness considering that Harrison DFed his first service game away and played like a scared (but aggressive, always aggressive) puppy throughout the rest of the first set. This year he won’t have the surprise element in his favor… and he’ll get a very in-form Fed. Okay, enough with the kiddo… 😉

    I’m really glad Delpo will have the crowd with him in Miami, he got way too much grief from the stuffy Fed fans at IW. He’s a sensitive giant (remember Roald Dahl’s the BFG??) and he didn’t deserve such a chilly reception. I don’t know if Tomic will have recovered from the ignominy of his early IW exit, but if so, he might present David with problems… Ferru was far from sharp at IW– do you think he’d be a better bet for JMDP?

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Sweet! It really is a shame they don’t televise IW/Miami until the 3rd or in Miami’s case, the 4th-5th day. I hope a Chilean TV station can wrangle at least a Challenger-tour level camera for it. Not that I’d be able to watch either—am currently in a work project that has me on a Mac for the first time ever—the drudgery of having to learn all those keyboard shortcuts I’d gotten so used to on Word/Excel/Powerpoint is doing my head in. I need Advil!! I don’t understand how so many people love Mac computers. Anyway, that’s a far different matter!

      Didn’t Harrison already beat Potito in IW? Or was that Cipolla? Cips is playing Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in R1…I hope Stebe pulls thru there. You and the kiddo!! 😉 I’m starting to get nervous for the Fed…apparently, SImon Reed has already pencilled in Fed for the final, which means Fed will lose before then. It’s the Simon Reed curse. I don’t want anyone outside the top 4 beating Fed, b/c that will draw attention to the fact that DelPo hasn’t beat Fed yet. Sorry Harrison, you better not try anything this week!

      Did the IW crowd boo my DelPo? That is so uncool. I’m pretty sure they weren’t amused by his grumpiness in the first 15 mins of that match, eh? I hope Miami shows him love there! Along with Gonzo!! In a funny way, I actually want to see Tomic do well in Miami—not too well, just enough to remind everyone he can play good ball!

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