Del Potro d. Cilic, 6-3 7-6
He has such a strangely elegant service motion. It’s all in the left hand.
Both Cilic and DelPo got sassy with the umpire during the match. Cilic, because DelPo took eons to challenge on a serve (the crowd was boo-ing DelPo after the time he took), and DelPo, because the umpire couldn’t always see what was happening on the court (due to the sunlight). And to think DelPo-Cilic once faced each other as young’uns.
Cilic, who is on his way back after a knee injury, had trouble easing his way into the match. He was making errors that directed the momentum back towards DelPo. DelPo, for his part, was serving very well. Following a recent pattern, he kept his UFE count pretty low, although that also meant he hit fewer winners. Against this version of Cilic, though, that proved more than adequate.
That said, there were exciting rallies that showcased each player’s groundstrokes. DelPo hit some beautifully angled FH winners and BH passes, while Cilic also proved adept at his point-construction. Even if the great majority of these points took place on the baseline, it made for titillating tennis — I’d argue it was a much higher level of point-construction than what you’d see from other giants like Isner or Raonic. I hope Cilic keeps making his way back (although, preferably not before the Davis Cup QF ;)).
In R4, DelPo faces a tougher challenge against an in-form Ferru. Although Ferru lost early at IW, he will be a challenge for DelPo, given his excellent defense. Ferru leads the H2H 3-2, and their last meeting was at some event in Sevilla-that-shall-not-be-mentioned (hint: it ended in tears, and not from Ferru). DelPo has defeated one-time world no. 5 Tsonga this year — can he do it again against Ferru? I believe.
In upset news, a certain Andy Roddick defeated Fed for the 3rd time in 24 meetings.
I only caught the first part of this match, and Fed’s groundstrokes were all over the place. Roddick stepped up his game and apparently played solidly to score the victory. Fed took command in the 2nd set, 6-1, but he lapsed in the 3rd, due to some persistent attacking from Roddick. So, credit to Roddick … Still, him? Fed, him? After all that winning in London and Rotterdam and Dubai and Indian Wells, HIM? I mean…
I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I cannot get behind these Roddick-should-win-another-Slam-or-another-Masters storylines that seem to be filling the headlines. I don’t feel anything. Roddick faces Pico next (Pico, who defeated Gael! Which also deserves notice, because it’s a big win for him). Something tells me though that Roddick will continue the “he-will-have-an-Agassi-or-Sampras-like-comeback” narrative. Can you tell how much I don’t want that to happen? Of course, Roddick had a quote-worthy presser after his 3rd career win over Federer. He actually gave a nice post-match presser, including a commemorative shout-out to his late former agent.
That said, I hope that’s it where that came from.
The onus is now on DelPo or Rafa to win Miami. Vamos!