DelPo shows off his legs as his coach Franco talks to Martin Jaite. Compare his legs to this photo from 2006 — he’s built his lower-body strength, which has helped his speed.
After Miami, DelPo has re-entered the top 10. He’s 30 points ahead of John Isner, whom everyone welcomed with much fanfare to the top 10 last week — that was short-lived. Still, Isner barely has anything to defend on clay, so it will be a close battle between the players ranked no. 9-11 to vie for the top 10. Tipsy is ranked no. 8, although he’s currently no. 14 in the YTD ranking, while DelPo is ranked no. 6 in the YTD. In the months ahead, DelPo has his Estoril defense in April and he is defending R4 points in Madrid, plus a R3 showing at RG. Given the fact that Tipsy did not play Madrid and Rome last year, DelPo overtaking Tipsy for the no. 8 spot before RG may prove difficult.
Pico, for his part, rose 5 places to reach no. 16 in the ranking (that’s only two spots lower than his career-high of 14, which he reached in 2008). One interesting fact is that Pico’s career high ranking is actually one higher than Feli’s (Feli, who sits at a current career high of no. 15). Back to my original point — Nalby’s ranking did not change from the no. 50 spot he occupied last week. Given how Nalby didn’t play the clay Masters or Roland Garros last year, he has chances to gain points in the next two months, health-permitting. This is all health-permitting, of course.
On a slightly different note, Rafa had to withdraw from the Miami SF last week, due to a knee concern. He’s met with his doctors and is looking positively ahead to the clay season. It’s concerning that injuries will start to become an issue for the players at this point of the year, especially as the grinding of the clay season begins. Let’s hope for an injury-free Davis Cup weekend and a healthy start to the clay season!