del Potro d. Cilic, 6-1 6-2 6-1
Argentina are through to the SF, after taking the tie 4-1.
**Update: DelPo also confirmed he will make himself available for the SF tie against the Czech Republic in September.
A smiling El Rey is a hug machine this weekend.
Good-natured celebration from Team Argentina on a sunny day.
DelPo had a straight sets victory that broke the pattern of the dramatic first two days of the tie. He clinched the 4th rubber for Argentina, guaranteeing their passage to the SF, where they will face the Czech Republic at home.
Quite understandably, Cilic was playing at a level below his best (even his “recent best” had been error-prone). The toll of the 10 hours he had played over the weekend started to show in the middle of the 1st set. DelPo engaged Cilic in long rallies, which was a clear tactic aimed at tiring out Cilic. Through UFEs, Cilic ended up being broken quite easily in the 1st set. DelPo went up a triple break to serve for the 1st set at 5*-0, only to lose his serve. Consequently, he broke Cilic’s serve to take the 1st set.
Afterwards, the rest of the match proceeded in a similar fashion.
I am convinced that DelPo gave a shout-out to mariposaxprs here, when a butterfly (la mariposa) interrupted his service game by hovering over his racquet.
After trying to swat the butterfly away, he proceeded to cup the butterfly in his hands so he could blow it away. A short clip of that moment is here. (courtesy of HinchadaDelPo)
DelPo just created a separate photo album on his FB page, for his “nueva amiga,” the butterfly. Mariposaxprs waves back at him!
Despite the distraction, DelPo proceeded in businesslike fashion to close out the tie. He had three MPs in the 3rd set and he took the first with an ace. DelPo’s childhood friends attended the tie and there were happy moments involving them after DelPo’s victory. Tough weekend for the likeable Cilic, who spent over 12 hours playing for Croatia.
This was a tough tie for Argentina, although they did clinch the tie 4-1 (unlike their previous ties against Croatia, which had always gone to a live 5th match). Pico played the dead rubber for ARG against Antonio Veic, which he won.
In September, Argentina will play the Czech Republic in the SF at home.
The Czech pairing of BerdWorm won a controversial tie over Serbia, which involved Steps apparently calling Tipsy a profane word after giving him the finger (this was after Tipsy had defeated Steps in 5 sets on the first day).
Steps wears a crazy outfit with a decorated lion on the front. I don’t understand it either. Hopefully, he is aware that any funny business with DelPo or Nalby in front of an Argie crowd will not go down well. He will need to be better behaved there.
The Czech tie will be far tougher than the Croatie tie, given the caliber of players. Berdy is a tough proposition, but solid preparation can hopefully ensure another appearance in the final for Team Argentina. Dale!!
The other SF involves Spain and the U.S.A, which pulled an upset over France 3-2. Big man Isner has yet again whetted the U.S. media’s tendency for hyperbole and glory-making. While Isner’s win over Tsonga on Sunday was decisive, I think I speak for the great majority when I say “Calm down.” Let’s see what happens against Spain first.