DelPo-Dulko to Play Mixed Doubles at the Olympics!

Eduardo Schwank recently told local press that DelPo will be playing mixed doubles with Gisela Dulko at the 2012 London Olympics.  Dulko, whose singles career has recently faltered, still continues to have a sterling doubles career.  She reached the Year-end Championships with her Italian dubs partner, Flavia Pannetta, in 2011.  She was a finalist at the 2011 USO mixed dubs championship with fellow Argie, Eduardo Schwank.

Photo: TN

Although conventional wisdom would have Dulko pairing with Schwank, given Schwank’s own impressive record in playing dubs, Schwank is currently ranked no. 32 in dubs.  Therefore, it’s still unclear whether or not Schwank can qualify to play for the Olympics.  Hence, Schwank gave up his spot in the mixed dubs so that Dulko could pair with DelPo (DelPo, who barring a disaster of epic proportions, will be present and ready to play at the Olympics).

Earlier this year, when asked if he would play doubles at the Olympics with Nalbandian, DelPo replied “no.”  I don’t know if that means he’s closed the doors on playing doubles altogether — but as of now, he will be playing singles and mixed-dubs for Argentina.  That’s something to look forward to!  Maybe an Olympic medal for DelPo?  Vamos!

My first reaction to this DelPo-Dulko pairing was:

I mean, how would this even work?  Dulko will have to take charge and shout directions to DelPo, and she may also have to cover for him on those occasions he ventures to the net.  Meanwhile, DelPo being the sweetheart that he is, will feel uncomfortable giving directions to his mixed dubs partner.  It’s a recipe for disaster, almost!

Then, I started to take this mixed-dubs matter much more seriously —

I will now be scouting highly-skilled mixed dubs teams from other nations.  DelPo has always focused on his singles career, but he still has a dubs title to his name (’07 Indianopolis, with partner Travis Parrott).  That dubs title was actually the first ATP title he’d won, after which he said “For the rest of my life, I will remember this tournament.”  Oh DelPo — he’s such an incredibly endearing doofus-face.

While DelPo has played dubs with everyone from Travis Parrott, Nalbandian, Stepanek, Baghdatis to Fabio Fognini, I’ve yet to see him play a mixed dubs match.  I am now looking forward to watching these two Argentines pair it up at the Olympics!  It is now my mission to make them fan favorites by July.

Everyone knows that even if they lost early in the mixed-dubs competition, they’d still be the most attractive mixed-dubs pairing.  They’ve already won the cutie awards.  So there’s that! 🙂

Gisela Dulko, with her husband Fernando Gago, who currently plays for Serie A Club Roma (on loan from Real Madrid)

...and DelPo

Also, according to the ultimate Nalbandian fan-site VamosDavid, Nalby will be playing doubles in Belgrade with Eduardo Schwank.  Given the question of whether or not Nalby can qualify for the Olympics (Nalby’s ranking falls within the top 56, which is the basic qualification for the Olympics.  However, each country is only permitted a maximum of 4 players for singles — Argentina currently has 4 players ranked higher than Nalby, which means Nalby would need to overtake Berlocq at no. 37 or Chela at no. 33, in order to have a chance.  Could Nalby be leaving open the option of playing doubles for Argentina at the Olympics?)

That’s my short update of Argie-related tennis news!  I’ve been keeping up with the Monte Carlo tournament and will post a short summary of that tourny, following the conclusion of today’s final between … you guessed it, Rafa and Novak!

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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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10 Responses to DelPo-Dulko to Play Mixed Doubles at the Olympics!

  1. Delpo in mixed doubles with Dulko! Too cute. I have to admit, I have a picture in my mind of Delpo standing stock-still at the net while Gisela runs around him doing all the volleying. I’ve missed Delpo, and am glad he’ll be back in action this week! Although it looks like I won’t be able to watching anything but Munich until the weekend.

    How is your mixed scouting mission coming along? Let me know, will you, when you find out who Serena is going to choose.

  2. queridorafa says:

    Thanks for the Argie update! This post had me LOL-ing so much! I can just imagine tiny Gisela bossing around giant DelPo like a, well, boss! Watch them come out of nowhere and win–that would be quite lovely, actually! I’m pretty tired about hearing about this Isner/Serena/Roddick debate! DelPo’s comment on the Indy dubs title (I didn’t know about that!) is just, yeah…”he’s such an incredibly endearing doofus-face” pretty much sums it up.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hahaha, I seriously want to see Gisela bossing DelPo around! 🙂 I’m partly worried that I’m not taking this mixed-dubs pairing seriously enough —- for all I know, DelPo & Dulko could be training right now, so they can win! I def have them as the upset-contenders.

      What’s happening with Serena-Isner/Roddick? Last I heard, Isner looked to be the favorite, but now I’m not sure. Any mixed-dubs team with Serena will be a contender, grr! I will now have to search for old footage of Paes-Navratilova, for mixed-dubs inspiration! DelPo-Dulko can totally do this, so that for the rest of his life, he can remember the Olympics this yr 🙂 That would be an awesome ending, for sure.

      • queridorafa says:

        THAT’S where DelPo has been lately–training camp w/ Gisela!
        I am totally confused w/ the US mixed situation (and really, the mixed situation overall. I think Rafa said a while ago that if players are still in the singles and men’s doubles when the mixed starts, they’re not eligible for mixed? I hadn’t heard that b/f.) Originally, it was Roddick, but obviously Isner’s good results make him a good candidate now. And then I’ve also heard a Bryan brother mentioned as a possibility. DelPo and Gisela have an advantage by already being decided, I think!

        • mariposaxprs says:

          That’s true, I remember hearing somewhere that players are restricted to a maximum of 2 events — but the Olympics rules are somewhat difficult to figure out! It would be crazy to attempt the singles, dubs, and mixed-dubs, in any case.

          I am now anxiously awaiting the DelPo-Gisela mixed doubles outfits. I hope Nike or Lacoste or Topper attempt something special for the occasion!

  3. Candy says:

    haha, when I got the news of them playing mixed doubles, my first reaction was just: CUTE! But after reading this post, I totally got what u meant of Dulko having to take charge and cover for Delpo, and Delpo uncomfortable giving directions to his mixed dubs partner. That’s really so L O L! *visualizing* *L O L*

    But sorry for Schwank…such a good dubs player, and might have had a good chance to get a medal.

    Why all delpo’s dubs are… um…I mean, for example, if when Delpo’s playing with Petzschner and the ball hit Petz’s leg (like USO 11′), Petz himself of coz wouldn’t confess it, but Delpo’s too honest/fair to not say it out…That would be so “funny”. Lol

    (P.S. I like that Pokemon gif. YES! Lol)

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Haha yea, to an extent it’s always fun to watch mixed dubs because there’s always the added layer of miscommunication and non-communication that can happen! I really want to see this happen—who knows, maybe DelPo will reveal a bossy side? 😉

      I sure hope DelPo would police any bad behavior from his own dubs partner, a repeat of the Petzschner incident would be pretty awkward. Looking forward to DelPokemon in doubles at the summer Olympics!

      • Candy says:

        Sure, and if Stepanek bent his middle finger (intentionally/ unintentionally), Delpo would be the one who apologize; if Baghdatis smashed his four racquets in a row, Delpo sitting next to him would feel so sad for those little racquets and cry in his heart; if Nalby, during a break, asked him if he would play WTF, he would say yes, and Nalby would throw tantrum to him. And Fognini, oh….. Why ALL Delpo’s dubs partners have to be that “bizarre”. It seems Parrott is the most “normal” one (I don’t know about him, but 100% sure he’s the most normal one!!!). No wonder Delpo won the title with him! Lol

        DelPokemon? ROFLOL! If you ever want to start a pseudo Delpo Twitter account, you can definitely make it to @delpokemon. It’s similar to @delpotrojuan, no? And you can put #Pika in the end of every tweet. Or @delpokerface would be good too with a pic of Delpo with a poker face as the avatar. =P

        • mariposaxprs says:

          Wow, I’d never realized that pattern in DelPo’s prior choice of doubles partners! I didn’t realize his recent choice of partners have had a run of “behavior problems.” This prompted me to go to the ATP site and look up DelPo’s doubles history—he played with Pico numerous times when they were younger, as well as Gonzo (which is good, b/c I like both Pico and Gonzo! Although Gonzo’s temper was … LOL :D) Back when he played Challenger events, he paired with Diego Junqueira and Pablo Cuevas too — that makes it even more “Aww,” b/c DelPo seemed very respectful of both Junqueira and Cuevas when he played them last yr at the USO and Estoril.

          I think the most surprising doubles partners for DelPo have been Fernando Verdasco in ’07 and Sam Querrey last year. Travis Parrott is definitely the most normal one, by far!! 😉

          • Candy says:

            Wahaa, glad to know Delpo had some other “normal” dubs partners. 😀

            Before this, I was thinking if there’s a possibility Delpo-Pico would play Olympics dubs together (although I did think Delpo had more chances to win a medal in mixed dubs than dubs). Now I’m even more curious if there’s any pair would qualify.

            I’m really looking forward to Delpo-Dulko (from now on, can we say Double-Ds / D-Doubles/ D-dubs, or? 😛 We really need to give them a team name!!), although they may simply lose in 1st round.

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