Estoril: DelPo Storms Thru the Bakery, Talks Blue Clay

Del Potro d. Machado, 6-1 6-0

Photo: Reuters

The stream for this match was very blurry, so I don’t know where the ATP came up with their HD clips.  From what I could see, DelPo was hitting relatively cleanly, while Machado wracked up the UFE count.  DelPo settled into a nice groove and started moving up to the net to intimidate his opponent into spraying the balls wide outside of the court.  He also attacked Machado’s 2nd serve en route to the baguette and bagel.  Given how DelPo treated himself to desserts the day before, I suppose he was hungry for more carbs?

DelPo debuted his new clay season kit from Nike.  I like that Nike switched to a darker blue, which adds more sharpness.  Still, I wish Nike would experiment with different colors for his kits.

Next up for DelPo in the QF is Albert Montanes (the ’09 and ’10 Estoril champ).  Monty defeated Fed in 2010 en route to his tourny win in Estoril, and he’s been having a very solid clay run so far.  The DelPo-Monty QF will be a far more difficult test, as Monty is a very competent clay-courter.

Photo: @PedroMendes

At his presser, DelPo was asked about the upcoming Masters tourny in Madrid.  The blue clay at Madrid is creating plenty of controversy for the tournament — the great majority of the top ATP and WTA players have spoken out against the switch, and reports are filtering in that the blue clay is actually slippery and very prone to low bounces.  It’s quite worrisome.  DelPo’s response to Madrid’s switch to blue clay?

His response is a bit similar to Nalby’s reply — In an earlier interview for Madrid, Nalby was asked, “Does the [blue clay] tickle your fancy?”  Nalby’s response:

It does grab your attention and I am looking forward to testing it out not just in terms of how it looks but also how the ball bounces on it.

Tickle your fancy?  It sounds like Ion Tiriac is drafting the presser questions as well, while DelPo and Nalby have attended classes for diplomatic training 🙂  Really though, I am concerned about how players will fare on the blue dirt — it seems like conditions are ripe for accidents to happen.  Perhaps DelPo and Nalby are waiting to arrive in Madrid before they unleash their criticisms?


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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