Del Potro d. Mayer, 6-4 6-2
By now, it’s official that the blue clay courts at Madrid are a poor surface. The great majority have spoken about how slippery the courts are — Madrid hasn’t exactly been the perfect tennis tourny in many years.
DelPo seemed bothered by all this at the start of his match against Mayer. He was overheard muttering profanities after dishonest ball bounces. From the way I saw it, the Madrid clay is a very quick surface — low-bouncing and the ball flies through the air. It’s a bit like playing on grass, except more slippery.
Quickly though, DelPo got into a rhythm with his aggression. He served very well at 71% (8 aces) and the depth and the pace of his shots kept Mayer on the backfoot. There was this amazing shot where Mayer tried to target DelPo’s BH, only for DelPo to scramble and hit an acutely angled FH winner. What a beauty.
He had a minor hiccup when he was serving to go up 5*-0 in the 2nd; Mayer recouped a break. There was a dangerous moment where it seemed Mayer would even level the 2nd set, but DelPo discovered his good serves at the right moment to save his break.
Overall, it was a solid match right after his Estoril win. As DelPo walked off the court, a young fan gave him a red heart-shaped lollipop. I am chuffed and amused that children are so drawn to this quiet, occasionally cranky/mopey giant.
DelPo faces the Colonel Youzhny in R2. This is actually a rematch of their R1 Madrid encounter in 2011, where DelPo needed 3 sets to defeat Youzhny. That was also the match where DelPo had to take an MTO because of a hip strain he acquired while winning Estoril. I will be hoping for a more stress-free take this time around in 2012.
There was another treat for DelPo fans, as a Bryan brother’s newborn daughter (she has her own Twitter site) released a photo:
Micaela Bryan (@MicaelaBryan) May 08, 2012
Adorable. Frankly though, as amazing as DelPo is in this photo, I find it a bit creepy that a baby would have her own Twitter site. The captions are a bit suggestive(?) for a “baby photo.” Also, is it normal for people to dress their babies in clothes advertising their parent’s alma mater? I’ve noticed the Bryan bros do that a lot. Didn’t John McEnroe attend the very same extremely prestigious school? Yet McEnroe doesn’t do that, and I don’t think he dresses his children like that either. It’s a shtick, I guess. OK, I’ll stop being a misanthrope and just admit that it was a très adorable photo of DelPo with a kidlet 🙂
**Also, Nalby lost his R1 match to Raonic. I don’t want to discuss it in any great detail, but it seemed he never really worked his way into the match while Raonic was serving very well, which let him set up winning points. The end.