DelPo arrived in Rome, and began training on the courts. Here he is with Marc Lopez, watching Rafa train with Pico:
Mark and DelPo watching Rafa http://t.co/iveqvh5V—
(@RAFAddicted) May 14, 2012
I like how incredibly foreboding he looks in the photo.
DelPo plays his R1 match today against Frenchman Michael Llodra. DelPo beat Llodra twice this year, at Rotterdam and Marseilles. However, Llodra can be a tricky player and their match in Rotterdam was a very tight affair. The winner of this match will face Youzhny in R2.
Much is being made of Fed’s rise to the no. 2 ranking and whether or not he can maintain that position to be a top 2 seed at Roland Garros. This will have implications for which half of the draw each top 4 player lands.
However, I insist the real drama center on which player clinches the 8th seed spot at Roland Garros. It’s a tight race between DelPo and Tipsy. Assuming DelPo gets through Llodra, he would play Youzhny. The winner of that match would play Tsonga or Troicki. All in all, it’s a manageable path to R3, but given DelPo’s past two weeks, I’m not nearly as confident that his path to R3 is assured. *If* DelPo made it to R4, he would likely play Djokovic (assuming Djokovic hasn’t already taken an issue with the red clay at Rome).
As for Tipsy, he plays Wawrinka in R2 and then he likely plays Isner in R3. The winner of R3 would play either Fed or Monfils in R4.
Currently, there’s a 120-point differential between Tipsy and DelPo and the points awarded for reaching R2, R3 and R4 are 10, 45 and 90. A QF appearance gives 180 points. It’s a very tough task, as it looks like DelPo would at least have to reach the QF (defeating Novak en route) in order to secure top 8 seeding at Roland Garros.
Big man, big task ahead for him. Vamos DelPo!