5 Days Before Main-draw Play Begins at Roland Garros

Apologies for the lack of DelPo updates.  I’d been busy with non-tennis-stuff lately, and hadn’t had the time to update.  I’m back on course now!

DelPo’s scheduled to play the Mary Cohr exhibition warm-up to Roland Garros.  However, it’s been reported that he may skip the first day of the exho on Wednesday, if his knee is still aching.  This only adds to the concern that he may not be at full gear, come Roland Garros.  He is defending R3 points from last year.

Photo: AP Photo

Madrid, where DelPo’s knee problem first reared its head

Last week, DelPo lost in rather tepid fashion to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Rome.  Therefore, he misses the cutoff for a top 8 seeding at Roland Garros, which means he could potentially play a top 8 player in R4.  All in all, these past couple of weeks have been somewhat disappointing, as DelPo had two very makeable chances to be a top 8 seed—the match against Berdy in Madrid was winnable, as was the match against Tsonga in Rome (Against Tsonga!  On clay!  Oh, I still reel from the humiliation of that loss!)

However, the issues with DelPo’s scheduling came into full focus during Rome.  While clay may be softer on the joints for some players, it also has a tendency to draw out injuries due to the grinding.  Just as it was last year, DelPo had an injury flare up on clay.  His left knee is the issue this year.  In his match against Tsonga, he seemed to be removed from the action taking place on court.  He’s now receiving treatment on his knee.  He picked up the injury in Madrid, although I wouldn’t hop too easily to the conclusion that it was the blue clay that injured him—for DelPo, it just seems to be clay in general.

Playing Davis Cup, then Estoril, Madrid and Rome (and going far at each tournament, excepting Rome) clearly took its toll on his health.  It will be curious to see how he schedules his clay season in 2013, because I feel like he’s reached a point in his career where he could drop smaller tournys like Estoril (although that would be sad, because I have an irrational affection for Estoril).  In any case, I feel like he could take the leap and divert more focus to the Masters/Slams.

***

In first world tennis news, Rafa defeated Novak in the Rome final (which was delayed a day, due to the rain).  This is not to imply that DelPo is second-world.  If anything, DelPo is like a fast-emerging BRIC country.

Anyway, Rafa takes back his no. 2 ranking and will be the 2nd seed for his beloved Roland Garros.  It’s a major accomplishment and it certainly adds to the build-up ahead of Roland Garros.  With his win, Rafa also overtook Bjorn Borg in all-time clay court victories.  He’s one-upped Fed in overall Masters titles (21 to 20).

Has Rafa set the stage for winning his 7th Coupe de Mousquetaires trophy in two weeks?  What to make of Novak?  Lately, Novak’s been missing the extra 2% he had last year—it’s good enough to beat a somewhat tired Fed, but not Rafa on clay.  Is Novak saving an extra gear for Roland Garros?  Does he even have an extra gear in store?  He sounded awfully cranky in his post-loss presser.  Can Fed pull off a surprise, or are expectations set too high after he’s won 2 Masters this year at the grand age of 30?  What is going on with Muzz? I’ve forgotten Muzz even plays tennis.  Will some brash upstart I’m totally not on board with make a surprise run?  Or will DelPo or Berdy or say, Tsonga be a threat? (I figure if Tsonga’s going to beat DelPo on clay, he may as well defeat other players too—it’s called utilitarian misery—everyone gets a share).

Photo: Getty Images

The qualifying rounds for Roland Garros start today and main draw play starts in five days.  The draw will be made this Friday.  It’s time to get rested before the sleepless nights and frantic cheerleading!**

————————-

**Fans should take lessons from Mirka Federer on how to cheer for their player.  At the Fed-Ferrero match in Rome, Nico was cheering valiantly for Ferrero.  He was a nervous wreck as he watched Ferrero :)  Meanwhile, Mirka was cool as a cucumber and giving free lessons on “How to (Calmly) Cheer Like a Boss.”  Observe (GIF courtesy of@triplebagel!!)

Which style of fan are you—a Mirka or a Nico?  I think I need more years of experience before I could be a Mirka-type cheerleader.  I am most definitely a nail-biter/wall smacker/palm gripper when I watch tennis matches :)  That makes me a Nico!

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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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7 Responses to 5 Days Before Main-draw Play Begins at Roland Garros

  1. Candy says:

    omg. What we have been worried since the end of Feb is exactly happening right now. RG hasn’t even started yet…Delpo’s body has already been torn. :/
    And this: RG–>Wimbly–>Olympics–>USO–>DC
    Now I don’t want to think too much. Just want to stay positive!!! Dear mariposa, pls take some rest in these few days before whatever happens from RG to DC. Sure we’ll have a frazzling summer as Delpo’s fans! 🙂

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Your listing of DelPo’s schedule already has me worried. He needs to stay upright for the next few months!

      I feel like all the players and tennis fans need a slight vacation from tennis! Ever since Estoril, I’ve been trying to watch tennis, keep up on news/interviews, and I can’t believe Roland Garros is already approaching! It’s too much!! Still, I can’t pull myself away from the tennis. It’s a typical dilemma 😉 But you’re right, we should be smart and conserve our energy this week, so that the crazy summer will not seem *quite so crazy* once it arrives 🙂

  2. Serdar says:

    Mariposa, gr8 post!

    Still thinking about the Berdych match. I have some thoughts based on that one i want to share in the next days. But in the meantime, it really would have been great to have a support group for Delpo supporters, especially after that heart-splitting Berdych clash.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Please do share your thoughts about that Berdy match, when you’re ready!! I felt like DelPo had built up so much momentum in the first 4-5 months, beating Berdy and Tsonga—he looked very good against all players (except for the top 5), which felt like solid progress to me. And I feel like Berdy and Tsonga are inconsistent enough that DelPo should beat them when they face off at major tournaments. So his recent losses to Berdy and Tsonga had me worrying that he’s taking a half-step backwards.

      Then again, since he wasn’t feeling 100% in Rome, maybe there isn’t too much reason to worry? But his schedule still keeps running, he’ll have to play Wimbledon/Olympics after Roland Garros, and only after that will he get some sort of a break. We’ll have to wait and see and hope for the best!

      • Serdar says:

        Mariposa, thanks for your reply! You seem to be full of writing and blogging power, which is just great as i’m really looking forward to read your thoughts on all RG issues and things!

        I’ll hopefully write down some stuff on the Berdych Delpo post on the weekend!

        Hope you get some good and find rest this weekend before all the Tennis mania gets started!

        p

  3. Iram says:

    i love how mirka is as calm as a cucumber- ALWAYS!
    do u think delpo is going to be okay for at least the Olympics? is he going to play in davis cup semifinals?

    happy news- soderling is gonna have a baby. 🙂

    • mariposaxprs says:

      It’s the best sign when Mirka is at the match, but she’s not even watching and she’s on her phone instead 🙂

      I really hope so! DelPo’s schedule has been so very hectic in the first half of the year. He’s playing Queens & Wimbledon right after Roland Garros, and then there’s the Olympics in between. He normally takes a few weeks off after Wimby, so I guess he’ll really look forward to that. As long as he avoids injury, it shouldn’t be too bad—but given his knee concern, it might become a bothersome issue. Ah well, we’ll have to keep hoping!!

      I heard!!! That’s so sweet that Soderling’s going to have a baby 🙂 I hope he has a son/daughter with cute dimples on the cheeks, just like Sod! His fiance is a former golfer, so the baby is likely to have some athletic talent when he/she is born!!

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