Roland Garros: DelPo Sets Up a 5th Meeting With Fed

del Potro d. Berdych, 7-6 1-6 6-3 7-5

The match proved to be close to the very end, but DelPo managed to break Berdy’s serve at the tail end of the fourth set to take his place in the QF.  There was a dramatic moment when DelPo held at 6-5—Berdy got called for a double bounce and he let that incident bother him.  TV replay shows it was likely a double bounce.  DelPo proceeded to go 0-40 on Berdy’s serve and he broke to win the match.

DelPo was very aggressive with the dropshots and this will be key in his QF against Fed.  Although DelPo’s execution at the net isn’t perfect, his attempts to come to the net and play the first strike will be critical.  He beat an in-form player in Berdy, which marks his 4th win over a top 10 player this year.

There’s a lot of speculation that Berdy’s busy scheduling prior to RG is responsible for his loss.  I think that argument can go both ways—I can chalk up DelPo’s loss to Berdy in Madrid on account of his own scheduling.  In either case, it’s pointless to speculate about it now.  Neither player was completely in-form, but the match lived up to its billing.

DelPo has yet to take a set off Fed, but given Fed’s slightly under-par form this past week, he has his chances to take that next step.

Both DelPo and Berdy, in their post-match pressers, had their say about the match being suspended for darkness.  It was interesting to read DelPo’s thoughts on how a similar situation last year against Djokovic in R3 affected his play.  It’s nice to see he overcame that obstacle this time around.

***

In other news, Tsonga won a heartbreaker of a match over Wawrinka.  Credit to Jo for his high-level play—yet it’s the image of Stan crying after the match that will stick with me.  Tsonga-Wawrinka had been another match that had gone over two days.

Rafa dismantled an in-form Pico in straight sets.  Pico was hitting very well at the start—to see him in a helpless state at the end of the match only highlights the extent to which Rafa occupies a space above.

Nico defeated Tipsy in straights too and he had a delightful finger-wag celebration, a la Federer in 2011.  This is a great result for Nico, given the concerns surrounding him after his win in Nice.

Photo: Getty Images

Reeshard continues to break hearts.  He started out confidently against Muzz, only to lose his way after taking the first set, 6-1.  Credit to Muzz, who seems to have recovered his form after a weak start—he played in front of a very hostile French crowd.  Oddly, Muzz seems to favor these conditions, just as much as Reeshard probably shies away from such ardent support.  I still liked how Reeshie was visibly trying to pump himself up during the match—may his continuing efforts to obtain mental strength be rewarded one day.

Yer 2012 Roland Garros quarterfinalists:

Del Potro vs. Federer

Tsonga vs. Djokovic

Almagro vs. Nadal

Ferrer vs. Murray

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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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6 Responses to Roland Garros: DelPo Sets Up a 5th Meeting With Fed

  1. Candy says:

    Like you said, the start/ the 1st set was really very crucial! If he lost that TB, he might have lost the match. Phew! hehe

    “given Fed’s slightly under-par form this past week, he has his chances to take that next step”
    I think Fed also had some shaky matches before facing Delpo in some tournys this year. Everytime I thought Delpo could get at least one set because of Fed’s shaky performance, Fed won in straights (easily). So I don’t read too much in his “slightly under-par form”. But of coz I do hope Delpo can push a close match (or even win) this time. 😛

    Funny to see Delpo talk about last year’s match-suspended experience. We can see how really frustrated he was when this match was suspended. Phew again! 😀

    • mariposaxprs says:

      DelPo won two TBs in a row—one over Berdy, and now one over Fed 🙂 This is a nice deviation from the trouble he had earlier!

      It’s so strange that before the DelPo-Fed QF, I was thinking how nice it would be if DelPo could just take a set off Fed. Now, after watching him go *two* sets up and lose the match, it’s such a different feeling. I guess it’s the first part of being a tennis fan (and a person)—we get greedy!

      I like reading DelPo’s transcripts, and it’s a shame that at some tournys, only a select players have their interviews released. Reading about the way he looks at his past performances and what kind of obstacles he sees is interesting for his fans! Although it’s tough to realize after DelPo lost to Fed, his RG has been better than what I was expecting before the tournament started. That’s encouraging and a relief!

      • Candy says:

        I find it so funny (or not). This year, it seems when Delpo’s leading in TB, he usually lost that TB. But when he got broken first in TB, he usually won it at the end.
        Also, when he’s leading in a set and serve for it, he usually got broken. The best to take a set for Delpo is to break for it. There’re many sets (including sets involved TBs) that Delpo broke for it.

        No, no. Not greedy at all. It’s b/c he gave us a BIG hope when he’s leading & 2 sets up. The same score 2-3 sets, if Delpo was 0-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, we probably wouldn’t be as sad as we was yesterday. (If the final score’s 1-3 or even 0-3, we’d be even more “comfortable”. ) But leading 2-0 is the biggest hope that Delpo could give us (& himself), so it’s tougher when he lost. (Not b/c we’re greedy 😛 Don’t blame yourself).

        A month ago I expected him to make QF (or better). Since he played too much & picked up the knee problem, I haven’t thought any expectation at all. We all could see he almost cried in the 1st match. From then, I just wanted him to be ok with his knee & took one match at a time, so I’m very happy he made to QF, my original expectation! 🙂

        • mariposaxprs says:

          That’s true, it’s a part that I find slightly worrying. He has trouble holding on to early breaks of serve and he plays better when he’s not playing from a winning position. In his post-match presser after he beat Berdy, DelPo said that he wasn’t convinced he could win the match when he first broke Berdy (b/c he broke due to UFEs from Berdy). I guess that kind of doubt still plays on his mind, esp when he starts to play passively when he’s serving for a set.

          I still can’t believe he lost the match…or rather, the way he lost the match. It really sounds like a big mystery, b/c there was such a sudden drop in form. But you’re right, we’re not greedy at all for hoping he wins matches like these in the future! Not *at all*!

          I remember you have a very great record so far, in terms of predictions (Cilic beating Isner, and now the QF prediction)! You are the DelPo whisperer, all fans will have to pay extra-close attention to your predictions now 🙂

          • Candy says:

            Lol Paul the Octopus?! (who correctly predicted the winners in the host nation’s matches & the Final in WorldCup 10) 😛
            (Now what makes me Laugh Out Loud is that the EuroCup 12 comes & many nations have their “predictors”. Host nations Poland & Ukraine have an elephant & a pig respectively. LMAO!)

            Actually, I didn’t “predict” them; I “expected” them. I’d never (dare to) predict anything about my favorites. I’d never (dare to) jinx them. 😛
            (Moreover, when I “expect” an outcome of a match that doesn’t match with the actual one, it’s not my problem. It’s the player’s problem because he/she should have won it. It’s the player doesn’t match with My “expectation”, not that my “prediction” doesn’t match with the outcome. See the difference? 😛 :P) Thanks for listening to my STUPIDEST philosophy. Ha 😀

            • mariposaxprs says:

              Hah I totally remember Paul the Octopus! I remember being upset b/c the octopus predicted that Germany would lose, and for some reason, I really like watching German football. That pesky octopus, he turned out to be right! 😉 Do Poland & Ukraine seriously have an elephant and pig now? Omg…Poland’s elephant must be frustrated after that match against Greece!

              Yes, no predictions! And I totally get your philosophy, b/c I do the same thing too. Therefore, it can never be stupid, lol 😀 I have to work on this part too, balancing realistic expectations against hopeful predictions. It’s such a delicate mental game. We should just adopt an animal to give us clues as to what will happen in the future—a pony for DelPo? Or an ostrich? I like lions too. DelPo fits well with a lion 🙂

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