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.
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