R1 Wrap-Up: DelPo Haase What it Takes

DelPo defeats Haase, 6-4 3-6 7-6(3) 7-5.

Photo: AP Photo

Wimbledon means you can sit back and admire how good your favorite tennis players look in white.  Even if grass is not their favorite surface, they look so good in white.

Photo: Reuters

This was a nice match for DelPo to work out his grass game.  He started the match serving 4 aces in a row and he was varying the placement on his serve, to great effect.  In the middle of the 1st set, the average length of rallies on serve was 3.6 for Haase and 1.7 for DelPo, which shows how strong he was on his own service game.

Photo: Getty Images

Haase yelled after he hit winners.  He yelled after DelPo hit winners.  Then a drunk crowd member chimed in with “C’mon Juan! C’mon!” every time DelPo won a point.  The thought of DelPo having hooligan fans at a posh place like Wimbledon warms my heart.

After taking the 1st set, DelPo’s serve started to falter.  He was missing first serves and Haase was returning very well, which kept DelPo on the backfoot against the strong return-of-serve.  DelPo also wavered in finding the balance between aggressive and high-margin play.  He mistimed his FHs or went for too much.  While this is worrisome, it also shows the aggressive mindset he’s bringing to grass.  He won quite a few points at the net and he edged out Haase in the 3rd set TB.  While he got nervous and was broken serving for the match at 5*-4 in the 4th, he broke again and served out the match cleanly on the second try.  It wasn’t a perfect performance, but it’s a hopeful one.  He faces Go Soeda in R2.  *If* DelPo beats Soeda, he could potentially face Kei Nishikori in R3.  The Japanese Armada occupy this quarter of the draw.  C’mon, Juan, C’mon!

***

  • In other draw news, Muzz was in steamroller mode and he pretty much annihilated Davydenko in straights.  I hate how Muzz does this when he’s placed in the same quarter of the draw as DelPo.  Muzz decides to show up now?  Hrmph.
  • R1 Combativity Award: This year’s R1 Combativity Award for Aggression goes to Ernests Gulbis, for scoring the upset of R1 when he beat 6th seed (and 2010 Finalist) Berdy, in three tiebreaks.  In the 3rd set when facing MP on Berdy’s serve, Gulbis hit a shot that he thought had won him the match, but Berdy challenged the call.  When Hawk-Eye confirmed the ball was out, Gulbis was frustrated.  Instead of acting out though, his face broke out into a grin, as he locked eyes with his father in the stands:

This is random, but Gulbis’ reaction totally reminded me of Berdy’s finalist run at the 2010 Miami Masters, where he defeated Fed — Berdy had the same moment with Hawk Eye in the 3rd set TB (this is one of my favorite “player vs. Hawk-Eye” moments):

They have the same exasperated-but-what-can-you-do smile.  Yet they each won their match after losing the point.  The lesson here is that laughing at Hawk-Eye can help you get over it (paging DelPo…)  Ernests being Ernests, he gave a colorful interview afterwards.  May he at least get through to R3 (he plays Janowicz in R2).

  • Best Youngster in R1: This one’s tough, but Best Youngster of R1 goes to 21 y.o. David Goffin (pronounced Guffawwn).  Goffin rose to attention at RG by reaching R4 after winning a lucky loser spot in the draw—he then took a set off Fed.  Goffin made good on his Wimby WC by beating another youngster, Bernie Tomic, in four sets.  I like Bernie’s game, so this result is disappointing.  But Goffin earned this win over Bernie — he served well and maintained his composure — he played with guts, which Bernie sadly did not.  This result means Bernie loses his Wimby QF points from last year and his ranking will fall to somewhere in the top 50.  Bernie’s presser was very interesting reading — even though he is a touch arrogant and bristly, he also seems to be “growing up” and realizing that the men’s tour requires a different effort from the junior’s tour.  I hope he navigates this road well.  On another note, Goffin does not have a clothing sponsor, so he wore Fed’s 2010 Wimby outfit to defeat Bernie:

Photo: Getty Images

Goffin plays twinsies with his idol Roger

  • Nalby lost in straights to Tipsy.  His last two performances at the Slam level have been somewhat muted.  That said, he will be playing for ARG at the Olympics and he’s entered in the doubles draw as well! (with his favorite punching bag, Edu Schwank :))
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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 R1 Wrap-Up: DelPo Haase What it Takes

  1. Pingback: Who Says R2 at a Slam is Boring? | mariposaxprs

  2. Candy says:

    Serving for the set/ match is still one of his shakiest moment in a match. *sigh* I like this aggressive Delpo. Not like months ago, he only played aggressively when he’s in danger lol. He’s improving his aggressive game overall so I think he’ll have better accuracy later. 🙂

    I like Go Soeda since I saw his play at Chennai this year. However, I didn’t know how he had played since then (only followed some results of his matches) Lol. But I *think* he’s not in Delpo’s league. I *expect* Delpo will win it easily. (No jinx) 😛

    How come Goffin still hasn’t got a sponsor?! I suppose he’s “famous” now. His affection to Fed is so cute!!! 🙂

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Those were some tough matches to watch this year, when DelPo would go 0-40 on his serve “for fun,” so he could save the BPs by being aggressive. I like how grass and indoor HCs seems to change his mindset, so he switches on “aggression mode.” Even more so on grass, it’s nice to see! Lol I haven’t followed Go Soeda much either…I saw parts of his DC match against Ivan Dodig, where he played pretty well but lost in 5 sets. Words will need to be had w/DelPo if he has too much trouble! *antijinx*!

      If Goffin keeps playing well, he should be signed w/a brand soon. He looks so boyish compared to Tomic, who’s actually 2 yrs younger than he is. I think the boyishness makes his admiration of Fed even cuter! I wonder if Goffin already bought Fed’s 2012 Wimby outfit at the Nike store, for next yr? 😉

  3. Iram says:

    I love Robin Haase’s curls. he’s gonna have a cute children. Well done Delpo…on to the next round!

    I wasn’t that surprised that Nalby lost first round to Tipsy. (Even though I did want David to win) I know you’re probably saying it teasingly but why is schwank his punching bag?

    And OMG! I couldn’t believe Gulbis beat Berdych. Gulbis is such an inconsistent player…it really irritates me- I know he has the game in him to play well all year round, but he falls apart mentally often.

    hope u r well. 🙂

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hope you’re well too, Iram!!

      Haha, I completely agree with your observation about Haase and the cute children he will have 🙂 His hair is very bouncy and he seems like a nice, funny player.

      Gulbis beat Berdych and then he lost to Janowicz in 5 sets 😦 He seems quite popular with tennis fans, but he’s always seemed too inconsistent — that’s prob why I never really tune into any of his matches!

      Nalby lost quite easily to Ungur at RG and now Tipsy at Wimbledon. I hope he has a good phase in the 2nd half of this year! The “punching bag” is from Davis Cup, when Nalby and Schwank played doubles, and Nalby would show his emotions by shoving his hands into Schwank’s chest 🙂

      I probably shouldn’t mention Nalby and violence/punching in the same sentence, given recent events…I will have to take note of that! 🙂

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