It’s never boring—
R2 Combativity Award: Lukas Rosol
Last year at Wimby, Rosol lost to David Goffin in the qualifying rounds. This year, he pulls off the upset of the tournament by defeating Rafa, the no. 2 seed and reigning Roland Garros champion, in R2.
It took 5 sets (after a 30-minute delay for the roof to be closed, after darkness set). Look at how fearless Rosol is while serving for one of the greatest upsets at Wimbledon:
The video is almost chilling, with Rosol (who looks like a possessed man) and the crowd cheering raucously for him. I’m surprised by the level of support Rosol received. Rafa was cranky during the match. He complained to the umpire about Rosol’s breathing at one point. In the 3rd set, Rosol stepped back to allow Rafa to walk by during the changeover, when Rafa brushed him with his elbow as he crossed. I’ll link a video once I find the moment, but the overall image was of a top player who was not playing at his best and not as mentally focused and calm as he normally is. I don’t know if it’s because Rafa’s made changes to his game this year, but he’s been quite sensitive to playing conditions lately (the blustery wind at IW, the blue clay in Madrid, and now Wimby).
Rafa applauds the crowd on his way out, while Rosol strolls along.
Rosol gave a strong performance, both with his serve and FHs. Tignor compared Rosol today to DelPo and Soderling. All in all, Rafa was unlucky to face a red-lining Rosol, whom nobody suspected.
For this year’s AO, I had done an award section for “Combativity,” “Best Youngster,” and “Obscure Pro.” Guess who I had chosen as the obscure pro for the Ozzie Open? Yes, it was Lukas Rosol (I chose him because he was the completely obscure compatriot of Berdy). In R1 at AO, Rosol got a mention in the NY Times after he almost lost by a triple-bagel score to Petzschner. I think my “Obscure Pro” award has secret powers. I don’t know what Rosol will do with this win — he plays Kohli next.
As for Rafa, this loss is a head-scratcher, but it gives him time to rest before the Olympics and the HC season. He has 7 RG trophies and 3 wins over Novak in 2012 to console him. For now though, Fed takes over the no. 2 ranking.
R2 Best Young Player:
I’m going to re-issue the “R2 Best Young Player” award to the 21 y.o. David Goffin, for pulling through in a tough match against Jesse Levine in 4 sets.
In his R1 win over Tomic, Goffin was wearing Fed’s 2010 Wimby kit. For his R2 match, Goffin wore a Nike kit that had blue stripes at the bottom of the shirt. This violates Wimby’s mostly-white dress code — the umpire told Goffin to tuck his shirt into his pants, which meant Goffin spent many awkward minutes trying to play while keeping his shirt stripes hidden. You live and you learn, and sometimes you win anyway! He plays Mardy Fish in R3, which may be a tougher test. Go Goffin!
Also, a shout-out to the 23-y.o., no. 55-ranked Frenchman, Benoit Paire, who is flashy and sometimes crazy. At this time last year, Paire was ranked no. 115. His R2 win over the equally flashy and sometimes crazy Dolgo is a good sign of progress.
Paire plays the fairytale American comeback player, Brian Baker, in R3. While I appreciate the fun Paire brings to the game, I want Baker to have an awesome showing at Wimby.
DelPo Plays Kei in R3 After Beating Go Soeda
DelPo should have won his match in straight sets, but he had a lapse in the 3rd set and got breadsticked. For 30 minutes, he was in walkabout mode. Thankfully he picked up his game and won in 4 sets. One concerning point is that DelPo’s serves were much weaker in this match. While his % is decent, he could be doing more with the speed.
DelPo emphasized he was going to play much more aggressively against Nishikori in R3. DelPo also shared his support for equal prize money for the WTA players (this issue has been in the news ever since Gilles Simon said that he opposed equal pay for male and female tennis players). All in all, DelPo has a good head on his shoulders.
DelPo then shared a photo of himself cooking dinner after the match:
This is so amazing. The food looks appetizing, actually. I hope he doesn’t make himself sick 😉 As long as he wakes up merrily the next morning, right? Notice the Oreos in the bottom-left corner of the photo. In Miami, DelPo went grocery-shopping for Chips-Ahoys — he ended up losing to Ferru. By switching to Oreos in London, he is bound to have a good result against Kei, and whoever he faces in R4. I am sure of it! Secret sources tell me London Oreos are lucky foods.