R3: And So We Reach the Halfway Mark

R3 Combativity Award:

I’d awarded R2 Combativity Award to Lukas Rosol, who impressively beat Rafa in 5 sets.  Rosol lost in R3 to Kohlschrieber, who played a very impressive match of his own (he hit 35 winners and only 5 UFEs during the entire match, compared to Rosol’s 34 winners and 17 UFEs).  Kohli defeated Rafa at Halle this year and grass has always been a strong surface for him.  He plays Brian Baker, who defeated Benoit Paire in four sets.

Photo: AP Photo

This time, the “R3 Combativity Award” goes to Marin Cilic.  Marin defeated Sam Querrey (recent conqueror of much-hyped youngster Raonic), in the 2nd-longest match ever at Wimby.  Cilic won 17-15 in the 5th set!  Cilic served for the match at 5-4 in the decider, only to be broken back.  While both players’ fitness was severely tested, Cilic eked out the win.  I’m sure 2001 Wimby champ Goran Invanisevic, who sat in the stands cheering for Cilic, was proud.  Despite losing, Querrey had an impressive run at Wimby, especially given his injury concerns earlier.

I’m sure Cilic appreciates the unique tradition that Wimby has, of not playing on Sunday.  He’ll need the rest, before he tries to pull off an upset over Muzz in R4.


***

R3 Best “Oldie” Award:

Sadly, the “Best Youngster” award will have to be dropped now.  I was hoping David Goffin could make a week 2 showing, but he lost in straights to Mardy Fish.  

Of the 16 players left in the men’s draw, only Cilic and DelPo are younger than 25 years old (they both turn 24 this year).  One definite sign that men’s tennis is trending older: ten years ago, three of the four semi-finalists at Wimbledon were 21 years old or younger (Hewitt, Nalby and Malisse).  I should give a special “oldie” shoutout to Xavier Malisse, who at 31 y.o. has reached the 2nd week at Wimby for the third time in his career.  Malisse plays Fed in R4, which is why I’m congratulating him now.  No need for Malisse to pull any hijinx now, thank you very much! 🙂  (especially given the scare Fed had when he needed 5 sets to defeat Benny).

Another shout-out to 30 y.o. Youzhny, who defeated Tipsy in 4 sets!

Photo: Getty Images

Nice to see the Colonel smiling and saluting.  He plays Denis Istomin next, which means he has a makable chance of reaching the QF.

**

DelPo defends his R4 Showing at Wimby, Faces Ferru on Monday

DelPo had a straight-sets win over Kei Nishikori.  The conditions were very windy during the match, which put DelPo off balance several times during the match.  At one point, DelPo almost smashed his racquet on the grass.  He stopped himself by kissing his racquet instead.  He was probably frustrated by his 4/11 BP conversion rate.

Photo: Getty Images

Early on, DelPo showed steady hands at the net, especially at 0*-1 in the second set, at 15-30.  Kei’s game plan was to repeatedly hit to DelPo’s BH, but that wing is DelPo’s more consistent side.  There was a lovely rally featuring DelPo’s BHs, which ended with him hitting a FH lob to break Kei early in the 2nd set.

However, just as he did in his early matches, DelPo went on a walkabout.  He was broken back at 4-4 in the 2nd set, when he made a sloppy serve & volley attempt.  While DelPo was serving better, his footwork on grass is still a work in progress — many times, Kei hit a strong return-of-serve, which kept DelPo behind in rallies.  There were also moments where DelPo hung behind the baseline, when he had invitations to approach the net.

Luckily, DelPo kept his walkabout limited to half-a-set, instead of a full set.  He won the 2nd set TB and then seized control by going up a double break in the 3rd set.

DelPo-Ferru in R4 will be a nerve-wracking match-up.  Ferru played an impressive match to defeat Roddick in 4 sets.  Given how Ferru has a strong return-of-serve, DelPo will need to be placing his serves very well.  DelPo also needs to take the initiative in rallies and do what he can to blast Ferru off the court.  In Miami, Ferru did a great job of being the aggressor — DelPo cannot allow Ferru to step into that role when they meet on Monday.  May the grass provide a different outcome this time.  Neither DelPo nor Ferru have reached the QF at Wimby in their careers — there will be a lot at stake.

***

Forgot about Reeshie:

Many journalists were commenting how under-the-radar DelPo has been this week.  I have no idea if this is the actual case, because I’ve memorized his draw by now 🙂  However, there is a player who’s been flying even farther beneath the radar than DelPo — Richard Gasquet.  Reeshie is the only player to have reached R4 without dropping a set.

Photo: Getty Images

He plays Florian Mayer next, in what is sure to be a fun match.  FloMo staged a from-2-sets down comeback against Petzschner in R2, and then defeated Janowicz (recent conqueror of Berdy-conqueror Gulbis in R3).  Fun fact: FloMo was a 2004 quarterfinalist at Wimby (in his first appearance at the tourny).  Meanwhile, five years have passed since Reeshie last reached a Grand Slam QF.  Again, there will be much at stake here.

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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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9 Responses to R3: And So We Reach the Halfway Mark

  1. Vamos Del Po!

    Though to be honest, I’m really pulling for Murray, but I’d be perfectly happy to see Del Po hoisting the Wimbledon trophy. Good luck to him!

    Oh, why are all the players I want to win in the second half of the draw?

    • mariposaxprs says:

      It will be interesting and nerve-wracking to see how this 2nd week at Wimby unfolds. I’ll be vamos-ing for DelPo, and silently hoping Cilic does a number on Muzz 😉 But good thoughts to everyone in the draw, of course!!

      The bottom half of the draw is loaded. Whereas the top half….Djokovic-Troicki in R16? Hrmphh!

  2. Candy says:

    “There will be a lot at stake!” Definitely!
    1) If he wins this match, he will be World No.8.
    2) Winning this match means that he makes to QF at all the three GSs so far.
    3) Winning over Ferru means something important to Delpo: boost his confidence; tell people & himself he is a Top-5 player (although he may still have something to prove). (no offense to Ferru & Tsonga)
    So it’s normal that I’m already frazzling, right? Lol

    (& I’m worrying the match can’t finish tomorrow…..)

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yes, the much-prized no. 8 ranking! DelPo’s been pretty consistent. In the lower half of the top 10, only DelPo and Ferru have reached the QF or better at Slams this year. Ferru has a SF at RG though, which means DelPo has some homework to do! 😦

      I am frazzling a lot right now too. I wonder if “home-advantage” played a key role in the scheduling choices. It’s funny that they would schedule DelPo-Ferru as the last match of the day, given how the winner has to play Murray. Let’s hope for good weather and early finishes from the previous 2 matches on Court 1!

      • Candy says:

        I thought exactly the same when I saw the schedule. Lol They scheduled Delpo-Ferru as the last match instead of Murray’s match, just to hope UK people could catch a bit of Delpo-Ferru match in the evening at home?

        And today they totally confirmed us of this “home advantage”. When Delpo-Ferru could be moved to CC at around 8:00pm after Nole’s match finished (still has 3 hrs left until 11pm, no?). But they simply canceled the match! For me, they just don’t want Delpo-Ferru to finish their match today (or earlier than Andy’s match) when Andy’s couldn’t resume on C1 due to rain! *shrug* (sorry for my conspiracy theories if anyone doesn’t agree with me 😛 )

        (What made me laugh is that some Andy’s fans thought the tourney hates Andy & disadvantages him…. Lol)
        Anyway, I just hope they won’t “footfault” x 10 his CROATIAN opponent Cilic. 😛

        • mariposaxprs says:

          I get what you’re saying! I was shaking my head too when Murray fans were talking about how it’s so tough b/c he has to play the very next day in the QF. But the winner of DelPo-Ferru will finish later than him, so how is that tough? They really should have moved either DelPo-Ferru or Gasquet-Mayer to Centre—I don’t know what Wimby was thinking.

          On the other hand, I guess we should still be thankful that DelPo hasn’t had to play consecutive days yet—I think it was 4-5 days in a row that he played last yr at Wimby? Hahaha, they better not footfault Cilic!! Cilic looks like one of those nice guys who would be totally scary when they’re angry.

  3. Rita says:

    Candles are lined up to be lit when Delpo meet Ferru tomorrow. The Miami Disaster was so painful to watch, I went into mourning for days. Now chronic knee pain – which can make anybody testy – seems to have abated, he looks like he’s actually enjoying the game again and even shares sweet the off-court moments with the fans like the adorable shot of him cooking dinner in his rented house. I guess the vaunted (not!) English cuisine doesn’t suit the Argies.
    Yes, he’s playing much better and as long as the knee holds up, he has a good chance to advancing.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      That’s why I’m quite apprehensive about the R4 match. The Miami match was quite a letdown, and I was surprised that DelPo didn’t make it more competitive. Although Ferru is not comfortable on grass, he clearly made a lot of progress and he will be comfortable facing DelPo on the surface. Whether DelPo can shrug off the Miami loss and take the charge in this match will be important—I hope he can serve well and attack, attack, attack

      He doesn’t seem visibly bothered by the knee, although he did say it’s still not 100%. I think if he’s sharing his down-time moments, maybe it’s not that bad. Perhaps he will take a tour of English cuisine after Wimbledon finishes? 😉

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