The draw is out, and tennis fans all around are dumbfounded and upset at the early-round matchups that portend doom and gloom for their favorite tennis players.
DelPo opens his campaign against Ivan Dodig of Croatia, the player who once defeated Rafa at Montreal last year. While it may be easy to dismiss Dodig as a fluke who shot to fame through that upset, Dodig actually defeated Jo-Willy Tsonga at Queens in R16 this year. *If* DelPo can beat dangerous Dodig, he faces the winner of Seppi/Young and then a likely R3 match-up with Gillou or Dimitrov. Dimitrov has been playing solidly this year, having reached 3 consecutive ATP SFs this year, including the SF at Queens. Given the 64-player draw, there are many early dangerous match-ups. This doesn’t provide much room for DelPo to settle into a tournament — he will have to be firing at the start. If DelPo makes it to the QF, he could have his rematch with Ferru. Even though DelPo’s losses to Ferru have been inspiration for much worrying about his form, the only way to overcome the Ferru wall is to bash into it repeatedly. I am a firm believer in that (I think). After all, DelPo eventually won two sets off Fed after losing repeatedly to him.
In non-DelPo related draw news, lady luck went against the bottom half of the draw with Muzz, Djokovic, Tsonga and Berdy. Given that I’m not really invested in any of the four players, I will laugh at their tough luck instead. As for Nalby, he’s stuck with Tipsy in R1. Pico plays Goffin (which is likely to be a LOL-tastic match) and Berlocq plays Bogomolov Jr. in what is a winnable match. Vamos to the Argies! Other exciting early match-ups include Almagro vs Troicki, Bella vs Tsonga (Bella’s been in dangerous form lately), Wawa vs Muzz and finally, Tomic vs Nishikori (Gooo Bernie!)
As for Nalby-Schwank, they will play dubs against Tsonga-Llodra. They will need all the support they can get, but I’m sure they will put up a good fight.
In conclusion, the draw is tough for the great majority of players.
Now, something to cheer everyone up: Let’s just sit down and appreciate this photo of DelPo, Zaba and Pico taking a tour of the Olympic Village on old-fashioned bicycles:
Off the top of your head, can you tell me what is more idyllic than this sight of the Tower of Tandil and Pico (and Zaba) on their bicycles in London? I can’t state this enough, DelPo looks great in his Argentina jacket. He also loves his bicycles.
Then, DelPo takes his first of hopefully many photos with other athletes at the Games:
DelPo poses with other athletes from Argentina in the Olympic Village. I don’t know who they are, but my guess is that they’re from Argentina’s sterling field-hockey team?
DelPo is scheduled last to play on Court 1 on Saturday. This is good news, as it means he has better odds of being able to attend the Opening Ceremony. Most athletes will not be able to get back to the Olympics Village until 2am after the Opening Ceremony, which is why many have elected not to. Hopefully, DelPo shows up!