DelPo escaped with a straight-sets victory over Andreas Seppi (who won Eastbourne in 2011), 6-3 7-6(2). I wasn’t able to find a stream for this match, but from the Twitter reports, DelPo opened the match by serving 2 DFs and then he slipped on the grass to give Seppi an early break. Thankfully, he managed to recoup that break and then to break again, before he served out the first set, 6-3.
However, DelPo was reportedly not serving well (at all). In fact, his serves were kind of a major low point in the match. The stats for his first set were not too impressive — he hit 11 UFEs to 6 winners and he faced 8 BPs in the first set. As DelPo commented in his post-match interview, it was a surprisingly “even and complicated” match. I don’t know how much of it had to do with the Centre Court grass, which has been very slippery and difficult to move on — several players have commented on the surface, and I think this probably factored into why DelPo had a more complicated match this time around (he had played a strong R1 match against Dodig on Court 1).
In spite of these difficulties, DelPo managed to hold on for a straight-sets victory when he found his first-serves in the second set TB. After the match, DelPo said “I need to play better if I want to win a medal at the Olympics.” Although I couldn’t watch the match, I would agree with this assessment, based on how this match progressed. In R3, DelPo faces Gilles Simon, who defeated Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
Gillou brings me eternal nightmares. The last time DelPo played Gillou on grass was at last year’s Wimbledon, where DelPo won in 3 sets — but two of those sets were TBs and the third set ended 7-5. DelPo then lost to Gillou at the 2011 USO. This will be a tough match-up, and I hope DelPo’s serves will be strong enough so he can impose his game.
DelPo had a cute quote, when someone asked him about his experience at the Olympics. He said he was surprised by the number of athletes who recognize him in the Olympic Village, and want to take photos with him. He said, “I am rather shy and my face turns red when they recognize me.” Awww.
In other tennis news, Pico defeated Goffin, 6-4 6-1. Pico will play Feliciano Lopez in the next round. Even if nobody can guarantee an excellent match, we can be sure that Feli and Pico will exhibit great hairstyles, with extra portions of emo-drama to boot!
The tennis will be fun too! 🙂