Apologies for not updating more frequently — I’m away this week and I don’t have constant access to the Internet. I’ve just been catching up on DelPo and tennis news overall, and am surprised by all the twists and turns that have taken place this week:
A picture of uncertainty, or is this only a minor bump in the road?
- First, DelPo is through to the Cincy QF, where he will face surprise opponent Jeremy Chardy. Chardy is on a streak lately, having beaten Tsonga at the Rogers Cup — at Cincy, he scored an upset by defeating Muzz in straight sets (he had upset Roddick in the earlier round). Muzz apparently looked out of sorts — it looks like an issue with his knees and/or his back, but it also seems like he just needs an extended break to recoup his form. Meanwhile, DelPo also has issues with his left wrist. He had to call the trainer during his match against Troicki, and was reportedly playing with one hand for some time, resorting to BH slices to stay in the match. Thanks in part to Troicki’s errors and mental combustion, DelPo recouped and won the third set 6-1, to reach the QF. Given how well DelPo played at the Olympics, I did fear that he’d face an injury problem — his match against Chardy should provide a clue about the extent of this (hopefully not too serious) pain. The tennis gods took away his right wrist for nearly a year — may they spare the left one, while continuing to protect the now-healed right wrist.
- Tipsy retired from his R2 match against Pablo Andujar, apparently due to heat exhaustion.
- In bigger news that genuinely surprised me (and upset me as a tennis fan), Rafa announced his withdrawal from the USO. The knee problems that have plagued him since his title defense at Roland Garros are apparently quite serious. It seems like he’s in a wait-and-see situation. I wish him a full recovery and hope he can return to the tour soon. Even though I’ve found myself rooting against Rafa when cheering for DelPo and Fed, the “tennis fan” in me prefers having Rafa in the mix.
- There is, however, a positive upside to Tipsy’s retirement and Rafa’s withdrawal from the USO. I don’t know how to delicately phrase this, so I’ll just straight out say that DelPo is now guaranteed to be the 7th seed at the USO. He has finally climbed that wall and will play as a top 8 seed at a Slam — this is the first time since 2010 AO that he plays as a top 8 seed. I believe Ferru will also move into the 4th seed spot, which is a major accomplishment for him too. I don’t want to jinx anything, but it has to be mentioned that DelPo won the 2009 USO as a 6th seed. Ranking-wise, he’s back. And at the end of the day, isn’t ranking the most concrete measure of progress?
- Apparently, Stan is on a streak as well — he upset Ferru at Cincy (although to be fair, Ferru hasn’t traditionally played well at Cincy. I think every tennis player has an “unofficial down time” — DelPo has his “down time” during the Asian swing, whereas Ferru seems to take an unofficial break during the US hard court swing). I still expect Ferru to be a fright factor at the USO.
I will definitely try to watch the QF between DelPo-Chardy and update! Hope any and all readers are doing well 🙂