In very sad news, Nalby announced his withdrawal from the USO, due to an injury in his intercostal zone (rib cage area). Just yesterday, I’d read rumors on Twitter that Nalby would withdraw due to injury, but I thought they were only rumors. Unfortunately, the news was later officially confirmed. Nalby says he will return to Argentina for further medical studies, and that he will focus on getting fit in time for the Davis Cup in September.
This is disappointing, as Nalby is among my top favorite players and I’d had inevitable thoughts about how this year’s USO could potentially be his last. As nerve-wracking as a DelPo-Nalby R1 match would have been, I would much have preferred to see it happen, no matter the result. This will not be the case, and the question of whether Nalby will recover in time for the DC SF looms large. Was it really only 5 months ago that Nalby defeated Tsonga and Tipsy in the same week, then gave Rafa a tough challenge at Indian Wells?
This means a lucky loser will replace Nalby as DelPo’s R1 opponent: France’s Florent Serra is DelPo’s new opponent. This is their first meeting. Also, DelPo has a new ATP profile pic. I prefer the new one, although I will miss the lip gloss he was wearing in last year’s pic.
In other news, Pico suffered a R1 upset when he lost in 5 sets (after being two sets up and 40-15, 4-2 in the 3rd set) to Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Argentina’s 2nd-highest ranked player lost after being two sets up to a player who doesn’t play for Spain’s DC team. That hurts.
Berlocq also lost in four sets to Bernie Tomic — I saw the last set of that match and Tomic was playing well. He hit this beautiful BHDTL late in the third set, and generally took command of the points. All in all, it was not a great day for the Argies.
If there’s one upside to day 2’s events, it was that Steps also lost his R1 to Nico Almagro. Steps’ kit had the Statue of Liberty emblazoned on it. It says so much about him that this t-shirt is actually one of his more understated looks:
DelPo’s match is scheduled third on Louis Armstrong court today. I won’t even get started on the farce that is placing Isner-Malisse and Muzz-Dodig on Arthur Ashe, while the 2009 USO champ has yet to play on Arthur Ashe after winning the title there.