Vienna: DelPo Plays Surprise Opponent Zemlja in the Final

After DelPo’s marathon three-set R2 match against Daniel Brands, he had a far easier time defeating Marinko Matosevic in the QF.  DelPo played far more confidently and his point-construction was at a level above his opening match.  DelPo played this point, which I like to call the “Workout at the Net.”  Look at the way he hits the BH, goes for the fake volley, and then reaches around back to save the point.  He’s quite nifty with his armwork!

Photo: @HinchadaDelPo

DelPo played quite impressively against Matosevic, and he then defeated Gilles Muller, 7-6(4) 7-6(5) in the SF to reach the Vienna final for the second consecutive year.  He will play Slovenian qualifier Grega Zemlja, who pulled an upset by defeating Tipsy from one set down — Zemlja won the 2nd set on a TB and then went on win the match.  Zemlja had defeated the resurgent Tommy Haas in the Vienna QF, so he’s currently on a hot streak.

This means DelPo will have to be mindful of his game as well.  Although I only saw the 2nd set TB between DelPo and Muller, DelPo did seem at a level below his QF performance.  From a match-stats perspective, his SF against Muller seemed like a repeat of the serve-based match against Brands.  DelPo hit 17 aces to Muller’s 16 — both players had high first-serve % and they went a combined o for 3 on total BP chances.

DelPo will now play for the Vienna title.  Last year, DelPo was up a set and break over Tsonga, before losing in three sets.  The 2011 Vienna Open final was memorable, for several reasons.  First, there was this incident where Tsonga fell over the back of the court, before the final had even started:

That final was also the scene of this cute sportsmanship moment between DelPo and Tsonga:

That happened shortly before DelPo lost the match, and then his temper (as witnessed by this glorious bag-kicking moment):

Here’s hoping this year’s final is a relatively incident-free journey!

***

Also, the Basel draw has been announced.  Following Muzz’s withdrawal from Basel (he seems to be making a pattern of this), DelPo has moved up to 2nd seed and will inhabit his very own half of the draw.  At a 500-level tournament.  I have framed the Basel draw as a keepsake:

At Basel, DelPo will play Alejandro Falla in R1.  Falla is an underneath-the-radar type of player, so DelPo will have to make a strong start at the tournament he hasn’t played since 2008.  Gasquet and Tomic are in DelPo’s half of the draw as well.  The R1 match between Youzhny and Tomic is one to look forward to, for the drama and occasionally the tennis — I hope it lives up to its “crazy factor” billing.

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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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2 Responses to Vienna: DelPo Plays Surprise Opponent Zemlja in the Final

  1. Rita says:

    I agree that Delpo will have to up his game to do well at Basel, he got very lucky in Vienna. I stopped counting the number of missed opportunities. I can’t think of ANY really great shots either and almost nothing at the net. Still, a win is a win made even more special having his lovely lady there to share his triumph. I guess since he acknowledged her in his Bronze Medal remarks she’s no longer kept under wraps. They are too cute for words. I just hope the paparazzi don’t start hounding them.
    What was going on between Delpo and the umpire when he tapped his racquet on the ump’s foot? Isn’t touching an official a big no-no?

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Haha, it’s nice that she’s showing up to attend his matches. After this week in Vienna, I guess we can see her as a “good-luck charm” 🙂

      That said, DelPo wasn’t playing all that well in Vienna. That’s reassuring, in the sense that he was able to win even while playing in second gear. But he will have to quickly play his way into form, if he wants to win the close matches he will likely play against the tougher players in Basel and Paris.

      With the umpire, DelPo’s shot was called long, but the ump overruled and said the ball was in. Then he called for a replay of the point. DelPo thought he’d won the point, so he was complaining to the ump, asking him if he “was sure” that the ball hit the ground at the same time the call was made. Then he randomly grabbed the ump’s shoe and tapped it with his racquet. Lol. I wish I had a video of that moment, but I only have a partial photo of it. I remember Marat Safin once climbed an ump’s chair and engaged in a face-to-face shouting match with him. I guess the rules for “no touching” aren’t super-strict in tennis, although that’s something the ATP might want to look into….

      Thankfully, DelPo did not fall on the wrong side of the rules this time! Plus, he won! I hope his girlfriend comes with him to Basel and Paris too, so she can standoff against the other wives/girlfriends! 🙂 Hope you’re well, Rita!

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