007: DelPo in London!
On the back of Rafa’s withdrawal from both the Paris Masters and the London WTF, DelPo haw now officially qualified for the London WTF. So far, Tsonga and Tipsy round out the list, although the fight for the no. 9 spot is still open.
This is DelPo’s first time qualifying for the WTF, since his comeback in 2011. The last time he played in 2009, he reached the final (after defeating Fed in the RR), before he lost to Davydenko.
I am looking forward to fun London WTF photoshoots. Last year’s WTF photos were a bit disappointing — everyone looked handsome, but there was nothing outrageously funny. This year, the sight of mopey DelPo in a suit should liven things up! 🙂
I hope there are funny DelPo-Federer photos. There was a hilarious anecdote from Basel, where DelPo is currently playing Fed’s hometown tournament: DelPo was walking across a bridge in Basel, and nobody recognized him — except for Federer, who drove by in his car. I keep imagining Fed honking his car horn at DelPo, as DelPo gets embarrassed and tries to run away into an alley! It turns out Fed stopped by the road to say hello, and he wished DelPo a great time in Basel (<– this anecdote should have no bearing whatsoever on the Sportsmanship Award. A bridge in Basel is not the same as a tennis court!)
DelPo gave a long interview with Swiss press and he shared many anecdotes — he keeps his Olympic bronze medal in his living room, alongside his US Open trophy. “Everytime I leave the house, I walk past it.” D’aaawww. He also said he talked to his parents and friends, after losing to Fed in the Olympic SF — they helped to revive his spirit before his bronze medal match against Djokovic.
Speaking of Fed, Fed’s coach Paul Annacone recently gave an interview, where he shared a few kind words about DelPo:
Del Potro has had physical problems and, again, I think is one of the players who, in my opinion should look at his calendar and see how to maximize it, because the longer the calendar is, the more challenging it gets .
Juan Martin Del potro is an incredibly good guy, I think Franco (Davin) does a great job with him and I’m sure that Delpo is putting pressure on the top. Delpo is a great player and your goal should be: how I can win more Grand Slams.
In the past month, DelPo has earned praise from both Tio Toni and Paul Annacone. Mr. Lendl, be prepared, the Argie journos will be knocking on your door soon for a quote!
DelPo & Davis Cup: Argentina’s Not the Only Side with Problems! Everyone Has Them!
Jorge Viale from ESPN Deportes is in Basel this week, and he’s shared the difficulty of speaking to DelPo about Davis Cup. DelPo has made it clear that he does not want to answer questions about Davis Cup right now. I can certainly understand why DelPo doesn’t want to announce anything just yet — given the public backlash that would follow, it would be wise to wait until the off-season to announce his decision of whether or not to play the R1 tie.
At DelPo’s pressers in Basel, an ATP rep cut off all reporter questions about Davis Cup.
Lest we think DelPo is at the center of a great Davis Cup controversy, let’s also remind ourselves that Davis Cup is a controversial issue for other players too. Wawrinka was quoted as saying he was puzzled by Fed’s decision not to play R1 next year. He said, “I don’t understand Roger, I don’t understand why he’d choose not to play. But I’m used to it, and I respect his decision.”
Stan’s going to get the silent treatment from Rog now. But I‘ve explained numerous times before why a R1 tie is not the best scheduling decision for top/aspiring players.
Argentina play Germany next year, and it seems Germany also has its own internal team drama. Kohlschreiber, one of Germany’s top singles players, has announced he won’t play the ARG-GER tie next year, due to his problems with German captain Patrik Kuhnen.
Argentina’s not the only trainwreck of a team — I feel much better about their prospects next year already.
ATP Loses a Great, as Ferrero Says Goodbye
While Argentina, Switzerland and Germany are planning teambuilding exercises in order to build rapport before next year’s Davis Cup ties (the “Trust Fall” is not even an option — I’m pretty sure all of Team Argentina would injure themselves during that activity), the Armada showed everyone why they’ve been able to capture so many wins these past years.
Or maybe it’s because they’ve been so successful over the years that they’re so happy with each other. Chicken or egg?
Either way, Juan Carlos Ferrero retired at the Valencia Open this year, and Rafa, Feli, Tommy, Alex, and randomly, Pico, among many others, showed up to say goodbye to the original Armada Boss. More photos can be found at Valencia’s FB site.
This was Ferrero after his R1 loss to Nico, who was pretty emotional himself as he bid farewell to his mentor:
The ATP had a nice tribute video, which featured farewells from Muzz, Novak and Fed. Above all else, I liked Ferrero for accomplishing everything he did in the manner that he did — he was always understated, but never shy. He was passionate and commanding without being brash and overbearing. Gentlemanly and all about propriety, but with a delicious sense of humor. To me, he was like the opposite of Roddick in many ways, which is why I appreciated Juanqui’s aura and his accomplishments even more.
Beyond that, he did so much for the Armada during his playing years. I remember he dedicated his 2003 Roland Garros win to his mother, who had passed away when he was a teenager. That made it even more touching to see Ferrero’s father in the stands at Valencia this year:
When Ferrero won Stuttgart last year, he said he was glad to come back after hip injury and that he would try to play on with revised expectations. At the time, I’d thought that meant he’d play for a couple more years. This is another sad reminder of how quickly time flies. I hope to see Ferrero active in a Davis Cup capacity, and as Nico’s mentor.