London: Rainy Days

I spent the better part of the match with my hands over my face.

As predicted, DelPo had a tough time against Ferru and he lost yet again to the Spaniard.

Photo: Getty

Still, it was nice to DelPo back at the O2 arena, where he was a finalist at the event in 2009

These losses this year against Ferru are quite disappointing, but it’s something he’ll have to figure out next year.  DelPo’s first serve was off against Ferru and he started resorting to dropshots, which are a low-percentage shot against someone with Ferru’s retrieving abilities.

As for Ferru, the guy’s been on a roll for the past two weeks.  I’ll say this though — he better not burn himself out before the DC final, because if there’s one tournament where I’d like to see him play well, it’s there.  Ferru’s recent success seems to have injected new life to Rafa fans, who have apparently been hiding in a cave the whole time he’s been out, so congratulations to those folks and may they write 10-page diary entries extolling all of Ferru’s virtues and whatnot.

As is evident, I am very disappointed, as DelPo’s chances of advancing to the SF are now significantly lower.  Maybe Tipsy can beat Ferru?  Maybe DelPo can beat Fed?  I don’t know, whatever happens will happen.  At least DelPo qualified this year.

DelPo plays Tipsy on Thursday and I hope he can notch one victory at the WTF this year.

***

Roger Federer is the Beyonce of the ATP:

Six-time WTF winner and defending champion Fed easily won his opening RR against Tipsy.  He also won the Fan Favorite Award for the 10th time and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the 8th time in his career.  He procured 57% of the fan favorite votes, which means my attempts to proselytize on behalf of DelPo … well I still have work to do.

It’s become an annual tradition for people to complain about the injustice of Fed winning the Sportsmanship Award.  Personally, I find this “annual complaint fest” very amusing and entertaining.  Maybe next year I will introduce a popcorn recipe so tennis fans can enjoy a bag of the stuff as they watch the complaints fly by 🙂

Neither Novak nor Muzz were nominated and Rafa’s not even playing right now, so the thought of him winning this should not even be considered, which brings us to our main point: What exactly has Fed done wrong?

He’s a clear-eyed leader of the ATP Council and he puts in a lot of hours.  I know Rafa and Novak have had their disagreements with Fed over Council issues.  It became too much for Novak and Rafa to handle, so they bowed out — no judgment there, they can spend their free time however they see fit.

But Fed has maintained his commitment to spending time on these issues and it’s showing results already — the increased prize money for early-round losers at Slams is a big accomplishment.  Whether you like him or not, you’d be fooling yourself if you thought his leadership of the council was simply a way for him to burnish his resume.  His efforts are real and you can’t diminish them without at least conceding some sort of personal bias you have by way of your rooting interests.  He lives by the same tennis schedule that others players do, and he was especially classy this year in conceding that Novak deserved “best player” honors for finishing as year-end no. 1.  Given how Fed held the no. 1 ranking until this week, I think that was an incredible show of class and dignity from Fed.  It’s something to note if you’re still angry about him winning these awards.

Let’s just put it this way — at the end of the day, his record speaks for itself.  Here’s a link to one enlightening article about Fed’s efforts for the ATP Council that shows just how much time and energy goes into Fed’s leadership of the Council.  I don’t think everyone is suited for roles like this.  As Fed says, even he used to shirk responsibility when he was younger, as he felt tennis was all about practicing and the occasional press conference.  That he’s grown into this role and that he’s made inroads into the prize money issue is a sterling accomplishment for him.

Basically, Fed winning Fan Favorite and the Sportsmanship Award is like Beyonce winning at the Grammy Awards.  You can be that person who argues that whichever obscure artist you’re currently enthralled with is more deserving of a Grammy, but even you know it doesn’t work like that in the real world.  Beyonce wins.  All the time.  And for good reason!

Come on, let’s be real, do you really think Jonny Marray will win a Grammy?  Not when Fed is being his diva-tastic self on stage (he even showed up to the WTF wearing a splendiferously royal purple this year):

Photo: AAP

This definitely ranks as one of Nike’s best outfits for Fed.  I want that purple shirt.  

Seriously, how can we shrink this down to a women’s size?

In other news, congrats to Marinko Matosevic (who is on my good side for wishing DelPo well at IW earlier this year) for winning the honors for the ATP’s most-improved player!  Marinko is currently Australia’s highest-ranked no. 1, overtaking Tomic.

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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 London: Rainy Days

  1. Rita says:

    I watched the replay of Delpo’s last game against Ferru and I have to say his inability to make even one point towards tying the match when he had the serve was beyond belief. The second set ended well but there was zero momentum going into the third. I think it’s a mental thing. He just gave up trying. In the post-game interview, he went on and on about how tough his opponent was. So freaking what? They are ALL tough at that level. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and he’s not showing the fortitude it takes to beat them. What’s Franco to do with you? Fed observed that some are just glad to be there, others like him are there to win. As the youngest player there, maybe Delpo is just biding his time for Fed and Ferru to age out of competition before he gets his butt in gear.
    To make matters worse, I woke up today to the spectacle of Muzzie in ill-fitting, bright yellow shorts. I wanted to pull the covers back over my head. That color just doesn’t work against his milky white skin which I saw in person in Cincy. His skin just doesn’t tan even after spending his life in the sun. Where were his mum and GF when he was leaving the locker room to tell him to change his pants? He should switch shorts with Delpo who wears those horribly baggy ones, we’d like to see him in more form-fitting attire since he’s not wearing those muscle shirts anymore. If he can’t win, at least give us some eye candy.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Apologies for the late reply!

      The DelPo-Ferru matchup has become quite troublesome this year. The part that disappointed me was that DelPo was playing so conservatively, from behind the baseline. He needs to go for his shots against Ferru. I’d rather DelPo lost to Ferru after going all-out, rather than to see him lose this way. I suppose there’s a bit of a mental block playing Ferru, given how he lost to Ferru at the DC final last year.

      DelPo’s caught in the “in-between” generations, though I guess Berdy and Tsonga are as well. He’s 24 y.o. so he’s younger than the rest of the pack, but he’s not considered young by tennis-player standards. I think he’s making great progress, although the stakes will be higher in his next match — the stakes will be higher for him next year as well.

      Lol, I am in total agreement with your observation about Muzz’s outfit. Adidas sure come up with the strangest kits for him at the London WTF. Remember his argyle outfit from last year? http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Andy+Murray+ATP+World+Tour+Finals+Day+Two+aJV4ylz82kal.jpg

      Muzz just has that extremely pale complexion, that turns red instead of tanning. The indoor lighting doesn’t really flatter his complexion at all! I think his “look” works best at Wimbledon, although I suspect that’s mostly b/c of the all-white dress code, which prevents Adidas from hoisting their creative experiments on him 🙂

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