In his return to the London WTF, DelPo makes it through to the SFs after defeating Fed 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3.
Del Potro on joining Djokovic, Federer and Murray in the semis: "The semis has three big names and one big guy."—
Craig Gabriel (@crosscourt1) November 10, 2012
DelPo’s self-deprecating comments are a bit at odds with his latest results. Recently, Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo said, “Too much humility is vanity” (he was discussing how he’d vote for himself for the Ballon d’Or award, if he could). Every now and then, I wish DelPo had just a little bit of CR’s arrogance.
This marks DelPo’s 2nd consecutive win over Fed in 2012 and the 4th of his career. Three of DelPo’s four career wins over Fed have now taken place on indoor HCs (’09 WTF, ’12 Basel and now ’12 WTF).
I’ll update with a more detailed match report later, but in the mean-time, here is the victory celebration. I like his joyous skipping after taking MP. He looks quite happy here, doesn’t he?!
Group B Standings & The Mistreatment of Ferru
This result means Fed and DelPo have topped the Group B standings and will face Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic (respectively) in the SFs.
While Novak won all 3 RRs and Muzz won 2 of his (Jo lost all 3, while Berdy went 1-2), the Group B standings were a closer call. Fed, DelPo and Ferru each had two wins and one loss. In the case of a three-way tie, the % of number of sets won becomes a factor. Fed finished as the leader of the Group B with 5/7 sets won. DelPo finished second with 5/8 and Ferru finished third with 4/8.
The SF berths were decided by a pretty close margin and it’s unlucky for Ferru that he didn’t reach the SF. Even worse is the fact that his last RR against Tipsy was played after DelPo’s match against Fed (DelPo’s win over Fed meant the Group B standings were already determined, so Ferru’s match against Tipsy was essentially a “dead rubber”). The London WTF tourny directors should have made better scheduling decisions, as they put Ferru and Tipsy in an awkward position. It’s pretty disrespectful to Ferru especially. You know that when Ferru complains about something, he has a valid point — because Ferru rarely complains about anything.
Ferru was understandably frustrated in the 1st set of his match against Tipsy, but he showed his class by coming back to defeat Tipsy in three sets. Even if he narrowly missed a SF spot, he’s had an incredible run on indoor HCs this year — may he continue to press on and clinch the DC trophy for Spain at the final next week.
Despite the seeming injustice of Ferru not reaching the SF, even after defeating DelPo — it actually all makes sense:
- If Ferru had defeated DelPo in straight sets, instead of going to 3, he could have reached the SF.
- If Ferru had taken a set off Fed, instead of losing in straights, he could have reached the SF.
- However, that was not the case, as he lost a set to DelPo and then lost in straights to Fed (despite having had 10 BP chances).
- DelPo, on the other hand, won a set off Ferru — that opening RR was decisive. The one set he took off Ferru meant that his SF chances were entirely in his own hands on Saturday. He then notched that coveted win over Fed, hence his passage to the SF.
Many in the tennis sphere are speculating that Fed “did not care” about his last RR, as he had already clinched his SF spot. I think this line of reasoning is way too speculative and full-of-holes. If Fed truly didn’t care and he was saving himself for the SF, why would he bother to take the 2nd set off DelPo? Losing in straights would have made far more tactical sense. Also, I didn’t see telltale signs from Fed that he wasn’t too bothered with the match — he was yelling at himself and visibly frustrated at his UFEs (as he has been all throughout the week).
In addition, I don’t think top competitors can simply “decide” take their foot off the pedal, for that is a slippery slope to motivation problems in the future. As Ferru showed in his last RR against Tipsy, when you’re playing on a big stage, you give your best (regardless of whether or not your effort will produce a meaningful outcome).
Team M&M are a Happy Bundle of Surprise at the WTF
On a happier note, Marc and Marcel have reached the doubles SFs in London, after defeating Rojer/Qureshi! They’ve been the source of many happy photos this week.
Like this one:
And this one:
Looking Forward to Showdown Sunday
DelPo plays Novak in the SFs tonight! Vamos DelPo!
I love this celebration photo.