A Belated Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013! Hopman Cup and the assorted warm-up tournaments leading up to the Australian Open have started.

Aside from educating the younger generation on how to properly intake sports drinks, DelPo has spent the last week of the off season attending a ceremony in front of his hometown, Tandil, for a mural that was painted in his honor.

DelPo Mural Tandil

The mural ceremony took place in front of his childhood tennis academy, Club Independiente.  DelPo’s childhood coach, Marcelo Gomez, can be seen snapping a photo of DelPo at the ceremony:

Potro-Tandil-Gentileza-Rody-Becchi_OLEIMA20121230_0121_8

Tandil is probably the most dedicated town in the world, when it comes to appreciating its hometown hero.  They used to throw firetruck parades for DelPo back in 2008 and 2009 (local sculptor Alejo Azcue is currently working on a sculpture of the current world no. 7).

If DelPo does well this season, I’d bet the chances are high that his sculpture will be made of platinum (with emerald studs for his green eyes).

DelPo then started the 2013 season with two exho matches against Andy Roddick in Punta del Este, Uruguay and Junin, Argentina.  DelPo won the first exho, 6-2 7-5, after which he and Roddick flew by helicopter to Junin for the second night’s exho.

DelPo then beat Roddick again in the second exho, 6-4 6-2.  Despite the language barrier, Roddick kept the crowd entertained with his racquet smashes and theatrical behavior.

After the exho, DelPo asked the recently retired Roddick what he considered to be his greatest career achievement.  Roddick replied, “Winning the Davis Cup.”

Touché, Roddick.  Also, ouch.

Perhaps Roddick is aware of Team Argentina’s currently dire straits:  Doubles specialist Edu Schwank announced earlier that due to a wrist injury (for which he had surgery), he will not be able to play the R1 tie against Germany.  The next DC candidate, Leo Mayer, then burned his right hand playing with fireworks on New Year’s Eve.  Mayer withdrew from Auckland and he is questionable for the AO.  From Captain Jaite’s perspective, the matter is whether or not Mayer’s hand heals in time for the R1 tie.

Roddick, however, nicely redeemed his reference to ARG’s DC drama by saying he thought DelPo had a solid chance of becoming world no. 1.

From what I recall, the following is the list of people who think DelPo has the potential and momentum on his side to become no. 1: Guga Kuerten, David Ferrer, Roger Federer, Toni Nadal (Pulitzer Prize for the journalist who wrangled that answer from Toni!) and now, Andy Roddick.

However, I have to point out that after Ferru stated he thought DelPo would become no. 1 in the world, Ferru then went on to stomp all over DelPo’s heart and defeat him on clay (’11 DC F), outdoor HCs (Miami), grass (Wimbledon) and indoor HCs (WTF).

In light of all this information, I will now put forth my list of New Year’s Resolutions for DelPo and greater Argentina:

  • Do not play with fireworks, especially when your livelihood depends on your hands.
  • DelPo Should Win a Slam in 2013: Berdy (per his FB account) has definitely left Nike, although it’s as-yet unclear which brand he will wear in 2013.  DelPo’s AO outfit has been released, which indicates he will wear Nike Tennis in 2013.  However, rumor has it that DelPo will be leaving Nike for Li-Ning in 2014.  From the glimpses I’ve seen of Cilic’s horrid performance in Chennai, wearing an equally unattractive Li-Ning kit, I can tell you that I do not approve of DelPo’s reported departure to Li-Ning in 2014.  In order to prevent this oncoming disaster, DelPo will have to win a Slam in 2013 to keep Nike interested.  If the rumors are true and Nike are banking on Grigor Dimitrov to carry their clothing line in the future, then DelPo will have to intercept and keep the clothing suitable for men (as lovely as his game can be, Grigor is a bit too boy-like, no?)
  • Or Consider a Move Elsewhere!: Also, Reeshie is currently Lacoste’s highest-ranked active player on the men’s circuit.  Reeshie won another title in Doha (defeating Davydenko), but he was playing way behind the baseline the entire time.  I Nike aren’t interested, DelPo should knock on Lacoste’s doors.  Get in there!

Going back to the tennis…

  • Do not constantly hit down-the-middle BHs that everyone can see coming from a mile away.  This was DelPo’s undoing in many of his matches against Novak and Ferru in 2012.  While the likes of Fed, Berdy and Tsonga (who have more aggressive games) will always prove a challenge for DelPo, I think the transition games that Novak and Ferru play will prove to be the main obstacle for DelPo in 2013.  Many times in 2012, the BHDTL has been a shot that Novak used to put DelPo behind in rallies.  That shot opens up the court against DelPo, which is why he needs to strengthen up his serves (which he’s already doing) and mix up his shots to keep his opponents off pace. DelPo needs to play more comfortably against the likes of Ferru, Novak and Muzz.
  • Observe the Time Rule: The ATP has recently stepped up its observation of the time rule.  While the normal 25-second rule between serves has been loosely observed in the past, the start of the 2013 season has seen players often being called for time violations.  The ITF (which runs the Slams) observes a 20-second rule, which means players are likely going to run up against this.  DelPo tends to play at a slower pace than many others, which means he will have to be mindful of this new development.  DelPo will need to be mindful of this new development and keep his head (and shoes) on.

DelPo is on his way to Australia, where he will play the AAMI Kooyong exho matches as preparation for the AO.  The draw will take place on Jan. 8.  Updates to follow!

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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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4 Responses to A Belated Happy New Year!

  1. Candy says:

    LMAO at Delpo posting this hilarious but lovely photo of him & a kid. (I didn’t know Delpo himself was such a good PR person, eh? 😉 )

    I wonder what the topics are between Delpo and Roddick during the trip to Junin in the helicopter. Did they even chat? 😛

    I can’t wait to see Delpo play competitive tennis again!

    I’m excited about the new season, but, at the same time, I’m a bit nervous already. Can Delpo achieve what he wants? As a Delpo’s fan, what realistic expectations we should have for this season? (Okay, many tennis writers/ reporters/ journalists say Delpo should make Top 5 this year. It’s so boring. They have been saying the same thing since the start of last year. They also thought Delpo could (easily) make Top 5 last year, didn’t they? Oh, and in the middle of the season, some of them changed their mind and thought it was Isner who could make Top 5, oh, and win GS. :P) But okay, yea, THIS year, Delpo should make Top 5, right?

    (Seriously, I hope he won’t lose in early rounds at AO. I’m worried. Lol)

    May mariposa bring Delpo luck in 2013! 🙂

    (If Delpo and Stephanie had really broken up, it would be so sad. Not long ago, Step said she wanted to start a family with Delpo. And Delpo said he wanted settle down in Tandil a few years later. Also, I think Delpo had written “Feliz Cumple Step” on the camera after a match last year? They’re a sweet couple. Oh…. 😥 )

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hah, from Roddick’s twitter, it seems like he and his wife went to dinner with Gaston Gaudio after the exhos were finished. DelPo didn’t attend b/c he had to fly to Australia. I wish Roddick had tweeted more while he was in South America. I’m curious to know if he chatted with DelPo and what they talked about! (It’s a good thing DelPo has PR now, b/c a PR manager would have tweeted the whole helicopter ride!)

      From DelPo’s point of view, he’s had great momentum from the end of last year. Yet 2013 is a new start, which means it might take time for him to get into the swing of things. He is a momentum plyr, so it’s tough to gauge how he’ll perform at the start of the yr. I watched his exho against PHM and he seemed jet-lagged and sluggish (which makes sense, since he just arrived in Oz from Argentina). I hope DelPo can put in a strong performance at the AO — he’ll be the 6th seed, so things are definitely looking up for him. I think there’s good reason to hope for a strong showing at the start of the year. My “minimum hope” for DelPo is that he can surpass Berdy in the rankings in the next 2-3 weeks. The fact that he’s so close (ranking pts-wise) to the top 5 is a true credit to his comeback. I’ll never stop admiring that part of his post-2011 career. I think the biggest obstacles for DelPo will be Ferru, Novak and Muzz. Those guys are the worst match-up for DelPo, but again, he showed progress against Ferru and Novak last yr. Ferru is like the new Federer for DelPo — this means DelPo is due for a win in the next 1-2 matches, no? 🙂

      Let’s salute to a great season in 2013! The stakes are a bit higher this time, but I think DelPo has more potential than Berdy or Tsonga, which means he could again make the breakthrough that’s eluded the other guys. I feel strangely optimistic for 2013, even as I worry that he’ll lose early at AO (this is the “DelPo fan experience” ;))

  2. Rita says:

    First, I like the attempt at restoring his wholesome image by posing with a cute chicito. Somehow, this doesn’t erase the picture stuck in my mind of his infamous encounter with a Painted Lady in la ducha. More on that later.
    Add to the list of Delpo’s New Years Resolutions: 1) Stay away from slutty women who record your conversations about trysts in the shower then sell details about your manhood to the media to garner publicity for her upcoming stage show. 2) Hire a public relations professional to manage your press relations, prep you for questions and do damage control should you ignore resolution #1. 3) Hire a stylist who’ll make sure you look as good off court as on and, with your PR person, prevent pictures taken of you with a towel wrapped around your head like some Swami.
    As for his game, Delpo looked very good at his exhos and is considered by many to be the next likely top 5 player if he stays healthy and focuses on diversifying his came so the opponent doesn’t see the next shot coming a mile away. Ferru may have peaked given his recent loss to some nobody and now’s Delpo’s chance to FINALLY beat him and stop having to be comforted by Ferru for crying like a baby at the net. I hope they meet early in the AO to get the first test over with.
    Leave it to Andy to make the DC comment. Never known for his reticence, he’ll make one heck of a sports commentator. I wish he’d have done an in-depth interview of Delpo before retreating back into retirement.
    What of Rafa? How will he handle losing rank? Will the King of Clay be able to return at all if his knees are just gone? Will folks be saying “Rafa who?” by mid-year?
    One last word on my fav topic, Delpo’s private life. We romantics are grieving for his break-up with the angelic Stephie. Yes, this was his not his first dalliance but this one went beyond the pale. Maybe their relationship had just run it’s course but he could have let her down gently with class instead of acting like a rutting hog with a woman who looks like a porn star. At the same time Delpo’s putting his hands in wet concrete at the mural dedication, the amiga de la ducha is publishing photos of herself rubbing her tits into a clay court and posing for crotch shots suggesting tennis balls discharging from her con&%a. She claims they are still communicating and if so, Delpo HAS lost his mind. Once he arrives in AUS unattached, look out for all those blond Sheila’s to line up at his shower door…

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yup, I definitely agree with your addendum to the New Year’s Resolutions! 🙂 Mainly, having someone take care of his PR seems like it could be a good move for him, as it could mean better exposure and better communication with the media.

      I feel like DelPo has a bit of good momentum on his side, although I worry that he hasn’t played an official warm-up tournament before the AO. He’s currently right behind Berdych in the ranking — with a great performance in Melbourne, he could make his move and plant himself further inside the top 8. Since DelPo’s a bit of a slow starter, I guess the primary concern is that he doesn’t lose in the early rounds.

      Rafa’s absence is a shock, but I guess it provides chances for the other players (namely, Muzz — Muzz must be loving this). But the likes of DelPo, Ferru, Tsonga and Berdy also have their chances to exploit this opportunity and I hope something does happen along those lines. I’m hoping DelPo can beat Ferru or Muzz early on in the season, as that seems like it would be a major confidence-boost for him. From the sound of it, it seems Rafa will be back before he falls out of the top 8.

      With respect to the “scandal,” all I can say is that it’ll be nice for DelPo to be out of Argentina and hard at work on the hard courts in Melbourne!! I certainly hope she doesn’t show up there to cheer him on — that would be frightful!

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