Australian Open: “To the Net? I Like to Make Winners on the Baseline”

DelPo’s frank statement about his baseline game goes against the general yearning for what is acknowledged to be the bygone era of serve and volley.

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Nevertheless, DelPo did make 16 ventures to the net and he won 14 of those points.  He passed to R3 after defeating Benjamin Becker, 6-2 6-4 6-2.

Also impressive was DelPo’s winners to UFEs ratio, which was a very solid 50-18.  Once again, DelPo started the match very aggressively.  He hit a total of 22 aces in the match and he was finding angles with his FHs on Becker’s serve.  When he hit a BHDTL winner to hold at 5-3* in the second set, one got the sense he had truly settled into his game:

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Darren Cahill was sitting courtside for the DelPo-Becker match.  Perhaps he was on a reconnaissance mission for the potential QF match between DelPo and Muzz?

Cahill seems to be taking notes on DelPo’s serve and FH.  I hope Franco Davin is taking notes on the notes that Cahill is taking.

While DelPo-Becker was the evening match on Margaret Court Arena, the temperature was still a heady 39C during the match.  DelPo would point at his chest during the change overs and a ball kid would immediately come over to drape his shoulders with an ice towel.

If there is one point of concern, it was DelPo’s low first serve % in the first set.  This in all likelihood resulted in DelPo’s more conservative placement of serves in the 2nd and 3rd sets.  While this duly increased DelPo’s first serve % (he was 83% in the second set), it also meant Becker started to get more than his fair share of looks on DelPo’s serve.  Becker’s deep returns pinned DelPo behind the baseline, which for a brief moment in the 2nd set, seemed to stall DelPo’s clear momentum in the match.  Despite this minor setback and the momentary confusion it wrought on DelPo’s attack strategy, he kept his aggression intact to close out the 2nd set with a serve and FH combination.  He served out the match with 4 straight aces.

There was a brief moment where the trainer appeared on court for DelPo.  Thankfully, it does not appear to be a injury.  The trainer gave what looked like a band-aid to DelPo, which he may have needed for blisters on his hand.

DelPo will now face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in R3.  Chardy pulled a minor upset over Marcel Granollers to reach R3.  In their one previous meeting, DelPo defeated Chardy in straight sets last year (6-1 6-3) in Cincinnati.  Incidentally, Chardy had pulled off a big upset when he defeated Muzz in Cincy.


Presser Comments:

In his short post-match interview, DelPo was asked why he didn’t play more serve-and-volley tennis.  DelPo replied, “To the net?  I like to make winners on the baseline.”

The persistent interviewer then asked “Is your volley not so good?”

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  I’m working on my volley, but I’m confidence playing on the baseline with forehands and backhands.  But I know the way to beat the top guys is going to the net all the time, but I’m not playing against them yet.


R3 Matches Begin: Jerzy Janowicz vs. Nico Almagro

I didn’t get around to doing a R1 write-up, but the highlights included Jerzy Janowicz’s 5-set comeback win over Somdev Devvarman in R1.  Early in the match, Janowicz had a meltdown over a line call.  He went crazy:

Jerzy received a code violation for his subsequent verbal tirade at the umpire.  He reportedly took a swing at the ump’s chair with his racquet as well.

I’ve always wondered why there isn’t a set rule that players should refrain from physical contact with the chair umpire.  Marat Safin once got into a very heated argument with Fergus Murphy, where he climbed up the ump’s chair to speak face-to-face with him:

In the clip above, Safin was playing against Juan Carlos Ferrero.  Marat Safin once refused to shake Nico Almagro’s hand after a match, because he was upset with Nico.

Guess who Jerzy Janowicz is playing in R3?

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Nico Almagro, the sometimes protégé of Juan Carlos Ferrero.  Janowicz-Almagro is sure to be a firecracker match.  I hope the tennis lives up to the drama that is inevitable with such a match-up.


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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6 Responses to Australian Open: “To the Net? I Like to Make Winners on the Baseline”

  1. hotel oradea says:

    I hardly create responses, however I read a few of the responses here Australian Open: To the Net?
    I Like to Make Winners on the Baseline | mariposaxprs.

    I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s okay.
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    Would you list of all of all your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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  3. Cannot believe he clowned up today against Chardy. Was looking forward to seeing him play Murray. Back to the practise courts for him I feel. Needs to work on his game.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yea, this loss to Chardy is quite surprising, to say the least. He was playing far more impressively in his first two matches — either he peaked too early and it came crashing down in R3, or something was wrong with him. From what I’ve read, there’s no indication of an injury, so that’s a small relief. Plus, AO has never been DelPo’s strongest Slam, so perhaps he needs more season momentum before he gets started.

      I’m thinking a DelPo-Muzz match will have to take place at some point over the year. They’ve managed to avoid each other for so long (since 2009). I’m looking to see how he plays the indoor HCs (at Rotterdam, Marseilles). He plays well on those.

  4. says:

    Who would have thought the early rounds would be so exciting? Maybe it’s that famous Melbourne heat. Permit me to add the only upset I’ve seen, Aussie Sam Stosur’s loss after being ahead 5-2 and blowing 2 match points. She’s the gal with muscles any man would envy. And I just love the Aussie cheering section that dresses in yellow and chants during their countrymen’s matches adding much needed energy and fun while Team Koala struggles.
    Yes, we can see how Delpo has really upped his game. He not only plays better, he looks better, not so much like a bean pole. His palitos especially have bulked up nicely. I noticed Mr. Cahill pegs Delpo at 6’7″ – did he grow another inch or just standing taller ’cause he feels so good about himself? You can tell he’s feeling fit by the way he speaks with more confidence. Maybe he got some good tips from Roger and Andy during their visits to ARG or perhaps he’s taken to eating donkey cheese like Nole LOL. Getting away from all the negative publicity in ARG has to help, too. Now, if he can maintain his newly honed weapons against the Big Guns to play less predictable shots and come into the net more. Wouldn’t it be something if he brought home a GS trophy and shoved it up the collective orto of those who have been ranting at him about the DC?
    I saw Charly in Cincy when as the lucky loser he beat Roddick, he’s not to be underestimated.
    And don’t we love Delpo’s new shorts, way more form-fitting than the droopy drawers he’s worn previously. I also read where he’s playing with this old USO racquet and so far the mojo is working.
    Wish I could find the funny video where Serena, Muzz and Nole are asked to eat a Vegemite sandwich. Their reactions are priceless.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      You’re definitely right about the early rounds this year! I don’t remember being this engaged during the first week at last yr’s AO. Perhaps we have DelPo to thank for making the early rounds more exciting to watch? 🙂 I’m inclined to think so, as he didn’t play near this level during his early rounds at last yr’s AO — I remember he played passably well (just enough to win) against Mannarino and Kavcic. Then he played passably well enough to defeat Lu with a bagel, yet I had the feeling he wasn’t playing anywhere near his best. In contrast, he’s playing much better this year and I like the way he’s winning his early matches.

      DelPo does seem to have gained a little weight, but it’s muscle mass. His legs are def bulkier than his pre-2009 days, when they were literally beanpoles. I think DelPo’s actual-factual height is 6’7″, although he’s listed at 6’6″. Berdy’s listed at 6
      5″, but from the photos, I’d say DelPo is a fair bit taller than Berdy.

      I wasn’t able to see Stosur’s match but I saw the tweets and oh my!! She really endured a heartbreaker, huh? It’s the Aussie curse…I can’t believe she served for it twice. Did you watch the Tomic-Brands match? There was quite the Aussie character running around in the stands, engaging the crowd! FYI: They’re an official cheer squad, you can see more about them here! (

      I’ll have to look for the Vegemite video! I haven’t seen that one yet. I hope DelPo brings it and his shorts against Chardy!

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