In a tough R1 match against an opponent who has always proven a match-up, DelPo defeated Baghdatis, 4-6 6-4 7-6(4).[tweet https://twitter.com/TennisNewsTPN/status/306447848810106880 align=’center’]
Some observations from this match:
- During the 1st set, Baggy played well and he did a great job of mixing up the pace of his shots from the baseline. He played impressive shots where he took DelPo’s CC shot to hit a DTL winner. Baggy was holding his own against DelPo in the long rallies. DelPo, curiously enough, was quite tentative with his shots. While serving to stay in the set at 4*-5, DelPo played a loose game and DF-ed to give away the set. Baggy was up 6-4.
- DelPo hit his FHs with far more spin than we’re accustomed to seeing and he also resorted to his BH slice on numerous occasions. Baggy’s serve wasn’t particularly strong during the match, yet DelPo had a tough time winning points through the return-of-serve. DelPo’s level picked up in the 2nd set, although, to be quite frank, Baggy also retreated a bit from his “zoning” mode earlier on. DelPo broke in the 2nd set and served well to level the match at 6-4.
- Baggy broke DelPo in the 3rd set, but DelPo managed to break back and play a beautiful series of points to hold at 4-all. However, he faced scoreboard pressure again when he served to stay in the match at 4*-5. He went 0-30 on his serve and Baggy eventually gained 2 MPs. DelPo brought out his incredible serve and FH combos to save them. Quite frankly, as horrid as his game was against Baggy, DelPo deserves so much praise for hanging through these rallies at the business end of the match. He eventually saved 3 MPs and the 3rd set went to a TB, which was similarly messy, as DelPo gained an early MB, only to hand it back and then gain it again. He played a rare BHDTL to gain 2 MPs and he eventually won the match at 7-4 in the TB.
Trouble with the Left Wrist:
DelPo said he was partly lucky to have scraped through that match, and I would say his assessment of his own performance was accurate.
However, red flags were raised when DelPo also admitted to feeling pain in his left wrist (the same injury he faced last year at Cincinnati, after the Olympics). He said, “I’m feeling a bit tired, but that’s normal. I also have a bit of pain in my left wrist, like I did last year at Cincinnati.”
If it’s any consolation, at least it’s not a recurrence of the right wrist injury that forced the long layoff in 2010. Still, it’s problematic for DelPo that he’s dealing with the left wrist injury that wrought quite a bit of drama for him in 2012 (the DC SF comes to mind here). DelPo had visited his doctor at the Mayo Clinic for his left wrist injury, after losing in the SF at Cincinnati.
As it is, DelPo is still in the Dubai tournament and he will face no. 315-ranked Somdev Devvarman in the next round. Devarrman defeated Kunitsyn to advance from R1.
The Dubai tournament shared a sweet story: Apparently, DelPo and Devvarman trained together at Dubai. Afterwards, Devarrman asked DelPo for his autograph. The DelPo-Devarrman match will be the first H2H meeting between the two. Devarrman notched a 3-set win over Paire at Marseille last week and he drove Jerzy Janowicz to fits at the AO this year.