Against Devvarman, DelPo had a relatively comfortably win. He won 6-4 6-4.
DelPo’s performance in R2 was a mixed bag. His point construction was better than it was against Baggy, and he was able to hit his stride and set up winners. In an encouraging sign, he also did not resort constantly to the BH slice (which was the first sign yesterday that his left wrist was bothering him). Devarrman clearly aimed to break down DelPo’s BH, but he wasn’t consistent enough and he also could not deal with the weight of DelPo’s shots. While Devarrman started out strong, the momentum swung in DelPo’s favor.
However, DelPo was a mere 2/10 on BPs. He had many chances to go up a double break in the 2nd set. While Devvarman served well to save himself in many instances, DelPo also missed a fair share of chances. DelPo’s first serve was also weak at 59%.
In the QF, DelPo will face Daniel Brands, who defeated Youzhny in straight sets. Brands, he of the 1HBH and strong serves (plus a well-respectable net game), will be a tough opponent. Last year, DelPo defeated Brands in the R16 at Vienna. However, he required 3 TBs to win. The players went a combined 0-15 on BP chances. DelPo hit 30 aces to Brands’s 32 aces. That was the first time at an ATP event where both players hit over 30 aces in a best-of-3 match.
Photos & Videos:
- Diego Maradona, who attended the WTA event last week, attended DelPo’s match against Devvarman. After the match, he joined DelPo on-court to have a hit with the big man. If you can make it through this set of photos without cracking up, you are a better person than I am:
What do we think about Maradona’s stance while returning DelPo’s serve? He stands right on the baseline and assumes the position of a sumo-wrestler. Then again, maybe Maradona sensed DelPo wasn’t serving his best today:[tweet https://twitter.com/DelpoFriendClub/status/306771689251934208 align=’center’]
[tweet https://twitter.com/canchallena/status/306769534029791234 align=’center’]
The two shared a cheerful handshake. Maradona then climbed a chair to give a bear hug to DelPo:[tweet https://twitter.com/livetennis/status/306780939311271938 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/iamrana/status/306766581139128321 align=’center’]
In addition to Maradona, DelPo has brought other Argentinean futbolistas on-court to play tennis with him, including Man City forward Carlos Tevez at the 2009 WTF and fellow Man City striker Kun Aguero at the 2012 WTF. During the off-season, he also played “futbol-tenis” with Federer against Gabriel Batitusta. Last year, former Boca Juniors star Martin Palermo was a frequent presence at DelPo’s matches.
Of all the Argie futbolistas, I have to say my vote goes to Kun Aguero for best candidate to be DelPo’s hitting partner:
- Later, Maradona met with Federer. How does a fútbol GOAT react to a meeting with the tennis GOAT? Maradona went the route of pinching Fed’s cheeks. I cannot imagine Rod Laver would attempt the same with Fed:
- DelPo’s been doing his PR duties at Dubai this year. Before his cool-down session with Maradona, he filmed a video at the Dubai Airport. He played video games, before he purchased a lottery ticket and tucked himself awkwardly into the Porsche that was on display. DelPo’s friend Marco also makes a cameo.
- The 2013 Dubai Player Party: He was also seen at the Player Party, wearing a pre-shrunk cardigan. Apparently, form-fitting cardigans are now in fashion!
In DelPo’s post-match interview, he mentioned he is still frustrated with the pain he feels in his left wrist. He told Sport360,
“Sometimes I need to change the way I play the games, and sometimes I get frustrated because I can’t hit the ball like I want to,
“I’m in contact with my doctor, and he gave me the confidence to keep playing in the tournament. Of course it’s a very important tournament for me, and I want to go far.
“The good thing is I’m not getting worse. But of course I would like to feel 100 per cent, but I will see after this tournament what I can do for my wrist to recover.”
Last year, DelPo had left wrist pains during Cincinnati, but he still reached the SF. After Cincy, he ended up visiting Dr. Berger at the Mayo Clinic, after which he decided to play the USO. He reached the QF at the USO, where he played well in his R4 and QF matches (against Roddick and Djokovic).
While he went on to play his opening DC SF rubber, he ended up withdrawing from the tie because of the pain in his wrist (and partly due to doctor’s orders). Eventually, he ended up skipping the Asian swing before returning for the European indoor HC season.