Dubai: DelPo Will Face Brands in the QF

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:
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Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 12.26.01 AM

Photo: Dubai Duty Free Championships

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:

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The two shared a cheerful handshake.  Maradona then climbed a chair to give a bear hug to DelPo:

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DelPo Maradona hug - 2013 Dubai

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:

kun aguero 2012 wtf

Photo: AFP

  • 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:

Federer - Maradona - 2013 Dubai

  • 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!
Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 12.38.01 AM

Photo: Dubai Duty Free Championships 


Presser Quotes:

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.


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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13 Responses to Dubai: DelPo Will Face Brands in the QF

  1. le divorce says:

    Heya! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I had
    to ask. Does running a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount work?
    I am completely new to writing a blog but I do write in my diary everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  2. Candy says:

    Rememeber Delpo also played football (with a big tennis ball) with some Argie futbolistas who played for Benfica? 😉 Those tournaments really like to arrange tenista-futbolista meetings for Delpo. I love it! 🙂

    Delpo should play in Barcelona. Then they should arrange a meeting for Delpo & Messi. It would be fun if they played tenis/ futbol together and exchanged a signed tennis ball/ football. *dreaming* I have been waiting for a Delpo-Messi photo for so long. (I’m not a better person than you are. :P)

    When I watched that “Delpo in Dubai’s airport” video, I couldn’t stop laughing seeing Marcos there! He’s really with Delpo EVERYWHERE. I think I get used to seeing him now, but still feel a bit awkward to see him in a tournament’s promotional video. Normally it would be Franco/ sometimes Martiniano. “Adrian” was with Delpo at some tournaments before but we didn’t really notice him in public appearances. But I guess it’s good Delpo has a friend with him on tour and accompanying him to promotional/ sight-seeing events so that Franco can focus on his job. 😉

    • mariposaxprs says:

      It completely slipped my mind that he played football with that gigantic tennis ball with the Argie futbolistas at Benfica! DelPo playing football with a gigantic tennis ball is so awesome (also, based on that video clip, DelPo shouldn’t be a goalkeeper — even if he looks like De Gea! ;))

      I would love to see a DelPo-Messi tennis/football match. Messi would have to be the ball kid for DelPo when they play tennis…or else, they’ll just have to play football! (<– I am evil :D) I think Messi once played a volleyball match with Maradona. Maybe we should call Maradona and ask him to arrange a DelPo-Messi exho? Or maybe Maradona can take over the Madrid Masters tournament, and move it to Barcelona for a year 😉 I'd like to see the Barca plyrs support tennis too, and who knows, maybe Messi would show up to support DelPo!

      Lolol, when Marco's face showed up in the DelPo-Dubai-airport video, I was like "Oh HI THERE, you again!!" The promo video did a close-up of Marco's face when DelPo bought the lottery ticket. That was hilariously awkward. I laughed too. Marco should at least introduce himself in the video, like a normal person. It's sweet though that DelPo hangs out w/the same crew of friends, year after year. Maybe next time, "Adrian" will want to appear in a video?

      Remember when DelPo was having a tough time against Zemlja in the Vienna final? I was thinking, "Ahh stupid Franco, why did you go on that Vienna ferris wheel ride, instead of scouting Zemlja?!" I guess Franco has listened to our pleas for change? 😀

      • Candy says:

        I remember your complaint at last year’s Vienna. That’s why I think it’s good Delpo has an amigo with him here. There’s finally a time Franco took our advice. 😉 Btw, is Franco in Dubai actually?! I only saw Martiniano in Delpo-Devvarman match. I remember I only saw Martiniano and Stephanie at last year’s Dubai. So I’m curious.

        LMAO. “Messi would have to be the ball kid.” ahaha
        NO! Don’t say to me that Delpo looks like De Gea. Every time I hear about it, I feel like crying. I’m a fan of Liverpool. Man United are our arch-rival. I can’t accept that my favourite tennis player looks like a player in Man United. No. Delpo is much more handsome! No? 😉

        I wondered who would be the next Argie futbolista to play tenis with Delpo. I never thought it would be Maradona. Haha. Again, I wonder who will be the next?! Real Madrid have Argie futbalistas (such as Higuain who is famous too). Organizer should invite them to attend a Delpo’s match there! (Ronaldo, Casillas and some other Madrid players did show up at Madrid Masters, so I guess it’s not difficult to get Madrid players to attend a tennis match. ;)) Ok, I will write a letter to Madrid Masters to tell them my awesome idea. 😛

        • says:

          At today’s match with Nole it was noted that Franco is not in Dubai with Delpo. Curious.

          • mariposaxprs says:

            Franco wasn’t in Dubai last yr either (last yr, Martiniano and ex-Stephanie Demner attended with DelPo). I think Franco goes home after Marseille and meets up with DelPo for IW.

        • mariposaxprs says:

          Come to think of it, Franco wasn’t in Dubai — only Martiniano and Marco attended. I guess Franco has a week’s mini-vacation before IW starts!

          Haha understood! I’m not a ManU fan but I was curious about De Gea b/c I heard he was supposed to be very talented. It seems like De Gea’s had a bit of a rollercoaster ride at ManU. That’s why I’m never sure whether it’s a compliment to DelPo when he’s compared w/De Gea 🙂 Plus, I agree DelPo is way more handsome. De Gea looks a little spacey (like an airhead, lol)

          I’m a Xabi Alonso fan (so I used to watch Liverpool matches for him!) I will co-sign your letter to Madrid Masters! DelPo could use some support from the Argies!

  3. Iram says:

    Was Diego standing on a clock or something when hugging Delpo?! 😀 How cute! I’m glad they have a good relationship. I know they are both important to their country’s sports history. And nice to see Roger share a moment with him too.
    *Are we ever gonna see Delpo play in the Latin Swing?! I mean the guy wouldn’t even have to travel *that* much!
    Hope ur weekend is going good. BTW, I loved Santa Barbara. Well the scenic drive more to be honest. 🙂 t c

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yup, Diego was standing on the chairs, so he could reach up to DelPo to give him a hug 😀 (photo is here:

      I thought it was funny to see them having a hit together on court. Diego’s photo with Roger was so hilarious! I cracked up laughing when I saw them with each other. It’s quite fun! Maradona should appear at the Buenos Aires tournament too, next year!

      I’m not sure if DelPo will ever play the Latin Swing. He prefers to play the indoor HC season in Europe over clay in South America — I think he just prefers HCs over clay. The ATP changed their schedule so that Acapulco will be a HC event next year.— maybe DelPo will change his mind to play Acapulco? I think it’s tough though, since Acapulco will still be the only HC event in South America (and DelPo wants to play many HCs w/o traveling too much). We’ll see, I guess!

      That’s great to hear your roadtrip to Santa Barbara worked out well!! I’ve never been there but I can imagine the scenic views, fresh air and being surrounded by nature. It must’ve been so relaxing. I am jealous!! 😀 My weekend went well too, I am getting a bit busier with work and family, so life’s been hectic lately! Hope you are well.

      • Iram says:

        sounds like u need some relaxing time! 😉 Hopefully u’ll get to soon.
        * and I didn’t know that about Acapulco. I really wonder if the players are gonna be okay with that. (hint hint Rafa mainly) 😛 More whining there too? I hate to start mocking him, but it’s own words that are making me wonder about his approach to the sport.

        • mariposaxprs says:

          Thanks, I’m looking forward to saying bye to the gloomy winter weather soon!

          Acapulco will be on HC, but the ATP is also introducing a new 500-level clay-court event at Rio de Janeiro in 2014. So Rafa can save his complaints (this time, anyway)! 🙂 I agree that Rafa’s complaints (and those from Uncle Toni as well) start to sound whiny and irritating.

          With the 2016 Olympics in Rio, I guess ATP is focusing more and more on Latin America. That means more focus on the Latin Swing, which is great exposure for the players who excel there (aka the Armada players! ;))

  4. says:

    WTF? Djoko parties with the belly dancers and Delpo with two old men? That boy has more than wrist problems or has he sworn off women for a while? LOL
    Yes, he’d better toughen up for Brands. I don’t see how he’s going to play all those matches scheduled for the next few weeks with a weak wrist. Then again, maybe a taste of monastic life would do him good right now.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      The match against Brands will be tough! I added some of DelPo’s presser quotes to the post above — he talks about not being able to play the way he wants, b/c of his wrist pain. That will be troublesome, if Brands shows up with his serves and net game.

      This is why he should never’ve played Marseille and Dubai. He doesn’t need the points. He’s had the practice and his form is solid enough that he doesn’t need match-play in order to settle in. Let’s see how this QF against Brands goes…

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