Dubai: DelPo Cruises to the SF, Will Face Winner of Djokovic-Seppi

Quite unexpectedly, DelPo had his easiest match so far at the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Championships, with a 6-4 6-2 QF victory over qualifier Daniel Brands in just over an hour.  The 6’6″ Argentine faced off against the 6’5″ German.

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 12.05.49 AM

Photo: Dubai Duty Free Championships

Daniel Brands has played through qualifying to reach the main draw at 4 tournaments this year (he reached the SF at Doha, R2 at the AO, R1 at Rotterdam and then the QF at Dubai).  The no. 97-ranked German seemed to have achieved a level of consistency, especially with his straight-sets win over Youzhny in R3 at Dubai.

Brands won the coin toss and elected to receive first.  In a rare instance, DelPo started the match by serving first.  He faced some trouble in his second service game, but dug himself out of a 0-30 hole to hold for 2-1*.

In contrast to their Vienna match last year, DelPo and Brands’ ace count was not startlingly high (8 and 7, respectively).  Brands exposed DelPo’s BH side in the earlier rallies.  DelPo tried running around his BH, but this may have also forced him to take the ballast off his FHs, which created opportunities for Brands to hit winners.  Nevertheless, at 0-15 on Brands’ serve at 3*-4 in the 1st set, DelPo hit a lovely running FHDTL.  This seemed to indicate his growing confidence.

However, neither player reached BP on the opponent’s serve.  The 1st set looked like it might head to a TB.  However, Brands unexpectedly folded when he was serving to stay in the set at 4*-5.  He hit a succession of FH errors to create 3 SPs for DelPo.  DelPo took the first one and the set, 6-4.

Brands played poorly for much of the 2nd point, while DelPo grew more fluid with his groundshots.  At one point, DelPo won 12 consecutive points.  He broke the Brands serve to go up 2*-0 in the 2nd set.  He consolidated easily for 3-0*, which meant DelPo had won five straight games in a row.  After 58 minutes, Brands served to stay in the match at 2*-5.  However, Brands once again played very erratically to get broken for the match.

***

Presser Quotes:

[tweet https://twitter.com/TennisNewsTPN/status/307107422449848320 align=’center’]

While it was nice to see DelPo go through to the SF with an easy win, Brands’ errors may have covered up for the continuing troubles DelPo faces with his wrist.

Luckily enough, DelPo says his left wrist pain has not gotten worse.  While this many not necessarily be good news, it’s reassuring to hear he’s not playing through severe pain.  To wit, while Brands drew DelPo into many BH slice rallies during their match, DelPo didn’t show hesitation in hitting his regular BH.

DelPo’s quotes, per the Tennis Panorama News site:

“Looks easy but wasn’t easy … I played really well in the second set, and I take my chance to break his serve in the end of the first set.   Today [Brands] made a few double faults in the important moments, and I took that to break his serves. I think that was the key.”

At this very moment, Djokovic has just bageled Seppi in the 1st set.  DelPo’s likely SF meeting with Djokovic will be their 10th match-up (Djokovic leads 7-2).

***

ATP All-Stars:

In keeping with Maradona’s visit to Dubai and his goal to ambush every living tennis player with a hug and a kiss, Sky Sports Tennis released their “ATP All-Star” football team:

[tweet https://twitter.com/SkySportsTennis/status/307120676496633856 align=’center’]

Then, Davis Cup chimed in with their own line-up:

[tweet https://twitter.com/DavisCup/status/307155783911608320 align=’center’]

I disagree with any line-up that has Berdy starting at ‘9.’  I disagree with SkySports and Davis Cup over their assignment for DelPo.  DelPo could definitely do better than a Gasquet or a Berdy or a Tipsarevic in midfield.  Also, I’d be concerned about any lineup that features Gasquet or Tipsarevic as a winger.  Ferru, however, is correctly assigned in the middle.  There’s no one better suited for that role than Ferru.  I agree with Davis Cup that Tsonga would make a great goalkeeper.

In any case, here is a clip of DelPo at Martin Palermo’s farewell match at La Bombonera stadium last year.  DelPo delivers a clever (the most technically masterful, if I do say so myself) assist.  The commentator was clearly impressed, at 2:49 — his bemused “Juan Martiiin” is hilarious:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=znD3w8tJfX0&start=150s&w=455&h=305]
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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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5 Responses to Dubai: DelPo Cruises to the SF, Will Face Winner of Djokovic-Seppi

  1. Charanjeet Singh says:

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  2. Candy says:

    That’s what I’m worrying about. Delpo had easy R2 and QF matches because Devvarman and Brands didn’t give much pressure on Delpo. That doesn’t mean his wrist is fine. I’m afraid he might get trashed by Nole. I can foresee Delpo may call the trainers out at some points during the match. You know, at Cincy Masters last year, he also played Nole in the SF with the left wrist pain. He had called the trainer out during the match. Everything is too similar. It’s hard for me not to feel like we’re going to go through all these things once again. His doctor said it’s ok for Delpo to play at USO. But he ended up needing one-month rest after DC. The situations are too similar. I hope he can hold it up for IW & Miami. Then he can have a long rest before his clay court season starts. (ahhh… it’s frustrated, like Delpo said. I hope his wrist problem this time is not as serious as it was last time.)

    Haha. Tennis-football crossovers are non-stop at the moment. Me Gusta! IMO, Berdych is those types of player who usually recklessly rush every chance while Murray would be a bit hesitating when he has chances to score. Generally, I don’t think Berdych is the most important scorer in the team. (Plus, it’s an all-stars game. I don’t think he’s famous/ popular enough to be no.9 in an all-stars game.) Murray is more suitable. (Also, Berdych may have conflicts with opponents and get a red card. I don’t want to lose my no.9 during the game.) 😛

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yup, I feel like Baggy was the only opponent in Dubai who was playing solidly consistent tennis. Devvarman was a challenge at the beginning, but he faded away after the first set. Brands wasn’t much of a contest at all. I’m just worried about how DelPo will manage against Novak, who seems to be playing well right now. It really is feeling like last yr after the Olympics. I wonder if it’s b/c DelPo won Rotterdam? He had the left wrist injury after winning bronze a the Olymipics. Maybe the extra effort takes something out of him (it’s strange b/c I thought Rafa played *amazingly* at Roland Garros last yr and then he had that long knee injury). Sigh. The one reassuring thing is that the left wrist wasn’t a major issue until now and DelPo did have a great run from Vienna to the WTF last yr. I’ll try to think positively on that!

      I don’t understand how a team with Berdy as no. 9 would hope to score consistently. He’d be one of those plyrs who only shines at the World Cup and is otherwise mediocre for his club team, no? 🙂

  3. Iram says:

    Hey I know this isn’t tennis or your blog related…but I think you might have once mentioned to me you watch soccer off and on?! Are you happy that Real Madrid is in the finals of Copa Del Rey? I was ecstatic! 😀 I love Iker’s full-of-wisdom-face! Take care. P.S. I hope Delpo’s semi goes smoothly for him.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Yup, I am happy about Real Madrid!! 🙂 I hope to see the RM plyrs show up at the Madrid Masters this year, it’s always fun to see them sitting in the VIP boxes!! Iker’s thousand-yard stare is one of the best — maybe he can teach Ferru how to celebrate winning a Masters, if Ferru wins it? 🙂

      Thanks, I hope Acapulco goes well for Nico & Ferru & Rafa, although I’m mostly rooting for Ferru!

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