The ceremony for the IW draw took place on Tuesday. DelPo has a very tough path at the first Masters of the year:
R1 BYE – R2 Davydenko/Mathieu – R3 Chardy – R4 Almagro/Haas – QF Murray – SF Djokovic – F Fed/Nadal
DelPo’s had tough luck with the draws this year: In his past three tournaments (at Rotterdam, Marseille and Dubai), DelPo’s opening round opponents were Monfils, Llodra and Baghdatis. At IW, DelPo will likely start his tournament by playing Davydenko, against whom he has a losing record (2-3). However, DelPo won their last match, when Davydenko retired after losing the 2nd set in Marseille last year. Strangely enough, this would be the first time DelPo and Davydenko meet on outdoor HCs (all of their previous encounters were on indoor HCs and clay). Still, Davydenko will need to beat Mathieu first (Mathieu won his last match against Davydenko at Basel last year).
If DelPo gets past his tough opening match against Davydenko/Mathieu, he will then likely have a rematch with Chardy, the destroyer of his dreams at the AO. He will want to seek his revenge, but Chardy will also be anxious to rebound from a disappointing showing in South America. DelPo, Chardy and Muzz seem to end up in the same section of the draw quite often. This is an unholy grouping. Muzz will be in good form, after taking a long break following the AO. He will probably want to cover lost ground, after losing to GGL in his opening match last year.
The hope is that DelPo’s wrist will be in healthy condition, so that he can make a deep run at IW. Fans will be anxious to see DelPo-Muzz QF, since the two haven’t played each other since the 2009 WTF. Last year, DelPo reached the QF after gutting out a 3-set win over Istomin — he then lost in straight sets to Fed, after getting upset with Hawk-Eye.
Rafa makes his comeback to HCs. The 5th seed ended up in Fed’s quarter of the draw. My guess is Rafa will cruise to the QFs. He may face a test from Tipsy, but Tipsy seems to be going through a rough patch these days. Fed will face an early test against Benny and Wawrinka/Isner.[tweet https://twitter.com/EnriqueNoticias/status/309540320499085312 align=’center’]
Berdy and Ferru have cakewalk draws. It’s strange how the players ranked just above DelPo always seem to have the easiest draws. Last year, it was Tipsy. This year, it’s Berdy. That’s the way it goes, I suppose!
While Rafa made his way to IW, I’ve yet to hear of any DelPo sightings at the tournament. DelPo’s name has not appeared in any of the practice schedules so far.
Tennis fans should check out 12kgp’s YouTube channel. There are some great practice sessions uploaded there (including Kei-Goffin, Gasquet-Jo, Tomic-Hewitt and Nalbandian)