In exciting news, DelPo’s camp has confirmed that DelPo will play Rome. This is a long-awaited return, after the virus scare that forced him to withdraw from Portugal and Madrid. In a radio interview, DelPo confirmed he had been able to train after several days of bed rest.
This past week, DelPo met Rene Lavand, a famous magician from Tandil who has appeared on Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson’s television shows. Interesting fact: Lavand lost his right hand in a car crash when he was a child. As a result, he has performed all his magic with one hand.
Perhaps Lavand was the inspiration for DelPo, who pretty much reached the Indian Wells final this year with only his right hand. Furthermore, Lavand’s catchphrase when he closes his magic tricks is “No se puede hacer más lento” (“It can’t be done any slower”). That catchphrase brings to mind the general eternity it takes for DelPo to prepare for his serve 🙂 I wonder if the Magician’s Alliance also has a time violation rule for magicians (25 seconds to pull the bunny out of the hat? But what if the bunny’s not ready?!)
Thanks to Mr. Rene Lavand’s powers of illusion (tricks are for kids), DelPo has made a recovery from his virus. He looks chipper in this photo. Here’s hoping Rene Lavand continues to perform his magic when DelPo needs him:
DelPo was also seen playing playing golf at the Golf Club Argentino. After the golfing photo was released, many in the Twitterverse questioned whether or not DelPo had truly been ill. DelPo’s media manager acted quickly to defend DelPo’s honor. Perhaps as a way to refute the rumors, DelPo quickly released a Twitter update of himself in training:
He said he was working to improve his serve. DelPo’s serves were very weak when he lost to Kamke and Nieminen. In each of his surprise losses this year, his serve stats had been noticeably weak. Let’s hope he has figured out this critical part of his game.
It may be the camera angle, but he looks a lot thinner than normal too.
DelPo then had a double training session with Argentinean players Marco Trungelliti and Facuendo Arguello (Arguello has also been sparring partner for the DC team), before he flew out to Rome. I wonder if Trungelliti and Arguello played 2-on-1 against DelPo (Fed famously uses 2-on-1 sessions to get into shape during the off season):
It’s reported that DelPo may also play doubles at Rome, as a way to fast track his clay-court preparation before Roland Garros. DelPo has played doubles with Fognini in the past. A partnership with the Fog in Rome would be an instantaneous way to gain crowd support.
Also, the ATP is working to arrange a meeting between the Argentinean players and the recently elected Pope (who hails from Argentina). Fans may remember that many attributed DelPo’s great run to the IW final to the power of the newly-elected Pope. Nothing short of a photo between DelPo and Pope Francisco will satisfy those who demand that a connection be made between DelPo’s success in March and the Argentine Pope’s election. Habemus photo, please?
Out of curiosity, I checked to see if other active tennis players have ever had the honor of meeting a Pope. Fed can claim first honors here. Here he is with Mirka in May 2006, being greeted by Pope Benedict XVI at the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican:
Leave it to Fed to turn out perfectly dressed and coiffed up for a meeting with the Pope.
Remember when Novak showed up to shake hands with Queen Elizabeth at 2010 Wimbledon wearing a commoner’s track suit? All the other players were dressed in their finest to meet the Queen (Fed came dressed in a dapper suit).
Yet Novak showed up in a track suit and lost in the SF to Berdych that year. There’s a lesson in all of this: “Dress for success.” That motto may not have served Fed particularly well at Wimbledon in 2010, but he proved himself at SW19 in 2012, when he fought his way to an emphatic victory that decorates an already fully illustrious career.
In conclusion, all I ask is that DelPo not look embarrassing when he shows up to his potential meeting with the Pope. Properly ironed khakis and a decent sweater will do. A tie would be nice. A suit would be even better.