DelPo Confirmed for Rome

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:

federer pope

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.


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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7 Responses to DelPo Confirmed for Rome

  1. Pingback: Photos: DelPo Meets the Pope in Rome | mariposaxprs

  2. says:

    So the Rome draw is out and Juan has his share of giant killers on his side. He also plays doubles with Baghdatis and may meet the GOAT doubles team, the Bryans. Now that match should be a hoot and don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Rome is shaping up to be one crazy week.
    There’s already a video up of Seppi and other Catholic players having to be content with watching a Papal Mass among the throngs in St. Peter’s Square. Let’s hope the Argies can get a private audience. I hope they take care to wear appropriate attire. Pico’s look is getting scragglier by the day, he looks more and more like Zabaleta who’s so homely he’s cute, like a stray dog. Just pray Juan doesn’t wear pink flip-flops. I’m sure he’ll aim for a rosary blessed by His Holiness for his mamacita back in Tandil.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      DelPo’s draw is manageable for him—the question is whether or not he can shake off his rust and play well here. This is the only opportunity he’ll have to play before Roland Garros, so it’s crucial he gets at the very least a few matches under his belt. I have a feeling his potential R3 against Almagro will be difficult.

      Is the Seppi video from a few years back? I hope the meeting between the Argie players and the Pope happens. Fed had a “private meeting” in 2006 — or more like, he had the chance to be right next to the Pope — that’s probably what will happen with the Argie players, if they get their meeting.

      I’m with you on hoping DelPo doesn’t wear flip-flops to that meeting 🙂 It would be nice for him to wish his mother well as well. At least we know she isn’t suffering badly right now. I wouldn’t get my hopes too high about the Argies being well-dressed. If their DC photos are anything to go by…

  3. Candy says:

    I’m afraid Delpo will “flip-flop” his way to the Pope. Then the Pope may watch his foot impromptu. 😛
    So they are trying to arrange a meeting between the Pope and Argie playerS…… so it includes… Ze…..who?! What’s his name? Yea that guy. SO maybe after the meeting, they put down everything and become friends. Hallelujah! 😉

    LMAO when I saw “It can’t be done any slower” catchphrase. Delpo does everything very slowly. Like I said, it’s a perfect meeting for Delpo! 😛

    Now Delpo has a Pope and a magician on his side. Sure he can pull a miracle or magic when it’s needed.

    No se puede hacer más lento! Hallelujah!

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Noooo!!! Why do you mention flip-flops? I think my heart will burst (not in a good way) if he shows up to a possible meeting with the Pope wearing flip-flops. What if he wears a scarf with the flip-flops?! I’m concerned now. I blame you if he shows up in them! 🙂 As for “Ze…who?!,” I hope he realizes his errors after meeting the Pope. And then breaks down to beg forgiveness. That would be quite the soap opera, no?! I think it would be a such a sweet moment if the meeting happens!

      When DelPo is serving, we should chant “No se puede hacer más lento.” Followed by “Hallelujah” when he doesn’t get a time violation 😉 I don’t think magicians have time violation rules though, which is a bit unfair! But maybe the magician can do a trick and stop the chair umpire’s stopwatch for DelPo.

      Only 2 days to Rome & DelPo time! I didn’t see Kei-Fed, but wow, what a great result for Kei. I’m worried about Fed, but I hope DelPo and Fed both play much better in Rome.

      • Candy says:

        Ahhh… I mean the Pope may *WASH his foot impromptu, not watch…. lol

        We can also chant “No se puede hacer más lento” when Delpo takes a year to decide if he’s going to challenge and “Hallelujah” when the umpire actually allows him to challenge (and the opponent doesn’t get angry). And “Amen” at the end when the challenge favours Delpo. 😉

        Delpo will wear a Nike polo shirt, a pair of red jeans and flip-flops…… and woolen hat if it’s cold. A backward cap if not. Lol oh no….. I will call Franco and ask him not let this disaster happen. Amen.

        Kei was awesome! (But he lost in QF. 😦 ) As for Fed, is he losing his sparks this year?! He’s not doing very well by his standard.
        Btw, I’m happy Stan is having a great tournament in Madrid (and won the “5th Slam” in Portugal last week)! I thought Stan would probably lose the SF. He was having the same path as Delpo last year in this period of the season – Winning Estoril, then making SF in Madrid, facing the same opponent (Berdy) in SF. Then I thought Stan would also be like Delpo, losing the SF, partly due to tiredness. But he made it! 😀

        • mariposaxprs says:


          Hahaha the red jeans…it’s been awhile since he showed up in those. They would match splendidly with the orange-and-white striped polo tee he is fond of wearing. I hope you sent that letter to Franco! 😉

          I was completely surprised by Kei’s win over Fed. Fed’s having a slow start to this year. Remember in 2011, when Tipsy won a title before Fed did? I hope for a similar comeback from Fed this year, although it may be tougher, given his age and the mileage in his legs.

          Stan’s having quite the surprise run this year (I think Stan loves that he’s the standout Swiss player now! He can enjoy his time in the sun, after being in Fed’s shadow for so long 🙂 ). You bring up a good point that he went one step farther than DelPo did last year. I remember Stan played very well when he lost to DelPo at the SF in Portugal too. He’s def feeling the fatigue though (possible neck pains), so maybe it’ll turn out for the better that DelPo couldn’t play the “5th Slam” this year.

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