After a long bout with a virus that pretty much wiped out his clay season, DelPo will make his return to tour on grass at the Queens tournament.
Due to DelPo’s missing RG this year, he falls one spot in the rankings. Tsonga, who reached the SF at RG with an upset win over Fed, overtakes DelPo for no. 7 (by 195 points). DelPo is 870 points ahead of no. 9-ranked Gasquet. DelPo also fell to no. 10 in the Race to London (he is now 425 points behind no. 8, Wawrinka).
The grass season will hopefully be a new start. On June 5, DelPo announced he was prepared to make his return to tour. He thanked his fans for their support and expressed his regrets over missing so much of the clay season. While he cautions that his preparation for the grass court season hasn’t been perfect, he says he is ready to play again.
DelPo has entered both the singles and doubles draw (with Marin Cilic) at Queens, which features four of the top 10 players (Murray, Berdych, Tsonga and Del Potro). In his opening round, DelPo will face the winner of Malisse-Garcia Lopez. He could then potentially face the winner of Evans-Nieminen/Harrison in the QF.
The last time DelPo played Queen’s in 2011, he lost to Adrian Mannarino in R2. He didn’t play Queen’s in 2012, due to a lingering knee injury.
DelPo’s progress on grass has been quite encouraging in the past two years — he lost a very close match to Rafa at R4 in 2011 Wimbledon, but then lost in straight-forward fashion to Ferru in R4 at Wimbledon in 2012. However, he followed up that lackluster performance with a terrific run to the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics at Wimbledon. This begs the question, what can we expect from DelPo on grass this year?
The virus of late has been particularly worrisome. Although it may sound like a tired cliche, DelPo will have to take it match by match. At this point, any sign of consistency would be welcome. DelPo is also confirmed to play the Boodles exho, so he will have chances to gain even more match play before Wimbledon.
Theresa, of @misst89, attended the practice sessions at Queen’s on Saturday and she posted many photos of DelPo (and other players) training. According to Theresa, DelPo, Franco Davin and Sam Querrey had a chat about the Rafole SF at Roland Garros. Sam Querrey then asked disturbingly intrusive questions about DelPo’s housing situation during the grass season. Thanks to Sam (and Theresa!), we now know that DelPo is staying at Wimbledon.
DelPo’s friend, Marcos, who traveled with DelPo to Rotterdam and Dubai is also in attendance at Queen’s. You may remember Marcos from the Rotterdam celebration video of DelPo chasing his team down the hallway, after his title win this year (he’s the slightly rotund and amiable character). In any case, Marcos may be the good luck charm that DelPo needs for his grass season.
Updates to follow as the Queen’s tournament gets under way! DelPo and Cilic will play their doubles match against Andujar and Lopez in a few hours.
Pedro Pinto of CNN did an interview with DelPo, which will air later this week.[tweet https://twitter.com/PSungCuadrado/status/344056384377196544 align=’center’]