Queens: DelPo Makes His Return on Grass

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.

Juan Martin Del Potro

Hopefully, DelPo is in better condition than the battered tennis ball featured on his t-shirt!

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’]

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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12 Responses to Queens: DelPo Makes His Return on Grass

  1. muscle x says:

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  2. I didn’t realize that Marcos was one of his many childhood friends as well! For some reason, I thought they met later. But, its actually really cute that he is still friends with all his childhood friends! I wonder then why Marcos is the only one that can travel with him? Well, if Marcos is the one that took the shirtless!DelPo pic that DelPo tweeted earlier today, I hope he can travel with him more often! 😉

    I think the thing with mono, is that fatigue accompanies other virus symptoms (aches, chills, vomiting), so I could see how some people might just initially think its the flu. Also, mono tends to be more severe in childhood (when I got it!), versus adulthood. So I could definitely see some adult tennis players kind of writing off the symptoms. But, there are blood tests that can pinpoint mono, so it is diagnosable and I feel like any doctor worth his salt is going to eventually test for it. I think the thing with Soderling is that he probably got a severe form of mono, whereas Federer got the more typical mild form that adults usually get. So, Soderling was out longer, and unfortunately, doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to come back 😦 Anyway, I am crossing my fingers while I am typing this haha, but I don’t think DelPo has mono.

    I am really bummed that no Del-Cilic photos or clips have emerged! I have to see them playing together!! I could only follow DelPo’s match today via twitter, but man, I’m wondering what the heck happened for that 2nd set and 1/2 of the 3rd set! But Malisse is a tricky opponent on grass so I’m glad he got through. He needs more matches under his belt.

    • audiesgirl@aol.com says:

      Yes, too bad there are no videos of Delpo-Cilic playing doubles. I just love the one of their playing as Juniors at the Orange Bowl. How adorable!

      • mariposaxprs says:

        Haha, I *love* that video of DelPo-Cilic playing each other when they were juniors.

        Marin hasn’t changed at all, whereas DelPo definitely used to be feisty. He’s much more calm now 🙂

    • mariposaxprs says:

      There’s an interview with Marcos from Rotterdam where he says he’s known DelPo for about 8 years or so (http://www.diariolamanana.com.ar/noticias/deportes/marcos-hernandez-olmos-compartio-con-del-potro-el-titulo-en-rotterdam-y-vivencas-unicas-en-dubai_a36504)! I guess he’s one of DelPo’s close friends? It seems a bit odd, but I guess DelPo’s keeping close counsel these days!

      I definitely agree w/your thoughts about tennis players & mono. As many other reasons there may be for why they’re feeling below par, any doctor worth his/her salt should always run a mono test. I think Soderling was unfortunate in the sense that it took far too long for him to diagnose his condition, at which point he’d run himself down. Perhaps DelPo’s month-long rest will make him better able to finally beat the virus. These things are tricky!

      DelPo played high-quality tennis in stretches against Malisse, but he was spraying errors everywhere during the 2nd set. He’s been a bit inconsistent ever since Monte Carlo…that match against Dolgopolov comes to mind. Hopefully, he’ll find some rhythm b/c he does seem to be in a better place right now (physically). Let’s hope!

  3. “Slightly Rotund” — LOL, that’s an awesome description! Poor Marcus haha 🙂

    Well, hopefully Marcus will bring our guy some luck! I’m excited about grass-court season and am cautiously hopeful. It’s been fun to see DelPo gradually improve on grass, and hopefully he will continue to improve this season too!

    Is Murray not playing Queens? I feel like we are getting a lot of media out of Queens (not that I’m complaining!), but I’m wondering, is DelPo the top seed there? Hmmm….

    I really hope that the virus woes are gone. He looks healthier, from the Queens pics, then he did in Madrid, at least!

    • mariposaxprs says:

      When Marcos first appeared in DelPo’s box at Rotterdam, I thought he was DelPo’s hitting partner. But then it became clear that he wasn’t really “built” like a tennis player, hahaha. It turned out Marcos is a childhood friend of DelPo, but I guess he’s good for moral support! 🙂

      I’m cautiously hopeful for DelPo on grass this year. He’s shown he can cope well with the surface, but his illness this year has really made it tough to know what he’s capable of. I hope he can make it through Queen’s in one piece and that he’s healthy to play Wimbledon.

      Murray is the big news at Queen’s this year. Everyone’s talking about how he’s finally making his return to grass after skipping RG — it’s almost like everyone’s forgotten that DelPo’s been out for awhile too! Pfft, maybe the lack of attention on him will motivate DelPo to make a surprise? That would be nice!

  4. audiesgirl@aol.com says:

    First, glad to see you back. Delpo’s off to a grand start winning doubles with Cilic. Frankly, I was surprised he did so well and it’s a shame there was no broadcast of the comeback match. Bummer. Hope someone has video highlights. He still says he’s not 100% which is troubling. More and more it sounds like mono which is becoming common on the tour among both men and women. It can be managed but can linger for a very long time, flaring unpredictably. That’s all Delpo needs, another health issue hanging over his head. The guy looks like an unhappy rabbit in the interviews which is perfectly normal for someone who has come to regard all this effort as just a job. The only time he seems animated anymore is when watching or talking about futbol. Then he has to bring along his buddy Marcos.who’s functioning more like a “stable potro.” Doesn’t this guy have a JOB? Is that him in the black jacket in the photos standing by Delpo on the practice court? For once I’d like to see a nice, respectable-looking female at his side.
    Which brings me to the Pico/Rafa bromance in full swing in Mallorca. Someone pointed out the absence of grass courts there so what are they doing???
    Sad to see Fed/Haas fall so early at Halle, they’ll make one hell of a doubles team on the Legends Tour.

    • Hopefully he does not have mono! 😦 I had mono, myself, back in the day and it was rough! But, my understanding, from my own experience, is that mono is actually fairly diagnosable (there are blood tests you can do). I feel like if he had it, his doctors would catch it. And plus, considering that mono causes your spleens to enlarge, which can be very dangerous when you exercising/doing something athletic, I feel like if there was even a chance it could be mono, his doctors would not let him compete (it can take 6 months for your spleens to go back to normal!). Hopefully, this is just a run of the mill virus and he’ll be okay to compete from now on.

      Also, I think Marcos is involved in tennis professionally, somehow — apparently, they met in BsAs (he’s not one of the Tandil boys!). Maybe he’ll become a permanent member of the team!

      • mariposaxprs says:

        Yikes, I’ve heard mono can be really tough! 😦 I hope you’ve recovered now.

        I remember hearing that mono enlarges your spleen and that’s why rest is required, otherwise the spleen could rupture. I’ve always wondered why it takes so long for tennis players to figure out they have mono — maybe it’s b/c they immediately think any sign of fatigue is either an injury or just a normal symptom of life on tour? It does seem like DelPo’s getting full medical care, so I hope his return to tour is a sign that his bloodwork is good and that he’s ready to go again.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Marcos. He’d make a funny mascot for Team DelPo 😛

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hi, nice to be back too! I watched a bit of Roland Garros — my favorite match was Wawrinka-Gasquet! It wasn’t the same without DelPo in action, so I’m glad he’s back. Were you able to watch some of the matches?

      Also nice to see that DelPo won his first doubles match with Cilic! I’ve been searching for photos, but I haven’t found anything yet. Their next doubles match is against Nestor-Lindstedt, which is a tough match-up. Hopefully, that one will be televised. DelPo’s opening match in singles will be against Malisse.

      At this point, DelPo may well have had mono, given the total toll it’s taken on his season. I agree with you, the biggest danger with these viral infections is that they flare up from time to time. That was the case with Soderling in 2011. Soderling would be sick, only to look okay a few weeks later, only to be sick again. That’s why it’s tough to expect anything from DelPo right now. The biggest priority is that he’s healthy. He does seem to have gained back a fair bit of weight, so that’s an encouraging sign.

      Marcos is quite the mystery man, in a hilarious way. If he’s the same age as DelPo, he could be in grad school, which might explain why he has time to travel? Either way, DelPo probably wouldn’t have brought Marcos along if he didn’t think he was healthy, so that’s a positive sign, yes? The FIFA article had an unfortunate ring to it, as it implied DelPo didn’t like playing tennis. Jorge Viale had to defend DelPo against accusations that DelPo didn’t like tennis. In any case, it turns out that AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is a fan of Del Potro! So this means DelPo’s gaining attention among the futbolistas. That could be motivation for him to achieve more in tennis 🙂 In time, DelPo will settle down with a female. In the meantime, he can cuddle with Marin Cilic, haha.

      I saw parts of the Fed-Haas doubles match. They really are a good-looking pair and they play pretty tennis too. Alas, DelPo-Cilic (or Team Juan Marin) are the doubles team that is still alive!

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