Wimbledon: All Fall Down

Wild Wednesday, in which many of the favorites crashed out of the tournament, was followed by upsets on a smaller scale in DelPo’s section of the draw.  Grega Zemlja defeated Grigor Dimitrov, the guy many had bafflingly written into the SF.  He needed 5 sets and 6 MPs to pull off the upset, but it was a deserved performance that took 2 days due to rain delays.

Zemlja’s win meant DelPo had a rematch with the Slovenian, who DelPo had defeated at the Vienna final last year.

DelPo played patiently if a bit tentatively to defeat Zemlja in straight sets, 7-5 7-6(3) 6-0 to advance to R4, where he will play Seppi (Seppi pulled off an upset of his own to defeat Nishikori in R3).

However, the relatively routine victory was marred by a scary fall DelPo took on the grass.  After stepping up the ante to take the 2nd set TB, DelPo cruised to a 3-0* lead in the 3rd set.  That’s when he chased a dropshot and hyper-extended his knee, which caused him to lay on the grass for a few scary moments.  The slow-motion replay of the fall shows the brunt of the impact his knee took.  His left leg gave out from under him and he skidded on the grass for a bit.  This is the same knee that bothered him during the clay season last year.

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Six

Photo: Getty

DelPo would get up and return to go up a double break, 4-0, but he called for the trainer right afterwards.  He seemed to be moving fine on the grass, but that may have been the result of adrenaline or the fact that the end of the match was in sight.  He then held for 5-0* relatively easily, but straight afterwards he called for an MTO to get his knee wrapped.  Despite the surprise incident at the end, DelPo broke Zemlja to win the match with a 3rd set bagel.

He seemed cautiously optimistic about his knee in his post-match interviews.  He told journalists that he didn’t think the possible knee injury was anything serious, although his media manager would later Tweet that while DelPo’s left ankle was okay, his left knee was still bothering him.  DelPo will test out the knee on Sunday and consult a doctor.  A heavily taped-up DelPo showed off his backside and hips yet again (although the context and the expression on his face are much more somber this time around):

[tweet https://twitter.com/jorgeviale/status/351117298142154752 align=’center’]

DelPo was later seen on Middle Sunday with the Bryan brothers.  Bob Bryan posted a photo of the bros with DelPo.  DelPo is wearing less tape on his knee here and he looks pretty chirpy:

Screen shot 2013-06-30 at 11.10.13 PM

Chirpy is a fitting word to describe DelPo’s post-match presser as well.  Apparently, he was light-heartedly joking throughout the interview.  Although the official transcript has yet to be released, here is a small excerpt that was tweeted:

[tweet https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/351032862054690817 align=’center’]

Wimbledon then released a funny “Championships Drive – Juan Martin del Potro”:

There are a few hilarious segments in the video.  The part about Franco Davin monitoring DelPo’s chocolate intake takes the cake here (at 1:40 in the video).  Apparently, when DelPo wins matches, he is permitted to eat a ration of chocolate.  That would explain the gigantic slice of cake he was eating under the watchful eyes of Franco, after he won the Marseilles title in 2012.  Also interesting to note: DelPo says he practices and trains 7 hours a day, including gym sessions (or “Jeem,” as he pronounces it).

***

What to Look Forward to on Monday:

When play resumes at Wimbledon on Monday, all the R16 matches will take place.  Take a long look at the R16 matchups in 2013:

Djokovic – Haas
– Tomic – Berdych
– Ferrer – Dodig
– Del Potro – Seppi
Mannarino – Kubot
– Janowicz – Melzer
Verdasco – de Schepper
– Youzhny – Murray

Take another look.  Murray will not have to face a top 20 player in order to reach the final.  The winner of Mannarino-Kubot will reach the QF.  That’s how crazy Wimbledon has been this year.

Still, DelPo should fancy his chances to reach his first QF at Wimbledon.  Although the knee problem is of great concern, he is also 3-0 in the H2H against his R16 opponent, Seppi.  DelPo defeated Seppi in straight sets last year on grass at the Olympics.  This is a great opportunity for DelPo to complete the “Quarterfinal Slam.”  He will play Seppi on Court 1 on Monday after the Robson-Kanepi match.

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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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2 Responses to Wimbledon: All Fall Down

  1. sambria says:

    So what the hell did Juan Martin do in a previous life to deserve constant injuries in this one? This is getting ridiculous. He just got back from the virus and bam-new injury. But at least there’s no structural damage (if there was he wouldn’t be playing and if there is and he is playing then that boy needs a slap on the head for doing something like that) so maybe he just needs rest to his knee back to full health for the hardcourts. But man. Is it too much to ask for healthy Delpo? Forget a year, I’ll take healthy for three months Delpo at this point. But the somewhat bright side is that as the match progressed today he seemed to be moving better. Whether the meds kicked in or whether he felt more comfortable who knows. Whichever way, good. And he has another day to rest/ice/rehab as much as he can before the match against David. And are those the same friends he took a pic of from last year? it’s nice to see some other people in his player box. glad he has some friends there in London to hang with.

    I like this new media conscious Delpo. Good. He is adorable. I hope he gets more interviews, in spanish and english.. (speaking of, did you ever see that cnn interview? i have yet to find it.) It’s been pissing me off that wimbledon doesn’t have his pressers up, at least not like other players. which I kind of get since he never made the quarters before today but still. top 10 player, major winner. they can put his pressers up. that gym comment…he can’t possibly mean during a tournament right? how does he even have the time to do 7 hours during a tournament? but that video is lovely though. at least he has someone monitoring his chocolate intake. i only have me. and that’s not going too well. 😀

    *sigh* you know, even with coming off the virus i loved this draw for him. i even fancied his chances against david. but now with this injury…

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Seriously, I myself wonder what he could have done to tick off the greater tennis lords.

      I am verily wishing DelPo gets past Ferru in the QF, b/c I think i’td be a great extension of the story he already has to tell on grass. **Also, the guys in the photo with DelPo are the Bryan brothers! (top doubles team) 🙂

      On a related note, I am also totally on board w/DelPo’s new social media strategy in the past two weeks. Even if he flounders for a bit, I still think it’s better that he joined 🙂

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