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.
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:
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.