Cincinnati: Karate Kid

There’s a recent La Nacion interview with DelPo, which @vamosdelpofans kindly translated to English.  DelPo fans will appreciate the personal details.  Some highlights:

  • He stands firm on his decision not to play Davis Cup this year: He says he has received a lot of criticism from Argentiniean fans on social media (Twitter, Facebook) for his decision.  He says it’s fine for them to express their often profanity-laced views, but they should also come to terms with the fact that he is at peace with his decision for this year.  DelPo also says he will be back to play Davis Cup (if Jaite will have him) in the future.
  • The interviewer asks DelPo if he’s ever considered living in Europe or the USA, given the extra travel hours he endures from Argentina.  DelPo says he likes his life in Argentina too much to consider such a move.
  • In Argentina, DelPo lives by himself in Buenos Aires.  Still, he often visits him parent’s home in Tandil, where his childhood room is still set aside for him, complete with a teddy bear he’s had since he was a child.

It’s a nice interview from DelPo, who speaks eloquently in Spanish about his career and his perspective on Davis Cup and his past wrist injury.  He also talks about his favorite animation characters, Disney movies (!) and his love of chocolate and sweets in general.  It’s almost as if his body is simultaneously inhabited by an 80-year old and a 5-year old.

** Cincinnati Action:

Speaking of animation characters and childhood movies, DelPo sported a new look in practice on the Cincinnati courts.  He showed off a collar t-shirt and a headband combo.  He looks very much like the the old movie, Karate Kid:

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Nike should consider giving DelPo a collar t-shirt to wear (assuming he re-signs his contract with them at the end of the year).

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In fortunate news, it seems his back pain is not bothering him during practice:

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And he was generous with hugs as well:

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DelPo’s first match takes place on Court 3, against Nikolay Davydenko.  DelPo is a straight 3-3 in the H2H against Davydenko.  Their only previous meeting on outdoor HCs was earlier this year at R2 in Indian Wells, where DelPo had his great finalist run.

In other news, Fed his back to using his old 90″ racquet, after experimenting with a new 98″ racquet in Hamburg and Gstaad.  It seems he will go back to testing the new racquet after the US Open is over.  This seems like a smart strategy, given the big HC tournaments coming up.


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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6 Responses to Cincinnati: Karate Kid

  1. sambria says:

    Honestly I’m a bit disappointed with the living abroad answer. If it’s going to help him overall from tournament to tournament to not have that long, 14 or 20 hour travel time, why not at least try it out? That doesn’t mean he can’t go back to Argentina every so often. Maybe that’s what he thinks it means? But he’s an adult, if this is what he wants then ok.

    The fact that Nike has promoted him along with Fed and Rafa as the third big name (and not, say, Dimitrov or Tomic or Harrison) kind of gives me hope he re-signs before the contract expires. If he’s doing a Nike event before USO I’m going to be pretty damn confident it’ll get done. They have so many ladies in the top 10 wearing their brand (and all of them-Serena, Vika, Maria, Li Na, and Petra-all having their own kits in a way), having only two big male names (granted the two biggest male names but still) seems kind of lacking. Or maybe Nike is seeing that those three I listed aren’t going to be top players for a while to come. Dammit, they got money. Just give him a 7 or 8 figure deal and be done with it. And more headbands like the purple one.

    So basically all we have to do is start yelling that we love him and we can get a hug? Oh, I can do that. 🙂

    *sighs* damn left wrist. it’s always those wrists, isn’t it? but let’s see what happens with isner today. hope he’s in a better mood with a 1pm start instead of 11am.

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Same for me too. I was hoping he would consider the option of living abroad, especially since there are Argentinean basketball/soccer plyrs who live abroad in the USA and Europe. Players like Berdych live in Monte Carlo (prob for tax reasons), so obviously it’s not an issue of money — DelPo could easily get a place for him and his team. Perhaps the adjustment would be too much for his team though? Like you said though, he’s made his own decision. Even though I’m also a bit disappointed with it, he’s made a choice. As long as he knows what he’s sacrificing…

      Yea! DelPo’s contract supposedly expires at the end of the year. I hope Nike keep him on. You’re right that Nike have quite a few WTA players but not as many ATP players. They have the younger generation, but I’m not sure the younger generation are doing much to sell t-shirts. They need a few other players in the top ranks, other than Roger and Rafa! A nice 7-8 figure deal would do!! His agent better take care of it! 🙂

      I like that he’s obliging with his fans. I will have to keep that in mind if I ever get to see him play live! Ask for a hug, haha.

      He says the wrist problem is “not dangerous,” so I’m hoping it’s just a minor thing. He’ll get a break before the USO, so that’s encouraging!!!

      • sambria says:

        I wonder if the tax thing works with Argentine citizens? I know it doesn’t work for US citizens. I actually thought it only really worked that way for the Europeans. I do hope he reconsiders one day. Doesn’t have to be MC. He won’t have to learn a new language in Spain, he knows Italian. Both are places he should consider, especially when the clay season gets going. But another part at play here could be Franco and Marti. While that family photo he posted was all kinds of adorable, they pretty much have solid roots and dad responsibilities at home. The travel now probably sucks. It could be worst for them if Delpo decided to live abroad. Who knows? Like you said, as long as he knows what he’s sacrificing.

        I don’t think I’ve ever been mad at him for losing a match. I typically don’t get mad at my faves for losing cause losing is part of the game but I was thoroughly pissed at him today. Forget the DF on match point, he had chances in the tiebreak and in the first game of the third. Maybe he wasn’t feeling good, maybe the wrist/back/whatever started acting up. But with Isner playing his best against him Delpo STILL had the opportunity to win. I just…I don’t know. I’ve gone from pissed to outright confused. At least he gets a bit more of a rest before USO.

        • mariposaxprs says:

          That’s a good point about Franco and Marti. I don’t know if they’re married and/or with kids, but they def have strong roots in Argentina. I think Franco has his own tennis academy in Buenos Aires. I know Tomic sets up residence in MC, but he’s coached by his father and his team is based in Europe, so his father prob doesn’t see it as too much of a sacrifice — although I’m not sure what exactly Tomic’s arrangement is either (does he spend most of his time training in MC or Australia?) From what I can tell, DelPo does have a temporary base in Miami — perhaps he’ll consider spending more time there in the future?

          I’m sorry I haven’t been updating as frequently on the blog. I’ve been a bit busy and the time difference is killing me! (I’ll be posting something soon).

          I was similarly disappointed with DelPo’s loss. It’s the way he lost, more than anything else. He had it in the bag and then he just imploded. What bothers me is that it seems like a combination of mental and physical fatigue. Every time he’s served for the set in Cincy, he suddenly starts having more trouble with the sun — he starts squinting harder and grimacing — but the sun has been there the entire time! That part was a mental lapse. Then the 2nd set TB was just painful. He couldn’t hold his serve and he was literally pushing the ball back over the net to Isner. He was hitting moonball FHs. It’s a stark contrast to his level of play against Isner in the Washington final.

          That’s primarily what worries me. DelPo was carrying great momentum heading into the US Open series. He picked up a title in Washington, but his level of play declined after a strong start — his matches against Haas and Isner in DC were the first signs. In Montreal, the back problem clearly hurt his serve and he barely made it past Dodig, before having to endure that farce of an ending against Raonic. In Cincy, his serves seemed better but his BH was suffering b/c of the reappearance of his left wrist injury — he wasn’t hitting the flat BH anymore and he missed many chances to go for the BHDTL when he beat Feli. The fact that he was letting Isner dictate the baseline rallies in the SF says it all. I just haven’t seen DelPo blow a match like this before. That’s what was so disappointing to see. I thought DelPo’s loss to Berdy in the Madrid SF last year was disappointing, but this loss to Isner surely tops that.

          It’s strange how DelPo’s played both truly outstanding and terrible matches this year. He’s not as consistent as he was last year. However, the lower consistency also means his “highs” are pretty high. I suppose that’s a silver lining…although I am still very confused as well.

  2. Iram says:

    he won;) congrats. but Feli really did push him. Ferru played awful. OMG I dunno how he’ll even fare up in U.S. Open!

    all the best…t c. I’ll stay in touch 😉

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Hey Iram!

      That match against Feli was a close one! It was nice to see Feli playing good tennis again. He really did give DelPo a scare. I was nervous!

      I was surprised by Ferru’s loss 😦 Maybe he’s still a little rusty after the injury problems he had? He sounds motivated to prepare well for the USO, so maybe he’ll work his way into form there. Take care and enjoy the weekend!!!

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