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Elf & His Fedipal Complex

Posted by gauloises1 on June 4, 2009

So who here remembers del Potro’s previous matches against Roger Federer? Because I do. I mean, even if we disregard the ones that happened before JMDP became Crazy Elf, Mr. Top 10, the H2H makes pretty dismal reading. There was their match at the Australian Open where JMDP won just two games before getting double-bagelled in what was one of the most one-sided “matches” I’ve ever seen, a destruction so thorough and casual in its cold-blooded efficiency that it still hurts to think about.

Then last month in Madrid, things were better but not so much; 63 64 to Roger.


Elf’s also been beaten by Roger three other times; at Wimbledon (which was the first match I ever saw him play … he was wearing some stupid headgear and looking skinny as a rake) and Basel in 2007, and at the Madrid Masters in 2008.

Based on their H2H and on some of Elf’s previous statements about Federer, I do think that Elf has a Fedipal complex. And it saddens me, because I do think that Elf can beat Federer – I don’t think it’s impossible, although out of the Big Four I think Federer is the second worst match-up for him.

Anyway … will Federer do to Elf what he’s done five times before, i.e. Roger him thoroughly before the eyes of the world? Or will this be time for some Elven revenge?

I hope the latter. I believe the former.

And based on his presser today, I think Elf might too:

Q. You’re going to face Federer in the semifinal. Quite a few players and tennis fans would like Roger to win this tournament because it’s the only Grand Slam he hasn’t won yet. Do you also feel that way, if you were to face him in the next round?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: We feel the pression of the fans, everybody want Roger to win this tournament. But if I can’t do ‑‑ if I can’t win this tournament, I want to see next Sunday Roger with the trophy.

Q. What do you feel about this match against Federer on Friday?

JUAN MARTIN DELPOTRO: It’s going to be very difficult. We all know how he plays, and we all know what he wants to achieve here now that Rafa is no longer here.

I still have expectations. I still have objectives. I had some before I started playing in this tournament, but now we have the same opportunities. I wish I win this match.

Q. You said that you had good memories, good feelings last time you played Federer in Madrid. Would you say that you have an opportunity to win here, or are there things that you need to modify to change to adjust inyour game?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, in fact, in Madrid I had my chances. I had opportunities that I didn’t use. […] But I know that if I want to win him, I have to be at the top of my form. I have to be there 100% mentally, physically.

I hope he’s going to make some mistakes like he did against Haas at 4‑3 in the third set and he had a break point. But in all cases, you need to be very present and you need to get your opportunities when they occur.

Q. What worries you with Federer? His game or what he represents?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, a bit of everything. With his game he does everything perfectly. His game is much of a problem to me, and this is why I never won when I played him.

We’ve played quite a few matches, so I know him. I think I know what he’s going to do, and I’ll do everything to return his serve. And also to make him doubt, not to give him any points.

[…] When I play Roger, well, I have no choice, so I have to play my game. Otherwise I’ll never achieve anything.

It just doesn’t sound to me like he believes he can win. And the situation isn’t helped by the fact that I don’t think Roger believes for one moment that he can either, despite his words to the contrary:

Q. Against Del Potro in the semis.

ROGER FEDERER: That’s great. You are watching the matches. Yeah, it’s a good matchup. I’ve had some success against him, especially in Australia. I played a great match.

That’s not the kind of match I’m looking at. I’m looking more of in Madrid it was a closer match. I think clay suits his game even more, and he’s really improved a lot in the last year or so. I’m sure it’s going to be a difficult match.

Q. Your next match will be against Juan Martin Del Potro in semifinal. Could you please tell me something about this match, your feeling about this match, about Del Potro?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think he’s improved in incredible ways since, let’s say one year ago. I think he was only ranked 50 in the world this time last year. Just shows how quickly things can change in tennis.

With a lot of confidence and a good game plan and good physique and good mental, you can go very far in tennis. But it takes a lotof hard work, and I think that’s what he has put into. You know, at his young age to already achieve regular quarterfinals and semifinals of Slams is a great effort.

I expect a very difficult match against Juan Martin. I have a lot of respect for him. Yeah, I have a good record against him, but it doesn’t mean a thing right now because it’s too big of a match, too dangerous, and he’s playing too well at this tournament to underestimate him.

We’ll see, I suppose.

But one of these days JMDP has to stop being Fed’s bitch … right?


No Responses Yet to “Elf & His Fedipal Complex”

  1. Joan said

    You know Gaul, the way this tournament is shaping up, JMDP thinks he’s going to lose means that he’ll probably hoist the trophy on Sunday.

    • Sapphisto said

      And in the immortal words of Mae West: Too much of a good thing is absolutely wonderful, honey!


      “Ohh, just one more time – do it again!”

  2. SA said

    Damn Elf. Someone needs to whip this boy’s confidence into shape. Well, among other things…

  3. whynotme said

    “Fedipal Complex” lol it’s exactly the right term to describe it ! The most telling quote to me is still :

    “Which part of your game would you like to improve?
    I’d love to have Federer’s attacking game. ”


    Well, as much as I truly like Del Potro, I will probably hate him for ever if he do *the* thing on friday….

    So, I hope the former, and I believe the former ! 😛

  4. Juan José said

    I have pretty much the same feelings about this match.

    I still can’t believe that AO match. I mean, Federer had just been pushed to the edge by a tall guy who blasted missiles left and right, and DelPo goes out and instead of replicating Berdych’s effort with his own groundstrokes, proceeds to feed slow short balls to the middle of the court to Federer. It was beyond frustrating.

    At Madrid he FINALLY started playing his game, and it was working. Until he made a couple mistakes, Federer made a great shot here and there, and DelPo became convinced he can’t beat him.

    DelPo: If you play your game, YOU CAN WIN. Moreover, if you play your game at a very high level, THERE’S A VERY HIGH CHANCE YOU’LL WIN!

    You have to drill Federer’s backhand, attack Federer’s forehand, make him pay for second serves and by no means should you come to net. You can do all these things!

    I keep thinking that DelPo is like an NBA big man. It takes them a while to round up, and every little improvement seems tiny. But little by little, he’s catching on to the idea that he’s a pretty good tennis player, blessed with unique talents, and that he can beat anyone on tour.

    He should also realize that this is as good a chance he’ll ever have at a Major. Sure, he’s 20, he has time. But Djokovic and Murray are 22, and Nadal is 23. Cilic might make the leap, and Dimitrov is coming up. Chances like this one are a rare commodity.

  5. Juan José said

    I also think DelPo got emotionally scarred by the draws he had when he was trying to make it to the bigger tournaments. He had to play Nadal in the first round of the French, Federer in the first round at Wimbledon, Djokovic in the third round at the US Open, and he went 0-9 in terms of sets. Djokovic didn’t have those draws that early, and neither did Murray (or Nadal, for that matter).

    In terms of who he matches up the best with, I think it has to be Murray. Then Nadal, then Djokovic and then Federer (sadly). But he’ll beat all of them before all is set and done.

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