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"Climbing the Comeback Mountain with the Tower of Tandil."

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AO Day Three: Christ on a Bike, Delpo

Posted by gauloises1 on January 20, 2010

Juan Martin del Potro d. James Blake, 64 67(3) 57 63 10-8

Hands up who nearly died.

What a match. And I only watched the last two sets. How they managed to produce and sustain that level of play between them when Blake was suffering with a bad right knee and something with his shoulder and Delpo’s wrist was clearly hurting him, I don’t know, but it was a brilliant performance by Blake. As for Delpo, he was not exactly playing his best, but he fought for every point and eventually came up with the winners when it counted.

Because it’s what we do.

It left me feeling quite bad for Blake, actually. He played fantastic tennis and stayed mentally strong for over four hours and still, somehow, didn’t come away with the win.

Sorry, Linz.

Delpo seemed fairly upbeat in his post-match presser, saying he had “many things right” for his next match. I don’t entirely share his optimism, I must confess, but for now I’ll just enjoy him making it through this one.

At least he got an Elf!hug.

New celebration, please.

21 Responses to “AO Day Three: Christ on a Bike, Delpo”

  1. Deirdre said

    Only saw the first 2 sets before I had to go to work. Watching on live score was excruciating….

  2. Maria1 said

    That pic of Delpo doing the haka made me 😀 😀 I do recall going wtf a lot looking at the live scores and blinking in disbelief at poster(s) on MTF saying he won. Unfuckingbelieveable was the nest thing I said.

  3. mina said

    i was streaming this while watching the Comebackhand win vs Lena. i don’t know how i survived that…

    Elf was pulling of incredible shots not to mention crazy good serving. and by that i mean second serve aces and so forth.

    what i’m worried abt is the wrist. all that pounding it took today… i’m scared for the next match.

    and yeah he totally looked like he was doing the haka.

  4. AmyLu said

    I watched the first two sets and then went to bed, as I was literally falling asleep and have a long day today. Kind of regretting that decision now, although I think I that match would have about killed me. In the beginning of the match, I actually thought P-Mac made a good observation — he thought the Elf seemed edgier than usual, but as the set went on, he (and I) thought he’d relaxed a bit. I was surprised by the tiebreak in the second set because I’ve now grown accustomed to seeing a clutch Elf when sets reach that point, but Blake played flawlessly — he punished the Elf’s second serves and was the aggressor on points. I’m really hoping there’s quite a bit of this match on my DVR (ESPN right now is sticking with Elena/Justine, and they’re giving score updates on the Blake match).

    Anyway, I’m incredibly happy that the Elf won and think this match says much about his fortitude. I also feel very sorry for James that he was on the losing end of another 5-set epic in a Slam. I’m sure it’s not much consolation to him or his fans, but I thought the tennis I did see was the best tennis I’ve seen from Blake in a LONG time. Hopefully he can continue to play with that form.

    • irefusetotellyou said

      I missed the whole derrnn thing (I’m never going to “close my eyes for just a second”), but, as you said, perhaps it’s almost better that I did, for I was spared of dying 9000000 times and/or having 9000000 heart attacks and/or my blood pressure skyrocketing 900000 points.

      Going to check my DVR now, too — I hope they at least show the last set so I can revel in all his glory.

  5. mrdarnley said

    Sort of still coming down off it. Totally impressed with Blake. he’s 30 years old and kept up with del Potro, that’s some impressive endurance. Hey somebody had to win and thank lordy it is was Elf. It would have been too sad for words if he’d gone out in the second round.
    Maybe it was the endorphins speaking in the press conference. I agree on not being totally sold on his form, but I thought he played better than his first game. Here’s hoping he keeps getting better. I kinda liked his haka move, apropos after the epic win. this Cilic-Tomic match is another never-ending story. Go Cilic!

  6. mrdarnley said

    just procrastinating from having a life after Cilic just won and noticed he had 92 winners in that match (guess that’s what happens when you go 5 sets) by comparison Elf had 69 in his match and had 9 double faults (Cilic had 3). ouch. Cilic also had 25 aces. Elf had 19. hmmm…

  7. irefusetotellyou said

    OK. Well now that I caught a bit of it on DVR, my 2 cents:

    -Blake played fantastically in the 2nd set TB. Woo.
    -Delpo shoulda and coulda won the 3th set, especially since it was 30-30 and he was up 5-4.
    -I still want to be his live-in-lover. = TOGETHER FOREVER AND NEVER TO PART


    • AmyLu said

      Completely agree on the third set — and the manner in which he was broken at 5-5 was really bizarre (going for so much on a second serve to DF? Etc.). That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the match, but I’m looking forward to the 4th and 5th sets!

  8. Daniel said

    Del Potro doing some joggling

    Silly, I know. 🙂

  9. Daniel said

    I meant juggling.

  10. viniaki said

    What’s a haka a dance. It seems to a lot of people that he was signaling how big his balls are. Nice

  11. Lola said

    Never mistake the power of Latin machismo 😉

  12. Maria1 said

    😀 😀 😀 to that vid of Delpo juggling. What other non-tennis talents does he have I wonder?

  13. sophienz said

    Ha – I hadn’t realised it looks like a haka. It was my first excruciating match of the tournament so far. I just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t seem to consolidate any of his breaks? Very frustrating.

  14. linz said

    Congrats you guys. I had NO CLUE that Blake still had a match like this left in him. Really encouraging stuff, I’d love to see him remain relevant for the next couple of years, and this was definitely a shockingly relevant match. As much as I would have loved to see Blake take this match and give Rod his own quarter, I really wasn’t even sad when it was over. It was just so much fun to watch, and I only watched the 5th set!!

  15. imtotallyrad said

    i almost died, im pretty sure there were times when i had to remind myself to breath!! i prayed,i screamed,i swore i have a healthy sized lump/bruise on my wrist from slamming my hand into the barrier in front of me when he lost the TB seriously, how the crap delpo and blake survived i do not know and also, the delpo camp didnt even flinch they were just sitting there calmly like the score was DELPO:6-0 6-0 6-0 istead of the horrifying nightmare it was…it was one of those matches i see on tv and think “man id like to be there” never again will i utter those words it sucked and it was scary and american supporters are total jackasses.

    and juan kept fiddling with his wrist alot…which was not so good, and im pretty sure he was really thinking about killing the next person who dared called “foot fault” on him.
    i really really hope he re-discovers that magical thing called a “first serve” because it went missing in action alot the other night and made things worse. i seriously hope he kills the next guy just so theres a sense of normality about things.

  16. linex said

    Hi everyone I saw the entire match and it was excellent. I agree with Gauloises though in that Delpo can play more focused tennis than this though. Fortunately he came with the goods at the right time … those backhand passing shots were amazing.

    My tennis professor pointed out to me today that Delpo is not hitting his forehand with his normal poise he says he was clearly favouring the backhand many times. He says he is clearly in pain and is not able to hit the forehand how he usually does. If that observation is correct it is a pity because you can survive maybe one five setter like this one, but a top player who is totally fit can end up beating him.

    In conclusion all credit to Delpo for fighting so hard when he was not in top physical shape due to his wrist/arm injury.

  17. Maria1 said

    Some people are moaning that Delpo’s ‘playing possum’ re his injury. *rolleyes* Anyway anyone know his playing history with Florian Mayer?

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