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Archive for the ‘delray beach’ Category

Dead Man Winning.

Posted by gauloises1 on February 28, 2011

Juan Martin del Potro d. Janko Tipsarevic, 64 64

I can’t. Stop. Smiling.

JMDP won. He won. I’m just … there is sunshine in my heart right now and kittens gambolling along my veins, drowning in all the wine. It’s how they would have wanted to go.

Ahem. So that was a pretty terrible match. This wasn’t the JMDP we saw crushing Mardy Fish last night. He came out flat and lifeless, barely moving, and dropped his second service game to give Tispsarevic the break for 3-1. Both he and Davin had been talking before the match about how tired he was, making semifinals and then a final three weeks on the trot, which might have been it; equally, he had played all his matches in Delray Beach at night and I thought the different conditions in the heat might have been responsible. Or he could have been nervous. Whatever, this was genuinely-lethargic JMDP as opposed to that’s-just-what-he-looks-like JMDP (the way you can tell is that the former misses, a lot).

It was crushing; Tipsarevic had the lead at 4-1 and there looked like absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t run with it. I was mentally composing an agonised post-mortem which spoke defensively about the difference between winning a final and winning any other match, and publicly appealed to the tennis gods for just a little bit of luck to get him over the hump. Of course, the luck in question was already operating, because he was playing Tipsarevic. He flaked to drop his serve, JMDP dredged up the occasional big serve from the very depths of his being, and Tipsy just couldn’t get himself back into it.

JMDP said in his post-match interview that he was ‘completely tired’ and added that although Tipsarevic was the better player, he was a little bit luckier at key moments. That’s more or less how it felt. If JMDP was flat in the first set, he was frankly two-dimensional in the second. I have never seen him push the ball around like that; he couldn’t get any timing on it, was rolling in his serves and generally looking about to die on the court even when he was a set and a break down. Yet Tipsy couldn’t get his feet under him and Delpo kept – maddeningly – doing just enough to stay ahead. It was just about the most agonising, brain-dead tennis you can imagine.

 

But who cares? It doesn’t have to be pretty. A win is a win is a win, and when JMDP watched Tipsy’s ball out, dropped his racquet and lifted his arms in the air, no-one was thinking about how he got there. We were thinking about where he’s been; missing an entire season of tennis, sitting at home instead of defending his US Open title, dropping out into the hinterlands of the far 400s. Just in case we’d forgotten, he kissed his right wrist multiple times while acknowledging the applause of the crowd. I’d kiss it too. And, you know, carry on from there.

A word for our gallant loser though. Seriously, the fact that a player like Tipsarevic – who, as I tweeted in an attempt to pre-empt my own probable bitterness, has given tennis fans hours of entertainment and some of the most memorable matches of the last few years on the biggest stages – doesn’t have an ATP title, even a 250, just underlines how tough it is to perform in a final. There is no way he won’t get one before he retires. It just wasn’t his day today.

But it was Delpo’s. It should put him back in the top 85, and there will be (and already is) a lot of talk about what a ‘statement’ this is to the rest of the tour. I don’t care about that right now. He won. He won a final. He’s holding a trophy. He’s a champion again.

… Yeah. I’ll be crying.

(You can see video here of JMDP giving a victory speech in Spanish (thanks to everyone who tweeted and translated it for me) – reportedly he’s thanking the spectators for enduring the heat, the little kids in the crowd who supported him, the faithful Franco and Martiniano, and his friends and family back home.)

Posted in delray beach, janko tipsarevic, juan martin del potro, titlists | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

A Tall 6’6″

Posted by gauloises1 on February 27, 2011

Juan Martin del Potro is in the finals at Delray Beach, and I’m totally calm about it.

He crushed Gabashvili 61 61, took care of Kevin Anderson 64 64, and last night beat second seed and world no. 16 Mardy Fish 61 75. He even came back from 1-4 down and in trouble on his own serve in the second set to nick it all. He’s in his first final since the WTFs in 2009 and will probably crack the top 100 if he wins. He’s in a final. I don’t care if it is at a tournament that sounds like a MarioKart race track.

He’ll be up against Janko Tipsarevic, who’s looking for his maiden title. So there’s that.

I liked this from Fish too:

He’s so tall. He’s a tall 6’ 6”. He has long arms and it feels that any penetrating ball I hit is still in his strike zone.  I’ve got to almost shank a ball almost over his head to get it out of his strike zone. It seems like his strike zone is five feet… and pretty much any ball on his forehand is a deadly shot.

source

Yeah.

Posted in delray beach, juan martin del potro | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

He Won, He Won #4

Posted by gauloises1 on February 23, 2011

Delpo beat Richard Berankis 64 61 in Delray Beach. He plays Gabashvili next after Basher upset Isner in the first round. They played last week and Delpo won in straights. The news you need to know.

Oh, and it was his 150th ATP match win. Let us celebrate.

Singles – First Round
[2] M Fish (USA) d B Phau (GER) 50 ret. (illness)
[5] K Anderson (RSA) d [LL] D Young (USA) 67(5) 76(4) 62
[6] J Tipsarevic (SRB) d I Karlovic (CRO) 76(14) 76(1)
D Sela (ISR) d [Q] M Matosevic (AUS) 36 61 62
I Dodig (CRO) d I Kunitsyn (RUS) 64 26 63
[Q] B Kavcic (SLO) d [LL] R Farah (COL) 61 64
[Q] R Sweeting (USA) d I Andreev (RUS) 62 63
K Nishikori (JPN) d B Dabul (ARG) 62 76(5)
J Del Potro (ARG) d R Berankis (LTU) 64 61
[Q] A Falla (COL) d [LL] J Hajek (CZE) 61 20 ret.(illness)

Doubles – First Round
[1] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / I Zelenay (SVK) 63 64
A Fisher (AUS) / S Huss (AUS) d [WC] J Sock (USA) / D Young (USA) 63 46 10-7
B Becker (GER) / M Kohlmann (GER) d I Dodig (CRO) / I Karlovic (CRO) 76(1) 76(3)
M Ebden (AUS) / S Groth (AUS) d [WC] J Cerretani (USA) / A Shamasdin (CAN) 63 64

Posted in delray beach, juan martin del potro | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

ATP Week Ahead: Acapulco, Dubai, Delray Beach

Posted by gauloises1 on February 21, 2011

Acapulco

500, David Ferrer defending; draw here.

Top 8 seeds: David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Nicolas Almagro, Stanislas Wawrinka, Albert Montanes, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Juan Monaco, Juna Ignacio Chela

Points of interest: How about a first-round meeting between Thomaz Bellucci and Fernando Verdasco? There’s also the question of how new kid on the block Milos Raonic, due to play Carlos Berlocq in the opening round, will respond after his astonishing last couple of weeks – and on a different surface too. And, you know, Ferru.

Oh, and there’s always the question of whether everyone will make it out alive, particularly after this.

Dubai

500, Novak Djokovic defending; draw here.

Top 8 seeds: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Mikhail Youzhny, Ivan Ljubicic, Viktor Troicki, Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis

Points of interest: This was the first title Novak had ever defended in his career, but he’s got a tough road to make it a third year in a row; starting off with Michael Llodra, match-tough from Marseilles.  In contrast, Federer’s quarter looks rather lightweight. Keep an eye out for an unseeded Nikolay Davydenko lurking about, and note the first-round meeting of qualifier Grigor Dmitrov and Richard Gasquet. Battle of the Baby Feds …

Delray Beach

 

250, Ernests Gulbis defending (or not, given that he’s opted to go and lose in the first round of Dubai instead); draw here.

Top 8 seeds: Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Janko Tipsarevic, Benjamin Becker, Adrian Mannarino

Points of interest: Another American hard court tournament in spring, another brace of Americans, none of whom (with the exception of Roddick, who is clearly ill and may or may not play) particularly impressed last week in Memphis. But there’s a lot of interest in this draw: Dudi Sela, due for a rematch with Roddick; Julien Benneteau and Ivo Karlovic, both making their way back from injury, starting off with Ivan Dodig and Janko Tipsarevic respectively; former champion Kei Nishikori; and of course Delpo, Delpo, Delpo and Delpo, who will be playing Richard Berankis in the first round. Fair warning: he will probably lose to Berankis, who’s an infuriating bundle of counter-punching energy. Unfair warning: if he does, I’m cliffing myself.  

Posted in acapulco, ATP week ahead, david ferrer, delray beach, dubai, ernests gulbis, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Ernie, Kleybs Pick Up Maiden Titles

Posted by gauloises1 on March 1, 2010

Congratulations to two first-time titlists this week. Alisa Kleybanova upset Elena Dementieva 63 62 in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Open title. I didn’t see the match, but Kleybanova must have put in a really impressive performance for that kind of scoreline against Demmy. Good stuff.

And in Delray Beach, Ernests Gulbis didn’t drop a set all week on his way to his first ATP title, defeating Ivo Karlovic 62 63 for the trophy. I did not see that coming.

I have to confess I’ve kept no more than a little finger on the Ernie wagon after 2009’s endless disappointments and solicitation scandals. But for those of his fans who have been less than fair-weather, this must feel amazing – and it’s just great to see someone with so much talent showing signs of capitalising on his early promise. Celebrations all round.

Even Dr. Ivo, who turned 31 today. Yikes.

Worst trophy of the week. But yay Ernie.

Posted in alisa kleybanova, delray beach, elena dementieva, ernests gulbis, ivo karlovic, titlists | Tagged: , , , | 18 Comments »

ATP Week Ahead: Dubai, Acapulco, Delray Beach

Posted by gauloises1 on February 22, 2010

A 250 and two 500s this week …

Dubai

Draw here.

With Federer out, Tommy Robredo now takes his place in the draw, opening against Marseilles finalist Julien Benneteau. Third seed Andy Murray’s half looks, consequently, a little bit easier, although much will depend on how Marin Cilic makes his return to the courts after his dazzling start to the year as he could well be Murray’s semi-final opponent. Mikhail Youzhny is a possible quarter-final opponent; he’s been playing really well, but also suffering some serious injury difficulties. All in all, this half looks like a great opportunity for Murray to bounce back from his heartbreaking loss in Melbourne … I’ve just jinxed him, haven’t I?

The bottom half looks a little more loaded, although unless Gilles Simon can find some fitness and form, it’s hard not to see Kolya in the semi-finals. Djokovic has drawn wildcard Tsonga in his quarter, but Tsonga in turn has drawn Marseilles champion Michael Llodra in the first round. If both play as they’ve done in the past week, I wouldn’t count on Tsonga getting through that one. Kolya-Nole semi-final and a big cheer for Nole …

Acapulco

Draw here.

Top Seeds: Verdasco, Gonzo, Ferru, Boss, Isner, Almagro, Pico, Montanes … a veritable who’s who of clay courters. Apart from Isner. WTF?

Delray Beach

Draw here.

Definitely the least interesting of the three. Top Seeds: Tommy Haas, Ivo Karlovic, Benjamin Becker, Jeremy Chardy

Posted in acapulco, ATP week ahead, delray beach, dubai, mardy fish, nicolas almagro, novak djokovic | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »