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

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Archive for the ‘us open’ Category

Delpo To Play Bangkok, US Open & Be a Unicorn, Probably.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 23, 2010

I thought that getting absolutely no information on Delpo’s probable return to the tour was bad. But the morass of contradictory rumours going around of late is possibly worse.

So today, it was announced that Delpo would play the Thailand Open starting September 24th. (That’s the week after the Davis Cup semi-final which he may or may not be being a unicorn in or around, or not.) It was announced, not entirely coincidentally, by the Thailand Open.

“I am looking forward to playing the PTT Thailand Open on my return from injury,” said Del Potro.

“I really enjoyed myself on my last visit to Bangkok and hope for good results at this year’s tournament.”


So Siam is going to be the witness of the ultimate test of wristular fitness (which thrills me more than any muddy old river or reclining Buddha). It seems plausible enough, given that Delpo had already said that he wanted to be healthy to play in the Davis Cup semi-final or maybe sooner. And the tournament, after all, would have no reason whatsoever to exaggerate the chances of this happening.

But wait! Delpo’s still on the provisional entry list for the US Open. Despite the fact that it’s customary in this kind of situation for players to remain on such a list until shortly before the tournament when they know for sure whether or not they will be able to play, this somehow segued into Delpo being ‘expected’ to play the US Open. When this met with consternation from the intertennisfanpunditnetosphere, the USTA rather huffily backed up its statement by insisting that Delpo was already hitting, according to spokesman Tim Curry. Although this contradicts Delpo’s comments last week that he would only return to the courts after a couple of weeks of strengthening work, the USTA apparently had the information from a member of Delpo’s team.

The only comment I can find is from Ugo Colombini, Delpo’s agent, who said “Del Potro is working and hopefully he will be back soon.” Admittedly I haven’t turned over any every stone, but assuming this is the comment that the USTA is referring to as their source, it seems a bit nebulous to justify this much fuss – unless there’s been a mistranslation somewhere, or the USTA genuinely took ‘working’ as synonymous with ‘hitting’, or, you know, wanted to milk some publicity out of the situation without any particular regard for the player, his fans or the facts.

Am I being too harsh? Probably. I’m sure the USTA had really good reasons for saying what they did and nobody forced the intertennisfanpunditnetosphere to jump on it like they did, after all. Also, I’m 90% sure they’re full of crap and should shut up. (Unless spokesman Tim Curry is actually  Tim Curry, in which case all is forgiven, and no, I haven’t seen your tambourine.) We’ll see. But while it seems to be popular to indict Delpo and his team for their lack of communication, I really don’t know if that’s the issue here. Is it that inconceivable that there isn’t a definite return date because he simply doesn’t know when he’ll be able to come back? He hasn’t hit a ball since May. He hasn’t played a match since January. And I don’t care how encouraging his doctor’s reports allegedly were, there’s absolutely no way to know if the wrist will hold up until he actually starts practicing again. What exactly is he supposed to communicate? And wearing as this uncertainty is for the tour and his fans, I’m fairly sure it’s a lot, lot worse for Delpo. I’m sure that he’d love to attempt to defend his US Open title. I’m sure he’d love to play for Argentina against France. I’m equally sure that he has no way to know at this point whether or not he will definitively be able to, or what risks and rewards might potentially be associated with doing so, or whether he’ll be able to play in 2010 at all. And that sucks, but it’s the way it is. So can we just slightly leave him alone to find out?

Anyway. Jorge from FueBuena tweeted earlier that he had spoken to a member of Delpo’s team and confirmed that Delpo wasn’t hitting yet, which was backed up by GRIP magazine and accords with what Delpo said last week. And frankly I would trust their information much further than I could throw the entire USTA right now – and I’m fuelled with anger (and wine). Whatever Delpo’s situation is right now, I hope that all this crap isn’t making it worse.

He’ll come back when he comes back. Unhelpful but true, in the best koan tradition. 

In the meantime, reality is what you make of it.

End transmission.

P.S. USTA – to quote C. J. Cregg, “Shut up. You’re annoying.”

Posted in bangkok, juan martin del potro, us open | 5 Comments »

Serena Has Two Left Feet.

Posted by gauloises1 on July 19, 2010

Serena Williams cut her right foot on a piece of glass last week coming out of a restaurant. The injury will require surgery, apparently, and she’ll miss Istanbul, Toronto and Cincinnati in the lead-up to the US Open.

Not pictured: emotional distress.

Hope all goes well and she’s fully healthy for the US Open. Something tells me she will be.

Posted in serena williams, the withdrawal method, us open | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

It Is Not Defended.

Posted by gauloises1 on May 19, 2010

On his return from the States to check on the progress of his recuperation, Delpo confirmed that he won’t be playing the US Open.

Citing a desire not to rush his recovery, he said that he won’t play until Paris in the autumn at the earliest. A return in 2011 looks much more likely.

“If I have to return next year or at Paris Bercy, I will,” said Del Potro, referring to the Paris Open.

[…] “Thankfully, I’ve already undergone the operation and everything went well. Now I just have to recover,” said Del Potro, who will continue his recovery in his home town of Tandil, 350 km south of Buenos Aires.

“I don’t want to get desperate in rehab and I’m comfortable with the fact that if I do my time I’ll be playing again on the circuit,” he said.

“I know it’s going to take a long time to get back to being among the top players like I was before, but what I want more than anything is to return.”


(You can see some video of an extremely hairy airport Elf modelling the latest in a well-established tradition of awful baseball caps here.)

It always seemed wildly optimistic that he would be able to play the US Open, and obviously the last thing he should do is rush his recovery, if recovery there is to be.

Still …


Posted in juan martin del potro, us open | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

I, Witness: Further Adventures of AmyLu and JJ

Posted by gauloises1 on September 20, 2009

So I tried to update the original post with this, but I couldn’t quite make it work. Anyway, following up on the success of our previous post about their adventures at the US Open final, our favourite couple have now gone multi-media! Have a little video melange …

I just love these photos. Seriously. Every time I look at them I get too happy and have to go off and have a cigarette and think about death for a bit …

amylu jj1

amylu jj2

amylu jj3

(I think this one is my favourite. The more you look at it, the better it gets.)

amylu jj4

Could you cry? I could cry.

Posted in i witness, juan martin del potro, us open | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

I, Witness: AmyLu and JJ at the US Open Final

Posted by gauloises1 on September 17, 2009

As many of you probably know, our very own AmyLu and Juan Jose were present to witness history in the making at the US Open final on Monday. I certainly thought about them at various times during the match, and given the pivotal role that JMDP himself acknowledged the crowd’s support played in their victory and the accounts of just how much and with what tenacity JJ was cheering, I don’t think it would be exaggerating too much to say they basically are responsible for the Elf victory which I for one still haven’t got over.

amylu jj

Anyway, they were kind enough to send me a written account of their experiences which I have read like a zillion times already and am still loving. (I’ve popped the bulk of it under a cut, but it is so worth reading, please do.) So enjoy! There may even be photos and video to come …

AmyLu: It would be an understatement to say that JJ and I were excited to see the Elf play in his first Grand Slam Final.  In fact, JJ was singing “Olé, olé, olé, olé, Delpo, Delpo! so loudly when he took a shower Monday morning that I heard him in the next room.  I panicked Monday morning because I realized that my clothes were the wrong color.  I’d packed a red shirt, as I had hopes that a certain Spaniard may just surprise me and make the final.  But now, I was going to be wearing Swiss colors, which I found somewhat unpalatable.  Since we were staying a day longer than we expected, thanks to the rain, I didn’t really have any other options.  And, it seemed nuts, even to me, to go buy a different shirt.  Plus, red is one of my lucky colors so I decided that the shirt would bring luck to the Elf – although it took quite a bit of persuasion on my part to convince JJ that the red would not bring about the Elf’s downfall.  Once we sorted out my attire, we made the hour-long trek on the subway to Flushing Meadows and arrived very early so that we could soak in the whole experience of seeing the men’s final of the US Open.  It was clear from the beginning that we were going to be in the minority on the cheering front.  A parade of fans in RF gear made their way past us as we sat in the shade outside the stadium.  We did see a smattering of Argentinean soccer jerseys, though, so we knew that Elf would have other support beyond the two of us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in i witness, juan martin del potro, us open | Tagged: | 18 Comments »

Kim. Wicky. Table Football. These Are a Few of My Favourite Things.

Posted by gauloises1 on September 16, 2009

The Belgian ladies killing time during the rain delays with a little table football.

I don’t know why I find the fact that they’re losing so endearing, but I do.

Posted in kim clijsters, us open, video, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

This Post Brought To You By Lexus

Posted by gauloises1 on September 16, 2009

So after the widespread criticism of Dick Enberg’s handling of the trophy presentation on Monday night, and in particular his initial refusal of JMDP’s polite request to speak to his fans in Spanish, CBS have – sort of – responded:

“[Senior vice president for communications at CBS] Wade called the awkwardness “unfortunate” but said Enberg was obligated by the United States Tennis Association contract to get the sponsor presentation on the national broadcast. He had a producer speaking into his earphone, she said, “and what he was saying was what still had to be done in a short period of time.”

The U.S.T.A. confirmed the sponsor presentation was part of its agreement with CBS. The process, however, has been streamlined from past years, when the sponsor’s representative was given a chance to speak during the ceremony. On Monday night, the Lexus executive simply handed del Potro a set of keys.

Wade said Enberg was simply caught in a tough situation.

“Anybody who knows Dick Enberg knows he celebrates champions better than anyone,” she said. “Those are his kind of moments.”

Hmmm. I’m a little unconvinced by this really. I can’t understand what kind of scheduling constraints they were under exactly that meant they couldn’t spare 30 seconds. And if Roger had won, are you seriously telling me that Enberg would have cut off, interrupted or tried to hurry up his acceptance speech? I could be wrong but I don’t see it. Something tells me there would have been time for a “16” montage, or at least a “6”. It kind of reminded me of the woman presenting the trophy mangling Safin’s name back in 2000. I don’t think these people do well when they get a surprise result.

Anyway, I’m going to brighten up this post with my favourite post-final photo of JMDP so far.

trophy head

UPDATED: Oh god, I don’t know what’s wrong with me today!

Ahem. Meant to say in the original post that I loved how gave Elf the chance to say his piece uninterrupted via their website. Kudos.

Posted in juan martin del potro, us open | Tagged: | 16 Comments »

UPDATED: “First We Take Manhattan …”

Posted by gauloises1 on September 16, 2009

I look at all these photos and I just think, “poor boy”. Actually, first I think “who the hell are all these people?”, and secondly I think “why the hell can’t I find any video of these shows?”. But then I think “poor boy”.

Tom Perrotta on the morning after the night before:

On Monday, Juan Martin del Potro won the U.S. Open. Tuesday morning, he watched himself do it again and again, as if to prove that it really happened.

“On TV, on the Internet, everywhere,” del Potro told a small group of reporters in midtown Manhattan. “When I saw the ball going out, my sensation—it’s amazing, I can’t explain with words.”

It was easier for del Potro to explain how he felt after a sleepless night on the town, mostly at Avenue, a posh club on Manhattan’s West Side.

“I don’t want to play for a while,” he said. “I need the rest.”

Winning a major title for the first time is a transformative moment in any player’s career. In the 20-year-old del Potro’s case, the victory seemed to have physical effects, too. There he was on Monday, sporting a scruffy beard and a sleeveless shirt as he mowed down Roger Federer with booming forehands. On Tuesday, he looked more like a GQ model, dressed in stylish jeans, a pressed collared shirt, and a sweater. He visited with the Today Show hosts, Regis and Kelly, and Charlie Rose.

Del Potro isn’t attracting all this attention just because he beat Federer, the five-time defending U.S. Open champion who was on a 40-match winning streak in Flushing. It’s how he did it that was most impressive. After a nervous and tentative start that seemed to doom him to a quick defeat, Del Potro gathered himself midway through the second set and began to play with emotion and poise. He charged back from a two-sets-to-one deficit, going for bigger and bigger shots as the match became increasingly tense. When Federer was two points from winning the match, del Potro refused to fold.

“When I started the fifth set I said [to myself], ‘It’s kill or die,’” he remembered. […]

First though, del Potro has to plan a celebration. Step one: Return to Argentina Tuesday evening. Step two: Gather his family and friends in Tandil, his hometown, and let loose. How loose?

“I don’t know,” del Potro said. “But crazy, for sure.”

Del Potro’s parents and sister do not travel with him to tournaments, but they did watch his victory on television. His father, Daniel, was a semi-professional rugby player and is now a veterinarian, and his mother, Patricia, is a teacher. Del Potro spoke to them after the match.

“I just say, ‘Hello,’ and then we start to cry,” he said. “Was difficult to speak.”

Bless. Anyway, I know I already mentioned he was on the Early Show, which is apparently a thing – there’s an article about his appearance here – but I loved this photo too much not to post it.


I’ve deduced that the Early Show is like GMTV, except with terrifyingly attractive people, which personally speaking is the last thing I want to see in the morning, unless I’ve somehow slept with them. Anyway, JMDP was also on Charlie Rose, which is definitely a thing, I’ve heard of it:


And on this Regis and Kelly show, which is apparently a thing. I thought Regis was with Kathy Lee? Or have the lyrics to Jesus Walks misled me? Or is that a different Regis? I don’t even know who Kathy Lee is, except I assume she’s the same person who Mr. Garrison nearly kills in like the second episode of South Park. I cannot overstate the extent to which I do not know who these people are. I thought I did, but I don’t.

regis and kelly

regis and kelly2

regis and kelly3

And last but not least …

elf jmac

You know you’re flavour of the minute when J-Mac turns up for no apparent reason. Mark my words.

UPDATED: OK, I admit it, I’m incompetent. But luckily other people aren’t. Here’s the video of JMDP on Regis & Kelly. Thanks, twitter people.

Posted in john mcenroe, juan martin del potro, us open | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

JMDP Gets a Little Love From Pico

Posted by gauloises1 on September 16, 2009

Cute article here on Juan Monaco’s reaction to, I don’t know, some Argentine guy winning the US Open:

“It’s exciting. I’ve known him since he first entered the club and I can not believe it. It was something we all knew it was going to happen, but he proved it at a very young age, which speaks of how big he will be.

The good thing about Juan is that he is just beging, I’ve been holding this for long. I know it will be No. 1 in the world and this step is crucial. I know his goals, and this is going to do even more confident in his game to become the best.

The first two sets I looked at the gym, while I was training. Then I went home to enjoy it and live it alone. I was touched and cried a lot because I love Juan like a brother.”

elf pico

UPDATED: Forgot to mention, there are a couple of videos of Davin and Vilas here talking about the win … not that I can understand a word of it, which I blame Dick Enberg for.

Posted in juan martin del potro, juan monaco, us open | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Tower of Tandil, Toast of New York

Posted by gauloises1 on September 15, 2009

And now back to our Elf coverage …

JMDP with his trophy on top of the Empire State Building:






On American TV:


(Woman in red dress clearly interested. Man in suit clearly threatened.)


Too cool for school.

And generally being feted:

jmdp signs autographs


Incidentally, I understand Tandil are lining up a welcome home parade for him tomorrow. I’m just praying for another shot of him in a fireman’s helmet.

Posted in juan martin del potro, us open | Tagged: | 16 Comments »