Juan Martin Del Potro Back on the Tennis Court
by Tom Gainey | August 2nd, 2010, 6:25 pm

delpoAfter weeks of speculation and months of rehab, US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro is finally back hitting tennis balls again as of today.

The Argentine tweeted earlier Monday: “Que lindo volver a pegarle a la pelotita,aunque fue suave,tuve la raqueta en la mano nuevamente..”

According to Google, translated to English he said it was nice to hit the ball again.

It remains unclear as to whether Del Potro, who hasn’t played since January, will defend his US Open title. Coach Franco Davin has not set a return date while his trainer, Diego Rivas, has said that once his tennis skills shape up he’ll have another period to get physically fit.

If Del Potro is unable to play in New York his next target for a return date is at the Davis Cup, then Bangkok in late September.

Del Potro underwent right wrist surgery in May.

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92 Comments for Juan Martin Del Potro Back on the Tennis Court

Jake Willens Says:

I am VERY curious to see how Delpo is. I am happy he is back in the mix!

jane Says:

Good to see Delpo on the court!

dari Says:

GOOD news! Following him on Twitter has improved my Spanish.

Seth Says:

Can’t say I’ve missed his mostly one-dimensional game, but good for him, nonetheless. I’m sure it must’ve been frustrating to have to sit out for so long.

grendel Says:

I don’t get this term “one-dimensional” – it seems to be disparaging, and why would anyone want to be disparaging about one of the most exciting athletes on the planet? The skill required to pound the lines, without any holding back, over and again, is just out of sight. When required, del Potro is perfectly capable at the net (he improved no end during the year before his injury)but he generally plays, naturally, to his strengths – which strike me as unique.

Of course, you might not like that style of play, that’s fine, but why put it down? This is a revealing quote from Jack Nicklaus (it refers to golf, obviously, but it applies even more to tennis imo):”it isn’t so much a lack of talent: it’s a lack of being able to repeat good shots consistently that frustrates most players. And the only answer to that is practice”. What makes del Potro so exciting is that he repeats not just good shots but scarily good shots.

SG Says:

I’d say the comment “one dimensional” isn’t even really pertinent. If you look at the top 10 players, they’re pretty much all “one dimensional”. I don’t think DelPo is anymore one dimensional (admittedly not very good English) than any of the other players in the top 10. The thing about DelPo’s game that I really like is that he can really flatten out the ball and hit through the court consistently. He has a slam because of this ability. And his height gives him some nice angles. Particularly against players who hit spinny balls that kick up.

I’m glad he’s back. With Murray and Djoko in flux and Fed beginning his descent, someone has to fill the void. And DelPo has the perfect game to drive Rafa crazy. A big serve and huge flat groundies.

mem Says:

SG, reading between the lines, i can tell the ultimate goal is to find a player who can stop rafa nadal; my guess is that’s what all the excitement is about regarding del potro’s return. don’t get me wrong, it’s great that he will be returning soon. i love great competition! but i think the real reason in the minds of most is that they are counting on del potro to get the job done against nadal where soderling and others have consistently failed. all i can say is good luck to him! we will see!

grendel Says:

mem – SG is a Rafa fan, so what you say is not necessarily true, although it hits the mark for some posters. My guess is that SG would like to see Nadal put under pressure by someone who is both capable and not afraid of him – simply in order to generate thrilling matches to watch. Endless routs can be tedious except to the most dedicated fan. Speaking for myself, yes I would like to see Rafa beaten – I am not neutral – but I also happen to find del Potro an incredibly exciting player. These two facts are not in contradiction, but exist in parallel so to speak.

I am also concerned as to whether delPo can ever regain his form. To play his kind of tennis, there can be no holding back – a tall order, following such a serious injury. There must, one would have thought, be that tiny little niggle in the back of the mind as he opens his shoulders to deliver those mighty shots.

jane Says:

mem, that’s not the case for me, anyhow. I like Rafa. Just truly also enjoy watching many players, including Delpo. And yeah, I seem to recall SG liking Rafa, though I believe SG is a Sampras fan first and foremost??

bibi Says:

JMDP’s game is one-dimensional in the sense that there’s only a hit hard and a hit harder option. He whacks the ball 110% all the time and he goes for the lines all the time.

If his serve and forehand are on, all’s well. If they are even slightly off, he gets beaten by practically anybody.

That is pretty much the MO of those other two tall big hitters, Soderling and Berdych, as well. The difference being that JMDP has slightly softer touch at the net, but has a harder time getting there – he’s slightly slower than the other two.

The remedy for all three is to move them, to make them run, especially towards the net with short angles and dropshots/lobs.

The most complete of these three is Berdych. JMDP is the stongest hitter, but the slowest runner and his game is easiest to disrupt, being so predictable and belabored.

Federer lost to him at USO because he chose to be stubborn and tried to outhit him FH to FH. Nadal played him with injury and will probably soon figure him out.

grendel Says:

jane, there are many gradations of fandom – for instance, I would regard you as a Rafa fan, although he is not the highest in your affections…But some fans of a particular player would not accept other fans of the same player as being proper fans – I’ve actually seen this in practice. It reminds me of my student days, when certain Trotskyites would sneer at other Trotskyites for their Trotskyite pretensions…I live in a suburb called Harehills, and when I was working as a postman, I enraged another postman (also from Harehills) for some reason or other, and his final thrust was:”and you’re supposed to Harehills man!” clearly, I was a fraudulent claimant to the honour of living in Harehills, I must have sneaked in when noone was looking.

de baaker/Isner looks interesting – and also Istomin/Cilic.

grendel Says:

“JMDP’s game is one-dimensional in the sense that there’s only a hit hard and a hit harder option. He whacks the ball 110% all the time and he goes for the lines all the time.

If his serve and forehand are on, all’s well. If they are even slightly off, he gets beaten by practically anybody”. Practically anybody?

But this is exactly why delPo is so exciting. Yes, he whacks 110% and goes for lines (bh too, by the way – both wings). It’s high risk, and the amazing thing is how often he pulls it off. It’s basic, simple, and, just because it’s so perilous utterly unboring. Doing the same difficult thing again and again so well taxes the nerves – how can he possibly keep it up? That’s why the man is a pleasure to watch. Different types of players elicit different types of pleasure – that’s the glory of tennis.

When DelPo’s on song, I doubt if anyone can “figure him out” – but we’ll see, hopefully.

mem Says:

grendel, i get your point and i’m not accusing anyone in particular of anything, it’s just an observation. it always fascinates me when i read certain comments alluding to how deseparate some people are for someone to beat rafa or take him down. then, i think about the years, (specifically 2004-2007) when roger really dominated tennis, winning wimbledon after wimbledon, usopen after usopen, among other titles, and i don’t recall fans in general wanting him to ever lose; i don’t recall fans describing his domination as “boring.” i don’t recall so many fans wishing for his streaks to be broken or for a real challenge to come along. in fact, most fans marvelled at the thought that he was peerless in terms of his performance; they thought it was just fantastic, amazing that no player could challenge him consistently.

the minute rafa wins a few major tournaments after fighting to recover from a tough period in his career, there are those who are praying and searching for someone to stop him or slow him down. it’s interesting to me how “phony/pretentious/hypocritical” some fans are when they say they want competition, but in reality they want competition if the competition doesnt include challenging their favorite player.

jane, i enjoy watching other players as well, but my perspective is a little bit different. i support the notion that no matter how often a certain player wins, if he wins a particular tournament ten times consecutively and no one is able to stop him, i say he worked for it and he deserves it and he shouldn’t be punished because he is so good at his craft. if opponents don’t step up and challenged that player, then it’s not the winner’s fault! it’s just the way i see it!

jane Says:

grendel, “when certain Trotskyites would sneer at other Trotskyites for their Trotskyite pretensions” – LOL, understand you completely here. I am not an “all or nothing” person though. I am a gradations gal all the way. Just my nature. To each his/her own.

mem, I hear you too – Rafa certainly deserves his present and past dominance, as did Fed when he was cleaning up at practically every event he entered. They worked for it. That doesn’t stop some people from not wanting to see the guy at the top challenged, and/or from not wanting routs or predictable outcomes. Even if a spectator is a fan of the oft-winner. Surprises/upsets are sometimes as exciting as a champion at his best, weird as that sounds. Not always though. Fed in superman mode at AO 2007 and Rafa in the same mode at FO 2008 are memorable sporting occurrences, not matter who one supports. Becker running roughshod through the Wimbledon competition at 17 years old, and Sharapova doing same years later – these moments just stick out. For me anyhow.

mem Says:

jane, bottom line is, not many cared about entertaining matches or predictable outcomes when roger was winning everything! in fact, most of roger’s matches were lopsided. you seems to have it all figured out, maybe you can explain why there is difference when it comes to nadal. maybe i’m missing something!

jane Says:

mem, well, maybe it just seems that way because there are more Fed fans than Rafa fans at this site? I don’t know if that’s actually true – am speculating. I complained, as did others, particularly when the results were lopsided (I remember a final between Fed and Blake in Cincy, for e.g., that seemed to me very predictable) and especially because Fed kept beating my favorite players at that time (like Roddick, Safin, Rafa). But Fed’s a different player now, and I can appreciate both his and Rafa’s playing styles. I guess I’ve come to see what he’s done for the game more so now than then, and I see what Rafa continues to do for tennis as well. Now I mainly support Nole and Murray first, which is frustrating since they remain the “bridesmaids”, so to speak. But they have a challenge and something to aspire to in Fed/Rafa, which is good. Maybe that’s all some fans see in Delpo’s return too – a new challenger. Maybe others really want him to beat Rafa, or Fed for that matter. But it doesn’t really matter too much either way.

bibi Says:

“Practically anybody?”

Yeah. After winning USO last year, JMDP lost at Tokyo 500 in R32 to a qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

He then proceeded to lose to players that he regularly beats, such as Jurgen Melzer, his pigeon with 0-5 record then, at Shanghai Masters in R32; also to Radek Stepanek at Paris Masters in Q.

(Granted, his other loses prior to surgery were against non-anybodys: Davydenko at WTF and Cilic at AO).

grendel Says:

I think you are missing something, mem. When Federer was dominant, there were tremendous battles going on between Sampras and Federer fans – and the language was a great deal more intemperate (on both sides), I would say, than it has been in the Fed/Nadal battles. That might have been because more was seen to be at stake. As Nadal gets closer and closer to Federer’s slam haul, expect the rhetoric to get nastier – or more comical, depending on your perspective. I used to find some of the antiFederer stuff pretty funny, actually, just because it was so out of proportion. And you kind of wondered that people cared so much, too – there was something oddly touching about it all as well as being completely mad. Some of the insults hurled -“three incher!”, God, you had to laugh.

grendel Says:

bibi – I’m not convinced. Any player can, and usually does, enter a trough from time to time. And get beaten by the most surprising people.

contador Says:


grendel says

“But this is exactly why delPo is so exciting. Yes, he whacks 110% and goes for lines (bh too, by the way – both wings). It’s high risk, and the amazing thing is how often he pulls it off. It’s basic, simple, and, just because it’s so perilous utterly unboring. Doing the same difficult thing again and again so well taxes the nerves – how can he possibly keep it up? That’s why the man is a pleasure to watch. Different types of players elicit different types of pleasure – that’s the glory of tennis.”

speaking of favorites, cilic is in a match with istomin. GO Marin!! istomin can be tough.

so well said grendal, especially about the “Different types of players elicit different types of pleasure…” part.

for me it’s a menu. how boring it would be to have one item only day after day. that said, i could dine on federer tennis the rest of my life but it’s not reality, federer will run out. ( there is still some left, i think.) i was forced to choose others and now i like it. delpo is right up there as a favorite. i think he is being very smart and conservative with his rehab and will be back on top of his game.

djokovic and muzza ?? hopefully they recover themselves. but being beaten by federer in the slams and now with rafa back on top tennis has to be discouraging. both of them have the talent and physical ability to win multiple slams. after watching them lose, or in nole’s case pull out of tourny’s time after time, i consider them on a special injured list, so to speak. unfortunately, it’s possible that soderling is right behind them. just when he finally beats federer this year, he has to lose in a final with a rebuilt nadal. life is not fair, not at all.

suck it up boys.

the good news for the field: all domination comes to an end. i think about lance armstrong coming in 23’rd in 2010 tour de france, which for most in the pelaton would be a great result but not for lance. now contador is in the drivers seat. contador at age 28, could surpass armstrong’s 7 TDF record and the only thing preventing him from breaking the record is injury or illness, imo.

same goes for nadal. i think the only one stopping nadal is nadal.

i can respect his achievements and the difference in the palate of those who love him.

rafa will never been on my “menu,” federer or no federer. it has nothing to do with nadal beating federer or me being a federer fan. plenty of my faves have beaten federer going back to safin and ancic. unfortunately, their names are no longer on the menu.

i find myself cheering for nole and muzza now because and one reason is hating to watch them not playing to their potential. and i think that nadal emerging as no.1 again forces me to simply be patient while nadal dominates. ( i’d be super happy if hot sauce would get some spine and beat him ) or JCF or ferrer, even almagro would be great. has nothing to do with the spanish fare, i just get no enjoyment watching rafa play. same is true when eating oysters and mussels. i keep trying, but every time i do, i gag.

no one was able to stop rafa on clay or at wimbledon. okay, so he wins US Open. i am resigned to it. there are still plenty of others and reasons to enjoy tennis, even WTA is getting more interesting.

everyone has their favorite(s).

i see poor gasquet was beaten by vliegen. who?

french having a bad day. x-man beat benneteau.

verdasco is going down to berrer.

tipsy taking out his angst on poor clement. french are sinking like napolean’s navy to nelson.

contador Says:

s/b grendel. apologies grendel

bibi Says:

True that. But this particular list of losses was not so much a trough (dip in form over a whole period), as it was a pattern for his off days. He had quite a few excellent wins during that time between USO and AO, so he was not in a trough.

I watched all these matches listed and JMDP was not that bad, just slightly off serve on each day, yet he blindly continued to blast and overhit too many serves and forehands. His opponents had nothing much to do except keep the ball in play and move him.

With just a small reduction of power he would have been OK against those players, but no – only hard and harder is his pattern. Very much like Blake or Ivanovic: beautiful game to watch when clicking, ugliest thing when it’s not.

He relies too heavily on his power, so a full rehabilitation of that wrist will be crucial.

mem Says:

jane, it’s just the curiosity in me! maybe i didn’t read enough to find the complaints or maybe there were very few of them. anyway, i concur; it doesn’t matter one way or the other.

i don’t have a problem with fans supporting whomever they choose. i enjoy different styles although i’ve been accused of limiting my support to nadal; that’s not entirely true, but i don’t stress trying to prove otherwise. i have to admit, i will defend nadal in a heartbeat because he has given so much to tennis, brought so much excitement, and worked extra hard to improve to where he is today. however, i’m not naive; i know he’s not perfect, but as a fan, i don’t need him to be perfect, just want him to be the best that he can be and if that leads to greatness, i’m very happy for him. i’m proud of him either way! he has taken a lot of punches and didn’t allow any of it to break his spirit. i admire that! that said, regardless of what some might think, i watch different players all the time and enjoy different styles, but nadal is “special.” despite how some fans deny it, i believe every fan has one player that he or she prefers over all others, although they may not admit it because it makes them appear more objective when they claim they like different players as opposed to a particular player. whatever the case maybe, i echo your thought, “to each its own.”

mem Says:


it’s amusing to me too how you missed the point. i wasn’t comparing sampras, federer, agassi, or some other, i was referring strictly to nadal and federer. you probably misunderstood because you see everything in terms of “anti-federer.” unless that changes, you will always miss the point!

contador Says:


good news for a hot sauce fan bulletin:

the sauce fought back from being down (? breaks in the 2nd) and is in a decider. i think he can shake off the rust!

and not mess up my bracket picks

grendel Says:

mem – this is what you wrote at 5.17: “i think about the years, (specifically 2004-2007) when roger really dominated tennis, winning wimbledon after wimbledon, usopen after usopen, among other titles, and i don’t recall fans in general wanting him to ever lose; i don’t recall fans describing his domination as “boring.” i don’t recall so many fans wishing for his streaks to be broken or for a real challenge to come along. in fact, most fans marvelled at the thought that he was peerless in terms of his performance; they thought it was just fantastic, amazing that no player could challenge him consistently.”

Nothing whatever about Nadal here, but there is reference to “fans in general” and “many fans”. The point is, all the statements I have quoted from you are at best misleading just because of the Sampras/Federer “rivalry” (really, rivalry of fans). Whether you brought Sampras up or not doesn’t matter in this particular context and I doubt that I was missing any point. At the time of which you speak, the main hostility to Federer came from some Sampras fans, not Nadal fans. Times have changed, and it is now the other way round. Nor am I Federer fixated, and nor are many Fed fans, just as many Nadal fans are not Nadal fixated.

So far as the Fed and Rafa fans are concerned, there are moderates and obsessives in both camps. There isn’t a certain sort of person, a “Nadal fan” as against a quite different sort of person, a “Federer fan”. Not at all. There are types of person within each camp who have far more in common with each other than they do with their alleged fellow fans. That said, nothing is fixed, we can all change. I have certainly been highly immoderate in my time. It’s a question of recognizing it, I suppose.

mem Says:


revisit the statement before that, beginning with “it always fascinates me… i assumed you could infer that i was talking about rafa and roger. my mistake for not spelling it out! no big deal!

grendel Says:

bibi – well, it depends how you define “trough” – or rather, who you apply it to. del Potro was #4 or #5 in the world, so a trough for him could include good results among the bad. The trough Nadal was said to have been in last year would have been 7th heaven for most players, and so on.
Still, I don’t think we are in disagreement, it’s more that we view delPo’s attributes with different degrees of enthusiasm.

Maybe “hard and harder”, which you see as counterproductive, has to be delPo’s way – and it won’t always come off. So he can pay a price in a given match in the interests of his long term strategy. As with every other great player, the important thing for him will be to time his dips so they don’t hurt him too badly.

“He relies too heavily on his power”? Certainly his career may be sadly cut short. But I see this as a calculated risk. He has to rely heavily on his power, that’s what makes him the feared player he usually is. I wouldn’t compare him to Blake, much as I’ve always liked Blake – he’s a much more special player imo.

jane Says:

contador – love the extended menu metaphor of your 7:01 post, not to mention this lovely simile: “french are sinking like napolean’s navy to nelson.”

Maybe poetry is a closet career!? Did Cilic win – haven’t check scores as have been busy making stuffed peppers with a spanish salad.

jane Says:

mem “i believe every fan has one player that he or she prefers over all others, although they may not admit it because it makes them appear more objective when they claim they like different players as opposed to a particular player. ”

Oh, this may indeed be true (though the motives may be less clear cut); still, however, there are “gradations” even in this, to use to grendel’s word for describing fans. So while you may support Rafa in any match, in many other matches you may cheer on Hotsauce (hypothetically speaking) as your second favorite, and then when the two shall meet, perhaps you cheer on Rafa only, or maybe you just enjoy the match, thinking “best man wins” and all that, depending on the stakes maybe? Heck, there may be even a 3rd or 4th player who falls into the same category, where you just enjoy the match, even if he/she is playing your top fave. Of course there are fans who are extremely dedicated, above all, to one player, and one only, which is fine too. Different strokes. We agree. : )

I guess I’m a little more like contador and prefer a varied, shifting menu, periodically changing with the arrival/creation of new dishes, etc (or buses to jump on, whichever comparison you prefer). But there are special dishes we always favour, as you say.

contador Says:

thank-you jane. ( i was just trying to lighten up the thread )

i am certainly not a poet, sad to say. not in the slightest, sadly. i like history, history in general. obviously i am not a student of tennis history. i learn from you and others here. grendel made me think about what horrors i likely missed by not being on a tennis forum during the sampras vs federer years.

steam would have been coming out my ears!

i had the day off and have been checking scores. ( tennis tv. apparently has a monopoly on streaming. none of my trusted european streams are streaming ) no tennis channel, no dish, no, no espn3 streams…….grrrrrrrrrr i am dying here!!

cilic won yayayay! wish i could have SEEN it! what use is a day of to a tennis junkie who can watch or hear a tennis ball?

hot sauce beat berrer. but it took him 3 sets.

all the french sank, even tricky llordra.

matches in progress:

simon may save the day. viva simon! i’d really like to see if his knees are totally better. up 5-1 on kunitsyn is a good start.

roddick is up a break in the 1st on slovakian zemlja

Kimmi Says:

hi contador, just gave an update on my bracket challenge on the other thread. Would like to know how you did.

happy for hot sauce ofcourse, he scraped thru. Still stuggling but these close matches are good for the confidence. here is hoping

nalbandian is still on. yay!

contador Says:

s/b “day off”

contador Says:

okay Kimmi. i’ll go read/ see how you did. i did very well if roddick doesn’t let me down and it ‘appears’ he won’t on livescore.

jane Says:

contador, we love your writing and humour around here, poet or no. Very erudite yet funny posts almost always from your end. And yeah, it would be nice to see Simon rise again, from the ashes of injury. You and Kimmi continue to brave the bracket challenges I see. Good for you two! I’ll live vicariously…

contador Says:

jane, gotta be able to adjust, that’s for sure. i learned that one in 2008.

it’s not mentally healthy to have a black or white, no gray areas, thin skinned approach- nor is it much fun.

contador Says:

thank you again, jane. i try to stay out of the discussions and simply read and learn. but “erudite? ” i dunno. good thing you qualified that one with “almost always…” : )

Kimmi, which thread do you mean? the one where you pick nalbanian? i lost it.

looks like simon is going to finish off old kunitsyn in under 55 minutes. poor igor

Kimmi Says:

its a new thread..on the main page with J.blake photo


jane Says:

Well, i learnt about the TDF from you, your Napoleon allusion, not to mention all the stuff about the up and comers (never heard of Dolgo till you brought him, and his hair do, up here), as well as the various therapeutic things you know about; I believe that’s your field. Anyhow, it’s a fun place to hang out and chat. Lots of great posters in general.

Kudos to Cilic. Also Roddick seems to have sealed the deal a.t.m.

mem Says:

jane, it’s all good! it doesn’t affect me one way or the other. some fans tip-toe around certain questions to make sure he or she doesn’t offend anyone; maybe some fans are just people-pleasers. i don’t know! if i want to know something, i ask! if i want to make a statement, i make it. i don’t beat around the bush because i’ve never had a need, nor a desire to be accepted by everyone; some people are insecure, they need for everyone to like them. i don’t! it takes all kind of people to make up society. be that as it may, there is nothing wrong with you having preferences or “liking a varied menu”. we all have preferences, whether we admit it not! cheering on different players, doesn’t mean that we don’t have a favorite player. you can enjoy a “varied menu” and still have a favorite food. again, to each its own! i’m ok with it!

contador Says:

okay Kimmi. i’ll tell who i picked to the final

picked golubev to beat gasquet ( would be partly wrong. vliegen? beat richie)

berdych beats golubev then beats isner in quarter and hot sauce in semi.

berdych over roddick in final

had gulbis beating rainy, then baghdatis
had verdasco beating llordra, then EG in quarter
berdych over verdasco, ect….

querrey over tipsy
hewitt over falla
querrey over falla
cilic over fish
querrey over cilic

roddick over simon
nalby over wawa and steps
roddick over nalby
roddick over querrey

berdych over roddick in final.

and i now think you could be right about the nalbandian half

about the match we are not seeing now? i picked isner but i like tiemo

contador Says:

s/b querrey over hewitt
querrey over cilic

( my heart wants cilic or gulbis winning this tournament !!)

Kimmi Says:

ah, just saw this post. let me look..closely

Kimmi Says:

like your picks. I see not too bold..so you put your money on seeds! would like to see how you do it. For me most of the seeds are have not been impressive. things could change ofcourse.

Roddick over berdy in the final..1 and 2..mmmmm!

It was 1 and 2 in LA..you could still be right.

for me..GO the dark horse nalbandian

contador Says:

thanks again jane. this is the best forum to “hang out.”

but i have only tried one other one. i prefer this one.

i confess: lately i go on the fromsport chat room, anonymously. i like to try and “get” what the serbians, croatians, french, germans, spanish, belgians, dutch and so on, are saying. forget the russian….i have no clue. when i post something in english most can respond in english. sometimes it’s expletives only as responses. lolzzz. it’s a play by play rowdy chat, very interesting study in linguistics. my spanish is improving.

thiemo and isner! going to tie break in the 1st, probably…

contador Says:

yeah. i am being a wuss!

contador Says:

the problem is i really have confidence in no one but nadal.

yeah i picked 1 and 2 in LA. but killed on the final. Muzzzzzza!

so i stay with 1 and 2. my suspicion is that someone like roddick may not be as motivated to win this tournament as some younger guys or old hungry ones ( nalbandian or hewitt) i don’t mean to say roddick would tank but if something is “niggling” or “tweaking” he might not fight as hard and not play all his cards until US Open.

jane Says:

mem – I like the straight up folks, like yourself, admire their guts. I am more of a tip-toer, admittedly. I know it. Don’t like to argue or debate too much online, especially, as I have found out over time. Just like to come here to have fun, mainly. Chat tennis etc with the nice people here. Otherwise it can get too stressful, and watching Nole and Murray already gives me regular fits and palpitations. LOL.

Kimmi – darkhorse Nalby eh? For sure he can always pull a fast one on tennis fans. Also Ernie, but you never know. He tried in L.A. to fight it out. But to no avail last week. WOuld’ve liked to see him and Murray play each other there.

jane Says:

contador, I have tried to follow that chat during some streams. Mostly I laugh and eventually hit “hide chat’. Have never tried to post, but I get a kick out of all the languages and expletives too. Lots of hearts and “GOOOOOO!”s too.

Like Isner alright, but am hoping for a de Bakker win. Doubt he can come back from a set down though. Isner is just so tough to break!

Kimmi Says:

jane – exactly! this is to your post to mem. I also found out (the hard way) no need to get tangled up on the arguments..can be very stressful, tiresome and no fun. not worth it in my book.

re: the darkhorse..I love nalbandian. but as you all know he can be very stressful to follow. i hope his “second” career will bring some magic.

he impressed me at the davis cup..hope he can find his form again and kick some butt in DC. Go nalby.

aaahh de bekker..so close. Good job isner.

I will give hot sauce some rest this week.

contador Says:

the chat is hysterical! i used to hide it all the time, then, slowly but surely have been reeled in.

what i usually type is: ” why don’t you like the portugese?” or whoever is getting hammered. or when sharapova is playing “have you nothing else on your mind than s**?” or i command, “stop dissing so and so!” of course i then get told to “shut the **** up!” or another comment i can’t resist: “what do bored tennis fans kill time? answer: trade insults about rafa and roger!”

isner got the tie break. one more set. c’mon!

Kimmi Says:

hahah I must confess i went on those chats onces or twice. and read it when i get bored during the match.

I get mad at people who call the score seconds before the point is played in that stream…then i ask myself..why do i keep reading it!! lolzzz

contador Says:

s/b “whar do bored tennis fans do to kill time?”

Kimmi- you know what i mean when i leave out words and stop typing in complete sentences.

i use the “rolls eyes” face a lot, jane. never a heart, never.

another tie break here? it would be a pretty big upset for de bakker…i like him.

contador Says:

i do that. type what i think is the score before the point is played! and make premature predictions like “now a double fault!”

this match reminds me, i wonder if mahut will be in the toronto draw?

i loved their marathon match. *heart* just for jane.

isner scares me. 10 aces for john and 9 for TDB

contador Says:

i always have to look up theimo.

#46 rank
21 years old and 6’4″
beat isner at wimbles R64

but that was right after isners 3 day match

skeezerweezer Says:

Skeezer here…enjoyed all the reads, I read them all. Learned some things this thread both great and…… what I expected.

What is most impressive IMO of the “read” is the true “fan” of tennis up here, which in this thread most have shown there colors. MOST everyone has a fav, but also appreciates, admires, and respects other players in the game. You know who you are! I won’t mention names as to offend the offenders who are in love and there is no one else.

Hey it just all means you love the game, not the guy, which some people are way to infatuated with. Kudos and props to the those that have there fav of favs but discuss, debate, praise and critique the players that are tryin to get to the top also ….. :).

KIMMI, Contador & Jane and the eloquent “Grendal” in that respect, you are the Bomb :)

We are talking about a Gulbis, a Hot Sauce, a Murray, Roddick, Nole, JDP! etc…this site rocks!

Go JDP! Hope to see ya back soon! :)

On to the HC season, bring it!


contador Says:

2nd match point isner. 2nd match point saved by theimo

mem Says:


it’s refreshing that you can be that honest about the nature of your personality and not pretend to be someone you’re not. i have great respect for people who can do that. very commendable!

contador Says:

hey skeezerweezer.

so game set match isner, but that was close.

i’m not doing too bad Kimmi.

strange i was sort of hoping TDB would beat my pick isner. not sure why. maybe an underdog thing.

good night everybody-

EG plays tomorrow…..

Skeezerweezer Says:


Thanks for the shout out, yes, Isner still making noise :). Hope your man (Gulbis) gets on a streak. Is he all healthy and ready to go?

Ben Pronin Says:

Sorry to jump into the conversation late, but I agree with mem that it’s kind of funny how people want someone around to beat Nadal. And that they expect Del Potro to do it is even more hilarious. God knows I love the big guy, but I think we should all wait a little while before planting big expectations on the guy. But besides that, Nadal is getting tougher by the minute. First everyone thought Soderling would play him tough in Paris, then at Wimbledon. And then Berdych was supposed to fill the void. In those 3 matches, Nadal went 9-1 in sets. I believe Del Potro is still a different breed than these 2 (no one has ever beaten Federer down 2 sets to 1 in a slam final), but Nadal is a different breed all together.

That said, I’m still very excited to see Del Potro back. I don’t agree that he only has one way to win, he’s not Soderling. Del Potro had a butt load of injuries after winning the US Open last year, which helps explain a number of his losses. But dating back to 08 when he won his first 4 titles (2 clay, 2 hard court), Del Potro showed a lot of variety. He has exceptional defense due to his amazing wing span (despite being fairly slow). And he’s a smart guy. What set Federer a part for so many years and what currently sets Nadal a part from the rest of the guys is their unbelievable court smarts. That’s something Del Potro isn’t exactly lacking. That’s why I am quite interested to see what he brings to the table in the next few years. No doubt he has a big game, but this is still the Nadal Era, and it will be for a few years.

All in all, I love Del Potro’s game. I don’t care who he’s playing or beating, when his game clicks and he can completely thump his opponent, it’s quite a sight to behold.

Rick Says:

You guys! Just wait and see! It would takes him awhile to get back to his normal self. Just like what happened to Nadal. And what happens to Sharapova now! When you come back from injury to the pro tours. You need alot of matches and alot to wins to be match tough again. I wouldn’t be suprise that if he gets thump by the top 10 players when he returns.

Rick Says:

Also, we would finds out that if he is the next Marat Safin?

Rick Says:

Lets just put it this way! Tennis is like a game of chess. And it is not dominate by the type of game that is play by Robin Soderling.

Rick Says:

Nadal’s 2008 French Open Federer thumping is also a sight to behold, too! I haven’t never seen anyone thump Federer in a match like that. He was passed at the net. Nadal killed his serve with his return. And wore him down in the rallies.

Steve Says:

Good for him but shame for me and many others, his one-dimensional game hurts my eyes, I’m not sure I can handle another guy like that on tour…

KillerC Says:

this guy literally gave his wrist to beat federer last year @ the uso and stop the fedex uso run. I’m glad to see delpo gettin back and hopefully he comes back healthy, better and more in shape! Hes a tru joy to watch, seeing pure power game, compared to the spinny spanish nadal vibe. — I wish em well!

madmax Says:

Grendel, your post at 6.40pm.

As far as I am aware, Federer only ever played Sampras ONCE. (Wimbledon 2001) and Federer won.

7-6(7) 5-7 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5 – which were the battles you were referring to?

Grendel: “As Nadal gets closer and closer to Federer’s slam haul, expect the rhetoric to get nastier”.

I really don’t see why this has to be case. Firstly, I think it is a bit premature to say that Nadal is “getting closer”. Plus, I don’t think that whatever happens in the future will detract from either what Federer has achieved, OR what Nadal achieves. They are two entirely different players in terms of their game and I know which one I prefer to watch.

As for Delpo. It’s great that he is back in terms of his traing and his practice. There should be no reason why, after all this time off to recover, he shouldn’t eventually one day become world no.1. He certainly did have that “fear” factor when he was around last year.

jane Says:

Sazzy Falak, On one hand I am surprised to read the rumor that Nadal may skip Toronto, but on the other hand, he has a huge points lead at the moment, he doesn’t have too many points to defend at the Roger’s Cup, having lost in the QFs last year, and he could rest his knees a little further while saving his energy for a strong USO push. Winning it, of course, would cap an amazing year for him and give him a career slam. If the rumor is true, it wouldn’t be a bad decision by his team. That said, I presume he’d need an official reason to miss it, or he’d be forced to miss another Masters later on (at least I think that’s what the rules say).

SG Says:

As Jane stated, I am a definite Sampras fan. I also like Rafa though not quite as much. Frankly, if Rafa does surpass Pete, I’ll be OK with it. Some may say it’s because Federer has already passed Pete’s milestone so 14 isn’t the ultimate target anymore. This isn’t the reason I’d be OK with Rafa winning his 15th or 16th or 18th major. I’d have no issue with Rafa being at those numbers because of the way he accumulated his major totals. He’s beaten Federer 6 times in slam finals. He beat the best to be the best. I don’t really think Fed has built up his major total the way Rafa has. A lot of people (Fed fans specifically) are going to dump on me for this opinion but I can live with it.

For the record, I don’t see Rafa getting more than 12 slams with his physical game which I’ve stated before. But, if he does, good for him. Nobody works harder and competes better than Rafa…in any sport. He’s the best competitor I’ve seen in any sport. He just doesn’t back down.

mem Says:

In reference to Nadal skipping Toronto: Rafa’s Facebook indicates that he is travelling to Toronto on Thursday. His website doesn’t indicate anything differently; probably just a rumor.

SG, it’s funny when fans say something like, I don’t think Rafa will win no more than this many slams…then they go on to say, BUT if he does…
Either you think he will or you think he won’t. I guess when you include BUT, you win either way.

anyway, no harm done, its just your opinion and prediction. no one can hold that against you. i’m ok with the predictions of others because the great thing is, Rafa’s future is not in our hands and how many slams he will win is not in our power. so, i’m ok with predictions. they are not guarantees.

if predictions were guarantees, rafa wouldn’t have eight now! according to predictions he wasn’t suppose to ever win wimbledon or a hardcourt major or be #1 in world. so, i prefer to stay away from predictions and just wait and see what happens! we might just be surprised, who knows!

contador Says:

hi skeezerweezer-

who knows if gulbis is close to the form he was in last spring. if breaking racquets is any measure, my guess is he’s not. how many did he break in LA? docked a point too. what else can you do? it was a bag of bad racquets!! : )

i’ll be happy if he makes it past marchenko today.

SG Says:


I think I was crystal clear in what I stated. I stated that I think Rafa won’t win more than 12 slams. I also said that if he wins 15 or 16 or 18 slams, good for him. If he wins more than 12 majors, I will be wrong in my assessment. Is this more clear? I didn’t hedge one bit in my previous statement. I can’t tell what the future will bring anymore than you can but I can specculate…can’t I?

SG Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Sorry to jump into the conversation late, but I agree with mem that it’s kind of funny how people want someone around to beat Nadal.


What I and others are saying is that we want to Nadal play some more heroic matches. You only get heroic matches when you have heroes on the court. This is why Fed and Nadal have played such epic matches against each other.

A healthy DelPo has the game to irritate Nadal. The big kicking forehand that irritates most of Nadal’s opponents doesn’t bother DelPo. And DelPo’s serve is a bomb to boot. It’s a different challenge for Nadal. I’m not saying he can’t beat DelPo. Not at all. What I’m saying is that DelPo can force Nadal to change his game strategy. Very few players are capable of this.

I agree that DelPo has to crawl before he can walk. But, assuming he can get things together over the next 6 months, who’s to say he can’t be a threat to Nadal next year.

mem Says:

SG, the comment wasnt’t intended to offend you, no need to make a mountain out of a moldhill. it’s only a spectulation. you are entitled!

margot Says:

grendel@4.25: the Militant Tennis Tendency is strange, frightening and funny, all at once.
jane: read Reed. Hmm. Even more enthusiastic than you, me and kimmi- all put together! Andy’s been in two finals and a semi, not bad for 8 months work. His game needs a tweak not a make over. However,I’ve no expectations whatsoever for next 3 months.
conty: liked your food analogy very much, but as some will choose cheese over cheesecake, I’ll choose magicians over ball bashers, every time. Speaking of which..
bibi@4.20. Agree, totally, pax grendel.

margot Says:

jane: oops, now I’ve over-cooked Andy!! Meant of course ONE final and one semi….

grendel Says:


yes, of course Sampras and Federer only played once. As I pointed out, the “rivalry” was really between their respective fans. I can assure you, it got very nasty indeed – so nasty, in fact, that it was sort of funny. I mean, to pull out all the adjectives, and then some – and all over what? A little bit of that went on here, but not much. It was mainly – what I saw – on the message boards on tennis.com. Also, the ESPN tennis site.

Yes, to say Nadal is getting closer to Federer’s haul is premature, I agree. Nevertheless, for what it’s worth, it is my opinion that he will end up with 18 to 20 slams. He is completely dominant at the moment, he is healthy (all the stuff about his knees seems to me overblown; think of Safin, Nalbandian , two top flight players in Nadal’s league whose careers have been really blighted by injury -and, to be fair,by attitude), and he is young, people forget just how young. Naturally, everything can change, Murray may finally do justice to his great talents, delPotro may emerge as potent as or even better than before,or someone may suddenly appear from nowhere. But as things stand, it is rational to suppose there are many more slams with Nadal’s signature on them. Federer? None, one or two – I’ll go for one (as you rightly say, I’m the glass half empty man, but I could have said none, which would frankly be more rational – whoops!)

As for the rhetoric getting nastier as Nadal starts to overhaul Fed, you say:”I really don’t see why this has to be case”. It has to be the case because not everyone is so nice and fresh as you are. Believe me, the knives will be out like nobody’s business. And I agree also with what you go on to say, about nothing detracting from the achievements of Nadal and Federer, whatever happens. But again, I am afraid there is a certain breed of person which is not so reasonable, and they will be out in force.

There is a paradox here, and it is into the space created by this paradox that the chaps throwing the vitriol will find their motivation. It is quite true that both Federer and Nadal are very great champions and also absolutely different. It is, therefore, kind of silly to say one is better than the other, although naturally one can much prefer one to the other – but that’s just taste. On the other hand, there are certain records which do, somehow, seem very compelling, and easily chief among these is the number of slams won. So whereas one part of one’s mind says Federer and Nadal are equal but different, another part says, ah, but so-and-so won more slams, you’ve got to admit, that gives him the edge. The first part of the mind then says “don’t be silly, it’s just a number”. The second part then retorts “ah, but what a number! think what it’s telling us”. The internal inquisition will go on, eternally unresolvable. Meanwhile, the bovver boys will be out in force, wielding their knives……

grendel Says:

margot – how about a ballbashing magician?

contador Says:

i like to mix it up, the “cheese and cheescake,” margot. but no mussels and oysters.

i like muzza’s tennis. i like delpo’s too.


i actually read an article some weeks ago stating the major damage to his wrist was last us open. i completely agree that he sacrificed his wrist along the way in 2009 to his first GS title.

and it would explain why he didn’t return to tennis until rakutan open last year and went out first round citing vague reasons: fatigue, jet lag, or a virus? then he pulled out of shanghai and admits it’s his wrist and the wrist had been a problem since miami 09.

interview with delpo:


after that, he shows up to sacrifice the remaining pieces of his 2009 right arm/wrist making it to the tour final and losing to davydenko.

i’m sure team delpo tried everything to get him back in time to defend his US Open title. resorting at last to surgery.

hopefully delpo reigns in the ponies ( sorry about the pun ) and learns from the guy hewitt calls the “master of scheduling.” at 21, delpo’s overall career is more important than defending a title. imo.

hewitt on injuries and the “master of scheduling”


Anna Says:

I agree, it was a huge climb for Rafa to push beyond Mt. Federer, but he’s tenacious like a pit bull, and as long as we all get to speculate I’m thinking the majority of slams are going to go Rafa’s way over the next 3 years. I see him definitely beating Pete’s record when it’s all said and done.

Nice and easy does it for Delpo. The consequences of pushing to fast could be disasterous. Cilic and Delpo are my #2 and #3 guys. When Nadal, Cilic and Delpo play each other I just can’t watch it live. I don’t know who to root for. Once I know the outcome, I can prepare myself and watch the match in a clinical fashion after the fact. So weird to care so much about these athletes. The internet has allowed an incredible amount of access to their lives. It’s probably good on some levels, but way bad on others.

margot Says:

grendel: whose that?

margot Says:

anna: just read Mt. Federer :) alas, alas Andy is the valley of despond :(

grendel Says:

margot – it’s that geezer who can bash the ball from anywhere on the court right onto the lines in such a way that you have to shake your head, twirl your eyebrows and whisper in awed tones:”Why, that’s magic, man!”

He’s been compared to all kinds of folk – Cilic, Blake, Ivanovic (!? – why not Sharapova whilst we’re at it?),Soderling, Berdych. All of these folk have merit. But the magic resides with only one of this category of player.

Hail del Potro, ballbasher extraordinary, magician of the courts!

grendel Says:

Contador and Kimmi

I see Querry’s lost to Tipsy – crafty fellow, got in a bit of practice and at same time’s got urgently needed rest. I’m glad about that, ’cause we need a fit Querry at the Open, where he could cause a bit of bother. Also, Simon seems to have destroyed Kunitsyn. Tell you what, Roddick will have to be on his metal to beat him, I think that match is up for grabs. Gulbis – ahhhh! Woe.

skeezerweezer Says:


“I agree, it was a huge climb for Rafa to push beyond Mt. Federer, but he’s tenacious like a pit bull, and as long as we all get to speculate I’m thinking the majority of slams are going to go Rafa’s way over the next 3 years. ”

Yes and a lot of the talked about upper tier of contenders this year for the most part have turned into pretenders. This also opens up the landscape for the great Rafa. IMO unless this landscape environment changes, and quickly, Rafa will win several more GS in the next few years.

contador Says:

oh my stomach, grendel.

feels like 2009 for all over again, as to gulbis. : (

that roddick interview posted on the lead story made me think the same: if roddick has to work too hard, he’ll go down to simon. could have used that interview before picking him to get to the final.

good point about querrey. so true, we need a fit and rested querrey for the US Open.

it’s a day for the swiss? chiudinelli over stepanek. wawa over nalbandian? makes sense, none of my picks have won yet today.

hewitt down a set. i doubt he wants to lose to falla but quite likely hewitt’s attitude is similar to roddicks. live and learn here.

so far, 0-8 for me today. that’s some smart picking. go contador? yay.

c’mon baghdatis, nalbandian, berdych and golubev

Anna Says:

So sorry about Andy M. I really thought he had one up on Sam in LA, but the bottom opened up and down he went. I just wish he could get a little tougher (mentally) when the need arises. He should have won that one.

Hi Skeeze
I agree. It seemed that quite a few players had upped their level of play at the beginning of the year, but have since plateaued. Gulbis had some exciting moments early on but then got hurt, or took a vacation or something. Now it’s like he’s starting over again. Almagro is still killing em on clay, but I’m not sure how his game will transfer to hc. Hot sauce has been busy tweeting Kim Kardashian so it doesn’t seem that his mind is on tennis. Davy has truly been a sad story. He likes the hc though, so maybe something good will happen for him. Actually, I’m really excited to see how Sam and John (the American boys) do this month. They’ve both played VERY competitive tennis this summer. I’m counting down the hours to Toronto!!

skeezerweezer Says:

Hi Anna :)

“..Hot sauce has been busy tweeting Kim Kardashian so it doesn’t seem that his mind is on tennis..”

LOL :~)

She may too hot ( meaning “High Maintenance” ) for even the Hot sauce!! Also Kardashians by nature have a wondering eye….Look out my fellow Spaniard!

Actually you are right, I digress, I forgot about Sam and John, they have grown this past year and could bring some “hurt” to the HC season, they were brought up on it :)

margot Says:

grendel: truly Depotro has cast a magic spell on you, but hopefully it’ll wear off soon….

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