Del Potro Returns Tuesday Against Rochus; Sharapova Krumm-bles
by Sean Randall | September 27th, 2010, 10:36 pm

We are not long from return of Juan Martin Del Potro. DelPo will play in his first pro tennis match since January 24 when he takes on Olivier Rochus in Bangkok at about 8am Eastern time here in the U.S. ADHEREL

The 22-year-old Argentine underwent right wrist surgery on May 4 and has played just one event all year. And while sidelined, Delpo’s ranking has slipped from No. 4 at the Australia down to No. 36, and the big guy still has almost a 1,000 points to defend this fall (he was a finalist in London and QF in Paris).

Delpo and Rochus have never played. And even though he’s outsized by a foot, Rochus can more than hold his own against the bigger players. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Olivier get a win here.

Top seed Rafael Nadal earned a bye and will play his first match – a second rounder – on Thursday night against a qualifier, either Bemelmens or Nielsen. Nadal and Delpo could clash on Friday night if each reaches the quarterfinal stage.

Big news from the Premier WTA event in Tokyo yesterday. Former No. 1 Maria Sharapova was absolutely stunned by Kimiko Date-Krumm 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round. Krumm, who was on the pro tour back in 1989 when Sharapova was just a 2 year old, turns 40 on Tuesday. What a birthday present!

“I’m very happy to win this match, especially just a day before my birthday,” the victorious Date-Krumm said. “The crowd really helped me. When I play at home I sometimes feel big pressure, but today I was able to control myself.”

Said the 23-year-old Sharapova, “Kimiko was a new opponent for me, so I had to try and figure her out. She stays low and likes the ball hit hard at her, and then she steps in and changes direction. She did that really well. I had my ups and downs but couldn’t take control when I was up.”

It’s a great win for Date but the loss by Maria, who I thought was 100% back, is little alarming.

By the way, how old is Steffi these days? Just saying.

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Former Champions Djokovic, Sharapova, Kerber, Federer, Wawrinka On Court Tuesday At Australian Open
Del Potro Calls Wrist “Perfect” in Loss to Rochus; Ferrer v. Tomic in KL
Nadal, Del Potro Could Collide in Bangkok Quarterfinals
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58 Comments for Del Potro Returns Tuesday Against Rochus; Sharapova Krumm-bles

Andrew Miller Says:

Del Potro proved himself the real deal in his 2009 US Open display and solid hardcourt ‘2009 season. No reason he can’t take up his rightful spot in the top 10 soon. Del Potro’s no Berdych – he has a lot more fire and he brings it everytime.

I think if Federer’s not the guy to fear for Nadal, it’s Del Potro. Del Potro can actually make life uncomfortable for Nadal, which ironically would give Federer some breathing room to recover his game.

It’s not as outlandish as it sounds….

wheeler Says:

LOL Sharapova’s a professional fashion model whose part-time hobby happens to be professional tennis. Why the media gives her this much attention is beyond me. Maybe because she accidentally won a few slams in a era some would say has seen the very lowest quality of women’s tennis.

zola Says:

I think we need to give Delpo some time. I also want to see if he has changed his forehand motion to prevent further injuries.

Whatever we think of Sharapova (decibels!), she is great at her post-match interviews. Always giving credit to the opponent. she is still far better than many WTA players. No one wins a slam by accident.

margot Says:

“she accidentally won a few slams” ROL, ROL and ROL again.

zinaldo Says:

The forehand is still there,the anti nadal has returned and i am so happy about that.

zinaldo Says:

Rochus fighting hard but i can tell that if del potro of last year was on the other side of the court he would have broken him already.

You can see the rustiness from juan martin especially on the service returns but the forehand and backhand are on point enough.

zinaldo Says:

Del potro has to attack the net whenever he pulls that belgium pain because all he is doing is slice the ball back to a length a la nadal so if juan martin was waiting for them he would just have easy volleys to finish.

Rick Says:

I can’t wait for him to play Nadal. So justice would be serve. Just like what he did to Nadal. Nadal going to thump him silly. I also would love to have Nadal to play Davydenko again. Since he is also coming back from the injury. So that Nadal returns their favours back to them. But seriously, I can’t wait for Del potro to gets back to normal back. Nadal and him are going to make Roger’s life a living hell. Don’t forget, Del potro is the one who knocked Fed Allstop off from his US Open title! ;)

mmm Says:

Steffi could definitely make a comeback. I love Date Krumm’s win over Maria and she backed it up with a win over Hantuchova. Great job!

Rick Says:

If Del potro ever wins a title again. It would probably costs him an arm or a leg again! ;)

Rick Says:

Although I don’t like all the publicity. Maria deserved her titles. She beat all the best players on the WTA tour to earned her titles. You know like the Williams sisters, Justine and all that. Unlike Federer having to won his slams without beating the slams winners!

zinaldo Says:

Rochus is playing well but players like that always seem to lose in the next round because they aren’t good enough whereas juan martin could build up to some good momentum here if he was to win this but i don’t see him winning now as he looked a little tired in the first set but eh he could surprise me.

The good thing is that his forehand,backhand and the serve are working great only his movement is about suspect but that will come with more match and practice.

Rick Says:

Fed Allstop won his Cincy with one play retied. Then someone pulled out. And all other top 3 players are being knocked out. Great to have Del potro back. He could joins Nadal, Djokovic, Murray to damage the reputation of the so-called GOAT. Fed Allstop actually gave the fuel for Djokovic for beating at the US Open. Remember he was saying that, Djokovic being 3 or 4 at the Open. Actually he is the one himself. He choked his match against Djokovic. He was waiting something happened. lol

Rick Says:

It would kind of funny, when you read Djokovic saying that he is not going to cry after the US Open. Don’t you think that, it is his sarcasm to Roger about crying? lol

Rick Says:

Also good to have Simon Gillies back, winning title! He was out because of injury. Another nemesis of Federer’s.

zinaldo Says:

Exactly what i said attack the net whenever that pleb hits the ball high up.

Rick Says:

I hope that, Del potro could gets out of this match! He is nowing leading.

dari Says:

It looks like rochus took the first set in a tie break. Delpo really isn’t getting a chance to ease in, is he?!

zinaldo Says:

Rochus breaks back he is really killing juan martin with his nadal like slicing and defending but juan martin is getting a bit careless,maybe he is feeling the pain of his wrist or he is a bit tired.

zinaldo Says:

But this match is firmly on del potro racquet.

Rick Says:

Told ya guys! He has been away for awhile. And there are questions if he is just like Andy Roddick in 2003. He won many tournaments that year. Then the US Open. Seriously, Roddick needs Brad Gilbert! Del potro has alot to prove if he is just a one hit wonder! But hopefully, I would he wins this match!

zinaldo Says:

Rochus is doing nothing but getting the ball back at a length.

zinaldo Says:

Damn pushing really is an art that i hate in tennis,watch this punk get hammered by the first guy that doesn’t give him as many errors as a not so match fit del potro.

I cannot wait for them to meet again when juan martin has had some matches under his belt and see how del potro hammers him.

zinaldo Says:

How i hate players like rochus,just plain defensive with so much slicing and defending.

Rick Says:

I hope Del potor to gets out of this one. But he didn’t win, Nadal should be proud of how he was doing last year when returning from injury. Despite he was getting beat up by everyone in the top 10. Come on! Del potor wins this one! You’re Nadal’s meat. Not Rochus’! lol Only kidding! Del potro seems like a nice guy! But one thing, I am worring for him with his current ranking. He might runs into Nadal,Djokovic, Federer or Murray in the first or second round in the tournaments. A serious problem for Federer.

zinaldo Says:

i want to punch rochus so bad with that arm that he always seems to lift

Rick Says:

It would be a tough road for Del potro to come back if he runs into the top 4 in the tournaments that he plays. He is not going to be very confidence if he is not winning alot.

zinaldo Says:

Come on juan martin break him now this chump,he will try and slice like that against rafa and that would bring him nowhere at least juan martin would at least be able to hit through rafa to an extent.

Please god let juan martin win this match,we want to see him against rafa.

Rick Says:

Come on, Del potro wins this! Rafa the butcher is waiting! (sing) And he wanted to try his new serve on ya! lol

Rick Says:

Sheesh! Now 5-3! Come on, amigo!

Rick Says:

Personally, I don’t hate him! It is Federer fans’ faults. Just because their man couldn’t get it done! And they wanted someone to do the dirty job for them. So I want Rafa to chops him up, so that he could shuts those Federer fans up again. And make them look like complete idiots!

zinaldo Says:

Proper nadal performance from rochus so much slicing and defending,someone other than del potro would have been serve and volleying today because this chump is doing nothing but slicing the ball back.

zinaldo Says:

Another tournament for nadal to win,this is getting pathetic.

C!P! Says:

i can’t believe people are considering Del Potro’s play as beautiful; i mean there is absolutely no technique ,no strategy ,no diversity ,no nothing in his game ,just brute force ; i mean let’s create some 7+ feet tall mutants that can hit the ball from the ceiling ,and who can hit the ball the hardest ,wins ;that is the tennis we want?

grendel Says:

Excellent theatre, you two guys. Zinaldo, you win. You’re obviously not interested in what Rick has to say, whilst Rick is desperately trying to get your attention – whilst pretending not to. I sort of imagine him squawking out of the side of his mouth….

Delpotro – “the antiNadal”. Christian imagery. Lol.

Ela Says:


I completely agree with you but at least he is lovable just like Rafa:)

jane Says:

That Rochus is a feisty fella – I am not surprised he’s beaten the gentle giant, kind of a classic David versus Goliath, only Goliath isn’t well. : / Djoko has had some trouble with Rochus this year, too, losing to him in Miami and being taken to the brink round one at Wimbledon. Anyhow, it’s good Delpo is back anyhow; he’s got his feet wet, and can just work his way back. Nadal has a clear path to the quarters most definitely, but if Gulbis is on a roll, I suppose you never know, in best of three, or there’s Melzer and Verdasco. Maybe Verdasco could win here, on this surface, were they to meet in the finals. But definitely, it looks like Rafa’s event to lose!

montecarlo Says:

As much I like Nadal, I can see verdasco winning this tournament and getting his first victory over Nadal in the final.

kimberly Says:

Montecarlo—the only way verdasco beats rafa in the final is if rafa shows up unfocused, error prone etc…gulbis if playing well is more dangerous (imo)

ertorque Says:

zinaldo, do not hate Rochus for slicing and defending. What ELSE can he do? I mean shorter by a foot and lacking the fire power that JMDP has, that is the ONLY way to parry his opponent and only move into offence when a clear chance presents itself which I think would be very rare.

contador Says:

hi kimberly : )

read your post on the other thread. it’s true about the high road.

but montecarlo could have a point. fetching feli won a small tourny match v rafa prior to wimbledon. could be a similar circumstance in bangkok, but i’d have to see it to believe it.

good luck on that one hot cause- lol

doing some practice picking before shanghai? i like dolgopolovs game and if a match is on at 10 am in malaysia i can stay up to watch. i’d have to quit my day job to watch most of the asian swing matches.

i was right on all matches from last night in kuala lumpur (whoopee.) even got a stream on the dolgo match, like 10 pm my time. but it was not much of a match really, more of a practice session for dolgo. he plays youzhny next and if he beats youzhny, that will be something.

tough to pick the final winner in kuala lumpur, i think.

wasn’t at all surprised that ollie beat delpo.

i may have to try to set an alarm or something to stream gulbis. i have to see what kind of shape he’s in! oh, no.

contador Says:

and grendel-

your last post on the sampras/ goat/ h2h thread was a great read on many levels- though i’m not familiar with the british tv shows you reference.

i suppose watching tennis can be compared to a “soap opera” addiction. and many of the people where i live would rather watch a ditch digging contest to tennis – lol, that was good.

definitely- about watching tennis live i can relate. during the wimbledon 09 roddick – federer match i was completely split on who i wanted to win and that match went on and on and on. i had time to drink far too many mimosa’s and finally fell asleep during a commercial before the 5th set. fortunately i had the match on dvr. when i woke up, i was able to see who had won, then go back an revisit the gory details. it was going to be a horror flick ending, either way, imo.

Fot Says:

Rick, I get it that you don’t like Roger. So…why do you talk about him in about 99% of your post? Seems like you would be better talking about the players you actually LIKE instead of constantly putting Roger down? Just a thought.

Anyway, I knew Del Potro would be rusty. He had not played in almost a year – so for people to expect him to pick right up from his US Open victory was not realistic.

I still think this is Nadal’s tournament to win. I see no one left in the draw that can really trouble him.

Kimberly Says:

contador–i am keeping a close eye on everyone before shaing hai. Davydenko is the defending champ there but I doubt I will pick him far. Last year fed and murray didn’t even play. I think the two opens next week will be more telling about everyones form.

Not sure how I will handle rafa in shang hai and paris. Clearly he is not going to knock himself out. Kaiser thinks he prob could have won toronto or cincy but didn’t really care, kind of like Fed used to. And he’s never done great indoors. On the other hand, I think Fed will really care about the last two masters to silence his nay sayers (like Rafa tried last year, when his form was not spot on, I think he played the final?)

Djoko has a ton of points to defend and he does great indoors. I will probably pick nole to win one of the next two masters as he is a great indoor player and no hot weather indoors to cause breathing problems, allergies etc.

Nalbandian has historically done well indoors as well. Soderling too.

As Ben said the night of the USO final, I have a feeling we won’t see much of Rafa until he is biting down on the trophy of his 4th consecutive slam. Maybe he’ll play the semi in london, maybe he won’t even play citing fatigue or preventative measures on his knees. The reason he is in thailand now is he is getting appearance fee plus went to the beach for a weeks vacation in south thailand. Possibly complete the asian swing, play paris and cite fatigue. Or maybe not. I was convinced he would pull from queens, cincy and madrid and he did not.

contador Says:

Kimberly, i completely agree with Kaiser about the summer hc lead up to us open. not saying nadal tanks matches at all. i just think he held a card or two back and didn’t go full gas.

it’s the smart thing to do – what his dr. sanchez suggests: “nadal must adapt to prolong his career.” rafa will do what is smart.

so with that in mind, i am writing the script for bangkok. as captain of the spanish team ( contador ) i say this is a 250 tournament win for verdasco. orders to nadal are for him to back off and not push it. but if verdasco starts choking, do the right thing and just win, rafa. hahaha….

my real dream would be for ernie to get his second 250 atp tourny but…we don’t know what our party boy has been up to, do we?

you are smart, Kimberly. i agree with your thinking. i see rafa pulling out of something but (wins 1 or 2 ) and agree about djoko winning a masters also really fighting and doing well at the tour final. federer? not sure. surprise me, roger. and murray? yeah. nothing wrong with him physically is there? seems he should be motivated to win. tired of picking him and losing tho.

davydenko could start shining like he did last fall. nalbandian and soderling too, i agree. isn’t it time tsonga comes back?

for kuala lumpur:
practice picking:
dolgo ( out of nothing but hope )
roger-vasselin ( don’t know the other one)
stakhovsky ( but would love raonic to win )

melzer ( but sela is a fighter – tough call )
gulbis – don’t break my heart!
de bakker

back to work….!

Kimberly Says:

hmmmmm, never know about Ernie. Depends on how the nightlife is.

Rafa could pull a queens in bangkok but also might feel obligated as he has been paid 1.5 million dollars to play there.

Nalbandian, Almagro, Berdych,and Murray have been loser picks for me in general. Roddick ended up winning me points at Cincy but tanked me at USO, Wimby, RG, Madrid, and Rome. Verdasco has been my opposite man. I pick for him he loses, I pick against him he wins. Ditto Ferrer. Except for Madrid I have generally lost a ton of points on Gulbis as well.

Dolgo v. Youz tomorrow right. I want Dolgo but gotta bank on Mikhail pulling that out.

Kimmi Says:

ah i thunk Nadal was just rusty in Totonto. in cincy he was much better, he just met an inspired bagdatis who was serving like a man possessed. Even baggy himself was surprised on how good he was serving in that match.

Going to the USO, nadal draw also helped him to play himself into the tournament. Murray losing to wawrinka was a blessing for rafa and he never looked back. By the time he was in the final, he was as good as wimbledon.

I dont see rafa losing bangkok. easy points for picking the winner there contador and kimberly. the question is who will he play with in the final..could it be verdasco, melzer or troicki? They can all fight it out and get to there worn out…

More wide open in kualalumpur. I hope davydenko finds his form there…

Berdych wimbledon form is still back at wimbledon. lost some confidence in the american HC. Losing more confidence in the davis cup. I just have a feeling he is not ready to win kualalumpur. wont pick him… prove me wrong if you can berdych!

I give a chance to bagdatis, soda pop or davydenko…those are my three picks to win in malaysia

jane Says:

“he has been paid 1.5 million dollars to play there. ”

Wow~! Appearance fees are not nothing!

contador Says:

hi kimmi!

cincy was an inspired performance by one of my favorites- baggy. maybe rafa couldn’t lift his game in that instance v baggy, but he sure did when it came to getting a GS win.

and i think your 3 in to win kuala lumper are good but i gotta include ferrer also there. not picking berdych to win the tourny. too many unkowns in kuala lumpur. good chance to see ….read about rather, how they do. i dont expect to get to watch much.

let me just swap dolgo for youzny right now. when watching dolgo last night i was really impressed with his shots but he still is a bit too error prone and his first serve can be a weapon or really awful. he put on a good show but i doubt he can beat youz yet.

but if i can stay awake, i will tray to stream the dolgo/ youz match- in like 3.5 hours from now. but the ferrer match is after and then baghdatis after ferrer…and if i make it that long the gulbis match will be streaming from bangkok and whoops! there goes the entire night- just like trying to watch AO live and i remember last fall trying to catch as many asian matches as possible. it’s impossible. they are on the other side of the planet.

Kimberly – the ones that really knocked my martians out were murray and soda pop at us open. yeah. picking berdych hurt too (i don’t count my fish bracket) roddick – no, i don’t plan on picking him for awhile, or delpo. i didn’t pick federer and djoko to go far enough!

kimberly Says:

Contador, kimmi—AO is my fav tourney to watch, I leave it on tennis channel all night and occasionally wake up to watch great tennis. Rafa hotsauce and fed safin were my all time favs. 06 and 07 I had newborns so when they kept me up all night at least I could watch tennis. Of course 05 and 09 had the sick matches.

Kimmi Says:

Love AO too kimberly. The only tourney i can watch plenty night. Ofcourse i will be awful the next day..but who care!

Contador – lucky you this time of the year. by 11pm i am ready to sleep to get ready for work. You are 2 hrs behind me..right? you can catch two more hrs of tennis without going too late. feeling jealous :(

Dolgo vs youz should be good. I still have not seen dolgo live. C’mon dolgo kick some a$$, I will be ready to watch you on friday. Just keep winning..OK?

Good luck to gulbis, hot sauce.

sad for delpo but was not expecting much from him.

Contador – i will add ferrer in that kuala lumpur list. How could i forget him? He could give huge trouble to all my other picks.

kimberly Says:

Random comments that no one cares about but I will share anyway:

my wozniaki outfit arrives tomorrow and there is a tropical storm coming to miami so won’t be able to wear it til the weekend at earliest. So disappointed :_(.

Tennis channel showing fed nadal wimby 2008. Prob my fav match ever. Still amazed at quality. Still feel nervous evem knowing result and having discussed this match over and over and over.

Gulbis is one of my favs but whenever I get hope he will do something he a disappoints me.

Tipsy might be a dark horse to consider for the indoor masters. He has a huge ego boost from davis cup. But he is another gulbis. Read his twitter comments on tennistweets. They r heavy alchohol and party related.

On a fitness note, I recommend the dvd series insanity for anyone looking to pick up speed and endurance on the courts. After ten years of marriage I fianlly got a game off my husband and not pulling “nole like” breathing as much after grueling baseline shots.

Kimmi Says:

Kimberly – wozniacki outfit? which one…the one she wore at this year USO. very short that dress was though?

Hope you get to wear it soon.

I have been following some women tennis in tokyo too. Sharapova losing to Kamiko. she just turnes 40 today..amazing this 40 year old woman can still hang on with the young ones.

I am cheering for Zvonareva in this tournaments. ivanovic still work in progress, losing 2 and 1 to bartoli today…OUCH!

kimberly Says:

Kimmi—yes the uso black stella mccarthy addias dress with yellow shorts under it…I ordered a size small and I am usually an xsmall remembering that it was very short on her. This is my first wozniaki outfit. All my tennis clothes are nike sharapova and surprisingly basic. No venus sequined dresses or serena catsuits. I decided to spice it up with this one. I can’t wait to wear it!

This womens tourney has some great matches. Azarenka is playing bartoli tomorrow. Ivanovic playing better but bartoli is a really good player. Not awful that she lost to her. I think wozniaki is playing for the number one rank. Vera may have a shot at it too I think.

Sharapova has been extremely disappointing since the return from her shoulder in 2009. She is my fav woman player. Each time I think she will break through again it doesn’t happen. Ditto for azarenka.

Btw–i think dinara safina is rivaling ivanovic for the crash and burn of the former number one award. What gives?

The women I think (or hope) will dominate the tour of 2011


I think venus will have her moments but no consistency.

grendel Says:

Kimberley – what do you think is up with Sharapova? At first it seemed that her serve had gone, but that no longer seems to be the case. Obviously, she can still be extremely effective. Not only was she the only person at Wimbledon to give Serena any sort of a test, but she was far more competitive than in her pre-shoulder Serena matches. At the US, she was a bit unlucky to have run up early in the tourney against Wozniaki at her best. If she’d won that – and it was close – she might well have got to the final.

So maybe there’s nothing wrong as such? It’s just happen-stance? On another big occasion, the wheel may tumble favourably for her?

kimberly Says:

Grendel I hope but in cincy I was very disappointed when she lost match pts to clijsters. And outplayed by azarenka at another final.

Granted she had it tough @ french w henin, wimby serena, uso wozniaki. But vera got it done v woz. And this loss to a 40 year old.

I think its consistency and confidence she needs. She certainly has the tools and spirit of a true champ.

Kimberly Says:

I think if sharapova could win a big tourney she would get her confidence back and could then be more of a contender in all tournments. She has the tools. Her lack of consistency is disappointing.

That is what Wozniaki has. Consistency. No stunning shots, but no double faults, silly errors, mental lapses.

I hope for Delpo fans is comeback is more satisfying than Sharapova has been for me. It has been suggested that she is more of a fashion model and doesn’t take tennis seriously. I a disagree with that. She’s a beautiful woman and enjoys it but look at her spirit on the court. She is a champion. The Williams are super into fashion and they are not called models. They are champs. Sharapova is the same. I just wish she could pull it together. I think she just needs that one win to put her over the edge and thats what I was hoping Cincy would be. At the end of the day to get her ranking back she’s got to win some of these matches she’s supposed to lose.

wheeler Says:

I think anyone (Sharapova if you dunno she did that in the US Open match against Wozniacki) who commits 3 double faults in a row should retire from professional tennis.

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