The big man misses out at the final hurdle!

He makes the impossible happen but this time for Juan Martin Del Potro the dream is over. The Argentine had a chance to qualify for London but it was an outside chance but after a few very good months of tennis a win today against John Isner would have sealed a place at the O2.

The American took the first set 6-4 breaking at the death of the set and the second set was sealed in a tie-break with Isner double faulting down set point and then in set three both were obviously tired but the early break sealed the deal for the American who could make London but for Juan Martin unfortunately it’s over!

The tennis world wanted it to happen and at the end there was a collective unhappy face sweeping across Twitter but also a congratulations on an incredible unexpected and magnificent season for the Argentine who always delivers!

Juan+Martin+Del+Potro+Tennis+Olympics+Day+QAhvJBK2zTkl

 

Advertisements

Basel, Paris and then maybe London!

What looked unlikely is now possible. One of the most popular names in men’s tennis is on course to reach the World Tour Finals in London for the fifth time in his career having been a former finalist back in 2009.

With it being Juan Martin’ first full year on the tour for quite some time the expectations were that of a finding your feet kind of season, he found them and has been solid ever since.

This year he has picked up his 20th career title and his form in this second half of the season has been very good recording wins against Federer, Thiem, Zverev and Dimitrov in the last few months all of which are London bound.

With his win over Dimitrov in Stockholm yesterday it now means that Del Potro really is within a chance of qualifying for London and despite the achievements of Federer and Nadal this year which have been outstanding but qualifying for London would top those in my opinion.

He will need to rely on favours from elsewhere. The main challengers are Goffin and Carreno-Busta who are also in action this week with ATP500 events in Basel and Vienna but the final field won’t be decided this week and the Masters 1000 in Paris is on the horizon as well!

juanmartindelpotrotennisolympicsday17fpozdrjwtl

Once again New York delivered and it was emotional!

The Grand Slams always create a feel good factor and year on year New York tops it, this it reached impeccable levels of emotion which will never be forgotten. Memories are made, tears are shed and history is created so let’s recap the incredible moments from the fortnight.

An emotional return

Petra Kvitova pulled off some incredible tennis in New York. What she has done since returning from that horrific stabbing around Christmas is unbelievable. A crowd favourite wherever she plays she is just so humble and happy to be playing tennis and that’s what it is all about.

kvit

Juan Martin Del Potro

This man is something else, he continues to wow crowd across the world and his performances in New York were nothing short of exceptional especially the epic four set battle against Federer. This man is just infectious, his personality is beautiful and this is what makes him so liked worldwide.

IMG_2354[5992]

Sloane’s story

957 to 17 in a month. Quite incredible from Sloane Stephens after almost a year out and wins her first major title. Some stories just tell themselves and this is one of those. Well done Sloane!

sloane

There were many other stories as well from New York. The run of Anderson, Keys, Double delight for Martina Hingis, Venus Williams rolling back the years once more.

New York delivered once again.

The Tower of Tandil rises to the occasion once again

His nickname is The Tower of Tandil and once again the former US Open champion has rising to the occasion in the city that never sleeps.

New York is like a home for Del Potro from what he did in 2009 seeing off Nadal and Federer on route to the title but what he is doing now might just be even more special.

Over the last few years he has had four surgeries on his left wrist missing years of tennis but has come back strong something many thought he’d never be able to do again.

Last year he was the star in Davis Cup and picked up an Olympic medal in Rio and this year he has got better and better and his run in New York seeing off Thiem and Federer over a period of 9 sets is what he is about doing the unthinkable something others can only dream of.

He is loved worldwide and you wouldn’t find anyone who dislikes him, his character is infectious and what makes him such a great champion is that he is humble, kind, respectful and he plays with a smile on his face.

A semi-final against Rafael Nadal is up next on Friday for the Argentine and it sets itself up to be a spectacular battle between two giants in what feels like a final but one will play either Kevin Anderson or Pablo Carreno Busta in Sunday’s final.

IMG_2354[5992]

Welcome back Del Potro but credit to Laaksonen

A welcomed return. One of the tournament’s favoured winners over the year returned to where he achieved his most incredible win back in 2009 and he had to fight but fighting on Ashe is nothing new to the former champion and it is so good to see him back in New York.

Del Potro had an unknown in round one against Laaksonen from Switzerland who to his credit played a cracking match and to lose in three straight sets 6-4 7-6 7-6 is tough but he can take a lot away from this afternoon’s work at Flushing Meadows.

Del Potro was halted from playing the dominating tennis off the forehand and it was his opponent who was finding the angles and credit to Del Potro to be a champion you need to adapt and he did that by playing on the back foot and remained patient despite rarely seeing a chance on Laaksonen’s serve throughout the whole match.

After losing the second set I did expect it to fall apart for Laaksonen but to his credit he kept going and was even a break ahead but it is the main man through in New York.

IMG_0057

Roland Garros Preview – Andy Murray v Juan Martin Del Potro

Wherever these two meet they bring a crowd. Rome, New York, Rio, London and now add Paris to that list as Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Murray face off once again. Sadly someone’s run at Roland Garros comes to an end on the clay their first meeting on the surface since 2009.

Preparing to play against Juan Martin is a tough ask because it’s not about what game you are going to play but how to stop a player of Del Potro’s quality and if I were Andy Murray I’d be having a look at Djokovic’ performance Del Potro not long ago when the defending champion nullified the strength of Del Potro which is his forehand.

We did some much better tennis from Murray against Klizan despite taking four sets to get the win but after losing the first set he did react quickly taking a step back on the baseline to get more security behind the backhand which was a little rushed and found contact with the net instead of the baseline in set one but he also used that backhand slice well and is something he should deploy against the Argentine.

Murray has used the drop shot and the sliced backhand well so far this week and hasn’t really missed many of eight sets of tennis and if he can take the pace away from the rally then he has a good chance of gaining control and removing that build up to a massive forehand from the Argentine.

Del Potro did have a bit of an issue during his match with Almagro when the Spaniard unfortunately had to retire but Del Potro did suffer with what looked like a groin injury at the end of the first set.

Andy+Murray+Tennis+Olympics+Day+9+xC4AsXXIPYMl 

Popcorn at the ready…

It is like all my dreams have come true. Tuesday at Indian Wells looks set to be a marvellous day of tennis with some magnificent match ups and here is my pick of the lot!

Rafael Nadal v Fernando Verdasco

Popcorn at the ready? These two have produced some absolute classics. I’ve loved watching Fernando through his career he is one of my favourites. When I first watched him to now he has that swagger, the skill of these two is incredible.

Miami in 2015 they played each other and it was one of my favourite matches of the year. They are so similar but they complement each other so well. The forehand and backhand and what I love the most is the serve, they have that lefty swinging serve which I admire so much.

I can’t really call this one, Fernando on his day is brilliant but it’s tough to predict. Fernando has won 3 of their last 5 meetings on the tour after going 9 years and 15 matches without a win against his fellow Spaniard…

Ok, still got popcorn?

Not too sure where to start. They have never met before but you can guarantee they will many of times over the next few years.

I like both players, they play their own game and it works well for them. Out of the two I would have to pick Nick. I’m a big fan of his, I do think he is unfairly criticised at times but has been very good this year and what I find so frustrating is that it seems to be a major news story if he curses during a match, find me a player that hasn’t cursed during a match!
Between the two, Kyrgios has more power in his game where as Zverev likes a more measured and thought out approach you could see it as method v instinct which has the potential to be a cracker!

Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro

Ok, do we have any popcorn left?!

By this match I think we will all need a lie down. Del Potro returned to the tour last year stole the hearts of tennis fans and broke Novak’s heart in Rio and they have history at Indian Wells.

Now the former world number one is on a 18 match winning streak in the Californian desert and guess who the last player was to beat Novak at Indian Wells? You got it, DelPo.
Watching Novak play against Kyle Edmund it wasn’t a performance where I thought he played very well. Out of 10 I would probably have to say 6.5 so who knows another upset at Indian Wells could be brewing…

cyte5xfuoaepbln