There’s Only One Way Del Potro Can Win Tonight vs Federer

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By Scoop Malinowski

You can talk all you want about forehands, backhands, serve percentages, etc etc etc. You can talk all you want about technical tennis aspects and tactics regarding tonight’s epic Roger Federer vs Juan Martin Del Potro showdown. But none of it matters.

There is only one thing that matters tonight and one factor that will determine the outcome of Roger vs Delpo.

It’s all about how many Argentines can pack Arthur Ashe Stadium tonight and sing and chant and inspire their hero to another epic victory, like the one he performed on grandstand two nights ago against Dominic Thiem from two sets down.

Del Potro is beloved around the world by all tennis fans but he is even more special to his own people of Argentina. And Del Potro raises his level to another dimension when his Argentine supporters are with him inside a stadium. Del Potro hears the love, feels the passion and then he creates his tennis magic. The Del Potro magic is a priceless, mysterious element that the USTA is trying to produce with millions of dollars of funding and player development.

Juan Martin Del Potro does not need to play his best tennis tonight to beat Roger Federer. He needs Ashe Stadium to be filled with about ten thousand Argentines dressed in blue and white and singing their sweet songs that can make a man move mountains or conquer a legend. If the Argentines arrive tonight and fill Ashe stadium with their magical energy and the power of love, there is no way Del Potro will lose.

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  • Front242 · September 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    You'll probably never see a single tennis match where there is less support for Federer over anyone. Roger just needs to exploit Juan's compromised backhand and put him out of his misery. If he allows Del Potro hit with his forehand often it's his own fault. Shouldn't lose to a guy with practically no backhand though.

  • GameSetAndMath · September 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I do admit that the atmosphere was special in the match against Thiem. But, it won't be the same today. There will be
    many more fans of Roger than that of JMDP.

    Once Roger jumps on with a lead, all the Argentinians will be quiet and there will be no further magic.

  • DarthFed · September 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    The support was fairly even in Miami and Del Po always gets a lot of support there. The crowd will be for Fed but the loudest individual fans will be for DP of course. There is only one man the NYC crowd wants to win this title. The one whose pissed away many USO's starting in 2009 vs. DP. It's past time for Roger to win another USO.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Pliskova/CoCo looks like it might go to the wire. I’m betting on CoCo.

  • mrzz · September 6, 2017 at 1:11 pm


  • GameSetAndMath · September 6, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Not voluntarily, but in a resigned mood.

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Yeah this upset isn’t happening as much as I want it to.

    Anderson was a deserbed winner over Querrey. Like it has been said, never seen Ando so pumped up and I think it had an effect on laid-back Sam. Ando dictated and was the aggressor.

    Venus-Petra was what they used to call Big Babe tennis. Lots of big strokes and credit to Venus for playing the better breaker. It’s been 9 years since she won a Slam. I say she gets to the final.

    How about Coco making it 3 Americans in the semis?

    The men’s final is Friday, Fed v. Nadal. The maestro is going to win his 20th slam, we all know it and can only pretend it won’t happen.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    There will be an all US women’s final and the end of year tournaments will turn out to be, shall we say, intriguing.

  • catherine · September 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Muguruza yo yos back to No 1 :)

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Keys should definitely beat Kanepi to make it 4 for 4. Amazing for the USA with Serena missing.

  • Chazz · September 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Rublev getting taken to school by Nadal. This isn’t even fun.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Just got out to Open. Geez, Rublev. This match was over in a wink.

    Here’s a nice quote from Carreno-Busta:
    “Of course, I know I have a good draw here.i play against Qualis in first, second, third and fourth round. That’s true that Denis was really tough. It’s not normal qualifier.”

    PCB goes from playing 5-7 Schwartzman to 6-8 KevAnd who he lost to in 1st rd of Montreal.

    This quote from QBall’s presser shows why Sam is not a business end of slam type of guy:

    Q. Disappointment? Or what’s your emotional reaction leaving this tournament?
    SQ: Pretty happy. At the beginning of the week, if you said I would have made the quarter. I probably would’ve signed up for that.”

    Wrong answer, Sam. If you really believed you are slam winner material, this should’ve been a bitter loss. I mean when you beat Mischance Zverev, Radu Albot and Dudi Sela, that’s not really such a fine tourney.

  • Denis · September 6, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Exactly this. The compromised backhand will be the reason dp loses tonight. Even if he could hit it properly it would have been a tall task. Dps only hope is Feds age and physical condition.

  • Chazz · September 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    crystalfire, I watched it for about 10 minutes and saw a bunch of terrible UFEs by Rublev as the margin grew and turned it off.

  • scoopmalinowski · September 6, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Rublev was taken to the slaughterhouse. Liked the way he still fought hard in third set down two sets and a break. No mercy from the bull today.

  • mrzz · September 6, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    There is a fundamental law in the universe which states that once an Argentinian gets into a stadium, he makes the noise of 100 hundred ordinary people. There are youtube videos of three janitors cleaning the stands of "La Bombonera" in Buenos Aires and you think that there are a half a dozen army choirs in there.

  • Doug Day · September 7, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Something completely incongrous with usual coverage of the swiss G.O.A.T.. Cameras caught looks of sheer dread on Fed’s mom and Mirka mid-match. Thats when it came rushing back and we knew. Theyd lived this 8 yrs earlier. Ressurected, bum wrists and all, there stands the Tower of Tandil.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 7, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Amazing performance by Delpo tonight. Just his belief that he could beat Fed was extraordinary. Of course, Fed helped matters by serving out wide on the deuce court on set point in the third set breaker and Delpo rifled a return a la Djokovic that scraped the line and Fed’s two set to one lead was history.

    And then at 5-4, Delpo serving for the match in the fourth set, Fed at 30-30 charges the net and receives a backhand slice chip pass from Delpo that Fed had an easy volley winner on, but instead clubs it well wide.

    That being said, Delpo was a rock tonight, his backhand was solid, his forehand as always crackling and his serve was monstrous. Fed couldn’t even break him down by playing cutesy cat and mouse tennis with Delpo as the big Argentine showed excellent movement and good touch.

    Fed is jinxed by Delpo at the Open. In 2009, Fed was going for his sixth Open championship in a row and Delpo stopped him. Tonight he was trying to set the stage for 20th slam title, and Delpo stopped him.

  • catherine · September 7, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Women’s semifinals: USA 4 Rest of the World 0

  • Michael in UK · September 7, 2017 at 6:53 am

    So much for the Delpo compromised backhand theory.
    Can’t wait to see the match later on playback.

    Will Delpo beat Nadal, or will that be in a new thread?

  • dan markowitz · September 7, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Delpo didn’t so much as crack his backhand last night against Fed, but he absorbed Fed’s pace beautifully and Delpo is a master at taking that wide forehand and cracking it down the line. That kept Fed honest and then Delpo could easily go cross-court off the forehand too. I’d have to say that Delpo’s forehand going wide is comparable to Pete Sampras’s. Not as good, because Sampras moved better than Delpo and had an equally strong arm as Delpo. But Fed could not contend with Delp’s ability to move and hit that forehand. Against, Anderson, Fed would bring him up and pass him and chip and charge him, but last night Delpo was passing Fed again and again off his backhand. And Delpo is so cool. Even though he was facing Roger Federer, it didn’t seem to faze him. Remarkable.

    Catherine, you say there are four American women in the semis? Thanks for mentioning that. I wasn’t aware of it. That Kanepi match last night was sterling. No, I’m actually interested in both women’s semis tonight. I’ll go Sloane and Coco with Sloane winning it all. Amazing if it’s Sloane and Coco playing, that’d be the first slam finals probably where both fathers of the players–or in Coco’s place her uncle Kiki– contending for the title were pro athletes in different sports. Sloane’s dad was a pro football player and Coco’s uncle and grandfather played pro hoops.

  • catherine · September 7, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Dan – I put those women’s sfs like a football match score just to suggest a swing away from Europe which might continue or might not. Time will tell.
    I assumed all Americans would be contorting themselves with glee.

    (Sloane should do something about her serve BTW)

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Del Potro was amazing last night. When he is at his A PLUS level he is unbeatable. UN BEAT UBBLE. His win last night actually followed my prediction. The Argies were there in the Ashe Stadium crowd but they were silent until 5-5 in the first set when they suddenly started singing their songs. And guess what? Delpo responded by winning the next two games for 7-5. The Argies, who were collected up in the left corner upper seats, were curiously silent again through the second set and all the way to 3-4 in the third set tiebreaker after Delpo got back the mini break they sang again and Delpo responded though he lost the point for 5-3 by netting a cross court forehand but he did respond by saving three set points and finally winning the tiebreaker. It was incredible how the Argies were so selective with when they made their presence felt and even more so how it clearly uplifted and inspired Delpo's play. It's as if they are very clever and careful and preserve their magic for just the right moments when they know it will do the trick. Because the singing Olay olay thing always works, at least it was perfectly effective last night. Delpo took the fourth set barely. Twenty minutes after the match I heard the singing out front by the fountain. My conclusion on the night is that Del Potro could be unbeatable and the greatest player in history when he is working on all cylinders and playing his very best A plus game it is just too much for even Fed, Rafa or Djokovic or Andy. But we rarely see Delpo reach that optimum point of play because it is so rare and magical and special for him to reach that level of absolute genius and Tyson like power precision. What a match it was, and one of the all time greatest US open night matches.

  • Michael in UK · September 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Scoop, Dan,

    Great to read your reflections, am really looking forward to watching this later.

    Catherine, can you say more about Sloane Stephens serve?

  • catherine · September 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Michael –

    Sloane’s serve can be a weakness – you can see from clips recently that it’s not exactly travelling and a couple of commentators have picked this up. No free points from it.
    However that hasn’t stopped her from reaching the sf. And Pliskova,Kvitova and Muguruza who have much better serves overall are history at USO.

  • The Strokes · September 7, 2017 at 10:10 am


    Fed sucked.

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 7, 2017 at 11:39 am

    While I credit Delpo 100 percent, Roger really wasn’t up to par. Did you hear his presser? He said those embarrassing misses sucked. Hitting overheads into the net? That volley before match point? Roger said he needed his opponent to give it to him and it didn’t happen.

    Amazing that Fed and Nadal will never meet in Flushing.

    I am taking Venus and Coco tonight but not with any conviction.

  • Dan Markowitz · September 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

    While Fed was not at his best, he didn’t suck by any stretch. He did panic a bit and made some rush errors. What Fed needed was more coaches. He only had Lubijcic, Luthi, Edberg and Mirka in his box. He should get Becker and maybe Heinz Gunthardt for the next Open.

    How about this quote from Delpo? Is he playing rope-a-dope or is he basically conceding match to Nadal before it begins?

    “He’s the No. 1 player of the world, and he’s playing so confident this tournament,” Del Potro told reporters after the match. “He’s a lefty guy, so he has chance to find easily my backhand. So I don’t know what’s gonna be my strategy for that match. But for sure I will try to make winners with my forehands and don’t run too much, because my legs are tired.”

  • catherine · September 7, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Dan-Becker is now Head of Men’s Tennis in Germany – he can’t be seen to be favouring the opposition :)

  • Doug Day · September 7, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Might we now ask? Where does Delpo’s comeback rate in history? Seles? Muster? Philippoussis? Brian Baker?

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Fed was superb last night but Delpo was even more superb. Federer could have easily won the first set from 5-5 but Delpo pulled a couple of rabbits out of his hat and that was that for 7-5. Fed ruled the second and had the set points in the third but again Delpo manufactured the magic again and stole the third set. The fourth set was another nailbiter but once again Delpo was just a fraction better. The Fed miss on the volley at duece in the last game was a byproduct of the stress and pressure Fed was feeling because of how well Delpo was playing. I really think Fed was at his best but it doesn't matter because when Delpo is at his best he's the most potent lethal force in tennis. Ask Rafa and Djokovic. I really believe Delpo at his best has too much power and he is capable of blasting Rafa Fed and Djokovic off the court with his power, regardless of how well they may be playing. It just does not matter. Delpo's explosive power is like Sampras' second serve, when it's operating at full capacity, nobody can do anything about it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Duke, embarrassing errors happen when you are getting pounded like a punching bag by the heaviest hitter in tennis history. Fed was dazed and confused by the power and in the moments of truth he crumbled like a crumb cake. Full credit to Delpo.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 7, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Dan, I think Delpo is rope a doping Rafa. Just like a rope a doped everyone by pretending his backhand was inferior. It looked as good as it ever has last night. Delpo just did what Nadal has failed to do all year, he beat Fed. I think Delpo is going to manhandle Rafa like he did in the Olympics and in Miami that one year. I see Delpo riding this tidal wave of an emotional high following beating Federer. Huge psychological win for Delpo last night. The title is his.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Doug, I think we all knew Delpo was going to eventually regain his winning ways. Wrist surgeries are pretty common in tennis. I was more impressed by the comebacks of Capriati, Muster, Baker, Dokic and Kimiko Date.

  • Doug Day · September 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Might we now ask where Del pose comeback ranks in history

  • scoopmalinowski · September 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Post surgery Delpo has now slayed Rafa Djokovic and last night Fed. It certainly is one of the all time tennis resurrections. Two more wins this week would punctuate the comeback.

  • DarthFed · September 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    I can appreciate the enthusiasm but we must be watching a different sport. DP and Fed both played pretty crappy through three sets. DP was magnificent in the 4th but as is often the case when a player is given a gift in a pivotal third set they usually run away with it in the fourth. The crowd and DP didn't cause Fed to go full out clown mode in that TB when he had 4 set points. And they also didn't cause Fed to miss the easy put away volley at 30-30 by what had to be at least 15 feet. If either player was playing well the first few sets we would have had a straight set breeze on our hands. As it was it turned out to be an underwhelming 4 set match. One of the all-time great night matches? Seriously???

  • Duke Carnoustie · September 7, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Gotta agree with DarthFed. It was a nice, competitive match but the tennis was hardly brilliant. DelPo was ood and was better but I thought he was better the last two sets against Thiem.

    I will say it was a great night match because of the atmosphere and the Argentine fans.



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