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That was exhausting even to watch! Djokovic beat Del Potro 7-5 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-3 - dorsetgirl
July 6th, 2013
12:06 am
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That was exhausting even to watch! Djokovic beat Del Potro 7-5 4-6 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-3
Totally epic semi-final this afternoon at Wimbledon: admittedly I haven't watched a lot of tennis in recent years, but when people like Boris Becker, Sue Barker and John McEnroe are all saying a match is one of the greatest of all time, you know it's something special. And it certainly was. I completely fell for Juan Martín Del Potro last year when he worked so hard in another totally epic semi-final - in the Olympics, where he lost to Roger Federer - and I've been watching his matches at Wimbledon this year. Just magic - such a strong player, so much heart and character, and this afternoon we saw some lovely comic moments too, like when he netted a sure thing and then picked the ball up and talked to it, and put it over the net to show it what it was supposed to have done. And some of those cross-the-court forehands (love the way he pronounces that with a real phlegmy Spanish h in the middle) are just incredible. Very sad to see him lose. But astonishingly he's only twenty-four and I hope to see him emerge as a megastar soon if he can keep himself in one piece for long enough.

Some sweet little gems from his interview after the match:

"Do you think Novak can recover in time for the final?"

"First I would like to recover myself! Then I wish all the best to Nole, he’s a good guy, a good friend of mine..."

"Tell us a bit about your relationship with Novak?"

"Outside of the court we are very friendly and we have a fantastic relationship. But when we are playing we want to win for sure and was like a big battle out there. When he fell a couple of times I was worried because he is my opponent but he also is my friend, you know, and he asked me all the time about my knee. And that thing is very fair, and I love the way..." (And I'm intrigued as to what he was going to say there!)

And now someone needs to write some Del Potro / Djokovic "You know I still love you, right?"

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(7 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:July 6th, 2013 09:31 am (UTC)
I did enjoy their epic hug at the end, that explains a lot if they were already friends, haha! it was a great match.
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Date:July 6th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
It was certainly beyond the formal handshake that I still subconsciously expect!

Before the Olympics I hadn't really taken much notice of tennis since I ran out of time in 1994 (aka having kids). Fast forward to 2012 and all the names I recognised were now in the commentary box rather than on the court. The tie-break had grown and was no longer a last resort but came in at what I still think is an astonishingly early stage in a set. And players - grown men - were hugging each other, and crying when they lost.

It seems strange now, but when I saw Andy Murray's Wimbledon final last year I had barely heard of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, never mind anyone else. And I knew so little that I didn't understand what a difficult job Del Potro was likely to face in his Bronze medal match (against Djokovic!).
Date:July 9th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Oh that was an epic, epic semi-final and arguably the best match of the whole tournament for sheer skill and well-matched power. The affection and good feeling between them during it speaks volumes for them both as people for the reputation of tennis as a whole - behaviour other sports would do well to emulate.

They were incredibly sweet together *g*
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Date:July 9th, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
arguably the best match of the whole tournament

For me it was a lot more exciting than the actual final. I'm obviously quite pleased that Murray won, but for some reason I've never actually found it that interesting to watch him play. Just not my type, I guess *g*.

The affection and good feeling between them

It was beautiful! And that moment where Delpo just kept on going, round to Djokovic's side of the net - I've never seen anything like that before, and it was lovely. And to find out later that Juan Martín was actually asking Djokovic whether he should challenge was just incredible! So sweet.

I think I may now become more than a once-a-year tennis fan, but I'm finding it ridiculously difficult to work out where they all move on to next.
Date:July 11th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
There are tennis tournaments pretty much every week, some more high-profile than others. This week and next week there are '250' tournaments (so called because winning them brings you 250 points, whereas some tournaments are 500, some 1000 and a Slam 2000) in various places but no very high-ranking players playing. The next time Novak, Andy et al will be in action is at the Montreal 1000 which starts on August 5th and starts the US hard court season which culminates in the US Open in the last week of August. Everything is documented and reported and video highlights etc provided at the excellent ATP tour website www.atpworldtour.com *g*
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Date:July 20th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Just realised I hadn't replied to this one - sorry!

Thank you very much for the beginners' guide, it's much appreciated. I don't know how much tennis I'll get the chance to actually watch, but I do seem to have found time over the past week or so to put together a ship manifesto kind of thing for Djoko/Delpo. Not easy when I've had kids on study leave for the past four weeks or so (feels like four years), and they're old enough to stay up later than I can manage, but I'll get there! And I've just applied to join tennisslash; no idea if they're any good but I feel like getting into a community on the subject. I suppose I shall have to make some more icons...

Edited at 2013-07-20 15:21 (UTC)
Date:July 21st, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)
a ship manifesto kind of thing for Djoko/Delpo
That's brilliant! Do post it to the comm - it's not massively active but there's a steady turnover, more of late, and many very nice and welcoming people *g* And people have been recently lamenting the lack of Delpo stuff (he's well liked, but not having an obvious 'other half' compared to some others means less fic about him). There's also a tennis recs season, complete with fandom guide, at Crack Van.

Unless you have Sky, most tennis can't actually be *seen* as such - I am very fond now of Radio Five Live for it! The slams generally also have their own website radio for free - US Open, certainly.
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