Again today all the players that I thought have a shot at the title won their matches, but it was a close call for Delpo, as he narrowly scraped through against James Blake, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7, 6-3, 10-8. It was a good old scrap, but in the end it was a little predictable that Blake would lose. I have said before that Blake doesn’t quite have the killer instinct to win these type of matches. This time was no exception. Blake is just too nice a guy. He definitely had his opportunities to put Delpo away, but couldn’t take advantage. But lets take nothing away from Delpo here. He has shown once again that he is mentally tough and has what it takes in the slams. I don’t think he was at his best, but if you are a title contender you must pace yourself through the tournament.
Blake played very well and this win will give Delpo confidence, whether he is still injured or not. Often when a player have a tough five set match in the early rounds, it boosts their confidence, after which they go very deep in the tournament. I think Roger and Delpo are in a similar situation. Neither comes into this slam with loads of confidence, but look for them to be there come semi-final stage. Both of them need a bit of luck and both of them has gotten it so far. But then again luck is just preparedness meeting opportunity. As for Delpo’s injuries, I’m not so sure it’s anything serious. I think it’s more a ploy to take pressure off himself. Argentinian players like to do that. When a player wins their first slam, the pressure automatically increases on them because of all the expectation.
I think this is just Delpo’s way of coping with that pressure. It’s not the nicest thing to do, but I guess whatever works for him. Delpo has a tough draw though. He has Cilic in the fourth round and Roddick in the quarters. The only possible question mark for me over Delpo is his physical fitness. He won the US Open over Roger in five tough sets, but I’m not sure it was as hot in New York, and he had a quick win in the semi’s over Rafa. Aside from his fitness, I know he can do very well at the Oz Open. I really hope he makes the semi’s to face Rafa. That would thoroughly test Rafa if he makes the semi’s. Rafa himself beat Lacko today by the same score that he was beaten by Delpo in New York, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. So far Rafa has been looking good, but he hasn’t face any good opponents.
Next he will face Kohlschreiber who can play, and after that he faces the winner of Karlovic and Ljubicic. That should give us a better idea of where he is at, but I think we will only really get an idea in the quarter finals where he will probably face Murray. Murray himself had a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Marc Gicquel today. Murray has been looking good so far to me, and his match in the fourth round against the winner of Isner and Monfils will be interesting. I don’t think there is any chance he will lose to Florent Serra in the next round. The other player who I think will at least make the quarter finals, Andy Roddick, also won today, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 over Thomaz Belucci. Roddick next faces Feliciano Lopez and then probably Fernando Gonzalez.
One of the dark horses of the tournament, Marin Cilic, had a tough four set win over rising young star from Australia, Bernard Tomic. The score was 6-7(8) 6-3 4-6 6-2 6-4. Tomic is an interesting player that plays similar to Murray. I’m sure he has a bright future in tennis. I’m glad Cilic won though, because he had hardly any support from the crowd at all which made me feel kinda sorry for him. Tomic on the other hand looks pretty cocky. Of course Roger is in action on day 4 of the Oz Open against Viktor Hanescu. He has played against Hanescu on 3 previous occasions, all of them on clay and each time Roger won in straight sets. I honestly don’t see Roger having problems with Hanescu. Roger should have gained confidence from his match against Andreev, so I expect him to win this in straight sets.
There will be some interesting match ups on day 4. Other then Roger playing, there is Baghdatis vs Ferrer, which could be very interesting. Then there is Tsonga vs Dent, who are both powerful attacking players and could be another good encounter. Another interesting match up will be Tipsarevic vs Haas. In 2008 Roger had that tough five set match against Tipsarevic, while Haas played against Roger in the semi’s of Wimby last year. Also the matches between Djokovic and Chiudinelli, and Hewitt and Young could get interesting. So a lot to look forward to on day 4 of the Oz Open. Enjoy the action!