Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Federer-Del Potro as it happened

Wimbledon second round result:

R FEDERER (Swi) 1 v JM Del Potro (Arg)

6-2 7-5 6-1

By Sam Lyon

Federer 6-2 7-5 6-1 Del Potro
It’s all over. Del Potro is not the only one being punished as a line judge wears a Federer serve right in the mummy-daddy button. Ouch. But before you can blink, Federer has it all wrapped up. Just over an hour and a half in total to seal victory and the Swiss dashes off for a barely-needed break. That’s his 50th straight victory on grass and he will face Marat Safin next – should be a tougher work-out that you’d think.

“That was exactly what Federer would have wanted after last night’s suspension. Del Potro had no answer to his power and accuracy and it was all a little too easy in the end.”
BBC Sport pundit Greg Rusedski

Federer 6-2 7-5 5-1 Del Potro
Del Potro restores a little bit of pride after a harsh lesson in Grand Slam tennis so far this afternoon. Three unreturnable serves bring him a 40-0 lead and, after Federer snatches a point back, he serves-volley to bring up his first game of the set.

Federer 6-2 7-5 5-0 Del Potro
Federer’s serve really is ticking, pushing Del Potro wide with a couple of boomers. The Argentine snatches a point with a decent pass, but it only delays the inevitable and that’s the first three games wrapped up in less than eight minutes.

“He is looking in awesome form out there and his serve looks impenetrable.”
BBC Sport pundit Greg Rusedski

Federer 6-2 7-5 4-0 Del Potro
All those hoping for an extended third set on Court One will be disappointed. Federer clearly has an early lunch appointment to attend and is no mood to let the Argentine off the hook. Crunching returns from the back of the court help him forge a 40-0 lead on Del Potro’s serve, but the teenager battles back as he forces a couple of loose shots from the Swiss. Federer makes the third break point count, though, approaching the net and forcing a Del Potro backhand wide. It’s all looking very ominous.

Federer 6-2 7-5 3-0 Del Potro
And it’s a more than comfortable start for the champion, holding to love with a series of blazing serves.

1308: The players are out and warming up. Federer is a picture of steely determination, Del Porto less so… still it’s the quiet ones you’ve got to watch isn’t it.

1255: A quick check on the weather and it’s pretty dry out on Court One, though it is feared showers are still threatening. I’m going to stick my neck out and say we’ll be alright for the time being…

1238: Afternoon ladies and gentlemen…the hot potato that is the Federer-Del Potro match has fallen into the let’s-hope capable hands of my good self. A quick sweep among my colleagues in the office suggests this will last no longer than five or six games, so don’t blink…
By Mark Orlovac

1946: A solemn-sounding announcer reveals to the few hardy souls still at Wimbledon that play has been suspended for the day. Thanks for your company today, here’s to better weather on Thursday.

1941: Oh dear. Rain is starting to pelt down very hard now. I can see pictures of Wimbledon staff furiously trying to sweep water off the covers on the outside courts – looking at the colour of the sky it seems a pretty hopeless task.

1930: After a long wait, a pie and chips dinner and some glorious re-runs of Pat Cash’s Wimbledon win in 1987, the covers are starting to come off and we “could” have play this evening. No promises from me though, I have learnt my lesson.

1747: I’ve got to stop this prediction nonsense – I’m hopeless at it. Word from SW19 is that there are more showers and the covers are back on. I fully admit that my earlier “we should be back playing soon” comment now looks ridiculous.

1728: Good news, the ground staff remove the covers from Court One. We should be back playing soon.

1708: And as predicted, the downpour arrives and it looks a nasty one. Television pictures show a horrible cloud located right over the nearby Wimbledon Park Golf Club – which I have had the privilege of playing a few times. I almost drove a tee-shot into the grounds of the All England Club from there once. It was not my best golfing moment.

1701: The covers are still on at Wimbledon despite the fact that the rain has stopped in SW19. Apparently the weather radar has shown that another shower is on the way.

“Roger has looked extremely impressive today, he looks in great form. There is nothing you can pinpoint for him to work on.” Greg Rusedski, BBC TV

1642: The sky is getting darker and darker. With the third game of the third set poised at 30-30, Federer glances skywards and the rain begins to fall. The players make a hasty exit as the covers come on but hopefully this delay will not be too long.

Federer 6-2 7-5 2-0 Del Potro
That’s more like it from Federer. Del Potro puts a forehand long to give the world number one break point which he takes with a fizzer of a backhand winner down the line. The shot is greeted with a “come on” from Rog – he knows that was good.

Federer 6-2 7-5 1-0 Del Potro
The Swiss star has few problems on his serve again. He does fire a sloppy volley long which leads to a groan from the crowd – give the guy a break people, he is allowed a few mistakes! Federer makes up for it soon after with a punched volley that gives him the game.


Federer 6-2 7-5 Del Potro
In answer to that previous question, no. Federer raises his game and claims three break points with the help of a stunning block volley as well as a perfectly-judged lob. The Argentine saves the first but cannot do a lot to prevent the break. Federer is in control.

Federer 6-2 6-5 Del Potro
Another simple hold from Federer. Is Del Potro waiting for a tie-break?

Federer 6-2 5-5 Del Potro
Del Potro holds. He fires a wonderful backhand winner that is called out but is reversed after a challenge to Hawk-Eye. He deserved that.

Federer 6-2 5-4 Del Potro
Afternoon all. You are stuck with me for the rest of this one – sorry about that! Rog holds this game quite comfortably, helped by an attempted backhand volley from Del Potro where he somehow manages to propel the ball to somewhere near the media centre. The shot prompts Rusedski to exclaim “what was that?”.
By Tom Fordyce

Federer 6-2 4-4 Del Potro
Tremendous plunk and spunk from the youngster, who comes in to the net behind his serve at break point to save the day. Texts from Rui in Great Barford and James in Cambridge insist that ‘palito’ in fact means ‘toothpick’. Although another correspondent has plumped for ‘ice lolly’.

I’m now going to hand you over to my highly-respected colleague Mark Orlovac for the remainder of this game – I’ve been summoned to Centre to do the job on Tim’s forthcoming fun.

“This kid is going to be top ten player – I can feel it.” Greg Rusedski

Federer 6-2 4-3 Del Potro
Goodness – that was a proper Fed wobble there, and it was the patchy backhand that almost cost him a break. Palito even has a break point, only for a Fed whipped forehand to take it off him in a flash. Fed allows himself a word of recrimination – “No”, if you’re interested.

“This is most unlike Roger Federer.” Mark Petchey, BBC TV

Federer 6-2 3-3 Del Potro
The Fed radar goes whoopsy for a strange game, allowing Palito to hold unopposed. I’m guessing the third of those nicknames must be a simple amalgam of his surnames – can’t believe I didn’t spot that from the off. Poor effort.

Federer 6-2 3-2 Del Potro
Federer turns it on again, holding to love with the aid of a blur of a forehand and a casual dink that leaves J-M stranded splay-legged like an angry faun.

Federer 6-2 2-2 Del Potro
Super stuff from Junior, mixing up his first serve and avoiding the Fed forehand whenever he can to hold serve, Shadows on Court One for the first time today. Braz via text tells us: “Palito means ‘stick’ in Spanish. Easy to see why he’s called that. Enano is ‘dwarf’.”

Federer 6-2 2-1 Del Potro
Glimmer of a chance for J-M as a Fed mis-hit backhand gets him to 15-30. Roger eyes the scenario and glides up a gear, snuffing out the danger with emotionless efficiency.

“Looked like he had him on a string there, didn’t it?” Greg Rusedski, BBC TV

Federer 6-2 1-1 Del Potro
Gasps of astonishment as Federer tops a forehand long to get Del Potro on the board. The big lad goes by three nicknames in his home country – Enano, Palito and Delpo. Spanish speakers are invited to text any explanations to the number above.

Federer 6-2 1-0 Del Potro
No mercy from Federer as he holds to love in the blink of a rapid eye. Del Potro keeps feeding that haymaker of a forehand, and Fed is filling his boots.


Federer 6-2 Del Potro
Federer crouches a downhill skier as he waits for Del Potro’s serve, and goes on the attack from the off – feathering delicate backhand slices into his opponent’s feet and forcing errors from the lanky tyro. When Del Potro goes wide with a mis-hit forehand, the set is gone.

Federer 5-2 Del Potro
Rog holds in intermittent sunshine. He took a few games to sniff out Del Potro’s weapons, but he’s cracked the code now and is accelerating towards the one-set lead.

Federer 4-2 Del Potro
Trouble for Junior as Federer, stung by those unfortunate jibes about his backhand, laces a dreamy top-spinner down the line to steal the break. J-M’s wearing an out-sized white bandana to keep his curls at bay, in the manner of a teenage girl on her gap year abroad.

Federer 3-2 Del Potro
Federer holds, but J-M’s pushing him hard here. Fed’s backhand is still looking a touch rusty, although his forehand is shining like a National guitar.

Federer 2-2 Del Potro
The 18-year-old’s doing well here – he booms in a 118mph serve to seal the game, having worked the champ around nicely to set up the advantage. Well-balanced individual, Del Potro – he says that he’d like to pursue a career in architecture if the old tennis doesn’t work out for him.

Federer 2-1 Del Potro
Roger holds to love with icy efficiency. To flesh out the beanpole chat, Del Potro stands 6′ 5″ tall, and has legs like dry sticks of spaghetti.

Federer 1-1 Del Potro
If you haven’t seen Juan Martin in action before, he’s an absolute beanpole. He holds to love as Roger duffs two backhands into the net.

Federer 1-0 Del Potro
Roger rips off his long white trousers to scattered squeaks of delight from the crowd, marches onto court and holds serve in slightly scratchy fashion.

“Federer looks kinda serious to me out there.” Greg Rusedski, BBC TV

Story from BBC SPORT:


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