Del Potro Disagrees With Rafael Nadal About Court Surfaces
epa03543791 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina hits a backhand during his 3rd round match against Jeremy Chardy of France at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 19 January 2013. EPA/Dennis Sabangan |
Argentine Juan Del Potro has offered a contrasting opinion after Rafael Nadal’s angry supposition that hard court ATP play is damaging player health. The Argentine who won the 2009 US Open, said that it’s up to each player to make his own scheduling choices.
“Hard court might not be the best for his (Nadal’s) knees, that’s true,” said Del Potro, ranked seventh on the ATP. “But of course he’s fantastic on clay, that’s his surface.
“I’m sure that before long he will be the Rafa of before and that he’ll be healthy for the future. But for me, playing on hard courts is fine,” said the winner of six of his 13 trophies on cement outdoor surfaces.
Nadal is hoping for a comeback to tennis after more than seven months away, and is playing this week on indoor clay in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Del Potro, competing in Rotterdam in an event headlined by Roger Federer, said that as No. 7 he’s still not in the same league as the “big four.”
But he added: “I know that I can improve. The top four are there for a reason, they are playing better than me, I know that I can beat them, but I need to improve my level. That’s what I’m working on, like trying to come to the net more.
“Right now, I’m happy with my ranking, I’m not frustrated.”
Roger Federer won his 23rd night match at the Ashe stadium, dispatching Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in the first round. The 33-year-old Swiss is playing in a record 60th straight grand slam appearance and now stands 23-1 under the lights at on the Flushing Meadows showcase arena.
Dressed in his traditional black for a night session at the U.S. Open, Roger Federer treated a thoroughly entertained crowd--which included NBA legend Michael Jordan--to a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Marinko Matosevic. Fededer needed two hours and seven minutes to book his spot in the second round.
In 2013, American men fared historically bad at Grand Slams. Not a single one reached the fourth round of any major--not even at the U.S. Open. The jury is still out for the American contingent in Flushing Meadows this time around, but early returns are decent at best.
American women are off to a hot start at the U.S. Open, and a child is leading them. CiCi Bellis, all of 15 years old, upset No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 during first-round action on Tuesday afternoon. Bellis got a wild card into the main draw by winning the girls' 18s national championship.