How long will Delpo’s honeymoon last?
Posted by tennisplanet on October 31, 2009
There’s a clear time capsule that you are allowed after you win your first Slam to gloat and celebrate over. But the transition of that event being such a blessing to a curse happens overnight once you turn that corner.
Sampras endured it for two and half years, Roddick must have thought at least once what it would have been like if he had not won that US Open and Djokovic is still reeling from it.
The bump you get after your first Slam in the locker room is addictive. The wearing off of that potion is painful and humiliating.
So is the next Australian Open the one for Delpo? After all, it’s a hard court and the closest Slam in many respects to the one he won.
Or winning over Federer, specially at Basel, the deal for Delpo now to solidify that five set win? If it is and he wants to be just a handful of jokers to own a winning record against Federer, he has very little time.
The age difference of seven years will start to take away the juice from that stat very soon. The dynamic may even start to turn on Delpo if it reaches a point where it becomes a no win situation like Federer’s been in against Nadal many times.
Ideally Delpo would like to win the next Slam after going through Federer irrespective of the round, but it appears, unlike Murray, he may be more content with winning his next major instead of proving anything against an aging Federer now.
Given the drought almost everyone has had in the majors since the two-headed monster took over the game and Djokovic’s experience, Delpo will still be OK if he wins just one Slam next season.
However, until he gets his next one, there will be that uneasiness in his game given the benchmarks former greats have established on the pattern a decorated tennis career usually follows on the way to promised land.
The other player Delpo may be concerned about today, other than Federer, has to be Cilic. There are just too many similarities to let that one pass from age to height to whatever. Is that the new rivalry brewing today? Maybe.
Nadal has been more or less spanked out of recognition by Delpo, Djokovic’s recent success is more out of default and Murray is still to shine on the big stage – not to mention that none of them own the number 66.
I feel Delpo appears to think that he has already achieved more than he expected for this season releasing that complacent beast to blunt his progress until that one-Slam pang rises to bite.