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Cilic Vs DelPo: Two Men Make Their Nations Proud

January 27, 2010

*Had no internet while moving flats, this was written 24/01/10*
It would be too easy, as a Juan Martin del Potro fan, to have been bitterly disappointed after his fourth round encounter with Marin Cilic, which he lost in the fifth 6-3. After missing break point chances to keep his hopes alive in the fifth it would be easy to say he choked. I say to any fan disappointed with the match, think back a year a go.

One year ago del Potro got absolutely whipped by Roger Federer after losing the first set badly. The del Potro today was one that never gave up. Despite his forearm injury that forced him out of a number of tournaments late last year and Kyoong this year, and an additional ankle injury, del Potro fought his way through five. Juan Martin del Potro could have been forgiven for retiring today. With injuries hindering his tournament all the way through, I half expected him to shake Cilic’s hand prematurely. However, del Potro is a new man. Juan Martin gave the fans an amazing match, fought his hardest, and should walk away with his head held high. As a del Potro fan, I am dead proud of the way he fought today. Even of the fight he picked with the rubbish bin.

Marin Cilic has also dogfought his way through the Australian Open. Having seen his matches against Tomic and Wawrinka, and knowing del Potro’s injuries, I didn’t have high hopes for today’s match. Until today, Cilic had been playing far from his best. Then he brought it in a big way. With crushing forehands, unbelievable returns, and a backhand that barely missed, Cilic played one of the best matches of his career. He is also turning out to be a mental giant. He never got angry or too nervous. He kept his cool and won his way to a quarter final spot. His post match speech was sweet, even acknowleding del Potro’s physical condition. Marin Cilic made his country and fans proud. Marin Cilic kept me from being upset that my second favourite had been bundled out in the fourth round. That is no small feat.

Cilic and del Potro showed the world today what the future of tennis is going to be. Two gentle giants slugging it out against each other and never giving up. With this kind of quality promised for the future, people shouldn’t be to upset about the possible end of the Fedal era, (not that I think it is quite over yet). Cilic and del Potro both show passion, talent, respect, and determination. Remind you of anyone?

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