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August 18 • 11:16
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Real LIVE Tennis Continues One Last Day: 7am EST



December 04, 2011
Thanks to another heroic Cup performance from David Nalbandian and Roland Garros doubles finalist Eduardo Schwank, Argentina is alive tomorrow, though Del Potro may need life support to get the tie past Rafa to a 5th rubber between Monaco and Ferrer. Verdasco and Lopez were embarrassed, losing on 5 of 6 break points and being dumped 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in front of the home crowd in the Estadio Olimpico. The pair were 0-3 on their own break opportunities, which came against Lopez when he tightened up down the finishing stretch, up a break in the 3rd set. Nalbandian bailed them out and stopped the Spaniards, rallying his supporters in the crowd, and providing hope to his dejected squad.

RAFA is still an 8/1 favorite to beat Delpo in their singles, and should he lose, Ferrer remains, a 4/1 favorite in the betting to beat Monaco. I'll hope to see a set or two be competitive for Rafa, as was the case between the two in the 4th round at Wimbledon this year, but this can only happen if Del Potro serves much bigger than he did yesterday. If he had trouble hitting through Ferrer, hitting through Rafa is going to be worse, of course. His ability to keep Rafa on the defense will be limited on clay, where the Great One can has time to turn almost any point around.

If Del Potro wins more than 12 games - twice as many as I felt Monaco might win - he will have exceeded the line of 30.5 games on the match.

Rick Devereux

erdevereux@gmail.com

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