Saturday, July 24, 2010
Status: CONFIRMED. Uh, not quite.
Juan Martin del Potro took to Twitter to clear the air about his status after the USTA claimed the Argentine had begun hitting in preparation for the defense of his U.S. Open title:
Translation (via Tennis.com): "I haven't picked up a racquet yet so I can't tell an exact date. When I know I'll tell you the news here. I'm improving, that's a good thing."
Also, according to a tweet by Fue Buena, Delpo's kinesiologist spoke to ESPN Radio in Argentina and confirmed he will return at the Thailand Open in September and not at Flushing Meadows.
This incident is a big PR strike against the USTA. They made public information about Delpo that obviously wasn't confirmed by anyone in his camp. Even if, hypothetically, they received some kind of update from someone on his team it wasn't information that should've been shared so quickly especially after Bangkok was the only tourney actually mentioned as a return by the 21-year old himself. The officials needed to treat this information as a "hopeful sign" rather than official news and if, by chance, he somehow made it to Flushing Meadows it would have been a surprise bonus for everyone involved. Now, THAT would have been a better lead-up headline than what they're dealing with now.
We all know they have their motives for wanting the defending champ to be mentioned in their communications and marketing of the U.S. Open (e.g. sponsorships, advertising, ticket sales) but, unfortunately, they're now walking around with an omelette and a side of bacon on their face.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]