DEAR JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: You Can Speak Spanish at My Awards Ceremony Any Time*


JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO 4(*Pretty sure this is code for “sex” in South America.)

Yesterday afternoon, while in the midst of planning for the VH1 Divas Coverage this Thursday night (where I’ll be live-blogging from the second row), I remembered that the U.S. Open Men’s Final was beginning, a day late no thanks to the crappy weather in New York last week. I casually turned on CBS to find the match between arguably one of the best tennis player’s in history and consecutive 5 time U.S. Open Champion Roger Federer, and some new, poor bastard across the court who goes by the name Juan Martin Del Potro. Say his name with me, won’t you? Juan Martin Del Potro. Kinda makes you feel like this guy, doesn’t it?

But just who is this JMDelP character who would almost certainly be obliterated by the animatronic Federer? Measuring in a 6’6″ tall, he’s a handsome gentleman with a mature, well-bred face, sinewy caramel logs for arms, giant, Road Runner circle feet, and a determined will. Also, he’s only 20 years old, making this last sentence possibly illegal and worthy of a sex offenders registry. It became clear that rooting for this Argentinian wunderkind was the only way to go.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO 5And root for him I did, in my dark office, until nearly 8:30 PM when the epic match finally came to an end. If you thought the players were exhausted after 4 hours, imagine how I felt, having just shouted out so many f bombs that the maid who came to collect the garbage thought I was literally in the throes of a Tourettes meltdown. It seemed impossible that Del Potro would win, given the fact that I had never even seen, much less heard of his handsome face. But in the 5th set, game tied, you could see Federer basically giving up. Sometimes you get to a point when you win so many times that winning again ain’t no big thang. Trust me, I should know: I am a professional blogger.

Then it happened: Del Potro beat Roger Federer in the fifth set. The Earth shook as his humongo body dropped to the court and began sobbing. It was an amazing moment. He climbed into the stands and collapsed in tears on the shoulder of his equally handsome coach. (No, really, is this how Argentina rolls?) Watching this giant hot man child cry tears of exhaustion and joy was easily one of the most rewarding things this lil’ lady has ever witnessed. It was like the end of Rudy, only with a giant testosterone wolf-faced totem pole in place of the delicate Sean Astin.

Ahead, video of his spectacular win, and him being denied speaking his native tongue at the trophy ceremony.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO 1But what on Earth did this Del Potro sound like? On to the awards ceremony. Federer accepted his fruit platter with a beady-eyed grace we’ve come to expect. Now it was Del Potro’s turn. In broken English reminiscent of one of our other favorite Spaniards, the luminous Ricky Ricardo, Del Potro told us he “didn’t have words to ‘splain” how he was feeling. He then asked to say something in Spanish… and was denied. WTF, old man with the microphone? As my blood began to boil and the geriatric Dick Edberg continued to ramble, Del Potro again asked if he could say something in Spanish. The kid had just had his biggest win ever — LET HIM PLEASE SAY SOMETHING IN SPANISH. It’s one of those moments you really wish Kanye “Mic Jacker” West was there to set things straight.

Here is video of both the win and the awards ceremony. If you missed it, 1. your major loss and 2. watch it to remember what it feels like to be on top of the world.

Del Potro will be at the Niketown in midtown Manhattan today at 1 PM. Debating wearing my favorite shoes and paying him a visit.

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