Juan Martin Del Potro wasn't happy with losing a first-set tiebreaker, the impending darkness, Wimbledon's slippery grass courts or the shoes which couldn't keep him upright on those grass courts. So after losing the opening set of Wednesday's second-round match against Olivier Rochus, Del Potro, sensing that the match would be delayed until Thursday because of nightfall, took off his shoes while walking to his chair.
Seconds later, when officials ultimately announced the decision to postpone the match, the 2009 U.S. Open champion took those shoes and launched each into the crowd. The first flew out of the stadium and landed on a nearby concourse. The other was retrieved by a fan high in the stands. (Watch the whole video for context or click here to jump right to the shoe throwing.)
That's one way to express disappointment with a pair of sneakers. I can't imagine Nike was too pleased to see an endorser chucking his swoosh-adorned kicks into the stands, though.
Del Potro had slipped multiple times during the first set, owing in part to the slick courts and to the low shots hit by the diminutive Rochus. The Belgian stands a full foot shorter than the Argentine and Del Potro had to lean down to get to many of his groundstrokes. His balance suffered as a result.
Whatever karma was released by tossing the sneakers paid off when the match resumed on Thursday afternoon. Del Potro went on to win the next three sets with ease, earning a 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 victory.
It had to be the shoes.
- Juan Martin Del Potro
- Olivier Rochus