Calibandar

Tennis Volume 6

281 posts in this topic

I think Nishikori has plateaued, and Raonic as well. They are about as good as they're going to get, give or take a few percentages. They've worked on most of the things that they were not naturally good at it, but are now facing their own limits. Raonic' ground game is going to remain problematic at the very highest level in tennis. He will keep his own serve but he has trouble breaking serve and once he has a rare game where the serve isn't as good, he's broken. Nishikori of course has other limitations.

Now, Federer. I still have to watch his games against Steve Johnson and Sock. Disappointed the game against Kyrgios didn't go through as that was the one that would have been game of the tournament. As it is I think that honour has to go to Wawrinka vs Thiem, a real slug fest. So all in all Federer, while he did beat Nadal, has a fairly easy path to the final. But in that final, a win against Stan just felt inevitable to me, and thus it went. Stan just isn't allowed any mistakes by Fed. The first set Federer was playing perfectly but then Stan was really good as well. But then, Fed just pounces on the first opportunity.

Second set a lot of mistakes, Stan even takes the lead, but he was broken back quickly and I never felt he would beat Federer.

It's just great that Federer has come back so refreshed and playing so well. There are streches in these games this Indian Wells where he has played as well as he ever has. Just incredible the sheer class on display by Fed.

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12 hours ago, Risto said:

On the other hand, Murray and Djokovic need to wake up. Together they didn't reach 1000 points this year. Andy always had his issues, but Novak's state is even more troublesome as it seems no one knows what the issue is. Except of the traditionalist Serbs who hate veganism :D

Don't forget Djokovic's wife. She's to blame for EVERYTHING!!!* ;) 

*If you listen to an average Djokovic fan from Serbia, that is.

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4 hours ago, Leap said:

Couldn't agree more, Federer's got to be riding one of the mental highs of his career right now. I really hope it doesn't stop anytime soon. Rankings aside, him winning Wimbledon again would be amazing. 

Both Murray and Djokovic seem a little lost right now, as well as coping with injuries. They're both well ahead of the pack, but both stand to lose a lot by the end of Roland Garros. Between now and then, Novak is defending 4600+ points, with at least 1000 definitely about to be dropped in Miami. Murray is defending at least 3250 too. Rafa is defending 1500+ but looks like he may even be able to improve on that, whilst Federer isn't even defending 1000 points. Tectonic shift incoming indeed! 

The thing with Federer is that he was always losing from Nadal. It makes you doubt in your own abilities. Yes, he would lose from Novak and Andy, but the loses from Rafa had to hurt the most. And it seems his statements points to that. Now, that he turned the entire game with Rafa, I believe he mentally is unstoppable. Rafa was his "big, bad wolf" and now he has overcome that.

I honestly think that Murray will be 1st to probably September, October, perhaps finishing the year as 1. And honestly, I hate it. He is showing nothing. Yes, it is just a start of the season, but we are already 3 months in and he didn't make his mark. Novak is also lost in woods. God only knows what's going on there... But, I have to say that this gives us far more interesting season than we could have ever hoped for.

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Agreed. I think Dimitrov, Raonic and Nishikori still have shots at a slam, particularly with the season developing as it is, but this season may be their last opportunity before they become ''the lost generation'', or so to say. To be honest, Kyrgios is by all accounts a pretty decent guy in person, and is not at all the cunt you may reasonable expect from his onstage antics. Plus, he really seems to be getting his head in the game.

I really hope. Of the "new generation", Dimitrov, Raonic and Zverev are my favorites. I felt bad for Dimitrov when he lost AO semis but that just showed how much they have to work...

2 hours ago, baxus said:

Don't forget Djokovic's wife. She's to blame for EVERYTHING!!!* ;) 

*If you listen to an average Djokovic fan from Serbia, that is.

What is the ranking of blame

1. Pepe Imaz

2. Wife

3. Veganism

4. Amethyst around neck

5. Secret plot between ATP, Illuminati, Voldemort and Sauron so Roger would be the first

I think that covers it all :D 

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Murray will really have to show this year that he can hold that no. 1 spot , because last year he became no.1 in a year when Djokovic broke down, Federer was out, Nadal was out..

Still, he has raised his game and I think for the entirety of the year, he will be fully in the mix with Federer and Djokovic.

It's just been a poor start for him this year. Same for Djoker but then in the case of Djokovic this has been going on for a year now.

He still has the excellent flexibility and brings everything back, but he struggles to make a difference in the rallies, lacks power shots. For me, Stan still rounds out the top 5. Maybe Nadal isn't really top 5 material anymore and someone else will step in.

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So here we are! Another Fedal final, and it's only the third major tournament of the year. No matter who wins, the top 5 will once again comprise of Murray, Novak, Stan, Fed and Rafa. If Rafa wins he'll leapfrog Federer. Djokovic will be below 8000 points for the first time in ages.

By all accounts - and it comes through on the highlights too - the crowd were appalling at the Kyrgios-Federer match last night. Constantly cheering errors, even shouting out in the middle of points. That said, it's very satisfying to see that Kyrgios really seems to be progressing. Let's hope that continues.

 

So, it's kind of hard to say who will win on Sunday. Fed has beaten Rafa both times they've played this year, though the courts at the AO and IW were both slower than Miami. Federer has also been (seemingly) struggling with fatigue playing two Masters consecutively, and playing 3+ hours last night really can't have helped. Rafa doesn't have that problem. Both are playing really well. 

As always when they play, it's a lose-lose for me. Although I slightly favour Federer usually, the fact that he's beaten Rafa twice recently mostly nullifies that for me.

 

 

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And, once again, Maestro shows he still has it.

It is amazing watching him play. It is amazing watching him playing so invigoratingly against players 5,10 years younger. To win those we thought he has no chance of winning. He simply shows the real effort, desire and strength to do it. Well done, truly well done.

As for ATP rankings:

1. Andy 2. Novak 3. Stan 4. Roger 5. Rafa

And things are getting more and more interesting... Novak is defending some 3000/4000 points until Wimbledon, Stan is around 1300 until Wimbledon, Andy is defending incredible amount of points in the second part of the season. And Roger, from his 2016 calendar is only defending Wimbledon semis. and the rest is basically pocket change. We have already seen the major shift and oust of Raonic and Nishikori from Top 5. We'll see how the things will progress but with this game of both Federer and Nadal, this is going to be one hell of the season.

And I can't be happier about it. 

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Wow! Can't say I didn't think it was a possibility, but I am a little disappointed that it didn't at least go to three sets. I really hope Rafa does well this Clay season. I only managed to watch most of the first set before my power went out inconveniently, but it was very close from what I saw - though apparently not so much in the second.

Looks like Fed will be taking all of the clay season off until RG, which I suppose makes sense though it's a little disappointing. If he really needs the rest that much though, then hopefully it will be as worth it as the season has been so far after taking half of last year off.

I'd be very impressed if Federer managed to maintain this run of form for the rest of the season, but whether he does or not - I can't wait to see what the rankings look like at the end of the year. 

 

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Man, what did Federer do to his backhand? It was amazingly lethal tonight, quite a few times Rafa could only stand and watch the ball pass him ruthlessly. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of Federer's backand winners were similar to forhand's. Rafa did his best, but Fedex is apparently experiencing his third (or is it fourth?) youth. Amazing. If he could maintain this form until Wimbledon, it would be a blast.

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42 minutes ago, 3CityApache said:

Man, what did Federer do to his backhand? It was amazingly lethal tonight, quite a few times Rafa could only stand and watch the ball pass him ruthlessly. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of Federer's backand winners were similar to forhand's. Rafa did his best, but Fedex is apparently experiencing his third (or is it fourth?) youth. Amazing. If he could maintain this form until Wimbledon, it would be a blast.

Well, it seems Federer won't be playing any Masters on clay. He will only play Rolan Garros on clay.

 

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On 4/2/2017 at 10:28 PM, Risto said:

Well, it seems Federer won't be playing any Masters on clay. He will only play Rolan Garros on clay.

 

Makes sense to me. His level of play dropped during Miami, was not the same as Indian Wells, it was survival mode match after match. Still a great win, don't get me wrong, but I can see why he does not want to play several long clay court tournaments.

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So, Murray out of Monte Carlo early. That's 315 points he's dropping. Novak currently playing Carreno-Busta, who has had a great season so far. Should Novak win, he'll definitely gain points on Murray (he's only defending a second round loss). 

At the moment though, I cannot see him beating Nadal, who just absolutely thrashed Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-1. But I've been hurt before.

Stan is also out, so he drops 150+ points, though Federer will drop slightly more points. 

 

 

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Surprised by how easy Nadal won that given that all his previous confrontations with Zverev have been slugfests.

Zverev may have had a bad day. He's played well so far this season.

Djokovic has had two close games so far, but he's stumbled through, unlike The Eel.

Fed is watching all of this from his lounge chair in Barbados.

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Djokovic out! Honestly I'm quite disappointed, would have loved to see a Nadal/Novak battle for the first time in a while.

And speaking of which: the Nadal/Schwartzman match started with a bang (but not like that Sarasota match): Nadal being broken to love immediately, before breaking back in a similar fashion. Currently 4-1 up, having broken him once more.

Have to say, it's really impressive that Diego Swartzman is able to play at this level despite his height - 5'7'' is fairly short as is, let alone in the world of tennis. 

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5 minutes ago, Leap said:

Djokovic out! Honestly I'm quite disappointed, would have loved to see a Nadal/Novak battle for the first time in a while.

I think that as a fan, one has to be more worried than disappointed. Simply, Novak has lost his touch. And more than that, he seems rather disoriented and uninterested in what he is doing. Something is going on, and apparently he is failing to find a solution.

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And to think that even 12 months ago, we were wondering if his complete domination would ever end.

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On 4/21/2017 at 6:58 PM, Risto said:

I think that as a fan, one has to be more worried than disappointed. Simply, Novak has lost his touch. And more than that, he seems rather disoriented and uninterested in what he is doing. Something is going on, and apparently he is failing to find a solution.

I'm not really a fan of Djokovic per se. That is, I really quite like him - his off-court behaviour is way more laid back and fun than his on-court demeanor. But I'm not really a fan. The main reason I was rooting for him yesterday was so Rafa would get the chance to properly beat him. But I do like him enough that I hope he wins a few more Masters, and a Slam or so.

5 hours ago, Calibandar said:

And to think that even 12 months ago, we were wondering if his complete domination would ever end.

As relieved as I am that that period is over, I really didn't want it to go like this. Or rather, I did, but I still need to see Fed/Nadal beat Novak in person. And for Djokovic to play well on that occasion. 

But yeah, it is pretty shocking how the tables have turned. 

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1 hour ago, Leap said:

I'm not really a fan of Djokovic per se. That is, I really quite like him - his off-court behaviour is way more laid back and fun than his on-court demeanor. But I'm not really a fan. The main reason I was rooting for him yesterday was so Rafa would get the chance to properly beat him. But I do like him enough that I hope he wins a few more Masters, and a Slam or so.

It was badly formulated. sorry for that. The thing is that his behavior on court certainly raises many questions. I am not his fan either, as I do believe Roger Federer is sent by aliens to show us how amazing human beings can be.

 

6 hours ago, Calibandar said:

And to think that even 12 months ago, we were wondering if his complete domination would ever end.

And in those 12 months he went from 16000 to less than 8000. It certainly is a fall as we have never seen before.

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Rafa successfully defended what I believe was his last title in 2016 - Barcelona. He beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1. From what I've read it was a semi-competitive first set followed by a dominant second set, with a lot of Thiem errors mixed with brilliant defence from Nadal.

At this point, Rafa looks like he'll be the favourite for RG - if he wasn't already. Awesome. With Fed and Rafa playing, and Novak and Murray looking to come back from their problems, it should be a great tournament. It would be amazing if they all made it to the semi-finals.

In the meantime, Rafa looks set to do well at Madrid & Rome. He still has some points to defend so I can see why he's playing them, but simultaneously I hope it doesn't detract from his chances at RG.

By the sounds of it Fed is going all-in at RG, which I am unnerved by. I really want him to win, but at the same time I really don't think I want to see Rafa lose there. 

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Nadal takes Madrid! He beat Dominic Thiem (again) 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, but not as handily as the scoreline might indicate - it was more competitive than Barcelona. 

It might have been argued that Rafa didn't have a challenging line-up when he won Monte Carlo, but I don't think the same is true here. Most importantly, beating Djokovic yesterday must have done wonders for his confidence, given how long it's been since he last beat him. And speaking of Djokovic, Nadal has now equalled his record of 30 Masters titles. I thought he had a strong clay season last year when his RG run unfortunately ended with injury, but if he carries on like this he might conceivably sweep the entire swing.

In two weeks, RG will begin. Right now though it's the Rome Open, for which Rafa will be seeded 4th, and quite likely the favourite. Murray and Djokovic have had, quite frankly, a shite season so far. Stan hasn't won anything either I don't think, but you never know when he'll turn it on.

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