Calibandar

Tennis Volume 6

278 posts in this topic

People, have I read the news today well or is it possible that entire meldonium scandal will be for nothing? I heard WADA is considering giving free pass to the athletes caught red handed? Now, that is a luck...

As for Djokovic lost, it could mean nothing and it could mean everything... :)

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21 hours ago, Leap said:

Ask and thou shalt receive!

Djokovic out of the Monte Carlo Masters, by none other than Jiri Vesely! Wait...who? That's right, Djokovic beaten by someone ranked 55th in the world. 

Vesely's top ranking is 35, which is pretty good - although still somewhat below the barrier you'd expect someone had to be to beat Djokovic right now. This is probably the highlight of his career. 

I am super chuffed. I like Djokovic, but being beaten a surprisingly low ranking player is exactly what signalled a major downturn for Nadal and Federer, and I really hope that this goes a long way to humanising him - taking away the fear factor. .

I am not convinced this signals anything. While I agree with you he lost plenty of sets even though he never ever gets beaten, this is most likely just a fluke. He could just be tired, he's played a lot recently and this is his first clay court match of the season, and we already know that is his weakest surface. No I really need to see a loss in a more important match for me to believe there is competition again at the top.

Risto,

As I heard it, because this product takes a while to get out of people's system, they are allowing  everyone who was caught before March 1st to go free, most likely, because they could still have used the product in 2015, when of course it was still legal.

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1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

Risto,

As I heard it, because this product takes a while to get out of people's system, they are allowing  everyone who was caught before March 1st to go free, most likely, because they could still have used the product in 2015, when of course it was still legal.

Yeah, it is absurd... I wonder what will happen to Sharapowa. She didn't outright admit she using it after January 1st, although logically, there is no other conclusion to her testimony. It will be interesting to see how this resolves.

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Federer knocked out by Tsonga. I am disappointed. I know it's clay and he's just back, but still.

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Rafa wins his 28th Masters 1000, now he's tied with Djokovic on that count (who's held the record for a month or so). Madrid is only 2 weeks away, and Rafa will be in prime position to take the lead once again. 

That's not to say I think Rafa is back, back for good. I still have reservations, but I have a lot more confidence that Rafa will continue to do well than I do that Djokovic is going to have a bad season. 

 

 

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Looks like Rafa is back on the juice and just so happens to be peaking with the French open coming up :rolleyes:

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20 hours ago, Leap said:

Rafa wins his 28th Masters 1000, now he's tied with Djokovic on that count (who's held the record for a month or so). Madrid is only 2 weeks away, and Rafa will be in prime position to take the lead once again. 

That's not to say I think Rafa is back, back for good. I still have reservations, but I have a lot more confidence that Rafa will continue to do well than I do that Djokovic is going to have a bad season. 

 

 

On this sort of slow surface he can beat everybody, because he can drag every opponent into these very long rallies, point after point.

There is just no one who can keep up with him in that. Except of course the Djoker, I think he can beat Nadal on clay.

Someone like Federer or Raonic is going to get absolutely pulverized playing Nadal on this slow clay. Murray made a decent fist of it in the semi final but was let down again by his mentality, as is his wont.

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Good point well made, Calibander. 

I, for one, am glad it's working! It is good to see Nadal racing through the Barcelona open, and tomorrow he faces Nishikori for the final. Most people would put Nadal in his current form on Clay over Nishikori I think, even though he's also been playing well. If and when Nadal wins, it'll be a great confidence boost in time for the Madrid open. Should Nadal win Barcelona, I'd expect him to take a week off in preparation for that instead of going straight to Estoril, Istanbul or Munich. You never know, though.

I am excited about the prospect of Nadal dominating on clay, but it's mostly important that he wins here because he will need the confidence boost of a good clay-court season going into the grass court season, and back to hard court.

Most importantly, I'm just interested in a competitive top ten. 

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It was a fairly interesting final. Nishikori has the tools to beat Nadal.

He's very good at clay, clearly, he has one of the better backhands in the game and unlike say Federer he can deal quite well with Nadal's high shots to the backhand. He is technically very sound, and he is aggresive in his baseline game, even on clay.

But then you know, mentally, here we go again. 8 break points for him in set 1, only 1 break, 2 break points for Nadal, two breaks. 

Second set starts with Nadal being outplayed and losing serve, followed by Nishikori immediately allowing a break again. It's just...

Nadal played well of course, he clearly keeps getting better with his forehand, big confidence boosts keep following week after week.

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Nadal with a good victory over Kyrgios today, despite losing the first set. 

 

And speaking of losing the first set, in possibly the most beautiful moment this year, Novak Djokovic lost the first set 6-0 to Thomaz Bellucci,, of all people. He was almost broken a few times in the second and third, too. That more than makes up for Ferrer playing badly, Konta missing a great opportunity (although still, a good win over Vinci), and Federer being injured. 

 

Djokovic/Nadal tomorrow, and I for one am very excited.

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Well, Roland Garros is turning out to be quite interesting this year. 

Even before the tournament started, there was the disappointment of no Federer or Monfils. Then the problem of rain and suspended matches, although the last few days have been okay.

Round 1 went pretty well for the Brits, with Watson, Murray, Bedene and Edmund all going through (but not Konta or Broady, unfortunately). Round 2 and Watson and Edmund unsurprisingly are out, but Murray is still in (and Bedene plays tomorrow). 

Murray: He's had to play two 5 set matches over 3 days which can't be fun, as well as genuinely being behind at some point in both matches. Still, he's battled through. Stepanek and Bourgue both produced fine performances, but Murray gave the sets he lost away really...just doesn't seem to bring his A-game for sets at a time, before turning it back on right at the last minute. 

Nadal: Absolutely thrashed Groth (although I think anyone could have done that given how badly he's played on clay recently). Still, a nice, confidence-boosting warm-up match. 

Djokovic: Easy progression as expected. He's playing Darcis tomorrow, who knocked Nadal out of Wimbledon a few years ago. Probably not an upset waiting to happen, but might be an interesting game all the same.

Wawrinka: Struggled a lot in his first match (5 sets), but had no trouble today. 

 

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Nadal retires from RG with a wrist injury, despite a better start to the tournament than any other player. 

Apparently it's pretty bad. Even if it gets better, I can't see any way that he'll come back from this. 

Fuck.

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13 minutes ago, Leap said:

Nadal retires from RG with a wrist injury, despite a better start to the tournament than any other player. 

Apparently it's pretty bad. Even if it gets better, I can't see any way that he'll come back from this. 

Fuck.

So lame. I loved watching Nadal in his prime. But his game just doesn't age well. He's probably finished.  

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I think all of that is premature. It's not that said that he cannot recover from this with rest.

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Looks like they could have already given the trophy to Djokovic, saving everyone's time and effort. The only real contender left in the draw is Stan, and though I'm a big admirer of his talent, I don't think he can make it to the final this year. Anyone else would be swept away from the court I'm afraid. 

As for Nadal, I think and hope he will be back on tour, but I'm more and more inclined to think he would never return to his prime again.

Edited by 3CityApache

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2 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

Looks like they could have already given the trophy to Djokovic, saving everyone's time and effort. The only real contender left in the draw is Stan, and though I'm a big admirer of his talent, I don't think he can make it to the final this year. Anyone else would be swept away from the court I'm afraid. 

As for Nadal, I think and hope he will be back on tour, but I'm more and more inclined to think he would never return to his prime again.

What about Murray? I'd say he has a better chance than Stan actually. He beat Novak recently on clay, as well as having a much better record at Grand Slams in general.

 

On 28/05/2016 at 2:02 PM, Calibandar said:

I think all of that is premature. It's not that said that he cannot recover from this with rest.

I hope that Nadal returns to his prime, but it does seem as if everything has been set against him. A wrist injury doesn't have to be career ending, but it easily can be. The recovery time brings him right up to Wimbledon so, assuming he tries to play, it might be before he's actually ready - and that might end up making it even worse.

The one thing that can be said is that Nadal seems to have the will and ability to pull himself out of slumps (mental or physical), but ultimately he's not just racing against his own biological clock, he's racing against the constant improvements that the younger generation are making too. 

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2 hours ago, Leap said:

What about Murray? I'd say he has a better chance than Stan actually. He beat Novak recently on clay, as well as having a much better record at Grand Slams in general.

Everyone's welcome to his (or her) own opinion, but I simply refuse to believe that Murray is capable of beating today's Djokovic in Grand Slam, not to say Grand Slam final. Beating him on clay means practically nothing, Nadal being dominant in Paris for years also used to lose matches beforehand in other tournaments.

Stan, on the other hand, knows exactly how to defeat Novak in Grand Slam, the final included. He's been there, no? He's closest to a sort of nemezis for Djokovic. Not a real one, like Nadal used to be for Federer, but as far as one can get with Djoko I'd say.

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3 minutes ago, 3CityApache said:

Everyone's welcome to his (or her) own opinion, but I simply refuse to believe that Murray is capable of beating today's Djokovic in Grand Slam, not to say Grand Slam final. Beating him on clay means practically nothing, Nadal being dominant in Paris for years also used to lose matches beforehand in other tournaments.

Stan, on the other hand, knows exactly how to defeat Novak in Grand Slam, the final included. He's been there, no? He's closest to a sort of nemezis for Djokovic. Not a real one, like Nadal used to be for Federer, but as far as one can get with Djoko I'd say.

The first time Nadal won Rolland Garros, he won both Monte Carlo and Rome. He also did that the second and third times, and after that he had something of a streak going. In fact, he's the only player who probably doesn't need a strong clay season to stand a reasonable chance of winning RG, because he has such a history there. Wawrinka did have a bad clay court season before RG last year, which is partly why it was such an upset that he won. 

I can't see how Stan has a better chance of beating Djokovic. Yes, he beat Djokovic most recently in a Grand Slam final (although Murray has done that too), but he has not managed to play that well since. His H2H with Djokovic is 19-4 (and two of those victories were a decade ago). Murray's is 24-10. Neither are particularly positive, but to say Stan Wawrinka is anything close to a rival for Djokovic, or at least that he's closer than Murray, is just wrong.

It's kind of a moot point anyway. Stan and Murray will have to play each other in order to face Djokovic, so we'll never know if one was able to beat him when the other was not (this year). I suspect Murray will beat Stan because, aside from being a better player, his success at Grand Slams is within a few % of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, whilst Wawrinka is not even close.

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10 minutes ago, Leap said:

I can't see how Stan has a better chance of beating Djokovic. Yes, he beat Djokovic most recently in a Grand Slam final (although Murray has done that too), but he has not managed to play that well since. His H2H with Djokovic is 19-4 (and two of those victories were a decade ago). Murray's is 24-10. Neither are particularly positive, but to say Stan Wawrinka is anything close to a rival for Djokovic, or at least that he's closer than Murray, is just wrong.

It's not. Wawrinka's overall H2H with Djokovic is almost like everyone elses, but in Grand Slams it's only 2-4 and three of these four defeats were fivesetters that could easily be victories, and the fourth was when Stan has retired. Murray's Grand Slam H2H with Djokovic is 2-7 and only two of these seven defeats were fivesetters.

It's just an impression, but for me Wawrinka is the only player from the top who refuse to loose against Djokovic in his own head even before the match starts. But like I said, we're discussing opinions here, not facts.

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