The Grass Season

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The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:37 am

With the grass season underway, I thought we could use a thread to discuss the pre Wimbledon events.

The draws are out for Stuttgart and S'Hertogenbosch, which start properly tomorrow. Both 250s but a noticeable difference in quality. Stuttgart has most of the quality:

Stuttgart

Full Draw 

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/scores/current/stuttgart/321/draws

Anticipated QF

Federer - Troicki
Thiem - Lopez
Simon - Pouille
Kohlschreiber - Cilic

Summary/Prediction


If he's fit, it's hard to look past Federer here. His very first match could be tough though as he will face the big serving Taylor Fritz, if Fritz can get past a qualifier. I suspect it will be Lopez in the SF, with Fed to come through a tough 3 setter. I'm picking Kohlschreiber to come through the other half. Federer to win the final in straights.

Worth looking out for the first round match between Del Potro and Dimitrov. The winner will have a good shot to then beat Pouille and make the QF at least. Stepanek is also playing last round of qualies today - will be a real danger for anyone in R1.

S'Hertorgenbosch

Full Draw

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/scores/current/s-hertogenbosch/440/draws

Anticipated QF

Ferrer - Muller
Karlovic - Seppi
Querrey - Johnson
Mahut - Tomic

Summary/Prediction

A much weaker field, which Ferrer of a couple of years ago would have walked. However, he's been generally poor this year and I don't see him getting past Muller, who I think will then also edge out Ivo in the SF. The other half is very tough with no one really in form. I'm going to pick Querrey to come through. Muller for the title.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest82 on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 1:18 pm

The Dutch tournament is a poor field.

Wonder if Fed may lose after a few rounds due to fitness. Expect he'll be there or thereabouts at Halle though.

Potential for Delpo to make it through the Pouille quarter?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by YvonneT on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:09 pm

The thing that struck me about those draws is what on earth is Thiem doing playing a tournament this week when he was in the RG semis just on Friday!? He played Nice the week before RG too. I suppose in the old calendar, some players went from the final weekend at RG straight to Queens or Halle, but there's no need now and the guy should take a break!

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest82 on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:17 pm

Thiem does seem to play an awful lot of tennis. Doubles everywhere too.

I get it on clay as he's cashing in on money/points on his favourite surface. Think he'll struggle on grass though.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:36 am

He may yet pull out or tank the second match but if he doesn't you're probably right. Another 4 matches or so might not be smart. If he plays 1 or 2 matches it should be OK I suppose.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by summerblues on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 2:55 am

I see no problem with Thiem playing.

First, he is young, so he can recover better than older guys.

Second, he is mostly a clay courter so he will not necessarily expect to play many rounds here, and the more grass practice he can get before Wimbledon, the better.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 9:01 am

So Fed is back! Interesting to see that he's only as low as 15th in the year-to-date singles race table and not so impossibly behind the guy in 8th place.
Of course, Fed has been helped in this respect by Djoko, Murray and Rafa hoovering up all the big points.
With Stan only reaching the semis at RG, the big four now occupy the first four places in the rankings - for the first time for quite a while, I think.
Be nice to see Fed chalking up a few wins, but will Rafa be back any time soon ? He's hardly got any points to defend at Wimbledon, so may decide to skip it.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:49 pm

It's an interesting question though re our other discussion about miles on the clock. Sure, at the age of 22 you don't feel the miles on the clock, but is it possible that they are starting to accumulate all the same?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:48 pm

Nothing about the women then? Wink

How Federer goes will be interesting of course.

I'm a little surprised Thiem is playing again, but guess he didn't anticipate making the semis at RG, and will feel a lesser tournament gives him a better chance of playing a few matches on grass.

I'd be surprised if Nadal plays Wimbledon TBH, and amazed if he does anything there. He's struggled with the transition enough as it is in recent years, and going in cold will make it worse. Also, wrist injuries aren't usually something that goes away in a few weeks...

Back to the women, Konta is seeded 2 at Nottingham, having made it into the world's top 20 despite her first round exit at RG. She won 6-3 6-0 in her first round, playing some lovely stuff after an uncertain start (dropped the first two games). Would be nice for her to get a tournament win here, and maybe push into the top 16 seeds for Wimbledon...

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by lydian on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 4:41 pm

So Stepanek got his British victory finally...he beat James Ward in last round of qualifying...62 61!
Amazing for 37...
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 9:59 pm

I've heard nothing in the last week about Federer or Nadal's fitness. I'd assume Federer is about 90% for Wimbledon, and Nadal is about 50%....?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:37 pm

Henman Bill wrote:I've heard nothing in the last week about Federer or Nadal's fitness. I'd assume Federer is about 90% for Wimbledon, and Nadal is about 50%....?
Federer is playing in Stuttgart. All we know is that Nadal is missing Queens. I reckon he should skip the grass season but who knows.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/36465303

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 3:02 pm

Delpo has fairly demolished Dimi in Stuttgart. A really good win. One can only assume that Dimi is expanding all his energies on his latest squeeze.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Henman Bill on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 6:37 pm

Delpo vs Dimitrov
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b14tqzGKyQA

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 7:31 pm

On the women's tour, Laura Robson has lost again. She really ought to move down a level, play some challengers, get some wins and restore confidence. Agassi did this, so it should not be beneath the dignity of any player.
More recently, Goffin dropped down a level and has not looked back since.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by lydian on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 5:29 am

Some cracking shots from Delpo there, such a shame about his wrist-BH because you can see his FH and serve are still world class. That slice BH on grass could become a weapon though if he can use it aggressively...it's an under-utilised shot. There's no better ball striker than Delpo on tour...he would have easily stayed top5 and who knows what else he could have achieved...
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:40 am

sirfredperry wrote:On the women's tour, Laura Robson has lost again. She really ought to move down a level, play some challengers, get some wins and restore confidence. Agassi did this, so it should not be beneath the dignity of any player.
  More recently, Goffin dropped down a level and has not looked back since.
She will be forced to do this now her protected ranking has lapsed and her wild cards will dry up. Even entering qualifying rounds to WTA tournaments requires a certain ranking level. She probably can't afford a coach now so it may be difficult for her to get near to the level she once reached (22 world ranking I think).

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 10:44 am

"can't afford a coach now"? Robson will be extremely well off through endorsements etc. She will also benefit from LTA funding. She's not going to be on the streets anytime soon.

Agree though she needs to step down a level or two. Get some wins and work her way back up. Question I guess is whether she has the desire to do so.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by lydian on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 11:55 am

Coming back post-injury is what really sorts out the men vs boys (or women vs girls...).
Robson never struck me as being uber-hungry...so will be interesting to see if she's prepared to grind it out.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest82 on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 12:07 pm

Apparently Dimitrov has broken up with Nicole from The Pussycat Dolls (the one that used to go out with Lewis Hamilton) and during a changeover in his match with Del Potro they played the song 'don't cha' by The Pussycat Dolls. Dimitrov lost the next seven games!

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 12:42 pm

lydian wrote:Some cracking shots from Delpo there, such a shame about his wrist-BH because you can see his FH and serve are still world class. That slice BH on grass could become a weapon though if he can use it aggressively...it's an under-utilised shot. There's no better ball striker than Delpo on tour...he would have easily stayed top5 and who knows what else he could have achieved...

Hmm rose-tinted glasses perhaps? Granted he would have probably been a constant in the top ten but prior to his injuries he was not a consistent featurer in slam semis and finals. He won the US Open (his only slam final) and reached two semis. If we look at his slam results it is about 50-50 on him reaching the second week of slams. Great player but lacked consistency.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by barrystar on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 1:53 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
lydian wrote:Some cracking shots from Delpo there, such a shame about his wrist-BH because you can see his FH and serve are still world class. That slice BH on grass could become a weapon though if he can use it aggressively...it's an under-utilised shot. There's no better ball striker than Delpo on tour...he would have easily stayed top5 and who knows what else he could have achieved...

Hmm rose-tinted glasses perhaps? Granted he would have probably been a constant in the top ten but prior to his injuries he was not a consistent featurer in slam semis and finals. He won the US Open (his only slam final) and reached two semis. If we look at his slam results it is about 50-50 on him reaching the second week of slams. Great player but lacked consistency.

I also think it's quite revealing about Del boy that he has never won a Masters Series tournament.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by banbrotam on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 2:44 pm

lydian wrote:Some cracking shots from Delpo there, such a shame about his wrist-BH because you can see his FH and serve are still world class. That slice BH on grass could become a weapon though if he can use it aggressively...it's an under-utilised shot. There's no better ball striker than Delpo on tour...he would have easily stayed top5 and who knows what else he could have achieved...


One of my friends, stated, sarcastically, that everybody thinks the best football team are the ones on the bench / reserves. 

Maybe Murray should have had injuries as well, as clearly that's what's needed for respect. Oh hang on though! He has, a wrist injury put him out for four months in 2007 and of course his back surgery. Mmmmm  Rolling Eyes

I'm pleased for Del Boy, but am puzzled why anyone who wants variety, would like his two dimensional play.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by sportslover on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:07 pm

banbrotam wrote:
lydian wrote:Some cracking shots from Delpo there, such a shame about his wrist-BH because you can see his FH and serve are still world class. That slice BH on grass could become a weapon though if he can use it aggressively...it's an under-utilised shot. There's no better ball striker than Delpo on tour...he would have easily stayed top5 and who knows what else he could have achieved...


One of my friends, stated, sarcastically, that everybody thinks the best football team are the ones on the bench / reserves. 

Maybe Murray should have had injuries as well, as clearly that's what's needed for respect. Oh hang on though! He has, a wrist injury put him out for four months in 2007 and of course his back surgery. Mmmmm  Rolling Eyes

I'm pleased for Del Boy, but am puzzled why anyone who wants variety, would like his two dimensional play.o

Old Roger must still have nightmares on how he lost that USO to Delpo!

Apart from that what else has he won- has he any Master titles?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:33 pm

In defence of Del Potro - he was only 20 when he won the US Open and a few months over 21 when the "effective career ending injury" presented itself.  He may not have had an all round game at the time - but he had enough to break various age related records.

"del Potro won his first senior match in 2004 at the age of 15. In 2008, he became the first player in ATP history to win his first four career titles in as many tournaments.  He also completed the second-longest winning streak in 2008, and the second longest by a teenager in the Open Era, behind Nadal—with his winning sequence spanning 23 matches over five tournaments."  He was playing in an era where Fedal were at their peak (or very close to it with regards Federer) and Djokovic and Murray had established themselves firmly in the top four.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:38 pm

Let's not cloud facts though - his slam record even after winning the US Open was patchy and Masters wins never materialised. I have no doubt he would have been able to hold down a top ten ranking but consistency-wise doubt he would have been consistent top four.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:41 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Let's not cloud facts though - his slam record even after winning the US Open was patchy and Masters wins never materialised. I have no doubt he would have been able to hold down a top ten ranking but consistency-wise doubt he would have been consistent top four.
Well it seems that Del Potro was playing at an unsustainable level. His early results may have been at the expense of longevity. This can be said to some degree regarding Nadal's sustainability off the clay courts: pounding his joints. Federer seems to have been the model of a sustainable action. Jury is out on Djokovic's action - but in his elasticated body it seems to be sustainable.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:43 pm

I am talking of before his wrist injury though - the inconsistency was there then.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by laverfan on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 5:25 pm

sportslover wrote:Old Roger must still have nightmares on how he lost that USO to Delpo!

Apart from that what else has he won- has he any Master titles?

MS Finals, but no titles - http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/juan-martin-del-potro/d683/titles-and-finals .

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 12:11 am

the winning streak mentioned above was mostly minor tournies as I recall

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by summerblues on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 3:46 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Let's not cloud facts though - his slam record even after winning the US Open was patchy and Masters wins never materialised.
Let's not cloud facts in the other direction though either.  His first major wrist injury came before AO 2010 - i.e., his 2009 USO win was his last pre-injury slam.  He was never the same again.

He was 21 years and 3 months old when his career was essentially sidetracked.  Comparing Delpo and Murray up to that age:

Slams:
Delpo: 1W, 1SF, 2QF
Andy: 1QF

Masters:
Delpo: 1F, 2SF, 4QF
Andy: 1W, 4SF, 2QF

Highest ranking:
Delpo: #5
Andy: #6

Also, Delpo had by then had two WTF participations, and reached final in one of them.  Andy was yet to qualify for his first WTF.

There is not all that much between them, but Delpo does come out a bit ahead - especially in the most critical slam category.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 4:29 am

But it is clouding facts if you try to annual what came after 2010 as being injury hit as he went on a more consistent run (for him) of three straight QF's in slams. The wrist injury later on is the one that done for him and up to the point of the injury that really affected him later on it was hit and miss at the slams wherein he either exited in the first week or mostly made 4th or QF's with odd semi and US Open win. Up until his serious injury there was no evidence consistency-wise to suggest he was to be a chief player in terms of contending at the majority of slams.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 9:48 am

I tend to agree with SB on this one. I would have expected DP to start to consistently reach at least the QFs of slams had he stayed fit. I like to think that the big 4 would have usually prevented his dull but highly efficient game from going further but it's hard to know.

I think the comparison to Murray above is a little unfair though, given Murray's own wrist problems in 2007 and conveniently cuts off about two weeks before he reached the final in US08. Without that, he'd have definitely made WTF07 and would probably have made the latter stages of a couple more slams.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 9:58 am

I say you can only go on facts before us and those are that he was hit or miss in the slams and never won a Masters event. I would say he would have been much of the ilk of Stan Wawrinka who has similarly been hit or miss at slams either going deep or just as equally going out in the first week. How does that old saying go? Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by HM Murdock on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 10:46 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:But it is clouding facts if you try to annual what came after 2010 as being injury hit as he went on a more consistent run (for him) of three straight QF's in slams. The wrist injury later on is the one that done for him and up to the point of the injury that really affected him later on it was hit and miss at the slams wherein he either exited in the first week or mostly made 4th or QF's with odd semi and US Open win. Up until his serious injury there was no evidence consistency-wise to suggest he was to be a chief player in terms of contending at the majority of slams.
The wrist problems never really went away.

He was playing with wrist pain in the second half of 2012 (had to withdraw from Davis Cup) and in early 2013. I seem to recall that in his defeat to Rafa in the IW13 final, he was only really hitting slice backhands. He was back at the clinic around that time.

I'm sure he'd have been a threat if he'd been injury free. If Stan can win a couple of slams, I can't see any reason why JMDP couldn't have done.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 10:48 am

DP crushed Rafael Nadal in the semifinal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and outlasted Federer in the final 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–2.  Aged 20 in 2009.  How old was Murray when he was able to do something similar in a slam against Nadal & Federer?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 11:01 am

I can't stand his game but I think a guy who goes QF, QF, SF, R2 and Win at slams aged 19-21 is actually showing a lot of consistency. His losses were to Murray, Fed (x2) and Hewitt (@ Wimbledon).


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Re: The Grass Season

Post by banbrotam on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 11:10 am

Nore Staat wrote:DP crushed Rafael Nadal in the semifinal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and outlasted Federer in the final 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–2.  Aged 20 in 2009.  How old was Murray when he was able to do something similar in a slam against Nadal & Federer?


Are we now basing how good a player is on how early they thrash Nadal or Federer?

Deeply flawed, not least because Nadal had a losing streak to all the Top 10 players, after his return from surgery in 2009 - so beating him wasn't surprising

I actually don't disagree with the statement that he would have been a contender, but I'm not convinced he would have won any more slams - simply because the other four got better and multi-slam winners are those with a varied game

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by banbrotam on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 11:20 am

HM Murdock wrote:I'm sure he'd have been a threat if he'd been injury free. If Stan can win a couple of slams, I can't see any reason why JMDP couldn't have done.

I remember stating that Stan had the potential to have a better career than Del Potro, to howls of derision, back in 2009/10. I think it was a debate, about who has skills yet to be shown on a consistent basis

To me Stan is a totally different player and the reason he can win slams is because his game has far more variety

Del Potro, would have simply hit a brick wall with the Djoko of 2011 onwards as he already had done with Murray (yes, I know he won their last meeting). As a Murray fan, I'd much rather have him playing Del Potro regularly, rather than any of the other top 6 rivals

He would be a quirk in the history of tennis, a multi-slam winner without great movement of variety. There's a reason for his injuries, he isn't and never was an athlete mobile enough to get 8000+ points per year

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 11:24 am

Those that are knocking and belittling Del Potro's achievement of winning the US Open 2009 are maybe doing this because they have some other agenda they wish to push. There was no luck in Del Potro's achievement. He didn't luckily crush Nadal 6-2 6-2 6-2, he didn't luckily out last Federer over five sets. If he kept going like this he wouldn't have been a one slam wonder. But he got injured and that effectively ended his career.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 11:53 am

I hope you are not including me as belittling Nore Staat as I have done no such thing. I am basing his career stats up to the injury (THE injury) that set him back in 2014. Going on those it is fair to say his career was following a similar path to Stan Wawrinka results-wise. He won the US Open then had a dip where largely he exited in the first week of slams then had an upturn again. I don't think saying he would have ended up with similar career achievements as Stan is doing him any dis-service at all.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by HM Murdock on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 11:54 am

banbrotam wrote:To me Stan is a totally different player and the reason he can win slams is because his game has far more variety
I part agree, part disagree.

Yes, Stan has more variety. But it's not the variety that led him to his slam titles, it was his power. And JMDP has even more power.

banbrotam wrote:Del Potro, would have simply hit a brick wall with the Djoko of 2011 onwards as he already had done with Murray (yes, I know he won their last meeting). As a Murray fan, I'd much rather have him playing Del Potro regularly, rather than any of the other top 6 rivals

He would be a quirk in the history of tennis, a multi-slam winner without great movement of variety. There's a reason for his injuries, he isn't and never was an athlete mobile enough to get 8000+ points per year
Again, only half agree.

I'm not suggesting he would have been a dominant player. I'm suggesting that over the course of the almost 7 years since his first slam win, he would have bludgeoned his way to a couple more.

Stan won slams in 2014 and 2015 but never broke the 7000 pts barrier. It not necessarily about consistency, it's about being hot at the right time.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 12:42 pm

I find this comparison with Wawrinka spurious. "Aged" Wawrinka versus an up and coming tyro who was still developing and nowhere near his peak beating Nadal and Federer in successive matches. Wawrinka took a long time to make a break through in comparison. You need to compare records at the same age level.

But what is the point - he got injured and that's that. This is sounding like a GOAT debate when context and narrative is thrown out the window.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 12:55 pm

Hmm, Fritz levels up against Fed and now 2-1 in the third. Fed hasn't got to deuce on Fritz's serve since the first set. Anyone watching?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 1:02 pm

The likeness with Wawrinka is only (from my viewpoint) career achievements and stats wise). Both have won slams but both lack true consistency as in a slam QF or better was as likely as a first week exit. True Juan was younger than Stan but after winning the US Open he did not kick on and had a string of early slam exits.

This is all about context though. If you see one hot slam in ten as better than ten consistent slams then Juan would have been a legend without his injury and vice versa.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 1:11 pm

Craig - he was injured for the entire year after US09. How can you evidence he didn't kick on thereafter?

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 1:21 pm

That was not the injury that has kyboshed him. He came back after that and exiting largely in first week of slams, then had a string of QF's and early exit then semi but never reached another final or won a Masters - that is how I define not kicking on.
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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Calder106 on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 1:37 pm

Pretty sure that an injury free Del Potro would have been a permanent fixture in the top 10 and would have spent a lot of time in the top 5 mix. Unfortunately, although a very good player who I liked to watch, his game was based a lot on power and it appears that his body could not sustain it. Hope he can make some progress back to near the top again.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 3:59 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:That was not the injury that has kyboshed him. He came back after that and exiting largely in first week of slams, then had a string of QF's and early exit then semi but never reached another final or won a Masters - that is how I define not kicking on.

That relies on him having returned at the same level he was at before his first injury. The usual suggestion is it might take the same length of time as the injury to get back - so rule out 2011 (and two of those early exits were to Rafa and Novak in any event as he was unseeded!). I can see an argument he was at the same level in 2012-13 - possibly even better - but its impossible to be certain.

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Re: The Grass Season

Post by Guest on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 4:03 pm

Question: were there any similarities between Laura Robson's injury and Del Potro's injury?  

I think she had a power game that got her to a ranking of 27 when she was 19.  A few weeks after that ranking she had to pull out of a match in Aug 2013 due to a wrist injury.  She kept going (US Open) but her first match of 2014 (Hobert international) she had to pull out due to wrist injury - and that was effectively that.  She has returned to the circuit but currently she is not a patch on the level she was previously performing at.

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Re: The Grass Season

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