Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

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Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by YvonneT on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 3:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

Week 2 tournaments:
ATP 500 Queen's
ATP 500 Halle
WTA Premier Birmingham
WTA International Mallorca

Week 3 tournaments:
ATP 250 Nottingham
WTA Premier Eastbourne

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:52 pm

Fair to say that Milos has been a bit unlucky with injuries so far in his career and has probably underachieved as a result. He's got to be a good shout for the next new slam winner. I'm not a particular fan of big servers, but a one-dimensional servebot in the Karlovic mould he definitely ain't. Will be interesting to see what impact McEnroe will have.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by lags72 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:53 pm

banbrotam wrote:If Andy and Novak along with Agassi plus Connors are not two of the greatest returners ever, then I'd like to know who is

Still think Murray will lose this though

Really ..... ??

I think he's gradually getting the edge .......

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:55 pm

Wow, the momentum has really shifted now and Andy is a break up. The match deserves a deciding set. It's been cracking quality.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:56 pm

Murray played one little mind game there by challenging a clear ace well within the line. Then Raonic missed the first serve and Murray got the second break on the second serve.

Such a shame that Murray's mind sometimes goes a wondering when he is vulnerable to being broken himself.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 3:58 pm

Andy giving his inside out forehand some welly. Good to see.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:00 pm

Murray has undergone an inertial change and Raonic hasn't been able to speed up his game to match.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:01 pm

lags72 wrote:
banbrotam wrote:If Andy and Novak along with Agassi plus Connors are not two of the greatest returners ever, then I'd like to know who is

Still think Murray will lose this though

Really ..... ??

I think he's gradually getting the edge .......


I did state that after forgetting about the deteriorating weather, which negates the big serve on this surface

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:04 pm

LuvSports! wrote:Rao in charge, playing v well.

Hey LS, I know you're not a big fan of the retrieving, counter-punching style, but what do you make of Raonic's big serving, big hitting game? How's the new job going by the way?

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:06 pm

I tend to find dominant serving displays not great viewing, but the contrast of a great server versus a great returner can be very compelling indeed. Really enjoying this one.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:08 pm

Nore Staat wrote: I think Raonic with McEnroe might now be considered a contender for Grand Slam Semi-finals, finals and titles from this moment onwards.   Raonic is not serving superfast but he does serve accurately and has a great second serve.

The problem I have with players like Raonic, it's that they are so dependent on their serve that if it gets challenged in any way, suddenly the rest of their game unravels

Plus they are my least favourite players. Never understand why people get so excited about serving machines, yet the great returners of history never get the same kudos

I hope and pray Raonic doesn't dominate, if you compare his to the beautiful all round skills of Zverev, there really is no comparison

Then again what do I know, I was no fan of Sampras

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by laverfan on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:08 pm

Congratulations to Mayer for winning Halle. clap

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:09 pm

Who's your money on now? I'd make Andy slight favourite, but there's not a lot in it. Milos needs to regroup and get over the disappointment of surrendering the lead in set 2. If he drops serve early in the third, I can see Andy running away with it.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:12 pm

Raonic seems to be playing for time.  Slowing the game down. Fiddling with his trainers, fiddling with balls.


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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:13 pm

banbrotam wrote:
Nore Staat wrote: I think Raonic with McEnroe might now be considered a contender for Grand Slam Semi-finals, finals and titles from this moment onwards.   Raonic is not serving superfast but he does serve accurately and has a great second serve.

The problem I have with players like Raonic, it's that they are so dependent on their serve that if it gets challenged in any way, suddenly the rest of their game unravels

Plus they are my least favourite players. Never understand why people get so excited about serving machines, yet the great returners of history never get the same kudos

I hope and pray Raonic doesn't dominate, if you compare his to the beautiful all round skills of Zverev, there really is no comparison

Then again what do I know, I was no fan of Sampras

I think that's nonsense. Players that win predominantly on serve are rarely that popular, Sampras being a case in point. Great returners seem to get a lot of appreciation, at least nowadays. Big servers do leave me cold, so I agree with you on that.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:18 pm

Raonic having difficulty getting intensity into his play. He seems a touch languid.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:18 pm

Huge point that one. Having dug out the return, you just knew Murray wasn't going to miss. Incredible that he has now broken 3 out of 4 of Roanic's last service games. On grass, that must be unheard of for Milos.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:21 pm

As long as Murray maintains intensity and focus he should win this final set comfortably. Being a break up also helps.

Raonic seems such a calm and relaxed player, putting his energy into the point and his serve, but not wasting energy in between. However at the moment he is lacking intensity in the points - seems to be missing that explosive bite.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:24 pm

The pressure that Murray is able to exert on return has eventually told. Milos seemed to be coping well initially, but he's simply not used to playing so many balls and couldn't maintain the high level of set 1.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:27 pm

Aut0Gr4ph wrote:
banbrotam wrote:
Nore Staat wrote: I think Raonic with McEnroe might now be considered a contender for Grand Slam Semi-finals, finals and titles from this moment onwards.   Raonic is not serving superfast but he does serve accurately and has a great second serve.

The problem I have with players like Raonic, it's that they are so dependent on their serve that if it gets challenged in any way, suddenly the rest of their game unravels

Plus they are my least favourite players. Never understand why people get so excited about serving machines, yet the great returners of history never get the same kudos

I hope and pray Raonic doesn't dominate, if you compare his to the beautiful all round skills of Zverev, there really is no comparison

Then again what do I know, I was no fan of Sampras

I think that's nonsense. Players that win predominantly on serve are rarely that popular, Sampras being a case in point. Great returners seem to get a lot of appreciation, at least nowadays. Big servers do leave me cold, so I agree with you on that.


Bit aggressive, considering we largely agree. I'm not talking about us Tennis connoisseurs who know the difference between slice and spin  Rolling Eyes

What I mean is that there is more of an admiration for a match dominated by big serving than 'big' returning

Two classic cases,  both at Wimbledon

1) The Mahut / Isner borefest, that still gets talked about as though it was some legendary game. The reality is that it merely highlighted what poor returners these two were

2) The Murray / Novak, 2013 final, that got condemned at the time  - simply because there were more breaks than service holds (well it felt like it Very Happy ). Not once was there any admiration for simply how good those were at breaking the serve in what was fast conditions. Instead we had dozens of moans (and some were on these boards) at their inability to hold

I rarely hear anyone complain about a players inability to break serve

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:29 pm

Murray does seem to have got a better read also.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:31 pm

I think Raonic has to increase his fitness and to develop fast twitch muscles so that he can speed up his body movement to get that added explosive power. Not sure really. 6'1" seems to be the ideal height and size. 6'5" is getting on the "gangly side" - long levers - slower movements.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:36 pm

Sampras was a lot more popular than maybe you were being led to beleive

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:36 pm

Looks like Raonic has regained that intensity in his service game.   But Murray already has the break in the final set.

I think Raonic has refound his intensity in his play and both players are playing well.

As I say that Raonic puts in a weak first serve.

Nice volleying from Raonic (but Murray should have played passing shots rather than attempted lobs).

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:45 pm

Sorry, didn't mean to come across aggressive.

The Mahut Isner match is only legendary for it's length. I think few would argue it made riveting viewing or was of high quality. Ultimately, it was an exhibition of poor returning just as much as great serving.

I think the problem a lot of people have with Murray Djokovic is the lack of contrasting styles. I don't necessarily agree with that and enjoy the match-up, as along as it's reasonably competitive. Howevever, I can understand why some find it a bit samey.

I do agree that people often assume that multiple breaks in a match are a symptom of muggishness, rather than giving due credit to the returner.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:46 pm

Murray made it look easy in the end but up to midway in the second set it looked like a solid win for Roanic.

Well done Murray - he has made history - fifth Queens Tournament title.


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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:47 pm

temporary21 wrote:Sampras was a lot more popular than maybe you were being led to beleive

Led to believe by who? I'm old enough to remember for myself.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:49 pm

temporary21 wrote:Sampras was a lot more popular than maybe you were being led to beleive


Sampras was popular, because he won and that gains you admirers no matter what

Personally, I despaired over his dominance and marvel that Agassi managed to get a look in an era that was simply far too serve dominated

Yes, it's gone back far too much the other way - so it was good to see this and particularly Halle on fastish constions

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:53 pm

Aut0Gr4ph wrote:Sorry, didn't mean to come across aggressive.

The Mahut Isner match is only legendary for it's length. I think few would argue it made riveting viewing or was of high quality. Ultimately, it was an exhibition of poor returning just as much as great serving.

I think the problem a lot of people have with Murray Djokovic is the lack of contrasting styles. I don't necessarily agree with that and enjoy the match-up, as along as it's reasonably competitive. Howevever, I can understand why some find it a bit samey.

I do agree that people often assume that multiple breaks in a match are a symptom of muggishness, rather than giving due credit to the returner.


No probs. It's good to see an exhibition of genuine great returning. Since Agassi retired no-one other than Novak or perhaps Hewitt was getting back in that match

Very impressed with Murray, thought he looked washed out this week and a good omen for Wimby. I think he believes more at this slam than anything else and i do believe that if it's a warmish dry day in three weeks he would beat Novak. Assuming they meet, of course!!

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:59 pm

I'd say it was much than just he won a lot. People respected his professionalism as his extremely skilled game

When he came back in 09 he got a real proper ovation.



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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:59 pm

Murray is stringing together a good run of tennis. He had a great clay court season and now he has continued that form onto the grass. Has appeared in two grand slam finals this year. Some rest and then the theatre of Wimbledon.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 4:59 pm

In any case. Murray becomes the greatest queens champion

A great comeback win

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:02 pm

Not the first time Andy has dismantled a big server and won't be the last. Wonder what it is that makes Andy such an exceptional returner. Is it anticipation? Does he just pick the ball up better? Is it just great racquet skill? Perhaps a combination of all 3.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:05 pm

There's a difference between respect and popularity. I don't doubt that Sampras garners a great deal of respect for his achievements. However, think it's fair to say that he never captured the imagination of the tennis public.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:12 pm

People always seem to retroactively downgrade Pete though. It's a bit of s feedback loop, people see things as they want to.

No begrudging respect about it. They liked and respected him

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:21 pm

What makes you the authority Temp? Are you even old enough to remember the Sampras era first hand. Of course, it's just my perspective, but, given his incredible success, I don't think he was ever that popular. Compared to either Roger or Rafa, he's miles behind in the popularity stakes. Saying that is not downgrading his achievements. I don't know why you think I'm doing that or why you feel the need to normalise all opinions. Aren't people allowed to have likes and dislikes?

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Calder106 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:29 pm

Very good performance from Murray. Raonic playing at very high level until 3-0 in the second set and deserved his lead. Apart from the first game of set 2 Murray had done not much wrong. However then Murray seemed to turn on the after burners and Raonic was left in his wake. When Murray plays with that intensity and confidence he is very hard to beat.

To those who said that Raonic would probably have won their AO semi when he went 2-1 in sets up and suffered an injury it shows how quickly Murray can change a match round when he gets in the zone.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 5:42 pm

No need to get defensive jeez! I just remember him for the Agassi rivalry, and he was much more than just respected

Disagreeing with an opinion isn't thought policing. This new thing won't work if we get that sensitive for just a diffetence of opinion...

You don't have to play the age card eh, it's cool

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:06 pm

temporary21 wrote:No need to get defensive jeez! I just remember him for the Agassi rivalry, and he was much more than just respected

Disagreeing with an opinion isn't thought policing. This new thing won't work if we get that sensitive for just a diffetence of opinion...

You don't have to play the age card eh, it's cool


Have to say I'm with auto with this one. Samples was definitely more admired than seen as a demi God like Roger. Agassi was also more popular, simply because you couldn't fail to fall in love with Agassi's all action life. Rafa too is seen as more passionate 

However, I've still got great respect and admiration for pistol, but pleased that his type of game has never dominated since

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:14 pm

Agreed. But that's relative popularity. The impression of How liked he was has been dulled over the corse of time IMO. People forget because of what came after

It's why I never liked goat debate actually. we end up sort of forgetting or discarding past guys


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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:16 pm

That's a good case in point. People seem to remember him as that creaky old serve and volleyer who used mostly his serve. He was a lot more than that wheb he was young though

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by lags72 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:46 pm

We don't end up "forgetting or discarding past guys". The reality is that we remember them very well.

Bjorn Borg dates back a lot further than Sampras, but in no way is he forgotten or discarded. Not remotely.

But Borg was exciting (not just to giddy teenaged girls ....) and captured the imagination of tennis enthusiasts - and the wider public too. He was a massive star ; without even trying to be one.

Pete Sampras, by contrast, was accorded huge respect & credit for his achievements and unquestioned talent. He did things nobody else could match on his day. But few would say he was a popular sporting hero in the general sense.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by dummy_half on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:57 pm

Aut0Gr4ph wrote:Not the first time Andy has dismantled a big server and won't be the last. Wonder what it is that makes Andy such an exceptional returner. Is it anticipation? Does he just pick the ball up better? Is it just great racquet skill? Perhaps a combination of all 3.

I suspect it's a combination of the first and third - he picks the clues in the service action so that he's moving the right way even before the serve is hit (at least a lot of the time), and then he's extremely good at adjusting the racquet face onto the ball, especially when he plays backhands from tight in to his body. I don't think there's actually enough time to pick up the ball after impact to play purely reactively.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 6:59 pm

Probably depends on Geography as well.  Pete Sandpit will be remembered strongly in the US - he was their last great male tennis player.  Like Andy Murray - in Britain Andy Murray will never be forgotten - there will be statues of him in Trafalgar Square & in Edinburgh.  He will have buildings named after him.  However in the continent or in the Americas they will probably say Andy Moora - c'est quoi ca?

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by barrystar on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:09 pm

@dh - I think you are right about Murray, which also explains why Federer is still match for him in fast hot conditions, Federer's serve is particularly difficult to read.

As for Sampras, my take is that he was hugely respected and liked for his sporting conduct and extraordinary skill - I think his demolition of Agassi in 1999 was a very big moment for the crowd's view of him, it had people gasping for breath at his mastery (like McEnroe v. Connors in 1984).  I don't think the crowd ever took him to their hearts like Borg, Agassi, and Fedal.
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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by summerblues on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:29 pm

Relative to his level of success, Sampras was certainly not all that popular in the USA (which is even more interesting given that he is an American).  But hard to tell whether it is because of his game style, his personality, or maybe just bad luck of having played during a period of decline in the popularity of tennis (but then again, tennis itself may have become less popular because of the game style played in the 1990s).

Late 1970s to mid 1980s were without a doubt the most popular era for tennis in the US.  Since then, it has largely been a slow downward slide.  I suspect that even Federer and Nadal, for all their worldwide popularity, at best arrested that overall decline.

Some of it is due to the fact that no Americans are doing well, but the fact that tennis was declining already during the era when Americans were extremely successful with Sampras/Agassi/Chang/Courier suggests it is more than that.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:31 pm

The 2001 is open quarter final though is very well remembered. Like Fedal both guys were adored a d given a standing ovation in that match.

I guess people don't romanticise him quite like they do with the others. A lot of that has to do with his relationship with the press. He never really cared for any attention. He never really became a heartthrob or press favourite or media darling because that's exactky how he wanted it

Media coverage has a lot to do with bigging up those guys and making them popular. Sampras deliberately never let it happen. Some people saw that as boring

I think people do indeed give him real props for that though

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:34 pm

temporary21 wrote:No need to get defensive jeez! I just remember him for the Agassi rivalry, and he was much more than just respected

Disagreeing with an opinion isn't thought policing. This new thing won't work if we get that sensitive for just a diffetence of opinion...

You don't have to play the age card eh, it's cool

We're only disagreeing with each other. I really don't see the problem. I don't think I'm being defensive. Just expressing an opinion.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by summerblues on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:39 pm

Just came across this opinion as to why tennis is no longer as popular in the US as it used to be.  I do not know I agree with all of it, but I think it is a reasonable summary:

http://www.sportingnews.com/other-sports/news/why-isnt-tennis-as-popular-as-it-was-in-the-70s-80s-and-90s/e8du281iaaen1kexw0stfyqqz

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Aut0Gr4ph on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 8:33 pm

Thanks SB. An interesting read.

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Re: Queens, Halle and pre-Wimbledon Tournaments

Post by Guest on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 9:17 pm

W - Is it a two horse race or still just a one horse race?

Sadly, I see no other runners.

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