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Olympics

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 7:59 pm

First topic message reminder :

6-14 August
Perhaps in need of own thread.
Discuss build up and matches here.

Top of the billing with be Djokovic and Murray, and then Rafa who is currently scheduled to play, and planning to travel to Rio, but still not completely clear that he will play singles.

TRuffin copied this list from aother site and put it on the Toronto thread, I've added Federer, the rest is per July 23 post of Truffin. Edited August 2nd to add Wawrinka.

Out from top 10
#3 - Federer
#4 - Wawrinka
#7 - Raonic
#8 - Berdych
#9 - Thiem

Out from 11 - 20
#14 - Gasquet (also out of RC with injury)
#16 - Isner
#18 - Kyrgios
#19 - Tomic

Out from 21 - 30
#21 - F Lopez
#22 - Pouille
#29 - Querrey

Out from 31 - 40
#33 - Anderson
#35 - Karlovic
#37 - Dolgopolov
#38 - Chardy

I haven't heard about withdrawals on the women's side of the singles, but a lot of big names seem to be in.


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Re: Olympics

Post by break_in_the_fifth on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 2:57 am

Surprising that they have all been white nonetheless I disagree with your principles. I'm not for this affirmative action trying to have every race/group proportionally represented everywhere as an imperative as that to me goes against against the core values of a meritocracy.

I agree that it should have been either Ennis-Hill or Farah because they were better choices regardless of race or sex. I'm of the mind that tennis has no place in the olympics but even as it is accepted, it's not the pinnacle of the sport. Andy Murray is not what comes to mind when thinking of British Olympians. I'd be disappointed with their choice because there were far better available whose Olympic achievements were much greater and who won't get as many chances for that level of attention with athletics being smaller than tennis in general. I'd not be disappointed, however, on missing an opportunity to "break stereotypes" for the sake of being different.

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Re: Olympics

Post by lags72 on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 7:57 am

HB - thanks for posting this piece. It makes for an interesting read.

I was happy earlier in the thread to congratulate Andy on being given the honour of carrying the flag. My warm sentiment towards him still stands - but this article has definitely given food for thought.

(as an aside .... re Jessica Ennis-Hill being black or white .....I was thinking that she might be more accurately described as 'mixed race' ?? Or has that term itself already become politically incorrect ...??)

EDIT - have just seen your further comments bitf. Some good points there too, can't deny. These sort of decisions/selections are always fraught with controversy, are they not ....?!!

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Re: Olympics

Post by lydian on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 8:37 am

Agree race should have nothing to do with the games in any shape or form. We're all blinking humans, that's our race.

It was always going to be Andy given he won Wimb only a few weeks ago. But then I'm kind of "meh" anyway about flag-carrying...so what? We seem to micronise everything these days...everything done, every action, thought and utterance made by people in the public eye is made to carry SUCH importance and significance when in reality no one will remember who carried the flag 20 years from now.

In fact I don't give 2 hoots who carries the flag because the games for me aren't about GB vs USA or the blinking medal table...too much is made of the patriotism when really it should be just a celebration of human skill, endeavour and dedication irrespective of artificial boundaries put across rock by one species. The world is getting increasingly polarised through fevered focus on race, religion and patriotism...all seemingly more divisive factors these days than ever before. We seem to be going backwards due to focus on these factors and yes Brexit and the rise of far right parties is an extension of this. So it's "no thanks" for me when it comes to the flag bearers and wavers, followed by artificial spotlight interest in a guy who's a medal prospect at clay shooting just because he's British. What do I have more in common with him than a guy from Thailand...that I was born a bit nearer? So I don't care if it's Murray, Ennis or Farah...the games isn't and shouldn't be about countries, it should be about individuals, breaking down boundaries and rejoicing in the power of human spirit.

Needless to say I'll just be enjoying the highest levels of sporting brilliance across many big events from whatever country or colour they are. What people tend to remember down the years is who won many of the big marquee events...track, field, in the pool and gymnastics, etc...the people who won multiple medals, broke records, won against all the odds. Not where they came from or their colour.

However, speaking of tennis...I do heart Olympic table tennis Smile
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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 2:53 pm

Sorry but why have I never heard so much (not just here but more in general) about who else should have done the flag-bearer job? I cannot recall it ever being discussed in such depth before so why now? Murray has just as much right to that honour as anyone else in the team being that he is an Olympic champion. And why should race even come into it? I know Wilf O'Reilly from ethnic minorities in the past has acted as flag bearer so it is not a race matter and in any case why is the old race card just being used now in particular?


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Re: Olympics

Post by sportslover on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 5:25 pm

See Rafa was carrying the Spanish Flag - Take it the wrist must be better!

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Re: Olympics

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:45 pm

I agree with affirmative action in cases where the two candidates are essentially equal or very, very close to - but not in cases where one candidate is clearly better than the other. People of minority race, female sex etc have likely faced some form of prejudice to a greater or lesser extent, so it is slightly more impressive for them to achieve the same things in life as people that are born with all the privileges.

In that context, you might have argued for Jessica Ennis-Hill rather than Murray due to being just as good as Murray anyway, but perhaps not Nicholas Adams who doesn't have the same kind of profile.

I do wonder if carrying the flag is a boost for Murray's hopes to win another SPOTY. It might be difficult for him to win SPOTY again however; the chances are someone will do something spectacular at the Olympics. However if no-one wins multiple golds then Murray could still emerge as the front runner after the Olympics. He also has a good chance of winning the US open, with Federer out and Nadal not likely to win it, he has to be the second favourite.

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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:02 pm

Why have I never heard this debate about flag-bearer before? In my lifetime I can NEVER recall such a fuss over who carries the flag. Whoever is in the team is entitled to the task so why is Murray's appointment irritating people?
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Re: Olympics

Post by sportslover on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 7:23 pm

If it had been 1 Masters title and no Slam finals "Timmy" carrying it then Bill would have been happy Laugh

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:43 am

Two great tennis matches on at the moment. Del Potro takes the first set against Novak. I can't see him maintaining this for 3 sets but it's a brutal match so far. 

On the other court the Murray's are up against Sa/Bellucci. The Brazilian pair took the first on a tiebreak but Andy/Jamie a break up in the second. Very tense.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:44 am

Andy broken from 40-0 up and it's suddenly back on serve.

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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 2:43 am

sportslover wrote:If it had been 1 Masters title and no Slam finals "Timmy" carrying it then Bill would have been happy Laugh

My point is that it should not matter what status the sportsman/woman has. If the flag-bearer is in the team and competing in the Olympics then that is all that should matter at all. I just would love to know why their should be any questioning at all of Murray being chosen being that he is in the GB team after all.
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Re: Olympics

Post by laverfan on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 2:58 am

Del Potro beats Djokovic in two TB sets 7-6(4), 7-6(2).

Good win for DelPo. clap

Djokovic. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Olympics

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:05 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Why have I never heard this debate about flag-bearer before? In my lifetime I can NEVER recall such a fuss over who carries the flag. Whoever is in the team is entitled to the task so why is Murray's appointment irritating people?

Your implication that a topic should not be discussed now because it has not been discussed on a previous occasion is not sensible.

Your implication that there should never be any debate about the merits of anyone as flag bearer is also not sensible, it is a valid discussion point.

Your are just showing an over sensitivity to any criticism of your favourite player. Either accept that your favourite player will be criticized, or stay off the internet.

It is possible that you have a suspicion that I am just anti-Murray and looking to have a dig at him? If so, then you're wrong but what is the point of arguing about it? How can you prove it one way or the other?

I am not really criticizing Murray anyway, so I didn't word that very well. I think he was a good choice. I just think there was at least one better choice available.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:07 am

Tuned into the second set after hearing the first set score. Del Potro playing well rather than Djokovic poorly I felt. However Djokovic relies on a certain level of consistency, which wasn't there today.

However his serve, forehand and game in general looks in fair shape if he can be more consistent, however he is under some pressure now perhaps heading into the US Open.

However Djokovic looks set to join Federer as having the Olympics singles gold perhaps forever missing from his trophy cabinet.

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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:27 am

Henman Bill wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Why have I never heard this debate about flag-bearer before? In my lifetime I can NEVER recall such a fuss over who carries the flag. Whoever is in the team is entitled to the task so why is Murray's appointment irritating people?

Your implication that a topic should not be discussed now because it has not been discussed on a previous occasion is not sensible.

Your implication that there should never be any debate about the merits of anyone as flag bearer is also not sensible, it is a valid discussion point.

Your are just showing an over sensitivity to any criticism of your favourite player. Either accept that your favourite player will be criticized, or stay off the internet.

It is possible that you have a suspicion that I am just anti-Murray and looking to have a dig at him? If so, then you're wrong but what is the point of arguing about it? How can you prove it one way or the other?

I am not really criticizing Murray anyway, so I didn't word that very well. I think he was a good choice. I just think there was at least one better choice available.

You seem to think my comments are directed at your posts- they aren't. Sorry if you got that gist but now that you have said it what do you mean by 'better choice available'? The choice of flag-bearer is not one done on who a better choice is but more a random selection. Do you know a random British winter Olympian Mike Dixon carried the flag three times though never got into the top twenty of his event? Evidence right there that the job is not given on a 'better choice' basis - just a random selection. My beef is that such a gnashing of teeth not so much on here (as I said originally) but elsewhere, has been displayed. A gnashing of teeth that I have never seen in my lifetime over the role of who was chosen as flag-bearer.


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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:49 am

Anyway to the tennis. Been working around the time the tennis is on so it is hard to judge. Going on scoreline a routine win for Murray but disappointing exit with Jamie in the doubles. Surprised to see Del Potto beat Djokovic and a solid win for Rafa.


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Re: Olympics

Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 6:20 am

heart heart Hug Hug rose rose clap clap

Love ya Delpo !!!!

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Re: Olympics

Post by timex please on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 8:45 am

Very good to see Delpo win a big match once again, but I didn't like to see Djokovic exit in tears.

While I agree with Lydian, JHM et al that Olympic tennis is not in the same category as slams, the WTF or maybe even masters purely because of the limit of competitors per country entered thereby knocking out many highly ranked players.   I have seen the WTF disregarded by some on these boards, but actually the achievement of reaching the top eight year after year and competing for a title solely among the in form players of that year makes it a pretty special event.

However, an Olympic medal is an Olympic medal and for many of the players , loving all sports, representing one's country is a hugely important moment of a career.  I think this is sometimes especially so for athletes whose countries are not fielding stars on the athletics fields or in other more traditional Olympic sports.  How special for Serbia would it have been for Djokovic to win gold - how special was it for Argentina for Delpo to win bronze in London, and while silver might have disappointed Fed, it was a significant boost for Switzerland's medal table.

Re the flag - While it would also have been great to see Ennis-Hill or Farrah carrying it, and I agree that in many ways, despite being a tennis nerd, I would have preferred to see a field athlete bearing it (because of the point made that this is the pinnacle of their sport), I think Murray was a great choice (as would other athletes from Scotland or Northern Ireland have been) presenting a united Great Britain and NI in the wake of the Brexit vote - let's hope it presages we will all stay together!

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Re: Olympics

Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 8:54 am


While I agree with Lydian, JHM et al that Olympic tennis is not in the same category as slams

Novak said it was the biggest disappointment in his career.. so I don't think he would agree with you there

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:02 am

Yeah he was in tears as he left the court. Gutted for him but DP did play really well. Very unfortunate to draw him first round.

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Re: Olympics

Post by timex please on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:14 am

I have to beg to disagree with you Haddie - I think there are two separate issues:

1) It may well have been the biggest disappointment of Djokovic's career because it may have been his last chance to win the one that eluded him - he hasn't been disappointed in his other quests.  Had he been so, maybe it wouldn't have been the biggest e.g. failing to land a Roland Garros or a Wimbledon may have been.

2) I believe a 128 draw, best of five for each round is the biggest test we have for men's tennis, and therefore we will evaluate these guys' careers primarily on their success in those blue riband events.

Anyway, very disappointing for him  - he is obviously a great patriot and this will have hurt badly.  I remember how delighted he was to win the bronze in Bejing for Serbia.

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Re: Olympics

Post by barrystar on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 12:25 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:
While I agree with Lydian, JHM et al that Olympic tennis is not in the same category as slams

Novak said it was the biggest disappointment in his career.. so I don't think he would agree with you there

I don't really think this can be construed as Djokovic elevating the Olympics to anything like a slam level.  Scroll forward in a counter-factual world were Djoko never won the French and never won the Olympics - which would he consider to be the biggest hole in his CV?  It's easy - the real point is that losing in a slam does not have the same sense of finality as losing in the Olympics because for a slam there's always the next slam or the next year's running for the particular slam.  This loss in the Olympics means he knows he'll never win it - you can't bottle up that sense of finality with your disappointment at losing a match in a slam, so it's more about scarcity than intrinsic value of the event.
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Re: Olympics

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:15 pm

Murray gets Troicki in 1st round Nadal gets Del Bonis and Djokovic gets Del Potro, definitely a 'fair draw'.

Olympics is all about the Track and Field/Swimming lets be honest.
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Re: Olympics

Post by lydian on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:25 pm

Agree its a fair draw actually...Troicki isn't anything special, good solid ranking but never wins anything big under pressure. Same as Delbonis...both ranked 30s/40s...similar ATP titles. Delpo surprised everyone, no-one expected that at all. He's lowly ranked, no BH, hasn't been winning events since returning, or even getting to finals. Djokovic just wasn't his usual imperious self...hasn't been since RG really. 80%+ Novak would win that yesterday. Suspect he still needs time out to regain his top form.

Agree Novak's disappointment is in knowing he's probably not destined to win OG now. Still...they are calling Federer GOAT in many circles and he never won OG singles either...so I don't think its going to determine the level by which his whole career is judged. Most people see it as a stand along event that is a "nice" to have, not an essential. JMDP had nothing to lose also...and when that FH is on there is no bigger weapon in tennis.

Similar to Wimb with Djokovic out, Rio'16 feels like Murray's to lose now - plus he really likes slow HCs having made 5 finals out of 7 AO's...losing 4 times to Djokovic!

Nadal made good progress in R1 - winning singles and doubles matches in straights. But I'm worried the heavily doubles/mixed/singles schedule is going to make his wrist bad again...
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Re: Olympics

Post by laverfan on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:45 pm

timex please wrote:Very good to see Delpo win a big match once again, but I didn't like to see Djokovic exit in tears.

Have I not 'seen' you before? chin


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Re: Olympics

Post by lydian on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:57 pm

Also...Djokovic is not good at handling BH slice...never was particularly due to extreme grips. With JMDP playing many more slices than before this may well have been an additive factor in the match and one which he may wish to use more when playing Djokovic in future too.

Slice is also an underused shot on tour right now. Played well its an aggressive shot that will stay low on any court. Even Agassi used it to great effect in the 90s. Its not like current guys are coming into net to routinely pick off poor slice shots anyway. I hope JMDP using this shot more signals its benefit and a return to greater variety in groundstrokes. It would also indirectly promote more use of SHBH...
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Re: Olympics

Post by dummy_half on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:11 pm

lydian wrote:Also...Djokovic is not good at handling BH slice...never was particularly due to extreme grips. With JMDP playing many more slices than before this may well have been an additive factor in the match and one which he may wish to use more when playing Djokovic in future too.

Slice is also an underused shot on tour right now. Played well its an aggressive shot that will stay low on any court. Even Agassi used it to great effect in the 90s. Its not like current guys are coming into net to routinely pick off poor slice shots anyway. I hope JMDP using this shot more signals its benefit and a return to greater variety in groundstrokes. It would also indirectly promote more use of SHBH...

And yet he seems to cope with Murray, who has one of the better sliced backhands on the tour. Haven't watched much of Del P since his comeback, but is he slicing mainly down the line, so wide to Djoko's forehand? Murray certainly tends to slice towards the backhand corner.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:42 pm

He primarily sliced into Novak's backhand. Novak didn't have any difficulty dealing with the slice. Indeed, DP was hitting over a lot more backhands than usual since his comeback - albeit not with much power. He basically kept himself in the rally on the backhand. 

It was DP's brutish forehand which did all the damage, combined with some odd errors from Novak.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 3:51 pm

I don't really agree that these courts suit Andy. Australian is a medium paced hard court where he can generate sufficient pace to hit through most players. This reminds me more of the slow high bouncing conditions at Indian Wells, which is easily his worst hard court Masters event. Conditions therefore look absolutely ideal for Rafa, obviously depending how the wrist holds up.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 4:06 pm

barrystar wrote:
Haddie-nuff wrote:
While I agree with Lydian, JHM et al that Olympic tennis is not in the same category as slams

Novak said it was the biggest disappointment in his career.. so I don't think he would agree with you there

I don't really think this can be construed as Djokovic elevating the Olympics to anything like a slam level.  Scroll forward in a counter-factual world were Djoko never won the French and never won the Olympics - which would he consider to be the biggest hole in his CV?  It's easy - the real point is that losing in a slam does not have the same sense of finality as losing in the Olympics because for a slam there's always the next slam or the next year's running for the particular slam.  This loss in the Olympics means he knows he'll never win it - you can't bottle up that sense of finality with your disappointment at losing a match in a slam, so it's more about scarcity than intrinsic value of the event.

Then we agree, as always, to disagree.... when Novak, prior to this year wanted, no longed, to win the FO he didn't cry when he lost the final to Wawrinka...Smile I rather think you do not give credit to these players who earnestly want to win a gold medal .. maybe it is the only thing he hasn't got, but I wager he would have given anything to win it.

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Re: Olympics

Post by timex please on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 4:09 pm

laverfan wrote: Have I not 'seen' you before? chin


Hello LF Very Happy   Haven't posted for ages because of one thing and another and couldn't sign on under plain TP any longer -seems I had been de enrolled!

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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 4:52 pm

Kyle Edmund has lost in the Second Round to Taro Daniel in straight sets.
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Re: Olympics

Post by break_in_the_fifth on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 5:06 pm

Surprised to see Djokovic out. It does now seem like it was not meant to be. There's no way some random title that comes along once every 4 years should factor in anyway in a player's greatness. I don't even imagine it should be a tie breaker were 2 players of equal resume, that's how much it doesn't matter to me.

I still think this privilege thing is a bit of a myth. It might still be a bit easier to fit in in places if you're white but it's no major obstacle to any success you'd hope to achieve. In the long run, all this artificial elevation of minorities in general is going to do more harm than good. As far as tennis itself goes I can imagine that it may be more difficult to make it as a minority as the organisations in charge are outdated in most ways but it is hard to tell as they have been so useless at producing anything.

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Re: Olympics

Post by break_in_the_fifth on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 5:16 pm

If two people of equal calibre and same or different backgrounds are available to be chosen then literally flip a coin in front of them and everyone else to decide.

I have no problem with Murray being flag bearer as though I think there were better choices more related to the olympics, he's done a whole lot for British sport.

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Re: Olympics

Post by laverfan on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 5:28 pm

timex please wrote:
laverfan wrote: Have I not 'seen' you before? chin


Hello LF Very Happy   Haven't posted for ages because of one thing and another and couldn't sign on under plain TP any longer -seems I had been de enrolled!

Glad to have you back, TP. Hug

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Re: Olympics

Post by laverfan on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 5:31 pm

Born Slippy wrote: It was DP's brutish forehand which did all the damage, combined with some odd errors from Novak.

In the second set TB, DelPo went behind Djokovic, with his brutish FH, and when Djokovic covered his BH, the DelPo CC FH was eliciting weak returns, that DelPo hammered. Djokovic looked disinterested in the match.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Guest on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 8:29 pm

JMDP is through, are he & Murray on opposite sides of the draw?

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:50 pm

Yeah, JMDP, having beaten Novak, is at the very top of the draw. Murray, as second seed, is at the bottom. 

Tsonga out - apparently picked up an injury in losing to Muller. JMDP therefore has to beat Taro Daniel and then Bautista-Agut or Muller to make the SF. Would expect him to make that, although Losing a set 6-1 today isn't overly promising.

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Re: Olympics

Post by lags72 on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 3:31 am

laverfan wrote:

..........................................................

.............................................

Djokovic looked disinterested in the match.

Is that really the case ....?? Seems very strange if true.

You have to wonder why he would bother travelling all the way to Rio if he wasn't interested.

I have only seen brief edited highlights of the match so can't comment meaningfully on your assessment of his attitude. Although ....... those highlights did include a shot of him leaving the court in tears - which would be an odd reaction from someone who was "disinterested" ......... chin

(All that said, it wouldn't actually bother me if tennis was removed as an Olympics event anyway ......)

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 6:48 am

I didn't see any sign Djokovic was disinterested. If anything, I thought he looked nervous - it was a massive match for him.

It was a terrific match to watch, with an incredible atmosphere. Showed just why the Olympics is such a huge event for the players.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 10:44 am

Suggestions that Novak has pulled out of Cincy, although I haven't seen anything official yet.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 12:16 pm

laverfan wrote:
Born Slippy wrote: It was DP's brutish forehand which did all the damage, combined with some odd errors from Novak.

In the second set TB, DelPo went behind Djokovic, with his brutish FH, and when Djokovic covered his BH, the DelPo CC FH was eliciting weak returns, that DelPo hammered. Djokovic looked disinterested in the match.

How ludicrous, why go to compete if you are disinterested (risking Zika virus) and even more why cry when you lose... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Olympics

Post by lydian on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 3:06 pm

dummy_half wrote:
lydian wrote:Also...Djokovic is not good at handling BH slice...never was particularly due to extreme grips. With JMDP playing many more slices than before this may well have been an additive factor in the match and one which he may wish to use more when playing Djokovic in future too.

Slice is also an underused shot on tour right now. Played well its an aggressive shot that will stay low on any court. Even Agassi used it to great effect in the 90s. Its not like current guys are coming into net to routinely pick off poor slice shots anyway. I hope JMDP using this shot more signals its benefit and a return to greater variety in groundstrokes. It would also indirectly promote more use of SHBH...

And yet he seems to cope with Murray, who has one of the better sliced backhands on the tour. Haven't watched much of Del P since his comeback, but is he slicing mainly down the line, so wide to Djoko's forehand? Murray certainly tends to slice towards the backhand corner.

Murray has a decent slice (although it's not that aggressive re: RPM) but he doesn't actually use it much against Novak or anyone else. Delpo has been slicing to both corners...agree lesser so yesterday but still more than Novak's used to and it broke up the rhythm which Novak feeds off. To be fair he's developed (necessity is the mother of invention) into a pretty good shot which gives opponents an intriguing mix when facing him...slow one side, sledgehammer the other! It's not actually easy to play against. Let's not forget using mainly slice got Graf 22 slams! It can be effective still...
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Re: Olympics

Post by lydian on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 3:26 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I don't really agree that these courts suit Andy. Australian is a medium paced hard court where he can generate sufficient pace to hit through most players. This reminds me more of the slow high bouncing conditions at Indian Wells, which is easily his worst hard court Masters event. Conditions therefore look absolutely ideal for Rafa, obviously depending how the wrist holds up.
We could get into semantics here given IW and AO both use plexipave surfacing...albeit IW has more sand as we all know. Murray won Rome this year, and has done well on clay for a while now so he's no slouch on slow surfaces having trained on them since age of 14/15. My point isn't about what suits him best just that he's the clear favourite here now...he likes HCs (of any speed) and is the runaway #2 ranked player and in form. He is the outstanding favourite now...Nadal cannot be expected to win after so long away and little prep before coming. I think even Murray himself wouldn't deny he's the clear favourite.
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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:21 pm

lydian wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:I don't really agree that these courts suit Andy. Australian is a medium paced hard court where he can generate sufficient pace to hit through most players. This reminds me more of the slow high bouncing conditions at Indian Wells, which is easily his worst hard court Masters event. Conditions therefore look absolutely ideal for Rafa, obviously depending how the wrist holds up.
We could get into semantics here given IW and AO both use plexipave surfacing...albeit IW has more sand as we all know. Murray won Rome this year, and has done well on clay for a while now so he's no slouch on slow surfaces having trained on them since age of 14/15. My point isn't about what suits him best just that he's the clear favourite here now...he likes HCs (of any speed) and is the runaway #2 ranked player and in form. He is the outstanding favourite now...Nadal cannot be expected to win after so long away and little prep before coming. I think even Murray himself wouldn't deny he's the clear favourite.

I agree lydian. Given that Murray has reached every slam final this year and won the last plus being top ranked played left and reigning champion then I cannot see anyway Murray is not hot favourite.
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Re: Olympics

Post by banbrotam on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:25 pm

Josiah Maiestas wrote:Murray gets Troicki in 1st round Nadal gets Del Bonis and Djokovic gets Del Potro, definitely a 'fair draw'.

Olympics is all about the Track and Field/Swimming lets be honest.


Currently, Troicki is ranked highest of those three and all could be first round opponents in a slam.

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Re: Olympics

Post by banbrotam on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 6:04 pm

timex please wrote:While I agree with Lydian, JHM et al that Olympic tennis is not in the same category as slams, the WTF or maybe even masters purely because of the limit of competitors per country entered thereby knocking out many highly ranked players.   I have seen the WTF disregarded by some on these boards, but actually the achievement of reaching the top eight year after year and competing for a title solely among the in form players of that year makes it a pretty special event


The WTF has never, even when Mac and Connors were winning it, seen as a big win. That is, significantly, except to tennis geeks like us. I mean do casual sports fans remember Del Potro's slam or Davydenko's WTF win of 2009 - I think we all know the answer!!) To me it's a daft event, that merely punishes the players for been consistent in asking them to play an extra week when the others are off topping up their tans. I was delighted that Murray paid it lip service last year - ranking the Davis Cup above it

Again, as stated before, I don't see this need to rank The Olympics, but if we're going to do - let's have a proper think about the event and what it means to the players and why. It's a unique once every few year event, that should be separated from the Slams

As Justin Rose said, golf have their majors, Ryder Cup and now Olympics - having at least one of all three, would look good on his mantelpiece as he put it

So, given that it's so rarely played and given the prize, it clearly now ranks up with the slams to players like Novak. It's daft to argue otherwise - the evidence is all there.

Also if the Big 4 think it's very important to their careers and all alter their schedules then who are we to argue (I mean if Masters are higher ranked, then why wasn't Murray at arguably his favourite one or Novak concentrating on winning Cincy  - where he would then have won them all? )

Novak's reaction was that of someone foiled in getting something they dearly coveted and realising that was their last chance. Would he have taken that of the upcoming US Open? Definitely IMO. Would he have taken the French or The Olympics - I'd say the former, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter

I think we forget, that patriotism not only drives these players - but makes them what they are. We all titter to ourselves about some patriotic neighbour who drapes their house in the St George flag, when England are at tournies (to be ripped down after three matches  Very Happy ) as patriotism is seen as a bit of a dirty word in this country.

But not for Serbia, it isn't - not when your nation has only ever won one gold. Novak would have then had done everything and would be bigger than Sachin Tendulkar is in India. That's how important it is

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Re: Olympics

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 6:13 pm

Murray demolishes Monaco is straight sets winning 6-3 6-1 whilst Ferrer crashes out to Dolstoy.
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Re: Olympics

Post by timex please on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 6:26 pm

banbrotam wrote:But not for Serbia, it isn't - not when your nation has only ever won one gold. Novak would have then had done everything and would be bigger than Sachin Tendulkar is in India. That's how important it is

I know I ramble on and off the subject and people get bored,  but I think I said this, didn't I?  And that it was the one that eluded him hence the tears.  Also recognised that it would have great significance for countries like Argentina and Switzerland because they are not fielding tons of track and field/gymnastic/swimming superstars.

I am not even going to try and presume to second guess whether the top players put more emphasis on the Olympics than the WTF - I think they are completely different and the Olympics is a sporting event all on its own with completely different emotions and it often is a once in a sporting lifetime event.  One is a major aim annually, one a major aim every four years.

However, I did make a separate point which was although the WTF has frequently been dismissed on here it is an indicator of excellence over a sporting year just to get there and so might (my operative word) be a more effective measure of a player's impact on the sport if you look at the awards historically -  I really don't have a clue if the players don't rate it - though that seems a bit careless at zillions of prize money and zillions of ranking points.  It only really seems to have been Rafa who has been a bit 'meh' though doesn't it - and I guess he can afford to be.  
The players  might all well love being part of the Olympics a whole lot more - I think the whole carnival atmosphere and being part of a much bigger sporting picture must be very special.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Henman Bill on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:24 pm

Curious that Novak is skipping Cincinatti after early exits in both singles and doubles.

That could suggest he planned to skip it all along, but had originally planned to go deeper at the Olympics and then pull out at the last minute, when he had a better excuse. But now that he's surprisingly lost earlier, maybe he has other plans already made.

It could alternatively suggest he is carrying an injury or has some sort of physical issue at least. Otherwise you would think, with only two sets of singles played here, he would be fresh enough to play it and value the match practice ahead of the US Open over the rest.

The other thing I'm wondering now is whether Djoko might give Davis Cup a higher priority next year. After failing to win medals for his country again, he could feel a need to do more for his country again.

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Re: Olympics

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