Australian Open - Day Six

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 6:19

Day six sees the lower half of the draw play their third round matches.

Rafael Nadal V Alex Zverev - Perhaps match of the day. How good is Zverev and at what level is Nadal back to? On those grounds I take Nadal to win in 4.

Dimitrov V Gasquet - I take Dimitrov to win in 4.

Wozniacki V Konta - Wozniacki in three.

Simon V Raonic - Raonic in 4.

Monfils V Kohlschreiber - Could depend on what Monfils turns up. Monfils in 5.
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Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jan - 19:21

Whoever wins between Rafa and Zverev I've been mightily impressed with Zverev.

Tall but moves well. Solid BH, can be explosive on the FH (but overall this is the wing that seems to breakdown most under pressure), good serve (should get better) and hits with good depth. Unfortunately doesn't come to the net and stands too far back on the baseline - but that seems to be standard fare for all the players over the last decade.

This guy is the potential multislam youngster that we've waiting for over a decade. Better than all the players of the lost generations since 2006 and the emergence of Novak.

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Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jan - 19:25

Having said all that, If Rafa were to play Andy in the final, I'd have to go for Andy in 3 or 4 sets. Based on what I've seen today.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:29

One thing is sure - the fire still burns bright within Rafa Nadal. He has battled and has been solid on most aspects of his game. Fifth set about to begin. As you say emancipator - Zverev has impressed and looks like a slam winner of the future.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:32

Elsewhere an impressive straight setswin for Konta. Marathon match going on between Bautista Agut and Ferrer. Istomin backs up his win over Novak with a five set win over Carreno Busa.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:50

Bautista Agut beats David Ferrer in four sets in a match lasting just over four hours.

Nadal and Zverev locked in a real scrap in the fifth set. Nadal breaks but Zverev breaks back to level.

Monfils wins the first set against Kohlschreiber whilst Raonic a set up as we go to a second set tie-break against Gilles Simon.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:54

Its Murray V Nalbandian at Wimbledon all over again as Zverev has begun cramping. Nadal threatening to break again.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:55

Nadal breaks to lead 3-2 - is the writing on the wall?
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Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jan - 19:57

Hard to see Zverev coming back now. Cramping and Rafa playing well.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:58

Raonic takes the second set tie-break and leads Simon 6-2 7-6.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 19:59

Nadal is like a shark that has smelt blood in the water now and holds to love to lead 4-2. Real shame as it was shaping up to be a classic but its great to see the old Rafa back.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:08

Nadal breaks again. Lots of guts from Zverev but looks like now way back for him.
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Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jan - 20:09

Best I've seen from Rafa in over 2 years.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:10

A long match this at already over four hours so it is no great surprise Zverev is cramping as it is probably the longest match (and tensest) he has ever played in. How will this four hour marathon affect Rafa for his next round match likely to be against Gael Monfils though?
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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 21 Jan - 20:13

Yeah, Rafa should make the final from here. Monfils is the only real threat to him in this half and he won't match this intensity. Great display from Zverev. Not quite there yet but all the tools, and importantly the temperament, to be a challenger. Rafa ends a run of three successive five set losses.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:14

Nadal wins 4-6 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-2 in 4 hours 6 minutes. Plaudits to Rafa who looks to be approaching being back to his best. Alex Zverev gets even more plaudits though. What a performance from him and I would be very surprised if he is not a future slam winner.
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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 21 Jan - 20:17

Konta is looking unstoppable at the moment. Yet to drop a set in any match this year. The possible QF against Serena could be very interesting.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:17

Born Slippy wrote:Yeah, Rafa should make the final from here. Monfils is the only real threat to him in this half and he won't match this intensity. Great display from Zverev. Not quite there yet but all the tools, and importantly the temperament, to be a challenger. Rafa ends a run of three successive five set losses.

Raonic will offer the biggest test for him but one thing counting in his favour is he is serving much better. Key to beating Raonic is serving well yourself and heaping pressure on him to hold serve and go for bigger serve - that is when the errors come from Milos.
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Post by lags72 on Sat 21 Jan - 20:19

CaledonianCraig wrote: .................

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

How will this four hour marathon affect Rafa for his next round match likely to be against Gael Monfils though?

My instinctive response is to say not in the slightest.

But perhaps that's no longer quite as true as it was in times past ...... chin

Re Zverev as future Slam winner : BBC radio tennis correspondent/commentary guy (Russell Fuller) is confident that he will also be a Number One.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 21 Jan - 20:22

As a side note, Dimitrov-Gasquet is the second night match. I doubt the ladies match will start before 9.30 Melbourne time (not quite sure how quick they can switch the day/night crowds). Could easily be a 2am or later finish. That could really hurt the winner.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 21 Jan - 20:27

Greg and Annabel having a serious debate about whether Rafa is the best volleyer on tour. Annabel says he has great technique and rarely ever misses. Greg says his grips are all wrong and only looks good as he has easy volleys. Was getting quite heated!

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:32

Born Slippy wrote:Greg and Annabel having a serious debate about whether Rafa is the best volleyer on tour. Annabel says he has great technique and rarely ever misses. Greg says his grips are all wrong and only looks good as he has easy volleys. Was getting quite heated!

Really hard to judge as Rafa so rarely comes to the net to hit a volley.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:41

Simon takes the third set against Raonic and they go into a fourth set.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 20:45

Monfils looks like he is heading to a straight sets win against Kohlschreiber.
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Post by lags72 on Sat 21 Jan - 20:47

Not surprised to hear it was getting heated. I've noticed (in recent days during AO coverage) that Greg seems to bite his tongue a lot when Annabel is opining on matters of technique etc, together with a look that says he doesn't always attach great value to her thoughts.

Despite what many others say, I personally don't have an issue with listening to either of them. Plus, different views (if within bounds of reason & common tennis sense of course) make for a more interesting debate.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 21:11

Monfils wins in straight sets. However, I always feel a mental implosion is just around the corner for him. I can't see him beating Rafa.

Raonic beats Simon in four sets in just over two and a half hours.
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Post by lags72 on Sat 21 Jan - 21:42

Full credit to Istomin for showing resilience & focus to come through in five against Carreno-Busta ; and thus eschewing the noble tradition of swift defeat in the round immediately following a giant-killer performance.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 21:54

lags72 wrote:Full credit to Istomin for showing resilience & focus to come through in five against Carreno-Busta ; and thus eschewing the noble tradition of swift defeat in the round immediately following a giant-killer performance.

Agreed.

Hopefully, he'll continue to fill his boots (so to speak) in Melbourne with much-needed ranking points to get his ranking back to where he once was. At present he is now back in the top 100 ranked No 92 (on the live rankings).
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 22:07

Born Slippy wrote:As a side note, Dimitrov-Gasquet is the second night match. I doubt the ladies match will start before 9.30 Melbourne time (not quite sure how quick they can switch the day/night crowds). Could easily be a 2am or later finish. That could really hurt the winner.

Dimitrov V Gasquet should start around 10.45pm if the current ladies match finishes in a straight sets win for Gavrilova. As for how it will affect them, well not as much as it could have as Istomin awaits the winner and he has just played back-to-back five set marathons.
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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 21 Jan - 22:39

Probably 11.15 if she wins in straights now. However, her opponent is about to serve for the second set. What's the latest they've ever started a match in Oz?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 22:46

Born Slippy wrote:Probably 11.15 if she wins in straights now. However, her opponent is about to serve for the second set. What's the latest they've ever started a match in Oz?

I'm not sure about the latest start butr do know they have finished as late as around 3.30am - I think it may have been Stan V Novak match a year or two ago.

Gasquet and Dimitrov will need to wait a little longer as Bacsinsky takes the set to level at one set all.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 23:12

I can only presume that either the stadium is not in a residential area or that Australia have different laws to the UK as Wimbledon has a certain time that night games have to be finished by due to noise levels. Obviously, that doesn't apply for the Australian Open.
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Post by lags72 on Sat 21 Jan - 23:13

CaledonianCraig wrote:

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

I'm not sure about the latest start butr do know they have finished as late as around 3.30am - I think it may have been Stan V Novak match a year or two ago.

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


I could be mistaken ..... but seem to think the Hewitt / Baghdatis marathon (around ten years or so ago .....?) finished much later than that. About breakfast time .... Very Happy

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 23:26

lags72 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:

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

I'm not sure about the latest start butr do know they have finished as late as around 3.30am - I think it may have been Stan V Novak match a year or two ago.

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


I could be mistaken ..... but seem to think the Hewitt / Baghdatis marathon (around ten years or so ago .....?) finished much later than that. About breakfast time .... Very Happy

You may be correct so tonight's match isn't going to break any records unless it is a marathon match.

EDIT: Hewitt v Baghdatis finished at 4.33 am.
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Post by slashermcguirk on Sat 21 Jan - 23:31

Rafa is a super volleyer, he doesn't go to the net much but when he does his volleying is amongh the very best. Greg Rusedski is so full of nonsense, then of course when asked who is the best he of course says Murray. The guy is so biased towards murray it is a joke.

Almost every time Murray plays a match including vs djokovic, Rusedski calls it for Murray. He can just never avoid bias towards. Never listen to a word that guys comes out with

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sat 21 Jan - 23:35

I cannot help finding myself supporting Istomin now (strange given he knocked out my favourite player). Great to see him back up the big win and reaching the last 16. Not sure how much energy he could possibly have left but adrenaline can do wonders. I just hope he can keep pushing on, every extra round is a bonus now

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 21 Jan - 23:41

slashermcguirk wrote:I cannot help finding myself supporting Istomin now (strange given he knocked out my favourite player). Great to see him back up the big win and reaching the last 16. Not sure how much energy he could possibly have left but adrenaline can do wonders. I just hope he can keep pushing on, every extra round is a bonus now

I hope he is resting up really well as he has just had two five set marathons back-to-back. He will play either Gasquet or Dimitrov. Key for him is how well he serves and how good is heavy groundstrokes are. If they are at a high enough level he is in with a good shout but the longer the match goes then the more his chances diminish.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 0:00

At midnight in Melbourne the Gasquet V Dimitrov match gets underway.
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Post by lags72 on Sun 22 Jan - 0:13

Dunno what sort of arrangements folk attending (without a car) have in place to get home.....

Whenever I've been to matches at Melbourne Park, I've had to keep a wary eye on last train times (which are reliable & efficient, but certainly not 24 hours, even during AO). I stay in the nearby suburb of Brighton - very pleasant indeed, I must say  Cool - and a taxi at 3am would be far from cheap.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 0:18

lags72 wrote:Dunno what sort of arrangements folk attending (without a car) have in place to get home.....

Whenever I've been to matches at Melbourne Park, I've had to keep a wary eye on last train times (which are reliable & efficient, but certainly not 24 hours, even during AO). I stay in the nearby suburb of Brighton - very pleasant indeed, I must say  Cool - and a taxi at 3am would be far from cheap.

Yes on Eurosport they referred to the last trains about to stop running.

Lengthy games to start here. Gasquet breaks to lead 2-1 with almost twenty minutes played.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 0:23

Dimitrov breaks straight back and it is 2-2 in the first set.
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Post by lags72 on Sun 22 Jan - 0:23

Could there be a better combination of match contestants for lovers of the art of the SHBH ....... Wink Wink

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 0:25

Dimitrov does seem to have rediscovered a bit of form. Good to see as he was shambolic V Murray at the US Open.
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Post by lags72 on Sun 22 Jan - 0:45

Some truly beautiful tennis to be enjoyed here.

Like a late night lock-in at your local pub, when the real fun begins to happen .......

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 0:46

lags72 wrote:Some truly beautiful tennis to be enjoyed here.

Like a late night lock-in at your local pub, when the real fun begins to happen .......

I just feel Dimitrov has more weapons in his armoury and will win through this.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 0:50

Dimitrov takes the first set 6-3 in 51 minutes.
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Post by theslosty on Sun 22 Jan - 1:02

slashermcguirk wrote:Rafa is a super volleyer, he doesn't go to the net much but when he does his volleying is amongh the very best. Greg Rusedski is so full of nonsense, then of course when asked who is the best he of course says Murray. The guy is so biased towards murray it is a joke.

Almost every time Murray plays a match including vs djokovic, Rusedski calls it for Murray. He can just never avoid bias towards. Never listen to a word that guys comes out with
Rafa has very soft hands and plays the drop volley very well but he doesn't really punch the hall through the air like the best volleyers do. Murray is also a good volleyer but I'm seriously struggling how anyone could not have Fed as the best volleyer on tour.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 1:22

Dimitrov a break up in the second. I see him winning 6-3 6-3 6-2.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 22 Jan - 2:07

Dimitrov wins beating Gasquet 6-3 6-2 6-4. He plays Denis Istomin in the fourth round.
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Post by lags72 on Sun 22 Jan - 3:55

Should be pretty straightforward for Dimitrov. I mean .....Istomin is only here by virtue of a WC, and ranked a distant 117.

Oh ........ wait a minute .......

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