Australian Open - Day Fourteen

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Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 3:39 pm

Federer vs Nadal and other matches on day 14.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by temporary21 on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 3:45 pm

Roger. 4 sets due to rafas long semi (hehe).
Or his leg and 5 setter hinder him. Then he's prolly toast

No one will be too worried about the result as everyone shows their appreciation for what could be their rivalry swansong

A 5 minute standing ovation for both

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 3:53 pm

temporary21 wrote:Roger. 4 sets due to rafas long semi (hehe).
Or his leg and 5 setter hinder him. Then he's prolly toast

No one will be too worried about the result as everyone shows their appreciation for what could be their rivalry swansong

A 5 minute standing ovation for both

Shades of the 2002 USO final between Pete and Andre where just before the end the crowd rose to both players. Although no one knew at the time, this was Pete's final match, but, of course, Andre went on to further triumphs.
One consequence of this year's AO is that Rafa and Rog are going to go up the rankings and the likes of Andy and Djoko won't have to meet them so early on in tournaments.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 3:54 pm

Tears....there will be tears.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by barrystar on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:05 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:Tears....there will be tears.

As a Fed fan who expects Fed to lose in a similar fashion to the way he always does (damn damn), the possibility that Fed will make amends for slightly stealing the moment in 2009, albeit involuntarily, and accept defeat and pay appropriate tribute with a dry eye is pretty much the best that I feel able to hope for on Sunday. I don't find Fedal bo5's particularly thrilling any more because the patterns of play are so familiar, and the outcome so predictable. (I'll still watch in delusional hope of course....).
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by temporary21 on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:12 pm

I seem
To be the only one who thinks Rafa won't recover like he did 8 years ago

I would agree with pessimism if he won in 4 today...

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:15 pm

barrystar wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:Tears....there will be tears.

As a Fed fan who expects Fed to lose in a similar fashion to the way he always does (damn damn), the possibility that Fed will make amends for slightly stealing the moment in 2009, albeit involuntarily, and accept defeat and pay appropriate tribute with a dry eye is pretty much the best that I feel able to hope for on Sunday.  I don't find Fedal bo5's particularly thrilling any more because the patterns of play are so familiar, and the outcome so predictable.  (I'll still watch in delusional hope of course....).

Perhaps I meant that at their age there will be muscle tears Smile

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Haddie-nuff on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:33 pm

Whilst I know Roger has had an extra day to recover.. but he too played a 5 setter in his last match... and he is (oh dare I say it) so much older than Rafa Whistle

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:37 pm

2002 final at the US Open was seeded 6 vs 17.

This time we are looking at 9 vs 17.

I wonder when was the last time that the highest ranked finalist was seeded lower than 9th, probably US Open 2014, looking it up - Nishikori (10) vs Cilic (14).

or the combined ranked of 26 as well - when was the last time we had a higher number than that.

I looked up Gaudio (2004) and Puerta (2005) making the FO final, but I think they were both unseeded, I guess in a way that could be it, since you perhaps had they had a number next to their name it was >32 (in ranking sense)

Krajicek (17 seeded, and I think ranked 20) vs Mal Washington (I think he was ranked about 40 at the time) was another one, from a Wimbledon final in the 1990s.

However, Federer and Nadal are different. Their rankings are not quite a true reflection of their current abilities, at least not on a given day.

Sometimes the case with older players that don't focus on playing at their best in second tier events, or need time off for fitness reasons. I rememeber Jim Courier playing well above his ranking at the time when he played Tim Henman a couple of times.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:43 pm

I sometimes feel a bit sorry for the US Open, that they never got a Fedal. It would have been nice had their last slam final fallen there.
3 meetings at the AO (now 4), 3 at Wimbledon, 5 at French Open. Zero at US Open.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:54 pm

Henman Bill wrote:I sometimes feel a bit sorry for the US Open, that they never got a Fedal. It would have been nice had their last slam final fallen there.
3 meetings at the AO (now 4), 3 at Wimbledon, 5 at French Open. Zero at US Open.

When Fed got to a USO final, somehow Rafa didn't. Then when Rafa reached the final, Fed was twice within a point of joining him but didn't make it out of his semi. Still amazing they've never met in New York, but there's still time!

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by R!skysports on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 4:57 pm

Well 0 I will admit I was wrong. Did not think either would get another slam (age and injuries)

I was not correct

Well done to both

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by barrystar on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 5:02 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Their rankings are not quite a true reflection of their current abilities, at least not on a given day

I'm not sure I'd say "on a given day" for Federer.  His ranking of 17 (will be 14) is demonstrably due exclusively to his injury, he was #3 and playing consistently to that ranking against all-comers in most tournaments when he stopped pretty absolutely last year.  

I'd agree that is more true with Nadal (he has suffered injuries, but not in such a clear-cut way as Fed's), and one of the most interesting statistics for him in 2014-2016 is that his record against top 10 players had fallen off a cliff relative to what we had come to expect.  This tournament may pressage a more consistent flowering in coming months - although I have consistently bored on about how it has been a past pattern in his career to-date that a highly successful Aus Open has usually been followed by (relative) burn-out and lack of success later in the season.


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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 5:06 pm

As welcome though it is for all true lovers of the great sport of tennis, still so very hard to believe this Final is actually happening in the year 2017.

Oh youth of today .....where are you .... Shocked

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Calder106 on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 5:17 pm

Considering they have only met once since the AO semi in 2014, both have had injury layoffs, and are obviously 3 years older than in 2014 I'm not so sure that past results are much of a pointer to how this match will go. If Federer's serve is on song I would take him to win in 4 sets.

Well done to both for getting to the final.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 5:21 pm

B'star. Your point about Rafa doing well at AO and then not so well after is a good one. Until Djoko upset the sequence, there were years when whoever won the AO did not even reach a GS final in the rest of that year.
Must say that just as I thought in the years after 2010 that Fed had another Wimbledon win in him, I've always thought that Rafa could win the French again. Should he win in Melbourne on Sunday, Rafa would be a good bet for the 2017 RG, IMHO.
But I take the point. The one year he won the AO - 2009 - he struggled at the French and then later had to pull out of Wimbledon. There were marathons in the semi and final at Melbourne for him that year and some may recall a 4hr struggle with Djoko before the French which seemed to have taken a lot out of Rafa.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by barrystar on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 5:42 pm

sirfredperry wrote:B'star. Your point about Rafa doing well at AO and then not so well after is a good one. Until Djoko upset the sequence, there were years when whoever won the AO did not even reach a GS final in the rest of that year.
  Must say that just as I thought in the years after 2010 that Fed had another Wimbledon win in him, I've always thought that Rafa could win the French again. Should he win in Melbourne on Sunday, Rafa would be a good bet for the 2017 RG, IMHO.
  But I take the point. The one year he won the AO - 2009 - he struggled at the French and then later had to pull out of Wimbledon. There were marathons in the semi and final at Melbourne for him that year and some may recall a 4hr struggle with Djoko before the French which seemed to have taken a lot out of Rafa.

Not just 2009, but look at 2014 and 2012, when he made the final each year. OK, he won RG both years when one would have expected nothing less from him, but the second half of each year tailed off very badly for him by his standards.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 7:51 pm

Head to head analysis

Points in Rafa's favour
Has always had mental edge against Federer
Has always had physical edge against Federer
Federer looked pretty poor to me against Wawrinka, his forehand seems to have very slowly and steadily declined over the years without anyone hardly noticing
He is younger
Federer has been out for ages, so fitness is a concern. Federer did not really plan for the final, did not expect to get here. Not as free from injuries these days.
Rafa has always had to edge against him at the Australian Open, which is slower, and has a 3-0 head to head there and never loses to Roger at slams except as a teenager (maybe 20/21 tops) at Wimbledon when Federer was at his peak on his best surface.
Night matches slow court.


Points in Federer's favour

Not the same Rafa as old, more capable of losing/playing poorly less consistent
All sorts of rubbish results at slams nowadays. If he can lose to Fognini, he can lose to Roger.
Extra day's rest after a long Rafa semi.
The court is a bit faster here than in previous years.
Crowd support.
Rafa is capable of injuries and fitness issues at any time.


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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 7:53 pm

Bookies:
Rafa is only the favourite by a wafer thin margin, perhaps worth a bet on Rafa to win?

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Fri 27 Jan 2017, 8:27 pm

You certainly won't get 10/1 any more on Rafa to win.

Which is what I (very happily) accepted from my local bookies on Rafa to take the title. My bet was placed on Jan 20th - so, after Djoko had fallen, but before Murray's exit. And of course well before we knew the Final line-up.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 2:23 am

I was hoping Grigor would do the work for Roger but he could not quite do it, though he came close.

I do not see Roger beating Rafa over five sets.  I expect that Rafa will win, and in fact win fairly easily.  Most likely I would say in four sets, but straight sets would not surprise me either.

I remember last time they played in Basel 2015, Roger supposedly in good form, and Rafa supposedly in poor one, and yet Roger barely scraped through.  Also, while conditions this AO are faster than in most recent years, vast majority of the points is still being played from the baseline, with a lot of power hitting (though maybe a little less running than in recent past), and I cannot see Roger holding up over five sets against Rafa with that style of play, even if he is playing well (a big if that one too).

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 2:26 am

Andy and Nole - the youngest two players in the Big 4 - both lose early, and we still get a Big 4 final.  One of these days this will come to an end, I am sure (I think).

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 6:47 am

Conceivably, this could be the most important Slam final they have played against each other such are the connotations of it. If Roger fashions out a win to move 4 clear of Rafa then I'd safely say that would end Rafa's hopes of surpassing Roger's slam total. On the other hand a win for Rafa would move him to two behind Roger with the French Open next up and we know how dominant he has been there throughout his career. I'd make it then an evens shot that Rafa will equal Roger's slam haul or surpass it before retiring.

I see Rafa winning in three or four sets purely on the history of how these players match-up.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by mthierry on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 8:12 am

I'm still tipping Federer. He's played the best tennis is the tournament and the conditions favor him. Adding to that is the extra days rest. many take it for granted cos Nadal overcame the same scenario is 2009, but he was 22 then. No way I'm getting convinced that Nadal won't be feeling that 5hr battle in the semis on Sunday. He seemed unsure himself in the post-match presser. Had he routined Dimitrov like he did Raonic, it wouldn't be a factor.

Annoying when skewed match scheduling distorts the playing field.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 9:48 am

To counter-balance any effects of a 5 hour match though just remember Roger is in his mid-thirties and he himself had a five set marathon against Wawrinka to overcome.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 10:01 am

Rafa was invited - in the full post-match presser - to comment on the scheduling 'differential' for the two SF matches. He pretty much dismissed it as being of little, if any, significance and seemed happy enough with his full day's rest (he did, however, use the opportunity to say that things have not always been sensibly organised - schedule-wise - at the USO ....)

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 10:19 am

summerblues wrote:I was hoping Grigor would do the work for Roger but he could not quite do it, though he came close.

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

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


He did indeed come close, mighty close, and I think it was a superb, controlled performance by Dimi - whose head never dropped at any stage of the match, even in the face of periodic setbacks and a series of missed / lost opportunities.

This was surely the match in which he finally 'came of age' - perhaps in the way that Stan did (albeit when somewhat older) when so very nearly edging out Djokovic here in Melbourne a few years back. One has to hope that he can kick on from here to greater things, with renewed confidence & motivation, in the way that Stan did.

I actually think that Dimi was playing so well that he might very well have provided as stern a challenge for Federer as Rafa himself will, as ever, prove to be.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 11:30 am

Dimi was indeed unfortunate, I wont say unlucky, because there was not a lot of luck handed out in that match.. each of them gave little away and they were as determined as each other for the full 5 hours.. each of them worked for every point and there was little to separate their performances.. a well fought match that someone had to win.. and I'm pleased it was Rafa

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by temporary21 on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:02 pm

The unknown for Rafa is recovery. We know if he's any has left he'll empty the tank till he collapses

For roger. There's this adductor problem he has. No idea how bad or how it'll hold up though. He did, jokingly, suggest he'll injure himself for five months giving his all though

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:08 pm

lags72 wrote:This was surely the match in which he finally 'came of age' - perhaps in the way that Stan did (albeit when somewhat older) when so very nearly edging out Djokovic here in Melbourne a few years back.
I hope you are right but i am unconvinced.  Stan was playing prime Djokovic on Nole's favorite court.  Dimi was playing a well-below-best Rafa, and not at RG either.  To me this just brings him back to his early 2014 standard.  Still, of course I would like to see him to do bigger and better things now, similar to what Stan had done.


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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:09 pm

Does Roger really have a problem or was he just faking it to get an MTO in?

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:24 pm

S'blues. Not sure Rafa was "well below best". The bits of the match I saw he looked pretty good. OK, probably not peak form of previous years but plenty of glimpses of the old Rafa.
Difficult to say how much that's taken out of Rafa. You only have to go back a few weeks to Murray's final at the 02 when most predicted that he would not last the match against Djoko after a marathon semi against Raonic just the previous day.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by temporary21 on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:26 pm

A bit of both I suggest. Forum talk says he's spent most the 2 days trying to rest it

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Born Slippy on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 1:34 pm

summerblues wrote:
lags72 wrote:This was surely the match in which he finally 'came of age' - perhaps in the way that Stan did (albeit when somewhat older) when so very nearly edging out Djokovic here in Melbourne a few years back.
I hope you are right but i am unconvinced.  Stan was playing prime Djokovic on Nole's favorite court.  Dimi was playing a well-below-best Rafa, and not at RG either.  To me this just brings him back to his early 2014 standard.  Still, of course I would like to see him to do bigger and better things now, similar to what Stan had done.
He's far better now than he was in 2014. I recall at the time saying his movement, backhand and mental state weren't good enough then and that he was likely to regress from an over-inflated ranking over the next year. 

For the first time, he's clearly improved those areas to a level where he is now a genuine slam contender. Hopefully, this defeat won't hit him too hard because, if he maintains this level, he's in a great position to take tennis forwards.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Jermaine2015 on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 2:31 pm

I'm favouring Nadal for this latest showdown. Unfortunately for most King Roger fans this rivalry is like a reoccurring nightmare where the Spaniard normally gets the W. with the final being at night it somewhat negates the quicker conditions. Roger essentially has to play the perfect match to win. But as Roger showed against Stan, his focus can go walk about. If it happens against Nadal it will most likely result in defeat

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 6:10 pm

Roger practised indoors today away from media and fans. There's a suspicion that he's struggling with injury. Certainly the performance against Stan was abysmal. Moved like a slug, more errors than winners. The winner count was 47, compare that to 87 against Nishi, and 60+ in the three setters against Berdych and Zverev.

Anyway, Rafa takes this in 3, maybe 4 if Roger's fit.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 6:11 pm

Would love for Roger to win, but, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I wouldn't begrudge Rafa a victory either. Both have done incredibly well to get this far.

No one predicted this final.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 6:25 pm

Rafa would be favourite in any case, but if Rog is not 100% it makes it even harder. The good news is that they are both back in a big way. If Rog has to take some time off after this it's not going to matter. He's not got any points to defend for a while.
Each new year throws up something new in tennis, but you could say that 2017 has thrown up something old - in both the men's and women's game. What I would like to see now is how Rog and Rafa will shape up later in the year against Murray and Djoko.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by temporary21 on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 6:28 pm

If Rafa didn't take 5 hours. This would look very bad for tog. I still think this isn't open and shut at all

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 6:58 pm

Born Slippy wrote:He's far better now than he was in 2014.
I am not convinced.  He played very well in the first half of 2014, starting with the AO, where he had a close-ish match against a more potent version of Rafa, all the way through Wimbledon, where he had 3 setpoints to take Nole to the fifth set.

He just unraveled after that.  Hopefully he will not this time.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 7:07 pm

It is an interesting match up this time though when you think about it.

My initial thoughts are with past matches between the two in slams and Rafa clearly (on those grounds) goes in as a hot favourite. However, both players are on the comeback trail (so to speak) from bouts of injuries and poor form which may throw past form out of the window.

Both have excelled to get this far which I am sure no one pre-tournament predicted. Rafa has that top spin forehand working again and hitting it with more confidence which Roger always struggles to cope with but there have been times when Rafa has had moments where there are dips in belief and shots go astray which Roger MUST take advantage of and use to win the key points. The more pressure he can exert then the more chances he will get. On the other side of the coin Roger has had his dips as well in matches such as V Nishikori and Wawrinka - he has to cut that out otherwise the sets will slip away and the last thing Roger can afford is to get involved in a long drawn out match.

I will stick with my original prediction of Rafa to win in four sets.
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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 7:13 pm

sirfredperry wrote:S'blues. Not sure Rafa was "well below best". The bits of the match I saw he looked pretty good. OK, probably not peak form of previous years but plenty of glimpses of the old Rafa.
I have only seen a few sets of Rafa this year.  The second set against Raonic and about three sets (midway 1st set through midway 4th set) against Dimitrov.  So maybe I have not seen enough, but from what I have seen he is well below his best.  To me he is not that different from how he has been playing these last two years.  Yes, he does show flashes of peak Rafa, but he has always been showing those.  And he still shows enough of the weaknesses that he has been showing lately.

I think people tend to extrapolate fairly wildly from a few performances - he has a couple of bad losses and it becomes doom and gloom.  Then he has a good result or two, and he is "back".  To me he looks somewhere in between - a pretty solid player still, but quite far off his best.  I think most of his results suggest that also.

Remember, he was at #4 in the world before his RG injury, so it is not like he was outside top 20.  Also, here are his hard court only W:L ratios against the current top 10 over the last two years (starting 2015 up until, but not including, this AO):

Andy 1:0
Nole 0:4
Raonic 1:2
Stan 2:1
Kei 1:2
Monfils did not play
Cilic 1:0
Thiem did not play
Berdych 1:1

Overall, a very respectable 7:10, and 7:6 against everyone bar Djokovic.  To me, his level has clearly been roughly in the Rao/Stan/Nishi group.  I think (and I said so before) his level of play has all along been good enough to maybe even win a slam if he gets a couple of good bounces.  And if Nole and Andy go out early, who else should be winning if not the players from the tier right below them, where I think Rafa currently resides?

So, it does not strike me as such a big shock he is in the final.  But it also does not strike me that it means any marked improvement in his game.  I think he is still roughly in the Raonic/Stan/Kei category, and I am not sure people would sound so hopeful about Dimitrov if he had just lost a long 5-setter against Nishi.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Guest on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 7:23 pm

No, SB I have to disagree.

He's playing much better than he has for the last couple of years.

Not nervous, not self-doubting anymore. Not hitting tentative FH's into the net or landing them miles before the service line. And he's gotten better with each round. Suddenly clutch like the old Rafa. Depth on his FH, running around and hitting winners off that wing AND hitting the FH DTL with consistency. His serve is also hitting the spots better, especially the swinger out wide, which is gonna be his go to serve against Federer on the big points and which Federer has no answer to.

You've clearly only seen the poor parts of his performances over the last week. Up until Raonic he was at the same level as the last couple of years but in that first set against Raonic the old Rafa was back. He's managed to maintain a high level since.

Not as fast as the old Rafa but plenty fast enough!

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 8:52 pm

emancipator wrote:No, SB I have to disagree.

He's playing much better than he has for the last couple of years.

Not nervous, not self-doubting anymore. Not hitting tentative FH's into the net or landing them miles before the service line. And he's gotten better with each round. Suddenly clutch like the old Rafa. Depth on his FH, running around and hitting winners off that wing AND hitting the FH DTL with consistency. His serve is also hitting the spots better, especially the swinger out wide, which is gonna be his go to serve against Federer on the big points and which Federer has no answer to.

You've clearly only seen the poor parts of his performances over the last week. Up until Raonic he was at the same level as the last couple of years but in that first set against Raonic the old Rafa was back. He's managed to maintain a high level since.

Not as fast as the old Rafa but plenty fast enough!

You absolutely right  em.. he is not far from his best not at all and as an ardent fan who has seen the worst in him and  believed he would never improve to the point I did not want to watch him fail over and over again I can say with absolute certainty sb you have not been watching him both against Montfils and the Raonic match in its entirety.. many of the pundits agree.  He is much sharper, more aggressive and is moving well showing no signs of injury..  A vastly improved Rafa

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 8:54 pm

I might point out that Rafa has a history of getting flaky in the second set.ive always said he suffers with "secondsetinitis" Wink

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by Positively 4th Street on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 11:00 pm

emancipator wrote:Would love for Roger to win, but, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I wouldn't begrudge Rafa a victory either. Both have done incredibly well to get this far.

No one predicted this final.

In a similar spirit, I wouldn't and couldn't begrudge Roger a win - something I thought impossible at the height of their rivalry. To play like this after a six-month absence is indicative of a rare, rare talent and it's been a pleasure to see him swashbuckle his way through the draw. It feels very surreal that they're back in the final. Sport can seem very predictable at times, but this is a glorious moment to remind us that it retains the capacity to surprise and astound.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by lags72 on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 12:30 am

Enjoy this one, while you can. Here's hoping it's at least a reasonably good contest - even if not a classic.

It won't come to pass again.

That's not to say that they don't each have in themselves more good individual match performances, and (perhaps) even titles. But the stars will not align again, in the same Slam, such that they both progress to the Final without one or the other - or both - having first been stopped, whether through earlier round defeat, or injury, or withdrawal, ..... or whatever.

This really is the last of its kind.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 2:54 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:
emancipator wrote:No, SB I have to disagree.

He's playing much better than he has for the last couple of years.

Not nervous, not self-doubting anymore. Not hitting tentative FH's into the net or landing them miles before the service line. And he's gotten better with each round. Suddenly clutch like the old Rafa. Depth on his FH, running around and hitting winners off that wing AND hitting the FH DTL with consistency. His serve is also hitting the spots better, especially the swinger out wide, which is gonna be his go to serve against Federer on the big points and which Federer has no answer to.

You've clearly only seen the poor parts of his performances over the last week. Up until Raonic he was at the same level as the last couple of years but in that first set against Raonic the old Rafa was back. He's managed to maintain a high level since.

Not as fast as the old Rafa but plenty fast enough!

You absolutely right  em.. he is not far from his best not at all and as an ardent fan who has seen the worst in him and  believed he would never improve to the point I did not want to watch him fail over and over again I can say with absolute certainty sb you have not been watching him both against Montfils and the Raonic match in its entirety.. many of the pundits agree.  He is much sharper, more aggressive and is moving well showing no signs of injury..  A vastly improved Rafa
You guys may be right.  I did not see him play against Monfils nor the first set against Raonic.  Especially the first Raonic set everyone who saw it seems to be saying Rafa was really good.

I saw his second set against Raonic and I thought he was quite poor there - quite a few of those shots meekly dumped into the net.  I thought he was better in the Dimitrov match but not that superb there either.  In the second set both guys were hitting some poor shots and dropping their serve a lot - including both of them double faulting on break points.

Anyway, improved or not, he is in the final with a very good chance to win.  I am obviously rooting for Roger but if Rafa wins, enjoy it H-n.

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by summerblues on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 2:57 am

The match starts 3:30am here and I am not getting up for it.  Which means I will probably wake up around 5:30am or so.  If the match is done by then, I will not have missed a classic, and if they are still playing I will at least catch the end.

In the meantime, Good luck Roger, do it!

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

Post by LuvSports! on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 8:46 am

Nobody up? Allez Feds

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Re: Australian Open - Day Fourteen

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