Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

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Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by MrInvisible on Wed 24 Jan 2018, 11:40 pm

First topic message reminder :

So here we are, rapidly approaching the business end of this year's Australian Open - Kerber and Federer on paper the favourites to win but this has been a tournament of surprises and maybe there's a couple of twists to come:

Women's semi-finals:

Halep v Kerber
Mertens v Wozniacki

Mens' semi-finals:

Cilic v Edmund
Federer v Chung

Mens' doubles semi-finals:

Mclachlan/Struff v Marach/Pavic
Cabal/Farah v Bryan/Bryan

In the women's semis I'm expecting a tight 3 setter between Halep and Kerber - both have been playing some great stuff and whilst I'm rooting for the Romanian to finally win a slam I think Kerber when on form on this surface is just too strong. For the Mertens v Wozniacki match I'm going for Mertens to win. Despite her good run this tournament I'm not convinced with Wozniacki, whilst the young Belgian has been in irresistible form.

I didn't think Edmund would beat Dimitrov but he was most impressive in the quarter-finals and is clearly playing with a lot of confidence. Nadal's injury meanwhile overshadowed Cilic's performance in the quarter-finals and the Croat has played some tricky opponents earlier on. The way both Cilic and Edmund are serving I'm expecting a couple of tie-breaks in this one. I'm going for Cilic in 4 tough sets - I just think whilst he's had a fantastic tournament and improved considerably over last year, Edmund's never played in such an important match and I think Cilic's experience will take him through - happy to be proven wrong though!

Federer looked so clinical in 2nd and 3rd sets against Berdych and like a well oiled machine everything seems to be running smoothly and clicking into place for Fed at the moment. Chung's game could prove problematic for Federer, but I'm expecting Chung's level to dip slightly as the match goes on, and I'm going for Federer in 4 sets after an early scare.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:16 am

Feels like close to a 50/50 match now. But I'd favour Federer slightly in the mental and consistency under pressure, and ability to raise the game at this point. I don't believe the 5 sets will kill him due to the age. We are still 15 minutes away from the 3-hour mark. The match may only be 60% as long as the famous Nadal-Djoko epic of 2012.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:17 am

There’s a perfect storm building now for Cilic.

Federer’s game dips around three notches ......while Cilic is hitting some sweet stuff and missing very little.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:18 am

Henman Bill wrote:Feels like close to a 50/50 match now. But I'd favour Federer slightly in the mental and consistency under pressure, and ability to raise the game at this point. I don't believe the 5 sets will kill him due to the age. We are still 15 minutes away from the 3-hour mark. The match may only be 60% as long as the famous Nadal-Djoko epic of 2012.

Yeah, but 2.5 hours of that was Rafa picking at his shorts and Novak bouncing the ball. In real terms, it probably isn’t that different Wink.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:23 am

I reckon Federer was looking for that slight expected lull in Cilic's play.  I think some of Federer's line calls were an attempt to disrupt Cilic's momentum.   Federer has to now resist any further possible surges in Cilic's play.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:25 am

The crowd were actually rooting for Cilic a bit in the first 2 sets, when it looked like he was going to perhaps take a beating. But once it started getting close the favouritism for Roger was there. And once it looks like Cilic didn't read the script and might have the cheek of actually winning the match, there was a fair cheer on a double fault! Very Happy

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:28 am

We have just this second hit the 2 hr 53 mark on this match, compared to 5 hr 53 for 2012. By the next game we should hit the half way mark.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Just John on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:32 am

Agree, they’ve got their money’s worth, now just want the inevitable Fed victory, and then go home.

Cilic had to break in that opening game of this set. He didn’t, and he’s now lost.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:36 am

The rhythm that Cilic had from the fourth set was lost in the second game of the fifth set, and now Cilic is into a physical lull.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Just John on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:38 am

Federer wins his inevitable sixth Australian Open, and twentieth grand slam title


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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:38 am

Federer's experience allowed him to come back early in the fifth set. That wasn't easy, that was a struggle for him. That should make his victory even more sweeter.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by laverfan on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:40 am

Congratulations to Federer for #20. clap clap

Well played, Cilic. OK


Last edited by laverfan on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:40 am

Congratulations to the old master on his 20th slam title. thumbsup

Federer just too good. Against anyone else at this tournament (who stayed fit) Cilic would be lifting that trophy.

Twenty and counting.
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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:41 am

No name Bertie wrote:Federer's experience allowed him to come back early in the fifth set.

Yep, experience.

Determination. Guts.

Oh and ....... talent too Wink

Some quality play by Cilic to force a fifth. Just not enough of it.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 11:47 am

Very little (if anything ?) to dislike about Marin Cilic.

Totally professional on the court, gets on with things (well .... apart from the ball-bouncing) ..... no nonsense, no arguing.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by laverfan on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:00 pm

Surprising that Federer held back tears to give a speech. Congratulations to both warriors, again!

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:00 pm

A watching fan - by the name of Rod Laver - taking a photo of Federer’s presentation ceremony.

Now I’ve seen it all ..........

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:06 pm

laverfan wrote:Surprising that Federer held back tears to give a speech. Congratulations to both warriors, again!
Not surprising. Federer is currently living a fairy tale (begun early 2017) and he is amazed it is still going, and so happy his children are now old enough to experience it with him.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by coolpixel on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:08 pm

another way to slice the old man's stats. he has won 10% of the slams in the open era. I do think this is the last one though....but then I said the same last year as well

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:09 pm

Well, another Fed GS victory. Have to say I stopped following the scores when Cilic levelled at one set all. Thought may be the Croatian might win from there. Fed, though, from memory, has only ever lost one GS final when two sets to one up (delpo at US) but has never triumphed from two sets to one down. So the third set was vital.
   Fed surprised himself by winning last year and has probably surprised himself by following it up this year. Means he can totally relax over his schedule, including an expected skipping of the clay-court season.
   Next possible target? His 100th tournament victory.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:13 pm

Speaking of Laver, I'm thinking Federer's wins of recent years have eclipsed him.

Laver's calendar year grand slam was really just destiny and fate, a lot of 5-set matches, he lost 16 or 18 matches that year I think, and he never won a slam again. He was hardly more dominant at that time than other.

It's really just chance that Federer didn't achieve the non-calendar slam at the very least. The very right Australian Open 2009 final was the only one that he didn't win in a sequence of four.

Same for the very tight US Open 2009 final. Had he won that, it would also have been part of a four in a row sequence.

Then of course two calendar years 2006 and 2007 where he won three and lost to the clay GOAT in the final of the other.

I looked at Laver's record and tried to estimate how many slams he would have won playing his whole career in an open era. And I got to an estimate of 16.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:31 pm

coolpixel wrote:another way to slice the old man's stats. he has won 10% of the slams in the open era. I do think this is the last one though....but then I said the same last year as well

And how about this little stat :

Of all the Slams that have been played since Federer won his very first (Wimbledon 2003), a total of 31.25% of them have gone to just one man. Guess who ....... chin

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:44 pm

sirfredperry wrote:


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


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

Means he can totally relax over his schedule, including an expected skipping of the clay-court season.
   

You’re probably right.

But I’d love to see him have a go at RG once again. Of course he would need to play something else on clay by way of warm-up / adjustment (or maybe not .......... Laugh )

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:52 pm

Would love to see Federer play RG! Djokovic might not be playing, or at his best. Rafa has less of a question mark but at this stage of their careers any player can suffer an injury or shock defeat in any tournament, and even Federer beating a fit Rafa at RG is not entirely out of the question. At least have a go this time.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 12:59 pm

No, not entirely out of the question, as you say - even if unlikely.

Having lost his last five matches to Fed, even Rafa on clay, in his own backyard, could be a tad edgy if he came up against the 20 Slam man .....

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:01 pm

lags72 wrote:
coolpixel wrote:another way to slice the old man's stats. he has won 10% of the slams in the open era. I do think this is the last one though....but then I said the same last year as well

And how about this little stat :

Of all the Slams that have been played since Federer won his very first (Wimbledon 2003), a total of 31.25% of them have gone to just one man. Guess who ....... chin

Whilst a good statistic, I’m guessing (whilst better) it’s not that much higher than the equivalent for Nadal and Novak? Without checking, I reckon Novak is at about 28%? The 10% of slams in the Open era though is notworthy worthy!

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:03 pm

Can’t disagree with you on that, BS.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 2:21 pm

Didn't realise that Fed had a point for a double break in that fourth set and then still managed to lose it. Credit to Cilic for a terrific fightback in that fourth set. He was really taking the match to Rog.
   Cilic played a poor service game to lose the third set and then a very poor one to go down early in the fourth. The first one cost him the third set and the second should really have cost him the fourth. Also, the Croatian started so slowly that he effectively gave Fed a set start
   Rog, by the way, often plays outrageous half-volley shots from the baseline but there was one in this match that forced an error from Cilic that was particularly sensational.
   Can Cilic win another Slam? Certainly. You have to reckon that on grass or HCs, with his serve and powerful ground strokes, that he can triumph.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 2:49 pm

sirfredperry wrote:

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

   Rog, by the way, often plays outrageous half-volley shots from the baseline but there was one in this match that forced an error from Cilic that was particularly sensational.
   .......................

It was the hot shot of the entire match, IMO.

And yes ...... Cilic has a good few years, and perhaps more Slams, in him. But does need consistency above all. His style of play doesn’t seem to be especially demanding on his body . Or am I wrong ..... ? chin

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 3:23 pm

Lags72. Yes, the consistency could be improved on. The "horror' service games today, one in which he was 30-0 up and whacked an easy drive over the baseline, have to be avoided.
   Remember Tsonga having some big tussles with Fed a few years back. When JWT served consistently he came from two sets down to topple Rog at Wimbledon. But then there were other matches between the pair when Tsonga, seemingly well in control, chucked in a poor service game, and lost. Cilic has to tighten up in that area himself.
   Interesting to watch that crucial first game of the 5th set today. Having seen off two BPs, Rog, at van out, hit six successive BH drives, the last landing right on the line, to hold.
   In that one game there were shades of his fearless hitting - full drives and no slices - that so lit up the last part of the 5th set against Rafa in Melbourne last year.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by laverfan on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 6:32 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Would love to see Federer play RG!

(and SFP). If Federer can beat Nadal at RG, even at this stage of their respective career(s), it is quite an achievement for him, personally. The 2017 AO showed that Federer has the ability to handle his BH been pummeled and still win matches.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Just John on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 7:11 pm

No chance of seeing RF at RG. He will look at how successful his avoidance of the physical strain of RG was last year, and how positive his subsequent performance was at Wimbledon. No reason to chase it either, as he has it in the bag from 09’.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:50 pm

So Cilic was asked 4 questions in the presser about the roof:

Q. Did they ask you what you thought about closing the roof or not? In the end, do you think it was the right decision?
MARIN CILIC: Well, no, they didn't ask me. They just came to me to tell me that they are thinking about decision, and they going to make the final decision just around 7 p.m., just slightly before the match.

I didn't mind to have roof closed, but it was a huge difference in temperature from having outside 38, then when you came in, it was like 23, 4, I don't know. It was way cooler than I expected.
Q. Did you think it was an advantage for Roger?
MARIN CILIC: I don't know. Just looking at my own side, I didn't feel those conditions before. I had a slow start in the match, losing straightaway my two service games, then catching up most of the time.

But looking overall, I'm really pleased with the performance. Played great tennis over these two weeks. I had tough matches, tough opponents, beating Rafa, reaching here a final, which is definitely amazing. Looking at my own game, I think I improved a lot. I'm playing great tennis. That's really exciting for me for this 2018.
Q. Can I clarify? Did you argue your case with the referee at all with the roof? I believe Jim Courier, once he threatened to boycott the final if the roof was closed. Did you have an argument with the referee over it?
MARIN CILIC: No, I didn't. Coming in before the final, I didn't want to have any negative thoughts. I was just trying to focus on myself, on that. In the end of the day, it's tough for me to change that decision. Just to lose energy before the match, it's pointless.

But I'm saying it was very different than what we've played outdoor.

Q. Did you have an option to practice inside? He obviously chose that.
MARIN CILIC: Yeah, I did. But for me, I played during all tournament on the same court, practiced on the same court, so warmed up there. That was it.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:50 pm

And RF was asked one.

Q. What were your thoughts on the decision to play this final in indoor conditions?
ROGER FEDERER: I wasn't sure if it was good for me or not, to play under the roof or not. Of course, I backed myself in sort of indoor conditions. This is where my first success ever came. I do think back that usually when I play indoors, it's good for me.

But I didn't mind the heat, to be honest. I thought maybe for a bigger guy like Marin, maybe it's also going to slow him down faster throughout the match. At the end, it's not my decision. They kept me posted along the way.

I was surprised to hear they had the heat rule in place for a night match. I never heard that before. When I arrived to the courts, I was totally ready to play outdoors. They told me they were thinking -- they think it will probably be indoor. Then they kept me posted along the way.

Half an hour before, we got the word that it's going to be indoors. For me, it doesn't change anything in the preparation, to be honest. I was ready for either.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 11:57 pm

An interesting twist in the roof debate is Halep spending 4 hours in hospital with dehydration. Looking at her presser it seems the physical condioning may have been a factor in her defeat. However I sometimes think that when a person is tired in the final and loses that isn't really bad luck - it's credit to the winner for playing well enough to get through her matches without long final sets.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by dummy_half on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:11 am

HB
And the women's final was almost as long as the men's - iirc, the women were just under 3 hours and the men about 3.25, and I suspect the ball may actually have been in play longer in the women's final (longer rallies on average).

I suspect the AO organisers didn't want the men's finalists to also end up in hospital if it went to 4 + hours, so closing the roof and playing in somewhat cooler conditions was sensible.

The Eurosport commentator were discussing this issue, and reckoned the problem is that the 'extreme heat' policy should kick in a little sooner - the men's final was right on the margin for the current rules.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 12:49 pm

DH. I'd speculated before the Fed match that the women's final might be longer than the men's. There wasn't much in it, in the end. Fed really should, or could, have made it shorter if he'd won in four. 
   But in some ways the Cilic fightback really made the match and although the Croatian would have been disappointed not to have won he can take - indeed he already has taken - heart from the fact that for a time he really played his best tennis.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by lags72 on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 1:26 pm

@sfp  - yes, Cilic played some superb tennis to take it the distance, and as you say that should give him great confidence, coming right at the start of the season.

In fact, for lengthy patches it was probably only a smidgen below his USO title-winning form - which is about the best we’ve ever seen from him. And at times it was even equal to that. He sure wasn’t steamrollered as at Wimbledon.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by No name Bertie on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 2:13 pm

Federer could have easily lost AO 2017 and AO 2018. In both matches Federer had to reverse the momentum that was with his opponents very late on in the match: against Nadal who was a break-up in the final set, and against Cilic who had won the last five games in a row including breaking Federer twice in succession to win the fourth set.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 10:39 pm

I just wonder whether the extreme heat policy needs to factor in the effect of direct sunlight. Is 40C with the sun not visible from inside the stadium as bad as 40C (and equivalent humidity) and the sun directly hitting the body.

They could also review whether under certain conditions to stop matches half way through - instead of all or nothing. It must be far more dangerous to play 5 sets in such conditions than 2-3 sets given the effects on the body. I think players would rather play 2-3 sets in such conditions and come back from 1-2 the next day rather than skip a whole day and then end playing on consecutive days.

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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by sirfredperry on Wed 31 Jan 2018, 9:58 am

From my own playing experience, the hot sun on you is far worse than high humidity. It's no coincidence that two players with excellent records at the AO - Djoko and Fed - have played most of their matches there in the evening

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