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 Calder106 on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 10:19 am

Can't see Cilic beating Federer. Might get close but I expect Federer to work out Cilic's wideout serve which has been getting him so many free points. If that happens Federer's variety of shots will get him the service breaks he needs. Cilic may get a break or two himself but unless Federer has a really bad day on serve I don't see him getting enough to win the match.

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

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 10:29 am

Disappointing that Chung's blisters were so bad that he had to retire. Just shows how much a series of best-of-five matches can take it out of you - even if you're only 21.
   For sure, Cilic can win on Sunday. He couldn't give of his best thru injury at last year's Wimbledon final, but he was very close to beating Rog in a scintillating five-setter at Wimbledon in 2016. Apart from Rafa and Djoko, only one man - delpo - has beaten Rog in a GS final. So it's still asking a lot of the Croatian.
  Win or lose, Rog has got off to a good start in 2018 - defending either all or all but 800 of his 2,000 points from the AO last year. It puts him in a good position, should he wish, to skip the clay-court season and concentrate on Wimbledon and the USO.
   I don't think he's bothered about chasing the number one spot. Another slam will be the priority.

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

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 10:46 am

What are we to make of Rafael Nadal?  In many ways he seems to be an enigma.  Without Nadal I would say for definite Roger Federer is the GOAT - and I think what Federer is doing now at his age is proving that.  

I think that Nadal and Djokovic were able to overcome Federer by sheer physical prowess coupled with their special talents.  But this over-reliance of extreme physical prowess has been their downfall.  

Djokovic issue seems to be clear-cut - some sort of chronic issue with the elbow - and it looks like he is "done" - finished at the elite level.  The ultimate in physical flexibility at his best - a gymnast and a tennis player.  Able to nullify off-clay Nadal and a slowed down Federer.

Rafael Nadal's issue seems to be bloody-mindedness as well as physical.  He always seems to keep pushing his body to beyond the pain level / breaking point.  Takes time away but keeps coming back for more and almost as good as before the break.  It seems to be impossible to say when Nadal will be done.  He is so far ahead of everyone on clay and especially at Roland Garros.

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

Post by lags72 on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 11:10 am

Rafa will clean up in the clay season, as he always does.

But NNB makes a good point re potential long-term physical damage. Rafa really has to ask himself whether, once he stops touring, he wants to suffer various aches and pains for the rest of his life and/or for his body to age prematurely. To me, he doesn’t seem to ‘enjoy’ his tennis quite as much as, say, Federer does. But then I guess he must ..... or why else would he keep coming back for more as the injuries pile up ..... ? Masochism .... ? Erm

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

Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 11:16 am

In Rafa's case (and you could say Novak and Andy) you live by the sword and die by the sword. Their physical style of play has reaped them rewards but been tough on their bodies. Take away their playing style and you'd have to have completely rebuilt their games. Federer has benefitted by his style of less physicality and more aggressive game. His longest lay-offs have been caused by illness (mono) and back injury when he slipped in a shower.
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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 1:39 pm

Women's final could be a good one, have to decide if it's worth getting up super early on the weekend to watch these finals or not.

I see Federer has an 8-1 head to head vs Cilic, however many have been hard fought, especially in recent years. Let's hope no more injuries or retirements in the final. Were that to happen, it would make this rather a damp squib tournament - as well as brining the whole discussion about the need to reform the tour to a breaking point. Yes, I'd say a retirement in the final could just spur enough discussion at this point to get some serious changes.

Neither player has had to have a particularly gruelling or impressive route to the final, although of course a slam final is always an achievement.

Can we say that a Cilic-Federer final, with Nadal, Djokovic and Murray on the sidelines, is reward for aggressive tennis, and evidence that excessively physical tennis has its downside in the long term? Maybe. Otherwise how do we explain that Federer is 5 years older but fitter than the other three.

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

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 1:40 pm

By the way, ATP has Federer - Berdych head to head at 19-6, so 20-6 after this tournament.

Federer has now won 9 in a row. It's a lot more one sided than it used to be. Funny that Berdych beat Federer as an 18-year old when Federer ought to have been close to his peak age wise, but now they are in their 30s the older player is dominating.

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

Post by laverfan on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 2:48 pm

Federer vs Blisters (and injuries Elbows/Knees/Hips/Thighs/Wrists) is an impressive record.

To be fit and stay fit is paramount in an athlete's book, even if it means sacrificing trophies and prize money and rankings.

Agassi's famous 'writing-cheques-when-there-is-no-money-in-the-bank' analogy is being proven everyday.

Younger and upcoming athletes have been provided a 20+ year model on how to do it right and be successful. Any deviation from such a model is detrimental to long-term success.

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

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 3:23 pm

It is interesting to note that Nadal blames the hard courts for his injury (injuries?) whereas Federer is avoiding the clay season (at least last year) to prevent possible injury to himself*.  Perhaps the difference in the perspectives of these two tennis players and legends of the sport is suggestive of the completely different styles of tennis play they have.


*I had heard one of the issues was the time it takes to adjust from clay to the grass.

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

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 3:45 pm

Should Cilic get in a winning position on Sunday, will he be able to close it out? He didn't manage it against Fed at Wimbledon in 2016 nor against delpo in the DC final.
   I think I'm right in saying he was in good positions in a couple of his WTF matches at the O2 recently but lost, and he also lost a tight final to Lopez at Queen's.
     Having said that, I would not be all that surprised to see him triumph against Fed. He has the weapons to do it and it's not as if this is his first GS final. I guess Fed will be the bookies' favourite, though.

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

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 4:21 pm

Why are people here so negative about Nadal, Djoko and Murray, and their style of play??
Both Nadal and Murray have their congenital issues - Nadal with his left foot issue and Murray his knee issue - to start with. Look at Djoko, he’s the fittest among the big four, he never got himself injured, except for some minor niggles here and there.

He started in the main tour in 2005, played for twelve years to 2016 before having a major injury (elbow), after winning 12 slams, 30 Masters and 5 WTF while playing in the toughest era of the big four.

Look at Fed, he started in 1999 and by 2008, he suffered his serious back injury. He had won 13 slams, 4 WTF and fewer Masters compared to Djoko, and faced not as fierce competition from 2003-2008 compared to Djoko in 2011-2016 (the big four era).

Djoko got injured at age 29 after 12 years of competition compared to Fed at 27 in 2008 after 10 years of competition. Fed was very fortunate to win the channel slams in 2009 when Nadal was injured and Djoko/Murray were not ready to challenge him. Fed was only 28 in 2009. He had to wait for 2+ years before winning another slam in 2012.

We do not know for sure how Djoko’s elbow injury would affect him in future; he may come back and win some more slams. He said it himself, he’s motivated enough to play for many more years.

Why because of one injury in twelve years, that people jump into conclusion that Djoko’s style is bad for the body, blah blah blah, when Fed consistently is/was bothered by his own back issues - 2012 during Wimbledon; the whole of 2013; had to skip many events in 2017to protect his back and yet suffered back issues during Montreal, etc and etc)?

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

Post by slashermcguirk on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 4:41 pm

I actually hope Cilic wins the final. I really think men's tennis needs a different winner. I know Cilic has won the US Open but he has been around the block a long time and has always put himself up there and I would like to see him back up his US open win. I felt for him a bit at Wimbledon last year.

As for Federer, hard to get the head around the fact that he won just two slams between 2010 and 2016, four of those years he didn't win any slams and here he is about to potentially win 3 slams in the space of 12 months. I know that the likes of Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka have been injured for a lot of it but this suggests Federer is playing at a higher level at the age of nearly 37 than when he was 31. So unusual in tennis when most players seem to hit a physical wall at 30.

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

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 5:07 pm

Regarding Nadal, he’s injury prone because for a start, he had his foot issue. If it’s just his style of play, how come as early as 2005, when he hadnt even played that many matches yet in the main tour, he suffered knee injury at end of 2005 and had to skip WTF (TMC) and then the AO in 2006? Don’t tell me at that time his style of play were already affecting him!

Nadal plays a style that only he can sustain it, if not for his foot issue. The way he hit his topspin FH, who can copy that without injuring the arm or shoulder. Nadal is physically very strong and fit with muscular legs that are powerful enough to move so quickly while carrying his muscular body. I believe that without his foot issue to start with, Nadal would be able to play his brand of tennis with minimal injury issues, and with proper workload esp when he’s not that young anymore. .

The problem with Nadal is his scheduling; he played a compact clay season; and even at age 31, refused to play fewer events during the main clay season (imo should skip Rome in 2017 when he was clearly out of gas after playing and winning 15 matches from MC to Madrid). When asked about his schedule, he said he’s 31 not 36 so he’s sticking to playing a full schedule of 18 countable events. I said, he has himself to blame for getting his injuries, because he’s not listening to his body.

He’s one guy who needs to practice and practice and plays actual matches to feel good and confident about his own game, so perhaps that’s why he doesn’t want to reduce his workload. I think Moya is trying to help him by spreading out the schedule and allowing Nadal a bit longer periods of rest in between tournaments esp if Nadal refuses to play fewer events.

Nadal is different from Fed; Nadal doesn’t serve like Fed and prefers to rally and patiently constructing points; whilst Fed who started out during the S&V era, has a strong serve and so is able to end points quicky. Nadal is a counterpuncher (a pity as he has the big weapons and the offensive mindset to be an attacking player) and so he runs more to retrieve and counter attack, so he feels the strain on his body, more so on the HCs. Fed skips clay because on clay, he couldn’t end points as quickly as when on HCs and grass, so he had to grind and at his age, he’s trying to avoid that to help protect his body.

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

Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 5:22 pm

You are spot on Belovedluckyboy with your descriptions of Nadal and Federer's differing styles.

Federer's aggressive style which brings rallies to an end quicker means that, hazarding a guess, Nadal (for all he is younger) has covered far more miles on court than Federer. And just like cars that have more mileage on the clock, tennis players who have more miles on the clock aren't going to be less physically scarred. The same analogy could nbe made of Novak and Andy.
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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 5:37 pm

Slasher,

Wrong conclusion. It’s because during 2010 to 2016 the competition was tougher with the other three big four guys plus Stan being at or near their best, hence Fed won only 2 slams in six years. Right now, with them all injured, and the next gen and the lost gen guys aren’t up to par (no where near those injured big guys); Fed has it easier now.

Nadal also won two slams in 2017 after coming back from injury, I do believe if there’s a Djoko at 100% in 2017, Fedal won’t sweep up all the slams.

The six months break did help Fed, and ironically it’s because of his injury break that he’s able to train, worked on his BH, and came back physically fresher and playing better while his rivals were getting injured. I do believe that had Fed not had that knee injury and thus no six months injury break, he might not be able to work on his BH and might not end up winning two slams in 2017.

Is Fed playing better tennis now (as in 2017 to date) compared to say 2011-2015? I would say not necessarily, though his BH has improved. He’s slower to cover his FH corner when on the run as he’s camping more to his BH corner. Fed was reaching finals/SFs at IW/Miami and winning at Shanghai (in 2014) for examples; he was stopped by Djoko at IW/Miami; last year Djoko wasn’t able to face him there, lost early at IW and missing Miami.

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

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 5:51 pm

Del Potro and Laura Robson developed injuries very early on in their professional careers that left them different players.  It is said that many young tennis players develop career ending injuries even before they are ready to turn professional - so playing styles can affect individuals deleteriously early on.

I am aware of Murray's split patella but was unaware of Nadal's congenital foot issue, that is something that I would need to research.   With Nadal, who takes after his Uncle (the beast of Barcelona), the issue has been the stress on his joints - it is issues associated with his knees that have impacted on him throughout his career.  The enigma is that he is always able to recover from it.  When others, early on, said Nadal wouldn't last because of his heavy (pounding) style of play and the impact this would be having on his joints, I thought he would surprise people with a longevity, using his uncle as an example.

Although I don't agree with everything you say BLB, and disagree with your view that people have been "criticising" Nadal, Djokovic and Murray rather than just chatting about tennis matters to bring about a better understanding of the current situation, there is a lot of very useful information you have brought to this discussion - and that I appreciate (including the discussion on the different styles of play).

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

Post by Henman Bill on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 8:14 pm

I don't think any of these differing view points are wrong, or at least can't be proven so. It's just too subjective.

I think Nadal and Djokovic at their best seem to have been, arguably, very slightly better than Federer - at least in terms of effectiveness and winning on the surfaces used at the time. At least in certain years. (Hopefully that's enough caveats and qualifiers to stop someone arguing this point!)

However, Federer, for whatever reason, seems to have achieved more longevity and consistency.

Perhaps fairer comparisons can be made when the last one of them retires. If Djokovic or Nadal dominates the tour in 2019-2021 we may have a different take on it again.

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

Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 9:15 pm

Yeah, it's too subjective. You could argue e.g. that Nalbandian at his best was better than Federer, but his best only lasted a very short time.

I mean, Murray's split patella hardly prevented him from playing tennis at a high level, whereas their was a guy who used to regularly beat Sampras and Agassi in their mid/late teens who had to retire with a back injury when he was 17. Should we start to qualify Pistol Pete's achievements?

Some players struggle with the impact on hard courts, some with the stamina for clay courts, some getting to the low bounce on grass. We'd all be world number ones with 40 slams if it weren't for our limitations.

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

Post by MrInvisible on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 11:41 pm

Meanwhile, a quick mention of the junior singles.

In the boys' event, GB/Scotland's (delete as appropriate Smile Aidan McHugh reached the semi-final - McHugh is 17 years old and will go on to play mostly Futures events for rest of year in addition to junior slams. He's coached by Toby Smith, brother of Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

The boys' final is between Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei against Sebastian Korda. That surname may look familiar - Korda (brought up in the US) is indeed the son of Petr Korda.

The girls' singles final features another player from Chinese Taipei, En Liang, who is up against Clara Burel of France.

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

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 7:56 am

Aidan McHugh also being mentored by Andy Murray and is part of his new management company.
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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 8:58 am

Good start for Caroline W in the final. She's 4-2 up.

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

Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 9:31 am

Wozniacki takes first set 7-6

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 9:38 am

Very good first set. Wozniacki playing superbly to get to 5-2 before playing a very poor game serving for the set (there was one break of serve each in the set I think). HIgh quality set apart from that one game. Wozniacki finished the set strongly to win it.

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 10:15 am

I see Wozniacki had to come back from 1-5 15-40 in the second round
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2018/01/2018-wta-tour-tennis-australian-open-caroline-wozniacki-jana-fett-epic-comeback/71337/
If it wasn't for that, it would have been a reasonably straightforward route to the final.

Halep also saved match points against Kerber and earlier against Davis
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2018/01/2018-wta-tour-tennis-australian-open-simona-halep-composure-american-lauren-davis/71457/

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 10:18 am

Not quite as good second set. Wozniacki had a lull in the middle where she was either making errors or being passive and the break was not a surprise.

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

Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:01 am

Thrilling encounter, one of those matches whereby neither deserve to lose.

7-6 (7-2) 3-6 3-3 final set

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:03 am

I’m normally ambivalent about watching women’s Finals (partly because over the years so many have been disappointing one-sided affairs, but also because of the screech factor) but am quite enjoying this one.

Into a fierce third set decider with some real quality & effort on show.

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:05 am

Halep now with a break at a key stage of the set. Wozniacki receiving knee treatment.

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

Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:15 am

Wozniacki breaks back 4-4

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:16 am

Unlike the first two sets, there have been a lot of breaks in this one, so they don't seem significant.

I make it
2 breaks in set 1
1 break in set 2
6 breaks in set 3 (of 8 games played so far)

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:18 am

Amazing stuff. Both players physically hampered/drained but still lots of fearsome hitting.

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

Post by Just John on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:24 am

Wozniacki wins 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4. Delighted for her.

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:27 am

Good Final ! Good win !!

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:27 am

Amazing point at 30-30 to bring up the match point. Deserved win for her career. Last time she was mocked for being a slamless no 1, but this time she achieved both at the same time.

I am pleased she won it. I have always liked her, but also I think Halep is going to likely win a slam anyway, whereas Wozniacki I wouldn't have been so sure about it if she had lost today.

This may give her more confidence however to try for another one.

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

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:29 am

Well done Caoline Wozniacki on winning her first slam title. I only caught the last few points but looks like it was a cracker. Pleased for her as she has been striving for so long. clap
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Re: Australian Open 2018 Days 11-14 semi-finals and finals

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:29 am

So happy for Wozniacki, she’s a slam champion now! To think that she almost quit professional tennis! She’s now no.1 in the world and a slam champion, well done Wozniacki!

Commiserations to Halep but I feel her chances will be at the FO; just hope that she’ll be fit and healthy and not running into a red hot player like Ostapenko at the FO.

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

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 1:01 pm

Well done Caroline W! Tough on Halep who had come through some long, tough matches. People say Halep's bound to win a Slam sooner or later but she really should have beaten Ostapenko in the French last year. Perhaps she should talk to Andy M about how to cope with repeated GS final losses.
   Just wonder if today's women's final, at 2hrs 50 mins, might be longer than tomorrow's men's? It's certainly happened at least once before at a GS - at Wimbledon in 2005 when Serena and Davenport went 9-7 in the third.

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

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 2:58 pm

Jut seen the highlights of the women's final. Not quite as brilliant as the Kerber-Halep semi, possibly due to the fact that both girls looked absolutely exhausted at the end.
   You have to feel for Halep who served for 5-3 in that final set. But Caroline's retrieving, as well as her excellent cross-court backhands, proved the difference. Apparently, it's going to be even more sticky and humid for tomorrow's men's final. Not sure who that will favour.

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 4:42 pm

sirfredperry wrote:

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

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

Apparently, it's going to be even more sticky and humid for tomorrow's men's final. Not sure who that will favour.

I don’t think it would really favour either player .... nobody really enjoys playing in very high levels of humidity. Even Federer began to sweat a little in his shortened SF.

But I do know that Federer is not troubled by extremes of high temperature alone, and in that sense he may very well have preferred a day match, which could possibly have given him an edge. He regularly trains & practises in Dubai in the heat of the day (where apparently a succession of young hitting partners are virtually carried off court Cool ). A few years back he got into a spot of trouble with fellow AO players (of both sexes) when he was somewhat dismissive of their concerns about day-time Melbourne conditions. I was in Melbourne at the time and there was much made of it all, and specifically Fed’s comments, in the local press.

My hunch is that Fed will be a little cautious/nervous at the start of tomorrow’s match .....if only because he has a lot of respect for what Cilic can do a good day. He is one of a small number of hard-hitters (would include Tsonga and maybe Berdych ......) who are capable of blowing an opponent off the court - including Federer, as he will remember from one of their USO clashes.

Here’s hoping for a good one. Could go the distance I guess. But could equally be done in 3, by either player.

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

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:02 pm

Good points, Lags. Reckon Cilic will be a bit nervous, too, but at the other end of the match. Seems to sometimes have a little difficulty closing out matches.
   But Fed's right to be wary of Cilic who can be a real handful when on form.

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:18 pm

Just looking at the age records:

If Federer wins he goes up from 3 to 2 on the all time oldest slam winner.

Still behind Ken Rosewall who was about half a year older when he won the Australian Open in 1972. I'm not sure if that event attracted a full field in those years.

Federer will go top of the list if he wins another slam after this year.

In more recent history Federer is (already with last years titles) three years older than any player that won a slam since 2000 (Agassi).

Unless I've forgotten any recent ones.

The list you can see online here ends at 2013:
http://www.tennis28.com/slams/agerecords_winners.html#oldest

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:28 pm

Yep, that site is a great resource generally (not just re Slams), but - for whatever reason - the originator has not updated it in recent years, which is a pity.

On the Rosewall record : the AO was indeed a very limited field back in those days, as evidenced by the fact that all but one of the 12 seeded players were Australian !! Plus, I do believe some / all of the seeds were given first-round byes. So ...... just not comparable with today’s demands. But, all credit to Rosewall for his AO titles ..... you can only do what is asked of you.

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

Post by laverfan on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:36 pm

In case anyone is interested, 1972 AO Mens Draw that Muscles won.

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:38 pm

In total grand slams Federer is at 19-16 vs Nadal, another one would make 20-16. Would start to look trickier for Rafa to bridge that gap.

Federer is 3rd on the list if we include the women.

Serena Williams 23
Graf 22
Federer 19

Open era - Margaret Court 24

Federer is also seeking to join Djokovic in tying the all time record of Australian Open titles. Federer has 5 to Djokovic's 6. If he does it he would be equal or ahead of Djokovic in total titles at all of the slams.

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:44 pm

@laverfan : well that draw certainly does show what a totally different event the AO was back then.

It’s interesting to reflect that it is also the Slam which has arguably made the greatest strides forward in terms of recent development/growth. It is extremely ‘user-friendly’ for spectators ; and we know that all the players love being there, and the way they are treated. No problems attracting a top-class field these days !

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

Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:46 pm

@ HB - and another little stat : Federer the only player to have 5 or more victories at each of three Slams.

That’s going to be a real tough one for another play to break, methinks.

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

Post by laverfan on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:50 pm

Winning #20 at RLA with RL watching would be a very nice memory for TMF. RL mentions in The Education of a Tennis Player (on page 248) that Nadal or Federer have the best chance of a Grand Slam, but Djokovic  (2015 W, 2015 USO, 2016 AO, 2016 RG) has usurped both (albeit not a CYGS).

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

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 5:58 pm

HB - Agassi took the AO title aged 32 in 2003. Reckon we're going to get quite a few 30-something GS winners from now on. All four of the titles went to the 30-plus brigade last year, although Cilic has the chance tomorrow to strike for the 20-somethings.

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 7:59 pm

1971 Australian Open featured Laver, Rosewall, Ashe, Okker, Roche, Emerson, Newcombe
1972 Australian Open is weaker - Rosewall, Newcombe, Roche,

I looked at 1970-1972 US Opens/Wimbledons as it was most of the same players as the top names, Ilie Nastase missed the Australian Opens but played the US Open at that time. Stan Smith also playing US, W and skipping AO.

It does happen that 3 or 4 of the top 5 ranked players in those years were Australian. So there was only a slight improvement in the strength of the top 5 at US Open and W vs Australian.

However the strength in depth in the top 20 was definately weaker at the Australian Open in those years.

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

Post by Henman Bill on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 8:04 pm

Rod Laver seems to turn up a lot these days. I don't recall as much as in the past, it seemed occassional and just for big stuff.

Or maybe it's the modern trend to be over zealously cutting to the crowd constantly to show every famous person about 10 times during the match. Maybe they just didn't show him as much in the past.

Does anyone remember Murray won Wimbledon in the first time and they showed the same actor in the crowd about 25 times? Who cares?

It was also a waste of time showing Tim Henman's Dad 1000 times. They could have just showed him once and saved themselves some time after by repeating the same file image 1000 times. I don't think anyone would have noticed since he only had one facial expression.

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

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