Autumn Tournaments - Run up to Year-End Championship

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 17 Sep 2018, 10:37 am

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Still plenty of tennis to be played. Djoko's remarkable comeback means that he could end this year as number one again. Even if he doesn't reach the summit, he could do so in the first half of 2019.
Bit surprised Murray is not playing this week. I would have thought, with a couple of minor tournaments being played, that he could have got some much-needed match practice. Or is he saving himself for the China tournaments coming up?



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Post by No name Bertie on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 9:52 pm

Roger Federer has said in the past that he enjoys tennis and that is what is keeping him on the tour.  I hope he is still enjoying his tennis.  He is still ranked No 3 in the world and is the current holder of the AO Grand Slam title.  However with the return of Djokovic, a competitive Nadal, and Federer's aging body (currently 37) it has to be soon that he will join the rest of the pack (behind Djokovic and Nadal).   One has to imagine that at some point soon he will realise he won't be winning any more grand slams (his body not being able to withstand seven rounds of best of five set tennis) - at which point - he will decide either to retire or to continue playing tennis for the love of the game - if the latter then he might start playing clay court tennis again.

That it is still the usual suspects winning the grand slams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, despite them all being in their thirties, despite them all coming back from serious injuries - is a complete shocker for the rest of the field - the gulf in class between the original "top four" in the "top four era" (+ a late developing Wawrinka) - to the rest of the field is cavernous.  There is no-one remotely close to them in class in the generations that have followed them - including the current next gen generation.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 7:50 am

Been watching some Fed-Simon highlights. Simon played extremely well and seemed to have added more aggression to his steady, get-em-all-back style.
Fed will now take on Medvedev who he beat in three in Shanghai. But even if Rog wins I can't see him beating Zverev in the expected final.
Noting NNB's remarks above, I would say that Fed might be happy being three or four in the world but might not want to carry on if he is, say, out of the top 10. Hewitt, for example, carried on for quite a while without ever getting very high in the rankings. Agassi was keen to continue as long, in his words, as his opponent had to play really well to beat him.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 10:23 am

Medvedev should win today. Only question is whether the late and reasonably long match versus Tsitsipas will leave him a bit tired.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 5:13 pm

Hmm, called this match rather wrong. Neither player playing anything like their recent form. Fed is playing like it’s 2012 again and Medvedev looks like some amateur who has won a chance to play with his hero.

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Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 5:36 pm

So Medvedev has had a pretty respectable run in this Basel tourney, despite a sudden fall to earth.

The stand-out result was taking down young rising star Tsitsipas ..... but today he found the wily home favourite to be a rather different proposition, and could manage just two games vs. the Swiss OAP.

EDIT : apologies re bad typo above mentioning “just two games” ...... scoreline was 6-1 6-4, so five games OK


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Post by lags72 on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 5:54 pm

sirfredperry wrote:

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


  Noting NNB's remarks above, I would say that Fed might be happy being three or four in the world but might not want to carry on if he is, say, out of the top 10. Hewitt, for example, carried on for quite a while without ever getting very high in the rankings. Agassi was keen to continue as long, in his words, as his opponent had to play really well to beat him.

To be honest, I’m really not sure there’s much of a viable comparison to be made Federer / Hewitt !

Hewitt did well in his early years obviously. But he continued to play for almost a whole decade after he had fallen outside the top ten, and with just a handful of (low-tier) title victories in all that time.

Roger is very close in age to Lleyton but, by contrast, has already been playing a couple more years and mostly still within the top five. There’s no way he would continue the way Hewitt did if his annual win ratio fell to Hewitt’s level. His fans couldn’t bear it anyway, let alone his own pride.

Fed is becoming much more guarded & cautious these days whenever asked about future appearances or at which events he will or will not be seen next year. I do think ‘a decision’ (or perhaps an announcement ?)  is not too far off. But then again he has caught us all out many times before, so who can say for sure  ...... chin

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 6:08 pm

Well the big surprise today was Copil taking out Zverev which makes Fed a hot favourite for the title. Yes, I know Copil has beaten Cilic and Zverev but it's asking a lot of him to beat Fed and the crowd tomorrow. Still, he won't be short of confidence.
Doubt whether Fed will play Paris next week, having played the maximum number of matches this week. He has no points to defend and might as well save himself for the O2.
Win or lose tomorrow, Fed will be doing his annual Basel feeding of pizza to the ball boys and girls.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Oct 2018, 3:57 pm

Anderson takes the title in Vienna beating Nishi in straight sets while Rog battles back from a break down in sets one and two to beat Copil 7-6, 6-4 in Basel.
It will be pizza time for the ball boys and girls as Fed triumphs for the ninth time in Basel. That's 99 titles now I'm sure he can find another from somewhere to bring up the 100.
Full marks to Copil who must have been very tired but at least gave a good account of himself.

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Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Oct 2018, 4:18 pm

Didn’t see the match ... could only follow on live scores.

Copil provided a really tough test and has had a most impressive tourney for a qualifier. Big jump in the rankings for him now, too.

I believe the monster serves were being routinely hammered down by Copil with one measured at 151 mph !!! A verritable barrage of aces across the two sets, putting Fed’s own tally in the shade.

So then.... title no. 99 for a guy who AFAIK (?) is now the oldest within the entire ATP top 100 rankings. Feli Lopez is also 37, though a few months younger than the maestro.

Another lost Final for Nishi and it damages his chances of making London as he would dearly love to do.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Oct 2018, 4:30 pm

Wonder whether Fed might now decide to play at Paris as he had comparatively short matches in the semi and final in Basel. He has no points to defend but could at least gain some to offset what will probably be a big loss of points at the 2018 AO.
For once he won't be centre stage in the French capital where Rafa and Djoko will be battling for the number one spot.

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Post by lags72 on Sun 28 Oct 2018, 4:51 pm

@ sfp - Paris will be seriously tough for Fed if he goes ahead, as entered.

Still seems very questionable just how much he will play next year, but if he does compete at key events across the season, then holding on to a spot somewhere within top ten is best he can hope for.

He must surely be getting a tad weary with all those miles on the clock - not least considering just how deep he has gone at most Slams throughout what is now a very long career.

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 29 Oct 2018, 8:43 am

From the highlights, Copil played really well - big serves, drop shots, lobs, good movement. You can see how he managed to beat Cilic and Zverev.
No mention of Paris in Fed's after-match interview. I still think he will pull out. May be he hasn't decided yet.

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Post by sirfredperry on Tue 30 Oct 2018, 4:29 pm

Edmund has had to pull out of Paris with a knee problem. One of the guys who could have overtaken him in the rankings, Tsitsipas, lost his opening round.

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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 8:50 am

Djoko thru his first match in straight sets. Raonic bt JWT in three tiebreak sets which took almost three hours. No rest for the Canadian who today takes on Federer who has decided to play despite some fears he would pull out.
Rafa plays Verdasco who usually gives him a good match. Rafa has to go one round better than Djoko to stay number one.

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Post by MrInvisible on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 2:11 pm

That was a good win for Anderson in Vienna - looks like he's nailed on to reach the end of year Masters Finals for 1st time which would be a nice achievement for him at this stage of his career.

Presuming Del Potro isn't going to play at the finals due to his injury and that everyone else in the top 8 will, the final place for tour finals in London is likely to be between Nishikori and Isner - looks to be too much ground for Coric or Fognini to cover. Now just read on BBC website that Isner needs to reach semi-finals at Paris to stand a chance of getting to no. 9 in the race - not impossible.

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 4:18 pm

Rafa has pulled out injured, which means Djoko will take over as No. 1 next week. Quite a comeback for Djoko, which followed quite a comeback for Nadal, which followed quite a comeback for Fed.

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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 4:43 pm

Pull outs all round today, with Raonic handing Fed a w/o and Fed now due to play Fognini after the Italian got a.....w/o. Djoko could be number one for some time now and may not even have to do that well at the O2 if he wins Paris.

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Post by No name Bertie on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 5:34 pm

So Rafael Nadal has yet to recover from his knee injury sustained at the US Open September 7th.  Earlier in the year he had problems with a hip / thigh muscle injury - but recovered to win the French.  Aged 32 he is likely to be picking up more and more niggly injuries, although his knee injury may be a little more serious.  That injury may have been a reaction to his mammoth quarter-final victory over Thiem - which finished at 2.03 am in the morning of September 5th.  Nadal is no spring chicken but not yet a sitting duck.

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 6:32 pm

It's an abdominal injury, not a knee problem.

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 01 Nov 2018, 12:29 pm

Cilic has beaten Dimi in straight sets. That's it for this season for Dimi whose 1500 points from his 2017 O2 triumph have kept him in the rankings all year. His seeding will take a tumble now.
Well worth Fed turning up. He's got 90 points already and hasn't had to play until today.

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 01 Nov 2018, 5:53 pm

Isner beaten by Khachanov and the American looks to have had it as far as the 02 is concerned unless Rafa drops out. Both players had MPs in that match.

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Post by sirfredperry on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 8:21 am

Fed beats Fognini 4 and 3 to set up another clash with Nishi who beats Anderson. Djoko has now not lost a set for umpteen matches and today takes on Cilic.

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Post by MrInvisible on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 10:58 pm

Djokovic did lose the 1st set today but came through in 3 to beat Cilic, whilst Federer had a good win in 2 sets over Nishikori. Man of the moment Khachanov meanwhile beat Zverev in a one-sided match whilst Thiem prevailed in 3 sets against last year's surprise package Sock.

Djokovic to play Federer and Khachanov against Thiem in the semis.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 03 Nov 2018, 7:39 am

Djoko should prove too much for Fed who has at least built up some useful points to offset what is expected to be a big points loss at the AO in January.
Surely delpo won't be fit enough for the 02 but no official word on that yet. Will Rafa play?

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 03 Nov 2018, 10:18 am

Federer is more interested in competing for big titles or reaching milestones than worrying about points dropped - although he wants to be sufficiently ranked to avoid Djokovic / Nadal until the semi-final / finals.

I think currently Djokovic beats Federer on all surfaces except perhaps slippery grass.  And Nadal beats Federer on clay.  Apart from them Federer's biggest issue is surviving the physical demands of grand slam tournament tennis (seven rounds of best of five set tennis).

I wonder what the new year will bring for Andy Murray.  I wonder whether follow-up minor surgery was an option - given the various down-time periods he has had following his surgery back in January 2018.

I think Thiem and Coric are developing nicely and may begin to reach / challenge for the latter rounds of grand slams.

It should be Djokovic and Nadal sharing the grand slam titles next year - but this depends on Djokovic (and Nadal) not breaking down physically.

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Post by laverfan on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 1:27 am

Thiem was disappointing, losing to Khachanov. Coric is also inconsistent.

DelPotro was shaping up nicely, but recurring injuries will eventually take their toll on him. He withdraws from WTF, and Nishikori is in.

Nadal is also questionable for WTF. Isner can be dangerous on the O2 surface.

If Nadal does withdraw before the WTF draw comes out, Djokovic and Federer will end up in the opposite halves.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 3:28 am

Either Kachanov is playing lights out tennis or Zverev (QF) and Thiem (SF) were caught in a bad moment.  The final should reveal all.  If an easy win for Djokovic would suggest the latter, if a tough, narrow win for Djokovic, then the former.

Federer gave Djokovic a very tough SF match that went to three sets, with Djokovic only able to win via tie-breakers: 7-6 5-7 7-6. And this is with Federer having played a lot of tennis over the past few weeks. So very good for a man not far away from needing a zimmer frame.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 8:35 am

By all accounts an epic match between Djoko and Fed, who never lost serve. These two could be meeting again in London next week - possibly twice!
Fed has not beaten a top 10 player since Dimi in February although he's had precious little chance to do so. Contrast this with last year when he beat four top-tenners at the AO alone and then continued to beat Rafa the whole year.
A good O2 and a deep run at the AO in January will see Djoko staying top for quite a while. I think he'll eventually beat Rog's total-weeks-at-the-top record. At least Fed can concentrate on getting his 100th title. Can either Rafa or Djoko equal that?

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 3:52 pm

Khachanov has just beaten Djoko in straight sets - 7-5, 6-4.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 3:56 pm

So the answer was that Karen Khachanov was playing lights out tennis as he beats Djokovic in straight sets in the final: 7-5 6-4.

He is expected to rise to no#11 in the world having reached No#18 at the start of the week.
2016.06.06: breaks into the top #100 for first time.
2017.02.13: breaks into the top #50 for first time.
2017.08.21: breaks into the top #30 for first time.
2018.10.22: breaks into the top #20 for first time.

This is Khachanov first Master's final and first title. He reached the Masters Canadian SF in early August and before then had never gone past the third round of a Masters tournament.

He won his first ATP title in Sep 2016 (Chengdu Open China ATP 250 outdoor/ hard)
Then won two more ATP 250 titles this year:
Late Feb 2018 Marseille, France indoor/hard
Late Oct 2018 Moscow, Russia indoor/hard.


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Post by laverfan on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 4:22 pm

Congratulations to Khachanov on his first (of many) Masters. Paris is always tricky, being the last MS, and has produced many 'first-time' winners.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 4:48 pm

There was some suggestion that Djoko has had a touch of flu this week. May be that, and the ultra-long match against Fed, told in the end. Still, terrific win and week for Khachanov.
Yes, LF, Paris often throws up a surprise winner. Last year it was Sock. I recall Henman beating a host of star names, including a young Fed, Roddick and Kuerten, to win in Paris in 2003. Tim kept playing guys who were worn out after a long season and from lengthy matches the previous day.
Probably better for Djoko to lose today than lose, say, a semi at the 02 - given just how many points can be gathered at the year-end championship.

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