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Slow boat to China .......

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Post by lags72 Tue 06 Oct 2015, 4:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

I see that a return to the competitive scene by both Djokovic and Nadal is not quite enough to wake 606 regulars from their state of forum hibernation. Maybe we will have to wait for Murray and/or OAP Federer for that to happen ...... chin

Meanwhile in Beijing itself, Rafa has been talking pre-tournament of his motivation to qualify for London, and his (understandable) fondness for this week's venue in the context of memories of Olympics success. And asked about his prospects for this current event, his response had a rather familiar ring to it when he described the field as "Very, very tough. From the 1st round, all the matches are tough"

Hmm. So I thought I'd check out who exactly Rafa's 'tough' first round opponent might be. It was apparently none other than the battle-hardened Di Wu. (yes, him !). Ranked 230 (although he did make 161 a coupe of years ago) and his best win this year to date was, I believe, over a 207-ranked Aussie at a Challenger event in An-Ning, China.

I didn't see the clash, so can't say just how 'tough' it was for Rafa. BUT .... Di Wu did seemingly acquit himself well in taking eight games off Rafa - so perhaps he was right to be wary ?! And eight games is, after all, six more than Bolelli managed against Novak.

We live in exciting times !

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Post by TRuffin Fri 09 Oct 2015, 8:31 pm

VAMOS RAFA!

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 09 Oct 2015, 11:32 pm

Wow, nobody puts that kind of score on Isner, 6-2 6-2. I checked and I think in all other matches this season he won at least twice as many games.

He did lose 6-4 6-1 against Berdych at the same event that year, which is almost as bad.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:44 am

Now that Rafa has won.. are we now going to hear how badly Foggy played..I wait with baited breath Rolling Eyes

As for me the match I watched I can say well played Rafa Wink

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:48 am

Well done Rafa for reaching a HC final this season. If it's Novak in the final, I hope Rafa can at least win six games and no bagel please!

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 10 Oct 2015, 8:04 am

With Nishi out of Tokyo at the SF stage, Rafa now moves to six in the race to London. Forward and upward Rafa!

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sat 10 Oct 2015, 8:33 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:With Nishi out of Tokyo at the SF stage, Rafa now moves to six in the race to London. Forward and upward Rafa!
clap

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Post by kingraf Sat 10 Oct 2015, 9:42 am

Straightforward enough win, but to be honest, until the third set, the USO was also a straightforward enough encounter. Thank goodness there was no third set today
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 10 Oct 2015, 9:47 am

Rafa looked comfortable out there; other than the wind, there's not much humidity out there and Rafa wasn't sweating buckets, unlike at the USO. It seems that as Rafa ages, he's even more hard at ease with humid conditions.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 10 Oct 2015, 1:41 pm

graz to rafa. Hes favourite to ovetake berdy too who is floundering.

Meanwhile ferrers shots are literally THE perfect speed for novak who is ripping him apart

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 10 Oct 2015, 1:57 pm

Ferrer can only hit CC all the time which is so predictable; Novak just camp there and anticipated that and out rally him most of the time.

Ferrer just refuses to move forward, just content to stay at the baseline all the time; it's like he already accepted defeat and not willing to make any changes to his game plan; maybe he hasn't got one in the first place.

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Post by summerblues Sat 10 Oct 2015, 5:31 pm

Nole vs Rafa. Interesting match in terms of seeing where Rafa stands now. I agree that it is almost a no-lose match for Rafa.

If he wins or even just takes a set - or even just keeps it to two tight sets maybe 7:5 7:5 or something, it will be a big plus for him.

If he loses, it will just mean more of the same - unless the loss is a real drubbing - something like 6:2 6:1 and even then he could just write this year off and start the next one from scratch.

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Post by lags72 Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:02 pm

I'll go for the upset with Rafa pulling through in 3.

But if Novak takes it (more likely I guess) he will then be at 68-5 for the season, with two Masters still to go before the curtain comes down in London. In his glamour year of 2011 he finished up with 70-6.

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Post by LuvSports! Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:15 pm

Nole in 2.

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Post by summerblues Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:36 pm

I also expect Nole in 2 - in fact I expect two fairly comfortable sets - maybe 6:4 6:3 or similar.

Anything better will be a boost for Rafa.  I think Rafa can come back strong - but I expect it to be more likely next year than this.  Agree with those who think the first half of 2016 will say a lot about what we can expect from Rafa in future.  If he struggles - especially if he struggles again all the way through the clay court season - then I do not see him recovering after that.  But if he comes back strong next year and is winning tournaments, he can have a few good years left.

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Post by kingraf Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:37 pm

If Rafa wins, does Nole 2015 fall victim to the might Asterix?
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Post by temporary21 Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:45 pm

wow I didnt know nole was only 4 wins away from bettering his 2011 season!

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Post by kingraf Sat 10 Oct 2015, 7:50 pm

It's not the wins thats the marvel (didn't he go 78-17 in 2009?) it's the damned winning percentage. That and the boring tennis which he's played. Been laserlike the whole year. Entertaining in its own way
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 10 Oct 2015, 8:00 pm

Hes poised to break Fed's 17 finals in a row record - hes now on 12 in a row with a few more tournaments on HCs to come this year and next.

If he keeps winning,his prize money this season alone may hit 20 million!and career wise may exceed 90 million up to end of this season. Dont know which record next that hes going to break or to set! Amazing!

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Post by HM Murdock Sat 10 Oct 2015, 9:58 pm

I think it will be competitive tomorrow but Djokovic's return has been crazy good this week, while Rafa has been dropping serve a lot.

A win would be good for Rafa but it's not a match that I think we can read much into.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:52 am

12 in a row is still a long way from 17 in a row.

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Post by Guest Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:24 am

It is probably now in Rafael Nadal's best interests that whatever happens it is not turned into a grind fest as nowadays one is not confident that his body can take it.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 11 Oct 2015, 8:24 am

The 12 finals in a row for Djoko is very impressive, as is his record against top 10 opponents this season (something like 20-4).
Let's hope Rafa can give him a good game today.
Incidentally I see Stan the Man has won Tokyo today. Another triumph for a 30-something. Wonder if the 30-something titles this year is going to be close to the record.


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Post by lags72 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:00 pm

Well it's certainly good to see another win for Stan clap

But wrt the over-30's factor ......I still don't detect much change in the general scene where the Slams and 1000's are concerned. In current/recent years these continue to be won by the under-30's (as per previous generations). Stan himself with RG of course, and also his mate Fed, are about the only exceptions in 2014/15, IIRC.

That said, if my fervent wish/hope of 'young' players stepping up their game to challenge the established names at the business end of the majors is not fulfilled soon, then we will of course  - if purely by default - see the old guard continuing to take the biggest titles. In which case, even the Slams & Masters might well start having over-30 champs on a regular basis Erm

Meanwhile ATP tour seems stuck in something of a time warp with a very dominant No. 1, but no serious contenders - at least not in any consistent way.

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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:12 pm

Tell you what, rafa is playing a lot better than i remember, still an uphill struggle ofc

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Post by Guest82 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:32 pm

Rafa probably played his best set of the year...and lost it 6-2.

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Post by laverfan Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:33 pm

temporary21 wrote:Tell you what, rafa is playing a lot better than i remember, still an uphill struggle ofc

Broken at 2-4 40-0 with Djokovic just letting Nadal make mistakes. Djokovic won all points on Nadal errors. Finest exhibition of the keeping the ball in play and waiting for opponent errors. clap

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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:38 pm

playing well, but not much you can do against a laser like that. Its not like hes making errors on mid court nothing balls

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:49 pm

The problem for Nadal is that to win points he has to hit a lot of winners. It's never been his game.
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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:52 pm

Done it many many times in his career. Not against this novak though. He has never been this wall like his entire career. Short of catching him after a long run of tournies when hes less fresh, he looks untouchable

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:55 pm

bogbrush wrote:The problem for Nadal is that to win points he has to hit a lot of winners. It's never been his game.

The usual BB bull sh@t

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Post by TRuffin Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:55 pm

Isn't the fact that nadal is playing really well and still getting handled with ease by djokovic a worrisome issue for him? Djokovic has him on a yo/yo at start of second set.

It's a rock and a hard place scenario... On one hand if nadal is showing poor form and getting whipped- his confidence might be further hurt but at least he can say - I played bad and that why I got destroyed. With this match though- I am playing really well/great and djokovic is just several levels better than me.

Seems like that would hurt even more when looking at his prospects going forward.

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:57 pm

No, it's not bull. His game is about pushing people into bad places and finishing a point off. He can't do it against Djokovic.

It's like asking McEnroe to win without volleying.
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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:58 pm

TRuffin wrote:Isn't the fact that nadal is playing really well and still getting handled with ease by djokovic a worrisome issue for him? Djokovic has him on a yo/yo at start of second set.

It's a rock and a hard place scenario...  On one hand if nadal is showing poor form and getting whipped- his confidence might be further hurt but at least he can say -  I played bad and that why I got destroyed.      With this match though-   I am playing really well/great and djokovic is just several levels better than me.

Seems like that would hurt even more when looking at his prospects going forward.
Well what can you do really? Everyone right now has the same problem. All he can do is start to play better, which he is doing quite well and see what happens. Nothing more Rafa can do, hands up to Novak, hes FAR better than anyone on tour, so far better the slam record is in the distance

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:58 pm

TRuffin wrote:Isn't the fact that nadal is playing really well and still getting handled with ease by djokovic a worrisome issue for him? Djokovic has him on a yo/yo at start of second set.

It's a rock and a hard place scenario...  On one hand if nadal is showing poor form and getting whipped- his confidence might be further hurt but at least he can say -  I played bad and that why I got destroyed.      With this match though-   I am playing really well/great and djokovic is just several levels better than me.

Seems like that would hurt even more when looking at his prospects going forward.
But Nadal isn't playing well. Versus himself from years ago he's hopeless, he has no power.
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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 1:59 pm

Thing is the evidence doesnt match it. Hes beaten Novak in many big matches over the last 3 years doing just that, not natural to him but hes more than good enough to adapt. Not this year though, this Novaks faar too good

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:01 pm

Watch those last two shots Nadal made to drop. I doubt I saw him do that twice a season years ago.

Rafas problem isn't that Djokovic is far better than him, it's that there are six other players better too.


Last edited by bogbrush on Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:01 pm

To say it has never been his game is bull.. So his h2h against your hero is not to make winners is it... doesn't say much for Federer then does it.. its bull sh@t

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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:03 pm

Watch the returns Novak made...
Plenty of power in this match, but hes needing to hit 4 great winners to get past him, its ridiculous how amazing Novaks defence is. Nowt any player can do really.

Right anyway the rugbies starting proper, please dont kill each other when novak does pick up what his 6th! title here.

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:04 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:To say it has never been his game is bull.. So his h2h against your hero is not to make winners is it... doesn't say much for Federer then does it.. its bull sh@t
If you'd watched tennis rather than Rafa's backside you'd have seen that he has won so much playing a game based on clay. That isn't about hitting winners. He can no longer do what he did so it's way more messy now.
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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:07 pm

Both of you ffs! Youll both be cooling off unless you stop the flirting alright?

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:07 pm

I'm just calling the tennis, I'm icy cool thanks.
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Post by lags72 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:08 pm

Haddie you often seem to be positively obsessed with Federer.

The guy isn't even playing this week. You're the first to mention him !

Isn't there enough to be discussed re today's finalists without worrying about a near-retirement OAP ....??!!

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Post by Guest82 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:10 pm

1st set a lot closer than score line suggests...2nd set a bit of an exhibition so far by Djokovic.

Seems 3/4 of his shots land within a foot of the baseline.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:13 pm

bogbrush wrote:
Haddie-nuff wrote:To say it has never been his game is bull.. So his h2h against your hero is not to make winners is it... doesn't say much for Federer then does it.. its bull sh@t
If you'd watched tennis rather than Rafa's backside you'd have seen that he has won so much playing a game based on clay. That isn't about hitting winners. He can no longer do what he did so it's way more messy now.

I hope temp before this get out of hand ... You note this

Tempted as I am to respond to your ignorant level.. Ill let you show yourself in your true colours.  attempting to justify your ill informed opinion in your usual inimitable fashion

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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:15 pm

Oh ok, Nadal hasn't played a game based on clay. picard
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Post by bogbrush Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:18 pm

Very easy for Djokovic, he played way within himself.

Only Murray on a good day, Federer on a faster court, or Stan on a tear can beat him now.
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Post by temporary21 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:20 pm

Grate to novak. Good tennis from both. Only way to beat that is to catch him when he's been worn down by workload. Good to see the crowd appreciate two great players with some grace...

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Post by summerblues Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:32 pm

Pretty straightforward match from which we do not learn much for 2016.

Both played much like the rest of the year. Rafa ok but not great - pretty much to the mid top10 form he has been showing all year, and Nole showing that he can demolish mid top10 players with gears to spare.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:36 pm

Novak gets some love from a crowd!

I thought that was one of Rafa's better performances of the year but he's clearly still lacking something. He can produce some great moments but isn't stringing them together to produce a great level overall. He also looks much slower to me.

That was a good level from Novak. Great depth on his shots.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 11 Oct 2015, 2:45 pm

I'd say that was a morale boosting tournament for Rafa - a sort of base to build on for the rest of the season. Novak rumbles on unruffled in the meantime and is untouchable at present.
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