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AO 2016 - Day 2

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Post by laverfan Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:36 am

Order of Play - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/schedule7.html

Live Scores - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/scores/index.html

Day 2 Preview - http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/articles/2016-01-18/day_2_preview_aussie_pride.html

Fingers Crossed to all hitting the yellow fuzzy ball.

Nadal v Verdasco - will it be a repeat of 2009 fireworks?

Murray v Zverev promises to be interesting.

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Post by laverfan Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:14 am

Gulbis being a horse's a$$.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:19 am

Jo Konta wins the first set 6-4 against Venus Williams. Murray gets an esrly break to lead Zverev 3-1.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:32 am

Wow Konta in control and leading Venus 6-4 3-0. It is now all about her belief in her ability to see out the match. Meanwhile, Murray takes the first set 6-1.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:54 am

Great performance from Konta who beats Venus Williams 6-4 6-2. Murray now 6-1 4-1 up on Zverev
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Post by laverfan Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:56 am

What a win for JK!

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Post by Born Slippy Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:07 am

Murray in exhibition mode. It's been a clinic so far but he needs to be careful as this kid is clearly the real deal.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:09 am

As I suspected, Evans is finding Lopez a nightmare - 16 06 so far. Ouch.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:11 am

and there it is. Straightforward for Murray, extremely solid from him today. Served well, returned well, moved well, hit the ball well, looks in good shape. A bit disappointed by Zverev TBH, attitude and body language were poor.

It was interesting that for most of the match Murray was happy to use the block return, and very effectively too, but then switched to more aggressive returns in the last couple of return games. Wonder if that was partly in preparation for R2 vs Groth, where he'll have to drive through more returns to counter the S&V.

I like Bartoli as a commentator I must say, she offers some very good insight, though perhaps talks a bit too much at times.

Great win for Konta earlier, really impressive performance after a poor start to the year, showed some nerves when serving for each set, but came through well, and looked very good indeed throughout. Venus is a big scalp, and that's opened her draw up quite nicely.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:13 am

Murray wins 6-1 6-2 6-3. Fognini and Muller involved in a real marathon match. After almost four hours Muller beats No 20 seed Fognini 7-6 7-6 6-7 7-6. Nadal and Verdasco level at 5-5 in the first set.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:21 am

I don't think I'm going to do well at SB's prediction game: Fognini and Paire out already, both of whom I've picked laughing

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:33 am

Mad for Chelsea wrote:I don't think I'm going to do well at SB's prediction game: Fognini and Paire out already, both of whom I've picked laughing

Of course, I also picked Nadal, who's only gone and lost the first set against Verdasco on a TB, serving a double fault at 6-6. Come on Rafa, sort it out!! Anyway, off for some sleep now...

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Post by summerblues Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:36 am

Nadal drops the first set after a DF at 6:6 in the TB gives Verdasco a set point.

Nadal playing ok, but nowhere near his pre-2015 levels.  Leaving many balls too short, and also making a few of the cheap errors that were visible last year (like that DF, or a badly topped FH in the TB).

Verdasco playing quite well, aggressive but mostly playing within himself.  He had 0-40 on Rafa's serve at 4:4, that he really probably should have converted but he made a few cheap errors in that game.  Overall, the better player so far.

Unfortunately, good night from me.

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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:30 am

Bugger I sleep and miss some classics. Nafal up a break in the 5th set. Fog out too

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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:55 am

Nope. Verdasco rushing to the finish Line. His serve has gone to pot

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Post by LuvSports! Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:04 am

Verdasco pounding out more than 80 winners!

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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:06 am

And gets it. Rafas serve just want good enough to keep him at bay really. He needs to work on that

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:10 am

Verdasco played some great stuff. The way it panned out I think is symptomatic of Rafa's last year and a bit. Players who now get into tight scraps with him in the past saw him as an invincible superman and the belief hinder them. Now Rafa has lost that aura and Verdasco kept belief where in the past it may have evaporated.
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Post by Born Slippy Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:10 am

Verdasco on song has to be the best player to watch in tennis. That forehand on match point was jaw-dropping,

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:19 am

Verdasco was superb - no doubt. But what are the odds of him bowing out tamely before the quarters?
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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:24 am

wish I woke up earlier to see more of it. From a break down he smashed about 8 return winners. No doubt questions will hang over Mr Nadal. Not sure there any huge shame, but his serve really needs to go in more given it's not improved at all.

He's still thereabouts, but his weaknesses are more stark now, he can at least mitigate those on clay


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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:24 am

Big odds on him bowing out next round. He's so up and Down

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:34 am

That opens Stan's quarter up for him now.
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Post by Born Slippy Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:40 am

Murray looked exceptional last night. Biggest change looks to have been finally sorting out the second serve. That change in itself will massively increase his prospects assuming he doesn't regress in tougher matches.

I disagree with MfC about Zverev. I think he looks a real prospect and a level up from Chung. Huge serve, no discernible weakness on ground strokes and excellent movement for a guy who is 6'6. Still a bit raw but he would have beaten a lot of players in the draw. Can see him being a future number 1.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:43 am

Struggling to keep my eyes open I watched the entire match.
Verdasco was sharp  for most of the match unlike   Rafa who  played most unconvincingly ..never really took control of the match but waited for Nando to make errors.. not good enough Rafa .. and you paid the price
Disappointing in that I see no improvements or adjustments to his game ..same old same old. Rarely came into the net but stayed as usual behind the baseline !!!! Well done Nando .. though I await to see whether you can keep that standard up.in the coming rounds.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:58 am

Haddie-nuff at the moment Rafa seems like a jigsaw puzzle with a few key pieces missing. His serve fell apart at key times and where was that killer instinct that all the top players possess? Fifth set and you would think he would have been like a shark smelling blood in the water when he went 2-0 up but no he surrendered his advantage. Okay that may be being tough on Fernando as he upped his game but my point is Rafa didn't have that extra gear.

Still Verdasco played great but for Rafa it is back to the drawing board.
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Post by Guest Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:02 am

Left for work Rafa 2-1 up and arrive and he has lost! Shocked

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:08 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Haddie-nuff at the moment Rafa seems like a jigsaw puzzle with a few key pieces missing. His serve fell apart at key times and where was that killer instinct that all the top players possess? Fifth set and you would think he would have been like a shark smelling blood in the water when he went 2-0 up but no he surrendered his advantage. Okay that may be being tough on Fernando as he upped his game but my point is Rafa didn't have that extra gear.

Still Verdasco played great but for Rafa it is back to the drawing board.

I totally agree CC.. I honestly believed we would see the beginnings of a comeback (not a leap up the rankings) but a comeback nonetheless. The fire in the belly has gone, as has his movement, no passion, satisfied to keep the ball in play.. not one of Rafa's signature shots up the line (unless that was one of the times I dozed off)..which actually says it all doesn't it..ME doze off in one of Rafa's matches.. the writing was on the wall even when he was in the lead.. he lost focus.
Not sure what he can do from here.. we have heard all the talk about making continuing improvements.. but heh Rafa
where.?.. a good starting point would be your terrible serve.

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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:14 am

It is what it is haddie. He's playing probably better than when he made the quarters last year. It was a tough opener and I had a feeling it might happen.

Far from dead and buried though, but it's looking like he'll be a force only really on clay, which is bad for those who want to see novak not dominate

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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:22 am

Nadal's extraordinary career has taught us never to write him off, especially with the clay season to come, but 2016 feels like it's make or break for him as a slam winner/challenger, or as a regular challenger in the Masters Series. There's no particular health issue of which we are aware, he had a decent end of 2015 on the indoor courts when he looked to be shaking off some cobwebs and regaining a bit of his elan.

This June he hits 30 - if he's still got what it takes he's got 5-6 months to show himself and the rest of us.
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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:24 am

It'll come on clay I guess. He really needs to either hit a bigger serve. Or get most of them in. How tenuous his serve is is a big part of his problem

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Post by Guest82 Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:29 am

I only saw the end of the fourth set and the whole of the fifth. Undoubtedly Verdasco played well, but there is something about Rafa's game that seems to make it look like the opponent is playing out of this world. It happens often enough - Rosol, Brown, Kyrgios etc. None of them seem to perform at the level regularly. I think him leaving short balls, coupled with his excellent defence makes it look like the player is playing better than they actually are.

I don't think Djokovic, Murray or Federer lose to Verdasco today.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:33 am

Im not saying Im writing him off..but the feeling Im getting is not about his tennis ability.. we know he has that.. still I believe he is having confidence issues in spite of the fact that he denies it.. he hasn't forgotten how to play tennis.. but he has forgotten how he himself believes that. Rafa was always at his most dangerous when his back was against the wall.. he threw everything at his opponent and then some....now he looks like a lamb going to slaughter
Will that return.?? Im not so sure

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Post by barrystar Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:38 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:Im not saying Im writing him off..but the feeling Im getting is not about his tennis ability.. we know he has that.. still I believe he is having  confidence issues in spite of the fact that he denies it.. he hasn't forgotten how to play tennis.. but he has forgotten how he himself believes that. Rafa was always at his most dangerous when his back was against the wall.. he threw everything at his opponent and then some....now he looks like a lamb going to slaughter
Will that return.?? Im not so sure

That figures - but I suspect that the root cause of any mental weakness is physical - it's only a theory but I think that he may be experiencing a very slight physical deterioration from his absolute peak, not enormous, but enough to notice so that he knows that when he's stretched his response is not going to be as physically overwhelming as it used to be - possibly he has less trust in what his back can put up with.  That sort of feeling can play havoc with the mind of a professional sportsman when the margins are as tight as they are at the top.  I say this because if he's physically OK and trusting in his physical ability I can't think of any other reason for him to lose his mental edge especially when, as I agree, he won't have forgotten how to play tennis.  He must know he's dropping his forehand a bit too short.
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Post by CAS Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:46 am

If it's any consolation to Rafa fans it does make you appreciate how amazing it actually was he was able to win so many close matches in his career and how he was able to keep performances like that of Verdasco today at bay for so long.

I went through it similarly with Federer. I remember Jose Mourinho saying when his run of never losing at home came to an end "it's not a time to be sad, it's time for a celebration to appreciate what we managed to do for so long."

Rafa is losing more but it just shows he was human and was doing superhuman things for so long. It's time to appreciate what he was able to do for most of his career, and maybe be able to still get back to slam winning level. I was very impressed with him after the US Open, only lost to Novak, Federer and Stan on fast surfaces, that could have happened tp 08 10 and 13 Rafa! And beat Murray, Stan, Ferrer etc. It's not over yet!


Last edited by CAS on Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:47 am

We'll read how Verdasco played incredibly, how Nadal played well but this was just a great performance by his opponent..... and then Verdasco will be dismissed easily by someone miles off the pace.

The problem is power. Nadal no longer has it, and he cannot impart the kick to the ball or the raw speed to take players out of their zone. It doesn't mean he plays WTA tennis, his game was always based on bludgeoning strength so take 5% off and he's 50% of the player.

Fitness is no longer an issue.
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Post by Jahu Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:52 am

So Nadal as predicted to be the King of ATP250 on clay.

Fed can still win a few ATP500, and join Nadal in Nike launge and discuss History and get scared that Djoko will trash their records and discuss egg chambers and gluten Laugh
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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:52 am

barrystar wrote:
Haddie-nuff wrote:Im not saying Im writing him off..but the feeling Im getting is not about his tennis ability.. we know he has that.. still I believe he is having  confidence issues in spite of the fact that he denies it.. he hasn't forgotten how to play tennis.. but he has forgotten how he himself believes that. Rafa was always at his most dangerous when his back was against the wall.. he threw everything at his opponent and then some....now he looks like a lamb going to slaughter
Will that return.?? Im not so sure

That figures - but I suspect that the root cause of any mental weakness is physical - it's only a theory but I think that he may be experiencing a very slight physical deterioration from his absolute peak, not enormous, but enough to notice so that he knows that when he's stretched his response is not going to be as physically overwhelming as it used to be - possibly he has less trust in what his back can put up with.  That sort of feeling can play havoc with the mind of a professional sportsman when the margins are as tight as they are at the top.  I say this because if he's physically OK and trusting in his physical ability I can't think of any other reason for him to lose his mental edge especially when, as I agree, he won't have forgotten how to play tennis.  He must know he's dropping his forehand a bit too short.

I think we can safely say that Rafa's retrieval skills are no way as good as they once were; he is not going for the ball like he once did.. of course.. he is no youngster. But this was a huge part of Rafa's game, whatever was thrown at him he got back.  Not anymore and this is,imo, one of the issues he has a problem with. He is trying to keep the ball low over the net, he was lucky today insofar as he had two or three vital net cords, and I believe this is some of the reason his shots are falling short.. he doesn't play much to the lines  either, or cross court. He is trying to play too safe.  He is overthinking instead of playing with his gut like he always did.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:53 am

Yes Haddie I said through last year that it seemed mental as in loss of confidence/belief and that seemed to be the case today.

Look at Konta today by comparison. She forged into the lead (had a wobble late in the second set) but overcame it and powered on to a win. That is because mentally she is in a great place and really believes. In comparison Rafa got himself ahead in the final set but it turned out to be a very different story as if he had belief issues and confidence.
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Post by djkbrown2001 Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:00 pm

Now Halep is out. She won't be numero dos for long. Seems like serena will now hit 3 straight years at number 1. She might even enter the french as number 1. After this not much to defend apart from miami.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:00 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
I disagree with MfC about Zverev. I think he looks a real prospect and a level up from Chung. Huge serve, no discernible weakness on ground strokes and excellent movement for a guy who is 6'6. Still a bit raw but he would have beaten a lot of players in the draw. Can see him being a future number 1.

Hmm. Maybe I was a bit harsh, though I was mostly talking about his attitude, which was pretty poor for most of the game. He has a good serve, but "huge" might be overstating it. It's not at the Karlovic/Raonic/Isner level, and while he hits the second serve hard he hits it quite flat without much placement, and Murray was able to pick it off comfortably. Arguably Murray has the best return of second serve on tour, so of course that makes things more difficult.

His groundstrokes are solid, though there's a weakness on the FH return (big take back) that Murray ruthlessly exploited. I'm not sure there's much that made me go 'WOW' in the way the current players did. Movement is excellent, I agree.

I just think this was my first look at a guy who's being talked about as the future, and I was left a bit underwhelmed. Yes he's a decent player with a solid base, but there doesn't seem to be anything special there IMO. Of course, I'm judging this on one match in tough conditions against an excellent Murray, so maybe not the best time to make snap judgements...


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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:06 pm

Hewitt taking the first set against Duckworth on a TB. Some trademark "COME ON!!!"s in there from Leyton, but all a bit too friendly from Duckworth, needs to show some fighting spirit. Also, what on earth is Hewitt wearing? :do:

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Post by Born Slippy Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:07 pm

He was hitting around 220kmh on serve - not quite Raonic power but big for an 18 year old.

I actually wasn't too concerned with his attitude. He continued to fight in the 3rd and there were some flashes of brilliance. I can see him becoming a better version of Cilic which could, with consistency, get him to the top.

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Post by Guest Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:20 pm

Venus and Nadal crash out a day after a report suggesting top tennis players are taking bribes to lose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by temporary21 Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:21 pm

That would have been a hell of a stupid way to do it tbh

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Post by Guest82 Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:24 pm

bogbrush wrote:We'll read how Verdasco played incredibly, how Nadal played well but this was just a great performance by his opponent..... and then Verdasco will be dismissed easily by someone miles off the pace.

The problem is power. Nadal no longer has it, and he cannot impart the kick to the ball or the raw speed to take players out of their zone. It doesn't mean he plays WTA tennis, his game was always based on bludgeoning strength so take 5% off and he's 50% of the player.

Fitness is no longer an issue.

Agree with this. The common denominator here is Nadal. People don't keep on playing the match of their lives.

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Post by Guest Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:29 pm

Let the final lap of failure commence with detractors basking in the decline.... Wink

There is a power outage and a supply shortage on talent....

Something needs to give whether it means looking elsewhere for a coach and trying to adapt or maybe walking away altogether.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:41 pm

I see that Anderson's lost too. My performance in SB's prediction game is becoming laughably bad: Paire, Fognini, Anderson, Nadal all out in R1 Shocked

Maybe Tursunov will do me a favour and knock out Wawrinka...

Hewitt now two sets up, could set up a R2 show-down with Ferrer.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:48 pm

Tursonov hanging in there will but just lost the first set on a tie-break MfC.
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Post by bogbrush Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:49 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Yes Haddie I said through last year that it seemed mental as in loss of confidence/belief and that seemed to be the case today.

Look at Konta today by comparison. She forged into the lead (had a wobble late in the second set) but overcame it and powered on to a win. That is because mentally she is in a great place and really believes. In comparison Rafa got himself ahead in the final set but it turned out to be a very different story as if he had belief issues and confidence.
Yes, and it was wrong all last year too.

This is not mental, it's physical. It becomes mental when panic sets in because he knows the physical advantage no longer exists; then you get bad shot selection.

I've always said this "mental strength" thing is mostly b****ocks; much of it is simply confidence that you can outhit / outlast the other guy that means you keep applying pressure. Mental strength when you know you're outmatched is a different thing entirely.
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