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Australian Open 2019

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 10 Jan 2019, 1:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

Thought it was time to set up a dedicated thread for the Australian Open.  Federer is in same half as Nadal and Cilic whilst Djokovic has Zverev in his half and could face Tsonga in 2nd round, Shapovalov in 3rd round and Medvedev in 4th round, so will get some decent early tests.  

Some real tough draws for the Brits, with Murray up against Bautista Agut and Edmund's reward for his progress up the rankings is a 1st round encounter with Berdych.  Konta will play an opponent who beat her in Brisbane last week, though Norrie will play Fritz who he beat this week in Sydney.  

Raonic v Kyrgios looks like one of the picks of the 1st round, with Thiem also in same quarter, and fingers crossed for Dan Evans, still going strong in the qualifiers currently.

Out of the young guns I'm expecting Coric to go the furthest - he's got quite a nice draw.


Last edited by MrInvisible on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by shivfan Mon 21 Jan 2019, 10:09 am

What a match! Serena cruised through the first set, but Halep fought tooth and nail in the next two, before Serena eventually came through 6-1,4-6,6-4.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Jan 2019, 11:12 am

Always sorry to see Halep go out. Such a battler. Looks as if Serena has a great chance for another GS title. However, she was well below par in her last two GS finals, so it's not a certainty.
Somewhat surprisingly, at least to me, is that Corich has been beaten in four by Pouille. In the Djoko match, Medvedev was within a point of parity having been 5-2 down before Nole took the first set 5-2.
As I write, Nishi - who looked dead and buried - has just levelled his match at two sets all. Another tremendous battler.

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 21 Jan 2019, 11:54 am

Pouille beating Coric was definitely bit of surprise for me. After a great breakthrough 2016, the Frenchman has had a disappointing couple of years and has previously had a poor record at Australian Open, but he looks to be back on track this tournament.

As I predicted Raonic proved too strong for Zverev, although I wasn't expecting it to be quite so one-sided.

Nishikori has come back from the dead so many times this Australian Open and is closing in on another gritty 5 set win. Both Nishikori and Bautista Agut deserve a medal for their exploits.

Serena has a v convincing head-to-head against Halep, and I wonder if that psychological edge helped make the difference. Serena will draw level with all-time womens' slam leader Margaret Court if she can triumph at Australian Open - I used to be rooting for her but since the US Open outburst I'm not so keen! I make Serena favourite (just) to win but there are still some players left in the draw who are capable of beating her.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 21 Jan 2019, 12:20 pm

Nishikori, from 5-8 down in the tie break, soars back to win it 10-8. Amazing match, great drama.

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Post by lags72 Mon 21 Jan 2019, 12:23 pm

I love Kei Nishikori heart

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Jan 2019, 12:23 pm

Duty281 wrote:Nishikori, from 5-8 down in the tie break, soars back to win it 10-8. Amazing match, great drama.

Five hour five minute match. Nishi served for it at 5-4 in the 5th only to be broken. It looked all over at 8-5 to CB in the tiebreak.
Meanwhile, Medvedev has just levelled at one set all against Djoko after trailing in the second set.

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 21 Jan 2019, 12:32 pm

Nishikori is a legend - real gutsy competitor, and here's hoping he's still got a bit left in the tank to remain competitive in next round.

Looking at the draw I think Medvedev will come closest to beating Djokovic at this year's Australian Open, and who knows, may even pull off this feat.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Jan 2019, 8:46 pm

Well, Djoko came thru in the end. Apparently he had a few back probs in the fourth set but has said he should be fine for the next match.
Tsitsipas v RBA is a tough one to call tomorrow. RBA's progress reminds me of Safin at the AO in 2004 when the Russian had a series of ultra-long matches and had nothing left when he met Federer in the final.
I think Rafa will have too much for Tiafoe. Kvitova's matches are nearly always about her. If she plays well she can beat anyone. She'll have to beat the crowd as well tomorrow. The other women's quarter, between two unseeded players is practically flip-a-coin time.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Jan 2019, 9:08 pm

Just watched the tiebreak in the Nishi match. The umpire, for me, definitely got it wrong at 5-8 in the tiebreak when a Nishi winner after a wrong linesman's call during a point was allowed to stand instead of the point being replayed.
  But Nishi still pulled off some great retrieving and shotmaking to take the match. Will he have anything left after a five-hour match?

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 21 Jan 2019, 11:15 pm

Looking at the matches on today I'm going for straightforward wins for 3 out of the 4...

Tsitsipas v Bautista Agut is on 1st, and in the heat of the day I really can't see Bautista Agut getting through this one after all his exploits. Sure, it may be tricky for Tsitsipas to adjust after such a big win over Federer, but I'm sure his coach will have been getting him back down to earth. Federer couldn't break him (and didn't manage to at Hopman Cup either) and he was rock solid on the breakpoints. I'm going for Tsitsipas in 3 or 4 sets.

Nadal v Tiafoe. Tiafoe's been v impressive this tournament, and like Tsitsipas shows signs of mental strength. Nevertheless I'm not sure Tiafoe has enough sustained firepower to beat Nadal.

Kvitová v Barty. Will go for Kvitová in 2 fairly easy straight sets, but wouldn't be surprised if its the opposite!

Pavlyuchenkova v Collins. Collins, 25 years old, hadn't won a slam match before this Australian Open yet demolished Kerber for the loss of just 2 games. Pavlyunchenkova beat Stephens but had much more of a struggle. I think this one will go the distance - will give Collins the edge- she must be playing with real confidence.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 1:55 am

QF: Bautista vs Tsitsipas

Bautista has done what Federer has never done - he broke Tsitsipas and in the very first game of the quarter final. Obviously early days yet.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 2:07 am

Tsitsipas has recovered after playing a rogue service game at the beginning but still a break down.
Bautista Agut vs Tsitsipas: 3-2

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 2:23 am

Tsitsipas has the break back so it is Bautista Agut vs Tsitsipas: 4-5 with RBA serving to stay in the set.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 2:38 am

Tsitsipas takes the first set 7-5. It looks like Tsitsipas is going to beat RBA - probably in 3 sets unless he has a lapse in concentration.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 2:53 am

Hmmm Bautista Agut has broken Tsitsipas again and leads 3-1 in the second set but is a set down. Seems like they can both break each other. Still think Tsitsipas is the favorite and will probable win in 3 or 4 sets. It is just interesting that Agut is able to break Tsitsipas serve whereas Federer wasn't able to.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 3:45 am

In every set Bautista Agut has broken Tsitsipas early in the set.  Current Score:
Bautista Agut vs Tsitsipas: 5-7 6-4 4-3 with Agut to serve.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 4:10 am

Bautista Agut vs Tsitsipas: 5-7 6-4 4-6

RBA seems to be playing consistently well while Tsitsipas is up and down. When Tsitsipas is down Agut has the chance to break Tsitsipas and when Tsitsipas is up he breaks Bautista Agut. That is if they played both to their best Tsitsipas should win.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 22 Jan 2019, 4:13 am

sirfredperry wrote:Just watched the tiebreak in the Nishi match. The umpire, for me, definitely got it wrong at 5-8 in the tiebreak when a Nishi winner after a wrong linesman's call during a point was allowed to stand instead of the point being replayed.
  But Nishi still pulled off some great retrieving and shotmaking to take the match. Will he have anything left after a five-hour match?

I thought it was the correct decision, although he shouldn’t have let PCB challenge given it was pointless for him to do so. The call came as Kei put the easy winner away and definitely did not effect the point in any way. PCB has no hope of getting to the ball.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 22 Jan 2019, 4:14 am

RBA looks physically done to me. Didn’t run for some shots he’d normally have got an the end of the last set. This set should be easy for Tsitsipas.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 22 Jan 2019, 4:29 am

Tsitsipas getting a warning for receiving coaching - and his coach is Patrick Mouratoglou - yes the one at the centre of the Serena Williams outburst at the US Open 2018.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 22 Jan 2019, 7:55 am

Tsitsipas gets through, but he will have to be much more consistent on his first serve to beat Nadal on Thursday (presuming it is Nadal). RBA had a good run, but he was asked to go to the well too many times.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 22 Jan 2019, 8:25 am

MrI - spot on with your predictions so far. Are you available to sort out Brexit?
  Seems RBA, understandably, ran out of steam. Would like to hear more about this coaching violation. Same guy was involved in the Serena USO bust-up, eh?

Later: Another predicting triumph for MrI as Kvitova takes out Barty in straight sets.

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Post by MrInvisible Tue 22 Jan 2019, 11:57 am

@SFP: I used to do the occasional flutter on slams, with my most notable success on successfully tipping Federer to win his 1st Wimbledon in 2003. Decided to quit whilst I was still ahead of the bookies though. If I was still a betting man I'd probably be looking at the 'Next Generation' of players and seeing odds on reaching final before each slam. On Brexit, as its so divisive and messy I fear it won't be properly sorted out for years to come - we'll still probably be talking about it when Tsitsipas and Zverev have retired from tennis.

Back to the Aus Open, its great to see a visibly emotional Kvitova back in a slam semi-final. After what she's been through she would be a v popular winner of the title. Nadal's closing in on a straightforward win against Tiafoe. On the semi-final with Tsitsipas, I do think the young Greek will test Nadal, but he did have a couple of dips in play against Bautista Agut so I'm going for Nadal in either 4 or 5 sets. I think we're heading for an epic Nadal v Djokovic final.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 22 Jan 2019, 4:01 pm

MrI - Reckon Raonic might upset your Djoko-Nadal final prediction. Asking a lot of Tsitsipas to bt Nadal.
I'm taking Serena to bt Pliskova, while Osaka v Svitolina is a tough one to call. At a pinch I'd go for Osaka.
There'll be a change at number one, with any of four women capable of getting to the top. Of the three only Pliskova has been number one before.

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Post by lags72 Wed 23 Jan 2019, 8:12 am

How did this run by Lucas Pouille happen .... ??

Prior to the AO, he had lost six matches in a row (albeit including Hopman Cup), so hardly an indication that he was coming into the tourney in sparkling form ! And now he’s just taken out Raonic.

I’m especially peeved because I had a sneaky bet on Raonic to make the Final. Any hope that I’ll emerge with a profit from various AO wagers now rests on Rafa and Tsitsipas Cool

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Jan 2019, 8:32 am

Very surprised to wake up to see Raonic trailing - and now he's out. Good news for Djoko, I guess, although he has to get thru Nishi first.
Incredible finish to the Pliskova-Serena match with Williams having an MP at 5-1 in the final set and three more at 5-4. She appeared to turn her ankle during the first MP. But even so, a remarkable fightback by Pliskova who now takes on Osaka in the s-f.

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Post by Born Slippy Wed 23 Jan 2019, 8:56 am

Nishikori not moving well and already a break down. Hopefully, he loosens up as the match develops but currently looks like this could be quick.

Pouille beating Raonic looks like good news for Novak. I can’t see him losing that so I’ve more or less put him in the final now. Great to see Mauresmo having a really positive impact in her new coaching role though.

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Post by MrInvisible Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:32 am

Pouille on his day is top 10 (though not big 4/5) material - he's got a v powerful game. However, he's inconsistent and can get tight so, despite the positive impact Mauresmo's having, I can see him remaining a streaky player, capable of a good run here and there but lacking the day-to-day consistency to be a regular top 10er.

Got to say things are shaping up nicely for Djokovic. He's been tested in the early rounds, so is match-sharp, but should have a quick match against the injured/exhausted Nishikori and Pouille doesn't look like taking him to more than 4 sets.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Tsitsipas will be keen to improve on his past record against Nadal. He 1st played Nadal as an unexpected finalist in Barcelona last year (after beating some decent claycourters en-route) and lost heavily. He then played him in Toronto, again in a final, having beaten a clutch of top players. It was still a convincing win for Nadal but not quite as one-sided as Barcelona. I don't think he'll beat Nadal tomorrow but if he serves as he did against Federer he's capable of pushing Nadal to 4 or even 5 sets.

On the womens' I think Osaka is now favourite. If she goes on to win she could end up dominating the game for a bit. Pliskova though won't be easy - she's been v consistent over last couple of years but hasn't quite been able to reach that next level to win a slam. Saving match points against Serena will have done her confidence no harm.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:42 am

Nishi has had to retire. Very sad, but he'd had a gruelling tournament.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:43 am

Pouille has gone under the radar until he beat Raonic - Raonic started off leading in the first set 3-1 but Pouille turned the momentum around and gained control of the match. Pouille hasn't really beaten anyone of note except up and coming Coric in the 4R and 19 year old Popyrin in the 3R. I thought Raonic would blast Pouille out, but Raonic was broken several times by Pouille.

Not sure what happened with Serena Williams. Surely if her ankle was bad she would have got a medic to take a look and get it taped up for support.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Jan 2019, 6:20 pm

Just been watching some highlights of the Pliskova-Wms match. The Czech played some glorious stuff towards the end. Given the drama with the MPs and the level of play this was one of the best women's GS matches for some time.
As for tomorrow, I'm taking Rafa to bt Tsitsipas. Just hope the Greek can making something of a fight of it. Osaka will be the fresher of the two in the Pliskova match, but I still think it could go either way. Kvitova ought to beat Collins and definitely will if she plays anything like her best.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:20 am

So it's Kvitova and Osaka who will battle not only for the title but also for the number one spot. Wonder if that's happened before at a Slam final.
Bit tough on Pliskova having to play two days running. OK, Osaka had to, too, but she had a much shorter match. Just as at Wimbledon where the women have to play on Monday and Tuesday of the second week, the ladies are not helped by the scheduling.
Rafa about to take on Tsitsipas. Let's hope the Greek can give Rafa a run for his money.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:59 am

Tsitsipas sinking fast. Too many basic errors at key times against a player of Nadal's quality.

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Post by lags72 Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:03 am

Duty281 wrote:Tsitsipas sinking fast. Too many basic errors at key times against a player of Nadal's quality.

Rafa’s performances here at this AO have been near-flawless but I assume you still consider him as looking “past his best” as you did just a few days ago ?

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Post by Duty281 Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:07 am

lags72 wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Tsitsipas sinking fast. Too many basic errors at key times against a player of Nadal's quality.

Rafa’s performances here at this AO have been near-flawless but I assume you still consider him as looking “past his best” as you did just a few days ago ?

Pretty much, but he was very, very good today. Best he's played all tournament, though the third set was a formality.

Don't think Djokovic will have too many problems on Sunday.

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Post by Just John Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:08 am

Emphatic demolition job by Nadal. The next generation must wait some more....

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:19 am

In the end, Tsitsipas got a free lesson from Nadal, who beat him comprehensively 6-2, 6-4, 6-0. Too many errors from Tsitsipas and Nadal was also just too good today. Hopefully Tsitsipas learns from the experience and comes back stronger.

No disrespect to Pouille who has played v well this tournament, but I just can't see him beating Djokovic. So, barring injury or a freak result, we're on for a Djokovic v Nadal final.

Whilst Djokovic has accumulated a few AO titles (5 or 6?), Nadal surprisingly only has the 2009 AO title so arguably Djokovic has overachieved and Nadal underachieved at Melbourne over the years. I'd be happy for a bit of a change to the usual, so would like Nadal to win the AO and someone else to win at Roland Garros for a change, but I feel we're heading for deja vu this year - Djokovic will definitely have an edge over Nadal in the final on Sunday, but I wouldn't be surprised if it goes the distance.

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Post by lags72 Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:33 am

Whatever happens, I do hope the Final is more interesting than the Rafa-Novak six hour slugfest of a few years ago.

After the first set in that Final, I took a weekend mini-holiday break, came back home ....  and was just in time to catch the last three games.

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:54 am

lags72 wrote:Whatever happens, I do hope the Final is more interesting than the Rafa-Novak six hour slugfest of a few years ago.

After the first set in that Final, I took a weekend mini-holiday break, came back home ....  and was just in time to catch the last three games.

That'll be the 2011 final. I remember setting off for a longish hike when they were knocking up and still coming back in time to see last couple of games.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Jan 2019, 12:48 pm

Tsitsipas should not be too hard on himself. Ten years ago in Melbourne Fed played a young delpo and allowed the Argentine just THREE GAMES. Yet a few months later JMDP was beating Rog to take the USO title.
The way Rafa is playing I would make him favourite in the final. But he's really been put under no pressure in this tournament so it will be interesting, at least, if someone can make him really work.
The AO has - in terms of titles - been Rafa's least successful slam, although he had made a number of finals. He stands to be the first in the Open Era to win each of the Slams at least twice. This is a record he could hold for a while as I can't see anyone else winning the French!

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 24 Jan 2019, 1:14 pm

@SFP: Yes, Nadal has been consistently playing better tennis than anyone else this tournament. However, in a non claycourt final against Djokovic the mental battle is key, and when it gets really tight in a 4th or 5th set Nadal just tends to get that little hesitation/self-doubt that we normally never see in him. I'd make Djokovic favourite though if Nadal can play with the controlled agression that's served him well this tournament he has a chance.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 24 Jan 2019, 3:09 pm

Tsitsipas in his post-match interview is reported to have said he felt he played his best tennis but was unable to make inroads into Nadal's game.  He said that Nadal played with a weird style, unlike anyone else he has played, that didn't allow him to get any rhythm.  He also said that Nadal doesn't have a great serve - his serve is average - and yet he wasn't able to do anything with it, which left him frustrated and confused.  

The only thing he could work out about Nadal's game apart from that it was weird was that Nadal was incredibly aggressive.  He also talked about Nadal being supremely talented (in not giving him any rhythm) - which was sort of interesting especially given the accusations of Nadal's detractors, at least in the past, of not being "talented" but relying on brute physicality and endurance.  I think this is the second time Tsitsipas has played Nadal with similar results.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/46985669

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 24 Jan 2019, 3:30 pm

I think the biggest issue with Djokovic is how fit he is and whether he is carrying any underlying pain due to some body weakness.

Back to Nadal only winning the Australian Open once - it is strange in hindsight - when Nadal won the 2009 Australian Open - it seemed "obvious" to most people, including Roger Federer, that Nadal was set to dominant the sport in all grand slam tournaments (not just Roland Garros).

But then Nadal had that severe injury (which may have been a development of a chronic condition) which took him out of the game (and allowed Federer to win RG 2009) and Nadal has never quite (it seemed) been the same force off clay.  

However, that may be a false perception, because Nadal did win three grand slams in 2010 - but then Djokovic stepped up and had his transformative 2011 year - dominating and outlasting Nadal off clay.  It was then perhaps something that happened to Nadal in Wimbledon 2012 resulting in another injury - that really impacted on Nadal - "the final straw" perhaps - as indicated by his poor form at Wimbledon in subsequent years.

The Djokovic - Nadal battles of 2011 and 2012 - probably now represent the most titanic, effort filled and intensive sporting battles in world sport in history.  Their matches seemed to last for ever.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Jan 2019, 4:28 pm

Interesting to hear what Tsitsipas said about the difficulty in playing Rafa. Seems to bear out what some have always said - that Rafa is a nightmare match-up for pretty much everybody.
NNB - Yes, those 2011-12 matches were titanic battles. It seemed we were in for matches that would never end. We'd had players up to then who'd gone toe-to-toe with Rafa for the odd match (Rog in the 08 Wimbledon final and 09 AO, Verdasco in the 09 AO semi) but Djoko was really the first guy to - consistently - play Rafa at his own game and say I'm gonna stay out here and outfight you for as long as it takes.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:59 pm

Haven't watched any matches yet but sounds like from the scores and reports Rafa has looked more and more the favourite throughout, he's crushing people and cruising through. In spite of Novak winning the last 2 slams, their duels tend to go the way of the more recent form- is it fair to say Nadal has played better so far?

After 2009 I would have found it hard to believe that he would win 3 US Opens before winning another Australian.

His 3 US Opens is a bit lucky - he never had injury problems that I can recall in the years when he looked likely to win it, and either had good draws (especially the last one he won), or managed to catch Djokovic at the right moment in the final when he wasn't peaking. His career really merits 1-2 US Opens.

With the Australian Open it's always been the opposite. Would have won more if not for bad luck with injuries when losing to Ferrer and Wawrinka and catching Djokovic at his best in a final (2012) when he still came perhaps 1 shot away from winning it, and then also catching Federer on a good day on 2017. So I think his career arguably merits more than 1 Australian Open, and it's just been chance or luck.

I've always thought 2 of each slam is am important achievement. It would certainly be a big smack in the face to those who thought he would never win slams off clay.

Anyway, let's see if he can do it this time.


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Post by Henman Bill Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:02 pm

I got the sense over the years with Rafa and Novak that when they play other big-players, and especially each other, they kind of know where their form and fitness and mental strength is at a particular moment and deep down probably know who is most likely to win before the match even starts. Like they can feel each other out in some way.

I never got that feeling with Federer or Murray.

I sometimes got that sense a little bit as well reading the stories of the players from the 80s and 90s.

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:33 pm

I found the comments from Tsitsipas in his post-match interview interesting and a refreshing change from the usual interview clichés.  It gave a fascinating insight into the challenges that playing Nadal poses and I appreciated his honesty in how flummoxed he was with it all.  Here's hoping though he uses the experience to come back stronger.

I do agree Nadal's been playing the best tennis this Australian Open, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's going to win it this year.  Nadal played the best tennis at last year's Wimbledon - some of those angles and dropshots were out of this world - yet he still somehow managed to lose to Djokovic in that epic semi-final.  As above, I feel this was solely down to the tiniest of margins on the very biggest points - away from the clay Djokovic has a mental edge over him.  The body language of Nadal is an important part of his ferocious will to win, yet against Djokovic he can look a bit more subdued than normal.

Over the years I've got to admit I've been more a fan of Federer's brand of tennis than Nadal's - on purely subjective aesthetic grounds.  And, whilst I don't always particularly enjoy his claycourt matches, I find the changes he's made to his game to prosper away from the clay intriguing and the extra guile and variety he plays with (e.g. those dropshots at Wimbledon last year) most entertaining.

I disagree with the premise that he's on his last legs, but equally I'm not convinced with argument that he's capable of dominating the slams away from Roland Garros at this stage of his career.  My take is therefore that he's adapted his game for a couple more real concerted efforts to add to his non-clay slam tally - he came close at Wimbledon last year and he's got a good opportunity at this year's Australian Open.  Will be interesting to see how aggressive he chooses to play in the final - I think that'll be key to his success on Sunday.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 25 Jan 2019, 9:09 am

Looks like another forgettable, one-sided, procession of a semi-final. Djokovic takes the first set 6-0 in, well, no time at all.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 25 Jan 2019, 9:46 am

Duty281 wrote:Looks like another forgettable, one-sided, procession of a semi-final. Djokovic takes the first set 6-0 in, well, no time at all.
I find it frightening and perplexing - are the aging and somewhat decrepit Nadal and Djokovic really so much better than all the rest?  Maybe it has something to do with the experience of tournament tennis - this is the 6th "best of five set match" for both Tsitsipas and Pouille.  Both lack the experience of even reaching a grand slam semi-final - but maybe Nadal and Djokovic are just better prepared to ramp up their levels towards the end of a grand slam tournament.  Tsitsipas complaint when facing Nadal was that he just couldn't understand what Nadal was doing - he found himself unable to get any rhythm to his play - he felt he was playing well but it was just ineffective against the ultra aggressive play of Nadal.  It will be interesting to find out what Pouille has to say - currently it is 6-0 6-2 in Djokovics favour.  I really thought Djokovic could be in a bit of danger against 24 year old Pouille - especially after the relative ease Pouille had in the quarter-finals dispatching a Raonic who looked like he was back to top form.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 25 Jan 2019, 9:55 am

And yet the even older and more decrepit Federer won it the last two years.

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