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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.


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Post by MrInvisible Wed 16 Jan 2019, 9:39 am

By all accounts Evans provided Federer with a stern test - looking forward to seeing highlights for this one. This performance should give Evans plenty of encouragement and motivation as he continues his rise back up the rankings. The Boulter loss to Sabalenka is also one that should give encouragement for the future - Boulter played confidently and Sabalenka is world number 11 and an outside contender for the title after all.

I don't consider Anderson losing to Tiafoe as a massive shock - Tiafoe is a rising star after all, and whilst Anderson has been in form of his life last couple of years he is in the twilight of his career. Tsitsipas also won whilst De Minaur looks to be closing in on victory. Also worth noting that Berdych followed up his win over Edmund with a straight sets dismantling of Haase - without having checked his draw Berdych does look to be playing well enough to reach 4th round at least.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 16 Jan 2019, 10:38 am

The two Australians now on court should both be back in the locker room - one as a winner and the other as a loser. But turn-arounds in the tiebreaks mean both matches are still alive, with de Minaur into a fourth set and Millman into a fifth.
Meanwhile, Rafa has just taken the first set 6-3 in his match.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 16 Jan 2019, 12:00 pm

Rafa through comfortably in straight sets. Bautista Agut finally through in another 5 set marathon.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 17 Jan 2019, 9:50 am

Day 4 has seen Thiem having to retire against Popyrin after trailing by two sets to love. Raonic came thru in four tiebreak sets against Stan the Man who lost one of the tiebreaks 13-11 and then was leading in the fourth set.
Nishi had a long one with 82-year-old Karlovic before coming thru. Other men's winners included Shapovalov, Fognini, Coric, Goffin and Sousa who bt Kohlschreiber in an ultra-long five-setter.
Halep, after winning the first nine games againsy Kenin, ended up having to come from 4-2 down in the final set to win. She loves the marathon matches. Other women's winners included Venus, Pliskova, Svitolina and Keys.
We still have Djoko-Tsonga and Konta-Mug to come.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 17 Jan 2019, 4:52 pm

Well, Djoko saw off Tsonga in straight sets before Konta and Mug ended a so, so long day at 3.12am local time with Mug winning 7-5 in the third.
Simon squandered four MPs before losing in five to a lowly-ranked Aussie Bolt.
I see Fed will have to play thru the heat v Fritz tomorrow (today) as Nadal's got the night match.

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 17 Jan 2019, 11:56 pm

Thought I'd mention Zverev, who was taken to 5 sets by Chardy. Ultimately he proved the far stronger player in 5th set, and coming through all these matches is good for his physical and mental endurance. However, conserving energy at Australian Open is vital for later rounds and whilst I think he may do better than previous years I don't see him going all the way to win it this year.

Sad to see Thiem retiring - after his epic match with Nadal at last year's US Open I thought he'd turned the corner for performances in the other slams away from Roland Garros.

Konta by all accounts played well in a good quality match with Muguruza, but was unhappy afterwards with the scheduling - understandably so. Whilst playing night matches is part and parcel of Australian Open & US Open they should have moved this match to following day.

On to Friday's matches, don't foresee any problems for Federer or Nadal. Big womens' match between Sharapova and Wozniacki which could potentially go to 3 sets. Tsitsipas and Khachanov have winnable matches and ought to progress, and Dimitrov ought to be able to get past Fabbiano.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 18 Jan 2019, 8:02 am

MrI - predictions above seem spot on given today's results which have included Sharapova taking out defending champ Caroline W in three.
My fears about Fed and the heat were unfounded as I assume they played under the roof. Next up for Fed is Tsitsipas, while Rafa if he wins tonight will take on Berdych. Tomas is one of only three players (Tsonga and Wawrinka are the others) to beat each of the Big Four at Slams.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Fri 18 Jan 2019, 8:29 am

Wozniacki is one of the worst major champions I've ever seen. Her only tactics are to moonball and hope her opponent gifts her U/Es. When you look at Wozniacki's career 30 titles yet look deeper and she has one major, one YEC and 6 WTA premier titles. So she's essentially filled her boots winnings the small events and pretending she's a top player...no wonder Rory ditched her

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Post by Just John Fri 18 Jan 2019, 10:51 am

Give her a break, she's suffering from rheumatoid arthritis nowadays too. She's never been elite, but extracted as much as possible, and I doubt she will be too disappointed looking back at her career, given she became number 1, and won a slam.

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Post by lags72 Fri 18 Jan 2019, 3:51 pm

Not sure what the point is of derogatory comment on Wozniacki’s private life. As mere bystanders we know virtually nothing of her past relationship with Rory M. ....... or indeed the true reasons behind their split.

Back to tennis .... and I’ve been surprised to see Federer sweating in these early rounds. He even changed his shirt during the Fritz match.  Most unusual for him, especially as recent conditions have been far from hot by AO standards. Perhaps humidity levels are high ? Either way, for almost his entire career to date, Fed has sweated very rarely - even in extreme heat. The first time I saw anything similar from him was in the USO last year during his defeat by Millman. Assuming he is in full health, I can only think it must be an age thing.

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Post by theslosty Fri 18 Jan 2019, 6:28 pm

Think a Federer-Nadal semi final and the winner playing Djokovic in the final is looking quite likely. All 3 look in good nick.

Having said that, Tsitsipas is a test for Fed in the next round and there were a few tournaments last year where Fed looked serene only to suddenly throw in a stinker of a performance (most notably the USO).
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Post by sirfredperry Fri 18 Jan 2019, 9:12 pm

I think Cilic is a big threat to Fed and it looked like they would not meet when Marin was two sets down and then MPs down. But he came through.
Djoko has not got the night match tomorrow. I always think he's more vulnerable in the heat. One of the reasons he does so well at the AO is that he invariably plays at night (another reason being that he's a magnificent player, of course).
Can Berdych upset Nadal? I wouldn't put money on it, but stranger things have happened.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 19 Jan 2019, 7:57 am

Shapovalov got a set off Djoko but Nole ran away with the fourth set and the match. Medvedev saw off Goffin, Nishi won and Raonic, who is looking dangerous, is also thru'.
Svitolina and Osaka trailed in their matches but both came thru' in three sets. Now awaiting Halep v Venus.
A couple of good wins by Britons against seeded players in the junior girls' event.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 19 Jan 2019, 11:22 am

Halep saw off one Williams sister in straight sets and will now face another.
Zverev thru and now plays Raonic which could be very interesting. Order of play is out for Sunday. Fed, after two daytime matches, gets a night spot, which should help him against the dangerous Tsitsipas. I don't think Fed has lost a night match at Melbourne before the semi-final stage.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 19 Jan 2019, 12:08 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Shapovalov got a set off Djoko ...
I  heard that Djoko was winning two sets to love and 4-1 up in the third set when he got angry about the lights being turned on, got distracted and lost the next five games to drop the third set 4-6 before getting his concentration and rhythm back to take the fourth set 6-0.  

If this is the case then this is a nice demonstration of the importance of mentality (mental strength) in sport - loss of concentration followed by loss of rhythm followed by losing the sporting battle.  It is the psychology and the drama arising from that psychology that provides one of the fascinations that has drawn me to tennis spectatorship.  
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/46930348

The competitionship is getting interesting.  Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are looking good.  Berdych seems to be back in terms of a competitive threat.  Some of the new guys are showing good form - Coric,  Tsitsipas, Zverev (he was knocked out in the third round last year).  Nishikori and Raonic have both made it the fourth round too.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 19 Jan 2019, 12:15 pm

I see the last third round match (men) is being played Pouille vs Popyrin. Alexei Popyrin seems like another potential (19 years) for the future - he received a wild card into the tournament. Currently it is 7-6 6-3 6-6 (tie break being played) to Pouille.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 19 Jan 2019, 12:23 pm

Popyrin takes the third set 10-12 in the tie break so the match moves into a fourth set.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 19 Jan 2019, 12:34 pm

Fourth Round Line Up
Djokovic (31) vs Medvedev (22)
Carreño Busta (27) vs Nishikori (29)  
A Zverev (21) vs Raonic (28)  
Ćorić (22) vs (Pouille (24) or Popyrin (19))
Čilić (30) vs Bautista Agut (30)
Tsitsipas (20) vs Federer (37)  
Tiafoe (20) vs Dimitrov (27)
Berdych (33) vs Nadal (32)

I have added their ages in brackets.  You can clearly see an old generation vs a new generation with not much in between (a sort of missing generation).

The all time great generation of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka effectively annihilated the generations immediately following them - which allowed them to amass 20, 17, 14, 3, 3 grand slams respectively plus the Masters titles plus the semi-final slots of the grand slams.

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Post by MrInvisible Sat 19 Jan 2019, 1:36 pm

Couple of good wins for Nishikori and Zverev, both of whom have had some tough 5 setters so far. As I mentioned previously, this is a good draw for Djokovic in the sense that he's getting plenty of tests against decent opponents in 1st few rounds.

I do like the line-up of 4th round matches - nice blend of experience and youth, and there are 2 or 3 there that look tough to call.

Like Shapovalov, I think Medvedev is capable of taking a set off Djokovic but I don't see an upset here. Carreno Busta v Nishikori looks a real 50:50 match - I think Kei will prevail though. Zverev could come unstuck against Raonic, who is playing v well by all accounts. Coric should progress against Pouille/Popyrin.

Cilic should be fresher than Bautista Agut, whilst I do give Tsitsipas chance of an upset over Federer, though I'll go for Fed in 5 sets. Tiafoe v Dimitrov is tough to call - think Grigor may just edge this one, whilst Nadal has such a convincing record against Berdych I can't see him losing that even though Tomas may push him more than previously.

At this stage I'll go for a Djokovic v Nadal final. In the womens, the key match looks to be Serena v Halep (the Romanian always seems to get such tough draws) next up in 4th round.

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Post by lags72 Sat 19 Jan 2019, 7:24 pm

Most of the top names are still around - something which has not always been the case at this stage of recent Slams.

Tsitsipas v Fed is the ultimate contrast of the ages ....... elder statesman v exciting, youthful, new pretender ...... old guard v new blood. I definitely believe the young Greek could come through. He showed no trace of nerves or being overwhelmed in their Hopman Cup match ; and earning two TB’s proved he has the weapons to stay with Federer.

Shaping up to be a very interesting second week. There could well be upsets, but on current form I would agree with MrInvisible above on Djokovic v Nadal as the most likely Final line-up.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 19 Jan 2019, 7:47 pm

The stand-out match for me is Nadal V Berdych. Berdych is capable of winning if he can apply himself mentally better than is the norm for him. Also the Cilic v Bautista-Agut is an interesting match-up.
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Post by Born Slippy Sat 19 Jan 2019, 8:32 pm

Nah, Berdych has no chance. Tsitsipas also isn’t a good enough returner to cause Fed any issues.

The big matches this round are Raonic v Zverev and Medvedev v Novak. Both of those look near 50-50.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 19 Jan 2019, 10:46 pm

Tsitsipas aged 20 showed good progress last year starting 2018 ranked at about 90 and is now ranked 15.  He is on his way up and rapidly.   The age gap between him and Federer as lags points out is enormous - Federer is almost twice as old as Tsitsipas.   If Federer is knocked out in R4 then he will drop (2000 - 180) points and move down to about fifth in the ranking (at 5600 points).   That said I think Federer will have too much court intelligence and variety for Tsitsipas - but a very interesting match.

Coric aged 22 is another one that had a good 2018 - beginning 2018 ranked at about 50 and is now ranked 12.

Raonic looks to be back towards top form so it is really going to be interesting to see how Zverev (with Lendl) does against him.  Think I might have to favour slightly Raonic.

Medvedev aged 22 had a good second half of 2018 and is now ranked 19.  When he started out he was tall and gangly - maybe he is beginning to fill out (muscle up) his body.  Can't see Djokovic being too troubled but Medvedev is definitely on an upwards curve.

Fourth Round Line Up (age)
Djokovic (31) vs Medvedev (22)
Carreño Busta (27) vs Nishikori (29)  
A Zverev (21) vs Raonic (28)  
Ćorić (22) vs Pouille (24)
Čilić (30) vs Bautista Agut (30)
Tsitsipas (20) vs Federer (37)  
Tiafoe (20) vs Dimitrov (27)
Berdych (33) vs Nadal (32)

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 20 Jan 2019, 4:31 am

MrInvisible wrote:... I don't consider Anderson losing to Tiafoe as a massive shock - Tiafoe is a rising star after all, and whilst Anderson has been in form of his life last couple of years he is in the twilight of his career ...

Fourth Round Line Up (age)
Tiafoe (20) vs Dimitrov (27) ... well currently it is 7-5 7-6 to Tiafoe. I haven't heard much of Tiafoe - but yes he knocked out the 5th seed Kevin Anderson in the second round here and looks to be heading for the quarter-final. Prior to AO2019 he had never reached the 4th round of a grand slam - but he is only now really starting his ATP career - he had been on the challenger circuit for a little while. But I see that he has always been seen as a potential one for the future in his junior days and according to wikipedia he was "raised on a USTA Regional Training Center in Maryland where his father worked as the head of maintenance".

As I write this it seems Tiafoe has broken Dimitrov in the third set and is currently leading 7-5 7-6 4-2 ... so this is another young gun from the next generation with a potential bright future.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 20 Jan 2019, 4:46 am

In the women's singles second seed Kerber has been bagled to lose the first set 0-6 to her American opponent Danielle Collins.  It is 1-1 in the second set with two breaks of serve.

Meanwhile Dimitrov has broken back and it is 4-4 in the third set and Tiafoe is fighting to hold his serve and eventually holds so it is 5-4 to Tiafoe in the third set and Dimitrov has to hold to stay in the match.

Meanwhile after a shaky first service game which Nadal won, Nadal is leading Berdych 3-0 in the first set.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 6:05 am

It’s been a big day ..... Sharapova out .... Kerber out .... and a superb effort from Tiafoe, who - on his 21st birthday - takes out Dimitrov.

After winning just a solitary game in the first two sets, Berdych has finally found some form and is 5-4 up v Rafa in the 3rd.

And the day ain’t finished yet.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 6:41 am

Berdych had set point to take Rafa into a fourth, but couldn’t quite make it.

And so there’s a box office QF to come in the shape of Tiafoe vs Nadal

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 20 Jan 2019, 8:34 am

Born Slippy seems to have called it right (see above) on the Rafa-Berdych match. Must say I thought it would be much closer than it was. Just when you think Dimi is going to do something he has a bad result, although Tiafoe is very much an up-and-coming man.
Shocker by Kerber. She only won 26 points in the match.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Jan 2019, 8:45 am

Berdych can beat the best players - it has happened in slams but just not very often. He had moved seamlessly through the draw and thought it may have been one of his days coming up but no.

Bautista-Agut two sets to one up on Cilic and Federer and Tsitsipas on serve in the opening set.
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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 8:59 am

Federer has his hands full here. Tsitsipas is making things difficult for him, as many felt he would.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:12 am

So many UE’s from Fed ..... he is under pressure.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:14 am

And that’s the set. Fed edges a really tight TB. Had to work hard.

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Post by kemet Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:23 am

That "out" call from a fan in the crowd was disgraceful. I think the rules need to be revised to result in temporary to permanent bans (based on repeat offences) for fans who make calls during matches.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:28 am

@ kemet - agreed. That was a really bad incident. Such ‘fans’ should not be attending matches ..... their only place is in front of a tv set.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 9:46 am

Federer is really struggling to break the talented youngster. No joy so far.

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Post by kemet Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:24 am

lags72 wrote:Federer is really struggling to break the talented youngster. No joy so far.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt Federer, albeit due to some gutsy play from Tsitsipas. However, Roger has to rank among the worst of the top players in his failure to convert break points.

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:26 am

Can anyone recommend a decent (free) tennis streaming site? I used to use FromSport but its getting v bad for dodgy pop-up ads. Really want to watch this match - may splash out for Eurosport streaming in future but wanted to see what the best free streaming site for now is.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:27 am

Bautista Agut beats Cilic in another five set marathon lasting four hours to reach the QF. Federer facing his first test of the tournament. Tsitsipas has taken the second set to level it up at one set all after over two hours of play. If Federer is to win he'll be doing it in over three hours.
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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:31 am

kemet wrote:............ However, Roger has to rank among the worst of the top players in his failure to convert break points.

That has undoubtedly been the case over the last few years. But not when he was in his prime - otherwise he simply wouldn’t hold the mercurial records / titles that he does.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:36 am

Tsitispas is putting in one of those impressively composed performances that ‘new’ guys so often do, when faced with the sort of challenge that - on paper - looks to be insurmountable.

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Post by kemet Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:53 am

lags72 wrote:
kemet wrote:............ However, Roger has to rank among the worst of the top players in his failure to convert break points.

That has undoubtedly been the case over the last few years. But not when he was in his prime - otherwise he simply wouldn’t hold the mercurial records / titles that he does.

Point taken and has I type, more break point opportunities missed, some of which were on Tsitsipas's second serve.

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Post by laverfan Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:05 am

Federer looks very frustrated.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:09 am

Tsitsipas showing not a trace of nerves on the big stage, against a legend of the sport.

There are times when he displays all the confident manner and ability of a player who already has a couple of Slam titles to his name Smile ......


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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:09 am

Vital that Federer wins this set. On serve at 6-5 to Tsitsipas with approaching three hours played. If Federer wins this he wins the match in my opinion. If he loses the set he will need to win a 4 hour plus match.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:11 am

And Tsitsipas leads 6-7 7-6 7-5 after two hours 55 minutes.
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Post by Duty281 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:13 am

Ah, the future of tennis is in good hands.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:20 am

At this age, Federer cannot continue to win tennis matches till kingdom come.

These are the sort of occasions that will become more of a regular occurrence than a rarity with each passing month / year, for as long as he decides to remain on Tour.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:21 am

It had to happen at some point - a generation of players that will sweep away the old guard - it seems like this year might be the beginning of the end. Doesn't look good for Federer if he starts to be beaten by those 17 years his junior. It had to happen - just so surprised it has taken this long. That said Federer may turn this match around - but maybe unlikely.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:28 am

No name Bertie wrote:.........  That said Federer may turn this match around - but maybe unlikely.

Unlikely this time, agreed ..... I’d say this match has got away from Federer.

He is, admittedly, somewhat below his recent best .... as in, below the standard he displayed in the previous round v Fritz. But of course Tsitsipas is playing significantly better than Fritz ; and that’s why we’re seeing so many errors from Fed.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:30 am

lags72 wrote:At this age, Federer cannot continue to win tennis matches till kingdom come.

These are the sort of occasions that will become more of a regular occurrence than a rarity with each passing month / year, for as long as he decides to remain on Tour.

What I would say is if he can somhow battle through and win this match even in over four hours he will play another player who has played multiple marathon matches in the tournament in Bautista-Agut so there is hope.
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