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The French Open - 2019

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 26 May 2019, 8:12 am

First topic message reminder :

RG begins today, with Fed among those with a Sunday match. I'm going for Rafa for the title, with Djoko and Thiem his main rivals.

Fed should get thru a few rounds but is an unlikely winner, especially as he may have to get past Tsitsipas.

The women's title could go to anyone in the top 15. Halep would be a safe bet, but she can be injury prone. There are a lot of teenage players who could cause upsets. It's really difficult to forecast the eventual winner.

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Post by theslosty Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:02 pm

Very impressed by the standard of hitting from Stan while Federer is just about matching him with some brilliant court craft sneaking him ahead. Possibly an even better match than Stan Tsitsipas on Sunday.
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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:02 pm

you have to hand it to Federer, he is remarkable given his age. The ability to still be able to compete so well at this level against an inspired opponent. I am not able to watch but from I am hearing Stan is playing pretty well.

What is Nishikori playing at down 6-1 6-1. Really poor stuff, expected him to at least give it a go

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Post by lags72 Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:15 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:you have to hand it to Federer, he is remarkable given his age. The ability to still be able to compete so well at this level against an inspired opponent. I am not able to watch but from I am hearing Stan is playing pretty well.

What is Nishikori playing at down 6-1 6-1. Really poor stuff, expected him to at least give it a go

It’s a long time since we’ve seen Stan play this well - especially at vital moments, saving one BP after another with some clutch serving and superbly accurate groundstrokes. Very impressive from Stan the Man.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:24 pm

So what has been happening to Wawrinka? From major contender and winner to injured and then wilderness - and now back to top form(?) but aged 34.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:28 pm

Nishikori had a tough five setter yesterday and he is playing Nadal - I thought it would be a three set victory for Nadal but not by breadsticks.

One would expect tiredness to kick in for Wawrinka after his mammoth five set victory over Tsitsipas - but then he is playing a man who will turn 38 this August.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:30 pm

Play suspended - presumably rain? Time for Federer and Wawrinka to receive a massage?

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Post by theslosty Tue 04 Jun 2019, 4:35 pm

No name Bertie wrote:So what has been happening to Wawrinka?  From major contender and winner to injured and then wilderness - and now back to top form(?) but aged 34.
I can't really see any difference between Wawrinka this week and his slam winning days. While some will point fingers at the younger generation of players for failing to displace these guys, I think it is becoming clearer that advancements in sports science is allowing for longer careers at the top level. Maybe 20 years ago you could write players off at 31/32 but that is no longer the case.
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Post by lags72 Tue 04 Jun 2019, 5:29 pm

The suspension means that fatigue will be rather less of a factor than it might otherwise have been. It’s one guy who battled through five exhausting sets versus an old codger who hasn’t really been tested until now. But though Stan will welcome the rest .... will that serve which has rescued him so many times today still be dialled in at the resumption .... ? chin

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Post by laverfan Tue 04 Jun 2019, 5:35 pm

The Old Codger is 1/16 in BP conversion vs Wawrinka. Shocked

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Post by Atila Tue 04 Jun 2019, 6:13 pm

Fed wins. Sets up a glamour match against Nadal. Would be amazing if Fed could finally beat Nadal at the FO.

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Post by theslosty Tue 04 Jun 2019, 6:27 pm

Great win for the old man, I don't know if there's another slam in him but I'm happy he's still around to give us matches like that. He probably needs Nadal to have an off day on Friday to stand a chance - Rafa has lost on 3 occasions this clay season but has been pretty unstoppable since Rome.
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Post by lags72 Tue 04 Jun 2019, 6:37 pm

@ Atila - yes, it would. But it will not happen.

That said, Federer has lived up to his seeding in making the semis (and I suspect against even his own expectations) for the loss of just a solitary set ; and to that extent it has been a very successful return to the clay -and specifically to Roland Garros.

If Federer - when in his prime long  ago - was unable to beat King Rafa here, then he will certainly not do so as he approaches the age of 38 !! Nadal will inevitably progress to the Final ..... and perhaps very comfortably.

It’s true that Rafa has come out on the losing end of his last five meetings with Roger. BUT this is clay, this is RG .... and this is Rafa’s fortress, as we all know.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Tue 04 Jun 2019, 6:46 pm

Unless Nadal lost a leg prior to the semi, Federer has no chance. Wawrinka was running out of gas today yet it still took Federer over 3hrs to see him off.

Nadal will probably trash Federer in straight sets - according to tweet I just read Nadal has dropped two sets at Paris in his last 21 matches. Crazy.

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Post by MrInvisible Tue 04 Jun 2019, 6:52 pm

Semi-finals is a fantastic achievement for Federer - thought he had an outside chance of it, but not with an in-form Wawrinka in quarters.

I don't think Federer will be trounced in same way Nishikori was today, but I'd still go Nadal in straight sets (outside chance of Fed picking up a set if Nadal's form dips). Lets enjoy it though - could it be the last Fed v Nadal encounter in a slam?

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Post by prostaff85 Tue 04 Jun 2019, 7:45 pm

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:Unless Nadal lost a leg prior to the semi, Federer has no chance. Wawrinka was running out of gas today yet it still took Federer over 3hrs to see him off.

Nadal will probably trash Federer in straight sets - according to tweet I just read Nadal has dropped two sets at Paris in his last 21 matches. Crazy.

They're met 5 times before at Roland Garros (4 finals and a semi) and only once it was a straight sets win for Rafa. OK, one could argue that Fed is now almost 38 and in the twilight of his career, but he has won a couple of slams in recent years and also this made back to back finals at Indian Wells and Miami, so when playing well he really isn't much worse that 10-15 years ago (crazy as it sounds!).
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Post by lags72 Tue 04 Jun 2019, 7:46 pm

MrInvisible wrote:Semi-finals is a fantastic achievement for Federer - thought he had an outside chance of it, but not with an in-form Wawrinka in quarters.

I don't think Federer will be trounced in same way Nishikori was today, but I'd still go Nadal in straight sets (outside chance of Fed picking up a set if Nadal's form dips).  Lets enjoy it though - could it be the last Fed v Nadal encounter in a slam?

Yes, fully agreed re Nadal now taking the semi in straights with the minimum of fuss.  Although .... in fairness ..... and given the venue ...... one would have to have never seen a tennis match to predict any other outcome of this one ! It ain’t rocket science.

Plus, after losing his last five matches on the trot to Fed, Rafa will be even more keen than usual to assert his customary prowess on clay.

Of course let’s not forget that Federer only made the quarters - according to one knowledgeable poster here - by ‘luck’ (and not by pure tennis ability, talent .... or skill). And somehow that ‘luck’ even stayed with him in his QF match earlier today - against an in-form, younger, opponent who was “beasting his forehand” and bringing so much power that it was causing Federer’s backhand to break down. But of course the story changed rapidly and conveniently (Stan ran out of gas) once Federer had actually won. By luck.

Ah ..... fond memories of the WUM’s back in the day on the old 606 ...... Rolling Eyes

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Post by Atila Tue 04 Jun 2019, 8:10 pm

lags72 wrote:@ Atila - yes, it would. But it will not happen.

That said, Federer has lived up to his seeding in making the semis (and I suspect against even his own expectations) for the loss of just a solitary set ; and to that extent it has been a very successful return to the clay -and specifically to Roland Garros.

If Federer - when in his prime long  ago - was unable to beat King Rafa here, then he will certainly not do so as he approaches the age of 38 !! Nadal will inevitably progress to the Final ..... and perhaps very comfortably.

It’s true that Rafa has come out on the losing end of his last five meetings with Roger. BUT this is clay, this is RG .... and this is Rafa’s fortress, as we all know.
You heard it here first, Feds going to shock the world! Fingers Crossed

First Nadal then Djokovic in the final.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 04 Jun 2019, 8:19 pm

By all accounts, a fine match between the two Swiss. Agree that Fed won't beat Rafa but at least let's hope he can give him a reasonable game.

Besides, I'm really looking forward to a Rafa-Djoko final. The one semi I was hoping Fed would lose was the one at the French in 2011 which deprived us of a Rafa-Djoko blockbuster. I've always felt that Djoko would have won that one, having got the better of Rafa on clay earlier in the season.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 04 Jun 2019, 8:46 pm

lags72 wrote: Of course let’s not forget that Federer only made the quarters - according to one knowledgeable poster here - by ‘luck’ (and not by pure tennis ability, talent .... or skill). And somehow that ‘luck’ even stayed with him in his QF match earlier today ... Stan ran out of gas ... fond memories of the WUM’s back in the day ...
There is a difference between a WUM and somebody who is emotionally invested.  WUMs tend to attack forum posters in addition to attacking players.  The emotionally invested tend to give their spin on a player.   There is a balance in having a dying forum with nobody contributing and having a forum with a smattering of those with some emotional investment in the sport. Yes I know we must all be emotionally invested to some extent to be interested in following and commenting on sport - but some are just a little more exuberant in expressing it.


Federer's focus must be hitting Wimbledon in best of form? A good RG tournament should surely give him confidence for the grass season ahead. Energy sapping clay is not the ideal surface for geriatric heroes - yet in Federer's post match interview he mentioned still harbouring the belief of winning the Roland Garros title. I guess it is only two matches away ... but his breakpoint conversion rate is very poor.

I think tomorrows matches should be interesting:
Djokovic vs battle hardened Zverev
Thiem vs Kachanov

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 04 Jun 2019, 9:06 pm

The BP conversion is an interesting topic. Today Fed won having spurned (or did Stan save them?) a large number of BPs. Now if he'd lost it could be argued that he'd failed to take his chances.

But win or lose surely it's good that a player is, at least, creating BP opportunities. Or have I got this wrong?

Konta will play Vondrousova in the semis and will probably never have a better chance of reaching a GS final. The Briton's ranking will go up and she will be in a good position for Wimbledon.


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Post by No name Bertie Tue 04 Jun 2019, 9:14 pm

Johanna Konta has performed fantastically to get to the semi-final. But I think her opponent might be favorite to win the SF - 19 year old Marketa Vondrousova (turns 20 end of this month) - so far she hasn't dropped a set in this tournament and showed fight and determination in winning against her QF opponent Martic 7-6 7-5.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 04 Jun 2019, 9:20 pm

sirfredperry wrote:... But win or lose surely it's good that a player is, at least, creating BP opportunities. Or have I got this wrong ...
Well it could be argued that certain other players will yield up fewer BP opportunities ... and against them one is going to need to be more efficient (and confident) in taking those fewer opportunities when they present themselves.

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Post by theslosty Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:54 pm

I'd say that most of those BPs were well saved by Stan but these low conversion rates do seem to have followed Federer throughout his career. It would be interesting to see if his career record on BPs is low enough to be statistically significant - there may be an online resource somewhere like the ATP website that could tell us. Otherwise, I can't really think of any reason he plays BPs poorly - I shouldn't think it's his mentality on big points as he is usually pretty clutch on his own serve and historically is a very good tiebreak player.
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Post by lags72 Wed 05 Jun 2019, 3:34 am

No name Bertie wrote:

......................
There is a difference between a WUM and somebody who is emotionally invested.  WUMs tend to attack forum posters in addition to attacking players.  The emotionally invested tend to give their spin on a player.   There is a balance in having a dying forum with nobody contributing and having a forum with a smattering of those with some emotional investment in the sport. Yes I know we must all be emotionally invested to some extent to be interested in following and commenting on sport - but some are just a little more exuberant in expressing it.

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

I think tomorrows matches should be interesting:
Djokovic vs battle hardened Zverev
Thiem vs Kachanov

I think Wummery (so to speak !) can appear in many guises, and I’m not at all sure there is a definitive, single, definition. You have offered one of your own, and fair enough ; but mine would be rather different.

As far as emotion and ‘spin’ are concerned : for sure, these are part & parcel of what attract us to sport as spectators. But then there is also a fine line between what might be euphemistically termed ‘emotional investment’ or ‘exuberance’  and .... er .... plain nonsense.

So, by way of example ... to claim that a player has been ‘running scared’ when - in truth - he has actually been a) injured, or b) attempting to extend his playing career by judiciously restricting / managing his annual tour schedule (as virtually the oldest competitor in the current top 100 rankings) is very firmly in the nonsense category.

Worth adding also that I don’t say that WUM’s are necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, on the old 606 they undoubtedly provided a good deal of entertainment / amusement, and in many ways that helped keep the Forum lively, engaging, and active !

I guess my more fundamental point was that - emotions aside - the familiar diatribes about Federer being wonderful in every way whilst Nadal is not ; or (conversely) Nadal being perfection personified whilst Federer is just lucky .... all that playground talk on the old 606 eventually became rather tedious. And very often, it was little more than just childish & immature. I personally believe this sort of stuff (together with sundry other factors, undoubtedly) is partly what caused forum involvement and contributions to decline so dramatically over time.

Meanwhile ... back in the real world .... yes, two (potentially / hopefully !) great QF’s on today’s running order.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Wed 05 Jun 2019, 11:16 am

prostaff85 wrote:
Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:Unless Nadal lost a leg prior to the semi, Federer has no chance. Wawrinka was running out of gas today yet it still took Federer over 3hrs to see him off.

Nadal will probably trash Federer in straight sets - according to tweet I just read Nadal has dropped two sets at Paris in his last 21 matches. Crazy.

They're met 5 times before at Roland Garros (4 finals and a semi) and only once it was a straight sets win for Rafa. OK, one could argue that Fed is now almost 38 and in the twilight of his career, but he has won a couple of slams in recent years and also this made back to back finals at Indian Wells and Miami, so when playing well he really isn't much worse that 10-15 years ago (crazy as it sounds!).
To beat Nadal at Roland Garros you probably need to be prepared to fight for 4-5hrs as Nadal doesn't really seem to give it away. Federer in his prime couldn't do it so how exactly is a 38 year old Federer going to do it?

Federer's only two win against Nadal on clay have come at Hamburg and Madrid both fast court at attitude.

Nadal will batter the Federer backhand into submission.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 05 Jun 2019, 11:34 am

The only reason Federer may have a slight chance is that a 33 year old Nadal is not quite the same even on clay as a 23 year old one - I think on occasion opponents are able to rush him in a way that they couldn't in his best years. Now, whether Federer can raise his performance, taking the ball early and playing aggressively (including plenty of approaches to the net) is unlikely but not impossible.

I think at times on clay (and sometimes also on other surfaces), Federer has lost to Nadal by trying to match him from the baseline. Hopefully this version of Federer realises that at his age he can't get into a slugging match, and so will go all out to keep points short and played on his terms. It probably won't be enough, but we are talking about possibly the overall GOAT against the undisputed clay GOAT.

I wonder if our tennis history buffs can find any other occasions where there has been a re-match in a slam semi-final after a 14 year interval...

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Post by lags72 Wed 05 Jun 2019, 11:53 am

dummy_half wrote:

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

I wonder if our tennis history buffs can find any other occasions where there has been a re-match in a slam semi-final after a 14 year interval...


Would be very surprised if there are any other such examples (but maybe there is ..... Headscratch )

I believe Federer is the oldest player to make a Slam SF since way back in 1991 when a 39 y.o. Jimmy Connors memorably achieved the feat at the USO.

Note your other comments dummy_half re Federer’s prospects on Friday. But I’d say the odds are overwhelmingly in favour of a straight sets victory for Rafa  - as comfortably as Fed beat Rafa in straights in their last three meetings in Masters.

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Post by MrInvisible Wed 05 Jun 2019, 1:41 pm

With regards to Fed v Nadal semi-final Nadal is of course big favourite to win this, and unlikely (though not impossible) to drop a set. Lets just enjoy it - it might end up being the last ever Fed v Nadal match and/or Roger's last ever match on clay.

Onto today's matches, rain is delaying things so far - fingers crossed they can make a start bit later though. After a poor start to the year, Zverev has had a decent tournament. However, whilst he does look capable of pushing Djokovic, I see the latter as being too match-sharp to allow the German to take control of the match - will go for Djokovic in 4. Khachanov could be v tricky for Thiem - the Russian had a slow start against Del Potro but was v impressive on the big points - looks mentally tough. Thiem has laboured a bit at times, so I'm going to stick my neck out at risk of subsequent ridicule and go for a shock with Khachanov winning in 4 sets!

Onto the womens I'll go for Halep and Barty (I think Keys is too inconsistent) to go through to the semis.

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Post by lags72 Wed 05 Jun 2019, 2:01 pm

Whilst awaiting today’s QF’s I was watching edited highlights of Stan v Fed on the official ATP site.

It really was a cracking contest (though maybe not quite as good as the Stan v Tsitsipas classic) - had a bit of everything, with some fabulous shotmaking from both .... especially from Stan. And so good to have him back to what looks to be his best .... he enhances the Tour, no doubt Smile

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Wed 05 Jun 2019, 3:56 pm

Play abandoned with rain unrelenting.

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Post by lags72 Wed 05 Jun 2019, 4:09 pm

That there roof cannot come soon enough ! Ready in time for next
year’s tourney, I believe.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Wed 05 Jun 2019, 4:28 pm

Yeah it's a bit disappointing. If the remaining quarter finals drag on there could be done fatigue with no rest day before the semi final

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 06 Jun 2019, 9:26 am

Rain means things are a little different now. Djokovic will possibly be hoping Friday's predicted rain arrives as then they could extend the tournament beyond Sunday.

I think for today the best Zverev can hope for is one set . Khachanov has a chance against Thiem but I think Thiem will win.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 06 Jun 2019, 11:38 am

Wow! Stunning opening  by 17-yr-old Anisimova as she takes the first set against defending champion Halep 6-2.

This young girl looks the real thing. But can she keep it up?

LATER: Anisimova wins. A few more errors crept in in the second set and she was pegged back from 4-1 to 4-4. But she not only hit amazing ground strokes but also served well and was a worthy winner.

Possibly the most incredible thing about the match was the fact that Halep didn't play that badly. She battled like mad but was outfought and, crucially, outhit.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Thu 06 Jun 2019, 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 12:33 pm

Anisimova beats Halep 6-2 6-4 s really outstanding performance

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 12:37 pm

Ash Barty beats Madison Keys 6-3 7-5

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 06 Jun 2019, 1:08 pm

Anisimova's defeat of Halep really opens it up - great opportunity for Konta though I'm sure Barty and Vondrousova are also thinking likewise.

Got to admit I've not seen any of Anisimova or Vondrousova's matches so can't really judge if they are destined for future titles after this tournament, or if we are going to have a real leftfield unknown one off champion like Iva Majoli back in the 1990s or perhaps Ostapenko.

With regards to Zverev v Djokovic, the German has to serve well and play aggressively to stand a chance. I don't think he'll beat Djokovic but he certainly has the ability to make this match go the distance.

Anyone else think that Thiem could become unstuck against Khachanov?

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 1:54 pm

I think some of you are underestimating Zverev tbh. He’s already beaten Djokovic in the final in Rome and the WTF. He knows he can beat best Djokovic

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 2:20 pm

Thiem wins the first set 6-2 vs Khachanov

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 06 Jun 2019, 2:40 pm

Djoko takes first set 7-5 after Zverev had served for it at 5-4. Straight sets now?

Djoko is just SO solid. He's been like this for years and years. So difficult to get past.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 2:52 pm

Zverev lost 5 consecutive games after failing to serve out the first set. He made silly errors and seems to have totally faded

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 3:03 pm

Thiem takes the second set 6-4

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 3:31 pm

Thiem goes into the semis with a 6-2 6-4 6-2 win. Really top performance by the Austrian. He’d love a Zverev fight back

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 06 Jun 2019, 6:38 pm

It seems that Zverev started off really well but then choked a little when serving for the first set and Djokovic was then able to impose himself on the match - with Zverev feeling the effects of a long tournament.

I thought Khachanov would provide more of a test for Thiem. Thiem certainly seems to be the next clay court "prince" in the waiting.  He turns 26 in September and should be reaching his peak about now.  He will certainly benefit as the "all time greats" continue to age.

One would have to think that Thiem would pose more of a challenge for Djokovic than Federer would do for Nadal in the semi-finals.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 06 Jun 2019, 6:49 pm

In the women's semi-finals the seeds have been decimated:
Barty (seeded 8) vs Anisimova (unseeded)
Konta (seeded 26) vs Vondrousova (unseeded)

I would like one grand slam tournament to trial a best of five sets tournament for the women's singles - just to see what happens - will matches become more one sided or will there be some ding dong five set battles?  Will certain players blow up in later rounds as they become exhausted.  Will the women's game become more stable (less "upsets").  I know there may be issues in finding the extra time and spaces - but Sunday starts and starting earlier in the day could help.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Thu 06 Jun 2019, 8:05 pm

Zverev’s performance was embarrassing and quite frankly he should be ashamed. The first set the German dominated until failing to serve it out. After that he basically had a meltdown. Continually yelling at his father after every error.

Djokovic was solid and nothing more. Thiem beat Djokovic at Roland Garros last year and certainly has the game to beat Djokovic. Here’s to hoping Thiem doesn’t do a Zverev

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Post by lags72 Thu 06 Jun 2019, 9:54 pm

@ No name Bertie : indeed, the women’s game is truly bizarre (and becoming more so, it seems, with each passing week .... ). It really is very difficult to fathom out just what’s going on, and why.

Over in the men’s draw - in stark contrast - the only four players left standing happen to be ..... er ....... the top four seeds. How very mundane Laugh

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 06 Jun 2019, 10:39 pm

Thiem didn’t beat Djokovic at the French last year, it was cecchinato. Thiem beat Djokovic two years ago but the year before that Djokovic beat Thiem in straight sets.

Regardless I can see that match going the distance, Thiem looked very impressive today. I still think though if people want a change from Nadal winning, the best chance is Djokovic being in the final. I still think in best of 5 Novak is the only one who really believes he can do it. I think federer will make it competitive tomorrow and I could see Thiem taking a set off Nadal but history suggests only Djokovic can really take Nadal out of his comfort zone at the French open in recent years. I still expect Nadal to win though, i just hope it’s really competitive.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 07 Jun 2019, 9:02 am

Weather forecast for Paris today is not great so not sure how much play there will be.

No doubt Fed will be hoping for a drizzly, low-bounce sort of day to combat Rafa's huge topspin. Still can't see beyond a Rafa-Djokjo final, though.

Interesting to see whether Anisimova can keep it up in the semi. Astonishing performance yesterday.

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Post by lags72 Fri 07 Jun 2019, 9:52 am

@ sfp - I think the very latest is that they’re expecting to start (at least!) on schedule.

It’s a fabulous opportunity for Jo Konta to make her first Slam Final ..... but who knows what will happen, especially in light of other strange results in recent days.

Federer’s great run will inevitably come to a juddering halt of course, later today. As his 38th birthday approaches, it’s questionable whether he will even play here at RG ever again. On the face of it, he (currently) seems in remarkably decent shape ; but in truth his ongoing Tour career can only be measured now in terms of six month chunks at a time, as it were, or one year ahead at the very most. He has matched his seeding here, and in overall terms the much-hyped return to clay after so long a gap has undoubtedly been pretty impressive.

Djokovic v Thiem certainly has all the ingredients for a classic. Thiem will have to be at his very best to take this one, but it is certainly do-able. If they are both at their best, then it’s probably a 50/50. If Thiem is in any way off-colour, then Novak should see it through without too much fuss.

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