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The Grass-court Season - the run up to Wimbledon 2019

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Post by sirfredperry Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:35 am

It's grass court time - at least when it stops raining. Federer is skipping Stuttgart after getting six matches at RG but will be back for Halle next week.

Queen's starts next Monday, with Andy Murray due to play doubles there with the hope that he may be able to return to singles later in the year.

Rafa has overtaken Djoko in the year-so-far points table with the top five - Rafa, Djoko, Rog, Thiem and Tsitsipas - well ahead of the rest. We may get a better idea who will end up as year-end number one by the end of Wimbledon.

Djoko has a stack of points to defend from here to the end of January 2020. Rog will be looking to go deep at Wimbledon and must be considered one of the favourites at SW19. There's a roof on number one court so the scheduling nightmare that the French endured will be avoided.

As for the women, who can safely predict a Wimbledon winner? It's very close at the top of the rankings after Barty's triumph at RG. With her excellent BH slice, she could do well on grass. Serena can never be discounted but age and a lack of mobility seem to be catching up with her.

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Post by naxroy Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:01 am

Nadal wont play untill wimbledon


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Post by sirfredperry Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:51 am

naxroy wrote:Nadal wont play untill wimbledon


Is this is a fact or a prediction? Not playing until Wimbledon would make sense. It's nine years since Rafa won Wimbledon and in that time he's only got past the 4th round twice.


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Post by naxroy Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:52 am

its a fact

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:14 pm

Tsitsipas and A Zverev both beaten in grass-court events this week.

Further news of Murray is that he is hoping that if the doubles goes well he can return to singles some time before the end of the year.

I didn't catch the earlier news that Jamie Murray has called time on his partnership with Bruno Suares and is now teamed with one of the Skupski brothers.

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Post by MrInvisible Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:29 pm

Dan Evans won the Surbiton Challenger, beating Trociki in the final. Its a tournament that traditionally has quite a strong field for a Challenger.

For the womens' title at Wimbledon how about Osaka? Sure, she's probably not played much on grass, but with a serve like that you've always got a decent chance on grass. Barty ought to make the 2nd week at least, and Konta should do well.

I reckon Dimitrov could have a decent run at Wimbledon this year - maybe as far as the quarters. Got to go for Djokovic as favourite. Would like one of the young up-and-coming players to go far, like Tsitsipas did at Australian Open - how about Shapovalov?

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Post by sirfredperry Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:29 am

Another win for Felix A-A in Stuttgart. He's remarkably high in the rankings for an 18-yr-old. When was the last time someone so young did so well? You probably have to go back to the teenage years of Rafa.

Mr I - trying to predict a woman's winner at Wimbledon sure is tough. Osaka seems the least comfortable number one ever. She continually bangs on about the pressure and the media attention. So I'm not sure she'll get that far at SW19, although it's temperament that could hold her back, not talent.

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Post by Positively 4th Street Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:07 pm

I read earlier that Felix A-A is the youngest player since Hewitt to reach finals on three different surfaces in a single season. So, definitely impressive.

Plays Berrettini in the final who I know little about but seems to have stealthily (to me at least) climbed to 30 in the world (and rising presumably after this run).

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Post by sirfredperry Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:04 am

Federer returns to the grass at Halle. He has a tough draw. Millman first up, then possibly Tsonga and also possibly Coric who beat him in the final last year.

Awful draws for the Brits at Queen's with Edmund playing top seed Tsitsipas in the first round and Evans taking on number two seed Anderson.


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Post by Calder106 Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:09 pm

Think it is Norrie playing Anderson. Evans plays Wawrinka.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:25 pm

Calder106 wrote:Think it is Norrie playing Anderson. Evans plays Wawrinka.

You're absolutely right. Pretty dreadful draw for Evans, too. As I write Berrettini has taken the first set 6-4 against F A-A in Stuttgart and it's 4-4 in the second.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:48 am

Good effort by Cameron Norrie at Queen's but Anderson thru in three sets. Jamie Ward took Simon to a third-set tiebreak but lost.

Bad draw for Konta at Birmingham, having to play a player ranked as high as 20 in the first round; but she came thru in straight sets.

Fed plays Millman in Halle today hoping to get revenge for his USO defeat last autumn. British public getting their first look at F A-A at Queen's as he takes on Dimi. Evans and Edmund both in action and facing tough opposition.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:16 pm

Wash out at Queen's but they played at Halle where Fed won in straight sets and will now play J-W T who bt Paire.

Sharapova won her comeback match in Majorca, while Kerber and Osaka got welcome wins, too.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:03 pm

It seems to me that Murrays "metalised" hip joint is not going to last for very long if Andy Murray is going to be playing on slippery grass.  Andy Murray's first competitive match (1st round Queens men's doubles) is due for tomorrow (Thursday).

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Post by sirfredperry Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:35 am

Evans went out to Stan the Man but it was a good match. Edmund up against it in his rain-hit match with Tsitsipas who looked good on grass, moving well and prepared to come in and volley.

In Halle, Fed takes on J-W T today, with the Frenchman having one of the very few half-decent records against the Swiss. Interesting that Pliskova was beaten by her twin sister yesterday who is far down the rankings.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:32 pm

At Queen's, it was exit time today for Stan the Man, Anderson, Cilic and Kyrgios while Tsitsipas came thru in three in a very tight match with Chardy.

Good to see Andy Murray back in the doubles, with he and Lopez beating the top seeds. Andy looked a bit rusty in the first set but played very well towards the end. He was cheerful enough afterwards and now gets at least one more match.

Awful news about delpo. He's fractured his kneecap again and needs surgery.

J-W T gave Federer a very good match in Halle by all accounts, only succumbing 7-5 in the third. A Zverev says he is suffering with injury but is carrying on in the tournament.

Sharapova lost her comeback match to Kerber in straight sets.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:48 am

Tsitsipas v Felix A-A is the stand-out match at Queen's today, with Andy Murray playing his second doubles match.

Kyrgios in hot water again. A rant in his first match and then typical couldn't-really-be-bothered performance to close out his defeat by Felix A-A after that.

Andy M is one of the few players I think Kyrgios would listen to. Would be good if the Scot had a word with him and tell him in no uncertain terms that he's wasting his talent and his life.

So close is it at the top of the women's rankings that Barty will go to number one if she takes the title at Birmingham.

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Post by lags72 Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:27 am

sirfredperry wrote:..........

Kyrgios in hot water again. A rant in his first match and then typical couldn't-really-be-bothered performance to close out his defeat by Felix A-A after that.

Andy M is one of the few players I think Kyrgios would listen to. Would be good if the Scot had a word with him and tell him in no uncertain terms that he's wasting his talent and his life.

.........

Andy M features in this genuinely funny interview by a (very !) young tennis player and bad boy Kyrgios. Well worth a watch !!

https://mobile.twitter.com/QueensTennis/status/1141047964519010309

Yes, Tsonga put in an extremely impressive performance with the sort of quality serving and power forehands that reminded us of just how good he was pre-injury. He could go deep at Wimbledon if he can maintain this level. Took all of Federer’s resources to edge an excellent match in the decider.

So much youthful talent (and Federer .... !) left in both the Halle and Queen’s draws .... the respective titles will be hard-won affairs.

Guess who selected Tuesday of this week to attend Queen’s ..... only to spend around four hours at the grounds without seeing a single ball hit. Rain stops play mo2 Sad Sad

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Post by MrInvisible Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:32 am

Enjoyed watching Lopez and Murray in the doubles yesterday. Lopez is a great partner for Murray - his spins, angles and volleys perfectly complement Murray's returns, passing shots and all-round quality. I thought Murray looked a bit uncertain in 1st set and was definitely carried by Lopez at some key moments, but grew into the match as it progressed. Its good news for doubles as a discipline too as the spotlight on Murray gives it higher profile than it normally gets.

Tsitsipas is developing his grasscourt game nicely and I'd expect him to beat Felix today. However, I'm tipping Raonic to win Queens title this year.

Good to see Tsonga playing well - agree that he could go far at Wimbledon and the top players will certainly want to avoid him early on.

Currently I see order of favourites as follows (subject to change depending what happens in latter stages of Queens/Halle):

1) Djokovic - v accomplished grasscourt player these days - the years of working with Becker have helped a lot.
2) Federer - put him as high as this due to Cilic's v poor form. Federer will be v tough to break as always.
3) Nadal, based on how well he played at Wimbledon last year - in that epic match with Djokovic in semis I thought he was the better player.
4) Raonic - a former finalist, and his sensible post-injury comeback schedule should help him peak at right time
5) Tsitsipas - looks the best equipped to prosper on grass amongst the younger generation
6 = Cilic, Anderson

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:50 pm

MrI - You might want to add Berrettini to your Wimbledon list. He's won again in Halle today and seems to be bang in form.

Lags72 - Very sorry about Tuesday. Know how you feel. Remember how hot and dry it was last summer. I was at Lord's for the first day of England v India. No play at all.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:32 pm

Tsitsipas (20: born Aug 12 1998) 5-7 2-6 Felix Auger-Aliassime (18: born Aug 08 2000)

So Aliassime is two years junior to Tsitsipas, but has yet to do anything in a grand slam. Was knocked out in second qualifying round at AO 2019, and was knocked out in R1 at USO 2018. He has been gaining points in masters and ATP 500 & ATP 250.


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Post by MrInvisible Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:40 pm

Felix A-A beats Tsitsipas 7-5 6-2 to reach the semi-finals at Queens. Got to admit I've not properly watched the Canadian youngster yet so will try and catch his semi-final tomorrow.

Goffin meanwhile beat Zverev in a tight 3 setter in Halle.

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Post by lags72 Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:02 pm

Glad I didn’t put wagers on today’s results ..... I would have gone for Zverev (home soil curse ?), Tsitsipas, and Khachanov, and lost my stakes ..... every one !  But well-done to all the winners clap

Will Herbert now beat Coric and RBA take out Federer ..... and keep the upsets going .... ?

I already knew a little bit about young Felix A-A ..... but confess I do need to look up Berrettini ......

@ sfp ... mutual sympathies, thanks !

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Post by lags72 Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:40 pm

Ref my previous ..... now slightly ashamed of myself to find that Berrettini is actually ranked as high as 22. He has somehow just passed me by .... maybe because he was outside the top 100 a little over one year ago. It’s been a rapid rise, so all credit to him OK

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:11 pm

Coric, who had a marathon match yesterday (he seems to specialise in them) had to retire after going a set down to Herbert in Halle.

Everything set fair for Fed to take the title with Coric and Zverev out. RBA may have something to say about that, though.

One set all between Raonic and Lopez at Queen's. F A-A impressed me. Tsitsipas needed an MTO and should really have capitalised on Felix's slow start. The young Canadian played particularly well in the second set.


F A-A seems very mature both on and off the court. He won't be 19 until August (same birthday as Fed) and is a terrific prospect.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by lags72 Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:25 pm

Lopez comes through at Queen’s. He’s a popular guy here !

RBA has hit sparkling form, just as Federer’s game takes a noticeable dip in quality. One set all. Hard to believe that RBA has managed just one set in his eight previous meetings with the Fed. Into the decider now and I suspect this could well prove a very special day for the clever Spaniard.

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Post by lags72 Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:37 pm

Lots of forehand errors coming now from Federer, he’s up against it here and looking unusually edgy at times, esp. considering the venue & surface.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:16 am

Well, Fed squeezed thru after RBA, reportedly, made four successive UEs in what turned out to be the final game.

Andy Murray's doubles match suspended at 4-5 in the second set after Murray/Lopez had taken the first set.

Will be interesting to see how F A-A gets on today. He could easily win the whole thing.

Barty is closing in on the number one ranking. I make it there are 15 women currently playing who are GS champions and most of those have also been number one. Complete contrast with the Big Four monopoly with the men.

You have to go back to January 2004 for the last time someone other than the Big Four was numero uno.

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Post by Born Slippy Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:29 am

Lleyton Hewitt, in 2002, was the last non big 4 winner of Wimbledon, 17 years ago.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:34 pm

Barty wins her semi and is now one win away from being number one.

Berrettini, after a really good run of wins, lost his semi to Goffin in Halle.

Simon v Medvedev is a real battle with both showing little attacking intent but wonderful defence. Medvedev a set up after a first set tiebreak. This one could run and run...

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Post by lags72 Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:45 pm

Valiant effort by Hughes-Herbert who did so well to make the Halle semis, but was taken down swiftly in straights, 3 & 3, by the Swiss one.  ‘Twas vintage Federer today.

A much tougher challenge awaits in tomorrow’s Final in the shape of David Goffin.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:58 pm

Fed dropped just five points in nine service games today. Great chance for him now to win another Halle.

Simon finally saw off Medvedev after a match with amazingly long rallies but little attacking intent.

Time after time the Russian hit a good shot but instead of coming in he retreated to the baseline. And what a drama queen - constantly ranting at his team and holding his back.


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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:23 pm

It would be notable if the men's doubles final at Queens were between Lopez-Murray and the Bryan brothers. Currently Bryans are down a set in the semi-final while Lopez-Murray are a set up in the quarter-finals.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:30 pm

Just realised that Lopez who is currently playing in the mens semi-final at Queens against upstart 18 year old Felix A-A (currently 3-3 first set), has to play his unfinished mens doubles QF immediately afterwards.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:36 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Fed dropped just five points in nine service games today. Great chance for him now to win another Halle ...
Federer is currently listed as having 101 professional tournament titles 8 behind Connors. He could definitely overtake Connors if he was inclined to target the smaller tournaments. Having Federer at the smaller tournaments would certainly be a great boon for those tournaments and the local crowd.

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Post by lags72 Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:20 pm

I think another nine official tour titles to overtake Connors’s impressive record  is still quite a tall order at the age of 38 (in August) and beyond.

But then again, so many of Jimbo’s victories in his later years came at very low-key events with weak* fields ..... so if, as you suggest NnB, Federer were to choose to enter similar tourneys (and I’m not sure this really interests him .... ?) then yes .... I guess it is very likely do-able, fitness permitting.

* I use the word ‘weak’ advisedly, given there is so much strength-in-depth in the men’s game nowadays ....

I would imagine he might have his eye on the other very notable all-time record held by Connors  :
1274 ATP match wins. With Federer currently on 1215 I guess another two years competing on tour, even part-time, could see him reach that.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:33 pm

F A-A couldn't quite keep his high standard up and went down to Lopez who played terrific grass-court S&V tennis.

Agree with Lags72 that Fed has much more chance of beating Connors' most-wins record than overtaking the American's most-titles achievement.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:04 pm

No name Bertie wrote:Just realised that Lopez who is currently playing in the mens semi-final at Queens against upstart 18 year old Felix A-A (currently 3-3 first set), has to play his unfinished mens doubles QF immediately afterwards.

Which Murray and Lopez win and they don't leave court for the semi-final. Shocked

Lopez on over overtime.

I think Murray will be pleasantly pleased with how this week has gone.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:11 pm

I must say it is terrible news about Del Potro fracturing his right knee again. He will apparently need another operation and the big Argentine is not sure if he has played his last match. The last few years have been very cruel to him. Fingers crossed he can come back yet again.
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Post by lags72 Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:40 pm

Yes, what a rough hand fate has dealt to JMDP. He must be feeling really low right now.

Contrasting fortunes for Murray who has of course been through the wringer himself, but is enjoying tennis - and indeed life - once again. It’s been a great return to the court for him ..... here’s hoping he can also have a stab at singles when the time is right.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:49 pm

Murray and Lopez take the first set in their semi against Kontinen and Peers 7-5.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:08 pm

Clinical second set from Kontinen and Peers and looks like we are going to a deciding champions tie-break.
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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:34 pm

Feliciano López is 37 and turns 38 in September.  He has played two and bit matches today and will play another two matches tomorrow (if he gets through the current doubles SF) - this is incredible.  But maybe he is running out of steam - he was serving to win the semi-final doubles but has just been broken - so on to a tie breaker.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:41 pm

And a Champions tie-break it is. Lopez and Murray fought back and looked on the brink of taking the set and match but Kontinen and Peers take the second set tie-break.
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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:44 pm

Well Lopez & Murray have lost the second set so it is now 7-5 6-7 and this match is heading into a third set with the time heading towards 9 pm and beyond.

It looks like poor Lopez is going to be exhausted with stiff muscles heading into tomorrows singles final - and if he comes through this now "marathon" doubles semi-final - he will have two finals to play tomorrow.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:46 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:And a Champions tie-break it is. Lopez and Murray fought back and looked on the brink of taking the set and match but Kontinen and Peers take the second set tie-break.
Okay - I was thinking this was going to be a third set. I guess a champions tie-break is a first to ten points or something.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:48 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:And a Champions tie-break it is. Lopez and Murray fought back and looked on the brink of taking the set and match but Kontinen and Peers take the second set tie-break.
Okay - I was thinking this was going to be a third set.  I guess a champions tie-break is a first to ten points or something.

Correct. The first to ten points win.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:54 pm

Lopez and Murray win the Champions Tie-Break 10-7 to reach the Men's Doubles Finals. Some achievement.
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Post by No name Bertie Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:56 pm

And Lopez - Murray win!

So that means Lopez has two finals tomorrow - I hope he recovers well. And congratulations to Murray on getting to his first final in his first tournament back.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:03 pm

Some lovely touches from Andy Murray in that match and terrific the way Lopez kept going.

Andy's serve lacked a bit of zing but his returning was good and he can still produce some amazing shots at times.

Guess the combined age of 71 for the singles finalists makes tomorrow's the oldest title match at Queen's.

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