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

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

First topic message reminder :

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 lags72 Sun 23 Jun 2019, 10:49 am

@ sfp - yes it must surely be the ‘oldest’ title match at Queen’s. Like a Veterans Event.

But here’s another thing : if Lopez were to win Queen’s ...... and if Federer were to win at Halle - both Finals being played today - would that mean the two main pre-Wimbledon events have been taken by the two oldest guys in the entire top 100  .... chin Shocked

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 23 Jun 2019, 11:33 am

lags72 wrote:@ sfp - yes it must surely be the ‘oldest’ title match at Queen’s. Like a Veterans Event.

But here’s another thing : if Lopez were to win Queen’s ...... and if Federer were to win at Halle - both Finals being played today - would that mean the two main pre-Wimbledon events have been taken by the two oldest guys in the entire top 100  .... chin Shocked
It would mean more importantly a continued reassessment of this era (generation) and the preceding eras (generations) of tennis.  In particular the preceding era (now the current oldies) continue to get better in comparison.  It can't be based on physical strength or a "simple" playing style - because the generation following the big four era plus the current "new gen era" surely had / have that in buckets?  It can be done in principle as shown by Boris Becker (only 17 when he won Wimbledon).  In the history of tennis and tennis sports science it is an interesting phenomenon.

Some claim that motivation is an important factor - with the generations following the big four era - getting rich at an earlier age due to increase in popularity of the sport & the exponential increases in prize money and sponsorship, especially in the era of globalisation.  Ernesto Gulbis who was independently rich never seemed to have the motivation or commitment to push to the next level.

Nowadays if you push children and young adults as hard as in earlier generations it is considered as child abuse or exploitation.  So now the drive has to come more from the individual child / young adult.

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Post by lags72 Sun 23 Jun 2019, 12:06 pm

Some interesting thoughts there NnB !

Proceedings just about to get underway at Halle.

Goffin was in truly outstanding form when he brought Berrettini’s impressive run to an end. This will be a hard-fought title match.

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Post by lags72 Sun 23 Jun 2019, 12:48 pm

Federer struggling badly on first serve.

Goffin, with a lot of power & aggression, is currently playing more cleanly

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 23 Jun 2019, 2:20 pm

lags72 wrote:Federer struggling badly on first serve.

Goffin, with a lot of power & aggression, is currently playing more cleanly
Follows a typical formula - first set competitive which Federer wins on a tie-breaker, then Goffin fades or Federer goes up a gear - and runs through the second set handing Goffin a breadstick. So title number 102 for 37 year old Federer.

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Post by lags72 Sun 23 Jun 2019, 2:30 pm

I do feel for Goffin ..... he really is such a great, no-nonsense, competitor. Started so well and probably the better player right up to the TB in opening set. He’s a credit to the sport, no doubt about that.

The pressure then seemed to get to him, just as Federer moved up a couple of gears in set two, after which there was no way back for David, who later told the crowd that he was - understandably - very pleased with his week’s work, all the more so I guess, after a troubled 2018.

Ludicrously-long presentation ceremony where the speeches from the officials / sponsors went on waaay longer than even at any Slam I’ve seen Shocked  No wonder the full stadium had gradually half-emptied by the end of it all !!

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 23 Jun 2019, 5:06 pm

Good quality final at Queens - nice contrast in styles between Lopez and Simon (some great rallies, Lopez's volleys vs Simon's passing shots), with the match going to a 3rd set tie-break with Lopez prevailing. Lopez must be exhausted now for that doubles final - Andy might have to do bit more running round than anticipated.

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Post by Just John Sun 23 Jun 2019, 7:57 pm

Lopez and Murray win the doubles. Incredible stuff from Lopez this week, and an encouraging comeback from Murray. clap

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 23 Jun 2019, 8:25 pm

A highly notable title for Lopez and Murray considering boths recent circumstances. For Lopez to win two titles at Queen's at the age of 37 with ludicrous schedule he had to undertake was remarkable. And for Andy winning a title in his first comeback tournament after a hip operation and no competitive tennis for almost six months is very encouraging.
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Post by No name Bertie Sun 23 Jun 2019, 8:41 pm

lags72 wrote: ... But here’s another thing : if Lopez were to win Queen’s ...... and if Federer were to win at Halle - both Finals being played today - would that mean the two main pre-Wimbledon events have been taken by the two oldest guys in the entire top 100  .... chin Shocked
And the Greek God Klapped-outicus looked down and it came to pass.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 24 Jun 2019, 7:44 am

Terrific effort by Lopez at Queen's. Also, as CC says above, a very encouraging comeback for Murray.

Andy said a while back that just playing doubles was probably not an option. He's still keen to have a go at singles but said last night that he had so much fun at Queen's that he could consider just sticking to doubles.

Another good week at Halle for Federer who is now an impressive 32-4 for the season. I make it that he and Djoko are favourites for Wimbledon. I think Fed playing the French and getting some five-set matches in (particularly the long one against Stan) will help him at Wimbledon.

I had few doubts that Barty would win at Birmingham even though the pressure was on. She seems very focussed and could do well at Wimbledon.

Another woman to watch is Kenin who saved three championship points to beat Bencic in Majorca. But as with the French, a case can be made for almost any of the top 20 taking the title at SW19.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 24 Jun 2019, 9:55 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/48739942

Going by his column (right at the end) getting back to singles seems to be in the forefront of his mind. It is just a matter of how he goes about it.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 24 Jun 2019, 6:46 pm

A name to look out for is Paul Jubb, a young Briton from Hull who has been playing the US college circuit.

He's been given a WC into main draw at Wimbledon and also got a WC into Eastbourne qualifying where he made it into the main draw after beating Istomin in one of his two qualie matches.

He lost in the first round today but has been doing very well in America and could well be one to follow.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 24 Jun 2019, 7:46 pm

sirfredperry wrote:A name to look out for is Paul Jubb, a young Briton from Hull who has been playing the US college circuit.

He's been given a WC into main draw at Wimbledon and also got a WC into Eastbourne qualifying where he made it into the main draw after beating Istomin in one of his two qualie matches.

He lost in the first round today but has been doing very well in America and could well be one to follow.


Yes he certainly looks the pick of British teenagers at present. Much touted Jack Draper, who reached the Wimbledon Juniors Final last year, lost in the first qualifying round for Wimbledon today as did Andy Murray protege Aiden McHugh.
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Post by sirfredperry Wed 26 Jun 2019, 10:18 am

The big news this morning is that Rafa has been been seeded three and Roger seeded two at Wimbledon.

Means Rafa is seeded to have to meet either Rog or Djoko in the semis while Rog might, depending on the draw, avoid Rafa in the semis.

Rafa is not a happy bunny.

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Post by lags72 Wed 26 Jun 2019, 10:48 am

True ..... Rafa is far from happy.

He feels strongly that the seedings should reflect performance on all surfaces over the previous 12 months, not just grass.

That said, the methodology used by Wimbledon was agreed with the ATP Players Council some time ago.

I have a strange hunch (based on virtually nothing at all .... Shocked ) that one of the big three will fall as early as week one this year, in which case the top seed positions would be of less significance.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 26 Jun 2019, 11:23 am

I think Rafa will be happier if the draw means he and Rog will be in the same half. That means it wouldn't have mattered if he'd been seeded two or three.

BBC's coverage suggests person who wrote it doesn't understand how the draw pans out. Says it's "likely"  Rafa will be in Djoko's half of the draw. In fact, it's 50-50 whether three meets one in the semis.


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Post by sirfredperry Wed 26 Jun 2019, 11:24 am

I think Rafa will be happier if the draw means he and Rog will be in the same half. That means it wouldn't have mattered if he'd been seeded two or three.

BBC's coverage suggests person who wrote it doesn't understand how the draw pans out. Says it's "likely"  Rafa will be in Djoko's half of the draw. In fact, it's 50-50 whether three meets one in the semis.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 26 Jun 2019, 11:27 am

Has this not been Wimbledon's way of working out seeding for many years now though? Well nigh certain it has been in place for many years and I suppose it would grate most with Rafa as grass is his weakest surface and so it will be least beneficial to him.
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Post by sirfredperry Wed 26 Jun 2019, 6:26 pm

I see that the BBC amended their report on the seeding after a number of people on their website pointed out their report was misleading.

Good win at Eastbourne for Dan Evans today and at least a couple of Britons are still in the Wimbledon qualifying. Konta crashed out, though

Halep v Kerber, scheduled for tomorrow in Eastbourne, is a cracking match for a quarter final.

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Post by MrInvisible Thu 27 Jun 2019, 1:56 pm

Liam Broady beaten in 5 sets (after being 2 sets up) in final round of qualifying. However, presumably the tight loss mean he stands chance of going through as a 'lucky loser' if someone pulls out. Familar names to qualify include Granollers and Vesely though Donald Young lost.

Couple of big womens' names in qualifying final round later today - Wickmayer and (former Wimbledon semi-finalist no less!) Lisicki.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 27 Jun 2019, 6:36 pm

Alas for Broady I think I'm right in saying that the LL usually goes to the highest-ranked player who missed out.

As I speak Edmund has battled back after losing the first set to Dan Evans at Eastbourne and it's on serve deep in the third set.

Good win for Kerber over Halep today. Ooh, MP for Edmund. But Evans saves it.

Update: Evans saved three MPs but Edmund got it on his fourth MP to win 6-4 in the third. Probably better for British tennis that Edmund won. He's had a poor run of late and he's the younger and higher-ranked player.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 28 Jun 2019, 7:32 am

While Kyle Edmund battles for a place in the Eastbourne final, we'll get the draw for Wimbledon today.

Rafa not happy about being seeded three but will be even more unhappy if he gets Djoko in his half and Fed gets fourth-seed Anderson.

There are some dangerous guys seeded between 20 and 30 who the big boys might have to play as early as the third round. They include Simon, Goffin and Stan the Man.

Although Cilic is having a bit of a nightmare season he has been pushed up to 13th - quite rightly, given his grass-court pedigree. Means the top blokes won't have to meet him before the fourth round.

The women's seeding has gone according to computer rankings. Bit surprised they didn't move Serena up into, at least, the top eight. She stays at 11. Good luck to anyone trying to predict the women's winner.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 28 Jun 2019, 12:44 pm

There are also posts on the draw on another thread.

But anyway, Rafa and Rog have been drawn in the same half, with Rafa facing a tricky path. Djoko gets Anderson as a possible semi opponent and who knows if the South African will even get that far.

Barty, Kerber and Serena Williams are all in the same quarter, with 39-year-old Venus Williams drawn in the first round against Coco Gauff, aged, 15 - the youngest Wimbledon qualifier in the Open Era.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 28 Jun 2019, 7:44 pm

Hi Fred are you going to create a new thread for Wimbledon - or turn this into the new Wimbledon thread by adjusting the title & OP?  

Kyle Edmund has been beaten by Taylor Fritz in Eastbourne.   And the final at Eastbourne will be an all-America affair between Taylor Fritz and Sam Querrey.

It makes me wonder if Edmund will ever reach another Grand Slam semi-final or win another singles ATP tournament (one ATP 250 so far in May 2018).  Apart from a Semi-Final at AO 2018, his results over the past four years have been being knocked out at the 1R, 2R and 3R stages.  And apart from that semi-final, there has been no evidence of progress in his Grand Slam results over the past four years.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 29 Jun 2019, 10:26 am

Yes, disappointing result - and recent results - from Edmund. I though he'd improved enormously last year. His BH and movement were much better. He's suffered illness and injuries. But he may well come again.

Will start a Wimbledon thread.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 29 Jun 2019, 10:26 am

Yes, disappointing result - and recent results - from Edmund. I though he'd improved enormously last year. His BH and movement were much better. He's suffered illness and injuries. But he may well come again.

Will start a Wimbledon thread.

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