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The US Open - 2019

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 25 Aug 2019, 6:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

The last GS of the season opens in New York tomorrow. Without checking what was written at the start of the other three slams this year, I bet I'm probably repeating myself by saying it's going to be hard to look beyond anyone other than the Big Three to be in contention for the men's title.

Where could a challenge come from? The form man at the moment is Medvedev, but what shape is he going to be in after reaching three successive finals? Guys who've done well at the USO in the past include Cilic and Nishi. Nishi might do well, but Marin's had a poor season.

You wait, in vain it seems, for Zverev to show up at a Slam. Thiem is always tough to beat, but one feels clay is his best surface.

As for the women, may as well stick a pin in to discover the winner. Serena seems to do OK these days until having horror shows in finals. Halep is always worth putting money on. But it's very difficult to pick out a firm favourite. Virtually any of the top 20 could win it.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 08 Sep 2019, 10:30 pm

Judging by Medvedev's recent results and mannerisms - he doesn't seem to be one to "give up".  He might be overpowered, he might get exhausted, but I don't think he would mentally give up.  But it is difficult to say - Murray used to perform brilliantly against everybody in non-slam events - but when he faced Federer or a Nadal he seemed to mentally fade away after battling in the first set or two.  He would then have a post grand slams blues - or at least he used to following defeat at the Australian Open.  With age and with Lendl by his side he was able to hold his own and start to beat them in the slams.

For Medvedev he has youth on his side compared to Nadal - and Nadal is an old 32 33 years of age having been through innumerable battles and injuries.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 08 Sep 2019, 11:14 pm

Second set - I think it was 3-3 then 6-3 to Nadal with one break of serve.

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Post by Oioi Sun 08 Sep 2019, 11:15 pm

Nadal's unique style proving difficult for Medvedev to deal with, as it is for nearly the entire tour. Medvedev will need to work on improving his offensive game if he is to beat the best players when they are playing well. You just feel he can't consistently take time away from Rafa like he needs to. If he can steer clear of injuries and improve his offence then I think he will win multiple GS as he certainly has the temperament and tactical nous.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 08 Sep 2019, 11:35 pm

Nadal a break-up in the third set: 3-2 and Nadal to serve.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Sun 08 Sep 2019, 11:35 pm

Medvedev has played some really good tennis in this final but he’s up against, for my money, the greatest of all time.

Nadal’s defensive work is so incredible he’s able to nullify Medvedev’s powerful ground strokes.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 08 Sep 2019, 11:58 pm

Medvedev breaks back and it is now 4-4 in third set. But can Medvedev now hold on to his serve 15-30; 30-30, 30-40, 40-40, 40-A, 40-40, A-40, Medvedev Holds. Medvedev leads 5-4 in third set but on serve with Nadal to serve to stay in the third set.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:03 am

I don't watch a lot of tennis nowadays although I do occassional follow it. I have heard several people say that Nadal as he has developed and overcome various injuries and with the aging process - has continued to adapt and modify his style - and it always seems to make him competitive for most of the slams. He had a falling away at Wimbledon for several seasons - but now seems to have worked himself back.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:05 am

Medvedev has just had a love service game and it is now 6-5 to him in the third set with Nadal serving to get it to a tie break.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:12 am

Nadal goes 0-30 down on serve; 0-40; 15-40; Medvedev breaks and takes the third set 7-5.

So Nadal leads two sets to one as the time played moves towards 3 hours (2hrs 53 mins)

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:14 am

Marathon man Medvedev just keeps going. Incredible reserves of self belief

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:18 am

Match Stats so far:
Stat ........ Medvedev ... Nadal
Winners .. 49 ............. 35
U-Errors .. 37 ............. 26
Distance ... 4.07 km .... 4.31 km

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:20 am

Medvedev takes the first game of the fourth set to love (on his serve).  There seems to have been a momentum shift towards the end of the third set.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:18 am

What is going on?

Nadal vs Medvedev: 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 0-1

on serve in fifth. This is really looking like a "coming of age" performance from Medvedev.

Match time 3 hr 53 minutes.

Nadal serving 15-30; 15-40; 30-40; 40-40; 40-A; 40-40; A - 40; Nadal hold.

1-1 final set.

Every set Nadal has covered a greater distance than Medvedev. So Nadal seems okay fitness wise.

Match time: 4 hrs 00 mins.

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Post by kemet Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:23 am

Rafa's going to win his 19th major, but massive credit has to go to Medvedev for making this a match

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:26 am

Momentum still seems to be with Medvedev. Medvedev rushing through his service games. Nadal having difficulty holding his service games.

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Post by kemet Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:28 am

No name Bertie wrote:Momentum still seems to be with Medvedev.  Medvedev rushing through his service games.  Nadal having difficulty holding his service games.

Rafa will find a way...

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Post by kemet Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:35 am

kemet wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:Momentum still seems to be with Medvedev.  Medvedev rushing through his service games.  Nadal having difficulty holding his service games.

Rafa will find a way...

So said, so done....

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:36 am

Medvedev serving from 40-0 to 40-A then back to 40-40; 40-A; Nadal breaks.

Nadal still covering more distance than Medvedev in the fifth set.

3-2 Nadal fifth set, with Nadal to serve after the change of ends break.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:42 am

Nadal holds to 15 to go 4-2 up in final set.

I am sure Nadal was in this position against Federer in the Australian Open 2018 2017 and against Djokovic in some other slam final only to lose.  It all depends on Medvedev (and Nadal I guess).


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Post by kemet Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:44 am

No name Bertie wrote:Nadal holds to 15 to go 4-2 up in final set.

I am sure Nadal was in this position against Federer in the Australian Open 2018 and against Djokovic in some other slam final only to lose.  It all depends on Medvedev.

That was Federer and Djokovic though; two all-time greats. Medvedev is in his first slam final

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:45 am

Nadal gets the double break to go 5-2 up in final set. After the change of ends break he will get a chance to serve for his 19th slam title.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:48 am

Every set Nadal has outworked Medvedev in terms of distance covered. Really surprised Medvedev proved so resilient. Then when the momentum seemed to be with Medvedev 40-0 and 2-2 in the final set - Nadal turns it around again.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:53 am

Nadal 30-15; 30-30; 30-40; Medvedev breaks to reclaim one of the breaks back.

5-3 Nadal with Medvedev to serve to stay in the championship.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:59 am

Medvedev 15-0; 15-15; 15-30; 30-30; 30-40; 40-40; 40-A; 40-40; A-40; 40-40; A-40; Medvedev holds.

5-4 to Nadal final set. Can Nadal hold serve this time?

Match Time: 4 hr 41 mins

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Post by kemet Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:00 am

Daniil Medvedev is leaving everything on the court as the old saying goes. He has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:09 am

Nadal 0-15; 15-15; 15-30; 30-30; 30-40; 40-40; A-40 [third championship point]; Nadal is the champion

7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4

Match Time 4 hrs 49 mins

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:12 am

So the final ends up being a classic with old man Nadal aged 33 having been playing at elite level since the age of 16 winning his 19th Singles Grand Slam tournament.  Truly amazing.  And amazing from Medvedev.   Medvedev has been revelatory this hard court swing.  Wonder whether he will be able to keep it up.


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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:12 am

What an incredible final, one of the best I've ever seen. Nadal just had enough to tame the raging bull Medvedev. You would now assume Nadal will surpass Federer sometime next year. 

Medvedev will be heartbroken but his time will come.

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Post by kemet Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:13 am

Roger Federer is going to be knocked off his perch and he is sitting on 20 majors; there was a time when one thought Sampras's 14 major tally would stand for a long time. There are three players who have passed that mark in this era; how incredible


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Post by Oioi Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:18 am

Rafa has to be grateful he was playing a first time major finalist as the lack of experience may be what got him those first 2 sets which proved a bridge too far for Medvedev. I thought it was on Meddy's racquet once he got into full flow but it was too big of an ask to win 3 sets on the trot to win his first major. Really hope he isn't too discouraged, would love a new era to start with him at the forefront.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:29 am

I always suspected that Nadal had longevity.  But many who didn't like his physical style said he wouldn't last physically and suggested his 2009 breakdown (knees) was the beginning of the end.

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Post by Oioi Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:38 am

Indeed, Rafa is proving everyone wrong with his longevity having adapted to a significantly more aggressive style and with more variety. He is a very complete player now though he doesn't quite have the incredible (and in my opinion unrivalled) footspeed of his very early years.

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Post by Atila Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:43 am

kemet wrote:Roger Federer is going to be knocked off his perch and he is sitting on 20 majors; there was a time when no one thought Sampras's 14 major tally would stand for a long time. There are three players who have passed that mark in this era; how incredible
Federer being knocked off his perch won't change anything for me. Who's the greatest often comes down to personal taste and preference. My preference is Federer, but I'll never argue with anyone who thinks otherwise.

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Post by theslosty Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:53 am

Last slam final of the decade and we've had a few crackers but that must be well up there as one of the best - one hell of an effort from both players.
Medvedev seemed to lose a bit of focus and played pretty loosely after he got broken at 2-2 to then give away another break. Frustrating in hindsight as that 2nd break was crucial in the end as Rafa struggled to close the match out. But really it would be awfully unfair to nitpick an incredible performance from Daniil which hopefully will prove a coming of age moment. There's a bit of an edge to him and a certain cockiness which I find refreshing but it doesn't seem to affect his tennis unlike Kyrgios. In fact he seems very carefree and relaxed and the pressure of the situation never really seemed to faze him. It was remarkable that he never really showed any kind of emotion despite competing for 5 hours in an absolute cauldron.

What more can be said about Rafa... honestly he just redefines the word competitor every time he plays in one of these matches. Fending off those BPs at the start of the 5th when all the momentum was against him and then breaking serve from 40-0 and 30-0 down in successive games was Nadal epitomised.
However even to talk about him only in those terms sells him short - I have to remind myself even as a huge Federer fan that Nadal is ridiculously talented too. It's got to the stage where I actually expect him to hit impossible shots which would undoubtedly draw gasps from me if it was any other player.

I still suspect that Djokovic will probably end up on top of the pile when all the trophies are counted when the Big 3 retire. For years I've willed on Djokovic and Nadal to lose just so Fed's record would be safe but I've more or less come to terms that this trio really have to go down as the greatest 3 of all time and if you want to press your case for one of them then go ahead. I've grown up watching Federer - his tennis has captured my heart and he will always be the GOAT in my eyes but I can't deny at this stage that Rafa and Novak have very strong cases too.
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Post by Oioi Mon 09 Sep 2019, 3:03 am

My view is that there is not and can not be a GOAT as it's impossible to compare eras. For me, determining the GOAT by metrics such as grand slam titles won is a fallacy as a player who sets a record gives future players something to chase and the record will inevitably be broken. Does this mean the new record holder should be considered a greater player? Not in my book.

For example, a current world record holder in an athletics event has objectively performed better than anyone who has come before them, yet they are not always considered the GOAT of their sport as people understand that you have to judge them by the era in which they are competing. Also, few would claim Mayweather as the boxing GOAT despite his perfect record. When it comes to tennis I simply say the big 3 are all legendary players and have given us some fantastic entertainment for well over a decade.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 3:30 am

The interesting thing is that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are very different types of players and you could write a book on each of them and then a book comparing them.  Nadal I think has evolved the most especially with having to overcome various injuries.  Federer still reaching finals aged 37 to 38 is remarkable.  Djokovic seems to have overcome a potentially career ending elbow injury.  

Shame about Murrays hip but his movement always seemed the least smooth of the "big four" and I suppose that and a few other things did for him.  The second wind of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic came at a time when Murray should have been hoovering up slam titles post 2016 - but for his career ending hip injury - which was a chronic issue.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:37 am

Thanks for keeping this thread going overnight as I slumbered. Nodded off with Rafa about to go two sets up and seemingly heading for a straight sets victory.

Woke to see pics of Rafa holding up trophy and then was amazed to find that this was no routine three-setter but an epic five-set classic.

What a fightback from Medvedev. I've constantly been wrong about this guy's resistance and resilience throughout the tournament. Apart from the others of the Big Four, few players would have been able to come back from two sets and a break down against Rafa.

Rafa must have been mighty relieved to finally get over the line. Don't know just how much he's going to play between now and the end of the season, but he stands a good chance of achieving year-end number one status.

The most-Slam record is now within sight, especially if he can continually to play the French every year!

Some nice, balanced comments from posters above about the GOAT debate. The essence of the argument is that fans will always have their favourites but everyone should recognise that we have three fantastic champions all playing at the same time.

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:22 pm

On the one hand Nadal and Djokovic sharing the slams looks on paper like a predictable 'same old' scenario, but looking back this year we have had 2 real classic gripping slam finals and 1 v decent one (the French) which isn't bad.  We've seen both Tsitsipas and Berettini break-through to reach slam semi-finals and witnessed an excellent slam final debut from Medvedev to cap his brilliant North American hardcourt summer.

I think we will also witness at least one other first time Masters winner in remainder of the season.  I personally think we're in an interesting phase, even if we need to wait that bit longer for the next 1st time slam winner.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:07 pm

One Slam finalist and one semi-finalist from the next generation was good to see and Thiem (comparatively old now!) continues to do well at the French.

But Tsitsipas later and Zverev almost throughout struggled at the Slams. Italian men's tennis, rather overshadowed by their women in recent years, is stronger than it's been for years.

Looking ahead, it's still hard to see any of the 2020 slams going to anyone outside the top three. At the US, injuries affected two of them, but there was still a third, Rafa, left to take the title.

Now if Djoko and Fed's injuries cause them problems then, yes, there is a chance that we could get a new GS champion.

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:12 pm

@SFP: Regarding Italian tennis, I did hear an interesting theory on this from Pat Cash during Wimbledon when it was asked why they were doing so well. He didn't think the Italian Tennis Federation were doing anything particularly great. However, he pointed out the comparatively large number of Challenger tournaments held in Italy, which he felt really gave a big opportunity for their up-and-coming players to develop their game.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:31 pm

Italy now have seven players in the top 100. Don't know if this is a record for them in the Open Era.

Speaking of ranking, as Medvedev rises to fourth Andreescu soars to fifth. Wonder where these two will be in a year's time?

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 2:46 pm

sirfredperry wrote: Looking ahead, it's still hard to see any of the 2020 slams going to anyone outside the top three ...
I disagree.  I don't think it is hard at all. We are in the grey zone.  

Federer is now into his geriatric years (in terms of top level tennis).  Djokovic is suspect in terms of body breaking down (in post-op elbow years) - there seems to be a touch of frailness about him.  Nadal has so many miles on the clock and been through so many injuries - that would have felled a normal person - it is difficult to be confident of him.  However, of the three, I think Nadal is looking the strongest in terms of physical robustness.  

On top of all this, we have had a performance from a Next Genner - in the form of Daniil Medvedev - that puts him right up there as a grand slam contender.  It now depends on whether Medvedev is able to continue in this vein.  Medvedev's performance might also inspire some of the next genners to push a little harder in terms of their commitment and focus.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 09 Sep 2019, 3:08 pm

All those 'injury breaks' for Nadal have sure done his career the world of good.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 09 Sep 2019, 3:57 pm

Congratulations to Rafa on winning the US Open and taking his 19th slam title. A great achievement. Very well played to Medvedev too for putting up such a great battle in his first slam final. He has put himself right up there are favourite to be the next new first time slam winner.

Rafa now one short of Federer's total of slam wins. Roger may have another slam in him but that is debatable whereas Rafa looks nailed on for at least one more at Roland Garos next year at least. By next early summer Rafa could finally have levelled it up with Roger on 20. Time will tell.
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Post by No name Bertie Mon 09 Sep 2019, 4:12 pm

I wonder whether it is the idea of "breaking" Roger Federer's record number of slam titles (20) that inspire both Rafael Nadal (19) and Novak Djokovic (16).  I think Djokovic indicated this was the case for him.  What keeps Federer inspired to continue? It seems enjoyment of the sport and the fact that he still can physically - while living a family life with his wife and kids.

In all of this Federer has pushed the number of single titles wins towards the records of the females - Serena William's 23 singles slams titles (the record for the open-era) & Margaret Court's all time record of 24.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 09 Sep 2019, 4:56 pm

I guess we'll get some idea how the Big Three are fitness-wise by their appearances/results for the rest of the year.

Rafa tends to shut down early for the winter but may be tempted to keep going by the prospect of a return to number one. Djoko has a lot of points to defend while Rog may want to save himself for Basel and the 02.

I've just re-read the Predictions thread for 2019 which I put up last November. Some forecasts were spot on. Some were a bit wide of the mark.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 12 Sep 2019, 7:49 am

In the aftermath of the USO, the race for the year-end number one has taken some interesting turns.

Rafa is getting married next month and will miss some tournaments, while there are rumours that Djoko MAY need an operation. I'm not sure how accurate the info is, though.

If Djoko can't play much the year-end number one title will go to Rafa who has no points to defend.

If Federer is fit enough to play tournaments to the end of the year, a good showing at the 02 and then a long run at the AO will see him much nearer the top.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Sep 2019, 10:42 am

Only just been able to watch extended highlights of the USO final. What a match.

Medvedev did fantastically well. He was prepared to come in a lot - there was a lot of serve and volleying - and he also hit huge returns from well outside the court.

Thiem has been able to battle it out with Rafa in a GS final. But this effort by Medvedev, after an exhausting schedule, was outstanding.

With Medvedev, some have spoken about the comparisons with the 2011-12 period when Djoko was the first person to try to match Rafa physically. Like Novak, Medvedev seemed to be saying: "OK. I'm prepared to stay out here for as long as it takes and match you stroke for stroke."

Medvedev returns to action at St Petersburg this week. Wonder what he's got left for the rest of the season.

sirfredperry

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Post by naxroy Tue 17 Sep 2019, 8:54 am

sirfredperry wrote:Only just been able to watch extended highlights of the USO final. What a match.

Medvedev did fantastically well. He was prepared to come in a lot - there was a lot of serve and volleying - and he also hit huge returns from well outside the court.

Thiem has been able to battle it out with Rafa in a GS final. But this effort by Medvedev, after an exhausting schedule, was outstanding.

With Medvedev, some have spoken about the comparisons with the 2011-12 period when Djoko was the first person to try to match Rafa physically. Like Novak, Medvedev seemed to be saying: "OK. I'm prepared to stay out here for as long as it takes and match you stroke for stroke."

Medvedev returns to action at St Petersburg this week. Wonder what he's got left for the rest of the season.

It really was a very nice final, it had it all: clash of generations, huge comeback from 2-0 down, great rallies, change in tactics along the match, lots of net play...

naxroy

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