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Autumn Tournaments - Run up to the World Tour Finals 2019

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

First topic message reminder :

All four Slams completed now and we're on to the Asian Swing, followed by the European indoor season and, finally, the O2's penultimate hosting of the year-end championship.

Medvedev, after his New York heroics, is competing in St Petersburg this week and could meet Viola of Italy, who beat Andy Murray in Majorca a couple of weeks ago.

Andy is due to pay a number of tournaments coming up. He says he's feeling fine and just needs the matches.

The Big Three plus Medvedev have already qualified for the O2. Tsitsipas should make it but after that it's a bit of a scramble.

Rafa leads Djoko in the year-so-far points table but the Spaniard is getting married next month and will miss some tournaments. Djoko's aiming to play in Asia but it remains to be seen how well he copes with his injury. Novak also has a huge number of points to defend.

There's an almighty race on to see which woman will be year-end number one. Barty has a tiny lead over Pliskova at the moment, with Halep and Andreescu also having a chance to reach the top by the end of the year.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 17 Oct 2019, 7:10 pm

Andy Murray through to the European Open QF's. He has just beaten Pablo Cuevas 6-4 6-3 in Antwerp. With it his live ATP Ranking has risen from 227 to  210. In the QF's he will face Romania's Marius Copil.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 17 Oct 2019, 7:30 pm

Significant win for Andy in that he's got a great chance to go deep in this tournament, given just who has already been defeated.

Shwartzman should have been Murray's q-f opponent but he's out, as is number one seed Monfils.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 17 Oct 2019, 9:07 pm

It's getting even better for Murray as number two seed Goffin is thrashed. Remarkably, ALL the seeds have lost so far today in Antwerp.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 18 Oct 2019, 8:37 pm

Andy Murray beats Marius Copil 6-3 6-7 6-4 to reach his first singles semi-finals since his hip operation. He made it much harder for himself than it needed be as he was a break up in the second set and 4-1 up in the tie-breaker. It is a win that takes him up to a provisional ranking of 178.
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Post by sirfredperry Fri 18 Oct 2019, 9:07 pm

Another Murray win and now the opportunity to play three matches in three days (with a potential fourth). At the very least this is giving him real match/tournament practice.

After the disappointment of not winning in straight sets, Murray didn't face a BP in the final set.

You can see the possibility of a Murray-Stan the Man final as long as Murray aint too worn out for his semi tomorrow.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 19 Oct 2019, 6:51 am

sirfredperry wrote:Another Murray win and now the opportunity to play three matches in three days (with a potential fourth). At the very least this is giving him real match/tournament practice.

After the disappointment of not winning in straight sets, Murray didn't face a BP in the final set.

You can see the possibility of a Murray-Stan the Man final as long as Murray aint too worn out for his semi tomorrow.

Murray will play Hubert in the semi-final.

As you say it is most likely that, if Murray wins, he would play Stan Wawrinka in the European Open Final. I would see that as a step too far for Andy as things currently stand. Stan has always caused Andy problems and given that Andy will be playing four consecutive days in singles for the first time in two years he is bound to be physically drained too. Still this slice of his comeback has seen him make steady progress that I think he will be cautiously happy with. He has risen from 600+ in the rankings to potentially close to being inside the top 150 and got wins and matches under his belt pushing some highly-ranked players such as Fognini and beating others.

Of course the semis and final may be 'what ifs' at present given that Kim is due to go into labour any time now with their third baby so Andy could still withdraw at any moment.

Whatever happens this will be Andy's last singles tournament of the season and hopefully it will set him up for full fitness preparations for 2020.
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 19 Oct 2019, 9:02 am

Reckon Andy has exceeded his expectations in these last few tournaments. He probably thought there would be some first-round exits and some poor displays.

Well, he's had at least two matches in all the tournaments and, as CC says above, he's in good shape for 2020.

I see that Marion Bartoli is now helping Ostapenko. Seems to have paid off straight away, with her charge reaching a final last week and now in a semi this week.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 19 Oct 2019, 9:02 am

Reckon Andy has exceeded his expectations in these last few tournaments. He probably thought there would be some first-round exits and some poor displays.

Well, he's had at least two matches in all the tournaments and, as CC says above, he's in good shape for 2020.

I see that Marion Bartoli is now helping Ostapenko. Seems to have paid off straight away, with her charge reaching a final last week and now in a semi this week.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 19 Oct 2019, 6:35 pm

An improving sort of performance from Murray or perhaps it was that Humbert's level dipped? Anyway Andy Murray wins 3-6 7-5 6-2. He will play Wawrinka in the final tomorrow providing Kim has not gone into labour. I cannot see Andy having enough in the tank to beat Stan the Man or being quite match sharp enough but reaching a final again is a great achievement considering his ground-breaking operation for a singles player.
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 19 Oct 2019, 9:16 pm

Really thought from early on in this tournament that Murray had a chance to get to the final.

It's been a battle though even if the big seeds in his half got knocked out by other people.

Agree with CC that the Man will probably win tomorrow. But Andy has had the maximum number of matches and a very positive week, not to mention a good climb up the rankings.

Elsewhere, the "Bartoli effect" has shot Ostapenko forward to her second successive final, while Shapovalov has reached the Stockholm final.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Oct 2019, 4:49 pm

Cracking match going on in Antwerp. Wawrinka and Murray level at one set all in the European Open. Wawrinka led 6-3 3-1 but Murray dug deep to take the second set 6-4. Into a decider we go.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Oct 2019, 5:41 pm

What a Herculean effort. Andy Murray has won the European Open beating Stan Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-4. Unbelievable. He was breaks down in the second and third sets and fought back to win an epic match. Without a doubt that is Andy's best ATP250 title of his career. This man is Lazarus. Welcome back to the big time Andy.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 20 Oct 2019, 5:58 pm

Well, I didn't expect that. Thought it would be good if Andy at least made it a competitive final. But a title? Probably not.

If you look back, though, the stars were aligned for Andy. He should have played Schwartzman in the quarters and Goffin in the semis. Then there was a chance he'd meet Monfils in the final. But none of these made it thru to face him.

Andy will go up to around 150 in the rankings now. It's a fantastic end to the season for him and will give him great heart going into 2020.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Oct 2019, 6:03 pm

His live ATP Ranking now stands at 127.
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Post by Calder106 Sun 20 Oct 2019, 6:49 pm

Well done to Andy Murray. Just amazing. Never thought I would see him win a tournament again. It must feel as good if not better than his first tour title back in 2006.

4 matches in 4 days and the QF, SF and Final all 3 setters. True grit from someone still coming back from a major op. Now comes the hard part disturbed nights and nappy changing Very Happy Enjoy your break.

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Post by lags72 Sun 20 Oct 2019, 7:52 pm

Haven’t been on 606 recently but this is definitely worth popping in for !!

Huge congrats to Andy ...... what a truly heroic achievement. It’s been a long road back to the top table but things have progressed far, far, more quickly than he himself could ever have imagined.

Fabulous stuff clap clap

How much more is there to come, I wonder ......

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 20 Oct 2019, 8:03 pm

Of course Andy has won far bigger tournaments in his career but this equals them for size of achievement. Nine months ago he was done and dusted as a tennis player. He took a big risk with a ground-breaking hip operation which saw his hip virtually reconstructed. Five months ago he took his first tentative steps back onto a tennis court and now he is celebrating a singles title in which he has beaten a triple slam winner in the final. A special achievement.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Oct 2019, 8:29 am

Only around 50 points between Kyle Edmund and Murray now. A few weeks ago the gap was nearly 500.

Also title wins for Shapovalov and Rublev yesterday while today Federer begins his attempt for an umpteenth tournament victory in Basel.

Rog probably needs these points with Medvedev breathing down his neck in the battle for third place. Djoko will shortly lose the top spot to newly-married Rafa (nice pic of bride and groom on ATP website).

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 21 Oct 2019, 8:48 am

Calder106 wrote:Well done to Andy Murray ... 4 matches in 4 days and the QF, SF and Final all 3 setters ...

The Tale of Andy Murray: Part Two:
Wikipedia (2018) wrote: Murray withdrew from the Brisbane International and Australian Open due to hip injury ... He added hip surgery was an option but that the chances of a successful outcome were not high.  On 8 January 2018, Murray announced ... he had undergone hip surgery ...
wikipedia (2019) wrote: Murray travelled to Brisbane early for the Brisbane International.  He won his first round match against James Duckworth in straight sets but admitted post-match he did not know how long he would be able to play top-class tennis ...  

On 11 January 2019, at a press conference just prior to the Australian Open, an emotional Murray announced he could possibly retire from professional tennis due to struggling physically for a "long time". He said he had been suffering with hip pain on a daily basis, and that it caused him to struggle with tasks like putting his shoes and socks on. He spoke of the possibility of a second hip surgery, but expressed doubt this would be a viable option to prolong his career, merely allowing him to "have a better quality of life, and be out of pain".  "I'm not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months".

New Scientists Article (2019/01/11):
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2190446-why-hip-surgery-wouldnt-help-extend-andy-murrays-tennis-career/
Discusses what was known about Andy Murray hip issue and what was involved in a hip smoothing and resurfacing operation.  It is an intermediate operation to a full hip replacement (where the ball joint on the femur is replaced with a prosthetic ball joint).

wikipedia (2019 contd) wrote: Murray entered the singles of the Australian Open, however lost his opening match against 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in a four-hour, five-set 'epic'.  At its conclusion, a video montage of tributes featuring other top players Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki played in deference to his impending retirement.  In his post-match interview, he stated he was considering a second hip surgery.

Bob Bryan urged Murray to have the "Birmingham hip (BHR)" operation he underwent in August 2018, involving a cobalt-chrome metal cap being placed over the femur with a matching metal cup in the acetabulum (a conservative bone-saving alternative to a traditional Total Hip Replacement) ...  

On 29 January 2019, Murray announced he had undergone hip resurfacing surgery ...

Murray returned to the professional tennis circuit in June entering the doubles competition of the Queen's Club Championships alongside Feliciano Lopez ... Murray and Lopez went on to win the tournament ...

12 August 2019 ...  first singles match back ... losing to Richard Gasquet in the first round of the 2019 Cincinnati Masters ...

20 October 2019 ... wins his first singles ATP title since returning from hip surgery ...

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Oct 2019, 9:44 am

Yes, it's certainly a case of hip-hip-hooray for Andy.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 21 Oct 2019, 5:39 pm

Another first-round defeat for Kyle Edmund, although few would have fancied his chances against high-flying Berrettini.

You feel if Kyle could just get one win others would follow. Might be an idea to play some challengers before the end of the season.


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Post by sirfredperry Tue 22 Oct 2019, 8:30 am

Federer up and running at Basel where no doubt the ball boys and girls are looking forward to the finals-day pizza Rog always buys them.

ATP website currently running a piece on 20th anniversary of Federer winning his one - and only - Challenger event. Rog speaks of just how tough it is on the Challenger tour, visiting hard-to-get-to venues and playing in difficult conditions.

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Post by lags72 Wed 23 Oct 2019, 6:15 am

sirfredperry wrote:Yes, it's certainly a case of hip-hip-hooray for Andy.

Nice one sfp !

I’m gonna describe this as corn of the highest quality Cool

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Post by lags72 Wed 23 Oct 2019, 6:17 am

sirfredperry wrote:Federer up and running at Basel...............

And running a lot more quickly than the average 38 year-old, I note ..........

Meanwhile ....where now for troubled Kyle Edmund ? I believe even his Davis Cup place is now in doubt.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Oct 2019, 8:03 am

lags72 wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:Yes, it's certainly a case of hip-hip-hooray for Andy.

Nice one sfp !

I’m gonna describe this as corn of the highest quality Cool

Far too generous, Lags. It's really corn of the lowest quality.

I see Zverev is out in Basel which makes Fed's title chances increase, although he may still need to get thru' Stan the Man and Tsitsipas.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 23 Oct 2019, 9:27 am

lags72 wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:Yes, it's certainly a case of hip-hip-hooray for Andy.

Nice one sfp !

I’m gonna describe this as corn of the highest quality Cool
I think sirfred would make a good Headline Writer :hattip: .  It certainly fitted what I put in my comment - two hip operations and then Murray is back to winning titles.  

What Andy Murray is doing now is unique.  Bob Bryan pushed the bar at doubles level and now Andy Murray is pushing the bar at a higher level (singles).  In my view it is best to imagine Andy Murray's "first career" as over and now we have this other Andy Murray who is pushing the bar for what is possible with a metal on metal hip joint.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Oct 2019, 12:49 pm

You could almost argue that this tournament victory alone has justified the operations and the long hours of rehab/practice/fitness.

Reckon Andy thought he would be in this position - getting to the business end of tournaments and giving the top players good matches - around, say, the middle of 2020 rather than at the end of this year.

Now, of course, he'll want to take it further. But the good thing is that he appears to be pain-free and is clearly enjoying being back on the circuit.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Oct 2019, 12:49 pm

Sorry about posting this twice.


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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Oct 2019, 6:15 pm

Stan the Man wins in Basel to set up the possibility of an intriguing match with Fed who is just about to start against Albot.

You have to wonder at the number of times Stan would have got further in tournaments if he'd not been knocked out by Rog.

Speaking of possibly (ghastly?) headlines how about this for a possible Gauff win against the current number one:

COCO POPS BARTY BALLOON

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 23 Oct 2019, 9:06 pm

It was "it'll be albot on the night" for Fed who breezed past Radu for the loss of just three games.

One point that I've seen shows Rog seemingly defying the laws of gravity with an outrageous round-the-post effort. An all-Swiss match-up looms nearer.

Beating Fed in Basel is hard enough but the organisers always give Fed a Monday match followed by a Wednesday one. Stan, for example, will have to play five days in a row if he wants to win the title.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 23 Oct 2019, 10:00 pm

I was wondering whether to give up on Stan the Man but it is looking like he is getting back into form.  I know he has had various injuries but maybe he is now over them, but he is getting older 34 (and will be turning 35 at the end of next March).

sirfredperry wrote:... for a possible Gauff win against the current number one:
COCO POPS BARTY BALLOON

That is actually impressive (snappy, to the point and amusing) Very Happy

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Oct 2019, 9:19 pm

Stan the Man just edges Tiafoe after 2hrs 32 mins in Basel. Tomorrow he takes on Federer who has had a day off. They certainly ensure Fed has every chance of taking the title with this scheduling.

Thiem got taken to three sets in Vienna.

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Post by lags72 Fri 25 Oct 2019, 6:43 am

Sadly the anticipated 27th meet between Fed and Stan (h2h = 23-3) will not now happen (well, not this week at least .....)

Stan has had to withdraw from the tourney, after apparently developing a back injury during his hard-fought win over Tiafoe. Such a pity this should happen in his home event and let’s hope it clears soon during the off season

Federer thus goes straight into the SF’s.

I think Thiem - judging from his impressive display in Vienna - will be a very strong WTF contender on the relatively (?) fast 02 courts in London.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 25 Oct 2019, 8:15 am

Yes, a pity about Stan the Man. Last night's scrap plus last week's Murray final seems to have done him in.

Lags: Thiem hasn't done all that well at the 02 in the past. I think this year that the winner will come from the Big Three as they're all likely to be a little fresher than they've been at some WTFs.

How about a WTF win for the newly-wed Rafa? It's the only thing he's not won. Not really his surface, though.

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Post by lags72 Fri 25 Oct 2019, 9:23 am

@sfp - hear what you say about Thiem and 02. But .... as they say in the small print of investment ads ....... past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance Cool

As for Rafa : he is perhaps the only really big name of the past 30 years or so without at least one WTF title on his CV.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 25 Oct 2019, 7:09 pm

In Basel, Opelka does not have to bust a gut to beat Bautista Agut while De Minaur achieves De Major victory after Struff fails to strut his stuff enough.

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Post by lags72 Sat 26 Oct 2019, 12:01 am

Tsitsipas takes on the King of Basel in what could be a blockbuster semi-final. Can’t imagine there will be any empty seats for this one .....

Trivia fact : the young Greek star was just one year old when OAP Fed won his first Challenger event Cool

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 26 Oct 2019, 8:51 am

You can certainly make a case out for Tsitsipas beating Fed but playing Rog in Basel is a huge challenge and there's no doubt who will be the fresher of the two.

The draw for Paris is out and Med is in Djoko's half with Rog in Rafa's half. You sometimes get a surprise winner in Paris but I doubt it this year, with Med having had a couple of weeks off and Djoko and Rafa well rested.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 26 Oct 2019, 6:14 pm

Fed beats Tsitsipas in straight sets and will face De Minaur in the final in Basel. Get ready for those pizzas, ballboys/girls.

The favourable Fed scheduling was even more unfair this year due to Stan's withdrawal. As it is De Minaur will be very hard pressed to give Rog much of a match tomorrow.

Elsewhere Thiem will play Schwartzman for the title in Vienna.

The women's equivalent of the WTF starts tomorrow in Schenzhen. Can Andreescu keep up her stellar form?

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Post by lags72 Sun 27 Oct 2019, 8:06 am

sirfredperry wrote:Fed beats Tsitsipas in straight sets and will face De Minaur in the final in Basel. Get ready for those pizzas, ballboys/girls.

The favourable Fed scheduling was even more unfair this year due to Stan's withdrawal. As it is De Minaur will be very hard pressed to give Rog much of a match tomorrow.

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

Oh come on sfp - you really need to have more faith in De Minaur  !!

Alex is a strong guy and will have trained hard, specifically for this sort of scenario. And if you really don’t think he’s capable of playing three days in a row (he had a day off Thursday, remember) then he doesn’t have much of a long-term future in the pro game !  What about Davis Cup schedules which so many players have managed to cope with over so many years ..... ??! (Federer himself will have been through so many demanding, intense, weeks in his early career ..... or he simply wouldn’t be where he is today).

Plus, these have been mostly two setters during the week, not Bo5 as in DC and Slams.

What we have here is a player with countless miles on the clock and an ageing 38 year-old body .... up against an energetic young gun only just past his teens, with all the talent, motivation, and stamina that has already won him a spot in the #NextGen Finals.

Bring it on Wink

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 27 Oct 2019, 8:19 am

Federer to win comfortably 6-3 6-2. He'll have far too much for De Minaur.
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Post by lags72 Sun 27 Oct 2019, 10:25 am

Will be a little surprised if it’s that one-sided. But let’s see .....

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:20 pm

And Roger Federer wins in Basel beating De Minaur 6-2 6-2.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:27 pm

It's all over, with De Minaur getting just four games. Although I thought the Australian would be beaten, I must say I reckoned he'd get more games than that.

CC, though (see above) almost got the score spot on. I know we've put the clocks back but was CC somehow able to look into the future?

That puts Fed on 103 titles - just six behind Connors. Still think he'll have to go some to beat the record, especially as it could well be that 2020 is his last season. But if he can manage another year then there is a chance.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 27 Oct 2019, 3:27 pm

It's all over, with De Minaur getting just four games. Although I thought the Australian would be beaten, I must say I reckoned he'd get more games that that.

CC, though (see above) almost got the score spot on. I know we've put the clocks back but was CC somehow able to look into the future?

That puts Fed on 103 titles - just six behind Connors. Still think he'll have to go some to beat the record, especially as it could well be that 2020 is his last season. But if he can manage another year then these is a chance.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:19 pm

sirfredperry wrote:It's all over, with De Minaur getting just four games. Although I thought the Australian would be beaten, I must say I reckoned he'd get more games that that.

CC, though (see above) almost got the score spot on. I know we've put the clocks back but was CC somehow able to look into the future?

That puts Fed on 103 titles - just six behind Connors. Still think he'll have to go some to beat the record, especially as it could well be that 2020 is his last season. But if he can manage another year then these is a chance.

No nothing spiritual or no time travel just logic.

Roger Federer is the GOAT and not wishing to be too cruel but I feel De Minaur will be a journeyman-type player. I have seen nothing in his career so far to suggest otherwise.
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Post by lags72 Sun 27 Oct 2019, 4:30 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:And Roger Federer wins in Basel beating De Minaur 6-2 6-2.

Tip of the hat to you CC ..... that was a very good call and just one game out !

The reason I expected a little more from the young Aussie was that this was his fourth Final of the season - and he had been victorious in each of the previous three. Then again ...... this one was a little different : he was not just up against the Fed for their first meeting (a daunting enough prospect in itself) BUT Fed in his own backyard, and most successful venue of his career.

After this fine run, De Minaur will be a top 20 player for the first time (@ number 18 AFAIK) when the new rankings are published tomorrow. And I see him as a genuine contender for a top 10 spot before too long.

Re sfp’s comment on titles : this is Federer’s fourth title of the season but yes, I agree that to eclipse Jimbo’s record 109 remains a tall order (though far from impossible). All depends of course on a) just how much longer he chooses to play the Tour, and b) what sort of events he enters as he gradually, and inevitably, winds down. If he decides to enter the sort of low-level, weak field, tourneys that Connors played in his twilight days (very often just to make money to feed a gambling habit) he could, I feel sure, rack up a good few titles yet ; but I very much doubt this really is his focus.

With so many of the young guys now starting to shine, I think (or at least dearly hope !!) there will be some new names at last challenging strongly at the Slams next year.

EDIT : have just seen CC’s latest ...... so we clearly have rather different perspectives (again Very Happy ) on the level of De Minaur’s ability and future development. Time will tell, as always !

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 27 Oct 2019, 5:39 pm

Thiem took the Vienna title even though he dropped the first set. Would love to see him coming in a bit more rather than playing so far behind the baseline.

Until this week, Med had actually overtaken Fed in points for the year so far and could still finish third with good runs in Paris and London.

Suppose there was a chance that Fed might have given Paris a miss if he'd had a number of tough matches in Basel. I would like to see a Med-Djoko meeting in Paris and, of course, they could well meet at the 02.

Cameron Norrie, by the way, came thru a tough final qualifying round to make it into the main draw in Paris.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 27 Oct 2019, 9:17 pm

sirfredperry wrote:It's all over, with De Minaur getting just four games ... That puts Fed on 103 titles - just six behind Connors. Still think he'll have to go some to beat the record, especially as it could well be that 2020 is his last season. But if he can manage another year then there is a chance.

lags72 wrote: Re sfp’s comment on titles : this is Federer’s fourth title of the season but yes, I agree that to eclipse Jimbo’s record 109 remains a tall order (though far from impossible) ...

You read it here first folks.   Federer will break Connors record of 109 titles.

He will have quite a busy schedule next year competing in the Olympics.  
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/50047559

After which I am sure he will turn his focus on breaking Connors record.  Why not?  Roger Federer is still fairly brilliant.  He lacks the youth and stamina needed for long matches at the tail end of grand slam tournaments - but there is still only a very small few that can beat him.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 28 Oct 2019, 7:56 am

Paris begins today with qualifier Cameron Norrie taking on Raonic. Med, Thiem and Djoko are all in the top half.

A win for Barty in the WTA finals in Shenzhen yesterday ensures her of the year-end number one spot. Osaka overcame Kvitova in another tremendous battle.

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