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Australian Open 2020

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Jan 2020, 8:26 am

First topic message reminder :

The main draw has been made. Djoko and Fed are in the same half, which means Rafa gets Medvedev in his half.

Djoko plays Struff first up, while Nadal has Dellien, Fed plays Johnson and Medvedev has a potentially tough opener against Tiafoe. Other first-rounders include Thiem v Mannarino, Zverev v Cecchinato and Tsitsipas v Caruso.

Evans has McKenzie MacDonald in the first round while Edmund takes on Lajovic.

In the women there's a repeat of the Wimbledon first round, with Coco Gauff again taking on Venus. Barty opens against Tsurenko while Osaka has Bouzkova. Konta gets Jabeur while Heather Watson has the lower-ranked Pliskova twin.

Djoko, to me, is clear favourite but the women, as ever of late, is really difficult to predict.

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Post by laverfan Tue 28 Jan 2020, 6:08 am

Sandgren up 2 sets to 1. Federer seems to have physical issues. Looks like the same problem as Cincinnati vs Zverev.

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Post by laverfan Tue 28 Jan 2020, 7:58 am

Federer’s Second Great Escape, saving 7 match points. 🤣

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 28 Jan 2020, 9:00 am

Incredible match. Fed saved three set points at 4-5 in the fourth set and four more in the tiebreak that followed.

Sandgren was 6-3 up in the tiebreak before Rog won it 10-8. The Swiss needed an MTO at 0-3 down in the third set, got a warning for swearing and got angry with the ump at one point.

The injury was a tightening of the groin so I don't know how he'll be in the semi. He's gonna lose to Djoko (unless Raonic can spring a surprise) anyway, but at least he's got some big GS s-f points out of this.

Barty and Kenin thru to the semis. Apparently, Kvitova should really have taken the first set against Barty before the Aussie rather ran away with the second set and the match.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 28 Jan 2020, 10:14 am

Djoko a set up and a break up against Raonic who has never beaten the Serb. Doesn't look like this is going to last long.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 28 Jan 2020, 10:31 am

Have to feel somewhat sorry for Sandgren, he's a far better player than his career results would suggest.

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Post by MrInvisible Tue 28 Jan 2020, 11:52 am

Sandgren has had some decent results away from Aus Open - he's reached 3rd and 4th round at Wimbledon and US Open - perfectly respectable - but away from these tournaments he's had v few wins on the tour during his career.

Federer's heroics and houdini-esque escapes from matches have certainly lit up this tournament, but the cold, hard truth is that he is unlikely to win more than a set against Djokovic in the semi, and his draw has been kind. Still, I think it's great to see Federer digging so deep in slams at his age.

Djokovic is a strong favourite to win the title, though Thiem or Wawrinka (the latter if he plays at 'Stanimal' level) have a chance (moreso than Nadal in my opinion). For some reason Djokovic can be more vulnerable to aggressive baseliners with single-handed backhands, but Nadal handles them bit better, so is more likely to face Djokovic in final.

In the women's I'd been rooting for Kvitova to win - now she's out I'm fairly happy whoever wins, though a Barty win would be a fairytale for the Aussies, whilst also demonstrating you can be a champion whilst having a more unconventional game.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 28 Jan 2020, 2:03 pm

Good wins for Djokovic and Federer, that sets up another mouth watering clash between the two. This will be their 50th career meeting.

Tough to call a winner in the other two QFs. Would have to think Nadal has a slight edge vs Thiem and Wawrinka if he plays to his ability would have too much power for Zverev

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 28 Jan 2020, 2:59 pm

Doubt whether Rog would have beaten Novak if he'd been fresh/fully fit so a Fed win is even more of a distant possibility now. Suppose there's a chance that Fed might not even start.

However, he'd need not play for quite a few weeks (skip Dubai?) after Melbourne so he'll probably give it a go. A 720-point start to the year ain't bad, in any case.

No doubt that Rafa, having had a tough match v Kyrgios, has a demanding run-in but I'm still plumping for a repeat of last year's final.



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Post by laverfan Tue 28 Jan 2020, 3:05 pm

Federer's escapes remind of others he has had against Davydenko.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 28 Jan 2020, 4:06 pm

We can only hope one of Federer, Wawrinka and Thiem pull it out the bag.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 28 Jan 2020, 5:13 pm

Just been watching all those seven MPs that Sandgren had. Incredible that just one big shot or a Fed shank and it would have been a different story.

The one that Tennys will probably most regret was on his serve at 6-5 in the fourth-set tiebreak. He got in a good whack into the corner but Fed played it back down the line. Sandgren, perhaps not quite quick enough to cover at the net, could only volley it back for Fed to play a cross-court winning volley.

How does everybody think the other two men's quarters will play out? I'm taking Rafa to see off Thiem but the other quarter could be close. I'm going for Stan the Man.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 7:52 am

After a poor start, Zverev came thru in four against Stan the Man. This is the German's first GS semi - and not before time.

Can Thiem upset Rafa in today's other quarter? Dom will certainly fight hard but I still think Rafa will win in the end.

Halep absolutely demolished Kontaveit and will now play Muguruza in the semis. So there are three GS champions in the last four.

Much speculation as to whether Rog will be fit to play Djoko tomorrow. I reckon he'll start.

Raonic - for one - has echoed what a lot of people must be thinking: that Rog, who has never retired in more than 1,500 matches, would be crazy to carry on with the match if he's in real injury trouble.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 9:03 am

Couple of names to watch out for, maybe. Arthur Fery, a 17-yr-old Briton, made it to the third round of the juniors in the AO only to lose today.

But he and his British partner Felix Gill are thru to the semi-finals of the boys' doubles after beating the number three seeds today.

Meanwhile it's on serve in the early stages of the Rafa-Thiem match.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 29 Jan 2020, 10:28 am

So the time wasting begins.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:19 am

Rafa two sets to love down after both sets went to tiebreaks. Rafa had a set point on serve in the first set and came back from 4-0 in the second set tiebreak, only to lose it 7-4.

They've already been at it for two-and-a-half hours and we're only in the early stages of the third set. The commentators say Rafa looks nervous. If anyone can pull this out of the fire, it's the Spaniard. But will he?

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:21 am

Thiem should win this from here - he is two sets up winning the tie-breakers in convincing style.  He was a break down in the first but broke when Nadal was serving for the first set.
6-7 6-7 to Thiem.

Thiems record against both Nadal and Djokovic is good. Ps: He also has a winning Head to Head against Federer (5 to 2).

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:30 am

For the sake of Tennis it's so important that Thiem and Zverev start making finals regularly, do we really want another final between Djokovic, Federer and Nadal?

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 29 Jan 2020, 11:53 am

Whilst Thiem's record on clay is both consistent and exceptional, his record on the hard courts is relatively poor and a bit hit and miss.

He has played Nadal only once before on the hard courts on the ATP tour:
2018  US Open  Loses to Rafael Nadal in five sets: 6-0 4-6 5-7 7-6 6-7

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Post by lags72 Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:00 pm

Thiem’s court speed, sheer strength, and aggressive power proves too much for Rafa to handle, and the hugely impressive Austrian advances to the semi finals in four hard-fought sets.

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Post by theslosty Wed 29 Jan 2020, 1:08 pm

I knew this would be a battle and go to 4 or 5 sets but I wasn't sure who would emerge victor. A fully deserved win for Thiem but he'd be gracious to thank the net cord in his post match interview - fortune favours the brave I guess
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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 2:07 pm

Terrific win for Thiem and we are bound to have a new finalist at the AO.
Defeat for Rafa opens the door for Djoko to return to number one. However the final or even the title could put Thiem in with a shout of numero uno sometime this year.
No one apart from the Big Four has been number one for SIXTEEN years.

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Post by laverfan Wed 29 Jan 2020, 2:42 pm

Thiem played well. Congratulations! Zverev looks an easier match up for Thiem.

Federer should give w/o to Djokovic and rest.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 29 Jan 2020, 2:55 pm

Age is diminishing Nadal on the hard courts - which was never his ideal surface.   He should still have too much for Thiem at Roland Garros 2020.

Thiems Roland Garros performance is consistent and exceptional - beaten only by Djokovic or Nadal
2016: SF (lost to Djokovic in 3 sets)
2017: SF (lost to Nadal in 3 sets)
2018: Final (lost to Nadal in 3 sets)
2019: Final (lost to Nadal in 4 sets; beat Djokovic in SF (5 sets))

His hard court performances have been inconsistent and hit and miss - but seems to be improving.


Last edited by No name Bertie on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:03 pm

One wonders if this was Rafa's last chance to win the AO, although as long as Djoko was around it was always going to be difficult.

Still, incredibly, no one has won each of the Slams at least twice in the Open Era. While the AO has been the problem for Rafa, the French has been the problem for everyone else - due to Rafa!

Assuming certain outcomes from the semis, I just wonder whether Thiem might make more of a match of it in the final against Djoko than Rafa would have done.

Most think the courts are playing more slowly at Melbourne this year and they certainly don't look that quick from the bits I've seen. Is this why Thiem has done so well, or am I being uncharitable?

What is certain is that any GS win against Rafa is to be applauded.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:16 pm

sirfredperry wrote:One wonders if this was Rafa's last chance to win the AO, although as long as Djoko was around it was always going to be difficult.

Still, incredibly, no one has won each of the Slams at least twice in the Open Era. While the AO has been the problem for Rafa, the French has been the problem for everyone else - due to Rafa!

Assuming certain outcomes from the semis, I just wonder whether Thiem might make more of a match of it in the final against Djoko than Rafa would have done.

Most think the courts are playing more slowly at Melbourne this year and they certainly don't look that quick from the bits I've seen. Is this why Thiem has done so well, or am I being uncharitable?

What is certain is that any GS win against Rafa is to be applauded.

I'd say that's very true, come the tail end of the tournament it's become even more evident with the travails Federer and Wawrinka have had. I often think that the Federer in particular would do better with a lower ranking nowadays to try and meet Djokovic and Nadal as early as possible when the courts are at their quickest.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:26 pm

I can't call the Zverev vs Thiem semi-final. Zverev has played impressively to get to the semi-finals.

As long as Djokovic is fit I can't see anyone stopping him.

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Post by lags72 Wed 29 Jan 2020, 3:38 pm

Not only was this win over Nadal by Thiem very impressive as a performance, it will very likely prove to be a turning point in their match-up. Previously they had met only once on hard, and Nadal just edged it in five (USO 2018). Their other twelve matches were on clay, Thiem winning four of them.  If the ageing Rafa continues on Tour for the next couple of years or so, I suspect the h2h will gradually move in Thiem’s favour. Nadal was trying absolutely everything today, but ultimately it just wasn’t enough.

So the interesting SF lineup neatly consists of two members of the old guard, and two of the younger generation. I would happily put money on a Djokovic v Thiem Final ........ but am much less certain as to who will go on to take the Title itself.

EDIT : Melbourne is due for some high temperatures over the coming days as the tourney draws to an end. Djokovic is not always the most comfortable player in severe heat.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 5:38 pm

Lags72: "Melbourne is due for some high temperatures over the coming days as the tourney draws to an end. Djokovic is not always the most comfortable player in severe heat."

Yes, but Djoko invariably plays in Melbourne at night and the s-fs and final are always night matches. It's a reason he does so well at the AO. One of the other reasons is that he is a terrific player.

Wonder if Djoko was hoping Rafa would come thru as he knows he has the beating of him on hard courts? We may actually have a better final now.

But whoever comes thru from Thiem and Zverev I can't see beyond Djoko for the title.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 29 Jan 2020, 7:26 pm

Mark Woodforde was saying that it's the slowness of the balls that is more of a factor than the courts. After 2 or 3 games they fluff up a great deal, apparently.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Jan 2020, 9:26 pm

Just watched highlights of the Thiem-Rafa match. Not quite the classic that some were describing it as. There were far too many UEs from Rafa and too many key points won on errors rather than winners.

Thiem looked to be outserving and outhitting Rafa and also peppering the Spaniard's BH which was far too loopy to worry Dominic. I was impressed with Thiem's speed about the court.

You've become so used to Rafa playing the big points so well that it's a bit of a shock to see him lose three tiebreaks, two of which he was a minibreak up in.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 30 Jan 2020, 7:56 am

Pleased to see Muguruza win today, I appreciate the battling qualities of Halep but her matches tend to be so dull and it's like the same point on repeat.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:34 am

Looks like the pressure got to Barty who had set points in both sets. Muguruza is far too lowly ranked for a player of her ability, although that will all change now.

Mug will probably be favourite for the final in that she is a two-time GS winner and Kenin is into her first Slam final. But Kenin is a feisty performer and this could go either way.


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Post by No name Bertie Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:43 am

As someone who long stopped following women's tennis, all i know about kenin is that she beat 15 year old coco.  Coco seems like the real deal - and possibly the next tennis multi-slammer.  So any predictions as to when she might win her first slam?  Could it be this year?

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:46 am

Well, at least Federer has made it on to court. I guess that if the groin/leg problem had been very serious he would have had to give Djoko a w/o.

Couldn't see Rog winning when fully fit so he's really no chance now.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:47 am

No name Bertie wrote:As someone who long stopped following women's tennis, all i know about kenin is that she beat 15 year old coco.  Coco seems like the real deal - and possibly the next tennis multi-slammer.  So any predictions as to when she might win her first slam?  Could it be this year?

If history is anything to go by she might win a slam or two but an early initial retirement is almost inevitable followed by an attempt to resurrect her career some years later.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 30 Jan 2020, 9:06 am

sirfredperry wrote:Well, at least Federer has made it on to court. I guess that if the groin/leg problem had been very serious he would have had to give Djoko a w/o.

Couldn't see Rog winning when fully fit so he's really no chance now.
One of Roger Federer's greatest career achievements in my view was his Wimbledon 2019 exploits. The record books will note that Djokovic was the winner and Federer was runner up. Federer continues to push the boundaries in my view.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:00 am

I think this match is over as a contest now, the long grind begins.

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Post by Just John Thu 30 Jan 2020, 11:06 am

Djokovic dismantles Fed in straight sets. Can’t look past him now.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 30 Jan 2020, 11:08 am

Can only hope the winner of Thiem and Zverev pulls something out the bag now.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 11:55 am

Well, Fed had three points for 5-1 in the first set but after that it was plain sailing for Djoko.

Novak said he was more concerned about seeing how Fed was moving early on rather than concentrating on his own game. He said he could see that Rog was somewhat hampered.

Seems clear that Rog felt OK enough to at least give it a go. He can have a long rest now, anyway. He could skip Dubai and wouldn't need to play until IW.

What's the betting the second semi, with the winner having a day less before the final, will now be a titanic struggle. As if Djoko needs any more help.

As for the comments above about Coco. She's remarkably powerful for a 15 year old and clearly very determined. But who knows if she is going to be a power in the game?

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Post by laverfan Thu 30 Jan 2020, 12:02 pm

Congrats to Djokovic for another Final. I expect Thiem vs Djokovic final.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 1:03 pm

Djoko a clear favourite for the final, and probably for the AO title next year as well, so happy does the Serb seem at Melbourne.

With Rafa overwhelming favourite for RG again (perhaps only Thiem can stop him) that will be half the slams of this year falling to the old guard.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 1:23 pm

Fed said afterwards that he reckoned he had only a 3% chance of winning but gave it a go because you never know. He added that he'd not enjoyed the match.

He's not only lost to Djoko but Novak could now overtake Rog's record of 310 weeks at number one. With Djoko likely to win 1-2 Slams a year, the total GS record could go as well.

Rafa should pull level at RG but I think Novak will eventually pass whatever total Rafa can manage.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 1:57 pm

More from Federer's post-match media conference.

He said the injury didn't worsen during the match and that, although he could not be certain, he was still hoping to play in his Africa charity match against Rafa and then play Dubai.

Inevitably, Fed was asked if he'd be back in Melbourne this time next year. Equally inevitably, he replied it was a case of wait-and-see, form, fitness, family.

Overall, he was happy with the tournament. Who wouldn't be after the escapes against Millman and Sandgren?

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 30 Jan 2020, 2:18 pm

sirfredperry wrote:More from Federer's post-match media conference.

He said the injury didn't worsen during the match and that, although he could not be certain, he was still hoping to play in his Africa charity match against Rafa and then play Dubai.

Inevitably, Fed was asked if he'd be back in Melbourne this time next year. Equally inevitably, he replied it was a case of wait-and-see, form, fitness, family.

Overall, he was happy with the tournament. Who wouldn't be after the escapes against Millman and Sandgren?
Good for African Charity (although Africa is a favorite for overseas charity and aid + it contains some extremely wealthy nations, e.g. oil rich Nigeria and Libya) but bad for Climate Change in terms of increasing air miles and hence bad for Africa and everyone else.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 30 Jan 2020, 2:31 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:More from Federer's post-match media conference.

He said the injury didn't worsen during the match and that, although he could not be certain, he was still hoping to play in his Africa charity match against Rafa and then play Dubai.

Inevitably, Fed was asked if he'd be back in Melbourne this time next year. Equally inevitably, he replied it was a case of wait-and-see, form, fitness, family.

Overall, he was happy with the tournament. Who wouldn't be after the escapes against Millman and Sandgren?
Good for African Charity (although Africa is a favorite for overseas charity and aid + it contains some extremely wealthy nations, e.g. oil rich Nigeria and Libya) but bad for Climate Change in terms of increasing air miles and hence bad for Africa and everyone else.

Dear oh dear. Wild guess here but I'm assuming the charity work isn't being done to benefit the rich. Those extra couple of flights are going to be devastating to the climate.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 30 Jan 2020, 2:44 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:More from Federer's post-match media conference.

He said the injury didn't worsen during the match and that, although he could not be certain, he was still hoping to play in his Africa charity match against Rafa and then play Dubai.

Inevitably, Fed was asked if he'd be back in Melbourne this time next year. Equally inevitably, he replied it was a case of wait-and-see, form, fitness, family.

Overall, he was happy with the tournament. Who wouldn't be after the escapes against Millman and Sandgren?
Good for African Charity (although Africa is a favorite for overseas charity and aid + it contains some extremely wealthy nations, e.g. oil rich Nigeria and Libya) but bad for Climate Change in terms of increasing air miles and hence bad for Africa and everyone else.

Dear oh dear. Wild guess here but I'm assuming the charity work isn't being done to benefit the rich. Those extra couple of flights are going to be devastating to the climate.
Jetting in two white men and their entourage to play a game of tennis for the benefit of Africa? That's white knight thinking.

No name Bertie

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 30 Jan 2020, 2:49 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:More from Federer's post-match media conference.

He said the injury didn't worsen during the match and that, although he could not be certain, he was still hoping to play in his Africa charity match against Rafa and then play Dubai.

Inevitably, Fed was asked if he'd be back in Melbourne this time next year. Equally inevitably, he replied it was a case of wait-and-see, form, fitness, family.

Overall, he was happy with the tournament. Who wouldn't be after the escapes against Millman and Sandgren?
Good for African Charity (although Africa is a favorite for overseas charity and aid + it contains some extremely wealthy nations, e.g. oil rich Nigeria and Libya) but bad for Climate Change in terms of increasing air miles and hence bad for Africa and everyone else.

Dear oh dear. Wild guess here but I'm assuming the charity work isn't being done to benefit the rich. Those extra couple of flights are going to be devastating to the climate.
Jetting in two white men and their entourage to play a game of tennis for the benefit of Africa?  That's white knight thinking.

Pathetic.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Jan 2020, 3:53 pm

Looking ahead to the other semi tomorrow. Thiem will be favourite, I think. But does Zverev have a shot?

Must say I've not see anything of the German at this tournament but he's obviously playing well. In terms of GS experience, Dominic is the old hand but that was a long match he had against Rafa.

Gonna go with Thiem in four. Djoko will no doubt be hoping for a five-set marathon tomorrow.

Ram and Salisbury have reached the doubles final. Good effort.

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Post by lags72 Thu 30 Jan 2020, 6:23 pm

@ No name Bertie : the lives of many, many, less-privileged young people in different parts of the world are significantly improved as a direct result of the time, effort (+ hard cash) freely donated by many professional tennis players - most notably, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.

Full credit & respect to them for their contributions to such causes.

Why you feel the need to make reference to ‘white knights’ in relation to Africa..... goodness only knows ..... Rolling Eyes

https://www.rogerfedererfoundation.org/en/who-we-are/mission/

https://www.fundacionrafanadal.org/en/

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