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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 slashermcguirk Thu 30 Jan 2020, 7:08 pm

In fairness Djokovic does huge amounts for charitable causes too

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Post by lags72 Thu 30 Jan 2020, 7:18 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:In fairness Djokovic does huge amounts for charitable causes too

Indeed he does. Hence my mention of ‘many professional tennis players’

I linked to the official sites of the foundations established by both Nadal and Federer purely because they are the two involved in the Match for Africa, and that was the event being discussed.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 30 Jan 2020, 9:31 pm

I note peoples responses but say no more on these matters (best for another thread) but give a link to a BBC article to indicate my comments do not emerge from a vacuum:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51082875

Well am I the only one giving Zverev a very good chance of making his first slam final? Whatever happens we will learn something about Zverevs and Thiems respective stage of development in relation to their hard court tennis. Whereas 26 year old Thiem should be approaching his peak years as a professional tennis player, 22 year old Zverev should still be on his upward trajectory.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:05 am

No name Bertie wrote:I note peoples responses but say no more on these matters (best for another thread) but give a link to a BBC article to indicate my comments do not emerge from a vacuum:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51082875

Well am I the only one giving Zverev a very good chance of making his first slam final? Whatever happens we will learn something about Zverevs and Thiems respective stage of development in relation to their hard court tennis.  Whereas 26 year old Thiem should be approaching his peak years as a professional tennis player, 22 year old Zverev should still be on his upward trajectory.  

Wow so some climate change nutjobs don't like him so you come out with this nonsense? I work in the plastics industry so won't be too down on Federer myself.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:10 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.

To me it was crystal clear.

Federer even if fully fit would not have beaten Djokovic. His form suggests that. He scrambled past two lowly ranked players in five sets having to save match points. That is not the sort of form that will get you past Novak Djokovic.

I am not saying Federer is done winning slams but for him to do it now I feel will need special circumstances. It will need him to get through his early matches with minimum fuss and in straight sets to conserve energy and it will need some shocks elsewhere so that the real challengers are knocked out. If Federer can reach the semis with no Nadal or Djokovic then he will be in business.
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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:13 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
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.

To me it was crystal clear.

Federer even if fully fit would not have beaten Djokovic. His form suggests that. He scrambled past two lowly ranked players in five sets having to save match points. That is not the sort of form that will get you past Novak Djokovic.

I am not saying Federer is done winning slams but for him to do it now I feel will need special circumstances. It will need him to get through his early matches with minimum fuss and in straight sets to conserve energy and it will need some shocks elsewhere so that the real challengers are knocked out. If Federer can reach the semis with no Nadal or Djokovic then he will be in business.

Nadal hasn't beaten Federer outside of Paris in a slam for many years now, the recent hard court record is overwhelmingly in Feds favour.

On a separate note it's silly to have the mens semis played on different days, it's done to increase interest across the days I presume.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:46 am

Thiem-Zverev about to start. Still going with Thiem. Also, I think the Austrian will test Djoko more in the final than the German.

Jamie M and M-Sans have reached the mixed doubles final. Jamie sure knows how to pick his partners.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 31 Jan 2020, 8:52 am

Zverev breaks in very first game.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 31 Jan 2020, 12:32 pm

Thiem wins in four after Zverev took the first set.

Not a great match by all accounts. But at least Thiem's more capable of making something of a match of it in the final. Doubt whether Djoko's losing too much sleep, though.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 31 Jan 2020, 12:40 pm

Thiem seemed to be playing within himself a bit, trying to conserve energy perhaps?

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 31 Jan 2020, 12:46 pm

When even the BBC are not ecstatic about the quality then you know it wasn't much of a match.

Certainly as SR says above, Thiem will need to be superfit if he's to topple Djoko. The slowness of the courts/balls may help the Austrian but I can't really see him beating Novak.

Zverev may have lost today but at least he's made his first GS semi.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 31 Jan 2020, 12:50 pm

Thiem has to take heart from beating Djokovic at Roland Garros last year, hopefully he can build on that.

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Post by lags72 Fri 31 Jan 2020, 12:57 pm

sirfredperry wrote: ............. But at least Thiem's more capable of making something of a match of it in the final. Doubt whether Djoko's losing too much sleep, though.

Well, I’m not so sure about that.

Clearly there are two major points in Djoko’s favour : 1) his unrivalled record in Melbourne, and 2) the fact that he has expended far less energy / effort than Thiem in getting through to the Final.

However ..... Thiem has been the dominant player in the last couple of years, winning four of their last five meetings.

If Thiem can recover well from his exertions and bring the same intensity as he did in his QF versus Rafa, he is definitely capable of unsettling Djokovic.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 31 Jan 2020, 1:14 pm

Lags72. Thanks for the recent h-to-h for the finalists. Didn't realise that Thiem had got the better of Djoko so often recently.

Anyone who can make a fight of it against Rafa in an RG final is not be underestimated.

It could be that Thiem is a bad match-up for Djoko and the Austrian can point to good wins over the Big Three.

Thiem wasn't at his best today but still won.

Still think Djoko will take the title, though.

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Post by MrInvisible Fri 31 Jan 2020, 1:32 pm

Well after some great matches from 3rd round-quarters, culminating in that high octane Thiem v Nadal match, the quality of the semi-finals has definitely dropped off.

For Thiem's prospects in final it was vital he won in 4 sets today, and whilst he's had another long match, there were more shorter points than in the gruelling quarter-final against Nadal.

Djokovic does start as favourite for final, but Thiem has a good record against him and has beaten him before in slams (though both times at Roland Garros).  The match-up is pretty good for Thiem - Djokovic can be slightly vulnerable against aggressive baseliners with single-handed backhand (Wawrinka being noticeable example) and Thiem played with really good depth against Nadal. I am impressed with how Thiem has handled the big points in his last couple of matches - just won his last 5 tie-breaks in a row.

All of the above may be irrelevant if Thiem's exertions have taken their toll, and Djokovic does have his extra day's rest.

For the womens' Muguruza, as a 2-time slam champion starts as favourite.  However, Kenin has shown great resilience so far this tournament, and if she can avoid nerves, stands a fair chance.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 31 Jan 2020, 3:39 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Wow so some climate change nutjobs ... I work in the plastics industry so...
What part of the plastics industry do you work in - R&D, Production Engineer, Quality Control, Marketing, Selling, Strategy, Admin?

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 31 Jan 2020, 3:47 pm

The Zverev vs Thiem match was interesting. Zverev showed that he had certain quality gaps in his game as there appeared to be good opportunities for him to beat Thiem in critical moments but was unable to take them. Basically Thiems energy seemed to desert him but he was able to pull through using his experience. Thiem is showing signs of fatigue but his clay court experience and record suggests he is able to recover quickly. He has two days to recover.

Thiems head to head record with Djokovic is weighted towards outdoor clay and the end of year ATP tournament. Thiem should have the big game mentality for the final but a fit Djokovic is better than Thiem on this surface.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 31 Jan 2020, 4:52 pm

Just watched highlights of the semi today. Zverev had his chances, mainly thru sloppy play by Thiem.

But the German seemed a bit reluctant to really go for it. He served well but his ground strokes looked a bit tentative.

Thiem can clearly play better than this and will certainly need to if he's to have any chance against Djoko. Interesting how BBC TV were raving about the match but radio were saying it was a bit scrappy.

Kenin is feisty and fearless but, for me, it's all about how Muguruza plays. At her best she is a world beater.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 01 Feb 2020, 8:33 am

Muguruza v Kenin about to start. Still sticking with Mug but Kenin could surprise us all (talk about sitting on the fence).

Jamie and B M-S play their m-doubles final after the singles today.

Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, at just 14 years of age, today won the girls' singles at Melbourne. She's from Andorra and saved three MPs in an earlier round and came from a set down and 1-4 down in her quarters. A name - and a long one at that - to watch.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 01 Feb 2020, 9:03 am

Mug has an early break after long third game.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 01 Feb 2020, 11:11 am

The men and women's game have opposing issues at the moment. The men need to progress from the big three, having three over 30s continuing to dominate is not a good look whereas the women need some consistency at the top instead of constant single slam winners.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 01 Feb 2020, 2:07 pm

SR: I see what you mean about the women winners, although some (Halep, Osaka, Kerber, Mug) do have more than one Slam.

But it seems that almost anyone can rock up and win a women's GS at the moment and we're probably looking for a good rivalry.

For the last three years each of the women's slams has been won by a different player (during that calendar year, that is). I make it that following today's result as many as 15 of the current players has won a Slam (and that excludes Caroline W).



Gonna be watching the highlights of the women's final a little later so can't really comment on today's match.

But although I thought Mug would win, it seems that Kenin deserved the title. Few would have predicted today's finalists and we could well get four different winners again this year.

Bad news about Jamie/B M-S, who lost the m-d final.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add on)

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 01 Feb 2020, 4:58 pm

Just seen the BBC highlights (Castle becoming increasingly annoying) Fairly scrappy final, with Mug chucking away good positions with costly DFs.

Kenin from 0-40 down in the crucial fifth game of the final set hit five consecutive winners which effectively won her the match.

Her hip-swivelling, double-fisted backhand reminds me a little of Bartoli. At times she looked like the former number one and GS winner rather than Mug.

With so many women already GS champions it's getting harder and harder to predict the rest of the year. Good luck with any forecasts for the next three Slams.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 02 Feb 2020, 8:40 am

Thiem v Djoko about to begin. You'd have to think that Djoko will have to be below par and Thiem play really well for the Austrian to win.

But Thiem has shown from his results that he can take on the big boys and go toe-to-toe with them in long matches. So Dominic's chances can't be completely dismissed.

Yesterday I made the case out for Kenin winning but added that I still thought Muguruza would come thru. I clearly have not learned from my mistake, as I'm going for Djoko today

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 02 Feb 2020, 9:01 am

Bit ominous. Djoko's already 3-0 up...

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 02 Feb 2020, 9:41 am

Thiem came back from 1-4 to 4-4 but first set goes to Djoko 6-4. At least Thiem has some games on the board but it's going to be very difficult now.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 02 Feb 2020, 9:44 am

Thiem was no rollover in the first set. Djokovic pressurised Thiem in what turned out to be quite an exhausting first set.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:00 am

Thiem 3-1 up in the second set. Could we have a match on our hands?

(I'm of for a family event now. So perhaps someone else can update scores.)

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:53 am

Djokovic feigning injury again, surprise surprise.

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Post by Just John Sun 02 Feb 2020, 10:53 am

Djokovic looking awful. One set each, and Thiem 0-4 up in third set.

Upset on the cards?

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:24 am

I think Thiem has this now. Djokovic completely out of sorts

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:33 am

How is he feigning injury?

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:54 am

The 'magic' gel works again.

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Post by Just John Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:56 am

This is going 5

Djokovic breaks

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:10 pm

The mind boggles, really difficult to take Djokovic seriously when he's such a con man.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:11 pm

Djokovic is the ultimate clutch player

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:24 pm

Novak looks set to come through to win. He's battled through very sticky spells and found his best tennis when he has needed it. Thiem just running out of steam too and with it consistency.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:46 pm

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic in winning his 8th Australian Open beating a game Dominic Thiem in five sets. He battled through very sticky times and overcame the Austrian.
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:47 pm

Congrats to those comfort breaks.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:48 pm

Super match and what a win by Novak. Kudos to Thiem for an amazing tournament

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Post by laverfan Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:53 pm

Congratulations to Djokovic on #17. Thiem - well-played! RG should be interesting.

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Post by Oioi Sun 02 Feb 2020, 12:53 pm

Gutted for Thiem, feel he deserved the tourney having had a much tougher route and pushing the king of this court extremely hard despite having spent much more time on court for the tourney. It would have been good for tennis to see a new winner as I feel Djokovic struggles to inspire the casual with his methodical game. I think of him as the mayweather of tennis - has a very effective style that gains respect but not admiration.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:05 pm

Oioi wrote:Gutted for Thiem, feel he deserved the tourney having had a much tougher route and pushing the king of this court extremely hard despite having spent much more time on court for the tourney. It would have been good for tennis to see a new winner as I feel Djokovic struggles to inspire the casual with his methodical game. I think of him as the mayweather of tennis - has a very effective style that gains respect but not admiration.
What made you predict Thiem as winner for the AO 2020 slam? During the match I heard from a commentator that Thiem had a very successful winter training - some running track exercises, where he has a set of sprints to improve his speed and ability to maintain that speed over a period of time, as well as stamina exercises. Apparently this was a physical aspect considered to be rather missing from his game.

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Post by Oioi Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:12 pm

Sorry, don't know how to write a message as a reply. I just noticed how much and how quickly he was improving on hardcourts towards the end of last year, especially that WTF match against Djokovic and that's it really. He is incredibly fit and has consistent power, and the only niggling doubt I have about him is his mental fortitude which isn't a particular strength of his.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:18 pm

The fact that Thiem spend six more hours on court prior to the final than Djokovic was surely a hindrance to him. However, Novak showed great resolve to fight through a spell in the match when he looked lost. He steeled himself and found a way to get the job done when under the cosh.
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Post by No name Bertie Sun 02 Feb 2020, 1:39 pm

Oioi wrote:Sorry, don't know how to write a message as a reply. I just noticed how much and how quickly he was improving on hardcourts towards the end of last year, especially that WTF match against Djokovic and that's it really. He is incredibly fit and has consistent power, and the only niggling doubt I have about him is his mental fortitude which isn't a particular strength of his.
What you did was fine - otherwise click on quote and a comment box opens with the comment you're replying to appearing in a quotes box.

I thought Thiem was going to be challenging for the US Open 2019 and may have predicted him getting to the semi-final or final.  But he lost in the first round!  He had got to the quarter-finals in 2018 narrowly losing to Nadal in the Quarter-Final.   The energy Nadal had put into winning that QF led him to retire in the Semi-Final.  But because of that first round loss in the 2019 US Open in my mind I categorised Thiem as being inconsistent on the hard courts - so didn't see him as a likely end of tournament challenger for AO 2020.  In this tournament Thiem was two sets to one down against 27 year old wild card Alex Boult in the second round but then either Boult collapsed or Thiem found some form to win the next two sets easily.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:46 pm

Sneak peeps at the scores during a family christening led to hopes that Thiem could upset the Big Three applecart.

But a later check showed Djoko up in the 5th and soon it was all over. Gonna settle down to watch the highlights now. Only consolation for Thiem is that he was never close to victory in the fourth or fifth sets.

What can you say about Djoko in Melbourne? I've already got him down as favourite for the 2021 championship Down Under.

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Post by Atila Sun 02 Feb 2020, 2:58 pm

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic, winning 17 titles is awesome. Have to admit though that I was pulling for Thiem as Djokovic just doesn't inspire me.

Anyway, time is on Djokovic's side, so I'm sure out of him, Nadal and Federer, he's the one who's going to end up with the most majors.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 02 Feb 2020, 4:52 pm

Just seen the highlights. Not a classic as too many points won on errors, with the costliest coming from Thiem at 15-love up at 3-4 in the fourth.

Djoko looked out of sorts in sets two and three while Thiem appeared very tired at the end.

Agree with Atila above that Novak will end up with the most GS. The Fed 310-total-weeks-at-the-top could be surpassed this year, too.

Just shows how hard it is to beat one of the Big Three in a five-setter. Djokovic is just so mentally strong. I remember seeing him as a teenager around 2006 and 2007 and thinking this lad is so solid at such a young age.


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Post by laverfan Sun 02 Feb 2020, 11:01 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Agree with Atila above that Novak will end up with the most GS. The Fed 310-total-weeks-at-the-top could be surpassed this year, too.

Do you recall socal1976 on these boards?

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Australian Open 2020 - Page 4 Empty Re: Australian Open 2020

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