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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 Soul Requiem Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:47 am

Did I hit a nerve?

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 23 Jan 2020, 10:16 am

No it’s quite funny actually. The fact that you are choosing not to answer speaks volumes

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 23 Jan 2020, 6:01 pm

Big struggle for Stan the Man today before he came thru in five v Seppi, while Simon made Kyrgios fight for it before succumbing in four.

Khachanov was another having to go the distance to win, as did Goffin. Evergreen Verdasco put out 26th seed Basilashvili and now takes on Zverev. Incredible to think it's now 11 years since Verdasco almost pipped Rafa in an epic AO semi.

Isner managed to win in straight sets without a tiebreak. When did that last happen?


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Post by Atila Fri 24 Jan 2020, 6:47 am

Serena loses to Wang Qiang 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5.

I didn't see any of Serena at this years AO so I don't know what kind of shape was was in. But if she was in the same shape she was in at the US Open, I'm not surprised she lost.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 24 Jan 2020, 7:54 am

Not sure if Serena will ever get this extra elusive GS now. She's played horribly in the four Slam finals she's lost recently and been well beaten. Here, she didn't get past the third round.

Djoko wasted no time today and appears to be serving particularly well. The intriguing Gauff-Osaka clash to come, followed by Fed-Millman.

As I write RBA and Cilic (is he showing signs of a return to form after a comparatively-poor 2019?) have just gone to a final set.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 24 Jan 2020, 9:26 am

Coco knocks out Osaka in straight sets.

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Post by lags72 Fri 24 Jan 2020, 10:00 am

Cilic was victorious in that fifth, so a tough loss for RBA.

The 15 year-old Coco marches on, full of confidence and looking mature way beyond her age.

A frustrated Tsitsipas has dropped the first two sets to Raonic, so will need to find something very special to turn it around.

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Post by lags72 Fri 24 Jan 2020, 10:36 am

Early stages of Fed v Millman .... and I’m struggling to remember Federer starting so poorly at any AO match over the years. A total of 16 U/E’s from Fed, combined with solid serving & tidy play by Millman, saw the Aussie take the first set 6-4.

16 U/E’s in a single set ! I think he made 15 in the entire match of his second round .....  Shocked

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Post by lags72 Fri 24 Jan 2020, 11:50 am

So Federer managed to take the second on a TB, but in general his shabby performance continues ...... way, way below the level of his first two rounds. He looks a different player from the one who dispatched Krajinovic with such ease (and Krajinovic is actually ranked higher than Millman).

Millman is playing the match of his life so far and at this rate I’m pretty sure that Netjets will be getting Fed’s plane fuelled & ready for departure !

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Post by theslosty Fri 24 Jan 2020, 2:06 pm

Well, a generally average performance by Fed but credit to him for finding a way to win against an inspired Millman. It's the sort of tight match he's lost in the last couple of years.
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Post by sirfredperry Fri 24 Jan 2020, 2:18 pm

Gosh. Millman was 8-4 up in that final-set tiebreak before Fed won the last six points. Does this wear Fed out or make him battle-hardened? At least he gets a day off now.

Elsewhere Cilic and Raonic are thru, with Tsitsipas out. The Greek appears to be under the curse of the 02, whereby whoever wins the WTF has a shabby year afterwards (Dimi, Zverev and (now?) Tsitsipas.

One of the women to look out for is Kenin although she'll now have to get past Gauff.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 24 Jan 2020, 2:37 pm


What a collapse by Millman in the tie break, how do you lose an 8-4 lead?? I bet he is cursing that long tie break, the match was his if it had been a regular tie break, that must be torture for him.

Very surprising loss by Tsitsipas, Raonic has done very little the past couple of years although he has had injuries.

The good news for Federer fans is Roger now has a very easy route to the semi finals. I think Schwartzman will give Novak a real test. He is an under rated player in my opinion.

some good matches tomorrow. I hope Kachanov destroys the biggest clown on the ATP tour. I wouldnt be at all surprised if Verdasco did a number on Zverev.

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Post by theslosty Fri 24 Jan 2020, 2:57 pm

Bit annoyed I didn't check the odds and place a small wager on Raonic vs Tsitsipas. I saw it coming - Raonic when fully fit is good enough to beat anyone outside the Big 3 even if he's not the most entertaining watch. Aside from the O2 win Tsitsipas hasn't had an amazing 12 months.
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Post by lags72 Fri 24 Jan 2020, 3:06 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Gosh. Millman was 8-4 up in that final-set tiebreak before Fed won the last six points. Does this wear Fed out or make him battle-hardened? At least he gets a day off now.

.  

Battle-hardened ? Perhaps. But he’ll be hoping this was a short-lived blip if he is make the business end of the tourney.

Perhaps in many ways it was better to be put to the sword and to tough one out rather than another easy cruise (as in his first two rounds). He surely can’t throw in as many unforced errors in his next match as he did today - the stats reflect some horrendous misses, with his forehand strangely the biggest culprit.

All that said, he did come up with some decent stuff at the death and showed that at 38 he can still (just about !) mix it with younger guys ..... even over 5 sets.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 24 Jan 2020, 4:02 pm


I think the tough match will serve Federer well. It would be different if it happened the match before he was facing a big rival but at least now he has on paper a comfortable next round opponent and the highest ranked player he can face in the QF is Fognini, who plays his best tennis on clay. Fognini has been through 5 setters already himself.

I think players easing through the draw isnt always ideal as the step up against the best players is huge.

I still reckon this is a tough tournament to call a winner. Djokovic is certainly favourite but he potentially has Schwartzman followed by in form Cilic or Raonic and then most likely Federer before even thinking about the final. That is a tough draw.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 24 Jan 2020, 4:03 pm

I meant to also say that it will be interesting to see how Medvedev comes through his side of the draw. His level will surely only improve the further he gets and he could be a real handful for Rafa in the semis.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 24 Jan 2020, 5:23 pm

Just been watching footage of Fed's media conference after the match. He looked drained and if you were watching it and didn't know the score you would have assumed he'd lost.

Saw a few clips from the match, too. The MP was incredible, with Millman looking for all the world as if he'd win the point only for Fed to guess the direction of the Australian's drive and whack it cross-court past him.

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Post by Atila Fri 24 Jan 2020, 9:34 pm

I just saw the 5th set tie break. Awesome stuff!

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 25 Jan 2020, 7:51 am

Easy win for Rafa today but Pliskova and Bencic out. Another good win for Rublev who took out Goffin in four. Thiem had another longish match before seeing off Fritz in four.

Later we have Kyrgios v Khachanov and Verdasco v Zverev. Don't suppose many will be surprised if Fernando makes it tough for the German.

Bet Millman woke up today wondering how he failed to win yesterday. Should he have taken the match point ball in the air? Should he have gone back behind Fed instead of playing it up the line? What if he had not pushed his shot from the drop-shot earlier in the tiebreak just over the baseline? What if? What if?

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Post by lags72 Sat 25 Jan 2020, 9:59 am

@ sfp - yes, a practice match win for Nadal. He again seems to be in excellent shape for the AO, just as he was throughout last year’s event - UNTIL he came up against AO King Djokovic in the Final, who proceeded to take him down in almost dismissive fashion. But I would still rate Rafa’s chances of taking the title as high - especially if Djokovic’s own game hits a bad spell (not too much evidence so far).

Back to poor John Millman - you say “when he woke up this morning” - but of course that presumes he actually managed to get to sleep (and I very much doubt he did !). He cannot really beat himself up about shot selection, and certainly in the post-match presser he was keen to stress that he left it all out there, and simply could not have done any more. Of course that doesn’t mean he will be feeling good about life today, and I guess the residual pain will take quite some time to ease.

I don’t think it was an epic match (as labelled by the media) in terms of pure quality -  though it was undoubtedly gripping throughout, with the result so difficult to call once Millman had taken the opener against the odds, and in a fair bit of style. In essence, the match turned on each of the crucial TB’s : in the first, Federer took control with a clear early lead, whereas had Millman won it, he would have gone two sets up at that stage (and I think Federer was in such poor form overall that I doubt he would have come back to take next three).  And then in the TB match decider, Fed again showed that he still has what it takes to stay calm and reeled off six straight successive points to escape what seemed a truly lost cause. It was hard to believe for Millman, and indeed everyone watching. But then the fact that the player currently ranked Number 3 is the oldest in the whole of the Top 100 is also quite a surprise, I guess.

Currently, Kyrgios - feeding off a very enthusiastic crowd - is two sets up v a frustrated Khachanov and looking good for a win in straights.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 25 Jan 2020, 11:04 am

The only other time Millman met Federer at a grand slam he won in four sets:
US Open 2018 R16 Millman wins 3-6 7-5 7-6 7-6.

So that Federer having great difficulty beating Millman 16 months later was not a great surprise.
AO 2020 R32 Millman loses 6-4 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-7

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Post by lags72 Sat 25 Jan 2020, 11:53 am

A truly superb comeback by Khachanov has taken him into a fifth set decider after he conceded the first two sets. He seems to have the momentum, although right now there is very, very little between these two. The big benefit for Kyrgios is that 95% of the stadium is rooting for him.

In terms of sheer tennis quality from both players, this match has - for the most part - been a better watch than the Millman v Fed clash yesterday.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:00 pm

Hopefully Khachanov can finish him off now

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Post by Oioi Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:40 pm

So it's Nick vs. Nadal in the 4th round. Always juicy, great for tennis when there's a bit of needle imo!

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:41 pm

Khachanov with two serves at 8-7 in the final set tie breaker and he loses the three remaining points. Imagine doing that after fighting back from 2 sets down !! what an opportunity blown just when he had done all the hard work

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Post by Oioi Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:49 pm

First time I've really watched much of Khachanov, have to admit I found his gamestyle rather dull. Good serve, solid ground strokes but lacks any kind of flair. Also feel he'd have no chance against Nadal so it's much better for the tourney that we have a blockbuster match. Of course it could be a damp squib unless Kyrgios' serve is firing.

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Post by Calder106 Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:56 pm

To have a chance Krygios will need to concentrate on his own game rather than trying to wind Nadal up and hassling the umpire.

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Post by lags72 Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:57 pm

Khachanov did so, so well, and deserves so much credit. He stayed strong, with Kyrgios (and the crowd !) throwing everything at him. The old cliché could have gone either way certainly did apply here. The ultimate example of grand slam tennis at its very best. There are some great line-ups in prospect for week two, but it’s quite possible we won’t see anything better during the rest of the tourney.

Much praise to Kyrgios for an impressive win clap Some fabulous play, aided by fearless clutch serving.

I seriously doubt Kyrgios will stop Nadal (happy to be proven wrong !) - but hopefully he can keep enough from this performance to make it close.

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Post by lags72 Sat 25 Jan 2020, 2:02 pm

Zverev has suddenly hit good form. Into the fourth round without dropping a set.  
How far can he go ..... chin

Medvedev looking good, picking ip where he left off last season.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 25 Jan 2020, 6:57 pm

Well, say what you like about having a final-set tiebreak at the AO but it's led to two dramatic finishes over the last two days.

Reckon Rafa was hoping Khachanov would come thru. As it is, it's going to be a big ask to expect Kyrgios to take out Nadal after such a long match.

Thought Zverev might struggle today but at last he's moving confidently thru a GS tournament.

Fed back on court tomorrow. Some are suggesting he'll be suffering after such a long match in R3, but I'm sure he'll be fine.

Gauff's run, I think, will come to an end against Kenin who is a feisty, determined player (my prediction has nothing to do with the fact that I have Kenin in my dream team, of course).

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 26 Jan 2020, 9:39 am

Kenin did, indeed, see off Gauff while Kvitova came thru after losing the first set.

Raonic bt Cilic in straight sets and will now take on Djoko who had a much easier time against Schwartzman than many had thought.

While Fed waits to play Fucsovics, Barty has been taken to a third set by Riske. Fognini is fighting hard against Sandgren who won the first two sets but it's now on serve deep into the fourth.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 26 Jan 2020, 12:17 pm

Federer got such a sweet draw so far and now gets Sandgren in QF. One of the easiest draws to a semi that I can remember even though he made a meal of his match vs Millman. Nadal and Djokovic have had much tougher draws to get to SF.

Raonic showing great form

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Post by lags72 Sun 26 Jan 2020, 12:32 pm

Yes, Federer’s draw has been a kind one, and he makes the quarters once again. But I also believe it’s immaterial as far as his title prospects are concerned. And I say this because Federer’s overall standard + consistency in these last two rounds is so much below the level required to get past any of the very top guys as to effectively rule him out as a true Slam contender.

Not sure how much more we will get to see of Fed at the AO. Maybe one more time in 2021 ...... ?? But if he were to have a really disappointing season this year, then who knows what decisions he might take, in conjunction with his family .....


Last edited by lags72 on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by lags72 Sun 26 Jan 2020, 12:38 pm

Fognini had a good run but his AO is over now. He is a huge talent but is also the perfect illustration of why the number one quality needed to go deep at Slams is .... consistency. Flair, charisma, and the ability to hit some amazing shots is not enough - and if Foggy hasn’t made a Slam Final at his current age of 32, I think it’s safe to say he never will.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 26 Jan 2020, 1:15 pm

Didn't think Fed would have too much trouble with Fucso so it was a bit of a surprise to see he'd dropped the opening set. Seems to have been fairly straightforward after that.

Yes, the draw has been kind to Fed and even if either Fognini or Berrettini had come thru I doubt whether they would have troubled the Swiss that much.

It's all rather academic (although the points are welcome) as I don't think Fed has much chance against Djoko. Novak is the kind of player who could beat Rog even if Rog is playing well.

Barty has done well to get thus far considering the pressure she's under. I though Riske would give her a good match and it appears she did.

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Post by lags72 Sun 26 Jan 2020, 2:07 pm

Nadal the only guy who can realistically stop (or even trouble) Djokovic - though I think Djokovic’s AO pedigree and ‘sense of comfort’ on these courts always give a distinct advantage.

Only if Nadal and / or Djoko suddenly suffer an injury, or produce a seriously subpar performance, could we hope to see a ‘new’ Slam champion.

Medvedev, Thiem, Zverev, Kyrgios, Cilic, Wawrinka ..... are probably the best of the outliers - but the odds are still very much against all of them.

Fed turns 39 in August and, in today’s high-powered, stamina-sapping game, you just don’t win Slams at that sort of age.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 26 Jan 2020, 3:12 pm

With Djoko so dominant in Melbourne and Rafa unbelievably successful at the French, it only realistically leaves Wimbledon and the USO as venues where a new GS champion can emerge.

But Wimbledon has been won exclusively by the Big Four since 2003, so effectively that just leaves New York.

Just been watching a few highlights of Fed's match today. He's still capable of some amazing tennis. After the first set Fucso just couldn't put Rog under the same pressure that Millman did.

Rafa has a tasty encounter with Kyrgios tomorrow. I expect him to come through but Kyrgios is one of the few players who can trouble the Spaniard.

I wouldn't be surprised if Monfils came thru against Thiem as I have little confidence in the Austrian in Slams outside RG. Medvedev v Stan the Man could be a marathon.

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Post by lags72 Sun 26 Jan 2020, 3:30 pm

Sfp - some good comment there OK  And yes .... Fed periodically offers a very clear (not to say highly enjoyable) reminder of just where those six AO titles - along with another fourteen Slams - came from ...... !!!!
Worth remembering also that absolutely everybody he plays these days is much younger than he is ...... very often by a decade (or even more) so you would think they have more in the tank ; though perhaps not the talent, skill sets ...... or court craft.  

Btw ...... my bad earlier .... I now realise Cilic has gone out - to an in-form Raonic - which means he isn’t even an ‘outlier’ any longer in Melbourne ...

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 26 Jan 2020, 4:57 pm

If you look at Raonic's record you see that he usually does well at the AO.

He has had more than his fair share of injuries and may be he performs well in Melbourne as he arrives fairly fit after the post-season lay-off.

Milos should stick around. He's only 29. Anderson, for example, has reached two GS finals since turning 31 and Raonic is only just a little older than Stan the Man was when he won his first Slam.

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Post by laverfan Sun 26 Jan 2020, 7:50 pm

It was interesting to listen to Darren Cahill last night during the Federer match. Apparently, a new contractor was employed to lay down the court surfaces at AO this year. He considers the AO courts slower than last year and slower than the year before.

Interesting tidbit...


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Post by laverfan Sun 26 Jan 2020, 11:04 pm

slashermcguirk wrote: Nadal and Djokovic have had much tougher draws to get to SF.

Nadal had Dellien(73), Delbonis (76), Busta (30), Six (6) Qualifiers in his quarter and one (1) LL and WC, each. R16 is Kyrgios (26).

Djokovic had Struff (37), Ito (146), Nishioka (71), Schwartzman (14). Two (2) LL, three (3) WC. QF is Raonic (35).

Federer had Johnson (75), Krajinovic (41), Millman (47), Fucsovics (67). Five (5) Qualifiers and two (2) WC. QF is Sandgren (100).

Interesting!

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 27 Jan 2020, 3:21 am

lags72 wrote:Nadal the only guy who can realistically stop (or even trouble) Djokovic - though I think Djokovic’s AO pedigree and ‘sense of comfort’ on these courts always give a distinct advantage.

Only if Nadal and / or Djoko suddenly suffer an injury, or produce a seriously subpar performance, could we hope to see a ‘new’ Slam champion.

Medvedev, Thiem, Zverev, Kyrgios, Cilic, Wawrinka ..... are probably the best of the outliers - but the odds are still very much against all of them.

Fed turns 39 in August and, in today’s high-powered, stamina-sapping game, you just don’t win Slams at that sort of age.

Djokovic is clear favourite but I don’t see Rafa as next in line here. He’s toast if he has to play Novak - it’s 7 years and 19 sets since he last won a set on hard court against him. Medvedev and Federer to me are probably joint second favourites and could both trouble Novak. I’d expect either to beat Rafa if they get to face him - Fed has a clear edge nowadays over him on a hard court.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 27 Jan 2020, 7:59 am

I don’t see Nadal as the biggest threat to Novak. He is certainly a big threat but I think Wawrinka has a game that can really hurt Novak. While the head to head is massively in favour of Djokovic, Wawrinka has really stepped up against him in more recent years. I think they are 4-4 in slam meetings over the past 5 years or so.

Federer is always a threat and he will be so hungry to bear Novak at a slam. He hasn’t managed it since 2012 and he has lost 3 slam finals and a number of semis in that time. The recent win at the O2 will give him belief but a slam over 5 sets is a different animal. Also let’s not forget Federer had match points in the Wimbledon final last year.

Stan has just beaten Medvedev, big scalp there

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Post by lags72 Mon 27 Jan 2020, 8:03 am

@ Born Slippy - you may well be right re Nadal. Let's see how things pan out.

Stan has slipped under the radar in this AO and battled his way past Medvedev in five. Is he now a contender again ? Yes... it would seem so !

Thiem dispatches Monfils in straights.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 27 Jan 2020, 8:29 am

Big fan of Stan but seeing Nadal, Djokovic and Federer ranked 1-3 with him still capable of beating all the youngsters is not a good sign for the future. The likes of Medvedev, Thiem, Zverev and others really should be dispatching the four of them regularly by now.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 27 Jan 2020, 12:20 pm

Rafa had to really battle to get past Kyrgios in four. The Aussie took it to a fourth-set tiebreak after Rafa had served for the match at 5-4.

Thiem and Zverev with wins today, with the German ending Rublev's perfect 2020 record.

Still think we're heading for a repeat of last year's Melbourne final, although Rafa, in particular, still has hills to climb. By my reckoning Rafa will retain the number one spot if he beats Thiem in the quarters.

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 27 Jan 2020, 12:29 pm

If Nadal goes on to win this year's Aus Open it'll be the hard way - Kyrgios 4th round, Thiem quarters, Wawrinka or Zverev semi, followed by Djokovic (or Federer).

I've actually got a feeling Thiem may beat Nadal. The Austrian is playing unusually well away from the clay, and has already come close to beating Nadal in a slam before during that epic US Open match the other year.

Federer has definitely benefited from draw opening up for him - he'll be relieved to have Sandgren in quarters. I really cannot see him beating Djokovic at this stage in his career in a best of 5 match on this surface.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 27 Jan 2020, 12:41 pm

MrI - yes, a case can be made out for Thiem beating Rafa. But I think if Rafa was to go out before the final it would have been today.

Have to agree that Fed is very unlikely to beat Djoko. If Fed's luck with opponents continues, he won't have to face the Serb!

Zverev appears to be having one of his best GS (not much competition there!) but could well come a cropper against Stan.

Barty v Kvitova could go either way. You have to fancy Halep to make the final.

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Post by lags72 Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:24 pm

Some very interesting matches await.

Will Zverev finally begin to fulfil some of the expectations which developed soon after his arrival on the main Tour ..... ? There have been false dawns before - but perhaps, just perhaps, this is his big year.

The career of Federer’s opponent - Tennys Sandgren - has been as enigmatic as his name. A total of just 36 tour wins on his CV to date but was once ranked as high as 41. Currently 100. And in his run to the QF’s of the 2018 AO he beat both Wawrinka (then number 8) and Thiem (then number 5). So .... on his day he is clearly capable of troubling big names and should not be (too) overawed by the reputation of the Fed.

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Post by Oioi Mon 27 Jan 2020, 11:17 pm

Just caught highlights of today's action. Medvedev Wawrinka looked like a high quality affair - Medvedev looked good but Stan looked very formidable indeed both in terms of shot making and athleticism. Nadal Kyrgios also looked entertaining but it seems to me that Kyrgios is too reliant on his serve and struggles to win points from the baseline against the greats. Nadal looked really good I thought - starting to pull the trigger more often with his down the line forehand which he needs to do if he's to challenge Djokovic on this surface.

Only Zverev and Raonic have yet to lose a set in the tournament now. However, I can't see Raonic limited taking 3 sets off a supreme Djokovic with an improved serve. I suppose he could make it interesting if he can serve his way to a few tiebreaks. Federer has wobbled the last couple of rounds and have noticed he's looked jaded so I'm finding his match hard to predict.

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