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Post by MrInvisible on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 11:12 pm

So, in a parallel Covid-19 free universe we'd be digesting the women's French Open final this evening which no doubt would have seen an unknown newbie taking on Halep. We'd also have been debating if this year could finally be Thiem's year to accomplish mission impossible in beat Nadal in tomorrow's final.

As it is, we're stuck in a seemingly never-ending loop of non-stop Covid-19 news with little in the way of the usual enjoyable distractions that sport provides. However, there are finally some stirrings of activity in professional sport, and the powers that be in tennis are starting to plan a return to the ATP tour.

The US Open is looking to make a decision later this month on whether to go ahead or not from 31st August. So far though, both Nadal and Djokovic have been less than enthusiastic, though for slightly different reasons, Nadal sounding caution that many players may not feel safe and that it might be premature to go ahead at this stage, whilst Djokovic was unhappy with the adaptations the tournament would have to make in order to take place and how these would affect players (staying in hotels at airport, only 1 member of player's staff allowed access to the tournament) - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/52950195

To be honest it doesn't look hopeful, but the US Open is the most commercial out of all the slams and maybe they do find a way of getting the tournament to run.

When things do return, which players do you think will benefit/lose out the most? It's clearly going to be a disjointed year on the tour and players may not get the time to build form over a number of weeks during different tournaments as they normally do, so who knows, maybe we get a surprise/1st time winner at US Open and/or the reschedule French Open in the Autumn.


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Post by MrInvisible on Thu 11 Jun 2020, 1:44 pm

With Federer out for rest of year, and neither Nadal or Djokovic looking keen on participating at US Open, this could provide real opportunity for someone else to step up, assuming it does go ahead - over to you Mr Thiem...

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Post by No name Bertie on Fri 12 Jun 2020, 1:09 pm

The following is an example of dreadful journalism:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jun/10/roger-federer-will-miss-the-rest-of-2020-after-further-knee-surgery

I tried reading it but it seems more like an English student submission practising their purple prose. I'll be interested in what others think especially if they were former reporters / writers themselves.

So Federer's surgery was that in February and I assume either that it hasn't healed as well as hoped or that Federer doesn't want to risk it by training towards end of year tournaments that might not even happen. Federer is at an age where most other people would have been long retired.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 12 Jun 2020, 1:20 pm

Kevin Mitchell is and always has been a very fine journalist.

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Post by Henman Bill on Thu 18 Jun 2020, 4:08 am

"Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible."
What a primadonna comment, from Djokovic as it happens although honestly probably half the top players feel the same way. it's the same for everyone.

Personally I think the European players would be more responsible in not going to the US this year and focusing on playing the French Open instead.

Calendar announced for second half of August and September:
https://www.atptour.com/en/news/atp-issues-revised-calendar-for-tour-resumption-17-june-2020

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 22 Jun 2020, 7:08 pm

Djokovic can't win without his special helpers so it's hardly a surprise, recent events in Croatia make him look even more idiotic than before which I didn't believe possible.

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Post by Just John on Tue 23 Jun 2020, 2:51 pm

Djokovic, unsurprisingly, tests positive for Corona. Idiotic, and possible long term issues lay ahead for those who have contracted the virus.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 23 Jun 2020, 5:06 pm

Djokovic is an utter tool. Hopefully contracting Covid-19 will have taught him a valuable lesson.

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 25 Jun 2020, 5:25 pm

The Djoko-inspired matches, with FOUR THOUSAND spectators, FFS, were unnecessary at best and reckless at worst.

Yes, Dimi acted irresponsibly but the whole thing should not have gone ahead.

More happily, Murray seems to be going along nicely even though he lost to Kyle yesterday.

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Post by MrInvisible on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 2:39 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/tennis/52999983

Just seen that BBC are doing some radio and text coverage of the 'Battle of the Brits' charity tournament - Evans currently looking to level things up at 1 set all in the semi-final. Any idea if there's any way of seeing this tournament live?

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sat 27 Jun 2020, 5:04 pm

^ Amazon Prime video

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Jun 2020, 12:18 pm

Murray has pulled out of today's 3rd/4th place match with a shin injury.

Probably just a precaution. he's said he's very pleased with his progress this week and he's had some good match play.

It's good that GB has three fine players capable of matching Murray at the moment.

Meanwhile, the Djoko thing rumbles on with most saying/thinking that the world number one has been a very silly boy.

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Post by MrInvisible on Sat 04 Jul 2020, 11:20 am

Anyone been watching the BBC's Wimbledon stuff on IPlayer? I quite like that they're putting some classic matches on though I'm not sure the live coverage of presenters sitting on the media terrace of an empty All England Club is worth the effort nor the gimmicks like Tim Henman and Annabel Croft trying to hit tennis balls into a wheelie bin.

There is though some good archive stuff - really enjoyed the contrast in styles between Agassi and Ivanisevic for 1992 final, and it was great seeing Lori McNeil doing all the netrushing when she beat Graf in 1st round (1994 or 1995?). Nadal v Federer 2008 final is on - though I saw the nice documentary on this on last year. Any Wimbledon matches from the archives anyone really wants to see? Here's a few I'd like them to put on:

Henin v Mauresmo final 2006 - a rarity in the modern-era for womens' tennis in that both players were doing classic grass-court tennis with lots of net play, even serve-volley and at a high quality too.

Coverage of 2013 tournament - featured Murray's historic title but also Lisicki's run in the womens' and the early shocks to Federer and Nadal in the mens' in what was a pretty fun and memorable tournament.

Vintage Rod Laver footage, given his achievements on completing the grand slam

Any Nastase matches

Matches from the Borg/Connors/McEnroe era (but not just that tie-break from Borg-McEnroe)

Anything from late 1980s - giving away my age here but this is when I first started watching Wimbledon as a kid, and I have fond memories of match-ups between Edberg, Becker, Lendl (and Cash!) on what I think was a fine era for tennis - good rivalries, unpredictable and still plenty of serve-volley.

The full mens' final from last year - I missed the 1st half due to kids' birthday party and then in latter stages found it difficult to watch because of the tension, and the cricket World Cup final being on at same time.

Come on Beeb, less time of Sue Barker looking down on an empty Championships and more time dipping into those valuable archive vaults!

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 09 Jul 2020, 7:55 am

Have just read the new ranking system to be introduced from next month due to the shutdown caused by Covid-19.

It's ultra complicated. (see below) Good luck trying to work it out.

https://www.atptour.com/en/news/fedex-atp-rankings-adjustments-faq

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Post by No name Bertie on Tue 14 Jul 2020, 1:20 pm

Is the ATP tour more or less cancelled for the foreseeable future?  Same with the Grand Slams?

Wikipedia suggests a resumption on 17th August, but events are being postponed or cancelled which keeps pushing any resumption further backwards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_ATP_Tour

What impact will this have on the all star geriatrics of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic?  They have time for the body to repair and heal but they are all getting older and have bodies that have had plenty of mileage.

Must be a tough time for tennis correspondents. I suppose they must be out of work because there is nothing to write about apart from socio-political stories.

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Post by MrInvisible on Sat 08 Aug 2020, 5:32 pm

So, a significantly changed (no fans allowed) US Open is due to start in just over 3 weeks.  Nadal has confirmed he's not going, Federer is still out due to his surgery, whilst Djokovic looks likely to go at this stage.  Murray also gets a wildcard.

Presuming it does still go ahead it could be a tricky tournament to call as we will have v little idea of player's form coming into the tournament.  Djokovic would still be favourite, but I wonder if we'll be in for a surprise finalist.

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Post by sirfredperry on Fri 14 Aug 2020, 7:40 am

Djoko confirms he's going to play at the USO, but women's defending champ Andreescu won't play.

Meanwhile, the WTA tour has started again. There was Palermo last week and this week it's Lexington (Kentucky) and Prague.

Konta and Heather Watson bit the dust early in Lexington where Serena bt Venus in the second round yesterday (but only just).

Halep is playing in Prague but is expected to skip the USO.

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Post by MrInvisible on Sun 16 Aug 2020, 11:58 am

Despite the absence of some big names (notably Nadal and Federer in the mens' and Andreescu, and potentially Halep in the womens') and the Covid backdrop to the tournament, I am actually looking forward to there being some live tennis again.  Still trying to get my head round the French being after US Open - that still feels v weird for me.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 16 Aug 2020, 12:17 pm

MrInvisible wrote:Despite the absence of some big names (notably Nadal and Federer in the mens' and Andreescu, and potentially Halep in the womens') and the Covid backdrop to the tournament, I am actually looking forward to there being some live tennis again.  Still trying to get my head round the French being after US Open - that still feels v weird for me.

Logistically, it does not make a lot of sense either in termS of where we are on COVID. France seems more ready for a major tennis tournament than the US does. COVID is still raging in the States but not so much in France. In hindsight it would have made sense to hold the French Open first giving the US time to get control of COVID. In fairness though neither organising parties or the ATP could know how COVID would pan out.
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Post by MrInvisible on Mon 17 Aug 2020, 5:37 pm

Just read that there are now 6 out of 10 top WTA players not participating at US Open.  Any idea if anyone apart from Nadal and Federer (the latter not related to Covid) have pulled out?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 25 Aug 2020, 12:15 am

Great win for Andy Murray beating World No 7 Zverev in three sets to reach the 3rd Round of The Cincinatti Western and Southern Open. Great win all things considered.
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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 7:46 am

Raonic was too much for Andy but Konta is thru to the semis and Jamie Murray/Skupski have made the semis in the doubles.

Quite sensible to play Cinic in New York so that the players can straight on to the USO at the same venue.

Can't help feeling, though, that this is going to be a strange Slam with no fans and so many big names not appearing.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 8:20 am

Despite what Navratilova says the US open is devalued because of all the withdrawals, I don't disagree with it going ahead but it shouldn't have full grand slam status.

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Post by Just John on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 9:01 am

Agree, if Novak wins, i just couldn’t accept it, in relation to his battle with RF/RN for GS wins. It’s devalued. Can say same thing with Serena, as she could match Margaret Court, when the women’s field has been decimated.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 1:56 pm

It is a slam and will rightly keep that slam status. Remember that some are missing through injury (Federer) and those who choose to give it a miss that is their choice. But lets just remember that many decades ago many players opted to give the Australian Open a miss for travel reasons (normally) yet it still held slam status and those who won the Australian Open back then still have them included in their slam count. Take it as an award for chancing your own personal health in pursuit of a slam in insurmountable conditions - that alone makes it a noteworthy achievement.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 2:37 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:It is a slam and will rightly keep that slam status. Remember that some are missing through injury (Federer) and those who choose to give it a miss that is their choice. But lets just remember that many decades ago many players opted to give the Australian Open a miss for travel reasons (normally) yet it still held slam status and those who won the Australian Open back then still have them included in their slam count. Take it as an award for chancing your own personal health in pursuit of a slam in insurmountable conditions - that alone makes it a noteworthy achievement.

So it's perfectly ok that say Nadal misses out on the chance of another grand slam because he rightfully doesn't wish to risk his health?

Yes as it is his choice - pure and simple.

Do we subtract Jimmy Anderson's summer of wicket hauls because rest of cricket world internationally is in lockdown? No. And neither they should.

Do we subtract Ronnie's world title in snooker because Anthony Hamilton opted out due to health fears and no crowds? No of course not and neither they should.

And thee are many other similar such instances in the sporting world in these extreme circumstances.

Rafa and others opting out for health fears is their choice and I see it akin to them losing out on a slam due to fear/caution. Those taking part are displaying more bravado and will to win so in no way should they be punished for that as they are traits all slam winners possess.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 2:56 pm

More bravado and will to win? Are you being serious?

Are you trying to tell me that those competing are showing a greater will to win than 19 time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 3:04 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:More bravado and will to win? Are you being serious?

If you cannot understand/accept the US Open coming up as a slam that is your choice but in the records and history books it goes down as a slam win.

If people want to be utterly pathetic and try downgrading people's wins because of certain circumstances then you open a whole bucket load of worms throughout sporting history for downgrading sporting achievements due to injuries to key players/teams in key moments and big events in sport right across the board and that in itself opens up another can of worms on what then merits discounting an achievement. Pointless and pathetic.

The old saying holds true for any sporting event and has been the case since the year dot - you have to be in it to win it.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 3:08 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:More bravado and will to win? Are you being serious?

Are you trying to tell me that those competing are showing a greater will to win than 19 time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal?

In these circumstances they obviously are. Rafa has his concerns then he misses out. Anthony Hamilton had the same type of concerns and missed out. Their choice and they cannot grumble on missing out on a chance to win a major sports title. And lets be absolutely frank and honest on this. Absolutely nowhere have I seen Rafa or anyone else missing the US Open stating that it should be downgraded in any way shape or form.
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Post by superflyweight on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 9:23 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:It is a slam and will rightly keep that slam status. Remember that some are missing through injury (Federer) and those who choose to give it a miss that is their choice. But lets just remember that many decades ago many players opted to give the Australian Open a miss for travel reasons (normally) yet it still held slam status and those who won the Australian Open back then still have them included in their slam count. Take it as an award for chancing your own personal health in pursuit of a slam in insurmountable conditions - that alone makes it a noteworthy achievement.

So it's perfectly ok that say Nadal misses out on the chance of another grand slam because he rightfully doesn't wish to risk his health?

Yes as it is his choice - pure and simple.

Do we subtract Jimmy Anderson's summer of wicket hauls because rest of cricket world internationally is in lockdown? No. And neither they should.

Do we subtract Ronnie's world title in snooker because Anthony Hamilton opted out due to health fears and no crowds? No of course not and neither they should.

And thee are many other similar such instances in the sporting world in these extreme circumstances.

Rafa and others opting out for health fears is their choice and I see it akin to them losing out on a slam due to fear/caution. Those taking part are displaying more bravado and will to win so in no way should they be punished for that as they are traits all slam winners possess.

Might be a pooor choice of words, but you seem to be suggesting that those who have withdrawn are being too cautious and should just get on with it. Doesn't seem appropriate given the very real health concerns.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 9:49 am

The situation in tennis isn't comparable to Snooker because of it's global participation, hundreds of players from all around the world will be competing with numerous umpires, line judges, coaches etc, I wouldn't be surprised if there were nigh on 1000 people involved compared to 32 players 30 of who are based in the UK I believe.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 10:37 am

superflyweight wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:It is a slam and will rightly keep that slam status. Remember that some are missing through injury (Federer) and those who choose to give it a miss that is their choice. But lets just remember that many decades ago many players opted to give the Australian Open a miss for travel reasons (normally) yet it still held slam status and those who won the Australian Open back then still have them included in their slam count. Take it as an award for chancing your own personal health in pursuit of a slam in insurmountable conditions - that alone makes it a noteworthy achievement.

So it's perfectly ok that say Nadal misses out on the chance of another grand slam because he rightfully doesn't wish to risk his health?

Yes as it is his choice - pure and simple.

Do we subtract Jimmy Anderson's summer of wicket hauls because rest of cricket world internationally is in lockdown? No. And neither they should.

Do we subtract Ronnie's world title in snooker because Anthony Hamilton opted out due to health fears and no crowds? No of course not and neither they should.

And thee are many other similar such instances in the sporting world in these extreme circumstances.

Rafa and others opting out for health fears is their choice and I see it akin to them losing out on a slam due to fear/caution. Those taking part are displaying more bravado and will to win so in no way should they be punished for that as they are traits all slam winners possess.

Might be a pooor choice of words, but you seem to be suggesting that those who have withdrawn are being too cautious and should just get on with it.  Doesn't seem appropriate given the very real health concerns.  

No I am trying to say that those not playing it is of their choice. The key player to have pulled out is Rafa and he cites three reasons he isn't playing. One is travelling due to corona but he also cites the scheduling as he does not fancy going from hard courts onto his preferred clay and also says he does not feel mentally right for the challenge. He states this in an interview a few days ago and like all other tennis players makes no suggestion that the tournament should be downgraded in anyway. On top of that the ATP and other tennis authorities certainly don't see any merit in downgrading the tournament and neither does Martina Navratilova (one of the most successful players of all-time). The US Open remains a slam status no matter what a handful of people think and it will show in record books as such.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 10:39 am

Soul Requiem wrote:The situation in tennis isn't comparable to Snooker because of it's global participation, hundreds of players from all around the world will be competing with numerous umpires, line judges, coaches etc, I wouldn't be surprised if there were nigh on 1000 people involved compared to 32 players 30 of who are based in the UK I believe.

You can bump your gums all you want but everyone within tennis on the sporting side of it are happy with it holding its slam status. Yes even those that are giving it a miss. The only detractors are people with no connection to the sport.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 10:43 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The situation in tennis isn't comparable to Snooker because of it's global participation, hundreds of players from all around the world will be competing with numerous umpires, line judges, coaches etc, I wouldn't be surprised if there were nigh on 1000 people involved compared to 32 players 30 of who are based in the UK I believe.

You can bump your gums all you want but everyone within tennis on the sporting side of it are happy with it holding its slam status. Yes even those that are giving it a miss. The only detractors are people with no connection to the sport.

Well that's that then, no point individuals having their own opinions is there or do you wish to have a dictatorial forum where the few decide for the many?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 10:46 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The situation in tennis isn't comparable to Snooker because of it's global participation, hundreds of players from all around the world will be competing with numerous umpires, line judges, coaches etc, I wouldn't be surprised if there were nigh on 1000 people involved compared to 32 players 30 of who are based in the UK I believe.

You can bump your gums all you want but everyone within tennis on the sporting side of it are happy with it holding its slam status. Yes even those that are giving it a miss. The only detractors are people with no connection to the sport.

Well that's that then, no point individuals having their own opinions is there or do you wish to have a dictatorial forum where the few decide for the many?

I am merely stating a fact. The US Open 2020 holds its slam status - that is not up for debate. You are perfectly free to carry on arguing otherwise if you wish. I see no one stopping you.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 10:48 am

Thank you for pointing that out to me, I was unaware that US open hold full grand slam status despite me stating that in my opinion it should not hold that status. Again thank you pointing something out to me that I already knew.

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