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Post by sirfredperry Fri 28 Aug 2020, 9:43 am

First topic message reminder :

Devoid of many top players or not, the USO starts on Monday.

I know some will feel that this is a devalued Slam with so many absentees. But others might reckon there are no asterisks (*) in sport. Jan Kodes, for example, is still 1973 Wimbledon champion despite the mass boycott.

What it does mean is that Djoko looks an almost certain winner in New York this time. I would have put him as favourite even if there had been a full field of players. What does that make him now? Super-favourite, mega-favourite, a shoo-in?

The bad news for Kyle Edmund is that he could face Djoko in the second round. Murray starts against Nishioka and could later meet Dan Evans. Konta begins against Heather Watson, while Cameron Norrie has a tough one against Diego Schwartzman.

Apart from seeing how far Murray can go, probably the only interest in the men's is to see just who will emerge to play Djoko in the final. Or have I got it wrong?

The women's Slams have been unpredictable of late even when everyone turns up so gawd knows who's likely to win this time. You could argue it's all set up for Serena but I don't think anyone is afraid of her any more and each of her recent Slam final performances have been really poor.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Sep 2020, 9:45 pm

Mum's the word as Pironkova wins in three.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 07 Sep 2020, 10:01 pm

Was a crucial tie-break to win in the first set, as FAA has been blown away since. Looks like a comfortable straight sets win for Thiem barring some heroics from his opponent.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 07 Sep 2020, 10:13 pm

Brilliant performance from Thiem winning 7-6 6-1 6-1. He blew the youngster Auger-Alissime away. On that showing surely the favourite for the title.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Sep 2020, 7:42 am

Thought the Thiem v F A-A match might be a bit closer. Thiem's odds must have shortened considerably after the Djoko exit and will be even shorter now.

Must admit I'd not looked at the draw properly and thought Medvedev and Thiem were in opposite halves instead of likely to meet in the semis.

As it is, surely there's a great chance for Zverev to, at least, reach the final.

Meanwhile, AO champ Kenin is out and Barty has said she's going to skip the French. Three mothers have reached the quarters which is no doubt some sort of a record.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 9:04 am

The Medvedev straight sets win was no shock but I was a little surprosed Rublev beat Berrettinni.
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Post by alfie Tue 08 Sep 2020, 10:52 am

One good point for Australian tennis fans (disappointed with Barty now giving the French as well as this one a miss) with de Minaur making the quarters clap Doesn't make noise like Kyrgios but a steadily improving young fellow.

Will need a bit of luck against Thiem but he's having a fine run...

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 08 Sep 2020, 11:24 am

After his run last year I actually make Medvedev the slight favourite, tend to feel his game is slightly more suited to the surface than Thiem.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 08 Sep 2020, 2:00 pm

A Thiem vs Medvedev final would have been interesting, but they are drawn to meet in the semi-final if they get through their quarters.  The top half of the draw looks weak.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 08 Sep 2020, 2:33 pm

Zverev is brilliantly placed. He shouldn't have too many issues getting through to the final from his side of the draw, then there's every chance that Medvedev and Thiem play out a gruelling five-setter in their (probable) semi-final.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 6:36 pm

Zverev about to take on Coric. I'll go for Zverev for win though Greg Rusedski is talking up Coric's chances and is tipping him to win. We will see.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Sep 2020, 6:39 pm

There's going to be at least one American in the women's semis as Brady beats Putintseva 3 and 2.

Depending on results, there could be as many as three Americans in the last four.

Agree about Zverev's chances. Huge opportunity for him.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Sep 2020, 7:27 pm

Hardly a great start by Zverev as Coric wins first set 6-1.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:05 pm

Zverev firing himself up and breaks back in the second set. He leads 5-4 and a bit of needle here between the two.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:30 pm

Zverev's played very poorly, but Coric has just gifted him the second set on a tie-break.

Likely the turning point.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:32 pm

I agree with Tim and Mark commentating. Coric bottled that set. Lucky man is Zverev. He is just too passive with returns and having big issues with his serve.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Sep 2020, 9:03 pm

Important that Zverev keeps Coric out there. Coric has had some very long matches and may run out of steam.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 9:32 pm

Real bizarre match. Lots of unforced winners, questionable shot choices, passive play and not a great standard. Zverev goes two sets to one up with 2 hours 44 minutes on the clock.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 9:59 pm

Well whoever wins this match it will have been a physical and mental ordeal. Zverev leads 1-6 7-6 7-6 3-3 with 3 hours 11 minutes played. If this goes to five sets it will be over 4 hours and quite probably will have seen 100+ unforced errors between them.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 10:08 pm

Zverev serving for the match in the fourth set.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Sep 2020, 10:13 pm

Zverev wins in four sets. Not a classic by any means. He is into tge semis but will need to up his level in his next match.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 08 Sep 2020, 10:14 pm

What a rubbish match. Would still back Zverev to make the final, but (on that evidence) not a lot for Medvedev/Thiem to be concerned about if they make it through to Sunday.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Sep 2020, 10:18 pm

Very important win for Zverev who is now very likely to make the final.
Always good to get a scrappy win. You're through and you'll probably play better in the next match.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 08 Sep 2020, 11:07 pm

The generation of tennis players that followed the big four have been a big disappointment. The players competing for this slam seem to be of the so-called "new gen" of players.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 09 Sep 2020, 8:59 am

No name Bertie wrote:The generation of tennis players that followed the big four have been a big disappointment.  The players competing for this slam seem to be of the so-called "new gen" of players.

I'd say more a case of what went before being so good.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:02 am

Carreno Busta came through in a five set marathon lasting over four hours to beat Dennis Shapopalov. He will face Alex Zverev in the semi-final. That could be a tougher one to call than people think providing the Spaniard can test up from this long match and is not drawn into another marathon match.
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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:18 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:The generation of tennis players that followed the big four have been a big disappointment.  The players competing for this slam seem to be of the so-called "new gen" of players.

I'd say more a case of what went before being so good.

A bit of both i'd say, regardless of being the greatest player ever but Federer should not be making the semi final in Paris following that up with what should have been grand slam 21 at Wimbledon. If you look at the big three in isolation they've all had career threatening injuries and still managed to win multiple slams afterwards which is not a glowing endorsement of the current generation.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 09 Sep 2020, 12:29 pm

Reckon we could be heading for a Thiem-Zverev final. Well, that's my prediction.

In the women's it could be a repeat of the 2018 USO final when Serena had an almighty meltdown.


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Post by Duty281 Wed 09 Sep 2020, 3:26 pm

Zverev might have had a few problems with Shapopalov, so he'll be delighted to see the Spaniard through, especially after a five set marathon.

Thiem should get through quite comfortably today, but I think Rublev/Medvedev could be quite a tight one and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go the distance.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:01 pm

Medvedev takes first set against Rublev 7-6 after Rublev led 6-3 in the tiebreak.

Serena again won after being taken to three sets.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:03 pm

Tightly contested first-set gets taken by Medvedev on the tie-break.

Rublev was 5-1 and 6-3 up in the tie-break, but he visibly tightened up and ended up throwing his racquet on the ground when his opponent got it back to 6-6. More fury and anger ensued when Medvedev calmly served an ace to win the set.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:35 pm

Medvedev in firm control now leading 7-6 6-3.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:35 pm

And two sets to Medvedev, with Rublev letting his negative emotions control him. Medvedev's serve is incredibly dominant - Rublev's not got close to breaking him so far.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 09 Sep 2020, 9:40 pm

Long way back for Rublev now. Doubt he'll even get a set.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 09 Sep 2020, 10:28 pm

Medvedev closes it out with another tie-break win. Interesting to note he was starting to struggle physically towards the end - cramping up and seeming to have a tight shoulder. Might have been a narrow finish if Rublev had won either of the tie-breaks.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:16 am

I can't see the physical side of things causing him to cramp up as it was not even hot and Medvedev has won all of his matches in relatively quick time. I'd more go alone with Tim Henman's view that it was more nervous tension that caused it being it was against a good friend and fellow countryman that made him more tense. The worrying point going forward for him would be if the shoulder issue was not cramp-related.

The men's semis then are:-

Pablo Carreno Busta V Alex Zverev

Daniil Medvedev V Dominic Thiem

The first semi I think will be closer than some think especially if Zverev has serve issues coming to the surface again. Zverev to win in four sets for me.

The second semi I think Thiem will win in maybe four or even five sets. A lot depends on Medvedev's shoulder.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 10 Sep 2020, 5:47 pm

Zverev and Thiem are the s-f favourites. I'm expecting Zverev to play better than he did in the quarter final.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 10 Sep 2020, 6:07 pm

I make Thiem the favourite, too, reckon he'll get through in 4-5 sets. Should be a tough battle and might be the best match of the tournament. Bookmakers have it reversed, saying Medvedev is the narrow favourite and putting the Austrian out at 11/10.

Think Zverev, despite his mishaps the other day, cruises through in straight sets.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 10 Sep 2020, 8:31 pm

Bit surprised the bookies have Med as favourite, although I doubt many will be surprised if he does win. Still going for Thiem myself.

Azashrieker v Serena could be noisy. If I watch women's tennis I usually do so with the sound down. Osaka should beat Brady.

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Post by Atila Fri 11 Sep 2020, 4:50 am

Azarenka beats Williams in 3 sets, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.


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Post by alfie Fri 11 Sep 2020, 5:41 am

sirfredperry wrote:Bit surprised the bookies have Med as favourite, although I doubt many will be surprised if he does win. Still going for Thiem myself.

Azashrieker v Serena could be noisy. If I watch women's tennis I usually do so with the sound down. Osaka should beat Brady.

Good call about muting the sound , Sir Fred Smile Makes it much easier on the eardrums.

Azarenka came back well after that first set. Looked pretty good finishing that off and might be a tasty final.

Without the sound , of course.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 11 Sep 2020, 8:02 am

The absentees in the womans draw has resulted in a very low quality tournament and i'm pleased that Williams didn't equal the record in such circumstances, regardless of numbers she's a long way behind Graf anyway.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Sep 2020, 8:17 am

Think the two men’s semis should be pretty exciting. I’m a big fan of Thiem, he’s like Wawrinka MKII, and the Austrian definitely needs to win a big one soon as he’s in danger of being his eras greatest ‘loser’.
I’d agree with Medvedev being favourite but only if he’s 100% fit, he seemed to be struggling towards the end of the Rublev match.
PCB has a rare opportunity for a Spaniard to set out of Nadal’s ever large shadow. Zverev if he plays his best should win, but his best is rare to predict.
Medvedev in 4
Zverev in 5.

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Post by Atila Fri 11 Sep 2020, 8:49 am

Soul Requiem wrote:The absentees in the womans draw has resulted in a very low quality tournament and i'm pleased that Williams didn't equal the record in such circumstances, regardless of numbers she's a long way behind Graf anyway.
I too think Serena is behind Steffi. Not by a long way but still behind.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Sep 2020, 12:01 pm

For the fifth time in recent GS Serena has fallen short right at the end of the tournament.

It would be crazy to right such a great champion off, but I doubt whether she can win another Slam.

Even with no Halep or Barty or Andreescu, Serena still had to get past a number of GS champs to win it.

Bit harsh, IMHO, to describe Thiem as a loser, although I see, Jeff, you did put loser in quote marks. No disgrace in being runner-up when you play one of the Big Four in a GS final.

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Post by Atila Fri 11 Sep 2020, 12:48 pm

sirfredperry wrote:For the fifth time in recent GS Serena has fallen short right at the end of the tournament.

It would be crazy to right such a great champion off, but I doubt whether she can win another Slam.

Even with no Halep or Barty or Andreescu, Serena still had to get past a number of GS champs to win it.

Bit harsh, IMHO, to describe Thiem as a loser, although I see, Jeff, you did put loser in quote marks. No disgrace in being runner-up when you play one of the Big Four in a GS final.
I could imagine Serena winning another Slam, but it's hard for me to imagine her winning two more to set a new record.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Sep 2020, 2:11 pm

sirfredperry wrote:For the fifth time in recent GS Serena has fallen short right at the end of the tournament.

It would be crazy to right such a great champion off, but I doubt whether she can win another Slam.

Even with no Halep or Barty or Andreescu, Serena still had to get past a number of GS champs to win it.

Bit harsh, IMHO, to describe Thiem as a loser, although I see, Jeff, you did put loser in quote marks. No disgrace in being runner-up when you play one of the Big Four in a GS final.
I 100% agree there’s no shame losing Nadal in Paris or Djokovic in Melbourne, but Thiem is 27 now and unfortunately for him there’s a few young bucks now making their moves as well.

I want Thiem to start winning the bigger events consistently tbh as he’s a very fine player.

IIRC Thiem has reached 7 finals at 1000 level or above but he’s only once claimed one of those titles. He’s too good just to be winning 250/500 level imo.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 11 Sep 2020, 3:30 pm

Atila wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The absentees in the womans draw has resulted in a very low quality tournament and i'm pleased that Williams didn't equal the record in such circumstances, regardless of numbers she's a long way behind Graf anyway.
I too think Serena is behind Steffi. Not by a long way but still behind.
And they are both behind Monica Seles, who was of course nearly killed by a mad Steffi fan.  Some people hated her style but I am not talking about style, I'm talking about effectiveness to win matches.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 11 Sep 2020, 4:28 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
Atila wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The absentees in the womans draw has resulted in a very low quality tournament and i'm pleased that Williams didn't equal the record in such circumstances, regardless of numbers she's a long way behind Graf anyway.
I too think Serena is behind Steffi. Not by a long way but still behind.
And they are both behind Monica Seles, who was of course nearly killed by a mad Steffi fan.  Some people hated her style but I am not talking about style, I'm talking about effectiveness to win matches.

That solitary Wimbledon final (losing) pretty much precludes her from the discussion, knife attack or not.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 11 Sep 2020, 4:55 pm

We'll never know with Seles, but Graf certainly benefitted hugely after the knifing incident. That's one reason I put Serena ahead of Graf.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 11 Sep 2020, 4:57 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:We'll never know with Seles, but Graf certainly benefitted hugely after the knifing incident. That's one reason I put Serena ahead of Graf.

Different circumstances but Serena did herself benefit from Henin and Clijsters retiring before their time.

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