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The French Open 2020

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 24 Sep 2020, 5:38 pm

First topic message reminder :

With the draw about to be made for RG, I thought I would get this topic going.

For me - and I say this every year - Rafa is clear favourite, although the strange nature of all sport this Covid-19 year might mean someone else (Thiem? Djoko?) might have a chance.

Halep stands out as the women's favourite, particularly as some of the top women are not appearing. More on this after the draw.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 8:28 am

After Fernandez yesterday, we have the chance to see another rising young star in action - Swiatek - who takes on Halep.

Similar situation in the men's where Sinner of Italy tackles Zverev. Thiem, having three potentially tricky matches to start the tourney, now plays a guy in the 200s - Gaston.

Svitolina v Garcia could be good. Will Monfils dare to cheer on his girlfriend against a French woman?

Twould be fine if someone can finally give Djoko/Rafa something of a match. Perhaps Korda can at least chalk up a few games today.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 8:39 am

Gaston being the conqueror of Wawrinka so he will be no pushover for Thiem. Sinner may push Zverev very close and perhaps the marathon of the day will be Schwartzman V Sonego.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:34 am

Blistering start by Iga Swiatek of Poland as she takes the first set 6-1 against Halep.

The Pole hit an astonishing 17 winners and it was not as if Halep was playing badly.

Can the young player keep it up?

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 10:47 am

sirfredperry wrote:After Fernandez yesterday, we have the chance to see another rising young star in action - Swiatek - who takes on Halep.



Well Swiatek has already gone one step further than Fernandez who led 5-1 in the first set yesterday and ended up losing it. Swiatek wrapped up the first set against Halep winning it 6-1 and on top of that has a break in the second set and leads 6-1 2-0.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:12 am

Swiatek about to serve for the match leading Halep 6-1 5-2.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:16 am

And Swiatek completes the massive shock. The No 1 seed Simona Halep loses 6-1 6-2 to the 19-year-old Pole.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:20 am

Astonishing performance by Swiatek to win one and two.

Halep is a scrapper and a tremendous fighter. But she is NOT a big hitter and too often she just could not get the ball deep enough to worry Swiatek.

Yesterday, we saw a GS champ, Kvitova, raising her game and outhitting a young player who was, initially, outplaying her.

Today, Halep couldn't follow suit. Next up for Swiatek could be Trevisan who leads Bertens.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:24 am

sirfredperry wrote:Astonishing performance by Swiatek to win one and two.

Halep is a scrapper and a tremendous fighter. But she is NOT a big hitter and too often she just could not get the ball deep enough to worry Swiatek.

Yesterday, we saw a GS champ, Kvitova, raising her game and outhitting a young player who was, initially, outplaying her.

Today, Halep couldn't follow suit. Next up for Swiatek could be Trevisan who leads Bertens.

Only four seeds left in the women's singles.
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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:34 am

Just in case Rafa wasn’t already comfortable enough on the RG clay, life was made as easy as possible in the shape of his unheralded opposition for the first three rounds. And now .... just as you may think things might / could / conceivably start to get (even a teeny weeny bit) tricky in the later stages of a Slam ......... he meets a guy ranked below 200 Smile

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:38 am

Nadal underway against Korda.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:39 am

lags72 wrote:Just in case Rafa wasn’t already comfortable enough on the RG clay, life was made as easy as possible in the shape of his unheralded opposition for the first three rounds. And now .... just as you may think things might / could / conceivably start to get (even a teeny weeny bit) tricky in the later stages of a Slam ......... he meets a guy ranked below 200 Smile

Have you see the multiple shocks already at RG this year? There are no walkovers.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:46 am

CC - I'd be surprised if Korda got more than a few games. But, like some, I would prefer to see something of a contest.

Trevisan of Italy has just beaten Kiki Bertens and will now play....Swiatek.

Just wonder, in some ways, whether this actually puts more pressure on the Pole who will now be favourite rather than the underdog she would have been against Bertens.

Could all these shocks be anything to do with the different circumstances this year? Lack of matchplay and fitness in a truncated season and tiny, or no crowds, might be playing a part.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:50 am

And another seed tumbles out to a qualifier. No 5 seed Bertens loses to Trevisan 6-4 6-4. The Italian will play Swiatek in the QF's.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:52 am

sirfredperry wrote:CC - I'd be surprised if Korda got more than a few games. But, like some, I would prefer to see something of a contest.


Granted. However, lets just remember that Nadal is the greatest clay courter of all-time ....period. If Korda is hammered I'd put it more down to Nadal brilliance than Korda's lack of talent. Line up the players on clay and Nadal sees them off at RG.
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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:04 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
lags72 wrote:Just in case Rafa wasn’t already comfortable enough on the RG clay, life was made as easy as possible in the shape of his unheralded opposition for the first three rounds. And now .... just as you may think things might / could / conceivably start to get (even a teeny weeny bit) tricky in the later stages of a Slam ......... he meets a guy ranked below 200 Smile

Have you see the multiple shocks already at RG this year? There are no walkovers.

Sure I have ..... and it’s a totally fair point in terms of the tourney overall. But I was talking specifically about Nadal - for whom these early RG rounds DO tend to be walkovers ; and perhaps none more so than this year. It would be great for the game if one of the young guns could put him to the sword ....... but the fact is, it just doesn’t look like happening.

Maybe next year ..... ?? chin

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:06 pm

Nadal had a real struggle to hold serve in an epic opening game - nearly 10 minutes in total - Korda was impressive with some bold tactics which had Nadal rattled momentarily. However, he weathered the storm and broke the next game, Korda is spraying the ball out now, Nadal is into the groove and normal service has resumed. We're probably now looking at straight sets with Korda winning maximum 6 games now. Again, Nadal not being tested and we'll have to wait til the Zverev match to get a real sense of where he's at.

Really been enjoying the womens' matches of late. Kvitova v Fernandez yesterday was real quality with some great power-hitting rallies, mixed up with a bit of net play. Saw the scary performance from Swiatek - like others have said Halep did not play bad, but was comprehensively outplayed in every department. Was also glad to see Trevisan get through (loved that backhand lob she did on match point against Bertens) - the gutsy Italian came through qualifying and has beaten Gauff, Sakkari and Bertens in main draw. Should be a good quarter-final with Swiatek - contrast of the Pole's power and the Italian's movement, counter-attacking and angles. Collins was also impressive to prevail against Muguruza, though the Spaniard was somewhat passive and subdued in that final set - not sure what's gone on with Muguruza's career - really looked like she was going to dominate early on.

Presume the bookies would now have Kenin as favourite?

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:12 pm

lags72 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
lags72 wrote:Just in case Rafa wasn’t already comfortable enough on the RG clay, life was made as easy as possible in the shape of his unheralded opposition for the first three rounds. And now .... just as you may think things might / could / conceivably start to get (even a teeny weeny bit) tricky in the later stages of a Slam ......... he meets a guy ranked below 200 Smile

Have you see the multiple shocks already at RG this year? There are no walkovers.

Sure I have ..... and it’s a totally fair point in terms of the tourney overall. But I was talking specifically about Nadal - for whom these early RG rounds DO tend to be walkovers ; and perhaps none more so than this year. It would be great for the game if one of the young guns could put him to the sword ....... but the fact is, it just doesn’t look like happening.

Maybe next year ..... ?? chin

Well its not his fault he is so good.

Obviously, competition is great and nothing beats a five sets scrap in a slam tournament but when you have someone as good as Nadal it will infrequently happen especially on clay. This may come back big-time to bite him later though when he faces the likes of Thiem.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:15 pm

Nadal takes the first set 6-1.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:22 pm

MrI - Yes, some of the women's matches have been excellent and I'm thoroughly enjoying the tournament this year.

Difficult to know who will eventually take the women's crown. Even with the shocks, we've still got seeds 3, 4 and 7 left and, with Halep in particular gone, all three will fancy their chances.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:29 pm

Sinner an early break up on Zverev. He leads 3-1.
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Post by Duty281 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:32 pm

The first week has just been a dull procession for Djoko and Nadal. Too many Grand Slams are like that for the very top-end players.

And just had a look at BET365, Kenin is at 9/1 to win the tournament (fourth favourite), behind Swiatek at 5/2, Kvitova at 10/3 and Svitolina at 4/1.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:49 pm

Nadal leads 6-1 6-1. Zverev in trouble score-wise and health-wise. He trails Sinner 6-3 and has had medical attention between games.
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:57 pm

The French open has never done anything for me and this year isn't helping in the slightest.

No one else will agree but I've always viewed it as the least meaningful of the four slams.


Last edited by Soul Requiem on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 12:57 pm

I suppose the only interest in early Rafa matches at RG is to have a bet on how many games his opponents can win.

Korda has two so far and there's, presumably, just one set to go.*

Bit surprised the bookies have Swiatek more of a favourite than Kvitova or Svitolina. May be there's been some heavy betting on the Pole and her odds have therefore shortened.

*Just been informed by Lady Perry that Korda's just broken the Rafa serve.

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 04 Oct 2020, 1:08 pm

@Soul, each one to their own - always loved the French Open and been lucky enough to have had chance to attend in person couple of times. Sure, Nadal is v dominant, but you can only admire his brilliance (and intense will to win) and at least he has two genuine rivals at the tournament these days in Djokovic and Thiem. Also, I find it helps to look at tournament as a whole and all the great matches that take place rather than just concentrating on the ones involving the big name players which aren't necessarily the best contests.

Also, given the lack of live sport for much of this year, and being stuck at home more than usual, I'm v grateful for the live tennis with ITV's decent coverage of French Open - need every little treat we can get this year!

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 1:12 pm

Zverev in trouble now. He trails Sinner 6-3 4-2.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 1:33 pm

Nadal wins 6-1 6-1 6-2. Sinner two sets up on Zverev now.
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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 1:59 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:The French open has never done anything for me and this year isn't helping in the slightest.

No one else will agree but I've always viewed it as the least meaningful of the four slams.

Not sure whether ‘least meaningful’ would be my exact choice of words, but I have to say I have never viewed RG in the same way as I do Wimbledon or the Aussie Open ..... which happen to rank as my own personal top two preferred events on the tour calendar.

Not that my ‘ranking’ counts for anything whatsoever in what will always be a totally subjective analysis.

That said, I don’t recall too many players - apart from undisputed clay king Rafa -  talking of RG as their dream Slam target. Although perhaps the old quip still holds true :

Q :  “Which of the four Slams is the most prestigious ?”
A :  “Whichever one I’m making my victory speech at” Very Happy

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 2:22 pm

A very sloppy game by Sinner at 4-4 gave Zverev the chance to serve for the third set. The German then missed numerous set points before eventually taking it to take the match into a 4th set.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 2:43 pm

Sinner looking set to sink Zverev in four sets as he leads 3-0 in the 4th set.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:03 pm

Some great tennis and rallies in this match. Sinner has one more task to complete the win - hold his nerve and serve and he will be in the QF's.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:09 pm

And Sinner has won 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3 in just over three hours. A really solid showing from the 19-year-old Italian. Zverev came up short at key moments in the match and can't complain about the result. Next up for Sinner a QF against Rafa Nadal.
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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:10 pm

Well done Sinner clap clap clap

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:17 pm

Zverev didn't really look like a winner today. He just didn't really produce the big shots to unsettle Sinner who put in a very solid performance.

Didn't see any of the Svitolina match but surprised Garcia didn't make more of a match of it.

The French is being played late this year, but for some of the big names it's come too early, with not enough time to get their fitness and clay-court play sorted out.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:18 pm

Well done Sinner but just shows once again the inconsistency of Zverev at the slams. He really should be beating a player ranked about 70 places behind him. Hopefully Sinner can play like that against Nadal but I fear he could be in for a hiding

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:25 pm

Thiem against Gaston just under way.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:39 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:Well done Sinner but just shows once again the inconsistency of Zverev at the slams. He really should be beating a player ranked about 70 places behind him. Hopefully Sinner can play like that against Nadal but I fear he could be in for a hiding

Well another - on paper - easy match for Rafa. The Spaniard hardly needs any help at RG but surely he's never had an easier path to a semi in a Slam.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:47 pm

Gaston leading 3-2 on serve against Thiem. The Frenchman doing what far too few do against Thiem - getting him up to the net with short balls.

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 04 Oct 2020, 3:55 pm

Great achievement for Sinner on his Roland Garros debut to reach the quarters. I don't think it will quite be a hiding against Nadal, but can't see Nadal dropping a set either - probably going to be tight 1st set followed by comfortable 2nd and 3rd set. When the draw was made I saw that Nadal potentially could have had Nishikori 3rd round, Fognini 4th round and Zverev in quarters. However, one of the quirks of tennis is the unpredictability and the way draws can open up, and thus it has been for Nadal this year. You can only beat what's in front of you though.




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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 4:26 pm

Thiem takes the first set 6-4.

Zverev had looked patchy anyway so doubt he'd have tested Rafa in the form he is in. Sinner beat Zverev on merit and played better and will probably be more of a match for Rafa than Zverev in my opinion.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:46 pm

Thiem two sets up but having to battle in the third. Gaston playing some inspired stuff as he did against Stan the Man.

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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:50 pm

sirfredperry wrote:
slashermcguirk wrote:Well done Sinner but just shows once again the inconsistency of Zverev at the slams. He really should be beating a player ranked about 70 places behind him. Hopefully Sinner can play like that against Nadal but I fear he could be in for a hiding

Well another - on paper - easy match for Rafa. The Spaniard hardly needs any help at RG but surely he's never had an easier path to a semi in a Slam.

Agree 100% with both these posts !

At least we’re seeing a genuinely competitive match here with Thiem v Gaston. Anyone who can make Thiem work this hard - and force him into a significant number of errors - is a serious talent.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:56 pm

Thiem saves three set points to level at 5-5. This Gaston is proving a real handful.

What I like is that the Frenchman has clearly been reading my posts about applying numerous drop shots. They are paying off.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:57 pm

Thiem might have won every match thus far in straight sets, but it appears to my eyes as if the Austrian is gradually running out of gas.

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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:59 pm

@ sfp .... for sure, these Gaston drop shots are proving to be killer blows !!

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 6:00 pm

Enthralling third set between Thiem and Gaston. Looking at Thiem he needs to get this done in three sets as he is looking physically shot. Thiem serving at 5-6 in the third set leading by two sets to love.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 6:03 pm

Gaston takes the third set 7-5 and Thiem now has problems.
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Post by lags72 Sun 04 Oct 2020, 6:03 pm

Anyone who has ever (albeit momentarily) doubted the skill & tennis ability required nowadays to achieve an official ATP ranking even in the hundreds need look no further than this match .........

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 04 Oct 2020, 6:06 pm

Gaston takes the third set 7-5. Thiem looking increasingly bewildered about just how to win a point against a guy playing out of his skin.

What's happening here? Is it the heavier balls, the lack of clay-court matches. Surely, lowly-ranked guys shouldn't be doing so well against top players.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 04 Oct 2020, 6:08 pm

This is my point on Nadal's 'easy route'.

Pre-match you'd find everyone saying that Thiem had a straight-forward match against Gaston. And look how it is turning out. Thiem now has problems as we go into a fourth set yet he was seen as one of the favourites for the title. Nadal has had similar type opponents yet brushed them aside with minimum fuss because that is his clay court supremacy and he's on a different level even to the likes of Thiem.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
CaledonianCraig
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