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Autumn 2020 Tournaments and World Tour Final

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 7:45 am

First topic message reminder :

Thanks to everyone for a terrific response to the 2020 RG topic.

There's tournaments this week in St Petersburg and Cologne. In Russia, Cameron Norrie has recorded two excellent wins but Dan Evans went down to Stan the Man despite having three MPs.

Andy Murray had a disappointing 6-4, 6-4 loss to Verdasco (who obviously did hear the drums) in Cologne. He didn't serve very well and although he fought hard it was not a great display. They are playing again in Cologne next week and Andy is scheduled to appear again.

Six players have qualified for what will be the last London WTF - Djoko, Rafa, Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev. So just the two places remain. It's unclear just how much more Rafa will play this season. He sometimes skips the 02.


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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 12:17 am

Daniil Medvedev remains unbeaten after beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-3. The Argentine will be disheartened but he need only look at Medvedev, he went 0-3 last year as well.

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 1:09 pm

So who is everyone predicting for semi finals today? I think:
Thiem in 3
Nadal in 3

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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 4:07 pm

Nice tense tie break unfolding!

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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 4:14 pm

It's remarkable how Novak manages to hang on in matches like this. He's still so tough to put away but to me his best days have been behind him for a couple of years now. He's been just about been getting away with it but a 1% improvement from the younger lot is all it will take for him to lose these tight matches more often.

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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 4:26 pm

Good level of tennis from both in this decider so far!

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 4:54 pm

Thiem leads on serve 6-5 in the third. But there have been far too many forehand UEs from the Austrian.

Terrific match, though.


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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 5:06 pm

How did Thiem do that? 4-0 down in the tiebreak.

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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 5:10 pm

Thiem wins on his 6th match point! Would have been a very tough one to lose. Looking forward to another potential barnstormer later!

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 5:20 pm

We'll have a new WTF winner now.

Thiem did well just to stay in the third set, let alone win it, after the disappearance of the four MPs in the second set tiebreak.

Djoko is so rock solid in these situations that I just couldn't see him losing from 4-0 up in the final breaker.

There was a sensational cross-court BH from Thiem to get to 6-4 in the final tiebreak. He did hit some wonderful BH winners but there were far too many UEs on the forehand. (My advice to him - run round your FH and play BHs)

This, now, surely, is Rafa's best chance to win the whole thing as he won't have to face Djoko, although he still has two tricky matches to get through.


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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 5:43 pm

I suppose you would have to say this is Rafa's best chance to win the tour finals but for me he's not the favourite to win from here as both his potential upcoming matches could go either way. Finding it hard to call a tournament winner but if pressed I'd go with Medvedev.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 6:18 pm

I agree it's still going to be tough for Rafa. But in previous years it's always been Rog or Djoko that has stood between him and the WTF title.

Going back to the Thiem match today, I was going to ask, before Thiem recovered from 4-0 down in the tiebreak, just how many times Djoko has come back from MP down to win a match.

He's done it two or three times against Federer and there may be other matches when he's come back from the dead.

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Post by naxroy on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 6:37 pm

Great semi by both Thiem and Novak

So happy for everything Thiem achieves

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 9:12 pm

Sirfredperry, djokovic is the master of coming back from match point down. 3 times vs federer in slams (wimbledon final and 2010 + 2011 us open semis), he saved about 5 vs Tsonga in french open QF in 2011, saved 5 or 6 vs Murray in Shanghai masters final, he saved about 6 vs Verdasco one year too and he did it to Gulbis back in the day. He also has done it to Del Potro and Berdych.....Countless other matches he did it too. He is incredibly resilient

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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 9:46 pm

This match hasn't quite lived up to what I was hoping for. My call of Medvedev to take the tournament looking a but silly now. Been looking out for tactics and see that Rafa has capitalised on a major weakness I didn't realise Med has - difficulty handling short sliced balls. He hits very flat so it seems to be difficult for him to get those balls up and down and make it difficult enough for the opponent.

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Post by Oioi on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 10:08 pm

OK embarrassing myself a bit here, Med takes the 2nd and we have a match!

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Post by naxroy on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 12:33 am

well done medvedev

Sorry for rafa. Seems this is not for him


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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 8:00 am

You have to think it's now going to be extremely difficult for Rafa to ever win the WTF.

He had a great chance this year. The virus had meant a shortened season so he was not overtired. There was no Federer and Djoko had already clinched the year-end number one.

But once again he came up short. The Big 3 have been so dominant for so long that it's easy to overlook the fact that the years are mounting up for them and that there will be more and more occasions when they are vulnerable.

Also, players like Thiem are not scarred by numerous defeats by the big boys in the same way as the likes of Roddick and Ferrer were in the past.

Thiem's head-to-head against those at the very top is quite respectable. Medvedev last night was probably buoyed by the way he battled against Rafa in the 2019 USO final.

For the final today, I guess Thiem is slight favourite but it really could go either way.


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Post by Oioi on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 8:05 am

Is it too early to call an end to the reign of the big 3? Probably, but I do see the younger lot winning at least one slam next year. That said, you'd think Rafa would be good for at least another couple Frenchies and the younger players haven't shown much pedigree on grass yet.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 9:00 am

Oioi wrote:Is it too early to call an end to the reign of the big 3? Probably, but I do see the younger lot winning at least one slam next year. That said, you'd think Rafa would be good for at least another couple Frenchies and the younger players haven't shown much pedigree on grass yet.

Of course, winning the WTF and triumphing in a Slam are two very different things. The last three WTF winners are still Slamless.

You could also say that since none of the Big 3 have won the WTF since 2015 that winning it is something of a false dawn.

To me the slam that is most likely to go to a non-Big 3 player in 2021 is the USO. Djoko must be favourite for the AO, while Rafa, as long as he is fit, is always going to win the French. As you say above, the younger guns are not great grass lovers. So that just leaves New York.

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 10:18 am

Hope Thiem wins the final. Medvedev doesn't strike me as the most likeable chap. I think Thiem could become world number one next year. He is a brilliant player and right up there among big 3 now in terms of being a threat at all tournaments. He has so much fire power and yet his ground strokes are solid, you feel he will make a lot more winners than errors.

I think he could go on to win about 5-6 slams in his career. So much better than the rest of the field outside big 3. He has a very dominant record vs Federer and though he has a losing record vs Nadal and Djokovic he is always super competitive


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Post by naxroy on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 10:53 am

sirfredperry wrote:You have to think it's now going to be extremely difficult for Rafa to ever win the WTF.

He had a great chance this year. The virus had meant a shortened season so he was not overtired. There was no Federer and Djoko had already clinched the year-end number one.

But once again he came up short. The Big 3 have been so dominant for so long that it's easy to overlook the fact that the years are mounting up for them and that there will be more and more occasions when they are vulnerable.

Also, players like Thiem are not scarred by numerous defeats by the big boys in the same way as the likes of Roddick and Ferrer were in the past.

Thiem's head-to-head against those at the very top is quite respectable. Medvedev last night was probably buoyed by the way he battled against Rafa in the 2019 USO final.

For the final today, I guess Thiem is slight favourite but it really could go either way.


I think he wont ever win it. But I guess he can live with it. novemeber indoor hardcourts are clearly his Achilles heel

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 12:22 pm

The next gen debate is interesting but there’s two leading contenders Thiem but is he really next gen? He’s 27 and he’s pretty much bang in the middle of the big 3 and the next gen. The other leading candidate is Medvedev, along with Zverev these two are the only current players outside the big 3 with 3 masters titles. Medvedev clearly has the mental powers to be the top player of his era.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 1:09 pm

In this tournament both Thiem and Medvedev have both beaten Djokovic and Nadal:
Medvedev vs Djokovic: 6–3, 6–3
Medvedev vs Nadal: 3-6, 7-6, 6-3

Thiem vs Nadal: 7-6, 7-6
Thiem vs Djokovic: 7-5, 6-7, 7-6

Looking at the results Medvedev has been the most convincing so far, winning all his matches and dropping only one set.

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 3:15 pm

Fair point but Djokovic played abysmal against Medvedev, it was like he didnt want to be there. I hope Thiem thumps Medvedev

quote="No name Bertie"]In this tournament both Thiem and Medvedev have both beaten Djokovic and Nadal:
Medvedev vs Djokovic: 6–3, 6–3
Medvedev vs Nadal: 3-6, 7-6, 6-3

Thiem vs Nadal: 7-6, 7-6
Thiem vs Djokovic: 7-5, 6-7, 7-6

Looking at the results Medvedev has been the most convincing so far, winning all his matches and dropping only one set.[/quote]

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Post by naxroy on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 3:17 pm

I think this is a great match we have tonight

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 6:10 pm

I would like Thiem to win but wouldn’t begrudge Medvedev if he lands this trophy. If Medvedev serves at 70%+ it’s very difficult to beat him.

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Post by Oioi on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 6:29 pm

Agree we'll be in for a treat tonight. I really feel tennis is in a good place at the moment with a wide array of genuine contenders.

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 7:20 pm

I find Medvedev boring to watch but I would agree tennis is in a good place. I really feared for mens tennis a year or two ago with nobody really challenging big 3. Definitely more players coming through but Thiem a level above the others.

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Post by Oioi on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 7:41 pm

I don't know how anyone could find Medvedev boring to watch, he does just about everything out there, even trying serve and volley behind his second serve on break point down! Maybe it's the lack of emotional response to winning rather than his actual tennis?

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Post by lags72 on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 8:39 pm

So Medvedev has the clear edge now .... and what IS also undeniable is the fact that this very last episode of the twelve-year run in London has produced some extremely high quality play throughout the week, not least the two spectacular semis.

So sad to see the event move. Turin obviously did a good job of selling their product to the ATP - but I do feel it was much more of a ‘political’ decision than a rational one, and they could very likely come to regret it. Very hard to see attendance numbers (this unique year apart, of course), and general enthusiasm,  to rival those of the 02.

Can take some comfort from the many good memories here, and that London is going out on a high ..... Cool

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 8:48 pm

The finals should never have been in London, as per the ATP website the tour finals are used to develop the game in other countries. London holds Wimbledon yet the ATP allowed these championships to be held in London for 12 years.
I don’t believe Torino should’ve got the tournament either. Places like Mexico, India, South Africa etc would’ve been better.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 9:33 pm

A very good final with some excellent tennis and a good fightback by Medvedev who hung on in there in the second set.

The Russian was much the better player in the final set, serving well, moving well and coming in to the net. Thiem may have been a little tired at the end, but kept fighting.

One thing I noticed was the too many forehand UEs from Thiem when he was hitting down the line over the high part of the net. He never looked like missing with his BH.

Both guys got round the court magnificently and, generally, the hitting under pressure was terrific.

So we have a new WTF champ for the fifth year running. Medvedev has had a terrific end to the season, showing that last year's success was no flash in the pan.

Now on to Melbourne - but when will it start?

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 10:45 pm

Strange season for Medvedev, until the last three weeks had little success sparring from the US Open semi.

Roll forward to today 10 match win streak picking up both Paris and London.

As for Melbourne, if it happens, Djokovic, Thiem and Medvedev are the ones whom will win it.

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Post by slashermcguirk on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 11:02 pm

That was the strangest and most awkward prize ceremony I have ever witnessed. You just have to laugh! The bbc panel just looking at each other after thinking what the heck just happened??

Congrats to medvedev. I just find his style of play so boring and he comes across so dull. Thiem on the other hand is a joy to watch. He is some player and will be a future number one

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 23 Nov 2020, 7:26 am

Medvedev's style is a bit strange, but he must be very difficult to play against.

I thought Thiem was often too eager to pull the trigger, especially on his forehand which, really, aint a patch on his BH.

The possible key to Medvedev's success continuing is his temperament. He can be prone to throwing all his toys out of the pram.

I thought he would be OK last night when he shared a wry smile with Thiem after an outrageous netcord on set point in the first set.

Although it's been a truncated season, it's still been a good one, albeit almost entirely without Federer and hardly any appearances from Murray.

I, too, think Thiem will be number one eventually and a prediction above that he will win 5-6 Slams could well be accurate. He could even win more than that.

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Post by theslosty on Mon 23 Nov 2020, 12:58 pm

Medvedev is a bit unorthodox but I actually enjoy his very Russian attitude of absolutely not caring if anyone likes him. I have to say that incident at Wimbledon 2 or 3 years ago when he took pound coins from his bag and threw them at the umpire's feet was obviously petulant but also hilarious.

Thiem is brilliant but there's still a place for a maverick like Medvedev
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Post by slashermcguirk on Mon 23 Nov 2020, 4:01 pm

Apparently Medvedev and Tsitsipas really cant stand each other. Total opposite personalities and playing styles. I think I would certainly pay to watch Thiem and Tsitsipas ahead of Medvedev. I wouldnt be a big fan of zverev either.

All these players bring something though and suddenly tennis looks like it might have a future after the big 3 if still nowhere near as good or entertaining. For me the battles between the big 3 and also murray and Wawrinka were fantastic

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Post by slashermcguirk on Mon 23 Nov 2020, 4:03 pm

Apparently Medvedev and Tsitsipas really cant stand each other. Total opposite personalities and playing styles. I think I would certainly pay to watch Thiem and Tsitsipas ahead of Medvedev. I wouldnt be a big fan of zverev either.

All these players bring something though and suddenly tennis looks like it might have a future after the big 3 if still nowhere near as good or entertaining. For me the battles between the big 3 were just incredible. Murray and Wawrinka were also super in their prime.

I just dont get as excited by the next gen but I am just relieved there are more players breaking through

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