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2021 Australian Open

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Post by MrInvisible Sat 06 Feb 2021, 9:45 pm

First topic message reminder :

So, the draw has been made, with Thiem in Djokovic's side of the draw.  Can Thiem capitalise on his US Open success and go a step further than last year?  Is Nadal physically fit enough to last the distance?  Can some of the players who broke through last year like Sinner make a big impression?

On the womens' I'll probably go for Osaka, but we've had so many players breaking through in last few years it wouldn't be a surprise to get a new champion.

Notable 1st round matches include:

Dimitrov v Cilic
Shapovalov v Sinner
Anderson v Berretini
Evans v Norrie

Anyone up for a go at the Tennis Dream Team - http://tffdreamteam.com/ausopen/ - I have created a Mini-League - name is 606 and password is a59144bff611ab28b92b1b07a3a57835

I've decided to splash out on the princely sum of 99p for Eurosport streaming coverage, so for a change will be watching legitimately rather than those virus-ridden dodgy streaming sites I normally use!

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 17 Feb 2021, 8:22 pm

Just been watching some of the Rafa match highlights. Rafa seemed unable to really hit the ball past Tsitsi in the latter stages.

The Greek was moving well and hitting well and came up with some big serves at crucial moments in that final game.

Rafa's lack of pre-tournament matches, plus the effects of the back injury, may have come into play at the end. He was somehow able to overcome an unusual preparation back in the autumn before the French.

But Melbourne is not Paris as far as Rafa is concerned, May be the belief and confidence that would have seen him over the line in the French was not there in Australia.

Problem for Tsitsi now is being able to come down from the physical and emotional high of a win like this to be ready to take on an in-form Medvedev.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:14 am

Osaka proved a match too far for Serena whose performance was too error-strewn to make an impact on someone who has been hitting so well in this tournament.

Osaka will now be clear favourite against Brady who came thru in three v Muchova. But Brady gave Osaka a terrific match in the USO semi last year so she's not without hope.

I'd be surprised if the Russian qualifier even got a set against Djoko. If Karatsev does win it will be arguably the biggest upset in a Slam for many years (Karlovic beating Hewitt at Wimbledon? Rosol taking out Rafa?).

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 18 Feb 2021, 12:50 pm

All over in the Djoko semi final with Nole winning 3, 4 and 2.

Karatsev put up a good effort in the first set before one bad service game settled it.

He came back from 1-5 to 4-5 in the second before eventually succumbing. The scoreline was about what you would expect but the Russian beat four seeded players and can be very pleased with his efforts.

It should be a far closer contest in the other semi tomorrow. I'm tipping Medvedev to win but if he starts throwing a wobbler or Tsitsi produces some of the stuff he did to knock out Rafa then it could be close.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 18 Feb 2021, 7:37 pm

Watching highlights today showed just what a tremendous hitter Osaka is and why she's on such a remarkable winning run.

She stands very close to the baseline, takes the ball early, is equally impressive on the BH as on the FH and serves big. Some combination.

Serena's wave to the crowd at the end looked valedictory and she quit her press conference in tears.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 8:33 pm

Whoever wins tomorrow, I hope they leave themselves in good-enough shape to take on Djokovic in the final. A five-hour five-setter might be stimulating to watch, but it'll help make the Sunday game a procession.

Fingers crossed for Tsitsipas to win in 3/4 and to take down the Serb in the climax.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:38 pm

Duty281 wrote:Whoever wins tomorrow, I hope they leave themselves in good-enough shape to take on Djokovic in the final. A five-hour five-setter might be stimulating to watch, but it'll help make the Sunday game a procession.

Fingers crossed for Tsitsipas to win in 3/4 and to take down the Serb in the climax.

Certainly Djoko fans will hope tomorrow's winner will exhaust himself. Playing Thursday at the AO doesn't always help. I recall in 09 that Rafa had a fearfully-long match on the Friday against Verdasco but still outlasted Federer, whose semi had been on the Thursday, in a long, long final on the Sunday.

I'm still opting for Medvedev to make the final. We'll have at least one Briton in the men's doubles final as Salisbury and Ram take on J. Murray and Soares in the semi.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:28 am

Salisbury/Ram bt Murray/Soares to reach the final.

A break in the fifth game was enough for Medvedev to take the first set off Tsitsipas. The Greek did save set points before Med got it 6-4.

Going to be very difficult for Tsitsi now. You felt he had to win the first set to have much of a chance.

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Post by Duty281 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 11:49 am

And now Medvedev goes a break up in the second. He's been different class so far.

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Post by MrInvisible Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:02 pm

Tsitsipas looking like he's feeling effects of coming back from 2 sets down against Nadal. Medvedev really turning the screw with a double-break in 2nd set - he's reeling off return winners and dazzling passing shots, and hasn't faced a break point on serve yet.


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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:05 pm

pretty disappointed in Tsitsipas for this performance. Such an epic comeback vs Nadal and maybe that took it all out of him. It must be so frustrating beating an all time great and then losing in the next round.

It is clear from the crowd they all want Tsitispas to win this. While i dont really care who wins I find it very difficult to enjoy watching Medvedev play, seems kind of robotic and lacks any type of flair.

I hope Djokovic takes him down a peg in the final Smile

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:39 pm

Just when Tsitsipas looked down and out he warded off a double break and then broke for the first time to put the third set on serve.

How often do we see a player who fails to get the double break then drop his own serve?

I was rather hoping Med would win in straights to be in perfect shape to give Djoko a bit of a match in the final.

A Tsitsi revival will only be good news for Djoko.

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Post by MrInvisible Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:44 pm

The crowd have got involved (lots of Greek support) and it resembles a partisan Davis Cup crowd, helping Tsitsipas. Up to now, Medvedev has handled this v well though has just started showing a few signs of loss of concentration. Feels like it's heading for a tie-break, and Medvedev will be hoping to keep serving well to win this in straights.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:59 pm


Djokovic vs Medvedev Final it is so. Normally I would fancy Djokovic to win handy enough but I think Medvedev has a real chance. Hopefully it will be a great match and Novak wins. I really cant take to Medvedev at all, not my cup of tea. He is a very good player and super effective but just find it hard to watch his style of tennis

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:02 pm

Medvedev is a special talent and is on an incredible run - Paris, London, ATP cup...could he add Melbourne to the cv? I don’t see why not.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:09 pm

Huge relief for Med after a stirring fightback from Tsitsi who, almost, came back from the dead.

I know the Russian is not everybody's cup of tea but I was rooting for him today simply because a quick Medvedev win gives us the best chance of an interesting final.

Djoko, no doubt, was hoping that Tsitsi would fight back, prolong the match and, in the best case scenario, actually come thru in five and be exhausted for the final.

As it is, Djoko will face a comparatively fresh, in-form guy who might just give him a run for his money. You would think that barring Rafa and Thiem, Medvedev is about the toughest current opponent to come up against in a GS final.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:09 pm

Yes Medvedev run is very impressive, particularly given he was in woeful form leading into those tournaments. It reminds me a bit of late 2010 and early 2011 when Djokovic had only one slam from back in 2008 and then something clicked when he won the Davis cup for Serbia. He then went on that crazy run winning something like 40 matches in a row including oz open, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome. He would also go on to win Wimbledon and the US open before burning out later that year. Its amazing what a bit of momentum can do and Medvedev is in one of those 'Zones' at the moment.

The challenge for Medvedev will be how he handles things if matches start to go pear shaped. He can be quite volatile but he showed at the US open that he is resilient when going two sets down to Nadal before fighting back to a 5th set before eventually losing. That experience will have taught him a lot.

You could probably put Medvedev as slight favourite for the final because he is in much better form than Novak. On the flip side Djokovic has 17 slam wins and has won 8/8 finals in Melbourne, that will give him huge confidence. Very much a 50/50 call based on Novaks form being much more patchy

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:10 pm

Medvedev is more than capable of beating Djokovic (has he stopped complaining about the fake injury yet?) in the final and hopefully he does just that.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:15 pm

interesting comment from Medvedev, Novak has more to lose in the final than me. Not sure I totally agree on that, if Novak loses he still has 8 Australian open titles and 17 slams.

If Medvedev loses, he still has 0 slams. I am inclined to say I would feel more pressure trying to win my first slam but these are all mind games Very Happy

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:16 pm


Why would he fake an injury when he was two sets up in the match? that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Surely if you were to fake an injury in any sport it would be when you are losing!!???

Soul Requiem wrote:Medvedev is more than capable of beating Djokovic (has he stopped complaining about the fake injury yet?) in the final and hopefully he does just that.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:21 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:
Why would he fake an injury when he was two sets up in the match? that  makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Surely if you were to fake an injury in any sport it would be when you are losing!!???

Soul Requiem wrote:Medvedev is more than capable of beating Djokovic (has he stopped complaining about the fake injury yet?) in the final and hopefully he does just that.

You're right, it was a completely legitimate abdominal injury that he's shown no discomfort from since? I want whatever Djokovic is 'taking' to recover that quickly.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:24 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:interesting comment from Medvedev, Novak has more to lose in the final than me. Not sure I totally agree on that, if Novak loses he still has 8 Australian open titles and 17 slams.

If Medvedev loses, he still has 0 slams. I am inclined to say I would feel more pressure trying to win my first slam but these are all mind games Very Happy  
It’s mind games from the Russian. Djokovic threw away New York then got destroyed by Nadal in Paris. Djokovic is usually pencilled in to win Melbourne at a canter, but he’s probably got a little more pressure as he’s trying to overhaul Nadal/Federer.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:26 pm

How do you know he has had no discomfort since? Are you in his players box or something? Another follower that is fed up with Djokovic beating your favourite players time and again laughing

Meanwhile Novak regardless of Sunday will head home with a minimum of 17 slams in the bag and with a winning record against all the top players. You keep sniping though because i am sure he will really care

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:28 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:How do you know he has had no discomfort since? Are you in his players box or something? Another follower that is fed up with Djokovic beating your favourite players time and again laughing

Meanwhile Novak regardless of Sunday will head home with a minimum of 17 slams in the bag and with a winning record against all the top players. You keep sniping though because i am sure he will really care

He does seem to care though but it's cute that you jump straight to his defence, i'm sure he's very grateful laughing

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:31 pm

I still wouldn't make Medvedev even slight favourite but he DEFINITELY has a good chance.

I'm still expecting Djoko to win. It's difficult to think of him playing poorly in a GS final.

You could say he was not at his best on a very hot day at Wimbledon when Andy won and after Djoko had had a long semi in great heat v delpo.

Djoko got blown away by Stan the Man at the French in 2015 but he's usually been at the top of his game in GS title matches.


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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:35 pm

Yeah I bet he really cares what keyboard warriors think with 17 slams and about 300 million in the bank account. He must be really concerned. How do you explain why he has a winning record against all his biggest rivals? Lets just list off some stats just to remind you:

17 slams
About to pass out Federer for most weeks ever as world number one
Only player in the open era to win 4 slams in a row
3 wins out of 3 in Wimbledon final against Federer (his best surface)
1 of only two players to beat Nadal at French open and the most wins of any player vs Nadal on clay
Only player to win the Golden Master (winning all Master series) oh and he has done that twice
Winning record vs Federer, Nadal, Murray and all the top player
Toughest opponents to win his grand slam finals (vast majority were against Federer, Nadal and Murray)

Anyway, keep up with the bashing. I think his legacy in tennis is rather secure

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:37 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:Yeah I bet he really cares what keyboard warriors think with 17 slams and about 300 million in the bank account. He must be really concerned. How do you explain why he has a winning record against all his biggest rivals? Lets just list off some stats just to remind you:

17 slams
About to pass out Federer for most weeks ever as world number one
Only player in the open era to win 4 slams in a row
3 wins out of 3 in Wimbledon final against Federer (his best surface)
1 of only two players to beat Nadal at French open and the most wins of any player vs Nadal on clay
Only player to win the Golden Master (winning all Master series) oh and he has done that twice
Winning record vs Federer, Nadal, Murray and all the top player
Toughest opponents to win his grand slam finals (vast majority were against Federer, Nadal and Murray)

Anyway, keep up with the bashing. I think his legacy in tennis is rather secure

You seem to care though so that's good enough for me, I seem to have really struck a nerve with you again. Thou shalt not take Djokovics name in vain.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:42 pm


Yeah its gonna devastate me, better go and console myself laughing

Now you get back to sniping about a tennis player online from your computer and phone

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Feb 2021, 3:15 pm

Just seen that incredible BH down the line practically played off his boot laces by Medvedev to break at the end of the match. Remarkable shot.

Bet the BBC were pleased that the Greek made a bit of a fight of it in that third set as there wouldn't have been too many highlights to show.


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Post by theslosty Fri 19 Feb 2021, 4:37 pm

I don't have much against Djokovic nor Medvedev and can appreciate both but I don't really think we'll see a classic final. It could be close, it could be 5 sets and there will no doubt be long rallies but their styles are too similar for me. They both have an ability to turn into a 'wall' so it could just be a case of who cracks first or who has more stamina.

Hopefully I'm wrong though and one of them will try to mix it up.
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Post by Oioi Fri 19 Feb 2021, 5:08 pm

Agree with theslosty, can see the match up playing out a bit like Djokovic-Murray matches back in the day, which even as a big Murray fan were dull to watch except on the odd occasion where one or both of them played more aggressively.

I'm finding myself becoming a fan of Medvedev. He has what I would say is a fairly unique ability to hit the ball flat but with amazing consistency. He also often makes massive tactical changes mid-match if things aren't working for him which I again find to be fairly unique. On top of that, I love what I've seen of his personality so far, he doesn't seem to be overly PR trained and gives off a genuine and intelligent vibe.

I really can't call the final but I will be rooting hard for Medvedev. Whatever happens, I see him winning 5+ slams. You heard it here first!

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 19 Feb 2021, 7:05 pm

Just seen some of the highlights. Medvedev hit some amazing BH winners but I felt that Tsitsipas played into the Russian's hands by constantly cross-courting on to that strong BH.

I would have liked to have seen the Greek going down the line a bit more on to the Russian's FH.

Medvedev's style is, admittedly, not all that graceful. But he's worked out what's best for him, he gets down to the ball well and he keeps his head down and watches the ball carefully. There are worse ways to play.

While a case can be made out for Medvedev to win on Sunday, I reckon few would bet against Osaka making it four GS triumphs tomorrow.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 19 Feb 2021, 7:13 pm


I think Medvedev will almost certainly win a handful of slams. I can see him ending up with about 3-4 slams, assuming he stays motivated and relatively injury free.

If I was to rank in order who i think is most likely to finish with the most slams outside of the Big 3 and now that they are winding down:

1) Thiem
2) Medvedev
3) Tsitsipas
4) Zverev
5) Rublev

Thiem has the potential to win 4-5 slams but his big challenge is that clay is his strongest surface and Nadal could keep winning the French until 2025 by which stage Thiem will be in his early 30s.

The other big question is who the hell will be the main contenders at Wimbledon. Federer has won 8, Djokovic has won 5 and Murray had great grass pedigree but injuries have really hampered him now. There are very few good crass court players these days and i dont recall any of the above really contending at Wimbledon up to this point.

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Post by Oioi Fri 19 Feb 2021, 8:31 pm

To my mind Medvedev's consistent flat hitting game should translate well to grass, the key will be getting enough experience on the surface given how short that part of the season is. I would say he'll have to play closer to the baseline though, and I'm not sure how comfortable he is with that. That said, Tsitsipas is perhaps the more obvious choice with regards to the next gen's potential on grass.

Again, I think the short grass season and general lack of training on grass courts from junior through to the pro ranks means it can take players many seasons to figure the surface out. I suspect we'll start seeing better grass showings from the next gen in future seasons.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 20 Feb 2021, 12:20 pm

Osaka, to hardly anyone's surprise, has taken the women's title, winning 4 and 3.

Apparently, it was all a bit error-strewn with neither player playing that well but Osaka still having too much for her opponent.

That makes it four GS for Osaka which takes her clear of some of the other multi-Slam winners. As Russell Fuller has been saying on the BBC, Osaka, at 23, could well end with a significant number of Slam trophies.

As for tomorrow, it's intriguing that so many think Medvedev will win. I wouldn't go that far, as I think that Djoko is still favourite. I'm just hoping for a good match.

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Post by Oioi Sat 20 Feb 2021, 3:57 pm

Just watched highlights of Djokovic and Medvedev's 2020 ATP Cup match. Looked like a phenomenal match, and though Djokovic won it, I actually believe even more in Medvedev's chances now. From what I could see, Djokovic had to play at pretty much his absolute highest level he's currently capable of (imo) to just scrape the win and it's very possible that Medvedev has improved since. I'm not saying Med will win, but Djokovic will have to be at his top level and show better patience in rallies than he has recently.

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Post by theslosty Sat 20 Feb 2021, 6:15 pm

Of course they had a more recent meeting at the O2 last November where Medvedev dismantled Djokovic 6-3 6-3. I'd be shocked if Novak didn't put up more of a fight tomorrow however.
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 20 Feb 2021, 7:27 pm

The O2 match was the the middle-of-three round robin match which Djoko could afford to lose. So not too much can be read into that.

Djoko's amazing run at the AO has to end up sometime. But I don't think it will be this year.


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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 20 Feb 2021, 8:14 pm

The world tour finals throws in some very strange results. The group stages can be so random. I recall a few years back Federer beat Djokovic in group stages in straight sets and they then met in the final again and Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets. That tournament always puzzles me in terms of very random results in the group stages. It’s also at the end of the season and players can be burned out.

Medvedev the marginal favourite tomorrow based on his better form coming into the match. I see brad Gilbert and McEnroe are going for Djokovic though

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 20 Feb 2021, 9:09 pm

Let's hope the men's final is less error-strewn, and closer, than the women's.

Osaka probably played her worst match of the tournament in the final but was still good enough to win in straight sets. Brady was in good at times. At others, she showed why she is not, at least not yet, very highly ranked.

Still can't get my head round why people are saying that Medvedev is favourite, or marginally favourite, or slight favourite. He's not. Djoko is the favourite. He's number one, he's 8-0 in AO finals, for Pete's sake. He is playing a guy who, although on a sensational winning streak, has never won a Slam and only been in one Slam final.

Yes, Medvedev has a chance. He may even win. But he's NOT the favourite.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 20 Feb 2021, 9:51 pm

I probably give Djokovic the narrow edge, based primarily on his experience. From what I've seen, Medvedev has played better tennis through the tournament than Djokovic, but that will count for little tomorrow.

Bookmakers mostly have Djokovic at 4/5, Medvedev evens. Tight.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 21 Feb 2021, 11:58 am

After an exchange of breaks at the start of the match, Djokovic got another break at the end of the set to take it 7-5.

As I write Djoko is 4-2 up in the second and this looks like going only one way.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:02 pm

When did he fail a drugs test? Given they are tested constantly I think you are talking nonsense. By that logic Federer is too by still competing at near 40 and Nadal given his record in long matches

quote="Nathaniel Jacobs"]Has the ever been a bigger drugs cheat than Djokovic? An embarrassment to professional tennis [/quote]

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Post by Oioi Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:05 pm

Djokovic heavily dictating the play here. Been good quality at times but I feel both players could actually play significantly better. I personally feel the cool conditions have played a part in helping Djoko's return, giving him a strong foothold in the point.

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Post by Oioi Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:10 pm

I reckon doping is rife in sport, including tennis, and if one of the top players is doing it then they probably all are. Look at cycling, where it was accepted that you simply had to dope or you had no chance. Lance never failed a test, so that's not much of an argument to be fair. Perhaps noteworthy that Djoko has always been on the side of the doper when caught e.g. Troicki, Sharapova.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:13 pm

Are you bitter much!!??

Nathaniel Jacobs wrote:When has Federer used fake injuries in his career? Djokovic roided up to the teeth. ‘Torn stomach muscle’ what a coward Djokovic is.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:15 pm

Been an odd sort of match. First set was tightly contested, Medvedev unable to adequately punish Djokovic's second serve. Then the Russian got a good break at the start of the second only to fall apart completely, which was somewhat bizarre.

And Djokovic breaks at the start of the third. Medvedev's mental game has been appalling, can't hope to win a Grand Slam in that frame of mind.

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Post by Oioi Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:27 pm

Djokovic has exposed Medvedev's forehand, it really doesn't hold up well if hit to with pace. Good enough to beat pretty much anyone else but he'll need to improve it to beat Novak.

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Post by Oioi Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:44 pm

What a disappointing match. I guess many of us were forgetting just how perfect the night conditions on Rod Laver are for Novak's game. Medvedev was far too defensive went into his shell and was getting pushed around much like Murray in his first final against Djoko. You absolutely have to take the initiative and Med did seem to realise that towards the end of the match but it was too little too late. He'll need to improve his offense going forward.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:44 pm

Absolute masterclass from Djokovic. Superb performance, his return of serve is just ridiculous. Didnt allow Medvedev breathe

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 21 Feb 2021, 12:50 pm

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic on winning his 9th Australian Open title and 18th slam title. Incredible achievement. He just had too much for Medvedev. It again sees him edging towards Nadal and Federer's slam totals.
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