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The French Open 2021

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 29 May 2021, 4:40 pm

First topic message reminder :

RG starts tomorrow (Sun May 30) and such is the long list of women's champs that two GS winners - Azarenka and Kuznetsova - will meet on the first day.

Thiem, Zverev, Tsitsipas and Osaka are all in action on the opening day. We won't be hearing about the Osaka match, at least not from her as she's shunning the Press. It's a decision that has NOT had the backing of the other players.

To me, Rafa is favourite as he is every year at RG. He managed to win last year having hardly played on clay. The draw means there cannot be a repeat of a Djoko-Rafa final. Federer returns to GS action but he's not expecting, or expected, to get far.

So who will Rafa meet in the final assuming he can get past Djoko? Normally you'd fancy Thiem but he's been a bit out of sorts of late. Of course, this could work in his favour as he'll be fresher than some of the others.

As for the women, who will be minus Halep, it's anyone's guess. You could probably make a case out for any of around a dozen of them having a good chance and then even then the title could go to someone outside that list.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 8:46 pm

Nadal breaks back 3-3. The tennis is living up to the billing now.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 8:49 pm

Djokovic 4-3 breaks to love. The match seems there for the Serbian

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 8:52 pm

That Djoko wide angled cross court forehand to Nadal's backhand has been extremely good. That said, I feel there's definitely something not quite right with Nadal.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 8:59 pm

5-3 Djokovic saves BP. Nadal seems to be out of ideas.

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Post by laverfan Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:00 pm

5-3 for Djokovic now. He seems to be weathering it quite well. However, the match is far from over, knowing Nadal.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:09 pm

It’s going to be hilarious when they try and kick the crowd out in 50 minutes. It’s a fantastic match but that will just top off the tension - before they have to finish it off in silence.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:09 pm

Nadal breaks back 5-5. Incredible scenes. Djokovic plays a sloppy point at 30-0. Promptly loses 4 points in a row.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:10 pm

Turning point? Novak misses easy shot which would have given him three set points and Rafa breaks. 5-5.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:17 pm

This is a cracker of a match now. So tense!

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:17 pm

Some of the points are quite staggering. Literally if you didn’t see it you wouldn’t believe it.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:18 pm

Nadal saves 3 BPs 6-5

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:19 pm

Absolutely Jeff, that point where Djoko ended up lobbing Nadal while running backwards on the stretch in particular was just spectacular!

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:21 pm

You feel that if Rafa wins this third set he'll take the match. Some remarkable rallies together with some alarming misses.
I'm watching on ITV4 where the commentary is, shall we say, a little OTT. Even Petchey, who's normally analytically good, is coming out with drivel.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:24 pm

Petchey always mixes in good insight with horrendous pre-scripted analogies I find. Still quite like him regardless for his enthusiasm though.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:27 pm

Tie break time

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:28 pm

Set point saved with a brave drop shot, though I felt Nadal sort of half-hesitated running for it in his first few steps? Tie break time.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:36 pm

Nadal misses a sitter!

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:39 pm

Djokovic wins the tie break.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:41 pm

Djoko the deserved winner of the 3rd, played some astonishing tennis and barely gifted anything. Does Rafa have enough in the tank to get this to a 5th?!

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:43 pm

Ha - they’ve given emergency permission for the crowd to stay. Disappointing as the reaction to trying to kick them out would have been epic but the right decision for the match.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:43 pm

Wow the curfew has been extended

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:43 pm

A terrible volley by Rafa turns the tiebreak in Djoko's favour and he takes the third set....and the crowd is (ooh wait a minute, they are not on their way home, they've been given a reprieve and they are being allowed to stay on despite the curfew).

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Post by theslosty Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:45 pm

Haha I didn't think they'd do that.

Novak is causing Nadal a lot more trouble than I had predicted, I had invested quite heavily in Nadal winning the tournament at evens and was feeling very comfortable about it until now
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Post by theslosty Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:46 pm

Oioi wrote:Petchey always mixes in good insight with horrendous pre-scripted analogies I find. Still quite like him regardless for his enthusiasm though.
He grates on me a bit too meanwhile Mullins is just a bit generic, much preferred the Courier-Santoro duo for the first semi final
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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:48 pm

Nadal breaks first game fourth set 1-0

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:55 pm

Nadal holds from 0-30. 2-0

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:57 pm

Djokovic holds to love 1-2

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 9:58 pm

Rafa serving pretty poorly, in trouble in pretty much every service game.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:00 pm

So who was the last player to take two sets off Rafa at the French? Probably Djoko when he won in 2015.
I won't believe Rafa is beaten at RG until Djoko actually wins MP but the way the Serb is playing I think he can do it. Probably best to prepare for an epic fifth set.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:01 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:Wow the curfew has been extended

That decision should feature as one of the most worthy sporting highlights of the year. Whatever the sport, the spectator who has paid money for a seat at the stadium should be king.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:02 pm

Djokovic breaks back. 2-2. Nadal 1st serve % is terrible in set 4.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:04 pm

I don’t get a curfew in a pandemic anyway. Can understand pubs closing etc but hardly like they are creating any greater risk by wandering around at midnight compared to the middle of the day.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:04 pm

Djokovic holds to love 3-2

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:05 pm

Novak looks unbeatable today. Everything Rafa can produce, he is doing better.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:10 pm

This might age like milk but I think Nadal looks done.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:11 pm

Djokovic breaks again 4-2

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:16 pm

Djokovic holds 5-2

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:18 pm

A game away!

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:21 pm

Djokovic wins 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2. Djokovic won the last 6 games in a row

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:24 pm

Djoko was phenomenal. However, don't know about you guys but I got the impression Nadal was clearly struggling with something all match

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:26 pm

Whatever was wrong with the Spaniard, it still took Djokovic over 4hrs to see him off.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:26 pm

After an epic third set, Djoko ran away with it in the fourth. Rafa was even two games up but Novak just seemed to have the answer to everything.

I think this must rank as Djoko's greatest win. To beard the lion in his den after giving him a set start was incredible. The Serb now has the chance to become the first man in the Open Era to win each of the Slams twice.

I thought last autumn's RG was the time when Rafa could be toppled so for Novak to do it now, during a normal clay-court season and in warm weather was remarkable.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:27 pm

Oioi wrote:Djoko was phenomenal. However, don't know about you guys but I got the impression Nadal was clearly struggling with something all match

Given the standard of tennis, I totally disagree. Maybe something caught up with him at the end after the deflation of the 3rd set tie-break.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:30 pm

Yeah, didn’t see any real sign of a problem for Rafa. Playing at night at RG suits Novak a lot better than playing Rafa during the day. It was very similar to a lot of their non RG clay matches over the years. Also Rafa is now 35 and even he has to slow down at some point.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:30 pm

What do we reckon regarding Nadal's future? How many RG's does he have left in him? Can't help feeling he could have a steep decline at some point given the mileage he has. Even now that he plays more aggressively, he still plays an overall very physical game. As for Novak, he won't be looking any further than Tsitsipas on Sunday, and has the chance to complete the first half of the calendar slam!

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:34 pm

Think if Nadal wins Wimbledon or New York he could call it quits.

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Post by Just John Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:35 pm

Nadal won’t win another Wimbledon

Think many expected this at some point. Novak was always going to have a GS acceleration, that would see him surpass the GS totals of RF/RN. Still has to overcome Tsitisipas, but this looks like the start of it, doing it in the Spaniards back yard.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:36 pm

sirfredperry wrote:After an epic third set, Djoko ran away with it in the fourth. Rafa was even two games up but Novak just seemed to have the answer to everything.

I think this must rank as Djoko's greatest win. To beard the lion in his den after giving him a set start was incredible. The Serb now has the chance to become the first man in the Open Era to win each of the Slams twice.

I thought last autumn's RG was the time when Rafa could be toppled so for Novak to do it now, during a normal clay-court season and in warm weather was remarkable.

I always thought winning each slam twice was quite noteworthy.

And then it would also make the race to win the most slams in their career a bit more competitive.

The other thing is that I believe no-one has ever beaten Rafa at RG and won the tournament, is that right, before it's only been one or the other. So that would be a good achievement if he does it.

So a fair bit on the line in the final.

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Post by theslosty Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:37 pm

Really surprised by this given how far ahead Rafa appeared to be in the 2020 final and how patchy Novak's clay season had been until now. Really didn't think anyone was capable of outplaying Nadal at RG like that, but Novak just went into that zone where every shot he hits is exceptionally accurate
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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:39 pm

Worth noting no male has lost the final of two slams five times. Djokovic has lost five times in New York and four times in Paris. He won’t want to be the first to do this.

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