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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 sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:40 pm

Born Slippy - Good point about Rafa's age. We tend to think these guys are immortal and can go on for ever. Rafa is bound to be a step slower than in his prime.(Mind you, he was beaten by.....a 34-yr-old).

I guess the calendar slam is on. Rafa hardly ever wins the Australian and hardly ever gets beaten in Paris, so the calendar slam never gets mentioned.

Djoko has always been so solid in his game, apart from the overheads. If anyone was to beat Rafa at the French it was him.

I'm sure Tsitsipas will prefer to face Novak rather than Rafa but surely Djoko will come out on top on Sunday.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:40 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:Think if Nadal wins Wimbledon or New York he could call it quits.

Surely he wouldn't retire without at least another go at RG? Wimbledon possible. Feel there are too many good hard court players now for Rafa to win a USO, but that said he has had some very fortunate draws there over the years.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:44 pm

Oioi wrote:
Jeff Navarro wrote:Think if Nadal wins Wimbledon or New York he could call it quits.

Surely he wouldn't retire without at least another go at RG? Wimbledon possible. Feel there are too many good hard court players now for Rafa to win a USO, but that said he has had some very fortunate draws there over the years.
If he wins New York a fifth time could be the right time to quit. No one thought he’d win once in NYC, five would be crazy.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:48 pm

Tsitsipas has a fair chance if he plays attacking. If he opts to moon ball like he did in the second half of the Zverev match he’ll get hammered.
Also worth noting Tsitsipas won Monte Carlo and Lyon. Also runner up in Barcelona. So he’s in great form.

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Post by Oioi Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:48 pm

Just read a couple of interesting coincidences. Nadal's 3 losses were each 6 years apart (2009, 2015, 2021) and occurred 1 round further in the draw each time (4R, QF, SF).

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:59 pm

Oioi wrote:Just read a couple of interesting coincidences. Nadal's 3 losses were each 6 years apart (2009, 2015, 2021) and occurred 1 round further in the draw each time (4R, QF, SF).
.
So Rafa is due to lose the 2027 RG final, then?

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 12 Jun 2021, 1:13 am

Looking at the highlights of this match is another confirmation for me that both Nadal and Djokovic have significantly declined physically compared to their early to mid twenties. However, what they have lost in physical attributes they have made up to a certain degree in other areas.

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Post by lags72 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 7:53 am

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

Nothing wrong with Rafa physically during the match.

What he struggled with was the reminder (and not for the first time) that he cannot bank on outlasting or wearing down Djokovic in the way that he has done for so many years against most other opponents.

Djokovic kept turning the screw to the point where Rafa simply had no answers, nothing more to give. By the fourth, even Rafa’s remarkable mental strength & resilience had cracked - as indicated by the unusual tally of DF’s.


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Post by lags72 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 8:06 am

Jeff Navarro wrote: ............ Djokovic won the last 6 games in a row

It’s very rare that Rafa ‘folds’ so completely in the closing stages of any match. But evidence, I guess, of what can happen when a player is put under constant, relentless, pressure ...... even Rafa gets affected.

There was a similar conclusion to the AO Final 2017, when Federer took the last five (IIRC) games in a row.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 9:32 am

This is the match some envisaged happening at the French in 2011, only for Federer to beat the all-conquering Novak in the semi after the Serb had notched up an incredible 43 wins in a row.
2011 was the start of the period when Djoko began going toe-to-toe with Rafa as if to say: "I'm prepared to stay out here as long as possible and match you not just shot-for-shot but for intensity too."
I felt Novak could, possibly would, have won that 2011 RG final against Rafa. I know the two met at RG in 2015 but Rafa was not at his best then. So we have had to wait 10 years for a real blockbuster match-up in Paris between these two Titans.




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Post by Oioi Sat 12 Jun 2021, 9:43 am

sirfredperry wrote:This is the match some envisaged happening at the French in 2011, only for Federer to beat the all-conquering Novak in the semi after the Serb had notched up an incredible 43 wins in a row.
  2011 was the start of the period when Djoko began going toe-to-toe with Rafa as if to say: "I'm prepared to stay out here as long as possible and match you not just shot-for-shot but for intensity too."
  I felt Novak could, possibly would, have won that 2011 RG final against Rafa. I know the two met at RG in 2015 but Rafa was not at his best then. So we have had to wait 10 years for a real blockbuster match-up in Paris between these two Titans.
 
 
 
 

Agree that last night was how it may have went had they met in 2011. Don't know about the waiting 10 years for a "real blockbuster" between them though - They've met at RG 9 times, 6 of those since 2011! I suppose you could say 2015 and 2020 were duds though.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 12 Jun 2021, 10:20 am

What an epic match that was. If people cannot see that then they are blind. Full of mind-blowing shots only they can play, returning shots from impossible positions and digging themselves out of impossible place. Just other-worldly. Just think on about Rafa's dominance at RG. Had he of won here it would have been his 14th RG slam equalling the total slams won by Pete Sampras which was once thought to be an unbelievable feat.

Djokovic just hung in when it got tough and his mental strengths were terrifying. For the final tomorrow I expect him to beat Tsitsipas but it could be very interesting if Djoko loses the first set.
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 10:31 am

A win tomorrow will give Novak his 19th GS title and leave him just one behind Rog and Rafa.
No doubt the endless, and, for some, slightly tiresome, GOAT debate will then ensue.
We really have to wait until all the Big Three have retired before making the final assessment.
Those making a GOAT case NOW for Djoko can point to:
1. First man in Open Era to win each of the Slams at least twice (assuming a win tomorrow)
2. Winning a number of his slams when the others of the Big Three, or Big Four if you include Murray, were at their peak.
3. A good spread of Slam wins at the AO, Wimbledon and USO.
4. Winning 12 of his Slam finals against others of the Big Four.
5. Holding all four GS titles at once in 2015/16.

The arguments will continue to rage....



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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 12 Jun 2021, 11:10 am

I worked out that I spent around 40 minutes yesterday watching Djokovic bounce a tennis ball.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 12 Jun 2021, 11:47 am

As a long time fan, this was one of novaks very best performances. To come back from an awful start was really impressive. His level in the 3rd and 4th sets was mind blowing. Nadal played very well but I thought Novak was constructing the points very well. His return of serve kept the constant pressure on and his forehand was producing amazing angles that kept pulling Nadal out of the court and that was followed with his deceptively powerful flat cross court backhand deep to the Nadal forehand.

Novak has to be at his peak for this to happen, anything less and Nadal is unstoppable and dictates the play. It takes amazing skill and patience to execute that game plan. Last years final he didnt have the level to hurt Rafa and he tried to hit winners too early.

The level of play by both players yesterday was exceptional. Make no mistake nadal is and always will be the king of clay but that was a huge win for Novaks legacy. Cant believe he still has to play Tsitsipas tomorrow!

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 12 Jun 2021, 12:13 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:As a long time fan, this was one of novaks very best performances. To come back from an awful start was really impressive. His level in the 3rd and 4th sets was mind blowing. Nadal played very well but I thought Novak was constructing the points very well. His return of serve kept the constant pressure on and his forehand was producing amazing angles that kept pulling Nadal out of the court and that was followed with his deceptively powerful flat cross court backhand deep to the Nadal forehand.

Novak has to be at his peak  for this to happen, anything less and Nadal is unstoppable and dictates the play. It takes amazing skill and patience to execute that game plan. Last years final he didnt have the level to hurt Rafa and he tried to hit winners too early.

The level of play by both players yesterday was exceptional. Make no mistake nadal is and always will be the king of clay but that was a huge win for Novaks legacy. Cant believe he still has to play Tsitsipas tomorrow!

Congrats to your man slasher. It was an epic match and as I said Novak's mental strength was staggering. When he served for that amazing third set at 5-3 and was broken I felt that was going to be a dagger blow to him but he dug deep and found a way to win a set littered with other wordly tennis. Novak beating Rafa fair and square means so much to Djokovic and his legacy he is continually looking to build. Now he has to recover from the match and mentally get himself right as the tournament is still there to win.
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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 12 Jun 2021, 12:43 pm

Well said CC, he was superb. Hopefully your man Murrah will be back soon, you would miss seeing him in the big matches. All these guys have produced so many magic moments

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 12 Jun 2021, 1:02 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:Well said CC, he was superb. Hopefully your man Murrah will be back soon, you would miss seeing him in the big matches. All these guys have produced so many magic moments

I think Andy is done sadly. I hope he proves me wrong (again) but that is how I see it.
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 1:34 pm

I think the first set was crucial to the match. It looked at one point that it would be 6-0 or 6-1 to Rafa who, after a competitive opening game, was looking imperious.
Djoko, after a reasonable start, was no doubt thinking back to the bagel-bashing first set last autumn in Paris.
But he fought back from 0-5 to 3-5 and although he was ultimately to lose that first set he got some games under his belt and got back into the match.
For years we've admired Djoko's steadiness, steeliness and solidity even if his ball-bouncing drives people to distraction (I counted a 16-bounce pre-serve effort at one point).
But it's doubtful if he's ever been so mentally strong as he was in that epic third set and in taking the last six games in the fourth.
As for the women's final coming up, I'm going for Pav due to her greater experience.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 12 Jun 2021, 2:34 pm

I actually think Nadal was taking even longer between points and pre serve than Djokovic was. That takes some doing but Nadal is definitely as bad if not worse

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 12 Jun 2021, 2:46 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:I actually think Nadal was taking even longer between points and pre serve than Djokovic was. That takes some doing but Nadal is definitely as bad if not worse

Possibly true, but Rafa offers more variety in his pre-serve technique. Shoulder, shoulder, nose, bum, ear, ear, bounce.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 3:31 pm

Women's final - not a bad match - poised at one set all. Pav had an MTO for her thigh but was able to break to even the contest.

Certainly seen worst finals than this. Both have had periods of dominant play. How nervy will it get if the finishing line nears?

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 4:20 pm

Krejcikova takes the women's title on her fourth Championship Point.

So we have yet another GS champion and probably the most unlikely of the lot.

Trying to accurately predict the outcome of Slams among the women at the moment is a mug's game. Will we see a new champion at Wimbledon (Gauff, possibly)?

As for tomorrow, will we see a new men's champion? Possible, but unlikely. I still think Tsitsipas has more chance against Djoko than he would have had meeting Rafa in the final.

That's not to say I think the Greek will win. He'll have to hope that Novak doesn't play anything like as well as he did last night.


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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 4:40 pm

Even excluding Stosur (not playing that much) and Kim C (not actually retired) there are now SIXTEEN still-playing women's GS champions.
Means you're almost certainly going to have to beat a Slam titlist to win one yourself.
I make it there are just SEVEN men's Slam champs and two of them didn't play at the RG this year.
The women's game is certainly not lacking in variety but it could do with the sort of rivalry we get with the men when the big boys clash.


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Post by lags72 Sat 12 Jun 2021, 4:52 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
slashermcguirk wrote:I actually think Nadal was taking even longer between points and pre serve than Djokovic was. That takes some doing but Nadal is definitely as bad if not worse

Possibly true, but Rafa offers more variety in his pre-serve technique. Shoulder, shoulder, nose, bum, ear, ear, bounce.

I think we can add the (clay court special) racquet-tapping against shoes ...... that’s invariably another good 3 or 4 seconds.

They were perhaps both rather fortunate to be treated very charitably by the Umpire, who I suspect deferred to their elite status. Can’t imagine just what drama might have developed if the-guy-who-dared-to-issue-a-warning to a certain R.Federer had been on duty yesterday ......... Shocked Shocked

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 12 Jun 2021, 4:52 pm

Two edged sword there though SFP. It's about balance, too many one time winners in the womans and the old guys still dominant in the mens, neither is good for the game.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Jun 2021, 4:58 pm

SR - Yes, many still await the arrival of the new champions in the men's.

However the oldies can still conjure up a fairly reasonable standard of play as we saw last night.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 12 Jun 2021, 10:24 pm

I think when Federer, Nadal and Djokovic retire there will be a loss of interest in tennis that came with the interest they generated (top four, then top three, now top two). However with globalisation and worldwide access to tennis in a variety of platforms - I suppose it is the global market that is key, even though interest in America, Britain and parts of Europe may decline a little. Grand slams are the flagships of the tour, then there are the Masters, the ATP500 and ATP250 (plus WTA equivalent). Be interesting to see if they can sustain prize money in the smaller competitions.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 8:22 am

I agree that Western interest in professional tennis may decline, but I'm interested in what our members here think? Will you still follow the tour with the same interest?

For me, I'm surprised how interested I still am with Murray basically being out for 4 years now. I quite like the nextgen players so can see myself continuing to follow the sport closely. Their level of play will likely never reach the heights of the big 3, but they are starting to develop nice rivalries among themselves.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 8:42 am

Oioi wrote:I agree that Western interest in professional tennis may decline, but I'm interested in what our members here think? Will you still follow the tour with the same interest?

For me, I'm surprised how interested I still am with Murray basically being out for 4 years now. I quite like the nextgen players so can see myself continuing to follow the sport closely. Their level of play will likely never reach the heights of the big 3, but they are starting to develop nice rivalries among themselves.

In my opinion there will be a new generation of fans to accompany the new generation of players. Each player has their fans and so, for example, tennis will now be far more watched by Greeks now. In Russia there is probably a rise in tennis fans with the rise of Russian players towards the top of the rankings. No doubt the viewership in Switzerland may dip in the next few years but that is just part of the cycle. As you say the new generation are forging their own interesting rivalries such as Tsitsipaz V Zverev and who knows how much they will grow? We shall see.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:02 am

British fans have had 25 years of following Henman/Rusedski and then Murray.

But I, certainly, was interested before that and will no doubt be following things closely in future years.

Yes, we've all been spoilt watching Murray and the Big Three. But as CC says above new stars are emerging and everyone will soon have new favourites to keep tabs on.


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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:18 am

Oioi wrote:I agree that Western interest in professional tennis may decline, but I'm interested in what our members here think? Will you still follow the tour with the same interest?

For me, I'm surprised how interested I still am with Murray basically being out for 4 years now. I quite like the nextgen players so can see myself continuing to follow the sport closely. Their level of play will likely never reach the heights of the big 3, but they are starting to develop nice rivalries among themselves.

Federer, Tsonga and Del Potro were the three I enjoyed watching. Nadal and Djokovic have never done anything for me, give me attacking tennis over baseline defence any day. Once Federer calls it a day my interest will probably be confined to Wimbledon as none of the next gen do it for me unfortunately.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:25 am

The 3 players you highlight are definitely among the most thrilling players to watch so I get that. Such a shame that Tsonga never managed to sneak a major, he definitely had a game and level deserving of one! Miss seeing Del Potro load up for one of his breathtaking forehands as well. As much as I like the next generation, I can see that none of them would offer the kind of thrilling play that those 3 serve up, though stellar defence and counter-attacking play might be just as thrilling to some.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 10:21 am

Mention of Tsonga takes me back to 2008 when a young J-WT absolutely destroyed Nadal (Rafa only got seven games) in the semi at the AO with a brand of power tennis that was quite sensational.

Tsonga had some great duels with Fed, twice beating him at Slams. I think he would have won more if he hadn't the tendency to chuck in the odd horror service game.

SR - I'm hoping a new player comes along that excites your interest. Sometimes it's a bit like your favourite player (Jimmy Greaves, Harry Kane) leaving your beloved football club and you're thinking things will never be the same again. But then new heroes come along.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:23 am

So prediction time everyone. Weather seems perfect in Paris 25-27 degrees. Tsitsipas will probably be delighted by this. Had it been overcast I feel Djokovic would’ve be overwhelming favourite.
The key outliners for me are:
Can Tsitsipas utilise his brilliant backhand slice to disrupt Djokovic much like Musetti did for a couple of sets.
Will Djokovic have the hungover sensation from beating Nadal?
I think Tsitsipas is a live dog but edging towards Djokovic in 4 sets.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:30 am

Jeff Navarro wrote:So prediction time everyone. Weather seems perfect in Paris 25-27 degrees. Tsitsipas will probably be delighted by this. Had it been overcast I feel Djokovic would’ve be overwhelming favourite.
The key outliners for me are:
Can Tsitsipas utilise his brilliant backhand slice to disrupt Djokovic much like Musetti did for a couple of sets.
Will Djokovic have the hungover sensation from beating Nadal?
I think Tsitsipas is a live dog but edging towards Djokovic in 4 sets.

I agree with much of that but see Djokovic winning in three tight or four sets. Mentally it will be interesting in that will Djokovic struggle to lift himself for a lesser opponent in the Final? Will Tsitsipas be playing with the mindset that he is just delighted to be there and see it as an achievement enough which could hinder him?
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:40 am

What would Rafa have given for a hot-weather, day-time semi?

Djoko has actually managed the rare feat of actually losing an RG final to someone other than Rafa. He was blown away by Stan the Man in 2015.

Think I'm right in saying that that was the only time Novak has lost a GS final after winning the first set.

Can't see Tsitsipas winning this afternoon if he loses the first set. I could add that I can't see the GreeK winning in any case. But he is playing well and Friday's semi would have taken a huge physical and mental toll on Djoko.

But Djoko normally comes up with his best tennis at the end of tournaments. Like Jeff N above, I'm taking him to win in four.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:48 am

What drew me into tennis viewership and these tennis chat forums was the drama, the emerging rivalries, and the appearance of potential top 10 British performers - Andy Murray, Laura Robson ... The top four era was incredible with the same set of male players getting to the semi-finals of grand slams and monopolizing the Masters and other smaller tournaments when they appeared. Their consistency was beyond amazing. I used to be interested in the women's game but with the appearance of the super-shriekers and "ridiculous" garb period I lost interest in it.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 12:00 pm

sirfredperry wrote: ..... Djoko has actually managed the rare feat of actually losing an RG final to someone other than Rafa. He was blown away by Stan the Man in 2015.

Think I'm right in saying that that was the only time Novak has lost a GS final after winning the first set ....
It has happened three times once against Nadal and twice to Wawrinka - the only times he encountered Wawrinka in a Grand Slam final.


RG 2014 loses to Rafael Nadal 6–3, 5–7, 2–6, 4–6
RG 2015 loses to Wawrinka 6–4, 4–6, 3–6, 4–6
USO 2016 loses to Wawrinka 7–6, 4–6, 5–7, 3–6

ps Seems I initially confused the RG 2014 final for another match (it was the RG 2012 final that was suspended to the Monday).

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 12:20 pm

NNB - Thanks for correcting me. Certainly forgotten about the defeat by Stan at the US and didn't realise that Djoko had actually won the first set in the RG 2014 final.

Rafa has now lost around 30 sets at RG which averages only about two sets per tournament. Take away the sets he's lost to Djoko in Paris and the number of sets he's given up is even smaller.

What's your prediction for this afternoon, NNB?

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 12:45 pm

Looking at Tsitsipas' recent form on clay - it has been very good**.  The last two times Tsitsipas played Djokovic it was on clay and Tsitsipas took sets off him:
2021 Masters 1000 Rome QF - loses to Djokovic in 3 sets - 46 75 75
2020 Roland Garros SF - loses to Djokovic in 5 sets - 63 62 57 46 61

I think this match could go either way but Djokovic has to be considered the favorite.  It would be a "shame" if the both times Djokovic beat Nadal at Roland Garros he didn't win the final.  Hence I will be rooting for Djokovic.


** Tsitsipas' record in this years clay season:
RG2021 - reaches the final (despite looking unwell in earlier rounds according to some)
ATP 250 Lyon (clay) - wins
ATP Masters Rome - loses in QF to Djokovic: 64 57 57
ATP Masters Madrid - loses in R16 to Casper Ruud: 67 46
ATP 500 Barcelona - loses in Final to Nadal: 46 76 57
ATP Masters Monte Carlo - wins

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 1:26 pm

Tennis wise, I think Tsitsipas is just about there to go toe-to-toe with a decent Djokovic. However, I'm not sure if he's had to play a fully motivated Djokovic at his highest level. You also can't ignore the mental aspect, which could come into play in tight moments. For those reasons I'll go with Djokovic in straights, meaning he goes into Wimbledon chasing his 20th with the calendar slam still on!

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 2:44 pm

On serve in the first set with some good rallies already. Djoko looking his usual title-day rock solidness and surviving a nasty fall while trying to retrieve an excellent drop shot in game seven.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 2:58 pm

Djoko wards off a set point at 4-5 to keep it on serve.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:04 pm

It's unbelievable how Djokovic always wins the big points. Just think of the number of slams he's won that turned on a key point or two. Tsitsipas could maybe have gone for it more on a couple of shots on that set point but hard to criticise really!

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:23 pm

First set to Tsitsi 7-6 (8-6). I thought the Greek had blown it when he failed to lob an at-the-net Djoko at 3-5 in the tiebreak but he came through.

Now we have a real match on our hands. Did the tumble take a little out of Djoko? Let's hope not for the sake of the match.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:24 pm

Well there goes my Djoko in straights prediction. Really thought Djoko was going to make an epic comeback in the tiebreak like he so often seems to do. Djoko seems to be struggling with the sun? We needed Tsitsi to win the 1st to make it interesting and he's done just that. Really impressed with his performance so far considering it's his first GS final.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:30 pm

...and Tsitsi takes his good form into the second set by breaking serve in the first game, aided by a couple of errors from Djoko.

This is still early days, though, and few will doubt that Novak will fight back.

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Post by MrInvisible Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:38 pm

I thought this was going to be a tough match for Djokovic - for all his strengths he can be vulnerable on clay to aggressive single handers (Thiem, Wawrinka, even Ceccinato) in a way that Nadal isn't. And this year, Tsitsipas has filled the void left by Thiem's lack of form on clay courts and the Greek has now won several clay court titles.

That said, I don't think he outplayed Djokovic from array of shotmaking in that 1st set, more a case of having a more solid tie break. Have been impressed with Tsitsipas's defensive game so far, an aspect he has really improved on.  Still, early days though - long way to go.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:42 pm

3-1 Tsitsi second set. Djoko looked imperious early on but more vulnerable now. The fall? The sun? The rigours of Friday's semi?

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