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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 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:57 pm

Tsitsi gets a double break and serves it out to take a two sets to love lead.

Djoko's come back from two sets down in GS matches before, of course, but not sure if he's ever done it in a Slam final.

This has been a very good effort from Tsitsi. Can he keep it up?

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:10 pm

You can never write Novak off, but it looks like he'll need to rely on a wobble or 2 from Tsitsipas here.

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Post by theslosty Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:12 pm

Novak's clay court form over the last 12 months has been patchy, and today is no different. It's partly why I was so stunned to see him defeat Nadal on Friday
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:23 pm

Hold on...After a long fourth game Djoko breaks to go 3-1 up in the third. Has the tide turned?


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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:23 pm

Perhaps this will be a day when Djokovic’s notorious resilience and never-say-die spirit fails him. Still too early to say for sure.

There have been many, many, times during his long spell at number one when he has played some way below his best, but when his opponent (whether through nerves or other reasons) has not been able to take advantage. Tsitsipas - now with the extreme comfort cushion of a two set advantage - is playing well enough to see this through, IF he can maintain the clear focus & physicality shown so far.

After the sort of emotional rollercoaster, high-tension Rafa / Djoko SF witnessed on Friday there is always talk as to how much effect it will have on the next match. Invariably, they both seem to come back with more than enough in the tank. We’ve yet to see whether Djokovic has what it takes to turn this Final his way. I’m not betting against him.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:24 pm

Novak starting to play better now and has the break in the 3rd. Maybe a slight dip from Tsitsi too.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:26 pm

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.
   
 

When Nadal beat Djokovic 9-7 in the 5th at RG in the semi final in 2013 it was a great quality match and perhaps their best encounter.

Unfortunately the match was arguably decided by Djokovic touching the net and losing the point after putting away a smash, which kind of took the edge of it and spoiled it slightly. If it wasn´t for that it would have been their best match.

Now that one really should have been the final rather than semi.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:37 pm

Novak 5-2 up in the third. If anyone can come back from two sets down in a GS final it's him.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:40 pm

With Djoko taking the 3rd (or just about to), his determination & energy will return with a vengeance for the 4th & 5th.

At the same time, I fear Tsitsipas will suffer a crucial dip in his hitherto fine level ; and that will be a very, very, familiar experience for Djoko from countless previous Slam contests, as he goes for the kill.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:46 pm

Tsitsipas lost a bit of sharpness in the first half of that set with a few wayward shots and then in the second half of the set there were a few signs of frustration and self doubt creeping in. The good service game he played to get from 2-5 to 3-5 may help him a little with confidence going into the 4th set.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:47 pm

Just had a look at Betfair live betting and it looks like they have it as a 50/50 match from here which seems about right.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:51 pm

Tactical MTO from Tsitsi? Didn't seem to be anything amiss in the 3rd there.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:56 pm

That's poor from Tsitsi, you need to at least make Djoko earn the break. Handed that one to him.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 4:58 pm

So Tsitsipas needs one set to take his first Slam title - and to do so against the stand-out World Number One.

I think almost everybody would agree that the one set he needs MUST be the one currently being played.

And right now it’s suddenly looking far from good for the young Greek ....

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:00 pm

I think it's definitely going 5. However, I wouldn't count Tsitsi out of a 5th completely. He seems to play better when behind or even, as shown in The semi with Zverev.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:09 pm

After a long third game Djoko gets the double break for 3-0 in the fourth.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:10 pm

Yes, double break and the 4th set is already his.

Ominously for Tsitsipas, Djokovic is now doing pretty much everything he likes to do on a tennis court.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:12 pm

I don't really think Djokovic is playing much better than he was in the first set, except in the tie break where he was poor. Tsitsipas' level has really dropped off though.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:20 pm

I agree, since he got into a winning position it has been a different match for Tsitsipas. Almost as if he reflected a little bit too long on thoughts like "would be awful if I blow a two sets to love lead". I don't think he enjoyed himself since set 2.

Tiredness could be an issue as well. Less experience with going the distance in 2 week tournaments.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:21 pm

The degree to which Djoko is currently pushing Tsitsipas into so many U/E’s is huge, and growing by the game.

It will take a mental & physical recovery of herculean proportions for Tsitsipas to even make the 5th competitive. Winning it is, I fear, a challenge way too far.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:24 pm

Tsitsi will have to play much more fearless tennis to win the 5th. He has the formula about right in the 1st set, and to be honest the 2nd set was a mixture of him being good and Djok being poor.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:27 pm

We go to a fifth. Difficult to see Tsitsipas being able to come up with an extra gear.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:30 pm

Tsitsipas will be serving first in the fifth set, which is an advantage. Tsitsipas could have won this in the third set but for a momentous 12 minute long fourth game in the third set which saw Djokovic break, when Tsitsipas was looking in great form.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:35 pm

The curse of the French Open - if you beat Nadal in the French Open before the final you don't win the French Open.  2009 Soderling.  2015 Djokovic.  2021 Djokovic loses first two sets ???

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:38 pm

No name Bertie wrote:Tsitsipas will be serving first in the fifth set, which is an advantage.......

It is IF you can hold on to your service games. Not at all sure Tstisipas can do so throughout this set. This is going to be very, very hard work for him - and emotionally draining.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:48 pm

Djoko breaks. Still not calling it over quite yet as Tsitsi came from a break down in the 5th in the semis.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:48 pm

Somewhat inevitably Djoko breaks for 2-1. The end for the Greek? You would think so.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:50 pm

All over, IMHO.

But a fabulous effort from Tsitsipas in his first Slam Final.

Many such ‘newbies’ have been totally outclassed in similar scenarios, so huge credit to him thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:51 pm

Oioi wrote:Djoko breaks. Still not calling it over quite yet as Tsitsi came from a break down in the 5th in the semis.

This is Djokovic though not Zverev.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 5:55 pm

lags72 wrote:All over, IMHO.

But a fabulous effort from Tsitsipas in his first Slam Final.

Many such ‘newbies’ have been totally outclassed in similar scenarios, so huge credit to him thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

For sure. He will be all the stronger for this match and now has an idea what he needs to do to compete with Djokovic in a final. He will be back.
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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:01 pm

Tsitsipas has remained competitive.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:04 pm

A rather predictable capitulation. Djokovic's level has been consistent through the five sets but Tsitsipas couldn't maintain it as the pressure came on.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:06 pm

MrInvisible wrote: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....
Interesting comment.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:07 pm

Looked all over in the seventh game but Tsitsipas held to keep it to one break.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:08 pm

Gutsy hold under immense pressure ..... the mark of a worthy finalist.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:12 pm

Tsitsi now needs to hold to stay in the match. He has done very well for his first final, far better than my man Murray did in his first 3!

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:14 pm

IF (?) he can hold again here, there will be one last chance for Tsitsipas to break. But against Djoko in current form, one chance just isn’t enough......

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:16 pm

Djoko to serve for it at 5-4. The Greek has done well to take it so far.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:16 pm

If Djokovic can't serve out the match it will be back all square.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:16 pm

He's kept it interesting. Now let's see if Djokovic's legendary resolve stands up to the task once again.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:19 pm

Safe to engrave the trophy now.

But a much better contest than many had imagined it would be !


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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:23 pm

All over. Djoko wins.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:24 pm

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic on sealing another French Open title and adding to his slam haul. He looked out for the count after two sets but once again he has come back from dead to seal a great win. Great credit to Tsitsipas who made this a thrilling final in his debut in a slam final. He will be back and competing for slams for years to come.
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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:25 pm

Over 4 hours. A highly competitive match with some outstanding play.

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Post by laverfan Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:27 pm

Congratulations to Djokovic on #19. clap

Well played Tsitsipas. Many more finals to come for him.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:27 pm

Tsitsipas got tight in tight in the third set and it flowed into the fourth. Unfortunately for the Greek, Djokovic wasn’t as willing as Zverev to gift him the fifth set.
Tsitsipas will rue he let this slip. Djokovic 19th major. Bravo.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:28 pm

Would have been harsh on Novak to lose again after beating Nadal at the French. Was solid except the 1st set tie break and the 2nd set. Think Tsitsipas might actually have a better chance at future RG success than Thiem, he's like 5 years younger and plays a less taxing game.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:30 pm

The Greek seemed to get a new lease of life at the end. But he was already a break down and it was too late.

Huge credit to Tsitsipas who came up against - in the last three sets - the immoveable wall that is Djoko.

Noticeable also that Tsitsi's first-serve percentage dipped and Djoko was able to look at far too many second serves.

But the Greek must not feel too down on himself. He will surely win a Slam and probably would have done today if he'd not been up against such a great player.

So Djoko becomes the first in the Open Era to win all four Slams twice. I thought as long as Rafa was a second French title would elude the Serb.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:30 pm

Also worth mentioning he's came back from 2 sets down twice this tourney! Shades of all Fed's 5 setters at AO 2017.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:31 pm

Congrats to Djokovic.

Tsitsipas acquitted himself admirably throughout these two weeks - in fact, throughout the clay season as a whole ; that will be of very little consolation to him right now, but it will undoubtedly provide a lot of strength for future challenges in the years ahead.

Is Tsitsipas the most promising of all the young guns ....... ??


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