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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 djkbrown2001 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:31 pm

Well done Novak.

Many years ago on the old BBC 606 forum there used to be a poster called. Noleisthebest.

Many of you who are long timer on the old bbc 606 forum would know him.

Wherever that poster is now. He did know what he was talking about. This was before Novak won his first slam.


He is the greatest player of all time.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:32 pm

Oioi wrote: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.
Thiem will win RG before Tsitsipas. No doubt about it.

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:37 pm

lags72 wrote: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 ....... ??


All around, yes I think Tsitsi is the best of them, certainly on clay. Medvedev probably best on hard and Zverev has a high ceiling on grass, but has horrendous 2nd serve problems that he can't seem to fix.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:41 pm

Borg is holding the RG trophy. So that makes his SEVENTH win !!

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:48 pm

Unless Federer can somehow increase the GS gap to 2 or 3, Djokovic is currently the GOAT for me. Nadal in the discussion but too far behind in weeks at number 1 and slam distribution, which I do see as important metrics.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:53 pm

Federer still head and shoulders above the rest at the moment. He had Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka to deal with in old age as opposed to the current crop for Djokovic.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 6:53 pm

Stats show how rock solid Djoko was on serve in the second half of the match and how Tsitsi struggled in that department.

This match was a clear illustration of how the Big Three have become so dominant in the Slams. The best-of-five formula is perfect for them. Because of their ability to go deep into the Slams they play more of these five-setters than anyone else and gain more experience of how a long, five-setter evolves.

Also, it's so difficult to get three sets off these guys. Many manage one set, some get two. But you have to play well for a long time to beat the top men in a GS match and few can manage it.

Even when Djoko was two sets down I though he could still win. The turn around was due to Djoko stepping up his game and Tsitsipas coming off his earlier high level.

We've seen Djoko wear down better players than Tsitsipas - think merely back to last Friday's semis and the wins against Federer in the Wimbledon finals.

So it's no disgrace to the Greek that he was unable to live with Novak.

Djoko chalks up his 19th GS. More to come? I wouldn't better against it. The Calendar Slam? Difficult, but very much on.

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Post by lags72 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 7:02 pm

Am watching Eurosport coverage. What on earth is Barbara Schett doing to end up with such huge upper arms .... ? 🤔😳 (answers on a postcard !)

More importantly, what pure joy to see Bjorn Borg, even though he’s not especially comfortable in English. Forever my tennis god.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 7:06 pm

It is interesting to see that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic currently on 20, 20, and 19 slams. The next best was Pete Sampras on 14.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 7:18 pm

No name Bertie wrote:It is interesting to see that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic currently on 20, 20, and 19 slams.  The next best was Pete Sampras on 14.

Easier to count up the Slams since 2005 NOT won by the Big Three. Murray has three, Stan the Man has three, delpo has one, and Cilic and Thiem have one.

So since Safin won the AO in 2005, the Big Three have won 59 Slams. It's remarkable. And the fact that they're continuing to win Slams well into their 30s is not a reflection on the abilities of the younger players so much as it shows just what great players the old'uns are.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Jun 2021, 7:41 pm

sirfredperry wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:It is interesting to see that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic currently on 20, 20, and 19 slams.  The next best was Pete Sampras on 14.

Easier to count up the Slams since 2005 NOT won by the Big Three. Murray has three, Stan the Man has three, delpo has one, and Cilic and Thiem have one.

So since Safin won the AO in 2005, the Big Three have won 59 Slams. It's remarkable. And the fact that they're continuing to win Slams well into their 30s is not a reflection on the abilities of the younger players so much as it shows just what great players the old'uns are.
In any other era Murray would probably be holding 8 to 12 Grand Slam Titles.  Shame his hip gave way when he seemed set to dominate.  Same applies to Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - they could be holding more titles if not for this crazy "three goat era".  They have also got better because of the competition amongst themselves.  Federer, Nadal and Djokovic had different qualities and have presumably evolved their styles as their bodies began to fail in various ways.  Probably Federer's style of play put the least stress on his body and he never really had a major tennis injury - I seem to recall he got mononucleosis and he also hurt his back lifting his child out of the bath or something.

ps: Some have mentioned that technology may have played a part - luxilon strings and larger racket heads - has allowed success on all surfaces whereas before there tended to be surface specialists.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sun 13 Jun 2021, 8:00 pm

Djokovic and Nadal were already beating Federer when they were in their teens. Your argument doesnt stack up. Also you can argue Federer had far easier opponents in his early slam wins.

I think the top 3 are all sensational players but for me Djokovic is now making a huge case for GOAT. Two wins at French vs Nadal, 3 Wimbledon finals vs Federer and a US open. The vast majority of his slam final wins are against Federer, Nadal and Murray who are unbelievable players

Soul Requiem wrote:Federer still head and shoulders above the rest at the moment. He had Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka to deal with in old age as opposed to the current crop for Djokovic.


Last edited by laverfan on Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed typo.)

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Post by Oioi Sun 13 Jun 2021, 8:16 pm

I think we could divide tennis from 2003 until today into 3 eras:

2003-2008
2009-2015
2016-2021

Of the 3, 2009-2015 is for me easily the strongest. The other two eras are a toss up imo. I feel the peak big 3 era ended in mid-2016 or so, and that they've largely been getting by on slightly weaker competition (including older versions of each other) since then. Their reputation and aura wins them a lot of matches, must be so hard for these youngsters to go into their first final against players who have done it so many times.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 13 Jun 2021, 8:30 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:
Djokovic and Nadal were already beating Federer when they were in their teens. Your argument doesnt stack up. Also you can argue Federer had far easier opponents in his early slam wins.

I think the top 3 are all sensational players but for me Djokovic is now making a huge case for GOAT. Two wins at French vs Nadal, 3 Wimbledon finals vs Federer and a US open. The vast majority of his slam final wins are against Federer, Nadal and Murray who are unbelievable players

Soul Requiem wrote:Federer still head and shoulders above the rest at the moment. He had Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka to deal with in old age as opposed to the current crop for Djokovic.


Nail on the head. Take a look at when Federer was winning his early slams. In any case Djokovic, to win this slam, had to beat by far the greatest clay courter of all-time in Rafael Nadal. That is a super human effort in itself.
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:07 pm

Now talk is beginning not just of a possible Calendar Slam for Djoko but a Golden Slam where he adds Olympic Gold to the four GS titles.
Steffi Graf did it in 1988 and it would be quite something if Djoko managed it.
Yes, it's possible but given the scheduling of the Olympics it's a huge ask to expect someone to triumph at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the USO in a matter of a few weeks.
The only other time Djoko won the AO and the French consecutively was in 2016 and he rather went off the rails after that. He didn't win any of the next eight Slams.

I don't think that will happen this time, but it shows that nothing can be taken for granted.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:21 pm

Missed the match but my own mixed doubles comeback from 1-6 1-5 to win 1-6 7-6 1-0 was more impressive than djokovic anyway

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Post by laverfan Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:31 pm

lags72 wrote:Is Tsitsipas the most promising of all the young guns ....... ??

I still think Thiem or Zverev are equally at home. All three need to learn the mental fortitude needed to win slams from the current Big Three.

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Post by laverfan Sun 13 Jun 2021, 9:34 pm

djkbrown2001 wrote:Well done Novak.

Many years ago on the old BBC 606 forum  there used to be a poster called. Noleisthebest.

Many of you who are long timer on the old bbc 606 forum would know him.

Wherever that poster is now. He did know what he was talking about. This was before Novak won his first slam.


He is the greatest player of all time.

SoCal and NoleIsTheBest (She!) were here and left. NITB should be on the OTF now. From an overall Slams perspective, Djokovic is a much better all surface player than FedAl (closer to Borg?)

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Post by 88Chris05 Sun 13 Jun 2021, 10:33 pm

I'm finding it harder and harder to argue against Djokovic being the greatest of the Open Era at the very least. All-time is obviously another matter given the different parameters and criteria pre-1968 (I know those parameters and criteria haven't always been universal in the Open Era too, but you get my drift).

Fact is since 2011, he's won more Slams, more Masters 1000s, more WTFs and spent more weeks at number one than Federer and Nadal combined during those same years. He's won about two-thirds of his matches against both men in that period. Yes, they've been an amazing trio overall and it'll be remembered as the era of the 'Big Three', but looking at it dispassionately, ever since he really started hitting his prime we've actually been living through the Djokovic era if anything.

From memory, quite a lot of Federer die-hards in particular tended to give only guarded praise to Djokovic's repeated Slam wins over Roger in 2014-2016 (when Djokovic was at his absolute most dominant) because Roger, at around 33 or 34 years of age, was ostensibly past his best and would probably have whooped Djokovic had they been the same age. Unfortunately those kind of excuses look a bit flaky these days as a 34-year-old Djokovic is proving himself to be still comfortably the best player in the world, and in some ways is arguably still breaking new ground as he goes, too.
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Post by Born Slippy Sun 13 Jun 2021, 11:26 pm

It’s hard to look past Novak winning Wimbledon, given the young guns are nowhere near on that surface. Possibly Fed might challenge but at near 40 it’s going to be tough. If he does win that, then the US will be insane pressure. He will be on for the CY grand slam and the big 3 would all be going into it on 20 slams. I don’t often support Novak but will be doing so at Wimbledon as that situation at the US will be a once in a lifetime level of epic.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:09 am

When considering GOATS we must also consider those tennis players that went professional when the sport was amateur. We must also consider the equipment they had access to. When I read about Pancho Gonzalez he sounds legendary.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 14 Jun 2021, 12:16 am

When Federer had arguably a decline period around age 30-35 or so, that seemed normal at the time. He was losing to Robredo and Stakhovsky in slams and rarely getting a win against Rafa or Novak, but to be fair who else in tennis history before that had shown any dominance at that age, or won several slams? Almost every player in history ended up being bested in a head to head rivalry by a player in their 20s.

Borg and Mcenroe were done at about age 25. Connors couldn´t win a single match against Lendl for years. When Pete Sampras retired at the age of 31, he looked like he was exiting at the right point. It was hard to imagine him winning more slams.

And yet Rafa and Novak have rewritten the rule book for this age period. Yes it´s down to the lack of greats in the next generation, but they also don´t seem to have declined at all. They seem to be just as good players as when they were in their early 20s, if not better.

I think I worked out once that most slams in tennis history had been won by players in the age range of about 20-26, but I think that was about a decade ago when I worked that out. Things have changed a lot since then.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 14 Jun 2021, 1:09 am

No name Bertie wrote:When considering GOATS we must also consider those tennis players that went professional when the sport was amateur.  We must also consider the equipment they had access to.   When I read about Pancho Gonzalez he sounds legendary.

I think there are two ways to look at the GOAT question.

One is that there is no one player head and shoulders above the others and there is no one GOAT.

And the other is that Pancho Gonzales is the GOAT.

Pancho Gonzales won 12-15 pro slams when there were only 2 per year (depending on what you count as a slam). This was in the 1950s when the pro slams had nearly all the best players, and Wimbledon, US Open, French Open had become second tier events. He might have won 20-30 slams in an equivalent modern era of 4 slams a year.

Ken Rosewall might also have won 20-30 slams in an open era. However he has a losing head to head against Pancho Gonzales (107-75)
They started playing when PG was 28 and an experienced Pro and KR was a 22-year old rookie just off the second tier amateur tier. PG leads 52-28 in that year. But even in 1960, when Gonzales turned 32, and was past his best, and Rosewall was turning 26 and at peak, Gonzales led 16-5. Even with PG was around 40 he was still holding his own in the rivalry.

It's also of note PG's record against Rod Laver. He is losing it 21-38 but during the span of the rivalry Laver was 26–32 and Gonzales was 36–42 years old. Note also that Gonzales actually led in the first year (at age of 36 vs a 26 year old) and so if anything I think this set of results is more favourable to Gonzales. I also tried to estimate how many slams Rod Laver would have won in an open year and I reckon it would have been under 20.

I wrote about all this in more detail a few years ago in the GOAT sticky (page 7).

I also tried to work out how many year end no 1s Pancho Gonzales would have got once and concluded it would probably have been about 7 or 8 although 1-2 years were quite close and hard to say. At the moment Rafa and Roger have 5 with Novak on 6.

Of course, it´s hard to compare the tennis of yesteryear with that of today.

But overall I feel that Novak, Roger and Rafa are edging out Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall over time with their impressive longevity. At the moment I see the four of them in a top four almost tied with Pancho Gonzales, but if anything I would still have PG ahead.

I think if Djokovic wins Wimbledon and ties the slam record that might put him a hair above Federer and Nadal given his greater record of weeks at no 1, winning every slam and masters series twice, and the only player to win RG while beating Rafa. A Wimbledon victory would all but confirm a 7th year end no 1 - two more than Roger or Rafa. It would also likely mean that Novak gets to stay at no 1 until next year`s French Open, adding another 52 weeks or so to his current lead.

It would also bring the calendar year grand slam into play, so there is a lot on the line at Wimbledon this year.

In some ways it might have been more exciting if Djokovic had lost the French Open this year, because in the long run that might have made the GOAT battle tighter. But in the short term it makes things more exciting for the next two slams.

There is very little in it though. If Federer had taken the match points when he was up 40-15 three times against Djokovic he would, instead of 20 slams, now have 21-23, and Novak instead of 19, would have 17-18. And that is just a few points. One of them hit the top of the tape.

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Post by laverfan Mon 14 Jun 2021, 2:28 am

Henman Bill wrote:And the other is that Pancho Gonzales is the GOAT.

PG played in era when there were no tie-breaks. His scoreline vs Pasarell at Wimbledon was 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. Mahut-Isner eclipsed this in 2010.

To me, PG will always be the GOAT. When a player requires rule changes so that he is not allowed to win, that is an astonishing testament to what he was capable of. The Great Pancho Gonzalez

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 14 Jun 2021, 8:33 am

I was lucky enough to see Pancho on my first trip to Wimbledon in 1968.

I had court one tickets but then you could just walk into centre court and stand. I got to see Laver and Hoad as well.

The Pancho 1969 marathon with Pasarell was amazing. It was split into two days and a grumbling Pancho practically tanked the first set in fading light on the Monday.

He was booed on to court on the following day only to be cheered off it after his incredible, MP-saving, win.

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Post by Oioi Mon 14 Jun 2021, 8:35 am

Henman Bill wrote:When Federer had arguably a decline period around age 30-35 or so, that seemed normal at the time. He was losing to Robredo and Stakhovsky in slams and rarely getting a win against Rafa or Novak, but to be fair who else in tennis history before that had shown any dominance at that age, or won several slams? Almost every player in history ended up being bested in a head to head rivalry by a player in their 20s.

Borg and Mcenroe were done at about age 25. Connors couldn´t win a single match against Lendl for years. When Pete Sampras retired at the age of 31, he looked like he was exiting at the right point. It was hard to imagine him winning more slams.

And yet Rafa and Novak have rewritten the rule book for this age period. Yes it´s down to the lack of greats in the next generation, but they also don´t seem to have declined at all. They seem to be just as good players as when they were in their early 20s, if not better.

I think I worked out once that most slams in tennis history had been won by players in the age range of about 20-26, but I think that was about a decade ago when I worked that out. Things have changed a lot since then.

I think a big part of this is they've had a record to chase and had seen how Federer managed to win slams aged around 35 in 2017 and 2018, showing them it's possible to play well enough at that age if they adjust their play style.

Rafa has definitely declined in terms of speed, check out some old clips and it's clear as day. He's made up with it with more early rally forehand aggression and almost always dominates the short points. Djokovic is probably also a fraction slower than his peak, and has also made substantial improvements to his game that make up for it - particularly his serve and net play.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 14 Jun 2021, 8:44 am

Amid the plaudits for Novak, it's time to consider just how well Tsitsipas played.

I particularly admired the way he fought to the end even though a Djoko victory was near inevitable by then.

I also liked the fact he often went back behind Djoko, thus wrong-footing him. This is always a good tactic against golden retrievers like Novak.

The problem was that as the Greek gradually went off Djoko upped his game. Tsitsipas's serve - a big weapon in the first two sets - lost its potency. His first-serve percentage in the first part of the 5th was woeful.

But sometimes playing Djoko it must seem you're up against a brick wall. Novak hits the corners, serves consistently and returns magnificently.


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Post by No name Bertie Mon 14 Jun 2021, 10:15 am

sirfredperry wrote:I was lucky enough to see Pancho on my first trip to Wimbledon in 1968.

I had court one tickets but then you could just walk into centre court and stand. I got to see Laver and Hoad as well.

The Pancho 1969 marathon with Pasarell was amazing. It was split into two days and a grumbling Pancho practically tanked the first set in fading light on the Monday.

He was booed on to court on the following day only to be cheered off it after his incredible, MP-saving, win.
That sounds like match and opponent management of the highest order.  From an old report of the match it must have been the second set he tanked. He may have even tanked the first set towards the end thinking they would not play on in the fading light.

From the Guardian: "Pancho Gonzales, aged 41 ... beat time, weariness, and expectation in defeating Charlie Pasarell .... 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. Overnight he had been two sets down, and altogether he played for 5 hours and 20 minutes, and for a total of 112 games ....

It was a match that cannot be discussed in ordinary lawn tennis terms. Here was Gonzales, gaunt and greying, the great player, fighting desperately. On Tuesday night, complaining bitterly about being forced to play on in semi-darkness, he had been booed by sections of the crowd. Yesterday ... Pasarell, younger and stronger, challenged him all the way, and reached match point seven times. Gonzales was so tired that he could scarcely hold his racket, but he saved himself - twice from 0-40 - and went on to win the match. It was the kind of match that took your breath away, and moved you to tears at the same time."

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 14 Jun 2021, 10:38 am

NNB - Sorry, meant to say it was the second set that he practically gave away, not the first.

Also I was wrong about it being played Monday/Tuesday. Clearly it was Tues/Wed.

I must not have seen any play on the Monday as I recall that after Pancho had finally got over the line I realised that it had been the only match I'd seen so far at that Wimbledon.

Laver was my big favourite at the time and I was lucky enough to be there when Roger Taylor beat him on Centre Court in 1970. I must have been one of the few in the crowd actually hoping Taylor, a great fighter, lost.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 14 Jun 2021, 11:44 am

Stefanos Tsitsipas released a statement saying his grandmother passed away just before the players went on court. Makes his performance even more incredible.

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Post by laverfan Mon 14 Jun 2021, 1:27 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Also I was wrong about it being played Monday/Tuesday. Clearly it was Tues/Wed.

You and I seem to be showing our respective ages. kiss

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Post by laverfan Mon 14 Jun 2021, 4:34 pm

No name Bertie wrote:It was the kind of match that took your breath away, and moved you to tears at the same time."

Indeed, it did!

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 14 Jun 2021, 4:42 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:Stefanos Tsitsipas released a statement saying his grandmother passed away just before the players went on court. Makes his performance even more incredible.

He posted on his instagram that "5 minutes before entering the court my very beloved grandmother lost her battle with life". What is not explained here in this instagram post is when he found out. That could have been before, during or after the game.

Some of the media are reporting it as him having found out 5 minutes before the game. By the look of it they don't have any additional sources other than his instagram post and this may be sloppy, lazy reporting based on his instagram post. It could also be an attempt to make the headlines more clickbaity by lying.

Alternatively, there may be an undisclosed source or he gave more info on one social media than the other in which case I could be wrong but in that case some of the media could still have reported this more clearly.

Some more credible sources like the BBC and CNN reported it properly.

It doesn't matter hugely but the way I see it, you all just had a test of your critical thinking skills. If you read one of those articles and came away with the idea that Tsitsipas found out before playing, then you failed the test. If you read one of these articles and thought "maybe he found out before, during or after, it's not clear" then you passed the test.

Don't trust the media to report things accurately especially in headlines which are exaggerated for clickbait. Read the stories critically.

We need to keep our critical thinking skills sharp so we are able to deal with all sorts of difficult issues in the media relating to politics, culture wars, climate change etc.

Quite possibly he did find out before entering the court and this may be confirmed later; none of which changes my point which is at the current time this info cannot be determined decisively from any of the articles I read.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 14 Jun 2021, 4:48 pm

Nice to hear your reminiscences, I'm afraid mine only go back to about 1991 (TV matches) and the first match I attended in person was probably only about 20 years ago, I suspect it may have been Tim Henman playing in Telford in the national championships. So far less impressive.

May have said this before but I'm half expecting you to follow this on by telling me tales of how you queued for hours to cheer on Don Budge to his calendar year grand slam in the 1930s.

Or perhaps one of you to say that you were on centre court as a ballboy on the day that William Renshaw won his 6th consecutive Wimbledon. laughing

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 14 Jun 2021, 5:07 pm

Just seen that Gonzalez v Pasarell match is on the youtube in several sections.  A quick look shows that Gonzalez when first serving had two balls in his hand, and if the first serve was good would play the point while holding the second ball in his hand.  It was mentioned that to keep competitive with the young players that as he got older (past 40) he would become lighter and lighter in weight - and that allowed him to keep his stamina and his speed.

ps: interesting story related by Pasarell that reflects the single minded character of Gonzalez
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8VhMM-akSw&t=59s

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Post by laverfan Mon 14 Jun 2021, 6:51 pm



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Post by laverfan Mon 14 Jun 2021, 6:57 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Or perhaps one of you to say that you were on centre court as a ballboy on the day that William Renshaw won his 6th consecutive Wimbledon. laughing

I am old, and my suspicion is that SFP is younger than me.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 14 Jun 2021, 7:02 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Nice to hear your reminiscences, I'm afraid mine only go back to about 1991 (TV matches) and the first match I attended in person was probably only about 20 years ago, I suspect it may have been Tim Henman playing in Telford in the national championships. So far less impressive.

May have said this before but I'm half expecting you to follow this on by telling me tales of how you queued for hours to cheer on Don Budge to his calendar year grand slam in the 1930s.

Or perhaps one of you to say that you were on centre court as a ballboy on the day that William Renshaw won his 6th consecutive Wimbledon. laughing

I'd love to tell you I was there when Lottie Dodd won Wimbledon aged 15 in around, ooh I don't know, 1381.
And I would be lying if I recalled Jean Borotra in the 1920s and of course the imperious (Sir) Fred Perry.

My early Wimbledon-watching centred on Christine Truman trying to win Wimbledon. The year she actually got to the final she was a set and a break up before being seriously hampered by injury and losing to fellow Briton Angela Mortimore.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 14 Jun 2021, 7:08 pm

HB - Good spot about Tsitsipas's poor old granny. I was going to post about the difference between the time of her death and his LEARNING of her death, but thought it was perhaps a bit sensitive.

I doubt he knew of her death before playing and in my view it was right they should keep it from him until later.

Not sure whether to start a pre-Wimbledon topic today or not. While I think about it there have been wins at Queen's today for Norrie (expected) and Jack Draper over Sinner (VERY unexpected).

The young Briton was 4-0 down in the first set but took it to a tiebreak which he won from 4-6 down and then won a second-set tiebreak for his win on the main tour.

Federer had a bit of a struggle at Halle against Ivashka before coming through 7-6, 7-5. His serving stats were good, which always helps on grass.

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Post by Henman Bill Tue 15 Jun 2021, 1:07 am

Thanks for the clips.

Funny to see a 40 year old just casually strolling through a change of ends and not bothering with the towel at some changeovers, even in a long summer 5th set.

Refreshing to see that they didn´t show constant replays of the reaction of the player´s girlfriend and coach ad slow motion replays of every grimace and slightly emotional reaction. Ugh.

Funny to see the reaction of the crowd at the climax of such a classic history match. Just polite applause. Very British.

Interesting to see the commentator at the end say "through to the next round". Nowadays they would probably say "surely the match of the century or at least this decade!!"

Quality of the tennis wasn´t really up to today´s standards though was it. Hard to judge how much of that is down to wooden rackets, and the start that today´s players have with so much knowledge and tactics and shots gone before them that they learn growing up. Makes it hard to judge greatness across eras.

Would be interesting if anyone can ever make a highlights reel of Pancho Gonzales in the 50s. First, not sure if the footage even exists and secondly would need to some remastering. There are some half decent clips of football in the 1950s but not sure about tennis.

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Post by laverfan Tue 15 Jun 2021, 2:12 am

Henman Bill wrote:Would be interesting if anyone can ever make a highlights reel of Pancho Gonzales in the 50s. First, not sure if the footage even exists and secondly would need to some remastering.

Wimbledon archive would be a very good place to start, or perhaps the BBC. Most slams should have own their own video archives. Perhaps we should start a PG topic, to avoid hijacking the RG 2021 thread.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Tue 15 Jun 2021, 8:57 am

When PG gave advice to younger players were they PG tips?

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