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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 Tue 01 Jun 2021, 8:00 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:I have no idea who Jonathan Liew is - other than writing that article. I do agree with his notion of many journalists being holier-than-thou judgmentalists, when a lot of them are guilty of a multitude of sins. I also agree that the tennis press conference is, at best, a fairly pointless exercise in this day and age.

Liew is a highly-talented sports writer who left the Daily Telegraph under a cloud after challenging the God-like status of Henry Blofeld.

He moved to The Independent and then on to the The Guardian. He tends to be an anti-establishment figure.

I agree with some of his views about the post-match press conferences and their relevance. However, sport is so sanitised, with organisers wanting to put a saintly halo around the players, that sometimes it's good that they face questions from "ordinary" reporters rather than cheer-leaders.

It's also good to have a contrast with some of the sycophantic coverage of tennis on TV (I exclude Inverdale from this). I'm a huge Federer fan, but it was sick-making to hear the ITV4 commentary of his match yesterday. It was almost as if they were talking about some ne'er-do-wrong deity.




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Post by Jeff Navarro Tue 01 Jun 2021, 12:32 pm

Marco Cecchinato advances to the second round after seeing off Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama in four sets. Strange old career for Cecchinato, 13 first round exits at the majors and he’s only ever won matches at Roland Garros of which he now has 8.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Jun 2021, 3:03 pm

Ash Barty, with a thigh heavily strapped, managed to see off a spirited Pera in three sets.

The Belgian girl hit a lot of winners but also a lot of losers. At the end the losers outnumbered the winners as she lost the last four games.

Rublev is on the verge of taking it to a 5th after trailing by two sets to love to Struff. Monfils is two sets to one up on R-Vinolas.

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Post by superflyweight Tue 01 Jun 2021, 3:27 pm

Liew is an excellent sports journalist and one of the best in the UK.

Duty probably doesn't like him because Liew once suggested that Jonathan Agnew's criticism of the decision to call up Jofra Archer may be unconscious bias given that no such criticism was levelled at the call up of white players born in South Africa.

That Duty doesn't like Liew is as predictable as Piers Morgan having a massive public w*nk over the mental health of a woman of colour.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Jun 2021, 4:10 pm

Kvitova has had to pull out thru an injury suffered during a fall at, or after, her press conference.

Looks like those dreaded press conferences have claimed another top scalp.

Rublev is out, beaten in five by Struff who certainly appeared to strut his stuff. Monfils, amid more OTT commentary on ITV4, came back to win in four.

Rafa has taken the first set against Popyrin. Commentators have just revealed the remarkable stat that Rafa has only lost 27 sets in ALL his RG matches. That's less than two dropped sets a tournament. Incredible.


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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 01 Jun 2021, 4:16 pm

sirfredperry wrote:
Rafa has taken the first set against Popyrin. Commentators have just revealed the remarkable stat that Rafa has only lost 27 sets in ALL his RG matches. That's less than two dropped sets a tournament. Incredible.


That is a remarkable stat but does go to show to an extent how few prioritise the French, it has and probably always be the weakest of the four slams.

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Post by Atila Tue 01 Jun 2021, 4:37 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:
Rafa has taken the first set against Popyrin. Commentators have just revealed the remarkable stat that Rafa has only lost 27 sets in ALL his RG matches. That's less than two dropped sets a tournament. Incredible.


That is a remarkable stat but does go to show to an extent how few prioritise the French, it has and probably always be the weakest of the four slams.
It might be the weakest now, but there was a time when many of the top players would constantly skip the AO which was then considered the weakest major.


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Post by Jeff Navarro Tue 01 Jun 2021, 5:10 pm

Not sure how the French Open is ‘the weakest’. The main issue is countries that have lots of good clay court players have to accept that the greatest ever on clay has the tournament on lock for a sustained period.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Jun 2021, 5:22 pm

Well Popyrin should have added to that Rafa sets-dropped stat but the young Aussie played a horrible game at 5-3 and it's back on serve in the third.

Can't really agree that "few prioritise the French". They usually all try to turn up, don't they.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Tue 01 Jun 2021, 5:49 pm

Nadal eventually wins 6-3 6-2 7-6. In 17 first round matches in Paris he’s only ever dropped 3 sets. Ridiculous really.
I was quite impressed with Popyrin and will be interested to see him
On grass.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Tue 01 Jun 2021, 6:06 pm

Why does Venus Williams insist on playing on? She last won a major in 2008. In the subsequent years she’s made 3 finals, losing them all. She rarely gets passed the first few rounds. Seems a bit embarrassing for a 7 time major champion.

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Post by Atila Tue 01 Jun 2021, 8:13 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:Why does Venus Williams insist on playing on? She last won a major in 2008. In the subsequent years she’s made 3 finals, losing them all. She rarely gets passed the first few rounds. Seems a bit embarrassing for a 7 time major champion.
Enjoyment, money, not skilled in anything else, keep her sister company?

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 02 Jun 2021, 7:59 am

Agree that Popyrin is one to keep an eye on, although he'll have nightmares about that missed smash on SP in the third.

I guess playing Rafa at the French is the hardest thing in tennis; it's possibly the hardest thing in any sport.

You feel if Rafa was to suffer an upset at RG it would have been last autumn. But now, with plenty of clay-court matches under his belt and hot weather and good, bouncy-ball conditions, he's going to be mighty difficult to dethrone.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 03 Jun 2021, 7:32 am

Medvedev will be pleased to have notched up a couple of RG wins. What can you say about Nishi who continues to prove he's the 5th set king?

Federer v Cilic today should be good. They've had some terrific GS tussles. The most memorable was the one at Wimbledon where Rog saved an MP. I'm pleased this is not the night match.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 03 Jun 2021, 7:21 pm

Haven't seen any tennis today but a good win for Fed over Cilic. I gather Rog lost his cool at one stage over a time violation. A bit ironic, really, as Federer is one of the quickest-serving players on the tour.

Barty had to retire when trailing in her match. Djoko had an easy win, while seeds Karatsev, Monfils and Fritz all went out. Pliskova, whose Slam record is fairly awful, was beaten by Sloane Stephens.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 04 Jun 2021, 7:40 am

All the French guys are out before the third round after Nadal saw off Gasquet.

Richard only got nine points in the first set bagel but came back from 2-5 down in the second to at least make something of a match of it.

Just been watching some clips from the Fed-Cilic match and also to Rog's interviews afterwards. He said he thought the court was a little quicker this year and he was pleased with his performance.

But he said he doesn't expect to get that far in Paris (of course he'll be up against Djoko if he reaches the quarters) and that his season really starts on the grass at Halle.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 05 Jun 2021, 8:06 am

Many, perhaps including Medvedev himself, though the Russian would go out early but he's doing just fine.

Djere was doing OK against Zverev until he had three set points in the second set. But he then lost 11 of the next 13 games and it was suddenly all over.

Tsitsipas lost the first set against Isner but that was as bad as it got and he went thru in four. You can't afford to drop serve against Big John nor can you afford to lose a tiebreak. Tsitsi did drop serve but managed to win the third-set breaker.

Match of the day was probably Davidovich Fokina edging Ruud in five.

Highest-remaining women's seed Sabalenka crashed out but Serena went through, increasing speculation that she could triumph this year.

I'm not so sure. Yes, the draw has opened up for her but you'll remember she has lost her last four GS finals - not just been beaten but been smashed.

Fed has the night match today. Let's hope they don't put some of the quarters and semis into what has become the no-spectator spot.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 05 Jun 2021, 5:14 pm

Nadal beats Norrie 6-3 6-3 6-3 and will face Sinner in round 4.
Djokovic beat Berankis 6-1 6-4 6-1 and will face Musetti in round 4.
Time for the Italians to takeover 🤪

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 05 Jun 2021, 8:13 pm

A respectable effort by Cameron Norrie by all accounts. Some discussion about Rafa not playing to the server's speed at times in this match.

Bit of a shock in the women in that one of the top players - Kenin - actually won. Svitolina is out. Might be worth keeping an eye on Sloane Stephens and also Vondrousova who got to the final in Paris two years ago but ain't done much since.



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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 05 Jun 2021, 8:22 pm

sirfredperry wrote:A respectable effort by Cameron Norrie by all accounts. Some discussion about Rafa not playing to the server's speed at times in this match.


This shocks me, Nadal would never do such a thing Rolling Eyes

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Post by Henman Bill Sat 05 Jun 2021, 9:34 pm

Bit late to the party on this debate, but I think that no player should be required to do press conferences or interviews.

At the same time, these things have a value to the tournament since they create column inches and clickbait headlines that get people watching and buying tickets.

Therefore I think they should simply say that you can do as many or as little press conferences as you like, but for each one you miss you lose a reduction of a certain amount of $ or % off your prize money. And set that amount to a point where it would neither be a benefit or a loss to a tournament if players don't give the interviews.

It would be better if the "fine" is simply called a "prize money reduction". Part of the value of that prize money has been generated from the interviews since if players stop giving interviews there isn't much incentive for the press to be there covering the tournament.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 06 Jun 2021, 1:44 pm

Federer beat Koepfer 7-6 6-7 7-6 7-5 last night. Wasn’t a good performance by Federer but he did enough to get through. The lack of crowd seemed to affect the Swiss.
Federer vs Berrettini in round 4.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 06 Jun 2021, 2:26 pm

Roger Federer could withdraw after the French Open. Looking to protect his knee ahead of the grass court season.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 06 Jun 2021, 3:54 pm

Federer is two months away from his 40th birthday.  Maybe his body is no longer strong enough for grand slam tennis - or at least clay grand slam tennis.  I think he should withdraw.  I would like him to break Connors record for most tournament wins - which I think he can do if he focused on the ATP 250 and 500 competitions.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 06 Jun 2021, 4:14 pm

Federer officially withdrew

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Post by theslosty Sun 06 Jun 2021, 5:05 pm

Doesn't feel quite right that Federer has withdrawn from the tournament in almost a pre-planned fashion. I mean it doesn't sound like he has a tangible injury and while the Koepfer match was slightly long it wasn't exactly a marathon either. I don't know it just feels a bit disrespectful to use the tournament purely for match practice and effectively deny another player the chance to face Berretini.
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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 06 Jun 2021, 6:14 pm

Elena Rybakina outclassed Serena Williams winning 6-3 7-5. The Kazakh was able to outhit Williams.

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Post by laverfan Sun 06 Jun 2021, 6:23 pm

theslosty wrote:Doesn't feel quite right that Federer has withdrawn from the tournament in almost a pre-planned fashion.

Perhaps Halle and Wimbledon are a priority for him.

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Post by theslosty Sun 06 Jun 2021, 6:36 pm

Oh I understand that's Federer's priority and he's probably taken the best decision for himself, I just think if you were to take a principled stance he shouldn't have entered RG if he didn't intend on fulfilling his matches.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 06 Jun 2021, 7:09 pm

theslosty wrote:Oh I understand that's Federer's priority and he's probably taken the best decision for himself, I just think if you were to take a principled stance he shouldn't have entered RG if he didn't intend on fulfilling his matches.

I tend to agree. It looks like quite a cynical move. If he's not fully fit to play up to 7 matches, he shouldn't play Wimbledon either.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 06 Jun 2021, 10:12 pm

Just seen Zverev absolutely demolish Nishi with a display of power tennis.
Not really surprised at Serenas exit. The women are not afraid of her anymore.
Perhaps it would have been better if Fed had lost last night now he has withdrawn.
Still three GS winners still in the top half of the women's draw. I reckon one of those will win the whole thing.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 07 Jun 2021, 12:37 am

theslosty wrote:Doesn't feel quite right that Federer has withdrawn from the tournament in almost a pre-planned fashion. I mean it doesn't sound like he has a tangible injury and while the Koepfer match was slightly long it wasn't exactly a marathon either. I don't know it just feels a bit disrespectful to use the tournament purely for match practice and effectively deny another player the chance to face Berretini.

I agree with this.

We don´t know for sure his exact situation, so we may be being unfair, but my suspicion is that you´re right.

If Nadal and Djokovic had both just crashed out in surprise R3 defeats, would he be taking the same decision? My guess is no.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Jun 2021, 6:06 am

Just seen that Medvedev could get to number one if he wins the tournament (unlikely) or if he reaches the final and Djoko doesn't (quite possible).

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 1:42 pm

Musetti takes first set against Djokovic 7-6. Brilliance by the young Italian. Djokovic’s forehand fell apart in the tie break.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Jun 2021, 2:27 pm

Djoko hanging in there in the second set but not hitting the ball with his usual authority

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 2:47 pm

Musetti takes the second set 7-6 as well. Some braindead stuff for Djokovic in the tie break.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Jun 2021, 2:54 pm

Djoko now with it all to do. But he's come back from two sets down before.

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Post by laverfan Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:15 pm

Djokovic wins third set at 6-1. And breaks... Can Musetti hang on?


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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:15 pm

Very quickly Djoko takes third set 6-1

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:24 pm

....and is already well up in the fourth.





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Post by laverfan Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:33 pm

Bagle for Musetti... Shocked

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:35 pm

Now two sets all with the Italian hardly winning a point in a bagel 4th set. Reckon Djoko will now wrap this up fairly quickly.

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Post by laverfan Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:38 pm

Kenin not doing well... ready for a breadstick...?

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 3:53 pm

Musetti strangely stopped using the slice backhand which was carving Djokovic apart in the first two sets.
Seems like he’s out of gas after the 5 setter in the previous round.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 5:27 pm

Nadal wins 4 consecutive games from 3-5 down to take first set against Sinner 7-5.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 6:08 pm

Nadal gets pegged back from 4-0 to 4-3 in the second set. Nadal’s serve has been very poor. Sinner fighting hard.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 6:15 pm

Sinner implodes on serve at 3-4. Nadal gets the break. The Spaniard then hold to take the second set 6-3.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 6:46 pm

Nadal wins 7-5 6-3 6-0 almost a mirror image of their 2020 Roland Garros matchup.

Men’s quarter finals:
Djokovic vs Berrettini
Nadal vs Schwartzman
Zverev vs Davidovich Fokine
Medvedev vs Tsitsipas

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon 07 Jun 2021, 9:41 pm

Defending champion Świątek powers into the quarter finals with a 6-3 6-4 win with Ukrainian teenager Kostyuk.
11 consecutive matches at Roland Garros for the Pole, without dropping a set.

Women’s quarter finals:
Gauff vs Krejčíková
Sakkari vs Świątek
Rybakina vs Pavlyuchenkova
Zidanšek vs Badosa

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Jun 2021, 6:09 am

Swiatek had to fight hard against her 18 year old opponent who looks a real prospect.
Means there's still one GS champion left in the women's.
The young Italian men showed what they could do initially yesterday but were ultimately well beaten.
The Medvedev match should be good today. The Russian must be a nightmare to play against. He gets everything back and then produces a huge shot from a difficult angle.
Given his style of play it's surprising he's had such a poor Paris record hitherto.


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