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US Open 2021

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 27 Aug 2021, 7:25 am

First topic message reminder :

The draw has been made and, as has been mentioned in the previous topic, Murray has the short straw this time - Tsitsipas in the first round.

Cameron Norrie has a tricky first round, against Spain youngster Alcaraz. Djoko gets a possible semi against Zverev, while Tsitsipas is in Medvedev's half. Medvedev doesn't have the easiest of starts - first up Gasquet and then, possibly, former US winner Cilic.

For me, Djoko is still favourite but not overwhelming favourite. We don't quite know what shape his body is in and he's had no real preparation. Zverev, Medvedev and Tsitsipas will all fancy their chances. I would be surprised if the winner came from anyone outside these aforesaid foursome.

Others with a chance? Rublev probably leads the next-favourite field. I'm not a big Berrettini fan but I suppose a case can be made out for him (message to his opponents - just stick it on his backhand).

For once of late, there appears to be a clear favourite in the women - Barty. Osaka, though, has twice won the US and if she can get her head sorted out she could do well. There are so many GS champs lining up that, as usual, it's mighty hard to predict how the women's tournament will pan out.


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Post by No name Bertie Sun 05 Sep 2021, 11:34 am

4R LineUp: Age Analysis
Age Distribution:
18 *
19
20 **
21 *
22
23 *
24 ***
25 ***
26
27
28 *
29 *
30
31 *
32 *
33
34 *

Median Age: 24.5 yrs
Average Age: 25.1 yrs
Youngest: 18 yo (Alcarez)
Oldest: 34 yo (Djokovic)

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Post by lags72 Sun 05 Sep 2021, 8:31 pm

Watching what look very definitely to be the closing stages of Evans v Medvedev.

Dan is being outplayed in all respects, no doubt about that. He is not only up against the World No.2 - but a No. 2 in red-hot form. The rankings gap is stark on tonight’s evidence.

BUT - there is a lot to admire in the efforts of Dan. He has never wavered, he is battling hard and has performed extremely well against a far more accomplished opponent. When he comes off court tonight, he can tell himself (I hope) that he tried his very best. Full credit to him for that. All things considered, he has had a very good USO.

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Post by lags72 Sun 05 Sep 2021, 8:46 pm

@ NnB : interesting age analysis there !

This seems (to me at least) to indicate that the days of ‘old guys’ cleaning up all the Slams are - gradually - coming to an end, and the tide will soon turn. That said, it could still take a little time for a complete change-of-the-guard . Am I right in thinking that of the last 15 or so Slams, only Thiem (USO) could be considered a young winner …… ?

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 06 Sep 2021, 1:39 am

Thiem doesn’t class as young. He was 27. That’s older than Cilic in 2014 and older than Murray when he won his first slam. Del Potro is the last genuinely young player to win a slam - age 20/21.

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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 3:59 am

Well your specifics are correct Born Slippy, I agree ; however my description of ‘young’ for Thiem was a) purely a comparative term as an exception to the near-constant series of 30 + year-old winners, and b) made in reference (as mentioned) just to the last 15 Slams, so around three or four years back, and thus excluding the likes of Cilic, Murray, Delpo etc. Once we go even further back than those guys, then there are of course a number of (very !) young winners to be found.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 6:30 am

Four Ties of the Fourth Round Have Been Played and the Younger Player Won in each of them:

F Tiafoe (-)(23yo) vs F Auger-Aliassime (12) (21yo): 6-4 2-6 6-7 4-6
P Gojowczyk (Q) (32yo) vs C Alcaraz (-) (18yo): 7-5 1-6 7-5 2-6 0-6

B van de Zandschulp (Q)(25yo) vs D Schwartzman (11) (29yo): 6-3 6-4 5-7 5-7 6-1
D Evans (24) (31yo) vs D Medvedev(2) (25yo): 3-6 4-6 3-6

When Thiem won the 2020 US Open of the big three only Djokovic was playing and he defaulted himself in the fourth round.   At the start of the tournament Thiem was 26 but turned 27 during the tournament.

Marin Cilic was 25 when he won his first and only Slam the 2014 US Open. All the big guns were playing except Rafael Nadal.  After that date: Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Wawrinka and Federer were the only slam winners (except for US Open 2020).

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:45 am

By all accounts, including Dan's own, Evans played well but Medvedev was different class.

Dan certainly got more games than anyone else against the second seed at this year's USO.

Thought Kerber would have too much for Leylah Fernandez - but I thought wrong.

The march of the 18-year-olds continued with Alcaraz. Can Emma R match them today?

The number of GS winners among the women has reduced with Halep and Kerber's exits, although some remain. Having seen a few clips of Sabalenka I wonder if she will be added to the long, long current list of Slam winners come the weekend?

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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 10:49 am

I have placed a cheeky wager on Carlos Alcaraz : not to just to get through his first-ever QF Slam match ……. BUT to win the title itself.

Am I living in cloud-cuckoo land ….. ?? Shocked

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 1:32 pm

lags72 wrote:I have placed a cheeky wager on Carlos Alcaraz : not to just to get through his first-ever QF Slam match ……. BUT to win the title itself.

Am I living in cloud-cuckoo land ….. ?? Shocked
Hope you got good odds.  Alcaraz in getting to the QF:
1) beats Norrie (26): 6-4 6-4 6-3
2) beats Rinderknech (-): 7-6 4-6 6-1 6-4
3) beats Tsitsipas (3): 6-3 4-6 7-6 0-6 7-6
4) beats Gojowczyk (Q): 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 6-0

Although he has finished strongly in all of his matches so far and won all three tie breaks played, I reckon he will run out of energy.   I also expect him to have to face Medvedev (SF) and Zverev (F) who have fairly breezed through the tournament so far.

Not sure how he can maintain the physicality of his play.  In terms of his physicality I understand why he might be called baby Nadal or something - although he says his game is more like Federer.  Tsitsipas said he hit the ball harder than he had faced before.   Alcaraz appears to have all the shots, but it is the power of his ground strokes that seem to really mark him out.  If he is able to stay injury free then maybe we have a next generation "GOAT" on our hands - having just been through the era of the "three goats".

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 06 Sep 2021, 1:34 pm

lags72 wrote:I have placed a cheeky wager on Carlos Alcaraz : not to just to get through his first-ever QF Slam match ……. BUT to win the title itself.

Am I living in cloud-cuckoo land ….. ?? Shocked

Bold move, Lags. The lad has certainly been impressive. I think he has a chance against F AA but then it's probably going to be Medvedev and then Djoko after that, so your bookie is likely to be happier than you.

The New York crowds and those following the tournament have certainly had some great matches and intriguing stories.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 1:45 pm

F AA has played really well to get to the quarter-final although hasn't beaten anybody as high profile as a Tsitsipas. F AA has had a four-setter, straight sets, five setter and four setter to get to the QF. This has involved five tie-breaker sets which he won all five.

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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 1:48 pm

sirfredperry wrote:

Bold move, Lags. The lad has certainly been impressive. I think he has a chance against F AA but then it's probably going to be Medvedev and then Djoko after that, so your bookie is likely to be happier than you.

……………………..

Am pretty much inclined to agree that the big names will prove too much of a barrier.

But hey ….. let’s hope he can put on a show before he goes down. It’s been a helluva ride so far ! Cool

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 06 Sep 2021, 4:47 pm

They're off again in New York with Bencic an early break up v Swiatek.

I'm taking Zverev to beat Sinner although it could be a long match which will mean Emma R might have to wait a bit to come on.

Initially surprised Emma v Rogers wasn't a night match. But then realised it's Labour Day Bank Holiday in the States and they can have an attractive match on during the daytime.


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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:06 pm

Here we go, it’s the Emma show.

She has conceded a total of just twelve games so far - across three matches.

How will she fare against the conqueror of the top seed …….. ?? 🤔

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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:40 pm

And young Emma comfortably tucks away yet another set : that makes seven in a row 😜

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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:55 pm

TEN games on the bounce for Raducanu

Looks like nerves have got to the (far more experienced !) home-soil player ……..


Last edited by lags72 on Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:56 pm

Whats up with Opelka? Lloyd Harris has broken him in every set. In the first set Harris choked and gave the break back and Opelka won the set on a tie break. However since then Harris has been solid and has broken Opelka at will it seems:
Harris vs Opelka: 6-7 6-4 6-1 3-1

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 8:58 pm

One thing Naomi Osaka has drawn attention to is the press - and the British press go over the top one way and then the opposite way.

I saw the highlights of one Raducanu match and she looked like a "power player" - heavy hitting.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 9:13 pm

Harris vs Opelka: 6-7 6-4 6-1 6-3
Raducanu vs Rogers: 6-2 6-1  --> Raducanu was 15-40 down on her serve but fought through many break back points to serve the match out.

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Post by lags72 Mon 06 Sep 2021, 9:15 pm

No name Bertie wrote: …………

I saw the highlights of one Raducanu match and she looked like a "power player" - heavy hitting.

You’ve seen (only) highlights of just one out of Raducanu’s four rounds so far ….. ? Shocked You’ve missed a LOT of stunning tennis !!

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 06 Sep 2021, 9:19 pm

At what point do we start getting excited? Her draw hasn't been the trickiest but dropping just 15 games across four matches is impressive. She seems to have a habit of being broken early and dominating from that point on, the returning is top drawer already

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 06 Sep 2021, 9:21 pm

lags72 wrote:And young Emma comfortably tucks away yet another set : that makes seven in a row 😜

Qualies as well, so 14 sets in a row I think now. Bencic will be a big step up but really is a free shot at this point.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 06 Sep 2021, 9:30 pm

I think Laura Robson was pushed too much too early / had too much expectation put on her - and she over pushed her body and ended up with chronic injuries.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 07 Sep 2021, 3:40 am

Another unconvincing performance from Djokovic with a high unforced error count. He lost the first set against willdcard Brooksby 6-1 before improving his level to a degree while Brooksby faded significantly as he ran out of energy in this second week of the tournament.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 07 Sep 2021, 3:47 am

QF LineUp
N Djokovic (1) (34yo) vs M Berrettini (6) (25yo)
A Zverev (4) (24yo) vs L Harris (-) (24yo)
F Auger-Aliassime (12) (21yo) vs C Alcaraz (-) (18yo)
B van de Zandschulp (Q) (25yo) vs D Medvedev (2) (25yo)

Age Distribution: 18, 21, 24, 24, 25, 25, 25, 34
Median Age: 24.5
Average Age: 24.5
Youngest: 18 (Alcarez)
Oldest: 34 (Djokovic)
Djokovic being an outlier with a 9 year gap between oldest and second oldest.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 07 Sep 2021, 8:48 am

Must be one of the youngest q-f line-ups in a Slam, although some of the French q-f guys around 2005, 2006 (v. young Rafa, not very old Fed etc) might equal it.

I though Emma R might have been up against it yesterday - big Bank Holiday crowd, showcourt, American opposition - but not a bit of it.

Still think Bencic is favourite for the q-f but Emma will get huge support. This is a real test, though. Yes, she's had an amazing run here and at Wimbledon , but this will be the first time she's faced a top 20 player.

Djoko doing his usual trick of producing so-so performances at Slams and then, hopefully for him, producing high-quality displays as the second week wears on.

Can't see him having much trouble with Berrettini against whom he played quite poorly in the Wimbledon final but still won.

It will be tough after that, as I'm expecting Djoko to face Zverev in the s-f and Medvedev, who's hardly broken sweat yet, in the final.

Meanwhile, it will be fascinating to see how the two 18-year-olds - Alcaraz and Fernandez - get on today.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 07 Sep 2021, 6:02 pm

First set Medvedev 6-3, although Van de Z did manage to break serve.

The Russian already a break up in the second. OK, this is not over yet. But I wonder if Med needed to be in up-against-it, fight-from-behind mode at some stage.

We've seen him chuck all his toys out of the pram on occasions. Yes, he's hardly broken sweat so far, but is he going to be battle-hardened enough for the s-f and final?

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Post by maverickmak Tue 07 Sep 2021, 6:26 pm

Raducanu has improved much faster than I was expecting. She looks a significantly better player than she did at Wimbledon. I thought it would be great progress if she could break the top 100 before the Australian Open. She's already well cleared that, and frankly is playing like a top 30 player right now. So much more confident, aggressive, and crushing winners off both sides.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 07 Sep 2021, 6:44 pm

Medvedev is two sets up but Van de Z undaunted by a bagel second set, has broken serve again and leads in the third.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Tue 07 Sep 2021, 7:39 pm

Medvedev beats van de Zandachulp 6-3 6-0 4-6 7-5. Was smooth sailing until the Russian’s level dropped in the third.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 07 Sep 2021, 8:14 pm

Probably good for Medvedev to have more of a struggle today. Been a bit too easy for him so far.

I'm always a bit wary of people who sail thru early rounds. You always wonder what they're going to do when the going gets tough.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 08 Sep 2021, 8:18 am

Sadly, injury forced Alcaraz to retire a set and a break down in his quarter but teenage sensation Fernandez edged a tense three-setter with Mrs Gael Monfils.

No let up for Fernandez. She's had to beat Osaka, Kerber and Svitolina to get to the semis where she will meet big-hitting Sabalenka who demolished RG champ Krejcikova.

Krej was the last of the GS champs to fall, meaning that there will be another name added to the ever-growing list of women Slam winners.

Can Emma join Fernandez in the semis? Unlike Leylah, Emma has not faced a top 20 player in any of her GS matches this year. So Bencic is a step up in class and experience.

What can be said is that Emma will not be lacking in confidence or support.

Can't see Berrettini getting more than one set off Djoko and at least we'll be spared another GS final between these two. The one at Wimbledon was dire.

Lloyd Harris has looked terrific in the bits I've seen and could cause Zverev some trouble. But I'm taking the German to win.

Good news for Briton on the doubles front, with Joe Salisbury and Jamie M both coming thru long three-setters to reach the semis.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 08 Sep 2021, 9:33 am

No name Bertie wrote:
lags72 wrote:I have placed a cheeky wager on Carlos Alcaraz : not to just to get through his first-ever QF Slam match ……. BUT to win the title itself …..
Hope you got good odds.  Alcaraz in getting to the QF:
1) beats Norrie (26): 3 sets
2) beats Rinderknech (-): 4 sets
3) beats Tsitsipas (3): 5 sets
4) beats Gojowczyk (Q): 5 sets

Although he has finished strongly in all of his matches so far and won all three tie breaks played, I reckon he will run out of energy...

Not sure how he can maintain the physicality of his play ....

Alcarez lost the first set to F AA and retires 1-3 down in the second set.  Some sort of leg muscle strain.


NYPost wrote: After playing long five-set matches in his previous two victories, the 55th-ranked Alcaraz felt the adductor prior to the match. Initially, he was able to manage the pain, but it worsened as the night went on.

“I didn’t feel good to [keep] playing, so I had to retire,” said Alcara  ..... After holding serve to make it 2-1, Alcaraz got treatment from a trainer. But only a few points later, he called it quits.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 08 Sep 2021, 9:41 am

Leylah Fernandez played phenomenally well to beat Svitolina in three sets.  The match was played in wonderful grunt free silence for most of the match but towards the latter part of the third set Svitolina suddenly started screaming like a Sharapova or a Venus William at the top of her lungs.  Despite that Fernandez still pulled through in a final set tie break.

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Post by lags72 Wed 08 Sep 2021, 11:31 am

@ NnB  - you made a good call on the matter of ‘physicality’ of Alcaraz’s style of play, and it catching up with him at such a tender age.

Always disappointing to see a match concluded purely because of retirement. But we should give huge credit for what young Alcaraz did achieve during his impressive run ….. bringing much interest & excitement to those early rounds, which might otherwise have been fairly routine / mundane affairs in the way that a lot of first week Slam matches traditionally are.

Alcaraz will go on to push himself up the rankings, based on this evidence of talent, he will have learnt from this experience. I wonder whether his retirement can in some ways be considered a sort of parallel to Emma’s unfortunate Wimbledon exit : tough to take at the time - BUT with ultimately favourable consequences in the future …….. ? 🤔  Time will tell.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 08 Sep 2021, 11:42 am

NNB. Most of the shriekers are out of the women's draw. But Sabalenka, who can be particularly loud, remains.

Indeed, the mute button might be needed up to and including the final, as I think Sabalenka might win the whole thing.

I've now given up trying to work out just how many women have won Slams. You think at the start of a GS tournament that you've got it right but then you see that Stosur is playing and that you've forgotten Kenin or Kuznetsova.


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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 08 Sep 2021, 6:39 pm

Blimey - Raducanu in the semis. First ever qualifier to get that far. New British No. 1. Unbelievable.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 08 Sep 2021, 7:06 pm

The fairy tale continues for Emma R. Must say I thought Bencic would be too much for her.

It has to be stressed that all Emma's GS wins up to today had come against non top-20 players. Leylah Fernandez has beaten defending champ Osaka, former New York winner Kerber and no. 5 seed Svitolina.

No one knew just how Emma would cope with a highly-ranked player. So a straight-sets win is remarkable.

Haven't see any of it, but from the stats Bencic didn't serve that well and made too many UEs.

Emma will no doubt hope Pliskova and Sakkari will have an ultra-long match.


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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 08 Sep 2021, 8:08 pm

Credit to the youngster but it must be said the standard of women’s tennis these days is utterly atrocious and has been for several years. I don’t even watch women’s tennis in recent years, it’s depressing how bad it has become

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 08 Sep 2021, 8:17 pm

From a few highlights I have seen from the women's tournament of the US Open - the standard looks very high. I would characterize it as power tennis. In the past women's tennis was just different - very slow in comparison and skillful. Power tennis has in some regards a different skill set - you get less time to make your shot and so the margins are smaller time-wise. I assume they are putting a lot of spin on the ball that helps in terms of getting the ball to land in court. Taking the ball early also requires a level of skill.

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Post by maverickmak Wed 08 Sep 2021, 8:25 pm

The women's game is very competitive. Lots of great teens coming through, and early 20s players already established. The depth is looking pretty stellar, tbh.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 08 Sep 2021, 8:32 pm

Just following the scores I see that Harris had a set point on his own serve at 6-5 in the first set tiebreak but lost 8-6.

You always feel that the lower-ranked player up against one of the big boys just HAS to win the first set to have much of a chance.

As I write Zverev has just gone two sets up. I'm hoping that he wins to give Djoko a real test in the semis. If Djoko is to achieve the Calendar Slam I'd like to see him doing it by beating some top players.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 08 Sep 2021, 8:56 pm

There's a lot of talk about power tennis as if it's a new thing when it isn't. The great Steffi Graf had a power game but it was just one aspect of her game, her backhand slice would counteract the one dimensional power hitters.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 08 Sep 2021, 9:21 pm

Zverev raced into a 4-0 lead in the third and, after a slight blip, won the set 6-4 to move into the semis.

Looks like Djoko will have to beat Zverev and Medvedev to win the whole thing, unless F AA springs a surprise.

Perfect day for Emma R. Rattles off the win nice and early, can do all the media stuff at a leisurely pace and can prepare for a good night's sleep.

She and Fernandez will no doubt be aware that none of the women left has won a GS final and only Pliskova has played a Slam title match.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Wed 08 Sep 2021, 9:42 pm

Sascha on a very good run atm
Olympics 6 matches
Cincinnati 5 matches
New York 5 matches and counting

No time like the present to get his hands on a major.

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 08 Sep 2021, 11:11 pm

I disagree, I think there is a real lack of any great players or any decent rivalries whatsoever. I think ever since around 2010 or 2011, women’s tennis went to pieces. There were great matches between 2000 and 2010 with both Williams, Justine henin was superb, Clijsters, Hingis and early years of sharapova. Ever since 2011 it all went downhill and there have been no decent rivalries since. Henin retiring led to a primrose path for Williams. The last 5-10 years in my opinion have been atrocious. Thankfully the men’s game from 2010 onwards was superb. I just don’t watch women’s tennis anymore, sure some of the slam finals have hardly lasted an hour. I think a few were even under an hour which is an absolute joke

maverickmak wrote:The women's game is very competitive. Lots of great teens coming through, and early 20s players already established. The depth is looking pretty stellar, tbh.

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Post by laverfan Thu 09 Sep 2021, 2:36 am

Both Berrettini and Djokovic seem very nervous and tentative. 21-in-21 t-shirts are on display for Djokovic.

In 64 points played so far, 20 are UEs - about 30+%, set tied at 3-3.

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Post by laverfan Thu 09 Sep 2021, 5:37 am

Djokovic through in 4 sets. Berrettini did not manage much in sets 2 through 4.

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 09 Sep 2021, 7:35 am

If Djokovic was to beat Berritini, Zverev and Medvedev back to back given the form they are in, it would be a phenomenal achievement. I would love to see Djokovic pull off the calendar slam, I have always felt it’s near impossible to achieve on the men’s side. It would truly be one of sports greatest ever achievements.

I think it’s such a tough ask and the pressure is just immense

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 09 Sep 2021, 8:19 am

Not much he could do, Berritini played well. The pressure from Djokovic was relentless, his service return is ridiculous. Berritini is just not used to seeing so many first serves not only coming back but back with interest.

It’s easy in tennis to just throw up unforced errors stats as they do on TV but in my opinion it’s not as simple as that. Having to constantly hit one more winner puts so much pressure on and many ‘unforced’ errors are a result of relentless pressure and are somewhat forced in reality


laverfan wrote:Djokovic through in 4 sets. Berrettini did not manage much in sets 2 through 4.

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