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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 sirfredperry Thu 09 Sep 2021, 8:33 am

Well as I suspected Djoko made short work of Berrettini - even giving him a set start and still winning.

Haven't seen any of the match but the stats show that, once again, the Italian's returning was poor, allowing Djoko to win 66% of his second-serve points which is well above average.

The serious business begins now for Novak who has to overcome Zverev and, probably, Medvedev. It's normal at this stage for Djoko to cast off any diffidence and uncertainty and play brilliantly.

From Emma R's point of view, I was rather hoping that her s-f opponent would be Pliskova, who, despite her high ranking, is liable to chuck in horror displays.

Sakkari, lower ranked and with a poorer overall record than Pliskova, is feisty and competitive.

Still, the 17th seed should be easier to face than a player who has reached two GS finals. Emma has a chance to reach the final.

Sabalenka looks powerful but it would be foolish to write off Fernandez given her giant-killing acts. I suppose it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that we could have an all-teenage final.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 09 Sep 2021, 9:47 am

Would make Djokovis favourite to win either match individually and pretty much 50/50 to win both. Definitely against two in form hard court players though, so if he does take the title it will be deserved.

As for the women's side, what odds a couple of weeks ago that Raducanu would be in the semi finals? Her rate of progress from Wimbledon is incredible, and she thoroughly deserved her win yesterday - actually played better in the second set than the first although the scoreline doesn't reflect that - had zero UEs through 7 games and was serving 80% first serves. Wobbled slightly in her last two service games (0-30 in both, with a double fault in each) but was smart enough and mentally tough enough to keep the ball in play and let Bencic make mistakes.

I think the issue with the women's game at present is a lack of an outstanding top 2 or 3 players who consistently make the later stages of tournaments. There's good depth, in that there are 20+ players with the capability to win each week, but they are all very up and down in consistency.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 09 Sep 2021, 10:18 am

Time (sets) for Match Completion
......  Djokovic....  Zverev
QF .. 3:26(4)......  2:06(3)
4R .. 2:59(4)....... 2:25(3)
3R... 3:32(4)....... 1:58(3.3) opponent retired in 4th set
2R... 1:39(3)....... 1:14(3)
1R... 2:15(4)....... 1:40(3)

Total: 11:51......... 9:23:  Difference 2:28

Djokovic has spent 26% more time getting through his matches than Zverev.

Past few years form at US Open
........  Djokovic.. Zverev... Medvedev
2020.  4R..........  Final...... SF
2019.  4R........... 4R......... Final

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 09 Sep 2021, 10:41 am

Very much agree that given the fact that Zverev and Medvedev are still in the tournament, a Djoko overall triumph would be well deserved.

I felt he was not in top form at Wimbledon (possibly because of his exertions in Paris?) and a scrappy win over Berrettini in the final was nothing to write home about.

But a GS title is not to be sneezed at. You just think that if Novak pulls this off in New York, against two in-form players, it really WILL be something.

I see Sakkari is trying to take pressure of herself by saying she is not the favourite for her semi with Emma. I think she's wrong. She is the favourite. She's reached a GS semi before, she's a top 20 player and she's experienced.

But that's not to say the Greek will win. I think the Bencic victory, against a highly-ranked player, will have given an already-confident Raducanu even more of a boost.

I think Fernandez glorious run, even more impressive than Emma's given the women she beat, will end against Sabalenka.

British interest may extend beyond today whatever happens in Emma's match. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares have a winnable men's doubles semi as do Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram.


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Post by dummy_half Thu 09 Sep 2021, 10:46 am

Oh, as an aside, can I say that it was a pleasure to watch Raducanu v Bencic, because of their lack of shrieking when they hit the ball.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 09 Sep 2021, 10:48 am

During the Quarter-Final Djokovic smashed the ball towards the umpire chair with ball kids on either side missing one of them by a fraction.

foxsports dot com wrote:Leading 3-1 in the fourth set and having just won his first point of the fifth game, Djokovic unnecessarily hit a ball back in the direction of the ball kids and chair umpire as he turned around following Berrettini’s long shot.

The ball missed the ball kids by a fraction.

A year after he was disqualified for unintentionally hitting a linesperson, the moment wasn’t missed in commentary as history almost repeated ...

This is how ESPN’s commentary team reacted.

“Novak just smashed that ball in the direction of the chair umpire,” former champion John McEnroe said. “Get your act together.” ...

Chief caller Chris Fowler adding: “Be a little bit careful smacking tennis balls around in random directions.

John McEnroe: “Yes, if I was him. That’s a good point. No lines people, but ball kids.

Fowler: “Yes, and that was pretty close to them that time."

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Post by slashermcguirk Thu 09 Sep 2021, 12:05 pm

I see Zverev smashed his racket in the 1st set when losing but no comments from media or anyone on that. Did the same at the olympics and also nobody commented on it. Funny how any time Djokovic or tsitsipas do anything they are hammered for it, I have lost count of the times I have seen Zverev, Medvedev, Khachanov and others have obliterated their rackets on the court this summer alone

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Post by laverfan Thu 09 Sep 2021, 3:04 pm

slashermcguirk wrote: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.

If Berrettini can win the first set at 7-5, and some of the longest games took place in the first set, compared to sets 2-4, my conclusion is Berrettini played these sets differently.

Berrettini's UEs by set 16, 9, 12, 6. Djokovic UEs are 17, 3, 3, 5. Djokovic cleaned up very well in sets 2-4. If UEs are due to pressure, obviously, Djokovic was under less pressure.

BPs Won for Berettini by set are 1/4, 0/0, 0/1, 0/1.

BPs Won by Djokovic by set are 0/2, 2/7, 2/6, 1/1.

Quite a difference in BPs in sets 2-4.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 09 Sep 2021, 3:10 pm

Slasher
Agree to some extent that there is an element of media narrative, and the creation of heros and villains. Can't recall though either Federer or Nadal ever smashing a racket - a quick google suggests Rafa never has and Fed smashed one a couple of years ago, and the previous one was 8 years earlier. Others, as you point out, are more inclined to taking their frustrations out on their equpiment.

I think Djokovic was a bit thoughtless yesterday, given his default last year, and this hitting balls around away from the court is something he has a bit of a habit of - not necessarily in anger or anything, but just somewhat careless.

Tsitsipas on the other hand seems to be wilfully bending the rules (extended breaks, on-court coaching), and while I like his game I'm getting less and less enamoured with his personality.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 09 Sep 2021, 5:09 pm

Actions that will lead to straight disqualifications - such as hitting someone with a ball (when the ball is NOT in play), such as hitting someone with a tennis racket, such as kicking someone - will always get more attention than an action that won't lead to a straight disqualification.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 09 Sep 2021, 5:57 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:I see Zverev smashed his racket in the 1st set when losing but no comments from media or anyone on that.

The BBC site mentioned it, but it was somewhat overshadowed by his opponent throwing his drink all over the court.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 09 Sep 2021, 6:47 pm

Salisbury/Ram are thru to the doubles final after a straight sets win over Querrey/Johnson.

Jamie M/Soares now about to start to see if they can also reach the final.

Joe Salisbury is certainly carving out a good career for himself.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 09 Sep 2021, 8:42 pm

J Murray/Soares join Salisbury/Ram in the doubles final, guaranteeing a GB success in NY.


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Post by No name Bertie Thu 09 Sep 2021, 9:37 pm

The top news story for kids from the BBC is about renaming Henman Hill to Raducanu Ridge. A bit of fun or more unnecessary pressure on Emma Raducanu from journos?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/58505104

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 1:11 am

Fernandez wins first set in TB. Too many errors from Sabalenka.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 1:31 am

Sabalenka led 4-1 in the first set. Fernandez learnt, adapted and came back strong.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 1:54 am

Sabalenka wins second set 6-4. One set shootout. Sabalenka's power may not be enough to stem the Fernandez tide.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 2:07 am

Raducanu vs Sakkari will start around 10pm ET. USO should have started the schedule on Ashe a bit earlier.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 2:39 am

Fernandez wins as Sabalenka self-destructs with DFs and errors.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 2:47 am

That was Fernandez fourth consecutive three set match - beating Osaka, Kerber, Svitolina and now Sabalenka.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 3:43 am

Raducanu has a double-break in the first set.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 3:55 am

6-1 first set to Raducanu. Sakkari seems very rattled.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 4:43 am

Raducanu wins 6-1, 6-4. Into the final. I give her the edge over Fernandez. First Qualifier to reach a Slam final.

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Post by alfie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 4:46 am

In breaking news : US Open 2021 to be renamed "Women's Under 20 Championship" Smile

Couple of remarkable young women ! Bit scary for a lot of their elders...

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 7:08 am

So that's the girl's US final sorted out. When do the main draw matches start?

What a remarkable Slam this has been in the women's, and with a possible calendar slam to come in the men's.

Thought Sabalenka would beat Fernandez and that Emma would, at least, have a chance against Sakkari.

Leylah, though, proved me wrong and Emma smashed Sakkari. Fernandez run is even more impressive, in that she has beaten the number two, three and five seeds plus former US champ Kerber.

I would make Leylah favourite for the final but certainly no-sets-lost Emma will be the fresher of the two.

The Briton might also be helped by the fact that for once Leylah is not the underdog and is playing a woman ranked much lower than her.

On the minus side for Emma, we don't know how she'll play if she's behind or has a wonky few minutes. Fernandez faced defeat in straight sets against Osaka and has had long, battle-hardening struggles.

First qualifier to make a GS final, first all-teenage final since 1999, first British woman in a GS final since Wade in 77, first US woman finalist since Wade in 68 and youngest British Slam finalist since Christine Truman in 1959.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 7:44 am

Ranking... Before Wimbledon 2021 .......... Before US Open 2021
Raducanu:  #338................................... #150
Fernandez: #71..................................... #73

Heights (from WTA):
Raducanu: 5'7"
Fernandez: 5'6"

Someone mentioned that Raducanu was something like 5000 to 1 to win.  Not sure what the odds were for Fernandez.   Not sure what the odds were for a Raducanu vs Fernandez final.

This has to be unprecedented.  There were so many previous slam winners competing and none made their way through.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 8:55 am

So you have to ask. Two lowly-ranked, inexperienced teenagers have reached a GS final.

Is it because
1. It's a strange year with players in bubbles and perhaps suffering mentally as well as physically.
2. The two teenage finalists are fearless and fresh.
3. The standard in the women's game is low.

Could be a bit of all three. There's no doubt that the extraordinary pandemic-caused circumstances this year have produced some strange results.

Remember that a male qualifier, Karatsev, reached the s-f in Melbourne, while the French threw up a surprise winner in the women's.

Players have been taken out of their usual routines due to the pandemic. Girls like Leyland Emma are new to the scene and so have perhaps been less affected by the new protocols.

The two NY finalists are also far fresher than the women who have been slogging round a circuit made unfamiliar by the pandemic.

As for the standard of the women's game. Some might argue that having so many GS champs at one time is a strength. Others could say that it shows that no one is dominating and anyone can beat anyone else on the day.

I wish to take nothing away from Fernandez fantastic effort in reaching the final. But should a very inexperienced teenager be able to beat the number two, three and five seeds plus a former US champ in successive matches in a Slam?

Perhaps it's too early to work out what's happened. After all, we've seen a number of so-called sensations do well at slams in recent years and then be unable to follow it up.

Ostapenko, for example, looked great winning the French but has struggled since. Two years ago Andreescu won the US but injuries have held her back since.

Swiatek took the French title last year but has not done that well at the Slams since.

It should also be noted that of the two women who have been most consistent over recent times - Osaka and Halep - one has had mental problems and the other physical ones.

So we could be looking at the US 2021 in later years as either one where someone became a one-slam wonder or where a tennis great began their reign.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:12 am

The women's game has changed like the men's game has changed but probably more so.  Most women players have male training partners nowadays.  I think more women are focusing on power and that is something that gives rise to narrow windows of peak fitness and strength over the year long season followed by injuries, minor or major.

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Post by alfie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:45 am

I wondered about Sir Fred's query re standard of the women's game too.

But having watched those two semi finals I reckon we might just be looking at a couple of exceptional young talents. Sure their opponents might have been better : or better opponents might have been on the other side of the net. But to my eye (and I confess I am not the expert on this game that some on here might fairly claim to be) they both looked to have all the skills to become true top level players - including very good control of emotional levels at the crucial points of the matches.

Not suggesting they will take over the world tomorrow. But I will be very surprised if they are not both major players over the next few years.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:48 am

Emma, at least temporarily, has stolen Novak's thunder.

Novak will achieve the Calendar Slam should he triumph on Sunday. It will be a great achievement but it's been done before, most recently by Rod Laver in 1969.

Emma, though, is the FIRST woman, or man, to ever reach a Slam final as a qualifier.

Even a few days ago you would have to say that this has been a really good GS tournament. It seems to be getting better and better.

It certainly makes up for the lacklustre Covid-hit Slams recently.


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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 10 Sep 2021, 10:24 am

great achievement by the two teens. I actually think Fernandez more impressive as she has had a much tougher draw, she has beaten 4 high seeds, in my opinion much tougher opponents back to back. You can only beat whats in front of you but the reality is her draw has been the tougher, not to take away from Emma.

Also if you think this is impressive, a reminder that Boris Becker won Wimbledon at the age of 17 and not only that, he won it again the next year at 18 !!

One final point, this is arguably the weakest era of women' tennis I can ever remember. The likes of Williams, Graf, Henin etc. would have cleaned up in their prime in this type of draw. There is not one 'Great' Player left in women's tennis and even more shocking there has not been one single decent womens rivalry since about 2010. I dont call Williams vs Sharapova or Azarenka rivalries because she pretty much destroyed them every single time. You have to go all the way back to Williams sisters playing each other, williams playing Henin and Clijsters and Hingis to find the last good rivalries. My own opinion is this a very weak period for womens tennis, hopefully it picks up

one final point, please dont compare this achievement to Djokovic going for calendar year grand slam, that is a laughable comparison in terms of achievement. Rod Laver may have won it in 1969 but three of the four slams back then were on grass and there was less competition. Not taking away from Rod Laver though who was an unbelievable player and one of the all time greats

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 10 Sep 2021, 11:16 am

I'd consider winning a grand slam in your fourth tournament as qualifier to be a greater achievement than the career grand slam in the context of this year. You rightfully bemoan the standard of women's tennis right now but ignore that the men's game has been in the doldrums for years now, there's a whole generation of players who simply are not good enough. Tsitsipas the world number three struggled past a player with a metal hip, even then with the aid of a conveniently long toilet break.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Fri 10 Sep 2021, 11:19 am

Big day for Sascha Zverev, for a long time he’s been hyped up as the heir apparent. He’s currently on best run of his career. If he can’t get it done tonight you have to wonder if he can ever get it done.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 10 Sep 2021, 12:11 pm

Nonsense. how has the Men's game been in doldrums for years?? You are telling me the following not a good era over the past number of years (I dont know how far back you are talking):

Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Thiem, Zverev, Tsitisipas, Berritini, Wawrinka, Murray, Del Potro just to name some players. On top of that you have players like Bautista Agut, Auger Alliasime, Rublev, Monfils etc who can all beat anyone on their day. How that equates to a weak era i will never know. If you go further back, you have Ferrer, Berdych, Tsonga to name a just a few. If you think womens tennis has anything comparable you are in cuckoo land. Just because many of the above havent won a slam does not mean they are not excellent players! they are up against probably the three greatest players of all time

Soul Requiem wrote:I'd consider winning a grand slam in your fourth tournament as qualifier to be a greater achievement than the career grand slam in the context of this year. You rightfully bemoan the standard of women's tennis right now but ignore that the men's game has been in the doldrums for years now, there's a whole generation of players who simply are not good enough. Tsitsipas the world number three struggled past a player with a metal hip, even then with the aid of a conveniently long toilet break.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 12:37 pm

Gonna argue, perhaps disingenously, that the men's current era is both weak and strong.

Weak in that none of the younger, fitter players have been able to knock the Big Three off their GS title perches.

Strong in that you have two current outstanding players - Djoko and Rafa- another all-time great in Rog and multi-Slam winners Murray and Stan the Man,
as well as a host of good young players, albeit ones who cannot lay claim to a Slam yet.

Yes, Zverev has a great chance tonight. But should he lose, surely there will be more chances.

My linking the Emma effort with Djoko's possible Calendar Slam was merely to talk about the uniqueness of one rather than to compare the achievements.

A Djoko slam would be extraordinary even if some of his biggest rivals have been absent for one reason or another.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 10 Sep 2021, 12:41 pm

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray and Wawrinka are not the current generation that's the whole point. The new crop just aren't that good, they're all decent players i'm not denying that but they should have usurped the old timers regardless of how great they once were. Listing Zverev, Tsitsipas, Berretini and Thiem amongst the others is hiding the problem quite deliberately.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 10 Sep 2021, 12:54 pm

My view in the men's game is that Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have been very far from their peak abilities (movement, strength, stamina, speed, elasticity) and yet have continued to demolish the generations that have followed them.  

In 2016 following his second Wimbledon title Murray's worsening chronic hip condition ultimately led him to have the hip replaced.  Djokovic had a major elbow injury that required surgery.  Federer had a back problem and Nadal had one of  his numerous injuries (knee or ankle or foot - I have lost count).  Yet Federer and Nadal were able to fill the void in 2017/18 left by the absence of Murray and Wawrinka and Djokovic.  Then after that Djokovic and Nadal took over again.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 10 Sep 2021, 1:12 pm

Some debate could be had about whether Fernandez is the favourite because she beat more higher ranked players or whether that might tire her out, or whether having to play more matches and come through qualifying might catch up with Raducanu.

But whoever wins in the final tomorrow could just come down to which one of them gets nervous.

This is a significant increase in pressure from the semi final, when both of them were still playing as the underdog with nothing to lose, still on an exciting run, but perhaps not really expecting to win the tournament.

They are both about to go through a mental test the like of which they have never experienced.

Whatever happens I hope they both plan carefully for their career and keep things in proportion. We don´t want them to end up retiring or injured or depressed or somehow past it in their early 20s like happened for so many women´s tennis players.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 10 Sep 2021, 1:33 pm

This is a big opportunity for Zverev today. I think this is the best time for him to play Djokovic. I hope Novak wins but I think the pressure on him is enormous with the calendar slam so close now. I also think the lack of match practise in lead up to the US open has shown with Djokovic performances. I would actually put Zverev as favourite today based on current form but would never expect anything but a big battle from Novak regardless of form.

Medvedev has had a much kinder draw

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 2:53 pm

Yeah, agree that this is a good time for Zverev to take on Djoko, although I still wouldn't make the German favourite.

Comparisons are difficult but you will all remember when Serena "merely" had two not-that-highly-ranked Italians between her and a Calendar Slam in New York but went down to the first of them.

Surely it was the weight of expectation that beat Serena. As Slasher says above, the pressure is now enormous on Novak.

Also, good points made by HB above about the different set of expectations facing the two teenagers tomorrow.

Not much being said about Medvedev. F AA could spring a surprise, but I doubt it. It might have been easier for the Canadian if Medvedev had played faultlessly til now and had not dropped a set.

But the Russian was taken to four last round so may have got his blip out of the way. He looked a good bet for the final even before the draw opened up for him.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 4:20 pm

sirfredperry wrote:F AA could spring a surprise, but I doubt it.

I am glad to see Uncle Toni Nadal in F AA's corner.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 5:19 pm

laverfan wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:F AA could spring a surprise, but I doubt it.

I am glad to see Uncle Toni Nadal in F AA's corner.

Didn't realise Uncle Toni has been working with F AA for a while now. Probably why the Canadian has been getting deeper into Slams.

Looking up references to Toni I saw that he (Toni) had joined criticism of Tsitsipas' toilet breaks. Thankfully the row over the Greek seems a long time ago now.

Just watched Sakkari's press conference after the loss to Emma. Although clearly bitterly disappointed with not only the defeat but the way she played, Maria spoke well and was positive about the future. She pointed out she was having her finest season. Certainly two GS semis for a player outside the top 10 is no mean feat.

She'd had an MP in the French semi and now she had lost to an 18-year-old qualifier in a second GS last-four match. But she carried off the press conference with great dignity.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 5:40 pm

Jamie M/Soares get the first break of the doubles final v Salisbury/Ram. M/S now serving for 5-3.

LATER: M/S take the first set 6-3.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 6:18 pm

Now one set all in the men's doubles final, after S/R take the second set 6-2.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 7:02 pm

...And the men's double title goes to Salisbury and Ram who beat J. Murray/Soares 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Second GS title for Briton Salisbury.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 8:41 pm

Six games into the Medvedev-F AA semi and there have been no breaks and, indeed, no BPs.

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Post by laverfan Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:18 pm

Medvedev has the first set at 6-4. 2-4 now. F AA seems to be playing very differently compared to the Alcaraz match, but gets the break.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:23 pm

Game six in the second set and F AA gets his first BPs and takes one of them to go 4-2 up.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:26 pm

Some sneaky work there, L Fan, to report that break of serve five minutes BEFORE it happened!

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 10 Sep 2021, 9:52 pm

Alliasime brain farts 5-3 up and serving 30-0, has two set points and manages to lose set 7-5. Madness

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