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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 laverfan Mon 13 Sep 2021, 1:14 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:
laverfan wrote:
Jeff Navarro wrote:New York is considerably faster than Melbourne.
How is Australian Open Surface Different from US Open?
They changed surface in New York in 2020.
Djokovic 9-0 in Melbourne
Djokovic 3-5 in New York prior to surface change

You may also want to take a look at ITF Classified Surfaces page.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 13 Sep 2021, 1:16 pm

If you read the first question in the presser I linked above it is interesting to see him talk about how much he values the crowd support. It´s no surprise since he always obviously felt a desire to be liked - almost to the point of being needy - but still interesting to read it.

The CYGS is indeed a tricky beast. You would have to say now, just thinking of the men´s game, that no-one is going to be able to do it for another few years at least.

Yesterday´s result does change things a bit in the GOAT race.

I suppose Djokovic´s record is still statistically better but not by enough to really declare him above Federer or Nadal. It feels like a tie at the moment. Worth noting that a win for Djokovic yesterday would have confirmed (all but mathematically) the year end no 1, giving him 7 year end no 1s to Rog and Rafa´s 5 (and Pete´s 6). However he now only has just over a 1,000 points lead and may not want to play as many tournaments as Medvedev. So it´s an open question now who will be year end no 1. Medvedev winning the tournament was the only thing that Novak didn´t need in the race to year end no 1.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 13 Sep 2021, 1:21 pm

You would have to say at this point that Novak is the favourite for the Australian Open, but if he doesn´t win it he won´t go into another tournament as (clear/strong) favourite again. We are not likely going to see clear favourites in the slams in the next few years like it used to be Rafa vs the field at the FO or Federer vs the field at Wimbledon (in 2004-2007). It will be a case I think of each tournament having 3-5 favourites.

I don´t see Medvedev or anyone else dominating the tour.

We still have the question of the big three tied at 20 slams but somehow this kind of slam race has been going on for so long that it is starting to get a bit passe. Even the big three themselves may be starting to get a bit bored of it. If it is a still a tie at the end of next year it almost feels like they could all just wearily call it a draw and agree to retire! At least that is how it feels today, but perhaps that will change next year.

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 13 Sep 2021, 1:23 pm

I saw the first set and half, up to where Medvedev broke serve. Earlier that set saw a visibly frustrated Djokovic almost belt a ball in anger and smash his racket on floor. He'd had 0-40 on Medvedev's serve but the Russian came back v strongly to hold serve, and it really felt like a pivotal moment in match.

Always felt that beating Zverev and Medvedev back to back would be tough. At Aus Open he won't have it his own way - Thiem is likely to be back and Tsitsipas/Zverev/Medvedev will fancy their chances

However I see Djokovic winning Wimbledon again next year due to the dearth of decent grasscourters.

Onto Raducanu yes she'll get lots of over the top media coverage at next year's Wimbledon expecting her to win it. But, she's got in there early and won US Open under the radar. Truth be told it may take her a while to develop her grasscourt game to win Wimbledon but she looks a contender on the hardcourt slams to follow up her success.

Finally, I had a great run on the Tennis Dream team competition, finished 3rd on men's predictions and 15th overall thanks to Raducanu winning, and including Felix A A, Brooksby and Gojowylcz in men's contest.

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Post by lags72 Mon 13 Sep 2021, 1:29 pm

dummy_half wrote:HB

…………………..

I wonder if in hindsight, Djokovic might have skipped the Olympics, to have a bit of a mental and physical refresh before the USI?

This !

I strongly suspect that he and his team were very much of the mindset that ‘we’re looking invincible. there will never be such a good chance to make a clean sweep … the CYGS + Olympics’

But (and not just in hindsight) an unwise decision, given his age and the inevitable physical / mental damage that comes from setting one target after another ….. a 21st Slam to top the ‘leaderboard’ (but still not necessarily GOAT status), a CYGS, Olympics Gold …..

And as for young Emma and those front covers …… er …… yes …… let’s just say she is easy (VERY easy) on the eye ….. Cool

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Post by dummy_half Mon 13 Sep 2021, 1:34 pm

lags72 wrote:...

And as for young Emma and those front covers …… er …… yes …… let’s just say she is easy (VERY easy) on the eye ….. Cool

And a newspaper editor would never make a decision on who to put on the front page on such shallow trivialities Very Happy

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Post by MrInvisible Mon 13 Sep 2021, 3:00 pm

One thing that would help share the burden of media glare on Raducanu would be if her success inspires any of the other British girls to move up the rankings. Henman had Rusedski and Andy had his brother (and also his Mum was happy to enjoy prominent coverage in media).

If Konta can get more consistent or Dart or Boulter move up rankings and win the odd couple of rounds in slams (especially at Wimbledon) that may help.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 13 Sep 2021, 3:08 pm

MrInvisible wrote:One thing that would help share the burden of media glare on Raducanu would be if her success inspires any of the other British girls to move up the rankings. Henman had Rusedski and Andy had his brother (and also his Mum was happy to enjoy prominent coverage in media).

If Konta can get more consistent or Dart or Boulter move up rankings and win the odd couple of rounds in slams (especially at Wimbledon) that may help.

I don't know if that's all that true with regards to Henman and Murray. Rusedski may have reached a grand slam final but as far as expectations go at Wimbledon where the burden of the media makes a real difference he wasn't really a factor. Henman got to the second week at Wimbledon nine times in a row and should have gone on to win in 2001, easy to say in hindsight but the hard work had already been before the rain ruined everything. People know that Andy has a brother who plays doubles but again all expectation was on him.

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Post by laverfan Mon 13 Sep 2021, 7:30 pm

dummy_half wrote:
lags72 wrote:...

And as for young Emma and those front covers …… er …… yes …… let’s just say she is easy (VERY easy) on the eye ….. Cool

And a newspaper editor would never make a decision on who to put on the front page on such shallow trivialities Very Happy

At  Emma's tender age of 18, given the discussions about player mental health are now considered important in the professional athletic circuit, media have even greater responsibility to be sensitive. Watching Djokovic's USO post-match interview shows the 'human' facet of athletes. As Nadal has pointed out, professional sport can be detrimental to physical and mental health, both.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 13 Sep 2021, 7:31 pm

I said earlier that it was Rafa's constant winning of the French that was preventing anyone doing the CYGS.

But the stats show that Djoko's stumbling block was just as likely to be - as it proved - the USO.

Here are the number of times at the each of the venues that a non Big Three player has won a Slam between 2009 and 2021.

AO - 1
RG - 1
Wimbledon - 2
USO - 6.

In most of our annual predictions it tends to be the USO that is the hardest to forecast - simply because it has not been dominated by the big boys in the same way that the other three Slams have.

You tend to plump for Djoko for the AO, Rafa for the French, Djoko or Rog for Wimbledon and perhaps someone new for the USO.

With Rafa and Rog coming back from surgery and Djoko, finally, looking more vulnerable we could see the Big Three tied for all eternity on their 20 Slams each.

We had two new Slam champions in New York. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think this was the first time this had happened since the French in 04 when the winners were Gaston Gaudio and Anastasia Myskina.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Mon 13 Sep 2021, 7:38 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Correction)

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Post by lags72 Mon 13 Sep 2021, 7:48 pm

I personally doubt we will have the opportunity to watch Federer ply his trade once more on Wimbledon’s hallowed turf. Maybe a 20% chance of a swan-song appearance …… but no more than that.

Meanwhile ….. your points on ‘unpredictability’ of USO outcomes are well-based sfp thumbsup

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Post by laverfan Mon 13 Sep 2021, 8:48 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Here are the number of times at the each of the venues that a non Big Three player has won a Slam between 2009 and 2021.

AO - 1
RG - 1
Wimbledon - 2
USO - 6.

To add to sirfredperry's post...

AO - 2014 - Wawrinka
RG - 2015 - Wawrinka
Wimbledon - 2013 and 2016 - Murray
USO - 2009 - Del Potro, 2012 - Murray, 2014 - Cilic, 2016 - Wawrinka, 2020 - Thiem, 2021 - Medvedev.

I miss Soderling, Del Potro, Wawrinka and Murray. Thiem also has an injury, which can be bad for his career.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 13 Sep 2021, 8:51 pm

I see that some have been attempting to place the Emma win in the list of great sporting shocks/achievements.

It's safe to say that it was a HUGE shock and an incredible achievement. We've had younger tennis champions, including quite a few women, as well as 17-yr-old Slam winners such as Becker, Chang and Wilander.

But has anyone won a major having played so few main-tour matches?

The WTA must be rubbing its hands to be able to tell such a fairy-tale story of a young, attractive 18-year-old qualifier who comes to New York and smiles and charms her way to a no-sets-dropped Grand Slam title.

Bet the UK tennis writers are loving it, too, particularly the older ones who can remember the barren, pre-Henman days when a Briton getting thru two rounds of the men's draw at Wimbledon was news.

Just as Henman was winding down they had Murray to write about. Now, as Murray begins to sail off into the sunset, we have...Emma Raducanu.



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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Sep 2021, 7:46 am

The dust settles on a momentous USO. Beforehand it was thought that the tournament would be memorable for Djoko getting the CYGS.

But he didn't and the Slam will always be remembered for the astonishing, almost unbelievable, run to the trophy by Emma R.

She managed to overshadow Novak and also steal the limelight from another sensational display by a teenager who beat seeds number 2, 3, and 5 as well as former champ Kerber.

Both Zverev and Medvedev going deep into the tournament meant Djoko would have to beat them both to complete the Grand Slam. After a terrific semi with Zverev, Novak found the task just too much in the final, beaten not only by the better, fitter, younger player but by the weight of history.

So what now? Normally I'd make Djoko favourite for the AO and he's clearly got a good shot at it, providing he's fit. But just as some felt others could come thru in New York, there will be those who reckon we could see a new name on the trophy in Melbourne in January.

And what of photogenic, charismatic, joyful, carefree Emma who has suddenly become the poster girl for world tennis and all British sport?

The world and his wife will now want a piece of her. But she seems the sort of person who may well be able to cope with it. It will be interesting to see how she copes with the inevitable defeats and setbacks that afflict even the greatest of sportsmen and women.





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Post by No name Bertie Tue 14 Sep 2021, 9:49 am

The Emma Raducanu win at the US Open was unprecedented.  I had sort of blanked out the noise created by the BBC at Wimbledon given I had not really taken an interest in women's tennis for sometime.  Casually reading comments on here I became aware that she had lost at Wimbledon in the fourth round and that attracted comment regarding "mental strength" - although I heard later that she had sustained some sort of injury.  At the time of Wimbledon the BBC's main focus had been about Naomi Osaka.

Following her US Open victory and listening to Emma Raducanu (for the first time) in her interview in the awards ceremony and then in the following press interview I was really surprised at her maturity, level headedness, calmness and thoughtfulness.  I thought to myself - this is a level-headed and intelligent young lady. For me, my only real concern, moving forward are the distractions she will encounter that will try to draw her away from the focus of tennis - everybody will want a piece of her.


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Post by dummy_half Tue 14 Sep 2021, 9:50 am

sirfredperry wrote:I see that some have been attempting to place the Emma win in the list of great sporting shocks/achievements.

It's safe to say that it was a HUGE shock and an incredible achievement. We've had younger tennis champions, including quite a few women, as well as 17-yr-old Slam winners such as Becker, Chang and Wilander.

But has anyone won a major having played so few main-tour matches?

The WTA must be rubbing its hands to be able to tell such a fairy-tale story of a young, attractive 18-year-old qualifier who comes to New York and smiles and charms her way to a no-sets-dropped Grand Slam title.

Bet the UK tennis writers are loving it, too, particularly the older ones who can remember the barren, pre-Henman days when a Briton getting thru two rounds of the men's draw at Wimbledon was news.

Just as Henman was winding down they had Murray to write about. Now, as Murray begins to sail off into the sunset, we have...Emma Raducanu.



Her multi-cultural background, in particular Chinese heritage, isn't a negative either from a marketing point of view.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Sep 2021, 10:44 am

Just seen pics of Emma rocking up at the Met Gala fashion thingy in New York.

Emma looked like a million dollars - in fact she looked like 1.8 million dollars.

Made nearly everyone look freaky and unattractive. Model, film star, fashion icon, influencer, Mandarin-speaker. Oh, and quite good at tennis.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 14 Sep 2021, 11:54 am

Looking back on the US open final, Medvedev really was super impressive. He served impeccably throughout and he didnt give an inch in rallies. If you think about it and given how heavy legged Djokovic was, he was probably the worst possible opponent he could have had that day. I think if he was playing somebody like Tsitsipas or Zverev who throw in the sublime but also plenty of mental errors, Djokovic may well have found a way. I think it is clear from Novaks performance and his press conference that he was just worn out and his legs just wouldnt co-operate. I think everything coming down over a whole year to just one match is a ridiculous level of pressure. I dont think anyone can deny that Djokovic is one of the mentally strongest players the world has seen (I would put Nadal up there too). He has shown time and again the ability to come back and battle adversity and even in stadiums full of people willing him to lose. I just think Sunday was a step too far, it was interesting that pretty much the same thing happened to Serena Williams a number of years ago when she lost to Vinci (though i think that was the semi finals). There comes a point where you are just human and nobody is immune to the immense pressure. Djokovic quite simply just didnt perform on the day and Medvedev was precisely the type of player that was needed to capitalise. I am sure he also wanted revenge for being beaten heavily by Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

Looking forward for the rest of the year, I think Novak will plod along without doing anything exceptional but I think he might actually come back very dangerous again at the Australian open. You could sense the relief that the Calendar year slam conversation is put to bed. He will now be able to just go out and swing free again and that loss will only sharpen his desire to get back winning. While Medvedev and the other younger players will be the ones to watch in 2022, it wouldnt at all surprise me if Djokovic still nicks a slam next year and you can just never write off Nadal at the French open. I am not at all convinced the next gen will win all the slams next year even factoring in this Medvedev win, he will now face a new pressure of being a slam champion and that is not easy. I expect him him to kick on and maybe win another hard court slam and i do think Zverev and Tsitsipas will push hard for their first slam win. Part of me thinks though that Djokovic and Nadal might get a slam each next year.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 14 Sep 2021, 12:06 pm


While I agree Radacanu's achievement was huge and mightily impressive, I still think one key element is the field was comparatively weaker. I totally get she can only beat who is in front of her but its not like she faced a world number one, a great of the game like a Serena Williams, Justine Henin or a Martina Hingis in her prime. Fernandez to be fair to her took care of most of the top seeds en route to the final, she certainly had a much tougher draw. I am not taking from what Emma achieved, I am simply trying to point out that the field was pretty poor and the current top 10 is pretty damn weak. I know this is all subjective and there are some on here that will disagree with me but other than Osaka and what she achieved over a relatively short period of time, there is not one player in the Women's top 10 that you would be intimidated by like you would with the types of names I mentioned previously in their prime. The likes of Graf, Williams, Seles, Hingis, Henin would have absolutely cleaned up last week in their prime.



sirfredperry wrote:I see that some have been attempting to place the Emma win in the list of great sporting shocks/achievements.

It's safe to say that it was a HUGE shock and an incredible achievement. We've had younger tennis champions, including quite a few women, as well as 17-yr-old Slam winners such as Becker, Chang and Wilander.

But has anyone won a major having played so few main-tour matches?

The WTA must be rubbing its hands to be able to tell such a fairy-tale story of a young, attractive 18-year-old qualifier who comes to New York and smiles and charms her way to a no-sets-dropped Grand Slam title.

Bet the UK tennis writers are loving it, too, particularly the older ones who can remember the barren, pre-Henman days when a Briton getting thru two rounds of the men's draw at Wimbledon was news.

Just as Henman was winding down they had Murray to write about. Now, as Murray begins to sail off into the sunset, we have...Emma Raducanu.



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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 14 Sep 2021, 12:11 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:
While I agree Radacanu's achievement was huge and mightily impressive, I still think one key element is the field was comparatively weaker. I totally get she can only beat who is in front of her but its not like she faced a world number one, a great of the game like a Serena Williams, Justine Henin or a Martina Hingis in her prime. Fernandez to be fair to her took care of most of the top seeds en route to the final, she certainly had a much tougher draw. I am not taking from what Emma achieved, I am simply trying to point out that the field was pretty poor and the current top 10 is pretty damn weak. I know this is all subjective and there are some on here that will disagree with me but other than Osaka and what she achieved over a relatively short period of time, there is not one player in the Women's top 10 that you would be intimidated by like you would with the types of names I mentioned previously in their prime. The likes of Graf, Williams, Seles, Hingis, Henin would have absolutely cleaned up last week in their prime.

This is not to say that Radacanu cannot kick on now and win multiple slams, odds are that she will. I just wish the strength in depth of women's tennis would improve. The lack of any rivalry of note in the past 10 years is very telling. For me good and exciting rivalries are crucial in all of sport. They are what get people glued to the screen, i spent my childhood watching Becker vs Edberg, Sampras vs Agassi, Graf vs Navoratilova and Seles and more recently Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. These are what get people talking about the game and tuning in regularly. I am just being brutally honest that i have so many friends who follow tennis and and not one of them in recent years has said anything about women's tennis. That was not always the case, I used to love watching womens tennis in the 80s, 90s and early to mid 2000s



sirfredperry wrote:I see that some have been attempting to place the Emma win in the list of great sporting shocks/achievements.

It's safe to say that it was a HUGE shock and an incredible achievement. We've had younger tennis champions, including quite a few women, as well as 17-yr-old Slam winners such as Becker, Chang and Wilander.

But has anyone won a major having played so few main-tour matches?

The WTA must be rubbing its hands to be able to tell such a fairy-tale story of a young, attractive 18-year-old qualifier who comes to New York and smiles and charms her way to a no-sets-dropped Grand Slam title.

Bet the UK tennis writers are loving it, too, particularly the older ones who can remember the barren, pre-Henman days when a Briton getting thru two rounds of the men's draw at Wimbledon was news.

Just as Henman was winding down they had Murray to write about. Now, as Murray begins to sail off into the sunset, we have...Emma Raducanu.



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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Sep 2021, 12:31 pm

Slasher - Couldn't agree more with your two posts above.

Yes, it was just a match too far for history-seeking Novak. I rather wanted him to have to beat Zverev and Medvedev who were the two best players left in the draw. He managed to overcome one and it was such an effort that he couldn't beat the other.

Just as Djoko's weariness should not detract from Medvedev's achievement, the lack of top tenners among Emma's victims should not count against her astounding success.

While the current top players can't be compared with some of the greats you listed above, I think that a Halep or an Osaka playing really well would have been too much for Emma.

I can certainly envisage Djoko storming back to win the AO in January. The difference now is that I can see other players (Medvedev, Zverev?) possibly winning it.

And while I would always make Rafa favourite for the French, if fit, a case could be made out at RG 2022 for someone else lifting the title (a fit-again Thiem, for example?).

Still think it would be ironic, but perhaps fitting, if the Big 3 stick on 20 Slams each. It would ensure the GOAT debate would never end.


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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 14 Sep 2021, 1:01 pm

You are spot on! Totally agree on your points

quote="sirfredperry"]Slasher - Couldn't agree more with your two posts above.

Yes, it was just a match too far for history-seeking Novak. I rather wanted him to have to beat Zverev and Medvedev who were the two best players left in the draw. He managed to overcome one and it was such an effort that he couldn't beat the other.

Just as Djoko's weariness should not detract from Medvedev's achievement, the lack of top tenners among Emma's victims should not count against her astounding success.

While the current top players can't be compared with some of the greats you listed above, I think that a Halep or an Osaka playing really well would have been too much for Emma.

I can certainly envisage Djoko storming back to win the AO in January. The difference now is that I can see other players (Medvedev, Zverev?) possibly winning it.

And while I would always make Rafa favourite for the French, if fit, a case could be made out at RG 2022 for someone else lifting the title (a fit-again Thiem, for example?).

Still think it would be ironic, but perhaps fitting, if the Big 3 stick on 20 Slams each. It would ensure the GOAT debate would never end.

[/quote]

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Post by lags72 Tue 14 Sep 2021, 1:10 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Just seen pics of Emma rocking up at the Met Gala fashion thingy in New York.

Emma looked like a million dollars - in fact she looked like 1.8 million dollars.

Made nearly everyone look freaky and unattractive. Model, film star, fashion icon, influencer, Mandarin-speaker. Oh, and quite good at tennis.

Yes Emma, you SHALL go to the ball Very Happy

I was tempted to say ‘she sure scrubs up well’ ……… but the fact is she looks pretty good even amidst the heat of battle on court.

Lots of folk getting their currencies mixed but I didn’t expect you to be one of them sfp ! Her USO winner’s cheque was for US$2.5m (so around £1.8m GBP) . That takes her YTD prize money to US$2,803,376 (source: WTA)

But hey ….. I doubt Emma is thinking too much about cash right now. Her progress thus far is clear evidence of her ability to focus on the real priorities, the sort of targets she is looking to achieve, and the relentlessly-hard work involved.

One thing we know for sure is that USO 2021 will always be remembered as the Raducanu Open. Unless, of course, your name just happens to be Daniil Medvedev Very Happy

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 14 Sep 2021, 1:34 pm

Attractiveness in tennis is a curious beast, it's one of those things that shouldn't matter but ultimately does. The powers that be must have been hoping for a Raducanu win for that very reason, when you've got someone who looks the part it's so much easier to market the game. We saw it in the past recently with Sharapova and Ivanovic while before that was Kournikova who's actual career achievements did not match her marketability, she was a pretty handy doubles player in fairness especially alongside Hingis.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:22 pm

Tennis in the grand scheme of things is an ultimately meaningless pastime.  It has been packaged and given meaning to turn it into something that is profitable.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:40 pm

No name Bertie wrote:Tennis in the grand scheme of things is an ultimately meaningless pastime.  It has been packaged and given meaning to turn it into something that is profitable.

That would apply to the whole entertainment industry and by virtue of providing said entertainment it can't be meaningless nor is the money involved.

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Post by Oioi Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:44 pm

There has been a tad much hyperbole with raducanu's win now imo. I've seen it being heralded as the greatest ever British sporting achievement, which I just can't agree with. Given the relatively weak competition she faced and her advantage of having nothing to lose, it's not a patch on Murray's first Wimbledon win imo.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:48 pm

Oioi wrote:There has been a tad much hyperbole with raducanu's win now imo. I've seen it being heralded as the greatest ever British sporting achievement, which I just can't agree with. Given the relatively weak competition she faced and her advantage of having nothing to lose, it's not a patch on Murray's first Wimbledon win imo.
In a BBC article aimed at children, they describe her as a British legend.  In the press conference for the semi-final one British hack asked Emma what it feels like to be the most famous person in Britain.

That said "greatest ever British sporting achievement" is maybe debatable but cannot be proved wrong.  It is right up there.  It is an unprecedented achievement in the sport of tennis for anyone of any nationality, man or woman.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:53 pm

Oioi wrote:There has been a tad much hyperbole with raducanu's win now imo. I've seen it being heralded as the greatest ever British sporting achievement, which I just can't agree with. Given the relatively weak competition she faced and her advantage of having nothing to lose, it's not a patch on Murray's first Wimbledon win imo.

Significance of winning Wimbledon aside his US open win is the more impressive; Djokovic, Berdych (potentially fortunate he beat Federer), Cilic and Raonic isn't a bad sequence.

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Post by lags72 Tue 14 Sep 2021, 3:15 pm

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Sep 2021, 4:09 pm

While it's understandable that some are not overkeen on the inevitably OTT reaction to Emma's NY triumph, it should be noted that there are good reasons for the hysteria.

From a pure news point of view, she is young, attractive and British and she's just pulled off something that has not been achieved for 44 years.

From a tennis angle, we have an 18-year-old qualifier with hardly any main-tour matches under her belt winning a Grand Slam without dropping a set. It's a huge story.

Is it the greatest British sporting/tennis achievement? Well, first of all it's unique, in that no qualifier had ever reached even a GS final, let alone win it.

Doubt also whether there's been such an inexperienced GS winner before. Even the 16-year-old and 17-year-old past Slam champs had been around a little bit before.

Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph was tremendous and ended a 75-year wait. But Andy had already won a Slam and reached a number of GS finals. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist and was already firmly entrenched as one of the Big Four.

The 2012 USO win was also a fabulous effort by Andy. But he was 25 by then and no stranger to the business ends of major tournaments.

Sometimes you have to accept that amid all the hype, the over-coverage and the bandwagon-jumping there is actually a REALLY BIG story to tell.



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Post by Oioi Tue 14 Sep 2021, 4:28 pm

I dont disagree it's an amazing story and achievement. I might come across as a spoil sport for saying this but I believe a major reason this could happen was the pandemic. In another world, Emma would have debuted on tour last year, and through her amazing tennis, improved her ranking to the point that she would no longer have to qualify for the grand slams. She was massively underranked for her ability because she was unable to play last year, and thus slipped under the radar massively. Such a situation is unlikely to happen again.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 14 Sep 2021, 4:55 pm


I agree with this. I think her achievement is huge but when you look at who she beat, she wasnt exactly beating tennis icons! You can only beat what is in front of you but she beat the following players:

Vogele, Zhang, Sorribes, Rogers, Bencic, Sakkari, Fernandez

If you asked me before the tournament, I would hardly have a clue who any of them are. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think one single player on that list is ranked in the top 10 in the world. I know that is not her fault because you can only beat who is in front of you. I also know that Emma was ranked far behind some of those players but the reality is none of those players she faced are names that will intimidate you.

Even look at who Fernandez had to beat en route to the final.......Osaka (multi slam champion), Kerber (multi slam champion), Svitolina (world number 5) and Sabalenka (world number 2). I would think Emma would have had a tougher time coming through that draw.

Anyway, fair play to Emma, it is a super achievement but I think talk of the most impressive sporting achievement is maybe a bit much, I think her draw was very kind regardless of her own ranking



Oioi wrote:I dont disagree it's an amazing story and achievement. I might come across as a spoil sport for saying this but I believe a major reason this could happen was the pandemic. In another world, Emma would have debuted on tour last year, and through her amazing tennis, improved her ranking to the point that she would no longer have to qualify for the grand slams. She was massively underranked for her ability because she was unable to play last year, and thus slipped under the radar massively. Such a situation is unlikely to happen again.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 14 Sep 2021, 5:14 pm

From the pure narrative of an outsider achieving success, ER's win is probably the biggest surprise in British sport ever, going beyond Leicester City winning the Premiership.

From a purely sporting perspective, she did have a 'relatively' easy run through the tournament - Bencic being the highest ranked opponent as #11 seed, with an assortment of opponents mostly within the top 50 but only a couple from the top 20. Of course, the WTA doesn't have one or two dominant players like the ATP has, but has a lot of players who go into each week thinking they have a chance of winning the tournament if they are playing well - few of them do so on a consistent basis.

The interest now is whether Raducanu and Fernandez, plus some of the other youngsters, can start to bring some level of consistency to their game and start to establish a new order at the top, or is it going to continue to be any one of about 25-30 players in any given slam?

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Sep 2021, 5:21 pm

Oioi/Slasher

I think the point about this being a strange year due to the pandemic is a good one to make.

Not only was Emma, as you say, "massively under-ranked" but also fresher, having hardly played. Her opponents were probably not in such a good place physically or mentally due to the demands of anti-Covid protocols.

May have to disagree about the quality of her opponents. I think this would be a remarkable achievement whoever Emma met on the path to the final.

If someone has come thru to the quarters, the semis and the final of a Slam they are going to be a tough opponent regardless of their ranking.

What we can, I think, all agree on is that we've all seen something remarkable.

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Post by lags72 Tue 14 Sep 2021, 7:50 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:
I agree with this. I think her achievement is huge but when you look at who she beat, she wasnt exactly beating tennis icons! You can only beat what is in front of you but she beat the following players:

Vogele, Zhang, Sorribes, Rogers, Bencic, Sakkari, Fernandez

If you asked me before the tournament, I would hardly have a clue who any of them are.  Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think one single player on that list is ranked in the top 10 in the world. I know that is not her fault because you can only beat who is in front of you. I also know that Emma was ranked far behind some of those players but the reality is none of those players she faced are names that will intimidate you.

Even look at who Fernandez had to beat en route to the final.......Osaka (multi slam champion), Kerber (multi slam champion), Svitolina (world number 5) and Sabalenka (world number 2). I would think Emma would have had a tougher time coming through that draw.



But who can possibly know that for sure …… ?

We have  - over the years - frequently watched ‘big names’ getting dumped out in very early rounds of Slams, at the hands of unheralded newbies / low-rankers. It is, of course, the all-too-familiar stuff of first week upsets

With all respect, I have always found the weak opposition argument to be a rather flimsy one. You’ve listed all the notable players who Fernandez beat on her route to the Final - and huge credit is deserved for that, no doubt. But the fact remains that she still wasn’t quite good enough to beat Raducanu, was she ….. ? That’s where she was found wanting (albeit despite her very solid performance in that Final). So I think we can safely say that this result tells us a LOT  about Raducanu’s quality, does it not …… ?

I recall very clearly the way anti-Federer folk (by which I mean those who sought / seek to denigrate his Slam record  at every opportunity) would constantly quote his first Wimbledon win : ‘Not exactly impressive’, they would say, ‘all he had to do was beat Philippoussis …… not much of a challenge, eh ……’  But of course, as so often, it’s another case of selective recall - they conveniently omitted to mention the fact that Philippoussis had defeated the World No. 1 along the way. So ….. once again, good enough to beat a huge name, a World No. 1 indeed ; but somehow NOT good enough to beat a certain Roger (soon-to-be-megastar) Federer.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 14 Sep 2021, 8:03 pm

dummy_half wrote:From the pure narrative of an outsider achieving success, ER's win is probably the biggest surprise in British sport ever, going beyond Leicester City winning the Premiership ....
I couldn't compare ER's 1 week (qualifying - 3 matches) + 2 week (winning the US Open - 7 matches) surprise with Leicester City winning the Premiership over a full footballing season (38 games). They are both separately unique and in my view incomparable.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 14 Sep 2021, 8:12 pm

ER in winning the US Open came ahead of EVERYBODY entering the tournament. If she didn't beat player x she beat player y who beat player x etc. She prevailed coming first of the 128 competitors entering that tournament. She did it in a most impressive manner not dropping a set nor having any sets going to a tie-breaker. Even if she was not a qualifier there are very very few players that have done that alone.

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Post by lags72 Tue 14 Sep 2021, 8:38 pm

sirfredperry wrote:

From a pure news point of view, she is young, attractive and British and she's just pulled off something that has not been achieved for 44 years.


Sometimes you have to accept that amid all the hype, the over-coverage and the bandwagon-jumping there is actually a REALLY BIG story to tell.



1. Minor correction if I may : She pulled off something that has not been achieved (by male or female) in the history of the sport …… not just 44 years.

The ‘brutal frenzy ‘ of three qualifying rounds should never be discounted ; I can remember them once being described by a challenger circuit regular (making repeated attempts to get into Slam draws) as akin to a pack of fighting dogs. These Qualis, are, let’s not forget, the first step on the path to a financially-viable career (hence the severe competition and talent)

2. Yes - there are indeed (rare) times when the hype factor and the achievement itself are truly proportionate. Raducanu’s win is firmly in that category, IMO.

As an aside, I see little merit / interest in comparing achievements across different sports - not least when this involves individual sport and team sport. Fairly meaningless, I feel. Emma is a tennis player - and should be judged / assessed entirely on that metric.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 14 Sep 2021, 9:06 pm

Lags - Yeah, I did mean the 44 years since a British woman had won a Slam. Should have been more specific.

Also, apologies for getting pounds and dollars mixed up. Still a helluva lot of dough in whatever currency!

Making comparisons between different sports is always problematical as each sport throws up unique challenges.

Probably better to speak about the SHOCK of a great sporting upset when you can talk more generally about the unexpectedness of a surprise achievement.

Some have mentioned Leicester City's winning of the Premier League in 2016. Like ER's NY triumph, Leicester's effort was certainly a shock, a surprise and totally unexpected.

But to compare that with ER in NY - which I know I said I wasn't going to - you would have to fiddle with the facts and make Leicester not a Premier League club, perhaps not a second tier Championship club but probably a third tier League One club to equate with a 150th-ranked qualifier winning a tennis Slam.

As a League One club can't by definition win the Premier League you'd have to perhaps imagine a third-tier football team winning the FA Cup. I say imagine, because no Third Division (League One) side has done that.

Emma will forever remain the first qualifier to win a GS. She'll always have New York...

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Post by lags72 Tue 14 Sep 2021, 9:42 pm

@ sfp - thank you, although no apologies necessary (hardly a criminal offence ! Very Happy )

Having already asserted  that I find the comparisons with other (especially team-based) sporting achievements pretty pointless, I will indulge ever so briefly, viz :

Emma’s prospects of taking the USO championship title were effectively - at the start of the tourney itself - dependent on success in two separate competitions, with (statistical) odds of  : a)  16 out of 128 ; immediately followed by b) just 1 in 128.

How so ? Well, 128 enter the qualis, from which 16 earn main draw spots after battling through all three rounds.
Then ….. you have to win seven main draw rounds, from a field made up of another 128, to emerge as last-player-standing.

In the case of Leicester City, there were - again, at the start of the competition itself - 19 other contenders. So it follows that their statistical chances were 1 in 20.

Emma’s task was a lot tougher in my book, no question.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 12:07 am

The Premier League is a ranking over a season of matches in a league format.  A more appropriate comparison with tennis would be the end of year  WTA ranking.

If we were to compare the US Open with football then the FA cup would be a more appropriate comparison - a knockout tournament.

As many people have previously mentioned ER only competed against two seeded players once (Bencic seeded 11, Sakira seeded 17).  Leicester City had to play all the top ranked sides twice.

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Post by lags72 Wed 15 Sep 2021, 1:03 am

I should have resisted any temptation to get drawn into comparisons / analogies with landmark achievements or history-making events involving other sports. It very soon becomes apparent that it all leads nowhere.

So I’ll stick to my original stance and say once again : Emma Raducanu is a tennis player - and her results (good or otherwise) should be judged / assessed entirely on that metric.

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Post by alfie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 4:45 am

I am not so big as some on sporting comparisons - particularly those that seem to be attempting to match oranges and apples - but appreciate that they can make for interesting debate. Suffices for me that Emma's achievement is a huge one in any currency.

As to her "easier" draw : well yes , she might have met higher ranked opponents ; if those opponents hadn't themselves fallen by the wayside , due presumably to not being in their best form ... so does that mean they'd have presented tougher challenges than their conquerors ? (eg : would Barty have been harder to beat than Rogers on that day ?). Bencic , after all , had just won Olympic gold so was on a decent run of form , no ? At the end of the day , we cannot say with certainty whether any single change would have made a difference , though it is fair to note that Fernandez had a succession of higher ranked players to overcome.

The most significant thing I took away though is simply the quality of Raducanu's tennis. Anyone who watched her in those semi and final matches can hardly have failed to be impressed by both her skill set and her mental strength. I am admittedly far from a tennis expert but I have watched plenty over the years ; and I think the way she played in those matches she would have given the best of them plenty of work ...

And at 18 you'd think she will probably get better !

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 7:58 am

Another obvious difference between women's tennis and football raised by someone above is that in women's tennis there are unchanging individuals competing against each other and in football it is a squad of players (which the manager chooses from to make a team of 11 with subs) competing against each other.  

The difference in quality between an up and coming tennis player ranked 150 and a top ranked player is order of magnitudes smaller than the difference in quality between a squad of football players ranked 150 (lets say a team in the conference league north) and the squad of football players assembled by a top ranked side such as a Manchester City or a Manchester United or a Chelsea.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 15 Sep 2021, 8:36 am

It might be worth starting another topic but I will state on this one that a certain Andy Murray is playing again this week.

He's gone in for a Challenger in Rennes in France which has a reasonable field (Gasquet is top seed). Andy's already had one win, plays again today and should meet Gasquet in the round after that.

Very sensible of Andy to get more matches under his belt. My advice to him is to play as much as possible until the end of the season.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 15 Sep 2021, 8:59 am

Back to Emma (why not).

Here is a lovely piece by Jonathan Liew who writes rather well about a whole range of sport.

He quotes Andrew Castle who makes the good point that this will be the last time that Emma will play totally without expectation.

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/sport/2021/09/why-there-is-melancholy-in-emma-raducanus-new-york-fairytale

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Post by alfie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:38 am

sirfredperry wrote:Back to Emma (why not).

Here is a lovely piece by Jonathan Liew who writes rather well about a whole range of sport.

He quotes Andrew Castle who makes the good point that this will be the last time that Emma will play totally without expectation.

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/sport/2021/09/why-there-is-melancholy-in-emma-raducanus-new-york-fairytale  

Well I read it , Sir Fred. (Thanks for the link) Also read some of his other stuff and I'm afraid I'm not a fan. Writes "well" enough : but also strikes me as one who specializes in finding a negative aspect to everything. Matter of taste , I suppose.

Certainly Emma will have to deal with rather more expectation : a given. Looks to me as if she might handle it quite well but I guess we will all have to wait and see...

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 11:25 am

Andy Murray was able to handle the British press (keep them at bay).  Maybe it was his Scottish temperament or maybe having an older brother who also played tennis.  The only problem he seemed to have was with John Lloyd a British Davis Cup Captain. Things got a lot better with the Davis Cup team once John Lloyd was replaced.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 15 Sep 2021, 11:55 am

Early on in his career Andy made a joke involving the England-Scotland football rivalry. He got a lot of stick for it and became extremely wary of the Press after that.

But generally he's always had a lot of time for the media, although his dour, unsmiling delivery always make it look as if he's not really enjoying.

We'll have to see what Emma's press conferences are like after she loses. You get the impression, and I hope this happens, that she'll be philosophical about defeats.

At least she'll have a GS title to fall back. Spare a thought for Leylah who may never win a Slam* and may have already missed out on her best chance of getting a GS title**.

Leylah will not want to read an insightful piece by Pam Shriver written in the last few days. Shriver reached the USO final aged 16 in 1978 and lost.

Afterwards, she thought that this was just the start of her GS glory days. But she never reached another GS final and had to "make do" with a wonderful doubles career, partnering Navratilova to numerous titles.

* probably good enough to win Slams
** Very unlikely to face such an inexperienced player in a GS title match again.

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