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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 lags72 Wed 15 Sep 2021, 3:17 pm

sirfredperry wrote: ……………….. 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.


Hmm …… not so sure about this sfp.

She is clearly a high quality player, whose own impressive run to the Final was - ultimately - overshadowed by the exploits of her opponent, Raducanu.

My view is that if Fernandez had the game (a game which will surely improve yet further ……) to take out so many high-rankers, then she is capable of doing something similar in the years to come. And if she does go on to make more Finals, then who knows what will happen next time ?

It’s true that Leylah Fernandez is highly unlikely to meet such an ‘inexperienced’ opponent in a Slam Final again ……. but perhaps (experience apart) she will have the benefit of facing someone less talented than Emma. Virtually every player on the main WTA Tour has more experience than Emma - but I’d say that not too many of them are blessed with more natural talent.

This is the first time in a looong time that I’ve had much interest in seeing how things go in the women’s tour over the months / years ahead.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 15 Sep 2021, 3:50 pm

I think Sir Fred's comment can be summed up by saying 'Predictions are hard, especially about the future'.

Fernandez had a great run this tournament, and there is a good chance that (as with Raducanu) it is the start of an impressive career, but it may not turn out that way. It's possible that this will be the high point for both players, whose future will turn out to be similar to many in the upper reaches of the women's game - occasional excellent tournaments interspersed with mediocrity. I hope not, and that we can see the development of a couple of greats of the game (whether these two, Gauff or others of the young generation), as it will help to shape the women's game going forwards.

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Post by lags72 Wed 15 Sep 2021, 4:11 pm

Yes - well-made points dummy_half …… and by sfp too.

There have been many junior champions who were promptly hailed as the next best thing , but the record books show that not too many of them go on to make it to the summit of the sport - for all sorts of reasons (including burnout and / or injury, sadly).

Raducanu is of course somewhat different in that she has already shown her quality at the senior level, and on the largest (capacity-wise) of all tennis stages.

How intriguing - and newsworthy ! - that her very first win on the main Tour brought with it a unique record. She may well go on to achieve all manner of successes ; and yet her greatest of all may always remain this one in NYC, when still a teenager.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 15 Sep 2021, 4:48 pm

lags72 wrote:Yes - well-made points dummy_half …… and by sfp too.

There have been many junior champions who were promptly hailed as the next best thing , but the record books show that not too many of them go on to make it to the summit of the sport - for all sorts of reasons (including burnout and / or injury, sadly).

Raducanu is of course somewhat different in that she has already shown her quality at the senior level, and on the largest (capacity-wise) of all tennis stages.

How intriguing  - and newsworthy ! - that her very first win on the main Tour brought with it a unique record. She may well go on to achieve all manner of successes ; and yet her greatest of all may always remain this one in NYC, when still a teenager.

I love the fact that she has no match wins on the main WTA tour as yet (250or above tournament), but has reached the last 16 at Wimbledon and won the USO. Also, has yet to play a top 10 ranked opponent. Is a totally ridiculous situation, and of course she's going to win WTA matches in the near future and has a very good chance of getting to the top 10 of the rankings by Wimbledon (as she has virtually no points to defend). Prior to Wimbledon, her earnings in 2021 were about $4200, since when she's banked prize money of $245000, $7000, $2500, $8500 and $2500000. Gone from scratching a living to made for life financially in three months.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 15 Sep 2021, 7:41 pm

I like that "Predictions are hard, especially about the future."

Goes well with "Hindsight gives 20-20 vision." Or in the case of the quest for GOAT status given the current number of Slams won by the Big 3: "Hindsight gives 20-20-20 vision."

Worth noting that nearly all the ultra-young Slam winners, male and female, went on to win further Slams. Exception was Chang who was still good enough to reach other Slam finals and get to number two in the rankings.

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 15 Sep 2021, 7:49 pm

I'm already a bit concerned that there are stories about Raducanu in the press every day at least, if not more. "Raducanu visits stock exchange" for example is not a story, that is a nonsense.

The most ridiculous one I saw was today on the front page of the Guardian online, (news headlines, without even clicking through to the sport pages), and it said Mcenroe stands by comments made on Raducanu at Wimbledon last year. That is not journalism. It is SJWs trying to cancel McEnroe again, and just clickbait, but is also an example of Raducanu mania going mad already.

They are going to have to get to work on their media strategy straight away.

I have been thinking that maybe press conferences should be made optional at tournaments, or even discouraged, until a certain age is reached. What do you think? This would ease this type of situation for young players.

Also Tim Henman is going to have to work on his strategy to defend his claim of the name to Henman Hill. Smile This could get tricky, especially since Raducanu goes with "ridge" and "rise".

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Post by lags72 Wed 15 Sep 2021, 8:28 pm

sirfredperry wrote:. ………………….

Worth noting that nearly all the ultra-young Slam winners, male and female, went on to win further Slams. Exception was Chang who was still good enough to reach other Slam finals and get to number two in the rankings.

And Chang appears in this ‘10 Biggest Surprises’ list of Slam triumphs.

Any piece involving words such as best / biggest / greatest is - by definition - always going to be subjective (and perhaps controversial). That said, I rather like this article - mainly because the summaries of each victory are succinct and well-written ; and partly because it strikes me as a pretty sensible compilation.

Have a read folks, and see what you think !

https://www.tennismajors.com/atp/biggest-surprise-grand-slam-winners-raducanu-ivanisevic-becker-swiatek-kuerten-edmondson-krejcikova-chang-schiavone-johansson-491674.html

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Post by lags72 Wed 15 Sep 2021, 8:40 pm

Oh no 🥺 Just reading that Andy Murray has gone down in 3 at hands of 24 year-old Safiullin (158) from Russia ….. round of 16 Rennes Challenger.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 15 Sep 2021, 9:09 pm

Yes, really dreadful result for Murray who managed to lose numerous service games. Let's hope it was just a (very) off day and that he is still in good shape.

Not entirely enamoured by the choice of the top 10 biggest surprises. Ivanisevic may have been a wildcard but he had reached Wimbledon finals. Swiatek was already making a mark and her win came amid a number of other women's surprises - so one more was hardly a, er, surprise.

Mark Edmondson was not exactly a household name but a number of the names that were household ones tended to avoid the Australian Open.

Thomas Johansson was an experienced reasonably-highly ranked player.

And surely Mats Wilander's extraordinary win at the French when he was 17 should be in the list. You could also swap Ostapenko (French 2017) for Swiatek.

A case could also be made for Pat Rafter who won the 1997 American having never been beyond the 4th round at a Slam.


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Post by No name Bertie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:10 pm

Henman Bill wrote: .... I have been thinking that maybe press conferences should be made optional at tournaments, or even discouraged, until a certain age is reached. What do you think? This would ease this type of situation for young players ....
Each player has a team, their coach, an agent etc - maybe these people could either stand in for them or be alongside them during the press conference.


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Post by No name Bertie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:13 pm

I have no expectations for Andy Murray. I am just amazed he is able to keep going playing at an elite level with a replacement hip. If he is enjoying the tennis and his kids get to see him competing then good for him. He is a multimillionaire, is able to make millions still in sponsorship and marketing and after dinner talks etc.

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Post by Oioi Wed 15 Sep 2021, 10:51 pm

Had Murray's match on in the background earlier. His opponent played at a high level, going for his shots and not missing much, while I think Andy wasn't in the mood to fight for the win.

He has said his goal for the rest of the year is to improve his ranking so I think he may have had his eye on the back-to-back 250's he's entered starting next week. No point grinding in a challenger with a maximum of 90 points on offer if that would hurt his chances for the bigger point tourneys round the corner.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 15 Sep 2021, 11:23 pm

Henman Bill wrote:I'm already a bit concerned that there are stories about Raducanu in the press every day at least, if not more. "Raducanu visits stock exchange" for example is not a story, that is a nonsense.

The most ridiculous one I saw was today on the front page of the Guardian online, (news headlines, without even clicking through to the sport pages), and it said Mcenroe stands by comments made on Raducanu at Wimbledon last year. That is not journalism. It is SJWs trying to cancel McEnroe again, and just clickbait, but is also an example of Raducanu mania going mad already. ....
I was just listening to the post F1 race press conference at Monza where the top three drivers are interviewed - one of the questions they were asked was just how great they thought Emma Raducanu's achievement was. It was an odd question to ask given usually the questions are about the race and associated matters. It seems like for the time being the subject of Emma Raducanu is going to be shoe-horned into everything by the hacks. It wouldn't surprise me to see journalists asking people fleeing from Afghanistan with missing limbs what their thoughts were of Emma Raducanu's achievement.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Sep 2021, 9:14 am

Confession - I'm a retired journalist.

Emma R is news. Big News. She's such a big story now that she is on front pages as well as back ones. She's all over the British newspapers and featuring in foreign ones too.

Like it or not, and I know some will not like it, Emma R and practically everything she does from now on, is going to come under the microscope. Who's she playing next, what's she wearing, has she got a boyfriend.

I just hope that she can keep her head above water as the waves of media interest sweep in.

But all this attention is due to the fact that she achieved an amazing feat. She's not all over the media because she's royalty, or a film star or an attractive young woman (although that helps!). She's there because she won a tennis GS title as an 18-year-old qualifier and won it in style on and off the court.

Yes, there are now many wanting a piece of her. But IMHO opinion her achievement, and the media attention surrounding it, have considerably raised the status of tennis, and particularly the status of women's tennis.

And that has to be a good thing, doesn't it?

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Post by dummy_half Thu 16 Sep 2021, 9:34 am

sirfredperry wrote:Confession - I'm a retired journalist.

Emma R is news. Big News. She's such a big story now that she is on front pages as well as back ones. She's all over the British newspapers and featuring in foreign ones too.

Like it or not, and I know some will not like it, Emma R and practically everything she does from now on, is going to come under the microscope. Who's she playing next, what's she wearing, has she got  a boyfriend.

I just hope that she can keep her head above water as the waves of media interest sweep in.

But all this attention is due to the fact that she achieved an amazing feat. She's not all over the media because she's royalty, or a film star or an attractive young woman (although that helps!). She's there because she won a tennis GS title as an 18-year-old qualifier and won it in style on and off the court.

Yes, there are now many wanting a piece of her. But IMHO opinion her achievement, and the media attention surrounding it, have considerably raised the status of tennis, and particularly the status of women's tennis.

And that has to be a good thing, doesn't it?

Some sports stars embrace this (Beckham obviously, to some extent the likes of Tom Daley, Bradley Wiggins etc), and others keep it at arms length (Jason and Laura Kenny). Hopefully ER will have good management that gives the media enough access but can keep her happy with her level of exposure. A

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 16 Sep 2021, 10:44 am

That's how martyrs were created. A modern day martyr to tennis. But being a martyr to sport is not good enough in today's age and some sportspeople are pushed into becoming a martyr for some cause: Naomi Osaka, Lewis Hamilton etc. It is what it is. We can accept it and say nothing or we can accept it, understand it, and comment on it - either positively, negatively or neutrally.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Sep 2021, 10:50 am

With any luck Emma will manage to combine the tricky double of living with the fame but not being affected by it.

She seems well grounded, has parents who have set her on a good path and appears to have the poise and personality to cope with the pressures.

Of course, everything has been an upward curve of success so far. There will soon come the defeats and the disappointments. You hope she can embrace this with the grace and good sense of say, Barty*, rather than face the mental problems that have afflicted Osaka.

It's difficult to find anyone from Emma's life who has anything like a bad word for her. Friends, family, foes, teachers, coaches - all have said nice things about her.

Teachers can be hard to please, but one of Emma's, asked about her former pupil, said: "She was just lovely."

* Barty's post-match press conference after losing in new York was a master class. Here was the number one, in top form, being defeated in a GS match.

But she spoke of what a terrific season she'd had, how much she had enjoyed the atmosphere and the crowds and what a joy it was to have a good team around her. She was disappointed, yes, but it was on to the next tournament.

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Post by lags72 Thu 16 Sep 2021, 11:44 am

I’m learning that our newly-crowned USO Champ is often known to tennis-world friends (and maybe outside the sport too) as Radders.

Are we now allowed to use the same soubriquet, I wonder ……. chin

Not yet ? Ok then, I’ll stick to either Emma or Raducanu ….. or indeed both, when there’s a need to be formal notworthy

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 16 Sep 2021, 11:48 am

The first time I heard ER speak was at the US Open Award ceremony and I was surprised and impressed by how she handled the interview. Then I listened to her handle the questions at the following press conference. From that I got the impression that she was a very level headed and smart young lady with a good team around her. In general my comments are reserved for the press (and yes it is their job and they behave predictably but they do push the envelope).

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 16 Sep 2021, 11:52 am

lags72 wrote:I’m learning that our newly-crowned USO Champ is often known to tennis-world friends (and maybe outside the sport too) as Radders ....
Hmmm, I quite like the phrase Radders Ridge as an alternative to Henman's Hill. I never quite liked the idea of a Murray's Mound.

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Post by lags72 Thu 16 Sep 2021, 12:04 pm

No name Bertie wrote:The first time I heard ER speak was at the US Open Award ceremony and I was surprised and impressed by how she handled the interview.  Then I listened to her handle the questions at the following press conference.  From that I got the impression that she was a very level headed and smart young lady with a good team around her.  In general my comments are reserved for the press (and yes it is their job and they behave predictably but they do push the envelope).

Best interview so far : her appearance on Good Morning America.

None of the three presenters were tennis ‘specialists’ (AFAIK) ; but their questions struck me as more ‘engaging’ and rounded than most of the on-court chats or post-match pressers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhlKjFKFdwQ

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Post by lags72 Thu 16 Sep 2021, 12:17 pm

It will forever be Henman Hill.

In this ever-changing world, some stuff just has to stay ! 😉

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 16 Sep 2021, 12:27 pm

I remember following Heather Watson (from afar) and her travails and occasional heroic failures (such as taking Serena Williams to three sets at Wimbledon) but she never quite had it.  Then Laura Robson which was generally a sadness - so much potential - but her struggling alone on the American hard courts and then getting injured.  Konta suddenly improved but then seemed to fall back.  Then from absolutely NOWHERE (from my perspective) someone called Emma Raducanu just bulldozed her way through the field to make tennis history in her second grand slam tournament.  Unprecedented.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 16 Sep 2021, 12:34 pm

A while ago the BBC used to have on their website in their tennis sports section a weekly feature giving the movement of British players in the ATP and WTA rankings - top 300 or top 500, so you could see who was new and worth looking out for.  However, they got rid of that and then the coverage became more woke and narrative driven and global in outlook.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 16 Sep 2021, 2:17 pm

NNB - BBC Sport is generally good and up to date. But their tennis coverage is, at times, dreadful.

They rarely seem to keep pace with events unless it's a big tournament.

They also, at times, lead on sports they feel they ought to be covering such as certain women's sports. If England's women's rugby league team has an international that will be the lead story.

Yet the page-viewing numbers for such a match will be, say, around 6-7,000 while a run-of-the-mill Premier League football match will have ten times that number.

As I write there are just 6,760 following the BBC's lead-story England v New Zealand one-day cricket international.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 17 Sep 2021, 11:12 am

Emma R has done the media rounds this morning having returned to the UK.

She did BBC TV, BBC Radio, GMTV on ITV and Sky - and may be some others I didn't monitor.

Key thing to take from the interviews was her determination to put tennis first and not allow the razzmatazz to become the priority.

She hasn't committed to any future tournaments yet. Technically, she would have to qualify for Indian Wells but she's almost certain to be given a WC. The start date of IW gives her a chance to relax at home before heading States-side again.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 17 Sep 2021, 1:22 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Emma R has done the media rounds this morning having returned to the UK.

She did BBC TV, BBC Radio, GMTV on ITV and Sky - and may be some others I didn't monitor.

Key thing to take from the interviews was her determination to put tennis first and not allow the razzmatazz to become the priority.

She hasn't committed to any future tournaments yet. Technically, she would have to qualify for Indian Wells but she's almost certain to be given a WC. The start date of IW gives her a chance to relax at home before heading States-side again.

I do find this something of a surprise - would have thought the cut-off date for confirming the direct entries would have been after the USO. No doubt though that a wild card is there if she wants to enter. Can a wild card be seeded? Would be a dangerous floater in the draw if not.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 17 Sep 2021, 2:39 pm

I didn't follow the women at Wimbledon.  We now know that Emma Raducanu is very good on the hard courts of the US Open.  How is her grass court game - was she comfortable on the grass?  One would think that growing up in South London she would be very good on the grass.  I didn't follow ER at Wimbledon but I heard later she picked up an injury but some people were saying on here something about mental strength or something but I didn't follow it.  I was only aware of the noise surrounding Naomi Osaka.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 17 Sep 2021, 3:33 pm

NNB

At Wimbledon, Emma beat 3 players ranked between about 50 and 100 so showed she had some capability as a grass court player, and then had an issue in the 4th round match. It's a bit unclear exactly what happened but she withdrew stating she was having breathing difficulties - appeared to be something like a panic attack.

Of course the surface variations seem to make less difference in the women's game anyway, with many of the players seeming equally at home across all surfaces

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 17 Sep 2021, 4:08 pm

DummyH - The cut-off point for direct entry into tournaments has to be some weeks before an event so players know whether they have to qualify or not.

Emma's points were gained too late to ensure her direct entry into IW. As I said, she'll almost certainly get a wild card (WC) if she wants to play.

If she does, the seeding will be based on whatever her ranking is when the draw is made. For example if Ashleigh Barty had originally decided not to play at IW and then asked for, and got, a WC, she would be the number one seed.


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Post by sirfredperry Sat 18 Sep 2021, 5:23 pm

Emma not the only 18-year-old doing well. Clara Tauson, the last player to beat Raducanu, has just reached the final of a WTA tourney in Luxembourg where she will meet Ostapenko.

To put Andy M's defeat in a Challenger in Rennes into perspective, the guy who beat Andy ran Gasquet close in the quarters and today another lowly-ranked player has beaten Gasquet to make the final.

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