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Autumn 2021 Tournaments

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Sep 2021, 9:30 am

After what could be described as a sensational USO, we move into the autumn tournaments that will round off the 2021 season.

The big tournament coming up is Indian Wells which has been moved from its usual March spot to early October.

But there are tourneys before then, including Metz in France where this week Andy Murray takes on Humbert. Andy really needs some wins but at least he's playing and seems injury free.

The lady of the hour, Emma R, may play IW although her schedule is still uncertain. The Romanians are trying to get her over for a tournament in Bucharest, too.

We have two new GS champs, which is something that has happened for a while. It's possible we could have a new men's number one, as well, in the months to come.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Sep 2021, 8:13 pm

Denmark's Clara Tauson, a little younger than our Emma and the last player to beat her, today won her second title, edging Ostapenko in the final in Luxembourg.

The young players are coming to the fore. They are fresher than their Covid-restriction affected older opponents. It's rather exciting.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 21 Sep 2021, 9:09 pm

Good, and welcome, win for Andy M tonight in Metz, overcoming the loss of the first set to beat top-30 ranked Umbert.

Stats show Andy had three early BPs in the first set but didn't break and then his opponent took the only BP he had to win the first set. Andy broke in the eighth game of the second set to level the match.

He then had to ward off a number of BPs in the final set before winning 6-2.

Meanwhile, our Emma is set to play again at Indian Wells (assuming she'll be given a WC).

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 22 Sep 2021, 10:28 am

Just seen some highlights of the Murray match. Andy looked good - moving well and playing to a good intensity. A total of 18 aces helped, too.

Andy lasted for more than four-and-a-half hours in the Tsitsi match in New York and last night's was a 2hr 20min affair. It seems as if he's playing freely and just needs some good results now.

Of course, he may decide that he's still enjoying it and wants to carry on even if the wins don't come. He probably needs a good run, and a bit of luck with the draw, to start climbing the rankings again.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 22 Sep 2021, 4:12 pm

sfp

From what I've seen of Murray this year, it looks like physically he's not too far off - movement isn't quite what it was in his prime but is still very good for a relatively taller player. More than anything it has looked like he is short of match sharpness - can't keep the intensity and consistency up as well as near his best, but mostly that's only going to improve by playing matches. He has spells in matches where he looks back to being a top 5 player, but these only seem to last a few games before his level drops, he makes a few errors (sometime as much tactical as technical) and lets his opponent back in.

Good that he got plenty of free points yesterday; his serve has seemed a bit slower since the come back, but perhaps he's now getting back to the point where he can crank it into the 130s mph.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 22 Sep 2021, 6:36 pm

Murray wins the first set 6-3 against Vasek Pospisil. If anyone is interested you can watch it live here:-

https://www.moselle-open.com/mo-live/web-tv/
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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 22 Sep 2021, 7:19 pm

Murray wins five games on the bounce in the second set to beat Pospisil 6-3 6-3. He moves through to the QF's of the Moselle Open.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 23 Sep 2021, 1:35 pm

Another welcome win for Andy on what looks like a very slow court in Metz.

A lot of Andy's points will drop off in the next few weeks so any wins now are useful.

I hear Emma R is due to play in Moscow next month. As this tourney immediately follows IW it seems likely she won't be heading states-side.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 23 Sep 2021, 1:48 pm

sirfredperry wrote:


I hear Emma R is due to play in Moscow next month. As this tourney immediately follows IW it seems likely she won't be heading states-side.

Amazingly, still waiting for her debut at WTA level tournaments.
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Post by dummy_half Thu 23 Sep 2021, 4:14 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:


I hear Emma R is due to play in Moscow next month. As this tourney immediately follows IW it seems likely she won't be heading states-side.

Amazingly, still waiting for her debut at WTA level tournaments.

Debut match win - has participated in two WTA level events (Nottingham and San Jose), losing in R1 of both

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 24 Sep 2021, 7:59 am

Today Andy M takes on Metz top seed Hurkacz. This is going to be a tough match but Andy has two good wins under his belt and has a chance.


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Post by dummy_half Fri 24 Sep 2021, 9:23 am

Wasn't it Hurkacz he lost to at Wimbledon? Would be a good gauge of any improvement in form.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 24 Sep 2021, 9:25 am

dummy_half wrote:Wasn't it Hurkacz he lost to at Wimbledon? Would be a good gauge of any improvement in form.

That was Federer?

Murray lost to Shapovalov.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 24 Sep 2021, 10:37 am

dummy_half wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:


I hear Emma R is due to play in Moscow next month. As this tourney immediately follows IW it seems likely she won't be heading states-side.

Amazingly, still waiting for her debut at WTA level tournaments.

Debut match win - has participated in two WTA level events (Nottingham and San Jose), losing in R1 of both

Of course. I know she's never won a WTA level match just never computed two losses and no victories.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 24 Sep 2021, 3:48 pm

Murray holding own V Hurkacz - he leads 6-5 in the first set on serve. You can watch it live here:-

https://www.moselle-open.com/mo-live/web-tv/
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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 24 Sep 2021, 4:00 pm

Hurkacz takes the first set on a tie-break to lead 7-6. Disappointing for Murray as he had chances to break towards the end of the set.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 24 Sep 2021, 4:44 pm

Hurkacz wins 7-6 6-3. I am sure Murray will have been expecting so much more from himself today but he was playing a man ranked 13th in the world.
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Post by sirfredperry Fri 24 Sep 2021, 5:18 pm

Really thought Andy might win today.

In other GB news Emma R has split with coach Richardson as, she says, she needs someone who has been there and done it. Shows how ambitious she is.

Contrast with Henman who, IMHO, stuck far too long with David Felgate who hadn't been there or done it.

Elsewhere, Liam Broady is thru to a s-f in Biele, Italy. He could reach a career high. You have to take your hat off to the lower-ranked players. They play on windy afternoons in faraway places in front of few fans. They probably can't afford big entourages or travel at the front of aircraft.

But, like Broady, they soldier on and at the end of their careers can say they gave it their best shot.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 24 Sep 2021, 8:24 pm

sirfredperry wrote:....
In other GB news Emma R has split with coach Richardson as, she says, she needs someone who has been there and done it. Shows how ambitious she is.

.....
Bit in bold: does it? She achieved something UNPRECEDENTED - winning the US Open as a qualifier + without dropping a set + without being taken to a tie-breaker in any of the sets.

Clearly something was working.

Now she has thrown it all away for "something else". Clearly she has been receiving "advice" from some external source. I am sure her coach was not expecting this. Obviously I don't know what is happening internally but from the outside looking in - it looked like something was working incredibly well.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 25 Sep 2021, 8:02 am

Doesn't get any easier for Andy. He's been drawn against Nishi in the first round of the San Diego Open. If he wins that, he'll face number two seed Casper Ruud.

Some speculation that Emma R could now turn to Darren Cahill as coach. He's just split with Halep.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 25 Sep 2021, 8:55 am

No name Bertie wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:....
In other GB news Emma R has split with coach Richardson as, she says, she needs someone who has been there and done it. Shows how ambitious she is.

.....
Bit in bold: does it?  She achieved something UNPRECEDENTED - winning the US Open as a qualifier + without dropping a set + without being taken to a tie-breaker in any of the sets.

Clearly something was working.

Now she has thrown it all away for "something else".   Clearly she has been receiving "advice" from some external source.  I am sure her coach was not expecting this.  Obviously I don't know what is happening internally but from the outside looking in - it looked like something was working incredibly well.

The media are spinning the news and it's confusing some people. Richardson was hired for the American hard court and that's it, he wasn't a long term hire.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 25 Sep 2021, 10:35 pm

What’s the point of this Laver Cup? Europe literally battering the rest of the world.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 26 Sep 2021, 12:07 am

Very hard to judge these coach changes without being in the inner circle.

Thanks for the updates everyone.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 26 Sep 2021, 8:37 pm

Liam Broady won a Challenger tournament in Italy today. Not sure of the points situation but he may just be at a career-high ranking tomorrow.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 27 Sep 2021, 7:25 am

That Challenger win by Broady takes him up to a career-high 126 in the rankings.

There's a long and good interview with him on the ATP official website. He's finally triumphed after losing his first seven Challenger finals, the first as far back as 2014.

His homecoming celebration? He's going for a coffee with his mum.

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Post by Oioi Mon 27 Sep 2021, 9:59 am

Utmost respect to everyone grinding to make a living on the Challenger circuit. The tennis level down there is really not so much below ATP events imo, and I've read players describing it as "like a pack of hungry dogs" all fighting tooth and nail for it. So well done to Liam! I think I read that he had considered calling it a career in the past as he was having very little success and had no confidence in his game.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 27 Sep 2021, 10:34 am

Yes, it really is a terrific slog on the Challenger circuit.

Of the professional sports, tennis is possibly the most brutal. If you lose form, or you get injured, you plummet down the rankings and, unless you're a big name and get WCs, you have to "slum" it in front of few fans in faraway places.

Broady did, indeed, consider chucking it all in. But he's persevered and must now be thinking it's all worth it.

At aged 27, Broady still has time to go even further. But if 126 is the highest he ever gets, so be it. A player can do no more than give it his best shot.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 27 Sep 2021, 11:02 am

sirfredperry wrote:Yes, it really is a terrific slog on the Challenger circuit.

Of the professional sports, tennis is possibly the most brutal. If you lose form, or you get injured, you plummet down the rankings and, unless you're a big name and get WCs, you have to "slum" it in front of few fans in faraway places.

Broady did, indeed, consider chucking it all in. But he's persevered and must now be thinking it's all worth it.

At aged 27, Broady still has time to go even further. But if 126 is the highest he ever gets, so be it. A player can do no more than give it his best shot.

Because being the 126th best tennis player in the world is a decent achievement. Not everyone is a Federer, but if you can make a living as a pro sportsman you're a damn sight better than those of us pontificating on here.

Also, I don't think there's a big gap in ability between the players ranked around 125 and say 50 in the rankings - string together a few decent Challenger tournaments, get into some main draws and win a few matches (if the draw is kind). Obviously, the top 20 are something of a different calibre. However, Broady should be looking at what Dan Evans has achieved over the last three or four years - still opportunity to move up from being a journeyman to being a fairly successful player.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 27 Sep 2021, 12:04 pm

Broady that can say that of all the thousands of people playing tennis in the world only 125 are currently better than him.

Yes, Dan Evans is an inspiration for Broady. So, too, is Karatsev who is older than Broady but has leapt up the rankings after his heroics at the AO earlier this year.

Sometimes luck can play a part in a sudden surge in a player's career. You qualify for a big tournament and draw the top seed to find he's had to drop out at the last minute and you've effectively taken over his ranking position.

Or you end up playing the top seed who twists his ankle in the very first game and has to retire. Those scrapping away in the lower reaches of the sport are happy to take what ever good fortune comes their way.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 27 Sep 2021, 5:34 pm

Due to play today is one K. Clijsters. Kim is now 38 and a mother of three. Gonna be tough for her but she's said she's looking forward to it.

Looks like Osaka's absence from the courts is going to be a short one. She's said she's missing it already. Seems unhappy playing and also unhappy, er, not playing.


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Post by sirfredperry Tue 28 Sep 2021, 7:07 am

Clijsters lost to Hsieh Su-wei but it was a 2hr-plus match in which Kim came back from a set down and a break down to take it to a third.

Before the match she said she was inspired by Andy M's comeback to try for one of her own. Afterwards, Kim said she was pleased to have got through the match OK.

Today (tonight UK time) Murray takes on Nishi in San Diego. He's 9-2 against the Japanese. Going to be a tough match.

Norrie and Evans will meet if they get thru' their first-round matches. Co-incidentally, Britain's number ones - Evans and Emma R - are both 22 in the rankings.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 29 Sep 2021, 7:21 am

Murray ended up playing LL Denis Kudla after Nishi pulled out, with Andy winning in straight sets. Next up will be number two seed Ruud.

Norrie is thru and will face the winner of Dan Evans and Anderson.

You may have heard that Emma R has been given a WC into Indian Wells and also intends to play in Moscow and Romania after that.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Wed 29 Sep 2021, 8:02 pm

5 times Indian Well champion Novak Djokovic pulls out of the 2021 edition.
So surprise really as he’ll probably go all in on the tour finals in Torino.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Sep 2021, 8:03 am

Dan Evans came thru a tough match against Anderson in San Diego, edging the first set tiebreak 13-11 and then finally breaking serve to win the second set 7-5.

He now takes on Cameron Norrie while Murray has to face second seed and 10th ranked Ruud.

Djoko's withdrawal from IW probably hastens the day when someone other than the Big Four become number one. Djoko has a ton of points to defend next year and a sequence that begun in early 2004 will finally come to an end.

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 30 Sep 2021, 10:58 am

In my opinion it is all but over for the characters that made up the top four era. None of them have the physicality to last a full tennis season, and although the mind may be strong, their bodies are falling apart. It is all about trying to peak for a selective number of grand slams. The Masters tournaments have already been ceded by them.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 30 Sep 2021, 11:01 am

sirfredperry wrote:Dan Evans came thru a tough match against Anderson in San Diego, edging the first set tiebreak 13-11 and then finally breaking serve to win the second set 7-5.

He now takes on Cameron Norrie while Murray has to face second seed and 10th ranked Ruud.

Djoko's withdrawal from IW probably hastens the day when someone other than the Big Four become number one. Djoko has a ton of points to defend next year and a sequence that begun in early 2004 will finally come to an end.

But that's only 17 years, and with all of the big 4 still being (at least to some extent) active. Shocked

To be honest, the record of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic from the mid 2000s onwards is mind boggling. From 2004, they have between them always won at least 2 slams, and it's only 2014, 2016 and 2020* where they haven't held at least 3 between them. 8 times in that period they have won all 4.

* Won 2 of 3, obviously with Wimbledon cancelled.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 30 Sep 2021, 11:06 am

No name Bertie wrote:In my opinion it is all but over for the characters that made up the top four era.   None of them have the physicality to last a full tennis season, and although the mind may be strong, their bodies are falling apart.  It is all about trying to peak for a selective number of grand slams.  The Masters tournaments have already been ceded by them.

For me that era ended perhaps a year to 18 months ago. Around that time the guarantee of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in slam semis was gone and there were more infiltrators getting to the semis or better. We are now well into an interim period or changing of the guard if you will. The most consistent performers of the new era being Zverev and Medvedev.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 30 Sep 2021, 5:31 pm

Been having a look at the points-to-defend situation and Medvedev also has a stack of points to defend over the next few weeks.
So it could be Djoko will be top for a while yet. Probably too early to say The Big Four domination is over as I predict at least two of the Slams in 2022 will be won by Djoko or Rafa.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 01 Oct 2021, 2:19 pm

Wondered whether Evans exertions against Anderson accounted for his defeat by Norrie.
Had hoped Murray might be able to beat Ruud but it was not to be.

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Post by lags72 Fri 01 Oct 2021, 7:36 pm

Hmm …. something of a surprise (albeit not a huge one) to see Evans go down to Norrie.

Murray’s ‘progress’ continues to be of a stop-start nature (hardly a good description but can’t think of anything more eloquent right now !) but he deserves huge credit for putting in the effort when so many others might have been more than ready to call it a day a good while back. And worth remembering that he himself harboured close-to-zero hopes of even re-joining the Tour at all ….. so in that sense it’s all a bonus. Those ‘farewell Andy’ video messages from a range of top fellow players do seem a long time ago now !

I have a hunch that retirement for Djoko could actually be not far off. That said, I’m all-too-conscious of just how unwise / misguided (even irrational ?) it might seem to ‘write him off’ after a season (and one still not finished) of such high achievement ; but the fall from grace can often come much more quickly for some players than for others. Time will tell.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 01 Oct 2021, 9:45 pm

Bjorn Borg retired from professional tennis because the ATP refused him exemptions to lighten his load for the season - with various mandatory tournaments / number of tournaments having to be played.  

It seems today's old guard like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and others seem to be able to lighten their load when they feel like it, such as Federer skipping the Clay court season, just citing the need to preserve their bodies and to recover from various wear and tear (and worse) injuries.  It seems nowadays the ATP is more flexible than in the past for those on the ATP tour.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 02 Oct 2021, 7:41 am

Terrific win by Norrie over Shapovalov who only got four games. From the stats it looks as if the Briton totally outplayed the Canadian.

In the semi Norrie faces Rublev while Dimi takes on Ruud.

Murray will join Emma R in taking WCs into Indian Wells. Just wonder how long Andy will be happy to go on losing to players he would probably have beaten in the old days.


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Post by sirfredperry Sun 03 Oct 2021, 7:22 am

Another excellent win by Cameron Norrie over Rublev takes him into the San Diego final where he will meet Ruud.

Norrie had had a poor run going into this tournament but has done really well to get to the title match. A career-high ranking awaits him.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 03 Oct 2021, 10:58 am

sirfredperry wrote:Another excellent win by Cameron Norrie over Rublev takes him into the San Diego final where he will meet Ruud.....
I watched a 4 min 30 sec highlights of the match and it was mostly power hitting with a few Rublev winners - yet after the first set the score kept increasing in Norrie's favour.

The highlights of the Dimitrov v Ruud semi-final indicated a more gentler pace, more variety, interesting rallies and ultimately a more entertaining match.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 04 Oct 2021, 7:57 am

Alas, Norrie was blown away in the final against Ruud, winning only two games.

Consolation for Cameron is that he moves up to a career-high 26 in the rankings.

The Brit has won 41 matches on the tour this year. Is this going to be his best-ever season or will he be able to get even higher?

We move on to IW this week. It will be interesting to see how Emma R copes with being in the limelight.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 05 Oct 2021, 9:20 am

Women's draw at IW is out. Emma R is seeded 17th. She has a bye in the first round and then has a very winnable match.

Gets a lot harder after that, as Emma's projected third-round opponent is Halep.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 05 Oct 2021, 3:25 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Alas, Norrie was blown away in the final against Ruud, winning only two games.

Consolation for Cameron is that he moves up to a career-high 26 in the rankings.

The Brit has won 41 matches on the tour this year. Is this going to be his best-ever season or will he be able to get even higher?

We move on to IW this week. It will be interesting to see how Emma R copes with being in the limelight.

The vagaries of tennis eh? Norrie thrashed by Ruud and no real questions about his future. Murray loses in two tight sets against the same player and we again question his future in the sport?
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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 05 Oct 2021, 3:46 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:Alas, Norrie was blown away in the final against Ruud, winning only two games.

Consolation for Cameron is that he moves up to a career-high 26 in the rankings.

The Brit has won 41 matches on the tour this year. Is this going to be his best-ever season or will he be able to get even higher?

We move on to IW this week. It will be interesting to see how Emma R copes with being in the limelight.

The vagaries of tennis eh? Norrie thrashed by Ruud and no real questions about his future. Murray loses in two tight sets against the same player and we again question his future in the sport?

One of them is a three time grand slam winner, former world number one etc. The other is Cameron Norrie. It's about expectation.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 05 Oct 2021, 3:59 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:Alas, Norrie was blown away in the final against Ruud, winning only two games.

Consolation for Cameron is that he moves up to a career-high 26 in the rankings.

The Brit has won 41 matches on the tour this year. Is this going to be his best-ever season or will he be able to get even higher?

We move on to IW this week. It will be interesting to see how Emma R copes with being in the limelight.

The vagaries of tennis eh? Norrie thrashed by Ruud and no real questions about his future. Murray loses in two tight sets against the same player and we again question his future in the sport?

One of them is a three time grand slam winner, former world number one etc. The other is Cameron Norrie. It's about expectation.

Norrie is now ranked well within the top thirty and been fit and healthy for years. Murray has a metal hip and been largely out of the sport for two years. Murray or Norrie's performance V Ruud? Which was more worthy of credit? Norrie won two games and Murray won nine. Lets not forget either that Caspar Ruud is certainly no mug and is now ranked No 10 in the world.
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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 05 Oct 2021, 4:02 pm

You're missing the point again Craig. At no point in Norrie's career would he be expected to beat Ruud but Murray before the hip injury would have done, it's not rocket science.

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