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Autumn 2021 Tournaments

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alfie
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 19 Sep 2021, 8:30 am

First topic message reminder :

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 Oioi Sun 31 Oct 2021, 9:09 am

That clip of Rafa and the 97 year old is a great demonstration that tennis is a game you can play your whole life! I started playing regularly at 30 years old and have played with several people over 80 at the clubs I've been at. They may not move so we'll but they are still capable of some great shots! I really love that and fully intend to enjoy playing this sport as long as I am able.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 31 Oct 2021, 5:10 pm

We have a number of 80-somethings still playing at our tennis club and very much enjoying it.

Meanwhile, a 30-something - Marin Cilic - has taken the St Petersburg title. In recent years the 30-plus players have dominated the title Sundays but the "elderly" wins have been rarer this year.

Zverev won his 5th title of the season in Vienna against Tiafoe who was probably knackered by his recent heroics.

In Romania Anett Kontaveit, who is putting in a tremendous run, beat Halep 2 and 3. The Estonian has won four titles in the last 10 weeks.


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Post by sirfredperry Mon 01 Nov 2021, 8:36 am

Djoko back in action this week at the Paris Masters. His closest rival, Medvedev, also seems diffident about appearing at the AO in January.

Can't really understand the anti-vax stance of some of the players. I've just had my third Covid jab and have informed my local club that I'm happy to play this Thursday morning.

Evans, Norrie and Andy M are all in action today in Paris. Andy may be getting WCs but he's had little luck with the draw, having got rising US star Brooksby today and probably F A-A after that.

I recall Henman winning Paris in 03. He'd dipped down the rankings due to injury but overcame a number of top players (including Roger) to clinch his biggest title.

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Post by No name Bertie Mon 01 Nov 2021, 10:34 am

Djokovic and his wife reportedly both tested positive for Covid-19 in June of last year and recovered. That means he would have developed a natural immunity to it.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 01 Nov 2021, 5:13 pm

A comfortable win for Norrie but Evans is out despite winning the first set 6-2 v Bublik.

After my comments about Andy M getting bad draws, I see that his scheduled first-round opponent - Jenson Brooksby - has had to withdraw thru injury and will be replaced by Lucky Loser Koepfer.

Terrific near-three hour struggle between two of the guys who've had impressive seasons - Korda and Karatsev - ended with Korda edging home in a final-set tiebreak.

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Post by Oioi Mon 01 Nov 2021, 9:50 pm

Murray could not take advantage of the fortune of his expected opponent pulling out, losing to Koepfer having had 7 match points! It was the worst I have seen him play since the last challenger he played. He has one more tournament this year having made very little inroads in the rankings despite playing some very good tennis at times. His fitness and movement seem decent, he mostly needs to work on his actual tennis from what I can see.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 02 Nov 2021, 4:46 pm

Oioi wrote:Murray could not take advantage of the fortune of his expected opponent pulling out, losing to Koepfer having had 7 match points! It was the worst I have seen him play since the last challenger he played. He has one more tournament this year having made very little inroads in the rankings despite playing some very good tennis at times. His fitness and movement seem decent, he mostly needs to work on his actual tennis from what I can see.

And the tennis has been very good in bursts, but the consistency, both within matches and match to match is definitely still missing. Looks more a mental thing than a physical one, unless there are still some issues with for example pain management that are not obvious from the outside.

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 02 Nov 2021, 5:31 pm

It is well known that Andy Murray has physical issues but is it possible to tell he has physical issues?  Is his speed and movement slower than what it used to be.  Is his reaction time slower than what it used to be.  Is he jumping as high .... Is he putting as much power on the ball than what he used to do.  Does he have aches and pains.  How long does it take now for Murray to "warm-up" his body.  Are his muscles relaxed or stiff.  Are his joints mobile or stiff or grating.  Is his body as elastic as what it used to be. Is his eyesight as good as what it used to be.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 03 Nov 2021, 7:32 am

Djoko, perhaps a little rusty, was pushed to three sets against Fucsovics before winning.

Intriguing clash today between young bloods Sinner and Alcaraz. Cam Norrie takes on Opelka.

Other interesting matches include Dimi v Khachanov and Korda v Cilic who in a late-season revival has been finalist and winner in his last two tournies.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 03 Nov 2021, 1:12 pm

Having beaten Murray, LL Koepfer has knocked out F A-A, ending the Canadian's slim hopes of reaching the WTF.

Fritz is a set up on Rublev and qualifier Gaston has beaten Carreno Busta in a long three-setter.

You often get some strange results in Paris - Jack Sock won there once - possibly cos the top players become exhausted.


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Post by sirfredperry Wed 03 Nov 2021, 5:34 pm

Norrie notched up another good win, beating Opelka in straight sets.

After Tsitsi had to retire, Alcaraz won the battle of the young bloods 7-6, 7-5 v Sinner. Andy M has already tipped the Spaniard as a future number one. He's certainly had some impressive results this season.

Also wins today for Dimi and Hurkacz, while Fritz knocked out Rublev who has gone off the boil of late.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 03 Nov 2021, 10:41 pm

The draw has been unkind to Cameron Norrie which means he is unlikely to be able to leapfrog either Ruud or Hurkacz to get into the ATP end of year tournament.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 04 Nov 2021, 7:29 am

No name Bertie wrote:The draw has been unkind to Cameron Norrie which means he is unlikely to be able to leapfrog either Ruud or Hurkacz to get into the ATP end of year tournament.

Yes, the WTF is a long shot for Cam but he's had a terrific year. If you look at the rundown of his points he has no really big clutch of points to defend until October next year when the IW points drop off.

A good showing in the Slams in 2022 could see him climb even higher.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 04 Nov 2021, 4:43 pm

Norrie goes down in straight sets to Fritz. Djoko gets a w/o against Monfils while there are wins for Hurkacz and Duckworth.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 05 Nov 2021, 8:16 am

Spurred on by a raucous Paris crowd, French qualifier Gaston upset Alcaraz, winning 17 successive points at one stage as he came from 0-5 down in the second set.

Looks like a long season has finally caught up with 18-yr-old Alcaraz. Medvedev and Zverev were both taken to a final set before coming thru.

Pick of today's quarters is Zverev v Ruud. The other three seeds should progress.

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Post by lags72 Fri 05 Nov 2021, 10:32 am

sfp references the truly amazing second set comeback by Gaston, which then sealed his win in straights.

There was, admittedly, a certain amount of involuntary help from young Alcaraz, along with understandable support from a partisan crowd. But this was nevertheless something special. I have been watching tennis for more years than I care to count and cannot personally recall anyone taking a set from 0-5 down. I suspect (though have no definitive evidence) that it has happened more often in the women’s game than men’s.

Cam Norrie had a couple of set points to take his match into a decider, (which of course might then have gone either way), but it was a case of Fritz saving them impressively rather than Norrie ‘conceding’ them. To me, it seemed pretty clear that Fritz played the key points on the day better than Norrie - and indeed that was pretty much Norrie’s own honest assessment later. I sense he was able to accept this particular defeat relatively well. Perhaps he will now give his outstanding season one last shot in Stockholm before a (very well-earned !) break …. ?

Interesting to see whether Djokovic can march on comfortably to the title or whether his long layoff ultimately leaves him vulnerable in this strong field.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 05 Nov 2021, 12:54 pm

More chance of coming back, improbably, from 5-0 down when it's only two breaks rather than one guy having had three breaks and serving for a bagel. Not sure how the scoring went last night.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 05 Nov 2021, 9:22 pm

Wins today for Hurkacz, Djoko and Medvedev, who overcame more spiritedness from French qualifier Gaston before winning in straight sets.

Gaston had three set points in the first set before going down in a tiebreak and came back from 0-4 to 3-4 in the second before the Russian finally saw him off.




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Post by sirfredperry Sat 06 Nov 2021, 7:44 am

Zverev completed the semis line-up last night by beating Ruud and will now take on Medvedev, with Djoko playing Hurkacz.

A win will give Novak the year-end number one ranking for a record 7th time.

Andy M will have to play number one seed Sinner if he wins his opening match against a qualifier in Stockholm. Evans is also due to appear.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 06 Nov 2021, 10:20 am

From what I’ve seen Medvedev hasn’t really looked at top form. Looked shaky in most matches. Sascha has played a really high level so far so the German should be favoured to beat the Russian.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 06 Nov 2021, 1:43 pm

Hurkacz takes the first set against Djokovic 6-3. Impressive from the Pole.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 06 Nov 2021, 2:19 pm

Djokovic levels up after taking second set 6-0

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 06 Nov 2021, 3:34 pm

Djokovic beats Hurkacz is a final set tie break. Strange match. Topsy turvy.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sat 06 Nov 2021, 5:15 pm

Medvedev hammers Zverev 6-2 6-2 to setup showdown with Djokovic.
Russian looking to defend a title for the first time. Djokovic looking for record extending 6th title in Bercy.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 06 Nov 2021, 5:19 pm

By all accounts Medvedev played well against an opponent on a terrific recent run.

Novak now has a chance for a little revenge for New York a few weeks ago.


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Post by lags72 Sun 07 Nov 2021, 11:45 am

A landmark event coming up later today in the world of men’s tennis (and it’s nothing to do with Djokovic v Medvedev in Paris).

I noticed that over in Stockholm the main draw includes a match involving a certain 18 year-old named Leo …….whose father Bjorn used to play a bit of tennis. The young disciple was apparently given a wildcard by Tourney Director Enqvist, and this will be Leo’s very first match on the full ATP Tour.

He will be up against Tommy Paul (USA) and the rankings gap is HUGE. Leo is not yet inside even the world’s top 2000 (yes …. two thousand !) and Paul is currently at a totally respectable 53. This looks like either the mismatch of the century or has all the makings of something special ! I personally suspect the former but interesting nonetheless.

A good bit of added colour in this piece here, for anyone keen to know more

https://www.tellerreport.com/sports/2021-11-06-enqvist-about-leo-borg-in-the-stockholm-open--%22no-need-to-feel-any-pressure%22.r1mAL7-EvF.html

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 07 Nov 2021, 12:58 pm

Djokovic vs Medvedev head to head is 5 - 4. I think there must be a good chance of Medvedev levelling up that head to head to 5 - 5. Medvedev is developing a certain level of consistency through the season and his handling of tournament tennis so that he is in top form towards the latter end of the tournament seems to be getting better. It has been said that Djokovics priority in entering this tournament was to secure the end of year number one ranking for a 7th time, and he has done that in his tricky semi-final win against Hurkacz.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 07 Nov 2021, 2:57 pm

Medvedev wins the first set 6-4, an entertaining set

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 07 Nov 2021, 3:47 pm

Djokovic levels up by winning second set 6-3. The ninth game of the set was monumental. Djokovic saving 3 break back points.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 07 Nov 2021, 4:31 pm

Djokovic wins 4-6 6-3 6-3. Medvedev imploded in the third set much akin to the Melbourne final.
6th Bercy title for Djokovic and record 37th masters title.

Mark Petchey is a substandard commentator. Really ruins good matches with his usual dross.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 07 Nov 2021, 5:18 pm

Djoko still looks like the man to beat if the Big 3/4 era is to finally end (and I wouldn't bet against Rafa's chances at RG next spring, either).

I think we'll have to have a whole year of neither Rafa nor Novak winning a Slam to even think about a new era. And even then there's the chance that Djoko or Rafa might win, say the 2023 versions of the AO or RG.

If Rog can come back from six months off and win three of the next five slams (as he did in 2017/18) then there's nothing to stop Djoko doing something similar.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 07 Nov 2021, 5:19 pm

Worth bearing in mind Djokovic had 2 months off after New York.
Aside from imploding, Medvedev looked to have finally run out of gas.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 08 Nov 2021, 9:07 am

Andy M plays a guy ranked in the 300s in the first round in Stockholm where yesterday Borg's son Leo, 18, lost to Tommy Paul.

Borg junior has no ranking but did at least get six games against a Paul who is ranked in the 50s.

Emma R has a qualifier in her first match , as top seed, in Linz. It's remarkable that she is seeded ahead of Halep!

Speaking of ranking, Djoko should be number one for a while longer as Medvedev, his nearest rival, dropped points yesterday and has a stack to defend over the next few weeks.

But it could be that some time in 2022 we will get a non Big Four number one for the first time since early 2004 - an incredible run.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 08 Nov 2021, 10:30 am

Great win for Djokovic yesterday against an in form Medvedev. Really interesting how he adjusted his strategy after losing the 1st set, heading to the net more and winning 27 / 33 points at the net. The Novak volleying has really improved the past couple of years, I have noticed he has played more doubles too.

I think Medvedev will eventually reach world number one next year, he is unbelievably solid and consistent off both wings, particularly the backhand. He is so hard to hit through and must be a nitemare match up for the vast majority of players. I think he has really evolved his game although I dont particularly enjoy his style of tennis. He is an excellent player though and its a matter of time until he reaches number one and I think he could end up winning about 5-6 slams.

Djokovic meanwhile continues to break record after record, a really interesting one now is having long since passed out Federer with weeks at number one (346 weeks and counting), could he possibly break the all time record for men and women which is currently held by Steffi Graf. Unbelievably she had the number one ranking for 377 weeks !!! Its not impossible that Novak could reach that but he would need another 30 weeks at the top to break that record, much easier said than done as he will have so many points to defend next year winning three of the slams and reaching the final of the other.

I am curious to see if Thiem gets back to form in 2022, he has really drifted away (mostly due to injury) since winning that US open. I always saw him as the most likely player to fully breakthrough and win multiple slams outside of the big 3. Medvedev very much top of that list now though with Tsitispas and Zverev in the rear view mirror. I also expect Nadal will come back strong in 2022 and he is always favourite to win the French open

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 08 Nov 2021, 11:59 am

Medvedev has 1,500 points to defend at the WTF and 1,200 at the 2022 AO. Djoko could well add to his 400pts in hand at the WTF but after that, of course, it gets much harder for him.

The ranking system has been a bit all over the place due to Covid. But eventually we'll get back to normality and it could be that Zverev or Tsitsipas will also go on to be number one.

Thiem, at least, should be nice and fresh for the new year, albeit possibly a tad rusty.




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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 08 Nov 2021, 4:02 pm

I suppose it also depends how many tournaments Djokovic wants to play next year. Could be a case of just Grand slams and masters events and maybe the very occasional ATP 500 event to prepare for the big tournaments.

Just looking back on 2021, he didnt play Dubai or Doha, didnt play Madrid, Indian wells, cincinatti or Toronto. I assume if he plays any of these tournaments in 2022 does he automatically gain points if he wins there and didnt play them this year? That could counter balance the inevitable points he will lose when not winning 3 out of 4 slams next year.

I would think that with the next gen players improving all the time and Djokovics level will probably drop next year vs this, I can see Novak possibly winning one slam in 2022, would have to think 2 at an absolute max but I think that would be a very tall order. I do think Djokovic will always start as favourite these days at Oz open (Medvedev and Zverev could push very hard) and Wimbledon (seem to be less players as good on grass). I would always have Nadal favourite to win French open regardless of what happened this year and at the US open its a total lottery.

Would be curious to know how others see the potential winners of slams next year. I think Medvedev will win another in 2022, I think Tsitsipas and Zverev will be right there but they need to overcome the mental hurdle. Thiem could also be there if he gets his form back. I do think it would be a huge ask of Federer at 40 to win another. Then you have the likes of Sinner, Alcaraz etc. but i think they might need another couple of years to reach that step.

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Post by lags72 Mon 08 Nov 2021, 4:32 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Andy M plays a guy ranked in the 300s in the first round in Stockholm where yesterday Borg's son Leo, 18, lost to Tommy Paul.

Borg junior has no ranking but did at least get six games against a Paul who is ranked in the 50s.


Speaking of ranking, Djoko should be number one for a while longer as Medvedev, his nearest rival, dropped points yesterday and has a stack to defend over the next few weeks.

But it could be that some time in 2022 we will get a non Big Four number one for the first time since early 2004 - an incredible run.

The young Leo might be upset to hear you deny him a ranking, sfp !

As already pointed out in my earlier post upthread (a quick check of the ATP official website will confirm, if by chance I’m deemed an unreliable source ? ) he DOES have one, albeit rather lowly  : currently 2146.

I was intrigued enough to watch that Borg v Paul encounter live, and it proved to be yet another reminder of the truly incredible depth in the men’s pro game. Anyone watching with zero prior knowledge of the respective players would have struggled - for long passages of play - to determine for sure which was ranked just outside the top 50, and which was below 2000 !!

Borg looked very comfortable (throwing in a few aces for good measure) -  not least considering this was his very first ATP main draw match. Many high-ranked guys have emerged from the court with far less credit ; and if Paul had not been ‘on his game’ (as he clearly was), it could quite feasibly have gone Borg’s way. Swedish King Bjorn was in the stands to take it all in, and the fascinating trivia snippet of the day was that Leo has - apparently - never bothered to watch a single clip of any of his Dad’s matches. Go figure !!

Ref yesterday’s Paris battle, won with some conviction by Djokovic : I agree with slasher’s view that Medvedev will hit the top spot at some point in 2022. He would be far from the youngest Number 1 of course, but his smooth progress through the ranks has been fairly rapid nonetheless. In 2016 Medvedev missed out on a main draw spot at Wimbledon after being beaten in the R3 qualis. I would be very surprised / impressed (even with the huge clue that it was a Brit) if anyone could say who was responsible for Medvedev’s defeat that day …….. ? NO googling allowed !

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 08 Nov 2021, 5:25 pm

Based on it being 2016 and a British qualifier I have a pretty good idea who it was.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 08 Nov 2021, 8:45 pm

Apologies for saying Borg junior was a no-ranker. By all accounts he's certainly NOT a no-hoper. I have to blame a site called Tennis Temple (useful for latest scores) for their listing of Leo as having no rank.

May be we can have some fun with a 2022 predictions topic later. But for the time being, I'm willing to forecast that Djoko will be among the Slam winners next year.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 09 Nov 2021, 8:37 am

Andy M and Emma R are in action around teatime today, with both playing qualifiers.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones has mentioned Emma's off-court activities. But the girl herself has made it clear that non-tennis stuff will never interfere with her on-court career.


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Post by lags72 Tue 09 Nov 2021, 9:03 am

Eddie Jones obviously has a track record of success in his own field. He’s a straight-talking Aussie and as such his comments will often come across as more acerbic than intended, though there are times when the less said the better, especially given that his high profile tends to generate headlines.

The fact that Emma R has not ‘sparkled’ in recent matches is not, in itself, any indication that she has lost focus. Many first-time Slam Champs go on to have an average run in the weeks / months immediately following the big win ; but as sfp mentions above, Emma is in no doubt as to where her true priorities lie. There is no way she would have achieved what she has without the right mindset.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 09 Nov 2021, 10:30 am

Looking forward to the world tour finals in Turin, good to see a change of venue too. Its a very hard one to predict because players tend to be more worn out by the end of year, perhaps less so this year because of less tournaments with Covid but that has certainly been the case in the past.

As for Radacanu, I think she might take some time to come back to her US open level. You will often see players semi struggle for a while after a big win, not everyone can be a Boris Becker who won Wimbledon at 17 and then did it again at 18.

Also there is an opportunity for Radacanu in that women's tennis is very weak now. If you look at the current top 10 rankings in the WTA, its really shocking stuff. I dont think i have ever seen it as weak as it is now. I would have regularly watched women's tennis from the late 80s up to 2009. I think it has been an absolute basket case ever since. I get that people like that its unpredictable but you couldnt pay me to go and watch a WTA event now. I would say the likes of Graf, Seles, Williams, Henin, Hingis would be tempted to make a return to the tour !

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 09 Nov 2021, 11:04 am

Some thoughts on the women's tour. Yes, there are no outstanding players, Yes, there is no one to touch the likes of Graf, Seles, Wiliams etc. Yes, there are no great rivalries at present. Yes, some of the noisy players have to be watched with the sound down.

But no, I don't think the standard overall is poor. Wimbledon, admittedly, saw some awful matches, but that included the men. How someone as limited as Berrettini got to the final is beyond me.

But the French and USO slams saw some terrific matches, not least those by the two New York finalists. Should they have got as far as they did if the top-ranking players were that good? Probably not. But it was all very exciting and unexpected.

It should also be remembered that two of the most successful and consistent women players of late - Osaka and Halep - have either suffered mental problems or injury ones.

I can understand Slasher's - and others - concerns about standards. But you get these lulls between great eras. It could be in about five years' time that we'll be bemoaning the standards, lack of outstanding players and lack of rivalries in the men's game.




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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 09 Nov 2021, 11:30 am

The men's game is also pretty poor at the moment, some of the top 20 are average whilst the more talented players have no bottle.

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 09 Nov 2021, 11:31 am

SFP, I agree that there could be lull in the men's game, particularly when the big 3 retire and depending on what happens with Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zverev, Thiem etc.

I just think the women's game has reached a real low. Sure there are some good matches and that will always be the case but the fact there is not one single decent rivalry now for over 10 years is just a joke. I dont even consider the Williams sharapova match up a rivalry as it was unbelievably one sided. If the grand slam events were not shared between men and women, I would hate to think what the attendance figures would be at Women's slams these days. I would say if you asked any non tennis fan to name any of the top 10 women's players, they wouldnt have a clue who any of them are. At least in the men's, you could know next to nothing about tennis but still know Federer, Nadal, Djokovic etc.

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Post by lags72 Tue 09 Nov 2021, 11:41 am

So then …… speaking of the women’s game ….. and more specifically, the recently-crowned US Open Champ, young Emma is now ready to appoint a long-term coach

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2021/11/09/exclusive-emma-raducanu-set-appoint-torben-beltz-new-coach/

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 09 Nov 2021, 12:42 pm

This Torben Beltz worked with Angelique Kerber when Kerber won two Slams in 2016 so has experience on the women's tour.

It could be a very good appointment for Emma who, if she gets through her first-round match, will face experienced former top-20 player Alison Riske in the next round.


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Post by lags72 Tue 09 Nov 2021, 5:14 pm

Emma is on court in Austria.

Early stages …… but already a sense that this won’t be easy.

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Post by lags72 Tue 09 Nov 2021, 5:39 pm

Well well.

The Brit has come up against an opponent playing lights-out tennis, who has just taken the opener whilst delivering a breadstick to the USO Champ. A huge turnaround needed if Raducanu is to progress.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 09 Nov 2021, 6:12 pm

What must be remembered is the tumultuous changes in Radacanu's life in the last couple or so months for one so young. The stellar and sudden rise to world stardom from nowhere to win the US Open - a first female British slam winner in over 40 years. She has been catapulted onto catwalks and such-like and had a change of coach. Coach changes will also mean all sorts of new info to process and put into practice on a tennis court in competitive matches plus on top of that there is the added pressure and expectation. All this and she is only a teenager.
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