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Australian Open 2022

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alfie
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Post by sirfredperry Wed 05 Jan 2022, 12:43 pm

First topic message reminder :

After the Novaxgate saga, we get down to action for the AO 2022 with no Djoko and a chance for someone else to win the men's title.

In Novax's absence, I would think that one of Medvedev, Zverev or Tsitsipas will be crowned champion.

The presence of Halep, Barty and Osaka will strengthen the women's tournament at the AO. I'm not expecting too much from Emma R who, in her first full year on the tour, could find it difficult.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Sun 16 Jan 2022, 6:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : update)

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 30 Jan 2022, 5:53 pm

It´s a bit of a grey area now who is the greatest.

Rafa has the more slams, as well as Olympic gold and more Davis cups, if that matters.

But Novak seems to have the lead in other stats like weeks at no 1, year end no 1, winning all the masters series, and has won the year end tournament five times, Rafa never has.

Does it matter that Novak beat Rafa twice at his best tournament (French Open) while Rafa never, beat Novak at his best tournament the Australian Open? Perhaps not, since they played 9 nine times at the French Open and only twice at the Australian Open. Nadal beat Novak twice in hard court US Open finals as well.

Nadal leads 10-7 at grand slams (5-4 in grand slam finals) while Novak leads 30-28 on overall head to head.

This is a useful article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djokovic%E2%80%93Nadal_rivalry

I think if they both retired tomorrow, you would have to call it a draw.

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Post by Oioi Sun 30 Jan 2022, 6:04 pm

I've just watched Medvedev's press conference, and it seems he's extremely disheartened by the lack of support and recognition he receives, to the point where he talks about no longer dreaming big and even skipping grand slams to play in places he will get more support. He seems fine with the loss, but the crowd and general lack of recognition (like barely getting to play on ash despite being the no. 1 seed) has gotten to him. Hope it's just a bit of rawness from the moment and not something that will affect his performance as the game needs him and the other next gen guys to do well.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:00 pm

It’s crazy to think in the Open Era no one won 2x majors at all 4 tournaments, then in the space of 7 months two players achieved the feat.
What’s more incredible is if Djokovic wins another French Open he would become only one to win every major at least three times.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:16 pm

Interestingly it's been achieved by five different women, three of whom have won all four at least three times.

It's not that surprising no man had done it until recently, so many former champions skipped certain grand slams. Borg, Mcenroe and Connors have a handful of Aussie open appearances between them. On top of that Mac and Connors regularly skipped the French in their pomp.

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Post by lydian Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:20 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:Whilst I’m delighted for Nadal, I’m equally disappointed for Medvedev. He’s now lost Paris 1000, Tours Finals and AO back to back to back. And in Paris and Melbourne, he seemed to feel the pressure when in a dominant position.
I feel Medvedev will win many big trophies, but losing when you are on top has to hurt deep inside.

Additionally ‘the next gen top 3’, Medvedev/Zverev/Tsitsipas, have all now contrived to lost a slam final from 2 sets to love up. Not a good sign imo.

But when these nextgen guys played legends - even when not at peak - there is an X factor the true greats can find. Nasal may not be 100% physically what he was but for sure he’s 100% mentally there…maybe even stronger than he was given his mind has to make up for some of the physical slide. At the end of the day Nadal/Fed/Djokovic are GOATs for a reason…because of days like today.

Nice to see you too CalendonianC…fingers crossed for your man too. Some good signs but clearly he’s way off slam threatening yet. However many positives from his trip down under…unlike others ;-)

Nice points too HB. Nadal has had some horrendous luck down the years with injury. That neck injury when playing Stan was pure bad luck and for sure he was favourite for that match. It happens to them all I guess but Nadal seems to have it happen more…his style of play or just bad luck? Who knows but what we do know is that he’s arguably the best fighter at overcoming adversity and knock backs this or other sports have known. I’m not really aware of other pros at the top of their game for 20 years who’ve had to bounce back quite as many times. That’s a whole diff but good debate.

It was classy of Fed to acknowledge Nadal’s win. Whatever happens we know those 2 guys will be indelibly linked their whole lives now. What a pleasure it was to watch them both compete in their pomp…we won’t see that type of almost perfect counter-rivalry come along again. The nextgen are good but we all know in our hearts they aren’t the same type of legends. To be honest I’m amazed that we’re even celebrating these rivalries still. They’ve gone way beyond what I thought was possible. All of the big 3.
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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:32 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Interestingly it's been achieved by five different women, three of whom have won all four at least three times.

It's not that surprising no man had done it until recently, so many former champions skipped certain grand slams. Borg, Mcenroe and Connors have a handful of Aussie open appearances between them. On top of that Mac and Connors regularly skipped the French in their pomp.
I don’t want to do a disservice to women’s tennis, Graf was one my of favourite players ever, but BO3 would make it easier imo to win all the slams multiple times. Shorter matches easier to conserve energy. Heck I’ve seen women’s Wimbledon finals end in under 60 minutes Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked


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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:37 pm

lydian wrote:
Jeff Navarro wrote:Whilst I’m delighted for Nadal, I’m equally disappointed for Medvedev. He’s now lost Paris 1000, Tours Finals and AO back to back to back. And in Paris and Melbourne, he seemed to feel the pressure when in a dominant position.
I feel Medvedev will win many big trophies, but losing when you are on top has to hurt deep inside.

Additionally ‘the next gen top 3’, Medvedev/Zverev/Tsitsipas, have all now contrived to lost a slam final from 2 sets to love up. Not a good sign imo.

But when these nextgen guys played legends - even when not at peak - there is an X factor the true greats can find. Nasal may not be 100% physically what he was but for sure he’s 100% mentally there…maybe even stronger than he was given his mind has to make up for some of the physical slide. At the end of the day Nadal/Fed/Djokovic are GOATs for a reason…because of days like today.

Nice to see you too CalendonianC…fingers crossed for your man too. Some good signs but clearly he’s way off slam threatening yet. However many positives from his trip down under…unlike others ;-)

Nice points too HB. Nadal has had some horrendous luck down the years with injury. That neck injury when playing Stan was pure bad luck and for sure he was favourite for that match. It happens to them all I guess but Nadal seems to have it happen more…his style of play or just bad luck? Who knows but what we do know is that he’s arguably the best fighter at overcoming adversity and knock backs this or other sports have known. I’m not really aware of other pros at the top of their game for 20 years who’ve had to bounce back quite as many times. That’s a whole diff but good debate.

It was classy of Fed to acknowledge Nadal’s win. Whatever happens we know those 2 guys will be indelibly linked their whole lives now. What a pleasure it was to watch them both compete in their pomp…we won’t see that type of almost perfect counter-rivalry come along again. The nextgen are good but we all know in our hearts they aren’t the same type of legends. To be honest I’m amazed that we’re even celebrating these rivalries still. They’ve gone way beyond what I thought was possible. All of the big 3.
I fully understand your point about the Top 3 carrying the aura, and obviously winning 61 slams between themselves is ridiculous. The winning mentality is again priceless.
But Medvedev, he’s been red hot recently, if he can’t beat a 35 year old Nadal - on Nadal’s worse major - you have to question why the next gen can’t take that next step to finally make it their era.
I’m not taking anything away from Nadal, his fighting spirit is second to none and he was clearly deserving to win #21.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:46 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Interestingly it's been achieved by five different women, three of whom have won all four at least three times.

It's not that surprising no man had done it until recently, so many former champions skipped certain grand slams. Borg, Mcenroe and Connors have a handful of Aussie open appearances between them. On top of that Mac and Connors regularly skipped the French in their pomp.
I don’t want to do a disservice to women’s tennis, Graf was one my of favourite players ever, but BO3 would make it easier imo to win all the slams multiple times. Shorter matches easier to conserve energy. Heck I’ve seen women’s Wimbledon finals end in under 60 minutes Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

That's one train of thought, the other is that playing best of three makes you more susceptible to a shock result.

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Post by naxroy Sun 30 Jan 2022, 7:48 pm

History.

Thats what we saw today.

I dont care who is the greatest, I had the luck to live this.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 30 Jan 2022, 8:16 pm

Jeff Navarro wrote:Does anyone know what the situation is at the other majors regarding vaccinations? President Macron previously stated no unvaccinated visitors. Will Djokovic be out again?

There is a possibility all the Grand Slams will adopt the same policy as Melbourne /  Australia.   It is not yet a certainty but many countries won't allow the unvaccinated to fly between certain destinations or to enter into venues containing a certain number of people.   President Macron has said the unvaccinated won't be allowed into French public buildings as part of a proposed aggressive policy to compel more French people to get vaccinated.  It seems that Djokovic will need to get vaccinated if he wishes to have the certainty of being able to contest future slams.

However, if it is introduced by the other slams then it seems for consistency all sports persons should be vaccinated when playing internationals in France, Britain, New York - footballers, cricketers, athletes, swimmers, boxers etc.

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Post by Henman Bill Sun 30 Jan 2022, 8:32 pm

Did anyone notice the echoes of Federer´s 2017 Australian open win? At that time he was about the same age as Rafa is now, and had also come back from a break of some months out and it was his first big tournament with low expectations, and it was also in 5 sets in the final, and at a time when you could reasonably have written off his ability to win more slams.

If you had asked me last week my prediction would have been that Rafa will never again win a slam that isn´t the French.

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Post by lydian Sun 30 Jan 2022, 8:42 pm

Same HB. I didn’t think Nadal would win another non-French slam and I even think that’s a tall order still as 36 year old legs don’t usually go well on clay. But with this guy you never know…he just does not give up so I’m not going to predict anything now except sit back and enjoy whatever is left of their careers. As Naxroy says we have been lucky to live these moments. I’ve followed Nadal since he was 15…since Simon Reed announced this new prodigy from Manacor on Eurosport and even then I could see there was something special/different about the kid. Boy did he prove that. He deserves all the media accolades he will now get from this monumental achievement today.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 30 Jan 2022, 9:20 pm

Mention has been made of Fed's comeback win at the AO at the age of 35 in 2017.

I thought at the time that it would be interesting to see what the others of the Big Four (Murray was part of that then) could do when they got into their mid-30s.

Some argued that these other three had a more demandingly physical game that would prevent them competing so well as they got well into their 30s.

Murray, of course, has had his injury problems. But we had Djoko, aged 33-34, almost completing the Grand Slam last year and now Rafa, nearer 36 than 35, has won the AO.

It all means that it could be a while before the reign of the Big Boys is over. Now some may consider this a bad thing. Others, though, might say: "Enjoy it while you can. These guys are incredible."

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 30 Jan 2022, 9:22 pm

lydian wrote:
Jeff Navarro wrote:Whilst I’m delighted for Nadal, I’m equally disappointed for Medvedev. He’s now lost Paris 1000, Tours Finals and AO back to back to back. And in Paris and Melbourne, he seemed to feel the pressure when in a dominant position.
I feel Medvedev will win many big trophies, but losing when you are on top has to hurt deep inside.

Additionally ‘the next gen top 3’, Medvedev/Zverev/Tsitsipas, have all now contrived to lost a slam final from 2 sets to love up. Not a good sign imo.

But when these nextgen guys played legends - even when not at peak - there is an X factor the true greats can find. Nasal may not be 100% physically what he was but for sure he’s 100% mentally there…maybe even stronger than he was given his mind has to make up for some of the physical slide. At the end of the day Nadal/Fed/Djokovic are GOATs for a reason…because of days like today.

Nice to see you too CalendonianC…fingers crossed for your man too. Some good signs but clearly he’s way off slam threatening yet. However many positives from his trip down under…unlike others ;-)

Nice points too HB. Nadal has had some horrendous luck down the years with injury. That neck injury when playing Stan was pure bad luck and for sure he was favourite for that match. It happens to them all I guess but Nadal seems to have it happen more…his style of play or just bad luck? Who knows but what we do know is that he’s arguably the best fighter at overcoming adversity and knock backs this or other sports have known. I’m not really aware of other pros at the top of their game for 20 years who’ve had to bounce back quite as many times. That’s a whole diff but good debate.

It was classy of Fed to acknowledge Nadal’s win. Whatever happens we know those 2 guys will be indelibly linked their whole lives now. What a pleasure it was to watch them both compete in their pomp…we won’t see that type of almost perfect counter-rivalry come along again. The nextgen are good but we all know in our hearts they aren’t the same type of legends. To be honest I’m amazed that we’re even celebrating these rivalries still. They’ve gone way beyond what I thought was possible. All of the big 3.

If Nadal has had horrendous luck, what adjective do we use to describe Del Potro? Mega-horrendous?
Or Murray, whose career as a force in tennis was effectively ended by injury 4 years ago?
Huge respect to Rafa for all he's achieved but I genuinely don't see why fans feel the need to elevate him to a miracle-performing God.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 30 Jan 2022, 9:27 pm

The injuries clearly were not as bad as made out otherwise today doesn't happen. I do find it odd however that players can have career threatening knee injuries and win grand slams a decade later. Sampras, Agassi and the like must wish these medical advancements were there in their day.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 30 Jan 2022, 9:43 pm

All players get injured. Djoko's elbow probably cost him a few slams, Fed's back and mono probably cost him a few slams. Thiem has missed the last 3 slams in a row!
The idea that Rafa is somehow so much better than the others that he can win multiple slams on crutches with his foot in plaster, or that he has won 21 slams despite being injured 80% of the time is bizarre.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Sun 30 Jan 2022, 11:06 pm

I always felt that the ‘Nadal will be finished by 25 due to his style of play’. Was a little overplayed on his earlier career. You had many ex players singing that tune for many years as well.
Seems like it stuck around despite Nadal not showing any signs he was done at 25.
Media myths seems hard to dispel...

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 30 Jan 2022, 11:28 pm

Also, if you can see a guy 5 years older than you doing the business, it inspires you, and gives you the belief that you can do it. Roger Bannister gave others the belief that the 4 minute mile was possible - but he was the one who had to go out and prove it first.

Talking of horrendous luck, I could have been a Wimbledon champion if I'd been taller, more muscular and been born with better hand-to-eye coordination. How unlucky is that?!

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Post by alfie Sun 30 Jan 2022, 11:53 pm

I'm not going to get into the rather tiresome GOAT debate ; but that was a huge performance from Nadal and I am delighted for him.

Some sympathy for Medvedev but he needs to stop letting things like crowd support knock him off his stride. Think he will be winning his share going forward as even Rafa can't go on for ever...

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 31 Jan 2022, 2:29 am

Lydian, I think the first time I saw Rafa play was the French Open semi final against Federer in 2005 as I didn´t watch matches outside the slams: in those days you only had what was on a few channels like the BBC. I wasn´t particularly impressed. Neither was at their best in that match and in retrospect 04 and 05 were missed opportunities for Fed at the French, as Rafa´s clay level in 2006, 2007, 2008 was rather better.

I remember in the FO semi 05 the commentators saying "these two will dominate the game for the coming years" or something like that, which seemed a bit of a stretch for me at the time since Rafa had never been in a slam final, or even close.

I certainly didn´t have Rafa down as a GOAT contender in 2006,2007 when his hard court performances were pretty weak at times, and hard court was most of the tour.

I think it was the 2008 Wimbledon and 2009 Australia performances that moved him up another league, and then first half of 2009 and much of 2010 he was playing at a supreme level.

But it still at times looked like he would fall short of Federer´s slam record. In the second half of 2009, again when he was losing so consistently to Djokovic in 2011, a really weak period around 2014-2016.

Plenty of times he´s been written off physically, ever since Agassi said "He’s writing checks that his body can’t cash." Looks like Agassi was wrong.

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Post by laverfan Mon 31 Jan 2022, 4:12 am

Congratulations to Nadal on Veintiuno!  clap
Medvedev played well. thumbsup

Good to see you, Lydian!

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Post by kingraf Mon 31 Jan 2022, 6:43 am

Medvedev will be disappointed to have lost, but outside of when he had three break points for 4-2 in the third, it felt to me like he was playing catch up every set from 2-5, having to break back twice to stay in the second, AND come back from a mini-break down.

On a larger scale, it's a small wonder that the the Big Three remain through it all. I'm sure there are many reasons for it. It's certainly true that they wouldn't have been much of a golden generation if the very next litter was as good. I guess sports science has improved as well, because while Nadal is a step slower, I'm not sure how much worse he is than his 2010 iteration, and I'm flat out sure that on Hard anyway, he's better than his pre-2009 versions. He's added like 10 miles to his second serve in his 30s. He was hitting 100mph backhand bombs. Drop shots. Maybe the outright athletic freakishness has dropped a dial, but he has so many more arrows in his quiver.

Lastly, I think with the Davis Cup having been bastardised, and Masters 1000 no longer being best of five finals, along with the fact that guys like Berrettini are listed has actual heavyweight, and maybe through both nature (NexGen being actual behemoths) and nurture (a complete dearth of five-set tennis outside of slams), the the next generation of combatants just aren't built to beat these guys over five sets.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 31 Jan 2022, 8:27 am

Momentous finals' days at Melbourne thanks to Barty and Rafa.

There were one or two tremendous matches in the men's. The final, due as much to its historic context than the quality of the play, was one of them, as was the Medvedev-FAA match.

A big disappointment for me was Zverev who I thought could well win the whole thing.

I would also like to have seen Osaka and Halep getting further so as to give Barty a real test.

There was no Djoko but his absence at least made the Slam less predictable and therefore more interesting.

I can see Rafa getting himself in peak condition for the clay court season. He will the go into, for him, that rare position of NOT being defending champion at RG. It could be that a 22nd GS title beckons

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Post by Galted Mon 31 Jan 2022, 11:39 am

Jeff Navarro wrote:I always felt that the ‘Nadal will be finished by 25 due to his style of play’. Was a little overplayed on his earlier career. You had many ex players singing that tune for many years as well.
Seems like it stuck around despite Nadal not showing any signs he was done at 25.
Media myths seems hard to dispel...

Maybe they meant 25 grand slams.
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Post by superflyweight Mon 31 Jan 2022, 11:56 am

Galted wrote:
Jeff Navarro wrote:I always felt that the ‘Nadal will be finished by 25 due to his style of play’. Was a little overplayed on his earlier career. You had many ex players singing that tune for many years as well.
Seems like it stuck around despite Nadal not showing any signs he was done at 25.
Media myths seems hard to dispel...

what a sh*te boring sport.

Controversial.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 31 Jan 2022, 11:57 am

Galted - Funny thing is Rafa could actually reach 25 Slams. I'm putting him down for a win at the French this year and he'll still have a good shot at RG in 2023, IMHO.

That would give him 23. Still think Djoko will finish up with the most GS as long as he doesn't have any more country-entry problems.

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Post by Galted Mon 31 Jan 2022, 1:02 pm

superflyweight wrote:
Galted wrote:
Jeff Navarro wrote:I always felt that the ‘Nadal will be finished by 25 due to his style of play’. Was a little overplayed on his earlier career. You had many ex players singing that tune for many years as well.
Seems like it stuck around despite Nadal not showing any signs he was done at 25.
Media myths seems hard to dispel...

what a sh*te boring sport.

Controversial.

Laugh  

I've been stitched up worse than Rylan.
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Post by Galted Mon 31 Jan 2022, 1:04 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Galted - Funny thing is Rafa could actually reach 25 Slams. I'm putting him down for a win at the French this year and he'll still have a good shot at RG in 2023, IMHO.

That would give him 23. Still think Djoko will finish up with the most GS as long as he doesn't have any more country-entry problems.

I'm sure if Djokovic watched the final he would have been booking his jab right away
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Post by dummy_half Mon 31 Jan 2022, 1:40 pm

Medvedev needs to work on his tactics and his net game - several times he makes a dent in his opponent, getting a defensive response, but retreats behind the baseline where if he came in he would have an easy put-away. Something Federer and Nadal don't do - once they are on the front foot they get in and play the winning volley (noting that I disagree with some people's assessment that Nadal is a particularly good volleyer, he is good at picking his times to come in for the easy put away).

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