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Australian Open 2023

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theslosty
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Post by sirfredperry Sun 08 Jan 2023, 11:12 am

The AO starts on Jan 16 with some notable absentees including number one Alcaraz, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep.

As I write Djoko has just won a three-hour battle with Korda to take the Adelaide title. I would make Novak favourite to win again in Melbourne. Rafa was a somewhat surprise winner last year and the new daddy has been in relatively poor form of late. So another AO triumph may be beyond him.

Swiatek will obviously be the favourite on the women's side, although she suffered a shock defeat to Pegula in the Cup thingy that's been won today by the USA. Gauff, who has just won in Auckland, could be a good bet.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 09 Jan 2023, 12:19 pm

Shame Alcaraz isn't fit, as he would otherwise likely be the biggest challenger to Djokovic. It will be interesting to see who else comes through the men's draw - as noted, Rafa hasn't been in top form for a few months, and I feel the rest of the top players are much of a muchness, in that they can be good one tournament and quite ordinary the next.

I'm interested also to see how Murray does - he's historically been very ggod at the AO, even if the title has eluded him, so lets see if his off season training has brought his level up at all, or if he is now limited to being a top 30-50 player. 4th round or better would be good encouragement for him continuing through this season and beyond.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 10 Jan 2023, 1:42 pm

Can't see Murray getting very far. He had one or two good wins in 2022 but I reckoned he would have been fairly disappointed with his season over all.

Very difficult to see past Djoko for the AO. As long as he and Rafa are still playing you have to think that the only Slam that's unpredictable is the USO, as a case can easily be made for Rafa taking the French and Novak cleaning up at Wimbledon.

Speaking of Wimbledon, I wonder what will happen this year to the Russian and Belorussian players. The ban plan misfired badly last year, especially as a Moscow-born woman took the title.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 12 Jan 2023, 12:56 pm

The draw has been published for the AO. Nadal starts against rising British star Jack Draper who today beat Khachanov to reach the Adelaide semi. Pretty awful draw for Rafa AND Jack.

Normally you would give a comparatively lowly-ranked player no chance in a five-setter against Rafa. But the Spaniard has had some indifferent results of late and Draper has made a good start to the season. So there's a chance for the Brit.

Murray has a difficult opening match against Berrettini. Djoko begins against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena. Novak can't meet Rafa until the final.

Cam Norrie has a WC in his first match but protected-ranking Kyle Edmund faces Italy's Sinner. Dan Evans begins against Bagnis of Argentina.

One of the most intriguing first-round matches will be Rublev v Thiem.

Two former Aussie champs meet in the first round of the women - Azarenka v Kenin. Emma Raducanu, if fit, faces a lowly-ranked German and will almost certainly meet Coco Gauff if she gets to the second round.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 12 Jan 2023, 1:07 pm

Draw out, and Murray has Berretini first up. Tough draw, as while the Italian has weaknesses, he is such a powerful player it will take a great Murray (version 3.1 or whatever we're up to now) performance to get the better of him. Will definitely be a good barometer of where Andy stands coming into the season. If he gets through, it's Kokkinakis or Fognini in R2, projected RBA in R3 and Ruud in R4

Draper has Nadal first up. Good chance for Draper to play on a big show court and to measure himself against an elite level player, but would probably have liked it a little further through the draw. Given Rafa's form over the last few months, I see Draper having an outside chance.

Edmund with a tough draw against Sinner first up.

Norrie against a wild card, with Coric projected in R3 and FA-A in R4 (or Stan Wawrinka).

Evans has Bagnis first, but potentially Rublev or Thiem in R3

Raducanu has Korpatsch in R1 and Coco Gauff potentially in R2

Dart has the #32 seed Teichmann in R1 and Sakkari in R3, so quite tough.

I think we'll be doing well to have any Brits still in the tournament after R4, and possibly all gone by R3.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 13 Jan 2023, 6:59 pm

Cam Norrie is thru to the final in Auckland but Jack Draper was beaten in his semi in Adelaide.

At least it gives Draper an extra day to prepare for his clash with Rafa. If Rafa is in reasonable shape he'll have too much for Draper but if his serve is a bit limited then the Briton has a chance.


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Post by sirfredperry Sat 14 Jan 2023, 8:21 am

Somewhat surprisingly, and from a winning position, Cam Norrie lost his Auckland final to Gasquet, who claimed his first title since 2018 at the age of 36.

Emma Raducanu has said she will be OK (probably really only OK-ish) for the AO.


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Post by alfie Mon 16 Jan 2023, 7:34 am

Well Raducanu was indeed "OK" - at least for the first round. Had a bit of a wonky start but came through comfortably enough against her German opponent Korpatsch 6-3, 6-2. Only saw the latter stages but she was moving pretty well by then. Looked rather happy afterwards...

Of course Coco Gauff second round will be a tougher test !

Draper was giving Nadal a really good match for three sets but he's tired , and cramped a bit ; and has fallen right away in the fourth...and just gone down 1-6. Will be disappointed with the result , perhaps ; but should take heart from making one of the legends work so hard for the win.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Jan 2023, 8:04 am

Always going to be a tall order for Draper to come out on top in a five-setter against Rafa.

Good to see Emma R winning today. Just heard that Kyrgios has had to pull out thru injury. A pity.

FAA could be in a spot of bother against fellow countryman Pospisil who is 5-1 up in the opening set. One seed already out is Coric.

Might be worth keeping an eye on Bianca Andreescu who today knocked out 25th seed Bouzkova.

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Post by alfie Mon 16 Jan 2023, 8:41 am

Yes unfortunate for local interest that Kyrgios had to pull out. Millman flying the Aussie flag though , just now taking his match with Huesler into a fifth set...

Cam Norrie didn't half make a meal of that first set against van Assche : served for it twice at 5-4 and 6-5 and couldn't close out either. Came though in the tie break well enough but he'd want to smarten up or he could be in for a long night here. The French teenager is not at all intimidated by playing the 11th seed and giving as good as he gets.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Jan 2023, 8:58 am

Norrie now 4-0 up in the second set. FAA, already a set down v Pospisil, was a break up in the second set but it's now back on serve.

Teichman, seeded 32, is a set up and a break up against Britain's Harriet Dart.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Jan 2023, 9:20 am

Teichman rather ran away with it in the end against Dart, taking it 7-5, 6-1.

Millman has just won a long five-setter v Huesler of Switzerland, while FAA has levelled things at one set all against Pospisil.

Norrie is close to victory after that sticky first set. He took the second 6-0 and is 3-0 up in the third.


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Post by alfie Mon 16 Jan 2023, 9:24 am

Norrie certainly smartened up Smile Has reeled off nine games straight to have this well under control...

No joy for Dart , out in straight. Two of the Aussie men through with Millman coming from a set down twice to join Kubler in the second round. And the two Canadians are locked in a tight battle one set all...

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Jan 2023, 9:46 am

Slovakian Molcan has just taken Stan the Man to a 5th set, having clinched a 4th set tiebreak. This is one of a number of long men's matches today and looks set to be a 4-hourer.

The FAA-Pospisil struggle is also likely to be a longy, although FAA after a bad start, is now a break up in the third.

As I write, Cam Norrie has just won in straight sets. His inexperienced opponent fought back at the end before going down.


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Post by sirfredperry Mon 16 Jan 2023, 10:59 am

Former Aussie champion Stan the Man is out - beaten in five by Molcan.

The all-Canadian clash sees FAA take a two sets to one lead over Pospisil in what is likely to be the longest match of the day.*

From the scoreline it looks like Swiatek had a bit of a struggle against Niemeyer of Germany before coming thru' in straight sets. The German had been a break up early in the second set.

Iga has, sensibly, resigned herself to not having such a sensational year in 2023. But in my book she's favourite at Melbourne, Paris and New York (but probably not Wimbledon).

Looks like FAA is almost home and dry - he's 3-0 up in the 4th. One seed having a struggle is Musetti of Italy who was two sets to love down against Harris of South Africa before taking the third set.

*Later: Possibly the longest match is going to be the one involving 21-year-old Sydney-sider Rinky Hijikata who is into a 5th set against German qualifier Hanfmann who had gone two sets up.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 16 Jan 2023, 3:02 pm

Really quite a lack of shocks on day 1 - Musetti and Coric being the only men's seeds to lose, and Anisomova and Bouzkova in the women's draw. Biggest name to lose of course being Wawrinka, but that's not a big surprise given his age and recent form and fitness.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 17 Jan 2023, 8:05 am

Get in there Murray!!! Biggest win of his 2nd career, really battled for every point there.

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Post by alfie Tue 17 Jan 2023, 8:13 am

What a wonderful match ! And a fantastic performance from Murray to win that in the end against a determined and often inspired Berrettini clap clap clap

Had feared he had lost his chance when the Italian surged back from 2 sets down but he produced what was needed in that ten point tie break.

Hope he gets a good night's sleep after all that...

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Post by Oakdene Tue 17 Jan 2023, 8:32 am

Totally agree, when he lost the 4th set I thought that was curtains so to stay in touch was impressive against such a big server.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 17 Jan 2023, 8:50 am

Superb win for Murray, I do wonder why he puts himself through the ringer for so little return sometimes but I suppose it's more nights like that. I just hope history remembers him as fondly as he deserves, he won't end up with the trophy count of many others but i'd say he's without doubt amongst the ten finest players to ever play the game.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 17 Jan 2023, 9:32 am

Andy Murray, eh! Woke up to find that Berrettini had won the third set and feared an Italian comeback.

All the way through from then on I was reckoning on a B'ini win and of course he did have that MP. I haven't seen any of it but I gather he missed an easy BH. Of well. I've always said that if you want to beat Matteo you have to stick it on his BH.

Not sure Andy will have much left for the next match. This time last year he had a draining first match and then went out tamely in the next round.

In other news......Dan Evans came thru a tricky match in four against experienced Bagnis.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 17 Jan 2023, 10:23 am

Soul Requiem wrote:Superb win for Murray, I do wonder why he puts himself through the ringer for so little return sometimes but I suppose it's more nights like that. I just hope history remembers him as fondly as he deserves, he won't end up with the trophy count of many others but i'd say he's without doubt amongst the ten finest players to ever play the game.

I was thinking about this earlier, and considering asking as a question where we think Murray should be rated for his career. The difficulty is that he is essentially a contemporary of the 3 men with the most complete arguments to be GOAT, and so his career accomplishments perhaps fall a bit short of where they might have in a different era.
I think top ten is a little high, but just off the top of my head, I'd break down in to categories something like (Open era only, or at least overlapping into it, as my knowledge of earlier is too sketchy and it's difficult to know the balance between amateur and professional accomplishments):

GOAT contenders: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic
Formerly GOAT contenders: Laver, Borg, Sampras
All time greats: Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi
Greats: Wilander, Edberg, Becker
Next tier greats: Murray, Courier

The groupings are not in any particular order, and I can make an argument for sticking Murray up a tier to the guys who have 6 or 7 titles (3 slam titles but 8 losing finals, 3 to Federer and 5 to Djokovic and having reached at least 1 final of each GS event, which is in many ways a far more consistent record than Edberg or Becker ). No doubt the best British player of the Open era by an absolute country mile - Henman was a good player in his time, but a couple of levels below the elite.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 17 Jan 2023, 12:00 pm

dummy_half wrote:
I was thinking about this earlier, and considering asking as a question where we think Murray should be rated for his career. The difficulty is that he is essentially a contemporary of the 3 men with the most complete arguments to be GOAT, and so his career accomplishments perhaps fall a bit short of where they might have in a different era.
I think top ten is a little high, but just off the top of my head, I'd break down in to categories something like (Open era only, or at least overlapping into it, as my knowledge of earlier is too sketchy and it's difficult to know the balance between amateur and professional accomplishments):

GOAT contenders: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic
Formerly GOAT contenders: Laver, Borg, Sampras
All time greats: Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, Agassi
Greats: Wilander, Edberg, Becker
Next tier greats: Murray, Courier

The groupings are not in any particular order, and I can make an argument for sticking Murray up a tier to the guys who have 6 or 7 titles (3 slam titles but 8 losing finals, 3 to Federer and 5 to Djokovic and having reached at least 1 final of each GS event, which is in many ways a far more consistent record than Edberg or Becker ). No doubt the best British player of the Open era by an absolute country mile - Henman was a good player in his time, but a couple of levels below the elite.

There are a fair few who are nailed on for the top ten; Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Sampras, Borg, Agassi, Lendl and Laver, pretty much in that order for me. I'd have Murray in the same range as Connors and McEnroe just because he's a better all court player than anyone else, his record in getting to semi finals is quite ridiculous and it's at that point he tended to have three fairly large obstacles to overcome.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 17 Jan 2023, 2:41 pm

Great win for Andy.

These sorts of matches are the rewards Murray gets for prolonging his career beyond having a metal hip fitted. The buzz he will get from the result following battling against a younger, fitter and higher ranked player and the adulation from Rod Laver Arena sure beats sitting at home on his Playstation on a cold winters' morning wondering what might have been.

Sure the toll this match will take on him and what energy reserves he will have left for R2 will probably be pivotal but it shows he can still mix it with the top notch players and win.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 17 Jan 2023, 6:45 pm

Seen the whole of the final-set tiebreak. Berrettini's serve deserted him in the opening points while Murray hit three huge unreturned serves which effectively won him the match.

Been trying to see the MP that Berrettini had, without success. I understand it was a bad miss by the Italian, no?

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 17 Jan 2023, 9:41 pm

Great win by Murray..I would have him inside top 20 of all time. However the following I would place above based on career achievements:

Djokovic
Nadal
Federer
Laver
Sampras
Agassi
Conners
Borg
Mcenroe
Becker
Edberg
Lendl
Wilander

I would however put him in somewhere after that and ahead of likes of Courier, Safin, Hewitt, wawrinka and a number of other great players. I would probably have him somewhere between 15-20 in all time list

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Post by slashermcguirk Tue 17 Jan 2023, 10:01 pm

It was an absolute shocker of a miss, he was literally between the net and service line and he could have put it nearly anywhere and the point and match was his. It was an awful attempted drop shot by Murray and I would say he was stunned the match was not over. Had it been in the latter stages of a slam it's the sort of miss that would haunt you with an open court waiting for the ball. Thankfully for berritini being the 1st round probably makes it a lot easier to stomach.

quote="sirfredperry"]Seen the whole of the final-set tiebreak. Berrettini's serve deserted him in the opening points while Murray hit three huge unreturned serves which effectively won him the match.

Been trying to see the MP that Berrettini had, without success. I understand it was a bad miss by the Italian, no?[/quote]

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 18 Jan 2023, 7:17 am

So Rafa has bowed out. He was probably going to struggle to go deep in the tournament anyway, given his recent performances. But what appears to be a hip prob meant he's only been able to defend 45 of the 2,000 pts from last year.

My reckoning is that he will now take a break in order to be as fit as possible for the clay-court season and, of course RG.

FAA made an even slower start today than he did in his opening match, falling two sets behind to Stan the Man's conqueror, Molcan. But the Canadian finished strongly to win in five.

Rain has played havoc with the scheduling again today. Barmy organisers have not prioritised completing the half-finished matches, even after the rain delays. Wimbledon is also guilty of this, insisting that a new match must start proceedings. Madness.

Around 8am UK time Emma R takes on Gauff. The American will be favourite but I just wonder if there could be an upset.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 18 Jan 2023, 11:08 am

So Gauff won through in straight sets, but by all accounts a competitive match. Probably a realistic assessment of where Raducanu's game really is - can hold her own against a top 10 player but came up just a bit short on the big points. If she can maintain fitness this year, hopefully should get back into the top 20 or so. Still looks like the USO victory was a bit of a case of the stars aligning for her, but she is still very young, particularly with regards to time on the WTA tour, and a good career is still a strong possibility.

As for Nadal, it appears he is having trouble getting and staying fit over the last few months. This loss will drop him to at best 6th and possibly a couple more places depending on how FAA and Fritz do. It looks like he might be coming towards the end, at least of being competitive through large parts of the season, although I'm sue this isn't the first time I or others have suggested this. Be interesting to see though if Rafa has the motivation to continue putting in the effort. Whatever happens next though, he's had a remarkable career, and I can't think of any other players (either men or women) who had so much early success who also managed maintain a top level career into their mid 30s. Most prodigies tend to be done by their mid to late 20s.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 18 Jan 2023, 8:42 pm

Cam Norrie dropped the second set in his late-night match but came thru in four.

Murray will play Kokkinakis tomorrow (Thurs) in what could be another thriller.


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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 18 Jan 2023, 9:27 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Cam Norrie dropped the second set in his late-night match but came thru in four.

His opponent was a Constant threat.

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Post by alfie Thu 19 Jan 2023, 8:37 am

Seeds continue to fall... Ruud knocked out by a relatively unheralded American - and now Zverev falls to a "lucky loser" from qualifiers...

No problem for Andrey Rublev though , through in four. Or Dan Evans , who came through in straight sets and will meet Rublev next.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 19 Jan 2023, 10:10 am

Taylor Fritz gone as well, along with Schwartzman.
There's a little part of the draw where all of Fritz, Zverev and Schwartzman were seeded to be that has in the 3rd round 2 non seeds (JJ Wolf, currently ranked 67, and Ben Shelton, currently ranked 89) plus one wild card and one lucky loser. And their potential quarter final opponents are from Murray's section (see below)

Murray's little section is looking quite open as well now with Ruud's defeat. Only RBA of the seeds left in that 1/8 of the draw, and he's just been taken to a 5th set.

Draw opening up nicely for someone to pick up a lot of points and prize money from the bottom quarter of the draw (at least until they reach Djokovic in the semi finals).

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Post by Duty281 Thu 19 Jan 2023, 10:24 am

Djokovic struggling with injury and is off court for medical treatment.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 19 Jan 2023, 10:48 am

Call me a cynic but I reckon he'll be just fine.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 19 Jan 2023, 12:27 pm

Murray loses first set to K 6-4. The draw has, indeed, opened up for Murray but he's up against it tonight.

A number of seeds have fallen by the wayside on Day 4. The latst to do so was C-Busta who saved five MPs before going down in a final set tiebreak.

I can't speak enough of the ludicrous scheduling. To have three matches on the show court before two night matches is madness. If Murray fights back his match could go on until 2am local time or even later.

The two last things that sports organisers ever consider, and this goes not just for tennis but a number of other sports, are the players and the spectators.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 12:52 pm

Kokkinakis leads 6-4 4-4 playing some great stuff. Murray moving really well which is great to see but he must win this set you feel.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 12:57 pm

Kokkinakis breaks and will serve for a two set lead. The match just slipping away from Murray you feel.
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Post by MrInvisible Thu 19 Jan 2023, 12:59 pm

I hate to pour cold water on the buzz Murray has generated from a big win in previous round but given he's likely to have to go the distance in order to beat Kokkinakis I really can't see him getting much further - physically he can't do it and we're likely to see one of Brooksby or Paul making it through that quarter.

Great achievement though for Murray still to be competing at this level and I think he still has another couple of big wins in him against top ranked players in early rounds at slams left in him.

Looking at the draw can anyone see anything other than Djokovic Medvedev final? I suppose Tsitsipas has a chance and will have crowd support though Medvedev tends to be little bit better than him on hardcourts.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 1:09 pm

Murray saves set points to break and pull level at 5-5 in the second set.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 1:33 pm

Kokkinakis uses his big hitting to great effect to take the tiebreaker and leads 6-4 7-6. The Aussie playing a great match and mentally staying strong. Over two hours played and I see no way back for Murray.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 2:52 pm

You can say what you want about various aspects of Murray's game but his fight and guts are tremendous. He takes the third set tiebreak. Kokkinakis leads 6-4 7-6 6-7 as we move around to 2am in Melbourne and nearly three and a half hours played.
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Post by dummy_half Thu 19 Jan 2023, 3:48 pm

And now Murray a break up and a game away from taking the 4th. At this rate they'll just about finish before tomorrow's daytime session starts.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 4:01 pm

And Murray rises from the ashes. He takes the fourth set to level at two sets all after 4 hours 38 minutes. Unbelievable.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 19 Jan 2023, 4:18 pm

Doubt whether anyone apart from a handful of players (Djoko and Rafa certainly) would have made a late-night comeback like this.

If this finally ends the, frankly, ridiculous idea of playing TWO night matches then it won't have come a moment too soon.

Wonder what would have happened if BOTH players had said they didn't want to continue after the 4th set. Both disqualified and a walk-over for RBA?

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 5:09 pm

Murray wins in five sets in 5 hours 45 minutes aftewr a 4 hours 45 mins match two days earlier and all with a metal hip and from two sets down. Incredible does not do it justice.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 19 Jan 2023, 5:15 pm

Never mind tennis, that's simply one of the greatest sporting comebacks you'll ever see. And one of the best sporting events you'll see this year for drama. Full credit to both.

Two sets down and 2-5 down in the third, after undergoing a previous marathon v Berrettini that lasted five hours, after all his fitness issues, and bearing in mind that he's a few months from being 36 and running around with a metal hip, Murray somehow found a way. That was something else. It's one of his greatest victories and it encapsulates Murray as a player - grit, determination, never-say-die spirit all on display. If someone wants to sum him up as a player in 50 years time, this match is the one.

'I have a big heart' - quite an understatement!

Hope he has something left for the next round!

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Post by CaledonianCraig Thu 19 Jan 2023, 5:20 pm

https://twitter.com/gasparlanca/status/1616071810537369601?s=20&t=677OdOBOceH6eD0SUVqfGg
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 19 Jan 2023, 5:31 pm

Quite incredible by Andy and thanks, CC, for the link above of that extraordinary point.

When I saw that Andy had failed to capitalise on those BPs at 3-3 in the 5th I thought he had lost his chance. The win says everything about Murray - his fight, his determination, his guts, his sheer determination. What an inspiration.

This is the great joy of sport as we follow events 10,000 miles away in the dark and cold of an English winter. Sport is trivial, it's just a game - but it can mean so much and give so much.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 19 Jan 2023, 8:55 pm

Do we agree with Bautista Agut being the strong bookies favourite against Murray? Not so sure about that myself.

That section of the draw is wide open. It looks like Bautista Agut or someone unseeded in the semi final?

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