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Grass Court Season Running up to Wimbledon 2023

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 18 Jun 2023 - 12:45

Attention switches from clay to grass, with tournaments already underway. Andy Murray won Surbiton last week and is in the final again at Nottingham today.

In Stuttgart Struff takes on Tiafoe in today's final. Alcaraz is the number one seed at Queen's where the main draw matches start tomorrow. Murray has a tough opener against De Minaur.

Halle also starts tomorrow where the top seed is Medvedev who crashed out in the first round in Hertogenbosch this last week.

Nottingham today also features the first all-British main tour women's final since 1977, with Jodie Burrage playing Katie Boulter. Whoever wins will be the British number one.

Looks like Djoko, as usual in recent years, will skip any pre-Wimbledon tournies. IMHO he's firm favourite for another title at SW19.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 18 Jun 2023 - 16:21

Murray won the final at Nottingham today to back up two other Challenger titles at Aix and Surbiton of late. The win will put him inside the top 40 but he'll probably have to do well at Queen's to have a chance of a seeding at Wimbledon.

Boulter outfought Burrage in the Battle of the Brits and will, on my reckoning, go back into the top 100.

In Stuttgart, Struff and Tiafoe are into a final set.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 19 Jun 2023 - 9:05

Tiafoe sneaked home in a final-set tiebreak after Struff had had an MP.

The American is playing at Queen's this week where for the first time since 2019 there is a strong field. Andy Murray is up to 38th in the rankings which I think is the highest he's been since his hip op.

Not sure if there's any news about whether the Russians and the Belarussians have got their UK visas for Wimbledon yet. I notice they're all playing in non-UK tournies this week.

What should have happened last year at Wimbledon is that the SW19 people should have told the UK Government that it was down to them to deny visas rather than leaving it up to Wimbledon to impose a ban.

That way, the ITF, ATP and WTA would have seen it as a political decision and not a tennis one and the denial of ranking points and the fines would not have happened.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 19 Jun 2023 - 14:02

I'm very interested to see how Andy Murray does this week and into Wimbledon - he's clearly still one of the players most comfortable on grass, but doesn't quite have the power in his game that he had pre hip surgery (especially on first serve). He's won two challenger level tournaments, but hasn't had to face any top players to do so.

Still difficult to see how anyone beats Djokovic if he stays healthy.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 19 Jun 2023 - 17:40

Pen1ston and Norrie thru at Queen's but Evans beaten by Korda who looked quite a handful.

Have to agree with D-half about Djoko at Wimbledon.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 19 Jun 2023 - 21:34

At Edgbaston a thriller. No, not the cricket, but a 3hr 16mins win for 43-year-old Venus Williams against Camilla Giorgi. Remarkable.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 20 Jun 2023 - 10:16

sirfredperry wrote:At Edgbaston a thriller. No, not the cricket, but a 3hr 16mins win for 43-year-old Venus Williams against Camilla Giorgi. Remarkable.

To be honest, I was surprised to see that she was still playing tournaments, as she's played so little in the last few years.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 20 Jun 2023 - 16:07

Rune thru against double-faulting Cressy at Queen's. Alcaraz now on against LL Rinderknech. Carlos played two horrible serve games to lose the first set but has just levelled the match at one set all.

Alcaraz a bit patchy although his French opponent has played well.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 20 Jun 2023 - 17:08

Alcaraz, not at his best, managed to come through in a final set tiebreak. Some brilliant shots from the Spaniard but he'll need to serve better and cut out the UEs if he's to progress deep.

Still, for most players it's a real step up switching to the grass and Alcaraz will be pleased to get thru' while, at times, struggling.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 21 Jun 2023 - 17:10

Cam Norrie dropped the first set v Jordan Thompson but came through in the end. Thompson beat Andy Murray at Queen's a few years back and is the sort of guy that will punish you if your level drops.

Every time you see Norrie you marvel at how much he can get out of himself. He has a fairly limited game - no big shots, not a huge serve. But he's very fit and determined and although most of us agree that he's overranked you have to admire his professionalism.

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Post by Derek Smalls Wed 21 Jun 2023 - 23:36

A good run at Queens would sap Muzza of too much energy. He’s in good form, doesn’t need to prove anything, and I strongly feel he woulda been out of Wimbledon on day one to a patsy because he simply can’t string that big of a winning streak that’s needed to get say to the QF stage.
Sure he’s not seeded but let’s be realistic what we want to see is a few great results and he’s more likely to beat a top seed earlier on.
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Post by sirfredperry Thu 22 Jun 2023 - 7:29

DS - Feel sure that very few of the seeds at Wimbledon will fancy facing Andy M in the first round. The vagaries of the draw could mean he doesn't even have to face a top player first up.

Korda looked good again in his victory over Tiafoe who may have been a bit knackered after his exertions in Stuttgart. Next up for Korda is Norrie.

Medvedev had lost in the opening round of his previous two tournaments but has at least chalked up a couple of wins in Halle.

Saw a bit yesterday of 20-year-old Ben Shelton whose dad, Bryan, was on the main tour in the 1990s. Ben looked quite explosive if a little raw. He's a tall lefty, with a big serve and big ground strokes.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 22 Jun 2023 - 14:20

De Minaur De Molished Schwartzman in straight sets and Fritz, looking somewhat flat, has just lost the first set to Mannarino 6-4, with a number of breaks of service.

Long near-3hr match between the Italians in Halle saw Sinner come thru against Sonego.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 22 Jun 2023 - 15:18

Fritz dumped out by Mannarino who is one of these guys (bit like Fognini among others) who just seems to wave his racquet at the ball and it disappears into the corners.

First time really I've had a good look at Fritz. I know it's difficult to judge people on grass (Ruud, for example, looked hopeless at Wimbledon last year) but Taylor surprised me.

OK, he served well. But I thought he was going to have a much bigger game than that. He allowed the Frenchman to dominate the rallies. His movement was poor and he looked so passive.

There was only one glimpse of a top 10 player, when Fritz hit a terrific BH to save the first MP.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 22 Jun 2023 - 17:12

Alcaraz thru 6-2, 6-3 v Lehecka who just didn't serve well enough to keep himself in the match.

Carlos was certainly better than in his first match but there were some uncharacteristic FH errors that he'll have to cut out against sterner opposition.

Alcaraz will next play the winner of the Dimi-Cerundolo match which is just about to start.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 23 Jun 2023 - 17:45

De Minaur and Rune thru to the semis at Queen's with Korda a set up v Norrie. Still to come is Alcaraz v Dimi.

Medvedev was dumped out in Halle, losing to RBA. Sinner had to retire in his match with a leg injury. He'll be hoping it's not too serious with Wimbledon looming.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 23 Jun 2023 - 20:55

Korda saw off Norrie in straight sets and in the semi final will play Alcaraz who beat Dimi in straights sets despite dropping serve twice in the second set.

You feel more and more players are looking more comfortable on grass. It was noticeable how poor some of the matches at Wimbledon were two years ago after Covid had led to a cancellation of the 2020 grass-court season.

In addition, Covid caused the French to be moved back a week in 2021 which sliced a week-long chunk out of the grass court season.

Rune, for example, was happy to come to the net on numerous occasions during his match at Queen's today. In any case, there is far more volleying in matches than there was a few years back. And that's good to see.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 24 Jun 2023 - 14:56

De Minaur thru to the final at Queen's with a straight sets win over Rune.

The Australian was very solid on serve with Rune's return game a bit disappointing. At times, the difference in grass-court experience was very evident.

Next up will be Alcaraz v Korda, with Korda needing to serve well to make a match of it.

Meanwhile in Halle Bublik has beaten Zverev to reach the final. He'll play the winner of RBA-Rublev.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 24 Jun 2023 - 18:01

Alcaraz had far too much for Korda and will be back at number one if he can beat De Minaur in tomorrow's Queen's final.

In Halle it will be RBA v Rublev in the title match.

Doesn't really make much difference to Wimbledon whether Alcaraz makes in to number one as in any case he and Djoko, unlike at RG, will be at opposite ends of the draw.

Can the young gun topple Djoko? You'd think Alcaraz would have had more chance on the clay of Paris rather than the grass of Wimbledon. But at least Carlos will have learnt just what it takes to stay with Novak in a five-setter following the RG semi.

I'm still taking Djoko to win again at SW19 next month.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 25 Jun 2023 - 15:25

Alcaraz just too strong for De Minaur with the Spaniard winning in straight sets.

He takes his first grass-court title and moves back to number one.

Bublik beat Rublev in three in the Halle final.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 26 Jun 2023 - 8:47

Some now talking up Alcaraz's chances of taking the Wimbledon crown. But for me Djoko is clear favourite.

I think there's less pressure on Alcaraz at SW19 than there was at RG. Due to Djoko's indifferent form and, possible, injury problems there were many prepared to make the Spaniard favourite in Paris.

But after a chastening semi defeat, Carlos now knows what has to be done in terms of physical and mental fitness to defeat Novak over five sets.

He's also sensible enough to know he's second favourite at Wimbledon behind a man who has not lost there since 2017.

Difficult to look beyond these two for possible Wimbledon champions. May be easier to predict who might make the semis. Medvedev is a possibility, maybe Tiafoe. Rune?

Incidentally, it's remarkable how "young" the top 20 in the men's looks this morning. Remarkably, there are only two players over the age of 27 in the list - second-ranked Djoko, aged 36, and 20th-ranked C Busta, 31.

The women's top 20 is a little more "ancient". But even so, it contains only three players aged over 30 - Kvitova, Pliskova and Azarenka.


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Post by No name Bertie Mon 26 Jun 2023 - 17:29

Alcaraz lost at Roland Garros because of cramp when the match was poised at one set all and Alcaraz with monentum.  It had seemed that Djokovic was done for when taking a medical time out and showing signs of being less than 100%.   However cramp intervened.  According to Alcaraz it was likely brought on by stress - an inability to fully relax while giving maximum effort.

Winning Queens is a big statement and he has to be considered as one of the favorites to lift the Wimbledon title, however he has to navigate six rounds of grass court tennis to get to the final and then he has the final to contend with where he may meet Djokovic.   In the past big servers had the chance to beat higher ranked opposition, but I am not sure whether that is the case nowadays.
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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 26 Jun 2023 - 18:55

No Name Bertie, the way djokovic was playing in that French open semi I think he would have won. Yes alcaraz had taken 2nd set but you could see how hard he was having to work in every game including so many deuce service games. I think Djokovic would have grinded him down if it went the distance. Obviously we will never know but I don't necessarily agree momentum was with alcaraz. They were so even at that point but I felt Alcaraz was struggling a bit with the intensity of the match, he was so used to cruising in previous rounds. He was immense against Tsitsipas but the Djokovic backhand was causing him big problems. I also thought the Djokovic forehand was huge that day, much bigger than I expected

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