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IW/Miami and the Clay Court Season 2024

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 03 Mar 2024, 9:12 am

Indian Wells and Miami coming up ahead of the European clay-court season. As I write lovebirds De Minaur and Katie Boulter are having a stellar time. The Australian has just won Acapulco, beating Ruud in the final, while Boulter has reached the final in San Diego and will reach a career-high inside the top 40.

In recent weeks the spotlight in the men's has moved off Alcaraz and on to Sinner who will be the man to beat at IW and Miami. The two US stops will almost certainly host Andy Murray for the last time, with the Scot saying he may not play beyond the summer.


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Post by sirfredperry Mon 04 Mar 2024, 7:43 am

Boulter, no doubt boosted by the presence of boyfriend De Minaur, took the San Diego title.

It's catapulted the Briton up to 27th in the rankings. With the exception of Konta and Raducanu, this is the highest a British woman has got for a long time.*

Qualifying for IW has started. Be interesting to see how Alcaraz gets on and whether Sinner can keep up his tremendous run. He's pushed up to third and a case can be made for his reaching the very top by the end of the year.

*I just checked and Laura Robson got as high as 27th.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 04 Mar 2024, 10:13 am

sirfredperry wrote:Boulter, no doubt boosted by the presence of boyfriend De Minaur, took the San Diego title.

It's catapulted the Briton up to 27th in the rankings. With the exception of Konta and Raducanu, this is the highest a British woman has got for a long time.*

Qualifying for IW has started. Be interesting to see how Alcaraz gets on and whether Sinner can keep up his tremendous run. He's pushed up to third and a case can be made for his reaching the very top by the end of the year.

*I just checked and Laura Robson got as high as 27th.

Which was very early in her career, before the injury struggles started.
Very good tournament for Boulter, beating some decent players. Her ranking progression is excellent - was around 150 a year ago (a bit of a one-off low point), but got up to the 50s by late summer and maintained that until this week. Now has given herself the opportunity to play all the big tournaments, and will commonly be seeded, so a decent chance to build up a good points haul ove the next few months. Even a couple of rounds at a 1000 point event gets you a lot more points than winning some of the Challengers etc she was plying not that long ago.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 07 Mar 2024, 9:19 am

Murray with his best performance in recent times beating David Goffin 6-3 6-2 & will now face Rublev next.

Jack Draper & Katie Boutler both lost out.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 11 Mar 2024, 9:41 am

Murray's brief resurgence ended by Rublev who, in turn, has been dumped out by Lehecka.

Djoko dropped a set but won his first match, while Alcaraz is thru to round 4 with a straight-sets win over FAA. Sinner also thru to round 4 and his long winning streak continues.

Gauff and Sabalenka both came back from the brink to win their opening matches. Sab now plays Raducanu. Swiatek still dishing out Bagels. Mums Kerber and Wozniacki thru to 4th round.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 12 Mar 2024, 7:52 am

Big shock in IW, with Djoko going out to 20-year-old LL Luca Nardi of Italy in three sets.

Djoko clearly a bit rusty from inactivity but the winner was ranked 123rd and few would have been expecting this.

Emma R lost to Sabalenka in straight sets, while Norrie lost a three-hour match to Monfils after being a set and a break up. Apparently Cam has been ill of late and it caught up with him in the final set a bit.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 12 Mar 2024, 7:54 am

sirfredperry wrote:Big shock in IW, with Djoko going out to 20-year-old LL Luca Nardi of Italy in three sets.

Djoko clearly a bit rusty from inactivity but the winner was ranked 123rd and few would have been expecting this.

Emma R lost to Sabalenka in straight sets, while Norrie lost a three-hour match to Monfils after being a set and a break up. Apparently Cam has been ill of late and it caught up with him in the final set a bit.

I watched a lot of that & Emma did well not to be overwhelmed with Sabalenka's power. Wow she was smacking the ball so hard. Emma worked her way back into the match & did have opportunities but shouldn't be disappointed really.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 13 Mar 2024, 7:36 am

Alcaraz and Sinner march on. Lehecka, having beaten Rublev, has now taken out Tsitsipas. Zverev went a set down to De Minaur but came thru in three.

It's all boiling up to a blockbuster semi between Alcaraz and Sinner. In the other half of the draw Medvedev has an easier path to the final.

Similar story in the women's, with Swiatek having a less difficult journey to the final, while Gauff and Sabalenka are on course for a semi-final meeting.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 14 Mar 2024, 11:20 am

All my talk of a Sab-Gauff semi has been scuppered after Sab was beaten by fast-rising young US star Emma Navarro.

Medvedev bt Dimi while Rune saved an MP before overcoming Fritz. Monfils battled hard against Ruud but lost a three-setter while Tommy Paul was too much for Djoko-conqueror Nardi.

All the quarter finals get played today. I'm rather hoping Alcaraz and Sinner get through as a semi between the pair should be mouth watering.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 15 Mar 2024, 9:04 pm

It is going to be a Sinner-Alcaraz semi with Carlos having had to contend with a bee swarm as well as his opponent in the quarters

Sinner has had such a good run that you could say that:
1. He's favourite to win
2. He's due for a defeat.

I think he's so full of confidence that he'll beat Alcaraz. No doubt Medvedev will be hoping that it's a long match.

In the women it's hard to see anything but a Swiatek-Gauff final.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 16 Mar 2024, 7:51 am

My prediction of a Swiatek-Gauff final was spot on .....except Gauff was beaten.

Her conqueror in a rain-affected match, Sakkari, had an MP in the second set before Coco fought back to take it to a third. But despite going a break down early in the third, Sakkari came thru 6-2.

Meanwhile Swiatek easily disposed of Kostyuk. The men's semis will be played today, with Medvedev likely to have an easier time of it against Paul than Sinner and Alcaraz will have facing each other.

Will Sinner's long run of victories end today?

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 18 Mar 2024, 7:24 am

Terrific effort by Alcaraz to, first, end Sinner's run and then recover from a slow start to beat Medvedev in straight sets in the final.

It's a second successive IW title for Carlos and it steals, for now, the limelight from Sinner. Djoko is not playing in Miami so the guys trailing him can stretch away from him in the year-so-far rankings.

Swiatek bt Sakkari four and love to take the women's crown and now has a chance of being only the second woman after Graf to do the Sunshine Double twice.

Halep returns in Miami having had her ban reduced. Difficult to know what to make of the decision by the authorities. They've effectively said: "We (sort of) believe you didn't take the drug intentionally but we're not absolutely sure."

Meanwhile the threat of Saudi Arabia control over tennis looms large. It doesn't help that Rafa appears to be an ambassador for the Saudis. Amazed the women, in particular, want to have anything to do with such a regime. Money talks, alas.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 20 Mar 2024, 11:07 am

Shocking news that Sabalenka's partner has died, having, apparently, taken his own life.

I thought she would automatically drop out of Miami but she intends to play and will meet former number two Badosa who saw off the returning Halep in a long three-setter.

Raducanu has dropped out thru injury. It's hardly a surprise, alas. Andy Murray plays Berrettini today, with the Italian fresh off an appearance in the final of a 175pt Challenger in Phoenix last week.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 21 Mar 2024, 8:33 am

Murray beat Berrettini in three after the Italian had a spell of dizziness towards the end of the second set.

Andy now plays Echeverry who beat him in Melbourne. At least Murray is getting a few wins after a wretched start to the season.

Sabalenka has revealed her devastation over the death of her boyfriend although she has admitted that they had split up.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 21 Mar 2024, 9:07 am

sirfredperry wrote:Murray beat Berrettini in three after the Italian had a spell of dizziness towards the end of the second set.

Andy now plays Echeverry who beat him in Melbourne. At least Murray is getting a few wins after a wretched start to the season.

Sabalenka has revealed her devastation over the death of her boyfriend although she has admitted that they had split up.

Watched the Murray game from the 2nd set, he was playing really well.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 01 Apr 2024, 8:41 am

Sinner took the title beating Dimi in the final with the loss of just four games. The Bulgarian had beaten Alcaraz and then Zverev to reach the title match and to get back into the top 10 for the first time since 2018.

Sinner is now way out front in the year-so-far rankings and you can easily see him reaching number one at some stage this year.

Collins took the women's title beating Rybakina in the final. Attention now turns to the European clay-court season. Murray is out injured for a while but Rafa, hopefully, will be back.

Djoko has split with Ivanisevic. You should never rule Novak out but it's difficult to see him emulating his feat of last year of winning RG and the USO and reaching the Wimbledon final.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 10 Apr 2024, 7:50 am

Alcaraz out thru injury in Monte Carlo and Rafa also pulled out before the tournament began. You have to wonder whether Rafa will be OK for the French.

Djoko had a comfortable win in his first match in MC. Jack Draper was beaten by Hurkacz in a final-set tiebreak.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 16 Apr 2024, 10:44 am

A resurgent Tsitsipas triumphed in MC. It was a bit of a shock to see Sinner and Djoko failing in the semis.

Djoko is having a bit of a struggle so far this year. But it would be foolish to write him off.

Meanwhile, the news about Murray is that he's not having surgery although there is no date given yet for his return.

One guy who IS coming back is Nadal who plays today in Barcelona.

I see in the news that there are plans for the women to play at Queen's next year. But there are concerns that the courts won't sustain a week of women followed by a week of men.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 17 Apr 2024, 1:12 pm

NOt been a great few weeks for the British men, although Norrie has got through the R32 in Barcelona and Draper is in the QF at Munich. Dan Evans with another first round exit and dropped well outside the top 50.

Obviously, the women did well in the BJK qualifier, two good wins for Raducanu and one for Boulter, who may be struggling a bit with the change in expectations following her tournament win and rapid rankings ascent.

Murray is on the entry list for the French Open, so perhaps not that far away from a return to action - yes, I know there's a fair step between being entered and actually taking part, but he'd surely have withdrawn if there was no chance of him being recovered.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 22 Apr 2024, 8:39 am

Ruud got revenge for his title match defeat by Tsitsipas the week before by triumphing over the Greek in Barcelona.

Rafa did have one win before bowing out to De Minaur. I guess he'll at least be able to compete at RG.

There was a home win for the German crowd to cheer in Munich as Struff took his first title at the age of 33.

Rybakina beat Swiatek in the semi in Stuttgart and then had an easy win in the final over Kostyuk of Ukraine. She got a car for her win. Only trouble is - she can't drive.


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