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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:30 am    Post subject:

Sandgren absolutely choked his match away against Federer. Federer looked physically compromised from the early stages of the third set on, and essentially got boatraced in the second and third sets. He looked like he was basically going through the motions in the fourth set (he basically confirmed that in the post-match interview with Jim Courier, saying that he was just staying out there so that Sandgren could have his moment in style on the court), and Sandgren was in every Federer service game but one in that set, and yet he failed to break. He had been playing such a good, clean match. Then as the set got deeper, it's like his nerves started to show up, almost like he was telling himself "how have I not broken this guy yet, he can barely move and can't serve hard." He had 4 match points before it went to the tiebreak in the fourth set, and then in the tiebreak he had 3 more match points. Of course, he won none of them, making errors on 5 of the 7 match points on basic rally balls. After blowing the match points, it was like he couldn't mentally get past that in the fifth set, and Federer, now seeing the finish line, perked up just a little bit (though he was still clearly not close to 100%).

An amazing escape act from Roger, but it really was an epic choke from Sandgren, honestly. Roger is going to have to be 100% physically if he plays Djokovic, though, which he will if Novak beats Raonic. Those two are playing right now, on serve in the first set.
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BadGuy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:21 am    Post subject:

Fed won the battle, but he may have lost the war. No chance against Djoker unless he is 100%, as ChickenStu said. Even at 100%, Roger would be the underdog against Djoker, so I expect Roger to lose in 3 sets or pull out.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:28 pm    Post subject:

Djoker absolutely manhandled Raonic (26-2 in sets lifetime now, lol). I can't see how Fed beats him in the semis, but I'll never rule Fed out on a hardcourt. Not looking good though.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:33 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
Djoker absolutely manhandled Raonic (26-2 in sets lifetime now, lol). I can't see how Fed beats him in the semis, but I'll never rule Fed out on a hardcourt. Not looking good though.


If he's 100%, he'll have a shot. It's not like this is Roger vs. Rafa on clay. If he's physically compromised, then there's no way he's beating Novak in a best-of-5 match in Australia. Especially since they'll be playing at night, with slower conditions.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:39 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Djoker absolutely manhandled Raonic (26-2 in sets lifetime now, lol). I can't see how Fed beats him in the semis, but I'll never rule Fed out on a hardcourt. Not looking good though.


If he's 100%, he'll have a shot. It's not like this is Roger vs. Rafa on clay. If he's physically compromised, then there's no way he's beating Novak in a best-of-5 match in Australia. Especially since they'll be playing at night, with slower conditions.


It's a shame they've never met in a final here.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:43 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Djoker absolutely manhandled Raonic (26-2 in sets lifetime now, lol). I can't see how Fed beats him in the semis, but I'll never rule Fed out on a hardcourt. Not looking good though.


If he's 100%, he'll have a shot. It's not like this is Roger vs. Rafa on clay. If he's physically compromised, then there's no way he's beating Novak in a best-of-5 match in Australia. Especially since they'll be playing at night, with slower conditions.


It's a shame they've never met in a final here.


Could be another Djoker vs. Rafa final, although Patrick McEnroe said last night that he thinks Thiem can pull the upset on Nadal later tonight.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:56 pm    Post subject:

Thiem is a guy that should be able to beat Nadal, but he's a notorious choker like Zverev.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:00 pm    Post subject:

I'm surprised by Zverev scores generally and three setting Rublev who hadn't lost a match since October or something. Be very interesting if he finally does something big at a Slam. Thiem too, but I feel he's more knocking on the door with his strength. He's been something of a choker, but I feel his chokes are getting later and later in a match (more reasonable I guess) meaning he's learning some things, and that he's got a bead on the big 2 with his huge strokes and game. On clay I got him taking it this year, meself. I think the others actually fear him a little there.

Federer played like a shell really, and the Sandgren could not overcome himself to play solid enough. Wanted it so bad, a little like Serena's been, that he couldn't play free and poised.

Meanwhile, we have lil ol Stan o'er there on the comeback. Former Aussie winner Stan. What a slugfest Stan v. Thiem could be. For some reason, Nadal owns Stan even on hardcourt. That's weird to me. You can take Djokovic on a hardcourt but not Nadal?

Still see a Djokovic Nadal final.

Kerber disappointed me, but Muguruza looks like she's back. Halep should be pretty pressurefree so who knows in that half. I can really see Kenin coming through folks to her first final. We could have an American champ. I just like her, actually kobeesque wants to win and fearless. Maybe because she rhymes with Henin. Great backhand too, with two hands.
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BadGuy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:40 am    Post subject:

Thiem came through against Nadal! Was worried the match might go 5, which would lead to another Nadal win. Now, the semis will be the usual suspects on side vs the young guns on the other. Looking like a Thiem vs. Djoker final.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:23 am    Post subject:

Thiem looks solid for his first Slam. 6-2 against Zverev including on fast indoor at ATP Finals a couple months ago. They say this is a slow hardcourt surface. But from the score Zverev pretty much owned Wawrinka the last three sets and he's a slugger. That might mean he played his best tennis.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:06 am    Post subject:

I can't keep up with the surface changes. I thought last year that the AO was playing as the fastest major surface, now it's slow?

Also, excellent performance by Thiem. And to think he almost lost to some no-name Aussie in the second round.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:39 pm    Post subject:

Almost every surface has been slowed down by tournament organizers to promote the style of play of baseline players like Nadal/Djoker and encourage longer rallies/matches.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:52 pm    Post subject:

BadGuy wrote:
Almost every surface has been slowed down by tournament organizers to promote the style of play of baseline players like Nadal/Djoker and encourage longer rallies/matches.


Yep. Until this year, the AO was one of the fastest surfaces on the tour. It was speeding up year after year starting with the surface change a few years back.

2019:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/category/surface-speed/

It's amazing how far down USO, Wimbledon and even Cincinnati are compared to years past.

FWIW, Djokovic is actually better on the faster surfaces.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:28 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
BadGuy wrote:
Almost every surface has been slowed down by tournament organizers to promote the style of play of baseline players like Nadal/Djoker and encourage longer rallies/matches.


Yep. Until this year, the AO was one of the fastest surfaces on the tour. It was speeding up year after year starting with the surface change a few years back.

2019:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/category/surface-speed/

It's amazing how far down USO, Wimbledon and even Cincinnati are compared to years past.

FWIW, Djokovic is actually better on the faster surfaces.


Why do you think Djokovic is better on faster surfaces? I haven't noticed that when he plays Federer on faster surfaces like the ATP World Tour Finals (although, indoor conditions help Federer more). Djokovic's game is based on his ability to return serves and go from defense->offense in one shot in rallies, so a slower court allows him more time to return and gives him the opportunity to hit more balls back. Whereas, Federer, someone who likes to end points early, definitely struggles on slower surfaces where his attacking style is easier to punish and harder to execute (an extreme example being the French Open). Btw, thanks for posting that link, which shows some interesting data.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:08 pm    Post subject:

BadGuy wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
BadGuy wrote:
Almost every surface has been slowed down by tournament organizers to promote the style of play of baseline players like Nadal/Djoker and encourage longer rallies/matches.


Yep. Until this year, the AO was one of the fastest surfaces on the tour. It was speeding up year after year starting with the surface change a few years back.

2019:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/category/surface-speed/

It's amazing how far down USO, Wimbledon and even Cincinnati are compared to years past.

FWIW, Djokovic is actually better on the faster surfaces.


Why do you think Djokovic is better on faster surfaces? I haven't noticed that when he plays Federer on faster surfaces like the ATP World Tour Finals (although, indoor conditions help Federer more). Djokovic's game is based on his ability to return serves and go from defense->offense in one shot in rallies, so a slower court allows him more time to return and gives him the opportunity to hit more balls back. Whereas, Federer, someone who likes to end points early, definitely struggles on slower surfaces where his attacking style is easier to punish and harder to execute (an extreme example being the French Open). Btw, thanks for posting that link, which shows some interesting data.


I think it may be because he's the best returner of all time, and he's able to return balls on the faster surfaces that other players aren't able to. His record at the WTF, Shanghai and AO speaks for itself. Really though, Djokovic is amazing on all surfaces. He basically has no holes in his game (other than the overhead smash ). His worst results have generally been at the FO (understandable with Nadal existing) and the US Open (slowed down drastically over the last few years).

That said, Nole is my favorite player to watch, and I may be biased too

If you find any other information about surface speeds, I'd love to have a read. I find it fascinating how the courts can change from year to year.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:58 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
BadGuy wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
BadGuy wrote:
Almost every surface has been slowed down by tournament organizers to promote the style of play of baseline players like Nadal/Djoker and encourage longer rallies/matches.


Yep. Until this year, the AO was one of the fastest surfaces on the tour. It was speeding up year after year starting with the surface change a few years back.

2019:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/category/surface-speed/

It's amazing how far down USO, Wimbledon and even Cincinnati are compared to years past.

FWIW, Djokovic is actually better on the faster surfaces.


Why do you think Djokovic is better on faster surfaces? I haven't noticed that when he plays Federer on faster surfaces like the ATP World Tour Finals (although, indoor conditions help Federer more). Djokovic's game is based on his ability to return serves and go from defense->offense in one shot in rallies, so a slower court allows him more time to return and gives him the opportunity to hit more balls back. Whereas, Federer, someone who likes to end points early, definitely struggles on slower surfaces where his attacking style is easier to punish and harder to execute (an extreme example being the French Open). Btw, thanks for posting that link, which shows some interesting data.


I think it may be because he's the best returner of all time, and he's able to return balls on the faster surfaces that other players aren't able to. His record at the WTF, Shanghai and AO speaks for itself. Really though, Djokovic is amazing on all surfaces. He basically has no holes in his game (other than the overhead smash ). His worst results have generally been at the FO (understandable with Nadal existing) and the US Open (slowed down drastically over the last few years).

That said, Nole is my favorite player to watch, and I may be biased too

If you find any other information about surface speeds, I'd love to have a read. I find it fascinating how the courts can change from year to year.


I agree that Djokovic is good on all surfaces, but I still don't think a faster surface helps his game (at the same time, he does not need a slower surface to succeed like someone like Nadal does). Fed is my favorite due to his style, but I respect Djokovic's game a lot! I think peak Djokovic beats peak Fed on most surfaces other than grass and indoor hard court.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:44 pm    Post subject:

BadGuy wrote:
I agree that Djokovic is good on all surfaces, but I still don't think a faster surface helps his game (at the same time, he does not need a slower surface to succeed like someone like Nadal does). Fed is my favorite due to his style, but I respect Djokovic's game a lot! I think peak Djokovic beats peak Fed on most surfaces other than grass and indoor hard court.


Excellent point.

Can't wait for the matchup tonight!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:46 pm    Post subject:

Yes, Djokovic is good on anything. If it wasn't for Nadal, he would have a few French Open titles in his bag. As would Federer. Basically, Federer would have dominated the French during that period where he was winning most of the Slams in his early-to-mid 20's, and Djokovic would have dominated it during the 2010's. Thiem is coming on the clay, though; he's been the best clay-court player not named Nadal for the past couple of years.

I, too, thought Thiem was going to choke the match away last night in the fourth set. He got broken when serving for the match at 5-4 and then in the tiebreak he played a couple of really nervous points early. But then Nadal gave two points right back, and it seemed to settle Thiem down. Glad to see him come through that one.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:29 pm    Post subject:

I have DTV. I can't find anything except a doubles match. Where is it airing?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:24 pm    Post subject:

jodeke wrote:
I have DTV. I can't find anything except a doubles match. Where is it airing?


Barty vs. Kenin is on ESPN2 at 7PM, followed by Mugu vs. Halep. Then the Djoker vs. Fed match is at 12:30AM.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:46 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
jodeke wrote:
I have DTV. I can't find anything except a doubles match. Where is it airing?


Barty vs. Kenin is on ESPN2 at 7PM, followed by Mugu vs. Halep. Then the Djoker vs. Fed match is at 12:30AM.


OK. I have ESPN2. I thought matches started at 4:00
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:07 pm    Post subject:

jodeke wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
jodeke wrote:
I have DTV. I can't find anything except a doubles match. Where is it airing?


Barty vs. Kenin is on ESPN2 at 7PM, followed by Mugu vs. Halep. Then the Djoker vs. Fed match is at 12:30AM.


OK. I have ESPN2. I thought matches started at 4:00


Tennis Channel had some doubles on. At this late stage of the event, singles matches won't be starting until later.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:08 am    Post subject:

Kenin beat Barty in two close but terribly-played sets, and is into the final. The second women's semi was much better, with Mugu outlasting Halep in two close sets as well.

Federer again looks physically compromised but is somehow up 3-1 and has broken Novak twice to begin the match. Djoker is just spraying balls everywhere early, which I don't expect to continue.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:52 am    Post subject:

Wow, Djokovic just stole that first set from Roger, in 62 minutes, and I wonder if losing the set in that manner was actually the worst possible outcome for Fed. Djoker was serving at 1-4, love-40, and dug out of that, and then Fed served at 5-4 for the set, and got broken at love. In the tiebreak, Djoker won it 7-1 and did not make an unforced error. Why is that noteworthy? They said on the broadcast that Djokovic didn't make a single unforced error in any of the 3 tiebreaks when he played Federer in the Wimbledon final, so that now makes 4 straight tiebreak sets in majors against Fed where he has not made an error. Remarkable.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:58 am    Post subject:

Fed looks like he has no legs.
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