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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:46 pm    Post subject:

Su-Wei didn't come to play today. One-way traffic for Osaka.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:06 pm    Post subject:

Karatsev has made 24 errors in 50 minutes of tennis, which is rather remarkable. He just saved 5 break points to get it to 1-1 in the second set, snapping a streak of 6 straight games for Dimitrov. He looks like a dude who had won 3 ATP matches before this event, right now. Looks exhausted.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:43 pm    Post subject:

Rather stunningly, Karatsev has this match all level at one set apiece. Dimitrov failed to win a single break point in the second set even though he had 7 or 8 of them, and even though Karatsev continues to struggle with the Dimitrov slice, he kept it even until Dimitrov became the player to basically donate the last 2 games away. He has to be very nervous as well.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:13 pm    Post subject:

Well, Dimitrov is apparently injured. I guess his back seized up on him and he called the trainer. He was literally tanking the end of the third set. He went to the locker room for treatment. Karatsev is so close to a Grand Slam semifinal.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:51 pm    Post subject:

Holy Karatsev! A shame to see Dimitrov injured, but the dream story of Karatsev continues! He started to figure out the Dimitrov slice backhand as the match went on, but he didn't play close to his best tennis today. This was easily the worst match that Karatsev was playing through about 2 and a half sets, but he didn't have to do much in the final 30-45 mins or so with Dimitrov clearly hobbled by the back.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:55 am    Post subject:

Serena just put together a fantastic win over Halep in straight sets. It's the best I've seen her move in years. Normally when Serena gets on the run, at least recently, she's at a major disadvantage. She was able to stay in points with much cleaner hitting on the run tonight, or just simply with great defense. Halep didn't play badly tonight, but was outclassed. Osaka is next up in what is a massive semifinal clash. If Serena can play like that against Naomi, she'll have a real shot. Osaka is still going to be the betting favorite, I'm sure.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:22 pm    Post subject:

Pretty amazing how the GOATs at their ages still dominate their younger opponents
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:13 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
Pretty amazing how the GOATs at their ages still dominate their younger opponents

The big stage doesn't give them the jitters anymore and experience is a plus.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:14 pm    Post subject:

Didn't expect Barty to get smoked like that. What an upset!
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:56 pm    Post subject:

jodeke wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Pretty amazing how the GOATs at their ages still dominate their younger opponents

The big stage doesn't give them the jitters anymore and experience is a plus.


I actually think that Serena has shown a lot of nerves at some of these close matches later in majors, in the last few years. She even admitted in the post-match interview last night that she actually prefers there to be no fans because she focuses better and doesn't have to worry about feeling the tension of the crowd. And with the announcement that fans will be returning tomorrow at 30% capacity, I think that's a detriment to Serena, though perhaps not an enormous one.

Osaka is a -170 favorite for the match.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:08 am    Post subject:

Nadal had Tsitsipas down 2 sets to none and appeared to be in control. It got to a 3rd set tiebreak, with Nadal still having not been broken, and then Rafa shanked an easy overhead and shanked a routine backhand in the tiebreak, not to mention another missed overhead from the baseline. As it got to the 4th set, Rafa seemed to lose energy and Tsitsipas took control of the longer rallies, finally breaking late in the set to take it. Tsitsipas is clearly the more fresh player right now, so Rafa is going to have to rely on his experience here to get him through.

Medvedev has to be loving that this match is going the distance, given that he had a routine win over Rublev and that they only get 1 day off before the semifinal. (Djokovic and Karatsev will get 2 days off.)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:37 am    Post subject:

My 2 cents:

The women's draw had some great slug fests:

Osaka vs. Mugaruza great match with a lot of heavy hitting.

Serena vs. Sabalenca ("Sabablaster") another great match with titanic hitting.

Big letdown: Barty was running Muchova off the court in the quater finals. Barty wins the first set 6-1 and is up a break 2-1 in the second when the trainer and doctor visit Muchova. Muchova leaves leaves the court for 10 minutes. When Muchova returns Barty had cooled off and Muchova wins the second and third sets. Barty was incredibly gracious about the medical time out saying that it was within the rules. Tennis is one of the few sports where in the middle of a contest someone can take a 10 medical time out. I think that the tennis community needs to rethink this rule. It's one thing to take a couple of minutes to deal with a blister or a pinched nerve. It's something else if you need 10 minutes to re-tool your game.

Serena vs. Osaka

Serena is hitting the ball better than she has in the last couple of years. Against Sabalenca she was able to go corner to corner and make a lot of amazing shots. I think the key for Osaka is not to be a better Sabalenca (hit harder corner to corner) but to mix up the the baseline power game with off speed slices and possibly moon balls.

If your a bit down because your player lost or if you are losing the GOAT debate take a few minutes and check out Camila Giorgi on Instagram.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject:

Tsitsipas to serve for the match!
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:53 am    Post subject:

Tsitsipas wins! Comes from down 2 sets to none against Rafa, wow. Nadal had a break point in the final game, too.

Remarkably, Nadal is now only 6-7 in AO quarterfinals. He's only lost 2 other quarterfinals in the other majors.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:03 am    Post subject:

I went to bed after the second set and Rafa dominating a dejected-looking Tsitsipas.. wow

Only the third time Rafa has been defeated after leading 2-0 in a bo5
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:50 pm    Post subject:

Osaka came out wobbly, and Serena was up 2-0 and had a break point to go up 3-0. Osaka won that game. Then Serena had a game point at 2-1, didn't get it, and Osaka broke. Then at 2-2, Serena had a break point yet again and missed out. Fifteen minutes after a point for 3-0, Serena is now down 2-5 and it's looking ugly. Osaka is now firing off both wings and looks locked in.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:00 pm    Post subject:

Seven of eight games now for Osaka. She leads by a set and 1-0 (with the quick break) in the second. Looking like one-way traffic.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:42 pm    Post subject:

Serena actually got a break to even it up at 4-4 as Osaka played a loose game, but then Osaka closed it out by winning the last 8 points. She's just too good, the much cleaner hitter of the ball, and Serena would have needed to serve wonderfully to have a chance. She did not do that.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:02 pm    Post subject:

I thought Serena was pretty much back after her level against Halep, but Naomi was clearly better after Serena blew the chance to go up two breaks at 2-0. Naomi hit some genius shots to break Serena right back in the second. Reminiscent of Serena back in the day. Naomi is just a better mover and player now, and server for that matter. Serena's next best chance for a Slam is Wimbledon, if they play it. Made two finals the last times she played there.
Naomi looks like a safe bet to get Slam #4 at 23 (Serena already had 7 at 23 for comparison).
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:32 pm    Post subject:

focus wrote:
I thought Serena was pretty much back after her level against Halep, but Naomi was clearly better after Serena blew the chance to go up two breaks at 2-0. Naomi hit some genius shots to break Serena right back in the second. Reminiscent of Serena back in the day. Naomi is just a better mover and player now, and server for that matter. Serena's next best chance for a Slam is Wimbledon, if they play it. Made two finals the last times she played there.
Naomi looks like a safe bet to get Slam #4 at 23 (Serena already had 7 at 23 for comparison).


Serena said at the post-match press conference, which ended moments ago, that she "could've been up 5-0" in the first set and it's hard to argue that. Osaka was playing really scratchy up to that point and probably should've at least been down 1-4. I knew it was real trouble for Serena when she was down 2-3 after that stretch of 5 games by Osaka. Sure enough, Osaka picked it up and essentially outclassed Serena for the rest of the match, save for the wobble at 4-3 where she got broken. But then she ripped off the final 8 points to win, with some incredible shotmaking. Serena became emotional on the final question of her presser and walked out, by the way.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:36 pm    Post subject:

Osaka is just too good right now, and Serena has to go through too many seeded players because she doesn't play year round to keep up a ranking.

It's a shame, and I'd love to see her get 24 and 25 so we can stop talking about the homophobe who won 24 before the open era, but Serena is already the greatest ever in my book if she retires tomorrow.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 9:48 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
Osaka is just too good right now, and Serena has to go through too many seeded players because she doesn't play year round to keep up a ranking.

It's a shame, and I'd love to see her get 24 and 25 so we can stop talking about the homophobe who won 24 before the open era, but Serena is already the greatest ever in my book if she retires tomorrow.


At the very least, she needs to avoid playing Osaka. She's lost other Slam finals since 2017 to other players, but I really do think she was moving better at this AO than she has in quite some time. She showed she can still overwhelm someone like Halep, and go power-for-power with someone like Sabalenka. I do think that it's really hard for her to play 7 strong matches in a row, though, at her age, so it will be very difficult to win another Slam. She will need to still win a "bad" match, kind of like she did in the 3rd Round against Potapova, plus avoid Osaka. I still think it's possible -- she has still made 4 Slam finals since her last major win, after all -- but the odds get longer with each passing Slam.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:56 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Osaka is just too good right now, and Serena has to go through too many seeded players because she doesn't play year round to keep up a ranking.

It's a shame, and I'd love to see her get 24 and 25 so we can stop talking about the homophobe who won 24 before the open era, but Serena is already the greatest ever in my book if she retires tomorrow.


At the very least, she needs to avoid playing Osaka. She's lost other Slam finals since 2017 to other players, but I really do think she was moving better at this AO than she has in quite some time. She showed she can still overwhelm someone like Halep, and go power-for-power with someone like Sabalenka. I do think that it's really hard for her to play 7 strong matches in a row, though, at her age, so it will be very difficult to win another Slam. She will need to still win a "bad" match, kind of like she did in the 3rd Round against Potapova, plus avoid Osaka. I still think it's possible -- she has still made 4 Slam finals since her last major win, after all -- but the odds get longer with each passing Slam.


Her best chance is definitely at Wimbledon. Osaka seems to have the hard courts on lock.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:52 am    Post subject:

Just too much Djoker tonight, who was 100% for sure, and even said so after the match. Karatsev was actually game and looked like he belonged out there, but Novak was just too good in what was a comprehensive straight sets win. He's now one match away from pulling to within 2 Slams of Rafa and Federer.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:59 am    Post subject:

Watched a tiny bit of Djokovic highlights. Hard to believe that a crowd actually tempers his boorish yelling. Karatsev looks like a real top 20 guy, with his skills and power. Plus, he seems pretty smart on court.

I saw only the last two games of the Brady semifinal, but the last game was really dramatic. Osaka and Brady had a tough match in US Open semi, which should make things interesting. Expect Osaka to get her fourth Slam.

As for Serena, she's just not as good as Osaka anymore. Needs to be on, and for Osaka to be off to win in a hardcourt Slam late round. Still, a pretty decent tournament for Serena given her better play against Halep. If she maintains that level, she can build confidence winning before Wimbledon. She probably could win a hardcourt tournament if Osaka is not playing her. Good for the confidence.
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