2022 Tennis

BigMike

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Great match. There is no doubt that barring injuries Alcaraz is on his way to a first ballot HOF type career. Can easily see him being someday looked at as a top 10.all timer .

Definitely a breakthrough tournament for Tiafoe. I'm still unsure where his ceiling really is. There are a ton of great players in his age range, but he has a chance of winning a major someday
 

jon abbey

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That was a good match but really I recommend anyone who didn’t see it to watch Alcaraz/Sinner sometime. If Joe Pos or someone doesn’t write about that match, I might have to, I am still thinking about it.
 

jezza1918

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That was a good match but really I recommend anyone who didn’t see it to watch Alcaraz/Sinner sometime. If Joe Pos or someone doesn’t write about that match, I might have to, I am still thinking about it.
I completely agree. Might be a tad hyperbolic but it's the best match I can remember watching that didn't involve one of Fed/Nadal/Novak...
 

jon abbey

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I completely agree. Might be a tad hyperbolic but it's the best match I can remember watching that didn't involve one of Fed/Nadal/Novak...
I mean, I actually think that's not hyperbolic enough. I really would like to watch it s a second time to confirm my impressions, but I wrote on FB that "I have been watching tennis since I was a kid, the days of Borg and McEnroe and Connors, and that might have been the single best match I've ever seen." Here are some reasons I think I stand by that:

1) Lead changes. Neither player could ever break free of the other, Alcaraz won the first set, Sinner the next two, Alcaraz the final two. Within the individual sets:

Alcaraz had five set points in the second set (he lost it).

Alcaraz served for the third set (he lost it).

Sinner served for the match in the fourth set and had a match point (he lost it).

And Sinner was up early in both the 1st and 5th sets before losing both.

2) The serving numbers for both players didn't look great, but I think that was almost entirely a function of how good both players were at returning (and hitting every other shot after that). By comparison, last night against Tiafoe, Alcaraz won his first 15 service games, not broken until set 4, and he broke Tiafoe I think 8 times after Tiafoe went 34-2 in service games vs Nadal and Rublev.

3) Because there were not many easy points won on either player's serve, the points tended to be more hardfought on average, which is why the match lasted over 5 hours despite both players hitting the ball as hard as they could almost every shot.

4) These two bring out the best in each other, already an intense rivalry with Sinner at 21 and Alcaraz at 19. Sinner knocked Alcaraz out of Wimbledon and he came really really close to doing so here too.

5) Fed/Nadal/Novak are clearly the best three players of all time, but if Alcaraz wins tomorrow, he will be the world #1 at a younger age than all of them (or anyone else, youngest men's #1 ever if he beats Ruud).

6) We have seen countless incredible matches between the big 3 but this one just seemed to start in 5th gear and go that way for 5 plus hours. Most great matches have easy service games along the way, this one had very few of those, it seemed like the server was down 0-40 as often as they were up 40-0.
 

jon abbey

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Oh, and the late night atmosphere at the US Open is the best in tennis, and this one blew away the old record of latest finish ever, close to 3 AM.
 

jezza1918

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Convincing argument…sold.
Lots on line for mens final tomorrow between prize money, the first slam for either, and number 1…
I like both players a lot but I’ll be pulling for Alcaraz. Just think resume wise he’s more deserving of the #1 spot. Although I’d take a thrilling five set Ruud win over a straight set Alcaraz win.
 

jon abbey

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Both finals feature the two players who will be #1 and #2 in the rankings on Monday.
 

jon abbey

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Impressive display by Swiatek, her tenth straight final that she has won in straight sets.
 

jon abbey

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Amazingly the first woman to win multiple Slams in a calendar year since Kerber in 2016. She has 3 already at 21, fantastic player.
 

jon abbey

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Oh and one more thing about the Alcaraz/Sinner match (sorry), since it is in the era of electronic line calls, there is no longer basically any time consumed by complaining or challenges or replayed points, so even more of that 5:15 was actual tennis. This is a small plus in the favor of this match over every pre-2020 one IMO.

(PitchCom similarly in baseball, pitchers no longer have to worry about a billion different sets of signs and they can focus even more on actually pitching, a definite improvement in the sport IMO)
 

jon abbey

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Swiatek has a Hingis/Seles like laser focus, no matter whether she is up or down, she is equally likely to win the next four games in a row. Very impressed with her here, and they kept saying during today's match that she really didn't play her best here until today. Sabalenka played fantastically against her in the semis and she still pulled it out and today for a long stretch of the match, she made Jabeur look as bad as Jabeur made Garcia look in the semis, I think Swiatek won six straight games in the middle to break it open, Jabeur did come back to tie up the second set but she was in a big hole already..
 

jon abbey

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Lots on line for mens final tomorrow between prize money, the first slam for either, and number 1…
I like both players a lot but I’ll be pulling for Alcaraz. Just think resume wise he’s more deserving of the #1 spot.
Yes, agreed with this completely and also because he has a chance to be historically great, the youngest #1 ever for starters.
 

jsinger121

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Jul 25, 2005
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Barring injury he should win double digit majors especially when he gets much better.
 

jezza1918

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Barring injury he should win double digit majors especially when he gets much better.
Honestly my initial reaction was like “no effing way SHOULD he win double digit majors…maybe he COULD.”
But I think you’re right, he’s not near his ceiling - especially strategy wise. Just absolutely incredible stuff.
 

jon abbey

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The end of that third set was incredible, that 5-6 game decided the match (this was kind of clear at the time, I don't think Alcaraz could have come back from 2 sets to 1 down again).

Youngest #1 ever!!
 

jon abbey

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I did not see that match but pretty epic score for a three setter:

6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (5)

3:35!!!

134 total points for Alcaraz, 131 for Novak.
 

jon abbey

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Also I thought that the stats they kept showing about total time played in the tournament were misleading, Ruud played some longer matches in the first week but Alcaraz had a much harder road this past week.

Alcaraz:

Tiafoe: 5 sets, 4:19
Sinner: 5 sets, 5:15
Cilic: 5 sets, 3:54

Total: 15 sets, 13:28

Ruud:

Khachanov: 4 sets, 3:00
Berrettini: 3 sets, 2:36
Moutet: 4 sets, 3:20

Total: 11 sets, 8:56

Alcaraz looked kind of tired for about a set and a half in the middle but thankfully he found another gear and pulled it out. The last few games of that third set were fantastic, both players.
 

semsox

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Count me down for also thinking Alcaraz gets to double digit slams. For as impressive as his physical gifts, he's the one young player I can remember since the big 3 established themselves to show the mental game that they all have. I had 0 doubt he was going to beat Ruud today.
 

jsinger121

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Jul 25, 2005
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Count me down for also thinking Alcaraz gets to double digit slams. For as impressive as his physical gifts, he's the one young player I can remember since the big 3 established themselves to show the mental game that they all have. I had 0 doubt he was going to beat Ruud today.
And with the Big 3 fading outside of Djokovic and Nadal on Clay who else is really in his way beside Medvedev? No one really.
 

Euclis20

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And with the Big 3 fading outside of Djokovic and Nadal on Clay who else is really in his way beside Medvedev? No one really.
Nadal went undefeated at the Australian Open and Wimbledon and is 35-4 on the year, I think it's a bit premature to shovel dirt on his future grass and hardcourt prospects.
 

InstaFace

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his tweet announcement has 45,000 likes in 15 minutes. Nothing quiet about it - he's an all-time legend.

Me and my roommate (also a huge tennis fan) watching the 2008 Wimbledon Final and incredulously hooting and hollering our way through the last two sets is one of my favorite sport-watching memories. In terms of intensity, drama and excellence of execution, I think it rivals things like the 2004 ALCS Game 5, 2001 and 2014 super bowls. And he had innumerable matches that were played with incredible beauty, poise and creativity.

I love watching Nadal, and am impressed by a few of the young guns, but even if Rafa or Djokovic end up with more slams than Roger, he'll always have something special in my eyes - a spark of ingenuity and problem-solving and surprise, some chutzpah for a hit nobody even thought about, nevermind could pull off. He made watching tennis much more fun, and not in the theatrical-personality Gael Monfils way, but in the same way that watching Kyrie Irving with the ball in his hands or Leo Messi with the ball at his feet is fun - you just expect to see something extraordinary, on the regular,. Very few have such gifts, and we'll miss them.
 

jezza1918

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I find myself far more emotional about this than I thought I'd be. I (quasi) worked on tour from 05-12, and got to see him live many times at the height of his dominance. I'd say by 2008 or so I was pretty much over seeing matches at the events, and would either spend my free time wandering Paris or London, or if I had to be at the venue I'd probably try to find juniors to watch. Except for Fed, that just never got old. Thank you.

I only wish he could make one more wimby run, even if it ended in a loss, and give him some kind of Ted Williams/John Updike type moment.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm still mad he beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001.

But I'll forgive him since he went on to be one of the 3 greatest players ever.
 

BigMike

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tremendous parting message from the classiest athlete of the 21rst century. we've all known this was coming for a while, but he will be so deeply missed .
 

jezza1918

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It’s still crazy that Federer and Nadal never faced each other at the US Open.
It's definitely part of the skewed h2h record, and the narrative that Nadal is better than Fed because of that h2h. Nadal is 14-10 vs Fed in finals...but if hypothetically speaking you remove the 3 fed losses to Nadal at the French from 05-07, and give Fed 3 wins over Nadal in US Open finals those same years, it's all of a sudden 13-11 Fed. Obviously Im having fun with some numbers here, but ultimately Fed hurt his legacy in the eyes of same by making those French finals. Nadal didn't give Fed the chance to beat him at the US Open in the finals in that era because he just never made it. Shades of the "Montana is better than Brady because somehow 4-0 in superbowls is better than 6-3." Not that I'm claiming Fed > Nadal, there's just more nuance to it than is commonly discussed I think.

edit: shit, 7-3. that stupid tampa win.
 

jsinger121

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Jul 25, 2005
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I rarely don’t care who is the best because we have literally witnessed the 3 greatest players ever in Federer, Nadal and Djokovic and I can’t put any in order as they are all great.