Tennis 2019: Plus ça change...

jon abbey

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And, just like that, it seems that Djokovic will roll Zverev in three sets.
Not sure why you quoted me there, Thiem was through even quicker but that wasn't my point.

Meanwhile Anisimova smoked Halep, youngest American semifinalist here since Capriati in 1990. The four women left not only have no Grand Slams between them, none of them even made the semis here before.
 

jon abbey

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Novak and his ugly orange shirt are through pretty easily, so the top four men play tomorrow, Nadal/Fed and Novak/Thiem.
 

InstaFace

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Gonna have a NYC watch party for Nadal-Federer, PM me if you're interested in playing hooky "working remotely" for the morning.
 

jon abbey

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My schedule doesn’t mesh well with this tournament, so I haven’t seen too much, but I didn’t say the only ugly outfit. Nishikori’s color scheme was pretty awful, for one.
 

Sam Ray Not

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So who ends up with more Grand Slams when they all hang 'em up — Federer (20), Nadal (17), or Djokovic (15)? I guess I'd put my money on Nadal if only cos he can probably keep winning at Roland Garros till he's 45. Is it wrong to assume Federer (age 37) is eventually gonna get lapped by them both (Djoker 32, Rafa 33)?
 
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BigMike

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So ends up with more Grand Slams when they all hang 'em up — Federer (20), Nadal (17), or Djokovic (15)? I guess I'd put my money on Nadal if only cos he can probably keep winning at Roland Garros till he's 45. Is it wrong to assume Federer (age 37) is eventually gonna get lapped by them both (Djoker 32, Rafa 33)?
tough call, I think Federer would be lucky to win one more. Nadal has a chance as the French is still out there, and there just are no clay court specialists anymore; although I think he is an underdog to Novak in neutral conditions on all surfaces now. Just not sure how long Nadal's body will hang up. Novak has a good chance to pass Nadal this season if he wins this week.

Novak looks like he should end up with the most, but you never know, he could break down again, or maybe someone like Tsitsipas or Sharpolov suddenly mmature, and Novak is ranked 4th a year from now, with Roger and Nadal being after thoughts at most
 

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The WTA CEO is pissed at the RG Tournament Director for the scheduling of the women's semis on courts other than the main court (Philippe Chatrier), so that both men's semis can be played on Chatrier. They have one women's semi on the #2 court (Lenglen) and one on the #3 court (Mathieu) and the TD did his best to spin this as a good thing. He also claims that there was no time to have an 11:00am local start with a women's match followed by two men's matches on Chatrier, which first of all is bullshit, their first couple rounds usually featured TWO women's matches and TWO men's matches on Chatrier every day, and both Chatrier and Lenglen each had a day where they hosted 5 matches. Yes, they want the men's semis to start at 12:50pm CT for TV reasons, but if you start anything at 11:00am CT, you've got 9 hours of daylight to work with.

Meanwhile, the WTA mentions there were lots of other scheduling options. You could do 1 M + 1W on each of Chatrier and Lenglen, for example. Or start at 11:00 on Chatrier in order to put a women's semi there. But frankly, even starting at 12:50, it's supremely likely that you could finish W -> M -> M before dark, unless both men's matches go 4 or 5 sets.

I guess you expect this kind of thing at the French Open, even today. You wouldn't see this in New York or Melbourne, though, and probably not London either.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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So who ends up with more Grand Slams when they all hang 'em up — Federer (20), Nadal (17), or Djokovic (15)? I guess I'd put my money on Nadal if only cos he can probably keep winning at Roland Garros till he's 45. Is it wrong to assume Federer (age 37) is eventually gonna get lapped by them both (Djoker 32, Rafa 33)?
I'd bet on Djokovic unless he breaks down again. Even assuming that Nadal keeps winning the French for a few more years, nobody seems to be able to touch a healthy Novak on any other surface. He'd only need two years of winning three out of four to pass Roger.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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tough call, I think Federer would be lucky to win one more. Nadal has a chance as the French is still out there, and there just are no clay court specialists anymore; although I think he is an underdog to Novak in neutral conditions on all surfaces now. Just not sure how long Nadal's body will hang up. Novak has a good chance to pass Nadal this season if he wins this week.

Novak looks like he should end up with the most, but you never know, he could break down again, or maybe someone like Tsitsipas or Sharpolov suddenly mmature, and Novak is ranked 4th a year from now, with Roger and Nadal being after thoughts at most
This is the big X factor in my opinion. The big three are simply amazing but the dearth of younger challengers has really helped extend their run. But the two you mention plus Zverev all seem to have legitimate shots to take the next step in their careers and pose real challenges to the big three over the next couple years.

Both Nadal and Djokovic are clearly extremely dedicated to prolonging their careers but its important to stress that Federer (who has won 3) and Agassi (who won 1) are the only players since the early 1970s to ever win a grand slam at age 32+. Projecting Djokovic to win 6+ GS titles in that period of his career is pretty ambitious.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Sure, it's ambitious, but at the same time, he's barely been challenged since Wimbledon last year except by Nadal on clay.
 

Apisith

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A real blockbuster lineup today. Hoping for really competitive matches. Hope Federer can hang tight with Nadal for the first couple of sets at least.
 

jon abbey

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Crazy winds today in Paris, they said they expect them to get even worse later.

Barty obliterating Anisimova early on, up 5-0 with two match points only 15 minutes into the match. But Anisimova has found her game plus started hitting a lot of winning drop shots, and she has it back to 5-3.
 

jon abbey

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Anisimova comes back again in the tiebreaker, down 4-2, she wins 5 points in a row and takes the first set.

What an unbelievable set, Barty blew a 5-0, 40-15 lead, and Anisimova won 6 straight games and still could have lost it.
 
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jon abbey

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And Anisimova starts set 2 with a love hold. She's not doing this against some nobody either, Barty will be ranked at least #5 on Monday, #3 if she wins this match, #2 if she wins the tournament. It's looking like #5 right now.
 

jon abbey

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And a love break, 8 points in a row to start the second set and a 2-0 lead.
 

jon abbey

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17 straight points now for Anisimova, 5 in the tiebreak and 3 love games. I feel like I'm hallucinating.
 

jon abbey

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And then of course Barty wins 4 games in a row, up 4-3 with a break now. Not sure I have ever seen a match with alternating stretches of dominance like this.
 

jon abbey

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So Anisimova won 17 straight points, and then Barty won six straight games and the second set. I really think I'm hallucinating.
 

jon abbey

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Barty won the first 5 games of the match.
Anisimova won 9 out of the next 10.
Barty won the next 7.

1-1 in the 3rd.
 

jon abbey

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Barty's experience paid off in the end, 6-3 in the third. Amazing run by Anisimova though, want to see her against Osaka sometime.

30 MPH wind gusts, occasional drizzle, not ideal conditions for Nadal/Fed, which is starting now.
 

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Meanwhile, I was watching Jo Konta absolutely choke away a match she should have won against Vondrousova. At 5-3, 40-15 in the first set, she had an easy drive volley she hammered out by several feet, and she was in control of the second set point at 40-30 before netting an easy slice backhand. She fell apart and lost the last four games of the set, rallied in the second to be serving for it at 5-4 and was broken again (double-faulting at 30-40), and kept making error after error. Really depressing, both from the British perspective and as someone who often despairs of the mental fragility I see far too often in the women's game.
 

jon abbey

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They didn’t show any of that match here that I saw, thanks for the report.
 

InstaFace

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Thanks for the live blog, Jon. Sounds like I missed some fun.

First service game for Fed and he blows it. Nadal is in 5th gear right out of the gate, 3-0 lead. Now 3-1. Now 15-30 on Nadals serve after some great net play.
 

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The expensive seats are not filled, maybe even half empty - but the cheap seats are at capacity.
 

jon abbey

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Terrible conditions, Fed’s second serve is down from 97 on average to 77 so far today.
 

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Ain't nothing wrong with his forehand though. But most of the errors I've seen have come from his backhand side.
 

jungleboy

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It’s not the spectacle that we’d hoped for because of the wind but it’s compelling nevertheless. It’s 4-4 in the second set with a break each way but it feels like Roger is slightly on top. He’s starting to use net charges and drop shots well after trying to outhit Rafa in the first set.
 

jungleboy

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And no sooner do I say Roger looks on top, he plays tentatively from 40-0 up and loses five straight points to concede the break...
 

InstaFace

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Well that was anticlimactic. At 4-4 in the 2nd I thought we were headed for an epic tiebreak. Instead, from there out it was an ass-kicking.

Some great shots and rallies regardless.
 

BigMike

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Well that was anticlimactic. At 4-4 in the 2nd I thought we were headed for an epic tiebreak. Instead, from there out it was an ass-kicking.

Some great shots and rallies regardless.
Yeah, Federer wasn't going to win today, but playing in the conditions that were out there, pretty much made it impossible.

Novak drops a service game, early in the first, and now the rain comes in. Novak looks like a mess, and is pissed at playing in these conditions. He tends to hate the wind.

On the other hand Novak is traditionally a good angry player

Novak beaten easily in the first set, played like crap,

Novak starts to focus in the second and wins. He is in the match now, would be surprised if he loses
 
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BigMike

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The wind has switched a bit and seems to be making play almost comical.

Thiem gets an early break in the 3rd, and the rain comes in so the insanity will stops at least for a little while

Just silly watching the crowd sit around in Parkas in the middle of June in Paris
 

jon abbey

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Play is cancelled for the rest of the day, things keep getting tougher for Novak who will get no days off before the final, if he even gets past Thiem.
 

BigMike

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Play is cancelled for the rest of the day, things keep getting tougher for Novak who will get no days off before the final, if he even gets past Thiem.
Yup, it's good and bad news for Novak, because I don't think he was getting past Thiem today.

It is almost hard to describe how silly play had gotten in that last game where Novak got broken before the play was suspended, balls were doing just ridiculous things out there
 

jon abbey

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They are going to show that Barty/Anisimova match again on the Tennis Channel, starting in a few minutes.
 

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Djokovic is so peevish right now - I thought his behavior in leaving the court so quickly yesterday (twice) was pretty disgraceful, and he's trying to intimidate the umpire again today. Really rooting for Thiem, who did well to win the 3rd set after conceding the early break I expected would come.
 

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Thiem 4-1 up (one break of serve) in the 5th. I expected Thiem to be nervy today, and while he has been at times - notably double-faulting at set point in the 4th - I hadn't anticipated how tightly wound Djokovic would be. Maybe the burden of history is finally weighing on him?
 

BigMike

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WAAH , annnouncers whining about tiebreakers ang lack there of here, and the inconsistent rules. I do think it is important that they do this in every single match that is played, because it is so much fun. Especially when the match isn't even ithere yet

ANd now a very sloppy dropped service game for Djoker, gives Thiem a chance to serve out the match
 

BigMike

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Wow Thiem has 2 match points in a row, and can't close it out.

Back to on serve, and now we could play for a while (I doubt it, I think it ends fairly quickly)
 

InstaFace

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The big 4 (big 3, now) don't lose very many grand slam matches to players not among their number. Especially not Djokovic, who had of course won the last 3 slams himself.

Momentous stuff from Thiem.
 

jon abbey

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Thiem has beaten Nadal four times on clay (4-7), but all best of 3 set matches. They have met here three times, including last year's final, Nadal has won all nine sets and Thiem has yet to even win five games in a set:

2018: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 (final)
2017: 6-3. 6-4, 6-0 (semi)
2014: 6-2. 6-2, 6-3 (second round)

I think Nadal's alltime career record in five set clay court matches is 111-2 now, just the losses to Soderling and Djokovic here. Not only has he won the French 11 times, none have gone to five sets, 5 straight sets and 6 four sets, so 33-6 in sets overall in his 11 finals. That seems good.

All that being said, I would like Thiem's chances to at least push him some if it wasn't his fourth straight day playing, Nadal's quarter was Tuesday and his semi was Friday.