Tennis 2019: Plus ça change...

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
134
Consensus among the Eurosport commentators seems to be that Thiem’s scheduling over the last few days won’t be much of a factor, as he only played partial matches on those days and is young. They are more concerned about whether Rafa can go five sets given his injuries this year and the fact that he hasn’t been tested so far in this tournament.
 
Last edited:

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
134
Nadal recovers from a break down to break Thiem in two consecutive service games and take the first set 6-3. Even when Thiem looked on top midway through the set, it’s amazing what you have to do to win a point against Nadal on this stuff. Even if you’re on top in the rally, you have to be prepared to hit 8-10 shots with perfect precision, not get frustrated when the ball keeps coming back, and have enough patience to wait for your chance to really go for it and hit a winner. And then do it point after point for four hours.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,809
NYC
Unbelievable break by Thiem to win set 2 after 20+ consecutive points won on serve.

Early times, but if Thiem somehow dethrones the King of Clay after beating peak Djokovic in the semis, is that one of the great tennis feats ever?
 
Last edited:

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
134
Early times, but if Thiem somehow dethrones the King of Clay after beating peak Djokovic in the semis, is that one of the great tennis feats ever?
Read a stat earlier in the week that only three players have won a Slam by beating two of the big three en route - and two of the three to have done it were big three themselves (Nadal and Djokovic). Del Potro (US Open ‘09, defeated Nadal in the semifinals and Federer in the final) is the only player outside the big three to do it.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,809
NYC
Ugh, jinxed him. After something like 13 of 14 straight points held on serve, Thiem is broken at love to start set 3. I’ll go away now...
 

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
134
Nadal responds by winning 12 of the first 13 points of the third set to break twice. He is just relentless.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
Read a stat earlier in the week that only three players have won a Slam by beating two of the big three en route - and two of the three to have done it were big three themselves (Nadal and Djokovic). Del Potro (US Open ‘09, defeated Nadal in the semifinals and Federer in the final) is the only player outside the big three to do it.
Wawrinka beat Federer and Djokovic to win the 2015 French Open.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
5,809
NYC
Nadal's French is surprisingly poor for a dude who speaks a romance language and has won 12 French Opens.

That's may be the dude's only flaw. Twelve fucking titles. Hilarious to hear the MC list them all out: "2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019." Incroyable. And seemingly a great guy and total gentleman to boot. Bravo.
 
Last edited:

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
53 out of 64 Grand Slams for the big 3 now, including the last 10 in a row again, simply amazing.
 

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
134
53 out of 64 Grand Slams for the big 3 now, including the last 10 in a row again, simply amazing.
The other 11, for fun. Combination of memory and Wiki, hopefully it’s right. It starts with Federer’s first Slam, 2003 Wimbledon.

Roddick 2003 US
Gaudio 2004 French
Safin 2005 AO
Del Potro 2009 US
Murray 2012 US
Murray 2013 Wimbledon
Wawrinka 2014 AO
Cilic 2014 US
Wawrinka 2015 French
Murray 2016 Wimbledon
Wawrinka 2016 US

Edit: switched order of AO/US 2014 to make it chronological.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
The other 11, for fun. Combination of memory and Wiki, hopefully it’s right. It starts with Federer’s first Slam, 2003 Wimbledon.

Roddick 2003 US
Gaudio 2004 French
Safin 2005 AO
Del Potro 2009 US
Murray 2012 US
Murray 2013 Wimbledon
Wawrinka 2014 AO
Cilic 2014 US
Wawrinka 2015 French
Murray 2016 Wimbledon
Wawrinka 2016 US

Edit: switched order of AO/US 2014 to make it chronological.
So since Nadal won his first French in 2005, 5 players have won all but 2 Grand Slams, 55 of 57 (Del Potro and Cilic the only outliers).
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,506
So.....these discussions are fun, but it's hard when crossing eras. However, for these three, they're contemporaries (though Novak is a bit younger than Federer and Nadal), so the comparison is easier.

Who's the greatest among Novak, Federer, and Nadal? The arguments for each:

Federer
- 20 singles grand slam titles (most all-time)
- 3 seasons with 3 grand slam titles (most all-time)
- 6 seasons with 2+ grand slam titles (most all-time)
- 5 consecutive titles in 2+ grand slam tournaments - Wimbledon, US Open (most all-time)
- All 4 grand slam finals reached in three seasons (most all-time)
- 45 men's singles grand slam semifinals reached (most all-time)
- 30 men's singles grand slam finals reached (most all-time)
- 10 consecutive grand slam finals, 23 consecutive grand slam semis, 36 consecutive grand slam quarters reached (all most all-time)
- He's won the career Grand Slam
- 5+ titles in three grand slam events (most all-time)
- 7+ finals in three grand slam events (most all-time)
- 5+ finals in all four grand slam events (most all-time)
- 2nd all-time in career earnings
- 101 career titles in the open era (2nd all-time)
- Is 22-25 against Novak, 6-9 in grand slam events
- Is 15-24 against Nadal, 3-6 in grand slam events
- Only player to have been ranked #1 every week for three consecutive calendar years
- 310 weeks at #1 (most all-time)
- Oldest player ever to be ranked #1

Nadal
- 18 singles grand slam titles
- 12 titles at one major - French (most all-time)
- He's won the career Grand Slam
- Won grand slam titles on three different surfaces in one calendar year (most all-time)
- 10 consecutive years winning 1+ grand slam titles (most all-time)
- 2008 Olympic gold medalist
- 196 weeks at #1
- Nadal is 24-15 against Federer head-to-head, 10-3 in grand slam events
- Nadal is 26-28 against Novak head-to-head, but 9-6 in grand slam events
- Has won 34 Masters 1000 titles (most all-time)
- 26 grand slam finals appearances
- Youngest player ever to achieve the career grand slam
- Only player ever to beat Federer in three different grand slam finals
- Has won at least one ATP title for 16 consecutive years (most all-time)
- Tied with Novak for most consecutive years winning 2+ ATP titles (14)
- Won 16 consecutive grand slam semis (most all-time)

Djokovic
- 15 grand slam titles
- 24 grand slam finals appearances
- Has won the career Grand Slam
- Second all-time in ATP Masters tournament titles with 33
- Only player ever to hold all four grand slam titles on three different surfaces at once
- 3+ streaks of 3+ consecutive grand slam titles (most all-time)
- 3+ consecutive finals at three grand slam events (most all-time)
- Only player to defeat Nadal 7 times in a row
- Is 28-26 head-to-head against Nadal, but 6-9 in grand slam events
- Is 25-22 head-to-head against Federer, 9-6 in grand slam events
- #1 all-time in career earnings
- 255 weeks at #1


So in sum, Federer's overall career is the best by pure volume. Then again, he's the oldest of the three, some 5 years older than Djokovic. If Novak plays like this until age 37, he could surpass Federer's GS title mark. So Federer's career resumé is the best of the three (though Nadal and Djokovic's resumes are off the charts), but the real bugaboo here is the fact that Federer has losing records head-to-head against both Nadal and Djokovic.

Meanwhile, Nadal has the second most impressive overall resumé, but much of that can be accounted for by his uber dominance at the French Open. Nonetheless, those obviously all count, and Nadal HAS won every major so he's a quality player on any surface. His head-to-head record against Federer is superior, but he has a losing all-time record against Novak. However, he has a winning record against Novak in grand slam events.

So the question is: How can Federer be considered the greatest of all time when he has a losing head-to-head record against the other two guys who are his contemporaries? And this isn't like Brady-Eli. Eli is 2-0 against Brady in championships, but his overall resumé isn't even on the same planet as Brady's. It would be like if some dude won two grand slams on clay, both against Federer (and had a winning record against Federer on clay and hardly played him outside of clay), but wasn't heard from again on any other surface. That guy, despite having that winning record against Federer, wouldn't be considered by anyone to be at the same level. It's different with Djokovic and Nadal, however, who clearly are right there with Roger.


So who's the greatest of these three? I recognize that Novak's story probably has more years left to be written, but who knows. It wasn't long ago that he was out of the championship picture, and just came back into it. All three are elite, inner circle HOFers, and maybe the three greatest players of all-time. And they're playing at the same time.

Who's the greatest?
 
Last edited:

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
All three are elite, inner circle HOFers, and maybe the three greatest players of all-time.
This to me is the more interesting discussion while we let their careers finish, has Novak passed Sampras and Laver and whoever else? IMO yes, these are the three greatest (male) players of all time.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,506
I loved loved loved Sampras, and think that the era in which peak Sampras played was phenomenal, but yes, Novak has surpassed him.

And it's hard to compare men vs women. Serena is the greatest women's player of all-time and should be honored as such (and I'd love to see her win a few more grand slams before she's done), but she'd finish out of the top 500 if she was playing in the men's game. That's not popular to express, but it's reality. So it's hard to compare whether Serena is "greater" than, say, Andy Murray. She's had the far better overall career in terms of achievements, but he'd beat her love and love in a two-set match. So is she "greater" than him? Hard to say, and it depends on how you're looking at it. Not to derail this conversation...just noting your "(male)" qualifier there.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
The qualifier was there to try to avoid that discussion, not start it. :)

Also IMO Navratilova is still #1 over Serena (whose competition has been awful for a long time now) but I’ve made that argument here many times already.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,506
The qualifier was there to try to avoid that discussion, not start it. :)

Also IMO Navratilova is still #1 over Serena (whose competition has been awful for a long time now) but I’ve made that argument here many times already.
Ha! Fair enough.

Martina over Graf? That's a pretty good question. Martina/Graf/Serena are all on the obvious short list for the women. But Martina and Graf didn't overlap a ton - some yes (9-9 head to head) but Martina is 12 1/2 years older than Graf. And neither was contemporary with Serena, so who knows. That's why these three on the men's side are so compelling. All in peak form when they've played each other.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
Ha! Fair enough.

Martina over Graf? That's a pretty good question. Martina/Graf/Serena are all on the obvious short list for the women. But Martina and Graf didn't overlap a ton - some yes (9-9 head to head) but Martina is 12 1/2 years older than Graf. And neither was contemporary with Serena, so who knows. That's why these three on the men's side are so compelling. All in peak form when they've played each other.
For me, Martina gets the edge based on her ridiculous doubles career, 31 women's doubles Grand Slam titles, including at least 7 at all four majors (!!!) plus 10 mixed doubles titles including one at the US Open when she was a couple months short of 50 years old (!!!).
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,506
For me, Martina gets the edge based on her ridiculous doubles career, 31 women's doubles Grand Slam titles, including at least 7 at all four majors (!!!) plus 10 mixed doubles titles including one at the US Open when she was a couple months short of 50 years old (!!!).
Yep, that's a good argument. What do you think about the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic question? Yes, I understand that all three still have years to go.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
Yep, that's a good argument. What do you think about the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic question? Yes, I understand that all three still have years to go.
I think it's Fed currently and hopefully will be Novak (I have always rooted for him over the other two, even when he seemed to be hopelessly stuck at #3 early in his career) by the time they're all done.
 

coremiller

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,321
So the question is: How can Federer be considered the greatest of all time when he has a losing head-to-head record against the other two guys who are his contemporaries? And this isn't like Brady-Eli. Eli is 2-0 against Brady in championships, but his overall resumé isn't even on the same planet as Brady's. It would be like if some dude won two grand slams on clay, both against Federer (and had a winning record against Federer on clay and hardly played him outside of clay), but wasn't heard from again on any other surface. That guy, despite having that winning record against Federer, wouldn't be considered by anyone to be at the same level. It's different with Djokovic and Nadal, however, who clearly are right there with Roger.
Isn't part of the answer to this question that, because Federer is five years older than Novak and four years older than Nadal, Fed's prime didn't precisely overlap with the others, so the H2H record is not a perfect comparison?

Also, while Federer's H2H record against Nadal is poor, it's skewed by the clay court results, where Nadal is 14-2. Federer leads 11-9 on hard courts and 2-1 on grass (all Wimbledon Finals). If they had played a lower proportion of their matches on Nadal's best surface, the overall H2H would be a lot closer. In part Fed has been punished here for being a better/more consistent clay court player than Nadal was a hard court player; Federer made a lot of clay court finals that he lost to Nadal (of their 16 clay court matches, 13 were finals and 3 were semifinals). If Federer had lost earlier in those tournaments to weaker players, he would have ended up with a better H2H record against Nadal, but it wouldn't have meant he was a better player.
 

slowstrung

lurker
Jul 18, 2005
46
Alexandria, VA
Ha! Fair enough.

Martina over Graf? That's a pretty good question. Martina/Graf/Serena are all on the obvious short list for the women. But Martina and Graf didn't overlap a ton - some yes (9-9 head to head) but Martina is 12 1/2 years older than Graf. And neither was contemporary with Serena, so who knows. That's why these three on the men's side are so compelling. All in peak form when they've played each other.
And of course we never got to find out where Monica Seles would have been in this discussion because of the stabbing. She never won Wimbledon, but had eight GS titles by age 20. There’s a pretty good chance we could have been calling her the GOAT. What might have been.
 

jungleboy

lurker
Mar 1, 2016
134
The more I think about it, the more I feel that Rafa might somehow end up as the third-best men’s player of his era when it’s all said and done, which is just mind-boggling.

His dominance on clay is other-worldly, and his early-career success at Wimbledon is incredibly impressive for someone of his tennis background (making his first final at 20, two titles, five finals in six years). But his GS titles (12-3-2-1) are less evenly distributed across tournaments/surfaces than either Federer (8-6-5-1) or Djokovic (7-4-3-1, with probably more to come).

Two of the four slams and six of the nine (current) Masters 1000 events are played on hard courts, and Nadal falls well short of the other two here, both in slams (Fed 11, Novak 10, Rafa 4) and Masters titles (by quick calculations: Fed 25, Novak 24, Nadal 9).

Nadal has also spent less time at No.1 (196 weeks) than either Fed (310) or Novak (255 and counting).
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,506
Isn't it just a fascinating discussion though? Probably the three greatest men's players of all time, contemporaries, all just beating each other's brains in over the course of like 15 years. I don't know if we'll ever see anything like it.

And really, if any of them has, say, a spectacular next three years, it could clinch the GOAT status for him.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
21,168
right here
We were talking about this the other night. Imagine being the 4th best guy in the time period? I mean you gotta be thinking wtf have I done to deserve this shit, right? You're born 10 years earlier/later and you probably have a handful of majors and a pretty damn good career. But these 3 fucking guys...
 

Conigliaro's Potential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
The more I think about it, the more I feel that Rafa might somehow end up as the third-best men’s player of his era when it’s all said and done, which is just mind-boggling.

His dominance on clay is other-worldly, and his early-career success at Wimbledon is incredibly impressive for someone of his tennis background (making his first final at 20, two titles, five finals in six years). But his GS titles (12-3-2-1) are less evenly distributed across tournaments/surfaces than either Federer (8-6-5-1) or Djokovic (7-4-3-1, with probably more to come).

Two of the four slams and six of the nine (current) Masters 1000 events are played on hard courts, and Nadal falls well short of the other two here, both in slams (Fed 11, Novak 10, Rafa 4) and Masters titles (by quick calculations: Fed 25, Novak 24, Nadal 9).

Nadal has also spent less time at No.1 (196 weeks) than either Fed (310) or Novak (255 and counting).
From where I'm standing, this argument seems to be in Nadal's favor, not against him. Clay is probably the most under-represented surface as far as slams are concerned, assuming you ignore "indoor" as its own surface: looking at the 2020 ATP Tour calendar, for example, there are 8 weeks in which tournaments are held on grass, 15 on clay and 23 on hard courts. By that logic, a perfectly fair calendar would have 1 slam on grass, 2 on clay and 3 on hard courts, but of course the ratio is 1-1-2. And the ratio of clay vs. hard court Masters events is also in a 2:1 ratio in favor of the latter, not 3:2 as it perhaps should be. (Although by that logic there should really be one Masters level event on grass, which I suspect there would be if a facility large enough to host a Masters-sized event on grass other than Wimbledon existed.) I think I'm also right in saying that a disproportionate amount of tennis is also played on clay around the world - particularly in Europe and South America - relative to hard courts?
We were talking about this the other night. Imagine being the 4th best guy in the time period? I mean you gotta be thinking wtf have I done to deserve this shit, right? You're born 10 years earlier/later and you probably have a handful of majors and a pretty damn good career. But these 3 fucking guys...
Yep, that's Andy Murray's music. 3 slam titles, 8 slam runner-ups, 14 Masters titles and 2 Olympic singles golds is a hell of a career...but you could double or triple those figures (Olympic golds excepted) had his career overlapped with, say, Pat Rafter's instead of the Holy Trinity's.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,506
Now I'm crossing generations, and this is a hard conversation to have, but what in-their-prime matchups would you most like to have seen? Here are some for me:

Thomas Muster vs. Nadal on clay. Borg won 6 French Open titles so he's widely considered to be the #2 clay court player of all time, but if you go back and watch the velocity with which Borg hit, he'd get steamrolled by Nadal. Yes technology clearly comes into play here obviously. But Muster was an *animal*. He hit so hard, certainly for his time. I know Nadal is in a class by himself, so it's like saying I'd like to see Carl Lewis run against Usain Bolt, but still, I think Muster in his prime on clay would have been a fun matchup against Rafa.

Sampras vs. Federer at Wimbledon. I know Federer beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001, but Sampras was well past his prime then and Federer was just about to become FEDERER. I'd love to have seen these two go at it in real time.

Djokovic vs. Agassi on a hard court surface. Joker is considered one of the great hard court players of all time, but so was Agassi. That would have been epic.
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
21,665
Federer wins his 102nd career tournament at Halle. It was actually a tough week against a somewhat underwhelming field, but he did improve as the week went on.

The big outcome of this is he will now jump to the #2 seed at Wimbledon, and avoid being in the Djoker half of the bracket. All due to a complicated Wimbledon seeding which combines ranking with last 12 month success on Grass
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
So Nadal is complaining about being dropped to the #3 seed behind Federer, but unless I'm missing something, isn't the #2 seed the exact same thing as the #3 seed at a Grand Slam? They are on the same side of the draw either way and the seeds they draw in the quarters and round of 16 and third round are randomly selected from that tier anyway, so I don't see how there is any difference between the two. Am I missing something?
 

tbrep

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 26, 2012
625
So Nadal is complaining about being dropped to the #3 seed behind Federer, but unless I'm missing something, isn't the #2 seed the exact same thing as the #3 seed at a Grand Slam? They are on the same side of the draw either way and the seeds they draw in the quarters and round of 16 and third round are randomly selected from that tier anyway, so I don't see how there is any difference between the two. Am I missing something?
Wimbledon randomly determines whether semi final is #1 vs. #4 or #1 vs. #3. So by being seeded 3rd, Nadal was at risk of having to potentially play Djokovic in a semi final if the latter scenario was randomly drawn this year. But now that it’s 1vs4 draw, it is a moot point.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
Wimbledon randomly determines whether semi final is #1 vs. #4 or #1 vs. #3. So by being seeded 3rd, Nadal was at risk of having to potentially play Djokovic in a semi final if the latter scenario was randomly drawn this year. But now that it’s 1vs4 draw, it is a moot point.
Oh, OK, now I get the complaint at least, but that's the part they should complain about. #1 should play #32, then #16, #8, #4, #2, there's no reason to randomly draw it, but I bitch about this here literally every Grand Slam.
 

Conigliaro's Potential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Oh, OK, now I get the complaint at least, but that's the part they should complain about. #1 should play #32, then #16, #8, #4, #2, there's no reason to randomly draw it, but I bitch about this here literally every Grand Slam.
It's not just this way at the Slams. It's this way at every tennis tournament. And I think it's done this way to ensure variety in who plays who from week to week and month to month - and not just among the big four, but also among lesser seeded players.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
It's not just this way at the Slams. It's this way at every tennis tournament. And I think it's done this way to ensure variety in who plays who from week to week and month to month - and not just among the big four, but also among lesser seeded players.
I know, but rankings change all the time. It maybe made sense a few decades back when rankings were more static but now I think it hurts the game.
 

BigMike

Dope
Dope
Sep 26, 2000
21,665
Oh, OK, now I get the complaint at least, but that's the part they should complain about. #1 should play #32, then #16, #8, #4, #2, there's no reason to randomly draw it, but I bitch about this here literally every Grand Slam.
nadal ended up on the same side as Federer, but in theory a huge difference in quality of draw. He is looking at
Sugita
krygios
Shapovalov or (Tsonga/Tomic)
Cilic (or Basilashvili )
Theim ( who got a brutal first round match against Querry )
That's just to reach semis where it gets tough

Roger has a bunch of players who've never got past the second round at a major before ( unseeded Gasquet I. The third round potentially is the biggest name) up until he faces a like Nishikori/ Isner winner in the quarters


On the female side, good Lord the top quarter is loaded (looking at 4 kids of 8
Pod 1 : Barty, Kuznetsova, Muguruza. (Brutal for Barty, especially if Motorola decides to play this week)
pod 2: Vekic,, Kanepi ,, Bencic ( in the the easiest pod)
Pod 3: Serena , George's ( Geoeges is a nice player, but relatively easy pod for Serena)
Pod 4 Suarez- Navarro / Stosur, Sharapova, Kerber ( I know it's not 2014 anymore, but some very big names here)

there are 6 hall of fame players in that group of 32, not even counting players like barty/ bench won are too early to tell : although it would be a surprise if Barry doesn't make it

so if kerber wishes to repeat she might need to play
T. Maria, Kozlova, Sharapova, Serena, Barty, bertens, finals

I know female never plays to chalk
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
nadal ended up on the same side as Federer, but in theory a huge difference in quality of draw. He is looking at
Sugita
krygios
Shapovalov or (Tsonga/Tomic)
Cilic (or Basilashvili )
Theim ( who got a brutal first round match against Querry )

Roger has a bunch of players who've never got past the second round at a major before ( unseeded Gasquet I. The third round potentially is the biggest name) up until he faces a like Nishikori/ Isner winner in the quarters
Right, but this is all random, right? If Nadal was #2, he could have ended up with the same draw?
 

Conigliaro's Potential

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
I know, but rankings change all the time. It maybe made sense a few decades back when rankings were more static but now I think it hurts the game.
"Hurts the game" is a bit strong, isn't it? I'd argue that in an era where match-fixing is a worry, players don't need any impetus to try and rig the draw ahead of a Slam by tanking a match in a lesser tournament because they know who they would be playing in a more important tournament.
nadal ended up on the same side as Federer, but in theory a huge difference in quality of draw. He is looking at
Sugita
krygios
Shapovalov or (Tsonga/Tomic)
Cilic (or Basilashvili )
Theim ( who got a brutal first round match against Querry )
That's just to reach semis where it gets tough
There's no way in hell Thiem is making it to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon unless they've dug up one of the outer courts, replaced the grass there with clay, and allowed Thiem to pick his choice of courts throughout the tournament without telling anyone. (See, he'd be the sort of player you'd try to rig and get in your section at Wimbledon if seeded players weren't part of tournament draws...)
Right, but this is all random, right? If Nadal was #2, he could have ended up with the same draw?
And yes, this is entirely true - that's just luck of the draw.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
Venus out too - to 15-year-old qualifier Coco Graff, who grew up idolizing the Williams sisters and frankly has the profile of a real protege to them - has trained with Mouratoglou, grew up near where they live now (Delray Beach). Here's a profile of her from a few years ago when she was 12.

As to the rest of the draw, Serena plays at 12:30 ET tomorrow and Sharapova at 10:30. You're probably not tuning in to Stephens-Bacsinsky at 6:00am even if that's the most interesting of the women's R1 matchups.

On the men's side:
- How is Kevin Anderson seeded 4th?!
- Sasha "the good one" Zverev (#6) upset in 4 sets. More tragically, so was #16 Monfils, who retired during the 5th set.
- Tomorrow, Thiem-Querrey at 8:00am (which sounds fun), Federer at 10:00am, Nadal at ~12:00pm.
 

Mr. Wednesday

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 27, 2007
1,058
Eastern MA
Tsitsipas (#7) is also out, losing in 5 to Fabbiano (Tsitsipas fought off a couple of match points in the 4th set tiebreak).
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
Going back a bit...

"Hurts the game" is a bit strong, isn't it? I'd argue that in an era where match-fixing is a worry, players don't need any impetus to try and rig the draw ahead of a Slam by tanking a match in a lesser tournament because they know who they would be playing in a more important tournament.
This is a good point I hadn't really considered, so I'd say just slot in the top 8 players correctly at the Grand Slams, there is zero chance any of them are tanking those matches.

There's no way in hell Thiem is making it to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon unless they've dug up one of the outer courts, replaced the grass there with clay, and allowed Thiem to pick his choice of courts throughout the tournament without telling anyone. (See, he'd be the sort of player you'd try to rig and get in your section at Wimbledon if seeded players weren't part of tournament draws...)
And this was a good if a bit obvious call, Thiem out just now in the first round, 6-0 in the 4th to Sam Querrey.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
Serena's last couple points of her match were real eyebrow-raisers, but also fun to watch. That shit won't fly in later rounds, but was amusing for now.

Also, she and Andy Murray are playing mixed doubles together, which might even get me to watch. Last chance to watch Murray grace a non-champions-tour event, if he even bothers with those. Murray is also playing Men's doubles (with P. Herbert - first match against his brother, U. Humbert; Andy's own brother, Jamie, is of course a ranked doubles player and seeded 10th here).
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
Not true. Murray isn't retiring - there was talk about that previously, but now he's feeling good and pondering when he might return to singles action.
That's great news, I hadn't heard anything since that press conference after the Aussie. My god was that brutal to watch, the emotions on his face... you'd have thought he'd just watched his mom get hit by a cement mixer. I figured the question was whether he'd be able to walk unassisted at age 45, not whether he might return to singles action by the end of the year.

I'm still not convinced that he shouldn't take an extended break. Look what being conservative about timelines has done for Nadal, whose knees were once thought held together with duct tape and baling wire.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
9,911
Wawrinka loses in 5 sets to an unseeded American that I've never heard of, one R. Opelka.

And people want to say he belongs in the Big 4, or makes it a Big 5.