Tennis 2019: Plus ça change...

Mr. Wednesday

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Also, DirecTV used to have all-court coverage of the majors except for the matches showing on ESPN. (I don't have a line-of-sight to the satellites now, so I don't know if they still do.)
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Federer got pushed a little bit by Pouille but still won in three sets, 7 - 5, 6 - 2, 7 - 6 (4) and is into the octos. Next up is Matteo Berrettini who won a marathon five-set match with Diego Schwartzmann (three tiebreaks).
 

swiftaw

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What is the commentary like on the ESPN+ feeds? I'm wondering whether they have their own people, whether they are using the BBC or other world feed voices on the outer courts, etc.
I think for the outer courts they are using the world feed. Certainly the graphics weren’t ESPN graphics.
 

jon abbey

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If you have ESPN+ you can watch any match you want on there.
I like to watch through my TV/cable, thanks though.

I was just a day early, tomorrow ESPN starts the double channel thing for the round of 16 matches, ESPN focused on Centre Court (Nadal/Sousa, Konta/Kvitova, Federer against the dangerous #17 Berrettini) and ESPN2 gets No. 1 Court (Serena/Suarez Navarro, Halep/Gauff, Djokovic/Humbert).

10 other round of 16 matches tomorrow besides those 6, one of my favorite days of tennis each year.
 

jon abbey

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Serena was going to play #1 Ash Barty next round if both won today, but Barty was just upset by 29 year old American Alison Riske, ranked #55 coming in. And a potentially wild day has begun...
 

jon abbey

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Serena through easily, 6-2, 6-2, which helps since the women’s quarters are tomorrow.
 

jon abbey

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Halep with an easy break in the first game, and it looked like it might be a quick match. Coco comes back with a tough break and an easy hold and is up 2-1 on serve.
 

jon abbey

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Halep pulls away and takes the first set 6-3. Gauff isn't overmatched but Halep is clearly more experienced and that is the difference so far.
 

jon abbey

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Halep wins the second set 6-3 also, a bit closer than it sounds but Halep's experience was the difference, as I said above.
 

jon abbey

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The highest remaining women's seed, #3 Pliskova, is at 9-9 in the 3rd currently with fellow Czech Muchova.
 

jon abbey

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They are at 10-10 now, this year they have a new rule where the final set goes to a tiebreaker if it gets to 12-12, but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe the first time here?
 

jon abbey

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Pliskova breaks to go up 11-10, she has never made the quarters here despite being #3 (and the new #1 ranking if she makes the final).
 

jon abbey

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Muchova wins it on a net cord that plops over, 13-11. Barty stays #1 for now, Kvitova is the highest seed left at #6 but she is looking at a third set against Konta now, 6-4, 0-4 currently.
 

InstaFace

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Meanwhile, the all-american R16 matchup over on Court 12, Querrey vs Sandgren, is at a 4th-set tiebreak, for the 3rd set in a row that went to tiebreak. Querrey is up 2-1 and can close it out in this breaker.

edit: and it's Querrey, just like that. Gets Nadal in the QFs.
 

InstaFace

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Konta breaks Kvitova after a lengthy back-and-forth game, leads 2*-1 in the 3rd. Now struggling to hold and consolidate... at deuce.
 
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InstaFace

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Konta breaks again to run it out to 5-1, gave back a break after another very long game (Kvitova made some incredible shots), but then was able to close it out 6-4. She gets Barbora Strycova in the QFs (who is no easy out this week, having beaten #4 Bertens and #21 Mertens); winner gets the Serena-Riske winner in semis.
 

jon abbey

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Wow, no man currently under 30 has won a Grand Slam event. The youngest are Cilic and Del Potro, born within a week of each other in Sept 1988.
 

jon abbey

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The first match tomorrow on centre court is Serena's quarterfinal, the third match is Serena and Andy Murray in their second round mixed doubles match. I bet she regrets agreeing to that now...
 

InstaFace

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I bet it's fine, given the order. Doubles requires like 20% of the cardio of high level singles. As long as her wrist or back aren't bothering her, it shouldn't take much out of her.

Meanwhile in live action Halep is in more trouble than I thought with Zhang, took the first set tons tiebreak won by Halep. Serena won the first 6-4.
 

BigMike

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Alison Riske takes the second set. What an amazing story it would be if she were in fact to come back for this American to come back from a set down on back to back days to beat #1 in the world yesterday , and then Serena today. Come on Alison

Didn't even realize she had beaten Bencic in the previous round, wow, what a run that could be. The ultimate Cinderella at the Ball

And now she breaks the first game in set 3. Come on Alison
 

BigMike

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Wow that tturned back around quickly as Riske serve complete abandoned her after the break
 

InstaFace

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Yeah I didn't realize the first set was so back-and-forth, apparently Serena was a break down twice in the 1st, and rallied to break Riske thrice in order to take it 6-4. Then you got 8 straight holds to open the 2nd until I tuned in, at which point Serena went from 15-0 to losing her service game.

But now... man, after getting her ankle re-taped after that service drop at 4*-4, her backhand looks 80% better. She's actually moving to her right, for one thing, and isn't camping out a step or two left like she was.
 

InstaFace

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Serena is living in Riske's head rent-free right now. Riske's groundstrokes are good, she's not hitting a ton of errors and she's attacking good spots, but Serena is out-thinking her at every juncture, and that point in the final deuce of that last game (3*-4) was just the culmination of that.

edit: also, Serena's serve has gotten better as this match has gone on. Before the ankle re-taping she was ~103-105 with a lot of net cords, she just cranked a 116 followed by a 117.
 

InstaFace

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and there it is. Won with guile and experience and some great anticipation. Riske played out of her mind (5/5 on break points!) but couldn't break down a 37-year-old's defense.

She better get herself a nap before Mixed Doubles.
 

BigMike

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and there it is. Won with guile and experience and some great anticipation. Riske played out of her mind (5/5 on break points!) but couldn't break down a 37-year-old's defense.

She better get herself a nap before Mixed Doubles.
Serena's power was so much higher, getting all the free points on Aces 19-1 is a huge edge.
 

jon abbey

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I only saw from the end of the second set, but fantastic tennis from both except for Riske's double faults, and some of that was going for perfect serves because of Serena's returning.
 

InstaFace

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This will be Serena's 12th Wimbledon semifinal. In the previous 11, she has gone on to win the title 7 times. She has lost in the semis in 2000 (to Venus), and in the finals in 2004 (Sharapova), 2008 (Venus) and of course 2018 (Kerber).

Not sure any of the men's QFs tomorrow will be that interesting. Djokovic has lost 1 set (in a tiebreak); Goffin has beaten him once (on clay, in 2017), but on hard courts has won only 1 set out of 9. Federer has struggled to put Nishikori away at slams before, but has only lost to him once since 2014 Miami (in last year's Tour Finals). Querrey is coming off an exhausting battle, though against Nadal (who has lost only 1 set, to Kyrgios) Querrey has won their last meeting (Acapulco 2017 final on hardcourt) and usually can at least take a set from him. That's probably the one I'll watch. I don't know much about Guido Pella but I don't find Bautista Agut's game very interesting to watch.
 

InstaFace

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Federer was getting challenged by Nishikori early - gave up an early break, and Nishikori barely managed to hang on once Federer got his feet, held his service games to take the first 6-4. Federer has continued stepping it up and crushed the 2nd 6-1 in ~20 mins.
 

InstaFace

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Federer rolls 6-4 6-4 in the 3rd and 4th, Nishikori could hang with him for a while but couldn't convert his break points.

Querrey has given it a good run, and has some punch, but Nadal is eating him alive now. He looks defeated, isn't giving 100% on some points.
 

jon abbey

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Serena and Halep both through to the final easily, I need to wake up for that one. FWIW, Chris Evert just said she thinks that the extra grass court time with Andy Murray helped Serena's sharpness in singles.
 

cromulence

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Serena and Halep both through to the final easily, I need to wake up for that one. FWIW, Chris Evert just said she thinks that the extra grass court time with Andy Murray helped Serena's sharpness in singles.
I got a chance to watch some of their second round match and she was absolutely carrying him. He looked mostly awful, but she was on fire, including a return winner on a 138 MPH serve.
 

InstaFace

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I got a chance to watch some of their second round match and she was absolutely carrying him. He looked mostly awful, but she was on fire, including a return winner on a 138 MPH serve.
yeah, they even took a set off the #1 seed, who eventually dropped them in 3 sets yesterday. In that set, Serena had a couple aces on Bruno Soares. Which you don't see everyday, not even in mixed doubles.

Andy had plenty of moments, but they were mostly from the baseline or being reliable on overheads - bread-and-butter stuff.

Serena vs Halep for the Wimbledon title is going to be fascinating. Their styles almost couldn't be more different.
 

jon abbey

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Federer and Nadal played those three straight epic Wimbledon finals from 2006-2008 and have not faced each other on grass since, before today.

2006 Federer 6-0, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3
2007 Federer 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2
2008 Nadal 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7
 

jon abbey

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Novak struggling a bit with Bautista Agut but maybe figuring it out now. He won the first set 6-2, but then didn't have another break point for a set and a half. Finally he broke to go up 4-2 in the 3rd (BA won the second 6-4) but then had to immediately fight back from 15-40 on his own serve. He did that and is up 5-2 in the 3rd now.
 

grandsalami

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Novak struggling a bit with Bautista Agut but maybe figuring it out now. He won the first set 6-2, but then didn't have another break point for a set and a half. Finally he broke to go up 4-2 in the 3rd (BA won the second 6-4) but then had to immediately fight back from 15-40 on his own serve. He did that and is up 5-2 in the 3rd now.
Some of the rallies in this match are really amazing. Its unbelievable watching the focus of Novak.
 

jon abbey

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Gritty hold by Bautista Agut to start the 4th, Novak will probably finish it here but BA is a tough matchup for him. BA has won both their previous meetings this year, both in 3 sets after losing set 1, both on hard courts.