Tennis 2021

BigMike

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Sep 26, 2000
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Why? Djokovic has now lost the first set for the fourth match in a row, and the second set scores - all in his favor - were 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, and now 6-2. I know he lost to Zverev in Tokyo, but if he doesn't win this in four sets like he won each of those other three matches in four sets, I'll be pretty shocked.
True, but most of those guys had no business winning a set of Djoker. Zverev played like absolute shit in the second set, and if he continues to play at that level this will no doubt end in 4 sets. If both players play their best tennis, it is a match either guy can win. If they both continue to play mediocre to ok tennis, then Novak will win
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
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I think the relatively cool weather, the short points and the low margin for error is causing sloppy up and down play from both.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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jon abbey

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That 53 shot rally was the longest of any match in this year's Open and the longest in any of Novak's Grand Slam matches this year. And there were some other pretty damn long ones in the same game...
 

jon abbey

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Zverev played an incredible game there to break, first time since the first set.
 

Dim13

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Jul 14, 2005
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The mucky muck
I know and understand Novak is polarizing, but the crowd cheering this much for Zverev is a little disturbing, considering what is well known about him (allegedly).
 

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I know and understand Novak is polarizing, but the crowd cheering this much for Zverev is a little disturbing, considering what is well known about him (allegedly).
I have no idea what is well known about him, but I'm rooting for him because Djokovic. My guess is that most of those people don't either.
 

BigMike

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Sep 26, 2000
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This one is going to Haunt Zverev for a long time. To play very well in the 1rst, 3rd and 4th, and just inexplicably badly in the 2nd and 5th sets
 

jon abbey

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This one is going to Haunt Zverev for a long time. To play very well in the 1rst, 3rd and 4th, and just inexplicably badly in the 2nd and 5th sets
I think this is unfair, he held up better than Berrettini and even had a pretty good push in him down 5-0. Novak takes out the legs of top 10 players 10 years younger than him in five set matches over and over, he has to do it one more time to finish this.
 

jon abbey

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In the four Slams this year so far against the young guns, Novak is:

1-0 against Medvedev
2-0 against Zverev
1-0 against Tsitsipas
3-0 against Berrettini

Medvedev was the Australian Open final, also hard courts of course, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, less than seven months ago (Feb 21, late this year).
 
How often has one final featured the world 1&2 and the other featured unranked players?
This, in a nutshell, is the difference between men's and women's tennis at the moment. Djokovic has that killer mentality - he's not flawless, but like Federer and Nadal before him, he is almost always able to get the most out of his abundant talent and force other players not to get the most out of theirs by sheer force of will. Whereas in women's tennis, nobody is mentally consistent: some of the most talented players (Sabalenka, Pliskova, Sakkari...and I can go on even without talking about Osaka and her bundle of anxieties) are downright mentally unstable at key moments of matches and indeed tournaments, and instead you often see whichever players catch lightning in a bottle any given week (Fernandez, Raducanu, Krejcikova, Pavlyuchenkova, Swiatek, etc.) vastly exceed expectations and then usually settle down to a level which is higher than they were at before but lower than their amazing peak.

Of course, this is not a men's versus women's thing - it's down to the specific players involved. If you go back before the Big Three era, the men's game was much more unsettled, and the women's game has always had players like Serena and Graf and Navratilova who have exerted their willpower to dominate their opponents as well. I do genuinely prefer the anarchy and chaos if the current women's game, but at the same time, when you get a game like that final game of the third set between Djokovic and Zverev - which Jim Courier and Tim Henman on the UK commentary both said in the moment may have been the greatest game they'd ever seen - I totally respect the talent and the genius and the willpower on display, even when the players themselves are rather dislikeable (for different reasons).
 

jon abbey

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Something like 150 total shots in the six points of that game, we rewatched it later last night. Fascinating tactic by Novak, basically just keep hitting it down the middle and making Zverev hit endless balls with no real angle for an aggressive shot. Combine that with the pressure of needing to hold to not lose the set, and it ended up pretty brilliant.