Tennis 2021

SoxFanInCali

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And the Grand Slam ends with a whimper, a few minutes after Scherzer lost his perfect game.

Dominating performance by Medvedev.
 

jon abbey

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Big congrats to Medvedev! Thorough asskicking with the crowd pulling against him hard.
 
I hope we get an explanation for that celebration after match point.

I'm very happy for Medvedev. An odd fish, but an incredibly strong player, and for him to win his maiden Slam against one of the Big Three is magnificent. Mind you, I wonder just how intense Djokovic's nerves were throughout; he did NOT play anywhere close to his best tennis.
 

jon abbey

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Disappointing finals but a very fun tournament all around. See you in Australia!
 

BigMike

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Feels like the men's tour is going to be a bloody war next year. Medvedev winning today changes a lot. And every major the QF and on will be an absolute war, maybe even the round of 16 on.

Cute moment with Daniil and his wife at the end speech
 

jon abbey

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I only pay attention to the Grand Slams, tennis only gets 8 weeks of my life per year.
 

BigMike

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Same here. It's funny, I absolutely love the majors and devour as much of them as I can. And I never even consider watching any other match during the year.
Basically the same here. I might stop and watch for a half hour if I stumble across a match on a lazy winter Sunday afternoon, but I don't look for it. I do love the slams though.

I will say, I missed it today. I was working and thinking how much I wanted the distraction
 

shawnrbu

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I totally get not watching the lesser tournaments. There’s so many of them and not enough time to keep track of all of them.

I will watch at least 1 or 2 matches on tennis channel each week. It can be fun to see who may breakout in the future. I remember watching a late night match at the Rio Open in February 2020 and being absolutely wowed at the shotmaking ability of a then 16 year old Carlos Alcaraz. It was pretty cool seeing him breakout at a big event the past two weeks.
 
There are loads of lesser tournaments...but if you enjoy the Slams, you should really think about tuning into at least some of the ATP 1000 or WTA 1000 events, especially the ones held concurrently like Indian Wells. They feature most of the best players, and often the draws are even better than the Slams, simply because the fields are smaller and you have to be c. a Top 50 player rather than a Top 100 player to get in automatically. And they really help shape the narrative of what will happen and is happening in the Slams themselves - particularly on the women's side of things at the moment.
 

jezza1918

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There are loads of lesser tournaments...but if you enjoy the Slams, you should really think about tuning into at least some of the ATP 1000 or WTA 1000 events, especially the ones held concurrently like Indian Wells. They feature most of the best players, and often the draws are even better than the Slams, simply because the fields are smaller and you have to be c. a Top 50 player rather than a Top 100 player to get in automatically. And they really help shape the narrative of what will happen and is happening in the Slams themselves - particularly on the women's side of things at the moment.
Completely agree. It's also nice going in that the max a Men's match is going to be is 3 sets/3 hours(ish). While the drama of a 4.5 hour match can be fun, it can also be draining and sometimes impossible to watch all of. In addition to the shorter matches, I think it also creates more (or, at least, different) drama - when Djokovic or Nadal lose the first set in opening or middle rounds of a slam, I still know how it's going to end...but at a 1000 level event that outcome is much more in doubt with the shorter format.
 
Completely agree. It's also nice going in that the max a Men's match is going to be is 3 sets/3 hours(ish). While the drama of a 4.5 hour match can be fun, it can also be draining and sometimes impossible to watch all of. In addition to the shorter matches, I think it also creates more (or, at least, different) drama - when Djokovic or Nadal lose the first set in opening or middle rounds of a slam, I still know how it's going to end...but at a 1000 level event that outcome is much more in doubt with the shorter format.
FWIW, the reason I singled out "particularly on the women's side of things at the moment" is that even when healthy, Djokovic and Nadal have often sat out some of the 1000-level events or not tried particularly hard in them - their rankings have been so secure that they haven't needed many points for them, and they've come to feel as though they can prepare better for the Slams in their own time rather than under tournament conditions. That's one of the reasons I've been down on men's tennis of late, to be honest; tennis is healthiest when it's *not* all about the Slams, but rather when they are the most important part of a vibrant and healthy year-long calendar. And that's exactly what we're seeing in women's tennis right now: the Slams are as wide open as they've ever been, and the best players (who aren't nearly as separated from the rest of the women's field as Djokovic is from the men's) really, really want to win the 1000-level events in particular in part because they are prizes worth winning in and of themselves, not just because they provide match practice and signify who is peaking as the next Slam approaches.
 

jezza1918

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FWIW, the reason I singled out "particularly on the women's side of things at the moment" is that even when healthy, Djokovic and Nadal have often sat out some of the 1000-level events or not tried particularly hard in them - their rankings have been so secure that they haven't needed many points for them, and they've come to feel as though they can prepare better for the Slams in their own time rather than under tournament conditions. That's one of the reasons I've been down on men's tennis of late, to be honest; tennis is healthiest when it's *not* all about the Slams, but rather when they are the most important part of a vibrant and healthy year-long calendar. And that's exactly what we're seeing in women's tennis right now: the Slams are as wide open as they've ever been, and the best players (who aren't nearly as separated from the rest of the women's field as Djokovic is from the men's) really, really want to win the 1000-level events in particular in part because they are prizes worth winning in and of themselves, not just because they provide match practice and signify who is peaking as the next Slam approaches.
Completely agree. While I appreciate their individual greatness, and completely respect/understand why the big 3 pretty much only care about the slams at this point, I am pretty much over them being the focal point of the men's game for the reason you stated above. I am not sure we see an end to that for another 2-3 years though.
 

jon abbey

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Completely agree. It's also nice going in that the max a Men's match is going to be is 3 sets/3 hours(ish). While the drama of a 4.5 hour match can be fun, it can also be draining and sometimes impossible to watch all of. In addition to the shorter matches, I think it also creates more (or, at least, different) drama - when Djokovic or Nadal lose the first set in opening or middle rounds of a slam, I still know how it's going to end...but at a 1000 level event that outcome is much more in doubt with the shorter format.
For me this is actually a negative, I find it hard to take best of 3 men's matches seriously.
 

jezza1918

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For me this is actually a negative, I find it hard to take best of 3 men's matches seriously.
So just out of curiosity, has that always been a thing for you...or only more recently? Because I do think there is a ton of merit to what @Conigliaro's Potential said above WRT the big 3 really only worrying abut the slams. So wondering if there is any kind of filter down effect on the fans.
 

jon abbey

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So just out of curiosity, has that always been a thing for you...or only more recently? Because I do think there is a ton of merit to what @Conigliaro's Potential said above WRT the big 3 really only worrying abut the slams. So wondering if there is any kind of filter down effect on the fans.
Hmm. Basically I have just never had any interest in any tennis outside of the four slams, and those I have religiously watched since I was a kid. I have never really self-analyzed why this is, usually if I'm into something, I am into it obsessively, but I really think it's just what I said above, 8 weeks out of each year is enough tennis for me, and clearly those are the 8 weeks to watch. Also there is always a sense for me in tennis that motivation levels are different in non-Slams, meaning sometimes players are just trying to get matches in, etc. We saw an extremely rare case of this during a Slam this year when Federer withdrew in the middle of the French to try to better prepare himself for WImbledon, but in general everyone is going all out during those four tournaments.

That doesn't really answer your question but it's hard to answer because I have never watched almost any tennis outside of those four tournaments, and that goes back way before Fed/Rafa/Novak. I have a similar, somewhat irrational personal boundary with soccer, I usually get into the World Cup (and occasionally the European championship) but I never watch any Premier League or any other league soccer, even though the quality of the sport there is almost certainly higher than the World Cup. It's just a personal line, there is only so much time to go around.
 

jon abbey

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I don't even usually pay attention to non-Slam results much but occasionally I will notice that two of my favorite players are scheduled to play, for instance Osaka/Coco a few months back. I watched a bit but I think it just isn't meaningful enough for me to devote a few hours to, one loses and then they both just enter whatever next week's tournament is. Grand Slam matches feel much more meaningful to me, and thus more enjoyable to watch.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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I'm probably closer to watching only the majors in golf, but some of that is that most golf final rounds are on network TV vs. pretty much all of the non-major tennis finals are on the Tennis Channel.
 

jezza1918

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Hmm. Basically I have just never had any interest in any tennis outside of the four slams, and those I have religiously watched since I was a kid. I have never really self-analyzed why this is, usually if I'm into something, I am into it obsessively, but I really think it's just what I said above, 8 weeks out of each year is enough tennis for me, and clearly those are the 8 weeks to watch. Also there is always a sense for me in tennis that motivation levels are different in non-Slams, meaning sometimes players are just trying to get matches in, etc. We saw an extremely rare case of this during a Slam this year when Federer withdrew in the middle of the French to try to better prepare himself for WImbledon, but in general everyone is going all out during those four tournaments.

That doesn't really answer your question but it's hard to answer because I have never watched almost any tennis outside of those four tournaments, and that goes back way before Fed/Rafa/Novak. I have a similar, somewhat irrational personal boundary with soccer, I usually get into the World Cup (and occasionally the European championship) but I never watch any Premier League or any other league soccer, even though the quality of the sport there is almost certainly higher than the World Cup. It's just a personal line, there is only so much time to go around.
Hmm I think you definitely answered my question, at least in terms it has nothing to do with the Big 3. And it makes sense, I used to work in the tennis travel business and during a slam we'd often pitch our clients on some of the other events (Indian Wells, Miami, etc) and in many cases they weren't even aware they were considered large events.
It's funny...I'm pretty sure there are significantly more tennis fans who do what @jon abbey does than there are, say, golf fans who watch the majors but wouldn't watch e.g. the final round of The Players or The Memorial, even though the relative importance of those secondary tournaments is pretty much the same.
But that kind of makes sense in a way, the format of golf majors and secondary tournaments is identical and far less of a time commitment than following along the 1000s tennis events which are 10 days.