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gammoseditor

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Maybe you should go back and re-read my first post on the subject, because I said a lot more than that.
You start by saying you don’t know her situation well. Did you read her statements? I agree with your closing paragraph. I have no idea what point you are trying to make comparing her situation to other work environments and having crappy bosses.
 

BaseballJones

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You start by saying you don’t know her situation well. Did you read her statements? I agree with your closing paragraph. I have no idea what point you are trying to make comparing her situation to other work environments and having crappy bosses.
Ok, I'll try it again.

I don't know her situation well, but obviously she feels like in order to take care of herself, she needs to not do media interviews. I support her in that, and I said that mental wellness is something many of us overlook or don't deal with very well. Moreover, stigma associated with mental illness and other mental unwellness is unfortunate and needs to change, because it's a big deal. So good on her.

The fact is, of course, that everyone has aspects of the job that they don't like, and in some cases don't like in a major way. For now, playing in the French Open comes with the responsibility of appearing before the media. She doesn't like this part of the job, because in her mind it negatively impacts her mental well-being. So she's choosing to not "take the job", by stepping out of the tournament. Again, I support her in that. I think her mental health should come first, but it's her choice to make, and my opinion on her life doesn't really matter.

I don't know what the French Open ought to do in terms of rules relating to player press conferences. Should they mandate them? Should they not? Should they mandate them but make exceptions in special cases? I have no idea. For now, this is part of the deal, and many players, for various reasons, don't like it.

The "crappy bosses" point was simply that I wish the media didn't have crappy reporters asking her (and other players) crappy questions. But unfortunately, as long as people are people, there are going to be crappy media people asking crappy questions, because there are crappy people in every field - there are crappy bosses and employees and customers the world over. So I don't know how you're supposed to manage press conferences and keep it all totally good.

If that's still not clear, then I apologize. Ultimately, I want Osaka to be well.
 

jmcc5400

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Edit: *I should make it clear that this is not a blanket statement. I do understand that not all members of the tennis press are voracious hyenas. (In fact, I have a cousin who is one of them and she has written dozens of thoughtful articles on both men's and women's tennis over the years.) That said, the predatory behavior of the European tennis press towards women has been well-documented and no, I don't accept that this should be seen as something that is "part of the job."
Your cousin, Louisa Thomas, is perhaps the best tennis writer out there. She has written about this with characteristic thoughtfuless. https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/naomi-osaka-takes-a-complicated-stand
 

Pitt the Elder

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I don't know Osaka's story very well or what her mental wellness issues are. But I'm all for her taking care of herself. Mental wellness is something we often as people do a very poor job of handling. Plus, there's a totally unfair and unfortunate stigma attached to mental illness (not saying she has a mental *illness*) that shades these conversations sometimes.

That being said, every job has aspects of it that we don't like. It's almost impossible to find a job where every single aspect of it is enjoyable. Everyone has *something* about their job that bothers them, perhaps even immensely. These athletes know that press conferences are part of the job, like it or not. If you are a 17 year old, and want to become a professional athlete in your chosen sport, especially if you know you can/will become one of the five best in the world at it, would you still pursue it even knowing that there's going to be this piece of it that you hate? (in fact, most pro athletes hate much more about being a pro athlete than just this piece) I bet most of us would.

If the argument is that the press often sucks, well, most of us here root for Boston-based teams, so think of the press that exists around here. Yeah, the press can often suck. No doubt about it. I often wonder if part of Belichick's approach is just his way of dealing with the sucky part of his job. Because he seems to love every other aspect of it.

I wish Osaka well. She needs to take care of herself. I also wish she'd be able to find a way to make this work because she's a marvelous tennis player and the game is better off when she's playing. And I also wish the media wouldn't be so terrible sometimes. That's not too much to ask either.
I'm in a job where I talk to the press quite a bit and you could say that it is literally part of my job as the head of a tech company. But, I do this in a way that is entirely in service to me and my company. Sure, I'll talk to a reporter when it's to my benefit, but if I'm not interested in talking, or I think it would be bad for my company, I offer a simple "no comment" via email and the world moves on. Put another way, I talk when I want.

There's a power dynamic here that is really gross. The "talk-or-else" policy is a clear exercise of power of capital over labor and most athletes, whether they earn $55M a year or not, have little leverage to fight back. You want to play the sport that you've invested your life into and literally pays your bills but you don't want to make yourself vulnerable to verbal attacks and emotional distress? Tough shit, that's your "job."

And by the way, the player press conference is by far one of the least interesting things in sports. It's almost all downside for the players and they recognize the risks to themselves, so you almost always get anodyne statements that are specifically designed to satisfy the media and shield their real thoughts. Occasionally you get "Playoffs?!", "They are who we thought they were", and ""We're talking about practice" but those are all occasions where the player or coach is emotionally triggered and we get the treat of watching a mini meltdown. So 99% of the time it's the most boring shit in the world and 1% it's some lowest common denominator reality TV spectacle. How the hell does that make sports better?

If they eliminated all the press conferences and replaced it with pundit commentary and analysis, I for one would be happier.
 

jon abbey

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Ok, I'll try it again.
You really should stop (written as a poster, not a Dope), your point was not a good one to begin with and you have now made it umpteen times.

Also just because people keep writing that she is the 2nd best player, she is ranked 2nd but she has won the previous two Grand Slams, this cost her any chance at winning four in a row (one of a bunch of reasons the situation makes me see red).
 

BaseballJones

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I'm in a job where I talk to the press quite a bit and you could say that it is literally part of my job as the head of a tech company. But, I do this in a way that is entirely in service to me and my company. Sure, I'll talk to a reporter when it's to my benefit, but if I'm not interested in talking, or I think it would be bad for my company, I offer a simple "no comment" via email and the world moves on. Put another way, I talk when I want.

There's a power dynamic here that is really gross. The "talk-or-else" policy is a clear exercise of power of capital over labor and most athletes, whether they earn $55M a year or not, have little leverage to fight back. You want to play the sport that you've invested your life into and literally pays your bills but you don't want to make yourself vulnerable to verbal attacks and emotional distress? Tough shit, that's your "job."

And by the way, the player press conference is by far one of the least interesting things in sports. It's almost all downside for the players and they recognize the risks to themselves, so you almost always get anodyne statements that are specifically designed to satisfy the media and shield their real thoughts. Occasionally you get "Playoffs?!", "They are who we thought they were", and ""We're talking about practice" but those are all occasions where the player or coach is emotionally triggered and we get the treat of watching a mini meltdown. So 99% of the time it's the most boring shit in the world and 1% it's some lowest common denominator reality TV spectacle. How the hell does that make sports better?

If they eliminated all the press conferences and replaced it with pundit commentary and analysis, I for one would be happier.
Yeah it wouldn't bother me one bit either. You don't need to convince me of that. All I've been saying is that for now, it's part of the deal. Maybe (hopefully) that changes.
 

Gdiguy

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Just to explicitly throw some quotes into the thread:

This dynamic is only exacerbated in women’s tennis, a highly visible enterprise that takes place not just in a largely white male space, but a white‑male‑with‑free‑food space. That sense of voracious, engorged entitlement often manifests itself in exceptionally creepy ways. Question: “I noticed you tweeted a picture. Are you prepared that if you go on a long run you may be held up as a sex symbol, given you’re very good looking?” (Genie Bouchard, Wimbledon 2013.) Question: “You’re a pin-up now, especially in England. Is that good? Do you enjoy that?” (A 17-year-old Maria Sharapova, Wimbledon 2004.)
If your response is just 'all jobs have parts that suck', I respectfully think you're missing a huge part of the problem here
 

BaseballJones

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You really should stop (written as a poster, not a Dope), your point was not a good one to begin with and you have now made it umpteen times.

Also just because people keep writing that she is the 2nd best player, she is ranked 2nd but she has won the previous two Grand Slams, this cost her any chance at winning four in a row (one of a bunch of reasons the situation makes me see red).
Ok so as a poster, if anyone has any questions or responses to me, even if they miss the mark on what I am saying, I need to just let it go?

Like the post just above this one, if it's directed at me: "If your response is just 'all jobs have parts that suck'"..... That's not at ALL "just" what my response was and is a gross mischaracterization of what I'm saying. So am I supposed to just let it go? Or am I supposed to make sure that it's clear? Because making it clear so I'm not misrepresented is me "not stopping", contra your suggestion above.

Ok, I'll just let it go and live with people missing MY point.
 
Also just because people keep writing that she is the 2nd best player, she is ranked 2nd but she has won the previous two Grand Slams, this cost her any chance at winning four in a row (one of a bunch of reasons the situation makes me see red).
Not that this is relevant to the rest of the ongoing discussion, but Naomi Osaka had very little chance of winning this tournament. She'd played in only two tournaments on clay this season (Madrid and Rome) and won exactly one match between them, and it's probably her least favorite surface to begin with. Even if she was in good form and in a solid mental state, her odds would have been long; I don't think any respectable tennis pundit would have put her among the 15-20 players most likely to win in Paris.
 

johnmd20

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Not that this is relevant to the rest of the ongoing discussion, but Naomi Osaka had very little chance of winning this tournament. She'd played in only two tournaments on clay this season (Madrid and Rome) and won exactly one match between them, and it's probably her least favorite surface to begin with. Even if she was in good form and in a solid mental state, her odds would have been long; I don't think any respectable tennis pundit would have put her among the 15-20 players most likely to win in Paris.
This was definitely the tournament to do what she did. This story has obviously gotten a lot of eyeballs on it. The French Open has never had this much coverage. It was even on CNBC this morning. So Osaka, in being bullied by the French Open, ended up helping the French Open.

I personally don't think the news conferences are going to change. Especially for the sponsors, who want their players, win or lose, donning their stuff during the close up interviews to show off the brands.
 

jon abbey

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Not that this is relevant to the rest of the ongoing discussion, but Naomi Osaka had very little chance of winning this tournament. She'd played in only two tournaments on clay this season (Madrid and Rome) and won exactly one match between them, and it's probably her least favorite surface to begin with. Even if she was in good form and in a solid mental state, her odds would have been long; I don't think any respectable tennis pundit would have put her among the 15-20 players most likely to win in Paris.
This is all true, but it's not like there is a Nadal on the women's side (Swiatek is good though). Anyway, obviously we'd all like to see her actually lose to lose the Slam as opposed to this, I was just pointing out that it was theoretically in play since it's quite rare for a woman to win even two consecutive Slams these days.
 

jon abbey

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Since I looked it up, the last women to win two straight Grand Slams who was not Serena (who did it a lot) or Osaka (who has done it twice) was Kim Clijsters in 2010/2011.
 

shawnrbu

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The last three Slam winners are Osaka (US), Swiatek (French) and Osaka (Australian). The French was played after the US last year. Osaka did not play in the French last year, so it is true that Naomi had won the last two slams she played in.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Ok so as a poster, if anyone has any questions or responses to me, even if they miss the mark on what I am saying, I need to just let it go?

Like the post just above this one, if it's directed at me: "If your response is just 'all jobs have parts that suck'"..... That's not at ALL "just" what my response was and is a gross mischaracterization of what I'm saying. So am I supposed to just let it go? Or am I supposed to make sure that it's clear? Because making it clear so I'm not misrepresented is me "not stopping", contra your suggestion above.

Ok, I'll just let it go and live with people missing MY point.
I understand your point and agree with it pretty much word for word.

What people aren’t understanding is that this isn’t one French Open rep standing with his arms folded insisting that the players speak to the media. Roland Garros has contractual obligations to the media, to sponsors, the players have their sponsors to appease (or obligated toward). Can these arrangements be negotiated or restructured in the future? Sure. Can they be on a couple days notice as the event is getting underway? No.

I don’t think anyone is in the wrong here. Roland Garros didn’t make one exception that would surely have opened up a huge can of worms (who wouldn’t love to get out of these media softball question sessions?) and Naomi withdrew rather than fail to fulfill her contractual obligations.

Now we can address this moving forward.
 

Average Reds

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I understand your point and agree with it pretty much word for word.

What people aren’t understanding is that this isn’t one French Open rep standing with his arms folded insisting that the players speak to the media. Roland Garros has contractual obligations to the media, to sponsors, the players have their sponsors to appease (or obligated toward). Can these arrangements be negotiated or restructured in the future? Sure. Can they be on a couple days notice as the event is getting underway? No.

I don’t think anyone is in the wrong here. Roland Garros didn’t make one exception that would surely have opened up a huge can of worms (who wouldn’t love to get out of these media softball question sessions?) and Naomi withdrew rather than fail to fulfill her contractual obligations.

Now we can address this moving forward.
This strikes me as false on its face.

There are any number of ways they could have handled it short of threatening to default her. They just never imagined that their threat would lead to her withdrawal. And they are now scrambling to cover their asses.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This strikes me as false on its face.

There are any number of ways they could have handled it short of threatening to default her. They just never imagined that their threat would lead to her withdrawal. And they are now scrambling to cover their asses.
Really? I don’t see them scrambling at all. Aren’t the tournament and media rules that every player contractually abides by enough?

What would your solution be that the tournament, the media and the sponsor all agree on with such short “notice?”

Edit: I’m not insensitive to Naomi at all here. There are rules in place that every other player is following. As I said, if she chooses not to she doesn’t have to participate.....a decent chunk of me believes that she didn’t want to play another clay event this year anyway after her recent embarrassments on a surface she hates. Moving forward hopefully all parties can agree on a remedy if one needs to be made.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Really? I don’t see them scrambling at all. Aren’t the tournament and media rules that every player contractually abides by enough?

What would your solution be that the tournament, the media and the sponsor all agree on with such short “notice?”

Edit: I’m not insensitive to Naomi at all here. There are rules in place that every other player is following. As I said, if she chooses not to she doesn’t have to participate.....a decent chunk of me believes that she didn’t want to play another clay event this year anyway after her recent embarrassments on a surface she hates. Moving forward hopefully all parties can agree on a remedy if one needs to be made.
How about the tournament just do what they usually do when a player misses a media obligation: fine them and move on. Osaka was perfectly content to pay the fines in order to avoid the press conferences. Where this went off the rails is when the tournament decided to escalate and threaten her with expulsion from the tournament over it. That's changing the agreement. Not only that, but they were conspiring (consulting?) with the other major tournaments to take similar action should Osaka skip media sessions there. That strikes me as spiteful and over the top. I don't blame Osaka in the least. Tennis suffers without her playing, and it's a fixable situation.
 

jezza1918

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Really? I don’t see them scrambling at all. Aren’t the tournament and media rules that every player contractually abides by enough?

What would your solution be that the tournament, the media and the sponsor all agree on with such short “notice?”

Edit: I’m not insensitive to Naomi at all here. There are rules in place that every other player is following. As I said, if she chooses not to she doesn’t have to participate.....a decent chunk of me believes that she didn’t want to play another clay event this year anyway after her recent embarrassments on a surface she hates. Moving forward hopefully all parties can agree on a remedy if one needs to be made.
But players do skip these conferences and break their contracts. The only difference here is she announced it ahead of time. When djokovic got defaulted at the 2020 us open he was fined $20,000. But I don’t recall any “don’t do it again or else” type threats.
 

gammoseditor

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Really? I don’t see them scrambling at all. Aren’t the tournament and media rules that every player contractually abides by enough?

What would your solution be that the tournament, the media and the sponsor all agree on with such short “notice?”

Edit: I’m not insensitive to Naomi at all here. There are rules in place that every other player is following. As I said, if she chooses not to she doesn’t have to participate.....a decent chunk of me believes that she didn’t want to play another clay event this year anyway after her recent embarrassments on a surface she hates. Moving forward hopefully all parties can agree on a remedy if one needs to be made.
From her first statement her understanding was that not complying with the rule meant a fine. Maybe I misread but it seems like you are assuming that is wrong and the federation was required to disqualify her?
 

MuzzyField

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No, this ins't one French Open rep, it's the systemic fuckdom of Grand Slam tennis and the particularly disgusting treatment of women when it comes to this policy. A significant portion of Monica Seles' reluctance to return to competitive tennis went beyond her physical recovery and the security elements at tournaments. She didn't want to deal with THIS type of shit and it was there back then, it was just tolerated and time for it to end is now and scrambling is underway and the pressure to continue it needs to be turned up to 11!

No doubt, the rights holders are the power players in this equation. There is not contractual obligation to meet with the general, largely sexist male, entitled, overfed and over-boozed media this covers.

She did the on-court interview after her opening round win, and if she had an access issue with NBC, Tennis Channel, and any other actual rights holder to the event this might be something to discuss. It's not. I'm pretty sure ALL the rights holders to this event where playing tennis is the real value they are paying would prefer the best and most popular players to actually play tennis and attract eyeballs.
 

HomeRunBaker

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But players do skip these conferences and break their contracts. The only difference here is she announced it ahead of time. When djokovic got defaulted at the 2020 us open he was fined $20,000. But I don’t recall any “don’t do it again or else” type threats.
Three difference is that he didn’t announce it publicly so there was no public response or a need for a public response. In this case we were all awaiting the response. What could they have said to maintain the operations that are in place?
 

gammoseditor

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Three difference is that he didn’t announce it publicly so there was no public response or a need for a public response. In this case we were all awaiting the response. What could they have said to maintain the operations that are in place?
They could have just fined her. Why wasn’t that an option? The NBA did that with Kyrie. He announced it in advance. Everyone went on with their lives.
 

jezza1918

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Three difference is that he didn’t announce it publicly so there was no public response or a need for a public response. In this case we were all awaiting the response. What could they have said to maintain the operations that are in place?
Why not just continue to fine her 20k and not have the slams band together to threaten her with default? Could the FFT just have said, “we are disappointed with Osaka’s decision not to attend her press conferences and as such will fine her 20k for each one she misses.” Or even better, they could add on, “that said, we look forward to working with her and other players who feel similarly to make it a better experience.”
 

HomeRunBaker

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From her first statement her understanding was that not complying with the rule meant a fine. Maybe I misread but it seems like you are assuming that is wrong and the federation was required to disqualify her?
Wasn’t her intent to skip ALL of her media obligations? What is the penalty for multiple infractions (I’m asking, I don’t know)?
 

jezza1918

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Wasn’t her intent to skip ALL of her media obligations? What is the penalty for multiple infractions (I’m asking, I don’t know)?
For the record, she didn’t skip them all as she did complete the on court interview after her first round victory.
Though that is obviously different than a press conference, I figured I’d make sure everyone knew that.
 

shawnrbu

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jezza1918

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On the actual tennis front, Zverev advances in straights (with two tiebreakers) over a qualifier. Average 2nd serve speed of 110mph and 10 double faults. His serve continues to befuddle me. 10th seeded Bencic goes down 2/2 to 37th ranked Kasatkina - anyone have eyes on this match? The loss doesn't entirely surprise me, but the score does. Meanwhile V. Williams/Gauff just split sets against the 13th seed.
 

CFB_Rules

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Not that this is relevant to the rest of the ongoing discussion, but Naomi Osaka had very little chance of winning this tournament. She'd played in only two tournaments on clay this season (Madrid and Rome) and won exactly one match between them, and it's probably her least favorite surface to begin with. Even if she was in good form and in a solid mental state, her odds would have been long; I don't think any respectable tennis pundit would have put her among the 15-20 players most likely to win in Paris.
Come on, this is an exaggeration. Going into the tournament she had the fourth-highest odds to win Roland Garros. If these "pundits" know better than the bookmakers by THAT kind of margin, they're throwing away hundreds of millions in the wrong business.
 
Come on, this is an exaggeration. Going into the tournament she had the fourth-highest odds to win Roland Garros. If these "pundits" know better than the bookmakers by THAT kind of margin, they're throwing away hundreds of millions in the wrong business.
Come on, you must know how betting markets work better than this. Osaka is a "public" player at this point - her being given short odds do not automatically reflect her chances of winning the tournament.
 

jezza1918

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Not watching but following on the website & it looked like 119th ranked American Mackenzie McDonald had a match point in the breaker on his serve vs 22nd seeded Christian Garin, but lost the 3rd. Still has the 2 sets to 1 lead but he will have to rebound quickly in the 4th.
 

jon abbey

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Heh, Nadal plays Gasquet next. They are both 34 years old, Gasquet last beat him when they were 12 (16-0 as a pro).

Edit: Nadal has won 26 straight sets from him, the last one Gasquet won was in 2008.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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When did John Isner become the King of Clay? I’m guessing his consecutive set streak ends against Tsitsipas.
 
When did John Isner become the King of Clay? I’m guessing his consecutive set streak ends against Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas is in danger of being so clearly favored to emerge from his half of the draw that I fear the pressure is going to get to him, and he's going to fritter away a very winnable match. I'm afraid I've gotten to the point that my heart kind of sinks when I see John Isner's name prominently featured in a draw; it would be so typical for him to knock out the player who I think has the best chance of defeating Nadal or Djokovic in the final.

(One of the first tennis matches I ever called was Isner's 2018 win at Madrid over Pablo Cuevas in a final-set tiebreak, which was quite exciting to me at the time...but then, I believe I heard a stat last week that Isner has been in more final-set tiebreaks than any player in tennis history. It's tremendously impressive that his serve is still so penetrating after all these years, even on clay, and he's not exactly a one-trick pony, but I'm afraid nothing about his game interests me.)
 

jezza1918

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Man, Barty had to retire against Magda Linette (while trailing 1-6, 2-2) on account of her hip injury. That sucks.
Seriously. I love watching her play. That said, for American women it really opens things up - Brady, Gauff, and Stephens (who just beat 9th seeded Pliskova in straight sets) are all in that quarter; and then Kenin & Pegula in that half.
 

jezza1918

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Pliskova has been all over the place this clay court season, but I didn't expect that result - Stephens only just scraped by a cancer survivor (Carla Suarez Navarro) in the first round and has been a bit of a mess this year herself.
Yup. I had not realized Stephens lost three family members to covid. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/02/sports/tennis/french-open-sloane-stephens-covid.html
Stephens’s family had been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Between Christmas and the Australian Open, which began in February, Stephens lost an aunt, a grandmother and a grandfather to Covid-19.
 
Another good stat courtesy of Matt Roberts at The Tennis Podcast: 12 American women reached Round 2 at Roland Garros this year (Serena, Gauff, Kenin, Pegula, Baptiste, Keys, Brady, Lepchenko, Stephens, Brengle, Li, Collins), which is the best showing by American women at Roland Garros since 1991 when 14 got there (Fendick, Capriati, Cunningham, Rehe, Gigi Fernandez, Harvey-Wild, Rinaldi, Whitlinger, Grossman, Cioffi, Mary Joe Fernandez, Baranski, Graham, Stafford).
 

jon abbey

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Another good stat courtesy of Matt Roberts at The Tennis Podcast: 12 American women reached Round 2 at Roland Garros this year (Serena, Gauff, Kenin, Pegula, Baptiste, Keys, Brady, Lepchenko, Stephens, Brengle, Li, Collins), which is the best showing by American women at Roland Garros since 1991 when 14 got there (Fendick, Capriati, Cunningham, Rehe, Gigi Fernandez, Harvey-Wild, Rinaldi, Whitlinger, Grossman, Cioffi, Mary Joe Fernandez, Baranski, Graham, Stafford).
This group seems like much more serious contenders, 8 into the top 32 now.
 

AMS25

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(One of the first tennis matches I ever called was Isner's 2018 win at Madrid over Pablo Cuevas in a final-set tiebreak, which was quite exciting to me at the time...but then, I believe I heard a stat last week that Isner has been in more final-set tiebreaks than any player in tennis history. It's tremendously impressive that his serve is still so penetrating after all these years, even on clay, and he's not exactly a one-trick pony, but I'm afraid nothing about his game interests me.)
I was more interested in Isner's game about five years ago. He just stays on serve for the most part and then tries to win in the tiebreakers. Yawn.
 

jezza1918

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While also not enjoying Isner, I am very interested to see if Isner 2.0 (Reilly Opelka) can challenge Medvedev at all tomorrow. He's got more physical tools than Isner, but he can be really up and down with his mental game.
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
54,754
#3 Sabalenka goes down 6-0 in the third, the top three women's seeds are out now, so #4 Kenin is the highest remaining seed.