Tennis 2021

uk_sox_fan

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For the 1st time in the Open Era (and probably all-time) no French man or woman made it to the 3rd Round at Roland Garros (men were 3-15 in the 1st Rnd and 0-3 in the 2nd; women were 4-7 and 0-4). The Aussies have come close to that happening but have always managed at least 1 man or woman to advance to the 3rd of the AO. The US have always managed at least one of each gender at every USO. At Wimbledon the Brits have had two years where they equalled France's 2021 FO futility: 1990 and 2007.

/stats for nerds
 

jon abbey

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Serena looks good against Collins. She was up a set and down 4-2 when I turned it on, but has won three straight games since and will now serve for the match.
 

cromulence

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Serena looks good against Collins. She was up a set and down 4-2 when I turned it on, but has won three straight games since and will now serve for the match.
She was up a set and a break and it looked like it'd be straightforward, then her level dropped and she fell behind. Of course, she just psyched herself back up and finished the job.
 

jezza1918

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Serena's showing so far is a good argument against my take the other day that Osaka wouldn't be among the 15-20 most likely winners in Paris this fortnight. Because Serena certainly seems to be playing herself into form - class is permanent and all that.
At this point, she has to be the favorite to come out of that half right? I'd take the field over her if betting, but not any individual
 

jon abbey

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Serena's showing so far is a good argument against my take the other day that Osaka wouldn't be among the 15-20 most likely winners in Paris this fortnight. Because Serena certainly seems to be playing herself into form - class is permanent and all that.
Also Osaka’s section of the draw seems very weak, ah well.
 

jon abbey

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When did John Isner become the King of Clay? I’m guessing his consecutive set streak ends against Tsitsipas.
He looks good so far, he just broke Tsitsipas at love at 5-5 in the first set, serving for it now.
 

jon abbey

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And he serves it out at love, up a set. The winner of the first set has won all five previous meetings between these two (Tsitsipas 3-2, all in straight sets both ways).
 

jezza1918

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And he serves it out at love, up a set. The winner of the first set has won all five previous meetings between these two (Tsitsipas 3-2, all in straight sets both ways).
If I could have bet a lot of money on Isner taking a set on clay from Tsitsipas without needing a tiebreaker...I would've lost a lot of money. Regarding their prior meetings, worth noting Isner took the first two in 17/18 (and the only grand slam match at Wimby 18 when he was ranked about 20 spots higher), but Tsitsipas has taken the last 3.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He looks good so far, he just broke Tsitsipas at love at 5-5 in the first set, serving for it now.
I walked by tv at casino and saw he won first set. Apparently he’s playing really really well.

Edit: Omg what a drop shot! Who is this imposter?
 
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jon abbey

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I got distracted but Tsitsipas took the second set 6-3, 1-1 in the third now.
 

cromulence

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The full John Isner experience. For all the talk about how dangerous he is in tiebreaks, I feel like every time I've watched him play a crucial tiebreak in a big match, he loses it.
 

jon abbey

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He's played a lot of great tennis in this match, not just serving, but that was indeed a big dud of a tiebreaker when he needed the opposite.

And now he is quickly down two break points...
 

jon abbey

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And Tsitsipas gets the break, up 2-0 in the 4th and he can see the finish line.
 

jezza1918

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The full John Isner experience. For all the talk about how dangerous he is in tiebreaks, I feel like every time I've watched him play a crucial tiebreak in a big match, he loses it.
Most guys who are pretty much solely reliant on serve probably struggle more in tiebreakers than we all think. If you’re serving in a game and it’s 15-15 and lose two straight points you can serve a couple bombs and it’s deuce. When you go down a mini break or two in a breaker, you have to play catch up when returning. It’s a bit counter intuitive but I think there is less room for error in the breakers (again for those super reliant on free service points)
 

jon abbey

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#5 Svitolina out and #4 Kenin down a set, so we’re a set away from #7 Serena being the highest remaining seed.
 

jon abbey

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Swiatek and Kenin set to meet in the quarters if they each win once more, that seems like it should be the finals.

Coco through to the round of 16, 6-1 over Brady in the 1st and then Brady retired. We might get a Coco/Sloane Stephens quarter also.
 
Swiatek and Kenin set to meet in the quarters if they each win once more, that seems like it should be the finals.

Coco through to the round of 16, 6-1 over Brady in the 1st and then Brady retired. We might get a Coco/Sloane Stephens quarter also.
If I had to wager on the results, I'd pick the quarterfinals in the top half of the draw to be Gauff vs. Krejcikova and Sakkari vs. Swiatek. (So Kenin losing to Sakkari and Stephens losing to Krejcikova.) And Jabeur vs. Gauff is probably a toss-up as well. But the scenario you've outlined is certainly possible!

Serena vs. Azarenka would be one hell of a quarterfinal in the bottom half as well, if they can beat Rybaknia and Pavlyuchenkova (respectively).
 

Preacher

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Sports on apps slay me. All I want to do during this changeover is flip on hockey but nope...
But it’s gotta be so hard on these guys, at midnight, to play with zero energy from the crowd.
Yes. Like there isn’t one NBC affiliated cable channel that could be carrying this live?
 
Fun fact: Simon Reed, who is doing play-by-play on the Federer match right now for Eurosport - and is their lead tennis commentator - is the brother of the actor Oliver Reed. (I missed the first two-and-a-half sets of Federer-Koepfer because I was watching Gladiator with my son, with Oliver of course playing Proximo in what was his last role.) Simon also picks the commentators at Eurosport and hired me to call the ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics for Eurosport, and also recruited me to do the world feed baseball and softball commentary at the 2018 Asian Games, which basically got me the baseball/softball gig in Tokyo this summer. (I email him every month or two just to keep in touch and see if he's got any other work I can do for him - he never does, but he's unfailingly nice about it.)
 
Federer wins to a smattering of applause at nearly 1am local time.
The applause was solely from his coach and other entourage. (And maybe from Koepfer's entourage as well, if they were feeling generous.) I really wish the tournament would scrap the night sessions while there's a curfew on; it seems ridiculous to have most matches in front of fans and a few not in front of fans.
 

Preacher

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The applause was solely from his coach and other entourage. (And maybe from Koepfer's entourage as well, if they were feeling generous.) I really wish the tournament would scrap the night sessions while there's a curfew on; it seems ridiculous to have most matches in front of fans and a few not in front of fans.
I realize that. It was really a fantastic match and it’s too bad there was no crowd and only available via streaming (Peacock) here in the US. Just seemed so anticlimactic but at least RF advances.
 
Not every press conference question is like that, of course. From listening to some people talk about the Osaka situation last week, you'd think that they were - but e.g. I've been listening to the daily episodes of The Tennis Podcast, and there are always great nuggets they share from the press conferences that are genuinely interesting, enlightening or funny.

Meanwhile, Pavlyuchenkova just defeated Azarenka to reach the quarterfinals. Which in theory is good news for Serena, although Pavlyuchenkova has been in pretty good form on the dirt this year.
 

jon abbey

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Meanwhile, Pavlyuchenkova just defeated Azarenka to reach the quarterfinals. Which in theory is good news for Serena, although Pavlyuchenkova has been in pretty good form on the dirt this year.
So Serena has to beat Rybakina (21) today, Pavlyuchenkova (31) in the quarters, and the winner of Zidansek/Badosa (33) to make the final.
 

jon abbey

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Medvedev looks amazing at the end of this one, he and Tsitsipas should not be playing in the quarters (2 vs 5) but it looks like a good one.
 

jon abbey

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Rybakina wins. Both sets she was up a break, Serena got it back, and Rybakina won two games in a row to close it, 6-3, 7-5.
 

jon abbey

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Damn, Swiatek played a three hour plus doubles match on her off day, taking out the #1 seeds.
 

jon abbey

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Just noticed a replay of the last Federer match is on the Tennis Channel now, already in the third set tiebreak though.
 
By the by, I really struggle to get over how sterile the courts at Roland Garros seem. As far as I can remember, when I was growing up the aisles and section dividers (etc.) and all of the advertizing hoardings were a medium shade of green; now, some of the hoardings are dark green, but everything else is either pale grey or tan. Even if the stadiums were packed, I still don't think I'd like the look, but with them as empty as they've had to be this fortnight because of the COVID-related restrictions, they look terrible.