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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Yeah, but they don't produce a lot of tennis players...

    But seriously, a funny iPhone autocorrect for Monfils. Coincidentally, I had caught the autocorrect of Medvedev (Mercedes), but missed that one!

    Schwartzman has given Nadal trouble in the past, but it's looking a lot like a Nadal/Medvedev final.
    Yeah, I think the 2 days off will help Medvedev a lot. Otherwise, I'd give Dmitrov a shot. Then I'd have to give Nadal the edge in the final, especially after he destroyed Med recently. But, I'm slowly learning not to count Daniil out of any match...

  2. #22
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    Nadal handles Schwartzman fairly comfortably. Now he'll face a very different type of player in Berrettini. Whereas Schwartzman is a tiny, claycourt style player (baseline, small serve, strong defense, not a lot of firepower), Berrettini is sort of the opposite: big serve, huge forehand a la Del Potro. Should be an interesting contrast in styles.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Nadal handles Schwartzman fairly comfortably. Now he'll face a very different type of player in Berrettini. Whereas Schwartzman is a tiny, claycourt style player (baseline, small serve, strong defense, not a lot of firepower), Berrettini is sort of the opposite: big serve, huge forehand a la Del Potro. Should be an interesting contrast in styles.
    I have to wonder how much Berretini has left in the tank after that epic five-setter over Monfils.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I have to wonder how much Berretini has left in the tank after that epic five-setter over Monfils.
    Yeah that was crazy. At least Berrettini is just 23, so hopefully for him he rebounds quickly as a youngster. But he was definitely pushed harder than Nadal was.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Baby Fed finally beats actual Fed. Shocking upset. Federer looked... well, he actually looked his age, suffering back and neck issues. The top half is wide open for Medvedev, while Nadal has Schwartzman and (if he wins) Mongolia or Berrettini.
    Really bummed me out given my strong desire to see Federer vs. Nadal in the finals. I'm now paying about as much attention as I do after Duke exits March Madness.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Yeah that was crazy. At least Berrettini is just 23, so hopefully for him he rebounds quickly as a youngster. But he was definitely pushed harder than Nadal was.
    This is gonna be a total annihilation, and I would have thought that if Berrettini was fresh. He'll get a few free points off his big serve, but I just don't see him winning many of the rallies. Unless Nadal is really off, I see this as more straightforward than even the Diego match.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    This is gonna be a total annihilation, and I would have thought that if Berrettini was fresh. He'll get a few free points off his big serve, but I just don't see him winning many of the rallies. Unless Nadal is really off, I see this as more straightforward than even the Diego match.
    I thought Schwartzman played really well. I had seen him play before, but was more impressed this time. His movement was just incredible, as were some of the angles he got, particularly on his backhand. Still, Nadal made it much more difficult than it really had to be. I thought at the time that the pressure of having both Djokovic and Federer out was getting to him, but he did apparently have some stomach issues. I hope he will play more consistently against Berrettini.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardlander View Post
    I thought Schwartzman played really well. I had seen him play before, but was more impressed this time. His movement was just incredible, as were some of the angles he got, particularly on his backhand. Still, Nadal made it much more difficult than it really had to be. I thought at the time that the pressure of having both Djokovic and Federer out was getting to him, but he did apparently have some stomach issues. I hope he will play more consistently against Berrettini.
    Would someone explain to me how Nadal is successful at hard-court tennis without (seemingly) ever charging the net? Or, has the game totally changed in the past ten years, and I just didn't notice?
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Would someone explain to me how Nadal is successful at hard-court tennis without (seemingly) ever charging the net? Or, has the game totally changed in the past ten years, and I just didn't notice?
    The court is much slower. That's the way it is these days-even Wimbledon is slower. A big can of worms, but it's one reason why Nadal and Djoker are almost unbeatable at their peak. I kind of miss the old days of shorter points and more variety, but people were saying the exact opposite in the 90s, so these things go in cycles.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    The court is much slower. That's the way it is these days-even Wimbledon is slower. A big can of worms, but it's one reason why Nadal and Djoker are almost unbeatable at their peak. I kind of miss the old days of shorter points and more variety, but people were saying the exact opposite in the 90s, so these things go in cycles.
    So, you are saying we are watching clay-court tennis, even though the surface (Wimbledon, at least) is green?
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    The court is much slower. That's the way it is these days-even Wimbledon is slower. A big can of worms, but it's one reason why Nadal and Djoker are almost unbeatable at their peak. I kind of miss the old days of shorter points and more variety, but people were saying the exact opposite in the 90s, so these things go in cycles.
    Racquet technology has also played a part, especially in making serve and volley play very difficult, at least in singles. Time to the net and reaction time once there have both been diminished by how hard/fast the ball comes off the typical racquet these days.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Would someone explain to me how Nadal is successful at hard-court tennis without (seemingly) ever charging the net? Or, has the game totally changed in the past ten years, and I just didn't notice?
    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    The court is much slower. That's the way it is these days-even Wimbledon is slower. A big can of worms, but it's one reason why Nadal and Djoker are almost unbeatable at their peak. I kind of miss the old days of shorter points and more variety, but people were saying the exact opposite in the 90s, so these things go in cycles.
    Quote Originally Posted by luvdahops View Post
    Racquet technology has also played a part, especially in making serve and volley play very difficult, at least in singles. Time to the net and reaction time once there have both been diminished by how hard/fast the ball comes off the typical racquet these days.
    It's also worth noting that hardcourts have always been the middle ground in tennis. Grass courts were the domain of the serve and volley players because they were the fastest surfaces with the least bounce. Clay courts were the domain of the baseliners because they played the slowest and allowed the highest bounces. Hard courts were in between, which allowed the best contrast in styles. Both Connors (a baseliner) and McEnroe (a serve and volleyer) played well in Queens. Agassi and Sampras had similar contrasts. Now, Federer and Djokovic/Nadal provide that contrast.

    Worth noting that both Djokovic and Nadal are also fantastic net players. Both have worked VERY hard on their games to improve their all-court play, which is what has allowed them to excel even on grass. Yes, the racquet technology and changes in the surfaces to make them a bit closer to each other has helped. But you don't see guys like Isner excelling at the French and you don't see guys like Thiem excelling at Wimbledon.

    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    So, you are saying we are watching clay-court tennis, even though the surface (Wimbledon, at least) is green?
    I think this is an overstatement of it. Wimbledon is now slower than it used to be, but it's still faster and less bouncy than hardcourts and much moreso than clay courts. So on average, the serve and volleyers do better there than claycourters. The hardcourts are now more similar to each other, and still in between grass and clay. So there are still noticeable differences, but everything is a bit closer together. Grass courts are still where you'll see Isner and Raonic and guys like that do their best. Clay courts are still where we'll see guys like Thiem play their best.

    We'll still see serve and volley in this tournament. Federer, for example, was beaten in the quarters by Dimitrov, who plays the same style. Berrettini is even more serve and volley oriented than Federer. Medvedev isn't a serve and volley player, but he hits a very flat ball on his groundstrokes and is as such not a clay court style player. So there is still quite a bit of diversity to the game we're seeing at the US Open.

    The reasons that guys like Nadal and Djokovic excel is because they are elite at basically everything in the game except for the serve. They are unparalleled in court coverage and groundstrokes, and have both become fantastic net players as well. Djokovic now even has a decent serve, while Nadal is working to improve his as well. But those guys are able to beat you from the baseline or from the net. Same holds for Federer, and it is why we see them (when healthy) regularly going deep in all the tourneys.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    So, you are saying we are watching clay-court tennis, even though the surface (Wimbledon, at least) is green?
    Cdu gave a better and more nuanced answer than I could give, and as luv said, racquet technology has played a role. Even though I admire their freakish ability, I don't love matches like Nadal-Djokavic, where they have to hit like 5 winners to win a point and it becomes more about attrition than anything else.

  14. #34
    Very impressive finish by Andreescu last night. A third set was all but signed, sealed and delivered, and to snatch it back by reeling off 5 straight wins and not even need a tiebreak? Very strong. Doesn't get any easier from here, but it would be fitting for the Open to crown a breakout champion for the 2nd year in a row. And if not, still a great finish to a terrific year.
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    This is gonna be a total annihilation, and I would have thought that if Berrettini was fresh. He'll get a few free points off his big serve, but I just don't see him winning many of the rallies. Unless Nadal is really off, I see this as more straightforward than even the Diego match.
    I agree with this. Unless Nadal cramps up again in the humidity, he should breeze. Got a chance to watch Berrettini-Monfils with the volume off, so don't know if the commentators harped on this, but Monfils should've been going to Berrettini's backhand MUCH more often. That stroke is so weak compared to his devastating forehand, and one thing Rafa can do very well is to find the opponent's backhand. Berrettini wasn't the young gun I was hoping would show up here. Rafa isn't even playing all that well as he's making tons of forehand errors but the matchup is too good here. Aside from Cilic, Nadal's managed to avoid all the trickier possible opponents in his half of the draw.

    Speaking of young guns, I LOVE Daniil Medvedev and how he's embraced the wrestling heel role and battling with the NY crowd. The most "fun" possible final would be Medvedev-Nadal on Sunday. Since Rafa is additionally a fan favorite in NY, I could envision the crowd being boisterous and producing perhaps the biggest homecourt advantage we've ever seen in tennis outside of Davis Cup and similar international competitions.

  16. #36
    Love this:


  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I agree with this. Unless Nadal cramps up again in the humidity, he should breeze. Got a chance to watch Berrettini-Monfils with the volume off, so don't know if the commentators harped on this, but Monfils should've been going to Berrettini's backhand MUCH more often. That stroke is so weak compared to his devastating forehand, and one thing Rafa can do very well is to find the opponent's backhand. Berrettini wasn't the young gun I was hoping would show up here. Rafa isn't even playing all that well as he's making tons of forehand errors but the matchup is too good here. Aside from Cilic, Nadal's managed to avoid all the trickier possible opponents in his half of the draw.
    Yeah, the only way I see Nadal losing is if Berrettini's serve is just totally on fire and/or Nadal gets hurt. Which, honestly, is true for probably like 95% of his losses against guys not named Federer or Nadal (or Wawrinka on those days when he's "on"). Nadal is just too good to be beaten by mere mortals unless he is struggling physically or the opponent is absolutely blistering his serve that day. There just aren't many people who can compete with a healthy Nadal on groundstrokes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Speaking of young guns, I LOVE Daniil Medvedev and how he's embraced the wrestling heel role and battling with the NY crowd. The most "fun" possible final would be Medvedev-Nadal on Sunday. Since Rafa is additionally a fan favorite in NY, I could envision the crowd being boisterous and producing perhaps the biggest homecourt advantage we've ever seen in tennis outside of Davis Cup and similar international competitions.
    Yeah, Medvedev has really embraced being the jerk in this tournament. Would potentially make for a really fun final with Nadal. Though admittedly he should also be overmatched in that match. I don't know if his herky-jerky style and flat forehand are enough to throw Nadal off, and I don't know if his serve is big enough to give Nadal trouble. Though again, Nadal is a threat to break down physically at any time. And while Nadal's serve has been a better weapon than usual in this tournament, it can turn South at any time too.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Love this:

    Yeah, have loved this Medvedev-going-heel story as well. I saw him 2 years ago at the Winston 250 event. He lost to Edmund, but it was easy to see his huge talent.

    An aside about the Winston event- it doesn't attract any top 10 guys but it's a great place to see young guys "before they were stars." I was on a small side court watching that match and Rublev-Chung that same year. Last year, a similar court watching Berrettini. They tend to put the Americans on the stadium there, so you can catch some great up and comers while sitting super close on side courts.

    And did you have the sound off because of Fowler? I find him EXTREMELY hard to take doing tennis.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Speaking of young guns, I LOVE Daniil Medvedev and how he's embraced the wrestling heel role and battling with the NY crowd.
    Superb. On the one hand, I'm overjoyed Djouchekovic is out. On the other, one does miss hating on his petulant reactions to the crowd liking the other guy better than him. So I'm glad somebody else slots into the heel role.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
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  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    And did you have the sound off because of Fowler? I find him EXTREMELY hard to take doing tennis.
    Hah, nah I was just in a situation where I didn't want to disturb people around me.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Yeah, Medvedev has really embraced being the jerk in this tournament. Would potentially make for a really fun final with Nadal. Though admittedly he should also be overmatched in that match. I don't know if his herky-jerky style and flat forehand are enough to throw Nadal off, and I don't know if his serve is big enough to give Nadal trouble. Though again, Nadal is a threat to break down physically at any time. And while Nadal's serve has been a better weapon than usual in this tournament, it can turn South at any time too.
    Daniil's flat ball vs Rafa's topspin would definitely be an interesting matchup. Another reason to root for that final besides crowd interaction is the technical matchup / contrast would be entertaining.

    Unfortunately, I smell an upset happening. I have Dimitrov +4.5 games (the tennis equivalent of football's point spread). I think the courts are taking slice really well this year, and Dimitrov has one of the best backhand slices on tour, which he'll probably use extensively. The match will come down to whether Medvedev can consistently generate his own power to break through Dimitrov's excellent defense, doing it in very long rallies, despite Medvedev being banged up and having played a ton of matches over the past month. I'm betting no.

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