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  1. #1
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    2020 Australian Open Thread

    Didn't see any discussion of the Aussie Open, so I figured I'd start one.

    So far, all of the big names on the men's side have moved on fairly easily through the first two rounds. Federer and Nadal haven't dropped a set. Djokovic dropped a set in his opener but won fairly convincingly otherwise. Federer has a clean looking draw up through to the semis: the only seed left in front of him before the semis is Pella (12). Nadal's path is much trickier: Carreno-Busta in the 3rd, then a potential matchup with the mercurial Kyrgios if he survives. Then a quarterfinal with most likely either Thiem or Monfils if he survives to that point. Tough draw for the top seed. Djokovic has Nishioka next, but then potentially Schwartzman and then perhaps Cilic or Tsitsipas in the quarters. Should be an interesting next week of matches as we see if Nadal can reach the career double-slam and tie Federer, or if Fed can extend his lead, or if Djokovic can win his 8th Aussie title and close the gap between himself and Federer to 3.

    On the women's side, the Osaka/Gauff matchup is getting a lot of pub. All the big names are still alive, so not too much interesting has happened so far. A potential Wozniacki/Williams matchup looms in the next round, which would be a fitting way to end Wozniacki's grand slam singles career as the two are good friends.

  2. #2
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    Serena is in big trouble down under. Down a set and a break. See if she can pull this out.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtis325 View Post
    Serena is in big trouble down under. Down a set and a break. See if she can pull this out.
    Wow. What a great match. Serena fought back and broke Wang at 4-5, won the tiebreaker, and held serve in the third until losing it in game 12. I think Serena ran out of gas. Wang was fresher at the end.

  4. #4
    Coco!

    And big credit to Wang - when Serena won the 2nd I thought she was in big trouble. Big credit to her for keeping her composure after losing the 2nd late, and playing a great 3rd set.

    Fed going to a final set tiebreak against Millman...

    ETA - Wow, down a mini-break most of the tiebreak, Fed comes back late to take it. Father Time kept, barely, at bay for at least one more round.
    Last edited by Blue in the Face; 01-24-2020 at 08:50 AM.
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  5. #5
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    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    Coco!

    And big credit to Wang - when Serena won the 2nd I thought she was in big trouble. Big credit to her for keeping her composure after losing the 2nd late, and playing a great 3rd set.

    Fed going to a final set tiebreak against Millman...

    ETA - Wow, down a mini-break most of the tiebreak, Fed comes back late to take it. Father Time kept, barely, at bay for at least one more round.
    Millman played great, and had Federer as on the ropes as he could have him, but then couldn’t win another point after getting an 8-4 tiebreak lead. He looked absolutely gutted walking back to the locker room. Really fun match to watch.
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  6. #6
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    Feb 2007
    Didn't like how Serena never seemingly shifted strategies. Wang was having a fantastic counterpunching match (and in general may be a very good counterpuncher), redirecting Serena's power back at her on a slow court. Instead of swinging even harder (which will either cause errors [43 winners, 56 unforced errors for Serena] or get redirected back), Serena should've slowed it down and played some junkball tennis and forced Wang to generate her own power. As is, Wang never got out of her comfort zone except when she got nervy serving for the match in the 2nd set (something that seemingly happens to 95% of pros in that upset situation).

    I think we've reached the tipping point where the odds are now against Serena (38 years old) ever winning that 24th slam (and first slam after pregnancy). Still wouldn't be surprised if she did it, but it's now < 50/50.

  7. #7
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtis325 View Post
    Wow. What a great match. Serena fought back and broke Wang at 4-5, won the tiebreaker, and held serve in the third until losing it in game 12. I think Serena ran out of gas. Wang was fresher at the end.
    Not surprising if Serena did run out of gas. She is 38. An while I know it's not politically correct to comment on the weight of female athletes, and while she may be in pretty good shape, she certainly looks to be carrying 15 or 20 extra lbs. Check out the pictures from when she was younger and you'll notice a clear difference, and it's not just age. Her older sister Venus has not gone through the same body changes.

    Howard

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardlander View Post
    Not surprising if Serena did run out of gas. She is 38. An while I know it's not politically correct to comment on the weight of female athletes, and while she may be in pretty good shape, she certainly looks to be carrying 15 or 20 extra lbs. Check out the pictures from when she was younger and you'll notice a clear difference, and it's not just age. Her older sister Venus has not gone through the same body changes.

    ...

    I remember when Venus and Serena were similar in appearance, such that I couldn't tell them apart from a distance. The past 10 years (or more?) it has been easy to tell them apart.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2014
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    Colfax, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Didn't like how Serena never seemingly shifted strategies. Wang was having a fantastic counterpunching match (and in general may be a very good counterpuncher), redirecting Serena's power back at her on a slow court. Instead of swinging even harder (which will either cause errors [43 winners, 56 unforced errors for Serena] or get redirected back), Serena should've slowed it down and played some junkball tennis and forced Wang to generate her own power. As is, Wang never got out of her comfort zone except when she got nervy serving for the match in the 2nd set (something that seemingly happens to 95% of pros in that upset situation).

    I think we've reached the tipping point where the odds are now against Serena (38 years old) ever winning that 24th slam (and first slam after pregnancy). Still wouldn't be surprised if she did it, but it's now < 50/50.

    Totally agree with this. And since you are the leading degenerate around here, surely not going to go against your calculation of the odds. I believe she's lost in 4 straight finals - '18 & '19 Wimbledon and US Open. Got to be getting much, much harder each passing 6 months.

    Also, VERY psyched Fed won. Love to see him win one more, though admit odds are certainly against it.

  10. #10
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Wave Dukie View Post

    Also, VERY psyched Fed won. Love to see him win one more, though admit odds are certainly against it.
    My money would not be on Fed. I thought Tsitsipas had a chance to beat Djokovic, but otherwise Novak would cruise. I don't have much face in Raonic or Federer or Nadal beating Djokovic in Australia, but I guess we will see. Perhap Medvedev? Dark horse: Kygrios

  11. #11
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    Federer and Djokovic through to the quarters. Each is heavily favored to face the other in the semis.

    Nadal looks to have his hands full with Kyrgios in the 4th. If he passes that test, it would be Thiem or Monfils in the quarters.

  12. #12
    Federer will be facing American Tennys Sandgren. He's from TN and played NCAA tennis as a Volunteer. First his name is Tennys which is pretty cool (apparently after a Swedish great grandfather) but secondly this is a guy who has been grinding it out on the challenger circuit for years. Those guys get paid peanuts particularly given they have to pay for their own travel and coaching unlike in other sports. I know someone who took that route trying to make it in professional tennis and he gave up after about a year and a half. Awesome to see Tennys breakthrough again and make another Grand Slam QF (he was at the Aussie QF in 2018 as well; he's been slowly moving up the ranks since 2017, but has been a pro since 2011).

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Federer and Djokovic through to the quarters. Each is heavily favored to face the other in the semis.

    Nadal looks to have his hands full with Kyrgios in the 4th. If he passes that test, it would be Thiem or Monfils in the quarters.
    Hard to imagine Kyrgios will have enough left after the Khachanov match. I would have given him a shot, but now? Doubtful.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    Federer will be facing American Tennys Sandgren. He's from TN and played NCAA tennis as a Volunteer. First his name is Tennys which is pretty cool (apparently after a Swedish great grandfather) but secondly this is a guy who has been grinding it out on the challenger circuit for years. Those guys get paid peanuts particularly given they have to pay for their own travel and coaching unlike in other sports. I know someone who took that route trying to make it in professional tennis and he gave up after about a year and a half. Awesome to see Tennys breakthrough again and make another Grand Slam QF (he was at the Aussie QF in 2018 as well; he's been slowly moving up the ranks since 2017, but has been a pro since 2011).
    On one hand, Sandgren plays an entertaining style and has a great story. On the other, he has made questionable social media decisions and other weird comments that make it hard to root for him.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    Hard to imagine Kyrgios will have enough left after the Khachanov match. I would have given him a shot, but now? Doubtful.
    Unfortunately, have to agree. Turned on the TV yesterday morning and I think it was 4-3 in the Super in the 5th. Good quality tennis. Nick is a real interesting personality and incredible shot-maker, that's for sure. As a Fed fan, I'll be rooting for him to take out Nadal (but if I were really that inclined, I'd be rooting for DJoker to lose in the quarters).

    Also turned it on this morning and Fed was just starting the 4th set. Thought that was quality tennis. Looked like he rolled after losing the first set. Just absolutely incredible he and Nadal (few years younger) are at the top of the pecking order at this time in their careers.

  16. #16
    Good job naming by the parents of Fed's qf opponent Sandgren. (Yes, it's his great-grandfather's name, but I don't want to rob them of the credit they so clearly deserve).
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  17. #17
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    Feb 2007
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    Kyrgios gave Nadal all he could handle, but came up short in tiebreakers in the 3rd and 4th sets. Nadal now gets Thiem in the quarters, by far the toughest quarterfinal matchup of the draw. Whomever wins will face either Zverev or a resurgent Wawrinka in the semis. Would be exciting to see a Nadal/Wawrinka rematch of the 2014 Aussie final.

    Thiem has been considered the heir to Nadal. As of yet, he hasn't quite ascended the ladder. Could this be the year he gets it done and knocks off Nadal for the first time in a major?

    The stars seem to be aligning for a Djokovic/Federer semi. Hopefully that will be another classic.

  18. #18
    Thiem was close 2 years ago in New York. I think it's POSSIBLE he gets over the hump this time, but you'd still have to bet on Nadal.

    On the other side, it's really hard for me to imagine anyone beating Djoker. He's just a machine, especially in Australia. Fed will beat Sandgren, but unless conditions are really favorable, I can't see him winning more than a set on Djok.

    Stan is the dark horse for me in all this. I watched a little of that match last night, and was surprised at his level right now. But, looking like he'd have to go Medvedev, Zverev, Nadal, then Novak. That is obviously far-fetched.

  19. #19
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    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by robed deity View Post
    Thiem was close 2 years ago in New York. I think it's POSSIBLE he gets over the hump this time, but you'd still have to bet on Nadal.

    On the other side, it's really hard for me to imagine anyone beating Djoker. He's just a machine, especially in Australia. Fed will beat Sandgren, but unless conditions are really favorable, I can't see him winning more than a set on Djok.

    Stan is the dark horse for me in all this. I watched a little of that match last night, and was surprised at his level right now. But, looking like he'd have to go Medvedev, Zverev, Nadal, then Novak. That is obviously far-fetched.
    I'm going to do the opposite because +250 on Thiem (the current price) is too juicy, especially since I think Thiem will win. Nadal hasn't looked good, imo. Watched a lot of the Kyrgios match, and it really was just Kyrgios out-gagging Nadal at times. Both played a very nervy match.

    Totally agree with you on Novak looking like a machine so far. He's going to play all night-time matches from here on out, so the cool weather plus the slow court will make his defense almost impenetrable. Big favorite to win to win his 8th Aussie.

  20. #20
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    Feb 2007
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    Djokovic cruises, and Federer survives a 5-setter. On to yet another top-3 matchup in the semis.

    The more interesting of the quarters come tonight with Nadal-Thiem and Zverev-Wawrinka.

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