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Hubertus Bigend

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23 minutes ago, hellsbells said:

Yep he was dubbed the King of Clay before Rafa wasn’t he? Surprisingly only 1 French Open though. 

 

I loved Muster's inside-out forehand. It almost spun outwards the wrong way - I'd never seen anything like it.

 

22 minutes ago, hellsbells said:

No mention of Konta here? She’s looking good so far. Such an unpredictable player. Always fancy her to throw in a dodgy performance but had a great clay court season so far so you never know. Nice semi-final draw too. 

 

I watched her 3rd or 4th round match - the one where she was teetering on the brink of completely losing control from 5-0 up in the 3rd. She clearly should make the final from here, but you wonder if she'd be better off with lower expectations. I was stunned at the last round - I like Stephens and thought she might win this.

 

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2 hours ago, hellsbells said:

Yep he was dubbed the King of Clay before Rafa wasn’t he? Surprisingly only 1 French Open though. 

 

He was, yes.  As you say, surprisingly only one French Open, but according to wikipedia, an astonishing clay record overall.  Good enough to get him to the number one ranking briefly, which is all the more impressive considering Sampras was at his peak in those days, as was Agassi. 

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9 minutes ago, Shoes said:

Is this the mountain top court from Smash Tennis in disguise?

 

Great shout! (John was obviously the best)

 

Edit, John was Super Tennis. Oops.

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Fed is in this. The odds are stacked against him, and he'll almost certanly lose, but if he maintains this approach and serves well, he's actually in it. The worry is that he's a break down and Nadal doesn't even look that scary yet.

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Conditions are nullifying a lot of what makes clay Rafa's hunting ground so Roger has a chance here though it's not making his game any easier either, interesting match. Reminds me of the conditions when Soderling beat Rafa. Looking at the forecast the gusts are going to get really strong in a couple of hours so the Djokovic/Thiem match is going to be interesting too, I expect a lot of shanks.

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9 minutes ago, Miner Willy said:

Nah, wind is great for Rafa. He's the best wind player in the game. He'd prefer it hotter and courts baked, of course.

 

Yeah the wind is not so much the issue for him it's the fact the court is not lively, his massive topspin helps keep it in but it's not bouncing high and fast through the court, if it was hot and sunny this wouldn't be so close as the ball would be up at Rogers shoulders on the backhand side.

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13 minutes ago, Minion said:

 

Yeah the wind is not so much the issue for him it's the fact the court is not lively, his massive topspin helps keep it in but it's not bouncing high and fast through the court, if it was hot and sunny this wouldn't be so close as the ball would be up at Rogers shoulders on the backhand side.

 

Federer would be hitting it earlier though, so lower, as he has done the last four times they played. I think overall these are pro-Rafa conditions. Overall it's much closer than I feared - so far, anyway. I'd expect Fed will fade and Rafa will loosen up more.

 

Nadal's cross-court backhand is winning it so far - such a dangerous shot these days.

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Just now, Miner Willy said:

That was amazing. Federer played brilliantly, but Nadal was better. Not sure Fed can do any more than he is - Nadal is just too good.

 

Yeah he really raised his level in that last game, could have been the fatal blow.

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Delighted to see Thiem come through that - partly because of my one-handed backhand bias, but also because I really feel like the tour needs these younger challengers to show they can do it. Thiem has beaten Djokovic here before, and has been the second-best clay courter for at least two years, but still: this was Djokovic going for 4 in a row, and many people felt he was the favourite here, so it's a really big win.

 

I love Thiem's game on clay. I genuinely think he has the game to beat Nadal here, and might have fancied him to do it this year had the scheduling not gone against him so badly. He's an incredibly fit guy, but playing three days in a row against a fresh Nadal, over five sets at Roland Garros? That feels like too much to ask of anyone. Still, if he comes out blazing then the Barcelona match might start to enter Nadal's mind, which could make things interesting. I just hope Thiem has enough left to give it his all - if so it could be incredible. 

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Had a match myself today, so only just got back in and watched the highlights. Those final two sets were pretty scary from Nadal - I'm not sure what you're supposed to do against that. Thiem is a genuinely great clay court player - a worthy slam winner in any other era - yet we're at the point where him getting a set against Nadal looks like an achievement.

 

18 slams now. 20 isn't a foregone conclusion by any means, but it's starting to feel like Federer may need a Wimbledon win to keep him at bay. My money says they might both end on 20 - which would probably be fitting, all things considered. 

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Rafa will believe he can get to 21 just by staying healthy and winning the French over and over, right? I see his win loss record at Roland Garros is 93-2 after this year's tournament. He's only just turned 33, it's highly likely he's got 3-5 years left, right? 

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1 hour ago, Naysonymous said:

Rafa will believe he can get to 21 just by staying healthy and winning the French over and over, right? I see his win loss record at Roland Garros is 93-2 after this year's tournament. He's only just turned 33, it's highly likely he's got 3-5 years left, right? 

 

If he plays the European clay season as a serious warm up each year and takes as much time out as he requires to mend and rest his body for the rest of the year, probably so.  I suppose there is the question of ranking to consider, to do enough not to have to face a real challenge in the early rounds, but he'll never be denied entry to events of his choosing.  

 

Interestingly Jamie Murray is of the same cohort and was ranked only just below him at one point at junior level.

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I think it's tempting to think it's easier to win the French Open than it actually is, even for Rafa, because of how amazing he has been. But I personally don't think the word "just" belongs alongside "33" where he is concerned, given that his game is so based on physicality. He's going to get less strong - objectively, but also in comparison with the emerging players, who are taking power hitting up a level again - and more affected by injuries. Plus he's never been able to turn his form on and off in the same way Federer has - he needs to build momentum over a series of events.

 

Even ignoring the emerging talents, I just think the numbers required are unfathomable. We're talking about him winning 14 grand slams at one event. That's just preposterous (though admittedly, so is 12). I could certainly see him getting another French or maybe even two, but I think he would need to pick up another win elsewhere to go past Federer, and I just don't think that's going to happen.

 

In a way I hope he does get to 20. I think it would be fitting for him and Federer to end up shoulder to shoulder when all is said and done. Equally amazing players in completely different ways.

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Federer played at Halle at least, though it wasn't a particularly good match.

 

Amazon's coverage is growing on me. Being able to choose from multiple courts at two separate ATP 500 level tournaments is a pretty impressive level of coverage really. 

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I must admit I had a bit of a lump in my throat watching the highlights of Andy Murray's doubles comeback match today.  Great to see him playing again, moving well, and winning.  There were some classic Murray shots in there too.

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On 18/06/2019 at 22:52, Miner Willy said:

Federer played at Halle at least, though it wasn't a particularly good match.

 

Amazon's coverage is growing on me. Being able to choose from multiple courts at two separate ATP 500 level tournaments is a pretty impressive level of coverage really. 

 

Does any of it have audio? The doubles yesterday didn't - which was a shame because I wanted to skip the BBC commentators, but like the crowd noise.

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28 minutes ago, footle said:

 

Does any of it have audio? The doubles yesterday didn't - which was a shame because I wanted to skip the BBC commentators, but like the crowd noise.

 

The commentary seems to come and go - even within matches. The other day I was watching a match which had commentary for half and then it went missing for the rest. I assumed they just have limited commentators and prioritise wherever they see most demand.

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