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Miner Willy
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3 hours ago, Miner Willy said:

Fritz, haha. GREAT call that. 

 

ouch. A lot of people made a similar call though, including getting 'hero' treatment from at least one of the sponsors which now feels like a fair bit of work not exactly down the toilet but not maximised either :)

 

 

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Hilarious how much better Petchey’s interview with Murray after that match was than:

- the staged centre of the court thing

- anything on the bbc

there was actual analysis. And jokes.

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Amazon's tennis coverage is consistently brilliant. The terribleness of football punditry is hardly new but it's just embarrassing in comparison, having watched so much tennis in recent years. I'm more than happy to take a foreign commentary stream when I'm watching football, just so it's white noise in the background. Surely it's harder - or should be harder at least - to do interesting tennis commentary than football?

 

I certainly wasn't expecting Serena to come through that match last night. I was only able to watch some of the first set, and she was looking decent enough, but I still assumed that Kontaveit would be much too strong.

 

The Giorgi - Keys match was quite something earlier in the evening too. Both absolutely blasting groundstrokes at each other, Keys basically playing every service game from 0-40 down and hitting it even harder when she was. I have no idea how Giorgi generates the power she does - she seems so small and delicate and then she's just obliterating the ball. All a little bit error-prone, naturally, but very entertaining.

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I saw some of Giorgi - Keys too. I do tend to enjoy a bit more subtlety in my tennis, but that was undeniably fun: two players just committing to hitting the ball as hard as they possibly can with every single shot. 

 

And yeah, can't fault Amazon's tennis coverage. They've done a lot for the game, especially in terms of the level of coverage of the wider tour outside of the slams.

 

Mark Petchey name drop; I did court covering at Wimbledon a couple of years as a student, and one time while Mark Petchey was playing on my court, a member of the public saw me courtside and obviously saw a resemblance and asked me if I was his brother. Given that Petchey has never been the most obviously attractive of men, I didn't take it as a compliment. 

 

Serena looks to have a fairly open draw now, though perhaps that's not a good thing for her chances - wonder if the big occasions might suit her better. But great to see her making an impact here. 

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Kygrios looking unstoppable at the moment. Blew Medvedev away despite basically throwing the second set. As always, his quality is pretty much in inverse proportion to his antics, and there were very few antics last night by his standards. Odds are still very high of self-sabotage, of course, but it does feel like he's doing better and better at allowing his exceptional talent to take centre stage, rather than the theatrics.

 

If anyone was still in any doubt about the source of his behaviour though - i.e. he's an unsupervised 6'4" toddler running around a tennis court - then this utterly ridiculous point should make it abundantly clear:

 

 

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If you discount Djokovic, who obviously won Wimbledon but hasn't been allowed to play since, you have to say Kyrgios has been the best player in the world since the start of the grass season. Yes he might well do something stupid at some point, but these days you can't guarantee it. It's a hell of a transformation.

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With both Nadal and Cilic going out overnight, I think there will be a new slam winner this time. I saw the Nadal/Tiafoe match, but not the later one. Nadal looked half a step off all night - was surprised when they said it was his wrist that got treated, as it looked more like a body/movement thing. Still, pleased for Tiafoe who played great and showed plenty of guts when closing it out.

 

Alcaraz vs. Sinner will be v interesting as I think Sinner is as likely to be the future no.1 as Alcaraz is - and he has rather looked to have Alcaraz's number at times in the past. I think that one's a toss-up, with the winner perhaps favourite alongside Kyrgios (which in itself is a bloody bizarre thing to type).

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41 minutes ago, Miner Willy said:

With both Nadal and Cilic going out overnight, I think there will be a new slam winner this time.

 

I can't tell if "I think" in this case is the "I'm not sure, let me check the facts" type, or the "I'm gonna make a bold prediction" type...

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Wow, Alcaraz Vs Tiafoe was great - incredible rallies and standard of tennis. As good as Alcaraz Vs Sinner, I think. Played in a lovely spirit too - both guys laughing at some of the ridiculous tennis they were producing at times.

 

I just hope Alcaraz isn't tired for Sunday after 15 sets in the last 3 rounds. I don't think Ruud is as exciting (or good) a player as either Alcaraz or Sinner, but it will be a huge challenge in the circumstances. 

 

Great to see Tiafoe at this level too - he's really come on this tournament.

 

In other news: really excited by Swiatek Vs Jabeur - Serena farewell aside, I think it's probably the most interesting final we could have got.

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Fair play to Ruud though - two grand slam finals in one year. Maybe he'll even turn up to this one! But yeah, Alcatraz is the most exciting talent in quite some time, combined with the kind of refusal to lose that has rarely been seen outside the top 3. There was so much opportunity for his head to go down, in both of these epic matches, in the kind of way seen so often with the 'next gen', but not a hint of it.

 

Really looking forward to the women's tonight as well. I think they're both fantastic, both on the court and off, and, while Jabeur would be the more historical, I'll be delighted for whomever wins.

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Yeah, can't fault Ruud at all. I don't think he's in the same class as the some of the others, but he's an excellent player with a great attitude. I just think him winning would be a bit of an anticlimax as he's never a long term #1, and the scene is perfectly set for Alcaraz to do something really incredible. 

 

I do think Sinner should be viewed in almost the same category as Alcaraz: he may be less flashy, but at this stage I think he's got similar potential. He could so easily have won that match.

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Was surprised by the Guardian's subheading 

 

Quote

The 19-year-old Spaniard would be youngest ever men’s world No 1 if he can beat another emerging star in Norway’s Ruud

 

Is it just me surprised by that?..granted I don't follow tennis much..

 

I'm not sure who I'd have said was the youngest men's no.1 ever, Boris Becker or Bjorn Borg probably?

 

*googles*

 

'Lleyton Hewitt is both the youngest world No. 1 (20 years, 8 months) and youngest year-end No. 1.' That's even more surprising. If you'd asked me if Hewitt got to no.1 I wouldn't be that sure. 

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I suppose that, as with Raducanu, there will be an argument that the draw unfolded in a favourable way for Alcaraz: no Djokovic, Medvedev and Nadal eliminated, no top 10 opponent from the 4th round to the SF.

 

I don't have any time for that, personally. This tournament confirmed what everyone already felt: Alcaraz is an absolute phenomenon, a clone of Nadal in terms of physicality and determination but very much with his own style. Youngest no. 1 in history and the first teenage Grand Slam winner since... who else but Nadal. His level was so high that I wouldn't really have bet on any of the three that I mentioned above over him anyway. And he achieved this without compromising on his exciting, attacking game at any point.

 

I wouldn't say I've been a fan of many of the younger generation of players, with the exceptions of perhaps Thiem or, more recently, Sinner and Kyrgios (with some caveats!) Most of the rest are just too inconsistent or dull to really get behind. I've been fully on board Team Alcaraz for a while though and even got to see him at Wimbledon this year (even if it wasn't his best day again Sinner). Looking forward to seeing what he does next year, especially in the clay season.

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You can see elements of all of the big three, but I think Alcaraz is much closer to Federer than Nadal in playing style, with his variety, ambition to get to the net, touch, serve volley and sheer number of ways he wins points. The main concern with him is that, like Federer at a young age, he sometimes almost seems to have too many options. He seemed to do better yesterday when he narrowed down the scope of his gameplan.

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I've loved watching Alcaraz, he's amazing. The only thing I worry about is that he'll end up too good and the Slams will become a procession for him in coming years. I didn't enjoy the Sampras or Federer dominant years that much (once it became the Big 4 it was amazing, though!), so I hope that other young players can challenge him.

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It's really sad to see Federer retire, but it was inevitable that the golden age of tennis would one day start to properly pass into legend. What a career Roger had! I can only hope that the likes of Alcaraz, Sinner, Draper, Tiafoe and Ruud will give us similar epic matches to the Big Four in future, and produce the same kind of intense but respectful rivalries. It's hard to imagine a better time for tennis than the period from the late 2000s to the late 2010s, though.

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Yeah, that was quite something. Not a dry eye in the house at the end. My girlfriend - big Rafa fan - was blubbing. It was the shot of Rafa balling his eyes out that got me - says such a lot about both of them. 

 

Not sure what Ellie Goulding was adding to the proceedings, mind.

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