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Post by barrystar on Mon May 13, 2019 9:32 am

Here is the draw: https://www.atptour.com/en/scores/current/rome/416/draws

Last big tournament before RG in an intriguing and unusual clay court season - judged by the last 14 years at least.

QF's according to seeding:

Djoko (1) vs. del Potro (7) - and Medvedev and Stan are in del Boy's section and Shapovalov in Djoko's
Zverev (4) vs. Nishikori (6)

Tsitsipas (8) vs. Federer (3) - and Fognini is in Tsitsipas's section and Auger-Aliassime in Fed's
Thiem (5) vs. Nadal (2)

Nadal's last chance to get a confidence-building run before RG.  Thus far he's been stopped without even facing Djoko, but he'll have to get to the final to see how his game stacks up vs. Djoko at the moment.  I'd say that after a fairly clean sweep up to QF for Nadal, his side of the draw is the toughest to get out of to the F.  Also, I agree with those who have suggested that Nadal still has plenty of chances to play himself into confidence at RG itself, so this may be a bit of a phony war as far as Nadal's prospects are concerned, but it has been interesting to see Thiem and Tsitsipas elbowing their way past Zverev as pre-RG contenders this year.


Last edited by barrystar on Fri May 17, 2019 2:44 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Draw Knockouts)

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 13, 2019 10:52 am

barrystar wrote:
it has been interesting to see Thiem and Tsitsipas elbowing their way past Zverev as pre-RG contenders this year.
Talent wise, Tsitipas leads this pack for me. He's got everything and is only going to get better.

Zverev's Achiles heel is on the opposite side of his body - between his ears. Not as obvious as Kyrgios, but I reckon a permanent flaw, he is a false non-starter.

Thiem is muscling his way into improvement without conceding any ground and that can be dangerous over the years.

Nadal looked weaponless and clueless vs Tsitsipas, that is going to bug him more than anything, I think.
Has he finally hit the brick wall of his resources?

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue May 14, 2019 7:38 am

Tsitsi's backhand is still an issue. In the Madrid final, Djoko applied the same tactics what he does to Fed. Keep plugging him hard on the BH until return gets short enough to pull a FH winner. The last point of the match was done with the same scripted execution. Its clock-work enough not to notice it. This is where Stan/Thiem's BH is stronger and can stay on the rally with Double handers. 

I'm not putting much on the final loss though, a tough match vs nadal in Semis might be too much physically and mentally for him. Just that I didn't like his after match interview where he is all gaga about Djoko's BH and how its the greatest BH a human being has hit. I mean come-on, you are not here to admire his BH. You are here to beat them.

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Post by barrystar on Tue May 14, 2019 10:28 am

The tournament is moving very slowly into gear.  Perhaps Medvedev v. Kyrgios is the most interesting match.  They are close contemporaries, Kyrgios being a year older who started a year earlier on tour.  One time his sightings of Medvedev will have been via the rear view mirror, and he still has more tournament wins and substantially more money earned under his belt.  Their trajectories suggest that is not likely to last very long.

Is there any chance that Kyrgios seeing guys like that elbowing their way past will kick start him into a proper use of his talent....?

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue May 14, 2019 11:01 am

Stan-Goffin going on. Extremely lame match. Full or errors.

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Post by Tenez on Tue May 14, 2019 11:46 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tsitsi's backhand is still an issue. In the Madrid final, Djoko applied the same tactics what he does to Fed. Keep plugging him hard on the BH until return gets short enough to pull a FH winner.
This is a good point. In fact Tsi's BH was too loopy/spinny and Djoko has had years of exposure to it playing against Nadal.

This is where Stan/Thiem's BH is stronger and can stay on the rally with Double handers. 
Stan's yes...not sure Thiem would have done much better. In fact I am pretty sure that a rested Tsi will do better.

I'm not putting much on the final loss though, a tough match vs nadal in Semis might be too much physically and mentally for him.
Again I agree.

Just that I didn't like his after match interview where he is all gaga about Djoko's BH and how its the greatest BH a human being has hit. I mean come-on, you are not here to admire his BH. You are here to beat them.
I don't think it is that good but it is extremely solid thanks to his legs.

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Post by Jahu on Tue May 14, 2019 12:13 pm

Kyrgios 5:2 up.

Goff beats Stan in 3.

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Post by Tenez on Tue May 14, 2019 12:19 pm

barrystar wrote:Is there any chance that Kyrgios seeing guys like that elbowing their way past will kick start him into a proper use of his talent....?

I doubt it. Kygios has been impaired by injuries like many other youngsters and that has not helped him. Medv has had a shoulder/leg problem too recently.....but being Russian he is not going to rest enough.

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Post by barrystar on Tue May 14, 2019 2:06 pm

Kyrgios succeeds in 3 sets....

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Post by Jahu on Tue May 14, 2019 3:41 pm

Zverev goes home by this hard hitting italian Berrettini, goood!!!

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Post by summerblues on Wed May 15, 2019 1:28 am

Jahu wrote:Zverev goes home by this hard hitting italian Berrettini, goood!!!
Indeed. Very good.

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Post by summerblues on Wed May 15, 2019 1:34 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tsitsi's backhand is still an issue. In the Madrid final, Djoko applied the same tactics what he does to Fed. Keep plugging him hard on the BH until return gets short enough to pull a FH winner. The last point of the match was done with the same scripted execution. Its clock-work enough not to notice it. This is where Stan/Thiem's BH is stronger and can stay on the rally with Double handers.
Fully agree.  I was surprised how easily Nole was able to push Tsitsi into defensive on BH, given that Tsitsi held up reasonably well vs Rafa.  Rafa of old would have murdered Tsitsi's BH far worse than Nole did, but also credit to Nole, he was hitting some pretty deep balls to that BH.

Also agree on Stan/Thiem.  Their BHs are powerful enough that they can - just about - cope with DHs.  In fact, I felt that with a little smarter execution, Thiem could have won that match vs Djoko.  I thought he was trying to get too cute on a few critical points, where raw power would have done the trick.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Wed May 15, 2019 7:28 am

summerblues wrote:
Jahu wrote:Zverev goes home by this hard hitting italian Berrettini, goood!!!
Indeed.  Very good.
 The only thing I like about Zverev is that is a young player and has shown some mettle against the top guys. But looks like he is too fragile.

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Post by bogbrush on Wed May 15, 2019 8:39 am

summerblues wrote:
raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tsitsi's backhand is still an issue. In the Madrid final, Djoko applied the same tactics what he does to Fed. Keep plugging him hard on the BH until return gets short enough to pull a FH winner. The last point of the match was done with the same scripted execution. Its clock-work enough not to notice it. This is where Stan/Thiem's BH is stronger and can stay on the rally with Double handers.
Fully agree.  I was surprised how easily Nole was able to push Tsitsi into defensive on BH, given that Tsitsi held up reasonably well vs Rafa.  Rafa of old would have murdered Tsitsi's BH far worse than Nole did, but also credit to Nole, he was hitting some pretty deep balls to that BH.

Also agree on Stan/Thiem.  Their BHs are powerful enough that they can - just about - cope with DHs.  In fact, I felt that with a little smarter execution, Thiem could have won that match vs Djoko.  I thought he was trying to get too cute on a few critical points, where raw power would have done the trick.
Against Djokovic and Nadal raw power is always the answer, unless you're Federer.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Wed May 15, 2019 9:38 am

I wouldn't say raw power majorly works for Nadal/Djokovic. There are many guys who can hit the balls harder and posses as much power, perhaps way more. 

The key for them is control, discipline and stamina to stay long enough in a high-level rally, point after point.

This kind of game often wins in long matches ( BO5 SLams ).

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Post by Tenez on Wed May 15, 2019 10:42 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:...
The key for them is control and discipline and stamina to stay long enough in a high-level rally, point after point. This kind of game wins in the long matches ( BO5 SLams ).
wow...agree again and this what Tsi could do last week v Nadal...he could have easily lost in 3 had he not persisted in playing long gruesome rallies in the 3rd with controlled aggression. At the end it was Nadal who cracked.

Unfortunately, Tsi could not go on like that the following day and that is perfectly normal.

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Post by bogbrush on Wed May 15, 2019 11:29 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:I wouldn't say raw power majorly works for Nadal/Djokovic. There are many guys who can hit the balls harder and posses as much power, perhaps way more. 

The key for them is control, discipline and stamina to stay long enough in a high-level rally, point after point.

This kind of game often wins in long matches ( BO5 SLams ).
In the end though the only way they overcome them is power. Stan didn't finesse past Djokovic in the French, Nadal didn't lose to touch players at Wimbledon (though Dustin Brown's match was a combination.)

Sure, they need stamina and control but they don't give lesser players anything other than longer on Court. The W comes from knocking them off with power. That's why they will fear a motivated, fit Kyrgios.

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Post by Tenez on Wed May 15, 2019 2:13 pm

That's why it is not very smart to start all the big matches on Wednesday cause if it rains then...you will have top players having to play 5 matches in 4 days. With the FO nearing I doubt Djokovic will bother to fight for the title here. Nadal and Federer may want to take this opp to add a few points (less sure about Nadal either who will want to save energy too).

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Post by barrystar on Wed May 15, 2019 6:30 pm

Yup - I looked at the schedule and thought, 'what price for a Centrale ticket today', but forgot the weather.

I don't know whether the scheduling is down to players asking for more time after Madrid (most will have had plenty of time to get ready for a Tuesday start), or good old fashion greed aimed at TV money, which stuffs up no end of sporting competitions as we see.

If it was greed they have their just deserts.  There's no way Djoko or Tsitsipas will want to fight through this one.  Fed would be daft to attempt 5 matches on clay in 4 days, even though he's never won Rome; I doubt it would be a brill idea for Nadal either, but I'm sure he'd love a W on clay before RG.

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Post by Jahu on Wed May 15, 2019 9:52 pm

Kyrgios opens up:

About Djoko: ‘I just feel like he’s got a sick obsession with wanting to be liked.

‘He just wants to be Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This celebration thing is so cringeworthy.


https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/15/nick-kyrgios-tells-cringeworthy-novak-djokovic-will-never-surpass-roger-federer-9560173/

Podcast: http://nochallengesremaining.podbean.com

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Post by Tenez on Wed May 15, 2019 10:00 pm

barrystar wrote:Yup - I looked at the schedule and thought, 'what price for a Centrale ticket today', but forgot the weather.

I don't know whether the scheduling is down to players asking for more time after Madrid (most will have had plenty of time to get ready for a Tuesday start), or good old fashion greed aimed at TV money, which stuffs up no end of sporting competitions as we see.
I am sure a bit of both but I noticed over the years that Djoko and Fed would play early if given the opp whereas Nadal is often playing the last 5 days (weds start).

If it was greed they have their just deserts.  There's no way Djoko or Tsitsipas will want to fight through this one.  Fed would be daft to attempt 5 matches on clay in 4 days, even though he's never won Rome; I doubt it would be a brill idea for Nadal either, but I'm sure he'd love a W on clay before RG.
agree.

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Post by Tenez on Wed May 15, 2019 10:04 pm

Jahu wrote:Kyrgios opens up:

About Djoko: ‘I just feel like he’s got a sick obsession with wanting to be liked.

‘He just wants to be Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This celebration thing is so cringeworthy.


https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/15/nick-kyrgios-tells-cringeworthy-novak-djokovic-will-never-surpass-roger-federer-9560173/

Podcast: http://nochallengesremaining.podbean.com

If it is real....it's an amazing interview.

What he says is pretty right but should he say it? That's not very smart but we need guys like him when we won't have "a genius at work" anymore. It spices it up to make up for the lack of grace.

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Post by summerblues on Thu May 16, 2019 4:25 am

Jahu,

That is a funny Kyrgios interview. Do you know where it is from? When I am reading it it strikes me as something that could be done maybe on some late night comedy show interview with the understanding that it is not entirely serious.

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Post by summerblues on Thu May 16, 2019 4:29 am

Schedule worked out really poorly. Not only would Fed, Rafa and Thiem need to play twice tomorrow (assuming they win their first matches and weather is cooperative) but their second opponents (Coric, Khachanov and Basilashvili) played their their 2nd round matches on Tuesday, so they would be fresh waiting for them.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Thu May 16, 2019 9:33 am

Tenez wrote:
Jahu wrote:Kyrgios opens up:

About Djoko: ‘I just feel like he’s got a sick obsession with wanting to be liked.

‘He just wants to be Federer. I feel he wants to be liked so much that I just can’t stand him. This celebration thing is so cringeworthy.


https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/15/nick-kyrgios-tells-cringeworthy-novak-djokovic-will-never-surpass-roger-federer-9560173/

Podcast: http://nochallengesremaining.podbean.com

If it is real....it's an amazing interview.

What he says is pretty right but should he say it? That's not very smart but we need guys like him when we won't have "a genius at work" anymore. It spices it up to make up for the lack of grace.

The last real characters on the court were the ones in the late 90s and early 2000s. Rafter, Goran, Safin. They would say what they felt like. No sugar-coating, no being "friends", no trying to build up a PR image. Sponsorship pressures these days want athletes to behave like cows.

Krygios may be an ass**** but he is no cow.

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Post by barrystar on Thu May 16, 2019 9:54 am

Just looked at the forecast for Rome, and they reckon there's a high chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday, which puts their daft scheduling in a whole new light.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Thu May 16, 2019 10:05 am

Tenez wrote:I don't think it is that good but it is extremely solid thanks to his legs.

My point was why a young player is making such a statement? He said something like that even after the AO SF loss to Nadal. He is a pro now and he is here to beat them all. Not admire them.

Talk about his own game, how he is looking to beat them. In 2006 Djokoic was not orgasming about Nadal's game on clay after that RG loss. He said Nadal was beatable. It took him 5 more years, sure, he did find a way to tame Nadal not only on clay but everywhere.

This is the attitude I want the youngsters to show on and off court. Not live in the awe of Fed/Nadal/Djoko admiring their great skills and achievements.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu May 16, 2019 10:21 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:
Talk about his own game, how he is looking to beat them. In 2006 Djokoic was not orgasming about Nadal's game on clay after that RG loss. He said Nadal was beatable. It took him 5 more years, sure, he did find a way to tame Nadal not only on clay but everywhere.

This is the attitude I want the youngsters to show on and off court. Not live in the awe of Fed/Nadal/Djoko admiring their great skills and achievements.

Absolutely!

I think Tsits does have that attitude, he is just not vocal about it. You can see the way he plays those big names, he's already beaten Nole, Nadal and Fed (in a slam!). He keeps plugging and fighting.
At the same time, he is aware of his current limitations and I'd take that wisdom over (a much older ) Kyrgios' big mouth any day.
Having said that, it's good to have Kyrgios on the tour.

Now here's a question: will he ever win a slam?
I reckon no.

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Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Thu May 16, 2019 10:50 am

nitb wrote:Now here's a question: will he ever win a slam?
I reckon no.

By 'he' you mean Kyrgios? If yes, I would agree to some degree. He is mostly interested in showmanship, beating the best. 

But since he is going to be around much longer and once Nadal/Fed/Djo are gone he may find his motivation in winning slams. Skill wise he should be a slam winner even now, so that is checked. It is only his attitude that prevents him from doing it really.

So I won't say he is no slam winner for certain. We can revisit this topic once Fed/Nadal/Djo have been gone ( and we are still here on OTF).

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Post by summerblues on Thu May 16, 2019 11:56 am

Fed playing quite aggressive, presumably not interested in grueling rallies when he might have to play again later today. Still, he also played some outstanding defense on a couple of points. Looked quite good overall in the first set

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 12:25 pm

Fed acceptable so far.

Chardy as usual, embarrasing.

Thiem goes home.

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Post by bogbrush on Thu May 16, 2019 4:21 pm

Kyrgios has completely done his nut!

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 5:07 pm

Fed going home....!

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 5:15 pm

Fed having his fingers treated....!

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Post by Tenez on Thu May 16, 2019 5:44 pm

He is not happy. he throws his empty bottle to the Ball boys to bin it and asks the cameraman to give him more space.

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 5:45 pm

Guess 2 matches a day, old man can't handle, body or mind.

Take this second set!!!

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Post by Tenez on Thu May 16, 2019 5:57 pm

Coric looks the least natural player I ve ever watched. The way he serves and return look like a beginner applying what the coach told him.

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Post by Tenez on Thu May 16, 2019 5:58 pm

Jahu wrote:Guess 2 matches a day, old man can't handle, body or mind.

Take this second set!!!
Yes I am surprised he is even bothering.

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 5:59 pm

We he is kicking ass now !!! 5:2

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Post by Tenez on Thu May 16, 2019 6:00 pm

Federer acting like McEnroe again.

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 6:02 pm

...and then his ass is kicked and loses the break.

Think he should go home and rest for RG.

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 6:08 pm

Set 2 for Fed, quite a come back, up and down.

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Post by Tenez on Thu May 16, 2019 6:09 pm

Jahu wrote:Set 2 for Fed, quite a come back, up and down.
yep he looks so fragile.....yet manages to win the set.

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 6:15 pm

Lets all wish Kohli a good match so he beats Djoko nicely  Big Grin

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 6:17 pm

Struff beats Cilic in the morning, now takes first set of Nishi!!

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 6:32 pm

bogbrush wrote:Kyrgios has completely done his nut!

Yeah, that was bad crap on court, but still his last nights podcast gives him protected status for all his misdemeanors this year  Laugh

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 7:11 pm

Holy molly, this feels double good hahahaha whats a come back.

Fed to play winner of Foggy-Tsi, not easy!!

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Post by Tenez on Thu May 16, 2019 7:11 pm

Well done Federer...I would not have minded him losing to almost any other player....but Coric has just got too an ugly game.

As McEnroe would say...he doesn;t deserve to be on the same court as fed.

Tenez

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Post by bogbrush on Thu May 16, 2019 7:32 pm

Fed heading for a bit of a stuffing if he reaches Nadal though, he’s hardly getting a warm up.

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Post by Jahu on Thu May 16, 2019 7:35 pm

Fed 5 sets today, not bad!

Verdasco beats Thiem and Kacha today in 3, some guts there.

Delpo wins in 2.

Nadal cruising.

Jahu

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