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Eco

Tennis

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General Tennis Chat. 

I've been playing 3-4 times a week and watching it when time allows. 

 

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So Federer sets up Nadal final once again after overcoming Kyrgios yesterday. 

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Roger Federer’s remarkable revival could see him end 2017 as World Number One

Roger Federer is a man reborn. The 35-year-old has come back from his lengthy injury lay-off looking like the player of old, dominating men’s tennis in a manner his fans had thought was behind him.

Rafael Nadal’s 2017 revival has been almost as impressive, yet three head-to-heads between the two this year have all gone Federer’s way, with Sunday’s Miami Open final win leaving the Swiss star in a supremely strong position heading into the clay court season.

The pepped-up Federer has leapt 15 places in the ATP rankings since the start of the year, with wins at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open sending him up to fourth. Yet such is his improvement that Federer could even need just one more Grand Slam title (combined with a moderately successful showing in the World Tour Masters 1000 events) to catch Andy Murray at the top of the rankings by the end of the calendar year and finish 2017 as world number one.

It’s an extraordinary position for Federer to find himself in, and awards him the luxury of sitting out the grinding demands of weekly events on tour – something he says he’s going to take full advantage of during the upcoming clay court season:

    " I’m not 24 anymore so things have to change in a big way and I probably won’t play any clay court events except the French (Open). I need a rest, my body needs healing. I need time to prepare. "

“I want to stay healthy because when I’m healthy and feeling good I can produce tennis like this,” Federer continued after his win in Miami. “If I’m not feeling this good there’s no chance I would be in the final competing with Rafa. That’s why this break coming into clay court season and focusing everything on the French, the grass (Wimbledon) and then the hardcourts (U.S. Open) is going to be the key to me.

“Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal... but all of the grass really is important to me because I'll play Stuttgart and Halle there, too. Then of course I am looking very good for the [ATP] Finals, for the year-end championships, where I've been very successful. I like the indoors as well. So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That's why I'll take a break.”

2055259-43100667-2560-1440.jpg?w=800

Roger and Rafa’s legendary rivalry has been rekindled since the start of the year, with the pair producing some spectacular tennis against each other – particularly in the Australian Open. And Sunday’s meeting in Miami was a particularly poignant reunion as it occurred in the same tournament where the pair met for the very first time back in 2004.

Nadal showed his immense promise with a last-32 win on that occasion, but in their 37th meeting it was Federer who emerged with a straight sets win, leaving the Spaniard still searching for his first title in Miami despite reaching five finals. During his on-court interview after the match, a sentimental Federer said:

    " This is where it all started for us in 2004. You were a little boy, you grew into a big strong man. We've had some great battles over the years. In 2005 I was very lucky to beat you here in the final, I told you then that you'd one day win this tournament and I still believe you'll win this tournament. You're too good not to."

Nadal, who is up to fifth in the ATP rankings and trails only Federer in the year’s Race to London rankings, seemed positive with his display despite the defeat, pointing to huge improvements from the match in Indian Wells.

“Today was a close match in my opinion,” Rafa admitted. “It was 6-3, 6-4, but I had opportunities to have the break before him on the first set. I don't believe in luck, but I was not very lucky in the first set in a couple of points that I think I played well and I lost in the break points, and that's it. For me it was a much closer match than what the result says, and completely different than last week.

“I am close to what I need to be. I am at a very high level of tennis and I believe I am ready to win titles. I already played three finals this year, losing three times with a player that didn't lose a match. I'm playing enough well to fight for everything I think. I have good hopes that I going to be ready for Monte-Carlo. Always when I am playing that well, on clay always helps a little bit more for me. I need to work hard to be ready for that. If I am ready for that, I think I am very excited about playing back on clay again."

http://www.eurosport.com/tennis/roger-federers-remarkable-revival-could-see-him-end-2017-as-world-number-one_sto6116397/story.shtml

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I believe that Djokovic will continue to work this crazy Pepe Imaz guru. He's losing too much weight and losing his ranking points at a considerable rate, but it's ok Amor y Paz will help see him return to world no. 1 and grand slam title contention. 

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In addition to achieving La Decima at Roland Garros (after already doing so at Monte-Carlo and Barcelona), Nadal looks to be on track to complete the most successful European clay court season of his career, by winning the quintuple of Roland Garros, all 3 masters 1000 events at Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Roma plus Barcelona where the centre court is now named after him. 

He has won 4 out of those 5 events (substituting Hamburg for Madrid from 2005-2008) in a remarkable 7 different seasons (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013) but this season he could top that by winning 5 out of 5. 

The resurgence of Federer and Nadal this season has been remarkable. Nadal is the overwhelming favourite at Roland Garros in a few weeks time, while Federer will be the favourite for a record 8th title at Wimbledon, especially considering Murray's struggles this season and the fact that he has won their last 5 matches. 

I wouldn't mind if Thiem and the other young guns prove me wrong in today's Madrid final and beyond though. The youngest player to have won a grand slam title or masters 1000 title is Cilic, who was born in the September 1988. That is disgraceful. The 90s born players are definitely weakest 'next generation' in tennis history. 

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Following on my last post, a fantastic storyline in Rome this week with the 20 year old German Alexander Zverev beating Djokovic to win the title.

This is the first time that a player born after 1988 has won a big title, finally, at long last. Hopefully he can build on this and became a major force on the tour. God knows that the sport desperately needs the young guns to step up to the plate and challenge for the grand slam titles. 

Speaking of Djokovic, he will coached by Agassi at Roland Garros. Agassi is the latest former great to try his hand in coaching, after Connors, Lendl, Becker, Edberg and McEnroe. 

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The hero Germany's mens tennis needed! Now Tommy Haas can finally retire. 

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So Roland Garros is underway. Nadal is the overwhelming favourite to win the men's tournament and complete La Decima. The women's tournament is up in the air. Halep would be the favourite but it remains to be seen whether she has shaken off her ankle injury. 

Great to see Kvitova back playing again and winning her first match back after being stabbed in her dominant left hand by a robber just before Christmas last year. The world no. 1 Kerber has had a terrible year and unsurprisingly was bounced out of the first round. 

Hopefully some of the younger players can make some noise and progress to the latter stages of the men's draw. 

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I've put a little bet on both Nadal and Muguruza to win the singles. Dominic Thiem is the real one to watch and could have a big tournament if Murray and Djokovic carry on as poor as they have. 

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Muguruza has the ability to become the dominant force on clay from her generation, and win this tournament multiple times. If Sharapova can win 2 RG titles in 3 years, she can definitely top that, and it helps that there aren't exactly a whole of contenders on the surface. She has the shots, the power and she moves pretty well considering her height. 

Generally clay has never been a great surface for women's tennis, it has usually been the worst surface to watch the girls on. On the other than I used to find the WTA European indoor events more enjoyable than the men's ones. There have always been very  ew female players that have looked comfortable on the surface compared to the men's game, where there have been stacks of players from mainland Europe and Latin America born and bread at perfectly at home on clay. 

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I'm hoping Federer's decision to not play in the French and other clay court tournaments pays off for Wimbledon. 

 

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Hamou what a daft twat.

Hoping for a miracle from Muzza to win the French but if he plays well it's not out of the question. Been six months since he's been at his best though. 

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Currently watching Murray - Del Potro now.  Decent first set and now midway through the tie break. Hopefully a tough game against Del Porto is just what Murray needs because he's been way below his best since becoming the World number 1. He needs that hunger and motivation back. 

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Murray looks back in some form this week and this one is in the bag. Edmund and Anderson look to be on their way to a fifth set to decide their match. Gwan lads. 

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It probably won't happen, and Nadal is looking too strong on this surface at the moment, but this would be a great time for the Stanimal to re-appear again. I would love it if he continued this current streak of red-lining and winning one grand slam each year. He beat Fognini pretty convincingly yesterday.

The all French 3rd round battle between Monfils and Gasquet sounds intriguing. I will try to catch it when it resumed today. I find Monfils both exciting and frustrating to watch. His athleticism is incredible and he makes some retrievals and hits winners from the most impossible positions on the court. But then again with his size and power, he should play far more aggressively than he tends to do. 

 

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I don't mind Stan but him having more slams than Murray would be wrong on so many levels. 

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16 minutes ago, RandoEFC said:

I don't mind Stan but him having more slams than Murray would be wrong on so many levels. 

 

Lol. Nationalism at its finest. There never was a big 4. Murray has had a fine career and was rewarded for his effort and talent. But he is not lightyears ahead of Stan by any stretch.

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Hated seeing fellow Inter support Fognini go out to Stan. Expected, but still disappointing. 

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Fognini could do himself a favour and get his head sorted then he could easily be consistently on the same level as the likes of Nishikori in my opinion. 

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2 hours ago, Tanksie said:

 

Lol. Nationalism at its finest. There never was a big 4. Murray has had a fine career and was rewarded for his effort and talent. But he is not lightyears ahead of Stan by any stretch.

I don't quite agree with his comment about it being wrong, as the numbers don't lie.... 

however there most certainly was a big 4. 

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Not much between Murray and Stan imo. Murray better on the net and the most consistent of the two. Stan peaked too late in his career.

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Djokovic... :bye:

Murray has a tough quartet and potential semi. Has to be Nadal's now. 

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If it takes Nadal or a red hot Stan to knock out Murray that's a decent tournament from him given some of his other recent losses. Be disappointing if he loses this one to Nishikori though. 

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Thiem is a damn monster this year. I wonder if this is it for Novak winning Majors.

If this Nadals to lose.

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1 hour ago, Eco said:

Thiem is a damn monster this year. I wonder if this is it for Novak winning Majors.

If this Nadals to lose.

Don't rule out Novak yet. Lost count of the amount of times people (including me) have said that Federer and Nadal are finished winning slams yet here we are at the second slam of the year and Roger has one with Rafa odds-on to win the other. Djokovic still has a lot to give.

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What's happened to Djokovic?

I don't follow Tennis much but I remember not so long ago he was quite dominant, just a loss of form or something worse than that?

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1 minute ago, Toony said:

What's happened to Djokovic?

I don't follow Tennis much but I remember not so long ago he was quite dominant, just a loss of form or something worse than that?

A loss of form that has become a crisis. It seems to happen with players when they lose a bit of motivation. Last year, Djokovic finally won the French Open, then he lost early at Wimbledon and in the first round of the Olympics (to Del Potro to be fair to him). He got back into it a bit more later in the year when Murray was chasing him down for the #1 ranking but he still didn't get back to top form and eventually lost top spot and hasn't got a realistic chance of getting it back until at least after Wimbledon.

He dumped Boris Becker as coach at the end of 2016, and the rest of his team earlier this year when form wasn't improving, don't know if that's set him back even more or whether it has just had no effect.

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18 minutes ago, RandoEFC said:

Don't rule out Novak yet. Lost count of the amount of times people (including me) have said that Federer and Nadal are finished winning slams yet here we are at the second slam of the year and Roger has one with Rafa odds-on to win the other. Djokovic still has a lot to give.

Except the only thing that could slow down Fed and Nadal were injuries. Djokovic just isn't hitting with the same pace or intensity. He may get it back, but this looks to be more mental than anything, and that can be a lot harder to recover from.

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