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Thread: Tennis Thread

  1. #121
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    Cibulkova seemed to just overpower her. Everything was on a tee for her to unload on.
    It's like the whole match was batting practice for her. Made me wonder if she's really that good. Radwanska had no pace on her shots, so that made things easier for her, but still, she wasn't missing. She was unloading on everything. It was the most impressive performance I've seen at this tournament.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  3. #122
    ZCTRMTP!!!!! texasdave's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Nadal steamrolls Federer in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3. He is truly a tennis tour-de-force.
    Barring injury, he will likely become the GOAT.
    A summer watching a bad Reds' team, is still a pretty good summer.

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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post

    I think the only guy this won't work on will be Nadal. I'd put him at even money vs Djokovic and a favorite vs anyone else. Nadal is his nemesis and he just doesn't match up well against him. Nadal is not at his best right now, but I just don't see it being that close a match.

    If Federer is going to win a slam this year, it's most likely to be Wimbledon on the grass. If someone could knock off Nadal, I think he could win any of them.
    Good call.

  5. #124
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by texasdave View Post
    Nadal steamrolls Federer in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3. He is truly a tennis tour-de-force.
    Barring injury, he will likely become the GOAT.
    Rafa twists Federer into knots. By the end of their matches, Federer can barely hit a clean groundstroke. Crazy thing is Rafa's not even playing near his best at the moment. He's got another two gears. Really impressive how he shut down the match at the end, especially some of the passing shots in the final game.

    One thing I had forgotten about was Fed's reaction to Rafa's 2009 Aussie win. He was an emotional wreck after that loss. I think that was the point where it hit Roger that his GOAT run might be very short. He cares a little too much about that designation. Rafa either doesn't care or he refuses to consider himself in that light. I'm guessing when he wins his 20th major, he's going to insist it was all a bizarre accident.

    As for Federer, I think he ought to spend the next six months trying to perfect his serve and volley game. That looks to be the most dangerous part of his arsenal right now. The inside-out forehand is still great, but more players can chase it down these days and Roger's vulnerable if he spends a lot of time on the baseline looking for that shot. I'm guessing Edberg is going to try to get him to go to net every chance he gets.
    Last edited by M2; 01-24-2014 at 04:15 PM.
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  6. #125
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Good thoughts. At Federer's current age and skillset, there's definitely an argument for writing off the French Open -- I don't mean not show up, just don't put in a lot of prep time -- and focusing on one more all-out run at Wimbledon.
    Not all who wander are lost

  7. #126
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    I don't think there's ever going to be consensus on GOAT with Federer/Nadal. A lot will depend on if Nadal fades in his late 20s or not. I don't think it's as simple as head to head. I think a compelling case can be made for both guys. It's entirely subjective and most will decide based on who fits their aesthetic preferences more...... or geography.

    I never understood the need to choose between the two. I love both guys. They're so different, yet both historically great, and both total class. I don't know that I agree that Roger is obsessed with the idea of being the greatest, yet Nadal isn't. I don't know how we'd know that.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  8. #127
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    I don't think there's ever going to be consensus on GOAT with Federer/Nadal. A lot will depend on if Nadal fades in his late 20s or not. I don't think it's as simple as head to head. I think a compelling case can be made for both guys. It's entirely subjective and most will decide based on who fits their aesthetic preferences more...... or geography.

    I never understood the need to choose between the two. I love both guys. They're so different, yet both historically great, and both total class. I don't know that I agree that Roger is obsessed with the idea of being the greatest, yet Nadal isn't. I don't know how we'd know that.
    It's obviously an exercise in tea leaf reading to figure out their inner workings. One thing that I have noticed in their rivalry is Rafa strokes Roger's ego at every opportunity. Even when he beats Federer, he's incredibly deferential. Some of that is surely Rafa's internal wiring, but it's so blatant that it's hard not to think it's also a strategy - "Yes, I beat you again, but you're still the GOAT."

    Ultimately I think the GOAT case for Rafa will be that he took over during Federer's prime and had a way tougher peer group (mainly Djokovic and Murray) than Federer (Roddick, Hewitt, Safin). Roger deserves a huge amount of credit for playing at the top level into his 30s as a generation with some killer elites came along. I actually think that's the most impressive thing he's done. If he can win another major, that would be a "wow" moment of the highest order. His overall ranking will make his gauntlet harder for upcoming tournaments. He's dropping to #8 next week. If he stays in that 7-10 range, it generally means a nasty round of 16 opponent followed by Rafa or Djokovic in a quarterfinals.

    Unless someone emerges quickly (e.g. Dimitrov), it could be a soft cohort for Rafa, Djokovic and Murray (and maybe Wawrinka if he keeps this current push going) to beat up on into their 30s. To be fair, it might not even be that soft a cohort, it might just be that Rafa's part of an exceptional wave of players. Got a feeling when we're old men we'll be reminiscing to younger folks how good these guys were.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  10. #128
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Good stuff, M2. I understand the competition argument. I think Djokovic is even one of the all time greats. I love watching him play and I love the guy's personality as well. He's so athletic and does things on the court hard to believe. All 3 of those guys have such differing styles and are amazing to watch. I know I'm glad to have been able to watch this era of tennis, when we've seen some of the best matches ever played by some of the greatest players.

    I would think it Federer is that concerned about his legacy, he would have retired rather than continue to get beat like he has by the guy on his heels. I think the guy just loves to play. I'm sure he thinks about it, but he's never struck me as the guy obsessed with how he's perceived in the history of the game.....ala Tiger Woods.

    I do agree that what he’s doing at this age is one of his better accomplishments. As it stands right now, if someone else knocked Nadal out of a tournament, I think Roger is the legit favorite. Djokovic would be tough, but Murray is the clear #3 and Roger made easy work of him this week. If the guy we saw this tourney is real, then he’s the #3 player in the world right now.

    Who is the greatest ever is a fun conversation to have, but there's no real answer to it. It's tough to argue anyone has accomplished more than Rod Laver.

    For me, Federer's stretch from Wimbledon of 2003 to Aussie of 2010 is unmatched in any individual sport and is almost hard to believe it could happen in any era regardless of the competition. Watching him was like watching Maddux or Pedro pitch when they were at their best. It was a thing of beauty to watch and looking at the totality of the resume, I still put him ahead of Nadal even with the head to head record (although a very high number of their matches was on clay).

    If you go back and look at everything, it's just astonishing....at least to me it is. 7 Wimbledons, 4 Australian Opens, 5 US Opens, 1 French. Were it not for Nadal, he'd have 3 or 4 of those too. He's one of the best all time clay court players too, but happened to come along at a time when far and away the best that's ever been was playing on clay.

    Federer has been in 24 slam finals, including 10 in a row and 18 of 19, which is beyond incredible. Almost as incredible is 23 of 24 semi-finals and 36 straight quarter finals. He also won the ATP World Tour Finals 6 times, which I think may be even tougher than the slams given the format and with it only being 8 players.

    I'm in no way trying to take away from Nadal, but I just don't think the resume is as impressive across the board (yet), even with how much he's beaten Roger. He's an all time great on all surfaces, but his dominance was so much weighted towards clay that it has to be factored in, IMO. Roger has won more than twice as many of all of the other 3 slams. Federer won 3 of the 4 slams in a year 3 times to Nadal’s once. He won at least 2 slams 5 times to Nadal’s 3 (that will likely change this year).

    If Nadal wins tomorrow, he will still have half the Aussie titles as Federer, 5 fewer Wimbledons, and 3 fewer US Opens. To me, this is important.... but there's still time for Nadal to change all that. I also don't want to discount the ATP World Tour finals that Nadal has never won, that Federer won 6 times. That is another big thing for me.

    I play exclusively on clay, but I'm a believer that success on clay is not as great a measure of tennis skill as the others. Just how dominant Nadal has been on clay can't be undersold, but to me, clay is like the designated hitter in baseball in a way. Guys who aren't great all around players can have success on this surface just by being powerful. It's like trying to decide who is a better "baseball player" between a complete all around player, like Barry Larkin, and someone who is a great power hitter, but not very good at anything else. Obviously, Nadal is not a one-dimensional player, that's not the point. But it's a different game on that surface, and one that doesn't require the same kind of all around tennis skill.

    It probably sounds like I'm not a Nadal fan, but I really am. I think he's the fiercest competitor I've ever seen on the court, except for maybe McEnroe. But when I watch I can't help but think his game is not as transferable among the different eras. The game he's used is very dependent on modern day racquet, string, and ball technology. It's all spin. This combined with generally slower courts is what allows him to do what he's done. That's not to say that his game wouldn't be different in prior eras had he needed a different game, but guys like Djokovic and Federer play a style that would work in any era, IMO. Nadal is a product of the baseline era and I think would have been less dominant in the serve and volley era, as he's been much more beatable on faster surfaces in his career.

    The better rivalry has been Nadal/Djokovic. They play exciting matches every time it seems. There was a stretch of time where Djokovic dominated Nadal, winning 10 out of 12. That was followed by Nadal winning 6 out 7, and now Djokovic has won 2 in a row. I think those 2 will battle it out this year and next before they both start to fade in their late 20s like all the greats do. Federer pretty much stopped winning slams at 28, Sampras about the same age, Borg at 26, McEnroe at 25, Lendl 27. Maybe Nadal and Djokovic will be the exception. I hope so as the sport needs them to be. I think Djokovic could be the guy who continues to play well into his 30s with how committed he is to conditioning.

    I’d love to see all of the big 3 go down with 15 or more majors to their name. They’ve been a joy to watch for tennis fans and I’ll be sad when they’re not on top of the sport any more. We’ve been spoiled as tennis fans for the past decade. As great as Sampras was, I got little enjoyment out of watching the pure serve and volley era where the points where over in 2 or 3 shots. Now I don’t always love the pure baseline game we see so much now with 20 shot rallies all the time, but it’s preferable to serve and volley for me. Hopefully we get to a point where there’s more of a balance.

    It’s been a fun Aussie Open to watch on both the men’s and women’s side. I’m hoping the finals are at least competitive.
    Last edited by MWM; 01-25-2014 at 02:02 AM.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  12. #129
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    I generally discount clay and grass court specialists. For me, the hard courts sort out who the great players are. They weed out the one-trick ponies. Rafa is the best hard court player on the planet right now, and has been at various points in the past (though I'd argue Djokovic is the most natural hard court player to come along since Lendl). Rafa's also been the best grass court player alive. He's no Gustavo Kuerten.

    I agree Federer dominated from 2004-7 like no one in the game's history, but I discount heavily for soft competition. Roddick was built for the lighting fast power game that got dismantled just as he was arriving (they purposefully slowed down the balls and surfaces) and never fully adapted. Federer spent almost half a decade waiting for some competition to show up. It wasn't even a case of there being one or two would-be great players from Roger's immediate peers who dominated everyone but Roger. It was just a rotating cast of B- talents. Roger suffers a bit from Larry Holmes Syndrome. Hard to know exactly how great a guy is when his toughest oppenent is Gerry Cooney.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  13. #130
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    I typed up another long-winded post that was somehow lost when I went to post it.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  14. #131
    One and a half men Patrick Bateman's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    So I guess Stan wins. No doubt he made a lot of good shots early, but if Nadal s healthy I still can't really see Stan winning that match. Still pretty cool to see him win even if it was under those circumstances.

  15. #132
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Stan was playing so well, I think there's a good chance he'd have won anyway. Nadal hasn't looked dominant like he did last year during this whole tournament. He won the first set and was up a break in the 2nd before the injury.

    Stan beating Djokovic in the quarter I think should eliminate any concerns than he didn't earn it. This has been Nadal's weakest slam and Djokovic has dominated it for years. He was dominant in the matches leading up to the Wawrinka match and was on a 25 match win streak. Yet Stan beat him by outplaying him. I don't think it's fair to just how good he was in the tournament to say he had little chance of beating a healthy Nadal. Rafa started to look himself late in the match too. Not 100% self, but close enough. Wawrinka's second break in the 4th set, Nadal was hitting it hard and running, but Wawrinka hit a couple of pretty amazing winners on good Nadal shots. Wawrinka played well enough to beat a healthy Rafa today.
    Last edited by MWM; 01-26-2014 at 12:51 PM.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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  17. #133
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Not sure what I thought of Wawrinka berating the chair umpire for not telling him Nadal's specific injury. Hard not to think he thought Rafa was sandbagging.

    Nadal might have lost healthy, but he also basically forfeited a set waiting for pain medicine to kick in, and then was serving 80-100, which gives away most of the advantage of serve.

    I thought it was interesting that Wawrinka also started playing like a basketcase, spraying shots everywhere. It was a pretty underwhelming final.

    I'm hoping this isn't an injury that will see Rafa miss time.
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  18. #134
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    I just finished Agassi's book, and it made me a little bummed out to think we may never see a run of American men's tennis like the one in the 80s and 90s.

    I'd also highly recommend the book to any tennis fans who haven't read it yet, I don't know why I put it off so long.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    --Oscar Wilde

  19. #135
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    Not sure what I thought of Wawrinka berating the chair umpire for not telling him Nadal's specific injury. Hard not to think he thought Rafa was sandbagging.

    Nadal might have lost healthy, but he also basically forfeited a set waiting for pain medicine to kick in, and then was serving 80-100, which gives away most of the advantage of serve.

    I thought it was interesting that Wawrinka also started playing like a basketcase, spraying shots everywhere. It was a pretty underwhelming final.

    I'm hoping this isn't an injury that will see Rafa miss time.
    I think most of the players would not have been happy about his medical time out. Right or wrong, Rafa has a reputation among the players for calling medical timeouts at very convenient times when he's losing and the other player has momentum, and then coming out playing like he's just fine. I'm not saying it's deserved, but that's his reputation. It was obvious Rafa was hurt after he came back out, but at the time there was probably suspicion.

    But Wawrinka was already up a break in the 2nd set when the injury happened. He did go through a bad stretch in the 3rd set, but that's not unusual in a long match. Overall, I think he played a great match.

    I hope Rafa doesn't miss time either. The sport needs him and he is getting to that age where injuries start to add up. I thought Rafa handled himself in his typical classy fashion afterwards. He knows he's working against father time to get to 18 slams and this was a great opportunity. this was probably hard for him.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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