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Miner Willy

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Everything posted by Miner Willy

  1. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I don't mind Nadal playing slowly when he's serving - it's in the rules and he's perfectly entitled to take that time, even if I personally prefer watching players who go a bit quicker. However, I've always been irritated by him slowing things down when returning, when the laws state he should play at the server's pace. He's definitely been allowed to persistently disrupt opponents' rhythm through his entire career, but obviously it's down to the umpires to enforce the rules, and they have all completely failed to do so.
  2. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I think the Raducanu discussion is rather missing the point that she's doing exactly what you'd expect someone her age to be doing. She clearly has a brilliant game but isn't yet able to put it together consistently. That's not only perfectly normal; anything else would be incredibly abnormal. I genuinely don't think it's about pressure or media or coaches or endorsements or anything else. She's just a young player with enormous potential and a slightly patchy injury record who needs time to develop her game and body. Plus Garcia was a very tough draw and to be honest I thought this was by some distance the most likely outcome from that one. Anyway, real shame for Murray today. I thought he could have a good run here, but it's hard to see what more he could have done against serving like that.
  3. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Jack Draper plays at my club. Not very often for obvious reasons, but still, he and I are basically best friends. (I've never seen him there.)
  4. Sequel to Children of Time and Children of Ruin on the way.
  5. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    But he lost the last 11 games, not the first. So he didn't walk on the court beaten before he hit a ball; he got demoralised when he realised there was literally nothing he could do to counter Rafa's game. We've seen this so many times down the years: on a clay court the level of high risk tennis required is impossible to sustain unless you're impeccably solid (and ideally hugely powerful) off both sides. And even then it's usually not enough, as you'll just push Rafa to unleash the even more aggressive game plan which he only brings out when he really needs to.
  6. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I'm not sure it was about the occasion or mentality or intimidation. It was basic technique: you can't compete with Rafa on a clay court with a slightly underpowered backhand. It felt like watching Federer trying to live with him 15 years ago: you can dominate the point for six or seven shots, but if you're only really strong on one side then you can't maintain the pressure because he'll keep looping it to your backhand, which is really tough to attack, and the moment you hit just one slightly less than perfect ball he pounces on it and ends the rally with one beautifully brutal forehand. Not sure there's ever been a more perfect sporting performer than Rafa on clay, but it made for a predictably one-sided final today. I suspect that Sinner was maybe the only guy in the bottom half who could have had a chance of standing up to Nadal today - a shame he got in injured really.
  7. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Nah, I watched the semi and I think Ruud will get munched up if Nadal is fit. I don't quite see the draw in the same way. In reality he's played a great match against Djokovic and a good one against FAA. He hasn't really gone through Zverev: he played less than two sets, the second of which was really quite ropey from a Nadal performance perspective, and ultimately he's been very fortunate not to have to win a match he very well may have lost. So while the draw looked awful at the start, it rarely works out like that as unexpected stuff almost always happens. Overall as it worked out I don't actually think he's had an especially tough route, given that aside from the Djokovic match he's not really played his best tennis and has still reached the final. But clearly what he's doing continues to be ridiculous. I wanted him to win yesterday and can't see anything but a routine win on Sunday. I'd just like to see him tested in the final - the achievement deserves it.
  8. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    It looked strikingly similar to the one Alcaraz suffered earlier in the clay swing (maybe against Djokovic?), but clearly more serious, given the immediate reaction. No matter what you may think of Zverev, it's such a shame from a fan's perspective, as it was a great contest today, and you kind if think this one going long was the only chance of Nadal facing a serious challenge on Sunday. 14 slams will be its own story, but it would be fitting if he had to battle through in classic Rafa fashion.
  9. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, really horrible end. Not a Zverev fan, but I thought he was the better player for most of both sets and still had a decent chance to win. Assuming Nadal wasn't struggling physically, it's worked out almost perfectly for him, rather ironically.
  10. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I didn't see that match, but I would have thought slow conditions would favour Medvedev more than Cilic. Cilic is the more naturally aggressive of the two, though he's also the more comfortable moving on clay. A real shame that Sinner got injured, as he was probably looking the standout in that half. Hope I'm wrong, but I think it's now looking very much like whoever comes through the top half could have a real anticlimax of a final.
  11. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    That was great. Both players playing great by the end. Hope he fucking trashes Djokovic, as unlikely as that feels at right now. Much will depend on the timing, I guess.
  12. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Agree: really surprising unforced errors from Nadal since those first two games. Not even sure FAA has played as well as he can to get a break up. Not sure on the retirement idea though. I'd be pretty shocked to be honest.
  13. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Based on the first two games, I give FAA next to no chance here. His backhand is going to have a tough time against Nadal's forehand.
  14. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    That was great. What a way to break, and then pretty much the perfect service game to close it out.
  15. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    This is fucking intense. Strange that Alcaraz seems to be lacking feel on his drop shots at the moment. Normally I'd say they're easier/more effective in heavy conditions.
  16. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, it's not looking good. ARV playing great though.
  17. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Tsitsipas getting battered by Musetti is wonderful. If he loses then the draw really is hilariously lopsided.
  18. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Also, Djokovic is on 20 slams - depending on what happens at the French, he will either be aiming to move ahead of Federer with 21, or potentially clear of Nadal with 22. Of course he's fucking turning up!
  19. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I think it's certain the big players will turn up if fit: they're chasing slams, and someone's still going to raise the trophy at the end. I can't see it affecting any decisions in the least. (Nadal may choose to skip, but I think that's unrelated to points - he's clearly focused on titles and nothing else). It's way too early to talk about favourites, but I'm not convinced about Djokovic being nailed on, and even less sure that Medvedev being absent makes any difference at all. There's nothing in his grass court history that suggests he's a serious contender there. I have an early hunch that Wimbledon is ripe for someone unexpected to break through. Maybe someone like Auger-Aliassime, who has a big game and has shown he has the ability up play very well on this surface in the past.
  20. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I don't think it's 'off' - I assume it will carry roughly the same weight with the players regardless of the points it carries. It's a fucking mess though. Following the Australian Open debacle, the sport doesn't appear to be handling its major off-court issues very well.
  21. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, I saw some of the semi and FAA was great. I've always liked his game and he's definitely one of the most complete of the younger guys. I just didn't agree with the suggestion he's miles ahead of Tsitsipas at this point, especially on clay. He very well may have more upside long term, but I'm not even sure there's a strong argument that he's on a par right now, despite some really impressive performances. I mean, I definitely don't want to appear to be a Tsitsipas fanboy or anything, but the reality is he's about a thousand points ahead of FAA in the race so far this year. I think it's a fascinating French coming. I'm not so convinced that Djokovic is quite back to his best yet, and while I hope Nadal is going to be ok, it's not looking great. I think there are a bunch of guys - Rublev probably needs to be added to those above - who are in with a shout if Nadal and Djokovic aren't at their best.
  22. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I really like Auger Aliassime and think he probably has a bigger future overall, but I don't agree with that assessment of their respective games right now. On clay especially, Tsitsipas is well established as a pretty consistent force. Not up there with Nadal and Djokovic certainly, but probably a more likely winner at RG than anyone else - other than Alcaraz given his recent form.
  23. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, I love Alcaraz. Definitely the most exciting young player in ages. He already looks close to a complete player, and it feels inevitable that he'll win multiple slams, which I don't think has been the case for any other young players coming through in recent memory. The French will be very interesting and I expect him to make a big run, but obviously Nadal and Djokovic are just coming back, and Madrid has always played different to the other clay tournaments. I'd love to see Alcaraz win it, but realistically if he's close to fully fit then I would still have Rafa as by far the favourite at RG. But yeah, all in on team Alcaraz. If he had a one handed backhand then he'd basically be my new tennis idol.
  24. 21. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Decided it was time to read the Dust books, but realised I couldn't remember very much at all about the original trilogy. Very much enjoying it all over again. 20. Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North. This was OK, but I didn't think it was as nearly interesting as Harry August. 19. Spike: The Virus vs. the People by Jeremy Farrar. Predictably depressing and frustrating, but I did 'enjoy' the excoriating account of the Government's response to Covid. 18. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Bleak but impressive account the history and current state of mass incarceration in America. 17. Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe. Amazing book about the Sackler family who were responsible for - and profited hugely from - the opioid crisis. Astonishing how devoid of humanity they were. Previously:
  25. Update from March: 16. The Brave Athlete by Simon Marshall & Lesley Paterson A sort of self help book for athletes. I’m no athlete, but I do play tennis competitively and am interested in sports psychology. I didn’t find this particularly insightful as I've already read up on some of the psychology they reference, and just found the authors' writing style really annoying. They're nowhere near as amusing as they seem to think they are, and on Audible they read it themselves (which I rarely think works, unless your name is Jon Ronson) which added to my issues here. 15. Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu I didn’t love this. It has the same flaws as the Three Body Problem books (namely, characters and dialogue), but without that series’ mindblowingly brilliant concepts. I was surprised to learn this was written after TBP – it felt like a much less impressive piece of work. 14. Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwarfare by Andy Greenberg Fascinating and scary discussion of a topic I knew little about. Also interesting to read this at the moment, as much of the story relates to Russian aggression towards Ukraine. 13. The Chysalids by John Wyndham Really enjoyable story with an unexpected but cohesive explanation/payoff. Makes me feel I should revisit Day of the Triffids. 12. The Border by Don Winslow Still don't think I like these books as much as others do, but I did think this was the best of the trilogy. It did a good job of outlining the connection between the drugs cartels and US business & politics and I didn’t find the writing quite as annoyingly try hard macho as the others. 11. Inverted World by Christopher Priest Loved the world and set-up on this, but the reveal felt rushed and a bit disappointing. It slightly diminished the overall experience for me.
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