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Miner Willy
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Raducanu vs the new world no. 1 this evening. She's been incredibly patchy since the US Open and I can't say I give her very much chance of getting past Swiatek, who is just exceptional at the moment, but she's got a couple of good matches on clay under her belt so far this week and hopefully there'll be a good contest. Arguably, on one measure at least, the biggest challenge of her career so far!

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Boris Becker going to jail then? I know he’s had quite the turbulent life post tennis but going to jail took me by surprise. He’s lived in the UK since he retired afaik so will he be serving his time here? 

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I guess you missed the coverage of the case earlier on because jail wasn't much of a surprise if you saw what he'd been up to. Also, he retired in the first place after a German investigation into massive tax evasion, and he was eventually found guilty there too.

 

His explanations of his financial difficulties were fairly hard to sympathise with. Oh, you ran out of money because you chose to carry on renting a house in Wimbledon for £22k a month? And he was claiming in his defence that he didn't have a lavish lifestyle!

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Yeah. I caught up on what I’d missed and it seems he’s just a daft fella. Probably got too much too soon and never had to grow up. It’s crazy that he’d put himself in this situation, he’s always going to be in a position to earn good money given there will never not be a demand for him as a coach or as a pundit but £22k a month to live in Wimbledon? Damn. 

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I thought that Murray was outstanding against Shapovalov last night - the best I've seen since his return, especially in the first set. Possibly a bit motivated by revenge for the trouncing at Wimbledon! I'd give him a chance against Djokovic too, if he can repeat anything like that form, and with ND still looking a little unsteady in recent matches.

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Excellent match between Alcaraz and Djokovic, Novak is getting back to where he needs to be to compete but youthful exuberance and stamina and belief won him the match in an incredible final set. This kid is nuts and exciting, love it! I hope he wins Roland Garros if Rafa doesn't.

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I think Djokovic is pretty much already back to peak form, after a shaky initial return, and Alcatraz got the win because he's just that good. The determination and recovery he showed against Nadal and then here, again, the mental fortitude to recover from losing the first set in the way that he did and still believe he could beat the world no. 1 from a set down were all incredible.

 

His all round game is extraordinary - best drop shots on the tour without a doubt. Not sure if any of the other young pretenders to the top 3's throne(s) have the quality that he does, to accompany the sheer power. And real intelligence on the court: there was one amazing point where he and Djokovic hit a couple of high looping forehands back and forth to each other then, anticipating Djokovic hitting another of the same, Alcatraz went charging into the net for a drive volley to win the point. Djokovic was chastising himself afterwards for being outsmarted but this sort of thing was happening throughout the match.

 

Massive fan.

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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. 

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On 08/05/2022 at 18:58, hmm said:

Zverev is such a flake. Absolutely thrashed and goes out with the meakest of whimpers to boot.

 

 

Whilst I don't disagree he played very late the night before which seems unfair.

 

 

Man this match between Felix and Novak in Rome is great, just seen one of the best points I'll see all year I reckon, amazing from both players.

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Fucking hell another insane get from Felix, this is really something.

 

And now Djokovic with an insane get, and now it's a deciding breaker. This is really high level, more so than anything I saw in Madrid last week.

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Absolutely awful final so far, Tsitsipas just playing brainless, seemingly no game plan or anything. Yeah Djokovic is playing well but this is not good enough from a finalist. Felix is leagues ahead of Stefanos at this stage and could be very exciting at RG. Djoko is favourite though now for both RG and Wimbledon in my view, and hell the US if Medvedev is not allowed to play which is ridiculous if so (looking at you LTA...)

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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.

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2 hours ago, Miner Willy said:

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.

 

With uncle Toni as his coach he's playing very well and he gave Djokovic a hell of a match on Friday night, did you catch it? It was excellent :) In fact it was a better performance than Carlos showed against Djokovic in Madrid, Carlos was missing a lot and Djokovic looked nervy and made many uncharacteristic mistakes possibly due ot the crowd and lack of match play.

 

The way I see it Djokovic is still the man to beat after his performance in Rome this week. Tsitsipas has had elbow issues and even changed the strings on his racket because of this, he doesn't seem like the player he was last year. On Friday Felix showed that not only is his game top notch but he he is able to implement a plan and adapt to his opponent where needed, even Djokovic said after the match he was struggling to read and return his serve which as the best returner in history is praise indeed.

 

Tsitsipas is pretty predictable and relies on hitting the ball very hard and coming in behind it. It's an attractive game but it's fairly one dimensional, he doesn't change things up and that was the why he lost the RG final last year after being 2 sets up. Novak like all great players can adapt and respond to his opponent, I just never see that with Stefan, he's either hot or not and he was totally shown up in today's final. The only reason it went to a breaker in the second was because Djokovic got a bit sloppy after bagelling him in the first set but the result was never in doubt. Djokovic could have lost on Friday though, that was a close match and Felix really was playing top level intelligent tennis the whole match, Djokovic just raised his game to that extra gear in the tiebreak as great champions do.

 

I'm looking forward to RG I just hope it's a good draw, I'd hate Carlos, Felix and Nadal all being on the opposite side of the draw from Djokovic it will make it a really boring tournament if so, or at least the outcome will be very predictable. With Nadal looking weak it'd be nice to have someone who can give Djokovic a match and I hope it's either Felix or Carlos.

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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.

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Oh no what a terrible draw. Rafa, Djokovic, Felix and Carlos all in the same half, exactly what I didn't want to see. Rafa would have to beat Felix, Djoko and Carlos to get to a final which I think is beyond him at present.

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Can't help but laugh at this:

 

Wimbledon stripped of ranking points over ban on Russian players

Wimbledon effectively reduced to exhibition event

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/20/wimbledon-stripped-of-ranking-points-over-banning-of-russian-players-tennis

 

Can't say I disagree with the decision personally, it feels ill thought out, vindictive, discriminatory and at worse racist.

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I don't know. I see that it's not particularly fair on the players but then not much of this situation is fair.

 

I think that ideally it would have been determined at government level, and consistently internationally - i.e. no Russian teams or individuals are permitted entry to participate in sporting tournaments. The ATP were able to do this because the Wimbledon acted alone, and obviously the ban is pretty much pointless anyway when it's just one tournament.

 

Selfishly, as a spectator, I'm pretty fucked off that Wimbledon is basically off again for the second time in three years.

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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. 

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That seems a little bit optimistic to me. At the least, it's going to be diminished. Is Djokovic going to turn up when he's guaranteed to lose his 2,000 ranking points (and no. 1 spot) either way, when he's already highly selective? Will Nadal, when he'd have already been doubtful even without this announcement? With Medvedev and Rublev obviously out too, we can already discount half the top 10. And are any players that pick up minor injuries during the tournament, that they might ordinarily work through if they could, still going to go that extra mile or just drop out? Players don't do two weeks of intense 5 setters for the fun of it.

 

Admittedly, on the flip side, there's still a big chunk of cash for anyone that does persevere. Good opportunity for Alcatraz to win his first slam perhaps.

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9 minutes ago, hmm said:

That seems a little bit optimistic to me. At the least, it's going to be diminished. Is Djokovic going to turn up when he's guaranteed to lose his 2,000 ranking points (and no. 1 spot) either way, when he's already highly selective? Will Nadal, when he'd have already been doubtful even without this announcement? With Medvedev and Rublev obviously out too, we can already discount half the top 10. And are any players that pick up minor injuries during the tournament, that they might ordinarily work through if they could, still going to go that extra mile or just drop out? Players don't do two weeks of intense 5 setters for the fun of it.

 

Admittedly, on the flip side, there's still a big chunk of cash for anyone that does persevere. Good opportunity for Alcatraz to win his first slam perhaps.

 

 

Djokovic will turn up, he'll most likely win it especially with Medvedev not playing and it's still a Grand Slam. Rafa, unsure, probably unlikely which is sensible as he has no chance of winning it, no doubt he'll be injured or something but really he'll be prepping for the American hard court swing. 

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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.

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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!

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Oh man Felix is really struggling with this qualifier who is playing some great tennis. Felix looks flat and sluggish, completely different to how he was against Djokovic in Rome.

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19 hours ago, Miner Willy said:

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

 

Yeah it already is hilariously lopsided unfortunately, the ultra slow courts aren't helping, well they aren't helping anyone not called Djokovic at least! I really am not sure about night matches at RG, the clay becomes so heavy it really is a slugfest, I watched the fist two sets of the match last night and the kid was doing well. Carlos is struggling real hard with Vinolas who is playing great, Zed barely through in 5 sets, be interesting to see Rafa tonight on the cold clay, hopefully it warms up in Paris and I'm praying if there is a 1/4 between Rafa and Djoko it is in the daytime and it's very warm. Djoko's serve is looking pretty lethal along with everything else he has in his toolbag.

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Not enjoying Carlos struggling but it is a great match, Ramos-Vinolas is showing his amazing talent, I think Carlos will lose unless he ups his game.

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