French Open Semi-Finals

Here is just a quick preview of the final four – I will extend some of these thoughts later this evening.

Djokovic v Thiem

The present and the future, supposedly, in the case of the Austrian. I have only watched a bit of his French campaign but the tennis is pretty impressive and I have to give him another nod because of the BH. Huge fan of the SHBH. He looks good for sure. Talk has been of his maturity; his ability to dispatch these opponents in fairly routine four-setters looks good. He should have plenty in the tank.

Novak is back. His form at the business-end-of-the-bracket is almost always ascending. Berdych is a reminder of the crap level of his quarter. No better player for him in order to get loose: a hard-hitting predictable player. Did he find the form to deal with Thiem? Probably, but the youngster might just know his way around the clay that much better than the under-achieving Czech.

I need an entire post to deal with the Djoker fanboys who are crying about their emperor’s misfortune. The schedule. STFUP. Thiem, Goffin, Berdych had similar schedules. What about your draw? This is a reminder of how bias relegates certain perspectives to pure farm rubbish. Djokovic just missing disqualification because of this racquet toss. . .consider the scale balanced.

In the end, Djokovic should win this SF. Put another way: this would be a huge upset if Thiem were to overcome world #1 in these circumstances. We suspect the young Austrian to battle, but seems to tough to fathom his winning this SF.

Murray v Wawrinka

I have not seen much of Wawrinka but for his early rounds. He seems to have cruised but he hasn’t had much resistance in terms of opponent. The Raonic loss was surprising, for me. The Spaniard didn’t have much hope. Is the Stanimal in Paris?

What gives one hope that he’ll make the final is Murray’s form, which certainly seems potent on one hand, but erring on the other.

I was off the grid (in the mountains!) and didn’t see the QF. I did catch the score of the first two sets and thought “brilliant” that Richard broke back to win the first and, “damn,” if only he’d won the second set TB, who knows, right?

Well, I saw the first two sets this morning. Gasquet was too defensive, too passive. He rose to the occasion during a couple of games to get back in those first two sets, but this was also enhanced by Murray’s UE. Murray’s level dropped. The Gasquet I saw earlier in the draw was nowhere to be found. Granted, he was playing #2.

If “drop-shot Murray” wants to beat a rising Stan, he will have to be much more consistent, as potent as he has been when he’s on. The flatter Murray looks good; not as much spinning moon-ball. He looks like he’s keeping some composure emotionally out there, too.

This should be a whale of match. But the Murray UE and his drop-shot addiction might become his undoing. And Murray at 5-2 advantages in both sets v Gasquet reiterates this flaw in the Scot’s form. He certainly seems to have his clay court game in final four shape, but will the Stanimal be too focused to allow Murray to meet his good friend in the final?

Either way, Djokovic will have a final opponent (I am blatantly overlooking Thiem here in order to tempt fate 😉 with whom he’s had some difficulty. In other words, we should have rather grand tennis conflict on our televisions come tomorrow.

This should be good!

To be sure: anything but a Novak v Andy final is preferred by the intelligent tennis fan. Why? Two reasons at least: 1) that “other” player is most likely playing inspired/inspiring tennis and 2) variety and stylistics; some of the most pedestrian championship tennis I have ever seen has been Murray v Djokovic.

Another to be sure: I am not complaining about the scheduling because of “my player” getting unfairly treated, but I am complaining that both men’s matches are being played simultaneously. That’s just below average stuff right there.

You wonder why Sampras, Federer or even Djokovic are part of the GOAT conversation and they have ONE FO amongst them. This FO criticism has, really, been around for a long long time, folks.

4 comments

  1. Spot on Matt…..I agree that Novak is overwhelming favorite to reach final… Stan vs Murray mostly depends on Stan I think… Nailed about fanboysim… and unbelievable how many complains about that he isn’t playing in main court also, hardly that matters for result I think…

    1. Cheers, Nambi.

      I haven’t looked into much, but I did see Djokovic on Lenglen for the SF. Seems a bit curious, no?

      You’re right about Stan. Like the Gasquet match, if we have status quo, Murray advances, but if we get an inspired Stan?
      😀

  2. Aaand it’s the Djokovic/Murray final that we all on paper expected to materialize. Novak has everything to lose, while Andy has everything to gain, should be interesting!

What say you?