I have so many thoughts on what’s happening in NYC I’m not sure where to begin. I am going to keep this very short (sorry), but it’s late, and there are so many bigger conversations I want to start in terms of the tennis here and now and, of course, the bigger picture – what NYC is telling us in terms of the state/health/future of the sport.
For starters, I absolutely nailed the Pouille v Nadal prognostication; not on who would win (didn’t say, didn’t care), but on the majesty of that encounter. I have seen Pouille play a bit, but the timing was everything. The Frenchman, only 22 years old, has had a fantastic 2016, really his first year of big tour action. Take a glance yourself at his bio, but a round of 16 at Miami, the same at Monte-Carlo, the SF in Rome and the QF at Wimbledon and now the U.S. Open. Not bad. And he’s beaten some top 20, top 15ers along the way. The kid has game – he’s aggressive, has great movement, can come to net, and we know he can handle some big pressure.
I’m impressed with my prediction based more on sensing the intensity of that match (that no one seemed to give two shits about) than I am in the Nadal loss. I have not been on Nadal’s game much at all – didn’t see him doing much in NYC.
Needlesstosay, great match and Pouille should be a decent threat moving forward. Unfortunately, we all saw the limits of his game today against Monfils. His serve is not very formidable though we know it’s good enough. But to really establish some dominance on this tour, you have to be able to serve – not every match, every time, but a big serve is critical in those big matches in majors. You saw Monfils’ serve take-over today. Pouille was probably pretty spent from some big matches, but he looked in over his head.
I thought to myself, I’ll title my next post – “A French Revolution,” or some corny reference to the trio of Frenchmen getting into the QF and maybe beyond.
Remember, I also predicted Tsonga would have a good tournament. Not a bad call, and I even had a pinch of hope that he might give Djokovic a little challenge. That was horrible. Did you see the match? It was over after five games. Tsonga looked good on serve, was aggressive at net early, handling his business; then he had a break opportunity at 2-2, I believe, blew that and absolutely tanked. It was embarrassing. Unwatchable. I left after the first set.
And he later retires? What is the deal with these retirements? Djokovic’s draw, my God, it’s like a microcosm for the tour he now must steward into the dark ages. Really awful stuff.
(One of my other dissertations is coming to fruition: this, my friends, is the tour that Federer ruined. I will finish that piece as I have only the Djokovic essay to finish and then a conclusion. But see it with your own eyes. It’s a septic tank out there. I’m sorry, on Roger’s behalf.)
What a shame. Pouille: great effort. Tsonga: what could’ve been. And now Monfils who looks absolutely terrifying? Djoker will probably clown him right into the NYC afterthoughts. Straight sets, people. That top half is a disaster.
Wawrinka v Del Potro should be good. Stan looked like he was ready to pack it in v Evans (another talented bloke) before turning that around big time. There is a whisper of the Stanimal, but he’ll have quite a test v the Argentinian tomorrow and then Murray lurks in the SF as long as that all stays to form.
Unless Stan or Del Potro are hunting giants, this looks to be very predictable with a Murray v Djokovic final. And I suppose that’s the way it should be.
Still some tennis to play, but the Serb looks untouchable (mainly because no one will play an entire match against him, literally) and Murray simply organizing, prioritizing and still listening. . . to his master.
I’ll check back perhaps with Stan/DPo thoughts or other SF and F chatter.