Congrats to Murray on his China win and Kyrgios on his win in Tokyo. The only tennis I really tried to watch when I could find the time was Pouille v Dimitrov Beijing R16. I thought this would be good given Dimitrov’s current play and his now mythic ceiling. He has been a massive disappointment career-wise; but his athletic tennis is a good watch when he’s found some form. I wanted to see the juxtaposition of Dimitrov’s athleticism and Pouille’s.
This, for me, is some of the best kind of tennis: guys with all-around games (right, I’m not striking insight gold here). Dimitrov was called baby Federer for a reason. His game is athletic and the OHBH can be a thing of beauty. He was compared to the guy with probably the best all-around game of all-time. The Bulgarian made the SF at Chengdu last week and the finals this week in Beijing. He’s playing well.
So I was hoping to see him play the new kid on the block who also has nice athletic approach to tennis. I don’t buy the arguments that guys like Monfils are the best athletes in the sport. Maybe his length can out-play other players on an obstacle course, or in a 100 meter dash, or mile or something. Tennis is shifty, requires tremendous skill and brain power. Pouille, many of us have noted, has a solid, low-to-the-ground footwork literacy and racquet touch that makes the observant tennis fan a bit giddy about this Frenchman’s future.
All this to say, I watched about four games of this match, couldn’t stay awake because it was quite late, so I acknowledged the score (which I’d learned earlier, before watching my recording) and went about my way. Of course, I saw that Grigor routined Nadal next, got a W/O from Raonic and was beaten, fairly predictably, by the Brit in the final. Sounds like this was Andy’s 40th title, something to that extent, so this is a big win for the big bloke.
Hopefully his win in China keeps Murray motivated to carry that form into this next week in Shanghai for one of the big end-of-year Masters.
Andy has the likes of Pouille in the R16 and Del Potro or Monfils in the QF.
Stan and Raonic are in the above bracket that will complete that bottom SF.
The bottom of the top half has a little bit of Cilic, Zverev, Tsonga and Nadal.
The top includes the Djoker, Kyrgios, Berdych, and Dimitrov (if he has any lunch money left).
The Djoker starts with Fognini, then gets Gasquet/Dimitrov/Karlovic, then Kyrgios/Berdych before making his way to the SF, if he’s feeling up for it. Tough little draw for the Serb, imo.
The Nadal dismissal in China might have surprised a few. Remember my 2016 predictions. There were some “esteemed” tennis commentators that said Nadal would get back to #2. He’s struggling to stay in the top-5, which is quite predictable.
Indeed, I was not necessarily looking forward to the Pouille/Nadal “rematch” in China. Needlesstosay, that never came to pass. Nadal’s much better in the longer format, as he so eloquently hinted (and here I completely agree with the Spaniard; I’ve touched on this debate already. More to say for sure on the changes some of these knuckleheads are discussing with regards to the ATP).
I still might go watch the Dimitrov Pouille barn-burner. If only Dimitrov had lived-up to some of that early hype in his career. Still, you get glimpses now and then (on the rare).
It’s little match-ups like this that keep me interested.
PS I should say I was looking forward to seeing that early Zverev v Thiem match (Beijing R1), as well. Different kind of tennis there, but the future for sure. Not an upset as some would write. Zverev’s huge breakthrough in St. Petersburg makes him even more of a threat.
PPS The Kyrgios win in Tokyo is not necessarily news, either as we already know he has this in him. He needs to show that kind of poise at a 1000. The future is now, Nick. Good luck in Shanghai.