I watched a bit of the Tsonga v Kyrgios Open 13 SF and was abundantly pleased, expectations met. Tsonga has such a tremendous ability on the court, can raise his level and beat ANYONE in the sport. This potency has waned of late, with age of course, but we are always on the look-out.
Rotterdam in the trophy case, his play in Marseille was perhaps lighter, looser, which generally means better. I wanted to see this particular match as Kyrgios is, as we know, a very curious subject. I felt Tsonga would match-up well, especially given Jo’s playground demeanor on occasion, when a match can become a bit of brawl, where he might take it upon himself to resist the advance of very confident, even arrogant, showman of sorts. We’ve seen this Frenchman turn many away in such circumstances.
Tsonga’s BH was still a liability but there were some big points where he came-up with some BH money. Some less predictable inside-out, and I even saw him line-up a one hander that flattened-out as Kyrgios came to net; the pass was splendid.
But it was the epic FH that dictated much of the rallies, along with an efficient serve. Indeed, Kyrgios made this a solid three-set affair, with the two playing very even in the first set up until Tsonga’s serve at 4-4. Kyrgios breaks and has that momentous advantage on serve only to get broken back by the wily Jo-Willy. The first set TB is very solid, Kyrgios and Tsonga both realizing the importance of the first set. JWT prevailed in 7-5 on the force of his solid serve, net play and the intimidating FH.
Kyrgios, rather than fade, won the second set 6-2, but Tsonga broke at 1-1 in the decider and proceeded to win the match 76 26 64. Really good play from both players. Similar styles between these two, both bigger athletes wielding a big FH, both potentially brilliant at net, both can serve. Nick has him on the BH, but Tsonga showed-up, beat the surly squirrel of a talent and went-on, of course, to beat Pouille in the final.
Two decent titles for Mr. Tsonga.
We like to see this in these burgeoning days of the season. There is word he might skip IW and Miami because of an expecting child. A decent excuse especially when he’s double-fisting ATP titles, back to back no less. Good to see Pouille make a little progress, as well. Let’s see how he fairs in Dubai.
You know me, I’m going to blow my horn when I can. This isn’t of the Dimitrov quality call, but I said, in both my last post and in a tweet (I think – uh oh, I’m losing my mind), that Raonic needs the win over Del Potro more than the title. Sure enough, he overcomes DPo and then pulls-out, giving Sock his second title of 2017.
This is a bad look from the Canadian. At the tail end of 2016, you might recall he gave Murray at W/O in the Paris final, which actually solidified Murray’s status as world #1. Raonic did play a week later in London where he almost upset the Scot in their SF match 57 76 76, in one of the longest three setters of all-time. Is Raonic out of Acapulco? Looks to be the case, so perhaps his injury is legitimate?
I saw some tennis commenters bringging-up this issue of a finalist walking, receiving his prize money, etc. Someone was saying the loser of the SF should then get to play in the final in the injured finalist’s place, have a shot at the money, etc. An injury is an injury, but we should suspect that some of this is BS. Again, I think Raonic saw beating DPo as the prize. That was a huge win, no doubt. I like the Argetinian’s chances of bouncing back. Raonic, on the other hand, even with the win, continues to stumble around the court. I have said it a million times: his storky awkwardness has almost zero sustainability. He is not of the Zverev or Del Potro 6’6″ type. I don’t trust the Serbian/Canadian (hell, he might be from outer space, as far as anyone knows).
Dubai draw is out and play in underway. Federer advanced quickly and easily vs. Paire in 1 and 3. He looks to find Murray in a SF, perhaps see Pouille in a QF. We’ll certainly keep our eyes on all of that. Wawrinka is in the bottom half with really just the threat of guys like Rosol (okay, I’m reaching), Istomin (ha) and Berdych. Federer will have to beat Murray and Wawrinka but that, we know, historically, is not impossible.
In Acapulco, Djokovic will probably get Del Potro in 2R/R16. QF is Kyrgios, so long as he can handle that bum Tomic, SF vs Thiem hopefully and then perhaps Nadal in the final.
Nadal has Mischa Zverev in the 1R, Sock in a QF probably and then a SF with the likes of Cilic/Dolgopolov. . .Isner. . . in other words, nada.
The business ends of both of these tournaments should be good. We’ll be watching.
I wanted to mention Thiem’s win in Rio, as well, his continued success on clay and just how much I like his fighting style despite a little rough around the edges. Like I said in a post or two ago, he beat Sascha Zverev in the opening round of Rotterdam; this will be a reference point for a later discussion. Thiem got bounced in the QF there, but he just won Rio and let’s hope we see him advance to play Djokovic in that SF match in Mexico. As one of my readers pointed-out, the Austrian does overplay certain points, but we all appreciate the competitiveness and, of course, the BH.
Keep your eye on him; however, like last year, has he over-scheduled? Do we have a let-down coming?
Stay tuned and thanks for reading.