Bang Bang Bang (Quick Post – Ka Pow!)

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 predictabtsonga_open131le 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 ofthiem_rio 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.

9 comments

  1. Man was I wrong about Federer’s chances in Dubai, albeit he went fighting, but the Grandmaster’s recent GS win doesn’t give him the unbeatable aura as it did in the past, I must remind myself that this ísn’t a 28 year old Federer anymore.

    As for Wawrinka, wow he imploded badly, but Damir was very good and I look forward to seing more of his development.

  2. Bang bang Ka pow there goes Roger! Yeah, Caligula, it’s easy to forget he’s not prime Roger anymore. Not surprising I suppose – let down bound to happen after such an emotional and long celebration. But the way he lost it is hard to fathom. Serving for second set, up significantly in both tbs and still lose?! Not even outplayed. One of those matches again where he mentally loses it and goes on walkabouts which had been atypical of his latter years…until AO 2017. I honestly thought after the AO win that he had overcome some of these strange mental blocks and that he could ride the wave longer. Not. Choke? Arrogance? Stubbornly playing into fh of Donskoy and overconfident coming into match (explanation about not knowing Donskoy’s pattern was so lame and amateurish) Anyway, losing a match is no biggie; just the way he lost it, for me, raises a bit of concern. Murray seems to be playing more aggressive. His tourney to lose now. Is Djoker back? Anyone watched his matches? He beat Delpo. That’s got to be positive for nolefam. Can’t wait for Kyrios/ Djoker! And I hope Nadal avoids Djoker. Won’t do to already be entree for Djoker before the mains begin on the clay!

    1. Yeah, I agree TB! Federer looked to be in control and then in that second set just lost the plot. Novak’s win against DelPo isn’t surprising giving the Argentinians lack of play, I still think he is still finding his form, but there was no “unbeatable aura” about Djokovic as we saw in 2014-2015. DelPo can trouble him and this wasn’t such a dominant showing as most Djokovic fangirls would want us believe.

      I hope Nadal hangs on. I want him to be the best that he can be on clay, because then the fangirls can look forward to this:

      https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/djokovic-stare.gif?w=1000

    2. I watched the entire Slowvak/DPo match, had heard about Federer and then watched the first set of that on replay. Federer serving for set at 5-1 and getting broken was a bit of seed planted. You could see the body language. The Russian is very athletic, hits the ball well. He got a whiff of beating Fed in that first set.

      BUT, the chokes on several occasions is pretty bad. No way around it. Look, aside from Fed’s #18, he’s been on the senior tour for a year or so. What reminded me of this was watching Del Po push Slovak all over the court last night.

      As Fedal faded the last few years, can you imagine if a progressive Del Potro had been banging around the top 5? He is a beast. He ran out of steam last night. The UBER-DEFENSE of Slovak got to him. If you’re out of shape, Slovak will wear you out, like Nadal.

      But, as Caligula said, and this is very very apparent: no aura of dominance from Slowball. He’s preening for crowd approval, trying to look dominant from the BL. When he comes in, shows a glimmer of offense, PASS.

      This thought blared through my brain watching Slo/Dpo last night: if you don’t slow the courts or beef-up the equipment, Slovak is very limited. It’s starting to show more and more. He is dependent upon that enhanced technology and the slower surface.

      But, again, his defense rose up (along with some very timely serves) to escape the Giant.

      Thinking about making this a Del Potro fan blog. Thoughts? You know, make an ass out of myself for one player, sound like an idiot, whose entire existence depends on the success of one player. Great idea!

  3. Bang bang bang Ka pow! There goes Djoker! Haha! Love that gif Caligula!! Fangirl blames it on bad draw and hopefully “Princess gets a better draw in IW!”🙄First it was the slow courts….now it is the draw…I wonder what’s next?!!….lets have some fun and predict his next excuse, shall we, Matt?!! 😉If you don’t follow tennis and just reads his post, you would think Djoker is a very mediocre instead of a potential GOAT player😜

    Kyrgios is such an exciting player. Worth to note he beat FeDalVic in first time of trying. I don’t think any player in history can claim that? Makes me so sad he seems to be throwing it all away. Much as I would like to hate him, I don’t. I just can’t hate players who are dynamic, aggressive and go for it. It is the defenders and counterpunches that I have no patience for. I hope he can keep it together now and wins the tournament. Good that Nadal has avoided Djoker!

    Yeah, Matt, make an &@:;$ of yourself and turn this into Delpo fan blog. I rather like the gentle giant though and wouldn’t mind a bit of fangirling! I think Djoker’s dominant 2011 and 2015 may not have happened if Delpo had been in the mix. Sigh! I really really feel for him. I watched his match with Djoker on replay. Those fh were glorious! He could have won. But I wonder if he can ever win big ones now; not so much on his fitness, but because of the almost non existent bh. Can one win a slam by playing 90 percent slices?! I love the tower from Tandril. I cry buckets of tears for him….(also Soderling. What.A.Tennis.Tragedy)

    Foul mouth Murray has been impressive. Kohlshreiber, another terribly nice player I love. Perhaps too nice. No killer instinct whatsoever. You can always depend on him to lose close matches, ugh! Said in his presser he was disappointed but not sad. Huh?!! The day he learns to be pissed off would be the time he would finally start winning….

  4. Oh I forgot something. Did you all see the last Djoker game where he was broken and Kyrgios won the match? He pulled a Federer!!! Total collapse. Djokollapse. As how Matt has seen it and written about it. He is tired, Djoker. All that winning and running and chasing Roger’s 17 had taken its toll. He is struggling to regain the motivation, the will to win matches. His mind seems fried. Plus I’m pretty sure all is not well in Nole land (demanding wife) and the vegan diet he has embraced is not helping at all. You have great tennis foresight, Matt. SO many things you wrote about has come to pass….👏

  5. Indeed, much to discuss. I will get a post up soon with the latest – can Kyrgios consolidate? We’ve known of this for a loooong time. Too few and far between from the young, immature Aussie. I think Tomic’s latest turd might be helping this surge from Nick. Separate, Nick! Separate! He is a massive talent.

    TB, you crushed the other critical point from the DPo/Slovak match: As we already pointed-out 1) the match evidences Djoker ‘s continued big-time vulnerability; we saw this in his Doha title run, and the slide continues. But the other obvious take-away 2) was Juan’s BH. This actually made the match tough to watch, almost.

    Every point: Djokovic staying away from the Del Potro Fearhand (as Brad Gilbert calls it). The slice BH battles they got into were pretty comical, with D Po coming out on top most of the time. Ha ha.

    But you’re right that he is very limited with that shot.

What say you?