Well, another quick post because that’s all I have time for. I leave tomorrow night for Indian Wells Semi Final action on Saturday. Not what I had in mind when I purchased the tickets. I have the potential of seeing:
Pablo Carreno Busta v Dominic Thiem
Jack Sock v Nick Kyrgios
That would be less than stellar in my opinion, but know that either way – I will be soaking-up the So Cal rays, hydrating and enjoying the lovely Indian Wells tennis facilities with great Masters 1000 passion!
Quick commentary on the R16 yesterday:
Federer completely outclassed Nadal. Go re-read my discussions of that H2H about which people (who don’t understand tennis) have gotten themselves sloppy wet. Roger’s tennis is so full of variety, depth, net-play, quickness, offense, defense and a great service game. This has pretty much always been the case, but we’ve wondered from time-to-time about his mental strength.
Closing-out Nadal like that was pretty impressive. Go look at the depth of Roger’s shots. That’s where Kyrgios will have trouble. The depth of Roger’s GS is a huge threat, along with the now best BH in the game (sorry, Stan), great ROS and that same silky movement.
Yes, the BH continues to shine in these high-stakes matches. I thought Federer was brilliant in his first match at IW vs. Robert, but thought he’d come back to earth a bit vs. his nemesis.
I was at IW in 2012 when Federer routined Nadal, so I have seen this show before. But this is different, here in 2017. Federer looks fresh, newly “commissioned” to take-care-of-business that a lot of us presume could be the Ivan factor. Ljubičić beat Nadal in the IW 2010 SF, so, again, think of the conversation in the Federer box surrounding this match. Ivan has been an absolute stroke of genius, imho. Which is how we’re describing Roger’s match and form at this point: genius. Again, look at the depth of his groundstrokes. He was painting Nadal’s sneakers with his paintball gun, brought to you by Wilson.
Likewise, Kyrgios outclassed Novak. I’m going to keep coming back to this: the baseline game is limited and lacks creativity, which means it’s not as interesting to watch as the players simply have to out-hit each other. I watched Kyrgios get disinterested during some rallies, which is part of his demeanor, perhaps, but the rallies are just big BH/FH exchanges that can go on for hours. The other element of Djokovic’s game that has to come up in these discussions is his serve. He is having to work so hard on both ends. Although he does have the best return game in the business, still, which I love to watch – his serve doesn’t scare many people.
Kyrgios, on the other hand, like Federer, has a deadly serve. Quick points, easy holds. Intimidating.
This is just an extension of my last post about the Djokovic v Del Potro. Novak’s game is not dominant right now. He’s still looking for that extra step. But the baseline game of his and his more pedestrian serve have to ring of some concern. He’s not getting any younger. Kyrgios coming to net, playing more creatively and athletically is just a more complete display of tennis.
This discussion of style can be applied to the Wawrinka v Nishioka match. Go watch Nishioka. He is a young Nadal, running EVERYTHING down and falling in love with the top-spin. Some of those rallies in that R16 match got really tired, Stan resorting to a balloon ball approach, to limit his errors and try to avoid the upset. The young Japanese star was just staying in rallies, outlasting his opponent in most cases. He’s beaten some decent players of late, but Stan (the other great BH) showed true grit and big boy tennis down the stretch to hammer the youngster into oblivion. This match is good for Stan’s game, I believe. He was forced to reach down and find those huge FHs and BHs to reach the big QF match with Thiem. I get to see one of these two, which is a very solid outcome.
Great to see Stan find his heavy ball and punish another helpless victim (though it took a while to break the defensive mastery of the young Nadal apprentice).
Gotta go, but there’s more to come, folks. Enjoy the tennis!