The carnage and chaos continue. There’s some of this to expect in such an unpredictable sport.
I’ve done some light investigative work (part of which is simply looking at scores) and seeing that the HC of NYC have been totally fucked-with. Before the tournament even began, people on-site said the tournament had dumped a bunch of sand upon resurfacing Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong. This info is a bit hit or miss, but the courts have been playing pretty slow.
“Mcshow, you’re complaining about surface speed like all of those dumbshit Djokovic fans complained during and after AO 2017.”
Wrong. Hard courts are supposed to be quick. NYC is especially known for speed, so anyone thinking this (and not bold enough to leave a comment), take a deep breath and ask someone for a hug.
In a way, the deeply depleted draw here this year has pushed us to start to think out-loud about the state of the game. I’ve already argued that the injuries to all of these top players actually coincide with age and some of this injury is simply coincidence, as well.
Almost as troubling as where the sport is now is some of the reaction. True tennis historians are talking about changing majors to Bo3, etc. I’m not that mad at these simpletons because A) match format has been changed before at the USO – these change agents, then, have some history so support their fragility; and B) we’re all human and can think and say things that really make no sense.
LOOK AT MORE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS AND CAUSES THAT COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SPORT’S ILLNESS.
Proposing changes to a sport at the expense of the competitive spirit is political — and politics are insidious: financial and shallow.
A more thoughtful exploration of change includes honesty, difficulty and complexity. Players are injured? Let’s make changes to the biggest and best tournament of the year? I understand this same change was made back in the 70s, almost 50 years ago. But FIRST look at some other factors that show that you have a brain and a heart and actually care about this sport — which revolves around history, competition and fairness.
Back to the surface at the NYC venues: tough to nail-down exactly what’s happening on each court in terms of the speed (if you have any insight on this, share it with us), but some of the results are staggering.
The Schwartzman victory over Cilic yesterday is chilling. I am not a big Cilic guy, but the fact that the 5′ 7″ dirt devil destroyed the guy with NYC and Cincy titles should raise a few more eyebrows. They played on Grandstand, I’m pretty sure, and Cilic has been fighting a bit of an injury – but all players are. I know Schwartzman made the Montreal QF; he’s undoubtedly a fierce competitor who’s raised his game this summer, but beating Cilic like that in NYC seems a bit odd.
Let’s just hear some people other than Pam Shriver and Brad Gilbert on Twitter talk about the slowing of the courts at the U.S. Open. Why isn’t this more of a discussion?
Now, to be fair, the sand allegedly wears-off through the second week of the tourney, so perhaps the conditions will quicken; we can only hope this is the case.
As for today’s matches, Dolgopolov has made straights out of Troicki already (I mentioned on twitter that I’d entertain action on the Dog v Nadal affair – I say the Dog rolls-over, after tearing-up the bracket. He’s had his fun. Look for a head-first dive in that R16).
Thiem turned his match around v the dangerous 2017 Mannarino and looks to go up 2 sets to nil.
Should be interesting to see who’s got real 2nd week form from some of these top-half contenders playing today.
Most are interested in Nadal and Federer and how can you not be curious. Federer v Lopez will be the night match on AA. I do find Federer’s-back to be a tremendous mystery. If one has a back issue, I don’t think one can play at all at this level. If you’ve had a bad back, you know. Tennis might be the most physically grueling sport on earth — a bad back is . . . debilitating. How would he “hide” such an injury? A bad back just doesn’t work here, despite the fact that his tennis does look hobbled. In other words, I don’t think you can play even at diminished capacity with a bad back. This type of injury would force you to call it quits, done, buh-bye against these kinds of opponents, on this kind of stage (hard courts, Bo5).
Nadal should be fine given his draw, but the upset virus in among us, so no one is safe. Sarcasm alert: One benefit that Mayer may have is that all of his preparation for this match has been clay, so he’s probably in peak condition for a day match on AA. Of course, he’s playing the clay GOAT, so good luck (Taro Daniel was also a clay specialist, which has to make your head tilt, a bit).
My ATP Youth On the Rise post several weeks back continues it’s surge. Let’s see this whole updraft of youth save the face of this tournament. I mentioned in a comment that a Thiem v Shapovalov final wouldn’t be at all unappetizing. Or Rublev v Pouille. Ha ha. I like it.
Did you see Zverev the Elder v Isner last night? If you are not a fan of S&V, turn-in your membership to club Mcshow and have a good one. This is such a refreshing, old-school style and game. He frustrates the crap out of these “top guys.”
Watching Mischa hog-tie Murray in Melbourne and Isner last night on AA is right up there with my other favorite dishes. Tennis offense. Of course he’s at the net almost every point. Maybe Federer should polish that tactic. So far, Fed has looked lost going to net. But on these courts, especially, if you’re not moving and striking all that well, finish the point early already.
Talk to you after today/tonight’s tennis. Enjoy!