A quick post as the R32 is underway.
Federer’s QF match with Del Potro looks wicked; if Del Potro somehow doesn’t survive his R16, Federer’s route becomes pretty enviable. I watched a bit his R2 match and #2 looked sharper, more efficient against a big attacking German no less. Fun tennis match to watch, for sure. Federer will likely need that first serve % to rise, however, improving upon the 58% he found against Struff.
At the same time, did anyone see any of the Djokovic v Monfils match? What a disaster. The tournament should be ashamed of that controversial transpiration. First the fact that players (Federer) are getting special treatment remains a bad look; secondly, that the roof wasn’t closed for some of those day matches (Monfils and Novak looked almost fatally exhausted out there. What if a guy heat strokes out and becomes seriously ill or dies? Temps were apparently obscenely high). Then we had the two players working each other from side-to-side in longer rallies that left one player or both staggering, hitting into the net or 20 feet long. Just a bizarre sort of tennis match.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Chris Fowler mistakenly reports Novak requested the day match. Could there be a less astute tennis call than that guy? Just goes with the whole enterprise of zero respect for the history or integrity of sport and all about the commercialism and branding that is a sinking mother-ship of ESPN.
Loved some of Djokovic’s comments in light of the false advertising/fake news of Fowler, et al: “Our sport has become an industry, like most of the other global sports. It’s more business than a sport. At times, I don’t like that. What is most important for us is our health and what happens after our career, after you’re 30, 35. There are many players that are struggling” (eurosport.com).
We obviously projected either Goffin or Juan to reach that bottom QF against Fedrer , but the fact that I saw and see Juan as a major threat in Melbourne meant that, for us, he would be the more plausible Federer QF opponent. The Swiss master better have his full-Monty in tow for that potentially massive tilt. Does the younger, stronger 12-seed continue to trouble Roger, or is it more revenge from the 2017 champ? DelPo has Berdych and then a Fognini/Benneteau to reach this gargantuan AO QF.
One of the problems with the ATP’s surfeit of uncertainty beneath the Big 3 is the painful inconsistency of these other “contenders.” Goffin losing to Benneteau is a bit tragic for the Belgian and the draw. A nice little run here from Goffin would have been fitting. But he has the rest of the year to get back to work.
Dimitrov just about lost to the American qualifier McDonald, pulling it out 8-6 in the fifth. How in the world did that 0-6 fourth set happen or feel for the Bulgarian. Goodness me.
And another big match we highlighted happens shortly: Dimitrov v Rublev. I recalled what happened in their last match in our draw analysis. That was their only meeting. Hopefully Dimitrov has recovered from McDonald and is ready to fight.
We all want Dimitrov to survive this so he can resume his debate with Kyrgios. 😉 But I think we know this Grigor v Nick match is a couple of stops down the line still. Dimitrov has his hands full tonight and so does Nick: Tsonga.
Did we see the Shapovalov v Tsonga match? I truly believed the Canadian had the match at 5-2 in the fifth. I watched closely the end of this one. The Frenchman was simply brilliant down the stretch when he needed it most. There was some truly weak stuff from Tsonga earlier in the match and even in that decider. But with the match on Denis’ racket, Tsonga opened his arms for the late holiday gifts coming his way. As brilliant as the 2008 AO finalist was, the 18 year-old closed-up shop and left town. This loss might linger a bit with Shapovalov; he simply wilted.
Oh shit, Rublev is already up a break in the first.