I have my second Claydal meditation pretty much ready to write; look for it later today or tonight.
Here’s why you need me; the lame brain tennis media can not reconcile the following:
Tsitsipas’ form over the last few months, highlighted by QF appearances in Qatar and Dubai, should give some indication that he’s been coming.
At the same time, the clay’s volatility and inferiority make these kinds of “upsets” pretty commonplace.
Therefore, this is not an upset.
Look at his score lines over the last several tournaments. He doesn’t just go away. He’s a fighter. For me, most illustrative of this talent was watching his R64 loss to Thiem at Indian Wells, a three-setter that showed the Greek’s tennis spirit and poise. As in most of Thiem’s matches, the Austrian flirts with the plank over shark-infested waters, anyways. This is not a recipe for consistent, deep runs. The Greek has all kinds of danger beneath that handsome cloak of youth.
Thiem, as well as he’s made for clay, is not the dirt juggernaut folks want to make him out to be. Such is the tennis analysis of a soft tennis intelligentsia. Thiem, like a Dimitrov, is too deep, too vulnerable to a hungrier dirty grinder on this circus of a surface.
Keep in mind, at Mcshow, we still Beliem in Thiem.
But this sort of soft tennis coverage and “analysis” is weak. Announcing (for internet clicks, as well) the Thiem upset is right up there with the rabid coverage of Nadal’s clay streak, his surface dominance, his “untouchableness” on clay.
As my theory goes (and stay-tuned for this disquisition later today): you are what you are.
The ramifications of this life and sport truth can be disquieting.
7 thoughts on “Tsitsipas Over Thiem is Not an Upset”
I haven’t watched the match yet. But I’m not surprised. Thiem hasn’t been rock solid on clay like he was last year, and Tsitsipas is really showing a lot of talent! I’m an early fan of this young Greek!
And he’s only 19.
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I see good things in his future!
I’m following by default every upcoming young one-hander, so Stef was an obvious candidate. I expect lot more from him than from Shapo. But I don’t expect him to overcome Thiem soon. Thiem is still evolving too. Barcelona was still on a comeback from ankle injury and we never know details of Thiem’s minor problems, because he tells even not parents or the BIG PARENT or the physio.
Thiem has some special ability to lose matches he is actually going to win. But if performance was not generally poor, he accepts such losses and goes immediately to the training court to improve what just failed. Or calls it a day and starts to prepare for the next tournament. I completely dislike the media key word “upset”. Media are hunting for upsets. Media live from upsets. If there is no real upset around, they call anything an upset. An ATP page of the day without an upset is a dead page.
I think, unlike so many others youngsters, Stef has no pressure from his team, simply learning, fighting, winning more and more but not expecting to upset all the world in a year (take Zverev for comparison). Stef can not have patience because of his age, but his parents seem to have enough of that 🙂 And Stef is a good entertainer, but not a clown 🙂
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