Be honest: did you think the mention of schwag meant I’d gone ahead and created some Mcshow Blog schwag? More honesty: would you be reaching for your wallet?
I’m going to take that as a double yes, which turns-out to be Kyrgios-like, given his eight DFs today in the Stuttgart SF v Federer.
Mcshow Blog schwag will exist one day; I started designing merch/logo designs, etc., last summer. But that’s too much of a capitalist bug that not only haven’t I caught, but actually, unfortunately for my blog perhaps, the whole business of pursuing financial reward for things has a quite the end-of-the-world odor about it. Sure, this is complicated and I’m working through my own philosophy of living, enjoying and being daily disgusted by certain elements of capitalism. More on that later, hopefully.
Back to the schwag. Tennis Channel sent me some! They asked if I would post some Strokes of Genius imagery and a bit of a plug. I asked if this was a barter or just a one-way affiliation. They sent me this:
Correct, this isn’t much, but I don’t expect much other than YOUR EYE BALLS on the tennis discourse de Mcshow Blog. That’s all I ask of you NOW. There will be other, bigger requests LATER.
I am certainly stoked on the exchange. You can certainly expect a post probably this week about that documentary and the match itself, which I would like to write about a bit. I also hope this is the beginning of more between me and what is my giant and dependable access to ATP tennis. I don’t even need to subscribe to Tennis Channel Plus; the regular coverage that comes with my pretty standard cable package is solid. Thanks, Tennis Channel; keep it coming — the coverage and the schwag!
Speaking of the match/documentary that I’ll plug in the next week or so (Strokes of Genius premieres July 1), have you all seen the rise in GOAT debate on Twitter and probably elsewhere? This might have been spurred by the Mcshow advertising I referred to recently — a neophyte’s take on men’s tennis GOAT that contrasts sharply and sadly with what certainly champion’s a much more serious approach to these matters that happens here, right here.
Nadal’s 11th RG and 17th major probably encourages a bit of this debate, too. I have done quite a bit towards a clarification and obfuscation of said debate. I will have a few more words on this when I plug the documentary and explore the 2008 WB final. Stay-tuned.
But, I will have to say that watching the Federer v Kyrgios Stuttgart SF today did render reality on one debate-related point.
With the conclusion of another Nadal clay demolition and the advent of another grass court season, who, or what type of player rises to pose a threat to Nadal on clay? What sort of player poses any kind of danger on clay? Conversely, what kind of player will pose a threat to Federer on grass, or who generally does succeed on the late spring/early summer lawns of western Europe?
On clay, generally and specifically, it’s the Diego Schwartzman, Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini, Marco Cecchinato-type. Sure Marco was a massive long-shot and Thiem is a legitimate top-ten ATP athlete, but the point should be pretty clear here. This reiterates that the threat of the clay is the BL grinder, the specialist, the dirt-baller, the long-shot. Sure, the better players of the tour find enough form to outlast most of these “specialist dirt-ballers” on the bigger stages, but this point helps characterize the clay and the kind of pilgrimage that Nadal must undertake in getting through all of that debris.
In contrast, the grass will elevate the level of play, nourish the more talented and more sophisticated tennis player. Today’s second SF was a perfect example. Kyrgios is a massive talent; again those Djokovic fans whom I have heard refer to him as a serve bot are smoking the grass. Sure his serve can be lethal, but he has all kinds of touch and variety that he can employ. Often, he doesn’t need to; he hits his opponent off the court, removes opponent’s racket and paddles said opponent on the bum.
Federer has another tough one in Raonic tomorrow.
The point is the grass (and hard courts for that matter) pay tribute to the stronger, better tennis players that populate the men’s field. No question about this.
I knew Federer was up against it today, partly because of his lack of match fitness (which is his own fault) and Kyrgios’ ability to rise against the top of the sport. He’ll lose in straights to a top 50 player, but spank Djokovic or Raonic the following week (I’m not particularly fond of Milos’ game, just to be clear). You understand the point.
You’ve either seen the match or perhaps read a basic summary of the match. Two factors come into play when these two play: 1) the match will be decided on a point or two and/or 2) how will Kyrgios’ immaturity/antics factor into the result?
Nick is pretty tough to break, as we know, so he and Roger looked destined for the TB in that first set even though the Swiss had a couple of looks at a break; on the other hand, Federer didn’t face a BP on his serve through the entire match.
With that serve, you have to figure Nick will be in the thick of it and sure enough he secured a lead in the first set TB and didn’t look back. This first set is exactly how I saw much of this match (or even more) going today.
However, Nick let that second set go, which pretty much gave then world #2 probably the energy and momentum he needed to get that critical W. Able to secure two breaks and serve it out for 6-2, you knew we would see a more focused Nick in the third.
Indeed, off to the TB we go. Fed found himself down the mini break in the TB, but then was able to get back on and even push ahead, with the match on his racket at 5-4. After flubbing a FH winner, he held to hand the serve to Kyrgios at 6-5. Federer converted on the next point.
So critical with playing Kyrgios and what makes Federer a nightmare for the sensitive Aussie is getting that serve back into play. Roger’s ROS has been nothing short of brilliant in this 2017-18 campaign. Go back to that 2017 Miami SF between these two to see some ridiculous ROS from Federer (among so many examples recently, of course). Once he can get the rally going, Federer just has that much more weaponry the opponent has to deal with.
I would not have been surprised in the least had Kyrgios won today. Think about this: they have played nine sets against one another and eight of them have ended in TB.
Nick partly let himself down today, there in the second set, and just got out classed when it counted — as I said earlier, the eight DFs help not at all.
Federer ended up with 12 aces (to 23 from the Canberra native); I will stick with this pretty basic and obvious generalization: if Federer can keep his serve efficient, ~70% FS and flirt with 17-20 aces, he’ll be too much for just about anyone. His S&V looks solid and gets him out of some real jams. Raonic better have his passing shoes on tomorrow.
Unless Ranoic serves 25+ aces and has just a marvelous day, I see Federer in straights, given what he had to overcome today — a much more complete player with similar power.
Enjoy your weekend and talk to you soon. Again, thanks for reading and if you haven’t officially signed-up to follow the blog, do so. We’re still only warming-up and I don’t want you to miss-out on anything.