So I ended-up 3 for 4 yesterday, Nadal ruining my scorecard, but given the bizarre nature of the Zverev v Tsitsipas, I’ll take it.
The Cilic v Nadal was so typical Cilic and Nadal it would be tough to write that script any more perfect. No way Nadal should have even stayed with him in that match. But sure enough, Rafa finds a little crack and squeezes his muscly game in there, tortures you before you jump off a bridge. Cilic imploded against Nadal like so many have before. Not a shock, at all. More a shame.
Nadal with his bulky hard court slippers and blunt staff will look to secure his 33rd Masters here this weekend.
Same rule applies with Khachanov as the one we used with Cilic. Karen can over-power Nadal, but he has to stay focused long enough, maintain a supremely high level and this seems tough to fathom given the experience factor. But I wouldn’t say his chances are any less than Cilic though the odds makers would disagree with me. Here’s where they’re wrong: Karen doesn’t have (yet) that charming personal characteristic that Marin has fashioned into an art: the brain fart. Cilic always gets tight in those big spots. He’s a splendid tennis player (he should have straight-setted Rafa yesterday). But he gets tight, makes terrible decisions, etc.
Do we know that about Khachanov? No we don’t. Hence their chances of beating Nadal are about the same.
This could be a 2 and 2 Nadal win and we wouldn’t blink. Here’s to the Russian making a match of it.
Look for Nadal to force Karen into too many errors. This could, again, be 2 and 2 — it’s Nadal against a toddler (though the toddler does have precocious power, and he is in a Masters SF, after all).
Anderson looks too focused (and still pissed about the no fifth set tie break rule in Wimbledon) for the Greek teen. Tsitsipas may be a wizard, however, so we’ll just play dumb on this one — though the one-hander with all kinds of variety (seems to exhibit more in each passing match, which basically means we’re all now becoming more familiar with his game).
The unconventional use/timing of the drop-shot, the inside-in FH or CC or DTL, the beautifully steady BH (from the second set down 3-5 yesterday, at least) and even that squash shot FH he hit for a winner inside-in (only Federer had been one to really use that). The kid is an original.
The steely fortitude from Tsitsipas should continue based-on who he’s already played — some incredible results — and the fact that he beat Anderson in Portugal back in April. On clay, but the youth often discount such details. Be ware, Mr. Anderson. 🙂
Let’s just hope for some more surprises, and yes that means we want a Tsitsipas v Khachanov final.
Interesting hearing the background on Tsitsipas’ dad. He’s essentially Russian. That side of the family is Russian.
Same with Zverev’s dad. That means along with Khachanov, Rublev and Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas are part Russian, as well. Quite the youthful infiltration.
Enjoy the Toronto SFs.