This is a part of the sport that many will never understand. What tournament organizers (ATP/majors), in some kind of collective mission, have done to the grass and the hard courts is fraudulent.
Remember Federer’s comment after Cincy, putting Djokovic’s Masters set into perspective. Great achievement for the Serb, but this was never possible in the past, partly because the tournaments and schedule and ethos of competing and winning every fucking tournament weren’t around; guys never had such an achievement on their radar — this achievement of winning all 9 Masters didn’t even exist.
But the more disturbing part of Fed’s qualification of Novak’s Masters set is the issue with court surfaces. Another reason guys never really thought about doing this sort of thing, like winning all four majors, concerns the speed of the courts. There was, believe it or not, a real difference in the way the sport was played on different surfaces. Guys were, in effect, specialists of different surfaces.
That’s all gone now. Federer above from that Tweet is talking about how to construct points on these HC as if they are clay courts.
The courts will speed-up as the tournament progresses, but who knows. The organization probably has a way to keep them slow and high bouncing, which is simply the antithesis of these legendary hard courts.
I watched a bit of the Novak match yesterday. The heat is absurd; making him play in the day like that seems odd. Fedal play at night. That’s a bad look, especially with this kind of heat.
He looked gassed and ill, as did many players throughout the day yesterday. But he fought through. Go watch the third set SP on Fucsovics’ serve, the defense that Novak plays to secure that crucial set before the boys got a ten-minute break, due to the new heat rules at the USO.
Novak then bageled in the fourth. A solid win for the Serb only evidencing that this guy can fight through just about anything. He is playing a B-level game right now, which is what you want to do, by the way, in the early rounds. He should rise accordingly.
Federer, on the other hand, looked pretty sharp in his 1R match against a very beatable opponent. The FH, early, looked actually heavy and dangerous.
This takes exception to the comment made by Caligula, I mean “Veronica Lee,” a few days ago. Federer’s injury is an unknown quantity. He’s 37 and can’t move very well. He looked great early in that match, but the Japanese fella wasn’t moving him very well. The real test will be in the next couple of rounds.
He gets the nut Paire next. That guy can play and he can fold into the fetal position.
If he gets through that, he gets a bigger nut.
We’ll track Federer’s form obviously, but what it looks like is he can play some brilliant tennis for a few sets probably against anyone. Does he have enough to beat the big boys? The 37 year-old body will probably say, “No.”
Last night would have been a lot better for him had he broken Nishioka at 4-0, with a BP to make it 5-0 and then serve to close-out the third 6-0. That third set was a mess, in the end. Tennis like that does makes you wonder about his health.
We’re in that exhibition style of tennis for Federer. He can dazzle for a set or two, but the winning form, for a major, against the likes of Djokodal’s hunger for majors seems quite a stretch.
The speed of the courts doesn’t help the old man, either.
Enjoy the tennis.