Tsitsipas Triumphs, Thiem Toes-the-Line


As we know, Tsitsipas beat De Minaur, the ultimate two-hander, for the Milan NextGen crown, which, like our Thiem v Coric Paris-Bercy bout, amounts to a short trial of the sport’s ferociously antagonistic style ideologies. Hear hear! Nice to see the more elegant, classic and sophisticated doctrine rise in the defeat of the younger, adolescent, inferior tennis zeitgeist.

But this was a bit anticlimactic, as well, given all of the Milan rule-change rigmarole and the fact that the victorious Greek lad seemingly was only a few 2018 match wins from London (perhaps that’s a bit of stretch). Good on Stefanos for consolidating that 2018 form he displayed as early as Barcelona, where he met Nadal in the final and then continued to make similar type runs amongst deep ATP fields, perhaps highlighted by another final against Nadal in Toronto, where Tsitsipas had beaten four top-10 opponents including the rising Djoker, as well as Sascha, and Kevin Anderson.


Thiem, our other prominent one-handed cleric, has lost to Anderson in their first round-robin match at the London Nitto ATP Finals. This is not a surprise; I guess Anderson is not burned-out quite yet.

My preview in my last post:

In Federer’s group, Nishikori is playing well, but the real battle seems to be between Thiem and Anderson — has Anderson played himself out, over-played? If not, he’s had a ton of success to lift him in these kinds of matches. On this surface, he should fare quite well. I would like to see Thiem come through, but Anderson, if he still has form, might be a tough out.

Pretty simple really. Anderson has had a great year, playing some pretty meaningful tennis at the top of tour. Thiem is a great fighter, but Anderson has a lot to overcome if he’s in form — the serve, both wings from back of the court, the ability to come to net, a very tall order indeed at 6’8″.

We’re early in this tournament, but a good start for Anderson, for sure, given that both players still have to play Federer and Nishikori.

By the time I hit publish on this post, Nishikori might have secured the upset of Federer in their first match of this WTF. He won the first set in a TB and they’re on serve in the second, Kei breaking back in the second game after getting broken in the first game of this second set. So, Federer certainly has his hands full there.

Ah, Nishikori just broke again so he’s serving 4-2 in the second.

All is mostly a side-show for the Djoker coronation b(sure Federer I thought like many of us might make a little run here as the end is certainly near — and given his skill-to-surface advantage in London). Tough to see Novak getting chased from this competition.

But Federer is all but done here v Nishikori as Federer serves to stay in the match at 2-5.


12 thoughts on “Tsitsipas Triumphs, Thiem Toes-the-Line

  1. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Thiem found his game in the second and if he holds it, can still advance.
    Fed does not look well. Not a great match of both yesterday. Nishikori smart enough to let Fed run, which he obviously couldn’t. Looks like Anderson beats them all and Thiem must win both matches ahead of him. Must simply forget about sticking back on return (that’s how he started the first set, opening the whole court for Anderson, then also serving poor due to frustration. But Thiem has still the game to advance. Only needs to have 2 good days in the office 😉
    As I wrote before, what Federer can do now to stay winning, is to improve the serve and return and go for winners from scratch. This is what he tried but was too inconsistent and frustrated, Fed is older today than yesterday. Now every day counts. Winning London – mission impossible. Should he advance somehow, he loses to anyone from another group. If Thiem advances and catches fire, can be a threat for everyone.
    Thiem-Nishikori will be the battle for life.


  2. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    “Thiem toes the line” – maybe a bit better. We could see regularly on the big screen “102-104 dB”. It was the noise level of crowd supporting Thiem and applauding his brilliant shots.
    While I think, it’s idiotic to say “ah, this was that easy volley netted or easy smash shut out”, I cannot help, being to some extent a fanboy, I must think like that. Cannot simply conclude “Ah, if this was not the smash wide out (to lose to Nadal at USO) it could have been anything else. Why the hell was it not Rafa, hitting matchball smash out? Hahaha … Still I prefer to watch this match lost than so many miserable matches, won by 2-hand.


    1. If there’s a fix anywhere, it was the tour telling Novak to go away for a year and a half, so Fedal could have some fun again, along with all of their adorable fans.

      This is 2016 all over again. Novak won’t lose a set in this tournament.


  3. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    I think, it’s enough of fixing (if there was some). Novak is too good now and has a lot on stake – Instead Fedal are close to retire or have a final decline. Thiem’s newest prediction is, we will see new names as slam winners within next two years. My guess is, the new names will be maybe Thiem in Paris but Novak takes the rest. Thiem should go regularly for runner-ups in Australia and US plus finally some Masters, at least on clay.Nadal will only try in Paris. Fed has no chances in slams anymore.


    1. Thiem needs to win today. You have another big match here with an “icon.” Thiem failed against Nadal. It’s almost more symbolic than about the tennis itself. Thiem would put Federer out here, which really should probably happen as Federer looks almost done.

      For your sake and for your muse’s sake, let’s see Thiem play a brilliant match and wrestle some real momentum from the old great.


  4. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Hahaha … you just asked about where was the fix. The answer. Nishikori (bad boy) defeating Federer, this match was still real, then losing to Anderson 0:6, 1:6. Then Thiem playing “brilliant” and never looking in our eyes as he normally does, making errors on request to let done Federer to somehow appear in SF. Next up thiem is allowed to play his usual game and beat Nishikori and Federer beats Anderson (the easies part of the deal, because Anderson just qualified). How the further scenario looks like, I don’t care. Maybe it’s the Greatest Deal Of All Time and Federer wins his 100. title (maybe Djoker has tomorrow some injury and retires?) on this big occasion.
    ATP is no more worth a shit? Right. But it’s still worth millions of dollars coming from Federer’s sponsors. What a shame.
    Did you watch Thiems match today? His body language cannot lie. He can play poor game and lose to nobody, but never looking like this. I’m done with tennis until next year 😦


  5. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Some times ago I have created a thread (an article, which is updated time and again) about Thiem, meant for those (they are the vast majority(´), who didn’t read Bresnik’s book (or even my small contribution in form of illegal translation of parts of this book into English) and may have not enough FACTS! FACTS” FACTS! (paraphrasing Bresnik) to understand him, which is sometimes some challenge.
    I updated this article just today.
    It’s here http://prf-mypassions-tennisandmore.com/who-is-dominic-thiem/ (sorry for so much self-promotion, but the article is way to long to repost it here, hahaha …


  6. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    Nice to hear you, Matt. Yeah – if you are Federer of blogging, I’m Thiem maybe 😉 Not gifted but being passionate.
    Thank you, Matt, you understand it and allow for my lengthy comment.
    Maybe a time comes, you put only a title, using your genius and I will write your posts. Ha!
    No, impossible, where would we find someone to comment so much…
    Since I’m here, I have seen 2 or 3 comments like Clint’s – “Well said, Matt”. And I agree completely. Well said. What’s the idea to tell more???


  7. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    What’s the hell. I can’t stop my thoughts. Here is just a very fresh one. If you make a ranking of ATP players, who, when very young, were so gifted as Thiem, he is maybe the only one in Top1000.
    I rely on Shakespeare. He is just achieving greatness and maybe Bresnik is for him a kind of God. According to his book, he was only gifted with fastness. And then Bresnik created him again, using this only inborn talent and was visionary enough to give him some “talents”. Most think, Thiem is talented. I say NO! He isn’t. Not in the sense of Federer, Djokovic, Rafa, Gasquet, Fognini. His talents (besides of inborn fastness) is his passion and hard work and ability to convert this hard work to greatness.


  8. PRF - Władysław Janowski

    I cannot let you down, Matt 😉 I just recall a post from a fan (female, but apparently not a fangirl), describing something, which she could see in New York before USO.
    Thiem was doing a kind of “last chance” preparation. He didn’t win any single match on hard after Paris. He was making drills in McEnroe’s Academy. The fan was playing there for recreation and sighted Thiem making a drill to improve some aspect of his serve. All the day long. Other guys, including Federer, were coming and going, but Thiem was working maybe 12 hours on this. She told, it was fascinating, not boring, because it seemed, the world and the time didn’t exist for him.
    Some days later he serves Rafa in first set with Rafa hardly winning some points. This is how he creates talents, he missed, when born.
    Good night. Matt – no more comments today 🙂


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