Very interesting: this change in complexion of the more recent business-end of big tournaments.
The Canadians have crashed the party. Too far-fetched to think that the 2019 Miami Open Final could be a match between 18 year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime and 19 year-old Denis Shapovalov?
Or do we get that more familiar ghosty complexion of an Isner vs Federer, the old guard claiming what is rightfully theirs, what they and we naturally consider theirs.
The status-quo vs the Canadian revolution.
We’re not talking here about Milos Raonic, Genie Bouchard or Vasek Pospisil.
Then again we could include the 18 year-old 2019 Indian Wells winner, Canadian, Bianca Andreescu.
Very interesting, indeed.
Did Federer look good today vs Anderson? Yes and no. He looked clinical, with the usual Federer flair here and there, but Anderson looked awful, too. The first set bagel was definitely worth the watch since you don’t get those too often at this level of opponent or tournament, at least on the men’s side (aside from a Kyrgios match where he’ll throw a set “for charity” or “entertainment”).
And yet Kevin found his footing in that second set. The Federer break at 4-4 took 10-15 minutes and probably the wind out of Anderson’s sails he’d finally unfurled at the outset of this second frame, getting the set back on serve and looking more and more confident. Brad Gilbert, calling the match, naturally referenced Federer’s collapse at 2018 WB against the S. African where Federer got-out to a two-set lead, had MP in the third and then remarkably went away.
6-0 to 4-4 had a whisper of such momentum change, but Federer’s return to the BH slice closed the door on Anderson’s comeback. Federer had gone to the top spin BH in the second set, which clearly gave Anderson life.
Federer v Shapovalov should be quite a scene. A OHBH fan’s delight. Obviously these guys are going to bring some classy tennis to the court tomorrow night.
The same will be said about this match as what could be said about the IW Final that we just witnessed, though Thiem is a much more seasoned player (much more). But Denis can push the Swiss great around with his powerful groundies and big serve.
When Cahill was tossing around statistics relating to Thiem’s power (in 2018, no one hit the ball harder then Domi from, really, both wings, on average), Denis was #2 in one of the categories, FH perhaps. This kid can mash.
Federer should be able to manage the young gun and get through, but the power tennis alarm has been sounded. Beware. You get Federer on the run, especially to that FH, he can be vulnerable. But I like Roger in this one. Unreal to see Federer this deep, again, at this point in his career.
Gilbert today was willing to put beers on Isner in his match with the other Canadian in the other SF. He simply likes the American’s chances with that monster serve and the experience, of course.
If either one of these Canadians gets through, we’re stoked. For the sport.
So much to see still, so we better leave the discussion there, stay-tuned, chill and get ready to take-in some Masters final four tennis.
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