A bit to cover on this balmy Sunday evening.
To be fair, other than the Murray/Lopez drama (Murray back on court, playing with Feli, winning Queen’s doubles and the Spaniard winning singles), I wasn’t really diving much into this weekend’s tennis. To be honest, I didn’t watch a lick of the Murray-Lopez senior tour tennis.
Staying with the senior tour theme here, Federer looked quite ordinary through the Halle QF and I sensed maybe a loss to Goffin in the final, but who am I kidding? Still, though the Swiss did look to find some of that brilliant timing and crowd-pleasing half-volley and dreamy put-away passing shots, etc., he looked just okay. Goffin held his own and more in that first set, having chances to find a break and put even more pressure on Roger.
I don’t see the ascendant form from Roger here, at all. He is still getting his grass feet beneath him, having just finished clay court tennis and still did manage to win his 10th Halle, but this is not a fan blog, so I’m not jumping for joy and posting a bunch of pictures.
A 10th title at a tournament is very very good, but Nadal’s clay court specialization has desensitized much of that sort of novelty or excitement. We do get the quick reminder that not enough tennis is played on grass, so think of a difference in career dominance if there was a Masters (or two) on grass, etc., but really we here at Mcshow are looking for Wimbledon story-lines.
I don’t see Federer as much of a favorite, really. Unless he gets a sensational draw and his grass genius returns from the tailor as sharp as Fedfans could dream up such a winning outfit (what does Uniqlo have in mind, or is he sporting the creamy brown coffee cake scheme for another couple of months/tournaments).
He’ll get put into Nadal’s or Djokovic’s half — the tournament will certainly do that. I suspect Nadal will get a cozy draw for SW19, getting a Thiem or Zverev SF — ha aha hah.
They could repeat Roland Garros’ menu, as well. Novak gets the solo route to the final.
Either way, Federer needs a little help from the organization and he needs to play out of his mind.
I did not see the urgency in Halle (or Roland Garros) that he needs in Wimbledon, that he needs to win a major. To me the urgency, the ability to capitalize on a break opportunities, etc., is critical.
He looked coffee cake soft in Halle (like he did against Rafa in Paris). I wrote myself a note watching the RBA match, but can’t seem to find the note or remember exactly the exact part of the match, but I’ll guess it was early in the third set and he had a nice whiff of a BP, even a SS and played that like a summer round of frisbee at the beach between BFFs.
This is the Federer achilles’ heal. And it’s as swollen and as vulnerable as can be.
I’m not buying that killer instinct or execution that the Maestro (at 37) needs to finish a draw with a top pretty much chalk full of monsters.
Can he spin his grass web on the ATP peasantry toward claiming a 9th Wimbledon crown? I’m not buying it having seen his play at Halle and having watched recently his typical expansion of kairos, his ability to seize history and destroy his demons (for a guy who wins as often and as much as Federer, he’s got plenty of demons).
Speaking of winning and of 2019, this is a nice stat for the Fedhead:
Dubai, Miami and Halle — if I’m correct. Good and quite memorable for the 37 year-old champ, but if we’re talking about the business end of a major, I need to see a more buttoned-up Federer with winning closing-argument eloquence.
We’ll certainly have fun endeavoring to find this seemingly rare bird.
A few other (quick) points have to include the story of Queen’s last week.
Great to see Feli Lopez, a classy grass beautician, getting things done, backing-up that 2017 Queen’s title of his. And to win doubles as well, with the recuperating Murray? Brilliant.
Seeing Simon push his ball around the grass gave this senior tour theme some added reinforcement. He took care of Anderson (who will be a 4th seed at Wimbledon – wow), and then Medvedev. Nice run from the Frenchman, for sure, and a decent fight there in the final. As a side note, the groans from Feli do make me a little queasy. Sounds a little contrived, melo-dramatic — though this might be simply part of the tennis curriculum of this era of Spanish tennis.
Auger-Alliassime looked to be headed for that first title again this week, taking care of Dimitrov (meh) and then Kyrgios, a match I watched most of. The Canadian then beat our favorite Greek, again — following-up his win over Tsitsipas in IW.
I’m not sure about Stefanos’ evaluation of FAA here. The teen’s tennis looks textbook good, and he does seem to have the Greek’s number at this point, but we certainly need to see some bigger strides from Felix. The progress is there, but work still to be done, obviously.
Speaking of Kyrgios, I’ll just say this: part of me really likes what this guy can do. He has no problem hitting an underhand serve to Nadal, honestly admit his lack of unyielding respect for the games’ legends (we need a bit more of this in these youngers), and his tennis is other-wordly: he toyed a bit with FAA in their match. If Kyrgios tried, played as hard point-for-point as a guy like Nadal or Felix or any number of pros on the tour, he would be, I believe, almost unplayable. He’s a remarkable talent.
But he is a bird turd. He’s awful. The match with FAA showed this stark contrast in professionalism, in decency. FAA had some choice words following their match.
Sad story is Kyrgios.
We have more to discuss. I have enjoyed the Tsitsipas and Medvedev types speaking-up about the importance of overthrowing the sport’s oligarchy. With another major on the horizon, we’ll dig into this and more.
Thanks for reading.
Looking forward to seeing all of the boys in just over a week’s time.