First of all, I have to say despite not seeing much of the tennis that I’m pretty excited about the all American final in Eastbourne tomorrow between Sam and Taylor.
We know Sam’s game a lot more, know the proof is in the pudding, especially on a surface like grass. His power tennis can do damage. Nice to see him getting in shape for the upcoming fortnight of best-of-five on the lawns of Wimbledon.
But first things first. Fritz has been quietly playing some pretty good tennis. To make a long story short, he was in a semi-final in Lyon on clay about a month ago where he lost to the tournament winner (Paire).
Lost to Coric in R16 in Netherlands and RBA in R32 in Halle before making this little run here in Eastbourne. This means he’s been playing a lot of tennis (he has) and is showing some nice versatility between the clay and grass.
This seems to be happening more and more, guys able to transfer their top form from clay to grass. This will probably be the observation that leads to Wimbledon doing-away with their little grass formula for the men’s seeds. The rationale for using this formula revolved around grass being such a shorter season and the surface playing into the style of particular players, so let’s account for these factors.
Now, the surfaces are too similar one could argue. Of course I pointed-out yesterday that this somehow gets very little notice, how the courts, whether it’s hard, clay or grass, are more an more similar.
That’s garbage. What’s the point? So, while you’re debating the use of this Wimby men’s seedings formula, why not discuss this degradation of the sport. More bullshit.
And this Nadal sympathy bullshit just stinks. People are crying now about his draw. Welcome to the ATP — what the fuck. There are good players out here and sometimes you have to play them. Shut the fuck up.
One last note on the formula everyone’s crying about. Haven’t heard much about the “bumps” guys like Cilic or Anderson got. Cilic jumped five spots from 18 to 13. That’s insignificant?
Here’s Anderson’s 2019 “activity”: he lost in the R64 to Tiafoe in Melbourne, lost to Federer in the Miami QF before finally getting back on the court at Queen’s where Simon took him out in the R16. He’s jumped from 8 to a 4-seed. That’s significant.
Then I hear the irony from a Nadal interview on the Wimbledon seedings where he says, concerning this formula: “only Wimbledon does it.”
Kinda like only clay forgoes the use of Hawkeye, or Roland Garros is the only major with conditions that mirror some kind of third world venue.
Nadal’s legacy only grows (Nadalism). Unreal we get all of this bullshit whining considering we just left Paris where that guy historically has been so gifted with draws, rain delays, wind storms, etc. He has no excuse to not play well anywhere considering his dandy old top-spin removes most the margin for error other players have to negotiate, not to mention the tour has turned almost every fucking surface into a sluggish, dumbed-down version of tennis.
Wow. Even when everything doesn’t go quite your way, Rafa: Get the fuck out of here.
Onto the fucking draw.
Here’s what I said yesterday, on point:
The draw comes-out tomorrow I hear. I suspect Nadal and Federer will meet in a SF, if the Swiss can get aboard the Express. Nadal’s nervousness, along with his tough loss to Djoker in last year’s SF should motivate Rafa to all kinds of manic, nervous form.
He’s the king of nervous. If he gets too nervous, he gets bounced.
Sure enough, Djoker will ride solo to the final, like at the French (is that okay, all of you sick Djoker fans who carry around a cross as if he’s the most persecuted man in the history of the world? Your guy lost two finals to Murray and two to Wawrinka, along with some other misses. Don’t give the rest of the tennis world unwarranted shit when everyone has their flaws and everyone plays the same sport — yep, fuck off).
This kind of whining from Nadal and his fans and from Djoker’s fans (I actually don’t hear the Serb himself complain that much at all — class act of which his fans can’t somehow get a fucking clue — STFUP, Djokerfan).
Oh yeah, the draw.
This was an obvious call.
Novak should be the least troubled of the three IF he’s got his grass chops together and doesn’t run into someone rampant in the top half:
Kohly first up, FAA/Monfils in R16, and Tsitsipas in a QF.
His SF opponent is from the law firm of Zverev, RBA, Lopez, Raonic, Wawrinka and Anderson. Some talent in there for sure, and obviously I didn’t include some other possible danger — but in a best-of-five? Come on. Who’s beating Novak from this group, or any group? Anything can happen, but he’s, again, riding solo and as the defending champ, still #1 in the world, top-seed, Novak should be in the final in a couple of weeks.
The bottom half SHOULD amount to a Federer v Nadal SF. This would be only right, right? Federer reaches the RG final, so these same two, clearly the class of that half should reach the Wimby final. And Federer should win this contest, right?
Federer’s draw looks pretty smooth, possibly a Coric in the R16 as a legitimate test? He should cruise until then. SHOULD (theme of every draw analysis). I wonder how Struff’s tennis will translate to the grass. Big guy, big serve. Gasquet and Pouille are in there (play each other in R1) as is Krajinovic, but a Federer v Coric R16 seems fairly plausible.
Isner, Berrenttini and Nishikori look like the QF opponent in that last quarter with Federer. Isner appears to be healed from this foot injury, lost to Federer in the Miami final partly because of said foot.
But let’s be fair here: Federer should be into that SF to await the winner of the Nadal quarter. Gotta see this from mister Switzerland.
Nadal, cue the crying, has a couple of tough matches on paper (to be clear: Novak and Roger will have some tough matches, might even lose en route — you know of what I speak): he gets Kyrgios in the R2.
But Kyrgios probably doesn’t beat his countryman Thompson in their opener. Thompson has played well this year. We can probably all agree that Kyrgios should be Thompson and find that R2 match with Rafa, but who knows with Nick. Just thinking about him makes you a little mad or sad, doesn’t it?
After that potential intrigue, I like the Nadal v Tsonga match we could get in the third round if Jo Willy can survive another sorry-ass character in Tomic and potentially Shapos in R2.
Nadal then could see Cilic in that R16. Cilic just spanked him in an exo but I’d put a little scratch on Nadal in that re-match (maybe). Nadal, sorry to be redundant, should get through nonetheless. That’s how great players are supposed to handle these kinds of draws even if the guys they’re playing are good (ha ha) and especially if they just cruised to their 87th French Open. Why shouldn’t Rafa be a virtual lock for Wimby given his obvious form (Roland Garros was last Tuesday, essentially) and the surfaces (essentially) are more similar than different.
You and I have to like Nadal here if we’re being objective, right? Left?
After he takes care of Cilic, he gets the likes of Thiem/Querrey (a first-rounder, folks!), Simon or Tiafoe/Fognini? In other words, if he survives Cilic (who probably gets bounced early), he should be able to find his way to this anticipated SF with everyone’s favorite Federer.
Should note (and we’ll cover this) that if Querrey takes Eastbourne tomorrow and can “shock the world” and beat Thiem there in R1, look out for this kooky American.
Sam I am.
That’s it folks, for now.
I should probably mention that I’m off to London tomorrow with my family and extended family, which involves some kids. My kid is a huge Man City fan, Premier fan in general, so we have a bit of an agenda getting a picture taken in front of each Premier club venue/stadium. And we’re going to Paris for an overnight. We made these plans in February, so I had no presence in the lottery, have never been to Wimbledon, but am certainly keeping an “open mind” on the possibility of getting on the grounds, finding a seat and a pint, etc.
You know me; I want in.
But there are some key variables in play (kids, family, cost of ((even)) first week matches, etc.). That’s life. I’m just stoked to even be traveling and enjoying some England this time of year.
Wish me luck!