ATP Finals on Deck

London Final Four? Is Nadal really going to compete?

Djokovic should beat Berrettini and Federer should beat Thiem.

We know how dangerous Thiemettini can be, but come-on: this is hard courts, and the Serb and Swiss really have to give us something useful, setting-up a possible Final.

I did just read that Nadal can claim year-end #1 by winning all three of his RR matches, which certainly isn’t very easy given his injury and the fact that his game doesn’t translate to these conditions; but, like I pointed-out a few days ago, he is 11-1 against the rest of his draw.

If Zverev is finding some form (defending champ; looked pretty good in Shanghai; lost to the surging Shapo in Paris), he might be dangerous. All of these guys could find a bit of that touch, I suppose. Nadal’s health being a bit up-in-the-air makes this group tough to call, not knowing if Medvedev can reclaim his unconscious pluck, what the big Greek one-hander can muster (poor record against the other three, plus he only has one hand . . . 🙂

Looking forward to watching the big boys toss and strike.

Next Gen ATP Finals - Day Two

I watched Italian Jannik Sinner do a bit of that today in his demolition of the Aussie grinder De Minaur, who seems almost to invite some of these humiliating beatdowns he’s received the last couple of weeks.

Federer gave him a 2 and 2 spanking in the Basel final and this Italian teenager absolutely hit De Minaur off the court. Plain and simple.

We saw Sinner coming, especially at the Open where he played a spirited match against Wawrinka, losing in four. He went through Monfils and Tiafoe with ease in Antwerp more recently before losing there, again, to Wawrinka.

But the key in today’s Next Gen Final was his ability to actually put the Aussie out of his misery, as he can literally hang around points, fire-off those defensive ground-strokes, make players hit a few more shots, hold his own serve pretty well. He’ll become a good pro given this fierce Hewitt-like antagonism.

But the Italian stepped-on this Australian tennis hope’s neck and bid him adieu.

Sinner has some natural power, especially in those ground-strokes. His FH beat De Minaur into submission, especially as the match wore on (which went quickly 42 41 42). Aside from that FH highlight, his THBH has the critical ability to go DTL, which added to this unplayable form today, reminiscent of the Djoker BH when he’s just ruining people.

Good hands on this Italian, as well — he can move the ball around, has, overall, a sharp game with some winning technique and confidence.  He served well, too, especially when facing BP (I think he was 9/9 there, against a good ROS).

Anyways, good stuff in Milan (thought the shorter format, No-Ad scoring, etc., proved only that the conventional format is better, for the sake of fitness and competitiveness).

And, again, looking forward to watching the big boys.

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