So, how’d we do in those R16 matches?
Nadal/Kyrgios: “For the sake of the Kyrgios’ recent rise in character, let’s see him advance, though even a great match would help him in this greater cause. #bushfire”
I figured he’d lose exactly how that played-out. I didn’t even watch much of this match. We were past midnight (on a school night) and I’d had my fill for the evening after Stan/Daniil. Lastly, I could sense where this was going. This more mature Kyrgios has much better long-term prospects, but we might see him wane a bit in terms of his elevated form. When one actually gets his/her shit together, some of that youthful, irresponsible, and volatile brilliance has to go get a hair cut, a better change in wardrobe, straighten all of those crooked teeth, so to speak.
The mad man will, I firmly believe, return.
But that’s not this Nick. Not yet. He’s coming into his own. Watching Kyrgios tear-up during his introduction last night, wearing a Kobe jersey, looking much more composed than the pre-probation Nick (I do think he wants to pull his shit together on his own, too), I could see he’d get the short-end of Nadal’s professionalism, Rafa’s fiercely composed R16 tennis major business-end lecture.
The crazed Kyrgios might’ve flooded the court with F-bombs, hit 27 aces, and taken Nadal to the cleaners.
But, again: this is a much better version of Nick in the long run. Well done, Nick. You will be a huge asset to this tour. I’ve believed in you, though you’ve made that tough at times.
Thiem/Monfils: I tuned-in when Domi already had a two set lead. He looks to be finding some form and the shorter efforts bode well for his QF clash with Nadal.
Wawrinka/Medvedev: Brilliant match. Stanimal might be in the building. His effort looked a lot like that guy from 2014 – 16 when he won one major a year. He looked vulnerable at times, disheveled, but then decisive. And the heavy artillery is simply some of the best tennis on the planet, big and beautiful from both wings.
Medvedev’s court position, as I keep saying, is very problematic. This is the diagnosis.
And the Russian is 0-6 in five-set matches. So, touch the breaks a bit on he’s a multi-major winner waiting to happen. At the same time, he can be so steady, smart, sneaky-good and sinister. He needs a Bo5 win. He needs a forecourt presence. Then he’s frightening.
Though I wasn’t very confident, we got this one in the bag, too (“Wawrinka, on a whim (I can’t even really buy that myself”). Ha ha.
Rublev/Zverev. Didn’t watch it and was dead wrong. I did have a little disclaimer on this one, however. Did Rublev have that 2020 undefeated form? Not sure. You tell me. Either way, Zverev survives.
Sandgren/Fognini. Sandgren has that blue-collar, southern work ethic. Indeed, he’s a southern boy, went to the University of Tennessee, and he’ll look to whup your ass!
I missed on this, betting on Foghat. My bad. 😀
I got Federer, Raonic and Djokovic — easy money.
Federer looks to be hanging by a thread. He can not exchange ground strokes with these blokes ala Wawrinka. He MUST use his variety and come to NET and SERVE like a blistered troll — or continue to spin magic like an Elven King of Rivendell. I tuned-in to Fucsovics/Fed in the second set. The Hungarian was gifting every other point by then. Federer looked good here and there, he has a winnable QF, but he’s showing his age.
Give us Federer vs Djokovic in the shadow realm.
Djokovic is simply brilliant at this stage.
Then again, tonight’s midnight contest with Milos should be good. Best serve in the tournament vs. the best ROS of all-time. Of course, Djokovic has some other tools, as well. 😀
We like like Thiem to upset the Spaniard and Wawrinka to subdue Sascha.
Three out of (final) four one-handers?
(Speaking of Shaq, we will definitely have a post for the passing of Kobe).