Both matches are exactly what we wanted. The set-up is perfect, really. The parallel is ideal.
The legends against the best this crap youth can muster in a major championship competition. Put all of the Aslan the Great comedy, the big Russian invasion for that matter, the Berrettinis, the . . . uh that’s about it. Folks, the field is garbage.
Nice to see Medvedev crumble on the crumbling clay, the one-hander dispatching that under-hander on MP with text book form that looked right out of a juniors clinic. The Russian, though he seemed to lift his form some in the 2nd and 3rd sets, went away there to give Tsitsipas a much shorter afternoon/evening.
You know what we like about the Greek. Two things: his OHBH is classic, so much more sophisticated and charismatic than the two-handed garbage thrown around by the likes of Daniil; his is an especially atrocious sight.
(But I do like Daniil’s no non-sense attitude. That’s a winning mindset, but the tennis is one-dimensional and lacks all of the above.)
The second thing we like about Stefanos is his (yet to be confirmed) championship mettle. Beating Federer in an AO R16 back in 2019, or taking Djokovic to five at the 2020 French in an impressive stand-and-deliver refusal to retire, or actually winning the ATP Finals suggests that this kid is for real.
Zverev has been playing better and better, if you ask me. With this German, it starts with the serve. If he’s hitting a lot of FS at 135mph, his opponent is pretty much in no-man’s-land. Of course, Sascha rarely maintains that kind of form.
Then we go to his groundstrokes. The BH is simply dangerous. He can hit by, through, across a lot of athletes. The FH can be very good, too. The issue, again, is consistency and some resiliency.
He is not afraid to come to net, either. We look back at that 2018 ATP Finals and see how he beat Federer and Djokovic back-to-back to secure that title. His net game was outstanding.
But what I have been noticing throughout, especially in a match here at the French (against Kei probably) was his defense. Zverev is tracking balls (like Daniil), keeping points alive, finding neutrality and then often winning the point.
The kid is in shape and becoming a very very difficult out. His sometimes lackadaisical approach would piss me off if I really cared, but the Bo5 probably best suits him for that reason (took him a while we might say for him to feel comfortable in Bo5).
This match could easily go the distance. I certainly want Tsitsipas to win and think he has a great chance, but Zverev scares me and I also think he might have the game to beat Nadal. Djokovic might eat-up what Zverev’s dishing-out.
Having said all of that (blown enough smoke up Zverev’s ass to trigger an alarm), he hasn’t played anyone here in Paris this fortnight. Look at his draw. No one.
Then I saw some stat about Zverev against top-10 competition, meaning he is not very competitive in that realm. On the other hand, we know the Greek has played and beaten some tough players (Isner, Medvedev).
Tough call. I’m taking Tsitsipas, but even as I write that I know this is practically a toss-up or a slight advantage to Zverev, as far as odds-makers go.
Like Zverev, the Greek’s serve will be huge. Any one-hander needs a big day with the serve.
Love the match-up. Let’s fucking go.
In the main event, I’m taking Novak.
- He will avenge the 2020 French, which was a bit of a thrashing at the hands of the clay specialist.
- He is playing well, as usual, and doesn’t have a 5 set QF (previous match) to weigh on his athletic game.
- He knows the stakes — winning establishes such a massive claim in the GOAT race (even if they don’t see it that way, and the debate/race is flawed to begin with, he will have beaten in-form Fed at WB and then in-form Nadal at RG, the latter obviously carrying even more esteem/worth for obvious reasons); secondly, he’s been on the losing-end lately to Nadal in a couple of big clay matches. You know Novak. He grew-up chasing Fedal and ended-up, pretty much, catching and conquering.
- There is a lot of pressure on Nadal, who, by the way, usually plays really well under said pressure, especially at RG.
You know the risks with my pick. But fuck it. Did you see Djokovic at the end of that QF match? He’s pissed. That, along with #1-4 above, here we fucking go.
Let me end with an acknowledgement that my dismissal of the young Sinner was a bit much. I am over the choking, lack of character of the non-Big 3 and I am a bit over the praise heaped on this kid, at this point. I pissed all over people’s Medvedev parade after he choked at the 2019 USO; indeed, odd timing on a Medvedev parade. But sure enough knuckleheads were calling him a legend, etc.
My crap detector went off then and it actually malfunctioned and spasmed a few days ago when I went nuts on Sinner.
Like so many others (still, the entire field beyond Djokodal at this point), his balls are too small for us to take seriously.
But a little premature (irony) on my part. Ha ha.
Enjoy the matches.
The Djokovic vs Tsitsipas final should be a doozy.