Commentary

A Word on 2017 Fedal

Fedal-2017

 

Australian Open 2017

Federer’s Draw:
Melzer
Rubin
Berdych (10 seed)
Nishikori (5)
M.Zverev (def. 1)
Wawrinka (4)
Nadal (9)

French Open 2017

Nadal’s Draw:
Paire
Haase
N.Basilashvili
Bautista Agut (17)
Carreno Busta (20)
Thiem (6)
Wawrinka (3)

Wimbledon 2017

Federer’s Draw:
Dogolpolov
Lajovic
M.Zverev
Dimitrov (13)
Raonic (6)
Berdych (11)
Cilic (7)

U.S. Open 2017*

Nadal’s Draw:
Lajovic
Daniel
Mayer
Dolgopolov
Rublev
Del Potro (24)
Anderson (28)

*Since this draw is so unbelievable, for clarification, Nadal could’ve faced:
Gasquet (26) R32, Berdych (15) R16, Dimitrov (7) QF, Federer (3) SF and a host of other players in the final. But that’s tennis; you can only play the survivors of your draw.

With Nadal’s 2017 U.S. Open title, 2017 Fedal at the majors is complete. What started-out as a shocking development down-under in Melbourne, that continued through the sunshine-double, that became La Decima, Federer’s 8th, and Nadal’s consolidation of his rise to #1, by winning his third U.S. Open: these two legends have undoubtedly added considerable weight to their already mammoth legacies.

They’ve cemented further their own association, the use of the obvious portmanteau, Fedal. Has this amazing year of legendary tennis benefited one over the other? How can it when they split the four majors of 2017? I would probably lean Federer because of the victory over Nadal in the finals of 2017 AO, IW and MI and because this year adds more meaning to Fedal. Prior to 2017, most might see the association as reference to that ironic comparison of Federer having the most majors, Nadal second, but the Spaniard ahead in that lopsided H2H.

Now, after all of this, 2017 adds quite the embellishment to this complicated duo; there’s even more to the story.

But the year really belongs to both, and right now, we might actually lean Nadal on the way the year is shaping-up because of a very simple reason. The significance of the No. 1 ranking is for real, and exists almost separately from the consideration of majors and other accomplishments in the sport (the mark carries a lot of clout).

Federer has spoken several times of the importance of this achievement, speaking specifically here of the year-end No. 1 and his desire to accomplish that feat in 2017. I have written about this mark in several posts, in several contexts. Pistol Pete leads that race with 6 year-end No.1s. Federer and Connors are next at 5, followed by Lendl/McEnroe/Djokovic at 4, and Nadal alone at 3.

Think of the race for the 2017 year-end No.1 we have before us. Both Nadal and Federer can make waves on that legacy front, obviously. Nadal is adding to his overall weeks at No.1, as well.

This is exceptional work from both players, which is just mind-boggling when you consider where we were a year ago. I watched a few sets of the 2016 U.S. Open final yesterday, as a matter of fact.

Wow. It was weird watching Djokovic play. I almost forgot about that guy (kidding aside, it was odd, a blast from the past). He still had glimpses of the Novak Slammer on that September early evening, that diabolical baseline witchcraft still going strong (comparing his ROS position to Nadal’s. . .the courts were faster in 2016 and Novak is still returning from atop the BL; not 18 feet back).

Djokovic you can see is really starting to breakdown in that match and still he was a witch with the stick. Stan found that dominant animal spirit, as we recall, and proved way too much for Novak that day, but that was still Novak’s tour, the Djoker still holding-on to that No. 1 ranking.

Then Murray makes his run in the latter part of the year (post-USO) while Djokovic gets-up off the mat and tries to hold-off the challenge. However, Murray is able to finally wrestle the top of the tour for good from the Serb at the WTF.

We moved to the off-season with anticipation of those two re-kindling their fight the following season.

And lo and behold: 2017 Fedal.

What a nutty ride.

Still so much to discuss and still so much tennis to play.

Beautiful stuff, no?

Quick Nadal v Del Potro Preview

US-Open-2017-851366

This is the default final as Nadal v Federer would have been, of course; we don’t want anyone to forget the dirty undergarments that was the 2017 U.S. Open draw. Anderson v Carreno Busta? Please don’t see this as unprovoked criticism, but we have to go out on a limb and say that Anderson, for the integrity of the tournament (sport), needs to win that match. That sounds harsh. Sorry.

I firmly believe in sports generally getting the narrative right. Sometimes a certain story or development can strike us as pretty unjust, or wrong, but in the long-run, the true champion usually prevails, even if we need a longer story-line.

Last year’s U.S. Open is a good example. I still thought somehow Novak would find a way, even though the collapse had already begun. His draw and his form had so much to be desired; and Stan was playing into his once-a-year major-winning form. The right story prevailed there, as most would agree. Sometimes we’re not sure how justice will prevail, how the deserved will find his well-earned bounty. In that final in 2016, Wawrinka’s victory looked and smelled right (I value the olfactory world).

Djokovic’s draw was a joke, and he was on fumes. Stan had to play well to even get there and upon reaching the final he partied like it was Jan 2014 or June 2015.

I see some similarity with this second SF match today. Am I talking about destiny? Maybe a little. But the facts speak for themselves, too, and complicate this discussion, as well.

When Nadal begins to exchange balls with Del Potro, he should be seeing a level of tennis he hasn’t seen yet. His draw has been a joke. That’s not his fault. But he hasn’t played anyone.

On that note alone, Nadal has to somehow find the ability to beat one of the top players in the world, whose self belief can be as big as his Argentinian heart, or FH. Nadal hasn’t been there. Taro Daniel, or Leo Mayer or even the Dog won’t move the needle. Nor will a 19 year-old Nadal fanboy.

Nadal will try to attack the BH, obviously. That will be even easier for him (compared to the right-handed Thiem or Federer) because his lefty FH can zero-in on that BH even more so, adding the Nadal spin and bounce for good measure.

That means Nadal has to have the leverage in these points, he has to dictate. He won’t reach the Delpo BH from 15 feet behind the BL. He has to be able to stand and exchange with a level that he has yet to see in NYC.

Del Potro has been playing at a higher level; he’s had to. Just in the last two matches, he played and beat the 6 and 3 seeds. He’s there already. His nerves and body and mind are engaged. Nadal has to engage that level, which he has not done in weeks.

The other point that the CCO (Chief Content Officer) of this blog advocates is that the hard courts crown a true HC champion. You know, if you’ve invested in this blog, that Nadal’s tennis is hit or miss on HC. If Del Potro is still playing at that level that we saw in the QF or in the last half of this R16 match, Nadal won’t be able to stay with the 2009 U.S. Open champ.

Nadal prefers the soft-hearted foe whom he can bully, or at least outlast. Emotion and momentum play huge rolls in the Spaniard’s tennis; he likes to finally get on top and pummel his victim. Guys like Novak, Stan and Juan (among a few others) don’t succumb so easily to the Spaniard’s bully tactics.

If Del Potro is playing with the same energy he had in the last two matches, he wins this.

The complication, of course, concerns the speed of the court and Juan’s fatigue. The court is still rewarding the big, flatter ball and I hope for the gentle giant’s cause that he can represent himself tonight.

He deserves this just as the sport does.

PS
A Nadal win, which wouldn’t really surprise me, works because of his tremendous year and his incredible fight: no one can deny the guy’s desire to win tennis matches, especially one of this magnitude.

Good luck to all four men and may justice prevail. Ha.

PPS
A key to the Del Potro game here tonight is his ROS.
He shook Federer a few times with that shot.

Del Potro Does it Again

us-open-m

Does what again, exactly? He followed-up the brilliant Thiem R16 match by putting it to Federer in the QF. He also prevented, again, a Nadal v Federer USO match. If you’ve seen enough of Del Potro over the years, you know that he has some of the biggest big match balls on the ATP.

His win over Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final was against rampant, peak Federer. That Roger had lost in the AO final to Rafa, but then won RG and WB before swimming through his NYC draw.

At the AO that year (2009), Federer beat Del Potro in the QF 3 0 and 0. But Juan certainly got his shit together because by the final major of that year, he was destructive. He beat Nadal in the 2009 U.S. Open SF 2 2 and 2. Then he shocked the world, coming from down 2 sets to 1 and beating the then world No. 1.

Sure a lot has changed with the Argentine; we’re talking mostly about the string of injuries, mainly to his wrist. But he still has that big heart that can carry an entire nation, seemingly. He’s loved because he’s a class act. A recent example was his humanity in light of Almagro’s breakdown at this year’s French Open.

He’s also loved and appreciated because he competes with deep, clutch desire and passion, which seems appropriate for this South American gentle giant. In this era of top-heavy celebrity tennis, it’s been nice to see a few athletes man-enough to step-up and dismiss one of the favorites.

And he has probably the best FH in the history of the sport.

We all saw the match and have a take or two on what happened there tonight in the final QF match of the tournament.

I picked-up the match in the third set, Federer down 0-3. Looked bleak for the Maestro. Until then, I followed the match on my phone, and could tell very early-on that DelPo wasn’t going anywhere. I think a lot of us had a pretty good sense this would happen.

But of course Federer righted the ship in that third set and survived into the TB, where the match was really decided. Federer at 6-4 with his serve looked pretty solid. Grab the set and try to close-out the match. Even Juan would have seen a pretty steep hill to climb at that point. But Roger couldn’t even close-out the TB. He had three or four set points and either goofed the shot (how about that one back-hand up at the net he probably should have BH volleyed, but let it bounce and hit it long. . . what?), or Juan came-up big. I’m pretty sure Del Potro needed just one SP. And that was the match.

You could see it there in front of you. DP breaking at 5-5 in the first. And then snatching that third from the jaws of down-two-sets-to-one.

One of my readers/commenters with cat-like tennis intelligence called Del Potro in four sets (Well done, Frazier). My response was sure this could be very tough for the Swiss if the Argentine is on the mend from that little bug he had the last couple of days.

But I also said the game plan of Federer’s, certainly delineated by his genius box where Ivan holds the gavel, to keep one’s serve and pound Juan’s BH should put the 3 seed in pretty good shape.

He played to the giant’s FH without pause. Of course, Federer does prefer to go there with his FH. Sure he likes the inside-out, DTL FH which works great, but he likes to come over and hit that CC or inside-in FH that is one of the best FH we’ve ever seen.

So Juan got to use his FH quite a bit tonight and, from what I saw, punished Roger with it. Not sure what the strategy was with that (then again, you can’t not hit to a guy’s FH at all). Rafa will pound Del Potro’s BH, but of course Rafa gets to use his FH to do that. Either way, Federer, unlike almost everyone else I’ve seen play DP this year, did not shy away from that notorious fearhand.

But that wasn’t the only issue. In fact, there were stretches, in the third set as he got back on serve and had the set in hand in the TB, for instance, where playing to the DP FH looked to work. He seemed to almost tempt an over-use, a go-for-broke shot and the Argentine obliged here and there. Still, seems like an odd strategy for a guy who can hit the ball to both sides of the court. This speaks perhaps too to this BH not being completely up to snuff. How was the back tonight? As we’ve been saying for a few days/matches now, he seemed a little off; the back has to have been an issue, especially if we’re talking about that OHBH.

But his net play seemed pretty ineffective, as well. They flashed the numbers of his net efficiency, which didn’t look that bad, but as I watched, when Roger came to net, Juan easily passed. The big guy’s BH even worked DTL on some of those passes. Federer just didn’t seem to have a lot on the ball; he was getting passed pretty routinely, which speaks more to Roger’s timing and his weak approach when these are often easier points.

The big serve of Del Potro and the big FH is a lethal combination. The BH has improved, by the way. Watch Del Potro in Acapulco in February, or in Miami in March. All he had was a rough slice. If Federer had tried harder to expose that, maybe we’d be talking about that vulnerability, but that didn’t happen.

Thiem tried to expose the BH in the R16. That worked more or less for a while.

I think we’re into that land of intangibles, folks. I’ll go ahead and say it: if there’s a tennis god, Del Potro wins his second U.S. Open. This is his domain, the NYC HC, even though it’s playing like a piece of sandpaper.

Del Potro doesn’t have the BH, but I see a similar approach in the tennis of Del Potro and Wawrinka. It’s power tennis, with a flatter ball that can play the opponent into the East River. When Stan has that form, all bets are off.

Del Potro was the Man before they called Stan the Man.

Yada yada yada. I’ll have a bit more to say before the match.

Nadal will definitely be ready for this – he hasn’t broken a sweat. But doesn’t that work against him, as well?

Can’t wait for Friday night.

Day 10: Destiny v Reality

The bottom half SF is set with Anderson v Carreno Busta. Yikes. I did not see the death of Schwartzman yesterday, but did watch a bit of the night match. Querrey looked weighted down by expectation or something. He looked awful with no urgency on his ground stroke, his second serve coming in around 100 mph, etc. Not a good look from the American. Even the crowd wanted to get behind their guy. But he was flat. No visual energy, body language, and his ground strokes were sitting up, short, safe which the S. African destroyed.

Between his monster serve, his attack of Querrey’s second serve and his missile-like ground strokes, I joked that he’s playing the best tennis ever. He pumped his fist after EVERY won point, pep-talked himself constantly. . . the difference in energy alone was massively one-sided, like the tennis.

Even Querrey winning that second set TB couldn’t get the American rolling, losing the next set 2-6. To open that third set, coming off the dramatic TB, Querrey had looks at a BP, which could have really propelled him in that third set. Didn’t happen.

Huge difference between that and his demolition of an in-form Zverev. One win from a SF with Carreno Busta. Either of these boys last night would be favorites against the Spaniard, meaning probably a trip to the final with a win. Anderson played like he knew the stakes and knew the lifetime opportunity. Querrey shrank.

______________________________________________________

The way the top-half of the tournament should play-out is a good HC player should survive. Nadal, as discussed, looks uncomfortable even though the surface has been slowed quite a bit. As slow as AA is this year, the flatter more versatile player should still advance.

Federer has his hands full if Del Potro is healed. That was an amazing match v Thiem; he should have been dismissed, but simply rose to the occasion and put it to the young federer1-master675Austrian. Brilliant tennis. All of you (probably who don’t read this blog) who advocate some kind of Bo3 in the majors, should back away from whatever’s causing you this lunatic garbage. Go get your brain restrung. Del Potro, like I said, is such an inspiration.

I’ve been wanting to say this for a few days: I don’t trust Federer’s back. As clean as these last two matches have been, he just doesn’t seem quite right. The MTO after the second set against Kohlschreiber wasn’t a good look. He’s playing it off, but he just seems a string or two off.

This QF and SF will test the back. I think reality could set-in here; that’s a big ask: to beat Delpo and Nadal back-to-back. If he’s not bothered by the back, he should be too much for anyone, but his next two opponents are the type to really test his health. Delpo and Nadal will go five sets fighting until death. The reality of Federer’s back will be determined now.

Nadal should be way too much for Rublev despite the youngster’s form. Or is he on some kind of historic run? I watched a little replay of that first set of Rublev v Dimitrov. Dimitrov should have been many people’s dark horse here at the USO. He served for the first set at 5-3 against the young Russian and lost that set 5-7 (and the next to sets). Pretty remarkable, really, even if Grigor is a bit of a wanker.

No way should Nadal lose this match. Question: how many matches has Rublev played on AA? I would love to see a good match, but suspect this could be a similar to the Dog match. Nice draw for the No.1 seed, no?

Is it destiny, folks, for Nadal to finally face Federer at the U.S. Open? Or will reality set-in on one’s aging body and the other’s surface difficulty?

I’ll be keeping watch on the teenager and then the back as the two factors that could crack the case. You have to think tonight’s match should be massive tennis theater.

Get your popcorn ready.

PS
Of course I see what’s happening on the women’s side. Will it be four Americans in the SFs? The Vandeweghe v Pliskova match today should be a doozy as I think they don’t like each other, Pliskova defending her No.1. Sounds good to me.

Querrey, Anderson, Carreno Busta and Schwartzman

Half of the QF round is set and, yes, this is the infamous 2017 bottom half.

But I’m not here to downplay any of this solid tennis – I’ve been doing that in earlier posts and on twitter (not a big twitterer but during majors, apparently).

Just got done watching Sam absolutely scold, ground and dismiss Zverev the Elder in their R16 match. I won’t go into this too much, but we all need to recognize the upper-2159696-45151339-640-360echelon level of tennis Querrey has played over the last year-plus. I’m not going to write a history of Sam Querrey here, but we may as well start with this latest run that has carried him tonight to the 2017 U.S. Open quarter-finals (simultaneously becoming top-ranked American) with his win over Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon 3R match that pretty much began Djokollapse (since that name will don the front-cover of one of my infamous Ebooks, Sam will be one of the minor characters in that stellar drama).

Jump to 2017. He wasn’t very notable early in the Australian stretch, Brisbane or Melbourne, but had a fine tournament in Acapulco that you all should remember.

From that post: “Did anyone else see the Kyrgios v Querrey? Sam is playing good tennis. His ball-striking, aside from his world-class serve – is very impressive. He lost his serve in that first set, but then pretty much put it on Kyrgios, pretty dismissive. Early in the second he smashed a ball into the stands, got booed, got a warning and then proceeded to breadstick the Aussie and out class him in the third, as well. His FH, BH and, of course, his serve provide quite the arsenal. I give the nod to Nadal because he’s brimming with confidence, but Sam – SO LONG AS HE DOESN’T TANK BECAUSE HE’S PLAYING NADAL – should be very tough. The proof is in the pudding – go ask Kyrgios how that tastes.”

That was during Kyrgios’ rampant taming of Djokovic, early spring 2017. Sam put it to Kyrgios there, from both wings along with the serve which were all on display tonight as he took care of Zverev on Arthur Ashe 2 2 and 1 in one hour and sixteen minutes: 55 winners, 8 errors, 18 aces. Seeing what Mischa did to Isner in the 3R, this shows the kind of tennis that Sam is playing. He had very little trouble keeping the S & V almost a distant memory.

As Querrey prepares for Tuesday’s QF match with Kevin Anderson with the chance to play the winner of Schwartzman v Carreno Busta in the SF, he has some recent experience with these players. Although he’s never played the Spaniard, he played Anderson recently in Montreal during the S. African’s run of decent N.A. HC, losing to Anderson in R16 4 and 1. I think we can agree this is an entirely different set of circumstances, but Anderson has to be buoyed by that experience.

Querrey actually opened 2017 in Brisbane where he lost to Schwartzman in the R32.

This bottom half is wide open.

I saw a bit of the Shapovalov v Carreno Busta match. The Spaniard was just the more consistent, more mature player, playing with less risk and more control. He looked the veteran that he is at 26, a player whose found some deep draws all year. Denis had the fight in him, but just couldn’t navigate the three TBs. We’ll have fun watching this guy grow in the sport and cause plenty of havoc in plenty of draws.

Another note on the bottom half’s bizarre circumstances, Carreno Busta has played, I believe, four qualifiers in his march to the QF.

I said the same thing about Nadal: the likes of Daniel and Mayer, as brilliant as they were in that first set, they didn’t have the reinforcements, at all, to go long with Rafa.

Carreno Busta hopefully gets a good test Tuesday from the Argentine.

Schwartzman, despite my bias, has been his stubborn and steady self. Good for him. I hear there is a bit of leg issue, but perhaps this is behind him come Tuesday where he can go toe-to-toe with the Spanish 12 seed.

As for tomorrow, we have to expect the No. 1 and 2 players in the world to advance. Dolgopolov, though dangerous, can’t really be trusted here or ever, as far as I’m concerned. I could see a retirement from the Ukrainian. He could surprise us and make a match out of it, but Mr. Business-end should get the job done.

The other two matches could be real classics, with Del Potro seemingly raising his level big-time and squaring-off against the Dom. This should be a good battle as neither player is prone to throwing-in the towel. DelPo hasn’t dropped a set, Thiem only one. I beliem in Thiem even though Juan’s resurgence is one of the most inspiring stories of the ATP.

Although I do love the run from Rublev, only 19, I am pulling for Goffin to find some QF form. He deserves more tennis fortune, if you know what I mean.

Talk to you tomorrow.

The Speed of Arthur Ashe Stadium

A few of us are interested in the speed of these hard courts. Traditionally, New York, the crown of the North American hard court swing, has pretty fast courts. This video here contains testimony from Brad Gilbert (a straight-shooter who has been around the block a few times — pretty credible source). This was recorded right after Rafa’s 3R win over Mayer. Rafa has actually just left this set containing Gilbert, Evert and the ESPN rep. Have a listen.

Roger and Lopez are up next.

Day 6 at the U.S. Open

The carnage and chaos continue. There’s some of this to expect in such an unpredictable sport.

I’ve done some light investigative work (part of which is simply looking at scores) and seeing that the HC of NYC have been totally fucked-with. Before the tournament even city-of-richland-sand-court.3began, people on-site said the tournament had dumped a bunch of sand upon resurfacing Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong. This info is a bit hit or miss, but the courts have been playing pretty slow.

“Mcshow, you’re complaining about surface speed like all of those dumbshit Djokovic fans complained during and after AO 2017.”

Wrong. Hard courts are supposed to be quick. NYC is especially known for speed, so anyone thinking this (and not bold enough to leave a comment), take a deep breath and ask someone for a hug.

In a way, the deeply depleted draw here this year has pushed us to start to think out-loud about the state of the game. I’ve already argued that the injuries to all of these top players actually coincide with age and some of this injury is simply coincidence, as well.

Almost as troubling as where the sport is now is some of the reaction. True tennis historians are talking about changing majors to Bo3, etc. I’m not that mad at these simpletons because A) match format has been changed before at the USO – these change agents, then, have some history so support their fragility; and B) we’re all human and can think and say things that really make no sense.

LOOK AT MORE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS AND CAUSES THAT COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SPORT’S ILLNESS.

Proposing changes to a sport at the expense of the competitive spirit is political — and politics are insidious: financial and shallow.

A more thoughtful exploration of change includes honesty, difficulty and complexity. Players are injured? Let’s make changes to the biggest and best tournament of the year? I understand this same change was made back in the 70s, almost 50 years ago. But FIRST look at some other factors that show that you have a brain and a heart and actually care about this sport — which revolves around history, competition and fairness.

Back to the surface at the NYC venues: tough to nail-down exactly what’s happening on each court in terms of the speed (if you have any insight on this, share it with us), but some of the results are staggering.

The Schwartzman victory over Cilic yesterday is chilling. I am not a big Cilic guy, but the fact that the 5′ 7″ dirt devil destroyed the guy with NYC and Cincy titles should raise a few more eyebrows. They played on Grandstand, I’m pretty sure, and Cilic has been fighting a bit of an injury – but all players are. I know Schwartzman made the Montreal QF; he’s undoubtedly a fierce competitor who’s raised his game this summer, but beating Cilic like that in NYC seems a bit odd.

Let’s just hear some people other than Pam Shriver and Brad Gilbert on Twitter talk about the slowing of the courts at the U.S. Open. Why isn’t this more of a discussion?

Now, to be fair, the sand allegedly wears-off through the second week of the tourney, so perhaps the conditions will quicken; we can only hope this is the case.

________________________________________________________

As for today’s matches, Dolgopolov has made straights out of Troicki already (I mentioned on twitter that I’d entertain action on the Dog v Nadal affair – I say the Dog rolls-over, after tearing-up the bracket. He’s had his fun. Look for a head-first dive in that R16).

Thiem turned his match around v the dangerous 2017 Mannarino and looks to go up 2 sets to nil.

Should be interesting to see who’s got real 2nd week form from some of these top-half contenders playing today.

Most are interested in Nadal and Federer and how can you not be curious. Federer v Lopez will be the night match on AA. I do find Federer’s-back to be a tremendous mystery. If one has a back issue, I don’t think one can play at all at this level. If you’ve had a bad back, you know. Tennis might be the most physically grueling sport on earth — a bad back is . . . debilitating. How would he “hide” such an injury? A bad back just doesn’t work here, despite the fact that his tennis does look hobbled. In other words, I don’t think you can play even at diminished capacity with a bad back. This type of injury would force you to call it quits, done, buh-bye against these kinds of opponents, on this kind of stage (hard courts, Bo5).

Nadal should be fine given his draw, but the upset virus in among us, so no one is safe. Sarcasm alert: One benefit that Mayer may have is that all of his preparation for this match has been clay, so he’s probably in peak condition for a day match on AA. Of course, he’s playing the clay GOAT, so good luck (Taro Daniel was also a clay specialist, which has to make your head tilt, a bit).

My ATP Youth On the Rise post several weeks back continues it’s surge. Let’s see this whole updraft of youth save the face of this tournament. I mentioned in a comment that  a Thiem v Shapovalov final wouldn’t be at all unappetizing. Or Rublev v Pouille. Ha ha. I like it.

Did you see Zverev the Elder v Isner last night? If you are not a fan of S&V, turn-in your membership to club Mcshow and have a good one. This is such a refreshing, old-school style and game. He frustrates the crap out of these “top guys.”

Watching Mischa hog-tie Murray in Melbourne and Isner last night on AA is right up there with my other favorite dishes. Tennis offense. Of course he’s at the net almost every point. Maybe Federer should polish that tactic. So far, Fed has looked lost going to net. But on these courts, especially, if you’re not moving and striking all that well, finish the point early already.

Talk to you after today/tonight’s tennis. Enjoy!