Matt’s Blog

Call for Writers

Hello there, my dwindling readership (or perhaps “dormant” while I appear to have taken a break from my pattern of consistent and quality ATP coverage and analysis).

I will continue to write, of course. I have a lot to say with regards to 2017 Fedal, especially with the worldwide tennis orgasm of the newly christened Laver Cup with its seemingly scripted results and optics — this Fedal theme of 2017 is almost a parody of itself. My God. If the anti-Fedal contingent was upset before the Laver Cup, this disturbed bunch of tennis fans might’ve already jumped, or taken that final sip of their fatal anti-Fedal intoxicant.

I am putting-out this call for writers because A) I’m a little tired of churning-out world class commentary at my present clip and B) I want to build this Mcshow Blog community with what I know includes interesting tennis and cultural insights that are humorous, shrewd, insightful, but more importantly diverse and new.

All you have to do is email me (mcshow@gmail dot com) and provide a proposal on what you want to write. I think I’ve given you some ideas of what I might expect and “green light” for this blog. Should be interesting, thoughtful, perhaps humorous or even grimly prophetic. If I don’t like your idea, I’ll tell you — perhaps offer a suggestion, etc. If I like your idea, I’ll say “go” and then we’ll take it from there.

Again, I’ll write. But I want to get this invitation off to any of you out there who wants to chime-in with some interesting tennis (and other) discourse.

I made the reference earlier in this post to writing topics that are non-tennis (“cultural insights”). Along with expanding the writing “staff,” I would also like to expand the scope of Mcshow Blog. I changed the title of this blog a while ago (from Mcshow Tennis to Mcshow Blog). That was deliberate with this sort of move in mind.

I suppose you could use the comments for proposals, as well; but we will need to communicate via email if a project is moving forward. Have at it, ladies and gentlemen.

And yes, again, I will say a thing or two about the tennis even though it looks like Federer has already thrown-in the towel on chasing #1, his chances of course dependent upon his health and tournament availability. Nadal would need a bit of a drop-off. Anything is possible, of course: 2017 Fedal is a testament to that.

Western & Southern Open QF Setting

Incidentally, the last R16 match is still undecided, Nadal v Ramos-Vinolas.

Kyrgios-Cincinnati-700x450

But Kyrgios just closed-out Karlovic, so the winner of the Spanish duel will get the volatile (and injured) Aussie in that QF, which actually gets played later today; yesterday’s rain delay gives Kyrgios and his QF opponent quite a Friday workload. This could prove pretty taxing for Kyrgios, who is still battling injury.

Nonetheless, if Nadal survives this current match, most of us want to see Nadal v Kyrgios. That winner will get the Thiem v Ferrer QF.

Down below, the Isner v Donaldson winner will square-off against the Dimitrov v Sugita winner.

Isner out-maneuvered Tiafoe yesterday, unsurprisingly, 76 75. This is the Isner scoreline; the better players end-up on the good side of that score, but a guy like Tiafoe is a step or two away from that. Still, this shows how close is the 19 year-old. I watched a bit of this match and he threatened John on a few service games, but just couldn’t quite muster the break.

Keep your eye on this guy. We’ve been fortunate to see some glimmer of form from the youth these last couple of weeks. Paul, Shapovalov, Tiafoe, Donaldson (into the W&S QF obviously and continuing to outpace his entire class), Kyrgios et al. Unfortunate that Khachanov couldn’t close the deal after bageling Sugita in that first set TB.

Hopefully, next week will give USO competitors a chance to find as much health as they can for the brutal test the following week in NYC.

Who are the favorites in this year’s final major?

Is this question dependent upon the health of Federer’s back? What if Roger can find enough form, even with a slight twinge in the back? What if he is ruled 100% healthy? Is he the automatic favorite? Or is Nadal, the new world #1, the favorite at the USO?

If we take the field here, everybody else, this could be an interesting discussion. With the vacancies provided by Murray, Djokovic and Wawrinka, especially, isn’t this Fedal against the field?

Three times in the last thirteen years has a player outside Federer/Nadal/Djokovic/Murray won the USO. Isn’t this year likely another one of those?

With Nadal going toward a first-set TB against his countryman as we speak, and his general struggles on the non-european clay; there certainly shouldn’t be that great of case for Nadal in NYC. Then again, he and the Bo5 do like to party, which should be taken into account.

All this to say, tough to say Roger or Rafa are a lock to win the final major of the year.

So, who looks good?

Federer isn’t getting any younger and Nadal standing about fifteen feet behind the BL on 1st and 2nd serves are not a good look from our 2017 forefathers.

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With regards to yesterday’s “Mailbag” post: no, actually there isn’t a mailbag feature on this blog.

This does bring-up some of what I am probably going to introduce, in order to give me a bit more of a schedule and readers a bit more anticipation and expectation. Two features I suspect will make solid contributions to this blog are: 1) one historical post a week, about any interesting topic/match/player/argument regarding the past, the history of the sport. Of course, I feature a bit of this perspective anyway, but a more focused article that takes us back to a specific story will be a great option.

2) Reader inspired discussion. This is not quite a mailbag feature, but instead anything from suggestions about certain arguments/topics that can be discussed to guest posts.

In summary, one historical piece per-week and one reader inspired discussion per-week. Content. We want more content.

Lastly, I lashed-out at my hypothetical critic yesterday when I brought-up Sampras’ six year-end No. 1s (that ran him into the turf – probably along the lines with what the Novak Slam might have done to Djokovic). No need for me to get so hypercritical about the hypothetical. And my invented word was very uninspired. Weak stuff on my end.

Back to the point here: who’s taking their HC form to NYC for a legit run at that championship which has been left fairly exposed by the vaunted old-guard?

And what do you think of those features for this blog? More history and more reader contribution?

PS
Nadal survived the first set TB and is working to hold his serve in the 2nd, down 0-1.

Next up there: Kyrgios.

WTF SF: Weathering the Storm

Andy weathered the storm early from Stan. Advanced.

We saw this coming a mile away:

Murray v Raonic

Djokovic v Nishikori

The fact that Novak has only played a couple minor talents in getting to his SF seems pretty good for him. This is like the 2016 USO, where he had a Challenger Tour draw. Fly the clown home and fly Goffin in to take his beating. Wow. And that garbage mainstream media, people like Tennis.com and other fanboys suddenly love Novak. Novak has been dangerous from the beginning, but if you’re liking his chances now, after beating a bunch of farm animals (Raonic, granted, is a threat), you’re a tennis illiterate.

Your boy Tignor had Wawrinka today in that final RR match where Andy at 3-3 in the first went all #1 on the Swiss and moved his camp a few wins away from definitive world #1.

Andy has played Cilic (straights), one of the most dangerous guys on the planet given his play this summer and fall; Nishikori (war) the most dangerous outside the top two given his HC game and desire to climb in the rankings; and Stan (straights), the mercurial beast.

Indeed, the great Djoker fanboy and guys like Tignor had Wawrinka today, saying things like Murray could miss the SF if he lost in straights. Feel the pulse of the sport, son.

Can’t wait to see Nishikori v Novak. Will be refreshing to see the Serb play some tennis of consequence against a player of significance. If he comes out and breadsticks the Japanese star, look out. Hopefully Nishikori has something left after today’s final RR against Cilic.

Indeed, this entire draw and schedule have favored the Serb. Didn’t work-out in New York. We’ll see how this “fortune” fairs in London.

Weathering the media shit show storm

Can’t wait to hear what tools like Annacone or Tignor say about the SF, but actually I’ll do my best not to come within earshot of those ducks. That sort of mainstream “media” is garbage and has so little to offer us tennis fans. This inspires me even more to build this blog/site. And sure this connects to the absolute media shit show failure of the US Presidential election (along with every other story they cover). We are surrounded by people only concerned with making money or doing whatever they think makes them sound interesting/relevant. Interesting or advertising-friendly is not enough. Garbage collectors.

Be smart and honest. That’s mcshowblog.com. Word.

Right. On. Cue.

Sneaking in a quick quip about Shanghai and touting my blog. Who doesn’t like his or her observations and arguments to be more or less verified by events in the real world.

  1. I wrote that series of articles about Novak post-U.S. Open (the objective look at his career arch) and a week later he announces to the world that he’s burned-out, doesn’t care about majors or even being #1. One can say he’s playing mind-games, but either way, he doesn’t quite seem like a guy who is going to win a calendar slam in 2017, a claim I heard some fanboy jerk off recently.
  2. In my last post about China and Tokyo and a little look at Shanghai said pretty much diddly about Kyrgios. I have made clear his firepower is the real deal and the sport would vastly benefit from his rise in quality and consistency. He won Tokyo. Not only did I NOT wax poetic about that at all (I said congrats); I said let’s see you do something at a 1000. I read that he threw his last match andnickdick acted like a complete asshole. Fuck that guy. Suspend him from the sport. I watched him a bit in Tokyo, playing Harrison I believe, and even in his control of the match, he looks and acts like a piece of shit. His hunched shoulders, weird mummerings to himself or his imaginary friend beside him. . . My blog so I can say these things. And I know what I’m saying seems harsh to some, but I know what I see: a tennis turd. Someone scoop that shit up and toss it over the fence.
  3. Nadal. I have been consistent with my arguments about Nadal. There was that tiny bump in form on the clay this year, but he’s done. I was even uncertain about that wrist injury.  Seemed very odd. Think about Nadal for a second. Granted, if you really go back, watch some old matches or what-have-you, his legacy might shine pretty bright. But in the bigger picture, thinking about the game as it marches on, his legacy is not nadaltroikiwhat it used to be or perhaps will be. Like I have said MANY times: he is not on Pistol Pete’s level. Sorry. Yet as people still want to hold onto that grit and grind of a game, with balloon balls and shallow ground-strokes galore, he’s getting routined by Dimitrov last week and Troiki yesterday?

I call it like I see it, folks. I have a little post in the works about the depth of the draw. Might scratch that and say something here:

Looking at Shanghai revealed a bunch of interesting even early round matches (Kyrgios v M. Zverev and Nadal v Troiki were not part of that evidence, necessarily – those are pretty much just garbage results). How about Murray beating Johnson and now he gets Pouille. I hope that’s a good/great match though I could see Murray winning in two TBs or 4 and 5.

How about A. Zverev beating Isner in R1, then beating Cilic and now he gets Tsonga. Not bad at all. Monfils beat Anderson and now he gets Goffin. The point of the article is that depth can be two things: strength/depth at the very top and talent/depth through out. Remember, Federer ruined tennis 😉 He created such a separation at the top, was then joined by the other 2 or 3. The sport lacks that strength at the top (Novak was playing by himself through out 2014 and 2015, really. Only Lendl’s return to Murray’s camp and that odd shooting star called Stanimal have made things a little more interesting). That lack of top strength continues, but a handful of decent players (young) seem to be filling-out the draw. A new era, indeed.

Matt’s Blog Update

You might have seen that I have a Twitter account attached to the blog now (did this actually during the final of the USO); this shouldn’t be too surprising since such social media parings are quite natural and even smart if one aspires to grow and reach more readers.

The Twitter account is nice because I can now post thoughts during matches, or whenever, with regards to the play, news, etc., and this all gets connected, hopefully, to other tennis fans and/or readers of the blog. I have another Twitter account that I used primarily for news. As you know, opsb-tennis-tennisne gets news in real-time these days via media feeds like Twitter. If you follow interesting sources/contacts, you get interesting tweets (so long as you check the feed now and then). I really haven’t used Twitter in a while; that account has been pretty dormant. I thought with the blog purring right along, and the opportunity to talk more tennis, that I should start a new Twitter account for this blog.

Of course, I’ve been following, since activating the account, other tennis voices on Twitter; this has connected me to more of the tennis discourse. I actually wrote an article for the blog reacting to some of this discourse, to the anti-Best-of-Five contingent to be exact. Indeed, this ought to help me stay even more connected than I ever have been.

I got an email this morning notifying be that I had a comment on the blog, which was on the page What is Matt’s Blog. The comment was from the founder of Feedspot informing me that my blog is among the top 100 tennis blogs on the web. Either way, whether this is totally accurate or not, the guy seemed genuine, the list seems pretty solid (I’m actually #76), so I posted the badge there on the left side. If you click it, you’ll see the list.

I started this tennis focus around the 2015 French Open and have bwordpress-bloggingeen going pretty strong since. I do this for free, really haven’t developed any advertising angle, don’t “sell” anything, make anything, other than some good conversation with some of you; rather, I just like to watch, play and write about tennis, especially the men’s pro game (I definitely enjoy writing about tennis. Ha). To get any recognition like this is tremendous, for me, ALMOST as satisfying as seeing readers visit my blog each day. This small gesture from Feedspot, along with the feedback I get from other readers, certainly inspires me to write more, to invest more in Matt’s Tennis Blog. Getting psyched more and more, as I write this, about this final push toward some decent HC action, a few Masters and the WTF.

I do want to comment on the data-base hack and revelations of athlete “medications,” along with Novak’s burn-out. Stay-tuned

And let’s all see how St. Petersburg and Moselle reconcile. Clearly we have our eyes on Stan and the winner of the Zverev/Berdych match, along with the French fortunes of Lucas Pouille (needing three-setters to advance, though he’s still advancing) as he takes on Goffin in one SF and Simon v Thiem in the other. Looking good, gentlemen!

Thanks for reading, folks!