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    Is there a 2018 tennis thread yet?

    (This thread need a better title, if there's not one already - suggestions please...)

    Andy Murray pulls out of Brisbane, and says he'll announce by the weekend whether he'll play the Australian Open. Seems to be considering surgery that could keep him out for a further 6 months.

    With Djokovic and Nadal also still crocked (though the latter is playing an exhibition in Melbourne next week), my end of year predictions are in tatters already!
    Last edited by Jimski; 02-01-2018, 18:25.

    #2
    Djokovic is injured as well? Ah, bollocks, I just put him in for year-end No. 1. Why didn't I read this thread before the other one?!

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      #3
      Wawrinka is also still out. I was thinking of a title with A&E in it, but was much too slow about it.

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        #4
        Murray and Novak would be playing Wimbledon unseeded at this rate. Murray was either given bad advice about not needing surgery or he has an injury about which medical knowledge is still imprecise.

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          #5
          "Hip, hip, Murray!" ?

          It's like the B-Sharps - gets less funny each time you look at it.

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            #6
            Anyhoo, anyone fancy a go at Sports Illustrated's multiple choice questions for Tennis in 2018?


            SERENA WILLIAMS WILL:

            a. Continue authoring improbable chapters, defending her Australian Open title, less than five months after giving birth.
            b. Return to the No. 1 spot, tying Margaret Court’s all-time majors record (a record so heavily distorted with Australian Open wins that it pales in comparison to, say, Steffi Graf’s mark that Serena has already attained.)
            c. Struggle a bit, understandably, in her return from maternity leave; but win Wimbledon a few months from turning 37.
            d. Come to the irreducible conclusion that Father Time has a winning head-to-head against even the best athletes.
            e. Abruptly retire to become a back-up singer on the Baby Mozart series.

            AT THE END OF 2018, NOVAK DJOKOVIC WILL:

            a. Have benefitted from his 2017 gap year, win multiple majors and return to No. 1
            b. Win one major, return to the top five and remain an outside contender in the GOAT conversation.
            c. Continue to struggle with injuries, raising doubts he will ever return to the business of winning majors.
            d. Abruptly retire to seek political office in Serbia.

            SPEAKING OF INJURIES, THEY WILL CONTINUE UNIMPEDED, RAVAGING PLAYERS, RAVAGING DRAWS AND CAUSING GREAT DISTRESS. THAT WE CAN SAFELY SAY ALREADY. TENNIS’ LEADERS WILL RESPOND TO THIS EXISTENTIAL THREAT BY:

            a. Asserting this is all a fluke and today’s players are no less healthy than they were in prior generations.
            b. Asserting that injuries are an unfortunate dimension to all sports. (“Hey, just look at the NFL in 2017.”)
            c. Asserting that overtraining—essentially blaming players and nothing systemic— is the root cause.
            d. Showing courage not often in evidence, and—having finally decide enough is enough—undertake a meaningful, well-funded research study to determine the cause….starting with a focus on racket and string technology, even if that risks offending stakeholders.

            AT THE END OF 2018, THE TOP-RANKED ATP PLAYER WILL BE:

            a. A thoroughly dominant Novak Djokovic.
            b. Roger Federer, whose remarkable longevity threatens to be his ultimate top-line career achievement
            c. Rafael Nadal, once again
            d. Sasha Zverev, having elevated his play in best-of-five matches
            e. Other

            ROGER FEDERER WILL:

            a. Continue his play from 2017 and, benefitting from the injuries that afflict so many peers, regain the No. 1 ranking.
            b. Come to the irreducible conclusion that Father Time has a winning head-to-head against even the best athletes.
            c. Become the first player to hold the title of ATP CEO while sustaining a top five ranking.
            d. Shrewdly announce that he’s already looking forward to 2019, thus forestalling weekly questions about his retirement plans.

            MARIA SHARAPOVA WILL:

            a. Quickly reclaim her career and reputation by winning another Slam
            b. Slowly reclaim her career and reputation by re-entering the top ten.
            c. Supplement her tennis by taking on a leadership role vis--vis WTA player issues
            d. Retire abruptly to work for Bitcoin

            THIS PLAYER WILL BREAK THROUGH, WINNING A FIRST CAREER MAJOR SINGLES TITLE:

            a. Sascha Zverev
            ​​b. Simona Halep
            c. Grigor Dimitrov
            ​d. Madison Keys
            e. All of the above
            f. None of the above

            AT THE END OF THE YEAR, THE TOP-RANKED AMERICAN MALE WILL BE:

            a. Jack Sock
            b. John Isner
            c. Sam Querrey
            ​d. Frances Tiafoe
            ​e. Other

            AT THE END OF THE YEAR, THE TOP-RANKED AMERICAN FEMALE NOT NAMED WILLIAMS WILL BE:

            a. Madison Keys
            b. CoCo Vandeweghe
            ​c. Sloane Stephens
            d. CiCi Bellis
            ​e. Other

            REPLACING 2017 WINNER “INNOVATION,” THE FOLLOWING WILL EMERGE AS THE HEFT-DEPRIVED TENNIS BUZZWORD OF THE YEAR:

            a. stakeholder
            b. dynamic
            c. multi-platform
            d. leverageable
            e. traction and stickiness

            SPEAKING OF “INNOVATION” THE FOLLOWING RULE CHANGE MOST LIKELY TO FIND TRACTION AND STICKINESS:

            a. Best-of-three matches the first week of majors
            b. No-lets on serves
            c. Mid-match coaching
            d. No-ad scoring
            ​e. Electronic line calling

            A ROUSING COMEBACK STORY WILL BE STAGED BY:

            a. Marion Bartoli
            ​b. Andy Roddick
            ​c. Anna Kournikova
            d. Ellesse apparel
            e. Dinara Safina (still only 31)

            2018 WILL SEE TENNIS:

            a. continue to thrive as a niche sport that will never be the NFL but continues to feature exceptional athletes and well-regarded sportspeople
            b. reel from a doping scandal that implicates a top player, not the usual thirtysomething journeyman with a ranking deep into triple digits
            c. begin to confront the unfortunate reality that the era of the Williams sisters, Federer and Nadal will not last forever.
            d. adjust to a changing media landscape, recognizing that the sport’s global appeal is a great, leverageable asset.
            Last edited by Kevin S; 03-01-2018, 14:22.

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              #7
              I was thinking something like "The Mother of all Injury Lists" in reference to all the injuries, and also to Serena Williams' new baby. But I feel it needs work.

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                #8
                Murray confirms he's not playing the Aussie Open, and now Konta retires from her match too, though hopes to play again next week.

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                  #9
                  I wonder if Murray's career is now over. There doesn't seem to be a coherent plan to permanently repair this injury, perhaps due to it being a medical grey area. It's hard to see how a male player aged 30, whose game is based on speed and mobility (rather than power) can take a year out and ever come back as a contender. He will be 31 when he comes back.

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                    #10
                    Melbourne is too soon for Serena. Nishikori has also withdrawn. We just await news on Nadal, Djokovic and Wawrinka. Remember when the Aussie Open was the most unpredictable of the Slams? We are back there, but for less upbeat reasons.

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                      #11
                      Another slam for Federer?

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                        #12
                        He's the outright favourite at the moment.

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                          #13
                          Del Potro and Cilic look the best value.

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                            #14
                            When's the last time an Aussie won the Aussie Open? Cash never did, did he? Newcombe?

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                              #15
                              Chris O'Neil 1978 (women's) and Mark Edmondson 1976 (men's).

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                                #16
                                Cash was runner-up twice (to Edberg and Wilander), both went to five sets. Hewitt lost the 2005 to Safin.

                                Wendy Turnbull was the last Aussie woman runner-up (1980). Evonne Goolagong Cawley played in 7 finals out of 8 in the 70s (won 4, lost 3)
                                Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 05-01-2018, 14:25.

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                                  #17
                                  Mark Edmondson?! Was that one of the years where no-one showed up (see also John Lloyd reaching the final)?
                                  Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 05-01-2018, 15:02.

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                                    #18
                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/sp.../14aussie.html

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                                      #19
                                      Dum, dum, dum, another one bites the dust.

                                      The tournament director has said it will be exactly the same as a year ago, 128 men and 128 women. Which is true, I guess. But not quite the 256 people that was expected though, is it?

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                                        #20
                                        Azarenka has pulled out too, because of this custody battle she has to fight in California

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                                          #21
                                          Edmondson was a better player than John Lloyd, to be fair. Semi finalist at 1982 Wimbledon.

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                                            #22
                                            Heather Watson is having one of her good weeks, winning through qualifying in Hobart and backing that up with victories over Cirstea, Fourlis and now Vekic to reach the Semis. Next up is defending champion Elise Mertens. But Heather is also a former champion of the event, so her opponent having that on her cv shouldn't be an undue worry.

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                                              #23
                                              Simona Halep has drawn the voweltastic Destanee Aiava in the first round in Melbourne. I don;t have anything really to say about that other than marvelling at that name.

                                              (Konta has a far more challenging sounding opener against Madison Brengle)

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                                                #24
                                                Destanee is a potential superstar, 4th best u18 player in the world by ranking. Probably not ready to beat Halep yet.

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                                                  #25
                                                  An excellent interview with Jelena Dokic on second captains podcast today. She spoke very openly and bravely about the physical and emotional abuse she suffered from her father from the age of 6. She has a book out called Unbreakable which on the evidence of the interview seems worthwhile.

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