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    He hasn't been ok for quite a while.

    i hope he gets help.

    Comment


      He had been doing so for a long while, both imposed as part of punishments by the ATP and organised by himself/his team in presumable recognition that this is holding him back. It seems to have helped at times, but then he regresses again. In retrospect, his willingness to pick fights with not just peers but his most notable colleagues was probably a sign that he was off the rails again (similar talk has previously been followed by on-court instability). When he is more introspective, things seem better. Even if this introspection is often rather negative.


      On more upbeat matters, Konta beat Venus 2 & 4, which is impressively quick. A very good day's work, and one hopes a very good night's sleep to follow before taking on Vondrousova or Kasatkina for a Semi-Final place.

      Comment


        Perhaps he needs a different approach, or to step away from the sport for a while.

        His issues appear to go well beyond tennis.

        Comment


          They put the old man on twice today. Surely they should have forced one his opponents to pull out as it's a bit unfair on Rog to have to play twice. He came through in the end but i am sure he will be toast tomorrow. I find it remarkable he is still so competitive on clay.

          As for Kyrgios, one thing i liked in his interview was his destruction of Djokovic's victory celebration. It is cringeworthy and Kyrgios said that if he beats him next time then he will do it after the match. That would be fantastic.

          The ball boy was priceless when Kyrgios chucked that chair today. The ballboy picked it up and placed it back down where it had come from right in his face, daring him to throw it again.

          Comment


            The longest day is over after Petra Kvitova's jacks it in against Maria Sakkari. She had had treatment the game before but didn't appear notably impaired. It looked more like a 'forget this' decision, which got her the bird from the crowd.

            We have our QF line-ups, then.

            Men's

            #1 Djokovic vs #7 del Potro
            Schwartzman vs #6 Nishikori
            #8 Tsitsipas vs #3 Federer
            Verdasco vs #2 Nadal

            Set counts today
            Djokovic: 4 versus Shapovalov and Kohlschreiber - games lost in those? 7!
            del Potro: 4 versus Goffin and Ruud - 6-4 6-2 6-4 6-4
            Schwartzman: 4 versus Ramos-Vinolas and Berrettini - 1 breaker; Berrettini should have been fresh for the later match and Schwartzman still won
            Nishikori: 5 versus Fritz and Struff - recovered from a set down against Struff, and also survived a set two breaker
            Tsitsipas: 4 versus Sinner and #10 Fognini - Italian killer! 3,2,4,2 games conceded
            Federer: 5 versus Sousa and Coric - 9-7 in a deciding set breaker in the fifth set of the day
            Verdasco: 6 versus #5 Thiem and #11 Khachanov - the Thiem one was an epic, 7-5 in the third. Khachanov was fresh for the latter. He must be wondering how he could lose from such a situation...
            Nadal: 4 versus Chardy and #14 Basiliashvili - 6-0 6-1 6-1 6-0!!! Nikoloz Basilashvili is a top 20 player, who was fresh, and still this happened to him. Rumours of Nadal's death may have been greatly overstated.

            Tips for tomorrow
            Djokovic (tie of the day), Schwartzman (likely fresher and playing at least as well anyway), Tsitsipas (has beaten Federer when his opponent's prepartaion has been ideal; it isn't this time) and Nadal (heavy, heavy favourite with today only a minor extra factor in that)


            Women's

            #1 Osaka vs #6 Bertens
            Vondrousova vs Konta
            Azarenka [WC] vs #4 Pliskova
            Mladenovic [Q] vs Sakkari [Q]

            Set counts today
            Osaka: 4 versus Cibulkova and Buzarnescu - all of them 6-3! Also confirmed as top seed for Paris after Halep's loss
            Bertens: 6 versus Anisimova and Suarez Navarro - the Anisimova match was likely draining, 7-5 in the third. And then to go the distance vs Suarez Navarro...
            Vondrousova: 6 versus #3 Halep and Kasatkina - the win against Halep on clay was the signature one of Vondrousova's career so far. Reportedly Marketa looked pretty wobbly on her pegs at the end against Kasatkina.
            Konta: 5 versus #7 Stephens and V. Williams - could have been just four if Jo hadn't blown a 4-0 lead in the opening set with Stephens. That aside a comprehensive day. She did looked drained by the end, though.
            Azarenka: 1.5 versus Muguruza - Vika is wondering what all the fuss is about. Though she did also play two sets of doubles later on, but that serves as useful court time to prevent undercooking!
            Pliskova: 5 versus Tomljanovic and Kenin - had to fight back from a set down against Kenin.
            Mladenovic: 5 versus Bencic and Barty - no sign of ill-effects from the three-setter against Bencic when she took down Barty for the loss of just five games.
            Sakkari: 4.5 versus #14 Kontaveit and #2 Kvitova - back-to-back scalps should mean tired but happy in the Greek camp. Might pay for the Kvitova one lasting over two hours and finishing late, though.

            Tips? Osaka (Bertens worn down by this week and last), Konta (ah go on then! did seem the fresher of the two as well), Azarenka (got lucky with the rain on Tuesday) and Mladenovic (tough call, that one).

            Comment


              Originally posted by multipleman78 View Post
              The ball boy was priceless when Kyrgios chucked that chair today. The ballboy picked it up and placed it back down where it had come from right in his face, daring him to throw it again.
              The ball girl was even quicker to react. 1 second after the chair throw and just as the Umpire says "referee to court" she races up to Kyrgios to offer him his towel. Then the ball boy collects the chair and puts it carefully back where it belongs 'Your professionalism may have gone astray, but ours is solid as a rock'.

              Comment


                Konta won in three versus Vondrousova. That puts her at 32 in the rolling list for next week, with no-one else able to move past. So she will be seeded for Paris, seeing as those use next Monday's rankings as the last set to be published before the draw is announced. Yes, OK, Jo has been seeded in the French Open before and still hasn't won a match in it, but having that again really can't hurt.

                In other news, the after effects of the rain continued with two of the eight QFs being forfeited. And not just any old players not playing, but World No.1 Naomi Osaka and the most famous and well supported player ever Roger Federer not taking to the court. The tournament organisers doubled the ticket prices just before they announced Federer was playing (which the player himself criticised). In the end he only appeared on one day of the event. How to Make Friends and Influence People is not planning an additional chapter on this particular episode.

                Semi line up for tomorrow is just waiting the Djokovic/del Potro QF, which is about to start now that Maria Sakkari has seen off Kiki Mladenovic. The winner of that will take their place amongst the following:-

                Women's

                Bertens [6] vs Konta
                Pliskova [4] vs Sakkari [Q]


                Men's

                Djokovic [1]/del Potro [7] vs Schwartman
                Tsitsipas [8] vs Nadal [2]


                On the Doubles court, Edmund/N.Skupski (the only British or half-British pair to survive R1 and then only be default) topped #4 seeds Mektic/Skugor in R2 but then lost to #5 seeds Marach/Pavic in the QFs.

                Comment


                  Djokovic vs Delpo was (almost) all that could have been hoped. The almost because, in the end, an underdog victory is preferred and this didn't happen. And that despite Delpo having two match points at 6-4 in a second set breaker. It sounds like Delpo will be reliving the first of these in his head - first serve in, short response, Djokovic has to guess a corner to defend and goes backhand but Delpo is going forehand instead. All it needs to do is find the court, but he drags it wide. Ouch. Djoker then saved the second one with a drop shot and won the next two points to level, which was the beginning of the end for JM.

                  Tsitsipas-Nadal is the pick of a good Semi-Finals day. Have to back Rafa to make his first clay court final of the season(!) though. As for Konta, beating Bertens on clay is a tall order even for the best on dirt. Which Jo, however much she has improved in 2019, isn't. Her main hope is Kiki is running on fumes after playing six matches to win Madrid last week and two on Thursday here. However, she had a day off yesterday thanks to Osaka's withdrawal. So, nah, I don't rate Konta's chances very highly at all.

                  Comment


                    Wahey! Konta just wins her SF vs Bertens from a set down. Go Jo!

                    Comment


                      Graphic of the last eight winners of the Italian Open women's trophy flashed up - Sharapova x3, Serena x3, and Svitolina for the last two years. One of these two is joining a significant roll-call. The match is underway, for those tempted to watch.

                      Comment


                        First set to Pliskova 6-3. She is putting ~90% of her first serves in, which makes the best server on the WTA pretty tough to play against. Despite that, Jo did have a clear chance to break back at 30-40 in the last game, but put what was basically a sitter into the tape (Pliskova had read which direction Konta was going).

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                          It finished 6-3 6-4. One break in each set proved enough. Konta wasn't without chances, but Pliskova's serve (first and second) was generally too solid. Bit of a damp squib of a match, if truth be told.

                          Comment


                            Get in. Nadal wins. I was beginning to think Djokovic had some kind of hold on him. (I mean he generally does to be honest. I still make Djokovic favourite for Roland Garros this year.)
                            Last edited by Jimski; 19-05-2019, 16:50.

                            Comment


                              After Rafa has just won 6-0 and 6-1 sets against him? The 4-6 the other way in the middle makes for a weird scoreline overall.

                              Comment


                                The claim from Djokovic is that he was tired after some long matches and winning Madrid last week. I suspect there is more than a little truth in that. Djokovic is still 13-4 against Nadal since the US Open final in 2013. Even on clay, it's 4-4, and their most recent Roland Garros meeting went Djokovic's way (2015). Also there's always a question mark over whether Nadal even manages to complete a tournament these days, so injury prone is he.
                                Last edited by Jimski; 19-05-2019, 19:32.

                                Comment


                                  What is going on this week? Well, on the ATP and WTA there are a pair of base level tournaments each (Geneva and Lyon for the Men, Strasbourg and Nuernberg for the Women), but the main thing is really the French Open which looms large.

                                  But let's start with the more mundane fare first. No British women are playing WTA this week in singles or doubles, but some of the Men are active in Lyon. Or were in the case of Cameron Norrie, who was beaten heavily by Ugo Humbert in R1. As Norrie was the only player playing singles, that just leaves two doubles pairs flying the flag, both with seedings to show their status: #3 K.Skupski/N.Skupski and #4 Bambridge/O'Mara. Both edged through to the QFs with match breaker wins in R1. The Skupski's are currently playing their last-8 encounter, and are a set up on Middelkoop/Puetz.


                                  However, the main show pre-edition draws more attention. That actually started yesterday with the Men, and that saw both the British hopefuls go out straight away, Jay Clarke losing in three to #17 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and James Ward going down heavily in two to #23 Oscar Otte. The Women are under way today, also with two Brits on the starting grid. However both Katie Swan's first match against #2 Jil Teichmann (a WTA clay court finalist a few weeks ago) and #5 Heather Watson versus Bibiane Schoofs are going on court first thing tomorrow instead.


                                  The draws both Women would need to negotiate to earn a main draw spot (the Men's ones are now academic) are:-

                                  Jil Teichmann Sui [2] vs Katie Swan GBr
                                  Wang Xiyu Chn vs Daniella Lao USA
                                  Denisa Allertova Cze [PR] vs Kristina Kucova Svk
                                  Tamara Korpatsch Ger vs Paula Badosa Gilbert Esp [18]

                                  Heather Watson GBr [5] vs Bibiane Schoofs Ned
                                  Valentini Grammatikopoulou Gre vs Kimberly Birrell Aus
                                  Ylena In-Albon Sui vs Romana Oprandi Sui [PR]
                                  Anna Kalinskaya Rus vs Vavara Lepchenko USA [19]


                                  Regarding the main draws, Jo Konta is expected to be seeded #26 and Kyle Edmund #29.

                                  Comment


                                    Swan and Watson both won, Katie in two and Heather in three. They will play Wang and Grammatikopoulou respectively tomorrow in q2.

                                    Comment


                                      Time for a dedicated RG thread?

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                                        Yes. But I don't have time to start it at the moment...

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                                          Which may have Katie Swan in it, but won't include Heather Watson. Both had three setters today, Swan winning hers 7-5 in the decider despite dropping the middle set on a bagel, Watson going down to an agonisingly narrow defeat, 5-7 7-66 6-73.
                                          Heather was a break up three times in the final set, including serving for it at 5-3. She even reached 40-15 in that game, but didn't convert either match point (unforced error, return winner) and a few minutes later found herself a break down at 6-5. She broke back, established a 3-1 lead in the decisive tie-break, but then Grammatikopoulou won six straight points. She had early broken Grammatikopoulou at 3-5 down in both set 1 and set 2, i.e. when having to break to stay in the match on the second occasion. The momentum should have been all with her when it was her turn to have the balls in hand and four points to collect to win.
                                          Katie, by contrast, rode her momentum after breaking Wang when she was serving for their match at 5-3 in set 3. Swan won 16 of the next 17 points from then to the tape (break to love, hold to love, break to 15 incl. two Wang double faults, hold to love).

                                          Swan now plays Kristina Kucova in final q tomorrow.
                                          Last edited by Janik; 23-05-2019, 14:33.

                                          Comment


                                            Qualies are over, and no Brits made it through after Swan was beaten in straight sets by Kucova.

                                            Swan did have another opportunity soon after losing due to the brief presence of an unexpected name in the Women's draw (and indeed spectator at Swan's match) - Katie Boulter. Boulter and her team haven't handle the situation well. It seems entirely evident that she has only delayed the formality of withdrawing until she was able to claim the 50% 1st round loser prize money her ranking entitles her too. She isn't wrong in doing that, the prize money increase for R1 losers at slams was an entirely deliberate policy to better renumerate players in the 50-100 bracket and make careers at that level and just below more sustainable (Boulter is actually down to 112 now due to points she hasn't been able to defend), and this year's rule about 50% payouts for those who showed up on site but then withdrew before playing was a necessary corollary to that - we had scores of R1 retirements in the 2018 slams from players patently unfit to play but still starting so as to get their 'wage'. But she should have been up front, saying I'm going to Paris and back in a day to be paid as that is money I've earned for my previous efforts and don't deserve to be denied just because I was unlucky enough to get injured (sick pay, anyone?). If they wanted to be less up front, she could have made the trip on Wednesday and still collected the money, and then her name would never have appeared in the draw, though it would have been on drawsheets as a withdrawal with a lucky loser replacement. So, anyway, the lucky loser spot Boulter's actions opened up? It didn't go to Swan. Neither did the other LL place in the Women's draw that has come up so far (i.e. I don't think Boulter is alone here).

                                            There are also three LL spots in the Men's draw, one of which is down to Nick Kyrgios withdrawing with a bug. Uh, yeah, convenient that. Keeps him away from the court after the events in Rome and also his next mouth-brain disconnect where he trashed Roland Garros as a tournament, both in absolute terms and in specific comparison to Wimbledon. He was likely to get a very hostile reaction from the French crowd after that, and he has proved that he struggles to handle hostile crowds. Better for everyone that he takes some time away. Particularly Cameron Norrie, who had landed Kyrgios in the initial R1 draw!

                                            Comment


                                              Oh, and one thing to come out of the stories about Boulter is the nature of her injury - a spinal stress fracture. That sounds ominous.

                                              Comment


                                                Almost the final update of this before heading to a dedicated thread for the Slam. The players who go into that high on confidence but not fresh are Dayana Yastremska, Yulia Putinseva and Benoit Paire. They won the events in Strasbourg, Nuernberg and Lyon, beating Caroline Garcia, Tamara Zidansek and Felix Auger-Aliassime respectively.
                                                Taking them in order, Strasbourg was Yastremska's second title of 2019 following a hardcourt win in Thailand back in February and the third of her career (all within the last 12 months, but then, she is only 19). It was very close as well, decided on a final set tie-break after the first two sets were 6-4 5-7. Yastremska is now 3/3 in finals.
                                                A first-time champion was assured in Nuernberg once the identity of the finalists was known; Putinseva had lost in two finals previously, whilst Zidansek was playing her first ever title match. Zidansek took the first set but Putinseva (the no.1 seed for the event) came back to break her duck.
                                                Like Yastremska, Benoit Paire joined the select group of players to have won two titles in 2019 by claiming the Lyon crown (he also won in Morocco earlier in the clay season). However, with all due respect it's still his 18 year-old opponent who generates the most interest. It was a second final of the year for Auger-Aliassime, both on clay. Such has been Auger-Aliassime's rise that he was actually the higher ranked of the two players in the final (seeded #4 in this event to Paire's unseededness). One to watch for in the next fortnight...

                                                You'll note an event is missing from that - Geneva. That is because the final has been suspended for rain. Sascha Zverev currently leads Nicolas Jarry 6-3 2-5. Neither will want to stay in Switzerland any longer than today.

                                                Comment


                                                  Zverev won the title in Geneva, 10-8 in a deciding set tie-break. I'm sure playing an on-and-off marathon three set match was not his ideal for the day. It is, however, his first title of 2019 and so was important in reversing the trend of recent months.

                                                  Oh, and doubles. When I last updated the Skupskis were a set up in their QF in Lyon and Bambridge/O'Mara yet to start their last eight encounter. Well, both won those though the Skupskis were taken to a deciding set breaker. The Skupskis also won their Semi. However both pairs ran into #2 seeds Dodig/Roger-Vaselin in the end, #4 Bambridge/O'Mara being heavily beaten in the last four and #3 N./K.Skupski being closer but still going down in two in the final.

                                                  Comment


                                                    Right, clay is done. Now on to grass and the Great British Summer [checks outside window, sees the rain pelting down, ponders]

                                                    It actually kicked off last week at Challenger level with the Surbiton Trophy for both Men and Women. This was a $125k/48 player draw for the Men and a $100k/32 player for the Women. In both cases that is the highest categorisation possible on the ATP Challenger and Women's ITF Tours.

                                                    For some players, the wait is clearly interminable and they rush onto the lawns at the first opportunity they get (“Every day on clay is a day better. Because it’s a day closer to the grass court season!” Ashleigh Barty, 2018. Um, yeah, about that, Ash…). All four of the singles finalists are surface specialists. That would be Alison Riske and Magdalena Rybarikova in the Women’s, and Viktor Troicki and Dan Evans in the Men’s. The champions were Riske, who beat Rybarikova 6-7(2) 6-2 6-2 to defend her title (Rybarikova was the winner in 2017) and Evo who won 6-2 6-3 against Troicki for what, a little surprisingly, was his first grass court title above Futures level.

                                                    Other British results from Surbiton included James Ward getting to R3 (l to Kudla, another good grass court player), which was decent as it included a R2 win over 12th seed Sergiy Stakhovsky, who once beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon. I wonder if Stakhovsky realised at the time that doing that made him a scalp forevermore and every other player doubly determined to beat him?!? Ward beat a British wild card, Paul Jubb, in three sets in R1 (all Ward’s matches went the distance). That was to be a familiar story for all the Men’s wild cards, Ryan Peniston (three sets vs Brands), Evan Hoyt (vs Sugita), Liam Broady (3 vs Kubler) and Lloyd Glasspool (vs Koepfer) all also falling at the first stage. As did Jay Clarke (l in 3 vs Donskoy) and Andrew Watson, but at least Clarke got in via his ranking and Watson earned his spot by qualifying.
                                                    The qualifying competition was actually a little bizarre as it incorporated just 4 players for 2 places! And both losers in that, Alastair Gray and Brydan Klein, got into the main draw anyway as two more late withdrawals meant there were only 48 male entries in total. Maybe consider sticking with a 32-man draw next year, organisers? Both Lucky Losers were eliminated in R2, which is where Gray was parachuted into after 3rd seed Jordan Thompson withdrew!

                                                    On the Women’s side, Heather Watson got in by right. She picked up two handy wins over #4 Evgeniya Rodina (who beat Madison Keys at Wimbledon last year, I wonder if she knew etc…) and Madison Brengle before losing in the QFs to Rybarikova. Katy Dunne parlayed a wild card into the same round, beating qualifier Ankita Raina and Tereza Smitkova before losing in three to Riske (just one of two sets Riske lost all week). No other Brits made R2, wild cards Naiktha Bains (on her home debut after switching from Australia earlier this year) losing to Grace Minnen, Maia Lumsden falling to Brengle and Jodie Anne Burrage losing an agonisingly tight one to Vera Lapko. That was 5-7 7-6(8) 6-7(6), which must have taken hours. Bains and Lumsden’s losses were straight sets.

                                                    On the Doubles court, Watson/Wickmayer made the Women’s final before losing to Brady/Dolehide. They beat Bains/Broady in the QFs along the way. Dunne/Webley-Smith also made the QFs but didn’t take to the court, whilst Grey/Silva lost to the eventual champions in R1.
                                                    The best runs in the Men’s pairs were Evans/Glasspool and Bambridge w/ Daniell, who both made the SFs before going out. Evans/Glasspool beat the #2 seeds in R1 and got past a notable pairing in the QFs, Kokkinakis/Kyrgios as Kyrgios made a quiet return to action (he only played the singles) following the Italian Open farrago. One other pair played, Broady/Clayton justifying a wild card by winning their first match before being beaten in the QFs by top seeds and eventual champions M.Granollers/McLachlan.

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