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  • Evariste Euler Gauss
    replied
    Extraordinary how much above its weight the GB squad punched to make it to the semi-finals. Currently not a single British man has a singles ranking in the top 40 (yes, i know we are relatively stronger in doubles). There are 12 countries who have two or more men in the singles top 40 (France and Serbia have four each, though to be fair 3 of Serbia's are very much at the lower end of that list), but nine of those countries of course made it less far than GB.

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  • Rogin the Armchair fan
    replied
    I watched a bit of it, even though I was wholly against the whole concept originally. I was less anti than I expected to be.

    1. Losing the best of 5 sets matches: it’s a shame, but clearly necessary to play each tie in half a day not over three. Didn’t all of Spain’s matches except the final finish well after midnight?

    2. Still don’t like the groups of three format. Canada and someone else iirc compromised the entire best runner up format by forfeiting their doubles at 2-0 up. I’d much prefer 16 teams not 18 and have it as straight knockout from the start. Put relegation play outs into the format for first round losers if organisers want to ensure everyone gets 2 matches.

    3. In a tie of three rubbers, I’m undecided if the doubles should come last or in the middle (or even first). But it did seem to lead to some interesting captain’s choices after tough singles which was good.

    4. As for outcomes, a home win for Nadal and Spain was overdue and deserved. I hope home advantage doesn’t become the main determinant for the Cup though, and they must think about rotating venues if so. Canada’s run was fun just for novelty, as was a virtually Andy Murray-less GB making semis.

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  • Sporting
    replied
    The Spanish media is certainly paying a lot of attention this morning.

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  • Evariste Euler Gauss
    replied
    Apparently not much, judging by the lack of responses to that question. I pay attention to anything Murray is playing in, but I've never really got the idea of tennis as a team sport whatever the format.

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    Is anyone paying attention to the "new" "Davis Cup"?

    Marca is trying hard to make it a thing (notwithstanding Pique's role), but then they would, particularly during an international break.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    I caught quite a bit of the Tsitsipas - Federer match. Blimey, Tsitsipas played well, and held his nerve brilliantly to save a load of break points. First post-big 4 number one?

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  • Gangster Octopus
    replied
    Nadal wins (in three) so it's still undecided...

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  • Ray de Galles
    replied
    Yeah, I'd seen that. I almost dug my soccermeter image out again.

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  • Gangster Octopus
    replied
    https://twitter.com/atptour/status/1194736188420214791/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1194736188420214791&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fsport%2Ftennis%2F50423549

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  • Ray de Galles
    replied
    Tennis dilettante popping in again, who am I likely to see (singles and doubles) at the Final on Sunday now Djokovic is out?

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  • multipleman78
    replied
    When Federer lost in the first match I thought he looked quite sluggish, almost like a boxer getting old in the ring. However, it looks like he was just shaking off some rust because he looked fabulous last night.

    Judging by his reaction at the end, I think he was a little bit surprised by how well he played. His celebration and interview were those of a man who had electrified that arena and fed off that atmosphere til the end.

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  • Jon
    replied
    And I think that means Pete Sampras' record as being number 1 for 6 consecutive years is safe. Probably the only record that Sampras still holds, given what's happened to men's tennis since his retirement.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    Federer beats Djokovic. Nadal ends year as number one. Have to say I'm pleased.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Originally posted by Jimski View Post
    Looks as if Djokovic will end up overtaking Nadal for no1 late on again. Thanks mainly to Nadal's weird inability to avoid injury at this time of year.
    It's not particularly weird - Rafa's style of play is very hard on his joints. His injuries are not random, they are part and parcel of his wins. The gap between them is 600+ points prior to the Finals... but if Rafa is still injured in two weeks time then Djoker probably will go back past.

    Talking of injuries, both groups at the WTA Tour Finals ended up with five players as Bianca Andreescu retired hurt after a set of a match against Karolina Pliskova and subsequently withdrew from the tournament to be replaced by Sofia Kenin. Kenin's only appearance was a dead rubber against Elina Svitolina which she lost in two sets (but that she got very well paid for). The other player through from the purple group was Pliskova, who won what was effectively a Quarter-Final against Simona Halep.
    In the red group, Kiki Bertens, an injury replacement for Naomi Osaka, got hurt herself in her second match against Belinda Bencic and retired after a set and a game. That made this group also pretty clear cut - Bencic and Ash Barty through. The carnage continued in the Semis as Bencic retired hurt in the third set against Svitolina. Fortunately every other game was played to a conclusion, Barty beating Pliskova in three and then topping last year's champion Svitolina in the final. The Aussie ends the year as French Open Champion, Tour Champion and World Number 1. Some people do breakthrough years better than others... and it's clearly time for the WTA to take some time off to get everyone halfway fit again!

    Over in Paris, the other QFs alongside Denis Shapovalov trouncing Gael Monfils saw Novak Djokovic annihilate Stefanos Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov beat Cristian Garin in an all-unseeded encounter and Rafa Nadal beat Jo-Willy Tsonga. Then Djokovic beat Dimitrov (for the nth time) and Shapovalov got a walkover against Nadal. Which meant a second tour final for the young Canuck just two weeks after his first... only to find Djokovic a rather trickier opponent than Nole's compatriot Filip Krajinovic, who Shapovalov beat in Stockholm. This time it went Serbia's way in straight sets.


    And now we are fully into the post-season. Two events this week, the Next Gen Finals for the Men in Milan and the Fed Cup Final for the Women in Perth. The Aussie one. Tsitsipas had qualified as the top ranked player for the Next Gen event, but withdrew to focus on his Tour Finals prep. Felix Auger-Aliassime also withdrew on grounds of being injured, and Shapovalov presumably citing fatigue. The groups are therefore:

    Group A
    #1 Alex de Minaur (WR:18)
    #4 Casper Ruud (63)
    #5 Miomir Kecmanovic (55)
    #8 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (82)

    Group B
    #2 Frances Tiafoe (46)
    #3 Ugo Humbert (56)
    #6 Mikael Ymer (73)
    #8 Jannik Sinner (93)


    The Fed Cup final teams will be announced later in the week.

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    Fair points. How did Emerson get to 12?

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    As someone who was alive for his first six and old enough to remember him turning pro, I very much agree (though the fact that Rosewall was my childhood tennis hero may colour my recollection).

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  • Janik
    replied
    "Laver would have beaten 15 in the 60s had he not turned pro."

    Maybe, maybe not. Laver's projected record is really a case of double counting as it pre-supposes that it would only have been him not turning pro. If, however, Len Hoad and Ken Rosewall were also still amateurs then it's dubious that Laver would have won any of the 6 Slams he claimed against effectively depleted fields in '60-'62. Laver only went past those two and started winning pro Slams in 1964, and that limits him to 24 possible shots.

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    Grand slam titles this decade, according to Wiki:

    2010s
    13 Nadal
    Novak's 15 equals Federer in the previous decade.

    2000s Laver would have beaten 15 in the 60s had he not turned pro.
    Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 03-11-2019, 10:11.

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  • Jimski
    replied
    Looks as if Djokovic will end up overtaking Nadal for no1 late on again. Thanks mainly to Nadal's weird inability to avoid injury at this time of year.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Monfils got blown away 2&2. Which is just so typical. :-(

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  • Evariste Euler Gauss
    replied
    So the 8th and final place in the ATP Finals tournament will go to either Berrettini or Monfils. It's very simple: if Monfils wins his Paris QF against Shapovalov he gets it (which would be only his 2nd ever appearance in the tournament). If Monfils doesn't win that match, then Berrettini gets his maiden appearance.

    A Zverev has already limped into the 7th qualifying spot so will have a chance to defend his Tour Finals title.

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  • Janik
    replied
    Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
    How the hell is a round robin supposed to work when one player substitutes another? Osaka didn't play Barty today and Bertens came in in her place. But Osaka had played in the first pair of games. So now there's a table with 5 people in it who will play different numbers of games. How are they going to work that out?
    They just ignore that one player has played a match less, basically. It's ordered by number of wins, then number of defeats, sets won, then sets lost IIRC. Bertens can make the Semis, but only if she wins both her matches. Osaka is out of the tournament.

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    How the hell is a round robin supposed to work when one player substitutes another? Osaka didn't play Barty today and Bertens came in in her place. But Osaka had played in the first pair of games. So now there's a table with 5 people in it who will play different numbers of games. How are they going to work that out?

    I cannot even begin to describe the amount of media coverage yesterday's Halep Andreescu game had in Romania. The media are still discussing the vexed question of exactly how Romanian Andreescu is and whether it's acceptable to support her against Simona

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  • Janik
    replied
    Two home victors today, Thiem taking the crown in Vienna for the first time, Federer in Basel for the tenth.

    That sets up the race for the final places in London thus:-
    7. A.Zverev - 2855
    8. Berrettini - 2660
    ------------------------------
    9. Bautista Agut - 2530
    10. Monfils - 2350
    11. Goffin - 2325
    12. Fognini - 2280
    [13. Nishikori - withdrawn from contention due to injury]
    14. Schwartzman - 2115
    15. Wawrinka - 1910
    16. Khachanov - 1830
    17. Isner - 1760
    18. de Minaur - 1685

    Winning the title in Paris is worth 1000 points. Runner-up = 600, Semis = 300, QFs = 180,, R3 = 90, R2 = 45 for de Minaur, 10 for everyone else (de Minaur is not seeded, so doesn't get a R1 bye).
    So everyone from Wawrinka on down would have to win the Paris title to have any chance, and I nearly left them off the list, but... Stan Wawrinka winning a Masters Series? Plausible. John Isner winning the Paris Indoor? Well, he made the final in 2016 so, again, plausible. Karen Khachanov winning the Paris Indoor? What, like he did last year you mean? That only left Alex de Minaur and however slight his chances (if Berrettini wins a match they end) it seemed a bit harsh to leave out only one of the men with a mathematical opportunity from the list.

    On the Brit front, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie's R1 draws are out. Edmund will play Ricardas Berankis for the right to take on Diego Schwartzman in R2, whilst Norrie faces Milos Raonic with Dominic Thiem awaiting.

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  • Janik
    replied
    On to this week, and two huge events, one with wider significance than the other. That is the WTA Finals. This has the biggest per player prize pot in Tennis history. Not just Women’s Tennis, but any. The total purse is $14million. For comparison, the Men in London will be asked to spread $9million between them. Unfortunately, there is a reason why it’s so big – Sportswashing. The event is taking place in Shenzhen. Just over the border from Hong Kong. Where military manoeuvres have been taking place to intimidate the pro-democracy/human rights protestors. The WTA is arguably even more in China’s pocket than the NBA, and just like that organisation has had a past history of fighting oppression that makes that association hard to square.
    The two groups, called red and purple rather than the flowery names of last week, contain #1 Ash Barty, #3 Naomi Osaka, #6 Petra Kvitova and #7 Belinda Bencic and #2 Karolina Pliskova, #4 Bianca Andreescu, #5 Simona Halep and #8 Elina Svitolina respectively.
    Day 1 is the red group. Osaka beat Kvitova in three, Barty and Bencic are currently on court. Bencic is a set up but a break down in the second. It’s a debut match at the Tour Finals for both players.
    Oh, and the event will decide the year-end World No.1 for the Women. Barty, Pliskova and Osaka are in contention. However, its Barty’s to lose. Or more like to stay fit for. To encourage players to play even if their chances of making it through are gone, there is a participation fee paid and also ranking points awarded simply for taking the court in each round robin match. 125 at time (with another 125 for actually winning). 375 points, i.e. just playing all her scheduled matches, will see Barty safely home for the year-end top spot.

    Talking of no.1’s, Rafa Nadal will take over from Novak Djokovic as the Men’s leader regardless of results in Paris. This is because not only do the results from last year’s Paris Masters get scrubbed after this week but also the points from the 2018 Tour Finals. Which Novak made the final of and Rafa didn’t play. Why does the ATP do this? Because then the seedings for this year’s finals reflect the order of the top 8 performers for 2019 and do not take anything from 2018 into account.
    Such is Rafa’s points lead in 2019 to date, he will be more than 1500 ahead of Novak (and therefore assured of the year end no.1) if he wins the title in Paris.
    Brits in the Paris field? Two in singles. Kyle Edmund will attempt to end his losing run against a qualifier or lucky loser in R1. That could well be Cameron Norrie, as Norrie has worked his way through qualifying successfully.
    J.Murray/N.Skupski and Salisbury/Ram play in the Doubles. Neither are seeded, but seeing is done on combined rankings (meaning a brand new pair can be #1 if they happen to be #2 and #3 in the world or similar). Tour Finals qualification by contrast is done on performances as a team, and on that count Salisbury/Ram currently sit sixth in the standings. They need to stay 7th or higher, as the doubles qualification includes entry for any team that wins a Slam title and is ranked between 8th and 20th* (that got Jonny Marray in a few years back w/ Frederik Nielsen) and that rule guarantees a place for Herbert/Mahut despite their overall spot currently being 12th.
    Salisbury/Ram’s chances of qualifying are extremely high, as they would need a specific pairing of teams in the Paris final producing a specific result to displace them. That would be Dodig/Polasek beating Kontinen/Peers in the final match. Even so, until one of these teams is knocked out, or Slisbury/Ram have picked up enough themselves and they will not be able to relax entirely. A run to the QFs and they are assured to their spot, whatever else happens. That means beating Haase/Koolhof (OK, tricky but do-able) and then #1 Cabal/Farah (eep) or Mektic/Skugor.

    * - given that winning a Slam earns a team 2000 points, and 20th spot in the order currently has less than that combined, the 8th-20th caveat seems rather spurious. A slam win, in 2019 at least, means an automatic spot.

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