Tennis 2020: There is a C-O-V-I-D in Djokovic

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Sofia’s parents came from Moscow to the US with $300 in their pocket. Good investment using that on a tennis racquet for their infant daughter.
Got a bit of the Steffi Graf upbringing in her. Reading between the lines, it seemed like a somewhat monochromatic childhood.
 

Marciano490

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Oof watching the highlights, Barty smashing that forehand slam into the net is going to haunt her.
 

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I gotta go to bed now but even from the first couple of games, this is clearly going to be a much higher level game from both players. They're both attacking hard (which is not Halep's normal approach).
 

BigMike

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Despite some of the ups and downs, that is about as good a set of tennis as you'll see in the women's game. Long stretch of brilliance by both to start, then some wild swings, and a great breaker.
 

Marciano490

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Tennis really requires an insane amount of mental fortitude. I can’t imagine losing a set like that one after busting my ass for an hour plus and then coming out having to win another set just to have a chance to win a third.
 

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Tennis really requires an insane amount of mental fortitude. I can’t imagine losing a set like that one after busting my ass for an hour plus and then coming out having to win another set just to have a chance to win a third.
Yeah, this is the best thing about it, you need constant focus and this part is even harder IMO for the women in a way because they only play 2 of 3 sets, so they have less margin for error. When I used to play a bit, it always made me feel good that even the best players in the world just lost their shit for stretches, missing easy shots.
 

jon abbey

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Muguruza battles through in two tough close sets, so a Muguruza/Kenin final.
 

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Djokovic has won the first set in a tie-breaker, breaking Federer when Federer was serving for the set at 5-4.
 

Apisith

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Federer just has a mental block against Novak at big moments. Or Djokovic is a mental giant. Probably a bit of both.
 

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I was watching a bit on delay, but all Fed fans should check out the first seven games of this match. Fed looked like he was in his prime, a ridiculous 26 winners in the set and still Novak came back and pulled it out with one of the most perfect tiebreaks you will ever see, 7-1.
 
I find it absolutely extraordinary that the Garbine Muguruza I commentated on in Shenzhen - when she barely squeaked by Zarina Diyas in three sets and was error-prone as could be - is in a Grand Slam final three weeks later. I know, that's what the tune-up tournaments are for...but she lost the first set of her first match in Melbourne 6-0 (to Shelby Rogers, who somehow won only a single game thereafter). I wonder how many players who got bageled in their first set in a Grand Slam went on to win the tournament? I'm guessing you could count them on the fingers of one hand.
 

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Strange match, they had to shut the roof a few games in because it started drizzling and they just had another short stoppage because a few lights weren't working.

The two of them were feeling each other out early, each breaking three times in the first two sets and splitting them, 6-3 to Zverev and then 6-4 to Thiem. Now 1-1 in the 3rd, just started.

This is my favorite tournament of the year, ahead of the US Open, but every year I say it, it is SO DUMB AND UNFAIR to have one men's semi a day before the other one. Djokovic is sitting around resting while these guys pummel each other.
 

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Just turned it on before I head into the office. Some really impressive rallies from these guys - great 4th set. Almost hate to see one of them lose it.
 

jon abbey

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Thiem has played great in tiebreaks last match against Nadal and again tonight, 1-2 in non-tiebreak sets and 4-0 in tiebreak sets.

5-5 now in the 4th, no breaks this set, looking like another breaker coming.
 

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Both guys with some terrible misses so far this breaker, Zverev with an awful double fault and easy overhead, neither close, costing him 2 points.

Thiem 4-2 on the changeover.
 

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Thiem with some huge shots to take yet another break and advance in 4, him and Novak could be a good final if Thiem is on his game.
 

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Novak is in top form and has an extra day of rest. I'd love to see someone new win a major but it seems unlikely this time.
 
This is my favorite tournament of the year, ahead of the US Open, but every year I say it, it is SO DUMB AND UNFAIR to have one men's semi a day before the other one. Djokovic is sitting around resting while these guys pummel each other.
It just makes no sense. Two women's semifinals and one men's semifinal on the Thursday, and just the one men's semifinal on the Friday. Why not put one women's SF in each slot (afternoon + evening) on Thursday, and one men's SF in each slot on Friday?
 

jon abbey

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Novak is in top form and has an extra day of rest. I'd love to see someone new win a major but it seems unlikely this time.
Thiem has beaten him 4 of the last 5 times they’ve played, not that I expect it to happen this weekend.
 

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I'm stoked for Kenin-Muguruza, but I may be the only one. I'm sure the AO's businesspeople were rooting for Halep-Barty. Or Barty vs anyone, frankly.

I wasn't a huge fan of Thiem's game initially but he's grown on me. Mostly via his mental fortitude. He seems to problem-solve while he's out there rather than just Playing His Game.

I'm gonna try to set the alarm for 5 tonight and catch some of the 2nd set, and the 3rd if it happens. If it's 6-1, 4-0 to Muguruza at that point I'm rolling over and going back to sleep. And to be clear, I think that not unlikely.
 

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I changed the subject line because Coco doesn't quite deserve it yet (close though) and this line has been making me laugh since it occurred to me last night.
 

BigMike

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Muguruza takes set 1. Bit of a weird set as Gaby was up, looked about ready to lock up the set at 4-2 (0-40), then let it get back to 4-4, then Gaby wins the last 2

I forgot at times how much I hate watching US tv coverage of an event that includes an American, especially on the women's side. It is very much like watching a biased home team announcer in baseball or hockey. Tough when you don't really have a rooting interest (Like both players)

Kenin is such an anomaly out there, At 5'7" 120. She is almost petite, she is not bigger than some of the ball girls.

Oh back to the announcers as I type

Chrissy just actually talked about how losing the first set might help to relax Kenin
 

BigMike

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Huge game there in the 3rd set as Kenin is able to fight back from down 4 break points at 2-2 in the 3rd set. Kenin has won 13-15 break point chances today.

And now Muguruza will an awful collapse on a service game culminating with a double fault on break point, and now the match is Kenin's to win.
 
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BigMike

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Kenin wins it. Pretty unbelievable. She certainly showed incredible fortitude and competitiveness the last 2 weeks. She really played well, and especially well at the key moments, winning all 5 of her break points (although I think at least 3 were double faults), and winning 13-15 break points she faced.

Tournament was decided in that 2-2 game when Muguruza was up 0-40 on Kenin's served, and there were 3 extremely well played points with Kenin winning all

i'm not sold on Kenin piling up a big number of championships in her career, but she is a Grand Slam champion and they can never take that away

Nice bounceback tournament from Muguruza. Hopefully she is back and will be a fixture in the top 5-10 for the next 4-5 years. But this was a pretty ugly end for her double faulting away he final 2 service games.
 

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Kenin is much older at 21 and not nearly as good but she reminds me a bit of peak Hingis in her relentlessness and small size, so much power via perfect timing and balance. She lost some epic games early but came back from game points down a whole bunch of times after that, really hard fought impressive win.
 

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I forgot at times how much I hate watching US tv coverage of an event that includes an American, especially on the women's side. It is very much like watching a biased home team announcer in baseball or hockey. Tough when you don't really have a rooting interest (Like both players)
This one was almost a conflict of interest, Evert has known her from Florida since she was tiny.
 

BigMike

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Kenin is much older at 21 and not nearly as good but she reminds me a bit of peak Hingis in her relentlessness and small size, so much power via perfect timing and balance. She lost some epic games early but came back from game points down a whole bunch of times after that, really hard fought impressive win.
Yeah I can see it, and I guess she resembles Simona Halep as well in terms of size and game
 

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This is pretty interesting, showing the highest ranked players according to age although it has not yet been updated through this tournament. Kenin is a year younger than Osaka and 18 months older than Andreescu, she is up to 7th now. Anisimova and Gauff may push things in the next year or two but right now Kenin is close to Osaka/Andreescu if not right there with them.

 
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jon abbey

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Coco's result got even better a week after she lost, she and Muguruza were the only ones to take a set from Kenin all tournament.
 

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Novak more than a 3/1 favorite to win this, Thiem could push him if he was rested and totally on, but he is not rested. Novak in 3 or maybe 4, he has not lost a set since the first round.
 

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Thiem has spent 18 hours on court, Novak only 12, plus he has an additional day of rest.
 

BigMike

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And it's over?

nope , sorry was looking at a we feed for the score that said it was final. It is about to be 2 sets for Thiem
 
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jon abbey

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Caught up, I think Novak tweaked something in the first set, he has mostly played too passively since then. I get wanting to wear him down, but you can’t leave him so many chances for booming winners from the baseline.
 

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Or maybe it was a, um, digestive problem for Djokovic. He looks better now, that game was better.
 

BigMike

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Well after losing 6 straight games. Novak has now won 5 straight service games. I wouldn't bet against him
 

jon abbey

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Novak up a break in the 5th, 3-2 now and trying to serve it out. He’s been serving great for a few sets now, as BigMike pointed out.