Djokovic, Murray Eye Rematch While Hot Federer Faces Stan; Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | July 2nd, 2014, 7:55 am
  • 416 Comments

We are down to just eight in the men’s draw at Wimbledon. Roger Federer returns as does top seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Andy Murray. But the tennis world shook yesterday when top ranked Rafael Nadal got bounced by flamboyant teen Nick Kyrgios in a fourth round stunner.

The 19-year-old from Australia fired 37 aces in a very cool, very comfortable, very calm win over the 2-time Wimbledon champ.

After rolling into Wimbledon on a 3-match grass losing skid, Rafa had looked vulnerable all event. Lukas Rosol I thought would have closed out the Spaniard had the nerves not gotten the best of him in the second set of their match last Thursday. Martin Klizan and Mikhail Kukushkin also took first sets off Rafa so the cracks were clearly there. But I felt the stage would get to Kyrgios, however it never did. And instead the youngster simply fed off the occasion. It was impressive to watch and exciting to see the birth of a new tennis superstar.

On grass Nadal just wasn’t able to make much of an impression on the return of serve. As he’s been doing all year, Rafa was again leaving service returns and baseline shots short and doing that on grass if far more problematic than say on clay. And Rafa paid for it.

So with Rafa out, the last three Wimbledon champions still remain, but will one of them emerge victorious at the season’s third Slam? Or will they, too, suffer the same fate as Rafa? On to my QF picks…

Andy Murray v Grigor Dimitrov
I was a little skeptical of Murray’s ability to back up his 2013 Wimbledon title run, but the Scot has been playing so well there the last few years. With the title already in the bag, a free-swinging Murray hasn’t dropped a set and after two easy matches he looked good in wins over Den Bosch champ Roberto Bautista Agut and then the tower of danger Kevin Anderson.

Dimitrov’s star is certainly on the rise. He was a quarterfinalist in Australia and he just won Queen’s. And he beat Murray earlier this year in Acapulco. But I can’t see the Bulgarian winning three sets against Murray, especially not at Center Court Wimbledon.

As always with an entertainer like Dimitrov against a great defender as Murray, it should be a fun match. But the youngster’s run ends here. Murray’s just too steady for Grigor.
The Pick: Murray in three

Novak Djokovic v Marin Cilic
Djokovic shook off any injury concerns (shoulder/wrist) by pounding JW Tsonga on Monday. Looking like his old self, Djokovic dominated Tsonga and I expect the same today against Cilic.

Marin is playing better, more importanly serving up to his potential under the guide of 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, and he’s convincingly beaten both Tomas Berdych and then Jeremy Chardy in straight sets. But the Croat’s 0-9 against Novak give me a lot of pause. And with Rafa out I think the Serb has to be more focused than ever to get back in the win column this weekend.
The Pick: Djokovic in four

Milos Raonic v Nick Kyrgios
In the toughest pick of day, the two youngest remaining men meet for what could be the first of many Grand Slam semifinal berths. I love Kyrgios’s game and emotion but right now I have to rate Raonic’s serve, ability and experience just a little bit higher.

Against Rafa, Kyrgios had the comfort of knowing he’d be able to handle Nadal’s serve. He won’t have that same luxury against Raonic. And I think ultimately the Canadian, who granted doesn’t return well himself, will wear him down.
The pick: Raonic in five

Roger Federer v Stan Wawrinka
With the expectations reduced on the green earth, Stan is back to playing decent tennis again this week. The Australian Open champ has won two straight set matches this week to reach his first Wimbledon quarterfinal. But after wins over Denis Istomin and Feliciano Lopez, the road really stiffens today against grass king Roger Federer.

Federer has beaten Stan 13 of 15 times losing to his friend only in Monte Carlo, most recently this April. And this week Federer’s been playing some of his best tennis of the year if not of the last several years. A good draw has helped, but Roger hasn’t lost a set nor has he lost serve. That probably changes today. Still, the results should go Federer’s way. It’s his surface and his domain. And this is a Major.
The Pick: Federer in four

Of the four matches, I’d be most surprised if Cilic won over Novak. I think Roger’s a strong favorite against Stan and Murray should get through so we should see a Novak-Murray rematch in the semis. The Raonic-Kyrgios is close to a toss up but I give the Canadian a slight edge. Regardless of who wins, Federer has to be pleased not to have to see Rafa there on Friday.

On TV if you are up early in the U.S., the women’s quarters are on now. The men’s SFs follow on ESPN and ESPN2.

WEDNESDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT – 12:00PM
1. Simona Halep (ROU) [3] v Sabine Lisicki (GER) [19]
2. Andy Murray (GBR) [3] v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11]
3. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [5] v Roger Federer (SUI) [4]

NO.1 COURT – 12:00PM
1. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) [13] v Angelique Kerber (GER) [9]
2. Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] v Marin Cilic (CRO) [26]
3. Milos Raonic (CAN) [8] v Nick Kyrgios (AUS)


Also Check Out:
Djokovic Faces Wawrinka Rematch Today; Australian Open QF Picks And Pans
US Open Thursday Picks And Pans: Berdych v Cilic, Federer v Monfils
Will It Be Nadal v Djokovic In The US Open Final? Men’s SF Picks And Pans
Federer Masters Murray, Steps Closer To Sixth Cincinnati Title; SF Picks And Pans
Nadal v Del Potro, Djokovic v Tsonga; Shanghai SF Picks And Pans

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416 Comments for Djokovic, Murray Eye Rematch While Hot Federer Faces Stan; Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans

calmdownplease Says:

c’mon the muzz!


calmdownplease Says:

Jimmy Connors makes me miss J Mac,
He’s clueless!
But he gets a pass as he’s a legend.


Hippy Chic Says:

The worst commontator has to be Anne Keothavong,i mean nice girl and all that,but she seems to struggle to find something relevant to say during a match,whatever were they thinking of letting this girl be a commontator?


Ben Pronin Says:

That first set between Murray and Dimitrov is why I can’t take Murray seriously most of the time. He fails to break in the opening game then craps himself. Dimitrov just played decent but Murray was missing all over the place.

Not watching Djokovic-Cilic right now but he got the early break. Unlike Sean, I actually think Cilic has a great shot. He’s playing extremely well and if he can serve big for a few sets, he could definitely cause an upset. But we’ll see.

I’m curious to see how Federer-Wawrinka plays out.

I really think fatigue catches up to to Kyrgios today. Playing Nadal over 4 sets then coming back the next day to return Raonic’s serve? I’ll be surprised if he wins a set now. He’s playing with nothing to lose, for sure, but this is Raonic’s chance to make a slam semi and he doesn’t have to face Nadal to do it. I can’t see him squandering this opportunity. Then again I thought Gasquet would route Kyrgios so really what do I know?


Brando Says:

If Andy doesn’t stop his woe is me moping pronto he’s heading out At this rate! Sort your focus out Muzza!


calmdownplease Says:

She doesnt come across as nice.
I hope Mr Murray gets a grip, he shouldnt just hand it to Dimitrov.


Okiegal Says:

Oh, my…….first set to Grigor……Andy is having his probs today….maybe he will get it together soon…….come on Andy!!


calmdownplease Says:

I think he will settle,as this is clearly a step up, but right now he is playing unforgiveably poorly.
Thank goodness for 5 setters however, but all of the newbies got the Kyrgios memo for sure.


Polo Says:

Dimitrov and Raonic are not really as young as I thought (23). They better do well at this tournament before they get too old like the rest of the players trying to break through the top 4.


Brando Says:

Andy’s return is needs to step up!


metan Says:

Nole is sharp like a blade.


calmdownplease Says:

shanking FH’s left and right
pathetic really.


Brando Says:

18 UE’s from Andy already in a set and 6 games! :-(


Polo Says:

Andy still asleep.


Polo Says:

Nothing to worry about in Djokovic’s corner.


Brando Says:

Tame, tame, tame way to hand the break over Muzza!


calmdownplease Says:

I think Mauresmo will be looking for a new job soon lol
terrible
Maybe he wasnt emotionally ready for this.


Brando Says:

93 mph first serve: WTF Muzza?


Polo Says:

How many of the top four will there be in the lasr four? Currently, it is at minus one.This is getting interesting.


Brando Says:

Yes Andy, more like it!


calmdownplease Says:

oh, dimi’s BH!


metan Says:

Andy is sayonara.


metan Says:

Better say bad things so, Andy can wake up.


calmdownplease Says:

he is rather out of sorts here, fortunately dimitrov got tight there
great rally could be the turning point


Brando Says:

What a point! Vital hold there by Muzza!


Ben Pronin Says:

Cilic with the break in the second. I knew I wasn’t crazy.


Brando Says:

Andy showed he had a pair of balls there! But he really really needs to stop with the women’s Tennis second serve: it’s criminal to do that!


calmdownplease Says:

no one, probably not even Andy understands that serve!


Daniel Says:

Wow, JUst following scores now and see Dimi has a mini break in the tiebrek to open 2-0. Thpught he would play Murray tight but not this.


Brando Says:

Bummer: looks like reign over to me! Too much passive, low intensity, woeful 2nd serve and a wandering mind from Andy!


Humble Rafa Says:

To the English men and women supporting a Scott:

Do you now realize that all those easy matches were worth nothing. Beating up midgets is a Scottish past time. When the Lady Forehand plays a good player afterwards, I expected him to fold like a nice lawn chair.

We will see if the English really support a Scotsman.


Brando Says:

Andy won 38% with his 2nd serve: with a serve like that its a high % and that’s saying something!


Okiegal Says:

Andy is in a very deep hole…..this young gun…..is he going to prove himself?……It looks like it at the moment……come on Andy…..battle back!! Seven times Andy has come back from being two sets down…..go Andy go…..make it 8 times!


Humble Rafa Says:

Seven times Andy has come back from being two sets down…..go Andy go…..make it 8 times!

That was pre-surgery. They took out the little fighter out of him during surgery to keep him sane.


calmdownplease Says:

pi** off humble rafa please :)


calmdownplease Says:

well if he is to win this one is going to be pretty long slog
still Novak’s just dropped a set
He just needs to play his best and stop serving s**t!


Polo Says:

Andy just gave Grigor more encouragement. Is it time to say goodbye. And Humble Rafa, I know that misery loves company but please, stop taking your frustration for Nadal’s loss unto others.


calmdownplease Says:

dimitrov’s serve OTOH is mighty impressive.


Okiegal Says:

@Humble

You’re off your game today…….you are making no sense……more than usual……imo!


Hippy Chic Says:

Come on Andy,i dont want both my favorites going out on consecutive days :((….


TGIT Says:

This looks like a potential day of major upsets. Need to start praying for Fed early. You got to get in front of that upset bug.


Polo Says:

Horrors! I needto take slow deep breaths. I hope Andy does it with me NOW!


calmdownplease Says:

Andy is done,
stick a fork in him lol


Polo Says:

Andy’s only hope now is a massive choke from Grigor.


Polo Says:

… Or a broken leg. :-)


Daniel Says:

Dimi 2 sets up and Djoko losing second set to Cilic.
Boy, I think the stranglehold of Big 4 making semis tourney in and out is officially over. Actually it started a while back.

Murray will have to perform a major come back and Djoko needs to win the third to not play a fifth setter. He never lost to Cilic but they always play tight matches.


Brando Says:

Awful awful errors from Andy when there was no pressure: story of the match for him!


Polo Says:

Rain, where’ the ran?


calmdownplease Says:

you have to laugh at such a whiny performance from a 27 year old
Or you will cry


Polo Says:

Where’s the rain? My spelling has gone amuck.


Brando Says:

This is over!


Polo Says:

It’s not over until…aw, forget about it.


Okiegal Says:

Wimby isn’t going according to Hoyle this year…


TGIT Says:

That is shocking. Andy’s ranking is going to drop like a rock. Is he out of the top 10?


Brando Says:

Dismal, dismal, dismal performance from Andy: a horrendous manner to lose his Wimby title!


Daniel Says:

Going down in straight.
He didn’t won a title in a year and some was expecting him to defend here. Although he is one of the best grass court players he did perform well in Queens and were looking great playing nobodys. That’s why I always have low expectations with him. Ever now and than a match like this happens.

The level of consistency of Fed, Djoko and Nadal will probably never be reached again.

Thing looking ggod for a Djoko x Fed final but they have to pass their test first.

Either one of them will have to beat only each other for the title and that is not even a grantee, Dimi can beta Djoko/Cilic and Fed can also lose. We could be watching a Dimi x Raonic final in 5 days. but I still think Fed and DJoko experience will prevail.


Hippy Chic Says:

Errr gutted really gutted,congrats Grigor Dimitrov,sorry thats about all i can manage ATM :c….


Okiegal Says:

Andy out, Rafa out…..how about them apples!!


calmdownplease Says:

Murray still has a long way to come back from,
if he ever gets there again that is.


Polo Says:

That loss was so horrible that it could not even be called sad.


Okiegal Says:

Bring out the next victim…….


Hippy Chic Says:

This one hurts me more than Rafas loss yesterday TBH,come on Grigor take the title now….


Ben Pronin Says:

Since Wimbledon last year, Murray has 0 titles and 0 top 10 wins. I’m not saying we should write Murray off, but this isn’t like “oh he’ll win a slam eventually because he’s too good”. He’s a little older now, had a minor surgery on his back, and accomplished his life goal in winning Wimbledon. He’s also been bull-dozed in the quarters of the 2 slams he was defending in subsequent years. Everyone gave him a pass at the US Open, but this is way worse.


Daniel Says:

CDP,

and you were making fun of me because I said I couldn’ see Murray beating Fed in a potential final. He couldn’t even beat Dimi in a as you guys say a dismal performance.
Fed can also lose anytime now, as this upsets continue.

I know it hurts see a player you root for lose like this but with him it was always like this with lapses of brilliance.


Daniel Says:

Djoko as BP on third set to serve 5-3 if he breaks.


Daniel Says:

Regarding his ranking. DelPo alwo will lose 720 pts but I think Dimi and Raonic will go up. Have to check but he is definitely out of top 8, either 9 or 10.


calmdownplease Says:

Daniel, I’ve got to hand it to you.
Your constant promotion of Fedal and Novak is right up there with a paid employee.
Nadal has been knocked out by a 19 year old.
Andy was clearly not even close to his best
And Novak has lost every final he’s been in over the last 6 (although that is a consistency of itself), bar one.
And Fed hasnt been near a slam in 2 years.
& was knocked out in the 2nd round last year too.
Although that could well change now.
Fed getting close to a slam I mean ;)


jane Says:

commiserations margot, the da and cdp… grigor picked today to arrive. clearly, the young guns are restless. nole is in a battle presently, and cilic is playing very well, as i thought he would. marin’s had a fairly tough draw and has battled through it.


skeezer Says:

My Bracket just got new life ;)
—-
Andy lacked energy today, and Grigor played with determination. Noboday mentioned that as of now we still have 3 one handers in the Tourney. Who said the one hander is dead?


calmdownplease Says:

I think Andy is more healthy than ever but it was at a cost of match fitness and simply he doesnt have the intesity levels he did before.
He needs to keep on playing and keep on working on his fitness and it might still click in some fashion later this year.
Dimitrov was fine Today but honestly he didnt have to do too much.
Novak will take care of him if he gets through.


Tennis Fan Says:

The outcome of the Murray match isn’t that surprising … just shows you what happens when you shelter a player from the field early on and then he has to step it up … he didn’t look at the same level.


calmdownplease Says:

thanks Jane,
Yes the young guns are fed up with getting nothing and are taking their chances to make an impact, just as well as they are mostly without any notable titles and only 3/4 years younger.


Polo Says:

Last time I looked, it was Dinitrov who beat Murray. To project this as Murray being unable to beat Federer is quite “imaginative”


Tennis Fan Says:

Big turnover at the top is coming … and it is coming soon.

… and Polo thinks that (23) is the new old … how far we have come in a week. ha ha


Daniel Says:

We can get some perspective in Slams over last years.

After 2011, the year Djoko happened:
Nadal won 5
Djoko won 5
Fed won 1
Murray won 2

If Djoko wins here he will have 6 and still US Open to go for all of them. Meaning Djoko would be the dominant player of this past 4 years (if he wins Wimby or Us Open and Nadal doesn’t win US Open) more so if he is Year end #1. 1 Slams and it changes everything.

Fed dominated Nadal from 2004-2007 (11-3)
Nadal dominated 2008-2010 (6-4).

Some were saying NAdal is GOAT but he is not even the best player of the past 4 years and he only dominated 3 years in his career, playing on a shadow of FEd ofr first part, almost on equal terms in second part and (assuming Djoko win one of the next 2 Slams this Wimbledon including) will be second to him.

That’s why I am promoting them because they are the 3 who dominated the sport for the last decade.

Of course, all can change as Cilic will serve for the third set now:-)


Ben Pronin Says:

Cilic serving for the third. Djokovic has blown so many break points in this set it’s aboslutely ridiculous.


contador Says:

Oh MG…..

@jane Well, so much for optimism and false hopes. Sorry.

Cilic serving to go up two sets to one, Not looking good.


Polo Says:

Cilic, how can you besocareless on such an easy point?


calmdownplease Says:

It is the new old!
19 is the new young!
lol


skeezer Says:

Have to say it is fresh to see some guys take out the top 4 ( legitimately ) and challenge a Slam. For me it was getting old seeing the same ole same ole 4-6 guys going through the draw. Times they are a changin?


contador Says:

oops…got a bit over-reactive. it is 6-6 Cilic and Djokovic

But still…can’t believe my eyes checking the scores and results.


Daniel Says:

Djoko broke back to force a tiebreak. Another tense match.


Okiegal Says:

Tiebreaker in the other match…


contador Says:

Come on Nole!


Okiegal Says:

Joker slipping a lot in this match…..


Polo Says:

Cilic will most likely lose this match because of that careless overhead. You cannot lose concentration in a major.


Daniel Says:

Polo,

Not when he has 0 top 10 victory in a while and Fed just came from winning a title and playing great again. Considering Murray only beat him once in a Slam (AO) and that final of Olympics I still fancy Fed in a major final.


the DA Says:

Props to Grigor he played superbly today and deserves the win. I just wish Andy had shown up. No serve, all those UFEs. It was a sad sight. But he’ll always be a Wimbledon champ.

If Nole goes out to Cilic, I give up.


Daniel Says:

Cilic will have 2 serves to close the third.


Okiegal Says:

Set point for Marin


Polo Says:

Another csreless shot by Cilic. Djokovic is already offering him this set. Take it!


Okiegal Says:

Cilic took the TB


tfouto Says:

wow… Djokovic down 2-1. Murray out of Wimbledon…

Crazy tennis…


Polo Says:

Whew! Good for Cilic to take the third.


the DA Says:

Nole 2 sets to 1 down. This is becoming a different kind of Wimbleweird to last year. If Nole goes out then I hope Stan wins (and I never root for him). Let’s just clean the slate and see someone completely new win this time. There’s no way I’m writing the Big 4 off yet though.


Daniel Says:

Wow,

If Djoko is to win this he will have to go five.
Who would have though both him and Murray could be out before semis.
If he indeed loses and Fed wins, boy this will be Fed’s chance. He will get 1 inexperienced player in a final.
But he can all go out today for us to have a new Wimbledon champion.


calmdownplease Says:

of course you do Daniel
Its his best chance,
Federer being SO consistent and all.
lol
So Cilic has taken another set!
You Fed fans better pray that he takes it


Polo Says:

I’m with you , the DA.


Ben Pronin Says:

1/7 break points in that second set for Djokovic. Attrocious. Tough day for the favorites. I’m not surprised based on how Cilic has been playing but Djokovic isn’t exactly playing poorly.


contador Says:

Oh boy. What a day. I really thought Novak would…..well, it isn’t over quite yet. :/

Andy must have played cr@p. Did not see the match. Was so certain Andy would win.

And what about the Swiss?


Ben Pronin Says:

Stan isn’t completely new, he’s old. And he had his moment.

Let’s go young guns!!! New balls, please.


Okiegal Says:

I am not a very good reporter…..fingers way to slow….by the time I get it all typed out, someone has got it posted first…..Oh well, a side affect of getting older…lol


Josh Says:

So with Nadal, Murray and Djokovic out…go Kyrigos!


Daniel Says:

Fed broken. kkkk
This is crazy…


Josh Says:

*Djoko most likely going out!


contador Says:

Cilic is from the class of 1988. Only a year younger than Nole. I don’t think of Cilic as a “young gun.”


Josh Says:

oh wow, and Fed is looking unstoppable right now…oh wait, that’s Wawrinka!


Polo Says:

Djokovic is down a set. Federer is down a break. Perverse maybe, but I am thoroughly enjoying this.


Ben Pronin Says:

Wawrinka is already up a break?? What is going on today????


Daniel Says:

I think Stan doesn’t want to lose to Fed ever again. That MC final really thought Fed had In the bag and Stan won. Here also thought Fed would have an easy life but by the looks of it, First set is gone. Stan is holding with ease.

Grass sets went fast and we don’t see much breaks back.


Daniel Says:

BP for Djoko.
He needs to break first to have some relief


Ben Pronin Says:

“I think Stan doesn’t want to lose to Fed ever again.”

Why does this only apply to Stan?


Daniel Says:

And he did it, open fourth set breaking. Let’s see if he hold to confirm.

If either one is out the tourney will open up for the other nicely.


contador Says:

Its Stan the Man, apparently.


Okiegal Says:

@Ben…..

Are you trying to take over Humble’s spot in the comedy dept?? Chuckled at last line…Good one!!


Ben Pronin Says:

At least now no one can say Wawrinka can’t play on grass.


Daniel Says:

Ben, is more like a resolveness. Djoko knows that eventually he will lose some, win some. But Wawa with the amount of matches he lost to Fed already and now that he is in his staminal mode I kind of see it in his eyes.


Daniel Says:

Djoko on decue in his games. Cilic is making a lot of inroads in his service games, he should be confirming more easily to remove pressure off him


Polo Says:

Just saw a shot of Edberg. He looks so classy and regal unlike Becker who looks like a drunk dirty old man.


Daniel Says:

Fed had a BP but it’s deuce now. Hope he recovers.
Wish I could see this matches, think I am going to call the “I am sick excuse and get the f#$% out of work”


Ben Pronin Says:

“Djoko knows that eventually he will lose some, win some.”

Because he’s a wimp.

I get what you mean, though. I don’t think it matters much. I think Federer turns this match around.


calmdownplease Says:

`Theres no way I’m writing off the Big 4 yet`

Its just a temporary disturbance that has allowed some new blood to come through, not such a bad thing.
Anyway it still might be Fed and Novak.


Ben Pronin Says:

Btw anyone noticed how much these guys have been slipping? Djokovic looks like he’s playing on ice but even Cilic has fallen a few times. I really don’t think anything can be done to the surface to prevent this but it’s frustrating as hell for the players to lose a point because they slipped.


Daniel Says:

Well, seems Djoko found the same rhythm of first set, 3-0 and serve.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think we can write off the collective dominance of the Big 4. As in, reaching the semis at several big events together. I don’t think it’ll happen anymore. Especially with Murray’s ranking plummeting.

It’s always nice to get an insurance break, but sometimes it ends up feeling like you used up all your break chances. Then in the fifth you can’t even get a sniff at breaking. I hope that isn’t the case for Djokovic and he makes the most of this opportunity. Cilic seems a little exhausted. This 4th set has an odd casual vibe to it so far.


Josh Says:

Wow, Wawrinka is looking good. Don’t worry, Federer is young and spry, I’m sure he’ll improve as the match goes on.


tfouto Says:

I am not seeing Federer winning this… Wawrinka is playing way better…

Only if wawrinka level drops alot…


Daniel Says:

Polo,

Becker had the round face of people who drinks a lot, as if they are swollen.


andrea Says:

i thought grigor and andy would be a 5 setter. interesting to see the straight set win.

good for cilic to put up a fight…that match looks interesting.

and stan takes the fist set from roger. not surprising. roger has walked thru all his matches so far. he has to wake up.

and congrats to genie bouchard. 3rd slam semi this year! i was hoping that halep would get thru as well. i like her and the match up between both of these new ladies should be awesome.


Daniel Says:

One bad game and that’s it, Fed lost first set. He had BP by Wawa saved it.

He serves first so hope he hold ease and pressure Wawa, for a early break. Don’t want this set to go to a tiebreak or Break Wawa.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’d be really interesting if the Fed-Wawa match turned into an absolute battle that goes deep into the 5th. Wawrinka trying to assert himself as the Swiss 1 and Federer saying hell no you’re not. The answer being 10-8 in the fifth to…


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic needs to break Cilic and serve first in the fifth. I don’t care what the stats say, this matteres.


Daniel Says:

Checked Ranking, Dimitrov is guarantee at least top 9. Raonic will move to 7 at least and Murray 10. Murray can’t go down. Only Raonic, Dimi, Djko, Fed and Wawa that can change depending on how they perfom.


ertorque Says:

agree tfouto
wawrinka is hitting the ball more aggresively


Daniel Says:

Djoko to serve for the fourth. Cilic will serve first fifth so hope Djoko again manages an early break.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

WOW! What the hem is going on??
Insanity!
CDP, nice to see you still around, I won’t rub in the loss! (at least while Fed looks like he might be going out too!)

What a nutty Wimbly.

Can’t wait for Raonic/ Kyrgios.

I agree that Big 4 is over. OVER.

Wawrinka, Raonic, Dmitrov, Nishikori and (maybe soon) Kyrgios are going to be finishing higher than Fed and Murray over the next couple years. Rafa and Novak will probably stay at 1 and 2 for the next couple years, but they won’t be divvying up slams like they used to.

But for today, I hope Fed can hold them all off!


Daniel Says:

Djoko into fifth. Drama.
Fed having BP


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Fed/ Stan match is breathtaking shot making. Wawrinka is making the bulk of the most brilliant highlight reel shots, but if he can’t get his first serve higher I do think Fed will outlast him.


tfouto Says:

Federer is playing bad. Not getting is break-points chances…


Ben Pronin Says:

All in all, Cilic has been a disappointment. He was making great progress at the end of 09 and start of 2010 and then just tailed off. I’m glad to see him back on track because he does have an exciting game when he’s playing well.

But he looks gassed here. Hopefully Djokovic can retain this break but there’s still a whole set to be played.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Djoko repeat of fourth set.


contador Says:

Stan means business. All bets are off.

Meanwhile , on another court, Ajde Nole!

All I have is a silly scoreboard.


ertorque Says:

if wawrinka can maintain the way he hits his backhand I think he’s gonna win today


Ben Pronin Says:

When Djokovic is hitting deep, Cilic is having a lot of trouble. He doesn’t have super long swings but on grass they might as well be the longest swings ever.


Polo Says:

Could it be that Djokovic will be the sole representative of the top four? If so, he should win it for them. He’ll be D’Artagnan for the three musketeers.


Ben Pronin Says:

Although if Wawrinka does win today, he’ll have beaten all the big 4 in a slam at least once. Has anyone else done that? I don’t think Delpo ever beat Murray in a slam. Wow, that’d be quite the accomplishment!


jane Says:

YES! Nole the warrior rose up. :) He finally cleaned up his play and started to hit the backhand with some authority.

contador, woot. ;)

Great job by Marin. I like him too Ben. He’s getting closer. Hopefully Nole doesn’t draw him again at the USO!

Grigor will not be easy to beat either, obviously. He has a good chance versus Nole. Nole will have to raise his game.

Meanwhile… over on CC.


Brando Says:

Dimitrov could Novak: he’s playing like Novak Chokovic not Djokovic in this event. Very mentally weak. Cilic did well for a guy who was never really going to beat him.


jane Says:

contador, Noleeee!!!! :)


andrea Says:

phew. roger needed to win that second set.


Brando Says:

Fed needs to win in 4 since a 5 setter could catch him out down the line. Wawa needed that 2nd set I feel in order to win. 3rd set decides this one I feel.


C!P! Says:

Daniel says :”Some were saying NAdal is GOAT but he is not even the best player of the past 4 years and he only dominated 3 years in his career”
…..
LMAO
thats what i call biased and silly. if that is your argument against nadal ,its validity is pretty much NIL
thake this : nadal may not have won the most slams since 2011 ,but he won the most slams from 2010 and from 2012 ,lol; and the player who you say was the most dominant ,only won 1 slam twice over the last 3 years(AUS Open 2012 &2013) ,is that dominance?
haters gonna hate ,i only wish they would get smarter


calmdownplease Says:

Novak will probably get his second conty :)
I’m off now!
My cabinet full of valium awaits!
peace#


Brando Says:

@C!P!:Ignore Daniel re Rafa. He’s got his head so far up this GOAT talk that all he talks is bile re Rafa. He’s obsessed about it. Just ignore him re Rafa and the rest is fine.


jane Says:

cheerio cdp…


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Kyrgios aint gonna find Milos’ serve so easy to bully


jatin Says:

Roger is wasting break points as usual…


C!P! Says:

one thing is for sure i’ve never in my life awaited the women’s semis more than the men’s, but not this year ,Halep is the one to be “blamed”


andrea Says:

@ C!P!

Tennis-x will have to start spreading the coverage love to the women’s tour…the new faces are making it exciting once again.


Brando Says:

All Fed right now!


jatin Says:

roger breaks…. Finally


SG1 Says:

Murray out in 3 sets. Didn’t see that one coming.


SG1 Says:

It looks like the next group of men has arrived (Dimitrov, Raonic and Kyrgios). Dimitrov must have played really well. Murray doesn’t have the most fearsome serve. He wins with court coverage, the absence of a real weakness and guile. I’m guessing Grigor took the play to him and didn’t let Murray turn the match into a war of attrition.


C!P! Says:

before the quarters started, i went for Murray – Wawrinka – Cilic(barely) – Raonic ; now if Raonic loses too, then i must’ve stolen the “Sean Randall gift” at making predictions


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Whats the link for the draw challenge? I can’t find my registration.


jatin Says:

6-4 .. Roger wins the 3rd set.


Brando Says:

@SG1: Grigor played well but not spectacular. He was aggressive, consistent on his serve but it almost felt like a routine win v a lesser player since such was the dismal level of Andy today. Grigor did one thing that I am surprised most players do not do: show Andys 2nd serve zero respect. It’s deserves to be thumped and Grigor did that well. This was not the contest one expected, the score line reflects that and is the case in most such matches its because the other guy didn’t turn up to the party: and today that was Muzza unfortunately. However: Grigor was immense in one department today that showed that maybe he is stepping up finally: his mental game. There was no sign of choking, nerves or tightness from him at all when he previously would have choked at such moments. He really stepped up mentally today. IF he stays solid on that front: barring Fed he has the best game for Grass bar none of the remaining players. Period.


TGIT Says:

I can’t look how is Fed doing?


SG1 Says:

Thanks Brando. I guess Andy isn’t all the way back yet. He may be phyiscally fine but on the mental side he’s missing the edge he had when he beat Novak for his two slam wins. That may take a little more time. I do expect him to contend again. I think that I over-estimated his FO semi-final result.


Brando Says:

Wow: I am not too sure if my maths is right on this one but there is a chance Andy Murray drops out the the top 10 in the next ranking update. That would be a shocker to see. Yet: no titles or a top 10 player win in over a year does lead to such occurrences I guess. Andy needs to step it up ASAP!


Ben Pronin Says:

Dimitrov doesn’t move that great on grass. He’s got long arms and does a lot of reaching. But he has a great slice which helps. Kind of a toss up as to who has the best grass game after Federer. Despite the obvious disregard due to the hater-aid, Djokovic is more than capable on a grass court.


jatin Says:

WOW. Roger is playing great now. Up 3-1


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Federer is moving incredibly well. He has been playing great, though without some of the really special shots he used to do regularly. Wawrinka clearly not feeling great now and Fed’s A- game is enough.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Now Fed starting to bully.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Changing the channel… Raonic looking VERY good.Very calm.


Daniel Says:

wasn’t able to see the end of Djoko’s match nor Fed’s.

Seems too much play is getting to Wawa. Fed leading fourth set a break up.

As expected, Milos and Kyrgios are heading to one of several tiebreaks they will most likely play today.


Okiegal Says:

Fed and Wa Wa could be done in a hurry!! Fed is kickin it. Stan better up his game a notch or two or this match is history!!


Eric Says:

Dang, Stan. He’ll be dangerous till the last stroke.


Daniel Says:

Impressed with Fed’s stats, less than 10 unforced errors in 3 and half sets is very good for him.
He really likes grass and with his serve working, he plays better.

Right now think only Djoko can handle him as he will make him play more points than Milos or Kyrgios will. But Djoko has some deficiency ion his serves as well. Well all interesting matches ahead of us but I really wanted a Fed x Djoko final in a Slam for a change. They only played once here in Wimby in 2012 and oddly don’t play a Slam final since 2007 US Open, the only one.


FedExpress Says:

Which genius labelled Murray as favourite for tournament???


Ben Pronin Says:

Kyrgios with the first set!! This kid is made of iron!!!


Tennis Fan Says:

Raonic gets a bad bounce and frames shot to give Kyrios the first set to serve out. The Tennis gods are not kind. Raonic actually had the edge in the Tiebreaker on a short shot by Kyrios that he put long on the corner.

I predict Raonic will still win this thing. He expects to win.


Daniel Says:

Kyrgios took first set tiebreak. Damm, can he beat Raonic as well?!

Fed to serve for the match, 1 game away from semis, and he never lost semis in Wimbledon the other 8 times he was there.


Daniel Says:

Btw,
Many are “obsessed” with GOAT debate. If Fed wins this he will have 18, 8 Wimbledon (record) and would have won a Slam at almost 33 in todays game. Testimony to GOAT status and he knows it and everybody here knows it, so stop pretending that you don’t care. This is huge for tennis!
As it is the young and talented ones emerging.


Eric Says:

Oh my.


Eric Says:

Fed got nervous…


Daniel Says:

Tense game for Fed. Stan had BP


Daniel Says:

MP Fed, hope he close this out fast


jatin Says:

phew


Okiegal Says:

Stan….hanging in!


jatin Says:

Stan is not giving up


jatin Says:

Match point fed


jatin Says:

40-40


Eric Says:

Wawrinka finally makes a pretty bad error…


Daniel Says:

How many MP did he have. OH no, not again… Close it out


Eric Says:

Fed matches it. Love these guys playing. But can we wrap it up? I am going to have a heart attack.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer cannot buy a first serve right now.


Daniel Says:

YEAH!!!


FedExpress Says:

COOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN


Ben Pronin Says:

Ok he got one there, now he needs one on match point for a change.


Ben Pronin Says:

Best Wimbledon ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!


jatin Says:

His lethal serve saved him this time. On to the semis.

Who wants a Fed vs baby fed final ??


TennisVagabond.com Says:

WHAT A FINISH!
That’s tennis at its best.


Eric Says:

FINALLY. THANK YOU.

Still a LONG, LONG way to go before there’s any reason to talk about Roger winning a trophy here, though, Daniel.


andrea Says:

yay fed. now how crazy would it be if it ends up bing fed and baby fed in the final?


Okiegal Says:

Stan just hung out to dry by his Daddy…..Stan the Man…….not so sure!


TGIT Says:

I have aged too much this Wimby. Great tennis. Even the women’s side is great this year.


FedExpress Says:

@Eric

yeah, man talked murray and nadal as faourite before they played ther QF and 4th round respectively and lost


Okiegal Says:

^^^ got hung out to dry…..should say…


andrea Says:

i wonder if all raonic/kyrgios sets will end in TB? c’mon milos! although i don’t mind if kyrgios makes it thru. he’s having that kind of tournament. i think goran was the last wild card to have won wimbledon…..


Polo Says:

Old vs new in the semifinals!


Okiegal Says:

Now to the other channel for an ACE FEST… Atomic just broke Nick….


Patson Says:

I am glad Nole went through …phewwwwww


Okiegal Says:

^^^Raonic not atomic……hate spell check….


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Raonic gets the first break. He is playing amazing tennis, what a physical battle.
These two will destroy their arms if they keep facing each other in slams, the power they are generating (and facing) is absurd.

Incredible drama today.


Tennis Fan Says:

Who said Raonic was just a serve … breaks Kyrgios for the first break of the match !!


Eric Says:

To be fair, Murray and Rafa were heavy favorites in those matches according to any sentient tennis-watching entity. Favorites for the tournament? Well, why not– especially Murray, who’s looked pretty sharp of late. He’s also the defending champion. Djokovic is never left out of those discussions either, for good reason.


Tennis Fan Says:

I know he is just a kid .. but someone should talk to Kyrios sometime about bouncing his rachet everytime he misses a touch shot in a close situation … just looks a little like a hissy fit


Tennis Fan Says:

Krygios looks like he is losing his concentration now … Raonic is beginning to pull away … boy Raonic has real determination and keep his cool when the heat is on …


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I don’t know who’s going to win this but whoever it is will give a hellava fight to Federer.
These two are really a new breed.

Imagine Berdych and Soderling peaking five years younger, and just faster and more athletic and that’s what we’re seeing with Raonic/ Kyrgios.


the DA Says:

“Stan just hung out to dry by his Daddy”

And the Wimbledon schedulers. Things might have gone differently if he had had a day off. He looked fried by the 3rd set. Very unfortunate for him and tennis fans.


Brando Says:

This Kyrgios seems to keep on going! Him v Fed would be a better spectacle than Raonic v Fed for sure.


Tennis Fan Says:

Raonic gets little respect … but he will earn it soon enough. Not betting against Federer … but honestly don’t be surprised if Raonic takes him down. He has had some close matches with Fed in the past.


the DA Says:

^ yep, I’m rooting for Nick all the way. He toppled the 2nd seed, he should have a crack at the 4th. I think he’d be more interesting against Fed than Raonic too. He has a better return game for a start.


Josh Says:

Nice, Kyrigos breaks! This is great.


the DA Says:

Yes. Nick breaks Raonic in the 3rd set. No let down it seems.


Ben Pronin Says:

The semis are Friday, right? Kyrgios with the early break in the second. If he somehow pulls through, I just can’t imagine him having anything left in the tank. At the same time, I don’t know why I keep doubting this kid.


Josh Says:

I wouldn’t bet against this kid against Federer. Fed didn’t look all that great out there today.


the DA Says:

haha…shouldn’t have said anything. Nick carelessly gives back the break.


Josh Says:

Raonic breaks back! needs to hold.


Brando Says:

@the DA:

Completely agree. He was excellent against Rafa.

He’s playing fearless, aggressive Tennis that is matched equally with great confidence and ambition to win regardless of the name of the guy across the net.

And based on the little I have seen and most have seen of him:

He’s a better talent than Raonic anyhow. Certainly on Grass anyhow.

Kyrgios won Wimbledon Juniors last year, beat a 2 time Wimby winner in the last round (Rafa) and saved 9 MP’s v a very good Grass court talent in GASQUET, so long story short:

Kid’s got some serious Grass game.

Imagine a Wimby final between the former Wimbledon Junior Champions in Kyrgios and Dimitrov?

That would be a interesting one to see and a game changing/ era shifting moment for sure if it were to happen.


Okiegal Says:

Raonic has to win this match first…..chickens haven’t hatched just yet!!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Think about the value of this match for both men: they NEVER get to face serves as powerful as their own.
They are both showing some gain in figuring out how to return these rockets.


Humble Rafa Says:

Public Service Announcement.

Please stay away from Tommy the Tanker’s father. Apparently he is very mad at something right now.


the DA Says:

“Imagine a Wimby final between the former Wimbledon Junior Champions in Kyrgios and Dimitrov?”

After what happened yesterday & today that would be an absolutely perfect final for me.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

And Raonic gets the break with his SLICE.

3 straight break-games. Madness.

Someone’s racquet is just gonna snap.


Okiegal Says:

@DA

You are so right, Stan looked tired…..those are the breaks sometime!!


the DA Says:

Nick’s just getting careless now. His serves aren’t hitting their marks as much. Got to wonder if it’s all catching up with him.


Humble Rafa Says:

Imagine a Wimby final between the former Wimbledon Junior Champions in Kyrgios and Dimitrov?”

My bigger worry is the Arrogant One Vs The Arrogant Baby.

It will be one big family festival. If you throw in the real babies..I can’t even imagine.

Doesn’t have like 3 twins or something..Myla, Charlene, Lenny, Leo, 50 cent and Jayz)


Okiegal Says:

I was picking Nick to win this, but I am not so sure now. Maybe he is a little fatigued, mentally
and physically because of his tough win yesterday. He is full speed ahead. Tennis fans that want the games short and sweet…..you would have to love watching these 2 play.


Okiegal Says:

Raonic playing with lots of poise and confidence. I was looking at his h2h with Rafa and Rafa has beat him 5 times. Yeah, he has to love who is on the other side of the net today!


ertorque Says:

anyone knows what really happened to Wawrinka?
I mean his first service speed dropped from the 120+ at the beginning of the match to 100+ mph the 3rd set onwards. I believe JMcEnroe said something about stomach ailment. Or was it fatigue?


the DA Says:

@ertorque – it’s probably due to it being the third best of 5 match for the third day in a row.


Daniel Says:

Raonic takes the third. Seems Kyrgios fairy tale will end.
For Fed will be a different match playing a huge serve in the semis and more baseline in finals. Good thing is even if the match is long is not physically demanding as both he and Raonic play fast and have a few easy points on serve. At least he will be more rested for potential Djoko in the final as I don’t see Dimi beating him here, not yet. Djoko will just make Dimi play a lot of serves.

Raonic is due for a mojor upset win. He is making good use of rankings and having Quarters or better results. If he is to make his mark, nothing better than beating Fed at Wimbledon.


the DA Says:

If Nick can win the 4th I wonder if he’ll have anything left for a 5th? The match has gone quickly and has only run 1 hr 47 mins. Possibly


Eric Says:

DA, would you give it up? Wawrinka played 3 quick sets on Monday and 3 sets yesterday. Raonic and Kyrgios each played four tough sets yesterday and are still serving aces at ten billion MPH. We all know you think there was a giant anti-Stan conspiracy, but there really wasn’t and it turned out not to be that big of a deal. Would any of you be saying Wawa looked tired if he had gotten the break back at the end of the fourth and gone on to win? I don’t think so. And he was inches away from getting that chance.


Brando Says:

@Ertorque:

Not quite sure but it was obvious Wawrinka was struggling physically.

McEnroe was mentioning it alot on Commentary and even Federer said post match he saw that Stan was struggling physically.

I agree with McEnroe: whatever Wawa was given to address his ailment did not seem to help but make his condition seem worse after it.

Shame really.

Probably was the inevitable fatigue of being unfairly asked to play 3 GS best of 5 set matches in a row.


Brando Says:

@Ertorque:

Not quite sure but it was obvious Wawrinka was struggling physically.

McEnroe was mentioning it alot on Commentary and even Federer said post match he saw that Stan was struggling physically.

I agree with McEnroe: whatever Wawa was given to address his ailment did not seem to help but make his condition seem worse after it.

Shame really.

Probably was the inevitable fatigue of being unfairly asked to play 3 GS best of 5 set matches in a row.


Eric Says:

Considering that everyone was talking about how Stan was ill before the tournament started, isn’t it a pretty great result to make it to the QF and almost beat Roger freaking Federer at Wimbledon?

I’ve liked Stan for a lot longer than he’s been a forum favorite here, and I thought he looked great out there — yes, a bit tired, but for some reason only after losing points while facing a dire 2-1 set, break down situation against Federer. After he won points he looked great. And his ball striking was amazing.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Everyone seems in love with the guy getting dominated.

Daniel, Kyrgios fairy tale is just beginning.


Tennis Fan Says:

Raonic will win this match. This guy is very determined and you’ll see that when he plays Fed.


funches Says:

Ben,

You come across as a complete idiot when you say you can’t take Murray seriously. The guy’s won two slams and the Olympics and reached, what, four other slam finals in the greatest era of men’s tennis at the top ever. He’s going against two GOAT candidates and a third guy, Djokovic, who I think is better than both of the GOAT candidates.

The gap between Murray and the top three is much closer than the gap between Murray and everyone else. He had friggin back surgery, and that’s not something you recover from quickly.


the_mind_reels Says:

I agree the scheduling wasn’t ideal for Wawrinka, but it’s not like he’d had a particularly taxing tournament thus far. He played 90 mins on Monday and just under 2 hours yesterday — that’s roughly 3.5 hours of grass-court tennis total across Monday and Tuesday. Probably not in tip-top shape today, but these guys train for this stuff.

Like that time in Monte Carlo a couple months ago where Stan beat Raonic, Ferrer, and Federer on back-to-back-to-back days, playing 2+ hours in the final on clay.


skeezer Says:

@Eric
Well said!
These statements are the usual rafafanatic types that have excuses for everything and whine about conspiracies. For instance , the reason his mph dropped on his serve cause was struggling getting his first serve in, so by dialing it down your first serve % will go up..which was the result that followed. ).

In the end, nobody cares…… but who won. I like Stan too but c’mon already.

Congrats Fed, another GS semi…and……@32!

#itsallgravy
#goat


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Skeeze, you’re right on about the serve % vs mph.

Stan hit 37% or so in first set, he had to lower the heat. The commentators discussed that as well.

He did look a bit sick in my opinion, but he played pretty amazing tennis.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I will go out on a limb here by saying Murray’s best days are done.He had a hard time getting his slams before the youth onslaught. How much harder has it just become FOR EVERYONE?

Raonic and Dmitrov aren;t going to suddenly get worse.


Humble Rafa Says:

The ping pong match we are watching could go to 50-50 (Tallner-Frenchie)


skeezer Says:

TV,
Agree and both.
Roanic 35 aces so far. Geez!


Brando Says:

@Funches:

Great post.


Daniel Says:

How many Slams SF is it for Fed, 33 or 34?!
I know he has 24 finals + 6 more at AO (05′, 08′, 11′-14′, 1 more at RG in 05′ and 2 more at US Open (10′ and 11′) now this one in Wimby. Is it right or am I missing something, 2003 US Open don’t remember how far he went?!


Daniel Says:

Raonic serving to force a breaker. That would be tense, can Kyrgios force a fifth?!


Daniel Says:

Forgot another RG semis in 2012 which he lost to Djoko. So this is his 35 Slam semis. Damm!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Glad I gave you something to whine about, Funches.

So is that the excuse today? He had back surgery? Because if he says that his back is still bothering him at all, I have no problem believing it. However, he’s been saying for a while that he’s physically fine and feels good. So his loss today had nothing to do with the back. He only missed something like 2 months of actual tour play and had another month or so during the off season to recover. Did he fully recover? His results in the beginning of the year suggest no. But lately his results have less to do with the physical and more with his game. Was Murray’s second serve a behemoth before back surgery? Or has it always been arguably the weakest part of his game?

We know Murray is very talented but I can’t take him seriously as a champion. He has the slams and a gold medal. Great for him. Especially considering the era he’s playing in, as you mentioned. But he’s still not at the same level as the real Big 3 and he never was. 2011-2013, Murray was definitely closer to the Big 3 than the rest of the tour was to him. But the last 12 months? He has 0 titles and 0 top 10 wins. How can he be ahead of the rest of the tour with those numbers? He’s not, he’s fallen into the pack.

A lot was written about Murray after his Wimbledon win. He achieved his career/life goal. So that his results tailed off a little after that was understandable. Then he had back surgery. Poor results are still understandable. But everyone, for some reason, expected him to be primed and ready to defend his Wimbledon crown. He fails to do so and it’s still his back? I don’t think so. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe, Lendl, etc. These guys wanted to be the best from the very beginning. They had aspirations of winning all the slams AND being number 1. Lendl said that, despite the computer rankings, Murray holding 2 slams to Djokovic’s one made him number 1 in everyone’s eyes. I don’t think anyone except the most blind Murray fans felt that way. Not just because of Djokovic, but because of Nadal, too. The guy who would actual end the year number 1 was tearing it up through the tour with the exception of his early Wimbledon loss.

And Murray even said that he’d rather win slams than be number 1. Which is fair, but it’s exactly what sets him a part from the Big 3, in a bad way. I don’t know if he doesn’t care about being the best, but he doesn’t have the same drive. And that’s why I can’t take him seriously most of the time.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Someone forgot to tell Milos he’s a crappy returner! 2 straight mini-breaks!


Daniel Says:

Raonic it is.

Congrats for his first Slam semis.

And Eric, Raonic can play on grass, he was just unlucky in the past.


Eric Says:

Wow, awesome result for Raonic. I admit, I never thought he would make it to the semis this year, and he proved me wrong in spectacular fashion. He’s only lost two sets and I haven’t seen him play, but he must be on fire on the return too, because he hasn’t even played mostly tiebreaker sets like he often does… Congrats to Milos! Should be some exciting matches on Friday for sure.


Eric Says:

Haha Daniel, yep, he certainly showed up my skepticism. (Never said he couldn’t play on grass, just didn’t think he deserved to be considered a favorite to reach the second week given his past results on the surface.) Not sure you want to chalk up three straight years of losing results in the grass season to “bad luck.” Clearly he worked to improve, especially (I assume–didn’t see any of his matches) his movement, I would think.


andrea Says:

wow. canadian tennis kicking butt @ wimbledon! congrats milos! now, who do i root for in the semi? love roger and milos….arrgghhh.


Tennis Fan Says:

what I liked about today’s match is that not only was Raonic the ace king by a hugh margin … he won by outplaying Kyrgios on the ground.

Fed up next …


Daniel Says:

Ben,

you sum up my sentiments towards Murray. There is just something missing. Maybe is that extra mental fortitude. we can’t expect them to be all equal and even Djoko who has some mental fortitude to be #1 in Fedal era and the player with most wins against both is showing some frailty lately specially in Slam finals.

Maybe Murray will be the best player to never be #1, but occasionally will win more Slams with brilliant patches. Although he is not young anymore, 27 already so he has 2-3 more years to do so.


Tennis Fan Says:

Just shows you that the “Grass formula” of the Wimby committee is useless … Wimby committee is on grass.


Brando Says:

@TV:

Re Murray winning Slams:

I disagree.

I think Andy will still win some more Slams. I still believe that but………

1. Him NOT winning a single paltry title at ANY level for a year is concerning.

2. Him NOT beating a single top 10 player for over a year is very worrisome. If you cannot beat the best how on earth can you expect a individual to win the big prizes realistically

3. He could/will likely drop out the top 10 now: that will make things even more difficult as it seems the competition is getting deeper and stronger.

4. Weak game: This year it seems to be that power and aggression is the key to winning the big ones. Andy seems to lack on both those fronts and also sports a self defeating 2nd serve. He needs to address his game on this front and become more aggressive with his entire approach.

12 months ago his roadblock to a Slam win was:

NADAL, DJOKOVIC. Maybe FEDERER if he’s firing and possibly DEL POTRO.

Right now though in 2014 the field seems genuinely deeper with DIMITROV, RAONIC, NISHIKORI and even GULBIS stepping up.

All those guys mentioned can pack a aggressive, powerful game and certainly don’t need a 2nd invitation to know when to get aggressive and push the point.

So it’s worrying as a Muzza fan right now that whilst he’s in this slump the field seems to be getting more stronger and deeper with every passing event.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Well, I called one of the semis!


Giles Says:

Well done Milos. Now go and finish the job on Friday! Good luck.


Daniel Says:

This tourney is very intense.

No result would surprise me at this point. Even Fed playing great we see him have a bad match out of nowhere. Djoko is struggling but usually when he is struggling like this he plays his best in later rounds. Dimitrov can beat anybody.

I expect to be a Fed x Djoko final with both winning in 4 sets on Friday. This is too good of a chance for both of them to let slip by at this stage.

This new rankings and Dimitorv, Raonic establishing themselves in topt 10, plus Gulbis, Isner and Nishikori as 11-13 will make north America HC very interesting. US Open will have some crazy upsets as well with 5-8 guys contending.


Ben Pronin Says:

The Raonic-Ljubicic combition is why trying to analyze a coach’s impact on a player before they start working together is pretty much useless. Ljubicic was an admitted choke artist when it came to playing in the slams. But he’s helped Raonic’s game a great deal. Especially considering Ljubicic had a ton of holes in his game himself, it’s even more impressive.


Daniel Says:

Dimi and Fed just won grass titles and are delivering at Wimbledon. Fed is on 8th match winning streak and Dimi on 10th on grass.


steve-o Says:

Yeah, it’s always “obvious” to the Federer haters that Federer’s opponents are struggling physically, and I guarantee you if Wawrinka had made that break point his physical struggles would have miraculously vanished and he would have been playing like in the first set.

If Federer got careless and left the ball short, Wawrinka pulverized it, even in the last couple sets. It took every ounce of Federer’s grass-court guile to avoid being slugged off the court. This was by far and away the toughest test he’s had these Championships, and he rose to the challenge magnificently. He hasn’t won seven times for nothing. You can’t beat him with pure power because he uses his variety to control the

I can’t tell you how many times “physically struggling” players have magically overcome their struggles and come back to win. Remember Gulbis was “physically struggling” against Federer near the end of the fourth set, he went for a medical timeout and when he came back he crunched the ball for the next set and a half and ended up the winner. No one talks about that because Gulbis won.

The “unfair” scheduling was no doubt done deliberately for Murray’s benefit. And how much good did it do him? None at all–well-rested as he was, he just lost tamely as he has so many times, when some more aggressive player has simply blown him away.

Murray’s fans would have been the first to defend the scheduling had their man won, but now that he’s lost and Federer’s come through, it’s suddenly the world’s greatest injustice. Go figure, huh?


skeezer Says:

Murray; “There is just something missing”
Second serve.


Daniel Says:

out of the old top 10:
- Tsonga is out and seems won’t be getting back. around top 20.
- Some of us thought Gasquet would be a late bloomer but he will stick around top 20.
- Berdych and Ferrer are still hanging around but expect Ferrer to start folding, his game is still too physical and he is about Fed’s age.
- DelPo is young and will be recovering from another Surgery so don’t know if he will be able to stay this year top 10, my guess is not.

So, with Raonic and Dimitrov officially in, Gulbis, Isner and Nishi right after and Jerry also. Seems they all will be moving up with the benefits of rankings and better seeding. Now that they taste winning they want more. Gulbis, Raonic and Dimitrov all now have Slams semis this year, Nishi is the one who needs to deliver, maybe will be his time come US Open.

Murray will drop to 10 and will start to win some matches to keep him inside other wise he will make his life even more difficult.

I like this new bunch of talented players, they are arrogant and want to prove themselves. Think they can give the top in their twilights more fight then Berdyc, Ferrer and Tsonga did (although this players managed some great Slams victories on Big 4 in their prime). This new generation will have the benefit of playing an older version of the big 4.


Ben Pronin Says:

Daniel, keep in mind they’re also establishing rivalries between themselves, at least they’re at the beginning phases. Nishikori could very well have been in the semis right now but he lost to Raonic. Dimitrov clipped Raonic to make the quarters at the Australian Open. Maybe Nishikori will clip Dimitrov to make the US Open final or something.


Humble Rafa Says:

There is one way to improve American tennis. Take over Canada. Seem like good people – Smiley and Servey.


Brando Says:

Does anyone honestly gives Raonic or Dimitrov a chance to win this event?

To me it seems close unlikely!

-RAONIC:

I still think his game is limited. His serve: a dream. But beyond that really what does he possesses that elevates him to being a player of the highest order?

IMHO: not much at all.

His return is not something to write home about, his defense is is not top tier either and his movement- while pretty good for a tall lad- still falls short in comparison to the rest.

Put simply:

He’s done great and warrants the praise being received but I just honestly do not see him winning here or at any Slam.

- DIMITROV:

The total package.

His talent is quite simply of the highest order. His got what it takes to win on that front. BUT….

He’s- put simply- a genuine choker.

He showed that in the AO QF v a sub par, blister ridden Rafa.

He should have won there but he choked it away.

Fair enough he won today: but was he really tested mentally by Andy?

Not at all IMO.

Put Simply:

A GS Champion has to be able to answer all the questions being asked of him in the toughest moments, and I just do not think Grigor has the bottle for the job.

I think when the pressure is applied and the battle is tough: he’s one of those who will wilt.

I like the guy and I would love to be proven wrong but I genuinely think he’s one of those talented players that is very weak mentally, hence why he won’t win here and will ONLY win a Slam once the previous generation’s best years are completely done and dusted.

I would love to be proving wrong but I see neither winning and a straight forward Fed v Djokovic final with Novak winning since Fed- for me- just cannot beat a grinder like Djokovic or Nadal in a best of 5 no more.

My 2 cents.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Brando, I think you’re clinging to an outdated view of Milos.

Raonic has just shown here and at the French how much he has beyond his serve. He just broke Kyrgios, what 4 times? How many breaks could uber-returner Rafa muster against him?

Raonic’s serve today was untouchable, but his ground game, off both wings, was also phenomenal.

I am rooting for Fed, but I am very aware of what Milos can do. He’s playing his best ever tennis right now.


funches Says:

If Murray had played in the 1990s, he would be a double-digit slam winner.

My point about him being closer to the big 3 than everyone else is to him is for his career. No one else on the tour (other than the nearly retired and now a non-factor) Hewitt has played in more than one slam final. Murray has played in five or six and won two.
There’s absolutely no one even remotely close to him.

He is not as good as Nadal, Djokovic or Federer, but we’re talking about three of the top 10 players of all time. Maybe Dimitrov or Raonic will start reaching slam finals on a regular basis, but as of now they have zero between them and they already are 23 years old. I don’t see Wawrinka getting back to a slam final any time soon, although it’s possible if he gets some breaks. My guess is this time next year there still will be no player other than the big four with more than one grand slam final in his career.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think Agassi was a better player than Murray is and he struggled to win slams until later in his career. Double digits for Murray? Only Sampras was able to do that in the 90s. So unless you’re saying Murray is better than Sampras…

Career-wise, you’re right about Murray being closer to the big 3 than everyone else. But we’re talking about right now. We’re talking about his latest string of losses. 0 titles in 52 weeks. That is simply horrible for a player of Murray’s caliber and standards. I’m just not impressed with his inability to sustain championship-level intensity after winning Wimbledon.

Murray is probably the best player to never be number 1. But I think it says a lot about him that Wawrinka and Del Potro are closer to his slam count than he is to Djokovic.


Humble Rafa Says:

Nothing like a Fedal “rivalry” (or a Fedal Beatdown, if you prefer the truth).

How would you call a Raonic-Kboy rivalry? Here are some suggestions
1) Boom-Boom
2) No game-Some game
3) Canadia-Laveria
4) Not really Canadian Vs Not really Aussie


funches Says:

There’s also Murray’s head-to-head with Federer and Djokovic. He’s had little success against Nadal–neither has Federer–but Murray is 8-12 against Djokovic and 11-10 against Federer. Name me another player outside the big four with anything close to that.

Again, it’s incredible to me that anyone would even argue against the point about Murray being closer to the big three than anyone has been to him, but sadly, Ben’s view seems to be the majority one.


jane Says:

wow, tennis vagabond you were right about raonic. i really didn’t think he’d get this far. he had the added bonus of nick the kid taking out rafa, but still, a nice result regardless.

so dimitrov and raonic have proven themselves to be the best of the young guns? right now anyhow, i think we can say?

and whoop-whoop! for canadian tennis: not just genie and milos, but popsicle is still alive in doubles too – quarterfinals tomorrow – with jack sock, the american everyone seems to have forgotten about. ;)

you know, like those socks that go missing in the dryer?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I think you guys are agreeing more than disagreeing. It is a fact that Murray since last Wimbledon is not as good as other players. Results, rankings, and today all testify to this.
But yes, his accomplishments are incredible as well. Just not lately.

Nadal and Fed are all time pantheon greats who could have gone toe-to-toe with Sampras or Borg in their prime. Novak is two tiers down from there. (Skip the Connors/ Mac tier, go to the Lendl tier).
Murray is a couple tiers down from there (skip Agassi/Becker/ Edberg, go to Wilander/ Courier).


Humble Rafa Says:

Some Gilbert named Brad has a lot of egg on his face with his predictions. Can you please throw him a towel to wipe his face. You are welcome.


Ben Pronin Says:

TV, you put Lendl and Connors/Mac in separate tiers? Lendl had as many slams as Connors, both had 1 more than Mac, and Lendl had like 10 other slam finals, too.

Murray is below Courier and Wilander until proven otherwise.


the DA Says:

“The “unfair” scheduling was no doubt done deliberately for Murray’s benefit”

LMAO. #conspiracy

“We’re talking about his latest string of losses. 0 titles in 52 weeks.”

How many titles did Delpo win in the first 6 months back after his operation?

@funches – Be aware, Ben has never been fond of Murray and is overly critical even when he wins.


Daniel Says:

funches, correcting you, Murray has 7 Slam finals (lost 2 AO to Djoko, and one each of AO, US and Wimbledon to Fed).

There is no arguing regarding he being apart from everybody else career wise, for 2 years we had a big 4.
It is just that as Ben pointed out, we are talking “right now”, and right now Murray (next week) will be ranked 10, with no title in a year and no top 10 victory.

This is the lowest he got since don’t remember when.
But he still will be in contention for Majors (but not as favorite anymore as he were being praised this Wimbledon) because, as you rightly pointed out, no body else has more than 1 Slam final, let alone titles.


steve-o Says:

Raonic is more than a serve. He backs it very intelligently and his ground game and movement have improved since just a year ago. He has better passing shots than one might think.

He’s got the big-match mentality. He knows which points are important and when to bring his best stuff. He relishes playing against the best. He’ll be very tough for Federer to beat.

For Federer, the keys are: serve well (almost as important against a big server as returning well), return well, exploit Raonic’s movement with slices, drop shots, and changes of pace. He needs to use the pace of Raonic’s serve against him.

But he’s been in eight Wimbledon semis before. He knows what he has to do, the question is can he execute.


Daniel Says:

Also agreed that this Wimbledon is Djoko’s for taking. If Fed manages to beat him would be amazing achievement and the pressure will be more on Djoko’s than him. Number 1 on the line. winning a major after 5 consecutive fails and an alarming possible 4th Slams final loss in a row. So maybe this factors will go in Fed’s favor and if he continues serving this way he always has a shot.


madmax Says:

Hello Brando where have you been, recently?

the_mind_reels Says:
I agree the scheduling wasn’t ideal for Wawrinka, but it’s not like he’d had a particularly taxing tournament thus far. He played 90 mins on Monday and just under 2 hours yesterday — that’s roughly 3.5 hours of grass-court tennis total across Monday and Tuesday. Probably not in tip-top shape today, but these guys train for this stuff.

Like that time in Monte Carlo a couple months ago where Stan beat Raonic, Ferrer, and Federer on back-to-back-to-back days, playing 2+ hours in the final on clay.

July 2nd, 2014 at 2:34 pm

First of all, I think that the scheduling really sucked, the centre court play was clearly in favour of Murray (and I can understand the british mentality here). If Stan had played 5 sets, over three days, THAT would have been totally unfair on him, as a player, not having any rest. However, that did NOT happen. It could easily be seen that Stan played some excellent matches, over three straight sets which did not expend a lot of energy, maximum time for him in each of those matches, was no more than 2 hours. That’s little more than a practice session.

Stan was brilliant I thought. He really is such a talented player. That one handed backhand, I could drool over for hours. He is so strong, and he looked great. I read that he had some kind of stomach upset, (I have not read his press conference yet, so it could be that I read this from a fan here on another thread). Even so, I think Stan played well, but Roger was able to step it up.

The tie break was just tense. Stan’s returns were excellent, he was playing with a lot of precision and strength today and could have matched Roger shot for shot, but I think eventually, coupled with the suspected stomach upset, and I think, Roger stepping up his game, it was just a bit too much for Stan to handle.

Although the schedule was unfair, I think that as Stan did not have to spend his energies for 4-5 hours on court, over 3 days, it could be viewed that each match he had over the three days, he would have played in practice sessions anyway.

Wimbledon officials need to look at their scheduling much more closely in future, should this happen again. I wonder whether it is possible to have night matches in the future, like they do at the USO, with the Centre court roof, whether that would be an option?

Well done to Roger today. He was tested and he came through. Wish he could close out the matches more quickly though. Think he has too many of those “Halle” moments, BUT, he won. Job done.


Daniel Says:

Jaime predicted Nadal for RG and he was right. He also predicted Djoko for this Wimbledon, so will see..


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ben, we could argue each of those points with the vehemence and depth of Fedal!


Ben Pronin Says:

Where do you start counting from? Del Potro technically started playing again at the end of September but only played 2 events, losing right away both times. And then he won a title in February. And his only other one in March, ending with 2 titles in 2011. He only had 3 top 10 wins, 2 over Soderling and a retirement over Djokovic (through the rest of 2011, that is).

But is it fair to compare the 2? For one thing, Murray is held to higher standards than Del Potro. He earned those higher standards, so it’s not my problem if he’s doing worse than Del Potro was. And 2, Del Potro missed the entire meat of the calendar year. From the end of January to the end of September. He played 0 Masters and 1 slam. Murray missed 0 slams and only 2 Masters plus the WTF. You just can’t compare the situations.

Again, I’m not dismissing the back surgery. I thought it was wishful thinking on everyone’s part that Murray would be perfect by the time Wimbledon rolled around. But he didn’t look physically hampered and he has been saying for the last few months that his back is fine. The issue is in his game. It always has been.


Brando Says:

@TV:

I don’t know about that re Raonic. To me whilst it maybe true that he has improved vastly as a player himself, I still just do not see him being top tier with his game.

But as I said originally: I would more than welcome Milos and Grigor proving me wrong and turning me into the convinced.

- Re your all time ranking:

You have a very interesting take on it. One that I largely agree upon. For me without going to much into it since would be a endless back and forth I think largely in the Open Era presently it’s seen as- atleast by myself- as the following:

(In no particular order)
- TOP TIER:

- Federer
- Sampras
- Nadal
- Laver
- Borg

These 5 rank far above any other players in the Open Era.

ALL are 10 digit plus Slam winners and have been held as the best/ most dominant player of their generation.

They are ruthless, serial Slam winners who in the biggest matches, greatest arena’s, toughest opponents got the job done 9/10 times since they can handle the pressure, occasion far better than the rest.

- TIER 2:

Got the talent to be top tier, but ultimately they seemed to be hindered by one thing or another (mental frailty, lost too many GS finals to be considered top dog, lost too many vital matches to the big boys etc) that stopped them from genuinely dominating like the top tier:

- LENDL
- CONNORS
- AGASSI
- DJOKOVIC * (He’s not there yet. He’s won 6 slams so ONLY his most ardent fanatical fan would claim that he is. However, I cannot see him not improving on that from now till career end).

- TIER 3:

- EDBERG
- McENROE
- WILANDER
- BECKER

I hope Andy Murray can reach this level but I am not too sure about that as I was in Summer 2013.

Thoughts on ranking?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Can we agree this was one of the most entertaining days of tennis in recent years? What a line-up of matches!

Love seeing the mix of old and new in the men’s quarters and semis.


Humble Rafa Says:

(In no particular order)
- TOP TIER:

- Federer
- Sampras
- Nadal
- Laver
- Borg

In particular order or not. My name goes on top. You get it?


Brando Says:

@HR:

LOL- for me of course! :-)

Seriously Humble:

By the time you are done you likely will be seen in a greater light than SAMPRAS, BORG and LAVER.

Most conservative Tennis commentators even believe that.

Worst case scenario for you?

ONLY one guy get’s ranked ahead of you. And luckily for you it’s a guy who you have routinely defeated in many a big matches around the world for a many year that it’s permanently etched in the memory of the Tennis community and folklore.

Between you and him: folks long know how that cookie crumbles when you 2 step out on court.

So long story short:

You’ve done good Humble. Very good! :-)


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Let me put it another way: you have a time machine and a Magic Technology Equalizer.
You want to organize a round robin for greatest player ever.

I think Mac and Connors at their absolute peak, make that contest. I think Lendl doesn’t.

In my tourney:
Red Group:
Fed
Sampras
Connors
Pancho

Blue Group:
Rafa
Borg
Macenroe
Laver

GO!


the DA Says:

“But is it fair to compare the 2?”

I think it is. What other measure is there? Delpo is another elite top 10 player who had to rehab after an op and play his way back onto the tour. I also think it was expecting too much of Andy to defend his title just 6 months after returning to the tour.

You say Delpo had 2 top 10 wins. Andy hasn’t yet but he did put up decent resistance to Fed at AO and pushed Nadal to 3 sets on clay. Comparing their slam results:

Delpo – 2nd rnd (AO) 3rd rnd (RG & USO) and 4th rnd (W)

Andy – QF (AO), SF (RG) QF (W)

So judging from purely slam results, it appears that Murray is making better progress in the same timeframe. Delpo did win a ATP250 in his 7th month back. Let’s see what happens in the HC stretch. I think he needs another intensive training block during the next month and he’ll be back on course.


Brando Says:

LOL:

That would depend on the surface for me.

I honestly cannot even begin to say how that unfold.

For example:

Many people call Federer or Sampras the GOAT of Grass.

Yet they overlook the fact that ROD LAVER won 9 GS on Grass!

Why?

Since he was a era that many just do not recall as vividly or nor is at as celebrated as say Tennis from Borg onwards in the greater public conscious.

So it’s tough to say who truly is the best or how they would fare up against the other.

So i’ll politely end on:

Rafa thumps them all and especially slaughter’s Fed in a deciding match!

p


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Then have them play it indoors after a long gruelling season!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I think Rafa throws some pool matches to set up a semi-final against Fed…


Giles Says:

HR. lol lol lol


Brando Says:

LOL:

Why not?

Let it be indoors, ONLY 3 requests as a Nadal fan:

1. Make it a best of 5 not 3. After all: this is Men’s Tennis.

2. Move it to the middle of the season or a peak period. IF it’s a showpiece event like it’s claimed to be then give it a showtime location in the season.

3. Have a proper indoor season: 3 major warmup events and then the main event!

Guaranteed Rafa kicks all kind of butt after this!

LOL!

In all seriousness:

My dream Tennis matches to see if possible would be via some miracle:

- Clay: Nadal v Borg:

This would be the most ultimate of all possible Tennis battles. The match between the 2 biggest masters of a given surface.

- Grass: McEnroe v Laver:

I think this would be a very delightful match.

- Outdoor/Indoor HC: Federer v Sampras:

2 best ever on this surface. Fed would win on the slower HC and I back the Pistol on fast HC and Indoor.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Love those match-ups.
I would throw in Peak Edberg vs Peak Mac on grass. That would be the greatest net play ever seen.

Also, Connors vs Fed at USO.

And come on, aren’t you curious about Fed vs Borg on clay?


Brando Says:

Edberg v McEnroe: Net game nirvana!

Fed v Borg:

Of course it would be a delightful encounter, but I think Borg is the clear cut favourite in that one for me.

All the other encounters mentioned seem 50/50 to me or atleast a close call. Even Rafa v Borg would be a very close run thing.

Fed v Borg on Clay would be epic but I would feel the Iceman has a definite edge there.

Connors v Fed at USO:

Not too sure about that one. To be honest i’m not too wise on how good Connors was as a player. I cannot really envisage from the little I know of him that he would trouble a peak Fed at the USO.

I think my all time fav for USO of 2 players at their peak would be:

Roger Federer v……………….. Marat Safin.

I honestly think Safin at his best was Fed’s equal on HC. Probably the best out and out offensive HC baseline talent I have seen!


Skeezer Says:

“- Clay: Nadal v Borg:”
Sure just make sure Nadal plays with a wooden racket and gut strings like Borg did. I’ll take Borg.
Other matchups;
-HC Nadal v Borg
-Grass Nadal v Borg
-Indoors Nadal v Borg


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I would add Connors vs Rafa on hard.
Connors would win on grass, Rafa would win on clay, on hard they should be very even.

The two greatest fighters and baseline brawlers of all time. The facial expressions alone would be worth it.
How do you think Jimbo would take to a Vamos when he hits an error? Blood would be all over the court after this match.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Connors: 5 majors and 5 runner-ups on grass, 1 major and 2 runner ups on clay, 3 majors on hard (beating Borg and Lendl in finals!).


TennisVagabond.com Says:

And oh yeah, he beat Borg for that clay USO!

The only reason he never won the French was because in ’74 he won 3 out of 4 Slams and skipped the French over a Team Tennis vs Grand Slam dispute.


Goatexpert Says:

Don’t ignore the age gaps in rivalries. Nadal is 5 years younger than Fed, Djokovic 6. (I don’t count Murray since he doesn’t matter). We’ve all seen what a young guy with game and attitude can do (aka Kyrgios).

If Dimitrov, Raonic and Kyrgios (too early to tell about him) really live up to it, they will beat the crap out of the “older” generation of Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. Two of the three already happened in the QF at Wimby. More could happen next year onwards. One of them could end up with a significant positive H2H against Nadal, by beating him repeatedly next year onwards (he will be 29). Then Nadal fans will discount that as well!

17 is 17. That’s what counts the most.

My tiers are:

Federer
Borg
Nadal
Sampras

(in that order). Laver was too far back

Tier 2 are:

Lendl
Agassi
Connors
(in that order)

tier 3 are:
Djokovic
Mcenroe
Becker
Edberg
Wilander
(in that order)

This is once you look at the picture fully in terms of competition, performance across slams, longevity, YEC, other factors.

My guess is Djokovic will move to Tier 2 before he retires. Nadal will stay where he is. Note that I have ranked him above Sampras.

Now let it flow!


jane Says:

funches at 2:32 pm – super nice words for nole. you really think that? really?! sigh… if only he could’ve executed sooner and more. oh well, 6 slams for now and maybe a couple more.


Hippy Chic Says:

JMO And ill probably be laughed at for saying this but what the hell anyway,i think Rafas 14 is better than Sampras,the reason is Rafa has multiple GS on all surfaces,and also a CGS where as Pete won mutiple slams on two surfaces,and never completed the CGS,still JMO and ready to be laughed at ha,ha,ha bring it on dont care….


contador Says:

jane –

just popped in to say, ajde Nole! He is the one I hoped would win this Wimbledon. I happen to think he is up there already with Fedal but the GS counting will go on and on, without end and that is what determines a GOAT – so they say. To me, GOAT is a personal and subjective matter. Hierarchy’s or levels in tennis are a matter of opinion too. IMO, I would group them differently than TV does. Oh well…no big deal.

Time for me to exit stage left – jane. I am glad you came back to Tennis-X. I will be back too… some months from now. My work keeps me too busy (at the moment) to post or follow/ watch tennis closely as I would like. Meanwhile, I hope to read you, Daniel, TV, Margot, skeezer, Ben Pronin, & mat4 here. Appreciate your posts and tennis commentary. :D

And of course, even though my Wimbles bracket crashed and burned, I cannot resist a Kimberly bracket when US Open comes around. But, ciao…for now.


Okiegal Says:

Wiki web site is being worked overtime this evening. Who even cares what woulda coulda been if if if if……that was then this is now. Have more conversation about which man or woman has the best chance of hoisting the coveted Wimbledon trophy and less discussion about who would have won between Rafa and Borg while using wooden racquets and cat gut.


the DA Says:

@Hippy Chic – And you’d be right in thinking that and Sampras would agree with you. Don’t pay any attention to posters who falsely claim to be ‘experts’.

“I don’t count Murray”

Of course not. I imagine the winning H2H still rankles.


Brando Says:

Borg not winning the USO was a huge bummer: especially that one on Clay!

ARTHUR ASHE even commentated that he’d likely would have won one had he stayed on since he was a genuinely great HC just somewhat unfortunate.

For me though the biggest unlucky big name player is :

IVAN LENDL.

3 time FO winner- Clay legend.
3 time USO winner and I think he reached over 8 consecutive finals- HC legend.
2 time AO winner also.

Yet he reached 2 Wimbledon finals back at a time when the courts were decidedly quick and favoured serve and volley Tennis which makes one thinks:

He’d more than likely would have won Wimbledon today had he played now!

I think for me he is the best player of tier 2 by a mile:

1. Ranking: 270 weeks at number, with a monstrous 157 weeks in a row.

2. Slams: won 8, RU in 11. Won every Slam twice except for Wimbledon- a time RU there in a Serve and Volley era. He would have definitely won at Wimby in these conditions me thinks.

So aside from a Wimbledon where surface didn’t quite help his game as it would today: he killed it at the slam level.

3. YEC: 5 Titles, 8 finals. That’s monstrous.

4. MS: Did not have them back then nor the equivalent to them would have likely been as heavily promoted as they are today.

5. Titles: A jaw dropping 94 career titles won!

That’s a insane record of performance and for me barring the records of FEDERER, SAMPRAS, NADAL, BORG and LAVER (more his iconic standing than anything else):

Lendl’s record/career > all the rest!


Hippy Chic Says:

IMO Novak is already up there with Federer and Nadal as an all time great,for any player to have multiple GS is a fantastic achievement when bearing in mind how difficult it is to win a GS,would love to see Andy reach that status too….


Hippy Chic Says:

The DA Thanks,Andys my second favorite and regardless of what happened today i still think he has more GSin him yet…


Brando Says:

@the DA:

Thanks for mentioning the Sampras thing re Rafa: did not know that.

And don’t worry about Andy:

Through hardship there is ease.

Folks want to jump to conclusion but facts are:

He ONLY returned post op in January. That’s 7 months.

I remember a certain 14 GS winner-Rafa- NOT winning a single, paltry title for 11 whole months during the 2009-2010 stretch post his knee injury return!

He even got pummeled 0-3 at WTF and had the so called expert’s saying:

this is it. He’s a done deal barring Clay and who knows maybe even there!

Then boom:

Rafa kicked all kinds of butt in 2010 and is the ONLY player in the Open Era to win 3 slams in a row in one season on 3 different surfaces.

Which led to the same so called ‘experts’ giving him a ‘expert’ butt kissing!

LOL!

It shows that what Andy is going through is no different from what other great players have gone through themselves: even worse in some cases and they turned it around.

Fear not.

I have always thought that the USO Series to Asia is the best court surface for Andy. The stretch where I think he’s the best talent: better than Rafa, Novak for me.

I think he’ll be back to his best there and should he nail one of Montreal or Cincy he’s my pick for the USO title.

Book that prediction!


Polo Says:

Don’t cry for Murray. Even if he does not win anymore majors, he has already established himself a as a very accomplished tennis player. And it isn’t a wild dream to think that he may yet win more majors.


Polo Says:

I just read most of the previous posts and I suddenly thought I was in Wonderland!


skeezer Says:

contador,
see and miss ya already


jamie Says:

So… Sean Randall first picked Murray to win wimbledon, but then he picked Federer.

But neither will win.

Nole for the win.


the DA Says:

@Brando – Thanks for reminding me. I forgot that the drought for Rafa lasted that long after the knee but I do remember the 0-3 at the WTF. He looked miserable at that point and couldn’t wait to put that season behind him

I’m not that worried. Out of the four he was always the one more prone to having off days but his consistency at slams far exceeds that of any active player outside the group. From his presser it sounds like he knows exactly what he has to focus on now. We’ll see.


skeezer Says:

@the DA
Hey didn’t Murray win Wimbledon and a Gold Medal in his home country? This guy has accomplished a lot, no tears from me!

Don’t know if Madam M though is his coaching answer. Would like to see Andy bolster his service game. Lendl did a great job with his FH, but he needs a service game that will put fear in his opponents.


skeezer Says:

@Sean Randall,

Hey 3 out of 4, are you on a roll? ;)


SG1 Says:

FedExpress Says:
Which genius labelled Murray as favourite for tournament???

——————-

I picked Murray but that’s not even close to the worst of it. Apparently, as of today, MENSA has tossed my application in the recycle bin. Oh well…I guess I’ll have to settle for being a blogger on Tennis-X instead of a genius. Hope the parents aren’t too disappointed.

On another much more important note…GO CANADA!!!


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer……I’m leaving too…..are you going to miss me as well?? …..probably not…..


SG1 Says:

Can’t see a way through for Dimitrov against a sharp Novak. Fed-Raonic looks like a pick’em. Fed has a really tough time breaking serve these days and Fed’s serve may look hittable compared to the bombs Kyrgios is capable of putting down. Still think Fed is the slight favorite but he had better bring his A game. A- or worse won’t cut it this time around. Raonic is better than Roddick was in 2009 and that final went 5 sets. Federer isn’t as good today as he was back then. Tough match to pick!


jane Says:

contador, i’ll miss you, but will maybe join the bracketeers for us open and see you there!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I get the impulse to put Lendl in the top or 2nd tier, I can see the statistics to back it up, but remember Lendl lost A LOT to Mac in early years.

What I don’t get is how Borg is revered above Mac and Connors. JMac put Borg into retirement. Connors dominated him in early years. Those three, and MAYBE Lendl, are very close and I just don’t get why so many will throw out Borg as “all time great” with Sampras Fed and Rafa, but relegate Mac and Connors to a lower level. To me, Mac/ Connors/ Borg all are players who dominated at some point, and had long enough “tails” to their dominance to rate as GOAT contenders.

I’ll throw Lendl in there if it will buy me some agreement that Borg should not stand above these others!


Daniel Says:

TV

Because Zborg has double digit Slams and a very high win/loss percentage. Plus he has 5 Wimbledons nd 3 Chanel Slams. Only Fed and Sampras have more Wimbledon. And they played innan era where AO didn’t count much.


funches Says:

You can add disingenuous to my list of criticism of Ben on this issue.

He absolutely, positively was not talking about right now only. He was talking about Murray in general and retroactively has claimed he was soley talking about the current time because the facts destroy his case.

The people who question Murray’s ability have been proven wrong repeatedly. He never was going to win a slam. He never was going to win Wimbledon. He was the male version of Wozniacki, which always was a laughable contention but quite common a couple years ago. So they keep adjusting the bar.

Murray’s struggles following back surgery are quite normal. At the elite level, when you miss a large chunk of time, it is hard to regain your confidence even when the injury is healed. Murray has proven he can compete at the top level again –he made the semis at Roland Garros on his worst surface –and he was terrific for four rounds at Wimbledon before his clunker today. The next step –believing in himself at crucial moments like the second-set tiebreak that could have turned today’s match around–should come back with time.

I do agree with the assertion that after winning Wimbledon, it was natural for Murray to let down. The idea that accomplishing your ultimate goal relieves all of the pressure and will help you is a misnomer. The pressure actually helps elite athletes accomplish their goals, and once it is gone, the natural tendency is to relax. Combine that with the back surgery and having Lendl dumped him unexpectedly, and it is not surprising that Murray will drop to 10 in the world after Wimbledon. He will make up ground quickly after the U.S. Open even if he does not win any titles because he did not play at all last year in the indoor season.


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah I got mixed up. I just generally can’t take Murray seriously. He got his slams. Doesn’t mean he’s a great champion.


Polo Says:

By age 26, Borg has 11 slams and I don’t think he even played at the AO. Awesome. McEnroe should not be mentioned in the same bredth as Borg. He is in the stratosphere inhabited only by the likes of Federer, Nadal, Sampras and Laver.


Tennis Fan Says:

Wawrinka stomach issues were likely cause by issue with electrolyte … probably not properly recovered from so many consecutive day’s matches.

Wimby comittee you are “twits” of the highest order … and I mean that in a Monty Python kind of way because after all you are British. :)


SG1 Says:

Hmmm…multiple slam winner isn’t a great champion. Not sure I’m on board with Ben on this one. It’s really all relative. When you compare Murray to a Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, it appears that he may not be great. However, when you look at the fact he is a multiple slam winner and he has a solid all around game, I think it’s way to early to dismiss his champion pedigree. Will he ever be a Nadal or Federer…no. But he doesn’t have to be. If he ends up with 4,5 or 6 slams, how is that not a great career and how is Andy not a great player? I think that once Andy gets the mental part back, he’ll be just fine and back on the winning track.


Polo Says:

Anybody who can win 2 slams (one of them the coveted Wimbledon) and an Olympic gold during the era of Federer and Nadal (and to some extent, Djokovic who is not done yet) is a great champion in my book. Not at the same level as those two (three?) but great nonetheless.


SG1 Says:

McEnroe, for a period from 1981 to 1984 was every bit as good as Borg was. I think Mac had more talent than Borg ever did. It’s not to say that Mac is a greater player than Borg. The numbers bear out that Borg was more dominant. But, if there was ever a case for a player being an all-time great without the big slam numbers, it would be Mac. His talent and feel for the game, which can be seen to this day, may be unparalleled. It’s unfortunate that the inner demons unraveled what should have been a double digit slam career. All this being, I believe his ’84 season is still the benchmark for what a great season. Wins Wimbledon, the USO and makes the final at the FO and almost wins. Beats 2 of the all time greats to win those slams and barely loses the other. 84-3 for the season and the single greatest individual performance by a pro in destroying Connors at Wimbledon. To this day, I haven’t seen anyone play a better match than the one he played at that Wimbledon final.


SG1 Says:

Polo,

Forgot that Wimbledon gold for Andy on his home turf only a few weeks after losing that heart breaker to Federer in the Wimbledon final. That takes resolve. Andy is a great player in his own right.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Agree with SG1. And more so!
McEnroe beat Borg at 3 straight slam finals over two years when Borg had appeared to be at his peak, and literally chased Borg from the stadium (Borg skipped the trophy presentation!), and soon into retirement, after the last USO. And he (Mac) had a 3-loss season. Wow. Fed almost reached that one year, but not quite. He burned bright, for a short period. (not even mentioning his legendary Davis Cup career).

So I think he gets a “same breath”.

in a different vein, (on the other side of Borg’s career) if you look at Connors, his career winning % is just a hair below Borg’s, and he played into his freaking 40′s. So that winning % is ridiculous. He won 3 Slams in a year, without a slam loss, and he dominated Borg in their early rivalry. Then you have his long #1 reigns, and you gotta consider him pretty close to Borg too.


SG1 Says:

No question that Connors is an all time great. Until Rafa came along, I hadn’t seen anyone compete like Connors did.

To some degree, his longevity plays a little against him. This being said, his ’91 run at the USO at 39 and after battling a serious wrist injury should tell you everything you ever need to know about Jimmy Connors. No man ever got more out of the talent he was given than Jimmy.


SG1 Says:

And there was Mac’s doubles record which was sick as well. His skill for doubles resulted in one of my all time favorite tennis sayings,

“Who’s the best doubles team in the world? McEnroe and whoever he happens to be playing with!”


Polo Says:

Most people still regard Federer as a greater player than Nadal in spite of his abominable record against him based on the totality of his achievements. Greatness is not measured by one’s accomplishment over an individual but rather to the whole group with whom he competes. In that regard, McEnroe can be called good, maybe even great but still not at the same level as Borg, Federer, Nadal, Sampras and Laver.


skeezer Says:

@polo
Word.


skeezer Says:

Connors is for sure one of the all time greatest. His stats stand out amongst the crowd.


Eric Says:

Unrelated, but crazy– guys like Bellucci, Petzschner, Mathieu, Zeballos (the Rafa killer?), and Golubev are playing in German challenger tournaments right now… A nice insight into the insane gulf between the top 40 and everyone else.


Gordon Says:

Polo Says:
Dimitrov and Raonic are not really as young as I thought (23). They better do well at this tournament before they get too old like the rest of the players trying to break through the top 4.

July 2nd, 2014 at 9:10 am

Yo Polo – I love most of your comments and I’m not picking on you here, but I can’t let the above pass without commenting.

You do realize that Federer was 22 when he won his first slam, right? That’s just 1 year younger that Dimitrov and Milos, so there’s plenty of time for them to get multiple slams.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@tennisvagabond Connors did not skip the 74 do. He was banned because he played world team tennis.


Michael Says:

Well Andy played a horrible match and just gifted it to Dmitrov. It is as simple as that. You can lose a match. No problems with that. Rafa too lost. But you cannot accuse him of not playing well and giving it a try. On the other hand, Andy looked totally lost on court and it seemed he was taking defeat for granted. I didn’t expect such abysmal performance from a great player like Andy. He pretty much disappointed me with his effort and Grass seems to be his favourite surface. If he cannot shine here, where lies the salvation for him ??


calmdownplease Says:

`I just generally cant take Murray seriously..he’s not a great champion`
@benpronin

I just cant take you seriously.
And where were you when Novak was getting his butt kicked at the RG?
And now he gets to a slam semi and you magically reappear like a bad a smell haha.
Some fan you are.
Andy still has a way to return to his best.
There are reasons for this behaviour.
Surgical and post surgical, maybe other mental things but they will be linked to this.
He’s well now, but he is not match sharp his endurance is also at a top 50 level.
Clearly his rehabilitation to the upper levels needs to start at a lower level than Wimbledon as he hasn’t actually beaten a top ten player for nearly a year.
As Brando said the US Open series would be a good launchpad.
I’m thinking a 500 and a couple of top ten victories first however.
He’s not too far away at all.
And no Andy is not a great champion, not yet.
But it is very curious to me that he is being practically retired by some dim Fed/Novak/Rafa `fans` for a couple of 23 years olds with not one masters between them.
Oh and a near 33 year old on the verge of a last hurrah.
Wishful thinking methinks.
Like old Arnie said best
Murray will BE BAAAACCCCKKK.


calmdownplease Says:

Some really kind posts here from Fed Novak and Rafa fans too.
The nice intelligent ones that is.


skeezer Says:

@TV76
Good knowledge ;)


TennisVagabond.com Says:

TF76, its the same thing- he knew the ban would occur and played team tennis anyways, whatever you want to call it.

My point is simply that Connors was near unstoppable in 74 and had 0 GS losses.

BTW, Connors (a clay winner at USO) missed MULTIPLE french opens for this reason, and SO DID BORG.

Neither played Australia regularly.

In fact, Slams as a barometer of relative merit simply can’t be applied pre-1980s because they didn’t have the same concept of the Slams as be-all-and-end-alls. Even Johnny Mac only played 4 slams once or twice in his whole career!
The first major player to play all slams every year was Lendl.


Ben Pronin Says:

I was extremely upset after the RG final and I didn’t feel like thinking about or commenting on tennis. You can fault me on that if you want. My interest reignited around the second/third round when my friend and I started making picks against each other to see who’s better.

You guys really go up in arms at even the slightest criticism of Murray. I forgot I’m not allowed to have an opinion, my bad. Murray had a decent 2 years in which he won some big titles. Kudos. But before 2012 he couldn’t get over the Big 3 hurdle. And now he’s being surpassed by even more players. He’s also getting older, he relies heavily on his legs, and still doesn’t have a kilelr shot. Things aren’t getting easier for anyone right now. Would I be surprised if he managed to win another slam? No. Would I surprised if he never won another slam? No. He’s a great player but I don’t think he’s a great champion.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ben, don’t worry about it. People take things way too personally.
I agree with you: I think the odds are against Murray getting another Slam.
If he makes another final, I hope it ain’t against Novak because those two have played the ugliest, push-fest choke-fest slam finals Ive ever seen.
I’m not anti-Andy or anti-Novak, Ive seen both play lights out dramatic and exciting tennis, but their GS finals have been awful. I think Murray played better losing Wimbledon to Fed than winning the USO over Novak.


calmdownplease Says:

Aww give him a cuddle TV :)
I think I have made my points well lol
Anyway the Idea that Andy wont win another slam is unlikely in my view, I think he will be more than a pain to your favourites once he gets back (sic) in the flow of things. But there is no point arguing about that one, is there?
Neither of us is in possession of a working crystal ball.
And I reject your withering resons for believing so as, oh wait there were none!
We just have to wait and see, won’t we?
As for his first 2, so what?
They weren’t perfect in the tennis sense, this tournament has been further from perfect tennis wise than that final was.
I mean are you going to tell me Federer vs Phillipoussis was for one the ages?
Or Novak versus Tsonga?
Or Nadal against that world number 195 in his first
My own personal fav was the Bagdhatis final at the AO.
Aww sublime!
The tennis may have been variable in quality but they were hardly forgettable due to their historical value if nothing else.
And as for Andy just `pushing` (yawn) in the Wimbledon final, Im sorry but that rubbish.
But think what you like.


Ben Pronin Says:

Tsonga-Djokovic was a pretty good match.


calmdownplease Says:

@ More wishful thinking from Ben Pronin
Andy is and will be a very serious rival to Novak for at least the rest of his career.
Novak’s that is ;)
And Novak knows this more than anyone.
Bank it!


calmdownplease Says:

At the time Tsonga was the world number 17. I think if one was a Novak fan it was a very pleasant match.


jane Says:

for me it was a good match because nole played well, the best he played the whole tournament because he didn’t get passive at any point. tsonga was playing super well at wimbledon; his stats in both serving and, surprisingly, returning were near the top in the leader board categories at the wimbledon site, as were cilic’s. so i was super pleased nole came through in straights versus jo. with yesterday’s match, not as much. nole got distracted again and lost the plot, turning it into a nolecoaster. eek.

btw cdp, do you know if something was up with andy yesterday? i saw highlights last night and he just didn’t seem himself out there. : /


TennisVagabond.com Says:

CDP, quality tennis is not dependent solely on the ranking. Tsonga/ Novak for the finals was a good match. Tsonga/ Novak in the quarters or semis a few years back was the awful chokefest that (in my opinion) led to Novak’s 2011 turnaround.

Also, that Bhaggy/ Fed final had some amazing tennis! At the time, I though Baghdatis would be a major force. So, maybe my predictions on Andy will be just as off base.
Too bad Bhaggy went on the Nalbandian Diet.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

CDP, quality tennis is not dependent solely on the ranking. Tsonga/ Novak for the finals was a good match. Tsonga/ Novak in the quarters or semis a few years back was the awful chokefest that (in my opinion) led to Novak’s 2011 turnaround.

Also, that Bhaggy/ Fed final had some amazing tennis! At the time, I though Baghdatis would be a major force. So, maybe my predictions on Andy will be just as off base.
Too bad Bhaggy went on the Nalbandian Diet.


Daniel Says:

CDP,

Tsonga was playing great attacking tennis that tourney. His volley in semi final against Nadal were exquisite.

Baghdatis was playing great either. Now you can dismiss this slam finalist due to we knowing they underachieve and were only final Slam wonders but the game they played to reach there were awesome back them. Philippoussis I agree but this is grass and if Raonic reaches final and loses to Novak will be a similar feel. We don’t know for sure he will deliver, most think he will but as you said, we don’t have crystal balls. SO a little perspective ref Slams.

Another example, Verdasco in AO 09, if he had eat Rafa and lost to Fed, you would probably place him in the same regard but he was playing awesome that tourney. Any player that reaches a Slam final which not high seeded is 99% of the time playing great tennis, evne only for that stretch.


Hippy Chic Says:

Theres no such thing as a jinx/curse,the whole notion is an an imaginary concept full of BS,this is sport one player has to win and one player has to lose,it certainly isnt rocket science….


Ben Pronin Says:

What’s wishful thinking on my part?

Back in 07 or 08 I said Murray and Djokovic would have a rivalry for the ages. Did I expect them to be so passive aggressive against each other? Not, but I don’t think that should be so surprising. I enjoy their matches more than most people, it seems. And I agree he’ll be a rival for Djokovic for the forseeable future. But he’s going to have a much tougher time making it to Djokovic than he has in the past few years.

In terms of quality, Tsonga-Djokovic was good. They were both playing well and it was a close match. It wasn’t epic but it was certainly entertaining and exciting, especially at the time with them being so new to the scene.

Baghdatis/Federer was really good for 2 sets before Federer ran away with it. Baghdatis, sigh, another talented disappointment. I loved watching him play, very exciting game.


calmdownplease Says:

^^So good you had to post it twice
like the city of New York really.
These are Andys first two slams he is much too talented to be written off by a couple of bad slam results (relatively)when one is reasonable & objective about the year he has just had!
Anyway Fedal will not be around forever, there will be room for both Andy (ie the freshest of the top four!) and Novak and some of the new guys if they live up to the hype over the next 4 years to carve up the slams.
@Jane not sure, but personally i dont care, wasnt impressed by his behaviour and i hope Mauresmo can work wonders with him (doubtful, but hardly her fault if it turns out to be the case).
Back to square one.
Andy has a lot of work to do, I can only hope that he is in the mood to do it


calmdownplease Says:

As for the rest of you waxing lyrical about every magical slam final your Idols had. I rest my case haha


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I think we can agree on most things about Andy and disagree what it will lead to.
he is a tremendous first rate talent
he has an arsenal of every shot
hes fit, strong and athletic

The only technical weakness is his second serve.

But the real question is: can he win it between the ears (both in terms of choking and tactics)? And that’s probably where we part ways. I wouldn’t be shocked if he wins another Slam, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I think we can agree on most things about Andy and disagree what it will lead to.
he is a tremendous first rate talent
he has an arsenal of every shot
hes fit, strong and athletic

The only technical weakness is his second serve.

But the real question is: can he win it between the ears (both in terms of choking and tactics)? And that’s probably where we part ways. I wouldn’t be shocked if he wins another Slam, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t.


jane Says:

my guess is andy will win the AO, if not next year the year after. he’s always been excellent at that slam. one of my favourite nole andy matches was their semi there in 2012. yes, nole won, but it could’ve been either of them. i am not picking nole’s 2011 or 2013 finals win because they weren’t as tense and dramatic as that AO 2012 semi. it was exciting and i think it foreshadowed what was to come for andy that year.

cdp, so you think andy’ll keep amelie on then?


Brando Says:

I reckon Andy will strike at the USO. He’s the best fast outdoor HC player post Federer. His wins at Cincy, Canada, Shanghai and USO show. Only Rafa tops him at USO in terms of wins but as a Rafa fan I am sure most would agree Andy is the better talent on fast outdoor HC. I think positively for Andy: I see this as a kick up the behind for him loss, which will lead to a serious training block in Miami. He’ll be hungry for the USO series and should he win a MS Pre slam- and he’s got as good a chance of that Rafa or Novak and only a hater would dismiss it- then I see no reason for him not to strike at USO. ONLY practical problem is: seeding. He’ll definitely will not be a top 4 seed and it could be worse possibly than that so a very draw could be a unfortunate reality for him. Still: I back him. I think he’ll shut up alot of the cynics post this USO swing: book it!


calmdownplease Says:

No, You’re wrong.
Not about Andy having some mentalist issues, but rather which ones.
Let’s get something clear; Andy has never choked in a slam final.
He hasn’t showed up in 4 to varying decreasing levels (I doubt anyone from the Fed of Novak camp will be waxing lyrical about some of those finals).
Just as he didnt show up yesterday.
One must be firmly ahead in a match(presumably playing better too) but but still ultimately lose in order to `choke`.
Never the case with him, as that wasnt the situation.
Although in one (his 5th loss) he had a foot problem after the first set so I’m giving him a pass for that.
Apart from nerves which was his main problem, he also gets bored more easily and can lose concentration and focus a bit more often and that can be the difference also.
He will have to find his passion for tennis again and that means not just playing Novak and Fedal in slam finals but also winning against a top 10 player in the third round of a 500 in washington or wherever.
But Id like to see how well you perform with the weight of nation on your back and the furnace of the CC in a slam final dealing with the most aggressive press & media in the world.
There are very few tennis players in history that have had to deal with such extraordinary pressure, very few people in fact and have handled them successfully. So I’d be careful about bandying this word `choke` around if you please.
The name does not fit.


calmdownplease Says:

@Jane

He should give her a chance as this had nothing to do with her.
But she has her work cut out, that’s for sure.
I think she will be realising this as well so the decision will be more for her’s to ponder than Andy, haha


Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic is the best outdoor HC player post Federer.


Okiegal Says:

Genie, first set in a tiebreaker….My favorite thing in tennis. With the exception of those two in the Rafa/Nick match……LOL……not so much….


Okiegal Says:

I think Andy’s between the ears problem, far outweighs his 2nd serve. Andy needs to calm down….He is back to his ranting ways…..He is his own worst enemy……He is so much better than he showed yesterday. His game missing Ivan big time, imo.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Djokovic is the best outdoor HC player post Federer.

–Atlast, some sense prevails. I was wondering what tennis I was watching, if Andy was a better HC player.

Another outrageous comment i heard in this forum is “Andy is more talented than Nadal”.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

One shot which worries Novak to a certain extent is the slice. Rafa turned around the FO, by slicing more to Novak. He finds it very difficult to generate his own pace. that’s where Dimitrov could be dangerous for Novak. But if Novak surpasses Dimitrov, and had to face Roger, it would have been a great practice session for him to face Roger in the final. The patterns are almost the same between Roger and Dimitrov, especially on the BH side.

But one shot I could see Novak has improved tremendously, is his own slice shot. I had never seen him slice so comfortably before. Not sure if this is Becker’s effect.


Ben Pronin Says:

NK, did you know that Lendl said Murray was the only player he was willing to work with because he’s the most talented player he’s ever seen? Always makes me chuckle.


Okiegal Says:

@NK

Your last sentence @11:22…..yeah, that one made me chuckle, sarcastically, (being honest)…..


calmdownplease Says:

Er I made the comment and I didnt mean that Andy was better than Rafa.
Rafa is clearly the better player all the facts point to this.
Its a question of ball skill specifically, but there is not much in it, so dont get your knickers in a twist ladies!


calmdownplease Says:

also Brando said F-a-s-t Hard Courts,
Djokovic has the edge on slow HC’s in my view.
This is where he has been the most successful no?


Ben Pronin Says:

What are we considering fast hard? Cincy? Edge to Murray with 2 titles but 4 finals for Djokovic isn’t exactly an indicator that he can’t play. US Open? 1 title for each but 4 additional finals for Djokovic. Match-up wise I’ll give the edge to Murray for sure, but not over the field.


Okiegal Says:

Do the majority of tennis fans really like matches in which there might be as high as 80 aces between both players? Serious question. I’m with Uncle Tony on this one, not very entertaining in my books. Ace, ace, ace…..a volley or two…..short ralley…..ace ace ace…..boring! Not my cup of tea…..bring on the coffee and grind baby grind!! Lol

Genie just did it…..in the finals…..you go girl!!


Okiegal Says:

My pick is Kvitova, but rooting for Genie!


skeezer Says:

Murray has loads of talent. His game has more variety than Rafa’s, and more than Novak’s. He also can play great defense. Said it before but if he had a service game like Nole’s or Feds’ we’d all be having a different observation of his game. Yes he can serve big at times, but he rarely dominates a match with his service game. Wonder how is back really did impacted this year, he didn’t look like he was fully recovered from it for awhile…..Also a big dose of confidence never hurt anybody.


calmdownplease Says:

Djokovic is the dominant HC player but most of his big wins have been at the AO and IW/Miami.
Recently He got Andy at Shanghai and Roger at the WTF so he’s no slouch on the fast either.
He’s won the positively lightening Paris masters too.
But he has also lost in fast HC slam and masters finals against Andy and Nadal etc quite a lot.
Anyway overall there are more slow HC than fast and in aggregate I agree, he is the best HC player in the world.
But you misquoted Brando who was being specific.


Ben Pronin Says:

Paris and WTF are indoors, though, where Djokovic has reigned supreme following Federer.

Most of his big wins coming at those events is irrelevant. He’s more than accomplished on faster surfaces. And as it stands, more accomplished than Murray.

I thought Shanghai was medium paced, no?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

genie bouchard! I believe some here were calling her an idiot, mental midget, etc after the French Open semis.

Here she is for 2014: Oz semifinal, French semifinal, Wimbledon finals.

That’s after 1 year on tour!!

Just wish she’d smile more! Dang, is she intense. Love her game though. Absolutely incredible to have the first ever Canadian in a Slam final.

Okiegal, I agree that Raonic’ matches aren’t the most exciting. However, he DOES have game beyond his serve– we just don’t get that far in a point very often. I would love to see a Raonic/ Djokovic final to see how the game’s best returner handles him.
But I’m still rooting for Fed.

CDP. you can define “choke” in any terms you choose, I don’t care about the word, but we were describing the same thing. The point is Murray’s mind is the issue. If you want to say “nerves from before the match so you never get into” it isn’t called choking, fine: We’ll call it a “Murray”.


calmdownplease Says:

Its classed medium fast is it not and certainly way faster than the AO that plays slower than some clay courts according to a few players last year anyway.
How is it ever `irrelevant` were his wins are?
Never winning Cincy is somewhat telling however for someone who according to whatshisface up there is the King of the Outdoor courts.
Anyway, Theres no controversy here, be calm. Novak is the number one HC player but if he plays Andy on a HC (with both in form)its a 50/50 on any speed and 45/55 on a fast in my opinion.
Or any fast surface.


calmdownplease Says:

@TV fine.
But the mind is the issue for all of them at different times. Look at Serena Williams 17 slams and couting. He may be a little worse but in general he is getting better, despite yesterday.
As for the 2nd serve, well that is something i think the universe can rally around,lol.


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer 11:49

Agree on all points…..it’s between the ears for Andy……dang it, I wish he could calm down a bit! He is so talented……not sure if AM can help in that department as much as Ivan….imo.


Okiegal Says:

@TennisVag

I like your comment about a final between Novak and Milos…..on the returning issues. Would be interesting to see the result with that. I will still have to go with Novak. If it’s Fed/Novak final, I think it’s Novak’s to lose, but would be for Fed. If it’s the two young guns in the final, I will root for Grigor!! No idea who would win……


Tennislover Says:

IMHO, among the current top players, Murray is the most gifted and complete player after Fed. However, talent or gift can only take you so far. There are so many intangibles too. I have seen incredibly gifted players struggle to make even the top-50 in the atp rankings. There are so many other things that need to come together for a player to make most of their gifts. Raf and Djo are less gifted but they have made most of some of their own undoubted gifts in achieving so much at a relatively young age. Murray, OTOH, continues to remain a bit of an enigma. I have always liked him but it is really frustrating to see him playing so inconsistently. One day, he is invincible and the very next day he becomes inexplicably ordinary. I know some of the posters here will probably laugh at me but I think Murray is an absolute natural on grass and, barring the second serve, I frequently see shades of prime-Fed when he is playing well on grass. I don’t think I can say that for any other current player. That is why the under-achievement can be so frustrating for Murray fans. I, for one, have accepted that Murray will probably never reach the consistency level of Djo and it would be extremely unfair to expect him to get even remotely close to Fed’s unreal consistency in the past. However, I do expect him to, once (make that twice or thrice) in a while, rise to great heights on the biggest stages and I look forward to such moments because when he is playing well, he is easily way more pleasant to watch than Raf or Djo.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Let’s not forger, Dubai is one of the fastest HC tournaments around. I think Novak won few of them too. Though it’s a 500 tournament, pretty much all the big name play there.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Without a second serve, without a aggressive FH, we anoint someone as a complete player.. this is strange !!!


Ben Pronin Says:

I agree that Murray is the most natural on grass after Federer (maybe a tie). When he’s playing well, it is awesome to watch him move on the surface. I would compare it to watching Federer on grass or Nadal on clay. When they’re moving their best, it’s something special. I guess Djokovic on hard is kind of like that but I don’t see hard courts quite that way.

NK, good point, I forgot about Dubai. Where Djokovic has been quite dominant but also lost to Murray when they played there. Again, match-up wise, Murray has the edge on faster surfaces. But agains the field, Djokovic is clearly the superior player.


Tennislover Says:

No player is perfect. When I talk of a complete player, I say it in the relative sense. You pointed out Murray’s weaknesses and I think the second serve is the only thing that one can pick on. His on-the-run fh or off fh are absolutely fine. It is the regulation close-to-the-body fh that he, for some reason, doesn’t hit consistently big but Murray deliberately varies the pace of his shots. That was his style before Lendl came. He can hit big regulation fh but obviously his shot selection is an issue. This can happen to players who have too many tools in their bag. Fed had a similar problem when he was very young. Once he sorted out his shot selection and general game plan, he became an incredible player.

BTW, who do you think is a more complete player than Murray in the current top-10 atp ranking?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

BTW, who do you think is a more complete player than Murray in the current top-10 atp ranking?

Why is Rafa and Novak not a complete player? What is that they cannot do which Murray does.

Rafa has everything to be claimed as a complete player, same with Novak. Infact I would give a slight edge to Rafa than Novak because of his superior touch and feel. Rest it’s pretty even between the two and for me the most complete players today.

Murray does move better than others on grass, which I agree. But for me, that does not make him a complete player.

He can hit big regulation fh but obviously his shot selection is an issue. This can happen to players who have too many tools in their bag.

For me, issue with Murray’s FH is more to do with the technique rather than shot selection or having too many tools. He just does not have the perfect technique to execute the shot, as he relies more on body rotation to hit the FH compared to Roger and Rafa, who use their wrist. Even Novak uses his wrist to effectively generate the spin, that’s why they are most consistent and can hit a great FH from defensive position, which Murray can never do.


Polo Says:

Right on Tennislover. Some people have the mistaken notion that he who wins the most has, by that simple association, also has the most talent.


Ben Pronin Says:

The top 4 ranked guys. Not necessarily more, but just as complete.


jane Says:

nole’s pretty great on fast, slow or medium hard courts. :)

this chart shows where he is in the pantheon:
third only behind connors and lendl
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Performance-Zone/Performance-Hard-Career-List.aspx

this chart shows where his is in the present field:
the top
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Performance-Zone/Performance-Overall-Current-List.aspx

he has 5 USO finals (more than any current player but fed) and a title where he beat fed then rafa (2 wins over fed at USO.)

2 WTFs, winning over Fed then Rafa.
2 Shanghai titles
2 Paris titles
4 Dubai titles
3 Canada titles.

(that’s not counting AO, IW, Miami…because they’re on slower side)

he’s not won cincy, but he has 4 finals and he will win it.


NK Says:

Talent does not exist in a vacuum…it needs to be accompanied by discipline, focus, and lots of hard work.

That said, I do believe Federer is the most talented and natural champion I have ever seen. Put him in any era…fast courts of the 60s-70s-80s, wood raquets, low bounce balls, no graphite-technology aided spin on the ball, etc., and he would still be a champion because he is a naturally gifted athelete born perhaps to play tennis. And I say this with no disrespect to the other champions.


Tennislover Says:

I beg to differ except w.r.t prime-Fed who, as I already said in my original post, was the only one more gifted than Murray. I think Murray’s slice is easily better and more varied than that of Raf, Djo and Wawa. I don’t know if Raf’s slice can be even called a slice a lot of the times. Djo’s current slice is only a marginal improvement on a hilarious limbs-all-over-the-place shot he used to play till very recently. Murray’s hands and touch {volleys, drop shots etc) are better than all these guys’. Obviously, Raf has become a decent volleyer but he comes in only when he is in complete control of the point and rarely has to make tough volleys. Murray has always been a much more natural volleyer but, under Lendl, that aspect of his game took a back seat. His bh, ROS, defense and movement are as good as anybody else’s. His first serve is a bigger weapon than that of Raf or Djo.

Sure, Raf and Djo, and probably even Wawa now, are more effective with less tools. I also don’t mean any disrespect to incredible players like Raf and Djo who have got such tremendous ability to become such great champions. However, strictly in terms of all-round variety, Murray is a more complete player than all three of them IMHO.

Top story: Nadal Dominates In Return At Beijing, Djokovic Stays Perfect; Serena, Sharapova Advance
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