Federer Falls To Tsitsipas At Nitto Finals

Stefanos Tsitsipas masterclassed Roger Federer today at the ATP Nitto World Tour Finals first semi 63 64, saving eleven of twelve break points.

Federer took an unsportsmanlike swipe at Tsitsipas’s serving under pressure success today, saying to the media after, “Spinning a second serve into the body and getting an error…I’m not sure that’s mental toughness.”

Federer was broken in the second game of the match, missing two normal overhead smashes at net. “I think getting broken with missing two smashes in one game, that hasn’t [happened] in a long, long time or ever. So that was tough,” Federer said. “That’s not something you can train or practise for. [My] feet were not quite there yet, still not quite getting used to the high ones.”

Federer was simply outplayed by the 6th ranked 21-year-old Greek who also beat him at the Australian Open this year. Federer also beat Tsitsipas twice this year in Dubai and Basel.

This Tsitsipas performance commanded some respect by the master. “I thought that he played really well. He took the ball early. I know he does that. I thought I returned pretty good on the first serve… But for the most part, I wasn’t quite getting into the rallies the way I wanted to,” Federer said. “I think I have to credit him for pushing me to not play at the level I was hoping to today.”

Gunning for his third ATP title of 2019, Tsitsipas described the victory. “Sometimes in matches like this, you wonder how you overcome all these difficulties, all these break points down. It’s really a mental struggle, so I’m really proud that I managed to save so many break points today,” Tsitsipas said. “I was trying not to give an easy time to Roger. He was playing good and shout out to him as well. He did pretty well this week.”

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  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Congratulations to Tsitsipas. He should feel good about this week and the indoors season. He’s been one of best players last few months. Medvedev has to rethink his post China collapse.

  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Still think Tsitsipas isn’t “there” yet. But another way of looking at this is: look around, no big three guy in next round. It’s not a slam, but not nothing either. And Tsitsipas showed he can play a few tough matches in a row. Hasn’t shown the Wilander die on court approach yet. Maybe he has it in him. I still believe big three guys are plotting to own all slams next year. But maybe Tsitsipas is making good on the challenge he issued to all next gen to seize the slams from the big guys.

  • Hartt · November 16, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but with several younger players having done well against the Big 3, I think someone outside the Big 3 has a real chance to win a Slam next season. I sincerely hope so!

  • Jeff · November 16, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    I am a little surprised that Roger would sound so classless in that comment. Granted his return game was horrible but it isn’t right to say that about a guy like Tsitsipas who will definitely win Slams.

    Great week of tennis. Amazing that possibly the best match – Nadal’s comeback over Medvedev – featured 2 players who didn’t qualify for the semis. I was impressed with Rafa’s comments about staying calm when the chips are down and not breaking rackets – clowns like Kyrgios or Sock could learn a thing or two from that but they are too arrogant to do so.

    Having said that, it looks like the Big 3 should see their stranglehold on Slams end in 2020. Tsitsipas and Thiem both own Fed and they have yet to gain the upper hand on Nadal but are gaining fast. I suspect next year Thiem will approach his US Open prep much differently rather than prioritize Kitzbuhel since he wanted to win at home; he can win the US Open for sure the way he plays on hardcourts.

    We have already seen rivalries develop between Medvedev and Tsitsipas and the way Thiem dominates Zverev. These will be the next great tennis rivalries on the men’s side. And now we have Davis Cup to look forward to as well so tennis is looking even stronger.

  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    The big three repeatedly prove they have more in tank than anyone else out there except these days Thiem. Thiem has found a new level in himself that somehow Massu jas helped him locate. He’s looked similar (in terms of substance) to Nalbandian at Nalby best, when he starts blowing people off the court.

    Federer’s critique of Tsitsipas is good I think, I don’t see how Tsitsipas gets by with his weak and easy to read serve. Tsitsipas movement is very good, and often he was out Federing Federer.

    More than anything I think it’s interesting we have two one handed backhands in the final! Just surprised that neither of those one handers belong to Federer.

    In the near future no, I don’t think any next genners beyond recent graduate Medvedev and Berretini, who has shown a consistent ability to get at least QF, has shown the “thirst for competition”. Thiem, who isn’t next gen, has proven he has the guts to do so so long as it’s off the grass 🙂

    Of the next gen I still believe the best is either recent grad of next gen Medvedev, given he has so many ways to play the ball and has a crazy relationship with the crowd (what he did in NY was some kind of wizardry, where a crowd that hates him is suddenly behind him?). He’ll take his Nadal losses pretty hard, Nadal has given him a lot to think about and possibly nightmares given three losses to him – bad, good loss, then a total robbery the other day.

    Personally I’d like to see the Canadian two have a say here, I’d say De Minaur plays spoiler, Sinner showed some fight as Hartt said, maybe the U.S. kids will wake up. I think the Canadians and de Minaur are “game” for disrupting this new idea settling in that the best young guys are the guys we are developing some name recognition for. I don’t believe that Tsitsipas, Zverev, etc are a lock on anything because for the most part they are inconsistent – Zverev is biggest choke I have seen in some time and has bad habits whether it’s how he abuses his racquets or how far he stands behind the baseline, or his poor strategy out there. Tsitsipas has come on strong recently and loves to play the big guys but usually doesn’t get far enough in a slam to get that match.

    But they have at least guaranteed that tennis will be in good hands in the future even if it is not their own. Tsitsipas is a fine player and he did some things that Federer does out there. He beat Federer at the Australian and after losing twice to him got him again on another big stage. But he also lost to Nadal this week while playing him close.

    That doesn’t make Tsitsipas the next greatest player. He’s very good.

    We will see who holds their nerve tomorrow. Can Thiem close the deal? Will Tsitsipas prove doubters wrong and make Medvedev dislike him even more?

  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Would love the Ymers to make runs. I don’t believe Tsitsipas is the future. Maybe he will make a Del Potro slam run. But only if his sneakers stay on.

  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    We forget poor Rublev. He beat Tsitsipas Rd 1 at US Open. Khachanov, who I often forget, also had a good year. The problem with the ATP finals is it doesn’t include all these players that usually make sure their next gen comrades don’t make the big matches!!!

    That’s why I say these guys aren’t sure things whatsoever. Because put them in a slam and usually they do poorly. Tsitsipas lost first round of Wimbledon and to the resurgent Rublev at the US Open. He did fantastic in Australia until Nadal sent him home black and blue.

    Next time he may believe he’s close. But we’ve seen this movie before.

  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Actually maybe Jeff has a point here. The next generation of players is in seat and they aren’t going away any time soon. I’m so used to the big three, big four dominating, even as Medvedev came within twelve points of changing that narrative at the US Open.

    It’s probably I’m not used to seeing the ATP with the big four NOT winning every slam in sight. The WTA has given us a preview of this, where it has many champions rather than just a few as in the past, when it was Serena, Henin, and Sharpie etc or Serena, Clijsters, and someone else etc.

    That tennis era, where tennis on the men’s side becomes unpredictable, is coming back – maybe in three months, maybe in a year. Maybe within the next eight slams. Nadal, Djokovic, Federer will get as much analytics and training and rigorous Ironman practice as possible, but the next generation of champions won’t be denied forever. It could be a hip injury or something else that opens the door.

    My confusion or stubbornness comes from not remembering what more “normal” ATP tennis was like. Masters were always competitive and prestigious, but slams were also more competitive. The French Open didn’t have one dominant player for fourteen years who let few others by.

    That era is coming back, where champions make more errors, where slam champs can’t be predicted very well.

  • Andrew Miller · November 16, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Jeff Federer has been saying more salty things in last few months. Maybe Laver Cup did it where Federer coached with a layer of profanity.

  • Jon King · November 16, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Never been a Fed fan. He has always come off as snobby to me. In fact his entire family comes off as entitled and snobby. He shows up in his private plane and plays guys in the early rounds who fly coach and stay in shabby hotels. Sorry, everything about him turns me off personally, despite his huge talent.

  • Jeff · November 17, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Yes Fed has been acting like that as he ages, he was snippy in that press conference today and cussed a lot in the last two Laver Cups. I wonder if getting turned down by Nike hurt him. I also think that he was too happy to have beaten Novak that he didn’t properly prepare for Tsistipas to attack him with such a smart game plan. Perhaps his other activities with Octagon and Laver Cup and this upcoming South American tour have distracted him from pursuing greatness.

    He may see the curtain coming down on his career and doesn’t really have any other interests other than tennis since Mirka runs the family. I hope for his sake he develops other interests like maybe wine – a lot of rich people find great satisfaction in becoming wine snobs and Fed seems like he would fit right in that group.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Federer to me has been a great statesman. He’s also been a ferocious competitor forever. It’s hard to know where one part of his personality begins and another ends. The Federer comments that were somewhat demeaning of Tsitsipas are Federer pride speaking 🙂 He doesn’t like losing and probably didn’t do his homework on Tsitsipas this time. Federer is angry with himself.

    Not sure how to express this otherwise. Federer is the same as as Connors was when Connors made his epic run to US Open semifinals and then began doing Nuprin commercials aka Advil type pain reliever commercials. Connors wasn’t thrilled to lose to Courier or Lendl at an older age either. That too was the competitor in him talking.

    At some level gotta appreciate it. Some sports writer Kamakshi Tandon I think who may be from Canada wrote that Federer’s opponents are now often closer to the age of his kids than they are in age to Federer. Federer’s almost twice as old as Tsitsipas (not quite but the numbers aren’t that far from this).

    If we didn’t see the grumpy side of Federer then he’d be a nice guy with no slams. Nadal isn’t always charitable either (dislikes Kyrgios, often less praising of next generation of players other than Medvedev for making him feel scared out there!).

    The big three let’s face it have more desire than hundreds of competitors combined. They have a childlike desire for slams. For trophies. When they win it’s a whole other level of happiness.

    Look no further than Andreescu. “It’s Pliskova!” comment – that’s how players sometimes see each other. Federer’s like “man that Tsitsipas serve is like a gift to the returner, why can’t I win more on his serve? If only…”

    Let’s see where we are at end of Australian. Tsitsipas will have to at least match his effort from last year’s Australian to make some noise.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Jeff, I think the Retirement question is enormous for these guys because after tennis there’s ho hum life. No more being congratulated by the Prince and Princess at Wimbeldon after winning the title, no more sportsman of the year, no more epic battles…

    Even now when players have other interests they are really going to be that exited by doing commercials whereas only years earlier they would have been training like men on a mission?

    Post retirement will hit and is no doubt hitting them now like a ton of bricks. Djokovic I guess will buy another tournament. Nadal has his Nadal academy where he will rake in the dough telling students if they work hard they’ll…(ahem. They’ll pay up). Federer maybe promotes swiss chocolate and nutella. They each hand out trophies at slams as guests to people like (Tsitsipas? Who knows).

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Whatever it is don’t feel sorry for the big three. Their remarkable careers are worthy of at least a hundred books. Their place is the game is solid. They have won enough slams even if they can never win enough slams to satisfy them as they look at each other hungry for more.

    Soon the hunger won’t be enough. And that’s ok. They’ve been the greatest champions in history.

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Fed flies private and the guys he plays in early rounds fly coach , is the absolute most ridiculous statement I’ve ever read on TP…

    His family is arrogant? why because they sit in the front tow?

    Hope your daughters do well, rise to #1.. you’ll still be flying Spirit Air, staying in Motel 6’s because you’ll be ever so freaking humble.

    People get pissed when they lose. He said he played like sh**. Get a life. Stop parsing every word, like it’s a statement on who these people are. If they give pat answers they get toasted.

    There was actually a great moment during that match, in the 5-5 all game which lasted 13 minutes, there was a 25 shot rally that Tsitsipas won, he smiled at him s box, to me that smile was, this is what we put all those thousands of hours on the court for.. utter joy..
    Rather than all the times Tsitsipas is screaming probably profanity at his box.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Yep, Federer has earned his $200m plus via his winning tennis and public image and behaviors which appeals to million all over the globe. The topic I want to research is, is Tsitsipas actually a better player and a more achieved player at 21 than Federer was?

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Andrew, when the hunger isn’t enough and their games fade, then the Big Three will resort to Jedi mind tricks like Ben Kenobi. This is the next source of secret power for the next wave of their domination which will last into their 50s. Jedi mind tricks coming next )

  • Hartt · November 17, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Of course these guys aren’t looking forward to retirement. Fed has said clearly that he loves everything about tennis, even practice sessions.

    But I imagine they will have plenty to occupy themselves once they retire, even if they won’t have the enjoyment of winning big tourneys. Fed may become even more involved with his foundation, with the Laver Cup, etc. And a family of four kids should keep him busy.

  • Jon King · November 17, 2019 at 10:06 am

    This is the problem with Fed fans, anyone who does not fall in line is awful. The guy is arrogant to me. He does have a huge advantage with a private plane over guys who fly coach, wait in long lines, stay in cheap hotels. I never said he did not EARN the private plane….but it is a huge advantage when you show up well rested for early round matches vs guys who are drained.

    Yes, his family is arrogant. His kids act entitled and spoiled. There body language through the years is of spoiled brats, and I have spent the past 10 years surrounded by Palm Beach kids, some kids of billionaires. Some of the richest kids are still quite humble and polite. Fed’s kids come off as brats.

    His wife last year and Fed himself said after a loss how ‘tough’ it was for his “poor kids” to have to experience a loss. Seriously, how out of touch are you? Half the world’s kids don’t have clean drinking water and your kids with their nannies and $1000 outfits and 5 star hotels and private planes and front row seats have it so bad to see a loss? Give me a break.

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 10:08 am

    All timers age at their last point of relevance

    Borg 26
    Wilander 24
    Mac 25( no Slams after 84)

    Feds freaking 38, still relevant, has a bad at the office , loses his mind for a minute and all the douchey statements come out.

    He didn’t spit at anybody( Rios)
    He didn’t play the race card in a heated moment( Baby Hewitt)
    He didn’t “ moon” anybody( Safin)
    He didn’t curse his family or coach( Murray, Tsitsipas, Kyrgios, Zverev)
    I wish the internet would have been born 20 years earlier.. Mac/Lendl would have been fun, although after 84, it was all Lendl

    Do I like Fed? Yes.. do I respect his competition YES… do I think he’s arrogant? Don’t know him to judge. Is he arrogant because that twit Anna Wintour is a groupie?

    Look at how phony all this outside BS is. Tiger Woods used to sit in Fed’s box, even if he played Nike other top shill Nadal, Fed left Nike, he moved right into the next top Nike shills box, Nadal

  • Jeff · November 17, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Andrew it is so true that the Big 3 have an insatiable hunger for titles unlike the others. I thought it was revealing in Fed’s presser yesterday that he said the younger guys ‘proved their point’ by making the ATP finals. I think those young guys motivated the Big 3 to want to dominate another generation and sap their confidence like they did to their peers. Part of their disdain for these players is that they are millennials who don’t understand the value of hard work – except players like Thiem do not fit that profile with his work ethic.

    Fed also wisely said that those players are improving. What we are seeing instead is that Tsitsipas and Thiem have raised their games and Zverev somewhat too when he faces the Big 3. They have wiped away their aura and see the light at the end of the tunnel that the glory they have trained for is within reach now. Beating multiple Big 3 guys is no longer as daunting. It is interesting how Thiem is 5-2 against Fed and doesn’t talk about it while a clown like Kyrgios is 1-6 or 106 and acts like he owns him. That tells you a lot as well.

    Fed is a total tennisaholic and he will stay involved with the game, maybe help Zverev reach the next level. He adores Sascha so that could be his latest project.

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 10:22 am

    His advantage is he can fly in Tuesday to the next tournament, and practice, not have to play 3 Qualies matches to survive. But that’s earned, The guys he’s playing in the first rounds can’t afford to have kids, let alone travel with 4.

    Ever watch Golf? 75% of the players have Netjet or some other private jet deal.

    Second hand, a good friend, ran into Fed’s parents at an Airport lounge and said they were so nice it was scary. Same flight, two top Easter European Doubles players were on it, and acted like dicks.

    His kids are arrogant? What are they 8? That beats your previous jealous indictment.

    Being a tennis parent that can’t afford top coaching or travel must suck, I hope for your kids sake they retain some balance, and don’t become as freaking bitter as you

  • Hartt · November 17, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Did anyone see the Sinner vs Ofner Ortisei final, that Jannik won in SS? The ATP site even showed it again, and I can’t remember them ever doing that. Ofner is not chopped liver, so this was a good win. I think it is the youngster’s 3rd Challenger title this season. He is now No.78 in the live rankings, so he soon will leave the Challengers behind. I imagine tourney directors will be issuing WCs to him like crazy next season.

    FAA said he has practiced with Jannik a few times in Monaco, and was impressed. It must be a bit strange for FAA to see an even younger player do so well, he is exactly one year older than Jannik.

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Feds 38, it’s about time the next superstars of the game start beating him.

    The big 3 are gonna have days in middle of the tournament where they come out “ flat” can’t get to the next gear.. Djoker seemed flat against Fed, Fed seemed flat yesterday, his footwork was off, missed 2 overheads in the same service game..Its gonna happen more, and more to the big 3 as they age..

    Dan 8 years ago buried Fed at 30. Before he had his spoiled kids. 8 years later he’s still 3 in the world, holding off guys 14-17 years his junior. Fed said he was surprised he’s still getting to the year end the last few years. Pooh, he’s so arrogant, think that’s more of an indictment of the competition

    Making Jon commissioner of Junior tennis

    Group 1 Kids that don’t have private coaching, dad feeding balls in
    public parks. Drinking out of water fountain

    Group 2 Academy kids with private coaching, sponsors, change rackets every 9 games

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Jon makes a good point, the poor Fed kids suffer when poppa loses a match. Just a tennis match. Might have to muzzle Mirka from making such comments to the public. It does illustrate how seriously Federer does take each and every match, especially the big finals and semis of majors. Federer acts cool as if it’s just another match but it’s as Wilander says, Life and death. There is a t shirt slogan that says, “Tennis isn’t life and death, it’s more…”

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Is that a riddle?

    Fed taking EVERY match seriously a good thing or bad thing? That his wife, a former player, lives and dies with every match, a good thing or bad thing? That his kids that don’t like to see their father lose, a bad thing? In an era where guys that never won anything big, tank, retire during matches they’re losing because their snowflake egos can’t deal with it, you’re killing a guy that could have walked away the day after he broke Sampras’s GS record, but has gone through surgeries, raising a family, involved in Charities all over the world, still out there, loving the game, the competition, because he said a second serve he missed returning on a big point wasn’t much. Too funny, or sad, haven’t figured out which one yet.

    I go on tennis sites to read about tennis, thinking the other people on the site love tennis the way I do. Sad to see people just go on sites to rip people they don’t know. Judge their character, family, from a distance..raising a future tennis player must be hard, trying to rip someone who has reached the highest level ever with petty bullshit observations not firsthand is sad.

    On another Fed subject: is Mary Joe Fernandez really not allowed to sit next to her hubby at Fed matches because she works for ESPN? She rarely does mens matches. Quite the supposed conflict of interest. Maybe she’s not in London, I’m talking about when their in the same city

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Jeff and Harold’s comments required reading today. Federer is a complete person, he’s got a lot of dimensions, some worthy of scorn and some of course should get all the praise ever. I don’t expect he’s going to heap praise on an opponent when he saw himself within two matches of another title.

    Is it uncharitable? Yes. But he likes Tsitsipas. He hates losing more than he loves winning. More proof he has fire left to devour titles. If he wasn’t upset then he’d be Goffin.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    I get where Jon King is coming from but also if anyone had that kind of money and they weren’t like Gulbis they’d probably use those advantages. Federer said himself he doesn’t want on court coaching because it would help Federer!!! He also is nostalgic for best of five set finals at best of three set tournaments so players get used to high stakes matches before slams.

    I hear a lot less grumpiness from Federer than some other players upset there aren’t more clay tournaments (we know who that is!!!).

    I’ll take grumpy Fed over many options. I’m not a Federer flag waver but I appreciate his complexity.

    I think he has a spoiled side but not sure who he’d be without the teenage interest in getting more and more and more titles. He’d be nice guy Tipsarevic, who I like a lot!!!

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Sorry to keep on this, but I don’t get how fans want it both ways. If they go in to a presser and bs, with all pat answers, they’re killed. If they give what they consider their honest opinion of a match. They’re sore losers, arrogant..

    Dan will get this, The NY Knicks, in the 90’s… couldn’t get past the Chicago Bulls multiple times in playoffs, after every defeat Patrick Ewing would say “ We the better team”. As a Knick fan I hated that. You lost, own up…

    The next Gen feuds. Tsitsipas, Medvedev, and Zverev. Is already petty,. They’ve all got some Russian in them, so it could get ugly

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Why do you like Tipsarevic?

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    The unfair advantage the big 3 is they haven’t played on a court that doesn’t have Shot Spot ever, and never stray from the best courts at an event.
    ATP Union should be looking after their lower ranked players that don’t have this chance, and make every tournament level the playing field

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    I like Tipsy was underestimated, but had a substantial game. I thought his Roddick upset when Roddick entered “where’s Andy’s Mojo” period in 2004, was a fine match. I like how he talks about the game, how improvement works.

    Somehow I became a Tipsy fan. I had wanted Roddick to win that match in 2004 but couldn’t deny that Tipsy was doing everything he had to to win!

    And that he wore the shades/wrap around glasses. How many players have vision issues? Can’t imagine everyone on tour is 20/20. Few play like Navratilova with the glasses but Tipsy did.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    That’s true, Federer etc get a little nervous on courts like the old grandstand at US Open. Any change unsettles them. That’s a good point. And it would probably be good for tennis if they had more top seeds playing some matches on outer courts. Would probably raise their “legend” and give fans a better sense of how good they are.

    Then again not sure it’s great for fans because that outer court would be tough to get a seat to catch the match. Not necessarily good for TV either. I don’t know!

  • catherine · November 17, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    BJK played with glasses her whole career. She has terrible sight. Martina took to them later.

    And Naomi and Bianca have started sporting glasses in press conferences but not on court. Is it so they can get a better view of the hacks ? Do they wear contact lenses when playing ?

    Zverev wears glasses sometimes.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    FAA noticing Sinner rise good for him – means he’s less likely to get blindsided by Sinner in future. It’s the warning I’d hoped Kyrgios would get, that in no time flat he’d lose his status in Australia as other players outworked him such as De Minaur. De Minaur is now #18 and Kyrgios is #30. Kyrgios might be able to say he has no fear of big three but what’s it matter if he can’t make it there to play him much as this year’s US Open where he loss to Rublev (who beat both Tsitsipas and Kyrgios before getting shown the door by the rising Berretini?).

  • catherine · November 17, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Andrew – can’t play top seeds on outside courts for safety reasons. Players who moan every year about ‘favouritism’ at Wimbledon should bear this in mind.

  • Hartt · November 17, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    It wouldn’t be feasible to put a big star on an outer court, it would be absolute bedlam. I get that it isn’t entirely fair for some players to get the best courts, time slots, etc., but practical considerations mean that is the way it is.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Harold it’s totally random how I become a fan of a player. I was hoping Kuznetsova would do well in Moscow as her game reminds me of Agassi, who I grew to appreciate with his 1999 French win and comeback from the despair. Kuznetsova Dre Muchova and suddenly I thought wow this Muchova is something else with her court knowledge and shot selection, so became a Muchova fan this year.

    Tipsy probably with the Roddick 2005 Where’s Andy’s Mojo match. I got the year wrong, it was 2005. So great performances. If a player does something like Nishikori did in his final in Delray against Blake I think in 2008 that catches my eye and then I watch and see what I think. Sometimes seeing a player up close like Rios, Kafelnikov, couldn’t deny how good they were and appreciated their court knowledge, how they won.

    Totally random.

    I don’t like Zverev much. I like Shapovalov a lot but still wonder if he has a killer instinct in him. Can’t tell.

    I liked Bouchard when I saw her play, met Serena Williams and she was great in person, and liked how she didn’t play around in the early 2000s when going for big titles,just ferocious on court.

    Yeah. Totally random.

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Contact lenses!!!

    I imagine tons of players wear contacts. Watching Tipsy and Clement wipe their glasses every point was annoying as hell, and I wear glasses..

    Glasses are used as props for interview. Watch some brainless entertainer try to discuss some important issue, and they will put on some horn rimmed glasses to look smart…been a prop for ages

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 1:12 pm


    My point was about shot spot.. only Scoop thinks Fed should get sent out to Court 13, while Kozlov/Escobedo play on Center Court😀

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Didn’t know I needed glasses for a while. Probably because players have more supervision they figure it out quickly. I didn’t lose matches without glasses – I lost versus better players. But I would have done somewhat better against players beating me big time. Most of them were too good. And I wasn’t that good. Good in practice. Bad in matches.

  • Jeff · November 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Would be foolish not to put the top guys on the top courts. That is who people pay to see. At the end of the day, the rankings system is fair so if you want those slots, win tournaments and get enough points to earn it.

  • Hartt · November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    It’s hard to know why some players appeal to us and others, equally skilled, don’t. I tend to favour aggressive players, especially those who are good at the net, although sometimes they can drive me nuts when they take big risks. But the player’s personality also plays a role. I like “nice” guys such as Thiem. And of course have been a huge FAA fan for years.

    But sometimes a player simply “speaks” to you. I still remember seeing Kohli for the first time. It was on TV when he was playing at the USO many years ago. I had no idea who he was and was blown away at how well played that day. Obviously he is not a top player, but I’ve been a big fan ever since. I just love the elegant way he plays. I even like the faces he makes, even though he doesn’t make a fuss you always know exactly what he is thinking.

  • Andrew Miller · November 17, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    As a fan on my end the job is easy: watch new players. I’ve started this year, though glad to see guys like Shapovalov making progress. Even like Medvedev though I consider him a total jerk on court.

    Admit I like Julia Goerges for more than her tennis, she strikes me as a good looking girl. I was a Kirilenko fan but mostly because I thought man that is a good looking player. Ah the shallowness within.

    Muchova I like for her tennis. Always like seeing Giorgi bash a ball but not right to her opponent (as if she’s coming in for some friendly volley practice!).

  • Hartt · November 17, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Good looks don’t hurt a male player either, but for me charm comes before looks. Then there is a guy like Khachanov who has both charm and looks. 🙂

  • catherine · November 17, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Ah the lovely Julia – there’ll be much weeping and wailing among her fans when she finally retires. She also seems a very nice person. Myself, it’s the serve and the forehand that I tune in to watch.

    I like players who aren’t straightforward. They give you something to write about. I liked McEnroe believe it or not. The times you didn’t want to throw something at him. In the remote past I liked Billie Jean for her beautiful s/v. I suppose I like Kerber because I find her unfathomable.

  • catherine · November 17, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Tsitsipas bts Thiem in 3 and t/b. Pretty good match and not much between them but I think Tsitsi will end up ahead in the New Year. That’s when Patrick M will step in to take the credit.

  • Hartt · November 17, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    That was a close, entertaining match. I was rooting for Dominic, but I like both players. In fact, both are treats-eligible, so I have my eye on some spanokopita for the treat. 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 17, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Harold how do you surmise I would ever put Federer on court 13? He’s stadium or 1 forever, regardless of ranking. No one respects Federer more than me but as Tursunov humorously noted in Facing Federer, he is not perfect. Yes I agree, Federer expressing some sour grapes in a press conference is more real than some phony cliches after losing. But the swipe at Tstsipas second serve success was kind of silly and when a genius does something silly it’s notable.

  • Harold · November 17, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Was joking, hence the smiley 😊 at the end

    Tsitsipas’s second serve needs work.

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