Feb/20

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Kenin Dominates at AO 2020

By Jayita A. Belcourt

Sofia Kenin is not your average tennis player. And in tonight’s Australian Open Final against two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza, the world was able to see just why. Yes sure, this talented 21-year old has always been feisty and determined to win like most other rising stars – but what sets her apart is this unshakable self-belief, brutal competitiveness and unshackled conviction to be the best that has been burning since she was just five. Yes even at this young age, the Russian born talent knew she wanted to be amongst the inner realms of the world’s tennis elite, and it is this reason that her parents moved to the USA and placed her under the watchful eye of coach Rick Macci.

Macci, who also helped shape the William sisters for many of their formative teenage years, has been a big fan of the American for most of her life and believed Kenin had what it took to be a top player. Upon their first meet and training session, Macci described her as the “scariest little creature” he had “ever taught”. Fast forward 16 years and of her reaching the Australian Open finals, Macci’s tune had not changed saying “she expected this. I think (her father) expected it. I expected it. This doesn’t surprise me, she’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t win.”

And she did not disappoint. In what can only be described as one of the gutsiest performances ever witnessed on Rod Laver Arena, Kenin fought back her emotions to realize her lifelong dream of becoming a grand slam champion by defeating Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 at Melbourne Park.

Whilst the first two sets saw exciting exchanges between the two players, it was when the match went to one set-all that the play of Kenin went to another level. Serving at 2-all in the third set, Kenin was able to dig deep despite being down love-40 to claw her way back into the game. Astonishingly, she won the next five points – each with a winner, one on ace and the other groundstrokes to secure a lead 3-2. And this game, behind a veil of tears, grit and determination, is where Sofia Kenin was able to chart her way to victory.

Indeed, Sofia Kenin is no stranger to winning. After ousting Serena Williams at Rolland Garros last year R3 and enjoying the perks of a second week stay, Kenin had already made her announcement to the tennis world that she was not only here to stay, but here to dominate. After all, overcoming Williams is no easy feat and anyone who can add this victory to their portfolio, is undoubtedly one with incredible talent and drive. And it was this win against Williams, that Kenin identifies as the catalyst for her upward trajectory.

“I feel like that was the first time I experienced getting to the second week [at Rolland Garros,” said Kenin at the Australian Open earlier in the week.

“Obviously, it felt really different. It’s so much different. But, yeah, I feel like that match really changed things. I obviously saw that I can play on this level, I could play with the best. Of course, it just happens to be Serena, my idol. Yeah, it was a really exciting match. I feel like after that, things took off.”

And what a career take-off it has been indeed. For 21-year old Kenin, who had never gone past the fourth round at any major before this year, had her priorities clear from the moment she arrived in Australia and was encouraged by her impressive forth round win over fellow American, 15-year old Coco Gauff. Kenin said “I want to show who I am, show my best tennis, show why I’m there, why I belong. I’m doing that.”

Yet, what makes Kenin’s success at this year’s Australian Open so unique, is that the 21-year had attracted few moments in the limelight or yielded little attention from the media until her dominating performance over Gauff. Perhaps even so, the attention may have only occurred because she beat the USA’s 15-year old rising star, who is “best buddies” and dances with Serena Williams. Come semi-finals against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, no one expected the 14th seed to topple the world number on home turf. But that is exactly what she did. In little over 90 minutes, the confident American dug deep and kept her composure to save three set points to secure the match 7-6, 6-4.  Of her experience, Kenin was able to remain very grounded and realistic.

“I really had to establish myself to show everyone who I am. I think a big part that got me here is my family were there for me. It was obviously tough. Like I said, people didn’t really believe in me and everything. But they believed in me, especially my dad, since he’s been with me through this incredible journey. Yeah, I think that’s obviously helped me,” Kenin said.

“I’m rising, so I’m trying to somehow keep my game stable, just play with stability, just play each match one match at a time. Of course, I’m really happy. I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am. I’ve done a really hard pre-season. I knew that it’s going to help me and it’s going to pay off. Thank God it’s paying off here.”

And what a pay-off in-deed. After her maiden title at the Australian Open, Kenin’s rankings will now shoot up to world number 7 and she will be the top ranked USA player in contention for a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But above all, is the realisation of a hard-earned dream coming to fruition. Clearly elated by the outcome tonight, the 21-year old struggled to hold back her emotions of what her life, and family sacrifices and support had entailed, to make tonight possible.

“My dream has officially come true, I cannot even describe the feeling. I have worked so hard and I’m just so grateful to be standing here” Kenin told the crowd. “Dreams come true. So if you have a dream, go for it, and it’s going to come true.”

Yes, what an inspiration for not only the tennis community, but the world indeed.

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141 comments

  • Jon King · February 1, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t think Kenin will be a one slam wonder in the sense that she will gradually fade away and never be a factor again. I think she is focused and grounded, does not have an entourage, and will be very well ranked for most of her 20s.

    But winning more than 1-2 slams is hard, must stay healthy, fight off players on a hot streak, be faced with younger players that have no scouting report and playing free with nothing to lose. Kenin could stay at her current level, be ranked in the top 10-20 the next 5-7 years, and still never get to another slam finals.

    Just enjoy the present. One slam is a dream result for all her and dad’s hard work. It it happens again, fantastic.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 1, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Can’t predict Kenin’s long term future, my crystal ball is pulling and Andrew Miller and malfuntioning on that call. It could go either way, she could become complacent and Sloane Stephens her way through her career, or she could become a mini Serena and hunger for more, more, more. It’s all up to Kenin to decide what she really wants. Gonna sit this prediction out.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    We first started noticing and talking about Kenin here one year ago when she won Hobart beating Schmeidlova in the final and Cornet in SF and Flipkens in QF. Have to go back and look what we said, but I do remember being impressed and discussing her. Then lost 64 in third to Halep in AO. Then beat Andreescu in Mexico SF and lost to Wang in F. Then beat Wang in rematch in IW but lost to Svitolina 64 in third. So she was becomoing elite. Then beat Serena and Paris and won Mallorca vs Bencic. Kenin had arrived. Lost to Yaz in Wimbledon 64 in third.

  • Harold · February 1, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Be nice if Kenin got some big bonuses for winning a Major from Fila and Babolat.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 1, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Harold surely she did. Remember how much Wawrinka cashed in from Yonex when he won AO? Major jackpot.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 1, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Djokovic is expected by all to win. But I would not rule out Thiem pulling off another upset, pulling off a Wawrinka style shocker. Thiem is starved for this first major, he is desperate. He is sick of losing major finals. He could possibly summon a level we have never seen before and stun Djokovic, like Wawrinka did. Thiem is better at this age than Wawrinka was, he could explode tomorrow with some tennis magic. It will have to be the performance of his career tomorrow to beat Djokovic.

  • Jeff · February 1, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Well the criticism of Kenin has already started. Yahoo Australia had a story of fans ripping her for her racket tantrums vs. Mugs.

    I don’t think it is a major upset for Thiem to win. I don’t think Djoko played that great against Fed. Looks like an even matchup.

    Dallas Challenger draw is out. Tiafoe is top seed and could face Tomic in the round of 16. Big first-round matchip between Donald Young and Stefan Kozlov, who have met many times. No sign of Jack Sock, who is probably on honeymoon

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 1:39 am

    Difficult to say after AO and a few tournaments but I think the WTA is on the cusp and ATP may follow. Older players are going to slide down (and out) and it’s going to be the mid-twenties and younger group who will share the spoils and maybe no one player will dominate. Which, commercially, has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to ‘selling the game’.

    Thiem may lose to Djoko but even reaching the final is a turning point. Nadal and Federer both failed. Serena is no longer competitive, IMO. So a free-for-all.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 2:03 am

    Here’s a thought – what happens to the fans when their idols retire ? Do they kind of disperse and regroup, like a bunch of molecules and then attach themselves to another figure, like viruses ? Where will all the Fed, Nadal and Serena fans go ?

    Perhaps the fans retire too.

  • Hartt · February 2, 2020 at 5:22 am

    If the fans are smart they will choose a young player to go along with their Big 3 fave. There are several exciting youngsters to choose from.

  • Hartt · February 2, 2020 at 8:26 am

    They tried to do a glamourous-type photo of Sofia with the trophy, the way they do with all the women Slam winners. But there is a limit to how much they can “glam” up Sofia, and she looked nice.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Well, I hope the WTA doesn’t try the glamour number on Sofia because it won’t work. I can just visualise the panic and despair in promotional meetings while the suits struggle to decide how to market a real person.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Didn’t go for that pic of Sofia with the champagne bottle – looks as though she’s losing the top half of her dress. I wondered if it was Sofia but I think it was. She’d be better in simple outfits.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Hartt – does Dominic get a treat for that match ?

  • Hartt · February 2, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Sadly, no. He had to win the title. 🙁

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Thiem isn’t Wawrinka 2013/2014. Djokovic is hard to beat the vast majority of his matches, and Thiem wasn’t giving the crowd much.

    Anyways, Djokovic wins yet another slam, and all the big three guys thank him for “keeping the slams in the family”.

    Thiem seemed to be doing a lot of what he did on hard courts in the indoor stretch. His strategy for the final was going according to plan, and somehow he remembered who he was playing and it was all over. He seemed to give Djokovic a lot of balls Djokovic likes hitting, and he also gave the crowd a lot less of himself than he did in Vienna. This was a good match from Thiem, not a great match, and he took his foot off the fifth set. Not good when everything is on the line.

    As harsh as Muster was on Thiem, and however inappropriate it was for Muster to talk to the press about Thiem during the tournament after being cut from Team Thiem, I think Muster was right.

    “It is like this: There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderful from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside,” Muster told Eurosport on Friday.

    “He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot, but he has also got some shortcomings he has to work on if he wants to be at the top.

    “He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.

    “To be honest I have seen myself in this role for the next two years. Why he has chosen differently – I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.”

    And Thiem’s dad chimes in on Muster:

    “We had some meetings in Vienna at the ATP tournament, then we were thinking to add him to some certain tournaments, especially to get his experience because he won the French Open and was No. 1,” Wolfgang Thiem said.

    “We were thinking to try it out. Actually after two weeks, Dominic said that it doesn’t fit together. I mean, he had some good experience.
    Kenin’s serious shopping plan

    “Of course, he was a really good player. But for me the most important thing is that the coach understands what the player needs and not that the coach wants to make a copy of himself.

    “Dominic is already 26 years, so he has his personality. This was for me the main point, that Dominic needs someone who gives him the space, who gives him the free space to develop, to play his game.

    “He always needs some advices, but short advices. If you have someone who says too much, who is too much into it, then it doesn’t work.

    “Hopefully he’s mature enough now. After two weeks he said, No, it doesn’t fit.”

    ====

    So there you have it: Thiem has an ego and didn’t want to hear about how Muster dragged himself up from a car accident to win a slam. Thiem just wanted to play his game. And that’s probably why Thiem won’t win a slam.

    Sources:
    Muster on Theim
    https://www.foxsports.com.au/tennis/australian-open/former-world-no-1-thomas-muster-explains-why-he-only-lasted-two-weeks-as-dominic-thiems-coach/news-story/0b045299c4571335cb5b60fff8999d4a

    Thiem’s Dad on Muster
    https://www.foxsports.com.au/tennis/australian-open/dominic-thiems-father-reveals-the-reason-why-the-world-no-5-split-with-austrian-legend-thomas-muster/news-story/8f4b2d67ea31843287a2f377fd7716f8

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Yes, Muguruza is back. And Thiem’s not Wawrinka, not at all. You have to hound Djokovic. Thiem was doing that and then played conventional tennis rather than tennis with a purpose, and it was over. Letting Djokovic back into the match like that.

    I think Muster was right on Thiem not being interested in making the mental switch necessary to chase Djokovic to the ends of the earth. Thiem’s dad thought Muster would add a lot but they cut Muster out because he tried to have Thiem adopt more Muster mentality, said he talked too much and didn’t jive with Thiem and his desire to do things his way.

    Muster sounds like Stefanki here. I don’t think Thiem is winning any slams. He is Cedric Pioline for now.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Thought Muguruza would beat Kenin, because she took the ball to the opponent and knew how to win slams. I underestimated that Muguruza was also intimidated by what she saw in Kenin, and of course Kenin’s overwhelming desire to compete and go home with a slam trophy.

    It’s amazing how elemental this desire is. A very basic, I want that slam, I want the trophy, single-mindedness. Kenin even said, after she won those five points, she wanted the “beautiful trophy”. If that isn’t the four year old burning desire for trophies talking to everyone then I don’t know what is!

    Always thought what separates these champions from other players is that overwhelming desire. Federer has it, his desire is the same as a little kid. It’s not sophisticated. It’s “that’s my trophy and I want it”.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Muster on Thiem, cut from the team, before the AO QF:
    “It is like this: There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderful from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside,” Muster told Eurosport on Friday.

    “He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot, but he has also got some shortcomings he has to work on if he wants to be at the top.

    “He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.

    “To be honest I have seen myself in this role for the next two years. Why he has chosen differently – I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.”

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 10:08 am

    What to say on Djokovic, total dominance when it mattered. Does everything Agassi used to do, five times better.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Andrew – I don’t think Muguruza was intimidated by Sofia – Mugs has played a lot of tennis, won 2 GSs, been through ups and downs etc so she knows how to play the game, played Kenin before (and lost). Winning becomes a little different as you grow older, not exactly routine but maybe not so clear cut. So it’s more difficult when other things get in the way. Here, Muguruza was tired, post viral, heat – she didn’t use that as an excuse but she lost power on her serve and couldn’t move as well as she usually does. Cost her the match. Physical exhaustion becomes mental. Losing a match on a df usually means – I want this to finish.

    Kenin put up a much better fight than Halep. Simona is definitely below par. Distracted ?

    That Muster ‘house’ quote is classic. We rarely hear the inside story about these coaching car crashes.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 10:46 am

    My bad on Muguruza – first, I didn’t always think about the “desire” of the champions as separating them from others when it comes time to claim a title. Now I think it is a huge part, because it’s so hard to win one and something needs to motivate the players to cross the finish line. They do sound like little kids when they talk about having more slams – twenty is never enough 🙂

    Regarding intimidation, yes, Catherine is right. Muguruza was not intimidated. She sees very clearly what she was up against in the final and appreciated what she saw in Kenin, and probably used that to prepare herself and motivate herself. Muguruza strikes me as far more aware of how the inner game of tennis works than I thought – I’m a little used to empty statements.

    Muguruza shows a lot of depth. She’s one of the most annoyed players I’ve ever seen (maybe because of all the youtube clips of her being pretty mean to (male) coaches, being rude to her in turn). Didn’t appreciate that Muguruza is a very intelligent player, knows the game, knows how to win biggest titles.

    She may lose next tournament first round! But it won’t matter much. Muguruza knows she can make it through a big tournament when she has a coach that works with her like Conchita Martinez. So long as this duo keeps working together I think Muguruza has a say at other slams this year.

  • Hartt · February 2, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Andrew, I don’t think it is fair to say Thiem will never win a Slam. He has made 3 Slam finals now, and to reach the AO final he had to win two tough matches, against Rafa and Sascha. He had to be tired in the final, and the AO system that gives 1 finalist 3 days off to the other player’s 2, is unfair.

    As far as the split with Muster, we don’t really know the story. So far we have heard more of Muster’s side than of Thiem’s. You have to wonder, also, if there was friction between Muster ans Massu. Goran said when he joined Novak’s team he took it slowly at first, and got an idea of how the team functioned. It sounds like Muster did not do that.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Thiem’s dad responded to Muster, and it wasn’t much of a response. Maybe they are too decent to say anything. Seems to have ended up confirming that Thiem and Muster aren’t a good match, and that Thiem won’t listen to Muster anyways.

    Thiem’s dad on Muster, courtesy of Fox Sports Australia.

    “We had some meetings in Vienna at the ATP tournament, then we were thinking to add him to some certain tournaments, especially to get his experience because he won the French Open and was No. 1,” Wolfgang Thiem said.

    “We were thinking to try it out. Actually after two weeks, Dominic said that it doesn’t fit together. I mean, he had some good experience.
    Kenin’s serious shopping plan

    Kenin’s serious shopping plan1:11

    “Of course, he was a really good player. But for me the most important thing is that the coach understands what the player needs and not that the coach wants to make a copy of himself.

    “Dominic is already 26 years, so he has his personality. This was for me the main point, that Dominic needs someone who gives him the space, who gives him the free space to develop, to play his game.

    “He always needs some advices, but short advices. If you have someone who says too much, who is too much into it, then it doesn’t work.

    “Hopefully he’s mature enough now. After two weeks he said, No, it doesn’t fit.”

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Didn’t see Kenin and any Australia donation. If she did so in private that’s great. Scoop’s probably right, what Kyrgios did for Australia this tournament is bigger than what Djokovic etc did for his career.

    I’m sorry Zverev didn’t win the whole thing. I would have liked to see him up there and say this is for you, Australia! Here’s everything I won, and this is for your country to rebuild after these fires.

    No one’s required, but it would have been nice to see it. That was good of Zverev to make such a serious pledge and judging by his play he truly responded to playing for a big cause.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Andrew – what’s Kenin’s shopping plan ? I’m intrigued.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Re Mugs’ temperament – she has a short fuse I hazard. Some nosy hack asked her to comment on Margaret Court’s views. Mugs: ‘I don’t give a d*** what she says’.

    Exit hack, empty handed.

  • Hartt · February 2, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Andrew, Dominic’s father’s explanation makes a lot of sense. One of the commentators had wondered about that, if a big problem was Muster wanting Thiem to play the way he had played himself, and of course that is not going to work.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Did Thiem’s plan work? 🙁

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Kenin: cartier and champagne. Still no wildfire donations. Too bad.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Dumping Muster strikes me as a mistake. And Thiem sounds like, even though he did not say this, he didn’t know how to get Massu and Muster to work together, and Muster sounds like he needed to be on Team Thiem a lot sooner than a mere tournament (however huge the tournament).

    Muster’s not just anyone. Massu has done fine work helping Thiem shape his game up for hard courts so that he isn’t existing first round. I’m sorry they couldn’t find a way to learn from a guy that will have done a lot more than Thiem in his career. I’m sorry so many egos couldn’t get it together.

    And yes despite everything this is three slam final losses for Thiem and he owns that. Only Andy Murray has more slam final losses I think among his first slam finals? Murray I think is also a better player than Mr. Thiem, though Thiem has been playing very well on hard courts since his Vienna indoors title.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Muguruza is at least quotable. Man she cusses up a storm.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Andrew – she’s a bit young, she may not be aware. Her whole life is tennis.

  • catherine · February 2, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    I mean Kenin and donations of course, not Mugs and her language. I think the WTA organised donations as well so Sofia could’ve done that.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Maybe Kenin should hire better PR. Champs just made a shade under US $3 million bucks each, so maybe spare a few ace bucks as Halep did with her $20K out of pocket donation…she’d still have a whopping US $2,800,000 or something obscene like that to shop at Cartier (etc).

    If anything it helps with her taxes due in a year. Donate now…

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Muguruza and her language isn’t going to clean up. I get that people call Kenin feisty, but I think they don’t know her well and Kenin herself seems unaccustomed to the big press interest (Ben R. from the NY Times wrote about this, that Kenin really appreciated the full house of reporters after the Muguruza win, as in “about time”!).

    Yeah. Leave it to the press attention to become another unacknowledged opponent players have to deal with. We talk about this a lot.

    As for Muguruza she’s very unique this way. All tiger, no paper.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 2, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Sounds like muster was trying to make Thiem more of a roaring lion like himself, more passion, rage, intensity, like how Anderson changed. I’m with muster on this, Thiem is too nice, too afraid to channel his emotional adrenaline. Muster is right.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 2, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Thiem should hire coco to teach him about using more emotional adrenaline.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 2, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Hartt, muster sees the flaw and addressed it immediately and bluntly. Thiem can’t handle the truth.

  • Harold · February 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Sorry but back to the big 3 for a minute.

    Hypothetical:

    If Fed, Nadal, and the Djoker all started their careers on the same day, what would the slam total be? Pick a starting point, 03, 05,07…they have 56 total now..

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 2, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Muster knows. Muster spotted the flaw and pushed hard and annoyed the team of Thiem. Muster did what he had to do. Thiem failed to accept it and failed again. Rehire muster or it’s the same old failures.

  • Harold · February 2, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    I don’t get it. Some guys become lionized here by winning two rounds in a Major, and Thiem get to a 5 set final in a Major and you’re telling him he’s doing it wrong? I know he’s no Escobedo, or Rios, but 3 Slam Finals, he’s doing ok. Should have hired Muster for the Clay. Too many voices is not good

    Waiting for someone to say Kenin needs to hire someone who has won Majors..

  • Jon King · February 2, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    We don’t know what charities Kenin is involved in. As far as PR, a donation to fires or not won’t make a difference. If she does it to help, great, but nothing is going to move the needle on her marketability.

    She is already almost out of the sports news. By the French Open another player will step up and get attention.

    We like her, we like her and dad’s story…but there just is no there there for marketers.

  • Hartt · February 2, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Thiem plays with plenty of intensity, he doesn’t need to roar, he is a beast on the court.

    You all are being very hard on Dominic. He won tough matches vs Rafa and Zverev to get to the final, and then played a competitive match on a court that Novak owns. He will win Slams in the future, perhaps even this year.

  • Jeff · February 2, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    I think Muster is jealous since he sees Thiem becoming the best Austrian tennis player in history. Thiem has already reached more Slam finals than Muster and will no doubt be more than a one-Slam wonder like him. Without a doubt once the Big 3 retire, Thiem will become No. 1 at some point. Thiem could be the greatest Austrian athlete and is already on the level of greats such as the legendary skiiers Marcel Hirscher, Toni Saler and Benjamin Raich. To reach 3 Slam finals in the Big 3 era is something no other tennis player under 30 has done.

    Muster is simply trying to stay relevant and ride Thiem’s coattails.

  • Jeff · February 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Hartt is correct, that Kenin dress is cringe-worthy. Hopefully the young lady will try for more business professional look than glamour queen. Bad move by the WTA to make her wear that dress.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Muster: 44 titles; Thiem: 16. Scoreboard.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Muster: likely 2nd best clay player in history. Thiem? Doubt it.

  • Andrew Miller · February 2, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    It’s easy to be hard on Thiem. He did great to make the final. For a good stretch, he did great in the final. Then all of sudden, not so great.

    Result: same as before. A bunch of old guys winning slams. It’s hard to beat Nadal and Djokovic at the same tournament and win the tournament. It’s easier at a best of three set tournament, and Thiem like others shows that kind of venue is where he is better.

  • Jeff · February 2, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Andrew, you are correct, Thiem will easily surpass Muster’s 45 titles with 16 alreaady at this age.

    Muster is not the 2nd best clay player, only won 32 matches at Roland Garros and Thiem already has 24 wins and four straight semis in Paris, something Muster could only dream of doing in his career. No question that Thiem will end up the better player in history.

    Similarly, no question Novak will get to 21 Slam wins. I also believe he will win one more French Open at some point to cement his greatness. Perhaps even this year. He should skip Monte Carlos and Rome and just play Madrid in my opinion.

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