Sep/19

7

Serena Stumbles; Bianca Leaps

Serena Williams, the 23-slam champion, started the US Open finals against Bianca Andreescu, the ultra-confident 19-year-old Canadian, by hitting an ace out wide. She then proceeded to get broken by Andreescu when she served her second double fault of the game.

Andreescu has matched Serena’s power and pace and added a little more spin. Her forehand has continually hurt Serena particularly when Andreescu goes out wide to Serena’s forehand side. On a number of Andreescu’s cross-court forehands, the 37-year-old American with a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium of supporters including her friend, Meghan Markle, has not even given chase or gotten a racquet on the ball.

Chrissie Evert commentating for ESPN on the match, loves to talk about how well Serena is or isn’t getting out of the corners. In this match, Serena is often not getting into the corner, her forehand corner, against Andreescu’s power and angle. Nothing seemed to be going right for Serena as Andreescu captured the first set 6-3 and quickly went up a break in the second.

Serena’s vaunted serve is way off as she misses again and again on first serves. At one point early in the second set, Serena missed nine first serves in a row. At 2-0 Andreescu hit a long ground stroke that Serena felt was out and she challenged it only to see it called in on the Challenge. Serena did get the break two points later on a ball she hit that hit the net and trickled over on Andreescu’s side.

The Canadian quickly broke back for 3-1 and Serena super-fan, Spike Lee, looked sick in the stands. Serena continued to unravel in the set’s fifth game hitting one forehand return of serve 20 feet long at 30-love Andreescu. With Andreescu going up 4-1, Serena mis-tracked a backhand on a high ball by Andreescu and then proceeded to stand flat-footed as the 19-year-old pffted it back into the open court.

Maybe, looking back, Serena will rue her flawed serving or the fact that she wore a purple dress instead of the black cat-suit she was 3-0 with in this tournament. Two years ago, Evert pointed out, Andreescu just worried about making enough money on tour so she could afford to have her parents travel with her.

Today she beat Williams in similar fashion to her idol and fellow Romanian, Simona Halep, did in winning Wimbledon this year only ceding four games to Williams. Serena went down swinging, but she shot her box a telling glare right before returning serve at 1-5. Her sister, Venus, looked back at her in seeming disbelief. But as much as Serena tried to hit harder and harder, her shots were mostly long or returned with better accuracy by the fleet-footed Andreescu.

Serena with all her slam doubles titles has never been called a “complete player,” but her vanquisher today, Andreescu, the super-confident and super-competitive Canadian, is. She almost matched Serena today in the power department while clearly out-doing her in the serving, moving and touch departments. In fact, in chasing down Williams’ blasts in all the corners of the court, Andreescu might be dubbed the first women’s gymnast-tennis player; an uncanny combination of Nadia Comaneci and Halep with a little Mike Tyson throw in.

Just as it seemed a fait accompli that Andreescu would match Halep in defeating Williams in a slam finals by only dropping four games, Williams rallied with a raucous AA crowd behind her every point of the way, to break Andreescu at love to get back on serve at 4-5. Although, she double-faulted twice, Serena pulled even when Andreescu suddenly continued her nerves-filled tennis by mishitting two backhand returns.

When Serena couldn’t find her best tennis, she cried out to her box, but Andreescu never showed much or any frustration when her play went south. Andreescu steadied herself after Serena won four games straight by hitting a second serve in the corner of the box (after she had to catch her own toss twice) that Serena tattooed into the net with her forehand. While Serena’s backhand is mostly mint, her forehand shows that it can go astray at times.

And then it was over at 5-6 Serena could not get a racquet on two of Andreescu’s returns, one to her backhand side (which was not even in the corner of the court, more to the left quadrant of the court) and at 30-40 on a Serena second serve, to Serena’s forehand side that Serena feebly waved at. Andreescu wins her first slam in straight sets, but my guess is she will surely not be a one-slam wonder. Starting the year ranked No. 152, the athletically zoftig brunette just had too much game for the women’s GOAT, who fell short once again and now is 0-4 in slam finals since returning from giving birth to her first child two years ago and amazingly has not captured a single set in those four finals.

In all four slams finals matches where there’s been a 15-year age-gap between the two finalists (male or female), they younger play has won. An underdog coming into this match, Andreescu shows that youth can prevail and that she might become the next player for the ages! Serena has to be crushed by this resounding defeat and one wonders how she can rebound again and resurrect her slam title hopes.

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173 comments

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Nadal…please. The man’s book lays out how competitive he is. It’s why Nadal remarks on Medvedev I’m sure you will have many chances here…

    He didn’t say that to Federer, the words change to I’m sure you will win this again you are a great champion.

    Nadal calls Xs and Os. Please don’t fall for Nadal oh Saint whatever. Nadal is a fierce man who turned away a competitor again and dusted the guy off so he didn’t have to do something awful, to himself. Medvedev feels gutted. Nadal pulled a rabbit out of the hat to win the fifth set. Medvedev made the man tired, which is impossible.

    Scoop had it right. Nadal is one of the fiercest competitors tennis has ever seen. Some players have been this way for a stretch, Federer certainly has. Djokovic is the only guy that might be more fierce but he seems less intimidating. Sampras was an assassin out there. But what you see out there is a fight to the death while the clock is running.

    Nadal’s a nice guy when the whistle blows, especially after a win. Battles over, he won. We’re expecting him to be upset or something?

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Jeff, FAA was invited to play in the Laver Cup and he turned it down. JMac talked about how disappointed he was. The official reason given by Felix’s team is he wants to play Chengdu, and that may even be the case. I don’t know if Nick hates Felix’s guts, but the youngster has made it clear he has no time for Kyrgios, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did not want to be in a situation where he would have to cheer for Nick.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Hartt – I’m sure Coco behaved most graciously when introduced. She, like her mistress, is going to have to get used to fame. Her paw has probably already inked lucrative dog related products 🙂

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 7:53 am

    There are no guarantees that Bianca will be a great champion, but she has the talent and the drive to become one. Of course, as a Canadian I am biased, but I think it would be great for tennis if she does fulfill her promise. A rivalry between Osaka and Andreescu would be great, especially since both are so young it could be a long lasting rivalry.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Im glad Felix turned down the Laver Cup circus which would have only used him and he’s better than and above being used as a sideshow attraction.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Andreescu is already a great champion, just a matter of how far she keeps tennis as her top priority and keeps things like boyfriend, real life, etc second to tennis. And it depends on how much she wants to win, two or three or four may be enough for her. B

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Andrew, you misunderstood me, I think Nadal is the greatest, fiercest competitor in the history of ANY SPORT. Name me anyone who you rank as a greater, fiercer competitor than Rafa please. I’ll wait.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Coco has signed three new endorsement deals with Puppy Chow, Hartz flea collars and as brand ambassador for Westminster Dog Show.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:30 am

    Jackson, I don’t fully believe Rafa, I think he secretly wants that all time major record more than anything, he wants to be the GOAT. He will never say it though, he has to maintain his humble image. Rafa believes he is the greatest and he wants to prove it, mostly to himself. It’s the last challenge he has left in his career. To beat out Roger and Novak.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Jackson, no I didn’t know if they reconciled, they always seem to sit apart in the box when Rafa plays. Yes some players like Rafa do show flashes of humor and wit and being funny and Rafa is one for sure. But today’s press conferences are almost entirely cliche exhibitions where most players reveal hardly anything of note. Sharapova once even said it’s the same questions every week, she doesn’t even have to think, she just answers them and talks like a button gets pushed, zero thinking. Frankly, I think it’s always been like that since the 90s save for a few unusual incidents and memorable exchanges here and there. I stopped going to press conferences long ago, just read the transcripts at the end of the day or watch the video on the tourney web site. Ubi is one guy who goes to every press conference and he asks good questions.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Scoop, Coco is so cute she would be great in commercials. On Tennis.life twitter Stephanie Myles has a great photo of Coco, although Myles claims the pup had too much champagne at the party. Come to think of it, not only is Coco too young to drink in NY, but so is Bianca.

    This pic was during Bianca’s post match photo shoot at the top of the Rockefeller Center. There is also a photo of Bianca’s parents holding Coco, and her mother looks nice without the big wig. She has a masters degree in economics, so people shouldn’t underestimate her.

    I wish I could post the Coco pic here.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Catherine, the media has to build up Serena again, SI already did an article calling her “still dominant” which is false fake news of course, she does not dominate anymore. Fake news at it’s most absurd by SI.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I don’t understand why anyone has to puff Serena these days. It’s not as if there aren’t other tennis stories and other players.

    I’m baffled.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Hartt – I’ll look up the Coco pix. If Bianca comes to England, with Coco of course, she can drink champagne – the drinking age is 18.

    Coco can come with her if she has an animal passport and is not coming from a country which harbours rabies. Canada would be ok of course.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Hartt, Sharapova biography, great stuff. Sharapova is correct. It’s why I worried about the 2014 version of the IG star GenieB. She talked about wanting Sharapova fame. Sharapova’s bio suggests it’s backwards – game before fame.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Catherine, Serena is MONEY. The powers that be, the majors, ESPN, sponsors all want her to play many more major finals because her appearance in finals guarantees many more millions in revenues for everyone. I posted the TV ratings of Serena vs Osaka and Bianca, she breaks records every time. People tune in to see her not Svitolina or Wang. Yes there are many more stories but none of them sell and draw eyes like Serena, the super champion, train wreck, living legend, all in one. One thing is for sure, the tennis establishment and media will do what they can to extend the longevity of Serena so she can keep making finals of majors. Like in boxing, cash cow franchises are protected.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Svitolina’s saturday flight from nyc to china scheduled before the serena semi tells you all you need to know. Svitolina knew she was going to lose before the match was played.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Andrew, I found Maria’s book a surprisingly great read also, loved it. She reveals so much more than in any TV interviews or press conferences. Her journey from being a little girl in Russia to going to Florida with nothing, to the top of the sport is movie worthy and the details she tells it all leaves you wanting to keep turning those pages. Excellent book.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Scoop, Michael Jordan ripped competitors hearts out and stomped on them. Some hockey players. Connors was a competitive guy whose fire drove him to all ends of the earth.

    I don’t get into fiercest of all time things. I think their fierceness is all related, Nadal’s fierceness is a relative of the fierceness of all great competitors.

    Seles was absolutely devastating as she shredded opponents day in and day out. Serena in her prime. Sampras was no picnic, nor Lendl.

    I think what’s funny to me is that whatever discussion comes up it’s usually oh Nadal how wonderful you are how generous oh what a wonderful (blah blah blah). Fine – he’s a gentleman after he wins. And guess what…the man is relieved THAT he won. Winning fills him with positive feelings.

    The guy knows his place in the record books. If anyone has any doubts look at everything Toni Nadal says – Toni seems to have lost his mind as he gets older and older. He’s obsessed with his nephew getting the all time record. And guess whose voice is in Rafa’s ear every week? Or in Moya’s ear? Or in the press so that no matter what in Spain he gets through to his nephew one way or the other?

    Please…let’s stop with the charade. Nadal’s model on the court is Pete Sampras. Nadal made that clear in his teens and said he admired Sampras. Also told Moya when Moya said if you do this you can have a career like mine.

    Does anyone remember what Nadal’s response was to Moya at age 15 or 14?

    Ha

    To the effect of
    “No offense, Moya…I want a career that’s a lot better than yours…”

    That’s not modesty. That’s straight up desire. Desire. I want the trophies. I want all of them.

    If we don’t recognize that we’re missing it. We’re talking about a guy who has the second most slams in history for men’s players. He’s one behind Federer, who has the same desire but isn’t as good at hiding it, and comes off as less modest. I think it’s way off and totally disrespectful to the player not to acknowledge the burning desire that motivates them. The competitive spirit is indeed an assassin. Or King Samurai with a huge kingdom to defend. It’s fascinating.

    But if you’re paying attention only to the show…we miss it. His competitiveness is the size of a few ocean liners.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Scoop – actually it’s fairly common practice to book flights in advance. Saves time. But in this case I’m pretty sure Svito knew she wouldn’t win. Nothing iffy. She’s just not good enough.

    Yes, it is like boxing. Serena has indicated she’ll go on playing next year. And the year after…… Thankfully Bianca showed how she can be beaten – oh I forgot, so did Kerber and Halep. And Osaka.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Players make finals by winning. One reason we love tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Catherine, why jink herself with booking a flight before the match is even played, anything can happen, she’s beaten Serena before. Booking the flight shows she expected to lose and when you expect to lose you lose. I think it was a major slip of the lip for Svitolina to reveal the flight booking in her press conference. It was an accidental tell. Go watch the video.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Hartt – Coco looks wrecked there 🙂

    Is she a poodle ? Or one of those new brands ? Sweet anyway.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Scoop’s villain narrative has grown on me. Medvedev pulled a Connors out there, all in one tournament. I’ve never seen it in one tournament, where a despised player becomes beloved. If that doesn’t wake up anyone ranked #5 or so to #50 on the men’s side then nothing will shake them from their complacency. Usually it’s more like a player that plays spoiler. Not spoiler to fan favorite in under ten days.

    I think Medvedev is also one of few players that gets it. That gets that top players want to crush the spirit of opponents. It’s part of the sport. They break your will through passing shots etc. And your best is ridiculed.

    It was nice seeing Medvedev say enough is enough. Amazing that Nadal escaped a reverse death grip, that was Houdini like, like Agassi pulling out the victory over Blake in 2005. Nadal won the match in the fifth. And Medvedev made him do that. But the whole flipping of the script was amazing.

    Nadal won a match like this before of course – the 2008 Wimbeldon final. Where Federer pulled even from two sets down. So he knew he could do it. Just that Medvedev made him do it, and in such a trilling fashion.

    I’d encourage Medvedev to keep going. And definitely show the same awareness of the opponent emotion. That’s very welcome in this era where only so few know this.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Actually Medvedev almost pulled an Agassi. Because Agassi was down two sets then saw Blake was a little more tired than Agassi expected. So, very mature. Hopefully he learns from this and doesn’t want to jump off the Brooklyn bridge.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Scoop – I’ve heard players talking about prebooking. There’s also a funny bit in Michael Mewshaw’s book about a doubles pair trying to sort out their flights.

    But I agree that Svito expected to lose. I’m not sure why. That second set looked like a dive. She’ll never win a Slam. Maybe something to do with Gael – I mean she’d like commitment not that it’s any of our business but they are public on IG.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Catherine’s take on Svito. Svito’s game should have held up better than it did. Players book flights all the time. I don’t think given how much they travel that they have the crazy fees for switching flights.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Nadal is so modest…No, he’s not. Anyone that bothers sees he isn’t. But he is a great champion, and he does stand his competitors back up after they lose to him for the most part, so that they don’t do any harm to themselves probably.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Catherine, the legal drinking age in Ontario is 19 so Bianca would be OK here as well. When I went to graduate school in the States I had just turned 21, thank goodness, because I discovered California wines when I was there. 🙂

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Andrew – I don’t think money would a problem for Svito and sometimes she takes private flights. Probably not in this case, but these people are not mere mortals. They don’t do as we do or pay for the same things we pay for.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Catherine, Coco is a toy poodle.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Catherine, I wouldn’t know. Seles was famously cost conscious. I’m sure tournaments manage most of this stuff, I think hotels are covered once a player in in the draw. We don’t think about logistics, but they are there for players anyways.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Trying to think of an example of the villain to hero transformation in one week…can’t…

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Can’t! Lightning fast, villain to hero. How. Some good reporters said he just “gets” the NYC crowd. Maybe they’re right. Not buying that Medvedev didn’t know what he was doing. Absorbs all the boos and hissing and everything while picking apart his opponents games one by one. Then he says thanks and finally everyone is so happy.

    Greatest reverse psychology move I’ve ever seen. Took Connors decades. Medvedev, ten days! A week? Less? Suddenly everyone is feeding out of his hand?

    What a stunt. Medvedev knows who we really are. He gets it…gladiator sport. He gets it. It’s a show out there. Brings his best tennis ever and then gives everyone the spectacle.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Steve Tignor has a terrific article about Rod Laver on the Tennis.com site. It is very long, but worth the time. I hope some of the younger tennis fans read it, but it may be too much for their attention span.

    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2019/09/rod-laver-summer-1969-calendar-grand-slam-year-miracles-rick-rocket/84816/

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I can’t think of any other villain to hero transformations who did it in an instant like Medvedev, usually it takes years and years, Rios still isn’t even trying yet.

  • Jeff · September 9, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I didn’t know that Felix turned down Laver Cup. Interesting that Federer has befriended the bad boy Kyrgios and not made overtures at a potential champion like Felix. I am down on Federer and Murray as well for being enablers for Kyrgios’ nonsensical criticisms of Nadal and Djokovic. Maybe that’s why Federer supports Kyrgios.

    Nobody in the Nadal presser asked about the time violations. Shows you that the tennis media would rather create narratives rather than report a Slam final properly.

    You better believe Nadal wants the Slam record. Andrew is right. Nadal wants to be the best of all-time and could care less how Medvedev felt after that match. And nor should he, that is what competition is about.

    I hate how tennis observers say how classy someone is after they win. Everyone is classy when they win. It’s how you handle defeat that shows what kind of person you are. That’s why Serena is a terrible sportsman.

    The best example is Andy Roddick after that Wimbledon final. He was classy in defeat. Which is another example of how Federer didn’t really give a dam how disappointed Roddick felt. And nor should he have.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    I think Fed likes Felix a lot. He had him train with him, and both FAA’s coaches went. That was a huge opportunity for the youngster. When Felix was back on the tour after an injury, Roger said how great it was to see him fit and happy again. I imagine Felix, who is intelligent, hard-working, ambitious, and respectful, is the type of young player Fed would root for.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Federer and Felix. What’s with the friendship and mentoring stuff. If I were a guy like Felix I’d stay away from Federer and any practice session. Or if I did I’d play worse on purpose so that Federer didn’t get a full sense of the FAA game. Federer scouts players.

    Federer’s a cool dude until you play him and he says thanks kid, I like your game…laughing all the way to the next round. Why anyone falls for this.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    As to press coverage…listen if Medvedev beat Nadal yesterday the headlines would be what’s wrong with him? The Big Four is Over, an Ailing Nadal. Nadal, does he still have it? Nadal, who had the match in his hand….it wouldn’t be about Medvedev

    Don’t worry about it. Andreescu will get plenty of attention from Canada media and her agent will set up interviews with anyone and everyone. And if she does well again the reporting beat will trail her.

    I don’t worry about this stuff. Only quibble I have bad is Dan Evans presser, which was probably more from absolute exhaustion.

    Bodo has been spot on, I agree with a lot of things he writes. He gets it that tennis is like boxing and you can’t ignore results or character or records. He gets the mentality of the big guys and that they like winning and like setting records. Any and all.

  • Jeff · September 9, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Andrew with a brilliant and underreported observation. Federer practices with players so he can learn their games. Why people fall for this I do not know. Felix should absolutely not practice with him or try subterfuge as Andrew suggested.

    Want evidence? In the first round of Miami this year, Federer struggled past Albot, who he had never played. This is what he said.

    Q. What did you know about him before going into the match? How much did you know about him? What were you expecting from him?
    ROGER FEDERER: I expected a player with a great attitude, which he showed. Aggressive baseliner, moves well. He’s not afraid to come to the net. The problem is I’ve never practiced with him. I’ve never really seen him play live matches.

    I watched some on a video to get an idea. I see where he can cause problems. The difficulty was, like, I didn’t quite know where does he like to go exactly when it really matters the most. That’s just so tricky, when you don’t exactly know what his favorite shot is, is he going to play differently against you because it’s you, because I don’t have a double-handed backhand, maybe I have a different type of forehand on the run than others, I don’t know. He plays it differently.

    There you have it folks. Roger is just trying to get an edge and I don’t know why people haven’t picked up on it. He is as cunning as they come, from what I understand and that his public persona is one not to be believed. Yet everyone has fallen for it, hook line and sinker. Roger and Rafa are as cutthroat as it comes to tennis; I think Djokovic is lacking a bit in this department, actually, in comparison.

  • Jeff · September 9, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    The only advantage some player has against Federer is that you know exactly how he plays and he doesn’t know your game. That is your only advantage since he has you in every other department. Why these guys willingly give that up to practice with him is beyond me.

    Look at Roger’s record against Stan, he practiced with him all the time. Conversely, he struggled with Murray the first times he faced him. There is a reason why Stan called Roger an asshole, come on people.

  • Hartt · September 9, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    It was not just a practice session that Felix had with Fed. From your point of view it was much worse, FAA went to Switzerland to train with Fed during the 2017 off season. He was just 17, so I don’t know how much Fed would have learned about playing the youngster, who was still developing. FAA was ranked No.162 at the end of the 2017 season, so it was unlikely that Fed would even face him in a tourney for some time.

    I don’t doubt that Fed gains from training or practicing with young players, including understanding their games. But the youngsters get something as well. Felix and his team said they learned a lot by seeing how Fed approaches his training and how hard he works.

  • catherine · September 9, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Andrew – who’s worrying that Bianca won’t get lots of media attention in Canada ? She’ll probably get more than she wants for a while. I don’t worry about that stuff very much myself actually, having my own life to lead.

    Bodo – hmmm – if you ignore results and character and records what do you have left ? Peter seems to have been around most of my lifetime. I wonder if he gets as buddy with players as he used to.

    Has anyone ever seen Serena practising with a younger player ? Just asking.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Jeff, yes. Federer said it right there and then. Federer was being straightforward, he wasn’t lying. I guess players don’t watch Federer press conferences. I guarantee his side of the draw wouldn’t practice with him. My guess is one of Federer’s people texts the guy he wants to practice and they show up. It’s always entering the lions cage.

    If a player has a different look for Federer ok, no harm. Practice away. But a player often wants to impress Federer or worse, hold his own. All that info goes into Federer, one of the great tennis algorithms of all time. His coaches make observations. Maybe there’s videotape of the practice on YouTube

    Some players fine, they have enough self discipline during a practice session. Of they develop new shots, more firepower, a sturdier backhand, whatever. But if you’re an upcoming player who’ll take off through the rankings don’t make this mistake!

    Federer mentoring is worthless. Players won’t imbibe Federer greatness from talking to him. Medvedev isn’t comparing notes anytime soon.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Catherine, Bodo at least trusts his eyes. He gets things wrong and some pieces are off the mark. But he saw Medvedev rising in February. So at least that was a nice call.

    I’ve seen prominent reporters write players like Federer off, only for Federer to then win a few slams as he did in 2017. It wasn’t a terrible call, other than it wasn’t really a good idea to call a career for a player that kept making slam finals or semifinals, and who wasn’t similar to say Berdych, who had a champions game but not a champions brain.

    Similarly I wouldn’t say Svito is destined for semifinal land. Pliskova I’m not so sure – big game but falters. But again, if a player makes it that far they can go further.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Hartt, it’s one thing to see Federer approach his training and another thing to be Federer. Just seen too many players believe that Federer’s training makes them better. I don’t think Tsonga was better for training with Federer! I think Tsonga made Federer better by training with Federer

    Just wouldn’t do it if a top player. If you’re Cilic fine, Cilic won’t surprise Federer nor Federer, Cilic. Not much they haven’t seen. But if you know Federer hasn’t played you, just say no. Wait until you’ve played. It’s when he’s most vulnerable and you have nothing to lose. That’s a combo you want.

  • Andrew Miller · September 9, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Maybe Tsonga too, fine. He knows what he’s getting into and Tsonga may benefit from the training and not worry about the Intel side. Just still you’re just making Federer more formidable.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Federer is not there to give these young players lessons or help, he’s there to make himself better so he can keep winning and protect his ranking.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Yes, Serena was hitting with Dimitrov before 1R at US Open. Only time I ever saw her hit with another player besides her hitting partner.

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