Jun/19

4

The Best Roland Garros Ever?

This year’s French Open is the best tournament draw in the men’s side ever, asserts former two-time Australian Open kingpin Johan Kriek…..


We have Rafael Nadal, playing ridiculously good again after being injured and iffy physically and we have a Novak Djokovic who is playing superb and who could catch Roger Federer and pass his majors record etc. Then you have Federer who is simply amazing at age 37 to still be a factor for the major titles. Stan Wawrinka just outlasted Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic 5 setter 8-6 in the fifth and they looked fresh after more than 5 hours of murdering the ball….


Amazing how “Stan the Man” comes alive at majors….He is so dangerous but not as consistent as the top 3 guys. Juan Martin Del Potro who never says boo is battling but unfortunately he was beaten too. What a warrior, a gentle giant! 


Then the “newbies” sorta are giving it their all with Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev cruising! Who is going to dethrone these older guys? Will it be Thiem this year? He has steadily improved and took Federer out already this year and won the Palm Springs BNP Paribas event…..

My money was on Tsitsipas but when both players play such high quality tennis like Stan and Stefanos…it is anyone’s match and this was truly a case of “experience” over youth….. but not for long. Stan just outplayed him with amazing “gets” and hitting lines and one errant forehand by Tsitsipas and the match was gone… in a blink. 


Honestly, I wish I was at the French Open this year. The best tournament perhaps the last of the Mohicans to show their best stuff as the planets are aligning…..


Incredible…..

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39 comments

  • catherine · June 4, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Totally agree about the men’s draw. Women’s ? Let’s not go there. And Konta bts Sloane Stephens in SS. Pretty flabby performance from Sloane.

  • Hartt · June 4, 2019 at 10:02 am

    It’s been hard to keep up with all the good men’s matches. Fed vs Stan is on now, and is another high quality match.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 4, 2019 at 11:58 am

    maybe the best grand slam ever, the way it’s evolved. Of course the ladies draw has rode some coattails but has also provided some secondary drama and excitement. And who knows, maybe the ladies final will upstage the mens final. Always possible.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 4, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    btw, the Rafa art work is by Andres Bella.

  • catherine · June 4, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Vondrousova bts Martic SS and will play Konta. I like how Marketa is lefthanded. Can see Konta winning but I hope Maky can put up a better fight than Sloane who looked completely out of it and didn’t sound too bothered in her pc.

  • Hartt · June 4, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I hadn’t seen much of Marketa before, and enjoyed her play in this match. In addition to baseline play she had drop shots, lobs and volleys, so there was some variety.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 4, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Wish I could offer anything to say about vondrouskova, maybe Dan can?

  • Jeff · June 5, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Anyone else impressed by Adrian Andreev, the Bulgarian teenager known as “Baby Dimitrov?” He has been impressive in the junior draw in his first two matches and faces the American Toby Kodat next, which should be another easy win.

    It is highly probable that Andreev surpasses the disappointing Dimitrov as the best Bulgarian tennis player ever. Dmitrov has only made it past the 4th round once in his career at the French, Wimbledon and US Open combined; tat’s a heinous record. Compare it to a guy like Nishikori who has reached the QF in the last 4 Slams.

  • catherine · June 5, 2019 at 1:52 am

    I’m sure the Czechs are hoping Marketa will join the Navratilova, Kvitova, Safarova lefthanders’ roll of honour. Young Czech women certainly have a lot to live up to.

    Link to chat with Sabatini who’s in Paris to pick up her Chatrier award. She’s also admitted elsewhere that she has mixed feelings looking back on her career and doesn’t spend much time around the game now – being busy with charity works etc. Interesting comment on social media and living in the spotlight. Very nice person, Gabriela.

    https://www.wtatennis.com/news/if-serena-convinced-herself-she-can-win-again-chatrier-award-winner-sabatini-state-wta-tour

  • Hartt · June 5, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Catherine, thanks for the link.

    Jeff, I will keep an eye out for young Andreev, but hope that he doesn’t get saddled with a “Baby Dimitrov” tag. Poor Grigor is still having to cope with the fallout of being called “Baby Federer”

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 5, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Jeff, All I know about Andreev is that he’s not yet made an impact in his few ATP appearances and he’s very different than Dimitrov in his attitude off court, while Dimitrov is considered by all to be very nice, young Andreev was described by one tennis insider to me as, “he already thinks he’s Federer.” This could actually be a good sign for Andreev’s future. To be the best you have to be ruthless and cutthroat, especially if you have designs to be the best player in the ATP.

  • catherine · June 6, 2019 at 7:26 am

    For heaven’s sake – Anisimova bts Halep 6-2 6-4. I don’t know know if Simona had any problems but if not this is an unacceptable result. Anisimova is ranked 51 and although she’s a promising player I don’t consider her game extraordinary. Kvitova wiped the court with her at the AO. She’s a basic baseliner. Has a miracle happened ? I didn’t see the match but followed the live report and that looked like a rollover. If it was a horse race there’d be a stewards’ inquiry.

    I’m getting fed up with the WTA. Last night Simona was being honoured as the ITF’s top player – and now look. Does anyone care ? Maybe not.

  • catherine · June 6, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Order is restored. Barty bts Keys in SS. I hope Ash wins the whole thing.

  • catherine · June 6, 2019 at 7:39 am

    OK – everyone’s praising Anisimova’s ‘clean baseline game’ but shouldn’t Simona have been ready for that ? Shouldn’t she have had a strategy ? And haven’t we got enough baseliners ? Or am I living in a dream world ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Anisimova is a superstar in waiting, we have known about her for years and it’s just a matter of time, she could pull off this title at age 17 like Sanchez Vicario and Seles did as teenagers. Halep is not improving much and Anisimova is skyrocketing in Paris.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Anisimova is a giant and she makes Halep look like a midget. Physically it’s a mismatch. I have heard top pros like Daniel Vacek talking about Anisimova since she was 12. This girl is desinted for greatness and we are seeing it come to fruition now.

  • catherine · June 6, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Scoop – I’d hold back on the hyperbole. I’ve seen Anisimova so she’s not unknown to me. But she’s got one style of play and if you like it then fine. Though I’d feel pretty depressed if I thought none of the current top women can beat her. Maybe it’ll work that way, maybe not.

    One unfortunate sideffect of Anisomova winning things of course is that young girls will all start playing like her and variety will disappear from the game once more.

    Simona’s not developing at all. She’s almost 10 years older than Anisimova and showed no signs of greater experience or the ability to dig down when in trouble – and this is clay, her favourite surface. Can’t see another GS in her future.

    RG this year has terrible for women, however the WTA tries to cover it up. Absent or underperforming older players and a bunch of teenagers. Nothing in between. Injuries everywhere.

    What’s happened to poor Naomi ? Obviously no longer destined for greatness.

  • Hartt · June 6, 2019 at 10:56 am

    I saw most of that match, with a few breaks to watch Barty. Simona looked very flat. I was impressed with Amanda’s poise, she was not overwhelmed by the big occasion. Although she is a baseliner, she did use some variety in the match. And because she is just 17, she has plenty of time to develop other aspects of her game. I just hope that she thinks that is important.

    Ash is fun to watch – she does have lots of variety. And she is so down to earth and charming in interviews.

  • catherine · June 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Hartt- I think I just feel irritated that Simona played so badly – from the bits I saw later she just seemed clueless about how to bring the game to Amanda. A few years ago she showed glimpses of trying different things but that disappeared – Cahill’s influence ? Anyway it’s too late now.

    I’d love Ash to win but she’s not a natural clay court player. Grass and hard are her best chances.

  • Hartt · June 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

    It’s true that Ash is not a natural clay court player, but she has been improving throughout this tournament. Given the other players still in the tourney, I think she has a real shot at the title.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Osaka has a void now without Sasha. The new guy has no exp regarding majors.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Barty should win it, Laver said she can.

  • Hartt · June 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Laver may be just a tiny bit biased in favour of Barty. 🙂
    But why not, I hope she does.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 6, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Barty as an Aussie and a net attacker with nice volleys and slice could be the reasons why Laver likes her chances, just a wild guess 🙂

  • catherine · June 7, 2019 at 1:28 am

    Ash is a Queenslander too don’t forget.

    Big complaint from WTA about men’s matches on Chatrier and women bumped off but I can see the point – too many tickets already sold for the big court. The women players don’t seem to mind which just shows you how irrelevant the WTA can be sometimes.

    Barty seems to the popular favourite but I’m not sure. I’m not a fan of Amanda’s but I expect her to win. Same with Konta.
    Though I suspect the real winner will be the rain.

  • Jeff · June 7, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Well Andreev was a disgrace, retiring when he was one game way from losing against Kodak. I hate when players do that. And he was cussing in Bulgarian and generally making a scene.

    Yes, Catherine, it seems like you are one of the sensible women out there. Both men’s semis sold out so the women had to be put on the smaller courts – particularly with these players with all due respect to Barty and Konta. All the Feminazis were in an uproar over the schedule like Mauresmo but Forget couldn’t really come up with a better schedule.

    The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about is that the men’s tickets sell so much better than women’s tickets, particularly when a Serena is out. Check the secondary market for the women’s final and they are dirt cheap. I found a seat for 75 euros plus fees. The Nadal-Federer match is at least a 1,000, in comparison.

  • catherine · June 7, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Jeff – Nadal/Federer would sell out if they were playing on the moon. Same with any combination of top 3 men or any Frenchman in the match (not likely). In general men’s matches outsell women although some men are not so popular. That’s why it’s so important for women to have a really strong draw at all big tournaments. Anything less – empty stands. The WTA would rather self-immolate than admit this.

    Best thing would be RG to have a roof, or two. In that sense it’s the worst GS now.

  • catherine · June 7, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Topsy-turvey match with Anasimova and Barty comes through in 3. Beaut 🙂

    Also Vondrousova makes it in SS. Didn’t see that much of either match but I’d be interested in any comments.

  • catherine · June 7, 2019 at 7:40 am

    If only Simona had half the mental toughness that Ashleigh showed. Konta choked. Marketa is the first Czech woman in the final for I don’t know how many years and Barty the first Oz since 2010. Cahill sends a congratulary tweet.

    Awful conditions for players today. Winners should get a medal: ‘I survived 7/6/2019 @ RG’

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Barty looks fantastic, can’t see how she doesn’t win this. If Vondrousova wins it’s gotta be the biggest shocker in a century. Rafa just manhandled Federer again, another Rafa masterpiece. Federer is the better player, so it appears, but Rafa is the far better fighter. Rafa emotional adrenaline at key moments was a difference maker. Roger plays too cool and aloof and does not engage and interact with his crowd which could have been better utilized. If Federer could get down and dirty and brawl with Rafa and show more emotion and desire, he could have done better. or won. But it was the same old flat Roger, relying on his genius and shotmaking to down the raging bull. It never works on clay.

  • Hartt · June 7, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Sixteen-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez is another up-and-coming Canadian player. She will play in the RG girls’ final, after losing in the SFs there last year.

    “ROLAND GARROS: (1) Leylah Annie Fernandez, 16, of Montreal overpowers Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, 17, (COL) 6-2, 6-4 to reach the junior girls final. This is second 2019 junior Grand Slam final for LAF after the Aussie Open in January. Final is vs (8) Emma Navarro, 18, of USA.” (Tom Tebbutt twitter)

  • Jeff · June 7, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I too can’t imagine Barty not winning and will be rooting for her tomorrow.

    This is terrific for Australia after the boorish behavior of Kyrgios and Tomic and the cricket scandal for some positive news Down Under.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Barty looks like a lock but who knows, Vondrousova may have other ideas. Wonder what the head to head is? Barty has far more experience. But so too did Federer vs Delpo at US Open 2009. And Sampras vs Hewitt at US Open final. Experience they proved could be very overrated.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Fernandez, who lost the AO final is Ecuadorian/Canadian. Canada strikes again with their player development. Maybe the USTA should double Louis B’s salary and bring him down to Orlando.

  • Hartt · June 7, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Scoop, no you cannot have Louis Borfiga!

    As I understand it, Fernandez is not part of the Tennis Canada development program, although they have given her some financial assistance from another fund.

    She is so tiny – I can’t get over how she can produce powerful shots from that small frame. But she has tennis “smarts,” has some variety, and is a tough competitor.

  • Hartt · June 7, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Barty and Vondrousova have played twice, once in 2017 and once last year. Barty won both matches.

  • Hartt · June 7, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Leylah Annie Fernandez was presented with a $2000 award last February, an award that Andreescu won in 2016. Not a lot of $, but great recognition.

    They mention she played on the junior Fed Cup team, but since then she was on the regular Fed Cup team – quite a thing for a 16-year-old.

    From the Tennis Canada site, Feb. 5)
    “We are delighted to present the Rene Simpson-Collins Excellence Award to Leylah,” said Hatem McDadi, senior vice-president of tennis development at Tennis Canada. “Leylah has demonstrated many of the values that embodied Rene. Her work ethic, courage, patriotism and humble approach is admirable. She achieved impressive breakthroughs on the junior and professional circuits in the past twelve months. She also represented Canada at the Junior Fed Cup with so much passion and pride. She is very deserving of this award and has a very bright future ahead of her. We would like to congratulate Leylah and her family for all she has accomplished. We know Rene would be very proud.”

  • catherine · June 7, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Vondrousova has improved quite a bit since last year but going into this match Barty has to be favourite – she’s strong so I imagine will not be tired after today – and Marketa may be nervous. This is the most important match of her life (so far).

  • Hartt · June 8, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Leylah Annie Fernandez did win the girls’ title, defeating American Emma Navarro in the final. She is the first Canadian to win an RG juniors, FAA did get to the final a few years ago, but lost in a tight match.

    Leylah is a delight – she was interviewed by TSN’s Mark Masters after her win. She said her father is a good coach for her, he understands her well and knows when to push and when to take a break. She kissed the strings of her racquet after today’s match and that was her dad’s idea, to have a way of showing her pleasure, like Novak and Rafa do.

    Asked how she will celebrate she said she and her father will go to their hotel to watch movies and eat chocolate ice cream. The life of a 16-year-old!

    As Scoop mentioned, her father is from Ecuador, but her mother is from the Philippines. She speaks Spanish, French and English.

    Apparently she will not play the Wimby juniors, but some small pro events in Canada at that time. Her goals are to do well at the Rogers Cup and to make the top 200 this season.

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