Tennis 2019: Tennis without Andy Murray


I’ll be glad when the tournament is over. I’ve shifted my sleep schedule to watch the matches, and it’s killing me. I’m too old for this shit. They need to move that tournament to a terrestrial time zone.


So much for the changing of the guard. It’s a big four final again. Djokovic mauled Pouille. He only lost 4 games and made only 5 unforced errors.

Now the storyline is interesting. If Nadal wins he’s at 18 and may very well catch Federer. If Djokovic wins he’s at 15 and may very well catch Nadal. I think Djokovic has an outside shot at catching Fed although winning another 6 majors at his age would be difficult.


Federer won his last one at the Australian last year (assuming that’s the last one he ever wins) at Age 36. Djokovic is only 31, and still very fit. Anything could happen, but barring injuries and stuff, I would think he’d be able to keep winning slams until age 36 as well.


It’s possible, but winning majors at 35, 36, has been pretty rare.

Fed seems to have never lost interest in playing. Djokovic clearly became distracted after he won the French and went into a decline. Some of it was that troublesome elbow, but some of was a mental funk. I’m not convinced Djokovic can be focused on winning at 35 or 36.

Also, at some point it seems the younger players really would stand up and start winning some of these majors. Maybe Tsitsipas will win one soon.


Yeah, the only real change is that the big 4 are probably now the big 2. Murray is finished. Roger still has some kind of outside shot — on grass and hard courts anyway — but the betting odds will be against him, and I think retirement looms for him.

This will open up things so that some non-big-4 players have a better chance than they’ve had up to now. There are 4 players in the semis after all, and if you can get there, you’ve got a real chance.

I think the final here will be good. I like Djokovic to win over Nadal if only for the surface and for Djokovic’s confidence at this venue. If it were Roland Garros, though, my money would be on Nadal.

I’m also skeptical Djokovic can catch Roger. It’s absolutely possible, but I think he blew his chance with his 2-year slump and elbow trouble, when he let Roger and Nadal each gain 3 more majors.


Great match between Osaka and Kvitova today. I’m still watching it, I’m on the third set now, and Osaka just went up 2-1 with a break. Though I already found out through the news that Osaka won.

They were displaying multiple times in the game this amazing stat that Osaka winning this would be the first time in the Women’s game that someone has won back to back Majors since 2001 when Jennifer Capriati won the Australian and French Opens. That’s crazy.


I must have misunderstood this, since looking at the Grand Slam winners, plenty of people have won back to back Slams since then. I wonder what the heck they were talking about?


The achievement was winning two majors in a row as her first major wins. To have win number one and two be consecutive majors.


Yeah, that checks out. That is a very cherry specific cherry picked criteria. :)

I’m really pulling for Rafa tomorrow. Come on Rafa, you can do this a few more times before your knees give out. Make every Grand Slam final count.


Djokovic will make him work for those points. One advantage Djokovic has is that Rafa’s heavy topspin cross-court forehand to Djokovic’s backhand doesn’t bother Djokovic the way it can bother Federer. Djokovic will just step up and hit it on the rise. It will come back faster to Nadal than Nadal hit it.


I wonder how sophisticated the coaching staff is these days? Do they analyze each opponent’s matches and tell their player, look at this, they can’t handle this type of shot very well. If you pressure them this way, they’re more liable to make errors, that type of thing? Or do they just concentrate on their own players’ strengths and keep practicing and trying to improve, not worrying about the opponent as much?


I think between the two of them it’s close, but at the top of their form and on a hard court, Djokovic has the edge; while Nadal has it on clay. It really will depend on who brings the A game and whose body holds up better.


When Djokovic was at the top of his game he was beating Nadal routinely on everything but clay. He’s won 12 out of the last 15 matches they have played, dating back to 2013.

In terms of bodies holding up, both have had an easy run-up to the finals. I doubt either one is playing hurt right now.

Nadal has looked very good this tournament. Of course Djokovic was very dominant his last match. I can’t imagine playing three sets and only hitting 5 unforced errors. I can do that in a single deuce game!


Looking into it further, while the overall head-to-head is close (27-25, in favor of Djokovic), it’s worth noting that Nadal dominated Djokovic the first few years Novak was on tour. Since 2011—when Novak won his second slam— Djokovic leads 20-9 with all but two of Nadal’s wins coming on clay. I’m rooting for Nadal since I was never Djokovic fan, but it’s hard not to look at Djokovic as the clear favorite.

I’m excited to be living in the Naomi Osaka era. She has to be the most purely likeable athlete around.


Oh yeah, I also count Djokovic as the clear favorite. I’d say it’s 75-25 odds in favor of Djokovic. I just hope Nadal has a good game plan and is on his best game, and Djokovic isn’t in super-efficient robot destroyer mode.


Djokovic has indeed been in robot destroyer mode with hardly any errors. This is a slaughter. Definitely not worth waking up at 3:20 in the morning for.

Two games away from his 7th Australian Open now.


My God what a thumping.


I’ve never seen anyone make Rafa look like that. Djokovic only lost one point on serve in the first set. He only had 9 unforced errors in the entire match, and that’s against Nadal who gets everything back!


Yeah, it was something. I think Rafa was furious. These are two guys who are ordinarily quite nice to each other, and full of praise for each other; but Rafa was quite stoic and remote after the end and throughout the ceremony. I don’t blame him at all, I just mean to say that the whole feel of it was so different than the ending of other matches between these two.


I’m glad I didn’t stay up late or get up early for this. I just saw the last set on replay and that was instructive enough about how the match went, though Nadal did get a break point. This means Djokovic is a French Open away from his second non-calendar-year grand slam. I’d still take Federer over a career and someone like peak Sampras or peak Wawrinka over one match, but at most any point between those two extremes Djokovic might well be the best there ever was. Considering his obvious greatness, I feel bad that I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually wanted to see him win a match.