~ T:E:N:N:I:S - Zverev reaches World Tour Finals glory, Djokovic finishes as no1 ~

BigBone

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Jun 13, 2012
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This was a bit of embarrassment from Zverev. Close competitive match till 4-all, multiple break opportunities, but Djokovic hanged in tight, survived trouble and the writing was on the wall: Zverev won just one of the next 8 games. This is not to say he's not good enough (perhaps Novak IS too clinical right now). Sacha IS GOOD ENOUGH to make these greats work hard for their money and eventually pick up slams, it's just that championship mentality is what's missing. Confidence, self-belief, one shot, one point, one game at a time - he's much more skilled to be blown away by Novak in 75 minutes.
 

BigBone

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The Davis Cup vs. ATP Cup rivalry is officially ON!

With the restructuring of Davis Cup from a mass series into an elitist event, top players feel their commitment under the flag becomes a little less demanding and conflicting with the ATP schedule. I for one, attending several Davis Cup ties and enjoying every moment of it, dislike the new structure where a large portion of the century-old Cup taking place at a single, multi-national event (in Madrid in 2019-20). Davis Cup is legendary, providing exceptional moments over the years, even though it had more national interest depending on ties rather than truly international. So I guess some change was necessary.

And now the ATP, for some reason, came up with his own rival event called ATP Cup. It's a tournament featuring 24 nations broken down into 6 groups, several million dollars and 750 ranking points offered for the winners. It's taking place in 3 Australian cities from 2020, right before the Aussie Open, which was exactly my idea for the fatigued WTF, which should be moved from November. But rather easing off players' calendar demand (not that the ATP Cup is mandatory, but too much money and points being offered to turn down), ATP just added more. This means the ATP WTF & Davis Cup at the end of the year and the ATP Cup & the AUS Open right at the start next season. It's just too crowded IMO, and unlikely all will be attended by all the players.

Djokovic has mixed feelings too. ATP statement has him saying a lot of positives: “I like that it’s owned by ATP, by the players, and that we have ranking points, and it’s going to be the best way to kick start the season. Australia is a country that has a Grand Slam, that nurtures tennis tradition. More than 90 per cent of the time we’re playing as individuals and we don’t have too many team events. This is going to bring together a lot of nations and for me personally it will be a very nice and proud moment to represent my country.”

Yet he also has major concerns: “We have to deal with it right now. In the next two years we’ll have both events (DC & ATPC) happening in a very similar format if not the same, six weeks apart. I honestly don’t think it’s good for the sport. [It creates] more job opportunities for players, yes. But it’s not sustainable. We will have two average events. Creating one event is an ideal outcome for everyone. From what I’ve heard from conversations with people from different sides in this sport, they all want to have one event, because it’s over-saturated. We have the longest season in all sports. We’re just adding events. We have to focus on quality rather than quantity.”

Damn right! Just as the ATP is having a(n ill fated) go at shortening matches and wear on players body at the Next Gen Finals (not a fan), they keep adding more events which has the exact opposite effect. Sounds like they're poaching players from the ITF that hosts Davis Cup for their Cup, and it's a good thing fresh players will attend it, but instead of that, either the Davis Cup or the World Tour Finals should be getting that early spot in the calendar.
 

BigBone

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This was a bit of embarrassment from Zverev. Close competitive match till 4-all, multiple break opportunities, but Djokovic hanged in tight, survived trouble and the writing was on the wall: Zverev won just one of the next 8 games. This is not to say he's not good enough (perhaps Novak IS too clinical right now). Sacha IS GOOD ENOUGH to make these greats work hard for their money and eventually pick up slams, it's just that championship mentality is what's missing. Confidence, self-belief, one shot, one point, one game at a time - he's much more skilled to be blown away by Novak in 75 minutes.
All right then, my bad. :lol:

Sacha just beat Federer in 2, into his first ATP WTF Final. Can Anderson do another upset for an unlikely Sunday event? Djokovic waiting on the other side of the net...
 

Hoshi

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Aug 21, 2012
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Djokovic vs Cilic was high level last night. Think Nole won every point he made a first serve in the 1st set. That was incredible. I mentioned a while back his 1st serve is improved. Cilic was close but Nole held on and the 2nd was a formality.. Should take the title going on form.

Zverev taking Fed out was impressive despite Feds level. The crowd were embarrassing.

Feds year has been a strange one. He got a closed roof for the final against Cilic and knew about the change of conditions going in and was practising for an indoor match unlike his opponent which was horrible. Still a big title and then a good run at Indian Wells. Since losing against JMDP he has been all over the show with form.
Julien Bennetau the French player recently revealed his opinions on Roger. Scheduling, surfaces changed for him specifically and conflicts of interest
https://tennis.life/2018/11/12/federer-french-radio-show-criticism/

I'm not sure what to make of Zverev. Hes got some impressive achievements at the masters and now at the year end competition but if I'm being honest dispite a competent game his ceiling may not be that high. His serve is good but not great and that will hold him back. His forecourt game is abysmal and his forehand wing is a weakness at elite level. This said he has an elite two hander and if given time for his big strokes he is dangerous. People assume he will rule the sport. I think thats crazy but I do expect success on clay and slower hardcourts from him
 
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steviebruno

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Jun 5, 2013
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I'm not sure what to make of Zverev. Hes got some impressive achievements at the masters and now at the year end competition but if I'm being honest dispite a competent game his ceiling may not be that high. His serve is good but not great and that will hold him back. His forecourt game is abysmal and his forehand wing is a weakness at elite level. This said he has an elite two hander and if given time for his big strokes he is dangerous. People assume he will rule the sport. I think thats crazy but I do expect success on clay and slower hardcourts from him
Best of three vs. Best of five.

That simple.
 

BigBone

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I'm not sure what to make of Zverev. Hes got some impressive achievements at the masters and now at the year end competition but if I'm being honest dispite a competent game his ceiling may not be that high. His serve is good but not great and that will hold him back. His forecourt game is abysmal and his forehand wing is a weakness at elite level. This said he has an elite two hander and if given time for his big strokes he is dangerous. People assume he will rule the sport. I think thats crazy but I do expect success on clay and slower hardcourts from him
It may take another year or three, but once the big four & Delpo, Wawrinka & Cilic are out, someone else will start winning slams and become number one, and Zverev has shown the best skills & ATP results so far, by far of the nex gen.

Thiem looks just content to be the David Ferrer of the new generation, Kyrgios the new physically/mentally compromised Tsonga. We'll see about Shaporalov, Tsitsipas, Coric, Da Minaur and Rublev, but so far only Khachanov stepped up big time, and we'll see if he can do top5 next year. Zverev is quite consistently there.
 

Hoshi

The Mental Giant
Aug 21, 2012
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Best of three vs. Best of five.
That simple.
No doubt. He is not weaponised enough to get through the early rounds quickly which as we know is the difference in the second week. His forehand needs some major work. Whats his best slam result? Think it was the French where Domi sent him packing in the quarters this year. Good attitude but really, how high is his talent ceiling?

It may take another year or three, but once the big four & Delpo, Wawrinka & Cilic are out, someone else will start winning slams and become number one, and Zverev has shown the best skills & ATP results so far, by far of the nex gen.

Thiem looks just content to be the David Ferrer of the new generation, Kyrgios the new physically/mentally compromised Tsonga. We'll see about Shaporalov, Tsitsipas, Coric, Da Minaur and Rublev, but so far only Khachanov stepped up big time, and we'll see if he can do top5 next year. Zverev is quite consistently there.
Consistent placings on the atp but the slams hold the big points and he is consistently under performing there. Still he has lots of time and I do enjoy his game. Hope he can give a good showing today but he needs to play great.

I think Tsitsipas has been very good this year had a great run in Toronto overplayed a little imo. Coric got injured at a crucial stage as he hit form won a 500 also. De Minaur is exciting to watch. Not much firepower but one of the best movers I have ever seen. Incredible
 

steviebruno

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Jun 5, 2013
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It may take another year or three, but once the big four & Delpo, Wawrinka & Cilic are out, someone else will start winning slams and become number one, and Zverev has shown the best skills & ATP results so far, by far of the nex gen.

Thiem looks just content to be the David Ferrer of the new generation, Kyrgios the new physically/mentally compromised Tsonga. We'll see about Shaporalov, Tsitsipas, Coric, Da Minaur and Rublev, but so far only Khachanov stepped up big time, and we'll see if he can do top5 next year. Zverev is quite consistently there.
I think that several of the guys you mentioned will win slams as we enter into an era of tennis parity, where guys will start winning by default.

Zverev's consistency should be enough to allow him to break through a couple of times, but do I think that he's a great deal more talented than a Tsitsipas or a Sharapolov? No, I do not.
 
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Hoshi

The Mental Giant
Aug 21, 2012
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Novak down a set here to Sasha. Looks a little out of sorts. Not like Zverev is going for winners just errors on Noles side right now. I do think he matches up quite well with Nole. Much better than against Fed or Rafa for instance.
 
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BigBone

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Two shocking service games by Novak and Zverev now a set and break up!

This is going like the Khachanov match so far, super-agressive Zverev just keeps Novak making unforced errors. Great performance by Sacha so far.
 

Hoshi

The Mental Giant
Aug 21, 2012
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Nole just trading deep backhands with Zverev which is not really causing much trouble, needs to use some variety go up the line on the bh and get the point on his forehand or use the slice and expose Zverev in the forecourt. Obviously neither are his bread and butter either.
 

BigBone

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Nole just trading deep backhands with Zverev which is not really causing much trouble, needs to use some variety go up the line on the bh and get the point on his forehand or use the slice and expose Zverev in the forecourt. Obviously neither are his bread and butter either.
Problem is, whenever he goes for the forehand... ends in unforced errors too. Sacha is rock solid and winning the head game brilliantly. Also, Nole who demonstrated some of the best 2nd serves around... winning now zero of them. Great opportunity to attack.
 

BigBone

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And that's that, Zacha is champion! That's quite the motivation for great things to come going into vacation. Well done, great comeback after a demotivating defeat. How many can say he beat Federer and Djokovic at the same tournament?

But... how did Djokovic went from a devastating tennis machine into an unforced-error firing robot without a serve? Pretty shocking. After winning all of his service game all week incl. vs. Zverev... he gets broken 4 times, 3 just this set.. Clearly, not all matches are made equal, there's work to do. However, plenty of points to remain no1 for some time. Will it be Zacha to challenge him?