Tuesday, September 6, 2016

US Open Thoughts, part 1

As I sat here, finally watching some US Open tennis (after a grueling week, not to mention a couple of years), I had some thoughts.  I shall share them now.

  • I had Nadal as a dark horse.  Not so much now.  He had been kind of under the radar (for him), especially after recent absences at Roland Garros and Wimby.  Its obvious his dominance is nearing its conclusion, and has been for awhile.  But why?  Is it the change of racquets?  Is there something else for the reason of the absences (which is always being whispered about in tennis circles)?  Has his style of play finally caught up with his body?  Or is he simply being passed by younger, stronger players who are not afraid to challenge him?
  • Krygios.  I agree with McEnroe.  Lots of other things to do, please top wasting court time.  Either get a coach and get serious, or get off the court.  I was never a fan, became less of one after his antics and comments on court to Wawrinka, less after his 'partnership' with Bouchard (and more on court shenanigans), less after he said he didn't even have a coach, and less more now.  Yup, I think I'm out.  
  • Oh Venus.  So nice to see her in the second week.  And so close against Pliskova!  
  • I had also given up on Monfils, much like I feel about Krygios.  Has he seen the light?  Is it too little too late?  Time will tell.  
  • Madison Keys.  It is time to buckle down and learn how to construct points and be patient.  Don't go for winners when you're stretched way out of the court.  Wozniacki was able to withstand the power and out think the young American, who remains such a promising star.  But she needs to learn strategy and how to use her wonderful weapons, or I do not think she will get any further than she is now.
  • Taylor Townsend.  Ok.  We get it.  You don't think you need to actually be in shape to play pro tennis and need to USTA.  Take a good luck around.  Do you see anyone else on the women's tour who looks like Townsend?  No.  And while she is unquestionable talented, talent will go only so far.  There are lots of talented players out there.  Talent combined with hard work and dedication is what gets players to the top.  Tick tock tick tock...time is running out. Body shaming?  I'm not sure it is.  She's supposedly a professional athlete.  And it IS an issue, as anyone who has seen her stand flat footed while her opponents hit past her will tell you.  Yeah she has weapons, but on this level, just about everyone does and that big forehand will come back to her.  Then what?
  • Wozniacki.  I like what I am seeing, even if she took out one of my favorites!  All around player, but able to step it up when she needs to (case in point, her match against Kutzy).  
  • Ana Konjuh!!!  Wow!  Just 19 years old, but plays an all around game, great serve, very willing to come to net, and while nobody would have blamed her for getting rattled serving out the match against Aga, especially after some bizarre feedback incident...she did not blink.  Loved watching her play and she, in my opinion, shows the most promise of all the young players.  Nice seeing Majoli in her camp too.  
Of course, on the women's side, it remains Serena's show.  Can anyone who is left threaten her?  Her next opponent, Halep (my favorite player right now, though she is also so frustrating sometimes!) has a chance, but Serena will look to attack the Romanian's serve.  Halep will not be able to have her usual ups and down against Serena.  Semi opponents would be either Konjuh or Pliskova, and Serena would be heavily favored against either. If the seeds hold, we will see another Kerber/Serena final, and as we know, Kerber can do it.  Though, will we see the same Kerber as we did in Australia?  Much has been reported about how she is mentally and physically tired at this point of the season, compared to Australia where just about everyone is fresher.  If she continues her form, I do not doubt that Wozniacki can and will take out Kerber if they meet in the semis.  Sevastova's run, I believe, will end against the Dane.  

As I write this, Monfils is up against Pouille, and is up a break in the third set.  Nole takes on Tsonga tonight, and Tsonga has been quietly winning.  If Nole has any arm issues and Tsonga is on his game, the Frenchman can certainly oust the #1 seed.  Down in the other half, I think it unlikely that Murray will not come through, though I think the delPo/Stan match will be the most entertaining of the men's quarters (with Nole/Tsonga second).  Most likely we will see Nole/Murray in the final, and I don't necessarily think it is a given for either player.  Delpo, if he keeps booming that FH, could certainly play a spoiler in there though.  So nice to see him playing at a hight level again, especially after so many surgeries and a lot of doubt if he'd be able to come back and compete at a high level at all again. 

No comments: