Thiem Wins Second ATP Title in Umag

Hello, folks. First of all a very happy 90th birthday to a long time reader of mine Dolores! You are setting the bar high for the rest of us! Congrats! And another congrats is in order for Thiem who won his second career ATP title today in Umag when he defeated Sousa 6-4, 6-1 in a very confident performance. This comes after his first ATP title in Nice just before the French Open. It is also his second ATP Tour 250 level title and second title on clay.

He didn’t have a great grass court season, winning only two matches in four tournaments, but he seems to be heading back up in the rankings now that he is back on his beloved clay. With this title, he climbs to #24 in the rankings and #22 in the race. Not bad at all for a 21-year old these days. I think this title is huge for him, especially with how easily he won the final. In the final of Nice, he went to a tie-break in the decider, although granted Mayer is better than Sousa.

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Who does this hairstyle remind you of as a youngster? 

I didn’t watch the match, but from what I read it sounded like Thiem was a lot more confident and decisive, especially in the second set. His lack of decisiveness was something that bothered me about his game, but it looks like he is maturing and gaining in confidence. That is great to see. He also breadsticked Monfils in the decider in the semis. With this title it appears he has now mastered the ATP 250 level. At least on clay. The next step would be to win a hard court title or an ATP 500 on clay.

But it is great to see him backing up his first title so quickly with a second one and after a slow start to the year he is making quick progress again. I don’t think it’s a big deal that he is getting his best results on one surface either. He has already had great results on hard court too and will develop as a player on other surfaces than clay as he matures. I don’t even think he is a bad grass court player. He just needs more tennis on it.

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The legend graced Umag with his presence

In the long run, he will probably be more like Stan though as far as favoring slower surfaces go. He has a very similar game to Stan with a great one-handed backhand, heavy groundstrokes, a big serve, and very competent volleys. As far as slams go he will favor Melbourne and Paris like Stan as well. He needs time to set up those big groundstrokes like Stan. He will be devastating off the ground when he ages some more and gets even stronger.

He already hits it with a ton of power off the ground. But what I love about his game is that he also has the variation and touch. It’s hard to say at this point just how far he can go in the game, but I think he has loads of potential and I will keep following his progress eagerly. His progress has been fast and steady, bar a few hiccups and I will also be keeping a close eye on him during the hard court season. He already made the fourth round of the US Open last year.

  • Elsewhere this Week

There were, of course, two other events being played this week in Bogota and Bastad. Bastad was on clay as well and there Paire won his first title. Another talented French player but mentally fragile as the French are. Then in Bogota which was a hard court event another youngster Tomic(22) won his third ATP title 10 days after being arrested for partying too loudly in Miami. And you can add Tomic to the list of talented but mentally fragile.

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Third ATP title for Tomic!

Alexander Zverev(18) made the semis in Bastad as well so it’s been another good week for the youngsters.

  • Dimitrov Turns Over New Page

Now to someone who is a bit older but still relatively young at age 24. Dimitrov has already been top 10 but his results have been poor of late and he hasn’t lived up to the big hype surrounding him. As far as I was concerned he needed to ditch both his coach Rasheed and his girlfriend Sharapova, which is exactly what he did. Coincidence? I don’t think so. He has also been seen training with Lendl which can only be a good thing.

If he does get Lendl on board that would be huge for him and exactly what he needs at this stage of his career. He needs someone strict to kick his ass into gear and teach him a winning mentality. For all his talent, he is mentally lazy and weak. His mind is not in the game, but it may be now after deciding to get rid of Sharapova and training with Lendl. I’m not saying he is the one who left Sharapova but I think it is likely and it is a good thing either way.

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It’s over

Here is what he said:

“Now I’m concentrated entirely on the game and I’m sure the results will soon be seen… This is the summer of the new beginning for me.”

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/24/tennis-sharapova-dimitrov-idUKL3N1043UB20150724

It is yet to be seen if Dimitrov will live by these words and changes his attitude to tennis but if he does then he could be a threat to anyone probably. Maybe he lacks a really big shot but his serve and forehand are pretty big and he is talented. I’m sure with a coach like Lendl he can possibly contend for slams. With Stan, Federer, Murray, Nadal, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, and the new group of youngsters coming up there are many good players, but the Djoker remains in a league of his own.

The is in your court.

Federer Fanatics vs Tennis Fanatics

  • What is a Federer Fanatic?

A Federer fanatic(or Fedfanatic) is someone who specializes in following the career of one specific player(Roger Federer) to the exclusion of everyone else. They prefer his playing style and personality above anyone else’s. They don’t care much for whether other players are also great or whether they are stronger in certain areas than Federer. For all they care Federer is the greatest in all areas and any flaw he might have could be explained away and justified somehow.

Federer is the embodiment of perfection. He truly is love and life. Nothing comes close. The head-to-head problem with Nadal is purely due to a matchup issue and, therefore, can’t be used against him in the GOAT debate. The 2004-2007 era that Federer dominated was as strong as any era and Federer only started losing to Nadal and Djokovic after that because he was in terminal decline. It is wrong to want Federer to lose. That means you have poor judgment.

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Anyone with a decent set of moral values and logic will always want Federer to win. He is the ultimate in tennis and when he retires I will lose interest in tennis because anything else will be an anti-climax. In short, Federer is tennis and when he retires tennis will be dead and I will be devastated. I just hope and pray Federer wins one more slam before he retires(preferably a record 8th Wimby) so that he can go out on a high and I can have my fairy tale ending in which case his retirement will be easier for me.

It’s all about me.

  • What is a Tennis Fanatic?

A tennis fanatic loves tennis first and foremost. He knows no player is bigger than the sport, no matter how great they may be. Tennis players are transient while tennis remains. This person is adaptable as far as being a tennis fan goes. He can appreciate different styles and personalities in tennis. He may like some more than others, but even if he doesn’t like some he can still appreciate their strengths. He is not beyond having favorites. After all, as long as we are human we have our likes and dislikes.

That said, he doesn’t get hung up on any given player. He knows players are transient and that there will always be someone whose game he can enjoy and who he can identify with. Don’t confuse a tennis fanatic with  a ‘glory hunter’. That infamous term is reserved for fans who always want more no matter how good it gets. They want perfection, even though all logic points to the fact that there is no such thing in the manifest world. A tennis fanatic enjoys both the ups and the downs.

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They know it’s part of the sport and they don’t expect perfection. They live in the moment and appreciate everything. They don’t get stuck in the past or get attached to a future outcome. They are adaptable and therefore if they don’t like the present moment they change it. They are more concerned about a player’s tennis and on-court personality than with the player’s private life away from tennis. This is something called celebrity worship and a tennis fanatic wants nothing to do with it.

It’s all about tennis.

  • Which Are You?

Remember there is no judgment here. You are what you are. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between a Fedfanatic and a tennis fanatic in this post and I wanted to find out what kind of people read my blog.

Which kind of fan are you?

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The is in your court.

More Final Thoughts On the 2015 Wimbledon Championships

Hi, folks. I have a lot on my plate all of a sudden, but I’m not finished with Wimbledon 2015. There is more to be said. A lot of the stuff gets covered in comments and I enjoy the conversation as always with you guys. But we now have a long stretch before us before the next Masters in Montreal and I’d like to keep the conversation going. I really wish my blog would always be as busy as during the slams but, unfortunately, that’s not possible. Hopefully, some people will at least stay interested in the discussion.

  • Where Does Federer Go From Here?

In my last post, I ran out of time before I could talk about what is ahead for Federer. I think he played extremely well against Murray which should give Fedfans lots of hope. I’m not saying he will win another slam, but as the world #2 surely he still has a chance. Who else than Djokovic can currently win slams? Probably Federer, Murray, and Stan. Federer just destroyed Murray, but that was on grass. Murray will probably have a much better shot on any other surface.

We can’t forget what happened at the French Open either where Stan in turn destroyed Federer. The problem for Federer is his age and physical decline. Stan and Murray don’t suffer from that problem. They will probably both outlast Federer in a long best-of-five set match. The other problem for Federer is consistency. His form can drop in which case he can play a long five set match that tires him for the remaining rounds, or worse yet he could lose. For instance against Seppi at the Australian Open.

That said, I still wouldn’t count him out for the US Open. I think he is playing better than last year, but he needs to avoid a match like the one against Monfils last year. In slams these days he should try not to go more than four sets before the final. Otherwise, it takes too much energy. And for that to happen he must be able to shorten points. Wimbledon is still the fastest slam surface and provides him with the most assistance to shorten points and dominate opponents.

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Can Fedberg still pull it off?

At the US Open, players can already extend the rallies for longer and get into matches. For this reason, I see him more as a dark horse there. He needs a good draw and to get through early rounds easily. Last year he had what you could call a good draw but then ran into a red-hot Cilic. I don’t think he will run into a red-hot Cilic this year, but Cilic is a guy who could, for instance, give him a long match and drain his energy. Many others could do it too like Berdych, Tsonga, Monfils, Nishikori, Raonic, Simon, Nadal, Kyrgios, etc.

Federer is ranked #2 in the world, but that’s not really the case in slams. Wimbledon is the only slam where he was the second best player in the world in the last couple of years. The last time Federer made a slam final outside of Wimbledon was in 2011 at Roland Garros. The last time he was in the US Open final was in 2009. Those stats tell a story of their own. He has been very consistent outside of the slams lately which has given him the #2 ranking, but it is slightly misleading.

At least it is at the slams. In the last five years, aside from Djokovic and Nadal, both Murray and Stan have won more slams than him. I’m not counting Federer out at the US Open this year, but he will almost definitely get a tougher draw than last year. For me, his best chance at #18 is still at Wimbledon and Djokovic seems to have the title booked there for the next few years. He already beat Federer more routinely this year as opposed to last year, and next time it will probably be straight sets.

  • Why All the Hype?

I talked about this in the comments too, but why all the hype every time someone wins a slam? Now people all of a sudden have Djokovic chasing down Federer and winning 20 slams. Wtf?! Did they already forget what happened at the French Open when they hyped him to complete the career slam? What about the people who were talking about the calendar slam? Since when does that become likely after someone won the first slam of the year? The hype just gets old.

There is no guarantee Djokovic will even win the US Open. I would say he is the favorite, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. Can’t people just appreciate what he did for what it is? He is now tied with Mcenroe and Becker for the third most Wimbledon titles in the open era. Pre-2011 who would have dreamed that Djokovic would win three Wimbledon titles? He is now a grass court legend of the game. This was also his ninth grand slam title which puts him ahead of legends like Lendl and Connors.

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It’s clear who has the moves here…

At the beginning of the year he won a record fifth Australian Open to become the slow hard court GOAT. And to back that honor up he won a third Indian Wells/Miami double – the first man to ever do so.What he has already achieved in the sport is extraordinary. Why are people so obsessed with the future? Probably he will never catch up with Federer. But it’s not out of the question that he could catch Nadal. He has five slams to go and probably bout 2-3 more years to rack up slams.

I like his chances at the US Open, but failing there wouldn’t be the worst thing because that will make him desperate to win a sixth Australian Open. And that is the one place where is he almost guaranteed a slam. But the big one remains the French Open for him to complete the career slam. Once he wins that it puts him in another bracket. Then he’d be in the conversation with Nadal and Borg. There is no doubt he missed some chances from 2012-2013 where he won only one slam per year.

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The biggest setback was the 2013 French Open semi-final with Nadal. Had he won that he would 99% sure have won the US Open that year too. He even lost at the Australian Open the next year. That French Open loss was a big setback but I think it made him stronger. I like his attitude. In his final Wimbledon presser he said everything happens for a reason when asked about the French Open this year. And look how well he has bounced back from that. Three titles in his last five slams and he is completely dominating again like in 2011.

Who knows where he can take it from here. I am just grateful to be a part of it because I actually really like his game and character. I think he is in a good place and very confident but we will see where he takes it from here. It’s not always neccessary to hype players to appreciate them. It is good enough to appreciate what they are busy with. I guess we are in an era where we have been spoiled. After Djokovic who can actually win 10+ slams? We better appreciate it while it happens.

Where does Federer go from here?

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The is in your court.