Hey, folks. I have been very busy again of late but Thiem winning a third title is certainly a cause for a post. And of course, Nadal winning the ATP 500 in Hamburg adds to the intrigue. Thiem won his third ATP 250 title on clay in Gstaad on Sunday, beating Goffin 7-5, 6-2 in the final. This time I was able to watch and I was quite impressed with the rising youngster and very happy to see that my faith in him is paying dividends.
After the disappointing start to he had to the year who would have thought he’d have won three ATP titles by now? He has done very well to turn things around quickly and head in the right direction. He may even be the most promising youngster at this point. He is now up to #21 in the rankings and on the verge of breaking into the top 20, well ahead of Coric and Kyrgios who are back in the 30’s. And of course, this week he is playing in Kitzbuhel where he’ll have a great shot of breaking into the top 20.
He is actually the top seed there, but he may be getting tired by now and could lose any round. It would be awesome if he somehow manages to do the hat-trick, but if he wants to have anything left in the tank for Montreal he needs to lose early probably. There are a lot of points up for grabs in Montreal and Cincy for him where he lost first round in both events last year, and I’d like to see how he measures up on hard courts now.
Or he can just do the hat-trick in his home country, which I’m sure would be very special for him. It’s a win-win situation for him because he is riding a wave of confidence. He is also #15 in the race, but it’s probably still a bit early in his career to make the World Tour Finals. The important thing is that he is making fast progress and a serious prospect for the future and that he has a game that is pleasing to the eye. It’s also nice to see that my faith in him is paying off.
A very exciting prospect!
- Is Nadal Back?
Last week Nadal won the title in Hamburg after defeating Fognini 7-5, 7-5 in the final, getting revenge for losing his last two matches against the Italian. I watched Nadal early in the week against Vesely where he was still looking very shaky, but after that it looked like he found his game as he easily defeated Cuevas and Seppi. The final was close and I saw that the Fog was playing well. I watched the first set and then decided to leave.
I then read on Matt’s article that Fognini served twice at 40-15 after having broken Nadal, once at 5-4 which meant he had two set points. Nadal wouldn’t let him win a set though which sounds very much like the old Nadal who gives nothing away. To me, that is an ominous sign. Of course, now it is the hard courts in the US where he has a pretty good record. But thank God the anti-Nadal is in prime form to keep him in check. You certainly can’t depend on Federer or Murray for that.
As long as Nadal is not allowed to win any of the three big events in the US then I’d be happy. After that is the indoor season where he always struggles. I think eventually we all figured that Nadal will find form again. I mean he has been in a slump longer than I expected acrually. The question is just how much form he can find again. I don’t want him to win another slam, and as long as Djokovic is around that would be hard.
Dull finally won his French Open for the year
Since Federer’s 2013 slump he hasn’t been able to win another slam and I think it is unlikely that Nadal will either. He and Federer always had that parallel in their careers and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that him and Federer both had severe slumps pretty close to each other. I think most likely they are both done winning slams, although I guess you can never say never. I think Nadal can find some consistently decent form again sometime during next year.
But it probably won’t be enough to win another slam. Like Federer in 2013, he has slumped too deeply and too many players now believe they can beat him. He doesn’t have that same aura anymore. Not even on clay. But I think it makes things more interesting going into the hardcourt season with him looking dangerous again. I will be back over the weekend probably with a post about Washington, Kitzbuhel, and the Montreal draw.
See you later!
The is in your court.