Federer and Thiem Still On Course for Halle Final Meeting

Greetings. The final that I hoped for in Halle is still a possibility after Federer defeated Goffin 6-1, 7-6(10) and Thiem received a walkover over his final opponent from Stuttgart Kohlschreiber today.

That final that rained out was played on Monday and Thiem won it 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4 to win his first grass court title, fourth title this year, and seventh title overall. The kid sure is making good progress.

This week he is in the semis of another grass court event where he will play Mayer while Federer will play another youngster Zverev in the top half. Berdych lost in the first round which helped Federer but Zverev can’t be underestimated.

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Nice to see this man back on the grass!

Federer himself was still struggling this week due to lack of match practice but it looks like his level improved against Goffin. That’s the kind of win he needed to help him get back into form. But to be a serious threat at Wimbledon again he probably needs to win the title in Halle.

He hasn’t played much tennis at all this year which doesn’t leave him with room for error. And then there is still the injury concern. I don’t know if he will be much of a factor at Wimbledon this year but he is always a danger on grass.

Let’s see what happens in Halle first. It is nice to see him find some form anyway because if he is on form, that will just make Wimbledon more interesting.

  • Lendl Hooks Up With Murray Again While Mcenroe Joins Raonic Team

Talking of Wimbledon, Murray and Lendl are back together and apparently want to ruin Djokovic’s plans.

That already adds to the plot for Wimbledon. And it made me wonder again why Murray and Lendl broke up to begin with. I read Lendl had some health problems so maybe it was that. You wonder what they could have achieved if they stayed together.

Now that Federer and Edberg failed to put a dent in the Djokovic/Becker team it will be interesting to find out if the Murray/Lendl team can do so. Lendl helped Murray to break his grand slam curse by winning the US Open and Wimbledon.

Murray lost in four grand slam finals before he broke through at the US Open in 2012 and then after he won Wimbledon in 2013 him and Lendl parted ways and Murray has since lost in three more slam finals.

Now the big question is whether Lendl can help him break his slam drought again. One thing I do know is that Murray won’t play against the US Open 2012 and Wimbledon 2013 versions of Djokovic again.

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Can Lendl help Murray to break through again?

Those were poor versions of Djokovic compared to the player he is now. And a lot of that has to do with his coach Becker. I don’t know if Murray and Lendl can stop the Djokovic/Becker juggernaut but it definitely adds excitement to the situation.

At least for the tennis fans who are bored of Djokovic’s domination it does. But for me as a fan of Djokovic, it does too. That’s why I also hope Federer continues to improve. Sure I enjoy seeing Djokovic win everything but it is also interesting to see him challenged.

Becker has already tweeted that he is excited to have his old rival Lendl back in the locker rooms. Having these legends back as coaches definitely makes tennis more interesting in my view.

I see Mcenroe is coaching Raonic now as well who defeated Kyrgios in his first match in Queen’s this week and will now face Tomic in the semis. Raonic is another dangerous grass courter and the fact that Mcenroe joined his team makes the grass court season even more interesting.

In the top half of Queen’s Murray will play against Cilic. A Murray vs Raonic final there would be interesting if only for the reason that their coaches used to be big rivals as well.

  • Can Djokovic Actually Win Five Consecutive Slams?

Finally, I get to Djokovic who is as per custom not playing any competitive events before Wimbledon. He is just playing that Boodles event to get some practice matches under his belt before Wimbledon.

Even with the longer grass court season I think that is a great call. He can really do with the rest and start Wimbledon fresher than the rest of the field. Not that he needs any advantages given how far ahead of the field he already is.

But winning five consecutive slams has never been done in the open era so he will once again have to make history if he is to do that. You figure he can’t just keep on winning and that eventually he must lose a match in a slam.

But then you ask yourself who is going to beat him and it is difficult to find an answer. I happen to think winning the French is a big burden off his shoulders which may make him play even better if that is even possible.

I think he will show up at Wimbledon rested and confident ready to make history again. He really loves playing on grass now and it is his best surface after Plexicushion. It suits his game very well and he’s got the movement and everything under control now.

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Yes, he really did win it!

Last year after scraping past Anderson in the fourth round it was just a devastating display from him from there on. The final against Federer was played at an unbelievable level and the scary thing is there was still room for improvement.

I’m very much looking forward to Wimbledon this year. There are many good grass court players to make things competitive and if Djokovic wins a fourth Wimbledon title he will be within range of the calendar slam which will be very exciting as well.

Wimbledon is still the pinnacle of our sport and it is always a special time of the year for tennis fans. This year will be no exception. But let’s see what happens in Halle and Queen’s first.

It would be crazy if Thiem wins another grass court title!

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Posted in ATP 500, Halle, London-Queen's.

8 Comments

  1. I like comeback of Lendl and his wrestler-style trash talk. There is already feeling in UK that Murray is a favourite for the title. I love press hype, pundits and analysts. My favourite piece of tennis analysis is “15 reasons why Roger beats Novak this afternoon” by Craig O’Shannessy, leading analyst for Wimbledon 2015, Australian Open 2015, ATP World Tour, WTA Tennis and New York Times.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha yes I like it too George. Those 15 reasons piece from O’Shannessy was priceless. No surprise that the British are hyping Murray. Gonna be fun when he fails again!

    [Reply]

  2. In Craig’s 15-points analysis all points are great, but these are immortal:

    7. Roger is returning as good as Novak.

    8. Roger is as good from the baseline as Novak.

    10. Roger’s backhand is a weapon (that is not a misprint – pick yourself up from the floor).

    And, the GOAT of all tennis analytical points:

    11. Roger is better (than Novak) at longer rallies.

    How admirable is to make good living out of tennis knowledge demonstrated in this timeless analytical piece.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    😂 I remember that so well on Twitter. I remember making a tweet about it. Astonishing. I actually told him those points sound fanboyish(which it clearly is) so he replied that he is a fanboy of tennis.

    Then Novak routines Federer in the third and fourth sets 😂 Look, it’s ok if you are a Federer fan but at least admit it when you are a tennis journalist and try to have at least some objectivity.

    I wonder how much he gets paid. I think I can do a better job.

    [Reply]

  3. Ruan you certainly do much better job. I have no doubts that Craig is paid very well. Can you imagine that you are a top ATP analyst and you think that Federer is better than Djokovic in longer rallies. Thus, in order to win, Federer should enter into long rallies and avoid going to the net. Next time will be that Goffin is taller than Karlovic, which gives him a distinct physical advantage.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, man. To be fair, his analysis is pretty good without the Federer fanboyism. The points you quoted just go to show you how bias blinds an otherwise good journalist. As for myself, I admit that I am a biased Djokovic fan so people know what they are gonna get. I think as a fan of certain players I am still pretty objective, though. For me, it is only a problem when you are clearly biased but don’t want to admit it like Craig.

    Didn’t he learn anything from what happened in the Wimby final last year? You would think at least after that he would be more cautious, but then he lists 15 reasons why Roger beats Novak in the USO final 🤔

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  4. “Biased analyst” is an oxymoron. It is not a problem that he judged that Federer was a favourite, but the reasons behind this judgment that revealed a total lack of understanding of tennis.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think he is good with numbers and stats but a journalist with a profile as high as his should have known better than fanboying Federer in such a way that it completely blinded him. That is poor and unprofessional. I was a biased Fedfan too but even I wouldn’t have said the things he said. They were ridiculous.

    [Reply]

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