Thiem Scores Big Win Over Djokovic at French Open

Congrats to Thiem for defeating Djokovic 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0 in the French Open quarterfinals today. It’s been a long time coming and I’m very happy for him. He’s probably been the second best clay court player after Nadal this season so he deserves it.

He was the better player on the day. Simple as that. I started hyping Thiem up on this blog before he won his first tournament and it is nice to see how he developed over time. I’m more excited about Zverev’s future now but Thiem will probably win a French Open at some point.

I don’t think it’s happening this year, though. Nadal has been the favorite since the beginning and he still is. Even if Djokovic had won today Nadal would still have been the favorite, but today showed once again how important momentum is.

Thiem has won more during the clay court season than Djokovic and today it paid off. Nadal won the most since Monte Carlo and although Stan can come out of nowhere and play unbelievable tennis I don’t think even him at his best can stop Nadal.

It’s a tougher matchup for Stan than Djokovic is for instance. Nadal’s forehand goes cross-court to Stan’s one-handed backhand and although it is a great shot I’m not sure it can handle the spin and bounce of Nadal’s forehand on clay all that well.

If Nadal defeats Thiem then I hope for a Stan vs Nadal final anyway. I don’t think Murray, who defeated Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(7), 6-1 today, would stand much of a chance against Nadal. But you never know, and Murray has done well to pull himself together for the French Open with the lack of momentum coming into the event.

As for Thiem, he trails the head-to-head with Nadal 2-4 and actually has two wins on clay over Nadal so I am just hoping for a competitive match.

Nadal crushed everyone so far and today Busta withdrew after trailing 2-6, 0-2. I was obviously disappointed when my favorite Djokovic lost today but there is plenty of good tennis left. Last year Murray defeated Stan in the semis in four sets.

This year Stan will be looking to turn that result around. Stan has been in blistering form himself in Paris and crushed Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 today. He hasn’t dropped a set himself but Nadal has dropped way fewer games.

Nadal just looks destined to win La Decima #nojinx 😉

Who will win Nadal vs Thiem?

  • Nadal in 4 (33%, 35 Votes)
  • Thiem in 4 (22%, 23 Votes)
  • Nadal in 3 (20%, 21 Votes)
  • Thiem in 5 (15%, 16 Votes)
  • Nadal in 5 (10%, 11 Votes)
  • Thiem in 3 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 106

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Who will win Murray vs Wawrinka?

  • Wawrinka in 4 (50%, 47 Votes)
  • Wawrinka in 3 (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Wawrinka in 5 (14%, 13 Votes)
  • Murray in 4 (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Murray in 5 (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Murray in 3 (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 94

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Posted in French Open, Grand Slams.

27 Comments

  1. I remember you also started hyping Dimitrov a few years ago, you even started a blog for him. So much for the self proclaimed “tennis expert”.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I started a blog for him? I had a blog called The Tennis Analyst where I blogged about tennis in general. You sound desperate.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    http://thetennisanalyst.blogspot.co.za/

    Here it is. There was one post about Dimitrov after he won his first ATP title. What do you have to say for yourself now? We are all ears.

    [Reply]

  2. But u haven’t attempted to lend or take credence from what almost everyone is insinuating i.e. Is this decline for real or not yet for now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s because I am not obsessed with one player. I still enjoy tennis when my favorite loses. One would think that is a virtue but apparently, it is frowned upon by tennis fans. I will write about Djokovic again when I feel like it.

    [Reply]

    Timothy Reply:

    Oh please. You claim not be obsessed by one player, but everyone knows you most certainly are. You just have to visit other blogs to read comments about how much people ridicule your blog, your obsessive writings and claims that you aren’t obsessed by a certain player. Your writing is vitriolic and negative and there always seems to be a sense of arrogance to your writing and a sense of disdain towards other tennis fans. You block people who dont agree with your view. Delete any comment that goes against you. Open discourse is the hallmark of any good blog. Learn from perfect-tennis.com. maybe you’ll realize why the readers there outnumber yours by a factor of around 100. Your blog is dictatorial.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘You claim not be obsessed by one player, but everyone knows you most certainly are.’

    Wrong. See perfect-tennis.com for that. The Justin Bieber of tennis blogs where they worship their god Roger Federer in the millions but any real tennis fan knows is not even a tennis blog(just like Justin Bieber is not music). It’s a fan blog for tards like you where they gossip about real tennis fans like me while I am focused on tennis. Jonathan used to be a reader of my blog when this was a Federer blog and he imitated my blog only it could not be done because I was never just a Federer fan, to begin with, but I was all too happy to rid myself of the burden of the Federer cult.

    ‘Your writing is vitriolic and negative and there always seems to be a sense of arrogance to your writing and a sense of disdain towards other tennis fans.’

    That is rich coming from a tard of perfect-tennis.com where they spew vitriol and negativity all day about me, someone who writes about tennis because he loves the sport and not because he is after superficial things like blog followers and praise.

    ‘You block people who dont agree with your view. Delete any comment that goes against you. Open discourse is the hallmark of any good blog. Learn from perfect-tennis.com. maybe you’ll realize why the readers there outnumber yours by a factor of around 100. Your blog is dictatorial.’

    Wrong again. I block trolls and I should have blocked you too but I enjoy proving people wrong. If you can’t be civilized or don’t have something constructive to say you don’t deserve to comment on my blog.

    [Reply]

  3. Get off Ruan’s back, you guys! Your comments are ridiculous and disgusting!
    You just come over here in order to gloat after the Djoker suffered a bad loss. That’s certainly not the behavior of real tennis fans but of jerks.
    Ruan’s fandom is his own private business, and if he wishes to change preferences it’s also nobody else’s but his own business.
    My personal preferences for certain players have changed often over many years as a tennis fan. Nothing extraordinary about that. These days I’m not a Djoker fan btw, although I like him and am somewhat sad about his (probably) temporary decline. It makes him much more human in my eyes, though.
    What I really don’t like is the tendency of some fans of developing cult-like behavior. “peRFect tennis” is a very typical example for this kind of unhealthy idolizing. It’s not the fault of the players, of course, but it can become very toxic at these sites. My guess: the players themselves would intensely dislike a certain group of their fans.
    I exchanged a few thoughts with Ruan about this phenomenon. Therefore I read his articles now and then. He certainly knows more about the technical aspects of the game than I do, and he tries to arrive at a fair assessment of the matches he writes about. I don’t know if this was always like this. I haven’t frequented his blog in the past. But nowadays I personally can’t complain.
    Ruan also doesn’t shy away from allowing discussions about the darker aspects of modern pro tennis, which is a capitalist venture. Besides the wonderful sport it’s also about making money – a lot of money. Therefore it’s highly unlikely that modern pro tennis is squeaky clean. Many blog owners don’t allow these discussions and prefer to look the other way. That’s why I come here, too, once in a while.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thank you, Sabine, for leaving a positive and supportive comment. I’m sorry that people like you have to come here and read unsavory comments like the above. I usually just delete the troll comments but sometimes I have to set these people straight.

    People from Jonathan’s blog come here all the time to leave abusive comments which tell you something about the kind of blog ‘PeRFect’ Tennis is. I mean these people spend their time gossiping and insulting me behind my back. And yet I have never felt the urge to read the blog or their comments about me.

    If it wasn’t so sad and pathetic it would be funny. Imagine spending your time insulting and gossiping about someone else on the Internet who you don’t know in real life who blogs about the thing he loves. How tragic must your life be?

    They literally can’t leave me alone. Every time Djokovic loses they are over here leaving abusive comments and gloating. I guess that tells you something about how interesting that blog is lol.

    [Reply]

    Sabine Reply:

    Ruan, you’re welcome. These comments above really disgusted me, but also made me a little sad. You wrote a perfectly fair article and an assessment of the coming semi finals. And instead of discussing the tennis, these guys have nothing better to do than gloating. But if they have nothing better to do, well, that’s also sad.
    I’ve looked at PeRFect Tennis only a few times. The articles themselves aren’t so bad but the comment section is a toxic snake pit, lol! I certainly won’t go there anymore. I simply cannot imagine that Federer himself would like this kind of so called fans.
    The problem is that certain fans need the success of their idols like a drug. And that is a sure fire recipe for unhappiness, especially since the fans themselves have absolutely no control over how the matches will unfold. And even the greatest success will end eventually.
    I’ve had many players I favored and admired ever since I became a tennis fan. I’ve also disliked a few players, very often for slightly daft and irrational reasons, lol! But I never disliked people because they were fans of players I don’t care for. But I do dislike anonymous internet trolls!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, they are like a plague but one must realize that they are very miserable and unhappy human beings and try to have compassion. Anyway, I think that you are right that the players themselves would be appalled by these fans and their behavior. That’s what makes it so sad. Their whole lives revolve around a player and their results and yet those players would despise them if they knew about them. They literally live their lives through someone who despises them. Can you imagine a more tragic way to live your life?

    Toxic snake pit 🤣 👍

    [Reply]

    Sabine Reply:

    :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The troll came back trying to turn this into another toxic snakepit :)) Back to ImpeRFect Tennis with him!

    [Reply]

    Sabine Reply:

    Yes, it’s much better to discuss actual tennis in a productive way.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I agree but sometimes it’s fun to send the trolls packing too. When it becomes creepy is when you have the Federer cult doing a circle jerk over their god and putting another blogger down to make themselves feel better. I find it funny that they are gossiping about me behind my back and then come over here to tell me how much better ‘PeRFect’ Tennis Blog is. It is so much better that they feel the need to gossip about an ‘irrelevant’ blogger and come to leave abusive comments here every time Djokovic loses :))

    Anyway, that’s enough about that. I wasted enough time on their sad lives already.

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Ru-an
    1) Congrats to Thiem for his win over Novak. I thought Thiem had a shot to defeat Novak but I didn’t expect that at all. Thiem did what was necessary to give himself the best chance possible to beat Nadal.
    2) I’m interested in seeing how the Agassi-Djokovic partnership works out. I believe Agassi can help Novak with his recent Backhand struggles. ( He’s making more unforced errors with his backhand than i can ever remember. Plus Agassi is probably the only person who can instruct Novak how to hit a backhand. ) I’m also intrigued who will be his 2nd coach. (I think it should be someone who can help Novak with his serve. When he was dominating, he had the best 2nd serve). The most important thing now is to give them time and not expect too much of them. I have no doubt that Novak will be successful again.
    P.S. Novak reached the quarterfinals, that’s not exactly the worst result ever.
    3) Like you, I’m hoping for two competitive matches tomorrow. My picks are Nadal in 4 and Stan in 5.
    4) I want your thoughts on this. Do you think Nadal will start feeling the pressure in these last two matches? He hasn’t won a major since 2014 and he already let a golden opportunity slip his fingers this year. So if Thiem, Murray or Wawrinka can win a set and make it close do you think Nadal will start to feel the pressure?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi, Styrre.
    2) QF for Djokovic is not bad. The hype and talk of his demise are of course out of control and absurd. He did get himself in a bit of a mess now but he just acquired the services of Agassi. So there really isn’t any reason for all the obituaries and exaggeration. Like you, I know he will be back. And yes, the backhand which is a key shot for him has been a problem but like you say Agassi is the one guy who also had a world class bh. Ideally, he should get a 2nd coach who can help him with his serve and net game.
    4) Good question. I don’t think Nadal will feel the pressure. He has won the FO 9 times and knows how it’s done. He’s been the most successful player this year after Federer. I don’t think he will be stopped.

    [Reply]

    Sabine Reply:

    I believe that Nadal WILL feel the pressure, now that the tournament starts in ernest for him. The last five matches have been mere training sessions for him. He hasn’t been challened at all so far. For the record: while I think there is a possibility that draws are sometimes manipulated, I think that Nadal’s easy path to the semis was coincidence because potentially more challenging opponents just didn’t materialize. It was the same for the Djoker when he made the US Open final last year by playing only three matches. It can even lead to being undercooked, and I see it as a disadvantage for Nadal. But he’s so experienced and Thiem will play on Chatrier for the very first time. Therefore I think that Nadal will win. But he may lose his very first set in this tourney. At his age it might also be helpful that he has spent so little time oncourt.
    As to the other semis: I think that Wawrinka will win since he’s a better clay courter than Murray. But I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Murray wins. He has become a superb competer under pressure and overcame his poor form during the clay season. I’m just a bit doubtful about his physical condition. He had a few ailments in the recent past. We will see…
    IMO the men’s competition has produced only very few exciting matches. Three of the four semifinalists didn’t lose a set! That has never happened before at any slam in the open era. But I’m sure that will change in the upcoming matches.
    As to the Djoker: I think he will be back if he rediscovers his will to win. I thought it was so unlike the Djoker of the past to basically throw the towel in the third set. I can’t remember having seen that before. I thought that to be more concerning than the loss itself. I’m also not sure if he’s fully fit. Becker said last year that Djokovic wasn’t practicing enough. Then there is the fact that the Djoker and his wife are expecting a second child. All this are demanding circumstances which need adjustment. And as I see it, the Djoker has always been interested in life outside the small world of pro tennis. So, it might take a while before he rediscovers his fighting spirit and taste for winning.
    What I don’t know: are there problems in his personal life and his immediate surroundings? When Becker was asked this question he was adamantly and uncharacteristically silent. But maybe, this silence tells us something. Because normally Becker is never silent about anything ;-)
    I hope the Djoker will overcome whatever bugs him right now. I think he will, but I’m not sure how long it will take. And while Agassi might prove to be the right mentor, I also think that the Djoker needs another full time travelling coach again.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    People are always looking for reasons when a player slumps. It may just be the natural consequence of the high he was on when he went through the most dominant period in tennis history. Believe me, when he starts winning again you won’t hear any of these theories anymore. And yes, he will dominate again. Maybe more so than ever before if Agassi is right.

    [Reply]

    Sabine Reply:

    Yes, people are looking always for a reason – because there IS always a reason for a slump ;-) Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes less so. At least for me the Djoker’s current slump falls into the latter category. It’s not so much the losses, but how he lost. We hear a lot about it here because Becker is a commentator for Eurosport. He seems to be as pained and puzzled as the rest of us tennis fans. And he has learned to know the Djoker intimately for three fruitful years. Also, from all we know, they didn’t part in anger at all. Becker was all for the employment of Agassi, btw.
    I certainly wish the Djoker the best of luck. Tennis is better with an in-form Djoker. I would be surprised if he doesn’t discover his mojo again.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Not necessarily. Everything in nature moves in waves. Sometimes slumping is just a natural result of a high. Then afterward people start to look for reasons and assign blame.

    [Reply]

    Sabine Reply:

    I guess, we have to agree to disagree about that. I believe in cause and consequence, and even waves have to obey that law. They don’t come out of nowhere – even if we cannot predict them, yet. There was nothing remotely puzzling about the Djoker’s early exit at Wimbledon after his greatest triumph. But how he fared against Thiem in the third set – that IS puzzling to me. That’s not the Djoker we have known for almost 6 years. But as tennis fans we have to be content to wait and see. In all probability Djokovic will get out of this.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    👍

    [Reply]

  5. After witnessing Rafael and Fed break out of slumps in their respective careers to regain a similar level of dominance they had at their peaks, one might assume it’s safe to bet on Novak breaking out of his slump as well. While this may seem like a sound argument, I believe playing style is a key factor in determining whether we can expect Novak to get back to his old lvl. Nadal and Federer both posses one of the biggest weapons in the history of tennis in their forehands and Roger has always been a first strike tennis type of player. Even in his prime, Federer tended to avoid long rallies which has helped his longevity in my opinion. Rafael while definitely much more of a grinder, has still always been able to dictate rallies with his forehand even though it might not always be an outright winner type of shot. Novaks biggest meal ticket however, has always been his impregnable defense and the fact that he has no glaring weakness in his game. He has never possessed one single shot that other players had to watch out for. As a huge Novak fan, I used to always feel better about Novaks chances to win a point, the longer the rally went. He was possibly the only player who could out grind nadal at his peak. Now days however, you see Djokovic losing a lot of the longer rallies which does not bode well for his future prospects in my opinion. I believe that Novak from 2011-2016 was the most dominant run in tennis history but I also believe that his reign is truly over and that he may possibly never win another GS. I just feel that his age put together with his style of play and lack of a true big weapon is going to make it extremely difficult for him to regain his old form.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I disagree of course. Djokovic is a better offensive player than Nadal. Better serve, better backhand, better returns, better volleys, and big forehand. That’s why he has a far better indoor and fast court record. People always say stuff like this when a player is in a slump. They said the same about Federer and Nadal. Especially about Nadal. But Djokovic is a more versatile player than Nadal and he will be back. He is more versatile than Federer even. Probably the most talented player of the big four. His returns and backhand alone are weapons. You may as well say his entire game is a weapon.

    [Reply]

  6. You bring up a good point that Novak is actually a better offensive player then Nadal. Novak consistently outpaces nadal in amout of winners and aces per match. I also think that Agassi could be the perfect coach for him since I’ve always felt like Djokovic was an upgraded version of Agassi in terms of playing style. Hopefully your right because I am a big Nole fan and I would like nothing better than him coming back and sticking it to Nadal and Federer.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    👍

    [Reply]

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