Thiem Wins Third Title in Gstaad, Nadal Wins Hamburg

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.

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Rising fast

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.

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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.

Posted in ATP 250, ATP 500, Gstaad, Hamburg.

11 Comments

  1. Ruan, these are your words in print from 2 years back….What happened man? You jumped ship, and I think you are still a huge fan of Federer, you just went in the closet for a while. G

    In fact there has never been a player who has had a better career. Seriously, what does it take to satisfy people? If you are not gonna be happy as a fan of Roger Federer then you are never gonna be happy as a fan. You will keep jumping ship every time the player you worship runs into adversity. And that is no way to be a fan or to live life. You gotta tough it out. Dig deep. The night is always darkest before the dawn and in that sense failure and disappointment is a good thing, because it is the beginning of something good. It is all about having a positive attitude and no one is a better example of it than Roger. I have no doubt things will turn around again for Roger. Haven’t they always? So Roger had a good start to the second half of the year by winning Halle, but then had one of the most disappointing losses of his career against Stakhovsky.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Gary I was satisfied. I just got tired of the spoiled fans who are never satisfied.

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  2. Like I already told you, good stuff with Thiem, Ru-an. I like his power, athleticism and that hint of recklessness that’s got a lot to do with his youth, of course. But it speaks to his game’s confidence. Goffin, though solid, good ground strokes, decent competitor, is just a bit undersized, a little unimpressive. Reminds me of a Simon for lack of a better comparison and I haven’t watched much. But Thiem has that sustainable look. At 21, this is good news.

    I agree with your take on Fedal and the end of the road (majors). Nadal will make a huge push for number 10 at RG. He and Toni will fix matches, do the unthinkable to get there. That’s my grim view of next spring. But he’s done as is Fed. We can harp on that as this reality unfolds. It’s tough to regain youth as the calendar and the youth chase you down.

    As for this coinciding slump that you point out for Naderer, there’s a nice little nod to GOAT in the fact that one is 28 and the other is 34 (and the 34 year old is #2!). :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, Goffin is undersized and unimpressive. And Federer’s game was always going to be way more sustainable in the long run than Nadull’s. It’s very impressive that Federer is #2 at this point and making slams finals.

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    matt Reply:

    Indeed, but there is a surprisingly large rabid crowd that believes Nadal is GOAT or very close and will in fact catch Roger. It’s complete myopia. I’m just saying if both are done (in the same boat at the same time), the age comparison kills Nadal (for those rapid myopic groupies).

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Myopia is the name of the game for fans my friend. I think if Federer could not win a slam post slump Nadal will be even less likely to do so. Even at the FO Djokovic won’t allow him at the table anymore. Fedal is done.

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    Ben Chia Reply:

    Dear Matt, let those Nadull GOAT herders continue their blind faith. For whatever reason, they have decided on Nadull as their champion, similar to how fed fans chose Federer. @ru-an highlighted quite a while back that the era of fedal was coming to an end. He was also right about Thiem (burnt out coming). Ru-an usually quite spot on about his guesses… Except for the Wembley thing. That was a strange one. Back to your comment, yes it speaks volume that fed is still world #2, no? :-)

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    Matt Reply:

    Ben, agree. Yeah, I like Ru-an’s take on the sport. Though that Wembley prediction was nuts, I liked it. Would have been HUGE.

    Not a coincidence that I find this site, enjoy it a ton, and it does have a more Fed than Rafa vibe. That’s just smart tennis-oriented discussion.

    But we are moving on (again I agree with Ru-an): It’s Djoker time now and the “future” of tennis.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I’m glad you guys found my site too. Why do you say Wembley I was wondering? That’s a place in London where they play football and do live rock shows lol.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha yes. I have my fair share of fails. No doubt about it. Like the 2014 FO too. At Wimby I thought Fed would win but I went over the top on purpose because I wanted Djokovic to win lol.

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  3. Found a new player I’ve noticed for a few months who I like. Alexander Zverev. He beat Kevin Anderson yesterday and when he won, it was like he expected it.

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