Wednesday, August 29, 2018

US Open Day 2: Goat Goals

Hi All. Galileo here.

Most titles, finals, semi-finals and quarterfinals at slam level belong to Roger Federer. He owns matches played and won. Rafa Nadal and Bjorn Borg have won a higher percentage but they have played a combined 435 matches. Federer has played 390. Federer has the most appearances, most consecutive finals, semi-finals and quarterfinals. In fact he has reached ten and eight finals consecutively. Those are number one and two on the list. He has won the most consecutive sets and is second in wins and appearances. He has the joint most Australian Open titles, most Wimbledon titles and joint most US Open titles. He has the most finals in Melbourne and London and the most wins overall. What he is missing, however, is most US Open finals, and most wins at the US Open. This is a bit like saying this man has everything except a holiday house in coastal Spain. But he will want to add his legacy. That he is the Goat in undisputed. He is chasing history now. He still wants to win the Olympic Gold.

Of course, when it comes to clay Rafa holds everything else. But Novak is high up on a lot of those lists. The debate will get interesting if Nadal can catch Federer or be caught by Nole.

MS 1st Rd: RAONIC [26] d. [q] BERLOCQ [W]
MS 2nd Rd: Wawrinka [WC] d. [q] Humbert
WS 1st Rd: Gavrilova [25] d. Sorribes Tormo [W]
WS 2nd Rd; Sevastova [19] d. [WC] Lui

...Marton Fucsovics is no mug. He has some weapons and some positive results over the summer. He even pushed Djokovic before he crumbled in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 loss. It is a great result for the unseeded Hungarian and, considering just how hot it was, a poor result for the Serb. The end result is positive, but going four this early was not optimal. Djokovic went 30-32 on his winners ratio, which isn’t great, but it is a better mark than his opponent, who was 33-40. There were eight breaks in what was a very scratchy match. Tennys Sandgren is up next and that match should be easier. The Hungarian is the world number 40 and he will be one to watch in the coming years. He looks very capable. But on a steaming New York day the former world number one was simply too strong.

...In a match that didn’t even last two hours the Fedexpress rolled through Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. Fed his 56 winners to his opponent’s 18, and just 32 errors. He got 67 per cent of his first serves in and blasted 14 aces on his way to an immaculate performance. Well, nearly immaculate. He dropped serve once. So he needs to improve on that. Up next is Benoit Paire. The Frenchman edged out qualifier Dennis Novak 7-6[6], 6-3, 7-5, 7-6[5]. Novak served for the fourth set at 5-4 but could not convert and the Frenchman stormed back to win. Fedex is 6-0 lifetime against Paire and has only dropped a set once, but it was this year in Halle. The Frenchman pushed Fed all the way to a deciding tiebreak.

...If anything controversial is happening you can bet Nick Kyrgios will insert himself into the middle of it. He might have won his match 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, but he imploded in the second set. He was furious there was no heat rule in place for the men. There had been six mid-match retirements in the men's draw up to that point and so the referee, Brian Earley, offered ATP players a break after set three. He spent most of that lost second set talking to his box and generally sulking around like a rain cloud. But, in true mercurial Kyrgios fashion, he recovered to send Radu Albot packing. He hit 25 aces and 14 [!!] double faults, going 49-55 on the overall winner/error mark. He made Albot irrelevant. Albot was a very impressive 36-28 on the winners mark himself. The Moldavian should be pleased with how his tournament went. If he can beat P-H Herbert in the next round Kyrgios will face Federer in the third round. You can always rely on the Aussie to generate a story.

...Peter Polansky is the first man in the open era to get a lucky loser grand slam. Yes he has gotten into every slam via the lucky loser draw. The 30 year old Canadian has lost in every one of the slams in the first round, too. So at least he has gotten himself into the record books. Alex Zverev knocked him out 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in just 96 minutes. This is the kind of ruthless performance we have been waiting for from the German. He won 51 per cent of his receiving points, broke six times and utterly dominated his opponent from the first ball toss to the last. Polansky avoided a bagel and that is probably the highlight for him. The Canuck will continue to float around the 100 mark in the rankings while our 4th seed gets to face another lucky loser. This time it is Nicolas Mahut. That will be a much harder challenge. Can he avoid the upset?

...The Italian survived a scare from a promising youngster, winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6[4]. The 14th seed has his own brand of tennis but so does Michael Mmoh. The 20 year old was actually born in Saudi Arabia. Fabulous Fognini was wearing a stars, stripes and skulls ensemble that embodied the word "striking." Indeed the match was a see-sawing romp that resembled a gladiatorial battle. Not all tennis stars have to be athletic. Andy Roddick and David Nalbandian can attest to this fact. But these two can dance, these two can jive. Unfortunately for Mmoh his abysmal 24-47 winners to errors ratio cost him the match. Fognini went 55-46 and that is as good as it gets for the Italian. He moves on to face John Millman next. Mmoh will be back, however. He has learned valuable lessons from the Italian.

Thanks and visit WTA BACKSPIN.

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