This seems an opportune time to once again bring up the phrase used in Japan's proposal to host the Olympics:
"With many days of mild and sunny weather, this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to perform their best"
"Mild and ideal" in Tokyo, in July and August? Let's ask Medvedev about that "mild and ideal" weather, shall we?
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Love Olympic hockey, and it's much better when NHLers are there, so this is good news.
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That season is referenced in this excellent article: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1708407-ranking-the-10-most-dominant-seasons-in-tennis-history
Nice one, Some dude. Thanks for the link. The other seasons on the list are before my time, but it was enjoyable reading about them. Fed's '06 remains the standard for seasons I've been alive and following tennis during.
The David Foster Wallace NYT article I mentioned above is here:
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Richard Gallagher: As regards tennis, he is accumulating grand slams, purely because the top players are well beyond their prime
Federer was accumulating Grand Slams before Nadal and Djokovic had developed into top players, so should we disregard all those titles as well, according to your logic?
timeon: And by the way, I was an Agassi fan, and as I junior I modeled my style of play after him; it hurt when Federer beat him
Exactly the same here. I spent many, many afternoons working on that 2-handed backhand up the line.
Novak Djokovic has time and winning momentum on his side in the race to be crowned the greatest player of all time.
I think he's already there. I'm not a believer that Grand Slam titles should be the only determinant on who the greatest is, but Novak's accomplishments across the board cannot be denied. Winning the US Open this year isn't necessary for him to be the best, but it would surely be an exclamation point on all the other evidence. And as the article said, he's still got plenty of time and opportunities to build his resume even further.
That said, Federer's 2006 season was still the most dominant 1-year span of tennis I've ever seen from a player. He wasn't just winning, he was blowing people out in style. I recommend looking up David Foster Wallace's article titled "Roger Federer as Religious Experience" on the New York Times website - it gives a perfect description of what it was like watching Roger in that era. Really good read for tennis fans.
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Exciting and fun.
Can't wait to see Djokovic tie Roger and Rafa's record of 20 Grand Slam titles. Go Novak! Felt bad for Hurkacz however. He's a likable guy with a good game, but he just couldn't get settled into this one. He deserved better.
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The "controversy" about this is baffling to me. I can understand not liking the rule, but the rule still exists and it has consequences for breaking it. Not too long ago, the speed limit near my house was significantly reduced. It's ridiculous - there's no reason for such a low speed limit on a country road. Despite that, I'm still required to drive at the new speed limit. And if I ignore it and drive as fast as I'd like to, telling the police "Yeah, but it's a stupid law" isn't going to get me anywhere.
...to reflect the change in the world’s attitude toward marijuana
"The world" isn't a single entity. Just because certain Western countries are in agreement does not mean that attitude is reflected across other parts of the globe.
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It was a very interesting night of tennis.
Djovokic: Very workman-like. Fucsovics made it difficult for him - this wasn't an easy win for Nole, but he did what needed to be done and earned another straight sets win. He's still clearly the favorite for this title.
Federer: A disappointing end, and he was clearly upset by it. But perhaps he exceeded what our expectations should've been. I think most fans were irrationally assuming he'd revert to the invincible Federer of old, despite lots of evidence suggesting that couldn't be the case. He's not as fast as he used to be, struggled with Hurkacz's power, and his brilliant, unexpected shot selection from the past was considerably tamed. He's definitely still a competitor, and far from being discounted. But considering how long he was away from the game, his age, and other factors, I think tennis fans ought to consider the QFs a pretty good result for him.
Shapo: Glad he won. There's something about Khachanov that has always rubbed me the wrong way.
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@timeon - I'm sorry you weren't able to catch it. I've never seen anything quite like it. 13 breaks in the fifth set! Unfortunately, Korda's mental toughness seemed to leave him during this one. He looked quite down and out of it during the 3rd set, and the 5th was just strewn with careless mistakes - outwardly he put on a good face, but from the outside it seemed like he was really melting down internally. A shame for him, but he's young and will certainly learn and improve.
Good to see Djokovic cruise so easily (although Garin was noticeably nervous and intimidated on his first match on Centre Court - it was a little tough watching him in the early going). His projected match up with Federer should be a great one. I just hope it's scheduled at a time when we can see it in Japan.
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Djokovic survived a nervy third set to defeat 114th-ranked American qualifier Denis Kudla
Djokovic's win was as entertaining as a straight-set victory can be. Kudla played his heart out, won the admiration of the crowd, and the two of them put on a very fun show. Was really glad to have caught this one.
Murray suffered his earliest Wimbledon exit in 16 years
Murray would be a welcome re-addition to the men's game. He played admirably in his Wimbledon return, and I hope his health and bionic hip hold up for him to disrupt the "Big Three vs. Next Gen" narrative we've settled on within the top 10.
Sebastian Korda marked his Centre Court debut with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Britain's Dan Evans.
Sebastian Korda remains one of the more intriguing figures to keep an eye on down the line. I really like his game, and his mental toughness exceeds his age. I think he has the potential to be the best American male player in a long time, if he can keep on a positive trajectory.
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Chang is still involved on the coaching team, but isn't touring with Kei. The recently-added Max Mirnyi is now doing that part. But I believe fxgai's comment is a wink toward the anti-Naomi Osaka crowd, who for some reason were obsessed with Osaka going through a bit of a slump after firing her coach two years ago.
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Nishikori shouldn’t have changed his coach, I guess?
LOL - well played
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Not mentioned in this story is Kei Nishikori's 4-set loss to Jordan Thompson, ranked 81st in the world. Guess this year isn't Kei's year, either.
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Boy was Djokovic sharp. He was serving as well as he has in a long time, and he became a human backboard against Anderson. He just didn't miss, ever. It was a near-perfect performance. Lots of falls thouogh. Kyrgios's fall was a nasty one too.
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Andy Murray ... has won just two matches all season.
The writer does realize he's only played five matches in total, right?
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...portrayed by white actresses follows Disney's 2019 announcement that R&B singer Halle Bailey, who is Black...
I have a bone to pick with the style guide here. I can get behind the capitalization of races - that makes sense to me. However, capitalizing one race but not another? I can't understand the logic. This offends me linguistically.
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Should named them Thunder & Lightning Bolt.
That might have been “very, very frightening”.
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I'd rather have the baked beans
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timeon: she must compete a minimum number of tournaments, covering all surfaces
Is that right? I never heard of the rule stipulating players need to compete on all surfaces. Huh - I learned something new today. Is that true for both WTA and ATP?
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@Richard Gallagher: Being dubbed the greatest, in tennis, is not simply a matter of total Grand Slam wins
I completely agree, yet I often see the media pushing this angle. During every Slam, every article and TV broadcast loves to mention who's winning or trailing in the career Slam race. As @Richard Gallagher said, it's just one piece to the puzzle.
For example, we can talk about Masters 1000 events. Djokovic is the only player in history to have won all of them. And he's won all of them twice. (This proves a point about Djokovic vs. his contemporaries, but not about comparing players from past eras, as the Masters series is a fairly modern creation).
Djokovic is also the only player among the Big Three to have held all four Slam titles at the same time. That's a monumental achievement.
And as was mentioned before, Djokovic does hold the edge in head-to-head vs. both Federer and Nadal, but their respective ages do skew that statistic a bit.
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Richard Gallagher: Djokovic has profited by being younger than Nadal & Federer
This is probably true regarding the head-to-head record among the Big Three, but it does not tell the whole story.
When Fed and Nadal were younger and (more) dominant, they really only had each other as competition. For much of their period of greatness, the rest of the field was quite weak. Who else was going to challenge them - Nishikori? Tsonga? Berdych? Cilic? Those were the names at the top of the rankings behind Roger/Rafa during much of reign. Not very impressive. Murray/del Potro/Wawrinka would've made the field more formidable had they been healthier.
On the other hand, Djokovic (being younger) has more directly had to deal with the rising stars of the Next Gen group - Thiem, Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Zverev, etc. That's much stiffer competition than what Fed/Nadal had to deal with in their primes. And Djokovic is still winning Slams regularly despite the higher-level competition.
That's not to minimize the accomplishments of Rafa and Federer - they would've been great regardless of the competition. But I believe it is incorrect to say that Djokovic's (projected) better career numbers are due to his being younger.
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A TRUE champion.
Hear hear! What an incredible win by Novak, and what an incredible tournament he played. Came back from 2 sets down twice (4th round and finals), beat Nadal on his "home" court, shrugged off the stars of the younger generation - how could anyone ever doubt him? Now he's won every Slam twice. The man is the greatest men's player ever, no matter how much people love to love Federer and Nadal.
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Waa!!! I'm so disappointed not to have watched the Djokovic/Nadal match. It was just on too late and I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer after Tstsipas/Zverev ended. Very, very happy for Nole, and I'll be cheering for him in the finals.
Tstsipas/Zverev wasn't that great of a match. They took turns playing pretty bad tennis during the first four sets, before a tense fifth set. It was mostly notable for Zverev's absolute meltdown toward the end of the 3rd. In fact I think he was correct about his complaint to the chair umpire, but he carried on in such an expletive-laden rant that served to make him look childish. He has such an inconsistent temperament to go along with an inconsistent game.
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I agree with timeon - this couldn't have played out much better. What an intriguing, perfect pair of semis. Can't wait for this.
The Djokovic-Berrettini quarterfinal was suspended during the fourth set to impose a pandemic-related curfew set at 11 p.m. Fans were expected to leave at 10:45 p.m. but many did not and even started chanting “we’ve paid, we’ll stay." Some even jeered those who left.
Pin this disaster on tournament director Guy Forget. I read elsewhere that he scheduled the start time of that match believing that 3 hours would be enough to complete it. C'mon - 3 hours for a match up between two top-10 players? In the semis of Roland Garros? There was very little chance that that would work. As a result, the fans are ripped off and angry (they had to pay full-price for a match they could only watch part of), an important match had to be halted mid-set for 20 minutes for the fans to leave, and the finale of the match had to be played in the echoes of an empty stadium, rather than a roaring crowd. Shame on Guy Forget. What a horrible decision.
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The match was on at 4am our time. These new night matches at Roland Garros are awful for us Japan-based viewers.
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“Is this really made by Japanese people?”
This one always gets under my skin, and I've heard it a lot. It falls under the same category as saying "He must be Korean" when there's news about some guy committing an ugly crime, which I've also heard on more than one occasion. It's this nasty assumption that 1.) all Japanese people are the same, 2.) all Japanese people are good and moral and just, and 3.) problems that foreigners see in Japan are merely caused by misunderstandings of Japanese culture, which is of course mysterious and unknowable to outsiders.
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Go Serena! Keep adding to your list of Grand Slams!won
It's a shame that the greatest women's player ever is such an unlikable human being.
Nishikori reached the fourth round when opponent Henri Laaksonen retired injured after dropping the first set.
Welcome relief for the Nishikori camp. It's exactly what he needed after starting the tourney with two five-setters. We shall see if the extra rest can help him be a match for Zverev, who's had a lovely clay court season.
In-form Norwegian youngster Casper Ruud was knocked out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a marathon match which lasted more than four-and-a-half hours.
This was the match of the day, and perhaps the match of 2021 thusfar. Incredibly tense, back-and-forth, brilliant tennis. I was cheering for Ruud, but was glad to have seen the match anyhow.
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Right! I remember looking at that before. It's a shame they have to make it so difficult.
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timeon, I use a device called a Slingbox. It's plugged into the TV of a friend overseas, and transmits to my device here in Japan. It allows me to watch any programs that are available on my friend's TV, and he subscribes to a tennis package (actually, I pay him to subscribe). It's perfectly legal (although maybe unethical?), although the service is being discontinued at the end of 2022. Here's hoping they replace it with a similar product.
As you said, the local options here in Japan aren't great. If a nice service existed, I'd gladly pay for it.
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