Sir Andy Murray, OBE. World No 1
Wimbledon Champion 2013 & 2016
Olympic Gold & Silver Medallist, USO Champion 2012
Team GB - Davis Cup Champions 2015
Olympic Gold Medallist 2016
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013, 2015 & 2016
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Thread: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

  1. #451

    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    I am no fan of Cilic, as people know, but he is right on this. It’s as though the ATP/ITF are so desperate in the absence of “The Big 4” to stir up excitement, that they are going completely overboard. It’s almost as though they only have one “star” player at the moment, and he must be guided to victory at all costs.

    I am not sure it is working for anyone other than the rabid Fed fans. Those of you who were brave enough to watch - was the stadium full, or did people predict quite accurately that there was only going to be one outcome, and save their money?

    Certainly this whole Fed resurgence is turning me off the sport big time. Mind you in all fairness I have always been an AM fan, and the British players second, rather than a tennis fan.
    Last edited by Teresa; 29-01-2018 at 09:39.

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  3. #452

    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    Well, they didn't close the roof for the women's final and Halep ended up in hospital with dehydration so there may have been an element of self preservation on the part of the AO organisers. The stadium certainly looked full but as the tickets are sold months in advance for the final I suppose you would turn up if you had a ticket?

    As a tennis fan first and foremost and as a fan of Roger I for one am very pleased he got his 20th Slam

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  5. #453

    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    The stadium was full but seats would have already been sold. It was a better match than I anticipated and glad I didn't switch off after the whitewash first set (I almost did). Saw most of Fed's speech on replay and it's good to see it meant so much to him. I guess he wouldn't still be playing if it didn't. I have no doubt that body permitting he will be back next year.

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  7. #454

    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    Hello everyone - hope all well? Haven't been posting for a while.

    Have been keeping an eye on the tennis - and also following the forum when I can - and its testament to many folk here that in spite of Andy's absence, it has been ticking over with regular posts. It's really good to see. I would also think that it's interesting to keep tabs on what is going on in the men's game to see what might await Andy when he does return.

    No question that Roger deserved the AO title. His draw looked tough on paper at the beginning of the tournament, but as is often the case with this tournament, there were surprises aplenty. I find it surprising that after any tournament win where there is a contentious issue, folk try to affix a big asterisk against the title. 'Ah but this, that and the other!' It is pure noise and isn't really couched in the real world where players may experience an element of luck - or otherwise.

    I'd echo Rosie's point about the lack of champion players coming through. It's less the ATP trying to market the 'Big 4' - it's more that they are trying to market the 'NextGen' - they're trying to say, yes, the big 4 will inevitably fall away over time but look at who we have coming through!

    The thing is, they really aren't. It's different players each time. At AO it was Kyle, Chung. At the tour finals, it was Goffin, Dimi. At the US open, it was Kevin Anderson, even. this reminds me of the pre Fedal era where the likes of Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, Safin took turns to break through - or when Tomas Johansson and Rainer Schuettler contested the AO final (2003?).

    So yeah, no-one is really consistently challenging yet. the likes of DelPo, Raonic, Cilic are dangerous but the physical giants of the game rarely endure.

    So - the big 4 have undoubtedly been masking a gap in the game. They really are elemental colours in the world of tennis and their absence is so notable. There's no solution to this really, apart from just hoping that events will combine to enable good players to become great ones. Fed was considered flakey until he achieved his first slam, after all.

    It's been really interesting reading about the various records that Roger has been breaking or extending even. Worth noting that when these lists came into focus, Andy was often on those lists too. Examples -
    Andy is 9th on the list of most semi final slam appearances with 21. Quarter finals appearances: 8th on the all-time list, tied with Ken Rosewall, above Sampras and just 2 behind Nadal. Pretty amazing records - often it's taken someone from the big 4 to stop him from winning more slams.

    So, there really is not much to suggest that any of the big 4 will stop bagging masters, slams for a while yet. No wonder Andy is so keen to get back on court! The tour remains a very lucrative one for him should he be able to return in good physical health and challenge the other 3 (or however many of them are on the tour by then).

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  9. #455
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    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    Mmmm - I think Teresa and Super8 are both right. Undoubtedly, Fed deserved the title - he was the better player on the day with or without the roof. He is an incredibly talented player who has had an amazing career and may well be the greatest of all time. However, the evidence suggests that the ATP/ITF are bending over backwards to ease his path whenever they can and that can't be good for the sport. He admitted himself that he asked not to be scheduled to play in the heat of the day and, hey presto, he only played one day match. He played every match on Rod Laver Arena. The fact that he practised indoors would indicate that he had prior knowledge of the roof closure. The closure itself was contentious - would it have happened if Fed hadn't been playing? We'll never know. I accept that Fed is a crowd pleaser. I understand that he puts bums on seats and that equates to big bucks. Without doubt many of the other recognised names are missing, so Fed is the only star in the sky at the moment but just now it feels that he is bigger than the sport itself. I'm not saying that any of this is Fed's fault necessarily but it certainly leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.
    Last edited by Alis; 29-01-2018 at 23:27.

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  11. #456

    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    @ Alis - again I agree with you. We do not have tennis as a sport at the moment. We have a game called “Roger Federer”. It’s a case of “Anyone going to watch Roger Federer today?” “No, there’s no Roger Federer on, might watch some football instead”.

    There has always been a tendency to treat Federer as second only to God, but now it’s as though he has actually become God. I read The Guardian review of his win. Their were 400+ comments of vomit inducing sycophancy, and about 5 anti him, (and 2 of those were mine....!!!). Rinse and repeat for the other newspaper reports.

    It almost has the feel of a cult. That personally makes me very uncomfortable.

    The fact that the organisers of tournaments, who have always favoured him to a degree, are now seemingly being open and completely unsubtle about it, is very odd.

    Not sure what the answer is, but it’s interesting that many of the commentators are speaking out about this extreme favouritism.

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  13. #457

    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    Regardless of ' favouritism', a 36 year old still has to go out and play best of 5 set matches every other day against younger, fitter players. Not only is he matching them for fitness, but he dropped only 2 sets throughout the tournament. AND, to a live and TV audience his style of play is always going to guarantee a good watch. So why wouldn't the AO schedule him for RLA. The roof wasn't the reason why Cilic lost the first set so easily on Sunday, you could see how twitchy he was, and that can only be because of the man across the net.

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  15. #458
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    Re: Australian Open 15-28th Jan 2018 - Main thread

    Quote Originally Posted by suttontennis View Post
    The roof wasn't the reason why Cilic lost the first set so easily on Sunday, you could see how twitchy he was, and that can only be because of the man across the net.
    I would suggest that the only person who truly knows why he played so badly in the first set is Cilic himself. It may well have been due to nerves but precisely why that was we can't be sure. What is certain is that practising outside in the heat and then coming into an air-conditioned stadium most definitely didn't help.
    Last edited by Alis; 31-01-2018 at 07:32.

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