When it comes to the French Open…

Is the time to win it, in our day and age, inevitably when Rafael Nadal is injured?  It was the knees, after all, that were no doubt crucial in that famous fall to Robin Soderling in 2009, which of course gave Roger Federer his.  Yeah, Novak Djokovic has shown the ability to beat him at Roland Garros, but beating him and then winning the final is another matter.  Much easier to win the French Open when he doesn’t have to do both.  It’s definitely looking like this is the year, especially with Roger out already and Andy Murray having two five-setters already-even if he fixes whatever caused those quick, there’ll still be the physical toll they took.  Not the way he wanted to win it, but it may be the only one, plain and simple.  Just remember there’s no such thing as asterisks.  Also that Rafael Nadal will still fight to come back from injuries as long as he’s able.   This is sad, but I still don’t think he’s won his last slam.

I wish I could say the same about Roger.  Hell, I’m not sure about Murray.  Yeah, he’s winning clay masters now, but that’s always been what he’s done, won masters and then faltered at slams.  His ability to beat Djokovic at them, even when it’s fled, has never been far away.  Of course, it’s not like either man needs to win any more slams, but until either Rafa’s playing better, or a few more of these young up and comers have reached the level of our old Big Four, you’d like them to stay in play.

I also wish I could say I’m certain Maria Sharapova is innocent of any intentional wrongdoing.  But with all these claims going around about the Russians, and now the blatant disrespect they displayed of saying she’s going to be on the team from the start, even before they really started talking about forgiving everyone who tested positive for meldonium in January…just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

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Three US Open Conclusions

The times are definitely changing, and I think the guard is rotating as well.  Except there’s only so much you can change things for Serena, probably simply because she’s Serena.

Although I am reminded now of the 2008 Australian Open, when the guard was only Roger and Rafa, and Novak Djokovic was one of the two upstarts who upended them both to make a shocking final.  Now he’s one of the upset.  But considering Tsonga still is still slamless and not one of the Big Four, well, definitely both men playing tomorrow will really want to win that final; what happens in that match could define both their careers.

Except it’s sad one of those two is Cilic, considering he’s only a year out from a very dodgy sequence of events.  I would actually have minded him having a suspension in his history less, perhaps, if there hadn’t been the attempt to cover it up.  If one of him and Nishikori must ascend to the top now, well, go Kei!

Three More US Open Thoughts Post Labor-Day Weekend

Yep, Serena is definitely going to win this.  Though really, the only time we didn’t know that was when we weren’t sure which version of her was going to show up in Flushing Meadows, so…

Since everyone else had lost already, I’m inclined to overlook this lapse on Eugenie Bouchard’s part, but the hype still makes it amusing.  But meanwhile, while I previously thought Bencic could definitely beat either Peng or Safarova, now I’m wondering.  Peng has essentially been doing the same thing as Bencic, after all.  In any case, it’ll be interesting to see if whichever of them wins that quarterfinal can beat whichever of Errani or Wozniacki wins their quarterfinal.  Wozniacki might be easier in that regard.

On the men, on the other hand, I’m just waiting for that Fedole final, and I will be severely disappointed if it fails to happen for any reason other than Murray winning tomorrow(and then I really hope the Scot delivers something worth watching in its place).

Three More Thoughts After the Last Three Days

So now I would say there are officially two people left in the draw who can stop a Williams/Sharapova final, those being Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova themselves, and I honestly don’t see either of them doing it.  So guess that final’s going to be a boring one.

But while most of my predictions have gone kaplooie again, but well, recalling my crazy prediction about Belinda Bencic for Wimbledon, I’m suddenly wondering if maybe I was on the right track, just one slam off.  Hey, she could make the semis now.  If she can take out Angelique Kerber, I can’t help but feel she can take out Jelena Jankovic, and she can certainly take out whichever of Safarova or Peng makes that quarterfinal.

On the men’s side, my views have changed on nothing so far, expect that next year John Isner and Philipp Kohlschreiber really need to be on opposite sides of the draw, or at least in different quarters, because this is just getting cruel to poor Isman.

Three Thoughts About the US Open So Far

Between watching them both play so far and Mandy’s crazy leg issues, I would say I think this is going to be another Fedole final, except that I suspect that if I did, one or both of them would then have a bad day and crash out, and given some recent history they both have, it definitely seems too early to predict that yet.

I would also say that if this Catherine Bellis person reached the round of 16 and then beat Eugunie Bouchard in it, I was going to laugh, except I don’t think she needs the hype she’d get hit with then, especially when her ability to deal with that kind of pressure is as yet a complete unknown.  Though I suppose it would be nice for her to just reach the round of 16 anyway.

I will say I’m really sorry Serena and Kvitova are in the same half.  I think that might just have made for a very competitive final, provided neither got shocked beforehand.  Although perhaps Serena-Radwanska or Serena-Halep, could work, provided again Serena doesn’t get shocked, and Maria Sharapova doesn’t take out both the Pole and the Romanian.