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View Full Version : why so few competitive matches at the french this year?


Moose Malloy
06-06-2007, 11:29 AM
From the 3rd round on there were only 2 five set matches played, none in the 4th Round or QF.

There were 8 4th round matches & 4 QF matches played, out of those 12 matches, 8 were straight sets, including 3 of the 4 QF matches. Not very fun to watch imo.

what happened to all the 5 setters(or even 4 setters) that used to be so common at the French?

This is the first time in the Open Era that there were no five setters in the 16's or QF of the French. Hope the semis/finals can save the tournament.

In '03, 3 of the 4 QF went 5 sets.

SER
06-06-2007, 11:45 AM
I noticed this too. That was one of the reasons I loved this tournament so much in the past. It's been a little more dull this year.

dubsplayer
06-06-2007, 11:59 AM
One big snoozefest the last couple of rounds.

Supernatural_Serve
06-06-2007, 12:07 PM
Its the modern power game crippling the magic of grass, and now clay too.

I don't think we can say that the top 20 players or so vary so dramatically in ability, so that's not it. Although we can say that some are more comfortable on clay than others, so that's contributing to the easy wins.

swisser
06-06-2007, 12:39 PM
its because the moden players are more dominat more straight foward

tennissavy
06-06-2007, 01:35 PM
Most of the women's matches have been very competitive. Most of the men's matches have been a complete bore.

Steve Dykstra
06-06-2007, 01:53 PM
I have noticed this as well, that nearly every match this year is a blowout. I think it is just coincadence howerer. If they redid the French and did the draw all over again, I bet there would be more tight matches.

pound cat
06-06-2007, 01:54 PM
The depth in men's tennis seems to be concentrated in a few players all of a sudden and the same names seem to be winning, whereas women's tennis seems to have many players who are really quite good & very compettive all of a sudden. Interesting switch..ATP/WTA.

tricky
06-06-2007, 01:56 PM
Anybody think the weather this year may have affected how the surface plays? Like, a little faster, lower bounce?

morten
06-06-2007, 02:02 PM
Its the modern power game crippling the magic of grass, and now clay too.

I don't think we can say that the top 20 players or so vary so dramatically in ability, so that's not it. Although we can say that some are more comfortable on clay than others, so that's contributing to the easy wins.

Yes, all too one dementional, apart from Nadal no real claycourters left...

zzzbrianxxx
06-06-2007, 02:15 PM
If they would seed players based on talent and not the exact ATP rankings, we would see much more competitive matches .

Moose Malloy
06-06-2007, 03:24 PM
I don't think we can say that the top 20 players or so vary so dramatically in ability, so that's not it. Although we can say that some are more comfortable on clay than others, so that's contributing to the easy wins.

I'm surprised to see Djokovic win his last 2 matches in straights. He's not that much better than they are on clay, think some players need a gutcheck.

There weren't many 5 setters from the 4th round on last year as well.

peluzon
06-06-2007, 04:05 PM
Because everybody even the players are waiting for the final Roger vs Rafa.

J-man
06-06-2007, 04:18 PM
I have also noticed this. More though in the latter rounds (Canas vs Davydenko, Igor vs Novak).

@wright
06-06-2007, 04:46 PM
To me it seems like claycourters of the past would fight to the bitter end. The current crop just tries to hit through opponents, and if it doesn't work, they just hit harder. They don't push the ball to keep the match going longer.

fastdunn
06-06-2007, 04:56 PM
It's been very predictable FO last few years.
Top seeds making last 4.

Why no 5 setters ? I don't know. Maybe just a coincidence.

I think lack of different match ups could be small part of it.

If you run out of your options at baseline, you are pretty much out of other alternatives.
You might as well pack your bag.

There's much less tactical options you could have to turn the match around.
It's becoming a performance "contest" rather than playing "game".

Of course, in all reavtive terms...

drakulie
06-06-2007, 05:05 PM
Moose, I have to agree. This has been a boring French. Hopefully, we will get some outstanding clay court tennis in the semis.

tennis_hand
06-06-2007, 05:06 PM
not so bad. davy vs nalby, davy vs canas, joker vs andreev, fed vs robredo etc.

a few of the top 20 players withdrew: haas, murray, ancic. etc.

well, a top player playing against another top player doesn't mean close matches. Fed and Nadal are too above the rest. I think the semis are what you hope for, but the scores may be one-sided as well.

AAAA
06-06-2007, 05:24 PM
To me it seems like claycourters of the past would fight to the bitter end. The current crop just tries to hit through opponents, and if it doesn't work, they just hit harder. They don't push the ball to keep the match going longer.

awright, I don't think the pro equivalent of pushing works anymore on clay. Players now can either hit outright winners off short balls or setup easy winners of them.

AAAA
06-06-2007, 05:26 PM
Not many 5 setters? That does knock on the head the armchair critic idea that clay court tennis is always a grind.

Max G.
06-06-2007, 05:48 PM
I dunno, I'd say just luck. It happens. I wouldn't read a trend into one tournament...

rwn
06-06-2007, 09:31 PM
I dunno, I'd say just luck. It happens. I wouldn't read a trend into one tournament...

Exactly. It's like claiming that Federer is in a big slump after 2 or 3 losses.

NoBadMojo
06-06-2007, 10:22 PM
I think what happens is that after the firsst set in many of these matches, it becomes obvious which of the opponents is beter prepared to grind it out that day, and the other just kind of packs it in..hence the shorter matches...obviously whoever wins the first set with my theory would be the eventual winner of the match..i wonder how many matches there were where the guy losing the first set, came back to win the match? dont think the girls are so relevent being best 2 of 3

Fedexeon
06-06-2007, 10:35 PM
The only 5 sets match i can recall is Hewitt vs Gaudio. Davydenko vs Nalbandian 4 sets is quite exciting. Well, lets hope for some 5 sets action in semis.

urban
06-06-2007, 11:40 PM
Like the grass courters before, now the clay courters are dying out. We see a standardisation to one game and one style: a powerful baseline style, based on hard courts. The same last four are well possible at all venues (maybe not Davydenko at Wim). Its a bit frightening to see, that top players like Nadal or Federer come throught with such soft competition. And if you think, these two are godlike, look at Djoko: He is a uprising star with just a few good months behind him , but has not much trouble either, and he could well be in the sf or f at Wimbledon and USO. All players are so predictable, hardcourters with a sound, but somewhat harmless game. No big weapons, no mighty serve or a real grinding game, which could upset or even hurt a favorite. Mentally they are all all a bit like Henman in his day. Robredo is the paradigma player for this age: he does all things quite well, but nothing exceptional; as sort of modern Emilio Sanchez, a Brad Gilbert without the brain. Result in the modern game: perennial quarterfinalist, with practically no chance to even hurt the top 2 or 3. I miss the Larssons, Sundströms, Costas, Perssons, Mancinis, Jaites - guys from the second or third tier, who on their day, really challenged the toppers.

goforgold99
06-06-2007, 11:50 PM
At least we had a new record five-set match at RG:

Kohlschreiber - Dlouhy
6-2 3-6 7-5 4-6 17-15
:D :D :D

tennis_hand
06-07-2007, 12:35 AM
Nalbadian beating Monfils is also a very good match.

rwn
06-07-2007, 01:39 AM
Like the grass courters before, now the clay courters are dying out. We see a standardisation to one game and one style: a powerful baseline style, based on hard courts. The same last four are well possible at all venues (maybe not Davydenko at Wim). Its a bit frightening to see, that top players like Nadal or Federer come throught with such soft competition. And if you think, these two are godlike, look at Djoko: He is a uprising star with just a few good months behind him , but has not much trouble either, and he could well be in the sf or f at Wimbledon and USO. All players are so predictable, hardcourters with a sound, but somewhat harmless game. No big weapons, no mighty serve or a real grinding game, which could upset or even hurt a favorite. Mentally they are all all a bit like Henman in his day. Robredo is the paradigma player for this age: he does all things quite well, but nothing exceptional; as sort of modern Emilio Sanchez, a Brad Gilbert without the brain. Result in the modern game: perennial quarterfinalist, with practically no chance to even hurt the top 2 or 3. I miss the Larssons, Sundströms, Costas, Perssons, Mancinis, Jaites - guys from the second or third tier, who on their day, really challenged the toppers.

Maybe this standardization is there because that is simply the most effective way to play tennis. IMO it's the same as with soccer, when it became better it became more boring to watch. For example better defensive skills so less chances for attackers to show what they can do. Of course people who look at the past with rosecolored glasses will never accept this possibility.

pound cat
06-07-2007, 02:40 AM
If they would seed players based on talent and not the exact ATP rankings, we would see much more competitive matches .


And how would they do that? Polls on TW messageboard ? Vote for who you think is the most talented player? safin would be right up there, so would that guarantee a more competative match?

l_gonzalez
06-07-2007, 03:08 AM
I think GS in general haven't been quite as exciting since they changed the seedings rules from 16 seeds to 32 seeds. This may be what allows the better players to find their groove at a GS, play their way into the tournament and reach the latter stages.

If we only had 16 seeds we could have had Safin vs Federer in the second round, or Nadal vs Canas, Ferrero vs Djokovic.

It would mean that the top seeds wouldn't be able to cruise through their first few matches and find their from, we might get to see them struggle against good players in the early matches.

Or maybe the top players are just too good at the moment.

Agassi dropped 8 sets on his way to the title in 1999
Guga dropped 6 in 2000 and 5 in 2001

urban
06-07-2007, 03:37 AM
But look, whom Guga had to beat in 1997. It included Muster, Medwedew, Kafelnikov, Bruguera - a real murderer row.

Rhino
06-07-2007, 03:40 AM
I have noticed this as well, that nearly every match this year is a blowout. I think it is just coincadence however. If they redid the French and did the draw all over again, I bet there would be more tight matches.

I think I know what this thread is attempting to imply, but this comment by Steve Dykstra, although not controversial or particularly exciting, is the real reason.

federerfanatic
06-07-2007, 04:40 AM
I'm surprised to see Djokovic win his last 2 matches in straights. He's not that much better than they are on clay, think some players need a gutcheck.

There weren't many 5 setters from the 4th round on last year as well.

Djokovic is just mentally on another planet then his last couple opponents. That IMO came into play much more then he really isnt much better on clay.

ACE of Hearts
06-07-2007, 04:55 AM
I would have loved to see Kuerten in his prime against Fed now.Fed is getting the results on clay now, the biggest one of course is winning it.

federerfanatic
06-07-2007, 04:59 AM
I would have loved to see Kuerten in his prime against Fed now.Fed is getting the results on clay now, the biggest one of course is winning it.


I am sorry to say I dont think Fed do well vs Kuerten in his prime on clay. Remember he was comfortably beaten by an injured detiorated kuerten in the 2004 French Open. Then again that is only 1 match and people read too much into only 1 match. Their other match on clay was in 2002. That was the year Kuerten first began to diminish with injuries but he was still probably closer to his prime then Federer at that point, and was definitely higher ranked, and Federer beat him in 3 sets in the best 2-out-3 with a pretty crushing 3rd set.

I think he would have the odd win vs Kuerten, maybe moreso then Nadal, but he also would have gotten beaten more easily by Kuerten on certain days then he is by Nadal(Nadal's only straight sets win over Federer was only during Federer's big slump earlier this year). Kuerten did not perfect day in and day out at almost the same level like Nadal, but could reach a higher peak on clay on his best days too.

ACE of Hearts
06-07-2007, 05:03 AM
When he was beaten by Kuerten, Roger didnt move as well on the clay.He is consistent now on it.I think he would give Kuerten a good run.Lets not forget that heavy topspin doesnt play a factor here and he is not a lefty.

fastdunn
06-07-2007, 10:24 AM
I think GS in general haven't been quite as exciting since they changed the seedings rules from 16 seeds to 32 seeds.

When was this 32 seeding started ?

Moose Malloy
06-07-2007, 10:55 AM
When was this 32 seeding started ?

Started with 2001 Wimbledon. Ironically a wildcard ranked 125 won it that year.

I dunno, I'd say just luck. It happens. I wouldn't read a trend into one tournament...

Well, there was only one 5 setter from the 4th round on at last years French as well. But there were many 5 setters in '05 so it may be luck.

But I do agree with urban, there are no real claycourt specialists these days. Federer & Nadal are playing guys like Cipolla, Ascione, Montanes, in the early rounds. Not too long ago these guys were unseeded floaters:Norman, Arazi, Larsson, El Aynaoui, Medvedev, Blanco, DeWulf, Portas, Meligeni, Clavet, Gumy, Mantilla, Squillari.

Kuerten played so many 4/5 setters when he was winning the French, while Federer & Nadal have played hardly any(and no 5 setters) the last 2 years, which I find a little odd, don't think they are that much better than him, some of that has to do with level of competition.

I've never seen a FO where the 2 finalists so easily advanced to the final, like last year & this year.

Rhino
06-07-2007, 11:02 AM
Started with 2001 Wimbledon. Ironically a wildcard ranked 125 won it that year.
That isn't really telling the whole story though is it? He was a former 3 time finalist.
I've never seen a FO where the 2 finalists so easily advanced to the final, like last year & this year.
You said it. Never before has the tennis world seen such an enormous all round talent like Federer, and a clay court talent like Nadal. these guys are next-level. They are taking it to new heights that previous finalists could only dream of.

RMB
06-07-2007, 11:15 AM
Most of the women's matches have been very competitive. Most of the men's matches have been a complete bore.

Well, take a look at the w. semis and tell me that they were competitive.

tintin
06-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Well, take a look at the w. semis and tell me that they were competitive.

the women's semis at Wimbledon last year had a lot more action than today's 2 matches:mad:

fastdunn
06-07-2007, 11:59 AM
I think it's also more physically demanding year around compared to past.

You have to play longer rallies (at baseline) in genrally slowed down condition and
you have to play more tournaments (best of 18 ranking system)

fastdunn
06-07-2007, 12:04 PM
You said it. Never before has the tennis world seen such an enormous all round talent like Federer, and a clay court talent like Nadal. these guys are next-level. They are taking it to new heights that previous finalists could only dream of.

There is no question about the talents of Federer and Nadal.
But there were pretty considerable changes between 2001-2003
in the professional tennis tour. I think it helped them a bit to dominate
more.

Einstand
06-07-2007, 12:33 PM
You said it. Never before has the tennis world seen such an enormous all round talent like Federer, and a clay court talent like Nadal. these guys are next-level. They are taking it to new heights that previous finalists could only dream of.

I am actually surprised that Federer was given a 6-1 set by Robredo and Nadal has dropped as many games as he did so far. I was expecting Nadal to come up with a Borg like performance where he dropped only 35 games or some such in 7 matches.

Borg reached FO final several times without dropping a set and many fewer games than Nadal and Federer.

Someone mentioned Kuerten dropped several sets .. that's no surprise considering that he had like only a 70% win rate on clay. He was even down a match point v Russel in one of the years he won .. can't imagine Russel-like player taking even a single set from Federer and especially not against Nadal.