So, Nadal got out of the hardest group

octogon

Hall of Fame
It was super-weird to me how (almost) everyone here claimed Djokovic's group was harder. Schwartzman was a walking bye in Novak's group. Medvedev and Zverev are tough players....

....but they are not better than Thiem on hardcourts at this stage of their careers. Tsitsipas was the DEFENDING WTF CHAMPION. And Rublev the form player on the ATP, who lost to Rafa, had an incredibly close match with Tsitsipas and beat Thiem. Everyone in Rafa's group was capable of making the Semis.

So what kind of TT Djokovic delusion had so many people claiming Novak had the harder group (he may get eliminated, but that is because his form has been questionable since Nadal killed him at the French Open).
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
This next match with Zverev should determine who had it tougher, I guess. If Zed comes out guns blazing (I hope not lol), then it's definitely Djokovic. If not, then Nadal.

BTW Rublev kinda stunk up the court and Tsits wasn't that great either. The match probably shouldn't have gone to three in the first place. Thiem was excellent and better than Med in their respective matches tho.

Citing the Thiem match as an example for Rublev's good form is quite questionable because it was clear to anyone watching that Thiem at least semi-tanked that match (did the same with Berrettini last year). And as for Tsocrates's WTF win last year, well, that was last year. His form has been quite up and down since then. Actually, mostly down, I'd say, with RG being the one standout great result.

And I wouldn't call this prediction a "delusion". That's silly. It was obviously because Med and Zverev both made the finals of the second-biggest indoor tournament just a week prior. So we have good, very recent results and good indoor results rolled into one package. Thiem on the other hand had been underperforming since USO and Tsits was, as I said, up and down. Rublev looked interesting, but he hadn't done much in anything above ATP 500-level tournaments aside from some Slam QFs so it'd be a stretch to label him a tough prospect. He was more of a wild card imo.

This above prediction might turn out wrong, but you can't call people deluded for sticking with what seemed like a very reasonable call at the time.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
This next match with Zverev should determine who had it tougher, I guess. If Zed comes out guns blazing (I hope not lol), then it's definitely Djokovic. If not, then Nadal.

BTW Rublev kinda stunk up the court and Tsits wasn't that great either. The match probably shouldn't have gone to three in the first place. Thiem was excellent and better than Med in their respective matches tho.

Citing the Thiem match as an example for Rublev's good form is quite questionable because it was clear to anyone watching that Thiem at least semi-tanked that match (did the same with Berrettini last year). And as for Tsocrates's WTF win last year, well, that was last year. His form has been quite up and down since then. Actually, mostly down, I'd say, with RG being the one standout great result.

And I wouldn't call this prediction a "delusion". That's silly. It was obviously because Med and Zverev both made the finals of the second-biggest indoor tournament just a week prior. So we have good, very recent results and good indoor results rolled into one package. Thiem on the other hand had been underperforming since USO and Tsits was, as I said, up and down. Rublev looked interesting, but he hadn't done much in anything above ATP 500-level tournaments aside from some Slam QFs so it'd be a stretch to label him a tough prospect. He was more of a wild card imo.

This above prediction might turn out wrong, but you can't call people deluded for sticking with what seemed like a very reasonable call at the time.
Thiem doesn't need to tank anything for Rublev to beat him. Rublev beat Thiem handily in straights a few weeks ago in Thiem's hometown in Vienna (was he also trying to "tank" his hometown tournament where he was defending champion?). He knows how to beat the guy. And for the love of god, can we stop using the word "tank" every time we want to excuse a top player losing (it's like the new excuse for everytime Djokovic loses a match). These are competitive professionals who don't want to give up H2H victories to rivals. You think Thiem wants Rublev to feel he has his number just because he's qualified for the semis? That is a dangerous line of thinking.

Rublev is a tough prospect. He comfortably beat the world no.3 and reigning US Open champion a few weeks ago, and then did it again this week. He lost comfortably to Nadal because Nadal is a tough match-up for everyone, especially when you have barely played him before like Rublev. But he is clearly a top level guy at the moment, and having match point against Tsitsipas and beating Thiem twice in the space of a few weeks shows that.
 
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Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Thiem doesn't need to tank anything for Rublev to beat him. Rublev beat Thiem handily in straights a few weeks in Thiem's hometown in Vienna (was he also trying to "tank" his hometown tournament where he was defending champion?). He knows how to beat the guy. And for the love of god, can we stop using the word "tank" every time we want to excuse a top player losing (it's like the new excuse for everytime Djokovic loses a match). These are competitive professionals who don't want to give up H2H victories to rivals. You think Thiem wants Rublev to feel he has his number just because he's qualified for the semis? That is a dangerous line of thinking.
Of course he doesn't, but in that particular match I'd say he did. He didn't quite put in the same amount of effort that won him the matches against Tsits and especially Nadal. It's what he did last year against Berrettini after taking down Federer and Djokovic in nice displays of tennis, and it's what I suspected would happen. Granted, it wasn't a full on tank like Djokovic against Sonego because he did put in some effort during the second set. But too late.

I don't think Rublev is that bad of a player but if Thiem had even played to 1/2 of the ability he displayed in the Nadal match against him, I just don't feel like BWEH would be running away with it.

Nah, he didn't tank Vienna. He was perfectly fine for the first set but then suffered a minor injury in the second (which was also why he withdrew from Paris).

As for the bolded, that's not what I'm doing. These are very special circumstances we're talking about here. I've literally never seen Djokovic do anything like what he did vs. Sonego. The only way to classify such a loss would be a tank (and he himself admitted it so it's a done deal now). And it's odd that Thiem feels the need to do this when past WTF semifinalists didn't really do it as much. No one (at least to my knowledge) is using these as excuses. There's general lack of motivation and mental lapses that Djokovic has been letting affect him too much, but those aren't tanks.

I think Thiem is probably worried more about what he'll do in the forthcoming semifinals than he is about letting Rublev take some kind of lead in H2H to affect matches in the uncertain future. Rublev seems to think so too:


Again, I don't think it was a full-on tank ("semi-tank" is what I called it), but I just don't think Thiem could really find the intensity he needed because he had other priorities, frankly.
 
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Give Rafael a medal ! YAY!

Also if you didn't watch the match don't spew nonsense.

Rublev does have a strong advantage against Thiem, but the way Thiem played, it was basically losing points on purpose at times.

The commentator called him out on it on several occasions, intially limiting to only expressing surprise at his shot selection and by the end down right implying he was missing first serves on purpose.

I guess you know more than the Commentators about the match situation.

Thiem has too many nagging injuries, he made a smart choice . Beating Rublev would require 3 sets and over 2 hrs. He recently spoke about how he gets bad blisters if he plays indoors too much. That's the reason he gave for Vienna loss in a way.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
I dunno. The only times I used to hear the word "tank" regularly on this forum were when Kyrigos or Tomic were playing (understandably. They are two of the most unprofessional players on tour). Now I feel like the term is being tossed around casually ever since Djokovic lost to Sonego (and some Djokovic fans were claiming it for his loss to Medvedev as well).

Just feels like a weird thing Djokovic fans in particular now want to propagate, and now claim the other top guys are doing as well. Suddenly the top guys just like "tanking" matches on the regular. I don't buy it. Players lose to better players on the day. Trying to claim "tank" because you want to excuse a loss or don't want to give a player credit for their victory is quite distasteful to me.
 
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Scharwtzman was a walking bye for the WHOLE GROUP. Not just Djokovic.

Rublev had match point against Tsitsipas and beat Thiem.

Nadal's group was tougher. Period.
Rublev's match with Nadal has nothing to do with the matches with any other player. Rublev is a Nadal fanboy, and behaves accordingly (for now). Thiem lost, because he was saving himself for the SF/F. Tsitsipas is in abysmal form, so contesting the last two places with another weak player is not a surprise.

Period.

:cool:
 
Trying to claim "tank" because you want to excuse a loss or don't want to give a player credit for their victory is quite distasteful to me.
Trying to disagree with the Commentators and every single soul (or at least 99%) who watched the match seems to be quite intelligent to me.

Edit : Include Rublev in the list of people whose opinion you are denouncing
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Of course he doesn't, but in that particular match I'd say he did. He didn't quite put in the same amount of effort that won him the matches against Tsits and especially Nadal. It's what he did last year against Berrettini after taking down Federer and Djokovic in nice displays of tennis, and it's what I suspected would happen. Granted, it wasn't a full on tank like Djokovic against Sonego because he did put in some effort during the second set. But too late.

I don't think Rublev is that bad of a player but if Thiem had even played to 1/2 of the ability he displayed in the Nadal match against him, I just don't feel like BWEH would be running away with it.

Nah, he didn't tank Vienna. He was perfectly fine for the first set but then suffered a minor injury in the second (which was also why he withdrew from Paris).

As for the bolded, that's not what I'm doing. These are very special circumstances we're talking about here. I've literally never seen Djokovic do anything like what he did vs. Sonego. The only way to classify such a loss would be a tank (and he himself admitted it so it's a done deal now). And it's odd that Thiem feels the need to do this when past WTF semifinalists didn't really do it as much. No one (at least to my knowledge) is using these as excuses. There's general lack of motivation and mental lapses that Djokovic has been letting affect him too much, but those aren't tanks.

I think Thiem is probably worried more about what he'll do in the forthcoming semifinals than he is about letting Rublev take some kind of lead in H2H to affect matches in the uncertain future. Rublev seems to think so too:


Again, I don't think it was a full-on tank ("semi-tank" is what I called it), but I just don't think Thiem could really find the intensity he needed because he had other priorities, frankly.
Rublev is pretty humble and isn't afraid to speak his mind if he thinks his opponent was not at his best.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Trying to claim "tank" because you want to excuse a loss or don't want to give a player credit for their victory is quite distasteful to me.
You obviously didn’t watch either the Djokovic-Medvedev match or the Thiem-Rublev match because both were were tanks.

Thiem quite blatantly tanked, Djokovic was a bit more subtle, but still was giving little effort. The commentators all were explicit as well. Courier drolly said, “Thiem has spent the entire match deliberately missing easy shots.”

No one is “excusing a loss” or withholding credit, they’re simply expressing the blatantly obvious: Djokovic and especially Thiem both tossed one of the RR matches in this event.
 

Bumbaliceps

Semi-Pro
I think there is a simple answer, Thiem and Tsitsipas didn't give very good guarantees about their form before the tournament. Personally I expected them to be a bit burned out / injured, so I thought Novak's group was clearly stronger. But in hindsight Nadal's group was the tougher one.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
You obviously didn’t watch either the Djokovic-Medvedev match or the Thiem-Rublev match because both were were tanks.

Thiem quite blatantly tanked, Djokovic was a bit more subtle, but still was giving little effort. The commentators all were explicit as well. Courier drolly said, “Thiem has spent the entire match deliberately missing easy shots.”

No one is “excusing a loss” or withholding credit, they’re simply expressing the blatantly obvious: Djokovic and especially Thiem both tossed one of the RR matches in this event.

I watched both matches. The better players on the day won. That is all. No conspiracy or deliberate match fixing (which is what a tank is. And it's illegal).

I could really care less what some of these idiot commentators say. Courier especially is a mug who truly believes Djokovic can never lose a match unless he's deliberately choosing not to play well enough, which is delusional. Most of these idiots had Djokovic as the firm favorite against Nadal at Roland Garros, yet I'm supposed to bow at their "expertise" now. Get the hell outta here!. LOL!

Players have bad days at the office or feel legthargic and can't summon the intensity or precision they can be capable at other times. That's called being human. The idea that these are "tanks" is insulting to both the player and opponent. And Courier should be ashamed of himself for saying that crap. But I have zero regard for him as a commentator anyway.
 
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D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
I have no idea how anyone picked Djokovic's group as the hardest. Schwartzman? Really?
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
I watched both matches. The better players on the day won. That is all. No conspiracy or deliberate match fixing (which is what a tank is. And it's illegal).

I could really care less what some of these idiot commentators say. Courier especially is a mug who truly believes Djokovic can never lose a match unless he's deliberately choosing not to play well enough, which is delusional. Most of these idiots had Djokovic as the firm favorite against Nadal at Roland Garros, yet I'm supposed to bow at their "expertise" now. Get the hell outta here!. LOL!

Players have bad days at the office or feel legthargic and can't summon the intensity or precision they can be capable at other times. That's called being human. The idea that these are "tanks" is insulting to both the player and opponent. And Courier should be ashamed of himself for saying that crap. But I have zero regard for him as a commentator anyway.
I never disliked Courier, but someone who believes that really shouldn’t commentate. I mean, why should a player deliberately miss shots? I very well believe that a player in Thiem’s circumstances doesn’t try as hard as he would if he needed the win to reach the SF. But on the other hand, getting 200 ranking points isn’t irrelevant. You need to win a small tournament to top this. Also Thiem always has a heavy schedule and doesn’t mind playing much. So playing a Best of 3 match before having a day off and then playing another one won’t bother him in any way.

For Djokovic I don’t see any excuse why he should have tanked. He was far from having qualified and now has a knockout match to do so, and against an opponent who beat him on this court in the past. There is no reason in the world for him to tank his SECOND match.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
I never disliked Courier, but someone who believes that really shouldn’t commentate. I mean, why should a player deliberately miss shots? I very well believe that a player in Thiem’s circumstances doesn’t try as hard as he would if he needed the win to reach the SF. But on the other hand, getting 200 ranking points isn’t irrelevant. You need to win a small tournament to top this. Also Thiem always has a heavy schedule and doesn’t mind playing much. So playing a Best of 3 match before having a day off and then playing another one won’t bother him in any way.

For Djokovic I don’t see any excuse why he should have tanked. He was far from having qualified and now has a knockout match to do so, and against an opponent who beat him on this court in the past. There is no reason in the world for him to tank his SECOND match.

Wow, a TTW poster applying some common sense. So rare these days. Bravo.

I almost thought I was gonna get hit with "bUt jIM cOUrIEr TOld mE iT wUZ a tANk!" LOL!
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
He basically beat Rublev who I have no clue how he qualified and a subar Tsitsipas in a deciding set while also getting straight setted by the only good player in the group.
 
Nadal was 6-1 against Tsitsipas who additionally was not even in good form and Rublev folded like a cheap tent playing his master and idol. Pretty good group for Nadal.

Schwartzman would be a walking bye for him but Zverev just beat him on indoor court in Paris and Medvedev is in top form. It's questionable would he got out of this group.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Nadal was 6-1 against Tsitsipas who additionally was not even in good form and Rublev folded like a cheap tent playing his master and idol. Pretty good group for Nadal.

Schwartzman would be a walking bye for him but Zverev just beat him on indoor court in Paris and Medvedev is in top form. It's questionable would he got out of this group.

Medvedev has never beaten Nadal, which technically makes Tsitsipas a tougher opponent for him, despite his weak record against Nadal.

These guys are elite players who have won big titles. The fact that Nadal struggles less or loses less against NextGen players than Djokovic should not be the determining factor in which group is "harder". That is on Djokovic that he loses more to them. Swap Tsitsipas for Medvedev and some people would still just claim he makes it an easy group because he has yet to beat Nadal.

That's not how it works. Overall, Nadal's group had on average, the higher calibre of player. And it played out in how the Round Robin matches went.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
While the word "tank" can be used a bit too freely, Thiem had very little incentive to give full effort versus Rublev, as he was already through to the semis-- and I think had even clinched the #1 seed in his group.

It's much different than not giving full effort in a knockout match. (I did not see the Novak-Med match, but I'm not sure why Novak - if true - would not go all out in a second RR match, having clinched nothing. Hopefully, he plays much better in a few hours, or he deserves to be eliminated.)

That's one of the things I don't care about this tourney - you don't really know who in the draw is both healthy and inspired to go all-out.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
It was super-weird to me how (almost) everyone here claimed Djokovic's group was harder. Schwartzman was a walking bye in Novak's group. Medvedev and Zverev are tough players....

....but they are not better than Thiem on hardcourts at this stage of their careers. Tsitsipas was the DEFENDING WTF CHAMPION. And Rublev the form player on the ATP, who lost to Rafa, had an incredibly close match with Tsitsipas and beat Thiem. Everyone in Rafa's group was capable of making the Semis.

So what kind of TT Djokovic delusion had so many people claiming Novak had the harder group (he may get eliminated, but that is because his form has been questionable since Nadal killed him at the French Open).
Not sure which group was harder.
As the #1 seed, though, shouldn't Novak's group be slightly easier? So yes, Diego - by seed and recent HC form - is a bit easier on paper than Rublev.

The #3 (Thiem) should be grouped with #2 as well, and #4 with #1. Thiem and Tsitsipas is roughly the same challenge as Med and Zverev. Each can be quite dangerous.

With Novak not in great form coming in and given the recent winners of this event, going in, the only real surprise winner of the tourney (I thought) would be Diego.
 
Medvedev has never beaten Nadal, which technically makes Tsitsipas a tougher opponent for him, despite his weak record against Nadal.

These guys are elite players who have won big titles. The fact that Nadal struggles less or loses less against NextGen players than Djokovic should not be the determining factor in which group is "harder". That is on Djokovic that he loses more to them. Swap Tsitsipas for Medvedev and some people would still just claim he makes it an easy group because he has yet to beat Nadal.

That's not how it works. Overall, Nadal's group had on average, the higher calibre of player. And it played out in how the Round Robin matches went.
On paper, it's more difficult group but for Nadal personally, I don't think so. We'll see how he'll fare against Medvedev in SF. Nadal barely beat him last year in WTF, when Medvedev was in much worse form.

Edit: it's weird how the thread title says "hardest group", as if there were more than 2 groups or this was the hardest group in WTF history. :sneaky:
 
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18x20 ftw

Semi-Pro
I think the groups were about evenly matched. Djokovic has 5 or 6 wtf’s, Nadal unfortunately not as good on this surface. Thiem and Zverev just went to a fifth breaker a few weeks ago, pretty even, Zverev serve aided by indoors. Medvedev and Tsitsipas, Medevedev in much better form, won Paris, a tougher out lately. I don’t know how people are still sleeping on Med. Tsitsipas can have a high level but just not bringing it lately. Rublev I feel is stronger on indoor than Schwartzmann, but lacks something. Nadal looked good in the third set last night. This might be the year he wins. Can’t wait for the Nadal Medvedev match.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
Give Rafael a medal ! YAY!

Also if you didn't watch the match don't spew nonsense.

Rublev does have a strong advantage against Thiem, but the way Thiem played, it was basically losing points on purpose at times.

The commentator called him out on it on several occasions, intially limiting to only expressing surprise at his shot selection and by the end down right implying he was missing first serves on purpose.

I guess you know more than the Commentators about the match situation.

Thiem has too many nagging injuries, he made a smart choice . Beating Rublev would require 3 sets and over 2 hrs. He recently spoke about how he gets bad blisters if he plays indoors too much. That's the reason he gave for Vienna loss in a way.
Your post illustrates why i am right about the WTF being a meaningless exhibition. An event which can allow tanking is an exhibition even if points are awarded.
An end of season jolly for the players
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
These groups are among the same in difficulty. It's, like always in tennis, more about match-ups.

Talk Tennis:

Interesting that this was not the prevailing view on TTW when the groups were announced though (that they were evenly matched). Felt like 95% of the forum were claiming Djokovic somehow had the "group of death" (even with Schwartzman.LOL!), while Nadal had the "easy" group.

Hindsight certainly is something, isn't it.
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
frankly it doesn't matter to me as we are already aware of his capabilities on all surfaces........he was 19 and took down one of fraud's prime pigeons on the fast indoor hardcourt in madrid 2005 while playing with the wrong hand........imagine what he could have achieved if he played with his natural hand........he would have won them as easy as picking cherries from a tree........
 
Interesting that this was not the prevailing view on TTW when the groups were announced though (that they were evenly matched). Felt like 95% of the forum were claiming Djokovic somehow had the group of death (even with Schwartzman.LOL!), while Nadal had the "easy" group.

Hindsight certainly is something, isn't it.
It is your fault that you remember only the comments that stated that Djokovic has the more difficult group. Don't blame the others for your shortcomings.

:cool:
 
Your post illustrates why i am right about the WTF being a meaningless exhibition. An event which can allow tanking is an exhibition even if points are awarded.
An end of season jolly for the players
Choose one

1) Beating 4 to 5 top 8 tennis players in a single tournament is not a farce but one of the highest achievements possible.

2) WTF is an exhibition.
 
Option 2. Players can tank and win the event renders it an end of season jolly.
Then you are saying tennis is a farce.

These 8 players play this tournament because they were the 8 best at their job throughout the year.

When one of them wins this, he has 4 or 5 top 8 wins behind it.

4-5 top 8 wins are more than what Rafael Nadal had in entire 2010 3 in a row Grand slams.

He managed exactly 4 wins.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
Then you are saying tennis is a farce.

These 8 players play this tournament because they were the 8 best at their job throughout the year.

When one of them wins this, he has 4 or 5 top 8 wins behind it.

4-5 top 8 wins are more than what Rafael Nadal had in entire 2010 3 in a row Grand slams.

He managed exactly 4 wins.
You said thiem tanked. If players tank at an event and can still win it is meaningless.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
I don't expect it to happen, but if Nadal wins this tournament, this place will be a salt mine of biblical proportions lol
 
I don't expect it to happen, but if Nadal wins this tournament, this place will be a salt mine of biblical proportions lol
It will mean that the VB finally admits the importance of the tournament.

Let's hope that that happens, so that the silliness stops!

:cool:
 
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