TL;DW Recap 🎾 Queens & Halle Quarter-Finals
Federer's Service See-Saw📊, Tsitsipas's Effusive Praise For FAA🧐, Auger-Aliassime's Huge Backhand🔥, Stefanos Slipsipas, Semi-Finals Set🔮
|Matthew Willis||Jun 21, 2019|| 3|
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💥 = Beatdown \\ 🤕 = Injury \\ ‼️ = Upset \\ 🤯 = Epic
— Queens QF 🇬🇧
Medvedev d Schwartzman: 6-2, 6-2 💥
TL;DW: Impressive from Medvedev, who’s technique and firepower gave him a significant edge in this matchup, on this surface. In open play, during rallies, Medvedev’s flat ball simply penetrated the court significantly more than Schwartzman’s, meaning Med was at ease on the baseline redirecting pace and moving the Argentine around. And on serve, Medvedev’s greater power was telling, with 50% of his 1st serves unreturned, compared to Schwartzman’s measly 8%. Diego consistently had to work so much harder on serve than his Russian opponent, winning just 54% off his 1st serve pts and 43% on 2nd serve compared to Medvedev’s 76% and 61% respectively. After a pretty competitive 1st set (despite the scoreline), Schwartzman faded quickly in the 2nd, dumping more and more errors, clearly frustrated with his inability to hit through Med.
Medvedev’s backhand in particular was devastating.
— Queens QF 🇬🇧
Auger-Aliassime (FAA) d Tsitsipas: 7-5, 6-2
TL;DW: Great performance from FAA. The young Canadian wasn’t playing well for most of the 1st set, struggling badly with his baseline timing. Tsitsipas was quite clearly the better player early on, creating multiple 15-30 and 15-40 holes on Auger-Aliassime’s serve. But each time FAA faced pressure, he managed to come up with some excellent serves to get himself out of trouble. This resilience paid off when Tsitsipas made a shocker of a forehand error (combined with some good FAA returns of serve) while serving to stay in the set at 5*-6. All of a sudden FAA had set points, the second of which he took with a good return and a big forehand.
Tsitsipas then left a volley (thinking it was going long) while up BP, with FAA serving at 0*-0 in the 2nd set, and looked frustrated at still not being able to breakthrough. The Greek tried to mount one final comeback down 1-3* with FAA serving. He should have done better on the 1st BP chance, but on the remaining 3, FAA’s serve was simply too good. FAA then finished up the match by double-breaking Tsitsipas with a stunning return game (including a wonderful backhand down the line).
Tsitsipas will count himself a bit unlucky not to have broken FAA’s serve today. But the Greek only really should have done better on 1, maybe 2, of his 7 BP chances (went 0/7). The rest were a case of FAA serving excellently and finding powerful 2nd and 3rd shots off short balls. Overall, brilliant big point play from Auger-Aliassime today (converted 3/5 BP’s and saved 7/7), with the Canadian weathering the storm of his own initial bad play without going behind in the score (a rare and valuable ability). FAA’s backhand, especially as his 2nd shot after the serve, was particularly impressive today (striking 11 winners off that wing alone and 4 more than his forehand).
— Halle QF 🇩🇪
Federer d Bautista Agut: 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
TL;DW: Quite a few parallels with Federer’s win over Tsonga yesterday. Federer was way too good in the opening set, then had a slight drop off in the 2nd set combined with an inspired level of tennis from his opponent, and finally weathered the storm in a tough third set to capitalise on a (very) loose game from RBA. It looked to me as though Federer’s service speed took a dive in the 2nd set, dropping about 10% in the number of unreturned serves from set 1 to set 2. And also dropping from 92% 1st serve points won in set 1 to just 60% (very low for Fed on grass) in set 2. But much of that had to do with RBA’s return performance in the final two sets, finding much better range to pressure Federer’s 2nd shot. This gave RBA far more time on his forehand and allowed him to construct points on his terms for much of the final two sets. Federer’s slice backhand, which had worked by rushing RBA in the 1st set, became a liability, as RBA started crushing those low balls.
Federer once again comes through a third set in which he looked like the player more likely to get broken in the early stages. Some impressive serving when it mattered from Fed, and a slightly lucky forehand that clipped the baseline, came to the rescue and kept the Swiss on serve, and forced RBA to keep chasing the score. Perhaps that scoreboard pressure of serving to stay in the match caught up with RBA, as he threw in an absolute shocker of a game at 4*-5, with 4 wild unforced errors in a row, to surrender the match.
Once again, Federer wins while not at his best against a very competent opponent.
📊 Key today: Federer’s 1st serve pts won in sets 1 & 3 was 92% and 86% respectively, finding big serves when he needed them (Fed’s first serve on the deuce side down the T worked wonders in particular, winning 9/9 points in that placement in the 3rd set). In set two that 1st serve dropped to 60% pts won and looked decidedly slower.
— Other Queens 🇬🇧 Results —
Simon d Mahut: 7-6, 5-7, 7-6
F.Lopez d Raonic: 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) ❗️
— Other Halle 🇩🇪 Results —
Herbert d Coric: 7-5 Ret’d (🤕Coric = Back)
Berrettini d Khachanov: 6-2, 7-6(4)
Goffin d A.Zverev: 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3) ❗️
SHOTS OF THE DAY 😮
— Medvedev with a clever backhand pass. He starts running so early cross court once he puts the lob up. (TennisTV)
— Medvedev easily hitting through Schwartzman with his flat backhand. A recurring theme today. (TennisTV)
— Auger-Aliassime’s 1-2 punches were super impressive today. He also hit more backhand winners than forehand today. (TennisTV)
— Great pass from Tsitsipas, although this was the game in which he couldn’t take his chance on BP. (TennisTV)
— Fed toying with RBA. Thanks to doublefault28 for this GIF. (TennisTV)
— Federer guiding a brilliant return winner onto the sideline. (TennisTV)
— The commentators seemed to think this was Federer's fault for tentatively approaching (it wasn't), but that ignores the genius of RBA’s defensive slice. RBA was clearly conscious that Federer was approaching and successfully cut this slice into as awkward a volley position as possible for Federer. Brilliant wrist and forearm control to manoeuvre this slice to be as good as it was. (TennisTV)
— Stunning forehand pass from RBA to set up an early BP for the Spaniard in the 3rd set.
INTERVIEW/PRESSER BEST BITS🎤
Medvedev on playing fast on grass:
“On clay I'm serving 1 second before the shot clock because the rallies are long, but on grass you are not that tired, so I don't need the 25 seconds. So it depends how tired you are.”
A perfect explanation for why one shot clock limit for all surfaces is dumb.
Federer after beating Bautista Agut:
“I though RBA was rock solid and played really well today… The plan was to try and turn the momentum around at the start of the 3rd set. I kept going down 30-0 on his service games and 0-30 or 15-30 on mine which was a struggle to keep trying to turn it around.”
On his next opponent:
“I know Herbert well, likes to come to the net. A slight adjustment compared to today in terms of play style.”
Tsitsipas on Auger-Aliassime after his loss:
— Part of me thinks this is gracious and rightly praising of FAA (who *is* brilliant and *will* be a tough matchup for Tsitsipas in the next ten years). But the other thinks this is slightly hyperbolic (but maybe understandably so given his record vs FAA).
Auger-Aliassime’s response to the above:
“I think objectively he's (Tsitsipas) a better player. He's better ranked and he's a better player than me. But maybe the matchup, one against each other, I have a bit of an advantage. I don't know."
Auger-Aliassime on Kyrgios:
“I think he’s a good tennis player but I could never be friends with, or close to, a person like that, because we’re way too different.”
Worth watching the full (subtitled) interview here:
SEMI-FINALS OOP (SATURDAY) - QUEENS 🇬🇧
— 1pm Local, 7am CT—
🇷🇺 Medvedev vs Simon 🇫🇷 (H2H: 0-1) (1st Grass Meeting)
Prediction: Medvedev in 3
🇨🇭 Auger-Aliassime vs F.Lopez 🇪🇸 (1st Meeting)
Prediction: Auger-Aliassime in 2
SEMI-FINALS OOP (SATURDAY) - HALLE 🇩🇪
— 1pm Local, 12pm UK, 6am CT—
🇮🇹 Berrettini vs Goffin 🇧🇪 (1st Meeting)
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
🇨🇭 Federer vs Herbert 🇫🇷 (1st Meeting)
Prediction: Federer in 2
— Nick Kyrgios prize money for making the 2nd Rd at Queens: $28,620
$2,500 - unsportsmanlike conduct
$5,000 - unsportsmanlike conduct
$10,000 - unsportsmanlike conduct
— Bautista Agut’s flat-as-a-pancake backhand. (TennisTV)
Fairly heartbreaking video of Delpo explaining what happened to his knee and his expectations of coming back: Instagram
“It’s sad to go through this once again. Hopefully I will have a good recovery. I hope my knee can heal properly. If that match (vs Shapo) was the last one of my career, that I don’t know.”
He is due to have knee surgery in Barcelona tomorrow.
NEW BALLS PLEASE 👀
— Milos Raonic casually trying to castrate Feliciano Lopez. (TennisTV)
— Tsitsipas’s reactions to getting beaten by various players…
—Spot the ball…
— Tsitsipas going straight through Felix. (TennisTV)
— Stefanos Slipsipas was kind enough to make an appearance today. Glorious.
GAME, SET, MATCH 👋
— The Racquet is created, and written, by Matt.
— You can find me on Twitter here.
See you tomorrow for Queens & Halle Semi-Finals!