Has a world number one ever been a lesser favourite to win a major than Rafa in Melbourne?

Winner of two of the last three majors have propelled Rafael Nadal to world number one status. I think it is fair to say since winning New York it hasn’t been world number one level and this was on show at the ATP Cup. The word ‘tiredness’ got passed around but I just felt this was an excuse. Following the defeat against Djokovic in ATP Cup I felt like this was a concern over his level but not due to tiredness. I said throughout the event that I felt he huffed and puffed his way through the event in terms … Continue reading Has a world number one ever been a lesser favourite to win a major than Rafa in Melbourne?

Three usual contenders and three hopeful contenders, but who is a genuine contender at Melbourne Park?

Six contenders? Seems about right. Novak is chasing down more history as well as Rafa who is looking at chasing down Roger who would like to pull away a bit more but Daniil, Dominic and Stefanos have their sights on a first major title, but how realistic are there six’ chances? Novak Djokovic Overwhelming favourite, hands down. That doesn’t mean we should put our feet up and let it just happen at all. He is playing at an unmatched level right now. The way his season ended wasn’t great at all but the way he played during the ATP Cup … Continue reading Three usual contenders and three hopeful contenders, but who is a genuine contender at Melbourne Park?

Djokovic Delivers; would you have expected anything else?

When the pressure is on, when it is win or bust there is only one man to call. Novak Djokovic’ perfect performance against Rafael Nadal in ATP Cup will go down as one of the matches of the year. His relentless fight is unmatched and has taken his record to a quite outstanding 8 matches and 19 sets of tennis won in a row against Rafael Nadal on a hard court. The performance oozed class from Djokovic. I’ve seen a lot of Djokovic over the years where I have sat there and said “too good” but this was another level … Continue reading Djokovic Delivers; would you have expected anything else?

Rafael Nadal turns it on late to see off a relentless Alex de Minaur!

For two sets of tennis Alex De Minaur was the better player. The 20 yearly was simply relentless in his shot making as he continued to press the world number one. All the traffic was coming off the racket of the Australian who gave Rafa nothing to work with. It was a very good performance in defeat. He hit a lot of flat balls towards Rafa and kept traffic away from his forehand in the opening couple of sets. Alex’ tactics were really good but there was a couple of problems. Rafa began to hit cleanly off the backhand find … Continue reading Rafael Nadal turns it on late to see off a relentless Alex de Minaur!

Nadal left Madrid twice this year, first time with questions & second time with answers!

Back in May there was a possibility Rafael Nadal would head to Roland Garros without a title. Following an explosive run to the final at the Australian Open he was quickly dispatched by Novak Djokovic in the final with the match finished by the time I landed in Perth from Melbourne. Questions were asked of the Spaniard then who gave soo much but the tank was empty come the final hurdle. A second round exit to Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco followed which subsequently was the earliest he left a tournament this year. Injury forced him to withdraw before his semi-final … Continue reading Nadal left Madrid twice this year, first time with questions & second time with answers!

Between them, Federer, Djokovic & Nadal have ended the year No.1 for 15 of the last 16 years but surely Andy’s 2016 was the standout?

It is quite incredible that for 15 of the last 16 years the year end world number one ranking has been held by Federer, Djokovic or Nadal with all three holding it five times. There have been standout years for all three players when they have finished the year as number one but one year stands out the most to me and that is 2016. 2016 was the year Andy Murray finished the year as world number one. Federer missed quite a bit of tennis that year injured but Rafa and Novak still won big. Djokovic won in Melbourne, Indian … Continue reading Between them, Federer, Djokovic & Nadal have ended the year No.1 for 15 of the last 16 years but surely Andy’s 2016 was the standout?

Admiration for Agut as Spain win the Davis Cup!

The Davis Cup has received a lot of criticism (some fair, some not so) over the course of the week but the feeling of cheering on your country and for the players representing their respective countries never goes away. Spain were worthy winners led by Rafael Nadal, with also added experience of Feliciano Lopez, Marcel Granollers & Pablo Carreno Busta. There is one player I missed out and that is Roberto Bautista Agut. What this guy has done this week is quite incredible. Throughout the course of the year he has produced magical moments on the court. He also is … Continue reading Admiration for Agut as Spain win the Davis Cup!