Tag Archives: Kei Nishikori

Όχι, παίζουμε… The Big Croat sweeps away hyper-touted Japanese opponent

9 Sep

09MENS-1-master675-v5 Credit Barton Silverman/The New York Times

The media are so enamoured with young, come-out-of-nowhere under-dog narratives — and calling Djoković, 27, and Murray, 27, old — that they exaggerate things wildly.  Even — or especially — in today’s world of high-bio-tech training and conditioning, two years do not make or break a champion.  Like this Times story which will seem embarrassing in its prophetic pretensions just a few months from now; that’s my prediction: Tennis World Wobbles as Competitive Axis Begins to Shift“.

Čilić, 25, steamrolled supposed wonderboy Kei Nishikori, 24, in straight sets: an elegant 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.  That Djoković played an unpardonably childish and bad game against him in the semis Saturday did not automatically elevate Nishikori to the Hall of Legends.

Times coverage: Marin Cilic Defeats Kei Nishikori at U.S. Open for His First Grand Slam Title

And The Guardian live:  US Open Final: Marin Cilic beats Kei Nishikori – as it happened

US Open Tennis Photograph: JASON SZENES/EPA

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Djoković at his worst…

6 Sep

368d4e2a-509b-40a6-af0b-56c9241a6773-460x364Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Moody, distracted, irritable, unable to come back from even the tiniest initial set-back, seemingly pissed off that it’s hot — like it’s a personal conspiracy against him — pissed off that #11 seed can be winning against him; till he decides he’s just too exhausted to even try and throws it in like a little child who doesn’t want to play anymore.

I don’t know why so much tennis is played in the most vicious heat imaginable either — July in London, New York in September, Melbourne in January — but deal with it.  It’s not like the gods have set up an invisible parasol for your opponent.  And, he’s not that much younger than you.

Then you got the announcers: “Having to be away from pregnant wife Jelena must be taking its toll on Novak too…”  Spare me the heterosentimentality, please.  (Or maybe they’re right: cherchez la femme…she’ll drain you dry every time…)  I adore this dude, but when he just gives up, he just gives up and it’s a real let-down for fans.  You’re getting too old for this sh*t Nole; the pissy defeatism is unacceptable; it’s not cute anymore.

Now I’m in a position where I have to root for a Croat…

The Guardian — like I’ve said before, best coverage of anyone — hasn’t posted yet, but see their Twitter in the meantime.

Woops… here they go.

P.S. Decent, polite and humble at press conference after, though…

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

“But there has rarely been a tennis champion more adept at absorbing pace and thwarting ambition than Novak Djokovic, particularly on a hard court.” — The New York Times

4 Sep


b9352043f44b231b599dd6c06205d806_crop_northAP Images (click)

Didn’t find the match nearly as exciting as the Times seems to have.  Both players seemed angry and irritable at having to start so late — the result of a four hour plus match where an impressive, and previously unknown to me, Kei Nishikori beat Stanislas Wawrinka — and by half way it had just become a game of physical and nervous attrition.  Happy result though. 

My call is Djoković and Federer again in final —  see if Nole can reproduce Wimbledon win.

Whole Times article: Novak Djokovic Defeats Andy Murray to Reach U.S. Open Semifinals

While The Bleacher Report both gushes and points out his weaknesses:

“He’s got a serve that’s efficient, if not blinding. He’s got incredible agility and tremendous speed. He runs down shots that seem irretrievable, shots that have the fans gasping—and then roaring.

If there is a weakness in his game, it may be a failure to put away an opponent. He had Murray beaten in the second set—or was Murray beating himself? After losing that set, Djokovic returned to display the skills he possesses.”

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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