Thiem blasts injured Zverev; dejected Djokovic loses

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2018)

FROM ROLAND GARROS — Alexander Zverev was physically done. When he woke up in the morning on Tuesday, he felt fresh. But, when he got on the court against Dominic Thiem, his legs were very heavy. In the first set he felt a muscle pull and he needed treatment on his left hamstring. The result? Thiem blasted him in three quick sets.

“First time I felt a pull was in the fourth game of the first set, when we had a few great points, a lot of physical points,” Zverev said. “I remember I slid one time, and then I felt a muscle pull. I thought maybe it’s just soreness or something that would just go away. I didn’t think about it too much. Then each game and each slide, I was getting worse and worse. Middle of the second set, the pain was too much. I knew I’m not going to win the match. There was no way for me.”

Thiem has played great over the past 10 days and has a terrific chance to reach the final at RG.  He is a fantastic mover and his one-handed backhand jumps off the court with a lot of spin. While Zverev won three wonderful five-setters, still, the No. 3 has yet to reach in the semis at a Grand Slam. He is an amazing player, but he has to improve his return, his patience, and most especially, his volleys.

How about the Italian Marco Cecchinato, who stunned Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-6(4) 1-6 7-6(11)? Djokovic played pretty well, overall, but he missed a few key opportunities and Cecchinato was on fire towards the end, with his flashy backhand and forehand. Djokovic was ticked off and he said that he isn’t sure he will play Wimbledon. He was pretty distraught.
 
“Well I guess he’s not ready physically,” Mats Wilander told Reuters about Zverev. “Maybe he is further away physically than … or maybe it’s a different approach, maybe he needs to not go on grass because grass is the ultimate confidence killer.  Even if you play well on grass the bounce is bad, it’s hard to find good practice courts, you can’t really move properly because you slip and slide and if you are really, really keen to get back to your best, which for him is the hardc ourt season, logically you would not want to play on the grass.”
 
There are times when you are down and out, and there are times when you wake up and smell the roses. Or in the tennis court, you smell the opportunity. In the third set, Diego Schwartzman began to scramble more, he hit deeper, and he could tell that Kevin Anderson was getting nervous, and hesitant, and a little bit scary.  Schwartzman was down 1-6, 2-6, 4-5, and ka-boom, he rose up. He grabbed the third set, and in the fourth set, Anderson was there to do it again, but he fell back. But in the fifth set, his brain had wilted.  Schwartzman beat Anderson 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(0), 6-2.
“It’s definitely one of the most emotional matches that I can say I have played,” said Schwartzman.
No doubt, but he has to go up against Rafa Nadal. It is possible that Schwartzman can win a set, but I doubt it given that Nadal has beaten him all five times, and pretty easily. Hopefully, he has to find something, anything, because Nadal just keeps on pounding.

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