This is Dominic’s opponent for tomorrow
Updated 26.04.2018, 14:32
Dominic leads Tsitsipas by 2:0 so far, but they never played on clay.
The match starts at 12.30 on Pista Rafael Nadal. Weather forecast: 20°C, partly sunny, no rain 🙂
Updated 26.04.2018, 18:34
Some of you may be worried about Dominic’s not optimal performance in both first matches.
But if you observe Dominic for a long time, you will know, it’s just his character. Because of missing “killer instinct” Dominic cannot unfold all his strength again weaker opponents. A kind of “being sorry” for the underdog or a hurt opponent (famous Delpo match at US Open 2017). After he is challenged and on the brink of losing the match, he does not perceives the opponent as underdog anymore. That’s when he can unfold all his powers.
Well – may look risky and is in fact sometimes. But that’s his character. Don’t we like him for just being emphatic, friendly and humble? Maybe some don’t and would rather like to see him as a serial killer. But he isn’t and will never be.
What he can the best is to fight against own weakness. By learning all the time. By working hard in training. And than in every shot and every rally. This is wearing down the emotional energy. Explaining such things like losing badly to Djokovic after having beaten Rafa (Rome 2017) or losing easily to Rafa after beating Djokovic (Paris 2017).
We cannot choose one from many Dominics. We have only one 🙂
Good luck tomorrow 🙂
Updated 26.04.2018, 22:23
Update about the opponent
Tsitsipas is of course a developing player, but don’t misinterpret (like ATP does, as always for hype) his last results.
I have watched a bit his matches in Barcelona against Schwartzman and Vinolas. Yes, both are established names on clay. But both Diego and Albert are since longer time in a deep form low. Last tournament Diego played well was Rio de Janeiro. Last tournament Albert played well was last year. So Tsitsipas was not challenged in both matches. What he can was simply enough.
Tsotsipas’ this year’s achievements are
Doha – lost in QF to Thiem (defeating first Florian Mayer and Richard Gasquet)
ASB Classic – lost in first round to Lukas Lacko
Auistralian Open – lost in first round to Denis Shapovalov
Quimper Challenger – lost to Quentin Halys in SF
Open Sud de France – – lost in first round to Jeremy Chardy
ABN Amro (Rotterdam) – lost in first round qualifying to Martin Klizan
Open 13 Provence – lost in first round to Nicholas Mahut
Open Region Guadeloupe (Challenger) – lost in second round to Christian Garin
Monte Carlo – lost in second round to David Goffin
He is this year 6 to 9 matches (6 won, 9 lost) overall and 1 to 1 on clay (now 4:1 including matches in Barcelona).
Of course may be all of a sudden a big form has come ??? We’ll see in some hours 🙂
Updated 27.04.2018, 09:29
Just read an article about Rafa dominating opponents’s serve on ATP website, written by Craig O’Shannessy and my conclusion for Rafa’s opponents (hopefully Dominic in Barcelona or later). Don’t serve wide out against Rafa and don’t serve with kick. This all gives Rafa time to return the way, he overtakes the command in the following rally.
Serve flat (faster, so less time for the returner) to the T (the shortest way for the ball to reach the returner). Both factors take pieces of time, Rafa needs, staying far behind the baseline to exercise full swing and make the return long, so he can immediately start to be the attacking part´.
If Rafa comes closer to the baseline, then hit flat to the body, sometimes wide out but it must be really wide.
Updated 27.04.2018, 12:26
Click the image to watch the full match record.
No good news, but not only about the loss.
I have watched parts of the match once more from the recording and I fear, Dominic’s issue with the ankle may be back. I would like this not to be true, but simply bad day in the office.
Nevertheless my observations tell me other things.
Why was serving performance so bad? Not only in this, but also in first 2 matches in Barcelona and actually starting in the match against Rafa in Monte Carlo. Maybe something happened in the match against Djoker? Must not have been some acute incident. If the ankle is not yet fully recovered, at some time things start to go worse and if you think, it’s maybe nothing serious and continue the load, it’s going worse until it does not go anymore.
My impression is, this started in the Djoker match but was not (yet) an obstacle for good game and win.
Again Rafa it was probably a try to play the match with some self-protection, then some days for recovery and in matches against Munar and Kovalik the serve was poor, but opponents not good enough to win.
Try to watch some serves in today’s match (there is a slow-motion option on Dropbox) – the movements sequence at the serve is not normal. Apparently trying to protect and not overload the right foot.
If you play tennis yourself, you will know, if you have something with right foot, you can still play well forehand (the left foot is under main load) and partly change your movement for the backhand, but you cannot do this for the serve. Right foot is under load at the beginning (it’s the spring which must be loaded before tossing the ball and most of the power of the serve comes just from the right leg. Then after the jump when hitting you must land first on the left foot but then on the right to catch balance. If you cannot because of some issue with right leg, you cannot hit the serve with the usual strength.
And here a short clip from today’s match, showing IMO a grimace of pain. Dominic is hard (did play against Cuevas in IW with ankle crack one whole set before asking for medical aid) and if he shows grimaces of pain, it’s something serious. I hope, I’m wrong – one match lost is not so bad as a recurring injury.
Well, maybe not the ankle but bad day in the office. Not the end of the world. Another opportunity to learn or simply overcome the weakness of the day, whatever it was 🙂 This is how Dominic sees today’s match on Instagram. Next Madrid. Right. And then Rome and Paris And then a couple of other tournaments. Maybe 2018 not the “clay year”?
Updated 27.04.2018, 21:19