ONLY FEW KNOW WHAT THIEM IS ABLE TO DELIVER

It’s a quote from a Bresnik interview after Dominic’s title in Buenos Aires.

Now some days after a small disaster in Rio de Janeiro.

No comments from Bresnik.

Were Bresnik’s words not prophetic? Verdasco for sure does not belong to those, knowing what Thiem is able to deliver. Not a nice joke for Dominic and his fans.

Now how should we interpret Bresnik’s words? He is for sure the man, who knows the most about Dominic. Another one is his fitness coach Alex Stober. Both outstanding professionals.

One possible interpretation is, that Dominic is far from peaking this season. Could be. Many top players are not. Many high ranked players exit early in tournaments before their main season or season’s parts.

Who were tournaments winners so far in 2018?

Brisbane – Nick Kyrgios

Doha – Gael Monfils (could have been Thiem but a virus got him out)

Tata Open – Gilles Simon

Sydney – Danil Medvedev

Auckland – Roberto Bautista Agut

Sofia – Mirza Basic

Quito – Roberto Carballes Baena

Montpellier – Lucas Pouille

New York Open – Kevin Anderson (first one from Top10, but not Top10 before the tournament and probably only short-term  Top10 member)

Buenos Aires – THIEM (first long-term Top10 member)

And 3 others, having finals today, so I give 2 potential winners:

Rio de Janeiro – Verdasco/Schwartzman

Marseille – Pouille/Khachanov

Delray Beach – Tiafoe/Gojowczyk

No big names here. I left intentionally Australian Open and Rotterdam aside – won by Roger Federer, but this is a special case (in many aspects). And Federer will not play 20+ tournaments in 2018, probably not more than 10-12, so he is planning his peaks differently.

Now back to Thiem.

Everything before Monte Carlo Masters is part of his season’s introduction.  To peak for 3 clay Masters, Barcelona and French Open, Thiem cannot go deep in every tournament before. There must be some calculation and all top players must do it.

So would it be so good and wise to prepare Thiem to win Buenos Aires, Rio, Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami? So long his main winning surface is clay, for sure not. Maybe in 1-2 years, but then with heavy focus on all Masters and Slams, no matter the surface.

Next for Thiem is Acapulco and this is a warm-up event before Sunshine Double for those, who did not play much so far this year. Don’t expect Thiem to win Acapulco. Maybe he could win it, but this could cost him following 2 Masters, where to go deep, has sense because of ranking. Thiem is not (yet) contender for crowns there, but could try to go deep in one of these tournaments.

So yes, I think, Bresnik knows, what he speaks about and this means, Thiem cannot peak right now. And nobody can win 5-10 tournaments in a row.

So it’s rather not a joke but scheduling. Maybe first season with bigger plans and maybe real chances to  reach big goals. Not now!

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27 Replies to “ONLY FEW KNOW WHAT THIEM IS ABLE TO DELIVER”

  1. Hi Wladyslaw,
    Thanks for keeping us updated.
    I don’t expect Dominik to go deep in Acapulco because he is in a rather difficult section of the draw.
    About scheduling and preparing to peak…
    I prefer him not to peak too early.
    Winning MC, Madrid and Rome would be nice, but he better wait for playing his best tennis till he is in Paris, so he can have a better finish there (Roland Garros) than last year.
    I don’ t like Dominik being baggeled by Rafa or Fernando.

  2. Better by Fernando in Rio than by Rafa in Paris 😉
    One clay Masters title and Paris crown plus maybe semi or finals in other clay Masters plus Barcelona would be good enough 🙂
    To reach SF in Acapulco would be good – both some points for the ranking and good warm-up before IW+Miami. SF in both IW and Miami would be fine too. Dominic always did perform quite well in the Sunshine Double.
    If I understand well the way of his development, he needs now to reach a “mini-peak” in US so to be confident in MC and to possibly improve the ranking before clay Masters and of course Paris.
    Of course, one can make very detailed plans and then get some Sandgren or similar. Dominic seems to have “luck” for such surprises 🙁

  3. Hi Wladyslaw,
    I took Bresnik’s comment at face value. I.e that what Dominic can achieve in practice is far greater than what he is producing in competition. I would presume this is the norm for most players regardless of their ranking owing to all the variables that have to be taken into account throughout a tournament. There are probably a few that thrive under the pressure of a ‘true’ match as opposed to practice but I would think this to be a very small percentage (Federer probably the most likely example!)
    It appears that Dominc is in exceptionally good physical condition but as you have pointed out previously this does not win matches alone. You’ve also mentioned that Dominic’s level of play this year is already much better than it was in the latter part of last year and he has clearly improved certain aspects of his game. I am sure this is true however it cannot be denied that although he creates many break point opportunities he really struggles to convert them. I may be wrong but presume that these key moments are very hard to replicate in practice.
    The other issue, one that many write about is Dominic’s lack of an ‘alternative’ or ‘Plan B’! You noticed that he tried to implement this in his latest match against Verdasco & it clearly didn’t work. From a positive perspective is this something that Bresnik has finally realised is necessary & still in the early stages of execution or was this of Dominic’s choice alone? Hopefully the former. We can only wait to see.
    You’ve made a very interesting observation in regard to those who have won the tournaments so far this year. It can not be denied that this had begun to happen also in the latter part of last year. I think it proves how much easier it is to win if you are a good young and/or lower ranked player without the pressure of expectation. This must also prove how incredible the mental & physical power of Federer, Nadal & Djokovic was/is with Murray & Wawrinka behind them but still impressive! Would be interested to know what you think?

  4. Also some more observations! You write about ‘warm-up’ events. Dominic’s warm-up events prior to both Wimbledon & USO last year did not produce good results for him yet he managed the 4th round of both slams although unfortunately no further. The question is would it have been better for Dominic to have lost earlier in Buenos Aires (especially from a rankings perspective) & to have won in Rio or would Verdasco have beaten him regardless? Trying to analyse this from a scheduling perspective must be almost impossible (unless again your name is Federer!). My point is that had Dominic won or gone very deep at Halle, Antalya, Montreal &/or Cincinnati, would he have lost sooner at those GSs? Do you know what the stats are in regard to previous GS winners who have played those warm-up events? I’m pretty sure I have a good idea but I trust you will have the accurate answer! 😏

  5. @Michelle
    I understand your point but you must recognize (sure, you do, I think), Dominic is a very special case. Every tennis match is a small or big war. In a real wars not always win those, who have better weapons. People call it in tennis (and other direct competition sports) “killer instinct”. Those who win the most are just “instinctive killers”.
    We can observe Dominic misses this factor and this is his character, he will not change it, he will rather lose than start consciously to be a killer. He is so respectful and friendly against the worst killers like Delpo. He never takes an advantage in doubtful situations, while others always do (including Federer)
    Did you see the short video I posted yesterday in the Rio Open thread? It shows perfectly, who Dominic is. He knew, he is right and the umpire (one of the best and friendly umpires Mohammed Lahyani) takes the false ballmark. Everyone else would tell the umpire – look, this is not the right ballmark. But he didn’t. He never discusses with the umpire. He accepts, the umpire can be wrong in his decision and this belongs to the game. I’m quite sure, Verdasco knew, the umpire is investigating the mark not from this shot. But it was about maybe winning or losing the set and consequently maybe the match. Just like Anderson last year. This is something we cannot (and should not) expect to change. And we should take it positive. Maybe you recall Bresnik’s statement in the end part of his book something like “Dominic just found his way to be aggressive”. This way is to accept every loss, to learn about his deficits and to improve. This is what he will do all his career and life. He is sometimes sad after especially bitter losses, like to Delpo. But never angry, never unfriendly. This has a big impact on his results. He wants to win only because he can do so many things in the game itself so good – if not, he starts to grind and improve to be better next match, next season. I personally like Dominic “as is”, may he not win so much he could “borrow” the character from Dimitrov (I did post one about players who are able to win matches even having all stats worse than the opponent) or Lucas Pouille and many others. Federer one of biggest examples – Rafa on the other side. Dominic and Rafa has this in common and they understand each other a lot better than any other pair in the top of the game. Nadal is more flexible in the game, plan changing a.s.o. – this is what Dominic can improve and he does this. He will go all the career this way. Some day either he is so good in everything, nobody beats him or he will never or not often win big titles.
    Re latest Bresnik’s remark – I think, he meant both – Dominic is not yet peaking for the season. And Dominic is far from peaking for the career. Late bloomer in every aspect.
    And just like he was 8 or 12 or 16, he plays and LEARNS with passion. He is a difficult case for typical coaches. Typical coach tells the player – do you want to win? Do what all others do. Exploit weaknesses. Do mind games. Take umpire’s errors if they are to your advantage. This is what virtually ALL do. How do you want to defeat them when they will find ways to take you the most important points or take “small white pills” if this can help. And use crowds. The only way Dominic uses crowds is to deliver outstanding shots or rallies and get his reward, some clapping or Mexican wave and he is happy with this. But never interacting, like Monfils, like Dustin Brown, like Federer, like many Frenchmen, like Wawrinka or Djokovic, Zverev. I think, Bresnik knows, it has no more sense to try to change Dominic to be a killer. He will always play the ball and the court, never the opponent. I know, he is happy with his achievements and not thinking too much about prospects. He thinks his life is blessed – he can do what he loves the most – every day he does not play tournament he makes practice. Not an usual. He practices so long, he has improved what he planned to improve. This all can be read in Bresnik’s book. If not this book, we would not be able to understand Dominic. This is why I decided to translate most important and Dominic-related parts. To help others understand, who is Dominic. But many have read (I don’t mean you!!!) and after a week they post comments like “how is he a Top10 player? he plays on the Top200 level. They forgot or never understood.
    So Dominic is still on the way of improvement and from time to time this will be enough to prevail. Without mind games. Without distracting the opponent, what almost everyone does regularly (including the goddish Federer). Well, I still like Fed’s game but not his personality. I like Dominic’s personality and I know he will be every year better and he will get closer to the very top until he reaches it and stays there for a longer while. But he will never collect records. Only be happy about each win, about each match well played, even if lost. And what we must learn, is to watch his matches live (many Fed Fans never watch matches live because of fear he could lose). They are worth this. Including watching his reactions to umpires’ errors, to opponents playing they have not seen and simply wait for the point. I could write a book, but somehow I also miss a killer instinct 😉 May life’s way has very much common with Dominic’s way. This is why I believe to understand him.

      1. @wilfried
        For discussion like this I think about compiling it into an article. Comments are OK, but sometimes telling more than original article, so maybe good idea to post them as a post? I know, some readers are not looking for comments but for posts only. What do you think? Maybe under “Guest articles”?

  6. @Michelle
    Forgot your remark about warm-up events.
    I think, the whole planning is Bresnik’s job. He is controlling the whole preparation, so maybe Dominic even does not know, how it’s going on and doesn’t care much about that. He plays every tournament so good he can, never losing intentionally (what many do or even retire and some even tell why) , so he was involved in Verdasco match as always. The big difference was, Verdasco is on the top line and his goals are different. Not thinking about winning Masters or slams.This is why he can go for everything in Rio or any smaller tournament, where he has still chances to win. So Dominic played as always but Verdasco was playing “for life”.

  7. @Michelle
    Back again to some details of your comments.
    Taking Bresnik’s statement at face value is of course another valid interpretation. But so far I know Bresnik, he never tells obvious things. Always a bit mysterious, because he knows more and he does not like media. Yes, Bresnik told too, Thiem was never so fit as he is now. And you are right – fitness itself does not win matches. But nobody wins matches (in big tournaments and on big stages) , not being topfit. So it’s a message – don’t expect him to falter because of fitness problems.
    About converting break opportunities. I recall some big discussion on old Fed’s website about Federer having so poor conversion rate. And I presented there the opinion, the ability to create break opportunities is primary. You cannot convert the opportunity until you create it )well, sometimes opportunities are “created” by the opponent but on top level not very often. If the opponent plays great and you are still able to create many break opportunities, you cannot be blamed for low conversion rate. It’s not conversion rate which wins matches. If you create 10 opportunities and convert 3 (miserable 30%), you win the match against opponent, who has 100% conversion rate (created 1, converted 1). Break opportunities of course cannot be replicated in training, because the pressure is not there and break opportunities are all about pressure.
    Missing plan B – I think, this is an integral part of Dominic’s character. Plan B would mean either “change the game” or “play the same but better”. Both can hardly apply to Dominic, who always plays 100%, so how could it be possible to play better? To change would mean to play the same but worse. If you don’t start at 100%, you can rise the game, as many do, but not Dominic. IMO not possible and no need to change it.
    From my long-time observation and some playing experience I know, it mostly goes wrong, if you change the concept during the game. You can change details only and that’s what (almost) every player is doing. It’s not a plan B, simply small instinctive adjustments. If I see, the opponent (normally being big on serve) has just a poor serving day, I can try more aggressive returns.
    Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are out of this planet and I don’t see followers. So after those 3 retire, there will be more room for winning for those who were not blessed by having the optimal combination of talent, passion, coaches. And starting their careers in the far less competitive field than we have today.
    Warm-up events and following big tournaments. I don’t know stats by heart, but my feeling is, it’s very individual. Some are deliberately playing not going for titles before big tournaments, retiring after having enough of warming-up and now wanting to recover to be fresh. Others (maybe first of all Djokovic) go for many wins in a row before the biggest event, giving them immense confidence and making opponents see him unbeatable. This has worked for him for so many years.
    What we can observe so far with Dominic, there is no strict relation – he can exit first rounds in many smaller tournaments and then still perform well in big tournaments. (Example: Wimbledon 2017) He can also win titles or go deep before big tournaments and perform well there .(Example: French Open 2017).

  8. Hi Wladyslaw,
    Thank you for your comments in response to mine, I always appreciate them & learn & understand more in the process.
    I am more than happy for you to create a separate article of our posts although I must stress to anyone reading my comments that I am not a tennis player on any level but just an avid spectator. I do understand some aspects of the game from a technical perspective but there is much I do not. I do not even come from a sports background (although I now work in the fitness industry) rather from ‘the arts’ but my interest in the game may to some degree come from my understanding & appreciation of the demands & pressure of constant practice and performance at a very high level.
    And yes Wladyslaw, I certainly do recognise that Dominic is a very special person & player in many ways. I find his humble nature & the way in which he conducts himself both on & off the court to be truly inspirational. His sportsmanship, ethics morals & general personality are exceptional & this is to a large degree why I wish him so much success in something he is so passionate about & has clearly dedicated himself to. I would never want to see him ‘change’ his character & certainly not use underhand methods to help him win matches. And as you say, this will never happen. Btw, I did watch the video you posted re the ballmark investigation in the match vs Verdasco in Rio. Of course the injustice & ‘what ifs’ are frustrating for his fans but we have to remember that incorrect calls are upheld in many matches where hawkeye is not used regardless of whether the player argues or not. I do understand that arguing with the umpire whether justified or not can interrupt the rhythm of the opponent’s game as well as their own & this may be another reason why Dominic chooses not to go down that route. I would also like to believe that Dominic strives to play at such a high level that a couple of ‘incorrect calls’ will eventually not affect his ability to win the match. So I do take it as a positive.
    I hope that Bresnik does make the correct decisions in regard to Dominic’s schedule. As he says, he knows what Dominic is capable of & that he would never put anything less than 100% into any of his matches. I recall Dominic saying that playing matches gives him more confidence & I’m sure Bresnik takes this into account when making scheduling decisions. As you say it is a very individual thing.
    I do understand percentages in regard to break point conversion & that a player has to be playing at a very high level to create many of those opportunities (unless of course the opponent is playing particularly badly). Clearly Dominic has been doing this in recent matches. However, unless I’m mistaken I do recall you stating in another of your articles that Dominic would most probably be unable to create as many of these opportunities when playing other highly ranked players & surely this must be when the ability to convert becomes crucial in determining the outcome of the match.
    In regard to’Plan B’, I only mentioned this as a response to something that comes up a great deal in articles & posts about Dominic’s game in general. This is where my technical knowledge lets me down so I really do appreciate your understanding & explanation of this aspect. I have a great deal of respect for those players that are clearly having ‘a bad day at the office’ yet still find a way to win the match without resorting to underhand tactics. I guess the same applies when an opponent is playing exceptionally well & the other player has to make those instinctive adjustments to their own game in order to win.
    I fully accept that Dominic will never break records. All I would like to see is that he reaches ‘his’ full potential whatever that may be & gets the right help & decisions from his team to make this possible.

    As an aside, do you remember the article written about Dominic last year, I think it was in GQ magazine entitled: ‘Dominic Thiem is the next big thing in tennis so why doesn’t anyone care about him?’ ? The article revealed how many tournament journalists no longer bother to turn up to his post match interviews as he has nothing controversial to say & consider him boring! I think this proves what a good & honest person he is. Dominic will never be an entertainer other than via his exhilarating & brilliant shot making. More than enough said!

    Thank you also Wilfred for your comments.

    1. Thanks, Michelle 🙂
      Don’t think, anybody here to be an EXPERT in whatever aspect of tennis 🙂 The blog is meant for sharing views. Different perspectives. Our doubts and questions, for which maybe nobody here finds an answer. So your point of view is not less valuable than others.
      And I don’t want this blog to turn a church with Domi as God 😉 Skepticism or jokes are allowed. To know more, we need more questions. They are starting our thinking. And there are no stupid questions. If there is no answer to them, they must be wise and we should think and learn more.
      That’s how I imagine Dominic’s way to and in tennis and in his private life.
      The road to wisdom and happiness goes through doubts.
      You may have noticed, I’m quite often changing my conclusions, just because someone delivered new information, new doubts. new questions. We will still remain in doubts. Dominic too. And Bresnik – even if some think, he relies on his own thoughts and has no doubts. My recommendation for such persons would be – read Bresnik’s book – the whole book, not only chapters with direct relation to Dominic. Bresnik is full of doubts, He was full of doubts over years of teaching Dominic. But he had a vision, goals and concepts and was able to change and correct them. And he was a friend. A real friend. Not like some “friends” telling you only positive things, never bringing you forward.

  9. @Michelle,
    Forgot your question about GQ article. Of course I know it and I think , I have linked and commented this article on the blog. So many thought, this was meant negative about Dominic, but I think, it was just opposite.
    We have enough entertainers in tennis. Some are genuine, like Monfils or Dustin Brown – they live and play tennis for show and only so much money they need for good like (not a celebrities life). Some are clowning to get more attention or to artificially engage crowds to support them.
    We need also perfectly natural persons – just like Rafa and just like Dominic.
    If he is going to be the big thing (winning slams, getting no. 1 …), I hope and am quite sure, he remains the same. Will not hold miles long speeches or interviews. Will not do more adverts than really necessary – some cannot be avoided because you belong to the business, which would not work without sponsors, advertisers a.s.o. But only so much as necessary.
    “Money makes the world go round” – sings Liza Minelli in “Cabaret” and I would add – hype maybe even more.

    1. Thanks, Wilfried. Indeed, the article is interesting, but for me a bit too much of statistical analyses. Of course is Thiem late bloomer in every possible sense. Of course his results on hard are rather poor so far (with some surprises like winning title on grass, beating Federer on the way to the title), but not so in big events (Slams, Masters, ATP Finals, Rod Laver Cup last year). And 2017 Thiem was doing a big progress in the hard court game, still without big results. I’m quite sure, 2018 will be a breakthrough on hard for Thiem. Not sure if he can hold then his top level on clay. Needs some time to develop an universal game, equally good on every surface. Still being the best on clay, winning 2-3 Masters and French Open, while being only half-so-good on hard, would be still a big thing.
      Yes, Thiem is late bloomer and he should be compared not to his age-mates but with 2-3 years younger generation. So he has still time to first go to be the best on clay and then add to this rising curves on hard. Nadal is a good one to compare with. But Nadal was extremely early bloomer, so let’s give Thiem more time 🙂

  10. Thanks Wilfred. I found the article very interesting & yes although lots of stats, I find an article more credible when the stats are there to back up the writer’s comments.
    I find the ‘late bloomer’ concept intriguing. Does a ‘late bloomer’ have less time in their prime because they take longer to mature yet decline at the same time as their peers or do they have the same period of time at their peak declining later than their peers?

  11. @Michelle
    We would need to ask doctors 😉 I have seen somewhere in social media compared Thiems naked upperbody from 2016 and 2017. It’s like turning from a boy to adult man. So we may assume, in this aspect Thiem’s body matured as he was 23, while most of young athlets have matured bodies no later than 18-20. Now this is no longer a limitation for Dominic. What he needs now is to develop the universal game, which will be more based on his hard court game than on clay game. I would risk a statement, after being physiologically and physically matured, he is better prepared for hard than for clay. His shots are more effective on hard. Must maybe work on his movement, with no sliding. Just watching his first match in Acaoulco. Well, not won convincingly (I will put some comment after I have the match record ready) but this was his first after 6 matches on clay, so must switch a bit. But he seems now to feel better on hard than on clay (!!!). After IW+Miami he would need to adjust his hard court game to clay (this was the case, when he defeated Rafa 2017 in Rome) rather than to switch back to his classic clay game. I’m excited about IW and Miami. No worries at all about his endurance – here he is one maybe the best on tour (that’s why he has better results in 5-setters than in 3-setters). His serve and shots are perfect for hard.

  12. @Michelle,
    Just found something about late bloomers in sports (we should rather call it “late maturers”, “late bloomer” is a bit misleading, can mean someone who starts to make sport late. In our case Thiem is evidently “late maturer” in biological sense (this we know from Bresnik’s book”.
    Here are two links to most interesting articles:
    http://www.pelinks4u.org/articles/darden/The_Early_and_Late_Maturer.htm
    http://www.trackandfieldscience.com/USATFLEVEL2NEW/Physiology/L6_GrowthMaturation/3C_EarlyLateMaturers.html
    I could not find evidence of relationship between “late maturing” and longevity of careers in sports.
    One seems to be obvious. If we compare results and achievements of Thiem with others, who are typically early maturers, we should think about him as a 21 years old, not 24 (it’s his chronological age). So it’s no sense in telling, Thiem is just 24/25 and big achievements are still not there. He IS 21 years old in biological terms and has more time for his prime than say Alexander Zverev, who is almost 21 years old.

  13. Hi Wladyslaw,
    Thanks for those articles, very interesting. I too tried to find some info re comparative longevity of late ‘maturers’ in sport but was unsuccessful. Anyway, hopefully this all means that Dominic has much success still ahead of him & maybe we should feel more grateful towards Bresnik than we sometimes do for seeing something special in him at such a young age & not giving up during his slower maturity rate. 😊
    On to the present, Dominic will shortly be playing the young 18 yr old Shapovalov! Would be interested to know what you think about him as a player & his maturity. And, while on the subject of maturity, do you have an opinion as to the reason for Anderson’s resurgence? Over the years I’ve always wondered as to the reason for his inconsistency but never really looked into it. It certainly seems that this situation has been changing over the last six months. And he definitely isn’t the youngest on tour anymore!!! 😏

  14. @Michelle,
    Bresnik explains in his book, the only reason he got involved in Dominic’s development, was his incomparable passion and learning ability/willingness. One of chapters in the book has the title “Success against every rule”. Yes, in young years everything seemed to be against Dominic, just because of his slow maturing. Bresnik took the risk of investing his time (for a long time training Dominic for free), but was very careful with pushing Dominic<'s development to avoid health problems of late maturing, small and fragile body. Bresnik had a vision of adult Dominic but was also completely unsure, if the whole work ends with a top class player. This "something special" in Dominic was just "passion and love" for tennis, his ability to learn and stubbornness in learning - never ending the training, even if very very tired, before he could improve what was planned to be improved. About Shapovalov - he is very talented and passionate. Rather early maturer. But of course misses the physical strength, endurance and experience. But for sure another "big thing" in tennis in some 2-3 years. Anderson's resurgence is indeed impressive. He is no more typical big server. Moving now very well. Why first now? Maybe had before bad trainers, who wanted to make him Isner-like player, not seeing his potential in good movement for his height. Could turn a "late bloomer" like Wawrinka - maybe even with slam win chances. Impressive. Not much time before him because of the age, but for 2-3 years can be a real fore on the game's top.

  15. Don’t take it too serious 😉
    I’m a clinical case of a late maturer. Not fully comparable to Thiem. Partly fully not comparable. It was typical case – such children were (those times but probably today too) eliminated from sports. Also because I was not able to do team sports, too far with my potential after my age-mates. And in available individual sports in schools (light athletics) my results were comparable with 3-4 years younger mates 😉 So I turned a sitting athlete (before TV) 😉 But … some day, I was about 50, I decided to do some sport. Of course only individual. Jogging. Biking. Fitness training home. Table tennis (well, I was not that bad in this one when very young) and finally TENNIS. I started about the same time as Dominic – OK, he started being 6, I was 50. But somehow our tennis “careers” are equally long. Now I’m 69, 16 years after holding tennis racket for the first time and I’m still active. Even more – I’m improving each year. Not all aspects – cannot run so quick as 15 years ago. But I can still play 2 hours on highest tours without making changeovers or the like. I expect to better this year than before. And since 2 years I’m playing with Dominic’s racket 😉 Not an argument for longevity of late maturers? 😉

  16. @Michelle
    Few words more about Anderson.
    I have looked into his tournament’s’ record from 2017 and 2018. His progress in the ranking is an effect of two things. Smart schedule – he is playing lots of tournaments with weak field and going deep in them. He loses early in most of big tournaments and has not much points to defend there. And big part of his ranking is his ridiculous final appearance in US Open finals. US Open 2017 was poor just like Australian Open 2018. Anderson had terrific luck in the draw. Zverev played poorly and was defeated by Coric, so Anderson got Coric instead of Zverev. His first Top10 opponent was Nadal in the final, where he easily lost in 3 sets. And his neighbors in the ranking were either not present (Djokovic, Wawrinka) or doing exceptionally poor, falling down the ranking. He is now ranked high but I don’t see him spending much time in Top10.

  17. Interesting! I also wondered if he had a new coach. I remembered he’d got lucky at the USO. Anyway, I will be very interested to see if he can stay in the top 10!

  18. Does Anderson belong to your favorites? I think, it would be difficult for him. Still the age for late bloomers (like Wawrinka), but not much time to peak 😉

  19. No, Anderson is definitely not one of my favourites although I would prefer to watch him play than most of the other ‘big servers’!

  20. Agree. If I had to choose among highscrappers, Anderson is for sure the most complete players. But maybe you read my old article http://prf-mypassions-tennisandmore.com/big-boys-big-problem-for-tennis/? There is told everything I think about the problem. Unfortunately new ones are coming. Nicolas Jarry (a kind of Anderson, rather complete player for a highscrapper), Reilly Opelka, there are more.
    This is also especially important for players like Dominic, who because of his technique has always problem when playing very tall players. This is why Anderson is one of his “nemeses” – could never beat him so far. Now imagine, he gets some Jarry or Opelka as qualifier in first round, being so high ranked, it’s possible and he falls … wrrrrrrr.

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