Rain, rain, go away, come again on Monday.
The French Open was washed out. But, we got grass action and to be honest, I loved the rain for Zverev and Khachanov.
There are six guys left in the French Open. I have futures on three of. I’m doing lots wrong but, I’m doing at least something right.
My write-ups for these two matches are available on my Twitter feed or elsewhere on this website, from yesterday. I feel the same way I did when I wrote them. In fact, I feel even a little better. Here’s three reasons I am even more excited for Zverev. One, he is getting better, despite all the losses and all the hand-wringing. In is four matches at Roland Garros, AZ is 25/60 (41%) at converting break points he generates and he is 25/78 (32%) at breaking serve. The 41% is just below his career average - across all surfaces this kid has converted 43% of all break points he has generated in his career. On clay alone, he has converted 44% of all break points he has created. So, he actually has some room to regress positively here at converting break points. And yet, he is break serve at a career high clip. The 32% break of serve so far at Roland Garros is higher than his career average on all surfaces (25%) and higher than his career average on clay (29%). He is doing MORE with LESS. Two, he gets a whole bunch of extra rest. There was all kinds of wailing about how much (terrible) tennis Zverev has played this spring (me amoung them). Well consider this - in Geneva he played two sets on Tuesday May 21, day off Wednesday May 22, three sets on Thursday May 23, three sets on Friday May 24 and three sets on Saturday May 25. That’s eleven sets of tennis in five days, or 2.2 sets of tennis a day in Geneva, at altitude. He got Sunday May 26 and Monday May 27th off. He played five sets on Tuesday May 28, had Wednesday off, played three sets on Thursday May 30, had Friday off, played five sets of tennis on Saturday June 1, had Sunday off, then played four sets of tennis on Monday June 3rd. He has since had two full days off. That’s seventeen sets of tennis across eleven days, or 1.5 sets of tennis a day, at sea-level. He is 22. Zverev is fine. Lastly, as an athlete I hated waiting. Especially a long wait in the playoffs while we waited for another team to finish, or a long bus trip to a shitty venue. That’s why favorites can struggle. They’re looking ahead; they’re facing pressure knowing they are expected to win; they’re wired the whole wait because they can see what comes next. I would hate this wait for Novak. And go back and look at some of the big, big upsets of Novaks career (Kohl this year, Querrey at Wimbledon) … they all contained stoppages for rain. I am amped up for AZ.
Plenty worried about KK, though. Thiem has not exactly cruised through Roland Garros and more time to get right whatever was wrong was not what I was looking for.
Lopez and Karlovic on grass? We’ll be lucky if we don’t see 39 games here.
Denis Kudla is a “grass specialist” if such a thing exists. His career winning pecentage on grass is almost double what it is on any other surface.
Tomic was raised on grass. If he can’t get excited about this, well, maybe he should go back to reality tv.
Dan Evans, like Tomic, was raised on grass. His experience far outweighs James Ward and he should roll.
Ebden, like Kudla, is all grass, all the time (watch out in Newport with no Isner).
Zverev ml, +600
Zverev +6.5, +110 (this is now pumped to +120 if you didn’t get it yesterday)
Possible Thiem hedge in-play
Lopez/Karlovic o25.5, -188 (insane juice, I know)
Kudla/Tomic ml, +102
Ebden/Evans ml, +104