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  1. #4291
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    Martini4me's Avatar
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    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    I'm watching the WTT finals. My wife is pointing out that there are spectators. Where do they come from? Is the resort open to other guests besides WTT? In that case, how do they ensure that the players are safe inside the "bubble"? Collins was turfed for leaving the grounds and potentially bringing back COVID with her; if there are other guests coming in and eating in the restaurants/walking down the hallways/lounging by the pool beside the players, I'm sure they didn't quarantine before coming in.

  2. #4292

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    I'm watching the WTT finals. I kind of like Nakashima.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  3. #4293

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Martini4me View Post
    I'm watching the WTT finals. My wife is pointing out that...
    Braggart

  4. #4294

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Tennis Channel @TennisChannel
    Can we get a roar?
    @NastiaPav and @AlexZverev, The Thunder and The Lion sit down for an interview following their championship wins at the #UTShowdown.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1290041726816497667
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  5. #4295

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Major spoilers for WTT results:
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    Holy s....!!!! I just finished watching the WTT finals. Drama doesn't get much better than that. I am a total convert as a WTT fan after these 3 weeks.

    I had always had the theory that a team would never win a WTT match while losing a 5-0 set (Nakashima over Sock 5-0). But New York proved me wrong. New York won 3 of the 5 sets, including winning the final one (Melichar and Coco over BMS and Bouchard) in a tie-breaker to go to extended play. Coco and Melichar won 2 straight games in extended play to force the super-tiebreak and then that super-tiebreaker went to a final point. With the title up for grabs to the winner of that one point, Coco blasted a forehand return that caught the back centimeter of the baseline.

    So that title was won by a centimeter.

    Anyway, the "player of the match" was announced before they went to golf. It was Coco, and it couldn't have been anyone else, even though she did lose singles to Sloane.

    So I do not actually know who got the 2 MVP awards for the play-offs. But there would be no question that it would be Coco for the women.

    The men's MVP is a little harder. For doubles, the men's MVP would clearly be Jack Sock. But I think you could not possibly give MVP to a player who lost his singles' match 5-0, even though his team ultimately pulled it out. So I would go with Nakashima for male MVP, since his 5-0 win in singles is what made the match what it was, despite New York winning 3 of the 5 sets.

    Truly great TV. Having all the teams at the Greenbrier made this far better for the TV spectator. We saw the benefit of players having plenty of time to train and play rested. Jack Sock became much better over time, as did Sloane. Nakashima, Coco, BMS, and Pegula all came there ready for war...totally fit and on top of their games. And not having to fly at all hours of the day and night, those 4 (and several others) maintained top form throughout.

    Obviously, this is unlikely to be the way WTT is done again. The fans at those 9 locations probably would feel more in touch with a team they could see in person. I don't live near any of them, so I would be delighted if they did this every season.

    BMS said she had greatly enjoyed her time there. I can tell that she was being totally honest. I do think BMS and Coco were the 2 of the whole group who most took advantage of the other things the place had to offer.

    And WTT got through it with ZERO positive tests for the virus out of 800 tests done.

    Martini, I'll answer your question about the spectators to the best of my knowledge. This is only based on comments Nick Gismondi made about how they were handled: People staying at the resort could buy tickets to come watch a session of the WTT. They could not interact close-up with any of the players. The spectators had to wear a mask that they could only remove while sitting at their seats. Only every other row of the seats was used and there had to be a couple of empty seats between spectators who were not familiy members of each other.

    So that's what I know about what happened in the tennis stadium. About your comment about elsewhere on the grounds: Nick said the members of the "bubble" had to eat in one place and their accommodations were all right together. I know they were supposed to avoid close contact with non-bubblers when out and about, but I don't know how much that was controlled. They were allowed to play golf and several of them did. I'm sure they could only play with other bubblers, but I don't know how that was controlled either. When they showed them doing activities, they were always with others of the group only.

    As far as I can tell from comments (including from the CEO of WTT) all the players (other than Danielle Collins) abided by the rules. This was a really unique opportunity for them, and I think they all came to appreciate it for what it was.

    If they do it there next year, I may have to seriously consider going for a while.

    GH

  6. #4296

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Another interesting comment about their life at the Greenbrier: As you may know the Greenbrier is on one huge chunk of land, being 11,000 acres in area. They own several of those uninhabited hills right around the property. There are hiking and horseback trails on those hills (or mountains). Given that the grounds are 11,000 acres big, I can't imagine that they were totally able to police what every player was doing 24/7. Still, the degree to which everyone behaved, coupled with having everything they needed right at their hands, seems to have worked.

    Several of the players came with families who had to live by the same rules. Also, several brought their dogs, who probably had a grand time on those grounds. In case you didn't see it, a let was called on a point in one match when Taylor Townsend's dog started barking.

    GH

  7. #4297

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    That last set! I didn't watch until late. My husband accidentally started the program live instead of at the beginning, so it was 2-2 in the last set. That was all I needed. It was so gripping. Melichar would have been on suicide watch if they hadn't gotten it to overtime, after all the changes she had on her server in women's dubs. Then Kamau's sub of Sloan in the match tiebreak! And she almost played the hero! Basically it was Coco over BMS in that last set. BMS must be sick.

    Perfect end to a terrific event. I could watch that ever summer.
    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

  8. #4298

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Melichar was very interesting in that last set. She had several great shots. BUT, she also had several double faults and she botched some easy returns. So yes, I think "suicide watch" would have been needed for her if the end had been different. She had so many chances to win that set before the tie-breaker.

    Sloane did great in the match tiebreak. I'm not sure she had any unforced errors, and she served well and had several great shots. If that last point had gone the other way, I think one could have made a case for either Sloane or BMS to be player of the match. For Coco to win it on THAT shot certainly makes her the MVP of the play-offs, but that is in addition to her very strong play throughout her doubles' matches in the play-offs.

    I do feel for BMS. There is not a whole lot she could have done better during the whole 3 weeks. She was ready, fit, and in top playing form. As someone said, a highlight reel of her best shots would be a real barn-burner. She certainly convinced me that she is still ready to contend for slam and Olympic doubles' titles.

    GH

  9. #4299

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    After my initial skepticism, the WTT was a blast. For the last two weeks I watched every match that was televised, DVRing them so I could fast forward through the boring patches. The ending was incredible. I'm assuming in the 45-year history of the league, there's never been a final that came down to a winner-takes-all point in the super tiebreak, and then to have it decided by a return winner that hit the back of the line made it a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Seriously, I'll remember that ending for the rest of my life.

    Some observations:

    1) Jack Sock is the best doubles player in the world by a considerable margin. Sock and anyone with solid doubles skills would be the favorite at any slam if he were properly motivated. I believe they said he has won titles with eight different partners. His forehand winner that nearly took the head off of Fabrice Martin in the semifinals appeared to intimidate Martin for the rest of the day because he was uncharacteristically awful. Every Sock doubles match was the highlight of WTT for me. He has the full package. His singles was an entirely different story. With his extreme grips, low balls that made him move to either his backhand or forehand were a problem, and he still is not in good shape.

    2) Nakashima looks like a tremendous prospect. Every time I saw him, he appeared to have a more well-rounded game than any U.S. player on tour, and he's only 18. It's hard to say with someone that young, but I think he can be a top-10 player down the road. He's got the wheels, the creativity and the shot-making.

    3) Sloane Stephens played well in the semis and the final after being terrible for most of the season. I was impressed she took Pegula to a tiebreak in singles Saturday, and as Glenn pointed out, she was money as a surprising doubles substitute for the super tiebreak today. She deserved a better fate. I still question whether she can do anything on the regular tour unless she gets in better shape, but she exhibited the combo platter of excellent defense and power hitting this weekend that made her a force when she was motivated.

    4) I loved Pegula's game when she won Washington last year, but that appeared to be a one off until her performance at the Greenbrier. Although her movement is not great, her ball-striking is top 20 and she played with an air of confidence every time.

    5) I also was impressed by Bernarda Pera almost every time I saw her. Her returns were lethal in singles and doubles. Not sure she has enough overall game to be a real factor on tour, though.

    6) Also as Glenn has pointed out, having the entire competition at one site made the quality of play much better. There's no way players could have performed this well with the normal jet lag involved. It's a shame they can't legitimately keep this format unless there is no vaccine by this time next year, which of course, would be a much bigger problem than not having good team tennis.
    Last edited by jazzyg; Yesterday at 09:47 PM.

  10. #4300

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzyg View Post
    2) Nakashima looks like a tremendous prospect. Every time I saw him, he appeared to have a more well-rounded game than any U.S. player on tour, and he's only 18. It's hard to say with someone that young, but I think he can be a top-10 player down the road. He's got the wheels, the creativity and the shot-making.
    I also don't like predicting what young players might do, but I think Nakashima is an absolute star. I'll be rooting for him to do well transitioning to the main tour.

  11. #4301

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    I agree with every word of Jazz' note. I don't even think I have mentioned Bernarda Pera in my various notes. But I agree that she had a wonderful 3 weeks from the standpoint of competition. It's interesting that I thought Fabrice Martin was quite impressive through the "regular season" matches. And then he had a weak performance in the semis. I like Jazz' theory about that. I certainly had no explanation for it.

    I hope Jack Sock remembers the fun and abandon with which he played this last week and a half. After a little while to get in some sort of playing shape, he was, as Jazz says, the best doubles' player. He surely has it in him to be winning slams right and left in doubles. But he clearly doesn't train as well as his opposition, and he simply does not maintain that level of play with the degree of effort he seems to put into his regimen normally. I even saw glimmers of hope for his singles' game this last 10-12 days, after a really bad start to the season. But I don't expect him to become much of a singles' force. There are too many who are good who also put in the work to stay fit.

    GH

  12. #4302

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    By the way, I just saw that the play-off MVP's were Vandeweghe (a no-brainer) and Sock. In my post #4295, I discussed why I didn't think Sock would win the male MVP. While his doubles' play was great, his weak performance in singles is what let Chicago back into it and gave them the lead toward the end. Even though Nakashima was on the losing team, I would still have gone with him for that honor. I guess these awards are for people on the winning side. But in a match that close, I think there is a good case for sharing the awards.

    GH

  13. #4303

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    By the way, I just saw that the play-off MVP's were Vandeweghe (a no-brainer) and Sock. In my post #4295, I discussed why I didn't think Sock would win the male MVP. While his doubles' play was great, his weak performance in singles is what let Chicago back into it and gave them the lead toward the end. Even though Nakashima was on the losing team, I would still have gone with him for that honor. I guess these awards are for people on the winning side. But in a match that close, I think there is a good case for sharing the awards.

    GH
    Sock's singles win against Fritz was pretty impressive in the semis. Maybe that helped his MVP bid.

    You and Jazzy gave an excellent summary of the event. Great observation about Martin being intimidated by the Sock shot to the head. Sloane definitely met the moment when she subbed into the championship tiebreak for Bouchard. Had a crucial ace and poach, returned well. That was a lot to ask of her after not hitting a ball for an hour.

    Maybe they could do WTT in December at a Hawaiian resort or something. This format was so much fun.
    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

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