Seeing it live allows you to focus in on players in a way watching on the telly doesn’t. So without going into too much statistical analysis just what I did see/observe that may be of interest?
- Murray – His focus & court coverage is just incredible and will be very difficult to beat. I would say now that he’ll win it and I’d love him to beat Novak in the final!
- Djokovic – Observing him during the match with Raonic, I felt he was easily irritated and was in fact rude and impatient with the ball kids. Very disappointing to see and for me says something about his state of mind?
- Stan – In his first match he appeared not to be interested and more or less gave up as a petulant kid would. With tickets costing up to £80 it is just not good enough!
- Cilic – The worst pair of tennis shorts in the history of the game which made Murray’s combat green ones look positively trendy!
- Nishikori – Played solid v Stan and seems motivated to finish as world No 3. So impressive how well he does with such a dodgy serve action. Love his attitude on court.
- Thiem – Saw him Play Monfils and could see him as a future No 1 with such a big all round game.
- Monfils –Always entertaining, but suspect under pressure. 3 double faults in his last service game to lose the match! Hits all the best shots but too many poor ones at important times.
- Raonic – Still not convinced that mentally he is tough enough in the big moments. His reaction on errors at crucial stages is always to look towards his team which shows a lack of resilience in my view. Unless he improves his movement he will always be dangerous but unlikely to beat the top guys.
- The use of the towel is just so boring when you see it live. I wish they would make the players get the towel themselves and put it back which may speed things up a bit. Raonic gets aced and asks for the towel!
- Doubles - I really fear for the future of mens doubles on this type of court. Average rally length is 2-3 shots and very rarely do the crowd get involved. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares are wonderful players, but watching them practice is much more fun than seeing a real match.
On a clay court it is much more interesting as there are more rallies and 1 up 1 back play, but on medium to fast courts they are all just too good at serving and covering the net off returns.
- Made me think that it might be a good idea to widen the court for mens doubles at this level making it more difficult for the net player to intervene thereby providing more rallies?
Murray and Soares to win but Kontinen and Peers outsiders if Peers can stay cool at crucial points.
- O2 venue – This year they’ve taken away 2 of the 3 practice courts and much reduced the Tennis Fan Zone which was a highlight in my view. It’s a great shame and detracts from your visit on what is an expensive day out. I sincerely hope they will return to having 3 practice courts in particular.
- Best coffee/food – The Craft Bar just outside the main entrance has by far the best cappuccino in the whole of the O2 plus great pizza and salads with free fizzy water!