Tennis (only Luke cares)

Back in 2014, at the US Open, the final was unusual in that it was the first in years and years that didn’t feature one of the Big Three of Tennis: Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. If Murray is included, making it the Big Four, the same is true of all Grand Slams (and I think Masters 1000 tournament) finals since too.

The interesting thing is that week, FiveThirtyEight published two articles, both of which concluded that the next generation of tennis players won’t need to match Federer, Nadal or Djokovic’s results to become a number one player, they’ll just need to match Murray’s results. That’s because they won’t have to meet three of the top five best players ever in the semi-finals of every big tournament.

“We concluded our earlier piece by saying the second line and del Potro should aspire to match Murray. That’s no small achievement — and it could be big enough to reach the No. 1 ranking he’ll probably never attain, because these younger players are less likely to have to contend with the likes of Federer and Nadal for the entirety of their careers.”

This analysis turned out to be completely true, except that the first player to match Murray’s level when the other Big Four players declined was… Murray himself.

And, of course, Murray did attain the number one ranking. But he did that only by being the last dominant member of the Big Four once the others began to decline. That he beat Djokovic in the last match of the entire season to retain the number one ranking was a nice touch.

All this to say: Djokovic just got knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round. Murray is likely going to be number one for the entire year.

I predict another Murray-Raonic final in Melbourne.

Is it 2004 again? Williams vs Williams and Federer vs Nadal. It’s pretty incredible to have this lineup of veterans!

My final prediction was way off.

I watched this tie break this afternoon. It went on so long the umpire software didn’t prompt them to change ends at 15-15. No tie break has gone longer since 1991.

Turns out the number one ranked player is pretty good?

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Roger Federer is experiencing one of the greatest late-career renaissances in the history of sport. It’s particularly exciting to see him rework some of his most basic shots, like the backhand, to become more effective than at any point so far in his career.

Anyway, by sharing this, he’ll probably lose today.

Still, it’s incredible to think that the top player in 2017 so far is 36 years old.

[quote=“lukeburrage, post:4, topic:362”]
Still, it’s incredible to think that the top player in 2017 so far is 36 years old.
[/quote]Really shows that there are a lot of factors at play in tennis far beyond pure physical strength/speed!

For many players, not so much, but Federer is a cut above anyone else. He also didn’t lose today, despite having to save two match points.

Meanwhile, the next generation of tennis stars are playing to see who will face Federer in the next round, and they get up to shit like this:

(fun shit)

Kyrgios probably has a few years of opponents being distracted by shots like this until they are all used to it, but for now it’s paying off:

Favorite thing about Kyrgios is the Australian cheering section that goes wild every time he wins a point.

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If he keeps playing like this, it’ll be more than just the aussies cheering.

https://twitter.com/JamieMac/status/885189154128224257

Every time I think I’m doing well in life I remember Roger Federer always has been, and always will be, a year and 18 days younger than me.

Every time I get upset about other’s accomplishments I remember that that’s a facile argument. Julius Caesar famously lamented that he was already older than Alexander the Great and hadn’t conquered as much. So… I mean you’ll always have not conquered macedonia, persia, egypt, and, asia, therefore you too can sit and feel like Caesar.

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Tennis after the era of the Big 4 is going to be weird. This last week in the Paris Masters tournament, Nadal withdrew part way through due to a knee injury. Federer skipped it. Djokovic and Murray are out until next year with various injuries.

This is what tournaments are going to be like in the future, I guess. Now it feels like a series of coin flips to see who is getting through to the final, and the winner doesn’t have to beat a top 10 player to get there. Jack Sock winning a 1000 level tournament? Only when nobody has to beat Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, etc.

Tennys Sandgren is called Tennys and is a tennis player from Tennessee! And he’s through to the quarter-final of the Australian Open! How cool is that?

This happens a lot. Someone who spend their whole life practicing something like “hit ball good” doesn’t have a lot of time left to level up in other areas. Specialists should only be consulted regarding their specialty.

The most common example I see are people taking special notice when Stephen Hawking shares an opinion about a non-physics or non-science topic.

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What’s amazing is how often a popular specialist isn’t even actually very knowledgeable about their ostensible area of specialization.

A lot of youtube channels with tons of subscribers around “Retro tech” or “gaming” are run by people who clearly don’t know much of anything about technology or gaming.

Well, when it comes to just knowledge, anyone can pretend to be knowledgeable. In the eyes of someone less knowledgeable, they are a genius. I am not anywhere near an expert at… Gundam modeling, but I can amaze people who have never seen actual professional work.

When it comes to sports at least there is a meritocratic mechanism of competition that is sorting people. You can’t fool people into thinking you are are a tennis genius when you’ve got no slams.

How good can a non specialist be at even determining what constitutes a specialists specialty?

re: your Stephen Hawking example, to a lay person the difference between the exact kind of radiation theoretical physics predicts a black hole will emit probably isn’t meaningfully distinguishable from the existence of god, both of which Hawking has spoken on.

You have to trust someone. It’s a logical fallacy to somehow judge the message based on the messenger, but you have no realistic alternative. You have to trust the medical opinion of doctors based on your evaluation of the doctor themselves. But if a doctor starts giving you financial advice, just smile and nod.

Simona Halep wins her first Grand Slam in her fourth final. It’s been a pretty crazy ride being a Halep fan over the last few years!