Anticipated Factors, March 10: Roger Federer is Again, and He’s Older Than Ever


Anticipated Factors, my new quick, day by day podcast, highlights three numbers as an instance stats, traits, and fascinating trivia across the sport.

Up at this time: We’ll quickly get a take a look at how 39-year-old Federer stacks up towards veterans of the previous, Coco Gauff is studying to like third units, and Aryna Sabalenka joins an especially crowded listing of lively doubles quantity ones.

Scroll down for a transcript.

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Music: Love is the Chase by Admiral Bob (c) copyright 2021. Licensed beneath a Artistic Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Apoxode

The Anticipated Factors podcast continues to be a piece in progress, so please let me know what you assume.

Tough transcript of at this time’s episode:

The primary quantity is 405, the variety of days since Roger Federer final performed a aggressive match. Anticipated Factors tries to transcend the headline tales, however I might hardly skip mentioning Fed’s return to motion 14 months after the 2020 Australian Open semifinal. In his first match again in Doha, he’ll play someday apply companion Dan Evans, a fellow one-handed backhander who beat Jeremy Chardy yesterday. The Swiss #6 is 3-0 in his profession towards the Brit, together with a gathering a earlier comeback event on the 2019 Australian Open, however there’s no assure this will likely be a straightforward ticket for Roger to punch. The 20-time slam winner is 39 years outdated, virtually uncharted territory for elite singles gamers. Solely 50 males in your complete Open Period have gained a singles match after their thirty ninth birthdays, and a mere handful of these, together with Tommy Haas, Feliciano Lopez, and Ivo Karlovic, have accomplished so for the reason that mid 90s retirement of Jimmy Connors. If Federer is searching for inspiration—or, maybe, a brand new report to focus on—he can contemplate Ken Rosewall, who saved rolling after his thirty ninth birthday, profitable one other 170-plus matches earlier than lastly calling it quits seven years later.

Our second quantity is 7, the variety of consecutive three-set matches performed by 16-year-old American Coco Gauff. Gauff’s streak started in Adelaide qualifying a few weeks in the past, when she beat Kaja Juvan from one set down. It took one other three-set effort from Belinda Bencic to lastly remove her from that event within the semifinals. Now in Dubai, Gauff has continued her warrior methods, with deciding-set upset wins over Ekaterina Alexandrova and Marketa Vondrousova. She saved match factors within the Alexandrova match, and he or she withstood a Vondrousova serving tic she discovered annoying to enhance her profession three-set report to 20-12. Successful so many deciding units is a little bit of a combined sign: clearly it’s higher than shedding them, however higher nonetheless can be to win in straights. If she’s going to report a win extra effectively, she couldn’t ask for a greater third-round opponent than her subsequent task Tereza Martincova, a 26-year-old Czech qualifier ranked exterior the highest 100. If she goes three at this time, we’ll have wonder if {the teenager} simply prefers it that method.

At the moment’s third and ultimate quantity is nineteen, the variety of lively ladies who’ve held the #1 WTA rating in doubles. Aryna Sabalenka grew to become the nineteenth a couple of weeks in the past after she and Elise Mertens gained the Australian Open. Solely 44 ladies have held the highest spot within the historical past of the rankings, largely as a result of Martina Navratilova monopolized the highest of the listing for greater than 4 years, and the duo of Liezel Huber and Cara Black accounted for one more seven years between them. Latest generations have seen loads of standout doubles stars, akin to Sania Mirza and Sara Errani, every of whom held onto the #1 rating for 87 weeks or extra, but it surely’s crowded on the prime today. Seven of the present prime eight have been #1 in some unspecified time in the future, leaving the door open for Mertens—at present ranked second—so as to add herself to the listing. She will be able to’t do it this week, as she’s pairing Sabalenka in Dubai, however with Sabalenka’s acknowledged need to concentrate on singles, the Belgian might quickly have her probability.

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