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sureshs
07-13-2007, 10:19 AM
He plays each point as if it is his last. Every match is war for him. He always says things like I always try my best, no? He never smiles during a match. His outside interests seem to confined to eating at his favorite place in every Slam and playing videogames with Moya. His appearances at compulsory ATP media events seem to be a burden for him, and his replies are minimal and clipped (could be due to the language issue though). ATP bloggers have written that he is as intense in practice as in a match.

So, do you think he really likes to play tennis, or he is doing it for his parents, uncle Tony, Majorca, Spain, whatever?

ATPattic
07-13-2007, 10:32 AM
Of couse he likes tennis. He said its his passion

arodnadal
07-13-2007, 10:35 AM
i think tht proves he likes it more than most...usually u take somthing even more serious if u like it more......hes one of the few im sure that go out after a match and practice even more.....he practices nearly 5-7 hrs a day somtimes....he abrely takes breaks......its just he wants to win more than most.....he loves it and loves winning as well......

sureshs
07-13-2007, 10:39 AM
i think tht proves he likes it more than most...usually u take somthing even more serious if u like it more......hes one of the few im sure that go out after a match and practice even more.....he practices nearly 5-7 hrs a day somtimes....he abrely takes breaks......its just he wants to win more than most.....he loves it and loves winning as well......

Or does he just love winning and the thrill that comes with it?

I also don't subscribe to the "more serious means you like it more". Lotsa guys are serious because they want to do their job well, which could be for reasons like money, security, or even habit.

Jack Romeo
07-13-2007, 10:39 AM
i think he is most passionate about the competitive aspect of the sport of tennis. which is not to say that he doesn't like the sport per se. he obviously loves it very much as well. the media issue is definitely related to him being not so fluent in english. but if you heard him in interviewed in spanish, he is much more articulate; not any less articulate than the other spanish-speaking players.

A.T.S.
07-13-2007, 11:18 AM
He doesn't smile because he doesn't want to show his opponent and emotion or weaknesses that his opponent can use to his advantage.

sureshs
07-13-2007, 11:31 AM
He doesn't smile because he doesn't want to show his opponent and emotion or weaknesses that his opponent can use to his advantage.

Is that good? It is after all a sport and entertainment, in the final analysis.

Roger doesn't smile either, but why does he give a different impression?

lethalfang
07-13-2007, 11:47 AM
Is that good? It is after all a sport and entertainment, in the final analysis.

Roger doesn't smile either, but why does he give a different impression?

For you and me, it's a sport and entertainment. I laugh and smile, and I enjoy playing the game a lot more than winning the game.
For the professional players, it's their job and their career. They have to play hurt to win if they must. It's no longer just an entertainment. It's about work ethics.

Wawa
07-13-2007, 12:13 PM
I think Nadal enjoys tennis
but like a big in the mud! :lol:

sondraj
07-13-2007, 12:41 PM
I think Nadal enjoys tennis
but like a big in the mud! :lol:

I think you meant pig in mud, yeah ;)

uc3
07-13-2007, 01:17 PM
You have to enjoy tennis to make it to #2 in the world. Every player in the top 500 is passionate about competing and winning.

MEAC_ALLAMERICAN
07-13-2007, 01:24 PM
I would HOPE :shock: , with all the intensity and effort he puts into every point that he enjoys tennis.

dysonlu
07-13-2007, 01:27 PM
No, he doesn't enjoy playing tennis; he's a robot programmed to play tennis.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 01:32 PM
He has a good physique for many other sports.

Actually I think this is a good question.

Nadal doesn't strike me as person whose sole focus of life is tennis like Federer or Sampras.

Joeyg
07-13-2007, 01:34 PM
What a completely moronic post! Does he enjoy tennis? Did your mother have any children that lived?

Moose Malloy
07-13-2007, 01:37 PM
In Mac's autobiography, he says he really didn't enjoy playing tennis, he just happened to be really good at it & enjoyed the attention it brought him when he was a kid.

Richard Williams once made a good comment when asked if champions are born or made-"how the hell does an 8 year old know what they like or what is good for them? of course you need to push them or they will never reach their potential."

I'm sure Rafa joins a long list of past champions in this aspect. Making millions of dollars must be pretty enjoyable & at some point they all realize their life is better with tennis than without it.

TheNatural
07-13-2007, 01:43 PM
ofcourse, he does the best celebrations after winning points, that shows he enjoys tennis more than every other player..now if only all the other players were as passionate about their tennis.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 01:52 PM
does he love winning itself or tennis ?

I think Sampras loved tennis more than winning itself.

now, what is the nadal's fist pumping about?
Is it "Wow I won that point" or "Wow I love this sport"?

DraGoNoFfiR3
07-13-2007, 01:57 PM
Wow this is the stupidest post ever.

pound cat
07-13-2007, 02:15 PM
Nadal could have chosen to play soccer instead of tennis and be just as good at it. However he is a lone bull and it would be impossible to find a team where every player played with as much concentration, and practiced as hard as he does. Tennis, where it's each man for himself, suits him to a T.

Polaris
07-13-2007, 02:50 PM
Is that good? It is after all a sport and entertainment, in the final analysis.

Roger doesn't smile either, but why does he give a different impression?

Good question. There is no way to know. With all the competition and "theater", there are very few instances when you absolutely know that a person genuinely loves his or her sport.

Both Roger and Rafa say that they like tennis but saying is different from actually liking the game for itself. Roger gives a different impression because he is usually very composed, has fewer physical or nervous tics that distract from tennis (other than the messing around with the hair). One feels like one is almost seeing the pure essence of a tennis player. With Rafa, his antics are not particular to tennis - the socks, the bottles, the towelling, the fidgeting with his capris. Besides, he is very animated in his celebrations. All these things distract the onlooker from the tennis. For all we know, both might love the game in the same way.

But there is one thing that probably differentiates them. If Rafa is not on a roll he looks to be in intense concentration, trying to get the groove back, because there is little else that he can do. If Roger is not on a roll, he looks irritated and starts changing a few tactics. If Rafa is on a roll, he looks fierce, as if he knows that he cannot let up. If Roger is on a roll, he allows himself a smile - I saw it in the Shanghai final when he massacred Blake with his backhand. After a couple of shots, instead of a fist pump, there was a hint of a smile - not mocking, but seemingly happy about what just happened.

For an onlooker, the reason Federer gives a different impression might be that it takes a lot of things to work in tandem for his game to click. For all his talent, all Rafa really needs is his wheels. His strokes are very well-grooved but without his wheels, he is toast. With Federer it appears that timing is critical (witness the shanks), you almost know that he is struggling with hand-eye coordination, you see him trying different things. Because Federer possesses a higher-risk game than Nadal's apparently simple tactics (chase everything, return everything, wait for an opening), it seems like a small miracle that Roger can make everything work as fluidly as it does.

TheNatural
07-13-2007, 04:32 PM
I dont remember the last time I saw Fed smile any time he's played Nadal.

Higher risk? :confused: He just blocks returns, and only tried hitting about 2 hard returns in 5 sets in the final, that's very low risk tennis. With his high ace count, he can play more safely with the rest of his game. Nadal makes up for his average serve by blazing forehands all over the place. He's just better at Blazing grounstrokes so it may not appear as high risk to you. Did you see how many of Nadal's blazing forehands Fed chased down in the final.His defence amazes me sometimes. It wouln't surprise me if Fed moved even faster than Nadal.



Good question. There is no way to know. With all the competition and "theater", there are very few instances when you absolutely know that a person genuinely loves his or her sport.

Both Roger and Rafa say that they like tennis but saying is different from actually liking the game for itself. Roger gives a different impression because he is usually very composed, has fewer physical or nervous tics that distract from tennis (other than the messing around with the hair). One feels like one is almost seeing the pure essence of a tennis player. With Rafa, his antics are not particular to tennis - the socks, the bottles, the towelling, the fidgeting with his capris. Besides, he is very animated in his celebrations. All these things distract the onlooker from the tennis. For all we know, both might love the game in the same way.

But there is one thing that probably differentiates them. If Rafa is not on a roll he looks to be in intense concentration, trying to get the groove back, because there is little else that he can do. If Roger is not on a roll, he looks irritated and starts changing a few tactics. If Rafa is on a roll, he looks fierce, as if he knows that he cannot let up. If Roger is on a roll, he allows himself a smile - I saw it in the Shanghai final when he massacred Blake with his backhand. After a couple of shots, instead of a fist pump, there was a hint of a smile - not mocking, but seemingly happy about what just happened.

For an onlooker, the reason Federer gives a different impression might be that it takes a lot of things to work in tandem for his game to click. For all his talent, all Rafa really needs is his wheels. His strokes are very well-grooved but without his wheels, he is toast. With Federer it appears that timing is critical (witness the shanks), you almost know that he is struggling with hand-eye coordination, you see him trying different things. Because Federer possesses a higher-risk game than Nadal's apparently simple tactics (chase everything, return everything, wait for an opening), it seems like a small miracle that Roger can make everything work as fluidly as it does.

Polaris
07-13-2007, 05:01 PM
I dont remember the last time I saw Fed smile any time he's played Nadal.

Higher risk? :confused: He just blocks returns, and only tried hitting about 2 hard returns in 5 sets in the final, that's very low risk tennis. With his high ace count, he can play more safely with the rest of his game. Nadal makes up for his average serve by blazing forehands all over the place. He's just better at Blazing grounstrokes so it may not appear as high risk to you. Did you see how many of Nadal's blazing forehands Fed chased down in the final.His defence amazes me sometimes. It wouln't surprise me if Fed moved even faster than Nadal.

My comparison consisted of:
1. Fed versus the ATP tour
2. Nadal versus the ATP tour

Nadal versus Federer is clearly a special case, and was not pertinent to the discussion. The point of sureshs's question was about the general attitude of Nadal and Federer when they play tennis, not the specific case in which they play each other.

I contend that:
1. In general, Nadal moves faster than Federer, and relies more on his wheels then Federer does.
2. In general, Federer is more inventive than Nadal at constructing points.

You seem to disagree on both of the above, which is absolutely fine. I do not have the monopoly of being correct all the time. And, unlike you, I do not have the overpowering impulse to turn everything into F vs. N.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 05:24 PM
Actually Federer hits with lots of spin. For example, when he goes for
a kill on short sitters, he ueses lots of top spin while many other players
would often go for a flat bombs.

Fed vs ATP players : Fed has pretty good margin of errors
Fed vs Nadal : Fed hits on narrower margin of errors compared to Nadal.

fastdunn
07-13-2007, 05:26 PM
Nadal could have chosen to play soccer instead of tennis and be just as good at it. However he is a lone bull and it would be impossible to find a team where every player played with as much concentration, and practiced as hard as he does. Tennis, where it's each man for himself, suits him to a T.

Right, I think Nadal would excell in other individual sports.

NadalForever
07-13-2007, 05:41 PM
Another stupid Nadal hating trolling thread. You Federer nerds really need to grow up and get a life. The fact the Nadal has 8-5 record over Federer is making all of you miserable and remember that Nadal has beaten Federer twice on non clay surfaces whereas Federer has only beaten Nadal once on clay. Nadal is clearly a more talented player and after next year's Australian Open he will be number one. Ha ha!!

lethalfang
07-13-2007, 07:41 PM
Wow this is the stupidest post ever.

Not as stupid as you think. It's a pretty interesting point.
For at least a few years, Terrell Owens was the best wide receiver in the NFL, but he has said many times that although he likes football, he enjoys basketball more than football. In fact, he has played in the summer league a couple of times, trying to make it to the NBA when his football prowess was at its highest. He's been doing that, knowing that he would never be as good of a basketball player as he is a football player.

brolycjw
07-14-2007, 03:25 AM
You could say the same about Michael Jordan, while he possibly is the best basketball player of all time, he prefers baseball more than basketball.

JohnS
07-14-2007, 06:21 AM
It's kinda hard not to love what they are doing since they do it well. Also, tennis is something they only know well.

Take Agassi and Sampras for example. True, they were brought up, intensively, to play tennis but they were very good at it, a little too good. Now, remember when both players officially retired. We saw how much this game meant to them. They showed more emtion during the last 5 minutes, on camera, of their professional career than their entire tennis career. If you don't love what you are doing, then you dont express those emotions when it's all over.

I suspect that Nadal and Federer will show some type of similar response to the end of their career. This is NOT a stupid thread (though i think the OP tried to stur something up in the beginning) and is actually interesting.

The other perspective is: Do Andre and Pete express all of that emotion in the end because they are afraid of not knowing what to do for the rest of their lives. An instant change can cause people to "lose it" and that is not the same thing as love for the sport.

sureshs
07-14-2007, 10:53 AM
Was just reading Sampras' interview before the induction. He didn't touch a racquet for 3 years after retirement. Lendl gave away his racquets upon retirement. Could be due the intense pressure they put on themselves, leading to almost a disgust with the game. But it is pretty unusual you must admit - people who love what they do don't stop doing it when they get a break.

No, I was not trolling or stirring up trouble, as some are thinking. What fascinates me is whether Nadal is putting up an elaborate fascade to pump himself up psychologically to compete. Never being relaxed over a period of 3 hours doesn't seem natural.

Players of the past seemed to be enjoying the game much more (or is it just wishful thinking?). I was looking at the classic black and white photo of Laver jumping across the net after the 69 USO against Roche (only one photographer managed to capture it - the guy who has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame this year) - and I see genuine joy in his face.

Coincidentally, I also just finished reading an article about the table tennis champion, Vladimir Samsonov, from Belarus, who is an European champion but has never won the World Championship, though he had been #1 for several years. The article says that Samsonov is always dignified, always polite in defeat, and never celebrates a win - in fact he appears to be almost apologetic to his opponent that he won. According to the writer, this is a lack of killer instinct and accounts for his failure to win the top medal.

Coming back to Nadal, this is a guy who celebrates every other point, bounces up and down in front of the umpire and opponent before a match, has been engaged in stare downs with his opponent, etc. Makes you wonder - is he then just motivated by the high that comes with winning, or does he love the game for itself?

TheNatural
07-14-2007, 04:18 PM
Here's Nadal and Fed enjoying their tennis.

http://www.elpais.com/recorte/20070609elpepudep_8/LCO340/Ies/Rafa_Nadal_festeja_triunfo_semifinales_Djokovic.jp g

http://www.tennisreporters.net/tr_net_photos_art/FEDERER_clw_05_rg_300.jpg

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20070608/i/r2592234201.jpg

A.T.S.
07-14-2007, 04:38 PM
Is that good? It is after all a sport and entertainment, in the final analysis.

Roger doesn't smile either, but why does he give a different impression?

Inside he's probably having so much fun but he can't let his opponent see too much of that and let him get the best of it.

pow
07-14-2007, 04:41 PM
Yes, I believe he does, I enjoy tennis and I chase down every point. Unmotivated players and people who don't play with a passion for the sport show it by not caring so much about the individual points.

herosol
07-14-2007, 06:08 PM
if someone didn't love this sport, why would they bother to chase balls all the time.

if he really didn't love it, he would just be bashing like everyone else.

he loves to play. his style confirms it.

poplar
07-14-2007, 11:51 PM
He plays each point as if it is his last. Every match is war for him. He always says things like I always try my best, no? He never smiles during a match. His outside interests seem to confined to eating at his favorite place in every Slam and playing videogames with Moya. His appearances at compulsory ATP media events seem to be a burden for him, and his replies are minimal and clipped (could be due to the language issue though). ATP bloggers have written that he is as intense in practice as in a match.

So, do you think he really likes to play tennis, or he is doing it for his parents, uncle Tony, Majorca, Spain, whatever?

doesn't it indicate he enjoys tennis too much?

JohnMatrix
07-15-2007, 12:15 AM
He plays each point as if it is his last. Every match is war for him. He always says things like I always try my best, no? He never smiles during a match. His outside interests seem to confined to eating at his favorite place in every Slam and playing videogames with Moya. His appearances at compulsory ATP media events seem to be a burden for him, and his replies are minimal and clipped (could be due to the language issue though). ATP bloggers have written that he is as intense in practice as in a match.

So, do you think he really likes to play tennis, or he is doing it for his parents, uncle Tony, Majorca, Spain, whatever?

I think you ask a good question. Rafa, who knows. But I definately think Moya is a paycheck player. Along with alot of others. I am not bagging on them, if I knew I wasn't going to win a slam I would be trying to get to the furthest round for the money too.

superman1
07-15-2007, 01:09 AM
Nadal loves the sport, no question about that. He has spent his whole life chasing around tennis and soccer balls. If you took that away from him, he'd be an empty shell.

Rataplan
07-15-2007, 01:52 AM
It's amusing to read how so many people here are writing about these players as if they actually know the person.

pound cat
07-15-2007, 02:32 AM
It's amusing to read how so many people here are writing about these players as if they actually know the person.


That's part of being what a sports fan is. Vicarious living.

fuzz nation
07-15-2007, 06:14 AM
I saw an interview and story on Rafa that covered his backround, relationship with his family, etc. and he actually said that he prefers the camaraderie of team sports, especially soccer, to the relative solitude of tennis. My overall impression is that he has a rare fire inside and loves to push himself, but he doesn't have the electric exuberance of someone like Baghdatis. Rafa's tennis is job #1 and he probably prefers to whoop it up back at home in Mallorca instead of on the podium.

callitout
07-15-2007, 06:38 AM
Nadal's apparently simple tactics (chase everything, return everything, wait for an opening

If you think this is Nadal's game...a great retriever, then youre watching a different player than most of us. Go watch Nadal live and you'll understand why Hewitt said "he hits the ball completely different from everyone else"--talking about the enormous energy and kick on his ground strokes.
Yes he plays great defense, but his forehand ball has as much energy as any player in history.
When Hewitt plays Fed there are no openings because his ball is easily handled by Fed; Nadal is the only player who can regularly make Fed appear a bit rushed and uncomfortable. Because he hits such an aggressive forehand to Fed's backhand.

sureshs
07-15-2007, 09:27 AM
I saw an interview and story on Rafa that covered his backround, relationship with his family, etc. and he actually said that he prefers the camaraderie of team sports, especially soccer, to the relative solitude of tennis. My overall impression is that he has a rare fire inside and loves to push himself, but he doesn't have the electric exuberance of someone like Baghdatis. Rafa's tennis is job #1 and he probably prefers to whoop it up back at home in Mallorca instead of on the podium.

Now, that is a guy who really loves tennis.

MoFed
07-15-2007, 12:14 PM
It is possible to put your everything into something and not particularly enjoy it. Have you ever noticed the look on his face when he plays? He's almost got this permenant scowl on his face like he smells something fishy. (To be honest, he sometimes reminds me of Elvis the way he keeps that upper lip pointing to the sky.) I have never seen him relax to the point where it looks like he's enjoying himself.

I do believe that there is a difference between enjoying the game and enjoying the win.

Polaris
07-15-2007, 12:49 PM
Because Federer possesses a higher-risk game than Nadal's apparently simple tactics (chase everything, return everything, wait for an opening),

If you think this is Nadal's game...a great retriever, then youre watching a different player than most of us. Go watch Nadal live and you'll understand why Hewitt said "he hits the ball completely different from everyone else"--talking about the enormous energy and kick on his ground strokes.

The operative word is apparently. I am careful about what I write and I understand tennis well enough, thanks.

Jon Rudy
07-15-2007, 03:37 PM
I have often wondered the same thing about Maria Sharapova. It's almost as if whenever she's playing, she doesn't want to be out there, and she wants to do whatever's going to get her off the court the quickest. I do realize when you're playing in a tournament you don't want to be on court for a long amount of time, but the look in her eyes makes me think that maybe she's angry about something, winning or losing.

TheNatural
07-15-2007, 04:18 PM
Not to me, she looks just very focused and ultra competitive to me but looks to enjoy hitting winners and isnt afraid to celebrate them. Mabe you havnt played much competitive sport and can't relate. It's just that different people perform optimally at different levels of arousal, some need to be very relaxed to perform their best and some need to be very pumped up and ultra focused to perform best. I find it weird that people would think she's not enjoying herself just because of how focused she looks and how pumped up she gets.




I have often wondered the same thing about Maria Sharapova. It's almost as if whenever she's playing, she doesn't want to be out there, and she wants to do whatever's going to get her off the court the quickest. I do realize when you're playing in a tournament you don't want to be on court for a long amount of time, but the look in her eyes makes me think that maybe she's angry about something, winning or losing.

Fedace
07-15-2007, 04:20 PM
I am picking RAFa to dominate the Sttutgart open next week, he will destroy everyone in the field and laugh at his competition. Why is he playing this ?? It is on clay so what the heck i suppose??

Jon Rudy
07-15-2007, 04:32 PM
I have played competitive sports, and I can certainly relate to being pumped up when you're playing.

Maybe she does enjoy the game the most when she looks ****ed off, but maybe she looks ****ed off because her had has hovered over her and bred her to win her entire life.

I don't doubt that she enjoys winning, everybody does, but the topic was over enjoying tennis, not enjoying winning. I don't know her or Nadal personally, but when I watch them play, I wonder if they enjoy what they're doing.

Nice try with the dig about competitive sports though.

Polaris
07-15-2007, 05:19 PM
I have often wondered the same thing about Maria Sharapova. It's almost as if whenever she's playing, she doesn't want to be out there, and she wants to do whatever's going to get her off the court the quickest. I do realize when you're playing in a tournament you don't want to be on court for a long amount of time, but the look in her eyes makes me think that maybe she's angry about something, winning or losing.

It is hard to tell about Maria. Neither her demeanor nor her style of playing the game broadcast a love of tennis. They do, however, abundantly suggest the warrior's enjoyment of battle. She is mentally very strong.

For any player, the effort that they put into tennis is motivated by a number of things: love for the activity, the fierce desire to excel at it, a desire for the glory (awards and recognition) attached to excellence. With Maria, it is difficult to say whether love has as much to do with it as the relentless mercenary ambition of Yuri Sharapov.

anointedone
07-15-2007, 06:19 PM
I think he has a huge passion for the game. You can tell by the effort he gives on every single point. He just loves being out, trying his hardest all the time, pouring all the passion he has into what he is doing. It is great.

aimr75
07-15-2007, 07:02 PM
what i see in nadal is an intense level of concentration and a fierce will to win.. not all people appear the same when they are experiencing that level of intensity.. most people who are under high pressure situations dont break a smile (unless youre henri leconte ;) )
________
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Eviscerator
07-15-2007, 07:16 PM
He plays each point as if it is his last. Every match is war for him. He always says things like I always try my best, no? He never smiles during a match. His outside interests seem to confined to eating at his favorite place in every Slam and playing videogames with Moya. His appearances at compulsory ATP media events seem to be a burden for him, and his replies are minimal and clipped (could be due to the language issue though). ATP bloggers have written that he is as intense in practice as in a match.

So, do you think he really likes to play tennis, or he is doing it for his parents, uncle Tony, Majorca, Spain, whatever?

Sounds to me like he is dedicated with a single minded purpose. To get to the top and remain there you must have that type of mindset. Give the kid some credit, he is avoiding many of the distractions that derail other pros on tour like Safin and the Age of Love boy.

tursafinov
07-15-2007, 07:26 PM
I watched interviews in my Spanish Class of Nadal for Practice.

He says he regrets not going further with Soccer because he enjoys being part of a team.
He has said that he feels lonely on the tennis court because there is no one to celebrate big occasions with. Only an opponent.

Take that however you will.
I believe the reason he is so much more outwardly expressive is because he can "celebrate" with the crowd and feel their energy on his side.

~Tursa

*Suresh we must have seen the same thing.
**I saw an interview and story on Rafa that covered his backround, relationship with his family, etc. and he actually said that he prefers the camaraderie of team sports, especially soccer, to the relative solitude of tennis. My overall impression is that he has a rare fire inside and loves to push himself, but he doesn't have the electric exuberance of someone like Baghdatis. Rafa's tennis is job #1 and he probably prefers to whoop it up back at home in Mallorca instead of on the podium.