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Lee
02-20-2005, 11:01 PM
Yes, another thread on THE MAN of the moment. He is going to dominate the clay court season (like he has been doing lately), go deep in Roland Garros (possibly win it all), and become a top 10 player by the end of the season.

I have so much respect for the kid. It does not matter if he is up 5-0 or down two sets and a break (US Open '04), he approaches the game with the same audacity and intensity. His talent and passion for the game is UNMATCHED. I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes a superstar by May. VAMOS RAFA!!!!

Nyl
02-20-2005, 11:04 PM
he will become a superstar... but he can't dominant tennis unless he begins to flat out his serve/groudstrokes on hard court like guga and ferrero did....

Lee
02-20-2005, 11:08 PM
He is only 18, is already 6'1 and growing. His serves aren't the best in the world, but they are definately not liabilities to his game. Plus, he is a clay court specialist, so he will earn most of his points from the clay court tournaments. We'll see how he performs at the US Open this fall.

Rabbit
02-21-2005, 04:35 AM
I think right now Gaudio looks better on the dirt.

Vlad
02-21-2005, 05:11 AM
Yeah, Gaudio destroyed him in one of the tournaments this year. Add Ferrero, Coria, Federer, Safin to the mix and Nadal should be right there with those big guys.

arosen
02-21-2005, 05:37 PM
Nadal is already a superstar, at least in Spain, if that counts. I would not go as far as saying his intensity is unrivaled. How about Hewitt? One thing for sure, Nadal is going to win some, and then some more, but I believe, mostly on clay.

gully
02-21-2005, 06:07 PM
Yeah, Gaudio destroyed him in one of the tournaments this year. Add Ferrero, Coria, Federer, Safin to the mix and Nadal should be right there with those big guys.
If you're thinking about the Buenos Aires match that TTC showed about 10 days ago, that was the tightest 0-6,6-0,6-1 match I've ever seen, with multiple deuces in most games and both players having to show the full arsenal to pull out any single game. Those dudes covered every inch of the court, and acreage off it. Weird match, to look at the scoreline, but the points--and the games--were damn tight. Great crowd to boot.

VamosRafa
02-22-2005, 02:45 PM
If you're thinking about the Buenos Aires match that TTC showed about 10 days ago, that was the tightest 0-6,6-0,6-1 match I've ever seen, with multiple deuces in most games and both players having to show the full arsenal to pull out any single game. Those dudes covered every inch of the court, and acreage off it. Weird match, to look at the scoreline, but the points--and the games--were damn tight. Great crowd to boot.

You are right. I watched it, too. Rafa said later the crowd got to him a bit, but I don't think that would have troubled Rafa if Gaudio's game wasn't so tough. In the last two sets, Gaudio played great tennis. He did give Rafa a lesson at times, but Rafa hung in there, and had his chances at times.

I do think that Rafa is a step below an energized Gaudio right now -- no question.

But I think Rafa could take a few things from the match, too. It's always good to play guys a bit better than you, especially when you are 18.



As the commentators said during the match, Gaudio is showing his RG win was no fluke.

I think we'll see that more and more as the season progresses.

VamosRafa
02-22-2005, 02:55 PM
Nadal is already a superstar, at least in Spain, if that counts. I would not go as far as saying his intensity is unrivaled. How about Hewitt? One thing for sure, Nadal is going to win some, and then some more, but I believe, mostly on clay.

You are right. He certainly is a superstar in Spain. Moya is as well, and they are now the Mallorcan tag-team superstars.

I do think Rafa wants to play well on all surfaces. But he realizes he has to get his ranking to a point where he can play the events he wants to play, and be seeded.

So unlike last year, he's gone back to his "roots" and is playing more claycourt events. To get points, to get seeded and such.

The slam he wants to win most is Wimbledon, although he concedes that if he can ever play RG, he has a better shot there.

I don't think he'll win RG this year, but for his age, he's a great claycourt player, And he's the type of guy who won't be satisfied with a great "claycourt" career, IMO.

But here's a cute item from a Czech mag, which we (the "royal we") just had translated into English. It talks about Rafa's Wimbly amitions, which we had heard about before:

He was still of a "junior" age when he arrived at the junior Wimbledon, where he saw for the first time in his life the grass on the court. He advanced to the semifinal and when he left declared: "Someday I will win here! And I will become a world number 1.

So we shall see. The next time he went, he got to the third round, and beat Ancic in the first round. He likes grass more than most Spaniards, it seems. At least he isn't saying it's a surface fit only for cows. *lol*