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View Full Version : High deep shots to Nadal mixed with short angled shots ... the message is spreading


shakes1975
04-02-2009, 03:46 PM
After watching Nadal's matches against Gil and Wawrinka, what I, and I am sure some of the other players - including DelPo - have observed is that the best way to play Nadal on HC is to hit high and deep to him, or what are called moonballs, frequently interspersed with short angled balls, esp. to his FH. More often than not, Nadal gets pushed well behind the baseline and then gives a short reply that you need to pounce on.

This is actually something I noticed first in his semifinal with
Tsonga at last year's AO. Every once in a while, especially when
forced on the defensive, Tsonga, rather than just getting the ball
back or going for an all-or-nothing shot, would loop it back deep with
a ton of topspin, causing the ball to jump to Rafa's head+ - this gave
Nadal immense problems, and virtually every such shot from Tsonga
resulted in an easy reply. Murray also did a similar thing to Nadal at
various points during their recent meetings, also with some success.

Lsmkenpo
04-02-2009, 04:06 PM
I agree, he doesn't like to hit the moonball back flat he plays a defensive shot back and the aggressive players can easily take advantage of him as a result, it was really apparent against JMP.

Serpententacle
04-02-2009, 04:08 PM
Hit deep balls mixed with short angled shots against ANYBODY... damn.

VGP
04-02-2009, 04:09 PM
^^^^^qft^^^^^

Lsmkenpo
04-02-2009, 04:13 PM
Hit deep balls mixed with short angled shots against ANYBODY... damn.


No, you fail to grasp the point or didnt see the match, Nadal plays passive against the moonball, most pros take the ball early and hit an aggressive shot back, Nadal doesn't, he isn't talking about just hitting it deep he is talking about hitting it high and slow with a lot of top, there is a difference.

Serpententacle
04-02-2009, 04:14 PM
No, you fail to grasp the point or didnt see the match, Nadal plays passive against the moonball, most pros take the ball early and hit an aggressive shot back, Nadal doesn't, he isn't talking about just hitting it deep he is talking about hitting it high and slow with a lot of top, there is a difference.

No, I grasped the point quite perfectly.

Lsmkenpo
04-02-2009, 04:17 PM
No, I grasped the point quite perfectly.

No apparently you didn't, because you went off on a tangent talking about something different. The OP isn't talking about hitting with depth alone.

Serpententacle
04-02-2009, 04:19 PM
No apparently you didn't, because you went off on a tangent talking about something different. The OP isn't talking about hitting with depth alone.

I wasn't talking about "depth alone"... I also referred to short angles shots. Get your facts straight.

S H O W S T O P P E R !
04-02-2009, 04:20 PM
Hit deep balls mixed with short angled shots against ANYBODY... damn.

I lost against a pusher on my HS team in a tiebreak tournament. He kocked me out of the 3 singles spot just by pushing.

shakes1975
04-02-2009, 04:21 PM
No, I grasped the point quite perfectly.

No, you didn't.

Lsmkenpo
04-02-2009, 04:25 PM
I wasn't talking about "depth alone"... I also referred to short angles shots. Get your facts straight.

I think I have my facts straight

Hit deep balls mixed with short angled shots against ANYBODY... damn.


Hitting with depth and the short angled shot is not the key against Nadal,
it is the deep moonball with no pace and a lot of top, plenty of players hit deep against Nadal with a lot of pace and he eats them alive.

Serpententacle
04-02-2009, 04:27 PM
I think I have my facts straight


Hitting with depth and the short angled shot is not the key against Nadal,
it is the deep moonball with no pace and a lot of top, plenty of players hit deep against Nadal with a lot of pace and he eats them alive.

You fail to grasp my point.

Eviscerator
04-02-2009, 04:31 PM
Knowing it is one thing, executing it against him is another. So far very few players have been successful against Nadal because they are having to deal with what Nadal is doing to them.

shakes1975
04-02-2009, 04:35 PM
Hitting with depth and the short angled shot is not the key against Nadal, it is the deep moonball with no pace and a lot of top, plenty of players hit deep against Nadal with a lot of pace and he eats them alive.

Exactly. It's not just about depth. Your shots have to be deep, slow, and loopy (with lot of topspin) - aka moonball. Nadal just seems unable to put them away. He almost surely follows up with a short reply after a few such shots. And that's when you have to take advantage right away. Depending upon the window open to you, you can then go for the winner going forward into the court or if the advantage is not yet decisive, that's when the angled shots come in.

And I think this is because of two reasons: 1. His grip, esp. on his FH, does not allow him to readily flatten it out.
2. Nadal, being raised as clay courter - and as he sometimes shows ever so often on HC, is basically a reactive player. He's not as comfortable coming in and taking the moonball off the rise. That also explains why Nadal's ROS is not his greatest weapon unlike Murray for eg.

However, most of the pros are too proud to use a lot of moonballs.

shakes1975
04-02-2009, 04:38 PM
Knowing it is one thing, executing it against him is another. So far very few players have been successful against Nadal because they are having to deal with what Nadal is doing to them.

Not really because not many people think of this option. Everyone is still hung up about how Blake and Berdych used to beat Nadal, and they still think that the only way to beat Nadal is to punch right through him. Unfortunately, that's a risky strategy and they most often lose.

Even Fed thinks the same way. That's why he loses it against Nadal. Because he thinks he has to hit through him, and he knows he cannot do it consistently without taking the risk of hitting close to the lines.

Eviscerator
04-02-2009, 04:42 PM
Not really because not many people think of this option. Everyone is still hung up about how Blake and Berdych used to beat Nadal, and they still think that the only way to beat Nadal is to punch right through him. Unfortunately, that's a risky strategy and they most often lose.

Even Fed thinks the same way. That's why he loses it against Nadal. Because he thinks he has to hit through him, and he knows he cannot do it consistently without taking the risk of hitting close to the lines.

:roll:

Well I am glad you and the few posters here discovered this. No doubt the top pros and their coaches might eventually figure it out on their own. However if they come to this forum, then they will be all set. I can see it now, they will implement this strategy and Nadal's fall from the top will be swift and irreversible.

shakes1975
04-02-2009, 04:53 PM
:roll:

Well I am glad you and the few posters here discovered this. No doubt the top pros and their coaches might eventually figure it out on their own. However if they come to this forum, then they will be all set. I can see it now, they will implement this strategy and Nadal's fall from the top will be swift and irreversible.

I am only saying what I have observed from the last couple of matches against Nadal. Tell me something, when did YOU see any player try to moonball Nadal ? I haven't seen anybody try it. How do you know if it doesn't work when you have not even tried it ? Why don't many pros try it ? Because they think it's below their dignity or because they think that the only way to beat Nadal is to overpower him.

The last time I saw was when Agassi did it to Kucera at the 1998 USO when nothing else was working that day.

Lsmkenpo
04-02-2009, 05:04 PM
It is a good strategy to try when Nadal goes into his hyper defensive play during crunch time, give him a taste of his own medicine with an even more defensive shot and force him to be the aggressor. I have never seen him hit the moonball back with authority ever.

I think you will see Murray use this strategy even more now against Nadal. He isn't afraid to hit junkballs.

Blade0324
04-02-2009, 05:57 PM
I can see what you are saying in the match against JMDP but I think this only worked because Nadal could not hit balls that were too high for him to handle. High deep shots or moonballs as you say are not really an effective play against Nadal as he is after all a clay courter so he is used to this kind of shot. Just a short term fluke for this match.

Tennis_Monk
04-02-2009, 06:21 PM
Great Observations. Apparently someone who plays tennis for a living cant figure it out and here we are in a tennis forum where majority of players play Recreational tennis, majority of them havent been to a Grandslam tournament let alone play and most times playing at standards well below Tour level advising on how to play the World #1 player.

Good Stuff!

Nadal_Freak
04-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Everything worked against Nadal today. A week where Nadal is playing well, nothing will work. Face the facts. Nadal was just off.

TheTruth
04-02-2009, 06:48 PM
What cracks me up are the "how to beat Nadal" threads...they just keep coming and coming and coming...lol

icedevil0289
04-02-2009, 06:49 PM
What cracks me up are the "how to beat Nadal" threads...they just keep coming and coming and coming...lol

nadal is just amazing like that.

OddJack
04-02-2009, 06:50 PM
Nadal is sacked, now on. Muhahahhaha

shakes1975
04-02-2009, 10:01 PM
I can see what you are saying in the match against JMDP but I think this only worked because Nadal could not hit balls that were too high for him to handle.

Exactly. And balls too high for him are more easily hit by hitting slow, loopy shots with very little pace and with decent depth.

And I also saw Murray do this against Nadal with reasonable success - Abu Dhabi.

Tennis_Bum
04-02-2009, 10:11 PM
I lost against a pusher on my HS team in a tiebreak tournament. He kocked me out of the 3 singles spot just by pushing.

It's tough to play against pushers. Pushers usually have very good wheels and can chase balls all day long and just drain you until you make ton of errors.

You really got to be on your A game to beat a pusher. Yeah you can draw them to the net but if the shot is not decent they can be in position to win the point relatively easy.

I hate pushers. It's tough but if you patient then you certainly can beat them.

Richie Rich
04-03-2009, 07:56 AM
jeez, who needs to pay for coaches. the best tacticians are on TW and you can get all the info on how to beat all the top players for free......from a 4.0 player :lol: