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View Full Version : Impressions after watching Federer-Nadal once more.


ferrari_827
04-06-2005, 10:23 AM
To some people, Nadal may be just another boring clay-court basher. But those who really know the game can tell he is something quite different.

Just his movement and anticipation is uncanny, much better than your average clay-courter. Against Federer on a hard court, Nadal was rarely out of position, and was just as impressive moving *up and down* the court as side to side. As Roger said, the pace and spin of Nadal's ball is something quite different.

Nadal is also quite capable at volleying, hitting overheads, and has a good enough serve that it's not really attackable.

Some posters here say Nadal would be easy pickings for a really good serve and volleyer. That's debatable because Nadal is so quick and has excellent passing shots. Against Federer, several volleys which would have been winners against others were turned into passing shots.

The liability with a game like Nadal's is that it requires superb physical conditioning and whether he can play this style day in day out.

VamosRafa
04-06-2005, 10:36 AM
A lot of people get it. They just don't necessarily post here. But players (especially his opponents), coaches, etc., have been saying for years that Nadal will be a top player.

http://www.vamosrafael.com/thebuzz.html

Kobble
04-06-2005, 11:29 AM
He is exciting to watch, but it is a little inefficient over 5 sets. If he beefs up his serve he will win a master title real soon. Heck, he can win with what he has now and it is only going to get better.

arodnadal
04-06-2005, 11:42 AM
he is much more exciting then other pro players on tour including federer

Aykhan Mammadov
04-06-2005, 03:17 PM
I have watched the match again from the beginning till the last point pausing at some moments , watching them again and etc...

New impressions.

1. Set 1 - Fed is absent completely, he is fighting against serve of Nadal. He is doing a lot of simple mistakes.

2. Set 2 - Fed found himself, he is absolutely dominates on the court. He is killing Nadal showing what tennis is. Suddenly he loses the set. Nobody understands how it happened including him. Nadal is absent on the court in the set 2.

3. Set 3. Nadal dominates over Fed on the court. Fed is broken. ONE MISTAKE OF THE LINE REFEREE SAVES FED AT SCORE 0:40. Suddenly Nadal loses set, nobody understands how and why he missed a chance to win match.

4. Set 4. Fed dominates over Nadal on the court and wins set.

5. Set 5. Nadal is broken.

99% of mistakes done by Fed have nothing with spin of backhand or forehand of Nadal, mainly stupid mistakes or service return faults.

That match was one of the worst matches of Fed.

Nothing impressed me in the game of Nadal except resolution showed in first 3 sets to fight for every point.

The match showed me how non-professional are both players sometimes, how much they couldn't keep themselves and their minds cool, can't control their mind... tremble, tremble, fright, stupid mistakes.... I recommend them to engage somebody from our forum to practise with.

joeman957
04-06-2005, 07:03 PM
They're human, not robots.

PJVA
04-06-2005, 07:26 PM
I think the mistake in the line call was at 0-30. The call put the score at 15-30.

My take on the start of the match was that Federer wasn't used to Nadal's quick responses and how he'd get to so many balls. Federer himself said he made the mistake of trying to match Nadal's pace and hit harder. That's probably what brought about the errors.

Goenitz_196
04-06-2005, 07:29 PM
Why oh why is that whenever Federer has a tough time against someone it's always due to Roger having "a bad game" or "the worst game of his life"? Haven't any of you thought it may be due to the quality of his opponent?

Christ, you should've heard some Federer fans on other forums after the AOPEN SF match against Safin. It was all 'Rogi was awful', 'Roger made so many mistakes it's not him', 'Fed had the worst game of his life', and of course - 'Rogi should have won that match'. They honestly think Roger Federer cannot be beaten. Ever.

Aykhan Mammadov, I'm not saying you're one, but all these Federer fanboy/fangirls are really getting tiresome.

RoddickSafin
04-06-2005, 07:32 PM
....But Fed did have a bad match...almost 3 sets worth of unforced errors. In the AO safin outplayed Fed he didnt have a bad match..

wildbill88AA
04-06-2005, 08:59 PM
the bad call was at 0-30, shoulda been 0-40. federer is even lucky too.

alan-n
04-06-2005, 09:58 PM
Yeah, those Nadal passing shots on the dead run were simply because of Federer's poor play... Yeah right. I've watched Nadal and Federer long enough to know.... Quit trying to make excuses for Federer, he doesn't need to make them.

Federer himself has also said (besides Moya), that he thinks Nadal can be the #1 player in the world one day. He was quoted on ESPN saying people don't realize how good Nadal is going to be (one day), Federer must be talking about you... Nadal had Federer by the throat, and please Nadal IS THE FASTEST MAN ON THE BACKCOURT. He needs to work on his endurance and that will come, he's only 18 and he will be in the top 5 by years end.

westside
04-06-2005, 11:17 PM
I think Nadal is really exciting to watch. I'd rather watch him then Gaudio, Henman or Nalbandian

BreakPoint
04-06-2005, 11:17 PM
....But Fed did have a bad match...almost 3 sets worth of unforced errors. In the AO safin outplayed Fed he didnt have a bad match..

The category of "unforced error" does not take into account the funky left-handed spins Nadal puts on the ball or his incredibly fast foot speed which caused Federer to have to go for too much to get the ball away from Nadal. When Nadal puts in a second serve with tons of lefty sidespin on it and Federer fails to return the ball, they may classify it as an "unforced error", but believe me, it was Nadal that forced Federer to make that error.

Alex
04-06-2005, 11:38 PM
I agree to alan-n on this. Roger Federer did not have a bad day, he was clearly outplay by Nadal. But he stay calm, be consistent and found a way to beat Nadal.

In the Nasdaq 100 Final, Nadal clearly was the aggressor and should have been the winner. He simply outplay Roger Federer in every category, unfortunately he lack a little luck and big match experience to put the finishing touch on Federer. He could have finish off Federer in the third set and lift the trophy, just bad luck.

If any of you remember the last encounter in 2004 between Nadal and Federer, Nadal was outstanding and beat Federer in straight set. (I can't remember at what tournament it was, anyway will try to check.)

Like alan-n said, Nadal needs to work on his endurance to handle 5 sets matches. In the 4th and 5th set Nadal clearly show sign of slowing down and exhaustion. This is one of the reason Nadal lost. Another is that his playing style doesn't give him any cheap or easy point, he need to work hard on every point just like A.Agassi. Plus with his extreme top-spin groundstroke and swinging his racquet so fast and furious, it will drain his energy even faster.

Alex
04-06-2005, 11:45 PM
The category of "unforced error" does not take into account the funky left-handed spins Nadal puts on the ball or his incredibly fast foot speed which caused Federer to have to go for too much to get the ball away from Nadal. When Nadal puts in a second serve with tons of lefty sidespin on it and Federer fails to return the ball, they may classify it as an "unforced error", but believe me, it was Nadal that forced Federer to make that error.


I totally agree with BreakPoint...it was Nadal that forced Federer to make that error. If you look at the match carefully, Federer is not in his comfort zone. He is hitting so far back from the baseline and hitting the balls high up above his shoulder. He is simply having problem returning Nadal's groundstroke.

Alex
04-06-2005, 11:51 PM
Hey guys. Here is the Head to head stat from www.ATPtennis.com between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They have only met twice in their career, each won once.

http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/headtohead/head2head.asp?player1=Roger+Federer+&player2=Rafael+Nadal

The last encounter was awesome, Nadal was fantastic and Federer was beaten completely. I remember watching it but i can't seem to remember wat tournament it was. Anyone...remember what tournament it was?

VamosRafa
04-06-2005, 11:54 PM
Hey guys. Here is the Head to head stat from www.ATPtennis.com between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They have only met twice in their career, each won once.

http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/headtohead/head2head.asp?player1=Roger+Federer+&player2=Rafael+Nadal

The last encounter was awesome, Nadal was fantastic and Federer was beaten completely. I remember watching it but i can't seem to remember wat tournament it was. Anyone...remember what tournament it was?

Miami last year.

activentures
04-06-2005, 11:57 PM
...but more exciting than federer?!?

Probably not.

You never hear gasps from the crowd when watching him, and I don't find myself smiling and shaking my head in disbelief either like I do with Federer. Although he hits a nasty heavy ball, his strengths remain in his movement and his consistency, much like most claycourters. Despite their games being slightly different, he reminds me of Hewitt in many ways. A guy you know will be a great player and enjoyable to watch, but not really exciting.

BreakPoint
04-07-2005, 12:08 AM
The last encounter was awesome, Nadal was fantastic and Federer was beaten completely. I remember watching it but i can't seem to remember wat tournament it was. Anyone...remember what tournament it was?

Same tournament last year, 2004 Nasdaq-100 Open, in the third round. Although Federer did have the flu that week.

VamosRafa
04-07-2005, 12:08 AM
Same tournament last year, 2004 Nasdaq-100 Open, in the third round. Although Federer did have the flu that week.

Sunstroke from Indian Wells, although his fans make a lot more of it than he does. He says he was feeling pretty well going into that match:

Q. You're not the sort of guy to dwell on defeats, but can you look back to what happened against Nadal here last year and say what happened then and what's going to happen Sunday?

ROGER FEDERER: What can I say? I was already struggling extremely hard, you know, in the first round against Davydenko here last year. It was the sunstroke I had from Indian Wells. I came through, and I think we should have played the one night and it got postponed, did it, I think because of rain. I came back the following night, which actually gave me an extra day's rest, so I was happy about that. I actually felt pretty all right, you know, for the Nadal match, but maybe now I felt my legs weren't moving as they maybe usually do. But, again, he played a terrific match and I never really got into the match. I think I never had a breakpoint. So that really shows you how tough he was playing on that night. I really had the feeling it was tough for me to hit winners against him because he moves so well. Against a lefty, maybe, you know, the adjustments were tough. I hope that, of course, on Sunday it's going to be different for me. Because I got the matches, you know, under my belt now, I really like this court, you know, I don't mind slow hard courts, I give myself a much better chance than last year.

http://www.asapsports.com/tennis/2005nasdaq/040105RF.html

jings
04-07-2005, 02:30 AM
A lot of these Federer / Nadal theories around and I've resisted so far. Whichever way you cut it Fed somehow found a way through over 5 sets, hitting closer to his normal rhythym in the end, but he struggled early on. He doesn't like lefties and Nadal hits a different ball to most. He failed to adjust and played poorly (in absolute or because of Nadal). To me though he was not hitting his usual patterns in the earlier sets and was certainly shy of the nadal f/h wing. I think this upset federer as much as anything as he wasn't winning points the way he's used to and had to find another way. He also gave Nadal pace to feed off which given how far back he plays can only have helped the young Spaniard. I can't recall many b/h slice into Nadal in the earlier parts of the match, which again was unusual for Fed - Nadal was dictating the pace of the match which is most un Fed.
More than anything though this match reminded me of Roddick at Wimbledon final 04. He tried to blast Fed off the court but in the end Fed was able to find a way past that and weather the Roddick storm, knowing you can't keep threading the eye of a needle with passes - and if the opponent does then he's too good on the day. It also reminds me of the Safin match at the AO, where again Safin took an intensity into the match, the difference being he was able to sustain it. Conclusion? If someone brings their big game and unloads it for long enough they will get Fed, it's just whether they can bring their A game for the whole match. Nadal wasn't able to, by the thinnest of margins (although how Fed lost the second set I still can't really work out?) but he will learn how to play big over 5 sets just as Fed has learnt some ways to get past Nadal. As fascinating a match as I've seen for some time, albeit that the overall standard wasn't say as high as Safin / Fed at AO, which was a match for the ages. My 5c.

Camilio Pascual
04-07-2005, 04:29 AM
Let's remember that a match with 106 winners and 128 UE's, can be a very interesting match.

Fedubai
04-07-2005, 05:05 AM
Nobody needs to make excuses for Federer. To that Roger is never beaten, he only loses, is crazy. Like I said, I thought it was close to over at 4-1 in the third. The second set, yeah you could say that Federer really made a monumental collapse for whatever reason...he was up 5-2 and to lose 4 straight games at such an important juncture is not like him. It just seems like he was never able to really get his confidence going, or for that matter a clear idea of what to do against Nadal...he kept going to his backhand early and he'd even put weak volleys there and he just got killed on the pass of Nadal. He went to Nadal's forehand later and one memorable shot was a Nadal forehand pass that I just could not believe. It was crazy.

Federer also had some plays that were just...ugh. Shanked overheads, botched volleys, idiotic slices that he never normally misses, bad decisions...how much of that was to do with Federer and how much of it was to do with Nadal it's hard to say. But it was clear he was unsettled, and credit Nadal for that. The next match will be interesting, to see what strategies both will come up with. You don't often say this about an 18 year old.

splink779
04-07-2005, 05:47 AM
He's great against s&v because his average ground stroke goes about as high as a lob anyway ;)

Rabbit
04-07-2005, 06:43 AM
I think a good bit of Fed's problems in this match came from Nadal being a southpaw. Especially since Nadal hits so much backward (left-handed) spin.

federerhoogenbandfan
04-07-2005, 06:46 AM
I agree facing a lefty was a problem for Fed. There are not many lefties on tour anymore, that are particularly good. Rusedski was already going downhill when Fed started playing him.

35ft6
04-07-2005, 06:53 AM
...but more exciting than federer?!?

Probably not.

You never hear gasps from the crowd when watching him, and I don't find myself smiling and shaking my head in disbelief either like I do with Federer. Although he hits a nasty heavy ball, his strengths remain in his movement and his consistency, much like most claycourters. Despite their games being slightly different, he reminds me of Hewitt in many ways. A guy you know will be a great player and enjoyable to watch, but not really exciting. I sort of disagree. Nadal's got one of the heaviest forehands on tour and I was surprised by how effectively he could flatten out and rip the backhand side. And he's got great instincts. It may look like sheer athleticism but to me it's obvious that the kid knows where to move and where to hit the ball. Betting to the final of the so-called 5th Slam and getting one bad line call away from toppling Federer is a very encouraging sign for any 18 year old.

Fedubai
04-07-2005, 07:08 AM
I wouldn't say one bad line call away. You or I don't know if Federer would have been able to dig himself out of a 0-40 hole--I'm pretty sure he's done it before. However, like I say, we don't know. But Nadal wasn't gauranteed the championship at 4-1, and a victory wouldn't not be assured at 5-3.

I think it would be more accurate to say that Nadal came two points away from winning, in that tiebreak. He was up 5-3.

silent bob
04-07-2005, 07:29 AM
I'm a fed fan, but he was VERY lucky to get out of that match with a win.

As I get older I must admit I have gotten more biased against the new young stars, so it is begrudgingly that I admit that Nadal was the more impressive player in Miami. Indeed, Nadal was frighteningly AWSOME for long stretches of that match. He made Fed look decidedly ordinary for much of that battle.

These two are going to meet a lot in the future and it will be very interesting to see who can learn the most from the encounters and gain the upper hand. People seem to be suggesting that Fed figured Nadal out during this match, so he can dominate the next time, but I reckon the 18yr old has the potential to learn more at this stage as Fed probably knows almost everything already.

Incidentally, this was the first case I can remember where I felt Fed would have been much better off with a coach to help him prepare for the unique challenge that Nadal poses.

Fedubai
04-07-2005, 07:36 AM
I thought this was funny...

Q. Did you speak to Tony before the match about playing a lefty?

ROGER FEDERER: I did speak to him, yes.

Q. What did he say?

ROGER FEDERER: Ah, you would like to know that (laughing). No, he told me a couple of things, you know, because I didn't see him play much, you know, the last few - ever almost. Because he was injured and he plays different tournaments sometimes. He saw the match against Roddick in Davis Cup where I didn't get to see anything, so I just asked him if he knew anything about him. He just told me what he knew, so... It worked great in the first two sets (laughing). No, no...

silent bob
04-07-2005, 07:40 AM
Nadal had me gasping left, right and center--and i was backing federer!
The way he passed federer had me shaking my head in disbelief - as did the way he intimidated Fed into a predictable game of hitting everthing to Nadal's backhand.

Marius_Hancu
04-07-2005, 07:49 AM
I wouldn't say one bad line call away. You or I don't know if Federer would have been able to dig himself out of a 0-40 hole--I'm pretty sure he's done it before. However, like I say, we don't know. But Nadal wasn't gauranteed the championship at 4-1, and a victory wouldn't not be assured at 5-3.

I think it would be more accurate to say that Nadal came two points away from winning, in that tiebreak. He was up 5-3.

right on both counts.

Marius_Hancu
04-07-2005, 07:55 AM
The people get the Nadal's very good.

It doesn't mean they should all like his style of play.

I for myself, much more like the classical style of Fed, however was thinking during the first two sets that Nadal could create the same problems to Fed even when playing with a baseball bat (and wouldn't be uglier).

Nadal's strength is amazing. Being
Height:
6'0'' (182 cm)
Weight:
188 lbs (85 kg)
at 18years, and a top tennis player, is special. That's lots of muscle, and fast moving muscle, not bodybuilding muscle.

Kaptain Karl
04-07-2005, 08:07 AM
I must be one of those who "don't get it."

Nadal is GOOD. No argument. Some of you, though, post about him as if he has already achieved "greatness". He hasn't.

The images of Nadal I still remember. (From one who always will have some of a bias against the baseline game ... Agassi and Hewitt notwithstanding.):

... Roddick nearly knocked him off his feet with a serve in the USO. The "look" from Nadal after that was so funny. And from that point on, Rafael was pretty much "done" against Andy.

... Moves very well. Very quick.

... Weighty and powerful forehand.

... His game appears to still be improving. More than I can say for a lot of baseliners.

... Those ugly peddle-pusher pants. It's difficult to take someone seriously when they *purposely* look like that.

But you guys are "banking" a TON on a match where Federer stunk up the joint. IMO, you are "pretending" Nadal played at a higher level than he did.

Lastly, Nadal "had" Federer ... and he choked in the 3rd set tie breaker. (You Rafael supporters better HOPE that's not "typical"....)

- KK

Kevin T
04-07-2005, 08:18 AM
I'm with you Kaptain. Until he loses the Old Navy women's capri pants, he's on the bottom of my list. Good player, though.

Kaptain Karl
04-07-2005, 08:19 AM
Good grief!!! You "Nadaloonies" are funny. He HAD Roger in the final of a big tournament ... and he CHOKED.

- KK

Stinkdyr
04-07-2005, 08:31 AM
VamosNada needs an extreme makeover......and not by some queereyes. Gamewise, he is in pretty good shape, needs to work on his serve and taking the net more often. His many strengths are already obvious.

joe sch
04-07-2005, 09:03 AM
I think most do get it : Nadal is an awesome talent that should be one of the dominating players for years to come in todays game of baseline tennis. He will always be a favorite to win any clay tourney, ie many of the European events including the French. He is capable of playing an allcourt game which he has proved in his doubles events and infrequent approaches to the net. I think that if he learns to play smarter tennis and mixes up his strokes, more like Moya, he can win some slams. I like his attitude and competitve nature !

El Diablo
04-07-2005, 09:19 AM
If quickness and speed were interesting to see, there would be track meets on TV every week. Even the most nuanced eye can see that while Nadal patrols the baseline with machine-like precision and keeps the ball in with depth, pace and reasonable reliability, there isn't a whole lot else that he does. His strategic options are essentially two: should I send this one down the line or cross court. The viewer, similarly, has essentially those two possibilities to ponder. Not a lot of drama to consider. A metronome offers nearly as many possibilities. I thought about this as I watched both the Pacific Life and NASDAQ and marvelled at how empty the stadium was until the last two days or so of each tournament. Commentators who hypebolize about the "chess match" going on on the court sounded a little less ridiculous when the match was Borg-McEnroe, Pete-Andre, Federer-whoever with some contrast of style creating dramatic tension, but a Nalbandian-Nadal match is less like a chess match than it is like windshield wipers. This style of play will destroy the game. Do you recall the year-ending women's tourney in LA? The place was filled with empty seats even on the last two days.

Kaptain Karl
04-07-2005, 10:42 AM
El Diablo - You said more -- and expressed my anti-baseliner bias better than I did.

- KK

fastdunn
04-07-2005, 11:22 AM
Some posters here say Nadal would be easy pickings for a really good serve and volleyer. That's debatable because Nadal is so quick and has excellent passing shots. Against Federer, several volleys which would have been winners against others were turned into passing shots.


I tend to agree with Nadal being easy pickings for S&Vers
especially on fast courts.
You should see how Edberg often ridiculed Bruguera on fast court.
Bruguera often became a laughing matter against Edberg who was nearing
retirement.

Players like Edberg, Becker, Krajicek, Stich would do much better
than Federer did against Nadal. It's showing limitation of Federer's net game
which can not be considered as enforcing weapon. Federer's volleys
still have that uncertain look and tend to be short which can be picked
up by Nadal.

Don't worry Ferrari_827, Federer is working with Tony Roche, arguably the
best volleyer in history. I do not see why Federer can not be great vollyer
with all those excess of talents....

Aykhan Mammadov
04-07-2005, 12:40 PM
Again, a lot of posters speaking about spin of shots of Nadal. What have I to do to see the same ? I'm telling again: Spin of service ( just because Nadal is lefty, not because spin is special) pressed Fed to make mistakes IN SERVICE return. First set he tryed to return but failed, and only after a set he worked out habit to return them. I didn't observed that the spin of ordinary hits ( not during services what means spin of forehand and backhand) created problem for Fed.

lagranwilly
04-07-2005, 12:54 PM
Aykhan,yeah i know its difficult to assume that your idol was almost beaten his *** by a 18 year old player.Also,Overall,Nadal won 4 sets against Federer and Federer 3.Always with Nadal being a 'rookie',in his 2 years as pro.
I agree that Nadal has to work out on long matches,both physical and mentally.But...he's just 18 years old for god sake!!!!He's got all the potential to be #1

fantom
04-07-2005, 01:05 PM
I agree w/ KK that Nadal choked.

He was putting some pressure on Federer with his groundies, but Federer missed too many easy shots for me to say that Nadal's good play took Federer off of his game. I think Federer had a bad day and Nadal had a great day, which is pretty much the ONLY recipe these days for a Federer loss. Unfortunately, Nadal couldn't sustain his play and Fed found a way to win.

Aykhan Mammadov
04-07-2005, 01:20 PM
I think most do get it : Nadal is an awesome talent that should be one of the dominating players for years to come in todays game of baseline tennis. He will always be a favorite to win any clay tourney, ie many of the European events including the French. He is capable of playing an allcourt game which he has proved in his doubles events and infrequent approaches to the net. I think that if he learns to play smarter tennis and mixes up his strokes, more like Moya, he can win some slams. I like his attitude and competitve nature !

joe, if Roddick having only great service won GS and was No 1, if Ferrero not playing delicate tennis as Fed but also with big muscles and strength won GS, if say Costa was FO champion or Gaudio was FO winner, why can't be Nadal ? IMHO Nadal is playing much more diversified tennis than those listed above.

The only obstacle on the way for him is Federer. If Fed loses and leaves on first rounds or simply not participating then IMHO Nadal has more chances than any other.

joe sch
04-07-2005, 02:33 PM
joe, if Roddick having only great service won GS and was No 1, if Ferrero not playing delicate tennis as Fed but also with big muscles and strength won GS, if say Costa was FO champion or Gaudio was FO winner, why can't be Nadal ? IMHO Nadal is playing much more diversified tennis than those listed above.

The only obstacle on the way for him is Federer. If Fed loses and leaves on first rounds or simply not participating then IMHO Nadal has more chances than any other.
Because as El Diablo so concisely pointed out, Nadal is still too one dimensional and with Federer, Safin, Roddick & Hewitt to compete with, I dont see him winning any slam except for the French.

VamosRafa
04-07-2005, 02:55 PM
I thought about this as I watched both the Pacific Life and NASDAQ and marvelled at how empty the stadium was until the last two days or so of each tournament.

The reason the stands are emtpy earlier in the tournament is because a lot of people are out watching play on the outer courts, and not sitting in their stadium seats. By the time you get to the finals, there's nothing going on on outer courts, so everyone is in their stadium seat.

Both Miami and Indian Wells had record attendances on many days.

When you go to a tournament, why sit and watch the marquee players you can see all the time on TV? This is the time to get out and see other players, and to catch those entertaining doubles matches.

Aykhan Mammadov
04-07-2005, 04:27 PM
Aykhan,yeah i know its difficult to assume that your idol was almost beaten his *** by a 18 year old player.Also,Overall,Nadal won 4 sets against Federer and Federer 3.Always with Nadal being a 'rookie',in his 2 years as pro.
I agree that Nadal has to work out on long matches,both physical and mentally.But...he's just 18 years old for god sake!!!!He's got all the potential to be #1

Not at all. I can assume that play of Nadal somehow pressed Fed, but what particularly ? The speed of that man, he was fast. Also lefty service during 1-st set. SERVICE just because of the lefty spin of the ball. But people here are speaking about some spin of a ball he placed during ordinary backhands and forehands. What I'm telling is that I have watched match twice and didn't notice that.

RoddickSafin
04-07-2005, 05:24 PM
Big freakin deal.. Now Federer will adjust to Nadal and get used to his crazy spins. Im not a Fed fan but i can recognize when one player is better than another.

VamosRafa
04-07-2005, 05:45 PM
The FedFreaks are just as opinionated as the Nadaloonies, I'm afraid. Not sure one is any more reasonable than the other. *lol*

But I remember reading this Board and ones like it years ago, and listening to how Hewitt was never going to win a slam, how Safin would dominate the ATP, how Fed would continue to choke in big matches and never realize his potential (he did let a few slip away earlier in his career), how Andy would injure his serving arm and be out of the game by age 21.

The fact is we don't know what we will happen with these guys' careers. It's interesting to talk about it, of course, but it's all speculation.

I have a lot of faith in Rafa's abilities and especially his determination. It may turn out to be misplaced, but it's certainly been fun following his career to date.

And he does admit that he has things to improve to get at the top. He's not satisfied with being in the Top 20. He said that when all his said and done, he doesn't want to go down in history as being a Top 20 player. And to get to the top, he's going to have to improve on surfaces other than clay. Here's a bit some of you may find interesting, translated from a Spanish interview by Gonzalo Espariz:

- What do you learn in a defeat like this?
-I still donít know. But you learn new things from every match, the important thing is to improve each day. If itís like that, when you go to the court you feel stronger, more competitive. Itís important to go on the court knowing that if I play well, I rule. Thatís what you have to obtain.

-Itís not the first time you play a final in a hard court, but in Miami, the Ďfifth Grand Slamí, is different. This means a new jump in your career?
-Itís true that itís a surprise that Iíve reached the final here, in a such important tournament, where the best of the world are playing. I had a bit of luck, I had a good draw, and I did the best of it. Iíve taken another step because Iím the 17th of the world in the ranking. This is another jump, for sure.

-Do you see yourself in the Top10?
-I see myself with an option in the Top10. I have some, you have to be aware, because you donít have to lie. To be in the Top10 you need about 1900points, I have 1340 right now. In the claycourt season I should win 600 points more. Itís possible, but you have to be aware that to be able to reach it you must have your feet on the ground, not thinking about it, because if you think about it you pressure yourself more than you should.

-Youíre going upstairs towards elite very quickly. Does that produce excitement?
-No, when oneís there you see thereís an option. I donít want to talk about the Top10, because thatís a way of putting pressure on yourself, and then it can be giddiness. Youíve got to know youíre in good form, youíre the 4th better player in the year, but just having it as facts and nothing more. When you go on the court you have to think you are a player like the rest, and youíve got to know that to win you have to run and fight as much as youíve done during youíre life. But I think that sooner or later, Iíll be in the Top 10.

-Youíre the 17th of the world, with the best ones. Do you see yourself as an already made player?
-I hope not, becase my goal at the end of my career is not to be in the Top20. Moreover, I need to improve some things such as my serve, which is not as bad as it was, but I have a normal level. Iím not a good server neither a horrible one. Thatís one step forward. But to be in the highest places I have to get points for free. Itís not a problem of energy, when I want to hit strongly I can serve at 215-217 km/h; but if I served like that, Iíd have 25 per cent, and thatís not a good thing. I want to reach an average serve of 200km/h (heís arounf 175km/h nowadays). When I succeed in that Iíll have many things done.

West Coast Ace
04-07-2005, 06:15 PM
The reason the stands are emtpy earlier in the tournament is because a lot of people are out watching play on the outer courts, and not sitting in their stadium seats. By the time you get to the finals, there's nothing going on on outer courts, so everyone is in their stadium seat.

Both Miami and Indian Wells had record attendances on many days.

When you go to a tournament, why sit and watch the marquee players you can see all the time on TV? This is the time to get out and see other players, and to catch those entertaining doubles matches.Agreed.

And I'd add: as nice a job as Pasarell has done with Indian Wells, the design of the main court is sad. NONE of the lower deck seats are available to the average fan - they go to the corporate benefactors and the travel agents who make you buy a full package.

I went the 1st Saturday. Spent most of the time out at the practice courts where you can get close to the players and study their technique and pick up some good drills.

Back to Nadal - tons of potential and tremendous improvement in the last 8-12 months but he still needs to win a significant title. Just having an amazing forehand with a lot of kick won't get it done. The other players can combat that. If they couldn't Fernando Gonzales and Roddick would have won the last 8 Slams.

Phil
04-07-2005, 06:52 PM
If quickness and speed were interesting to see, there would be track meets on TV every week. Even the most nuanced eye can see that while Nadal patrols the baseline with machine-like precision and keeps the ball in with depth, pace and reasonable reliability, there isn't a whole lot else that he does. His strategic options are essentially two: should I send this one down the line or cross court. The viewer, similarly, has essentially those two possibilities to ponder. Not a lot of drama to consider. A metronome offers nearly as many possibilities. I thought about this as I watched both the Pacific Life and NASDAQ and marvelled at how empty the stadium was until the last two days or so of each tournament. Commentators who hypebolize about the "chess match" going on on the court sounded a little less ridiculous when the match was Borg-McEnroe, Pete-Andre, Federer-whoever with some contrast of style creating dramatic tension, but a Nalbandian-Nadal match is less like a chess match than it is like windshield wipers. This style of play will destroy the game. Do you recall the year-ending women's tourney in LA? The place was filled with empty seats even on the last two days.

I think some people "Get it"-and this pretty much sums it up for those people who "Get it". Nice post, Diablo.