View Full Version : Nadal: Are players starting to figure him out?

04-03-2010, 03:45 AM
Courier is no Nadal.
He was never anywhere near as good, certainly didn't possess half the game nadal does, and certainly never gave everyone fits like Nadal does and can.

But he sure made it.
Before 1994, he made 4 slams and the final of every other slam, one of the very few 90's players who managed to do so. Anyone who didn't have the serve or the game to beat Courier would be eaten for breakfast.

Then suddenly, he dissapeared.
He had one more half-decent year, 1995, where he reached the semis of the US.
Then he vanished into obscurity.

People just figured him out.

Nadal, 6 slams.
Eats anyone who isn't playing of his mind for breakfast.
Then he gets injuries.
Murray beats him relatively easily using aggressive tactics.
Nadal then proceeds to have a great run at Indian Wells and Miami, only to be stopped by 2 players who were utilizing heavy-attacking games.

I really do hope not, as I like nadal better than anyone out there at the moment.
But I can't help but think:
Like Courier, are people starting to figure Nadal out?

04-03-2010, 03:51 AM
Roddick SHOULD have known how he should have played at the start yesterday. He started out playing that grinding game which does NOT work against better players. Flattened out that forehand in the second set and everything came back to life.

04-03-2010, 03:52 AM
In my opinion, Nadal isn't hitting as deep and as high a topspin shot as he was. Personally, I think Nadal is waiting for the clay season to start. He may be holding a little back on the hardcourts for fear of hurting his knee. We'll know for sure in the French Open. If he struggles there, then you may be right.

04-03-2010, 04:05 AM
In my opinion, Nadal isn't hitting as deep and as high a topspin shot as he was. Personally, I think Nadal is waiting for the clay season to start. He may be holding a little back on the hardcourts for fear of hurting his knee. We'll know for sure in the French Open. If he struggles there, then you may be right.

good point. if he loses the french the mojo is gone

04-03-2010, 04:08 AM
Do people forget that even at his best, Nadal was never a great hardcourt player? The ultimate litmus test for Nadal's place on tour is during the clay season. If he dominates than nothing has really changed. If he doesn't dominate then either his level has dropped, or other players figured him out. But these hardcourt results mean nothing.

04-03-2010, 04:12 AM
You're right, Nadal is nothing like Courier. I think it's mental with Nadal at the moment. Once he has won a few clay court tournaments his confidence will return, he certainly won't vanish like Courier did.

04-03-2010, 03:18 PM
i think it is davydenko who showed how to beat him. a bit of his own medicine actually - keep hitting to his backhand.

04-03-2010, 03:32 PM
well lets look at this. his serve, above average...volley same. transition game average. his back court game great. but he really doesn't attack and players that take it to him seem to beat him. maybe other players are improving? Nadal is great on surfaces that have "bumps"...

04-03-2010, 03:35 PM
Nadal got figured out in 2005 when Blake and Berdych got decent. However going out there and ballbashing is hard to do consistently.

04-03-2010, 04:20 PM
There was nothing to figure out. It's as silly as saying players figured Federer out in 2008.

Nadal dominated everybody on clay for four years and extended that shortly to hard courts. 20 top players and their couches didnt need 4 years and Davydenko or Soderling to show them how to beat him. Nadal just went on court and bully them around, ran down every and each ball and didnt give them a sniff at nothing.
If he hasnt won a title for a year it's only because his body is a wreck. Sure, players like Delpo, Davy and Sod have improved but why hasnt Nadal? He is the one who would not give up improving but there are thing he cannot control such as his body's injuries.

Still, only top players can beat him, even on HCs.

04-03-2010, 06:22 PM
To some extent, I agree with Oddjack.
I kind of think figuring him out has very little do do with it. Everyone's known for years that being aggressive is the only way to take him down consistently.
It's just that you have to be a certain amount of awesome to do so, and not everyone can rise to that. He's just like all the other greats out there- They all have weaknesses, but you have to be great to exploit them.

04-03-2010, 06:39 PM
Nadal is just slowing down a bit. His results will be a step down this year from previous years, which is not to say that he cannot win slams.

04-04-2010, 06:49 AM
yeah but if he wins french open now all of a sudden from this discussion of him being figured out, we are back to he might end up the best ever.

04-04-2010, 06:51 AM
Nadal played poorly in 1st set. Roddick was just a man with no plan. Then he started using one, and came to life

04-04-2010, 09:19 AM
There is also a significant psychological component at work. Players now believe they can beat Rafa, just like they believe they can beat Fed. I don't expect Rafa to be as dominant on clay as he was a couple of years ago.

Wilander Fan
04-04-2010, 10:23 AM
How did Courier get "figured out"? I think he just lost a step due to age/nagging injuries etc.

Bhagi Katbamna
04-04-2010, 11:01 AM
It seemed like Jim just wasn't interested and he ran up against a couple of guys named Sampras and Agassi.

04-04-2010, 12:32 PM
Mother Marjorie thinks that Nadal's body has figured out that it can't keep up with the pressure Nadal puts on it day-in and day-out on a practice court, which severely hampers obsessive-compulsive Nadal psychologically in preparation for tournaments.

The other top pro's know it and are taking advantage of it. Something that has went on for decades in professional tennis (ask Chris Evert re: Tracy Austin 1982).

In fact, Mother Marjorie thinks that Rafael Nadal could suffer the same fate as Tracy Austin, therefore, I will now call him Tracy Nadal.