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babbette
04-03-2010, 01:23 PM
Rafael Nadal On the Comeback Trail

By antiMatter
at Internationaled.org

Published: April 3, 2010

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Rafael Nadal's game has come miles after the disaster it was last year. And it is radically different from what we have ever seen.

Today against A-Rod, during the match, they showed stats of his shot-placement. If you draw a line midway between the service line and the baseline, it is that line where the depth of his ground strokes averaged around. Where they were short, they mostly hit the sidelines as well, creating some of those acute angles.

Another stat they showed was the forehand winner count. I remember Roddick having a "0" by his name.

Well, that was before the Roddick played like Pete Sampras midway through the second set.

Roddick essentially pressed that same "button" which Robin Soderling found, and this year, Davydenko, Ljubicic, and Murray to an extend (well, Murray has a different control panel) pressed. And most of them have had to play their best tennis to find the button, and press it.

What is this button, anyway?

Nadal has been taking the ball earlier after his return from tendonitis. His backhand could always take them on half-volleys, but his forehand with that convoluted bicep-crushing swing has always needed more time. He has reduced it to a large extend. But it is still more than an easier swing, a less top-spin generating, more-to-the-east swing.

It is an inherent weakness in that stroke, and there is nothing you could do about it. It is there and it is there to stay. Hitting hard on his forehand, angled, low over the net, and deep has been the key. That is the buttonóreduce height, reduce setup.

It was easier for most players for most of last season, because Nadal's strokes sat up begging to be hit that way, making you feel guilty if you did not. But this year, he has been doing much better, and it has been much more difficult. Which is why when he lost, the scores have been closer, and the opponents have had to play way out of their comfor...
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TennisFan3
04-03-2010, 03:42 PM
Excellent! Thanks for sharing.

OTMPut
04-03-2010, 04:24 PM
By antiMatter
at Internationaled.org

antimatter!! haha hilarious!
was that written by nadal freak or veroniqem?

ruerooo
04-04-2010, 10:23 PM
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Babbette, sugar, where's the rest of the article?