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View Full Version : Nadal - Pros and Cons of the Clay Court Sabretooth Reign


Hitman
04-25-2011, 03:59 AM
This thread is looking at both sides of the potential Nadal Clay Sweep of it happens this year. This is the way I see it.

Pro – Nadal doing a clay court sweep this year is nothing short of legendary, not only in tennis, but in sports history. He is already cemented as one of the greatest players to have ever played this game, and certainly one of the greatest clay courters we have had the privilege of watching (I don’t believe in a GOAT, but that is not what this topic is about). Sports aficionados, sports historians would already know about what Nadal has done during his incredible meteoric ascension to the top of the world, however a clay sweep now would truly echo in the annuals of time. Whether you love him, hate him, or are indifferent to him, I think it would be difficult to argue against the statement that a player like Nadal does not come around every year.

He is almost half way through a clay sweep again for 2011, having won a seventh straight title in Monte Carlo, and a sixth title in Barcelona....He has not lost at those events since 2003, and even then it took some reputable names on the circuit to beat him at those events. Yet to come are Madrid, Rome, and the FO. If he walks out of Roland Garros with the title, having gone undefeated throughout the clay, he would have back to back Madrid titles, a sixth title in Rome, and most importantly, a sixth RG title. He would have completed back to back clay seasons, and would have swept up an unprecedented six straight Masters 1000 on clay, plus a Barcelona title from this year, and two FO’s.

The sixth RG would be the biggest of them of all, equalling the haul of Borg, the legend whom he is most often compared to...and have equalled, and in some instances has surpassed in many ways results wise (AO, USO). Having won two FO’s without dropping a set, and having won MC and Barcelona with arguably his B or even C games at times, it is possible that the clay court juggernaut can continue to gain momentum, and may even possibly win the FO again without dropping a set. He has done it twice before, so the realms of possibly doing it again, are not too hard to imagine.

A domination on clay that has almost be picturesque since he stepped foot onto the clay courts of Monte Carlo back in 2005, Nadal has shown incredible will, desire, motivation, passion and drive to excel and conquer all adversaries on this surface for a remarkable 7 years! We’ve seen him mature from a teenager into a man, who has dealt with success and everything that comes with it incredibly well, and yet still step onto the court with the hunger and desire to win. For an individual who has accomplished so much on that surface, to push yourself over seven years, on the most demanding of surfaces, and going through the war of attrition, not only against your opponents (Coria –Rome05, Federer – Rome06, Djokovic –Hamburg08, Djokovic –Madrid09), but also battling your own body (The well documented injuries over the years).

His mental application is something all players, not only in tennis, but other sports can learn from. I have no doubt in my mind, that Nadal would have probably excelled in any sport he played. A champion who truly defines that word in every way.


Con – As remarkable, impressive, and downright mindboggling at times Nadal’s reign for the past seven years has been...it has been seven years. In all this time, we have seen a few players go toe to toe with Nadal in a match, but no one has truly been an authentic challenge and a truly formidable opponent for him. Yes, Federer played Nadal a few times that were competitive, however Nadal has always been in the driver’s seat in their clay court encounters. Djokovic has yet to beat Nadal. Coria was beaten by teenage Nadal, and has since vanished. The question is, does Nadal really have ANY competition at all? Yes, it can easily be said that he is just too good, and that may likely be the case...the man is just too good. What can you do? But in seven years, the argument can also be made that there has not been anyone who has stepped up and really took it to him.

Is this Nadal’s fault? No.

Is this Nadal’s problem? No.

The problem lies with the field that he has crushed with his iron fist for the past seven years. It is possible that the players are fantastic clay courters, with the potential to beat the clay court Sabre tooth (he does sink his canines into his trophies) but a lot just don’t have the belief in them to go out and win. This could be the Nadal effect, the guy is just so good, so consistent, and so rock solid, that no matter how well I play, he will beat me...so I should be lucky to even win a few games. Maybe this is the case, but Nadal’s superior athletic ability and dynamic court coverage may force players to increase the margin for error, and play outside their comfort zones also.

Is the same guy winning over and over and over again good for tennis? Maybe it is, for all the reasons that I described in the pro section. But the flip side is, the predictability of what is likely to happen, especially after seven years is difficult to deny. It is fantastic if you love Nadal, but some fans want to see new stories develop, new players challenging for trophies, battling for Masters and even the FO final. I guess to put it bluntly, some fans are bored. Again, this is not a knock on Nadal, he has to do what he has to do, and it is up to the players to rise up. As some fans get excited about the clay season starting, and the end of hard season, since it is fresh and new...I also think many fans are also looking for new results and players on the clay, so that it remains fresh and exciting for them also.

Is this a weak era? I think we can debate this forever. Maybe it is, and Nadal benefited from it, since he can play a C game and still only lose one set in a whole tournament. Maybe it is not, and Nadal was just too damn good. One thing is for sure, we are witnessing a player like no other.

cucio
04-25-2011, 04:24 AM
This thread is worthless without a soundtrack, so listen to this when you are re-reading the OP:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE4V6g897Ug

Some complementary reading:

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Rafael_Nadal

dominikk1985
04-25-2011, 04:26 AM
shouldn't we wait for the clash with novak before we talk about the sweep?

Nadal was dominant, but he didn't face a top player on clay. novak is his most dangerous opponent and I think he can beat him at least once in the next 3 clay tournaments.

Bud
04-25-2011, 10:11 AM
If Nadal takes the Madrid title in the next two weeks, IMO we can expect another CC sweep in 2011. The Madrid surface and the city's higher elevation make it the most different from the other CC tournaments that Nadal participates in during the season.

Another channel slam in 2011 will see Nadal either equaling (in some eyes) or surpassing Borg's accomplishments. It will also place him within 3 GS titles of Sampras and 5 GS titles of Federer, at just over 25 years of age (Birthday on June 3rd).

Gorecki
04-25-2011, 10:17 AM
so your Cons are basically Pros with a literary twist?

baseliner
04-25-2011, 10:19 AM
Only "clay courter" with 4 GS titles on hard courts (1 AO and 1 USO) and grass (2 Wimbledon). Although he is nearly unbeatable on clay (when healthy) he has shown he is brutal on hard and grass as well. With a career grand slam, he can't be regarded as just a clay court wonder. Federer finally got one clay court GS. Nadal has 4 on surfaces other than his best. Pretty impressive.

MichaelNadal
04-25-2011, 10:27 AM
We have like 60 threads about this right now though :( Still love ya Hitman.

mcenroefan
04-25-2011, 12:10 PM
So you love Rafa and think he's the greatest clay courter of all time? Is that your point?

DjokerIsTheBest
04-25-2011, 12:15 PM
Strong overall tennis era, but definitely weak clay era.

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 12:28 PM
Weak clay court era- for sure. I think prime Courier, Brugerra, Muster, Moya, Kafelnikoff, Chang, Agassi, would all have given Nadal trouble- and they all played in the same ear (with different primes). Also, the ear just before that one; the Lendl, Wilander era would have challenged Nadal more on clay. I cant really think of a clay court force in this era besides Nadal- there is: I guess is Fed- who to me isn't really a clay court world beater, Sod- come on!, Ferrer- steady but not a force, Puerta- yeah who?, Gaudio- ahh?, Coria- gone, a bunch of other also-rans. Maybe, Djoker can now challenge on clay. Murray, as much as a clown as he is, should have some game for clay but always falters- and not just to Nadal. ,

Feņa14
04-25-2011, 01:07 PM
Yeah, I don't watch clay court tennis anymore. It used to be very enjoyable, with all the tactical battles and drop shots that resulted in nice little exchanges around the net. Players like Guga and Ferrero were great to watch.

Nadal's style isn't particularly enjoyable to me personally, plus he's so good that you know the result before the tournament even begins. It's not his fault, but it's so one sided that I have lost interest over the past few years.

Nadalfan89
04-25-2011, 01:48 PM
If Nadal were alive in Borg's era, none of you would even know who Borg was.

GOAT is a very relative term. Federer is the GOAT, but got the majority of his slams against slamless clowns.

nadalbestclass
04-25-2011, 01:57 PM
Nadal has only won one of the 4 tournaments he will need to win to re-do what he did last year. Lets not get ahead of ourselves.

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 02:00 PM
If Nadal were alive in Borg's era, none of you would even know who Borg was.

GOAT is a very relative term. Federer is the GOAT, but got the majority of his slams against slamless clowns.

you have to be joking- if nadal was in Borg's era I dont think he would be top 5. He would not be able to play his garbage game with the wood racquets. He couldnt just bludgeon the ball and mishit all the time.
He is not a precise player. He takes advantage of the modern technology more than other player. He is probably the least skilled player of anyone the in GOAT discussion. You must have been born in 1999, not '89 as your screen name suggests, making you 13 years old.
He would have lost to Borg, Nastase, Conners, Smith, maybe Pannata an old Laver, maybe Pachno in the early Borg era and Mcenroe, Borg, Conners, Vlias, Lendl in the late Borg era - if they were playing with 1970's/early 80's technology.
As to your GOAT claim about Fed, what about Ralph's slams? '10 USO (Djoker- ok 1 good one), a bunch of FO against Fed, 1 Wim against Fed. The others are Puerta, Berdych, Sod. So Ralph has beaten 3 slam winners for his slams. Fed had wins over Djoker, Ralph, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Agassi- Fed has wins over 6 slam winners.

borg number one
04-25-2011, 02:04 PM
If Nadal were alive in Borg's era, none of you would even know who Borg was.

GOAT is a very relative term. Federer is the GOAT, but got the majority of his slams against slamless clowns.

Those are extreme conclusions. Nadal is a great clay courter, but so was Borg. Plus, the competition overall faced by Federer hasn't been that different that what Nadal has faced, though Federer is a few years older than Nadal. Federer had just a few years at the top before Nadal started winning majors, so it's tough to assert that somehow Nadal's competition overall has been greater than the competition faced by Federer. In Borg's era, Nadal would have not only had to face Borg on clay in very different conditions (hypothetically) but also play at Wimbledon on the old grass. Under those conditions he may have zero Wimbledon titles (old frames and old courts at the AELTC). Yet, I do think that Nadal would have likely been great no matter when he played.

The-Champ
04-25-2011, 03:47 PM
who do everyone thinks nadal would be playing the way he does, had he played in the 70s?

Clay lover
04-25-2011, 04:08 PM
who do everyone thinks nadal would be playing the way he does, had he played in the 70s?

Some of the people here don' know **** about tennis and think one can get away with bad technique on the pro level. I don't worship Nadal, but that's the biggest gripe I have against people on this forum - they think that Nadal's forehand is bad technique and he's only getting away with it because of his racquet. What they don't know is Nadal's racquet is a heavily customized, head heavy APD with a higher SW than Federer's racquet. If you swing as fast as Nadal, it would be important for you to have GOOD technique instead to not miss the ball every time you swing. People here can't stand the fact that Nadal is able to do something so different, so unorthodox and so contrary to their intuition that they condemn it. Human nature, wouldn't you think?

Come on, no pro has bad technique, man up, and accept that that "ugly" forehand of Nadal's is more technically efficient than your Federer clone, shank-every-5-shots forehand. People just hate Nadal and try to use the "he would suck in the wood era" argument to justify their hatred. Point is, deep down inside they know that talent defies circumstances.

Mustard
04-25-2011, 04:16 PM
who do everyone thinks nadal would be playing the way he does, had he played in the 70s?

If Nadal had played in the 1970s, he'd be like a mixture of what Borg and Vilas were at that time.

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 04:20 PM
Some of the people here don' know **** about tennis and think one can get away with bad technique on the pro level. I don't worship Nadal, but that's the biggest gripe I have against people on this forum - they think that Nadal's forehand is bad technique and he's only getting away with it because of his racquet. What they don't know is Nadal's racquet is a heavily customized, head heavy APD with a higher SW than Federer's racquet. If you swing as fast as Nadal, it would be important for you to have GOOD technique instead to not miss the ball every time you swing. People here can't stand the fact that Nadal is able to do something so different, so unorthodox and so contrary to their intuition that they condemn it. Human nature, wouldn't you think?

Come on, no pro has bad technique, man up, and accept that that "ugly" forehand of Nadal's is more technically efficient than your Federer clone, shank-every-5-shots forehand. People just hate Nadal and try to use the "he would suck in the wood era" argument to justify their hatred. Point is, deep down inside they know that talent defies circumstances.

So do you think that if Ralph played with a jack kramer woodie he could play those shots he does? The poster said that if Ralph was alive in Borg's time we would not know who Borg was. Do you see how many times Ralph mishits the ball and it stays in and actually causes a problematic shot for his opponent because it comes with all sorts of goofy spin on it? His whole game is built around a big racquet head (not 68" wood head), the poly strings, and a light frame (I think it's still under 12oz even with the custom job). Compare that to "classic" ball strikers- like Laver, Connors, Nastase, Borg, Fed, Mac, Sampras, Agassi (yes he has an Oversized racquet), even Safin,- those guys are better with wood.

Clay lover
04-25-2011, 04:24 PM
So do you think that if Ralph played with a jack kramer woodie he could play those shots he does? The poster said that if Ralph was alive in Borg's time we would not know who Borg was. Do you see how many times Ralph mishits the ball and it stays in and actually causes a problematic shot for his opponent because it comes with all sorts of goofy spin on it? His whole game is built around a big racquet head (not 68" wood head), the poly strings, and a light frame (I think it's still under 12oz even with the custom job). Compare that to "classic" ball strikers- like Laver, Connors, Nastase, Borg, Fed, Mac, Sampras, Agassi (yes he has an Oversized racquet), even Safin,- those guys are better with wood.

One thing at a time, mate. My post was directed at those who thinks Nadal has bad technique and therefore comes up with the "wood era" excuse to bash him, but Nadal playing the same in the wood era is another thing. People make use of technology and maximize their potential with it, it would be the same in any era. But that doesn't mean they will foolishly play the same way if they had gone back eras...

And contrary to how some posters want to make it out to be, Fed's strokes are NOT classic at all.

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 04:27 PM
Some of the people here don' know **** about tennis and think one can get away with bad technique on the pro level. I don't worship Nadal, but that's the biggest gripe I have against people on this forum - they think that Nadal's forehand is bad technique and he's only getting away with it because of his racquet. What they don't know is Nadal's racquet is a heavily customized, head heavy APD with a higher SW than Federer's racquet. If you swing as fast as Nadal, it would be important for you to have GOOD technique instead to not miss the ball every time you swing. People here can't stand the fact that Nadal is able to do something so different, so unorthodox and so contrary to their intuition that they condemn it. Human nature, wouldn't you think?

Come on, no pro has bad technique, man up, and accept that that "ugly" forehand of Nadal's is more technically efficient than your Federer clone, shank-every-5-shots forehand. People just hate Nadal and try to use the "he would suck in the wood era" argument to justify their hatred. Point is, deep down inside they know that talent defies circumstances.


Nadal's racquet isn't heady heavy nor is it heavily customized.

Clay lover
04-25-2011, 04:35 PM
Nadal's racquet isn't heady heavy nor is it heavily customized.

http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs/2009bnp_paribas_open.html

http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs/200703nadal_babolat.html

I may be wrong with the head heavy bit, but Nadal's racquet is more head heavy than the average pro racquet. 335g 350sw, you call that NOT heavily customized? Try to swing that baby and you'll know how different it is from the stock APD, which is 320g 324 sw.

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 04:35 PM
One thing at a time, mate. My post was directed at those who thinks Nadal has bad technique and therefore comes up with the "wood era" excuse to bash him, but Nadal playing the same in the wood era is another thing. People make use of technology and maximize their potential with it, it would be the same in any era. But that doesn't mean they will foolishly play the same way if they had gone back eras...

And contrary to how some posters want to make it out to be, Fed's strokes are NOT classic at all.

Mate, I only gave you one thing to deal with. Of course, people use technology of their respective era. But Nadal is completely of this era. He hits a lot of garbage that would not stay in or clear the net with older technology.
In what way does Fed not have classic strokes? You mean loop take backs, occasional windshield wiper on the FH, open stances? Perhaps, but still very classic on many shots.

FedExpress 333
04-25-2011, 04:38 PM
I agree wth the OP. He is one of, if not the greatest clay courters of all time. And guys, just dont try to get into extensive comparison of eras: its not possible. Im a huge Fed fan, but i hugely respect Nadal for his fighing spirit. I may find his style of play boring, but he is a great competitor and a great person. Afterall, Fed and Nadal like each other, why cant their fans?

powerangle
04-25-2011, 04:38 PM
Cue the dramatic music.

We get it, you love Rafa. ;)

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 04:48 PM
http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs/2009bnp_paribas_open.html

http://www.hdtennis.com/grs/pro_racquet_specs/200703nadal_babolat.html

I may be wrong with the head heavy bit, but Nadal's racquet is more head heavy than the average pro racquet. 335g 350sw, you call that NOT heavily customized? Try to swing that baby and you'll know how different it is from the stock APD, which is 320g 324 sw.

So you posted some links to prove I'm right , guess you don't know what a head heavy racquet entails, do you?

His racquet has 9gms of lead tape at 12 and a few grams in the handle, far from a heavy customization, and it is still head light in balance not head heavy.

Half the players who post on this board use a heavier racquet than Nadal, including myself, so quit acting as if he swings some type of heavy racquet, the racquet isnt an extreme setup at all. One of the lighter racquet setups on tour along with Federer's.

Sorry, your still wrong.

Clay lover
04-25-2011, 05:17 PM
So you posted some links to prove I'm right , guess you don't know what a head heavy racquet entails, do you?

His racquet has 9gms of lead tape at 12 and a few grams in the handle, far from a heavy customization, and it is still head light in balance not head heavy.

Half the players who post on this board use a heavier racquet than Nadal, including myself, so quit acting as if he swings some type of heavy racquet, the racquet isnt an extreme setup at all. One of the lighter racquet setups on tour along with Federer's.

Sorry, your still wrong.

Sorry, I get what you meant by heavy now. I was wrong about the head heavy bit, I meant to say more "head heavy" than say Fed's racquet. My wording "heavily customized" meant heavy in a "highly modified" way, not heavy in a "weighty" way, so you misunderstood me there. That's the thing with English, say heavily customized and you mean one thing, say customized to be heavy and you mean another. I'm guessing English isn't your first language, but it isn't mine either.

I am not acting as if his racquet is an extreme setup, just not the light plastic toy as some make it out to be. I never implied that Nadal is using a heavy racquet and heavier is better. My point is just that Nadal's racquet is my no means as easy to swing as people make it out to be, and since heavier does not mean better, why does it matter anyway?

Peace and hope you can stand my ignorance if you spotted any.

Clay lover
04-25-2011, 05:26 PM
Mate, I only gave you one thing to deal with. Of course, people use technology of their respective era. But Nadal is completely of this era. He hits a lot of garbage that would not stay in or clear the net with older technology.
In what way does Fed not have classic strokes? You mean loop take backs, occasional windshield wiper on the FH, open stances? Perhaps, but still very classic on many shots.

But what's the point of bringing up the opinion that Nadal would shank everything he hits if he played with a wood racquet using the same strokes, if you accept that people use technology of their respective era?

To prove that he is a somewhat inferior tennis player?:oops:(Which IMO does not) To criticize a sharp shooter because he can't use spears?

What's the point?

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 05:46 PM
Sorry, I get what you meant by heavy now. I was wrong about the head heavy bit, I meant to say more "head heavy" than say Fed's racquet. My wording "heavily customized" meant heavy in a "highly modified" way, not heavy in a "weighty" way, so you misunderstood me there. That's the thing with English, say heavily customized and you mean one thing, say customized to be heavy and you mean another. I'm guessing English isn't your first language, but it isn't mine either.

I am not acting as if his racquet is an extreme setup, just not the light plastic toy as some make it out to be. I never implied that Nadal is using a heavy racquet and heavier is better. My point is just that Nadal's racquet is my no means as easy to swing as people make it out to be, and since heavier does not mean better, why does it matter anyway?

Peace and hope you can stand my ignorance if you spotted any.

That's Ok, you have a cool avatar and a Guga like nature to go with it.
I was a little out of line with you, sorry.

Dilettante
04-25-2011, 05:57 PM
Ludwig von Clueless

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 08:08 PM
Ludwig von Clueless

Like usual you have obviously not read the thread. You are always among the the top 10% of most ignorant posts. Please dont use the excuse the English isn't your first language. You are full ******, no?

namelessone
04-25-2011, 10:10 PM
Weak clay court era- for sure. I think prime Courier, Brugerra, Muster, Moya, Kafelnikoff, Chang, Agassi, would all have given Nadal trouble- and they all played in the same ear (with different primes). Also, the ear just before that one; the Lendl, Wilander era would have challenged Nadal more on clay. I cant really think of a clay court force in this era besides Nadal- there is: I guess is Fed- who to me isn't really a clay court world beater, Sod- come on!, Ferrer- steady but not a force, Puerta- yeah who?, Gaudio- ahh?, Coria- gone, a bunch of other also-rans. Maybe, Djoker can now challenge on clay. Murray, as much as a clown as he is, should have some game for clay but always falters- and not just to Nadal. ,

Oh brother, so much fail in one post, where to start?

Let's start with the clay greats you listed above. Do you know why those guys eras seemed stronger on clay? Because no one could dominate for more than a couple of seasons. Courier had like 3 good years(91-93) on clay, Kafelnikov was solid in 94-96, Muster in 1990,95-96, Bruguera in the middle of the 90's, Moya and Kuerten in the late 90's.

The dominant generation was good, but not so good that it stifled the young opposition.

Nadal is a phenomenon. He has SIX YEARS of domination. He was beating clay greats like JCF three times a year when he was 19. He beat RG 2002 finalist Costa in 2003, when Rafa was freaking 16 years old.

The supposed threats, Coria and Gaudio, were having trouble with freaking 19 year old when they were in their primes and even nowadays people think that they would have pushed Nadal more.

To realize how moronic judgment from 1 or 2 matches is let's look at the very popular assessment that Coria is a better CC'er than Federer. Yes, many people on this forum believe this because Coria pushed Nadal twice.

Let's forget the name Federer. Let's say we have one guy who:

-has won two sets off Nadal in all their RG finals, even breadsticking Nadal in one.

-has won two matches on clay against Nadal in Nadal's clay prime.

-has BAGELED Nadal on clay in Nadal's clay prime.

-has made a buttload of clay masters final and he certainly has more clay MS than Coria.

If Nadal was just a bit weaker, Federer would have won RG at least three times and a couple of CC masters titles, Novak would have at least one RG final(if not a title since Fed 08 played like crap in RG) plus 2-3 clay masters if not more, Ferrer would have won like a couple of barcelona and 2-3 clay masters, soderling would have been a RG winner and so on.

The point is that if Nadal would have spread the love around, the era would have looked stronger. As it is, most guys have given up against Nadal on clay. Since April 2005, Nadal has lost 4 MATCHES on clay. 4 MATCHES IN SIX YEARS.

Muster was terrific on clay but he would have an off day and couldn't dominate clay masters + RG for 2-3 seasons, let alone six. Ditto for JCF,Kuerten, Moya and other clay greats.

Nadal is nothing like the claycourters we've seen before though he has many points in common, he just does them better than his predecesors. He hits with mega spin, when BH is on he basically has two forehands, moves amazing on this surface and has great stamina. All the other great claycourters had some glaring weaknesses that did not allow them to dominate for more than a couple of years. Nadal has weaknesses too but all of the guys he has faced have spoken about how little there is to do against him(his strengths on this surface far outweigh his weaknesses):

You will get mega spin from both sides, you will get run around by the forehand that keeps coming up, you have to basically hit multiple winners to get a single point and it frustrates the crap out of you. This isn't a guy that just grinds you up a la muster, he is a guy that can hit winners from weird positions and who likes it when he has a passing shot setup by getting attacked.

The only shot you have at beating Nadal on clay is for him to have an off day/have some physical problems or play the near perfect mix of variety and power for a couple of hours.

Good luck with that.

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 10:23 PM
Oh brother, so much fail in one post, where to start?

Let's start with the clay greats you listed above. Do you know why those guys eras seemed stronger on clay? Because no one could dominate for more than a couple of seasons. Courier had like 3 good years(91-93) on clay, Kafelnikov was solid in 94-96, Muster in 1990,95-96, Bruguera in the middle of the 90's, Moya and Kuerten in the late 90's.

The dominant generation was good, but not so good that it stifled the young opposition.

Nadal is a phenomenon. He has SIX YEARS of domination. He was beating clay greats like JCF three times a year when he was 19. He beat RG 2002 finalist Costa in 2003, when Rafa was freaking 16 years old.

The supposed threats, Coria and Gaudio, were having trouble with freaking 19 year old when they were in their primes and even nowadays people think that they would have pushed Nadal more.

To realize how moronic judgment from 1 or 2 matches is let's look at the very popular assessment that Coria is a better CC'er than Federer. Yes, many people on this forum believe this because Coria pushed Nadal twice.

Let's forget the name Federer. Let's say we have one guy who:

-has won two sets off Nadal in all their RG finals, even breadsticking Nadal in one.

-has won two matches on clay against Nadal in Nadal's clay prime.

-has BAGELED Nadal on clay in Nadal's clay prime.

-has made a buttload of clay masters final and he certainly has more clay MS than Coria.

If Nadal was just a bit weaker, Federer would have won RG at least three times and a couple of CC masters titles, Novak would have at least one RG final(if not a title since Fed 08 played like crap in RG) plus 2-3 clay masters if not more, Ferrer would have won like a couple of barcelona and 2-3 clay masters, soderling would have been a RG winner and so on.

The point is that if Nadal would have spread the love around, the era would have looked stronger. As it is, most guys have given up against Nadal on clay. Since April 2005, Nadal has lost 4 MATCHES on clay. 4 MATCHES IN SIX YEARS.

Muster was terrific on clay but he would have an off day and couldn't dominate clay masters + RG for 2-3 seasons, let alone six. Ditto for JCF,Kuerten, Moya and other clay greats.

Nadal is nothing like the claycourters we've seen before though he has many points in common, he just does them better than his predecesors. He hits with mega spin, when BH is on he basically has two forehands, moves amazing on this surface and has great stamina. All the other great claycourters had some glaring weaknesses that did not allow them to dominate for more than a couple of years. Nadal has weaknesses too but all of the guys he has faced have spoken about how little there is to do against him(his strengths on this surface far outweigh his weaknesses):

You will get mega spin from both sides, you will get run around by the forehand that keeps coming up, you have to basically hit multiple winners to get a single point and it frustrates the crap out of you. This isn't a guy that just grinds you up a la muster, he is a guy that can hit winners from weird positions and who likes it when he has a passing shot setup by getting attacked.

The only shot you have at beating Nadal on clay is for him to have an off day/have some physical problems or play the near perfect mix of variety and power for a couple of hours.

Good luck with that.

well, you spent a lot of time of that post and it was well written. He is the best clay courter at least since Borg- I didnt say that he wasnt. what I said is that he could have trouble with the likes of prime lendl, courier, muster, agassi, lesser extent wilander, brugera, moya, kuerten. True that Ralph's dominance at RG has not allowed for other to emerge but those guys I mentioned are just better players in general and on clay than the early 2000's guys like costa, gaudio, coria, and todays guys exceptions being fed and djoker. Its not just clay, it all surfaces, all tournaments beyond the grand slams. Ralph is great on clay, probably tied with Borg and rosewall for best ever on clay, but the clay era is still weak.

namelessone
04-25-2011, 10:43 PM
well, you spent a lot of time of that post and it was well written. He is the best clay courter at least since Borg- I didnt say that he wasnt. what I said is that he could have trouble with the likes of prime lendl, courier, muster, agassi, lesser extent wilander, brugera, moya, kuerten. True that Ralph's dominance at RG has not allowed for other to emerge but those guys I mentioned are just better players in general and on clay than the early 2000's guys like costa, gaudio, coria, and todays guys exceptions being fed and djoker. Its not just clay, it all surfaces, all tournaments beyond the grand slams. Ralph is great on clay, probably tied with Borg and rosewall for best ever on clay, but the clay era is still weak.

I have seen the CC'ers of the mid and late 90's. I have been a CC fan before Nadal and I will be long after the dust is settled after him. IMO the only ones that could have given him a match would have been Muster because he was even more of a grinder than Nadal and Kuerten because of how he handled high balls on the BH. The rest shouldn't even be in the discussion. And even against these two guys Nadal would be favorite.

I'm not gonna compare Rafa to Borg/Vilas/Panatta era because things are way too different in terms of racket tech and overall preparation. People think clay is boring nowadays, the clay of the past had 40-50 shots regularly when wooden rackets were used and the game was much slower.

There are a couple of eighty(yes, 80!) shot rallies from RG in the 70's - 80's on youtube. That's insane and tbh, might as well be a different sport. Even the fittest guys out there today are huffing and puffing after 20 shots rallies, though to be fair, these are played at a far faster pace than in the past so there is a lot more running.

IMO it does not matter if the era is perceived as weak or strong on clay and Nadal's top level would have flattened most everyone on clay and even his B game would have been enough to beat most of the clay legends from the 90's.

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 10:47 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^

Now you guys are doing some high level discussion, keep up the good work,i'm getting tired of all these posts with just animated gifs and pictures.

Give me a 1000 words not a picture.

cucio
04-25-2011, 11:25 PM
Discussing about eras using number of titles won is ridiculous when tennis tournaments are all-or-nothing. It doesn't matter if you are 5% better or 50% better than the rest: if you keep that edge consistently you still run the table.

Take Borg's '78 FO run, summarized here (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=83719). Dominant player or weak era? Does that distinction make any sense?

About racquet technology, Nadal's technique was built around the one existing in his learning years, so how he would have fared if he had trained in a different era is extremely wild speculation.

Given his athleticism, work ethic and concentration during matches I don't see why not could he have achieved results similar to Borg's or Lendl's, but who knows?

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 11:32 PM
I have seen the CC'ers of the mid and late 90's. I have been a CC fan before Nadal and I will be long after the dust is settled after him. IMO the only ones that could have given him a match would have been Muster because he was even more of a grinder than Nadal and Kuerten because of how he handled high balls on the BH. The rest shouldn't even be in the discussion. And even against these two guys Nadal would be favorite.

I'm not gonna compare Rafa to Borg/Vilas/Panatta era because things are way too different in terms of racket tech and overall preparation. People think clay is boring nowadays, the clay of the past had 40-50 shots regularly when wooden rackets were used and the game was much slower.

There are a couple of eighty(yes, 80!) shot rallies from RG in the 70's - 80's on youtube. That's insane and tbh, might as well be a different sport. Even the fittest guys out there today are huffing and puffing after 20 shots rallies, though to be fair, these are played at a far faster pace than in the past so there is a lot more running.

IMO it does not matter if the era is perceived as weak or strong on clay and Nadal's top level would have flattened most everyone on clay and even his B game would have been enough to beat most of the clay legends from the 90's.

Fair enough about not going to back to the Borg era. I just have two questions for you, just looking for your take, since you actually provide well thought out analysis. 1st- Give me your opinion on what would happen in a clay court match between a prime Courier and Nadal. 2nd- Your opinion on Mid 80's Lendl and Nadal on clay.

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 11:38 PM
Fair enough about not going to back to the Borg era. I just have two questions for you, just looking for your take, since you actually provide well thought out analysis. 1st- Give me your opinion on what would happen in a clay court match between a prime Courier and Nadal. 2nd- Your opinion on Mid 80's Lendl and Nadal on clay.

Great, at least 2000 words are on the way, I can see Namelessone going to town on the keyboard right now.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy310/patsypoutusXxX/Other%20Pictures/tumblr_lj1yvopXir1qc9exr.gif

namelessone
04-25-2011, 11:41 PM
Fair enough about not going to back to the Borg era. I just have two questions for you, just looking for your take, since you actually provide well thought out analysis. 1st- Give me your opinion on what would happen in a clay court match between a prime Courier and Nadal. 2nd- Your opinion on Mid 80's Lendl and Nadal on clay.

I can't really give out opinions on these two because I started watching tennis in mid to late 90's and I don't feel that watching highlight reels of past players(in this case courier and lendl) gives me an accurate reading about their game ,how they played throughout their career(evolved as players) and how they would have matched up(in this case against Nadal). I mean I could say something about lendl and courier but I don't think it would be well founded after seeing only part of the picture.

Now I did see Muster. I did see Guga, Costa, JCF and so on. I saw their highs and lows. I saw their games with the errors included,their weaknesses, not just best points in a highlight reel. That's why my only pick for potentially beating Nadal in a clay court match is either kuerten and "always up for a fight" muster. And even so, they are underdogs in this matchup.

namelessone
04-25-2011, 11:44 PM
Great, at least 2000 words are on the way, I can see Namelessone going to town on the keyboard right now.

http://i802.photobucket.com/albums/yy310/patsypoutusXxX/Other%20Pictures/tumblr_lj1yvopXir1qc9exr.gif

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01415/Robin_Soderling_1415247c.jpg

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 11:45 PM
I can't really give out opinions on these two because I started watching tennis in mid to late 90's and I don't feel that watching highlight reels of past players(in this case courier and lendl) gives me an accurate reading about their game ,how they played throughout their career(evolved as players) and how they would have matched up(in this case against Nadal). I mean I could say something about lendl and courier but I don't think it would be well founded after seeing only part of the picture.

Now I did see Muster. I did see Guga, Costa, JCF and so on. I saw their highs and lows. I saw their games with the errors included,their weaknesses, not just best points in a highlight reel. That's why my only pick for potentially beating Nadal in a clay court match is either kuerten and "always up for a fight" muster. And even so, they are underdogs in this matchup.

Thats it? You might as well of just posted a couple pics or an animated gif, what a let down, I was expecting much more.

namelessone
04-25-2011, 11:47 PM
Thats it? You might as well of just posted a couple pics or an animated gif, what a let down, I was expecting much more.

Sorry, I'm out of my prime :lol:

Lsmkenpo
04-25-2011, 11:50 PM
Sorry, I'm out of my prime :lol:

Or possibly injured.

namelessone
04-25-2011, 11:52 PM
Or possibly injured.

Probably.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_C-HdTNUFgJU/TLdFGwDk-XI/AAAAAAAAAQE/NjpDdOhPvt0/s1600/injured_cat.jpg

Ludwig von Mises
04-25-2011, 11:54 PM
Sorry, I'm out of my prime :lol:

Wow, I thought you were going to do more also. Well, I saw Courier and Lendl is their primes. Although with Lendl in the 80's it was hard to see a ton of matches at RG, my parents never wanted to get cable and even if they did there was no tennis channel.
Courier in the early 90's seemed very to hard to beat on Clay and slower hard courts and he was tough mentally, with not many holes in his game. Still an underdog to Nadal on clay but a good match up.