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DjokovicForTheWin
02-25-2012, 11:47 AM
That's news to me. Who else is fed losing to? Isner? Isner would have beaten anyone that day. Fed also bageled nadal recently if I recall. And Nishikori beat Djoko. Therefore nishikori is the best player alive now if I understand what you're saying.

Tsonga? Berdych?

DjokovicForTheWin
02-25-2012, 11:57 AM
How many times in one year, you are smarter than that aren't you? Oh wait, never mind LOL

Tsonga twice in 2011, no?

Hitman
02-25-2012, 02:54 PM
Tsonga twice in 2011, no?

Don't forget Melzer and Gasquet on the clay in 2011.

Cheetah
02-25-2012, 08:49 PM
Yea and Monfils beat nadal this month. Anyway my point is nadal's fh and bh aren't as good as they were 2 years ago. I'm not even saying he's 'declining'. Just that currently he's not hitting them like he used to. I'd bet the speed of his fh has decreased a little too. His bh definitely has. plus his bh lands shorter now then it used to. His serve is slower than it used to be too. I'm not sure on this but I feel he also double faults more than he used to. could be wrong about that tho.

sbengte
02-25-2012, 09:14 PM
Yea and Monfils beat nadal this month. Anyway my point is nadal's fh and bh aren't as good as they were 2 years ago. I'm not even saying he's 'declining'. Just that currently he's not hitting them like he used to. I'd bet the speed of his fh has decreased a little too. His bh definitely has. plus his bh lands shorter now then it used to. His serve is slower than it used to be too. I'm not sure on this but I feel he also double faults more than he used to. could be wrong about that tho.

Since when exactly did you feel a perceptible difference/decline in Nadal's FH and BH ? Surely not in 2010 ?

DjokovicForTheWin
02-25-2012, 10:18 PM
Yea and Monfils beat nadal this month. Anyway my point is nadal's fh and bh aren't as good as they were 2 years ago. I'm not even saying he's 'declining'. Just that currently he's not hitting them like he used to. I'd bet the speed of his fh has decreased a little too. His bh definitely has. plus his bh lands shorter now then it used to. His serve is slower than it used to be too. I'm not sure on this but I feel he also double faults more than he used to. could be wrong about that tho.

Nadal's bh and fh are better than ever. See how that works?

Cheetah
02-25-2012, 10:59 PM
it just doesnt look like that to me. in 2010 i thought his fh changed a little but he still was in peak form stroking it that way. but in 2012 it just seems a little weaker than before. weak as in a slight tad less power and a small noticeable degradation of strokes in general. even tho small its still less. to me anyway.

you're reasons for his fh is better than ever are?

billnepill
02-26-2012, 04:54 AM
Nad is playing as good as ever as his results against the field indicate. I think we are fortunate to see who is better in peak between Djokovic and nadal, instead of having the hypotheticals such as Sampras vs federer in peak for example

tenniselbow1
02-26-2012, 05:05 AM
*******s are out of their mind to think their guy is declining, not playing his best tennis (08,10) etc. The one dimensional game he once had has evolved exponentially since 08. Making the WTF final in 10, making the IW/Miami finals. 7 straight slam finals, he couldn't make 4 just a few years ago. Nothing is wrong with your guy, get that in your head. I mean besides that his overall game is fully exposed to what it's always been, limited talent with multifaceted exposed weaknesses. first time in his career Davydenko may not be able to take him to the cleaners everytime they play, says it all.

fps
02-26-2012, 05:54 AM
Parts of his game are improving while his overall physical level is slightly declining IMO. That's why it's so difficult to tell what's happening with a tennis player, as they age they also pick up new skills and hone old ones. Had he been fit I believe 2009 would have been his greatest year. He is currently an incredible, incredible player, and playing as well as he ever has on hard courts.

On clay he's more vulnerable, as measured not by performances against Djokovic, as we know how much he's improved, but by the relative closeness of his match against Fed at RG last year. Fed had more than his usual chances to put himself in a very strong position.

DjokovicForTheWin
02-26-2012, 07:23 AM
it just doesnt look like that to me. in 2010 i thought his fh changed a little but he still was in peak form stroking it that way. but in 2012 it just seems a little weaker than before. weak as in a slight tad less power and a small noticeable degradation of strokes in general. even tho small its still less. to me anyway.

you're reasons for his fh is better than ever are?

It just doesn't look like that to me. Reasons for his FH are better than ever was watching is and see how penetrating is and ts just seems a little stronger than before. Strong as in a bit more power and a noticeable improvement in strokes in general, very slight but still better. At least to me.

phnx90
02-26-2012, 07:40 AM
It just doesn't look like that to me. Reasons for his FH are better than ever was watching is and see how penetrating is and ts just seems a little stronger than before. Strong as in a bit more power and a noticeable improvement in strokes in general, very slight but still better. At least to me.

His FH definitely has more power and penetration, but lacks the sidespin he used to have before that allowed him to hit corners like he used to, probably a tradeoff from using a heavier racquet. He's also hitting down the middle too much IMO.

His backhand's coming back, but still not AO 2009 level.

dafinch
02-26-2012, 11:40 AM
Borg quit the game at the top, Nadal is still WINNING at the top, it's just that one guy is beating him. The excuses about Nadal declining are really asinine, he is good as ever on HC/Grass/Clay and has absolutely 0 excuse when losing to Djokovic. This is not like Federer in 2008/2009 where there was a clear level of him slowly dropping off (He lost to plenty of players he normally dominated all year long, and struggled greatly in the slams against players he typically beat easily).



Nadal still beats every single person not named Djokovic at every single tournament. There is NO excuse. Period. Even if there was a drop off, the drop off is so marginal there's no way you could ever sustain peak level of play all the time anyways. Djokovic and Nadal have played enough matches to say that Djokovic is simply just beating Nadal fair and square, no ifs and or buts. Nadal's level of play is clearly phenomenal, higher 99.9% of the world. I'm so sick of people saying that NADAL IS IN DECLINE blah blah blah.

Nadal is NOT beating "...every single person not named Djokovic at every single tournament" and I think straight set losses to the likes of Florian Mayer and even perennial whipping boy Federer(which you seem to have overllooked) will become MORE frequent, not less. Players who've played as many matches as he has almost always declined, particularly with the style that he has. You want to bury your head in the sand, go right ahead, but that's not going to stop the opinions of people who have their eyes open.

Clarky21
02-26-2012, 11:54 AM
Nadal is NOT beating "...every single person not named Djokovic at every single tournament" and I think straight set losses to the likes of Florian Mayer and even perennial whipping boy Federer(which you seem to have overllooked) will become MORE frequent, not less. Players who've played as many matches as he has almost always declined, particularly with the style that he has. You want to bury your head in the sand, go right ahead, but that's not going to stop the opinions of people who have their eyes open.


ITA,but you're wasting your breath. Peak/prime Nadal always lost sets and leads the way Nadal does now. He also always struggled with the likes of Paulo Lorenzi on clay,Ivan Dodig,and Florian Mayer. Catch up,dude. :roll:

Murrayfan31
02-26-2012, 11:59 AM
Nadal is on his way down. No doubt about it. He couldn't even beat an exhausted Djokovic. He almost lost to Isner at the French Open. Definitely signs of decline.

dafinch
02-26-2012, 12:01 PM
ITA,but you're wasting your breath. Peak/prime Nadal always lost sets and leads the way Nadal does now. He also always struggled with the likes of Paulo Lorenzi on clay,Ivan Dodig,and Florian Mayer. Catch up,dude. :roll:

There's a big difference between "struggling," and losing in straights, so I'm not sure what your point is...

Clarky21
02-26-2012, 12:05 PM
There's a big difference between "struggling," and losing in straights, so I'm not sure what your point is...


Because I doubt Prime/peak Nadal would have struggled with or lost to to any of those guys. I was agreeing with you,btw.

Hood_Man
02-26-2012, 12:33 PM
Top players have been straight setted in unlikely circumstances before though. Unless it starts happening in big tournaments more regularly I don't think it's an indication of anything.

Serve/volley has always been an effective strategy against Nadal, and Mayer did it really well against Nadal that day.

dominikk1985
02-26-2012, 01:56 PM
I think his footspeed is not quite as great as it used to be but I don't think he is really declining yet (unless the times he is injured).

He is just being owned by the king:).

dafinch
02-27-2012, 11:49 AM
Because I doubt Prime/peak Nadal would have struggled with or lost to to any of those guys. I was agreeing with you,btw.

Point taken. And, re: your last sentence, I wasn't aware of that until I asked a friend what "ITA" means and he looked at me like one does a mentally challenged child and told me, lol...

TennisFan3
02-27-2012, 12:56 PM
Hillarious. Nadal was peak when he barely won points against Murray/Fed while getting bageled. He gets straight setted to journeymen routinely.

And on his favorite play ground, clay, Nadal is almost losing to qualifiers, dragged to 3 sets by injured Murray/Fed, going to 5 sets against Isner and losing in straights to Djoker. Most of these guys (except Djoker) Nadal would have beaten in his sleep a few yrs ago.

True, as he ages, Nadal can try hit the ball harder than before or become a more complete player overall. But as I've said before, Nadal's game has always depended on his forehand and movement. Since he's lost half a step, he cannot hit the passing shots on the run, defend like he used to or hit inside out, up the line as often as he did before. He's just not the freak of nature or the explosive player who used to inspire fear in his oppponents.

Anyway, Nadal may still be better than most players, but he's definitely not as good as he once was. This is to be expected with someone whose game is as physical as Nadal's is. And for someone who's played almost 700 matches. Even Fed, with his easy style, started declining around that time.

Again, this is not to say that peak Nadal would beat the current Djokovic. However, saying that Nadal is playing his absolute best tennis is trolling at best or borderline insane at worst..

jackson vile
02-27-2012, 01:08 PM
This very well may be true, and many called it way back in 2005. Stating that it was only a matter of time. He has had to change his game greatly because he can't run everything down, and can't move as fast as he once did.

Hillarious. Nadal was peak when he barely won points against Murray/Fed while getting bageled. He gets straight setted to journeymen routinely.

And on his favorite play ground, clay, Nadal is almost losing to qualifiers, dragged to 3 sets by injured Murray/Fed, going to 5 sets against Isner and losing in straights to Djoker. Most of these guys (except Djoker) Nadal would have beaten in his sleep a few yrs ago.

True, as he ages, Nadal can try hit the ball harder than before or become a more complete player overall. But as I've said before, Nadal's game has always depended on his forehand and movement. Since he's lost half a step, he cannot hit the passing shots on the run, defend like he used to or hit inside out, up the line as often as he did before. He's just not the freak of nature or the explosive player who used to inspire fear in his oppponents.

Anyway, Nadal may still be better than most players, but he's definitely not as good as he once was. This is to be expected with someone whose game is as physical as Nadal's is. And for someone who's played almost 700 matches. Even Fed, with his easy style, started declining around that time.

Again, this is not to say that peak Nadal would beat the current Djokovic. However, saying that Nadal is playing his absolute best tennis is trolling at best or borderline insane at worst..

zagor
02-27-2012, 01:12 PM
This very well may be true, and many called it way back in 2005. Stating that it was only a matter of time. He has had to change his game greatly because he can't run everything down, and can't move as fast as he once did.

So Nadal is in decline already? But why? According to you his playing style isn't more taxing than Fed's. Not to mention that he's making more slam+masters finals than ever, only having problems with one single player, would things really be all that different if he was at his absolute fully matured peak?

Maybe Nadal's just sloppy regardless of anything else?

TennisFan3
02-27-2012, 01:14 PM
This very well may be true, and many called it way back in 2005. Stating that it was only a matter of time. He has had to change his game greatly because he can't run everything down, and can't move as fast as he once did.

Well..the decline is obvious if you compare his movement and speed some years ago. That does effect the quality of his shotmaking, not least his offensive change of direction and also his defense.

Again this was inevitable as many people had predicted. No one can sustain the kind of pounding Nadal subjected his body to. In fact, many thought Nadal would be worse off than he currently. Many experts said he wouldn't be in the top 5, by the time he's 26 (which he will be in May). Compared to this, Nadal is still the #2 player and making so many finals. He's CERTAINLY done BETTER than I myself expected in 2009.

Anyway, even if Nadal had a perfect style and a non-physical game, people forget the fact that he's been around for like 8 years. He's played close to 700 matches on tour. There is no way a player can be on his peak with that kind of mileage..

DjokovicForTheWin
02-27-2012, 01:21 PM
Well..the decline is obvious if you compare his movement and speed some years ago. That does effect the quality of his shotmaking, not least his offensive change of direction and also his defense.

Again this was inevitable as many people had predicted. No one can sustain the kind of pounding Nadal subjected his body to. In fact, many thought Nadal would be worse off than he currently. Many experts said he wouldn't be in the top 5, by the time he's 26 (which he will be in May). Compared to this, Nadal is still the #2 player and making so many finals. He's CERTAINLY done BETTER than I myself expected in 2009.

Anyway, even if Nadal had a perfect style and a non-physical game, people forget the fact that he's been around for like 8 years. He's played close to 700 matches on tour. There is no way a player can be on his peak with that kind of mileage..

Notice how vile will attack anyone who says Fed is in decline but he will never attack you for saying Nadal is in decline , LOLLLLLL

jackson vile
02-28-2012, 09:04 AM
So you admit that even this 'best ever' Nadal got slaughtered by the new 'best ever' Djokovic on the latter's worst surface? Since Nadal's best is inferior to Djokovic's best, the match must therefore be on Djokovic's racket whenever the two meet, perhaps even on clay?

Btw, I can't believe anyone is even arguing the likelihood of a Federer or even a Soderling, Ferrer, Fish...etc... reaching the final of this slam.

The final is a complete DJokovic/Nadal LOCK.

That is really the point here, is that even Nadal's best, at this point, simply is not enough to defeat Novak period. So regardless of how Nadal plays he is not going to win.

The only way Nadal wins is if A) Novak severely drops form ie injuries/fatigue or B) Nadal finds a new level of player greater than before or a better strategy.

Cup8489
02-28-2012, 09:43 AM
This very well may be true, and many called it way back in 2005. Stating that it was only a matter of time. He has had to change his game greatly because he can't run everything down, and can't move as fast as he once did.

That is really the point here, is that even Nadal's best, at this point, simply is not enough to defeat Novak period. So regardless of how Nadal plays he is not going to win.

The only way Nadal wins is if A) Novak severely drops form ie injuries/fatigue or B) Nadal finds a new level of player greater than before or a better strategy.

ok, so you dont believe Nadal was at his best in 2011 then? You keep changing your mind, which is it?

jackson vile
02-28-2012, 11:25 AM
ok, so you dont believe Nadal was at his best in 2011 then? You keep changing your mind, which is it?

Your mind is frustrated and weak, you keep attempting to grasp at straw but to no avail.

Since you are having mental problems as usual for ****s I will make it very simple. Nadal play simply is not a factor, he can play great or not, does not matter. Even if Novak is weak and tired he will still win, Federer knows this just as well ie USO 2011.

You see, Federer is delusional and believes that he is the one that decides the matches between Nadal and himself. Novak on the other hand actually does decide matches between him and Nadal.

DjokovicForTheWin
02-28-2012, 01:17 PM
Your mind is frustrated and weak, you keep attempting to grasp at straw but to no avail.

Since you are having mental problems as usual for ****s I will make it very simple. Nadal play simply is not a factor, he can play great or not, does not matter. Even if Novak is weak and tired he will still win, Federer knows this just as well ie USO 2011.

You see, Federer is delusional and believes that he is the one that decides the matches between Nadal and himself. Novak on the other hand actually does decide matches between him and Nadal.

How about Novak's play? Is it a factor?

Hitman
02-28-2012, 01:51 PM
I think Nadal is feeling the wear and tear of the seasons adding up. It can't be easy trying to get yourself up for every single match all the time. Yes, great champions manage to do it, but even they hit that wall at times..breaking through it is what makes the champions special.

Cup8489
02-28-2012, 02:24 PM
Your mind is frustrated and weak, you keep attempting to grasp at straw but to no avail.

Since you are having mental problems as usual for ****s I will make it very simple. Nadal play simply is not a factor, he can play great or not, does not matter. Even if Novak is weak and tired he will still win, Federer knows this just as well ie USO 2011.

You see, Federer is delusional and believes that he is the one that decides the matches between Nadal and himself. Novak on the other hand actually does decide matches between him and Nadal.

My mind is neither weak nor frustrated. And I'm not grasping at anything; I'm simply pointing out that you're the one changing your tune all the time, never having a consistent viewpoint.

And what about the 5th set, where Rafa actually fell apart, but was up a break? Did his level of play not matter then as well? I mean, I suppose Djokovic could have intentionally given him the break, but that wouldn't make any more sense than you saying that Djokovic controls the outcome with Nadal up a break in the 5th...hmm.

dudeski
02-28-2012, 02:31 PM
Notice how vile will attack anyone who says Fed is in decline but he will never attack you for saying Nadal is in decline , LOLLLLLL
Of course. His goal is always to discredit Federer. So right now peak Federer is losing to semi-retired Nadal and still not quite prime Djokovic. Also, all of Federer Slam wins are due to weak area and/or injured and/or baby Nadal.

Cup8489
02-28-2012, 02:41 PM
Of course. His goal is always to discredit Federer. So right now peak Federer is losing to semi-retired Nadal and still not quite prime Djokovic. Also, all of Federer Slam wins are due to weak area and/or injured and/or baby Nadal.

He must be a teenager, he certainly isn't mature enough to be an adult.

Towser83
02-28-2012, 03:08 PM
ITA,but you're wasting your breath. Peak/prime Nadal always lost sets and leads the way Nadal does now. He also always struggled with the likes of Paulo Lorenzi on clay,Ivan Dodig,and Florian Mayer. Catch up,dude. :roll:

his clay form was ropey for sure, but the losses to Dodig and Mayer don't stick out amongst other losses from other years. On hardcourt he has always had the odd loss to lower ranked guys. I mean Roddick, Ljubicic, Meltzer, Garcia Lopez and Baghdatis all beat him in 2010 when he had one of his best years, and Roddick, Seppi and Youzhny in 2008. It's your opinion if you think he was playing terribly compared to previous years, but just looking at who he lost to doesn't paint a picture of someone losing to lower standard players than he ever lost to before.

Towser83
02-28-2012, 03:29 PM
I wish I had watched to Federer-Sampras match live as well. Admittedly, I've been a fan Federer's since the Wimbledon 2008 final. I just started learning how to play tennis at the time and the first time I watched Federer play, I loved the way he made tennis look effortless. I've been a fan ever since. I've been trying to emulate his style of play on the court and I've even developed a one-handed backhand through watching Federer hit that stroke. I've watched s many of his old matches though and I wish I had the opportunity to watch Sampras and Agassi too.

Federer made me love tennis and through watching him, I've become a better tennis player myself. For that, I am a Roger Federer for life!

I remember watching the Sampras Federer match, in fact that year was a really good Wimbledon, still my favourite because of the way Goran won the title. The sampras match was crazy because I could not see anyone beating him and then this dude i'd never really heard of did it. I was a fan of tennis because my family watched it but apart from Goran there was no player I relly liked til I saw Federer play that day. I was sort of bored with Sampras winning Wimbledon every year which is a bit ironic seeing as what happened soon after :lol:

I wish I did see more tennis in sampras's era though, i saw Wimbledon but not many of the other slams. I think It was only in about 2004 that I started watching all the other slams, or that's what I remember, because i remember Henman making the RG semis unexpectedly and starting off really well against Coria, also remember him making the US Open semis. Don't actually remember seeing Nadal beat Federer in the 2005 RG semis, but I saw the AO semi that year. I am really glad i started watching all the slams though because those early Fedal clashes and several other matches were really quality stuff.

Sentinel
02-28-2012, 08:47 PM
Of course. His goal is always to discredit Federer. So right now peak Federer is losing to semi-retired Nadal and still not quite prime Djokovic. Also, all of Federer Slam wins are due to weak area and/or injured and/or baby Nadal.
Federer and Nadal won their 16 and 10 slams during a weak, pre-Joker era. The real non-transitional champion is the 5-slam winner, Noel.

Towser83
02-28-2012, 09:04 PM
Federer and Nadal won their 16 and 10 slams during a weak, pre-Joker era. The real non-transitional champion is the 5-slam winner, Noel.

Everyone between Laver and Djokovic was a transitional champ.

Sentinel
02-28-2012, 09:32 PM
Everyone between Laver and Djokovic was a transitional champ.
Righto, the real champ will be Marko or Djordje.

Even Noel is only keeping the trophies warm until Marko stops eating pizza.

SystemicAnomaly
02-28-2012, 09:40 PM
No, Nadal is reclining.

http://en.rafa-nadal.com/images/news/Rafa-Nadal-Bar-Refaeli-SI.jpg

Towser83
02-28-2012, 09:52 PM
Righto, the real champ will be Marko or Djordje.

Even Noel is only keeping the trophies warm until Marko stops eating pizza.

correct. He's just there so people know the surname and know how to pronouce it etc. Just making it well known, so his brothers are instantly treated like the GOATS they are.

zagor
03-01-2012, 06:48 AM
That is why I am not sure if Novak is playing god tennis, or if Nadal and Federer being lazy SOBs?

Are Nadal and Fed lazy?

zagor
03-28-2012, 09:34 AM
This very well may be true, and many called it way back in 2005. Stating that it was only a matter of time. .

What is true? That Nadal has declined? How come he made 4 slam finals in a row for the first time in his career then? Why didn't he achieve that before? Not to mention that if you remove Novak 2.0 from the equation, Nadal would clean up like he did in 2010.

He has had to change his game greatly because he can't run everything down, and can't move as fast as he once did.

That's completely offset by how much smarter and experienced he is now, he's still improving and learning as a player.

cknobman
03-28-2012, 10:52 AM
Yes Nadal really is declining





to show decent etiquette and sportsmanship on the court!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zagor
04-03-2012, 01:23 PM
This year's clay season will be telling in which stadium is Nadal's supposed decline.

If he reaches FO final I think it would be hard to argue that the guy who reached 5 slam finals in a row for the first time in his career is declining.

DjokovicForTheWin
04-03-2012, 01:27 PM
I have to disagree, I think whether or not Nadal reaches the FO final he is still at his absolute peak. I think many of the rabid ***** are simply inventing a delusional level that Nadal himself actually never reached in 2008-early 2009. He is playing much better now than he was then. It just turns out that Nadal was so precocious, that his peak years are even more extended than Federer's, which really does break the myth that his style of play will reduce his longevity.

veroniquem
04-03-2012, 01:31 PM
He's not declining. He just has a Djoko problem. Without the Djoko problem, he would be holding 4 slams in a row as we speak...

DjokovicForTheWin
04-03-2012, 01:32 PM
He's not declining. He just has a Djoko problem. Without the Djoko problem, he would be holding 4 slams in a row as we speak...

Quoted for truth.

zagor
04-03-2012, 01:46 PM
He's not declining. He just has a Djoko problem. Without the Djoko problem, he would be holding 4 slams in a row as we speak...

Well said, have to agree.

Evan77
04-03-2012, 01:48 PM
He's not declining. He just has a Djoko problem. Without the Djoko problem, he would be holding 4 slams in a row as we speak...
this. I was just gonna say the same thing. The ONLY problem Nadal has is Djokovic. Nadal is only 25yo. Yes, I know some of you will say 'but he played so many matches in his career' etc. but, as long as he is healthy, he can beat anybody on the tour (not called Djokovic)

PSNELKE
04-03-2012, 01:48 PM
Yes! I mean he reached the final of the last 4 majors and winning one of them.

I suppose this is the right time to retire.

He simply got beaten by a player who appeared to play the better tennis in the last 12 months.

zagor
04-03-2012, 01:52 PM
I have to disagree, I think whether or not Nadal reaches the FO final he is still at his absolute peak. I think many of the rabid ***** are simply inventing a delusional level that Nadal himself actually never reached in 2008-early 2009. He is playing much better now than he was then. It just turns out that Nadal was so precocious, that his peak years are even more extended than Federer's, which really does break the myth that his style of play will reduce his longevity.

It appears so, I guess Nadal really is an extraordinary physical specimen...

veroniquem
04-03-2012, 01:54 PM
Oh and I forgot to add: he would have done the total clay sweep in the same breath (as the cherry on top of the Rafa slam's treat): M-C, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid and RG. How freaky is that? :shock:
I think Tipsy's little joke was right on the mark, despite being un-politically correct...

jackson vile
04-03-2012, 04:13 PM
Or is he simply just out of form?

I personally dont think he is declining, how could he do that at 25? I know about his mileage and his brutal style of play etc etc, but still, really!?:shock:

I have counted him out many times already and I dont dare to do that ever again because usually he dissapoints me terribly by winning the title!

2011 USO there is so much at stake, so many questions will be answered.

IF Murray wins USO, If if if...then I think he will go on and win 3-5 GS in his career. If he doesnt win it, im afraid he will end his career with 0 Slams.

I think Nadal will win USO this year again. Yes. Ill place a bet on him anyway, so it will be a win-win-situation.


Guess what his new user name is. One hint, he pretends to be a Novak fan LOL

DjokovicForTheWin
04-03-2012, 04:55 PM
Guess what his new user name is. One hint, he pretends to be a Novak fan LOL

How could both of you use the name "jackson pile?"

Clarky21
04-03-2012, 05:15 PM
He's not declining. He just has a Djoko problem. Without the Djoko problem, he would be holding 4 slams in a row as we speak...


Wrong. And Nadal has a lot more players to worry about other than Djesus. Maybe you will finally be convinced after he stinks up the clay court season this year.

Sentinel
04-04-2012, 12:31 AM
Wrong. And Nadal has a lot more players to worry about other than Djesus. Maybe you will finally be convinced after he stinks up the clay court season this year.
That's possibly because "Djesus" has broken his confidence and his aura of invincibility. His recent injury suggests that he's actually been training hard in Feb instead of resting.

Were it not for Joker 2.0, he could well have won all four slams in 2011 and AO 2012. (Edit: sorry he didn;t make AO final in 2011)

vive le beau jeu !
04-04-2012, 03:35 AM
Wrong. And Nadal has a lot more players to worry about other than Djesus. Maybe you will finally be convinced after he stinks up the clay court season this year.

That's possibly because "Djesus" has broken his confidence and his aura of invincibility. His recent injury suggests that he's actually been training hard in Feb instead of resting.

Were it not for Joker 2.0, he could well have won all four slams in 2011 and AO 2012. (Edit: sorry he didn;t make AO final in 2011)
i'm confused... are 'the peak nadal' and 'the benthic bull' one and the same player ? http://l.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/7.gif

DRII
04-04-2012, 08:02 AM
That's possibly because "Djesus" has broken his confidence and his aura of invincibility. His recent injury suggests that he's actually been training hard in Feb instead of resting.

Were it not for Joker 2.0, he could well have won all four slams in 2011 and AO 2012. (Edit: sorry he didn;t make AO final in 2011)

Complete conjecture!

Sentinel
04-04-2012, 08:05 AM
Complete conjecture!
I believe i said "could" and not "would".

Yes, I can see your point. Had Fred won his match-points it could have been different. But that's conjecture too, no ?

zagor
04-04-2012, 12:03 PM
Wrong. And Nadal has a lot more players to worry about other than Djesus. Maybe you will finally be convinced after he stinks up the clay court season this year.

Which is why in the last 4 slams he beat the crap out of everyone bar Novak.

bluetrain4
04-04-2012, 12:08 PM
Does it matter if he's "really" declining or just declining relatively? To me, "really" declining means that this version of Rafa would lose to previous verisions of Rafa. Maybe he is as good as previously, but if other players like Djokovic have raised the bar and Rafa's results aren't as good, then he's declining relatively, no matter if he's actually, technically as good as before.

The focus for me is on a decline in results, whether that's the result of "really" declining (can't hit the same shots as consistently as before, less speed, less endurance, etc.) or simply declining relative to his competition, or a bit of both.

Clarky21
04-04-2012, 12:08 PM
Which is why in the last 4 slams he beat the crap out of everyone bar Novak.


He didn't beat the crap out of everyone bar Djesus. He struggled in a lot of his matches before he took his usual drubbing from FrankenCvac. Just wait a few weeks when the clay season starts to see for yourself just how bad he is going to suck this year. Last years stinker of a season will look like gold compared to this one.

zagor
04-04-2012, 12:13 PM
He didn't beat the crap out of everyone bar Djesus. He struggled in a lot of his matches before he took his usual drubbing from FrankenCvac. Just wait a few weeks when the clay season starts to see for yourself just how bad he is going to suck this year. Last years stinker of a season will look like gold compared to this one.

Isner troubled him at FO and that's about it, pray tell who are those other players he "struggled" with? If anything he reached Wimbledon, USO and AO finals considerably easier than Novak did.

Also if Nadal is in such serious decline right now why didn't he reach 4 slam finals in a row during his mythical peak but rather happened to achieve said feat during his "decline" ?

Clarky21
04-04-2012, 12:33 PM
Isner troubled him at FO and that's about it, pray tell who are those other players he "struggled" with? If anything he reached Wimbledon, USO and AO finals considerably easier than Novak did.

Also if Nadal is in such serious decline right now why didn't he reach 4 slam finals in a row during his mythical peak but rather happened to achieve said feat during his "decline" ?


Did you watch Nadal at all last year? He struggled all the way through RG last year,especially during the first week. Shoot,he struggled all the way through the clay season,even losing a set to the mighty Paulo Lorenzi,who iirc,was ranked something like 153rd in the world at the time. He also struggled at Wimby with Delpo on Delpo's worst surface,and played one the worst slam finals I have ever seen. He struggled through the USO serving like he belongs in a amateur women's league,and stunk it up so bad in the fall season it dwarfed his usual catastrophes during that time of the season. He also struggled at the AO this year,and has gone more than a year now with no serve or backhand to speak of. He also hasn't won a title in almost a year.

What is it going to take for you see how badly he has declined? It's plain as day to me how bad he has gotten,and either you're not playing attention or you are just in denial. Like I said,just wait until clay season starts to see just how bad it is. Last year will look fabulous compared to the mess he is going to make out of this season. The end is nigh,folks. Last year was just the beginning.

Towser83
04-04-2012, 01:47 PM
Oh and I forgot to add: he would have done the total clay sweep in the same breath (as the cherry on top of the Rafa slam's treat): M-C, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid and RG. How freaky is that? :shock:
I think Tipsy's little joke was right on the mark, despite being un-politically correct...

would he for sure have all of those though? Didn't you say he lost Hamburg in 2007 because he was tired through playing the same clay schedule as last year? Last year he was worse on clay than 2006-2009, maybe worse than 2005 (can't remember enough of his matches that year) I mean Djokovic beat him easily in straight sets twice, if Nadal was better he would have at least put up a fight I think.

Overall though I don't think he's in decline, but on clay he has been better.

The-Champ
04-04-2012, 03:45 PM
Guess what his new user name is. One hint, he pretends to be a Novak fan LOL

If you are implying DjokovicForTheWin and the OP are the same person, then you are absolutely wrong.

C'mon Jackson Vile, you are smarter than that..

kiki
04-04-2012, 03:51 PM
So what if he is declining? He cannot go further than Worldīs number 3, since the difference with the rest of the field is so overwhelmingly huge.

WhiskeyEE
04-05-2012, 08:44 AM
I think that his backhand is worse even compared to his teenaged years. Watch miami 2005 or other matches around that time and tell me his backhand hasn`t declined. He also appears a bit slower. His forehand is more or less the same as recent years.

He`s still getting to finals, but that doesn`t mean he isn`t declining.

zagor
04-05-2012, 02:25 PM
Did you watch Nadal at all last year?

Yes, I watch a lot of tennis.

He struggled all the way through RG last year,especially during the first week.

He only struggled with Isner the entire tourney, Fed struggled with Isner in 2007 USO, I guess he was declining then.

Shoot,he struggled all the way through the clay season,even losing a set to the mighty Paulo Lorenzi,who iirc,was ranked something like 153rd in the world at the time.

He lost to one single player the entire CC season, would hardly call that struggling.

He also struggled at Wimby with Delpo on Delpo's worst surface,and played one the worst slam finals I have ever seen.

The way Delpo was playing (serving especially) he would have most likely given top players all they can handle as well, besides Nadal usually has these relatively close encounters with big hitters in early rounds in Wimbledon (while grass is still somewhat fast) like against Gulbis in 2008 Wimbledon, Soderling in 2007 Wimbleodon, Petzschner in 2010 Wimbledon etc. if anything Delpo's better than those guys.

He struggled through the USO serving like he belongs in a amateur women's league...

Yes he struggled so much that he reached his 2nd ever USO final, if he was struggling at USO in 2011 then what was he doing in 2007, 2008 and 2009?


...and stunk it up so bad in the fall season it dwarfed his usual catastrophes during that time of the season.

Because Nadal is known for his amazing performances in the fall season, right? The guy didn't win a match in 2009 WTF yet won 3 slams next year so yet again irrelevant in the big picture.


He also struggled at the AO this year,and has gone more than a year now with no serve or backhand to speak of. He also hasn't won a title in almost a year.

LOL, yeah he struggled so much at AO that he reached his 2nd ever final there (beating the crap out of Fed along the way of course) and pushed the #1 in the world (on Novak's best surface to boot) to a 6 hour final. Again if he struggled at AO this year then what the heck was he doing at AO in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011? Struggling to hold a racquet or something?

What is it going to take for you see how badly he has declined?

I see decline as a noticeable decrease in performance against the field, in that regard Nadal is at an all time high, he has trouble with just one single player, nobody else can touch him as evidenced by the fact that he routinely reached 4 slam finals in a row and is 99% certain of making it 5 in a row at the FO this year.

He was never this consistently good against the field before.

It's plain as day to me how bad he has gotten,and either you're not playing attention or you are just in denial. .

No, I am paying attention, I just disagree with you viewpoint.

Like I said,just wait until clay season starts to see just how bad it is.

As long as he wins FO (and I pick him to do so) I doubt he'll consider his CC season a failure or something.

Last year will look fabulous compared to the mess he is going to make out of this season. The end is nigh,folks. Last year was just the beginning.

Interesting, if the end is nigh for the guy who reached 4 slam finals in a row and came within an inch of winning the only slam played this year so far then what should we say about other players on tour, should they change profession or something? Maybe switch to golf?

tlm
04-05-2012, 03:01 PM
Did you watch Nadal at all last year? He struggled all the way through RG last year,especially during the first week. Shoot,he struggled all the way through the clay season,even losing a set to the mighty Paulo Lorenzi,who iirc,was ranked something like 153rd in the world at the time. He also struggled at Wimby with Delpo on Delpo's worst surface,and played one the worst slam finals I have ever seen. He struggled through the USO serving like he belongs in a amateur women's league,and stunk it up so bad in the fall season it dwarfed his usual catastrophes during that time of the season. He also struggled at the AO this year,and has gone more than a year now with no serve or backhand to speak of. He also hasn't won a title in almost a year.

What is it going to take for you see how badly he has declined? It's plain as day to me how bad he has gotten,and either you're not playing attention or you are just in denial. Like I said,just wait until clay season starts to see just how bad it is. Last year will look fabulous compared to the mess he is going to make out of this season. The end is nigh,folks. Last year was just the beginning.



Ya i saw that at the AO were he took joker to 5 sets.

Hitman
04-05-2012, 03:08 PM
Yes, I watch a lot of tennis.



He only struggled with Isner the entire tourney, Fed struggled with Isner in 2007 USO, I guess he was declining then.



He lost to one single player the entire CC season, would hardly call that struggling.



The way Delpo was playing (serving especially) he would have most likely given top players all they can handle as well, besides Nadal usually has these relatively close encounters with big hitters in early rounds in Wimbledon (while grass is still somewhat fast) like against Gulbis in 2008 Wimbledon, Soderling in 2007 Wimbleodon, Petzschner in 2010 Wimbledon etc. if anything Delpo's better than those guys.



Yes he struggled so much that he reached his 2nd ever USO final, if he was struggling at USO in 2011 then what was he doing in 2007, 2008 and 2009?




Because Nadal is known for his amazing performances in the fall season, right? The guy didn't win a match in 2009 WTF yet won 3 slams next year so yet again irrelevant in the big picture.




LOL, yeah he struggled so much at AO that he reached his 2nd ever final there (beating the crap out of Fed along the way of course) and pushed the #1 in the world (on Novak's best surface to boot) to a 6 hour final. Again if he struggled at AO this year then what the heck was he doing at AO in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011? Struggling to hold a racquet or something?



I see decline as a noticeable decrease in performance against the field, in that regard Nadal is at an all time high, he has trouble with just one single player, nobody else can touch him as evidenced by the fact that he routinely reached 4 slam finals in a row and is 99% certain of making it 5 in a row at the FO this year.

He was never this consistently good against the field before.



No, I am paying attention, I just disagree with you viewpoint.



As long as he wins FO (and I pick him to do so) I doubt he'll consider his CC season a failure or something.



Interesting, if the end is nigh for the guy who reached 4 slam finals in a row and came within an inch of winning the only slam played this year so far then what should we say about other players on tour, should they change profession or something? Maybe switch to golf?

Getting back into the Tennis again, after my Wrestlemania 28 experience. And I must say Zagor, you are still producing the gems around here. :)

Crisstti
04-06-2012, 03:29 PM
Oh and I forgot to add: he would have done the total clay sweep in the same breath (as the cherry on top of the Rafa slam's treat): M-C, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid and RG. How freaky is that? :shock:
I think Tipsy's little joke was right on the mark, despite being un-politically correct...

I don't see how that means he's not declining though (not that I think he is). I don't think we can consider his level as if he had won all those finals he lost. For example, we cannot consider Fed's been as good as if he had won RG all those years he reached the final, because he didn't win them, or as if he'd won 20+ slams, because, even though mostly he lost to one player, he still lost.
Doesn't losing all the finals Rafa lost last year say, after all, something about his level? (not saying Novak's own level doesn't have a lot to do with it, BTW).

Clarky21
04-06-2012, 03:59 PM
Ya i saw that at the AO were he took joker to 5 sets.


Yeah,and lost after being up a break in the fifth(mental midget). Who cares if he took him to 5 sets or not when still lost to Djesus for the 8,452,885,125 time in a row.

Clarky21
04-06-2012, 04:01 PM
I don't see how that means he's not declining though (not that I think he is). I don't think we can consider his level as if he had won all those finals he lost. For example, we cannot consider Fed's been as good *** if he had won RG all those years he reached the final, because he didn't win them, or as if he'd won 20+ slams, because, even though mostly he lost to one player, he still lost.
Doesn't losing all the finals Rafa lost last year say, after all, something about his level? (not saying Novak's own level doesn't have a lot to do with it, BTW).


Nadal in his prime would not have lost 7 times in a row to Djesus no matter how well Djesus was playing. He would have won at least one of those finals. He is declining,and the upcoming clay season will prove it.

MichaelNadal
04-06-2012, 04:06 PM
Getting back into the Tennis again, after my Wrestlemania 28 experience. And I must say Zagor, you are still producing the gems around here. :)

I ordered the PPV, you're lucky. Taker/Trips/HBK-Ref was amazinggggg.

veroniquem
04-06-2012, 10:42 PM
I don't see how that means he's not declining though (not that I think he is). I don't think we can consider his level as if he had won all those finals he lost. For example, we cannot consider Fed's been as good as if he had won RG all those years he reached the final, because he didn't win them, or as if he'd won 20+ slams, because, even though mostly he lost to one player, he still lost.
Doesn't losing all the finals Rafa lost last year say, after all, something about his level? (not saying Novak's own level doesn't have a lot to do with it, BTW).


Losing all those finals would signify decline IF Rafa had lost them to different players, which is not the case.
a- 2011 produced the most finals Rafa has ever made in 1 season. How could that signal decline is beyond me.
b- He lost all the tier 1 finals to 1 player: Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome, Wimbledon, USO, AO, all lost to Djoko. The finals where he played someone else, he won: Monte-Carlo and RG.

I am not saying that all those losses to Djoko may not cause discouragement and subsequently trigger a decline. I hope not but I know it's a possibility.
In 2011 though, Rafa had a spectacular season that would have yielded phenomenal results if Djokovic's level hadn't soared as well and provided him with all the answers to Rafa's game to boot. If you define a decline by "a block against another player", then Fed has been declining on and off since 2004 (ie: since he made it to the top!!).

sbengte
04-07-2012, 12:15 AM
Nadal in his prime would not have lost 7 times in a row to Djesus no matter how well Djesus was playing. He would have won at least one of those finals. He is declining,and the upcoming clay season will prove it.

Umm. No. The biggest flaw in the above assumption is that Nadal's best > Novak's best which is completely baseless.

Also care to answer the very pertinent question below ? Wonder why no one who is talking of a Nadal decline answers this simple question and also explains how Nadal made so many finals last year while declining ? You are not implying that it is because of his cake draws, are you ?

Also if Nadal is in such serious decline right now why didn't he reach 4 slam finals in a row during his mythical peak but rather happened to achieve said feat during his "decline" ?

Tony48
04-07-2012, 12:48 AM
Nadal in his prime would not have lost 7 times in a row to Djesus no matter how well Djesus was playing. He would have won at least one of those finals. He is declining,and the upcoming clay season will prove it.

Nadal "in his prime" never made 4 slam finals in a row, sooo......

Take away Djokovic and Nadal would have won 7 of the last 8 slams (and 4 in a row). THIS makes it obvious that Djokovic is a bigger factor than you are willing to admit. It's unfortunate for Nadal, but it's the truth.

cc0509
04-07-2012, 01:46 AM
Yeah,and lost after being up a break in the fifth(mental midget). Who cares if he took him to 5 sets or not when still lost to Djesus for the 8,452,885,125 time in a row.

It just means Djokovic has Nadal's number and is a poor match-up for Nadal.
Djokovic raised his level of physicality and his confidence level and simply had answers for everything Nadal threw at him--he out-defended Nadal. The question will be can Djokovic continue that insane level?

Logan71
04-07-2012, 08:58 AM
What really has happened is what Nadal fans are struggling with just as Federer fans have.

Nadal has clearly been overtaken.It happened to Fed,Sampras,Becker,Mcenroe,Connors etc....

Whether it's age,ability,ball changes,surfaces,mental fragility,you can't stop it.

A few posters have nailed it on the head in defending Rafa,he had a spectacular season and lost every major final he was in.

Doesn't matter if he was at his peak or declined,he got nothing,and if anything played with guts at the Aus12 and still got beaten after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Will it go on? Well he needs the FO more now more than ever.If he loses there I would suspect there isn't a tournament on earth where he can hide from Djokovic.

Crisstti
04-07-2012, 09:34 AM
Losing all those finals would signify decline IF Rafa had lost them to different players, which is not the case.
a- 2011 produced the most finals Rafa has ever made in 1 season. How could that signal decline is beyond me.
b- He lost all the tier 1 finals to 1 player: Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome, Wimbledon, USO, AO, all lost to Djoko. The finals where he played someone else, he won: Monte-Carlo and RG.

I am not saying that all those losses to Djoko may not cause discouragement and subsequently trigger a decline. I hope not but I know it's a possibility.
In 2011 though, Rafa had a spectacular season that would have yielded phenomenal results if Djokovic's level hadn't soared as well and provided him with all the answers to Rafa's game to boot. If you define a decline by "a block against another player", then Fed has been declining on and off since 2004 (ie: since he made it to the top!!).

Well, he lost to Murray in Tokyo as well.
I think the situation with Fed is a little different, in that he always had a a losing record against Rafa, while the results of Rafa's and Novak's matches has changed recently... of course that has a lot to do with Novak raising his level, but I don't think we can discount the possibility of Rafa lowering his, particularly on certain aspects, like depth and keeping himself together in certain moments. Now I don't think this means he's declining necessarily, but that he's done certain things better before.

rafan
04-07-2012, 09:56 AM
Yes but the big question is how long can Djoko keep this up . Whether people like it or not Rafa invented the new Djokovic. For a long time he was very much the number three in the race and his focus had to be on being that much better than Nadal. If you think Rafa is finished then wait and see how long Djoko can remain in the enormous fight it has all become in tennis, without it telling on his physical and mental wellbeing. Nadal may be nursing some of the scars which took him to the top but Djoko will be feeling them soon also. I cannot forget that Australian open and just how much it took it out of both of them. Is this how it is going to be from now on?

Clarky21
04-07-2012, 10:01 AM
Yes but the big question is how long can Djoko keep this up . Whether people like it or not Rafa invented the new Djokovic. For a long time he was very much the number three in the race and his focus had to be on being that much better than Nadal. If you think Rafa is finished then wait and see how long Djoko can remain in the enormous fight it has all become in tennis, without it telling on his physical and mental wellbeing. Nadal may be nursing some of the scars which took him to the top but Djoko will be feeling them soon also. I cannot forget that Australian open and just how much it took it out of both of them. Is this how it is going to be from now on?


You mean with Nadal constantly losing to Djesus? if so then the answer is yes.

flyinghippos101
04-07-2012, 10:33 AM
I honestly think Rafa is declining. Just look at how much less explosive he is than from say... 2010. Forehand seemed to have lost a noticeable amount of bite that made it such a weapon some years ago. Not to mention, he seems to be losing a major edge psychologically. Just look at how much harder it is sometimes for him to close out a match and how negative he gets on the court now.

We all saw it with Fed in 08' and 09' when everyone noticed how much less explosive off the ground he was and how drastically his forehand and consistency dropped off. It's an obvious double standard by fed fans to think that just because Nadal is still posting good results this year and 2011, that he's not declining. Fed was still putting up solid results in 2008 and 2009, but was very obviously a shadow of his former self.

Sentinel
04-07-2012, 10:38 AM
Yes but the big question is how long can Djoko keep this up . Whether people like it or not Rafa invented the new Djokovic. For a long time he was very much the number three in the race and his focus had to be on being that much better than Nadal. If you think Rafa is finished then wait and see how long Djoko can remain in the enormous fight it has all become in tennis, without it telling on his physical and mental wellbeing. Nadal may be nursing some of the scars which took him to the top but Djoko will be feeling them soon also. I cannot forget that Australian open and just how much it took it out of both of them. Is this how it is going to be from now on?
Great post, rafan.
We'll just have to see as the clay season unfolds. How long can Noel maintain his form ? Hang in there, dude.

Sentinel
04-07-2012, 10:42 AM
I honestly think Rafa is declining. Just look at how much less explosive he is than from say... 2010. Forehand seemed to have lost a noticeable amount of bite that made it such a weapon some years ago. Not to mention, he seems to be losing a major edge psychologically. Just look at how much harder it is sometimes for him to close out a match and how negative he gets on the court now.

We all saw it with Fed in 08' and 09' when everyone noticed how much less explosive off the ground he was and how drastically his forehand and consistency dropped off. It's an obvious double standard by fed fans to think that just because Nadal is still posting good results this year and 2011, that he's not declining. Fed was still putting up solid results in 2008 and 2009, but was very obviously a shadow of his former self.
So if Joker 2.0 had not come around, and Rafa has won all those finals, and majors, would you have still said he is declining.
If Rafa had won 4 in a row, would you still be saying this.

What have we to go with other than results. Otherwise, it's too subjective.

DjokovicForTheWin
04-07-2012, 10:47 AM
I've been saying for months that Nadal has not declined one iota, that he's been better than ever. The data do not lie.

But I was called a troll for this. Now we see that Dorky is and always has been the real troll.

jackson vile
04-07-2012, 12:07 PM
You mean with Nadal constantly losing to Djesus? if so then the answer is yes.

Don't you know that Novak is better than ever, but for some strange reason supposedly "peak" Nadal can't defeat him yet supposedly old was up man can?

veroniquem
04-07-2012, 12:11 PM
Well, he lost to Murray in Tokyo as well.
I think the situation with Fed is a little different, in that he always had a a losing record against Rafa, while the results of Rafa's and Novak's matches has changed recently... of course that has a lot to do with Novak raising his level, but I don't think we can discount the possibility of Rafa lowering his, particularly on certain aspects, like depth and keeping himself together in certain moments. Now I don't think this means he's declining necessarily, but that he's done certain things better before.



Sure, it's probably a combination of both in the end. I didn't mention Tokyo because it's a minor tournament, I was listing only "tier 1" events because of how striking it is that Rafa made the final of so many of them and happened to lose all of them to the same player.

DjokovicForTheWin
04-07-2012, 12:18 PM
Don't you know that Novak is better than ever, but for some strange reason supposedly "peak" Nadal can't defeat him yet supposedly old was up man can?

Does that mean you think peak Donald Young should beat Nadal?

Evan77
04-07-2012, 12:47 PM
I wouldn't say that he is 'declining' per se ... he is still beating everyone except Djokovic. Novak simply has raised his game to the next level and pretty much nobody on the tour can touch him right now ...

It happens all the time... It'll happen to Djoko too ... because nothing last forever ... but at this moment it's Djokovic era and there isn't much Nadal can do. I guess the dilemma many guys on this board have is has ' Djokovic improved' or has 'Nadal declined'? I still believe that Djokovic simply improved and Nadal is still Nadal.

mattennis
04-07-2012, 01:02 PM
Oh Come on!!! Had Djokovic not raised his level in 2011 and Nadal would have 13 GS and 23 M-1000 right now!!! (which is a scary thought taking into account that he is 25 years old).

He would be beating everybody left and right if not for Djokovic2.0 new higher level.

In fact, I can say that I believe Nadal would have gotten to 16 or more GS eventually had Djokovic stayed at the level he was in 2010.

But these things happen in tennis. If not for Nadal, Federer would have 20 GS or more, if not for Sampras, Agassi would have 12 or 13 GS probably,...

I always knew (since 2007 ) that Djokovic was (potentially) THE BEST player of this era after Federer. Everybody could see the inmense natural talent he had, both with his racquet and his quickness.

In 2010 I started to think that unfortunately he would never live up to his inmense potential, but in 2011 he proved me wrong.

Nadal in 2011 and still today wins against any other player when it matters the most (the GS), something he could never do before.

Evan77
04-07-2012, 02:04 PM
Oh Come on!!! Had Djokovic not raised his level in 2011 and Nadal would have 13 GS and 23 M-1000 right now!!! (which is a scary thought taking into account that he is 25 years old).

He would be beating everybody left and right if not for Djokovic2.0 new higher level.

In fact, I can say that I believe Nadal would have gotten to 16 or more GS eventually had Djokovic stayed at the level he was in 2010.

But these things happen in tennis. If not for Nadal, Federer would have 20 GS or more, if not for Sampras, Agassi would have 12 or 13 GS probably,...

I always knew (since 2007 ) that Djokovic was (potentially) THE BEST player of this era after Federer. Everybody could see the inmense natural talent he had, both with his racquet and his quickness.

In 2010 I started to think that unfortunately he would never live up to his inmense potential, but in 2011 he proved me wrong.

Nadal in 2011 and still today wins against any other player when it matters the most (the GS), something he could never do before.

exactly... great post

Nadal 'happened' to Fed, then Djokovic 'happened' to Nadal ... and we'll have to wait and see who is going to 'happen' to Djokovic.

flyinghippos101
04-07-2012, 02:05 PM
So if Joker 2.0 had not come around, and Rafa has won all those finals, and majors, would you have still said he is declining.
If Rafa had won 4 in a row, would you still be saying this.

What have we to go with other than results. Otherwise, it's too subjective.

It works both ways Senti. If Rafa 2.0 had not come around in 2008 and won all those clay finals and Wimbledon, would we still have been saying Fed was declining too?

If Fed managed to win those 6 slam finals in a row from French Open 08' to Wimby 09', would we still say Fed was declining? I get where you're coming from Senti, but surely you can see the enigma of this.

zagor
04-07-2012, 03:50 PM
I honestly think Rafa is declining. Just look at how much less explosive he is than from say... 2010. Forehand seemed to have lost a noticeable amount of bite that made it such a weapon some years ago. Not to mention, he seems to be losing a major edge psychologically. Just look at how much harder it is sometimes for him to close out a match and how negative he gets on the court now.

That's your observation, some of us may see it differently. Last Wimbledon for example Nadal hit his FH and served amazingly well IMO. I do think he might have declined on clay (or maybe it was some mini slump), I don't think he played his best in clay season last year but on HC and grass I think at the very least his average level is as good as ever.

We all saw it with Fed in 08' and 09' when everyone noticed how much less explosive off the ground he was and how drastically his forehand and consistency dropped off.

Who do you mean by "we" exactly? Cause I was around in that time and plenty of Nadal fans were dismissing even the possibility that Fed declined and it was all down to Nadal's improvement as a player. It's quite interesting how they changed their tune now when Nadal has been overtaken by another great player..

It's an obvious double standard by fed fans to think that just because Nadal is still posting good results this year and 2011, that he's not declining.

Just like it's obvious double standard from Nadal fans to have claimed that Fed didn't decline in 2008-2009 (heck some of them are claiming Fed still hasn't declined and the guy will turn 31 this year) but now suddenly claim Nadal has declined at the age of 24.

Fed was still putting up solid results in 2008 and 2009, but was very obviously a shadow of his former self.

I wouldn't say a shadow of his former self, he was still in his prime (though not at his peak) IMO until 2010.

It works both ways Senti. If Rafa 2.0 had not come around in 2008 and won all those clay finals and Wimbledon, would we still have been saying Fed was declining too?

Yes we would have because regardless of Nadal, Fed's performance against the field dipped compared to his very best years. Nadal on the other hand for example never reached 4 slam finals in a row before 2011-2012, he never before displayed that level of consistency.

I mean let's say we take Nadal from the field in 2006 and 2008 thus making things much easier for Fed, 2006 would have still been a clearly better season for Fed. However if we take Novak 2.0 from the field in 2011 and Nadal would have very likely (since we're speculating anyway) had his best career year.

If Fed managed to win those 6 slam finals in a row from French Open 08' to Wimby 09', would we still say Fed was declining? I get where you're coming from Senti, but surely you can see the enigma of this.

But that's the thing, you should compare each player's performance to his personal standard.

Sure Fed reached 4 slam finals in 2009 for example but that was already the third time he achieved that particular feat while Nadal for the first time ever in his career managed to do so in 2011, you have to admit it's a bit strange that people claim that Nadal has displayed never before seen consistency on slam level at the exact time his supposed decline started?

jackson vile
04-08-2012, 11:30 AM
It works both ways Senti. If Rafa 2.0 had not come around in 2008 and won all those clay finals and Wimbledon, would we still have been saying Fed was declining too?

If Fed managed to win those 6 slam finals in a row from French Open 08' to Wimby 09', would we still say Fed was declining? I get where you're coming from Senti, but surely you can see the enigma of this.

Don't, your going to make them cry. They will have to use their brains for once.

Crisstti
04-08-2012, 03:03 PM
Sure Fed reached 4 slam finals in 2009 for example but that was already the third time he achieved that particular feat while Nadal for the first time ever in his career managed to do so in 2011, you have to admit it's a bit strange that people claim that Nadal has displayed never before seen consistency on slam level at the exact time his supposed decline started?

Consistency maybe, but not peak level I'd say (at the very least not on clay).

veroniquem
04-08-2012, 10:19 PM
I wouldn't say that he is 'declining' per se ... he is still beating everyone except Djokovic. Novak simply has raised his game to the next level and pretty much nobody on the tour can touch him right now ...

It happens all the time... It'll happen to Djoko too ... because nothing last forever ... but at this moment it's Djokovic era and there isn't much Nadal can do. I guess the dilemma many guys on this board have is has ' Djokovic improved' or has 'Nadal declined'? I still believe that Djokovic simply improved and Nadal is still Nadal.


I'm closest to your opinion. There can't be any significant decline when someone makes every slam final, beating Murray or Fed on the way. Not only did Rafa do 4 slam finals in a row for the 1st time in his career (that's an improvement, not a decline) but he also reached every clay event final (MC, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, RG) for only the 2nd time in his career (the first was in 2007). How is that a decline exactly?
I think a lot of proponents of the decline theory are people who dislike Djoko and do not want to give credit to him under any circumstances and the only way not to give credit to Djoko is to claim Rafa played like crap. The truth though is that Djoko has become better. It happens. That means Rafa even at his very best is not guaranteed to beat Djoko anymore. That's happened to all the best players and it will happen to Djoko as well. One is the best until someone else becomes better. Then you can figure the other guy out or not. That's quite a challenge but that's what Rafa has to do right now.
ETA: I also refuse to use tournaments in the fall to back up the decline theory. Yes, Rafa played mediocre at WTF and the masters before but that has happened in previous seasons. He has played dismal tennis at WTF and other fall events before. So, that doesn't spell decline to me, more like a common Rafa trend. And his subsequent perf at AO certainly proves my point.

WhiskeyEE
04-08-2012, 10:23 PM
I'm closest to your opinion. There can't be any significant decline when someone makes every slam final, beating Murray or Fed on the way. Not only did Rafa do 4 slam finals in a row for the 1st time in his career (that's an improvement, not a decline) but he also reached every clay event final (MC, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, RG) for only the 2nd time in his career (the first was in 2007). How is that a decline exactly?
I think a lot of proponents of the decline theory are people who dislike Djoko and do not want to give credit to him under any circumstances and the only way not to give credit to Djoko is to claim Rafa played like crap. The truth though is that Djoko has become better. It happens. That means Rafa even at his very best is not guaranteed to beat Djoko anymore. That's happened to all the best players and it will happen to Djoko as well. One is the best until someone else becomes better. Then you can figure the other guy out or not. That's quite a challenge but that's what Rafa has to do right now.

regardless of his overall results, just by watching individual matches, he has declined in certain areas. Namely his backhand and movement. Maybe he's gotten better in other ways to make up for it.

veroniquem
04-08-2012, 10:30 PM
Yes, I think he has (gotten better in other ways). As I said, whatever decline he is having cannot be significant (yet), otherwise, he wouldn't be making all those finals, no way.

winstonplum
04-08-2012, 10:36 PM
Quick answer, and the truth if I don't say, YES!!!!! His peak was clay season '08 to AO '09. Don't let 2010 fool you.

Sentinel
04-08-2012, 10:36 PM
Don't, your going to make them cry. They will have to use their brains for once.
Wish one could say the same for you.:)

cknobman
04-09-2012, 07:32 AM
regardless of his overall results, just by watching individual matches, he has declined in certain areas. Namely his backhand and movement. Maybe he's gotten better in other ways to make up for it.

I believe "declined" is not the most accurate term for what has happened to Nadal.

I'd say its more like "regressed".

Nadal has stopped being quite as aggressive as he was in 09-10 and gotten back in the habit of more passive baseline rallies, farther behind the baseline, trying to outlast his opponent. Obviously this does not work against Djokovic and as we saw in Indian Wells it does not work against Federer either (when Fed isnt making 100+ UE's).

So Nadals level of tennis (physically and skill) are just as high, its just his patterns of play have altered more back to his past form where he relies less on taking control and winning the point and more on trying to outlast during the point.

DjokovicForTheWin
04-09-2012, 08:00 AM
Nadal has not changed one bit. Not less aggressive, not worse BH, not worse anything. When the other guy plays that much better, it just makes it appear as you have declined. Not the case in reality.

kiki
04-09-2012, 08:01 AM
His buttpicking is the same, no decline thus.

Clarky21
04-09-2012, 08:04 AM
His buttpicking is the same, no decline thus.


Kiki must be Nadal's official buttpicking monitor. It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. :lol:

kiki
04-09-2012, 08:10 AM
Kiki must be Nadal's official buttpicking monitor. It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. :lol:

well paid, too.

I prefered when I was fixing Annaīs head lace or Martinaīs *** showing, though

Sentinel
04-09-2012, 08:45 AM
Kiki must be Nadal's official buttpicking monitor. It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. :lol:
I thought Hawkeye kept tabs on that. It does a lot more than just track where the ball landed.

Crisstti
04-09-2012, 09:30 AM
I believe "declined" is not the most accurate term for what has happened to Nadal.

I'd say its more like "regressed".

Nadal has stopped being quite as aggressive as he was in 09-10 and gotten back in the habit of more passive baseline rallies, farther behind the baseline, trying to outlast his opponent. Obviously this does not work against Djokovic and as we saw in Indian Wells it does not work against Federer either (when Fed isnt making 100+ UE's).

So Nadals level of tennis (physically and skill) are just as high, its just his patterns of play have altered more back to his past form where he relies less on taking control and winning the point and more on trying to outlast during the point.

Those are good points. May well be the case.

Hitman
04-09-2012, 12:20 PM
I'm closest to your opinion. There can't be any significant decline when someone makes every slam final, beating Murray or Fed on the way. Not only did Rafa do 4 slam finals in a row for the 1st time in his career (that's an improvement, not a decline) but he also reached every clay event final (MC, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, RG) for only the 2nd time in his career (the first was in 2007). How is that a decline exactly?
I think a lot of proponents of the decline theory are people who dislike Djoko and do not want to give credit to him under any circumstances and the only way not to give credit to Djoko is to claim Rafa played like crap. The truth though is that Djoko has become better. It happens. That means Rafa even at his very best is not guaranteed to beat Djoko anymore. That's happened to all the best players and it will happen to Djoko as well. One is the best until someone else becomes better. Then you can figure the other guy out or not. That's quite a challenge but that's what Rafa has to do right now.
ETA: I also refuse to use tournaments in the fall to back up the decline theory. Yes, Rafa played mediocre at WTF and the masters before but that has happened in previous seasons. He has played dismal tennis at WTF and other fall events before. So, that doesn't spell decline to me, more like a common Rafa trend. And his subsequent perf at AO certainly proves my point.

Very good post.

I kind of agree with most of what you said. Nadal's consistency has been staggering recently. Since F0 10, he only failed to reach ONE slam final, and you can say that IF he was not injured in that brutal match with Ferrer, who knows, he could have been on an 8 slam final streak. That kind of consistency shows a very high level of play.

I mean if he has decline so much, what does that say about the so called tough era in tennis, where a declining player is making slam final after slam final, and is still the King of Clay.

NadalAgassi
04-09-2012, 12:34 PM
It depends on the surface really:

Clay- HUGE decline. Probably playing something between his 2004 level and 2005 level. If the Nadal of 2011 played the Nadal of say 2008 Rolland Garros he would be getting bageled and breadsticked.

Hard Courts- No decline. Was never in as many hard court finals as last year. Djokovic at his current level is predictably too good for him on this surface, when he was even a tough opponent for Nadal on it before last year.

Grass- Not enough events so hard to say. His level at Wimbledon 2011 was adequate, but definitely below his level on grass in 2007-2008 especialy.

Indoors- Nadal doesnt play many events so again hard to say. 2011 WTF was extremely poor though, probably on par or even worse than his previous worst effort at the 2009 WTF.

kragster
04-09-2012, 12:37 PM
When using 'data' we need to be careful to see both sides of the coin.

For example:

Data: Nadal reached 4 consecutive finals for the first time
Same Data: Nadal lost 4 consecutive finals for the first time

Whenever we introduce hypothesis like "If not for Joker 2.0, Rafa would have 13 slams" those are subjective assertions and we have moved away from data to opinion.

We also need to be careful to distinguish between 'decline' and 'range of variation'. For example Djoker 2011 will probably end up being a higher level than Djoker 2012. Decline? No, just normal variation in form. Did Fed play better in the last 6 months vs 2010-2011? Seems like. Is he getting better with age? Unlikely since he's already 30.

I think Rafa in 2011 did not decline but his form was not as good as 2010. Outside of this forum, most people understand that this whole smooth peak/prime curve that people talk about is highly theoretical. In reality you can have a bad year in your so called prime and a good year in your post prime career.Would it have mattered? Probably not, the way Djoker was playing!

veroniquem
04-09-2012, 01:22 PM
OK, obviously, we all have very strong subjective impressions about Nadal's decline or lack of decline. Here are some stats to help inject some objectivity (I know stats don't tell the whole story but still, one can use them) into the debate. I ranked Rafa's 8 seasons on the tour from best to worst for each stat:

Number of aces:
1- 2010: 310
2- 2008: 283
3- 2011: 267
4- 2006: 240
5- 2007: 238
6- 2009: 219 (ranked 53)
7- 2005: 219 (ranked 54)
8- 2004: 57


1st serve %:
1- 2004: 70%
2- 2005: 69% (ranked 1)
3/4- 2006/2008: 69% (ranked 4)
5/6- 2007/2009: 68% (ranked 5)
7- 2011: 68% (ranked 6)
8- 2010: 67%

1st serve points won:
1- 2010: 75%
2- 2007: 73%
3- 2006: 72% (ranked 27)
4- 2008: 72% (ranked 33)
5- 2011: 71% (ranked 29)
6- 2005: 71% (ranked 31)
7- 2009: 71% (ranked 35)
8- 2004: 67%

2nd serve points won:
1/2- 2008/2010: 60%
3/4/5- 2005/2006/2011: 57% (ranked 2)
6- 2009: 57% (ranked 3)
7- 2007: 56%
8- 2004: 54%

Service games won:
1- 2010: 90%
2- 2008: 88%
3- 2006: 86% (ranked 4)
4- 2007: 86% (ranked 5)
5- 2005: 84% (ranked 11)
6- 2009: 84% (ranked 16)
7- 2011: 83%
8- 2004: 77%

BP saved:
1- 2010: 69%
2- 2006: 68%
3/4- 2007/2008: 67%
5- 2009: 65%
6- 2005: 64% (ranked 11)
7- 2011: 64% (ranked 12)
8- 2004: 61%

1st serve return points won:
1- 2005: 37%
2- 2007: 35%
3- 2008: 34% (ranked 1)
4- 2011: 34% (ranked 4)
5- 2009: 33% (ranked 4)
6- 2004: 33% (ranked 10)
7- 2006: 32%
8- 2010: 31%

2nd serve return points won:
1/2- 2005/2009: 57% (ranked 1)
3- 2011: 57% (ranked 2)
4/5- 2008/2010: 55%
6- 2007: 54% (ranked 4)
7- 2006: 54% (ranked 7)
8- 2004: 53%

BP converted:
1- 2009: 47%
2- 2011: 46% (ranked 3)
3- 2005: 46% (ranked 4)
4- 2008: 45%
5- 2010: 44% (ranked eight)
6- 2007: 44% (ranked 11)
7- 2004: 43% (ranked 11)
8- 2006: 43% (ranked eighteen)

Return games won:
1- 2005: 38%
2- 2009: 34% (ranked 1)
3- 2011: 34% (ranked 3)
4- 2008: 33% (ranked 1)
5- 2007: 33% (ranked 2)
6- 2004: 30%
7- 2010: 29% (ranked 6)
8- 2006: 29% (ranked 12)


The only numbers that look bad for 2011 are BP saved and service games won. My interpretation is that it's due to confidence getting knocked down from being bullied by Djoko's improved return game rather than any physical/technical drop/ deficiency (= less clutch on crucial points on serve)
His return stats seem excellent to me.

DjokovicForTheWin
04-09-2012, 01:43 PM
^^^ Stats are important but of course they will be a bit skewed according to the question being asked. The question is, had Nadal declined? i.e. have his results been mainly due to his decline or due to Djoker's better level. To answer this question, we must absolutely look at the stats, BUT the contributions to those numbers from Djoker must be removed to look at Nadal's stats against the rest of the field. Looking at that, the stats above would show even more that 2011 is as good as all of his other best years.

Benhur
04-09-2012, 02:11 PM
OK, obviously, we all have very strong subjective impressions about Nadal's decline or lack of decline. Here are some stats to help inject some objectivity (I know stats don't tell the whole story but still, one can use them) into the debate. I ranked Rafa's 8 seasons on the tour from best to worst for each stat:

Number of aces:
1- 2010: 310
2- 2008: 283
3- 2011: 267
4- 2006: 240
5- 2007: 238
6- 2009: 219 (ranked 53)
7- 2005: 219 (ranked 54)
8- 2004: 57


1st serve %:
1- 2004: 70%
2- 2005: 69% (ranked 1)
3/4- 2006/2008: 69% (ranked 4)
5/6- 2007/2009: 68% (ranked 5)
7- 2011: 68% (ranked 6)
8- 2010: 67%

1st serve points won:
1- 2010: 75%
2- 2007: 73%
3- 2006: 72% (ranked 27)
4- 2008: 72% (ranked 33)
5- 2011: 71% (ranked 29)
6- 2005: 71% (ranked 31)
7- 2009: 71% (ranked 35)
8- 2004: 67%

2nd serve points won:
1/2- 2008/2010: 60%
3/4/5- 2005/2006/2011: 57% (ranked 2)
6- 2009: 57% (ranked 3)
7- 2007: 56%
8- 2004: 54%

Service games won:
1- 2010: 90%
2- 2008: 88%
3- 2006: 86% (ranked 4)
4- 2007: 86% (ranked 5)
5- 2005: 84% (ranked 11)
6- 2009: 84% (ranked 16)
7- 2011: 83%
8- 2004: 77%

BP saved:
1- 2010: 69%
2- 2006: 68%
3/4- 2007/2008: 67%
5- 2009: 65%
6- 2005: 64% (ranked 11)
7- 2011: 64% (ranked 12)
8- 2004: 61%

1st serve return points won:
1- 2005: 37%
2- 2007: 35%
3- 2008: 34% (ranked 1)
4- 2011: 34% (ranked 4)
5- 2009: 33% (ranked 4)
6- 2004: 33% (ranked 10)
7- 2006: 32%
8- 2010: 31%

2nd serve return points won:
1/2- 2005/2009: 57% (ranked 1)
3- 2011: 57% (ranked 2)
4/5- 2008/2010: 55%
6- 2007: 54% (ranked 4)
7- 2006: 54% (ranked 7)
8- 2004: 53%

BP converted:
1- 2009: 47%
2- 2011: 46% (ranked 3)
3- 2005: 46% (ranked 4)
4- 2008: 45%
5- 2010: 44% (ranked eight)
6- 2007: 44% (ranked 11)
7- 2004: 43% (ranked 11)
8- 2006: 43% (ranked eighteen)

Return games won:
1- 2005: 38%
2- 2009: 34% (ranked 1)
3- 2011: 34% (ranked 3)
4- 2008: 33% (ranked 1)
5- 2007: 33% (ranked 2)
6- 2004: 30%
7- 2010: 29% (ranked 6)
8- 2006: 29% (ranked 12)


The only numbers that look bad for 2011 are BP saved and service games won. My interpretation is that it's due to confidence getting knocked down from being bullied by Djoko's improved return game rather than any physical/technical drop/ deficiency (= less clutch on crucial points on serve)
His return stats seem excellent to me.

Interesting stats. Yes it does look as if the serve performance (service games won) is what separates his best two seasons from the rest. 90% is a phenomenal holding percentage. Remarkably, 2010 shows his second worst return performance at "only" 29% of return games won. But of course that's still a very high rate, and coupled with a 90% holding percentage it means you are virtually unbeatable. Just out of curiosity I divided the aces by the number of matches played in each season, but the results are very similar to ordering them by absolute numbers, except that 2006 moves to second place.

1- 2010: 310 (3.83 per match)
2- 2006: 240 (3.38 per match)
3- 2011: 267 (3.18 per match)
4- 2008: 283 (3.04)
5- 2007: 238 (2.80)
6- 2009: 219 (2.74)
7- 2005: 219 (2.46)
8- 2004: 57 (1.21)

veroniquem
04-09-2012, 02:38 PM
Benhur: thanks a lot for calculating the ace %. The ATP didn't do it and I was too lazy to do it myself :oops:
His curse in 2011 was his difficulty to hold serve, that's true. The way I see it, it became harder and harder as Djoko continued beating him (confidencewise) but there could have been shoulder problems as well accounting for the stats. I hope he can fix all that in 2012.

Benhur
04-09-2012, 05:09 PM
Benhur: thanks a lot for calculating the ace %. The ATP didn't do it and I was too lazy to do it myself :oops:
His curse in 2011 was his difficulty to hold serve, that's true. The way I see it, it became harder and harder as Djoko continued beating him (confidencewise) but there could have been shoulder problems as well accounting for the stats. I hope he can fix all that in 2012.

I was going to calculate aces per point served, which would be much more precise, but then gave up because of laziness too.

Anyway, 83% is still a decent holding percentage, and no doubt it would be a little higher than 83 if you took out the matches with Djokovic (but not a lot higher since itís only 6 matches out of 84). The USO final in particular has to be by far the most horrible serving performance by Nadal I ever remember. It was due in part to Djokovicís outstanding return -- but only in part. Nadal was broken 12 times in 18 service games. Thatís a 33% holding. Thatís losing serve 2 times out of 3 (!!). Djokovicís holding percentage in that match was also very poor at 68%, but compared with Nadal's it seems stellar. If you take out the USO final, Nadalís holding percentage for the year goes up to 84, and if you take out all matches with Djokovic it may go up to about 85 -- still a long way from 2010.

These are Nadalís holding percentages in his matches with Djokovic in 2011, all well below his average for the year, except in Miami.

IW final 62%
Miami final 87%
Madrid final 55%
Rome final 60%
Wimbledon final 69%
USO final 33%

veroniquem
04-09-2012, 09:41 PM
That may have to do with Djoko's unreal return game in 2011. OK, I know I must have too much time on my hands :) but out of curiosity, I listed the highest record scored in each category among Fed, Rafa and Djoko and this is what I got:

- aces: Federer: 695 in 2008 (ranked 3)
- 1st serve %: Nadal: 70% in 2004 (1)
- 1st serve pts won: Federer: 79% in 2011 (2)
- 2nd serve pts won: Nadal: 60% in 2008/2010 (1)
- service games won: Federer: 92% in 2004 (2)
- BPs saved: Federer: 73% in 2004 (2)
- 1st serve return pts won: Federer: 40% in 2003 (6)
- 2nd serve return pts won: Djokovic: 58% in 2011 (1)
- BPs converted: Djokovic: 48% in 2011 (2)
- Return games won: Djokovic: 39% in 2011 (1)

Those return stats by Djoko in 2011 were truly off the chart :shock:

Sentinel
04-09-2012, 09:45 PM
When using 'data' we need to be careful to see both sides of the coin.

For example:

Data: Nadal reached 4 consecutive finals for the first time
Same Data: Nadal lost 4 consecutive finals for the first time

Whenever we introduce hypothesis like "If not for Joker 2.0, Rafa would have 13 slams" those are subjective assertions and we have moved away from data to opinion.

We also need to be careful to distinguish between 'decline' and 'range of variation'. For example Djoker 2011 will probably end up being a higher level than Djoker 2012. Decline? No, just normal variation in form. Did Fed play better in the last 6 months vs 2010-2011? Seems like. Is he getting better with age? Unlikely since he's already 30.

I think Rafa in 2011 did not decline but his form was not as good as 2010. Outside of this forum, most people understand that this whole smooth peak/prime curve that people talk about is highly theoretical. In reality you can have a bad year in your so called prime and a good year in your post prime career.Would it have mattered? Probably not, the way Djoker was playing!
There you again, making sense!

Benhur
04-09-2012, 10:04 PM
That may have to do with Djoko's unreal return game in 2011. OK, I know I must have too much time on my hands :) but out of curiosity, I listed the highest record scored in each category among Fed, Rafa and Djoko and this is what I got:

- aces: Federer: 695 in 2008 (ranked 3)
- 1st serve %: Nadal: 70% in 2004 (1)
- 1st serve pts won: Federer: 79% in 2011 (2)
- 2nd serve pts won: Nadal: 60% in 2008/2010 (1)
- service games won: Federer: 92% in 2004 (2)
- BPs saved: Federer: 73% in 2004 (2)
- 1st serve return pts won: Federer: 40% in 2003 (6)
- 2nd serve return pts won: Djokovic: 58% in 2011 (1)
- BPs converted: Djokovic: 48% in 2011 (2)
- Return games won: Djokovic: 39% in 2011 (1)

Those return stats by Djoko in 2011 were truly off the chart :shock:

Yes, Djokovic in 2011 won an astonishing 39% of his return games against the field. That's out of this world. But this is whatís interesting. If you take the holding percentages by Nadal in his matches against Djokovic in 2011, and you calculate the average, you get 61% (itís not the proper way to do it, but it should be close enough). This means that Djokovic had the same success breaking serve against Nadal (39%) as he did against the average Joe he met that year (average ranking of about 40 or so). And that seems odd. It seems odd because of course Nadal always has a much higher holding percentage against the field than the average player. And yet this average player, when serving against Djokovic, didn't fare any worse than Nadal. So either Nadal served much worse against Djokovic than usual, or Djokovic returned much better agaisnt Nadal than usual.

veroniquem
04-09-2012, 10:15 PM
That's truly interesting. Rafa lost confidence in his serve completely in 2011. In 2010, he was ranked 2 in service games won with a staggering rate of 90%. He went from that to being ranked 15 in 2011 with only 83%. It has to be a combination of things that explains such a severe drop.
Djoko's 2011 return game would have been hard enough to handle for 2010 Rafa but for a weaker serving Rafa, it simply became insurmountable.

ETA: on the whole Rafa was the one who dominated most stats throughout his career. He was #1 in serve % (2004/2005), 2nd serve pts won (2008/2010) , 1st serve return pts won (2005/2008), 2nd serve return pts won (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010), BPs converted (2009) and return games won (2005, 2008, 2009).
Djoko was #1 in 2nd serve return pts won (2011), BPs converted (2008) and return games won (2011). Fed was #1 only in 2nd serve pts won (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011) and BPs saved (2006).

vernonbc
04-10-2012, 03:22 AM
Here's another interesting stat (from Abraxus). It's not about a specific stroke or shot but about Rafa's achievement in tennis overall. Just a little tidbit for all those people who think he's just a grinder. ;)

Nadal has played 677 matches and has only lost 15 matches to players ranked outside the top 30. That is a 98% winning percentage. No other player, past or present, in the history of the sport, comes even close to these numbers. None.

Sentinel
04-10-2012, 03:44 AM
So people outside the top 30 must be finding it more difficult to beat a grinder. So you are proving he *is* a grinder. ;)

vernonbc
04-10-2012, 04:13 AM
So people outside the top 30 must be finding it more difficult to beat a grinder. So you are proving he *is* a grinder. ;)
Yah, that makes a lot of sense. Your logic is amazing. :-?

niff
04-10-2012, 04:44 AM
So people outside the top 30 must be finding it more difficult to beat a grinder. So you are proving he *is* a grinder. ;)

Don't say you weren't warned about attempting humour with the *****, Senti :(

Benhur
04-10-2012, 06:39 AM
That's truly interesting. Rafa lost confidence in his serve completely in 2011. In 2010, he was ranked 2 in service games won with a staggering rate of 90%. He went from that to being ranked 15 in 2011 with only 83%. It has to be a combination of things that explains such a severe drop.
Djoko's 2011 return game would have been hard enough to handle for 2010 Rafa but for a weaker serving Rafa, it simply became insurmountable.


Certainly 83 is a significant drop from 90, but itís still a good 5 points above the average for the field, which I figure must be about 77-78 percent these days if you average the holding percentages in all the important tournaments. So you would expect this difference to be reflected as well in his performance against Djokovic. But it isnít. Nadalís holding percentage against Djokovic in 2011 was indistinguishable from the field against Djokovic. One possible explanation (that may please the hearts of Djokovic fans) is that the Djokovic return game became so phenomenally good, it just could not be bothered to distinguish between Nadal and the field, just like a cheetah may not distinguish between the speeds of two different species of mice. But, more seriously, the most plausible explanation I can see is that in one of those matches (USO final) Nadalís holding percentage was so catastrophically low it skews the total. If you take out the USO final as a freak anomaly, the average goes up to nearly 67, and the expected difference between Nadal and the field is reflected. His holding percentage in their only match to date in 2012 (AO) is 74%.

veroniquem
04-10-2012, 01:20 PM
That makes sense and it would back up my theory that the loss that affected Rafa the most mentally was the Wimbledon one. USO was their next match afterwards and Rafa was just extra nervous. Hopefully, the AO match will help him get rid of some of those nerves, seeing how close to victory he was.
Amazing stat, vernonbc, thanks for sharing!

TheFifthSet
04-10-2012, 03:05 PM
Here's another interesting stat (from Abraxus). It's not about a specific stroke or shot but about Rafa's achievement in tennis overall. Just a little tidbit for all those people who think he's just a grinder. ;)

Well no, that's under the assumption he played 667 matches against players outside the top 30....then you get to 98%. But he hasn't, thats all his matches, it's a double-count lol.

rafan
04-10-2012, 11:48 PM
I also think a lot has to do with how he feels about that last shot/game/set he didn't win. There comes a time in tennis when panic takes over and the feeling that you are on a slippery slope when you start to lose. The young Nadal seemed to take this situation as a challenge because he had not so much to lose- he didn't have the status of being number one and all that entails.

Clarky21
04-11-2012, 10:49 AM
I also think a lot has to do with how he feels about that last shot/game/set he didn't win. There comes a time in tennis when panic takes over and the feeling that you are on a slippery slope when you start to lose. The young Nadal seemed to take this situation as a challenge because he had not so much to lose- he didn't have the status of being number one and all that entails.


Well,he doesn't have the status of being number one now,and hasn't for nearly a year so what's his problem? Nadal is never getting to number one again so I think he should be able to play without worrying about that at all.

Leto
04-11-2012, 11:07 AM
Well,he doesn't have the status of being number one now,and hasn't for nearly a year so what's his problem? Nadal is never getting to number one again so I think he should be able to play without worrying about that at all.

Rafa's best shot at regaining #1 would have to be this year, and I agree that this would be a long shot.

I think he has declined a bit from his peak, but it's the born-again Djokovic that is the bigger factor. Rafa almost deserved to have relaxing, cake-walk-like season in 2011, but thanks to Novak, his downward spiral accelerated pretty fast. Especially on the mental front.

Crisstti
04-11-2012, 11:45 AM
Kragster, Veroniquem, Benhur, you guys are making this a really interesting thread. Keep up the good work :D

zagor
04-11-2012, 12:11 PM
Consistency maybe, but not peak level I'd say (at the very least not on clay).

It's possible, I said this before but maybe Nadal's level on average was higher in 2011 than in 2010 but the highest level of tennis he could produce wasn't as good as it was in 2010. In other words it's possible that in 2010 his level fluctuated more but he reached higher highs (and lower lows) if that makes sense.

However I still maintain that regardless of all that the comparison with Fed's 2008-2009 is faulty in a sense that Fed was reaching slam final after slam final since 2004 basically so him repeating that feat in 2008 and/or 2009 is quite different from Nadal for the first time in his career reaching 3-4 slam finals in a row, that is a whole new territory for him.

veroniquem
04-11-2012, 12:25 PM
2010 is clearly Rafa's best year in terms of serving. It was his best year in terms of: aces, 1st serve pts won, 2nd serve pts won, service games won and BPs saved. Interestingly, that same year, he seems to have neglected his return game a lot: it was his worst year for 1st serve return and return games won (2nd worse). That's what spelled trouble for 2011: no more invincible serve and regression on return. He did right the ship for return in 2011 but not enough to counter a Novak who improved by leaps and bounds. I think Rafa was close to his best in return in 2011: 57% for 2nd serve return and 38% for return games won, those are very high stats that would normally put him at #1 (they did in 2005, 2008 and 2009). The problem is that in 2011, Djoko overcame Rafa's best ever stats in the return department, something that I have to admit I didn't believe was possible and yet it happened. Djoko simply GOATED on the return in 2011.

ETA: 2011 was one of Rafa's 3 best seasons (out of eight) in: # of aces, second serve returns, break points converted and return games won. (1st serve returns was his 4th best).

Crisstti: many thanks :)

DjokovicForTheWin
04-11-2012, 12:48 PM
Based on the objective data presented in this thread so far, I think we can clearly conclude that Nadal has not declined in any significant way whatsoever, and most of his reduction in titles is due to the Djoker's superior play.

/thread

dafinch
04-11-2012, 12:48 PM
Statistics on many players over many years seem to indicate that once a player has played 600 matches(an amount Nadal reached last year), decline is almost inevitable. Lendl, who apparently reached 600 not long after he won his first Slam in '84, is a notable exception. Factor in Nadal's lovely still:rolleyes: and I think that it was virtually a given that he would decline, the 4 straight Slam finals nothwithstanding. Those unexplained losses to the likes of Mayer will, IMO, start croppping up more and more-not to mention his never ending string of injuries.

Leto
04-11-2012, 12:59 PM
Yup...Rafa only had a small decline in 2011, while Djoker improved primarily on the mental front.

Gradually, I think this shift had a major impact on Rafa mentally, because physically, I think he was just as capable to perform near peak as he was in 2010, but became terrified of Djoker.

AO2012 was a mega opportunity to turn the tide (with Djoker not being as sharp as he had been) but Rafa still let his nerves get the best of him in the end.

Will only get harder to deal with the mental demons, while also dealing with ongoing injuries and inevitable aging.

Clarky21
04-11-2012, 01:06 PM
Yup...Rafa only had a small decline in 2011, while Djoker improved primarily on the mental front.

Gradually, I think this shift had a major impact on Rafa mentally, because physically, I think he was just as capable to perform near peak as he was in 2010, but became terrified of Djoker.

AO2012 was a mega opportunity to turn the tide (with Djoker not being as sharp as he had been) but Rafa still let his nerves get the best of him in the end.

Will only get harder to deal with the mental demons, while also dealing with ongoing injuries and inevitable aging.

No he wasn't. He was huffing and puffing during 3 set matches,and looked exhausted all the time. He looked sickly and wore out all of last year. Not to mention the insane sweating he seemed to do all through last year as well. I still wonder if he has/had some kind of virus or something. At times he simply did not look well at all.

I know Nadal is old in tennis years,but Djesus isn't that far behind him himself. He plays just as physically as Nadal does,and he too will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. That too,is inevitable as well,especially with Djesus making the finals of practically every tournament he enters. He is also turning 25 this year,and the miles will catch up to him just like it does with everyone.

Leto
04-11-2012, 01:22 PM
No he wasn't. He was huffing and puffing during 3 set matches,and looked exhausted all the time. He looked sickly and wore out all of last year. Not to mention the insane sweating he seemed to do all through last year as well. I still wonder if he has/had some kind of virus or something. At times he simply did not look well at all.

I know Nadal is old in tennis years,but Djesus isn't that far behind him himself. He plays just as physically as Nadal does,and he too will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. That too,is inevitable as well,especially with Djesus making the finals of practically every tournament he enters. He is also turning 25 this year,and the miles will catch up to him just like it does with everyone.

Djoker has less mileage than Rafa in terms of actual matches played. But Rafa's mental demons are no longer just about Djoker. I know weather was bad at IW 2012, but he almost looked like an amateur in that loss to Fed.

And if Miami had been Monte Carlo instead, he probably wouldn't have withdrawn and may have just pulled out a win over Murray. Instead, he didn't even want to give it a try.

It is true that he had a flu for a brief time in 2011, but he could still beat everybody during all of the slam season, except for Djoker.

After USO he was truly a beaten man, mentally, so losses from that point on could almost be expected. 2011 was primed to be the year where everyone expected he would REALLY close the gap with Fed for GS Titles. How could he really care about the post-USO season (and not be mentally drained) after such a disappointing GS season. (And I realize that any other player at start of 2011, even Djoker, would have been happy to just win RG, but Rafa is the one guy who I think expected WAY more than that.)

celoft
04-11-2012, 03:22 PM
Statistics on many players over many years seem to indicate that once a player has played 600 matches(an amount Nadal reached last year), decline is almost inevitable. Lendl, who apparently reached 600 not long after he won his first Slam in '84, is a notable exception. Factor in Nadal's lovely still:rolleyes: and I think that it was virtually a given that he would decline, the 4 straight Slam finals nothwithstanding. Those unexplained losses to the likes of Mayer will, IMO, start croppping up more and more-not to mention his never ending string of injuries.

No he wasn't. He was huffing and puffing during 3 set matches,and looked exhausted all the time. He looked sickly and wore out all of last year. Not to mention the insane sweating he seemed to do all through last year as well. I still wonder if he has/had some kind of virus or something. At times he simply did not look well at all.

I know Nadal is old in tennis years,but Djesus isn't that far behind him himself. He plays just as physically as Nadal does,and he too will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. That too,is inevitable as well,especially with Djesus making the finals of practically every tournament he enters. He is also turning 25 this year,and the miles will catch up to him just like it does with everyone.

It's not about age but mileage.

Lendl being the exception a gazillion years ago, most players decline after 600 matches. It even happened to Federer. Djokovic should pass the 600 matches next year and that's when we will see a gradual decline from the Serbian. He should try and win as many slams as he can in 2012 and 2013 because in 2014 it will be harder for him at the slams.

This year I expect multiple slams from the Serbian but in 2013, I'm not sure he will win multiple slams. A slam probably but multiple slams is not something I'm sure he will do in 2013 and 2014 for several reasons mainly the mileage.

rafan
04-11-2012, 11:22 PM
Well,he doesn't have the status of being number one now,and hasn't for nearly a year so what's his problem? Nadal is never getting to number one again so I think he should be able to play without worrying about that at all.

Do you actually PLAY tennis?

vil
04-12-2012, 01:43 AM
I'm sure this was said before. I think it's a simple formula. If you play hard physical game, it will catch up with you relatively sooner than later. You will simply burn out or injuries will start creeping up. Rafa is no exception. Like someone said, he is trying to match Federer's slam record but with his style of play I don't think he has a chance and I haven't even mentioned mental part.

Sentinel
04-12-2012, 06:57 AM
Yup...Rafa only had a small decline in 2011, while Djoker improved primarily on the mental front.

Gradually, I think this shift had a major impact on Rafa mentally, because physically, I think he was just as capable to perform near peak as he was in 2010, but became terrified of Djoker.

AO2012 was a mega opportunity to turn the tide (with Djoker not being as sharp as he had been) but Rafa still let his nerves get the best of him in the end.

Will only get harder to deal with the mental demons, while also dealing with ongoing injuries and inevitable aging.
No no, it was a huge lapse in Uncle Toni's coaching in the final set. I think Toni had nerves at that point, not ****. Rafa is tough, but Toni has begun wilting and can't get rid of Vajda's image from his mind.

Sentinel
04-12-2012, 07:03 AM
Based on the objective data presented in this thread so far, I think we can clearly conclude that Nadal has not declined in any significant way whatsoever, and most of his reduction in titles is due to the Djoker's superior play.

/thread
You really are one of the best posters on this forum. I like your opinions.
No he wasn't. He was huffing and puffing during 3 set matches,and looked exhausted all the time. He looked sickly and wore out all of last year. Not to mention the insane sweating he seemed to do all through last year as well. I still wonder if he has/had some kind of virus or something. At times he simply did not look well at all.

Remarkable to have reached 4 slam finals with a virus. That shows he's definitely not in decline. Imagine how he'll be when he's out of this mysterious virus. Poor Fed could only manage some semis with mono, for which he's been laughed at for the last four years. What a weakling that Fed.
I know Nadal is old in tennis years,but Djesus isn't that far behind him himself. He plays just as physically as Nadal does,and he too will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. That too,is inevitable as well,especially with Djesus making the finals of practically every tournament he enters. He is also turning 25 this year,and the miles will catch up to him just like it does with everyone.
All this talk of miles. I hope Nadal has a good Frequent Flyer package, he can cash in on them miles in his 30's and get some slams for free.:)

edit: Muray just called and wants to know what virus this is, he'd like a shot of it too.

Clarky21
04-12-2012, 07:38 AM
You really are one of the best posters on this forum. I like your opinions.

Remarkable to have reached 4 slam finals with a virus. That shows he's definitely not in decline. Imagine how he'll be when he's out of this mysterious virus. Poor Fed could only manage some semis with mono, for which he's been laughed at for the last four years. What a weakling that Fed.

All this talk of miles. I hope Nadal has a good Frequent Flyer package, he can cash in on them miles in his 30's and get some slams for free.:)

edit: Muray just called and wants to know what virus this is, he'd like a shot of it too.


This is such a tired argument. I do not care how many finals he reached. He reached them playing like crap while everyone(except Djesus)was playing like crap as well. I really laugh at people who think Nadal played good tennis last year because it's so far from the truth it's not even funny.

DjokovicForTheWin
04-12-2012, 08:21 AM
Interesting, so the entire tennis tour decided to commiserate with Nadal and play like crap so he could continue to reach all of those finals.

Sentinel
04-12-2012, 08:48 AM
This is such a tired argument. I do not care how many finals he reached. He reached them playing like crap while everyone(except Djesus)was playing like crap as well. I really laugh at people who think Nadal played good tennis last year because it's so far from the truth it's not even funny.
I must be delusional if everyone played like crap. I thought i heard Murray saying something like he reached 4 semis and was proud of it. Anyway, ignore me.

Towser83
04-12-2012, 11:30 AM
I must be delusional if everyone played like crap. I thought i heard Murray saying something like he reached 4 semis and was proud of it. Anyway, ignore me.

yeah but Murray only reached all those semis cos everyone else was playing like crap you see. Though going down this path of "logic" if everyone was playing like crap then the relative difference is the same as if everyone was playing well, so Nadal making all those finals shouldn't be possible (when he never did it before) unless he is playing decent and has an advantage over the other crap players. Unless everyone else was playing well in other years and Nadal has always played like crap, thus when everyone else starts to pla like crap, Nadal gets a boost.

Towser83
04-12-2012, 11:34 AM
No he wasn't. He was huffing and puffing during 3 set matches,and looked exhausted all the time. He looked sickly and wore out all of last year. Not to mention the insane sweating he seemed to do all through last year as well. I still wonder if he has/had some kind of virus or something. At times he simply did not look well at all.

I know Nadal is old in tennis years,but Djesus isn't that far behind him himself. He plays just as physically as Nadal does,and he too will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear. That too,is inevitable as well,especially with Djesus making the finals of practically every tournament he enters. He is also turning 25 this year,and the miles will catch up to him just like it does with everyone.

The difference is though, Djokovic didn't kill his body when he was young and still growing. Nadal was doing this when he was 15 years old. People laughed with Djokovic retiring left right and centre, but on the other hand he picked up very few lasting injuries, and might have the last laugh if it turns out he protected his body while it was getting strong and growing and now has better physical qualities because of it. Guess we'll have to see.

rafan
04-13-2012, 12:09 AM
I'm sure this was said before. I think it's a simple formula. If you play hard physical game, it will catch up with you relatively sooner than later. You will simply burn out or injuries will start creeping up. Rafa is no exception. Like someone said, he is trying to match Federer's slam record but with his style of play I don't think he has a chance and I haven't even mentioned mental part.

Yes you have a point. Something Rafa said about Djoko starting the ascent of his great performances at the wrong time made me think . Was he really thinking of his own rise to the top and all the pain and hard work he has had to endure and was he thinking that Djoko will have a short time span? It is hard to look into what is going to happen this year and it will be crucial but not really the end of Rafa's rise to being number one. It all depends on whether Djoko can keep it up and nobody knows better than Nadal what a price Djoko will have to pay to continue his rise

Sentinel
04-13-2012, 04:29 AM
So going by Clarky's wonderful argument of "everyone other than Joker playing crap", then once again we are back to looking at results as the only decent way to figure anything out.

Then only results determine whether someone is declining or not, since crap play is ruled out, since every else is also playing crap.

I hope all of us can finally agree on this, or is there still some wiggle room for Clarky and others to escape.

p.s. I'd like a serious reasonable answer, and not the usual "you are delusional" one.

dafinch
04-14-2012, 12:44 PM
It's not about age but mileage.

Lendl being the exception a gazillion years ago, most players decline after 600 matches. It even happened to Federer. Djokovic should pass the 600 matches next year and that's when we will see a gradual decline from the Serbian. He should try and win as many slams as he can in 2012 and 2013 because in 2014 it will be harder for him at the slams.

This year I expect multiple slams from the Serbian but in 2013, I'm not sure he will win multiple slams. A slam probably but multiple slams is not something I'm sure he will do in 2013 and 2014 for several reasons mainly the mileage.

I alluded to "mileage" in my comment about Nadal's "lovely still(sic)" when I meant to say lovely "style." I read once that a tour official mentioned that Nadal's sneakers get bald faster than any other player-makes sense, more running around, and, of course, more matches played than most players-and he added, "Why should his knees be any different?" Knee problems early in the year after just a few tournaments is an ominous sign, IMO-if it's legit.

Lsmkenpo
04-14-2012, 02:39 PM
An athlete can't stay on PEDs year round, the body grows a tolerance to them and they do not help as much, the athlete has to cycle on at the time of the season he deems most critical to his success.

This is why we see players seemingly go from injured and out of shape to super human level a month later. If a player was legitimately injured and couldn't train they wouldn't suddenly show up a month later ready to grind out 5-6 hour matches.

zagor
06-07-2012, 12:00 PM
Will have to wait and see until the end of the year to be sure what is what. However, Nadal did look rather subpeak at FO 2011, also Wim 2011 was rather sloppy regardless of Novak playing a great match.

So Nadal is still in prime, however he is not playing peak anymore. Perhaps that will change next year, but I am not sure Nadal has his head 100% in the game. He does not seem to be trying as hard, and seems he has other stuff on his mind.

So did Nadal suddenly return to his peak this year? He's no longer sloppy?

zagor
06-11-2012, 11:49 AM
Will have to wait and see until the end of the year to be sure what is what. However, Nadal did look rather subpeak at FO 2011, also Wim 2011 was rather sloppy regardless of Novak playing a great match.

So Nadal is still in prime, however he is not playing peak anymore. Perhaps that will change next year, but I am not sure Nadal has his head 100% in the game. He does not seem to be trying as hard, and seems he has other stuff on his mind.

What about now? Is Nadal still sloppy, subpeak, flat, uninspired etc.