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View Full Version : Interesting observation of a practice session for Rafa at RG


basil J
05-24-2012, 05:36 PM
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xr18m6_rafael-nadal-s-1st-practice-at-roland-garros-in-2012_sport#
I found it very interesting that during a practice session, Rafa raely hit the reverse forehand or "buggy Whip" forehand that he constantly uses in match play. I don't speak spanish so I can't understand what uncle Tony is saying to him. But I was wondering if he was telling him to hit through the ball? Can anybody translate what Tony is saying? also pulled up some early videos of rafa when he first broke out on the tour and he used the reverse forehand much less in the early days as he does now. I don't have a problem with the buggy whip, just found it interesting that in this practice session he does not hit it very often at all.
BTW, Rafa looks to be in great shape, as does Federer. Should be a great Frensh open.

Cup8489
05-24-2012, 05:45 PM
Nadal always does that in practices, hits more aggressively with more drive and less spin. It actually doesn't make any sense to me.

kragster
05-24-2012, 06:17 PM
Nadal always does that in practices, hits more aggressively with more drive and less spin. It actually doesn't make any sense to me.

Yeah as a Rafa fan I wish he would occasionally bring back the 04-05 flatter attacking shots. I wonder if perhaps Rafa also has the Murray syndrome, i.e. in the heat of the match he defaults to his tried and tested formula that works 99% of the time. It's all well and good but I have to imagine that on faster surfaces like WTF, more drive and less spin would work better.

Mike Sams
05-24-2012, 06:23 PM
hitting with more drive and less spin means more potential for errors. Nadal's UE count would increase considerably. He has a high margin for error with his current forehand. Why change a winning tactic?

Cup8489
05-24-2012, 06:29 PM
hitting with more drive and less spin means more potential for errors. Nadal's UE count would increase considerably. He has a high margin for error with his current forehand. Why change a winning tactic?

Well he has a high margin even with the more driven forehand (see AO09, where he actively tried to hit through the court, with obvious success)

A happy medium of spin and drive should be found for the faster courts.. he definitely has a lethal weapon if he uses it right.

Bud
05-24-2012, 06:39 PM
Is that Kevin Anderson he's hitting with?

Clarky21
05-24-2012, 06:40 PM
Is that Kevin Anderson he's hitting with?


Yep.

10kevinandersons

stormholloway
05-24-2012, 06:41 PM
hitting with more drive and less spin means more potential for errors. Nadal's UE count would increase considerably. He has a high margin for error with his current forehand. Why change a winning tactic?

Right. So the point here is: why does he practice that shot? Why does he almost exclusively practice a shot he rarely ever uses in match play?

Bud
05-24-2012, 06:49 PM
Appears Nadal won't be using the new FO APD paint scheme.

nadal_slam_king
05-24-2012, 06:59 PM
Nadal is probably trying to get away from the habit of heavy topspin, and in practice he can successfully hit through the ball repeatedly. But then he reverts to his old habits in the matches, because it feels more comfortable (and Nadal is all about comfort, as he's said in interviews before even regarding the reasons why he doesn't serve at full pace since the 2010 US Open, he doesn't like the return to come back fast so he refuses to serve at full-pace; same deal with his aversion to hitting flat). Old habits die hard. Not that his old habit is a bad thing, generally.

Cup8489
05-24-2012, 07:00 PM
anyone else notice a slight lag on the serving arm of Nadal when he was hitting those practice serves?

Shaolin
05-24-2012, 07:03 PM
Right. So the point here is: why does he practice that shot? Why does he almost exclusively practice a shot he rarely ever uses in match play?

Probably because he knows he can hit his buggy whip fh anytime anyplace, he's done that shot for 20 years... The hard flat forehand is less natural for him and he wants to make it when he goes for it, even if its only used 8% of the time.

jokinla
05-24-2012, 07:46 PM
Wonder why Nadal and Fed were practicing with Cilic and Anderson, not exactly clay court beasts, wouldn't they want a Pablo Andujar out there to get a solid session in, or do they not want to push themselves too far.

sillymonkey
05-24-2012, 08:01 PM
Jeez, you'd think the top players would have more stealthy practice sessions, so as to keep their strategies secret. Am I crazy?

Sentinel
05-24-2012, 08:08 PM
Ralph is preparing for the inevitability of blue clay.

Clarky21
05-24-2012, 08:22 PM
This has always been perplexing about Nadal. I wish he would hit like that in actual matches. He can smoke the ball when he wants to. Here's an example of how hard he can hit the ball when he actually hits through it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKoUrBhhh7k

cork_screw
05-24-2012, 08:33 PM
Yes I noticed this too. I saw him practice and he hits very traditional and modern with a very flat smothering the ball. When he plays matches though he really finishes up a lot more. Almost like he's rolling up on the ball from low to high. I'm guessing maybe he's trying to loop and spin the ball, maybe it gives him a greater margin of error or maybe it just bothers players during match play and for some reason he choses not to use it during practice.

Yes, pull up some old 2005 clips and nadal hits more of the way you see him hitting in practice and also, players t-off on him way more too. I think when he finishes higher up the ball kicks up more and they can't just hit the ball as freely because it's not in their "wheel barrel zone."

Good observation. I noticed this too, but didn't bother to write anything up on it.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xr18m6_rafael-nadal-s-1st-practice-at-roland-garros-in-2012_sport#
I found it very interesting that during a practice session, Rafa raely hit the reverse forehand or "buggy Whip" forehand that he constantly uses in match play. I don't speak spanish so I can't understand what uncle Tony is saying to him. But I was wondering if he was telling him to hit through the ball? Can anybody translate what Tony is saying? also pulled up some early videos of rafa when he first broke out on the tour and he used the reverse forehand much less in the early days as he does now. I don't have a problem with the buggy whip, just found it interesting that in this practice session he does not hit it very often at all.
BTW, Rafa looks to be in great shape, as does Federer. Should be a great Frensh open.

nadal_slam_king
05-24-2012, 09:12 PM
Yes, pull up some old 2005 clips and nadal hits more of the way you see him hitting in practice and also, players t-off on him way more too. I think when he finishes higher up the ball kicks up more and they can't just hit the ball as freely because it's not in their "wheel barrel zone."

Very true cork screw, and that may be why Tsonga was able to knock Nadal's block off at the 2008 Australian Open but not since. Nadal won 4 straight hardcourt meetings with Tsonga after that, maybe due to Nadal putting the ball higher since. Now Tsonga makes mass unforced errors each time he plays Nadal, as the ball is not in Tsonga's wheelhouse. In fact the only hardcourt match Tsonga won over Nadal since that 2008 AO semi was the 2011 World Tour Finals (low-bouncing hardcourt) and even that was a 3-set thriller.

Bartelby
05-24-2012, 09:17 PM
Good to see Nadal hitting a Federer forehand in practice, but I think if he hit that ball in a game it would come back as fast as he hit it and he would not have the time to play fetch.

Federer uses his stock slice backhand for the same purpose.

timnz
05-24-2012, 09:27 PM
Many people I suspect don't know this but Spanish is not Nadal's first language.

hence, I doubt whether getting a Spanish speaker to translate will help you. They are very likely speaking Catalan not Spanish. (A Catalan Dialect is the language of Majorca where the Nadal's are from).

Note: Catalan is the main language in North Eastern Spain (and the Baleric Islands where the Nadal's live) - not Spanish, though pretty much all Native Catalan Speakers also speak fluent Spanish - it is not their first language and hence Spanish isn't the language they use on a daily to day basis.

nadal_slam_king
05-24-2012, 10:11 PM
Many people I suspect don't know this but Spanish is not Nadal's first language.

hence, I doubt whether getting a Spanish speaker to translate will help you. They are very likely speaking Catalan not Spanish. (A Catalan Dialect is the language of Majorca where the Nadal's are from).

Note: Catalan is the main language in North Western Spain (and the Baleric Islands where the Nadal's live) - not Spanish, though pretty much all Native Catalan Speakers also speak fluent Spanish - it is not their first language and hence Spanish isn't the language they use on a daily to day basis.

Yeah I remember Nadal talking about that on the Letterman show.

billnepill
05-24-2012, 10:44 PM
I like that he didn't grunt

Sentinel
05-24-2012, 11:14 PM
I like that he didn't grunt
Grunting is his first language, at least acco to the previous poster who heard Nadal grunting about it on the Letterman show. ;)

1970CRBase
05-24-2012, 11:26 PM
Grunting is his first language, at least acco to the previous poster who heard Nadal grunting about it on the Letterman show. ;)

sometimes you just murder me :mrgreen:

nadal_slam_king
05-25-2012, 04:11 AM
Grunting is his first language, at least acco to the previous poster who heard Nadal grunting about it on the Letterman show. ;)

The previous poster :lol: that sounds good, I like that.

Blinkism
05-25-2012, 05:49 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikNlsRBT8-0

When Nadal used to hit Federer forehands.