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View Full Version : Who still thinks Nadal sucks on grass?


sureshs
06-15-2006, 08:50 AM
Look at his performance in Stella Artois so far including the match that just concluded.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 08:57 AM
I'm impressed, Fish has one the best grasscourt records on tour & was just coming off a challenger win on grass.
Nadal is the first FO champ to even play Queen's since '84.(& he's entered in the doubles as well)
This guy is very determined, he would be playing even better if he had a week to rest(playing 2 days after winning a slam is a lot to ask of anyone, apparently very few since '84 have even tried to do so)

brolycjw
06-15-2006, 09:08 AM
He doesn't suck on grass, he's just not efficient on it. His unparalleled defensive skills are less effective on grass, his heavy topspin is neutralised on grass, he doesn't have a big flat serve, he doesn't move well on grass. His only weapon on grass is his mental strength.

sureshs
06-15-2006, 09:09 AM
He will go far on grass this year

Rickson
06-15-2006, 09:10 AM
Who still thinks Nadal sucks on grass?
I do!

Dan007
06-15-2006, 09:11 AM
He doesn't suck on grass, he's just not efficient on it. His unparalleled defensive skills are less effective on grass, his heavy topspin is neutralised on grass, he doesn't have a big flat serve, he doesn't move well on grass. His only weapon on grass is his mental strength.

I agree with everything exept for the movement. He moves well on every surfaces, it just that he is not use to running on grass after the clay court season. Also on grass, the ball bounces low and Nadal uses western grip, so it's hard for him to hit those low shots with western grip.

Brettolius
06-15-2006, 09:13 AM
The Fish result is a bit surprising, but come on now! Verdasco? Wow he beat a claycourter on grass, we already knew Nadal was much higher quality that Verdasco. It will get interesting when he plays guys who can play on grass that aren't still playing challengers (and not WTA level chokers). Please, there's alot of guys that can beat him on grass.

brolycjw
06-15-2006, 09:14 AM
Truth is, he wouldn't last very long against the better players on grass with his game.

ACE of Hearts
06-15-2006, 09:16 AM
Did u see the first set against Verdasco?He still doesnt move well on grass and like someone said, he needs to flatten those shots.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 09:23 AM
Verdasco? Wow he beat a claycourter on grass, we already knew Nadal was much higher quality that Verdasco.

Verdasco qualified. So he had won 5 straight matches on grass just to play Nadal(who had just one match going in) And Verdasco lost early at the French, he's much fresher than Nadal.

Once again, Nadal is the 1st FO champ to play Queen's since '84. He's the first FO champ to win 2 matches on grass prior to Wimbledon Kafelnikov in '96.

It will get interesting when he plays guys who can play on grass that aren't still playing challengers (and not WTA level chokers).

Yeah because the tour is so full of mentally tough guys. The #3 & #4 ranked players are chokers of the highest level. That should tell you a lot about why Nadal does so well, he has no fear, which apparently is a rare attribute on todays tour. I've never seen this dedication to getting better on grass from Kuerten, Muster, Bruguera, Ferrero, etc.

Arafel
06-15-2006, 09:24 AM
Be interesting to see him play Hewitt. If he beats Hewitt, I could see Nadal making the final, maybe playing Ljubicic in a rematch, or possibly Roddick.

ACE of Hearts
06-15-2006, 09:28 AM
Nadal will get dismantled if he played like he did against Verdasco against Hewitt.This is a real grass opponent coming up now.

JayxTheKoolest
06-15-2006, 09:29 AM
His defensive strategy isn't effective on grass.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 09:30 AM
Hewitt went 3 sets with Vicente & 7-6 in the 3rd vs Mirnyi. He's not playing so well either.
I'm sure Hewitt will be favored, but he is just a baseliner, so Nadal will have a chance, since Hewitt can't blow him away with a serve. Its not like he's playing Karlovic.

guernica1
06-15-2006, 09:30 AM
Nadal is definitely making it interesting. As a betting man I would have put some money on Mardy in R2 but he proved me wrong. The Verdasco win may have been ugly but it means he's in it to win the tourney not just to get a feel for the grass. His whole game is not pretty for grass but at the end of the day if he gets more balls into play hes given himself a great chance.

Let's be honest nobody really wants to play this guy on any surface except maybe Ljubicic on the type of fast carpet they used in the 80's when Johnny Mac played.

As Moose pointed out he shows better dedication than the other clay champs but except for Kuerten he is really developing a better serve than the other guys. Kuerten also played when the grass was a bit faster and he never adjusted well to returning on fast surfaces.

Contrary to what I think a lot of people may predict Hewitt will not steamroll Nadal tomorrow although I think Lleyton is still the favorite.

One thing though: the Queens winner has not always predicted success in Wimbledon maybe because the surface is a bit difference.

dozu
06-15-2006, 09:30 AM
if he beats Hewitt on grass, I will eat my shorts.

Be interesting to see him play Hewitt. If he beats Hewitt, I could see Nadal making the final, maybe playing Ljubicic in a rematch, or possibly Roddick.

sureshs
06-15-2006, 09:34 AM
Hewitt and Roddick have had huge reductions in their confidence levels in recent months. They will have the same fear against Nadal as they have against Federer. Nadal has nothing to lose while they have to prove to the world how Nadal is good only on clay. Consistent baseline play will get him results while the favorites will self-destruct.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 09:36 AM
One thing though: the Queens winner has not always predicted success in Wimbledon maybe because the surface is a bit difference.

Well, it looks like a good predicator to me(but Wimbledon did slow down the grass in '02, not sure if Queen's did the same. Last year queens looked faster than W)

check out past champs at queen's:

http://www.atptennis.com/en/tournaments/profile/311.asp

Mac was in 7 straight finals!

Every queens champ of the last 30 years(except Draper) has had good results at Wimbledon.

ACE of Hearts
06-15-2006, 09:37 AM
This is grass we are talking about.Nadal will have his hands full tomorrow.By the way he was very lucky to escape today.

guernica1
06-15-2006, 09:44 AM
Well, it looks like a good predicator to me(but Wimbledon did slow down the grass in '02, not sure if Queen's did the same. Last year queens looked faster than W)

check out past champs at queen's:

http://www.atptennis.com/en/tournaments/profile/311.asp

Mac was in 7 straight finals!

Every queens champ of the last 30 years(except Draper) has had good results at Wimbledon.

The winner tends to do well yes but not necessarily win the entire thing. Hewitt beat Pete a few times at Queens if I recall but Pete still stood alone at the end those years.

I guess what I was referring to was the post-Mac era though; Mac in his prime was almost a given on the grass at any tourney.

SINGLES
2005 Andy Roddick
2004 Andy Roddick
2003 Andy Roddick
2002 Lleyton Hewitt
2001 Lleyton Hewitt
2000 Lleyton Hewitt
1999 Pete Sampras
1998 Scott Draper
1997 Mark Philippoussis
1996 Boris Becker

sureshs
06-15-2006, 09:45 AM
This is grass we are talking about.Nadal will have his hands full tomorrow.By the way he was very lucky to escape today.

He has been lucky (very close) several times against Fed but he wins anyway.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 09:50 AM
The winner tends to do well yes but not necessarily win the entire thing. Hewitt beat Pete a few times at Queens if I recall but Pete still stood alone at the end those years.


Well, true. But it still is a better predicator than any other grasscourt event.
Even though the queens winner & W champ haven't matched up more than a few time over the last 20 years, many queens champs did win W in other years.

And I think Pete generally gave questionable effort at most non-GS slams over his career. He viewed Queens as just practice most years, not caring if he won or lost(which he did quite a lot of at queens)

Kobble
06-15-2006, 09:58 AM
Nadal is about average on grass. Meaning, I would put him in the top 30 on grass.

staedtler
06-15-2006, 10:04 AM
Well Nadal doesn't suck, but hes definitely average Id say. As someone said earlier, hes gotta move better and flatten some of his shots. If he can improve on those aspects he might have a decent chance against Hewitt.

fastdunn
06-15-2006, 10:05 AM
Maybe it's a bit too early to expect much from Nadal on grass this year.
But when he become comfortable at moving on grass, it'll be
interesting...

BabolatFan
06-15-2006, 10:07 AM
Look at his performance in Stella Artois so far including the match that just concluded.

He's not well-adapted to grass. I'd be awesome if Hewitt can beat him with such vengeance before facing either Blake or Roddick in the finals. If Blake meets Nadal in the finals, it's a slamdunk for Blake coz he beat Nadal twice already on hardcourt. Roddick can beat Nadal too here.

Brettolius
06-15-2006, 10:26 AM
Moose, you must admit that Mardy Fish is a way bigger choker than Nalbandian. Plus just not as good a player. It's all relative. Mardy Fish chokes before the chips are even on the table. At least Nalbandian makes it far enough in events to accumulate enough pressure to choke. Mardy Fish could choke in practice.

edberg505
06-15-2006, 10:37 AM
I was freakin waiting for this thread to go up. I thought it would have gone up yesterday after he beat Fish but you proved me wrong by having it go up today. He beat Verdasco, a claycourter? And Mardy Fish? Please tell me that this is a joke. You could have at least waited until he beat Hewitt:rolleyes:

sureshs
06-15-2006, 10:55 AM
I was freakin waiting for this thread to go up. I thought it would have gone up yesterday after he beat Fish but you proved me wrong by having it go up today. He beat Verdasco, a claycourter? And Mardy Fish? Please tell me that this is a joke. You could have at least waited until he beat Hewitt:rolleyes:

Mardy won a grass challenger just before coming over to Queens

HollerOne5
06-15-2006, 11:09 AM
Can someone explain why Hewitt is so much better on grass than Nadal? They are both counterpunchers of the highest order. Is it the serve or the flatness of shots? Both players are exceptionally fast. I always thought that Hewitt did well because he was fast and was able to pass players at the net extraordinarily, meaning he had success against true grass court players and serve and volleyers?

Maybe I'm wrong, but won't this be sort of a baseline match as well? Hewitt is far too short to try to serve and volley and cover the net completely on grass.

Either way, no matter the surface, they have always had extremely close matches, even when Hewitt was #1 and Nadal was outside the top 50.

BiGGieStuFF
06-15-2006, 11:38 AM
Can someone explain why Hewitt is so much better on grass than Nadal? They are both counterpunchers of the highest order. Is it the serve or the flatness of shots? Both players are exceptionally fast. I always thought that Hewitt did well because he was fast and was able to pass players at the net extraordinarily, meaning he had success against true grass court players and serve and volleyers?

Maybe I'm wrong, but won't this be sort of a baseline match as well? Hewitt is far too short to try to serve and volley and cover the net completely on grass.

Either way, no matter the surface, they have always had extremely close matches, even when Hewitt was #1 and Nadal was outside the top 50.

Hewitt is a baseliner but he likes to hit from inside the baseline and hit shots on the rise, giving his opponents less time to hit the ball. Add that to his ball fetching skills and his good return of serve and that's what makes him dangerous on grass.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 11:45 AM
Can someone explain why Hewitt is so much better on grass than Nadal? They are both counterpunchers of the highest order. Is it the serve or the flatness of shots? Both players are exceptionally fast. I always thought that Hewitt did well because he was fast and was able to pass players at the net extraordinarily, meaning he had success against true grass court players and serve and volleyers?

Maybe I'm wrong, but won't this be sort of a baseline match as well? Hewitt is far too short to try to serve and volley and cover the net completely on grass.


Partly due to the fact that Hewitt has played so many more tournaments on grass than Nadal. Nadal has only played Wimbledon twice. Hewitt didn't so well his 1st 2 appearances at W. And Hewitt takes the ball earlier than Nadal.
I've always been shocked that Hewitt has become so good on grass. I think a lot of that has to do with grass becoming slower in recent years. You would never see a top grasscourt player play like Hewitt in the 90s.

And yes, tomorrow's match will be strictly played from the baseline by both players. Hewitt should win, but not many have been able to beat Nadal from the baseline over the past year(Federer can't), so it could be a close one.

Moose, you must admit that Mardy Fish is a way bigger choker than Nalbandian. Plus just not as good a player. It's all relative. Mardy Fish chokes before the chips are even on the table. At least Nalbandian makes it far enough in events to accumulate enough pressure to choke. Mardy Fish could choke in practice.

hehhe. true that. but so many on this board were certain that Nadal would lose to anyone who's half decent on grass. Fish's record on grass is quite a bit more than half-decent, he has one of the better grass records on tour. even the oddsmakers made him the favorite in that match.
as far as choking, I've seen numerous posters say that Gaudio, Federer, Ljubicic, & so many have choked against Nadal over the past year. At some point you have to wonder why so many choke against nadal? maybe his play/attitude has something to do with it? So many said the same thing about the last player I saw that was this intense/competitive-Jimmy Connors.

Hewitt rulez
06-15-2006, 11:57 AM
I think Hewitt will win fairly easy. I think that the reason he is so good on grass is that it helps give his shots more pace.

As for Nadal sucking on grass. I don't think he sucks. I just don't think hes that good.

sotua
06-15-2006, 12:03 PM
I'm impressed, Fish has one the best grasscourt records on tour & was just coming off a challenger win on grass.


Fish? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Currently, Fish is a challenger level guy. He was never in any danger of beating Nadal. Lacks the goods, both mentally and physically. Even if he had won the first set, he wouldn't have won the match.

The Verdasco win is more noteworthy in my eyes, even though they played a "I choke, no, *I* choke first" third set.

Moose Malloy
06-15-2006, 12:06 PM
Did you miss the 1st part of that sentence? Fish has one of the better grasscourt records on tour, period. And winning a challenger on grass isn't that much of a joke, he beat Moodie in the final(also a good grasscourt player)
I mentioned that the oddsmakers made Fish the favorite vs Nadal. I'm sure a lot of that had to do with his win at the challenger.

And the only reason Fish is playing challengers is injuries. He's been a top 20/30 guy most of the time before getting injured.

Mattle
06-15-2006, 12:14 PM
Sorry but.... GRRRR YOU GUYS ARE ALL SO NARRLOWLY SEEING!!!

WE never SAID NADAL SUCK ON grass! Of course he DONT! He's one of the best tennis players in the world! He just dont have that much success on grass as he has on clay.. there he is way too superior...

Shabazza
06-15-2006, 12:47 PM
The way he played today against Verdasco, is NOT the way to go far or even win at Wimbledon!

sureshs
06-15-2006, 12:51 PM
The way he played today against Verdasco, is NOT the way to go far or even win at Wimbledon!

How can you say that? Fed also sometimes plays lousy in early rounds.

HollerOne5
06-15-2006, 12:52 PM
How can you say that? Fed also sometimes plays lousy in early rounds.

Let's not forget that Fed had to play 3 sets including 2 tie-breakers today as well.

JayxTheKoolest
06-15-2006, 01:02 PM
The way he played today against Verdasco, is NOT the way to go far or even win at Wimbledon!

Agreed, he's a far ways away from being a decent grass courter.

Shabazza
06-15-2006, 01:13 PM
Let's not forget that Fed had to play 3 sets including 2 tie-breakers today as well.
The level of Feds match was certainly better (as well as Gasquet) than the Verdasco-Nadal match and yes I saw both.

Shabazza
06-15-2006, 01:14 PM
How can you say that? Fed also sometimes plays lousy in early rounds.
True, but he doesn't play 3+ hour clay court tennis to win on grass...

ohplease
06-15-2006, 01:14 PM
I don't even like Nadal that much, but he's more than capable of getting into the second week of Wimbledon. Don't forget that Guga made the quarters there a couple of times.

Playing style certainly matters, but it's not the end-all, be-all. Safin should be better than Nadal on grass, for example - and we can already safely say that's not true.

MHK
06-15-2006, 03:01 PM
edit...........

emcee
06-15-2006, 03:18 PM
I don't think Nadal will get too far in Wimby this year but he's won me over with his dedication to playing well on grass. Who was the last Roland Garros winner to do that? Some just pay lip service and some just couldn't care less (Costa, for example). If Nadal has a long career, I think he'll get to a final or something once. When he's 28 or so and has 6 FO's in his pocket, he'll retool his game for Wimby like Lendl did.

fastdunn
06-15-2006, 03:28 PM
In the post match interview, Nadal said he felt tired in the match with
Verdasco. I think it's very possible that he needs rest than practice
on grass. Right after he defend FO, he played 2 signles and 1 doubles
matches on grass... Plus he is not a teenager anymore.. :>

mileslong
06-15-2006, 03:45 PM
Mardy won a grass challenger just before coming over to Queens
and most of the guys he beat were barely able to make to the match since they had all just gotten off work at sports chalet...

he beat Moodie in the final
who the hell is moodie? and what tennis shop does he work at?

siber222000
06-15-2006, 03:46 PM
if he beats Hewitt on grass, I will eat my shorts.
good for u

ontherise17
06-15-2006, 08:43 PM
who the hell is moodie? and what tennis shop does he work at?

just to refresh ur memory. won the doubles wimby title last year. serves and volleys. favorite surface is grass.

...not an easy customer by any means.

oh and btw. i dont think hes gonna be needing a job at a tennis shop anytime soon hes already made over a mil in prize money.

OrangeOne
06-15-2006, 09:07 PM
You would never see a top grasscourt player play like Hewitt in the 90s.

Umm... except Agassi, imho (who, for anyone who doesn't remember, won Wimbledon in the 90s).

And, at least I would say, wrote a bit of a blueprint for how a baseliner can win Wimbledon in the power-era. Sure, you may need to be one of the best returners of all time, but hey - it can be done :).

mileslong
06-15-2006, 09:10 PM
i dont usually follow doubles players who are ranked 70th or below...now i see what an awesome accomplishment it was for fish to beat this guy...

Shabazza
06-15-2006, 11:59 PM
I don't think Nadal will get too far in Wimby this year but he's won me over with his dedication to playing well on grass. Who was the last Roland Garros winner to do that? Some just pay lip service and some just couldn't care less (Costa, for example). If Nadal has a long career, I think he'll get to a final or something once. When he's 28 or so and has 6 FO's in his pocket, he'll retool his game for Wimby like Lendl did.
I'm not sure the outcome would be different to Lendl, but we'll see...at least he is no Muster on grass ;)

OrangeOne
06-16-2006, 03:48 AM
I'm not sure the outcome would be different to Lendl, but we'll see...at least he is no Muster on grass ;)

IMHO, he could be quite proud if the outcome were 'no different to Lendl'. Without wanting to hijack this into a lendl thread....

Sure, Lendl never did acheive his ultimate goal, but he did teach himself to play his best on grass, and he made it to two consecutive Wimbledon finals, only to meet and lose to two excellent grass-courters (Becker-86, Cash-87) at the peak of their powers.

The following three years (88, 89 & 90) he lost in the Semis to Becker or Edberg, on two of the three occasions to the eventual winner. He also won Queens in 89 & 90, beating Becker in straight sets in the final in 90.

To be honest, and again imho, if it wasn't for his excellent record on other surfaces, history would have to note Lendl as a pretty damn competent grass-courter.... I mean, if over a period of 5 years Nadal makes two W finals and 3 W semi-finals, he should be proud of his grass-court abilities too!

sureshs
06-16-2006, 07:41 AM
Guess some of you were right (talking about what happened now). But Rafa could just be tired from RG and saving energy for Wimby.

GRANITECHIEF
06-16-2006, 07:50 AM
i dont usually follow doubles players who are ranked 70th or below...now i see what an awesome accomplishment it was for fish to beat this guy...

Do you follow Wimbledon?

dh003i
06-16-2006, 08:16 AM
To be honest, and again imho, if it wasn't for his excellent record on other surfaces, history would have to note Lendl as a pretty damn competent grass-courter.... I mean, if over a period of 5 years Nadal makes two W finals and 3 W semi-finals, he should be proud of his grass-court abilities too!

This is a rational analysis. If Nadal makes it to two Wimbledon finals and 3 Wimbledon semi-finals, that's something to be proud of. I'd hope the same analysis would hold for Federer at the French Open, in your opinion.

Unfortunately, history doesn't look back that way. If you haven't won any grand slams, making it to the Grand Slam finals wouldn't be perceived as so much a failure, and something to be proud of. But, especially if you've won other Grand Slams, failing to win at a particular grand slam is seen as a failure or letdown. That's the way Pete Sampras is perceived at the French Open, and the way Mats Wilander is perceived at Wimbledon. And if Federer doesn't ever win the French Open, even if he wins 20 grand slams, it'll always be seen as, "the one slam he couldn't win".

It sucks, but what are you doing to do?

monologuist
06-16-2006, 08:17 AM
The main reason Hewitt is good on grass is because he grew up playing on it. He began playing on it form an early age, in fact his school's courts were grass, and many of the early tournaments in Australia that he played were on grass.

I just cut and pasted the following analysis of watching Nadal vs. Hewitt:

Impressive showing by Nadal considering his usual style of play. I really thought he would get blown offthe court by Hewitt today.

a few observations :
1. Nadal is playing much closer to the baseline than usual. Wherever he can, he is standing only a foot or two behind the baseline if not less.
2. He is clearly making an effort to hit the ball flatter. He seems to be making errors that he usually never does, but it is obvious that the ball is taking on a much lower and faster trajectory than usual for him. His swings look shorter than usual in order to compensate. The timing is a little off on the backhand as a result, as he is frequently getting ahead of himself.
3. He is coming to net more frequently with mixed results; his judgement on the quality ofhis approaches is not quite there on this surface yet, and he
has bricked some easy ones, but he has had some nice finishes at the net.
4. Where are the wails (grunts)? Very strange. He is uttering some short grunts from time to time, but gone is the trademark prolonged braying! I guess his normal exhales do not suit the rhythm of grass and his newfound shortened strokes...it is bizzare though to see Nadal this quiet. Also, as mentioned before, no cries of Vamos!
5. He is definitely going for more on serve. His first serve percentage has got to be a good 25% less than usual, but I have to say, his serve is coming along nicely. He may not have Roddick-like heat, but he has improved his power to the point that, combined with his lefty advantage and his top notch placement, it is certainly not a liability on this surface.
6. He is expending far less energy than usual, as a result of all of the above. You can tell he really is making an effort to transform his game to suit the grass. He is a long ways off, but I am impressed by his efforts to adapt to grass. I'd be curious to see how he would fare against one of the more attacking grasscourt players....

Moose Malloy
06-16-2006, 08:24 AM
I'm not sure the outcome would be different to Lendl, but we'll see...at least he is no Muster on grass

Lendl was unfortunate to play in an era with so many great grassourt players(Mac, Becker, Cash, Edberg) plus pretty darn good floaters(Leconte, Mayotte, Annacone)
The level of grasscourt play is so low right now, Nadal could do very well in the next few years. Beating a bunch of baseliners from the baseline on slow grass doesn't seem as challenging as beating a bunch of S&V players on fast grass like Lendl had to.

Umm... except Agassi, imho (who, for anyone who doesn't remember, won Wimbledon in the 90s).


And Agassi was the only player who did well at W playing from the baseline for an entire decade(90s). Even Lendl S&Ved on every serve there.