2012: Bad Year for Nadal

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by hoodjem, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I have this hunch that 2012 will be a rather bad year for Nadal.

    It seems like with all those losses to Djokovic last year, his spirit is broken. Nadal's will to win has been severely diminished. He seems much more vulnerable than previously.

    I even suspect that he will not win the FO--he seems that much of a "lesser player."
     
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  2. niff

    niff Legend

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    I fear we will hear the phrase "rest year" in this thread.
     
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  3. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    I'm going to hold out until the clay season. Even if he fails to add to his Australian Open points or reach any hard court finals, I think Monte Carlo (maybe Rome) will give us an idea of how he's going to do this year.

    Even though he lost to Monfils I still liked what I saw from him.
     
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  4. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    You're a year too late as 2011 was bad,already. I do agree that 2012 will be worse,though. He has declined significantly in a very short period of time,and has no hope of recovering anything he's lost. I've been saying he's done for a long time and I stick by it.
     
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  5. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    It looks that way...and I hope it is. Really though, Nadal will find a way this year to suceed.
     
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  6. Homeboy Hotel

    Homeboy Hotel Hall of Fame

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    Guys, lets register 'nadalwon2013' and 'nadalwon2014' - quick!
     
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  7. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    2011 was one of Nadal's best years of his career. Check the data. But yes I agree, the 'rest year' nomenclature is entering laughably into this forum, LOL :)
     
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  8. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    One can only hope...
     
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  9. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    I know it's not likely to happen, but if he did come out, and beat Novak a few times this year, particularly in slams, and really fought like vintage Nadal, what would u say? I think you may be so resigned, that if he actually did something positive that even impressed you, that you may be speechless.
     
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  10. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Well,since it's been close to two years since he did anything worthwhile,I guess it would shock me. I still do not have high hopes for this season. He's just not nearly as good as he used to be,and since his mental strength is failing him,he doesn't show the same fight or fire as he used to. He plays the big points like a terrified child these days. It's unreal how far he's fallen in such a short amount of time.
     
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  11. daddy

    daddy Legend

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    I share this opinion of yours. Because when he was becoming what he is and was especially in 2010, he was gathering confidence and will and sacrifice and determination, basically everything because of the succes on clay.

    However if he fails this clay season, it will be rough time for Rafa.

    Akcija
     
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  12. CMM

    CMM Legend

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    Yes, winning Roland Garros, a seventh Monte Carlo title, reaching 2 other Slam finals and winning the Davis Cup against Argentina is nothing to be proud of.
     
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  13. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well it is, but 6 straight losses in finals isn't though. We know where you're coming from but talking more about his mental fortitude, and playing level. Hopefully he comes out with a less defeatist approach this year. Especially with his fitness, and looking like he'd rather be anywhere else than on court. He played probably 10 really GOOD sets of tennis in all of 2011 where he gave his all and played like classic Rafa IMO.
     
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  14. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    If Murray could have just one season that was as bad as this then I'd be a happy bunny.
     
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  15. CMM

    CMM Legend

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    Maybe he didn't play as well as he did in 2010 but you can't ignore the good results just because he suffered some painful loses. Winning a Slam is still a big deal as far as I know. Just ask Murray.
     
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  16. CMM

    CMM Legend

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    Exactly. :)
     
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  17. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Exactly. Nadal relies heavily on his mental strength and since it's been mia for more than a year now,he has struggled a lot. He himself said he's mentally tired,and has lost his passion for tennis. What other proof do people need that he is mentally done?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
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  18. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    But he did not play well throughout any of those tournaments. He choked away leads,made errors like crazy,served like Dementieva,was overly defensive,and played like he was about to wet himself out of fear,especially on the big points. Nadal's nerves are eating him up these days,and he never used to be that way before. It wasn't good tennis from Nadal no matter if he won those titles or not.

    And you still have to admit that he wouldn't have won RG without Roger taking out Norman. He would have gone slamless otherwise.
     
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  19. CMM

    CMM Legend

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    Well, if he played so bad and still managed to win a Slam and reach 2 other finals, then I guess that if he will start playing a bit better, he will be unbeatable.
    Doesn't matter what would have happened at RG. He won and that's it.
     
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  20. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    I agree about that. I wonder what's up with that... :?
     
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  21. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    If anyone outside of Novak or Roger had a year like Rafael did last year, it would be a career defining year for them. And Rafa did have his moments of great tennis, whether he won or lost.

    Miami final was probably the most intense final of last year. He matched a fully peaking Novak shot for shot until the very end. RG quarters onwards, he played very good tennis, and battled strong against an inspired Roger in the final.

    His run all the way to the Wimbledon final was actually better than Novak's imo. He lost his way after losing that first set, but that first set was high quality ball striking and serving.

    US Open, again, very dominant going into the final. One of the best war of attrition you will ever see in that third set, with both playing trading blows that most could only dream of.

    And he ends the year with a slam, and outright number two. It wasn't a fail year at all. It is just the incredible standard he has set.

    I think he will do just fine again this year.
     
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  22. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Nadal defending Roland Garros is a great year for him. No matter what else happens. That should be his goal. In order to do that, he would have to defend Monte Carlo since it's probably his most special tournament of all. The one place where he always wins and begins to find confidence for the rest of the clay court season which also helps going onto grass.
     
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  23. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    I think Djokovic was still on an upward curve. He was still a little bit unsure of whether he could beat an inspired Nadal. People thought Indian Wells was a bit of a fluke seeing that Nadal played poorly in the final set against Djokovic. Miami was the real test and they went the distance. It did wonders for Djokovic's confidence when they moved onto clay as we saw.
     
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  24. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    People were asking the question, but at that point he had the ability to do it, and he did. It was also payback in way for the Madrid 09 heartbreak, where they went the distance, but Nadal edged him out in the final set tie-break.
     
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  25. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    :shock:

    This must be the weakest era of men's tennis ever if a guy playing this poorly can win slams and Masters events and finish the year at number two.
     
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  26. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    It is a weak era,but I was alluding to Nadal's level last year compared to the year before. His level did drop tremendously,and he has become a mental midget. He cannot sustain his intensity for more than one set anymore,and acts like a frightened puppy. His matches have become like riding on a roller coaster they are so inconsistent and have so many ups and downs.

    And he won't be #2 in the world for very much longer. He will lose his ranking probably by late spring/early summer if not sooner.
     
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  27. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    How people don't see this is beyond me. And he BARELY wins sets against players ranked far lower at that.
     
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  28. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    I know. The question is what is wrong with him? Why has he become such a mentally weak raw nerve? Is it burnout or something external within his team or family? I really can't figure out what his deal is. The decline has happened so quickly that it caught everyone off guard. I honestly don't know what he can do to change it at this stage of his career.
     
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  29. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Can't agree with you there. I think he will still probably win the FO this year. I don't think he will win W or any hard court slams though this year.
     
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  30. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    No such thing as a weak era and Nadal played his highest level of tennis ever in 2011. There was just someone better. How people don't see this is beyond me.
     
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  31. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Nadal did not play his highest level of tennis ever in 2011 because if he had, he would have won 3 slams or more. For Nadal's standards 2011 was not great. You keep saying that he made all of these finals and if he did not lose against Djokovic he would have had his best year, but, he LOST in those finals so "would have" or "could have" is irrelevant and thus his year was not the best for Nadal. Stop talking nonsense.
     
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  32. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    I share your impressions at the moment BUT in tennis things can turn around in a blink of an eye. Who would have thought at the beginning of 2009 for instance that Fed was going to win 2 slams that year?? Including RG??!! It sure didn't look likely at AO. As long as Rafa maintains himself in the top 4 and makes the final stages of tournaments, he'll have chances to switch the momentum and win some big titles. He may never be again the dominant player he was in 2008 but he could recover enough confidence to go on a winning stretch.
    I expect the clay season in 2012 to be a crucial turning point. I believe that's Rafa's chance to gather new momentum and self belief. He's done it before (in 2010) and it's not impossible he will do it again. Hard court is hardly the place for it to happen for Rafa, so let's wait and see.
    And if you're superstitious, you're bound to notice that 2009 and 2011 were bleak years for him while 2008 and 2010 were triumphant. Following that logic, 2012 should be... better than 2011 :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
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  33. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Me thinks you are gonna be a happy bunny sometime this year :D
    Clarky, your imagery of "terrified child" and "frightened puppy" are awesome.
     
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  34. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    I don't understand what happened to his stamina. He went from exceptional endurance to lacking ominously in that department. One has to wonder what caused such a drastic change. The Tokyo final against Murray and USO final against Djoko come to mind. Complete physical meltdown in the last set. So surprising for the guy who typically could wear down any opponent in long matches.
     
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  35. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's staggering really, I used to want close Nadal matches to go long bc I knew he'd outlast them, now when he loses a set, I worry, bc I think the other person will be more fresh.
     
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  36. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    What happened is Nadal is getting older on the tour. He has been winning and grinding away since he was a young teen. In addition, his passion for the game seems to have declined a little bit. It happens to the best players and happens earlier to the grinders.
     
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  37. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    +1
    10badlucksfornadal
     
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  38. sunny_cali

    sunny_cali Semi-Pro

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    Yup. Also it looks like he is happy being the hunter rather than the hunted. After winning the USO10, people expected him to win everything in sight. Perhaps he thought the same too -- nobody expected the improved Djoker to out-Nadal Nadal. He hasn't come to terms with that, and has gone from believing that he can win e'thing to barely believing that he can win a set against Djoker. The fact that neither he nor his camp seem to have a clue about how to handle Djoker seems to have demoralized him completely.

    People diss Fed for not having "mental fortitude", but if you look at it Fed has swallowed some tough losses against Nadal and gone on to win important titles -- Nadal has swallowed the losses and gone downhill!
     
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  39. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    Time to start obsessing about a new, younger, fitter, less bolding, and better looking player, no?
     
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  40. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Steroids are excellent for increased stamina and recovery.
     
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  41. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    And also, nowadays, when I watch him on the court, I have that painful feeling he's playing "not to lose" instead of "to win". I miss fearless Rafa.
     
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  42. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Both Federer and Nadal are obviously mentally strong otherwise they would not have won 16 and 10 slams respectively, but in tennis there is always a player who comes along and challenges the player who was once the most mentally fit and strong. Nadal is showing he is no exception to the rule and his mental fortitude is not greater than previous multiple slam champions.
     
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  43. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Federer had his main adversary chase him through one third of the season in the 2004-2007 period. Djokovic chased Nadal through ALL SURFACES in 2011. It's a totally different ballgame. Also, these losses came in a shorter period of time for Nadal.

    When Fed lost in RG and WB 08', Murray took Rafa out in USO 08, Fed won the final.When Rafa won AO 09', he mismanaged his schedule and arrived in RG 09 injured and skipped WB 09 with injury. Guess who won those once Rafa was out?

    In 2011 at least, Djokovic proved far more consistent as a adversary for Rafa than Rafa was for Fed. Fed did have restbites due to Rafa's inability to schedule and his weak HC prowess(at least when compared to clay). Djokovic has one step away from making all 4 finals this year(something Rafa never did in Fed's time). Rafa has no rest, Djokovic is terrific on slow HC,very good on clay and his grass game has improved from 2008.
     
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  44. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    All your bubble here point to one thing: Match up

    You say Djoko is very good on clay? Ok, but not better than Rafa right?
    Yet Rodge took djoko out, on dirt, Rafa couldnt.

    Have a good day.
     
    #44
  45. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Yes, and the matchup shows that Djoko is a tougher adversary for Rafa(in 2011 at least) than Rafa was for Fed. Fed could almost always count on Rafa to go away after the clay season was done and even when Rafa did start to win off the dirt he either couldn't keep it up due to low hc prowess or because he got injured.

    As for as Djoko being better than Rafa on clay. Rafa is past his prime on clay, this has clearly been shown this season(unless you believe you can still be in your prime in your SEVENTH consecutive season dominating the dirt) and could barely put away a 30 year old favorable matchup in the RG final, not to mention crapfests like the Isner/Andujar matches or losing sets to freaking Lorenzi in Rome. In direct matchup Djoko has been better than Rafa on the dirt this year but career wise it's no contest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
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  46. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    What about Nolevitis ?
     
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  47. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Eurika!!

    And you, namelessness, not for once in Nadal haydays against Rodge mentioned a match up problem. Rafa was simply better, Owned the GOAT, only because he had a better H2H.
     
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  48. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    BS.

    Check out my post history to see my thoughts on the GOAT concept and the stupidity of h2h.

    Or ask your fed buddies if you don't have the patience.
     
    #48
  49. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    All I want to say is that for the umpteenth time, anyone who thinks Rafa had a bad 2011 is delusional.

    It seems bad because of the lack of titles, but his consistency was better than even 2010, and but for one man he'd have had even more titles.

    Can we please stop with this 'rest year' nonsense. His only 'rest year' was 09 which was injury plagued and even then he won the damn AO.

    That said, the Rafa we are seeing now is more worrisome than his post 09 FO-to 2010 FO slump.
     
    #49
  50. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    its not the years honey, its the mileage.

    that engine has alotta miles on it.
     
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