Are Nadal's balls the heaviest in history?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by sureshs, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Watching Nadal-Ferrer yesterday, I could not help thinking that when pace and spin are taken together to define what is a heavy ball, Nadal might have the heaviest balls in tennis history.

    What do you guys think?
     
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  2. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I would say yes. A pro who has played on the tour against about everyone would be a better source of opinion though.

    Here is the gem you want to look for to really see how hard Nadal hits. Try and look out for a match in which he plays a lower ranked guy who has never played him before. I saw one a couple years back in either IW or the USO.

    Anyway, the entire first set was just the guy trying to adjust to the ball. After that, he played better (still got crushed), but it was really interesting to see. He clearly had never seen a ball like that.
     
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  3. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think it was ball heaviness at all. Ferrer is just afraid of Nadal. If it is so heavy then why doesn't Novak have any problem with it ?
     
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  4. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    33 meetings against Rafa? LOL.
     
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  5. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Thread title made me :lol:
     
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  6. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    His forehand probably is. I haven't seen anyone else who can hit shots as fast as he can while still having a loopy trajectory.
     
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  7. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    Djokovic is taller and is able to take Nadal's shots on the rise easily. I watched the highlights of last night's match. It seems that Ferrer made a lot of errors taking the ball on the rise at crucial junctures.
     
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  8. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    PED use would suggest otherwise.
     
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  9. ledwix

    ledwix Hall of Fame

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    Just add up average rotational kinetic energy and translational kinetic energy of the ball from Nadal. On the forehand it is probably the most, but if we are not using any data from other players it is speculation.
     
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  10. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    Stupid thread title aside, I doubt Nadal hits the most topspin of anyone right now on his forehand, let alone combining his forehand and topspin backhand to get an average of the heaviness of his groundstrokes.

    There simply isn't enough data on all of the players on the tour. So far I have seen RPM data only on Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal. And that's only forehands.

    Congrats, that's a sample size of... 4? And people extrapolate that to say Nadal hits the most topspin of all time. The top 4 aren't everyone. Other players besides the top-4, specifically the clay specialists may hit more RPM's on their forehands, in particular I reckon Andreev who is absolutely violent with his forehand, hits more RPM's than Nadal's forehand. Other players can also be significantly more jacked than feeble frickin' Nadal to fvcking blast the strings upwards through contact.

    And on backhands, most 1hbh's, (especially Almagro, Gasquet, Wawrinka and Volandri) will get significantly more topspin on their backhands than Nadal does on his. Gulbis also likely has more topspin RPM's on his backhand.
     
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  11. Ironwood

    Ironwood Semi-Pro

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  12. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    With respect, I don't think this argument establishes that Nadal hits the heaviest ball on tour. Nadal is not the only top player who ravages lower ranked guys who have never played him before. I have seen numerous lower ranked players fail to adjust against Federer. I remember watching Federer play Ivo Minar at the 2005 US Open. Federer won 6-1 6-1 6-1 and the whole time Minar was clueless. Federer's forehand either had too much zip or extreme topspin/angle. This is not just the case with low ranked guys, Monaco said the same thing about Federer after he lost to him at the US Open in 2011. He said something like 'Roger did not let me run for the shots".

    Also, Djokovic is an absolute animal when he plays low ranked players. I think he has dished out more bagels to early round journeymans than Federer/Nadal. Most lower ranked players are completely overwhelmed by the depth/pace combo of Djokovic's shots. I think it was at the USO last year or the year before, this one guy got the entire Arthur Ashe crowd behind him to propel him to hold just once against Djokovic, which he did and got a round of applause for.
     
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  13. DolgoSantoro

    DolgoSantoro Professional

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    Dat thread title...

    I would say so, and I have heard quotes from players saying similar things.
     
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  14. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    Interesting that article said that Nadal can only hit the heavy topspin if he lets the ball drop first in order to actually brush up on the ball.

    Perhaps the way to beat Nadal is by hitting extremely deep with extreme topspin to him, so he can't let the ball drop because by the time it begins to drop it has hit the back fence.

    Then Nadal would be forced to hit extremely high balls with his forehand (which means he can't get as much topspin with his own forehand), or backhand (and his backhand is vulnerable against high balls, which is funny since he makes a living out of abusing other people's backhands in the same way - glass house much?).
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Even experienced Ferrer was like that yesterday
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Novak is #1 in the world
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There is a difference in the backhand topspins which spin away. They are not necessarily heavy. Fed produces many of them with a flicking action. Heaviness is when it is in your reach but shakes you up if you touch it.

    I think Nadal's balls are the heaviest ever.
     
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  18. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    You guys have short (selective?) memory*.

    Rafa's balls are too heavy for Novak to handle when on clay. Paradoxically, It's only when his balls are wet, that Novak can get a hold on them, even then barely so.


    * Case in point: Rain at 2012 Roland Garros, i.e. less than a year ago.
     
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  19. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Unless I'm mistaken, many objective individuals have opined that , yes, Rafa hits the average heaviest rally ball ever seen, AND it's coming at you with lefty spin which together make him highly unattackable and this particularly frustrates attacking players. Rafa would destroy prime McEnroe or Edberg but Borg would play Rafa tough in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not only does he hit with some of the fastest swingspeeds in tennis, but he's super consistent, likes to tease his opponent, and has some of the quickest legs around to make you hit another ball after you've hit your winner attempt.
    And his passing shots are pretty decent too, as is his 1hbh slice, and excellent volley, and a consistent first serve.
    His game wears you down.
     
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  21. Murrayfan31

    Murrayfan31 Hall of Fame

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    Almugro had no problem open firing on Rafa's shots until he had a chance to win the set.
     
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  22. wy2sl0

    wy2sl0 Hall of Fame

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    On average of the top guys, yeah. I would have to say however I have seen Federer hit some ridiculous topspin shots and abuse Nadal the same way Nadal does to him. Although max spin I think Nadal takes the cake.
     
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  23. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Semi-Pro

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    When I first saw Jim Courier in person, at a first or second round match the first year he won Roland Garros, I didn't think it was possible to hit a bigger topspin forehand. Nadal's forehand is much heavier.
     
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  24. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    Me too. I'm glad i'm not the only one
     
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  25. citybert

    citybert Professional

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    Yeah what about when novak beat him at Rome and madrid. He took that cc FH and threw it down his throat down the line with one of the best BHs in the game.

    I remember nadal complaining during the RG finals that the balls were not bouncing high enough for him.

    That being said. No way a healthy nadal loses to djoko 3/5 on clay.
     
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  26. citybert

    citybert Professional

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    That was sick saw him also on the outer courts before he won. Then muster had heavier shots followed by gugas crazy hip roatation shots and now nadal.
     
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  27. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    is the heaviest ball the one with the most spin or the one with the most weight behind it? i think you can hit a fast ball with alot of spin thats not as heavy (eg. roddick serve) and you can hit a ball with not as much spin thats heavier (eg. sampras serve). if its the later, lendl might be in the mix.
     
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  28. raging

    raging Professional

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    This is probably the best explanation as to why Rafa causes Fed. & just about everybody problems on the clay. If the courts are dry & hard: his spin should be a factor, it is also why if he can get the trajectory right, he gets the depth, then only the very best can live with him.
    Because of the higher RPMs he gets more "jump" off the court.
    It will be interesting if he gets the same "jump" in the desert at Indian Wells and if he can get the ball fizzing. This will test his knees & also the spin level.
    It is literally going to be tougher on his body to create this torque.

    On the "other" part of the question: Who knows?:)
    The heaviest part of his balls is that he doesn't fold under pressure when the match is to be won. The other guy has to take it or break him down so that his body & then his mind, will is dissolved.
    You have to be good enough, on that day, to do that.
    Almagro couldn't do it, neither could Ferrer.
    Who is next?
     
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  29. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    This is all speculation.

    We only have a sample size of 4 players + Bruguera and Sampras.

    Nadal hits the most spin out of that, but so what?

    At least measure all of the top 200, focusing mainly on clay-courters. I still wanna see RPM data on Andreev forehand. I reckon that wipes Nadal's forehand.

    And take an average of forehand AND backhand topspin, cuz guess what - u ain't gonna get forehands 100% of the time.

    Nada's backhand lets him down bigtime on spin production.
     
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  30. President

    President Legend

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    Well usually once Nadal can hit a solid forehand, he can dictate the points and hit ALL forehands for the rest of the rally. So he IS able to hit consistently heavy balls.

    I agree with you about Andreev, Verdasco also gets huge topspin on his forehand when he wants to.
     
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  31. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Some of his BH top spins angle sharply sideways
     
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  33. spinovic

    spinovic Hall of Fame

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    That's it. Ferrer was beat before he even stepped on the court. For some reason, I thought he might offer more resistance, might have a shred of belief since Nadal is returning from injury, had lost to Zeballos and has been pushed in a few other matches. But no, true to form, Ferrer crumbles under pressure against a Big 4.

    Ferrer was so afraid of Nadal, he was out of sorts in the prior match, IMO. Fognini pushed him the distance, and Ferrer even got so frustrated over a call that he grabbed the officials sleeve and tried to pull him back to look at the ball mark. Very unFerrer-like.

    It is surprising that, of the two, Almagro is the one who stepped up and actually challenged Nadal.
     
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  34. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    In History?

    Probably Muster, Vilas, Mancini and many others must be also considered.
     
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  35. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    With the racquet he is using and polyester string that gives you 20% more spin
    than nylon, it is certainly possible.

    During the 90's, Sampras was known for hitting heavy balls, when people
    believed the ideal mix of pace and spin was the reason behind it.
     
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  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Rafa's balls are much heavier than Sampras'
     
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  37. Backhanded Compliment

    Backhanded Compliment Hall of Fame

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    Guga's backhand is another candidate but he had a lot of variety. Depends on if we are talking absolutes or just averages. Averages... likely Nadal. Absolutes who knows... Isner's serve?
     
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  38. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Just waiting for the Photoshops on this post. :)
     
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  39. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Here is a youtube link of Serena getting a taste of Nadal's balls. From the look of it Nadal's balls were pretty light. Serena certainly gets a taste here but didn't bite off more than she could chew.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnjn2wqdgxY
     
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  40. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Yes.

    YesYesyEsyesyesyes
     
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  41. Orange Deuce

    Orange Deuce Banned

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    That's not good enough against everyone.

    Djokovic's backhand is stable against the high ball, and he can redirect Nadal's forehands at will up the line, forcing a backhand reply from Nadal.

    And once Nadal hits a backhand, Djokovic will pin him to the backhand. If Nadal hit's a cross-court backhand - that's all gravy, Djokovic will send his own backhand cross-court to find Nadal's. If Nadal tries to hit a backhand up the line hoping for Djokovic to give him a forehand, Djokovic will simply send his own backhand down the line, again, pinning Nadal to his backhand.

    Nadal's backhands will get shorter and shorter, and weaker and weaker, until Djokovic can step into the court and hit an attacking shot wherever he wants.

    Now it wouldn't matter as much that Nadal was pinned to his backhand if he was a complete spin player with a backhand nearly as heavy as his forehand, would it? The ball would still be kicking up like a mule and Djokovic would be forced back. If Nadal had his own forehand and, say, Gasquet's heavy topspin backhand, he would be almost unattackable.

    But his backhand is the flatter wing, and it can be exposed.

    This is why I think it's important to have heavy spin off of both wings, and Nadal doesn't deserve to be called the 'spinniest player of all time' or whatever, because only one of his groundstrokes is hit with heavy topspin.
     
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  42. Start da Game

    Start da Game Professional

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    this......good post......his forehand is massive with all kinds of kinetic energy compared to unidirectional kinetic energy of other players.......it's the ridiculous spin combined with the sheer pace which makes it the single greatest shot in history.......
     
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  43. Start da Game

    Start da Game Professional

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    what sport is it that you are watching and mistaking it for tennis? nadal can hit dozen different backhands.......just watch his 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 videos.......and also his latest videos from acapulco........

    there are no answers to nadal on any court in this world if his deep cross court backhands and down-the-liner are working........both the shots worked after nearly 2 years against ferrer and we saw the result straightaway........surface did not matter.......
     
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  44. dafinch

    dafinch Banned

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    Oh, so, beating down his perennial whipping boys-on dirt, no less-means everything is honky dory, huh, and "...there are no answers to nadal on any court in this world?" BOY, are you in a for rude awakening, lol...
     
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