Bodo on Rafa: 25 going on 50

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by batz, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2012/03/tk-6.html

    Not like anybody's counting or anything, but Rafael Nadal hasn't won an individual title in 11 tournaments.

    Okay, I guess I'm counting.

    Rafa's last triumph was at Roland Garros last June. Since then, his main rivals, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, have each collected a fistful of winner's checks. And for a while there even Andy Murray was in danger of developing tendinitis in his shoulders from hoisting crystal.

    Nadal doesn't seem overly perturbed by his plight; in fact, he probably would find the use of the word "plight" excessive. He's become downright philosophical about his career and status, but that isn't usually a good sign. At times, he's sounded like he's 25 going on 50. An attractive and somewhat unusual combination of sentimental and realistic, Nadal made these remarks after he lost to his former arch-rival Federer, 6-3, 6-4, at Indian Wells a few days ago:

    "The thing is not what I consider. The thing is what the people consider a good year at the end, because seems like 2011 was a bad year for me, for you, for most of you. (Smiling)

    "I don't consider myself that good to consider the 2011 like a bad year, you know. I am doing a good year [in 2012], playing finals in Australia and semifinals here, for me, for myself, is a very good start of the year."

    Does anyone detect a hint of defeatism and self-justification mixed in with the obvious, familiar humility (that virtue being Nadal's stock in trade, and you can hold that snark alert)?

    These things seem to underscore the idea that among all the things Nadal probably did not expect out of his career—becoming the nemesis of the all-time Grand Slam champion being one of them—the events he endured in 2011 really knocked him for a loop. Could they have been a driving force behind Rafa's more recent complaints about the toll and grind of the tour, or contributed to Rafa's apparent embrace of that other poisonous sentiment to which he's recently been prone, disillusion?

    It's legitimate to ask what on earth this once-happy child warrior is doing saying things like:

    "The results last year, in my opinion, was great results for me. The feeling wasn't that great. You know, I get tired of the competition few times, and that's not the best feeling. So I gonna consider [it] a good year if I keep playing the way that I am playing. Even if I don't win something really important, I am happy. And the most important thing at this moment of my career—for sure the titles are important—but what is more important is the feeling."

    Has it come to this?

    It's hard to find the precise words for this, but the reality is that players can direct the tone and nature of their discourse with the press. And these days Nadal is getting pretty close to that territory so artfully occupied by Marat Safin, who had a way of turning almost all inquires into why he picked up a W or an L (especially an L) on a given day into something like a therapy session. We can appreciate Nadal for his obvious "humanity," but laying your heart bare with utter sincerity isn't necessarily the behavior most likely to make your rivals abandon their plotting and run for the hills.

    Can it be that down deep Rafa feels so beleaguered that he's taken refuge in the fact that at least he enjoys what he's doing for a living? Rafa fans are lucky he didn't add those fateful words that would have made half of them keel over in a dead faint: "What is more important is the feeling. . . win or lose. . ."

    We know how important it is to enjoy your work. We know that you can't be having a bad year if you you made the Australian Open final and the semis of a Masters 1000 in three tournaments. But that's not what we most want to hear from a player who, a little more than a year ago, looked like he might overtake Federer as the all-time Grand Slam singles champ. You can't criticize or second-guess Nadal for what he says he feels. But you can be puzzled or even disappointed by it.

    The situation is hardly surprising considering the asymmetrical nature of Nadal's career. Nadal came along while Federer was still in his prime, and that challenge lifted the young Spanish challenger. That Djokovic, Nadal's true generational rival, took so long to mature into the force he is today lulled many of us into feeling that once Nadal displaced Federer at No. 1, he'd done the heavy lifting of his career. Whatever the future brought, Nadal would forever be the guy who brought down Federer, and the rest of it was just a matter of how many Grand Slam titles he would win, even as the occasional Djokovic, Murray, or del Potro would snatch the odd major for himself.

    We can trace the Federer-Nadal rivalry back to 2005, when Federer avenged a 2004 loss to Nadal in Miami (their first-ever meeting). It took Nadal almost three-and-a-half often dramatic years to wrench the No. 1 ranking from Federer's grip, but he held that ranking for less time (just under three years) than it took him to run down Federer.

    That leaves Nadal No. 7 on the ATP's "most weeks at No. 1" list, seven weeks shy of Bjorn Borg's 109 weeks atop, and one week ahead of Andre Agassi's cumulative total. Federer is No. 2 at that list, BTW, one measly week behind all-time leader Pete Sampras, who was No. 1 for 286 weeks.

    Nadal could be forgiven for feeling like he'd been bushwhacked before he enjoyed his just rewards after that long hunt for Federer.

    Nadal isn't done yet, but when you compare those numbers you can see how thoroughly we—and Nadal— were blindsided by Djokovic last year. You can also see where Nadal might find some motivation in the statistics, and the current state of things at the top. Djokovic is months away from his first anniversary as No. 1, and while he's still the man in charge, he's clearly slowed down.

    Judging from the way Federer is playing and talking (has anyone waxed poetic on the felicitous nature of confidence more than Federer has these past months?), he's more than willing and able to knock Djokovic off his perch at the top. The more pressing question is whether Nadal, who has a right to demand more than a pound of flesh, is equally primed for the job.

    Miami may be a critical test for Nadal. He could, of course, hang fire until he gets back on his beloved red clay in a few weeks. He almost certainly will win an event before the first anniversary of his last triumph, the French Open. But Nadal could cast a few monkeys off his back and make a more convincing case that he's back on track as a man for all seasons and surfaces with a win in Miami. In any event, it's about time Rafa became accustomed to living in a time of uncertainty, and making the most of it
     
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  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    >At times, he's sounded like he's 25 going on 50

    No: he looked like it
    Same with Djoko
     
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  3. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Nadal :

    "....The results last year, in my opinion, was great results for me. The feeling wasn't that great. You know, I get tired of the competition few times, and that's not the best feeling. So I gonna consider [it] a good year if I keep playing the way that I am playing. Even if I don't win something really important, I am happy. And the most important thing at this moment of my career—for sure the titles are important—but what is more important is the feeling."

    hmmm... the supposedly tough guy of men's tennis is "getting tired of competition" you got to agree with Bodo here, he does sound like a grumpy old man.
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL Federer's "titles" don't matter. It is Rafa who has faced Djokovic in the Slam finals. Peter Bozo as usual has to make a living by writing something.
     
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  5. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Nothing new in Bodo's here, except for the "he's 25 going on 50."
     
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  6. rhubarb

    rhubarb Hall of Fame

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    Pete must have forgotten that Federer was back at number one for 11 months of that period, which is why Nadal only has 102? weeks up there so far...
     
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  7. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Yep, Bodo's years sure look pretty damn short if you can fit three of them in a hundred weeks... ;)
     
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  8. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Maybe Bozo just didnt proof read his own article and has a typo in there.

    102/52 = 1.96

    Maybe the meant to type (just under two years)
     
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  9. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    1. "titles" > "no titles"
    2. Right... and Fed played Djokovic in Slam semis (and beat him once and almost beat him once)
     
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  10. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    Poor article. Said virtually nothing. What does he want Nadal to do commit hari kari?
     
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  11. gplracer

    gplracer Professional

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    I am a huge Federer fan and I always pull for Federer over Nadal. That said Nadal is a great player and a good person. It is just the dynamics of tennis. There are so many good players out there it is tough to stay on top. I think Nadal with all of his topspin matches up really well against Federer. Unfortunately I think Nadal does not match up as well against the Joker. He hits the ball flatter and gives Nadal less time to prepare with the long spin strokes. Federer on the other hand matches up well against the Joker. He takes the ball early and gives the Joker problems. If the Joker had not had as great of a year then Nadal would have had a better year. I really think it is the match up of the players. Then add to that when you are not winning all the time you do not always have the confidence to play your best against other top players. We have seen that in Federer as well.
     
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  12. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    Nadal had plenty of finals. Unfortunately, Novak had an amazing 3/4 of the year. Anyone else against Rafa would've probably meant a few more titles.
     
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  13. Love all

    Love all Semi-Pro

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    There is no match up issue with Djokovic against Federer. He is simply better than Djoker. Same is the case with Djoko Nadal, their game is balanced. Only Federer faces this issue at such a extreme than can not be nullified.
     
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  14. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    I actually thought this wasn't a bad piece for Bodo. I don't think Nadal is done at all, but lately his attitude and comments in interviews--however effected they are by language barrier--sound almost like he's about to announce his retirement. Bodo can't quite exactly put his finger on it, neither can I, but it is quite odd.

    That said, I'd agree with Nadal that while it must not have "felt" very good losing at the last stages of so many tournaments to the same guy, on the whole it was an incredible season for him. 3 slam finals in a row, 5 masters finals in a row including a victory...solid numbers, just couldn't get any big wins.
     
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  15. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    But didn't you know, he is at his peak!:roll:
     
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  16. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    The top three are an interesting mix. And Nadal thought it was going to be him number ONE, and the other two, fighting for TWO. But as luck would have it for tennis fans, all the matchups are a mixed bag.

    But in terms of articles, to me, it was not Bodo's best.
     
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  17. Magnus

    Magnus Legend

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    Fed's titles include many Cincys, you know, the ones you claimed to be the real slam.:evil:
     
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  18. FEDERERNADAL13

    FEDERERNADAL13 Hall of Fame

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    I hope that he's wrong as usual... I don't want rafa to get to 16, but I don't want my third favourite ever to have 25 years of his life taken away because of tennis :(

    Rafa to get to #15, Rog for #20 ;)
     
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  19. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    The truth is, and this is less talked about, that right now we have some of the strongest fields in more than a decade. Maybe even longer than that.

    Top 3 have won 28 of last 29 majors. One exception was Del Potro. Number 4 has been in final 3 times. So we are talking about the fabulous 4 on top of the game.

    Having that said, I believe Nadal is winning his matches on bluff. There is not much left behind his poker face. The guys is mentally spent, physically tired and wounded. But he still jumps up and down at the coin toss all the same.

    Remember his Soderling loss, nobody had a clue about his knees and next thing you know he is out of Wimbledon too. He didnt even have tapes around his knees. And you know, that chair incident in USO, his right knee, it is all in his mind. He is scared of what may happen to him if he keeps going like this.

    Historically, no player who has won more than two RGs has done anything past 26. I dont believe Nadal is going to be an exception.
     
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  20. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

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    Bunch of F*king nonsense.
    This whole going from wounded broken dead animal done to Raging never tiring running around like a gazelle getting to all balls has been going on for near a decade now.
    Nadal destroyed his last opponent 2,0 looks awesome this week chiseled and pumped.
    What if he wins Miami?
     
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  21. PCXL-Fan

    PCXL-Fan Hall of Fame

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    Much ado about nothing. Bodo has to keep putting out articles that grab lots of readers on timely and regular basis, cuz it beez his careerz.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
    #21
  22. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    lolvile giving credit to Pete Bodo....

    so dense!
     
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  23. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Why shouldn't he be? It's not like he's gonna turn 31 this year is he? You're not saying he's an old man already at 25 ?

    Besides Bozo is hardly some authority on anything tennis related.
     
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  24. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    Isn't Nadal actually in a nice spot? Djokovic appears to be cooling down, or he will inevitably. Nadal owns Fed in five set matches, so no worries there. Therefore, this is Nadal's year. I think his comments are just more of his playing possum. He's as dangerous as ever.
     
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  25. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    He is? Are you watching his match against Baggy right? he must have spent some time in his Cvac egg since he lost IW. Lol.

    And since I keep seeing the "666" thing on here I am about to call Father Damien to come and exorcise this place. :lol:
     
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  26. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Of course, the guy just reached 4 slam finals in a row for the first time ever in his career, not to mention that he was extremely close to winning AO final this year. The guy has never been this consistent in reaching the late stages of big tourneys as he is since 2011.

    Sure he lost to Fed at IW but in 2010 he lost to grandpa Ljubo there and still went on to have his most successful year to date.
     
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  27. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    His comment about getting tired of the competition sometimes referred to last year, when the feelings were not that good. He's feeling betetr about the competition now, and he's saying he's going to be happy if he feels like this even if he's not winning much.

    That's what I think he's saying anyway :)
     
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  28. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Didn't Nadal bagel some guy in his first round? He might just be playing his best tennis ever at the moment.
     
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  29. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Giraldo was a walking disaster who could not even keep a beach ball in the court. Nadal had little to do with that score except for wait for Giraldo's mistakes.
     
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  30. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    I think Bodo is right on the money on this one, even though his usual stuff is awful.

    The decline in Nadal's tennis is pretty apparent. But the bigger thing is the loss of that X-Factor. Basically at this point in his career, Nadal's best may not be enough against Djoko or even Fed's best. Not to mention that Delpo, Murray might soon come in that list as well.
     
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  31. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    Can Nadal play his usual schedule of Monaco through FO? He might want to skip Monaco.
     
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  32. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    He may as well. He won't even take a set off of Djesus and has zero chance of winning it anyway. Why continue to embarrass yourself by losing to the same person over and over again if it can be avoided? Makes no sense to me.
     
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  33. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    Nadal is playing Barcelona this year. So it's MC, Barca, Rome, Madrid and Paris..
     
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  34. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    That's completely nuts. He has to choose between Barcelona and Monaco.
     
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  35. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Noleisjust a very bad matchup for Rafa. Just the way Rafa is for Fed. He has just been unlucky to play so many finals againt someone whose games matches up so well against his. Rafa has played very well over the last year. The problem i see for Rafa is that I think it is unlikely that he will be able to play at such a high level for many more years. His playing style puts a beatdown on his body and it is bound to take its toll. Rafa wins points by grinding and has to work hard for every point he wins. How long can he keep it up?
     
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  36. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    Way too much tennis.
     
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  37. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    What's new?
     
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  38. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    Nadal looks unbeatable in Miami. Probably will take out Djoker this year
     
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  39. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    He just gave that interview in IW
     
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  40. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    He probably won't skip either, he loves both too much. Who knows, he might skip Madrid, he already hinted that he might.

    I know, but I think he was comparing the way he felt last year to the way he's been feeling this year. Hence why he says the important thing is "the feelings" from this year. His English got in the way, I think.
     
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  41. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Great, i just can't have enough of him nowadays

    Come on, he's been looking unbeatable all year.
    Even when beaten.
     
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  42. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Wait, is this thread about how many slams Rafa will win ?


    I thought we'd agreed on 47.
     
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  43. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I tend to agree. 'Close doesn't count' - he still hasn't beaten ND in a long time.

    Barca is the one he should skip. More points at stake - the locals wouldn't be happy - but he skipped it before and they didn't force him to move out of the country.
     
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  44. celoft

    celoft Guest

    I concur................

    That's way too optimistic.

    Federer: 17 or 18

    Nadal: 11 or 12
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2012
    #44
  45. larlarbd

    larlarbd Banned

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    What a Nicely written article, thanks for posting batz , man I feel the same way , I think Rafa should demand more of himelf - but, I've also read his bio : Rafa (very interesting read - specially inspiring the part about his injuries & how he sees it ) , considering Rafa a very physical player on court - I PERSONALLY THINK : Rafa is holding back going full assault on hardcourt seasons , he will be full flow for clay/grass - where his body will take less of a beating , I think Rafa himself sees anything on hardcourts as an extra achievement rather than a given , obviously he considers last year a good year for him because he won on his fav surface & saw reaching aussie-qtr/USO-final as an extra achievement , although Rafa would never say it but I feel that he feels the Wimby final loss a more of a djoko-fluke/Nadal's own let down on his part of quality of play than anything else.

    History says full-on-assault from day-1 of the year from Nadal is a bad thing , case in point : 2009 , Rafa plays fantastic AussieOpen , makes roger cry , beats him on hard - proves a point then what happens ? Slumps rest of the year - loses qtrs of french (unthinkable), out of shock and disappointment/physical fitness withdraws from wimby , and the Extra USO - don't do well.

    Now, 2010 : starts year slowly , then gets full on assault starting from clay season - goes on a rampaging season with French,Wimby,USO win ..... there is a pettern here - for whatever reason ( mostly because of Rafa's mentality - I am actually praying that Rafa starts full on assault from clay season instead of peaking early ....

    This year (2012) however I also have a side prayer , it's well known that I'm a fanatic-pete supporter , but after Pete retired , I've always rooted for Fed -until Wimby2008/Aus2009 - where Rafa won me out with his resilience , but this year I pray , that Roger wins Wimbledon ( probably bageling djoko on the way- which roger on full flow is certainly capable of ... ) , but Rafa Needs the Frenchy , USO = I wanna see for the first time a Nadal/Fed final - may the best man win, this is a year where all Rogers prep & his change in his game , his constant improvement - should get rewared , he deserves a slam , possibly two , don't you think guys ? C'mon be honest .... same for Rafa , as bodo pointed out he should get a pound of flesh or two - that he thoroughly deserves , I'd like these two great champs shine & not overshadowing each other but may the both shine equally , on a side note if Murray/Djoko are good enough to beat a full-flowing Roger or a fully fit Rafa - yes , I wish them well. No Animosity , I'll be sad if Roger doesn't win Wimby or Rafa French but it's a competetive sports & may the best champion win.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
    #45
  46. sillymonkey

    sillymonkey Hall of Fame

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    I hope you are correct. Part of me feels Rafael has lost the desire and will to win. He almost seems like a shadow of his former self.
     
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  47. djokovic2008

    djokovic2008 Hall of Fame

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    Lol is that why djoker beat fed four times last year to Feds one please get a clue.
     
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