Does Killing Machine Nadal ever smile on court?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by rallyjunkie, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. rallyjunkie

    rallyjunkie Banned

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    Even in his total massacre of Rochus, Nadal wears this expression of malice and disdain for his opponent. Even after the first three games when it was clear it was a mismatch, Nadal is just like a great white shark, brutally merciless and hungry for the slaughter. he is a total tennis wrecking machine. all about winning the match, winning major titles. the only pleasure is the victory.

    in a way he seems to be lacking the joy of tennis. it's all business, win win win. i guess that's what it takes to be the best in the world which he is. total committment and focus on destroying each and every prey. Sampras was like this too. No joy, just win matches. there's no relenting, one slight let up and momentum - and the match - could slip away. Nadal has an awesome killer instinct.

    I only saw Nadal smile once during a match, it was one year ago when Tsonga was about to finish him in the third set. After some amazing Tsonga shots at the end, Nadal smiled, like Justin Gimelstob said, it was a wry smile.
     
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  2. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Nadal is all business. He does not want to let up. I guess it is easy to confuse desire from anger from a facial expression.
     
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  3. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

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    Being the best doesn't not mean you have to not smile. Sometimes, like in beatdowns like this, I would enjoy watching him more if he showed some happiness at the amazing things he does. Like Federer does when he does something crazy.

    I don't want to hear that you have to be that angry looking to be number one, Jordan anybody?
     
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  4. lpicken

    lpicken Rookie

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    The Belgium looked like a junior with his girly oversized racquet. It is scary what Nadal might do this year. He looks to be peaking.
     
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  5. rallyjunkie

    rallyjunkie Banned

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    exactly noveson, there is no interaction with the fans, just pure raw ferocity to destroy the obstacle that stands in his path.

    this is why Djokovic is so entertaining, he can actually bring fun and laughter to this serious sport. Djokovic is the total antithesis of Nadal.

    i remember Djokovic beat Stepanek in five set TB at US Open two years ago and at one point after a wild point, he did a lil imitation of Stepanek's antics and it was hilarious and astounding to see a great champ pull out that kind of humor at such a serious moment.
     
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  6. pabletion

    pabletion Professional

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    ^ thats why Djokovik is No. 3 and not No. 1
    It takes an attitude like Nadals or Federer to be the best, IT IS ALL BUSINESS OUT THERE. They dont give a crap about how fans perceive that, just ask Sampras, he always said that he wasnt gonna change his ways to please the crowds. Champs are all about winning, some others would prefer to enjoy themselves maybe, and be loved by the crowd, like Baghdathis. I sometimes feel like he looses focus on certain matches. Anyways, to each his own, theres no need for Fed or Nadal to change, theyre winners, they are out there to win, not show, I really admire their kind... That doesnt make them disrespecful or anything, theyre the nicest guys after the matches, theyre always very open in their interviews and theres where they smile ;) after victory...
     
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  7. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    he sometimes smiles/grins/smirks when he hits a sick shot. Otherwise it's mostly business.
     
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  8. DoubleDeuce

    DoubleDeuce Hall of Fame

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    I disagree. Champs are all about winning but smiling or humor doesn't make you lose either. They are not obliged in any way to please the fans but if they do it doesn't take away from their "Business" and it may very well add to it even. For example I like Tsonga's interaction with the crowd and the way he smiles and then draws energy from their responses.
    Having that said, whether Nadal wants to smile or not it's his own business, the point is it's in their personality and does not have much to do with being all business or not. Many #1 and other top players have had good sense of humor and did not hold back a smile.
     
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  9. seffina

    seffina G.O.A.T.

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    I've seen him crack a smile once in a while... but what does it matter? Just because he likes to focus intently during the match doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy playing tennis.

    Outside of the matches, he goofs off enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
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  10. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    I've followed Rafa since Dubai 2005, and I surely have seen him smile or pull a funny face at certain occasions on court.

    Well said. Smiling-or-not doesn't have anything to do with a player's level of commitment or concentration. It's a matter of personality. Some do, some don't, nothing wrong with either of that.

    BTW, Rafa smiles enough OFF COURT to make up for it I think. :)
     
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  11. DarthFed

    DarthFed Hall of Fame

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    I've always assumed Nadal was in a "trance" oblivious to the world around him when he gets on the court

    If it isn't a line call or something RELATED to the match odds are he can't hear it

    Kind of like when that cat came on the court in Doha..it broke his trance and he smiled for a second

    But the guy looks at his opponents with such a bloodlust...scary actually

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    #12
  13. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    That picture is from 2005, when he was a lot more 'uptight' than he is now, in the negative sense of the word I mean - staring down opponents, fist pumps and vamosses after oppo's UEs and the like.

    He's toned that down very much and became a rather likeable player over the years I think.

    The 'trance' is still there, but he does allow himself to smile once in a while now. I'm glad to see these improvements.
     
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  14. S H O W S T O P P E R !

    S H O W S T O P P E R ! Hall of Fame

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    I can't disagree more. This is why casual fans usually die out; there's no entertainment. Casual fans usually become more hardcore when they see an entertaining match. I did a test on some people who saw a tennis match but don't follow it. I showed them a clip of Federer pulling... well, a Federer (he hit a backhand winner very deep in the corner of the court, past the benches.) Out of 60 people interviewed, only 4 said that was a great shot. The other 56 said so what? And some also said that they could probably do that. When a casual fan sees a guy showing emotion, he feels that the pros a much more into the game. When you see a goal scored in soccer, the scorer does that plane thing or does a cartwheel. That enhances the atmosphere and makes it much more entertaining.
     
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  15. DoubleDeuce

    DoubleDeuce Hall of Fame

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    Nadals personality in and off court is like day and night. On court he looks like a pirate and acts like a raging bull protecting his calf. Off court he's humble and down to earth. Stark difference...
     
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  16. DarthFed

    DarthFed Hall of Fame

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    Hence why i say trance..in the game and nothing the else...like he has DID coupled with his OCPD

    I know the pic is old but he still makes that face after he restores order

    Like when playing Monfils and he held at love near the end of the second set
     
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  17. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    I always liked the nadal stare when the opponent does something special.

    I remember seeing it for the first time in the 2005 RG SF after that point where federer stood his ground at the net against 4 or 5 of nadal's passing shots. lol.
     
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  18. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    Well, there's nothing wrong with THAT I think.
    He's got those (beautiful... sorry for fangirling here folks) dark eyes, and yes, he can come across as pretty intimidating at times, but he's still a very nice and sportive guy on court. Aside from some specific quircks, but don't ALL players have those?
     
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  19. DarthFed

    DarthFed Hall of Fame

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    I think Rafa will always be remembered for those quirks...

    The guy seems to have OCPD
     
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  20. rallyjunkie

    rallyjunkie Banned

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    that's a classic video there thanks Bolo. great to see Nadal enjoying the joy of tennis. hope as he wins more and matures, that smile quality comes out much more.
     
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  21. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    its a game. its not personal.
     
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  22. pabletion

    pabletion Professional

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    I discussed something like this on another thread, about tennis popularity. I said that you cant compare individual sports like tennis/golf vs team sports; it is so much harder to reach casual fans because it just doestn appeal to them. I said also that I understood how tennis can be boring to the casual watcher, who doesnt play, cause he/she cant undrstand how hard it is to do the things these pros do. I, as a tennis player and fan, couldnt care less if Nadal or Federer are very expressive, I enjoy watching them for their tennis. Would you prefer an ATP full of Baghdathis, Djokovics, Tsongas, Blakes, who get into it with the crowd, interact, etc, or one with tennis gods like Nadal and Federer, Sampras, etc etc? Okay, Djokovic might be the exception, I'll agree hes up there with them (close...). But look at the serious contenders, always mean business, Murray, etc.

    Yes, sorry to say, but tennis seems wil never be very popular amongst all other sports on TV, only people who really understand it, and/or play it can really appreciate it.
     
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  23. Andyk028

    Andyk028 Professional

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    Dude smiles after he wins and shakes hands ...its survival of the fittest out there.
     
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  24. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

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    its bad for us, but nadal, federer, and all the pros who want to win only care about the victory.

    bingo.

    its nadals personal style. different strokes for different folks

    bingo again

    exactly.
     
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  25. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    He's not disdainful in the slightest, he's just very focused and mad at himself when he shanks a shot. With all the flak he gets for not making a hard court final yet, sure he has to take things seriously but I guess you missed how nice he was with Rochus at the end, smiling, talking to him and everything. Better a player who doesn't smile and plays brilliant tennis than a player fooling around playing so-so or losing focus and accumulating UEs.
     
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  26. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

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    Nobody is saying he is not nice. I think even Drakulie and the like(maybe) accept that Nadal is a super nice guy off court. I just wish he looked like he had a little more fun out there. Showing you are having fun does not have to be detrimental to your game.
     
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  27. feetofclay

    feetofclay Semi-Pro

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    #27
  28. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    i like dark eyes, but god... i hate the way he looks at his opponents.

    agree with the OP... but sampras was showing more "positive joy" when making incredible shots !
    ... like a butcher kissing a steak ? ;)
     
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  29. GOD_BLESS_RAFA

    GOD_BLESS_RAFA Semi-Pro

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    No room for smiling focus needed!
     
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  30. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Nadal looks like he's having a ball out there to me.
     
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  31. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Yes the poster said he had "an expression of malice and disdain for his opponent". That is saying he is not nice, isn't it? And that's also a hostile, fanciful and completely erroneous projection. Nadal gets mad at himself when his shots go wrong, not at his opponents. I agree he frowned a lot during the match. I think it was very important for him to start strong and make a good first impression as there were a lot of question marks about his current form by specialists.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
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  32. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    No, like a comforting older brother... Obviously my perspective will be more positive than the one of the most notorious Nadal hater on this board!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
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  33. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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  34. DarthFed

    DarthFed Hall of Fame

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    But your perspective is extremely biased....comforting older brother?....best smile in tennis?...taking it a tad too personal there
     
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  35. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    We're all biassed toward certain players. You are too, right? BTW Fed was smiling a lot yesterday, I think he's really enjoying this court and feels comfortable on it.
     
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  36. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Not smiling is just part of his game face, that along with the stare, telling all opponents
    I'm here only for business and to win." Period.

    He saves his big smile for when he's not on court. Business and pleasure are 2 separate things.


    And guess what. it works.

    BTW Federer never smiles either, and it works for him too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
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  37. DarthFed

    DarthFed Hall of Fame

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    Before i say anything im going to assume you're female? that would clear SO MUCH up for me

    My sig is a paraphrase of a comment i saw on youtube....i happened to agree with it since the guy seems like such a nice guy...Nadal does as well but they both have berserk button

    Actually after doing something impressive he will smile, with an expression like "im trying to look serious but i just have to admire my handy work"

    Like the smash rally he had yesterday
     
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  38. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    What difference would it make if I was male or female? (not trying to play games, just being curious)
     
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  39. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Actually Fed did yesterday but I agree he doesn't do it often during a match. Rafa keeps his best smiles for the trophy lifting! (Good timing IMO)
     
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  40. DarthFed

    DarthFed Hall of Fame

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    Then the"best smile in tennis" and "older brother" thing would make a lot more sense to me
     
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  41. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    You mean with an expression of "I am so in love with myself, I just can't get over it"? (just kidding)
     
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  42. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Actually I should have said older brother since Rochus is older but he certainly LOOKED younger next to Rafa, didn't he?
     
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  43. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Best smile???? He looked like he was trying to pass gas near the baseline and hoping nobody will notice.
     
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  44. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Let me rephrase that: most bewitching smile in the history of tennis!
     
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  45. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Fair enough. You are easy.
     
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  46. hjminard

    hjminard Rookie

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    That sums it up for me.

    A lack of smiling is not necessarily an indicator than someone isn't having fun. I (almost) always have fun playing tennis, but rarely (almost never) smile during a match.
     
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