Impressions after watching Federer-Nadal once more.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by ferrari_827, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. ferrari_827

    ferrari_827 Professional

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    Nadal: I'm not sure people get it

    To some people, Nadal may be just another boring clay-court basher. But those who really know the game can tell he is something quite different.

    Just his movement and anticipation is uncanny, much better than your average clay-courter. Against Federer on a hard court, Nadal was rarely out of position, and was just as impressive moving *up and down* the court as side to side. As Roger said, the pace and spin of Nadal's ball is something quite different.

    Nadal is also quite capable at volleying, hitting overheads, and has a good enough serve that it's not really attackable.

    Some posters here say Nadal would be easy pickings for a really good serve and volleyer. That's debatable because Nadal is so quick and has excellent passing shots. Against Federer, several volleys which would have been winners against others were turned into passing shots.

    The liability with a game like Nadal's is that it requires superb physical conditioning and whether he can play this style day in day out.
     
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  2. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    A lot of people get it. They just don't necessarily post here. But players (especially his opponents), coaches, etc., have been saying for years that Nadal will be a top player.

    http://www.vamosrafael.com/thebuzz.html
     
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  3. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    He is exciting to watch, but it is a little inefficient over 5 sets. If he beefs up his serve he will win a master title real soon. Heck, he can win with what he has now and it is only going to get better.
     
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  4. arodnadal

    arodnadal Semi-Pro

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    he is much more exciting then other pro players on tour including federer
     
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  5. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    I have watched the match again from the beginning till the last point pausing at some moments , watching them again and etc...

    New impressions.

    1. Set 1 - Fed is absent completely, he is fighting against serve of Nadal. He is doing a lot of simple mistakes.

    2. Set 2 - Fed found himself, he is absolutely dominates on the court. He is killing Nadal showing what tennis is. Suddenly he loses the set. Nobody understands how it happened including him. Nadal is absent on the court in the set 2.

    3. Set 3. Nadal dominates over Fed on the court. Fed is broken. ONE MISTAKE OF THE LINE REFEREE SAVES FED AT SCORE 0:40. Suddenly Nadal loses set, nobody understands how and why he missed a chance to win match.

    4. Set 4. Fed dominates over Nadal on the court and wins set.

    5. Set 5. Nadal is broken.

    99% of mistakes done by Fed have nothing with spin of backhand or forehand of Nadal, mainly stupid mistakes or service return faults.

    That match was one of the worst matches of Fed.

    Nothing impressed me in the game of Nadal except resolution showed in first 3 sets to fight for every point.

    The match showed me how non-professional are both players sometimes, how much they couldn't keep themselves and their minds cool, can't control their mind... tremble, tremble, fright, stupid mistakes.... I recommend them to engage somebody from our forum to practise with.
     
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  6. joeman957

    joeman957 Rookie

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    They're human, not robots.
     
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  7. PJVA

    PJVA Rookie

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    I think the mistake in the line call was at 0-30. The call put the score at 15-30.

    My take on the start of the match was that Federer wasn't used to Nadal's quick responses and how he'd get to so many balls. Federer himself said he made the mistake of trying to match Nadal's pace and hit harder. That's probably what brought about the errors.
     
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  8. Goenitz_196

    Goenitz_196 New User

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    Why oh why is that whenever Federer has a tough time against someone it's always due to Roger having "a bad game" or "the worst game of his life"? Haven't any of you thought it may be due to the quality of his opponent?

    Christ, you should've heard some Federer fans on other forums after the AOPEN SF match against Safin. It was all 'Rogi was awful', 'Roger made so many mistakes it's not him', 'Fed had the worst game of his life', and of course - 'Rogi should have won that match'. They honestly think Roger Federer cannot be beaten. Ever.

    Aykhan Mammadov, I'm not saying you're one, but all these Federer fanboy/fangirls are really getting tiresome.
     
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  9. RoddickSafin

    RoddickSafin Rookie

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    ....But Fed did have a bad match...almost 3 sets worth of unforced errors. In the AO safin outplayed Fed he didnt have a bad match..
     
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  10. wildbill88AA

    wildbill88AA Banned

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    the bad call was at 0-30, shoulda been 0-40. federer is even lucky too.
     
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  11. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    Yeah, those Nadal passing shots on the dead run were simply because of Federer's poor play... Yeah right. I've watched Nadal and Federer long enough to know.... Quit trying to make excuses for Federer, he doesn't need to make them.

    Federer himself has also said (besides Moya), that he thinks Nadal can be the #1 player in the world one day. He was quoted on ESPN saying people don't realize how good Nadal is going to be (one day), Federer must be talking about you... Nadal had Federer by the throat, and please Nadal IS THE FASTEST MAN ON THE BACKCOURT. He needs to work on his endurance and that will come, he's only 18 and he will be in the top 5 by years end.
     
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  12. westside

    westside Hall of Fame

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    I think Nadal is really exciting to watch. I'd rather watch him then Gaudio, Henman or Nalbandian
     
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  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The category of "unforced error" does not take into account the funky left-handed spins Nadal puts on the ball or his incredibly fast foot speed which caused Federer to have to go for too much to get the ball away from Nadal. When Nadal puts in a second serve with tons of lefty sidespin on it and Federer fails to return the ball, they may classify it as an "unforced error", but believe me, it was Nadal that forced Federer to make that error.
     
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  14. Alex

    Alex Semi-Pro

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    I agree to alan-n on this. Roger Federer did not have a bad day, he was clearly outplay by Nadal. But he stay calm, be consistent and found a way to beat Nadal.

    In the Nasdaq 100 Final, Nadal clearly was the aggressor and should have been the winner. He simply outplay Roger Federer in every category, unfortunately he lack a little luck and big match experience to put the finishing touch on Federer. He could have finish off Federer in the third set and lift the trophy, just bad luck.

    If any of you remember the last encounter in 2004 between Nadal and Federer, Nadal was outstanding and beat Federer in straight set. (I can't remember at what tournament it was, anyway will try to check.)

    Like alan-n said, Nadal needs to work on his endurance to handle 5 sets matches. In the 4th and 5th set Nadal clearly show sign of slowing down and exhaustion. This is one of the reason Nadal lost. Another is that his playing style doesn't give him any cheap or easy point, he need to work hard on every point just like A.Agassi. Plus with his extreme top-spin groundstroke and swinging his racquet so fast and furious, it will drain his energy even faster.
     
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  15. Alex

    Alex Semi-Pro

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    I totally agree with BreakPoint...it was Nadal that forced Federer to make that error. If you look at the match carefully, Federer is not in his comfort zone. He is hitting so far back from the baseline and hitting the balls high up above his shoulder. He is simply having problem returning Nadal's groundstroke.
     
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  16. Alex

    Alex Semi-Pro

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  17. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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  18. activentures

    activentures Rookie

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    ...but more exciting than federer?!?

    Probably not.

    You never hear gasps from the crowd when watching him, and I don't find myself smiling and shaking my head in disbelief either like I do with Federer. Although he hits a nasty heavy ball, his strengths remain in his movement and his consistency, much like most claycourters. Despite their games being slightly different, he reminds me of Hewitt in many ways. A guy you know will be a great player and enjoyable to watch, but not really exciting.
     
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  19. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Same tournament last year, 2004 Nasdaq-100 Open, in the third round. Although Federer did have the flu that week.
     
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  20. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    Sunstroke from Indian Wells, although his fans make a lot more of it than he does. He says he was feeling pretty well going into that match:

    http://www.asapsports.com/tennis/2005nasdaq/040105RF.html
     
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  21. jings

    jings Professional

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    A lot of these Federer / Nadal theories around and I've resisted so far. Whichever way you cut it Fed somehow found a way through over 5 sets, hitting closer to his normal rhythym in the end, but he struggled early on. He doesn't like lefties and Nadal hits a different ball to most. He failed to adjust and played poorly (in absolute or because of Nadal). To me though he was not hitting his usual patterns in the earlier sets and was certainly shy of the nadal f/h wing. I think this upset federer as much as anything as he wasn't winning points the way he's used to and had to find another way. He also gave Nadal pace to feed off which given how far back he plays can only have helped the young Spaniard. I can't recall many b/h slice into Nadal in the earlier parts of the match, which again was unusual for Fed - Nadal was dictating the pace of the match which is most un Fed.
    More than anything though this match reminded me of Roddick at Wimbledon final 04. He tried to blast Fed off the court but in the end Fed was able to find a way past that and weather the Roddick storm, knowing you can't keep threading the eye of a needle with passes - and if the opponent does then he's too good on the day. It also reminds me of the Safin match at the AO, where again Safin took an intensity into the match, the difference being he was able to sustain it. Conclusion? If someone brings their big game and unloads it for long enough they will get Fed, it's just whether they can bring their A game for the whole match. Nadal wasn't able to, by the thinnest of margins (although how Fed lost the second set I still can't really work out?) but he will learn how to play big over 5 sets just as Fed has learnt some ways to get past Nadal. As fascinating a match as I've seen for some time, albeit that the overall standard wasn't say as high as Safin / Fed at AO, which was a match for the ages. My 5c.
     
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  22. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Let's remember that a match with 106 winners and 128 UE's, can be a very interesting match.
     
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  23. Fedubai

    Fedubai Semi-Pro

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    Nobody needs to make excuses for Federer. To that Roger is never beaten, he only loses, is crazy. Like I said, I thought it was close to over at 4-1 in the third. The second set, yeah you could say that Federer really made a monumental collapse for whatever reason...he was up 5-2 and to lose 4 straight games at such an important juncture is not like him. It just seems like he was never able to really get his confidence going, or for that matter a clear idea of what to do against Nadal...he kept going to his backhand early and he'd even put weak volleys there and he just got killed on the pass of Nadal. He went to Nadal's forehand later and one memorable shot was a Nadal forehand pass that I just could not believe. It was crazy.

    Federer also had some plays that were just...ugh. Shanked overheads, botched volleys, idiotic slices that he never normally misses, bad decisions...how much of that was to do with Federer and how much of it was to do with Nadal it's hard to say. But it was clear he was unsettled, and credit Nadal for that. The next match will be interesting, to see what strategies both will come up with. You don't often say this about an 18 year old.
     
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  24. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    He's great against s&v because his average ground stroke goes about as high as a lob anyway ;)
     
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  25. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I think a good bit of Fed's problems in this match came from Nadal being a southpaw. Especially since Nadal hits so much backward (left-handed) spin.
     
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  26. federerhoogenbandfan

    federerhoogenbandfan Banned

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    I agree facing a lefty was a problem for Fed. There are not many lefties on tour anymore, that are particularly good. Rusedski was already going downhill when Fed started playing him.
     
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  27. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I sort of disagree. Nadal's got one of the heaviest forehands on tour and I was surprised by how effectively he could flatten out and rip the backhand side. And he's got great instincts. It may look like sheer athleticism but to me it's obvious that the kid knows where to move and where to hit the ball. Betting to the final of the so-called 5th Slam and getting one bad line call away from toppling Federer is a very encouraging sign for any 18 year old.
     
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  28. Fedubai

    Fedubai Semi-Pro

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    I wouldn't say one bad line call away. You or I don't know if Federer would have been able to dig himself out of a 0-40 hole--I'm pretty sure he's done it before. However, like I say, we don't know. But Nadal wasn't gauranteed the championship at 4-1, and a victory wouldn't not be assured at 5-3.

    I think it would be more accurate to say that Nadal came two points away from winning, in that tiebreak. He was up 5-3.
     
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  29. silent bob

    silent bob New User

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    I'm a fed fan, but he was VERY lucky to get out of that match with a win.

    As I get older I must admit I have gotten more biased against the new young stars, so it is begrudgingly that I admit that Nadal was the more impressive player in Miami. Indeed, Nadal was frighteningly AWSOME for long stretches of that match. He made Fed look decidedly ordinary for much of that battle.

    These two are going to meet a lot in the future and it will be very interesting to see who can learn the most from the encounters and gain the upper hand. People seem to be suggesting that Fed figured Nadal out during this match, so he can dominate the next time, but I reckon the 18yr old has the potential to learn more at this stage as Fed probably knows almost everything already.

    Incidentally, this was the first case I can remember where I felt Fed would have been much better off with a coach to help him prepare for the unique challenge that Nadal poses.
     
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  30. Fedubai

    Fedubai Semi-Pro

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    I thought this was funny...

    Q. Did you speak to Tony before the match about playing a lefty?

    ROGER FEDERER: I did speak to him, yes.

    Q. What did he say?

    ROGER FEDERER: Ah, you would like to know that (laughing). No, he told me a couple of things, you know, because I didn't see him play much, you know, the last few - ever almost. Because he was injured and he plays different tournaments sometimes. He saw the match against Roddick in Davis Cup where I didn't get to see anything, so I just asked him if he knew anything about him. He just told me what he knew, so... It worked great in the first two sets (laughing). No, no...
     
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  31. silent bob

    silent bob New User

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    Nadal had me gasping left, right and center--and i was backing federer!
    The way he passed federer had me shaking my head in disbelief - as did the way he intimidated Fed into a predictable game of hitting everthing to Nadal's backhand.
     
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  32. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    right on both counts.
     
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  33. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    The people get the Nadal's very good.

    It doesn't mean they should all like his style of play.

    I for myself, much more like the classical style of Fed, however was thinking during the first two sets that Nadal could create the same problems to Fed even when playing with a baseball bat (and wouldn't be uglier).

    Nadal's strength is amazing. Being
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    at 18years, and a top tennis player, is special. That's lots of muscle, and fast moving muscle, not bodybuilding muscle.
     
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  34. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I must be one of those who "don't get it."

    Nadal is GOOD. No argument. Some of you, though, post about him as if he has already achieved "greatness". He hasn't.

    The images of Nadal I still remember. (From one who always will have some of a bias against the baseline game ... Agassi and Hewitt notwithstanding.):

    ... Roddick nearly knocked him off his feet with a serve in the USO. The "look" from Nadal after that was so funny. And from that point on, Rafael was pretty much "done" against Andy.

    ... Moves very well. Very quick.

    ... Weighty and powerful forehand.

    ... His game appears to still be improving. More than I can say for a lot of baseliners.

    ... Those ugly peddle-pusher pants. It's difficult to take someone seriously when they *purposely* look like that.

    But you guys are "banking" a TON on a match where Federer stunk up the joint. IMO, you are "pretending" Nadal played at a higher level than he did.

    Lastly, Nadal "had" Federer ... and he choked in the 3rd set tie breaker. (You Rafael supporters better HOPE that's not "typical"....)

    - KK
     
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  35. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    I'm with you Kaptain. Until he loses the Old Navy women's capri pants, he's on the bottom of my list. Good player, though.
     
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  36. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Good grief!!! You "Nadaloonies" are funny. He HAD Roger in the final of a big tournament ... and he CHOKED.

    - KK
     
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  37. Stinkdyr

    Stinkdyr Professional

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    VamosNada needs an extreme makeover......and not by some queereyes. Gamewise, he is in pretty good shape, needs to work on his serve and taking the net more often. His many strengths are already obvious.
     
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  38. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    I think most do get it : Nadal is an awesome talent that should be one of the dominating players for years to come in todays game of baseline tennis. He will always be a favorite to win any clay tourney, ie many of the European events including the French. He is capable of playing an allcourt game which he has proved in his doubles events and infrequent approaches to the net. I think that if he learns to play smarter tennis and mixes up his strokes, more like Moya, he can win some slams. I like his attitude and competitve nature !
     
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  39. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    If quickness and speed were interesting to see, there would be track meets on TV every week. Even the most nuanced eye can see that while Nadal patrols the baseline with machine-like precision and keeps the ball in with depth, pace and reasonable reliability, there isn't a whole lot else that he does. His strategic options are essentially two: should I send this one down the line or cross court. The viewer, similarly, has essentially those two possibilities to ponder. Not a lot of drama to consider. A metronome offers nearly as many possibilities. I thought about this as I watched both the Pacific Life and NASDAQ and marvelled at how empty the stadium was until the last two days or so of each tournament. Commentators who hypebolize about the "chess match" going on on the court sounded a little less ridiculous when the match was Borg-McEnroe, Pete-Andre, Federer-whoever with some contrast of style creating dramatic tension, but a Nalbandian-Nadal match is less like a chess match than it is like windshield wipers. This style of play will destroy the game. Do you recall the year-ending women's tourney in LA? The place was filled with empty seats even on the last two days.
     
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  40. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    El Diablo - You said more -- and expressed my anti-baseliner bias better than I did.

    - KK
     
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  41. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I tend to agree with Nadal being easy pickings for S&Vers
    especially on fast courts.
    You should see how Edberg often ridiculed Bruguera on fast court.
    Bruguera often became a laughing matter against Edberg who was nearing
    retirement.

    Players like Edberg, Becker, Krajicek, Stich would do much better
    than Federer did against Nadal. It's showing limitation of Federer's net game
    which can not be considered as enforcing weapon. Federer's volleys
    still have that uncertain look and tend to be short which can be picked
    up by Nadal.

    Don't worry Ferrari_827, Federer is working with Tony Roche, arguably the
    best volleyer in history. I do not see why Federer can not be great vollyer
    with all those excess of talents....
     
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  42. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    Again, a lot of posters speaking about spin of shots of Nadal. What have I to do to see the same ? I'm telling again: Spin of service ( just because Nadal is lefty, not because spin is special) pressed Fed to make mistakes IN SERVICE return. First set he tryed to return but failed, and only after a set he worked out habit to return them. I didn't observed that the spin of ordinary hits ( not during services what means spin of forehand and backhand) created problem for Fed.
     
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  43. lagranwilly

    lagranwilly Rookie

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    Aykhan,yeah i know its difficult to assume that your idol was almost beaten his ass by a 18 year old player.Also,Overall,Nadal won 4 sets against Federer and Federer 3.Always with Nadal being a 'rookie',in his 2 years as pro.
    I agree that Nadal has to work out on long matches,both physical and mentally.But...he's just 18 years old for god sake!!!!He's got all the potential to be #1
     
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  44. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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    I agree w/ KK that Nadal choked.

    He was putting some pressure on Federer with his groundies, but Federer missed too many easy shots for me to say that Nadal's good play took Federer off of his game. I think Federer had a bad day and Nadal had a great day, which is pretty much the ONLY recipe these days for a Federer loss. Unfortunately, Nadal couldn't sustain his play and Fed found a way to win.
     
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  45. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    joe, if Roddick having only great service won GS and was No 1, if Ferrero not playing delicate tennis as Fed but also with big muscles and strength won GS, if say Costa was FO champion or Gaudio was FO winner, why can't be Nadal ? IMHO Nadal is playing much more diversified tennis than those listed above.

    The only obstacle on the way for him is Federer. If Fed loses and leaves on first rounds or simply not participating then IMHO Nadal has more chances than any other.
     
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  46. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Because as El Diablo so concisely pointed out, Nadal is still too one dimensional and with Federer, Safin, Roddick & Hewitt to compete with, I dont see him winning any slam except for the French.
     
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  47. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    The reason the stands are emtpy earlier in the tournament is because a lot of people are out watching play on the outer courts, and not sitting in their stadium seats. By the time you get to the finals, there's nothing going on on outer courts, so everyone is in their stadium seat.

    Both Miami and Indian Wells had record attendances on many days.

    When you go to a tournament, why sit and watch the marquee players you can see all the time on TV? This is the time to get out and see other players, and to catch those entertaining doubles matches.
     
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  48. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    Not at all. I can assume that play of Nadal somehow pressed Fed, but what particularly ? The speed of that man, he was fast. Also lefty service during 1-st set. SERVICE just because of the lefty spin of the ball. But people here are speaking about some spin of a ball he placed during ordinary backhands and forehands. What I'm telling is that I have watched match twice and didn't notice that.
     
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  49. RoddickSafin

    RoddickSafin Rookie

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    Big freakin deal.. Now Federer will adjust to Nadal and get used to his crazy spins. Im not a Fed fan but i can recognize when one player is better than another.
     
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  50. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    The FedFreaks are just as opinionated as the Nadaloonies, I'm afraid. Not sure one is any more reasonable than the other. *lol*

    But I remember reading this Board and ones like it years ago, and listening to how Hewitt was never going to win a slam, how Safin would dominate the ATP, how Fed would continue to choke in big matches and never realize his potential (he did let a few slip away earlier in his career), how Andy would injure his serving arm and be out of the game by age 21.

    The fact is we don't know what we will happen with these guys' careers. It's interesting to talk about it, of course, but it's all speculation.

    I have a lot of faith in Rafa's abilities and especially his determination. It may turn out to be misplaced, but it's certainly been fun following his career to date.

    And he does admit that he has things to improve to get at the top. He's not satisfied with being in the Top 20. He said that when all his said and done, he doesn't want to go down in history as being a Top 20 player. And to get to the top, he's going to have to improve on surfaces other than clay. Here's a bit some of you may find interesting, translated from a Spanish interview by Gonzalo Espariz:

     
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