Interesting observation of a practice session for Rafa at RG

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by basil J, May 24, 2012.

  1. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xr18m6_rafael-nadal-s-1st-practice-at-roland-garros-in-2012_sport#
    I found it very interesting that during a practice session, Rafa raely hit the reverse forehand or "buggy Whip" forehand that he constantly uses in match play. I don't speak spanish so I can't understand what uncle Tony is saying to him. But I was wondering if he was telling him to hit through the ball? Can anybody translate what Tony is saying? also pulled up some early videos of rafa when he first broke out on the tour and he used the reverse forehand much less in the early days as he does now. I don't have a problem with the buggy whip, just found it interesting that in this practice session he does not hit it very often at all.
    BTW, Rafa looks to be in great shape, as does Federer. Should be a great Frensh open.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
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  2. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Nadal always does that in practices, hits more aggressively with more drive and less spin. It actually doesn't make any sense to me.
     
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  3. kragster

    kragster Hall of Fame

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    Yeah as a Rafa fan I wish he would occasionally bring back the 04-05 flatter attacking shots. I wonder if perhaps Rafa also has the Murray syndrome, i.e. in the heat of the match he defaults to his tried and tested formula that works 99% of the time. It's all well and good but I have to imagine that on faster surfaces like WTF, more drive and less spin would work better.
     
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  4. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    hitting with more drive and less spin means more potential for errors. Nadal's UE count would increase considerably. He has a high margin for error with his current forehand. Why change a winning tactic?
     
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  5. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Well he has a high margin even with the more driven forehand (see AO09, where he actively tried to hit through the court, with obvious success)

    A happy medium of spin and drive should be found for the faster courts.. he definitely has a lethal weapon if he uses it right.
     
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  6. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Is that Kevin Anderson he's hitting with?
     
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  7. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Yep.

    10kevinandersons
     
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  8. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Right. So the point here is: why does he practice that shot? Why does he almost exclusively practice a shot he rarely ever uses in match play?
     
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  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Appears Nadal won't be using the new FO APD paint scheme.
     
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  10. nadal_slam_king

    nadal_slam_king Banned

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    Nadal is probably trying to get away from the habit of heavy topspin, and in practice he can successfully hit through the ball repeatedly. But then he reverts to his old habits in the matches, because it feels more comfortable (and Nadal is all about comfort, as he's said in interviews before even regarding the reasons why he doesn't serve at full pace since the 2010 US Open, he doesn't like the return to come back fast so he refuses to serve at full-pace; same deal with his aversion to hitting flat). Old habits die hard. Not that his old habit is a bad thing, generally.
     
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  11. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    anyone else notice a slight lag on the serving arm of Nadal when he was hitting those practice serves?
     
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  12. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Probably because he knows he can hit his buggy whip fh anytime anyplace, he's done that shot for 20 years... The hard flat forehand is less natural for him and he wants to make it when he goes for it, even if its only used 8% of the time.
     
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  13. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Wonder why Nadal and Fed were practicing with Cilic and Anderson, not exactly clay court beasts, wouldn't they want a Pablo Andujar out there to get a solid session in, or do they not want to push themselves too far.
     
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  14. sillymonkey

    sillymonkey Hall of Fame

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    Jeez, you'd think the top players would have more stealthy practice sessions, so as to keep their strategies secret. Am I crazy?
     
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  15. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Ralph is preparing for the inevitability of blue clay.
     
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  16. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    This has always been perplexing about Nadal. I wish he would hit like that in actual matches. He can smoke the ball when he wants to. Here's an example of how hard he can hit the ball when he actually hits through it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKoUrBhhh7k
     
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  17. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Yes I noticed this too. I saw him practice and he hits very traditional and modern with a very flat smothering the ball. When he plays matches though he really finishes up a lot more. Almost like he's rolling up on the ball from low to high. I'm guessing maybe he's trying to loop and spin the ball, maybe it gives him a greater margin of error or maybe it just bothers players during match play and for some reason he choses not to use it during practice.

    Yes, pull up some old 2005 clips and nadal hits more of the way you see him hitting in practice and also, players t-off on him way more too. I think when he finishes higher up the ball kicks up more and they can't just hit the ball as freely because it's not in their "wheel barrel zone."

    Good observation. I noticed this too, but didn't bother to write anything up on it.

     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
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  18. nadal_slam_king

    nadal_slam_king Banned

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    Very true cork screw, and that may be why Tsonga was able to knock Nadal's block off at the 2008 Australian Open but not since. Nadal won 4 straight hardcourt meetings with Tsonga after that, maybe due to Nadal putting the ball higher since. Now Tsonga makes mass unforced errors each time he plays Nadal, as the ball is not in Tsonga's wheelhouse. In fact the only hardcourt match Tsonga won over Nadal since that 2008 AO semi was the 2011 World Tour Finals (low-bouncing hardcourt) and even that was a 3-set thriller.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
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  19. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Good to see Nadal hitting a Federer forehand in practice, but I think if he hit that ball in a game it would come back as fast as he hit it and he would not have the time to play fetch.

    Federer uses his stock slice backhand for the same purpose.
     
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  20. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Language

    Many people I suspect don't know this but Spanish is not Nadal's first language.

    hence, I doubt whether getting a Spanish speaker to translate will help you. They are very likely speaking Catalan not Spanish. (A Catalan Dialect is the language of Majorca where the Nadal's are from).

    Note: Catalan is the main language in North Eastern Spain (and the Baleric Islands where the Nadal's live) - not Spanish, though pretty much all Native Catalan Speakers also speak fluent Spanish - it is not their first language and hence Spanish isn't the language they use on a daily to day basis.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
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  21. nadal_slam_king

    nadal_slam_king Banned

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    Yeah I remember Nadal talking about that on the Letterman show.
     
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  22. billnepill

    billnepill Hall of Fame

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    I like that he didn't grunt
     
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  23. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Grunting is his first language, at least acco to the previous poster who heard Nadal grunting about it on the Letterman show. ;)
     
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  24. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    sometimes you just murder me :mrgreen:
     
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  25. nadal_slam_king

    nadal_slam_king Banned

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    The previous poster :lol: that sounds good, I like that.
     
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  26. Blinkism

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