My thoughts on Nadal & Federer

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Tchocky, May 11, 2007.

  1. Tchocky

    Tchocky Hall of Fame

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    Both Roger & Rafa have had bad losses this year. The difference between the two is that when Roger loses it has more to do with his game than his opponent. Everytime Roger loses he has a very low 1st serve percentage and a boat load on unforced errors. It's not so much him getting outplayed by his opponents. Even when Roger loses to Rafa this is the case. When Nadal loses, it's because he gets outplayed by his opponents. Whether it's Djokovic, Gonzalez, Youzhny, Berdych or Blake, Nadal just seems to get outplayed by these guys when they are at their best. It's not necessarily anything that Nadal is doing wrong but what his opponents are doing right. Nadal's match statistics aren't that much dramatically different when he loses or wins. The question is what is worse: getting outplayed by your opponent or beating yourself. I think it's beating yourself which makes it tougher for Roger when he loses because he knows he shouldn't lose whereas Nadal can more easily brush off his losses acknowleding his opponent was better that day.
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It can also mean that Nadal plays much more consistent, high percentage tennis, while Federer depends greatly on his timing and brilliant strokes. Before his rise, Federer was an inconsistent, streaky player who threw tantrums when he lost. Being too finely tuned has resulted in many species becoming extinct over the course of time as their habitats changed and they couldn't adapt.
     
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  3. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Thing with Nadal is that he's still a "work in progress" when it comes to hardcourts, and he knows that. At the end of the day, Nadal knows he can still significantly develop his game (returns, overall service, even stepping into ball), and that he's still very young.

    I think the troubling thing with Federer is his decline in his movement. What elevated Federer's game was really the improvement in his defensive and transition games, and that was keyed into his footwork, movement, and timing. That's actually what has gone awry, and oddly he's starting to look like the much younger Federer.

    But it's hard to tell whether this is due to him playing in his later 20s, or just rust on the court. He hasn't played often enough to sustain momentum in his game.
     
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  4. Tchocky

    Tchocky Hall of Fame

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    Both of you make good points. Nadal is not your typical clay court player. Unlike most clay court players who love trading groundstrokes from several feet behind the baseline, Nadal is always looking to attack whether it's from behind the baseline or returning serve. He takes big risks with his forehand going for the lines frequently. I wouldn't call his game high percentage tennis but it seems to work for him. I agree that Roger's game is contingent on his timing and footwork and those two seem to have fallen off recently.
     
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  5. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    When Nadal loses his confidence, he gets into defensive mode which makes it look that way but when Nadal is on I doubt he loses with the exception of last years tournament in Shanghai against Federer.
     
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  6. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    I will add that Nadal does get visibly frustrated in games. It's just that mental frustration doesn't translate into errors in his game. That's generally true of most clay court players as well as retriever types like Hewitt, since they play essentially a defensive game. Instead, it just means Nadal no longer attacks, which puts him at a disadvantage on fast courts against big shotmakers.

    This is one of the inherent problems with assessing mental strength without considering the basic style of play of that particular tennis player. If all your shots were heavy as lead and your 1st serve was designed to get the ball in play, then of course your defense-oriented game won't break down if you're discouraged. It's just that you won't get anywhere, and the other guy will dictate play and grind you down. And that happens when Nadal loses on HC. The other guy just bashes him off the court, because Nadal is no longer attacking.

    Other thing is that Roger may just need to hire a coach suited for him and be very hands-on with him. Mechanical issues may be creeping into his game a little, and maybe he just needs new eyes to point them out.

    Hard to say, really. Roger may end up cleaning house in Hamburg, and then we'll forget all about this.
     
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  7. flyboy1

    flyboy1 New User

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    That's a good point about Federer "cleaning up in Hamburg". If my mental math is correct, if Federer wins or gets to the final in Hamburg, he'll actually finish the clay court season with more points than he accrued last year. This would be for the simple fact that he only played Monte Carlo and Rome last year. Since Federer already finaled at Monte Carlo, and if he finals in Hamburg, the points that he got in Rome would be an added bonus. Two finals appearances = break even. Two finals plus a third round is more points than 2006 on the clay. A final, a third round, and a win would be even more. This would mean that the only tournaments that cost him points would be Indian Wells and Miami; not enough to make him worry going into Wimbledon and the hard court season. Although, having said that, he has shown this year especially, that he's quite vulnerable on the hard stuff. I am actually happy that Federer is struggling a bit. It's going to make the points race this year very exciting. Besides, if Federer's confidence is waning, maybe the hardcourt season will really be a horse race this year.
     
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  8. Baghdatis72

    Baghdatis72 Hall of Fame

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    So Federer loses by accident whereas Nadal loses because he gets outplayed. Lame...
     
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  9. tennishead93

    tennishead93 Semi-Pro

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    i hate it how lots of ppl are posting threads saying fed is down and out and needs to retire. he is probably going thru a phase in his career. did he ever have a real slump? no. roddick did and seems to be getting out of it. only time will tell when we see fed winning consistent matches again. but i still do see him winning usopen and wimbledon again.
     
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  10. thu_huong

    thu_huong Rookie

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    same idea;)
     
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  11. War Safin!

    War Safin! Professional

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    Hmmmm - Federer losing twice to Canas* and once to Nadal this year were pretty much him being outplayed too.
    The Volandri match was just Federer playing like ****.

    (*ok, Canas losss #2 wasn't so much outplayed, I admit).
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    JMac on Nadal yesterday

    "Nadal is hitting the ball harder and with more spin than anyone ever did when I was playing,”
     
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  13. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Johnny Mac is not very bright. Considering the balls are lighter and the rackets are more powerful, DUUUUUH.
     
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  14. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Nadal does have huge biceps. They look like those of a body builder in this pic.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. callitout

    callitout Professional

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    good points and Mac would never be aware of this. Im sure Rafa doesnt swing very hard also.
     
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