Nadal always chooses to return?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by KHS, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. KHS

    KHS New User

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    Well I'm not very sure if there's been a thread about this, but why is it that Nadal always seems to choose to return first when most other players choose to serve first?? 0.o
     
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  2. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    He always does. He's ritualistic, so he always does the same things. Also, he could use it in order to ease himself into matches. I hate serving to open matches, I need to get into it first. I'd imagine even pros can feel this way too.

    What do I know, ask Nadal.
     
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  3. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Because you have a higher chance of breaking on the first game of the match then any other time, mainly because the guy usually has to "warm-up" his serve so to speak. There are very few guys that can come out of the gates and just blast a serve like Roddick or Sampras.
     
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  4. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yep. That's exactly it. I'd receive first too.
     
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  5. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    It's actually to shake off early nerves and get a few UE's out of the way without the risk of losing his own serve.
     
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  6. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Choosing to receive can have its disadvantages sometimes. Say if the other guy breaks your 1st service game and then hold the next, you are down 3-0 just as easy.

    If you serve first and got broken, the other guy holds the next game, mentally it is still 0-2 and he'll need to break you again to go up to 0-3.

    Not to mention late in the set a break could end the set right there by the first server, no?
     
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  7. BULLZ1LLA

    BULLZ1LLA Banned

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    (I agree with the nerves theory, I've seen Rafa hit 3 or 4 unforced errors in the 1st game and the server wins it to love. And other times I've seen the server get a 40-0 lead and then Rafa come back and get it to deuce and lose the game but it was worthwhile because it got Rafa's 'eye in' before he had to serve. Also, since most players want to serve first, it is good for Rafa to always want to return first because it means if he loses the coin toss then he will still get his favorite result. So he gets good 'predictability' out of it by always knowing he will be returning first)
     
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  8. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Because it gives him time to meditate on a few different things before serving himself.
     
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  9. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with this.
     
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  10. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Yup, when you serve first the pressure is on you to hold.

    If you receive first and make a few errors and lose the game, no big deal.
     
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  11. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

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    He has been reading Brad Gilbert :p in his Winning Ugly book, he says to choose to return to throw off the oppnent, and also since you are 'warming up' your serve the first game like stated earlier
     
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  12. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    It's because he has poor return - **** logic LOL
     
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  13. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Agreed on the hating to open matches with serve. I like to get a chance to get a few good swings in and then serve after my opponent has served. Sure more pressure when it comes down to holding, but by that point I'm usually in a rhythm. It is all preference, some people always choose to serve first because they just like serving first.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I almost always choose to serve first because a lot of my matches turn into serve fests where there are only 1 to 3 breaks per set. I'd rather be ahead on the scoreboard even though we may be on serve. It puts a lot of pressure on the other server to hold at 5-4 and 6-5.

    A benefit of returning serve that I think I read about in Brad Gilbert's book was that you always serve after a changeover. So you have a chance to catch your breath and regroup before serving. This can be a big benefit when it gets really hot out.

    Either way, do what works best for you and your game.
     
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  15. Tennis Is Magic

    Tennis Is Magic Semi-Pro

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    It's psychological. Nadal sees this as a chance to start wearing down his opponent as fast as possible. If Nadal started the match serving, and held serve, it's to be expected in men's tennis that you hold serve, thus his opponent is not as threatened, and is more relaxed on their serve. If you break your opponent's serve the first game, that can throw them off mentally for the rest of the match, because they might try to change their serve, whether it be serving bigger to prevent returns, or spinning serve in more to not risk giving away free points, since you're opponent is getting into the points and you feel you have no margin for error. This can also translate to them trying too much on the return or feeling pressure because they know you can break their serve, and if you take that mental edge, it can easily get you a set (or lose it for you if your opponent has it).
     
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  16. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    ^^^^
    Totally agree. I feel like returning first is an advantage especially if you choose to do so regularly. If you break, awesome. If you don't, it's no big deal because it's your serve.
     
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  17. MixieP

    MixieP Hall of Fame

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    I thought so, too, first, but Raffe only reads fishing books and journals. The only other book he has read was about a little boy in the war or some such parable.
     
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  18. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Especially when break point = set point or match point. This is how Roddick lost Wimby 09, right?
     
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  19. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    You are forgetting the KIA User's Manual and Insurance Policy. That's heavy reading, I assure you.
     
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  20. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    Have you even read the Boy in the Striped Pajamas? It's a great book- with a novel way of presenting holocaust literature..
     
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  21. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    Because he's a cheater and that's what cheaters do.
     
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  22. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Wow your credibility just shot up like the Sensex.

    p.s. hey Mike, you always crack me up with that gif :D
     
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  24. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, Roddick was constantly serving behind on the scoreboard and finally Fed got his only break of the match for the win. Of course, controlling who serves first in the 5th set is a little more difficult than winning a coin toss.
     
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