Nadal wasn't at his best

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by roysid, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    So having a new nemesis that owns you on all surfaces and having old foes like Murray and Fed bagel you while watching your game go down the drain in all kind of ways is considered good?

    I'd hate to think what a bad year is for Nadal.
     
    #51
  2. sunny_cali

    sunny_cali Semi-Pro

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    Fair enough. I would disagree that Rafa was mediocre or a non-factor. That seems too harsh (and with the intent of taking away credit from Fed). He was certainly nowhere near his best.

    He was fine until the 30+ stroke rally, at 2-3 0-40, when in what is a rarity when these two play, Fed out-Nadaled him. This seems to have had a bigger effect on Rafa than it should have. Perhaps something to do with his low-confidence as a result of the shellacking that Djoker handed out to him all year.
     
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  3. ImAGrinch

    ImAGrinch New User

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    If it wasn't for Djokovic, Nadal would've had a very successful year. I like how every time Nadal has a bad day it is the end for him. Everyone thought he was done in 2009 and look at what happened in 2010. The guy is 25 years old. Unless he has some permanent injury that nobody knows about, he's not physically on the decline. Doesn't anybody learn from the past?
     
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  4. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Mostly agree, last year's final's 1st set was very similar to the first set in 2007, in both of those matches Fed started returning badly, Nadal had some chances in the middle of the 1st set, Fed served himself out of trouble and broke Nadal afterwards. This year already in the first set Fed was getting a lot of balls into play.

    What I found different in their match this year compared to last year was as you already said ROS and the fact that Fed kept his gas on the pedal and didn't have a 2nd set letdown, now Nadal wouldn't have been bageled if he played better but this time Fed's level didn't dip in the 2nd set like it did last year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
    #54
  5. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with you that people have a tendency to predict future results based on one match and that is silly to me.

    It does howver look to me like Federer has been working harder on his faults and trying to improve them even at age 30. Fed's BH has definitely improved. On the other hand, Nadal looks like he has been trying to improve nothing.

    We will see what transpires in 2012 though as things can change quickly.
     
    #55
  6. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    He won a slam and reached 3 slam finals, that alone makes it a good year.

    Bad year for Nadal is the same as bad year for Fed-> The year in which they don't win a slam.
     
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  7. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I think he needs a coaching change and unfortunately I think he is too stubborn and loyal to make it.
     
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  8. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Age in years is not the whole picture. Nadal is 25 but he has been playing on the tour and winning big since he was 17. Add to that his grinding style and it is miles on tour that is more important than actual age. Nadal just looks a step slower to me and for him that is bad news as without his defense Nadal can't be Nadal. I don't agree with you that Nadal is not physically on the decline as I think he is starting.

    Let's see what happens in 2012 though.
     
    #58
  9. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    similar in that way yes, but I think rafa was more or less even in terms of level in the 2007 final 1st set till 4 all - actually I'd say slightly better, ground game wise .....

    In the 2010 final first set, I thought federer was clearly the better player the way, both off the serve and ground game wise ... he hit 17 winners to 3 winners from rafa IIRC ... the main reason for the set being 'close' was fed not returning well

    true ...
     
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  10. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    2011 was Nadal's 3 best season in his career (after 2010 and 2008 ) and if you take away Djokovic 2011 would actually be Nadal's best year by some margin.
     
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  11. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Probably true. I wonder however if desire or lack of it is not part of it. When he said he feels like he has been on tour for 100 years it made me think he may have lost some of his desire. How could he not, he has won so much and has punished his body in the process.
     
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  12. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    The Nadal camp seem clueless nowadays since they haven't improved ANYTHING in Nadal's game since the beginning of this year. When analysts and freaking commentators see more than you do, you need to re-evaluate your team's approach.

    I highly doubt that Nadal got to where he is by:

    -running away from his BH.
    -hitting his BH lik s**t.
    -serving WTA style.
    -hitting minilobs on the BH side to get depth.
    -staying passive passive passive.
    -hitting short on account of hitting most shots from the first freaking row.

    I gave them the benefit of the doubt but I think they have given up on improving Nadal as a player and Nadal may have as well. This one month break was supposed to bring something back to his game and Nadal is actually looking worse than in the asian swing.

    Nadal has thrown out everything that was good about his game and has become a shadow of his former self. Only thing he does now is run near the first row and act like the service line is the new baseline.
     
    #62
  13. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    But that does not mean Nadal has not declined some. He is still better than most of the clowns on the ATP. He can beat anybody below Murray pretty much in his sleep on a consistent basis still but that does not mean he has not declined somewhat.

    Federer still won slams past his prime because he was still better than most of his colleagues.
     
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  14. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    It could be Borgs clay court mark and Federers slam mark were the two biggest motivations. Now that he has equalled Borgs FO mark (and surpassed it in most other ways) and is regarded as the clay court GOAT by nearly everyone he has accomplished one his two objectives. The other (Federers slam record) he might feel is no longer in reach after a dissapointing year, some decline already starting, and finding a new nemisis opponent. So factor it all together and indeed he might not be that motivated anymore. His style of game takes alot of effort physically and mentally. If he has already achieved as much as he think he is going to as far as important landmarks, establishing himself as the consensus clay court GOAT, and having won all the major titles atleast once (except the WTF), he might not have his heart fully in it anymore.
     
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  15. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL, for some reason this instantly reminded me of "why doesn't Roddick play agressive with his FH anymore" topic.

    Seeing what's wrong with his game is only one part of the equation and I'm sure he and his uncle realize what he needs to do, however what he does in training is one thing and what he does in an actual match is another, especially if his confidence is damaged a bit(which might be the case given his numerous losses to Novak this year).

    I don't think coaching is the main problem, there's only so much a coach can do for you.
     
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  16. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    I applaud the ******* in here that admitted something's up with Rafa. It was clear as day. The guy didn't show up to play at all. That in no way takes away from how well Federer played, Nadal would have been up for a big fight no matter which version showed up. It's not to diminish the win. The fact is though, Rafa looked HORRID yesterday, and in the Fish match.
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe Nadal should change to a smaller racquet...
     
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  18. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    In order for him to really cement his clay GOAT status he has to win one more FO and didn't Toni say in an interview recently that that is their big goal to win another FO? If he wins one more he will no question be clay GOAT by surpassing Borg's FO count.

    There comes a time when you reach a stage when you say enough is enough and with Nadal's punishing style and amount of work it takes to maintain that style that day has to be coming sooner than later I would think. He has all the money and more he will ever need. What he has accomplished at such a young age is incredible no matter what happens in the future.
     
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  19. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nadal is never at his best when he loses. He's either tired and/or injured. You are not even allow to take his word for it when he say he's "perfectly fine". If you disagree then you must be a *******. :grin:
     
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  20. fgzhu88

    fgzhu88 Semi-Pro

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    there's also the tiny little insignificant stat where Federer hit 28 winners in 15 total games.
     
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  21. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    But they should be linked somewhat. Why does Nadal follow through across the body in practice a lot and almost not at all in matches? What is the explanation for this? He is practicing a shot he rarely plays in actual matches.

    I think coaching is the problem here because they have not changed anything in his game in the last 7-8 months. Since early 2011 certain parts of Nadal's game that were firing in 2010 started to faulter, slowly but surely. Because Nadal was making SF and F regularly they overlooked it but was exposed again and again by Djoko and then by others. See declining serve, increased passiveness(even for a defender like Nadal), BH going downward, NOT BEING ABLE TO HIT THROUGH THE COURT with the lasso forehand(especially when that and ONLY that is being used in matches) anymore(for whatever reason).

    They saw Nadal going steadily down in the claycourt season and they did nothing. With a bit more attention, 30 year old Fed could have beat him in RG.
    They saw the beatdowns he got in asian swing and did nothing for WTF.

    The point is that the Nadal camp isn't helping Nadal because from their statements, they plan on not changing much,even as the tour is passing Nadal by:

    -Djokovic beat him on three surfaces convincingly with THE SAME PATTERN.
    -Murray pushed him a bit on clay and IMO should have won the WB match but crapped his pants. Murray bageled him in Tokio with Nadal winning 4 points last set.
    -Fed pushed him hard in Paris(and we ain't talking about 2005 Fed here) and just bageled him yesterday, with Nadal having 4 winners.
    -more and more people are closing the gap on clay, Nadal's foothold on the tour.

    I'm not saying that Nadal SHOULD be beating x and y all the time but his game, regardless of results, has been seriously lacking and this isn't a new thing. What's worrying is that his team is not adressing these issues or if they are, they are doing one weak ass job cause it doesn't show in the matches.
     
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  22. Lawn Tennis

    Lawn Tennis Semi-Pro

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    Watch Nadal beat Tsonga tomorrow, make it to the semis, and then the final, where he beats Federer!
     
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  23. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Precisely, Fed played terrific anyway, I don't know why people act like this is taking away from him. He would have won anway. We Nadal fans would have liked SOME Nadal input in the match. He made almost no winners and few errors, while playing in the first row. Might as well have been a spectator.
     
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  24. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    I have to laugh at this. Nadal played 3 levels above current Nadal in 2010 and still couldn't beat Fed. How is he gonna do it when he can barely get any balls past Roger and is shaking hands with spectators while playing?
     
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  25. Disgruntled Worker

    Disgruntled Worker Rookie

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    Well, whether or not he was at his best, Fed demolished him. Now he has to focus on preparing for the Australian Open.
     
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  26. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Nadal has been figured out. He was a one trick pony that no one could figure out until this year. He's done. Sorry to say namelessone, but looks like you'll be having to defend Nadal's honor more often. I deem you, Sir Namelessone, Defender of Nadal's Honor.




    Like I said last year when Federer beat Nadal at the World Tennis Final, by even mentioning something that remotely sounds like an excuse, you are taking away from Federer's victory. Every time Nadal loses, you have something to say. You say his backhand was crap, he was tired (even though he played less matches than Federer going into the final LOL), he was mentally exhausted, etc. etc. etc.


    I'm really starting to get sick of your nonsensical biased ********. All you've done is defend Nadal at every turn when he loses, making up an excuse saying he played like **** giving 0 credit to the other guy (MENTIONING ANYTHING MEANS UR NOT GIVING CREDIT). It's unbelievable the amount of crap you will make up in order to defend any of Nadal's losses.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
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  27. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nadal was NEVER the type of player who hit's a lot of winners. He's a conservative, low risk type of player that hit fewer errors than his apponents almost everytime. Fed had more winners than him, but who hit more errors ? Fed !
     
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  28. Tcbtennis

    Tcbtennis Professional

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    I am a Federer fan and I respect Rafa immensely. I believe that Roger is the GOAT and Nadal would have to do so much more in tennis in order to be put in the same GOAT conversation. I also believe that Rafa has lost a step in his quickness. It may be physical because of his grinding on the tour for almost 10 years. It may be mental from the repeated losses to Djokovic and having no answer for him. Regardless, I believe that Djokovic has shown all other players the way to beat Nadal. Pick on his backhand before he can pick on your backhand and/or take his time away by being aggressive. So many players have used these strategies to pressure or beat him. Davydenko has Rafa's number because his style of taking the ball early frustrates Nadal. Dodig in Montreal was serving and volleying and coming to the net over and over. The same thing with Mayer in Shanghai and Fish in Cincinnati . Murray in Toyko and Golubev in Flushing Meadows were super aggressive. The fact that Golubev is a major choker is the reason why Nadal still won that match.

    Federer was both picking on Nadal's backhand and being aggressive. One of the main changes in Fed's game against Nadal was that he was not chipping his backhand return of serve as he usually does. As a result, rather than being on defense from the start of the rally he was either neutral or on offense. He went after Nadal's backhand with his forehand or would go down the line with his backhand to Nadal's backhand. It was a thing of beauty.

    I don't think players go out to play against Nadal thinking they don't have a chance anymore. The question is whether they have the skill to execute the gameplan that Djokovic has laid out. Most of them do not and Nadal will still beat 99.99% of them.
     
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  29. Lawn Tennis

    Lawn Tennis Semi-Pro

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    I am kinda being silly, but dude Rafa is a warrior. Don't count him out just yet.
     
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  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    He can be a warrior. He just isn't into tennis all that much anymore. Perhaps he'll take it up again in the future. We'll have to see.
     
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  31. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    One trick pony that went strong for seven years? :)

    That's some trick considering that guys like Nalbandian,Davydenko,partially Djoko were figuring Nadal out since 2007.



    You do realize that there are things that are mentioned by people in the tennis world, not just by me on these forums, right? If I see that Nadal's BH is absolute crap, what do you want me to say? That's its as good as in AO 2009 so I don't hurt your feelings? Let me have my say.

    Not for me it isn't. The two aren't always linked you know. I can say that Fed played like crap in Miami 2011 against Nadal while not taking anything away from Nadal. Likewise I can't say that Nadal played decent tennis this WTF with nearly losing to Fish(who has very bad himself) and being bageled by Fed while getting 4 BALLS past him.
     
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  32. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, Nadal is a one trick pony who for years got away with it because people did not adjust their play to be more physical like Djokovic. Djokovic is a perfect combination of aggressive PATIENT play. He moves the ball around well enough to frustrate Nadal into errors, while also maintaining superior court position in order to ensure that he is always at an advantage in rallies. The only guy who could consistently do this previously was Davydenko.


    Now that other players are starting to figure out what to do, Nadal ends up losing more. It doesn't take genius to figure that one out.



    Two, Nadal's backhand/serve were never good in the first place. I already pointed out the patterns most players use to beat Nadal. Heavy ball to the backhand, which usually results in short ball crosscourt or in the middle of the court, allowing someone to take advantage and push Nadal even further back.



    Three, if Nadal showed up, he declared that he was 100% fit to play and has no excuses. If he goes out there and gets his ass wooped by Federer, he simply got beatdown and has no excuses. No ifs and or buts. Mentioning that he played bad is only taking away from the fact that Federer did not ALLOW Nadal to play well.
     
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  33. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    You've been saying Nadal is done every year for the past 3 years now.
     
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  34. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    You've been mentioning that Federer should retire for years too, the point?
     
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  35. _maxi

    _maxi Banned

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    Yeah.. this shouldn't count as a victory for Fed in the H2H. Rafa was clearly injured or tired.
     
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  36. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Rafa is just taking an MTO from being a warrior.
     
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  37. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    Nadal hasn't just been "found out", people have know how to beat him in years. If you can run all day long then the chances are you'll have more than a good chance.

    Let's put it this way, if Rafa has good serves or ground strokes it wouldn't take him hours and hours to finish a match - even against low ranking players. The score could be 6.0 6.0 6.0 to Rafa but it'd still take him 3 hours.

    So back to my point, Rafa has deteriorated physically to the point where players like Djokovic can now stay with him, if not out last him, in rallies and it is not that they've suddenly found a new "weakness" in Nadal's game. If not they are very stupid because Nadal has been on tour for 10 years.
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Rafa was injured with diarrhoea and shoulder problems.

    In the interview, Federer said Rafa is the king of clay and he is happy that he is able to beat him consistently on at least one one surface.

    I suspect Nadal is playing the underdog and laying the groundwork for a massive win in the final.
     
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  39. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Fed made Nadal play from the first row since first point? Fed made it so that Nadal's new baseline was the service line? Was Nadal serving creampuffs also because of Fed? Or did Fed develop a Djokovic like return to pressure Nadal?

    Nadal had a terrible strategy(if one can call it that) and execution and Fed played with near perfection, executing a Nadal who basically did nothing during this whole match. Hell, even if Fed played a bit worse and handed some UE, Nadal still would have lost because it's tough to gain a foothold in a match when you can't put a ball past your opponent. Which is kinda normal since Nadal has spinny strokes AND is hitting them from the freaking bleachers.

    I suppose Fish also didn't allow Nadal to play his game despite Fish playing like ass himself.

    Nadal played bad tennis in both matches. In the first he met a newbie in WTF who was shaking in his shorts, in the second he met a champ and got punished accordingly.
     
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  40. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

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    No, respectfully disagree. Players have beaten Nadal outside the 'Davydenko/Djokovic' game, in fact some have even b!tchslapped him into the ground. I've seen guys like Roddick, Soderling, JMDP pretty much hit the crap to the Nadal forehand and finishing the point off from an easy position.


    The only guy who has really been beating Nadal this year is Djokovic. Really Nadal's level of play is fine. Everyone has bad matchups. In this case, Nadal's worst matchup happens to be freakishly consistent. Losses to Federer don't question someone's game. Nadal got outhit. Period. Even if Nadal did try things they probably wouldn't work.






    Bottom line is that Nadal isn't a one trick pony, he has just came up against Djokovic throughout the year - because he made it far enough to lose to Djokovic. Yeah yeah guys like Murray & Federer have beaten Nadal badly too but it's hardly front page news. He's won a slam this year, that's pretty good.
     
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  41. Crazy man

    Crazy man Banned

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    Weren't you the guy who claimed Federer was a grinder?
     
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  42. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    1) Roddick, Del Potro, and Soderling all utilize the SAME gameplan that everyone else uses to beat Nadal. Heavy forehand to the backhand of Nadal, which results in a predictable ball that goes crosscourt or towards the middle of the court. At worse Nadal moonballs it to your backhand, meaning easy for you to walk around and crush it.


    2) Nadal is a one trick pony, whose trick is really good and really hard to beat. Djokovic is the only guy who can CONSISTENTLY do it, but people are figuring out how to do it more consistently. It is no coincidence that even lower ranked players were finding ways to push Nadal hard this year.


    3) Nadal lucked out that Federer beat Djokovic. Had Nadal met Djokovic at the FO final, it would have been demolition derby since Nadal has literally 0 ways to hurt Djokovic on clay, as oppose to a HC or grass where he can at least utilize the speed of the court to hurt Djokovic with his forehand.
     
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  43. powerangle

    powerangle Legend

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    IMO, Fed played even better against Rafa this year, than last year (at WTF). Don't get me wrong, Federer was playing some great tennis in last year's tournament, but in the Fedal match yesterday, Federer was probably playing one of his best matches ever in his career (people were already saying that). Fed at WTF last year didn't quite reach the level of Federer yesterday against Nadal.

    Of course, Rafa did look worse for the wear, and didn't play anywhere near his best. But Fed got something to do with that too. How is a man (Rafa) supposed to hit that many winners, if his opponent is hitting winners on every second or third shot and rushing you all over the place? It's retarded to claim that Rafa played anywhere near his best, but it's also just as dumb to claim that Rafa played his worst match all year.

    In my opinion, Rafa played his usual average "meh" indoor season tennis, and when God-mode Fed punished him for it, it snowballed mentally and physically for Rafa.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
    #93
  44. Murrayfan31

    Murrayfan31 Hall of Fame

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    Not very often are players at their best. For Rafa, this is almost the norm for how poorly he's played the last 7 months. The downhill slide started around Madrid.
     
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  45. Pwned

    Pwned Hall of Fame

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    From a Federer fan:
    Nadal played no worse than he has for the majority of his matches in the last year or two. The only thing he is missing is his strong BH:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzmcjgRPdvA&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzmcjgRPdvA&feature=player_detailpage#t=57s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzmcjgRPdvA&feature=player_detailpage#t=107s

    You can see him hit a stronger BH in that first point than anything he hit yesterday. His crosscourt BH has been awol for a while now. Without that, Federer was able to hit fairly week shots down the line and Nadal would loop it right back instead of opening the court up to Federer's forehand.

    It's not like Nadal is going to go out and rip winners from everywhere, especially compared to Fed's numbers. From an UE standpoint Nadal played well. His usual abuse the Fed BH game wasn't working because Federer wasn't doing his part and making the UE or staying in a bh/fh crosscourt rally with Nadal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
    #95
  46. _maxi

    _maxi Banned

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    Don't know about that, but he claimed that Del Potro would never win a mayor and he also claimed that Soderling would not defend his FO final. Among other things probably, so he's one of the official clowns of these forums.
     
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  47. ImAGrinch

    ImAGrinch New User

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    This is why I don't understand so many posters who get offended about the possibility that Nadal had a less than perfect day, and instead consider that just an excuse. It doesn't matter whether someone played at 100% of their highest level or 50% of it. What matters is who was the better player on that day, but not the reason for it.

    Nadal might be unstoppable when all the conditions are right, but if he gets sick and injured a lot then it doesn't do him a lot of good and it takes away from his greatness in the end.

    What makes Fed greater than most is that he's been the better player that day more consistently than just about anyone in history.
     
    #97
  48. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

    Joined:
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    What player are you watching?

    Nadal is used to FORCE UE out of his opponents, coupled with the odd winner here and there. True, he never was and never will be an offense machine but I doubt Nadal from 2010 was camping out three meters behind ALL THE TIME and barely hitting beyond the service line. You can't force a UE from your opponent when playing well behind the baseline, perhaps only on clay.

    All the UE tells me is that Nadal took zero risks. If Nadal had 4 winners and 0 UE would his stats have looked good? Nadal is not a big risk taker as he is percentage player but NO RISKS? That's just bad.

    You are correct about the BH and that is the most obvious aspect but there are other pieces missing as well. His court positioning sucks unless you are looking for 100% defense(I doubt that even Fed could hit winners with his flatter fh from 3 meters behind the baseline, let alone RAfa with his spin shots) and his offense seems to be hit at Fed, preferably BH. Barely tried to move Fed around and in a familiar theme this season, his forehand seemed to go for consistency(as in maybe my 20th forehand to opponent will break him down) instead of angles to try to pull Fed off court.

    Serve also sucks massively IMO when compared to his end 2010 level.

    Gamewise Rafa regressed big time, to 2006-2007 levels, just a forehand, no serve, no BH and worse, with less cojones overall. As I said in another thread Nadal is slowly but surely transforming into Moya, Forehand Man, only difference being that Moya actually went for shots from time to time.

    Nadal's plan seems to be, after USO, to sit way behind the baseline and try to send balls deep(but usually fail) and hope to god the other guy misses. Almost no offense in this game yet he somehow expects to win titles.
     
    #98
  49. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Weak era
    So he's reverting back to being a baby? (with less mental strength)
     
    #99
  50. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Baby Moya.
     

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