Nadal's slice...how do you rate it?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Mike Sams, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Nadal uses the slice a lot but in MC, that slice was basically going into Djokovic's wheelhouse at times. I haven't seen much improvement with it. He needs to get that slice a lot lower. Where do you rate Nadal's slice currently?
     
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  2. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it tends to sit up a lot. It's worked better for him in the past, but recently it hasn't been all that great.
     
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  3. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Not one of his better shots. Let's leave it at that.
     
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  4. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    It's not Federer's but it normally gets the job done. It keeps in him a hell of a lot of point's he'd otherwise be out of.
     
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  5. Netspirit

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    Djokovic's and Nadal's slices are equally atrocious.

    Federer's slice is probably the best in history (Rosewall fans would disagree). Murray's is highly effective as well.
     
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  6. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Nadal's slice is a lot better than Djokovic'.
     
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  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    It will be interesting to see what happens when Nadal's backhand slice reaches its prime.
     
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  8. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    Both are different shades of cr*p, excuse me for not being a cr*p expert. )
     
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  9. President

    President Legend

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    It's a pretty good shot, not on the level of Federer or even Murray's but it gets the job done usually though, as someone said, it can sometimes sit up when he hits it from a defensive position. It's not as bad as some like Del Potro's or Djokovic's.
     
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  10. The Meat

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    Agreed, just because they are top players doesn't mean that they have amazing slices compared to everyone else. Dogopolov and Tomic have better slices :)
     
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  11. monfed

    monfed Guest

    LOL not even close. Ralph's slice is crap just like his volleys,doesn't have any action on it.
     
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  12. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't say Nadal's volleys are crap, his put aways aren't that great but he has pretty decent touch at net. Look at some of his doubles matches, he can hold his ground at net.
     
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  13. Netspirit

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    It is hard to say if Nadal can volley well or not, as he only approaches the net on easy balls, he is no Becker. When he gets an easy one, he usually dispatches it with decent authority.
     
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  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    It really depends what you're using it for. Federer (similarly Tomic) are much more adept at hitting it as a safety shot because they're so used to using it tactically as well. Hitting slice well requires a component of feel which you don't really need for hitting most topspins shots so players who hit single-handed backhands or volley well generally have better slice backhands than others.

    Nadal and Djokovic are more often hitting it in the Agassi "oh ****" style - simply a shot to stay in the rally when there's no other option. When they try to use it tactically they usually do it pretty poorly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
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  15. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    Definitely. Djokovic's slice is pretty bad.
     
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  16. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    Nadal's chops down on his slice a lot which results a floating ball. When he does drive through his slice once in a while, it can be a decent shot. I feel that he's often late on his slice, if that makes sense.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    1. Nadal has some of the best volleys in the game of pro tennis, currently. His doubles play shows it.
    2. His slice is deliberately slow, soft, and high. Why, you ask? To give him variety from his punishing flatish topspin 2hbh and to allow his mind to rest for a second, using variety as the main weapon. He is begging his opponent's to try to crush a winner, where he can counterpunch with his passing shots.
     
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  18. tennisbuck

    tennisbuck Professional

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    for a top 50 player i would rate it on a 4.5 on a scale of 1-10.
     
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  19. SLD76

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    Nadal's weakest shot is his slice. Its not world class by any means.

    However it is effective because with his speed, it really neutralizes a rally.
     
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  20. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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  21. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Hmm, now that you mention it....
     
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  22. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    Its hard for us to say because none of us are tennis experts. John McEnroe is, and he says Nadal has the best volleys on tour.
     
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  23. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    E also says fed is the best he's ever seen then the next match will say the same about rafa, then about djoker etc
     
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  24. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    That's probably because its so close between those 3 players. It makes sense that McEnroe will change his mind on them each day. But he never changed his mind on Nadal being the best volley. He never says that about the other players. And I've heard him say it about Nadal at least twice, and there was about a year between the statements.
     
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  25. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    I havnt seen his slice hurt anybody.

    Unless you include Toni.
     
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  26. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    Nadal's slice is good enough to use, and rarely misses. On a separate topic, I wonder why Nadal played so many dropshots in the 2009 Australian Open Final vs Federer, yet rarely played them after that. I swear he played 5 or 6 dropshots in that one match. Since then he rarely plays more than 1 or 2 in a match. Maybe it was because he was injured and wanted to shorten the points.
     
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  27. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    Nadal used to drop-shot way more from 04-06. He really gets on my nerves with his failure to use it these days.
     
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  28. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    Yep, and meanwhile a lot of other players are using dropshots against him, and with success.
     
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  29. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    No, it really isn't that close.

    But jmac is what you call a "prisoner of the moment"
     
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  30. bjk

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    I don't remember Ralph missing any easy volleys. Fed always misses a few a match, but Ralph is always solid.
     
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  31. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    That is pretty true. He really is only coming in on sitters. When he is up there he does show nice clay court drop volleys and rarely doesn't finish the points. His slice isn't great but he typically only hits it when he is in a bad spot. I see what he is trying to do when he slices up the line to Noles BH (trying to get the ball back to his FH) but it's a dangerous play IMO. Nole can create angle way to easily on that side. It's not like he is getting in a ton of trouble by using that shot though. He gets in trouble because Novak plays better, more consistent offense.
     
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  32. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    But there was a year in between the moments, I remember he said it in 2010 and then in 2011. He never wavered and he never says it about Dj/Fed's volleying.
     
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  33. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    I agree. And I also have seen Nadal make spectacular down-low volleys off a very fast ball. So even if people say he comes in off great approaches, he still has made great volleys in difficult situations.

    I notice Federer sometimes doesn't bend his knees when he volleys and that usually is the case when he misses. I wonder why Federer chose to copy the textbook with his forehand/backhand/serve but doesn't copy the textbook with his volleys.
     
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  34. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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  35. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    A goku troll face lol, nice
     
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  36. winstonplum

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    Nadals' slice is quite good. Obviously, of the top four, Federer's is by far the best. Murray's is a distant second, a hair in front of Nadal's. Djokovic doesn't even really employ one.
     
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  37. ledwix

    ledwix Hall of Fame

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    When he keeps it low to the forehand of Djokovic, it is good. Nadal can hit a very good low slice that looks impressive off the racquet, though one of the ATP commentators recently described the actual stroke as looking "agricultural."
     
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  38. JackReacher

    JackReacher Guest

    Yep Nadal does everything a bit different to everyone else. Even his serve has a unique look about it.
     
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  39. djokovic2008

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    Erh NO, it is a great slice so is Murray's but there are have been others with less ability but with a better slice. Llorda for one.
     
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  40. phnx90

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    Yes, there was one spectacular volley he pulled off at IW 2011. He volleyed a ball passing behind him while running away from the ball. I'd upload a link but I'm on my phone ATM.

    IIRC he made a pretty good volley at full stretch at Barcelona this year as well (I may be mistaken on the one, but it definitely was this year).
     
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  41. MTF07

    MTF07 Semi-Pro

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    95% of Nadal's volleys are drop volleys and easy put aways. I'm not sure if I've ever seen him hit a legitimate drive volley from a neutral or defensive position at the net. I've seen Federer do it countless times.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
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  42. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Quoted for the true.

    That's said nadal isn't a terrible volleyer, but he ain't the second coming of jmac.
     
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  43. phnx90

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    He just doesn't do it in singles (and only rarely is he caught in a situation where a punch/drive volley would've been absolutely necessary anyway). Besides, courts are slow nowadays, so strategically he wouldn't come in to volley often even if he wanted to anyway.

    In doubles he does hit drive volleys, and does it quite proficiently IIRC.
     
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  44. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    currently its pretty weak.

    his slice was killer at the 2010 USO!
     
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  45. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    jmac, himself has come close to saying otherwise...

    Nadal has great touch at net and one of the best overheads.
     
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  46. mightyrick

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    Nadal's slice is pretty mediocre. It isn't his fault. I really don't see modern Spanish coaching/training emphasizing the slice. In fact, I can't think of a single Spanish player who possesses a decent slice.

    Nadal would be even more deadly if he had a nasty lefty slice BH.

    Unfortunately, you really need an old-school coach to teach it. Quite honestly, Andy Roddick's slice was among the nastiest slices around.

    And that makes sense, look at Roddick's coaches: Gilbert, Connors, Stefanki. All old school guys who believe religiously in the payoff given from a deadly BH slice.
     
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  47. kragster

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    That may be true, but someone who almost never misses volley is AT LEAST a good volleyer. And knowing when to come into net is also a great skill to possess. I would say that Nadal's volleys are top 10 in this current era.
     
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  48. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Mediocre as a tactical and attacking option. As a defensive shot, it is strictly ok. He just cannot knife it because he is never leaning into it when hitting it. Also, he seems unable to get it sharp crosscourt, mostly kind of hitting it up the middle or down the line. Against Djokovic, it means either yet another backhand for him to hit, or a hard backhand to his forehand i.e. good night, point!
     
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  49. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    define current era ?

    from 2003 onwards , atleast these many players are/were better than rafa at the net :

    henman, dent, federer, tsonga, ancic, llodra, stepanek,safin, nalbandian,hewitt,mahut,gasquet,haas, lopez,fish, ljubicic,santoro,bjorkman


    if we're talking of present players, then atleast :

    federer, tsonga, llodra, stepanek,nalbandian,hewitt,mahut,gasquet,haas, lopez,fish

    would still put him easily out of top 10
     
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  50. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    Feliciano Lopez has one of the best backhand slices, almost as good as Fed's.
     
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