One more myth to be debunked

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by hawk eye, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    So many seem to have this notion, "Federer is the better shotmaker, Nadal Nadal wins by consistency, grinding, pounding Fed's BH etc. "

    The last may be true, but last match, like many of the previous matches between these two, I noticed Nadal makes the most unbelievable shots and was the one who gets the biggest ooh's and aah's from the crowd. His passing shots on the run, in ' beaten' position when he's almost in the stadium's catacombs, flying past a stunned Fed who jsut thought he has hit a winner, are unique in the game and unrivaled in tennis history.
    He's also the only one who can pull off curling forehands regurlarly, and hit BH passing shots with pace and accuracy when the ball is already behind him..

    But still, Fed's the 'shotmaker'. the only reason I can think of is because usually he hits more winners, also due this stronger serve which gives him more chances to end the point quickly. He's also more agressive and has a more fluent style but that doesn't make him a better shotmaker.
    But I'd say the definition of a greatest shotmaker is the one who makes the most 'impossible' shots, which leave the public totally surprised and speechless. Yes, Fed made some spectacular tweeners and overheads over the years, but these still are an exception where Nadal makes his trademark shots every match multiple times. Often on important points, too.

    To me people are just echoing each other, because "a grinder just can't be a better shotmaker". The type "Lendl has no talent, but is all hard work" talk you had for along time when he was dominating the game. In retrospect, the common opinion on that one has at least slightly changed.
     
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  2. snowpuppy

    snowpuppy Semi-Pro

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    True. However, for most people the preconceived notion of shot making is offensive. So when somebody is "shotmaking" defensively, they are just counterpunching or worst pushing with some umpth. As for Lendl? Well, his genius is recognizing that fitness is the tennis of the future.
     
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  3. BigForehand

    BigForehand Semi-Pro

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    if it wasn't for polyester this guy would be nothing

    federer GOAT
     
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  4. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    Nadal can still beat fed with cheap nylon strings from kmart. get over it *******s. lol
     
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  5. TennisNiche

    TennisNiche New User

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    Of course Nadal is a unique talent - I don't think many people would legitimately doubt that.

    It's also not his fault that the surfaces in tennis have been homogenised to the extent that one style of play can be used across all four (four? I forgot, carpet doesn't exist anymore) surfaces without being limited by it.

    But I think one thing even the most die-hard Nadal fan should acknowledge, is that his strengths lie more in physical and mental ability than purely technical. He is a physical specimen with a never say die attitude, but I wouldn't say he is the most blessed as far as hand-eye coordination, creativity or flair. This is because he doesn't regularly take the ball early and clean on either wing, hit particularly proficient drop shots, or show much imagination in his point construction (his ruthlessly effective plays are legendary but again, VERY repetitive)

    What he is strong, is, as you say in his freakish ability to hit passing shots from almost any position. I think this is a testament to the fact that he is primarily a reactive player, a problem solver.
     
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  6. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Federer is also a poly man. Sure, only a half set, but poly is poly.
     
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  7. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you. His defensive shotmaking is ridiculously insanly good shotmaking..
     
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  8. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    Sad days for the tennis sport.
    Turned to a total grindhouse.
     
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  9. willshot

    willshot Semi-Pro

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    grindhouse is better than UnforcedError shankhouse?
     
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  10. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik Professional

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    I always thought this was telling.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3064206
     
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  11. Federer_pilon

    Federer_pilon Semi-Pro

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    If I'm not mistaken, Nadal had more forehand and backhand winners than Federer!
     
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  12. darthfedererr

    darthfedererr New User

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    highly doubt it, think about it.
     
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  13. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    He used 15 gauge Duralast for the longest of times, does that qualify?
     
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  14. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Well I can partly agree with you that purely technical speaken, he relies more on strength than Federer, Berdych or Nalbandian. But his hand eye coordination must be exceptional, given his ability to control and redirect such vicious 'would be winners' shots for winners and given his ability to hit wich so much topspin consistently. At the same time his stroke mechanics, which are invented for maximum TS, is what makes him not that outstanding in taking the ball on the rise. The flatter hitter have less margin when clearing the net, but more at contact point and thus can take the bal early with less shanking risks. It's a tradeoff.. But he still has developed a lot in that respect over the years. Remember how far he was standing from the baseline in 2005.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  15. markwillplay

    markwillplay Professional

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    Watchiing Fed over the last couple matches, it played out as I thought it would. Delpo played well and Feds aggressive play from the baseline (hovering close, taking bals early, coming in) dominated him. This is Fed at his best beatng a somewhat one demensional power player. He played the first part of the match today like that and there was nothing Nadal could do...nothing..he even admitted it. But it is another thing to keep that up over an entire match with Nadal. Nadal is so mentally tough and you just have to beat him on every point. Fed is more up and down and his up is better than anyone ever in my opinion...no doubt. But if you have lulls in perfection against Nadal, he wins those points. He is sooo steady and certainly does have the ability to make great shots as well.

    It was clear to me (as always is when they play) that Fed has the bigger "upside' I guess you would say...but also clear that if he falters at all, the steady play of Nadal and mental toughness on big points makes the difference. Playing the same up and down way he did today, Fed would beat all but a couple players even at their best. I think that Nadal is the absolute best I have ever seen at "weathering the storm" and maintaining belief that he will have his chances...and taking advantage when he does. Belief make a huge difference there. I also think that is why Joker owns him now....Jokers game is much like his..steady and not as up and down...no real storm to weather there..just someone doing things the way you do but doing them a bit better all along the way...and believing that he will get him eventually.

    I said it in a post earlier and I will say it again..Fed' s best is the best you will ever see, but Nadal is the one person that he has to (or at least he thinks he has to) maintain that level against the longest to beat. No doubt that being in the back of fed's mind effects him. I think it makes him press at times when he does not even need to. But that is all part of the game ain't it...
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  16. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Nadal can only do these 'amazing' curved passing shots on surfaces where the ball bounces high enough to give him time. Watch him on an indoor court or any fast/ low bouncing court where the ball just dies and the entire tide is reversed. That is why the guy doesn't perform well on such surfaces. Unfortunately, these events are too few in number for this to get highlighted.
     
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  17. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    I don't know, but he seemed to have picked of many of those almost from the ground.. he gets very low and then just seems to flick those balls with a very quick motion past his opponent. Then again, it must be the strings..

    To me his sub par indoor game is often more due to his usual end of season burn out than anything else. It shows in his whole energy level and body language.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  18. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Don't let it get to you, just enjoy the tennis. There are tons and tons of myths about Federer. His fans can be delusional at times making him out to be something that he is not. Also, take a look, where did the majority of Federer's shots land on Nadal's side of the court?


     
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  19. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    Out? :twisted:
     
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  20. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    This post is exactly right.
     
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  21. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Only a loser would say something this stupid, oh thats right you were one of the dreamers that predicted fed would win.
     
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  22. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    A lot of people don't realize that Federer uses polyester as well, and on top of that string savers as they give more spin as well.
     
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  23. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Ya but see thats okay for him, just not for rafa you know it is just one more way that he is cheating.
     
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  24. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    You know Fed also relies HEAVILY on spin! Specially when he makes those ridiculous angles on his BH or those inside out FH winners. Before Nadal came along, people were primarily of the notion that Fed uses the heaviest top spin.
     
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  25. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    He is only below in Nadal for RPMs.
     
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  26. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    exactly. 10char
     
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  27. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    If you want to know who the better shotmaker is, put them against each other on a fast, slick court.

    Or the shooting range.
     
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  28. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Nadal was the more attacking player and the better shot maker. Nadal's agressive ratio was 1.4. Fed's was only 1.2.

    "A player's agressive ratio indicates the agressiveness of a player and the ability to hit winners. The formula is derived from a player's winners and opponent's forced errors."

    link
     
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  29. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Wow, that is a cool stat!
     
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  30. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    That's not true.

    [​IMG]
     
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  31. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    Nadal is in Roger's head.The better shot maker is Federer.Federer just doesnt know how to play clean tennis and goes for broke and misses his shots all the time.
     
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  32. ashitaka2010

    ashitaka2010 Semi-Pro

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    Why is it so hard to understand that you don't win 6 Roland Garros with a poor/basic point construction ability.

    Get real people.

    I agree with the rest though.
     
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  33. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    #1 that says average #2 it is total BS when they have Roddick at virtually same RPM as Nadal.

    We are talking about max RPM ie Sampras' serve.
     
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  34. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    Who cares about max RPM if you only produce it occasionally. Average is what matters. The data is the data. When you see something you don't like better to question your premises before the validity of the data.
     
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  35. Towerofpower205

    Towerofpower205 Rookie

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    The fact of the matter is there ARE poly strings. There ARE bigger rackets fed has every bit of the same access as nadal to get one but he doesn't want to
     
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  36. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    The guy said Nadal didn't show much imagination in his point construction. Not the same as poor ability.

    But honestly, if you can hit your normal shot over and over again until your opponent tries something different... and then you just do whatever seems like a good idea at the time (like pass him)... and you keep winning...

    That sounds like a pretty solid game plan IMHO.
     
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  37. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    This table was ******** the moment it said that Roddick strikes the ball faster than Djokovic or Federer. I mean, this is Roddick the PUSHER we are talking about, who can't even hit a forehand winner these days, leave along a backhand one!
     
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  38. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Federer uses poly too (gut mains and poly crosses).
     
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  39. TennisFan3

    TennisFan3 Legend

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    #39
  40. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    Nope.

    There is nothing to debunk, specially when you're taking your conclusions from only one match, and a recent one.
    Make no mistake, Nadal is an excelent shotmaker, specially when he is put on defensive positions. One of the best if not the best in history of pulling fantastic defensive shots.

    This match had Nadal with more winners (even on Nadal's forehand side), which is often an exception regardless of the surface.
    To make a comparison, Federer had significantly more winners than Nadal (specially on the forehand side) on their final match at the AO in 2009, and while Nadal pulled many fantastic shots throughout that match, Federer arguably threw even more as indicated by the superior number of winners.

    It's only natural as Federer declines, while his footspeed, footwork and offensive ability decreases, that his rival in physical prime form and on a slow surface where winners are increasingly difficult to be hit, even more so if you account the level of defense Nadal brings, is gonna hit more winners and make a better shotmaking appearance.
    It's only the natural way of things, and may happen again if they play again on similar conditions (unless Fed is having a good day on his forehand, which IMO he wasn't hitting that well in their last match).

    If you wanna prove that Nadal is a better shotmaker, you better show stats and information that indicate this notion than your impression of their more recent match.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  41. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Well no offense but it's a good thing to first read the post before you start to comment on it.
     
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  42. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    Sure, I now read again more carefully and what I get that you're trying to bring here is your definition of "shotmaking", which again, you think Nadal is the superior shotmaker under your particular definition of shotmaking.

    It's your opinion over the definition of shotmaking, which I and probably many wouldn't necessarily agree with. To me shotmaking is shotmaking, the ability to make "shots", which as I understand, can be winners, contundent plays and other different kinds of impressive shots.
    What you're calling here is just one of the many possible types of impressive shots, as you said, "impossible"(and this "impossible" can also seemingly be expanded as "defensive" in your case) or public "awe-inspiring" shots.

    These I have to admit Nadal made more than Federer last night, but that's just one showing. Mind you, in this particular matchup, it's Federer who takes the offensive role and puts Nadal in the defensive position to hit those kinds of shots. The particular way or role they play with their games in this matchup creates these defensive situations where Nadal is forced to pull a spetacular defensive shot more often.

    What you're impressed here is with Nadal's defensive abilities and his capabilities to pull an amazing shot under those circumstances. Which aren't new. Federer has his own fair share of insane defensive points too, but Nadal is better than him under these situations, which again, is nothing new.

    Does it make Nadal the better shotmaker? Don't think so, as shotmaking is not only defined by impossible, defensive and awe-inspiring shots (which Federer used to pull fantastically too when he didn't physically declined).

    As I said, Nadal is a fantastic shotmaker too. Under some areas, like defensive shots, he's indeed more impressive. But under other different criterias that we can look from, Federer is the better shotmaker.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  43. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I agree here. I think most people take the term "shotmaker" as one that refers to one "willing to hit winners." Against Nadal, Federer is the one who not only does, but must go for winners to have any chance of winning. Nadal, although capable of hitting winners, doesn't use it as his primary method against Federer. To beat Federer (so long as you are Nadal), you can let him selfdestruct as you can surely bet that Federer's shotmaking abilities wane during a longer match.

    Nadal hits amazing defensive shots, and clearly he's much better than Federer in that respect. But, as Fate Archer said, that is just one type of shotmaking. In today's match, Federer went for winners much more often than Nadal, and, although he made a lot of unforced errors, they were a byproduct of taking the chance.
     
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  44. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    Federer makes more shots, but the ones Nadal makes are often more spectacular looking.

    However most of the time these shots are prompted by the other player coming into net. Nadal is an amazing ball retriever so he can hit spectacular winners by returning a ball ypu don't think is possible to return when you're out of posistion, imagining you just won the point. Hence the shot comes from being dictated in the rally. I guess people think of shot making as forcing the play.

    So in reality, Federer is the agressive shotmaker, Nadal is the reactionary shot maker. Most of his best shots come when other players make the move. That's why Nadal against certain players can be very boring to watch, but very exciting against others. Depends if they come in, force play and get Nadal in a corner, where from he has to rise to his best.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  45. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Bold: Basically what you're saying is that he's the Batman of tennis :D

    Underlined: I'd disagree with you here; he's got fantastic hand-eye co-ordination; one of the best on tour, otherwise he wouldn't be able to pull off such spectacular clutch volleys. His apparent inability to hit on the rise regularly I think owes much more to his backswing rather than his natural ability (I realise I have a similar backswing and I can tell you that it's not friendly in this regard; unfortunately I have difficulty when I try anything else). He's a creative player when he needs to, but his game is generally so efficient he doesn't have to. He used to drop shot a lot more earlier on in his career. And of course he's got flair; he hits some stunning, almost impossible-looking shots regularly, even if not with the same grace Roger possesses. I will however acknowledge that his game can be very repetitive to many, though it's not hard to understand why: why fix something that ain't broke?

    On a side note, I think if Rafa figures out Djokovic, he can probably use the same gameplan against Murray with great effect.
     
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  46. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Nadal isn't the better shotmaker - he rarely creates something our of nothing. Rather, he is probably the the best last shotmaker. He ability to play a last-ditch shot well is amazing. He was obviously aided significantly here by courts which favour people who run lots of balls down and, to his credit, he usually has the poise to hit a good shot at the end. Federer however is the better shotmaker by some margin - he just has to balance it with the added risk that comes with being the instigator in-rally action more often than most of his opponents.

    In normal rallys last night, for example, Nadal instigated about 1/10th of the offensive points as Federer. Maybe less. He plays so safe generally - he just has a such large margin of error on his shots and can get so much spin they seem more offensive than say the Ferrers or Changs of this world. Strategically and tactically he is actually just an improved version of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  47. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Great article. Nadal's aggression was too much for Federer although Fed's defence and scrapping was incredible at times.

    Roles reversed as Nadal downs Federer on superior shotmaking

    MELBOURNE, Australia -- As Roger Federer made his way through the intestines of Rod Laver Arena on the way to the court, he did not roll his head like a pre-fight boxer or perform kangaroo hops. When he arrived at his chair, he did not meticulously line up his water bottles or futz with his headband. And, just before the start of the warmup with his opponent, he did not sprint to the baseline like a T-shirt shot from a cannon, racket gripped firmly in his left hand.

    Likewise, as Rafael Nadal made his way out to his Australian Open semifinal on Thursday night, he did not emerge from the tunnel saluting the crowd, smiling at his wife, Mirka, or gently tapping the strings of the Wilson racket in his right hand.

    Confused? You should be, so great was the role reversal in Federer-Nadal XXVII -- yes, the occasions are sufficiently epic to warrant busting out Roman numerals -- once the match started.

    In the previous meetings, the two have performed their assigned roles, one of many reasons this is such a special rivalry, the best in sports. Federer would do his thing, pulling off shots that no other player would even conceive, much less execute. Nadal, meanwhile, would persist and resist, relying on his relentless defense and superior mental strength. It was almost a form of class warfare, the Lord against the artisan. One would win out, usually by the smallest of margins.

    So what happened in Nadal's 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory Thursday? Federer came out with an early bit of mental warfare, Nadal-style, opting not to serve or receive but to play on the near side of the court. O-Kay... Federer then struck first -- so often Nadal's M.O. -- racing to a 3-0 lead with aggressive play. Nadal rallied. But it was less with his characteristic grinding than with real brilliance, a series of preposterous shots worthy of the Federer compendium. In a tiebreaker, Federer showed superior poise, marrying bold and audacious play with accuracy, to nail the first set.

    In the second set, Nadal again brought the brilliance. One winner in particular demands its own paragraph. At 3-2 in the second set, Federer hit a shot to the corner that was angling into courtside signage. Nadal caught up with the ball and, on the dead run, uncorked a forehand. He didn't slap the ball around the post, a difficult but plausible shot. He hooked it crosscourt around Federer, who had taken to the net. This is as fine a piece of shotmaking as you'll ever see -- particularly given the weight of the occasion -- something to rival anything Federer has pulled off in his deep highlight reel.

    And the hits kept coming. Nadal won the second set with backhand passes up the line. With half-volleys off his Nikes. With drop shots that peeked over the net like Kilroy and then died. (Nadal even got mad at Hawk-Eye, normally Federer's bugaboo.)

    What kept Federer in the match? His defense and his scrambling. Time and again he won points with rally-prolonging gets worthy of Nadal. In a third-set tiebreaker, he kept the Nadal impersonation going. He scrambled, tried to neutralize his opponent's power and picked his spots. He missed shots, but it wasn't for lack of aggression. And he fought like hell. Down 6-1, facing five set points, Federer rallied and won four straight, sowing seeds of doubt -- usually Nadal's forte. Nadal finally closed it out, but he had to work for it.

    The fourth set was more of the same, Nadal dictating play, serving aggressively and pulling off a welter of oh-no-he-didn't-just-do-that winners. On the other side of the net, Federer picked his spots but again often won points by grinding. After breaking Federer with still more slick shotmaking, Nadal served for the match. Like a certain tenacious Spaniard, Federer did not make it easy, staving off two match points, making Nadal win it.

    Which he did. After Nadal fell to court as if he'd won a final, he was interviewed about the result. He spoke glowingly of his opponent. "Roger is the best of all time," Nadal said. But then, channeling his inner-Federer, he remembered where he was, who was on hand and gracefully added, "Him and great Rod Laver." The crowd cheered as loudly as it had throughout the match.

    Beyond the Trading Places routine, there were other dimensions that distinguished this clash from others. ATP politics have done what Grand Slam finals could not, creating a rift between the two -- one I'm told is hardly resolved, despite their public statements to the contrary. While there was nothing but sportsmanship and fair play on the court, there was also a palpable absence of the usual organic warmth. (If there was ever eye contact between the two throughout the match, I didn't see it.)

    More important, for the first time in nearly seven years, Federer and Nadal played a Grand Slam match without the trophy on the line. This was only a semifinal. As fine a victory as this is for Nadal, he'll have to come back on Sunday and win an additional match, perhaps against his more recent nemesis, Novak Djokovic, against whom he went 0-6 last season, all in finals.

    Of course, if he can figure out how play like Nadal and Federer at the same time, he'll give himself a hell of a chance.









     
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  48. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Sorry but you are wrong about rafa he went for many winners, he had 36 while fed had 46. But fed had 11 aces to rafas 4 so off the ground rafa had almost just as many winners as fed.

    He did not just let fed self-destruct, he out hit him off the ground. Fed made more errors, but rafa made more than he usually does also.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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  49. Lsmkenpo

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    A shot maker is a player looking to force the action with their shot selection and skill. This is not the same as a great defensive counter puncher forced to make a great shot when pushed.

    It is the players mentality on court that defines them as a shot maker not the actual shots themselves.
     
    #49
  50. TennisNiche

    TennisNiche New User

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    London
    Hah, well I have always been a fan of other superheroes or villains ahead of Batman so maybe you're onto something there =)

    In fact, even in football I prefer players with natural talent and ability to hard workers who maximise their gifts - i.e, I love players like Andrea Pirlo and Alvaro Recoba as they seem to be blessed with this magical gift which no amount of graft can replicate.

    Basically this post about Nalbandian sums up what kind of tennis I like to watch
    http://tennisniche.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/nalbandian-in-one-match/

    Fair points, but I'm not so sure about clutch volleys - basically everything at or below net height he hits a drop volley, which ranges from mediocre to quite good. Have you never cringed seeing him attempt to stick a forehand volley? I can't get rid of the impression that he's not even using a genuine continental grip.

    Why fix something that isn't broke, that to me exactly sums up his game. Not saying he's bad at point construction, but that he is extremely repetitive. He knows his game and his strengths inside out, and if that means playing the same rally 100 times over, big deal? He'll probably win that rally 60 times.

    Doesn't make for the kind of tennis I enjoy watching, though :)
     
    #50

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