Rafa is not mentally strong, he is mentally consistent

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by tennis-hero, May 15, 2009.

  1. tennis-hero

    tennis-hero Banned

    Jun 8, 2008
    Before the Nadal police call me out for trolling (ironic)

    i would like to point out that i didn't say he's mentally weak

    But he isn't mentally strong like Sampras was

    Nadal seems to play every point the same and doesn't "choke"

    so when playing Nadal if you get "hot" and use the "true S&V" then you can beat him, no matter what, because mentally he can only remain stable

    SAMPRAS was a different beast altogether

    you could have owned sampras all set, Sampras would be on cruise control, and look indifferent

    then you could get up 0-30- second serve and be all set to break Pete

    Pete would pop 4 aces and break you right after, RAISING HIS GAME to legendary levels and destroy you

    Rafa on crucial points remains constant, that is mental consistency

    also, on clutch points, he completly turns to "pushing"- hitting in the middle of the park, standing a few miles behind the baseline and forcing an OE

    the brief version for the certain fans- who only read titles and not what is actually written; is

    Nadal is strong, but his game is constantly very good, never bad- which is PERFECT for clay because consistency reaps GOLD

    Sampras was NOT ALWAYS strong, he could play on cruise control- BUT he would raise his LEVELS to LEGENDARY status, and blow you away- mentally he was a beast, his second serve is a testament to that
  2. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Feb 2, 2007
    But, he is mentally strong.
  3. asafi2

    asafi2 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2008
    You have to be mentally strong to be mentally consistent...and the fact that he doesnt mentally shrink means that he is mentally strong enough to be keep his mind stable through any adversity.
  4. bdawg

    bdawg Semi-Pro

    Oct 17, 2004
    I don't see how are right. How can someone lose championship points at a wimbledon final only to lose the set, come back, and win the fifth set not be mentally strong? Most people fold....
  5. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

    Jul 28, 2006
    the present
    From your post, I sense that you view 'strong' and 'consistent' as mutually exclusive ways to describe a player's mental ability. I differ in this view.

    A player like Nadal can be consistently strong in his mental approach to the game.
  6. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Feb 18, 2005
    Yeah, he is mentally very strong. Sampras and Nadal have different playing styles. Sampras had that blood disease that limited his endurance, so his playing style was perfect and probably stemmed from understanding his limitations. Sampras physically HAD to pick him moments. Lucky for him, he had the technique to allow him to do that. But I don't necessarily agree that he choose to do that out of knowing he had incredible mental strength.
  7. tennis-hero

    tennis-hero Banned

    Jun 8, 2008
    He doesn't ever fold, (except at hamburg in 2007)

    he keeps the same level, he isn't consistently strong, rather, consistently consistent- he maintains a level and never drops off

    Pete had levels of consistency (his wins at wimbldeon) he wasn't always strong, some years he bearly turned up and got through- the reason being- at the clutch- Pete had 2 extra gears that could blow someone away

    a good example is how Pete played versus Andre

    Nadal is always giving 100%, but he doesn't have an extra gear because he always pushing his own limit

    an example would be

    a quater mile drag race- Nadal is the Japanese Rice rocket that boosts to its limit fast and stays there

    Pete is good old fashioned American muscle, he doesn't get to that level as fast, but he has extra gears to go even faster when he needed
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  8. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

    Jan 27, 2005
    You're right Sampras was a different beast to your hero Federer altogether, so Nadal has nothing to worry about now.
  9. heroic_tennis

    heroic_tennis Banned

    May 31, 2009



    he had no extra gear against Soderling and was blown off the court
  10. maximo

    maximo Banned

    Jul 26, 2008
    He got banned, lol.
  11. fps

    fps Legend

    Jun 30, 2007
    Brighton, England
    david foster wallace, the writer, spent time at a tennis camp of some kind because he was very good as a youngster. in Infinite Jest there's a passage where a tutor tells the kids not to adapt to their conditions, rather, mentally at least, that they must be exactly the same whatever the conditions, on every point, in exactly the same mental state. it's something nadal seems able to adhere to.
  12. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

    Sep 13, 2007
    Weak era
    Thank god that troll got banned,good riddance.
  13. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

    Feb 2, 2009
    Obvious troll is obvious.
  14. clayrules

    clayrules Banned

    Dec 22, 2008
    Troll was consistent haha
  15. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

    Jul 16, 2008
    Nadal is mentally one of the strongest players, if not the strongest, ever.
  16. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

    May 6, 2004
    It's the difference between Bruguera and Muster at their peaks. Two different kinds of mental toughness. Bruguera would regularly lope about and look "lethargic" as one commentator put it, before out of nowhere suddenly turning it on, turning on the after burner, "well it's kicking now (his adrenaline)" as Enberg said.

    Muster on the other hand, was ALWAYS the same from start to finish. Bruguera hated playing him more than any other for this reason.

    As I said in an earlier post, there are two kinds and types of mental toughness. There are the Muster, Nadal, Courier, Costa, Corretja, Chang, peak Hewitt types who ALWAYS bring it at 110% EVERY single point and never lose concentration for even one second.

    And then there are the Sampras, Bruguera, Arazi, Safin, Pioline, Leconte, Rios, Melligeni, Kafelnikov type mentalities. Guys like this aren't able to concentrate from start to finish, and in some cases have questionable endurance (and yes, Bruguera falls into this category, because for a clay court specialist I've never seen a dominant clay courter lose their wind as frequently and often as this guy did, "He looks like he's dyyyingg!"-Bud Collins). However, I would say guys like this are often times quite capable of playing the big points as well or better than anyone (though not Pioline most of the time).

    However, they're just unable to bring it at full throttle mentally from start to finish match after match like the pathological "trier" types up above.

    This said, Nadal DOES have ELITE of ELITE talent. You can't come out of the woodwork and say oh he lost for the first time ever at the French, and make it sound like he doesn't have as much talent as some others.

    Put it this way, Soderling may have won, but there's not a person alive in the know who would say he has more talent in his pinky than Nadal has in a fingernail.

    Kevin Kim took Soderling deeper into sets than Rafa did this tournament. What does that tell you? It tells you that Soderling had an OUT OF CHARACTER good day. Also, Nadal was DEFINITELY flat. It happens to EVERYONE at some point. I don't care how well prepared you are or how confident, EVERYONE wakes up flat sometime for whatever reason. It's just a reality of life just as sure as one day some asteroid's gonna fall from the skies and kill us all.

    Funny thing, I remember watching Soderling when he was just breaking through from up close, and NO ONE saw ANY potential in the guy in the qualies. EVERYONE thought of the guy as just another career qualie hopeful type guy. It didn't seem like he hit all that hard and certainly aesthetically his strokes were nothing to talk about.

    As I've said on here many times, ANYONE of a top twenty level is capapble of handing you your azz on any given day when they have their once or twice a year RANDOM "playing out of their mind" days. It's like what Brad Gilbert wrote in Winning Ugly, every year a top twenty guy will play two or three matches where they're just playing out of their mind and everything they hit even if they sneeze and are staring at a woman's boobs as they hit will land in. I'd bet a million zillion bucks that if you took your top twenty player, and watched EVERY single one of their matches all year, you'd see one or two or three that year where they looked like they were God's gift and just absolutely other worldly.

    I mean to me Soderling's kind of like Magnus Larsson, a clubber Lang baseliner with plodding steps. On a good day, Larsson was able to beat just about every elite player there was including Sampras. Was he ever elite himself? Not really. He was, however, a dangerous as all heck floater in the top guys' minds. Soderling's the same way. Not the best mover out there, but if he's striking the ball unbelievably well on any given day and your flat that day, he WILL beat you.

    People are making WAY too much of Nadal's loss. When you should start to worry is when you see someone like Fed lose their ability to close out sets, get tight when before they were almost a magnet for winning all the critical points.

    That means that you've lost your locker room "jinx" on other players, that they're no longer spooked by you, and that you no longer can wear the mask of supreme confidence and truly believe it inside.
  17. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

    Sep 22, 2007
    yeah..nadal losing in the long term isnt a big deal.

    but federer's dip in form or mental inconsistency isnt a big deal either when you consider that he was on top for so many years winning most if not all the big pts. he was bound to have a drop and he still is doing ok for the most part, maybe not "federer" standard, but even sampras would be happy with roger's results.
  18. DoubleDeuce

    DoubleDeuce Hall of Fame

    Sep 7, 2008
    He has no mental problem.

    His problems are physical.
  19. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

    Oct 28, 2006
    No Nadal is definitely mentally strong and i say this from watching so many of his matches and not just because I am a fan. Him and Federer are the long distant ones who have been tuned to not lose their cool when their opponent is even two sets ahead. That is why I could not write off Federer yesterday. They have confronted the lot, remember, in their career and come through victorious so often in the past. This is what makes me wonder in Nadal's case just what happened to him on Sunday. I was waiting for the take off that I have seen so often but it never came
  20. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

    Feb 2, 2009
    Great post, great look back to the 90's, and great analysis.

    I totally agree!

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