Rafa would be great serve & volleyer in the 90s.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by jg153040, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    He is a hard worker. Maybe not the most talented in history, but he is talented enough.

    Imagine instead of thousands of hours of practicing baseline grinding he would be practicing serve & volley. He would be great.

    Rafa has less dimensions, but he is the best there is in his dimension. So, he would be a serve & volley machine. If you combine that with his great tactics, competitiveness and mental toghness, you have an amazing player.

    And he would be more natural at it. He would be growing up in serve & volley era from his teens.

    I don't see any reasons why Rafa wouldn't be great serve & volleyer. Hard work, intensity and mental toughness own talent. And he has plenty of talent. Saying he is not the most talented, doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot of talent. But he makes up for it with other stuff. And the talent gap between him and some other greats is not that huge.
     
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  2. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Upbringing plays a role (Spanish players tend to love the baseline), however, I totally agree with your premise in that X player has X amount of overall tennis talent and can mould it more or less as they wish should they decide -- necessity being the mother of invention -- that other areas of the game would be better served for the sake of glory.
     
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  3. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Good point OP, but the haters will never agree. Nadal is incapable of doing anything other than what he does :rolleyes: even if he was brought up differently. It's just the poly.
     
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  4. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    These Nadal fan posts become stranger and stranger.
     
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  5. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    On the road from would of to would have
    Would be probably better in the former player section. Possibly more insight.

    It would have taken longer for Nadal to develop into a top serve and volleyer but I think he could have done it. He would have needed a good serve like the one he has now so he could come in behind it. He didn't develop that really until the last few years. Obviously he'd have a totally different attitude to playing as well. He volleys well and with practice I think most of the top guys today would be proficient volleyers anyway. Nadal has the movement to get to net quickly and could obviously hang with people from the baseline in return games (even if he has a less unique forehand).

    So I think he would be a good serve and volley player. Although I don't think he'd be a GOAT serve and volleyer like he is with regards to baselining.
     
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  6. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    great thread... forget about mcenroe and edberg, the nadal is the absolute S&V reference !

    hell, why stop here ? that would be ungrateful for what he'd do for us !

    the rusty peak injured golden bull would control fire and invent the wheel, he'd forgive them because they don't know what they're doing, he'd win trafalgar, he'd discover penicillin and develop rabies vaccine, he'd successfully lead the cuban revolution and become the icon of the anti-imperialist struggles, he'd break the berlin wall with his undestructible topspin forehand, and he'd destroy the death star without needing any coaching (but that was a long long time ago, i know).

    hail to the rusty peak injured golden bull, bros' and sis' !!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    don't you mean in the tennis fiction section ?... ;)
     
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  7. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

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    He has one big advantage for his S&V game, and that is that he is a lefty. I'm really impressed by Nadal's service these days. In the early days his serve just wasn't a weapon, these days one cannot get around it as a big weapon. Of course not like Karlovic or Isner, but in my opinion it really is a weapon.

    Judging his volleying skills is hard I think. He tends to come to the net after an approach and his approaches are really good of course, because of his forehand. So he get's a lot of easy volleys to put away. He plays a lot of drop volleys I think? Maybe someone has a link to a Nadal volleying video?

    I'm not too impressed by his volleying technique (it not flawed or something, just not natural imo), but technique doesn't really matter if you can put the ball away. Of course, as mentioned above, had he grown up playing serve and volley he would have gotten a feel for volleying since he was a kid. With his talent, he would have been great in any era I think.

    So in short, I think he definitely has the serve for the S&V, but I'm not to sure about the "V-aspect"
     
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  8. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    *wrong thread* oops... ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
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  9. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    hahahaha,thnx!!!:)
     
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  10. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    It's like in the movie back to the future. People don't think 4-dimensionally.

    My premise is that it's not his baseline what makes Rafa great. But it's his problem solving (or Toni's doesn't matter, let's assume he has Toni) abilities and mental toughness and hard work, that made Rafa decide to be a great baseliner.

    That's why I think greats would be great in any era in any conditions.

    The problem solving doesn't stem from knowledge, but from will.
     
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  11. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    i've put it in the right thread (yours) now... :p
     
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  12. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    Technique isn't the most important thing. He doesn't have perfect technique anyway, that didn't stop him to be the best base liner.

    But we have to see things from the 90s perspective. He would train from his teens like 15 years just that style. And with his work ethic and mental tougness, he would be great.

    My premise is that skills don't come from knowledge, but from will.
     
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  13. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't see why Rafa growing up and training serve and volley for 15 years wouldn't give Mac run for his money. The irony of this is that Mac said Rafa has the best volleys in 2010.

    Where Rafa lacks in talent, he makes up with his will. Yes, Mac has talent, but Mac didn't have mentality to practice. And Rafa would practice 3-times as hard than Mac. That will eventually help.

    And Rafa is one of the fastest, has amazing reflexes.
     
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  14. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    yes. nadal could have become a good S&V player but growing up in spain he probably would have become a clay only specialist like most spanish guys in the 90s.
     
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  15. jg153040

    jg153040 G.O.A.T.

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    My premise is that problem solving derives from will, not from knowledge.

    So, those greats would be great in any era.
     
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  16. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Well, it derives from will and knowledge but like I said, I entirely agree.

    I made many posts of this nature about 2 to 3 years ago on this forum as a sort of mediator for the arguments between fan bases especially in the former pro players section of the forum that basically culminated in the personal conclusion that a great player has the capacity to be great in any era.

    In this instance, the knowledge that a different era requires a different skill set would likely allow for the will of a great champion to make sure that his 'pot of ability' is distributed accordingly.
     
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  17. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I think Nadal is deserving of more respect.
     
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  18. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Ultimately, one is a product of their time, even if it is somewhat informed by history or speculative guesses about future trends. When somebody is as great as Nadal, it seems insulting to just assume that they'd fail or indeed play exactly the same way in other eras.

    There are further complications to discuss but under the assumption that good coaching and conditions are offered and that Nadal in another era doesn't become an accountant, then I certainly think and feel that he'd be a boss.
     
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  19. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Another point is that the great players will surely find their way. For example, Nadal might not have suddenly transformed into a Stefan Edberg type, but moulded his game with the help of coaches into a formula, one of several conducive to long term success and perhaps dominance, that can succeed on the world stage.


    Whatever combinatorial solutions there are for achieving dominance over the field in any era, one that fits in best with one's own nature (albeit innate or nurtured) should be found sooner or later by a player who has the calibre to do so, such as Nadal.
     
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  20. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    His serve today is not that good and his volley is not that good. I disagree with your premise. I think he would have had to start working on all court style at a young age and this would have impacted his basic game. Rafa would not be Rafa if he tried to play aggressive S&V or all court style through out juniors.
     
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  21. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    :) How many guys can really attack Nadal's serve? Like 2?
     
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  22. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    The thing people tend to forget when it comes to great champions is that they are the product of their enviroment. What all of them have in common is an ingrained desire to win and be the best.

    With Nadal, being born in Spain, of couse he was gonna go the topspinning baseliner route because few in Spain don't. Except he perfected that style and it got him legendary results. If Rafa was born in say, the US, the focus would have been on blazing groundies and big serves.

    Likewise, if Sampras was born in Europe you can bet your *** that he would've scored an RG in his time. He definitely had the talent. But since he was brought up in the US where clay is seen as a second rate surface he focused on the other 3 slams.

    As players get older they are far less willing to change anything major about their game. That's why Sampras stopped giving a damn about RG as he aged and why I doubt Rafa will really really focus on his indoor game for the future.
     
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  23. fednad

    fednad Hall of Fame

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    I think Nadal invented condoms.
    What say ******* fans?
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    most hilarious opening thread ever

    Even greater than " Sampras was the most resilient moonballer ever seen on clay courts".
     
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  25. Who Am I?

    Who Am I? Banned

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    If he had played in the 90s era, it wouldn't have mattered how he played, as he would be a mere clay courter and his results would show that.
     
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  26. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Playing in the 90s I'm sure he would have reduced Sampras's 14 slams and 6 YE #1. He also would have more slams than Sampras.
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    clueless.On old grass?? on fast deco??? at most, other than maybe 5-6 RG titles (Bruguera,Courier,Kuerten) he may have 2-3 hard court titles and he ends up with 8-9 non indoor majors and 0 indoor titles.Not better than Agassi.

    Grass??? forget.He may be lucky to get to a couple of semifinals and that is it.

    Federer and maybe Murray could also have snapped some majors in the 90´s but don´t forget Federer only beat the old fart version of Agassi and Sampras¡¡¡
     
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  28. mike danny

    mike danny Hall of Fame

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    On fast surfaces i would give the nod to Fed more than to Nadal
     
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  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    First, I take the 90´s as a whole.The second half was pretty weak compared to the first but you still had Sampras and Agassi going on and then Rafter and Kuerten.

    I agree Federer would have options to win a fast court event, Nadal could but would be as much a favourite as Chang or Muster were.
     
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  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Comparing Nadal to Chang/Muster is like comparing Laver to Santoro.
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It was just an example to emphatise my opinion.Chang and Muster were top players and both won the French ( Nadal has never faced quite a field like Chang faced in his 1989 win).Santoro is a mere and humble journeyman.
     
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  32. degrease

    degrease Rookie

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    I am a nadal fan but dont get the point of this post. It like saying if he learnt to drive differently he could have been a formula 1 driver.
    He is what he is. No need to change him
     
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  33. degrease

    degrease Rookie

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    Ha ha great
     
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  34. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    No way. Nadal without stiff hollow Babolat rocket launcher and poly barb wires for stings to power his cross court lefty forehand would never achieve this much in his career.

    Nadal in 90's would win couple RGs titles. That is all. Muster/Brugera/Guga kind of career.
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good post...and Fedfans are desperate to hear this because...if his owner on clay wins 2-3 RG ( maybe 4 but that´s it)...how many would Federer win at the 1990´s in Paris??? geez.it hurts.
     
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  36. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Ralph would S&V with his incredible fighting skills and unbreakable spirit. I just hope he doesn't shoulder charge his opponent at the net in the process. :lol:
     
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  37. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    Agree with you, but this is off topic. No one started a thread how Federer would be a great clay courter in the 90's, but about how Nadal would be a great S&V player :roll:
     
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  38. rossi46

    rossi46 Professional

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    You summed it up quite well, one of few posts in this thread that makes sense.
     
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  39. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    thread title made me laugh so hard I actually peed my pants
     
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  40. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    this one puts that one to shame.
     
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  41. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    you made a good point. In an era where there was true variety of surfaces, with hardcourts being faster than today and grass being very fast, players like Nadal would have only shined on clay courts. He would have been a niche player, excelled in the Spring on the clay but not accomplished much on fast courts against a field of S&V players on fast courts.
     
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  42. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    +1, though remember he wouldn't have had the Babolat he now has and poly strings.
     
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  43. Forehand Of Doom

    Forehand Of Doom Banned

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    Actually the premise of the thread is good. I believe it to be correct for the most part (or at least plausible, which is all which can be said about something which can never be verified).

    Rafa's serve is not the fastest serve, but it is quite tricky to return because of his advantage as a lefty. He has also shown he can increase its power at specific times (notably USO 2010).

    His speed to the net is also an advantage. His volleys are quite effective, although he normally doesn't go up to the net blindly, so it might be a higher percentage shot than it would be where he to be a pure S/V player. But, in general, Nadal's reflexes are excellent.

    His overhead shots are amazing, some of the best. Lobs are good. Passing shots really good.

    Yes, actually it's not a bad thesis. Rafa might have been a formidable S/V player. I certainly don't see why not. It's strange to think about it, since he's such a good baseline player, but he does have potentially the weapons, and the ones he doesn't really have he could have developed.
     
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  44. monfed

    monfed Guest

    If you really think about it the sun could rise in the west too. Just depends how deeply you think about things I guess. :lol:
     
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  45. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    He COULD be good. Not great. Especially not if he trained in Spain, on clay. Let's face it, Nadal began tennis at a time when it was still fast and I doubt even he predicted such a massive slowdown then. Despite this, he continued to train on clay and moulded himself into a clay-courter. I don't see how he'd change into a complete S&Ver and a great one at that without ever having seen him play that way but he could use that play more often than he does, sure.
     
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  46. MauricioDias

    MauricioDias Rookie

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    agree... I initially thought that this thread was a joke...
     
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  47. monfed

    monfed Guest

    The premise used for Nadal is that he wouldn't have played the same way as he does now SO he would've been a good S&Ver in the 90s because he would've played THAT way. This premise is intrinsically faulty because we have to look at a player's game as it currently stands and not how he would've played, that is simply illogical. We have to work with what we have and what we have right now is that Nadal while being mostly clinical with his volleys whenever he did approach the net, there isn't sufficient evidence to prove that he'd make a great serve and volleyer in the 90s given his lack of forays to the net and his general aversion coming forward.
     
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  48. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    What are you talking about? Nadal could easily take care of himself against players such as Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, and Goran Ivanisevic... :lol:
     
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  49. Forehand Of Doom

    Forehand Of Doom Banned

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    But you can project how he might have fared based on characteristics of his game. He might not play S/V, but some of the features of S/V are almost always present in all matches in small doses.

    By the way, this S/V theory would apply to Fed as well. Fed doesn't play S/V. He is a baseliner.
     
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  50. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Ok fair enough. From what I've seen of Nadal when he comes forward is that he doesn't come forward nearly enough compared to players like Federer,Tsonga,Fish,Mayer. Though when he DOES come forward he almost always makes the volley which is more a result of his clarity in thought as opposed to his volleying technique but then again I'm not an expert on S&V and it's my subjective opinion against yours.

    Well Federer as a consequence of not being able to hang with the baseline powerhouses in long rallies such as Nadal,Djokovic and Murray has to S&V on multiple ocassions because he doesn't wanna get caught having baseline duels with them so he has to change up play which goes against your assertion. I agree that he's not a pure S&Ver like say a Llodra ,Stepanek, Lopez but he has shown on more than one occassion that he's competent at the net and has the right technique to deal with shoelace volleys which was almost mandatory to survive on the quick surfaces of the 90s. I do think he can improve his FH volleys though,seen some howlers from that wing.
     
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