Rafael Nadal-Sportsman of the year

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by CMM, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. CMM

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    http://www.tennischannel.com/news/NewsDetails.aspx?newsid=6399

    by Steve Flink

    The way I define it, a bona fide sportsman is someone who wins with grace and style, and an individual who loses with dignity and without self pity. Champions make or break their reputations on how they handle the two extremes. They don’t allow their egos to get too inflated in victory, and refuse to let losses ruin their self esteem or cut too deeply into their pride. They learn how to balance the scales, find equanimity, and display character under either set of circumstances.
    For me, the choice for this award was not difficult. This man was the dominant force in the game across the first five months of 2009, winning five tournaments, residing indisputably at No. 1 in the world, recording one important triumph after another. He got injured during the French Open, lost at Roland Garros for the first time, and could not defend his crown at Wimbledon. When he returned over the summer, his world was an altered place, his confidence diminished, his game never as commanding or imposing.
    For the rest of the year, Rafael Nadal did not win another tournament, reaching only one final in his last seven events, struggling mightily against the other leading players. Although Nadal concluded an arduous season on a high note by helping lead Spain past the Czech Republic to win the Davis Cup, it was apparent that he had lost some crucial ground during his time away from the sport. After his comeback, he was beaten three times by Novak Djokovic without winning a set. He was crushed twice by Juan Martin Del Potro, twice by Nikolay Davydenko, and once each by Robin Soderling and Marin Cilic. Those were all straight set setbacks as well.
    And yet, Nadal was remarkably gracious in defeat. He made few alibis, gave his opponents full marks, tried to play down his lingering physical problems. To me, the moment he sealed the Sportsman of the Year award was just after he had been blasted comprehensively off the court 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 by a top of the line Del Potro in the semifinals of the U.S. Open. It must have been humiliating to lose that overwhelmingly at the only Grand Slam event he has not yet captured.
    Yet Nadal responded admirably. He waved to the crowd as he walked off the court, and stopped for a brief television interview with Pam Shriver. That was the day he affirmed once and for all what a towering sportsman he is. Nadal was humiliated in many ways by the thunderous ground game and excellent serving delivered by Del Potro, but he enlarged himself and his reputation with his post-match response.

    Rafael Nadal, Sportsman of the Year. Was there really any other choice?

    Sportswoman of the year: Kim Clijsters

    Men's player of the year: Roger Federer

    Women's player of the year: Serena Williams

    Men's most improved player: Robin Soderling

    Women's most improved player: Caroline Wozniacki

    Men's match of the year: Wimbledon final

    Women's match of the year: Serena Williams-Elena Dementieva (Wimbledon semifinal)

    Biggest dissapointment of the year: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray

    Best surprise of the year: Justine Henin returns
     
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  2. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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  3. Agassifan

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    I think Nalbandian should be sportsman of the year
     
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  4. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    If we are talkin sportsman of the year just in tennis,for me it is no contest: Nadal all the way. He was gracious to his rival in his worst moment,even allowing Roger to steal a bit of his limelight at that time,he stayed on court when he was injured to get bageled by murray in rotterdam just so the scot could get victory by winning not by retirement,he handled the whole fo elimination moment relatively well(considering he was ousted at this most succesful tournament by the only guy he doesn't like in the ATP-comments from tony and his fans not withstanding) and he always gave interviews or autographs even while getting blown off court several times during the summer-autumn stretch. And he always had nice things to say about his opponents,even after getting beat by them.

    I think Nadal's nice personality off court is what makes many people forgive him for his quirky rituals on court. But he has several things going against him: his time-wasting bit,he doesn't speak good english and he is an introvert from what I can tell.
     
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  5. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Very well said.
     
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  6. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Even though Nadal didn't immediately imply that his loss to Soderling was because of injury, the statements he made in the following weeks basically said that he was injured the whole time, taking away credit from Soderling in the process. So for that I would maybe deny him sportsman of the year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
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  7. GPG

    GPG Semi-Pro

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    not so sure about this one. Probably no other choice (I'm not that in in women tennis), but it's easy to be a sportsman/sportswoman when you only play four tournaments in a season
     
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  8. Lsmkenpo

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    To me actions on the court should define sportsmanship, not what someone says after the match, majority of that is BS and not what they really feel.

    Sorry I certainly don't see alot of good sportsmanship out of Nadal during the actual play between him and his opponent, Thats when sportsmanship is important, sportsmanship is for the 2 competitors out on the court to show each other respect, not some PR job after the match.

    What I see on the court are attempts at intimidation, time wasting, Nadal staring at marks on the court for 10 seconds scrutinizing every close shot, celebrating UE's , and over the top celebrations with leaping fist pumps and yells. All disrespectful to your opponent and poor sportsmanship.

    The best sportsman in the game on court is James Blake.
     
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  9. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Considering that he lost at his most succesful slam to the one guy he doesn't like on tour he handled it pretty well(again regardless of tony and some of his fans). So he was supposed to lie and say he was dandy during RG? He had problems during RG but unlike USO,where he also had some problems but had a easy draw,he met a power hitter who exposed his movement issues during that game. I have asked this a thousand times but I will ask it again: if Nadal was super during RG why did he bail out on Queens and Wimbledon? He was defending champion in both. And please don't bring the "he was too scared to compete" "argument" to the table. We are talking about Nadal,not some journeyman.

    Recently Rafa said that he was amazed that he won those clay titles this spring because in his view he didn't play so great in the clay season(he had pain in his knees since MC). He probably thought "hey I made 4 finals on clay playing like this,maybe I can do it in RG too". But he didn't. He not only lost to Soderling,but he struggled way too much against Daniel and he lost an exo to nr.109 in the world. His only good match was against Hewitt. But he also had a great match against Monfils in USO only to have a RUBBISH one with Almagro next round when his muscle tear was really bothering him.
     
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  10. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    amen to that...
     
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  11. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

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    Flink fail. He is so full of himself.
     
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  12. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    It's good to know that you actually know what is going on in Nadal's mind. Since he has been doing this "PR job" since he is on the pro tour he must the most consistent liar there is.

    "All disrespectful to your opponent and poor sportsmanship"-says the guy who has soderling as his avatar,a guy who blatantly tried to cheat in Rome and who yelled at Nadal after winning the match in TMC(but that was probably just because out of joy,right? Nevermind the fact that he didn't celebrate like this after beating djoker)

    If you value "sportsmanship" so much you should drop the cheater from your avatar. Or else you are nothing but a hypocrite.
     
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  13. reversef

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    What he did was withdrawing from Queens and Wimbledon. Unless some people are crazy enough to imagine that he did that to take away credit from Soderling, I don't see anything. He had to withdraw, after that he had to give explanations. What he said is that he was injured after Miami, that he played all the clay season with that injury, that it got worse at each tournament and that he made a big mistake by playing Madrid. What should he say to be fair? "I was at my best during all that time, that injury came suddenly."???
     
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  14. LiveForever

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    Haha Yeah I saw that clip. Soderling is pathetic. He so blatantly attempted to cheat.
     
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  15. reversef

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    What I see is a player who never insults anyone on the court, who never smashes a racquet, who never tries to cheat.
    Now, tell me who is better amongst the top players. Federer? The one we saw at the USO maybe. Murray? You can't be serious. Djoko? A little more arrogant than Nadal, don't you think? Who else? Tsonga or Monfils? If you don't like Nadal's celebrations, what do you think about those 2 then? They make me sick. Roddick? The umpires would disagree. Maybe Soderling? Better not talk about that jerk.:?
     
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  16. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    ^^ I totally agree with the above.I dont care what BS he spouts to the media.His actions on court are just not indicative of what he may say in his pressers( and he has done his fair share of taking credit away from his opponents even in his pressers this year).
    For what its worth-I dont consider any of the top guys as models of sportsmanship.There are other guys out there and I've said before I'll say again-Blake deserves atleast one award for his overall display of sportsmanship over the years.
     
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  17. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Wasn't he playing exhibition matches at the time that he withdrew from Wimbledon? So much for being injured. I think he used the Wimbledon pullout as a means to show the world that he did not lose to Soderling at RG for any other reason than because he was injured.
     
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  18. patty_mnouchkine

    patty_mnouchkine Semi-Pro

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    awww the guy's written his heart out
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
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  19. Lsmkenpo

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    Everyone does the PR job after the match, pretty common, if you don't realize that the vast majority of what is said by nearly all the players is not entirely what they feel than you are being naive.

    Secondly, Soderling wasn't awarded sportsman of the year by some idiot sports reporter was he? Do you see me claiming Soderling is a great sportsman out on the court?

    Your rant has no bearing on the facts I stated, Nadal does not show great sportsmanship on the court where it matters, if you got something to refute the argument other than personal attacks on me or deflection by mentioning Soderling lets hear it.
     
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  20. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    WOW.Just WOW.

    Jesus Christ people,he tested his knees in two two setters after he rested for a few weeks after RG. Most people on the sidelines felt that Nadal wasn't himself and that he wasn't still up to par. Sure,he probably could have entered just for the sake of it,with busted knees like in RG and he would have been ousted in 1-2 rounds with a "bonus" prize of even more f***d up knees to boot(you have to bend a lot more on grass and you can't slide).

    What you,and other users,are suggesting is that Nadal gave up :

    1)his queens crown
    2)his wimbledon crown
    3)his nr.1 ranking(snatched after 3 years and a half at nr.2)
    4)the chance to redeem himself after RG

    just to justify his one loss at RG. I'm sorry but that sound absolutely ridiculous no matter who you support.
     
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  21. reversef

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    He played 2 matches at Wimbledon to see how his knees would react. The test was negative.
    Nobody in his own mind would believe that a professional player like Nadal would withdraw from Wimbledon to prove that he was injured at RG. That kind of statement says more about the stupidity of the writer than anything else.
     
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  22. Lsmkenpo

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    I alraedy said, James Blake, if you need a higher ranked I would go with Davydenko among the top ten, Davydenko shows respect to his opponent and just goes out there and plays. I think he is the best sportsman among top ten.
     
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  23. clayman2000

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    Exactly. Add on the fact that Nadal got routined by Hewitt at Queens (exhi) after crushing him 1, 3 and 1. Yes its a different surface, but it shows that Nadal was clearly not 100% going into Wimbledon
     
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  24. reversef

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    Ok for Blake. He's fine. But he has not been very visible recently. Davydenko? I have doubts. First, his name is linked for ever to some scandals. Even if he's innocent. I don't know if he tanked, but the other thing wouldn't be surprising for me. That player always talks about money. Out of the court, Davydenko also made some very controversial statements. On his court, I don't see much to say against his attitude, nothing positive either. Sometimes, I believe that I'm watching a dead man.
     
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  25. namelessone

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    So why doesn't Nadal do PR on Soderling? He said that he doesn't like him(well not in so many words but he hinted at it) since their first meetings,way before RG 09'. And there are other guys who beat him regularly yet he doesn't say anything bad about them,probably because they don't act like ***** around him. Nadal had 2 major "scandals" on court in his career at the top: with berdych in Madrid(and they are cool right now from what I have heard) and with soderling in WB 07'. That says that he doesn't really like conflict on court,he is certainly not a hot headed player.

    Out of the things you posted only time wasting might bother some players. The rest is BS. Intimidation by fist pumping? By staring down opponents? By running to the net? Celebrating UE's(something which 90% of the tour does)? Staring down 10 seconds at ball marks(perhaps he wants to check it out,did you think about that?)? Most guys on tour laugh at these things,some of them probably think that they are childish things to do. If Nadal would serve faster,these things would go un-noticed.

    If what you say is true,and there is a time-wasting,down staring,ue celebrating guy on the other side of the net it would motivate me more,it wouldn't intimidate me. I never heard someone losing a match because Nadal sprinted to the baseline or because he stared to ardently into the eyes of his opponent.
     
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  26. CMM

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    You shouldn't have said that.
     
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  27. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL...you cannot be anymore wrong. Wasting times on his serve(and receiving serve), and getting caught for coaching on court IS cheating. Rafa will do anything to gain an edge. This is far worse than breaking a racquet.
     
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  28. Lsmkenpo

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    The bolded part should tell you something, he hints not saying what he really feels. Do you watch any other sports, high profile sponsored players are actually coached as to what to say to the media after a win or lose, you can pretty much write the script and read it out for anyone, not just Nadal.





    It doesn't matter if it bothers the opponent or not it is the intent and the lack of respect, do you play sports at all? If someone you played against pulled this routine on you, would you view it as great sportsmanship, or a little gamesmanship? I don't care what the effect may or may not be that would be subjective to the opponents personality, the point is, is it good sportsmanship to do this oncourt, yes or no?
     
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  29. CMM

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    I don't think that the PR team told Nadal to hug Federer when he was crying, I don't think they told him to smile and answer nicely to the woman who appeared on court for an interview, a few seconds after he had a tough loss, I don't think they told him to almost hug back that crazy man who jumped on the court after one match and I don't think he's beeing forced by anyone to always sign autographs or to say nice things about his opponents.
    If one of them feels intimidated by his jumping and fist pumping, he should stay at home, behind his mother's skirt or, even better, join the WTA.
    His time wasting may be bothering, but calling it cheating is a little too much. When James Blake was asked last year at Queens whether slower players annoyed him, he replied no, because every player has his own defence mechanisms and his was to play fast so that he doesn't have time to think, while some did it with routines.
     
    #29
  30. rocket

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    You're probably the smartest, most objective Nadal fan in this forum.
     
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  31. reversef

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    What I mean is that even if there is no proof, it stays in people's mind. It's difficult to give an award for sportsmanship to a player around whom there is suspiscion. Like it or not, many people will always think about Davydenko with that scandal somewhere in their mind, unless there are real proofs of his innocence. I think there were no proofs of his culpability, which is different. Now, maybe I missed something.
     
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  32. CMM

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    That's Nadal's case too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
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  33. reversef

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    Every player gets some coaching on court. When you watch them on TV, sometimes, you can see the coaches and all their little signs. Bad luck, the camera was on them at that moment. It's so frequent that you don't even pay attention anymore. Don't focus on Nadal because Federer, bad loser that he is, mentioned it once after a defeat.
    And no, Nadal doesn't do anything to gain an edge. It's obvious that the guy has tics and is superstitious. Do you know when some player does everything to gain an edge? When he does everything to arrive on the court second or at the net second (in the begin of the match) when it's in his nature to be the first one just because he hopes to unsettle his opponent for example. Does it remind you someone? Nadal always does the same, it's just for him. Like the bottles and stuffs like that. Difficult to say that he wants to impress someone with that.
     
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  34. Lsmkenpo

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    I view these things as a nice personality after the match, has no bearing on the sportsmanship during the match. Being nice off the court doesn't change any thing that happens on it, in terms of sportsmanship.

    If someone abuses you than gives you a hug and buys you dinner, does that make the abuse OK?

    A great many of the tactics are gamesmanship, to gain a small advantage during the match, these matches are swayed by just a few points , a small mental lapses can change the entire outcome, whether they bother the opponent is probably based on their own demeanor and personality.

    Anyone who has read Brad Gilberts book "Winning Ugly" should be able to easily spot the gamesmanship tactics Nadal and other players use to gain a small mental advantage. Lendl, Connors and Mcenroe all used similar tactics. Gilbert in the book clearly states the tactics effected the outcome of many of the matches he played.
     
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  35. JeMar

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    I liked Davydenko for sportsman of the year.
     
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  36. Mansewerz

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    Gracious: yes

    Smart: no

    For a guy who is injured as often as Nadal, is it smart to keep playing a final with an injury, especially in an ATP 500 like rotterdam?
     
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  37. reversef

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    Oh no, that's too much. There is nothing, absolutely nothing behind this rumor. You can't compare. There was really something behind that "Davydenko's rumor". No proof against him. But an incredible amount of money.
    Rumors around doping have always been there. Without any serious reason. Even for women. In the begin of the nineties, the rumors were around Navratilova, Sabatini, Sanchez. I don't think that their names are still linked to it. It's not because a journalist wants to spread rumors without even signing his paper that it means something.
     
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  38. CMM

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    Exaggeration.

    If a player feels intimidated or has any other mental problem, he should hire a psychologist.
     
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  39. Rippy

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    Equally... a player using "intimidating tactics" may not be breaking the rules, but it's hardly a very "sporting" thing to do, is it?
     
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  40. Lsmkenpo

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    That is what a coach is for, I guess you have never played any sports at a competitive level to know how these things work, it is a constant mental battle out there,doesn't mean they are weak or need mental help it is part of the game.
     
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  41. CMM

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    I disagree. There is no proof that Rafa was doping, but I can't be blind and say that people have no reason to think of that.
     
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  42. djones

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
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  43. CMM

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    You say those are "intimidating tactics", I say that he's just pumping himself up.
    That's the way I see it.
     
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  44. namelessone

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    I think playing is a big word for what Nadal did in that last set. He basically returned some balls,not all of them,and then watched murray hit winners from both sides. What was funny about that final is that murray managed to get broken by a one legged Nadal and Rafa won that second set almost without trying,murray basically gave it away. Murray even referenced this in his interview afterwards saying that "this guy is so good that he got one set off me on one leg".
     
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  45. Lsmkenpo

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    Do you think the same thing when other players do it like Murray or Hewitt?
     
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  46. CMM

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    Yes............
     
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  47. reversef

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    If you mean the muscles, it's ********. Many players are stronger than him. The French could watch their Tsonga or their Monfils before launching those rumors. And if it's for his fitness, he couldn't do that again and again with substances. He has exceptional lungs, that's all.
     
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  48. Lsmkenpo

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    Than you should watch this video, Murray admits exactly why he is going to yell come on, it is not to pump himself up.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muM-UQc_Tnk
    If the players needed pumped up they would do it before they hit the winner not after.
     
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  49. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Guys who shout too much or pump themselves up are guys who lack confidence in some key moments and do these things to pump themselves up. Notice how Nadal toned it down once he was confident in his game,he only did it on the big points back then. Now that he lost confidence he started to do it again.

    These "intimidation tactics" are petite things in the greater game of tennis. A tennis match is decided by small things but fist pumping,staring down,sprinting to the baseline and so on aren't part of them. The only thing out of Nadal's arsenal that might influence somewhat the outcome of some of these tight moments is time wasting because it can bug the receiver but that's about it. A tennis player who get intimidated by fist pumping and so on in the big moments doesn't deserve to play on the big stage.
     
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  50. CMM

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    He was being ironic.
    If you don't agree with the "pumping up" thing, then I could say that he expresses his joy. I'm talking about Nadal.
     
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