Spoiler -- What Federer did right today

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by crosscourt, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    Given the year that he's had so far I thought Federer did pretty well this week. Yesterday's first set against Nalbandian was superb tennis, and he did very well most of today. The key improvements seem to me to be

    1. Backhand -- putting more air on the ball.
    2. Dropshots -- pulling Nadal back and forwards works, and has been a tactic absent from Federer's armoury in the last few years.
    3. Keeping the ball deep -- see 1 above, but also on the forehand, he kept Nadal deep in the court. As we have seen in other matches, Nadal can struggle to generate pace off high deep balls and makes errors.

    I also thought that tactically Federer got away from his backhand more cannily than in the past. This may be the influence of Higueras. Nonetheless, he still has to work too hard to protect his backhand and makes too many forehand errors doing so. It was no surpirse that Nadal got consistently onto Federer's backhand in his run of five games in the second set, and then again when he broke to win the match. Mentally, Federer has to learn to battle Nadal using the higher ball backhand as something other than a last resort. The hapless shot with which he lost the match showed that he isn't there yet.

    The huge plus point for Federer is how well he is serving. If he cuts out some of the aimless slicing on his backhand and remembers that serving and volleying gainst Nadal on clay is just giving him target practice, he has a real chance. Well, maybe.

    cc
     
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  2. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Very good points. Unfortunately Nadal is just a better player on clay. With a lot of topspin, Nadal is able to create angles better and has more time to get to the ball.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2008
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  3. lukarf

    lukarf Rookie

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    I think you've seen in the first set on 4-3 Federer that Nadal mis-hit a ball but that jumped so high that Federer coul hardly reach it. That's why he's so strong on clay, because of its topspin. Then we have to consider the surface, which is the slowest clay out there and the ball really bounces high. Federer has done very well in these days but Nadal is a beast on this kind of clay. We should see in Rome if he can achieve some extra results. Anyway good points...
     
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  4. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    On clay, the only way to beat Federer is with topspin. Nalbandian and Djokovic have a better shot to beat Fed on hard courts. Fed takes advantage of the extra time against most opponents but this matchup with Nadal is a nightmare for Fed. So hard to control the ball with a 1 hand backhand over the shoulder. Fed is forced to loop the ball so much to be cautious. He does as well as he can with this weakness.
     
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  5. Zaragoza

    Zaragoza Banned

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    Nadal shanked that ball and the bounce was weird. That´s why Federer was surprised on that point, it wasn´t a conventional topspin shot. Federer also won some points shanking the ball. The clay has actually been fast in the 2nd half of the week, you won´t see it faster in R.Garros. Federer´s serve really helped him today. Rome isn´t different from Montecarlo. The only different thing is that Nadal could be out of gas with the terrible schedule the ATP made this year.
     
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  6. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Nadal has a choice. I guess he chooses that he wants to defend all his points. I don't agree with it. It is such a short term goal that could lead to an injury or losses. I would've skipped Barcelona if I were him. Ferrer already decided to skip. I don't see why Nadal can't skip as well.
     
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  7. Otherside

    Otherside Semi-Pro

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    great match from both players!!
    Love watching Fed play onclay, the angles he creates with the forehand are amazing and his netgame is sweet!!
    I would like to see flatten his forehand more often. He gets so many chances it the midcourt to pound the forhand down the line a little inside out but he chooses not to. He has to play riskier to win
     
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  8. crosscourt

    crosscourt Professional

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    I agree that Nadal is a better player than Federer on clay. If Federer wants to win at Roland Garros he has to beat a player who should beat him. That's why the clay court swing before the French is the best part of the season for me -- Nadal keeps setting the target for his own greatness on clay. Federer has to try to pull off that one win that puts him at the top of the list of the all time greats. From what I have seen today Federer is getting to the point where he may have the shots to do it. The next question is whether he has the mind to match Nadal on clay.
     
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  9. califsurferboy33

    califsurferboy33 Semi-Pro

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    i want him to slice more, and a couple of more drop shots would have worked well, plus i think hes being slightly too agressive, he needs to more nadal around more, i want to see nadal vs. djocokic on clay because djockovic was not scared to go to feds forehand yesterday, and i want to see if he'll be scared to go to nadals forehand
     
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  10. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    I think Federer and his coach would have learned a lot from today's match, what are his weaknesses against Nadal. He can work over the same over the next month to have a better chance against Nadal in the FO, if they matchup again.
     
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  11. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    No, no, don't you realize? Fed just can't beat Nadal on clay. His improved strategy and results here show nothing. It just doesn't matter. He might as well just quit, not have a coach at all, take a break until the grass-court season. ;-P
     
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  12. kalika

    kalika Semi-Pro

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    Federer still beats plenty of players on clay so he shouldn't just take a break until grass. He's a good clay court player. I also don't think he would want to just give up. He has an idea of how to beat Nadal on clay. He just can't keep it up for a whole match. When Nadal came back today in the second set it was mostly on Federer's errors. By then Federer's spirit seemed broken and it was over.
     
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  13. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    I really want to see another federer and nadal french open final. I think Federer really has to change up his game if he wants to beat nadal on clay. Rallying from the baseline jsut seems to be a recipe for disaster for fed especially when nadal attacks his backhand. I think fed should work on his approach shots and end points at the net if he wants to take out nadal. He has to try something new.
     
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  14. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Federer played well and should take a lot away from the match, being up a break at 4-3 in the first and taking that very commanding 4-0 lead in the second was impressive, he showed some great stuff but ultimately made too many unforced errors. All credit to Nadal though--an unbelievable comeback, you can never count him out of a match.

    Glad to see that Roger has found his form again but Nadal is such an amazing clay court player (player for that matter). I'm looking forward to the rest of the clay court season.
     
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  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Interesting match. The best player on clay proved why he was the best on clay and Roger continued to prove he was the second best on clay (Fed did take 10 games, pretty much double the number of each of Nadal's last three opponents). I think it is fair to conclude that Federer's play is improving for 2008 but he is going to have to serve better and iron out some of the forehand errors if he is going to be successful playing the aggressive game it will take to beat Nadal. Nadal, on the other hand, I think keeps the mental edge over Roger on clay (Fed has got to be thinking he had chances to win both sets but could not close the deal). Anyway, it made for some good tennis and a great start for the clay season.
     
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  16. dh003i

    dh003i Legend

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    The mental aspect of the game is over-rated. Champions don't let others get in their head.
     
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  17. Tennis and Tennis

    Tennis and Tennis Rookie

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    I gotta say Federer played great these couple of weeks.
     
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  18. Lotto

    Lotto Professional

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    I'm not happy with Rogie at all. He really annoyed me today. Yes, I'll admit he played well but he messed up badly at the crucial moments, them being at 4-3 up in the 1st set and him losing his serve and then at 4-1 in the second set AND 4-3 in the second set. He needs to sort out his mental game if he wants to beat Rafa, and that's all it was. If he held his head and kept it cool he would have probably won the first set 6-4 and the second 6-2!!!! Donkey! I hope he sorts out his mental game and fast! Get on it Higueras!

    Also, his mental game contributed to not only his bad 1st serve percentage but also his silly forehand errors.
     
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  19. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    I don't think anyone with a one handed backhand is going to beat Nadal. On clay. I really fell sorry for Nadal actually. If he didn't have the bum knees, and ankles, he would be trashing everyone. But, the great guy in the sky always seems to leave a weakness in everyone for the others to prey upon.

    And don't worry, I won't take this time to promote the left handed forehand. Or did I just do that inadvertantly, anyways? Orange Reptilian?
     
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  20. seestern

    seestern Rookie

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    I think he just has done his best today. Like Ferrer vs Nadal in quarters (begin 2nd set), he could only play his best game some games and must down a bit, and so on...
    I have not seen something much difference comparing to last clay court finals between Fed and Rafa.
     
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  21. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    yeah your right, people keep trying to disect it and say Fed just needs to keep doing this and stop doing that, etc but thats been the case for 3 years now, its a whole lot of nothing Federer just cant sustain the level he needs to on clay to beat a 100% Nadal, all the analysis is the same as before as is the fact that Nadal is just that much better on clay
     
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  22. FedForGOAT

    FedForGOAT Professional

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    Federer always has a chance against Nadal on clay, most players don't even get to that point. Now, I think that Federer definitely improved at least his strategy. He was up 2 breaks in the 2nd! if he cut down the unforced errors (erros Nadal didn't force him into making) the match could have easily gone to three sets. I hope roger comes out of this loss with a still positive attitude, because he had his chances, and that shows that if things go his way, he can beat Nadal on clay, IMO.
     
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  23. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    how is that any different from rome two years ago? he was more agressive there and still lost, his strategy against Nadal on clay has been the same for two years, maybe you think he improved the execution of his strategy, but the result is still the same

    also he was up two breaks because he was being more agressive, but thats also why he started to hit errors, because he was going for a lot, so for him to cut down on the errors he needs to be less agressive, but accroding to you he needs to both be agressive and not commit errors, which was possible for 4 games but its nearly impossable to sustain that level for a whole match which is what you need to do to beat a 100% Nadal on clay, so its really not as simple as being agressive and not comiting errors like you think(because they go hand in hand, you dont get one without the other), ya follow me?
     
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  24. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Federer was up when he started coming in to net more, but then his strokes went off and he couldn't come in behind them any more.

    Nadal looked much more off balance when Federer was at net, as far as groundstrokes on clay NOBODY stands a chance against him.
     
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  25. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    this is 100% true actually...
    he have some mental problems i have never saw before, you see him being nervous rushing to the net and leaving easy pass for Rafa.
    Or shouting a easy forehand 2 meters behind the baseline, or when he misses 1st serve you can see in some moments that he is very nervous by his gestures and so on.
     
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  26. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    Definitely, Federer has all the tools, the talent and the ability to defeat Nadal regularly on clay, he just doesn't have the mental will power. He had an advantage in the first set, twice, and a really big advantage in the second. I won't go as far as to say that the score would've been 6-4, 6-2, but it definitely could've been 7-6, 6-4 Federer, one good service game in both of those sets would've seen him serve for both of them.

    I think he has an inferiority complex to Nadal, I don't think he genuinely believes he's going to do it, even when he's up and winning.
     
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  27. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Wrong, Federer was hitting the ball much harder and deeper then years past. He has added the drop shot, and is coming to net ALOT more.
     
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  28. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    I agree here. Federer should have won that in straights. His attempts to consolidate were very poor, and I don't care what surface it is, Federer shouldn't squander a 4-0 lead.
     
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  29. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Actually he doesn't. The 1 hand backhand has proven to be a liability against Nadal. That and he doesn't move quite as well on clay as Nadal. His game is too high risk when he plays Nadal as well.
     
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  30. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    He has beaten Nadal on clay. He beat him last year in the Hamburg finals. Higueras has been good for Federer, but they haven't been working together for that long yet. If we're seeing improvements in such a short period of time, I don't see why there can't be more to come.
     
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  31. Zaragoza

    Zaragoza Banned

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    Yes, this is the 4th year he´s having big troubles, troll.
     
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  32. Zaragoza

    Zaragoza Banned

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    So Federer playing well lost in straight sets, is it encouraging?
    Yes, Federer would have probably won 6-4 6-2 if...how many ifs have I read in the last 3 years when Federer plays Nadal? Federer played against one of the greatest players on clay ever, does it have something to do with it?
    Can you even say that Federer wasted multiple break point chances?
    It never stops amazing me how delusional some Federer fans can be.
     
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  33. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Troll alert.
     
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  34. zacinnc78

    zacinnc78 Professional

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    nadal pounded feds backhand ...it wore him out ....fed has to really attack nadals serve with reckless abandon i think because he can hold his own serve pretty good ...thats the only area i think he can improve ...its tough to hit a hundred ohbh in a row and keep them deep and consistant
     
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  35. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    really!? hes coming to net more than in rome '06?
     
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  36. ninman

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    That's the second time I've seen him do that, the other time was the 2005 Wimbledon final against Roddick. He was 4-0 up in the second and Roddick came back to 4-4 but Federer held on and won it on a tiebreaker.

    I really hope that his coach is giving hell for that defeat, Nadal didn't defeat Federer, Federer defeated himself.
     
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  37. johnny ballgame

    johnny ballgame Professional

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    People, Fed is getting dominated by Mardy Fish and he's hanging on for dear life against the likes of Ramirez Hidalgo.

    FORGET ABOUT THE FRENCH, because it's never gonna happen. Accept it.
     
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  38. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah,you're right to be sarcastic.Fed played the right way today and was close to winning.Nadal prevailed in the end,that's why he is already one of the best claycoruters ever but I'm surprised how defensive Nadal fans are if someone even dares to imply that Federer has a chance to beat him.I mean Nadal is the heavy favourite for any tournament he enters on clay,no one disputes that but should we just give him trophies in advance? Why do the other players bother to show up then? Nothing is sure in tennis and upsets can happen.
     
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  39. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    He should have won Rome 06 also, he completely squandered his lead, and missed two easy forehands on match point.
     
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  40. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Did he play on the same level against Mardy Fish and Hidalgo as he did against Nalbandian,Djokovic and Nadal(was leading 4-0 in the second set) ? If you think so than you're blind.Federer is not likely to win the FO with Nadal around I accept that but to say he has no chances at all? He is a two times FO finalist and he played Nadal close today so I would say he has a chance although a small one.
     
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  41. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    you guys are all sad like Federer was playing Rafa on Hard court.
    It's the frikkin clay.

    You EXPECT Rafa to Win Clay.
    EVERYTIME
     
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  42. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Roger used spin well. He had brilliant stretches. What he needs is to play brilliantly with some consistency.

    Easier said than done, of course, and frankly too much to ask on this surface.
     
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  43. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    "should of" means nothing, Nadal should have won Wimbledon last year and he didnt, no matter how agressive he plays federer cant beat a 100% Nadal on clay, he might string together a couple games but he cant sustain that level eventually he will either get passed or commit errors, just accept Nadal is a whole lot better than Federer on clay

    I hate how you people think the outcome of a Federer vs. Nadal clay court match is completely based on how Federer plays like its his match to win or lose...its not its the other way around, its Nadals to win or lose, if he plays his best clay tennis Federer cant beat him no matter what his tactics/execution are, its only on an off day Federer can beat Nadal on clay
     
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  44. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Excellent post!
     
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  45. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    The reason Nadal wins on clay so much is purely and simply because of his speed, not his tennis skills. When he loses his speed he will very quickly become a distant memory on clay.
     
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  46. crawl4

    crawl4 Rookie

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    exactly.. even though he made many errors today he almost needed to. The points which went for a long time nadal dominated and for federer to be up 4-0 he had to use extreme angles and variety to counter the defense of rafa. Its exactly what ferrer and davydenko tried doing but couldnt keep it up for 2 sets. Its positive signs for roger though, nadal doesn't look unbeatable.
     
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  47. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Ridiculous. He's made two Wimbledon finals. You have to be a shotmaker to do that, period. Nadal has superb speed, footwork, and racquet control. He's already one of the greats of all time.
     
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  48. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    He made two Wimbledon finals because:

    a) He had a horribly easy draw.

    b) His opponents got injured/he got a little luck.

    Yes you're right he can make shots, but to make shots you have to get to the ball. The reason he can keep getting all those balls back is because of his speed. When he slows down people will be able to get more winners against him because he won't be a human wall.

    He'll probably still defeat weaker players on clay even when he slows down, but you can't deny that it'll definitely make him much more beatable.
     
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  49. (FEDERER)vs(NADAL)

    (FEDERER)vs(NADAL) Semi-Pro

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    federer played very well
     
    #49
  50. flyer

    flyer Hall of Fame

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    soderling, youghnzy, berdych, fish.....easy? thats about 100 times harder than federers draw.....you biased idiot
     
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