Until the time...

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by nikdom, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    Everyone has a favorite prediction this time of the year, when possibility trumps reality because everything and anything is possible in the future, whereas its hard to defend reality as it happens. Take Murray for example. All year and even late last year, he was being trumpeted as the next non-Roger-Rafa slam winner. We're back to square 1 again with fellow Adidas endorsee, one retired Mr.Agassi, throwing his hat in the Murray ring.

    So I thought I'd come up with some "un-predictions" if you will, sort of like, I'm not going to change my stand unless something changes in reality. So here it goes,

    1. Until Murray actually wins one, he's still just a "talent"
    Wilander said it first and I will borrow his thought here because I whole heartedly agree. That's not saying Murray's not talented or capable, but let's actually learn something from last year and not blow that horn too much.

    2. Until Roger starts losing before semis in Slams, he's not "done"
    Its surprising that even after featuring in all 4 slam finals, winning 2 and losing the other 2 in 5 sets, Roger is somehow not dominating or will go away overnight because he's a dad etc etc. Fed haters need to stop smoking whatever it is they're smoking if they think he's not got what it takes anymore.

    3. Until I see Nadal in a wheelchair, I won't believe his career is done-in by injury
    Yes, he may have been injured, but he's come back and he'll continue to be there no matter what people think - Nadal deniers for thinking he'll fade away and *******s for constantly using his injuries as an excuse. The reality is that while he may not have come back and started winning tournaments, he's still around and at number 2. He's been injured before and come back pretty strong. So not buying the injured-and-out theory.

    ....you can add your own.
     
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  2. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Until Del Potro can pick up a Masters or a Slam on Clay, he should still be considered a hard-court specialist (regardless of his excellent results at the FO this year).

    Also, he should be considered a non-factor on grass until he proves otherwise.

    We all look forward to that change, though.

    @ OP: Excellent points, especially #1 :)
     
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  3. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. Especially No. 3. I don't think his injuries are as serious as many portray. Just that
    pros have, over time, learnt to play him well. Solid 2HBH and/or good height is what is needed to take him out on Hard courts. Nadal will still be the best player on clay the next few years and he might adjust on hard.
     
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  4. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

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    He made the semi's, and was up 2 sets to 1 in his match against Federer, the champion! And I'm sure his game will match well against Nadal on clay, if I were to bet I'd still choose Nadal, but Del Potro would give him a run. I agree with the grass though, it's just not his style, especially since the ball bounces low and he is a bit awkward at net.
     
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  5. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I predict Rafa will have an "injury-free" year.
     
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  6. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    Once he retires?
     
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  7. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    I disagree. Sure it's just tendinitis but it is in both knees and Nadal hasn't got a easy style on the body. Sure other players have had it for a long time like Venus and Andy but we forget that their styles lend themselves to winning free points. There are almost no free points for Nadal and remember,Nadal has had to take time off because of his injuries almost every year since he made it big so I don't think it is a minor ailment in his case.

    The solution to take Nadal out on HC has been known since at least 2004-2005. I don't see how people are "figuring him out" since guys like youzhny,blake,ferrer have taken out Nadal on HC before and they aren't behemoths with 2H-BH. It is actually the other way round,Nadal had to figure out a way to squeak into the later rounds at HC events and he hasn't got a bad record considering he hasn't realy got a HC game. 1 HC GS and another 5 titles on HC are pretty good considering that he has no serve and few offensive shots for HC.
     
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  8. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Oh yeah, for sure he played well at Roland Garros- BUT, I think we need to see more from Delpo on grass and clay before declaring him an all-surface threat to Fed and Rafa... just my $0.02

    hahaha, ok that was pretty funny!!

    Can we look forward to you two forming a comedy duo and touring alongside the ATP??
     
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  9. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    Thats why I still view Fed and Nadal as heavy favorites for all 4 of the slams next year.
     
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  10. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

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    I haven't seen anyone declare him an all surface threat to Federer, there is some evidence on clay, but grass....he lost in the second round to Hewitt, a good grass player yes, who also gave Roddick a run for his money in the quarters, but if he's going to be a threat at all to Federer, he'd need to at least beat this guy....I'm sure he would have taken his old draw over being put in Nadal's section in Wimbledon, lol
     
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  11. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Ok, not too many people are declaring Del Potro a favorite on grass (there are some people, though), BUT there are quite a few people who think Del Potro has a more than decent chance to beat Roger or Rafa on clay, especially at the French Open!!!

    I am skeptical of that, but I think Delpo's got the potential.

    He seems to be kind of inconsistent... he could lose to Ljubicic in the 2nd round on clay or to Federer in the semi's of a clay slam..
     
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  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    How come no one has mentioned Soderling beating Nadal at the French Open next year? He's the only one out of everyone that has actually proven that he could do it! :)
     
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  13. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Probably because Nadal in 3-1 against Soderling and has beaten him twice on clay before and even grass while DelPo leads Nadal 3-1 this year,beat Federer thus proving the is tough mentally(unlike Soderling who wilted away in the RG final even though he is a big hitter like DelPo) and probably because Soderling's game is better for indoors then clay. And while Soderling has only been stopped by Federer at the Slams he hasn't exactly been rolling on the masters tour being beat by a resurgent Davydenko and then by Lopez.

    Also you have to remember that RG was faster this year with 3 big hitters in the semi's + Federer.

    In RG 2005 the semifinalists were: Nadal,Davydenko,Puerta,Federer,not exactly big hitters,just claycourters,solid baseliners and one all-courter.
    In RG 2006 the semifinalist were: Nadal,Nalbandian,Federer,Ljubicic. Ditto.
    In RG 2007 the semifinalist were: Nadal,Davydenko,Djokovic,Federer. Same here.
    In RG 2008:the semifinalist were:Nadal,Federer,Djokovic,Monfils. No big hitters.

    RG 2009: Federer,Soderling,Gonzales,DelPo. 3 big hitters(or two if you don't count gonzales but I take him into account) + one all-courter. Big difference from past years and the drier,faster conditions from this year made their mark on the type of players who progressed on clay. Traditionally,the best claycourters in the world come from Spain and South America. Out of the 8 quarterfinalists in 2009,only 2 were from there,namely Robredo and Gonzales.
     
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  14. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    But doesn't that make Soderling's achievement even more amazing? That an indoor fast court specialist beat Nadal on slow red clay, Nadal's best surface by far? And that Soderling is the only perosn that has EVER beaten Nadal at Roland Garros? Soderling also absolutely destroyed Davydenko in the next round, like 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. So I have no doubt in my mind that he could beat Nadal again at RG if the conditions were right. Soderling definitely has the tools and the confidence to do it again. And the fact that he doesn't like Nadal also works in his favor.
     
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  15. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    This RG has been the fastest in quite a few years. They hardly ever watered the courts and the wind was blowing the top layer away,like Wilander said in Eurosport analysis he made of the RG clay and its characteristics. The ball was going through the court more and not being slowed down like usual so you can drop the "slow red clay" part. It is hard to make an outright winner from the baseline on clay,in this year's RG both Soderling,DelPo and other power players were doing it all the time. They just planted on the baseline and pounded balls which were going very fast through these courts. For Christ's sake,out of 8 quarterfinalist only 3 had any clay court credentials,Federer,Davydenko and Robredo. Maybe I'll through Monfils in there as well but the rest weren't your typical claycourter mix: Murray/DelPo/Soderling/Gonzalez.

    Like I said in my other post,the best claycourters around didn't even make quarters,there were actually many surprises in this year's RG but Nadal's elimination trumped them all. Nadal,4 times winner didn't get past 4th round. Davydenko,with 2 semifinals to his name in the last years got destroyed by soderling next round who had also beaten another good claycourter,ferrer,in the round from before. And you have to rememeber that both Davydenko and Ferrer looked more solid game-wise in this year's RG than Nadal.

    What do Ferrer,Nadal,Davydenko have in common? They play the sold baseline grinder claycourter game. Soderling played his usual game and his great form,helped by a faster surface than usual,defeated his opponents. Soderling had some trouble once he met another power hitter,being taken to 5 sets by gonzales but he managed to scrape through.

    If next years RG will have the same conditions as this one,than I fancy not only Soderling,but the whole power player brigade against claycourters(including Nadal) because they can play unhindered by a slow surface if the top layer of will be thin again. Once the fact that their shots are no longer negated by the surface they can use the claycourters slower,spinnier shots to wind up big,imposing shots,just like Soderling,DelPo,Gonzales did this year.

    In slower conditions like in Rome,Nadal beat Soderling 6-1,6-0 and I thought Soderling actually played very good that day but Rome has a thicker layer of clay,the thickest IMO being MC and that mattered. As I said before,one needs only to look at the players who progressed to semifinals in the 05-08 stretch to see how different they are from the 09 batch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  16. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Wow, more ********* excuses I see. So now even the slow red clay of Roland Garros is too fast for Nadal? So what's next? Will Nadal be relegated to playing only on quicksand from now on?

    I play on hardcourts so ANY red clay is slow red clay. So unless you're saying that the red clay of Roland Garros is faster than the fast hardcourts of the US Open, it is STILL "slow red clay". Why "slow"? Because it's still slower than any of the other Grand Slams and even slower than green clay or Har-Tru.

    The slow red clay actually helps the tall big hitters because it gives them more time to wind up their huge strokes and the higher bounce puts the ball right into their strike zones. Thus, I expect guys like Soderling, Del Potro, Cilic, etc. to do well at RG. If I were Nadal, I would pray that I don't have any of these tall guys in my quarter of the draw.
     
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  17. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    More BS on your part I see and your "objective" analysis goes from one extreme to the other. Did I say that RG is so fast that it is now a HC,faster than USO? No,that's your biased interpretation of the facts that I stated. It is unanimously accepted that the RG conditions were faster this year and that they haven't been this fast in quite some time. It was a factor not only in Nadal's elimination but in all the traditional claycourters early exits because it favored offense as the thiner top layer didn't slow the ball down as usual. The slow red clay helps big hitters wind up their shots but it also slows down their shots,reducing their effectiveness. That's why big hitters haven't had much success in RG. The claycourters hit spinniers shots that still bounced off the thinner top layers which gave enough time for the big hitters to wind up their shots but because they hit flat and the top layer wasn't as thick,the ball went through the court faster,thus giving them an advantage they didn't have in the past.
    There are basically 2 types of players who won RG: grinders and classy all-courters. Now obviously as in any sport there are exceptions to the rule but that's usually the norm.

    This year's RG was faster. Deal with it. It's still a slow surface but this extra speed that came with a thiner top layer of clay favored the guys who were hitting the ball flatter and faster,not the usual claycourt game which favours spin and grinding down your opposition. If it were just Nadal's case I would accept that Soderling has Nadal's number or something like that but all the claycourters went home early and that should tell you something.

    Don't you see what you are saying? "I expect DelPo/Cilic/Soderling to do well at RG?" I agree with you if the conditions will be the same. But if the weather will be damp or if the courts will be watered then their chances go down. You are making it sound as if clay has always been a haven for tall guys with big shots and booming serves when that's not true. Very few players have made the later stages of RG playing the power game because it traditionally doesn't work on clay. The clay that allows you to wind up shots ends up reducing your ball speed. If your theory were true we would have seen more and of this type of players win in RG. It's not like tall players didn't exist before and I'm pretty sure some of them played RG.

    Take a look at all the champions(and finalists) from RG and tell me how many tall ballbashers with booming serves you see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_Open_Men's_Singles_champions_and_finalists

    When players like Soderling,Cilic and DelPotro win RG a couple of years in a row I'll believe your statements and I will realize that claycourt tennis has changed forever.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  18. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Amazing, simply amazing. Nadal lost. Deal with it. It had nothing to do with the court surface. Even Nadal said the court was the same as previous years. All the other players also said the court was the same. When Federer lost the US Open after winning it 5 times in a row, did anyone blame the court surface? Did anyone say the court was too fast or too slow and that's why Federer lost and why Del Potro won?

    Why is it surprising to anyone that guys like Del Potro, Soderling, Cilic, Gonzalez, etc., who all grew up playing on slow red clay would do well on slow red clay? What you also have now are tall guys who can also move well in addition to hitting big. They can also figure how to move and play better on the slow red clay. Why is it only about the surface and not the player? Can't the player get better? Did Nadal win Wimbledon in 2008 but not in 2005-2007 because the court surface changed in 2008? Or was it because he figured things out and improved on grass?

    You hit the ball hard enough, you'll hit winners no matter what the surface is. You now have big, tall, strong guys who can move well and hit the ball into the corners consistently with their modern powerful racquets and poly strings. These kind of players were very uncommon before and the technology was not present. Even so, there were indeed tall players with big serves that won or got the the finals of RG before. Guys like Verkerk, Medvedev, Stich, Pecci, Noah, Gomez, etc., and even guys like Kuerten. Lendl, Bruguera, Norman, etc. were pretty tall with big groundies. Just ask McEnroe if Lendl is able to winners from the baseline on slow red clay. And today's players can hit even harder because they are even taller, bigger, stronger, and have much more powerful equipment.

    So stop with this surface nonsense. There are guys who can hit the ball hard enough to overpower just about anyone on any surface. Just like Soderling overpowered Nadal, Gonzalez overpowered Murray, Del Potro overpowered Robredo, etc. at this year's RG. Oh, yeah, and like Lendl overpowered McEnroe in 1984 and Gomez overpowered Agassi in 1990. Is Nadal so fragile that he can only win on red clay if it rains or if it's not too high in altitude or I don't know what else? Better players like Federer know how to adapt to the court conditions.
     
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  19. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    You fail to understand that I am not posting this "surface non-sense" to excuse Nadal's loss or take something out of Soderling's victory. That's what being a ******* will do to you. You waited so much for Nadal to finally lose at RG that it has taken all objectivity away from you and cannot see that the conditions were faster this year and it helped(read:gave an advantage) the big guys with big shots,which is what I said in one of my posts. If Bruguera was tall with big groundies on clay then I guess we can say the same things for Nadal can't we? I said before that there are exception to every "rule" in tenis,but I can't remember the last RG when all the traditional claycourters got ousted so early. That should tell you something. It's one thing for one tall guy with big shots/big serve to make a run and quite another for 2 of them(delpo/soderling) to make semifinals and for the claycourters who usually make quarters/semi's/finals to get kicked out from the first few rounds. I never said DelPo sucks on clay,he won tournaments on clay,didn't he? I only said that faster conditions favored him as well.

    Ok,racket technology has improved and there are bigger guys. That is true. So why haven't soderling/karlovic/querrey/berdych/isner/delpo/cilic taken over clay? If your theory is correct these guys who can "blast through any surface" with their new racket tech and their booming serves should be racking up titles on clay like crazy in the next few years,right? Somehow,outside of delpo,who seems the real deal I doubt anyone of the tall brigade will succeed very much on clay.

    The conditions WERE faster this year. Former tennis players observed this,players observed this,even casual viewers observed this. It was not a HC if that's what you think I am saying but it was faster than usual because of the dry,windy conditions.

    Here is just what one player,Davydenko,had to say about the court:

    "Q. He hits the ball flat or he hits the ball with topspin?

    NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, he was hitting flat and sometimes crosstopspin very well. I have no chance. It's was ‑‑ I don't know,it was different between. Against Verdasco playing today,different. Today different weather,balls much more faster, courts much faster.

    It's not so hot, 25degrees, but feeling like ‑‑ I don't know, we play on hardcourt. For me it was fast."

    Here's another guy:

    "Q. As we go further in the tournament, the matches are getting moredifficult, I guess. What happenedtoday? You were not very comfortable onthe court. Was it the wind? Your opponent?

    JUAN MARTÍN DEL POTRO: Well, a bit of everything. And it was my opponent mostly. I was not very comfortable during 80% of mymatch, and then the court. I didn't feel very comfortable, either. It was verydry, very fast. He is a very hardhitter. He hits his ball very hard, andsometimes it's difficult to return.

    Q. Talking about the court, what happened in the first set?

    JUAN MARTÍN DEL POTRO: Well, I realized when I walked on the court,I realized that the court was very dry, very dry. So I asked them to water the court in thefirst set. They said no. Then I asked them to water the court a secondtime during the second set, and they did, but then there was wind. So it wasn't perfect."
     
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  20. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    So you agree that Murray is talented? ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
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  21. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    namelessone

    If a healthy Nadal managed to win a slam on HC in 2009, a healthy Nadal would have also won a slam on faster clay. AO is faster than RG. Even with the unusual weather at RG this yr, AO was still faster and a healthy Nadal won at the AO.
     
    #21
  22. rocket

    rocket Hall of Fame

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    4. Until contenders are in more than one slam final per year, the Federer-Nadal Era is not over.

    And I'm not even talking about winning more than one slam in a year... yet.
     
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  23. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Ya but you never know on slow clay with the confidenc soderling has hght be able to beat Nadal.
     
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  24. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    Haven't seen many of your posts since I've been back. How did you take Federer's loss at the USO to Del Potro? I remember you and the mono excuse in all of 2008. Just wondering.
     
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  25. TheTruth

    TheTruth G.O.A.T.

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    I do remember them making the surface faster. I wonder why they did that?
     
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  26. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    murray will never win a slam
     
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  27. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    First of all,Nadal won AO after a number of failed attempts and had to really pound his knees on HC to do it so it wasn't that easy. Second,AO was at the beginning of the year and you have to remember that Nadal took 2 and a half months off before AO because of tendinitis. Therefore he arrived in AO rested and without pain in his knees and somewhat under the radar,him being the 4th favourite here after Murray,Djoker and Fed.

    Nadal arrived in fast clay RG after playing a stupid,way too busy schedule and payed the price in RG and WB. I can't think of Nadal as "healthy" after playing 3 consecutive tournaments with pain in April,waiting one week,playing Madrid(which included a grueling match with djoker) and after that playing RG.
    And then retiring from WB. Nadal's injuries plagued him in the middle of the season and that's why I don't think we can draw a comparison between AO Nadal and RG Nadal. When you are not at your best in a GS physically(especially with Nadal's type of game),it's very hard to win it,especially on clay,which requires very good physical conditioning.
     
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