Who's responsible for Rafa's woes?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Dutch-Guy, Jun 19, 2009.

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Who's responsible for Rafa's woes?

Poll closed Sep 27, 2009.
  1. Uncle Toni:too greedy (make Rafa plays too many tourneys)

    14 vote(s)
    12.6%
  2. Rafa himself:his game is too physical

    52 vote(s)
    46.8%
  3. Neither:tendinitis is congenital(can't help it)

    16 vote(s)
    14.4%
  4. All the above

    29 vote(s)
    26.1%
  1. Dutch-Guy

    Dutch-Guy Legend

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    Vote and discuss...
     
    #1
  2. Tchocky

    Tchocky Hall of Fame

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    I wish I was lucky enough to have Rafa's woes. He plays a very physical game. Nobody should be surprised by this news. He shouldn't win so many matches.
     
    #2
  3. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Uncle Toni must take the blame.
     
    #3
  4. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    you forgot to add

    - commercial commitments(clauses in contract)

    Rafa himself:he wanted to play
     
    #4
  5. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Rafa. It is called personal responsibility.
     
    #5
  6. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    It's clearly all traced back to that knee-on-knee with Ovechkin
    (Hockey fans will get that reference)!!!
     
    #6
  7. Dutch-Guy

    Dutch-Guy Legend

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    Indeed.I mean did Rafa really need to play Rotterdam,Barcelona and Madrid?
    He should have skipped these meangiless tourneys.
    It's not he's playing tennis to help his already rich family out of poverty.Uncle Toni is partially to blame for this debacle as he didn't make a light schedule for his nephew.
     
    #7
  8. T1000

    T1000 Hall of Fame

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    rafa, he chose to play his style and all of those tournies
     
    #8
  9. eric draven

    eric draven Rookie

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    You really can't place blame on one particular cause. IMHO there are several factors:

    1. Nadal's game is predicated upon relentless ball retrieval and supreme conditioning to keep him in a point until he can unleash an offensive shot. He's put a lot of miles on those legs with his style of play.

    2. His age, even though he's young he's put tremendous pressure on his knees (again because of his style of play) during a time that his joints were still maturing. I'm sure this didn't help.

    3. Uncle Toni - While working wonders with so many aspects of his game I wonder if a lack of expertise in physical conditioning might have played a part. Tendinitis in the knees is often a lack of proper conditioning of the surrounding muscles (especially the quadriceps) and very rarely do you hear about a top player having tendinitis problems for such a prolonged period of time. Perhaps it's time to add a strength coach to team Nadal?

    4. Nadal himself - As a fierce competitor and one of the best players of his era he has the most common quality all great champions have: competetiveness. He loves to play and probably willed his body through more matches than he should have while having his long-standing knee problems. Even though he's young now he'll have to pay more attention and really begin to be more preventative in his fitness regimen.

    Ultimately, I think its time to start adding some different expertise to enhance what Toni is doing in terms of preparing Rafa to play.
     
    #9
  10. FlamEnemY

    FlamEnemY Hall of Fame

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    He's got a head on his shoulders, doesn't he? Plus, it's HIS style and HIS knees. Sorry, but as someone said - you grind, you pay for it.
     
    #10
  11. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    I'd say 75% is because of his style (absolutely no elegance) and 25% scheduling.
     
    #11
  12. Danstevens

    Danstevens Semi-Pro

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    All of the above. He played too many tournaments, used a playing style that was more physical than most and so injuries are a little bit expected really. Some people naturally seem to be more prone to injuries than others so really, I don't think you can blame one thing.
     
    #12
  13. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    I voted all the above.
     
    #13
  14. seffina

    seffina G.O.A.T.

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    Forums posters are.
     
    #14
  15. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Rafa's an adult, if anyone he's to himself to blame. His coach should protect him though. He's got bad luck with his knees but it's up to him to make the best of it. Maybe he should after being ranked no. 1 now, never go for it again and just try to have a good no. of years to play tennis, even if that's not for first place. I think his fans rather see him compete for ten years with some semis and finals and the occassional titles than dominate for one more year and then fade away.
     
    #15
  16. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    agreed. In a way it's a combination of many factors
     
    #16
  17. Uncle Phony-Baloney and Robin Soderling :)
     
    #17
  18. All-rounder

    All-rounder Legend

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    Mainly because of his style of play but to be honest its a combination of all listed
     
    #18
  19. jelle v

    jelle v Hall of Fame

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    How about that Rafa and Toni are responsible in the way that they chose to play too many tournaments.. They should just schedule smarter, with the necessary rest between tournaments.

    I don't want to get in a Federer-Nadal argument here, but Rafe could really learn from Federer when it comes to scheduling and keeping your body healthy. :|
     
    #19
  20. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    I think he needs to learn how to win EASY. For example, he won 6-1 6-0 against Soderling and it took 1.5 hours. Fed beat Soderling 6-1 6-4 in half an hour less.

    But then again, that goes against Nadal's spirit of fighting for EVERY point.
     
    #20
  21. iamgoat

    iamgoat Banned

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    Clearly, Uncle Toni is a nonsensical selfish man.

    I blame Uncle Toni.
     
    #21
  22. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Roger Federer is to blame for setting the bar very high Nadal had to chase it with busted knees.
     
    #22
  23. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    Where's the Federer Option?
     
    #23
  24. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    I think Rafa's game has a lot to do with his injury. His game is very pysical and he doesn't get a lot of free points off of his serve. He also plays too many events - I could easily name 2-3 events he should have just passed, but instead he played them all.

    Nadal has reached the point where he has to adjust a bit:

    1) He needs to have a better schedule, play only important events, ala Federer.

    2) He needs to learn new ways of getting points - perhaps a more aggressive approach, maybe working on his serve and trying to get some free points from it.
     
    #24
  25. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    You're right about his schedule. Rafa simply plays too much tennis. He overtrains. Steffi Graf was like that, too. Both are almost too driven for their own good.

    I don't think Rafa can really change his game much. Maybe he can beef up his serve a little, or go to the net more to end the points quicker but his style is what got him to the top of the heap. He is the consummate grinder. He plays defense as well as anyone ever has. He has ongoing knee problems and his style of play is very hard on his knees. I don't ever see him playing like big serving, no rally players. Not going to happen.

    It is sad that he is injured because he is such a great talent and such a great kid. (So is Federer for that matter. Fed has been amazing in his lack of injuries.) Rafa has had knee problems for a couple of years now. Tendinitis takes a long time to heal properly and the upcoming hard court season isn't going to help him in that regard.

    Nadal's ranking is going to drop quite a bit if he has no Wimbledon points this year. I'm surprised he didn't enter the tournament and win a few early rounds to protect his ranking somewhat and then take a month off post-Wimbledon. He probably would have faced very light opposition until the later rounds.

    Won't Federer be number one again if he makes it to the semis, or better?

    Personally, I started to worry about Rafa's longevity when he started taping his knees a couple of years ago. Not a good sign. I just hope this isn't the end of Rafa as a dominating force in men's tennis. What is he, 23? His best years should be ahead of him if he can stay healthy. But, the careers of many great players have prematurely succumbed to this sort of nagging, chronic injury. I hope that isn't the case with Nadal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
    #25
  26. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    blame Canada....
    [​IMG]
     
    #26
  27. GraniteHoosier

    GraniteHoosier Rookie

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    Actually between the curse of Borg and Soderling we could blame Sweden, right?
     
    #27
  28. Leelord337

    Leelord337 Hall of Fame

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    Its a combination of a lot of things, i hear he practices hard every day for hours and hours, this causes stress on the knees and over the years will wearem down to nothing. he needs to wear specialized orthotics to minimize pressure on the knees imo. also...i think uncle toni wasn't strict enough and let rafa play a lot of small clay court tournaments, but the thing is he was winning 99% of these and was playing physical matches almost daily for months. this along with his physical approach to playing the game have caused this problem with his knees.
     
    #28
  29. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    I believe a part of what makes a player great is the ability to adapt and adjust your game and tactics. Look at Federer, he started as a S&V player, and became an all-courter/baseliner. However, Fed has the ability to change his tactics and be effcient when he needs to - look at how Fed handles Del Potro for example, he knows he'll probably lose most of the long rallies, and therfore he refuses to have them, and just frustrates Delpo with dropshots, short slices, and big serving.

    Nadal can change some stuff (not all of it, but some of it). For example, why does Nadal need to go for a break on every servic game of his opponnet? After all, a 6-0 and a 6-4 scores mean excatly the same. While the former is more impressive, it's less effecient, because breaking you opponnent usually means a lot of effort. Federer, for example, avoids that effort - one break is usually enough for him unless a 2nd break comes very easily.

    The next thing would be the Nadal serve. He needs more free points from his serve. If he can reduce one long rally per game, it would make a huge difference. Doesn't have to be an ace. It can be a good serve followed by a big forehand winner.

    So yes, while I agree Nadal is a grinder by nature, a great champion should be able to adapt his game. Nadal cannot stay a grinder for many more years - I think by now this is obvious.
     
    #29
  30. brc444

    brc444 New User

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    Give Rafa's knee situation, why did he play 2 2 set exhibition matches back to back? It seems to me he should have taken a day off between matches to rest his knee and also assess how he would fare playing every other day during the tournament.
     
    #30
  31. DoubleDeuce

    DoubleDeuce Hall of Fame

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    Payback time Rafa.
    Happy vacation.
     
    #31
  32. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Where is the None of the Above option?
     
    #32
  33. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    He was obviously gauging how healthy his knees were and deciding whether or not they were healthy enough to defend his Wimbledon crown.
     
    #33
  34. brc444

    brc444 New User

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    But why play consecutive days and why 2 sets -- that too much tennis. Also, is well enough to defend the crown the right standard? why not well enough to compete at a good level?
     
    #34
  35. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Anyone who knows about knees, will realise that all knee joints have a certain amount of movement in them before they cause problems. Many athletes are almost crippled in later life, due to over use of their knees at a younger age. Nadal will unfortunately struggle with his knees from now on, but with the right medical backup can probably stay at the top for another 3 years I would reckon!!!
     
    #35
  36. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    He obviously played too much (since AO win).

    I think it was the Madrid. Earlier this year, he was negative about playing there. He cited the schedule is too cramped and surface is too different from French Open. Then he changed his mind. My guess is he was pressured to play there somehow. It is his home country and he is a super hero there. It's not too difficult to figure it out,IMHO.

    We do not know why he played too much(especially Madrid). I think the bottom line is Rafa himself. For example, his match with Djokovic at Madrid. He won that battle but now he is losing the bigger war.

    I think he is learning a painful lesson (to pace himself). He should now tank some matches like Federer does since 2007 or so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
    #36
  37. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Rafa, and uncle toni. They chose to play this way.


    Also, luck is to blame. Some people are unlucky, like Rafa.


    Finally, didn't he have a stress fracture in his foot that he never let heal?
     
    #37
  38. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    I dont think Madrid had anything to do with it. Nadal himself said he has played the same schedule for the past 4-5 years.

    The only problem he had with Madrid was the altitude, not the timing of the tournament.

    According to PMac, he spends 4-5 hrs a day on the practice court. I think thats where the overuse stems from, because his matches usually dont last that long, even in Slams, unless he's playing someone that can push him to 4-5 sets.

    I also dont know why he stopped taping his knees this year. Tendinitis doesnt sneak up on you. I'm sure there were early signs that the tendinits was coming back, and especially someone who's had a recurring problem with it, I dont know why he let things get this far out of hand that he had to skip Wimby.

    On another note, Sampras twice had injuries painful enough that he thought about pulling out of Wimby, once with shin splints, once with his shoulder.

    The time with the shin splints, he didnt practice at all. Just came to the matches and went from there.

    A couple of weeks rest and treatment should have been enough for the pain and inflammation to subside, IMO.

    There are stories of Michael Jordan spending hrs in the treatment room alternating between icing his feet and applying heat to hasten the healing process.
     
    #38
  39. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    I disagree; in his younger days, Nadal had one of the biggest forehands on the tour. What happened was Uncle Toni told him to change his game in order to beat Federer, and it has worked ever since.


    This was Nadal in his younger days, fully capable of hitting winners on a prime Hewitt : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPzzYD1mdEQ



    Here's another : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy5pP4LvNBs&feature=related



    Actually, I liked the old Nadal's game better tbh.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
    #39
  40. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    I think Bjorn Borg's voodoo doll is to blame.
     
    #40
  41. MT319

    MT319 New User

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    Nadal's game based on the fact that it relies so heavily on raw athleticism is not conducive to career longevity, that's just the reality of it. If Rafa himself was too naive to realize that then Uncle Toni (considering he had the presence of mind to do things like teach Rafa to play lefty so it'd act as an advantage) should've also had the foresight to make such a simple deduction and as a result, if nothing else, at least lessen his workload (ie; Barcelona or Madrid unnecessary, Indian Wells and/or Miami unnecessary etc..). Sadly I doubt he'll ever recover to the point where he can play more than 2 or 3 months straight without being hindered by knee pain but I do think he will still have more success in the future, just not close to the level of domination we've seen since 2008. I'd also consider that he put less emphasis on hard court season as that surface specifically, coupled with the length of the season itself will certainly act to both exacerbate and further compact his knee issues. In short, it's technically Rafa's own fault that he's in the current situation he's in, but Uncle Toni is the one to blame cause he's the one pulling the strings and should've seen this coming all along.
     
    #41
  42. lolsmash

    lolsmash Rookie

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    It's rafa's parents' fault for not giving rafa superhuman knees that would never break down.
     
    #42
  43. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Uncle Toni and his physical trainers in teenage years for not correcting his movement style.

    Now it's too late, it's so much ingrained in him ...
     
    #43
  44. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    No one is reponsible. His capabilties to win and all his victories have led to an inevitable break down of the body.
     
    #44
  45. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Two words.
    Robin.
    Soderling.
    ;)
     
    #45
  46. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think Toni has to take atleast part of the blame,however I obviously don't know how thier relationship works precisely(I don't know if Toni has the final say on Nadal's schedule)so it's hard to tell who's mostly to blame.
     
    #46
  47. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    Nice to see you used a lesser known handle to post this garbage.
     
    #47
  48. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think Nadal's forced to play any tourneys he doesn't want to, tbh. The depiction of Toni as some sort of monster who forces Nadal to play when he doesn't want to is wrong. Nadal's a grown man, and bottom line, has the final say on when and where he plays. I just think he felt the pressure to carry the flag of being #1 and playing everywhere, especially in his home country. Which explains playing in Barcelona and not skipping Madrid. So, in the end, it's on Nadal's shoulders (or knees) schedule-wise, and playing style-wise.
     
    #48
  49. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Rafa should not have played all those Tournaments, should have been preparing for FO the whole time.

    One thing that Rafa could not predict was the change of type of ball used at the FO and to know that they were not going to water the courts at the FO.

    It took a perfect storm to cause a loss for Rafa #1 Soderling was amazing (hats off to him) #2 Faster heavier balls that did not take the spin well were used #3 Courts not watered #4 Nadal's camp did not think ahead and made him play too much after winning the AO.

    One thing I will say is that Rafa has got to get more free points on the serve.
     
    #49
  50. skip1969

    skip1969 Legend

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    exactly. not being an inside member of the camp, who are we to know what's going on? but as with most things in life, the buck stops with you. so in the end, it was nadal who chose to continue playing with pain. maybe he didn't voice the severity of his situation. maybe he felt other factors were more important (his ranking, playing in spain, etc). maybe the doctors weren't as clear about the severity (though in my experiences, doctors try to be as gloomy as possible) . . . who knows? but it was nadal who walked out onto the court week after week. in hindsight, it might not have been such a good idea. but there it is.
     
    #50

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