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-   -   Agassi, Wilander: Nadal wont be winning Roland Garros (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=453391)

OddJack 02-01-2013 04:01 PM

Agassi, Wilander: Nadal wont be winning Roland Garros
 
Talking from their experience, got to agree with them.



Madrid - Rafael Nadal who is set to fly to Chile on Thursday to return to the ATP tour seven months later is a different man: he has a new racket, a new approach to his business interests and a lot of questions open regarding his tennis.

Can the former world number one go back to being the player he once was?

As soon as Nadal confirmed his return to the tour after a long injury break, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) proceeded to test him for doping four times in two weeks, according to sources close to the player. Overall, Nadal was tested “six or seven” times ahead of his return, ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti told dpa.

However, since he recovered from a double knee injury and started to play again in November, the Spaniard has spent most of his time trying to adapt to the new tool of his trade: Babolat's Aeropro Drive racket.

Like most players, Nadal is conservative when it comes to his play; he does not like to change what appears to be working. But that is precisely what coaches are there for.

“Uncle Toni put pressure on Rafa to change. If you want to be better, you have to take risks,” Eric Babolat, the owner of the firm that makes the racket Nadal has been playing with since age 12, told dpa.

“I don't agree with what you're saying, but I'll give it a try,” Babolat said Nadal usually tells his uncle-coach.

According to the Frenchman, the new racket and new strings give “more power and more control” to the Spaniard's shots.

“More top spin, he already has a lot of that but he wants more,” said Babolat.

The racket manufacturer admits it is “a nightmare for rivals,” usually overwhelmed by the height that Nadal's strokes attain due to this top spin effect.

By the end of the year, the racket could be even closer to science fiction, because the plan is to put on it a chip that will collect data about every stroke.

“It could become a habit, something usual after sport: sitting with your friends to compare each one's technical data,” Babolat says enthusiastically.

And while Nadal adapts to his racket ahead of the Vina del Mar, Sao Paulo and Acapulco tournaments he is set to play in February, his business activities are taking on a new dimension.

Carlos Costa, a former top 10 tennis player who has been Nadal's manager for years, left the agency IMG, the world's biggest in the field, to create a family company with Sebastian Nadal, Rafael's father.

The move is just like one that Swiss tennis star Roger Federer and his manager, Tony Godsick, undertook a few months earlier.

Godsick left IMG and now manages along with Federer all the business generated by the former world number one. There are no longer any commissions to pay or anything to debate: they have control of everything.

The same thing is to happen with Nadal from now on.

Once he has chosen his racket and set his business interests on a new track, questions focus on the winner of a record seven titles at the French Open: at 26, will he be able to replicate the form and results of his best years? Several top commentators have doubts.

“I don't think he necessarily needs time to be Nadal, but I think he needs some time for the other players to think of him as the old Nadal, because I think players lose a lot of respect: not respect for him as a person, but respect for his level,” Mats Wilander told dpa in Australia.

The Swede, a three-time French Open winner and former world number one, is sure that even if his name is Rafael Nadal, “he's still an outsider” in Paris this year, with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Federer the men to beat.

“This is the year of and Novak and Andy's chance to win the French, and Roger's already won it, but it's obviously his chance too,” Wilander said.

Australian former tennis star Pat Cash agrees.

And so does tennis legend Andre Agassi, another former world number one, who thinks Nadal cannot be expected to return to top form before 2014.

“I found whatever time you take away from the game you need that time to double to be fully where you were when you left, that's my experience,” Agassi told Australian daily The Age in a recent interview regarding Nadal.

He was speaking from experience, after crashing in the ATP rankings and then climbing back up.


Wilander is convinced that Nadal will take a while to fully recover his form.

“If he wins Roland Garros this year... I'd be admitting that I was completely wrong, because I can't imagine that he wins Roland Garros this year,” he said.

Current world number one Djokovic is not so sure and bewares of Nadal.

“He's always the favourite on that surface and he's the ultimate player to beat on clay,” he said.

http://www.iol.co.za/sport/tennis/ne...3#.UQxjeh0TJqU


Sapa-dpa

jaggy 02-01-2013 04:03 PM

I still think he has a good chance

kishnabe 02-01-2013 04:28 PM

Borg could have just played 4 tournaments after 1981.....and 4 of them being FO...he would win them all.

Same with Nadal....Nadal can just Serena the French open.

Mustard 02-01-2013 04:44 PM

I disagree with Mats, at least at the moment. Nadal still has his aura on clay as much as ever, even now. Until he starts showing actual signs of faltering on clay, that isn't going to change.

West Coast Ace 02-01-2013 04:44 PM

They're entitled to their opinion. But until we see him play - and see if his knees can take the stress, anyone's guess is just that - a guess.

dunlop_fort_knox 02-01-2013 05:11 PM

rafa has a new paint job? lol

dunlop_fort_knox 02-01-2013 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 7185437)
I disagree with Mats, at least at the moment. Nadal still has his aura on clay as much as ever, even now. Until he starts showing actual signs of faltering on clay, that isn't going to change.

I agree with them. djok is the favorite this year.

Agassifan 02-01-2013 05:24 PM

I disagree. Nadal didn't have a major injury like say Del Potro. He just took time off to fix a minor injury, to get rest and work on his game to be in peak form for clay season. He didn't miss anything by taking time off - he would've been battered by the rest of the big 3 in the shape he was in post wimbledon.

Tiebreak100 02-01-2013 05:33 PM

I agree, Nadal will not win the French. He will struggle for most of the year against the top players on all surfaces because he has been out for so long. Novak and Andy (real #2) will destroy him.

corners 02-01-2013 05:39 PM

Deleted post.

The_Order 02-01-2013 06:00 PM

LOL at Pat Cash, didn't he say Nadal couldn't win 4 RG in a row before he slaughtered Fed in that 08 final? :lol:

We'll have to see how his form is going in to the French Open before we can make a good call on this. It's still months away and during those months he is set for a lot of clay match practice. He is the greatest clay courter of all time so I can't imagine it'll take too long for him to feel at home on his favorite surface.

I predict he'll probably win these 250 tourney's coming up but with okish form, then he'll probably lose IW and Miami earlier than his results last year, then he'll head into the clay masters seasons, pick up form as Monte Carlo goes by, win Barcelona and from there his confidence will be back.

Fiji 02-01-2013 06:09 PM

Stars are aligned for Djokovic to win RG this year.

No way Nadal wins it after 8 months away from the tour.

The_Order 02-01-2013 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiji (Post 7185602)
Stars are aligned for Djokovic to win RG this year.

No way Nadal wins it after 8 months away from the tour.

Or, you just don't want him to win it because you're so insecure about your hero.

Novak had 2 close calls last year against Seppi and Tsonga. In the final he was getting outplayed until the court was ruined. Highly unlikely that it will be in that condition to suit him again.

Them saying Murray will do well at RG is laughable. Fed is no chance against Rafa at RG, Federer fans should've leaned that by now.

If Nadal does win it he'll be on 12 majors, only 5 away from Federer....

90's Clay 02-01-2013 06:21 PM

You never rule out the clay GOAT. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the year Nole win RG though

Fiji 02-01-2013 06:22 PM

Agassi and Federer finally won RG and completed the Career Slam the year they both reached their fifth RG SF. Guess how many RG SF Djokovic has? Four and this year it is very likely Djokovic will reach his fifth RG SF. Maybe Djokovic wins his RG title the year he reaches his fifth RG SF like Agassi in 1999 and Federer in 2009. Both were odd years like 2013... Nadal's only loss at RG was in an odd year, 2009.

mariecon 02-01-2013 06:27 PM

I wonder why the ITF felt it necessary to test Nadal 4 times in two weeks after he announced his return? Hmmmmm....

Fiji 02-01-2013 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariecon (Post 7185630)
I wonder why the ITF felt it necessary to test Nadal 4 times in two weeks after he announced his return? Hmmmmm....

Silent ban?



mariecon 02-01-2013 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Order (Post 7185610)
Or, you just don't want him to win it because you're so insecure about your hero.

Novak had 2 close calls last year against Seppi and Tsonga. In the final he was getting outplayed until the court was ruined. Highly unlikely that it will be in that condition to suit him again.

Them saying Murray will do well at RG is laughable. Fed is no chance against Rafa at RG, Federer fans should've leaned that by now.

If Nadal does win it he'll be on 12 majors, only 5 away from Federer....

Yeah only 5 away from Federer which means he'd have to win every Roland Garros from now till he's 32 just to tie Federer. Unless of course you were thinking he could win a non-clay slam? ROFL

mariecon 02-01-2013 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fiji (Post 7185633)
Silent ban?



BINGO!:twisted:

90's Clay 02-01-2013 06:31 PM

Why is Nadal being subjected to multiple **** tests yet Nole hasn't taken one in what is it? Close to a year?


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