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-   -   What kills Rafa! (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=458123)

Mike Sams 03-18-2013 09:18 PM

What kills Rafa!
 
The crosscourt topspin forehand is a solid weapon for Nadal. It tends to put many players on the defensive. The most they can do is return it right to Nadal. Djokovic on the other hand has one of the greatest backhands in history. And with it, he can return the cc topspin forehand effortlessly anywhere he chooses, be it cc or dtl.
Andy Murray also has a good counter for Nadal's cc topspin forehand except he doesn't have a dtl backhand like Djokovic's and instead prefers to hit cc.

Here's an example of Nadal's cc forehand followed by Djokovic's answer. Djokovic goes dtl.



Here's another example of Nadal going cc forehand followed by Djokovic's response. Nadal leaves the court open.



Same thing again. Open court...



Nadal was still using this same tactic throughout Indian Wells. Del Potro didn't have the legs or the formidable backhand to do much with it.

Mike Sams 03-18-2013 09:21 PM

The last picture was actually a forehand down the line. Quite evidently, Djokovic goes down the line like a pro's pro.

Clarky21 03-18-2013 09:29 PM

You fail to mention the reason this shot is so easy for ****(and anyone else for that matter)to attack is because Nadal is dropping the ball too short. Look at where **** is standing in those pics to hit that shot. If Nadal would actually get some depth for once it wouldn't so easy for **** to step in the way he does.

Mike Sams 03-18-2013 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clarky21 (Post 7287596)
You fail to mention the reason this shot is so easy for ****(and anyone else for that matter)to attack is because Nadal is dropping the ball too short. Look at where **** is standing in those pics to hit that shot. If Nadal would actually get some depth for once it wouldn't so easy for **** to step in the way he does.

Nadal was hitting it the same way throughout Indian Wells. It's his patented shot. Djokovic's strength is the dtl backhand. Nadal's actually hit the ball deep in some of these instances and Djokovic has attacked it without a problem.

TCG 03-18-2013 10:11 PM

Well apart from the DTL backhand Djoker also pins Rafa to the backhand corner using his cross court forehand. He draws an UE the same way Rafa does against Roger. Unless Rafa improves his backhand drastically that pattern would repeat more often than the DTL backhand pattern.

Mike Sams 03-18-2013 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCG (Post 7287643)
Well apart from the DTL backhand Djoker also pins Rafa to the backhand corner using his cross court forehand. He draws an UE the same way Rafa does against Roger. Unless Rafa improves his backhand drastically that pattern would repeat more often than the DTL backhand pattern.

The other elements we've completely dismissed are speed and defense. Two of the most important things in tennis today on the unforgiving slow surfaces. You can have a dtl or cc forehand but you need speed and defense too. If you have the whole package then you're likely ranked in the top 4. Although Djokovic and Nadal do it the best overall.

Breaker 03-18-2013 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clarky21 (Post 7287596)
You fail to mention the reason this shot is so easy for ****(and anyone else for that matter)to attack is because Nadal is dropping the ball too short. Look at where **** is standing in those pics to hit that shot. If Nadal would actually get some depth for once it wouldn't so easy for **** to step in the way he does.

It is actually the reason only players with elite backhands/movement can attack him consistently, your choices are either to step in and take risk by taking the ball on the rise like Davydenko/Djokovic/Nalbandian do -- or wait behind the baseline and concede court position either through attempting to run around it or hit a high backhand which pretty much puts you behind in the point once the nadal gets it back.

If he consistently hit deeper with the same trajectory the ball would kick up right into most players' sweet spots.

Mike Sams 03-18-2013 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Breaker (Post 7287651)
It is actually the reason only players with elite backhands/movement can attack him consistently, your choices are either to step in and take risk by taking the ball on the rise like Davydenko/Djokovic/Nalbandian do -- or wait behind the baseline and concede court position either through attempting to run around it or hit a high backhand which pretty much puts you behind in the point once the nadal gets it back.

If he consistently hit deeper with the same trajectory the ball would kick up right into most players' sweet spots.

yeah, I can't see him hitting it deeper and getting the same bounce.

Relinquis 03-18-2013 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Breaker (Post 7287651)
It is actually the reason only players with elite backhands/movement can attack him consistently, your choices are either to step in and take risk by taking the ball on the rise like Davydenko/Djokovic/Nalbandian do -- or wait behind the baseline and concede court position either through attempting to run around it or hit a high backhand which pretty much puts you behind in the point once the nadal gets it back.

If he consistently hit deeper with the same trajectory the ball would kick up right into most players' sweet spots.

^^ This. His forehand is basically a kick serve.

MichaelNadal 03-19-2013 12:16 AM

Some points go that way and in others, Rafa's forehand gives Novak sheer hell. He's one of the only guys that can run Djokovic from pillar to post like a voodoo doll and leave him sprawled on the court or praying to the olympian gods.

Big_Dangerous 03-19-2013 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Sams (Post 7287581)
The last picture was actually a forehand down the line. Quite evidently, Djokovic goes down the line like a pro's pro.

Looks like an inside-in forehand that djoker hit.

Clay lover 03-19-2013 04:32 AM

It's good analysis no doubt. But let's consider also the fact that Nadal is already the player with most wins against Djokovic at the moment, so it's not like Djokovic is not killed in some way too.

Also the surface they play on makes a great difference too. Djokovic almost owns Nadal on hardcourts, but doesn't have the consistency to deal with Nadal on clay.

pds999 03-19-2013 04:58 AM

Bit of an out-of-date analysis to be honest. If you watched the 2012 clay court season unfold, you would have seen Nadal stop using that crosscourt forehand into the backhand and instead either slice down the middle or hit the forehand down the line into Djokovic's forehand. Djokovic had very little answer to that for the whole clay court season until the rain came in RG, and very little again the next day. Nadal figured him out. Djokovic now needs to find the answers when they next play.

spinovic 03-19-2013 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pds999 (Post 7287903)
Bit of an out-of-date analysis to be honest. If you watched the 2012 clay court season unfold, you would have seen Nadal stop using that crosscourt forehand into the backhand and instead either slice down the middle or hit the forehand down the line into Djokovic's forehand. Djokovic had very little answer to that for the whole clay court season until the rain came in RG, and very little again the next day. Nadal figured him out. Djokovic now needs to find the answers when they next play.

I wouldn't say Djokovic played that bad the next day...they were both holding serve until Djokovic DF'd the match.

pds999 03-19-2013 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spinovic (Post 7288095)
I wouldn't say Djokovic played that bad the next day...they were both holding serve until Djokovic DF'd the match.

Djokovic lost serve twice the next day, Rafa was a break down in that 4th set overnight. I wouldn't say he played that bad no, but the pattern of the previous day (before the rain) re-emerged.

Mike Sams 03-19-2013 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pds999 (Post 7287903)
Bit of an out-of-date analysis to be honest. If you watched the 2012 clay court season unfold, you would have seen Nadal stop using that crosscourt forehand into the backhand and instead either slice down the middle or hit the forehand down the line into Djokovic's forehand. Djokovic had very little answer to that for the whole clay court season until the rain came in RG, and very little again the next day. Nadal figured him out. Djokovic now needs to find the answers when they next play.

Djokovic played at 60% of his level in the clay court season IMO. He didn't play well at all at RG. His performances against Seppi and Tsonga prove that. Even still, he ran Nadal nearly ragged in the final and had Nadal basically just defensively pushing balls back in many of those rallies. Djokovic 2011 would've been an entirely different specimen altogether. Will be interesting to see if Murray, Del Potro, Federer and some surprises pop up this year on clay.
I didn't find Nadal all that dominant against Wawrinka in Monte Carlo last year and he got crushed by Verdasco in Madrid, blue clay or not. Could be some surprises in store this season.

pds999 03-19-2013 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Sams (Post 7288277)
Djokovic played at 60% of his level in the clay court season IMO. He didn't play well at all at RG. His performances against Seppi and Tsonga prove that. Even still, he ran Nadal nearly ragged in the final and had Nadal basically just defensively pushing balls back in many of those rallies. Djokovic 2011 would've been an entirely different specimen altogether. Will be interesting to see if Murray, Del Potro, Federer and some surprises pop up this year on clay.
I didn't find Nadal all that dominant against Wawrinka in Monte Carlo last year and he got crushed by Verdasco in Madrid, blue clay or not. Could be some surprises in store this season.

You can keep trotting out the same "Djokovic 2011 was unbeatable" argument. What about Nadal 2010 who also won 3 slams (and beat Djokovic in the US Open final pretty comfortably)? The fact is, every player has high points and low points form-wise. Djokovic was excellent in 2011 and figured out how to do damage to Nadal. Nadal changed his game in 2012 and won the next three matches. He simply didn't let Djokovic play at that level. It's an irrelevant argument to say 2011 Djokovic was 40% better. It's also not true. Djokovic lost to Federer at the 2011 French Open but beat him comfortably in 2012 - why was that?

As for "nearly running Nadal ragged" in that French Open final, the only part of the match he had any hold was when the rain came and the court completely changed. Other than that it was pretty much one-way traffic.

Oh and crushed by Verdasco in Madrid? Are you kidding me? I watched that match live and it was one of the worst performances I have ever seen by either player - absolute rubbish tennis, tentative, full of errors and very low on quality. Now I know you are kidding.

I like the way you highlight one or two performances across an entire clay court season (only one of which he actually lost anyway) as evidence he will struggle this season.

Let's talk facts:

22 Masters Series vs 9 (that's poor)
11 grand slams vs 6
19 to 14 head to head record in Nadal's favour (despite that miraculous 2011 run)

Arguably the two players aren't worth even comparing at the moment in the grand scheme of tennis greats. The gap in achievements is as big between Nadal and Djokovic as it is between Djokovic and Murray. In fact Murray is arguably closer to Djokovic than Djokovic is to Nadal.

Mike Sams 03-19-2013 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pds999 (Post 7288283)
You can keep trotting out the same "Djokovic 2011 was unbeatable" argument. What about Nadal 2010 who also won 3 slams (and beat Djokovic in the US Open final pretty comfortably)? The fact is, every player has high points and low points form-wise. Djokovic was excellent in 2011 and figured out how to do damage to Nadal. Nadal changed his game in 2012 and won the next three matches. He simply didn't let Djokovic play at that level. It's an irrelevant argument to say 2011 Djokovic was 40% better. It's also not true. Djokovic lost to Federer at the 2011 French Open but beat him comfortably in 2012 - why was that?

As for "nearly running Nadal ragged" in that French Open final, the only part of the match he had any hold was when the rain came and the court completely changed. Other than that it was pretty much one-way traffic.

Oh and crushed by Verdasco in Madrid? Are you kidding me? I watched that match live and it was one of the worst performances I have ever seen by either player - absolute rubbish tennis, tentative, full of errors and very low on quality. Now I know you are kidding.

I like the way you highlight one or two performances across an entire clay court season (only one of which he actually lost anyway) as evidence he will struggle this season.

Let's talk facts:

22 Masters Series vs 9 (that's poor)
11 grand slams vs 6
19 to 14 head to head record in Nadal's favour (despite that miraculous 2011 run)

Arguably the two players aren't worth even comparing at the moment in the grand scheme of tennis greats. The gap in achievements is as big between Nadal and Djokovic as it is between Djokovic and Murray. In fact Murray is arguably closer to Djokovic than Djokovic is to Nadal.

That's exactly my point though. Nadal's performance against Verdasco showed how error prone he can be. And it was odd because of how dominant Nadal was against Davydenko the day before.
Also the RG final last year was far more competitive than the scores indicate. Nadal allowed Djokovic to swing freely on the ball at times. It wasn't a case of Nadal figuring out how to play Djokovic. Djokovic's level was below par. It wasn't a high quality match from either side but Nadal is a master at spinning and pushing balls in and forcing errors.
Also Federer gave up in that semifinal. He let Djokovic take the win. He didn't want to play Nadal in the final. It was obvious in his play and his temperament that day.
Also, Djokovic has 13 Masters Series Titles. Not 9.
Djokovic has 2 WTF titles and a lopsided H2H in his favor over Nadal on hardcourts.
Nadal is 2-1 against Djokovic on grass.

Mike Sams 03-19-2013 09:09 AM

Also, last I saw, Nadal was the one who injured himself while trying to solve Djokovic. It cost him 8 months of his prime. Djokovic took his losses and was back on court the next day winning more titles while Nadal was whining and moaning about how lucky Djokovic is for being injury free.

Mike Sams 03-19-2013 09:12 AM

BTW, I never said Nadal would struggle this season. I said things could be more competitive this season looking at some of the improved play from players outside of the top 4 who could be extremely dangerous if any of the top guys are off their game.


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