Awesome Nadal = Awesome new technique

Batoussai

Rookie
Okay,

I was thinking. We can all agree that Nadal is dominating the last 2 months of the season. And ofcourse this has everything to do with it being the gravelseason but right now he's also performing well on grass. He's been dominating the gravel for over 4 years now.

In my opinion this is not that he is that much fitter than the other guys or that his technique is superior to the rest. It's the forehand technique that nobody else on the ATP uses that makes the difference. Ofcourse Federer has a fantastic forehand and Djokovic' forehand is rocksolid. But there is one thing that those 2 forehands can't do that Nadal can:

He can hit it anytime, anywhere, On Any Foot

While I was watching Queens this week I noticed that the only way you can wrongfoot Nadal is by playing an excellent shot in the corner at which he loses his balance a little bit, and if he starts running towards the middle again, play exactly the same shot. This being on a fast surface, on clay it's practically impossible.

With almost every pro: if you hit a shot right on the baseline while your opponent has little time to react he will play a bad or mediocre shot at best. Most of the time pretty straight trough the middle.
Nadal, with his wip-it-over-the-head-forehand, is able to create massive topspin, pace and accuracy while on the back foot. Because his technique doesn't need him to be on his front foot. The weight that the other players give to their ball comes from their body. With Nadal it's just the acceleration of the raquet and the extension of the arm. He doesn't need his body to go fully through the ball. The weight of his body is just a bonus when hitting a shot. This is a major advantage because of the added options of shotselection, no matter where you are. Or where the ball is for that fact. You try scraping a ball from the court with your weight still behind it. Nadal no problem.

And ofcourse, with his incredible stamina and speed he is able to get too so many balls. But if he had a forehand that resembled another topplayer (say Federer), he would be outplayed quicker because his balls would lack a bit of depth.

So my conclusion why Nadal is winning so many matches on so many surfaces: he can hit a ball on any foot because his forehandtechnique has no need for his bodyweight to be behind the ball. He can hit the same ball from any position.
It's a technique for which you have to be on the top of your game because it requires a lot of strength in the arm. Other players probably don't 'feel' their arm as much as Nadal. But if he is 'on' I would say he is unbeatable.

Hope any of this makes any sense and that I didn't just waste 5 minutes of your precious time.

Greetings,
Batoussai
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
The weight that the other players give to their ball comes from their body. With Nadal it's just the acceleration of the raquet and the extension of the arm. He doesn't need his body to go fully through the ball. The weight of his body is just a bonus when hitting a shot.
This means conventional tennis instruction which originated in the wood era needs to be revised.

People have pointed out how tennis is becoming similar to table tennis. In the latter, using the body is considered essential, but the role of the arm and wrist is crucial for generating acceleration. Nadal's open stance and whipping topspin is a TT-fication of tennis.
 

Batoussai

Rookie
Thanks for adding this. I didn't think of it as a table tennis technique but come to think of it... It's all about placement to get the arm in a perfect position. But the body, once it is in a good position doesn't do much else than being a attachment to the arm.
 

pmerk34

Legend
This means conventional tennis instruction which originated in the wood era needs to be revised.

People have pointed out how tennis is becoming similar to table tennis. In the latter, using the body is considered essential, but the role of the arm and wrist is crucial for generating acceleration. Nadal's open stance and whipping topspin is a TT-fication of tennis.
Conventional Tennis instruction from the wood era is already dead.
 

predrag

Professional
Welcome to modern tennis.
All pros are able to hit ahy of these shots. However not as susccessfully and not all the time.
What separates Nadal from the rest is his incredible strangth and fitness which enables him
to perfrom these shots while on the run, strech, lounging into the ball, falling down, ... you get the picture.

And again, modern racquets helo here and polyester and composite strings help here.



Regards, Predrag

Okay,

I was thinking. We can all agree that Nadal is dominating the last 2 months of the season. And ofcourse this has everything to do with it being the gravelseason but right now he's also performing well on grass. He's been dominating the gravel for over 4 years now.

In my opinion this is not that he is that much fitter than the other guys or that his technique is superior to the rest. It's the forehand technique that nobody else on the ATP uses that makes the difference. Ofcourse Federer has a fantastic forehand and Djokovic' forehand is rocksolid. But there is one thing that those 2 forehands can't do that Nadal can:

He can hit it anytime, anywhere, On Any Foot

While I was watching Queens this week I noticed that the only way you can wrongfoot Nadal is by playing an excellent shot in the corner at which he loses his balance a little bit, and if he starts running towards the middle again, play exactly the same shot. This being on a fast surface, on clay it's practically impossible.

With almost every pro: if you hit a shot right on the baseline while your opponent has little time to react he will play a bad or mediocre shot at best. Most of the time pretty straight trough the middle.
Nadal, with his wip-it-over-the-head-forehand, is able to create massive topspin, pace and accuracy while on the back foot. Because his technique doesn't need him to be on his front foot. The weight that the other players give to their ball comes from their body. With Nadal it's just the acceleration of the raquet and the extension of the arm. He doesn't need his body to go fully through the ball. The weight of his body is just a bonus when hitting a shot. This is a major advantage because of the added options of shotselection, no matter where you are. Or where the ball is for that fact. You try scraping a ball from the court with your weight still behind it. Nadal no problem.

And ofcourse, with his incredible stamina and speed he is able to get too so many balls. But if he had a forehand that resembled another topplayer (say Federer), he would be outplayed quicker because his balls would lack a bit of depth.

So my conclusion why Nadal is winning so many matches on so many surfaces: he can hit a ball on any foot because his forehandtechnique has no need for his bodyweight to be behind the ball. He can hit the same ball from any position.
It's a technique for which you have to be on the top of your game because it requires a lot of strength in the arm. Other players probably don't 'feel' their arm as much as Nadal. But if he is 'on' I would say he is unbeatable.

Hope any of this makes any sense and that I didn't just waste 5 minutes of your precious time.

Greetings,
Batoussai
 

Lotto

Professional
Actually most of the modern day coaching is being proven wrong by John Yandell and Advanced Tennis Research. The myth of the wrist in the serve, forehand and backhand has already been proven to be a myth, that "snapping" the wrist is not actually done. John Yandell holds nearly all the answers to all of tennis these days with the high speed video technology.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Nadal does rotate his body into the shot a lot, though his stance is obviously more open than previous eras. But, a lot of pros hit like that. Nadal does have an incredible ability to "arm" forehand balls (with accuracy and depth) when he can't turn his whole body. This is especially true down the line and it's difficult for the opponent to read.

As to his backhand, his stance might be more open than previous generations of 2HBH, but it is nearly impossible to "arm" a 2HBH.
 

predrag

Professional
Actually most of the modern day coaching is being proven wrong by John Yandell and Advanced Tennis Research. The myth of the wrist in the serve, forehand and backhand has already been proven to be a myth, that "snapping" the wrist is not actually done. John Yandell holds nearly all the answers to all of tennis these days with the high speed video technology.
Whoever teaches using wrist on purpose should be shot.
Only bad instructors do that.
However there is educated wrist release, and that is what Federer does.
And BTW, the only person who I heard is talking about "wristy " forehand and serve is Cliff Drysdale. Not exactly a "Modern" coach.
Proves just how senile he is.


Regards, Predrag
 

cucio

Legend
What puzzles me is why Nadal technique is so unique in the tour?

Extreme upwards movement of the racquet head to generate sick topspin, muscling the ball with the arm when you can't get the weight of your body behind it...

The only player I have seen trying to do something remotely similar is Andreev.

It is clear that it is successful, especially on clay. Where did that approach to tennis come from? Will it be picked up by future competitors?
 

In D Zone

Hall of Fame
Rafa is hitting early and was hitting more flat this time than his normal looping topspin. Well, its not a straight flat forehand but rather he was hitting the ball low to the net with lots of spin.
That is why he is so effective - Rafa added a new dimension to his game, opponents were not seeing only one type of ball this time. Serve - Rafa is also serving more wide and to the body rather than just striaght down the "T.

Aside from Rafa's offensive prowlness, don't discount his defensive skills.
I have seen time and time again how Rafa baits his opponent to try to hit winners and then retrieving the ball back with superb defense... and when after his opponent had given their best shots, it's Rafa's turn to attack. YEs, you better have the stamina to keep up with Rafa when he starts going for the offense.
 

muggy

Rookie
What puzzles me is why Nadal technique is so unique in the tour?

Extreme upwards movement of the racquet head to generate sick topspin, muscling the ball with the arm when you can't get the weight of your body behind it...

The only player I have seen trying to do something remotely similar is Andreev.

It is clear that it is successful, especially on clay. Where did that approach to tennis come from? Will it be picked up by future competitors?
I simply think no one else tries the same shots as nadal on a regular basis. I can imagine when rafa was learning tennis he would regularly go for these extreme lunging kinds of shots, while other tennis players would work on repeating and perfecting the same stroke. I remember johnny mac saying this in one of nadal's matches, that he considered it a weakness early in nadal's career, that he would go for too big of a shot when in trouble, but that now it has become his strength.

I think it's not just that rafa is the only one who can make these shots, it's that he's always believed he should take them as opposed to safely hitting a shot to get back in position. Because if you're good at tennis, that's what you would do throughout your career, hit the safe shot and get them on the next shot or two. If you wanted to be the great player, like nadal is, you might push that a little further.
 

fastdunn

Legend
Conventional Tennis instruction from the wood era is already dead.
It's the forehand that completely changed. And maybe volley a bit.

But I think conventional idea behind serve and 1 handed backhand is still same...

Even in old times, forehand technique had so much degree of freedom and good coaches were pretty flexible on how to hit forehand....
 

namui

Rookie
Nadal has polished his technique to the very high level (peak?). I think that the situation is similar to when Borg dominated the world. However, Borg's technique was later matched by McEnroe's (another style). Great players seem to have a way to write their own book of "how to play tennis". Great shot makers show that "there is no way to get to the perfectly executed shots". Great retrievers show that "there is no shot that cannot be retrieved". I don't recall seeing a great player being brought down by a next great who has the same style. The declining mostly comes with the introduction of a "new improved" or even "newly invented" opposite style. That somehow is the beauty of this game.

Shot makers seem to dominate the game from the early 90s till a few years ago, partially as the result of the modern equipments. Currently, the court and the ball have brought the speed of the game down to a state where new form of technique can successfully emerge.

I hope that the cycle of dominating styles really exists. After Nadal's domination in the next few years, some superb shot making techniques (new or not) will surface again. My personal hope is that it will come in a net rushing style.
 

tennis-hero

Banned
for all his style he's weak at the net and for all his stamina he can get caught out by well placed drop shots

the key to beating Nadal is tiring him out, and mixing it up- easier said then done though
 

Nadal_Freak

Banned
for all his style he's weak at the net and for all his stamina he can get caught out by well placed drop shots

the key to beating Nadal is tiring him out, and mixing it up- easier said then done though
Nadal is very good at the net. I don't know what you've been watching. His weaknesses are dropping the ball short on returns, falling too far behind the baseline, and bothered by well placed serves. Djokovic got burned many times by trying that drop shot in Queen's.
 

herosol

Professional
for all his style he's weak at the net and for all his stamina he can get caught out by well placed drop shots

the key to beating Nadal is tiring him out, and mixing it up- easier said then done though
weak at the net? lol. OKAY. Don't watch much tennis yeah?

Well-Placed drop shots happen how many times? Oh yeah, i forgot can you even play drop shots with 3000 rpm's of spin coming at you?

It's stupid. You don't beat Nadal with technique. You outplay Nadal by doing everything better then him.

Defend better then him. Put more spin then him.

We can see Federer do everything from baseline to net, but seeing these past 4 times, it is no longer about using different tactics. It is a mind set that you can do ANYTHING better then Nadal can.
 

tennis-hero

Banned
i totally disagree

anyone who tries to 'out-Nadal' Nadal is going to crash and burn

you can't out do what he does, no way

keep him pegged back on his backhand (which has improved) and drop shot him out of the blue

knowing Nadal he will run around the backhand and play for a forehand, but that opens up the court

but trying to outdo him is stupid, theres no one on the circuit who has a ope in hell of doing that

i've seen his touch at the net, he's weak im telling you- compared to how he is at the baseline i'd want him at the net as much as possible.

get a fish out of water, get nadal out of his element and he's as easy to beat as anyone
 

tennis_hand

Hall of Fame
it is not because he is awesome.
but because tennis is changing for the players like him.

his techniques wouldn't have survived in the old 90s.

Watching how little Federer serve and volleyed on grass compared to his old Wimbledon days is the evidence of the changing of tennis surfaces.

Why not wait until US Open series to see whether Nadal's techniques are the true evolution or simply the survival of the fittest?
 

herosol

Professional
i totally disagree

anyone who tries to 'out-Nadal' Nadal is going to crash and burn

you can't out do what he does, no way

keep him pegged back on his backhand (which has improved) and drop shot him out of the blue

knowing Nadal he will run around the backhand and play for a forehand, but that opens up the court

but trying to outdo him is stupid, theres no one on the circuit who has a ope in hell of doing that

i've seen his touch at the net, he's weak im telling you- compared to how he is at the baseline i'd want him at the net as much as possible.

get a fish out of water, get nadal out of his element and he's as easy to beat as anyone
you're a fool seriously. Get nadal out of his element? His element is to chase balls. You're drop shot has to be DEAD ON in order to put nadal on the defensive, or you'll end up with him putting it away with a 2-shot combo.

Out-Nadal is not Techinque. It's the mentality.
Bill Tilden played one way:

"Whatever you can do. I can do better"
 

cottontail

New User
Both Murray and Federer recently spoke about Rafa's unique movement that makes him much better than the rest on clay.

Murray had this to say after losing to him in Hamburg:

"I watched a few of his matches after I'd got back from Hamburg and I saw something that I didn't realise until I'd seen him on TV," he said.

"He's the only player I've seen on the tour right now who can slide with the right leg and the left leg.

"When he goes for the backhand he slides on the right leg, when he goes to the forehand he slides on his left leg.

"In terms of movement that makes it so much easier for him to recover because it makes it easier for him to get to the ball.

"It's a very hard thing to do. Federer, Djokovic and myself tend to slide just on one leg. He can do that on both.

"You think you have to go to the net against him but he covers the court so well because he's able to do that.

"His forehand is also the toughest shot in tennis on clay."


http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/...is/08/05/23/TENNIS_French_Murray_Nightle.html

And Federer complemented what Murray said by saying this after the RG final:

Look, I mean, he's ‑‑ I mean, I don't know if it's got that much to do with great offense or great defense, it's just his movement on clay. It's just better than the rest.

I mean, I've always said it three years ago already: He plays like two forehands from the baseline, you know, because he has an open stance on both sides. I can't do that, so I lose a meter or two here and there from the baseline. So he's got a huge advantage in this aspect, you know.

I don't know how he grew up doing that, you know, but it's definitely ‑‑ I think that's very difficult, and maybe he's got the great advantage as well that in his normal life he's right handed by nature and not a lefty.


http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2008-06-08/200806081212942624771.html
 
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