Djoker lost... Rafa lost... OMG!!!

yokied

Hall of Fame
And it’s not even slightly ambiguous. The all-round level at MC has been atrocious.

Even playing his absolute worst tennis, Nadal’s IO FH is still absolute GOAT-tier. Still landing nearly all variations from all positions and just such a deadly shot. Hard not to see another RG incoming once he irons out the kinks.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
And it’s not even slightly ambiguous. The all-round level at MC has been atrocious.

Even playing his absolute worst tennis, Nadal’s IO FH is still absolute GOAT-tier. Still landing nearly all variations from all positions and just such a deadly shot. Hard not to see another RG incoming once he irons out the kinks.
Do not disrespect Rublev with that hyperbole. Nadal did not play his "absolute worst tennis" apart from the first set, where he made an astronomical number of double faults.
 
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Tennis_Freak99

Hall of Fame
And it’s not even slightly ambiguous. The all-round level at MC has been atrocious.

Even playing his absolute worst tennis, Nadal’s IO FH is still absolute GOAT-tier. Still landing nearly all variations from all positions and just such a deadly shot. Hard not to see another RG incoming once he irons out the kinks.
I don't think Nadal played that bad, he wasn't at his best for sure, but still played a very high level. Rublev played like a man possessed is all.

His absolute worst was 2015 and it's incomparable to his other years. He was pretty good yesterday
 

yokied

Hall of Fame
Do not disrespect Rublve with that hyperbole. Nadal did not play his "absolute worst tennis" apart from the first set, where he made an astronomical number of unforced errors.
It’s no disrespect to anyone in particular. It’s a warm-up event and the level is showing it. Nadal was still ahead in rallies over 5 shots in the 1st set, which is exactly my point.
 

beard

Hall of Fame
Different losses...

Novak played terrible and lost...

Rafa played bad for his standards, but he gave his best.
Its more Rublev who blew him of the court, in Novak antiNadal clay mode...
That is the problem for Nadal, if some player show in firing mode he is very vulnerable.
It's not on his racket, even on clay, which sound strange...

Don't get me wrong, Nadal is still a huge favorite for RG...
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
It’s no disrespect to anyone in particular. It’s a warm-up event and the level is showing it. Nadal was still ahead in rallies over 5 shots in the 1st set, which is exactly my point.
But no need to make those hyperboles whenever Rafa loses on clay.

Rafa loses to Fognini in Montecarlo 2019: "he played his worst match on clay ever".

Rafa loses to Rublev in Montecarlo 2021: "he played his absolute worse tennis".

Coming soon...

Rafa loses to X player in Montecarlo 2022: "Rafa played the worse match that any professional tennis player has ever played".

Rafa loses to Y player in Montecarlo 2023: "Rafa played at the lowest level that any human being can play".
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Don't get me wrong, Nadal is still a huge favorite for RG...
"A" huge favorite or "the" huge favorite? Please name those players that are equally favorite to Nadal for RG.
Its more Rublev who blew him of the court, in Novak antiNadal clay mode...
That is the problem for Nadal, if some player show in firing mode he is very vulnerable.
It's not on his racket, even on clay, which sound strange...
My perception is that at RG is still on his racquet, regardless of the opponent's level. I agree that in Masters 1000 on clay he has become more vulnerable and can lose to inspired opponents. This is, in my opinion, due to the fact that the courts used in Masters 1000 are generally smaller and probably use lighter balls.

RG is using since 2020 very heavy balls, and the court dimensions of the Philippe Chatrier are considerably larger than those observed in Montecarlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. With those ultra-heavy balls the conditions became even slower, and with larger court dimensions Nadal has more time to reach defensive balls. Due to the aforementioned reasons I am of the opinion that Nadal playing at his best for his current age and style of play is untouchable at RG. No firing opponent can do anything if Nadal plays great for his standards at RG.
 
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ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
"A" huge favorite or "the" huye favorite? Please name those players that are equally favorite to Nadal at RG.

My perception is that at RG is still on his racquet, regardless of the opponent's level. I agree that in Masters 1000 on clay he has become more vulnerable and can lose to inspired opponents. This is, in my opinion, due to the fact that the courts used in Masters 1000 are generally smaller and probably use lighter balls.

RG is using since 2020 very heavy balls, and the court dimensions of the Philippe Chatrier are considerably larger than those observed in Montecarlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. With those ultra-heavy balls the conditions became even slower, and with larger court dimensions Nadal has more time to reach defensive balls. Due to the aforementioned reasons I am of the opinion that Nadal playing at his best for his current age and style of play is untouchable at RG. No firing opponent can do anything if Nadal plays great for his standards at RG.
2006 Paul Henri Mathieu would have loved to play this Nadal :D
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Neither Nadal or Djokovic are overly concerned about masters series events anymore, understandably so, and they've both won an insane number of them during their careers anyway. If they win those events then that's still nice, and if they don't it's not a big deal at all. It's very much all about the slams for them - I don't like the 'only slams matter' attitude in tennis as a whole, but I can completely understand why legendary players that are 33-34 years old and have more than paid their dues would think like that). Masters series events are purely warm-up tournaments to gain match practice, improve their games over time etc.

That's basically the same attitude that Sampras had at each Queen's throughout his career. He really didn't care whether he won the title there or not (though he did so twice), and explicitly said that his aim was just to get a few matches on grass under his belt before Wimbledon.
 
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ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Would lose with a triple bagel (hyperbole, but you get my point). Not even sure Mathieu defeats 2021 Tsitsipas or 2021 Djokovic at RG let alone Nadal.
Well, I am not saying that Mathieu will obviously win, but he would have his chances.2006 Rafa was a physical beast compared to this Rafa.He plays a different game now, but still... :) Untestable, therefore irrelevant, I know :D
 
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Krish0608

Legend
And it’s not even slightly ambiguous. The all-round level at MC has been atrocious.

Even playing his absolute worst tennis, Nadal’s IO FH is still absolute GOAT-tier. Still landing nearly all variations from all positions and just such a deadly shot. Hard not to see another RG incoming once he irons out the kinks.
Completely agree. But did you also notice how mediocre he was hitting his BH compared to previous years. That CC BH was not getting enough pop as it usually does. He also looked slower than usual.
 

beard

Hall of Fame
"A" huge favorite or "the" huge favorite? Please name those players that are equally favorite to Nadal for RG.

My perception is that at RG is still on his racquet, regardless of the opponent's level. I agree that in Masters 1000 on clay he has become more vulnerable and can lose to inspired opponents. This is, in my opinion, due to the fact that the courts used in Masters 1000 are generally smaller and probably use lighter balls.

RG is using since 2020 very heavy balls, and the court dimensions of the Philippe Chatrier are considerably larger than those observed in Montecarlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. With those ultra-heavy balls the conditions became even slower, and with larger court dimensions Nadal has more time to reach defensive balls. Due to the aforementioned reasons I am of the opinion that Nadal playing at his best for his current age and style of play is untouchable at RG. No firing opponent can do anything if Nadal plays great for his standards at RG.
My English is not that good... He is the biggest, biggest favorite, no doubt...

Agree with all you wrote, and Nadal will win RG with 80% probability IMO...

Only bold is questionable, often it's hard to make distinction between playing bad and the situation where the opponent made you playing bad... For example, in Rublev match Nadal certainly haven't played his best, bad match, but Rublev played great and contributed largely in Rafas bad play...

And, you say "if Nadal plays great"...
You can't expect of any player... any... to play his best all the time... So if Nadal doesn't play great in particular match it doesn't diminish opponents win... which is very often false argument here on TTW... I will make a thread during the day or tomorrow about this topic, and please don't take that thread as dig on Nadal, but sarcastic dig on some insane Nadal fans...
 

yokied

Hall of Fame
Completely agree. But did you also notice how mediocre he was hitting his BH compared to previous years. That CC BH was not getting enough pop as it usually does. He also looked slower than usual.
Yeah I nearly mentioned the CC BH too, but figured that I would only be getting low caliber VB replies (mostly right). I think the Nadal even mentioned the BH post-match. Nowhere near hitting the tape on a lot of them too - low on the net. Meanwhile, the DTL BH defensive moonball, also a vital shot, seems to be holding.

It’s probably just footwork rust. There are two shots he hits in front of his body and seems to be reaching on them: the CC BH and the inside-in and CC FH. These were the problem children, whereas the IO FH and BH moonballs are hit closer to his body, with the ball coming on and/or more forward momentum.

I’ll never get fooled again by his movement though. He still has plenty of wheels, as we saw in the 1st set of RG20 F, which was the biggest jump in movement and level I’ve ever seen by anyone from the SF. I think he could be even more possessed this year in the F, with the magical #21 in sight.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
My man. :D

Grown on me over the years. The line about him getting paid for the insults is the killer here.
Yeah, Eazy E burned Dre with this one. Dre still had contractual obligations to Ruthless Records, meaning that E was going to be making money off of any record that Dre put out at the time, even when working for Death Row.
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
The stupid slam count makes people shrug their shoulders at 1000 events. That’s pretty sad. “Who cares! It’s not a slam!” But it’s a big event. A new dude is about to win a big event.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
That is the problem for Nadal, if some player show in firing mode he is very vulnerable.
I agree, but the only guy who ever blew Rafa away with brute power in BO5 on clay was Soderling. Literally the only one, so it’s hard to say Rafa is “vulnerable” to such players.

However, there are 3 current players who are capable of playing the Soderling brute style: Rublev, Karatsev and Basilashvili.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I agree, but the only guy who ever blew Rafa away with brute power in BO5 on clay was Soderling. Literally the only one, so it’s hard to say Rafa is “vulnerable” to such players.

However, there are 3 current players who are capable of playing the Soderling brute style: Rublev, Karatsev and Basilashvili.
Aslan will be the one :D (or Dibaego ;) )
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
But no need to make those hyperboles whenever Rafa loses on clay.

Rafa loses to Fognini in Montecarlo 2019: "he played his worst match on clay ever".

Rafa loses to Rublev in Montecarlo 2021: "he played his absolute worse tennis".

Coming soon...

Rafa loses to X player in Montecarlo 2022: "Rafa played the worse match that any professional tennis player has ever played".

Rafa loses to Y player in Montecarlo 2023: "Rafa played at the lowest level that any human being can play".
You joke, but the older he gets the worse the losses should get.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
The all-round level at MC has been atrocious.
When the Big 2 win everything, TTW says the tennis level currently is really ‘weak’ as all the next gen are ‘mugs’. When the Big 2 lose, the tennis level is ‘atrocious’. Meanwhile, the average speed and spin of shots keeps increasing every year while the player‘s footwork gets better and they still are able to play great defense against harder, heavier shots.

Rublev is one of the hardest hitters on tour and has been winning many tournaments for a year even if they are the smaller ones. Maybe this is giving him the confidence to get some bigger wins this year.
 

beard

Hall of Fame
I agree, but the only guy who ever blew Rafa away with brute power in BO5 on clay was Soderling. Literally the only one, so it’s hard to say Rafa is “vulnerable” to such players.

However, there are 3 current players who are capable of playing the Soderling brute style: Rublev, Karatsev and Basilashvili.
There are more of these players, Thiem, Shapovalov... maybe someone else, even Fog can do it, he proved...
Novak too, yes, watching Rublev yesterday was like watching Novak in those days when he was attacking Nadals forehand using backhand. I think he will try the same tactics next time they play on clay...
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
There are more of these players, Thiem, Shapovalov... maybe someone else, even Fog can do it, he proved...
Fog doesn't have brute power off both wings, he can hit his FH huge when he's in the zone (which happens generally twice a year). Fog is a finesse player, he's nothing like a brute style of play like Karatsev. Shapo has a great BH but no brute power off the FH and is so erratic he shouldn't even be mentioned in this context. Thiem isn't anywhere near the velocity off both wings of Soderling (or even Safin). Thiem is also purely defensive and stands so far back in court he will never generate the brute power of Soderling. Contrast Thiem standing on the moon during rallies as opposed to wear Soderling stood while blasting Rafa off the court:

 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
Players level goes up all the time. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer need to further improve to stay competitive.
 
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