Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by WhiskeyEE, Oct 18, 2013.
They're not??! I wish someone had informed me of that before I began composing my epic poem, "From Nasty to Nice in Dactylic Hexameter: The Ballad of the Open Era's Glorious Heroes of the Masters, World Tour Finals, and ATP Finals."
What other drastic changes have occurred in professional tennis since you joined the forum two weeks ago? This could require radically revamping my to-do list.
Olympic gold > Grandslam
2 Olympic golds > La Decima
Murray’s Olympic golds are worth more than nadals masters also obviously.
This is asinine.
This post (or any pointing at the same problem) deserves a special attention.
It accentuates an interesting side of Nadal as a competitor and a tennis player.
It has been discussed many times about the resolve with which Nadal overcomes challenges.
That is where the myth (yes, it is a myth) about Nadal's mental fortitude and tennis intelligence started: that because he has that inane ability to take down any competitor when the time is right (that is another can of worms) he has those in spades and some even consider him the best in those areas.
The lack of success at the WTF presents the question: is that really so, or is Nadal a conjurer of fake impressions, a mental fortress when all is in his favour and the reputation of him being intelligent in tennis terms is a construct based on his success?
The thoughts I am entertaining in this regard are that Nadal is extremely capable of learning and forgetting patterns.
He is able to learn how to play against any competitor and, as long as it is not a long perspective, he can "groove" his strengths into the patterns he needs to execute to beat a certain style of playing/particular game. It doesn't become engrained in his understanding about how to play tennis, that is why it is not sustainable in the long run.
Now, what does that have to do with him not winning the WTF?
The thing is, WTF is a place, where not only there are very strong competitors (In itself that would not have been a problem, as Nadal has proven without a doubt that he can reach very high levels of competitiveness), but there are also very different competitors.
He needs to focus on each differently and that takes a lot of mental strength and energy to execute properly.
He also needs to maintain a high enough level of slightly or vastly different playing patterns and while this is not uncommon in tournaments where a player meets different players with different styles the difference is that at the WTF (this to lesser extent is true for the later stages of the Majors) he needs to do it consistently on a much higher level, whereas in the early stages of the Majors and in the lesser tournaments the difference in the level of the quality of the players can carry the day.
Yes, a player of Nadal's caliber can force his game on a lesser opponent and that is also known, and that is why it doesn't happen often that the players in lesser tournaments or in the early stages of the Majors expose this weakness: either the difference in the level is too big (as the current system of seeding almost always guarantees that there will be a difference in the level in the early stages of the tournaments) or the significance of the tournament sets the the level at which the competitors find themselves and that helps the most accomplished players to generally have the upper hand as their natural level is higher.
This also explains why, if a lesser player schedules for peaking in a lesser tournament or in earlier stage he can upset an opponent that is capable of generally much higher level of tennis.
Now, at the WTF the problem with Nadal not being able to play "differently" is magnified by two things:
1) the surface and conditions do not allow him to impose his style on a player with different more suitable for the surface style, who will never be able to match the highest level of which Nadal is capable
2) he cannot switch between patterns of play fast enough to be able to accommodate different styles with which to beat different opponents
His solutions are limited and mainly are reduced to trying to match the style of the alpha player (if he himself is not the one) and hope that the patterns for him are good against everyone else or rely on general awareness of who is in what form to try to overcome the problem ( example: meeting Federer in the final of the WTF in 2010 and making it competitive).
The problem: when the patterns for one alpha player are not suitable for beating the other strong favourite there is no way he wins the tournament when both are in form and he has to meet them (which is what happens a lot at the WTF and what generally has been best demonstrated when he had to meet both Federer and Djokovic consecutively).
How can you miss Boris Becker - '88, '92, '95
as for Nadal, as a clay specialist (okay he vultured a couple USO) he doesn't even belong to that conversation
a bunch of bunk.
I think I excluded him for not having any year end #1's. Excluded Wilander for vulturing most of his majors and being useless at Wimbledon, which was by far the most prestigious event at the time.
Indoor clay? I’d give Federer a big chance of beating Nadal there based on their Hamburg and Madrid matches.
given their h2h on Hamburg/Madrid on clay is 'only' 3-2 in favour of Nadal (conditions closest to indoor clay), hardly a stretch to assume federer could beat Nadal at the YEC on clay.
also federer would be favorite in 2004 YEC on clay (before Nadal), in 11 (with both Nadal and Djokovic struggling at the YEC), would have his chances at the YEC in 06, 07, and also in 03 and 09.
Red herring and AND a strawman here. Impressive.
In any case, what’s worse than not winning is the fact that he’s won only 16 matches total at the WTF/TMC/YEC whatever you want to call it. That’s terrible. Frankly, it lends credence to the belief of many that Nadal doesn’t do as well when he has to face a difficult draw by default. In other tournaments, he can build up confidence and rhythm by beating punching bags in earlier rounds. You can’t do that at the WTF.
I am a Federer fan. But seriously how can you call a 10 time winner of Roland Garros and the winner of 6 other slams - not an all time great!?
I am also a huge WTF fan, and take no part in the "WTF is an exhibition" nonsense (None of the players think this - just some people on this forum).
Along with Nadal, Wilander hasn't won it, Courier hasn't won it, Newcombe hasn't won it (though he won the WCT finals in 1974 when it has similar prestige)
(Sorry - just saw that you did the original post in 2013. My comments still stand though. Nadal is undeniably an 'all time great'. The WTF is a very important prestigious title. He hasn't won it, but all players have important titles missing from their CV eg Djokovic and Federer - Olympic singles gold (though I wouldn't put this title on the level of the WTF), Nadal, Wilander, Courier, Newcombe - WTF; Sampras, McEnroe, Connors - French Open, Lendl - Wimbledon etc etc
He's a great on clay only. Not overall.
His clay points get him perennially high seeds at other events, which allowed him to avoid dangerous players during the 1st week of Wimbledon and, combined with luck, he got 3 joke draws at the USO.
Without his clay points and inflated ranking off clay, he doesn't win 6 non-clay slams.
6 Slams, 3 for 3 in Finals outside Wimbledon where he made 7 winning 3. Made 3 French Open semi-finals back when that kind of versatility was rare.
Won 3 WTFs and 5 times Runner-Up. On Carpet.
Actually it's much more pathetic Nadal hasn't won the WTF now being on hard instead of carpet and Bo3 format Final.
Nadal's a Top 5 player of all time and so an All Time Great whether he wins the WTF or not. I'd like to see him win a a couple more off-clay slams to get into the Top 3
IMO this is in part due to indoor season and fast court tennis in general being a much bigger deal in the past so ATGs naturally graviated toward certain style of play. Borg for example, who Nadal is most often compared to for their CC dominance was a beast on carpet.
Just this year Nadal won USO by returning from the stands, why would he be interested in developing actual fast court skills when near every big tourney allows him to wing it and rely on his talent and athleticism to pull through?
Odd opinion for someone that claims to have watched six decades of tennis - indoors was a huge part of the calendar in years gone by.
I have a hard time believing that half the posters on this site are actually genuine with what they write, if they are then over half of them are complete idiots.
Generally the top players don’t have to play many in form players in one tournament, which allows them to concentrate on their main competitors.
And when they do stumble upon a player with different style and is in good form.... really, there is more to what I have written than just a speculation.
One doesn't have to look for a fairly famous exapmle too far back: the AO Murray - Zverev match is one such, although on paper Murray should never lose such a match.
EDIT: Nadal is not as versatile to weather such a storm and generally is not good in tournaments where he has to meet more than two in form top players, especially if they have different style.
78% of Stats are made up.
History will remember Nadal as an all time great who can't win indoors.
The years Wilander won his AO titles, from 83 on, the top players: Lendl, Becker, McEnroe, Edberg, etc. did compete on a regular basis. Therefore, his AO titles were True slams.
The discussion is interesting, and the reasons why Nadal hasn't won the WTF are somewhat simpler.
- Nadal is a workhorse and has played too many tournaments, and on the most physically demanding surface. Naturally, he will be less than optimal at year end.
- Nadal is also an anomaly. No one thought we will see such a dominance on clay (grass was thought to be easier to dominate because it's physically less demanding). But Nadal did it. However, he still by nature likes high bouncing surfaces and the WTF is anything but.
- Nadal is very opportune and has vultured his other 6 slams. In 2008 Wimby and 2009 AO, he beat a mentally beaten person on the court. In 2010 Wimby, he was greatly aided by Berdych who did the hard work of sending both Federer and Djokovic back home (I believe either could have given Nadal a far better fight and possibly won). In 2010 USO, he beat a self doubting and physically exhausted Nole. 2017 USO, well, let's not even discuss the obvious. Really, the only slam he has shown true champion's form was the 2013 USO when he was at his peak. However, this pattern shows that he has played an opportunist card and won his slams over a large spread of years rather than dominating any of them. Obviously, he would not fare well against the best 7 people collectively at a single tournament (he still had a chance in 2013 though). In the end, he is a clay court workhorse - an exceptional workhorse and definitely an all time great, but a clay workhorse nonetheless.
Mats bagged seven slams and he didn't vulture any of them. Maybe you need to look up who he beat in his slam finals and who he beat on the way to winning them. Wilander had incredibly difficult opponents in almost all of his slams, especially those in earlier rounds.
When idiocy is filtered through bias, the result should just be ignored.
1. No one respects Mats. He has to act like a court jester to get attention.
2. No one wants to hire him as a coach. Lendl, JMac, Connors, Edberg, and Agassi have all coached top players. Sampras could, but he doesn't want to. Borg most recently coached team Europe at the Laver Cup.
3. Useless at Wimbledon
4. Never won the YEC
Mats Wilander and all time great do not belong in the same sentence. Whoops.
Wilander beat at least one player who ended his career with 6+ Majors at every Major he won, and he beat at least one player who ended his career with 8 Majors at 5/7 Majors he won:
1982 French Open: Lendl (8 Majors), Vilas (4 Majors), Noah (1 Major)
1983 Australian Open: Lendl (8 Majors), McEnroe (7 Majors)
1984 Australian Open: Edberg (6 Majors), Kriek (2 Majors)
1985 French Open: Lendl (8 Majors), McEnroe (7 Majors), Becker (6 Majors)
1988 Australian Open: Edberg (6 Majors), Cash (1 Major)
1988 French Open: Agassi (8 Majors)
1988 U.S. Open: Lendl (8 Majors)
Separate names with a comma.