Given his playing style and how he defeated Federer in the final, does it shock you that Nadal has won just 1 Australian Open?

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#3
He has severely underperformed in Australia, that is true.

However, I wouldn't gauge his appearances there vs a single match, but rather vs the general conditions at that tournament that suggest that he "should have" won more often.

One reason for that could be that, at AO, being the first big tournament of the year, most top players make it further, so he had to win if not against a very high-ranked player, at least against a player playing on a very high level (improved fitness, tactics), and historically Nadal doesn't do well against more than two such players in one tournament (maybe with exception on clay, but maybe not).

:cool:
 
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#8
At least he has won it. Federer gifted it to him wrapped up in his unforced errors that match. I was more peeved Fed lost that match than Wimbledon 2008.
I just watched the 2009 AO final again. Fed's worst mental performance in any slam final by far, even worse than 2009 USO. Choking, tentative, terrified... yet you have people here claiming Roger was playing "great." They never saw the match. As Fred Stolle said while commentating, "this is one of the more obvious mental collapses I think I've ever seen!"
 
#10
I just watched the 2009 AO final again. Fed's worst mental performance in any slam final by far, even worse than 2009 USO. Choking, tentative, terrified... yet you have people here claiming Roger was playing "great." They never saw the match. As Fred Stolle said while commentating, "this is one of the more obvious mental collapses I think I've ever seen!"
Physically, he was playing great. That was the best shot making match I've ever seen, they were both coming up with unreal angles for hours.

He lost the plot mentally in the 5th set when he forgot how to serve. But I'll maintain it was still a special performance.
 
#11
Interesting how, in title matches, the French Open (11-0) and US Open (3-1) are his 2 best Slams in stark contrast to Australian Open (1-4) and Wimbledon (2-3).
Tennis is random like that. I think there's no doubt that his luck in Australia is pretty atrocious. I don't think it's a stretch to say with the same level of good luck as bad he might even have four of them, certainly should have two and probably three is the right amount.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#12
I just watched the 2009 AO final again. Fed's worst mental performance in any slam final by far, even worse than 2009 USO. Choking, tentative, terrified... yet you have people here claiming Roger was playing "great." They never saw the match. As Fred Stolle said while commentating, "this is one of the more obvious mental collapses I think I've ever seen!"
That was because Nadal was in Fed's head by that stage and the memory of losing both his last 2 Slam finals to him left him nervous and unconfident. This meant that Federer was to lose 3 successive Slam finals to Nadal on all 3 surfaces!

What a different world it was back then!
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#13
Tennis is random like that. I think there's no doubt that his luck in Australia is pretty atrocious. I don't think it's a stretch to say with the same level of good luck as bad he might even have four of them, certainly should have two and probably three is the right amount.
The only bad luck he seemed to have was coming up against better players in the final (2009 excepted)!
 

ibbi

Hall of Fame
#15
As has been said, his one win there was kind of a miracle anyway. I think at that point Nadal was on top of the world mentally in a way he may never have been at any other point save maybe the summer of 2008. He was world number 1, Wimbledon champion, (cut his hair, started wearing sleeves, he was a grown up!) and sort of unstoppable. Just look at that Verdasco performance, if someone played like that against him today he'd get steamrolled (or end up like he did against Cilic last year) but not only did he win it, but he backed it up with an arguably even better performance.

I don't think there's much you can say about the loss in 2012 other than the same thing that happened for him there in 2009 was now happening for someone else. 2017 was another sort of bravura turn, and I do believe his semi final caught up with him that time the way it absolutely did not in their final 8 years earlier.

His 2011 and 2014 trips there were just desperately unlucky. 2013 he'll have liked his chances, but obviously that didn't happen. I thankfully never saw the 2010 match so on that I can't comment.

So no, not that surprised. i think just as the slicker night conditions of the later rounds in Australia favour Novak they sort of work against Rafa. I think the US Open final taking place at least partially in the daylight has definitely worked in his favour.
 

Elektra

Professional
#16
Rafa's game is dependent on stamina. I think the reason why he does not win as many Aussies is cause players are often healtheir, fresher and therefore not as bogged down. Rafa usually peaks around French Open.
 

duaneeo

Hall of Fame
#17
Given his playing style and how he defeated Federer in the 2009 Australian Open final, does it shock you that Nadal has not won a title there since?
Considering the AO is such a successful slam for the two players many consider as the HC GOATS (an argument can also be made that Murray is the superior AO player than Nadal), it's perhaps more surprising that Rafa ever won the title.
 
#18
I just watched the 2009 AO final again. Fed's worst mental performance in any slam final by far, even worse than 2009 USO. Choking, tentative, terrified... yet you have people here claiming Roger was playing "great." They never saw the match. As Fred Stolle said while commentating, "this is one of the more obvious mental collapses I think I've ever seen!"
Federer should have won each of the first four sets but only played well from behind.
 
#19
From the following standpoint, it's very surprising:

Rafa has won 17 of his 25 "slam" finals (68%) overall, yet he's won just 1 of 5 (20%) at the AO.
Even if you ignore his 11/11 at the FO, he's still won 5 of 9 at Wimbledon/US Open.

On an AO tourney-by-tourney (finals) basis, it's less surprising. He won 1 of 3 5-setters - maybe one would expect him to win 2/3, but Fed (2017) and Djokovic (2012) won more of the crucial points, as Rafa did in 2009. Stan had a great tourney in 2014, but the suspicion is that if his back didn't go out on him, Rafa may have won. Of course, this past Sunday, Novak was just too good.

Keep in mind that Bjorn Borg was 0-4 at the US Open, yet 11-12 in other slam finals - more surprising.
And Andy Murray is/was (?) 0-5 at Aussie finals - and 3 (of 6) outside of Oz.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#20
It happens even to the great ones. Every player has 1 or 2 boogey slams.

I'm glad that Fed is the only one of the Big 3 with only 1 boogey slam.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#21
From the following standpoint, it's very surprising:

Rafa has won 17 of his 25 "slam" finals (68%) overall, yet he's won just 1 of 5 (20%) at the AO.
Even if you ignore his 11/11 at the FO, he's still won 5 of 9 at Wimbledon/US Open.

On an AO tourney-by-tourney (finals) basis, it's less surprising. He won 1 of 3 5-setters - maybe one would expect him to win 2/3, but Fed (2017) and Djokovic (2012) won more of the crucial points, as Rafa did in 2009. Stan had a great tourney in 2014, but the suspicion is that if his back didn't go out on him, Rafa may have won. Of course, this past Sunday, Novak was just too good.

Keep in mind that Bjorn Borg was 0-4 at the US Open, yet 11-12 in other slam finals - more surprising.
And Andy Murray is/was (?) 0-5 at Aussie finals - and 3 (of 6) outside of Oz.
How many of Nadal's opponents in finals at Wimbledon/USO were not at the playing level of his AO finals opponents?

:cool:
 
#22
That was because Nadal was in Fed's head by that stage and the memory of losing both his last 2 Slam finals to him left him nervous and unconfident. This meant that Federer was to lose 3 successive Slam finals to Nadal on all 3 surfaces!

What a different world it was back then!
I actually thought he was done and expected him to start fading away after that.
 
#23
Physically, he was playing great. That was the best shot making match I've ever seen, they were both coming up with unreal angles for hours.

He lost the plot mentally in the 5th set when he forgot how to serve. But I'll maintain it was still a special performance.
He lost his serve from the first ball, but still that's clearly one of Fed's top 3 performances in a slam loss.

Nadal 09 AO was just phenomenal pretty much the tournament. At the absolute peak of his powers. The performances vs Haas and Gonzo were scary good and the SF/F needs no further explanation.
 
#28
I just watched the 2009 AO final again. Fed's worst mental performance in any slam final by far, even worse than 2009 USO. Choking, tentative, terrified... yet you have people here claiming Roger was playing "great." They never saw the match. As Fred Stolle said while commentating, "this is one of the more obvious mental collapses I think I've ever seen!"
The champion that Roger is, the 2000-2003 mentality will always be part of him. When he doubts in his mind, he self implodes. Nadals mentality is kind of stable (stay the course) in that aspect.
 
#30
Nadal was up a break in the 5th in two finals and lost. All on him regardless of choking.
Nadal also went down 2 sets to 1 in both those finals and had to use a lot of energy to push it to a 5th. He was probably near fumes by then while being unlucky that his opponents managed to hit the gas peddle in the most crucial times.
 
#35
He has a 7-9 record vs top 10. 4-7 against top 10 players not named Fedovic. Typically at AO everyone's fresh as a daisy & until this year, his draws have been much tougher than USO. Also, in 4 out of the 5 finals, he was playing catch up. This is probably hindsight speaking but it isn't very shocking.
 
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