How can Rafa be more competitive against Nole on HC....

I think Nadal meeting Djokovic in the finals is the worst time to face him. By the last 4 or final, Novak is usually zoning and it’s difficult for Rafa to stop djoko when he gets in a rhythm.

It’s been the perfect tournament for Novak. He’s won all 6 singles matches and unbeaten to start 2020 and he will be very tough to stop now in Melbourne.
 
He can't. His movement is atrocious, he isn't even running after many balls which he would easily return in his prime. He has no idea how to return Djokovic's serve. I mean, even BERRETTINI broke Djokovic in WTF. Nadal can't.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
In Australian courts Federer didn't do better than Nadal against Djokovic. (unless you really want to include their AO 2007 meeting)
Their AO matches don't really tell the whole story. They were never at their best at the same time and Nole did dodge Fed in 2009 and 2010.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Rafa has a better chance against Nole on a fast hardcourt than a slow hardcourt now, with the simple reason being Nole moves materially better than Rafa now side to side. Rafa should still have a slight upper hand on clay Bc clay is so slow and high bouncing that even with his loss of speed Rafa can get to all of the balls. The clay game is more a game of determination, grit and endurance and Rafa still has all of those in spades.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Let's face it, no number of analyses on strategy and tactics is going to change the momentum on hardcourts in favour of Nadal whenever he faces Djokovic. He is older and slower now and just cannot handle Djokovic on hardcourts anymore (unless the latter has a really really bad day). It's gameover for Nadal on this surface against his biggest rival and the same is probably true against Federer too.

Clay is the last remaining bastion of his supremacy over the other 2 thirds of the Big 3.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Were all those matches easy for Nadal on HCs though? Medvedev, Thiem and Tsitsipas took Nadal to the brink in their more recent meetings on HC. Nadal didn't have it easy at all.
Well no match against a top 10 player is ever “easy” as it’s not supposed to given they’re 10 of the best players on the planet but he’s still beating them whereas Nadal looks completely helpless against Djokovic on HCs these days
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
What was most interesting to me in the match was that Djokovic used a new tactic: drop shots. And he was hitting some exquisite ones with good disguise. I've not seen Novak do much of this in his rivalry against Rafa and he won 4 points with the drop shot.

There's really nothing Nadal can do against Novak on HC except hope that Djokovic has an off day. Today Novak just had Nadal on a string, pounding balls to his FH and then alternately to the BH. When you make few UE's and have supreme confidence, the result will be predictable on HC between these two.

Now Djokovic has to execute this play style and this error-free game in BO5 on Chatrier against Rafa. Can he do it this year?
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
To answe OP, he’s gotta play more like the next gen. Just swing away and go for broke. He can’t outgrind Nole anymore like he did in 2008, he either has to play all-out attacking tennis or go home
All out attacking tennis means storming the net and serve and volleying. Rafa was doing more of that at the YEC but curiously was flat at the net today and approached very little. Again, the only ATG who transitioned after age 32 to net play was Connors. I just don't see Nadal successfully making that transition but he needs to, Moya has said similar things.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Let's face it, no number of analyses on strategy and tactics is going to change the momentum on hardcourts in favour of Nadal whenever he faces Djokovic. He is older and slower now and just cannot handle Djokovic on hardcourts anymore (unless the latter has a really really bad day). It's gameover for Nadal on this surface against his biggest rival and the same is probably true against Federer too.

Clay is the last remaining bastion of his supremacy over the other 2 thirds of the Big 3.
I think he can turn it around against Federer (who is gonna be 39 this year) but to win another HC major, he has to hope someone beats Novak for him
 
Serious question - looking for genuine answers and not trollling :) How can he change things?What tactics should he try?Or maybe he is doomed on HC?

Thiem, Med, Tsitsipas all present far greater difficulties against Nole on HC....Rafa can beat these guys on HC yet seems to have zero chance on HC against Nole....I understand about match ups but it’s kind of strange at this stage there is such a gap....What are they all doing and maybe Rafa isn’t doing on HC?I understand he can’t replicate their games but is there something he could look at and maybe employ?
Ned needs to cut off the slicing strategy against nole. As good as his slice is, it's not the roger slice.
Nadal doesn't have to implement the fed way for taking down nole. He has his own powers. He needs to redline his groundies and blast novak off the court, by sending DTL hammers and CC stingers to novak FH. If I'm not wrong, nole was hitting his FH 18kph faster than rafa in the 1st set today. Which is not supposed to happen, as nadal is the more powerful player between them.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
All out attacking tennis means storming the net and serve and volleying. Rafa was doing more of that at the YEC but curiously was flat at the net today and approached very little. Again, the only ATG who transitioned after age 32 to net play was Connors. I just don't see Nadal successfully making that transition but he needs to, Moya has said similar things.
Well it’s never too late to start, it’s a tactic that’s helped him against younger players but against Novak he’s seems reluctant to even attempt any of his newer methods
 
So many Nadal bashing here. People don't realize that him beating prime Federer/ Djokovic was more impressive than them destroying a declined Nadal who is not even running after many balls. These matches are never in doubt. But according to haters somehow the losses at the end of his career (when he is 6 years past his prime) mean he can't be GOAT.
 
Agut is a big time pusher. These types of guys are always a problem. Even for the big 3.
Certainly not as much of a big problem for fedal
Pushers seem to give djok the biggest problem because Djok becomes a bit arrogant against them and try to prove "fvck ya, I'm the bigger pusher here and gonna outpush you".. and he forgets that he can play aggressively as well
 
I think Rafa deserved a bit more in that second set, I thought he played much, much better. But Novak was clutch when it mattered, and Nadal couldn’t produce answers on the close points.
Let's not act like Djokovic was just clutch and Nadal didn't do anything wrong. Watch the last 2 points. Such unnecessary unforced errors. Leave alone the fact that his tactic is bad. So many slices.
 
Let's not act like Djokovic was just clutch and Nadal didn't do anything wrong. Watch the last 2 points. Such unnecessary unforced errors. Leave alone the fact that his tactic is bad. So many slices.
Yes it was actually very weird to see nadal using that many slices even on the occassions he was in a good position to hit a topspin.
Maybe he wanted to try fed's strategy of throwing novak off balance by slice, but he doesn't have the roger slice
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
Djoko just has his number on hard. His CC patterns are killing him. His 75% pace heavy forehands to Nadal's BH deprives it of the pace it thrives best on, and his flat BH to Nadal's FH always forces short balls. The DTL on both wings have to really click for Nadal for him to break Novak's crosscourt patterns to have a chance--it was what won him the 13 and 10 USO against Djoko. I also feel like Nadal nowadays needs a FASTER court like the USO or WO so he can ACTUALLY hit through Novak with his DTL--otherwise Novak would just loop it CC again and the whole thing is reset.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
It probably helps that Nadal's return position is absolute garbage. I think the guys who are good at hitting their spots have a field day with that position, and Novak is pretty good at this.

See also the matches against Mueller, Cilic, and notably Federer.
That's how his return works. It's repugnant, but statistically he's ahead of Novak on return points won.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I think Nadal meeting Djokovic in the finals is the worst time to face him.
Because they're ranked #1 and #2, they can't meet anywhere except in a final. That is, until one of them slips to #3 or both fall out of the top 2 positions. I don't think it matters anyway, Djokovic has owned Rafa on HC for many years, there's no magic trick Rafa can pull out of his tool bag to combat Djoker being the superior player off clay. They could meet in 4R and Novak still beats him on HC.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
He should be the one who is aggressive and he should return closer to the baseline. That's it.
Then why doesn't he? Nadal can get by with his insanely defensive ROS position against everyone except Djokovic and Fed because the young players are generally passive chokers. Roig said that before the Wimbledon semi, he and Moya urged Nadal to stand much closer in to return Fed's serve but he didn't do it. Why didn't he do it? Serious question for the Nadal fans. Is it because he simply can't execute his ROS while standing on the baseline where Fed returns serve? Or because Rafa just doesn't want to?
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
Rafa knows that Djokovic dislikes slices, but his slice is not like Fed's after all.
Don’t like Djokovic but over the years he has definitely improved in handling slices. Federer fed him some great short slices to the backhand at Wimbledon and Djokovic was still able to come over them with his backhand despite being like 10 feet from the net. Coming over the top on short slices to your backhand is so difficult to do.
 
Because they're ranked #1 and #2, they can't meet anywhere except in a final. That is, until one of them slips to #3 or both fall out of the top 2 positions. I don't think it matters anyway, Djokovic has owned Rafa on HC for many years, there's no magic trick Rafa can pull out of his tool bag to combat Djoker being the superior player off clay. They could meet in 4R and Novak still beats him on HC.
That is true. Plus Rafa has the same problem against Federer off clay too!
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
What is the reason of all the Berrettini jokes? Could you guys explain me?
It's the fact that Nadal, our world no 1 and "best player in the world" is ranked 1st because he's getting pathetic draws and at the same time gets pwned by Federer and Djokovic on HC and grass each time they played. Last time he beat Fed or Djoko outside of clay was 6 years ago. This is 100% payback for all the Fedal h2h threads which were the main theme of TTW from 2008 to 2014. The guy is a sitting duck against 2 players on 2 surfaces yet he's the world no 1, what a joke.
 
It's the fact that Nadal, our world no 1 and "best player in the world" is ranked 1st because he's getting pathetic draws and at the same time gets pwned by Federer and Djokovic on HC and grass each time they played. Last time he beat Fed or Djoko outside of clay was 6 years ago. This is 100% payback for all the Fedal h2h threads which were the main theme of TTW from 2008 to 2014. The guy is a sitting duck against 2 players on 2 surfaces yet he's the world no 1, what a joke.
The only joke is that you are still posting here. How you are not banned yet is beyond me.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Serious question - looking for genuine answers and not trollling :) How can he change things?What tactics should he try?Or maybe he is doomed on HC?

Thiem, Med, Tsitsipas all present far greater difficulties against Nole on HC....Rafa can beat these guys on HC yet seems to have zero chance on HC against Nole....I understand about match ups but it’s kind of strange at this stage there is such a gap....What are they all doing and maybe Rafa isn’t doing on HC?I understand he can’t replicate their games but is there something he could look at and maybe employ?
The gap between Nadal and Djokovic in Australia is as big as it is in paris where Nadal is far too strong and new York where Nadal is much better. Wimbledon is probably where they are most closely matched.

In Australia Nadal needs low humidity so his top spin pushes Djokovic back. In Sydney i was very humid so Nadal was always going to get beat. But lets be honest. Its an irrelevant result moving forward.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
It's the fact that Nadal, our world no 1 and "best player in the world" is ranked 1st because he's getting pathetic draws and at the same time gets pwned by Federer and Djokovic on HC and grass each time they played. Last time he beat Fed or Djoko outside of clay was 6 years ago. This is 100% payback for all the Fedal h2h threads which were the main theme of TTW from 2008 to 2014. The guy is a sitting duck against 2 players on 2 surfaces yet he's the world no 1, what a joke.
Federer never makes it far enough on hard court at majors to play Nadal so what are you on about.

Nadal is the best player in the world. Hard court is his not his best surface yet the last decade won the most US Opens.

Until such time anyone can even challenge Nadal on clay Nadal barring injury remains the best player in the world
 

irishnadalfan1983

Hall of Fame
The gap between Nadal and Djokovic in Australia is as big as it is in paris where Nadal is far too strong and new York where Nadal is much better. Wimbledon is probably where they are most closely matched.

In Australia Nadal needs low humidity so his top spin pushes Djokovic back. In Sydney i was very humid so Nadal was always going to get beat. But lets be honest. Its an irrelevant result moving forward.
Yeah fair enough I suppose....Felt Nole was closer on RG a few years ago...
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Federer never makes it far enough on hard court at majors to play Nadal so what are you on about.
Yeah and Nadal can thank God for that and pray that this continues because if they DO play there will only be 1 possible result.
Nadal is the best player in the world. Hard court is his not his best surface yet the last decade won the most US Opens.

Until such time anyone can even challenge Nadal on clay Nadal barring injury remains the best player in the world
Yes we know, warrior Nadal got through some absolute monsters to win the 2017 and 2019 US Opens.
 
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