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

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Yeah fair enough I suppose....Felt Nole was closer on RG a few years ago...
He was but not now. Nole is not as physically strong now and can be outgrinded by Nadal and others. No coincidence Nole actually looks far better now on grass and faster low bouncing hard courts like Sydney.

Rafa threat at FO will be Thiem not Nole. Will Rafa win AO? Unlikely. Its his worse slam
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
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.

Yes we know, warrior Nadal got through some absolute monsters to win the 2017 and 2019 US Opens.
How does that work then? Nadal creams guys who beat Federer yet he somehow should worry about meeting Federer? Ok......lol
 
I think Rafa should mix up the pace a little bit, he hits the same ball to Novak and Novak loves pace, he should throw some high balls up to his forehand side and try to throw Novak off his rhythm, because it’s sad to see but Novak loves Rafa’s rallying ball
 

Lebsta

Rookie
This has been a major problem since 2011 as we all knowWhilst the answers are obvious the issue has many layers to it. I

He needs a bigger faster cserve. The Ability to serve aces and for free points will make his service games much easier to get through. Both USO 2010 & 2013 are prime examples of how his serve got him through difficult times,

He must step up to the baseline more especially on the return of serves. How many times when he has break points and squanders them because of weak returns which is down to his bad positioning. Djokovic exploits this every time on his second serves.

Be more aggressive with his shots and his overall approach. He has to take the initiative away from Novak during the rallies on both fun and bh. This is how Stan manages to beat Novak. Rafa’s DTL forehand is beyond crucial, and if executed consistently then he has a chance.

More net play applied to shorten points and mix up the play. Rafa must also be more precise with his volleys which don’t land short enough to win the points. He cuts too much under the ball which makes it bounce higher giving Novak more chance to get the ball. This goes in hand with staying closer to the baseline which means he’ll be closer to the net in his approach shots making the volleys easier.

Despite all of this the real dilemma is that all of the above means Rafa has to change his game. This is difficult when his game his normally good enough to have at 95% of the tour. Making such sudden adjustments is difficult for a person who is so strict and rigid to his routines.

We also have to remember the importance of Rafa’s athleticism and how much it compensated for his game early on his career. As his game has evolved his speed and stamina have declined meaning he can’t get as many balls back as what he used to.

Of course the tour is more than Djokovic but he remains the biggest threat to Rafa’s GOAT quest. Is Rafa good enough to make these changes? Yes but to ask him to make these changes at 33 is a tall ask. I’m not sure he can do it but hope he can.

If all of this fails then just pray that Novak gets injured or gets taken out by Wawinkra, Medvedev or Tsisitpas.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
He has to quit the lasso forehand. It just sits up, and Djokovic eats it up for breakfast.
Nadal needs to hit flat and with power. Even Murray adjusted his FH against Djokovic that one night at AO2012 and pushed Djokovic harder on the AO surface than he ever did before or after.
 
There is only one thing he needs to improve vs Djokovic.

His mindset.

Despite what he may tell the press, he has lost the belief thathe can defeat Djokovic when the Serb is playing well, so I think he goes out there hoping Djokovic has an off day so he can capitalize.

Extremely sad considering that Nadal IMHO is the better player and has allowed Djokovic to get to his head.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
There is only one thing he needs to improve vs Djokovic.

His mindset.

Despite what he may tell the press, he has lost the belief thathe can defeat Djokovic when the Serb is playing well, so I think he goes out there hoping Djokovic has an off day so he can capitalize.

Extremely sad considering that Nadal IMHO is the better player and has allowed Djokovic to get to his head.
Nadal has all the tools. But then again, so did Federer. Djokovic seems to just have the answers when he needs them! 40-15... o_O:oops:
 
Hi PetTheGatorer. 8-B Doing pretty good, just enjoying the weekend. How are ya?
My weekend was awesome this time due to activities like kitle flying and all. Sadly it ended and it's back to Monday for me again. Though its the kite festival on 14th and 15th of January again. And guess what, I've had the kite manufacturers fabricate big3 kites for me (☆▽☆)(◠‿・)—☆
I hope your weekend is still going on, due to time zone ofcourse (。•̀ᴗ-)✧
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
My weekend was awesome this time due to activities like kitle flying and all. Sadly it ended and it's back to Monday for me again. Though its the kite festival on 14th and 15th of January again. And guess what, I've had the kite manufacturers fabricate big3 kites for me (☆▽☆)(◠‿・)—☆
I hope your weekend is still going on, due to time zone ofcourse (。•̀ᴗ-)✧
Oh that's great man. March is the usually the month where they hold the kite festivals where I live. My weekend is over, sadly, and it's Sunday night here. It was good while it lasted.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Nadal cannot beat Djokovic off clay. When he takes the court against him on hard and grass, he knows that his chances are slim. There isn’t much that he can do to change that.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Pray that Djokovic doesn't raise his average ground-stroke speed by like 5-7 mph which sets the tone for the match :-D Dude is seemingly always hitting big, heavy forehands against Nadal these days, combined with that signature depth, it's gonna be hard to counter...
 

Fed_Nole

New User
I don’t think we need to over-analyze here. Nole is a better player on HC and Rafa is a better on clay. If the better player is not off, Nole naturally wins on HC and Rafa wins on clay. Was there similar discussion “ how can Nole beat Rafa again?” after Rome final last year, where Nole ate a bagel an stick.
 

wangs78

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.
Contrary to what others say, I DO think that Fed still has a solid chance against Djokovic on hardcourts / at the AO. Fed's worst enemy when facing his two biggest rivals is not who is across the net, it is himself. Never once in his matches against Djokovic have I seen him get truly outplayed. The guy just needs to let the talent flow in the most critical moments, instead of get tight by dwelling on the ghosts of semifinals and finals past. He did that with Rafa in 2017... here's hoping that 2020 will have a similar script as that wonderful year, only with Djokovic reading Nadal's lines this time around :)
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
The second set last night gave him the answer, hopefully he and his coaches take note and plays Djoker with set 2 tactics in the future and not the proven failed tactics of set 1.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
How does that work then? Nadal creams guys who beat Federer yet he somehow should worry about meeting Federer? Ok......lol
Funny how the tides have changed :laughing:

When Nadal wasn't making it to Federer that often in HC majors in 2005-early 2010, Fed fans were saying the same thing. And now Nadal fans suddenly use the same argument now.
 

vanioMan

Legend
I think he has to play him more. Last time they played on HC was 1 year ago. They need to face more often in order for Rafa to keep testing his game and trying different tactics. I think if they meet 3-4 times on HC this year, he will grab a victory.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
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?
Nole was brushing those drop shots at RG 2019, preparing for the final.
It's nothing new. It's in his head since a while.
 

Shaj

Rookie
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?
Look,first of all Novak has beaten Nadal in 3 straight sets in RG.So the bucket list is already ticket..it's over.Nothing is in it there for him.Yes that just one Roland Garos must be bothering him but to defeat Nadal in PC on RG is already done..
 

Krish0608

Hall of Fame
Pray that Djokovic doesn't raise his average ground-stroke speed by like 5-7 mph which sets the tone for the match :-D Dude is seemingly always hitting big, heavy forehands against Nadal these days, combined with that signature depth, it's gonna be hard to counter...
This is true. I noticed this too. He sees Rafa(or Fed) across the net and his groundtrokes are much harder and has much more pace and depth. It's amazing how many gears Novak seems to have. Even in the 2nd set when it seemed close, it always felt like Novak could always move up a gear and just snuff it out. Which is what he did. While Rafa's level was maxed out in the 2nd, it seemed like Novak was hardly breaking a sweat, despite the set being so close. He seemed in complete control as he has against Rafa on HC for the past many, many years.
 
I think he has to play him more. Last time they played on HC was 1 year ago. They need to face more often in order for Rafa to keep testing his game and trying different tactics. I think if they meet 3-4 times on HC this year, he will grab a victory.
He isn't trying different tactics for years now. It is totally sad to see the short balls, the slicing (where is his backhand?) and more. Djokovic's serve looks greater than ever when he faces Nadal. Djokovic's backhand down the line (which used to be a great shot in the past, but now it's really declined) suddenly again looks great when he faces Nadal. Why? Well, Nadal hitting so short to Djokovic's backhand and like asks him to hit down the line. Other opponents don't let him do that.
 

Nadal_Django

Hall of Fame
As if he always defeated Nole until he turned 38? lol

Everyone has trouble with Novak
I think Djokovic has something like 9-2 in the Slam H2H against Federer in the 10s. At least Nadal has somewhat respectable record in this regard in the last decade. ;)
 

weakera

Legend
I think Djokovic has something like 9-2 in the Slam H2H against Federer in the 10s. At least Nadal has somewhat respectable record in this regard in the last decade. ;)
This is the part where some clown attempts to marginalize clay because Rafa is too good on clay, and it hurts their feelings.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
I think it's a combination of Djokovic really upping his level for Rafa and obviously the advantages he has over Rafa on this surface. Something about Djokovic game clicks when he plays Nadal on HC, he is hitting so many winners and aces aswell. Yesterday he had like 40 winners and 10+ aces in 2 sets.

I really think Djokovic sharpens his game and focus for Rafa. He is so sure about what to do and there is no doubt what so ever in his game. Nadal simply cannot cope with Djokovic. I don't think there is much he can do tbh. People are talking for ages now about Rafas tactics against him and what he should change etcetra but I think that's not the issue. Issue is Djokovic playing so well everytime he goes up against Rafa.
 
He can start chickening out like Bercy last year to save himself from repeated humiliation
Nadal is the one chickening? Really? He reached Djokovic 7 times in 2015-2016 when he was at his worst form, and also reached him 3 times in 2014 when he was close to his worst form. Now, how many times did Djokovic reach him in 2017 when he was the one out of form? Right, just once. Every time he was losing just before he had to face Nadal. And I really think RG 2017 match against Thiem was a tank.

They met so much more times when Nadal was the out of form player than the other way around, it's not even funny. Djokovic is the one who isn't reaching his rivals when he is not at his best. (happened in 2010 as well)
 
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I think it's a combination of Djokovic really upping his level for Rafa and obviously the advantages he has over Rafa on this surface. Something about Djokovic game clicks when he plays Nadal on HC, he is hitting so many winners and aces aswell. Yesterday he had like 40 winners and 10+ aces in 2 sets.

I really think Djokovic sharpens his game and focus for Rafa. He is so sure about what to do and there is no doubt what so ever in his game. Nadal simply cannot cope with Djokovic. I don't think there is much he can do tbh. People are talking for ages now about Rafas tactics against him and what he should change etcetra but I think that's not the issue. Issue is Djokovic playing so well everytime he goes up against Rafa.
I like how when I brought proof about you not wanting Djokovic to face Nadal in 2017-early 2018 you just ran away. You only "want" them to meet when it is a sure win for Djokovic.
 

Rapenj

New User
It is the difference between an ATG and a crop which quality is still not there (nor it is clear whether it will ever be).

Other obvious reason is Djokovic's return game which puts Nadal immediately in disadvantage most of the time.

Just watch Djokovic Medvedev games and then the Nadal Medvedev ones, for instance.
Nadal is the better player against the other ones, those who you'd call crop. And yeah, Djokovic is better in hard and specially indoor, that's not something new. Nadal is way better in clay, he'll always be a favorite
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
I like how when I brought proof about you not wanting Djokovic to face Nadal in 2017-early 2018 you just ran away. You only "want" them to meet when it is a sure win for Djokovic.
It was such bad ''proof'' it didn't need an answer.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, you writing "good that Nadal doesn't get a win" (exactly in these words!) is bad proof. :-D :-D :-D :-D
I was more rubbing it in on that poster who badly wanted a Djokodal meeting.

During the match and everything I was hoping Djokovic to beat Thiem and progress through the tournament.
 

Rapenj

New User
This was against a tired Djokovic playing 2 gruelling three setters against Medvedev and Shapavalov and many doubles matches.

The massacre will continue if they reach the AO final. It could be as bad as 2019
So you're implying that Nadal wasn't tired, huh? He also played doubles and singles in just a few days... And of course, it was indoor. The Australian Open court is way different. I mean, Djokovic is still the favorite, but it's not like this match would somehow affect them
 
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