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

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
I feel Rafa doesnt realise that when you get outrallied playing all or nothing tennis may be your best bet. Also needs to fix that return
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
I feel Rafa doesnt realise that when you get outrallied playing all or nothing tennis may be your best bet. Also needs to fix that return
Nadal doesn't realise that he is being out-Nadaled and need to turn into Fedr?

My head is spinning thinking about it.

 

albertobra

Hall of Fame
The answer could simply be 'be more clutch in important points'.
I mean that is what was missing in second set, not much more.
The matchpoint says it all. Inside out forehand that Rafa badly nets. How many of those do normaly end up as winners? 95%?...just shooting... And he shouldn't have missed that one in such a clutch moment.

Also, Rafa wasn't good at the net yesterday, failing some volleys by putting Djoko at his easy to pass.

Djoko is so solid, that will make any opponent tremble, and Rafa did tremble yesterday when mattered.
 

blablavla

Hall of Fame
Also, Rafa wasn't good at the net yesterday, failing some volleys by putting Djoko at his easy to pass.
that's the price one has to pay for playing with a spin and power machine.
Nadal's APD isn't the best racket for volley.
Most of his volleys are thoroughly prepared and end up either in easy put-aways, or drop shots.
Of course Novak knows it, so the drop shot against Nole probably won't work as good as against the rest of the tour. And Rafa knows it as well.
So, here you have Rafa trying to surprise Novak with a different volley shot selection, but the one he doesn't practice much during matches, and the one for which his frame is not optimal.
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
I think for Rafa to do better against Novak on hard court he needs to be a little more unpredictable on serve to get a better start in the rallies so he can dictate the points. He has to disrupt Novak's rhythm and vary the tempo of how he plays points to annoy him more otherwise once Novak gets into his groove he will roll Rafa.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
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.
Yeah because Djokovic has no team and an IQ of 30 that he wont think about avoiding what he did in the second set.

There is nothing Nadal can do at this point to beat Djokovic on a HC unless he's injured or out of form. I dont know how much of a spanking Nadal has to go through for Nadal fans to realize this.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
There’s a lot he can do to narrow the gap somewhat but virtually none of those things would likely be enough to get him over the edge on HC (and, to a lesser extent, grass) barring a poor day from Djokovic. Nadal’s serve isn’t good enough to induce weak replies off the Djokovic return so that he can get a leg-up on the point with an offensive first forehand, his middling defensive return effectively ensures he will start from behind on most points, and even in neutral rallies he isn’t quite as good. Djokovic uses the DTL bh as a trump card that Nadal can’t counteract well, setting up the pattern of play where Novak pins him to the deuce court and then goes fh-to-fh getting him on the run on the wing that he’s worse at defending off of. And far from being a one-trick/pattern pony, Djokovic will do more than enough to keep Nadal on his toes when there’s resistance to that by hitting behind him often, throwing in drop shots, hitting short-angle forehands that pull Nadal into the doubles alley, beating him for pace, playing the long game when he needs to by being a wall, employing redirection in general etc.

The armchair critics like to give Rafa some crap for not implementing a better game plan, but there is no shortage of things he has tried and the success of those tactics all hinge upon the inherently low margins for error holding up. Serve bigger? He runs the risk of giving Djokovic more looks at a second offering. Move closer to the baseline on the return? There’s a reason Nadal stands so far behind and I’m in the minority on this but I don’t think it’s purely stubbornness. His swing path and set-up preclude him from standing too close on the return. What he gives up in wide-serve aces by standing back he makes up for in not getting handcuffed. Outlast Djokovic? Not a viable strategy. Throw in more forays to the net, junk ball? Heck, I know this isn’t HC but in their 2018 SF match Nadal went to net as much as he has in any big match, and used the drop shot often. Seems to me that in order for Nadal to beat Djokovic on non-clay he has to have a great showing and/or hope for a rough one from ND. The finer tactics seem almost secondary.

It’s just a nightmare match-up in much the same way Nadal was a nightmare match-up against Fed, and tbh doesn’t do Nadal proper justice as a player on HC. He’s a darn good hard-courter. Not even as close to being as good against the rest of the field as Djokovic, of course, but the gap there is smaller than it is within their match-up. It bears reminding that Nadal has won two HC majors in the span of their last 9 matches on HC, and has made three other finals. Yet he looks completely helpless against Djokovic.
 
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michael valek

Professional
I play on the same kind of court here. I’m pretty fast and fit but the court isn’t fast enough or slow enough to help me in any way. I’d say that’s rafas problem on that surface - it’s not super fast to hit easy winners and not slow enough to be able to retrieve everything. Also Rafa is of course a born clay courter and his style, positioning, grips everything developed around clay. Sure he can win on hardcourt surface or grass but it’s not natural. Novak has the perfect hard court game and compact strokes for taking the ball early. Absolute precision and fitness. He can of course win on clay but again it’s not as natural for him. Just my 2p.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
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.
Difference is Nadal was a baby protege not peak. Federer is still not far off his best
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Ehhmmm yeah? Federer and Djokovic have absolute shredded Nadal in the last 6 years outside of clay and there were tournaments where Nadal looked in insane form against the field only to lose to one of these guys like a pigeon that he is.
Nadal owns Federer everywhere but grass!! Please check the stats. Federer never makes it far enough to play Rafa on HC so your comments make no sense. Even Djokovic is not as good as Nadal on american hard courts.

Nadal is the most complete player as he is a factor on all surfaces. Federer and djokovic nowadays do not appear a threat on clay or on american hard courts.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
I play on the same kind of court here. I’m pretty fast and fit but the court isn’t fast enough or slow enough to help me in any way. I’d say that’s rafas problem on that surface - it’s not super fast to hit easy winners and not slow enough to be able to retrieve everything. Also Rafa is of course a born clay courter and his style, positioning, grips everything developed around clay. Sure he can win on hardcourt surface or grass but it’s not natural. Novak has the perfect hard court game and compact strokes for taking the ball early. Absolute precision and fitness. He can of course win on clay but again it’s not as natural for him. Just my 2p.
Which makes Nadal having the better US Open record testament to his greatness
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Nadal owns Federer everywhere but grass!! Please check the stats. Federer never makes it far enough to play Rafa on HC so your comments make no sense. Even Djokovic is not as good as Nadal on american hard courts.
I think the sun is burning your eyes too much from laying under the rock for 10+ years. Are we still living in 2011?

Last 5 meetings on HC:
2015 Basel - Federer
2017 AO - Federer
2017 IW - Federer
2017 Miami - Federer
2017 Shanghai - Federer

7 sets in a row there. I won't even include the ultraobvious tank from Nadal in 2019 Indian Wells which would've given Fed a 6th straight HC win in a row.

Fed has owned Nadal so much in the last couple of years that Nadal doesn't even lead Fed in the overall h2h (11-9 for Federer) even though he stacked up most of his HC wins against Fed in 2009-2014 when he was at his peak and Fed was in decline.

You were saying something about Nadal owning Federer on hard courts? Please eloborate. Just for my own curiosity what kind of BS you're gonna come up with.

Big HC titles:
Australian Open 6>1 Federer
US Open 5>4 Federer. Nadal couldn't even catch Fed with all the Berrettinis, Youzhnys and Andersons in the late stages of the tournament
WTF 6>0

Nadal better pray that he doesn't draw Fed in his half of the draw at the AO.
 

irishnadalfan1983

Hall of Fame
I think the sun is burning your eyes too much from laying under the rock for 10+ years. Are we still living in 2011?

Last 5 meetings on HC:
2015 Basel - Federer
2017 AO - Federer
2017 IW - Federer
2017 Miami - Federer
2017 Shanghai - Federer

7 sets in a row there. I won't even include the ultraobvious tank from Nadal in 2019 Indian Wells which would've given Fed a 6th straight HC win in a row.

Fed has owned Nadal so much in the last couple of years that Nadal doesn't even lead Fed in the overall h2h (11-9 for Federer) even though he stacked up most of his HC wins against Fed in 2009-2014 when he was at his peak and Fed was in decline.

You were saying something about Nadal owning Federer on hard courts? Please eloborate. Just for my own curiosity what kind of BS you're gonna come up with.

Big HC titles:
Australian Open 6>1 Federer
US Open 5>4 Federer. Nadal couldn't even catch Fed with all the Berrettinis, Youzhnys and Andersons in the late stages of the tournament
WTF 6>0

Nadal better pray that he doesn't draw Fed in his half of the draw at the AO.
True but Shanghai was nearly 2.5 years ago and Fed is not quite in 2017 form....Fedb would be slight favourite I feel but that is about all......He can't go on FOREVER!!
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
True but Shanghai was nearly 2.5 years ago and Fed is not quite in 2017 form....Fedb would be slight favourite I feel but that is about all......He can't go on FOREVER!!
It's more mental at this point. Nadal was the favorite going into their Wimbledon match (he was in pretty sick form) and Fed handled him with relative ease.

The exact same thing happened in Australia except he faced Djokovic who was way closer to his prime than Fed in 2019 so he got owned. Of course you don't know if this is gonna last until one of them retires but 0-19 or something against Fed+Djoko outside of clay for 6+ years is NO accident.
 
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irishnadalfan1983

Hall of Fame
It's more mental at this point. Nadal was the favorite going into their Wimbledon match (he was in pretty sick form) and Fed handled him with relative ease.

The exact same thing happened in Australia except he faced Djokovic who was way closer to his prime than Fed in 2019 so he got owned. Of course you don't know if this is gonna last until one of them retires but 0-19 or something against Fed+Djoko outside of clay for 6+ years is NO accident.
I do agree but sometimes stats may not always tell the full truth....2 of those years he could barely hit a ball over the net :) As a Rafa fan the most scarring matches that stand out for me last year are Nole AO and Fed Wimby....Yeah definitely a mental thing.....I wouldn't be afraid of Fed at AO - time will catch him eventually and Rafa will break mental barrier on both soon I feel.....However at the moment Nole is heavy fav for AO and Fed would be slight favourite at the moment if he plays Rafa....
 

The_Mental_Giant

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.
Nadal needs to step more forward and go more often to finish points in the net if he wants to have a chance vs Djokovic in australia, he is gifting to many aces by receiving 5 meters behing the baseline..
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I think for Rafa to do better against Novak on hard court he needs to be a little more unpredictable on serve to get a better start in the rallies so he can dictate the points. He has to disrupt Novak's rhythm and vary the tempo of how he plays points to annoy him more otherwise once Novak gets into his groove he will roll Rafa.
All of this advice doesn't address that Nadal is old. He's not remotely as fast or explosive as he was even 6 years ago, never mind 12 years ago in his physical prime. Djokovic is a year younger but doesn't carry as much weight and doesn't have quite the physical game as Nadal. Rafa's diminished capacity is still more than enough to beat the rest of the tour with his eyes closed. But against fellow ATG's in Djoker and Fed, it's not getting the job done off clay. That is almost certainly not going to change since he's 34 years old in 4 months. We can discuss this endlessly but unless Djokovic has an off day, Nadal won't beat him on HC's regardless of his own form.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Nadal needs to step more forward and go more often to finish points in the net if he wants to have a chance vs Djokovic in australia, he is gifting to many aces by receiving 5 meters behing the baseline..
Yes but i doubt Nadal was going to show Djokovic a new return position at a relatively meaningless event. Over last 10 years i have seen Nadal play totally different tennis at the Majors than he does in best of three set matches. Djokovic showed his hand. Rafa one feels has more in the tank.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
I think the sun is burning your eyes too much from laying under the rock for 10+ years. Are we still living in 2011?

Last 5 meetings on HC:
2015 Basel - Federer
2017 AO - Federer
2017 IW - Federer
2017 Miami - Federer
2017 Shanghai - Federer

7 sets in a row there. I won't even include the ultraobvious tank from Nadal in 2019 Indian Wells which would've given Fed a 6th straight HC win in a row.

Fed has owned Nadal so much in the last couple of years that Nadal doesn't even lead Fed in the overall h2h (11-9 for Federer) even though he stacked up most of his HC wins against Fed in 2009-2014 when he was at his peak and Fed was in decline.

You were saying something about Nadal owning Federer on hard courts? Please eloborate. Just for my own curiosity what kind of BS you're gonna come up with.

Big HC titles:
Australian Open 6>1 Federer
US Open 5>4 Federer. Nadal couldn't even catch Fed with all the Berrettinis, Youzhnys and Andersons in the late stages of the tournament
WTF 6>0

Nadal better pray that he doesn't draw Fed in his half of the draw at the AO.
Nadal owns Federer 3-1 at AO given you want to chat h2h. At USO since Nadal turned 21 years old he has won titles Federer 0.

With the greatest respect your reliance on Basel is desperate as its a 500 event. Miami and Shanghai 2017 were no surprise. Ao 2017 Nadal was returning from injury and had a days less rest. IW 2017 was the only one that was any surprise and in 11 years i think Nadal is permitted one surprise loss.

If you want to back Federer over Nadal on hard court, be my guest. I will not join you though. Ive not the cash to lose lol
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Nadal owns Federer 3-1 at AO given you want to chat h2h. At USO since Nadal turned 21 years old he has won titles Federer 0.

With the greatest respect your reliance on Basel is desperate as its a 500 event. Miami and Shanghai 2017 were no surprise. Ao 2017 Nadal was returning from injury and had a days less rest. IW 2017 was the only one that was any surprise and in 11 years i think Nadal is permitted one surprise loss.

If you want to back Federer over Nadal on hard court, be my guest. I will not join you though. Ive not the cash to lose lol
That's ok that Nadal gets owned by Federer. He can still beat Berrettini and that's all that matters for Nadal.

It's hilarious how you have a different excuse for every loss. Make up new ones as we go along.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
That's ok that Nadal gets owned by Federer. He can still beat Berrettini and that's all that matters for Nadal.
When did Federer beat Nadal off grass in recent memory at a Major when Nadal was fit? Dont think he has actually come to think of it. Off grass at Majors i think its Nadal 8-1 federer . Correct me if im wrong
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
When did Federer beat Nadal off grass in recent memory at a Major when Nadal was fit? Dont think he has actually come to think of it. Off grass at Majors i think its Nadal 8-1 federer . Correct me if im wrong
Off grass LMAO. Off clay is Nadal even a top 20 player?

Sorry I meant top 200
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
This the draw Roger was in?
Yea the tournament where Federer played like dog**it luckily for Nadal who is incapable of beating Fed (or Djokovic) on any non-clay surface. As I said, it doesn't really matter because he can handle Berrettini. Good for him. The Berrettini Open is still a pretty big tournament to win.

Watch what happens when Nadal faces Federer or Djokovic outside of clay. To call Nadal a sitting duck against them would be the understatement of the century. You could put an 80-year old woman in front of Djokovic and she wouldn't do worse against him on HC. What is it now, 19 sets in a row lost for Nadal?
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Yea the tournament where Federer played like dog**it luckily for Nadal who is incapable of beating Fed (or Djokovic) on any non-clay surface. As I said, it doesn't really matter because he can handle Berrettini. Good for him. The Berrettini Open is still a pretty big tournament to win.
What about the last 11 US Opens then? And what is this Berrettin Open you refer to?
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Like a former USO champion and the hottest player on HC of the summer, and Fed couldn't beat LOLtrov :p
Because if he could Nadal wouldn't've won the tournament, as simple as that. Nadal needs both Federer and Djokovic to lose to win anything outside of clay.
 

RF-18

G.O.A.T.
When did Federer beat Nadal off grass in recent memory at a Major when Nadal was fit? Dont think he has actually come to think of it. Off grass at Majors i think its Nadal 8-1 federer . Correct me if im wrong
AO 17 Nadal looked pretty fit to me. He made the final, how on earth can you be unfit? He also played a 5 hour match vs Dimi winning it.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Because if he could Nadal wouldn't've won the tournament, as simple as that. Nadal needs both Federer and Djokovic to lose to win anything outside of clay.
This my friend, is called tennis. Not beating who you or me or whoever else thinks someone has to beat. You get no trophies for that.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
7 majors off clay and you think he isnt top 20. Ill leave others to judge that remark while i have a chuckle.

12 FOs is most Nadal fans favourite stat btw.
Nadal - the king of the peasant slam and peasant draws at the US Open.

Verdasco, Youzhny, Robredo, Gasquet, Rublev, Anderson, Schwartzman, Berrettini, Medvedev - these are the guys that he beat in the QF/SF/F stages of the US Open that he won.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Because if he could Nadal wouldn't've won the tournament, as simple as that. Nadal needs both Federer and Djokovic to lose to win anything outside of clay.
Really? Last time i checked AO Nadal 3-1 federer and US Open is Nadal 2-1 Djokovic and at US Open Nadal dominated last decade. Or am i mistaken sir?
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Nadal - the king of the peasant slam and peasant draws at the US Open.

Verdasco, Youzhny, Robredo, Gasquet, Rublev, Anderson, Schwartzman, Berrettini, Medvedev - these are the guys that he beat in the QF/SF/F stages of the US Open that he won.
Im sure he'd have gone down to Lleyton Hewitt or Philippousis :)
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Nadal - the king of the peasant slam and peasant draws at the US Open.

Verdasco, Youzhny, Robredo, Gasquet, Rublev, Anderson, Schwartzman, Berrettini, Medvedev - these are the guys that he beat in the QF/SF/F stages of the US Open that he won.
Anderson...that the guy who beat Federer at Rogers best event a few years back from 2 sets down?
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
What about the last 11 US Opens then? And what is this Berrettin Open you refer to?
The Berrettini Open is pretty much every tournament that Nadal wins outside of clay because you're 100% certain that he won it without facing Federer or Djokovic LMAO.

I wonder if Nadal will tank his match in the round before once he knows Djokovic is in the final of the AO waiting for him.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
Because if he could Nadal wouldn't've won the tournament, as simple as that. Nadal needs both Federer and Djokovic to lose to win anything outside of clay.
At the end of the day, Nadal can only play who stands before him. This is a tournament based knock out system. He doesn't need to beat Federer or Djokovic to win a slam, he needs to beat who he meets along the way to the title. If they can't make it to him, that doesn't detract from his win. It's still a win.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
At the end of the day, Nadal can only play who stands before him. This is a tournament based knock out system. He doesn't need to beat Federer or Djokovic to win a slam, he needs to beat who he meets along the way to the title. If they can't make it to him, that doesn't detract from his win. It's still a win.
I used same argument to those who detract from Federer 2009 FO win and Djokovic 2016 FO win.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
I used same argument to those who detract from Federer 2009 FO win and Djokovic 2016 FO win.
A win is a win. We have to be fair to all of them. To Federer, to Nadal, to Djokovic, to Murray etc. Winning a slam isn't easy, it takes exceptional talent, hard work, mental and physical discipline. All wins are legit. You cannot crucify these guys, if the other guys cannot make it to them for whatever reason, whether they were injured or out of form or anything else.
 
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