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

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Medvedev wont amount to anything? Anderson who reached 2 major finals hasnt amounted to anything? Oh dear lol.
Yeah Anderson - the guy who beat Carreno-Busta to reach the USO final (AND WHO WON THAT TOURNAMENT AGAIN?) and an injured Federer to reach the Wimbledon final, hasn't literally done anything outside of that.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
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.
Totally agree. I think those of us who have played tennis perhaps appreciate the difficulty of the game more than those who perhaps live vicariously through their favourite players
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Except federer completed the match which sort of yet again renders your post inaccurate
Because unlike Nadal he's no wimp and plays out his matches no matter what. Same thing in 2013 Indian Wells where he could barely move. Nadal would've had a helicopter waiting for him if he was in the same situation.

Or are you suggesting that Federer was NEVER injured in the 1200 odd matches that he's played? Not even once?
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Yeah Anderson - the guy who beat Carreno-Busta to reach the USO final (AND WHO WON THAT TOURNAMENT AGAIN?) and an injured Federer to reach the Wimbledon final, hasn't literally done anything outside of that.
Only according to you was federer injured though so i fear the phrase pinch of salt applies.

Hate to say this but Nadal is a quadruple US Open Champion last decade.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Because unlike Nadal he's no wimp and plays out his matches no matter what. Same thing in 2013 Indian Wells where he could barely move. Nadal would've had a helicopter waiting for him if he was in the same situation.

Or are you suggesting that Federer was NEVER injured in the 1200 odd matches that he's played? Not even once?
Im not the players doctor so ive no idea. All i know is Nadal has out performed Federer for a decade at the US Open and off grass his whole career pretty much. I just look at the records.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
And each time he won it his level was undoubtably high and he won other HC tournaments that year.
I fancy Nadal to repeat last year at FO and USO. Djokovic may well win AO and W again. Cannot see who else who can win a Major. Federer is good enough but not sure he will last best of 5 over 2 weeks now, perhaps Wimbledon if it is cold and damp.

I am not sure Next Gen are mentally tough enough.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
Anyways, let me take a shot at the question asked by the OP.

There are a couple of things Nadal can do to be more competitive and it has more to do with his backhand than it does with his forehand. Naturally many will say he needs the forehand down the line, but I think even more important than that are the backhand deep cross court into Djokovic's forehand and the Nadal backhand DTL into Novak's backhand. When Nadal hits that backhand cross court, deep and with pace, he stops Novak from exploiting acute angles that pull Nadal further and further off the court. What normally happens when Nadal hits this shot is that Djokovic has to take a step, and he is forced back behind the baseline to hit his next forehand, which often gives a slightly weaker reply. The reason being is that Djokovic's weight is transferring onto his back foot, instead of it going forward, which is what he is trying to do, and this results in a shot that Nadal can now exploit.

Nadal at that point will have time to dance around his backhand, and bring his lethal inside out forehand into play and this shot is a killer for anyone, including Djokovic. Nadal is now in control of the rally and can either hit a flat ball down it's gradient and blast it past Djokovic, or he can impart heavy top spin which keeps Djokovic pegged into that corner, forcing him to scramble. Rafa then has the option to either keep bludgeoning Novak until he gets an error, or hit into the open court by moving himself towards the centre of his side. This is all set up with a deep penetrating cross court backhand, and something that often is overlooked.

Nadal's backhand DTL is the next crucial shot, and the reason for this is that Novak is naturally moving to his right, expecting the shot to his forehand, when it is a neutral rally. Rafa has often caught Novak in no mans land when he executes that backhand down the line, the length of the court is smaller, meaning Djokovic is not only readjusting his feet, but also has less time to do it than if the ball went cross court.

I don't need to talk too much about the forehand DTL, but one of the big reasons why it is harder for him to hit it on a hard court is, unlike clay, the ball skids through the court more, and also gives him less time to hit the shot. So the difficulty for him is higher to do so, because Djokovic actually attacks Rafa's forehand, looking for the short ball so he can redirect into the exposed backhand corner of Nadal. It is obvious why Nadal cannot pull that shot off as much on hard as he can on clay against him, which is why the backhand cross court becomes the real weapon which he can use far more regularly.

As for serving, he needs to tie Djokovic up more often. It doesn't always work, but he needs to keep Novak honest, and aiming more shots at the body will tie up Novak's limbs for weak replies.
 
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tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Im not the players doctor so ive no idea. All i know is Nadal has out performed Federer for a decade at the US Open and off grass his whole career pretty much. I just look at the records.
Reality check:
USO Federer 5>4 (the fact that it's so close is a complete and utter joke but understandable if you consider Nadal's powderpuff Futures level draws)
AO Federer 6>1
WTF Federer 6>0
Wimbledon Federer 8>2
H2H on HC including last Slam win Federer 11>9
H2H on grass including last Slam win Federer 3>1
Last 6 meetings outside of clay Federer 6>0 (no losses for 6+ years)
Last 5 meetings on HC Federer 5>0 including 7 sets in a row

As I said Nadal can only win anything when Federer/Djokovic lose early for whatever reason and he can only beat Berrettini to win a Slam. If Nadal faces Federer or Djokovic at the AO it's gonna be a bloodbath, the guy is useless against anyone who matters. Even Medvedev who is nowhere close to the big 3 level wise but was in good form could've beaten Nadal at the USO in 2019.
 

Raphael Nadal

Hall of Fame
Rafa doesn't need to be any more competitive, he had 5 break points in a game in the 2nd Set and was up a mini-break in the tiebreaker before Djokovic's shot hit the top of the net and bounced over Rafa's head.
Rafa should just repeat that 2nd Set every time they play, and he'll win all their hardcourt matches.
Plus Rafa lacked energy, so can do even better than that :)
Then again, do hardcourts even matter? Despite all this dominance on hardcourt, Djokovic only has 16 slams, and only leads Rafa 29-26 h2h, and they are 3-3 in their last 6 meetings.....and Rafa leads 9-6 at slams and has a winning record over Djokovic at Roland Garros and US Open.
So whatever hardcourts are doing for Djokovic, is simply not enough.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Rafa doesn't need to be any more competitive, he had 5 break points in a game in the 2nd Set and was up a mini-break in the tiebreaker before Djokovic's shot hit the top of the net and bounced over Rafa's head.
Rafa should just repeat that 2nd Set every time they play, and he'll win all their hardcourt matches.
Plus Rafa lacked energy, so can do even better than that :)
Then again, do hardcourts even matter? Despite all this dominance on hardcourt, Djokovic only has 16 slams, and only leads Rafa 29-26 h2h, and they are 3-3 in their last 6 meetings.....and Rafa leads 9-6 at slams and has a winning record over Djokovic at Roland Garros and US Open.
So whatever hardcourts are doing for Djokovic, is simply not enough.
I'm sure Djokovic will consider all of this before his next meeting vs Nadal on HC.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Reality check:
USO Federer 5>4 (the fact that it's so close is a complete and utter joke but understandable if you consider Nadal's powderpuff Futures level draws)
AO Federer 6>1
WTF Federer 6>0
Wimbledon Federer 8>2
H2H on HC including last Slam win Federer 11>9
H2H on grass including last Slam win Federer 3>1
Last 6 meetings outside of clay Federer 6>0 (no losses for 6+ years)
Last 5 meetings on HC Federer 5>0 including 7 sets in a row

As I said Nadal can only win anything when Federer/Djokovic lose early for whatever reason and he can only beat Berrettini to win a Slam. If Nadal faces Federer or Djokovic at the AO it's gonna be a bloodbath, the guy is useless against anyone who matters. Even Medvedev who is nowhere close to the big 3 level wise but was in good form could've beaten Nadal at the USO in 2019.
I think with respect you miss the point. Federer has never won US Open during the peak years of Nadal Djokovic Murray Del Potro or Wawrinka. That statistic cannot be ignored. Meanwhile Nadal has won the most of all of them in that time.

One cannot change history. Nadal is a quadruple US Open Champion and the best player there the last decade which is in my view his greatest achievement although most Nadal fans disagree and think 12 FOs is what marks Nadal out as GOAT as clay is the ultimate test. They are probably right but i am bias towards US Open.

Its a very lovely debate for us Rafa fans. Djokovic fans this era have same dispute W v AO. This era has been bliss for Nadal and djokovic fans.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Reality check:
USO Federer 5>4 (the fact that it's so close is a complete and utter joke but understandable if you consider Nadal's powderpuff Futures level draws)
AO Federer 6>1
WTF Federer 6>0
Wimbledon Federer 8>2
H2H on HC including last Slam win Federer 11>9
H2H on grass including last Slam win Federer 3>1
Last 6 meetings outside of clay Federer 6>0 (no losses for 6+ years)
Last 5 meetings on HC Federer 5>0 including 7 sets in a row

As I said Nadal can only win anything when Federer/Djokovic lose early for whatever reason and he can only beat Berrettini to win a Slam. If Nadal faces Federer or Djokovic at the AO it's gonna be a bloodbath, the guy is useless against anyone who matters. Even Medvedev who is nowhere close to the big 3 level wise but was in good form could've beaten Nadal at the USO in 2019.
Bottom line in respect of h2h as that is what you seem to focus on is Nadal 3-1 Federer at AO and Nadal 2-1 Djokovic at US Open. I shall omit the stats at FO because i like djokovic and federer and do not see any reason to post clay stats
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Bottom line in respect of h2h as that is what you seem to focus on is Nadal 3-1 Federer at AO and Nadal 2-1 Djokovic at US Open.
That changes everything.

Nadal>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Federer/Djokovic on hard/grass
I shall omit the stats at FO because i like djokovic and federer and do not see any reason to post clay stats
Ehhmm yes please do omit clay in a hard+grass discussion LMAO.

Take that peasant surface out of my face.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
I think with respect you miss the point. Federer has never won US Open during the peak years of Nadal Djokovic Murray Del Potro or Wawrinka. That statistic cannot be ignored. Meanwhile Nadal has won the most of all of them in that time.
Yeah because Federer was soooo much at his peak at the US Open in 2010-2019.
One cannot change history. Nadal is a quadruple US Open Champion and the best player there the last decade which is in my view his greatest achievement although most Nadal fans disagree and think 12 FOs is what marks Nadal out as GOAT as clay is the ultimate test. They are probably right but i am bias towards US Open.
you mean the berrettini and youzhny open?
Its a very lovely debate for us Rafa fans. Djokovic fans this era have same dispute W v AO. This era has been bliss for Nadal and djokovic fans.
you can't argue against nadal's powderpuff draws, yeah
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
I think with respect you miss the point. Federer has never won US Open during the peak years of Nadal Djokovic Murray Del Potro or Wawrinka. That statistic cannot be ignored. Meanwhile Nadal has won the most of all of them in that time.

One cannot change history. Nadal is a quadruple US Open Champion and the best player there the last decade which is in my view his greatest achievement although most Nadal fans disagree and think 12 FOs is what marks Nadal out as GOAT as clay is the ultimate test. They are probably right but i am bias towards US Open.

Its a very lovely debate for us Rafa fans. Djokovic fans this era have same dispute W v AO. This era has been bliss for Nadal and djokovic fans.
Your energy and enthusiasm and support for Rafa reminds me of my good friend @Pantera, who unfortunately was banned after the USO.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
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.
This is so true and this is what all of us need to remember. We should not discredit anybody for winning a slam. It's a nearly impossible task. So many great players won a max of 1 in their entire careers.

The same holds true if you were to win Mr. Universe. Nobody in his right mind would cry weak era or weak draw if/when you pull this off.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Your energy and enthusiasm and support for Rafa reminds me of my good friend @Pantera, who unfortunately was banned after the USO.
Sorry i dont follow other members so do not understand the point you are making other than the inference is Nadal fans are not allowed on this site? I can only see about 6 on here. I am actually a Del Potro (yes ever since he won the biggest event in tennis) fan but he is injured so as Nadal is No.1 most topics naturally revolve around him.

Del potro aiming to be back for Indian Wells btw. I am sure people will welcome him back. Or is Delpotro unpopular with Federer fans as well after USO 2009 and 2017?
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Yeah because Federer was soooo much at his peak at the US Open in 2010-2019.

you mean the berrettini and youzhny open?

you can't argue against nadal's powderpuff draws, yeah
Nadal 4 US Opens and 19 Majors and position as GOAT (see 60 minutes?) Seems to have really got to you. Im not even his fan as i like Delpo but it is amusing reading your salty posts.
 

Benben245

Professional
Nadal's Topspin forehand plays like a netural ball when it drops in short against Djokovic, but pretty much no one else on tour handles it as well. Nole handles the spin effortlessly and it is for this reason that perhaps Nadal needs to adjust the variety on that forehand. Perhaps less spin on the forehand and keep pressure on Djoker with more consistent deep groundstrokes to keep him from hugging the baseline. Its absolutley astounding how one player can have you change your entire game, Nadal added lead in 2011-12 Just to compete against Djokovic, and for a similar reason as I mentioned above.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
Sorry i dont follow other members so do not understand the point you are making other than the inference is Nadal fans are not allowed on this site?
He was before your time here, me and him used to chat in PMs back in the summer. Just saying your enthusiasm reminded me of him. He got banned because he went off the edge after the USO though, and it isn't that Nadal fans are not allowed on this site, but some Nadal fans actually complained about him for making the fan base look bad. I personally like him though. Anyways, he's long gone.

I can only see about 6 on here. I am actually a Del Potro (yes ever since he won the biggest event in tennis) fan but he is injured so as Nadal is No.1 most topics naturally revolve around him.

Del potro aiming to be back for Indian Wells btw. I am sure people will welcome him back. Or is Delpotro unpopular with Federer fans as well after USO 2009 and 2017?
I am big Del Potro fan also. And he is loved by everyone all fan bases here, and I am sure we will all be excited to see him back on the tour. (y) :cool:
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
He was before your time here, me and him used to chat in PMs back in the summer. Just saying your enthusiasm reminded me of him. He got banned because he went off the edge after the USO though, and it isn't that Nadal fans are not allowed on this site, but some Nadal fans actually complained about him for making the fan base look bad. I personally like him though. Anyways, he's long gone.



I am big Del Potro fan also. And he is loved by everyone all fan bases here, and I am sure we will all be excited to see him back on the tour. (y) :cool:
Indian wells is his target and i think game badly misses him. Maybe i am bias though
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
Indian wells is his target and i think game badly misses him. Maybe i am bias though
Nothing bias about it, the game does indeed miss him. I made a thread recently dedicated to the powerful forehand he has. Injuries have plagued him so much, such a shame he couldn't build on that epic 2009 run he had.
 
This is so true and this is what all of us need to remember. We should not discredit anybody for winning a slam. It's a nearly impossible task. So many great players won a max of 1 in their entire careers.

The same holds true if you were to win Mr. Universe. Nobody in his right mind would cry weak era or weak draw if/when you pull this off.
Very true. It’s brutal to win a slam. Winning 7 matches in a 2 week stretch in best of 5 sets is very tough to do. Most professional players have never done it or a lot have been 1 slam wonders. The fact that these guys have 16, 19 and 20 is just not human. Amazing achievements
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
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.
Exactly. Winning a Slam means being the best tennis player in the world for those 2 weeks. Reasons and circumstances can be discussed but are of secondary importance.

That’s why the total number, the Slam record, is so important. 20 times there was no one in the world a better tennis player than Federer for the decisive 2 weeks.

Others may have a better H2H against him if they meet him directly, but firstly making it to him is part of winning a tournament. Others may have bad luck with injuries, but being fit is part of any sport.
 

Hitman

Hall of Fame
Exactly. Winning a Slam means being the best tennis player in the world for those 2 weeks. Reasons and circumstances can be discussed but are of secondary importance.

That’s why the total number, the Slam record, is so important. 20 times there was no one in the world a better tennis player than Federer for the decisive 2 weeks.

Others may have a better H2H against him if they meet him directly, but firstly making it to him is part of winning a tournament. Others may have bad luck with injuries, but being fit is part of any Sport.
That is it in a nutshell. While it's fun sometimes to pull at the strings of the rival fan bases, it shouldn't really distort the actually truth, that each win is special and very hard to do. Two weeks of mental, emotional and physical endurance. Staying pain free, or even playing through it. Each slam win is like climbing Everest, there are so many things you need to navigate over the duration of two weeks.

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and whoever else wins deserves them. They were the best for that event.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
The reason Nole has all the answers against Rafa on HC nowadays is because he is a materially better mover than Rafa. Throw in a better serve and it gives Rafa no chance. In contrast the young stars like Med, Tsitsipas and other do not move better than Rafa (yet), so Rafa can still move them around, make them chase balls and put them on their back foot. Against Nole he can't do that.

Roger has been more competitive against Nole bc of he has a better serve, and his attacking style allows him to throw the dice and if he can thread enough needles in a match he can win. Nadal's game is about wearing out the opponent, not outhitting him, but it doesn't work against Djokovic whose endurance is unmatched on the tour today. Someone in another thread mentioned that Nole's game has become as elegant as Roger's. I disagree, BUT, Nole's game has become as efficient, if not more so, than Roger's. The way he moves to the ball and moves through his swing looks very easy and effortless. Part of it obviously has to do with how thin he is now, but yeah, his movement has a metronomic precison to it it's uncanny. Fortunately, the young guys have learned a thing or two from Wawrinka and occasionally have success beating him through consistent power baseline tennis.
 
Imo Nadal is shaken mentally, both Federer and Novak beat him like a drum outside of clay the last years. He still has great willpower but he isn't mentally strong anymore. He still wins slams though because he just doesn't lose against the SuckGen players while novak and roger sometimes **** away chances against those players.

Nadal can only win if SuckGen helps him by eliminating djokerer.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
I think with respect you miss the point. Federer has never won US Open during the peak years of Nadal Djokovic Murray Del Potro or Wawrinka. That statistic cannot be ignored. Meanwhile Nadal has won the most of all of them in that time.

One cannot change history. Nadal is a quadruple US Open Champion and the best player there the last decade which is in my view his greatest achievement although most Nadal fans disagree and think 12 FOs is what marks Nadal out as GOAT as clay is the ultimate test. They are probably right but i am bias towards US Open.

Its a very lovely debate for us Rafa fans. Djokovic fans this era have same dispute W v AO. This era has been bliss for Nadal and djokovic fans.
Nadal / Djokovic have 0 USO during the peak of Federer, Hewitt, Agassi, Roddick, Nalbandian, Blake and Davydenko.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Was given many chances and couldn't win the set. I doubt that he can find some revolutionary change to help him now. Getting Djoko on an off day is unlikely since they play so late in the tournaments.
 
Win more free points on serve. Attack more on the return, get to many more break points. Do not end up in endless rallies for the first couple of sets. Take the net much more often and end points quicker. Make Djokovic have to move up and back much more, not just side to side. Wipe the slate clean and reset the rivalry on hard courts. Big challenge. Much easier said than done, yet Nadal is capable of doing all of the above.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
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.
Can you expand on what you feel that Djokovic did differently in the second set? The change that closed the gap in the score was a change in tactics from Rafa. I would suggest that a 6-7 set loss means that you are close enough to winning the set to persue those tactics in the future.
 
I feel Rafa's FH CC depth has to improve.
In the natural BH CC - FH CC, due to Novak's consistent depth on the bh,Rafa coughs up short balls which gives Novak the upper hand..

Eg: Take the match point, Nadal hit a high and deep FH CC which induced a somewhat weaker BH from Novak, which in turn gave Rafa the opportunity to go for I/O FH
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Can you expand on what you feel that Djokovic did differently in the second set? The change that closed the gap in the score was a change in tactics from Rafa. I would suggest that a 6-7 set loss means that you are close enough to winning the set to persue those tactics in the future.
Yes Rafa please do continue with your losing tactics.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
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
If he fixed that return he probably wouldn't have to play all-or-nothing tennis as much. Part of the reason why he keeps losing off clay against Federer and Djokovic is because his return rarely does anything more than get their serve back in play, putting him on the defensive against those guys right from the first shot.
 

Wilsonpro

Rookie
Nothing bias about it, the game does indeed miss him. I made a thread recently dedicated to the powerful forehand he has. Injuries have plagued him so much, such a shame he couldn't build on that epic 2009 run he had.
With the greatest respect to Murray And Wawrinka i firmly believe Delpo is better than both and but for injury would really dented the Big 3 records. He really could beat all three at their best when that FH got hot alomg with serve. His BH was crippled by the wrist problems but last year in Rome against Nole he was striking it like 2009 and even on clay in damp conditions Djokovic really struggled to handle him .

It is so upsetting really. I get annoyed with Nadal when he bemoans his injuries. Yes he has suffered and may now have already surpassed Roger but he is hardly going to cry if retired on 19 Majors. Delpo is way better than one Major. I am so desperate for him to bag one more.
 
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