How many more matches till Rafa figures out Novak?

How many more matches till Rafa cracks the Novak Puzzle?


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Nadal seems to have no answer to Djokovic and hasn't been able to crack the Novak puzzle all year. Nadal looked like he was coming out with something different against Novak at the beginning of that US Open match but then he just got thrashed :?

How much longer can we expect this streak to go till he finally figures out Djokovic and score a win?
 

Clarky21

Banned
I doubt he ever figures him out. Nadal is way too defensive,doesn't serve well enough,drops his shots too short,has a terrible backhand,plays too far behind the baseline,etc... I just don't think he's good enough to beat him anymore.
 

Humblito

New User
I doubt he ever figures him out. Nadal is way too defensive,doesn't serve well enough,drops his shots too short,has a terrible backhand,plays too far behind the baseline,etc... I just don't think he's good enough to beat him anymore.
Do you think he will beat Murray or even Muller ever again?
 

Mick

Legend
djokovic would just become more confident because right now, nadal cannot hurt him. federer can hurt him but he is unable to sustain his playing level.
 
Great Poll! as this is a no brainer in my opinion. Curious to see how blinded the true *******s of this site are. The beauty is you can actually see who votes here. *******s of the cyberworld please show yourselves and grow some testicles by voting here, we promise to not hold anything against you in the near future;)
 

TennisFan3

Legend
It's clear right now that Nadal has NO CLUE of what to do against Djokovic. Except the IW/Miami matches (where Nadal had a chance to win), all the 4 matches have been one sided. Quite frankly, Djoko should have won the USOpen match in straight sets. It is telling that a 30 yr old has a far better chance against Djoko than Nadal does..

This is what Nadal says about Djokovic in his book:

Rafael Nadal:

"With Djokovic, there is no clear tactical plan. It is simply a question of playing at your very best, with maximum intensity and aggression, seeking to retain control of the point, because the moment you let him get the upper hand, he is unstoppable.

My impressions were confirmed as I watched his semifinal against Federer on TV, which Djokovic won after saving two match points. I thought, not for the first time, "What and incredibly tough and talented guy!". I also thought how hard it was going to be to beat him. When I watch the top players on video, I often have the feeling that they're better than me. In my case it's probably got a lot to do with Toni, who's conditioned me to believe from childhood that every match is going to be an uphill battle.
This approach of just trying to REDLINE his game against Djoko will NOT work. I don't know why Nadal hasn't understood this even after being beaten in 6 finals!

He's gotta be smart: stop playing safe pusher tennis, and get a coach who can give him some new tactics and some CONFIDENCE in his own abilities.

And it's not like Nadal cannot play aggressive.
Watch him in 2004/2005. He was half the size he is now, and used DEAD strings. Still, his forehand shot through the surface and was far pacier, deeper than it is now.
See this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikNlsRBT8-0&t=0m36s
 
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= Can never be taken seriously, basket case, just forgive them their ill, ******* types
= Hopelessly Optimistic ******* types

Will define the above two after a few days as it may influence the poll if I say something now.
 

Tony48

Legend
Nadal isn't going to "crack" anything. Djokovic is going to have a subpar day and Nadal is going to be there to take advantage. WHEN that is exactly....who knows. But I think that Djokovic can go on a 10-0 tear against Nadal before experiencing his first loss.
 
Nadal isn't going to "crack" anything. Djokovic is going to have a subpar day and Nadal is going to be there to take advantage. WHEN that is exactly....who knows. But I think that Djokovic can go on a 10-0 tear against Nadal before experiencing his first loss.
This... Problem is Novak is enjoying the streak too much at the moment and plays well when he faces Rafa. 10-0 is a modest number in my opinion, more like 15.
 

Logan71

Rookie
Interesting this.It's the first time that rumblings of discontent have surfaced about uncle toni.
I have always thought Rafa's strength obviously heavily influenced by Toni were the simplicity of his tactics.
He executes at such a high level that Fed for instance simply couldn't sustain his own high level.

It's why Rafa can beat more talented ballstrikers IMO.
Nalbandian,Federer,Murray,Delpo etc...
He is so mentally tough in those situations that he physically could outlast them.

Here's the crutch,Djokovic became the total cure for the disease whether by intention or maturity.
I watch their games now and I just see a broken Rafa.He is clueless,and his game unlike Federer in his peak years is not nuanced enough to change.
He has been conditioned tactically a certain way by Toni.

I'm not saying he won't beat Novak again but I say the H2H isn't going to be evenly matched from now on.This is the way of tennis.

H2H starts in the superior players favour,other guy works it out and closes up,then passes him.Most rivalries follow a similar pattern bar a few.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
Nadal seems to have no answer to Djokovic and hasn't been able to crack the Novak puzzle all year. Nadal looked like he was coming out with something different against Novak at the beginning of that US Open match but then he just got thrashed :?

How much longer can we expect this streak to go till he finally figures out Djokovic and score a win?
That US Open Final was very disappointing for a Nadal fan I can imagine. Nadal got off to a fantastic start. He broke early and was up 2-0 and then suddenly before you know it, loses 6 consecutive games and the set.:confused:
We thought maybe it was just a case of him being nervous so he again comes up with a great start in the second set by breaking early but ultimately still cannot hold his serve successfully and loses.
What's strange is that Nadal was not actually playing badly. It just seems lately that no matter how well Nadal plays, Djokovic has an answer.
Even when Nadal hits a good dropshot, Djokovic gets to it. Twice it happened now, at both Wimbledon and the US Open. And both those times, Nadal got broken after Djokovic ran down those dropshots.
Nadal basically is playing himself here. Playing somebody who consistently forces him to basically hit an extra shot time and time again which would not be necessary against anybody else on the tour. And hitting winners isn't exactly Nadal's style of tennis. His style naturally is to force the error with his own consistency.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
This... Problem is Novak is enjoying the streak too much at the moment and plays well when he faces Rafa. 10-0 is a modest number in my opinion, more like 15.
I don't think Djokovic is enticed by his streak. I think now he's looking at building his name alongside the greats of past years. That means winning the big tournaments. I think he's much more mature now and knows he needs to conserve his body for the long haul so he can consistently be a threat at Slams and add to his tally.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
djokovic would just become more confident because right now, nadal cannot hurt him. federer can hurt him but he is unable to sustain his playing level.
Federer hurts Djokovic because Federer's game is to be offensive, create openings and hit winners. Nadal's game is to be defensive, run shots down and force errors.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
It's clear right now that Nadal has NO CLUE of what to do against Djokovic. Except the IW/Miami matches (where Nadal had a chance to win), all the 4 matches have been one sided. Quite frankly, Djoko should have won the USOpen match in straight sets. It is telling that a 30 yr old has a far better chance against Djoko than Nadal does..

This is what Nadal says about Djokovic in his book:



This approach of just trying to REDLINE his game against Djoko will NOT work. I don't know why Nadal hasn't understood this even after being beaten in 6 finals!

He's gotta be smart: stop playing safe pusher tennis, and get a coach who can give him some new tactics and some CONFIDENCE in his own abilities.

And it's not like Nadal cannot play aggressive.
Watch him in 2004/2005. He was half the size he is now, and used DEAD strings. Still, his forehand shot through the surface and was far pacier, deeper than it is now.
See this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikNlsRBT8-0&t=0m36s
You're basically saying Nadal needs to adopt a style of tennis which he hasn't used since he was a teenager. All teenagers coming in are aggressive. They all hit super hard and have no care about what happens because they're only in a position of making a name for themselves.
Nadal in 2004 wasn't winning anything really. He was just a very anxious and vicious teenager with no points to protect, no legacy, no reputation really.:lol:
And since you brought up his killer forehand from years past, why doesn't he also serve like he did at the USO 2010? Why did he stop hitting his serve like he did for those 2 weeks? Why did he not use that serve against Djokovic at Wimbledon or the USO?
 

Mike Sams

Legend
Interesting this.It's the first time that rumblings of discontent have surfaced about uncle toni.
I have always thought Rafa's strength obviously heavily influenced by Toni were the simplicity of his tactics.
He executes at such a high level that Fed for instance simply couldn't sustain his own high level.

It's why Rafa can beat more talented ballstrikers IMO.
Nalbandian,Federer,Murray,Delpo etc...
He is so mentally tough in those situations that he physically could outlast them.

Here's the crutch,Djokovic became the total cure for the disease whether by intention or maturity.
I watch their games now and I just see a broken Rafa.He is clueless,and his game unlike Federer in his peak years is not nuanced enough to change.
He has been conditioned tactically a certain way by Toni.

I'm not saying he won't beat Novak again but I say the H2H isn't going to be evenly matched from now on.This is the way of tennis.

H2H starts in the superior players favour,other guy works it out and closes up,then passes him.Most rivalries follow a similar pattern bar a few.
If you notice, Nadal has had problems with players who have similar styles to Djokovic. Look at Nadal's matches with Davydenko and Nalbandian. Guys who take the ball fairly early, have fairly strong backhands and have a good ability to play offensive and defensive and an ability to redirect the ball.
Djokovic on the other hand is on a completely different level athletically than Davydenko and Nalbandian, etc.
 

Wilander Fan

Hall of Fame
In the past, it was more difficult to have long streaks due to the surface variances. Eventually you would run into a guy on a surface that favored him. Now the surfaces are basically the sme so you can have some really long streaks against top players. Look at fed vs roddick or soderling. Considering nadal and novak are roughly the same age, this could be a bad trend for nadal.
 

Eternity

Semi-Pro
I don't know, a one off win doesn't mean Rafa has figured Novak out (although it would be a nice confidence boost). I'm also not sure if they'll play each other again this year. It's not exactly Rafa's best part of the season and Novak's injured.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
I don't know, a one off win doesn't mean Rafa has figured Novak out (although it would be a nice confidence boost). I'm also not sure if they'll play each other again this year. It's not exactly Rafa's best part of the season and Novak's injured.
I think even despite this great Djokovic/Nadal rivalry, people would still LOVE to see Federer/Nadal in the same group at the World Tour Finals.:)
 

DeShaun

Banned
There's nothing the figure out, apparently. Novak is very much the fittest player around. For now, everyone must take their beatings at his pleasure.
 
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That US Open Final was very disappointing for a Nadal fan I can imagine. Nadal got off to a fantastic start. He broke early and was up 2-0 and then suddenly before you know it, loses 6 consecutive games and the set.:confused:
We thought maybe it was just a case of him being nervous so he again comes up with a great start in the second set by breaking early but ultimately still cannot hold his serve successfully and loses.
What's strange is that Nadal was not actually playing badly. It just seems lately that no matter how well Nadal plays, Djokovic has an answer.
Even when Nadal hits a good dropshot, Djokovic gets to it. Twice it happened now, at both Wimbledon and the US Open. And both those times, Nadal got broken after Djokovic ran down those dropshots.
Nadal basically is playing himself here. Playing somebody who consistently forces him to basically hit an extra shot time and time again which would not be necessary against anybody else on the tour. And hitting winners isn't exactly Nadal's style of tennis. His style naturally is to force the error with his own consistency.
I think both guys were visibly nervous from the start. The first couple of games were really tentative but Nadal seemed more focused those first few games. But once Djokovic dialed in, it was game over for Rafy.

It's strange, Novak should have won Wimbledon and the US Open in straight sets but he just loses focus and dumps a set. I'm guessing Rafa will never truly figure out novak but will probably score a win soon if Novak's playing at a incredibly low level.
 

BULLZ1LLA

Banned
Nadal seems to have no answer to Djokovic and hasn't been able to crack the Novak puzzle all year. Nadal looked like he was coming out with something different against Novak at the beginning of that US Open match but then he just got thrashed :?

How much longer can we expect this streak to go till he finally figures out Djokovic and score a win?
(Djokovic is doing absolutely nothing different this year tactically. He is simply outlasting Nadal, and everyone else, in the long baseline rallies. So Nadal will defeat Djokovic when Djokovic's stamina level drops, or when Nadal's stamina level rises. Nadal may simply choose maintain his current level and 'wait out' Djokovic and take advantage when there is a slip in stamina level. But at the US Open final, Nadal really lost because Djokovic had a back injury, and it made Djokovic try to end the points very quickly in the 4th set, Djokovic 'went for broke' and the balls went in. Nadal had begun to win the long rallies before that, so Djokovic stopped the long rallies and won with clean winners. Nadal needed to recognize what was going on, and had to attack more, and end the points early too.

However, I noticed in the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal was playing plenty of drop shots, bringing Federer to the net and passing him. Can't remember Nadal playing drop shots against Djokovic. Djokovic is a lot further behind the baseline than Federer, so surely Nadal should use this, and when you consider how many big break points Nadal failed to deliver on vs Djokovic, he would definitely benefit from using the drop shot on those crucial points. And Nadal did tend to use the drop shot on the big points vs Federer, the deuce points and the points when Federer had break points on the Nadal serve. Nadal was frequently down 15-40 in that 2009 AO final)
 
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Tammo

Banned
I don't think it will happen until next year in the clay season. Probably 2 or 3 more wins for Djokovic in the rest of the season. Maybe twice again before the clay, and maybe once on the clay before Nadal can manage to get a win.
 
C

celoft

Guest
0; Novak will win every match from here on.

Only way is if Nole gets mono.
 

Tammo

Banned
However, I noticed in the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal was playing plenty of drop shots, bringing Federer to the net and passing him. Can't remember Nadal playing drop shots against Djokovic. Djokovic is a lot further behind the baseline than Federer, so surely Nadal should use this, and when you consider how many big break points Nadal failed to deliver on vs Djokovic, he would definitely benefit from using the drop shot on those crucial points. And Nadal did tend to use the drop shot on the big points vs Federer, the deuce points and the points when Federer had break points on the Nadal serve. Nadal was frequently down 15-40 in that 2009 AO final)
But the stats show that Fed won 72% of points at net, so Nadal obviously wasn't dropshotting and passing a lot. The reason that Fed lost was because he couldn't get enough BP 6/19 is a terrible number, especially against Nadal's serve.
 

Logan71

Rookie
Interesting stat that jumps out and an obvious one is Federer 64 errors although he hits 71 winners to Nadal's 50.

However when Nadal forces Federer into going for more or when his pressure forces what you would call a forced error,then the winners ratio doesn't tell the whole story.

Federer when he is playing well can be 2 to 1 on winners against errors,but Nadal has the tactics to combat that.

With Nole as has been said he matches up perfectly to Nadal with one key difference which was highlighted in the match coverage I saw.

Apparently the average net clearance of Nadal in a rally is 0.95m as opposed to Novak who comes in 0.73m.

Just a quarter of a metre and both guys are obviously clearing the net by some margain,but that slightly lower net clearance is giving Nadal less time and Novak more opportunity to hit winners.

It was incredible to notice how deep Nadal was and how far up the court Novak was even when he was fighting off a rafa onslaught.
Did Rafa chose to defend deep or was it Novak's flatter ball that pushed him there?
The other interesting match stat was because of the positions they took up during the rallies,Rafa hit 70% of his balls beyond the service line,Novak hit 84%.

If that has been pattern of the other matches they have played then Rafa ain't beatin Novak on medium-fast surfaces anymore.

Clay may be his only saviour at the moment but if Novak display's this sort of fitness on the clay next year then meeting in the final of RG could be pivotal to the Grand Slam history of these two.
 

BULLZ1LLA

Banned
But the stats show that Fed won 72% of points at net, so Nadal obviously wasn't dropshotting and passing a lot. The reason that Fed lost was because he couldn't get enough BP 6/19 is a terrible number, especially against Nadal's serve.
(Nadal's drop shots vs Federer were mostly clean winners, so they wouldn't show up in the nets stats as Federer did not even chase them as Nadal's disguise was excellent....

But the idea of bringing Djokovic in particular to net is a good idea. And even if its just a couple of points per set, at least it makes Djokovic think more)
 
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(Nadal's drop shots vs Federer were mostly clean winners, so they wouldn't show up in the nets stats as Federer did not even chase them as Nadal's disguise was excellent.... But the idea of bringing Djokovic in particular to net is a good idea. And even if its just a couple of points per set, at least it makes Djokovic think more)
I agree with you on this. Perhaps Nadal should mix in good drop shots to get Djokovic off that baseline more. Of course, disguise, execution, and not overusing it are key, but Nadal is paying a heavy price for allowing Djokovic to simply dictate rallies from the baseline, almost exclusively. Djokovic is not forced to move forward QUICKLY and then back to the baseline often enough (or forced into a vulnerable position at net). He's not as adept at the net as either Federer or Nadal. Basically, Djokovic does great at just moving side to side (and not nearly as much as Nadal does). On top of less lateral movement than Nadal, I think Djokovic is doing a better job of using the frontcourt effectively. When he does hit short, shots tend to be well angled and low, so Djokovic hits short effectively. Meanwhile, Djokovic does not have to worry much about Nadal utilizing that frontcourt effectively. It's really simple, but difficult to execute. Nadal must force Djokovic to move constantly to the left, right, and also to the front and back of the court. He must move Djokovic a lot in all four of those general directions and effective drop shots could be a key. Federer became excellent at doing this. Nadal must also mix in those low bouncing sliders that fall in the frontcourt while using this strategy. This would be one tweak he could employ which could change the rally dynamics. Of course, he also needs to get even fitter and also keep working on the serve as well.
 
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BULLZ1LLA

Banned
I agree with you on this. Perhaps Nadal should mix in good drop shots to get Djokovic off that baseline more. Of course, disguise, execution, and not overusing it are key, but Nadal is paying a heavy price for allowing Djokovic to simply dictate rallies from the baseline, almost exclusively. Djokovic is not forced to move forward QUICKLY and then back to the baseline often enough (or forced into a vulnerable position at net). He's not as adept at the net as either Federer or Nadal. Basically, Djokovic does great at just moving side to side (and not nearly as much as Nadal does). On top of less lateral movement than Nadal, I think Djokovic is doing a better job of using the frontcourt effectively. When he does hit short, shots tend to be well angled and low, so Djokovic hit short effectively. Meanwhile, Djokovic does not have to worry much about Nadal utilizing that frontcourt effectively. It's really simple, but difficult to execute. Nadal must force Djokovic to move constantly to the left, right, and also to the front and back of the court. He must move Djokovic a lot in all four of those general directions and effective drop shots could be a key. Federer became excellent at doing this. Nadal must also mix in those low bouncing sliders that fall in the frontcourt while using this strategy. This would be one tweak he could employ which could change the rally dynamics. Of course, he also needs to get even fitter and also keep working on the serve as well.
(I agree, variation is absolutely the key. Federer varies things a lot against Djokovic and you can see how off-balanced and stressed Djokovic is. At the US Open it looked like Federer got lazy in sets 3 and 4 and stopped varying things. He paid the price.

Nadal played Simon at the 2009 Australian Open, and because Simon beat him at the end of 2008, Nadal made some tactical changes. Unbelievably, Nadal chose to employ the backhand slice exclusively, and beat Simon in straight sets. Nadal refused to hit the 2-handed backhand for that entire match)
 
Am I getting this right.. Solution for Rafa against Novak= Diversify his game in order to play like the GOAT? Good luck waiting for that.
 
As other posters have mentioned Nadal has problems with players who take the ball early and have very solid backhands. The real difference seems to be that Djokovic has become much much more confident and is now more willing to be aggressive and hit with much more conviction in shots that he wouldn't go for in the past. The real difference I've seen is he pulls the trigger on the extreme cross court forehand and the down-the-line backhand and uses these shots to move Nadal in ways other players can't. His serve is also much much more effective.

In order for Nadal to even things up I think he has to do several things:

Beef up his serve with power and variety to get more free points.
Learn to flatten out his groundstrokes so that he can end points a little earlier.
Improve his hard court positioning, this goes along with flattening out his groundstrokes to become more offensive.

All things considered he may be able to improve the serve but his game is so conditioned around defensive positioning and that extreme spin I'm not sure he can make those adjustments. It will be very interesting to watch next year though if both Nadal and Djokovic can stay healthy.
 
T

TheMagicianOfPrecision

Guest
Imo, Nadal was a lot closer to beating Novak at the start of the year, 2 tough finals at IW and Miami, after that, 2 easier finals in Madrid and Rome.

After that- Novaks first win over Nadal in a GS- where Nadal got breadsticked. After that- the USO final where he got breadsticked again.

The biggest differance between these 2 players was clearly in the last match, Novak did what he wanted to do with Nadal and Nadal has no answers.
 

CDestroyer

Professional
Nadal has "figured out" what Novak is doing. There is just nothing that he can do about it except retire.

Long live Novak.
 
However, I noticed in the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal was playing plenty of drop shots, bringing Federer to the net and passing him. Can't remember Nadal playing drop shots against Djokovic. Djokovic is a lot further behind the baseline than Federer, so surely Nadal should use this, and when you consider how many big break points Nadal failed to deliver on vs Djokovic, he would definitely benefit from using the drop shot on those crucial points. And Nadal did tend to use the drop shot on the big points vs Federer, the deuce points and the points when Federer had break points on the Nadal serve. Nadal was frequently down 15-40 in that 2009 AO final)
Huh? Djokovic plays at about the same distance as Fed on the baseline. That's how he has been able to dictate so many rallies this year; by taking Nadal's shots super early. He only really retreats further from the baseline whenever he's defending/ on the run and under pressure. Sure it'd probably be the right idea to play a drop shot under those circumstances but it's already challenging enough for Rafa to even get the upper hand in long rallies these days....

It doesn't seem viable. There's not a lot of margin for error when you hit a drop shot from the baseline. The more conservative strategy would probably be to come in when he's stretched out wide on either side to put it away (which Rafa is good at) but he doesn't even do that...
 

Carsomyr

Legend
(I agree, variation is absolutely the key. Federer varies things a lot against Djokovic and you can see how off-balanced and stressed Djokovic is. At the US Open it looked like Federer got lazy in sets 3 and 4 and stopped varying things. He paid the price.

Nadal played Simon at the 2009 Australian Open, and because Simon beat him at the end of 2008, Nadal made some tactical changes. Unbelievably, Nadal chose to employ the backhand slice exclusively, and beat Simon in straight sets. Nadal refused to hit the 2-handed backhand for that entire match)
That's weird, because in this highlight clip of the match, I counted more than 60% two-handed backhands against slice backhands.
 

Towser83

G.O.A.T.
Is this becoming a Federer-Hewitt or Federer-Nalbandian situation? Federer was a long way behind Hewitt in the H2H and then started beating him every time they played, to a lesser extent Nalbandian also had this situation with Federer, Nalbandian however managed to get the occasional win over Federer, Hewitt has probabaly won once in the last 5 years.

One thing is clear, it would be really weird if Nadal never won another match against Djokovic. At this point I don't know if Nadal can figure him out, it might be a case of just playing brilliant tennis against him on a day when he's not quite with it. It will happen sooner or later, but if it is a case of Nadal playing great and Djokovic being off his game, then Nadal won't have found a solution, he'd have just played the odds.
 

Towser83

G.O.A.T.
(Djokovic is doing absolutely nothing different this year tactically. He is simply outlasting Nadal, and everyone else, in the long baseline rallies. So Nadal will defeat Djokovic when Djokovic's stamina level drops, or when Nadal's stamina level rises. Nadal may simply choose maintain his current level and 'wait out' Djokovic and take advantage when there is a slip in stamina level. But at the US Open final, Nadal really lost because Djokovic had a back injury, and it made Djokovic try to end the points very quickly in the 4th set, Djokovic 'went for broke' and the balls went in. Nadal had begun to win the long rallies before that, so Djokovic stopped the long rallies and won with clean winners. Nadal needed to recognize what was going on, and had to attack more, and end the points early too.

However, I noticed in the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal was playing plenty of drop shots, bringing Federer to the net and passing him. Can't remember Nadal playing drop shots against Djokovic. Djokovic is a lot further behind the baseline than Federer, so surely Nadal should use this, and when you consider how many big break points Nadal failed to deliver on vs Djokovic, he would definitely benefit from using the drop shot on those crucial points. And Nadal did tend to use the drop shot on the big points vs Federer, the deuce points and the points when Federer had break points on the Nadal serve. Nadal was frequently down 15-40 in that 2009 AO final)
That's actually a good analysis. I think Nadal might be afraid to use the drop shot though, because Novak is so fast. I know people are often afraid to play it against Nadal for the same reason - it has to be a perfect dropshot to win the point, and with that pressure on you they're hard to hit. But I do think you have to try it, even if it doesn't always work - especially when nothing else has worked.
 

Evan77

Banned
Huh? Djokovic plays at about the same distance as Fed on the baseline. That's how he has been able to dictate so many rallies this year; by taking Nadal's shots super early. He only really retreats further from the baseline whenever he's defending/ on the run and under pressure. Sure it'd probably be the right idea to play a drop shot under those circumstances but it's already challenging enough for Rafa to even get the upper hand in long rallies these days....

It doesn't seem viable. There's not a lot of margin for error when you hit a drop shot from the baseline. The more conservative strategy would probably be to come in when he's stretched out wide on either side to put it away (which Rafa is good at) but he doesn't even do that...
listen. there is no point of arguing with bulsh!tzilla about anything. He has no clue about tennis. This guy should be banned because he is the biggest idiot on this board. Clarky guy is #2. I can't decide who is more primitive. I'll think about it.
 

BULLZ1LLA

Banned
That's actually a good analysis. I think Nadal might be afraid to use the drop shot though, because Novak is so fast. I know people are often afraid to play it against Nadal for the same reason - it has to be a perfect dropshot to win the point, and with that pressure on you they're hard to hit. But I do think you have to try it, even if it doesn't always work - especially when nothing else has worked.
(I think Nadal could use the drop shot successfully when Djokovic is far behind the baseline and out wide, because as much as Djokovic's fans like to believe he always plays up close to the baseline, it simply is not true. Sometimes Djokovic is very defensive and uses his court coverage primarily, not unlike Monfils. Other times he takes the ball early and dictates. Nadal would have to be very choosey and execute, true)
 

Towser83

G.O.A.T.
(I think Nadal could use the drop shot successfully when Djokovic is far behind the baseline and out wide, because as much as Djokovic's fans like to believe he always plays up close to the baseline, it simply is not true. Sometimes Djokovic is very defensive and uses his court coverage primarily, not unlike Monfils. Other times he takes the ball early and dictates. Nadal would have to be very choosey and execute, true)
Yeah Nadal has to be bold. I'd say that Novak does sometimes retreat too far behind the baseline, but this sometimes tells the tale of how confident and how well he's playing. When he's on form, he plys close to the baseline and if he is dictating then he likes to stay there.
 

BULLZ1LLA

Banned
Yeah Nadal has to be bold. I'd say that Novak does sometimes retreat too far behind the baseline, but this sometimes tells the tale of how confident and how well he's playing. When he's on form, he plys close to the baseline and if he is dictating then he likes to stay there.
(That was certainly the case in the 4th set. Djokovic stopped rallying and just went for cold winners and began dictating, actually just after the 1st game and treatment. Either Djokovic realized that Nadal had begun to out-rally him in the 3rd set and Djokovic feared that pattern continuing.....Or his back was too sore to continue the long rallies and he decided going for broke was his only chance of completing the match, let alone winning [although it seems like only his serve was being impacted, though that might not be true, maybe all the running and stretching was hurting his back too])
 

Mike Sams

Legend
(Djokovic is doing absolutely nothing different this year tactically. He is simply outlasting Nadal, and everyone else, in the long baseline rallies. So Nadal will defeat Djokovic when Djokovic's stamina level drops, or when Nadal's stamina level rises. Nadal may simply choose maintain his current level and 'wait out' Djokovic and take advantage when there is a slip in stamina level. But at the US Open final, Nadal really lost because Djokovic had a back injury, and it made Djokovic try to end the points very quickly in the 4th set, Djokovic 'went for broke' and the balls went in. Nadal had begun to win the long rallies before that, so Djokovic stopped the long rallies and won with clean winners. Nadal needed to recognize what was going on, and had to attack more, and end the points early too.

However, I noticed in the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal was playing plenty of drop shots, bringing Federer to the net and passing him. Can't remember Nadal playing drop shots against Djokovic. Djokovic is a lot further behind the baseline than Federer, so surely Nadal should use this, and when you consider how many big break points Nadal failed to deliver on vs Djokovic, he would definitely benefit from using the drop shot on those crucial points. And Nadal did tend to use the drop shot on the big points vs Federer, the deuce points and the points when Federer had break points on the Nadal serve. Nadal was frequently down 15-40 in that 2009 AO final)
Dropshots takes confidence to execute. And the few times Nadal hit dropshots during very desperate measures when facing break points(both at Wimby and USO), Djokovic ran the dropshots down and won the points, breaking Nadal's serve.
Djokovic is faster than Federer also. He makes an attempt to chase down balls which Federer never would.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
That's actually a good analysis. I think Nadal might be afraid to use the drop shot though, because Novak is so fast. I know people are often afraid to play it against Nadal for the same reason - it has to be a perfect dropshot to win the point, and with that pressure on you they're hard to hit. But I do think you have to try it, even if it doesn't always work - especially when nothing else has worked.
The only man I ever saw use the dropshot to perfection against Nadal was Tsonga at AO '08. That was elite class!!! :lol::lol:
 

cocolate

Banned
Dropshots takes confidence to execute. And the few times Nadal hit dropshots during very desperate measures when facing break points(both at Wimby and USO), Djokovic ran the dropshots down and won the points, breaking Nadal's serve.
Djokovic is faster than Federer also. He makes an attempt to chase down balls which Federer never would.
In prime, Federer was faster than Djokovic.
 

djones

Hall of Fame
Nadal needs to have a punishing backhand.
That fluffy backhand of his really doesn't put Djokovic into defense.
Many times when Nadal dictates the point with his forehand, and Djokovic got a decent hit to Nadals backhand, the advantage in the rally was immediately gone.
 

ALL IN

Rookie
Nadal seems to have no answer to Djokovic and hasn't been able to crack the Novak puzzle all year. Nadal looked like he was coming out with something different against Novak at the beginning of that US Open match but then he just got thrashed :?

How much longer can we expect this streak to go till he finally figures out Djokovic and score a win?
Djokovic didn't figure out Nadal, rather he developed the shots that he knew he needed in order to counter Nadal's heavy spin. He takes all of Nadal's strokes on the rise and takes away Rafa's time to react and get comfortable constructing points. This quickly puts Rafa in push mode and then the balls become shorter and shorter until Novak puts the point away.

In order for Nadal to make Novak uncomfortable he must develop a few strokes as well. Flat deep forehand and backhand. He has to step into the court himself and not allow Novak to push him off the court. His best chance is to the throw in a few deep, flat and low shots which take away Novak's angles and make him pop back a short ball here and there. Fed punishes those short balls, Rafa doesn't.
 

Diabl0

New User
I remember Federer saying back in 2005/06 that the more he plays Nadal the more he will figure him out. That never happened. Nadal improved as Federer declined but Fed still won matches and made them very competitive even when he lost.

Djokovic is dominating Nadal much more than Rafa did to Fed.

Its going to be one way traffic for Novak now.
 
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