How to Beat Nadal on Clay

cork_screw

Hall of Fame
Pray that you get to play him just after it rained. Because that's the only factor that really seems to affect him on clay. This has been a very rainy cold season. It's pretty unusual. Watching him play at Monte Carlo and Barcelona you can see how wet the clay is by just how dark the color is compared to the outer edges where it's dryer.

Nadal loves bone dry clay where the ball jumps and spins like crazy. All his spin is neutralized on this wet clay. In NY, it's been by far the coldest season we've ever had, gotten more snow, colder temps and more wind than I can ever remember this late into the season beginning of spring. I think worldwide it's just been very cold season for everyone.

I'm wondering if this happens in the French Open if he might get knocked out early.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Soderling and Djokovic have shown everybody how it's supposed to be done.

Either blow him off the court without missing ala Soderling or keep up with Rafa physically ala Djokovic without falling on the net
 

cork_screw

Hall of Fame
But both Almagro and Ferrer did do something smart and they played to Nadal's backhand a lot. Nadal was forced to run around his backhand just to hit some forehands. I think that's a major key to neutralizing nadal. His business end is his forehand and that's where he controls the points and where he generates all his spin, power and angles. He can't hit nearly as much power/spin/angles with his backhand. If you can just keep playing his backhand and open him up to take a shot the other direction (to his forehand) you can open up the court a lot, you'll be in better position to win more points doing this than if you go in playing nadal with no strategy at all. But I also do like how when I saw Almagro went to play a bunch of inside out forehands and some backhand cross court to nadal's forehand, but instead of hitting to just the inside court, he spread him out going for more angle wider and wider than more power. That was another nice piece of hitting by almagro. I felt like his defeat of nadal was more convincing than ferrer's a few weeks prior.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
But both Almagro and Ferrer did do something smart and they played to Nadal's backhand a lot. Nadal was forced to run around his backhand just to hit some forehands. I think that's a major key to neutralizing nadal. His business end is his forehand and that's where he controls the points and where he generates all his spin, power and angles. He can't hit nearly as much power/spin/angles with his backhand. If you can just keep playing his backhand and open him up to take a shot the other direction (to his forehand) you can open up the court a lot, you'll be in better position to win more points doing this than if you go in playing nadal with no strategy at all. But I also do like how when I saw Almagro went to play a bunch of inside out forehands and some backhand cross court to nadal's forehand, but instead of hitting to just the inside court, he spread him out going for more angle wider and wider than more power. That was another nice piece of hitting by almagro. I felt like his defeat of nadal was more convincing than ferrer's a few weeks prior.
Believe me. Federer for example tried to go to the Nadal BH so many times in their clay matches. The guy is simply too fast and runs around his BH to hit a FH 80% of the time with plenty of success.Just hitting to the BH won't cut it. Otherwise both Fed and Nole would have beaten Rafa at RG by now.
 

kiki

Banned
when almost unbeatable Borg lost on clay it was to a S&V like Pecci or Panatta ( twice).

of course, there are no S&V players with that class and ability to play that game on such a slow surface anymore...
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
when almost unbeatable Borg lost on clay it was to a S&V like Pecci or Panatta ( twice).

of course, there are no S&V players with that class and ability to play that game on such a slow surface anymore...
IMO Nadal has better passing shots than Borg so it is much harder to apply S&V against him on clay
 

kiki

Banned
I don´t know how can you improve over perfect passing shots.

In any case, the rackets and strings are completely different, so no judgement is real possible
 

cork_screw

Hall of Fame
Believe me. Federer for example tried to go to the Nadal BH so many times in their clay matches. The guy is simply too fast and runs around his BH to hit a FH 80% of the time with plenty of success.Just hitting to the BH won't cut it. Otherwise both Fed and Nole would have beaten Rafa at RG by now.
Yeah I know. But if you watch the almagro match that he played today - I mean I just watched it again on ESPN3 and I'm trying to just analyze it a little. Almagro goes to his backhand side a lot. And when he does it, he seems to just buy himself time to construct the points. When he let's nadal have balls to his forehand side, Nadal starts to dictate play on his terms. But on nadal's backhand side. I"m not saying nadal's backhand is weak, but I would rather go against a more neutral backhand than an offensive forehand of nadal. It's like a scorpion. I would rather pin his tail/stinger and deal with his claws than the other way around. I think nadal realizes this and was running around his forehand so he could start to dictate play. Watch the match in full again. You see certain things in the match that nadal seems to prefer and things that he tries to avoid.

Honestly, he's not a player with many weaknesses, but his strength is so strong that I would rather deal with the lesser of two evils than to try to fight him on his forehand and backhand side. If I could limit his strokes to just his backhand where he's not pulling the ball over to my backhand I would much prefer that. Because when Nadal gets the ball to his forehand, he yanks you to your backhand and starts to construct his points that he usually wins. But I do agree with you that Fed tried this strategy with no success. And hell, maybe nadal is just more vulnerable to this that the clay was wet, but watching Nadal today he looked very very vulnerable to Almagro. Against ferrer, I would call that a fluke cause Ferrer was very close to giving Nadal back the match, but Almagro really spanked him today. But then again the clay seemed very damp.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I don´t know how can you improve over perfect passing shots.

In any case, the rackets and strings are completely different, so no judgement is real possible
Yep agree with this. The improved raquet technology has definetely helped Nadal obtaint he passing shots he has today
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yeah I know. But if you watch the almagro match that he played today - I mean I just watched it again on ESPN3 and I'm trying to just analyze it a little. Almagro goes to his backhand side a lot. And when he does it, he seems to just buy himself time to construct the points. When he let's nadal have balls to his forehand side, Nadal starts to dictate play on his terms. But on nadal's backhand side. I"m not saying nadal's backhand is weak, but I would rather go against a more neutral backhand than an offensive forehand of nadal. It's like a scorpion. I would rather pin his tail/stinger and deal with his claws than the other way around. I think nadal realizes this and was running around his forehand so he could start to dictate play. Watch the match in full again. You see certain things in the match that nadal seems to prefer and things that he tries to avoid.

Honestly, he's not a player with many weaknesses, but his strength is so strong that I would rather deal with the lesser of two evils than to try to fight him on his forehand and backhand side. If I could limit his strokes to just his backhand where he's not pulling the ball over to my backhand I would much prefer that. Because when Nadal gets the ball to his forehand, he yanks you to your backhand and starts to construct his points that he usually wins. But I do agree with you that Fed tried this strategy with no success. And hell, maybe nadal is just more vulnerable to this that the clay was wet, but watching Nadal today he looked very very vulnerable to Almagro. Against ferrer, I would call that a fluke cause Ferrer was very close to giving Nadal back the match, but Almagro really spanked him today. But then again the clay seemed very damp.
Nadal is much slower now IMO. When Fed faced him he was super fast and you could not hit anythin past him. This is why that strategy did not pay dividends. Because Nadal was younger an super fast.

Put Fed back in his youth vs Nadal of today and i think he would be able to apply the strategy with much more effect
 

The-Champ

Legend
FO 2008 Nadal vs Almagro to see the difference. Nadal is so far away from his average level on clay these days. That's just how it is. He can't defend, he is slow, he can't bend his knees on the backhand side and since AO14,his smashes are weak..
 

The-Champ

Legend
Nadal is much slower now IMO. When Fed faced him he was super fast and you could not hit anythin past him. This is why that strategy did not pay dividends. Because Nadal was younger an super fast.

Put Fed back in his youth vs Nadal of today and i think he would be able to apply the strategy with much more effect
Federer 2006 would have beaten any Nadal post 2008. Today's Rafa would barely get a game IMO.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The guy was too fast and the strategy is failing now as he slows.


Believe me. Federer for example tried to go to the Nadal BH so many times in their clay matches. The guy is simply too fast and runs around his BH to hit a FH 80% of the time with plenty of success.Just hitting to the BH won't cut it. Otherwise both Fed and Nole would have beaten Rafa at RG by now.
 

WalterWhite

Rookie
Nadal is a paradoxical player in my opinion.

He goes from serving in the 130s in US Open 2010, then it disappears.

He goes from having a dominant hc season last year where he got broken like twice or some ridiculous low amount, and now is losing to players he has utterly dominated in his favorite surface.

This could be the beginning of the end, yet again it might not??
 

citybert

Hall of Fame
Believe me. Federer for example tried to go to the Nadal BH so many times in their clay matches. The guy is simply too fast and runs around his BH to hit a FH 80% of the time with plenty of success.Just hitting to the BH won't cut it. Otherwise both Fed and Nole would have beaten Rafa at RG by now.

Maybe that is it. Running arnd the BH is very physical, so if rafa even loses as fraction of a second on his speed hes screwed. We always knew his game wouldnt age well so maybe it finally happening. Nobody beats time. Time is undefeated in all sports
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Nadal was 3-1 in the decider against Almagro. He played a couple of poor games to lose the match.
His BH wasn't bad at all yesterday. His serve and sometimes the forehand let him down.
He played at a high level in 1st set and Nico couldn't do much to him despite attacking his BH all the time. Nadal's level dropped in Set 2 but he still had several BP chances and wasted a lot of 'em. That's when I thought he was going to lose. You can't beat a very good player on clay like Nico if you keep wasting the BP chances.
 

Goosehead

Legend
Maybe that is it. Running arnd the BH is very physical, so if rafa even loses as fraction of a second on his speed hes screwed. We always knew his game wouldnt age well so maybe it finally happening. Nobody beats time. Time is undefeated in all sports
time is indeed undefeated in all sports..:) time is the real GOAT. :neutral:
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
...But I do agree with you that Fed tried this strategy with no success.
Not so > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYc993uENyY&feature=player_detailpage#t=165

When Federer has been able to play with margin to Nadal's backhand (instead of going for a lot) he has given Nadal a lot of trouble. Once Nadal is on about his 5th backhand he simply can't keep the game up so he goes more acutely crosscourt which usually sees his opponents react by going down to the open court to his forehand. He moves so well this tactic is hard to make stick time after time. Those who keep him pinned into his backhand corner (Wawrinka at the AO for example) and attack more judiciously have success against him - it's not just guys who swing for the back fence like Soderling. Soderling played tactically well and managed to execute it also when he beat Nadal. Most players have the tactic but can't execute it well enough, often enough.

A really key thing about Nadal is he likes to hit a lot of forehands. Deny him that and he seems to get more edgy with it and more prone to rushing/errors.
 
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PMChambers

Hall of Fame
Nadal's OK, he's getting to the point where he might have to be more selective on the tournaments and take longer breaks. He has always had to push extremely hard physically but he's only 28 and can continue to strengthen and develop. Federer and Djokovic like wise are also going well, Federer seems to come to terms with being over 30, and should do well for a few more years. Today's 35 was yester years 30 in all sports, not just tennis. Nadal will develop and grow as a player to make up for current deficiencies. He has developed a better serve over the years and could continue that trend changing from a grinder to a serve and smacker.

Some of you talk like you've never seen the top 10 play live, the margin between No.1 Nadal and No.12 Tsonger is extremely small. On TV it looks slow and calculating but in reality it's happening fast and the difference between winning and losing is very small. For example I saw Federer play DelPotro live at AO in 2012 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 being live I saw the match decided by 3 points. These three unbelievable or lucky points caused the two breaks, one in the 1st & 2nd set and then Federer rolled him in the third.

The difference in play was minor, you find the same with most players, if you have a had match or are a bit slow on the day or an injury is not allowing you to rotate or serve properly then you're in trouble. At 28 it's a bit early to write Nadal off or Djokovic at 27, Federer is playing a smart game so no problem there. Murray? not sure, Del Porto has struggled since surgery and Murray used brute force and heavy defense to win so he could become a Hewitt, who after surgery played sound but could never maintain his level long enough to challenge especially against the top blokes.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
Yeah I know. But if you watch the almagro match that he played today - I mean I just watched it again on ESPN3 and I'm trying to just analyze it a little. Almagro goes to his backhand side a lot. And when he does it, he seems to just buy himself time to construct the points. When he let's nadal have balls to his forehand side, Nadal starts to dictate play on his terms. But on nadal's backhand side. I"m not saying nadal's backhand is weak, but I would rather go against a more neutral backhand than an offensive forehand of nadal. It's like a scorpion. I would rather pin his tail/stinger and deal with his claws than the other way around. I think nadal realizes this and was running around his forehand so he could start to dictate play. Watch the match in full again. You see certain things in the match that nadal seems to prefer and things that he tries to avoid.

Honestly, he's not a player with many weaknesses, but his strength is so strong that I would rather deal with the lesser of two evils than to try to fight him on his forehand and backhand side. If I could limit his strokes to just his backhand where he's not pulling the ball over to my backhand I would much prefer that. Because when Nadal gets the ball to his forehand, he yanks you to your backhand and starts to construct his points that he usually wins. But I do agree with you that Fed tried this strategy with no success. And hell, maybe nadal is just more vulnerable to this that the clay was wet, but watching Nadal today he looked very very vulnerable to Almagro. Against ferrer, I would call that a fluke cause Ferrer was very close to giving Nadal back the match, but Almagro really spanked him today. But then again the clay seemed very damp.

i only watched highlights of the almagro match but i noticed a pattern of almagro going to the backhand as well, but esp short angled ones that pull rafa out of the court and then almagro hits deep corner to other side so rafa has to run backwards also.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
OP, I doubt it's that easy. Good tactics is great to have, but in the end it comes down to execution. That is the problem against Nadal. You need to execute for hours consistently because he is a machine and never gets tired.

I think it's the execution problem, not problem in tactics. I'm sure pros are smart, they know the right tactics. But to execute them for entire match for hours without missing and when everything is coming back?

That's the problem. I think you need great fitness levels and technique and speed and mentality to execute. And nobody can compete here with Rafa almost.
 

coloskier

Legend
OP, I doubt it's that easy. Good tactics is great to have, but in the end it comes down to execution. That is the problem against Nadal. You need to execute for hours consistently because he is a machine and never gets tired.

I think it's the execution problem, not problem in tactics. I'm sure pros are smart, they know the right tactics. But to execute them for entire match for hours without missing and when everything is coming back?

That's the problem. I think you need great fitness levels and technique and speed and mentality to execute. And nobody can compete here with Rafa almost.

Agreed, but Rafa has lost just a touch of his legs, and that is all opponents need.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Agreed, but Rafa has lost just a touch of his legs, and that is all opponents need.
Yeah, nobody was able to solve Nadal on clay. Now Nadal is a bit past his best and that's it. It's not like magically people discovered some tactics that for some reason were hidden to them for 9 years.
 

sportsfan1

Hall of Fame
Getting the ball to Rafa's backhand and getting him out of position is only half the job done. From there, Rafa's gonna hit back DTL to the BH (for a righty) and with some height to buy time, and so you gotta have the kill shot off the BH wing to finish it off after creating the space. That shot has to be an outright winner or have an angle and enough pace to take time away from Rafa's FH so he can't do much with it apart from a weak reply at the most.

Of course that is why the Djoker is so successful against Rafa - he can hit BH pile drivers off of almost any BH rally shot that Rafa hits - whether it's a DTL drive or a high ball. Of the 1handers, Wawrinka can perhaps do it, but not to the same extent as the Djoker.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Believe me. Federer for example tried to go to the Nadal BH so many times in their clay matches. The guy is simply too fast and runs around his BH to hit a FH 80% of the time with plenty of success.Just hitting to the BH won't cut it. Otherwise both Fed and Nole would have beaten Rafa at RG by now.


Federer's backhand down the line blows chunks, that's why he has to give up alot of court to Nadal. Neither Ferrer nor Almagro had to do that, as their backhand down the line is just as good if not better than Nadal's, so Nadal knows he's not gonna win that match-up very often. And going crosscourt isn't exactly in his favor either, as their forehands definitely are going to punish his backhand alot.


The first person to really expose Nadal's backhand consistently was Djokovic, and he pretty much didn't have to give up any court geometry to do it because he knew he could put Nadal in a huge bind by going down the line to Nadal's backhand with his own. Federer never has had the same luxury, because when he goes DTL he gives Nadal way too much time and gives him a free forehand, which almost always ends up in Federer getting pummeled to death. Federer cannot threaten Nadal down the line like a Wawrinka, a Djokovic, a Ferrer, or Almagro can off their backhands, as such it just ends up being a huge mismatch for Federer.
 
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bullfan

Legend
Pray that you get to play him just after it rained. Because that's the only factor that really seems to affect him on clay. This has been a very rainy cold season. It's pretty unusual. Watching him play at Monte Carlo and Barcelona you can see how wet the clay is by just how dark the color is compared to the outer edges where it's dryer.

Nadal loves bone dry clay where the ball jumps and spins like crazy. All his spin is neutralized on this wet clay. In NY, it's been by far the coldest season we've ever had, gotten more snow, colder temps and more wind than I can ever remember this late into the season beginning of spring. I think worldwide it's just been very cold season for everyone.

I'm wondering if this happens in the French Open if he might get knocked out early.
Sounds like everyone is an expert... Given that it was so easy for you to figure out the solution, and yet the pros haven't for the most part, you are missing you're calling as a pro coach!
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Sounds like everyone is an expert... Given that it was so easy for you to figure out the solution, and yet the pros haven't for the most part, you are missing you're calling as a pro coach!

It's not rocket science. Beating Nadal is about execution not gameplan. Nadal has a very limited (though he adjusts very well within his limitations) game, so there's actually not alot you have to think about. The only thing is that he executes his gameplan so well that it beats like 99.9% of the players out there up until very recently.


Beating someone like Federer or Sampras at their peak was much more difficult strategically, because they are so good in so many facets of the game (Sampras for example is a much better return player than given credit for, otherwise he wouldn't have won so many Wimbledons). Borg also was an incredibly difficult player to beat because he was a true all-court/all-surface player who had serious skills at the net, on top of a pretty good serve with his legendary ground game.
 
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bullfan

Legend
It's not rocket science. Beating Nadal is about execution not gameplan. Nadal has a very limited (though he adjusts very well within his limitations) game, so there's actually not alot you have to think about. The only thing is that he executes his gameplan so well that it beats like 99.9% of the players out there up until very recently.


Beating someone like Federer or Sampras at their peak was much more difficult strategically, because they are so good in so many facets of the game (Sampras for example is a much better return player than given credit for, otherwise he wouldn't have won so many Wimbledons).
Sounds like you are saying that Nadal is very limited, yet, his winning skills on clay are unparalleled! If it was so easy to beat Nadal, would Nadal have the clay records he does? Wouldn't Fed have had both the mental fortitude as well as natural skill to beat Nadal on clay in GS as well as other clay tournaments.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Sounds like you are saying that Nadal is very limited, yet, his winning skills on clay are unparalleled! If it was so easy to beat Nadal, would Nadal have the clay records he does? Wouldn't Fed have had both the mental fortitude as well as natural skill to beat Nadal on clay in GS as well as other clay tournaments.


No, because what Nadal does is force you to win on execution not strategy. And pretty much he has out executed everyone up until this point. Strategically guys like Sampras, Borg, Federer, etc. are much tougher to beat because they can beat you from any position on the court. Someone like Agassi, Courier, Nadal, etc. are much more one dimensional, but because they are so good at what they do, it all comes down to execution of strategy rather than the actual strategy itself. It takes beyond a normal, a good, or even an excellent level to be successful with such a one dimensional game. It takes basically a supreme level of play to force your opponent into just beating you on pure execution. Nadal's groundgame, his retrieving, his defense, and his tenacity are all at a supreme level, thus making him absurdly hard to beat, especially on his home turf of clay where your margin for error is basically 0.


But don't worry, keep answering with generalities and not actual reasonable facts. The reason why Nadal beats Federer so badly all the time is because Federer cannot hit a DTL backhand with pace consistently to force Nadal into his backhand corner; in order to not make errors and to keep the ball in, he has to hit it with some amount of topspin, which usually ends badly for him because this ends up being a neutral shot for Nadal, who in turn turns it into a forehand and basically murders Federer. If Federer wants to be more aggressive, he can step around his backhand and hit an inside in, or an inside out forehand, but neither are good options because he's giving up so much territory that Nadal merely only has to put the ball back into play with some level of depth (especially if Federer goes inside in) and Federer will be in huge trouble. It's a terrible match-up for Federer on paper, and is only exacerbated on clay.

Nadal like Federer though, has a god awful backhand DTL and is incredibly inconsistent with it if he tries to go with a high amount of pace down the line. As such, he has to float alot of these down the line which is fine against players like Federer who really can't threaten him too much with his backhand. Against someone like Djokovic it has gotten him into alot of trouble though, and now alot of other players with strong and stable backhands such as Wawrinka have picked up on it, and even guys like Ferrer and Almagro are starting to adapt because they see that Nadal's movement is just slightly worse than it was last year, and are really starting to pick him apart. Unless Nadal changes his game up abit, he's going to start losing more and more.
 
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jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Sounds like you are saying that Nadal is very limited, yet, his winning skills on clay are unparalleled! If it was so easy to beat Nadal, would Nadal have the clay records he does? Wouldn't Fed have had both the mental fortitude as well as natural skill to beat Nadal on clay in GS as well as other clay tournaments.
I don't know. We are comparing apples and oranges here. Tennis changed. You need very different skills today than in 2002-2006.

Nadal is better athlete and specimen and in today's era this is more importnat.

Federer is better shotmaker and creative thinker, and he needed this in his era.

He is still good athlete and can still compete today, but not as much as before. He can't grind. But it's amazing that even against all odds, he is still near the top.

They have different skills. Nadal is better athlete and competitor but Federer is better in other areas.

I guess it's so hard to compare across eras. We can't even compare Federer and Nadal, they play different tennis.
 

loci

Rookie
the chances of beating nadal would increase somewhat if the conditions were heavy. that factor is a bit out of the control of the player, but taking advantage of nadal's deep court position and making him stretch on his forehand and backhand stroke while on the run would pay some dividends...doing it, however, would be the hard part.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
I don't know. We are comparing apples and oranges here. Tennis changed. You need very different skills today than in 2002-2006.

Nadal is better athlete and specimen and in today's era this is more importnat.

Federer is better shotmaker and creative thinker, and he needed this in his era.

He is still good athlete and can still compete today, but not as much as before. He can't grind. But it's amazing that even against all odds, he is still near the top.

They have different skills. Nadal is better athlete and competitor but Federer is better in other areas.

I guess it's so hard to compare across eras. We can't even compare Federer and Nadal, they play different tennis.
Nadal is definitely part of Federer's era. He is a major part of Federer's career. Just because Nadal owns your god doesn't mean he belongs in a different era.
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
just be great clay courter. And learn to smack back forehand topspins to your back hand (if you're right handed). I actually think Fed 2006 (which for me is peak Fed), would have had a chance against Nadal at RG in 2011, 12 or 13. But we'll never know.

Djokovic plays aggressive tennis against Nadal and that seems to work or at least have some success. At the end of the day you're going to have to deal 4,000 revolutions per minute on your backhand so take it early before it rises to high and hit it hard....ideally not back to his forehand. Obviously, wet conditions favour you as he can't get the spin but it's not really in your control!
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
I don't know. We are comparing apples and oranges here. Tennis changed. You need very different skills today than in 2002-2006.

Nadal is better athlete and specimen and in today's era this is more importnat.

Federer is better shotmaker and creative thinker, and he needed this in his era.

He is still good athlete and can still compete today, but not as much as before. He can't grind. But it's amazing that even against all odds, he is still near the top.

They have different skills. Nadal is better athlete and competitor but Federer is better in other areas.

I guess it's so hard to compare across eras. We can't even compare Federer and Nadal, they play different tennis.
they first met when Federer was 22. Different era my a*se. Your list of excuses knows no bounds. Honestly it's totally pathetic. Federer is older but when Federer is 22 and Nadal is 17, Federer is in prime and Nadal isn't but yet Nadal beats him. What's the next rubbish excuse i wonder?
 
D

Deleted member 77403

Guest
they first met when Federer was 22. Different era my a*se. Your list of excuses knows no bounds. Honestly it's totally pathetic. Federer is older but when Federer is 22 and Nadal is 17, Federer is in prime and Nadal isn't but yet Nadal beats him. What's the next rubbish excuse i wonder?
Agree. While we are at it, lets get rid of all this subjective weak era strong era rubbish also, since they are from the same era.
 

smash hit

Professional
This is what Almagro's coach had to say after the match.

Q How did you find Nadal in his match against Almagro?

A think Rafa has no problem. Still a number one for me is the strongest player there right now. He needs to play more matches, so that he can progress. I am sure that we will see again raising a Grand Slam trophy.

Q Did you see Nadal mentally worse than usual, with less ability to react?

A The circuit is very hard. I think last year was very hard for him. You can not always be recovering and reacting in the same way. Maybe against Almagro it is true that gave us more options than normal. But I have no doubt that it will ever be what it is.

On Tennis Channel, Leif Shiras said the he thinks Rafa is a little behind in his training right now but he thinks he will be fine for Paris.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
they first met when Federer was 22. Different era my a*se. Your list of excuses knows no bounds. Honestly it's totally pathetic. Federer is older but when Federer is 22 and Nadal is 17, Federer is in prime and Nadal isn't but yet Nadal beats him. What's the next rubbish excuse i wonder?
Federer has the advantage from the start having played baby Nadal, while Federer was at his absolute peak. Yet, Nadal defeated him. This rivalry has been pretty much one-sided from the start and Federer has the advantage since the beginning. There is really no excuse. Nadal is much better than Federer one on one.
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
Agree. While we are at it, lets get rid of all this subjective weak era strong era rubbish also, since they are from the same era.
fine by me..

helloworld I know Nadal owns Fed h2h. I've never suggested otherwise. It's the others on this board who make countless excuses for it.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
they first met when Federer was 22. Different era my a*se. Your list of excuses knows no bounds. Honestly it's totally pathetic. Federer is older but when Federer is 22 and Nadal is 17, Federer is in prime and Nadal isn't but yet Nadal beats him. What's the next rubbish excuse i wonder?
Sorry, I made a pact not argue with newbies anymore.
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
Yeah I know. But if you watch the almagro match that he played today - I mean I just watched it again on ESPN3 and I'm trying to just analyze it a little. Almagro goes to his backhand side a lot. And when he does it, he seems to just buy himself time to construct the points. When he let's nadal have balls to his forehand side, Nadal starts to dictate play on his terms. But on nadal's backhand side. I"m not saying nadal's backhand is weak, but I would rather go against a more neutral backhand than an offensive forehand of nadal. It's like a scorpion. I would rather pin his tail/stinger and deal with his claws than the other way around. I think nadal realizes this and was running around his forehand so he could start to dictate play. Watch the match in full again. You see certain things in the match that nadal seems to prefer and things that he tries to avoid.

Honestly, he's not a player with many weaknesses, but his strength is so strong that I would rather deal with the lesser of two evils than to try to fight him on his forehand and backhand side. If I could limit his strokes to just his backhand where he's not pulling the ball over to my backhand I would much prefer that. Because when Nadal gets the ball to his forehand, he yanks you to your backhand and starts to construct his points that he usually wins. But I do agree with you that Fed tried this strategy with no success. And hell, maybe nadal is just more vulnerable to this that the clay was wet, but watching Nadal today he looked very very vulnerable to Almagro. Against ferrer, I would call that a fluke cause Ferrer was very close to giving Nadal back the match, but Almagro really spanked him today. But then again the clay seemed very damp.
Everyone on tour already knows that this is the best strategy to beat Nadal on clay since Nadal's forehand is better than his backhand. It is just a matter of execution. Nadal is typically using the same strategy at the same time against his opponents. In fact, this is a strategy that should be used against just about all opponents on all surfaces.

The problem with this strategy against Nadal on clay is that he is also using the strategy against you at the same time and:

1) His forehand is better than yours on clay
2) His backhand is better than yours on clay
 

jhhachamp

Hall of Fame
This rivalry has been pretty much one-sided from the start and Federer has the advantage since the beginning.
It is ridiculous to suggest that Federer had the advantage over Nadal in their head to head. The fact is that the majority of the matches played between the two were played at a time when Nadal was the better player on the surface the match was played on.

Nadal is much better than Federer one on one.
Fair enough.
 

jg153040

G.O.A.T.
Just admit it. You have no argument as to why baby Nadal owned peak Fed. How old are you? :oops:
I have arguments, but we usually don't get to them since I need to teach you and JAM the basics first. I'm lazy, so I have given up. It's not fun for me anymore if someone doesn't understand the argument.

Don't get me wrong, you guys are still smart probably above average, but this is very counter-intuitive, hard to grasp, even the basics. Because it's non-linear thinking.

Fitness is similar non-linear concept. Why do you get more energy when you expend more energy?

So, from now on don't try to argue with me, unless you are trolling me, that's ok and fun :).

I'm 34.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
I have arguments, but we usually don't get to them since I need to teach you and JAM the basics first. I'm lazy, so I have given up. It's not fun for me anymore if someone doesn't understand the argument.

Don't get me wrong, you guys are still smart probably above average, but this is very counter-intuitive, hard to grasp, even the basics. Because it's non-linear thinking.

Fitness is similar non-linear concept. Why do you get more energy when you expend more energy?

So, from now on don't try to argue with me, unless you are trolling me, that's ok and fun :).

I'm 34.
That is the exact number of slams for Nadal has to win in order to be in conversation with Sampras.
:)
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
helloworld - "If Nadal wants to surpass Pete, he will need 34 slams, twice more than Federer to be in the same conversation with Sampras."

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/member.php?u=309554
Read the whole thread if you can still find and you'll understand why I said so. There is a reason behind every argument. Don't just take one sentence from the entire discussion and make fun out of it, unless you know exactly what you are talking about.
 
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