Is it possible for other players to emulate Nadal's style and approach towards Tennis with same success?

Sathya

New User
Is it possible for other players to play exactly the same way as Nadal even if they try really hard? For example, does Federer have the ability to continuously run down balls and make maximum effort for each and every point like Nadal does, even if he really wants to? Why is it that no player in the world could replicate Nadal's playing style with equal success? Are they all very lazy to do so? I wish there are more tennis players in the world with Nadal like attitude and approach towards the game.
 

Spider

Hall of Fame
What some people fail to realize is that Nadal has a very unique game. It is because of that players from the era before his peak, during and also the current crop of young gen are finding it very difficult to first deal with his game and then counter his game consistantly.

Emulating him is easier said than done.
 

TripleATeam

Legend
I'd venture to say part of it is Nadal's insane athleticism, part of it is genetics, and part of it is the fact that Nadal is incredibly talented.

The pool of people talented enough to play at Rafa's level might not have the genes/innate athleticism for his game. Of that much smaller pool of people, some may not have the drive to work that hard day in and day out (practically destroying their body) to get to that level. Of those that have the drive to do so, only a few of them will decide to do it - many will just choose to play the easier game. Of those that have the willingness to do it, many don't become professional tennis players.

Imagine the number of people that emulate Federer's style. So many people, yet none of them started tennis early enough with enough talent to actually go anywhere in the sport. You can't just decide to be that good.
 
R

Robert Baratheon

Guest
Nadal has speed and strength.
So does Monfils one would say.
Does Monfils have the same endurance and stamina though? The guy becomes DelPossum after running some time.

Nadal is almost unique in his overall physicality. AND HE HAS A FH that no one has. Some Forehands are equally lethal but then those players don't have that physicality he does.

So extremely high levels of stamina, endurance, strength, speed, hand eye coordination and a massive Forehand is primarily what makes a Nadal.
Show me a player who has that.
If other players try playing his style they will end up a pusher or they will end up dead.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
Nadal has speed and strength.
So does Monfils one would say.
Does Monfils have the same endurance and stamina though? The guy becomes DelPossum after running some time.

Nadal is almost unique in his overall physicality. AND HE HAS A FH that no one has. Some Forehands are equally lethal but then those players don't have that physicality he does.

So extremely high levels of stamina, endurance, strength, speed, hand eye coordination and a massive Forehand is primarily what makes a Nadal.
Show me a player who has that.
If other players try playing his style they will end up a pusher or they will end up dead.

Well said I couldn’t agree more.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Nadal's game and also of Federer cannot be emulated at elite level. This is why coaches won't be teaching you to hit balls exactly like they do. The ones that can be emulated are Djokovic, Murray, Nishikori, etc. And that would be more helpful for young tennis players too. Be extremely good from both the forehand and backhand wings.

Nadal and Federer are very forehand dominant players. And they have the best forehands among all players to be extremely successful the way they play their respective games. You can pick up a few tricks here and there from them but it's much better for tennis enthusiasts to learn more from Djokovic and Murray as you don't have to be a kind of freak to play the way they do. Their athleticism cannot be copied though. You have it or you don't.
 
Talent.

I read this OP as basically saying Rafa is unique but it is not that talented. Rafa is one of the most talented tennis players of all time. He is not Fed level talent but he is right up there. People seem to forget this or wash over it.

Like others have said, you can emulate great players but unless you have the raw god gifted talent that they do, it will look like dimitrov (and he is talented).

What Rafa does comes natural to him. He makes it look easy but it is talent and intensity combined.

Many of the young gens have talent in certain areas, but Rafa has talents in almost all areas, and he has the constant intensity and fight that the young guys don't have.

Why don't more players play like Rafa...
 

weakera

Legend
What some people fail to realize is that Nadal has a very unique game. It is because of that players from the era before his peak, during and also the current crop of young gen are finding it very difficult to first deal with his game and then counter his game consistantly.

Emulating him is easier said than done.
Counter his game consistently lol. He has been beating the same players from every generation repeatedly since he first started playing. As if Djokerer conveniently meeting him at the right times on hardcourt over the last several years is indicative of some sort of tour wide ability to eventually figure out his game. You clown.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Counter his game consistently lol. He has been beating the same players from every generation repeatedly since he first started playing. As if Djokerer conveniently meeting him at the right times on hardcourt over the last several years is indicative of some sort of tour wide ability to eventually figure out his game. You clown.
I think you misread that post.

Anyway, Nadal has athleticism in his family:


(Uncle Toni's older brother played 19 seasons of pro soccer and was renowned for his imposing athleticism, nicknamed "The Beast")

Rafa was born into a family who understood the rigors of top-level athletics already. They were also wealthy enough to give him whatever he needed in his sport of choice (and anyone who doesn't think PEDs are a part of that is a fool).

Perfect storm of genes and circumstances. And then he was molded into the ultimate competitor by mad genius Toni, and has just taken the ball and ran with it.

But this idea of a man who succeeds against all odds is kinda BS, IMO.
 

Spider

Hall of Fame
Counter his game consistently lol. He has been beating the same players from every generation repeatedly since he first started playing. As if Djokerer conveniently meeting him at the right times on hardcourt over the last several years is indicative of some sort of tour wide ability to eventually figure out his game. You clown.
Hope people have the basic ability to read and understand. What has that got to do with anything I said? Comprehension fail?
 

Searah

Semi-Pro
i actually think for social players.. nadals playstyle is the easiest to do.

even children it's basically taught to them. "low to high"

other pro players are flattening it out.. going for winners.. following it up with volleys.

nadals is not only the safest but in social tennis.. where you can play until your opponent makes the error.
"nadal uses a extreme grip?"

you can still replicate it without a extreme grip just from the low to high motion. it'll always apply topspin.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
i actually think for social players.. nadals playstyle is the easiest to do.

even children it's basically taught to them. "low to high"

other pro players are flattening it out.. going for winners.. following it up with volleys.

nadals is not only the safest but in social tennis.. where you can play until your opponent makes the error.
"nadal uses a extreme grip?"

you can still replicate it without a extreme grip just from the low to high motion. it'll always apply topspin.
If it is the "easiest" to do, why has no one been able to win over 10 Slams replicating Nadal's style?

Also, your insinuation that Nadal's game is merely "waiting till the opponent makes the error" is completely inaccurate. He does make forehand winners, backhand winners, aces, drop shots, volleys, etc. Of course, Nadal also has a good defense, but it doesn't make dissapear his offensive weapons.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
I think I've often said Fed has a bad game to emulate cause of the insane talent it requires. Nadal is worse.

Nadal even more so because it relies on insane defensive abilities. Also spinning a forehand like that is insanely hard to hit accurately, and if you don't have the insane racket head speed all you do is hit shots halfway the servebox.
 
I think you misread that post.

Anyway, Nadal has athleticism in his family:


(Uncle Toni's older brother played 19 seasons of pro soccer and was renowned for his imposing athleticism, nicknamed "The Beast")

Rafa was born into a family who understood the rigors of top-level athletics already. They were also wealthy enough to give him whatever he needed in his sport of choice (and anyone who doesn't think PEDs are a part of that is a fool).

Perfect storm of genes and circumstances. And then he was molded into the ultimate competitor by mad genius Toni, and has just taken the ball and ran with it.

But this idea of a man who succeeds against all odds is kinda BS, IMO.
Most helpful comment on this thread so far.
 

Searah

Semi-Pro
If it is the "easiest" to do, why has no one been able to win over 10 Slams replicating Nadal's style?

Also, your insinuation that Nadal's game is merely "waiting till the opponent makes the error" is completely inaccurate. He does make forehand winners, backhand winners, aces, drop shots, volleys, etc. Of course, Nadal also has a good defense, but it doesn't make dissapear his offensive weapons.
sorry if misunderstood.. my post is more about a social point of view it would be easiest to copy.
i thought i made it somewhat clear in social tennis the opponent will make an error more likely. and nadals low to high with the topspin always keeps the ball in play.. it's very consistent so with this playstyle the error on your side isn't usually a problem in balls going out or into the net.

with a flatter stroke style or if a social player was to copy federer.. the shots are more likely to go out.. in the net...

only problem with nadals in copying it can be if you lack the strength.. the balls can be easily poached if you can't hit it fast enough.

also applying heavy topspin can also create a short ball which leads to your doubles partner getting hit in the face.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
I'd say absolutely not. As people have said, he's unique. He has a combination of physical and mental talents that haven't shown up in anyone else. Lleyton Hewitt is one of the biggest fighters the game has ever seen and it allowed him to maximise his talent and become a world no.1 and win a few slams. Nadal has a similar fighting quality, but his physical and tennnis talent far exceeds Hewitt.


Nadal just has an ultra rare combination. Maybe someone will replicate it some day, but I can't see it.
 

Sathya

New User
Thanks a lot for all the responses.

Is it possible for scientists to clone Rafael Nadal and create exact identical copies of him? Or is it possible for bio technologists to study Nadal's genes and try to incorporate the same genetics in the newly emerging talented tennis players through genetic engineering, so that there will be more Rafael Nadals in tennis? Why not they try to do something like that if that is possible?
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Honestly it’s so rare to see this combo of top percentile explosiveness, endurance, skill, mental strength, work ethic, will go win/hatred of losing, and tennis IQ. Nate Mackinnon in NHL hockey is a similar athlete, and people consider him a freak there too.
 
His fight and intensity all comes from his mind, mentality of never giving up.
Mental is useless if your body can't keep up. I'm more impressed with his longevity and injury comebacks, considering (maybe not even) his playing style.
He was injured (had to withdraw from tournaments) 3 times just this year, not counting pre-AO one, comes back firing every time, literally like nothing ever happened. I don't know how much he suffers behind the scenes to pull it off, but even then you'd think he'd follow rules of nature and it'll get more difficult... apparently not, I guess. It applies to all 3 of them to a certain extent. Djokovic is the most ordinary among them imo.
 
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You have to play tennis in your own way, but you can emulate the greats. Tennis players especially can emulate some of his characteristics, strokes and style of play, yet his style and approach cannot be replicated. His steely determination and never say die attitude are instructive. At high levels, tennis is downright gritty and akin to a pitched battle. It’s akin to boxing without the gloves so Nadal’s approach can be quite useful. He rarely gives his opponent much hope that he’ll wither away or give in. That’s very intimidating for opponents.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Impossible. But like many others have said, theres different pools to have to succeed in, just to be close to him.
The first IMO, is his speed, agility, endurance, etc. Physical traits that most people just can never reach, no matter how hard they train. Im sure if Nadal tried to be an athlete in another sport, similarly he would've succeeded to a large degree.
The second, is his workrate. If you have option 1 at your disposal, being a great athlete, you need to be able to work yourself into the ground to continually strive to improve.
Again, the majority of people cannot do this.
Its ok having natural talent, fitness, genetics, or whatever. But if you don't push yourself to the brink to get better, you wont succeed at the top level.
Make no mistake, Nadal busts his ass to be where he is.

And lets remember that story about Nadal winning his SF in Monte Carlo last year, and straight away was on live TV texting Moya to get him a practise court ready, so he could practise forehands. I mean this is the greatest clay court player who ever lived, and he wants to go practise straight after a SF, with the final the next day.

And thirdly, obviously, is his insane tennis talent. To have that touch, some people, again, will never have, even playing tennis everyday for 10 years.
Nevermind the forehand spin. Look at some of his volleys, half volleys, the overhead smashes. That is a phenom to have all of those at your disposal, on an elite level.

Add those 3 combinations together, along with him being a lefty, and its no wonder hes up there with the best players to ever hold a racket.
I think, actually, only once hes long retired from the sport, will people really appreciate what this guy done, and realize it cant ever be emulated.
Ive no idea the odds on anyone else having those 3 insane characteristics.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal's game and also of Federer cannot be emulated at elite level.
Exactly, and that's why they have 39 majors between them.

What almost no one else could do is have Nadal's mental strength and his incredibly positive body language, even when he's down and out. Consider the 2008 Wimbledon final when he's holding two MP's in the fourth set against Fed. He loses that set in a heartbreaking fashion but he comes out in the fifth with no mental scars and of course, wins the match. There's no way 98% of other tennis players could ever be capable of doing that. Imagine Thiem, Zverev, Monfils or Dimitrov doing that. They would all be crushed and the fifth set would have been 1-6 for Federer.

As for Roger, the only other player in tennis history is approaching his talent is McEnroe. Talent can't be taught, you'r either born with it or not, so Fed's game can't be emulated by others. Both are completely different types of players, but both are incredibly unique in their own way.
 

Lebsta

Rookie
I've always said that Nadals' tennis wouldn't never be coached to another player. Nadal is simply a unique player and personality to play this type of game. His style really goes against the normal conventions of the game. Standing far back from the baseline, inability to serve consistently big or aces, the way he runs around for the forehand, they way he actually hits his forehand which he's hitting with his weaker hand of course. It can be argued that his style is actually what contributes to getting injured so much. I just dont think anyone else would want to adapt his style as it takes a lot of effort and application to do it. They would want a bigger serve to win points quicker and service games more comfortably.

His atheliticism and mentality are two crucial factors in being able to maintain this style for so long and achieve so much. Yes the clay supplements his game so much but to still win 2 Wimbledons and even more incredibly 4 US opens playing this way is truly amazing. We truly won't see another player of his ilk when he retires.
 
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