Is it possible to enjoy clay domination?

#1
I am a Fed fan, and I don't want Nadal to win, or Djokovic for that matter. However, I know one of them will win the French, and I have accepted that. Once I have done that, even as a a Fed fan I am able to enjoy what Nadal has done and will continue to do on clay.

Do I love clay? No, but when I watch Nadal play tennis at the level he did today, and in most clay matches, I have learned to appreciate every minute of it. It is something incredible to watch; One tennis player play at such a high level, he makes the world's best players (yes, anyone in the top 100 in the world at something is spectacular at what they do) look absolutely silly.

Dominance should not bore you, it should make you revel at how lucky we are to watch this take place, because we won't see it again.

Yes I am a Fed fan, yes I don't want Nadal to win the French, but I am a tennis fan first, and what Nadal does on clay is spectacular to watch as a tennis fan.

So can we not enjoy the level of actual tennis being played and push the results aside?
 
#3
I am a Fed fan, and I don't want Nadal to win, or Djokovic for that matter. However, I know one of them will win the French, and I have accepted that. Once I have done that, even as a a Fed fan I am able to enjoy what Nadal has done and will continue to do on clay.

Do I love clay? No, but when I watch Nadal play tennis at the level he did today, and in most clay matches, I have learned to appreciate every minute of it. It is something incredible to watch; One tennis player play at such a high level, he makes the world's best players (yes, anyone in the top 100 in the world at something is spectacular at what they do) look absolutely silly.

Dominance should not bore you, it should make you revel at how lucky we are to watch this take place, because we won't see it again.

Yes I am a Fed fan, yes I don't want Nadal to win the French, but I am a tennis fan first, and what Nadal does on clay is spectacular to watch as a tennis fan.

So can we not enjoy the level of actual tennis being played and push the results aside?
Of course :)

 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
#5
What's amazing is back in Nadal's heyday, he was (virtually) unbeatable on clay, nowadays he is (virtually) unplayable. He is making world class tennis players look like scrubs.
I am just completely baffled by how he is able to maintain this level of dominance year in year out.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#6
Nowadays, Nadal's matches at MC and Barcelona just aren't interesting anymore. His opponents failing to give him even an ounce of a challenge for 2 years running, with 2019 looking like the 3rd year running, have made Nadal's matches absolutely boring. The guy is barely dropping games FFS each match he plays at MC and Barcelona.

MC and Barcelona matches are still fun, but I skip Nadal's matches because they are a formality. Each opponent will be lucky to win 5 games against him each match.
 
#7
Nowadays, Nadal's matches at MC and Barcelona just aren't interesting anymore. His opponents failing to give him even an ounce of a challenge for 2 years running, with 2019 looking like the 3rd year running, have made Nadal's matches absolutely boring. The guy is barely dropping games FFS each match he plays at MC and Barcelona.

MC and Barcelona matches are still fun, but I skip Nadal's matches because they are a formality. Each opponent will be lucky to win 5 games against him each match.
But when Djokovic mows people over on HC (and Fed on grass) it's so exciting though................
Idk how people can't enjoy how ridiculous Rafa's clay level is, it's quite amazing for him to be 32 and still beast this way.
 
#9
Nowadays, Nadal's matches at MC and Barcelona just aren't interesting anymore. His opponents failing to give him even an ounce of a challenge for 2 years running, with 2019 looking like the 3rd year running, have made Nadal's matches absolutely boring. The guy is barely dropping games FFS each match he plays at MC and Barcelona.

MC and Barcelona matches are still fun, but I skip Nadal's matches because they are a formality. Each opponent will be lucky to win 5 games against him each match.
But don't you like watching insanely high quality tennis? Great tennis viewing does not always have to be two great tennis players playing, it is better, but it does not mean watching one insanely great player play is a "formality." Maybe your "formality" is simply greatness in action.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#11
But when Djokovic mows people over on HC (and Fed on grass) it's so exciting though................
Idk how people can't enjoy how ridiculous Rafa's clay level is, it's quite amazing for him to be 32 and still beast this way.
Nadal's clay level is still amazing and I applaud him for how good he is. I never denied that he is awesome on clay.

But since I'm not his fan, I don't feel any excitement in watching him mow over everyone at MC and Barcelona, barely dropping games.

And you must have me confused with someone else. I never claimed Djokovic mowing over people on HC is exciting. As for grass, Fed doesn't really mow over people on grass, as it's very hard to not drop several games on that surface.

And mind you, I'm talking specifically about MC and Barcelona. At Madrid and even Rome there are people challenging Rafa. Last year, he did have to overcome some obstacles in Rome for example. And in 2017 in Madrid. Watching him overcome Thiem in 2 tight sets in Madrid or Djokovic last year in Rome was still more exciting than giving bakery products to Dimitrov and Tsitsipas in MC and Barcelona respectively.

Just my honest opinion :)
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#14
But don't you like watching insanely high quality tennis? Great tennis viewing does not always have to be two great tennis players playing, it is better, but it does not mean watching one insanely great player play is a "formality." Maybe your "formality" is simply greatness in action.
I don't have anything against Nadal. But it's just not exciting to watch the other players be hopeless and self-destruct and unable to even win 5 games in a match.

One time is acceptable. But you get bored when it happens every time.
 
#15
We are watching something historic. The highest level on clay ever. I totally understand if Federer fans don't want to enjoy it because of the Slam race though.

However, as a Nadal fan, I enjoyed Federer's brutal grass domination back in 2003-2009.

Many years Federer just destroyed his rivals on grass like Nadal does on clay. For instance, in the Wimbledon 2003 final Federer destroyed Phillippoussis in 3 straight sets, yet I really enjoyed that match.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#17
We are watching something historic. The highest level on clay ever. I totally understand if Federer fans don't want to enjoy it because of the Slam race though.

However, as a Nadal fan, I enjoyed Federer's brutal grass domination back in 2003-2009.

Many years Federer just destroyed his rivals on grass like Nadal does on clay. For instance, in the Wimbledon 2003 final Federer destroyed Phillippoussis in 3 straight sets, yet I really enjoyed that match.
Yet that Wimb final still had 2 tiebreak sets ;)
 
#18
I can enjoy it for a minute or two sure. Then I remember I have seen it all before many times and get bored. Do you enjoy watching the same movie over and over again? Even if it's your favorite movie of all time it will get boring.

Most of the entertainment in sports comes from the competition in it. If it isn't competitive then it isn't entertaining. That's just my opinion though.
 
#19
I don't have anything against Nadal. But it's just not exciting to watch the other players be hopeless and self-destruct and unable to even win 5 games in a match.

One time is acceptable. But you get bored when it happens every time.
You do have something against Nadal. I don't see you complaining of Federer's 5 Wimbledon in a row, which is a form of brutal domination on grass.

Following your logic, it was boring to watch Wimbledon matches in 2003-2007, as Federer domination was boring.
 
#20
I can enjoy it for a minute or two sure. Then I remember I have seen it all before many times and get bored. Do you enjoy watching the same movie over and over again? Even if it's your favorite movie of all time it will get boring.

Most of the entertainment in sports comes from the competition in it. If it isn't competitive then it isn't entertaining. That's just my opinion though.
Following that logic, Wimbledon between 2003 and 2007 was boring, as Federer was winning 5 years in a row and it was like watching the same movie over and over again.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#22
You do have something against Nadal. I don't see you complaining of Federer's 5 Wimbledon in a row, which is a form of brutal domination on grass.

Following your logic, it was boring to watch Wimbledon matches in 2003-2007, as Federer domination was boring.
I am talking strictly about the dominance of the last 2 years at only MC and Barcelona where Nadal is barely dropping games.

Dominance is one thing. Constant dominance while opponents barely win games becomes boring eventually.
 
#23
I am talking strictly about the dominance of the last 2 years at only MC and Barcelona where Nadal is barely dropping games.

Dominance is one thing. Constant dominance while opponents barely win games becomes boring eventually.
Rusty peak golden injured bull :)


destroying the opposition in pain like a boss :D
 
#25
I am talking strictly about the dominance of the last 2 years at only MC and Barcelona where Nadal is barely dropping games.

Dominance is one thing. Constant dominance while opponents barely win games becomes boring eventually.
Only from the perspective of a fan who does not support the dominant player. Fans of the dominant player enjoy the domination, so the claim that "domination becomes boring" is subjective as it depends on the specific fan.

The fact that you enjoyed Federer's domination on grass (5 Wimbledon in a row, 9 Halles), indicates that you also like domination... when your favorite player wins.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
#26
Only from the perspective of a fan who does not support the dominant player. Fans of the dominant player enjoy the domination, so the claim that "domination becomes boring" is subjective as it depends on the specific fan.

The fact that you enjoyed Federer's domination on grass (5 Wimbledon in a row, 9 Halles), indicates that you also like domination... when your favorite player wins.
It's pretty natural that somebody who is not a fan of the dominant player will not enjoy dominance. It is what it is.
 

Ann

Hall of Fame
#27
I love watching Rafa on clay. I'm old and know that we will never again see anyone as dominant on any surface as Rafa is on clay. His style is unorthodox and I may be predominantly a Fed fan but I always root for Rafa during clay season (except when he plays Roger).

I hope he wins #12.
 
#31
It's pretty natural that somebody who is not a fan of the dominant player will not enjoy dominance. It is what it is.
Pretty much.
As a non-fan of Sampres and then Federer, watching them win Wimbledon all the time got old.
Likewise with Nadal at RG.
The only difference is there has been no passing of the torch or changing of the guard with Nadal, he keeps crushing his opponents.
Every year we are looking for someone ready to step up on clay, and it doesn't happen.
Having watched this sport since the 80s, and an original Lendl fan, it is something we will never see again, and in that sense makes one appreciative of what Nadal and this Big 3 era has accomplished.
 
#32
I saw some highlights of Nadl's match vs. RBA. He plays a pretty simple tactic (hitting the BH relentlessly, afforded by the amazing lefty topspin from modern tech), but it's very hard to counter. Only a well-playing Djokr seems to be able to consistently resist.

Claydal is really a perfect storm of 3 main points:

1) lefty
2) HEAVY moonball w/ amazing topspin from modern tech
3) don't mind repetitions

The key to me is the 'lefty' aspect to his patterns. If he played the same patterns as a righty, even with all else the exact same, he'd be much less successful. He also doesn't mind playing the same play over and over and over and over again. That takes a certain tolerance level (Fedr won't be able to do so, for example. He gets bored too fast and would deviate.).

And Nadal has all of those 3 aspects perfectly mixed together, hence his clay dominance bc it allows him even more time to execute.
Objectively, it's pretty spectacular.
Subjectively, it's pretty boring to me bc I like to see variety of play. It's a bit annoying as a non-fan especially bc of the 'luck' aspect of him being a lefty which allows it. The 'luck' aspect was probably due to the genius of Unle Toni convincing Rafa to play lefty as a child, maybe? So well done to El Tio! ;)
 
#36
I saw some highlights of Nadl's match vs. RBA. He plays a pretty simple tactic (hitting the BH relentlessly, afforded by the amazing lefty topspin from modern tech), but it's very hard to counter. Only a well-playing Djokr seems to be able to consistently resist.

Claydal is really a perfect storm of 3 main points:

1) lefty
2) HEAVY moonball w/ amazing topspin from modern tech
3) don't mind repetitions

The key to me is the 'lefty' aspect to his patterns. If he played the same patterns as a righty, even with all else the exact same, he'd be much less successful. He also doesn't mind playing the same play over and over and over and over again. That takes a certain tolerance level (Fedr won't be able to do so, for example. He gets bored too fast and would deviate.).

And Nadal has all of those 3 aspects perfectly mixed together, hence his clay dominance bc it allows him even more time to execute.
Objectively, it's pretty spectacular.
Subjectively, it's pretty boring to me bc I like to see variety of play. It's a bit annoying as a non-fan especially bc of the 'luck' aspect of him being a lefty which allows it. The 'luck' aspect was probably due to the genius of Unle Toni convincing Rafa to play lefty as a child, maybe? So well done to El Tio! ;)
So full of tropes and myths and untruths. Uncle Toni did NOT force or convince Rafa to play lefty. Rafa is ambidextrous and his hand/eye coordination is quite unique. He kicks a football with his left foot. He plays pool with his left hand. He plays ping pong with his left hand. He plays tennis with his left hand. Most other things he does with his right. If he's only successful because he can play lefty, then why haven't Fernando Verdasco, or Feliciano Lopez broken a record or two along the way? They are both lefties playing the same group of opponents as Rafa has played. Why do Charly Moya and Maria Sharapova play great tennis with their right hands when they were born left handed in most other things.

If Rafa's success is based on modern tech to get his spin, why aren't there any other players on tour, who all have access to the same technology that Rafa does, that can hit the same incredible shots that Rafa does? And I dare say you don't watch much tennis these days if you think that Rafa relies on repetitition more than other players. I can't count the number of matches I've watched where 90% of the shots are crosscourt backhands. Rafa mixes up his game beautifully with his spin and his pace and his angles and directions.

So many wimps on this board who can't stand Rafa because he's beaten their favourite player and won't give him his due for his amazing tennis game and incredible achievements. You're really quite sad.
 
#38
But when Djokovic mows people over on HC (and Fed on grass) it's so exciting though................
Idk how people can't enjoy how ridiculous Rafa's clay level is, it's quite amazing for him to be 32 and still beast this way.
MN, the problem is that even Fed and Djokovic don't dominate the same way on their best surfaces.

It's all about winning games. The second highest career number for winning games on a surface is for Djokovic, just a tiny hair below 60%. That's an incredible number. Fed is just below 59% on grass, which is actually about equal because games are lower on faster surfaces.

Yet Nadal is a hair below 63.5% of total games on clay, which is just crazy. Again, games go up a bit on clay over HC. We might figure 59% on grass, 60% on HC, 61%. These would be roughly comparable.

The problem is that he is so much better than everyone else, even now. If he had exactly the same kind of dominance on HC instead of clay, he'd probably have well over 20 slams right now. But his dominance makes clay boring. It's not his fault.

If you don't dislike him, watching him fight on fast surfaces is dramatic because he's always playing at a comparative disadvantage. He's won a lot off clay, but it's always a huge battle.

You have to think what it looked like watching him and Novak at the AO this year, how lopsided it was. It was a bad day for him there. He was rusty. But he was still an underdog.

Things sure look different in Monte Carlo. I don't see how the Djokovic we've seen lately would have a prayer against this Rafa on red clay.
 

Luka888

Professional
#39
I am a Fed fan, and I don't want Nadal to win, or Djokovic for that matter. However, I know one of them will win the French, and I have accepted that. Once I have done that, even as a a Fed fan I am able to enjoy what Nadal has done and will continue to do on clay.

Do I love clay? No, but when I watch Nadal play tennis at the level he did today, and in most clay matches, I have learned to appreciate every minute of it. It is something incredible to watch; One tennis player play at such a high level, he makes the world's best players (yes, anyone in the top 100 in the world at something is spectacular at what they do) look absolutely silly.

Dominance should not bore you, it should make you revel at how lucky we are to watch this take place, because we won't see it again.

Yes I am a Fed fan, yes I don't want Nadal to win the French, but I am a tennis fan first, and what Nadal does on clay is spectacular to watch as a tennis fan.

So can we not enjoy the level of actual tennis being played and push the results aside?
What you want or don't want does not matter bud. You are also contradicting yourself. 'I like it, but I don't like it'... If you don't like clay don't watch it.

You enjoyed Rafa's win but you would like Fed to be Rafa on clay. What do you actually want ;)?
 
#40
So full of tropes and myths and untruths. Uncle Toni did NOT force or convince Rafa to play lefty. Rafa is ambidextrous and his hand/eye coordination is quite unique. He kicks a football with his left foot. He plays pool with his left hand. He plays ping pong with his left hand. He plays tennis with his left hand. Most other things he does with his right. If he's only successful because he can play lefty, then why haven't Fernando Verdasco, or Feliciano Lopez broken a record or two along the way? They are both lefties playing the same group of opponents as Rafa has played. Why do Charly Moya and Maria Sharapova play great tennis with their right hands when they were born left handed in most other things.

If Rafa's success is based on modern tech to get his spin, why aren't there any other players on tour, who all have access to the same technology that Rafa does, that can hit the same incredible shots that Rafa does? And I dare say you don't watch much tennis these days if you think that Rafa relies on repetitition more than other players. I can't count the number of matches I've watched where 90% of the shots are crosscourt backhands. Rafa mixes up his game beautifully with his spin and his pace and his angles and directions.

So many wimps on this board who can't stand Rafa because he's beaten their favourite player and won't give him his due for his amazing tennis game and incredible achievements. You're really quite sad.
You obviously didn't understand my post. How Rafa came as a lefty is not that important. It is simply good for Rafa that he is a lefty. I didn't imply that 'any' lefty would be successful like Rafa as you referenced Lopez and Verdasco. They don't play the same game as Rafa. Rafa is special, but I said that 'Rafa' would be much less successful as a righty (and by extension, even Lopez and Verdasco would be less successful too, but they were not my focus). Or do you honestly think Rafa would have nearly as much success against the tour playing the same game as a righty? Even when as a righty-Rafa, his BEST play (hitting relentless CC FHs) hitting to most righty's strength would yield equally good results?

As for tech, do you think Rafa would be nearly as successful playing in the wooden racquet era, when tech DIDN'T allow for so much topspin? It's not Rafa's fault. I was just pointing out how it's a perfect storm that works for Rafa. Kudos to him, but it is what it is.

You do realize most players do not like to play against lefties right? Even lefties don't. This is simply bc they don't play them often enough to get used to them and prefer to play righties.

Rafa is great, but I think he would be much less successful so as a righty. What is the likely-hood of that being true? I think it's >50%. What do you think?
 
#44
What you want or don't want does not matter bud. You are also contradicting yourself. 'I like it, but I don't like it'... If you don't like clay don't watch it.

You enjoyed Rafa's win but you would like Fed to be Rafa on clay. What do you actually want ;)?
Don't think in absolutes, bud. First, I never said "I like it, but I don't," second, I don't have to like clay to appreciate it and enjoy one aspect of the game when one particular player is playing. I don't care for basketball at all, but I can appreciate and enjoy Michael Jordan when he is on.

The whole point of my post was to not focus on the results as well. I said in the beginning that I accepted he was going to win, after doing that it makes it much easier to appreciate what he is doing on the court and not the trophies he is attaining.

Sometimes, we need to step back from the Fandom and enjoy the sport, that is all I am saying.
 
#45
You obviously didn't understand my post. How Rafa came as a lefty is not that important. It is simply good for Rafa that he is a lefty. I didn't imply that 'any' lefty would be successful like Rafa as you referenced Lopez and Verdasco. They don't play the same game as Rafa. Rafa is special, but I said that 'Rafa' would be much less successful as a righty (and by extension, even Lopez and Verdasco would be less successful too, but they were not my focus). Or do you honestly think Rafa would have nearly as much success against the tour playing the same game as a righty? Even when as a righty-Rafa, his BEST play (hitting relentless CC FHs) hitting to most righty's strength would yield equally good results?

As for tech, do you think Rafa would be nearly as successful playing in the wooden racquet era, when tech DIDN'T allow for so much topspin? It's not Rafa's fault. I was just pointing out how it's a perfect storm that works for Rafa. Kudos to him, but it is what it is.

You do realize most players do not like to play against lefties right? Even lefties don't. This is simply bc they don't play them often enough to get used to them and prefer to play righties.

Rafa is great, but I think he would be much less successful so as a righty. What is the likely-hood of that being true? I think it's >50%. What do you think?
Probably not much less successful, but a little less successful. But if Rafa plays right-handed, do you think he will do better against Novak since Rafa will have an easier time attacking Novak's forehand crosscourt instead of down the line as a lefty?
 
#46
Probably not much less successful, but a little less successful. But if Rafa plays right-handed, do you think he will do better against Novak since Rafa will have an easier time attacking Novak's forehand crosscourt instead of down the line as a lefty?
Good question. I think yes, but it will be balanced out by Djokovic doing more damage to a righty-Rafa's BH wing.
 
#48
Good question. I think yes, but it will be balanced out by Djokovic doing more damage to a righty-Rafa's BH wing.
Thanks for the reply! Anyway, I never understood why some fans have to be so negative. The big 3 are all in the twilight of their careers, I will really miss all the epic matches between them once they are gone.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#49
Thanks for the reply! Anyway, I never understood why some fans have to be so negative. The big 3 are all in the twilight of their careers, I will really miss all the epic matches between them once they are gone.
When you start talking about the fanbases in sweeping statements when you have 11 messages on this board ......

:cool:
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#50
So what if I am a new user? Didn't you start as a new user back then? Besides I only said some fans, I didn't generalize any particular player's fanbase. All fanbases are bound to have some ass*****. And judging from your message, you sure sound like an ass****.
I did. I still remember my first posts being an effort to summarise my impression of the dynamic of the Fedal rivalry and some notes in the Pro Player section. I never focused on the dynamic of the conversations here at the time, never mind starting to trash talk entire fanbases and looking for excuses to start attacking them from the get go.

While I don't think that I am wrong in my impression, I just warned you of how it looks. It is up to you what you are going to do next.

:cool:
 
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