Is time for players to change their strategy facing Rafa at RG?

Should players change their strategy?

  • yes

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • no

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • Rafa will win RG regardless

    Votes: 22 73.3%

  • Total voters
    30

skypadq

Hall of Fame
When Rafa was younger, one of his greatest weapons was to outlast his opponents physically in BO5 matches at RG. The toughest task to do for any player facing him. One had to work for every point and to do it over 5 hours against him with his topspin forehand and superior physicality and movement. The strategy for most was to play aggressive, go for the shots and shorten the rallies which is much more harder to do on clay than on other surfaces.

But now that Rafa is 35 years and after seeing his match against Tsitsipas where he appeared to struggle physically should the players now actually try to prolong the points and outlast him physically. I just cannot imagine him winning multiple 4-5 hour matches this RG



what I found most strange about the final last year for Djokovic, Nadal showed signs of dropping his level by the end of his match against Schwartzman, but Djokovic tried to shorten points in the final right from the start, with dropshots every other point em hyper-aggressive play. Awful strategy.
 

BillKid

Professional
I think he will keep on winning RG (at least this year) using the same strategy that you describe well. The day he will no longer be able to win this way, he will not win playing differently.
 

skypadq

Hall of Fame
I think he will keep on winning RG (at least this year) using the same strategy that you describe well. The day he will no longer be able to win this way, he will not win playing differently.
i do think few of players can tired rafa nadal in RG
:: thiem
tsitsipas
rublev
djokovic
karatesv
 

USO

Hall of Fame
Djokovic tried to shorten points in the final right from the start, with dropshots every other point em hyper-aggressive play. Awful strategy.
That's when you get when you pick a servebot like Ivanisevic as a coach. He probably instructed Djokovic to not play points with more than a 2 shot rally. 8-B And Djokovic listened. :-D :giggle:

 

Martin J

Semi-Pro
The only way I see someone beating Nadal at the FO (at this stage of his career), bar injury, is to drag him into an extremely tough physical battle, since his stamina has decreased significantly compared to his prime years. That's why he's been trying to shorten the points and has become very offensive. His level inevitably drops after three sets and that has been the case in the last year or so.
If he's forced to play two consecutive matches where his opponents mange to make him stay on the court for 4-5 hours each, I would say that's the way to beat him. It still requires an enormous mental strength to take 3 sets off him on clay, regardless.
 

skypadq

Hall of Fame
The only way I see someone beating Nadal at the FO (at this stage of his career), bar injury, is to drag him into an extremely tough physical battle, since his stamina has decreased significantly compared to his prime years. That's why he's been trying to shorten the points and has become very offensive. His level inevitably drops after three sets and that has been the case in the last year or so.
If he's forced to play two consecutive matches where his opponents mange to make him stay on the court for 4-5 hours each, I would say that's the way to beat him. It still requires an enormous mental strength to take 3 sets off him on clay, regardless.
so , who do you think can played that way ?
thiem or tsitsipas ?
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
You can't beat the Rafa strategy. No one can hit him off the court for three sets bar Soderling. Rafa is just too good. Eventually, he will get his chance and be better prepared than his opponent.
 

BillKid

Professional
i do think few of players can tired rafa nadal in RG
:: thiem
tsitsipas
rublev
djokovic
karatesv
I’m a bit disapointed to see that Thiem may not be a his peak for this RG. He would have been the best challenger otherwise. But who knows, he may regain motivation and get ready for the tournament.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
i do think few of players can tired rafa nadal in RG
:: thiem
tsitsipas
rublev
djokovic
karatesv
But will any of them take a set from Nadal at Roland Garros this year? I seriously doubt it.
Tsitsipas was down championship points in the 2nd Set of the 2021 Barcelona Final, very nearly lost 6-4 6-4.
Rublev beat Nadal in 3 Sets at 2021 Monte Carlo.....but Nadal served TWO double-faults on BreakPoints in the 1st Set.....and I don't believe that would happen at Roland Garros, among other things.
And Djokovic met Nadal at 2020 Roland Garros Final with the roof closed, and Nadal won 60 62 75.....and Nadal hadn't played any tournaments since covid other than Rome (he lost in straight sets to Diego in the QF).
 

tennisjedi

Hall of Fame
Since Rafa does not have the stamina he had in his 20's, his opponent basically has to push him into a 5th set and hope Rafa runs out of gas.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
What I found most strange about the final last year for Djokovic... he tried to shorten points in the final right from the start, with dropshots every other point em hyper-aggressive play. Awful strategy.
Djokovic's drop shot is exceptional, it's a world class drop shot, arguably the best in tennis. Why was it an "awful strategy" to try and shorten points and disrupt Nadal's rhythm? Djokovic isn't beating a healthy or well playing Nadal from the baseline, why not try something different? I also must have missed Djokovic's supposed "hyper aggressive" play in last year's RG final. He was content to rally and drop shot on occasion, he almost never served and volleyed or attacked the net. He was content to rally from the back of the court and just get blown away in the process.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
I agree, Djokovic was consistently playing long rallies at last year's Roland Garros Final, and it was probably the most physically demanding bagel ever.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
How easy do you think it is to keep him out there rallying for 4-5 hours with his topspin kicking up high on every shot you hit?
And if you play defensively then the points won't last long, because Nadal will move you off the court and finish the points quickly.
 

California

Semi-Pro
That's when you get when you pick a servebot like Ivanisevic as a coach. He probably instructed Djokovic to not play points with more than a 2 shot rally. 8-B And Djokovic listened. :-D :giggle:

I agree. And Djoker isn’t a first strike type of player! Doesn’t have the serve, vollies, or aggression for that type of game, he couldn’t pull it off. I think Nadal has lost a lot from his prime, he can play him straight up and grind with him now, dictate to him but not over hit.
 

zipplock

Hall of Fame
When Rafa was younger, one of his greatest weapons was to outlast his opponents physically in BO5 matches at RG. The toughest task to do for any player facing him. One had to work for every point and to do it over 5 hours against him with his topspin forehand and superior physicality and movement. The strategy for most was to play aggressive, go for the shots and shorten the rallies which is much more harder to do on clay than on other surfaces.

But now that Rafa is 35 years and after seeing his match against Tsitsipas where he appeared to struggle physically should the players now actually try to prolong the points and outlast him physically. I just cannot imagine him winning multiple 4-5 hour matches this RG



what I found most strange about the final last year for Djokovic, Nadal showed signs of dropping his level by the end of his match against Schwartzman, but Djokovic tried to shorten points in the final right from the start, with dropshots every other point em hyper-aggressive play. Awful strategy.
Push for the win?
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
Thiem should be at the point now where he can do it. Nadal isn’t anywhere near the defender he used to be which was his greatest asset. Thiem is in his physical prime and can blast the ball. If anything he needs to improve closing points at the net after he has Nadal scrambling.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
It is interesting that people miss how Rafa has had to adjust and overcome all the different playing styles and tactics over the years of his opponenets and think he just plays this ONE style and beats everyone.
Yeah but it's clay so it must be one dimensional
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
Thiem should be at the point now where he can do it. Nadal isn’t anywhere near the defender he used to be which was his greatest asset. Thiem is in his physical prime and can blast the ball. If anything he needs to improve closing points at the net after he has Nadal scrambling.
Thiem has beaten Nadal FOUR times on clay, including straight sets on THREE occasions.
But by the time they meet at Roland Garros in the Final especially, Nadal is in-form and Thiem is the guy scrambling.
 
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