Memo to Rafa's coaches: end that BH slice ! It's killing him.

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
It might work on slow bouncing clay, but on hard it's hanging in the air and is begging to get hit.

Also, the BH dropshots attempts were even more amateurish than his slice.
 

Ronaldorro

New User
Doesnt make sense though. On hard the slice would stay lower and be harder to hit than on clay where it sits comfortably at around waist height. Yet it works better for him on clay.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Natal tried to copy Thiem who beat Medvedev easily at the USO by slicing his BH crosscourt a lot and disrupting his rhythm. The difference is that Thiem is a righty and he forced BH errors from Med on BH-BH rallies. Nadal was slicing his BH CC to Med’s FH and lost too many points as Medvedev hit good FHs off many of the BH slices and it did not force a lot of errors.

Also, it seemed like hitting all those slices disrupted Nadal’s 2HBH rhythm more than it affected Med and Nadal made BH errors late in the match many times when he tried to flatten out his BH. So, it was a half-baked strategy that didn’t take into account the fact that Nadal is a lefty slicing to Med’s FH and secondly, it did not play to Nadal’s strengths.

It is never a good idea to go away from your strengths to exploit an opponent‘s supposed weakness - or, try it for a while and stop doing it if it is not working during a match.
 

thomasferrett

Hall of Fame
Nadal could have beaten Medvedev love and love if he had simply hit high topspins to Medvedev's backhand liek he does to 100% of other players on tour.

Why change his game for Medvedev? Medvedev is a nobody.
 

USO

Professional
Nadal played a great match and his slice was a great strategy, he just played a bad game when serving for the match at 6-3, 5-4. But things like that happen in tennis, last year Medvedev had a huge lead like 5-1 in the 3rd set to beat Nadal but still lost.
 

18x20 ftw

Rookie
Nadal played a great match and his slice was a great strategy, he just played a bad game when serving for the match at 6-3, 5-4. But things like that happen in tennis, last year Medvedev had a huge lead like 5-1 in the 3rd set to beat Nadal but still lost.
It was the right play vs Medvedev. He had him where he wanted him, serving for the match despite first serve problems throughout. Then he blew the service game, blew the tb and collapsed physically. He didn't lose yesterday because of the slice.
Nadal post-match said Medvedev outplayed him at 5-4 in the second.
 

USO

Professional
Nadal post-match said Medvedev outplayed him at 5-4 in the second.
I was on the phone so I couldn't pay close attention to that part but I think he was down 0-40. That means that maybe he missed some first serves, etc. The point is the strategy of slice backhand mixed with some high topspin was working great and causing Medvedev some problems with his rhythm, it just came down to a few points here and there, it was a close match.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
It was quite clearly a strategy of his and not the reason he lost. If anything it was the reason he almost won because I don't think Med deals with slice that well.
 
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