Nadal better not mess this up........

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Good post @MichaelNadal . Just comparing:

Novak seems in so much better form: 100% physically. Moving fast as ever. Mentally strong as ever. Technically: Serve (bigger than usual), drop shots, lobs, forehand BIGGER this tournament, and backhand reliable as always. On his A game.

Nadal shows small patches of his A game. But he tires in matches over 2 hours with good opponents. He starts to hit short under pressure. Serve sub-par all tournament.
Backhand is NOT at 100% hard level, forehand is hit and miss,so NOT consistently deep and heavy when he is at his best. Overall Nadal is nowhere near his best form on clay and is moving slower than usual.

On top of all that: The conditions being cool and balls being heavy favor Novak. Nadal's spin won't be jumping up at all. Lastly, Novak always has the mental edge as slams vs Nadal. He finds a way to win even when Nadal is playing better (ex Wimb 2018).

Given all this how can Nadal prevail? Unless he can suddenly play at his best, there is no outcome other than Novak in 4 sets.
Yeah Nadal is here and there. Moments of greatness, but shanking too many balls, and not getting enough free points on serve. Ugh.
 

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
Yeah Nadal is here and there. Moments of greatness, but shanking too many balls, and not getting enough free points on serve. Ugh.
I just HATE when he does that. Seriously. He will play a few games vintage Rafa and then lose focus and start hitting short. He seems to tire easier too IMO.
If he does that vs Novak - it's Good night Irene.
 
I think this is all up to Djokovic to mess up and he can do it, as shown by extending routine victory to 5 sets against Tsitsipas. Nadal can just relax, play his best (no?) and hope Novak isn't in God mode.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I just HATE when he does that. Seriously. He will play a few games vintage Rafa and then lose focus and start hitting short. He seems to tire easier too IMO.
If he does that vs Novak - it's Good night Irene.
Yeah if he had his old fitness I wouldn't even be concerned. His energy is the biggest thing. We know Novak hasn't been tired since 2010.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
There is nothing to mess up. Two titans going at it. No shame whoever loses.
There's plenty to mess up bc if he doesn't get 20 here, you never know, he may never win another slam. 35 is coming fast. Certainly no shame in losing to Djokovic after losing like 5 steps on clay, but im talking about the opportunity to keep his RG record GOATY and get #20. If anyone messed up, it's Tsitsipas ;)
 

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
Yeah if he had his old fitness I wouldn't even be concerned. His energy is the biggest thing. We know Novak hasn't been tired since 2010.
Well if 33 year old Novak can outlast a 22 year old youngster, it just shows that Novak will never get tired. Ever since he became Novak 2.0 - he can play a dozen 5 set matches back to back.
 

irishnadalfan1983

Hall of Fame
Do I expect him to win? That im not sure of.... the first set is crucial. What my head does say is if the real Rafa does show up, he should win yes. The thing is im not sure that's the Rafa we will get at 34.


Hopefully the match goes like this^
I know that was only 14/15 months ago but I feel Rafa is much slower now...

I only see one winner tomorrow but I hope I am wrong....
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Well if 33 year old Novak can outlast a 22 year old youngster, it just shows that Novak will never get tired. Ever since he became Novak 2.0 - he can play a dozen 5 set matches back to back.
It's ridiculous.

I know that was only 14/15 months ago but I feel Rafa is much slower now...

I only see one winner tomorrow but I hope I am wrong....
One thing I'll say though.... Nadal has to do a lot WRONG to lose. I think we are focusing too much/acting like Novak is THAT perfect. Nadal will have to donate some things to lose too. It's very mental. Unfortunately Nadal has more to lose here than Novak, I just hope he's not nervous. If he comes out swinging we're good. Nadal could use that Djokovic mentality in their matchup sometimes. When they play in Australia, Novak knows it's his court, and thinks, im gonna go out here, smash him, and show him why I own this place. That's what Nadal needs to go out there and do, bc if he does, not even Djokovic can beat him. What makes me nervous is him standing 10ft behind the baseline and thinking "ill try my best, no? :X3:
 

Azure

Legend
It's ridiculous.



One thing I'll say though.... Nadal has to do a lot WRONG to lose. I think we are focusing too much/acting like Novak is THAT perfect. Nadal will have to donate some things to lose too. It's very mental. Unfortunately Nadal has more to lose here than Novak, I just hope he's not nervous. If he comes out swinging we're good. Nadal could use that Djokovic mentality in their matchup sometimes. When they play in Australia, Novak knows it's his court, and thinks, im gonna go out here, smash him, and show him why I own this place. That's what Nadal needs to go out there and do, bc if he does, not even Djokovic can beat him. What makes me nervous is him standing 10ft behind the baseline and thinking "ill try my best, no? :X3:
He needs to take some cues from Tsitsipas. As long as Tsitsipas was trying to outgrind Djokovic from the baseline, he was getting pummeled. The moment he stepped inside the baseline and was playing aggressive, he started winning points. Moya needs to drill this into Rafa's stubborn head.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
He needs to take some cues from Tsitsipas. As long as Tsitsipas was trying to outgrind Djokovic from the baseline, he was getting pummeled. The moment he stepped inside the baseline and was playing aggressive, he started winning points. Moya needs to drill this into Rafa's stubborn head.
Period. He's not going to out-rally Djokovic these days. MOVE FORWARD, and rip those shots.
 
N

Nole14_15NoPressure

Guest
Their last clay meeting was Rome 2019. The AO match had no bearing on clay. Nadal took Djokovic apart in Rome.
Sorry, I have a selective memory when it comes to Nole's defeats. I stopped storing them in my hippocampus after RG 2011.
 

fox

Semi-Pro
You expect Rafa to win RG until 2030? Sorry but this is just impossible to win tournament through all these years already but even more than 12 times?
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
All this work, his entire career, the ups, the downs, the injuries, the bad losses, etc. Golden chance to get to 20 on his home court. Don't mess it up Rafa, remember who you are! It would be so gross for him to lose this match.



Heart says Nadal, head says Nadal. But Djokovic has a way of ruining plans............... :unsure: just depends which Rafa shows up. I hope it's confident Rafa and not nervous Rafa. Moya better be giving him the talk. 99-2 at RG.... it speaks for itself. What an awful time it would be to finally end up being 3 :sneaky:
 

JoshuaPim

Semi-Pro
Djokovic's peak level is nowadays higher it would seem, even on clay. But he is also more prone to erratic play, and mentality, at unexpected moments. Which makes this probably even more unpredictable than previous encounters. If Thiem can beat him in 2019 on clay, then Nadal can do so in 2020. But if he peaks, then some bad memories will come back for Nadal. 60-40 Djokovic I believe.... which is saying something considering one has 12 RGs and the other 11 fewer.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Unfortunately, I can't see Nadal winning this. He has to battle against 3 opponents: Djokovic, the tournament organizers and himself. Way too much for a 34 years old. He is mentally afraid of Djokovic. Even in their last 3 meetings on clay he was choking, even though he still ended up winning them all.

I just don't see how he (or anyone else in this weak tour) can beat Djokovic in BO5. There is just no way Nadal wins 3 sets.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Unfortunately, I can't see Nadal winning this. He has to battle against 3 opponents: Djokovic, the tournament organizers and himself. Way too much for a 34 years old. He is mentally afraid of Djokovic. Even in their last 3 meetings on clay he was choking, even though he still ended up winning them all.

I just don't see how he (or anyone else in this weak tour) can beat Djokovic in BO5. There is just no way Nadal wins 3 sets.
Djokovic has to win 3 sets from Nadal. No one has done that, ever, once he passed the QFs.
 

Biggest3

New User
He is mentally afraid of Djokovic.
He is not mentally afraid at all, especially on clay. He knows he is the Goat here and no one could touch him in his prime or even declined years. It is just frustration that in his mind he knows what was he able to do but his body simply doesn't follow suit anymore. Has nothing to do with Djoker since he can't touch him here if it was fair and square.

Djoker needed to wait decades before Nadal level dropped so low + tournament and conditions changes to finally beat him in the final here.

In the end consistency trumps everything and Djoker is the one that declined the least out of the Big 3. I'd say Federer did a good job maintaining his level throughout the years but the age gap was simply too big between him and Djoker. Nadal on the other hand lost the fight with father time the hardest, hence he will end up on the third place.

One thing no one will ever take out of Nadal is the title of God of clay. The overall level and peak he reached here between 2007-2013 will never be surpassed by Djoker or anyone else. But tennis is not played on clay only so outside of it he will be third overall.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic has to win 3 sets from Nadal. No one has done that, ever, once he passed the QFs.
That was in the past. Now Nadal is 34 years old, and the conditions are also very different. Right now, nobody can beat Djokovic in BO5, for sure not a declined Nadal. I think Nadal played better in the semifinal than in all the previous rounds, but his level is still not good enough. Djokovic is in much better form.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
He is not mentally afraid at all, especially on clay. He knows he is the Goat here and no one could touch him in his prime or even declined years. It is just frustration that in his mind he knows what was he able to do but his body simply doesn't follow suit anymore. Has nothing to do with Djoker since he can't touch him here if it was fair and square.

Djoker needed to wait decades before Nadal level dropped so low + tournament and conditions changes to finally beat him in the final here.

In the end consistency trumps everything and Djoker is the one that declined the least out of the Big 3. I'd say Federer did a good job maintaining his level throughout the years but the age gap was simply too big between him and Djoker. Nadal on the other hand lost the fight with father time the hardest, hence he will end up on the third place.

One thing no one will ever take out of Nadal is the title of God of clay. The overall level and peak he reached here between 2007-2013 will never be surpassed by Djoker or anyone else. But tennis is not played on clay only so outside of it he will be third overall.
Of course he is afraid. He is choking a lot in matches against Djokovic. You could see that in their RG 2012-2014 matches. He was lucky he could win them all on return, because he would never be able to serve it out. (as we saw in the 2013 semifinal)
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame
All this work, his entire career, the ups, the downs, the injuries, the bad losses, etc. Golden chance to get to 20 on his home court. Don't mess it up Rafa, remember who you are! It would be so gross for him to lose this match.



Heart says Nadal, head says Nadal. But Djokovic has a way of ruining plans............... :unsure: just depends which Rafa shows up. I hope it's confident Rafa and not nervous Rafa. Moya better be giving him the talk. 99-2 at RG.... it speaks for itself. What an awful time it would be to finally end up being 3 :sneaky:
Nadal has ruined Key situations already

they are 5 for me.

1. AO 2012 ... collapses in 5 sets and could have won
2. AO 2014 .. lost against player he has never dropped a set like in 8 matches
3. AO 2017 .. he played to conservative after Roger risked it all being a break down in the 5th
4 AO 2019.. clearly nervous and lack of confidence.. he could have lost but not like this
5 .WI 2018 SF .. he didnt risk enough in all the break points he had against djoko on the 5th and gifted the third (or second, cant remember well) tiebreak where he was on the lead.

There may be even more but those get on top of my head.
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame
That was in the past. Now Nadal is 34 years old, and the conditions are also very different. Right now, nobody can beat Djokovic in BO5, for sure not a declined Nadal. I think Nadal played better in the semifinal than in all the previous rounds, but his level is still not good enough. Djokovic is in much better form.
problem is djoko is 33 not 25.. and his much better form only last for 1 set, hence why he need 5 sets against tsitsipas and lose sets to busta,
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
problem is djoko is 33 not 25.. and his much better form only last for 1 set, hence why he need 5 sets against tsitsipas and lose sets to busta,
And he is moving like he did at 25...He didn't play bad yesterday, Tsitsipas just suddenly became extremely clutch on break points. Actually, in the fourth and fifth sets Djokovic had break points in every game on Tsitsipas's serve. I really don't know how Tsitsipas won the fourth set given that.
 

Sabrina

Hall of Fame
Nadal has ruined Key situations already

they are 5 for me.

1. AO 2012 ... collapses in 5 sets and could have won
2. AO 2014 .. lost against player he has never dropped a set like in 8 matches
3. AO 2017 .. he played to conservative after Roger risked it all being a break down in the 5th
4 AO 2019.. clearly nervous and lack of confidence.. he could have lost but not like this
5 .WI 2018 SF .. he didnt risk enough in all the break points he had against djoko on the 5th and gifted the third (or second, cant remember well) tiebreak where he was on the lead.

There may be even more but those get on top of my head.
Wim 18 is actually the worst loss for me. In AO 12/17 Nadal was outplayed by his opponents more than the closed scoreline suggested.
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame
And he is moving like he did at 25...He didn't play bad yesterday, Tsitsipas just suddenly became extremely clutch on break points. Actually, in the fourth and fifth sets Djokovic had break points in every game on Tsitsipas's serve. I really don't know how Tsitsipas won the fourth set given that.
Problem is Tsitsipas was extremely weak during the first 2 sets..
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Looks like some Nadal fans are in fact handwringers. LOL.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Nadal has this barring a disaster. Clay is Nadal's playground. Always has been and will be until he officially retires. Upon which time his records will likely stand for eternity.

I won't get into the x's and o's of the matchup, I just think if both guys play their A game Nadal wins in 4 or less. Djoker is dangerous obviously, but I can't escape the idea that he's a hard courter at heart playing a HC style at RG. Nadal is a clay genius on the other hand.
 

E36BMWM3

Hall of Fame
All this work, his entire career, the ups, the downs, the injuries, the bad losses, etc. Golden chance to get to 20 on his home court. Don't mess it up Rafa, remember who you are! It would be so gross for him to lose this match.



Heart says Nadal, head says Nadal. But Djokovic has a way of ruining plans............... :unsure: just depends which Rafa shows up. I hope it's confident Rafa and not nervous Rafa. Moya better be giving him the talk. 99-2 at RG.... it speaks for itself. What an awful time it would be to finally end up being 3 :sneaky:
This post makes me nervous AF! You’re 100% right... this is HIS house, his castle to protect... I honestly don’t think I will be able to watch this... GIVE ME STRENGTH!!!!!
 

beard

Hall of Fame
Djokovic has to win 3 sets from Nadal. No one has done that, ever, once he passed the QFs.
You should know that past can't show the future... If you want to look at past see their rg15 meeting... The last one they had...

Anyway, who ever wins it will be huge... I certainly hope Rafa get 20 and 21 but not over Novak... If Nadal wins it would be against Novak, his biggest rival in good form, so I will congratulate first...
 
If Busta can take him to 4 and Tsitsipas can take him to 5........ Nadal has def slowed down so im not saying you're wrong.
Djokovic always struggles more against the rest of the field especially on clay. It wasn’t certain djoko would make it to Rafa but thankfully he did this time.

Therefore him dropping sets in last couple of rounds doesn’t surprise me. In end djoko ended up having the a tougher route too but time on court not much different. Rafa looked great on who he’s beat though and has to be happy with his efficiency.

Rafa is slight favourite but if anyone can beat him here it’s Novak as he has the game, experience and mentality to pull it off. Think it will be very close. Give slight edge to Rafa due to his record here but should be awesome.
 

Xavier G

Hall of Fame
Rafa's the King of Clay and he's still favorite for me. He's generally mentally less prone to upset than Novak imo who can let emotions affect him sometimes and Djoker had to go five sets against Tsitsipas when he could have closed it out earlier.
Conditions at RG are different this year though so they may conceivably help Djokovic, if for instance the roof has to be closed, and with the different tennis balls, no big crowd attendance etc, and Novak does have a win over Rafa at the French, but still, Nadal is THE man at Roland Garros where he's so comfortable.

I think they might both have to go five sets in this final. :)

Nadal winner in five sets imho.
 
I think this is all up to Djokovic to mess up and he can do it, as shown by extending routine victory to 5 sets against Tsitsipas. Nadal can just relax, play his best (no?) and hope Novak isn't in God mode.
I just hope Novak is more focused on Sunday. His tennis and mentality has been awesome at times but the mental lapses will cost him against Rafa. If he in stays in the zen like zone mode and he tends to do against nadal and Federer in big matches he can win. It all depends if djoko can reduce those mental lapses.

His tennis at RG has been impressive overall. The weather suits him and he hitting a nice variety of shots and showing great mental strength. However, the mental lapses against Tsitsipas have to be avoided or reduced or Rafa will capitalise on it and beat him.

I lot for Rafa also depends on his confidence against Djokovic in a big match. If any tournament gonna give him confidence it’s playing french open on PC but Novak has had his number in big matches in last few years. Rafa has cruised through and looked good against his opponents but he hasn’t had a big test before djoko. Djoko is more battle tested but could be little more jaded. Although I expect both to fine physically.

I honestly see it going 5 sets. I think there will be lots of nerves. In terms of matchup and what’s on line it feels like the biggest slam final. Rafa could finally tie Federer 20 slams which is the holy grail for him and what he’s been chasing for years. Novak can get on 18 and achieve double career slam and seal his dominance over Rafa and fed in slams of late and set himself up perfectly to catch them in 2021.
 
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Deleted member 744633

Guest
Believe me if there's material for future reference are all the guys suggesting Djokovic is the favorite on Sunday.

Practically everyone on this forum is overrating the hell out of Djokovic, just look at all the threads.

I'm actually the only one confident enough to say Nadal is going to win without any problems.
You're not the only one :)

As things stand right now, a Nadal-Djokovic slam final is best for tennis. Nadal wins, he equals Federer's 20 slams. Djokovic wins and he draws one slam closer to Federer's record and is all but guaranteed to break Federer's weeks at No. 1 record. Whichever way it swings, tennis wins!

That being said, Nadal in 4 sets over Djokovic.
 

USO

Hall of Fame
You're not the only one :)

As things stand right now, a Nadal-Djokovic slam final is best for tennis. Nadal wins, he equals Federer's 20 slams. Djokovic wins and he draws one slam closer to Federer's record and is all but guaranteed to break Federer's weeks at No. 1 record. Whichever way it swings, tennis wins!

That being said, Nadal in 4 sets over Djokovic.
So basically you’re saying that Tennis wins as long as Federer suffers? :unsure:
 
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Deleted member 744633

Guest
So basically you’re saying that Tennis wins as long as Federer suffers? :unsure:
No, I'm not saying that. Federer being the record holder is not so important. Tennis wins so long as major records are set/broken because it gets people talking and attracts them to the sport. Nadal himself alluded to it in an interview yesterday.
 

CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
Good post @MichaelNadal . Just comparing:

Novak seems in so much better form: 100% physically. Moving fast as ever. Mentally strong as ever. Technically: Serve (bigger than usual), drop shots, lobs, forehand BIGGER this tournament, and backhand reliable as always. On his A game.

Nadal shows small patches of his A game. But he tires in matches over 2 hours with good opponents. He starts to hit short under pressure. Serve sub-par all tournament.
Backhand is NOT at 100% hard level, forehand is hit and miss,so NOT consistently deep and heavy when he is at his best. Overall Nadal is nowhere near his best form on clay and is moving slower than usual.

On top of all that: The conditions being cool and balls being heavy favor Novak. Nadal's spin won't be jumping up at all. Lastly, Novak always has the mental edge as slams vs Nadal. He finds a way to win even when Nadal is playing better (ex Wimb 2018).

Given all this how can Nadal prevail? Unless he can suddenly play at his best, there is no outcome other than Novak in 4 sets.
Not at the French Open. Djokovic has lost a lot of finals (and a semi-final) to the King of Clay.

Mentally, Nadal should have the edge in this match.

It's played on clay and also at his best venue.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
I hope so man.



Djokovic is fitter at this point in their careers. Even if Rafa is outplaying him (like Wimby 18), Djokovic just has a way of hanging around and not even looking like he's doing much, and somehow still winning.
Djoker may be in a better spot physically (maybe, he seems to be accumulating neck injuries and his stamina isn’t what it was) but Rafa’s average game is just more oppressive to ordinary players. They aren’t used to hitting his unique shots.
 
Well if 33 year old Novak can outlast a 22 year old youngster, it just shows that Novak will never get tired. Ever since he became Novak 2.0 - he can play a dozen 5 set matches back to back.
The match with Tsitsipas wasn’t too physical either. 3 of the sets djoko won were over pretty quick. The other 2 sets Tsitsipas were more brutal and longer. Still all in all Djokovic has only spent a little bit longer on the court than rafa. Novak will be ok physically and be quite battle tested which is good.
 

Sephiroth

Hall of Fame
All this work, his entire career, the ups, the downs, the injuries, the bad losses, etc. Golden chance to get to 20 on his home court. Don't mess it up Rafa, remember who you are! It would be so gross for him to lose this match.



Heart says Nadal, head says Nadal. But Djokovic has a way of ruining plans............... :unsure: just depends which Rafa shows up. I hope it's confident Rafa and not nervous Rafa. Moya better be giving him the talk. 99-2 at RG.... it speaks for itself. What an awful time it would be to finally end up being 3 :sneaky:
Basically, If he loses the first set it's over it's reached that point because this ain't 2014 anymore so I doubt he's gonna pull of a win from losing the opening set. Djok will wear him out and be even more confident.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
If Nadal picks his spots and is keen to pounce on opportunities in a balanced fashion, be stable and solid but rip it most of the time the opportunity arises, he'll win. Djokovic won't really have an answer for it.

If he mucks around hoping to win by surviving it's 50/50.

A key for Nadal is feeling the dynamics of the match to know when for short stretches he can just go into a somewhat passive mode and when to attack but with the balance more toward attack. But he's always been great at that anyway. He feels the requirements of clay unlike anybody else.



**

Dal just gets the ebbs and flows of the war of attrition that is clay court tennis.
 
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