i'm sure he'll know where to search......Nadal to Reporters: "I need something else, will try to find (it)"
He still does have the best volleys in the top 20 (with the exception of Lopez), so he should charge the net more often.
My first guess is that that serve is hard on the body, so they only take it out for special occasions. Otherwise, he'd have kept on using it.
The other thing it seems like people forget is that serve isn't just about technique. If you look at players, all other things being equal (which is a long discussion) -- the ones with the best serves have very pronounced V-shapes, and those extra inches make a difference.
Look at the way Roger and Novak and DelPo are built, and the way they serve. Rafa -- and Stan too, to a lesser extent -- have to compensate more with the entire rest of the body because their wingspans are proportionately more narrow.
You can compensate by work and technique to an extent, but only to a certain extent.
(And if you're going to "But what about Sam Querrey" me, remember that there's other things involved in being a top player, like speed and torque and plain old tennis brain.)
It's like if you're an Olympic gymnast over 5'0" tall, with the current difficulty requirements, the odds for medaling are against you because the skills are at such a level of difficulty that the way you're built matters. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, it's just physics -- which is why Rafa his whole playing life has compensated so strongly & tactically in other areas.
But fans have also complained his entire career about "The serve, the serve, the serve' -- you do as much as you can do, but at the end of the day, there's only so much you can do.
If there were more to do, does anybody on this board doubt that that camp, in particular, would have done it by now?
The man plays - and got a Career 2x-Golden Slam - with his non-dominant hand*, for cripes' sake.
(*For anybody who didn't already know it, he's not a natural lefty.)
I'd say he has to stop feeling like he needs to overcompensate for time lost.
He was out on court yesterday practicing for three hours.
I think I understand why he did it, because he felt like he missed so much tennis.
But dude - you just spent 19 hours on court during the Olympics.
I know he's an obsessive perfectionist, but he has to learn there's such a word as "enough".
I think he didn't have enough in the tank for winners that wouldn't get past just anybody, but past Pouille playing at this level.
That dude was motivated. Yannick Noah was here to watch him. Tsonga, after his post-match interview, didn't leave the press box - just stayed there to watch the match on Ashe till the changeover, when he came in to sit next to Yannick Noah.
Some of those banana shots that get past even Novak -- Pouille got those back.
And I think Rafa would've had the extra punch for those shots if he'd called "enough" at somewhere between 1.5 and 2 hours of practice yesterday.
Of course, I'm not the one who was out there; I'm just guessing.
But I do also know that usually the whole family -- we're talking Dad, both coaches, everybody -- doesn't show up in Rafa's box til the final. Not even in 2010.
And they were here from 1R, so I'm sure they were as confident as he was that he was going to win the whole thing.
Sometimes less is more.
Just like Federer, Nadal's chance of winning another slam gets thinner by every hour. I thought he had this one when he was leading 4-2 in the 5th. Quite incredible comeback from Pouille. Rafa can only blame it on father time, I think that's it.