Nadal/Tsitsipas Abu Dhabi match: as good as it gets

McEnborg

Semi-Pro
The level these guys played at was incredible. Rafa is 33 1/2 and moving like he’s 25. He is hitting out even more on ground strokes and seems to have found additional power and depth. Sometimes people forget that Nadal has been in 5 Aussie finals, even though he just has the one title.

Tsitsipas has improved his game immensely as the year has gone on and has a real chance to win the Australian. His serve is bigger and his ground stokes are better than they’ve ever been. Anyway, I’d encourage anyone to watch this match on Tennis Channel replay. An absolutely phenomenal performance by both.
 
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2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Thought it was interesting that the longer (+9) rallies were slightly in Stefs favor.

Old Nadal is getting good at shortening points on his terms.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Nadal is not moving like he is 25 years old, don't even go there.
Rafa a real threat to win AO, and if Djoker goes down early, it is his to lose.

Rafa honestly looks about as good as he ever has on HC's. Not saying he is, but he looks that way.
Watch some videos from AO 2009 and then say with a straight face that Nadal is as good as ever on hardcourt. What he does is impressive for his age, but he is nowhere near his peak level on hardcourt. It's strange we even have to discuss this. Prime Nadal would routine Tsitsipas in straight sets, and for sure wouldn't choke sets against him.
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
While I have no doubt that this was a good and entertaining match, let's also remind ourselves that his is an actual exhibition with nothing at stake for either players here. I don't think you can take away much if anything from that match beside the entertaining value it provided. As much as next gen is improving, they are still unproven in BO5 format where as the likes of Djokovic, Federer & Nadal have pretty much always delivered when things really mattered. Coming in fresh physically, to play an exhibition with 0 pressure because it don't mean anything can't be compared to playing in a slam where the stakes are high, pressure to perform is there along with the physical demands over 2 weeks to win the title.
 

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Nadal is not moving like he is 25 years old, don't even go there.

Watch some videos from AO 2009 and then say with a straight face that Nadal is as good as ever on hardcourt. What he does is impressive for his age, but he is nowhere near his peak level on hardcourt. It's strange we even have to discuss this. Prime Nadal would routine Tsitsipas in straight sets, and for sure wouldn't choke sets against him.
I have seen Rafa play since 05, I did NOT say he was, but the level of competition makes it look this way. Plus, he has improved things that have helped him on HC’s. Much like Fed is not better, but has improved aspects of his game.
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
While I have no doubt that this was a good and entertaining match, let's also remind ourselves that his is an actual exhibition with nothing at stake for either players here. I don't think you can take away much if anything from that match beside the entertaining value it provided. As much as next gen is improving, they are still unproven in BO5 format where as the likes of Djokovic, Federer & Nadal have pretty much always delivered when things really mattered. Coming in fresh physically, to play an exhibition with 0 pressure because it don't mean anything can't be compared to playing in a slam where the stakes are high, pressure to perform is there along with the physical demands over 2 weeks to win the title.
o_O
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Tsitsipas has improved his game immensely as the year has gone on and has a real chance to win the Australian.
He actually has almost no chance to win the AO this year unless Djokovic and Nadal are injured. Nobody has a “real chance” to win the AO unless it’s one of the big 3. The next likeliest guy would be Stan, and he has about a 10% chance.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Tbh I thought Nadal looked a little slow and I don't think his shots were as big as they have been in the past. Still a great match obvs.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
Rafa a real threat to win AO, and if Djoker goes down early, it is his to lose.

Rafa honestly looks about as good as he ever has on HC's. Not saying he is, but he looks that way.
Federer is the slight favourite if he and Rafa get to a final at AO.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Very impressed by Tsitsipas. He's got the look of a champion out there...commanding presence, tough mentality, confident attacking tennis when it counts. Tennis will be in good hands if he continues his rise.
Unfortunately for him today, there was another champion out there, with 19 more Grand Slams.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
Alot depends who has the tougher SF in that scenario imo. Both fresh I'd favour Fed a tad but draw is way more important for Fed.
Yes. That and form is a factor. Maybe the speed of the court as a factor as AO has been faster in the last 3/4 additions.
 
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