Nadals current game ( all surfaces )

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
#1
Ok I admit to being a Nadal fan. I also love watching Federer, Djokovic and most other tennis matches.
But looking at Nadals current form, between Wimbledon and now HC , I personally feel his shot making and accuracy are better than they've ever been.
Theres a time when this guy used his physical attributes to dig him out of matches, and it was a massive weapon he had. But these attributes have declined a lot in recent years, and I thought he would've been done winning big titles the way he came back in 2015, playing poorly and looking like he was old and stiff on the courts.

The big thing for me, and it was noticed a lot in Wimbledon, was how much better his ground strokes, off of both sides, are nowadays. His backhand especially is a major attacking weapon. He wasn't even this good in 2017 IMO.

I would honestly go as far as to say his game is the best its ever been right now. He had to make up for the physical decline with his shotmaking, and he has managed to save his career and be the world #1 for the best part of the last 2 years. Its truly something I never thought would happen.

Anyone else have a similar view?

PS im not saying he would beat 2008 Nadal on every surface, but I do believe his shotmaking and general aggressive play now, are a lot better than they were.
 

Sport

Hall of Fame
#2
Ok I admit to being a Nadal fan. I also love watching Federer, Djokovic and most other tennis matches.
But looking at Nadals current form, between Wimbledon and now HC , I personally feel his shot making and accuracy are better than they've ever been.
Theres a time when this guy used his physical attributes to dig him out of matches, and it was a massive weapon he had. But these attributes have declined a lot in recent years, and I thought he would've been done winning big titles the way he came back in 2015, playing poorly and looking like he was old and stiff on the courts.

The big thing for me, and it was noticed a lot in Wimbledon, was how much better his ground strokes, off of both sides, are nowadays. His backhand especially is a major attacking weapon. He wasn't even this good in 2017 IMO.

I would honestly go as far as to say his game is the best its ever been right now. He had to make up for the physical decline with his shotmaking, and he has managed to save his career and be the world #1 for the best part of the last 2 years. Its truly something I never thought would happen.

Anyone else have a similar view?

PS im not saying he would beat 2008 Nadal on every surface, but I do believe his shotmaking and general aggressive play now, are a lot better than they were.
Yeah, his new more offensive style (including his neo-backhand, usual drop shots and solid approaches to the net) are mainly a result of the direction of Carlos Moyá. Carlos Moyá has been the coach of Nadal since December 2016.

Nadal's strategy to finish the points earlier is a logical approach to compensate the lost of speed with age. To be honest, uncle Toni insisted too many years on the defensive style. Moyá should have arrived a few years earlier, at least since 2015.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
#4
Yes, becoming more offensive as he slows seems to be a good formula for Nadal.

On the other hand, he does need an opponent who can exploit his slowness. And being offensive is a relative concept.
 
#5
Yeah, his new more offensive style (including his neo-backhand, usual drop shots and solid approaches to the net) are mainly a result of the direction of Carlos Moyá. Carlos Moyá has been the coach of Nadal since December 2016.

Nadal's strategy to finish the points earlier is a logical approach to compensate the lost of speed with age. To be honest, uncle Toni insisted too many years on the defensive style. Moyá should have arrived a few years earlier, at least since 2015.
wat
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
#9
I like the aggressive version, it shows he is looking at ways to prolong his career. I have spoken about it a few times, I think the only person this new game is ineffective against is Federer, but for everyone else, it will help him get wins and titles.
This has been true of late. What would he do to change this, since they wont play on clay ever again?
Federer really destroyed him the last few times.
 

ChaelAZ

Hall of Fame
#11
Funny, I just posted about his improvements this year across surfaces in another thread.

"I think what is impressive about Nadal this year is his play across all surfaces, even grass. I think have a bit less physical issues to deal with helps, but more he has made some very good changes in his tactics to adapt to HC and grass. Even though is has always been a top returner, he mixes up positioning more and is attacking the return more, taking the ball earlier. Not attacking early to hit outright winners, which is does at times, but more hitting angles and lines earlier, forcing opponents off center and defensive, and allowing him to then hit his finishing patterns. It is subtle enough, but paying dividends."

He definitely looks less energetic to me on court and isn't running everything down, but the technique and tactical improvements still give him the opportunities to work well at this stage of career. Very well done.
 
#12
He will struggle against a player who is better and natural at offense, and unfortunately apart from federer there is none with consistency...
He will struggle against big hitters, but there are no consistent ones, delpo lacks BH and cilic, anderson, isner etc lack mentality....... Wawrinka is not fully recovered
He will struggle against someone with better defense than him, and apart from djok and mury there is none.....
Pushers like zverev, thiem, schwartzman etc dont reach him more often and we are left with mugs for nadal
 

acintya

Hall of Fame
#13
Ok I admit to being a Nadal fan. I also love watching Federer, Djokovic and most other tennis matches.
But looking at Nadals current form, between Wimbledon and now HC , I personally feel his shot making and accuracy are better than they've ever been.
Theres a time when this guy used his physical attributes to dig him out of matches, and it was a massive weapon he had. But these attributes have declined a lot in recent years, and I thought he would've been done winning big titles the way he came back in 2015, playing poorly and looking like he was old and stiff on the courts.

The big thing for me, and it was noticed a lot in Wimbledon, was how much better his ground strokes, off of both sides, are nowadays. His backhand especially is a major attacking weapon. He wasn't even this good in 2017 IMO.

I would honestly go as far as to say his game is the best its ever been right now. He had to make up for the physical decline with his shotmaking, and he has managed to save his career and be the world #1 for the best part of the last 2 years. Its truly something I never thought would happen.

Anyone else have a similar view?

PS im not saying he would beat 2008 Nadal on every surface, but I do believe his shotmaking and general aggressive play now, are a lot better than they were.
I think I cant add anything. It is exactly as you described. I like the new Nadal. I am enjoying his game more than ever! For FS I even emulate him sometimes in practice sessions - playing leftie like he. I need another half year and I will be dangerous.:) And i dont know but it did wonders to my right hand playing! brainzareworking
 
#14
I like the aggressive version, it shows he is looking at ways to prolong his career. I have spoken about it a few times, I think the only person this new game is ineffective against is Federer, but for everyone else, it will help him get wins and titles.
How many more great years of rafa? Give it to me straight. Since he has comeback he has reached a great level at all the 7 slams he's played imo. Could he keep doing this in 2019 and 2020?
 
#17
The usual old player development: better technique and tactical awareness, but worse physicality and consistency, and in most cases worse mental strength. For Nadal and Federer it's the same, with serve, backhand and tactical thinking receiving improvements, but physical level is down which leads to more dips even in best form. Way down for Federer who by now is actually old in tennis terms, so he can only showcase improved strokes in select tournaments (really backhand hasn't been shining this year anymore).
 

MLRoy

Professional
#18
He's my fav player. But, I feel just the opposite. I'm really surprised he's done as well as he has this year. Take last nights match against KK, although you could apply it to every match since the start of Wimbledon, at least: he's just spinning his serve in. If that isn't bad enough, he doesn't use the "lefty out-wide in the ad court" serve nearly as much as serving down the T on that side. God knows why. I don't think his forehand has the "bite" it once did; though his backhand has been great, and keeping him in/winning matches. Anyone who says he's "slow" is out of his/her mind. The problem is he's not quite as fast as he was in 2008. There's a distinction. He's still one of the fastest sprinters in the game, but no one can cover all of that open court when he runs around his backhand to hit a forehand -- which doesn't hit nearly as many winners to compensate. The depth of his shots aren't nearly as deep as years ago, either, which cause him unnecessary problems. All of those things cost him that Wimbledon semi. I hope he wins today, but if birthday boy "Toughshitsipis" wins, no one will deserve it more.
 
#19
He's my fav player. But, I feel just the opposite. I'm really surprised he's done as well as he has this year. Take last nights match against KK, although you could apply it to every match since the start of Wimbledon, at least: he's just spinning his serve in. If that isn't bad enough, he doesn't use the "lefty out-wide in the ad court" serve nearly as much as serving down the T on that side. God knows why. I don't think his forehand has the "bite" it once did; though his backhand has been great, and keeping him in/winning matches. Anyone who says he's "slow" is out of his/her mind. The problem is he's not quite as fast as he was in 2008. There's a distinction. He's still one of the fastest sprinters in the game, but no one can cover all of that open court when he runs around his backhand to hit a forehand -- which doesn't hit nearly as many winners to compensate. The depth of his shots aren't nearly as deep as years ago, either, which cause him unnecessary problems. All of those things cost him that Wimbledon semi. I hope he wins today, but if birthday boy "Toughshitsipis" wins, no one will deserve it more.
He played better everywhere last year but Wimbledon
 
#20
How many more great years of rafa? Give it to me straight. Since he has comeback he has reached a great level at all the 7 slams he's played imo. Could he keep doing this in 2019 and 2020?
I think even if Rafa's level drops a bit, there are not many players who can trouble him when it matters the most. Only Fedovic can do some damage to him and given how Nole's position at the top in uncertain and how Fed is semi-retired, there is no one who can stop Rafa at slams other than his own body. He can be #1 for the next one and half year atleast. He can win 4-5 more slams by Wimbledon 2020 if no one else steps up.
 
#21
Like Federer, he's made adjustments to his game to make up for what he's lost. For a few years he seemed unwilling to do this. My guess is he just kept on trying to win the old way until it sunk in that he was looking at never winning another slam if he did. With his back against the wall it was nothing to lose, Moya probably helped him break out of his traditional approach and now he has a new lease of life. More than anything though it shows you his desire is still as strong as ever, he won't quit until he knows there's nothing in the tank anymore.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#22
This has been true of late. What would he do to change this, since they wont play on clay ever again?
Federer really destroyed him the last few times.
OK, so lets talk about it, shall we?

The first thing that needs to be addressed is why it is that the Federer Nadal match up dynamic has turned upside and become a nightmare for Nadal.

Federer has effectively neutralized Nadal's time tested tactic of hitting cross court to the backhand and keeping Federer pegged in that corner, which allowed Nadal several options, either wait for Federer to hit the error, or shank, or step in and hit into the open court. The larger racket does not allow Nadal do that, Federer is able to generate crazy power off of that wing, one of the reasons being is that he is more confident hitting through that ball due to the larger sweet spot, meaning his mind will not be on the impeccable timing he needed with the shorter head to prevent shanks.

Also, Federer is coming over that ball almost 100% of the time against Nadal, there are no slice, and very little blocked back balls, he is unleashing topspin Wawrinkaish like power on those shots, opening up the court by either going down the line or cross court. This now means a couple of things, firstly, Nadal can no longer effectively neutralize a rally in which he is struggling by hitting to the backhand, and it also means Federer now has options to exploit Nadal's on court positioning, which takes me to my next point, Nadal court position.

The new Nadal doesn't have the legs and court coverage of the old Nadal, who could chase balls everyday, and be the proverbial wall that Federer had to penetrate with sometimes three winners just to get a point. Nadal now stands closer to the baseline, which means he has less time to react to Federer's offense. I have often said this that no matter how offensive or aggressive Nadal tries to be, he will never ever be more aggressive than Federer, he will lose that battle, Federer is Mr Agressive himself and thrives on taking on guys who try to play his game, but cannot do it as good as him. Federer can take pages from the Djokovic playbook and hit those backhands deep and hard and wide into the Nadal forehand, forcing the short ball or error and then attack the backhand.

Federer is also unleashing a barrage of DTL forehands into Nadal's forehand, what this is doing is, it is forcing Nadal to not lean towards too much towards his backhand side, where the expected ball will come, I have seen Nadal get wrong footed a couple of times by this play, the closeness to the baseline takes away time away from Nadal and he is often late getting to the backhand when Federer opens up the court. Also aggressive baseline duelling, when going toe-to-toe, Federer hits more balls on the rise, slowly by slowly the ball is coming faster at Nadal, it is like a python slowly squeezing Nadal, he has two choices....step back and get up real estate to Federer, allowing Federer to move into the forecourt, or hitting more balls on the rise...this often leads to him erroring or not following through with the shot and hitting it into the net or over the baseline.

Nadal will stand closer to the baseline against Federer for return of serve, watch it, he doesn't stand as far back, he has too much respect for that serve, and does not want to give the angles away, but Federer then bombs more big serves and gets cheap points.


So, how can Nadal change this?

Take a leaf out of the Djokovic playbook, the same way Federer did...try to control the T and get Federer moving side to side. Federer is also older and does not have the court coverage ability of his past, and is susceptible to moving to his forehand side. He needs to get Federer on the run, instead of trying to peg him into a corner, because that does not work now. The body serve needs to be used, and he needs to vary his serve placements, Federer is sitting now on that serve to his backhand....and try to close points off at the net, the way he did against Djokovic in Wimbledon. Nadal is good at the net, yet is reluctant to use it against Federer as much, he should be looking to end points quickly now.
 
#24
Ok I admit to being a Nadal fan. I also love watching Federer, Djokovic and most other tennis matches.
But looking at Nadals current form, between Wimbledon and now HC , I personally feel his shot making and accuracy are better than they've ever been.
Theres a time when this guy used his physical attributes to dig him out of matches, and it was a massive weapon he had. But these attributes have declined a lot in recent years, and I thought he would've been done winning big titles the way he came back in 2015, playing poorly and looking like he was old and stiff on the courts.

The big thing for me, and it was noticed a lot in Wimbledon, was how much better his ground strokes, off of both sides, are nowadays. His backhand especially is a major attacking weapon. He wasn't even this good in 2017 IMO.

I would honestly go as far as to say his game is the best its ever been right now. He had to make up for the physical decline with his shotmaking, and he has managed to save his career and be the world #1 for the best part of the last 2 years. Its truly something I never thought would happen.

Anyone else have a similar view?

PS im not saying he would beat 2008 Nadal on every surface, but I do believe his shotmaking and general aggressive play now, are a lot better than they were.
Wimbledon yes. That's the best I've seen Nadal play in a long long time. Superb all court game and aggressive mindset. But he's been okay this Roger's Cup. Nothing special.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#25
How many more great years of rafa? Give it to me straight. Since he has comeback he has reached a great level at all the 7 slams he's played imo. Could he keep doing this in 2019 and 2020?
Yes, I think Nadal has at least two good seasons left him. I can see him falling out of slam contention by 2021 just due to natural decline accelerating. He will be past his mid 30s by then.
 

Sport

Hall of Fame
#26
OK, so lets talk about it, shall we?

The first thing that needs to be addressed is why it is that the Federer Nadal match up dynamic has turned upside and become a nightmare for Nadal.

Federer has effectively neutralized Nadal's time tested tactic of hitting cross court to the backhand and keeping Federer pegged in that corner, which allowed Nadal several options, either wait for Federer to hit the error, or shank, or step in and hit into the open court. The larger racket does not allow Nadal do that, Federer is able to generate crazy power off of that wing,
Are you sure that Nadal can't attack Federer's backhand with the new racquet, Hitman?

At the AO 2014 Nadal defeated Federer in 3 straight sets, by that time Federer already was using the new larger 98-square inch Wilson racquet.

Source:
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/...good-federer-with-new-racket-to-find-out.html
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/12/federer-play-larger-racquet-2014/50068/

And the AO 2017 final was in 5 sets, it's not like Federer was destroying Nadal that day.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#27
Are you sure that Nadal can't attack Federer's backhand with the new racquet, Hitman?

At the AO 2014 Nadal defeated Federer in 3 straight sets, by that time Federer already was using the new larger 98-square inch Wilson racquet.

Source:
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/...good-federer-with-new-racket-to-find-out.html
http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/12/federer-play-larger-racquet-2014/50068/

And the AO 2017 final was in 5 sets, it's not like Federer was destroying Nadal that day.
Yes, I am sure.

I am not going to even consider the AO 2014 match, considering that was Federer's first ever tournament with the racket.

As for AO 2017, Federer didn't destroy Nadal, but he in that fifth set when he decided to unleash, he blasted 23 winners by Nadal in that set alone. And since then it has been one way traffic, Federer during that match opened up, unleashed, went for his shots, and if you look at IW, Miami and Shanghai straight after, left Nadal completely clueless on how to play him. So yes, I am very sure. :)
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#28
Federer is not the player he was in early 17' until he shows that form again. Rafa on the other hand is easily better than he was then.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#29
Federer is not the player he was in early 17' until he shows that form again. Rafa on the other hand is easily better than he was then.
It's about match ups, not just form. Nadal's game plays into Federer's now, the same way Federer's game in the past played into Nadal's. Federer in the past would have been the form player, Nadal struggling, but it all unravelled for Federer, I have seen a bit of that now in reverse between Nadal and Federer since AO 2017.

Now, chances are we might not even see them play for a very long time, but until Nadal actually shows me something new, I am not just counting on his form. He was in great form heading into that semi against Djokovic too at Wimbledon, but old skeletons are hard to put away.
 
#30
Tactically he is probably at his best at the moment for the exact reasons you mentioned. That's one of the main reasons he's Number 1 in the world and is still winning. But his pure tennis level is, of course, not the highest I've seen from him. In fact I think he played at a higher overall level last year.
 
#31
Yes, I think Nadal has at least two good seasons left him. I can see him falling out of slam contention by 2021 just due to natural decline accelerating. He will be past his mid 30s by then.
All I want. Finally at a stage in my proffesional and financial life that I can afford go to more than 1 tour event a year and have no school to worry about. So really planning on seeing as much as i can of Rafa in person. Might go to USO this year :D

Plus, still think Rafa will break the slam record if he wins one of USO/AO without rog winning the other
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#32
All I want. Finally at a stage in my proffesional and financial life that I can afford go to more than 1 tour event a year and have no school to worry about. So really planning on seeing as much as i can of Rafa in person. Might go to USO this year :D

Plus, still think Rafa will break the slam record if he wins one of USO/AO without rog winning the other
Yes, if Nadal wins one of the next two slams and Federer doesn't, then Nadal has a very very good chance of breaking the slam record and going down as the greatest of all time.
 
#33
Yes, if Nadal wins one of the next two slams and Federer doesn't, then Nadal has a very very good chance of breaking the slam record and going down as the greatest of all time.
All goosebumps. Can't believe I doubted Rafa. People shouldn't doubt Roger though, don't think he'll get USO, 3rd favourite for me but I think he'll win one more at AO or WIM in 2019 or 2020
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#34
It's about match ups, not just form. Nadal's game plays into Federer's now, the same way Federer's game in the past played into Nadal's. Federer in the past would have been the form player, Nadal struggling, but it all unravelled for Federer, I have seen a bit of that now in reverse between Nadal and Federer since AO 2017.

Now, chances are we might not even see them play for a very long time, but until Nadal actually shows me something new, I am not just counting on his form. He was in great form heading into that semi against Djokovic too at Wimbledon, but old skeletons are hard to put away.
It's definitely about form and conditions. Rafa lost to Nole on indoor grass so I don't want to hear about that being based on old skeletons. Just look at how Rafa played JMDP at RG and then one month later at Wimbledon. NIGHT and DAY. Conditions matter A LOT to Rafa who is the most methodical player ever.

Maestro cannot hope to beat Rafa unless he raises his level back to where it was over a year ago. Matchups matter but not when the difference in form is so drastic. He's lost three of his last four tourneys to Kokk, Anderson and Coric which is brutal.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#36
It's definitely about form and conditions. Rafa lost to Nole on indoor grass so I don't want to hear about that being based on old skeletons. Just look at how Rafa played JMDP at RG and then one month later at Wimbledon. NIGHT and DAY. Conditions matter A LOT to Rafa who is the most methodical player ever.

Maestro cannot hope to beat Rafa unless he raises his level back to where it was over a year ago. Matchups matter but not when the difference in form is so drastic. He's lost three of his last four tourneys to Kokk, Anderson and Coric which is brutal.
Rafa couldn't beat a guy who hadn't won a single title, not even a 250 title, and was being beaten by his pigeon just the tournament before...and it was all because of the roof? I highly doubt it, put anyone else under the roof, and Nadal wins that match, barring Federer. Djokovic just matches up too well against Nadal.

If Fedal play, then you know it will be a final, meaning Federer is playing good, so I wouldn't worry too much about form. Federer in a slam final means he is in form.
 
#37
Nadal has a great shot at a 4th USO but he hasn’t defended a non Clay title in his career. He always peaks at the USO. He has won more than Djokovic despite Djokovic reaching 7 finals to Nadal reaching 4. I good aperformance at Wimbledon this year he could get a 3rd title if he keeps up the attacking play at some point. I think his smallest chances are the the new faster AO. French is his highest but that is physical and we saw a Nadal with the cramp in the Thiem game. Hopefully that isn’t a sign he cannot do it anymore in the dirt.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#38
Rafa couldn't beat a guy who hadn't won a single title, not even a 250 title, and was being beaten by his pigeon just the tournament before...and it was all because of the roof? I highly doubt it, put anyone else under the roof, and Nadal wins that match, barring Federer. Djokovic just matches up too well against Nadal.

If Fedal play, then you know it will be a final, meaning Federer is playing good, so I wouldn't worry too much about form. Federer in a slam final means he is in form.
Not all slam finals are created equally. And you cannot discount the roof and indoor conditions. You just can't. There's a reason Rafa struggles historically indoors - his game is not suited to low bounce and humidity.

I don't think we disagree too much, my only belief is that Roger hasn't shown the form that helped him beat Rafa in early 17' in a long long time. Rafa meanwhile has been great all season long.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#39
Nadal has a great shot at a 4th USO but he hasn’t defended a non Clay title in his career. He always peaks at the USO. He has won more than Djokovic despite Djokovic reaching 7 finals to Nadal reaching 4. I good aperformance at Wimbledon this year he could get a 3rd title if he keeps up the attacking play at some point. I think his smallest chances are the the new faster AO. French is his highest but that is physical and we saw a Nadal with the cramp in the Thiem game. Hopefully that isn’t a sign he cannot do it anymore in the dirt.
The cramp was due to dehydration from heightened sweating from the unique humidity levels.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#40
Not all slam finals are created equally. And you cannot discount the roof and indoor conditions. You just can't. There's a reason Rafa struggles historically indoors - his game is not suited to low bounce and humidity.

I don't think we disagree too much, my only belief is that Roger hasn't shown the form that helped him beat Rafa in early 17' in a long long time. Rafa meanwhile has been great all season long.
Lets put it like this, IF Federer and Nadal play, it will ONLY be in the final. That means Federer is in form. So Nadal will have to show me a new tactic, a new game plan to show how he can beat Federer. If they are both in form, and the match up is still playing the same way, then Federer will win. He is the more comfortable in the match up right now.
 
#41
It's about match ups, not just form. Nadal's game plays into Federer's now, the same way Federer's game in the past played into Nadal's. Federer in the past would have been the form player, Nadal struggling, but it all unravelled for Federer, I have seen a bit of that now in reverse between Nadal and Federer since AO 2017.

Now, chances are we might not even see them play for a very long time, but until Nadal actually shows me something new, I am not just counting on his form. He was in great form heading into that semi against Djokovic too at Wimbledon, but old skeletons are hard to put away.
That was my sense on Wimbledon semi - I thought Rafa looked nervous and possibly frightened with Nole. Nole is definitely inside his head more than anyone and I think he has said as much....
 

Sport

Hall of Fame
#42
Rafa couldn't beat a guy who hadn't won a single title, not even a 250 title, and was being beaten by his pigeon just the tournament before...and it was all because of the roof? I highly doubt it, put anyone else under the roof, and Nadal wins that match, barring Federer. Djokovic just matches up too well against Nadal.

If Fedal play, then you know it will be a final, meaning Federer is playing good, so I wouldn't worry too much about form. Federer in a slam final means he is in form.
Rafa did beat Djokovic in Madrid 2017, when Djokovic was at his absolute lowest. And in Rome 2018, when Djokovic was still in the process to come back. Two years before, Nole beat Rafa in Rome 2016, when Nole was #1 and Rafa was struggling.

So I have to concur with @weakera here. The current form matters more than the past.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#43
Lets put it like this, IF Federer and Nadal play, it will ONLY be in the final. That means Federer is in form. So Nadal will have to show me a new tactic, a new game plan to show how he can beat Federer. If they are both in form, and the match up is still playing the same way, then Federer will win. He is the more comfortable in the match up right now.
I really just don't agree. Fed can make a final without approaching his 17' form - he did it in Australia and Queens.
 
#44
The usual old player development: better technique and tactical awareness, but worse physicality and consistency, and in most cases worse mental strength. For Nadal and Federer it's the same, with serve, backhand and tactical thinking receiving improvements, but physical level is down which leads to more dips even in best form. Way down for Federer who by now is actually old in tennis terms, so he can only showcase improved strokes in select tournaments (really backhand hasn't been shining this year anymore).
More importantly, the forehand has been largely absent for most of the year. He held his ground game together for AO and parts of Rotterdam, but since then he's basically been relying on his serve and junkballing (not saying that his FH hasn't been there at all, for example from R1 of Wimby until the 1st set of the QF, he had the penetration on the FH but it went AWOL thereafter and the match followed suit). Hopefully there is some improvement on the FH starring from Cincy.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#45
That was my sense on Wimbledon semi - I thought Rafa looked nervous and possibly frightened with Nole. Nole is definitely inside his head more than anyone and I think he has said as much....
He did look it at certain points.


Rafa did beat Djokovic in Madrid 2017, when Djokovic was at his absolutely lowest. And in Rome 2018, when Djokovic was still in the process to come back. Two years before, Nole beat Rafa in Rome 2016, when Nole was #1 and Rafa struggling.

So I have to concur with @weakera here. The current form matters more than the past.
Take a look at the Rome match and you will see what everyone thought was going to be a routing 6-2, 6-3 trashing turned into a titanic tussle in that first set, with Nadal barely squeezing that set out, and Djokovic slowly fading in the second set. It shows that the match up still hurt Nadal, he is very uncomfortable playing Djokovic regardless of form, that was the perfect example.

And as I said to @weakera , should Fedal play it will be the final of a big event like a slam or WTF, meaning Federer will be in form. So, if he is form, then I need to see what Nadal can do differently to stop looking clueless out there against Fed.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#46
I really just don't agree. Fed can make a final without approaching his 17' form - he did it in Australia and Queens.
His form in AO 2018 was just fine. His form dropped after AO 2018.

As for Halle...that was one tournament too far, did you not see how he was MP down in the rounds before. Take a look at his form in Stuttgart, that was fresh Federer taking on great competition, he simply couldn't do back to back weeks, something even his coach said, and is a reason why he is not playing Canada, and only Cincy.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#47
His form in AO 2018 was just fine. His form dropped after AO 2018.

As for Halle...that was one tournament too far, did you not see how he was MP down in the rounds before. Take a look at his form in Stuttgart, that was fresh Federer taking on great competition, he simply couldn't do back to back weeks, something even his coach said, and is a reason why he is not playing Canada, and only Cincy.
We're going round in circles a bit. Time will tell us what the answers here are. At the moment, it has taken Herculean efforts to beat Rafa in 2018 and USO surface is to his liking, we in the bull pit will roll with that.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
#48
We're going round in circles a bit. Time will tell us what the answers here are. At the moment, it has taken Herculean efforts to beat Rafa in 2018 and USO surface is to his liking, we in the bull pit will roll with that.
This bit in bold is what I will agree with, because we have seen it. He has been great this season even when not playing well.

I have yet to see Nadal though figure Federer out, so I will wait on that for now. Form alone is irrelevant if you struggle in the match up.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#49
This bit in bold is what I will agree with, because we have seen it. He has been great this season even when not playing well.

I have yet to see Nadal though figure Federer out, so I will wait on that for now. Form alone is irrelevant if you struggle in the match up.
No, not nearly irrelevant.
 
Top