Nadal's dominance on clay ends in 2013

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
NOW let's see what Rafa does when he doesn't have Monte Carlo under his belt. Ouch, that loss has got to hurt having won 8 times in a row!
 

eliars

Hall of Fame
How is it going to hurt? His confidence? I don't think it is considering his recent clay form, but only time will tell. An eight time winning streak at a tournament is ridiculous to begin with. Streaks don't last forever.

One thing is for sure it just made the CC season a lot more interesting.
 

Ralph

Hall of Fame
How is it going to hurt? His confidence? I don't think it is considering his recent clay form, but only time will tell. An eight time winning streak at a tournament is ridiculous to begin with. Streaks don't last forever.

One thing is for sure it just made the CC season a lot more interesting.
I agree with it becoming more interesting for this season.

His confidence has been hurt prior today IMO, else he wouldn't have made the mistakes he did in that tie breaker. He's feeling pressure more now, as he did in 2011.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal has lost one of the biggest heartlands in his clay empire. Will he respond elsewhere? We'll have to wait and see.
 

Relinquis

Hall of Fame
He just had a slow start where he wasn't hitting with depth the first set. 2nd set was pretty much on his racquet, apart from a bad final game and tie breaker.

Nothing to worry about long term. These things happen in a best of three match.
 

eliars

Hall of Fame
I agree with it becoming more interesting for this season.

His confidence has been hurt prior today IMO, else he wouldn't have made the mistakes he did in that tie breaker. He's feeling pressure more now, as he did in 2011.
The errors in the breaker were obviously down to nerves. I don't think these nerves stem from playing Djokovic, but speaks more towards Rafa not having regained his form of old on clay; his 'muscle memory' (or overall awareness of how to play points) in various situations (crucially as well) seems to not quite be there.

The other day I spoke of how Rafa hasn't looked like his old self on clay after his comeback. Going for more winners, committing more unforced errors and how they are probably related to how he's been trying to alter his game (being more aggressive)

Obviously Djokovic causes these tight situations by playing so well, so Djokovic is of course involved in one way or another.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
The other day I spoke of how Rafa hasn't looked like his old self on clay after his comeback. Going for more winners, committing more unforced errors and how they are probably related to how he's been trying to alter his game (being more aggressive)
That's good for playing on hardcourts. He didn't need to change anything on clay, because patience and consistency are the most important things, not aggression.
 
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monfed

Guest
Premature thread. Ralph is still a lock for Rome and RG and a big favourite for Madrid.
 

kishnabe

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal played his best ClayCourt tennis in the 2012 Final....he was just destroying the ball. If he can bring that....Novak is out.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Premature thread. Ralph is still a lock for Rome and RG and a big favourite for Madrid.
The only tournament Nadal was a lock for was Monte Carlo, now that he has lost there he ain't a lock anywhere.

I can actually see Federer coming back fresh for Madrid, he has always done great there, Djokovic will be there as well.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Will fed come to rescue nadal at RG this time around needs to be seen
Probably. Watch Nadal draw Gasquet in his quarter, Ferrer (who is going to beat Murray) in the SF and Federer (who plays godly and takes out Djokovic in the other half) in the F.

The usual stuff, yes.
 

eliars

Hall of Fame
That's good for playing on hardcourts. He didn't need to change anything on clay, because patience and consistency are the most important things, not aggression.
I agree. Playing overly aggressive against Djokovic is not the way to beat him either, since Djokovic is a monster of absorbing that pace and sending it back with interest. In many ways I thought Nadal played Djokovic perfectly for the most part in the 2nd set but a few bad decisions (especially in the breaker) led to Djokovic winning it.

The emphasis on aggression also showed in IW and was perhaps one of the reasons (as well as a good draw) why he did so well there. I agree with other posters saying IW was a bit of a flash in a pan though. Judging from his level coming back, I would never have expected Rafa to play this well in IW. Maybe the level exhibited in MC this week is more telling of where he's at gamewise.
 
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Will fed come to rescue nadal at RG this time around needs to be seen
The draw is fixed so we can all take an educated guess Djokovic and Nadal will be in seperate halfs of the draw. Fed cant beat Djokovic on clay consistently anyhow, the draw fixers might pull out a fed Nadal qf or sf depending on rankings. Players that won't be in nadals quarter at the FO: Zebellos, Delpotro.
 
That's good for playing on hardcourts. He didn't need to change anything on clay, because patience and consistency are the most important things, not aggression.
I disagree. One of the reasons he had an upper hand against Djokovic last year was because he was aggressive, serving well and dictating unlike 2011. He needs to be more aggressive, more DTL, inside out forehands, net approaching and most importantly a better serve. 4th set RG Final was one of the most aggressive tennis played by Nadal.
 

eliars

Hall of Fame
I disagree. One of the reasons he had an upper hand against Djokovic last year was because he was aggressive, serving well and dictating unlike 2011. He needs to be more aggressive, more DTL, inside out forehands, net approaching and most importantly a better serve.
Rafa should never be so aggressive so that his winners to unforced errors ratio is negative. Rafa needs to pick his shots, as he's always done on clay. Last year his variety is what won him his matches vs Djokovic in my opinion.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
I disagree. One of the reasons he had an upper hand against Djokovic last year was because he was aggressive, serving well and dictating unlike 2011. He needs to be more aggressive, more DTL, inside out forehands, net approaching and most importantly a better serve. 4th set RG Final was one of the most aggressive tennis played by Nadal.
Nadal needs to dictate play by going to Djokovic's forehand a lot more in the rallies, and to use down the line shots. Today, he was aggressive to the point of making too many unforced errors, either by going out or into the net.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Nadal needs to dictate play by going to Djokovic's forehand a lot more in the rallies, and to use down the line shots. Today, he was aggressive to the point of making too many unforced errors, either by going out or into the net.
I liked this much aggression from him. He was doing max-smackdown damage with his forehand in the second set. He just threw that TB in the garbage.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Nadal needs to dictate play by going to Djokovic's forehand a lot more in the rallies, and to use down the line shots. Today, he was aggressive to the point of making too many unforced errors, either by going out or into the net.
This feels like the story of the match-up to me right now. Nadal gained good ground in rallies when rushing Nole's forehand side and the same can be said for Nole. With two such great movers it often comes down to who is willing to find a dictatorial shot in the middle of a neutral rally, and that's done by breaking the usual habits more often and putting the opponent off balance. I think Nadal also needs to bait Nole more to create his own pace with good slices. In today's match this opened up some opportune moments to whip the forehand DTL and play a counter-puncher game. It's all about keeping the opponent honest so that they can't cheat so often to defend one wing more than the other.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
I've always felt that losing in Monte Carlo will be the beginning of the end for Nadal, since this is where it all began. Lets see if the cloth starts to unravel now. His response will be important, he knows Djokovic does not fear him and wants his RG title.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
By slicing into the ad court, Nadal was able to counter-punch DTL with the forehand, or Djokovic would sort of loop an inside-in FH DTL which *should* give Nadal an opportunity to really spread Novak across the court with his own CC BH. However, he lacked commitment in his decision making when countering these usual responses to the slice by Djokovic.
 
Nadal needs to dictate play by going to Djokovic's forehand a lot more in the rallies, and to use down the line shots. Today, he was aggressive to the point of making too many unforced errors, either by going out or into the net.
He didn't hit many backhand winners compared with other matches because Djokovic punished that side with good length, so what Nadal could have done was flatten out his serve and be aggressive with the forehand consistently like before against Djokovic. Why get involved in long ralleys this isn't Roland Garros, he gave ground up to Djokovic.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
With these two, Djokovic NEVER gives Nadal the match. Nadal has to earn it and take it from him. Amazing he's been able to do it 19 times.
 
Nadal needs to dictate play by going to Djokovic's forehand a lot more in the rallies, and to use down the line shots. Today, he was aggressive to the point of making too many unforced errors, either by going out or into the net.
I thinks his aggression level was fine. Problem is his forehand isn't as good as last year but he still has time.

There was a point in 2nd or 3rd game at break point 30-40 on Djokovic's serve where Nadal could have gone DTL early in the rally but he only did it when he was stretched. It might be just me but I would like Rafa to attack and go for broke sometimes and fail rather than waiting for Djokovic's error. Problem with Rafa playing defensive cross court shots is that if Djokovic is redlining, Nadal won't be able to anything.

The problem today was his serve in my view and his unwillingness to come at net.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
one thing is for sure, prospects for RG got more interesting ... just hope fed/delpo step it up to challenge nole/nadal .....
 

powerangle

Legend
Too early to say. Tune in to the rest of the clay season. Rafa still has too much of a clay prowess and too great a legacy to discount at this point.
 
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monfed

Guest
one thing is for sure, prospects for RG got more interesting ... just hope fed/delpo step it up to challenge nole/nadal .....
No thanks, not another cheap RG for the nadal,2011 was his gift. He should be content with that. Noone should win THAT much.(*cough* MichaelRalph *cough*)

I want Nole to officially end Ralph's clay reign at RG this year.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
No thanks, not another cheap RG for the nadal,2011 was his gift. He should be content with that. Noone should win THAT much.(*cough* MichaelRalph *cough*)

I want Nole to officially end Ralph's clay reign at RG this year.
would rather nole def rafa in the semi and then fed defeat nole in the final :) ( actually even a QF clash is possible as well )

nole can end rafa's reign before the final
 
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monfed

Guest
would rather nole def rafa in the semi and then fed defeat nole in the final :) ( actually even a QF clash is possible as well )

nole can end rafa's reign before the final
Icing on the cake. 2 RGs for the Fed. :)
 
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