Rafa blew it like a champ

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
Most bouncy grass at Wimbledon for ages thanks to no rain since forever, not a single big server in his half of the draw because, ahem, reasons, an exhausted pigeon in the final, the player whom he was mortally afraid of who lost on Wednesday, and he still managed to lose despite having a gazillion opportunities (three set points in the third, five BP's (or was it more?) in the fifth...). And yet, it's not a bad defeat per se. For once, he had an opponent who was ranked in the top 25. Just. And we all know how these slam matches generally end with him (except when the other guy is named Del Potro).

Jokes aside, the pressure clearly got to him, and although he was clutch when he needed to save BP's, he turned into a choke artist when he needed to convert. So, he came within striking distance of Fed's slam record after RG 2014, when he was but 3 slams behind. Fast forward more than four years and, 17 slams later, he is *still* 3 slams behind. From 28 to 32, he gained a big fat 0 on Fed. And as the new generation is now poised to take over... :eek:

(Well, okay, they're not (big surprise there!), but Nadal is definitely running out of time...)
 

wim2015

Rookie
Do't worry. The next generation is crap. Nadal and Djokovic still have 2-3 good years left, though Federer is really old and can hardly win a slam without a cake walk draw.
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
I have always maintained that Rafa will not overtake Roger. Even with 18 here, I don't think he will win three more to reach 21
Most figured this out ages ago. The slam differential remains insurmountable for a 32 year old player, regardless of Rafa’s greatness. And with Djoker again beating him in slams, RG is no lock anymore either.
 

Gazelle

Legend
With matches as close as this the loser gets called a choker, or said that he blew it...

You guys must realize one had to win, and one had to lose. If Djokovic had lost he would have 'blown' it according to TT logic.

Both guys were fking mental titans in this match, just not relenting at any moment.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal was the better player for most of the second set, the third set and the fourth set, twice had 15-40 on Djokovic's serve deep into in the fifth set, and lost it. Making it worse as a Nadal fan was yesterday's farce, the indoor conditions of the match and that third set tiebreak. One of the worst pills of all to swallow as a Nadal fan this match.
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
Funny thing is, I think they both got "oldies' shakes" today, ie when an old champ figures he's maybe getting his last chance and musn't screw up... which has him screwing up big time, of course (like Fed at USO 2015, for example). In the end, Djokovic probably choked a bit less because he had much less to lose, and Nadal couldn't handle the pressure (shades of AO 2012 there). Problem for him is, this will get worse and worse, now. A younger player rising now would probably be enough to put all three of our old ATG's to the sword, but there's no-one coming, so they will still be able to enjoy some time in the sun.

Also, should Anderson be able to keep the match tight tomorrow, some serious choking from Djokovic is not out of the question. At all.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Funny thing is, I think they both got "oldies' shakes" today, ie when an old champ figures he's maybe getting his last chance and musn't screw up... which has him screwing up big time, of course (like Fed at USO 2015, for example). In the end, Djokovic probably choked a bit less because he had much less to lose, and Nadal couldn't handle the pressure (shades of AO 2012 there). Problem for him is, this will get worse and worse, now. A younger player rising now would probably be enough to put all three of our old ATG's to the sword, but there's no-one coming, so they will still be able to enjoy some time in the sun.

Also, should Anderson be able to keep the match tight tomorrow, some serious choking from Djokovic is not out of the question. At all.
Nadal didn't have any problem handling the pressure in this match.
He came up with brilliant clutch stuff.
He didn't blow anything.
 

zverev2018

Semi-Pro
Most bouncy grass at Wimbledon for ages thanks to no rain since forever, not a single big server in his half of the draw because, ahem, reasons, an exhausted pigeon in the final, the player whom he was mortally afraid of who lost on Wednesday, and he still managed to lose despite having a gazillion opportunities (three set points in the third, five BP's (or was it more?) in the fifth...). And yet, it's not a bad defeat per se. For once, he had an opponent who was ranked in the top 25. Just. And we all know how these slam matches generally end with him (except when the other guy is named Del Potro).

Jokes aside, the pressure clearly got to him, and although he was clutch when he needed to save BP's, he turned into a choke artist when he needed to convert. So, he came within striking distance of Fed's slam record after RG 2014, when he was but 3 slams behind. Fast forward more than four years and, 17 slams later, he is *still* 3 slams behind. From 28 to 32, he gained a big fat 0 on Fed. And as the new generation is now poised to take over... :eek:

(Well, okay, they're not (big surprise there!), but Nadal is definitely running out of time...)
Djokovic had a big advantage because it was an indoors match. Despite that it was extremely close.
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
You do realize OP that Djokovic had a lot more break point chances, and Nadal had a much higher break point success in the match...
That's beside the point. There was a slight difference that you may have overlooked--Djokovic *won*, so the chances that he missed had no impact in the end. Nadal will probably be haunted for a long time by all these BP's in the fifth, though (and by this TB that he should never have lost). He was the slightly better player in this match (imho) and ended up losing it, just like Fed at USO 2015. But he should have won, and he definitely knows it, imho.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
The underlying point of the OP hits the nail on the head IMO. Rafa deserves massive props, and he was incredibly clutch at times when saving BP/MP, but ultimately he didn't convert in order to serve for it, and you could tell so easily that he was nervous even if he was trying not to show it.

Nadal is a mental giant, but even he is human. That's 2 huge chances he had now, AO 2017 (against Federer no less), and here at Wimbledon to get within true striking distance of Federer, and he's lost them both. Can't be good for him, especially now that Djokovic looks good again.
 

MeatTornado

Legend
Most figured this out ages ago. The slam differential remains insurmountable for a 32 year old player, regardless of Rafa’s greatness. And with Djoker again beating him in slams, RG is no lock anymore either.
Idk how you can rail against the NextGen so much and still be confident that Rafa won't keep racking up slams. Would you truly be shocked if Rafa won 3 more French Opens and Roger never won a major again?

Novak barely beat Rafa on indoor grass, and you think he might beat him at Roland Garros?
 

WhiskeyEE

Legend
Brutal loss. Everything lined up for him.

Hard to see him bouncing back at the USO with the shot clock in operation.
 
Idk how you can rail against the NextGen so much and still be confident that Rafa won't keep racking up slams. Would you truly be shocked if Rafa won 3 more French Opens and Roger never won a major again?

Novak barely beat Rafa on indoor grass, and you think he might beat him at Roland Garros?
She's not confident Nadal won't catch Federer. She's saying she is to mask her own anxiety about it. Same with most other Federer fans confidently proclaiming that what's clearly relatively likely is absolutely impossible. They were saying Nadal had no chance to make it to 17 a few years ago, but he did make it to 17, and only Federer's recent three kept him ahead.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
He didn't choke. I think that 5 hour match with Del Potro started to take its toll the longer that 5th set went. He was redlining on his serve for a while there, hitting huge bombs into Djokovic's body, and then the 1st serve percentage starting dropping and he was falling down 0-30 in his service games. He was fighting hard to hold on but time was running out. That game that Djokovic broke at then end he used powerful crosscourt backhands moving Rafa acutely to that side and forced Rafa to make an error. I think Rafa started tiring that little bit and it made the difference.
 

Rabin

Semi-Pro
"Choke artist" what kind of nonsense. He did well to get this to a fifth and Djokovic served sharply on those BPs. You could tell Rafa was getting tired at the end and Djokovic was able to pressure him more. It's a bad loss but it's not the end of the world. And as for the Slam record...give it a rest once in a while. I think for Rafa the thing that will hurt the most is the lost chance at another Wimbledon title, not the thought that maybe this will mean Federer remains ahead.
 
Novak barely beat Rafa on indoor grass, and you think he might beat
Djokovic was malnourished, having worst ever season since he started dominating.
Nadal was coming off a great season, was hitting powerful strokes off both wings, grass was highly modified as slow and high-bouncy for him this year, had to face no servebot and that's why he advanced this far...
By 2019 clay, djok will be firmly back in the mix and will be in a great physique

Hard to see him bouncing back at the USO with the shot clock in operation
What is the meaning of shot clock, if umpires are not going to implement its penalty rules strictly???
 

WhiskeyEE

Legend
Djokovic was malnourished, having worst ever season since he started dominating.
Nadal was coming off a great season, was hitting powerful strokes off both wings, grass was highly modified as slow and high-bouncy for him this year, had to face no servebot and that's why he advanced this far...
By 2019 clay, djok will be firmly back in the mix and will be in a great physique



What is the meaning of shot clock, if umpires are not going to implement its penalty rules strictly???
The USO will have a shot clock like the NBA from now on. Starting this year. No more cheating between points on serve.

It will affect Del Potro a lot too.

I assume the rules will be enforced rigidly. They are implementing it for a reason.
 
The USO will have a shot clock like the NBA from now on. Starting this year. No more cheating between points on serve.

It will affect Del Potro a lot too.

I assume the rules will be enforced rigidly. They are implementing it for a reason.
If they are only going to give warning and not enforce penalty, then no.... It wont affect time cheaters like djok, delpo, nadal etc
 
It is neither relatively likely nor absolutely impossible.
It is relatively likely that Nadal will win three more majors. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean he'll end up level with Federer, who could win one (or more) further majors himself.
 
No, it's not. But it is possible.
Let's agree to disagree on this one! I think it is premature to say it's unlikely, as it seems to me Nadal has a perfectly good shot of winning two more times at Roland Garros and once more elsewhere. But YMMV. And we'll never find out whether it was relatively likely or not, anyway. It not happening doesn't prove it wasn't relatively likely; it happening doesn't prove it was.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
He didn't choke. I think that 5 hour match with Del Potro started to take its toll the longer that 5th set went. He was redlining on his serve for a while there, hitting huge bombs into Djokovic's body, and then the 1st serve percentage starting dropping and he was falling down 0-30 in his service games. He was fighting hard to hold on but time was running out. That game that Djokovic broke at then end he used powerful crosscourt backhands moving Rafa acutely to that side and forced Rafa to make an error. I think Rafa started tiring that little bit and it made the difference.
So I wasn't the only one who saw a bit of fatigue from Rafa as the 5th wore on. Ye I agree. People in the thread were saying Nadal never gets tired but he lost some sharpness in his movement toward the end.
 

Gazelle

Legend
The underlying point of the OP hits the nail on the head IMO. Rafa deserves massive props, and he was incredibly clutch at times when saving BP/MP, but ultimately he didn't convert in order to serve for it, and you could tell so easily that he was nervous even if he was trying not to show it.

Nadal is a mental giant, but even he is human. That's 2 huge chances he had now, AO 2017 (against Federer no less), and here at Wimbledon to get within true striking distance of Federer, and he's lost them both. Can't be good for him, especially now that Djokovic looks good again.
Seems he gets tight when getting the slam record looms like a reasonable possibility. I would add AO 2014 to your list. I believe he panicked in the face of unexpected resistance by Wawrinka and hid it behind an injury excuse. That's why his confidence was shot for so long.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
So I wasn't the only one who saw a bit of fatigue from Rafa as the 5th wore on. Ye I agree. People in the thread were saying Nadal never gets tired but he lost some sharpness in his movement toward the end.
Yea he definitely started fatiguing which shows that he is human afterall. He had already played a 5 hour epic and you had to expect him to start to wear out at the end of that one. He still fought like a lion though.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
Not very likely that Djokovic will win 18, true. Especially if he wins tomorrow, he has a good shot of getting to 15.
If he can use this as a stringboard for more greatness he could. But I don't see this being a Pete Sampras moment of sorts, morein I see Djokovic using it like the former to regain some former glory.

I did predict Djokovic was about to have an Andre Agassi 1999 style year, so two majors isn't out of the question for him this year. Nor is a return to No. 1.
 
If he can use this as a stringboard for more greatness he could. But I don't see this being a Pete Sampras moment of sorts, morein I see Djokovic using it like the former to regain some former glory.

I did predict Djokovic was about to have an Andre Agassi 1999 style year, so two majors isn't out of the question for him this year. Nor is a return to No. 1.
Return to #1 is more likely after Australia, though. It could happen this fall, but I think Nadal has too big a lead.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
i was shocked he didn't take that bp opportunity in the 5th. nole was looking down and out. but guess not.
I’ve seen too many Djokovic matches to fall for signs that he’s “down and out”.

When he looked weary holding serve, I thought it was signs of the end for Nadal.


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