Rafa needs a Becker

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
Rafa doesn't move as quick as he used to but that is not his main problem. He showed mental weakness in close matches against World No.45 and No.19 players where he could have won with his experience and toughness. Funny enough, mental toughness was Rafa's best merit in the past. He hesitates a lot about his shot selections throughout the match and makes stupid mistakes.

He should apply Djokovic's model (Vajda+Becker) and keep Toni but add a head coach who is a multiple GS winner. Someone who's been there before many times unlike the uncle.
 

Kalin

Legend
Then maybe Rafa can give Benjamin a call?
Well, isn't Ben Becker known as one of the biggest servers among the 6-and-under footers? At least he can help with Rafa's serving issues ;)

But seriously; given what I know about Rafa I'd imagine he'd feel most comfortable with a Spanish-speaking coach. What tough-minded Spaniard ex-champions are there? What is Arantxa Sanchez doing now?
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Rafa doesn't move as quick as he used to but that is not his main problem. He showed mental weakness in close matches against World No.45 and No.19 players where he could have won with his experience and toughness. Funny enough, mental toughness was Rafa's best merit in the past. He hesitates a lot about his shot selections throughout the match and makes stupid mistakes.

He should apply Djokovic's model (Vajda+Becker) and keep Toni but add a head coach who is a multiple GS winner. Someone who's been there before many times unlike the uncle.
... that kind of becker ? :)
 

JohnnyMac Fan!

Hall of Fame
Rafa doesn't move as quick as he used to but that is not his main problem. He showed mental weakness in close matches against World No.45 and No.19 players where he could have won with his experience and toughness. Funny enough, mental toughness was Rafa's best merit in the past. He hesitates a lot about his shot selections throughout the match and makes stupid mistakes.

He should apply Djokovic's model (Vajda+Becker) and keep Toni but add a head coach who is a multiple GS winner. Someone who's been there before many times unlike the uncle.
Yes, but who at this point?
 
Rafa doesn't move as quick as he used to but that is not his main problem. He showed mental weakness in close matches against World No.45 and No.19 players where he could have won with his experience and toughness. Funny enough, mental toughness was Rafa's best merit in the past. He hesitates a lot about his shot selections throughout the match and makes stupid mistakes.

He should apply Djokovic's model (Vajda+Becker) and keep Toni but add a head coach who is a multiple GS winner. Someone who's been there before many times unlike the uncle.

Don Quijote Doflamingo.....nice
 

StanTheMan

Hall of Fame
I beg to differ. I think his mental game is as sharp as always, but he always relied on a incredible physical shape in order to perform his game.
After some injuries and counting almost 30 years old, things aren't so smooth as they used to be.

My take is that he either finds a way to improve his fitness or he should seriously consider a change in his way of playing.

Regardless, he's still the fifth best player in the world and can win major tournaments again, if conditions are favourable enough and if he's feeling particularly good in a particular week or two.
 

edmondsm

Legend
You can't fix old. Nadal is over the hill physically. Because of his physical, intense style of play, losing a step was always going to affect him more than the average player. Frankly it is stunning he lasted this long.
 

veroniquem

Bionic Poster
Rafa needs a new job. He has tons of money and things he can get involved with, so the transition should be smooth. I wish he had made that decision before and spared us the pain of witnessing his game completely disintegrating in front of our eyes. Slow death is slow and torture-like. I've never been through that specific trauma before. I was a huge Agassi fan and even though Agassi was only winning titles intermittently, his game and style looked about the same until the end. Whereas in Nadal's case, I simply cannot recognize the guy. I know what I loved about him but he plays NOTHING like he used to. It's like everything I liked about him has vanished. It just doesn't exist anymore. And what's replaced it is so lackluster and uninteresting, I can't get over it. Have older people than me experienced similar impressions with former tennis champs? I don't think I have ever had. Never to that extent for sure
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
I beg to differ. I think his mental game is as sharp as always, but he always relied on a incredible physical shape in order to perform his game.
After some injuries and counting almost 30 years old, things aren't so smooth as they used to be.

My take is that he either finds a way to improve his fitness or he should seriously consider a change in his way of playing.

Regardless, he's still the fifth best player in the world and can win major tournaments again, if conditions are favourable enough and if he's feeling particularly good in a particular week or two.
As I explained in the initial post, it is true that physically he is not the same Rafa but he is No.5 for god's sake. Would it be normal for Wawrinka to lose to these guys on his favorite surface? The problem is he's losing close matches. His nerves are not stable throughout the match. He breaks back to play a tie break and then screws it. His opponent gave him multiple chances (even hit two balls out) and he couldn''t use them.
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
You can't fix old. Nadal is over the hill physically. Because of his physical, intense style of play, losing a step was always going to affect him more than the average player. Frankly it is stunning he lasted this long.
He is 29 years old. Average age in Top 10 is 29.7 nowadays.
 

maticftw

Rookie
As I explained in the initial post, it is true that physically he is not the same Rafa but he is No.5 for god's sake. Would it be normal for Wawrinka to lose to these guys on his favorite surface? The problem is he's losing close matches. His nerves are not stable throughout the match. He breaks back to play a tie break and then screws it. His opponent gave him multiple chances (even hit two balls out) and he couldn''t use them.
I thought it was understood that Stanimal only appears once in a while and can hunt on any surface,preferably the slower ones and only on the biggest stages.Maybe rafa wants to follow in his footsteps;)
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
I thought it was understood that Stanimal only appears once in a while and can hunt on any surface,preferably the slower ones and only on the biggest stages.Maybe rafa wants to follow in his footsteps;)
I couldn't give a good example but imagine Wawrinka won multiple FO titles and his favorite surface is clay. True, we wouldn't care much about his grass performance.
 

maticftw

Rookie
I couldn't give a good example but imagine Wawrinka won multiple FO titles and his favorite surface is clay. True, we wouldn't care much about his grass performance.
But then he wouldnt be Wawrinka.;)
I get your point though.It looms even worse since the losses are on clay.I do agree that rafa needs a new perspective.
I hope Toni is reading all this and decides to implement new strategies himself.:)
 

marc45

G.O.A.T.
Rafa needs a new job. He has tons of money and things he can get involved with, so the transition should be smooth. I wish he had made that decision before and spared us the pain of witnessing his game completely disintegrating in front of our eyes. Slow death is slow and torture-like. I've never been through that specific trauma before. I was a huge Agassi fan and even though Agassi was only winning titles intermittently, his game and style looked about the same until the end. Whereas in Nadal's case, I simply cannot recognize the guy. I know what I loved about him but he plays NOTHING like he used to. It's like everything I liked about him has vanished. It just doesn't exist anymore. And what's replaced it is so lackluster and uninteresting, I can't get over it. Have older people than me experienced similar impressions with former tennis champs? I don't think I have ever had. Never to that extent for sure
a much different style, but it very much mirrors Sampras' last year or two.....sadly, for Rafa, it's unlikely to have one more big rainbow at the end...Sampras found his serve and forehand for two weeks and walked out champion....don't see anyway with today's game and Nadal's condition and style that it will happen for him
 

LinePainter

Professional
He is 29 years old. Average age in Top 10 is 29.7 nowadays.
Rafa won his first slam at 18 and played at a very high consistent level until now, I think it just took its toll. It makes sense he's not doing as well now with his high impact style and large workload.
 

Gazelle

Legend
Rafa needs a new job. He has tons of money and things he can get involved with, so the transition should be smooth. I wish he had made that decision before and spared us the pain of witnessing his game completely disintegrating in front of our eyes. Slow death is slow and torture-like. I've never been through that specific trauma before. I was a huge Agassi fan and even though Agassi was only winning titles intermittently, his game and style looked about the same until the end. Whereas in Nadal's case, I simply cannot recognize the guy. I know what I loved about him but he plays NOTHING like he used to. It's like everything I liked about him has vanished. It just doesn't exist anymore. And what's replaced it is so lackluster and uninteresting, I can't get over it. Have older people than me experienced similar impressions with former tennis champs? I don't think I have ever had. Never to that extent for sure
Actually Nadal was always (or at least 90% of time) uninteresting and boring. It's just now that he's losing his fanboys start to notice that too, something true tennis connoisseurs could already see years ago.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
It's not rocket science. :)

Nadal has maintained a brutal style of play from the incipient stages of his career until this very moment. He's a blink away from 30.

His prime is LONG past. How many times does this horse has to be beaten to death?

For Nadal fans: how many titles has Nadal won since the FO, 2014? I won't even bother to Google it, but I know it's got to be around 5, all 500's or 250's.
 

counterloop

Professional
Nadal is done. He no longer can chase down every ball and injuries have finally taken its toll on his body. What you saw yesterday was a man who no longer believes in his ability to play at a high level anymore. He has done way more than expected and has nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. He will forever be known as the king of clay.
 

insideguy

Legend
It's not rocket science. :)

Nadal has maintained a brutal style of play from the incipient stages of his career until this very moment. He's a blink away from 30.

His prime is LONG past. How many times does this horse has to be beaten to death?

For Nadal fans: how many titles has Nadal won since the FO, 2014? I won't even bother to Google it, but I know it's got to be around 5, all 500's or 250's.
I think its three.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Actually Nadal was always (or at least 90% of time) uninteresting and boring. It's just now that he's losing his fanboys start to notice that too, something true tennis connoisseurs could already see years ago.
At his best he was never boring or uninteresting to watch. I don't like grinders for the most part but Nadal was so explosive with his movement and his forehand you couldn't not appreciate it in some way even when he was beating Federer to a pulp. That Nadal is nowhere to be found these days and it is sad to watch.
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
Rafa won his first slam at 18 and played at a very high consistent level until now, I think it just took its toll. It makes sense he's not doing as well now with his high impact style and large workload.
I used to think like that but not anymore. He is at an age that he can fully recover physically. Maybe he just needs another 6 month break :). I still (or want to) believe he has 1 GS left in him.
 

joekapa

Legend
Unfortunatley his lack of serve, has done him in. He can no longer run around the court like a jack rabbit.
 
As another poster said, it seems a bit like Sampras in 2001-2. In Agassi's case, he really was old in tennis terms, so he was actually doing quite well considering the constraints he was under. When he won the AO 2003, he was more than 18 months older than any other Slam winner in the last 40 years. When he made the US Open final 2005, he was also about 18 months older than Federer was when he made the US Open final 2015. All things considered, maintaining a top 8 ranking every year for more than the first half of his 30s (30: 6, 31: 3, 32: 2, 33: 4, 34: 8, 35: 7) was a stellar achievement. I can see why it didn't feel so traumatic. Nadal, by contrast, doesn't really face the same age constraints. His body is beaten down, but that's not really because of age but rather injuries. And he's not adapting as Agassi did (Agassi in his 30s focused much more on moving his opponent around than he ever had done in his 20s).

Rafa needs a new job. He has tons of money and things he can get involved with, so the transition should be smooth. I wish he had made that decision before and spared us the pain of witnessing his game completely disintegrating in front of our eyes. Slow death is slow and torture-like. I've never been through that specific trauma before. I was a huge Agassi fan and even though Agassi was only winning titles intermittently, his game and style looked about the same until the end. Whereas in Nadal's case, I simply cannot recognize the guy. I know what I loved about him but he plays NOTHING like he used to. It's like everything I liked about him has vanished. It just doesn't exist anymore. And what's replaced it is so lackluster and uninteresting, I can't get over it. Have older people than me experienced similar impressions with former tennis champs? I don't think I have ever had. Never to that extent for sure
 
As another poster said, it seems a bit like Sampras in 2001-2. In Agassi's case, he really was old in tennis terms, so he was actually doing quite well considering the constraints he was under. When he won the AO 2003, he was more than 18 months older than any other Slam winner in the last 40 years. When he made the US Open final 2005, he was also about 18 months older than Federer was when he made the US Open final 2015. All things considered, maintaining a top 8 ranking every year for more than the first half of his 30s (30: 6, 31: 3, 32: 2, 33: 4, 34: 8, 35: 7) was a stellar achievement. I can see why it didn't feel so traumatic. Nadal, by contrast, doesn't really face the same age constraints. His body is beaten down, but that's not really because of age but rather injuries. And he's not adapting as Agassi did (Agassi in his 30s focused much more on moving his opponent around than he ever had done in his 20s).

Rafa needs a new job. He has tons of money and things he can get involved with, so the transition should be smooth. I wish he had made that decision before and spared us the pain of witnessing his game completely disintegrating in front of our eyes. Slow death is slow and torture-like. I've never been through that specific trauma before. I was a huge Agassi fan and even though Agassi was only winning titles intermittently, his game and style looked about the same until the end. Whereas in Nadal's case, I simply cannot recognize the guy. I know what I loved about him but he plays NOTHING like he used to. It's like everything I liked about him has vanished. It just doesn't exist anymore. And what's replaced it is so lackluster and uninteresting, I can't get over it. Have older people than me experienced similar impressions with former tennis champs? I don't think I have ever had. Never to that extent for sure
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
As another poster said, it seems a bit like Sampras in 2001-2. In Agassi's case, he really was old in tennis terms, so he was actually doing quite well considering the constraints he was under. When he won the AO 2003, he was more than 18 months older than any other Slam winner in the last 40 years. When he made the US Open final 2005, he was also about 18 months older than Federer was when he made the US Open final 2015. All things considered, maintaining a top 8 ranking every year for more than the first half of his 30s (30: 6, 31: 3, 32: 2, 33: 4, 34: 8, 35: 7) was a stellar achievement. I can see why it didn't feel so traumatic. Nadal, by contrast, doesn't really face the same age constraints. His body is beaten down, but that's not really because of age but rather injuries. And he's not adapting as Agassi did (Agassi in his 30s focused much more on moving his opponent around than he ever had done in his 20s).
Sampras was runner-up in USO 2001 and won the USO 2002. Rafa's best in GS in last 7 tournaments was 2 QF. Maybe for Sampras case, failing bad in Wimbledon two years in a row was similar.
 
Sampras was runner-up in USO 2001 and won the USO 2002. Rafa's best in GS in last 7 tournaments was 2 QF. Maybe for Sampras case, failing bad in Wimbledon two years in a row was similar.
Yeah, he did manage to keep doing well at the US Open. But his overall form in 2001 and 2002 was dismal by his standards. He didn't win a tournament of any kind between Wimbledon 2000 and the US Open 2002! Nadal has won three titles since Roland Garros 2014, and that's only between 20 months, not 26.
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, he did manage to keep doing well at the US Open. But his overall form in 2001 and 2002 was dismal by his standards. He didn't win a tournament of any kind between Wimbledon 2000 and the US Open 2002! Nadal has won three titles since Roland Garros 2014, and that's only between 20 months, not 26.
We'll see if Rafa is done for the year by June 5th. Very little time left to get back to form and build confidence.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
Only a time machine can rejuvenate Rafa's career. Let's not kid ourselves. He's still a solid top 10. Just enjoy him while we have him on tour.

BTW, I think current Fed beats current Nadal 8 out of 10 times. On clay, 6 out of 10.
 
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