Rafael Nadal - Amazing Longevity

RaulRamirez

Legend
Kudos to Rafa for a stunning comeback victory today, notching his 21st slam, and finally, his second AO title.

One of the most surprising thing about Rafa's legendary career has been his longevity at or near the very top.
Especially for a player who has played - even if some think it has been exaggerated - through pain and injuries.

Maybe, someone can add to this list:
Almost 17 years between his first slam and his most recent (2005 RG - 2022 AO). Fed 15, Novak 13
15 years with at least one slam. Fed 11; Novak 11
13 years between wins at the AO.
852 (?) consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
Most weeks in the Top 2
19 (I think) consecutive years with at least one title.

Again, all three members of The Big 3 can point to unique achievements, but Rafa's longevity at or near the very top
(given his injury history) is incredible.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Kudos to Rafa for a stunning comeback victory today, notching his 21st slam, and finally, his second AO title.

One of the most surprising thing about Rafa's legendary career has been his longevity at or near the very top.
Especially for a player who has played - even if some think it has been exaggerated - through pain and injuries.

Maybe, someone can add to this list:
Almost 17 years between his first slam and his most recent (2005 RG - 2022 AO). Fed 15, Novak 13
15 years with at least one slam. Fed 11; Novak 11
13 years between wins at the AO.
852 (?) consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
Most weeks in the Top 2
19 (I think) consecutive years with at least one title.

Again, all three members of The Big 3 can point to unique achievements, but Rafa's longevity at or near the very top
(given his injury history) is incredible.
Incredible scenes.
 
Probably the most amazing thing from Nadal. Most people (including me) figured 2014 was probably his last hurrah in terms of winning. Yet here we are 8 years later. LOL. Double Career Slam/Slam Record. Amazing. Maybe the most amazing thing in all of sports period when you considering his taxing game. I'm still in disbelief how this guy can even walk much less still win slams
 
I remember the smug Fed fans saying, Fed's won slams in his 30's let's see if Rafa's even playing in his 30's.... has won 7 slams and counting in his 30's

then it was...

Fed won slams at 35 and 36, Rafa's not going to be doing that... Rafa just won his worst slam at 35 with RG up next where Rafa will be 36 by the time the final rolls around

lol
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
I remember the smug Fed fans saying, Fed's won slams in his 30's let's see if Rafa's even playing in his 30's.... has won 7 slams and counting in his 30's

then it was...

Fed won slams at 35 and 36, Rafa's not going to be doing that... Rafa just won his worst slam at 35 with RG up next where Rafa will be 36 by the time the final rolls around

lol
All true, but no need for fan wars - just appreciation.
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
Kudos to Rafa for a stunning comeback victory today, notching his 21st slam, and finally, his second AO title.

One of the most surprising thing about Rafa's legendary career has been his longevity at or near the very top.
Especially for a player who has played - even if some think it has been exaggerated - through pain and injuries.

Maybe, someone can add to this list:
Almost 17 years between his first slam and his most recent (2005 RG - 2022 AO). Fed 15, Novak 13
15 years with at least one slam. Fed 11; Novak 11
13 years between wins at the AO.
852 (?) consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
Most weeks in the Top 2
19 (I think) consecutive years with at least one title.

Again, all three members of The Big 3 can point to unique achievements, but Rafa's longevity at or near the very top
(given his injury history) is incredible.
LongevityDal!
:cool:
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Probably the most amazing thing from Nadal. Most people (including me) figured 2014 was probably his last hurrah in terms of winning. Yet here we are 8 years later. LOL. Double Career Slam/Slam Record. Amazing. Maybe the most amazing thing in all of sports period when you considering his taxing game. I'm still in disbelief how this guy can even walk much less still win slams
When I saw the way Nadal lost to Djokovic at the 2015 French Open, I thought he'd never win another major. In hindsight, 2015 was just a bad year for Nadal (like Federer's 2013 and Djokovic's 2017), and 2016 wasn't much better apart from the early weeks of the clay season. The 2017 Australian Open changed things. It had been all Djokovic and Murray, and yet now it was Nadal and Federer again.

Perhaps also in hindsight, Nadal was changing the way he was playing from 2015-2017, to become more aggressive with the shotmaking and not move with abandon as much as he had before in his career, and it took time to adapt.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Where would you rank this among his slam wins, mostly for importance, and possibly for drama.

I'm thinking WC08 is still #1.
This one is very high, perhaps along with AO09 and RG13.
Importance its top 3. Losing 5 AO finals would have been a DISASTER. No other way to say it. He truly needed this. It was nowhere near one of my favorite matches to watch however, but the fighting to the last point and epic comeback was vintage Rafa. Him having the energy to do what he did earlier was mind-blowing.
 

JustMy2Cents

Hall of Fame
Kudos to Rafa for a stunning comeback victory today, notching his 21st slam, and finally, his second AO title.

One of the most surprising thing about Rafa's legendary career has been his longevity at or near the very top.
Especially for a player who has played - even if some think it has been exaggerated - through pain and injuries.

Maybe, someone can add to this list:
Almost 17 years between his first slam and his most recent (2005 RG - 2022 AO). Fed 15, Novak 13
15 years with at least one slam. Fed 11; Novak 11
13 years between wins at the AO.
852 (?) consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
Most weeks in the Top 2
19 (I think) consecutive years with at least one title.

Again, all three members of The Big 3 can point to unique achievements, but Rafa's longevity at or near the very top
(given his injury history) is incredible.
Just goes to show that the 'pundits' latch on to one narrative and parrot it ad nauseum.... They totally negated his innate skills and variety.

to add to the list

Rafa has had his 501 win on hard court today.

He's got some 460 plus wins on clay.../. the only guy with more than 400 wins.

These numbers are proof of his longevity... he might well hit 500 wins on clay too.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Importance its top 3. Losing 5 AO finals would have been a DISASTER. No other way to say it. He truly needed this. It was nowhere near one of my favorite matches to watch however, but the fighting to the last point and epic comeback was vintage Rafa. Him having the energy to do what he did earlier was mind-blowing.
I know better to count him out (or any of the Big 3 for that matter), but after he lost a winnable second set, I just didn't foresee it.
Crazy.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Just goes to show that the 'pundits' latch on to one narrative and parrot it ad nauseum.... They totally negated his innate skills and variety.

to add to the list

Rafa has had his 501 win on hard court today.

He's got some 460 plus wins on clay.../. the only guy with more than 400 wins.

These numbers are proof of his longevity... he might well hit 500 wins on clay too.
Absolutely, But longevity of greatness ...not Feliciano or Ivo.
 

ForehandRF

Legend
Importance its top 3. Losing 5 AO finals would have been a DISASTER. No other way to say it. He truly needed this. It was nowhere near one of my favorite matches to watch however, but the fighting to the last point and epic comeback was vintage Rafa. Him having the energy to do what he did earlier was mind-blowing.
He would still be enjoying his luxurious life and you would still be enjoying yours :D
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
When I saw the way Nadal lost to Djokovic at the 2015 French Open, I thought he'd never win another major. In hindsight, 2015 was just a bad year for Nadal (like Federer's 2013 and Djokovic's 2017), and 2016 wasn't much better apart from the early weeks of the clay season. The 2017 Australian Open changed things. It had been all Djokovic and Murray, and yet now it was Nadal and Federer again.

Perhaps also in hindsight, Nadal was changing the way he was playing from 2015-2017, to become more aggressive with the shotmaking and not move with abandon as much as he had before in his career, and it took time to adapt.
Serve, volley and forehand to finish off rivals with precision.
Although, for the first time in a long time, I think Nadal used the backhand down the line as an infallible weapon.
Not forgetting the use of the drop shot to disrupt the rhythm of the Russian player.
:D
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Serve, volley and forehand to finish off rivals with precision.
Although, for the first time in a long time, I think Nadal used the backhand down the line as an infallible weapon.
Not forgetting the use of the drop shot to disrupt the rhythm of the Russian player.
:D
I think he used the dropper much more effectively than Med did.
Med is quite impressive on hard courts -- like a wall, who can also really move,
Quirky, but hard to penetrate, with a big serve and funky, but consistent groundies.
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
Is that a criticism or a compliment? I can't work out which.
Well I'd say it's smart more than anything. Skipping Wimbledon and US Open last year which are 2 tournaments that Nadal has done very well in and using that time off to heal from the heartbreak of losing the RG semifinals and recovering physically and then being fully fresh for the AO. If nadal keeps doing this (taking long breaks) he can keep playing Slams up until his 40s.
 

mattennis

Hall of Fame
Even though from 2002 to about 2008 I was in awe of Roger Federer and could not understand why this Spanish kid was so successful, as time went by, I learned to appreciate what a physical beast and how talented overall this player really is.

I still think that Federer's and Djokovic's top games are better than Nadal's (on grass, outdoor hard courts and indoors) but now I can really understand and appreciate how a truly unique specimen this sportman is (and this, by the way, has made me understand better some of Federer's tough losses against him).

My most sincere congratulations to this wonderful tennis player.
 

Thriller

Hall of Fame
Serve, volley and forehand to finish off rivals with precision.
Although, for the first time in a long time, I think Nadal used the backhand down the line as an infallible weapon.
Not forgetting the use of the drop shot to disrupt the rhythm of the Russian player.
:D
That's the key shot. When he is hitting that one hard down the line, everyone is in trouble. I am hoping in a way that beating Medvedev today gave Nadal the key to beat the even better wall Djokovic, next time they play on hardcourt.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
That's the key shot. When he is hitting that one hard down the line, everyone is in trouble. I am hoping in a way that beating Medvedev today gave Nadal the key to beat the even better wall Djokovic, next time they play on hardcourt.
True, and I think it's true for almost all players.
 

Silverbullet96

Professional
Well I'd say it's smart more than anything. Skipping Wimbledon and US Open last year which are 2 tournaments that Nadal has done very well in and using that time off to heal from the heartbreak of losing the RG semifinals and recovering physically and then being fully fresh for the AO. If nadal keeps doing this (taking long breaks) he can keep playing Slams up until his 40s.
I'd disagree some years ago. But now I think that's probably a good idea, cause we've now seen for years how things like rust or lack of match fitness is a not problem with Nadal, for whatever reason.
 
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The_Order

G.O.A.T.
When I saw the way Nadal lost to Djokovic at the 2015 French Open, I thought he'd never win another major. In hindsight, 2015 was just a bad year for Nadal (like Federer's 2013 and Djokovic's 2017), and 2016 wasn't much better apart from the early weeks of the clay season. The 2017 Australian Open changed things. It had been all Djokovic and Murray, and yet now it was Nadal and Federer again.

Perhaps also in hindsight, Nadal was changing the way he was playing from 2015-2017, to become more aggressive with the shotmaking and not move with abandon as much as he had before in his career, and it took time to adapt.
He wasn't trying to play more aggressive in 2015/16.. his ball was noticeably shorter than usual and his confidence looked shot.

It was only until he brought Moya on as coach that he started to play with more aggression and belief again.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
There was some research done a few years ago that pointed to long term endurance peaking at age 35. Explosiveness declines but the ability to do long lasting sports goes up when it comes to cardio and muscles anyway. I think you saw the result this morning....
 
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