Should Rafa skip Grass Court Season?

Should he skip?


  • Total voters
    62

gn

G.O.A.T.
I think he should skip the Grass Court Season to give his body enough rest then return during NA events.
No point in playing to get embarrassed by random journeyman.
 

Vanilla Slice

Professional
Nadal is going for broke. He wants the YE#1 and does not care how he gets it. Playing a short 4-week long grass season won't burry him and he will gain more points. The burnout from overplaying on clay is inevitable, but it won't be felt till late in the year.

As a result, Rafa should play on grass, get more points, and prepare to pull a Murray where the YE#1 holds less slams than the YE#2 (Federer).
 

Jonas78

Legend
A typical "what did i say" scenario. If he goes out early, you have one group of people calling him an idiot to play. If he goes far, or even wins, well, the answer is clear.

The way i see it, Rafa is Rafa, it's full speed ahead!
 

duaneeo

Legend
If Fed finished the year with two slams and Nadal only one, people are going to think of him as the #1 player regardless of rankings.
Regardless of what people think, the rankings are official. One-slam-winner Murray is 2016's YE#1, not two-slam-winner Djokovic.

I suspect for Nadal (whose #1 stats are low considering his massive resume), the #1 ranking is very important. He's aware of the current vacuum in mens tennis, and knows there's an amazing opportunity to enhance his massive resume with more weeks-at-#1 and perhaps another YE#1.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Regardless of what people think, the rankings are official. One-slam-winner Murray is 2016's YE#1, not two-slam-winner Djokovic.

I suspect for Nadal (whose #1 stats are low considering his massive resume), the #1 ranking is very important. He's aware of the current vacuum in mens tennis, and knows there's an amazing opportunity to enhance his massive resume with more weeks-at-#1 and perhaps another YE#1.
Yes, BUT: In the history books he's going to get an * after four slams with a note that he is the first to do it since Laver, and hopefully people will remember that the first half of 2016 was finishing up that incredible run.

Whereas Murray had an incredible run but has really sputtered this year, and we tend to remember runs of dominance longer, historically, when they last a full year or more - not calendar year but 12 months or more. Or at least I do...
 
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VladBurn

Rookie
Im not really sure how well he is going to adapt to grass season after having played a great clay season, I just dont think it's going to be well for him, it's a big change in very short time.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
I think he should skip the Grass Court Season to give his body enough rest then return during NA events.
No point in playing to get embarrassed by random journeyman.
Nadal knows how to win at Wimbledon, being a two time champion. He has no reason to skip an event where he's enjoyed so much success.
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
Nadal knows how to win at Wimbledon, being a two time champion. He has no reason to skip an event where he's enjoyed so much success.
He should play everything he possibly can and go for the WTF and try to finish YE #1. He may not get another chance. Djokovic and Murray once they awaken from their slumber will make things much more difficult for him. Not to mention the new gen will be even stronger and more experienced next season.
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
If he's not injured, then no. With his current form, it wouldn't be far fetched to think he could be a factor at SW 19 again which could provide some must watch tennis.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Nadal is going for broke. He wants the YE#1 and does not care how he gets it.
Why?

Serious question.

The only player who should make a push for this is Fed, who has a legitimate, tangible reason to go all out for this: it's the only record (of any importance) that Pete still holds over him. To make YE #1 at the age of 36 would be something no one has ever done. It would just be another stone on top of his GOAT monument. Then Fed and Pete would be tied for 6 YE #1's.

What's in it for Rafa, aside from ego? I don't even know how many YE #1's he has, I think 2. His legacy won't be enhanced much by pushing for #3. He's overplayed ridiculously as it is this year, considering his endless history of injuries and lay offs post-RG.
 

schenkelini

Semi-Pro
He is in the groove. If he is not feeling any pains in his body has to keep going. He should play the grass tournaments and then see how his body feels. If he is feeling like he has any sort of injury then he should take off the hard court season.
 

reaper

Legend
I don't think Nadal's going to be skipping Wimbledon. He's only a dual champion and 5 time finalist. The analogy with Federer skipping the FO doesn't stack up. Federer has superior results at every other slam to the French, Nadal's Wimbledon results stack up very well relative to his hard court record.
 

THUNDERVOLLEY

G.O.A.T.
The only player who should make a push for this is Fed, who has a legitimate, tangible reason to go all out for this: it's the only record (of any importance) that Pete still holds over him.
He does not have the most important of all tennis achievements: the Grand Slam, which he will never win, so passing Sampras at Wimbledon would be a minor feat in the grand scheme of things.

To make YE #1 at the age of 36 would be something no one has ever done. It would just be another stone on top of his GOAT monument. Then Fed and Pete would be tied for 6 YE #1's.[/quote]

He failed to win the Grand Slam, so he's no GOAT.

Nadal should try to do what he accomplished two times--win Wimbledon.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
It makes no sense for Nadal to skip the grass court season because it's short and he has a good shot at Wimbledon. Any winner of a prior slam goes into the next one with momentum mojo.

Nadal has also made more Wimbledon finals than USO finals. A journeyman or revived Djoko/Murray could knock out Fed for him, but if they're in that good of a form, they'd knock him out too.

If Nadal isn't injured then he should go all out at a Wimbledon. If he gets hurts, then sit out USO and make another run at AO 2018 knowing that he can always add another notch to his belt with RG # 11.
 

70後

Hall of Fame
number one should mean nothing for Fed/Nad anymore. Only the slams. Skip or play, Nadal should know what to do.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
No, he shouldn't skip it. He's in good health and with Djokovic in poor form, Murray having his own issues and the younger generations not being able to step up yet, he should try and go for it and do the best he can. Strike while the iron is hot.
 

70後

Hall of Fame
No, he shouldn't skip it. He's in good health and with Djokovic in poor form, Murray having his own issues and the younger generations not being able to step up yet, he should try and go for it and do the best he can. Strike while the iron is hot.
But surely the reason why the lower rung cannot step up is also because the highest rung wouldn't step down. Could the RG draw from 10, 11 years ago have beaten 2017 RG Nadal? Could 2008 RG final Fed have done better than 2017 RG final Wawrinka? It is a matter of perspective. However, this is only true at the FedNadDjok level, and the Serena level. The lower tier have stepped up, say tier four displacing three, three displacing two. The landscapes of the tours below have already gone through several generations of turnover, just being unable to change the landmarks FedNadDjok and Serena at the very top. It didn't mean they didn't step up.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
The La Decima Tennis Channel documentary is on now. It started at the top of the hour.

Xisca looked great behind the scenes. She usually pretties up when she'll be seen on camera sitting in the stands.
 
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cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
But surely the reason why the lower rung cannot step up is also because the highest rung wouldn't step down. Could the RG draw from 10, 11 years ago have beaten 2017 RG Nadal? Could 2008 RG final Fed have done better than 2017 RG final Wawrinka? It is a matter of perspective. However, this is only true at the FedNadDjok level, and the Serena level. The lower tier have stepped up, say tier four displacing three, three displacing two. The landscapes of the tours below have already gone through several generations of turnover, just being unable to change the landmarks FedNadDjok and Serena at the very top. It didn't mean they didn't step up.
For me, stepping up is being able to win titles, period. That's what the younger generations have been doing to the older players (all ATGs) since forever. The fact is the younger players aren't good enough yet for many reasons. Some don't have the necessary skills/game, some don't have the necessary heart/motivation/work ethic or a combo of some sort.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Stunned? No, but surprised. He's the favorite to win Wimbledon alongside Murray and he's definitely one of the top 4 contenders to win the USO.
Based on the last couple years I would give him better odds on HCs.

This could change this year. I hope it does. But first he needs to turn around the decline in his return game on grass.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
If he is healthy of course not. He will either go out early at sw19 and it won't matter or he will go deep at wimbledon and have a shot to win/gain serious points, which justifies itself.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
For me, stepping up is being able to win titles, period. That's what the younger generations have been doing to the older players (all ATGs) since forever. The fact is the younger players aren't good enough yet for many reasons. Some don't have the necessary skills/game, some don't have the necessary heart/motivation/work ethic or a combo of some sort.
Or the right chemicals have not yet been invented to make younger players as strong and as wily as older players.

You deny that medicine (including drugs that seem to be slipping through the cracks in terms of testing) are changing the game to the advantage of older players.

If you do something that allows most all of the older players to extend their careers, that's all they need to dominate. They already have everything else they need.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Or the right chemicals have not yet been invented to make younger players as strong and as wily as older players.

You deny that medicine (including drugs that seem to be slipping through the cracks in terms of testing) are changing the game to the advantage of older players.

If you do something that allows most all of the older players to extend their careers, that's all they need to dominate. They already have everything else they need.
NO, I don't deny that. I'm simply saying these younger guys don't look good enough to me. Either their games aren't good enough (Thiem) or their mentality isn't good enough (Kyrgios.)
 

Incognito

Legend
With a backhand like that? Beware! The season will become really interesting if he remains healthy:eek:

Very smart of Rafa to stomp every opponent quickly in every round at the FO to preserve energy for the rest of the season. He barely broke sweat in that tournament.
 

duaneeo

Legend
The only player who should make a push for this is Fed, who has a legitimate, tangible reason to go all out for this: it's the only record (of any importance) that Pete still holds over him.
Roger has so distanced himself from Sampras that there's no need for him to break/tie all of his records.

Nadal should push for it more than Federer, for the tangible reason of tying Djokovic's 4 YE#1's.
 

70後

Hall of Fame
NO, I don't deny that. I'm simply saying these younger guys don't look good enough to me. Either their games aren't good enough (Thiem) or their mentality isn't good enough (Kyrgios.)
I suggest that Krygios also isn't strong enough to climb up to and surpass the level where FedNadDjokRay are at, and has the sense to know it. So he puts on a great big show of tanking.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Why?

Serious question.

The only player who should make a push for this is Fed, who has a legitimate, tangible reason to go all out for this: it's the only record (of any importance) that Pete still holds over him. To make YE #1 at the age of 36 would be something no one has ever done. It would just be another stone on top of his GOAT monument. Then Fed and Pete would be tied for 6 YE #1's.

What's in it for Rafa, aside from ego? I don't even know how many YE #1's he has, I think 2. His legacy won't be enhanced much by pushing for #3. He's overplayed ridiculously as it is this year, considering his endless history of injuries and lay offs post-RG.
Lmao, this post is full of biased fail.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
NO, I don't deny that. I'm simply saying these younger guys don't look good enough to me. Either their games aren't good enough (Thiem) or their mentality isn't good enough (Kyrgios.)
I think Thiem's game is good enough on clay. No one has looked good in the Nadal era on clay. Djokovic and Federer would both have won several RGs in a non-Nadal era. I can't fault the guys who went down to Nadal on clay this year.

He gets trashed for over-hitting in the final, but I see that as desperation, for Stan too. Most likely both coaches said: "Hit him with everything, be aggressive, and just take a chance. It's not high percentage tennis, but high percentage tennis can't work against him because he's better at it than everyone else.

Kyrgios? There I agree with you. I think he is one of the most over-hyped players I've ever seen.

But the guys who bother me are like Coric. There you have a young guy who looks to me to be tall enough and solid enough to win. He has the hunger, the will and the attitude. But he just doesn't have the game. He's like a bigger, stronger Ferrer without the intangible staying ability that Ferrer has/had.

I also don't understand why no one can put together a multi-dimensional game. Sure, Alex's older brother is not going to win with his style. It's too risky, much like Brown (but probably with more discipline.) But why did they not teach the kid some of the skills his brother has? Why not incorporate those volleying skills from the get-go?

Also, both Nadal and Murray have excellent net skills. Even Djokovic is pretty good at the net, at times. Fed is obviously about as good as anyone today can be there.

If you have three of the Big Four who dominate there, when they get there, isn't it obvious that this is the way to win?
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I suggest that Krygios also isn't strong enough to climb up to and surpass the level where FedNadDjokRay are at, and has the sense to know it. So he puts on a great big show of tanking.
Pretty much...

Also, the show-boat shots are a good way of disguising lack of foundation.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
He does not have the most important of all tennis achievements: the Grand Slam, which he will never win, so passing Sampras at Wimbledon would be a minor feat in the grand scheme of things.

He failed to win the Grand Slam, so he's no GOAT.

Nadal should try to do what he accomplished two times--win Wimbledon.
I disagree. The most important/biggest career achievement in tennis is the number of slam titles won. The grand slam feat is a one-year time frame, not the entire career.

You may not think Federer isn't the GOAT because you don't like him, but most people believe he's the GOAT.

Nadal should try to win Wimbledon and reach the #1 ranking.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Lmao, this post is full of biased fail.
I think Nadal has UNDER played this year so far.

He was lacking confidence and a few other final touches to an improved game during the HC season.

I've tracked Nadal throughout his career.

Sure, he could wash out in Wimbledon in early rounds. It's not his best surface, grass. But we should not forget Nadal on grass early in his career, most likely peaking in 2008. Why in heaven's would that Nadal not appear again this year when his game is more aggressive than ever, with an improved serve and with an improved BH?

Because he can't volley? :D

Man, I would NEVER bet against Nadal this year. I just don't have as much confidence in him off clay, but why would any of us?
 

Waspsting

Hall of Fame
The only player who should make a push for (#1) is Fed, who has a legitimate, tangible reason to go all out for this: it's the only record (of any importance) that Pete still holds over him. To make YE #1 at the age of 36 would be something no one has ever done. It would just be another stone on top of his GOAT monument. Then Fed and Pete would be tied for 6 YE #1's.
Logically, you're right

Federer doesn't seem to be particularly concerned though. I suspect the weeks at #1 is enough for him... its now about Slams for him (if the YE #1 comes with it, great, otherwise, no biggie)... I think he'd take either Slam and give up YE #1 if he could choose (particularly since either Slam would give him the Open Era record for that Slam)


What's in it for Rafa, aside from ego? I don't even know how many YE #1's he has, I think 2. His legacy won't be enhanced much by pushing for #3. He's overplayed ridiculously as it is this year, considering his endless history of injuries and lay offs post-RG.
Nadal's still in "normal player" mode - where #1 being a big achievement is a given - and he's a highly competitive player. Just naturally, he'd be keen to finish #1. Probably a bit extra keen knowing this might be his last chance to do it.

This'll be his 4th YE #1 if he gets it. Yeah, that's worth fighting for. Same as Djokovic, one shy of Federer... (maybe denying Federer 6 is a motivating factor too)

Not that I think this is a motivation for him, but there'd be a pretty symmetry to him finishing #1... he would have dethroned all the rest of the Big 4 for his position!

---

Now that he's 31, Nadal may well turn to a Federer-esque approach to the tour in future... if these guys pick and choose their tournaments more and more as they see fit... they could optimistically play for upto 5 more years (by the end, they might just be entering Slams and nothing else)
 
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cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
I think Thiem's game is good enough on clay. No one has looked good in the Nadal era on clay. Djokovic and Federer would both have won several RGs in a non-Nadal era. I can't fault the guys who went down to Nadal on clay this year.

He gets trashed for over-hitting in the final, but I see that as desperation, for Stan too. Most likely both coaches said: "Hit him with everything, be aggressive, and just take a chance. It's not high percentage tennis, but high percentage tennis can't work against him because he's better at it than everyone else.

Kyrgios? There I agree with you. I think he is one of the most over-hyped players I've ever seen.

But the guys who bother me are like Coric. There you have a young guy who looks to me to be tall enough and solid enough to win. He has the hunger, the will and the attitude. But he just doesn't have the game. He's like a bigger, stronger Ferrer without the intangible staying ability that Ferrer has/had.

I also don't understand why no one can put together a multi-dimensional game. Sure, Alex's older brother is not going to win with his style. It's too risky, much like Brown (but probably with more discipline.) But why did they not teach the kid some of the skills his brother has? Why not incorporate those volleying skills from the get-go?

Also, both Nadal and Murray have excellent net skills. Even Djokovic is pretty good at the net, at times. Fed is obviously about as good as anyone today can be there.

If you have three of the Big Four who dominate there, when they get there, isn't it obvious that this is the way to win?
Kyrgios is the younger guy I like the best in terms of his tennis game/style but mentally he's a flake who has a long way to go. Thiem's game is hugely overrated for me and he's not even close to being a Djokovic or Federer on clay. What I like about him is his calm personality and he seems like a decent guy. Zverev probably is the most stable of the three in terms of game and necessary motivation/mental stability but he's a giant and may have issues with injury. We'll have to see how it all plays out for those three. It could go in a million different directions.

In any case, we'll have to agree to disagree because the younger players should be stepping up more IMO no matter how great Federer/Nadal/Djokovic are and how much fitness, medicine and technology have improved.
 

70後

Hall of Fame
In any case, we'll have to agree to disagree because the younger players should be stepping up more IMO no matter how great Federer/Nadal/Djokovic are and how much fitness, medicine and technology have improved.
So you do agree with me this is a matter of degree. ;)

Now we just have to talk about how high that mountain is, and how far up it FedNadDjokRay have ascended.
 

ppmishra

Rookie
Nadal's current attacking game plan (not new by any means, he has employed it but with variations in the past I.e 2008, 2010, 2013) will serve him well on grass. As he mentioned it has been tough on his knees of late because of how low he has to get to the ball, so in the same interview he stated he has to be especially on guard in the early rounds (1,2) but he seemed confident he could do well on grass and I see no reason why not. For context, the surface at the Aussie open this year was quite fast and he almost won. Wimbledon will be quite fast in week 1 but will be slower in week 2.
My only question is how far back will he stand to return serve. I know he stands/ has stood much closer to the baseline to return serve on grass, but how he does it this year remains to be seen. Every other aspect of his game indicates he is ready this year. Of course he should play.
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
It makes no sense for Nadal to skip the grass court season because it's short and he has a good shot at Wimbledon. Any winner of a prior slam goes into the next one with momentum mojo.

Nadal has also made more Wimbledon finals than USO finals. A journeyman or revived Djoko/Murray could knock out Fed for him, but if they're in that good of a form, they'd knock him out too.

If Nadal isn't injured then he should go all out at a Wimbledon. If he gets hurts, then sit out USO and make another run at AO 2018 knowing that he can always add another notch to his belt with RG # 11.
Do you think Nadal is that confident that he will simply win RG #11 next year? And full well knowing that he's had issues with his wrist and knees and back over the past 2-3 years? I doubt Nadal is looking that far ahead.
I could see Kyrgios, Querrey, Anderson, Raonic, Dimitrov, Zverev, Verdasco, Del Potro, etc all knocking any of the big 4 guys out of Wimbledon. Actually Raonic knocked Federer out last year, Kyrgios knocked Nadal out in 2014, and Querrey took out Djokovic last year also, and Dimitrov took out Murray in 2014 I believe. Granted that the big 4 were ailing or in a rut during those losses but that's part of the sport. If you're not playing at your very best on a particular day, you can be eliminated if you run into a big hitter. And last I checked, the big 4 are all in their 30s now and are nowhere near as physically strong or as robust as they were in their 20s. Federer already dealt with back issues and knee surgery. Murray had back surgery. Nadal's wrist issues cost him most of the 2016 season, and Djokovic also had shoulder and wrist problems among other things.
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
Logically, you're right

Federer doesn't seem to be particularly concerned though. I suspect the weeks at #1 is enough for him... its now about Slams for him (if the YE #1 comes with it, great, otherwise, no biggie)... I think he'd take either Slam and give up YE #1 if he could choose (particularly since either Slam would give him the Open Era record for that Slam)




Nadal's still in "normal player" mode - where #1 being a big achievement is a given - and he's a highly competitive player. Just naturally, he'd be keen to finish #1. Probably a bit extra keen knowing this might be his last chance to do it.

Not that I think this is a motivation for him, but there'd be a pretty symmetry to him finishing #1... he would have dethroned all the rest of the Big 4 for his position!

---

Now that he's 31, Nadal may well turn to a Federer-esque approach to the tour in future... if these guys pick and choose their tournaments more and more as they see fit... they could optimistically play for upto 5 more years (by the end, they might just be entering Slams and nothing else)
Nadal has had a Federer-esque approach since 2012. After a shock defeat to Rosol, he disappeared for 6-7 months, skipping 2 Slams and then coming back on clay and peaking for RG. He played Indian Wells but opted out of Miami to manage his body. He also skipped USO 2014 because of a wrist injury and never recovered top form until 2 years later in 2017, skipping Wimbledon 2016 also because of another wrist issue. He's certainly thinking about how to stay in his best health so he can continue competing at the highest level. But it seems Nadal has a history of wrist issues and knee issues. Who knows how long his body will hold up. RG #11 is no guarantee.
 

Mike Sams

G.O.A.T.
Kyrgios is the younger guy I like the best in terms of his tennis game/style but mentally he's a flake who has a long way to go. Thiem's game is hugely overrated for me and he's not even close to being a Djokovic or Federer on clay. What I like about him is his calm personality and he seems like a decent guy. Zverev probably is the most stable of the three in terms of game and necessary motivation/mental stability but he's a giant and may have issues with injury. We'll have to see how it all plays out for those three. It could go in a million different directions.

In any case, we'll have to agree to disagree because the younger players should be stepping up more IMO no matter how great Federer/Nadal/Djokovic are and how much fitness, medicine and technology have improved.
If Zverev takes physical training including weight training seriously, he can be healthy more often than not. Check out Tomas Berdych and how much he squats. They said he started a new regiment including weight-training and he went up to 200lbs of muscle weight. Berdych hits the weights, strengthening his core and it's why he's not had any serious injuries to date as compared to guys like Safin and Nalbandian who never did weight-training and were injured all the time.
 

TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
With the luck of the draw, Nadal could very well get a nice quarter or semi, resulting in easy points. You don't know until you try.
 
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