Sure Nadal's return is not the greatest....doesn't matter


As was evidenced last night, as well as in every time Federer and Nadal have played, and in most of Nadal's matches, he makes guys serve bad. Even the cold-blooded GOAT Roger Federer steps up and misses one first serve after another in the business end of a set. Why, you ask?

Because Nadal is so intimidating in the rallies, so impossible to finish off in a point that starts at neutral, that guys step up to the service line thinking, "I've gotta get my first serve in." And of course, when you have that going through your head, you miss a lot of first serves. Then you have the unenviable task of trying to hold serve behind your now nervously hit 2nd serve, which is even more placid and nonthreatening than usual because you are petrified of the ensuing rally or worse, giving Nadal a free point with a double-fault.

I have watched a lot of Nadal matches and seen countless great servers have their reliable first shot completely desert them when the pressure is on. It's a painful, but amazing spectacle watching how Nadal can basically win 3 or 4 points with one soul crushing rally where his opponent thought he had the point won 2 or 3 times only to have Nadal get decent shots off from ridiculous positions.