Toni Nadal: The YEC is too difficult for Rafa because he has to play the best from match one unlike Slams!

Hitman

Talk Tennis Guru
But Nadal said this also. He said that it is easier to play a slam after a long layoff, because the draw allows it both from a level of competition perspective and from a recovery perspective, as each match is followed normally by a day off. He said YEC is toughest thing to try to win in such scenarios.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Nadal's best chance was 2010. He lost to Federer in 3 sets in the final. Why do people make such a big deal of it though? Nearly all players have an event that they didn't win, even Djokovic with the Olympics, even Laver with the WCT Finals, even Borg with the US Open, even Federer with Monte Carlo and Rome.
 

Djokovic_is_the_best#1

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal's best chance was 2010. He lost to Federer in 3 sets in the final. Why do people make such a big deal of it though? Nearly all players have an event that they didn't win, even Djokovic with the Olympics, even Laver with the WCT Finals, even Borg with the US Open, even Federer with Monte Carlo and Rome.
You missed Miami, Shanghai, Paris masters as well as atp finals for Nadal.
 

BauerAlmeida

Hall of Fame
Nadal's best chance was 2010. He lost to Federer in 3 sets in the final. Why do people make such a big deal of it though? Nearly all players have an event that they didn't win, even Djokovic with the Olympics, even Laver with the WCT Finals, even Borg with the US Open, even Federer with Monte Carlo and Rome.
The Olympics are held every 4 years so it's more logical not to win them. M1000 are not quite as big and only Djokovic managed to win them all.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Nadal lobbied for years to have the YEC played on clay. Had it been on this surface, Rafa would have won it 10+ times, so Toni's explanation is weak sauce. Rafa simply is an extremely average indoor player, it has nothing to do with "facing great players" in early rounds. It's the surface.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Nadal lobbied for years to have the YEC played on clay. Had it been on this surface, Rafa would have won it 10+ times, so Toni's explanation is weak sauce. Rafa simply is an extremely average indoor player, it has nothing to do with "facing great players" in early rounds. It's the surface.
In the majors and as a seeded player in a draw with 32 seeds, you are guaranteed that your first two opponents are outside the top 32 in the world. In the YEC, you are playing top 8 players all the time, or just outside of it if there are withdrawals. That was Toni's point. The indoor hardcourt conditions don't help Nadal either in this situation.
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame


Truth bombs from uncle Toni.
LMAO Tio going rogue and saying what everyone other than ************* has said: he doesn’t excel in conditions that require shotmaking and natural return instincts, and in a tournament in which the draw can’t fall apart.

There’s no denying the greatness of Rafito, but he does need a specific set of circumstances in which he excels and that involves getting matches under his belt in the first week and gaining confidence against not so good players; he cannot do at that at the year end championships.
 

Tennfan123

Hall of Fame
I already exposed and dispelled this myth.
Just because you are facing world no.8 at WTF it doesn’t mean they’re in form.
 

Nole_King

Hall of Fame
Nadal's best chance was 2010. He lost to Federer in 3 sets in the final. Why do people make such a big deal of it though? Nearly all players have an event that they didn't win, even Djokovic with the Olympics, even Laver with the WCT Finals, even Borg with the US Open, even Federer with Monte Carlo and Rome.
I wish Nadal fanbase follows your advice of not making it a big deal instead of labeling the tournament as an exho. Toni rightly points out how tough it is to win the tour finals and it is time that idiots stop downgrading its importance.
 

crimson87

Rookie
Fitness giant phat Dave also won the masters in 2005 beating peak Federer in a 5 setter and, ljubicic, roddick, so it's also about playing shot making oriented tennis to suit the surfaces.
 

socallefty

Legend
If Toni were telling it like it is, he should say that Nadal’s best is not good enough on fast low bouncing slow courts which favor big servers who can play aggressively by hitting flat and early. His nephew plays exactly the opposite style of what works well on this surface.

It is not like the WTF is the only indoor tournament where he has not had success and the other tournaments are played in normal elimination format with unranked players as opponents in early rounds. So, it sounds like a poor excuse.
 
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jm1980

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal's career record against Top 10 players on hard courts is a very mediocre 75-75. It's literally a coin toss for him (compare this to his stellar 102-23 (0.816) on clay).

In a normal knockout tournament, he is protected by his high seeding and often doesn't have to face a Top 10 player until the quarters or semis. With a favorable draw (like 2017 USO) he may not have to face one at all

At the Tour Finals there is no escape. You have to beat several Top 10 players in a row to win this. That's where the problem lies for Rafa in this tournament
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
You missed Miami, Shanghai, Paris masters as well as atp finals for Nadal.
For the sake of fairness Nadal is given credit for Shanghai since it was considered a replacement for the Madrid HC Indoors after it was moved to clay. If we remove Shanghai then Nadal gets credit for both Hamburg and Madrid Indoor HC since they are no longer M1000. Madrid Indoor HC was replaced by Shanghai and Hamburg M1000 was replaced by Madrid Open Clay M1000. Mentioning Shanghai gives a Rafan troll the opening to pounce and claim that Djokovic never won all Masters since he played in Hamburg and Madrid Indoor HC three times each and never won them. I rather give Djokovic credit for all "current" 9 and Nadal the Shanghai win due to winning Madrid Indoor HC.

As an aside, will be interesting what will happen with Shanghai since it hasn't been played the last 3 seasons. Hopefully, a Grass tournament as Halle or Queens can become the first grass M1000 tournament. Of course, it likely will be replaced (if it happens) by another HC tournament in Asia (maybe S.Korea or Japan).
 
Tio is only saying what's already been understood by many, Rafa also pretty clearly referenced this recently, but it does feel like only half the story. It's pretty clear that indoor HC is not a surface Nadal generally feels comfortable on. The WTF and facing top 10 players right out of the gate is one thing, but he has an overall underwhelming (for a player of his stature) indoors record. If there was an indoors HC Slam, realistically, how much better would he fare compared to the WTF?
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
The YEC not being single-elimination pokes holes in this explanation.

Nadal has won something like 1/38 indoor tournaments, and in the one win his finals opponent won a higher % of return points in 4 of 5 sets.

He’s a decent player indoors and probably underachieved by not vulturing a YEC. But not good enough to require elaborate explanations for his (relative) futility.
 
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Nadal lobbied for years to have the YEC played on clay. Had it been on this surface, Rafa would have won it 10+ times, so Toni's explanation is weak sauce. Rafa simply is an extremely average indoor player, it has nothing to do with "facing great players" in early rounds. It's the surface.
Excellent point. I wouldn't call Rafa an average indoor player though. Rafa would have won the WTFs at least 2 times if not for Federer. He is just as good on indoor as Fed was on outdoor clay. Just as Fed won RG in 2009 after Rafa lost, it is totally conceivable Rafa would've won the WTFs in 2006/2010 if Fed had lost early.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
Excellent point. I wouldn't call Rafa an average indoor player though. Rafa would have won the WTFs at least 2 times if not for Federer. He is just as good on indoor as Fed was on outdoor clay. Just as Fed won RG in 2009 after Rafa lost, it is totally conceivable Rafa would've won the WTFs in 2006/2010 if Fed had lost early.

That’s pushing it methinks, Federer isn’t as dominant indoors as Nadal is on clay, and hasn’t stopped him as much.

1 win and 4 runner-ups is >>>>>>>> 0 and 2, single-elimination BO5’s are also harder for the inferior player to make inroads in as BO3 = more variance.

Nadal has 1 tourney win indoors in 38 attempts/19 years on tour, and that one was in a depleted field where Fed, Hewitt and Safin were out.

I wouldn’t have pegged Nadal as the favourite in ‘06 even sans Fed. Blake straight-setted him in that tournament, held a 3-0 H2H and even a diminished husk of his old self would take sets in their four subsequent meetings (all outdoors). Realistically all three of the other players in Fed’s group also could’ve given Nadal a run for his money if they made it to him.

Federer was also the #2 clay-courter for 5-6 straight years (‘08 a possible combo-breaker as Djoko has a good argument). Outside of ‘10, when could you definitively say that about Nadal?
 
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Mainad

Bionic Poster
Nadal lobbied for years to have the YEC played on clay. Had it been on this surface, Rafa would have won it 10+ times, so Toni's explanation is weak sauce. Rafa simply is an extremely average indoor player, it has nothing to do with "facing great players" in early rounds. It's the surface.
So indoor clay conditions somehow suit him but indoor hardcourt conditions do not? I think I may be the only one here who does not necessarily believe this is a given.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
As an aside, will be interesting what will happen with Shanghai since it hasn't been played the last 3 seasons. Hopefully, a Grass tournament as Halle or Queens can become the first grass M1000 tournament. Of course, it likely will be replaced (if it happens) by another HC tournament in Asia (maybe S.Korea or Japan).
The ATP should consider Shanghai dead and upgrade Tokyo as the 8th Masters 1000. Given China's suicidal zero-Covid policy it will be virtually impossible to play tennis there again.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Given China's suicidal zero-Covid policy it will be virtually impossible to play tennis there again.
At this time, China has had 5,232 deaths from Covid-19. The UK has had 211,346 deaths from Covid-19. In deaths per million, it's 3 for China and 3,130 for the UK.
 
It wasn’t that long ago Tio Toni suggested the occasional outdoor clay venue for the year end championship.
Well…. this is similar, but more humble and self effacing.
Likely, the Nadals have always known this title would be a tall order for Rafito.
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
So indoor clay conditions somehow suit him but indoor hardcourt conditions do not? I think I may be the only one here who does not necessarily believe this is a given.
I don't think Nadal ever went to Vienna but it's considered a Cat 2 Rebound Ace "Medium-Slow" surface and surely easier for him than Basel which he made a few finals and never won. I thought Alcaraz should've played Vienna instead of Basel but maybe the prize $$$ is better at Basel. In addition, the Astana tournament which Djokovic won is also considered quite slow and even Novak said this. Of course, this is the same place which Nadal won a meaningless exhibition against Djokovic which included a 11-9 super-tiebreaker. in 2019.

The ATP should consider Shanghai dead and upgrade Tokyo as the 8th Masters 1000. Given China's suicidal zero-Covid policy it will be virtually impossible to play tennis there again.
It will be interesting what decision is finally made on this issue. Obviously, the ATP has been kowtowing to China (as the NBA) due to the lucrative $$$ and interest they have in the most populous country in the world.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
Do you really take the Chinese government's stats at face value?
Most of those deaths were in the early months too, up to April 2020 when it was about 4,500 deaths in China. The US, incredibly, has had far more deaths under Biden than under Trump, which is some achievement.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
If you tweak your training regime then you can arrive at the ATP Finals more match ready, so it's a bit of a lame excuse.

I've always assumed the real problem is that Nadal always aims to peak for the clay season, and that creates problems by year's end.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
At this time, China has had 5,232 deaths from Covid-19. The UK has had 211,346 deaths from Covid-19. In deaths per million, it's 3 for China and 3,130 for the UK.
All the more reason for the CCP's insanity in pursuing this never-ending policy. It's crippling the country economically whilst the rest of the world moves on and protects its citizens through safer and more effective vaccines. It certainly pinpoints the death of tennis and other international sports in that country.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
It will be interesting what decision is finally made on this issue. Obviously, the ATP has been kowtowing to China (as the NBA) due to the lucrative $$$ and interest they have in the most populous country in the world.
No point in paying the lucrative $$$ if there is no tennis there.
 

Nadal_King

Hall of Fame
He is right because it’s Rafa’s worst surface so he needs time to get himself into some form. Had atp finals been even a outdoor Hc event even then Rafa would have done much better but this is indoors which is just not best surface for Rafa to perform
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
No point in paying the lucrative $$$ if there is no tennis there.
I myself would prefer both the ATP and WTA not to have any relationship with them. However, they are looking at the long-term investment in having tennis and all the other sponsorships and license agreements that come with it. Both the ATP and WTA still have tournaments scheduled for 2023 in China. I also figure there might be a contractual obligation that gives them rights to hold tournaments up to a certain year. For example, I once had an agreement with the Associated Press for 10 years that gave me license to reproduce some of their pictures. After three years it wasn't too beneficial, but I was stuck with the flat fee I paid. There might be an exit strategy if there is some buyout option or if China voluntarily withdraws via mutual consent. Nonetheless, will see if Tennis is played in China again next year.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
I feel like Toni’s main function rn is to make bait statements that rile up tennis social media and forums lol
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
Nadal lobbied for years to have the YEC played on clay. Had it been on this surface, Rafa would have won it 10+ times, so Toni's explanation is weak sauce. Rafa simply is an extremely average indoor player, it has nothing to do with "facing great players" in early rounds. It's the surface.
That explains Miami too..as someone pointed out.
the WTF format is - win 5 matches in 7 days against the top 8-10 players of the current year. That does not happen at any other tournament, including second week of a Slam.
This event is far more significant than OG for example, however, OG does have the “represent your country” factor as well as - you probably have 4-5 chances max shot at it.

also, playing the WTF on a surface that is roughly 25% of all tournaments throughout the year would not really make sense…plus clay indoor is…miserable
 
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