Very disappointed with Nadal

#4
Just doesn't have the belief against Novak. He looks like Nishikori playing Djokovic right now. A lot of unnecessary unforced errors that Novak doesn't even need. Too afraid to go for his shots. I guess only Staminal has the courage to go for his shots against this Novak.
For some reason, Rafa's shots are landing short and has nothing on it. people are awed by Novak's winners and clean hitting today but Rafa's shots today have very little penetration and movement which is really hurting him
 
#8
Eh, Nadal is 32, and still out there doing better than everyone else on the planet playing tennis except one person. I can more than live with that :p #Bullieve
It wasn't his day, but he will have a couple more :) #SavageJesus
It's the lack of belief in himself against Novak that's disappointing. This is not how he played against everyone else. The days of him playing Ultron like 2013 US Open might be gone for good. He just isn't the same player anymore.
 
#12
It's the lack of belief in himself against Novak that's disappointing. This is not how he played against everyone else. The days of him playing Ultron like 2013 US Open might be gone for good. He just isn't the same player anymore.
He's out there playing like it's 2009 running around looping FH's into the service box. Bizarre indeed. And on nuetral rallies too. Of course Novak makes him play worse, but it's like he's not trying today it's weird. Djokovic played far better against him at the FO a few times, and even Wimby 2018.
 
#20
I looked and this match is the first slam final Nadal has lost in Straight sets, he was outplayed from the beginning and had no answer to Djokovic, Nadal was made to look slow, and worn out which sure

I wanted Nadal to win this one as a 10th anniversary since his last Australian Open title but Djokovic really smothered Nadal.
 
#24
Rafa's very disappointed with Rafa too. That's the thing about Rafa, he's tougher on himself than anyone else is.

But he didn't play since US Open and came back and did this? Incredible fortnight which he'll look back on with a lot of positives.
 
#28
It's the lack of belief in himself against Novak that's disappointing. This is not how he played against everyone else. The days of him playing Ultron like 2013 US Open might be gone for good. He just isn't the same player anymore.
Many of us have been saying this all tournament. The match was over before it began because Novak lives in Rafa’s head. It’s ironic that tennis has come full circle. Fed lost endless slams to Nadal because of mental fragility and now that “curse” has befallen Rafa with Djokovic. We’ll soon see how this plays out during clay season.
 
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#38
Nadal gave up on his strategy that helped him to almost beat Novak at Wimbledon (after having that brutal encounter with Delpo). That approach (and the mindset as well) was nowhere to be found today.
I agree with the OP, Novak is in his head.
He must be bc it was like he abandoned what had been working well all tourney and at Wimbledon and went back to looping balls in 10 meters behind the baseline.
 
#40
Yep, totally agree. Not saying he would've won, Nole's level was very high today, but the scoreboard would've looked different, I'm pretty sure of that.
The only big negative I take from this match is how UNaggressive he was. Even old school Nadal would stand closer to the baseline and start blasting away when he was losing. Today there was none of that, and no spin on his balls. They all sat right up like 93 Undertaker.
 
#41
Nonsense. Nadal is NOT a hard court specialist. Djoko is the best hard court player ever (along with Fed). Nadal is doing what he can but he can only do so much.
And I think what he's doing is mighty impressive for somebody who vastly prefers clay.
 
#42
Nonsense. Nadal is NOT a hard court specialist. Djoko is the best hard court player ever (along with Fed). Nadal is doing what he can but he can only do so much.
And I think what he's doing is mighty impressive for somebody who vastly prefers clay.
Nonsense. Someone like Tsitsipas or Zverev would have troubled Novak tonight so much more. Not to forget Staminal who wouldn't shy from hitting winners any time given an opportunity. Novak was great but Nadal made him look much better than he really was.
 
#43
Nonsense. Someone like Tsitsipas or Zverev would have troubled Novak tonight so much more. Not to forget Staminal who wouldn't shy from hitting winners any time given an opportunity. Novak was great but Nadal made him look much better than he really was.
Sure. Ever heard of matchups? But Nadal's game is tailor made for clay, which is not the case for Tsitsi or Z. For a clay player, Rafa's resume on hard is mindboggling. Still you have to stay realistic in terms of expectations. Bar 2013, he has always struggled to win consistently on hard.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
#44
Tonight's performance went beyond matchups or readiness. I'm pretty sure everyone knew that Rafa's playbook had to include good serving, big time DTL FH's, varieties of shots and aggressive ball striking and we saw none of it. He couldn't make a first serve, couldn't hit a winner, got into baseline rallies he was never going to win, fed Nole's BH and even shanked/whiffed several times. To me this was less about Tennis and more about straight up demons that Rafa was battling. That's not to say that Rafa's best hardcourt tennis wins tonights match, but surely it isn't an utter decimation like this. Rafa was miles and miles from his best - he played terribly, and plenty of that was *not* Nole's doing.
 
#48
Just doesn't have the belief against Novak. He looks like Nishikori playing Djokovic right now. A lot of unnecessary unforced errors that Novak doesn't even need. Too afraid to go for his shots. I guess only Staminal has the courage to go for his shots against this Novak.
It is his new style that makes his game a worse match up. The new flatter faster serve puts himself at risk for the faster return. And the breezy condition would have helped him in the past when he was a grinder but only hurt him. We have all witnessed that since W 18, in the djokodal matches Nadal is fhe first striker.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#49
Rafa never learns does he? Today he just reverted to the old, time-worn and failed tactics against Novak, standing far behind the baseline as usual and hoping, in vain as usual, to out rally Djokovic from there. The only thing that was different was his slightly beefed up serve but even that failed to get him many free points.

When is he ever going to get it that these tactics just won't work against an in-form Novak at the top of his game and certainly not on the type of surface they played on today??

Maybe he's just too old a dog to learn new tricks but, unfortunately for him, that is what it's going to take to restore any kind of parity with Novak. Unless that ever happens, he is just one giant pidgeon, out of many others, for the rampant Serb!
 
#50
Lets not underestimate what happened. Nadal got 100% utterly outplayed. Djokovic was zoning and Rafa could do nothing. NOTHING. It was not mental or physical it was what happens when one player is just so much better than the other.
It’s mental in my opinion. Even before Djokovic resurgence Nadal looked nervous against him on the mud last yr. were all just so used to fed having the mental demons not ned
 
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