What does Nadal prefer between hardcourt and grass?

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
The best I've ever seen him play on any surface is grass, specifically the Wimbledon 2008 final, but what does he think himself? I suppose there are both pros and cons on the surface to his forehand?
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
He is similarly good in both, but in Grand Slams on hard courts he typically reaches the late rounds while at Wimbledon he has lost in the early rounds many times. He needs to reach the late rounds to be a real threat on grass, when grass plays relatively more similar to clay.

So:

Hard courts >> first week on grass.

Second week on grass >> hard courts.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
He is? Djokovic smoked him at the Aussies this year, while they had a marathon struggle as recently as last years Wimbledon semifinals...
True, but the AO was on fast hard courts, Nadal is better on slow hard courts like the USO. Anyhow, the WB SF between Nadal and Djokovic was in the second week of Wimbledon, when the grass ressembles a bit clay. Nadal is vulnerable the first week of Wimbledon, but in the second week I agree he is better on grass than on fast hard courts. Not sure about slow hard courts.

So in my view:

Fast hard courts >> first week on grass.

Second week on grass >> fast hard courts.

Not sure about the slow hard courts/grass comparison.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
True, but the AO was on fast hard courts, Nadal is better on slow hard courts like the USO. Anyhow, the WB SF between Nadal and Djokovic was in the second week of Wimbledon, when the grass ressembles a bit clay. Nadal is vulnerable the first week of Wimbledon, but in the second week I agree he is better on grass than on fast hard courts. Not sure about slow hard courts.

So in my view:

Fast hard courts >> first week on grass.

Second week on grass >> fast hard courts.

Not sure about the slow hard courts/grass comparison.
That could be down to less time preparing for a surface he rarely plays. The differences between fresh grass courts and worn ones is not that great.
 

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
I'm more interested in discussing how his games fit the surfaces. I always assumed he would eventually do well on grass because he had that beast forehand.
Spins just don't favor him on grass vs hardcourt, he has to play significantly different from his natural style. Hence it takes a week or so till he finds his groove on grass.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Rafa would prefer to play on grass! It easy on the knees and with his game of massive topspin, he can win point easily. His serve has improve with fast serves; so much easier to get more quick points too!
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Rafa would prefer to play on grass! It easy on the knees and with his game of massive topspin, he can win point easily. His serve has improve with fast serves; so much easier to get more quick points too!
Actually these days it's harder on his knees than HC. Before it got too bad with the tendonitis it was easier.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
He is similarly good in both, but in Grand Slams on hard courts he typically reaches the late rounds while at Wimbledon he has lost in the early rounds many times. He needs to reach the late rounds to be a real threat on grass, when grass plays relatively more similar to clay.

So:

Hard courts >> first week on grass.

Second week on grass >> hard courts.
That’s the perfect answer here I would say.

In hardcourt tournaments he suffers more and more as the rounds go by, and often this is even visible. Meanwhile on grass he has to overcome the first hurdles, and if he does it, he is always a serious title candidate.

So in other words: On grass the original draw is important (no aggressive hardhitters early), while on hardcourt it is more important that a draw opens up with good players losing before Nadal meets them.

But don’t get me wrong, of course he also won big tournaments on both surfaces without any help of the draw. The hardcourt thing I mentioned mostly counts for the last few years when he was even more prone to injuries.
 

Donk

Rookie
Nadal is made to look better on grass than he really is. Weak grass fields (lol) for over 19 years have allowed Hewitt, Murray (as well as Nadal) to thrive at Wimbledon.

Even Federer isn't that amazing on grass. He nearly got taken to 5 sets in 06 by Nadal, nearly lost in 07 to Nadal, then lost in 08.


Federer's nemesis on grass was a player who wouldn't even make a Wimbledon final in the 90's. Lol.
 
Nadal is made to look better on grass than he really is. Weak grass fields (lol) for over 19 years have allowed Hewitt, Murray (as well as Nadal) to thrive at Wimbledon.

Even Federer isn't that amazing on grass. He nearly got taken to 5 sets in 06 by Nadal, nearly lost in 07 to Nadal, then lost in 08.


Federer's nemesis on grass was a player who wouldn't even make a Wimbledon final in the 90's. Lol.
RAFA is worse than Washington and Pioline?
 

DerekNoleFam1

Hall of Fame
True, but the AO was on fast hard courts, Nadal is better on slow hard courts like the USO. Anyhow, the WB SF between Nadal and Djokovic was in the second week of Wimbledon, when the grass ressembles a bit clay. Nadal is vulnerable the first week of Wimbledon, but in the second week I agree he is better on grass than on fast hard courts. Not sure about slow hard courts.

So in my view:

Fast hard courts >> first week on grass.

Second week on grass >> fast hard courts.

Not sure about the slow hard courts/grass comparison.
USO used to be faster hard courts than the AO.
AO was only sped up recently.
The main factor for Nadal on hard courts is the bounce, which is why he has 3 US titles but only 1 AO title.
On the OP Nadal is overall better on hard, but peaked earlier on grass.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Nadal is made to look better on grass than he really is. Weak grass fields (lol) for over 19 years have allowed Hewitt, Murray (as well as Nadal) to thrive at Wimbledon.

Even Federer isn't that amazing on grass. He nearly got taken to 5 sets in 06 by Nadal, nearly lost in 07 to Nadal, then lost in 08.


Federer's nemesis on grass was a player who wouldn't even make a Wimbledon final in the 90's. Lol.
Considering Nadal made FIVE Wimbledon finals, I think it's safe to say he could at least make one in the 90's. I know how important it is to come up with scenarios in which Nadal would "absolutely" fail for one's sanity, but we don't know either way.
 

Donk

Rookie
Considering Nadal made FIVE Wimbledon finals, I think it's safe to say he could at least make one in the 90's. I know how important it is to come up with scenarios in which Nadal would "absolutely" fail for one's sanity, but we don't know either way.
Considering Nadal lost to Djokovic and Rosol, he ain't getting past much bigger and better servers on even faster conditions.

Clay - he dominates, straight up. Hard courts, he might make some deep runs, but no wins, grass - he gets stomped on.


We are talking about a guy, who lost to frikkin Roddick in 2008 and 2010! Roddick's worst years and Nadal's best years.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Considering Nadal lost to Djokovic and Rosol, he ain't getting past much bigger and better servers on even faster conditions.

Clay - he dominates, straight up. Hard courts, he might make some deep runs, but no wins, grass - he gets stomped on.


We are talking about a guy, who lost to frikkin Roddick in 2008 and 2010! Roddick's worst years and Nadal's best years.
Ok and considering Djokovic lost to Querrey...... Fed to Stakhovsky.......
Agenda's are fun :D
 

Donk

Rookie
Ok and considering Djokovic lost to Querrey...... Fed to Stakhovsky.......
Agenda's are fun :D
Djokovic wouldn't do well at Wimbledon either.

90's - Djokovic dominates AO, Nadal dominates FO, Sampras dominates Wimbledon, US Open is up for grabs

No agendas here.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Djokovic wouldn't do well at Wimbledon either.

90's - Djokovic dominates AO, Nadal dominates FO, Sampras dominates Wimbledon, US Open is up for grabs

No agendas here.
Total speculation. Djokovic's highest level on grass is higher than Sampras IMO
 

TheAssassin

Legend
Considering Nadal lost to Djokovic and Rosol, he ain't getting past much bigger and better servers on even faster conditions.

Clay - he dominates, straight up. Hard courts, he might make some deep runs, but no wins, grass - he gets stomped on.


We are talking about a guy, who lost to frikkin Roddick in 2008 and 2010! Roddick's worst years and Nadal's best years.
Djokovic and Rosol in the same sentence though... :D
 
I wouldn't say blazing fast Dubai hardcourts is a bad surface for Roddick.
True. My point is a player past their prime or in a big slump (Roddick would be the latter as he returned to some of his best tennis in 09 and early 2010 as a last hurrah) still can have shining moments but they dont last. I think that was your point in downplaying old Agassi's win over peak Roddick on hard courts in 2004.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Considering Nadal lost to Djokovic and Rosol, he ain't getting past much bigger and better servers on even faster conditions.

Clay - he dominates, straight up. Hard courts, he might make some deep runs, but no wins, grass - he gets stomped on.


We are talking about a guy, who lost to frikkin Roddick in 2008 and 2010! Roddick's worst years and Nadal's best years.
It's not really the speed of the grass that Nadal or any player would have to worry about at Wimbledon but the bounce. The ball stayed low and skid. Nadal has actually won big tournaments in faster conditions: Cincy, USO, etc.
 

icedevil0289

G.O.A.T.
i think historically grass, he has been pretty vocal about how he feels about hardcourts and what they do to the body and wanting less and them. ofc i think he is the most vulnerable during 1st week wimbledon when the grass is faster/slicker etc.
 
i think historically grass, he has been pretty vocal about how he feels about hardcourts and what they do to the body and wanting less and them. ofc i think he is the most vulnerable during 1st week wimbledon when the grass is faster/slicker etc.
I think he no longer has the movement or most of all the knee flection for Wimbledon or grass anymore. . Last year was the only decent Wimbledon he had in many years now. Which is why it is such a shame for him he missed that opportunity.
 

DSH

G.O.A.T.
I think he no longer has the movement or most of all the knee flection for Wimbledon or grass anymore. . Last year was the only decent Wimbledon he had in many years now. Which is why it is such a shame for him he missed that opportunity.
Do you believe that?
 

Gazelle

Legend
I think he no longer has the movement or most of all the knee flection for Wimbledon or grass anymore. . Last year was the only decent Wimbledon he had in many years now. Which is why it is such a shame for him he missed that opportunity.
It's just an excuse for his lack of first serve return skills on the grass, which are really subpar. If his knee problems were that serious his career would have long been finished by now.
 
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