Hall of Fame
Seriously, what happened?
Not strength but stamina.It's his physical strength which is naturally declining with age which is impacting everything in his game, include his mental approach. He doesn't feel he has the physical side that he had in the past anymore and it is negatively influencing him.
I've been saying this for years and if I'm not mistaken, you disagreed.Nadal is closer to a slump than it looks. Yes, he was extremely impressive at RG, but the moment he is pushed or stretched, he does not seem to have the endurance or stamina to keep up any more. Which is why he plays super aggressive.
Great postOne thing that I personally believe Nadal always had throughout his career was the belief that he was physically superior to any opponent he'd face on tour. Knowing this meant that he would always have that to fall back on and "win ugly" if necessary. On clay this was probably one of the most important factors of his dominance, as this surface puts a lot of emphasis on raw physicality(looking back on clay greats throughout history almost all of them were physical beasts of their time). It's probably one of the most fundamental parts of Rafa's mental strength, but I don't think it's the case anymore for him. I think when he comes up against younger and hungry players that believe, he no longer feels like he can physically dominate them anymore and it's only natural that this will have some effect on his otherwise unbreakable mind.