What happened to Nadal's mental strength?

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
34.5 years
Approaching 2 decades of time on tour, giving 100% day in, day out. Not easy to maintain that intensity all the time with a big target on your back and everyone trying their best to beat you on your least preferred surface.

The above, however, has limited / no bearing on the French Open where his base level is just SO much higher than everyone else, and where the fire burns just that bit brighter.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
He played a very good opponent who is 10 years younger than him...I don't think people realize how big of an age gap there is between the big 3 and the next gen
I would've preferred Medvedev taking the match by playing clearly superior tennis, but that did not happen.
 

Krish0608

Hall of Fame
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.
 

ibbi

Legend
Not much. When he served for the match he had 3 of his serves, 2 of them first serves, dropped right at his feet on return. The opponent can just play well, you know? How about that inside out forehand in the breaker that Medvedev got a miracle lob on? Nothing wrong with his mental strength, just a great shot.

There was that one shot 3-2 40-40 in the third where he dumped a put away forehand into net coming forward, but I don’t think the entire mental empire came crumbling down on one shot.

Throughout the match Medvedev was playing like 90 second service games while Rafa‘a would go on for 5 minutes (not all of which was between points:-D) it takes a great deal of mental strength just to hang in there as long as he did when that is happening. Why no credit for that?
 

zipplock

Hall of Fame
Med is like a Russian Chess Grandmaster. His mental toughness is VERY underestimated. Rafa just met someone equally as mentally tough. It was like a starring contest. Who blinks first?
 

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
One 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.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
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.
Not strength but stamina.

Same thing is happening to Djokovic.

But with Nadal on the surface from today it's more about his knees giving out.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
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.
I've been saying this for years and if I'm not mistaken, you disagreed.

Glad to see you've seen the light.
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
That's as big a choke i've ever seen from him.

Physically he was right, but tightened up in sight of the finish line. He just started pushing the ball all of a sudden.

This game is about pouncing on the opportunity when it presents itself.
Once you can't maintain the opponent's head under the water anymore, you're as good as dead.

Rafa will still win tournaments on clay:but on hard, his day has gone.
 

JoelSandwich

Hall of Fame
One 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.
Great post
Also Levi profile pic?
 
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