When will Nadal employ Clay-Only Schedule?

BGod

Hall of Fame
#1
I thought he'd do it after 2016 but he came back in 2017 with a vengeance. Some would argue he did it last season but played all Slams and made Wimbledon Semi!

So obviously he ain't doing it this year.

And if the GS race is within 3 I don't see Nadal walking away without trying to use his FO failsafe.
 
#3
I see Nadal playing only clay in the next 2 years.

He will do the South American swing , then the clay season and perhaps even the post Wimb clay tournaments and he could still be ranked top 2
 
#10
NEVER.

Nadal is largely ignoring Masters 1000/500 on hard courts and grass. But he will never, ever, skip any Grand Slam as Long as he is a professional tennis player and healthy. The same applies to Djokovic. Djokovic will skip Másters 1000/500 which he doesn't prioritize but he will never skip any Grand Slam if healthy.
The catchword is "if healthy" . And who determines what that means ? Nadal himself.
 

DSH

Professional
#16
Motivation plays a decisive role in this race between Federer and him.
2019 may be the year that determines who ends up with the most grand slams.
the Spaniard still has a small chance but he has never been able to reduce the disadvantage to 2.
if federer wins one more everything is finished, if nadal wins ao before rg his chances will increase enormously, if none of the 2 win, it favors the Swiss although still the Spanish would be with possibilities especially with rg around the corner and a possible title there.
I think that this year determines who ends up with the most gs in history.
Federer has 80% of achieving it, Nadal with the remaining 20% can still force a last march to achieve or not the record.
 

BGod

Hall of Fame
#18
When was the last year Nadal played only RG?

Never.

He will never do that. He will focus in Grand Slams regardless of the surface.
No but there were 3 straights seasons he played 3 Slams (12-14) and should have skipped Wimbledon those years. After 5 failed campaigns and a skip (16) he makes it to the semifinal and narrowly loses to Novak so of course he's going to try again this year and likely 2020. But by 2021 when he's lost in early rounds at Wimbledon and again only has that 2017 garbage draw USO as his 1 Non-French Slam in 5 full seasons, if that stretches out to 1 in 7 I can see him skipping them. Because then, like with Roger, it becomes a question of liability. Now I don't have him winning the French this year so he'll be 3 behind Roger going into 2020 and humor me on that one for sake of argument. Then he just gets the French in 2020 and say Fed retires. So Nadal is 2 back of Fed and hasn't won outside the French in 3 seasons and once in 7 years. He'll have to weigh his options. I mean, if USO is still molasses slow then he can view that as a credible long-shot, especially if he's taking Wimbledon off and only playing say Canada as a warm-up. Again, I think if he wins the French in 2021 in this scenario and is 1 back of Fed he'd probably play USO but not so sure about Wimbledon because he's compromising his USO chances by playing an event he hasn't won in over a decade at that point. So he plays USO and loses like in the 4th Round. Then he's going into 2022 and he's 1 back. Does he play AO and risk his chances at the French? No way, especially since you'd think at this point he's facing more landmines at Roland Garros. So he only plays the French and doesn't win it. Now he's definitely skipping grass and if he's been dogged at the USO he probably skips it entirely to focus on the French in 2023. Now again, in this hypothetical maybe 2023 is his last feasible year to compete. For a breakdown:

2020: French & USO
2021: French & USO
2022: Only French
2023: Only French

Now as for Australia, he's come closer to it than Wimbledon but like Fed at the USO, he hasn't actually won the event in the longest time out of the 4. He's been past quarters once the last 4 years and may not do it this year. So yeah, I think this might be his last time in Australia.
 

BGod

Hall of Fame
#19
I think that this year determines who ends up with the most gs in history.
Nadal's odds right now of winning 2 is 5.75-1 but that's because we have 4 Slams and he made AO final in 2017 and won USO. His odds for 3 are 30-1 which is telling. I don't think he wins AO but I also don't think he wins the French. However I don't think 2019 decides the race because in typical Nadal fashion he can come in 2020 and win back the French and he's 2 back. The question is if he's motivated to tie Roger or he needs to break him. Because if he's 2 back end of 2020 and feels concentrating on the French can all but guarantee him 2 more if he plays 3 more years, then yeah.
 

Towny

Professional
#21
I really doubt he would ever play clay only. Federer skips clay for the simple reason that it's the most physically demanding surface and that the clay slam comes right before his best slam. I suspect Roger thinks 'if I'm going to play any tournament on clay, it'll be RG' but that's the most crucial one to avoid as it's close to Wimbledon. Nadal doesn't have that situation; RG has a month and a half of just clay preceding it, with the AO several months earlier.

I'm certain he'll be more careful with the masters, and it wouldn't surprise me if he plays a skeleton schedule for the hard court ones. But there's really no reason for him to not play slams. If 2018 proved anything, it's that you can't count out Nadal at a slam. I thought he was done at Wimbledon. Instead, if a few points were played differently, he may have won the whole thing.

Nadal may well skip a couple of slams when healthy in future, but I doubt he'll ever play just RG
 

NBP

Hall of Fame
#23
AO
Indian Wells
Monte-Carlo
Barcelona
Madrid or Rome (not both)
Roland Garros
Wimbledon
Canada
USO
ATP Finals

This should be his schedule and what's ironic is that 2018 was almost just that, but not intentionally. None of this Brisbane/Acapulco/Queen's nonsense, only to either play and get injured or pull out and troll fans.

The reason Nadal hasn't come out and said I need to trim my schedule is because nothing has happened to force him to do so. He won 2 slams in a long and gruelling 2017, so he will be thinking, ''why change it''? He's won the USO, Beijing and Toronto in the last 18 months, so why skip hardcourts? He reached a Wimbledon SF, a few points from a title basically, so why skip grass? He needs to take initative before it is too late.
 

BGod

Hall of Fame
#24
The reason Nadal hasn't come out and said I need to trim my schedule is because nothing has happened to force him to do so. He won 2 slams in a long and gruelling 2017, so he will be thinking, ''why change it''? He's won the USO, Beijing and Toronto in the last 18 months, so why skip hardcourts? He reached a Wimbledon SF, a few points from a title basically, so why skip grass? He needs to take initative before it is too late.
Yeah but like Roger at the USO it comes down to "when did you win this last?"

AO: 2009
WMB: 2010

The smart money says his Wimbledon run last season was an anomaly rather than a trend.
 
#31
Clay is the lifeblood of the sport, and there are so many big clay events that he could still maintain a healthy ranking with a clay-only schedule, but the question is why would he do it?

Like @Sport said, none of the guys who are a chance at the majors on all surfaces like Djokovic, Nadal and co. would try this. You're limiting your opportunities unnecessarily.

Nadal is not the type to skulk away from playing the biggest events when it gets a bit daunting.

It wouldn't make sense. The suggestion that he would do such a thing is idiotic imo.
 
#34
Nadal has skipped one or the other major in 7 out of 15 years in his career.
In 2009 he missed Wimbledon after losing to Soderling in the 4th round at RG.
In 2010 he retired at the Australian Open in his SF against Andy Murray, then went on to win the next 3 majors.
In 2011 he played all 4, but only won RG
In 2012 he missed the US Open after his loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon
In 2013 he played all 4 and won the French and US Open
In 2014 he missed the US Open after his loss to Kyrgios at Wimbledon
In 2015 he play all 4 majors but won zero
In 2016 he withdrew from RG prior to his 3rd round match I believe, and then missed Wimbledon
In 2017 he played all 4 majors and won 2 (French and US Open)
In 2018 (last year) he played all 4 majors but retired in matches at both The Australian Open and US Open, though he did win the French
 
#35
In 2009 he missed Wimbledon after losing to Soderling in the 4th round at RG.
In 2010 he retired at the Australian Open in his SF against Andy Murray, then went on to win the next 3 majors.
In 2011 he played all 4, but only won RG
In 2012 he missed the US Open after his loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon
In 2013 he played all 4 and won the French and US Open
In 2014 he missed the US Open after his loss to Kyrgios at Wimbledon
In 2015 he play all 4 majors but won zero
In 2016 he withdrew from RG prior to his 3rd round match I believe, and then missed Wimbledon
In 2017 he played all 4 majors and won 2 (French and US Open)
In 2018 (last year) he played all 4 majors but retired in matches at both The Australian Open and US Open, though he did win the French
You forgot 2006 AO and 2004 RG and Wimbledon
 
#37
In 2009 he missed Wimbledon after losing to Soderling in the 4th round at RG.
In 2010 he retired at the Australian Open in his SF against Andy Murray, then went on to win the next 3 majors.
In 2011 he played all 4, but only won RG
In 2012 he missed the US Open after his loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon
In 2013 he played all 4 and won the French and US Open
In 2014 he missed the US Open after his loss to Kyrgios at Wimbledon
In 2015 he play all 4 majors but won zero
In 2016 he withdrew from RG prior to his 3rd round match I believe, and then missed Wimbledon
In 2017 he played all 4 majors and won 2 (French and US Open)
In 2018 (last year) he played all 4 majors but retired in matches at both The Australian Open and US Open, though he did win the French
Nadal did not participate at 2013 Australian Open.
 
#38
John Isner won 1, Khachanov, Zverev. Sock won 1 last year as did Dimitrov. Oh and Zverev and Dimitrov have a WTF.

But yeah, Nadal definetly needs to pick up more HC Masters and made 4th Round runs at Slams.
Sounds like everyone besides these guys should retire then :D
 
#43
No but there were 3 straights seasons he played 3 Slams (12-14) and should have skipped Wimbledon those years. After 5 failed campaigns and a skip (16) he makes it to the semifinal and narrowly loses to Novak so of course he's going to try again this year and likely 2020. But by 2021 when he's lost in early rounds at Wimbledon and again only has that 2017 garbage draw USO as his 1 Non-French Slam in 5 full seasons, if that stretches out to 1 in 7 I can see him skipping them. Because then, like with Roger, it becomes a question of liability. Now I don't have him winning the French this year so he'll be 3 behind Roger going into 2020 and humor me on that one for sake of argument. Then he just gets the French in 2020 and say Fed retires. So Nadal is 2 back of Fed and hasn't won outside the French in 3 seasons and once in 7 years. He'll have to weigh his options. I mean, if USO is still molasses slow then he can view that as a credible long-shot, especially if he's taking Wimbledon off and only playing say Canada as a warm-up. Again, I think if he wins the French in 2021 in this scenario and is 1 back of Fed he'd probably play USO but not so sure about Wimbledon because he's compromising his USO chances by playing an event he hasn't won in over a decade at that point. So he plays USO and loses like in the 4th Round. Then he's going into 2022 and he's 1 back. Does he play AO and risk his chances at the French? No way, especially since you'd think at this point he's facing more landmines at Roland Garros. So he only plays the French and doesn't win it. Now he's definitely skipping grass and if he's been dogged at the USO he probably skips it entirely to focus on the French in 2023. Now again, in this hypothetical maybe 2023 is his last feasible year to compete. For a breakdown:

2020: French & USO
2021: French & USO
2022: Only French
2023: Only French

Now as for Australia, he's come closer to it than Wimbledon but like Fed at the USO, he hasn't actually won the event in the longest time out of the 4. He's been past quarters once the last 4 years and may not do it this year. So yeah, I think this might be his last time in Australia.



Wow you've really gone out your way to tear into Nadal in what started as supposedly an innocent question.

Im actually only going to respond to your last statement, which youre trying to make sound worse than it is.
How about we look at his 2 finals ( which he should've won both, then we have a completely different outlook on Nadals slam distribution + being equal on the slam count ) in the last 5 years, and 2 QF.
His only bad result being a 1R defeat in 2016, which wasn't a surprise, as his form was at an all time low between 2015-16.

Nice of you to shift the goalposts to suit your argument though.
 
#44
For the record, Nadals AO career has been very successful, if you consider the last 11 years he has made 5 QF, 1 SF, and 4 Finals.
So only 1 year in the last 11 where he never got to a QF, and people think hes no hope in Australia LOL
Not too shabby for a clay courter.
 
#47
based on how close he was to winning Wimbledon last year, and led Cilic 2 sets to 1 at AO before injury, obviously there is a great chance Rafael will win multiple slams in 2019, so there is no reason for him to give up on any of the slams, since its obvious he can still win grass and hardcourt slams:)
 
#48
Nadal has skipped one or the other major in 7 out of 15 years in his career.
Nadal has never skipped the same GS in consecutive years, unlike Federer with RG. It proves he was just injured. In fact, Nadal has never skipped a GS in his 30s, which also proves the GS he skipped in his 20s was due to injuries, not age.

Nadal has never played only RG, which also proves he has never had a clay-exclusive schedule.
 
#49
Nadal has never skipped the same GS in consecutive years, unlike Federer with RG. It proves he was just injured. In fact, Nadal has never skipped a GS in his 30s, which also proves the GS he skipped in his 20s was due to injuries, not age.

Nadal has never played only RG, which also proves he has never had a clay-exclusive schedule.
Wrong conclusions. As he ages, the prrssure to close the slam gap is higher and wants to get all possible chances . In the past it was more pick and choose the assault
 
#50
Wrong conclusions. As he ages, the prrssure to close the slam gap is higher and wants to get all possible chances . In the past it was more pick and choose the assault
Excuses. Nadal has never skipped the same GS in consecutive years like Federer specifically does with RG.
 
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