Why did Nadal do it and not Serena?

USO

Professional
Don’t get me wrong I love both and they are both incredible champions. But Serena has reached many slam finals in her quest for number 24 but hasn’t been able to do it. But Nadal equaled the record 20 very quickly.

-Is it because 24 is higher than 20 so it’s more difficult to keep winning?
-Is it because Serena is older so her body isn’t the same anymore (As well as having a child)?
-Is it because Nadal handled pressure better?
-Is it because the women’s side currently has more depth and potential champions (Osaka, Andreescu, Halep, Kerber...)?

Of course Serena did get the record for the Open Era which in my opinion is enough and huge in itself.

But what are your thoughts about the reasons she has fallen short so far while Nadal did it, is it a combination of everything mentioned?
 

USO

Professional
Also I would like to mention out of respect to Serena Williams that she probably has been more dominant than any of the men. For years and years it seemed as if when she was at her best no other woman could touch her. So it doesn’t really matter maybe but it’s just an interesting question...
 

Midaso240

Hall of Fame
Mainly because he hasn't declined anywhere near as much as she has. The only reason she is even making 2nd weeks of slams is because the slam draws/competition has been a joke
 

Bertie B

Professional
Internet philosopher guy says, men do better in corporate because they can make sacrifices for career that women cannot.

2017/2018 was the period in Serena's life when she could've sealed the deal, and be immortalized. However, she found a mate, got married and had a baby in that window.
 

kailash

Professional
-Is it because Serena is older so her body isn’t the same anymore (As well as having a child)?
...
But what are your thoughts about the reasons she has fallen short so far while Nadal did it, is it a combination of everything mentioned?
IMO, mainly because of that above reason; 39 years old, and having a child. Not easy to be fit at WTA level, but whatever Serena has done so far is very impressive. It will be a real achievement if she wins one or two more slams!
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
Well, I think they are trying to do very different things, but I get your point.
I think Nadal focused 100% for this. I think somewhere in Serena's mind she believes she is doing enough to achieve 24. But one look at her and it is clear she is neither physically or mentally ready. One look at Nadal and you know he means business. In USO 19 and RG 20, he was ready to play from round 1.
To get 24, she needs to say, honey, hold the baby and call up Navratilova to coach her.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Many reasons tbh:

- Serena is the same age as Fed, hence she’s old asf

- Apparently she nearly suffered a fatal accident when giving birth

- It’s true a lot of women look at things a lot differently after becoming mothers compared to before and very rightfully so

- Serena also doesn’t play nearly as much, she might as well be a part time player at this point

- Serena is an awful mover now, this kills her against competent players

- To go off on the point above, Serena’s fitness hasn’t been great. The big 3 have all kept themselves very fit despite being north of 30

- Serena’s mentality has let her down a lot recently, she gets way too down on herself the moment something doesn’t go her way

- Serena has to play vintage to win 7 matches in a row, a lot of players can really challenge and even beat her regularly (Besides Djokovic or Fed on a very fast court, there aren’t many players you can trust to regularly challenge/beat Rafa)
 
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megamind

Hall of Fame
Serena last won a slam at age 35

she's 39 now

Nadal is simply younger

Serena also has a kid, whereas Nadal doesn't (and he's explicitly said in a recent interview that kids can wait till after he's done).

Not that kids are bad, they just take time away from tennis
 

DonPepe

Rookie
Rafa is a beast! He's more locked in than anyone ever to play the game; he may not be the best (Novak) but he owns the clay court which is his bread and butter. Probably get a 14th and 15th French! 22 Slams!
 
IMO, Rafael Nadal is the toughest competitor in tennis that I've seen.....arguably in sports. The only competitor I've seen that in his prime I think was tougher was Tiger Woods. Seemingly, Rafa plays just about every point like his life depends on it. That said - he's not invincible (except perhaps in Paris) and can still feel the nerves, but he's not afraid of it and still fights and fights. I have a lot of respect for Novak Djokovic too - he's become exceptional mentally, but he was beaten today by the better player and a worthy champion. Roger Federer is underrated in that sense, IMO.....you can't achieve the results they have without it - regardless of how many might view the relative competition of their peers. It's a shame we haven't had a chance to see him play lately - hopefully he can come back for one more run.

I also think Rafa Nadal has gotten healthy and has learned how to extend his career and ease up when necessary.....not easy with his style of play.......recovery methods are also always advancing. I was a little surprised when he declined to play the US Open, but given the world circumstances with the pandemic and seeing how he built up for this tournament - I understand it more clearly, and it turned out very well for him.

As for Serena Williams - her time off didn't help (but I definitely respect the choice she made to have a family), and she just turned 39. I think part of it actually goes back earlier to 2015 when she lost the US Open semis going for the grand slam.....I don't know why? The nerves got to her, IMO, and I think it shook her confidence. Now she did win the US Open the next year and the AO in 2017 - then took the time off. She's had an amazing career - with a couple of remarkable resurgences - time/age catches up with everyone eventually. Maybe she needs to make a couple of adjustments in her game if she can - I think she's become too predictable, and she can't just overpower everybody. She also got used to escaping trouble with her serve - it's not quite as reliable now. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if she finds some magic at least once more - but time is running out. Celebrate the careers they've had and appreciate the rest of the time you'll get to see them play.
 
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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Serena has had 20+ yrs to get the record. How many slams would Roger have if Rafa or Nole were not in the ATP?
 
-Is it because 24 is higher than 20 so it’s more difficult to keep winning?
-Is it because Serena is older so her body isn’t the same anymore (As well as having a child)?
-Is it because Nadal handled pressure better?
-Is it because the women’s side currently has more depth and potential champions (Osaka, Andreescu, Halep, Kerber...)?

Of course Serena did get the record for the Open Era which in my opinion is enough and huge in itself.

But what are your thoughts about the reasons she has fallen short so far while Nadal did it, is it a combination of everything mentioned?
Bingo.

Nothing to do with "depth". Rafa played Djokovic in finale. Serena nearly always played inexperienced nobodies in these finales.
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
Internet philosopher guy says, men do better in corporate because they can make sacrifices for career that women cannot.

2017/2018 was the period in Serena's life when she could've sealed the deal, and be immortalized. However, she found a mate, got married and had a baby in that window.
Spot-on.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Internet philosopher guy says, men do better in corporate because they can make sacrifices for career that women cannot.

2017/2018 was the period in Serena's life when she could've sealed the deal, and be immortalized. However, she found a mate, got married and had a baby in that window.
Yeah pretty much this. Rafa being a man, can have a kid at any point in his life - he could've had one 10 years ago, he could have one right now, and he could still have one when he's 60 or 70. It gets tougher for women after 35/40, so for Serena, who seemed to really want a little one and is in the 35-40 range, it's pretty much now or never in her case.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
Serena can still win if she lost some weight. I also think she's a one dimensional player. Bash the ball and blow her opponents off the court. When that doesn't work, she loses. If she lost some weight and changed her game to be less one dimensional, she can still win slams. She certainly has the money to hire a professional chef that specializes in diets like Oprah and whatever coach she needs. I bet she could pay Martina much more than the Tennis Channel. If anything hire Martina for the mental and inspirational coaching if not for technical lessons.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Serena can still win if she lost some weight. I also think she's a one dimensional player. Bash the ball and blow her opponents off the court. When that doesn't work, she loses. If she lost some weight and changed her game to be less one dimensional, she can still win slams. She certainly has the money to hire a professional chef that specializes in diets like Oprah and whatever coach she needs. I bet she could pay Martina much more than the Tennis Channel. If anything hire Martina for the mental and inspirational coaching if not for technical lessons.
Just buy the meals UFC fighters use to cut weight.
 
In addition to all the points made above about lack of fitness, another factor is Serena does not appear to work on adding new elements to her game. She still plays the same way she always has. As Rafa has gotten older, he has really worked to improve his serve and his backhand....Rafa's backhand killed Djokovic today and is now almost as big a weapon as his forehand.
 

Crisstti

Legend
Serena last won a slam at age 35

she's 39 now

Nadal is simply younger

Serena also has a kid, whereas Nadal doesn't (and he's explicitly said in a recent interview that kids can wait till after he's done).

Not that kids are bad, they just take time away from tennis
Are you sure Nadal has said that recently? I think he hasn't in quite a while.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
If Serena had “tried” for her entire career, she could have 40 Slams and be retired 4 years ago.

She’s living on Baker Street now:

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you're trying, you're trying now

Another year and then you'd be happy
Just one more year and then you'd be happy
But you're crying, you're crying now


 
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