Why has Nadal underachieved in hard courts Masters?

Lauren_Girl'

Hall of Fame
There are 3 Masters on Djokovic's weakest surface and yet he has 11 titles. He won every clay Masters at least twice, with a peak in Rome (12 finals / 6 titles)
Nadal had literally more than 2x more opportunities to rack up Masters on hard courts. There are 6 Masters + the WTF in 1 year

Yet despite having 7 chances/year, he has only won 9 Masters. 3 IW, 5 Canada, 1 Cincinnati and 1 Madrid (counts for Shanghaï).

Never won 3 of them (Miami, Paris, WTF). Only 1 final in Paris, 1 other final in Shanghaï after his Madrid win. Only 1 Cincinnati (0 other final) despite his success in the USO. His peak is the Canada Open and he has less titles and less finals than Djokovic in Rome.

Very telling IMO that Djokovic's absolute "worst" Masters is Monte-Carlo and he still managed to snag 2 titles and make 2 other finals. While Nadal can't even win 3 different Masters. Only 1 indoor title throughout his whole career.

How do you explain all these holes in so many different hard court 1000? Why can't he adapt his tennis to the Miami conditions like he does in IW? Why was he unable (in 16 years) to win more than 2 Masters on fast courts like Cincinnati, Shanghaï and Paris? Why 0 World Tour Finals titles in 16 attempts? Is he ever going to win one of these tournaments? Can he at least achieve ONE career Masters?

Any explanations?
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal is pretty unlucky not to win Miami at least once. He had 5 finals there, and was 2 points away from winning it. As for the others, most of the time he didn't care too much about them. For sure not about the masters which are played after USO. Not to mention that there were many years (including during his prime, something Djokovic never had) when he was injured after USO, which obviously prevented him from fighting for these titles.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
he has only won 9 Masters. 3 IW, 5 Canada, 1 Cincinnati and 1 Madrid (counts for Shanghaï).
False statement. Nadal has won 10 Masters 1000 on hard. 3 + 5 +1 +1 = 10.
Only 1 indoor title throughout his whole career.
False statement. Nadal has won 3 titles on indoor conditions during his career.

1. 2005 Madrid Open (indoor hard).
2. 2013 Brazil Open (indoor clay).
3. 2019 Davis Cup with Spain (indoor hard, he received the MVP trophy after a perfect 100% of victories (8/8) in the tournament).

 
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Kralingen

Bionic Poster
He is nowhere near as consistently good on HC as Federer and Djokovic, who are special tennis players and uniquely great on HC.

Additionally, he has a high amount of injuries which have ruled him ineligible for these tournaments, more than they have.

He focuses his season around clay, as evidenced by him only missing 2 FOs in his entire career, but many more HC Slams.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic is arguably the most complete player ever as proved by the Double Career Golden Masters. That's why Novak is the only player to win each Masters 1000 twice.

He is one dimensonal. And he is extremely good at it.
Along with Novak, Nadal is the only player to achieve the Double Career Grand Slam in Open Era History. "One-dimensional". You haters are something else.
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Btw Nadal’s 9 HC Masters are nothing to sneeze at. Only Murray, Pete, Dre, and Fedovic have more — and Nadal almost always competed in the same field with at least one of the other Big 4.

It’s clear Nadal is inferior on HC to Pete, Agassi, and obviously Fedovic, but he’s still greater than basically everyone else. No shame in that.
 

ForehandDTL

Professional
Btw Nadal’s 9 HC Masters are nothing to sneeze at. Only Murray, Pete, Dre, and Fedovic have more — and Nadal almost always competed in the same field with at least one of the other Big 4.

It’s clear Nadal is inferior on HC to Pete, Agassi, and obviously Fedovic, but he’s still greater than basically everyone else. No shame in that.
But he peaked the highest, only behind Pete.
 

thanovic

Rookie
Nadal’s moonballing doesn’t work on hard and grass courts as effectively as it does on clay.
Unlike Nadal, Djokovic knows how to win on every surface and his double career golden masters titles is proof of that. Djokovic has no weaknesses in his game, whereas Nadal has big holes in his game that are easily exploited on hard and grass courts.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Btw Nadal’s 9 HC Masters are nothing to sneeze at. Only Murray, Pete, Dre, and Fedovic have more — and Nadal almost always competed in the same field with at least one of the other Big 4.

It’s clear Nadal is inferior on HC to Pete, Agassi, and obviously Fedovic, but he’s still greater than basically everyone else. No shame in that.
Not so clear. Nadal has 6 Slams on hard, the same as Agassi. I know there exist other tie-breakers such as ATP finals, Masters 1000, etc. where Agassi has the edge, but the fact they are tied in Slams on hard (the most important metric) means they are close with Agassi being slightly ahead in overall achievements.

It's also fair to consider how Nadal has one more final in Slams on hard than Agassi and how he had to compete with the 2 hard court GOATs (Federer and Djokovic). Anyway, yes Agassi is slightly ahead of Nadal on hard achievements-wise but close enough that it is not so "clear".
 
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Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Not so clear. Nadal has 6 Slams on hard, the same as Agassi. I know there exist other tie-breakers such as ATP finals, Masters 1000, etc. where Agassi has the edge, but the fact they are tied in Slams on hard (the most important metric) means they are close with Agassi being slightly ahead in overall achievements.

It's also fair to consider how Nadal had to compete with the 2 hard court GOATs (Federer and Djokovic). Anyway, yes Agassi is slightly ahead of Nadal on hard achievements-wise but close enough that it is not so "clear".
Sure maybe it isn’t ‘clear’ but it is definitively Agassi.

Agassi was always better on HC in youth, making USO SF only losing to peak Lendl at only 18.

let’s talk about the “hard court GOAT” competition btw. You brought it up so let’s look into it. Raf has 4 losses to Fedovic in HC Slams. USO 11, AO 12, AO 17, AO 19.

He was certainly good at the first 3 but imo he was not playing at a high, Slam winning level in AO 19.

Meanwhile Andre lost 4x to PETE, a comparable player to Fedovic in HC Slams. USO ‘90, 95, 01, 02. And don’t forget he lost to actual PEAK Fed in 3 HC Slams, USO 04/05, AO 05.

So that’s 7 times he was stopped by HC ATGs, Nadal only has 4. Andre also missed a lot of Slams, skipping the AO in some of his prime years and having bad injuries in his career, so it’s not only Nadal with that excuse.

Next. Andre is the better HC player. It’s close but it’s true.
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Btw Nadal’s 9 HC Masters are nothing to sneeze at. Only Murray, Pete, Dre, and Fedovic have more — and Nadal almost always competed in the same field with at least one of the other Big 4.

It’s clear Nadal is inferior on HC to Pete, Agassi, and obviously Fedovic, but he's still greater than basically everyone else. No shame in that.
Ever heard of Ivan Lendl? ;)
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
There are 3 Masters on Djokovic's weakest surface and yet he has 11 titles. He won every clay Masters at least twice, with a peak in Rome (12 finals / 6 titles)
Nadal had literally more than 2x more opportunities to rack up Masters on hard courts. There are 6 Masters + the WTF in 1 year

Yet despite having 7 chances/year, he has only won 9 Masters. 3 IW, 5 Canada, 1 Cincinnati and 1 Madrid (counts for Shanghaï).

Never won 3 of them (Miami, Paris, WTF). Only 1 final in Paris, 1 other final in Shanghaï after his Madrid win. Only 1 Cincinnati (0 other final) despite his success in the USO. His peak is the Canada Open and he has less titles and less finals than Djokovic in Rome.

Very telling IMO that Djokovic's absolute "worst" Masters is Monte-Carlo and he still managed to snag 2 titles and make 2 other finals. While Nadal can't even win 3 different Masters. Only 1 indoor title throughout his whole career.

How do you explain all these holes in so many different hard court 1000? Why can't he adapt his tennis to the Miami conditions like he does in IW? Why was he unable (in 16 years) to win more than 2 Masters on fast courts like Cincinnati, Shanghaï and Paris? Why 0 World Tour Finals titles in 16 attempts? Is he ever going to win one of these tournaments? Can he at least achieve ONE career Masters?

Any explanations?
Nadal suck and is done. with that bad foot, he couldn't push off for his serves, and that's why he can't play anymore
 

The Blond Blur

G.O.A.T.
Btw Nadal’s 10 HC Masters are nothing to sneeze at. Only Murray, Pete, Dre, and Fedovic have more — and Nadal almost always competed in the same field with at least one of the other Big 4.

It’s clear Nadal is inferior on HC to Pete, Agassi, and obviously Fedovic, but he’s still greater than basically everyone else. No shame in that.
FIFY, bud ;)
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
This is bait-trolling thread is a good reason why the comic relief from "Vicky Nole Fam" is often warranted in the TTW environment. The OP is not seeking an objective discussion but is simply trying to get "kicks" on a subject that has been regurgitated until nauseam here and other social media outlets. Are we to believe that a player who has won 6 slams, 2 Gold Medals, and a Bo5 Indoor HC Final somehow "sucks" in HC? A player with a 6-5 record (Bo5 + Olympics) against his two biggest rivals and 85.14% winning percentage Bo5 HC really an "underachiever?"

Of course, the OP can be put on ignore but the sad thing is how many quality posts with more serious discussion gets censored and deleted.
 
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Mainad

Bionic Poster
Nadal’s moonballing doesn’t work on hard and grass courts as effectively as it does on clay.
Unlike Nadal, Djokovic knows how to win on every surface and his double career golden masters titles is proof of that. Djokovic has no weaknesses in his game, whereas Nadal has big holes in his game that are easily exploited on hard and grass courts.

An odd thing to say about a player who was the first to win multiple Slams on every surface (Federer still hasn't accomplished this).
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Nadal has more Slams on hard than Lendl.
Mac, Lendl, and Connors all played in an era where the AO was either skipped or played on grass. I'd say all are at the very least comparable to Nadal and very possibly better, taking into account how many HC AOs they could have possibly won.

Each also have incredible YEC accomplishments in a time where that was viewed as the 4th major. And they don't have 'Masters' titles bc there wasn't such a thing as the Masters series in the 80s, but equivalently each were dominant HC players, winning many HC tournaments that were Masters-like. Especially Lendl who was basically unbeatable on indoor hard for a good 4 years straight. He was a monster. I've also read that historians say Laver's best surface was HC, he was dominant at the Wembley indoors, as was Pancho.

But I am being nice like I said... so will leave them out officially.
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
Lendl was 5-6 in GS Finals which includes 2 losses to Becker. In addition, he won a HC slam due to an Edberg retirement. Obviously, he was better indoors than Nadal, but "Outdoors' it's a much closer argument. Especially when you consider that Federer and Nole have won over 130 HC titles between them, and Nadal leads 6-5 (Bo5 & Olympics). Nadal also has a higher Bo5 winning percentage than Lendl. I think Connors was the player that got hurt the most with no HC until 1978 in the USO and no HC in Australia until 1988. Nonetheless, many players weren't going to take a long trip to Australia during Christmas time. This is part of the reason the tournament moved to January. Does anyone think Lendl would sweep AO HC titles in the early 1980's with Connors there?
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
Lendl was 5-6 in GS Finals which includes 2 losses to Becker. In addition, he won a HC slam due to an Edberg retirement. Obviously, he was better indoors than Nadal, but "Outdoors' it's a much closer argument. Especially when you consider that Federer and Nole have won over 130 HC titles between them, and Nadal leads 6-5 (Bo5 & Olympics). Nadal also has a higher Bo5 winning percentage than Lendl. I think Connors was the player that got hurt the most with no HC until 1978 in the USO and no HC in Australia until 1988. Nonetheless, many players weren't going to take a long trip to Australia during Christmas time. This is part of the reason the tournament moved to January. Does anyone think Lendl would sweep AO HC titles in the early 1980's with Connors there?
Nadal or Agassi on HC?
 

Fiero425

Legend
Lendl was 5-6 in GS Finals which includes 2 losses to Becker. In addition, he won a HC slam due to an Edberg retirement. Obviously, he was better indoors than Nadal, but "Outdoors' it's a much closer argument. Especially when you consider that Federer and Nole have won over 130 HC titles between them, and Nadal leads 6-5 (Bo5 & Olympics). Nadal also has a higher Bo5 winning percentage than Lendl. I think Connors was the player that got hurt the most with no HC until 1978 in the USO and no HC in Australia until 1988. Nonetheless, many players weren't going to take a long trip to Australia during Christmas time. This is part of the reason the tournament moved to January. Does anyone think Lendl would sweep AO HC titles in the early 1980's with Connors there?

Connors had a psychological advantage of Lendl early on, but by mid 80's, Ivan owned Jimmy! Dominance was going back and forth early on with McEnroe, but by that "85 USO final, Lendl took control of that rivalry as well! Ivan was always underseige with people coming from all sides! Few but us oldsters can remember that Golden Age before the Golden Age of the 90's! Lendl had to deal with not only John & Jimmy, clay specialist like Wilander were challenging, Edberg and Becker gave him tons of heartburn, add early Agassi & Sampras! But HC was owned by Lendl; esp. indoors! Few if any can remember he completed a feat that only he and Martina Navratilova have; winning their respective YEC's in '86! Both moved to Nov. and those 2 won them both; Martina (March over Mandlikova/Nov. over Graf) in BO5! Lendl (Jan./Nov)! Ivan defeated Becker both times! :cautious: :-D :p:laughing:
 
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AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
Nadal or Agassi on HC?

I answered that months ago. I think Agassi would've won 8 or 9 HC slams if he played the AO starting either in 1988 or 1989. The surface and climate were essentially catnip for him. Moreover, there is bigger gap in HC titles won between him and Nadal opposed to Lendl and Nadal. Agassi had a better return on HC and although their slams and Gold Medal cancel each other out the fact remains he won 15-20 more HC titles and did win Miami 6 times and Cincy 3 times. In the Open Era I would rate Nole, Fed, Sampras, Connors, and Agassi as the Top 5 HC players. The next few would be close between Nadal, Lendl, and Mcenroe.
 
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AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
Connors had a psychological advantage of Lendl early on, but by mid 80's, Ivan owned Jimmy!
I have mentioned in previous posts that outside of Grass Lendl won 17 in a row against Connors.

As for the YEC are you referring to Madison Square Garden played in Carpet Indoors? Becker was 7-4 against Lendl Bo5 and 5-1 in slams, so he did get some quality wins even if he lost the overall h2h 10-11.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
I answered that months ago. I think Agassi would've won 8 or 9 slams if he played the AO starting either in 1988 or 1989. The surface and climate were essentially catnip for him. Moreover, there is bigger gap in HC titles won between him and Nadal opposed to Lendl and Nadal. Agassi had a better return on HC and although their slams and Gold Medal cancel each other out the fact remains he won 15-20 more HC titles and did win Miami 6 times and Cincy 3 times. In the Open Era I would rate Nole, Fed, Sampras, Connors, and Agassi as the Top 5 HC players. The next few would be close between Nadal, Lendl, and Mcenroe.

I love Agassi, but which editions of the AO pre 1995 would he have won?

1988 - Wilander (Probably the easiest opponent, but Wilander as great that year and Agassi was only 17)
1989 - Lendl
1990 - Lendl
1991 - Becker
1992 - Courier
1993 - Courier
1994 - Sampras
 

juanparty

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is arguably the most complete player ever as proved by the Double Career Golden Masters. That's why Novak is the only player to win each Masters 1000 twice.


Along with Novak, Nadal is the only player to achieve the Double Career Grand Slam in Open Era History. "One-dimensional". You haters are something else.
Djoker = Rafy >>>>>>>>Feddy
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
I love Agassi, but which editions of the AO pre 1995 would he have won?

1988 - Wilander (Probably the easiest opponent, but Wilander as great that year and Agassi was only 17)
1989 - Lendl
1990 - Lendl
1991 - Becker
1992 - Courier
1993 - Courier
1994 - Sampras
91 is the one I’d look at. BB Socrates was his BB*tch in the 90-91 time, he had beaten Becks at the 90 USO and during indoor season as well. Also was able to beat Edberg pretty comprehensively during the 90 HC season. I will say Lendl always scares me when I talk about Agassi hypotheticals.

89/90 Lendl/Edberg would be too good
94 he’d have a wrist injury so not able to play

92/93 he has a decent chance but Courier was quite good there. Not sure who I’d pick but it’s probably Courier sadly.

I’d say 60-70% at 91, 30% at 93, probably a no every other one. Still I think he gets at least one, likely in 91.
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
I love Agassi, but which editions of the AO pre 1995 would he have won?

1988 - Wilander (Probably the easiest opponent, but Wilander as great that year and Agassi was only 17)
1989 - Lendl
1990 - Lendl
1991 - Becker
1992 - Courier
1993 - Courier
1994 - Sampras

Fair question. The ones I put on bold. He was 2-0 on HC vs Becker in 1990 and he beat Courier years after Courier won those titles, but still think even 1993 is probable. As I said he likely would've won 8 HC slams (which is 2 more titles). However, this is also speculative since we don't know who he faces in the QF and SF. He won Miami 6 times and if he played many of those AO it wouldn't be a stretch to say he could've won 2 more AO titles.
 

Fiero425

Legend
I love Agassi, but which editions of the AO pre 1995 would he have won?

1988 - Wilander (Probably the easiest opponent, but Wilander as great that year and Agassi was only 17)
1989 - Lendl
1990 - Lendl
1991 - Becker
1992 - Courier
1993 - Courier
1994 - Sampras

Agassi was so overrated early on! His campaign of "Image Is Everything" took him over! It was more about the look back then! He had so many opportunities in the late 80's and early 90's; esp. in Paris! He blew it! At 1990 USO, I was so sure he'd defeat Sampras who had great wins over McEnroe and Lendl, but it was over before it began! I went out for just a little while, but it took just over an hour and half for Pete to destroy Andre! So I totally missed it! How does Agassi refer to those late losses to Sampras at the USO 2000-02 final? I call him Pete's personal pigeon until he retired an old, broken-down player! lol! :-D :p:laughing:
 

AgassiSuperSlam11

Professional
I call him Pete's personal pigeon until he retired an old, broken-down player! lol! :-D :p:laughing:

If beating a player 14 times makes someone a Pigeon then I don't want to know what Courier was to Sampras or Davydenko to Federer. I wish Agassi played Sampras in the 2001 AO QF but he lost in straight sets to the legendary Todd Martin. It would've been 3-0 against Pistol Pete in the AO.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
Agassi was so overrated early on! His campaign of "Image Is Everything" took him over! It was more about the look back then! He had so many opportunities in the late 80's and early 90's; esp. in Paris! He blew it! At 1990 USO, I was so sure he'd defeat Sampras who had great wins over McEnroe and Lendl, but it was over before it began! I went out for just a little while, but it took just over an hour and half for Pete to destroy Andre! So I totally missed it! How does Agassi refer to those late losses to Sampras at the USO 2000-02 final? I call him Pete's personal pigeon until he retired an old, broken-down player! lol! :-D :p:laughing:

Agassi really and honestly should have had something like 6x AO, 3x RG, 1x W and 4x USO
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
The biggest underachiever! Wilander, Keuten, Lendl, Edberg, Chang, & Becker got the most out of their talent at the time where the competition was TOUGH! :giggle: :(:whistle::unsure:

8 Majors feels like close to the minimum he could have won. *MAYBE* 6 if you think he could have lost 92 W and 2000 AO.

But he definitely had way more misses. He felt like a 12x Major winner. I also can't believe he was YE #1 only once, but I suppose Pete was pretty consistent.
 

Kralingen

Bionic Poster
8 Majors feels like close to the minimum he could have won. *MAYBE* 6 if you think he could have lost 92 W and 2000 AO.

But he definitely had way more misses. He felt like a 12x Major winner. I also can't believe he was YE #1 only once, but I suppose Pete was pretty consistent.
The real black mark on Agassi is aside from that 99-00 run where he won 27/28 Slam matches you can never really point to a year where you can say “yeah, he was truly dominant” the way you can with Connors, Mac, and Lendl. 94/95 was that but the USO final is probably the most painful loss you can point to for almost any ATG.

I think he reached his physical prime a bit too early and wasted it with a clown like Bollettieri. If you look at his 88-92 talent level he was off the charts good - I mean who wins Wimbledon, beating Goran and Becker, in only their second try with basically no practice? He was ridiculously good at hitting a tennis ball. And back then he was really, really fast. People forget that, early 20s Agassi was an exceptional mover.

but he was essentially experimenting with random tactics. The 90/91 FO finals especially so, he couldn’t adjust and hit himself off the court. He 100% wins that 91 final without the delay, Courier adjusted and he didn’t. Story of his career. He just didn’t have the mentality for big matches yet.

His INJURIES though also screwed him big timr which no one talks about, ever. The wrist going in 93 was a very serious injury most never recover from - I mean look at Thiem now. Same with 96/97, it wasn’t just the meth, his body broke down. Plus his congenital back injury severely limited his movement in old age. To get to that level of play in his mid 30s was a small miracle.

He’s just a tragic hero man, by far the most intriguing story of any ATG in my opinion. He showed real growth in his life.. but he knows he left a lot on the table regardless.
 
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