Yes, Rafa won Barcelone saving 1 match point, BUT.....

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
But let's not forget in that 4-5 game in the third he has committed 2 horrendous unforced errors with two FH sitters right into the top of net and the open court in front of him.

He created himself the opportunity to get broken.

One can look at the entire match and it's only in that game he makes these 2 unbelievable amateurish blunders.

Which means Rafa is slowly losing his nerves the further he ages.

Tsistsipas couldn't capitalize because of fatigue and his own nerves (he returned the favor in the next game with a FH sitter at the net).

But if someone pushes him at RG to make it close, things might get INTERESTING...
 
But let's not forget in that 4-5 game in the third he has committed 2 horrendous unforced errors with two FH sitters right into the top of net and the open court in front of him.

He created himself the opportunity to get broken.

One can look at the entire match and it's only in that game he makes these 2 unbelievable amateurish blunders.

Which means Rafa is slowly losing his nerves the further he ages.

Tsistsipas couldn't capitalize because of fatigue and his own nerves (he returned the favor in the next game with a FH sitter at the net).

But if someone pushes him at RG to make it close, things might get INTERESTING...

The thing is ,no one except Thiem has the physicality to actually make it close in bo5 against Rafa. And right now he is at his very worst in the period I have seen him.

Tsitsipas will get bludgeoned on Phillip Chattier with that OHBH of his

Djokovic is a little better on physicality front than last year ,but don't know if he can maintain it for like 4-5 sets anymore.
 

Yugram

Legend
The thing is ,no one except Thiem has the physicality to actually make it close in bo5 against Rafa. And right now he is at his very worst in the period I have seen him.

Tsitsipas will get bludgeoned on Phillip Chattier with that OHBH of his

Djokovic is a little better on physicality front than last year ,but don't know if he can maintain it for like 4-5 sets anymore.
What physicality? Schwartzman’s stamina >>> Thiem’s, as we could empirically understand.
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
Tennis is all about winning the points that MATTER.

At W 2019, Novak managed it vs Fed, and he kept his nerves when push comes to shove, while Rogie melted. He never made such enormous blunders and kept his head cool at all times.

You cannot lose your marbles in the important moments and hope to win at this level.

It cost Rafa at WEC last year vs Medvedev, then at AO 2020 vs Tsitsipas, and it almost cost him 3 days ago.

I see a TREND...
 

terribleIVAN

Hall of Fame
Djokovic lost to Thiem at Meme Finals after being 4-0 up in deciding set tiebreak. Was 3/10 on BPs against Evans. 5/28 against Doperatsev.

I see a TREND...
Novak did nothing wrong in that tie break, it's Thiem who started to paint the lines and it worked. Novak didn't go at the net for a putaway on his FH and incredibly dumped it on the top of the net, TWICE.

And it's notorious Novak doesn't wake up for small tourneys, especially on clay.

As for Tsitsipas, it's well known the guy has his mind constantly wondering all over the place.
 

ibbi

Legend
But let's not forget in that 4-5 game in the third he has committed 2 horrendous unforced errors with two FH sitters right into the top of net and the open court in front of him.

He created himself the opportunity to get broken.

One can look at the entire match and it's only in that game he makes these 2 unbelievable amateurish blunders.

Which means Rafa is slowly losing his nerves the further he ages.

Tsistsipas couldn't capitalize because of fatigue and his own nerves (he returned the favor in the next game with a FH sitter at the net).

But if someone pushes him at RG to make it close, things might get INTERESTING...
Your point is not worthless, but the fact he did this in a match against a guy who was up till this point undefeated in the clay season makes you wonder if there is going to be anyone who pushes him any harder?
 

MadariKatu

Professional
Nadal has lost part of his legendary mental strength, that is clear. But what we're seeing during this 2021 I'd say is more related to lack of play and needing matches than anything else. So I think that during this clay swing he'll get his rust off and will be ready for RG, where I don't see anyone beating him, unless Thiem comes out of the hole better than ever, which I highly doubt.
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal has lost part of his legendary mental strength, that is clear. But what we're seeing during this 2021 I'd say is more related to lack of play and needing matches than anything else. So I think that during this clay swing he'll get his rust off and will be ready for RG, where I don't see anyone beating him, unless Thiem comes out of the hole better than ever, which I highly doubt.
It was his mental strength that won him Barcelona final in 2021.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Nadal has lost part of his legendary mental strength, that is clear. But what we're seeing during this 2021 I'd say is more related to lack of play and needing matches than anything else. So I think that during this clay swing he'll get his rust off and will be ready for RG, where I don't see anyone beating him, unless Thiem comes out of the hole better than ever, which I highly doubt.
Nobody is beating him period, Thiem had his chances.

I think only prime/peak Fedovic would be able to beat even this Nadal.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
21 is on Nadal's racket. If he plays his best tennis, not only is he sure to win, but no one else has even a chance. The last Roland Garros final was only several months ago and not enough has changed in that time to make a big difference. If Nadal brings his best, it's over.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
It was really nice to see him win a close one.

That being said, I don't think any future tournament is "in the bag", not even close.

At 34-35 years old, random drops in form are unavoidable, and tennis isn't forgiving in that respect.

I have no expectations - I'll take in the defeats and the victories as they come. Vamos!
 
Last edited:

Thriller

Hall of Fame
Yes let's not forget that Nadal had the match of the year so far, a month away from age 35, defeating the biggest challenge to him on clay right now who hadent lost a set till the final :love: #MythicalKing

While being visibly overweight. His fitness can only get better with more matches.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
Nadal lost in the SF of 2019 Monte Carlo, 2019 Barcelona, 2019 Madrid.
Its amazing that people still don't understand the difference between Roland Garros and everywhere else.....
Are folks aware that Nadal has won 12 of 13 sets vs. Thiem at Roland Garros?
Meanwhile Thiem beat Nadal on clay in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 3 of those 4 matches were in straight sets.
I can tell you now, if last week's Barcelona Final was played at Roland Garros, Nadal would have won 64 64 or even easier.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
That's Federer talk. There's no room for complacency or underestimating the task on Team Nadal. Well at least I hope not.
It's Rafa's job to stay focused, which he is. I'm simply calling it like I see it. If Rafa brings the same level he brought at the October RG, it's over.
 

Thriller

Hall of Fame
It's Rafa's job to stay focused, which he is. I'm simply calling it like I see it. If Rafa brings the same level he brought at the October RG, it's over.
If he had rolled through Monte Carlo and Barcelona leaving a trail of breadsticks and bagels you might have a point. But there was nothing flukey about the Rublev match, I saw it coming, and Nadal was below par in Barcelona in every match, including the final.
So it's great that he won it and the matches and victory will do wonders for his fitness and confidence, but there is a long way to go before I am handing him the crown.
He is clearly the very hot favourite but victory at RG on the second Sunday is a long way from a certainty imo.
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
No doubt about it. His mental fortitude is still at the top of the game. I'm saying that if he hadn't declined a bit in that aspect, he wouldn't have lost the 2nd set.
Rafa is still playing himself into 100% form. He had to work hard to win matches in MC and Barcelona because his serve was off and he made far too many UEs. He needs to be able to rely more on his serve and not have to work so hard to hold serve never mind dropping his serve so often.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
If he had rolled through Monte Carlo and Barcelona leaving a trail of breadsticks and bagels you might have a point. But there was nothing flukey about the Rublev match, I saw it coming, and Nadal was below par in Barcelona in every match, including the final.
So it's great that he won it and the matches and victory will do wonders for his fitness and confidence, but there is a long way to go before I am handing him the crown.
He is clearly the very hot favourite but victory at RG on the second Sunday is a long way from a certainty imo.
You were probably also worried when he lost to Diego in Rome. He's still finding his top levels.
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
Tsitsipas was a point away from losing 64 64 at Barcelona.
Imagine what would happen if they'd played that match at Roland Garros.....it would be like 62 62 62.
Just look at Thiem's 4 wins over Nadal on clay.....and compare them to his Roland Garros results vs. Nadal.
Tsitsipas is just another Thiem.... or an even less successful version of Thiem.
 

Thriller

Hall of Fame
I keep reading about Rafa being “fat,” and now “visibly overweight.” What am I missing?
You can't see the jelly on that belly and that famous azz is fat?!
It's even more obvious in that video that he is not at his playing weight.
Obviously in brilliant shape by the standard of most 35 year olds but nowhere near up to the usual standards.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
You can't see the jelly on that belly and that famous azz is fat?!
It's even more obvious in that video that he is not at his playing weight.
Obviously in brilliant shape by the standard of most 35 year olds but nowhere near up to the usual standards.
He literally looks the same lol
 

aldeayeah

Legend
He's always had a kinda bulky torso and butt. Not wawa levels, but still it's rare for him to be ultra cut at the start of the clay season, at least since 2010-ish.

From RG to WB he tends to look more cut, clearly that's where he tries to peak.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
If he had rolled through Monte Carlo and Barcelona leaving a trail of breadsticks and bagels you might have a point. But there was nothing flukey about the Rublev match, I saw it coming, and Nadal was below par in Barcelona in every match, including the final.
So it's great that he won it and the matches and victory will do wonders for his fitness and confidence, but there is a long way to go before I am handing him the crown.
He is clearly the very hot favourite but victory at RG on the second Sunday is a long way from a certainty imo.
I hope he gets into form soon...
 

Thriller

Hall of Fame
He literally looks the same lol
Man he does not. And more importantly he wasn't moving the same. You could see in the sudden stops, accelerations and changes of direction that he is carrying too much weight. Like a Formula 1 car full of fuel on a Sunday compared to running on empty tanks in qualifying on a Saturday. He was dead heavy in Monte Carlo and a bit better in Barcelona but nowhere near peak.

@aldeayeah All true. He generally starts the clay court season heavier than he finishes it but this year the lack of matches and the lockdown snacking is showing.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Man he does not. And more importantly he wasn't moving the same. You could see in the sudden stops, accelerations and changes of direction that he is carrying too much weight. Like a Formula 1 car full of fuel on a Sunday compared to running on empty tanks in qualifying on a Saturday. He was dead heavy in Monte Carlo and a bit better in Barcelona but nowhere near peak.

@aldeayeah All true. He generally starts the clay court season heavier than he finishes it but this year the lack of matches and the lockdown snacking is showing.
Yes, Rafa out here looking like 07 serena :)
 

NADALalot

Hall of Fame
You can't see the jelly on that belly and that famous azz is fat?!
It's even more obvious in that video that he is not at his playing weight.
Obviously in brilliant shape by the standard of most 35 year olds but nowhere near up to the usual standards.
Nadal has always had those body features.
His lower abs have always contained a bit of fat, and his backside obviously known for that shape.
He's always had a heavy diet, and he even likes cookies.
He's no different to 4-5 years ago.
Even 10 years ago, he was never slim.
I mean you can find photos of him looking slim, because it depends on the camera angle, but he's never been slim.
 
Top