Your personal favourite shot of Rafael Nadal

Vote for your personal favorite Nadal shot here


  • Total voters
    64
You have the options in the poll.
Kindly Vote regardless of whatever player's fan you are. (Note :- only selective/special shots are included, common shots aren't)
Discuss shot parameters and why do you like it, whether it has declined or improved over the time, damage it does to the opponents

Note :- You can select upto 3 options
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
The banana forehand is probably his most iconic, and nobody else does it as well, if they have it at all. His backhand (bolo) smash is a thing of beauty, and I went with the inside-out forehand.

When he really leans into his cross-court BH and hits searing angles, it's also a fun shot, as are his droppers, especially on clay.

How are you distinguishing between DTL and UTL?
 
How are you distinguishing between DTL and UTL?
Was about to ask the same. I thought they are the same shots.
They are.
They look similar, but there is a difference.
The shot hit from the ad court is a DTL shot going into the FH of opponent.
The shot hit from the deuce court is UTL shot going into the BH of opponent.
The best UTL shot of nadal, imo was the one he hit in madrid 2009 to save match point against a GOATing djok
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
They look similar, but there is a difference.
The shot hit from the ad court is a DTL shot going into the FH of opponent.
The shot hit from the deuce court is UTL shot going into the BH of opponent.
The best UTL shot of nadal, imo was the one he hit in madrid 2009 to save match point against a GOATing djok
I can see how you're distinguishing. Sometimes, Rafa's DTL (ad court) FH is almost a casual flick (Fed-like, though different mechanics) to the open court. I can also picture his UTL FH, but am not calling up that specific one in Madrid...though feel like I should be.
 

Robert Baratheon

Professional
They look similar, but there is a difference.
The shot hit from the ad court is a DTL shot going into the FH of opponent.
The shot hit from the deuce court is UTL shot going into the BH of opponent.
The best UTL shot of nadal, imo was the one he hit in madrid 2009 to save match point against a GOATing djok
No sir that is what you call an inside-in forehand.
Up the line and down the line are used for the same shot.
There are typically 4 types of FHs based on the position of the hitter and the position where he hit it.
1) DTL.
2) Cross court.
3) Inside Out.
4) Inside In.
 
Last edited:
Banana shot, FH DTL, BH CC, FH Inside out.. in that order.
Apart from those his gets are amazing to me. Awesome retrieval from the back of the court on clay.
Novak and Andeh are more impressive to me at baseline retrieval off clay tho.

But no one is better than Rafa at retrieving drop shots or volleys inside the court.
That legendary speed coupled with ridiculous hand-eye coordination does wonders.
That point from Rome(?) 2005 comes to mind where he had to retrieve the ball from impossible positions three times in a row and he somehow managed to do it.
Probably the most mindf**k point I have ever seen.

Guru is very good at retrieval too but even after hitting awesome shots from impossible positions he usually ends up losing the point whereas Rafa ends up winning a lot of them.
Retrieval shots have declined so much post 2010 that I didn't find them worth inclusion at the first place
 

Born_to_slice

Professional
It's extremely amazing that he hasn't broken a single racquet in this long career. I respect him for that
It's that kind of discipline what made Nadal into player he is, though I think it would be better for his psyche to release negative energy sometimes. It was bizarre to look at him beating his legs/knees with the racquet quite hard at occasions. Just look at this GIF. He takes the racquet in his naturally dominant hand to smash it.
 

ForumMember

Hall of Fame
They look similar, but there is a difference.
The shot hit from the ad court is a DTL shot going into the FH of opponent.
The shot hit from the deuce court is UTL shot going into the BH of opponent.
The best UTL shot of nadal, imo was the one he hit in madrid 2009 to save match point against a GOATing djok
As another user also mentioned that shot is called Inside-In forehand. DTL and UTL are same.
 

Sephiroth

Professional
FH DTL no question

Such an epic shot that only Nadal makes it look so good, just the way Nadal whips it over with incredible precision and pace and the ball lands right before the line, just something awesome about the way he executes it I can't really put a finger on it, naturally awesome especially when the replays show it from different angles

BOOM

 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
FH DTL no question

Such an epic shot that only Nadal makes it look so good, just the way Nadal whips it over with incredible precision and pace and the ball lands right before the line, just something awesome about the way he executes it I can't really put a finger on it, naturally awesome especially when the replays show it from different angles

BOOM

"Oh, you are gonna love this!" then


:D
 

TennisFan3

Legend
Running DTL forehand and the off-forehand, both inside out and inside in.

Those are the truly artistic shots. The rest sometimes look a little unnatural.
 

MeatTornado

Legend
I love his backhand slice when he's on the run and is spinning back around as part of his follow-through to pull a 180 and get back into position.
 

haqq777

Legend
Banana, for sure. But what isn't an option and should be is the 'sky hook'. He has been executing those shots to perfection and those are not easy!

 

Rafa24

Hall of Fame
I like when he hits the the flattened out forehand down the line from a dead run for a winner or when he does the same from outside the doubles alley and hits the banana shot around the post and it curls in for a winner. And his backwards smash is becoming quite impressive.

I can't choose one as even his crosscourt backhand can produce unreal shots at times.
 
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