Your prediction: Does Rafa's RG streak end with a bang or a whimper?

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
How do you expect this legendary streak to finally be broken? Does he go down in a thrilling showdown with a younger player? An unceremonious 2015-style exit? A walkover? Simply retiring at the top? Which scenario do you see most likely?

Discuss.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Yeah, I've thought about this, could be either way, and it depends when it happens. The nature of clay is that the better opponent usually overwhelms their opponents with bigger margins than on other surfaces like grass, so if it's by a future ATG they might blow him way.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Interesting question.

Thrilling showdown with a younger player? If so, then a few years from now against a young player of then. I think nobody from today’s next gen will beat him at RG for a few more years.

An unceremonious 2015-style exit? Well, "unceremonious" is a correct description for his own level but also had something to do with a really great Djokovic that year.

A walkover? Always possible of course. And it says a lot about his clay domination that this even sounds somewhat more likely than a loss.

Simply retiring at the top? No way, he isn’t an idiot. He would never know if he wouldn’t have just won like 5 more RG titles then.

I think he will lose to a random hardhitter (in Söderling style) on a day he is subpar and maybe injured while the opponent plays one of the best clay matches of his life.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Interesting question.

Thrilling showdown with a younger player? If so, then a few years from now against a young player of then. I think nobody from today’s next gen will beat him at RG for a few more years.

An unceremonious 2015-style exit? Well, "unceremonious" is a correct description for his own level but also had something to do with a really great Djokovic that year.

A walkover? Always possible of course. And it says a lot about his clay domination that this even sounds somewhat more likely than a loss.

Simply retiring at the top? No way, he isn’t an idiot. He would never know if he wouldn’t have just won like 5 more RG titles then.

I think he will lose to a random hardhitter (in Söderling style) on a day he is subpar and maybe injured while the opponent plays one of the best clay matches of his life.
In 2024 Rafa will finally lose at RG, and I don't think it will be an epic, probably four sets at best.
Yall are a trip :D
 

TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
Bang. There will be some epic showdown where Nadal will be playing relatively well (obviously not the same level as young Nadal, but well for his age), and a young player that's playing lights out tennis.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
My guess would be a whimper. Maybe not 2015 like, maybe more 2009 like, someone comes along and just executes the game plan to perfection and blows him away. Someone younger, bigger, stronger, and Nadal in his mid 30s just unable to stand up to it.
Exactly. It will be a decent match but it'll be annoying bc I'll know younger Rafa would have just murdered whoever it is.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
What if he loses a hard-fought match (4 or 5 sets), regains the title the following year and then retires. Possible?
Very much possible apart from the retiring thing. If he regains his title he is on top again, so why should he retire? If so he would feel he missed out on more possible RG titles. I think Nadal will retire when he had no chance at winning the RG title for at least 2 straight years (like 2 exits in QF or earlier).
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Very much possible apart from the retiring thing. If he regains his title he is on top again, so why should he retire? If so he would feel he missed out on more possible RG titles. I think Nadal will retire when he had no chance at winning the RG title for at least 2 straight years (like 2 exits in QF or earlier).
I can certainly see that.
It's a dilemma (in all sports, and perhaps other pursuits as well): Retire too soon or stick around too long? It's hard to get it just right, and not everyone has the same definition of "just right".
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
I can certainly see that.
It's a dilemma (in all sports, and perhaps other pursuits as well): Retire too soon or stick around too long? It's hard to get it just right, and not everyone has the same definition of "just right".
The most rational moment would be if a player feels to 100 % that he has no chance to win a big title anymore in the future (or for a lesser player that he has no chance to come close to his best past results).

But even if he doesn’t retire then and only plays on for fun, there is nothing to lose with it. There isn’t a "too late", apart from maybe for someone who doesn’t care about the sport and only wants to make some money to just enjoy his life as early as possible.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
The most rational moment would be if a player feels to 100 % that he has no chance to win a big title anymore in the future (or for a lesser player that he has no chance to come close to his best past results).

But even if he doesn’t retire then and only plays on for fun, there is nothing to lose with it. There isn’t a "too late", apart from maybe for someone who doesn’t care about the sport and only wants to make some money to just enjoy his life as early as possible.
I'm not adamant about how I look at this. I understand your point of view, but also acknowledge that different players (and fans) have different thresholds for this.

Way back when, Borg shocked a lot of people with his early retirement. At any point in the future, Rafa retiring will not be all that early, but...so much goes into their preparation, that a lot of options all seem somewhat plausible to me.

Back to my hatched scenario of Rafa losing then regaining the title. At that point, will he want to endure another year of training and competing to vie for one more title? Hard to predict.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
Very much possible apart from the retiring thing. If he regains his title he is on top again, so why should he retire? If so he would feel he missed out on more possible RG titles. I think Nadal will retire when he had no chance at winning the RG title for at least 2 straight years (like 2 exits in QF or earlier).
Because he'll be (at least) in his late 30s, probably the GOAT of the game, and wanting to start a family.

Duh.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Because he'll be (at least) in his late 30s, probably the GOAT of the game, and wanting to start a family.

Duh.
He could still be overtaken by Djokovic then. And of course he could start a family while still playing tennis. If he is even interested in that, I don’t know how he sees it. I don’t care that much about players’ private life.
 

Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
I think the time for Rafa potentially losing an epic, high-quality match at RG has probably passed.
If / when he does lose next, it may be in 3 or 4 sets with his level having dropped off significantly
 

MadariKatu

Semi-Pro
I really hope it ends the way we've all been hoping for it to end: an epic 5-set final, Wimbledon 08-style passing of the torch to Thiem.
I came here to say this.

Also, I had thought it was gonna be this year, but then the pandemic hit, and Thiem had his slump... Since winning this year and also next would mean having 6 RG in a row, I'm gonna go and say that Thiem beats him in 2022 in a thight final either to 4 or 5 sets.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
The likely scenario is that some young, strong guy just blows him off the court. A game like Soderling, just blasting winners from everywhere. There's a few players right now who can play a similar style, but not as good as Soderling: Karatsev and Basilashvilli come to mind, even Khachanov. The issue isn't play style, it's mentality. Serving out a match against Rafa in an RG final has to be the most difficult feat in tennis. Nobody's ever done it!
 

skypadq

Hall of Fame
The likely scenario is that some young, strong guy just blows him off the court. A game like Soderling, just blasting winners from everywhere. There's a few players right now who can play a similar style, but not as good as Soderling: Karatsev and Basilashvilli come to mind, even Khachanov. The issue isn't play style, it's mentality. Serving out a match against Rafa in an RG final has to be the most difficult feat in tennis. Nobody's ever done it!
only karatsev can do this
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
How do you expect this legendary streak to finally be broken? Does he go down in a thrilling showdown with a younger player? An unceremonious 2015-style exit? A walkover? Simply retiring at the top? Which scenario do you see most likely?

Discuss.
A whimper. If Nadal loses on clay, he won’t be in top form, so we won’t get an epic
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
He could still be overtaken by Djokovic then. And of course he could start a family while still playing tennis. If he is even interested in that, I don’t know how he sees it. I don’t care that much about players’ private life.
Point is he's not going to play indefinitely. I think he'll probably want to go out on top.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
The likely scenario is that some young, strong guy just blows him off the court. A game like Soderling, just blasting winners from everywhere. There's a few players right now who can play a similar style, but not as good as Soderling: Karatsev and Basilashvilli come to mind, even Khachanov. The issue isn't play style, it's mentality. Serving out a match against Rafa in an RG final has to be the most difficult feat in tennis. Nobody's ever done it!
So far Basilashvili played 5 sets against Nadal on clay, and won just 2 (!!!) games. Nadal will really have to play bad in order to lose to him in RG. It's likely Nadal will play bad though, because he turns 35 soon.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Assuming from henceforth on, Nadal’s only hope of a slam is at RG.

The chances of him getting 21 in 21 = 95%
The chances of him getting 22 in 22 = 66%
The chances of him getting 23 in 23 = 33%
The chances of him getting 24 in 24 = 5%
.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
I really hope it ends the way we've all been hoping for it to end: an epic 5-set final, Wimbledon 08-style passing of the torch to Thiem.
Dominic has a son? Because Dominic's window is closed. He is too old and not good enough.

Let's think about which kind of player Rafa is most vulnerable against. Big power players who find the zone against him.

A likely candidate is Karatsev.
 

James P

Legend
Wouldn't be shocked if he won it all, wouldn't be shocked if he lost in the QF or SF this year. He's the betting favorite, even against the entire field, but he's also old. I do think if he makes the final at 2021 RG, he has about a 99.9999999% chance of winning.
 

JaoSousa

Hall of Fame
He's won four in a row. Rafa needs two more to get the record of most consecutive wins at one slam, which he shares with Federer, who has two streaks of 5 in a row at Wimbledon and the US Open. Federer also made the final the sixth year, which Rafa wasn't able to do in 2015.

I think he'll definitely win this year, but may lose in the SF or F next year.
 
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