Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard courts"? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard courts"?

Now I'm not disputing the comment....

But I see very few players actually change their game when on different surfaces. Guys like Ferrer, Robredo, Moya etc do the same.

And unless my eyes deceive me, players like Djokovic and Blake play exactly the same way on clay as they do on hard.

The only guy I'd say who possibly changes his game depending on the surface is Federer, I guess that's credit to his variation.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:45 AM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

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Originally Posted by adee-gee View Post
Now I'm not disputing the comment....

But I see very few players actually change their game when on different surfaces. Guys like Ferrer, Robredo, Moya etc do the same.

And unless my eyes deceive me, players like Djokovic and Blake play exactly the same way on clay as they do on hard.

The only guy I'd say who possibly changes his game depending on the surface is Federer, I guess that's credit to his variation.
You are probably right.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:57 AM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

Probably because he does for the most part, the main difference is that Nadal knows he has to be more aggressive on the hardcourts, but finds it more difficult to do so than on grass for example.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:58 AM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

It is because Nadal is ranked no. 2 and has won the last 3 French Opens.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 11:07 AM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

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Originally Posted by adee-gee View Post
Now I'm not disputing the comment....

But I see very few players actually change their game when on different surfaces. Guys like Ferrer, Robredo, Moya etc do the same.

And unless my eyes deceive me, players like Djokovic and Blake play exactly the same way on clay as they do on hard.

The only guy I'd say who possibly changes his game depending on the surface is Federer, I guess that's credit to his variation.

No, you are completly right. the thing is, nobody ever claims those other guys changes their style. With Rafa, all you hear in the media whenever he has a great wimbledon run or whenever he wins a hardcourt tourney. "Wow! look, he actualy changed his forehand patern 2 centimeters to the left and added 1 grade of topsin to make the ball land faster and feel heavier to the opponent's racket! he made a ridiculous change, he is adapting to every surface!"

So naturaly, after hearing people get on his nuts that badly, its logical people with common sense will come out of the woodwork and state the obvious. Rafa is just so good at clay that his game translates well to other surfaces. cos he is an animal. simple as that. but he does not change one fucking thing. he just runs more, gets more tired, gets more injured and sucks a bit more

Also, Rafa draws from momentum, he does well in wimbledon because he comes from wining the french open and a spectacular clay season. and thats how he is, he draws a lot from his confidence, which is why soon after loosing in wimbledon, he sucks for the rest of the season and the begining of next season until clay starts again.

And yea, Federer is the only player who visibly, to any 5 year old who has never seen tennis in his life. changes his style while playing clay. he starts sliding and runing more and taking it easier with the ball, playing a more paced game.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

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No, you are completly right. the thing is, nobody ever claims those other guys changes their style. With Rafa, all you hear in the media whenever he has a great wimbledon run or whenever he wins a hardcourt tourney. "Wow! look, he actualy changed his forehand patern 2 centimeters to the left and added 1 grade of topsin to make the ball land faster and feel heavier to the opponent's racket! he made a ridiculous change, he is adapting to every surface!"

So naturaly, after hearing people get on his nuts that badly, its logical people with common sense will come out of the woodwork and state the obvious. Rafa is just so good at clay that his game translates well to other surfaces. cos he is an animal. simple as that. but he does not change one fucking thing. he just runs more, gets more tired, gets more injured and sucks a bit more

Also, Rafa draws from momentum, he does well in wimbledon because he comes from wining the french open and a spectacular clay season. and thats how he is, he draws a lot from his confidence, which is why soon after loosing in wimbledon, he sucks for the rest of the season and the begining of next season until clay starts again.

And yea, Federer is the only player who visibly, to any 5 year old who has never seen tennis in his life. changes his style while playing clay. he starts sliding and runing more and taking it easier with the ball, playing a more paced game.
I would give Nadal a little bit more credit, I agree he doesn't make massive changes for Wimbledon but I would say he deserves praise for standing a hell of a lot closer to the baseline for grass than he does on other surfaces.

Other than that, I can't argue with what you say.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 11:22 AM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

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I would give Nadal a little bit more credit, I agree he doesn't make massive changes for Wimbledon but I would say he deserves praise for standing a hell of a lot closer to the baseline for grass than he does on other surfaces.

Other than that, I can't argue with what you say.
Yea I am sure I probably exagerated, he is a pro after all and must know he HAS to do some changes, also I guess the surface in wimbledon kinda forces you to play differently even if you dont try to do it. either that or you lose in a tripple bagel I guess.. but yeah, you are right. it's just the media makes it seem like he becomes a different player.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 11:27 AM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

I never thought he would be that successful on faster surfaces to be honest.
In the past players HAD to change their games to have any kind of success on various surfaces.

You'll say I do it to discredit Nadal but to me it only shows how small the differences between surfaces have become more than anything else that a player whose major weapon is extreme topspin enjoys that much success on grass and hard.

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It's a sport after all and while it is very important for the players, the only reason they make money (and I mean tennis as a whole) it's because it's entertainment for us, the fans. So if we're watching, I rather watch something that pleases the eye, who gives a shit if a BOSS hotass model takes 5 more seconds in geting the ball to the player in Madrid? I'd rather wait those extra 5 seconds seeing those boobies bounce than watching some fatass kid burn away his bigmac meal.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 12:01 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

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I never thought he would be that successful on faster surfaces to be honest.
In the past players HAD to change their games to have any kind of success on various surfaces.

You'll say I do it to discredit Nadal but to me it only shows how small the differences between surfaces have become more than anything else that a player whose major weapon is extreme topspin enjoys that much success on grass and hard.
That's true. that is HIS main weapon but it drives everyone insane.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 12:03 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

Adam, right you are. Few if any players significantly alter their game dependent on surface. Even Roger, who does to some extent, still plays pretty much a hard court game on clay. It's just that he does it so well, that he wins quite often.

The difference with Rafa is that his game is SO effective on clay, that by comparison (even though he consistently makes semis and finals on other surfaces) his game looks almost weak when he plays on hard courts.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 12:10 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

This isn't an issue that is exclusive to switching surfaces. A lot of players don't change their game period. Sampras didn't change his game in the two US Open finals he lost to Safin and Hewitt. He got passed basically everytime but was winning a lot of the baseline rallies, yet he insisted on rushing the net and subsequently got embarressed in straight sets.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 01:16 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

It is simply because he is world number 2, and always states how he wants to make an impact on non-clay surfaces. Some players don't change their game and are happy with the title 'specialist', Rafa isn't one of them.

His desire to improve on other surfaces has got to be respected. However he will probably get a bit of unfair critism because of it.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 02:06 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

What happens when the Clay Monster tries to win on hard or grass? He keeps his game and he doesn't do that bad.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 02:22 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

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What happens when the Clay Monster tries to win on hard or grass? He keeps his game and he doesn't do that bad.
that bad? two wimbledon finals...

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 02:55 PM
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Re: Why do you always hear the comment "Nadal plays his clay court game on hard court

Making slight adjustments (which great players do from surface to surface) is different than changing your essential game (which very few players will do). Part of being a top player is coming to an understanding of your strengths and the patterns of play that will lead to success. Usually foolish to abandon that overnight...

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