Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

Rafa always had problems with knees, but this time it looks more serious than ever. (I hope it's only uncle Toni's "mind games", as some posters suggest.)

Assuming Rafa has real problem now, can he change his unique style that made him the best player to phisically less demanding style (more flat low percentage shots, better serve and more volleys)? Did that kind of transition ever happen successfully in tennis history for top player?
Rafa is still relatively young player...
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:14 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

Rafa's already formed as a tennis player, for him to radically change is 99% impossible, you can't ask him to stop running after every ball or putting topspin on his forehand

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:15 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

If he tries that transition I don't think it will be a very succesful one. It will take a year, maybe two for him to get a rhythm going.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:17 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

I don't recall this every happening before. I've seen guys adjust their tactics and maybe make some subtle changes in style as they age, but nothing to the extent of the changes you described.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:18 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

if he could serve better or volley better he would have done it regardless of his playing style.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:21 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

yeah hes going to play right handed, develop a great topspin backhand, dominate fed's backhand and the tour for 5 more years
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

23 is not relatively young in tennis terms, and I can't remember anything like that ever happening. The closest would probably be Borg serve and volleying at Wimbledon, but he still played his typical baseline style on other surfaces. However passing shots are much easier now than they were then thanks largely to the changes in technology. Now players can pass from a full stretch 10 feet behind the baseline which was simply impossible 30 years ago. For someone who is not a natural volleyer, he will have a pretty steep learning curve trying to figure out when to come to net and how to position himself once he gets there. As far as radically altering strokes, that is probably out of the question at this point.

Football is one of the few areas of life where even if you're untutored, you can go to a ground and see George Best beat three men, and you can realise, 'I have seen genius.'
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:26 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

he has shown before that he can make serve and volley, hit flat shots and dictate the points, he obviously can do it what he need is to gain confidence to make this more common in every match, and obviously hard but he can let behind at least a 30% percent of his marathons in the court.

he won't became sampras or navarro-pastor but would be a good way to reduce the fatigue.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?



People here know so much about tennis.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

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I don't recall this every happening before. I've seen guys adjust their tactics and maybe make some subtle changes in style as they age, but nothing to the extent of the changes you described.
Who for example?
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if he could serve better or volley better he would have done it regardless of his playing style.
You are right for serve, but maybe he could be less selective when he wants to approach net.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:31 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

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he has shown before that he can make serve and volley, hit flat shots and dictate the points.
When has he shown this? Do you have a particular match in mind? The only time I see him come to net is when the opponent is way out of position and he has an easy put away that 100% of pro players could make.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

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he has shown before that he can make serve and volley, hit flat shots and dictate the points, he obviously can do it what he need is to gain confidence to make this more common in every match, and obviously hard but he can let behind at least a 30% percent of his marathons in the court.

he won't became sampras or navarro-pastor but would be a good way to reduce the fatigue.
That is what I had on mind.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:38 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

he has to curb his physical effort, but I don't think he will be able to change much of his playing style

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:40 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

Being realistic, it's certainly not happening.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 09:47 PM
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Re: Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

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Who for example?

You are right for serve, but maybe he could be less selective when he wants to approach net.
Roddick right now is adjusting his style subtly and changing his tactics as he ages. He's making an effort to play differently, but it's not as drastic as what's being suggested here.

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