Originally Posted by careergrandslam
can we pinpoint nole's turning point in 2008 after his amazing run during the early part of that season.
was it the defeat to rafa in hamburg or was it the roland garros loss to rafa or was it that awful loss to safin at wimbledon?
i reckon his losses to rafa at hamburg, roland garros, queens and loss to safin was the turning point.
I think the turning point was firstly the loss at Hamburg 2008 SF to Rafa (the first battle for the #2 ranking), I doubt RG would have had much of an impact on him (no way is Nole beating Rafa over best of 5 sets, he does not have the stamina nor mentality to pull out a win).
The loss at the Queens final surely had an effect on Nole, it was a fast court, so a lot of people would have picked Nole to prevail over Rafa, I know that I did.
There is a pattern with both the Hamburg SF and Queens F matches, Nole was up 3-0 in the 1st set in both matches, had chances to get the double break for a 4-0 lead, but just could not pull through, and Rafa was too tough for Nole to handle.
Other matches I would like to mention are losing in the second round in Wimbledon 2008 to Safin no doubt knocked his big ego at the time down a few notches, at that time, he had made 5 consecutive grand slam SF, and was expected by many to get to the SF to face Federer.
Also, losing to Rafa at the Olympics SF had a huge effect on him, Nole so badly wanted the gold medal, the fact is that Rafa beat Nole at his own game on a fast HC (Nole's best surface), which had to shatter Nole's confidence even more.
And the US Open incident with Roddick, we all know what happened after that, Nole has become soft, he is passive and I do not feel that his game has improved in any way at all, if anything, his game has regressed, his forehand sucks these days, and his serve is nothing compared to what it used to be...oh Nole
Lets just say Rafa has played a HUGE part for Nole's loss of confidence, Nole is simply unable to beat Rafa in the big matches (countless matches on clay in 2009, Olympics SF, Hamburg SF for #2 ranking, Queens F where Nole was favourite to win).