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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I'm really amazed how Nadal won this year's US Open without dropping a set until the final round. I thought he would struggle against the many big hitters out there who can cause damage on hard courts. Djokovic gave everything in that final and hit some big winners in the 2nd set.

But, as I mentioned in my article, Nadal was able to transform his game on the hard courts based around his serve.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/4...en-hard-courts

But what really amazes me and I'm sure many others, is Nadal's almost obsession to keep improving his game. After all, he's number 1 in the world and was also number 1 between 2008 and 2009 and despite that achievement, has worked on his game hard enough to improve his serve out of all recognition which shocked every opponent he played the last two weeks. Plus Nadal's willingness to come forward to take the ball out of the air to volley - and use the sliced backhand. How many double handers have we seen over the years who refuse to use the sliced backhand? and come unstuck against a good all court player?

So I really think Nadal is a lesson not just to Tennis players but to everyone in life. But in Tennis terms, Nadal has to be a lesson to those players (and we know who they are) who often say that they have got to where they are with the game they have and don't need to make any further improvements or adjustments - everything will work out fine in the end.

There is one other player who I think this year has also tried to make many adjustments to her game and was prepared to do it. That player is Jelena Jankovic, unfortunately for her, her problem is that she's nuts! But at least she's trying and I give her credit for that.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:37 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

Jelena Jankovic and Nadal do not belong in the same sentence. Nadal is one of the most devastating baseliners to ever play the game with one of the most lethal forehands ever. Jelena Jankovic is a pusher who, along with Safina, forever tainted WTA world #1 spot with her muggery.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:41 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

digresion: JJ needs a serve, otherwise fine player with nice shots.

Yes, that maybe is Nadal's biggest asset - the fact that he strives to improve his game constantly, whether he's won Umag or the Career Grand Slam.

He's not overestimating his ability
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:43 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I think the majority of the players (at least the younger ones, say 26- of age) are working on their games, not just Nadal. That's the way people climb the rankings or achieve their goals (wining US Open in Nadal's case).
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

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Originally Posted by Topspindoctor View Post
Jelena Jankovic and Nadal do not belong in the same sentence. Nadal is one of the most devastating baseliners to ever play the game with one of the most lethal forehands ever. Jelena Jankovic is a pusher who, along with Safina, forever tainted WTA world #1 spot with her muggery.
You're missing the point of what I wrote. I'm saying Jankovic is willing to make improvements to try to get to the next level, I'm not comparing her game to Nadal's obviously.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

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I think the majority of the players (at least the younger ones, say 26- of age) are working on their games, not just Nadal. That's the way people climb the rankings or achieve their goals (wining US Open in Nadal's case).
Well I think some work harder than others - a lot of players rely on their natural talent and believe they don't have to improve as much as they actually do need to improve to get to the next level.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:59 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

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Well I think some work harder than others - a lot of players rely on their natural talent and believe they don't have to improve as much as they actually do need to improve to get to the next level.
Obviously there are some exceptionally talented players that fully float on their talents, but I do believe that working very hard is the main reason that most of the players in the top-100 in the first place. Further Nadal made some huge steps mainly on his serve, but who knows other players did try just as hard, but with less improvement in the end (Djokovic' serve for example)? I think it is hard to judge the will to improve of any player, since we don't have information on how hard they train.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:10 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I agree. As Fed fan I admit Rafa has really improved his game, and he's still remaining humble enough to say he still can he improve.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:17 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

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Originally Posted by laurie-1 View Post
Well I think some work harder than others - a lot of players rely on their natural talent and believe they don't have to improve as much as they actually do need to improve to get to the next level.
Exactly, and as I like to point out - talent is fictional.

There's nothing without hard work. Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by borracho View Post
Obviously there are some exceptionally talented players that fully float on their talents, but I do believe that working very hard is the main reason that most of the players in the top-100 in the first place. Further Nadal made some huge steps mainly on his serve, but who knows other players did try just as hard, but with less improvement in the end (Djokovic' serve for example)? I think it is hard to judge the will to improve of any player, since we don't have information on how hard they train.
The Rankings.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:35 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

Rankings don't reflect training hours. In fact, maybe Nadal just made a minor adjustment to his serve to achieve this improvement instead of hundreds of training hours (taking the ball higher or tossing the ball more in front of him for example). Or maybe Rajeev Ram is training like a madman, but still doesn't improve his game much.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:38 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

i was trying to make more of a talent vs hard work point.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 01:53 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I've always said that Rafa's biggest weapon is his will.
Firstly he was a so called clay courter

But he had Davis Cup in his mind and he won it, then it was Wimbledon, then people start to brag out how much of a mug he was outside clay and grass for losing vs. the likes of Blake and suddenly one day he quit losing vs. these guys and won Olympics and Aus Open with an epic semi and a remarkable final.

After that, in Madrid he was over, finished, and suddenly in Monte Carlo he starts an amazing race that at the moment finishes with him winning in NY.
His only limit is his ambition and he's got a hell lot of it!!!

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 05:05 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I agree fantastic!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 05:43 PM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I heard some commentator say 'He tries to improve his game, and implements it on the big stage', which is quite something when you see the matches. His slice used to float a LOT a couple of years back. In the 2008 Wimbledon final, each and every time time he hit the slice, Roger would step in and spank the inside-out forehand. It is a far more effective shot now, but the important thing is, he kept hitting the shot till he grew more confident and accurate with it. It still does not bite like Federer's does, though.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2010, 03:50 AM
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Re: Nadal's improvements to his game a lesson for everyone

I agree. Rafa and Uncle Toni never stop improving the game. Rafa in 2004 is not Rafa in 2006 and 2008 is not 2006. I thought 2008 was his peak but in 2010 he improved his serve, his schedule, he shortened the time he spends in court till the final. Rafa is a real champion to never lose hope after reaching 2 Wimbledon finals. He also managed to be the youngest one to win all Grand Slams.

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Last edited by @Sweet Cleopatra; 09-17-2010 at 06:39 AM.
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