At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

I think Nadal is starting to show signs of having great resistance to aging, just like Federer. At 26 years old he is playing as good tennis as he ever did on the red clay and dominating like it has never been seen winning 50+ sets in a row on red clay. His longevity on the surface with 8 completely dominant years is absolutely beyond anything ever seen in tennis.

But how long can it last? Can you grind effectively on claycourts at the age of 30-32? Where will Nadal be at this age, I will put a list of old claycourt champs and their results at this age and when they started to crumble to gravity, just to meassure the odds against him as the years go by:

Borg at 30+:

Since long retired, actually retired at 25 and made some poor halfhearthed attempts returning at 27-28 losing in early rounds in Monte Carlo.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:25

Lendl at 30+:

In 89 when he was 29 he lost to 17-year old Chang in RG 4th round and was straight setted by Svensson in QF at 28 in RG, he really stopped beeing succesfull on clay after he won Monte Carlo at 28. At 32-33 he lost against journeymen in RG and at 30-31 he didnt even participate in the tournament focusing on faster surfaces.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:28

Vilas at 30+:

Still competitive, but without titles. Reached Barcelona final and lost in QF to Higueras in RG. Good longevity on claycourt, in 1982 he reached the final at 30 just like Federer 2011.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:30

Muster at 30+:

A shadow of his former self but still managed to find a way to find RG QF losing to Mantilla there. He never won any title on clay after 29 (but actually won some big tournaments on hardcourt at 30 like Miami and Dubai), the first half of 1996 was his last moment to shine on the red clay.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:29

Wilander at 30+:

Aged so badly, he actually never won a clay title again after he turned 24. At 30+ he was losing to the likes of Wayne Ferreira in the 1st round of RG.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:24

Bruguera at 30+:

Another grinder with horrible aging, alot due to injuries. Bruguera actually won his last claycourt title at 23, he had some last glimpses of greatness in 97 when he was 26 like Rafa today. At 30 he was playing challengers and losing in 1st rounds in RG.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:23 (seemed to ressurect in RG at 26, but kind of a false last glimpse of light)

Courier at 30+:

Not as much a claycourter as those previously mentioned. Anyway, he was another young grinder who succumbed to age at a much younger age than Nadal today, after one last good year at 23 in 1993 he declined very fast. At the age of 27-28 he was losing in 1st rounds in RG.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:23

Kuerten at 30+:

After so many years fighting injury he finally retired at 32. His last great year on clay was 2001 at 25. At 29-32 he was losing in 1st rounds on claycourts around the world.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:25

Ferrero at 30+:

Still fighting hard to get back to somekind of decent result on clay at 32. But failing hard and while he still wins some MM tournaments here and there he really stopped beeing elite after 2003 when he was 23 years old.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:23

Coria at 30+:

Just like so many other claycourt specialists nagged with injury problems just before his mid 20s, had one last year to shine in 2005 when he was 23.

Age when he stopped beeing elite on clay:23


So out of all those 10 mentioned 6 were no longer elite at a far younger age than Rafa and another one (Borg) had retired. Only 3 (Muster, Lendl and Vilas) were competitive on the surface past Rafa's age and Muster/Lendl had their last great year at 28/29 only Vilas was still great at 30 (and still good at 31), so Rafa has definetly beat the odds. Most players have 2-3 great years on claycourt, Rafa had almost a decade by now and is still going strong.

I think Federer beeing around and still succesfull on clay has made us forget that Rafa and even Nole are way above avarage for beeing claycourt elites, look at this graph of RG finalists:

http://www.tennis28.com/charts/finalist_ageslam.GIF

This year it is 25,5 years, older avarage age than all years since 1973 (except 2011 and 2000)!

look at the avarage age for RG semfinalists:

http://www.tennis28.com/charts/sf_ageslam.GIF

This year it was exactly 28 which is way above any year since 1968!

How long will it last? Rafa is just 4 years away from 30, what is your prediction for Rafa at 30? Can he atleast reach RG final like Federer and Vilas did?

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.

Last edited by sexybeast; 06-09-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:30 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

This is tough to predict. If you asked me this in 2005, I'd say every year is a blessing.

But from now, I dunno. A lot will depend on tomorrow's result. If he wins, maybe he will still be great on clay for the next 2-3 years? Maybe more? But if he loses, I dunno. Losing all 4 slams to Nole even RG? Mentally would be tough to come back from.

As a Nadal fan, everything after 2011 has been gravy, to be honest.

I'd actually like to see him win more non-clay slams and get back to #1, strengthen his GOAT resume more. But he is so tough mentally, and his scheduling has gotten more intelligent over the years, so who knows?

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

The story of Nadal's great aging is only shadowed by Federer's greatness at 31. It is actually a great story, Nadal has beaten the odds ever since 2009.

Even Djokovic has survived longer than most grinders at 25.

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

People thought that Nadal would be physically burn out 5 years ago. He is still strong physically.

The mental will be gone before his physical abilities. It already started to decline while Nadal is still at his peak physically.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:39 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

Wow cheers for that Sexybeast. This just underscores Rafa's utter dominance on clay. All those people falling off the clay radar in their early to mid 20's Well there are no great clay court players out there to challenge Rafa, so I can see his dominance continuing well into his 30's. None of the juniors are showing any promise either. So you'll have people like Almagro and Juan Monaco left when the likes of Fed/Ferrer retire (not that they were any good against Rafa either)...Scary stuff.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:41 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

No. He will retire by then. Relax by the sea on his Spanish island.

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He probably just hangs about in 2nd place protecting himself with 3 bananas whilst waiting for the person in the lead to get blue shelled.
1. Murray wins Wimbledon 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by Querrey. Thanks Querrey!

2. Murray wins Olympic Gold for the second time after Djokovic is blue shelled by Del Potro. Thanks Del Potro!

3. Murray wins US Open 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by [pending]. Thanks [pending]!

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:41 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

Regardless of the result on Sunday, I can still see Rafa winning RG in his 40's.

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

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Wow cheers for that Sexybeast. This just underscores Rafa's utter dominance on clay. All those people falling off the clay radar in their early to mid 20's Well there are no great clay court players out there to challenge Rafa, so I can see his dominance continuing well into his 30's. None of the juniors are showing any promise either. So you'll have people like Almagro and Juan Monaco left when the likes of Fed/Ferrer retire (not that they were any good against Rafa either)...Scary stuff.
Almagro and Monaco since long is also past peak on clay.

We really have no talented claycourter at normal peak age on the surface which is 21-24. But just make sure that when these players declined on clay (Coria, Kuerten, Ferrero, Wilander, Courier, Bruguera) no specific player was there to stop them, suddenly they couldnt beat anyone and lost to journeymen in early rounds.

Djokovic will be the one to challenge Nadal, but he will be 26 next year and has in my opinion shown signs of decline already this year (or maybe I am mistaken like I was about Rafa 2011).

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:48 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

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Regardless of the result on Sunday, I can still see Rafa winning RG in his 40's.
Yep. In doubles or Seniors tour of course

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He probably just hangs about in 2nd place protecting himself with 3 bananas whilst waiting for the person in the lead to get blue shelled.
1. Murray wins Wimbledon 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by Querrey. Thanks Querrey!

2. Murray wins Olympic Gold for the second time after Djokovic is blue shelled by Del Potro. Thanks Del Potro!

3. Murray wins US Open 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by [pending]. Thanks [pending]!

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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 03:59 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

Well, Ferrer is a typical grinder, he's 30 and showing no signs of decline, managed even his first ever SF here. With some luck (not being in Nadal's draw/catching Fed/Nole off guard), who knows, maybe he could've been in the finals even. If he could do it, don't see why others couldn't

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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 04:22 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

I don't think he will have enough motivation.
If he wins one more title he will already be the greatest ever at this tournament and on this surface. What more would he have to prove?
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 04:25 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

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I don't think he will have enough motivation.
If he wins one more title he will already be the greatest ever at this tournament and on this surface. What more would he have to prove?
wouldn't he want 17GS? I would!

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He probably just hangs about in 2nd place protecting himself with 3 bananas whilst waiting for the person in the lead to get blue shelled.
1. Murray wins Wimbledon 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by Querrey. Thanks Querrey!

2. Murray wins Olympic Gold for the second time after Djokovic is blue shelled by Del Potro. Thanks Del Potro!

3. Murray wins US Open 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by [pending]. Thanks [pending]!

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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 04:33 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

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wouldn't he want 17GS? I would!
Not if the majority are at RG.
And he won't reach that number anyway.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 04:36 PM
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Re: At 30+ you think Nadal will still have a shot at Roland Garros title?

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Not if the majority are at RG.
And he won't reach that number anyway.
He's 26, he has 10, could be 11 in 24 hours. Say he plays until 30, he will probably win a few more French Opens. He is beast on grass, will probably win a few more Wimbledon's . That's nearly 16. Don't forget the young generation aren't exactly pulling trees. Rafa still has a good chance to equal with Rodger or go one better.

On Murray
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamvol View Post
He probably just hangs about in 2nd place protecting himself with 3 bananas whilst waiting for the person in the lead to get blue shelled.
1. Murray wins Wimbledon 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by Querrey. Thanks Querrey!

2. Murray wins Olympic Gold for the second time after Djokovic is blue shelled by Del Potro. Thanks Del Potro!

3. Murray wins US Open 2016 after Djokovic is blue shelled by [pending]. Thanks [pending]!

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