Is Nadal really mentally as tough as people claim? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is Nadal really mentally as tough as people claim?

rwn
09-14-2007, 10:46 AM
Here are Nadal's grand slam losses on hardcourt 2005-2007:

AO 2005 Hewitt 5-7,6-3,6-1,6-7,2-6
USO 2005 Blake 4-6,6-3,3-6,1-6
USO 2006 Youzhny 3-6,7-5,6-7,1-6
AO 2007 Gonzalez 2-6,4-6,3-6
USO 2007 Ferrer 7-6,4-6,6-7,2-6

Nadal basically collapsed in almost all of these matches. Several times after losing an important tiebreak. This doesn't look like enormous mental strength to me. At least not on hardcourt.

Adler
09-14-2007, 10:50 AM
His gamestyle makes him mentally tough, but it's possible to discourage him (like in matches you mentioned)

But beware, I started similar thread a year ago and got dissed ;)

Eden
09-14-2007, 10:52 AM
Here are Nadal's grand slam losses on hardcourt 2005-2007:

AO 2005 Hewitt 5-7,6-3,6-1,6-7,2-6
USO 2005 Blake 4-6,6-3,3-6,1-6
USO 2006 Youzhny 3-6,7-5,6-7,1-6
AO 2007 Gonzalez 2-6,4-6,3-6
USO 2007 Ferrer 7-6,4-6,6-7,2-6

Nadal basically collapsed in almost all of these matches. Several times after losing an important tiebreak. This doesn't look like enormous mental strength to me. At least not on hardcourt.

Be prepared for the comments that he got outplayed on hardcourt and that the result of the match had nothing to do with mental strength.

rwn
09-14-2007, 10:56 AM
Be prepared for the comments that he got outplayed on hardcourt and that the result of the match had nothing to do with mental strength.

I'm aware of that. I'm just sick of people claiming that Federer is mentally weak without evidence. I give evidence for my claim that Nadal is mentally not as strong as people claim.

BlueSwan
09-14-2007, 10:56 AM
I don't think a factor such as mental strength can be isolated from other factors such as surface and match-ups. Pete Sampras is generally recognized as a mental giant, but obviously he felt much more confident on grass than on clay. Likewise with Nadal, who is obviously much more confident on clay and for some reason seem to have confidence issues on hard courts since last year.

Match-ups also means something. Federer can bring his C-game to a match against one of his bitches and know that he can always pull a win out of his ass if he comes under pressure. On the other hand, Federer seems to lack confidence when playing Nadal.

But generally speaking, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all appear to be very strong mentally.

Farenhajt
09-14-2007, 10:56 AM
In my opinion, in order to be mentally tough, you must have faith in your general play: "I have the tools and weapons, I just have to keep my focus, go unruined until the opportunity comes, and then seize it." And I don't think Nadal has faith in his fastcourt play (not yet, at least), so he often appears mentally weak, which in general case he isn't.

Adler
09-14-2007, 10:59 AM
I'm just sick of people claiming that Federer is mentally weak without evidence. I give evidence for my claim that Nadal is mentally not as strong as people claim
And that's the thing. Now let's just hope people won't have problems with reading comprehension

for example:

you wrote: "Nadal is mentally not as strong as people claim"
some folks here will read it as "Nadal is not strong mentally"

you wrote: "I'm just sick of people claiming that Federer is mentally weak without evidence"
people will read it as "Federer is the strongest mentally guy on the tour"

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:09 AM
And that's the thing. Now let's just hope people won't have problems with reading comprehension

for example:

you wrote: "Nadal is mentally not as strong as people claim"
some folks here will read it as "Nadal is not strong mentally"

you wrote: "I'm just sick of people claiming that Federer is mentally weak without evidence"
people will read it as "Federer is the strongest mentally guy on the tour"

I'm not saying he's mentally weak. You can't be if you win grand slam tournaments.

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:10 AM
In my opinion, in order to be mentally tough, you must have faith in your general play: "I have the tools and weapons, I just have to keep my focus, go unruined until the opportunity comes, and then seize it." And I don't think Nadal has faith in his fastcourt play (not yet, at least), so he often appears mentally weak, which in general case he isn't.

I agree. Some people just act if it's independent of the surface you play on. That's just not true.

Kalliopeia
09-14-2007, 11:12 AM
While I do think Rafa is prone to confidence issues on hard courts, I also think that the Ferrer match shouldn't be included in that. He literally collapsed at one point in that one. That wasn't mental.

stebs
09-14-2007, 11:13 AM
I have said it over and over again and no-one ever listens and I agree with you.

Confidence is a huge factor in mental toughness and particularly with Nadal it is the case. I mean the same is true when you see Federer mentally stronger than Nadal at Wimbledon and yet at RG he is as tough as Calleri.

On clay Nadal controls his opponents on big points and even if they control him he comes up with shots almost on cue and that is just unbeliavable and heartbreaking for the opponent but it shows how tough he is mentally and all but then when we get to the hardcourts things change.

On HC when things get tough Nadal gets super-defensive and it is not a one off it is a very consistent theme and even in matches where he won a tight one that is how he did it. Watch the final games of any tight HC match and Nadal is scrambling around all over the place rather than being the aggressor.

Basically he asks the question of his opponent "do you have the balls to go through with this and hit big shots to win the match?"

If his opponent can do it then they will do it but frankly I don't think Nadal's tactic is bad. It means he can be outplayed but at the same time he forces opponents to hit huge shots when they are very nervous and there are a majority of players on tour for whom that is very, very difficult.

stebs
09-14-2007, 11:15 AM
While I do think Rafa is prone to confidence issues on hard courts, I also think that the Ferrer match shouldn't be included in that. He literally collapsed at one point in that one. That wasn't mental.

As I just stated in my previous post it isn't the same style of lack of confidence. It's not like when Paulo is mentally weak and hits the net 4 times in a row it is just a tendancy to be very defensive when things matter and yes that happened in the Ferrer match and no Nadal wasn't heavily effected in that match by injury.

Painwise it was clear he was feeling it and that hurts and I wish he was fully well but in terms of tennis it was a matter of playing through pain and if he was really hurting so much it effected his play he couldn't have played those tactics where he ran 10 foot behind the baseline and tried to grind out a win.

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:20 AM
I have said it over and over again and no-one ever listens and I agree with you.

Confidence is a huge factor in mental toughness and particularly with Nadal it is the case. I mean the same is true when you see Federer mentally stronger than Nadal at Wimbledon and yet at RG he is as tough as Calleri.

On clay Nadal controls his opponents on big points and even if they control him he comes up with shots almost on cue and that is just unbeliavable and heartbreaking for the opponent but it shows how tough he is mentally and all but then when we get to the hardcourts things change.

On HC when things get tough Nadal gets super-defensive and it is not a one off it is a very consistent theme and even in matches where he won a tight one that is how he did it. Watch the final games of any tight HC match and Nadal is scrambling around all over the place rather than being the aggressor.

Basically he asks the question of his opponent "do you have the balls to go through with this and hit big shots to win the match?"

If his opponent can do it then they will do it but frankly I don't think Nadal's tactic is bad. It means he can be outplayed but at the same time he forces opponents to hit huge shots when they are very nervous and there are a majority of players on tour for whom that is very, very difficult.

I agree. It's strange that Wilander never made comments about balls after a hardcourt performance from Nadal.;)

Eden
09-14-2007, 11:28 AM
It's strange that Wilander never made comments about balls after a hardcourt performance from Nadal.;)

Maybe because Mats isn't as confident in Nadals hardcourt abilites as in Rogers on clay.

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:29 AM
As I just stated in my previous post it isn't the same style of lack of confidence. It's not like when Paulo is mentally weak and hits the net 4 times in a row it is just a tendancy to be very defensive when things matter and yes that happened in the Ferrer match and no Nadal wasn't heavily effected in that match by injury.

Painwise it was clear he was feeling it and that hurts and I wish he was fully well but in terms of tennis it was a matter of playing through pain and if he was really hurting so much it effected his play he couldn't have played those tactics where he ran 10 foot behind the baseline and tried to grind out a win.

Exactly. If Nadal had been as injured as some people claim, he would have shortened the points as much as possible. He didn't.

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:33 AM
Maybe because Mats isn't as confident in Nadals hardcourt abilites as in Rogers on clay.

Maybe he overrates Federer on clay. Nadal is a natural on clay. Federer isn't.

Shantal
09-14-2007, 11:35 AM
Exactly. If Nadal had been as injured as some people claim, he would have shortened the points as much as possible. He didn't.

You mean like Federer claimed?
Because he was one of the people who said that Nadal had an injury problem. ;)

Eden
09-14-2007, 11:37 AM
On the other hand, Federer seems to lack confidence when playing Nadal.

But yet he was able to beat him two times in Wimbledon coming into the tournament with the disappointment to have lost the RG final ;)

It's amazing to see how Roger handles tough losses. Instead of suffering from them for a long time he is able to get over the defeat and prepare for the next tournament. He never looks back and is always ready for the next challenge.

stebs
09-14-2007, 11:37 AM
You mean like Federer claimed?
Because he was one of the people who said that Nadal had an injury problem. ;)

Painwise it was clear he was feeling it and that hurts and I wish he was fully well but in terms of tennis it was a matter of playing through pain and if he was really hurting so much it effected his play he couldn't have played those tactics where he ran 10 foot behind the baseline and tried to grind out a win.

There's a difference from being in pain and being affected.

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:37 AM
You mean like Federer claimed?
Because he was one of the people who said that Nadal had an injury problem. ;)

Read carefully what I wrote.

Castafiore
09-14-2007, 11:44 AM
But yet he was able to beat him two times in Wimbledon coming into the tournament with the disappointment to have lost the RG final
Ha, but that's when the "being mentally tough is not independent of the type of surface" argument can be used.

Roger feels more at home and at ease in Wimbledon, no?

Shantal
09-14-2007, 11:46 AM
Read carefully what I wrote.

I read it. ;)
But IMO, it is very difficult to say what would a player with Nadal's type of game do when feeling pain. It sounds logical to shorten the points. But it is not uncommon in certain situations for people to make illogical choices.
So the fact that he went back to the tactic that he felt most comfortable with is, as I said IMO, not the best way to judge the amount of pain he was in.

stebs
09-14-2007, 11:49 AM
Ha, but that's when the "being mentally tough is not independent of the type of surface" argument can be used.

Roger feels more at home and at ease in Wimbledon, no?

Absolutely no doubt to that and this is what I would argue for Federer and Nadal in the mental department:

Nadal on clay>Federer on grass>Federer on hard>Nadal on grass>Nadal on hardcourt>Federer on clay

This is when looking at the biggest matches on the biggest stages and a lot of these are very close and probably interchangeable but no doubt about it that the top two are certainly true and the same with the bottom two all though you could say they should be switched.

rwn
09-14-2007, 11:50 AM
Ha, but that's when the "being mentally tough is not independent of the type of surface" argument can be used.

Roger feels more at home and at ease in Wimbledon, no?

Of course. I haven't seen any Federer fan write otherwise.

Castafiore
09-14-2007, 11:51 AM
I haven't seen any Federer fan write otherwise.
In this particular thread? Nope.
I didn't claim that, did I? :angel:

rwn
09-14-2007, 12:01 PM
I read it. ;)
But IMO, it is very difficult to say what would a player with Nadal's type of game do when feeling pain. It sounds logical to shorten the points. But it is not uncommon in certain situations for people to make illogical choices.
So the fact that he went back to the tactic that he felt most comfortable with is, as I said IMO, not the best way to judge the amount of pain he was in.

OK. I believe he was in pain. But he was stil capable of running far behind the baseline, illogical choice or not. Anyway I listed all Nadal's losses in hardcourt grand slams the last 3 years. This is only one of them.

rwn
09-14-2007, 12:02 PM
In this particular thread? Nope.
I didn't claim that, did I? :angel:

you're right ;)

Bazooka
09-14-2007, 01:46 PM
My 2 cents is, Nadal is a BULL and a LION, not only on clay. He's been capable of amazing comebacks in hardcourts many times, like 2005 Madrid and 2006 Dubai finals, or some of his grass matches in 2006/2007. It's no evidence of anything to get his bigest losses as a sample.

The only problem is, most of you are comparing him to the swiss robot, which is the strongest minded player in the tour, and maybe in history. Rafa has a flaming heart, which can make him do the impossible. But it can also burn him in the end, and leave nothing but cold ashes.

About NY: he was posting in his blog the day before the match he had been very long out of home, and, literally, "too long", so for some reason I think he was sure he was going to lose. I think he is a mentally strong player but definitely he hasn't been himself in the last months. He's just 21, too.

Eden
09-14-2007, 01:51 PM
Ha, but that's when the "being mentally tough is not independent of the type of surface" argument can be used.

Roger feels more at home and at ease in Wimbledon, no?

Yes, of course Roger feels more comfortable on grass, but don't you think there must be a lot of pressure on his shoulders going into a final in Wimbledon against Nadal after he had prevented that Roger collected the only huge missing title in Paris? And then to play a 5th set against Nadal in Wimbledon, being down 15:40 twice and come up with the best tennis in this situation. That's really amazing :)

Bazooka
09-14-2007, 01:56 PM
About Wimbledon final, sorry but if it started all over again, I would bet on Nadal. Both players were alternatively up and down, it simply happened that Roger was the one to finish it. He was very close to get bageled in the fourth. Nothing to do with RG!!!

Castafiore
09-14-2007, 02:00 PM
That's really amazing :)
Sure, it is amazing. JMac used to say how tough it is to defend the number one ranking and Roge has been doing it with so much success for such a long time and still going strong. :)

You could also say that there's a huge amount of pressure on Rafa's shoulders to defend all those titles in the clay court season, that clay court streak they kept talking about during a big part of the two previous seasons, all those points to defend and the slam after seeing the clay court streak snap in Hamburg, in the midst of talk about Federer possibly doing the calendar slam by winning RG for example.
I think that it's safe to assume that both know what it feels like to perform under pressure.

However, that still doesn't alter the fact that Roger feels more at ease on grass and Rafa on clay.

trixtah
09-14-2007, 02:02 PM
And that's the thing. Now let's just hope people won't have problems with reading comprehension

for example:

you wrote: "Nadal is mentally not as strong as people claim"
some folks here will read it as "Nadal is not strong mentally"

you wrote: "I'm just sick of people claiming that Federer is mentally weak without evidence"
people will read it as "Federer is the strongest mentally guy on the tour"

lol just wait for some of the retards to enter this thread...page 5 will be a flame war

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 02:06 PM
Nadal did save like 20 break points in the French final this year. That requires plenty of mental energy.

Adler
09-14-2007, 02:07 PM
lol just wait for some of the retards to enter this thread...page 5 will be a flame war
yes, it's possible. Some of the haters/tards grew up, but don't worry - next ones are just waiting in line :)

Eden
09-14-2007, 02:14 PM
You could also say that there's a huge amount of pressure on Rafa's shoulders to defend all those titles in the clay court season, that clay court streak they kept talking about during a big part of the two previous seasons, all those points to defend and the slam after seeing the clay court streak snap in Hamburg, in the midst of talk about Federer possibly doing the calendar slam by winning RG for example.
I think that it's safe to assume that both know what it feels like to perform under pressure.


Of course there was a huge pressure on Rafa through the clay court season and it is really amazing that he was able to defend all his titles from the last year and even reached the final of Hamburg as well.
I don't know how important that streak was for him. In the end the titles are all what count.

Byrd
09-14-2007, 02:25 PM
He just can't hack it on hardcourt plain and simple, the speed of the courts and the constant defending has to chip away at you no matter how big your mental strength is, then the rafatards turn up the excuses of injury, jokers.

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 02:26 PM
Yes. Nadal is really mentally tough. It is not his fault that people expect him to perform like Roger on faster courts. Rafa relationship with Roger's career is, at the same time, a curse and a bless. Beating the number one over and over again helped his popularity and "aura" increase a lot (winning all those titles helped him too! :lol: ). And it is a curse, because if Nadal wasnt playing on Fed's era, some people wouldnt look at his fast courts achievements as "failure". Lets look at the last clay court king (Guga). Compare his non-clay court career with Nadal's. There you have it ...

rwn
09-14-2007, 02:32 PM
Nadal did save like 20 break points in the French final this year. That requires plenty of mental energy.

I wasn't talking about clay. Read my post.

Byrd
09-14-2007, 02:34 PM
Yes. Nadal is really mentally tough. It is not his fault that people expect him to perform like Roger on faster courts. Rafa relationship with Roger's career is, at the same time, a curse and a bless. Beating the number one over and over again helped his popularity and "aura" increase a lot (winning all those titles helped him too! :lol: ). And it is a curse, because if Nadal wasnt playing on Fed's era, some people wouldnt look at his fast courts achievements as "failure". Lets look at the last clay court king (Guga). Compare his non-clay court career with Nadal's. There you have it ...

His non-clay career is ok but nothing that stellar for such a 'great' player.

rwn
09-14-2007, 02:35 PM
About Wimbledon final, sorry but if it started all over again, I would bet on Nadal. Both players were alternatively up and down, it simply happened that Roger was the one to finish it. He was very close to get bageled in the fourth. Nothing to do with RG!!!

Federer won all the important points in this match, like Nadal won all the important points at Roland Garros. No Nadal or Federer fan can change that simple fact.

rwn
09-14-2007, 02:39 PM
Yes. Nadal is really mentally tough. It is not his fault that people expect him to perform like Roger on faster courts. Rafa relationship with Roger's career is, at the same time, a curse and a bless. Beating the number one over and over again helped his popularity and "aura" increase a lot (winning all those titles helped him too! :lol: ). And it is a curse, because if Nadal wasnt playing on Fed's era, some people wouldnt look at his fast courts achievements as "failure". Lets look at the last clay court king (Guga). Compare his non-clay court career with Nadal's. There you have it ...

Yes, he is mentally tough, But is he as tough as some people claim. The matches I mentioned suggest he isn't. He can be discouraged by his opponents.

MatchFederer
09-14-2007, 02:43 PM
I have alluded to this a few times. Nadal is not confident and consistent enough in producing and executing an aggressive game style on fast hardcourts. This does not make him mentally weak of course, but I think some people overlook this. It is definitely a degree of mental frailty which is caused by a lack of confidence in his own weapons and comfort zone on the fast hard court surfaces.

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 02:51 PM
Yes, he is mentally tough, But is he as tough as some people claim. The matches I mentioned suggest he isn't. He can be discouraged by his opponents.


All players can get discouraged by their opponents, specially if you are being outplayed. That match against Ferrer, for example, Nadal was very close of turning the tables. But Ferrer just kept his cool and fought Nadal off.

My definition of a tough player is: a guy who can turn the tables most of the times when the opportunity is presented. Rafa does that, IMO. Not always, but most of the time.

Thinking that Nadal never melts under pressure and never gets discouraged (aka that spartan shit) is as bad as thinking that Roger is perfect or that Sampras was this "mental giant" that played in a era of lions, while this era has only clowns.

groundstroke
09-14-2007, 02:57 PM
He's mentally tough on clay, on the others.. not so much.

FedFan_2007
09-14-2007, 03:17 PM
Let's see how Nadal does in 2008 on hardcourts. Then I'll render my judgement.

rwn
09-14-2007, 03:36 PM
All players can get discouraged by their opponents, specially if you are being outplayed. That match against Ferrer, for example, Nadal was very close of turning the tables. But Ferrer just kept his cool and fought Nadal off.

My definition of a tough player is: a guy who can turn the tables most of the times when the opportunity is presented. Rafa does that, IMO. Not always, but most of the time.

Thinking that Nadal never melts under pressure and never gets discouraged (aka that spartan shit) is as bad as thinking that Roger is perfect or that Sampras was this "mental giant" that played in a era of lions, while this era has only clowns.

Exactly. Nadal has shown nerves in matches, Sampras and Federer the same. Nadal more on fastcourts, Federer and Sampras more on clay.

MatchFederer
09-14-2007, 03:39 PM
There is no need to wait to make your judgement. As things currently stand, he shows a slight mental weakness of fast hardcourts. That can ALWAYS change next year, in which case you could change your current judgement (to be).

Rafa = Fed Killa
09-14-2007, 03:39 PM
Nadal is the only player with the balls to beat Federer in Grand Slam finals.

Do you idiots think Chokovich is mentally stronger?

FedFan_2007
09-14-2007, 03:41 PM
RFK, what is about clay you don't understand?

Rafa = Fed Killa
09-14-2007, 03:48 PM
RFK, what is about clay you don't understand?

I understand clay perfectly. It is my favorite surface to play on with (well I have played on green clay - not true red clay)

Clay requires intelligence and not just ball bashing skills like fast surfaces.

I have a thread which explains intelligence needed for slow court play compared to fast court play.

MatchFederer
09-14-2007, 03:53 PM
RFK best hope that Nadal doesn't display the same severity of mental weakness that he himself displayed after Nadal lost in 5 sets to Federer at Wimbledon, otherwise Nadal is in some serious trouble. He will come out to the next Slam in cross dress.

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 03:54 PM
Well. It doesnt get any more ironical than when R=FK says that he understands clay courts perfectly, and it is the surface that requires more intelligence.

Rafa = Fed Killa
09-14-2007, 03:55 PM
RFK best hope that Nadal doesn't display the same severity of mental weakness that he himself displayed after Nadal lost in 5 sets to Federer at Wimbledon, otherwise Nadal is in some serious trouble. He will come out to the next Slam in cross dress.

Sigh
I know Fedtards dont understand higher humor...but...

That was a satire on Tourmalante
(a Fedtard who quit the board after Fed lost to Nalby)

MatchFederer
09-14-2007, 03:56 PM
Yeah yeah you have told me this about 3 times now RFK. Reckon Nadal would look good in a pink dress?

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 03:59 PM
Do you idiots think Chokovich is mentally stronger?

Didn't take too long for you to turn on "Chokovich" :)

Johnny Groove
09-14-2007, 04:01 PM
The thing is, as people alluded to before, is confidence, plain and simple.

On clay, he is clearly the king, and on big points, he knows he's going to win them and he knows the opponent will get discouraged when he does. He comes up with insane shot after insane shot on big points, showing mental toughness, but it is also because of comfort on the surfrace and his confidence on the surface.

As for hard courts, not so much. He can employ his aggresive game that we've seen in IW and in matches here and there, but not consistently. And especially not in a big match, such as Ferrer or Youzhny last year. All injury BS aside, Nadal would have played the same way had he been 100% healthy. When the match on HC is tight, he moves back behind the baseline, where he is comfortable. Where he thinks he has the best chance of winning the point, like what he does on clay. He has yet to be able to get his confidence in his aggresive baseline game to be able to do it on big points in tight matches. He instead forces the opponent to make shot after shot getting through his impeccable defense, and if they do, they can beat him. :shrug:

That is not a bad strategy, but many times players do just that and can beat him. Time will tell when he will be able to feel more confident on HC and play aggresive and go for bigger shots. If he can smack a forehand inside out for a winner, throw down a 130 mph serve up the T (Hes done it before) and finish off with his unorthodox, but very effective, volleys.

We shall see

Rafa = Fed Killa
09-14-2007, 04:05 PM
Didn't take too long for you to turn on "Chokovich" :)

For every player I give positives and negatives depending on how they play and what they do.

Chokovich just made the negative with his last joke performance. Needs some positives in AO to make up for it.

Nadal and Murray are still in the positive.

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 04:08 PM
For every player I give positives and negatives depending on how they play and what they do.

Chokovich just made the negative with his last joke performance. Needs some positives in AO to make up for it.

Nadal and Murray are still in the positive.

Translation: I shouldn't had squeezed Nole's ball so hard at such a young age.

MatchFederer
09-14-2007, 04:09 PM
He shouldn't have even had his hands down there.

The_Nadal_effect
09-14-2007, 04:13 PM
Actually, Nole is very tough mentally. He showed what he could do in Miami. He was breaking down because of some outstanding grinding from Nadal, but still kept his head in place and won in two straight sets.

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 04:20 PM
Actually, Nole is very tough mentally. He showed what he could do in Miami. He was breaking down because of some outstanding grinding from Nadal, but still kept his head in place and won in two straight sets.
You can always identify one single match where it looks like a player has guts. Players need to do this effectively, consistently and especially on the big stage. Even PHM has had flashes of strong mentality if you want to look just at one match.
Djokovic had many chances (seven to be precise) to show his very tough mentality and blew all 7. He will have more chances, but premature to label him tough mentally.

The_Nadal_effect
09-14-2007, 04:36 PM
You can always identify one single match where it looks like a player has guts. Players need to do this effectively, consistently and especially on the big stage. Even PHM has had flashes of strong mentality if you want to look just at one match.
Djokovic had many chances (seven to be precise) to show his very tough mentality and blew all 7. He will have more chances, but premature to label him tough mentally.

What I am saying is that Djoke matches Nadal's grinding shot for shot, without breaking up himself. Although he does appear physically worn out and even falls out of breath, he doesn't appear like he has given up.

What I am saying is that he's certainly not mentally weak as most people claim.:) Wow, I find myself speaking in Nole's favour.:)

sawan66278
09-14-2007, 04:38 PM
You can always identify one single match where it looks like a player has guts. Players need to do this effectively, consistently and especially on the big stage. Even PHM has had flashes of strong mentality if you want to look just at one match.
Djokovic had many chances (seven to be precise) to show his very tough mentality and blew all 7. He will have more chances, but premature to label him tough mentally.


Darth Cheater, as much as I hate to admit, is mentally tough...by utilizing his cheating tactics of bouncing the ball 100 times for example, he is able to calm himself and distract his opponent. But, in the end, most often, he saves the critical points. See his tiebreak record overall this year.

With respect to Rafa, what happens on hardcourts (and I was in attendance at all three U.S. Open losses: the Blake match, the Misha, match, and the David match) is that Rafa DOES get down on himself if he goes down two sets to one. But more importantly, when the CROWD starts pulling for his opponent. In ALL three matches, the crowd was heavily for the underdog...and became more and more vocal the more likely it looked that Rafa was going down.

It appeared to me that Rafa lost heart in those matches (yes, I know injuries played a role in the David match...but look at match point where he tried a drop shot and lob instead of cranking a forehands...he wanted to get out of there). Is this a sign of "mental weakness"? I do believe that it is a sign of resignation on his part...and something he has to overcome if he wants to win either hard court Opens. On hard courts, he will have to be willing to fight through matches...even when down two sets to one or two sets to none.

And, if you think Roger is mentally tough, I don't really feel he is. There have MANY matches where he was broken when serving for matches or sets...and how many matches has Roger lost after HAVING match point? Quite a few. Roger's mental toughness comes from his ability to dominate on court. When someone challenges him, he often struggles. Thank God this was not the case last weekend against Darth Cheater. Perhaps times are a changin' for him...

Johnny Groove
09-14-2007, 04:40 PM
Darth Cheater :rolleyes: What a fucking stupid name. Darth Federer at least makes some sense.

And where is Nadal's Star Wars inspired nickname? :awww:

Hans Rafa? :o

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 04:43 PM
Darth Cheater, as much as I hate to admit, is mentally tough...by utilizing his cheating tactics of bouncing the ball 100 times for example, he is able to calm himself and distract his opponent. But, in the end, most often, he saves the critical points. See his tiebreak record overall this year.

Nice backhanded compliment :)

Djokovic does not have the best tiebreak record, there are many players better than him this year. Canas has the best, he is 15 and 4 (looking only at players with more than 5 tiebreaks played). Federer's is also better. The two Andy's records are also better. Even Tsongas's is better, and so is PHM's (17-6) and many other players'.

So no, I don't think he could be singled out for mental strength based on that, no more so than Tsonga I guess :D. He is in the same tiebreak range as Kohlschreiber and Zabaleta. I will give you this, he is as mentally strong as them.

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 04:45 PM
I remember when Nadal won his first MS tournament, at Monte Carlo, against Coria. Rafa was crushing Coria (6-3 6-1), and then, all of a sudden, he starts choking badly, losing the 3rd set 0-6 and, if I am not mistaken, being a break down on the 4th set. Back then, specially knowing that Rafa had lost a 2-0 sets lead against Roger, I thought: "if this kid loses this match, he will be tagged as a choker". However, Rafa showed his mental toughness by breaking back and winning the match and the tournament with a 7-5.

Johnny Groove
09-14-2007, 04:45 PM
Nice backhanded compliment :)

Djokovic does not have the best tiebreak record, there are many players better than him this year. Canas has the best, he is 15 and 4 (looking only at players with more than 5 tiebreaks played). Federer's is also better. The two Andy's records are also better. Even Tsongas's is better, and so is PHM's (17-6) and many other players'. So no, I don't think he could be singled out for mental strength based on that, no more so than Tsonga I guess :D

I think your logic here is a bit flawed :p

Sure Tsonga may have a better tb record, but who was it against? Clowns? Surely not Fed Nadal and Roddick, like Djokovic's were :p

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 04:50 PM
I think your logic here is a bit flawed :p

Sure Tsonga may have a better tb record, but who was it against? Clowns? Surely not Fed Nadal and Roddick, like Djokovic's were :p

Ah but if you want to condition on players, then the tiebreak thread that Voo de Mar made about Andy Roddick's tiebreak record --jinxed him, he was on a streak and the streak was broken in a dramatic way right after, after he was 2 sets and a break up at Wimbledon-- has the same problem. Roddick had tiebreaks against a lot of out of top 50 players, so the bigger question is why he was ending up in a tb at all.

Djokovic has had tiebreaks against top players, as well as others. He has lost tiebreaks to top players but also to others.

Johnny Groove
09-14-2007, 04:53 PM
Ah but if you want to condition on players, then the tiebreak thread that Voo de Mar made about Andy Roddick's tiebreak record --jinxed him, he was on a streak and the streak was broken in a dramatic way right after, after he was 2 sets and a break up at Wimbledon-- has the same problem. Roddick had tiebreaks against a lot of out of top 50 players, so the bigger question is why he was ending up in a tb at all.

Djokovic has had tiebreaks against top players, as well as others. He has lost tiebreaks to top players but also to others.

Because his serve is top 5 in the world and his return is crap :p

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 04:58 PM
Because his serve is top 5 in the world and his return is crap :p
Awww poor Andy. His return is not crap.... it's just others' returns are better. Relativity is important.

Johnny Groove
09-14-2007, 05:00 PM
Awww poor Andy. His return is not crap.... it's just others' returns are better. Relativity is important.

:lol:

lets not kid ourselves here. If the other guy is serving at 5-6 to get into a tb, we would assume we're playing a tb, no? :p

Unless its Coria serving or something :p

The point is that Roddick with his serve is holding a vast majority of the time, he just isnt breaking enough to avoid tbs

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 05:01 PM
Darth Cheater :rolleyes: What a fucking stupid name. Darth Federer at least makes some sense.

And where is Nadal's Star Wars inspired nickname? :awww:

Hans Rafa? :o

Rafa, the Hutt?! "Weak minded fool! Roger's using Jedi Mind Tricks on you!" I bet a lot of guys on MTF would agree with that.

But, hey. Rafa the Hutt doesnt make justice to Nadal. It should be "Nalby the hutt".

Johnny Groove
09-14-2007, 05:03 PM
Its already Mirka the Hutt, the name has been taken

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 05:05 PM
:lol:

lets not kid ourselves here. If the other guy is serving at 5-6 to get into a tb, we would assume we're playing a tb, no? :p

The point is that Roddick with his serve is holding a vast majority of the time, he just isnt breaking enough to avoid tbs
Yes we would unfortunately..... He is the tour No. 2 in tiebreaks played this year (Top 100). He's played 42, in 59 matches. Beaten only by Ivo, 48 in 45 matches.

Adler
09-14-2007, 05:15 PM
See his tiebreak record overall this year
26-10 for now (Djokovic)

for comparison:

Federer 23-7
Nadal 12-9

fmolinari2005
09-14-2007, 05:21 PM
Its already Mirka the Hutt, the name has been taken

LOOOL! That is cruel!

Ok then. My time to be cruel too. So, Nadal is Rafa Solo. Quite fitting, one might say. Hans Solo was that secondary character, who kept annoying Darth Vader, but wasnt responsible for Vader's definitive downfall (on the rankings).

RagingLamb
09-14-2007, 05:23 PM
how many 5 setters has he won? And how tough do people claim he is?

I'm always overjoyed when people use incomplete or one-sided data to make an argument.

Farenhajt
09-14-2007, 05:53 PM
Off-topic: Is there a site with extensive tennis stats of all kinds? ATP offers only serve and return stats, but no TB record, for instance.

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 05:57 PM
26-10 for now (Djokovic)

for comparison:

Federer 23-7
Nadal 12-9

Isn't it 26-11 And 12-10?

Stensland
09-14-2007, 06:02 PM
what a crap thread, just focussing on his losses. you want me to list the matches where he beat the crap out of his opponents on hardcourt? i'm sure you don't because those will SO easily outnumber the losses.

nadal loses matches on hard court, big deal. fact is: he WINS way more matches on hc than he loses, and wins almost EVERY tight one as well, be it vs. roddick, vs. federer as a kid (!) or vs. nole just this year in a masters final.

so cut out that bs, it just doesn't make sense to list the matches you like and while leaving out the more important ones.

MisterQ
09-14-2007, 06:08 PM
My impression of Nadal as mentally tough comes not from an examination of his results, but from watching him play important points (break points, tiebreakers, etc) in big matches. He is fearless, plays wisely and usually comes up with the goods.

Federer has also shown some serious mental toughness. They aren't mutually exclusive, these two. :lol:

World Beater
09-14-2007, 06:14 PM
Absolutely no doubt to that and this is what I would argue for Federer and Nadal in the mental department:

Nadal on clay>Federer on grass>Federer on hard>Nadal on grass>Nadal on hardcourt>Federer on clay

This is when looking at the biggest matches on the biggest stages and a lot of these are very close and probably interchangeable but no doubt about it that the top two are certainly true and the same with the bottom two all though you could say they should be switched.

your sequence seems to be deduced primarily from nadal-federer matches.

if we were to consider the whole field, the sequence should be different.

federer on grass > nadal on clay....why? i give benefit of doubt to federer because he's done it for 5 years, and because he proved himself in a 5 set match in a wimbledon final against Nadal. but this is tough and they are certainly very comparable although roger seems more dominating on this surface.

nadal on clay > federer on hard....but even this is tough. Federer has won 7 slams on HC and holds some sick all-time streaks on hard. But nadal is a huge beast having never lost at RG. advantage to nadal.

federer on clay>nadal on grass >>>nadal on hc

i cant believe you have this reversed. If you consider the whole field. Federer has problems with one player - nadal. Nadal hasnt got to a GS semi yet on hard. For now, this is how it should be.'

some will argue we interchange the first two, but if we consider mental strength against whole field of challengers, this should be correct.

mental strength and matchups are correlated very well with each other.

R.Federer
09-14-2007, 06:17 PM
^ Federer could not capitalize on like 21 out of 22 break chances or something like that. One can chalk that up either to Nadal being extremely focussed and mentally strong, or Federer being lame and mentally timid, or both. But it can't be chalked up to luck, because there are a whole heap of points on which to observe this.

Nadal similarly could not capitalize on 7 or 8 (vital) points on grass. But Federer's numbers this year at the French final were not good in the slightest

World Beater
09-14-2007, 06:24 PM
^ Federer could not capitalize on like 21 out of 22 break chances or something like that. One can chalk that up either to Nadal being extremely focussed and mentally strong, or Federer being lame and mentally timid, or both. But it can't be chalked up to luck, because there are a whole heap of points on which to observe this.

Nadal similarly could not capitalize on 7 or 8 (vital) points on grass. But Federer's numbers this year at the French final were not good in the slightest

thats why so many "greats" criticize roger. Because as you watch the match, roger is a few points from turning the match into a real WAR, and for the first time putting nadal in REAL pressure at RG. Yet he cannot capitalize.

2006. 4th set TB. Federer has minibreak
2007. Federer went 0/10 in 1st set on BP.
2005. Federer has break in 4th set.

Monteque
09-14-2007, 06:36 PM
Nadal and Federer are the most mentally strong in the tour.
No player can be compared to them. But if they meet each other, it will be the court to decide its results. Clay is like home for Nadal so he has mental advantage on it. Fed onhard and grass which is being slower and slower today.

rwn
09-14-2007, 08:49 PM
thats why so many "greats" criticize roger. Because as you watch the match, roger is a few points from turning the match into a real WAR, and for the first time putting nadal in REAL pressure at RG. Yet he cannot capitalize.

2006. 4th set TB. Federer has minibreak
2007. Federer went 0/10 in 1st set on BP.
2005. Federer has break in 4th set.

These greats couldn't do it at their worst surface either. They should look at themselves.

sawan66278
09-14-2007, 09:12 PM
And where is Nadal's Star Wars inspired nickname?

Here are a couple possibilities:

1. Rafa Fett...a the best bounty hunter on the ATP tour or
2. Qui-Gon Spin...because NO ONE "moonballs" like Rafa;)

rwn
09-14-2007, 09:19 PM
what a crap thread, just focussing on his losses. you want me to list the matches where he beat the crap out of his opponents on hardcourt? i'm sure you don't because those will SO easily outnumber the losses.

nadal loses matches on hard court, big deal. fact is: he WINS way more matches on hc than he loses, and wins almost EVERY tight one as well, be it vs. roddick, vs. federer as a kid (!) or vs. nole just this year in a masters final.

so cut out that bs, it just doesn't make sense to list the matches you like and while leaving out the more important ones.

I listed all the important ones. Masters Series tournaments are nice, but nothing compared to grand slams.

Adler
09-14-2007, 09:38 PM
1. Rafa Fett...a the best bounty hunter on the ATP tour or
2. Qui-Gon Spin...because NO ONE "moonballs" like Rafa;)
I like the latter

Marek.
09-14-2007, 09:59 PM
And, if you think Roger is mentally tough, I don't really feel he is. There have MANY matches where he was broken when serving for matches or sets...and how many matches has Roger lost after HAVING match point? Quite a few. Roger's mental toughness comes from his ability to dominate on court. When someone challenges him, he often struggles. Thank God this was not the case last weekend against Darth Cheater. Perhaps times are a changin' for him...

Federer's record with match points saved/wasted is 10-7 while Nadal's is 3-4, but you'll probably disregard that. And don't start that :bs: again where Federer always loses a match once he is challenged.

World Beater
09-15-2007, 01:16 AM
Too many people consider 5 set matches as the main barometer for mental toughness when in reality it is only one of many criteria. 5th set is more physical than mental.

There are many bp's, set pts...big 30-30...15-30 pts in each set. Federer just happens to win most of those and ends up winning in straights or 4 sets.

World Beater
09-15-2007, 01:18 AM
Federer's record with match points saved/wasted is 10-7 while Nadal's is 3-4, but you'll probably disregard that. And don't start that :bs: again where Federer always loses a match once he is challenged.

not to mention federer saving 7 mp's in cincy against draper in 1st round 2003. :worship:

oh but draper's just a clown. doesnt count i guess. :lol:

sawan66278
09-15-2007, 01:26 AM
Federer's record with match points saved/wasted is 10-7 while Nadal's is 3-4

Really? When did Qui-Gon Spin lose those matches where he had match point? Just curious.

Marek.
09-15-2007, 01:32 AM
Really? When did Qui-Gon Spin lose those matches where he had match point? Just curious.

Here are ChewRafa's stats

MPs Saved

2006
Federer
Rochus

2005
Youzhny

MP's wasted

2005
Berdych

2004
Ferrer
Calleri

2003
Lapentti

If you have any more questions go to this (http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=89544) thread.

sawan66278
09-15-2007, 01:36 AM
2005
Berdych

2004
Ferrer
Calleri

2003
Lapentti


I'm confused. You are saying that Qui-Gon Spin lost these matches...and had match point in them?

Marek.
09-15-2007, 01:51 AM
Yes

Rafa = Fed Killa
09-15-2007, 04:44 PM
Here are a couple possibilities:

1. Rafa Fett...a the best bounty hunter on the ATP tour or
2. Qui-Gon Spin...because NO ONE "moonballs" like Rafa;)

I prefer Rafa Fett. :D

sawan66278
09-15-2007, 07:19 PM
So, is it Rafa Fett or Qui-Gon Spin?

MatchFederer
09-15-2007, 07:45 PM
It is Nadal, or Rafa...

Marek.
09-16-2007, 01:18 AM
It's ChewRafa people. :mad:

Farenhajt
09-16-2007, 01:23 AM
Then Roger should be Rog-3PO: "classy" annoying robot :)

(Mirka's bulk does resemble R2D2 too...)

leng jai
09-16-2007, 01:50 AM
Hes a mental midget and only wins because his talented and muscly arms.