What does Nadal have to do to be successful on fast hardcourts? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What does Nadal have to do to be successful on fast hardcourts?

careergrandslam
08-23-2010, 07:51 AM
does he have to change his tactics or does he lack the ball striking talentt to hit through opponents?
he tries hard, but he doesn't seem to understand the fast hardcourt game very much.

his movement on HC is not as great as he is on clay and grass.
we know his topspin is ineffective on fast HC so i think he should try to hit flatter shots.
but hitting flatter shots causes you to make more errors as that is the trade off for risky tennis and he is not comfortable making errors so he reverts back to his percentage tennis. but percentage tennis is not good enough on fast HC.
he has been aggressive on his returns lately which he never used to do.

i think he is stuck inbetween his clay court game and his grass court game.

what do you guys think about this?

HKz
08-23-2010, 08:10 AM
does he have to change his tactics or does he lack the ball striking talentt to hit through opponents?
he tries hard, but he doesn't seem to understand the fast hardcourt game very much.

his movement on HC is not as great as he is on clay and grass.
we know his topspin is ineffective on fast HC so i think he should try to hit flatter shots.
but hitting flatter shots causes you to make more errors as that is the trade off for risky tennis and he is not comfortable making errors so he reverts back to his percentage tennis. but percentage tennis is not good enough on fast HC.
he has been aggressive on his returns lately which he never used to do.

i think he is stuck inbetween his clay court game and his grass court game.

what do you guys think about this?

Exactly, now get on with it. Borg couldn't make the transition all the way against the best players and neither could other defensive clay courters. The only players who were successful at Roland Garros first and then in New York were ones that were offensive (Lendl/Agassi/etc). The only exception = Wilander who only won one time which was on his best GS year but aside from that, he didn't really have a fantastic record at the US Open although he made a final the previous year and got bageled by Lendl :o

Nadal can really only hope to play great matches defensively when it matters most and hope that he doesn't run into anyone red hot because seriously, he isn't going to play like a Soderling/Del Potro now.

Rafael is a player of percentage play, you don't see him very often try plays which have a low percentage unless he is ahead and feeling really good about it. He gets away with it on clay, but clearly on hardcourts you can't be playing like that.

Haelfix
08-23-2010, 08:20 AM
Well, he could start off by getting back the form on his backhand that he displayed in some of the past USO's. In 2008, I thought his bh was pretty killer (in fact it was the only shot that was good in his arsenal).

Of course his fh on Deco is horrendous, but then he can't really change that. He has a grip and a way of hitting the fh that makes it particularly difficult to flatten it out. He can take baby steps there, but don't expect a miracle. Alternatively he can try to step into the court a little more, but then thats asking for trouble too b/c the opponent has a lot more cushion to hit through him and it neutralizes some of Rafa's movement and defensive advantages and really requires a degree of shotmaking that he doesn't naturally possess..

His serve this year has been arguably the best part of his game, and allowed him to win Wimbledon. Again, Deco eats some of the spin so it makes it tough. Perhaps a little first serve percentage sacrifice in favor of a little more pace (which we know he has, seeing as he's hit in the mid 130s before).

Likewise he could take a few more risks on the returns.

Baby steps all around, will likely get him back into the quarterfinals. But past that point, well, he needs a little bit of luck.

Arkulari
08-23-2010, 08:21 AM
Exactly, now get on with it. Borg couldn't make the transition all the way against the best players and neither could other defensive clay courters. The only players who were successful at Roland Garros first and then in New York were ones that were offensive (Lendl/Agassi/etc). The only exception = Wilander who only won one time which was on his best GS year but aside from that, he didn't really have a fantastic record at the US Open although he made a final the previous year and got bageled by Lendl :o

Nadal can really only hope to play great matches defensively when it matters most and hope that he doesn't run into anyone red hot because seriously, he isn't going to play like a Soderling/Del Potro now.

but Wilander won Cincy four times, so it's not as if he was a mug on fast HC

Rafa's movement in HC isn't as good as his movement in natural surfaces and it has to do with two things: pain/fear of injury, he knows HC can totally kill his knees if he's not careful and it doesn't come naturally for him, not the way clay does

another problem is that he can't flatten his shots well enough and his topspin gives his rivals a lot of time to do their own strokes, his forehand in a low bouncing surface screams (specially for tall guys) smash me

Rafa's serve has improved a lot, but he's not someone who will win easy points with it all the time like natural HC players do, he needs work in his kick serve and has to learn when to risk a first serve, he plays too safely and you gotta be aggressive in HC

orangehat
08-23-2010, 08:56 AM
no freebies on serve (well most of the time), no smash and grab winners (most of the time again), having to run way too much to win a point on a court that hurts his knees = not a good formula for hard courts :shrug:

And I don't think there's much that he can do about it.

Roddickominator
08-23-2010, 09:06 AM
Yea his backhand on a fast hardcourt used to be better than his forehand....not sure what his deal is the past few weeks, his backhand looks awful so he slices more, but his slice is awful too.

I think Rafa understands what he needs to do, but when he gets on court in the heat of a match, he just can't pull the trigger when he needs to. His confidence on fast hardcourts has become a mental issue for him. Maybe it always has been....but I always felt like he was improving his play on the surface every year and he didn't seem psyched out by it. I don't get that same feeling these last few weeks.

HarryMan
08-23-2010, 09:34 AM
Two of Nadal's biggest weapons are his topspin forehands and relentless defense.

On clay and grass the way his forehands skid from the surface with pace and spin, make it very difficult for his opponents to stay with him from the baseline. And he moves so smoothly on these natural surfaces. Plus his serve is a great weapon on grass (as they skid from the surface).

On hardcourts his forehand are not as big a weapon as he would want them to be, and his movement is a major problem on this surface, therefore he hasn't been as successful. In addition to that, his serve can be exploited quite easily. Ofcourse this is relative, i.e. comparing Nadal's level of play on clay and grass to hard courts. Because from a normal view point, this guy has already won many events on hard courts and is a constant threat on them.

finn98
08-23-2010, 09:54 AM
I agree with most of thepoints posted here.
He needs to get that BH back. He hit so many amazing CC winners in Wimby 08 and AO 09. :worship:

Another simple solution is..Get an extra new coach. I know Toni has been with Rafa since eternity and knows his game better than anybody. But I feel Rafa is not getting enough technical inputs regarding methods or steps inorder to improve his game on HCs. So I suggest getting a new coach( preferably a non spaniard)who can bring fresh and better ideas into his team. Brad Gilbert might be a better start. He floves Nadal. :shrug:

I am afraid..Nadal is going to waste his precious peak years with those old spanish dudes and finally end his career with mediocre results for a talent of Nadal's stature. :rolleyes:

n8
08-23-2010, 10:06 AM
Rafa could make some big changes to improve his fast hard court game but it should be noted that this is risky. Obviously, it may not work, but even if it does, it will almost certainly negatively affect his game on clay and grass. When you've won an incredible seven natural surface Grand Slams by age 24, maybe it's best to just keep things the way they are.

RagingLamb
08-23-2010, 10:25 AM
He should be fined every time he tries that horrendous slice on hard courts.

Li Ching Yuen
08-23-2010, 10:32 AM
Djokovic tried to take it to next level too, and look where that brought his game.

I seriously don't think he should change anything. He made semies last year and that's a decent result for him. Federer and Murray are arguably the best HC players playing now and they're not really forces on clay, so there you go. You can't have it all.

finn98
08-23-2010, 10:40 AM
He should be fined every time he tries that horrendous slice on hard courts.
Nadal explained in his presser tht he slices a lot since he lost confidence in hs backhsnd. He says that he is thinking a lot before it instead of a smooth neuro muscular reaction. :sad: :(

I agree about the slice. Toni nadal must be awarded a frikkin medal of honour for inventing and employing that Jesus slice. :worship:

Sophocles
08-23-2010, 10:51 AM
Reincarnate.

Shirogane
08-23-2010, 11:44 AM
Keep trying.

nobama
08-23-2010, 11:48 AM
get a flat FH.

Serenidad
08-23-2010, 02:10 PM
BH return is clown future level. BH rallying shot is challenger level. Inability to take the ball early up that side DTL. Too extreme of a grip to flatten it DTL and dictate. Slice is amateur level.

Filo V.
08-23-2010, 02:15 PM
There isn't much he can do outside of completely changing his game and risking it being less effective on the slower hard courts, grass and clay. He simply doesn't have the game, technique, mentality, movement or confidence to be great on fast hard courts, and he'll never be as good as natural players on the surface. It is what it is. People say hitting a flat forehand or hitting flatter in general and going for broke on shots will get the job done, but that comes at a cost of errors, which is something Rafa cannot afford to do because he doesn't win as many cheap points as guys like Roger or Soderling. He's gotten much more aggressive as it is, which has glaringly because he's less mobile than before, he's not nearly as confident in his knees, and has come at the cost of him making more errors, further damaging his confidence.

The game he has now is good enough for fast hard court, the three things he needs to improve is the serve and return, and slice. Outside of that, he has a developed and set game, and it is what it is, he has pretty good results on fast hard courts, many of you act as if he's a mug on the surface, and he isn't.

Serenidad
08-23-2010, 02:18 PM
The game he has now is good enough for fast hard court.

:haha:

Filo V.
08-23-2010, 02:21 PM
:haha:

It is, why change his game dramatically just for one surface? No, um, his results are good on the surface. He's never going to dominate on it, but he's certainly better than guys like BRANDS on the surface. It is what it is, it's annoying how critical people are when the guy is trying his best to take an game that doesn't adapt well to these courts and win with it. And that people think he's somehow terrible on the surface when his record is among the best of the top players on the surface. Totally ridiculous, if you ask me. He just needs to make tinkers and improvements with his game, a radical change is not necessary.

Iván
08-23-2010, 02:23 PM
dont under-estimate nadal next week, no one expected him to win in melbourne too.

Serenidad
08-23-2010, 02:24 PM
It is, why change his game dramatically just for one surface? No, um, his results are good on the surface. He's never going to dominate on it, but he's certainly better than guys like BRANDS on the surface. It is what it is, it's annoying how critical people are when the guy is trying his best to take an game that doesn't adapt well to these courts and win with it. And that people think he's somehow terrible on the surface when his record is among the best of the top players on the surface. Totally ridiculous, if you ask me. He just needs to make tinkers and improvements with his game, a radical change is not necessary.

I didn't suggest change his game dramatically? He needs to be able to step into the court and dictate with his BH. If you get the ball to Nadal's BH in a rally you reset it back to neutral. His BH return is also way too passive.

He's a top player. Of course he is able to get through and get wins. However, he is struggling with mid-ranked players that he would routine on other surfaces.

No one is telling Nadal to start serving/volleying on every 1st serve.
Him being better than Brands is up for debate.

Ben.
08-23-2010, 02:26 PM
A confident Nadal can win on fast hard courts, but right now it doesn't look like he is confident on the surface. Presumably this is down to either a lack of preperation or caution about his knees. To change his game would be a huge risk and could spill over into his clay and grass game, just look at Djokovic, trying to make changes to his serve has ended up hindering his whole game it seems. He is never going to be the dominant force he is on clay on hard courts but he can beat anybody at the top of his game, but obvioulsy he is not anywhere near that at the moment.

tennisroberts
08-23-2010, 02:33 PM
Hope he gets a good draw.

Filo V.
08-23-2010, 02:33 PM
I didn't suggest change his game dramatically? He needs to be able to step into the court and dictate with his BH. If you get the ball to Nadal's BH in a rally you reset it back to neutral. His BH return is also way too passive.

He's a top player. Of course he is able to get through and get wins. However, he is struggling with mid-ranked players that he would routine on other surfaces.

No one is telling Nadal to start serving/volleying on every 1st serve.
Him being better than Brands is up for debate.
I wasn't talking to you specifically, actually your points are true in that he should look to dictate with the backhand more and hit through it, and improve his backhand return, slice, variety. It's a shot that comes and goes for him. But the fact that some here imply he's actually horrible on the surface is ridiculous. The man won the Olympics on an extremely fast court just two years ago, so he can definitely do it. I guess it is frustrating to see how many people doubt him when he's proven he can get it done when he is at 100% in his game. He does struggle with some guys he would dominate on other surfaces, that is because it's their natural surface, and that isn't something he'll ever be able to change. That's why I don't believe the thoughts some have here that he needs to make major changes. Just a tinker here and there, and most importantly, a boost in confidence, and I think he's one of the best on these courts and can beat anyone.

finn98
08-23-2010, 02:54 PM
I didn't suggest change his game dramatically? He needs to be able to step into the court and dictate with his BH. If you get the ball to Nadal's BH in a rally you reset it back to neutral. His BH return is also way too passive.

He's a top player. Of course he is able to get through and get wins. However, he is struggling with mid-ranked players that he would routine on other surfaces.

No one is telling Nadal to start serving/volleying on every 1st serve.
Him being better than Brands is up for debate.

Absolutely agree about all your points regarding Nadal's BH. He really has a clown BH DTL. He can't finish even short balls from that wing. He just pushes or loops the ball DTL towards the other end. :lol: BH returns are pathetic. Guys are getting cheap poins by serving second serves towards his BH because they know he cant hit agressive retrns from that side. :lol: I've been ranting about that awful slice all day. Toni should've bitch slapped him the day he saw Nadal hit one. :shrug:
God help Rafael Nadal entering the USOPEN without a Backhand. :p

Sophocles
08-23-2010, 03:01 PM
And that people think he's somehow terrible on the surface when his record is among the best of the top players on the surface.

This is true. Let's face it, no player in the history of the sport has ever totally dominated every surface for any length of time.

Filo V.
08-23-2010, 03:09 PM
This is true. Let's face it, no player in the history of the sport has ever totally dominated every surface for any length of time.

:yeah:

Yup, you just have to take the good with the bad, the trade off is lesser results (but still positive ones) on fast hard, but great results on other surfaces. It is what it is, there isn't anything to complain about really, as you say, no-one has or will dominate on all surfaces all the time, especially in this day and age.

finn98
08-23-2010, 03:12 PM
I wasn't talking to you specifically, actually your points are true in that he should look to dictate with the backhand more and hit through it, and improve his backhand return, slice, variety. It's a shot that comes and goes for him. But the fact that some here imply he's actually horrible on the surface is ridiculous. The man won the Olympics on an extremely fast court just two years ago, so he can definitely do it. I guess it is frustrating to see how many people doubt him when he's proven he can get it done when he is at 100% in his game. He does struggle with some guys he would dominate on other surfaces, that is because it's their natural surface, and that isn't something he'll ever be able to change. That's why I don't believe the thoughts some have here that he needs to make major changes. Just a tinker here and there, and most importantly, boost in confidence, and I think he's one of the best on these courts and can beat anyone.

The Nadal who won Olympics hit half volley winners from baseline off Gonzo's FHs. :worship:
He never hit 100% there after and may never will. :sad: Nadal playing at 60 % can beat 99% out there. He almost beat Baggy last week without a backhand. :lol: I agree with you..that he should start tinkering ....particularly BH side so tht his actual average level could be raised to say 75% which is good enough to acheive muh better results on HCs.

finn98
08-23-2010, 03:15 PM
I didn't suggest change his game dramatically? He needs to be able to step into the court and dictate with his BH. If you get the ball to Nadal's BH in a rally you reset it back to neutral. His BH return is also way too passive.

He's a top player. Of course he is able to get through and get wins. However, he is struggling with mid-ranked players that he would routine on other surfaces.

No one is telling Nadal to start serving/volleying on every 1st serve.
Him being better than Brands is up for debate.

Absolutely agree about all your points regarding Nadal's BH. He really has a clown BH DTL. He can't finish even short balls from that wing. He just pushes or loops the ball DTL towards the other end. :lol: BH returns are pathetic. Guys are getting cheap poins by serving second serves towards his BH because they know he cant hit agressive retrns from that side. :lol: I've been ranting about that awful slice all day. Toni should've bitch slapped him the day he saw Nadal hit one. :shrug:
God help Rafael Nadal entering the USOPEN without a Backhand. :p

peribsen
08-23-2010, 03:16 PM
There's one aspect of the game that depends neither on the surface nor on your opponents game, and that is the serve. It has never been Nadal's most brilliant shot, but it has often been good enough. But these last weeks it has been very poor, he is serving worse on HC, the surface where it is most important, than he was serving during the clay and grass seasons.

Against Baghdatis, Rafa suddenly rediscovered his serve and hit 3 consecutive aces in a game. Now I certainly don't expect Nadal serving quite as effectively as that, but if he can suddenly get 3 on a row, he could at least be making 3 on each set. He isn't.

Probably it's an issue of confidence, but if he has to struggle on almost each of his service games he won't get far on HC.

siloe26
08-23-2010, 04:08 PM
His serve doesn't worry me too much. He said he didn't practice too hard to avoid the abdominals problems he had last year. I think he has a good chance to find it this week. We'll see. The backhand is more worrying for me. It's really bad. Maybe he simply needs to practice the shot too, but he seems like he has completely lost his groove.

r3d_d3v1l_
08-23-2010, 04:58 PM
I just think it´s all about his career management. He could have finally understood that if he wants to be competitive, he needs to lower down the intensity of his shots in hardcourts but he really needs to change his game (Federer is a lot more agressive and the payback is clear, 1 MS Final e 1MS trophy) style and strategy.

It´s quite fresh in everyone´s minds what happenned after Nadal´s amazing run at the 2009´s Australian Open and Indian Well´s.

Sophocles
08-23-2010, 05:32 PM
Nadal will play better at the U.S.O. than he has in Canada & Cincinnati. In all likelihood it won't be enough to win the tournament, but it will take a superb performance to bring him down.

Sapeod
08-23-2010, 05:36 PM
He can't do anything about it.
He will never win anything big on these fast courts, ever.
He is a mug on hardcourt, and is quite an embarassment when he plays that pathetic slice.

finn98
08-23-2010, 05:45 PM
Nadal will play better at the U.S.O. than he has in Canada & Cincinnati. In all likelihood it won't be enough to win the tournament, but it will take a superb performance to bring him down.
I know this is not the right place but ....Who is the girl in your avatar..? :angel:

Sophocles
08-23-2010, 05:47 PM
I know this is not the right place but ....Who is the girl in your avatar..? :angel:

My girlfriend.

finn98
08-23-2010, 06:07 PM
My girlfriend.

A name would be helpful . :D

Sophocles
08-23-2010, 06:11 PM
A name would be helpful . :D

I saw her first.

Johnny Groove
08-23-2010, 06:14 PM
Movement, return of serve, backhand, 2nd serve, and volleys.

CCBH
08-23-2010, 06:53 PM
I think a transformation of his strokes will be a disaster. He has to become more aggressive in his mindset, looking to move his weight forward continuously. His topspun shots when hit with good depth are pretty hard to respond to, I don't care if they are playing on cement or glass. So if he steps forward a bit to hit them, he gets better depth consistently. One problem is, when he is in control of a point, he allows a defensive ball by his opponent to bounce far too often before his next shot.

If you look at the way a rally develops on HC, it is much harder to keep maneuvering your opponent out of position with successive shots, since many guys move well and can neutralize a good shot with one of their own.

The key then is for him to step closer to the baseline and keep inching forward, cut off balls in the air. This may mean taking balls on the bounce, hitting with less margin etc, but it is something he needs to adjust to. He has proven before he can do it.

Shirogane
08-23-2010, 07:05 PM
I saw her first.

:lol:

doublebackhand
08-23-2010, 07:30 PM
I think a transformation of his strokes will be a disaster. He has to become more aggressive in his mindset, looking to move his weight forward continuously. His topspun shots when hit with good depth are pretty hard to respond to, I don't care if they are playing on cement or glass. So if he steps forward a bit to hit them, he gets better depth consistently. One problem is, when he is in control of a point, he allows a defensive ball by his opponent to bounce far too often before his next shot.

If you look at the way a rally develops on HC, it is much harder to keep maneuvering your opponent out of position with successive shots, since many guys move well and can neutralize a good shot with one of their own.

The key then is for him to step closer to the baseline and keep inching forward, cut off balls in the air. This may mean taking balls on the bounce, hitting with less margin etc, but it is something he needs to adjust to. He has proven before he can do it.

Easier said than done. Moving into the court to hit means allowing himself less time to chase down shots, which is an essential part of his game. An aggressive opponent will be able to hit thru him easier if he plays like that, and in turn will be damaging his confidence.

Anyhow, there is no easy fix for his game on fast hard courts. I agree with a previous poster that a good place to start is his serve.

jonas
08-23-2010, 10:02 PM
Exactly, now get on with it. Borg couldn't make the transition all the way against the best players and neither could other defensive clay courters. The only players who were successful at Roland Garros first and then in New York were ones that were offensive (Lendl/Agassi/etc). The only exception = Wilander who only won one time which was on his best GS year but aside from that, he didn't really have a fantastic record at the US Open although he made a final the previous year and got bageled by Lendl :o

Someone needs to do his research. Borg was great at fast hard courts and carpet.
3 finals in US Open when it was played on HC is hardly bad. Especially considering he lost to in form McEnroe and Connors (he crushed Connors though in the SF 1981).
Borg also won Masters on carpet 1980 and 1981. Beating McEnroe, Connors, and crushing Lendl in the final. He won Toronto 1980, losing only 30 games. Beating the likes of Lendl and McEnroe.

Shirogane
08-23-2010, 10:27 PM
The best ever not to win the Open, nuff said.

Sophocles
08-23-2010, 10:28 PM
Someone needs to do his research. Borg was great at fast hard courts and carpet.
3 finals in US Open when it was played on HC is hardly bad. Especially considering he lost to in form McEnroe and Connors (he crushed Connors though in the SF 1981).
Borg also won Masters on carpet 1980 and 1981. Beating McEnroe, Connors, and crushing Lendl in the final. He won Toronto 1980, losing only 30 games. Beating the likes of Lendl and McEnroe.

Borg was way better than Nadal indoors, & that was when indoor tournaments were on carpet rather than crappy slow hard courts. Nadal just doesn't compare. It's like comparing Becker & Nadal on clay. He also has a far better record at the U.S. Open, as of now. But on hard courts the similarity is there to this extent: Borg on hard courts was never the world-beater he was on clay & grass.

HKz
08-23-2010, 10:29 PM
Someone needs to do his research. Borg was great at fast hard courts and carpet.
3 finals in US Open when it was played on HC is hardly bad. Especially considering he lost to in form McEnroe and Connors (he crushed Connors though in the SF 1981).
Borg also won Masters on carpet 1980 and 1981. Beating McEnroe, Connors, and crushing Lendl in the final. He won Toronto 1980, losing only 30 games. Beating the likes of Lendl and McEnroe.

He still didn't win it hence he couldn't go all the way. Never did I say he was poor or unsuccessful.

straitup
08-23-2010, 10:32 PM
Give him 7 Riba's in the US Open draw and he'll win it all

r2473
08-23-2010, 10:53 PM
Give him 7 Riba's in the US Open draw and he'll win it all

Na, Nadal couldn't beat Riba.

Give Nadal 7 Federer's in the US Open draw and he'll win it all ;)

paseo
08-23-2010, 11:04 PM
Na, Nadal couldn't beat Riba.

Give Nadal 7 Federer's in the US Open draw and he'll win it all ;)

Or better yet, he'll lose 7 times and make the H2H even.

DrJules
08-23-2010, 11:04 PM
My girlfriend.

You wish.

Filo V.
08-23-2010, 11:15 PM
The Nadal who won Olympics hit half volley winners from baseline off Gonzo's FHs. :worship:
He never hit 100% there after and may never will. :sad: Nadal playing at 60 % can beat 99% out there. He almost beat Baggy last week without a backhand. :lol: I agree with you..that he should start tinkering ....particularly BH side so tht his actual average level could be raised to say 75% which is good enough to acheive muh better results on HCs.

Rafa was very determined to win the Olympics that season and was extremely confident as he was dominating the tour during that time. His biggest issue is confidence. If he can regain confidence in himself, his body, and his game, he can win the US Open. But that confidence will only come with him getting a better feel with his game, which hopefully will come during this practice week. Like you said, he almost beat Baghdatis last week playing a pretty mediocre match, so just think how well he can do playing well!

Filo V.
08-23-2010, 11:20 PM
There's one aspect of the game that depends neither on the surface nor on your opponents game, and that is the serve. It has never been Nadal's most brilliant shot, but it has often been good enough. But these last weeks it has been very poor, he is serving worse on HC, the surface where it is most important, than he was serving during the clay and grass seasons.

Against Baghdatis, Rafa suddenly rediscovered his serve and hit 3 consecutive aces in a game. Now I certainly don't expect Nadal serving quite as effectively as that, but if he can suddenly get 3 on a row, he could at least be making 3 on each set. He isn't.

Probably it's an issue of confidence, but if he has to struggle on almost each of his service games he won't get far on HC.

The thing with Rafa's serve is that he's going for more power on it, which has come at the cost of a lower serve percentage and less variety/movement. So, that's sort of the decision he has to make, does he want power, or does he want less power but higher percentages, more movement, more variety? I think he should mix up the serve more, but going 130 every time isn't necessary. 120 with spin is better than 130 flat. The second serve is the real issue, it's too short, he's not confident hitting through it, the kick serve isn't good enough.

As you say, these are all confidence issues, with some technical flaws. Rafa always is looking to improve and tinker on his game, and be sure he will look through his performances in Cincinnati and Toronto and make appropriate adjustments.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
08-24-2010, 03:49 AM
on a fast hard court he's like a faster gilles simon

just doesn't hurt the big hitters

i dont know whats worse, nadal hitting a slice or roddick serving and volleying

HKz
08-24-2010, 04:19 AM
on a fast hard court he's like a faster gilles simon

just doesn't hurt the big hitters

i dont know whats worse, nadal hitting a slice or roddick serving and volleying

IIRC, those couple S&V points Roddick played helped give him the match against Nadal in Miami :worship:

careergrandslam
08-24-2010, 05:23 AM
i think we all agree that rafas backhand slice is awful.
it floats at just the right pace and height for the opponent and rafa completely loses control of the point.

Mimi
08-24-2010, 05:58 AM
The best ever not to win the Open, nuff said.

though I am not very optimistic that he can do it, but never say never, don't underestimate a champion as Rafa ;)

ossie
08-24-2010, 12:43 PM
he has to hit the ball flat, i dont think the speed of the court is the problem, grass is faster than any other surface out there.

leng jai
08-24-2010, 01:33 PM
he has to hit the ball flat, i dont think the speed of the court is the problem, grass is faster than any other surface out there.

The US Open is as fast or faster than Wimbledon. The main problem is movement, bounce and how adept his opposition are on the surface as opposed to clay/grass.

Clay Death
08-24-2010, 03:10 PM
he is good enough on hard courts. he is certainly capable of another slam on hard courts which is better than most of the players will ever do who can get him once in a while on hard courts in a best of 3 sets foremats.

lets put it this way: he is the best of the best on clay and grass. that is good enough. nobody can be totally dominant on every single surface out there. the game is simply too demanding.

and his style of play is best suited for clay and grass.

that said, he is still going to surprise them all by snatching the u.s. open title this year. its called relentless will. he has it.

bokehlicious
08-24-2010, 03:22 PM
lets put it this way: he is the best of the best on clay and grass.

So old pal, you rate him as the best ever on grass with his two (fluked) Wimbledons? That is spartan stuff :cool:

Clay Death
08-24-2010, 03:29 PM
So old pal, you rate him as the best ever on grass with his two (fluked) Wimbledons? That is spartan stuff :cool:


who said the "best ever"?

he is the best on clay and grass now.

beating the greatest grass court player ever in a greatest match ever played is hardly "fluked" stuff old sport.

it might be time to get grounded in some reality. around the clock fed nunhugging and blind worship can hardly be considered a reasonable and respectable activity.

**remember that fed had come in with 65 straight match wins on grass. and he was in his prime on grass at the moment.

it still hurts, doesnt it?

bokehlicious
08-24-2010, 03:40 PM
who said the "best ever"?

he is the best on clay and grass now.


You said "the best of the best", I thought you were talking about history here :o by mad :)


**remember that fed had come in with 65 straight match wins on grass. and he was in his prime on grass at the moment.

it still hurts, doesnt it?

You mean the time Federer was suffering from mono? Hell yeah, surely it was Fed at his absolute peak :yeah:

When will you finally grow two brain cells? :awww: :hug:

Everko
08-24-2010, 03:46 PM
MonoFed myths again. haha, they were my favorite campfire tales growing up.

Shirogane
08-24-2010, 03:46 PM
it might be time to get grounded in some reality.

In his prime in 2008? The greatest grasscourter ever? Greatest match ever played? Okay...

though I am not very optimistic that he can do it, but never say never, don't underestimate a champion as Rafa ;)

I was answering the post just above mine – a post about a certain Borg...

Forehander
08-24-2010, 03:51 PM
He's won quite a few hard court titles before and reached semi finals of US Open before, so it's not like he's a total disaster on the hard surface. He just needs to improve further his down the line shot making.

Clay Death
08-24-2010, 04:45 PM
MonoFed myths again. haha, they were my favorite campfire tales growing up.

affirmative. federereeeeesians never stop that mindless fed nuthugging and blind worship.

mono excuse evidently has enough traction to last them a lifetime.

too funny.

Clay Death
08-24-2010, 04:47 PM
He's won quite a few hard court titles before and reached semi finals of US Open before, so it's not like he's a total disaster on the hard surface. He just needs to improve further his down the line shot making.

he just needs to serve a little better and he needs a better return of serve. and he only needs it in the latter stages of open and its a done deal.

rest will take care of itself. the guy is driven so you know he is going to make it happen sooner or later.

Hugh Jaas
08-24-2010, 05:24 PM
He should be fined every time he tries that horrendous slice on hard courts.

you should be fined for attacking Multiple slam winner Rafa.

green25814
08-24-2010, 05:49 PM
He can't and shouldn't do anything. Changing his game dramatically now is something more likely to damage him than help.

He's better off staying at this level and continuing to dominate grass/clay.

doublebackhand
08-24-2010, 08:10 PM
affirmative. federereeeeesians never stop that mindless fed nuthugging and blind worship.

mono excuse evidently has enough traction to last them a lifetime.

too funny.

pretty much the same as the knees were hurting whenever the loss at RG was brought up

Andre'sNo1Fan
08-24-2010, 08:32 PM
So old pal, you rate him as the best ever on grass with his two (fluked) Wimbledons? That is spartan stuff :cool:
Just like Federer's 6 fluked Wimbledons. They were all fluked after all so whats the difference.

multiculti
08-24-2010, 08:36 PM
Uncle Toni should fine him $50 for every groundstroke he hits that lands inside the service line.... I grimace and brace myself when Rafa resorts to his short shots. Might be ok on clay or grass, but you will eventually get one lodged back in your throat on fast hardcourts.... can anyone spell "Delpo"?

Matt01
08-24-2010, 11:49 PM
Uncle Toni should fine him $50 for every groundstroke he hits that lands inside the service line.... I grimace and brace myself when Rafa resorts to his short shots. Might be ok on clay or grass, but you will eventually get one lodged back in your throat on fast hardcourts.... can anyone spell "Delpo"?


People mentioning "Delpo" (who I love) in this thread is almost as funny as bringing up Monofed again. Right now, "Delpo" is out with injury for more than half a year already and no one knows if he will ever get to his old form again. :rolleyes: