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

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

sexybeast
06-09-2012, 04:25 PM
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?

Johnny Groove
06-09-2012, 04:30 PM
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?

sexybeast
06-09-2012, 04:32 PM
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.

Surcouf
06-09-2012, 04:36 PM
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.

Allez
06-09-2012, 04:39 PM
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 :facepalm: 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.

TigerTim
06-09-2012, 04:41 PM
No. He will retire by then. Relax by the sea on his Spanish island. :)

BroTree123
06-09-2012, 04:41 PM
Regardless of the result on Sunday, I can still see Rafa winning RG in his 40's.

sexybeast
06-09-2012, 04:43 PM
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 :facepalm: 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).

TigerTim
06-09-2012, 04:48 PM
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 :p

abraxas21
06-09-2012, 04:52 PM
pocahontas forum

Time Violation
06-09-2012, 04:59 PM
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 :)

Just like heaven
06-09-2012, 05:22 PM
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?

TigerTim
06-09-2012, 05:25 PM
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!

Just like heaven
06-09-2012, 05:33 PM
wouldn't he want 17GS? I would!

Not if the majority are at RG.
And he won't reach that number anyway.

TigerTim
06-09-2012, 05:36 PM
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.

sweetkit
06-09-2012, 05:58 PM
Thanks for good laugh.
At 30+ will Nadal be able to be a pro tennis player is a proper question with certain answer.

Clay Death
06-09-2012, 05:59 PM
i think he calls it quits after 8 french opens and goes on to focus on something else.

so he could be out of the sport in 2015 and playing golf full time.

nobody is winning the french open on his watch.

LinkMage
06-09-2012, 06:06 PM
Depends if there are good new players. Today's youngsters suck ass. :shrug:

bouncer7
06-09-2012, 06:10 PM
Nadal is physically stronger then anyone in tennis history...so 20% of todays Nadal will be enough for RG 2020

Shinoj
06-09-2012, 06:21 PM
Look it all depends upon Rafa's Drive,Physical Health and the competition in future. If somebody comes up beating Rafa Regularly in CLay Courts, somebody like Novak or someone else, he might question his motivation.

But there shouldnt be a problem with his drive. He almost plays every tournament like a Roland Garos.

SerialKillerToBe
06-09-2012, 06:29 PM
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?

He could future proof his records. There's no telling whether there'll be a future player that could get 8 RG's in his career.

Allez
06-09-2012, 06:37 PM
How many RG's would he have to win to future proof his record ? 16 :shrug: There's no telling that there won't be a future player to break anyone's records. However I do agree that as long as he is able and there is no one around to push him out he should just continue playing and winning RG. What's the worst that could happen ? It beats the alternative of staying home and doing nothing.

156mphserve
06-09-2012, 10:17 PM
only RG title Rafa is getting when he's 30+ is the Legends 45+ doubles when rafa turns 45

superslam77
06-09-2012, 10:21 PM
only RG title Rafa is getting when he's 30+ is the Legends 45+ doubles when rafa turns 45

with no legs he would get killed by other "legends".

remember clay players decline the worst.

Mountaindewslave
06-10-2012, 12:12 AM
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.

Nadal mentally the same as ever your crazy besides a lapse against Djokovic for a season

Chase Visa
06-10-2012, 12:26 AM
Unlikely, his knee's will be fucked.

TigerTim
06-10-2012, 12:28 AM
with no legs he would get killed by other "legends".

remember clay players decline the worst.

Tio Toni would find a way. The only "legends" Nadal will be playing would be Obease Dave and perhaps Legs Lloyd in the final.

AntiTennis
06-10-2012, 12:35 AM
Not if the majority are at RG.
And he won't reach that number anyway.
Is not that hard, he has already 10..probably 11 tomorrow,he just need 6, if he play at good level 3 years, he can easy win 2-3 RG,1-2 wimbys,1 us open, 1 australia..maybe more..so is very possible..I don't see(at this moment) younger guys comming to stop him and Djokovic, of course Roger still can win grand slams and make it harder or impossible for Rafa to pass his record.

Topspindoctor
06-10-2012, 01:19 AM
If an old grinder like Ferrer can make RG semis, a much better and vastly superior talent like Nadal can be a threat at RG at that age for sure.

misty1
06-10-2012, 01:20 AM
depends how his body holds up and what kind of clay courters come around within the next 5 years.

NadalSharapova
06-10-2012, 01:26 AM
10 RG titles I think he will finish with

Time Violation
06-10-2012, 01:29 AM
depends how his body holds up and what kind of clay courters come around within the next 5 years.

Even the best ones of the new generation suck on clay, doesn't seem like anything is going to change there in the near future.

Looner
06-10-2012, 01:32 AM
10 RG titles I think he will finish with

I don't think the French will wait that long before they change the surface to ultrafast HCs or blue clay :o.

misty1
06-10-2012, 01:34 AM
Even the best ones of the new generation suck on clay, doesn't seem like anything is going to change there in the near future.

things could change. Or maybe someone could come up out of the blue in the next couple of years

bedene and kuznetsov are good clay courters now, if they improve their weaknesses then i would imagine they will be some of the better clay courters in years to come

sexybeast
06-10-2012, 01:53 AM
depends how his body holds up and what kind of clay courters come around within the next 5 years.

I can only think of that italian kid who is 16 and has a game which reminds of Nadal, everyone between 18 and 23 simply wont be a threat to Nadal. In fact one of the strongest arguments for this beeing a weak era is the lack of youth in this era. I dont really think this is a weak era yet, but it is getting weaker for every year as we lose talents to old age and no youngster comes to replace them.

It is strange to look for any talent at all and not find any, in 2007 there were Del Potro, Djokovic, Murray and Nadal and many, many more all between 19-21.

MaxPower
06-10-2012, 02:17 AM
It's 2012 now. Of course everyone can be more competitive at 30. Nadal just needs to call contador's doctor and Djokovic just need to adjust the settings on his egg. (just kidding!)

Seriously the reason the likes of Ferrer are so competitive on clay at 30 is the rigourous medical and fitness commitment. Ferrer does his ice baths after matches and has some of the most serious workout programs on the tour. Even Federer spends an incredible amount of time practicing and getting the best treatment money can buy.

in this new era, staying competitive at age 30 is a lot about commitment and actual $$$$$.

The top10 guys are rich. Nadal can hire 20 ppl working only on keeping him motivated and in top shape. Federer too. Even a top10 guy like Ferrer has more staff and expert help than many past clay legends could dream about. Science has moved forward as well. Players are serious about diets, about doing scans on even very small injuries so they get correctly diagnosed and so on. Even in the 90s many top players did drugs and played themselves into needing surgery because they didn't take rest when needed. Could you imagine the likes of Federer or Nadal doing drugs and then going out on a court unprepared? Nope. Tennis is ultra-serious now

The older you get the more serious you must become, because the body doesn't recover as fast anymore. On clay this is more visible because you rarely can serve your way out of matches and a player that has slacked of with his practice or fitness level will be exposed.

Fireballer
06-10-2012, 02:33 AM
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?

:haha: LOL ...........Nadal can win 32 Slams and Fed would still be the GOAT

ahadabans
06-10-2012, 07:05 AM
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?

Fantastic post. And I agree wholeheartedly, especially the part about everything after 2011 being gravy. Nadal has already achieved more than I thought he would by getting the career slam and olympic gold. I'd like him to get that 7th RG title just to cement his place as the greatest clay courter, but other than that I have no other expectations for him. Clay Warrior is already a legend.

I would also like him to get more HC slams to strengthen his resume, but to truly be in the GOAT discussion, he'd need to win the US and Australian each once more and get 7-8 RG and 1 more wimbledon. So 14-15 slams, and it would need to include a double career slam to make up for his weaknesses throughout his career on hard courts. I really don't think it's possible though. Too many players that can beat him on that surface. Too much has to go right.

To the original question, Nadal takes very good care of himself, has an iron will and has a game that was built to dominate on clay. So I believe RG will the the slam he remains competitive at the longest and he may still have a shot at winning it in his late 20's.

ahadabans
06-10-2012, 07:14 AM
10 RG titles I think he will finish with

I can't see this happening honestly. 8 is probably the number he will end up with. He's 26 and his physical peak has been reached. At some point in the not so distant future, he will no longer be unbeatable on clay and he won't auto win RG anymore. I dread the day that happens as a Nadal fan, but not even Clay Warrior can defeat father time.

And this is a funny sport like that. One minute you are on top of the world, and then you never win a slam again. Ask Michael Chang, Andy Roddick and a few dozen other tennis players how that goes.

One day, if Nadal plays into his late 20's/30's, he will meet someone younger, faster and more hungry and he will stop winning RG. Borg retired before that happened to him. A small part of me hopes Nadal takes that path too. Part of Borg's mystique is the fact that no one ever took the mantle from him on Clay. While he was playing, he was the best there was on that surface. No one stole that from him and made him mortal. It would be cool if Nadal went out that way too.

ahadabans
06-10-2012, 07:20 AM
:haha: LOL ...........Nadal can win 32 Slams and Fed would still be the GOAT

Do you know Nadal personally? I ask because it's crazy to me how much you hate the guy. How can you hate someone you don't even know that much? I don't get it. Every post from you is all about trashing him or downplaying him in some way. Good grief. Get a life man.

I'm not even sure I hate Hitler as much as you appear to hate Nadal, and Hitler was a hate mongering lunatic who murdered millions of people. The worst thing Nadal ever did was beat your favorite player. Clearly you rank that as heinous as crimes against humanity.

This statement you made above is completely ridiculous. Nadal has no chance of winning 32 slams, but if he did somehow do that, he would be the GOAT and it wouldn't even be debatable. That's an absurd number of slams that no one will ever get.

NadalSharapova
06-10-2012, 11:25 AM
I can't see this happening honestly. 8 is probably the number he will end up with. He's 26 and his physical peak has been reached. At some point in the not so distant future, he will no longer be unbeatable on clay and he won't auto win RG anymore. I dread the day that happens as a Nadal fan, but not even Clay Warrior can defeat father time.

And this is a funny sport like that. One minute you are on top of the world, and then you never win a slam again. Ask Michael Chang, Andy Roddick and a few dozen other tennis players how that goes.

One day, if Nadal plays into his late 20's/30's, he will meet someone younger, faster and more hungry and he will stop winning RG. Borg retired before that happened to him. A small part of me hopes Nadal takes that path too. Part of Borg's mystique is the fact that no one ever took the mantle from him on Clay. While he was playing, he was the best there was on that surface. No one stole that from him and made him mortal. It would be cool if Nadal went out that way too.

thing is on clay he is completely at another level to anyone. He's just turned 26. Lets say he wins today:

26 : 7 french opens
27: 8 french opens
28: 9 french opens

surely he can still be this good in 2 years, even if his level drops cos he is so far ahead of the others

Poirot123
06-10-2012, 11:32 AM
We've just had two months of clay court tennis, and Nadal has won nearly all of the big titles again. But remember, Nadal hasn't won anything off of clay now for over a year. Nadal is increasingly struggling on hard courts - his knees cannot take the constant grinding necessary to reach hard balls, which move faster on hard courts. Remember, he had to withdraw from his SF V Murray in Miami as he knew it would be a grind fest which would really hurt him. Nadal's impact outside of clay will continue to diminish I think with the exception of grass as he ages. By the time he's 30 he won't be getting close to any titles off of clay or grass, and he I doubt he'll be winning the FO as easily as he has this year by then.

Allez
06-10-2012, 11:39 AM
The only known unknown here is how long his knees can hold up for. This is where smart scheduling comes into play. From next year he needs to only play one USO tune up and post USO only play 2 Indoor carpet events even though that is his least favourite surface and then the WTF. Pre AO he needs to play a single tune up event and post AO play only one of IW/ Miami. If he feels like he needs the points he could do the South America clay swing after the AO. His post Miami clay schedule is spot as is playing Queens/Halle pre Wimbledon. That should ensure his continued dominance on natural surfaces for at least the next 4 years. He should not concern himself with the rankings. He will never break Pete Sampras' record but with smart scheduling he has a more than decent shot of winning more than 16 slams.

Ash86
06-10-2012, 12:27 PM
The only known unknown here is how long his knees can hold up for. This is where smart scheduling comes into play. From next year he needs to only play one USO tune up and post USO only play 2 Indoor carpet events even though that is his least favourite surface and then the WTF. Pre AO he needs to play a single tune up event and post AO play only one of IW/ Miami. If he feels like he needs the points he could do the South America clay swing after the AO. His post Miami clay schedule is spot as is playing Queens/Halle pre Wimbledon. That should ensure his continued dominance on natural surfaces for at least the next 4 years. He should not concern himself with the rankings. He will never break Pete Sampras' record but with smart scheduling he has a more than decent shot of winning more than 16 slams.

I actually think he may do this in the next year or so. He was asked this week about getting his 250th win on clay and he said it didn't sound like a very big number to him and that he didn't actually play many tournaments on clay anymore and the ones he played were only those with the top players i.e. tougher to win - back in 2005 he played around 10 clay tournaments or something - now he plays MC, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid (probably not even that next year!) & RG so only 4/5. He then said that he'll see in the future how his schedule is and whether he will play maybe more of those other clay tournaments. For his knees it might be better to collect more points on clay (e.g. a 500 in Acapulco etc.) than to try and win more on the post-US Open Asian swing for example.

Now I don't think he needs us much of a warm up on HCs than he did in the past - he plays 2/3 grass court matches and is fine usually for Wimbledon - can do the same with US Open. Play either Rogers Cup/Cincy rather than both. IW and Miami I actually think he should play both - there are days between matches, it's slow hard courts that suit his game more and he enjoys the tournaments. The summer HC swing is tougher for him so just drop a Masters there (may have to wait till next year when he can skip 2 Masters I think). He'll definitely skip Paris this year I think anyway - doubt if he'll ever play Bercy now that it's the week before WTF.

Garson007
06-10-2012, 12:37 PM
Let me put it this way: If he doesn't win Today then he won't break his four in a row record.

Allez
06-10-2012, 12:37 PM
Yes I forgot about Madrid. He should only play that if they've managed to fix the blue clay and he feels he needs the points.

Dr.Slice
06-10-2012, 12:39 PM
People have counted him out so many and he has proven them wrong every time. So I wouldn't bet against him.

Filo V.
06-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Nadal will win the next 10 Roland Garros titles.

born_on_clay
06-10-2012, 01:51 PM
Yes, he will, without any doubt :yeah: