Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Can Rafa radically change his playing style and stay in top?

zeleni
06-18-2009, 09:13 PM
Rafa always had problems with knees, but this time it looks more serious than ever. (I hope it's only uncle Toni's "mind games", as some posters suggest.)

Assuming Rafa has real problem now, can he change his unique style that made him the best player to phisically less demanding style (more flat low percentage shots, better serve and more volleys)? Did that kind of transition ever happen successfully in tennis history for top player?
Rafa is still relatively young player...

Arkulari
06-18-2009, 09:14 PM
Rafa's already formed as a tennis player, for him to radically change is 99% impossible, you can't ask him to stop running after every ball or putting topspin on his forehand :shrug:

Sapeod
06-18-2009, 09:15 PM
If he tries that transition I don't think it will be a very succesful one. It will take a year, maybe two for him to get a rhythm going.

MacTheKnife
06-18-2009, 09:17 PM
I don't recall this every happening before. I've seen guys adjust their tactics and maybe make some subtle changes in style as they age, but nothing to the extent of the changes you described.

habibko
06-18-2009, 09:18 PM
if he could serve better or volley better he would have done it regardless of his playing style.

twisturhead
06-18-2009, 09:21 PM
yeah hes going to play right handed, develop a great topspin backhand, dominate fed's backhand and the tour for 5 more years

Quadruple Tree
06-18-2009, 09:25 PM
23 is not relatively young in tennis terms, and I can't remember anything like that ever happening. The closest would probably be Borg serve and volleying at Wimbledon, but he still played his typical baseline style on other surfaces. However passing shots are much easier now than they were then thanks largely to the changes in technology. Now players can pass from a full stretch 10 feet behind the baseline which was simply impossible 30 years ago. For someone who is not a natural volleyer, he will have a pretty steep learning curve trying to figure out when to come to net and how to position himself once he gets there. As far as radically altering strokes, that is probably out of the question at this point.

octatennis
06-18-2009, 09:26 PM
he has shown before that he can make serve and volley, hit flat shots and dictate the points, he obviously can do it what he need is to gain confidence to make this more common in every match, and obviously hard but he can let behind at least a 30% percent of his marathons in the court.

he won't became sampras or navarro-pastor but would be a good way to reduce the fatigue.

GlennMirnyi
06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
:lol:

People here know so much about tennis. :D

zeleni
06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
I don't recall this every happening before. I've seen guys adjust their tactics and maybe make some subtle changes in style as they age, but nothing to the extent of the changes you described.
Who for example?
if he could serve better or volley better he would have done it regardless of his playing style.
You are right for serve, but maybe he could be less selective when he wants to approach net.

Quadruple Tree
06-18-2009, 09:31 PM
he has shown before that he can make serve and volley, hit flat shots and dictate the points.

When has he shown this? Do you have a particular match in mind? The only time I see him come to net is when the opponent is way out of position and he has an easy put away that 100% of pro players could make.

zeleni
06-18-2009, 09:33 PM
he has shown before that he can make serve and volley, hit flat shots and dictate the points, he obviously can do it what he need is to gain confidence to make this more common in every match, and obviously hard but he can let behind at least a 30% percent of his marathons in the court.

he won't became sampras or navarro-pastor but would be a good way to reduce the fatigue.

That is what I had on mind.

Arkulari
06-18-2009, 09:38 PM
he has to curb his physical effort, but I don't think he will be able to change much of his playing style :shrug:

Burrow
06-18-2009, 09:40 PM
Being realistic, it's certainly not happening.

MacTheKnife
06-18-2009, 09:47 PM
Who for example?

You are right for serve, but maybe he could be less selective when he wants to approach net.

Roddick right now is adjusting his style subtly and changing his tactics as he ages. He's making an effort to play differently, but it's not as drastic as what's being suggested here.

octatennis
06-18-2009, 09:48 PM
When has he shown this? Do you have a particular match in mind? The only time I see him come to net is when the opponent is way out of position and he has an easy put away that 100% of pro players could make.


he did it in the latest games of his match against murray on US open SF's and against andreev in the olimpycs.

coincidencialy, he did it when he showed signs of tiredness in both matches. i'm not saying he does that regulary but with the few times he has done it prove that he 'knows' something about it.
he won't became an attacking player but adding some changes and variation in his game would reduce the impact that his defensive style has over his body. and sure he won't start doing it tomorrow.

Halba
06-18-2009, 09:50 PM
its murray federer and del potro to battle it out for 09 this year

nadal will be OUT

djoker is wayward mentally

FedFan_2007
06-18-2009, 10:24 PM
Rafa will be fine. He'll be running like a rabbit in R128, just you wait and see!

batavlada
06-18-2009, 11:06 PM
At first place he can stop playing every point as is last one. He must change approach to game. He can and must shift gears in his game.

luie
06-18-2009, 11:12 PM
At first place he can stop playing every point as is last one. He must change approach to game. He can and must shift gears in his game.
He could change his style some-what,but if he reduces the amount of spin he puts into his forehand & "let points go" he might prolong his career beat some flat hitters but as a result he will start losing more to you know know.:devil:

andylovesaustin
06-18-2009, 11:59 PM
I think he could try to change it, but I don't think he'd be necessarily as successful.

He's comfortable with his style or he would have changed it already.

FedFan_2007
06-19-2009, 12:01 AM
Hey andy - maybe Rafa can become "king of the drop shots" like Roger, no?

twisturhead
06-19-2009, 12:14 AM
Hey andy - maybe Rafa can become "king of the drop shots" like Roger, no?

dropshots from 5 feet behind the baseline

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
06-19-2009, 12:16 AM
He can tweak his ganme and add to it, (maybe add something to his arsenal- like Fed added the drop shot this year)

but he can't change his tennis nature- Agassi was never going to become a serve and volleyer- and today's game doesn't suit S&V anyway

IMO Nadal has the single greatest shot for a single surface

the left handed heavy top spin FH cross court on clay

unbeatable shot on clay, it naturally attacks the right handers BH side
it flies up due to the insane topspin generated
it swings out, so that the player cannot run around the shot easily, because it swings into the body
the best most players do is slice it back, but that is suicide because Nadal eats up slice shots, given time on a shot Nadal destorys anyone

on clay consistency is everything- heavy top spin basically guarantees Nadal is hitting a huge percentage shot- which is why he can out rally anyone

Nadal can play in total defense an entire rally (which he does rather well due to his incredible footspeed and footwork), and the moment he is allowed to unload on his FH side, he instantly turns defense into attack

scary to imagine how anyone could beat Nadal on clay- even after this years FO- unless Nadal loses a step or his FH becomes less consistent

andylovesaustin
06-19-2009, 12:16 AM
Hey andy - maybe Rafa can become "king of the drop shots" like Roger, no?

No, there is only one Dr. Roger "dropshot" Federer,esq., GOAT!

Has Rafa ever dissed the dropshot? It wouldn't work unless Rafa had dissed the dropshot as "cowardly" then decided to use it--like ROGER! That's what made Roger the king because the dropshot became his secret weapon! He practiced and practiced.. and then his dropshot was something to behold, wasn't it?

No.. Roger is the one and only original "dropshot." There was never a player before, during, and probably after Dr. Roger "king of the dropshot and more" Federer, esq., GOAT.

rocketassist
06-19-2009, 12:20 AM
He can tweak his ganme and add to it, (maybe add something to his arsenal- like Fed added the drop shot this year)

but he can't change his tennis nature- Agassi was never going to become a serve and volleyer- and today's game doesn't suit S&V anyway

IMO Nadal has the single greatest shot for a single surface

the left handed heavy top spin FH cross court on clay

unbeatable shot on clay, it naturally attacks the right handers BH side
it flies up due to the insane topspin generated
it swings out, so that the player cannot run around the shot easily, because it swings into the body
the best most players do is slice it back, but that is suicide because Nadal eats up slice shots, given time on a shot Nadal destorys anyone

on clay consistency is everything- heavy top spin basically guarantees Nadal is hitting a huge percentage shot- which is why he can out rally anyone

Nadal can play in total defense an entire rally (which he does rather well due to his incredible footspeed and footwork), and the moment he is allowed to unload on his FH side, he instantly turns defense into attack

scary to imagine how anyone could beat Nadal on clay- even after this years FO- unless Nadal loses a step or his FH becomes less consistent

That shot is no better on clay than it is on grass.

Nadal has won RG four times playing defensive retrieval tennis. He won Wimbledon playing more aggressive, so the shot is definitely more effective on the lawns.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
06-19-2009, 12:26 AM
That shot is no better on clay than it is on grass.

Nadal has won RG four times playing defensive retrieval tennis. He won Wimbledon playing more aggressive, so the shot is definitely more effective on the lawns.

its better on clay (imo)

because the higher bounce clay gives combined with the topspin is a nightmare for any opponent

since 2001 wimby grass has also given a higher bounce

a high bounce to the BH is a nightmare to most players, (case in point Federer)

turkjey5
06-19-2009, 02:10 AM
maybe he can train differently...it makes my knees hurt just watching him warm up by jumping up and down and doing deep knee bends.

HKz
06-19-2009, 03:10 AM
Next thread, please.

Seriously, I don't know where you got this kind of a question from. I mean if you play tennis yourself, you would know that changing your game completely is a huge thing. What you are asking is virtually impossible. To achieve a type of play that would let's say, make his knees age less, he would have to stop bending his legs so hard on nearly everyone point. That would make his forehand grip useless because he can't generate the topspin that he relies on. That alone would make him get eaten alive back by Roger because it is the single biggest thing that hurts Roger's game. So in a sense, it would make him into Verdasco, or maybe even how he first started playing on the tour, as in no wins. Not to mention how long it would take for Rafalafa to even get to the same level with his new style as his current one. That would mean a long time of losses or no play which would drop him to rankings below embaressing and then he'd quit when he realizes that he is 31 years old when he's done with his training.

If you are talking about encorporating other less taxing tactics, that would be nearly impossible by itself. Since when did you see anyone go from being a serve and volleyer to baseliner or vise versa. No one. Sure you might see players play MORE serve and volley than their regular baseline like Pete Sampras did with his second serve or what Borg did on faster courts, but they were already quite sucessful with the tactic so playing more wasn't a problem. In Nadal's case, he almost NEVER serves and volleys except for a few times on the AD side of the court when spinning a PERFECT serve out wide, but even then, it has to be a weak return for him to put away. You see him sometimes panic and serve and volley when he feels he is losing on the deuce side and he fails miserably.

Forehander
06-19-2009, 03:16 AM
Yes he can.

Horatio Caine
06-19-2009, 06:54 AM
No.

He can change his playing style, but he can't avoid the fact that his knees won't ever be as strong as they were some years ago...and for a professional athlete, that is a handicap.

JediFed
06-19-2009, 07:34 AM
He'll steel Benders knees and make himself the bionic man so he can play the same way into his 40's. :devil:

He'll still lose to RoboFed tho. :mad:

green25814
06-19-2009, 10:50 AM
Dont be retarded people. This is a ridiculous thread, of course changing his playing style is impossible. :retard: Dont you know anything about tennis?

Or at least, he can change his playing style but he would be shit.

Goldenoldie
06-19-2009, 12:28 PM
One thing he can change is his playing schedule and miss a few tournaments.
I don't think he can "radically" change his style, because that is what has brought him success, but I'm sure he can make a few improvements.

fast_clay
06-19-2009, 06:28 PM
yeah... who knows what sort of work he has been making time for over the course of the last year... perhaps there is a percentage of his time each week devoted to this very part of the year...?

anyways, i think a further blend of traditional grasscourt tennis can only help nadal... furthermore, he kinda needs to do it... i am not saying he needs to go all the way clasic, its not gonna work at all... but, a bit more of a blend upon last year effort may do the trick...

what is for sure nadal needs to write the next 2 months off completely, and concentrate on a strong end of season run in... sad thing is that, it a combination of a camp's ill advised schedule personal greed and sh!thouse playing arrangements created by the ATP that have caused this, both parties hurting their prized asset...

on another note... dosn't anyone remember Ivan Lendl...? now.. there was a man who went through a dramatic change... people fondly like to remember him as a grassmug... but, that is a typically ill-educated piece of sh!t statement... the man had Coche Roche at the helm and won Queen's and made two consecutive Wimbledon finals, eventually giving the French Open the wide berth to concentrate on the grass season... yes, there are historical instances of such style conversion... extremely successful in this case...