What can Nadal do to counteract the big hitters? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What can Nadal do to counteract the big hitters?

laurie-1
11-23-2009, 07:54 PM
I think its been acknowledged for a number of years that Nadal is vulnerable to guys with a big game on a hardcourt. Some examples include:

Mikhail Youzny - 2005 US Open
James Blake - 2006 US Open
Fernando Gonzalez - 2007 Australian Open
Joe Wilfrd Tsonga - 2008 Australian Open
Andy Murray!! - 2008 US Open (Murray played aggressively for a change and it worked beautifully)
Juan Martin Del Potro - 2009 US Open
Novak Djokovic - 2009 Paris Bercy semifinal

I haven't seen todays match but listened to it on the radio and by all accounts Robin Soderling was the one making the play. And of course despite Rafa's injury at the French, Soderling hit through him in Paris on clay, Rafa's favourite surface.

One of the ways these guys have taken the initiative is to open up the court expecialy with the backhand down the line making Rafa stretch often, especially on the fast court of the US Open. After opening up the court they can then dictate at the net or take advantage of Rafa's short balls (which increase when Rafa is under pressure).

I remember in the 1990s the likes of Agassi and Courier said that they had to do something to counteract the big servers. Nadal has a similar problem in that he needs to counteract the big hitters especially on faster surfaces.

Taking this into account and maybe Rafa has to look at his game after wear and tear - what can Rafa do in ways of amending his game? to start getting the better of players who really have a go at him; how can he turn the tables to start winning the big tournaments again? What can Rafa also do to ensure he doesn't always looked physically jaded by October of every season?

I know some of you guys are quite sensitive so I'll make it clear, this is not having a go at Rafa but to look at how he can get back up there, I like Rafa a lot and saw him at the French Open in both 2007 and 2008 against Moya and Almagro respectively.

Byrd
11-23-2009, 07:56 PM
Retire from tennis, most logic thing to do.

Ivanatis
11-23-2009, 07:56 PM
Get fully healthy, get fully fit and hope for the best.

Ichiban1920
11-23-2009, 07:56 PM
The only thing Nadull can do is moonball and pray that the opponent loses the match with unforced errors. There's nothing else he can do. He doesn't hit flat, has no serve, no volleys, no slice, all he can do is hit moonball forehands.

Burrow
11-23-2009, 08:00 PM
Get fully healthy, get fully fit and hope for the best.

Well that hasn't really worked for him in the past so I doubt it will now. :confused:

Collective
11-23-2009, 08:02 PM
Pray for death

Arkulari
11-23-2009, 08:04 PM
Rafa is playing awfully short nowadays, and big hitters feast on those floaters, specially that atrocious bh slice :o

he has to make them go back, got them out of balance so he can force either a easy shot to solve or the opponent's UEs

Clydey
11-23-2009, 08:05 PM
Flatten out his forehand. Right now, it's costing him matches. I don't care how many times I'm told that it's a weapon. On a hardcourt, it is often a liability. It rears up, begging to be flattened out.

Ichiban1920
11-23-2009, 08:05 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1eQzQvC3ftQ/SXOBeqy0KfI/AAAAAAAAAIU/h1lcR7sYBEQ/s400/nadal+face.jpg

Scare the opponents off the court with his ugly mug.

Ivanatis
11-23-2009, 08:07 PM
Well that hasn't really worked for him in the past so I doubt it will now. :confused:

well, it's by far not that he lost every single time he played Blake or Tsonga for example

everybody knows that he won't win 6 or 7 times at any GS apart from RG; but if everything works out perfect, it can go the way it did in Melbourne this year

Burrow
11-23-2009, 08:09 PM
It's not very realistic that Nadal is going to be able to, all of a sudden, after hitting his forehand the way he has for probably all of his life, flatten it.

guapogreg08
11-23-2009, 08:10 PM
The only thing Nadull can do is moonball and pray that the opponent loses the match with unforced errors. There's nothing else he can do. He doesn't hit flat, has no serve, no volleys, no slice, all he can do is hit moonball forehands.

this

Clydey
11-23-2009, 08:12 PM
It's not very realistic that Nadal is going to be able to, all of a sudden, after hitting his forehand the way he has for probably all of his life, flatten it.

I don't mean he should start hitting the ball like Soderling. I mean flatten it out a bit more, like he did during Wimbledon 08. Less net clearance, more penetration and, most importantly, it won't sit up at the perfect height for guys like Soderling, Del Potro, and Djokovic to flatten out.

Dini
11-23-2009, 08:12 PM
I thought his forehand was much flatter at the AO this year. Thought there was a major step forward there. He seems to have taken 10 steps back though by reverting to his old self with the utterly defensive game.

prima donna
11-23-2009, 08:13 PM
Retrieve and hope.

madmax
11-23-2009, 08:16 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1eQzQvC3ftQ/SXOBeqy0KfI/AAAAAAAAAIU/h1lcR7sYBEQ/s400/nadal+face.jpg

Scare the opponents off the court with his ugly mug.

looks like we have a winning solution...:haha::haha:

Burrow
11-23-2009, 08:17 PM
I really don't see much difference at W08 and AO09 to the usual :shrug:

I don't think he'll ever really change his game enough to consistently beat these type of opponents like he does with everybody else.

kobulingam
11-23-2009, 08:17 PM
A fully inflated Nadal would be tough for Soderling to beat.

martinatreue
11-23-2009, 08:26 PM
He is taking the ball earlier but needs to shorten up his swings... I already see improvement in tactics but his execution is still spotty because this is a new style of play for him. Also, not missing like 15/16 first serves in a row sure would help :p

Johnny Groove
11-23-2009, 08:28 PM
During the off season, he needs to watch videos of his own matches from 2008-early 2009. In those matches, he was hitting the forehand very deep with heavy spin from the back of the court and crushing backhands. I think he had about 10-15 clean backhand winners in the AO final this year.

I think he also needs to gain back some muscle. We all know he's lost weight, and I personally think that has hurt him. Yeah, he did it to take some strain off the knees, but i think he sacrificed foot speed and thus power/spin potential on running passing shots, something he used to be able to do at warp speed in his sleep. Another effect of the weight loss is that I feel he is not nearly as explosive with his foot speed, often not reacting quick enough to balls.

When players used to hit to his forehand, he'd run over there and hit a screamer back. Now, those screamers are dropping in the service box and we all know the result.

He also needs to improve his timing, which will come, and his confidence, which will also come with training and practice.

I do think his first serve has improved, though, at least in terms of speed and aces, matching Soderling with 5 in the match today. Of course, with improved pace comes a lower first serve %, something that used to be in the 70's regularly is now barely pushing 60.

TennisLurker
11-23-2009, 08:30 PM
I posted this in the results thread


---
Nadal fans may say that Rafa is the same weight as always, but to me he looks thinner, weaker, less ripped, and his shots have less pace and heavyness.

Rafa needs to hit the Gym again, or whatever it was that made him so strong

Rafa isn't a flat clean ball striker, if you want to hit hard penetrating shots with exagerated heavy topspin, you need strength. Otherwise, the result you get is those crappy loopy shots Nadal has been hitting for months.
---

Burrow
11-23-2009, 08:33 PM
I'm seriously convinced 95% of the people here haven't set foot in a gym or have trained for a sport. Muscle does not equal power or strength.

Just use google for god's sake.

Nadal was losing to the same sort of people now and then years ago. It's been like that throughout his career. He's not losing consistently to them, but let's just say it's not his favourite match up.

SerenaFederer
11-23-2009, 08:35 PM
rafa's issue is that his strategy of "whip my top spin fh to their bh" only works on players with weak bhs, and especially on clay...he doesn't change that strategy to suit whoever he is playing, or the surface...so while it may be a dream or nightmare depending on if you're rafa or the opponent while on clay, when you get on hc that fh is just sitting up into the strike zone of the two-handers who will just munch on it...

MalwareDie
11-23-2009, 08:35 PM
Retire.

MariaV
11-23-2009, 08:35 PM
I'm seriously convinced 95% of the people here haven't set foot in a gym or have trained for a sport. Muscle does not equal power or strength.

Just use google for god's sake.

Burrow my man!!! Just what I wanted to say. :worship: :bowdown:

Johnny Groove
11-23-2009, 08:37 PM
He also needs to go down the line with his forehand more often.

But that's always been a confidence shot for him.

Byrd
11-23-2009, 08:40 PM
He also needs to go down the line with his forehand more often.

But that's always been a confidence shot for him.

He only hits it as a last resort.

SerenaFederer
11-23-2009, 08:41 PM
I'm seriously convinced 95% of the people here haven't set foot in a gym or have trained for a sport. Muscle does not equal power or strength.

Just use google for god's sake.

Nadal was losing to the same sort of people now and then years ago. It's been like that throughout his career. He's not losing consistently to them, but let's just say it's not his favourite match up.

true...i think his confidence was so high last year - beginning of this year, that he was able to withstand all those shots from the big hitters so he turned around that trend.....but for the most part those have all been the sort of players he lost to...

Johnny Groove
11-23-2009, 08:43 PM
He only hits it as a last resort.

I know, that's what I'm sayin.

Adler and Goodall were spot on in their commentary today. I agree with them.

They said that players have begun to camp on the backhand side against Nadal because they know that 99.9% of his forehands go cross court. If he works the down the line shot into his game more like he did in 2008, his results will be better.

I mean, who has Nadal lost to since he came back from injury?

JMDP x2
Djokovic x2
Davydenko
Cilic
Soderling

The only loss I'd say was bad was the Cilic match, but other than that, did anyone expect Nadal to win a title this fall? He never does :zzz:

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
11-23-2009, 08:49 PM
Muscle does not equal power or strength.


no, but it helps! thats the point

he's 23, he AINT gonna improve his technique enough to be able to hit a totally flat power shot

what other options does the spanish matador have?

he obviously can't handle big hitters

Nadal needs to shorten points

to do that you gotta be able to deliver consistent KNOCK OUT blows- that requires POWWWAAAAAA

he cant- not on medium to fast Hard courts- and especially not indoors

Nadal is like like Michael chang with a better forehand

in fact i'd wager a fair amount saying that Chang was faster than Rafa

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-e28wqp2nZI/SWWiAciS3YI/AAAAAAAAB1o/WfsbHZE695Q/s400/popeye.jpg

^as we can see of our artists representation of Rod Laver above- the increased POWWAAA levels from eating spinach and training meant his left hand delivered seriouus levels of POWWAA

Nadal needs to eat spinach and train so he too can have serious levels of POWWAAA

Clydey
11-23-2009, 08:51 PM
I'm seriously convinced 95% of the people here haven't set foot in a gym or have trained for a sport. Muscle does not equal power or strength.



So you think Nadal's strength lies in his superior technique, then?

Power does have a lot to do with technique. In fact, in most cases it is about technique. Nadal is about raw power, though. Not just in the strength of his arms, but in his legs too. Not to state the obvious, but his legs are crucial to how he plays the game, in a way that they are not crucial to someone like Soderling.

Burrow
11-23-2009, 09:01 PM
no, but it helps! thats the point

he's 23, he AINT gonna improve his technique enough to be able to hit a totally flat power shot

what other options does the spanish matador have?

he obviously can't handle big hitters

Nadal needs to shorten points

to do that you gotta be able to deliver consistent KNOCK OUT blows- that requires POWWWAAAAAA

he cant- not on medium to fast Hard courts- and especially not indoors

Nadal is like like Michael chang with a better forehand

in fact i'd wager a fair amount saying that Chang was faster than Rafa

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-e28wqp2nZI/SWWiAciS3YI/AAAAAAAAB1o/WfsbHZE695Q/s400/popeye.jpg

^as we can see of our artists representation of Rod Laver above- the increased POWWAAA levels from eating spinach and training meant his left hand delivered seriouus levels of POWWAA

Nadal needs to eat spinach and train so he too can have serious levels of POWWAAA

No, it really doesn't.

It's fact, it's not just my opinion.

rocketassist
11-23-2009, 09:02 PM
Hope they have an off day/UE day.

TennisLurker
11-23-2009, 09:03 PM
I'm seriously convinced 95% of the people here haven't set foot in a gym or have trained for a sport. Muscle does not equal power or strength.

Just use google for god's sake.

Nadal was losing to the same sort of people now and then years ago. It's been like that throughout his career. He's not losing consistently to them, but let's just say it's not his favourite match up.

Navratilova and Lendl didn't become dominant players until they hit the gym, and the change in their game was of both endurance and power.
You can see that every day and every year, like Murray proudly flaunting his new biceps.

And if you lose mass, you lose strength, that is physics, unless you accelerate more to compensate during the swing, but ti is impossible to do that always. Nadal isn't injured, but he isn't in peak physical condition, he is relatively out of shape.

Burrow
11-23-2009, 09:25 PM
So you think Nadal's strength lies in his superior technique, then?

Power does have a lot to do with technique. In fact, in most cases it is about technique. Nadal is about raw power, though. Not just in the strength of his arms, but in his legs too. Not to state the obvious, but his legs are crucial to how he plays the game, in a way that they are not crucial to someone like Soderling.

No, did I say that?

Strength is a basis for power and certain types of resistance training lead to hypertrophy.

You can become strong and powerful without gaining much muscle, so what I'm saying is, for one to gain strength/power, one does not need to work on building mass.

Nadal doesn't need to go and focus on building muscle.

Burrow
11-23-2009, 09:26 PM
Navratilova and Lendl didn't become dominant players until they hit the gym, and the change in their game was of both endurance and power.
You can see that every day and every year, like Murray proudly flaunting his new biceps.

And if you lose mass, you lose strength, that is physics, unless you accelerate more to compensate during the swing, but ti is impossible to do that always. Nadal isn't injured, but he isn't in peak physical condition, he is relatively out of shape.

Lendl was hardly muscle bound :lol:

He may have been physically fit and strong but he obviously didn't work on building muscle, he was built like a bean stock.

Lose mass lose strength? Oh my god...

TennisLurker
11-23-2009, 09:36 PM
http://tennis-health.com/Resources/Articles/article6/tabid/99/Default.aspx

TheBoiledEgg
11-23-2009, 09:44 PM
do what he usually says

"i wont play your tourn unless you slow it down for me" :rolleyes:

Forehander
11-23-2009, 09:46 PM
do what he usually says

"i wont play your tourn unless you slow it down for me" :rolleyes:

:rolls:

n8
11-23-2009, 10:02 PM
I know, that's what I'm sayin.

Adler and Goodall were spot on in their commentary today. I agree with them.

They said that players have begun to camp on the backhand side against Nadal because they know that 99.9% of his forehands go cross court. If he works the down the line shot into his game more like he did in 2008, his results will be better.

I mean, who has Nadal lost to since he came back from injury?

JMDP x2
Djokovic x2
Davydenko
Cilic
Soderling

The only loss I'd say was bad was the Cilic match, but other than that, did anyone expect Nadal to win a title this fall? He never does :zzz:

I'm agreeing with what you're saying. He needs to use the down-the-line forehand more.

tyruk14
11-23-2009, 10:22 PM
Nadal's forehand seems very contrived to me. It's a great shot when its on, but he's naturally right-handed, therefore he has more feel and control with that hand, period.

His forehand has been built around that fact, and I don't believe he'll ever be able to hit it as hard as a natural lefty like Verdasco, because 85% of the time he'd hit the net, or push it wide, or even long. So he has to hold back some of his power due to the lack of touch. And the answer is to hit it cross-court, which has proven itself to be a mistake. Two-handers will always be difficult for him now. Unless he finds confidence again, this will become a cliché; off clay, at least.

freeandlonely
11-24-2009, 01:06 AM
Well, actually he still have won many of those.
Hope those guys, who play rather aggressive rennis, have more patience and belief against Nadull.

But, by the way, James Blake is not good enough to be called big hitter, he is just a brainless ball basher.

adee-gee
11-24-2009, 01:13 AM
One word. Depth.

LaFuria
11-24-2009, 01:20 AM
Retire

cocrcici
11-24-2009, 01:27 AM
One word. Depth.

:D

Mechlan
11-24-2009, 02:28 AM
No, did I say that?

Strength is a basis for power and certain types of resistance training lead to hypertrophy.

You can become strong and powerful without gaining much muscle, so what I'm saying is, for one to gain strength/power, one does not need to work on building mass.

Nadal doesn't need to go and focus on building muscle.

This is absolutely true, but a loss in muscle can also indicate a loss in strength. He's certainly got less bulk on him now. If he can keep that off but work towards regaining his former strength in the gym, he'll be better off.

Rafa = Fed Killa
11-24-2009, 03:25 AM
Retire from tennis, most logic thing to do.

Hope to play Federer.

Easy win against the crybaby.

Boost confidence to play against the great players like Delpo and Nole.

sawan66278
11-24-2009, 04:33 AM
Where to begin?

1. Hire a new coach to work with or replace Toni. Novak hired Todd Martin...and it has paid huge dividends. His strategy has grown stale...and the same types of players with similar games are taking advantage (tall, flat ball hitters with two-handed backhands and big serves).

2. Strategy-wise, away with the 95% of forehand to backhand rallies. What Rafa needs to do is take advantage of the strength of these opponents: their height. Over time, if you move them side to side, with some variety of up and back, you CAN take their legs from them. Agassi was a master of this, realizing that matches are marathons, not sprints. Why not go forehand to backhand, to forehand to backhand...yes, it may be predicable to an extent, but you're taking their legs from them. Big guys like the Toad like to plant their feet and blow people away...he's not a great mover, and you can exhaust him over time...even over three sets. But, Rafa continues to simply go to the backhands of these giants...and the spin has less of an effect, because the spin actually allows the ball to land in their strike zones. Take away their legs first...this needs to be done.

3. Hit the down the line forehand more often. With his topspin, this should be used MUCH more often. Again, a product of routine strategy and lack of growth on his part.

4. Come to the net more often. Today, Rafa came to the net three times. Yes, he got passed, but Stefan Edberg, one of the all time kings of volleying said that if he won only 60% of the points at net, he would win. Putting pressure on your opponent is key here. Ask Mats Wilander. The man won his only U.S. Open over legend Lendl in 1988 by attacking and coming to the net...forcing Lendl to respond. Yes, Ivan won many battles, but Mats won the war in the end: the title itself, because Lendl could not make ENOUGH passing shots.

5. Work on the serve. Rafa's serve is the worst of any #1 in the history of the sport. Very few cheap points, and never taking enough of an advantage of his playing left-handed. Hire Johnny Mac as a serving consultant. The man was a genius of placement...and has OFTEN wondered why Rafa has not taken enough of an advantage of his being lefty.

6. Add more muscle mass to the upper body. Its obvious he's not generating enough spin or pace because of the lack of body strength.

7. Where is the depth? Rafa's groundstrokes have little or no depth. And are sitting their waiting to be crushed. Floating the ball back will NOT help...unless you are willing to run...which also leads to my next point...

8. Run, Rafa, run. Rafa is now not chasing the balls down that he used to. We understand that you have to save your legs, but now your mystique has gone the way of the dodo...players do not feel the same pressure because they believe their first or second shot will be enough...so they're not missing shots from nerves, etc.

9. Hit the two-hander (backhand) with more pace...and more crosscourt shots...less floater down the line...which do nothing but expose one to blasts from the giants.

10. Get rid of the polos...go back to the basics. Either white or plain t-shirts or the sleeveless look. You're not Federer...you're Nadal...act the part, because clothes do indeed make the man.

11. Go back and watch your matches from 2008-early 2009...see how you competed...how you fought...inspire yourself

12. Make a list of those who have taken their licks...use this a blackboard material...get your eye of the tiger back...

Oh, and did I forget, ADD TO YOUR COACHING TEAM OR GET A NEW COACH.

Bascule
11-24-2009, 04:36 AM
Where to begin?

1. Hire a new coach to work with or replace Toni. Novak hired Todd Martin...and it has paid huge dividends. His strategy has grown stale...and the same types of players with similar games are taking advantage (tall, flat ball hitters with two-handed backhands and big serves).

2. Strategy-wise, away with the 95% of forehand to backhand rallies. What Rafa needs to do is take advantage of the strength of these opponents: their height. Over time, if you move them side to side, with some variety of up and back, you CAN take their legs from them. Agassi was a master of this, realizing that matches are marathons, not sprints. Why not go forehand to backhand, to forehand to backhand...yes, it may be predicable to an extent, but you're taking their legs from them. Big guys like the Toad like to plant their feet and blow people away...he's not a great mover, and you can exhaust him over time...even over three sets. But, Rafa continues to simply go to the backhands of these giants...and the spin has less of an effect, because the spin actually allows the ball to land in their strike zones. Take away their legs first...this needs to be done.

3. Hit the down the line forehand more often. With his topspin, this should be used MUCH more often. Again, a product of routine strategy and lack of growth on his part.

4. Come to the net more often. Today, Rafa came to the net three times. Yes, he got passed, but Stefan Edberg, one of the all time kings of volleying said that if he won only 60% of the points at net, he would win. Putting pressure on your opponent is key here. Ask Mats Wilander. The man won his only U.S. Open over legend Lendl in 1988 by attacking and coming to the net...forcing Lendl to respond. Yes, Ivan won many battles, but Mats won the war in the end: the title itself, because Lendl could not make ENOUGH passing shots.

5. Work on the serve. Rafa's serve is the worst of any #1 in the history of the sport. Very few cheap points, and never taking enough of an advantage of his playing left-handed. Hire Johnny Mac as a serving consultant. The man was a genius of placement...and has OFTEN wondered why Rafa has not taken enough of an advantage of his being lefty.

6. Add more muscle mass to the upper body. Its obvious he's not generating enough spin or pace because of the lack of body strength.

7. Where is the depth? Rafa's groundstrokes have little or no depth. And are sitting their waiting to be crushed. Floating the ball back will NOT help...unless you are willing to run...which also leads to my next point...

8. Run, Rafa, run. Rafa is now not chasing the balls down that he used to. We understand that you have to save your legs, but now your mystique has gone the way of the dodo...players do not feel the same pressure because they believe their first or second shot will be enough...so they're not missing shots from nerves, etc.

9. Hit the two-hander (backhand) with more pace...and more crosscourt shots...less floater down the line...which do nothing but expose one to blasts from the giants.

10. Get rid of the polos...go back to the basics. Either white or plain t-shirts or the sleeveless look. You're not Federer...you're Nadal...act the part, because clothes do indeed make the man.

11. Go back and watch your matches from 2008-early 2009...see how you competed...how you fought...inspire yourself

12. Make a list of those who have taken their licks...use this a blackboard material...get your eye of the tiger back...

Oh, and did I forget, ADD TO YOUR COACHING TEAM OR GET A NEW COACH.

You wrote this already, honey, so many times...:rolleyes:
get yourself a new cyberlover to write long letters to, don't bother us with "dear diary, I am so lonely" novels a la prima donna.




...and, Rafa, did you read this at last?:rolleyes:

kobulingam
11-24-2009, 07:50 AM
I posted this in the results thread


---
Nadal fans may say that Rafa is the same weight as always, but to me he looks thinner, weaker, less ripped, and his shots have less pace and heavyness.

Rafa needs to hit the Gym again, or whatever it was that made him so strong

Rafa isn't a flat clean ball striker, if you want to hit hard penetrating shots with exagerated heavy topspin, you need strength. Otherwise, the result you get is those crappy loopy shots Nadal has been hitting for months.
---

Nadal looks way skinnier than he did at AO thia year. He already looked skinny heading into RG/W. In the previous years I always noticed him bigger/stronger around RG/W, but this year his bulking up happened early in the season. I think he thought he could win RG even with the smaller frame so timed his bulking up to get hte first hardcourt slam.

Bascule
11-24-2009, 07:57 AM
come on people, you all know he had to lose some weight b/c he almost destroyed his knees. i heard doctors said his carrier will be finished in two years. so he has to be careful and that's why he plays so bad he can't afford himself so much gym anymore and more weight.

azinna
11-24-2009, 09:27 AM
More depth, sharper angle (with pace) and the DTL.

kobulingam
11-24-2009, 09:34 AM
come on people, you all know he had to lose some weight b/c he almost destroyed his knees. i heard doctors said his carrier will be finished in two years. so he has to be careful and that's why he plays so bad he can't afford himself so much gym anymore and more weight.

no... ive seen nadal inflate deflate in cycles in previous years... previuos years hes always been skinner at this time of the year compared to RG/W where he looked huge ... this year he was diferent.. looked huge at AO.. then slimmed down going into RG

kobulingam
11-24-2009, 09:35 AM
Nadal will bulk up again at some point next year... and this will coincide with improvement in his play... wait and see.

dylan24
11-24-2009, 10:21 AM
lots of offseason juice

stebs
11-24-2009, 03:40 PM
One word. Depth.

It really is as simple as that.

Nadal plays the ball too short - Nadal loses matches - Nadal loses confidence - Nadal loses the ability to hit the ball deeper consistently - Nadal plays the ball too short - Nadal loses matches.........

It is a cycle that he has been in many times before based on depth and confidence and it is one that he finds himself in again. Players come in and out of form, Nadal is out of form. It happens. He will be okay, just that when he is out of form this ultra defence is his go to tactic and it doesn't work.

Once he starts hitting deeper again he will become very tough to beat again.

Start da Game
11-24-2009, 04:02 PM
go after their forehands and open up the court on their backhand side.......he knows that is what he should do and that is what he did against djokovic, soderling, delpotro and murray several times successfully but at the moment he simply cannot do that because he cannot move well to his right(due to that right knee) and hence two of his winning shots - the backhand and the inside-out forehand have taken a huge hit.......

tealeaves
11-24-2009, 04:22 PM
voodoo doll, perhaps?

yonexforever
11-25-2009, 02:18 AM
Wasnt it just a year ago we were saying obits to Roger?
Now we are burying Nadal.
I say we wait to see the Phoenix rise and he will, he is too great a competitor to just go away without a fight.
I cant believe im saying this.. im not even a Rafa fan, i hate his game.

Johnny Groove
11-25-2009, 03:15 AM
It really is as simple as that.

Nadal plays the ball too short - Nadal loses matches - Nadal loses confidence - Nadal loses the ability to hit the ball deeper consistently - Nadal plays the ball too short - Nadal loses matches.........

It is a cycle that he has been in many times before based on depth and confidence and it is one that he finds himself in again. Players come in and out of form, Nadal is out of form. It happens. He will be okay, just that when he is out of form this ultra defence is his go to tactic and it doesn't work.

Once he starts hitting deeper again he will become very tough to beat again.

I think you are spot on here, stebs, but narrowing it down to simply "he needs to hit deeper" is oversimplifying.

The problem is deeper than that. I just rewatched the Soderling match and I feel that most of his problems reside with confidence and timing.

First off, Nadal is using the slice far too much. His confidence in stepping in and ripping his backhand is gone, so he is reverting to using a defensive slice. This is opposed to the AO, where he was really timing the ball well on the backhand in particular.

As for his forehand, I think it is much the same problem. Several times in the Soderling match he had plenty of time to set up his forehand, and he'd go after it, only to see it land in the service box. Backhands too. It's all timing and confidence. Once he gets back into his rhythm, his shots will have more depth on them, his confidence will improve, and he'll be winning.

Nolby
11-25-2009, 04:36 AM
Clay season isn't too far away...

153-6 Nadal’s record on clay since 2005, a 96.2 winning percentage. :worship:

Winning is a wonderful elixir. :yeah:

Guy Haines
11-25-2009, 08:06 AM
Retire for good - no sane tennis fan is gonna miss him (retarded fangirls and gay fanboys don't count)...

Before throwing around 'retarded' as an insult you could learn how to spell rhythm and learn that tennis a (roughly) about keeping the ball in the court, not on the court, oh wise one.

Guy Haines
11-25-2009, 08:23 AM
I think you are spot on here, stebs, but narrowing it down to simply "he needs to hit deeper" is oversimplifying.

The problem is deeper than that. I just rewatched the Soderling match and I feel that most of his problems reside with confidence and timing.

First off, Nadal is using the slice far too much. His confidence in stepping in and ripping his backhand is gone, so he is reverting to using a defensive slice. This is opposed to the AO, where he was really timing the ball well on the backhand in particular.

As for his forehand, I think it is much the same problem. Several times in the Soderling match he had plenty of time to set up his forehand, and he'd go after it, only to see it land in the service box. Backhands too. It's all timing and confidence. Once he gets back into his rhythm, his shots will have more depth on them, his confidence will improve, and he'll be winning.

I agree. It's not like the big hitters now (Soderling, Cilic) are hugely superior to big hitters of a few years ago like Berdych. Del Potro is the one big hitter who I think is going to be uphill for Rafa if Rafa gets his game right because he's more solid and consistent and slam-winner caliber.

Nadal should get his confidence back on clay. But I don't have high hopes for Australia. Last year he had more time to prepare. Right now his mental focus is really AWOL, which is a symptom of grinding week in week out, something the other top 5 save the sharp Djokovic have avoided post USO. And now he's the only one playing Davis Cup. His scheduling next year better get a LOT better.

Start da Game
11-25-2009, 02:05 PM
I agree. It's not like the big hitters now (Soderling, Cilic) are hugely superior to big hitters of a few years ago like Berdych. Del Potro is the one big hitter who I think is going to be uphill for Rafa if Rafa gets his game right because he's more solid and consistent and slam-winner caliber.

Nadal should get his confidence back on clay. But I don't have high hopes for Australia. Last year he had more time to prepare. Right now his mental focus is really AWOL, which is a symptom of grinding week in week out, something the other top 5 save the sharp Djokovic have avoided post USO. And now he's the only one playing Davis Cup. His scheduling next year better get a LOT better.

i agree that no one other than delpotro is of any real challenge for rafa when he is gets back to his physical best.......

he is still hampered by that right knee, just observe his movement.......movement to the right is not anywhere as free as it was earlier, thereby his backhand and backhand return have taken a severe hit.......not just those two things.......by being slow to his right, he is late on too many balls and that is taking out another important shot from his repertoire - the off forehand.......

he simply needs to allow his right knee to heal fully.......each time since his return, he kept playing with unhealed injuries.......after the us open, he should have played it safe and taken a break of 2 months to get back to 100% fitness........i kept on saying since beijing that he should not return to the tour until paris.......

he felt the pain before thailand and skipped it......it was advised to skip both beijing and shanghai in the same stretch and take complete rest.......he didn't and just did not allow himself to get back to full fitness.......

all he has is the groundgame and his game is based on his movement.......it's all like a chain.......when he is fully fit -> he will move well -> backhand, backhand return and off-forehand are back -> confidence -> wonders.......

bottomline: his key to getting back to his best is attaining full fitness.......

moon language
11-25-2009, 07:12 PM
I can't believe people continue to promote the idea that there is no connection between muscle and strength/power. People have obviously been listening to closely to their bodybuiding friends which is basically irrelevant with concern to an actual sport. Yes, in bodybuilding muscle mass does not have the direct relationship to strength as some would assume "wow that body builder is huge therefore he must be strong" - that is not true. However suggesting there is no connection between muscle mass and strength/power is just purely ignorant. There is a reason tennis players develop one arm larger than the other. Do you think they have equal strength for the same task in both arms? If you do you are an idiot.