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Nadal blames fatigue for struggles

victory1
10-24-2006, 09:31 PM
Struggling Nadal blames fatigue for slide
By JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer
October 24, 2006

PARIS (AP) -- For Rafael Nadal, the explanation is clear: fatigue and a heavy schedule.

The second-ranked Spaniard has not reached the semifinals of a tournament since losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final three months ago.

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"I had a lot of matches in the first half of the season and my muscles were very tired," Nadal said Tuesday during a conference call leading to next week's Paris Masters. "Mentally, too ... it was a big effort. I am playing better now."

Nadal has won five titles this year, including a victory over Federer in the French Open final in June. A month later, the top-ranked Swiss won his fourth straight Wimbledon title by beating Nadal in the final.

Nadal also said he has recovered from foot and ankle injuries -- he skipped the Australian Open in January because of an ailing left foot.

"This is my first year after an important injury so you have to be careful," Nadal said. "I feel fine now, but when you have an injury like I had last year it stays in your mind, so you have to be wary."

Nadal also has to be wary of Federer, who won his 10th title of year on Sunday at the Madrid Masters.

"I think he is playing his best tennis now," Nadal said. "He is the best for sure right now. ... He is playing unbelievable."

At the Paris Masters, which starts Monday, Nadal may get another chance to face Tomas Berdych, who is the defending champion.

The Czech, ranked 10th, beat Nadal in the quarterfinals at Madrid last week. When he was jeered by the Spanish crowd, he put a finger to his lips to try and silence them. Nadal told Berdych he shouldn't have done it and was "a bad person." Spanish fans then badgered Berdych during his semifinal loss to Fernando Gonzalez.

"It is better we don't speak about that. Better to speak about Paris and the next tournament," Nadal said. "Something happened on court, but let's forget it. I don't want to think about Berdych."

Looking toward next year, Nadal predicted that young players will make their mark.

"There are so many coming through, like Berdych, (Richard) Gasquet, (Novak) Djokovic and (Andrew) Murray," Nadal said. "They will expect to finish in the top 25 this year, and a lot of them will be in the top 10 next year."

Updated on Tuesday, Oct 24, 2006 2:17 pm EDT

http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=AmsBeNi0MPNj6XT2gMi762E4v7YF?slug=ap-nadalsstruggle&prov=ap&type=lgns

DrJules
10-24-2006, 09:50 PM
PARIS (AP) -- For Rafael Nadal, the explanation is clear: fatigue and a heavy schedule.


He does make life very difficult for himself; standing so far behind the baseline and having to run so far. Defense can be an exhausting way of playing tennis.

guga2120
10-24-2006, 09:58 PM
i don't doubt hes tired he plays harder than anybody, he did play like crap in AMerica, but against Berdych he just beat, he was playing decent, thats going to happen with him on fast courts, at times, then again he will have shot to win either Paris or Shanghai b/c one of the few,very few, that can beat Federer.

RonE
10-24-2006, 09:58 PM
To those who were discarding with contempt the argument that Nadal's style of play may be taking too much of a toll- here is the proof.

Even if he may not get injured, the amount of physical and mental energy that his game style requires of him to invest to ensure success is so great that he is paying the price for it.

If he really wants to be in the running for titles on faster surfaces he has one of two options:

1. Change up your game- become more aggressive, look to end the points sooner and disctate the play as much as possible without engaging in too many drawn out rallies. He can do this to a certain degree but ultimately we all know this is not his natural and most comfortable game style.

2. Play less tournaments in the first half of the year. Save yourself for the post French Open period and then give it all you've got.

Option #2 seems out of the question with the clay season being Nadal's bread and butter- but maybe a few years down the road after enough success on the clay he might change his game to suit faster surfaces like Muster did in 1997 at the expense of claycourt success. However, this is a big gamble as far as he is concerned as there is a limit to how much a player can change their styles in such a drastic manner- not to mention that every year all the other players improve and the competition only intensifies.

Nadal has some serious thinking to do if he really wants to become world #1 and consistently challenge for all the big titles on all surfaces.

ezekiel
10-24-2006, 10:01 PM
It's a combination of things and he has to mix things up with his game to get more offensive but I think he is trying a lot, he is still only 20

cmurray
10-24-2006, 10:20 PM
i don't doubt hes tired he plays harder than anybody, he did play like crap in AMerica, but against Berdych he just beat, he was playing decent, thats going to happen with him on fast courts, at times, then again he will have shot to win either Paris or Shanghai b/c one of the few,very few, that can beat Federer.


Good post, Guga. And I thank Raf knows this. He even says he's playing better now. Rafa isn't like Roger on faster surfaces - meaning that he isn't practically unbeatable. I liked what I saw at wimby. He was adjusting, coming to net and playing really beautiful tennis. No doubt losing to Federer at the final made him feel exhausted. I think he's just starting to regroup.

No doubt the guy is talented. I thought he played well in Madrid - whatever he was doing to prepare, he ought to keep doing it. The only thing I didn't like is how far behind the baseline he was standing when he played Berdych. It seems to me like he does a really good job of adjusting to the surface he's playing on until he's really pressured and then (as is expected) he reverts back to what is second nature - which works great on clay but not so spiffy on faster surfaces. He'll get there.

Gulliver
10-24-2006, 10:21 PM
It's a combination of things and he has to mix things up with his game to get more offensive but I think he is trying a lot, he is still only 20

And that's the crunch issue, mentally and physically fatigued already and he's only 20. He'd played more matches before this date last year and stuck it out until he'd won Madrid for his 11th title, and then was out of the game until the following February. He's been on the tour for 5 years, is in good physical shape (unlike the underdeveloped Murray/Gasquet) so what's the problem? Burn out. Could be temporary, but it will take a lot of effort to change the game, keep the mental side going and handle the hype and expectations.

scoobs
10-24-2006, 11:20 PM
Precisely. He's 20 years old. Let me get this straight - he had an extremely successful first half of the season from Monte Carlo through to Wimbledon. This was so good that it has totally fatigued him for the entire second half of the season from Toronto to the TMC, despite him taking 4 weeks off after Wimbledon to recuperate - in doing so sharply reducing the number of matches he played.

That doesn't bode well for the future, does it?

If it is fatigue, it is mental fatigue - and it's from pressure he's putting on himself and expectations from outside, to live up to his billing and become a dominant player on all surfaces. As we can see he has some way to go yet - and he needs to find a way to relieve this pressure or he doesn't stand a chance of going all season long year in, year out.

Rogiman
10-24-2006, 11:24 PM
So what use are all these hours working in the gym to develop his biceps of?

AgassiFan588
10-24-2006, 11:25 PM
I don't buy this bullshit.

He really hasn't played THAT much since the USO- it's just that Berdych owns him now.

Ever since the summer hardcourt season, it's clear that his confidence is not what it was earlier in the year up until Wimbledon. :wavey:

dorkino
10-24-2006, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by Dr.Jules
He does make life very difficult for himself; standing so far behind the baseline and having to run so far. Defense can be an exhausting way of playing tennis.

Exactly, but right now it's actually his natural and spontaneous style of playing.If he wants lesser fatigue, then he'd better be seriously thinking about making some good changes for his game,and most important of which is to become more aggressive.Things went better for him when he tried to accomplish this on grass courts this season.

Returning to the defensive mode on hard courts costs him more losses and more loss of confidence especially against strong opponents.

And though this 'll still be against his natural game, but i think he's got the ability to improve may be with some / lot of time and effort depending primarily on his recognition of this problem in the first place and patience from his side and his fans.
But until he gets it , i'm afraid Rafa 'd still be beatable or at least easily kept under pressure on non clay courts.

Johnny Groove
10-24-2006, 11:27 PM
give me a break :rolleyes:

He isnt fatigued, thats bullshit. He had 4 (or was it 5?) weeks off after Wimbledon. He played shit in Toronto, Cincy, and USO. Fatigue isnt the problem. Had he played the 3 North American tourneys up on the baseline like he played Wimbly, I GUARANTEE he would have at least made the Cincy finals, (Roddick was way too good to guarantee Nadal would have won) and most likely won one of the other 2.

How can Nadal be fatigued? he is in awesome shape and hasnt really played that much since Wimbly. If theres anyone that should be tired, its Nikolay Everyweek, but you never see him complaining :shrug:

Rogiman
10-24-2006, 11:30 PM
Had he played the 3 North American tourneys up on the baseline like he played Wimbly, I GUARANTEE he would have at least made the Cincy finals, (Roddick was way too good to guarantee Nadal would have won) and most likely won one of the other 2.The US Open...? :tape:

Conita
10-24-2006, 11:31 PM
ahh Nadal had an amazing run last year and the start of this one, is no surprise to me that he's tired now. In fact i was surprised he lasted that long with his style of game, but to be honest he's just back to being normal, rather than machine level like Fed :P
he'll be ok he just won't be stupidly good, at least for a while :)

Johnny Groove
10-24-2006, 11:32 PM
The US Open...? :tape:

perhaps, perhaps not. Federer wasnt playing his best in Toronto, maybe Rafa would have gotten him there.

But thats irrelevent. If Nadal plays the way he did at Wimbly, (staying up on the baseline, looking to attack, coming to the net and volleying effectively) he will have no problems. :shrug:

Peoples
10-24-2006, 11:32 PM
What struggles? He has had good results. He should take any non-clay accomplishments as a bonus like he used to, it would greatly reduce his "mental fatigue".

Johnny Groove
10-24-2006, 11:34 PM
What struggles? He has had good results. He should take any non-clay accomplishments as a bonus like he used to, it would greatly reduce his "mental fatigue".

the problem is that so much pressure has been heaped upon him because he is the only one that can challenge Federer, at least to some extent. People and media expect him to reach the final of every tourney he plays, and it just not the case :shrug:

PamV
10-24-2006, 11:36 PM
Precisely. He's 20 years old. Let me get this straight - he had an extremely successful first half of the season from Monte Carlo through to Wimbledon. This was so good that it has totally fatigued him for the entire second half of the season from Toronto to the TMC, despite him taking 4 weeks off after Wimbledon to recuperate - in doing so sharply reducing the number of matches he played.

That doesn't bode well for the future, does it?


Don't forget that Roger also made it to the same MC, Rome, and FO finals in the first half of the year. Roger should have been just as fatigued. Also as for mental factors Roger had to keep on hearing people talking about his negative H2H and saying that he was on his way out. That was a lot to ignore and still be able to play normally.

Eden
10-24-2006, 11:36 PM
the problem is that so much pressure has been heaped upon him because he is the only one that can challenge Federer, at least to some extent. People and media expect him to reach the final of every tourney he plays, and it just not the case :shrug:

This pressure is the price you pay when you are the number 2 in the world ;)

Rogiman
10-24-2006, 11:37 PM
Don't forget that Roger also made it to the same MC, Rome, and FO finals in the first half of the year. Roger should have been just as fatigued. Also as for mental factors Roger had to keep on hearing people talking about his negative H2H and saying that he was on his way out. That was a lot to ignore and still be able to play normally.They're not in the same league, I think it's pretty clear to everyone right now.

NicoFan
10-24-2006, 11:37 PM
What struggles? He has had good results. He should take any non-clay accomplishments as a bonus like he used to, it would greatly reduce his "mental fatigue".


I agree with you on this one.

I (humbly) believe :lol: the Nadal camp is going about his career the wrong way.

He's amazingly talented on clay.

So let him excel on clay and get the titles (and money), and let the rest come when it may on grass and hardcourts. Pushing so hard for Wimbly was one of the biggest mistakes he made...he had nothing left for the rest of the season.

He's young...he's got plenty of time to learn to win big on these other surfaces.

I've watched tennis a long time - some of the guys that push and push too early in their careers end up having short careers...they get burned out.

Let him have some fun. And he has to realize that himself...he's too intense now. When I first started watching him, he laughed and smiled all the time. I haven't seen him laugh and smile for a long long time. :sad:

Clara Bow
10-24-2006, 11:43 PM
If he wants lesser fatigue, then he'd better be seriously thinking about making some good changes for his game,and most important of which is to become more aggressive

In an article that was out about a month ago in a Spanish paper that I read on a Nadal forum- Toni said that a major goal for them is to make Nadal's game more aggressive with shorter points, and in turn, work on the skills that will allow him to do so. Toni also said that they need to keep the long-term in mind...meaning, altering his game so that it will be less taxing he will be able to have a longer career.

If it is fatigue, it is mental fatigue - and it's from pressure he's putting on himself and expectations from outside, to live up to his billing and become a dominant player on all surfaces. As we can see he has some way to go yet - and he needs to find a way to relieve this pressure or he doesn't stand a chance of going all season long year in, year out.

I do think mental fatigue is a big issue here. There does seem to be some mental burn out. I think there were a lot of unrealistic expectations put on him too quickly- and he was hoping to meet the expectations even though they were frankly not really attainable. He seems a bit more jaded this year, which is to be expected after the frenzy of last year. He said at the end of last year that he know that 2005 was a very special year that would very likely not happen again in terms of achievments. Still- he should focus on the good aspects of this year (finals of two GSs in a row - his great results on clay) and continue to try to improve his game.

PamV
10-24-2006, 11:44 PM
the problem is that so much pressure has been heaped upon him because he is the only one that can challenge Federer, at least to some extent. People and media expect him to reach the final of every tourney he plays, and it just not the case :shrug:

Federer faces that same pressure of being expected to always win. I think there is a lot more pressure on Roger than on Nadal because Roger is supposed to be able to win on all surfaces. Remember the media criticised Roger for not winning the FO eventhough it was quite a feat for him to get to that final. It was his first FO final. At the same time they raved about Nadal getting to the Wimbledon final despite not winning. His accomplishment to get there was praised.

NYCtennisfan
10-24-2006, 11:45 PM
He's only struggling if his expectations are to do what Federer does which is impossible. He is still the clear #2 because of his utter domination of the clay season. I don't think anyone expected him to dominate off of clay, but get solid results. His results after Wimby aren't that great, but he isn't being challenged for the #2 spot either. I don't see this as a big deal at all.

PamV
10-24-2006, 11:48 PM
They're not in the same league, I think it's pretty clear to everyone right now.

I've never thought they were in the same league. IMO Nadal needs to mature and not jump to criticise others. I remember when he said Roger needs to learn how to lose graciously .... or something to that effect. He doesn't hesitate to speak negatively about another player and that will come back to bite him.

Peoples
10-24-2006, 11:52 PM
His results after Wimby aren't that great, but he isn't being challenged for the #2 spot either. I don't see this as a big deal at all.
Quarter Finals of hard court/indoor Masters is pretty good for a player with a clay court game.

NicoFan
10-24-2006, 11:54 PM
He seems a bit more jaded this year, which is to be expected after the frenzy of last year.

Expected...but sad to see. It really bothers me seeing him live now....he's not the happy camper that I used to see.

Too much pressure to beat out Roger, and too much "love" from the fans who just chase him around every tournament.

If a "fan" of Rafa is truly his fan...they need to back off the kid. Don't expect him to win every match, and leave him alone when they see him in person.

PamV
10-24-2006, 11:55 PM
He's only struggling if his expectations are to do what Federer does which is impossible. He is still the clear #2 because of his utter domination of the clay season. I don't think anyone expected him to dominate off of clay, but get solid results. His results after Wimby aren't that great, but he isn't being challenged for the #2 spot either. I don't see this as a big deal at all.

It's hard to say what "everyone" was expecting. JMac and lots of media seemed to portray that Nadal was about to overtake Federer. Maybe Nadal believed the hype?

Johnny Groove
10-24-2006, 11:55 PM
Let him have some fun. And he has to realize that himself...he's too intense now. When I first started watching him, he laughed and smiled all the time. I haven't seen him laugh and smile for a long long time. :sad:

I know :sobbing: where is the Rafa that beat Moya in Hamburg back on 03? :awww:

Clara Bow
10-24-2006, 11:59 PM
Expected...but sad to see. It really bothers me seeing him live now....he's not the happy camper that I used to see.


I know...the only time where he seems like he is really having fun nowadays is when he is playing doubles.

Johnny Groove
10-25-2006, 12:00 AM
I know...the only time where he seems like he is really having fun nowadays is when he is playing doubles.

or when hes in missionary with Nando :devil:

dorkino
10-25-2006, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Clara bow
In an article that was out about a month ago in a Spanish paper that I read on a Nadal forum- Toni said that a major goal for them is to make Nadal's game more aggressive with shorter points, and in turn, work on the skills that will allow him to do so. Toni also said that they need to keep the long-term in mind...meaning, altering his game so that it will be less taxing he will be able to have a longer career.
Thanks for the info. And at least thinking about it is a good beginning :)

I do think mental fatigue is a big issue here. There does seem to be some mental burn out. I think there were a lot of unrealistic expectations put on him too quickly- and he was hoping to meet the expectations even though they were frankly not really attainable. He seems a bit more jaded this year, which is to be expected after the frenzy of last year. He said at the end of last year that he know that 2005 was a very special year that would very likely not happen again in terms of achievments. Still- he should focus on the good aspects of this year (finals of two GSs in a row) and continue to try to improve his game.
Agree.

And for gosh sakes, quit standing so far behind the baseline.
So far i think it's some kind of a vicious circle, He sticks miles behind the baseline cuz it's his natural game to begin with and gets more aggressive when things go well through the match, but as soon as he's under pressure, he returns to point zero.

victory1
10-25-2006, 12:08 AM
In an article that was out about a month ago in a Spanish paper that I read on a Nadal forum- Toni said that a major goal for them is to make Nadal's game more aggressive with shorter points, and in turn, work on the skills that will allow him to do so. Toni also said that they need to keep the long-term in mind...meaning, altering his game so that it will be less taxing he will be able to have a longer career.



I do think mental fatigue is a big issue here. There does seem to be some mental burn out. I think there were a lot of unrealistic expectations put on him too quickly- and he was hoping to meet the expectations even though they were frankly not really attainable. He seems a bit more jaded this year, which is to be expected after the frenzy of last year. He said at the end of last year that he know that 2005 was a very special year that would very likely not happen again in terms of achievments. Still- he should focus on the good aspects of this year (finals of two GSs in a row - his great results on clay) and continue to try to improve his game.

Not true; this is a new article, he just basically said the same thing maybe from a previous article (maybe they practice what he says since he's been losing for a while). Did you read where it says that he spoke to the reporter via a phone interview and he refused to discuss the Berdych ancident.

PamV
10-25-2006, 12:14 AM
Expected...but sad to see. It really bothers me seeing him live now....he's not the happy camper that I used to see.



But I think that's real life in the tennis world. In time, players cease to be happy "just to be there" and they want to win.

PamV
10-25-2006, 12:18 AM
So far i think it's some kind of a vicious circle, He sticks miles behind the baseline cuz it's his natural game to begin with and gets more aggressive when things go well through the match, but as soon as he's under pressure, he returns to point zero.

Yes....but maybe that is what most players would do when under pressure. I think that Berdych has an advantage of being quite tall so any high bouncing balls don't bother him. Was Nadal playing far behind the baseline against Youzhny?

NicoFan
10-25-2006, 12:19 AM
But I think that's real life in the tennis world. In time, players cease to be happy "just to be there" and they want to win.

Unfortunately true. But he's too young to be jaded...and to seem so miserable.

Whistleway
10-25-2006, 12:19 AM
I agree with you on this one.

I (humbly) believe :lol: the Nadal camp is going about his career the wrong way.



I agree with you on this. Not a great fan of him, but, I hate to see players mismanaged.

And his age is not a big deal. It doesn't matter when you start, you have only so much in tank. And for Nadal, its 5 years since he turned pro.

Clara Bow
10-25-2006, 12:23 AM
Nevermind.....:)

victory1
10-25-2006, 12:28 AM
I am confused as to what you are saying is “not true” from my post? Are you saying that there was never an article by Toni where he mentioned that they are trying to make his game more aggressive? I did not make up reading that article. I don’t get my giggles by making up stories about reading fake articles.

Are you saying that it is “not true” that I think he may have some mental fatigue? Well- we can disagree on that account, but as someone who is a fan of Nadal who does read a lot of articles about him both in original English and translated from Spanish, and looks at his interviews- it does seem to me like he is a bit mentally fatigued. (Yes, Roger may not be mentally fatigued now- but Nadal is a different person so just because Feds is mentally burnt out does not meant that Nadal can’t be.) Nadal does seem to be a bit more jaded lately, and it appears to is less able to appreciate what has been good about the year. We may have a difference of opinion here, but I don’t think that makes my perception automatically invalid. And I don’t know how Nadal not wanting to comment further about the match with Berdych automatically makes the fact that Toni is working on changing Nadal’s game or my views that Nadal seems jaded “not true.”


Sorry Clara Bow, but I think we have a misunderstanding. I would never invalidate another's opinion, because it's what it is, an opinion. I thought you were saying that I posted an old article, but after re-reading I realized I misunderstood you. Sorry!:wavey:

Clara Bow
10-25-2006, 12:31 AM
I thought you were saying that I posted an old article, but after re-reading I realized I misunderstood you. Sorry

Oh, okay. :) (And sorry about my typos in the sentence about Feds’ burn out vis-ŕ-vis Nadal- they make it completely nonsensical.)

dorkino
10-25-2006, 12:37 AM
Posted by Pam V
Yes....but maybe that is what most players would do when under pressure. I think that Berdych has an advantage of being quite tall so any high bouncing balls don't bother him. Was Nadal playing far behind the baseline against Youzhny?

Yes about players doing it when under pressure, that's why i guess he'd stick to what he's good at during tough times, defense and patience, but Pam, there's no discussion he needs to be more aggressive.Sooner or later he 'll need it for cheaper points all through his matches and at least for gaining more confidence and this won't only be about Berdych if u get what i mean.

As for Youzhny, Thanks for my bad memory, i really am not that sure i remember where he stood :shrug: but i remember he was stuck in the defensive mode running all the way along the baseline.

gogogirl
10-25-2006, 12:43 AM
All,

Rafa has game and skills. What I like about him is his anticipation - and the way he can change the direction of the ball. W/his being left-handed - at times - he can whip the ball to the other side of the court before his opponent can make it back to neutral ground. And of course his quickness is one of his best assets. Surely, he will most definitely win his share of matches in the future - but unless he starts winning tourneys on grass and hard - he most likely won't be able to hold on to the number two spot next year. 2 can't go into 1.

And like some have remarked upon - he has had added pressure trying to live up to his ranking. He already knew he wouldn't overtake Roger this year - so he knows in order to stay close - he has to win on other surfaces than clay. He'll be faced w/the same dilemma in 2007. But game he has. He won several matches this year on his huge heart and strong will alone -IMO.

Clara Bow
10-25-2006, 12:45 AM
Sooner or later he 'll need it for cheaper points and at least for gaining more confidence and this won't only be about Berdych.
I agree- and he needs to do it more often so that he can gain more confidence in being able to be more aggressive more instinctualy.

There was an interesting interview with Nadal in this last Sunday's La Vaguardia that discussues a little bit of some of the things we have discussed here. Thanks to nou.amic of vb for the translation.

Are your doubts caused more by the rivals that are pressing at your heels or by fear of your own weakness?

I don't think that having doubts is a sign of weakness. It's only human. Everybody has doubts. When a student goes along to an examination at the university, he has doubts. He's almost certainly thinking about whether he has studied this or the other well, or not. I have my doubts when I go out on to a tennis court: if I've been training well; if I've done things well; if I'm going to win; if I can win the tournament. Federer himself, the best player ever, must certainly have his doubts, too.

Has what started out as something you enjoyed doing stopped being that?

It hasn't stopped being something I enjoy but there are times when things are not so simple that you can just go out and simply enjoy yourself. There are days when there is so much pressure on you that the most important thing is to know how to deal with it. I wish I could go out on court just to enjoy myself, without thinking of anything else but playing a good match, but there are moments when things change you a bit and you go out on court under a bit more tension than usual. When you find the point at which pressure and enjoyment become one and the same thing, that's when you become confident.

darrinbaker00
10-25-2006, 12:49 AM
Don't forget that Roger also made it to the same MC, Rome, and FO finals in the first half of the year. Roger should have been just as fatigued. Also as for mental factors Roger had to keep on hearing people talking about his negative H2H and saying that he was on his way out. That was a lot to ignore and still be able to play normally.
I think the fear factor has something to do with that as well. Everyone is afraid of Nadal on clay, but everyone is afraid of Federer, period. From a mental standpoint, Federer's up a set and a break before the first ball is hit; Nadal only enjoys that edge on the dirt.

moon language
10-25-2006, 12:51 AM
I think he's probably tired of being expected to get to every final and beat Federer. Any player would be exhausted trying to live up to that expectation. Ask Roddick.

NicoFan
10-25-2006, 12:54 AM
All,
unless he starts winning tourneys on grass and hard - he most likely won't be able to hold on to the number two spot next year. 2 can't go into 1.


But why is it so important for him to remain at #2? That's my point...he's young, he has time to make #1. Just chill a bit and have a bit of fun. Rome wasn't built in a day. Roger isn't going anywhere....and let's face it, some of the other guys in the top 10 leave you scratching your head in wonder. So let the other surfaces come in time - he doesn't have to conquer hard and grass yet. He's trying to do everything too quickly. And a ranking is just a number...will the world as we know it end if he's 3, 5, 10, whatever? I only want to see a smile on that kid's face again...I don't care if he's 10 in the world.

darrinbaker00
10-25-2006, 12:54 AM
I think he's probably tired of being expected to get to every final and beat Federer. Any player would be exhausted trying to live up to that expectation. Ask Roddick.
Holy copout, Batman! If Nadal can't handle the pressure, then he needs to find another line of work.

moon language
10-25-2006, 12:56 AM
But why is it so important for him to remain at #2? That's my point...he's young, he has time to make #1. Just chill a bit and have a bit of fun. Rome wasn't built in a day. Roger isn't going anywhere....and let's face it, some of the other guys in the top 10 leave you scratching your head in wonder. So let the other surfaces come in time - he doesn't have to conquer hard and grass yet. He's trying to do everything too quickly. And a ranking is just a number...will the world as we know it end if he's 3, 5, 10, whatever? I want to see a smile on that kid's face again.

Yeah that's exactly the expectation that I think probably wears him down mentally. The guy hasn't had a chance to even appreciate what he has accomplished because everyone seems to have expected him to rocket to the top immediately. People act like it's feast or famine, but I think he'll be fine in the long run. Perhaps having a mediocre second half of the year is a blessing in disguise - it relieves some pressure and expectation.

Clara Bow
10-25-2006, 12:58 AM
I think the fear factor has something to do with that as well. Everyone is afraid of Nadal on clay, but everyone is afraid of Federer, period. From a mental standpoint, Federer's up a set and a break before the first ball is hit; Nadal only enjoys that edge on the dirt.

Excellent point.

Yeah that's exactly the expectation that I think probably wears him down mentally. The guy hasn't had a chance to even appreciate what he has accomplished because everyone seems to have expected him to rocket to the top immediately. People act like it's feast or famine, but I think he'll be fine in the long run. Perhaps having a mediocre second half of the year is a blessing in disguise - it relieves some pressure and expectation.

I agree. It think the performance after Wimbledon this year may have helped to burst the bubble of unrealistic and overhyped expectations. And now he can progress at a more reasonable pace. (And frankly- imo he was beginning to show better play at Madrid than he had for a while. His play against Haas was better than it had been in for the proceeding few tournaments.)

moon language
10-25-2006, 12:59 AM
Holy copout, Batman! If Nadal can't handle the pressure, then he needs to find another line of work.

Huh? He's 20 years old.

Good thing Federer didn't heed this kind of advice when he couldn't keep his cool at that age.

dorkino
10-25-2006, 01:03 AM
Posted by Clara Bow
I agree- and he needs to do it more often so that he can gain more confidence in being able to be more aggressive more instinctualy
True :)

Posted by moon language
Perhaps having a mediocre second half of the year is a blessing in disguise - it relieves some pressure and expectation.
Hopefully yes. He needs to think the same way right now ;)

GlennMirnyi
10-25-2006, 01:03 AM
Learn to play tennis and you'll run about 50% less, man! :lol:

If he can't take half a season like that being 20, how people can expect him to be better at 24, 25? :lol: Dreamers!

jrm
10-25-2006, 01:04 AM
When something ain't work people blame it on schedule :rolleyes:

GlennMirnyi
10-25-2006, 01:06 AM
It's like someone puts a gun to Nadal's head so he keeps playing like that and with that schedule.

Johnny Groove
10-25-2006, 01:09 AM
a perfectly good about Nadal (surprising in its own right) is screwed up with Gustavo and his tardish anti-Nadal statements. You really have nothing to add to the thread other than to laugh at the guy that he doesnt "play" tennis?

gogogirl
10-25-2006, 01:09 AM
But why is it so important for him to remain at #2? That's my point...he's young, he has time to make #1. Just chill a bit and have a bit of fun. Rome wasn't built in a day. Roger isn't going anywhere....and let's face it, some of the other guys in the top 10 leave you scratching your head in wonder. So let the other surfaces come in time - he doesn't have to conquer hard and grass yet. He's trying to do everything too quickly. And a ranking is just a number...will the world as we know it end if he's 3, 5, 10, whatever? I only want to see a smile on that kid's face again...I don't care if he's 10 in the world.

All,

I hear 'ya. I'm not saying that it is important that he stay number two - and I completely agree w/you. Has he been quoted lately talking about his ranking? I think he - and just like others can improve their games - and in several different aspects. He proved @ Wimby that he had adapted to the grass just fine - and may haps he'll do well there next year. My point was if he didn't start winning other tourneys besides the clay ones - then his ranking would go down. I agree - he shouldn't worry about trying to hold on to his ranking. He and like all others should just try to improve.

It's almost akin to some stating that the US players can't play well on clay. Well - I say - they all can improve on it w/practise and purpose. Pete didn't win the FO but Jim C. did. It should be more about players wanting to learn, improve and excel on any surface, and we know Rafa already has that mind set, so I would never count his WILL to win on any surface out - or hold it against him - that as it stands now - he hasn't won any tourneys on surfaces other than clay.

I don't know about y'all - but I think there are some wonderful players on the ATP tour today - and they all are trying to improve, hopefully.

2007 should be one exciting year.

GlennMirnyi
10-25-2006, 01:17 AM
a perfectly good about Nadal (surprising in its own right) is screwed up with Gustavo and his tardish anti-Nadal statements. You really have nothing to add to the thread other than to laugh at the guy that he doesnt "play" tennis?

Haha

If he's blaming fatigue, stop playing. Nobody puts a gun to his head. Isn't he 20? He shouldn't be fatigued.

Godiva
10-25-2006, 01:20 AM
They're not in the same league, I think it's pretty clear to everyone right now.

Rogiman said it best. End of story! Why some people seemed to believe that he was the second coming of Jesus Fed boggles my mind.

It's the Hewitt syndrome really. Short period of domination then....baaack to life, baaaack to reality.

The Nadal spaceship will be hitting Planet Reality with a jarring thud!

Johnny Groove
10-25-2006, 01:22 AM
Haha

If he's blaming fatigue, stop playing. Nobody puts a gun to his head. Isn't he 20? He shouldn't be fatigued.

hes not fatigued. No one puts a gun to his head :rolleyes: His schedule really isnt that bad, considering he really isnt ever in danger of losing matches on clay and hasnt play much since Wimbly.

atheneglaukopis
10-25-2006, 01:45 AM
I would never count his WILL to win on any surface out - or hold it against him - that as it stands now - he hasn't won any tourneys on surfaces other than clay.Perhaps you are confusing him with someone who hasn't won Montreal, Beijing, Madrid, and Dubai? :scratch:

El Legenda
10-25-2006, 01:47 AM
fatigue from what? playing 15 tournys in 10 months? :yawn:

Johnny Groove
10-25-2006, 01:48 AM
Perhaps you are confusing him with someone who hasn't won Montreal, Beijing, Madrid, and Dubai? :scratch:

o please, those are all clay courts painted over as hard courts :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

atheneglaukopis
10-25-2006, 01:51 AM
o please, those are all clay courts painted over as hard courts :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:I'm sorry. :o Silly me, I know that's an MTF law.

Johnny Groove
10-25-2006, 01:53 AM
I'm sorry. :o Silly me, I know that's an MTF law.

:lol: good stuff :yeah:

gogogirl
10-25-2006, 01:57 AM
Perhaps you are confusing him with someone who hasn't won Montreal, Beijing, Madrid, and Dubai? :scratch:


All,

My serious bad. I didn't have his wins in front of me. Please accept my apology for my unintentional slight against Rafa's record.

Yes - he rocked this year w/those five wins. And in Dubai - all of that appearance money. Ooh-la-la!

atheneglaukopis
10-25-2006, 02:00 AM
All,

My serious bad. I didn't have his wins in front of me. Please accept my apology for my unintentional slight against Rafa's record.

Yes - he rocked this year w/those five wins. And in Dubai - all of that appearance money. Ooh-la-la!:yeah:

mangoes
10-25-2006, 02:05 AM
:scratch: :scratch: I have a hard time buying that fatigue reasoning. He didn't play the first stretch of the season with the AO. He took 4 weeks off after Wimbledon :shrug: Nadal should be the least fatigued top 10 player.

I agree with some posters who reference the amount of pressure Rafa must be feeling to keep up with Roger's pace..........Not even Sampras hit over 7000 points in a season......... So much expectation was put on him after he made the Wimbledon final. Goodness, it never entered McEnroe's mind during the USO that Nadal may not make the final.

WF4EVER
10-25-2006, 03:38 AM
The funniest part of this thread is not that Nadal is suffering from fatigue because it certainly is no surprise to those persons who predicted that the game he plays would be extremely taxing on his body and might result in premature burnout.

The funny part is having it explained away by those who said it wouldn't happen. And the same people who want him to keep whipping Federer and overtake him for number one are suddenly realizing that he should have been taking his time all along, enjoying his youth and having fun. Well the last guy who decided he was having fun got blindsided by the Federer express and before he knew it the USO final was over.

This is Nadal (and his camp's) doing. It was said last year that following up a season like he had in 2005 (11 titles) would be almost impossible to match. SO said so done. He is pushing too soon for too much and if he keeps up this rate he really will suffer from burnout and fizzle just like the others before him.

As far as I'm concerned he's no longer 'just' 20. He's no longer a teen because that was all the talk last year, and before you know it he will be 25, so all that time we think he has will zip by before we know it. How he utilizes those years are entirely up him.

Someone said something to the effect that Roger didn't have this pressure at his age because he hadn't won 2 Slams yet. And maybe that's a good thing. Roger took his time, maybe too much time, in some of our minds, but when he started winning he was ready for it and ready to keep doing it. For three years in a row. So his maturity has a lot to do with his success. Unfortunately Nadal's body may be that of a man but his mind still needs some development for this game.

TenHound
10-25-2006, 04:03 AM
people are overlooking the bullshit element of RN's remarks. He's saying it's not that he's not a great hardcourt player, he's just tired. Pleassseee...as everyone has painstakingly pointed out, his fatigue is related to his being merely a clay courter, albeit possibly the best ever.

admiralpye
10-25-2006, 04:43 AM
Then he needs to work more on his fitness then. Roger, Davydenko et al play the same schedule, and Rafa needs to keep up with them. Fatigue is a factor for poor performance, but sad as this may sound, it's not an excuse if tennis is your profession.

moon language
10-25-2006, 05:13 AM
In 2004 Federer claimed he was mentally fatigued. People want to skewer Nadal for this but it's not like it's some unheard of complaint from players.

He's also not likely to answer these kind of questions by saying he's not good on hardcourt. :D

Pfloyd
10-25-2006, 05:20 AM
The important thing is that he is learning from his mistakes. If Nadal continues improving his schedule and his game he'll be fine.

I think he has a brilliant future ahead of him, Federer shoul'nt be used as Nadal's measuring stick, it definetly is hurting him in the sense of the uneeded added pressure.

R.Federer
10-25-2006, 05:37 AM
I think he's probably tired of being expected to get to every final and beat Federer. Any player would be exhausted trying to live up to that expectation. Ask Roddick.

I understand your point, but this kind of logic is most applicable to Federer who is expected to get to every final and win it. A player should be exhausted continuously trying to win every tournament he enters, and Federer is not evidently. Further, I don't think Rafa is that mentally weak to be fatigued of this type of challenge.

ExpectedWinner
10-25-2006, 05:42 AM
What struggles?

Every year when a player wins a GS tournament is a great year.

Berdych and JoJo are bad matches for him at the moment. Youzhny played a good match. That leaves us with one bad loss to Ferrero. Hardly a disaster.

If he starts losing to Lopez on clay, then we can start talking about struggles/burn out.

guga2120
10-25-2006, 05:42 AM
Then why isn't my Tommy winning more matches on them? :awww:

:devil:


the speed of hard courts varys but to say these are clay courts are a joke, and you must not know much about indoor tennis. Rebound ace can be farely slow, but even that is very diff from clay, clay is very,very specialized. Anybody that thinks its blue clay or purple clay does not know what they are talking about.

yanchr
10-25-2006, 05:51 AM
people are overlooking the bullshit element of RN's remarks. He's saying it's not that he's not a great hardcourt player, he's just tired. Pleassseee...as everyone has painstakingly pointed out, his fatigue is related to his being merely a clay courter, albeit possibly the best ever.
This is exactly what I was thinking reading the article. He can simply say, it's not my best surface, and I still need to work on my game a lot to gain results, instead of just blaming on the schedule and fatigue. His schedule this year is not even that tight.

But then I can understand it. As No.2, he won't openly admit he is not a great hardcourt player. But if he sincerely believes he IS a great hardcourt player because he has beaten Federer twice and won multiple titles on the surface, the only reason for his recent poor result is fatigue and the heavy schedule, then he is in trouble.

moon language
10-25-2006, 05:55 AM
I understand your point, but this kind of logic is most applicable to Federer who is expected to get to every final and win it. A player should be exhausted continuously trying to win every tournament he enters, and Federer is not evidently. Further, I don't think Rafa is that mentally weak to be fatigued of this type of challenge.

As I said in another post Federer claimed he was mentally fatigued and burned out in 2004 after losing at the Olympics.

Federer is a rare occurance. He's got that same thing Sampras had, which was the rare ability to keep it together and focused and stay at the top. That's why he's one of the all time greatest players in the sport. Not everyone can do that.

ExpectedWinner
10-25-2006, 05:59 AM
then he is in trouble.

He's not in trouble. He just gives media something to write about. When he starts winning again, they will serve us a gazillion "drama" articles about overcomig early "burn out". :p

yanchr
10-25-2006, 06:07 AM
He's not in trouble. He just gives media something to write about. When he starts winning again, they will serve us a gazillion "drama" articles about overcomig early burn out. :p
Let's hope it doesn't happen too soon :devil::p

Fed-Express
10-25-2006, 06:13 AM
Someone said something to the effect that Roger didn't have this pressure at his age because he hadn't won 2 Slams yet. And maybe that's a good thing. Roger took his time, maybe too much time, in some of our minds, but when he started winning he was ready for it and ready to keep doing it. For three years in a row. So his maturity has a lot to do with his success. Unfortunately Nadal's body may be that of a man but his mind still needs some development for this game.

I agree. That reminds me of an interview with Becker's former coach that I read some months ago. He was stating that the 2 Wimbledons at the age of 17/18 had actually a negative effect on Beckers career, pushing the expectations and putting insane pressure on Becker. He said that most players need time to develop and mature, to get both physically and mentally more secure and confident.
Actually he said that Becker might have won double digit slams if he hadn't won W in 85/86 (slight exaggeration;)).

I do not know whether the same can be said about Nadal, as there is only minimal evidence but it seems to be a point worth thinking about.

Fed-Express
10-25-2006, 06:21 AM
. Thanks to nou.amic of vb for the translation. Quote:
Are your doubts caused more by the rivals that are pressing at your heels or by fear of your own weakness?

I don't think that having doubts is a sign of weakness. It's only human. Everybody has doubts. When a student goes along to an examination at the university, he has doubts. He's almost certainly thinking about whether he has studied this or the other well, or not. I have my doubts when I go out on to a tennis court: if I've been training well; if I've done things well; if I'm going to win; if I can win the tournament. Federer himself, the best player ever, must certainly have his doubts, too.

Has what started out as something you enjoyed doing stopped being that?

It hasn't stopped being something I enjoy but there are times when things are not so simple that you can just go out and simply enjoy yourself. There are days when there is so much pressure on you that the most important thing is to know how to deal with it. I wish I could go out on court just to enjoy myself, without thinking of anything else but playing a good match, but there are moments when things change you a bit and you go out on court under a bit more tension than usual. When you find the point at which pressure and enjoyment become one and the same thing, that's when you become confident.

Great words from Rafa that show how much he thinks about his game and that he isn't always the extremely self-confindent fist-pumping guy but a sometimes self-concious and thoughtful young man (much like Federer, AO 06 showed how much pressure and doubts nag him), who is much more intelligent than he appears in his english interviews. I really hope that he will be able to achieve what he said in his last sentence, I think that unity is what makes Federer so great at handling the pressure.

Asmus
10-25-2006, 06:26 AM
I agree. That reminds me of an interview with Becker's former coach that I read some months ago. He was stating that the 2 Wimbledons at the age of 17/18 had actually a negative effect on Beckers career, pushing the expectations and putting insane pressure on Becker. He said that most players need time to develop and mature, to get both physically and mentally more secure and confident.
Actually he said that Becker might have won double digit slams if he hadn't won W in 85/86 (slight exaggeration;)).

I do not know whether the same can be said about Nadal, as there is only minimal evidence but it seems to be a point worth thinking about.

Interesting... can anyone think of a player who started winning as early as Nadal and was able to keep winning? I think it's only happened on the women's tour.

Myrre
10-25-2006, 06:31 AM
He's just shagged out. Just like Becker was when he discovered there is more enjoyable things than tennis. ;)

moon language
10-25-2006, 06:34 AM
Interesting... can anyone think of a player who started winning as early as Nadal and was able to keep winning? I think it's only happened on the women's tour.

Sampras? Not quite as early and not as much winning, but he got that first US Open a couple weeks after turning 19 I think.

Asmus
10-25-2006, 06:40 AM
Sampras? Not quite as early and not as much winning, but he got that first US Open a couple weeks after turning 19 I think.

Sampras won the US Open in 1990 and didn't win another major until 1993.

R.Federer
10-25-2006, 06:43 AM
Interesting... can anyone think of a player who started winning as early as Nadal and was able to keep winning? I think it's only happened on the women's tour.

Borg and to a lesser extent Becker

Asmus
10-25-2006, 06:48 AM
Borg retired at 25... and Becker has just been discussed...

RonE
10-25-2006, 06:55 AM
Sampras? Not quite as early and not as much winning, but he got that first US Open a couple weeks after turning 19 I think.

Those are two completely different circumstances.

When Pete won his first U.S. Open at age 19, as he himself said it kind of just "happened"- he was in the zone for two weeks playing amazing tennis without being able to realize what he is doing to make himself play so well.

Then when the expectations mounted he was really caving in under the pressure and had a pretty mediocre 1991. When he finally got some perspective and consistency in 1992 and started having solid results things were looking up- and the one final point in his carreer that made him the monster he would become was that 1992 U.S. Open final loss to Edberg. Until that point he was happy just making finals or going deep in big tournaments until he realized no one remembers the runner up- you only remember the winner. That loss instilled a vile hatred for losing in Pete and the rest, as they say, is history.

Nadal's surge to the top was not via just one big win at a slam being on fire for two weeks- even before his first FO he was consistently winning and making the finals of TMS events so by the time he got to Paris he was a firm favourite for the title and people were expecting him to win. The fact that he managed to repeat his feat on the clay this year is outstanding in itself but as some have pointed out, so much success so early on can also be detrimental to one's career.

R.Federer
10-25-2006, 07:25 AM
Borg retired at 25... and Becker has just been discussed...
Borg started winning at 18 and won at LEAST one slam for the next 7 years. I believe that was your question: who started winning early and kept on winning. I do not see what retiring at 25 has got to do with the separate fact that he kept on winning before he retired.

Fed-Express
10-25-2006, 08:39 AM
Interesting... can anyone think of a player who started winning as early as Nadal and was able to keep winning?

Well, in a way Safin, he was 20 when he won USO, became No. 1.
Didn't Pete say that he was the future of the game and many hailed him as the next dominating player. Maybe the pressure also affected him.
Hewitt also won USO at age 20 and he, as we all know, could deal with the pressure.

Naranoc
10-25-2006, 08:53 AM
What actually happened with Hewitt for him to drop down the rankings? :confused:

MariaV
10-25-2006, 09:01 AM
Well, in a way Safin, he was 20 when he won USO, became No. 1.
Didn't Pete say that he was the future of the game and many hailed him as the next dominating player. Maybe the pressure also affected him.
Hewitt also won USO at age 20 and he, as we all know, could deal with the pressure.

All the external pressure on Marat after that amazing USO final in 2000 and his own expectations definitely didn't help. Even if he said back then that it was a surprise win he has now admitted that he himself expected to play the same perfect tennis all the time. Only lately he seems have understood this was an unreal expectation. And then came the injuries and the distractions and all the :bs: talk that got to him whether he admits it or not. He has admitted in some interviews after the AO 2005 title looking back that the USO 2000 title came too early. It was too much for him to handle at that young age.

And even as strong person as Rafa seems not to be able to handle all the pressure at that age.

lshdure
10-25-2006, 09:20 AM
If he stand near baseline where the opponent's ball is still fast, he cannot hit powerful topspin drive. In order to be more aggressive near baseline, he should change his fh dramatically, but it is not probable.

bandabou
10-25-2006, 09:24 AM
Two things...nadal's game is physically taxing and the surface he excels on is a physically taxing surface...so don't know how he's gonna fix that.

secondly...I think Nadal bought his own hype. Whole clay season he was enjoying the: Federer is the best player but I'm still beating him hype..then he derailed federer's quest for career and possibly calendar year grand slam..

Then he reached Wimbledon final..but then two things happened: when Roger was on, Nadal pretty much got crushed...and he lost a major final for the first time. Two shocks....then he took some time off..but when he came back, it was all Roger all the time..whereas Nadal now was getting beaten by the Jouzhnys and Berdych's of the world.

So now Nadal seems to realize that life ain't no fun away from clay...and that Roger away from clay is untouchable it seems.

The Pro
10-25-2006, 09:40 AM
I'm not sure you've got it spot on there.

If Nadal has raised his game a little at the end of the 2nd and 3rd sets in the Wimbledon final then he may have really pushed Roger. He did take a set off him after all.

Nadal has had a crummy second half of the year to say the least, but I'd say he definetly has fun away from clay and is going to start winning. He has a real enthusiasm that some clay favourites lack.

oz_boz
10-25-2006, 09:43 AM
It's probably more mental than physical. Nadal isn't the young hero anymore, he's had enough success to have some (very high) expectations put on him. It's not surprising he finds it difficult to cope.

He will probably never be the "innocent-playingjust-for-fun" boy anymore but once he's sorted things out he can work on his game to become even better - changing tactics for faster courts, mixing the play up with flat balls etc. Hopefully he'll make it a la Sampras (that doesn't mean I expect him to win quite as much).

bandabou
10-25-2006, 09:55 AM
I'm not sure you've got it spot on there.

If Nadal has raised his game a little at the end of the 2nd and 3rd sets in the Wimbledon final then he may have really pushed Roger. He did take a set off him after all.

Nadal has had a crummy second half of the year to say the least, but I'd say he definetly has fun away from clay and is going to start winning. He has a real enthusiasm that some clay favourites lack.

That's why I said when Roger was playing his real grass game. That 3rd set tb..he didn't really push forward, going for the kill.

It's gonna be interesting to see how Rafa handles this new mini slump..because it ain't fatigue.

adee-gee
10-25-2006, 10:16 AM
Bleh, he just needs some more of those steroids.

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 10:24 AM
What actually happened with Hewitt for him to drop down the rankings? :confused:

Basic evolution in sports. Players get better and the ones at the top decline eventually.

Naranoc
10-25-2006, 10:27 AM
Sure, but his 'decline' started at such a young age - was that simply because others figured out his game?

The Pro
10-25-2006, 10:30 AM
Yeah, I agree. It aint fatigue. His aura is starting to wear off. Not to mention his weakness (tall, big servers who don't find his topspin so disarming).

He'll adapt, I think his performance at Wimbledon shows he has at least some depth to his game. But on the hardcourts he seems powerless to implement a plan B when the going gets tough.

I think next year will tell the story.:confused:

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 10:35 AM
Sure, but his 'decline' started at such a young age - was that simply because others figured out his game?

How was it?

Courier was a very good transition champ as was Hewitt. They got surpassed and neither of these guys had games like McEnroe or Mecir now did they?

No need to overrate Hewitt, he has done very well with his game already, as has Nadal even if he doesn't win anything major again.

bandabou
10-25-2006, 11:03 AM
Next year is gonna be telling...on hardcourts seems some players have figured him out: just full out attack him..pace, pace. Let's see how he adapts...

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 11:13 AM
Who seriously thought Nadal was going to match the 2005 performances, this year?

adee-gee
10-25-2006, 11:18 AM
Who seriously thought Nadal was going to match the 2005 performances, this year?
Well he barely played at the start of the year....from March/April-July he did better than last year, reaching the Wimbledon final. Also went further at the US Open than he did in 2005. He's beaten Mr Unbeatable 4 times, so yes, it has been disappointing towards the end of this year, but overall it hasn't been such a bad year :shrug:

bandabou
10-25-2006, 11:20 AM
Well he barely played at the start of the year....from March/April-July he did better than last year, reaching the Wimbledon final. Also went further at the US Open than he did in 2005. He's beaten Mr Unbeatable 4 times, so yes, it has been disappointing towards the end of this year, but overall it hasn't been such a bad year :shrug:

Tjaaa...I guess that was the mistake..it ain't about beating mr unbeatable, it's about beating the rest..

RonE
10-25-2006, 11:25 AM
Who seriously thought Nadal was going to match the 2005 performances, this year?

If you actually want a list of all the names of those who did we could be stuck here for quite a while :o

oz_boz
10-25-2006, 11:36 AM
Who seriously thought Nadal was going to match the 2005 performances, this year?

I did, and in a way he has already done it as adee-gee said.

I don't think he will be another Hewitt, at least I don't think a future downfall for Nadal in the rankings will be due to lack of firepower. Hewitt basically got overpowered, Nadal can be outgunned on fast courts but it could happen that he can adapt his game. And we still have to wait for someone to beat him convincingly on clay.

Time will tell.

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 11:37 AM
If you actually want a list of all the names of those who did we could be stuck here for quite a while :o

Yes, then they are just fanboys. I mean it's not like he has had a poor year, but like I said when I was sceptical about Federer repeating getting double figure titles. It's not easy winning 10+ titles for consecutive years, it's just Nadal will always be judged by 2005 and for that, then he will more than likely to be continued to have played poorly relatively.

adee-gee
10-25-2006, 11:37 AM
Tjaaa...I guess that was the mistake..it ain't about beating mr unbeatable, it's about beating the rest..
Well he's played 3 slams, won 1, reached the final of another, and the QF of the other. Add that to 2 Masters Series titles, DC wins, 2 other titles, and a ridiculous clay court winning streak that is still going and it's really not such a bad year. It has been disappointing in places, but overall, I think any player on tour other than Federer would be thrilled with it.

bandabou
10-25-2006, 12:24 PM
Well he's played 3 slams, won 1, reached the final of another, and the QF of the other. Add that to 2 Masters Series titles, DC wins, 2 other titles, and a ridiculous clay court winning streak that is still going and it's really not such a bad year. It has been disappointing in places, but overall, I think any player on tour other than Federer would be thrilled with it.

Exactly...as long as people keep in that mind. People acted like Rafa's year was in any way equal to Roger's...I guess that thought has been dismissed now.

Ariadne
10-25-2006, 12:24 PM
No need to overrate Hewitt, he has done very well with his game already, as has Nadal even if he doesn't win anything major again.

IMO, Hewitt "could" have been a great player!

I personally think the emergence of the "divine" Federer is what happened to Hewitt. After that painful 2003 DC loss to him Roger has undertaken the task of systemetically demolishing Hewitt's game, career and panache.

WF4EVER
10-25-2006, 12:41 PM
Any other player than Federer would be satisfied with Nadal's results but not one contending for the top position.

And how can he be fatigued in October when he didn't play till Marseilles this year in mid-Feb? Oh, wait he didn't play after Madrid last year so I'm really lost when he did not compete for almost four months compared to the other top players. He has only played 67 matches (57-10) this year (according to atptennis.com) and he dropped a few of those smaller tournaments that he had won last year so he's playing less this year, much less because he played something like 21 tourneys last year. So his schedule has been quite light this year compared.

It's tough for Nadal, because he has to work almost twice as hard as Federer to have comparative results (as 2005 showed; 2006 is no competition despite Feds losing 4 finals to him), and if he can't handle the pressure now he'll never be able to handle being No. 1 until he matures some.
But I'm sure Feds is quite content to give him as much time as possible to prepare himself before he hands over the mantle.

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 12:45 PM
IMO, Hewitt "could" have been a great player!

I personally think the emergence of the "divine" Federer is what happened to Hewitt. After that painful 2003 DC loss to him Roger has undertaken the task of systemetically demolishing Hewitt's game, career and panache.

Hewitt has done well anyway and as for a potential great, not even when he was winning in 2001 and 2002 was there signs he'd be a potential great.

There are lots of would be, could be, maybes of this world and Hewitt has done more than enough.

WF4EVER
10-25-2006, 12:46 PM
IMO, Hewitt "could" have been a great player!

I personally think the emergence of the "divine" Federer is what happened to Hewitt. After that painful 2003 DC loss to him Roger has undertaken the task of systemetically demolishing Hewitt's game, career and panache.

LMAO. But I don't think Federer is the sole cause of Lleyton's demise and although it was a joke I agree with alfonsojose.

That said, however, I think the opposite is true of Federer. I think Lelyton had a great deal to do with his turnabout. Yes, everybody saw his talent and potential but he had had so many issues to deal with before he could emerge the champios he is, including his own petulence and the death of Carter. But after that DC loss Roger become a monster.

DrJules
10-25-2006, 01:22 PM
Who seriously thought Nadal was going to match the 2005 performances, this year?

In grand slams 2006 (FO win, Wimbledon runner up, US Open Qtr final) was more successful than 2005 (FO win, AO 4th round, US Open 3rd round, Wimbledon 2nd). There may be some mistakes in the details, but his grand slam performance has been significantly better this year.

He may even end 2006 with more ranking points than 2005.

Therefore, in many ways he has done better in 2006.

dorkino
10-25-2006, 01:24 PM
Posted by George WHitler
Who seriously thought Nadal was going to match the 2005 performances, this year?

Seriously,not a few portion of ambitiously hoping and kind fans.May be i am not thaaat kind ,but anyone who could have an accurate look at the guy's performance, would see he had and has a lot to improve. Indeed, he did improve some things speaking of his serve and backhand for example ever since 2004,
and this resulted in better results. but like any human, he still has got a lot to improve not to become the number one right now but to gain more weapons and confidence on different courts. And again i don't agree with taking the coming season as the only left hope for telling his tennis future :)

Rafael himself spoke about it last year and about the difficulty of repeating such performance for another consecutive year. But may be deep inside , and with all the media and things, he was hoping for faster improvement, but it isn't going this way.

Adaptation needs patience and peace of mind as a beginning and that goes for everyone as well as for Nadal. But of course talking is the easiest thing to do, so with all these discussions, Let's see how far 'll he adapt .

bandabou
10-25-2006, 01:25 PM
LMAO. But I don't think Federer is the sole cause of Lleyton's demise and although it was a joke I agree with alfonsojose.

That said, however, I think the opposite is true of Federer. I think Lelyton had a great deal to do with his turnabout. Yes, everybody saw his talent and potential but he had had so many issues to deal with before he could emerge the champios he is, including his own petulence and the death of Carter. But after that DC loss Roger become a monster.


Yep...I agree. After that loss it became personal for Roger. He went on a bageling lleyton streak..he had like 4 bagels in the next matches.

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 01:29 PM
In grand slams 2006 (FO win, Wimbledon runner up, US Open Qtr final) was more successful than 2005 (FO win, AO 4th round, US Open 3rd round, Wimbledon 2nd). There may be some mistakes in the details, but his grand slam performance has been significantly better this year.

He may even end 2006 with more ranking points than 2005.

Therefore, in many ways he has done better in 2006.

But has he done better overall? Most look at the titles won and Nadal defended everything he needed to do on clay, while he did better in some areas and worse than others.

I have already said his overall year hasn't been bad, but it was unlikely to have that rapid rate of improvement in 2005 and carry that over in 2006.

bandabou
10-25-2006, 01:32 PM
In grand slams 2006 (FO win, Wimbledon runner up, US Open Qtr final) was more successful than 2005 (FO win, AO 4th round, US Open 3rd round, Wimbledon 2nd). There may be some mistakes in the details, but his grand slam performance has been significantly better this year.

He may even end 2006 with more ranking points than 2005.

Therefore, in many ways he has done better in 2006.

Yep..yet the gap between him and fed is even wider.

dorkino
10-25-2006, 01:37 PM
Yep..yet the gap between him and fed is even wider.

Fed is indeed improving and is getting the result for it. It's not like Nadal is all collapsing .
Frankly , i don't see this gap as a major problem right now. First things comes first, Rafa needs much more improvement for preserving his level than for chasing Fed right now.

bandabou
10-25-2006, 01:49 PM
Fed is indeed improving and is getting the result for it. It's not like Nadal is all collapsing .
Frankly , i don't see this gap as a major problem right now. First things comes first, Rafa needs much more improvement for preserving his level than for chasing Fed right now.


Ah, fed is still improving..interesting. If you were to believe all the talk around may, it sounded like Fed was over and that it was the Nadal era now.. well, well.

dorkino
10-25-2006, 01:52 PM
Posted by bandabou
Ah, fed is still improving..interesting. If you were to believe all the talk around may, it sounded like Fed was over and that it was the Nadal era now.. well, well.

That's it. NEVER BELIEVE ALL THE TALKS AROUND!! ;) But i also believe no era lasts forever,right?

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 01:55 PM
Ah, fed is still improving..interesting. If you were to believe all the talk around may, it sounded like Fed was over and that it was the Nadal era now.. well, well.

???

sawan66278
10-25-2006, 02:30 PM
In my opinion, Rafa has had a tremendous year. First, ask any player: if you win a slam in a year, you've had a great year. That aside, making it to the Wimbledon final and the quarters of the U.S. Open...most players would JUMP at just having these occur. And then you add in the streak and the titles and the wins over Roger...

Two things have happened:

1. The expectations on Rafa have grown to unreasonable proportions. The last player to be as dominant (if not more so) than Roger was Lendl in the 80's!!! TWENTY years ago. Players like them come once in a blue moon. Rafa cannot be expected to win like that...regardless of how watered down the field is. And I think this pressure to perform has gotten to Rafa...the expectation to win every time. His style, youth, and Roger's being in his prime will not allow it. Mental fatigue is really the problem here, not physical.

2. On the flip side, Rafa made, in my mind, a HUGE mistake taking that long break after Wimbledon...When he returned to the hard courts, he was forced to hit the ground running because it a MS tourney in Canada he had to play FIRST. Rafa's game is based on being in a groove...and he could not get it back because of the lack of tourney and match play...Only Rafa knows how his body and mind...perhaps he had to take the time.

Remember, those who say he, because of his age, should be have not problem need to think: Rafa probably did not prepare beforehand for an extended run at Wimbledon...it exceeded his expectations, and he had not taken the steps before the grass season for such an effort. Hence, his jumping on a train not even a day after the French and playing Queens...

bandabou
10-25-2006, 02:56 PM
???

Right during the clay season...all the talk was how Nadal was the real no.1 and that Roger was paper no.1 only.

Action Jackson
10-25-2006, 03:01 PM
Right during the clay season...all the talk was how Nadal was the real no.1 and that Roger was paper no.1 only.

In your world maybe? Anyone with a miniscule of a brain wouldn't believe that Nadal wasn't the best player on clay and Federer wasn't the best overall. All that was Nadal fans taking the piss out of Federer losing as they should be during that time.

bandabou
10-25-2006, 03:11 PM
In your world maybe? Anyone with a miniscule of a brain wouldn't believe that Nadal wasn't the best player on clay and Federer wasn't the best overall. All that was Nadal fans taking the piss out of Federer losing as they should be during that time.


As we can see now...and Nadal can see too. Maybe Rafa himself got carried away with all those clay victories over Roger.

PamV
10-25-2006, 03:13 PM
In your world maybe? Anyone with a miniscule of a brain wouldn't believe that Nadal wasn't the best player on clay and Federer wasn't the best overall. All that was Nadal fans taking the piss out of Federer losing as they should be during that time.

I think what the poster meant was that the media hype with commentaries and articles started treating Federer as if he was on the way out when he lost the FO because he had lost 4 times to Nadal and his H2H was bad. Federer fans knew that didn't mean much because 3 of the times were on clay and Roger had actually improved his success on clay from the prior years. Furthermore, Roger was playing and winning more big tournaments overall. Even after Roger had won the Wimbledon final it still seemed as though guys like JMac were touting Nadal as soon to be #1. They really didn't give Roger the credit he was due for getting to all the clay finals plus winning Halle and Wimbledon. Besides that Roger had a very tough Wimbledon draw and JMac even discounted that. (Looking back on all of that, I think JMac was assuming that Roger was about to take a down turn instead of actually get better. He assumed that the pressure would make Roger crack and he wanted to be on that bandwagon.)

The whole point seems to be that in general people are quick to jump to a conclusion based on the immediate result of the moment. When Roger lost to Murray in Cincy that was looked at by some as a big deal and that Murray was the big new star. They forgot that Roger had just won Toronto.

rofe
10-25-2006, 03:14 PM
In your world maybe? Anyone with a miniscule of a brain wouldn't believe that Nadal wasn't the best player on clay and Federer wasn't the best overall. All that was Nadal fans taking the piss out of Federer losing as they should be during that time.

Most notably - JMac, PMac and Jim Courier.

PamV
10-25-2006, 03:16 PM
As we can see now...and Nadal can see too. Maybe Rafa himself got carried away with all those clay victories over Roger.

That would be pretty easy to do. There really haven't been any clay court specialists to threaten Nadal so he can take all the clay titles he wants. I think it was a fluke that JCF and Coria both melted down just as Nadal began playing the FO. It really took away a lot of competition. Who is left that can challenge him on clay besides Roger? Would that be Almagro? Where's that guy been?

PamV
10-25-2006, 03:20 PM
Most notably - JMac, PMac and Jim Courier.

It was pretty strange that Courier turned on Roger. I just never understood JMac's treatment of Roger after Roger lost the FO final. It wasn't as if Roger had always been a top clay court contender. Clay was his worst surface and he never used to even play MC and Rome both with any great result. It seemed to me that Roger was to be praised for getting to MC, Rome, and FO finals and then to go on and make it through that extremely tough Wimbledon draw was amazing.

dorkino
10-25-2006, 03:27 PM
Posted by Pam V
That would be pretty easy to do. There really haven't been any clay court specialists to threaten Nadal so he can take all the clay titles he wants. I think it was a fluke that JCF and Coria both melted down just as Nadal began playing the FO. It really took away a lot of competition. Who is left that can challenge him on clay besides Roger? Would that be Almagro? Where's that guy been?

Even if there's no current strong opponent for Nadal on clay except for Fed. who is -i guess- determined to get RG one day, still, improvement and preserving self confidence against players is a big key for Nadal's victories. It always has been a strong factor and i guess it'll always be even on clay courts.

As for who's left that can challenge him, we never know who's or what is to come next but how about Verdasco or Gaudio.. in a good day ? :)

Fumus
10-25-2006, 03:31 PM
Nadal should blame his ineffectiveness against big hitters on faster surfaces for his struggles.

Monteque
10-25-2006, 04:40 PM
It's not always good to be skyrocket such a young age. What happened to Hewitt, Chang, or Roddick. You'll convey a heavy burden, either it's a pressure from public or from yourself to repeat your success, on the contrary your brain still immature yet.

As a slightness, his style is too physically, you couldn't hold on too long with the way you play like that, someday you'll burn out. Will he stay in the top 10 for the next at least 5 years, no doubt YES, but he will be another no.1 player, i think just MAYBE and some many young players like novak, andy, or richard have similar chance with him.

So no reason for him to blame fatigue and schedule because the rest of the tour have some problem with him. And he is being sluggish because out of gas. Some problem with him last year but even worse. That shows how susceptible how the way he plays.

the cat
10-25-2006, 04:57 PM
Pertinent points were made by Fumus and Hearts and others about Nadal's post Wimbledon struggles.

WF4EVER
10-25-2006, 05:13 PM
I think what the poster meant was that the media hype with commentaries and articles started treating Federer as if he was on the way out when he lost the FO because he had lost 4 times to Nadal and his H2H was bad. Federer fans knew that didn't mean much because 3 of the times were on clay and Roger had actually improved his success on clay from the prior years. Furthermore, Roger was playing and winning more big tournaments overall. Even after Roger had won the Wimbledon final it still seemed as though guys like JMac were touting Nadal as soon to be #1. They really didn't give Roger the credit he was due for getting to all the clay finals plus winning Halle and Wimbledon. Besides that Roger had a very tough Wimbledon draw and JMac even discounted that. (Looking back on all of that, I think JMac was assuming that Roger was about to take a down turn instead of actually get better. He assumed that the pressure would make Roger crack and he wanted to be on that bandwagon.)

The whole point seems to be that in general people are quick to jump to a conclusion based on the immediate result of the moment. When Roger lost to Murray in Cincy that was looked at by some as a big deal and that Murray was the big new star. They forgot that Roger had just won Toronto.


Wanted to good rep you for this post but I've been told I need to spread some reputation around, lol.

I don't quite know what you mean by the above highlighted portion because in the sentence following you seemed to say exactly the opposite of what I thought you meant.

I don't listen much to McEnroe but after the French Final McEnroe kept saying that Roger was due an upset (or in his words, a let-down) because of that crushing defeat he suffered in Paris. And he honestly thought it would happen at Wimby, so I don't quite believe he discounted the draw because he certainly thought he was going to lose to one of those in his draw, and before the final, too.

I was a little confused by that part of what you said but everything else is spot on. Some people don't realize that having a bad result is not the same as having a string of bad results, because both can de influenced by vastly different factors.

Basically McEnroe expected a meltdown from Roger after the FO and it just didn't happen. And I think there are very few of us who expected to see ROgi improve so much since then, but the foreboding JMac was preaching just hasn't happened, neither has his second coming.

LLeytonRules
10-25-2006, 05:24 PM
Nadal's career will be short soon.I cant believe people havent mentioned that extreme western grip is garbage when it comes too hardcourts.He will need to change all the heavy topspin.Its only effective on clay although it takes a long time for his matches there.I think he will need too pull all stops and try and develop a semi-western grip.

nobama
10-25-2006, 07:06 PM
Basically McEnroe expected a meltdown from Roger after the FO and it just didn't happen. And I think there are very few of us who expected to see ROgi improve so much since then, but the foreboding JMac was preaching just hasn't happened, neither has his second coming.JMac still can't deal with the fact he let a 2 set lead slip away against Lendl in the RG final. He wanted Roger to do what he didn't do all those years ago. And when that didn't happen he was so sure Roger would suffer some mental breakdown...I suppose because that's what would've happened to him. Fortunately Roger's not mentally fragile anymore and he didn't let that result affect the rest of his year.

DrJules
10-25-2006, 07:50 PM
I don't listen much to McEnroe but after the French Final McEnroe kept saying that Roger was due an upset (or in his words, a let-down) because of that crushing defeat he suffered in Paris. And he honestly thought it would happen at Wimby, so I don't quite believe he discounted the draw because he certainly thought he was going to lose to one of those in his draw, and before the final, too.

I was a little confused by that part of what you said but everything else is spot on. Some people don't realize that having a bad result is not the same as having a string of bad results, because both can de influenced by vastly different factors.

Basically McEnroe expected a meltdown from Roger after the FO and it just didn't happen. And I think there are very few of us who expected to see ROgi improve so much since then, but the foreboding JMac was preaching just hasn't happened, neither has his second coming.

In many ways surprising from McEnroe. In 1984 he lost in the French Open final after leading Lendl by 2 sets to love, but then went on to win Wimbledon and the US Open easily. Why did he assume that Federer would react any differently from himself.:confused:

MariaV
10-25-2006, 08:15 PM
As for who's left that can challenge him, we never know who's or what is to come next but how about Verdasco or Gaudio.. in a good day ? :)

Gaudio is finished? He doesn't have the motivation after getting the RG.
Verdasco needs to get his head straight just like Marat.

PamV
10-25-2006, 08:23 PM
Besides that Roger had a very tough Wimbledon draw and JMac even discounted that. (Looking back on all of that, I think JMac was assuming that Roger was about to take a down turn instead of actually get better. He assumed that the pressure would make Roger crack and he wanted to be on that bandwagon.)


Wanted to good rep you for this post but I've been told I need to spread some reputation around, lol.

I don't quite know what you mean by the above highlighted portion because in the sentence following you seemed to say exactly the opposite of what I thought you meant.

I meant that in addition to the fact that Roger got to all the clay finals AND won Halle and Wimbledon he even got through one of the toughest quarters a #1 ever had to face at Wimbledon. At the start of the tourney McEnroe was talking as if Roger could likely get upset because of the very tough draw. At the end when Roger blew past the competition McEnroe labeled that an easy draw for Roger. That's why I say McEnroe discounted Roger's draw. By the time of the final, he was then calling Nadal's draw the tough draw and Roger's draw the easy one. That made no sense, but to McEnore it was solely because Nadal struggled more than Roger. He wasn't looking objectively at the grass court quality of both quarters.


Basically McEnroe expected a meltdown from Roger after the FO and it just didn't happen. And I think there are very few of us who expected to see ROgi improve so much since then, but the foreboding JMac was preaching just hasn't happened, neither has his second coming.

Yup. I wonder if McEnroe was projecting how he himself would have reacted in the circumstances. He was also assuming that with Roger turning 25 that he would start to decline. Instead Roger looks like he's actually increased his stamina this year !!!! You are smart not to listen to McEnroe.

PamV
10-25-2006, 08:26 PM
In many ways surprising from McEnroe. In 1984 he lost in the French Open final after leading Lendl by 2 sets to love, but then went on to win Wimbledon and the US Open easily. Why did he assume that Federer would react any differently from himself.:confused:

Maybe is thinking of Roger as the older champion who would feel overshadowed and mentally fragile from losing to the new younger champion Nadal. Isn't that what happened to the Borg/McEnroe rivalry? Maybe he is thinking of it that way? He and others didn't realize the power of Roger's positive thinking.

PamV
10-25-2006, 08:30 PM
JMac still can't deal with the fact he let a 2 set lead slip away against Lendl in the RG final. He wanted Roger to do what he didn't do all those years ago. And when that didn't happen he was so sure Roger would suffer some mental breakdown...I suppose because that's what would've happened to him. Fortunately Roger's not mentally fragile anymore and he didn't let that result affect the rest of his year.

Thank God that Roger isn't the same person as McEnroe. I read in JMac's book that he never enjoyed playing tennis during his career. I guess he couldn't handle the disappointments and the tension well.

stebs
10-25-2006, 08:55 PM
Generally I think this could be true and is as good a reason as any. As an excuse for the Berdych loss to say anything than him getting outplayed would be foolish. I think the reason that loss seems to have hurt Rafa (withdrawal due to bad form + dodgy press comments) is not because he played badly but because he played really well. In the second set Rafa played as well as I've seen him play on a hardcourt and he lost. He can legitimately say he wasn't playing quite 'top' stuff in Canada, Cincy and US Open but in Madrid he just got beat.

I think reaching the Wimbledon final may have taken his feet a little off the ground, he may have started assuming in his head that he COULD be just like Roger and get to every final on every surface. The reality is he played great at Wimbledon, maybe he did have a cakewalk draw but his performance against Baghdatis was fantastic and I think he felt that he could beat anyone else on any surface. In fact, the Kendrick match may even have emphasised that, making him feel invinsible mentally. You can't rely on will to pull through, will is something that has to kick in when it is needed.

Since that Wimbledon match it is well charted that he has not gone really deep in a tournament but I think it is worth noting that even in the matches that he has won his big moment magic hasn't really been there. In Wimbledon, for example, he made a phenomenal forehand pass in the TB against Agassi. I think he set standards at big moments too high and began to assume that he would always be given that shot, that moment to take the match with a great shot and he also assumed he would take it.

Since then he has had some bad losses and some not so bad ones. Guess I better start at the beggining:

vs. Berdych in Canada - This was not a great performance by Nadal. Plain mediocrity. I think he just wasn't ready to face up to this level of tennis so soon, he was a little overconfident that he could cruise through matches maybe. Not such a bad loss, Berdych played great.

vs. Ferrero in Cincy - This is possibly the worst loss in my opinion. The way he played in this match was stupid, maybe JCF played good but Nadal should be able to win this match every time. JCF matches up horribly against Nadal but Nadal stood miles behind the baseline and went limp at the big moments. I think he assumed this tournament should be his after Roger lost. He wasn't expecting a match against JCF.

vs. Youzhny at US Open - A very tough loss to take. We had seen signs of expectations and pressure taking a big toll on Rafa already. Trying to serve out FO he got broken. Trying to serve out a set at Wimby he got too loose and got broken but here it really cost him, the match against Youzhny was going to plan. Rafa raised his game as expected and had set points but then he choked and it cost him the match. The awesome play of Youzhny in the final set took some blame off Rafa but this match should've been his. I think this must've hurt quite bad.

vs. Johansson in Stockholm - He just didn't play well enough against an onslought of aces and winners by Joachim. I think this was okay, blamed on a bad match up, a great match by Johansson and the crowd. I don't think this affected Nadal that badly.

vs. Berdych in Madrid - I think losing in front of his home crowd must've hurt but also the other things I have already said. Nadal put his heart and soul into this match and it just wasn't enough. In the other defeats he was trying of course but he was on full intensity levels against Berdych and he wasn't as good is all it came down to. I think this has made a big impact.

moon language
10-25-2006, 09:00 PM
Sampras won the US Open in 1990 and didn't win another major until 1993.

Right but you're not going to find two careers perfectly matching no matter what you are looking for.

He won the Masters Cup in 91 and made it to 2 Masters finals, and reached the US Open final and won a Masters series in 1992. He was certainly getting some significant results during that time. 1990 - 4 titles, 1991 4 titles, 1992 5 titles. He went from being #5 in 1990 to being #3 in 1992.

Pfloyd
10-25-2006, 09:03 PM
JMac still can't deal with the fact he let a 2 set lead slip away against Lendl in the RG final. He wanted Roger to do what he didn't do all those years ago. And when that didn't happen he was so sure Roger would suffer some mental breakdown...I suppose because that's what would've happened to him. Fortunately Roger's not mentally fragile anymore and he didn't let that result affect the rest of his year.

That Nadal avatar is SO misleading. 10 min of match interuption is much diffrent than the Bedych's situation.

dorkino
10-25-2006, 09:19 PM
Posted by Maria V
Gaudio is finished? He doesn't have the motivation after getting the RG.
Verdasco needs to get his head straight just like Marat.

I am not speaking about dominating clay courts,but even head cases can make some upsets , right? ;)

bandabou
10-25-2006, 09:36 PM
Whatcha gonna do now Rafa? Can you be a contender on non-clay surfaces as well

The Pro
10-25-2006, 10:02 PM
That Nadal avatar is SO misleading. 10 min of match interuption is much diffrent than the Bedych's situation.

I know but it's not even the Fedtards who are banging the drum now. It's all the 'tards.

Naranoc
10-25-2006, 10:04 PM
I know but it's not even the Fedtards who are banging the drum now. It's all the 'tards.

:lol: Just had this sudden image of a bloodthirsty gang of MTFer's advancing towards Nadal with lanterns, spears and pitchforks, while beating loudly on their battle drums.

Alexandy
10-25-2006, 10:20 PM
This was an enjoyable thread to read. Peaceful Rafa and Fed fans; nobody fighting with each other, just an interesting discussion. :)

I don't think you can compare Rafa to Davydenko. Their styles are different. Though Davy has the ability to play great defense he, for the most part, is looking to move into the court. If you watch his matches he plays on or very close to the baseline and takes the ball early. That's the way he wins because he can't overpower anyone. Rafa is going to have to take a page out of Davy's book and step into the court. I think he can do it. I don't know why Rafa didn't play the way he played at Wimbledon (agressive, looking to move into the court) at any of the summer hard court tournaments.

KaxMisha
10-26-2006, 12:43 AM
I meant that in addition to the fact that Roger got to all the clay finals AND won Halle and Wimbledon he even got through one of the toughest quarters a #1 ever had to face at Wimbledon. At the start of the tourney McEnroe was talking as if Roger could likely get upset because of the very tough draw. At the end when Roger blew past the competition McEnroe labeled that an easy draw for Roger. That's why I say McEnroe discounted Roger's draw. By the time of the final, he was then calling Nadal's draw the tough draw and Roger's draw the easy one. That made no sense, but to McEnore it was solely because Nadal struggled more than Roger. He wasn't looking objectively at the grass court quality of both quarters.



Yup. I wonder if McEnroe was projecting how he himself would have reacted in the circumstances. He was also assuming that with Roger turning 25 that he would start to decline. Instead Roger looks like he's actually increased his stamina this year !!!! You are smart not to listen to McEnroe.

To be fair to Johnny Mac, though, he did praise Federer like crazy during the US Open final.

KaxMisha
10-26-2006, 12:49 AM
That Nadal avatar is SO misleading. 10 min of match interuption is much diffrent than the Bedych's situation.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh PLEASE! Could you find anything MORE irrelevant to say in this context? I think not. Fanboyism at its finest. Unless you didn't notice, this thread is neither about avatars nor about Berdych's "shhh" gesture, so please, just drop it. Oh, by the way - where's your argument that Nadal's not one-dimensional. Please post it in the "Is Rafael Nadal a one-dimensional player?" thread. ;)

Cheers!

Bremen
10-26-2006, 12:51 AM
Yeah..he kept saying this is the most beautiful tennis you will ever see. Even Mary Carillo complimented the beauty of his backhand...

NYCtennisfan
10-26-2006, 12:57 AM
To be fair to Johnny Mac, though, he did praise Federer like crazy during the US Open final.

How could someone not after the way he hit the ball in that final and they way he had finished a 3 year stretch of Slam dominance?

mangoes
10-26-2006, 01:17 AM
To be fair to Johnny Mac, though, he did praise Federer like crazy during the US Open final.

:lol: :lol: There was a tinge of resignation to that praise.........after spending the better half of two weeks proclaming Roger to be no. 1 just on papers and Rafa, the player he'd view as no. 1, if he wins the US Open.......there was nothing else for JMac to say at that point, but offer praise :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Johnny Groove
10-26-2006, 01:23 AM
he also kissed Roddick's ass, but surpisingly not as much as usual

mangoes
10-26-2006, 01:52 AM
he also kissed Roddick's ass, but surpisingly not as much as usual


He kissed though;) :lol: :lol: :lol: Usually, it's PMac that does the serious kissing :lol: :lol: :lol: It was nice to see Andy make a comeback during the HC season.

How are you J?? :hug:

its.like.that
10-26-2006, 03:02 AM
A lot of people will pass this off as a cheap excuse.

But any elite sports person would understand where he is coming from.

Compare the length of season of a tennis player to any other sportsperson - basketball, football (NFL, soccer, AFL, rugby), athletics, swimming, skiing, etc.

The ability to perform at a high level week after week is physically taxing on the mind and body.

sawan66278
10-26-2006, 03:04 AM
Great analysis by Stebs...but again, I still think Rafa has had a tremendous season...an exhausting one, with expectations rising and following, but one even better than last year...

cmurray
10-26-2006, 03:24 AM
Great analysis by Stebs...but again, I still think Rafa has had a tremendous season...an exhausting one, with expectations rising and following, but one even better than last year...

This is an interesting point, and one that people seem to forget a bit. Rafa HAS had a really good year. All of his grand-slam results were at least as good and in some cases insanely better (wimby) than last year. Everyone is losing perspective....including Rafa I think. Paris and TMC ought to be interesting and will probably set the tone for the AO in January.

PamV
10-26-2006, 04:03 AM
A lot of people will pass this off as a cheap excuse.

But any elite sports person would understand where he is coming from.

Compare the length of season of a tennis player to any other sportsperson - basketball, football (NFL, soccer, AFL, rugby), athletics, swimming, skiing, etc.

The ability to perform at a high level week after week is physically taxing on the mind and body.

So is Federer the only player who has been able to perform consistently all year long?

PamV
10-26-2006, 04:19 AM
This is an interesting point, and one that people seem to forget a bit. Rafa HAS had a really good year. All of his grand-slam results were at least as good and in some cases insanely better (wimby) than last year. Everyone is losing perspective....including Rafa I think. Paris and TMC ought to be interesting and will probably set the tone for the AO in January.

But you also have to put Wimby in perspective and realize he had an insanely easy draw..... no Berdych, no Blake, no Ancic ....basically no top 20 player until the final. So Yes that was a much better result for Nadal but it was also due to some luck. If he were to get a much tougher draw in 2007 and only make it to the 3rd round that shouldn't be viewed as a shortcoming later.

WF4EVER
10-26-2006, 04:21 AM
To be fair to Johnny Mac, though, he did praise Federer like crazy during the US Open final.

LMAOROTF. By that time, he had no choice. Contrary to his predictions Feds did not collapse after losing the French Open Final. He won Halle, Wimby (despite JMac's continuous ranting that he would lose), and Toronto. Then he kicked ass on the way to the USO Open Final where he had to play Roddick who was 1-10 against him, albeit a new and improved Roddick.

When you can't get well-earned respect sometimes you just have to beat it out of some people, lol.

rexman
10-26-2006, 05:40 AM
But you also have to put Wimby in perspective and realize he had an insanely easy draw..... no Berdych, no Blake, no Ancic ....basically no top 20 player until the final. So Yes that was a much better result for Nadal but it was also due to some luck. If he were to get a much tougher draw in 2007 and only make it to the 3rd round that shouldn't be viewed as a shortcoming later.

Marcos and Jarkko are good players. And Blake on grass is not that great.

missbungle
10-26-2006, 05:56 AM
Marcos and Jarkko are good players. And Blake on grass is not that great.

According to PamV Nadal always has insanely easy draws :rolleyes:

nobama
10-26-2006, 08:11 AM
That Nadal avatar is SO misleading. 10 min of match interuption is much diffrent than the Bedych's situation.Sorry, I don't agree. :p

nobama
10-26-2006, 08:17 AM
Great analysis by Stebs...but again, I still think Rafa has had a tremendous season...an exhausting one, with expectations rising and following, but one even better than last year...Then why the fatigue crap? Nadal should come out and defend the great season he's had. Anyone else who won 5 titles in a season (including 2 Masters and a Slam) would consider that to be a incredible year. Nadal should be challenging the media assertion that he's in a slump because he didn't repeat the season he had last year.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 08:22 AM
Most notably - JMac, PMac and Jim Courier.

See that is the thing I don't get American TV coverage and usually get my info from other places and I rarely have to hear J and PMac and the redneck Courier and what I have heard hasn't impressed me.

The media need stories and like to create something out of nothing or at best something out of very little.

vincayou
10-26-2006, 09:33 AM
As long as he doesn't blame MTF, it's ok

dorkino
10-26-2006, 10:25 AM
Posted by Pam V
But you also have to put Wimby in perspective and realize he had an insanely easy draw..... no Berdych, no Blake, no Ancic ....basically no top 20 player until the final. So Yes that was a much better result for Nadal but it was also due to some luck.

See Pam, the point is when someone says Nadal has had a better Wimbly than last year, we don't compare his draw to Roger's and we shouldn't . It comes from comparing his performance in those two years, obviously last year he lost in the second round and it wasn't to a top 20 player either.So honnestly yes, i think he improved on grass, and had some interesting matches at wimbledon. Ofcourse this should be confirmed/ not in future matches.:)

lshdure
10-26-2006, 10:39 AM
I don't think he understand his situation right now appropriately. After three continual loss in HC season, he lost confidence; he mentioned this earlier. Especially, in the big point, he doesn't seem to believe himself as he did.

connectolove
10-26-2006, 10:50 AM
To those who were discarding with contempt the argument that Nadal's style of play may be taking too much of a toll- here is the proof.

Even if he may not get injured, the amount of physical and mental energy that his game style requires of him to invest to ensure success is so great that he is paying the price for it.

If he really wants to be in the running for titles on faster surfaces he has one of two options:

1. Change up your game- become more aggressive, look to end the points sooner and disctate the play as much as possible without engaging in too many drawn out rallies. He can do this to a certain degree but ultimately we all know this is not his natural and most comfortable game style.

2. Play less tournaments in the first half of the year. Save yourself for the post French Open period and then give it all you've got.

Option #2 seems out of the question with the clay season being Nadal's bread and butter- but maybe a few years down the road after enough success on the clay he might change his game to suit faster surfaces like Muster did in 1997 at the expense of claycourt success. However, this is a big gamble as far as he is concerned as there is a limit to how much a player can change their styles in such a drastic manner- not to mention that every year all the other players improve and the competition only intensifies.

Nadal has some serious thinking to do if he really wants to become world #1 and consistently challenge for all the big titles on all surfaces.

I agree. I think that if Rafael Nadal wants to keep improving, he should get away from his cozy environment and go live in the US to train like a mad man.

Slow court players, like Coria, Puerta, Carlos Moya, Corretja, and all the rest, don't seem to have a long lasting career these days. They burn out too soon.

liisa
10-26-2006, 11:08 AM
^^ I can't imagine Rafa leaving his beloved Mallorca:rolleyes:
IMO, if he was to decide between long-lasting amazing career (thank to, e.g. training in US), and a relatively short career with great results only on clay, but being with his family and gf at home- he would chose the latter one.
He's a sentimental, extremely family-oriented person.

stebs
10-26-2006, 11:45 AM
According to PamV Nadal always has insanely easy draws :rolleyes:

I don't think he has insanely easy draws and all the draw fixing nonsense was a joke which some insane posters started to get fixated on. As for the Wimbledon draw, to call that anything other than easy is a little silly. I know that draws ternd to even themselves out but compare Nadal to Federer draws at Wimbledon:

1st Round: Federer has Gasquet who has just won a grass court event and is good on the suface. Nadal has Bogdanovic who is only in the draw because of his nationality, his loss to Nadal was the last of four succesive defeats on grass.

2nd Round: Federer has Henman, four time semi-finalist at Wimbledon, got to the semis of Queens the week before and looked to be getting into some form. Nadal has Kendrick, regardless of how the match went Kendrick is not a good player. Murray double baggelled him.

3rd Round: Federer has Mahut, this is an easy round. Nadal has Agassi who is strugggling to compete and matches up horribly to him anyway.

4th Round: Federer has Berdych, we have all spoken about him enough lately. A very good player with the ability to do well on all surfaces. Nadal has Labadze, is tjis some kind of joke? Labadze is very lozable but lets face facts, he sucks.

QF: Federer has Ancic who was predicted by many to be second favourite once Roddick went out. Very dangerous player with a perfect game for grass. Nadal has Nieminen who isn't that comfortable on grass, a good player but for a GS quarter final it's pretty tame.

SF: Federer has an easy match against Bjorkman whilst Nadal plays great to beat a decent Baghdatis. No complaints.


Overall that draw was a bit of a joke. Only tough match was the semi-final.

adee-gee
10-26-2006, 12:15 PM
According to PamV Nadal always has insanely easy draws :rolleyes:
I wouldn't take too much notice of anything PamV says ;)

its.like.that
10-26-2006, 12:19 PM
So is Federer the only player who has been able to perform consistently all year long?

Judging by the current rankings, what do you think?

RonE
10-26-2006, 12:27 PM
I agree. I think that if Rafael Nadal wants to keep improving, he should get away from his cozy environment and go live in the US to train like a mad man.


He does not need to move to the U.S to train on faster surfaces. I am sure there are more than enough facilites in Spain which will provide him with the courts he needs.

One step in the right direction as far as he is concerned is playing like he did at Wimbledon where he conciously stood further inside the baseline and was aggressive in his play, even S&Ving on occassion. Tactically he got it right and got the most out of playing that way and it paid off for him.

The hard part for him would be to maintain that balance over a longer period of time on hard courts- which is totally different to grass. During the HC season at times he did try to play as he did at Wimbledon but often times when things got dodgy he reverted to his bread and butter style of play and that cost him dearly. The trick is not only to stand inside the baseline and be aggressive but to be able to balance that play and use his strengths too which is his amazing retrieving abilities and spins.

The secret to success on different surfaces consistently over the course of a year or more is variation- Nadal's shortfall is that this variation is not built into his game, he has to consciously change things up and that huge mental shift between playing styles is so so difficult I am amazed he managed to do it at Wimbledon. The reason someone like Roger for instance has all the success he has on different surfaces consistently is because he already has all the shots and spins ingrained- the package is complete, he only needs to know how and when to apply it and under what circumstances.

Nadal's game also has its limitations and while there is room for him to improve it is not infinite and it is impossible for him to completely change his game from one end of the spectrum to the other.



Slow court players, like Coria, Puerta, Carlos Moya, Corretja, and all the rest, don't seem to have a long lasting career these days. They burn out too soon.


I don't think you can bunch all these players together in the same category because their styles differ so vastly one from another.

The only player in that list which may be a valid example of this is Coria because he is essentially a counterpuncher with no big weapons but his feet, heart and craftiness and players who rely on those traits without having a big weapon do tend to burn out quicker than others.

Puerta is on a ban so you cannot really call that burnout.

Moya has had a long and very consistent career being in the top 10 for many years and is not exclusively a slow court player (look at that huge serve and FH)- don't forget he was a finalist at the AO, semifinalist at the USO, reached R16 at Wimbledon a couple of times, made the final of TMC, IW, won Cincinnati so he is no slouch when it comes to playing on the faster surfaces.

Corretja has also had a relatively long and productive career- while he did essentially start off with his best results coming exclusively on clay he has adapated his game to faster surfaces beating the likes of Agassi and Sampras at their prime in big matches, winning TMC, reaching the QF at the U.S. Open (almost beating Sampras there!).

its.like.that
10-26-2006, 12:33 PM
Well said RON.

:yeah:

buzz
10-26-2006, 01:22 PM
Still strange he could stay close to the baseline on grass and not on hardcourts. Could it have to do somethinge with the different bounce on grass versus hard??? Just thought maybe because on grass the ball bounces lower Nadal can hit it earlier with his extreme grip.

or maybe because of the lower bounce opponents can't hitt as hard as on hardcourts... they have to hitt more upwards so more likely for an hard shot to go out...

Well its al just a thought im curious towards your opinions!

RonE
10-26-2006, 03:29 PM
Still strange he could stay close to the baseline on grass and not on hardcourts. Could it have to do somethinge with the different bounce on grass versus hard??? Just thought maybe because on grass the ball bounces lower Nadal can hit it earlier with his extreme grip.

or maybe because of the lower bounce opponents can't hitt as hard as on hardcourts... they have to hitt more upwards so more likely for an hard shot to go out...

Well its al just a thought im curious towards your opinions!

The bounce is definitely one of the main reasons- you HAVE to stand in closer on grass to retrieve shots because the ball bounces so low if you stood really far beyond the baseline you would be scraping the balls off your shoelaces hitting up under the ball giving your opponents easy put-aways. That is a sure formula for defeat.

The bounce on hard is true and for Nadal to get the optimal spin that he gets on his shots he will instinctively stand a little further behind the baseline and might not be as comfortable standing in closer- even though he has done it to no small degree of success on hard courts as well in the past.

I think the main reason for his success at Wimbledon this year is because he knew he had no choice but to stand in closer otherwise he would have no chance, whereas on hardcourts he subconsciously knows that he can also hit the ball in the strike zone from further behind the baseline so he instinctively reverts to that style of play.

buzz
10-26-2006, 03:39 PM
The bounce is definitely one of the main reasons- you HAVE to stand in closer on grass to retrieve shots because the ball bounces so low if you stood really far beyond the baseline you would be scraping the balls off your shoelaces hitting up under the ball giving your opponents easy put-aways. That is a sure formula for defeat.

The bounce on hard is true and for Nadal to get the optimal spin that he gets on his shots he will instinctively stand a little further behind the baseline and might not be as comfortable standing in closer- even though he has done it to no small degree of success on hard courts as well in the past.

I think the main reason for his success at Wimbledon this year is because he knew he had no choice but to stand in closer otherwise he would have no chance, whereas on hardcourts he subconsciously knows that he can also hit the ball in the strike zone from further behind the baseline so he instinctively reverts to that style of play.

Thanks a lot!

Only remaining questions is: is it besides instinctive and subconscious reasons also technical harder to step in to the court on hard than on grass with rafa's grip

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 03:41 PM
Thanks a lot!

Only remaining questions is: is it besides instinctive and subconscious reasons also technical harder to step in to the court on hard than on grass with rafa's grip

Depends on the speed of the court.

RonE
10-26-2006, 03:47 PM
Depends on the speed of the court.

Speed and bounce. Some HC's have slightly different bounces depending on the paint layering and concentration of the cement top layer.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 03:49 PM
Speed and bounce. Some HC's have slightly different bounces depending on the paint layering and concentration of the cement top layer.

Rebound Ace bounces higher than the ones they have in States, then again it depends on the air conditions as well. Humidity and if it's warm have effects, but I love the whole hardcourt is neutral when in reality it isn't for reasons you just explained.

RonE
10-26-2006, 03:54 PM
Rebound Ace bounces higher than the ones they have in States, then again it depends on the air conditions as well. Humidity and if it's warm have effects, but I love the whole hardcourt is neutral when in reality it isn't for reasons you just explained.

Yes that's right. And add to that Australia's rebound ace also has a top layer of rubber finish made out of recycled tyres which has caused some players playing on it on a very hot day no small amount of discomfort to put it mildly :tape:

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 03:57 PM
Yes that's right. And add to that Australia's rebound ace also has a top layer of rubber finish made out of recycled tyres which has caused some players playing on it on a very hot day no small amount of discomfort to put it mildly :tape:

They overemphasise the dangers of Rebound Ace actually and I could go into a lot of reason why this is the case, but one starting point is something to do with the break at the end of the year and to when they start again.

Rubber expands when it gets warm, but it's a lot easier on the legs and the hip joints than the hardcourts.

buzz
10-26-2006, 03:58 PM
Depends on the speed of the court.

Yes I got that when the court is slower you obviously have more time to make youre swing etc....

but I'm just very curious if Nadal doesn't have or less a problem with flat hard forehands on grass as on hardcourt because of the way the bal bounces.

or maybe more likely that he hasn't trouble with those flat hard forehands because other players have problems hitting flat and hard because of the low bounce.

not that I think that Nadal is better on grass than on Hard or the other way around, I'm just trying to figger it out

RonE
10-26-2006, 04:00 PM
They overemphasise the dangers of Rebound Ace actually and I could go into a lot of reason why this is the case, but one starting point is something to do with the break at the end of the year and to when they start again.

Rubber expands when it gets warm, but it's a lot easier on the legs and the hip joints than the hardcourts.

No doubt that players playing in Australia are a bit "cold" coming back from the off season and yes, RA is slightly gentler on the joints.

But I tell you, having lived in Australia and having played on that stuff I have had a couple of dodgy moments on those types of courts :unsure:

adee-gee
10-26-2006, 04:02 PM
Ron seems very good at analysing Rafa's game, it almost seems like he's getting quite attached to him ;)

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 04:04 PM
No doubt that players playing in Australia are a bit "cold" coming back from the off season and yes, RA is slightly gentler on the joints.

But I tell you, having lived in Australia and having played on that stuff I have had a couple of dodgy moments on those types of courts :unsure:

I have played on it many times and that has included 36 degree heat, it's no more dangerous than other surfaces besides clay, it's just they are different. Then again the shoes are very important in this, but that is another discussion for another thread.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 04:04 PM
Ron seems very good at analysing Rafa's game, it almost seems like he's getting quite attached to him ;)

It's not hard to seperate fanboydom:p

RonE
10-26-2006, 05:25 PM
Ron seems very good at analysing Rafa's game, it almost seems like he's getting quite attached to him ;)

Don't count your piglets before they hatch :p

adee-gee
10-26-2006, 05:30 PM
Don't count your piglets before they hatch :p
It's ok Ron my son, it's nothing to be ashamed of....it's understandable that you're bored of Federer now :)

DrJules
10-26-2006, 07:24 PM
They overemphasise the dangers of Rebound Ace actually and I could go into a lot of reason why this is the case, but one starting point is something to do with the break at the end of the year and to when they start again.

Rubber expands when it gets warm, but it's a lot easier on the legs and the hip joints than the hardcourts.

I thought the major reason for injury on Rebound Ace was hot weather made the court "sticky" which resulted in the court surface excessively gripping footwear.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 07:26 PM
I thought the major reason for injury on Rebound Ace was hot weather made the court "sticky" which resulted in the court surface excessively gripping footwear.

I made reference to the shoes previously, but there are other factors as well which RonE and myself mentioned.

cmurray
10-26-2006, 07:26 PM
I thought the major reason for injury on Rebound Ace was hot weather made the court "sticky" which resulted in the court surface excessively gripping footwear.

Yes. It results in knee and ankle injuries. The shoes stick to the court when it gets hot. Foot stays in one place, knee and/or ankle goes the other. Recipe for disaster.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 07:27 PM
Yes. It results in knee and ankle injuries. The shoes stick to the court when it gets hot. Foot stays in one place, knee and/or ankle goes the other. Recipe for disaster.

It's wearing the right shoes. I have played on it for years in hot weather and never had a problem with stickiness cause of the shoes.

connectolove
10-26-2006, 07:34 PM
^^ I can't imagine Rafa leaving his beloved Mallorca:rolleyes:
IMO, if he was to decide between long-lasting amazing career (thank to, e.g. training in US), and a relatively short career with great results only on clay, but being with his family and gf at home- he would chose the latter one.
He's a sentimental, extremely family-oriented person.

I think you are right.

DrJules
10-26-2006, 07:35 PM
Rebound Ace bounces higher than the ones they have in States, then again it depends on the air conditions as well. Humidity and if it's warm have effects, but I love the whole hardcourt is neutral when in reality it isn't for reasons you just explained.

Obviously, the bounce and speed on a hard court can be dramatically altered as it is an articial surface. When people say neutral they really mean that you could create a totally neutral hard court surface if they desired whereas it is impossible with a natural surface.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 07:36 PM
Obviously, the bounce and speed on a hard court can be dramatically altered as it is an articial surface. When people say neutral they really mean that you could create a totally neutral hard court surface if they desired whereas it is impossible with a natural surface.

It's like 100 percent objectivity, it doesn't exist.

connectolove
10-26-2006, 07:38 PM
He does not need to move to the U.S to train on faster surfaces. I am sure there are more than enough facilites in Spain which will provide him with the courts he needs.

One step in the right direction as far as he is concerned is playing like he did at Wimbledon where he conciously stood further inside the baseline and was aggressive in his play, even S&Ving on occassion. Tactically he got it right and got the most out of playing that way and it paid off for him.

The hard part for him would be to maintain that balance over a longer period of time on hard courts- which is totally different to grass. During the HC season at times he did try to play as he did at Wimbledon but often times when things got dodgy he reverted to his bread and butter style of play and that cost him dearly. The trick is not only to stand inside the baseline and be aggressive but to be able to balance that play and use his strengths too which is his amazing retrieving abilities and spins.

The secret to success on different surfaces consistently over the course of a year or more is variation- Nadal's shortfall is that this variation is not built into his game, he has to consciously change things up and that huge mental shift between playing styles is so so difficult I am amazed he managed to do it at Wimbledon. The reason someone like Roger for instance has all the success he has on different surfaces consistently is because he already has all the shots and spins ingrained- the package is complete, he only needs to know how and when to apply it and under what circumstances.

Nadal's game also has its limitations and while there is room for him to improve it is not infinite and it is impossible for him to completely change his game from one end of the spectrum to the other.





I don't think you can bunch all these players together in the same category because their styles differ so vastly one from another.

The only player in that list which may be a valid example of this is Coria because he is essentially a counterpuncher with no big weapons but his feet, heart and craftiness and players who rely on those traits without having a big weapon do tend to burn out quicker than others.

Puerta is on a ban so you cannot really call that burnout.

Moya has had a long and very consistent career being in the top 10 for many years and is not exclusively a slow court player (look at that huge serve and FH)- don't forget he was a finalist at the AO, semifinalist at the USO, reached R16 at Wimbledon a couple of times, made the final of TMC, IW, won Cincinnati so he is no slouch when it comes to playing on the faster surfaces.

Corretja has also had a relatively long and productive career- while he did essentially start off with his best results coming exclusively on clay he has adapated his game to faster surfaces beating the likes of Agassi and Sampras at their prime in big matches, winning TMC, reaching the QF at the U.S. Open (almost beating Sampras there!).

You make a lot of sense.