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Old 03-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #316
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by zcess81 View Post
Um...well, yeah, he actually did. That is the whole point of tennis. Get inside your opponent's head, make him doubt himself, make him go for the lines. Novak being the best returner in the game puts extraordinary pressure on his opponents. They know that simply rolling the ball in isn't good enough, so they try to go for more, and make mistakes, double fault etc. That is what doubt does to you. You start serving well, balls come back with interest, close to the lines, and you say to yourself, "Jesus, what do I have to do to win a point against this guy...I need to serve harder, go for the lines"...That is when 1st serve percentage starts going down, and the more it goes down, the more you start to panic. That is what happened to Nadal and so many other players against Djokovic. He gives you nothing. He makes you doubt yourself, your own game.
To an extent, I agree. But not all the way down to 25%. That's just a crazy number I've never seen before from him and never afterwards.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #317
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by Trollicki View Post
If Rafa manages to make that seemingly improved BH a consistent part of his game, I feel his chances against Djokovic would rise quite a bit, on any surface. The inadequacy of his BH, especially in going down the line, was quite an important part in his 2011 losses.
Djokovic's forehand > Nadal's backhand, and that's the problem for Rafa. Djokovic can go backhand (his main weapon) to forehand (Rafa's main weapon) with Nadal all day long, but when the pattern is reversed, and both players are forced to play with their "weaker" wing, Djokovic has major advantage on every surface except maybe clay. That won't change this late in their career, so Nadal has to find more than one solution. Improving his backhand is just part of the overall solution.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:24 PM   #318
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by GSMnadal View Post
To an extent, I agree. But not all the way down to 25%. That's just a crazy number I've never seen before from him and never afterwards.
You just do not get it.
Imagine serving at 25% and converting only 33% percent of the first serves you roll in and 67% of the second serves you roll in.
What do you reckon is your problem in that match? Low first serve percentage?

Last edited by NID : 03-03-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #319
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Djokovic's forehand > Nadal's backhand, and that's the problem for Rafa. Djokovic can go backhand (his main weapon) to forehand (Rafa's main weapon) with Nadal all day long, but when the pattern is reversed, and both players are forced to play with their "weaker" wing, Djokovic has major advantage on every surface except maybe clay. That won't change this late in their career, so Nadal has to find more than one solution. Improving his backhand is just part of the overall solution.
In the meantime, looks like Djoko has improved his serve and Nadal is working on his backhand. Arms race...
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:26 PM   #320
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by Trollicki View Post
If Rafa manages to make that seemingly improved BH a consistent part of his game, I feel his chances against Djokovic would rise quite a bit, on any surface. The inadequacy of his BH, especially in going down the line, was quite an important part in his 2011 losses.
He's always had problem with the DTL backhand, his technique isn't as pure as e.g. Djokovic and Murray.

His CC one is the one that he can blast occasionally, we'll see how it holds up to high, looping balls (that was his issue in 2011 when Djokovic exposed it on all surfaces)
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lol, who will beat him? Wawrinka? Berdych? Gulbis? Rosol? Federer?

Only Del Potro can take him out before the semis, and he won't. Nadal is winning the AO, bet your house on it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:28 PM   #321
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by zcess81 View Post
Djokovic's forehand > Nadal's backhand, and that's the problem for Rafa. Djokovic can go backhand (his main weapon) to forehand (Rafa's main weapon) with Nadal all day long, but when the pattern is reversed, and both players are forced to play with their "weaker" wing, Djokovic has major advantage on every surface except maybe clay. That won't change this late in their career, so Nadal has to find more than one solution. Improving his backhand is just part of the overall solution.
I agree with your assessment of Nole´s FH and Nadal´s BH, yet the BH DTL is crucial for Nadal, in order to escape the CC rallies of their weaker wings where, as you said, Nadal is inferior. He used to be unable to go down the line and this, combined with his stance several metres behind the baseline, was important in him losing to Djokovic. I do agree with you that improving the BH is not the complete solution, I expressed myself too strongly in my first post.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:29 PM   #322
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by Trollicki View Post
I agree with your assessment of Nole´s FH and Nadal´s BH, yet the BH DTL is crucial for Nadal, in order to escape the CC rallies of their weaker wings where, as you said, Nadal is inferior. He used to be unable to go down the line and this, combined with his stance several metres behind the baseline, was important in him losing to Djokovic. I do agree with you that improving the BH is not the complete solution, I expressed myself too strongly in my first post.
In effect, you want Nadal to completely change his game? He never steps into the court, his game is based around his defence. It's a big part of the reason he has knee problems.

He's had years to change his style and hasn't, do you really think he will now?
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:30 PM   #323
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by GSMnadal View Post
Look, I'll only answer you since you're the only one coming up with decent points and actually addressing the situation rather than the others who only throw in smileys and insults.

First of all, you can be the best clutch player, and still be affected by nerves. They're all human, like one performance like this instantly nullifies his clutchness. All players have had weaker moments, Nadal has overall had the fewest of the players on tour and a lot of strong ones. We know how often he doubts himself, but usually that doesn't translate onto court with him. At IW, it did. That doesn't make him a mental midget of course.

Remember, Nadal was in tears at the Australian Open, failing to complete the Rafa slam, losing to Ferrer due to injury. In my point of view (which is supported by later interviews) he felt like that slam would've been his if it wasn't for that. That was the first (of many) devastating blow(s) in 2011. He then returned to tour at IW having to prove something. There were already claims of Novak being 'the real #1' and I think he fixated too much on that, got tight in set 2 and the rest is history.
I am sorry but this just doesn't make sense and you're thinking too much. Truth is, in that final IW 2011, if anyone had anything to prove, it was Nole. He was only a 2 slam champion, who had just won his second slam THREE years after the first one. Many people back then were saying that it had been a second fluke on a surface that favors him, so he was never going to win any other major. He was also already the better hard court player of the two, who had had an impressive start of the season with 2 titles but hadn't beaten the world number 1 YET. So the way I see it, if anyone was under real pressure that day, it was Nole.

You simply can't say that rafa crumbled that match because he was under pressure. He wasn't, not that early in the year.

Last edited by arm : 03-03-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:31 PM   #324
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Remember, Nadal was in tears at the Australian Open, failing to complete the Rafa slam, losing to Ferrer due to injury. In my point of view (which is supported by later interviews) he felt like that slam would've been his if it wasn't for that. That was the first (of many) devastating blow(s) in 2011. He then returned to tour at IW having to prove something. There were already claims of Novak being 'the real #1' and I think he fixated too much on that, got tight in set 2 and the rest is history.
It is hardly as if Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite in that match. I vividly remember that people thought he would not have any chance, in the light of their USO encounter the previous year and especially the fact that until then Djokovic had never beaten Nadal in a final. If there was any decisive blow in their 2011 rivalry, it would have been their Miami match.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #325
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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In effect, you want Nadal to completely change his game? He never steps into the court, his game is based around his defence. It's a big part of the reason he has knee problems.

He's had years to change his style and hasn't, do you really think he will now?
I think it would be prudent of him to play somewhat closer to the baseline, yes. I do not believe he will be able to do so, however. Improving his BH, on the other hand, is something he could do this late in his career (albeit in a limited scope).

EDIT: I must add that this pertains mostly to his matches with Djokovic. His defensive game is his bread and butter as you have stated and very effective against most others.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #326
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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It is hardly as if Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite in that match. I vividly remember that people thought he would not have any chance, in the light of their USO encounter the previous year and especially the fact that until then Djokovic had never beaten Nadal in a final. If there was any decisive blow in their 2011 rivalry, it would have been their Miami match.
Plus Novak never beat Nadal after losing the first set before so it's really hard to believe Rafa "crumble" after he was up a set.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #327
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by Trollicki View Post
I think it would be prudent of him to play somewhat closer to the baseline, yes. I do not believe he will be able to do so, however. Improving his BH, on the other hand, is something he could do this late in his career (albeit in a limited scope).

EDIT: I must add that this pertains mostly to his matches with Djokovic. His defensive game is his bread and butter as you have stated and very effective against most others.
Whilst it's his bread and butter, it's also the reason he has knee problems. The length of time his points last vs Djokovic, Federer and Murray would be significantly longer you'd imagine.

For him to beat Djokovic on any other surface other than clay he would need to substantially alter his game. It won't happen.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:46 PM   #328
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Whilst it's his bread and butter, it's also the reason he has knee problems. The length of time his points last vs Djokovic, Federer and Murray would be significantly longer you'd imagine.

For him to beat Djokovic on any other surface other than clay he would need to substantially alter his game. It won't happen.
Then he will keep on losing to Djokovic outside of clay - it´s that simple. The match at the AO in 2012 and the clay court matches of last year suggested to me however that he saw where the problems were in this particular match up and that he was trying to remedy this. Meaning he took a bit more initiative than he would otherwise and he blasted his BH a bit more as well. I wouldn´t exclude the possibility he will do so in future encounters with Novak.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:49 PM   #329
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by Trollicki View Post
I agree with your assessment of Nole´s FH and Nadal´s BH, yet the BH DTL is crucial for Nadal, in order to escape the CC rallies of their weaker wings where, as you said, Nadal is inferior. He used to be unable to go down the line and this, combined with his stance several metres behind the baseline, was important in him losing to Djokovic. I do agree with you that improving the BH is not the complete solution, I expressed myself too strongly in my first post.
Sure, BH DTL is probably the most devastation BH shot, and it is also the most difficult to pull off/master with great consistency. Yeah, if Nadal can get that shot working consistently, he has a great chance against Nole, but that was never a great shot for him in the past. It will be very difficult for Nadal to suddenly add that shot to his game and perform it consistently under pressure. I agree, if he manages to get BH DTL working he will be difficult to beat, not just for Nole, but for anyone. However, like I said, that is one of the most difficult shots to master in tennis, because it involves changing direction, and every time you change direction of the ball you take big risk.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:00 PM   #330
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Default Re: Nadal will skip IW and Miami UPDATE - confirms will play IW

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Originally Posted by zcess81 View Post
Sure, BH DTL is probably the most devastation BH shot, and it is also the most difficult to pull off/master with great consistency. Yeah, if Nadal can get that shot working consistently, he has a great chance against Nole, but that was never a great shot for him in the past. It will be very difficult for Nadal to suddenly add that shot to his game and perform it consistently under pressure. I agree, if he manages to get BH DTL working he will be difficult to beat, not just for Nole, but for anyone. However, like I said, that is one of the most difficult shots to master in tennis, because it involves changing direction, and every time you change direction of the ball you take big risk.
True, it is a big risk and pulling it off consistently is no small task. It is proof for instance of the technical excellency of Novak, seeing as how he can pull them off somewhat consistently. And as Lopez has previously said, Nadal´s technical acumen is somewhat less than Andy´s or Novak´s. Still, I do see the intent in Rafa to work on that weak spot and his BH was on fire vs Ferrer. If that was an one off, if it was due to Ferrer or if he can repeat this against the best: we´ll see. But I think we are in agreement here.
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