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Old 04-04-2005, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default Nadal's fitness...

People keep mentioning that he ran out of gas, this is true but what some folks are failing to understand it had little to do with his physical fitness and more to do with the excessive energy wasting he does in matches.

He's constantly trying to get back in hopeless games, i.e. chasing down balls for all he's worth on 40--0 or 40-15 games against. And also the celebrating he does, that's an unnecessary waste of energy.

The other thing is his game is designed on outlasting opponents, he won't blow anyone off the court, this kind of game takes a lot of time and tremendous energy, and to do that deep into tournaments match after match it takes its toll. Case in point is the Ferrer match, it probably lasted half an hour longer than it needed to and the rallies were incredibly extended and sapping. Other top players probably would have taken care of Ferrer with the minimum of fuss, saving energy for matches where it's needed. But Nadal's heavy game and incredible topspin allows other players to take him deep into a match a lot of the time.

He could learn to flatten out his shots sometimes, go for more winners and develop a bigger serve. The conclusion is I think his fitness is fine, it's just he uses way too much energy to get the job done and over the long haul it will tire him out.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Interesting analysis...and I found myself...thinking along the same lines yesterday. Not that I would ever advocate giving up when down 0-40...but in a five-setter, some concessions have to be made - like going for shots you wouldn't normally to end a point quicker (hopefully in your favor). And since I'm just learning to put topspin on some of my shots...I'm finding that to be quite tiring. Wonder if any other topspinner out there could/would comment on that.

Regardless, I thought Rafa did well...certainly under the circumstances. And with the exception of Marat, just when was the last time...someone took 2 sets off of Roger? Agassi at SF USO, Guga at RG...that's some nice company for the kid to be in.
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Last edited by Angle Queen : 04-04-2005 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Clarify what I meant about "concessions"
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Agreed, except I think one should always try to win a game, no matter what the score...that's what Agassi said was so good about Federer...
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

interesting look on nadal's game
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Quote:
He's constantly trying to get back in hopeless games, i.e. chasing down balls for all he's worth on 40--0 or 40-15 games against.
It's stupid to give up during a game, you never know what's going to happen. You can go from 40-15 to deuce in the blink of an eye, then it's anybody's game.

I agree that he needs to conserve his energy, however. They'll work on that.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

He does need to conserve energy, but like Becca said, you should never give up in any game. That's just amateur.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

I think rafa went for plenty of winners yesterday. I agree his serve needs some improving and he's got time to work on it. From what I saw rafa simply lost his explosiveness as the match wore on. Nadal looked like he'd been playing 3 hours, while Feds was hardly sweating. Of course Rafa's game takes alot of physical strengh and energy because he runs so many balls down and he runs around his backhand quite often. I just find it hard to agree that fitness did not play a factor in the result of the match yesterday. I think that players with the type of game Rafa has just have to be that much fitter. A fitness trainer I talked to awhile back said that guys don't reach their full physical potential until they're 21-22. Roger is a well seasoned athlete, he has achieved the kind of fitness he needs to make it through big matches.Roger had age and experience on his side yesterday. I think one has to take it into consideraton that Rafa hasn't reached his full genetic potential as an athlete yet. I'm sure that as he gets older his stamina and overall fitness will improve!
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

One thing that I read is that he just needs to work on stamina in the next few months. He is fit, but he does expend too much energy which is why he ran out against Federer. I think that if he works on that more, we will see a better Nadal. If he also continues to work on his serve and on flattening his shots more, he will be extremely dangerous.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Want to question these biceps?

You do it. I'd rather not be beaten to a bloody pulp.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Please explain the difference between fitness and stamina because I am thinking that stamina is a part of his overall fitness.

And as far as this lead post is concerned it still seems to suggest, to me at least, that it 'is' his fitness that's the problem. I totally agree that he wastes a lot of energy, perhaps trying to tire out his opponents with all those long points. It appears as if he's the one who ends of 'running out of gas' in the longer matches.

If he were fitter, don't you think he'd be more successful in grinding out longer, tougher matches against his opponents.

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding you but it still seems to me as if you're talking about his fitness.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

I think his fitness is probably one of the best in tennis. Never giving up on a game is a superb attribute, if someone like Safin had half as good an attitude as Nadal he'd probably be no.1 at the moment.

Anyway, I don't think the reason Rafa lost the last 2 sets yesterday was because he doesn't preserve his energy. The main thing is that he doesn't get any cheap points off his serve, and is constantly having to play rallies. Someone like Roddick can race through a service game in under a minute, using up very little energy. Basically for Nadal, he can't do this and has to use a lot more energy holding serve. Another thing, I think yesterday was more mental fatigue than physical fatigue, he knows the match should probably have been won in 3. Then when Federer starts coming back at him its hard for him not to think about the chances he's missed.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarolBeckFan
He does need to conserve energy, but like Becca said, you should never give up in any game. That's just amateur.
And not to mention disrespectful to your opponent. I agree with the energy conservation thing, though.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

Perfectly natural for an 18 year old to run out of gas in a 5-setter. IMO, it would be very stupid to change his game so that it lasts longer, especially if it means putting less top spin on the balls... that's his weapon!!!

He could and should have beaten the number one in 3 sets on a surface that's not even his favorite. If he learns how to finish the game quicker (match length, not rallies), he wouldn't even need to worry about his fitness.

Anyway... who are supposed to be the fittest men in tennis? Clay players. What tactics do these players use? Top spin and running down balls. Pssst... I'll let you in on a little secret: clay court players are fit because of their tactics... Nadal isn't quite there yet fitness-wise (logical), but the tactis he uses and the court he usually plays on will just give him a further incentive to work on that. In a couple of years he won't have any problems with 5-setters and that without changing his game.

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Old 04-04-2005, 08:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

A flashy grinder is still a grinder.
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Nadal's fitness...

There is a double-edged sword we are talking about here. One of the reasons that Federer was making so many mistakes is because this guy ran every single ball down. That's also one of the reasons that Federer didn't have more winners than errors (that and the double faults). At least 15 balls that would surely be winners against others were hit back, most into the net and out, but it prevented a winner from being put on the scoreboard. He ran so much and so hard for these balls and there is no way in hell that someone, no matter how fit you are, is going to do that for 5 sets in that type of weather against a guy who puts constant pressure on you.
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