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Discussion Starter #1
Nobody even bothers making a thread? :lol:

From losing horrendously against Fognini to taking 2h50 to beat Leo Mayer :lol: Has Nadal ever been this bad in the clay season? Probably 2015 and 2016?
 

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Yeah, the lack of a thread indicates most were hoping for an upset. LOL

Well Rafa started horribly, hitting short, no first serves etc etc.

The transformation in Rafa's game once he broke was astonishing. Clark Kent to Superman. (Sorry) He got better 2nd set, then better again 3rd set.

This happened with mayer once before USO 2017 Rafa failed to convert something like 12 BPs the minute he converted he was a different player and won the whole enchilada.

Bodes well!

I really hope the rot is now out of Rafa's game from hereonin.
 

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Almost 3 hours to beat Mayer, who did not even play that good. And now a grindfest against Ferrer coming. Just glorious in every way.

Nadal looks utterly lost out there. Federer surely has the perfect timing to return on clay.
 

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I wouldn't call it bad level just because Nadal loses a match against the great tactician Fognini and needs more sets to win. He's getting older you know? It would be weird if he trashed everyone 3 and 1 after the injuries. Then people would say the usual nonsense about the status of the current era...

Personally I love these matches in which the favourite gets tested. Rafa will be fine in Paris. BO5 favours the top players.
 

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Almost 3 hours to beat Mayer, who did not even play that good. And now a grindfest against Ferrer coming. Just glorious in every way.

Nadal looks utterly lost out there. Federer surely has the perfect timing to return on clay.
Lost? Did you see the match? Seco d and third set looked solid. Rafa is slowly finding his form. Remember he is an injured person playing tennis.
 

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The topspin bot is on the verge of retirement.

He should tank the entire clay season and prepare for grass. Almost feels like his chances on grass are now higher than on red dirt.
 

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Rafa is in a very difficult situation. He can't tank or he will lose his mental edge, he also has to avoid marathon matches because he is not young anymore and the deeper he gets into tournaments the more difficult it is for him to recover
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rafa is in a very difficult situation. He can't tank or he will lose his mental edge, he also has to avoid marathon matches because he is not young anymore and the deeper he gets into tournaments the more difficult it is for him to recover
You made a really good point. But I don’t think he is in a good position to tank, especially after nearly being fed a bagel by Fognini. I feel he has to absolutely win Barcelona to make a mini statement and gain some confidence before Madrid, Rome and RG. But instead of crushing the field, he was just dragged to almost 3 hours against Mayer, and that is not a good statement at all. It will not only make him lose confidence, doubt his form on clay, but also make his opponents be more confident and feel like they have their chances against this verson of Nadal and not just quit before stepping into the court or losing their first service break.

With Djokovic, his forms in the warmup events and the upcoming slam are so different and should not be looked into too much (eg Dubai and AO this year, heck even his forms in the early rounds and later rounds are different :lol:). But in Nadal’s case, I think how he played in the warmup events really indicate his form going into the slams, and he will keep it like that. So Nadal will really have to step up his form in the next month. But anw, RG is another whole different story, and beating him in PC over 5 sets is never easy.
 

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Lost? Did you see the match? Seco d and third set looked solid. Rafa is slowly finding his form. Remember he is an injured person playing tennis.
Of course I did see the fucking match.

Slowly finding his form? Solid? Are you shitting me? He was an error machine, never finding the right mix between offense and defense. Add to this mental lapses rarely seen from Nadal on clay, stiff movement and a bad serve. Nadal only won because Mayer played a bad match, too.

I've never seen Nadal muttering so many times to himself. You just had to take a deep look in his face to see that Nadal himself knows he is fucked.
 

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Yeah, the lack of a thread indicates most were hoping for an upset. LOL

Well Rafa started horribly, hitting short, no first serves etc etc.

The transformation in Rafa's game once he broke was astonishing. Clark Kent to Superman. (Sorry) He got better 2nd set, then better again 3rd set.

This happened with mayer once before USO 2017 Rafa failed to convert something like 12 BPs the minute he converted he was a different player and won the whole enchilada.

Bodes well!

I really hope the rot is now out of Rafa's game from hereonin.
Despite being occupied by the dark force that is Rafael Nadal, I usually like your posts, because you show genuine emotion and do not hesitate of being critical to your idol.

But it seems you have read to much of Hitmans bullcrap. Astonishing transformation? Seriously? Nadal was still playing bad in the third set, but Mayer was even worse. He would have gone down against plenty of players today, and deep down you know it.

That Fognini loss in Monte Carlo left another deep mark in Nadals already shattered confidence. This match today shows in how much trouble the Spaniard really is.

But... do I count him out at Roland Garros? Fuck no. Way to early, but things are looking promising indeed.
 

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This is easily the most entertaining match of the year :armed:
Its the first time Rafa's has dropped a set in a victory this year.
Rafa had 14 straight sets victories before this, and there is nothing more boring than a straight sets victory.
 

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How ironic from a Federer standpoint would it be for Nadal to have his worst ever clay season now, when just last year it was precisely this good clay season who wrestled the number 1 spot from Fed's lap, never to return.
 

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How ironic from a Federer standpoint would it be for Nadal to have his worst ever clay season now, when just last year it was precisely this good clay season who wrestled the number 1 spot from Fed's lap, never to return.
You know what would even be more "ironic"? Federer returning to clay exactly at the moment both Nadal and Djokovic are slowly falling apart.

Federer would have won shit in the last three years. This year, I'm not so certain.
 

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When you consider how long the 1st Set was, and how Mayer fought so hard the entire match, this was a fairly quick match :armed:
2hrs 49mins 59sec.
 

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The (very) worrying level of Rafael Nadal in recent days can be explained for several reasons. What's wrong with that? In his game, at the moment, either Nadal forces and goes to the foul in length, or plays "safe" and plays too short, or makes fouls in width due to the fact that he is late. According to the report, this is due to two related factors. First of all, trust. Today, if we ask Nadal about his feelings about his last months, he doesn't think about the correction he put in Tsitsipas at the OA or Krajinovic at IW, it's not this kind of game that gives him confidence. That's not what he can base himself on in a moment of doubt. No. Today, Nadal must be thinking that he has been permanently injured for 6 months. 6 months since he didn't play properly anymore. Its last good period being April 2018 to September 2018. As a result, his confidence is close to 0. He does not have this "anchor" to rely on in hot moments. The direct consequence of all these injuries is that over the past 6 months, he has not been able to train as he wanted/valued. So, over 6 months, he had to have what? A month of training. He favoured his offensive play. This paid off at the OA and on hard in general, and with his recurrent knee injuries, put aside his defensive play. This goes unnoticed on hard ground, but on clay the limits are quickly visible. Especially when you know that when Nadal is not confident, when faced with an opponent who plays well, he quickly returns to his comfort zone. Comfort zone which is the defense. Except it's not ready in this compartment. And that's what it looks like. There are not 4000 solutions if he wants to get ready for RG. This involves regaining confidence and working on your defensive play. One is done in training, the other in the field by landing at least one M1000 before RG. If this is not the case then we will have every reason to worry before RG.
 
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