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Discussion Starter #1
Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Hi, guys!

I ask myself the serious question: Can we compare Nadal's level in 2019 on clay with that of 2015 on clay? In short, can we compare the months of April, May and June 2015 with those of 2019?

I would remind you that in 2015, he did not win any tournaments before the FO. He loses to Djokovic, Fognini, Murray and Wawrinka. All very good opponents.

In Monaco, he made a great first set against the Serb. In Madrid, he reached the final very easily before being destroyed in the final. In Rome, he totally dominates the first set and loses.

When it comes to results, doesn't that remind you of 2019? He loses to Fognini, Thiem and Tsitsipas. All very good players. There too, he had some easy matches but complicated defeats.

I was wondering if we could do the same in the comparison as to its level of play?

This year, he seems very tense and anxious. Without trust. As in 2015, and knowing that it is a vicious circle. Only a title could give him confidence. As in 2015.

What do you think of that? The comparison stops with performance? Or tennis also find similarities?
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

No
In 2015 he was a lot worse than that.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

I have a bad feeling that Nabull will peak for RG and win another title there.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Nadal probably needs to avoid Djokovic in RG to win. Djokovic has played himself into form whereas Nadal has lost in the latter stages of the main tournaments against decent (but not great) opponents on clay.

I fully expect another Djokdal RG final, unless injury gets in the way.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

2014 and 2015. People forget how bad he was in 2014 too, before catching fire in the later stages of RG.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Exactly. So I don’t know how to feel about his level...
It just means RG is not NID this year, he's vulnerable. Still has a bit of time to improve (Rome, plus first week in Paris). He can still win it, but losing would not be a shock.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Probably Nadal is slightly better now than he was 2015. I wouldn't be all that surprised if he wins Rome, and if he does, he would be the main favorite for RG with some margin. Even more importantly, the competition looked sharper 2015.

Now Djokovic is clearly a strong contender, but he is not the same dominant force he once was. Thiem is better now, of course, but, on the other hand, Wawrinka and Murray were both playing well back in 2015. All in all, Nadal's chances are far better now than four years ago. If he can regain some confidence in Rome, he might actually find the level from 2017-18 just in time for Paris. If he does, Djokovic and Thiem need to raise their levels as well to have a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Probably Nadal is slightly better now than he was 2015. I wouldn't be all that surprised if he wins Rome, and if he does, he would be the main favorite for RG with some margin. Even more importantly, the competition looked sharper 2015.

Now Djokovic is clearly a strong contender, but he is not the same dominant force he once was. Thiem is better now, of course, but, on the other hand, Wawrinka and Murray were both playing well back in 2015. All in all, Nadal's chances are far better now than four years ago. If he can regain some confidence in Rome, he might actually find the level from 2017-18 just in time for Paris. If he does, Djokovic and Thiem need to raise their levels as well to have a shot.
It is very difficult to say. I mean, in 2015, I speak only ON CLAY, his results were very similar (Djokovic, Fognini, Murray and Wawrinka are tough players like Fognini, Thiem and Tsitsipas this year) BUT confidence is coming only with winning. It is exactly the same than 2015. He played a great first set à FO but after this, he was totally destroyed.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Well, 2015 and 2016 were his weakest seasons (excluding pre-2005) and now he's playing at a similar level as those years roughly (you can include the second half of 2014 but he won RG and almost AO in the first half). It's strange because he looked great in Australia, final aside. You'd expect him to do better on clay than on hard courts. I don't think he will win Roland Garros this year unless the draw is kind to him.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

I think better for sure now than in 2015.
One thing no poster is mentioning, anywhere--the competition is tougher now than it was then, in terms of Thiem, Tsitsi (when red lining) Fog now vs. then (Fog is better mentally now).

In 2015 Rafa was hitting short so much of the time, wasn't hitting his FH well.
The Tsitsi match Rafa hit very deep and went FHDTL . But he made so many errors on easy shots--that was the real problem.
consider what he did to Stan the match prior to that.
When I saw Rafa do that to Stan I assumed he was "back" full force.\
Tsitsi played better than he has ever played, and he was totally spent against Djok--making Djok look a little more invincible than he actually is.

But I think the same problem underlies the losses--nerves. I've been saying this since AO final. Rafa has the nerves problem he often has following injuries and lay-offs.
He needs to get over this fast if he wants a chance in Rome and RG
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Probably Nadal is slightly better now than he was 2015. I wouldn't be all that surprised if he wins Rome, and if he does, he would be the main favorite for RG with some margin. Even more importantly, the competition looked sharper 2015.

Now Djokovic is clearly a strong contender, but he is not the same dominant force he once was. Thiem is better now, of course, but, on the other hand, Wawrinka and Murray were both playing well back in 2015. All in all, Nadal's chances are far better now than four years ago. If he can regain some confidence in Rome, he might actually find the level from 2017-18 just in time for Paris. If he does, Djokovic and Thiem need to raise their levels as well to have a shot.
I don't think the comp was sharper 2015, in fact I think the opposite.
Maybe Djok was better than he is now, but there were no young ones then on the level of Thiem and Tsitsi now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think better for sure now than in 2015.
One thing no poster is mentioning, anywhere--the competition is tougher now than it was then, in terms of Thiem, Tsitsi (when red lining) Fog now vs. then (Fog is better mentally now).

In 2015 Rafa was hitting short so much of the time, wasn't hitting his FH well.
The Tsitsi match Rafa hit very deep and went FHDTL . But he made so many errors on easy shots--that was the real problem.
consider what he did to Stan the match prior to that.
When I saw Rafa do that to Stan I assumed he was "back" full force.\
Tsitsi played better than he has ever played, and he was totally spent against Djok--making Djok look a little more invincible than he actually is.

But I think the same problem underlies the losses--nerves. I've been saying this since AO final. Rafa has the nerves problem he often has following injuries and lay-offs.
He needs to get over this fast if he wants a chance in Rome and RG
For sure, but in 2015 Nadal had no confidence like this. Tsitsipas played great, but Thiem in Barcelona was better than Tsitsipas for me. Nadal also. Tsitsipas had only 57% behind his first serve and 42% behind his second. Poor stats.

In 2015, Djokovic was better also but Nadal played a great first set against him in Monaco for example. Wawrinka was better also. Murray also. So, ok, competition is pretty the same if we consider his loose in 2015 and 2019 on clay.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

He's definitely better than in 2015. He's already had great matches this year (on clay and HC). Sure, he struggles on clay more than expected but he won't sweep clay seasons forever. In 2014 he also had problems with winning tournaments (ok, he won Madrid but Kei was very unfortunate) but still managed to up his level for RG. I still think he will be at least in a decent form in Paris (which means he will be very tough to beat).
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

I feel he is a tad batter in 2019.

By the way, "without confidence" (not "without trust"), never translate literally from French to English (for example you do not listen to music with a "helmet" but with headphones).
Had never seen this one but thanks for the laugh :lol:
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

He's definitely better than in 2015. He's already had great matches this year (on clay and HC). Sure, he struggles on clay more than expected but he won't sweep clay seasons forever. In 2014 he also had problems with winning tournaments (ok, he won Madrid but Kei was very unfortunate) but still managed to up his level for RG. I still think he will be at least in a decent form in Paris (which means he will be very tough to beat).
Ironically, the only time Djokovic lost due to "external factors". Without his sickness, the Serbian would have probably prevailed.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Nadal probably needs to avoid Djokovic in RG to win. Djokovic has played himself into form whereas Nadal has lost in the latter stages of the main tournaments against decent (but not great) opponents on clay.

I fully expect another Djokdal RG final, unless injury gets in the way.
Amen, brother. Keep preaching, there are so many fools here who actually think this year it will be different.
 

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Re: Can we compare Nadal’s level in 2019 on clay with Nadal’s level in 2015 on clay?

Concerning Nadal. He was shockingly bad in Monte Carlo, and bombed out as soon as he had to face the first decent player.

In Barcelona, he actually played a litte better, but Thiem really played an epic match there.

His exit in Madrid, his worst clay tournament, was all but a surprise. But the lack of trust and the easy mistakes at important points must be very worrying for Nadal fans.

The betting market still has him the slight favourite for RG, and I sadly have to agree. The clay beast will not go down quietly, trust me, people. But if Nadal has to face Djokovic in the final, he is done.
 
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