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Should players change their strategy?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 20.8%
  • No

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Rafa will win RG regardless

    Votes: 18 75.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When Rafa was younger, one of his greatest weapons was to outlast his opponents physically in BO5 matches at RG. The toughest task to do for any player facing him. One had to work for every point and to do it over 5 hours against him with his topspin forehand and superior physicality and movement. The strategy for most was to play aggressive, go for the shots and shorten the rallies which is much more harder to do on clay than on other surfaces.

But now that Rafa is 35 years and after seeing his match against Tsitsipas where he appeared to struggle physically should the players now actually try to prolong the points and outlast him physically. I just cannot imagine him winning multiple 4-5 hour matches this RG

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When Rafa was younger, one of his greatest weapons was to outlast his opponents physically in BO5 matches at RG. The toughest task to do for any player facing him. One had to work for every point and to do it over 5 hours against him with his topspin forehand and superior physicality and movement. The strategy for most was to play aggressive, go for the shots and shorten the rallies which is much more harder to do on clay than on other surfaces.

But now that Rafa is 35 years and after seeing his match against Tsitsipas where he appeared to struggle physically should the players now actually try to prolong the points and outlast him physically. I just cannot imagine him winning multiple 4-5 hour matches this RG

Discuss
Roland Garros is a very different animal to any other clay court. Nadal gets a load of bite on the ball. It's not just that it's Bo5, how many players can win sets and prolong sets? Nadal gets through his matches with relative ease so the grind isn't a problem for him. There won't be multiple 4-5 hour matches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Roland Garros is a very different animal to any other clay court. Nadal gets a load of bite on the ball. It's not just that it's Bo5, how many players can win sets and prolong sets? Nadal gets through his matches with relative ease so the grind isn't a problem for him. There won't be multiple 4-5 hour matches.
I don't agree on this one. You make it sound like RG is made of materials only exist in other galaxies. It is quite similar to Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome. And father time will catch Rafa one day
 

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If they themselves are able to win multiple 4-5 hour matches, then sure, why not?

If they end up too shot to win against the next opponent, then no.
 

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It's not a bad idea, these days, but very few players can actually trouble Nadal enough to tire him. This is what I found most strange about the final last year for Djokovic, Nadal showed signs of dropping his level by the end of his match against Schwartzman, but Djokovic tried to shorten points in the final right from the start, with dropshots every other point em hyper-aggressive play. Awful strategy.

This year, the players that can try to lengthen the match against Nadal are Djokovic, Thiem, Tsisipas, Zverev, and Schwartzman. Maybe Rublev can too but his stamina is questionable.
 

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Well, I think Rafa's opponents have always tried to make the match last as much as possible. He's just not letting this happen.

I voted no, because the priority in tennis will always be to win points over prolonging-them-to-tire-the-opponent. Take any little opportunity you have, and then, maybe, you'll have a chance to reach the 5th set.

But I completely agree with you on the fact that the person who will be able to bring Rafa to the 5th set will have a good chance of a win (especially as you said, if Rafa did have a couple of long matches the rounds before). I even think it's the only possible thing that could prevent him to win FO, as Rafa won't lose in 3 sets at FO any time soon.
Maybe Tsitsipas or Thiem if he's back in form can achieve that, as they are usually not the kind of guys that tire early.
 

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Make no mistake, Nadal still can outlast the young guns.

The reason is simple. Nadal is a master in letting himself "breathe" at the right moments. After a physical demanding point, he deliberately wastes as much time as possible with the well known antics, hence giving him enough time to recover. The younger players would outlast him easily if the game were quicker, but we all know with Nadal involved, this will never be the case, and the referees are usually just sitting back and let the deliberate time wasting happen.

That being said, I think OP still has a valid point, since we did see some cracks in Nadal's brand of game. It is no accident that he lost to Tsitsipas after being two sets up at the Australian Open.

I just can't see it happening at this years French Open. @MWW did put it perfectly as of why this is the case.
 
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I don't agree on this one. You make it sound like RG is made of materials only exist in other galaxies. It is quite similar to Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome. And father time will catch Rafa one day
Clay in RG is different. The material is different and no where to be found at the other places. Its unique.
 

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Clay in RG is different. The material is different and no where to be found at the other places. Its unique.
I've once said it makes Nadal's court seem small while your side of the court seems large to him. Nadal can do anything with just about any ball even in positions you wouldn't feel possible, while you're having to work doubly hard to find openings and weak points.
 

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There's hope for anyone who can repeatedly pound the Nadal BH and then attack the FH when a shot is on.

So yes, dragging him into a prolonged battle is an excellent ploy.

But you also need the self-belief to persist in this tactic even when Rafa gets on top in the match and has a purple streak. You let that go, accept it, and then keep pounding the Nadal BH. Eventually you get your dogfight. And then the errors will flow from Rafa.
 

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I've once said it makes Nadal's court seem small while your side of the court seems large to him. Nadal can do anything with just about any ball even in positions you wouldn't feel possible, while you're having to work doubly hard to find openings and weak points.
In replays after I have survived Nadal emotionally during live covering, I cant stop to laugh out of disbelieve and admiration what he is doing on that court. And I even enjoy it in the end no matter who of my players he is beating because I love greatness. But as I said mostly after he beat and schooled his opponents. Often I am rooting for his opponents in Roland Garros. I like to see him working or struggling more which rarely happens these days.
 

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There's hope for anyone who can repeatedly pound the Nadal BH and then attack the FH when a shot is on.

So yes, dragging him into a prolonged battle is an excellent ploy.

But you also need the self-belief to persist in this tactic even when Rafa gets on top in the match and has a purple streak. You let that go, accept it, and then keep pounding the Nadal BH. Eventually you get your dogfight. And then the errors will flow from Rafa.
Man, I wish I had your belief. But when did we actually see that in RG on PC?

In the final two years ago, Thiem did exactly that, dragged Nadal in an extremely physical battle in the final. And after two brutal sets, it was Nadal who crushed him after.

I understand everyone who tries to be hopeful and somehow wants to believe that tennis will not be destroyed in a couple of weeks.

But you have to be realistic about this things. It's always the same shit. Nadal will win RG, you can count on it. Maybe he will even dominate like never before, since he does not trust his longetivity 100 %.

So I have my bottles of vodka ready, one for every Nadal match in RG. And you all should do the same, instead of dreaming up some fanfic how Nadal may lose.
 

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Clay in RG is different. The material is different and no where to be found at the other places. Its unique.
People will never get how much different RG is from other clay tournaments.

I can already see the threads popping up how Nadal is done when he loses in Madrid, which will happen 100 %.

Nadal does not peak at RG. It's the conditions that let him peak there. Never in the history of tennis was a Slam more suited for a specific player. That's why we have this numbers, 13 victories, it's ridiculous.

All we can do is hold on to our bottles of vodka and see the car crash happen, like every year.
 

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Man, I wish I had your belief. But when did we actually see that in RG on PC?

In the final two years ago, Thiem did exactly that, dragged Nadal in an extremely physical battle in the final. And after two brutal sets, it was Nadal who crushed him after.

I understand everyone who tries to be hopeful and somehow wants to believe that tennis will not be destroyed in a couple of weeks.

But you have to be realistic about this things. It's always the same shit. Nadal will win RG, you can count on it. Maybe he will even dominate like never before, since he does not trust his longetivity 100 %.

So I have my bottles of vodka ready, one for every Nadal match in RG. And you all should do the same, instead of dreaming up some fanfic how Nadal may lose.
How much will you bet on #14 happening this year ?
 

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Man, I wish I had your belief. But when did we actually see that in RG on PC?

In the final two years ago, Thiem did exactly that, dragged Nadal in an extremely physical battle in the final. And after two brutal sets, it was Nadal who crushed him after.

I understand everyone who tries to be hopeful and somehow wants to believe that tennis will not be destroyed in a couple of weeks.

But you have to be realistic about this things. It's always the same shit. Nadal will win RG, you can count on it. Maybe he will even dominate like never before, since he does not trust his longetivity 100 %.

So I have my bottles of vodka ready, one for every Nadal match in RG. And you all should do the same, instead of dreaming up some fanfic how Nadal may lose.
I suppose he wins RG, just because everything is so perfect for him there.

But I can't see that 2019 is very significant. The wind fucked up the semis and screwed over Domi big time. The reason Nadal dominated was because he hadn't played the day before.

And two years have passed since then. And Rafa's BH is much weaker than it was then.

Somebody with self-belief and a big game who ruthlessly targets the Nadal BH can take him out. The question is whether the draw will keep Nadal away from all those players (Thiem, Karatsev, Rublev, Tsitsipas) until the final?
 

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How much will you bet on #14 happening this year ?
All I have left, man. It's inevitable. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.
 
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Still think the best strategy is to go full Soderling, serve bot and ball bash crazy. That style won't beat everyone to win the event, but to beat Nadal, yes

Attack the forehand and close to the backhand
 

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It's not a bad idea, these days, but very few players can actually trouble Nadal enough to tire him. This is what I found most strange about the final last year for Djokovic, Nadal showed signs of dropping his level by the end of his match against Schwartzman, but Djokovic tried to shorten points in the final right from the start, with dropshots every other point em hyper-aggressive play. Awful strategy.

This year, the players that can try to lengthen the match against Nadal are Djokovic, Thiem, Tsisipas, Zverev, and Schwartzman. Maybe Rublev can too but his stamina is questionable.
true but the problem is the same thing applies to Djokovic nowadays, he wouldn’t be shortening the points as much if he didnt think it was necessary
 

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There's hope for anyone who can repeatedly pound the Nadal BH and then attack the FH when a shot is on.

So yes, dragging him into a prolonged battle is an excellent ploy.

But you also need the self-belief to persist in this tactic even when Rafa gets on top in the match and has a purple streak. You let that go, accept it, and then keep pounding the Nadal BH. Eventually you get your dogfight. And then the errors will flow from Rafa.
well easier said than done.



Also Nadal runs around the BH on clay a lot and you really do not want him to do that as that's his prime offensive position. His passing shots on that wing are also quite good as Federer has discovered more often than not. Nadal also can unleash the BH for a strong CC angle from time to time and that catches people off guard and you guessed it, lets him start controlling FHs from that corner and then you're screwed.
 
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