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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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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.
The answer to this is very obvious, Djokovic doesn't really fancy prolonged rallies these days either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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
So many players have tried that and failed. Nadal is a master retriever and eventually his opponents start missing. I do believe that going toe to toe with him like Tsitsipas did in Barcelona F will be the way to beat him this year at RG
 

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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.
Agree entirely, but my prescription is valid for Rafa 2021 only.

The Rafa CC BH has much declined, and that's the ***** in his armour.
 

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So many players have tried that and failed. Nadal is a master retriever and eventually his opponents start missing. I do believe that going toe to toe with him like Tsitsipas did in Barcelona F will be the way to beat him this year at RG
Apart from the almost impossible physical challenge to be the agressor all the time, also think of it mentally.

There is nothing more frustrating than to play against Nadal, whose heavy topspin makes you look bad. If you attack with the mentality of winning the point right away, you are toast. Nadal loves this situations. You have to work out every point, prepare your head for multiple shots to follow, no matter how good your position on court is. Add to this the nasty psychological moves and deliberate time delays from Nadal we all know too well, and I actually think not losing your head against the Spaniard is the biggest challenge of it all.

I'll never forget how Söderling managed to be that calm. Him hiding his head under his towel, never losing focus, just tearing Nadal apart shot after shot. Oh how beautiful that day was, a shining beacon in the darkness that is Nadal on clay. It was a match for eternity, everybody will remember this one till the end of time.

364310
 

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So many players have tried that and failed. Nadal is a master retriever and eventually his opponents start missing. I do believe that going toe to toe with him like Tsitsipas did in Barcelona F will be the way to beat him this year at RG
I guess if you can go toe to toe with him, it’s obviously a good strategy to play your own game. However, Nadal was still far from his best in that match, and when he’s in his RG form, barely any players have that ability to keep up with him, so it still could be better to go all out and hope for a 1% win if everything works than accept a 100% loss by being passive and getting steamrolled.
 
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I would need to be the collective effort. Everyone trying to wear Rafa down so that he gets fatigued and chances he loses in SF/F increase.

However I doubt it would work cause Rafa is not willing to get involved with long moon balling these days, unless he feels really low on confidence.
 

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The day off between matches during the slams favors the older players and especially the big 3, which is why it's much easier for them at slams than at masters or lower level where you have to play every day. Unless Nadal gets into multiple 4+ hour matches deep in the tournament, i don't think fatigue will be much of an issue.
 

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Also, considering Nadal's dropped only 3 sets in the last 4 RG editions, getting into multiple long matches is much harder said than done. Nadal is just cruising 3-0 through most of those matches, so he's fully fresh deep in the tournament
 

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Rafa can lose in 3 sets, as long as they're tie-breaks. 😆

The problem in beating him is his power and court coverage. His FH can take you out of your comfort zone and sap your energy.

Tsitsipas certainly has a chance this year.
 

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You make this thread to sound that all players should collude or sth to tire and keep Rafa from winning . The bad news, They are each individuals with different games taking care of their own ass . Each individual will try their best game /style to beat him .

Now perhaps we can get them together , some in the first round could sacrifice themselves making it too long for Rafa so in the later stages some will come to beat gased out Nadal.

Could be feasible
 

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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.
It certainly is & just found these specs to back up your claim:

The earth is covered with a total of five layers each around 80 centimetres in depth: the first is made up of stones, followed by gravel, clinker (volcanic residue), limestone and finally a thin layer of crushed brick about two millimetres thick, giving the courts their ochre hue.


Composition of a clay court at Roland-Garros
  • 1- Red brick dust: 1 - 2 mm
  • 2- Crushed white limestone: 6 - 7 cm
  • 3- Clinker (coal residue): 7 - 8 cm
  • 4- Crushed gravel: at least 30 cm
  • 5- Drain





In numbers
  • 1.1 In tons, the quantity of red clay used to build a court, and this figure increases to 1.5 for the Philippe-Chatrier court, which is bigger.
  • 2 In millimiters, the thin layer of red clay on the surface.
  • 7-10 In centimeters, the thickness of the limestone layer under the red clay.
  • 8 The number of people needed to prepare a court.
  • 80 In centimeters, the total thickness of the 5 layers which make up the various strata of a clay court at Roland-Garros.
  • 100 The number of people responsible for maintaining the courts during the qualifying rounds and the tournament.
 

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If a player tries to outlast Nadal by pushing in the middle of the court, Nadal will make him run from left to right 20 times every point and the other guy will be complete toast by the middle of the 1st set :ROFLMAO:

I think OP is not aware that tennis isn't a real endurance sport like long distance cycling or running where you beat your opponent by superior stamina mostly. In tennis a player with superior stamina can be physically done much sooner than his opponent if he has to do all the running. You don't really outlast anyone but just putting the ball in play with nothing on it.
 

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If a player tries to outlast Nadal by pushing in the middle of the court, Nadal will make him run from left to right 20 times every point and the other guy will be complete toast by the middle of the 1st set :ROFLMAO:

I think OP is not aware that tennis isn't a real endurance sport like long distance cycling or running where you beat your opponent by superior stamina mostly. In tennis a player with superior stamina can be physically done much sooner than his opponent if he has to do all the running. You don't really outlast anyone but just putting the ball in play with nothing on it.
You can also be done physically sooner than your opponent despite running less (given the same stamina ofc.), to add a completely new layer to this conversation, living up to the tremendously high standards we are used to on this exceptional electronical establishment. :geek:
 

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The only right tactic to deploy is the one Robin Haase used:

Starting at 0:12



Moonballing against Rafa on centre court, playing the occasional serve and volley
 

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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
Sorry but you are wrong. The only thing similar is its made of clay. Other then that all the rest is diferent.
In Monte Carlo the wind is a factor because its near the sea. Another factor is that not all top players start clay season in Monte Carlo.
Then comes Barcelona. Not sure about the wind because ive never been there so i will leave this to someone who knows more. But again top players do come here unless they like clay and of course spanish.
You left off Madrid and rightlfully so. Despite beeing clay its at the highest elevation of the 4.
Now comes Rome. And by this if you not a clay specialist you are sick and tired of clay, specially if you win a few times.

Byt the time RG comes around Most players are sick and tired of clay unless you are Rafa .
 
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Anyone who wants to beat Nadal at RG will have to paint the lines all day long until the last point is played. Just like Soderling did.

All that talk about outlasting Nadal is pointless, because in the last few years nobody has managed to pressure him long enough to make fatigue a factor. Unless you find a way to neutralize that whiplash forehand of his, your only chance is to play out of your mind and hope it will be enough
 

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Sorry but you are wrong. The only thing similar is its made of clay. Other then that all the rest is diferent.
In Monte Carlo the wind is a factor because its near the sea. Another factor is that not all top players start clay season in Monte Carlo.
Then comes Barcelona. Not sure about the wind because ive never been there so i will leave this to someone who knows more. But again top players do come here unless they like clay and of course spanish.
You left off Madrid and rightlfully so. Despite beeing clay its at the highest elevation of the 4.
Now comes Rome. And by this if you not a clay specialist you are sick and tired of clay, specially if you win a few times.

Byt the time RG comes around Most players are sick and tired of clay unless you are Rafa .
Also , and most important , the Bo5 format . As you say you come from a rather tiring clay season , and you enter a marathon called RG . For players facing Rafa in a Bo5 clay contest with no advantage such as altitude or anything it's a different monster in camparison with any other tournament . There, on such conditions (or lack of ) It's a mental struggle as much as it is game wise, as extreme as you have never endured before , that even as you enter the court feels a long way up , like chained to 50 kg rock before the game even starts . Praying it isnt a beatdown , not to suffer too much or just content with getting a few games , make it a lil difficult , in order to avoid shame ...
 

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I think there's something to this actually. I think if Rublev, Tstsipas or Thiem can split the first two sets and make them as long as possible, they have the physical edge against Rafa, enough to actually win? Maybe, maybe not, but I think, there's a phsyical edge for the very fittest guys against Nadal when the match goes long.
 
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