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Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamental

That match-in, match-out staggering inconsistency (Berdych/Murray) is the most damned hallmark of terminal decline kicking in..

I have been banging on this for a long time; Nadal tailspin-cum-decline originated as early as Beijing in 2013, even before the whole back/wrist/appendictics ailments muddied the water of such discussion in 2014....

If you think about it, this is now even worse than Federer’s 2013, whose supreme awfulness strictly lasted 4 months (June-Sep), as his form was already picking up steam again by Basel/Paris of the same year..

And this where the fundamental part comes to potentially snuff out any hope of mini-resurgence for Nadal in the near future: Nadal’s game simply less conducive to success in old age. Once Federer’s back rehabilitated, his top 5 serve is still good enough carry him his on his favourite surface/conditions (Grass/low bouncing HC/Indoor) against anybody but Djokovic.. On the other hand, Nadal’s whole game package is now being mercilessly exposed with a fastly deteriorating movement/physique that leaves him severely hamstrung not only from defensive posture but more importantly when it comes to initiating any sort of court aggression..

Hence, even Clay, the shank returns on 2ND serve BPs / pressure DFs/ regular CC FH dumped in net/ are more common sights nowadays than his trademark FHDTL/ "kick serve + IO FH" in such crucial instances of his matches (see the last couple points of the Murray match for perfect illustration)..In one way, it is that woeful serve/ROS combo is that catching up eventually, on dirt of all places..
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

That match-in, match-out staggering inconsistency (Berdych/Murray) is the most damned hallmark of terminal decline kicking in..
That's probably not inconsistency, Murray is just much better than the likes of Berdych and Dimitrov.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

That's probably not inconsistency, Murray is just much better than the likes of Berdych and Dimitrov.
Murray was solid and nothing else today..This is about Nadal simply being an error machine on about every swing point, though Murray served great on a couple and was money with BH DTL but nothing like the manhandling Nishikori did on Nadal in the first set and a half of last year final......
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadal was always the weakest player in top-10 from the technical point of view, but his athleticism carried him away.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

For example, I mean how do you seriously expect to be in a winning position whatsover returning second delivery like this? it is downright stupid..Yeah, you got by with it for most of his career relying on his deep heavy FH return from way behind, but this is new reality..

 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

That match-in, match-out staggering inconsistency (Berdych/Murray) is the most damned hallmark of terminal decline kicking in..

I have been banging on this for a long time; Nadal tailspin-cum-decline originated as early as Beijing in 2013, even before the whole back/wrist/appendictics ailments muddied the water of such discussion in 2014....

If you think about it, this is now even worse than Federer’s 2013, whose supreme awfulness strictly lasted 4 months (June-Sep), as his form was already picking up steam again by Basel/Paris of the same year..

And this where the fundamental part comes to potentially snuff out any hope of mini-resurgence for Nadal in the near future: Nadal’s game simply less conducive to success in old age. Once Federer’s back rehabilitated, his top 5 serve is still good enough carry him his on his favourite surface/conditions (Grass/low bouncing HC/Indoor) against anybody but Djokovic.. On the other hand, Nadal’s whole game package is now being mercilessly exposed with a fastly deteriorating movement/physique that leaves him severely hamstrung not only from defensive posture but more importantly when it comes to initiating any sort of court aggression..

Hence, even Clay, the shank returns on 2ND serve BPs / pressure DFs/ regular CC FH dumped in net/ are more common sights nowadays than his trademark FHDTL/ "kick serve + IO FH" in such crucial instances of his matches (see the last couple points of the Murray match for perfect illustration)..In one way, it is that woeful serve/ROS combo is that catching up eventually, on dirt of all places..
I wouldn't say that. Federer played awful from Rotterdam till Paris (Bercy). Rome master final was a fluke due to a very eassy draw. He lost to Stakhovski in Wimbledon 2nd round. 0 confidence. I remember him playing well half a match than suddenly self distruct. Nadull is playing bad but he is still a force on clay Fed wasn't on grass in 2013.

Fed managed to get out of the bad spell by making a big racquet change (98 inch head form 90) and by hiring Edberg as his coach. I see Nadal is trying to make some small changes to his racquet but not so significant.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadal's whole claycourt game was built on a foundation of incredible toughness, never giving away UEs and making the opponent kill himself just to will a point. The match against Murray raises serious questions about whether he will carry on being competitive once the physical side declines. The old Nadal never gave away ANYTHING. In today's match, Murray just had to carry the rally past 5 shots and Nadal would spray a nice UE into the tramlines for him. It was almost surreal to watch.

Still, like I said, it would be stupid to write him off for RG. Even when Federer started going downhill, he showed patches of bad form followed by patches of good form. Nadal could easily (and probably will) find his best form of the year for the SF/ F at Roland Garros, before reverting to clown performances.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

I thought Nadal's movement was good today. He made too many soft errors, and Murray was very solid, but I wouldn't write him off just yet.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Still early do judge. Last year Nadal played even worse in Madrid overall and started awfully in Rome (1:6 against 2014ray)
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadal is not fast as he was in the past. He has no variety in his game as Federer. Plus
Fed in 2013 was at 32 not 28/29 as Nadal. Plus Fed has a family/kids at 27 and still was playing in GS' Finals and SF.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadal's week was very positive if we don't count the final. He will get better and will be ready just in time for the french open.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadal is not fast as he was in the past. He has no variety in his game as Federer. Plus
Fed in 2013 was at 32 not 28/29 as Nadal. Plus Fed has a family/kids at 27 and still was playing in GS' Finals and SF.
please, read the title once again.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadal is not fast as he was in the past. He has no variety in his game as Federer. Plus
Fed in 2013 was at 32 not 28/29 as Nadal. Plus Fed has a family/kids at 27 and still was playing in GS' Finals and SF.
Nor he has 40-50 seconds between the points.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Man, you got it all wrong. Nadal, like Federer, is playing the best tennis of his career. It's just that the competition is so much better. He, and Federer too, can't vulture big titles like they used too in the weak (clay) era. You can even say that winning clay masters these days, are harder than winning RG in 2005-2014. It's arguable that Djokovic, and this version of Murray, are better, or at least on par, with 2008 Nadal on clay.

So, I'm sorry, but the decline argument sounds like another excuse. I mean, he got to the final, didn't he? Routining opponents along the way like he used to. So he's playing as good as he ever was. Even better, maybe. It's just that this version of Murray, and #1 Djokovic too, are clay beasts. None like he ever faced before. Hence, the losses.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

That return problem has been there very long time, but it suits Nadal, so he won't change it I guess. The serve wasn't especially bad today, but one of the main weapons of Nadal is the serve wide + fh dtl combo. Murray and Djokovic are prepared for it and their double hand backhands don't mind it that as e.g. Fed or Berdych.

However, the biggest problem is somewhere else. Nadal had been always known as the best mover. He hadn't needed to play that much backhands, because his movement allowed him to run off his bh almost any time. His bh hadn't been bad, but it was still his biggest liability. In 2012-2013 period his bh even improved a bit, but the biggest change was him being overall more agressive (especially using more fh dtl), e.g. RG 2013, 61-54 winners for Nadal in the semifinal. These changes countered the inevitable: His movement detoriation, he couldn't run off his bh and prepare the forehand so the players could attack his bh more, which eventually gave up. But the improvements in the other areas helped him to overcome Djokovic in 2012-2013 period.

Nowadays, he's still a great mover, one of the best, and he hasn't declined that much in the last 2 years in that area (in comparision to other areas). What has gotten worse is his forehand, he is making so many mistakes now, plus down the line shot cannot be found. WIth it suffers his confidence and we all know that the 2 biggest weapons of Nadal are the defense and forehand, and both have gotten worse. Plus his bh became worse too and significantly, it's a bid for your opponent to kill the rally if your bh lands before the service line. He's still great in defence, but in his younger years hitting a winner against him was almost impossible and the positions he was in and still won the point were unbelievable. These days, he can defend and hit a pass, but don't count on it that much.

Conclusion: Nadal's movement has detoriated in the last several years, but he had other weapons to replace it. Nowadays, even the weapons are gone and you got a still great claycourter, who can beat everyone on given day, but he's not certain to beat some types of players. He can always beat his favourite players (Berdych, Almagro, Ferrer, Fed too), but it's a matter of higher confidence for him, he's used to play them and give them hell, but it isn't the case against players like Murray or Djokovic or Nishikori or even Fognini, who he struggles with.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

For example, I mean how do you seriously expect to be in a winning position whatsover returning second delivery like this? it is downright stupid..Yeah, you got by with it for most of his career relying on his deep heavy FH return from way behind, but this is new reality..

He always did this, Nadal was always a shitty returner. He goes deep to assure he at least put most of the balls in play and then he can chase with his good speed and great movement/court coverage. :shrug:
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Can someone tell me how much OP is crying?

There is no decline. He's actually playing in form players, not vulturing in the most pathetic fields ever like in 2013 and 2010 in particular. In 2010 he had to face giants like Melzer, Youzhny and Soderking whilst the other top players were in hideous form. 6 top 10 players faced to win his titles. Utterly pathetic.

Meanwhile, how many top 10 players has Djoker already destroyed this year? Big time players don't need chokes, weak fields or cheating. They thrive against strong opposition. Nothing wrong with Nadal, his luck has just ran out. No doubt it will return at RG and he will play someone like Ferrer in the final.
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nadulltards must love the taste of their own medicine right now :haha:
 

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Re: Let’s put the mental/match-fitness excuses for Nadal to rest: Decline is fundamen

Nah, he just played a shitty match because he's a mental midget and a nervous wreck these days. Pressure is really getting to him.
 

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Man, you got it all wrong. Nadal, like Federer, is playing the best tennis of his career. It's just that the competition is so much better. He, and Federer too, can't vulture big titles like they used too in the weak (clay) era. You can even say that winning clay masters these days, are harder than winning RG in 2005-2014. It's arguable that Djokovic, and this version of Murray, are better, or at least on par, with 2008 Nadal on clay.

So, I'm sorry, but the decline argument sounds like another excuse. I mean, he got to the final, didn't he? Routining opponents along the way like he used to. So he's playing as good as he ever was. Even better, maybe. It's just that this version of Murray, and #1 Djokovic too, are clay beasts. None like he ever faced before. Hence, the losses.

WORD.

I cannot give you positive reps enough.
(and I will wait for the eventual negative rep for this post from matt01 like he always does, while I never avenge)
 
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