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He’s not playing a confused, sluggish Berdych. He’s facing Zverev. Totally different.
Bulldal is a spoiled baby. Grunting becomes whining when he isn’t bowed down to.
I wouldn’t depend on Tsit to win French Open because he still doesn’t do much in very long French Open matches. Thiem’s hot and cold and isn’t getting younger. Zverev and Djoker can keep their minds focused, even after bad decisions off court.
 

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Which brings us to the core of this problem: the Nadal forehand is still not confident/good enough.
The last time it was this unstable on clay may have been the 2015 spring clay season.
He has his work cut out for him to bring it to the slam winning level...
Agree. But he is 6 year older than in 2015, approaching his 35 years old birthday 3rd of June.

Nadal cannot be written off at the FO, but Olddal looks more vulnerable and shaky than ever since 2015.

It is only a matter of time before the Nolefams favorite saying: "Dull is Done" becomes a reality, and it may be sooner than we all expect. Like 2021?
 

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Nadal was incredibly bad and at some point in the 2nd set it almost looked like he wasn't even trying/caring... But than again, given the situation, the possibility to still get to N1 + equal Novak's 36 masters title it really doesn't make sense for him to make himself look weaker...

Even though I won't forget how subpar he also looked last year at RG up to the final where he suddenly played few levels better and basically showed his absolute best tennis.

He still has to be the favorite for RG but many of these young guys on a good day can challenge him.

Also - with Medvedev not gaining any points on clay and Nadal not being at all convincing, Novak could hold for that N1 ranking for quite some time...
Last year, Djoker destroyed himself in the summer and the others didn’t bother to work on clay. Bulldal always gets lucky. Even today, Bulldal was lucky to avoid a breadstick. He shouldn’t be top 3.
 

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Real pissed look on Nadal's face during his presser.... couldn't stop touching his face and his glowering encountenance speaks volumes at his frustrations in regards to his form during this clay swing thus far.

I've seen a happier Nadal during his post-match presser when he's lost deep in slams.


He will bounce back with vengeance in Rome, this is actually not a bad time to lose
 

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To be honest, I expected more from Rafa after the win against Tsitsipas, and he did play well until 4-2. After that he lost it, and Zverev was in control for the whole match.The draw will matter a lot at RG, but Nadal will improve. He has to.
I agree. He came apart after that shank. That's why I think it's nerves. Also zverev has too much power for him, he has trouble finding any rhythm. He could handle that power on a slower court and when he is hitting with confidence.
Rafa himself looked disgusted.
I hope he does better in Rome!
Also, Popyrin was so erratic--it was a terrible sequence. He needed PCB first, LOL
 

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Good win for Zverev (y) Simply the better player.

Nadal could have done better, but he wasn't that bad. Maybe a little to passive on clay, even for his standards. I'd advice him to skip Rome, because it's clear we're looking at the almost 35 yr old version of Nadal. He needs all the energy for Paris.
 

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He will bounce back with vengeance in Rome, this is actually not a bad time to lose
I was thinking the same myself for Stef when he received his Ruud awakening.

Already won a clay title not too long ago and then had matchpoints for a 2nd consecutive.... A deep run here & then doing well in Rome would possibly overplay him a bit.Instead,with the early exit he can rest a little,recharge & get some good matches in Rome and then be prepped and ready for the French.

A handy loss if ever there was one.
 

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What a match from Zverev, he was the better player by far. I haven’t read through the thread but I’m quite certain there are the usual idiots who would say Zverev played poorly and still won. It was an impressive display of aggressive tennis on clay, he was on fire today. Chances are he is going to wrap this title up now.

Nadal has a lot of work to do on the practice court. He is still the overwhelming favourite for RG but he was too defensive and Zverev exposed that passive gameplay ruthlessly.
I don't think the work he needs to do is on the practice court, it's all about how he plays under pressure against a good opponent.
He needs more match play, idea;lly against players better than Alcaraz and Popyrin, but not as lethanl as Zverev on a fast court.Zverev WAS bad 1rst set, till rafa serving 4/2 when Rafa had that shank and fell apart.
Zverev became so much better at that point, seeing Rafa fall apart. It gave him confidence. Tennis is fascinating that way, one man's loss of confidence, the other man's gain.
Anyway that's what I saw.
One of the worst matches I can remember Rafa playing since 2015/2016 on clay.
 

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Nothing to see here. Bad day for Rafa.

Madrid is not MC, Barcelona, Rome or RG. Rafa won it only 4 times. I.e. he is. ca 60+% less likely to win Madrid than any other clay court tournament.
 

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I was thinking the same myself for Stef when he received his Ruud awakening.

Already won a clay title not too long ago and then had matchpoints for a 2nd consecutive.... A deep run here & then doing well in Rome would possibly overplay him a bit.Instead,with the early exit he can rest a little,recharge & get some good matches in Rome and then be prepped and ready for the French.

A handy loss if ever there was one.
any loss is handy for nadull, how not?? If he wins, he is getting fit and prepared, if he loses, he can rest and get prepared for what really matters... win win situation, life is good!
 

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Rome will be a serious measuring point now.
 

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His third win in a row against Nadal, and his first win over Rafa on clay.

Zverev previously had a 0-5 record against Nadal, but several of those matches were very close - he had match points in their first match at Indian Wells, was up 2 sets to 1 in their AO 2017 match before he started cramping, and was up a break in the deciding set against him in their Rome 2018 match before losing his rhythm due to a rain delay. He should have won at least 1 if not 2 of those matches, so he deserves to have evened out the H2H at little.
Bulldal also had only 1 pretty easy match in the last 4 times he played against Thiem.
Zverev, like Djoker, had big problems so Bulldal got lucky.
It should be 4-4 or edge to Zverev because he’s the only 1 that beats Bulldal on clay with a WTA serve.
 

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He was good until that tragedy in the 8th game.Even in the 2nd he was not that bad.Only that game at 4-2 was pure GARBAGE.Other than that Zverev just too good and Rafa was already mentally destroyed.



😂 😂 😂 😂

OK,in set 3 he was indeed good,yeah.But considering the opponent and the lvl,Nadal today in the first 7 games were much better.

Anyway,this lose even more stunning,than the one to Rublev.So maybe this will wake him up.Another reason why i didn't like the Barca final win because it could have misled him
Yes Barcelona was only drama not a quality

I was thinking the same myself for Stef when he received his Ruud awakening.

Already won a clay title not too long ago and then had matchpoints for a 2nd consecutive.... A deep run here & then doing well in Rome would possibly overplay him a bit.Instead,with the early exit he can rest a little,recharge & get some good matches in Rome and then be prepped and ready for the French.

A handy loss if ever there was one.
Yes, he can go into Rome now very hungry for victory, plenty of time to practice at sea level in conditions closer to Paris
 

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Anybody heard from MTF's 'official alcoholic' SwissTennisGod? I'm guessing he's just waking up from a hangover.
Maybe his heart could not keep up with the excitement and suddenly appearing hope that something could happen soon that I have trouble with to identify.
 
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No, the real loser is Djokovic. This ensures Medvedev as the # 2 seed for RG (unless Thiem wins both Madrid/Rome and Med doesn't reach SF), ensuring he'll have to play both Rafa and Thiem at RG unless there's an upset. Which means absolutely no chance for Djokovic to win RG.
This is irrelevant as Djokovic gets Thiem and Nadal every year anyway.
 
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