Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Come at me MTF! Come at me for saying something crazy like this!

But...well this year Nadal's clay season was a flop. I think his defense was not the problem, the element that let Nadal's down this clay season was his forehand. He is usually so agressive with his forehand on clay but this year that particular shot had nothing in it. You can see on vs. Nole match. All his forehands landing on the service square ready for Djokovic to attack.

Altough his forehand isn't cleary made for grass, the court speed is helping the declined Forehand to travel further and hiding the loss of power.
Investing of faster courts could be an option for Nadal at this stage of his career.

Reminds me of Robredo, was a clay specialist but look at him now, sucks on clay and has better results on hard courts these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,568 Posts
Come at me MTF! Come at me for saying something crazy like this!

But...well this year Nadal's clay season was a flop. I think his defense was not the problem, the element that let Nadal's down this clay season was his forehand. He is usually so agressive with his forehand on clay but this year that particular shot had nothing in it. You can see on vs. Nole match. All his forehands landing on the service square ready for Djokovic to attack.

Altough his forehand isn't cleary made for grass, the court speed is helping the declined Forehand to travel further and hiding the loss of power.
Investing of faster courts could be an option for Nadal at this stage of his career.

Reminds me of Robredo, was a clay specialist but look at him now, sucks on clay and has better results on hard courts these days.
Speed of courts is the only thing I can think of as well. Contrary to popular perception, Rafa doesn't really prefer slow courts to fast courts...he's King of Clay sure, but he's always maintained that a faster court helps his game because it helps his serve and makes his FH even more potent(I'm kinda sure there's a video in which he says something to that effect, will see if I can dig it up). He likes high bouncing courts...it's low bounce that bothers him the most, not really the speed.

EDIT: Have not watched Nadal on grass thus far but if what you say is true then it must be down to the surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,710 Posts
Of course. He's an undefeated GRASScourter. He is finished with clay.

Seriously though, I agree. And it's not that much of a surprise. He was more impressive on HCs than clay in 2013 as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
He's also getting a lot more depth and accuracy on it, with fewer errors, which can't be explained by court speed alone. The only thing I can think of is the lower bounce coming into his racquet is suiting him more this season?

Edit: Or it could be a psychological thing. Now he's playing with less pressure because he hasn't set such a high precedent the last few years on grass. Or maybe he's simply rediscovered his form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He's also getting a lot more depth and accuracy on it, with fewer errors, which can't be explained by court speed alone. The only thing I can think of is the lower bounce coming into his racquet is suiting him more this season?

Edit: Or it could be a psychological thing. Now he's playing with less pressure because he hasn't set such a high precedent the last few years on grass. Or maybe he's simply rediscovered his form.
Playing closer to the baseline and counterpunching his opponents shot that also come faster helps as well :)
But for sure the mental aspect is very important as well. No expectations on Nadal this year for grass season, and he went out early in RG, plenty of time to settle down emotionally and be more serene for da grass :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,396 Posts
Sure, sure, ... :facepalm:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,627 Posts
honestly I have been thinking and saying for a while that I think Nadal is going to start preferring faster surfaces in general as his career gets to the later stages. as he loses power in his shots and speed in his feet he will definitely prefer tournaments where he can get free points and not have to work so hard

obviously historically he loved clay because of his athleticism but that's probably declining a bit. if he's serving well and the forehand is working it's possibly that HC at least, like medium paced with a decent bounce can be his favorite surface going forward
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,627 Posts
He's also getting a lot more depth and accuracy on it, with fewer errors, which can't be explained by court speed alone. The only thing I can think of is the lower bounce coming into his racquet is suiting him more this season?

Edit: Or it could be a psychological thing. Now he's playing with less pressure because he hasn't set such a high precedent the last few years on grass. Or maybe he's simply rediscovered his form.
probably partially mental like you mention for sure. I think at this point in his career with missing 2014 summer, bad 2015 fall and again missing a bit of time, then a bad 2015 start and clay season he had so much pressure even at RG. but I feel like going forward he's got very little pressure so that will help

will be defending nothing as well. might explain why his forehand looks better at a grass tournament of all places, less having to do with conditions than just a better stress level
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,731 Posts
Various reasons I think:

1) He no longer has the advantage of drastically lower error rates than anyone else - this was always a key part of his success on clay. It meant the longer the rally, inevitably the better his chances of winning it.

2) Absent 1 above, he now gets a much better risk/reward balance from more aggressive play on grass.

3) On grass it doesn't need to be the full 100% energy flail of a forehand, which doesn't work so reliably anymore. A more compact, flatter stroke still gets rewards from the surface if well placed - he doesn't need to power it through the court as is needed on clay, more controlled aggressive shots still work.

4) He seem to be enjoying the tennis a bit more on grass. Perhaps just that the pressure of defending RG is gone.



Having said all that, he's probably still in trouble against a big server taking risks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,710 Posts
probably partially mental like you mention for sure. I think at this point in his career with missing 2014 summer, bad 2015 fall and again missing a bit of time, then a bad 2015 start and clay season he had so much pressure even at RG. but I feel like going forward he's got very little pressure so that will help

will be defending nothing as well. might explain why his forehand looks better at a grass tournament of all places, less having to do with conditions than just a better stress level
Definately Rafa likes to play when he's in a "nothing to lose, everything to gain" state. His rank is lower than it's been in a decade, he's won nothing in a year, lost at RG etc... everyone thinks he's done and every grass match he wins is a surprise of sorts. And he looks freer on court for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,038 Posts
His moonball- retrieve has stopped working on grass back in 2012 with little decline in movement. He needs to be extremely efficient while grinding on grass, serving big to stands chance. He beat old Fat-datis and mug like Tomic on grass, he may have looked impressive although scoreline don't suggest the same but still cracks in his game will get exposed when he will face top players. I feel even Push-Ray will bagel on grass if they meet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TigerTim

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,283 Posts
His FH was also working better in Buenos Aires.

Coincidence?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
He's also getting a lot more depth and accuracy on it, with fewer errors, which can't be explained by court speed alone. The only thing I can think of is the lower bounce coming into his racquet is suiting him more this season?

Edit: Or it could be a psychological thing. Now he's playing with less pressure because he hasn't set such a high precedent the last few years on grass. Or maybe he's simply rediscovered his form.
I think that it is a combination of those things. I just watched the Monfils match and indeed he did play very well, especially when in trouble on serve, which was only about three service games the whole match. He could very well become more of a fast court specialist in this part of his career. It is like Sharapova in reverse.

Although we also have to factor in that he was due a dud clay season for once in his career. This year may well have just been an outlier. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he wins the French Open next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
I agree with you guys that the psychological component is probably important here. Being relaxed means fewer errors.

We'll see if it can last. If he starts shanking the forehand in the Final, then it means he's not completely over the nerves yet. And he'll have to prove it again at Queens. He doesn't have to win, but he has to play clean matches and only lose to a top player playing well.

But I can buy that his head is in a better place right now. To Nadal fans -- do you guys believe that Novak losing to Stan in RG Final might have played a role in rejuvenating Nadal?
 

·
Bring it Home
Joined
·
21,147 Posts
What? His forehand is crap, he's missing a lot.

He's playing like in a clay court, trying to angle the shots, he's lucky he didn't faced any professional player until now. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
on June 3rd, a heavy burden was lifted of Rafa's shoulder: the weight of RG record. He lost it and lost it to Novak, his closest Cl;ay court Competitior ever. He no longer needs to be bothered about defending that legacy. It is agood one but it is broken. No more pressure on that .

Then Stan did the next best thing . Novak was inflicted a terrible mental scar which may take sometime to heal.

With a freer mind , his closest rival and nemesis in a bit of mental cloud ,Rafa may be enjoying Tennis after a very long time.

It is good for the game that Rafa is back .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,644 Posts
Confidence is a powerfull thing.

Loosing early in RG he took a much needed break. Now has a few extra matches in his belt.

Stuttgart was never about winning. But getting more confortable and rythim. Win or loose tomorow i think he will be very happy this week.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top