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Fellow supporters of the Rafael Nation, I ask a simple question: are you afraid? Afraid of what you might ask? The absolute, utter blowouts Rafa has suffered as of late. Until last year (other than his match against Misha at the Open), Rafa has rarely been suffered such complete defeats in sets, much less matches.

In a MILLION years, I could NEVER see anyone defeat Rafa 6-0, 6-1. And yet, David of the House of Nalbandian destroyed him twice last year, Roger served him out Shanghai...and Misha made Rafa want to give up masala for the remainder of his days.

Am I concerned? Not as far as Rafa eventually (should he remain healthy) winning Wimbledon and becoming #1. However, I expect more from Rafa. Defeat is one thing. But hoping to win points...not games...points :eek::mad: With an homage to Allen Iverson, we talkin' about points, not a game, points.

At the time of the defeat, it didn't really bother so much. But NOW. I am angry. Yes, he pulled a sybil and played one of the best semis in years. He played tremendous matches in Paris and Shanghai too. But to win one game in two sets. And to do so in the fashion he did...:mad:

What I learned from the match is two clear things:

1. When Rafa mails in a match, he, unlike a player who can win easy points (a la Becker, Lendl, etc.) can and has gotten blown of the court. Players like Roddick who don't have much in the tank are guaranteed (regardless of exhaustion) winning at least two games a set because of the first delivery. Rafa? No point or match is easy. And if he is not fighting at near full strength? You're talking about Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova...and yes, it kills me to actually use a women's "match" as an example.

2. Rafa is quite possibly the best fighter in history outside of James Scott Connors. But as a thinker on the court with the ability to try new things? With respect to improvisation, Rafa makes Ivan Lendl look like Kayne West. Okay, Rafa...you have nothing in the tank. And you want to work on your game. I don't know...how about coming to the net and making Misha hit the pass. How about working on your net approaches? How about working serving flatter? What does Rafa do? He plays the same way...just at a much slower speed. Like an old record that's being replayed at the wrong speed.

I have hope for the AO because its a best of five set match. But a I felt the same way until Rafa fell into the buzzsaw that was Fernando Gonzalez. Rafa still has a wonderful shot at winning the AO. But, his fans, if subjected to displays like today, can give up the hope that Rafa is still a Spartan warrior.
 

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Sawan, it was one match. This is like the whole Canas Federer has Federer finally faltered thing. Sure, I'm worried, and do I wish rafa would adjust his game , hit flatter serves (its not like hes lacking the muscle), win some more free points. But I think its too soon to discount Rafa on hard court and start the "it was nice knowing you" thread.
 

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I'm not afraid at all, Sawan. :hug:
As soon as the Clay Court season starts off, you'll see Raf taking all the titles left, right and center once again.
I'm pretty sure he'll be able to pile up enough points during the Clay Court season to ensure his #2 position, once again - if not more. ;)

He'll surely be able to bounce back, like he did before.

As for HC - well, I think everyone over here at MTF has already pointed out the sore points in Rafa's game. I hope he'll be able to do well in IW and Miami again, but we'll just have to wait and see how all of his possible rivals will do. Nalby, Murray, Djoko... they're all becoming stronger, so that might well be a touch cookie. Not to mention Youzhny and Berdych, and perhaps a few others as well... :scared:

On grass? Difficult to say. I made a complete fool of myself in 2007, saying that he'd reach the final AGAIN - but oh boy, how well he did there! :worship:
Still I can't but admit that he was lucky to reach that final at all, with both Soderling and Youzhny collapsing when it truly mattered. Raf has a great game against Fed on grass, his problem is - how to get there, yet again! I keep my fingers crossed to see it happen yet again. :angel:

I sincerely hope he'll manage to do the trick once again. :angel:
 

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Rafa will burn out soon with the way he's playing. Just my opinion.
 

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yes i am, coz i am always a negative person :eek:

i fear very much that he will never win a title :mad::sad:
 

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yes i am, coz i am always a negative person :eek:

i fear very much that he will never win a title :mad::sad:
He'll win many more titles but he might never become the number 1.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
But these blowout...:mad::sad: Yes, I know he will recover on clay, ClayBuzza...and thanks for the support. What bothers me is that (and Roger himself has said this) Rafa has the potential to do more. AND YET, when getting killed, why not venture to the net? Yes, you may get passed time and time again. But you will NEVER open new areas of your game if you don't try NEW THINGS.
 

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It's worrying for several reasons:

1. Wearing knee-bands in January(unprecendented)
2. Playing a 4hr 3-setter on hard court so early in the year.
3. Unable to prevent an utterly humiliating loss, winning only 1 game.

Sure, he's still #2, but I have the feeling Djoker is licking his chops.
 

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But these blowout...:mad::sad: Yes, I know he will recover on clay, ClayBuzza...and thanks for the support. What bothers me is that (and Roger himself has said this) Rafa has the potential to do more. AND YET, when getting killed, why not venture to the net? Yes, you may get passed time and time again. But you will NEVER open new areas of your game if you don't try NEW THINGS.
The thing that gets my goat is that he has tried new things at times on grass at Wimbles and at Indian Wells- that have done well for him. And yet, he forgets. I know it is not easy for him on fast hard courts, and expect that fast hards and carpets will always be his worst surfaces- but still.

The thing that does kind of make me sad is I realize how hated he is, and because of that- I do feel his achievements will always be downgraded. So if he never does get a slam outside of the French- I am sure most will gleefully just call him a second rate moonballer who was only lucky and always had cakewalk draws. I disagree. I think - while his game is not the most asthetically pleasing for sure- he can have good tennis smarts. I feel that he played his best clay tennis ever (bigger variety, more layered) in 2007, I think he played some of his best hard court play ever in 2007 (Indian Wells) and played his best grass court play ever in 2007 (Wimbledon final). And yet- he is still sneered at by most as a someone who can only play on clay and has played the same since he came on the scene. I disagree.

I do worry however about the nature of his one sided losses recently. I don't think he has the game style in him naturally to be as aggressive on hards as he would like to be. There can be those good moments where he looks great- particularly on slower high bouncing courts- but still, it is the surface where I think he feels the most uncomfortable and therefore brainfarts the most. But on hards- there has been the loss of his fight or whatever. That should make the haters happy, but as someone who does not despise Rafa, but actually likes him and respects his achievements, it does worry me a bit.

Physicality is an issue with defense-centric players like Rafa. But the thing that has worried me even more than that (which I kind of expect with this style) is his weakening mentally on hard courts. Or maybe he was never really that strong mentally on hards. But I do wonder if he could ever have a comeback like he did in Madrid 2005 again.
 

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I think today's loss is totally negligible in the overall picture. He is not a rookie anymore and I suppose he finds it harder to motivate himself day in and day out for every small tournament. Yesterday he didnt want to lose and he fought. Today he was totally not into it. I don't think its worrisome. Nalbandian and Federer though are always worrisome for Nadal and nothing has changed with respect to that.
 

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The thing that gets my goat is that he has tried new things at times on grass at Wimbles and at Indian Wells- that have done well for him. And yet, he forgets. I know it is not easy for him on fast hard courts, and expect that fast hards and carpets will always be his worst surfaces- but still.

The thing that does kind of make me sad is I realize how hated he is, and because of that- I do feel his achievements will always be downgraded. So if he never does get a slam outside of the French- I am sure most will gleefully just call him a second rate moonballer who was only lucky and always had cakewalk draws. I disagree. I think - while his game is not the most asthetically pleasing for sure- he can have good tennis smarts. I feel that he played his best clay tennis ever (bigger variety, more layered) in 2007, I think he played some of his best hard court play ever in 2007 (Indian Wells) and played his best grass court play ever in 2007 (Wimbledon final). And yet- he is still sneered at by most as a someone who can only play on clay and has played the same since he came on the scene. I disagree.

I do worry however about the nature of his one sided losses recently. I don't think he has the game style in him naturally to be as aggressive on hards as he would like to be. There can be those good moments where he looks great- particularly on slower hard bouncing courts- but still, it is the surface where I think he feels the most uncomfortable and therefore brainfarts the most. But on hards- there has been the loss of his fight or whatever. That should make the haters happy, but as someone who does not despise Rafa, but actually likes him and respects his achievements, it does worry me a bit.

Physicality is an issue with defense-centric players like Rafa. But the thing that has worried me even more than that (which I kind of expect with this style) is his weakening mentally on hard courts. Or maybe he was never really that strong mentally on hards. But I do wonder if he could ever have a comeback like he did in Madrid 2005 again.
Great post, Clara! :worship: Couldn't rep you again... :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
But on hards- there has been the loss of his fight or whatever.
That is EXACTLY what bothers me as a Rafa fan. I can understand the "whys" related to this type of loss. But...when your favorite player BARELY wins points in a match. Brutal.:sad:
 

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I am not afraid, no. But I did notice something interesting that I've never seen before. It's almost as though on the fast HC surfaces, he doesn't show up. I think he'll do fine at IW and Miami, to be honest. The high bounce helps immensely. I still think his form is better at the beginning of this year than it was last year. :shrug: I'll be curious to see how he looks at the AO. It never pays to write Nadal off.
 

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Fellow supporters of the Rafael Nation, I ask a simple question: are you afraid? Afraid of what you might ask? The absolute, utter blowouts Rafa has suffered as of late. Until last year (other than his match against Misha at the Open), Rafa has rarely been suffered such complete defeats in sets, much less matches.

In a MILLION years, I could NEVER see anyone defeat Rafa 6-0, 6-1. And yet, David of the House of Nalbandian destroyed him twice last year, Roger served him out Shanghai...and Misha made Rafa want to give up masala for the remainder of his days.

Am I concerned? Not as far as Rafa eventually (should he remain healthy) winning Wimbledon and becoming #1. However, I expect more from Rafa. Defeat is one thing. But hoping to win points...not games...points :eek::mad: With an homage to Allen Iverson, we talkin' about points, not a game, points.

At the time of the defeat, it didn't really bother so much. But NOW. I am angry. Yes, he pulled a sybil and played one of the best semis in years. He played tremendous matches in Paris and Shanghai too. But to win one game in two sets. And to do so in the fashion he did...:mad:

What I learned from the match is two clear things:

1. When Rafa mails in a match, he, unlike a player who can win easy points (a la Becker, Lendl, etc.) can and has gotten blown of the court. Players like Roddick who don't have much in the tank are guaranteed (regardless of exhaustion) winning at least two games a set because of the first delivery. Rafa? No point or match is easy. And if he is not fighting at near full strength? You're talking about Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova...and yes, it kills me to actually use a women's "match" as an example.

2. Rafa is quite possibly the best fighter in history outside of James Scott Connors. But as a thinker on the court with the ability to try new things? With respect to improvisation, Rafa makes Ivan Lendl look like Kayne West. Okay, Rafa...you have nothing in the tank. And you want to work on your game. I don't know...how about coming to the net and making Misha hit the pass. How about working on your net approaches? How about working serving flatter? What does Rafa do? He plays the same way...just at a much slower speed. Like an old record that's being replayed at the wrong speed.

I have hope for the AO because its a best of five set match. But a I felt the same way until Rafa fell into the buzzsaw that was Fernando Gonzalez. Rafa still has a wonderful shot at winning the AO. But, his fans, if subjected to displays like today, can give up the hope that Rafa is still a Spartan warrior.
*Clap, clap, clap". Fantastic article - not. Rafa will never be world number one ever. Give it up hes only 21 and he can barely play hes always injured. Whilst other players get better not to mentione Federer's improvement. I hope nadal retires or something his arragonace annoyes the tennis world. His blowouts are simply because he gets beaten
 

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*Clap, clap, clap". Fantastic article - not. Rafa will never be world number one ever. Give it up hes only 21 and he can barely play hes always injured. Whilst other players get better not to mentione Federer's improvement. I hope nadal retires or something his arragonace annoyes the tennis world. His blowouts are simply because he gets beaten
I shouldn't take the bait but I am. Nadal's arrogance? The man who is derided on here for false modesty because he always says Feds will be the favorite on clay. And lovely- rooting for a 21 old to retire. Well done. :wavey::wavey::wavey: I guess he barely played in the Wimbledon final in 2007- thanks for reminding me about that one-sided affair that ended what... in three easy sets?

And did you actually read what the OP said- it was not about being number one.
 

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I shouldn't take the bait but I am. Nadal's arrogance? The man who is derided on here for false modesty because he always says Feds will be the favorite on clay. And lovely- rooting for a 21 old to retire. Well done. :wavey::wavey::wavey: I guess he barely played in the Wimbledon final in 2007- thanks for reminding me about that one-sided affair that ended what... in three easy sets?

And did you actually read what the OP said- it was not about being number one.
:hug:
 

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:lol: I am a bit crankier/bitchier than normal so I apologize. I just have a pet peeve of people not reading the context of posts here and commenting after only spot reading. (Even though I have done that myself when I have been in a rush) . :eek:
 

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:lol: I am a bit crankier/bitchier than normal so I apologize. I just have a pet peeve of people not reading the context of posts here and commenting after only spot reading. (Even though I have done that myself when I have been in a rush) . :eek:
My pet peeve is when somebody wishes injury or retirement on a player simply because he has the nerve to keep Federer from his precious grand slam....so no need to apologize to me. ;)
 

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I guess the career path of nadal will follow the same way as Jim Courier/Michael Chang
 
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