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Discussion Starter #1
Specifically:
  • He was serving with a legitimate purpose.
  • His movement was excellent.
  • He was actively trying to end points quickly and, to that end, was not hesitant to move forward.
His form yesterday reminds me of his form during the 2010 US Open, which was probably his best ever form on a hard court.

I thought it very unlikely that Rafa would be able to repeat as champion here, but after seeing him yesterday, I would have to list him as the betting favorite if I were running a sportsbook.
 

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I can't believe anyone would expect Nadal to play well vs Ferrer.
Ferrer is his most longtime friend on tour, and about to retire from tennis.
Nadal had ZERO motivation to play Ferrer.
In fact even if that match had gone to 5 sets, I doubt Nadal would have been fully motivated in the 5th set (he'd have tried to win it, but you wouldn't see as much passion).

Anyway, not hard to outdo his 2010 US Open, because Nadal wasn't exactly blowing away his opponents in the early rounds-
1st Round: Nadal def. Gabashvili 76(4) 76(4) 63
2nd Round: Nadal def. Istomin 62 76(5) 75
 

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well he has a good chance of course but it's just Pospisil. Not really ultra-tough for Nadal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well he has a good chance of course but it's just Pospisil. Not really ultra-tough for Nadal.
I tend to think that you can gauge a player's level irrespective of opponent. Now there are certainly limitations on, or exceptions to*, that general proposition, but certainly with Rafa the serving and the general attacking mindset aren't things that can be dismissed because "it's just Pospisil".


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*e.g., Roger Federer dispatches with mediocre players with a greater ease than any player past or present. And this has always been the case. So his treating a journeyman ATP pro as if he was a middling 4.0 level player tells you very little about how he'll play when he goes up against a player who actually makes him have to grind a little bit.
 

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When Nadal is in the early rounds of slams I always hope Nadal loses his serve early in the match because otherwise he never gets fired-up.
Its really hard for Nadal to play his best tennis when he's not being challenged, because Nadal doesn't play tennis to win, he plays tennis to fight (that's why Nadal says his favorite match of all-time is the 2012 Australian Open Final).
Hopefully Khachanov will break Nadal early in the 1st Set so we get a whole match of fired-up Nadal.
Although in today's match in the 2nd Set Pospisil broke Nadal and then Nadal broke straight back partially because Pospisil didn't play sharp, so we didn't really get to see fired-up Nadal.
So really you've got to do more than just break Nadal to get his attention, you've got to break and hold or at least get into a holding position instead of 0-40.
 

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Nadal is not even close to his level in 2010. Present Nadal would be easily straight-setted by Djokovic in 2010. But since the field is much weaker than it was at the time, he still has a reasonable chance to win the title.
 

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If they meet in the Final, I don't give Djokovic a chance of winning 2 sets let alone 3.
I'm almost tempted to say Nadal will beat Djokovic in straight sets, but I'll say 3 or 4.
Djokovic was a disgrace at Wimbledon, needed 5 very tough sets to beat Nadal INDOORS and on GRASS.
Djokovic is a no-hoper at this US Open, so might as well make way for a Federer-Nadal Final.
 

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I'm confused at this thread because I watched Rafa against Ferrer and Pospisil and didn't find him particularly good. You can invoke lack of motivation, not raising his level because he doesn't need to, conserving energy etc...but being broken twice in a row by Ferrer and have a 0-40 service game then being broken the next service game by Pospisil, does not really come off as complete domination. He could well have lost a set yesterday had his opponent not crapped his pants. Of course it's early rounds and I'm sure he will be much better as the tournament progresses, and as his opponents get tougher.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't find him bad or anything, just not 2010-like (yet?) by any stretch...
 

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I'm confused at this thread because I watched Rafa against Ferrer and Pospisil and didn't find him particularly good. You can invoke lack of motivation, not raising his level because he doesn't need to, conserving energy etc...but being broken twice in a row by Ferrer and have a 0-40 service game then being broken the next service game by Pospisil, does not really come off as complete domination. He could well have lost a set yesterday had his opponent not crapped his pants. Of course it's early rounds and I'm sure he will be much better as the tournament progresses, and as his opponents get tougher.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't find him bad or anything, just not 2010-like (yet?) by any stretch...
Nadal was average against Ferrer and pretty good against Posposil
 

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I'm confused at this thread because I watched Rafa against Ferrer and Pospisil and didn't find him particularly good. You can invoke lack of motivation, not raising his level because he doesn't need to, conserving energy etc...but being broken twice in a row by Ferrer and have a 0-40 service game then being broken the next service game by Pospisil, does not really come off as complete domination. He could well have lost a set yesterday had his opponent not crapped his pants. Of course it's early rounds and I'm sure he will be much better as the tournament progresses, and as his opponents get tougher.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't find him bad or anything, just not 2010-like (yet?) by any stretch...
Well his performance in the Ferrer match was not even remotely close to his performance in the Pospisil match.
I mean Nadal never looked like he wanted to be on the court in the Ferrer match.
Nadal may have actually lost that match if they continued playing, whereas there was never a chance of Nadal losing to Pospisil.
 

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Specifically:


I thought it very unlikely that Rafa would be able to repeat as champion here, but after seeing him yesterday, I would have to list him as the betting favorite if I were running a sportsbook.
Well, newsflash: He is the betting favorite of the sportsbooks. Even though by a small margin. Before the start of the tournament it was Djokovic by a bigger margin.

It's because he already won two matches and Djokovic struggled in his first. But Djokovic will be the betting favorite again after tonight's match I guess.

I took Nadal before the tournament started at odds 3.80 which was a great value imo.

As much as it pains me as a Federer fan, Nadal was the most dominant player of this year so far. He did the smart thing to take a rest after the AO injury/upset, dominated the clay part as ecpected and proved us wrong twice: He went deep in Wimbledon, almost won it although it is his least favorite surface. Then he won Toronto, after everyone said he would never win on HC again especially since he did not complete any between Shanghai 2017 and AO 2018. He was wise again skipping Cincy and is fresh again and looks ready to defend his first HC title. Add to this the draw and the fact that Federer (in case he reaches the QF) and Djokovic will probably tire themselves for hours, the winner having to face a strong SF opponent (Zverev/Nishikori/Cilic) before facing a fresh and in-form Nadal...well, he is the favorite to win his 4th USO and 18th slam in total.
 

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If they meet in the Final, I don't give Djokovic a chance of winning 2 sets let alone 3.
I'm almost tempted to say Nadal will beat Djokovic in straight sets, but I'll say 3 or 4.
Djokovic was a disgrace at Wimbledon, needed 5 very tough sets to beat Nadal INDOORS and on GRASS.
Djokovic is a no-hoper at this US Open, so might as well make way for a Federer-Nadal Final.
That's a little arrogant. Don't underestimate Djokovic. He is as much a fighter as Nadal is. Don't forget, that a few months ago he was losing to Paire and Daniel in first rounds!
Didn't look sharp at the beginning of the clay season but still managed to reach the QF of RG where he only lost to an absolute on fire Cecchinato.

Then he reaches a final on the first grass season, only losing to Cilic. We now what happened in Wimbledon.

Then he loses to Tsitsipas and conquers the only Masters title that's missing, beating Federer in Cincy where he never beat him.

I'm not saying Djokoviv is the favorite or plays amazing tennis this year. But he is fighting his way back and on his way back he already won a GS and a Masters title...don't write this guy off.
 

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Khachanov will be a huge test for Nadal, the Russian is playing very well.
 

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Its a strange situation, I consider Khachanov the only threat to Nadal at this US Open, even though he's never won a set in their 4 matches.
I guess that's called an eye-test assessment.
 

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If they meet in the Final, I don't give Djokovic a chance of winning 2 sets let alone 3.
I'm almost tempted to say Nadal will beat Djokovic in straight sets, but I'll say 3 or 4.
Djokovic was a disgrace at Wimbledon, needed 5 very tough sets to beat Nadal INDOORS and on GRASS.
Djokovic is a no-hoper at this US Open, so might as well make way for a Federer-Nadal Final.

Lol. Precisely, it was grass and Djokovic is better on HC than he is on grass.
 
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