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What should Nadal do?

  • No change in HC schedule - play as much as he can

    Votes: 4 7.5%
  • Focus only on HC slams, add more clay events

    Votes: 38 71.7%
  • Give up HC completely

    Votes: 11 20.8%

  • Total voters
    53
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Over the last 1.5 years Nadal's body has been breaking down on HC. He even can't play more than 1-2 tournaments without getting injured. Here is the list:

Paris 2017 - withdrawal before QF
Atp Finals 2017 - withdrawal after 1 RR match
AO 2018 - retirement in QF
Acapulco 2018 - withdrawal
Indian Wells 2018 - withdrawal
Miami 2018 - withdrawal
Canada 2018 - ok
Cincinnati 2018 - withdrawal
US Open 2018 - retirement in SF
Shanghai 2018 - withdrawal
Paris 2018 - withdrawal
WTF 2018 - withdrawal
Brisbane 2019 - withdrawal
AO 2019 - ok
Acapulco 2019 - ok
Indian Wells 2019 - withdrawal before SF
Miami 2019 - withdrawal

He was able to finish a tournament normally in 3 out of 17 cases. It's a good time to consider dramatic schedule change in order to preserve his body for clay and grass. If he wants to play longer something should be done about this situation.

What do you think should be done?

Option I:

He shouldn't change anything. Just play on HC as long as knees/ankles/hips/whatever holds up and then try to recover as fast as possible (hoping that this cycle won't end his career too soon).

Option II:

He should dramatically reduce number of HC tournaments (focusing only on slams). Play only AO (+one WU tournament), USO (+one WU tournament). He's good at getting to form quickly after a break so it shouldn't hurt his chances (see AO17 or AO19). Instead of HC tournaments he could add more clay events (i.e. two tournaments in February, one in July).

Option III:

He should completely stop playing on HC focusing completely on clay and grass (significantly enlonging his clay season and becoming a dirt rat - according to Agassi).

What's your opinion? IMO Option II should be seriously considered. While giving up HC completely is probably too much to ask (there are 2 GS on HC) I think he and his team should make drastic changes in his schedule. I added a poll.
 

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Retirement is better.
 

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Yes, he should skip everything bar clay. I said it after the USO last year and my point stands. Was bullied by dull fans but I'll be proven right when all is said and done. Playing more on hard courts he risks injuring himself for the clay season.
 

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Stop playing in tournaments like Acapulco, Beijing etc...I am not sure whether Rafa currently has reached the point where he has the right to skip even masters...If he has, then this should be his HC schedule - AO, IW or Miami, Toronto or Cinci, USO, Shanghai, WTF. Avoid playing 2 straight HC tournaments
 

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Just play AO, USO and skip everything else. Maybe add WTF but that’s it.

Ideal schedule for him imo:

AO
BA
Rio
MC
Barcelona
Madrid
Rome
RG
Wimbledon
Hamburg
USO
WTF
 

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He should still play on HC but the most important tournaments, AO, IW, Miami, Canadian Open (maybe not Cincinnati as very fast) and US Open, skip Shanghai and skip all 500 on HC
He miss the titles in Miami and WTF Finals, so it should still be a goal for him, even if for this year Miami is gone.
 

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He should play only HC slams, even without preparation and withdraw with a very first sign of possible injury not to hamper his chances on clay.

I mean slam is a slam, you must play it (I still have doubts that Fed was doing good with skipping RG) and the possibility for Nadal to be seeded 1-8 is huge after his clay season. So in the first rounds of HC slams he will be getting Sandgrens and Jaziris of this world, so he can play himself into form. And he is good enough to win a HC slam if the draw opens nice and he's not injured.
 

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He should give up HC completely! it´s unfair for the tennis fans in general to expect a match in the final rounds and then he retires or w.o. because he´s suddenly injured, He should lose/retire properly in earlier rounds or even better not play at all
 

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If I were scheduling Nadal...

Australian Open
Monte Carlo
Barcelona
Rome
French Open
Wimbledon
Hamburg
US Open

That's it. No HC after the USO, no HC after the AO. No clay before MC. Just MC, BC, Rome and the FO.

A 11 tourney schedule would be:

Australian Open
Rio de Janiero
Sao Paulo
Monte Carlo
Barcelona
Rome
French Open
Stuttgart
Wimbledon
Hamburg
US Open
 

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To the contrary, he should play as much as possible on HC and instead stop playing on clay. Why you ask? We all know that if Nadal wins more clay tournaments his resume will be even more clay-skewed than it already is, thereby reducing his overall greatness.












But seriously, I would go for option 2 if I was him.
 

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Only 2, count em, 2 tourneys on hard.

7 Tournaments on Clay.

2 on Grass.
 

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In 2017 he played 18 tournaments. 7 of which he had early exits and didnt help him.

One of which was Rome.

I don't think Nadal should schedule more than 11 tournaments in a year.
 

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If he can't play on hard courts then he can't play. He can't miss two-thirds of the season.

In terms of playing a reduced schedule, I would question what difference this would make, as he's barely finished a hard court tournament for over a year. According to what I have read, he has pulled out of 8 of his last 11 hard court events. And he didn't pull out of Acapulco because he managed to lose early on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In 2017 he played 18 tournaments. 7 of which he had early exits and didnt help him.

One of which was Rome.

I don't think Nadal should schedule more than 11 tournaments in a year.
Well, the fact that he went deep in 11 out of 18 tournaments doesn't mean that he will "choose" these 11 tournaments in his schedule (i.e. he could go deep in 7 of them). But yeah, limiting schedule is important here.

If I were Tio Toni the schedule would be like this:

Brisbane
AO
Rio
Sao Paolo
Monte Carlo
Barcelona
Madrid
Rome
RG
Queens
Wimbledon
Canada
USO
 

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I really don't think skipping such a major part of the season entirely just to prolong a career should be allowed. If it gets to the point where someone can't handle playing on hard courts anymore, they should retire.
 

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I think he should donate whatever money he earned in this event to the fans who were left without a match and then take his sorry, broken ass back to Spain and retire permanently.
 

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Well it's east to say reduce it to slams plus Canada and IW (slowest HCs and his best HC 1000s) and ATP finals.
But who are we to know how to manage his medial issues?
But that's what I'd say if asked.
 

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We had a similar discussion last year, but there was no dedicated thread for this.

Personally, I think, the smartest thing for him would be to forego HC tournaments entirely except for the slams and WTF. He would be left with a good chunk of the season missing, though.

However, like any competitor worth their salt, Nadal will want to be able to contend for the biggest prizes while he's still active. He's a 17-time grand slam champion, has 30+ masters to his name and lots of titles in general. As long as the physical risks are manageable, he will keep going for as long as he can while still being one of the world's best players.
 
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