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El Tio gives his review of the YEC and preview of 2021 season. Rafa unable to crown himself "teacher of teachers"


For, hopefully, an exciting horizon

The panorama that is drawn to us tennis lovers is exciting, or it would be if we could see, finally, how humanity definitively defeats this cursed pandemic
Nadal hits the ball during the match against Medvedev in the Masters Cup.
Nadal hits the ball during the match against Medvedev in the Masters Cup. GLYN KIRK / AFP
TONI NADAL
22 NOV 2020 - 16:24 EST

Rafael's defeat against Daniil Medvedev in Saturday's semifinals at the Nitto ATP Finals is painful, given the magnitude and importance of the tournament and, above all, because a great opportunity slipped away: a cup that he has never been able to lift, having deployed all week a tennis of the highest level.
The game was eminently tactical. In the opening games, the Russian, supported by a great service, was clearly superior. And even so, he did not get away on the scoreboard. He was winning his services quite forcefully, while Rafael had to suffer to keep his, until the middle of the first set. The anecdotal and surprising fact is that Daniil chained the first 16 aces consecutively, something that I had never seen in any of the matches that my nephew has played throughout his career.
  • London (United Kingdom), 11/21/2020.- Spain's Rafael Nadal leaves the court after losing against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their semi-finals tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament in London, Britain, 21 November 2020. ( Tennis, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, London) EFE / EPA / ANDY RAIN
In the second half of this first set, Rafael made the right decision to change strategy and stopped playing his usual game to cut mostly his backhand and play more in the center of the court. The intention was, clearly, to neutralize the attack of his rival, who returned insufferable blows if the track was opened.

This change took effect and my nephew managed to score the first set and advance to what looked like a definite 5-4 with serve in the second. But, obviously, the script was not fulfilled that way. After not being able to score that conclusive game, he lost the set in the tie break and then, judging by the impression he gave me, the fatigue suffered and he was no longer able to maintain the same intensity in the rest of the match.

This is how, as has happened on other occasions, Rafael could not finish a magnificent season with the finishing touch that would mean crowning himself teacher of teachers.

However, when taking stock of this strange year, the assessment has to be clearly positive. Raising the Musketeers' Cup for the thirteenth time amply justifies this appreciation. But, in addition, the game exhibited both at Roland Garros and in London makes me hope to see him face a difficult but exciting season in 2021, in which he will once again have exciting opportunities.

I am convinced that the step forward taken by Dominic Thiem , Daniil Medvedev , Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev, not to mention someone else, is now definitive. But I am also happy that, for yet another year, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael will fight to the limit of their strength to continue climbing to the podiums of the Grand Slams and the most important tournaments.

The panorama that is drawn on the horizon for tennis lovers is truly exciting. Or it would be if we could see, finally, how humanity has definitively broken this cursed pandemic and can continue its course of rebuilding a better future.
 

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Very flowery way of saying that his pupil Nadal and Djokovic won’t win any more significant titles ever again now that the major 2 (medvedev and thiem) has arrived to replace them
 

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Very flowery way of saying that his pupil Nadal and Djokovic won’t win any more significant titles ever again now that the major 2 (medvedev and thiem) has arrived to replace them
From your arse interpretation.
 

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I actually thought this truly exciting panorama was set for the year 2020 but obviously this pandemic wasted it, and now I'm rather worried that the perfect timing of still fit big 3 vs ultimate rising of the Next gen will never quite happen in the optimal way I was foreseeing. I hope that window is not closed for 2021 but I feel it already has diminished.
 

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I actually thought this truly exciting panorama was set for the year 2020 but obviously this pandemic wasted it, and now I'm rather worried that the perfect timing of still fit big 3 vs ultimate rising of the Next gen will never quite happen in the optimal way I was foreseeing. I hope that window is not closed for 2021 but I feel it already has diminished.
too early to tell
 

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Nadal got tired in the third set? Not sure that is a buyable excuse.
 

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It will be very interesting to see how the "Big 3" perform against these hungry young lions next season. My eyes will be on Medvedev. I see him making further improvements and possibly becoming number 1.
 

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It will be very interesting to see how the "Big 3" perform against these hungry young lions next season. My eyes will be on Medvedev. I see him making further improvements and possibly becoming number 1.
Finished with Djokovic, eh?

Just like when Fed's Mate turned into a Djokovic fan way back in the day
 

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Finished with Djokovic, eh?

Just like when Fed's Mate turned into a Djokovic fan way back in the day
I like many players. Djokovic is one of them; Medvedev is another. :)

What do you think, by the way? Will the "Big 3" be able to hold off these hungry young lions next season? I feel that Medvedev especially will have a big season.
 

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Finished with Djokovic, eh?

Just like when Fed's Mate turned into a Djokovic fan way back in the day
What a blast from the past. That guy wrote me some of the strangest PMs back in the day.

BTW I'm not sure if you translated it as 'teacher of teachers' on purpose but it's a bit different. Maestro in this case is more like 'wizard'/star/master etc than it is 'teacher'.
 

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Nadal got tired in the third set? Not sure that is a buyable excuse.
He sure looked tired to me and Toni saw the same thing. Credit for Medvedev for helping make that happen, as he did in NY as well where Nadal was clearly drained by the end of the USO final like very times I have ever seen him.
 

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What a blast from the past. That guy wrote me some of the strangest PMs back in the day.

BTW I'm not sure if you translated it as 'teacher of teachers' on purpose but it's a bit different. Maestro in this case is more like 'wizard'/star/master etc than it is 'teacher'.
Perhaps the "Master of Masters"
 

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I like many players. Djokovic is one of them; Medvedev is another. :)

What do you think, by the way? Will the "Big 3" be able to hold off these hungry young lions next season? I feel that Medvedev especially will have a big season.
It is inevitable for the younger generation to overtake the old guys. Only question is when.

For now, just need to focus on recovery and training in the off season and get ready for AO (whenever it happens)
 

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Nadal got tired in the third set? Not sure that is a buyable excuse.
It was from the grueling year he had that usually 'forces' him every 2nd/3rd year to opt out of the Year Ending Championships,huh
 

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It will be very interesting to see how the "Big 3" perform against these hungry young lions next season. My eyes will be on Medvedev. I see him making further improvements and possibly becoming number 1.
Medvedev looked great one year ago, too, and then had an absolutely crappy first half in 2021. His peak level is high, but let‘s see whether he can be more consistent as well. And he hasn’t yet shown that he could be a threat for Nadal on clay. That will be up to Thiem, Zverev or Tsitsipas.
 

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Medvedev looked great one year ago, too, and then had an absolutely crappy first half in 2021. His peak level is high, but let‘s see whether he can be more consistent as well. And he hasn’t yet shown that he could be a threat for Nadal on clay. That will be up to Thiem, Zverev or Tsitsipas.
Medvedev is pretty consistent on hard courts. Let's not forget that there really wasn't much of a 'first half of the season' in 2020 but rather a handful of tournaments and he probably ended 2019 absolutely wiped from running the table.

I mentioned this a few times when people wrote him off online this year before his run again. If he's healthy and charged, he's going to be a nightmare on hard court.

I wouldn't expect anything from him on clay unless he builds margin and spin in his shots significantly and though he's smart enough to figure that out, I haven't seen much sign of him trying to do that yet.
 

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What can I say as a Tio tard? it's always great when the legend speaks.
 

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Medvedev is pretty consistent on hard courts. Let's not forget that there really wasn't much of a 'first half of the season' in 2020 but rather a handful of tournaments and he probably ended 2019 absolutely wiped from running the table.

I mentioned this a few times when people wrote him off online this year before his run again. If he's healthy and charged, he's going to be a nightmare on hard court.

I wouldn't expect anything from him on clay unless he builds margin and spin in his shots significantly and though he's smart enough to figure that out, I haven't seen much sign of him trying to do that yet.
In the first half of 2020, on hard court, despite being a top 4 seed in all these tournaments, Medvedev was defeated by
  • a clearly below par Wawrinka at AO
  • Pospisil in Rotterdam (R1)
  • Simon in Marseille (including eating a bagel)
  • RBA in Cincinnati
I don't call that consistent (or you may call it consistently bad, if you like).
 
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