Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Joined
·
1,884 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are probably numerous factors, but what is it about the Australian Open that gives Nadal so much trouble compared to other slams? I mean he is able to win various US Opens and other numerous hard court masters 1000 events so it is not the hard courts that are the problem. He has been to the finals five times, but was only able to win once. This is abysmal compared to his other slam finals conversion percentage.

AO Finals (5 times)
2009 - Nadal defeats Federer
7–5, 3–6, 7–6, 3–6, 6–2
2012 - Djokovic defeats Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5
2014 - Stan Wawrinka defeats Nadal 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
2017 - Federer defeats Nadal 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–3
2019 - Djokovic defeats Nadal 6–3, 6–2, 6–3

I guess barring 2014 and 2019, they have been relatively close, going to 5 setters. Can it be attributed to just bad luck? What are your guys thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,253 Posts
I think it's mostly bad luck. The conditions aren't usually even that bad for his game. Had he the same draw from his last US Open wins, for sure he would have more titles in the bag.

The one thing that you can consider is: Nadal gets a lot from being phisically superior to his counterparts, and being in the start of the season, maybe everyone else is still fresh. But not sure this is a relevant fact.
There's also Djokovic playing on his favourite court, it's close enough to facing Nadal himself on Roland Garros: same reason why Fed has just one of those :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,670 Posts
I mean he was injured in 2014. He only won a set because Stan was half expecting him to retire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
411 Posts
He was quite competitive in those finals, barring 2014 when he was injured and 2019. Ultimately you have to beat an opponent, who might just be playing well himself.

Other than that, I would argue that AO comes after a part of the season that Nadal doesn't fare well in, which might be a factor in the tighter matches when it's as much about confidence as it is about form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
2012 could have gone his way, 2017 could have gone his way, 2014 was a combo of Stanimal peaking and Nadal injured (though I don’t think injury affected first set and a half, stan was too good), and 2019 he simply had no answer to an extremely motivated and in-form Djokovic

dont think there is a general identifiable pattern, each final has had different circumstances. But usually it simply came down to who was stronger in key moments.
It’s a bit like Djokovic at US Open
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
It could be the tournament's timing. The other slams all come on the back of a series of tournaments whilst the AO starts in the third week of the year. I know the grass court season is short for Wimbledon but its on the back of the European clay court season so Rafa has spent plenty of time on court.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
Same as Djokovic facing Nadal at the french . It’s also his worst gs surface .

He won’t win another Aussie open in his career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,238 Posts
Same stupid question as always.

He played the AO GOAT twice and was injured in another. That's not even talking 2017.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
11,640 Posts
2012 - gave his all body wise, choked a bit in the 5th (albeit Novak also choked in the previous set) overall ran into peak Djokovic
2014 - injured but still competitive, though Stan was ruthless and a deserved champion
2017 - Federer came back to the tour playing fantastic, he was aggressive whereas Nadal was too passive and ruined a good lead in the fifth
2019 - got completely outplayed, Djokovic streamrolled him sadly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,775 Posts
Obviously the surface. Plays to his opponents strengths (especially Djokovic). Not lightning quick, not super slow, but just enough to give his opponents time to set up for shots and finish off points.
 

·
justice for all
Joined
·
16,893 Posts
Maybe for Nadal's standards it's poor but from objective point of view 5 finals (1 win) is not too shabby, is it?
Except 2019 in all lost finals he played close matches against best players on this surface ever.
You can't have everything, guys, so chill out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
Nadal is confidence player. The reason he has done better at USO is because by the time he enters New York he has already played plenty of matches and has the confidence of winning the French whereas AO happens in the 3rd week of the year so there aren't many matches for him to build his confidence and get into winning rhythm.

Abu Dhabi exhibition and Doha are the likely tournaments he gets to play before AO. So if he loses early in both his confidence takes a big hit as he doesn't have enough time to assess his performance.

Best example was French Open last year, we all thought he was going to lose there after his horrendous performances in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. Then he wins Rome and everything changed. Won French as usual. He did say at the beginning of Rome, that he was building his confidence and is progressing which turned out to be true in the end.

Let's say if AO is held after Acapulco, IW and Miami then Rafa would probably have a better record.

1-5 is still better than Murray's 0-5 record.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Same problem, Federer and Djokovic have at the French. Pretty sure both of them have about 4-5 finals with only 1 win. It’s because there’s someone better on the surface blocking them. Nadal has 12 slams there. Like how between them Federer and Djokovic have 13 at the AO. Nadal at this point has to get really lucky to win the AO he’s not getting past Djokovic. Back in his prime he was a shot at least but not anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
AO is at the very beginning of the season, so, Djokovic, Federer & Stan were fresh enough for the finals despite tough 5-setters beforehand, whereas it was very difficult to beat considerably fresher Nadal in USO final (by the end of the season) after his virtual byes till the finals that he won therein, Djokovic did it in 2011 after 5-setter vs Federer but Nadal's USO'11 draw was not as easy as his cakewalks in 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,222 Posts
I wondered this too, good question.

Every year he missed it was for a different reason, except maybe 2012 /2017

2014: playing the final injured. Period. He owns Stan
2012/2017: insanely close goes into 5th set leading. 2012 made one bad shot (it was BHDTL) when still leading, got broke, and never regained.
2017, shanked 2 FHs while leading 3/2, got broke, Fed served like a monster from there on in.
2018: off four months injured just prior and was in no shape to face Djok. Still good enough to clobber all others.

It's not the opponents, because he beat Djok twice in the final USO, though maybe there's a bit of that in there. Med and Anderson. Still, if neither Djok nor Fed could get themselves to the final (or even close) then Rafa was the best there. Nuff said.

Surface: USO appears to be higher bouncing, just works better for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Of course one of those finals against Novak was a 5.53 epic marathon match. Can't hold losing that against Rafa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
To me, it has more to do with when the final match is played. AO so situates itself that the men's semis and finals end up being night matches. Nadal is the best outdoor player, and his margin for error on his strokes helps him when the conditions come into play. Nighttime Melbourne makes it more like an indoor match, and he loses most of the help his spin gives him. All the other majors' finals start moreso in the early afternoon it seems.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top