Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 97 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, guys!

I would have liked to know what your reading of this Australian Open 2019 final was?

At the moment, I am more in misunderstanding than disappointment.

Djokovic was obviously monstrous, but can a player, however good he may be, defeat his opponent so much? Or was it his opponent who played badly?

I have the impression that all the matches between Nadal and Djokovic are similar out of the ground. We have this hope that the Spaniard can reverse the trend and in the end, in the final, the Serb is unplayable and Nadal starts to miss everything. Indeed, Djokovic totally dominates the diagonal backhand. He deprives Nadal of time, so the Spaniard runs after the ball, backs away and it is the Serb who dictates the game. Djokovic is returning very well and serving better. Nadal stretches himself out to him and thwarts him.

This Sunday, I am in misunderstanding since I did not recognize Nadal. He seemed down from the first points, he didn't give any intensity in his hits, he was slow on his legs and very far from his line. He was very tense, his forehand shots didn't come out of his racket, he didn't have the aggressiveness of the other days, he missed a lot and didn't give the impression he wanted to change things.

I'm not saying he could have won against this Djokovic, but taking a set was largely playable. And that's when I think Nadal was bad. Yet he was physically and mentally fresh. Mentally he seemed to have lost the fight in the locker room.

How did he manage to beat him in 2013? One wonders. I'm annoyed to have seen such a Nadal on the court for such an important match. This defeat can hurt him very much, especially if they are played on clay courts.

What is your opinion? I can't get a good reading of this final. Yes, Djokovic has the perfect game to make Nadal play badly, but does that justify Nadal's level in this final? I experienced what Federer's fans experienced when he played against Nadal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
883 Posts
Djokovic played very well and Nadal did not have the match toughness at the moment to even compete with Djokovic. If a physically and mentally tested Nadal had shown up for this final than I think it would have been closer, but Djokovic's level would have still led to a 3-4 set win, but the sets would have been tighter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Djokovic played very well and Nadal did not have the match toughness at the moment to even compete with Djokovic. If a physically and mentally tested Nadal had shown up for this final than I think it would have been closer, but Djokovic's level would have still led to a 3-4 set win, but the sets would have been tighter.
So, you think it was due to his poor draw where he played good matchup for him? Because there was a huge gap between his 6 matches and this final.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
883 Posts
So, you think it was due to his poor draw where he played good matchup for him? Because there was a huge gap between his 6 matches and this final.
Somewhat. Nadal was out for 5 months not playing any matches and then when he comes back he just steamrolls his way to the finals against guys that were susceptible to Nadal's more offensive game plan. Therefor from the time he got injured last year to the time of this final he had absolutely no one test him either physically or mentally. Djokovic was his first real test in either of those areas and he just did not appear ready to deal with that test. Djokovic still played a really good match and I still believe he wins in no more than 4 sets (with at least a couple close sets) with Nadal playing his best, but the match would have been much more tightly contested than this one was even if it was still straight sets. The only game plan that Nadal had at his disposal right now was the way he was playing the whole tournament and it didn't take long to recognize that it just wasn't going to be effective against Djokovic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So, you think it was due to his poor draw where he played good matchup for him? Because there was a huge gap between his 6 matches and this final.
Somewhat. Nadal was out for 5 months not playing any matches and then when he comes back he just steamrolls his way to the finals against guys that were susceptible to Nadal's more offensive game plan. Therefor from the time he got injured last year to the time of this final he had absolutely no one test him either physically or mentally. Djokovic was his first real test in either of those areas and he just did not appear ready to deal with that test. Djokovic still played a really good match and I still believe he wins in no more than 4 sets (with at least a couple close sets) with Nadal playing his best, but the match would have been much more tightly contested than this one was even if it was still straight sets. The only game plan that Nadal had at his disposal right now was the way he was playing the whole tournament and it didn't take long to recognize that it just wasn't going to be effective against Djokovic.
I’m totally agree but it was brutal. But let's also admit that Djokovic or not on the other side, there are a lot of moves that Nadal should have won on a good day.

I remember the backhand smash after a passing at the net that ends up in the net (usually it's very good in backhand smash), well forced forehands that come out... moonbal ! Djokovic who lobbed Rafa, the Spanish easily caught the ball, turned around and... bottom of the net....

He was still a particularly bad Rafa against a very good Djoko.

That he takes a huge loose because the other one is on top, yes, but that he plays badly like that is rare.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,174 Posts
You're overthinking it, but some rationalization is always necessary, I guess, after a demolition like this.

As expected by the more objective posters around here, including myself, Nadal shit his pants after Djokovic's display in the semifinal. You could see it as soon as they entered on court and took the photo, Nadal's face showed the forced smile of a man who wanted to be anywhere but there, while Djokovic was as calm as if he was already on his way to the press conference after the victory. This hypothesis is further supported by the match stats - Dull produced unforced errors left, right and center, while Djokovic didn't even reach double digits. W/UE ratios were around 3.5 for Djokovic and a meager 0.75 for Dull. I honestly don't think there is that much of a difference between them game-wise, though Djokovic does have a slight edge.

All players can occasionally suffer from nerves, because they're human, but Nadal seems to be prone to do it a lot more often against his nemesis (and Djokovic seems to be extra clutch on these occasions, compounding the issue) - the severe beatings he's been receiving regularly since 2011 are the most probable cause. Wimbledon 2018 is probably the best recent example - Nadal was coming off a successful clay campaign, his confidence was sky-high, and Djokovic was still far from his best. Also, during the tournament, Nadal was arguably the better player. He still lost, despite having many opportunities in both the 3rd and 5th set. There's no remedy for that, I think - Nadal may be a fighter, but it's probably not his nature. Djokovic is a born killer.

I feel for you as a fan, but hey, at least your guy is reaching finals, unlike Del Po, who isn't even around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,627 Posts
Djokovic was extremely solid

Nadal was extremely poor. Massive amount of errors from his racket, wasn't timing the ball well, wasn't moving well.

It's easy to forget that the top players are humans and can have bad days. It's shocking honestly how rarely they DO have bad days. I mean personally as a casual tennis player, I pretty regularly would have days where I go out to play or practice with a friend and just not 'feel it' and end up missing balls by multiple feet, it can be associated to mood, weather, or just some sort of mysterious cause

I wouldn't read too deeply into the AO final. Nadal claims he wasn't particularly nervous (in post match press conference) and I don't see why he'd bullshit about that. He mentioned that he just felt ill prepared and that with so little top level play in the last 6 months (since the US Open) that he felt maybe physically and defense wise his game wasn't there.

That seems like a fair read on things. Nadal historically has emphasized that he feels he plays his best when he has had lots of matches to build confidence. Not only has Nadal basically ONLY played the Australia Open in the last 6 months, but he also had opponents in the leadup to the final who didn't really push him much. It also is worth noting that Nadal mentioned that he didn't really get to physically train as much as he would have liked in the off season, due to the ankle surgery and things.




IN the end we have a situation of an arguably rusty and misfiring big 3 member (Nadal), and on fire and on a streak member (Djokovic).


No one could have anticipated the final would have been so lopsided, but in retrospect it's sort of understandable. I think Nadal hitting so many errors and shanking so many balls is a bit of a mystery, but as far as his preparation and focus not being there- it's possibly understandable. He's hardly gotten to play top professional tennis in the last half year and frankly may not have anticipated making the final here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
You're overthinking it, but some rationalization is always necessary, I guess, after a demolition like this.

As expected by the more objective posters around here, including myself, Nadal shit his pants after Djokovic's display in the semifinal. You could see it as soon as they entered on court and took the photo, Nadal's face showed the forced smile of a man who wanted to be anywhere but there, while Djokovic was as calm as if he was already on his way to the press conference after the victory. This hypothesis is further supported by the match stats - Dull produced unforced errors left, right and center, while Djokovic didn't even reach double digits. W/UE ratios were around 3.5 for Djokovic and a meager 0.75 for Dull. I honestly don't think there is that much of a difference between them game-wise, though Djokovic does have a slight edge.

All players can occasionally suffer from nerves, because they're human, but Nadal seems to be prone to do it a lot more often against his nemesis (and Djokovic seems to be extra clutch on these occasions, compounding the issue) - the severe beatings he's been receiving regularly since 2011 are the most probable cause. Wimbledon 2018 is probably the best recent example - Nadal was coming off a successful clay campaign, his confidence was sky-high, and Djokovic was still far from his best. Also, during the tournament, Nadal was arguably the better player. He still lost, despite having many opportunities in both the 3rd and 5th set. There's no remedy for that, I think - Nadal may be a fighter, but it's probably not his nature. Djokovic is a born killer.

I feel for you as a fan, but hey, at least your guy is reaching finals, unlike Del Po, who isn't even around.
Great opinion bro! Yeah, I need to rationalize this. I’m not sad but very disappointing by the Nadal’s level. Mentaly he lost his match since the first point. I’m very surprised he has arrived to win at USO or to make 5 sets against Djoko at Wimbledon when you look this match... Final was great but this destruction is huge for Nadal’s mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
There are three issues, in my opinion: two of them, Nadal readily admitted to, but one he denied.

First: Nadal denied this, but in my opinion he was very nervous at the beginning of the match. He saw Djokovic's performance in the semi-final, and he knew it was going to be extremely tough. After the first few points, where Djokovic was winning easily, you can see his nervousness turning into a state of panic. He's being humiliated in front of millions of people, who all expected a close match that he could not deliver on. This translated into a lack of focus, and a large number of unforced errors. If any player could've ever used a coaching "timeout", it was Nadal in this match.

Second: Nadal alluded to the fact that he has not been tested in a match at this high level for a long time, and he was thus not able to lift his intensity and level enough.

Third: Most importantly, Djokovic was just firing on all cylinders, at his favorite grand slam tournament.

Djokovic was always winning this, but a calmer Nadal would've made it closer than it was, maybe three tight sets, or 4 sets.
 

·
justice for all
Joined
·
13,103 Posts
Hi, guys!

I would have liked to know what your reading of this Australian Open 2019 final was?

At the moment, I am more in misunderstanding than disappointment.

Djokovic was obviously monstrous, but can a player, however good he may be, defeat his opponent so much? Or was it his opponent who played badly?

I have the impression that all the matches between Nadal and Djokovic are similar out of the ground. We have this hope that the Spaniard can reverse the trend and in the end, in the final, the Serb is unplayable and Nadal starts to miss everything. Indeed, Djokovic totally dominates the diagonal backhand. He deprives Nadal of time, so the Spaniard runs after the ball, backs away and it is the Serb who dictates the game. Djokovic is returning very well and serving better. Nadal stretches himself out to him and thwarts him.

This Sunday, I am in misunderstanding since I did not recognize Nadal. He seemed down from the first points, he didn't give any intensity in his hits, he was slow on his legs and very far from his line. He was very tense, his forehand shots didn't come out of his racket, he didn't have the aggressiveness of the other days, he missed a lot and didn't give the impression he wanted to change things.

I'm not saying he could have won against this Djokovic, but taking a set was largely playable. And that's when I think Nadal was bad. Yet he was physically and mentally fresh. Mentally he seemed to have lost the fight in the locker room.

How did he manage to beat him in 2013? One wonders. I'm annoyed to have seen such a Nadal on the court for such an important match. This defeat can hurt him very much, especially if they are played on clay courts.

What is your opinion? I can't get a good reading of this final. Yes, Djokovic has the perfect game to make Nadal play badly, but does that justify Nadal's level in this final? I experienced what Federer's fans experienced when he played against Nadal.
Big part of their rivalry is mental. Now Djokovic has Nadal's number on HC and he'll probably never lose again to him on HC. He has a matchup advantage but he's also in Nadal's head. Nadal knowing how he got owned by Djokovic on HC goes out with a handicap even though their last HC match was long ago.

In 2013 it was also mental. Nadal was arguably playing HC tennis of his life that summer but without his epic win in RG SF where he gained a mental edge and got into Djokovic's head for some time he wouldn't have won in that USO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
There are three issues, in my opinion: two of them, Nadal readily admitted to, but one he denied.

First: Nadal denied this, but in my opinion he was very nervous at the beginning of the match. He saw Djokovic's performance in the semi-final, and he knew it was going to be extremely tough. After the first few points, where Djokovic was winning easily, you can see his nervousness turning into a state of panic. He's being humiliated in front of millions of people, who all expected a close match that he could not deliver on. This translated into a lack of focus, and a large number of unforced errors. If any player could've ever used a coaching "timeout", it was Nadal in this match.

Second: Nadal alluded to the fact that he has not been tested in a match at this high level for a long time, and he was thus not able to lift his intensity and level enough.

Third: Most importantly, Djokovic was just firing on all cylinders, at his favorite grand slam tournament.

Djokovic was always winning this, but a calmer Nadal would've made it closer than it was, maybe three tight sets, or 4 sets.
Well said! That nerves played a role was very much evident when Rafa failed to even connect with the ball, for what was supposed to be a routine forehand in the 1st set.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
Djokovic has a mental strength I've never seen in tennis, he's fueled by revenge.
He fights not only for himself, but for his family and his country, which gives him several layers of motivation.
I can see him play and win until the same age as Federer retires
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,628 Posts
There are many reasons Nadal lost today. Yes, nerves, not being tested etc. Those are all important, but before this match, Nadal had not won a set on hard courts against Djokovic since forever. If I'm correct, it was 14 sets to zero. That is something you carry into a match. Nadal needed a good start, when he did not get it, he was done. It's the same for many players with Nadal on clay. After the first few games, they know the match is done. I think mentally, Nadal was not there.

In order for Nadal to reverse the mental block, he needs to beat Djokovic convincingly on clay multiple times. That could prove difficult, as Djokovic is not bad on clay, and will likely take sets off Nadal on clay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Rafa should fire Moja...
He should try to convince Borg to enter a tennis coaching career or return back Uncle Tony.
Moja's tactic was s..t against Novak.
Vajda and Novak outsmarted Moja today big time.

Don't understand me wrong, even with the right tactics Novak would have won today, but it would not be a humiliation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,069 Posts
So, you think it was due to his poor draw where he played good matchup for him? Because there was a huge gap between his 6 matches and this final.
Djok is on such a different level than anyone Rafa played prior that it was not a proper indicator of how he would do against Djok. But so is Rafa--on a much higher level than anyone Djok played prior--but it made zero difference as far as affecting Djok. Rafa was the one who couldn't play, even his mid level game. He couldn't play at all.



Rafa and Djok played roughly equivalent type of opponents until the final, and Rafa beat his opponents more easily than Djok beat the ones he played.

All that was deceiving, as far as how they would be against each other.

Rafa unravelled mentally. It was like he was in shell shock out there. He couldn't even hit regulation volleys, or returns of routine 2nd serves. No FH whatsoever. I never saw him this bad, seriously.

I think we all came to expect a competitive match based on how Rafa played everyone else.
Djok is also too much in Rafa's head and he was nervous from the getgo, he played like he was afraid. And that further messes up your shots.

Listen to Rafa's presser. His reasons sound true to me--lack of match play for that something "extra" needed to play Djok, all the injuries of the past five months. I think he was pleased just to make the final, frankly. He went on the court not even thinking he stood a chance.

It was appalling to watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,194 Posts
There are many reasons Nadal lost today. Yes, nerves, not being tested etc. Those are all important, but before this match, Nadal had not won a set on hard courts against Djokovic since forever. If I'm correct, it was 14 sets to zero. That is something you carry into a match. Nadal needed a good start, when he did not get it, he was done. It's the same for many players with Nadal on clay. After the first few games, they know the match is done. I think mentally, Nadal was not there.

In order for Nadal to reverse the mental block, he needs to beat Djokovic convincingly on clay multiple times. That could prove difficult, as Djokovic is not bad on clay, and will likely take sets off Nadal on clay.
Totally agree. I mean I never saw such tame fistpumps from him. He would stop them in the middle of the motion, just as if he was reminding himself whom he was playing today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I’m a little bit confused. So for you, the main reason is that the lack of match for Nadal that explains his poor game? Nadal is a fighter even if he doesn’t at the pace, he has to fight... This match is far of the Nadal’s fighting spirit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,899 Posts
I expected more from this match, as did most people but it was clear from the start that Nadal's mental house wasn't in order and that is usually one of his strengths. Fact is, it's difficult for Rafa to get the mental house in order when Novak has invaded that space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
In order for Nadal to reverse the mental block, he needs to beat Djokovic convincingly on clay multiple times. That could prove difficult, as Djokovic is not bad on clay, and will likely take sets off Nadal on clay.
What am I hearing? "Take sets off Nadal on clay"? Man, people still underestimating Nole it's quite amusing. Look, Nadal ain't beating a healthy Djokovic ever again, including at RG.
 
1 - 20 of 97 Posts
Top