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Discussion Starter #1
His career record is only 68%. How can a player change so much playing with or without a roof?
 

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Wind GOAT
 

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Grew up in Spain. Sunny outdoors, suited his game to those conditions.

Regardless, he isn't weak, just slightly less than what he is outdoors.

To play against the arguable indoor GOAT and take him to 5 sets on his least prefered surface with 5 BP's to serve for the match is.....


admirable. Weak would be the last word coming to mind there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
His indoor carrer record is only 68% compared to his 85% outdoor record. He has only won 2 indoor titles in his career.
 

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Everyone is better indoors. It's just easier to play indoors because there are no external factors to impact on the game. It's pure tennis. The best standard of tennis is played indoors because there's no wind, no weather, the climate can be completely controlled, etc.

It's not that Nadal is worse indoors, it's that other players improve more when playing indoors. Nadal has a big margin of error for his game, so external factors have less impact on his playing level. It seems that he's worse indoors, but it's just relative. If you put a clay court indoors, he would be every bit as successful as he's been outdoors on clay.
 

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If this relates to the Wimbledon SF and all the outcry over that, I think an important factor that is somewhat lost in the discussions I've seen is to do with surface. Indoor events tend to be played on faster surfaces and certainly the Shanghai and Paris events are two of the quicker around, the former supposedly quite a lot quicker than Wimbledon on CPI. It's these faster surfaces that don't suit Rafa so much. If there was event played indoor on clay, I'd have Rafa as easy favourite. But clay is too tricky to have as an indoor surface, though I think Madrid has a roof and so is played indoors sometimes, but it's also played at altitude and so the balls fly faster which is why Rafa's record there is a bit below par.

Very soon we'll have a roof at RG and I very much doubt that would impact on Rafa, assuming he is still playing near his peak at that point.

There is much discussion on the effect the roof has at Wimbledon but the player's view is that it slows the ball down a little. I'm not sure how that would be detrimental to Rafa. The final point is that the indoor season tends to be played towards the end of they year, after the USO and that is usually a period when Rafa is knackered and below his best. So that won't help either.
 

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Every match takes two players, ok?

Conditions affect different players differently, ok?

When you have wind, or looking at the sun, you cannot serve as well.

And we know Nadal doesn't rely on serve as much as his main rivals.
 

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Obviously, he's weaker off clay. It's also probably related to the fact that WTF are indoors, and you basically only face top-10 players there (and you always play at least 3 matches there, unless you're injured).
He's also been injured more during the latter parts of the season. He's barely played in the Paris Masters.
 

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Most indoor courts are fairly low bounce, because they're built on temporary wooden boards. That's always the key to Nadal's level: high bounce is ideal for his game.
 

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I suggest folks watch Nadal vs. Murray WTF 2010 SF before suggesting Nadal is weak playing indoors.

I think the fact that the indoor swing happens at the end of the year doesn't help.
 

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Very soon we'll have a roof at RG and I very much doubt that would impact on Rafa, assuming he is still playing near his peak at that point.
I think by the time the roof is up Rafa is done for sure in that court.

Many times sky will be dark and they close the roof. He will be vulnerable to first week exit.
 

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Everyone is better indoors. It's just easier to play indoors because there are no external factors to impact on the game. It's pure tennis. The best standard of tennis is played indoors because there's no wind, no weather, the climate can be completely controlled, etc.

It's not that Nadal is worse indoors, it's that other players improve more when playing indoors. Nadal has a big margin of error for his game, so external factors have less impact on his playing level. It seems that he's worse indoors, but it's just relative. If you put a clay court indoors, he would be every bit as successful as he's been outdoors on clay.
And this is the right explanation. He isn't weak there. Most players just improve playing indoors.
 

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Tennis played outdoors is typically more percentage play. Players don't trust the bounce or the carry of the ball, so they're hitting higher over the net and into bigger targets of the court. This slows the play down.

Indoors, players trust the ball will bounce true and are able to hit lower over the net into smaller targets because there are no external factors, which speeds the play up.

Nadal is stronger on slow surfaces than he is on fast ones.
 

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I think by the time the roof is up Rafa is done for sure in that court.

Many times sky will be dark and they close the roof. He will be vulnerable to first week exit.
You made me check when the roof is due. It's 2020, the tournament after next, albeit I guess these projects can get delays. I can imagine Rafa might have lost his total dominance on clay by then, he's got a lot of mileage on his clock, but he will surely still be competitive at that point, on clay at least, and I don't think playing under a roof will have much bearing on matters.
 

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His career record is only 68%. How can a player change so much playing with or without a roof?
See below, how this percentage shapes up if you dig deeper. Key things according to my analysis being WTF and no-clay (bar one tournament he played) indoors.

Everyone is better indoors. It's just easier to play indoors because there are no external factors to impact on the game. It's pure tennis. The best standard of tennis is played indoors because there's no wind, no weather, the climate can be completely controlled, etc.

It's not that Nadal is worse indoors, it's that other players improve more when playing indoors. Nadal has a big margin of error for his game, so external factors have less impact on his playing level. It seems that he's worse indoors, but it's just relative. If you put a clay court indoors, he would be every bit as successful as he's been outdoors on clay.
Are everyone better indoors though? Fed's, Djok's and Nadal's HC W/L% are better outdoors, albeit Fed is close (based on W/L%, Fed has been most consistent indoors/outdoors). Disregarding WTF, Rafa's HC indoor W/L% actully dips less than Djokovic's.

Because clay tournaments are not played indoor (bar São Paulo).
This obviously has a big impact on Rafa's W/L discrepancy overall between indoors/outdoors.

I suggest folks watch Nadal vs. Murray WTF 2010 SF before suggesting Nadal is weak playing indoors.

I think the fact that the indoor swing happens at the end of the year doesn't help.
Looking at Rafa's W/L% on HC(i) and HC(o), he's right there with Fed and Djok in terms of how his results have been in both conditions. But it's the WTF W/L% that's disproportionately low; has been a big letdown for Rafa. I'd venture a two-fold explanation; 1) his schedule, inherent issues with his body as well the taxing style of play contributing to him being rather beat by the time of WTF; 2) in addition, WTF conditions might specifically be disadvantageous for Rafa.

Here are the HC W/L percentages of Rafa, Djok, and Fed, indoors and outdoors, as well as at WTF and outside of WTF:

Hard court W/L overall:
Nadal: HC(i) 67.4%; HC(o) 78.9%
Fed: HC(i) 82.3%; HC(o) 84.2%
Djok: HC(i) 76.9%; HC(o) 85.8%

Hard court (i) W/L outside of WTF:
Nadal: 73%
Fed: 83.6%
Djok: 78.4%

Hard court (i) W/L at WTF:
Nadal: 55.2%
Fed: 77.4%
Djok: 73.8%

Difference in W/L from HC (o) and HC (i) without WTF:
Nadal: 5.9% (=W/L higher outdoors; dip in performance smaller than for Djok)
Fed: 0.6% (=W/L higher outdoors)
Djok: 7.4% (=W/L higher outdoors)

Difference in W/L from HC (i) WTF and HC (i) without WTF:
Nadal: 17.2% (=W/L higher outside of WTF; difference notably higher than for Fed/Djok)
Fed: 6.2% (=W/L higher outside of WTF)
Djok: 4.6% (=W/L higher outside of WTF)

Overall, it's expected that players' W/L are slightly lower at WTF as the competition typically consists of top names (yeah, 2017...). But as you can see, Nadal has a massive discrepancy in his results at WTF compared with other indoor tournaments. Djokovic has been the most consistent in this respect. Comparing indoors and outdoors HC W/L sans WTF, Fed has been the most consistent (almost identical); Nadal has actually fared slightly better than Djokovic, making the claim that he would without a doubt fare worse with the roof closed questionable. Looks more like the problem is mostly with WTF (end of year fatigue; WTF specific surface (speed/bounce)). Since he has arguably (also based on W/L) nearly never been the favorite against e.g. the other Big 4 on medium-fast HC, it has often been an uphill battle due to those two factors.

Additionally, I've seen comments about the impact of wind which could be feasible. I.e. that without wind, if your playing style is one of trying to stay inside the baseline and take the ball early, and your technique allows you to execute this tactic with precision, then playing without wind would be advantageous. Based on the W/L, and thinking about his game, Fed could fit this notion. In addition a precise/top notch serve would benefit from no wind; if you're able to place the serve masterfully, obviously you'll make less errors, and can "paint the lines". Again, I'd argue this would fit Fed the best out of these three.

This is my conclusion; i.e. Nadal isn't necessarily as bad as described indoors (note the lesser dip in W/L compared to Djok when moving indoors disregarding WTF), but that the problem has seemingly more to do with WTF (end of year + surface). Additionally, no wind would benefit the masterful server as well as the player who's masterful in taking the ball early.

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edit.

Overall W/L% (o):
Nadal: 84.5% (note the huge bump compared to HC due to number of clay matches)
Fed: 82.4% (slight decrease from HC due to clay)
Djok: 83.3% (also a slight decrease from HC due to clay)
 
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