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We've seen how his forehand drops short, often well within the service box when he's off form, and more so in the past two seasons.

What causes this technically? Why is his freakish top spin action unable to produce depth as well as height when he's off form?


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He has a probelm with his technique on the FH atm. It's just looks wrong, at least compared to what it was. If you followed him over the years you will realize his technique has changed a lot.
 

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Confidence. I thought it was well know that when Nadal lacks confidence he plays short and even more defensive.
 

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You'd think that with his technique it would be prone to dropping short. Obviously exacerbated now by his dire form.
 

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It is deliberate at times. You guys know the amount of spin he puts on that ball? Till the ball reaches the opponent, the ball is going up in the air cause of the early bounce/short play, making life harder for the opponent to attack.

Just my theory to why he hits it short. He's done this in his prime too.
 

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He's a step too slow now to load up and stay on top of the forehand wing. Seriously its embarrassing how Nishikori and everyone else who beat him this year have all took their sweet time to load of all those moonballs Nadal pops up from retrieving nonstop.
 

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He has a probelm with his technique on the FH atm. It's just looks wrong, at least compared to what it was. If you followed him over the years you will realize his technique has changed a lot.
He's always been able to strike the ball a little late with vicious spin and direction, but yes after seeing his match with Murray on clay I have to agree. The forehand just doesn't look right.
 

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livoG implied this tendency to drop short is actually a weapon for Nadal, due to the bounce of the top spin. Do you agree?


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Depends on the opponent, their height and their ability to take the ball early. Against someone like Gasquet hitting it deep is better because he'll drop back even further and wait for the ball to drop. Against someone who stands on the baseline regardless of how deep the shot is it might possibly be more beneficial to drop the ball shorter to give it more distance to bounce higher. Obviously angle shots benefit greatly because the spin off the bounce accentuates the court position even further.
 

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livoG implied this tendency to drop short is actually a weapon for Nadal, due to the bounce of the top spin. Do you agree?


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If you think about it, it has to be a tactic. I don't think Nadal hits the ball so short so many times by mistake. He wants that ball to get to shoulder-hight to his opponents, always wanted that, just that his FH is not as good as it was.

problem for him is also more and more players can hit the ball on the rise beautifully. Nishi is a guy with an incredible BH and he can take it on the rise and early. Maybe that is not a smart game plan against him, but against most it works. Djokovic is another one wich Nadal has had huge problems with over the years, cause he can make Nadals top-spin FH look like nothing with his BH. Davydenko is another one who handled the ball on the rise incredibly well who Nadal had major problems with.

As the guy mentioned above, he has to adjust to the opponents he is facing. Against Federer it would work, as it always has, but against guys with BHs like Novak and Nishi, nope. Doesn't bother them one i outta to hit the ball on the rise. But again, Nadals FH is not as good as it was anymore.
 
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I think his problem is his movement and power- so when he is stepping in and hitting the ball with his traditional style, he still is producing the spin but he's not propelling the ball as deep because he's missing the power

hopefully he can change that and it's not a permanent decline sort of thing
 

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Most of the "explanations" here are ridiculous. He has been playing the games for many years, and his technique is deeply ingrained. He is not going to forget his technique for a while, then remember it, forget it, ...

Nadal has had these spells where his forehand drops short before, yet it always comes back (2008, 2010, 2013).

For some reason, his strength ebbs and flows. When it flows, his forehand is deep, his serve is faster, and he is faster around the court.

Why his power ebbs and flows is a complete mystery. :cool:
 

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In the past he was aggressive with the forehand, moving opponent side to side. Now he's just keeping the ball in play.

I don't think depth is the problem, more the mindset.
 

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Most of the "explanations" here are ridiculous. He has been playing the games for many years, and his technique is deeply ingrained. He is not going to forget his technique for a while, then remember it, forget it, ...

Nadal has had these spells where his forehand drops short before, yet it always comes back (2008, 2010, 2013).


For some reason, his strength ebbs and flows. When it flows, his forehand is deep, his serve is faster, and he is faster around the court.

Why his power ebbs and flows is a complete mystery. :cool:
Yeah, he never had great forehand technique to start with. That shot was mainly product Babolot RPM blast racket technology and muscle power.

Racket is same, now guess which element is missing? and why?

MTF experts talking about change in technique will be eating their words when he will make another miraculous comeback.
 
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