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I'm on the Clayray v3.0 bandwagon, but the amount of knee-jerk reactions have been hilarious. I'm not saying Nadal will win the French Open, but dismiss him at your own peril. A list of reasons why, in order:

1) Chokovic - The pressure on Djokovic to win the event will be huge. He knows this is his best chance and he won't keep getting opportunities forever. Known to get tight at times and donate. Also mentally probably scarred from some of his losses to Nadal.

2) Lack of other threats - Let's face it, if Nadal even plays at 80% nobody expect Djokovic can really beat him on clay. Of course he's been playing at 50% recently, but the field on clay sucks mainly, you have a bunch of 2nd tier contenders but nowhere near the threats as in the hard court majors.

3) Daytime/Court Conditions - Nadal's game is just much better suited at the FO, where daytime sun really helps his game and the court is much bigger to defend.

4) BO5 - More time to find his game as well/less upset prone as 2 days off.

5) He IS playing better, but not consistent enough - He has stretches of play where you think he might be getting back to his best, but can't string matches the why he used to. Still, he's good enough to get through most opponents and if he can peak, his game is still more than good enough to beat Djokovic.
 

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Extra day of rest between matches + Extra burden on the other player to take one additional set

Two major factors swing the pendulum in Nadal's favor.
 

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until he loses that RG final he is the favorite.
 
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Why he shouldn t be counted out ? :lol: because he won it 9 times
 

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He really should, he barely won it last year in a form that was 20x better than his current.
 

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Don't worry, once RG uses 2011 balls again Rafa can definitely be counted out :spit:
 

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I'm on the Clayray v3.0 bandwagon, but the amount of knee-jerk reactions have been hilarious. I'm not saying Nadal will win the French Open, but dismiss him at your own peril. A list of reasons why, in order:

1) Chokovic - The pressure on Djokovic to win the event will be huge. He knows this is his best chance and he won't keep getting opportunities forever. Known to get tight at times and donate. Also mentally probably scarred from some of his losses to Nadal.

2) Lack of other threats - Let's face it, if Nadal even plays at 80% nobody expect Djokovic can really beat him on clay. Of course he's been playing at 50% recently, but the field on clay sucks mainly, you have a bunch of 2nd tier contenders but nowhere near the threats as in the hard court majors.

3) Daytime/Court Conditions - Nadal's game is just much better suited at the FO, where daytime sun really helps his game and the court is much bigger to defend.

4) BO5 - More time to find his game as well/less upset prone as 2 days off.

5) He IS playing better, but not consistent enough - He has stretches of play where you think he might be getting back to his best, but can't string matches the why he used to. Still, he's good enough to get through most opponents and if he can peak, his game is still more than good enough to beat Djokovic.
Haters trying hard to rationalize why will Novak not win RG. :haha:

Too bad for them it is all in vain.
 

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I believe that Novak will just be too strong for the field....it's his time.

I'd like to see Federer do well, no doubt Nadal will be in his Quarter of the draw LOL
 

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I'm on the Clayray v3.0 bandwagon, but the amount of knee-jerk reactions have been hilarious. I'm not saying Nadal will win the French Open, but dismiss him at your own peril.




It is indeed funny that Nadal might be dismissed at RG as a contender.

Openly admitting to being on the "Clayray bandwagon" is far more freighting behavior, however.
 

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Certainly not to be counted out, he won't play any decent player until the 2nd week, by that time he can play himself in.
Until he is beaten, he is still favourite.
 

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Nadal should not be counted out at the French Open. Right now he is my 6th favorite to reach the third round and lose there.
 

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Nadal had steadily gotten better and better by the week this clay season, save for the painful Barcelona match

He will peak in RG but the draw will be very very interesting
 

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4) BO5 - More time to find his game as well/less upset prone as 2 days off.
Jolyon said:
Extra day of rest between matches + Extra burden on the other player to take one additional set

Two major factors swing the pendulum in Nadal's favor.
Time to end this Bo5 nonsense. Bo5 favors the most consistent, physically and mentally solid, and overall best players. Nadal is none of these right now. If anything he's more likely to be upset from 2 sets up than the other way around. Remember when Fed was the same age, people used to say the same thing about him, like "best of five is a different story"... and then came Soderling, Berdych, Tsonga... Nadal will face the same turnaround.

That being said, of course I don't count him out in RG, nobody with his minds would do that :lol:
 

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Why would BO3 on clay help him? He's only made one final with another top 10 player playing, and that's with top 4 seeds the whole way.
 

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Nadal had steadily gotten better and better by the week this clay season, save for the painful Barcelona match

He will peak in RG but the draw will be very very interesting
Losing in QF a week after reaching M1000 finals is the new "steadily gotten better" ? :scratch:
 

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Ordinary form or not, Nadal can never be counted out of RG until someone actually beats him.

That said, Novak is still the one to beat I think.
 

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Another reason NOT to count Rafa out. He is a 9 time champion. He has nothing to lose. That attitude will free him up to play the brand of tennis we all know he is capable of.

At this juncture I would rate Nole ahead of Rafa though. However should they both progress to the final then Rafa will be the slight favourite as it would have meant playing himself into tournament winning form. The pressure is on Nole really. He is the one who has to go out of his way to win the only major title of any kind missing from his collection.
 

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I'm on the Clayray v3.0 bandwagon, but the amount of knee-jerk reactions have been hilarious. I'm not saying Nadal will win the French Open, but dismiss him at your own peril. A list of reasons why, in order:

1) Chokovic - The pressure on Djokovic to win the event will be huge. He knows this is his best chance and he won't keep getting opportunities forever. Known to get tight at times and donate. Also mentally probably scarred from some of his losses to Nadal.

2) Lack of other threats - Let's face it, if Nadal even plays at 80% nobody expect Djokovic can really beat him on clay. Of course he's been playing at 50% recently, but the field on clay sucks mainly, you have a bunch of 2nd tier contenders but nowhere near the threats as in the hard court majors.

3) Daytime/Court Conditions - Nadal's game is just much better suited at the FO, where daytime sun really helps his game and the court is much bigger to defend.

4) BO5 - More time to find his game as well/less upset prone as 2 days off.

5) He IS playing better, but not consistent enough - He has stretches of play where you think he might be getting back to his best, but can't string matches the why he used to. Still, he's good enough to get through most opponents and if he can peak, his game is still more than good enough to beat Djokovic.
Very good post. It's all in Nadals hands really. We all know if Nadal plays AT HIS BEST in Paris. There will only be one result. But as you pointed out his lack of CONSISTENCY is failing him lately.

And it's all part of his decline. He will be 29 in a few weeks. And in tennis you're an old man at 30. And with his physically demanding style of play. The last 10 years of punishing play has caught up with him.

I would like to be WRONG. Because I love Nadal and his fighting spirit. But I don't see him ever winning a slam again. 2013 was his last great year.
 
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