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  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    Is Nadal still recovering from injury or is there a more serious problem with his technique??

    Yeah, there is - his serve. Because Nadal's serve is lacking compared to the other top player's, he has to fight that much more for each point. Combined with his reluctancy to go for winners, you've got a deadly, injury-provoking cocktail. And now that the others know how to handle that ferocious topspin, i'm willing to consider Nadal out of the running for any other slams than RG unless he makes major changes. He'll get far, no doubt, but there'll always be a DelPo or Djokovic to thrash him 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusEffect View Post
    Yeah, there is - his serve. Because Nadal's serve is lacking compared to the other top player's, he has to fight that much more for each point. Combined with his reluctancy to go for winners, you've got a deadly, injury-provoking cocktail. And now that the others know how to handle that ferocious topspin, i'm willing to consider Nadal out of the running for any other slams than RG unless he makes major changes. He'll get far, no doubt, but there'll always be a DelPo or Djokovic to thrash him 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.
    That's exactly what I thought one of the problems was. The reason his knee gave out was because he cannot gain such an advantage early in the point with his serve and the rallies therefore become longer. When he's fighting fit he can usually cope with that because of his incredibly consistent groundstrokes and speed but eventually so many long points take their toll on the body. I hope that Toni identified this and has been working on Rafa's serve in order to take the pressure of his knees.

    One of the reasons why he was so ineffective late in the season was because his serve was easy to break and he could no longer depend on his groundstrokes.

    He must do something about his approach to winning points as well. Grinding it out from behind the baseline will work on clay but on hard courts and grass he needs to be able hit winners and his placement needs to be more unpredictable. I remember watching his US open match with Del Potro and I was able to predict where Nadal was going to aim on virtually every shot. Someone who thrives on hitting winners is going to love it.

    He must also improve his return of serve. Standing three metres behind the baseline to return a Murray second serve is ludicrous. He needs to take time away from his opponent thus putting more pressure on their serve and, crucially, shortening the points

    I honestly believe Nadal is the 8th best player in the world on current form and will not get to a GS final this year if he doesn't rectify the problems with his technique and strategy
    Last edited by AlexLogan; 12-29-2009 at 11:16 AM.
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    That's exactly what I thought one of the problems was. The reason his knee gave out was because he cannot gain such an advantage early in the point with his serve and the rallies therefore become longer. When he's fighting fit he can usually cope with that because of his incredibly consistent groundstrokes and speed but eventually so many long points take their toll on the body. I hope that Toni identified this and has been working on Rafa's serve in order to take the pressure of his knees.

    One of the reasons why he was so ineffective late in the season was because his serve was easy to break and he could no longer depend on his groundstrokes.

    He must do something about his approach to winning points as well. Grinding it out from behind the baseline will work on clay but on hard courts and grass he needs to be able hit winners and his placement needs to be more unpredictable. I remember watching his US open match with Del Potro and I was able to predict where Nadal was going to aim on virtually every shot. Someone who thrives on hitting winners is going to love it.

    He must also improve his return of serve. Standing three metres behind the baseline to return a Murray second serve is ludicrous. He needs to take time away from his opponent thus putting more pressure on their serve and, crucially, shortening the points

    I honestly believe Nadal is the 8th best player in the world on current form and will not get to a GS final this year if he doesn't rectify the problems with his technique and strategy
    The only argument i have here is with Rafa's return of serve. He has always stood far behind the baseline, and he has seen lots of success with this approach. Give Nadal another chance people.. he'll be back.

  4. #19
    I cannot for the life of me understand why you lot adore Nadal so much. Would someone explain his merits - not his personal merits, not his wonderful attitude to the game, not his mental fortitude, his actual merits within the game itself of tennis, to me?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusEffect View Post
    I cannot for the life of me understand why you lot adore Nadal so much. Would someone explain his merits - not his personal merits, not his wonderful attitude to the game, not his mental fortitude, his actual merits within the game itself of tennis, to me?
    His forehand is both unique and top notch, his fitness in phenomenal. He moves better than most of his peers. He has a powerful game on all surfaces. Also he has continuously changed and improved his game to get better over the past 4 years.
    Last edited by clock-; 12-30-2009 at 12:40 AM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    His forehand is both unique and top notch, his fitness in phenomenal. He moves better than most of his peers. He has a powerful game on all surfaces. Also he has continuously changed and improved his game to get better over the past 4 years.
    couldn't have hit the nail more squarely on the head. Oh, and he's only 23.
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."

  7. #22
    On points of fitness and unique forehand, i agree completely with you, but i don't think it's top notch at all. I mean, come on, it's nowhere near as potent as Del Potro or Gonzo's forehands, is it now?
    And on account of changing his game: Yes, he comes to the net slightly more often, and he does hit a few more winners, and he is trying to improve his serve. But he still more or less plays the same old, same old "I can run further and faster than you and hit the ball over the net more consistently than you, nee nur nee nur nee nur!" game.
    He's good. But their are guys who are better, and even on form, i doubt he'll ever reclaim the number 1 spot.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusEffect View Post
    On points of fitness and unique forehand, i agree completely with you, but i don't think it's top notch at all. I mean, come on, it's nowhere near as potent as Del Potro or Gonzo's forehands, is it now?
    And on account of changing his game: Yes, he comes to the net slightly more often, and he does hit a few more winners, and he is trying to improve his serve. But he still more or less plays the same old, same old "I can run further and faster than you and hit the ball over the net more consistently than you, nee nur nee nur nee nur!" game.
    He's good. But their are guys who are better, and even on form, i doubt he'll ever reclaim the number 1 spot.
    You're right, his forehand is not as potent as Gonzo's or Delpo's. Neither are Federer's, Murray's, Djokovic's or Davydenko's but they still win the tournaments. When did Gonzo last win a major tournament?

    The reason he is so dangerous is because his tactics are unique. They are no less effective than Gonzo or Delpo, just different. He forces you to match his consistency every shot of every match. If you can't do that, then you're not as good as him. Its as simple as that. In these modern days of power players, people are starting to neglect alternative styles of tennis. "Unless you have more powerful groundstrokes than the other guy you aren't as good" - that's bullshit is it not? Nadal made his mark by introducing a counter-tactic to unadulterated power. In many ways, Nadal is the smartest player around because he thinks "What is the problem with too much power? Inconsistency". He constantly hammers that weakness until you back down and his entire game is honed to carry out his tactics. the problem with his game (and it has only come to light recently) is the fact that if his body isn't in peak condition the whole time or he is out of practice, his game plan is completely corrupted.

    His forehand is still more powerful than most players except the real power players. He is not a power player, however, so why should he be compared to one?
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    You're right, his forehand is not as potent as Gonzo's or Delpo's. Neither are Federer's, Murray's, Djokovic's or Davydenko's but they still win the tournaments. When did Gonzo last win a major tournament?

    The reason he is so dangerous is because his tactics are unique. They are no less effective than Gonzo or Delpo, just different. He forces you to match his consistency every shot of every match. If you can't do that, then you're not as good as him. Its as simple as that. In these modern days of power players, people are starting to neglect alternative styles of tennis. "Unless you have more powerful groundstrokes than the other guy you aren't as good" - that's bullshit is it not? Nadal made his mark by introducing a counter-tactic to unadulterated power. In many ways, Nadal is the smartest player around because he thinks "What is the problem with too much power? Inconsistency". He constantly hammers that weakness until you back down and his entire game is honed to carry out his tactics. the problem with his game (and it has only come to light recently) is the fact that if his body isn't in peak condition the whole time or he is out of practice, his game plan is completely corrupted.

    His forehand is still more powerful than most players except the real power players. He is not a power player, however, so why should he be compared to one?
    It's funny how everyone thinks that his game is going to hell in a handbasket just because he is not dominating. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his serve nor his forehand. 99% of the people on this site wouldn't be able to return his forehand after the intial feed. I assure you that it is hit with tons of pace as well as spin. His serve is the same as it was when he won Wimbledon and the French. His main issue is that he has spent the past 5 years on tour and the newness and excitement has worn off. He has accomplished many of his goals and his motivation is probably half of what it used to be. He has a beautiful girlfriend who he focuses on quite a bit and he has more money than he can spend. He's able to do things that he has never done before and it is not the injury that got him. It's all of the fun and cool things he did while he was injured that probably creeped into his brain. The pressure and dedication it takes to being #1 in the world is tremendous. Constant travel and never being in one spot for more than a few weeks takes its toll. When he was injured, he got to hang out with friends, family, and his girlfriend. He went to places and enjoyed life. It probably affected his motivation tremendously. I truly believe that Federer's lack of an injury is what has allowed him to stay at the top. He has had no down time and really hasn't had a chance to realize all of the financial gains that he has made. Let him take a few months off and see if he comes back with the same motivation after spending two weeks in Fiji and Lake Tahoe without the pressure of winning and losing. Now add friends, family, and the ability to do that anytime he wants, and I can assure all of you that it would affect his ranking and he would probably just retire. Nadal looks tired mentally to me. He isn't smiling as much as he used to and I think he is starting to get the "Jim Courier" syndrome called burnout.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    99% of the people on this site wouldn't be able to return his forehand after the intial feed.
    Well, if 99% of the people on this site can't return his forehand then he MUST be on top form!!

    We're talking about people like Del Potro and Djokovic here, not recreational players! Whether you or I can return Nadal's forehand is neither here nor there.

    I think you should come up with a more solid argument if you want to convince us that there's nothing wrong with Nadal's game at the moment.

    On the issue of Nadal losing interest in tennis because the novelty of being a top player has worn off, I think it's unlikely. Nadal is more dedicated to the game than anyone else. If players lose interest so easily, how come Carlos Moya and Younes El-Aynaoui are still coming back for more? (They just qualified for Brisbane I think). What about Federer - he's broken every record in the book and he's not losing his desire to win grand slams.
    Last edited by AlexLogan; 01-03-2010 at 01:26 PM.
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    You're right, his forehand is not as potent as Gonzo's or Delpo's. Neither are Federer's, Murray's, Djokovic's or Davydenko's but they still win the tournaments. When did Gonzo last win a major tournament?

    The reason he is so dangerous is because his tactics are unique. They are no less effective than Gonzo or Delpo, just different. He forces you to match his consistency every shot of every match. If you can't do that, then you're not as good as him. Its as simple as that. In these modern days of power players, people are starting to neglect alternative styles of tennis. "Unless you have more powerful groundstrokes than the other guy you aren't as good" - that's bullshit is it not? Nadal made his mark by introducing a counter-tactic to unadulterated power. In many ways, Nadal is the smartest player around because he thinks "What is the problem with too much power? Inconsistency". He constantly hammers that weakness until you back down and his entire game is honed to carry out his tactics. the problem with his game (and it has only come to light recently) is the fact that if his body isn't in peak condition the whole time or he is out of practice, his game plan is completely corrupted.

    His forehand is still more powerful than most players except the real power players. He is not a power player, however, so why should he be compared to one?
    I absolutely agree with you - different styles of tennis shouldn't be discounted (i, for one, rejoice every time Federer serve-volleys) - but the fact is that Nadal's forehand is giving him trouble against players such as Del Potro - why? Because they're so tall, instead of his forehand causing them trouble, it ends up right in their wheelhouse - in fact, a major contributor to his problem is that he has abandoned quite a bit of spin for the sake of winner-potency over the years - with the result that his forehand is now neither really here nor there.
    Nadal's real problem is the emergence of a couple of players that can actually out-hit him consistently (6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to Del Potro on more than one occasion), Djokovic maturing, and Federer getting over himself. Although i dislike his style of play, i have genuine respect for him - but in spite of that i believe his glory days may very well be coming to a close.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    Well, if 99% of the people on this site can't return his forehand then he MUST be on top form!!

    We're talking about people like Del Potro and Djokovic here, not recreational players! Whether you or I can return Nadal's forehand is neither here nor there.

    I think you should come up with a more solid argument if you want to convince us that there's nothing wrong with Nadal's game at the moment.

    On the issue of Nadal losing interest in tennis because the novelty of being a top player has worn off, I think it's unlikely. Nadal is more dedicated to the game than anyone else. If players lose interest so easily, how come Carlos Moya and Younes El-Aynaoui are still coming back for more? (They just qualified for Brisbane I think). What about Federer - he's broken every record in the book and he's not losing his desire to win grand slams.
    Would it make more sense for me to say that he just can't play tennis anymore? He's just lost it. His serve sucks. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I've spent a lot of time around top tier tennis professionals and I for sure know that it is rarely a stroke that has gone awry that makes them fall apart. Usually it is a mental issue. Many times the issue is overtraining. When you reach the #1 spot there is a lot of weight on your shoulders and tons and tons of pressure. When he was injured and took time off, he was away from the media and the pressure. He relaxed and could actually enjoy himself during his time off. He's not had any time off in years. He's played top tier tennis for years now. It is terribly tiring. The traveling, practicing, eating right, and working out is crazy. Now add the different time zones, dealing with different cultures and their different foods. It goes on and on. On top of that he is trying to have a family life and keep a relationship going as well as find some down time where he can actually think. When he had time off, those worries were pushed to the side and he was able to relax and have a bit of a normal life. He has had to readjust more mentally than physically. His game is fine. His body needs a little time off. It's his head that I would worry about. He has trained for years to be the best and it takes its toll. I know Jim Courier very well. I saw what those 5 years of hardcore training did to him. Heck, call Bollettierri Academy and speak with Nick about it. He would gladly tell you that story. Courier's game didn't leave, his mind was tired. Del Potro, Djokovic, and other guys are still fighting for a chance at the top. Nadal has been there and done that. He needs to get his mind right and then his game will follow. To sit here and say he has lost it is quite funny to me.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    Well, if 99% of the people on this site can't return his forehand then he MUST be on top form!!

    We're talking about people like Del Potro and Djokovic here, not recreational players! Whether you or I can return Nadal's forehand is neither here nor there.

    I think you should come up with a more solid argument if you want to convince us that there's nothing wrong with Nadal's game at the moment.

    On the issue of Nadal losing interest in tennis because the novelty of being a top player has worn off, I think it's unlikely. Nadal is more dedicated to the game than anyone else. If players lose interest so easily, how come Carlos Moya and Younes El-Aynaoui are still coming back for more? (They just qualified for Brisbane I think). What about Federer - he's broken every record in the book and he's not losing his desire to win grand slams.
    I don't think you quite got it there. If you were to ask Del Potro or Djokovich what Nadal's problem was, they wouldn't say his forehand or his serve. They would say his mind. Nadal was a tennis prodigy and the pressure was tremendous. He is mentally tired. So for guys to sit here and say that his forehand is having issues and that he has a bad serve is hilarious. They are no different than they were when he was taking the #1 spot. Federer's game is no different. Nor is Djokovich's or Del Potro's. The one place that I think Nadal is different is that I think he is tired. He trains hard and works hard. He needs a break. However, he may love the break too much. He wasn't having issues before the injury. Extended time off can either be a blessing or a curse. The players have been complaining about the tour schedule anyway. Five years down the road, we or others will be having the same discussion about Del Potro or whoever.

  14. #29
    I agree with TK. In the matches Nadal lost, I could see that he wasn't putting everything into each point as he normally does. He seemed a hair slower than usual and didn't push himself to the limit chasing down shots. At that level, I suppose that would be the kiss of death. It seemed to me that he was fatigued physically and mentally. His forehand was still coming through like a kick serve - nothing was missing there!

  15. #30
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    To me Nadal's form now seems to be very good ! he beat both Federer and Soderling in the exhibition match last week

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