Nadal's Slippery Slope

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Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:30 am

Recently a thread was created based on Fed's chance to regain a #2 ranking with maybe a view to getting to number 1. It has been argued that Fed woudl not care much as his goal was winning slams 1st and foremost.

However I am pretty sure Nadal cares a lot about that number 2 spot, more than Fed in fact. He knows that surrendering that number 2 ranking would expose him sooner to Djoko which in turn coudl seriously affect his ranking points. Thanks to points accumulated on clay Nadal has avoided for years (2005-2011) to meet Federer in semis, giving for instance the chance many times to avoid guys like Nalbandian and Davydenko early in slams and tournaments when those guys were at number 3 or 4 and a threat. If he starts to lose in semis versus Djoko, he might find it very hard to hold on to his number 3 ranking and then other players might start to smell blood as Nadal can have tough matches in early rounds. From there might come the possibility of Nadal even meeting Djoko, Murray, Davydenko in earlier rounds even (1/4F) everytime affecting his ranking and possibly his motivation. Remember, he is making hard work of every win and that motivation, tenacity so essential to his game might finally wane. It will of course give him tough physical matches earlier in the tournaments reducing his chance to do well in the final stages.

Of course this clay season is going to be key for him to remain at number 2 but imo it's just a question of months before he starts sliding seriously, especially if he cannot accumulate enough points on clay which has been the surface that saved him all those years of much lower ranking. I remember once that taking his clay points away was taking him to number 8 or below in the ranking. I am pretty sure he will share the clay points this spring and that could simply be the beginning of the end for Nadal. He is aware of that more than anybody and withdrawing from MIami was a smart move. Fighting hard versus Murray and Djoko while not being sure to win was never going to be a good idea when considering what is at stake in the next few weeks. Rafa fans hold on tight to your seatbelts, it could be a tough ride from now.

You read it here first! Wink

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by laverfan on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:48 am

Any player at the top who starts losing matches early in tourneys has similar dilemma, like Federer or Murray. Wink

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:20 am

Nadal's best surface is clay, so if he starts losing on that surface of course he will slide down the rankings. It's not exactly earth-shattering to say as much.

Tell me, if Nadal was French would you be so bothered at his success?

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:22 am

Yes LF, it will happen to Federer soon too because of his age. But so far, Federer hardly even loses to lower ranked players and battles much less than Nadal. I don't envisage this to happen to Djoko and Murray any time soon...and they are doing well on all other surfaces.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by noleisthebest on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:24 am

Very interesting times, definitely.

Nole and Fed had their time of humble pie eating and came out of it great: Nole had to endure years of Fedal era and some hard losses, still kept going and believing, which is why he won't be going anywhere in a hurry from that top ranking: he worked sooooo hard to get there.
Fed, on the other hand, was in the wild woods when Nadal took his top spot and it took him a while to regroup, remember that: I always feel as a number one? statement from those days Whistle
Well, he kind of got over it, hired a coach and adapted his game, learnt to take the back seat in style. I respect that a lot.

Now, it's Nadal's time to show what he's made of.

The for years PR maintained "humble" facade has begun to crack and Nadal is showing signs of irritation. 7:0 from Nole last year has really crushed him.

He's ego is too big to take it lying down.
I expect a sizzler of a clay season Bubbly

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:27 am

Oh dear Tenez, have I been sent to Coventry?

I imagine ANY behaviour by a French player is excusable, so I ask again, if Nadal had had the good fortune to be born French, would you be celebrating his success?

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by HM Murdock on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:30 am

Part of this I agree with, part I disagree with.

If Nadal were to lose the number 2 ranking and therefore face the possibility of Djoko in a semi, then yes, I think it may become harder to regain the number 2 spot.

What I don't envisage is that will in turn lead to tumbling out of the top 4. This is because he already has to face the dangermen outside of the current top 4 (i.e. Tsonga, Del Potro, Berdych, Davydenko etc) earlier in the competition by virtue of their lower ranking. And, by and large, this hasn't proved a big roadblock, certainly not in the slams.


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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:45 am

HM Murdoch wrote:What I don't envisage is that will in turn lead to tumbling out of the top 4. This is because he already has to face the dangermen outside of the current top 4 (i.e. Tsonga, Del Potro, Berdych, Davydenko etc) earlier in the competition by virtue of their lower ranking. And, by and large, this hasn't proved a big roadblock, certainly not in the slams.

To me it's clear that losing that number 2 spot will have much more consequences for Nadal. His draws have been remarkably nice to him over the years. Yes I know it may appear strange to say something like that but it's a clear fact. Just look at the 2010 season. By slipping down to 3 or 4 will certainly reduce the luck part and will expose him more often to guys like Delpo, Tsonga, Berdych, and why not the new generation coming of age.

The important of that number 2 spot goes beyond Djoko.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Jeremy_Kyle on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:54 am

Yes sure, Nadal is under great pressure to perform during these incoming clay tourneys to defend the largest chunk of his ranking points. There are a lot of question marks regarding his injury, his competitivness over Djokovic on clay and his mental reaction to all those challenges. Surely of top 4 he is the one who will have more pressure on his shoulder, at least during the clay season.
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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:09 am

I don't see much trouble because of his knees. I simply do not believe it one second, especially in light of what I have read recently...from him.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:29 am

Perhaps it is just Nadal's Mallorcan spirit that you find so objectionable Tenez.

I agree that some of the stuff coming out of Nadal's camp is very suspicious indeed, however I find Djokovic's miraculous transformation to superman because of a "gluten-free diet" equally suspicious and don't see an endless stream of articles from your good self pointing this out!

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Positively 4th Street on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:22 am

Not convinced that the end is quite so nigh. Some wishful thinking by the OP perhaps? Sure, there will come a time when it happens, but that is hardly soothsaying.

Nadal's results on grass and hard courts have been pretty good over the past few years. Would be surprised if he dropped to 8 without his clay points at any point since 2005.

He has already shown his mettle by getting to finals in US and Australia to take on his nemesis again. Getting back to the top in 2010 also showed what he's made of.

Don't buy the weak draw stuff either. Can anyone be that lucky over years and years? More weak argument than weak draw.

Where I do agree is that the pressure is on Nadal during the clay season, but it has been before. I think he'll be fine.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by hawkeye on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:38 am

Tenez.

Huh! You stole my title.

http://www.606v2.com/t26220-nole-s-slippery-slope

But you've got the wrong player doing the sliding. He's managed to stay upright for Miami but still has quite a few obstacles in his way...

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:05 am

LOL! Yes you right. I did not do it on purpose though....but you will see soon that I picked the right player again.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by 10IS on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:06 am

Positively 4th Street wrote:Not convinced that the end is quite so nigh. Some wishful thinking by the OP perhaps? Sure, there will come a time when it happens, but that is hardly soothsaying.

Nadal's results on grass and hard courts have been pretty good over the past few years. Would be surprised if he dropped to 8 without his clay points at any point since 2005.

He has already shown his mettle by getting to finals in US and Australia to take on his nemesis again. Getting back to the top in 2010 also showed what he's made of.

Don't buy the weak draw stuff either. Can anyone be that lucky over years and years? More weak argument than weak draw.

Where I do agree is that the pressure is on Nadal during the clay season, but it has been before. I think he'll be fine.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:11 am

Positively 4th Street wrote:Don't buy the weak draw stuff either. Can anyone be that lucky over years and years?

Now, that is not objective and you know it!

You cannot say he has not been immensely lucky with draws. 2010 where he won his last 3 slams and 3 TMSs were simply a joke. When for a 1year and half Nalby was number 3, he never met him despite being number 2. He never met Davydenko in a slam while Fed met hot Davy 5 times in slams I believe.


Miami 12 was tough...but then he pulled out.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by hawkeye on Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:06 pm

Tenez

Your going back a bit to when Nalbandian was number 3. How old was Nadal then? To be fair Federer has only ever met Davydenko once in a slam since 2007. I don't think "hot Davy" turns up at slams.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:51 pm

hawkeye wrote:Tenez

Your going back a bit to when Nalbandian was number 3. How old was Nadal then? To be fair Federer has only ever met Davydenko once in a slam since 2007. I don't think "hot Davy" turns up at slams.

Yes he was young but he still won slams then. I remember the FO07 (or 06?) where Fed had to fight off a pretty hot Nalby who ended up retiring with a pulled muscle due to the very high intensity rallies. I have the feeling that this Nalby could easily have had Nadal that year....but other examples too.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:19 pm

One can imagine how different this line of argument would be if Nadal was un vrai francais.


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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by kemet on Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:59 pm

reckoner wrote:One can imagine how different this line of argument would be if Nadal was un vrai francais.


Lol, I don't think Tenez is going to take the bait. However, in answer to your question, I am sure you have observed that the French crowd at Roland Garros has been cool towards Rafa at best, politely applauding his winners at best, and antagonistic at worst. But then again, the Roland Garros crowd has never covered itself in glory in terms of deportment either.

I hope my answer helps somewhat.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:04 pm

kemet wrote:
reckoner wrote:One can imagine how different this line of argument would be if Nadal was un vrai francais.


Lol, I don't think Tenez is going to take the bait. However, in answer to your question, I am sure you have observed that the French crowd at Roland Garros has been cool towards Rafa at best, politely applauding his winners at best, and antagonistic at worst. But then again, the Roland Garros crowd has never covered itself in glory in terms of deportment either.

I hope my answer helps somewhat.

Of course he isn't kemet, lol, in light of his recent comments the position is so self-evident that the question almost becomes rhetorical!

Absolutely the crowd at RG are pretty disgraceful... all down to "Parisian spirit" apparently.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by hawkeye on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:37 pm

The french crowd at RG act so disappointed that their favourite player hasn't won. A few times when Nadal has recieved the FO trophy he's been made to look like a naughty schoolboy stealing sweets from that goody two shoes Federer... Wait a minute there's someone else that does their best to make poor Rafa appear like that right here on 606v2.

Nadal has been subjected to something similar at Wimbledon when he beats Murray. This time it's not the crowd that are dissapointed (they always appear happy enough) but the British tennis reporters. Once he was told immediately after leaving the court that "Andy was such a nice guy" and then asked if he sometimes "feels like letting him win". Nadal looked a bit confused and maybe even a little hurt...

It's funny that most of the players can handle defeat better than some of their fans.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:46 pm

hawkeye wrote:The french crowd at RG act so disappointed that their favourite player hasn't won. A few times when Nadal has recieved the FO trophy he's been made to look like a naughty schoolboy stealing sweets from that goody two shoes Federer... Wait a minute there's someone else that does their best to make poor Rafa appear like that right here on 606v2.

Nadal has been subjected to something similar at Wimbledon when he beats Murray. This time it's not the crowd that are dissapointed (they always appear happy enough) but the British tennis reporters. Once he was told immediately after leaving the court that "Andy was such a nice guy" and then asked if he sometimes "feels like letting him win". Nadal looked a bit confused and maybe even a little hurt...

It's funny that most of the players can handle defeat better than some of their fans.

Oh God don't remind me - the BBC and British players - truly cringe worthy. It used to be the case that tennis was a sport that transcended nationalities - we have football for all that jingoistic nonsense.


Last edited by reckoner on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : gram)

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Positively 4th Street on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:06 pm

Tenez wrote:
Positively 4th Street wrote:Don't buy the weak draw stuff either. Can anyone be that lucky over years and years?

Now, that is not objective and you know it!

You cannot say he has not been immensely lucky with draws. 2010 where he won his last 3 slams and 3 TMSs were simply a joke. When for a 1year and half Nalby was number 3, he never met him despite being number 2. He never met Davydenko in a slam while Fed met hot Davy 5 times in slams I believe.


Miami 12 was tough...but then he pulled out.

Nor was your original claim objective! I will grant you that 2010 was an odd year, but any player who is at the top long enough will get his share of fortune. 2009 at the FO and Wimbledon were strange too, and further back we had finalists like Baghdatis and Gonzalez, both of whom I like, who were not the toughest competition. I can easily dig out some numbers to compare the average rankings of the players faced by the top guys, overall and for each round; I doubt they will show a great bias.

Davydenko has a good record against Nadal, and a good game to match up against him. To extend this to saying he would have stopped Nadal in slams is a moot point.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by lydian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:08 pm

Its well known the French (not just Parisians) hate the Spanish...hence what we see on here, and at RG.
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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by JuliusHMarx on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:16 pm

Every French person hates every Spanish person???!!!

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by lydian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:22 pm

No, of course not, but the generalisation applies...you know, like its wetter in the north than the south...but it doesnt rain in the north all the time. Maybe its because so many Spanish players have won at RG down the years...lol (since 1992 there's been 16 spanish finalists)
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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by 10IS on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:37 pm

Positively 4th Street wrote:Nor was your original claim objective! I will grant you that 2010 was an odd year, but any player who is at the top long enough will get his share of fortune. 2009 at the FO and Wimbledon were strange too, and further back we had finalists like Baghdatis and Gonzalez, both of whom I like, who were not the toughest competition. I can easily dig out some numbers to compare the average rankings of the players faced by the top guys, overall and for each round; I doubt they will show a great bias.

Davydenko has a good record against Nadal, and a good game to match up against him. To extend this to saying he would have stopped Nadal in slams is a moot point.

Could not agree more with P4thS.

Also cannot see objectivity in making sad attempts to demean a 10 times grand slam winner's achievements by bringing up lame arguments like luck of draw and quality of competition/Davydenko. If this qualifies as objective argument, then what about some objectivity regarding Fed's competition? Roddick, hewittm safin etal. I guess that would be biased, subjective and uninformative.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by JuliusHMarx on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:51 pm

lydian wrote:...you know, like its wetter in the north than the south...but it doesnt rain in the north all the time.

Yes, it bloomin' well does!

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by lydian on Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:34 pm

lol...it feels like it at times JHM.
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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Positively 4th Street on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:08 pm

10IS wrote:Could not agree more with P4thS.

Also cannot see objectivity in making sad attempts to demean a 10 times grand slam winner's achievements by bringing up lame arguments like luck of draw and quality of competition/Davydenko. If this qualifies as objective argument, then what about some objectivity regarding Fed's competition? Roddick, hewittm safin etal. I guess that would be biased, subjective and uninformative.

OK 10IS. Clearly it cuts both ways, the vagaries of the draw affect all players along the way.

Clinging to Davydenko or Nalbandian as life rafts is a bit weak really. Nalbandian is a talented enigma, but I don't see that he would ever have got the better of Nadal at RG. Davydenko has seldom, if ever, shown the mental fortitude at a slam to knock out one of the top guys.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:09 pm

lydian wrote:Its well known the French (not just Parisians) hate the Spanish...hence what we see on here, and at RG.

I am afraid, this is plain wrong. No more than any nation would have prejudices against all its neighbouring countryies. France has many neighbours and those they tease most are the francophone ones. We have plenty of spanish people living in South of France and there is never any friction. We have supported Moya, Ferrero, Berasategui and Higueras and many other players.

Llodra is actually of Spanish origin and is very well integrated.

Spanish and Portuguese dislike each other much more....or worse Catalan versus the rest of Spain.


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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Positively 4th Street on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:13 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
lydian wrote:...you know, like its wetter in the north than the south...but it doesnt rain in the north all the time.

Yes, it bloomin' well does!

In the North-West, yes. Probably in Yorkshire too. Newcastle, however, is a glorious sun-drenched paradise but we don't like to let on and disprove the myth.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by gallery play on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:32 pm

Once this prediction will come true T Wink Not sure if it will be this year..
I agree though that if he slides down, he'll slide down fast. That's the scenario for grinders

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by noleisthebest on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:51 pm


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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:05 pm

gallery play wrote:Once this prediction will come true T Wink Not sure if it will be this year..
I agree though that if he slides down, he'll slide down fast. That's the scenario for grinders

Shush! Only you knows I have predicted that every year for the last 6! Wink


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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:09 pm

noleisthebest wrote:I still quite like my old question:

http://www.606v2.com/t18165-who-will-retire-first-federer-or-nadal

Yes, a valid question. I also think Federer will go down soon. i think he has 18 months in the top 4 then it's down the ladder. So in short he has 7 or 8 opportunities left to add slams. No more.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Henman Bill on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:28 pm

This article is what Tenez wants to happen, not what actually will.

Also the 2/3 thing for seeding is a slight touch overrated. Injuries and surprise results can mean #3 avoids #1 or #2 in the semi anyway.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:33 pm

Henman Bill wrote:This article is what Tenez wants to happen, not what actually will.

You want to bet?

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by invisiblecoolers on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:46 pm

I wish to see DP on Nadal's quarter in FO , an inform DP will coz an upset over the defending champion.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by gallery play on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:43 am

Tenez wrote:
gallery play wrote:Once this prediction will come true T Wink Not sure if it will be this year..
I agree though that if he slides down, he'll slide down fast. That's the scenario for grinders

Shush! Only you knows I have predicted that every year for the last 6! Wink


Did you? Can't remember.. Whistle
Wink


BTW: do you think Nadal won't win another slam? Because that basically comes along with this prediction

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Eskay on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:52 am

Sliding to number 3 has been more of a problem to Federer who will have to overcome Nadal in semis sometimes. At A.O this year, for example. Federer might prefer to meet Djokovic instead.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:58 am

That's a tough question. I would say as long as Djoko is healthy it's going to be tough for him. But I am aware than Nadal is playing as well as ever so any slip up from Djoko and will be there with a shot.

In short I don't know, certainly hope not. I feel more confident about his sliding down the ranking this year.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:03 am

Eskay wrote:Sliding to number 3 has been more of a problem to Federer who will have to overcome Nadal in semis sometimes. At A.O this year, for example. Federer might prefer to meet Djokovic instead.

Yes there was a good thread about this a couple of weeks ago...or so. But as mentioned I think it's going to be tougher for adal than Fed for now. I do not believe for instance than Nadal could beat Murray and Djoko in a row (semi/Final). In 2011 Murray did not quite deliver but I expect him to give Nadal much more trouble this year.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by hawkeye on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:29 am

Tenez. If anyone has a problem with Murray it's Federer and not Nadal.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:39 am

hawkeye wrote:Tenez. If anyone has a problem with Murray it's Federer and not Nadal.

That was true 3 years ago. Not now 5/2 Fed in their last 7 encounter!. Federer can win effortlessly v Murray (even if he can lose to him). Nadal cannot. He knows it's going to be a gruelling battle affecting his chance for the final if he gets through. I don;t think Nadal coudl have battle for 5sets and then give Djoko a tough time in the final like Djok did in the last AO. Djoko woudl have won 62 62 60 had Nadal battle it out for 5 set v Murray while Djok had shorter match and points v Federer.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by hawkeye on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:03 am

Tenez. If you are going to quote hypothetical scores from hypothetical matches you will "win" any argument...

As for Fed. I did say "if" anyone has a problem with Murray.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:27 am

I agree that if Nadal had to play that grueling 5 setter vs. Murray and then face Djo, he would have easily lost. But I also think Nadal is more likely to finish Murray before that. Djo for some reason just doesn't do it as soon. Match-ups maybe. So I don't think any of the top-3 has any real problem with Murray. Unless they bring the game like what Djo did in AO semis and in Dubai semis, Murray is never going to be a problem. Thats why having Murray in his half of the draw with a potential semi-final with him almost guarantees a final spot. Even with a decent day at the office, the likes of Berdych, Tsonga, Delpotro or even talented young upcoming players with good shots like Bellucci, Young have not much problem with him..







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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by gallery play on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:54 am

hawkeye wrote:Tenez. If anyone has a problem with Murray it's Federer and not Nadal.

I don't agree. Fed is relaxed against Murray, he knows it's completely on his racket. Imo Federer beats Murray 3 out of 4 times under all circumstances, maybe even more. Murray has to play he normally wouldn't do against any other player if he wants to beat Federer. That winning streak he had over Fed a few years ago, beating Fed the "Brad Gilbert way", is history. If he plays like that now he'll lag behind all the time.
Actually, the best change for Federer to win another slam is Murray to clean up the other side of the draw. And although it may sound strange but the fact that they get along better now is not working is Murray's favor. Fed beats up the guys he likes more easily.. Erm

Nadal has to be in top shape in order to beat Murray. If you take away the slam fit Nadal matches (let's say Rafa on clay and at the slams) their H2H is quite even. That said, Nadal has to be fully fit anyway to get some results



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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

Post by Tenez on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:16 am

Yes, very true GP.

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Re: Nadal's Slippery Slope

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