Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

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Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 7:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

http://www.canindia.com/djokovic-insists-nadal-still-remains-king-of-clay

What is your opinion ??  Do you agree or is Novak just being patronising ?
Over to you socal

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by bogbrush on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 4:25 pm

More than anyone, Nadal never walked onto a court with anything less that total commitment to winning every point. That's how he's won 14 Slams plus loads more.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 4:37 pm

hawkeye wrote:It doesn't work like that. Rafa doesn't have to win BA or Rio to do well later in the year. Rafa doesn't need excuses because he's proved what he can do. If he didn't believe he could win big again I doubt he would be working so hard to make it happen. He still has the same two legs, two arms and tennis brain that he's always had and like you say he is still 29 (not prime but in today's tennis landscape prime enough) which is enough to make him a credible contender in any tournament.

Also Ferrer , for the first time ever in BA to Almagro. Not sure how Federer would have coped with the conditions in BA. Didn't he play two smaller clay court tournaments after losing to Stakhovsky in the 2nd round of Wimbledon in 2013? Lost in the semi's of one to Delbonis (ranked 114) and in his first match of the second to Brands (ranked 55).

Oh for JHC sake wake up and smell the coffee.. I am more of a Rafa fan than anyone on this forum.. but he has never, not ever, in all the time I have supported him used anything for a reason for his losses, other than his own shortcomings.
This to me is an indication of where he is mentally. he does not know why he is in demise anymore than anyone else.. he is clutching at straws and so are you.  Kid yourself not,RAFA DOES NOT LIKE TO LOSE AT ANYTHING, his friends say he is a sore loser.. he HAS TO WIN even if its a game of tiddlywinks.. wake up HE we are speaking of the man we both support ... he is a great player and is and always will be the best in my mind.. but the person we are now watching is Not RAFA NADAL. Before you tell me anymore about the reasons for his losses... tell me  HOW HE IS GOING TO WIN.
Otherwise end of conversation

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 4:38 pm

bogbrush wrote:More than anyone, Nadal never walked onto a court with anything less that total commitment to winning every point. That's how he's won 14 Slams plus loads more.

thumbsup On THAT at least you and I agree

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by hawkeye on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 4:43 pm

bogbrush wrote:More than anyone, Nadal never walked onto a court with anything less that total commitment to winning every point. That's how he's won 14 Slams plus loads more.

Well that's the myth. But Nadal knows as much as any player that tennis doesn't work that way. Nadal has been the best at winning the points that matter that's how he's won so many matches. He's won 14 slams plus loads more because he understands how the game works. Losing to Verdasco was a huge disappointment. Losing in BA less so. Just the same as it was a bigger disappointment for Federer to lose to Stakovsky in the 2nd round of Wimbledon than it was to have those little hiccups in consecutive smaller tournaments.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 5:02 pm

hawkeye wrote:
bogbrush wrote:More than anyone, Nadal never walked onto a court with anything less that total commitment to winning every point. That's how he's won 14 Slams plus loads more.

Well that's the myth. But Nadal knows as much as any player that tennis doesn't work that way. Nadal has been the best at winning the points that matter that's how he's won so many matches. He's won 14 slams plus loads more because he understands how the game works. Losing to Verdasco was a huge disappointment. Losing in BA less so. Just the same as it was a bigger disappointment for Federer to lose to Stakovsky in the 2nd round of Wimbledon than it was to have those little hiccups in consecutive smaller tournaments.

ErmHeadscratchHeadscratchHeadscratch

Its cocktail hour here in Spain, and I must have had one too many G an T's  Rolling Eyes ...excuse me are we talking of the same Rafa Nadal I have been watching since he was 18 yrs old....the way Nadal has won his 14 GS is that he simply does not know how to lose as BB says his total commitment to win every point as though it was a match point is what his success has been built on, why did they call him THE BULL, THE GLADIATOR, HE he does not know HOW TO LOSE. This is the dilemma he has.. Toni taught him, that losing should not be in his mindset.  Nothing short of winning is acceptable stop deluding yourself.. ..The man we are watching is NOT RAFA NADAL.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 6:14 pm

Great thread, turned into who is a bigger Nadal fan Laugh
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Guest on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 6:28 pm

Well you have one Rafa fan talking sense and the other in some world of her own that is far detached from reality and had Nadal down to win 2 HC slams this year!

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 6:31 pm

Yeah, the other fan feels like an dumped ex wife of Nadal moaning about past love Laugh

(Hope HN has blocked me this time and not just say it Laugh )
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 6:54 pm

Someone tell me .. when does that child Jahu actually leave school Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 7:01 pm

HN, so you did not block me?

Hahahah,

School ends on 13 June, just checked Smile


Last edited by Jahu on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 7:11 pm

Blocked again stuffed a sock in his trap the plonker

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 7:13 pm

Don't lie, you dream of me and Rafa every night Laugh
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by socal1976 on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 10:27 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:Well you have one Rafa fan talking sense and the other in some world of her own that is far detached from reality and had Nadal down to win 2 HC slams this year!

Yes, we know that HE has been detached from reality for quite sometime. We may all have our biases and favorites or players we don't like and harp on occasionally. But, HE is a standard deviation or two beyond typical lunacy of a fan (myself included) in that. People are entitled to their own opinions but I think HE has taken cherry-picked facts to level that what she tries to portray as analysis has long since crossed the line to propaganda. She hates Murray, isn't very fond of Djokovic, likes Federer a lot but not as much as her favorite Nadal. The entire world of facts that would go against any of those biases for HE does not exist, but any glimmer that reinforces her warped view of reality is grasped and presented, as if I may say "the Holy grail" of the week threads she typically does in favor of Nadal, while subtly or not so subtly throwing dirt on Djokovic and Murray. Its all too predictable unfortunately.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by socal1976 on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 10:30 pm

I tend to agree with Haddie here in the discussion clearly something has happened to Nadal in the last 18 months or so where he has fallen completely off since winning the FO of 2014. And the thing that is really disconcerting is that he seems to be getting worse with the passage of time. In the past he would come back from injury and quickly return to the top. And for awhile last year it looked like the worst was over and that he was getting better. But now with recent form it is tough tell if his modest gains of late last year was a false dawn or not.

Also agree with Haddie that no matter what happens nothing can tarnish the fact that he is the best clay courter ever and one of the very, very short list of best players in the open era. Top three at this stage certainly in my opinion.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 10:41 pm

So it's you bashing HE cause of the Egg chamber Djoko thread, and siding with HN, but somehow poorly sugarcoating it with Nadal best clay etc etc?

Cheap wife talk revenge here socal, siding between 2 ladies Laugh
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Wed 17 Feb 2016, 12:19 pm

Nadal always brings his best effort...but lately that best effort is not enough. His head has been all over the place and clearly Toni isn't helping this. But lets stop talking about Rafa past and focus on Rafa future...!
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by HM Murdock on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 12:10 pm

Interesting interview with Francisco Roig about Rafa:

Part 1
http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Francis-Roig-Nadal-is-tense-He-has-enthusiasm-but-sometimes-its-not-enough-articolo30291.html

Part 2
http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Francis-Roig-Weve-to-try-to-win-against-Murray-and-Federer-If-Rafa-drops-down-hell-retire-articolo30309.html

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 12:48 pm

Nothing there that is any way a surprise to any realistic Nadal fan
If hopes could become wishes and wishes came true it would be a different story. But Im not blinkered to the realities Smile
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it "

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 1:12 pm

I watched Nadal vs Almagro last night and it was a horrible match...it was a case of who made the least errors. On this occasion it was Almagro...he was truly woeful, otherwise Nadal could have lost to anyone in the top200 playing the way he was. Its unbelieveable watching him at times, no power, short balls, spraying wide, lack of bite on the serve...just what the hell has happened to him, he's playing like a club player at times. Its a sorry sight...and I'd wish he'd retire than play like this...from this evidence his tennis brain and drive has completely gone...but he still seems to want it...or maybe looks are deceiving and he's just going through the motions. There's no way he's winning Rio like this, or any other tournament and I'd even include Challengers in that. Come on Rafa, grow a pair for goodness sake...!!!! steam steam steam
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by bogbrush on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:01 pm

Agreed; El Mugro did what he always did even when he much higher ranked than he is now, but Rafa was all over the place

I think what's apparent is how so many players now seem to think they can just hit through him.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:13 pm

Agreed on players hitting through him...the problem is that his shots are dropping SO short that they can hit through him. If he hit the ball flatter then they would go deeper too. As I wrote yesterday apparently in practice he hits a very flat ball, so he can hit through them instead...we know the power he has at his disposal given he's built like a tank...so when is the penny going to drop that he has to start using that power rather than spin...!

I still cant believe how bad Almugro was last night though...unbelievable. At 5-4 serving for the first set Rafa went on the customary wobble...he'd been cruising most of the set then when it mattered he went down 0-40 immediately. All his own faults...nothing Almagro did. So what did Almagro do...make 3 U/Es to hand the set back to Rafa. Woeful. It was more of the same in the 2nd...they had 5 consec breaks of serve then Rafa served for the match. At 15-30 down Almugro then made 3 UEs to hand the match to Rafa. Again, woeful and Almagro lost that match, not Rafa winning it.

I just read this comment after an official write up of the match on ATP Tour site...back up what I've been saying, here goes:

"I just don't understand Nadal. This is a 14-time grand slam champion. Not a novice newbie who doesn't know how to play tennis. So why does Nadal keep doing everything he knows he shouldn't do and everything he never did before. Why does he keep standing so far back to receive serve and leaving such a big open court for an opponents to bludgeon the ball into? Why does he hit his balls so short into the court that even a junior player will destroy such short ball? Why doesn't he replicate what he does in practice by hitting deep flat balls with pace? Does this guy have amnesia or something?"


BB - this is why guys are hitting him off court. Its because time and again Rafa is setting them up with huge gaps and short balls whilst he continues to clean the court cover at the back with the back of his t-shirt. Even I could hit winners against Rafa right now! steam
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by bogbrush on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:09 pm

Yeah, I agree.

There is a trend in the game to hit harder too, so more players are playing that game. Plus, like sharks they smell blood......
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by hawkeye on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:27 pm

lydian wrote:Agreed on players hitting through him...the problem is that his shots are dropping SO short that they can hit through him. If he hit the ball flatter then they would go deeper too. As I wrote yesterday apparently in practice he hits a very flat ball, so he can hit through them instead...we know the power he has at his disposal given he's built like a tank...so when is the penny going to drop that he has to start using that power rather than spin...!

I still cant believe how bad Almugro was last night though...unbelievable. At 5-4 serving for the first set Rafa went on the customary wobble...he'd been cruising most of the set then when it mattered he went down 0-40 immediately. All his own faults...nothing Almagro did. So what did Almagro do...make 3 U/Es to hand the set back to Rafa. Woeful. It was more of the same in the 2nd...they had 5 consec breaks of serve then Rafa served for the match. At 15-30 down Almugro then made 3 UEs to hand the match to Rafa. Again, woeful and Almagro lost that match, not Rafa winning it.

I just read this comment after an official write up of the match on ATP Tour site...back up what I've been saying, here goes:

"I just don't understand Nadal. This is a 14-time grand slam champion. Not a novice newbie who doesn't know how to play tennis. So why does Nadal keep doing everything he knows he shouldn't do and everything he never did before. Why does he keep standing so far back to receive serve and leaving such a big open court for an opponents to bludgeon the ball into? Why does he hit his balls so short into the court that even a junior player will destroy such short ball? Why doesn't he replicate what he does in practice by hitting deep flat balls with pace? Does this guy have amnesia or something?"


BB - this is why guys are hitting him off court. Its because time and again Rafa is setting them up with huge gaps and short balls whilst he continues to clean the court cover at the back with the back of his t-shirt. Even I could hit winners against Rafa right now! steam

All are entitled to opinions but finding a random comment attached to an article on a tennis site isn't convincing as a back up Wink

As far as I remember Rafa didn't win 14 slams by hitting deep flat balls with pace. He was/is better than that.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Guest on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:36 pm

hawkeye wrote:
lydian wrote:Agreed on players hitting through him...the problem is that his shots are dropping SO short that they can hit through him. If he hit the ball flatter then they would go deeper too. As I wrote yesterday apparently in practice he hits a very flat ball, so he can hit through them instead...we know the power he has at his disposal given he's built like a tank...so when is the penny going to drop that he has to start using that power rather than spin...!

I still cant believe how bad Almugro was last night though...unbelievable. At 5-4 serving for the first set Rafa went on the customary wobble...he'd been cruising most of the set then when it mattered he went down 0-40 immediately. All his own faults...nothing Almagro did. So what did Almagro do...make 3 U/Es to hand the set back to Rafa. Woeful. It was more of the same in the 2nd...they had 5 consec breaks of serve then Rafa served for the match. At 15-30 down Almugro then made 3 UEs to hand the match to Rafa. Again, woeful and Almagro lost that match, not Rafa winning it.

I just read this comment after an official write up of the match on ATP Tour site...back up what I've been saying, here goes:

"I just don't understand Nadal. This is a 14-time grand slam champion. Not a novice newbie who doesn't know how to play tennis. So why does Nadal keep doing everything he knows he shouldn't do and everything he never did before. Why does he keep standing so far back to receive serve and leaving such a big open court for an opponents to bludgeon the ball into? Why does he hit his balls so short into the court that even a junior player will destroy such short ball? Why doesn't he replicate what he does in practice by hitting deep flat balls with pace? Does this guy have amnesia or something?"


BB - this is why guys are hitting him off court. Its because time and again Rafa is setting them up with huge gaps and short balls whilst he continues to clean the court cover at the back with the back of his t-shirt. Even I could hit winners against Rafa right now! steam

All are entitled to opinions but finding a random comment attached to an article on a tennis site isn't convincing as a back up Wink

As far as I remember Rafa didn't win 14 slams by hitting deep flat balls with pace. He was/is better than that.

Says she who uses a random US site to claim a "HC" sweep that no-one else done!

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 12:49 am

Thiem misfiring a lot against Ferrer early on. He is not patient enough.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 1:02 am

Thiem breaks back.  He steadies the ship, continues with his heavy hitting, but cuts down on the errors.  Keep it up.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 1:12 am

Pretty impressive turnaround from Thiem.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by socal1976 on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 2:03 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:http://www.canindia.com/djokovic-insists-nadal-still-remains-king-of-clay

What is your opinion ??  Do you agree or is Novak just being patronising ?
Over to you socal

To be honest the way Rafa played in last year's quarterfinal and in recent meetings having difficulty winning a set leads me to believe that Nadal probably isn't the biggest challenge to Novak on clay this year. If last year's straight set win and the recent poor H2H had not happened I would agree with Novak. I think Novak's toughest competition will be Stan because he can take the racquet out of his hands. Still a lot of time left between now and RG so it also depends on the form of the players involved. But if I had to pick one player right now I wouldn't want to play on clay it would be Stan. He is the defending champ and beat Novak last year after all.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 2:04 am

I missed most of the second set but it looks like Thiem did quite well. He won 6:3, 6:2, having been down 1:3 in the first set.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 3:51 am

If Thiem continues like this, he may be the next king of clay. He may be the one challenging the top guys on clay at the FO and the Masters. He moves and slides well on clay and hits hard from both wings CC and DTL. I am thinking how does he compare to Fed on clay during Fed's heydays. I think he will threaten Novak on clay going forward.

Back to Rafa, I noticed that he wasnt sliding into his shots, something he used to do so well in the past. It seemed to me he's playing his HC game on clay these days and looked confused as to when to hit topspin and when to hit it flat. He's probably trying to play a more aggressive game on ALL surfaces and still trying to get it right on clay.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 6:21 am

BLB@


Back to Rafa, I noticed that he wasnt sliding into his shots, something he used to do so well in the past. It seemed to me he's playing his HC game on clay these days and looked confused as to when to hit topspin and when to hit it flat. He's probably trying to play a more aggressive game on ALL surfaces and still trying to get it right on clay.

What also made him good  is that like you say he used to slide into his shots but he could do it on either foot . His whole game looks confused you get the odd brilliant shot like his fh down the line.. but sometimes he choice of shot is unbelievably bad. His overall game is predictable where once before you could not read him..  It all comes back to the confidence issue again imo Its as though he has forgotten  everything that  made him the great player he was Headscratch

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 8:28 am

To me he's lost tennis mojo and isn't thinking like he used to. There's clearly something serious going on inside his head. He's hardly playing top 30 tennis at the moment. His positioning is all wrong, his FH has lost its spin and venom, his serve lacks bite and his anticipation isn't there either. He's like Bambi on ice out there.

Anyway, he didn't have to play Dolgo who retired before the QF with a shoulder injury. So Rafa meets Cuevas in the semis, a match he would have previously walked but who knows now, every match is loseable!

BLB, yes good for Thiem but don't you think Ferrer winning only 1 more game after being 3-1 up is a trifle suspect? Them played an excellent match but Ferrer was also tired after his exhausting match in the heat/humidity 24 hrs earlier. Still Thiem is one to watch and I bet Rafa will want a return match!
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 8:50 am

Lydian what do you think of Rafa not sliding on clay anymore? Was it because of his legs, or he's not comfortable sliding on the wet clay (or maybe he feared hurting his legs again?)

I really feel that he's now playing on clay like its on the HCs. What irony, when in the past, he was playing his clay court game on the HCs! Now its the other way round.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 12:28 pm

Hmmm...where is the evidence that he's stopped sliding? I saw him sliding into deep BHs vs Almagro. His footwork is still pretty good if you watch him run around BHs on the BH side to hit those cross court FHs but yes maybe he doesn't want to put pressure on the knee like he used to. Or maybe the game has moved on and tournaments like RG are putting less top dressing on the surfaces than yesteryear. To me this isn't the biggest issue, not even in the top issues even if we assume he's stopped sliding. For me it's:

1. Lack of insight into meeting modern challenges of the game
2. Poor court positioning - sat far too deep (which results in all manner of issues inc short FHs)
3. Less racquet head speed on serves and FHs (confidence issue)
4. Keeping on Toni and Roig when he needs to move on
5. Mental brittleness in crunch moments - lack of self-belief

In short, he needs new coaches, a sports psychologist and to start believing in himself.

Very interesting article on Rafa here btw: http://tennischannel.com/steve-flink-nadal-is-still-fighting-to-get-back-to-glory/

Finally, this is HOW humid and hot it is in Rio...Rafa signing autographs after his last Rio match...this is also why Ferrer ran out of gas (after his previous 2.5hr match) vs Thiem. Rafa loves heat but not humidity like this!

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 1:30 pm

1) he's working to play a more aggrressive game, also flattening his shots; still a WIP.

2) his court position on the clay courts has always been such. His court position on HC OTOH is much closer to the baseline. In the past that's not an issue but now as he's not sliding into position that often, he has problem covering the court.

3) I suspect his serve is affected by his back issue. He was serving well during Abu Dhabi so I guess playing atp matches, unlike exhos, made him nervous esp when there's the time limit of 25 secs. His FH was pretty fine at Abu Dhabi, so again its nerve that caused him to misfire.

4 & 5) He's not going to change his coaches. They do know his problems. I doubt a new coach can help much unless given more time; what Rafa needs is someone who can calm him, reassures him and reminds him who he is.

Yep, Rafa doesnt like humidity. Humidity plus heat really can do him in as he sweats alot and so gets dehydrated quicker than some others do.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 1:33 pm

mmmm but there is no one who likes that kind of humidity. surely Headscratch

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 1:41 pm

I should say 'hates humidity'; I'm sure many if not all, hate humidity.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Born Slippy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 11:48 pm

Thiem beaten very easily by Pella. So Rafa has Cuevas and Pella standing between him and the title. I think he should probably win from here!

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 2:46 am

Got back home from dinner, turned the TV on, just to see Rafa lose 2nd set TB.  I don't know whether he has been poor tonight or Cuevas good, but it looks like this is another oddly difficult match for Rafa.

But even so, and even with these struggles, his results this year are still worthy of a top 10 player of thereabouts.  He is far behind where he used to be, but not as far back so that he would feel like returning to winning ways is out of the question.  If he keeps plugging away, who knows - his form may be back to normal-ish come French Open.  Unlikely he will be #1 favorite going to the FO, but I would still say he is #2 favorite - even on his current performances.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 3:18 am

Just checking the scores. It looks like Rafa is losing this. Sigh... maybe its better he ends this torture for himself and for us.

Rafa please stops going to SA clay swing anymore, its doing more harm than good for his confidence. Perhaps losing to Thiem when having MP is a sign of things to come. If he cant even win a 250 on clay, he's not going to win clay title anymore.

If he continues playing like this, I wont be surprised he wont be winning any title on any surface this year.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 3:25 am

Rafa still in it. At 3:5 15-40, on Cuevas's MP, Rafa won the point with the help of a netcord. Living dangerously....

BLB, Rio is a 500 tournament. But I know what you mean.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 3:30 am

Wow, Cuevas serves it out. 3.5 hours and three long sets, but Rafa is out to a nobody. On clay. Strange times.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 3:34 am

summerblues wrote:I would still say he is #2 favorite - even on his current performances.
I should clarify this a bit.  I would obviously not have Rafa as #2 favorite purely on current performances.  What I mean is that on the combination of his current performances and knowledge of what he has done at RG in the past, I have him as #2 favorite.

I.e., while his game is currently not the 2nd best clay court game; he is not so far behind that someone with his clay pedigree would have no way to turn it around.

Still, very odd.  If anything, he is playing worse than this time last year, which is something I never expected.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 3:34 am

I cannot say I am not enjoying it....Wink

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:17 am

It is  like having my skin rubbed raw by piece of sandpaper
I don't know what grates me more, watching him play like an amateur or listening to his comments after every match. he loses.... who is he trying to fool, himself or the rest of us.. please Rafa stop paying it lip service, do what you know you have to do. New coach or new career steam

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:56 am

Probably new career! At least he still has hope to be the flag bearer for Spain one last time at the Olympics this year. Hope they grant him this wish.

I think its not only denial but his heart and mind are no longer there on the tennis court, maybe just waiting for Olympics and then may call it quit.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 8:29 am

Even those Rafa fans who were still adamant he still has it has to be asking questions now. At the moment Rafa is a shambles compared to what he was - it is akin to watching a drunken bum of an actor who once worked on Oscar winning films but is now reduced to working in dingy back-street theatres as he forgets his lines.

He is going nowhere fast and when you are on that route in any warp of life changes are needed to shake things up. If his heart and spirit is still in tennis then the change he definitely needs is in the coaching department. Toni has to be binned or asked to step away from him but only Rafa can do this and make this decision - he has to be forceful and tell Toni it is not working and he needs fresh input to give him a new outlook on tennis who can bring freshness to his game. Someone who can spot things to work on and improve and I am sure Rafa could get the very best coach in the world on board. The time for change is now Rafa - change or risk your career going southwards.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 8:58 am

I watched the first set last night and the only word I can summon is abject. I saw him win a horrible 1st set on a close TB that as usual required opponent errors. Rafa even went 3-0 up in 1st set and I thought "oh game on here..." only for him to customarily panic at being in the lead and unfold before my eyes. Even after he won the first I went to bed thinking I wouldn't be surprised if Rafa lost this one...and on waking this morning he didn't disappoint. Such is my expectation of defeat these days.

I watched Cuevas closely...he's nothing special, just a solid clay courter. It's not like he's a new breed or playing the game differently compared to clay courters from 10-15 years ago. Rafa of 2013 and before would eat guys like this 6-1 6-1. The match was again on Rafas racquet last night too but the errors, the choice of shot, the court positioning, the lack of tactical nous, the brain-dead approach in general just left me almost screaming at the TV for the real Nadal to stand up. This isn't even about beating Djokovic anymore...that's way off scale...this is about being able to beat even simple canon fodder. And right now he probably can't win a challenger. It's horrible to watch...what the hell has happened to this 14 GS winner? I don't know this shadow of a player, I can't feel sad about this guy because it's not "Rafa"...

In 2016 his tally is 8-4 for 4 events and hasn't yet beaten a top 50 player. This is the guy who had winning H2Hs against every player in the top 100! This fall from grace is truly spectacular and Toni needs to start hanging his head in coaching shame...Rafa will not fire him due to family bonds despite everyone saying Rafa must pull the trigger. If Toni wants the best for Rafa he'll do the decent thing and recognise he can't help this situation where a fresh overhaul is needed and simply throw the towel in. Otherwise Nadal's career is over. At this rate his legacy is getting severely tarnished too...like an aging former heavyweight champ punch-drunk boxer losing from one back street ring to the next.

I mean...Rafa was stood 15 feet behind the service line to return 80mph 2nd serves ...then returned then mid court down the middle only to watch Cuevas bang them into the corners. That's how you make journeymen players look good. Until Toni makes a self imposed change in the coaching dept I ain't watching anymore of Rafas matches because its tantamount self flagellation and I don't want my forehead callouses to get any bigger steam


Last edited by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by bogbrush on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 8:59 am

This idea that Toni holds him back isn't borne out by his career. Nadal has developed his game many times - and was this nothing to do with Toni?

In my opinion - and I've been saying this for almost two years now - Nadal is caught by a development of the game where people are hitting harder and taking initiative, forcing him to play riskier tennis, and his own physical decline. I totally accept he is plain playing badly, I'm not trying to say the game has moved past him or anything stupid like that.

I haven't seen any options for him to change because it's not like he has the game to go to that Federer opted for. At heart he's a deep lying clay courter whereas Federer started his life serve & volleying so has something to go back to that's been part of him. What he could do as an 18 year old isn't an option now, but that's his roots. Hard to develop a new game he's never played.

I didn't see the match, thoughreading Lydians account above it sounds painful, made more so by it lasting so long!
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by bogbrush on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:07 am

Just noticed something. Cuerves wins on 1st serve by set are 15/26, 21/27 and 17/17.

Is it correct to think Nadal was going further back as the match progressed?
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

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