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 lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:18 am

BB your post above re leopard spots is not true in a couple of ways. Players of true talent can change their games...as Rafa himself has shown before. Nadal used to play differently than this...watch USO 2013 or Rome 2006 or Miami 2004...he has the ability to play up around the baseline. And yes he's sat deeper sometimes against harder servers but not all match like this returning mid court balls...he'd have been pulverised 10 years ago playing this way. It's not the new era of tennis because Cuevas isn't new era. It's what's - or what isn't - going on between his ears.
Coaches earn crust by bringing new input and training ideas...Toni isn't doing that nor do I see him capable of doing so. It's a 2 way issue...Toni coaching creds and Rafa motivation. But don't believe he hasn't got the talent to change because he has...but he has to want to change and see new light in doing so.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:27 am

Im sure you would all remember the time when I would champion Rafa's cause and take on the world and his wife in defence of the champion I knew him to be against all his critics.... but how it saddens me to know there is nothing left but to admit defeat and know that finally the time has come to walk away.
I like Lydian cannot watch another match hear another press interview without cringing ... when something has died Rafa the decent thing is to bury it or get  a bucket load of humiliation in consequence Crying or Very sad

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:28 am

Will Toni be coaching at Rafa's tennis academy?

At the rate this is going, who want to send their kids there to be coached by Toni, seeing how Rafa collapses and falling from grace.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:29 am

Yes he was sitting deeper and deeper as the little brittle confidence he has ebbed out of him...well that was certainly the case in the first set.

I again post this comment from another forum as it sums the situ up...

"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?"

It really is like he's forgotten how to play. Rafa shouldnt even need to play a new style - that's an issue for Djokovic etc - to beat Cuevas. The normal previous Rafa was good enough to mop up the South Anerican tour without hardly blinking.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:30 am

Rafa is doing a big disservice to his own tennis academy playing like crap like this.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:34 am

Yes Toni isn't enhancing his coaching creds here and I'm sure the point isn't lost on him either. At this rate Toni's own legacy is in jeopardy too! Hopefully this realisation might force the issue of change too!
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:37 am

Oh dear - another defeat against a player he would normally thrash. At this rate, Rafa hasn't a hope at the French.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:40 am

...you mean pre RG French Challenger SFP?

Surely something has to give here...the Nadal camp must be hounded with similar questions at each PR/media interview now. The situ is becoming untenable for Toni surely....surely...
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Guest on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:41 am

Rafa needs to adapt. Change is scary and I think if he can breakthrough that mindset because I believe what is holding him back is a reluctance to accept and embrace change and if that might be as a result of another coach, so be it. I admire his loyalty to Toni, but the winner in him needs to come out and make change.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 10:08 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Will Toni be coaching at Rafa's tennis academy?

At the rate this is going, who want to send their kids there to be coached by Toni,  seeing how Rafa collapses and falling from grace.

I think that is a bit harsh.. Toni has been the most successful coach of all time. But he has reached the point where he can do no more for Rafa but that is not to say he has not a wealth of expertise to pass on to the younger generation and if any one of them aspired to be half as good as Rafa then he has done a good job. So I say move on Toni your work with Rafa is done

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 10:10 am

Many players careers have been turned around by coach change. Look at how Lendl instilled belief into Murray and made him a slam winner, look at how Edberg breathed life into Federer who had been toiling, Look at the impetus Boris gave to Djokovic ....need I go on. At present Toni has no answers to Rafa's malaise and no fresh ideas - that being the case the decent and honourable thing to do is step aside.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:11 am

Rafa peaked early at young age, now all gone at a young age too.

His body is paying the price for his play style.

This is the end for him, but sure he can keep trying at these ATP250, I recommend he stays in Latin America and does not travel for Europe clay season at all.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:20 am

Toni has actually been open to the idea of a "super coach", i.e. addition to Toni not replacement, since October.
The problem for Rafa is that HE has to WANT to make the change.
However, I'm not convinced he:
a) realises the depth of the problem facing him that requires change
b) has the motivation to make or respond to changes
c) wouldn't know if an addition or replacement to Toni would work best
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:21 am

Nah, he was clearly uncomfortable out there with the humidity. He should play in Europe, there are many 250 clay events in Europe after Wimbledon.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:23 am

lydian wrote:Toni has actually been open to the idea of a "super coach", i.e. addition to Toni not replacement, since October.
The problem for Rafa is that HE has to WANT to make the change.
However, I'm not convinced he:
a) realises the depth of the problem facing him that requires change
b) has the motivation to make or respond to changes
c) wouldn't know if an addition or replacement to Toni would work best

Yes of course Rafa has to want change. I suppose he has to admit/realize where he is at the moment (going nowhere fast) before he can decide he needs a change. Going by some of his pressers he isn't exactly damning of his own form - dangerous thought process that.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:24 am

It's not his body - he's relatively fit as a fiddle at the moment, it's his mind paying the price for all the injuries/comebacks which have taken a huge toll on him...plus forcing himself to play through pain for many years when not out of the game. So re: my post above for me it's down to whether he's got the mental desire to "want it" anymore when all evidence currently points to that being a "no"...or at least a "don't know".
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:30 am

I do not understand this insistence that Rafa needs a new coach. If he were playing the same as ever but game around him changed beyond recognition then a coaching change might be required.

But that is not the case. In order to do well - at least on clay - Rafa does not need to reinvent himself. He just needs to go to where he used to be. His usual game would be easily good enough to demolish everyone bar Djokovic, and maybe good enough to even beat Djokovic.

He used to be able to execute that game with this same coaching setup before.

I am as puzzled as everyone by his steep decline, but that does not mean he needs a new coach. Andy, Roger, Novak, and just about everyone, bring a new coach when their usual gameplan does not work, not when they fail to play their usual game.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:39 am

I do feel Rafa may be wanting to quit, at least in his mind he may be thinking so, thats my opinion. Hence, he's adverse to changes, or to getting a new coach.

I have this strange feeling that he carries on now because of his endorsement obligations and is waiting for his academy to be in operation so that his team plus himself can have work to do at his academy after he retires from professional tennis. They are with him throughout his whole career so I think he feels obligated to take care of them after his tennis career is over.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:44 am

lydian wrote:At this rate his legacy is getting severely tarnished too...
I could not disagree more. I say it is a frustrated fan in you speaking.

Players cannot tarnish their legacy by not adding to it. They can improve it (preferably by winning more slams) but not tarnish it. It is the whole body of work that establishes a legacy. 14 slams is 14 slams regardless of whether Rafa is now losing in the early rounds or in the SF/F. You do not give up a victory previously won by going out in an early round later in the career.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:49 am

I understand Rafa has changed strings this year. It looks to me as though his forehand has much less kick than normal - so it's just sitting in players' hit zones now. Could that be due to the strings?

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:59 am

BS, that is interesting. I did not know that. If so, I would find it surprising. When he was talking about changing racquets last year I was under the impression (I believe I read it somewhere) that he was looking to add even more kick to his shots.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 12:06 pm

summerblues wrote:
lydian wrote:At this rate his legacy is getting severely tarnished too...
I could not disagree more.  I say it is a frustrated fan in you speaking.

Players cannot tarnish their legacy by not adding to it.  They can improve it (preferably by winning more slams) but not tarnish it.  It is the whole body of work that establishes a legacy.  14 slams is 14 slams regardless of whether Rafa is now losing in the early rounds or in the SF/F.  You do not give up a victory previously won by going out in an early round later in the career.

I totally agree with this. thumbsup

Even if he were to have a year or two of mediocre and shock results this doesn't eradicate 14 slam wins and nine French Opens. A few years down the line that is what people remember.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by It Must Be Love on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 12:25 pm

1/ I think he should keep Toni.

2/ His main issue seems to be timing on his groundstrokes. It's not even when the ball is travelling at pace (where timing is the most difficult)... it's any ball, he can miss slow second serve returns standing 30 metres back

3/ His reaction to this is to hit the ball with less depth to keep margins, but he whenever he does try to push the ball a bit deeper he frequently mishits it, so again this many unforced errors too

4/ His serve return position is dictated by how confident he's feeling. It's a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. If he was playing well, he could probably win easily even returning from that deep.

5/ Summerblues is right that this does not rally tarnish Nadal's legacy. I think most people, Nadal fans and haters alike, would accept Nadal is playing worse than ever; and many predicted this sort of thing to happen to Nadal earlier. His career length has not been incredible, but not been bad so far either, given he won first slam when quite young.

6/ His best surface is hard now, not clay (taking normal speed hard court). I've been saying this for past few years. He's not playing well now so maybe it wouldn't make a difference which surface he plays on right this moment.

7/ Relating to point 2, his confidence on the down the line forehand is totally gone. In a few crucial moments in the match he went for silly drop shots instead of taking the forehand down the line.

8/ He can hit with a lot more power than he does... people always get confused with topspin and claim Nadal plays with huge power. He actually plays with huge restraint on his power. It was funny, in the second set Cuevas served a let, and Nadal then casually hammered a forehand down with the sort of pace and power Cuevas couldn't generate if he tried. Nadal's problem is not lack of ability to power, but can be lack of utilisation of that power, especially when his confidence is gone.

9/ I disagree with BLB that he's about to retire or has given up. He's going to keep fighting. Obviously he can't get back to his best, but I do think he can potentially improve significantly on how he's playing today. Sport is not that predictable.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by It Must Be Love on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 12:27 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I understand Rafa has changed strings this year. It looks to me as though his forehand has much less kick than normal - so it's just sitting in players' hit zones now. Could that be due to the strings?
His new strings were put in place to generate more topspin. Maybe you've got the impression as he's tending to drop the ball shorter, and then even with the kick and spin, it gives opponents time to adjust and get in the right position to deal with the ball. When Nadal is hitting that forehand deep, it's still a very effective shot.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 12:28 pm

summerblues wrote:BS, that is interesting.  I did not know that. If so, I would find it surprising.  When he was talking about changing racquets last year I was under the impression (I believe I read it somewhere) that he was looking to add even more kick to his shots.

https://www.merchantoftennis.com/blogs/strings/104350919-rafa-nadal-changes-strings-for-2016

Some explanation given here. Does seem an odd move.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 1:07 pm

lydian wrote:It's not his body - he's relatively fit as a fiddle at the moment, it's his mind paying the price for all the injuries/comebacks which have taken a huge toll on him...plus forcing himself to play through pain for many years when not out of the game. So re: my post above for me it's down to whether he's got the mental desire to "want it" anymore when all evidence currently points to that being a "no"...or at least a "don't know".
Many players force themselves to play through the pain of injuries, I think that Nadal has rather burned out and doesn't have the same enthusiasm and adrenaline he used to have. Tennis is funny though he could turn up and somehow beat everyone in Indian Wells Run
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 1:12 pm

IMBL, I certainly hope you're right, that Rafa is not quiting anytime soon, for I think he can improve if he has the desire to do so.

Some interesting points you made. I do agree that HC ( medium paced) is his best surface now. He's trying to be more aggressive and hits flatter shots on the HCs, I feel that may have affected his game on clay. He tends to overhit when hitting it flat DTL (in the match).

He's not hitting his topspin FH well these days, hitting short topspin balls, a matter of timing or caught between hitting it flat or with topspin? At the Abu Dhabi exho, he was hitting some flat penetrating shots with power, esp against Raonic. He was serving well there too. Its strange that his serve has deteriorated so much in just a few weeks.

Rafa and his team is not revealing much info and so we can only guess...

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 1:45 pm

Its esp disappointing to see Rafa playing so well at Abu Dhabi (the court there looked quicker than the AO) hitting with power, pace and depth; served and returned well - that means he really has the game to play good tennis - but couldnt bring it when it mattered, at the tour matches.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 2:40 pm

summerblues wrote:
lydian wrote:At this rate his legacy is getting severely tarnished too...
I could not disagree more.  I say it is a frustrated fan in you speaking.

Players cannot tarnish their legacy by not adding to it.  They can improve it (preferably by winning more slams) but not tarnish it.  It is the whole body of work that establishes a legacy.  14 slams is 14 slams regardless of whether Rafa is now losing in the early rounds or in the SF/F.  You do not give up a victory previously won by going out in an early round later in the career.

Of course it won't tarnish his legacy - I was being tongue in cheek, and yes an exasperated fan too. But of course it can't erase a lifetime of success with Rafa from the age of 4 to late 20s.

But joking apart I do think Toni has ran out of ideas, as has Rafa. Expecting the same results from the same old approach used to be defined as the definition of madness...so what changes?

I don't think the strings are the cause of his woes...he's been dropping the ball short for some time now, mainly because he's camping at the back of the court and his lack of confidence makes him lean back when playing a shot (a common error in club players even) which makes him "top" the ball more so it drops short. For further example, a change of strings would not be the reason why he keeps hitting his FH into the net. When you're nervous and lacking confidence at tennis you lean backwards rather than moving and putting all your weight forwards, the subsequent knock effect on your shots is immeasurable - power loss, shortness and slower to the next ball as weight moving backwards. Look at how many FHs he's not following through properly on now, I was watching that in amazement last night.

I believe he made 27ish UEs on his FH...the side that's means to be arguably the best FH in ATP history.

For me it's all linked to a lack of confidence. And that lack of confidence is really eating away at his anxiety...bearing in mind his nervous OCD tics are a form of anxiety too. This underlying trait which used to be his strength (perfectionism is everything) is now his undoing.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by summerblues on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 5:23 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:I do agree that HC ( medium paced) is his best surface now.
I do not know about that. Rafa has always been best on clay and I think he still is. In his last four slams, the French is the only one where he made QF. His Masters results last year were also far better on clay than on HC.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by TRuffin on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:08 pm

summerblues wrote:
Belovedluckyboy wrote:I do agree that HC ( medium paced) is his best surface now.
I do not know about that.  Rafa has always been best on clay and I think he still is.  In his last four slams, the French is the only one where he made QF.  His Masters results last year were also far better on clay than on HC.

His best on clay is his only path to beat djokovic and be the top of any part of the Atp calendar. If his best is now hc, then he has major problems because he's not within sniffing distance of djokovic on hc, and falls behind others on the list of consistent contenders on hard court.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:26 pm

Who says he's going to beat Novak?

He did reach SFs and Fs on the HCs at end of last year losing to Novak(2), Fed(1), Stan(1) and Tsonga(1) - all the top guys. He's not much better on clay losing to Novak (2), Murray (1), Fognini (2) and Stan(1).

He did reach the QF of AO last year, same as the FO. This year has just started and he reached the final of Doha losing to Novak whilst he only managed a SF at a clay 250 event losing not to Novak but to Thiem....

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by TRuffin on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:36 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Who says he's going to beat Novak?  

He did reach SFs and Fs on the HCs at end of last year losing to Novak(2), Fed(1), Stan(1) and Tsonga(1) - all the top guys.  He's not much better on clay losing to Novak (2), Murray (1), Fognini (2) and Stan(1).

He did reach the QF of AO last year, same as the FO. This year has just started and he reached the final of Doha losing to Novak whilst he only managed a SF at a clay 250 event losing not to Novak but to Thiem....

If he can't beat djokovic and best he can do js reach sf and finals at a few hard court tournaments losing to "all the top guys", then he's done as a threat to titles. That's the point. As many of his fans are now saying- if he doesn't think he can win titles, then this slump is going to continue to snowball and he will fade away. He knows and his team knows that clay is where his stand has to be.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 11:39 pm

He's also losing on clay hasn't he?? In fact he's playing worse on clay than on the HCs now!

Unless he's turning things around, he's not going to last long, clay or no clay.




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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by hawkeye on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 8:48 am

Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence. Nadal delayed his arrival in BA until Monday and played sick on the Tuesday or Wednesday playing on clay for the first time since last summer. In BA the heat index was off the scale indicating that it was dangerous. In both tournaments Nadal found himself playing matches in the middle of the night and in Rio played in rain on courts that were soaked. Throughout both tournaments Nadal looked sick as a dog and to my eyes looked as if he had lost weight (the sickness was described as a stomach problem...).

So probably not ideal conditions to recover confidence. Brave try though. I would like to see how Federer and Djokovic would have coped with the same challenge devil Perhaps for Nadal after surviving BA and RIO playing in IW will be a doddle Very Happy

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Belovedluckyboy on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 8:51 am

Hopefully Rafa can turn things around at IW where there's no humidity issue and probably no rain issue?

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Haddie-nuff on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:21 am

Im sorry but I seem to be missing something here, I might often be accused of being naïve, but not thick.
Im going to jump in before any of the anti Nadal brigade do
Are these conditions not the same for every player?
Has Rafa not played and Buenos Aires and Rio before so is well aware of the humidity factor I would have thought
Would you be so tolerant of these "explanations" had it not been about OUR favourite player.?
Sorry Im not buying. You had better hope that he can do a better job at IW otherwise you are going to be collecting a few egg

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Guest on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:50 am

hawkeye wrote:Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence. Nadal delayed his arrival in BA until Monday and played sick on the Tuesday or Wednesday playing on clay for the first time since last summer. In BA the heat index was off the scale indicating that it was dangerous. In both tournaments Nadal found himself playing matches in the middle of the night and in Rio played in rain on courts that were soaked. Throughout both tournaments Nadal looked sick as a dog and to my eyes looked as if he had lost weight (the sickness was described as a stomach problem...).

So probably not ideal conditions to recover confidence. Brave try though. I would like to see how Federer and Djokovic would have coped with the same challenge devil Perhaps for Nadal after surviving BA and RIO playing in IW will be a doddle Very Happy

The significance of the BA and Rio defeats is important from the point of view that if he is dropping off on Clay which is without a doubt he strongest surface, to many of his fans this points to a decline. I don't see the relevance of bringing Federer or Djokovic into this discussion as they are not struggling for form, even at lower level tournaments on their preferred surface.

I think post RG will tell us if he is any closer to recapturing any form or whether this is a permanent decline.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by TRuffin on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:55 am

hawkeye wrote:Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence. Nadal delayed his arrival in BA until Monday and played sick on the Tuesday or Wednesday playing on clay for the first time since last summer. In BA the heat index was off the scale indicating that it was dangerous. In both tournaments Nadal found himself playing matches in the middle of the night and in Rio played in rain on courts that were soaked. Throughout both tournaments Nadal looked sick as a dog and to my eyes looked as if he had lost weight (the sickness was described as a stomach problem...).

So probably not ideal conditions to recover confidence. Brave try though. I would like to see how Federer and Djokovic would have coped with the same challenge devil Perhaps for Nadal after surviving BA and RIO playing in IW will be a doddle Very Happy

The guys who beat him played under the same conditions.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by banbrotam on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 12:20 pm

hawkeye wrote:Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence. Nadal delayed his arrival in BA until Monday and played sick on the Tuesday or Wednesday playing on clay for the first time since last summer. In BA the heat index was off the scale indicating that it was dangerous. In both tournaments Nadal found himself playing matches in the middle of the night and in Rio played in rain on courts that were soaked. Throughout both tournaments Nadal looked sick as a dog and to my eyes looked as if he had lost weight (the sickness was described as a stomach problem...).

So probably not ideal conditions to recover confidence. Brave try though. I would like to see how Federer and Djokovic would have coped with the same challenge devil Perhaps for Nadal after surviving BA and RIO playing in IW will be a doddle Very Happy


You forget to mention that he was injured when Murray beat him in Rotterdam in 09' and the Aussie Open the following year Whistle

Why don't we just asterix all Nadal's defeats and be done with it picard

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by bogbrush on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 2:19 pm

hawkeye wrote:Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence. Nadal delayed his arrival in BA until Monday and played sick on the Tuesday or Wednesday playing on clay for the first time since last summer. In BA the heat index was off the scale indicating that it was dangerous. In both tournaments Nadal found himself playing matches in the middle of the night and in Rio played in rain on courts that were soaked. Throughout both tournaments Nadal looked sick as a dog and to my eyes looked as if he had lost weight (the sickness was described as a stomach problem...).

So probably not ideal conditions to recover confidence. Brave try though. I would like to see how Federer and Djokovic would have coped with the same challenge devil Perhaps for Nadal after surviving BA and RIO playing in IW will be a doddle Very Happy
Bloody weird the way the conditions were so much easier on the other side of the net, and stayed that way after each change of ends!

Very odd weather they have down there.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lags72 on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 3:57 pm

hawkeye wrote:Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence.............................................................

...............................................................


Personally I think it was flawed from the start and you can't help but wonder who came up with such a crazy plan.

And as for that hot weather .....well ..... it's the very last thing you would expect in South America at this time of year.

Rafa is a professional tennis player after all ; so where on earth did he get the idea of entering back-to-back professional tennis tournaments ??  And on clay of all surfaces ..... where he has never felt truly comfortable.

Any fool (including me) could have advised Rafa that a much better way to restore on-court confidence and get match practice would have been to fly back to Majorca and go fishing.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by hawkeye on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 4:47 pm

TRuffin wrote:
hawkeye wrote:Losing in Australia was a huge disappointment but it's difficult to understand why losing in BA and Rio is seen as significant. It was understandable that Nadal wanted to get some matches after his early AO loss but playing two back to back tournaments in dreadful conditions with crazy schedules was not the best way to restore confidence. Nadal delayed his arrival in BA until Monday and played sick on the Tuesday or Wednesday playing on clay for the first time since last summer. In BA the heat index was off the scale indicating that it was dangerous. In both tournaments Nadal found himself playing matches in the middle of the night and in Rio played in rain on courts that were soaked. Throughout both tournaments Nadal looked sick as a dog and to my eyes looked as if he had lost weight (the sickness was described as a stomach problem...).

So probably not ideal conditions to recover confidence. Brave try though. I would like to see how Federer and Djokovic would have coped with the same challenge devil Perhaps for Nadal after surviving BA and RIO playing in IW will be a doddle Very Happy

The guys who beat him played under the same conditions.  

Theim and Cuevas beat him but they didn't play sick, fly in at last minute, get the midnight slots or were they looking for confidence after a big loss. I was being serious when I wondered how Federer or Djokovic would have coped with the SAME challenge. But win or lose I would have recognized that the challenge wasn't just about hitting tennis balls and if they had lost I would have given them the same understanding as I'm giving to Nadal. In fact I believe most would have just said Pfft! they were sick.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by hawkeye on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 4:48 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:Im sorry but I seem to be missing something here, I might often be accused of being naïve, but not thick.
Im going to jump in before any of the anti Nadal brigade do
Are these conditions not the same for every player?
Has Rafa not played and Buenos Aires and Rio before so is well aware of the humidity factor I would have thought
Would you be so tolerant of these "explanations" had it not been about OUR favourite player.?
Sorry Im not buying. You had better hope that he can do a better job at IW otherwise you are going to be collecting a few egg

Haddie. We all have to be careful not to upset the ante Nadal brigade Wink

It was a combination of factors and I think I've described them a few times and yes I would be more tolerant if other players were to play in the same circumstances. I've given the example of Federer and Djokovic in my previous comment. Rafa struggled in South America that was clear but he faced the challenge and fought and I can only see that as brave. He still has two arms, two legs and one of the best tennis brains ever so I can't see any reason to count him out. Winning IW would be a stretch but I also believe that not winning something big again would also be a stretch. Just checking his recent activity from the ATP site and picking out some of Rafa's recent wins against players considered to be a threat. The last time Rafa played Ferrer, Murray, Wawrinka, Anderson, Rosol, Gasquet, Cilic, Dimitrov, Raonic, Karlovic, Isner, Berdych and even Fognini he beat them. He took Federer to three sets on his home favorite indoor court in their only meeting in 2015. Beating Djokovic at the moment appears to be tricky for everyone but if Rafa can get to him he will have a shot.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 5:01 pm

temp21, stop deleting my very thoughtful and energy consuming posts!! steam
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by JuliusHMarx on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 5:03 pm

Jahu wrote:temp21, stop deleting my very thoughtful and energy consuming posts!! steam

It wasn't temp.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by Jahu on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 5:06 pm

JHM, hi chief.

Good day Smile
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by socal1976 on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 6:57 pm

Could it also be that Rafa's style that was so unique in 2005-08 is not quite as damaging and or as unorthodox? I think player's today are more easily able to cope and are more used to seeing the level of spin Nadal imparts on the ball. It doesn't have to do with Uncle Toni. For one thing Nadal is injury prone for reasons others have listed. After awhile the cycle of rehab and injury takes its toll on anyone. I think if he doesn't turn it around this year he will pack it in.

Nowadays more players are hitting with huge weight of shot and therefore are more comfortable in handling the high altitude and high rpm shots Nadal generates. Plus he doesn't like to stand in on the baseline on the return or really during rallies, preferring to stalk in like panther when he has already the advantage just to finish you off. The players who play deep behind the baseline as their default style generally are not productive late in careers. I am thinking of borg, wilander, and now Nadal himself. Even baseliners who have long careers and better durability like Novak, Agassi, Connors etc. where their default position is to get up to the line as tight as they can as early as they can especially on return.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by TRuffin on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 8:25 pm

socal1976 wrote:Could it also be that Rafa's style that was so unique in 2005-08 is not quite as damaging and or as unorthodox? I think player's today are more easily able to cope and are more used to seeing the level of spin Nadal imparts on the ball. It doesn't have to do with Uncle Toni. For one thing Nadal is injury prone for reasons others have listed. After awhile the cycle of rehab and injury takes its toll on anyone. I think if he doesn't turn it around this year he will pack it in.

Nowadays more players are hitting with huge weight of shot and therefore are more comfortable in handling the high altitude and high rpm shots Nadal generates. Plus he doesn't like to stand in on the baseline on the return or really during rallies, preferring to stalk in like panther when he has already the advantage just to finish you off. The players who play deep behind the baseline as their default style generally are not productive late in careers. I am thinking of borg, wilander, and now Nadal himself. Even baseliners who have long careers and better durability like Novak, Agassi, Connors etc. where their default position is to get up to the line as tight as they can as early as they can especially on return.

bingo.

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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

Post by lydian on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:07 pm

Sorry I don't buy this hackneyed argument about the game moving on. Nadal has lost some bad matches...Brown, Rosol, Cuevas, etc...but none of these guys are exactly game changers are they??? Yes Kyrgios is a good talent but I'm not fawning over him like some are...and again I don't see he's pushing the boat out...he reminds me for a newer Tsonga in some respects. No...Nadal's losses are down to his own loss of confidence not amazing play from latest style tennis merchants...sure he needs to flatten his game out but that's a general point as he's getting older to play less attritional style. Let's face it...85% "normal" Rafa would beat these guys. His spin isn't at the same level it used to be, his racquet head speed appears less to me, more loopy and less follow through...probably due to loss of confidence in fully committing to the shot and some bad habits creeping in.

Socal, you then talk about Borg being deep behind the baseline...I advise you to actually watch his matches before using him as an obvious example to fit your pre-determined point. Watch Borg vs McEnroe 80 or 81, or vs Connors 77 all when grass was quick...he's up near the baseline and often inside it. Same for USO 81 when he played McEnroe then. Shall we examine Wilander too...your argument doesn't hold water. Borg and Wilander retired for reasons other than being ground out by their own so called deep style...they just had enough of the tour and had personal aspects ongoing on...Wilander wanted more time with family and Borg had well published marital problems.

The problem for Rafa is simply a lack of confidence and/or motivation. If he was anywhere near full flowing, his present style is still good enough to reach slam finals and win lesser events. Technique changes in the game are overstated in my opinion. All that's really changed in the game in recent times (last 10 years) is
A) further slowing of courts resulting in big hitting (which Nadal is more than capable of...as discussed before Nadal murders the ball in practice...ask any pro)
B) better strings which give better returns and easier spin whilst flat hitting
C) slower tennis balls (they're bigger since ITF respecified them...think 2006/7...can't quite remember).

Otherwise I see no evolution of the game technique-wise. Sure guys are hitting flatter but that's not technique, that's a style approach. The issue here is that Nadal refuses to change his approach.

Look, 14 time GS winners (Nadal would have probably won 2GS as recently as 2014 but for a crick-neck in AO final) don't suddenly get overtaken by the game when still 29 yo...it's plainly obvious its a massive confidence issue...nothing more, nothing less. He needs new input from a coach who can recapture his imagination and re-fire his desire to try new things, including hitting flatter as he does in practice...he just needs confidence and rediscovery of his tennis mojo to do so!!! Of course, he's been playing tennis at high ATP level since 2003...it's not exactly an issue of longevity as socal tries to relate to Borg and Wilander who were around 50% of the time Nadal has been.
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Re: Rafa gets wild card for Buenos Aires

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