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Rafa confirms he was past best by 2012

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Post by bogbrush Fri 03 Jul 2015, 6:51 am

I said it at the time (as did Lydian), but yesterday Rafa has confirmed what all keen students of the game knew; by 2012 he had passed his peak.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/33374936

"I don't know if I'll be back to the level of 2008 or 2010".


That said, the decline is accelerated by the effect of being pulled up for time violations. Despite still being in reach, he has speeded up and now can't get the rest time to clear those big muscles. This means he now gets fatigued normally and loses his greatest weapon, the attritional relentless hammering play. Without this he's under much more pressure to be aggressive and makes the errors other players have been making against him.
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Post by kingraf Fri 03 Jul 2015, 7:25 am

Reading I think his talking about his grass court levels? Hardly a revelation when you look at his grass court results 2011-2015
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Post by HM Murdock Fri 03 Jul 2015, 7:41 am

Of course he his past his best. It is as clear as day and completely normal given his age and history of injury.

I'm surprised at how many people are saying that Rafa will get back to his best. The belief that a player in his 30th year, suffering from loss of form and confidence, will return the level of his mid 20s seems very optimistic to me.

I think Federer is to blame for some of this. Winning Wimbledon in 2012 and getting back to the higher rankings has made too many people think that he is still at his best and that people are just catching him up.

From this follows the idea that players are generally still pushing big titles in their 30s. After RG, I was amazed at how many people were saying that Novak has 3 or 4 more good chances to win.

If Federer had faded away and/or retired like the rest of his generation, I don't think this silly view would have taken hold.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 03 Jul 2015, 8:14 am

Lol - he just mentioned the two years he won Wimbledon and is clearly referring to grass court form. His play in 2013 generally was clearly his highest level. He may well not get back to that level now - he is 29 and has suffered numerous injuries. However, he fairly obviously wasn't declining in 2012-13.

The TV point is also nonsense, as shown by his total domination of 2013 when enforcement was at its highest.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 03 Jul 2015, 9:19 am

HM

The reason some of us think Nole and Murray could still be at or near the top of the game in 3 or 4 years time is not that they will be playing at their peak level (arguably both are pretty close now), but that if they have a slow decline like Federer, there is still a big gap in quality to any younger challengers (noting that many of their challengers currently are contemporaries). Of course there's the possibility of the new generation of players stepping up, but do you really see a 28 year old Raonic or Nishi as being substantially better than a 31 year old Djokovic or Murray?

As for Rafa, I think it was widely accepted that his form last year (pre injury) was a bit down on previous years - Djokovic looked to have his number on clay but Rafa scraped past him at RG. However, the difference from first half 2014 to first half 2015 has been huge - Rafa has gone from being one of the top 3 players to edge of the top 8 and much less consistent than he has ever been in his career.

Rafa's game was always based on 3 elements - competitive attitude, speed of court coverage and groundstrokes, particularly the forehand, that were both aggressive and reliable. At the moment he takes a swing on the forehand and doesn't know if it will be a good one or will be short and sit up (although unlike earlier in the year I didn't see him miss many long against Brown), his speed of movement is still good but it is not the phenomenon that it used to be, and as a result his confidence is shot - his body language still shows the competitive instincts are there, but he simply doesn't have his game in a place where he can rely on it.

Of course we were to some extent in a similar position with Murray last year - really struggled to find his game on return from injury and having missed his off-season training. Given this last off-season, Andy has come back to a very high level. The difference though was between a 27 and a 29 year old, the latter of whom has a lot of 'miles on the clock'. My expectation then is that Rafa may make something of recovery by the end of this year and into next, but that he'll be more like Rafa 2014 than Rafa 2010 or 2013.

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Post by temporary21 Fri 03 Jul 2015, 9:34 am

He said past his grass best. This is again incorrect.

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Post by temporary21 Fri 03 Jul 2015, 9:40 am

He wasn't past it two years ago and tbh I'm not sure he was even past his best in 2013. This is referring to his grass form.  Sorry mate but what you said yesterday still doesn't make any sense

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 03 Jul 2015, 9:50 am

dummy_half wrote:HM

The reason some of us think Nole and Murray could still be at or near the top of the game in 3 or 4 years time is not that they will be playing at their peak level (arguably both are pretty close now), but that if they have a slow decline like Federer, there is still a big gap in quality to any younger challengers (noting that many of their challengers currently are contemporaries). Of course there's the possibility of the new generation of players stepping up, but do you really see a 28 year old Raonic or Nishi as being substantially better than a 31 year old Djokovic or Murray?
Dummy, there are two main reasons that I do not expect to see Djoko and Murray winning slams in 3 years time:

1) Players winning slams at 30+ is incredibly rare. Federer has only managed it once. Agassi managed it a couple of times but that was 12 years ago. It is the exception rather than the rule.

2) It's based on the idea that the way things are now is a good guide to the future. Tennis rarely pans out that way. Who saw the emergence of Djokovic coming? Who would have predicted Rafa dominating American hard courts in 2013? Who would have predicted Stan being a two time slam winner?

Your point about the generation born 1989-1991ish has merit and it seems likely that they may end up being a lost generation unless one of them does a Wawrinka.

Of more relevance is the fact that when Djokovic and Murray are 31, the generation of Kyrgios, Kokkinakis etc will be 23-24ish and there may even be another generation starting to break through.

I'm certainly not wishing for Novak and Andy's decline but if they are still the top contenders in 3 years' time, that really will be sad for tennis. It will have become stagnant (it arguably already has).

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Post by Guest Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:12 am

HM Murdoch wrote:
dummy_half wrote:HM

The reason some of us think Nole and Murray could still be at or near the top of the game in 3 or 4 years time is not that they will be playing at their peak level (arguably both are pretty close now), but that if they have a slow decline like Federer, there is still a big gap in quality to any younger challengers (noting that many of their challengers currently are contemporaries). Of course there's the possibility of the new generation of players stepping up, but do you really see a 28 year old Raonic or Nishi as being substantially better than a 31 year old Djokovic or Murray?
Dummy, there are two main reasons that I do not expect to see Djoko and Murray winning slams in 3 years time:

1) Players winning slams at 30+ is incredibly rare. Federer has only managed it once. Agassi managed it a couple of times but that was 12 years ago. It is the exception rather than the rule.

2) It's based on the idea that the way things are now is a good guide to the future. Tennis rarely pans out that way. Who saw the emergence of Djokovic coming? Who would have predicted Rafa dominating American hard courts in 2013? Who would have predicted Stan being a two time slam winner?

Your point about the generation born 1989-1991ish has merit and it seems likely that they may end up being a lost generation unless one of them does a Wawrinka.

Of more relevance is the fact that when Djokovic and Murray are 31, the generation of Kyrgios, Kokkinakis etc will be 23-24ish and there may even be another generation starting to break through.

I'm certainly not wishing for Novak and Andy's decline but if they are still the top contenders in 3 years' time, that really will be sad for tennis. It will have become stagnant (it arguably already has).

Some interesting points HM.

I think yes we tend to take things at face value at this moment in time because there is such a divide between the top players and the rest of the field. I don't think it's a case of not seeing Andy or Novak winning in their 30's as an impossibility. Sampras, Federer, Agassi are the exception, but I think Tony Jacklin summed it up beautifully in a documentary about Jack Nicklaus when he remarked that Jack once said "I find that the Majors are easiest to win because most of the field don't believe they can win it" that is what for me seperates the the serial winners on tour compared with the others.

BB has a point. Nadal comes back from a 7 month lay off and sweeps the field in 2013. With a hampered Federer and Murray and plus an out of sorts Djokovic. That helps massively from a psychological stand point. If some of the players outside that bracket had any belief like the top guys do, they would win Slams.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:24 am

temporary21 wrote:He wasn't past it two years ago and tbh I'm not sure he was even past his best in 2013. This is referring to his grass form.  Sorry mate but what you said yesterday still doesn't make any sense
Oh I see, there's a different kind of tennis that means you can be at your very best (back to the day when you were able to play 10 sets in two finals against probably the best player ever) but losing to ordinary players? Still winning on clay and hardcourt, but suddenly past it on grass.

That's absurd.
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Post by banbrotam Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:27 am

HM Murdoch wrote:
dummy_half wrote:HM

The reason some of us think Nole and Murray could still be at or near the top of the game in 3 or 4 years time is not that they will be playing at their peak level (arguably both are pretty close now), but that if they have a slow decline like Federer, there is still a big gap in quality to any younger challengers (noting that many of their challengers currently are contemporaries). Of course there's the possibility of the new generation of players stepping up, but do you really see a 28 year old Raonic or Nishi as being substantially better than a 31 year old Djokovic or Murray?
Dummy, there are two main reasons that I do not expect to see Djoko and Murray winning slams in 3 years time:

1) Players winning slams at 30+ is incredibly rare. Federer has only managed it once. Agassi managed it a couple of times but that was 12 years ago. It is the exception rather than the rule.

2) It's based on the idea that the way things are now is a good guide to the future. Tennis rarely pans out that way. Who saw the emergence of Djokovic coming? Who would have predicted Rafa dominating American hard courts in 2013? Who would have predicted Stan being a two time slam winner?

Your point about the generation born 1989-1991ish has merit and it seems likely that they may end up being a lost generation unless one of them does a Wawrinka.

Of more relevance is the fact that when Djokovic and Murray are 31, the generation of Kyrgios, Kokkinakis etc will be 23-24ish and there may even be another generation starting to break through.

I'm certainly not wishing for Novak and Andy's decline but if they are still the top contenders in 3 years' time, that really will be sad for tennis. It will have become stagnant (it arguably already has).


Novak came to prominence, during 2007, in a far more impressive manner than any of the current youngsters. Yes, he won a slam - but it was stiil took another four years before even he put it all together

Murray was equally as good then (2007) as the current young crop are now - but again is was still four years before he became a regular favourite for slams. In some ways his much discussed slow progress (to a slam) is actually now the norm

Their lack of success, during this 2007 to 2010 period, when they were definitely the younger pretenders, was basically due to having Roger and Rafa above them. This has made them far more better than they probably would have been without these two, as they had to get better and then better again. Let's be honest here Roger's a freak, anyone questioning his GOAT status, needs their head examining. But there was then Rafa as well!!

In other words, I've always thought that us fans of Novak and Andy, in the grown-up interests of fairness, greatly underestimate just how much better they are than their peers or those younger than them

I can see both winning slams up to the age of 32, simply because both have this great attitude of been open to anything (legal Very Happy ) if it means getting better. Of course Murray does his back in again and this becomes fantasy talk

I'm convinced that in 20 years we'll be waxing lyrical at how fantastic all these four players have been

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Post by banbrotam Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:36 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:[BB has a point. Nadal comes back from a 7 month lay off and sweeps the field in 2013. With a hampered Federer and Murray and plus an out of sorts Djokovic. That helps massively from a psychological stand point. If some of the players outside that bracket had any belief like the top guys do, they would win Slams.


Now you've stopped writing nonsense about how great the serve is (or whatever you were saying Wink ) we're back to largely agreeing with each other Very Happy

Of course, it's the belief. Murray expects to win Wimbledon. Tsonga would see it as a great event if he reached the SF's. Roger would see it as failure if he loses the SF

No prizes for guessing which of one of them are not multi-winners of Slams and Masters

It really is that simple. Even Kygorious, has a beaten look when he plays Murray - that's not going to be turned around in the space of two years, to utter dominance

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:39 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:I think Tony Jacklin summed it up beautifully in a documentary about Jack Nicklaus when he remarked that Jack once said "I find that the Majors are easiest to win because most of the field don't believe they can win it" that is what for me seperates the the serial winners on tour compared with the others.
I haven't heard that quote before but I think there is a lot of truth in it.

The top players benefit enormously from their 'aura'. There are a lot of players who have lost a lot of matches to Feder-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray and that must create a lot of mental baggage. It becomes ever harder to get over the finishing line.

Two things happen with the passing of time though.

One is that the top players eventually begin to lose and that aura starts to crumble. It's happened with Federer and it's now happening with Nadal. It will happen with Novak eventually too. When 'lesser' players get their noses in front in a match, they know there's a chance of staying there. The fear factor declines.

The second thing that happens is that eventually a new generation arrives which doesn't have the long history and battle scars from the top players. There is less in their experience to fear. The older generation, having already lost the physical advantages of youth, eventually lose the advantage of reputation too. It becomes harder to win.

There's no way of knowing exactly when this will happen to Djokovic and Murray but if it hasn't happened in the next three years, I will be surprised.

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Post by Guest Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:42 am

banbrotam wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:[BB has a point. Nadal comes back from a 7 month lay off and sweeps the field in 2013. With a hampered Federer and Murray and plus an out of sorts Djokovic. That helps massively from a psychological stand point. If some of the players outside that bracket had any belief like the top guys do, they would win Slams.


Now you've stopped writing nonsense about how great the serve is (or whatever you were saying Wink ) we're back to largely agreeing with each other Very Happy

Of course, it's the belief. Murray expects to win Wimbledon. Tsonga would see it as a great event if he reached the SF's. Roger would see it as failure if he loses the SF

No prizes for guessing which of one of them are not multi-winners of Slams and Masters

It really is that simple. Even Kygorious, has a beaten look when he plays Murray - that's not going to be turned around in the space of two years, to utter dominance

Eh?

When did I say the serve is great? Headscratch

Don't think with your bum. It causes confusion further down the line Wink

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Post by kingraf Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:43 am

I agree that telling the whole tour you have self confidence issues probably wasn't the brightest thing.

Nonetheless, I don't think anyone is suggesting he'll be back to the guy who won RG twice without dropping a set... Or won five masters. It's more the chronology of when the decline started which seems to be causing consternation
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Post by barrystar Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:48 am

HM Murdoch wrote:
Dummy, there are two main reasons that I do not expect to see Djoko and Murray winning slams in 3 years time:

1) Players winning slams at 30+ is incredibly rare. Federer has only managed it once. Agassi managed it a couple of times but that was 12 years ago. It is the exception rather than the rule.

2) It's based on the idea that the way things are now is a good guide to the future. Tennis rarely pans out that way. Who saw the emergence of Djokovic coming? Who would have predicted Rafa dominating American hard courts in 2013? Who would have predicted Stan being a two time slam winner?

Your point about the generation born 1989-1991ish has merit and it seems likely that they may end up being a lost generation unless one of them does a Wawrinka.

Of more relevance is the fact that when Djokovic and Murray are 31, the generation of Kyrgios, Kokkinakis etc will be 23-24ish and there may even be another generation starting to break through.

I'm certainly not wishing for Novak and Andy's decline but if they are still the top contenders in 3 years' time, that really will be sad for tennis. It will have become stagnant (it arguably already has).

Spot on - the bigger pattern by far is that slam wins in the 30's are unusual, as an extrapolation from this Slam by age analysis to today's date shows - 19/190 slam winners up to 2015 in the Open Era (including Stan), of which Rosewall won 4. To put matters further into perspective, of the 19 30+ wins, at least 5 were substantially reduced field slams (Aus 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975, RG 1972), and 9 were won within 3-4 years of the beginning of the Open Era when the older players tended to have been more hardened pro's than the up-and-coming youngsters.  The odds have worsened since the early days - between 1980 and 2015 there were 102 slams and 8 were won by players in their 30's.  I don't generally belief in asterisks, but the draws opened up pretty well for the winners at Aus 1998, 2001, and 2003 in a way that is unlikely in the next 2-3 years.

I guess the one pattern which could support confidence in 30+ players is that the last cluster of such wins, Agassi 2001, 2003, and Sampras 2002 was at the dying end of a 'golden' pair taking advantage of a period when no new dominant player had com forward: whilst it's possible we'll see this in the next 3-4 years, history suggests it's unlikely, and for all his excellence Federer has won 1/15 slams since he became 30.  Both Murray and Djoko have a habit of going walkabout when their opponent is there to be beaten in a way that neither Federer nor Nadal had to anything like the same extent.
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Post by Guest Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:52 am

HM Murdoch wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:I think Tony Jacklin summed it up beautifully in a documentary about Jack Nicklaus when he remarked that Jack once said "I find that the Majors are easiest to win because most of the field don't believe they can win it" that is what for me seperates the the serial winners on tour compared with the others.
I haven't heard that quote before but I think there is a lot of truth in it.

The top players benefit enormously from their 'aura'. There are a lot of players who have lost a lot of matches to Feder-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray and that must create a lot of mental baggage. It becomes ever harder to get over the finishing line.

Two things happen with the passing of time though.

One is that the top players eventually begin to lose and that aura starts to crumble. It's happened with Federer and it's now happening with Nadal. It will happen with Novak eventually too. When 'lesser' players get their noses in front in a match, they know there's a chance of staying there. The fear factor declines.

The second thing that happens is that eventually a new generation arrives which doesn't have the long history and battle scars from the top players. There is less in their experience to fear. The older generation, having already lost the physical advantages of youth, eventually lose the advantage of reputation too. It becomes harder to win.
There's no way of knowing exactly when this will happen to Djokovic and Murray but if it hasn't happened in the next three years, I will be surprised.

It was on Sporting Greats on Sky Sports Smile its a good watch. There is so much truth in it. How many talented athletes do we see capable of big things succumb to pressure? Loads.

The bold bit is on the money.

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Post by temporary21 Fri 03 Jul 2015, 11:13 am

His results back up that in grass he might now get back. His other results the last 2 years tell a different story on other surfaces, there hope. We all knew he was probably not gonna be better than in 2013, that was obvious we just didn't see fit to make a point of it. However he's not past it everywhere quite yet, certainly not 2 years ago.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 03 Jul 2015, 11:52 am

HM

I agree with your points that at some point even the top guys fade away, the only question is when. I will also accept that in tennis it can appear to happen quite suddenly.
Laver never won a slam after his CYGS of 69, despite playing for many more years

I remember when Fed reached 16 there were threads suggesting he would reach 20-22 slams. He's won one since, and that was something of a surprise.

One further point to consider is that the current brand of tennis probably favours players who are in their mid to later 20s, where speed of court coverage and endurance/recovery matter - serve and volley probably favoured greater elasticity, which suited players maybe a year or two younger (although I think the 'ageing peak' theory is rather over-blown, and relates to a generation of great players ageing together rather than to conditions particularly favouring them).

As the top players pass their physical peak (at maybe 28 to 30), they have gained a lot of experience of how to win matches (and I agree that having an 'aura' of invulnerability is important), and this experience plus some changes to their game style can see them stay at or near the top for several more years - Federer has done this quite successfully, and I can see Andy making some changes to his approach so that he can shorten points. Not sure Djokovic can change as much, although I could see him adopting a more Agassi-esque game style of playing on and inside the baseline rather than relying on retrieval skills as he inevitably loses a touch of speed - he certainly has the capability to take the ball on earlier than he currently does.

I think judgements on Rafa have to wait until next year - while I don't see him reaching the heights of 2013 or 2010, he might still get back to the level of being a serious contender. I wouldn't put big money on it, as I think there are some technical issues that need working on as well as confidence and fitness, but Nadal has been written off in the past and come back strongly. OK, he may never again be a factor at the business end of Wimbledon, but there are three other slams, one of which he has dominated for a decade...

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Post by bogbrush Fri 03 Jul 2015, 12:00 pm

temporary21 wrote:His results back up that in grass he might now get back. His other results the last 2 years tell a different story on other surfaces, there hope. We all knew he was probably not gonna be better than in 2013, that was obvious we just didn't see fit to make a point of it. However he's not past it everywhere quite yet, certainly not 2 years ago.
Past "it" is imprecise.

My "it" is "his best", not past being good, or even potentially #1. My position is that in 2013 he was #1 but past his best.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 03 Jul 2015, 12:04 pm

I agree with banbrotam's point though.

Even a Rafa past the point of past his very best form is too good for mere mortals and still good enough to snare a slam. And no that is not a slight on the other players who are still of a great standard. As banbro says we'll still be talking of this current crop of players as all-time greats for many many years to come. I don't think people in the here and now are really appreciating just how great these players have been.
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Post by temporary21 Fri 03 Jul 2015, 12:13 pm

Doesnt work on either level for me. 2014 he reached the AO final and got injured, he wasnt past it then. Was he past his best? Not in 2013 quite arguably, if you mean after his injury, then youre just stating the obvious really.

Nadal won his Wimbys basically playing a slightly adapted clay court game. Thats how good he was, he managed to beat the grass court king on grass basically playing like he was on clay. Nowadays though hes not quite as quick, and the new guys, I agree arent as scared of him, theyre not frightened to run round the bh and come in.

His current ranking though, which is still fairly good shows his game is still a handful on other surfaces
Anyway my position is clear on this, heres not much left for me to say. Time for a cider and some Wimby!

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Post by Guest Fri 03 Jul 2015, 12:31 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/33374943

Henman thinks Rafa has 5 years left in the game if he wants them?? Headscratch

His knees will be dust by then!

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Post by bogbrush Fri 03 Jul 2015, 12:34 pm

temporary21 wrote:Doesnt work on either level for me. 2014 he reached the AO final and got injured, he wasnt past it then. Was he past his best? Not in 2013 quite arguably, if you mean after his injury, then youre just stating the obvious really.

Nadal won his Wimbys basically playing a slightly adapted clay court game. Thats how good he was, he managed to beat the grass court king on grass basically playing like he was on clay. Nowadays though hes not quite as quick, and the new guys, I agree arent as scared of him, theyre not frightened to run round the bh and come in.

His current ranking though, which is still fairly good shows his game is still a handful on other surfaces
Anyway my position is clear on this, heres not much left for me to say. Time for a cider and some Wimby!

Oh my. Can we just get a point of language clear.

Past your best doesn't mean past being able to win.

And you could win Wimbledon playing a slightly adapted clay game because Wimbledon had moved so far in that direction. That wouldn't have got anyone out of the 1st week in the 90's.
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Post by laverfan Fri 03 Jul 2015, 2:17 pm

Many have enjoyed shorter careers than Nadal. He is still playing. Grass is his weakest surface and any one playing with a game plan like Brown's will cause problems. Stakhovsky v Federer was written in a similar vein.

There is too much analysis (ESPN killed it all day yesterday), while the simple fact is that every athlete has a shelf-life. He has proven his skills as a player, and does not really need anything.

The addiction to adulation and fame is a drug very difficult to wean off of. Borg will always be admired for his ability to walk away.

Listening to JMc on BBC commentary was a very poor experience. There was very little credit for Brown and derision was on tap for someone playing extraordinary Grass tennis.

Just as an observation, if Brown was serving at 126mph, Nadal was at 123+ mph. MMT1's statement that RoS is the key to win W seems to be obvious, as was Federer v Querrey.

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Post by bogbrush Fri 03 Jul 2015, 2:59 pm

This is true; the temptation to dismiss Brown as a joker should be resisted. He was not playing Monfils-style self- indulgent madness, everything was calculated and serious. The extravagant drop shots had the effect of giving Nadal no idea how to anticipate the next shot so when he did play a conventional rally the Spaniard was unable to capitalise.

It might have looked like exhibition stuff but that was a well-considered game plan. I watched the Halle match last year and he did exactly the same. Rafa couldn't have been surprised at how he approached the match because he watched it 12 months ago but it didn't matter because Brown gave him absolutely nothing to plan a point around.
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Post by Johnyjeep Fri 03 Jul 2015, 10:20 pm

Forget looking at age. And look at miles in the legs. That, imho, is the real reason for the decline of any player.

It's like when people start comparing the longevity of mammals. All mammals heart beat (near enough) the same amount of time. Yet the time span in which they (mammals) live is very large. Some have been reported to live for a couple of centuries. Others for days/weeks.

It's intensity. That's my point.


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Post by kemet Sat 04 Jul 2015, 4:14 pm

temporary21 wrote:He wasn't past it two years ago and tbh I'm not sure he was even past his best in 2013. This is referring to his grass form.  Sorry mate but what you said yesterday still doesn't make any sense

I think on his grass, his slower foot speed is making him more vulnerable to huge servers and big hitters. He cannot dominate with the forehand like he used to, but his competitive fire is still there (as evidenced in the match points that he saved against Dustin Brown, albeit in eventual defeat.

I know the main tournament that is the focus of the board is Wimbledon, but I can still see him as a huge factor on the ATP tour and would not surprised to see him win a few more slams.

It's just that time has caught up with him, and he has to make adjustments.


Last edited by kemet on Sat 04 Jul 2015, 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I need to get on topic)

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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 5:22 pm

kemet wrote:
temporary21 wrote:He wasn't past it two years ago and tbh I'm not sure he was even past his best in 2013. This is referring to his grass form.  Sorry mate but what you said yesterday still doesn't make any sense

I think on his grass, his slower foot speed is making him more vulnerable to huge servers and big hitters. He cannot dominate with the forehand like he used to, but his competitive fire is still there (as evidenced in the match points that he saved against Dustin Brown, albeit in eventual defeat.

I know the main tournament that is the focus of the board is Wimbledon, but I can still see him as a huge factor on the ATP tour and would not surprised to see him win a few more slams.

It's just that time has caught up with him, and he has to make adjustments.
I can agree with that, grass needs small steps, good wrists, things he doesnt have as well anymore. Also Rafa has always won at Wimby Despite his game, not because of it, he plays an only slightly modified clay game, that angular kicking forehand is not even a fraction as good on a surface where people are up the baseline by default,which with the reduced foot speed puts in the need to revamp how he plays grass... or just write it off, because its still a handful on the other surfaces

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 04 Jul 2015, 6:26 pm

Blood passports came into effect in 2014. Nadal's results have been poor since then, aint a coincidence is it?

Nothing to do with the knees or him being older
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 04 Jul 2015, 6:35 pm

JM, common sense please. He's doing well last year at Doha, AO (except in the final when his back gave way), Rio, Miami, Madrid, Rome and FO. Those results alone made him no.3 right till the year end. You think he's stupid to be on something last year and then off it this year, when Blood passports come into play??

I won't be surprised that his results would pick up again this year or next, and then what? You'll tell us he's on something again despite Blood passports??

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 04 Jul 2015, 6:44 pm

I'm stating the obvious here. Is it a coincidence? His knees aren't bad he only lacks the energy, big time.
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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 6:54 pm

Total coincidence  he doesn't look tired, he looks out of form. Be careful what you're implying and how you do it. We don't want Adam on out case,

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 04 Jul 2015, 7:05 pm

No, he's not lacking in energy. What makes you think so? What he lacks is the timing of his shots, resulting in shanking of his FH, very much like Fed in late 2008/2009. Coming back from injury, and missing a training block, it takes time to get back his timing. Murray and Fed both took time to get back their normal level, what make you think Rafa doesn't need that?

He's improving gradually, won a grass 250 event when in the past four years he couldn't do so. He met an inspired player in Brown, just like he met one in Kygrios last year or Rosol in 2012. So what's the difference at Wimbledon? He's not doing worse than before.

On clay this year, he lost to Novak, Murray and Stan at the Masters (and to Novak at the FO) and all three of them were top three best performers on European clay this year. He was already more vulnerable on clay last year, so having to meet Novak in the SF at MC, and QF at RG this year and losing wasn't surprising. Murray was a handful for Novak at the FO and Stan the eventual FO champion tell us at what level they're playing on clay this year.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 04 Jul 2015, 7:13 pm

Timing... please. There are no obvious signs he has bad timing, there are signs he lacks the power he once had though, very significant signs. His serve and FH have gone from rock solid to fragile glass. He used to dominate top 10 players, now he rarely beats them even on clay.
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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 7:18 pm

I wonder if you do actually watch him play.  Power and timing are connected, you time it poorly you lose power. If he lacked energy he would get tired or lose muscle mass. Neither have happened, you have no real basis to get us in potentially a lot of trouble

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 04 Jul 2015, 7:41 pm

JM clearly did not watch his matches, esp at Stuttgart. He was serving and hitting well, beat Troicki in the final, serving 17 aces. Also his FH wasn't lacking in power during his match vs Sock at the FO. What he lacks is consistency, and once he's nervous, he'll start misfiring his shots and his serves.

And you expect him to dominate top ten players when he's coming back from injury? He's now two years older than when he's in 2013. Back then he was already training during end of 2012 for his comeback, this year he couldn't do the same after his appendicitis operation.

I didn't see Murray or Fed dominating top ten players either during their comeback, having to go the distance to beat them and also losing to them.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 04 Jul 2015, 7:57 pm

Did Yannick Noah get into trouble when he spoke his mind? You can accept it is injuries and timing if you like, I happen to believe different.

Biggest drop in 'form' there has ever been in a mens tennis player from 1 year to the next.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 04 Jul 2015, 8:09 pm

Wasn't Fed no.2 in 2012 but ended up dropping to no.8 ending at no.6 in 2013, dropping points from 10355 in 2012 to 4205 in 2013??

Murray too dropped from no.3 in 2013 to no.11 ending at no.8 in 2014??

You're clearly biased, JM, tinted glasses when you look at Nadal but willing to give others a pass.

2015 has not ended yet, Nadal may get back into business and finish 2015 on a positive note.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 8:12 pm

You are welcome to an opinion of course, but if you have a potentially legally damaging opinion you risk the site if you dont have something concrete, like a failed test to reference. We all know this, so be careful eh, im sure others have your opinion, but they respect the site enough to keep it quietly

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Post by bogbrush Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:00 pm

To me there's nothing wrong with Rafas timing (how absurd - who ever heard if a player who loses their timing for a year?). I've said before he lacks stamina and is panicking because he no longer has to option to play endless attrition tennis.

As for the cause of that loss of stamina, I have no idea. I've put it down to having to play faster but others might have alternative theories.
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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:02 pm

Someone coming back from multiple surgeries, and down on confidence of course. If youre gonna tell me hes tiring, you need to show me evidence of him being tired, else it makes no sense in any way shape or form

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Post by bogbrush Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:05 pm

He's almost a year uninjured, this is ridiculous. An appendectomy is a nothing surgery.

The evidence is that he now looks an ordinary player holding just one small title.


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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:07 pm

Its not ridiculous, its coming back from an injury mentally and all. They play professional sport BB, they dont have a desk job finding top level takes time. Not every assertion you make has to be right, without good evidence, noone is necessarily right here

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Post by Johnyjeep Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:08 pm

Again, are you classing injections as surgeries? Otherwise please list his said surgeries.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:14 pm

A wrist injury, which took months to recover, a stem cell treatment for a back injury, coming immediately after an appendectomy, which is a nothing surgery... if youre not a sportsman.

I get the impression some people here have very little respect for how important the body is to an elite level sportsman. Lest we remember the great mono debate of 2008

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Post by Johnyjeep Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:41 pm

So yes you are counting injections as surgeries. And the other two he has had a fairly minor in the grand scheme of surgeries. One is so routine it's akin to having teeth out. I get the impression you are placing higher emphasis than is necessary on this by dropping in the words multiple and surgery at any opportunity you have. That is all. And I'm well aware of the importance of the body to play elite level sport. Perhaps this just emphasises what his game has always been built around then? His ability to be more physical than his opponent. I don't personally think that has always been the case. But perhaps it's becoming clear his enormous success has built around his extraordinary physique more than anything else.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:49 pm

Ok so he missed 6 months of the last year so hes only played 6 months out of the last 12, and has developed a wrist problem, a back issue he needed a fairly big treatment on, and had no time for a training block at all.
With that were ragging on him for not getting straight back up to his best? It must be that hes just strong all along, nothing to do with his tennis or sporting ability... yeah...

Its a case of trying to understand, than just criticise, im surprised that that ardent tennis fans would be that dismissive of someone who has earned so much more respect than that
I see no reason to continue this one on my end, im not in the habit of trying to dismiss peoples achievements.

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Post by LuvSports! Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:55 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:No, he's not lacking in energy. What makes you think so?  What he lacks is the timing of his shots, resulting in shanking of his FH, very much like Fed in late 2008/2009.   Coming back from injury, and missing a training block, it takes time to get back his timing.  Murray and Fed both took time to get back their normal level, what make you think Rafa doesn't need that?

He's improving gradually, won a grass 250 event when in the past four years he couldn't do so.  He met an inspired player in Brown, just like he met one in Kygrios last year or Rosol in 2012.  So what's the difference at Wimbledon?  He's not doing worse than before.

On clay this year, he lost to Novak, Murray and Stan at the Masters (and to Novak at the FO) and all three of them were top three best performers on European clay this year.  He was already more vulnerable on clay last year, so having to meet Novak in the SF at MC, and QF at RG this year and losing wasn't surprising.  Murray was a handful for Novak at the FO and Stan the eventual FO champion tell us at what level they're playing on clay this year.

He looked spent in the Djoko FO match, so I disagree there. You're right on the timing though. The brain game guy (Craig O'Shannessy) said in practice he wasn't timing it and his shots were flying long a lot.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sat 04 Jul 2015, 9:59 pm

temporary21 wrote:You are welcome to an opinion of course, but if you have a potentially legally damaging opinion you risk the site if you dont have something concrete, like a failed test to reference. We all know this, so be careful eh, im sure others have your opinion, but they respect the site enough to keep it quietly
This site is not at risk from lawyers. What are you waffling on about? If my opinion is wrong then so be it, no need to start forcing fear on me.

Kneedal will be happy with his overachieved 14 slams and won't be able to do anything about improving on that. It is what it is.
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