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US Open Day 5 - Shall I Neel and ask her to Marray me? Or shall I just Peyer and give her the Haas Keys?

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Post by HM Murdock Fri 04 Sep 2015, 7:02 am

First topic message reminder :

Order of play
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Post by TRuffin Sat 05 Sep 2015, 7:01 am

Aut0Gr4ph wrote:
TRuffin wrote:
Belovedluckyboy wrote:Come on Truffin, even if hes playing freely out there, hes wilting in the humidity.  Hes throwing Fog a lifeline and Fog gladly took it.  

Fog hit hard and flat and played well from third set onwards; going for his shots and Rafa became more defensive.  Fog was the better player the second half of the match.

The great and fit bull wilted in the humidity but mental miget fognini didn't?  Then it really is rock bottom for Nadal if he Is losing a physical match to a guy whose never beaten a top player on hard courts.   So not the back now but the humidity. Ok, whatever you say.
Gloating about Nadal at rock bottom is almost as futile as would be gloating about Federer in a similar position. When you've accumulated 14 slams, this kind of disappointment will soon be forgotten. The fact that the defeat seems so shocking merely serves as a reminder of quite what a glittering career Nadal has had.

If it was a One off match in an otherwise great year, of course it would be forgotten. However, isn't the one thing we all agree on is nadal is having confidence issues that are part of his troubles? You really think this match, who he lost too, the way he lost it won't worsen that issue? Don't be so defensive. Rafa could retire tomorrow and be one if the all time greats. No one is disputing that.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 7:07 am

I think this is a setback for Rafa. Its time for him to rethink how hes to go about playing the game going forward. He always has lapses these days during his matches so he has to think of how to win despite the lapses.

Hes only good for two sets before lapses set in so time to rethink his approach.

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Post by HM Murdock Sat 05 Sep 2015, 7:25 am

Well that's a set of results to wake up to!

Rafa losing is not a huge surprise but from two sets up? That really surprises me.

I believe the highest seed Novak can face before the final now is 18 (Lopez). Although Tsonga (19) is perhaps the bigger threat.

The draw looks extremely lopsided now.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 7:34 am

You forget theres Cilic there?

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 7:41 am

Ok now i can watch Novak, Fed, Murray and Stan matches without worrying about Rafa. I think its one of those four who will win the USO. I dont give much chances to the defending champion whos struggling to win his matches.

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Post by HM Murdock Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:28 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:You forget theres Cilic there?
I did indeed.

Highest seed Novak can face before the final is #9.

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Post by lags72 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:32 am

Well I guess the Rafa streak of never conceding a two-set Slam lead was  - like almost ANY major streak - destined to end at some stage. In the wider scheme of things, it's just the way of the world. I saw a stat in one of the press reports that it ran for 151 matches.

Seem to recall that even Federer's 'two-set streak' ended, at the hands of Tsonga at Wimbledon some years ago. I don't know how that streak compares length-wise (?) to Rafa's, but I'm really not sure that this loss to Fognini is as much of a watershed moment as some might think. Foggy is more than capable of producing magical spells, as we have very often seen - though it doesn't always come together for him at the right time, as it did last night.

I see this as only a temporary setback in terms of Rafa competing at a very high level for some time to come. He can undoubtedly climb the rankings further and remain in the top tier, in the same way that Federer has done since that Tsonga defeat. How much of an impact it will have on Rafa adding to his Slam collection remains to be seen ; but with 14 safely in the bank, I doubt it will change his legacy much either way.

This really looks more & more like Djoko's tourney.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:35 am

People have to look beyond injury; injury is finished, not a factor.

I also don't buy this idea that a man known for mental diamond-like strength has "lost confidence". It's ridiculous.

The simple fact is that he has lost stamina and power, it's whatever has caused that which is the problem.
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Post by Guest Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:36 am

I woke up this morning and finally I have decided Mannarino is French!! Just kidding.

Wow Rafa gone after being 2 sets up!! Djokovic must be loving it right now and socal must be creaming himself!

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:44 am

I think Rafa is of no threat to Novak whether he wins this match or not. If Rafa couldn't deal with Fog, he couldn't deal with Novak.

I agree that Rafa loses some power and stamina but we really don't know what's the cause. It may be a combination of aging, decline, not enough practices and training, whatever.

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Post by lags72 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:55 am

bogbrush wrote:People have to look beyond injury; injury is finished, not a factor.

I also don't buy this idea that a man known for mental diamond-like strength has "lost confidence". It's ridiculous.

The simple fact is that he has lost stamina and power, it's whatever has caused that which is the problem.

Well on the confidence issue .... in fairness, I guess there will have been some loss there if we accept that winning & confidence have forever been so closely intertwined in every sport.

Wrt stamina & power ...... there could be a host of causes for the drop-off ; but let's not forget that age alone is a big factor for all the high achievers - always has been, always will be. More specifically for Rafa, given how much talk there has been over the years that his playing style would eventually catch up with him, are we really now surprised that the stamina and power can no longer be consistently sustained at previous levels ......?

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Post by Guest Sat 05 Sep 2015, 8:58 am

I reckon he is like Samson. The strength was in the hair!

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:07 am

I think Nadal is a sitting duck now for anyone who can stand up to him. I never rated his game per se, he dominated based on extraordinary physicality which underpinned total belief that he could run anyone into the ground. The physicality is now gone, whatever the cause, and what's left is a heavily muscled guy who can no longer hit through or over (topspin) people.

It wasn't even as if Fognini played well yesterday, he threw so many lifeline errors in that he'd have been off in three sets against a top player,

He can't reinvent his game because that's impossible. The spirit is still there for sure and he'll try and try but as things stand he's cannon fodder.
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Post by HM Murdock Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:09 am

bogbrush wrote:I also don't buy this idea that a man known for mental diamond-like strength has "lost confidence". It's ridiculous.

The simple fact is that he has lost stamina and power, it's whatever has caused that which is the problem.
True. I think people are putting the cart before the horse.

Rafa's mental strength has long been partly mythologised.

Clearly he's mentally tough but for so long it has been presented as a characteristic that is as unchangeable as his height or his being left-handed.

2011 debunked that. As soon as a player emerged who could outlast Rafa and could consistently cause him problems in the stylistic match up, he had all sorts of nervous moments and bad play on big points.

In most cases, the players who we say are mentally toughest are those who can most effectively impose their game on their opponent. When they can't do that, they get more nervous.

Now that Rafa's power and stamina have declined, and that spitting forehand is coughing up so many short balls, he can't impose his game like he used to and he's getting nervous.

The nerves are the product of the poor play, not the other way round.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:17 am

With Nadal it is a whole host of issues he has. Yes the power and strength is one but lets not downplay confidence and self-belief being at rock bottom as it surely must be just now. Look at the facts - he had a stinking clay court season - the cornerstone of his career, lost early doors at Wimbledon to a journeyman and nothing has improved since then. If that doesn't erode confidence to zilch I don't know what does. I would say super-confident and exuding belief he was unbeatable was Nadal in his prime and not only was that a big strength but it also sent his opponents onto court doubting themselves before a ball was hit - that is no more the case. Take away confidence and self-belief and play becomes more hesitant and unassured and take away strength and stamina and you also take away more vital tools from Nadal's armoury.

HM Murdock what you say holds merit but I am talking Rafa against the likes of Fognini and other such journeymen he now loses to - he never had issues at all against them.
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Post by Calder106 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:17 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Ok now i can watch Novak, Fed, Murray and Stan matches without worrying about Rafa.  I think its one of those four who will win the USO.  I dont give much chances to the defending champion whos struggling to win his matches.

Don't think it's much different from before the tournament started. These are the four most people would have said it was between. Not Novak's fault but the fact that most of the seeds in his half of the draw have been shown to be either injured, not match fit, or out of form has made it look very lopsided now. Of course Novak still has to beat whoever he plays to get to the final. Last year's semis were proof of that.


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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:20 am

Exactly HMM, it must have been great to know that no matter what happened the option was there to take it long long and win. The sport completely organised to support that by slowing everything down, including all the Slams.

As you say in 2011 he started spraying shots everywhere because he knew Djokovic could go even longer. Now there's loads of players who can do that so he does it every game. That's the horse; confidence is the cart.


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Post by lags72 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:22 am

There's a lot in what you say bb (7.07pm post). And I would add that the loss of the fear factor and the sense of intimidation felt by others is another major issue.

Top tier golfers would mentally lose tournaments as soon as they saw Tiger's name on the leaderboard ; likewise with Jack Nicklaus. Federer in his heyday would drain the hopes of promising players. But they all eventually lose that indefinable aura. And it's the one thing that no amount of training or coaching can ever bring back.

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Post by HM Murdock Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:48 am

bogbrush wrote:Exactly HMM, it must have been great to know that no matter what happened the option was there to take it long long and win.
And that option not being there anymore adds even more pressure. Matches have to be won and lost entirely on the shots.

It's not just Rafa. Imagine Novak or Andy without that 'lockdown mode' option. Those great escapes won't take place.

That option has served them well and given them fabulous careers but they'll have to pay the piper at some point.

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Post by Guest Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:54 am

I think some are underplaying the mental issue. Like I say, he is like Sampras. He at the end was starting to lose to Hewitt, Safin and Federer. Yet managed to still beat Agassi who by all accounts was having a second wind. Pete still had that mental edge. 

I just think now the confidence is totally shot. If I was to push the button on something physical, maybe the knees are giving out.

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Post by Born Slippy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 9:57 am

And so ends Rafa's 10 year streak of winning at least one slam per year.

I still think its too early to write him off though. His game is so simple that it should be easy to recover. I predict (barring fresh injuries) we will see a very different Rafa in Australia.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:04 am

Exactly HMM. It also applies to Fed Fed has lost his speed and power too and he only managed one slam since 2010.

Its so easy to criticize Rafa now that hes down. No one knows whether this down is permanent or not but in his previous comebacks, didnt he overcome the player who's supposed to cause his confidence and mental strength to collapse?

I mean who doesnt rely on speed, fitness and power? When Fed was half a step slow, didnt he also lost to some journeymen? Cant believe some here talk as if Rafa's game is so limited that once his speed and power is gone he's finished. He certainly has more to his game than sone here are willing to give him credit for.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:20 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Exactly HMM. It also applies to Fed  Fed has lost his speed and power too and he only managed one slam since 2010.

Its so easy to criticize Rafa now that hes down.  No one knows whether this down is permanent or not but in his previous comebacks, didnt he overcome the player who's supposed to cause his confidence and mental strength to collapse?  

I mean who doesnt rely on speed, fitness and power? When Fed was half a step slow, didnt he also lost to some journeymen? Cant believe some here talk as if Rafa's game is so limited that once his speed and power is gone he's finished. He certainly has more to his game than sone here are willing to give him credit for.

Belovedluckyboy the fact is that Rafa is only human. He hurts when he loses and he has plenty of them in the last year and many of them against players he used to devour. That has to erode self-belief and confidence and other Rafa fans have suggested fitness isn't there either. Now whether that is because of lack of pre-season fitness regime affected or is because his general fitness is now on a natural wane because of wear and tear and age we don't know. However, this is by far the worst run Rafa has had in his career and until he can turn it around and the longer it runs on as he moves towards 30 then the feeling will grow that his demise may be terminal.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:28 am

CC not that Im disputing that. What I'm against is the fact that some think Rafa's game is just all about speed and power as if he doesnt have other tools and that he wont be able to adapt! We shall see what he can do going forward; its still too early to say he cant change things up and plays a slightly different adapted game.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:30 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:CC not that Im disputing that.  What I'm against is the fact that some think Rafa's game is just all about speed and power as if he doesnt have other tools and that he wont be able to adapt!  We shall see what he can do going forward; its still too early to say he cant change things up and plays a slightly different adapted game.

At his current point - out of confidence and self-belief I don't think now is the tim,e to expect him to change things up. He needs to get himself back on a more even keel with solid results and restoring some self-belief before looking into what he needs to alter in my opinion.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:34 am

CC, clearly you're not following what I have said. Im not saying at this point he has to do this or that; all Im saying is: Rafa's game is not limited to speed and power only; he has more tools thsn that and he has the ability to adapt.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:39 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:CC, clearly you're not following what I have said.  Im not saying at this point he has to do this or that; all Im saying is: Rafa's game is not limited to speed and power only; he has more tools thsn that and he has the ability to adapt.

He HAD those tools. At the moment those tools are lost in the garden shed. He may never re-find them either as for those tools to work he needs the confidence/self-belief to trust himself to play shots such as down the line winners successfully. He also needs a return of pace to get to balls to be in the correct position to play those shots in the first place which doesn't seem to be there either. A heck of a lot to work on and like I said for all we know his fitness may be on a natural downward progression so he may never get back to where he was.
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Post by HM Murdock Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:41 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Exactly HMM. It also applies to Fed  Fed has lost his speed and power too and he only managed one slam since 2010.

Its so easy to criticize Rafa now that hes down.  No one knows whether this down is permanent or not but in his previous comebacks, didnt he overcome the player who's supposed to cause his confidence and mental strength to collapse?  

I mean who doesnt rely on speed, fitness and power? When Fed was half a step slow, didnt he also lost to some journeymen? Cant believe some here talk as if Rafa's game is so limited that once his speed and power is gone he's finished. He certainly has more to his game than sone here are willing to give him credit for.
Yes, Federer has spoken quite openly about not having the same level of confidence as he did back in the days of winning dozens of matches in a row.

The big advantage Federer has over the over members of the traditional big 4 is that he has always built his game toward playing short points. At times in the past I believe this has cost him but it's perfect for longevity.

The other big advantage is that he can rework his game by emphasising different parts of it. He was originally a net-rusher by nature but adapted to a baseline game. All he is doing these days is going back to the skills he always found most natural.

Rafa, Novak and Andy do not have these untapped reservoirs to call on. Any re-working of their game as decline sets in will require doing something new, which is tough at the latter stages of an athletes career. Can you envisage any of them in their 30s, coming to the net and playing a game built around short points?

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 10:53 am

Yes I can. The three of them, they do have good hands at the net. They do not have to rush the net ALL the time but just mix in more net rushing which they are capable of doing. Fed rushes the net but still couldnt beat Novak to win Wimbledon, you talk as if Fed is now sweeping up the slams with his net rushing game.

Fed may have his longveity, good for him if he enjoys playing to a ripe old age, but theres no guarantee that hes still winning the big prizes when at a ripe old age. Are Novak, Rafa and Murray prepared to play till a ripe old age even when not winning any slams? We dont know. They may still enjoy playing, or they may quit during their early to mid thirties when they can no longer win the slams.

Not everyone has to be like Fed who obviously enjoys all the attention and the money he can bring in despite not winning the big prizes and not being no.1 . The trio may even quit before Fed does!


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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:01 am

CC, his fitness may suffer so all the more he needs to look to shorten points by moving up the court and not staying at the baseline all the time.

If you think his confidence is so shot now that he couldnt do anything then he might as well quit! From what I understand, Rafa is not thinking of quitting yet so all the more he will and needs to work harder to improve or adapt his game. I'll be surprised if he announces his retirement soon.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:06 am

The truth is staring you in the face; Federer can reinvent his game because, as HMM says, it's a reversion to what he used to do anyway. I would add that it also helps to be the most naturally gifted player ever. That certainly helps you assimilate new things (like the 2nd serve thing he's playing with now) as well as adapt old tricks in the new game.

Rafas game is built on physicality. I don't mean in the same way that Federer can't win from a wheelchair, I mean running harder and longer, hitting the ball with ridiculous spin and power. That kind of physicality. It's not there any more, hence his game isn't and there isn't another one to go to.

There's also this mad idea he'll dump his Uncle. When are people going to get it that Toni is responsible for Rafa, he's his creation.

This idea that he's going to morph into a net rushing volleyer is hilarious. He can't do it, that's just not in his 'garden shed' Smile I mean, what kind of imagination does it take to really visualise that?
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:10 am

Net rushing volleyer? Your words not mine . I said the trio could mix in some net rushing, not a full fledge net rushing volleyer.

Whatever Fed can morph into, hes still not beating Novak at the slams, that may be OK as long as Fed is just happy playing.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:11 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Yes I can. The three of them, they do have good hands at the net.  They do not have to rush the net ALL the time but just mix in more net rushing which they are capable of doing.  Fed rushes the net but still couldnt beat Novak to win Wimbledon, you talk as if Fed is now sweeping up the slams with his net rushing game.  

Fed may have his longveity, good for him if he enjoys playing to a ripe old age, but theres no guarantee that hes still winning the big prizes when at a ripe old age.  Are Novak, Rafa and Murray prepared to play till a ripe old age even when not winning any slams?  We dont know.  They may still enjoy playing, or they may quit during their early to mid thirties when they can no longer win the slams.

Not everyone has to be like Fed who obviously enjoys all the attention and the money he can bring in despite not winning the big prizes and not being no.1  .  The trio may even quit before Fed does!  

You talk like Federer keeps falling in the first week of Slams. He's #2, making Slam finals and winning Masters.
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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:12 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Net rushing volleyer? Your words not mine  .  I said the trio could mix in some net rushing, not a full fledge net rushing volleyer.

Whatever Fed can morph into, hes still not beating Novak at the slams, that may be OK as long as Fed is just happy playing.
So if he's not going to be volleying at the net exactly what is this new adaptation?

As for the Federer dig, I've handled that above.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:12 am

Its OK as long as Fed is happy winning Masters!

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:16 am

I never said he should retire anywhere. What I am saying is there may be no solution to Rafa's issues - they may go unresolved due to a few factors that I have tapped on. It is like the chicken and the egg. He cannot go deep in tournaments and restore a modicum of confidence and self-belief in himself and to get those results he needs to believe. Also there is the questions regarding his fitness and power levels. That is all too much to rectify before he can think about changing or adapting his game in any way.

For me I am willing to concede he may be suffering from not having a full pre-season fitness regime (for now) which may account for fitness issues but I have my doubts. Therefore the big test comes in the Australian Open next year after a full fitness programme in the pre-season. That will then rule out any possibility that lack of full fitness explains away totally his form this year if he does not go very deep in Melbourne. For me it is a heck of a lot to do with mental issues. He is unsure of a lot. I think this shone through at one of his pressers at the start of this tournie. He was having a go at the press for having a go at his level. He was bemused that they had a go at him when he admitted he had doubts about parts of his game and the press had a go at him for handing an immediate advantage to his opponents. That says a lot.
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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:16 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Its OK as long as Fed is happy winning Masters!
Oh I'd really have waited another 10 days before putting that up!

I think making finals, being in the mix is enough for anyone. Either that or Murray is just in it for the money / bit of fun, after all, he's not been in the final day for a few years - is that what you're saying?
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Post by temporary21 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:19 am

Too soon yet again. Its not like this is a surprise, this is no different from Roger v Robredo...

Suddenly were concluding that Nadal was 1, never that good a player and 2 was never very strong mentally, and 3, never rejigged his game? How did he overturn what happened in 2011 then eh?

all because hes had one bad year?

Total

Boll*cks

Basically

Bloke cant volley? He absolutely can, he can hit every shot in the book, just because he cant now doesnt wipe away how good he was. You have to be a pretty darn good player to make Roger your bunny, no gimmick play will give you that.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:19 am

Confidence schlomfidence.

By the way, the egg comes before the chicken. I can explain why if you want but think evolution.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:22 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Not everyone has to be like Fed who obviously enjoys all the attention and the money he can bring in

Yep, that's why he plays on - nothing to do with loving the game itself, he's just an egomaniac who's short of a bit of cash.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:22 am

Nah, is reaching the slam finals or winning Masters all what Fed is looking for? Im not sure about that.

As for Murray, he has reached a slam final this year but he still has time on his side to improve after a not so good 2014. My guess is he has more upside than Fed does.

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Post by temporary21 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:23 am

Doesnt work. It depends on what you call a chicken, whatever the progenitor was to a chicken may have evolved into something that lay eggs. In that case, the evolved thing is a chicken.... and came first...

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:23 am

bogbrush wrote:Confidence schlomfidence.  

By the way, the egg comes before the chicken. I can explain why if you want but think evolution.


If you think confidence plays no part in any sport then I despair. Shocked

Federer even suffered from it a couple of years back and changed his racket around and restored the confidence to get himself back on track.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:25 am

Yeah Julius, he certainly loves playing no doubt about that but the love and attention clearly matters to him dont you think?

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:25 am

Belovedluckyboy wrote:Nah, is reaching the slam finals or winning Masters all what Fed is looking for?  Im not sure about that.

As for Murray, he has reached a slam final this year but he still has time on his side to improve after a not so good 2014. My guess is he has more upside than Fed does.
Don't talk daft, he wants to win the big stuff and making finals is how that's done.

Murray?
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Post by LuvSports! Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:26 am

Warning: this post is an 'I told you so'
For years I was laughed out of here for saying physicality is these days the most important aspect of mental strength.
I used the '11 example all the time. You lose that physical edge, that is huge, especially for Rafa. I have my suspicions why.

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Post by bogbrush Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:27 am

temporary21 wrote:Doesnt work. It depends on what you call a chicken, whatever the progenitor was to a chicken may have evolved into something that lay eggs. In that case, the evolved thing is a chicken.... and came first...
er....... No.

Creatures don't evolve themselves, they reproduce something that is different from them via random mutation. Thus the egg came first because it was laid by the pre-chicken.
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Post by temporary21 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:28 am

As a fan of tennis, not just one bloke, its a shame to see such an ignorant view to such a great player, whos given me so many great matches.

Power goes, because the body isnt ready, not being in extreme pain does not equate to you being fully fit...

The only way that comes back is with time, more importantly time to ready your body in pre season, something he didnt have this year.

Bloke ALREADY revamped his game where it needs to be in 2013, but he needs his body back to do it.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:28 am

BB didnt you mention Murray in your post??

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Post by temporary21 Sat 05 Sep 2015, 11:30 am

bogbrush wrote:
temporary21 wrote:Doesnt work. It depends on what you call a chicken, whatever the progenitor was to a chicken may have evolved into something that lay eggs. In that case, the evolved thing is a chicken.... and came first...
er....... No.

Creatures don't evolve themselves, they reproduce something that is different from them via random mutation. Thus the egg came first because it was laid by the pre-chicken.
OR... the pre chicken underwent the random mutations first, not the egg, remembering random mutation happen gradually.

In short, theres more than one answer sometimes bb

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