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Slow boat to China .......

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Post by lags72 Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:36 pm

I see that a return to the competitive scene by both Djokovic and Nadal is not quite enough to wake 606 regulars from their state of forum hibernation. Maybe we will have to wait for Murray and/or OAP Federer for that to happen ...... chin

Meanwhile in Beijing itself, Rafa has been talking pre-tournament of his motivation to qualify for London, and his (understandable) fondness for this week's venue in the context of memories of Olympics success. And asked about his prospects for this current event, his response had a rather familiar ring to it when he described the field as "Very, very tough. From the 1st round, all the matches are tough"

Hmm. So I thought I'd check out who exactly Rafa's 'tough' first round opponent might be. It was apparently none other than the battle-hardened Di Wu. (yes, him !). Ranked 230 (although he did make 161 a coupe of years ago) and his best win this year to date was, I believe, over a 207-ranked Aussie at a Challenger event in An-Ning, China.

I didn't see the clash, so can't say just how 'tough' it was for Rafa. BUT .... Di Wu did seemingly acquit himself well in taking eight games off Rafa - so perhaps he was right to be wary ?! And eight games is, after all, six more than Bolelli managed against Novak.

We live in exciting times !

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:59 pm

I did catch a brief comment saying speculation is afoot about a change in Rafa's coaching team. I never caught what that was. Anyone hear anything about this?
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Post by Born Slippy Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:53 pm

Rafa was broken 4 times today - including 3 in a row in the 2nd. No sign of any real improvement.

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Post by TRuffin Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:13 pm

Nadal got pasted by Djokovic in their exo too. To earn the payday and please the crowd, Djokovic actualy seemed to be playing half speed while Nadal was going all out- just to keep the the score decent and them on the court for an hour.

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Post by It Must Be Love Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:57 am

Nadal was definitely not 'all out' in that exhibition, not even nearly close to that; but back to actual serious tennis, he didn't play great in his first round against Wu, nothing really clicking apart from right at the end.

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Post by TRuffin Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:43 am

Come on - use what ever phrasing you want- but you can't tell me that the massive difference in level between djoko and nadal wasn't on clear display in the exo. It wasn't a serious Match but any champion like nadal- especially with his recent struggles- would have wanted to show he could still compete at an equal level to the world #1. It was clear he couldn't.

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Post by bogbrush Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:45 am

I was very surprised to see the Nadal scoreline, in a way. Not impressive, he could take a real tonking if he got to the final.
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Post by HM Murdock Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:56 am

^ I must admit to being surprised by that exhibition.

Firstly, because they took it seriously. By that, I mean they played a proper match and didn't muck about and get people from the crowd etc.

And secondly, because Rafa's level was so far behind Novak's.

Of course, there's no point reading too much into it because neither was going all out and both were playing well within themselves.

But even if we view it as just an extended training hit, Rafa was doing nothing that bothered Novak, but Novak caused Rafa plenty of trouble.

That fact that Rafa then lost his serve 4 times in a competitive match against the world #230 convinces me that all is still not well with Rafa.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:03 am

bogbrush wrote:I was very surprised to see the Nadal scoreline, in a way. Not impressive, he could take a real tonking if he got to the final.
I was too.

Hitting a crisis of confidence against the world #230 and losing serve 3 times in a row is into the realms of the bizarre.

Losing to a red-hot Fognini I can understand.

I baffled by what I'm seeing in China.

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Post by bogbrush Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:55 pm

I keep saying it's not confidence, it's that he simply hasn't got the game any more.

I am not allowed by forum rules to explain why I believe this is.
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Post by TRuffin Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:09 pm

bogbrush wrote:I keep saying it's not confidence, it's that he simply hasn't got the game any more.

I am not allowed by forum rules to explain why I believe this is.

Agreed. I saw the clear signs in January and stated my beliefs on that "other" forum. It all played out exactly as I expected.

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Post by Born Slippy Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:11 pm

^ the flaw in the above is that it relies on pretty nonsensical arguments why his situation would have changed.

The far more likely answer is that, having had a multitude of injuries, his movement isn't quite as sharp. That, combined with the loss of confidence caused by his game mis-firing, makes him vulnerable.

I suspect he has written off this year. The real test will be how he comes back in January.

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Post by It Must Be Love Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:17 pm

Born Slippy wrote:^ the flaw in the above is that it relies on pretty nonsensical arguments why his situation would have changed.

The far more likely answer is that, having had a multitude of injuries, his movement isn't quite as sharp. That, combined with the loss of confidence caused by his game mis-firing, makes him vulnerable.

I suspect he has written off this year. The real test will be how he comes back in January.
I'm sorry I just don't buy what you're saying, it sounds reasonable and sensible and isn't material that gives people who hate Nadal from the start wet dreams Wink

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Post by It Must Be Love Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:18 pm

Agree with the analysis of his match against Wu, he didn't look sharp at all; will have to improve significantly today against Posposil. Nadal already talking about preparing for next year in all his interviews.

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Post by bogbrush Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:24 pm

Born Slippy wrote:^ the flaw in the above is that it relies on pretty nonsensical arguments why his situation would have changed.

The far more likely answer is that, having had a multitude of injuries, his movement isn't quite as sharp. That, combined with the loss of confidence caused by his game mis-firing, makes him vulnerable.

I suspect he has written off this year. The real test will be how he comes back in January.
Really? I don't think the reasons are nonsensical, they're eminently sensible. I just can't state them.
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Post by HM Murdock Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:39 pm

bogbrush wrote:I keep saying it's not confidence, it's that he simply hasn't got the game any more.

I am not allowed by forum rules to explain why I believe this is.
Oh, I'm not suggesting that loss of confidence is the reason for his drop in form.

I meant that in this specific match, to go from being a set and a break up and then losing 13 out of 15 points is a mental meltdown.

If he's losing his mind against Deng Wu in the first round of the China Open, he's in more trouble than I thought.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:42 pm

TRuffin wrote:Agreed. I saw the clear signs in January and stated my beliefs on that "other" forum.  It all played out exactly as I expected.
Could you PM me this please?

I'm intrigued.

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Post by It Must Be Love Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:48 pm

Better against Posposil today, nice play to win in straights

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Post by Guest82 Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:22 pm

Thought Pospisil was awful today, rather than Rafa good.

Seemed to be making lots of unforced errors from what I saw.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:02 pm

It matters not how long you stay away from this forum you can guarantee on your return its the same   old same old... those posters who either want to join the Federer Fawning thread or the Negative Nadal thread .Well at least the mods don't have anything to moderate they have heard it all before as have the rest of us. Rolling Eyes

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Post by temporary21 Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:58 pm

Huh? Sorry I just woke up from hibernation. Whats up now?
If the reason is the same PED's stuff then no you obviously cant go pedalling that about because the site is paid for by a few guys wholl get sued.
Decent wins it seems... its all about making the WTF at this point.

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Post by lags72 Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:04 pm

Well, I guess that's how things go on sports forums Haddie - and in the wider media too of course.

By which I mean to say that - depending on one's existing individual perspective and/or bias -  there will inevitably be a perception of bias in the actual articles & comments.

Your own view is that far more posters are (seemingly) inclined to favour Federer than Nadal. And from that I imagine we can safely conclude that if/when the picture is reversed, you would then describe the forum's content as consisting of 'Nadal Fawning' and 'Negative Federer' threads ..........

All in the eye of the beholder. It was ever thus.

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Post by lags72 Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:06 pm

Seems like you're the only one to have raised PED's temp.

Be careful now !

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Post by temporary21 Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:12 pm

I haven't specified anyone my son. It is though the only thing that the forum doesn't like being talked about. It would be nice to have more rafa fans to have more balance

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Post by Born Slippy Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:18 pm

bogbrush wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:^ the flaw in the above is that it relies on pretty nonsensical arguments why his situation would have changed.

The far more likely answer is that, having had a multitude of injuries, his movement isn't quite as sharp. That, combined with the loss of confidence caused by his game mis-firing, makes him vulnerable.

I suspect he has written off this year. The real test will be how he comes back in January.
Really? I don't think the reasons are nonsensical, they're eminently sensible. I just can't state them.

Hmm, bit hard to comment without knowing what reasons you are referring to. The ones I have seen (primarily on the Tenez forum) require a massive suspension of belief.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:31 pm

temporary21 wrote:I haven't specified anyone my son. It is though the only thing that the forum doesn't like being talked about. It would be nice to have more rafa fans to have more balance


You are looking for hens teeth.????..You wont get many back on here Ill bet

I think Rafa fans are up to the teeth with hearing the "funeral march" being played by the media and the gloating of the Nadal haters. especially those I could mention on this forum. With every match he plays dying to give the knife another twist.

Sad as it is for me to say I will be glad when he retires,

And that is my biased/unbiased opinion.

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Post by lags72 Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:40 pm

temporary21 wrote:........It is though the only thing that the forum doesn't like being talked about. It would be nice to have more rafa fans to have more balance

Which is exactly why I suggested you should not have raised it !

As for having more Rafa fans, well the overall balance does vary over time I suppose ;  but, as I already implied, if fans of ANY particular persuasion are keen to contribute, then they will do so, and the forum will be moulded accordingly. Is there any merit in criticising posters just because they may happen to favour one player over another ....? chin

That said, I've never liked posters who resort to vitriol or abuse, any more than I like fawning. But I don't see any sign of that on this thread. And in general on the 'new' 606 tennis, the nasty stuff & the more distasteful brand of wummery are (whilst still in evidence) far less common than on the old forum.

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Post by sirfredperry Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:59 pm

Despite a comparatively poor season, Rafa looks a good bet to qualify for London this year. Fed struggled in 2013 and Murray last year. Both followed that with improved form the following year.

Now it could be that Rafa will, in turn, have a good 12 months in 2016. If he continues to find the going hard throughout next season then it would be a worry. It could be, though, in 12 months time we'll be saying that Rafa, like Rog and Andy, has merely had one bad year before becoming more like his old self.

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Post by Guest Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:05 pm

I don't see that a forum needs more Nadal fans, I think if anything fans of players not so affiliated with the high echelons of success would be in more need.

If anything I see a mix, aimed at specifically 4 players. Those with higher rates of success tend to attract more followers.

Kind of the unwritten law of the jungle.

I echo SFP's point. Federer and Murray slumps and recovered the following season. Nadal could do the same.

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Post by lags72 Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:31 pm

I echo sfp's analysis here and am pretty confident that Rafa will come back strongly in 2016.

Even in his best years, he rarely performed exceptionally well in these closing weeks of the season, so in that sense things are not much different.

Ok, the early part of this year did not leave him fatigued as was very often the case in the past, and so perhaps he should be looking better than he does right now. But I think - other than qualifying for London - his main motivation in the coming weeks is to get back a sense of confidence, which in turn will hopefully bring his game to a level where he can once again be a serious contender for all tournaments he enters by the time the AO comes around.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:48 pm

I think this has been one of his major distractions hopefully it may be back to business when this is complete

http://news.sky.com/story/1559992/at-home-with-nadal-and-a-peek-at-his-new-project

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Post by Guest Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:26 am

Nadal has had a long tennis career with the best ever stats for clay and winning the career slam.  He ended up as the nemesis to Federer, Federer unable to cope with his style of play.  But he has had physical issues with his joints.  He is not the same physical specimen he once was.  Good luck to him if he still has the motivation and will power to keep going.  Many had suspected that his physical style of playing would eventually catch up with his body.  It seems that platelet rich plasma therapy was able to keep him going, but his record at Wimbledon reveals the physical degradation.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:37 pm

He now has the stem cell treatment to help him but one cant simply defy the effect of aging. Fed despite his so called 'effortless' style still isnt able to win much after age 29, so we shouldnt expect too much from Rafa, who simply isnt as good as Fed or Novak on the HCs and 2/3 of the tour are played on the HCs.

He may not be as good as before but still may be good enough to win some but must fight even harder to do so.

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Post by temporary21 Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:42 pm

It something quite admirable to see a guy still fighting and playing even when in almost certainly a lot of pain sometimes. He will always be a threat on clay if he picks and chooses his tournies right, theres a still a decent chance to make a run at the Aussie given its speed is more to his liking

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Post by yloponom68 Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:49 pm

Agreed with the post above - Rafa having "this year," is one thing - but if we get to FO in June and it's still "same same" as 2015, I really will start to worry. Only player right now to "grip my heart" when he plays - plenty of amazing players with incredible skill sets, etc., but don't "do it for me" in the way Nadal does. To each their own of course. Lata.....

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:07 am

So happy for Rafa for the win against a tough opponent whose game works well on this Beijing court. This is the first HC SF for Rafa this year, that shows how poor a season he has this year!

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:24 am

With Berdych out the way, Rafa has an excellent chance to reach the Beijing final.

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Post by bogbrush Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:56 am

sirfredperry wrote:With Berdych out the way, Rafa has an excellent chance to reach the Beijing final.
That might be the disaster scenario..
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Post by Born Slippy Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:47 am

Well, he plays Fognini next, which will be a tough test on present form. I thought Rafa was impressive today. Looked a lot more like his normal self after the first set.

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Post by Born Slippy Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:50 am

bogbrush wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:With Berdych out the way, Rafa has an excellent chance to reach the Beijing final.
That might be the disaster scenario..

Not really. He won't be expecting to get close to Novak - so its a no lose scenario. Beating Fognini and collecting 300 points would make this a good tournament for Rafa.

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Post by bogbrush Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:17 pm

Foggy going for a 4th win of the season and on 3rd surface.
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Post by kingraf Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:54 pm

Good to see nothing's changed in my absence. with any luck, Rafa could be booked off for the rest of the season, and we can have the age old debate about whether a Rafa injury is code for a PED banning*

*This theory being laughable due to the fact that it suggest the ATP play wheel of Fortune with Rafa's bans. Sometimes it's two weeks... Sometimes it's seven months.
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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:21 pm

What third surface?

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Post by HM Murdock Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:44 pm

Novak broke Isner 4 times in two sets!

I didn't expect that at all.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:48 pm

Must have been done performance by djokovic. Isner served at 78% and Novak broke him 4 times! 5 break points and converted 4.

Novak seems to be so comfortable on that court

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:49 pm

Isner was playing poorly this tournament, almost knocked out by Millman, so Novak breaking his serves so often was not surprising.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:13 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
bogbrush wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:With Berdych out the way, Rafa has an excellent chance to reach the Beijing final.
That might be the disaster scenario..

Not really. He won't be expecting to get close to Novak - so its a no lose scenario. Beating Fognini and collecting 300 points would make this a good tournament for Rafa.

As long as he gets at least say 5 games in the final (which is likely), then I agree. The disaster scenario is that he gets a real beatdown.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:27 pm

He'll do better than Isner. Isner's movement is terrible.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:57 pm

bogbrush wrote:Foggy going for a 4th win of the season and on 3rd surface.
Headscratch

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Post by temporary21 Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:59 pm

Time to roll up roll up and play foggy roulette. Which one comes up. Not even Fabio knows

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