Rafael Nadal Knocked Out Of Australian Open In 5-Sets By Fernando Verdasco
by Staff | January 19th, 2016, 4:31 am
  • 151 Comments

Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam struggles continued Tuesday at the Australian Open where Nadal suffered his earliest exit ever at the event losing to countryman Fernando Verdasco in five sets 76(6), 46, 36, 76(4), 62.

“The biggest problem was the first set, in my opinion,” Nadal said. “He was not playing that well in the first set. I should take advantage there, but I didn’t. Then you lose the first. You play against a player that has a good potential and he’s able to hit the ball so hard and take risk, then you are under pressure the rest of the match.”

After dropping that tight first set, Nadal gained control of the match winning the second and the third, but was unable put Verdasco away. Verdasco came back to take the fourth but Nadal couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead as Verdasco won the last six games pull the upset.

“The match is five sets,” Nadal said. “There is not only last set. He was playing amazing in the last set. If you decide everything in one set, the opponent is ready to hit all the balls at hundred percent, then you are in trouble. He had a lot of success hitting all the balls full power in the fifth. I have to congratulate him.

“I am not happy about the way that I played the first. In the fourth I was not very bad, but he played better than me, too. I had my chances in the fourth, too, with that Love-30 that he played well. That’s it.

“He played better than me. He played more aggressive than me. He taked more risks than me, and he won. Probably he deserved.”

Verdasco ended the match out muscling Nadal with 20 aces and 90 winners including 41 off his forehand side.

“I just started hitting winners, I don’t know how,” Verdasco told the crowd. “I was just closing the eyes and everything was going in.”

In his last three Slams, Nadal has now lost in the second round at Wimbledon, the third round at the US Open and now just his second career first round loss.

“I have been playing and practicing great and working so much,” said Nadal. “Is tough when you work so much and arrives a very important event and you’re going out too early. Is tough, but at the same time, I know I did everything that I can to be ready for it. Was not my day. Let’s keep going. That’s the only thing.”

Nadal had led Verdasco 13-0 in their head-to-head including a thrilling 5-set win on Rod Laver in the 2009 Australian Open semifinals. But Verdasco has won three of the last four as Nadal continues to decline.

“The real thing is I was not enough aggressive with my forehand during the whole match,” Nadal said. “I didn’t feel it. I tried. I fighted. I was ready to do it, and I didn’t. So I am sad for that.”

While Rafael Nadal flies home, Verdasco goes on to face Dudi Sela in the second round on Thursday. And the loss clears the path for 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka.


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151 Comments for Rafael Nadal Knocked Out Of Australian Open In 5-Sets By Fernando Verdasco

Pauly Says:

How far can Verdasco go ?


Sarah Says:

I guess, until he will meet Wawrinka


Pauly Says:

Verdasco doesn’t like big servers


Sarah Says:

I have predicted a final Djokovic-Wawa, let’s see….


Pauly Says:

I hope so
Wawrinka Vs Djokovic would be classic shoot out
Stan would need to serve well to win that final
He has the weapons to push Djokovic back in the court
But Federer might have something to say about that also … Hr can beat Djokovic too


Sarah Says:

would be something to see a final Verdasco-Djokovic :))


Sarah Says:

I also think, it would be a beautiful match Djokovic-Wawrinka. I wanna Nole to win, but I want to see a beautiful match


Gypsy Gal Says:

As much as i want Andy in the final,i dont really have much enthusiasm for a possible Murray/Djokovic final anymore….


Gypsy Gal Says:

I want either Stan or Andy to win this title now to see both also getting into the conversation of all time greats,and part of me also has a hankering for Nando to have a late blossoming in his career too….


Pauly Says:

Djokovic would crush Verdasco 3-0
Verdasco loves playing against Weak servers plus those that use topspin it suits his game
I think Verdasco might be dumped soon


Margot Says:

Big commies and hugs to GG and OK. Rafa looked a bit slow and too defensive to me.
@matt4
Whose the big mommy of the bracket now?….;)


Michael Says:

I hope after beating Rafa, Verdasco doesn’t falter in the next round and atleast reaches the QF stage. If he does that, it will also be soothing for Rafa to know that a player who beat him indeed really deserved to win having gone deep into the tournament. But more often than not it happens, a Giant killer receives a drubbing right in the next round !!


calmdownplease Says:

Stick a fork in him

Sorry GG and OG I just don’t see Nadal as a force any longer.

It’s basically a wrap

It’s OBVIOUSLY a wrap.

:(


Pauly Says:

Next match

Dudi Sela

Short player for Verdasco who should win easy


Pauly Says:

Verdasco in 2009 was in prime form
I don’t think he’s playing that well now
But he has big weapons


Gypsy Gal Says:

Michael me too,rather thinking how fantastic it would be if he did a Stan or Cilic and had a late career blossom,as much as i love Andy and i actually like Stan too….


Gypsy Gal Says:

CDP True,no expectations anymore anyway,he might eek another GS out somewhere though will a bit of luck,CHEERS….


calmdownplease Says:

Well GG, it simply has to be the FO for a last stand, and to go out with a bang!

I’m rooting for him for that one!


Pauly Says:

Nadal must start playing coz clay won’t help him
If he’s not playing well on other surfaces
It’s confidence
Indian wells is where he must play well


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

“Who’s the big mummy”…

You are…


Sarah Says:

@ Mat4, my bracket is still not actualised…would you please so kind to tell me, how many points I have for the moment?


Gypsy Gal Says:

CDP Well i should simply say i cant see into the future as i dont have crystal ball,but been a Gypsy Gal i do actually have a crystal ball seriously,but i dont use it for sport,by going on female intuition it might be his best or last chance,i do predict Delpotro will retire this year,and that i will personally get re-married….


Giles Says:

Margot big mommy?? Eeeeek


Sarah Says:

Are U a big idiot?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Sorry to Rafa fans. I’m in shock at the result. Rafa has been playing so well since the US Open.
I still feel he is capable of competing with everyone except Novak, but it seems like his mental fragility is still there.

I’m so glad I didn’t post my thoughts on this match yesterday!

That said, NINETY WINNERS. WOW!!


calmdownplease Says:

`I still feel he is capable of competing with everyone except Novak’

Why, because he beat an Andy Murray zoned in and trained in on Davis Cup?
Or was it because Verdasco blasted him off in the first round here?
Maybe that’s the reason.
People need to make up their minds about Andy
Either he is a great player and it’s an achievement/inspiration when you get a win even from one of his dodgy performances.
Or he isn’t.
One can’t chop and change to suit the moment.
In this respect TV, I am not necessarily referring to you, merely drawing out the Idea a bit further about others….


AndyMira Says:

This latest loss will surely damaged rafa even more..i hope he will open his mind and heart to seek professional help..all the painful and humiliating loss since last year clearly shown on court today..his momentum obviously on his side after he won the 3rd set..but couldn’t do it due to mental weakness and anxiety..he’s so fragile..it’s not like the strong bull we used to know..uncle toni should do something about this..


andrea fehsenfeld Says:

90 winners? nice work hot sauce. didn’t see it live but will watch on replay.

not sure what to make of nadal’s slide. commentators and posters alike all concurred years before that his style of tennis was not sustainable physically so that, and mental/confidence issues are not working in his favour.


MMT Says:

Hang on a second – the loss clears the path for Wawrinka? Wawrinka’s got a long way to go, but what makes you think he wouldn’t have handled Nadal? He hits as hard as Verdasco, and obliterated him in their last match here, and he’s getting better while Nadal is getting worse.

Having said that, I watched a 25 minute highlight reel of the match, and I was shocked by how erratically Verdasco played – not shocked that he was erratic, but that he managed to still win. He gives away break in the 4th set, but still manages to win, then he is immediately broken in the first game of the fifth and then closes his eyes and tries to knock the cover off the ball.

The one thing I have to recognize is that Verdasco was glued to the baseline, which isn’t always the case with him. His movement isn’t the best, so that’s an optimal strategy for him, but it also depends on hitting through the guy on the other side who relies (too heavily as it were) on defense. It worked out today.

Roddick said recently that the real test for Nadal is Roland Garros. If he continues to struggle there, it’s over for him as far as majors are concerned. I would have to agree and final exams are fast approaching.

That’s two years with no major finals, and a year of some pretty mediocre results in the majors. He lost to Federer, for god’s sake, and the blow out in Doha?

Doesn’t look good for him.


Chrisford1 Says:

calmdownplease
Well GG, it simply has to be the FO for a last stand, and to go out with a bang!
I’m rooting for him for that one!

==============
Not me. I want to see Novak Djokovic finally make it. There is never “deserving it” or “entitled to it” – but since he came up – and was derided for it – Djokovic has worked to demonstrate that Rafa is not unbeatable on clay. Worked to showt he, Novak would be worthy one day to hold the trophy at least once – of every clay event he has entered at.
I’d like to see Nadal get a Barclay’s championship before he retires. But not another Olympic gold or another major – especially the French Open.


NK Says:

Feel bad for Rafa even though not his fan. His game has taken a heavy toll on his body. He clearly has lost more than a step or two.

Let’s hope he will regroup for FO.


Ben Pronin Says:

If nothing else this proves that Nadal was exaggerating about Djokovic’s form in Doha. THey’re just in different tiers right now and Novak happened to have a really good day executing. But he didn’t blow Rafa off the court simply because he was that good.

Nadal’s tactics are really, truly terrible right now. As MMT points out, Verdasco is too erratic of a player to beat Rafa Nadal and that’s why the h2h is as lopsided as it is. But apparently it’s not a big deal anymore against Nadal. Hell, who better exemplifies erratic play that Fabio Fognini? He beat Rafa in a similar way at the US Open. Hits a butt load of errors then starts to click a bit and plows right through Nadal.

As always, we will have to wait and see what happens on clay this year. But Nadal WAS playing well the last few months. And he sounded as upbeat as ever coming here. Once again, a bad and tough loss. Where does he go from here?


AndyMira Says:

Nice from NK..thank you for the kind word..


MMT Says:

Fognini is a player who curiously plays well behind the baseline against other, but against Nadal, the MO is so obvious to plant yourself on the baseline and hit flat and hard behind him, that he does that against him, and has had some success too in the last couple of years…even on clay.

Everyone who beats Nadal does it the same way – at this point the only question is whether the guy playing has the skill to execute. Nishikori was well on his way to blowing Rafa off the court in Madrid two years ago playing exactly the same way Fognini and Verdasco played, before he got injured. As Nadal’s physical capacity (inevitably) erodes, the number of players capable of putting the screws on him will increase.

His only hope is to re-invent himself, little by little, until he has ways to depend on his defense LESS, and I don’t see those changes in him. Although his grass court results have been poor over the last few years, I think a modification of his style of play on grass (closer to the baseline, flatter off of both wings, with natural help from the surface to his serve) is his best bet.


MMT Says:

I don’t understand why he doesn’t get to the net more, by the way – he’s an outstanding volleyer and he’s got a great lunge. In some ways it would be easier for him to defend the net than baseline.

He would have to do something about his backhand approach – when he comes over it, he doesn’t turn to the side and shuffle his feet well and tends to be all arms with that shot. If he could incorporate a better slice approach, or turn to the side when he comes over it, and shuffle his fee as he does on the forehand volley, he would be better off.


Skeezer Says:

Rafa is 29?
This has become a recent recipe if success against Rafa. It all started with Sod. Go all out and try for winners. Take away time from Rafa. Hit flatter, harder. Screw the errors.
Now, even the mentally fragile ones win against him.
To add to his problems, his serve is lacking and he is slower.
You can have all the determination you want, but if you don’t have game, well you just don’t have it.


Ben Pronin Says:

It didn’t start with Soderling. James Blake was thrashing Nadal in the same manner way back in 2005 and 2006. These types of players have always, always, always matched up well against Nadal.

But then Nadal hit his prime, in 08, and there wasn’t a lot that worked. On his best day, you can easily argue he was unbeatable. His defense was top notch and his ground strokes became lasers. He was, actually, very aggressive in his game. Whether going for winners or coming into net, he wasn’t content to defend unless he had to. Whenever he had an opening, he’d go for it. He’s not doing that at all, now. I have no idea what to expect from Nadal on his “best day” nowadays.

Nadal is playing too cautious and way too predictable. He’s in a similar trap that Roddick was for a few years. I can’t find the match stats for it, but when Kohlschreiber beat Roddick at the AO in 08, he hit like 80+ winners, kinda like Verdasco did last night. But I’m not sure how many errors he had. 91 errors, even with so many winners, is a lot. It’s the exact differential you’d expect Nadal to overcome. After that match, Roddick said he didn’t think he played too bad and kept referencing his low error count. Well for Nadal, 30ish errors is way less than 91. But that’s the problem. Both guys just wait for the match to come to them instead of taking it.

What does Nadal have to show for this match? He fought hard, again, like he always does. I guess that’s good. But fighting hard is not the same as executing the right tactics.


skeezer Says:

“…just wait for the match to come to them instead of taking it.”

So true. But he won plenty that way, didn’t he?


calmdownplease Says:

His serve is anaemic too
Which is disastrous against you know who

`Not me. I want to see Novak Djokovic finally make it. There is never “deserving it” or “entitled to it”’

I don’t think he is going to win the FO ChrisF.
When I said ‘put a fork in him’, I meant it.
It’s not just about confidence, he looks older now.
It’s all rather painful to watch.
I’m guessing he’ll won’t even make it to the final in Paris, but whether he calls it a day after the Olympics or soldiers remains to be seen.


calmdownplease Says:

*he will
*soldiers on

tsk!


calmdownplease Says:

`His only hope is to re-invent himself, little by little, until he has ways to depend on his defense LESS’

It’s too late for that now, he is what he is.
His game was always much more predicated on power than variety.
And the power is going.


FedExpress Says:

Nadal is finished.

the chances that fed will win a GS are higher that nadal ever will


FedExpress Says:

*than


jane Says:

nadal started the match more aggressively last night; he was sticking to the baseline mostly, but even coming forward to net a bit. and then he just seemed to get more defensive. it worked out okay because verdasco cooled off. i really thought rafa was going to win after he won the third set rather easily.


calmdownplease Says:

‘the chances that fed will win a GS are higher that nadal ever will’

I know, Nadal has no chance.
While Fed has next to no chance.
Fedal is on the way OUT.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer has a better chance of winning a slam than Murray, although not by much.

Skeeze, he has won a lot that way. But he was also more consistent, too.

Nadal’s style, at its core, is to be defensive and wait for errors. His speed, footwork, and fitness was always the best or close to it. He also played with a lot of margin and rarely missed. All of that combined made it extremely hard to beat him, even for big hitters. The best example I can think of is the 2013 Indian Wells final against Del Potro. Delpo came out firing and had Nadal pinned to the wall. But as the match wore on, Delpo started misfiring a bit and Nadal just kept chasing everything down, never giving up any free points.

So when you lose some speed and can’t chase down every ball, there’s a few more winners for your opponent. That can be the difference between holding at 30 or getting broken. Then, you also miss a few more shots you wouldn’t in the past. Now instead of breaking back at 30, your opponent consolidates the break. Finally, you’re not as fit, you get worn out, and your shots fall shorter and shorter, bounce even higher for the additional margin, and your opponent wins 6 straight games to close out the match because they’re in a groove and you’re just feeding them balls.

I don’t think Nadal has the option of changing little by little. He basically needs to go full-Federer right away and just bum rush everyone.


RZ Says:

@Ben – do you mean that Fed has a better chance of winning a slam than Nadal? (Not to argue the point with Murray, but the rest of the thread seems to be about Nadal)


sienna Says:

Federer has more chance of winning a slam then hot sauce Oops I did it again or did I? Verdasco.
Lets agree to disagree about that one.


Ben Pronin Says:

I was referring to Murray but I guess both at this point.


sienna Says:

there is a difference in being great volleyer as to making points when you eventually attack and volley.

when Nadal attacks when not in full controle of the point his succesrate in volleying will drop.

itwill drop considerably to a level people will questione his volley skills. No doubt about it.


Karan Says:

Nadal SS unwell and injured, so the loss doesn’t count. In addition, he is still searching for his mojo. 2010, 2013, and now 2016: another multiple GS year for Nadal. Vamos, Rafa… goat.


Karan Says:

Nadal SS unwell and injured, so the loss doesn’t count. In addition, he is still searching for his mojo. 2010, 2013, and now 2016: another multiple GS year for Nadal. Vamos, Rafa… goat.


J-Kath Says:

Once in a blue moon Verdasco plays a thrashing match of tennis (luck and faults an all). I doubt he’ll be able to repeat that until there’s another blue moon. I didn’t see the match, but Nadal knew he was supposed to win and should have won…the rankings say so, what Nadal knows of Verdasco says so..and Nadal simply wasn’t prepared and left it too late to get his determination going.

To me his defeat says no more than Why On Earth Did I Not Take Nothing For Granted….


Margot Says:

Kath, have you read MMT’s analysis, pretty accurate I’d say. I saw bits of the match.


Matt Says:

This Tennis Vagabond-type shock is actually shocking. Are people really surprised? His post USO tennis was that inspiring? Getting absolutely embarrassed by Nole at WTF and Doha was not evidence enough of this kind of sink hole? Or are people too mesmerized by Nole (it was Nole’s greatness, not Nadal’s terribly mediocre quality).

Come on. Wake up.


calmdownplease Says:

`Federer has a better chance of winning a slam than Murray, although not by much.’

Says WHO?

Oh you BP oh well…

No, Fed doesn’t have a better chance than Andy.. because he has no chance!
He’s frankly too old for the majors now.
I get that the stars could align heavily but I don’t even think he will get past the Quarters here.
Different conversation (somewhat) on the masters side.
For now.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot….A big THANKS to Miss Personality of TX, you are a sweetheart. I am Andy’s girl now. Oh, how I hope he does well. Good luck!


Emily Says:

Love that people want a Stan/Nole final as I was nervous to even suggest it. However, if you look at the pattern, 2013 they played in the 4th round, 2014 in the quarters, and 2015 in the semis (alternating results which would mean Stan gets his win this year).

There’s a lot of tennis still to be played, but it would seem fitting that they meet in the final. Keeping my fingers crossed ;)


calmdownplease Says:

Okay I have contradicted myself a little.
But really, forget the ‘next to no chance’ on paper kind of thing
The stars just don’t do those kinds of favours for Fed anymore.


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer and Murray have more or less the same problem at the slams; Djokovic. But I’d favor Federer over Murray, should they meet, despite Federer being “too old”.

Anyways, MMT, I do think people were a bit mesmerized by Novak. No doubt he’s playing extremely well but the walloping he’s been putting on Nadal has as much to do with Nadal’s poor form as it does Novak’s great form.

That’s been the thing since 2015 started, Nadal is getting beat like any other player. Verdsaco didn’t play lights-out-unbelievable-omg-how’d-he-do-that tennis. This wasn’t even close to their 09 classic. That was truly great tennis. Last night was just one of those close first round matches we see pretty often between middle ranking players.

Nadal’s just not been Nadal for a while now. He’s like an average player.


calmdownplease Says:

The issue with Andy is if he is truly `back`(sic) yet.

I think he is (surely!) and he will beat Roger here as he has before.

I couldn’t bear another Fed/Novak bore fest.
It’s boring because we know who will win.
Andy is young enough with some remaining potential kicking about to raise his level & surprise us all
Federer is not.


Okiegal Says:

@CDP…..You sent commies to GG and OG……did you mean Okie and just hit G instead of a K? If you meant OK……thank you very much! Appreciate it.

I really paid attention to Rafa’s foot speed, it’s not there. He’s just not the player he once was, and that’s all there is to it. The stats were crazy. If anyone is interested there is a sight Nadal News run by a girl named Miri….you can find them there.
Mary Jo Fernandez says she is not ready to give up on him because of his work ethic…..but I have to agree with the majority here…..future does not look good for my guy…..guess I’m gonna have to get a new guy……NOT! I will hang until the bitter end….I am just that loyal.

I have about decided fresh eyes might be the ticket….and honestly, Uncle Tony should bow out! He obviously has done all he can do for him. Regarding sports psychologist….I don’t believe in them. Because when you get on the big stage in crucial do or die moments he is not going to be thinking about what a sports shrink told him. He has pressure in that moment and coupled with adrenalin rush and not being confident anymore it is a recipe for disaster. How did Nando keep hitting harder and harder managing to get a fifth set. It was just like 2009, but with a different result. He would not have gone much further anyway, he just is not playing that good.

Fresh eyes is what I want to see, Uncle T. stay at home and concentrate on your children. You know I have read Rafa doesn’t even pay him…..so there you go…..Rafa saving lots of money…. I also noticed the power shot is not there anymore either. Oh well back to the drawing board!!!
Rafa is stubborn….Is that a Spanish characteristic??? I enjoyed everyone’s input on Rafa’s apparent demise. He is fragile, sorry to say.


MMT Says:

The end comes quickly for all the greats…Nadal had his reprieve in 2013 – I think from here on out it’s lights out. Federer had made 8 major finals in a row and won 4 of them at by the OZ open in 2010 – since then he’s won 1, despite making 4 finals.

Don’t be surprised if the trend continues when you least expect it with Djokovic – when it happens it’s usually a precipitous decline (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2009/07/privlege-of-pressure.html)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Okie great post,time to just enjoy watching him now and see what unfolds,people can trash him all they want it certainly reflects more on them more than Rafa,and it wont take away what hes already achieved which is the career of a legend….


Gypsy Gal Says:

And the OG meant Okie Gal in CDPs post….


J-Kath Says:

No Margot I didn’t see the match but I was up at 6.30am UK time re. Andy and went over to the scores and any chat going on. But my feeling is more than just Rafa wasn’t up to it…I keep on remembering how impressive Verdasco can be “once in a blue moon” in one match…..as he did with Andy at Wimbledon…Andy upped his play just in time, Nadal didn’t….although I thought he was doing so when I went back to bed. Not saying I’m right, just feel its too soon to write him off…if he wants it bad enuf he’ll surprise.

Glad to see Emily posting again.


Okiegal Says:

@GG he is a legend….he will always have his records and achievements to be proud of. He will still go down in history as one of the greatest….and he will always be King of Clay. His clay records are mind-boggling! He has said time and time again he never dreamed his career would be what it is. He is happy for that.


Okiegal Says:

@GG I did think he meant me….couldn’t think in the moment who OG was.


Matt Says:

Btw, doesn’t the insistence of Toni and Rafa on maintaining that tight inner circle (relationship) invite all sorts of criticism? No one else is allowed “in”? Of course he needs a fresh set of eyes, a different perspective.

Really pretty extraordinary, odd, suspicious. . .


Gypsy Gal Says:

Matt im curious,do you ever get any Rafa fans posting on your blog or would you rather they didnt?….


Matt Says:

Sure. I love the exchange.


Matt Says:

Meaning, I invite them, but to answer your question, not too many Rafa fans come-by.


sienna Says:

yess we can rewatch the fifth set on eurosport.
It is always good fun seeing Nadal go down.
He is such a fighter and cant believe the level reached by opponent….


Gypsy Gal Says:

No offence but you and your site sound very prejudiced towards Nadal though in all your articles,not saying you have to like the guy,but what is the point if you will only rebut everything his fans say?,i thought sites were made for all fans,and made to be more balanced,Tennis Vagabond,MMT,Ruan have their own blogs which seem more neutral,and less aggressive,yours seems very aggressive and much less neutral,i did think of sending in a post,but in the end as a Nadal fan i couldnt see the point….


Gypsy Gal Says:

You didnt answer my question,would you rather they didnt?….


Okiegal Says:

@Matt…..”No one else is allowed in”?? What is that supposed to mean….like you are thinking something sinister??


Matt Says:

Gypsy Gal, the Rafa hype is too much. I have encouraged a more realistic view of him. Look at the entire picture. He’s not in the same league as guys like Pete, Nole and Roger.

And I think the hype along with his massive inconsistency, his coaching situation, etc., are very questionable.

Yes, Okiegal, it is suspicious. Why wouldn’t it be? Why is that not suspicious?

How do you explain such massive inconsistency? His entire career. He’s a grinder? Sorry, that doesn’t work.

Gypsy Gal, if you think I’m biased and a guy like Ruan is neutral, have a good one. You’re missing something. Root for your guy. I just don’t buy into that, having watched tennis since the 80s.


Matt Says:

“I invite them.” Seems pretty clear.


Ben Pronin Says:

Does anyone else still think Nadal doesn’t need a new coach?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Matt you still didnt answer my question,but fair enough,hes not in the same league as Pete,Nole,Roger when hes achieved all hes has hmm,your opinion and your entitled to it,no offence but i wont blog on your forum as i cant see the point not that you would care anyway,have a good evening CHEERS….


Gypsy Gal Says:

I asked if you would rathewr they didnt though,you invite them but it doesnt mean you actually want them,its too different things….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sorry Two different things….


Matt Says:

“Sure. I love the exchange.”

Ha. Cheers.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Ben he does lol….


Gypsy Gal Says:

I think you would rather they didnt,i couldnt personally see the point….


Travis Bickle Says:

I am really waiting for Giles to chime in with his opinion on Rafa.
He has always provided a balanced and accurate assessments on this forum. However, he is unusually quiet today…


Okiegal Says:

+Suspicious of what, Matt? He is very close to his family. Is that a crime? I am very close to mine.
I guess I am too dense to follow you…..his choice of coach is questionable? He has won 14 slams on all surfaces with that coach, why would anyone question that? I will admit at this point in his career Uncle T needs to come up with something new and refreshing. What is your web site, not familiar with it?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Rafa aint my guy hes a tennis player is all,i dont believe in putting these people up on that type of pedestal my guy your guy they are tennis players that we dont even know personally,i have my guy at home….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Okie great post,and if you click on Matts name you will link up to his site….


MMT Says:

“Matt Says: Btw, doesn’t the insistence of Toni and Rafa on maintaining that tight inner circle (relationship) invite all sorts of criticism? No one else is allowed “in”? Of course he needs a fresh set of eyes, a different perspective”

Funny you should mention that: There is a long video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IikkA1QJYyk) concerning Rafa’s serve, and how it was improved by a guy named Oscar Borras (i.e. not Toni Nadal).

Unfortunately they Nadal’s at some point were involved in a legal proceeding concerning credit where credit is due (http://www.rafaholics.com/2012/03/no-compromise-between-rafa-nadal-and.html) , but the long and short of it is that Nadal, a 6-time major champion, was humble enough to CHANGE, and didn’t fall privy to this gibberish about the key success factor being between his ears.

Borras started with showing him his serving motion on youtube, then having Rafa adopt a new throwing motion, then change his grip, then serve from the service line, then serve properly with the new serve.

And surprise-uprise he added 20-25mph to his serve and Nadal won his first US Open. So the Nadals are not averse to bringing in someone to improve. I don’t think there’s any reason why he can’t do this with other facets of his game and improve, but whether or not he even tries is a different question.


Matt Says:

Fair enough, GG. Sounded like you might be a big Rafa fan; I can see where you might take offense to some of my posts if that was the case.

I like to counter some of the popular opinions (myths). I think Rafa is a bit over-rated though probably the best fighter of all time. But I’m not a big fan of his tennis.

I have written counter to the Serena hype too. It’s not that I have a big bias, but that I’m just adding some opposing views of these hugely popular players/ideologies. That’s all. Most of the readers appreciate my approach. Granted I have not had a lot of Rafa fans.

They are plentiful elsewhere, of course.

No pedestals where I’m coming from. I will celebrate great sport and comment on things that I think can use some clarification/discussion. That’s all.

I invite all fans. If you see some of the comments, we discuss the game. It’s pretty thoughtful discourse, imho.


Okiegal Says:

@Ben…..he needs something. I said on another thread or maybe it was this one. Uncle Toni needs to go to his nephew and be honest and above board with him tell him he has done all he can and then get the heck out of Dodge and concentrate on his children…. Or at least call someone in for a little input. However, I think he is too proud to do so. He probably wouldn’t do it now for sure since everyone is saying “Rafa needs a new coach”….just saying. Rafa’s power is gone!!!


Matt Says:

MMT, I saw that and Boras had a tough time trying to convince Rafa AND Toni. You think outsiders want to deal with that, if they’re even allowed the space?

Most (all) successful players have changed coaches. His is an unusual case. Ha. I really have to clarify that?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Matt yeah fair enough,not looking for an argument,and personally ive never been one for idol worship of any particular player in general,to be honest i could barely have the time to blog on another site anyway,this one already takes up too much of my precious time,PEACE….


MMT Says:

My point is only that they’re not as insular as it seems – they just need to do with his game, what Borras did with his serve, which is to go back to the drawing board and change it.

Of course, they won’t just open my doors to any idiot with a tennis racquet, but I also don’t think that any coach worth taking the job, wouldn’t shy away from natural aversion to change that ALL great players have.

Darren Cahill once revealed that Tony Roche found Federer to be stubborn in the extreme, frequently refusing to do what they had discussed almost to prove a point. But Roche, having worked with Ivan Lendl and revolutionized his game, figured out a way to help him to what remains the most successful sustained period of his career.

It can be done, and there are people to do it…they just have to do it (as they’ve done before).


Gypsy Gal Says:

Anyway fully behind Murray now,if he goes out ill pull for Stan,although said earlier that i also have a hankering for Nando to pull of a late career blossom and have a Cilic or Wawarinka type moment,like Michael said i would be dissapointing if he couldnt back up the Rafa result,what do you think Okie?….


Matt Says:

MMT, I totally agree. Roger’s stubbornness has been detrimental if you ask me though people will point to his numbers. I’d like to think Ivan will be allowed to provide some 11th hour insight.

I just think Toni runs a really tight ship, too tight. The relationship Rafa has with his box seems not ideal, but we don’t know the details.

Looks like Borg depended on one primary coach, and there are few others, surely, but most, especially as the game changes so much, pursue multiple perspectives.

The Nadal situation, as most would agree, appears to be going in the wrong direction, fast.


Okiegal Says:

@Gypsy 2:42…Cute post about the “guys”. I say my guy because he is my favorite tennis player. In all the years I have watched, I have always had a fav, which I know you have too. This reminds me of a song from the sixties called “My Guy”…..”No muscle bound man is gonna take my hand from my guy, my guy. No handsome face is gonna take the place of my guy. I’m gonna stick to my guy like a stamp to a letter, like birds of a feather we stick together. I’m telling you from the start I can’t be pulled apart from my guy”….but in this case Rafa is the handsome face with the muscular build. There has been poetry and songs on TX before….so this is my contribution. Am I sounding immature and giddy? Well…. yes I guess I am! :)

Thanks for telling me how to get on Matt’s site. My shoulders are broad….I will check it out.


MMT Says:

Speaking of Borg – every coach he ever had tried to get him to lose the second hand on his backhand. They all told him he’s NEVER win Wimbledon like that, but he refused. I guess he had a point, but he wasn’t exactly open to new ideas UNLESS he agreed with them – “buy-in” is part of the art of coaching.


Okiegal Says:

@GG….I do hope Nando backs up his win, but my gut tells me no. My gut told me Rafa was gonna lose that match and he did. I don’t know what the answer is regarding Rafa’s inconsistent play…but having said that he did move up to number 5 in the rankings, so that makes no sense for me to even suggest that…but you know what I mean. I will back Andy from here on out and hope does well and Kim keeps the baby on hold…like she can! LOL


Okiegal Says:

Rafa doesn’t pay Uncle Tony, so I have read. Maybe Rafa is tight and frugal with his pesos? That’s a thought…


Gypsy Gal Says:

Okie lol,i was singing Fernando by Abba before the match perhaps it was a bad omen?,that song your singing my guy i love,and once kidding i said to my husband Clive i dont want somebody whos tall,dark and handsome as im quite happy with you,to which he said cheers but knew i was only kidding as he has a great sense of hmour….

About Matts blog,he has alot of tennis knowledge no doubt,but to be honest blogging on here already takes up enough of my precious spare time….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Okie lol,sorry but Nand is hotter than Feli,agree or disagree?Robredos hot too….


Margot Says:

MMT: I thought the serve that won Rafa the USOpen caused damage to his shoulder, which is why he stopped doing it. Is this not the case?


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

No, it wasn’t. He didn’t change that much his serve motion since then. The key is the toss: he tossed the ball in front of him and this forced him to rotate his hips, therefore hitting much stronger. His previous motion was much more stressful for the arm and the shoulder, because his racquet was to far behind, racquet head down, when he started the toss.

That’s partly the change Novak did since he started working with Becker, investing the difference in strength in a more precise motion and serve.

Rafa stopped serving that way after at the beginning of the final in Miami 2011, when he had problems with the timing. He also changed his forehand, reverting to the old one; while at the USO 2010 his racquet finished over his shoulder, therefore hitting flatter, nowadays his racquet FH motion finished always over his head. That’s why he can’t generate the pace he could five years ago.


mat4 Says:

… at the beginning of the third set of the final…


Okiegal Says:

No GG, I will still go with Feli…Nando is very nice looking but it’s Feli’s eyes….they are mysterious and gorgeous. My favorite characteristic that I notice first are teeth and eyes!

Went to Matt’s link…just as I figured it would be. I agree with a lot he said about Rafa. I never thought he would get back up to #2…no way. I guess there are Rafa fans who are in denial, but I am not one of them…I call a spade a spade….but would I like to be proven wrong?? Yes siree! Did not agree with him at all regarding Serena. He has problems with muscles….Maybe he doesn’t have any and he is a tad jealous of her! She has moved her bulk around the court to win 20 or more slams?? I don’t even know what possessed him to make such an idiotic statement as that. He is knowledgeable about tennis, no doubt….but wasn’t impressed. I like the TX non-Rafa fans mush better! I will stay here! There will be some on here that probably hopeful I would move elsewhere…NOT! lol I’m at home here. I made a rash statement last night by stating if Rafa lost I was done and dusted…I meant it at the time, but can’t leave because this is the only social life I have… and also Facebook! Sorry peeps! Home sweet home…..


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..Regarding Rafa’s serve… not long after the open he explained that to reporters in length and said that it flared up problems elsewhere. I thought it was abductor or in the back. He had some type of minor injury. I am gonna try to find it by GOOGLE, they are smart! lol I agree with you about that.


mat4 Says:

@MMT:

The story about Oscar Borras, Rafa and Toni is a bit less nice than that, and anybody can find enough material on youtube to see with it his own eyes.

Anyway, Rafa’s technical changes are quite troubling.


mat4 Says:

@Okiegal:

Rafa lied, like many times before. And after…

That’s something easy to understand when you compare his old serve, his top serve and his actual serve motion. Ce n’est pas sorcier.


Okiegal Says:

GG….about who’s hot and who’s not, it boils down to different strokes for different folks. I mentioned my social life in a comment a few minutes ago. Byron and I discussed whether we would marry again if either one was left a widow or widower, we both said no! But he has been gone only 3 months and I am steadily changing my thoughts on that topic. All my friends are married and don’t get to run around with single friends….Said all that to say this…never say never! CHEERS!!


mat4 Says:

And, Okie…

I am really sorry to be sometimes so… rude. I know GG for a long time, and you are here already for a few years, and I like to chit chat with you. I certainly wouldn’t like to offend you, and I feel bad when I do it.

But you have to think clearly who Rafa is — not the nicely packed Nike product, but the man behind the picture. And, for my part, I find it troubling.


Okiegal Says:

Yeah mat4 I hear you loud and clear…please don’t speak whatever that other language is on your comments to me….it is rude as I don’t understand…OK? And mat4 I know I am at a disadvantage by not understanding the mechanics of serving and whatnot….. I choose to believe him maybe because maybe I don’t know better…..but so be it! Whether anyone likes him or hates him, he’s still an amazing athlete. He will probably get passed by Novak and that is fine by me. I have watched him all his career and he has entertained me whether he won or lost. I am so glad I don’t hate Novak, Fed, Sod, Rosol, Nando, Coric, Darcus, Fogi, Zeballos, well you know the lessor players he has lost too, oh and Nick, forgot about him…..I am very proud of his accomplishments….he has hit another rough spot…..but I will support him until he hangs it up! It is fun and exciting to happen to be a fan of the #1 player in the world. It is good feeling to be in a happy place regarding your favorite sport! CHEERS!


Okiegal Says:

@mat4 I was typing my comment and did not know about you saying you didn’t mean to be rude. I guess you had a guilty conscious! That is funny we both addressed it w/o the other knowing….lol


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

BTW, I am in front of you again! At a decent third place… where I won’t stay for long…

How cares? So far, so good.


Okiegal Says:

@mat4 I clearly know who Rafa is and I hate to inform you dear, he is nicely packed! LOL Yes, Nike does a good job with him and Roger….Your post regarding Rafa…always an underlying agenda with you. I know what you are alluding to….I will leave it at that! I touched on that in another thread a few days ago. I am sure you saw but don’t think I got an answer….We have a good rapport even though we do not agree on some issues! It’s all good. You Love Novak I love Rafa!


RZ Says:

@Mat4 and Margot – but will you be as successful as I will be at finishing last? :-)


mat4 Says:

@okiegal:

There’s no hate, Okie. You all too often forget that English is not my first, nor my second, nor even my third language. It’s sometimes very painful, especially when you want to articulate a complex thought.

So, I sound so crude, so different than in other languages, especially French. At 15-love, other posters wrote that I was “une si belle plume” — something I am very proud of — while here, I write/act way too often just like an elephant in a glass shop.

But yes, indeed, I was at first fascinated by that young and so genuine, so naive Spanish boy. And then, little by little, I discovered more and more troubling, perplexing facts, and while I don’t have a clear-cut view about him yet, he is certainly very different from what we see, even after all the changes he’s gone through.


mat4 Says:

@RZ:

Go and see my bracket… I guess I am a very serious candidate for the wooden spoon.


RZ Says:

@mat4 – Just took a look. Ouch! Okay I might have to share the bottom of the barrel with you.


J-Kath Says:

I want to know where is Courbon?


skeezer Says:

@mat4,
Regardless, he started having shoulder problems after 2010 USO. Could be technical like you mentioned, but if that 2010 service motion caused pain or injury, no doubt the natural tendency is to revert back. There is also the “comfort” level, which we all know is important to Rafa. Can’t get it in? Revert back to something that can.
BTW at the 2011 IW final against Novak(just 6 mos after USO), he made only 25% of his first serves, a travesty.


mat4 Says:

@Skeezer:

Yes, it was IW, not Miami. That’s the moment when he reverted partly to his old motion. the one he used certainly since 2009. But it wasn’t the “old, old” motion, the one he used before working with Oscar Borras.

Then, I am really tempted to write: “Et tu, Brute…”. When you know that he felt pain in one knee at the AO 2012 and that the following day they discovered that, in reality, his other knee was injured… I somehow feel that I don’t believe him.

Quite the opposite: Novak was the one with shoulder problems, and his efforts to change his service motion lead him to a lost year. “Even Andy” was in front of him in the rankings that year for a stretch.


Emily Says:

Commiserations to Rafa fans, but I know you’ll never give up.
I saw Nando a few years ago at the USO and couldn’t believe how hard he hit the ball when he’s playing well. This really reminded me of the Fognini match where Rafa’s opponent was just red-lining the ball (though i think Verdasco was better today).

This leads to questions about why Rafa is losing to these inspired performances and hasn’t been able to keep control of these matches. Is it just about being too passive or like he says, matches are being taken out of his hands? I went to sleep yesterday at 2-0 in the 5th, thinking Rafa had it, and I check my phone this morning and see Nando won the next 6 games. See if he can back it up


Okiegal Says:

Thanks Emily, Verdasco was the better player….sad to say…..


Pauly Says:

Nadal is a sprinter 29
Federer is a marathon runner 34
Djokovic is 1500 m racer

It’s not hard to work out who will burn themselves out first ?


Pauly Says:

No one will outlast Federer
Watching him play live at the Australian open
It’s like poetry in motion
He’s still going at 85% compared to his prime years
That’s not bad going for 34 yr old tennis player
Federer can play till 37 easy

Nadal ???
He looks like a worn out sprinter
He’s going at 75% compared to his prime years
He’s almost done !

Djokovic
He’s in his prime
He can play till 33 in my opinion
He will slow down also

These 3 great players
Federer 34
Nadal 29
Djokovic 28
Won’t be around forever so give them all the respect they deserve !


Pauly Says:

Isn’t the time right now
For Nadal to go back to thundering those flat forehands
Tennis is becoming a power game of FLAT hitters
Topspin is dead

New coach would advise Nadal to wreak havoc on the court with flat forehands
Tennis is all about power

Bjorn Borg
Nadal days R over

Power rules


Margot Says:

Thanks Matt, Skeeze and OK for your thoughts on Rafa’s serve, very interesting, because that serve was lethal at that USOpen but now is so attackable.
Ah RZ so kind of you and Matt, for the sake of your fellow challengers, to fall on your wooden bracket swords.
Last time I looked I was lurking in the boring middle with huge swathes of red going into the far distance….yes, Paire, Karlovic, Rafa, Bedene et al. looking at you.


AndyMira Says:

Hi Pauly..agree with you..i always wonder why rafa rarely used flat forehands all this time..heavy topspin seems not working anymore..except on roger..his topspin always landed higher on his opponent’s court..and combined with shortball that it seems always came out from his racquet this days..is a recipe for disaster..no wonder all his opponent can make winners right and left…


Margot Says:

AndyMira, when Corretja was working with Andy he changed his forehand to make it more “spinny” in order to try and improve his chances on clay.
It took Andy years and years to get his old, flat forehand back, and I have never forgiven Corretja!


AndyMira Says:

Hey Margot..i’m glad andy don’t stick with that “spinny” anymore seems the tour is littered with big hitters and flat forehand these days..can you imagine how hard is gonna be for him to handle the onslaught of all the big hitters with flat forehands if he still stick with it?


Margot Says:

Piece of you-know-what for our Andy, AndyMira ;)
Back to AO, why are all the lovely boys in pink? And have yo all seen Stan’s 2016 fashion statement?
NB Stan you should never wear anything that might scare the cat. :0


Pauly Says:

Nadal’s forehand in 2004 was devestating
But uncle Toni told him to spin it for his main surface
Clay … It’s effective on clay but sits up too high on hardcourts allowing the good players who take the ball on the rise to beat him easy

Flat Nadal forehand
Lethal shot needs to make return


Gypsy Gal Says:

Emily @January 19th,many thanks,nice post,didnt see all the match,but a combination of Rafas erratic play,and also moments of Nando brilliance,if he played like that all the time with more consistency, the commies said he would be top 10 for sure,hes just too up and down to take seriously,i do hope he can back it up but we will see,anyway now pulling for Andy if he goes out Stan,but have a sort of sneaky type hankering for Fernando to have a Stan/Cilic type of career blossom and go all the way too,doubt it though,i think only Andy or Stan can beat Novak now though,anyway nice to see you back posting again,always nice to see a mixture of fans on these forums….


Okiegal Says:

Regarding Rafa’s
serve at the open he plainly stated that it caused an injury…..what is hard to understand
about that and what difference does it make anyway?? I guess it helped him win the USO, which was the important thing at the time. Regardless of what Rafa says and does, there are those who detest him so much will not pay any attention to what he says. They don’t intend to believe him. Maybe he has told a lie at times, but I will guarantee this, he is probably not the only one. I imagine every player on the tour, especially the top guys, get so sick and tired of being under a microscope 24 hrs a day…they might spout off something that would cause a stir. I feel so sorry for them. I remember Andy and his back surgery. Invasive or non-invasive???
I get the impression some think there is something sinister and evil going on in the Nadal camp by not wanting any help from “outsiders”…this is troubling for some TX posters. I think Tony doesn’t want fresh eyes because if they did get another coach and the new coach helped Rafa and he got out of his slump and he started doing better….that would be put Uncle T. in a bad light about his ability as a coach…..he might be too prideful to let this happen. I have read he doesn’t pay him to coach. Maybe the Spanish are thrifty and frugal people and there is nothing the matter with that. Then someone posted on another thread that it’s being
rumored they are talking to Andre?? I find that very interesting. That remains to be seen…..I will be expecting a rebuttal to this post. LOL


MMT Says:

“Margot Says: MMT: I thought the serve that won Rafa the USOpen caused damage to his shoulder, which is why he stopped doing it. Is this not the case?”

It is true that Rafa had shoulder problems after the change to his serve, although he did not indicate that the serve was the cause. It may or may not have been the cause – I suspect only Rafa knows the truth. I should point out that because he is not a natural left-hander, he may not have developed the muscles or sinew required to serve the way Borras taught him without encountering some discomfort.

But this is beside the point: all players, including great players, can change technically. And, as a matter of fact any player (including great players) that wants to improve and/or evolve with the game MUST change technically. All of his contemporaries have done it, and he has done it too (I gave the serve as the example).

But if he wants to have any hope of improving sufficiently to be competitive at majors again, the one thing he cannot do is MORE OF THE SAME, and just hope that his “mind” will somehow alter results. The key is to make technical adjustments, and it is better to make those adjustments when you are still competitive, rather than after a drop off so you can go from strength to strength, rather than playing catch-up as it appears he will have to do now.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal claims the game has evolved and everyone’s trying to hit the ball as hard as they can rather than wait to develop points. This… isn’t new.


MMT Says:

Nico Almagro is another example of a player who has not made sufficient technical improvements to sustain/maintain his best years on tour. I describe that here (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-curious-case-of-nico-almagro.html), but the long and short of it is that his serve has insufficient variety, his slice backhand lacks bite, and he has not net game to speak of – even his overhead is weak, if you can imagine that.

As for his serve, I would say his wide serves (particularly in the deuce court) are weak – they don’t land short enough in the court to open it for the next shot, and because his net game is so poor, he has to take a bigger cut on his second shot off of a wide serve that isn’t that effective to begin with. That leads to a lot of unforced errors on his serve that has diminished his effectiveness on serve. And it was precisely the effectiveness on his serve that allowed him to be a swashbuckler on the return – these days he tries to grind, and he’s never had sufficient defense to do so.

At any rate, the truth is, you either improve or you regress – technical stagnation just means the evolution of the game, and the erosion of your physical capacity, are enough to put you out of contention for significant success.


J-Kath Says:

Is there anyone that can beat Nole…chances by Stan and/or Andy …only two really?


Ben Pronin Says:

Federer. And giant-killer Seppi. Also Nishikori is close to him in the draw.


Margot Says:

Cheers for that answer MMT. Fascinating stuff.
Interesting too, you’ve mentioned Amalgro as an eg of someone who can’t/wont change his technique, but also Lopez who has a great s and v game but whose backhand must be one of the worst of the top players. You’ve gotta ask, why oh why?
All the top players have got tremendous ROS. You look at some of the kids and that’s a real weakness. I wonder how you improve that?
I know Andy, while he was hanging around waiting to play, used to watch replays of big servers and try and predict where the ball would go. Wonder if that does make your “eye” better?


Ben Pronin Says:

You improve your return by having someone serve at you from the service line. You have to improve your hand-eye coordination and reaction time. That’s the best way to do it.


MMT Says:

Interestingly, Margot – I asked Nishikori that exact question after he beat Cilic in DC: that there are a lot of mediocre players with great serves, but not a lot of great players with mediocre returns of serve (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2015/08/citi-open-last-but-not-least-thoughts.html). His answer was essentially that he didn’t know if the ROS was key for everyone, but it was definitely a key for him.

I have always been of the opinion that having a great serve is overrated as far as greatness is concerned, particularly on fast surfaces, precisely because so many players have great serves (http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-key-to-wimbledon-newsflash-its-not.html). To truly distinguish oneself, the return of serve offers more bang for the buck.


Margot Says:

Totally agree re ROS MMT.
Ben, yes, I’ve seen Andy doing that too.


MMT Says:

“mat4 Says: @MMT: The story about Oscar Borras, Rafa and Toni is a bit less nice than that, and anybody can find enough material on youtube to see with it his own eyes.’

I don’t understand what you mean here…


Matt Says:

“Nadal claims the game has evolved and everyone’s trying to hit the ball as hard as they can rather than wait to develop points. This… isn’t new.”

Ben, I agree. That just sounds like a spin zone, a guy trying to deflect from the real focus: his own tennis.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

It is and it isn’t new. As recently as 2011, the top three players in the world were Novak, Rafa and Murray, each of whom relied on defense and building points. Now its 2016, and the top 15 has not greatly changed. There are two differences: Novak is ending points much faster (but by no means is he trying to hit the ball as hard as he can!), and Rafa is losing to the ball crushers he used to beat. The tour is more or less the same, Rafa has become less-good at what he does against it.


Ben Pronin Says:

TV, exactly. There were always players who ball bashed for the sake of ball bashing but top players tend to be the guys who actually apply strategy and tactics to their matches. Nadal has lost what seems like a pretty significant step. It’s not that the game has evolved this dramatically.


cheat nadal Says:

Nadal was bump to Rosol as arrogant gamesmanship.

Nadal should hit a ball on a face of Djokovic again. lol


mat4 Says:

Ben:

Rafa seems to cover less court than he did. He also doesn’t hit as hard as he used to. Mouratoglou gave some stats, and it was worth watching (I hope a clip can be found on yt).

It’s more and more obvious than tennis continues to adapt to a now old technology. We’ll see, in a few years, what the result will be.

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