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How strong is Nadal mentally?

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How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:15 am

I know the view amongst most tennis fans has been that Nadal's mental strength was unequalled until Djokovic destroyed him in 2011.

Frankly I am not impressed and never was, as you know but what I am seing again just confirms it. He is a fighter, certainly, but that's not real mental strength to me. His confidence, which is after all the main factor of your mental strength, can quickly be affected and though it won't prevent him from running after every ball it does affect his positioning on the court. As soon as there is a bit of pace, he reverts to his 4m behind the baseline, incapable of taking the necessary risk to take his destiny in his hands. No, he'd rather test the opponent nerves by sending him as many balls as possible and hope that under heavy pressure his opponent will miss.  Sure that's the strategy of all road runners but the difference here is how Nadal's game and  confidence is so much affected by pace.

On clay he knows that even the best shots can be retrieved, or at least that it won;t be easy to pull 3 sets of outstanding winners...and that helps his mind. But as soon as there is a risk to take cause the ball skids a bit more, like a Gilles on (even slow) grass, a Shapo going for his shots you can read his fear on his face but more so by those extra 2m it takes trying to hit the slow ball.

I still think he will be hard to beat at the USO. B05 is really difficult. But it is going to be hard  work for him too.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by noleisthebest on Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:10 am

Yes that's an interesting one.

Mental strength is keeping cool and not letting emotions (fear, panic etc) affect your game.

The more attacking and low percentage - the more strength needed.

Nadal's game has always been as risk proof as you can imagine...amd that was even on slower surfaces.

he said yesterday how Federer and Djokovic haven't had as many injuries as he did, and how many tournaments he had to miss etc...but!

Has he ever missed a RG?

And what does that tell us...

Ever since umpires  tried to implement 25 seconds rule he started panicking, and hasn't been the same since.

Yesterday, Bernardes was letting him to have a 5 course meal between the points...so he was able to drain Ramos who played well.

Obviously, Kyrgios has a big serve and FH, so no wonder Nadal could never "settle" in his mind and "dominate" (drag the opponent into a safe rally until he can pull a "winner")

Draw will be crucial for him at the USO, as always.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Daniel on Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:21 pm

To become N1 and win 15 slams you have to be immensely strong mentally.  He is overhyped by the media though into being a god.  He has never been anywhere near as good on grass or HC or faster surfaces than he is on clay - but people try to make it out like he is.  Now, at the age of 31, he is out of his peak and prime and that gap will only widen. And is doing.

But, once again, your logic is nowhere to be found, Tenez.  Your hate for Nadal blinds you from even accepting that he is talented and that to win 15 slams you have to be an amazing player.  Not as good as Federer. No.  Not as good as Sampras or Borg.  But better than nearly all players in history.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:09 pm

... wrote:...Ever since umpires  tried to implement 25 seconds rule he started panicking, and hasn't been the same since.
yep...quite true. Some may argue that they started to apply in 2013 but I don't think they did as much as now. ..and in fact even now they are very loose with it.

What's frustrating is that without injury, Federer could have been #1 on Monday and secured till year end.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by noleisthebest on Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:50 pm

I think umpires apply 25 sec rule selectively with Nadal.
They only try to look "busy" in big matches, in early rounds or close they turn a blind eye.

That was so obvious vs Ramos yesterday...Bernardes had to push Nadal through to the next blockbuster round...

What irony, as he used to be banned from Nadal's matches...

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:54 pm

yes he learnt his lesson!

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:12 am

The guy is mentally strong as it comes. The view on here is he is an untalented roadrunner and yet has 15 Slams to his name. Now if this guy is deficient in talent as made on here, it takes exceptional mental strength to then beat opponents more talented than you. Hence why I rank him alongside McEnroe and Sampras as one of the most mentally strong players the game has seen. To me that has always been the key. Look at the wobble he started having from post FO 2014 through to 2016. He said numerous times that he didn't believe he was going to win anymore. That impacted his game massively.

Now that view isn't going to sit with those here and far who believe Federer does everything better than anyone, however Federer has vast amounts of talent to call upon, so when taking to court, I don't believe he will be of the scrappers mindset that Nadal always has.

Mental strength to me has always been about gritty scrappers that absolutely have to will more from themselves than they can actually give consistently. Those that believe they are going to win and in some instances don't know how, but somehow believe they will.

Take golf, if you were to ask anyone who's played the game and follows it who the mentally toughest player is/was, they wouldn't say Nicklaus or Woods, they'd say Gary Player. Cricket they'd probably say Steve Waugh.

I think if you have an inane amount of talent, like a Federer, Nicklaus, Tendulkar, Ronaldo for example and your talent is just natural and you can produce things that people can only imagine, I believe you can carry less pressure. Before anyone says, yes I take into account expectations placed on those players mentioned to always deliver in that manner, however if you have a talent no-one has an answer for, that breeds a lot of self-confidence. Knowing you have something no-one can replicate. I'd certainly feel a lot of comfort and confidence playing a sport having a talent no-one else does.

For those athletes that have never quite have such talents, but have had huge success because they've somehow been able to bridge gaps with those talented players, it takes a lot. More than for me athletes who are superiorly talented on the mental side.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:01 pm

I woudl agree if tennis success could be reduced to 2 factors: talent/technique and/or mental strength. But that's not the case.
Fitness is obviously the third main factor especially in those recent years. Of course all top players should have a good ratio of the 3. But as much as I would argue with you that Gasquet is very fit in spite of you thinking he is not. The question is how is Gasquet fit compare to the rest of fields? Well his 5 sets record is not great.

Likewise if someone is fit enough to retrieve lots of balls and at the same time hit them with huge, unseen power, then that person might last longer than the talented person.....in fact regardless of how talented that person is.

The number of slams won doesn't tell us at all what the talent/mental strength/fitness ratio is for a named player.

Therefore I disagree that a slam winner is talented, fit and mentally strong.....relatively to his peers.

If Karlovic was playing with half the size tennis balls, he may have won 15 GS.....an that woudl not make him more talented or fit than his peers. Just that the conds help his weapon, his serve.

And same if Pete had played all his slams as slow as they are today, he may not have won a single slam like he did not win a single FO for that same reason or lost at the first round of Wimbledon versus George Basl the very year they introduced larger balls on grass.

There is more to it than # of slams won. Nadal clearly made his success on his fitness an even chose not to bother entering competition when not 100%. That tells me how important fitness was for him, but more so he is still uncapable to adapt to pace, a key talent indicator.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:42 pm

legendkillar wrote:...
For those athletes that have never quite have such talents, but have had huge success because they've somehow been able to bridge gaps with those talented players, it takes a lot. More than for me athletes who are superiorly talented on the mental side.
Tennis history is littered with players having won more slams than talented players based on fitness.

One may argue that fitness is a form of talent.....and back then I woudl have agreed. Nowadays, in professional sport, I don't.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:00 pm

Ifs Ten is not an argument. If Fed played in the 70's, he may not have won all the Slams he had. It's arguments that have no bearing on the subject matter at hand.

As I stated, if Nadal is so limited in talent (I use that statement as an extreme) how did he win? Because the thing is Ten there is more to fitness that you make out. We are to believe Nadal just pushes and pushes, yet he has been very successful at it. I'll break it down further. The mindset supposedly for Nadal is to retrieve as many balls. Even after that, he still needs to win the point, and if ain't coming off his racquet, he then has to hope his opponent misses. Hope is not a strategy. So even with all the retrieving, the match is out of his hands. The fitness argument would come back to the debate you had with ROTA when he asked the fateful question "How would Nadal know he was the fittest?"

Ten it takes a lot of mental effort if you are going out on court with mindset "I can't win this match with my racquet, so I need to make my opponent miss"

Look at Murray. The most unsuccessful of the Roadrunners. It fitness is the ultimate currency in tennis and he has it in bags, why is his record in finals so abysmal? Granted he hits a different ball than Nadal, but the mindset is the same. The match is not on his racquet.

Granted Nadal has withdrawn from tournaments when not 100%. His damned if he is and damned if he doesn't.

Any tennis player Ten has thrived in conditions that match their main talent strengths. I'd go as far to say that would be the case in any sport. Would the likes of Laver, Borg or Sampras fare better in today's conditions? Probably not.

I won't try and shift you from your position on this Ten, but what I will say is that in my opinion Nadal has that trait I've seen in other athletes from a mental side. Wants to win at all costs. Might seem desperate and somewhat uncouth, but I never said mental strength was a glamorous thing.

When I see Federer, Nicklaus, Tendulkar or Zidane I see something so much more different, unique and unparalleled talent. Just talent. Effortless and seamless. When I watch Nadal, Player or Waugh I would think "Crikey, that looks much more harder than it needs to be"

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:11 pm

legendkillar wrote:Ifs Ten is not an argument. If Fed played in the 70's, he may not have won all the Slams he had. It's arguments that have no bearing on the subject matter at hand.
It's not an If! Pete did not win a slow slam.....not even on slowish grass and he did not come close either.

As I stated, if Nadal is so limited in talent (I use that statement as an extreme) how did he win? Because the thing is Ten there is more to fitness that you make out. We are to believe Nadal just pushes and pushes, yet he has been very successful at it. I'll break it down further. The mindset supposedly for Nadal is to retrieve as many balls. Even after that, he still needs to win the point, and if ain't coming off his racquet, he then has to hope his opponent misses. Hope is not a strategy. So even with all the retrieving, the match is out of his hands. The fitness argument would come back to the debate you had with ROTA when he asked the fateful question "How would Nadal know he was the fittest?"
I explained many times. And never said he just pushes. I mentioned enough time about that top spin.
That topspin is energy. Pure and simple. Most woudl not play like that cause it's draining. It's interesting that the closest to his game in the womens game is Sara Errani....who we just learnt got busted for drug. real drug!

Ten it takes a lot of mental effort if you are going out on court with mindset "I can't win this match with my racquet, so I need to make my opponent miss"
Sorry but this is a winning strategy used by all RRers. They just don't spell it that way. They say "I will win this match unless this guy pulls 70 winners in that match, including in those tight pressure points". Completely different mindset. Their opponents know exactly what they have to do and in most cases this affects their mental strength. The mental effort is on them, not on the RRers. I am surprised you do not know that yet.

Look at Murray. The most unsuccessful of the Roadrunners. It fitness is the ultimate currency in tennis and he has it in bags, why is his record in finals so abysmal? Granted he hits a different ball than Nadal, but the mindset is the same. The match is not on his racquet.
Simply because he is playing a game not suitable for his frame. A 6'3 player was never built to play like Ferrer...yet he can outplay Ferrer at his own game. So he is not fit compared to the other 2 you mentioned....however he is still fitter than Ferrer and the remaining players....but against a light Djoko or a swift Nadal....it's much harder.

Granted Nadal has withdrawn from tournaments when not 100%. His damned if he is and damned if he doesn't.
Why damned if he doesn't? Most players play when not 100% and accept the loss.

Any tennis player Ten has thrived in conditions that match their main talent strengths. I'd go as far to say that would be the case in any sport. Would the likes of Laver, Borg or Sampras fare better in today's conditions? Probably not.
Sure, I agree but I know why Borg and Pete won so many slams. They did not have the same weapons though, that's all I am saying. Being fit is always seen as a bad things by tennis fans, including me, but that's why Borg won so many slams. Others will tell you Pete was only a serve.

I won't try and shift you from your position on this Ten, but what I will say is that in my opinion Nadal has that trait I've seen in other athletes from a mental side. Wants to win at all costs. Might seem desperate and somewhat uncouth, but I never said mental strength was a glamorous thing.
Only Nadal will shift my view on this. What I think he has in plenty is tenacity, never gives up, relentlessness. Though a quality, it is also likely associated with his simple persona.

When I see Federer, Nicklaus, Tendulkar or Zidane I see something so much more different, unique and unparalleled talent. Just talent. Effortless and seamless. When I watch Nadal, Player or Waugh I would think "Crikey, that looks much more harder than it needs to be"
That's the thing. Talent's definition is making look what's difficult simple or easy. Nor Nadal and Murray make tennis look easy! As simple as that for the analog observer!

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by legendkillar on Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:48 pm

Tenez wrote:
legendkillar wrote:Ifs Ten is not an argument. If Fed played in the 70's, he may not have won all the Slams he had. It's arguments that have no bearing on the subject matter at hand.
It's not an If! Pete did not win a slow slam.....not even on slowish grass and he did not come close either.

As I stated, if Nadal is so limited in talent (I use that statement as an extreme) how did he win? Because the thing is Ten there is more to fitness that you make out. We are to believe Nadal just pushes and pushes, yet he has been very successful at it. I'll break it down further. The mindset supposedly for Nadal is to retrieve as many balls. Even after that, he still needs to win the point, and if ain't coming off his racquet, he then has to hope his opponent misses. Hope is not a strategy. So even with all the retrieving, the match is out of his hands. The fitness argument would come back to the debate you had with ROTA when he asked the fateful question "How would Nadal know he was the fittest?"
I explained many times. And never said he just pushes. I mentioned enough time about that top spin.
That topspin is energy. Pure and simple. Most woudl not play like that cause it's draining. It's interesting that the closest to his game in the womens game is Sara Errani....who we just learnt got busted for drug. real drug!

Ten it takes a lot of mental effort if you are going out on court with mindset "I can't win this match with my racquet, so I need to make my opponent miss"
Sorry but this is a winning strategy used by all RRers. They just don't spell it that way. They say "I will win this match unless this guy pulls 70 winners in that match, including in those tight pressure points". Completely different mindset. Their opponents know exactly what they have to do and in most cases this affects their mental strength. The mental effort is on them, not on the RRers. I am surprised you do not know that yet.

Look at Murray. The most unsuccessful of the Roadrunners. It fitness is the ultimate currency in tennis and he has it in bags, why is his record in finals so abysmal? Granted he hits a different ball than Nadal, but the mindset is the same. The match is not on his racquet.
Simply because he is playing a game not suitable for his frame. A 6'3 player was never built to play like Ferrer...yet he can outplay Ferrer at his own game. So he is not fit compared to the other 2 you mentioned....however he is still fitter than Ferrer and the remaining players....but against a light Djoko or a swift Nadal....it's much harder.

Granted Nadal has withdrawn from tournaments when not 100%. His damned if he is and damned if he doesn't.
Why damned if he doesn't? Most players play when not 100% and accept the loss.

Any tennis player Ten has thrived in conditions that match their main talent strengths. I'd go as far to say that would be the case in any sport. Would the likes of Laver, Borg or Sampras fare better in today's conditions? Probably not.
Sure, I agree but I know why Borg and Pete won so many slams. They did not have the same weapons though, that's all I am saying. Being fit is always seen as a bad things by tennis fans, including me, but that's why Borg won so many slams. Others will tell you Pete was only a serve.

I won't try and shift you from your position on this Ten, but what I will say is that in my opinion Nadal has that trait I've seen in other athletes from a mental side. Wants to win at all costs. Might seem desperate and somewhat uncouth, but I never said mental strength was a glamorous thing.
Only Nadal will shift my view on this. What I think he has in plenty is tenacity, never gives up, relentlessness. Though a quality, it is also likely associated with his simple persona.

When I see Federer, Nicklaus, Tendulkar or Zidane I see something so much more different, unique and unparalleled talent. Just talent. Effortless and seamless. When I watch Nadal, Player or Waugh I would think "Crikey, that looks much more harder than it needs to be"
That's the thing. Talent's definition is making look what's difficult simple or easy. Nor Nadal and Murray make tennis look easy! As simple as that for the analog observer!


1) Pete won 2 AO's which are deemed slow-ish. Granted didn't win much on Clay, but the game is rare in those adept on both surfaces. Borg possibly being the master of it.

2) Hence I said he hits a different ball lower in my piece. Yes he hits heavy topspin, but again the backdrop of the strategy is for the opponent to make the error. Again on their racquet, not his. Simple.

3) Ten for a player to have to hit 70 winners would be for the opponent who is essentially pushing not make an UE or not offer up freebies to be wailed on. The mental element sits very much with the RR not to cough up errors, but to also not offer up a ball that will lose them the rally. The mindset not to lose is a much more tense one than the one who wants to win.

4) Murray yes the frame is questionable, but for me it's the lack of conviction in the shots as the junkballs are that, junk. Also his mindset is weak. He really does believe he won't win, whereas in Nadal and Djokovic I doubt that amount of self-doubt exists.

5) He is damned because if he played and lost and said he wasn't 100%, he'd hung and quartered for not be gracious in defeat for acknowledging lack of fitness. Basically boy who cried wolf one too many times.

6) Borg like Pete was ahead of the field and the times (in their respective eras) Borg was a phenomenal mover and a dab hand at the net, something which I think is grossly under-appreciated. Pete had a serve that was perfect for the fast conds. Solid groundstrokes. Both alike were able to exert dominance. Takes talent either way. However you look at it. Some would argue talent is immeasurable others not.

7) I am assuming we agree on this point in that Nadal's mental strength isn't glamorous. Take Federer, Nicklaus, Tendulkar. No over-celebration or projecting out physically when making a good shot or winning a match. Very much the opposite and collective inside. Calmness. Players who do the fist pumping and project are fed by emotion. They have to do that. Especially when they are not the best of their field. Take like medieval films for example. The talented swordsmith is quiet, calm and elegant. The scrapper and swinger is vocal, clumsy and brutish. The mentality compliments the talent.  

8) Indeed. Talent is making the impossible look possible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:03 pm

Nadal, unless he's playing very badly, is not a pusher.
His serve is not very good, so he doesn't have many cheap points and also doesn't start off rallies on the front foot as much as players with bigger serves.
But once in a rally he will always look to dictate and move his opponent around, Nadal at his best has his opponent on a string before landing a killer blow. I do admit though that when Nadal is playing badly, he can drop the ball very short, that's when he can't dictate the play and generally loses.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:06 pm

Another thing that most can see, those who understand tennis very well so perhaps not Tenez, is that when Nadal is on the defence he doesn't just get the ball back into play like a pusher would, but he actually counter attacks and pins down his opponent.

As for the OP, on mental strength, I think all the top players have great mental strength. Murray in the Slams I think was mentally flaky often, but Fed, Djoko, and Nadal are very strong.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:36 pm

DECIMA wrote:Nadal, unless he's playing very badly, is not a pusher.
His serve is not very good, so he doesn't have many cheap points and also doesn't start off rallies on the front foot as much as players with bigger serves.
But once in a rally he will always look to dictate and move his opponent around, Nadal at his best has his opponent on a string before landing a killer blow. I do admit though that when Nadal is playing badly, he can drop the ball very short, that's when he can't dictate the play and generally loses.
I did not say he was a pusher. But he clears the net and lines by some margins (unless he has to go for broke).
If you had read my posts you would read that he can dictate when there is a soft shot coming at him (i.e. Fed's BH pre-larger frame). It's when one can fire bullets from both sides, that he really steps back and loses his guts: Sod, Davydenko, Nalby, or now Shapo, Kyrgios and many on fast surfaces. Against those, instead of keeping close to the baseline like he has been doing recently,  he retreats far beyond the baseline, a la gasquet. So he either has less guts or simply less talent. Why would he give his opponent the opp to dictate?

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Daniel on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:54 pm

I agree Nadal has less pressure than Fed because his game has less risk involved.  But the problem here is once again comparing people to Federer. No one comes close.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:53 pm

Daniel wrote:I agree Nadal has less pressure than Fed because his game has less risk involved.  But the problem here is once again comparing people to Federer. No one comes close.
Talent wise...there are some closer than Nadal with much less susccess than him. That's why I was saying the number of slams, or success in general, is not a measuring stick for talent. That's not to say he does not deserve his slams (supposing he fitness was really "natural") but that's not my point here.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Slippy on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:20 am

This type of thread gets tiring and is just another way for Tenez to explain how Rafa has only been successful due to fitness.

Whilst Rafa's style of play is ugly, the shots he can generate are exceptionally effective. He produces spin which no one else can produce and no one has even come close to replicating how he plays. If it was just a matter of fitness then there would be a number of players emulating him. 

As for his mental strength, he's obviously very tough mentally. He isn't immune from a loss of confidence - none of them are. Even Fed has had spells when he has looked mentally a bit shaky. However, Rafa is generally very tough to put away and rarely seems to get nervous when in a winning position. Whilst his repetitive style of play helps him, he couldn't have had the success he has had without great mental strength.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:29 am

Slippy wrote:This type of thread gets tiring and is just another way for Tenez to explain how Rafa has only been successful due to fitness.

But ask yourself: Would he have been successful without the extraodinary fitness?
That is the question you have to answer for yourself honestly if you want to move on.

Arrificial fitness is not that attractive...

The guy is a product of a lot of hype, just like a crap product that a lot of marketing is spent on and everyone buys it without thinking.
Sheep mentality.
Slippy wrote:

Whilst Rafa's style of play is ugly, the shots he can generate are exceptionally effective. He produces spin which no one else can produce and no one has even come close to replicating how he plays. If it was just a matter of fitness then there would be a number of players emulating him. 

As for his mental strength, he's obviously very tough mentally. He isn't immune from a loss of confidence - none of them are. Even Fed has had spells when he has looked mentally a bit shaky. However, Rafa is generally very tough to put away and rarely seems to get nervous when in a winning position. Whilst his repetitive style of play helps him, he couldn't have had the success he has had without great mental strength.

He is a good competitor, a stubborn, persistent bull. He knows no other way.
That is his strength...like an average student who spends hours over a textbook and gets the job done in three times long period of time as someone who's sharp.

Mentally tough is someone who goes for risky shots under pressure, and Nadal doesn't.
He is the total opposite,

I find it funny how any comment which shows Nadal's tennis in objectivd manner irks so many people.
What's the big deal?

Why can't people accept someone else's opinion?
Why does it hurt so much that Nadal without his steroid left bicep would be nowhere in tennis?

His fans should be glad he has been allowed to win so much and enjoy whatever they enjoy in him.

He is not some holy cow/bull we should all bow down to...althouh I am not surprised many do.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:48 am

Slippy wrote:..Whilst Rafa's style of play is ugly, ....
You are actually worse than me. I find his style ok, almost good actually, he has a created a brand of tennis....unlike the other RRunners.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:06 am

... wrote:Mentally tough is someone who goes for risky shots under pressure, and Nadal doesn't.
He is the total opposite,


Have you even seen him play? See the level of tennis Fed had to produce to break Nadal this AO final. See how many BPs he saved with jaw-dropping game.  How hard Fed had to work even to serve out the Championship. 

I can hardly remember him playing poor when facing BPs, he will almost always surprise the opponent. No wonder he is among the top when saving BPs, despite him being about an avg server.



No one can play average or below and hope to beat Nadal. I've seen even Fed lose to average performances ( Ex: Seppi in AO 3rd rnd ).

Can you quote any average performance which has beaten Nadal?

Nadal is mentally as strong as one gets. He always was.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:15 am

rotla,
how can a coward be mentally strong?
Because playing so far behind the baseline is where cowards play.

I think people are comfusing Nadal's thick persistence with mental strength.

Would a mentally strong player ban an umpire for enforcing the rule?

Or ask for a two year protected ranking...

Anyway, I've said all I have to say on the topic of Nadal.
He doesn't deserve my time any more... Cool

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by legendkillar on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:16 am


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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:14 pm

... wrote:rotla,
how can a coward be mentally strong?
Bedoesncause playing so far behind the baseline is where cowards play.

Yeah, he stands 4-5m behind the BL so that he can avoid the incoming ball and  doesn't get hit by it.  Poor coward. 

Don't know why they even gave him 15 Slams for that act.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:19 pm

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:
... wrote:Mentally tough is someone who goes for risky shots under pressure, and Nadal doesn't.
He is the total opposite,


Have you even seen him play? See the level of tennis Fed had to produce to break Nadal this AO final. See how many BPs he saved with jaw-dropping game.  How hard Fed had to work even to serve out the Championship. 

I can hardly remember him playing poor when facing BPs, he will almost always surprise the opponent. No wonder he is among the top when saving BPs, despite him being about an avg server.



No one can play average or below and hope to beat Nadal. I've seen even Fed lose to average performances ( Ex: Seppi in AO 3rd rnd ).

Can you quote any average performance which has beaten Nadal?

Nadal is mentally as strong as one gets. He always was.

I disagree. For teh simple reason that in those crushing times (BPs, SPs, and MPs) the pressure and real difficulty is to pull winners for the attacking players. This is why those who play with high margins prefer to do so than going for the risky shots.

I have hilighted that very well when the RR play against eachothers. This is why they have hyper long rallies and gruelling matches which last for ever. The stats of matches between RR are there to prove the point that they prefer to sort it out physically than having the guts to go for winners...and you may even have noticed that when they want to go for winners in those crucial times they make the UEs.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:39 pm

Tenez wrote:I disagree. For teh simple reason that in those crushing times (BPs, SPs, and MPs) the pressure and real difficulty is to pull winners for the attacking players. This is why those who play with high margins prefer to do so than going for the risky shots. 



So same goes for you. Have you seen Nadal play? You think he has never saved BPs/SPs with winners? Just see the AO final this year.


And what is this attacking playing? Does a player have only one way to play? And if he does, you want to call him mentally strong?


On facing crunch moments, a player will always try to play to his strength be it attack or defense.  So just because he chooses his strength he doesn't become mentally weak.


You assume that a player must be mentally weak if he is not the first to attack. This is not correct.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:16 pm

Here are the last 5 games. Nadal is a break up and could have really made life very hard for Fed. Instead he concentrates on hitting hard with plenty of margins, but can't stretch an old 35 tired like he probably never was! It is Fed who takes all the risks.

I checked every point and the only 2 gutsy shots that landed in the court from Nadal are when he is 0/40 down on his serve (nothing more to lose) and the first return at 5/3 when Fed is serving for the match...again, nothing to lose, he knows that anything softer will be volleyed and put away as it happened in Fed's previous service game.

All for you to see:



Last edited by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by bogbrush on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:20 pm

He's certainly no choker but you can see him get rattled. The big giveaway is always that he goes miles back to receive serve. Sometimes he shows it in his face too.

But he's obviously tough and strong, it's just the backing away when it's obviously not going to help that tells me he's lost the plot a bit.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:27 pm

bogbrush wrote:He's certainly no choker but you can see him get rattled. The big giveaway is always that he goes miles back to receive serve. Sometimes he shows it in his face too.

But he's obviously tough and strong, it's just the backing away when it's obviously not going to help that tells me he's lost the plot a bit.
yes but cause he knows he can rely on his fitness..not by the type of shots he plays.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:27 pm

Nadal is one of the most successful players in tennis history, but obviously there are matches where hasn't done well, if Tenez links Nadal losing a few games, I'll link Sampras, Fed, etc. losing a few games- if we pre select games which players have lost we can make them look a bit ineffective.

I will answer the question objectively in my next post, but first let me pose a question as a biased fan-
How many times as a Federer fan are you comforted by the fact that he may be break point down but he's got a big serve to get him out of the problem? If Federer is 30-30 and about to go 30-40 down, he can be assured it's very possible he will hit an unreturnable and take it to deuce.
For Rafa, it's so nerve-wracking for him to go break point down, as his serve is so bad, he will probably have to save the break point with a rally. So many things can go wrong in a rally, opponent could hit a blinder forehand, nadal could mistime it and miss etc. So you could argue that the mental strength needed for Nadal to save service games is more than Federer, as not having a big serve makes it naturally more tense. I'm not actually convinced by this, but showing how from a perspective of a biased fan, we can always make our player seem so mentally strong and brave.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:37 pm

Even serving one can see the guts, talent ratio. Again Nadal abuses spin there to make his serve safe while not particularly well placed, simply difficult to attack like his ground shots. the zip in his shots make it risky to attack. But if he were using his power and hit flat....he could outace anyone. Just that he'd lose lots of precision and would be forced to play more second serves.

Look at the difference between Murray's first and second serve for instance. he can hammer the ball in his first set...the second is pretty weak in comparison.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:45 pm

Keeping it real:

Seeing it more objectively, I think any attempt to claim a playing style is inherently linked to 'being brave' is a stretch, more fan fiction than reason.

How someone plays should be completely dictated by their strengths and weaknesses. If someone doesn't have good volleying, and they read NITB on this forum and start S&Ving, that doesn't they're braver, it means they're tactically inept.
Big points in big matches should be played to give the player the best percentage chance of winning the point. It's a case of making a judgement based on what has happened during that match so far. That's it.
If on a big point, a rally pattern has worked for a player (let's say slice low to BH and controlled aggression vs FH) but instead he just tries to smash a 100mph winner when it's not on and misses, that's not brave. I don't care if it's high risk, you could even argue that it is a bit of a choke.

That's my verdict on mental strength when it comes to playing big points. Tenez and NITB always trying to convince themselves that playing styles they like are braver.
Other facets of mental strength can be focus during a match. Look at Murray's Grand Slam defeats, even Slippy a knowledgable passionate Murray fan, will admit that in some slam finals he has lost focus mentally completely for a period of 90 min plus. That's something Nadal, Fed, Djokovic have done very well at actually.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:59 pm

DECIMA wrote:Keeping it real:

Seeing it more objectively, I think any attempt to claim a playing style is inherently linked to 'being brave' is a stretch, more fan fiction than reason.
Typical of your reasoning. You do not accept simple facts and common sense/truth so you start with a simple fact and try to debunk it, straight away.

How someone plays should be completely dictated by their strengths and weaknesses. If someone doesn't have good volleying, and they read NITB on this forum and start S&Ving, that doesn't they're braver, it means they're tactically inept.
Or simply put they are not talented at volleying!

Big points in big matches should be played to give the player the best percentage chance of winning the point. It's a case of making a judgement based on what has happened during that match so far. That's it.

Makes sense!

If on a big point, a rally pattern has worked for a player (let's say slice low to BH and controlled aggression vs FH) but instead he just tries to smash a 100mph winner when it's not on and misses, that's not brave. I don't care if it's high risk, you could even argue that it is a bit of a choke.
no problem with that either.

That's my verdict on mental strength when it comes to playing big points. Tenez and NITB always trying to convince themselves that playing styles they like are braver.
You see, that's your flaw.
Someone who goes for broke against, let's say Nadal, is not automatically braver, but most likely physically weaker, he knows that the longer the rally (without aiming for lines), the less likely he will be able to hurt at the end of the rally, hence needs/must have a cut on the ball. So my point is Nadal brings this fitness onto the court and leaves the opponent with only one choice: shorten the rally....and teh only way to do that is to use all your talent or your luck.

Other facets of mental strength can be focus during a match. Look at Murray's Grand Slam defeats, even Slippy a knowledgable passionate Murray fan, will admit that in some slam finals he has lost focus mentally completely for a period of 90 min plus. That's something Nadal, Fed, Djokovic have done very well at actually
. That might be the way Murray is perceived but to me Murray is very strong mentally, in teh same way as Nadal....that is tenacious...but not in his shot selection. The main reason he collapses mentally in fact is that his fitness lets him down quicker than Djoko and Nadal, while federer has simply too much talent for him.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:12 pm

Tenez wrote:You see, that's your flaw.
Someone who goes for broke against, let's say Nadal, is not automatically braver, but most likely physically weaker, he knows that the longer the rally (without aiming for lines), the less likely he will be able to hurt at the end of the rally, hence needs/must have a cut on the ball.
Right, so you're proving my point for me...
You're saying that when players attack early against Nadal that's pragmatic, not them trying to be brave. Okay.

Tenez wrote:Nadal abuses spin there to make his serve safe while not particularly well placed, simply difficult to attack like his ground shots. the zip in his shots make it risky to attack. But if he were using his power and hit flat....he could outace anyone. Just that he'd lose lots of precision and would be forced to play more second serves.
Wow, same again!
I would rebut you, but you've made my point again. If Nadal serves flat 125mph he will get a lower percentage of serves in, and have to rely on more second serves.
But as his main asset is neutral rallies, it's actually a more intelligent decision for him to do a 115mph first serve and get more in and gain control of a rally, than risk a second serve which can be attacked. Sensible.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:22 pm

DECIMA wrote:
Tenez wrote:You see, that's your flaw.
Someone who goes for broke against, let's say Nadal, is not automatically braver, but most likely physically weaker, he knows that the longer the rally (without aiming for lines), the less likely he will be able to hurt at the end of the rally, hence needs/must have a cut on the ball.
Right, so you're proving my point for me...
You're saying that when players attack early against Nadal that's pragmatic, not them trying to be brave. Okay.

Tenez wrote:Nadal abuses spin there to make his serve safe while not particularly well placed, simply difficult to attack like his ground shots. the zip in his shots make it risky to attack. But if he were using his power and hit flat....he could outace anyone. Just that he'd lose lots of precision and would be forced to play more second serves.
Wow, same again!
I would rebut you, but you've made my point again. If Nadal serves flat 125mph he will get a lower percentage of serves in, and have to rely on more second serves.
But as his main asset is neutral rallies, it's actually a more intelligent decision for him to do a 115mph first serve and get more in and gain control of a rally, than risk a second serve which can be attacked. Sensible.

I made 2 simple points with my op. Nadal uses his fitness more than his talent or bravoure to win. So it is not your point but mine. What you are saying it is pragmatic for Nadal to use his fitness and pragmatic for his opponent to shorten the rally. I just explain why with words that make sense...even if you might not like them!

If Nadal coudl serve at 125mph in the corner at a good ratio (hence have talent), he will do it....but since he does not have Federer's talent, he' rather put the oomph on the spin to make his serve safer.

We are saying the same thing in short...the difference is that you do not want to use the right words in fear of devaluating your player. Cause you almost never acknowledge his superior fitness nor do you want to mention he has not got the skills to cope with pace.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:48 pm

That was a very good attempt at backtracking, you nearly managed to make me forget that your earlier posts were basically condemning Nadal as not mentally strong because his shots aren't as risky!
If it's pragmatic for Nadal to do what he does for his skill set, then it is a very far stretch to argue that he's mentally weak to do so. Surely you can see that?

As for the separate argument on whether Nadal does have any talent, I disagree with you inherently on Nadal's style, I see him as a player with a poor serve but exceptional baseline rally game. When he's on terrible form then he can drop the ball very short and gets dictated to, but when playing normally his baseline shots are formidable and can pin an opponent down.

Anyway I'm very happy with how this debate has turned out so far, so I will next reply to other Federer fans: Daniel, BB, ROTLA, LS etc- am I being fair and reasonable?

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by luvsports! on Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:57 pm

ROTLA is a feds fan?

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by bogbrush on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:44 pm

You always battle the odds with reason and fairness, Amrit. Even if your opinion is in the minority on here smiley

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:39 pm

DECIMA wrote:That was a very good attempt at backtracking, you nearly managed to make me forget that your earlier posts were basically condemning Nadal as not mentally strong because his shots aren't as risky!
.....
essentially that he does not hold his ground when under pressure and pacy shots. he has the fear of making an UE! Be it due to lack of talent or guts...up to you.

What is very clear however is that Nadal like the other 2 RRers do not rely on talent to win. Their consistency comes from their fitness which is a much safer value than having to rely on talent, a bristle quality (see Stan for instance).

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by DECIMA on Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:34 am

Thanks @Bogbrush

Tenez, you can't have it both ways. If his game is pragmatic with his skill set, then he doesn't play that way because he's mentally weak.
'Fear of making an UE'.. this is a meaningless phrase. Karlovic has fear of baseline rallies as he doesn't have the movement. If anyone shouldn't fear UEs it's Nadal at his best, because when he was at his peak he used to go for hours with barely any UEs.

Also, and I don't usually like making points like these without statistics, I can swear that Nadal hits MORE aces as a percentage when break point down than in normal play. The one down the T. Am I the only one with this feeling? Unfortunately the stats for this are impossible to retrieve.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Daniel on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:58 am

Steroid left bicep, NITB?  I've explained this before... steroids aren't like Popeye cartoons.


Anyway I'm very happy with how this debate has turned out so far, so I will next reply to other Federer fans: Daniel, BB, ROTLA, LS etc- am I being fair and reasonable?

Yes.

Anyway, I agree only that an attacking style is more gutsy (assuming we aren't talking about players who are 6 feet 6 - in which case it's much easier for them to hit flat devastating shots) than a defensive play - and has more pressure on it in big points. I'm not talking about the serve... that's a separate issue, and Federer having a great serve has certainly balanced out a TON of pressure he would otherwise have faced.  But the idea that Nadal is weak mentally or a coward or very inferior to Federer is obviously horse shit.  Reducing a 15 time winner to "it's the peds" or "it's the fitness" is also nonsensical.  If it were that easy, we'd see a ton of Nadal clones running around out there.  As another poster eluded to further up, Nadal is able to generate a freakish amount of spin, has super defensive skills, and is super consistent.  That's talent.  Yes, I agree Fed is more talented, but these discussions always veer off into "Fed awesome. Nadal is useless."  Why can't the truth be more malleable?  Why does it have to be so extreme and rigid.  I know why:  Blind hate and fanboyism.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:03 am

Tenez wrote:I checked every point and the only 2 gutsy shots that landed in the court from Nadal are when he is 0/40 down on his serve (nothing more to lose) and the first return at 5/3 when Fed is serving for the match...again, nothing to lose, he knows that anything softer will be volleyed and put away as it happened in Fed's previous service game. 






Why you picked the this video which is only showing the fifth set from Fed serving 1*-3? This set has some of the most incredible tennis Fed has ever played against Nadal. So they will look favoring Fed.


When a player is 0/40 down, he has nothing more to lose? There is, the game is still not done. If you know about tennis rules, The Game is not over at 0/40 and a next point has to be won by the receiver to win the game. 


If a shot is not a winner, it doesn't mean it was NOT gutsy. Ever heard of something called 'Forced errors' in tennis. A lot of Fed's UEs against Nadal have actually been forced errors.  And doing that is not easy and need to be mentally strong to keep up the play. 


Nadal's game is mostly about forcing the opponent with difficult play over and over if required. So naturally he will not be going for winners all the time.


The kind of game-play doesn't determine how mentally strong a player is. Be it standing 5m behind the BL or running a sneak attack even on first serves. 


 A player's ability to execute his own game does. And Nadal is 2nd to none in execution of his own game-play. 




He has won almost every important tournament that is out there.


What else do you want?

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by legendkillar on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:08 am

luvsports! wrote:ROTLA is a feds fan?


He is from what he has said.

Being a Feds fan doesn't mean one can't appreciate Nadal Winking

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by noleisthebest on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:14 am

legendkillar wrote:
luvsports! wrote:ROTLA is a feds fan?


He is from what he has said.

Being a Feds fan doesn't mean one can't appreciate Nadal Winking
And what os there to appreciate about Nadal?
His talent?
His fair play?
His body being pumped woth steroids and God knows what else?
Him bannong umpires for doing thheir job?
Wanting a two year protected ranking...

Nadal is the biggest fraud in the history of sport.




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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by legendkillar on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:33 am

... wrote:
legendkillar wrote:
luvsports! wrote:ROTLA is a feds fan?


He is from what he has said.

Being a Feds fan doesn't mean one can't appreciate Nadal Winking
And what os there to appreciate about Nadal?
His talent?
His fair play?
His body being pumped woth steroids and God knows what else?
Him bannong umpires for doing thheir job?
Wanting a two year protected ranking...

Nadal is the biggest fraud in the history of sport.




In your opinion. Others see things differently. You may not like Nadal, but others on the other hand do.

Wasn't it you who earlier in thread asked others to accept opinions of others.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:27 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Why you picked the this video which is only showing the fifth set from Fed serving 1*-3? This set has some of the most incredible tennis Fed has ever played against Nadal. So they will look favoring Fed.
I chose it cause you referred to it, in particular how he saved all those BPs. So I was just showing how it happened....nothing too gutsy in it. I mentioned in my OP that in the past Nadal had the luxury to have a slowed down Bh coming from Federer due to federer sticking to old technology....therefore that really helped Nadal who kept hammering that side...and made him look better and gutsier than he really was.


When a player is 0/40 down, he has nothing more to lose? There is, the game is still not done. If you know about tennis rules, The Game is not over at 0/40 and a next point has to be won by the receiver to win the game.
 yes but it is not by playing the way it got him to 0/40...so there is little to lose to try to be more aggressive. When back at 40 all....what does Nadal do? waits again for an UEs but pays the price!


If a shot is not a winner, it doesn't mean it was NOT gutsy. Ever heard of something called 'Forced errors' in tennis. A lot of Fed's UEs against Nadal have actually been forced errors.  And doing that is not easy and need to be mentally strong to keep up the play. 
That's the very strength of Nadal...pulling all those Unforced or forced errors. In his case there is no risk involved at all. It;s his spin who generates all those. This topspin is one of teh safest shot in the world...yet pretty tough to handle due to the energy in the ball. That is the cornerstone of his game. It's not gutsy though.

Nadal's game is mostly about forcing the opponent with difficult play over and over if required. So naturally he will not be going for winners all the time
and how to do that if you are not fitter than your opponent?

The kind of game-play doesn't determine how mentally strong a player is. Be it standing 5m behind the BL or running a sneak attack even on first serves. 
I am afraid it does. It determines your talent, mental and fitness ratio. there is no way around those simple facts. Woudl federer serve less efficiently if he could serve more efficiently? Wouldn't Nadal have liked to hit flatter and more consistently in that 5th set or even against Kyrgios. Woudl not he have liked to stand closer on Kyrgios serve and put a bit more pressure on his serve like Dimi did or federer can do? Either he has not got the talent or simply think it is too risky and prefers to use his legs and extra power to retrieve the ball from further behind.

 
A player's ability to execute his own game does. And Nadal is 2nd to none in execution of his own game-play. 
because he is second to none physically....actually he is second to Djokovic. And we saw that v Djoko when he is forced to attack he is often on the losing end.


He has won almost every important tournament that is out there.
What else do you want?
I don;t want anything. I am just explaining how he won all those "important tournaments".

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:34 am

DECIMA wrote:...
Also, and I don't usually like making points like these without statistics, I can swear that Nadal hits MORE aces as a percentage when break point down than in normal play. The one down the T. Am I the only one with this feeling? Unfortunately the stats for this are impossible to retrieve.
Again, bad example...there is a second serve ....in case the ace doesn't land....sure a bit more pressure on the second serve but it is so spinny that its a pretty good second serve.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Tenez on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:03 am

... wrote:And what os there to appreciate about Nadal?
He has lots of fans so some certainly "appreciate" him. In a way I like the challenge he provided to Federer..and more so the fact that Federer finally cracked the nut....when he understood he had to adopt the new technology.

But what I don't understand is that most and more so his biggest fans refuse to appreciate the real strength of his game: his determination, power and stamina. They like the player but for things that are not particularly great in the player.

That's what I find weird.

I like your comparison with cheap food. We go in masses to McDonalds yet it is not very good....yet we like this chemical/processed taste. Weird. But at least here most recognise it is not great food...but it makes more money than the best restaurants in the world.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Slippy on Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:06 pm

DECIMA wrote:Thanks @Bogbrush

Tenez, you can't have it both ways. If his game is pragmatic with his skill set, then he doesn't play that way because he's mentally weak.
'Fear of making an UE'.. this is a meaningless phrase. Karlovic has fear of baseline rallies as he doesn't have the movement. If anyone shouldn't fear UEs it's Nadal at his best, because when he was at his peak he used to go for hours with barely any UEs.

Also, and I don't usually like making points like these without statistics, I can swear that Nadal hits MORE aces as a percentage when break point down than in normal play. The one down the T. Am I the only one with this feeling? Unfortunately the stats for this are impossible to retrieve.
Excellent post. Rafa is a claycourter and, as such, tends to play a clay court style, hitting heavy top spin shots from both sides. He doesn't play that way because he's mentally weak. It's because that's how he learnt to play. 

The fact is that, because he's an exceptional player, he's been able to also have success off clay. He hasn't substantially altered his game to do so (and there is an argument that he would have had more difficulty in the 90s) but he has been able to adapt. However, off clay, he can understandably sometimes struggle with the big hitters - whose games are more suited to faster surfaces. As a result, he has to defend. That isn't a sign of mental weakness or a lack of talent. It's simply a claycourter playing on other surfaces. 

His great record at defending break points is a strong guide to him actually having exceptional mental strength. As you say, he often backs himself to come up with a lower percentage serve down the tee. He also sneak serve volleys on occasion. He thinks clearly under pressure and usually delivers the goods.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

Post by Daniel on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:16 pm

You make it sound like Federer was some nobody with his old racquet haha.  He liked that racquet and preferred it.  It was only when he got older and started to mistime more that he changed.  He won 3 slams a year - three times - with it. He didn't lose to Nadal on clay because of the racquet....  for goodness sake.

Nadal's game IS more safe and needs less talent / ability / guts than Federer's, but he's also really mentally strong, the greatest defender the sport has seen, hits freakishly good forehand spinners, is massively consistent, and has won 15 slams because of it.  It's not as simple as Federer wonderful Nadal Rubbish. Nadal does things no other player can do - just like Federer does things no other player can do.

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Re: How strong is Nadal mentally?

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