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Room For Improvement For Nole, Fed & Rafa

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Room For Improvement For Nole, Fed & Rafa Empty Room For Improvement For Nole, Fed & Rafa

Post by noleisthebest on Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:51 am

What got me thinking was the commonplace that after a loss Nadal always goes away and comes back stronger.

During his post match conference yesterday he was basically saying he didn’t have enough tough matches to get his top level going (and even if he did he wasn’t sure it would’ve been enough to touch Nole).
We know how Nadal builds his confidence during clay season and that confidence is a key to him.
So because he did not have it yesterday thanks to not enough matches to sharpen his tools, he gave up the ghost early on in the final.

Prior to yesterday I just saw Nadal in a few games vs De Minotaur.
The only improvement I noticed was that his right bicep now looks almost as big as the left, obviously that all gets fuelled in to his BHs.

So, I do think Nadal has room for improvement and that with confidence he will continue to hang around business end of slams for another two years, waiting to pounce should an opportunity arise.

Confidence for Nadal generaly translates into more aggressive tennis and flatter groundstrokes these days. (Can’t comment on serves, haven’t noticed any of the much talked about improvements).

Federer, not sure what to think. Tsitsipas outplayed him and that was new to see.
Can he improve anything?
Maybe flatten his FH more and play shorter points. Tsits made him look conservative.
When I was watching him play doubles in Hopman Cup, I enjoyed the ridicuous level of volleying and you could see just how much game he has...so maybe an improvement for him could also be a clearer shot selection...sometimes he makes really silly choices with FH dtl (toward his opponent rayher than a much easier away from) approach shots.

Nole...looking pretty immense atm, he just needs to maintain his inner peace and the rest will follow.

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Post by Tenez on Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:02 pm

I dunno what Nadal can do. To be fair, he has cut through the draw easier than ever at the AO. I cannot remember him going through the rounds with that ease, in spite of those thinking he was playing better in 2010! erm

Problem is Djoko and Federer have improved their shots too. While in the past they could be dragged in longer fights with ups and downs...now they simply are more clinical. They play Nadal with confidence and Nadal's spin has nothing to hurt them anymore.

Djoko, I am not sure how he could improve. he will never have the style but has gained a lot in feel for the ball and doesn;t have to force his game. His footwok is still 2 levels above the rest and that is bloody key.

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:26 pm

Nadal does not need to do much, in fact.

So long as he can focus on RG and win those in the next three years he's on target.
USOs will be a bonus.

Nadal always has easy draws in week one, TDs want to keep him in tournaments as long as possible.
Even in trophy ceremony yesterday everyone was giving him big smiles and hugs like he was the winner.
Same as with Serena last USO (thought not as bad).

If it wasn't for Nole, Nadal would be on 19 slams and counting.

I reckon if Nadal does not win this RG/USO he'll probably lose spirit same as in yesterday's match.

It will be a very interesting RG this year.
With Fed's drop in ranking, we could see the two meet in QF there.

But in general, Nadal's main factor is his confidence. All his shots look much better when he is in the zone.

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Post by Tenez on Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:58 pm

noleisthebest wrote:...
If it wasn't for Nole, Nadal would be on 19 slams and counting.
You could say that for Nadal and Federer.

Federer without Djoko and/or Nadal would be on 40 slams.

Djoko without Federer would be on 30 slams and so would be Nadal.

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Post by noleisthebest on Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:20 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:...
If it wasn't for Nole, Nadal would be on 19 slams and counting.
You could say that for Nadal and Federer.

Federer without Djoko and/or Nadal would be on 40 slams.

Djoko without Federer would be on 30 slams and so would be Nadal.

I know it's a bit meaningless because things are as they are...just that this time last year Nole was in a very bad place in more than one way, his comeback is as miraculous as Fed's in 2017.

All I am trying to say is we are going to be seeing Nadal for at least two more competitive years and I do see him continue to improve.
You didn't watch Wimbledon 18 SF, but there, he played some great all-court tennis.
Just because Nole thrashed him yesterday isn't a guarantee for anything.

What is clear is that Nole and Nadal are head and shoulders above the younger gen and that it will be Nole that will be meeting the more dangerous ones in his draws.
Mind you, his game is not as robust as Nadal's vs them.

Btw, I heard yesterday that apparently Fed is planning to retire in some Swiss exos during the coming summer. Sounded a bit dodgy. Anyone heard anything on that one?

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Post by Tenez on Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:00 pm

noleisthebest wrote:..You didn't watch Wimbledon 18 SF, but there, he played some great all-court tennis.
Just because Nole thrashed him yesterday isn't a guarantee for anything.
I'll have to check this one but Nadal was most likely made look good cause Djoko was only getting back to form.

What is clear is that Nole and Nadal are head and shoulders above the younger gen and that it will be Nole that will be meeting the more dangerous ones in his draws.
Mind you, his game is not as robust as Nadal's vs them.
I am not convinced the new Gen is that much behind. They are not as consistent for sure...but they can do some damage. For instance Medvev and Shapo have done better than nadal v Djoko. The only relevant player Nadal faced was Tsi but Tsi needs to learn to handle that spin. Once he does, he could turn the table quickly. Medv will improve even further and as robotic as he may look he shots are still tough to handle for all retrievers. And there are others NG.

But now that we know it takes 10 years on tour to get to the Djoko/Nadal level.....let's not be too harsh on this NG. They will get much better than their seniors. It has always been the case since tennis (or any sport almost) started.


Btw, I heard yesterday that apparently Fed is planning to retire in some Swiss exos during the coming summer. Sounded a bit dodgy. Anyone heard anything on that one?
No...byut it would not surprise me. What would surprise me if he were to comeback to Australia next year.

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Post by Jahu on Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:21 pm

Fed will retire after OG Tokyo, so I guess Basel October or maybe WTF, unless he does some special good bye tournament after OG.

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Post by AceofDeath on Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:39 pm

Fed was tactically poor by his standards in that Tsitsi match, it doesn't mean anything that he lost that 9 times out of 10 he beats a player like him. 

Against Fed you can play brainless and win sometimes, that doesn't happen against a fit Djokodal. 

I want to see if he can win just one more clay event and even beat Djokodal there. I think he will surprise people.

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Post by Tenez on Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:07 pm

AceofDeath wrote:Fed was tactically poor by his standards in that Tsitsi match, it doesn't mean anything that he lost that 9 times out of 10 he beats a player like him. 

Against Fed you can play brainless and win sometimes, that doesn't happen against a fit Djokodal. 

I want to see if he can win just one more clay event and even beat Djokodal there. I think he will surprise people.

Like you I believe he can beat Nadal on clay nowadays....but only in the first rounds, not at the end of a tournament.

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Post by AceofDeath on Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:30 pm

There is a chance he can meet Nadal in the quarters in Rome/MC, in Bo3 he can definitely upset Nadal. In Bo5 I agree it is nearly impossible.

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Post by Daniel2 on Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:10 pm

Fed is 37...  His best days are long gone.

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Post by barrystar on Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:31 am

The symmetry is uncanny - since 2010 the Nadal v. Djoko H2h has been 9:21 and the Fed v. Djoko H2H has been 9: 19.

Of Nadal's 9 wins vs. Djoko 7 were on clay - the 2 wins away from clay were Canada and USO in 2013 when Nadal was on a tear.  Of Djoko's 21 wins, 7 have also been on clay, so the H2H is not skewed by surface.

Even their firmest fans must acknowledge that the impressive Fedal Indian Summer for 2017 and the first half of 2018 was whilst Djoko was struggling.

Whatever Fedal can do to improve and which may keep them abreast/ahead of the rest of the field is not likely to crack the Djokovic nut provided the latter remains healthy and motivated with his age and mileage advantage on both of them.

In relation to another Fedal encounter, Nadal's change of style is a move away from the sort of tactics that he would usually deploy to beat Federer so he is more vulnerable on that score than previously, but much will depend upon how motivated Fed still is to get the best out of himself at 37.  Signs from AO are mixed, to say the least.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:27 am

I agree with this Barry.

I'd just add that it is important when addressing Federer to distinguish between the 90inch and the 97 racquet eras when comparing their H2H.

It is clear that Federer was just under par with the old racquet but gave us very close encounters with Djoko, even if he ended up on the wrong side in most cases.

In his "97in" era he has simply overtaken Nadal convincingly. and yet kept very close v Djoko in spite of being 37 as their last match can once again tell.

So it's obvious Federer has suffered all his career not to have developed his game with those new frames and had to reivente himself with an old tool on new sluggish surfaces.

And this is why the comparison of Fed with those guys is skewed from the beginning.

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Post by barrystar on Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:40 pm

I'll agree that Fed has given Djoko a fair few tight matches, I think that they have a really enjoyable match-up to watch.  Personally I prefer it to Fedal. 

However, since 2010 the pattern of their H2H has been pretty consistent, both before and after the head change Djoko has won at a pretty consistent 2:1 rate, always including some very tight matches.  I reckon that one effect of the head change has been to keep Fed competitive in the same way he was before during that period.

With Nadal I agree that the pattern of their results since 2010 has changed a lot.

So, whether or not the right word to describe the effect of Fed's own choice, I think it has only changed the Fedal H2H from what it was.  Speculating on whether Fed would have fared better if he had changed earlier is fair enough, but is a different debate.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:33 pm

Does anyone think Fed can realistically improve his FH?

Is it that he has maybe changed the grip from the 90” racquet era?

Can he basically hit his FH with a 97” stick same as in say, 2005?

Because that’s what I think is the key to him winning.
He simply does not dictate enough with it any more.

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Post by bogbrush on Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:59 pm

Guys, he's 37. Be serious, he's in decline and has been for quite some time.

Sure, he's had moments in these last two years and it's been glorious but he now loses to people who had be been 27 in todays game he would spank without breaking sweat (remember when Fed never used to break sweat, by the way?).

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Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:10 pm

At 27 Fed was getting lessoned by 22yo Nadal and had very tight matches v 20yo Djoko and Murray!!!

He is physically in decline now for sure. But his best game was probably played in the last 3/4 years. Maybe it could have been earlier had he adopted the new racquet earlier but that we will never know.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:21 pm

bogbrush wrote:..Remember when Fed never used to break sweat, by the way?.

a year and a half ago? Wimbledon 2017?

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Post by Daniel2 on Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:15 pm

Tenez wrote:At 27 Fed was getting lessoned by 22yo Nadal and had very tight matches v 20yo Djoko and Murray!!!

Nonsense.  In the slams, Federer had the measure of Djok, and Murray was nowhere close. An aging Federer was schooling Murray up to the end.  You've picked and chose again, as usual.

Nadal is a bad match up for one handers - And always has been.  Using him as an argument is lame.  What was Nadal doing to Fed at Wimbledon between 04 and 07? Or on hard court slams?  Nadal has beaten almost everyone on clay all the time.  Had Fed been left handed or Nadal right handed, you'd have seen a different story.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:24 pm

Daniel2 wrote:
Tenez wrote:At 27 Fed was getting lessoned by 22yo Nadal and had very tight matches v 20yo Djoko and Murray!!!

Nonsense.  In the slams, Federer had the measure of Djok, and Murray was nowhere close. An aging Federer was schooling Murray up to the end.  You've picked and chose again, as usual.
Isn't it you who pick and choose (slams) instead as if Fed did not care about losing to them in TMS1000s?

Nadal is a bad match up for one handers - And always has been.  Using him as an argument is lame.  What was Nadal doing to Fed at Wimbledon between 04 and 07? Or on hard court slams?  Nadal has beaten almost everyone on clay all the time.  Had Fed been left handed or Nadal right handed, you'd have seen a different story.
And is Nadal still a bad match up for Federer since 2015? 3 years ago, Nadal was 29 at the peak of his form yet started to lose to Federer. could not beat him once in the last 5 encounters. But of course according to you Nada declined faster at 29 than Federer at 34. ..and I talk nonsense?

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Post by Daniel2 on Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:57 pm

You're choosing lesser events - such as Masters.  I am choosing Slams.  Murray hasn't ever dominted Federer in the slams.  Nor has Djok in Fed's prime.  And nor has Nadal off clay.

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Post by bogbrush on Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:57 pm

Oh come on, selecting a few results between certain players proves nothing. Federer has changed to handle Nadal and perhaps unleashed a strategy that would have seen him dominate earlier.

However I go not by selective results between certain players but by the evidence of my eyes. I’ve watched tennis now for getting on 45 years and I know what I’m looking at. Federer hasn’t been the same specimen for many, many years. He’s been slow to the wide forehand for a long time. And he shows physical distress in a way he never did in his physical prime.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:14 pm

bogbrush wrote:Oh come on, selecting a few results between certain players proves nothing. Federer has changed to handle Nadal and perhaps unleashed a strategy that would have seen him dominate earlier.

However I go not by selective results between certain players but by the evidence of my eyes. I’ve watched tennis now for getting on 45 years and I know what I’m looking at.
And in those 45 years did you notice how much more physical tennis has become...
bogbrush wrote:
Federer hasn’t been the same specimen for many, many years. He’s been slow to the wide forehand for a long time. And he shows physical distress in a way he never did in his physical prime.
How many?
Cos this time last year he was number one in the world.

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Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:10 pm

bogbrush wrote:Oh come on, selecting a few results between certain players proves nothing. Federer has changed to handle Nadal and perhaps unleashed a strategy that would have seen him dominate earlier.

Frankly, this is a bit rich. the "selected" players are the top 3 players in the world, the only real benchmark we have in tennis is comparing top players with top players. What do you suggest comparing federer with the number 43 in the world?
Fed's handling of Nadal has nothing to do with a new strategy. This is a bit ridiculous really. It is simply down to a better execution on the BH and I am sure you know it as I believe you also mentioned it in the past. This is also the reason he cut through the draw better as well as ever in wimbledon and USO 2015. So Fed improvement in 2015 is not only against the top 3 or 4 but also against the rest of the world. One thing however we know is that at 34 he won;t recover as well as at 27 but his tennis on the day is at a much higher level, otherwise he would be annihilated by the much improved top 3 players.

However I go not by selective results between certain players but by the evidence of my eyes. I’ve watched tennis now for getting on 45 years and I know what I’m looking at. Federer hasn’t been the same specimen for many, many years. He’s been slow to the wide forehand for a long time. And he shows physical distress in a way he never did in his physical prime.
Yes but that doesn't mean he has not improved overall (at least till 2017).

I have also been watching tennis for at least as long as you and Federer has been hampered physically a few times in his career and that makes it difficult to see what was down to age and what was down to injury. Remember many of you thought he was declining fast in 2013 when he had back injury. If you are honest it would be difficult to see with the naked eye the split second that separate Fed 07 with Fed 15 or 17 speedwise. Nowadays I agree it is obvious.

LIkewise can you really tell that Djoko moves slower than in 2011?

According to some of you the level of tennis has dropped since 2007. Comical really. Why not since Borg and McEnroe while we are at it?

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