Author Topic: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic  (Read 16128 times)

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Offline propstoart

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #180 on: August 07, 2011, 07:01:29 PM »
Nadal has always been an all-courter.. Well, if the players think the way to play is slow, then crawl they will.. It will be interesting to see how Rafa plays Nole hereon.. Nadal pushed Djokovic in IW & Miami, so he is fine game-wise.. Perhaps, altering one's tactics so drastically (upping the pace of play); is something Nadal believes is unnecessary..

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #181 on: August 07, 2011, 08:40:21 PM »
It's not happening. Sorry but Novak is moving better than Nadal. I hate to be so brutally honest as I do love Rafa and his fans here but .... there is not much Rafa could do
Not too sure Rafa is capable and willing to play a high-tempo tennis match.. His deliberate nature somehow precludes it. Nevertheless, in the relative cool of North America, with the comparatively faster hard courts, even Rafa will pick up the pace of play??  :confused1:


nadal is just a great hardcourter these days........just ignore the rambling about the time taking.......they fail to realize that if every point was monitored and the time violation rule was enforced every time the clock ticks over 20 seconds, half the players on the tour would retire mid way in the matches with respiratory issues........they just don't understand the requirements of the modern day sport.......
Nadal is a great hard court player these days.

Any comments about chronic cheaters are purely fact.  No way in Hail do 1/2 the ATP'ers chronically abuse the time limits from the moment they step on court.

Anal me, anytime someone is even close to being a chronic offender, I bust out the stopwatch and log the violations.  There's no valid reason for it.
Change the rule or enforce it.  That's all I'm saying. :)
CONK da ball!!!

Offline williamchung7

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #182 on: September 12, 2011, 05:20:04 AM »
What can Nadal do for Djokovic's master return game?
That is premary key for Nadal's game plan to Djokovic.

Nadal knows that Djokovic is going to attack his serve and play big backhand without many free point gifts like Murray did. 
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 05:24:14 AM by williamchung7 »

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #183 on: September 12, 2011, 06:54:19 AM »
What can Nadal do for Djokovic's master return game?
That is premary key for Nadal's game plan to Djokovic.

Nadal knows that Djokovic is going to attack his serve and play big backhand without many free point gifts like Murray did.

firstly i don't think nadal will serve as fast as last year.......secondly, when you know that most of your serves will comeback anyway, it's always best to make sure that you hit your serves in the right places instead of blindly going for pace.......




Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline vsty

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #184 on: September 12, 2011, 07:22:25 AM »
What can Nadal do for Djokovic's master return game?
That is premary key for Nadal's game plan to Djokovic.

Nadal knows that Djokovic is going to attack his serve and play big backhand without many free point gifts like Murray did.

firstly i don't think nadal will serve as fast as last year.......secondly, when you know that most of your serves will comeback anyway, it's always best to make sure that you hit your serves in the right places instead of blindly going for pace.......

I agree & I think that's how Rafa used to save so many BP's 2-3 years back, not with aces/big serves but serves with good placement to generate a weak reply so as to hit winner on next shot.

Offline williamchung7

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #185 on: September 12, 2011, 05:47:24 PM »
Now what is game plan for Nadal to turn this match into his side?

Offline HarryWild

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #186 on: September 13, 2011, 02:58:22 AM »
It "SIX" straight after the 2011 U.S. Open.  I think Nadal is a beaten person for now!  He will recover but after getting beat by Djokovic 6 straight; you have to feel for him too.

Offline FedFanForever

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #187 on: September 13, 2011, 02:47:08 PM »
It "SIX" straight after the 2011 U.S. Open.  I think Nadal is a beaten person for now!  He will recover but after getting beat by Djokovic 6 straight; you have to feel for him too.

ARe U kidding? No mercy to the time-wasting, PEDer!
Then we will fight in the shade.

Offline HarryWild

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #188 on: September 13, 2011, 08:27:48 PM »
What can Nadal do for Djokovic's master return game?
That is premary key for Nadal's game plan to Djokovic.

Nadal knows that Djokovic is going to attack his serve and play big backhand without many free point gifts like Murray did.

firstly i don't think nadal will serve as fast as last year.......secondly, when you know that most of your serves will comeback anyway, it's always best to make sure that you hit your serves in the right places instead of blindly going for pace.......

In the fifth set; Djokovic was hitting his first serve at 90 mph and still won the majority of his first serves.  He just place them so that Nadal out not take a good swing at it.  Nadal seem to always run after the 90 mph seerve and just make contact with it with a somewhat easy to medium pace return.

Speed is only relative to where the ball is placed.  In other words; good placement of a serve is usually better then a fast speed serve that the return can hit it back without much trouble.

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #189 on: September 22, 2011, 06:05:52 AM »
here's a great article by peter bodo........he is expressing the same thing which i have been saying since the us open final, nadal comments and what one could infer from them.......read on.......

The Implacable



By Pete Bodo
It's been pretty easy to feel for Rafael Nadal since the spring of this year, mainly because of the unexpected and savage way Novak Djokovic shattered the duopoly in men's tennis and, skipping steps that very few people might have deemed dispensable, ripped the world No. 1 ranking out of Rafa's hands.
You can almost envision Nadal standing hunched over in the midst of a howling windstorm, red clay-dust sanding his features and swirling madly all about him, blinking and asking, "What just happened?"
That's how quickly Djokovic established dominion over men's tennis.
But if you take the longer view, you could almost rationalize the course of the past 12 months as a fair example of the workings of fate, or karma. Truth be told, the arc of Nadal's career was a bit too smooth—a bit too nicely tilted in his favor and set-up for success. There's a simple reason for that—the difference in age between Nadal and his original rival, Roger Federer. It's almost exactly five years—just enough to keep them more-or-less within the same generation, but not enough to really put the men on equal career footing. In any number of ways, the Nadal vs. Federer rivalry is/was a straightforward saga of the hunter (Nadal) versus the hunted (Federer), or of the ambitious usurper plotting, scheming, and ultimately dethroning the aging king.
The inevitable—for wasn't the outcome of this "rivalry" just that?—came to pass in an orderly and even predictable way, partly because Nadal's expertise on clay gave him such a firm psychological foundation from which to pursue his intentions. I've always had to smile when contemplating the Federer/Nadal bromance—these two spent a lot of time working very familiar territory, variations of which include the good-cop/bad-cop routine (see the entire series of, what, 34 Lethal Weapon movies) and, to pick a good example from closer home, the Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova rivalry.
One interesting element in this equation is that each party in these partnerships (or rivalries) needed the other in order to make the whole add up to more than a sum of the parts. Rafa and Roger were lucky to have each other, and underneath it all they knew and appreciated it. They even acknowledged it. This kind of rivalry inevitably becomes a kind of orchestrated dance, and therefore can appear a bit studied, ever-so-slightly less satisfying than a more explosive and less predictable show. The moves of each man or woman in these pairings brings out the best in the other. Thus, Federer's light touch and artistic instincts only made Nadal's earthy labors and combative spirit that much more striking—and vice versa. At some point, you may begin to hunger for something different. . . less logical.
The difference in Federer and Nadal's ages also suggested, however subliminally, that somehow Federer begat Nadal. Surely The Mightly Fed would falter one day, and it was convenient as well as fortuitous that when he finally did, we would be left with a net gain. Federer didn't just go away (and he still hasn't). He was replaced by something very different, but of more-or-less equal value in Nadal.
Cozy. That's the word I frequently thought of, contemplating those two.
But that's all different now, thanks to the pestilential explosion of Djokovic across an already cratered and smoldering tennis battlefield. We might have been prepared for this, but at the same time were not. And you could hardly blame us. For one thing, we were focused on the cozy rivalry. For another, Federer and Nadal comprised a whole and closed tennis universe, a yin and yang (what's the word y'all use, "Fedal?") which required nothing more, in fact into which any intrusion seemed something like a buzzkill, or an affront. How easy it was to ignore what was right in front of our noses, that the real, natural rivals really are Nadal and Djokovic.
The brilliance of Federer retarded the development of a Nadal-Djokovic rivalry, and in any event, Djokovic was slower to develop than Nadal (if anything, his evolution into a champion more closely parallels Federer's). It was easy to overlook the rivalry begging to happen, although it's hard to see how when you compare Nadal and Djokovic. They were born within a year of each other, and each was a precocious Grand Slam singles champ. The most telling detail is their head-to-head; they've met five more times than have Nadal and Federer (although six of their 29 meetings were just this year). If each man can play tour level tennis to age 30, they might end up with a H2H based on 60 or 70 meetings.
This might seem like bad news to Nadal fans at the moment, and it certainly will strike some people as cosmically unfair. Why couldn't Nadal, whose longest stint at No. 1 was just over a year, ending this year at Wimbledon, have just a little more time to sit back and smell the roses after having had to work for so many years to catch Federer? Well, because of this thing called karma, or fate. It's as if the tennis gods looked down on Rafa, sitting pleased as punch atop the tennis world, and said: Not so fast, buckaroo!
Or, welcome to Roger's world, Rafa—have you met Novak?
This raises the inevitable question, given the way Djokovic has been shellacking Nadal: will this be a rivalry at all? Or will Djokovic quickly become the third man in the span of fewer than five years whom we nominate and debate as perhaps the Greatest of All Time?
The U.S. Open was not especially encouraging for Rafa fans (nor for Federer loyalists, and for the same reason). I thought that the tennis Nadal played in the third set was the absolute best I ever saw from him, and it's hard to imagine him equaling, never mind surpassing that level. Yet he barely won that set. And it was sobering to see how poorly he finished in the fourth; it was reminiscent of the April day in Miami, when we all sat stunned by the degree to which Djokovic looked just plain fitter and stronger than Nadal. Whoever even thought such a thing was possible?
And when Nadal said in his post-U.S. Open final presser that he was leaving New York feeling better about his chances in the future against Djokovic than when left Wimbledon (where he also lost to Djokovic), I think I actually winced. How delusional, I thought, sitting in that press room.
But. . .
You all saw the way Nadal played in the Davis Cup semifinals just last weekend, humiliating the French team almost single-handedly. That he was able to bounce back from that U.S. Open loss with such resolve (never mind such spring in his legs) told me something about Nadal (you can read the long version of this epiphany over at my ESPN space). And you all saw how Djokovic and Serbia went down the tubes in the same competition, with Djokovic essentially collapsing on the court, unable even to complete the match that punched Argentina's ticket to the final.
Thinking about those disparate events, the word that kept popping up in my mind as I thought about Nadal was "implacable." My gut feeling right now is that Nadal wasn't rationalizing or deluding himself when he said he left New York feeling better. Whether or not he can justify those feelings with actions is another matter, but my major takeaway from the events of the past few weeks is that Nadal is not going away any time soon. Any while he hasn't said it (his pal Federer, though, has come danged close to saying it), I'll bet you dollars to donuts Nadal is thinking that this purple streak Djokovic is on simply cannot last. And Nadal plans to be there to punish him when it ends.
I wouldn't rule out Djokovic continuing to play at or near the level he hit this year. For one thing, the guy is a late bloomer, and if anything, the circumstances from which he sprang (as a native of Serbia) could only have held him back, development-wise if not desire-wise. But Djokovic has been somewhat complicated all along, and his towering status, especially at home in Serbia, incorporates plenty of distractions and other opportunities to lose the plot.
If and when he does, Nadal will be there, waiting. Of that, I'm fairly certain. One thing about Nadal, he's honest with himself. Another thing about Nadal, he has an almost unbounded appetite for work; in that sense, his original rivalry was good preparation for what was to come, which has now come.
Down deep, I think Nadal knows that the Federer perplex was not destined to be his outstanding career challenge. One day he may even appreciate that it wasn't.
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #190 on: September 22, 2011, 06:33:13 AM »
here's a great article by peter bodo........he is expressing the same thing which i have been saying since the us open final, nadal comments and what one could infer from them.......read on.......

The Implacable



By Pete Bodo
It's been pretty easy to feel for Rafael Nadal since the spring of this year, mainly because of the unexpected and savage way Novak Djokovic shattered the duopoly in men's tennis and, skipping steps that very few people might have deemed dispensable, ripped the world No. 1 ranking out of Rafa's hands.
You can almost envision Nadal standing hunched over in the midst of a howling windstorm, red clay-dust sanding his features and swirling madly all about him, blinking and asking, "What just happened?"
That's how quickly Djokovic established dominion over men's tennis.
But if you take the longer view, you could almost rationalize the course of the past 12 months as a fair example of the workings of fate, or karma. Truth be told, the arc of Nadal's career was a bit too smooth—a bit too nicely tilted in his favor and set-up for success. There's a simple reason for that—the difference in age between Nadal and his original rival, Roger Federer. It's almost exactly five years—just enough to keep them more-or-less within the same generation, but not enough to really put the men on equal career footing. In any number of ways, the Nadal vs. Federer rivalry is/was a straightforward saga of the hunter (Nadal) versus the hunted (Federer), or of the ambitious usurper plotting, scheming, and ultimately dethroning the aging king.
The inevitable—for wasn't the outcome of this "rivalry" just that?—came to pass in an orderly and even predictable way, partly because Nadal's expertise on clay gave him such a firm psychological foundation from which to pursue his intentions. I've always had to smile when contemplating the Federer/Nadal bromance—these two spent a lot of time working very familiar territory, variations of which include the good-cop/bad-cop routine (see the entire series of, what, 34 Lethal Weapon movies) and, to pick a good example from closer home, the Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova rivalry.
One interesting element in this equation is that each party in these partnerships (or rivalries) needed the other in order to make the whole add up to more than a sum of the parts. Rafa and Roger were lucky to have each other, and underneath it all they knew and appreciated it. They even acknowledged it. This kind of rivalry inevitably becomes a kind of orchestrated dance, and therefore can appear a bit studied, ever-so-slightly less satisfying than a more explosive and less predictable show. The moves of each man or woman in these pairings brings out the best in the other. Thus, Federer's light touch and artistic instincts only made Nadal's earthy labors and combative spirit that much more striking—and vice versa. At some point, you may begin to hunger for something different. . . less logical.
The difference in Federer and Nadal's ages also suggested, however subliminally, that somehow Federer begat Nadal. Surely The Mightly Fed would falter one day, and it was convenient as well as fortuitous that when he finally did, we would be left with a net gain. Federer didn't just go away (and he still hasn't). He was replaced by something very different, but of more-or-less equal value in Nadal.
Cozy. That's the word I frequently thought of, contemplating those two.
But that's all different now, thanks to the pestilential explosion of Djokovic across an already cratered and smoldering tennis battlefield. We might have been prepared for this, but at the same time were not. And you could hardly blame us. For one thing, we were focused on the cozy rivalry. For another, Federer and Nadal comprised a whole and closed tennis universe, a yin and yang (what's the word y'all use, "Fedal?") which required nothing more, in fact into which any intrusion seemed something like a buzzkill, or an affront. How easy it was to ignore what was right in front of our noses, that the real, natural rivals really are Nadal and Djokovic.
The brilliance of Federer retarded the development of a Nadal-Djokovic rivalry, and in any event, Djokovic was slower to develop than Nadal (if anything, his evolution into a champion more closely parallels Federer's). It was easy to overlook the rivalry begging to happen, although it's hard to see how when you compare Nadal and Djokovic. They were born within a year of each other, and each was a precocious Grand Slam singles champ. The most telling detail is their head-to-head; they've met five more times than have Nadal and Federer (although six of their 29 meetings were just this year). If each man can play tour level tennis to age 30, they might end up with a H2H based on 60 or 70 meetings.
This might seem like bad news to Nadal fans at the moment, and it certainly will strike some people as cosmically unfair. Why couldn't Nadal, whose longest stint at No. 1 was just over a year, ending this year at Wimbledon, have just a little more time to sit back and smell the roses after having had to work for so many years to catch Federer? Well, because of this thing called karma, or fate. It's as if the tennis gods looked down on Rafa, sitting pleased as punch atop the tennis world, and said: Not so fast, buckaroo!
Or, welcome to Roger's world, Rafa—have you met Novak?
This raises the inevitable question, given the way Djokovic has been shellacking Nadal: will this be a rivalry at all? Or will Djokovic quickly become the third man in the span of fewer than five years whom we nominate and debate as perhaps the Greatest of All Time?
The U.S. Open was not especially encouraging for Rafa fans (nor for Federer loyalists, and for the same reason). I thought that the tennis Nadal played in the third set was the absolute best I ever saw from him, and it's hard to imagine him equaling, never mind surpassing that level. Yet he barely won that set. And it was sobering to see how poorly he finished in the fourth; it was reminiscent of the April day in Miami, when we all sat stunned by the degree to which Djokovic looked just plain fitter and stronger than Nadal. Whoever even thought such a thing was possible?
And when Nadal said in his post-U.S. Open final presser that he was leaving New York feeling better about his chances in the future against Djokovic than when left Wimbledon (where he also lost to Djokovic), I think I actually winced. How delusional, I thought, sitting in that press room.
But. . .
You all saw the way Nadal played in the Davis Cup semifinals just last weekend, humiliating the French team almost single-handedly. That he was able to bounce back from that U.S. Open loss with such resolve (never mind such spring in his legs) told me something about Nadal (you can read the long version of this epiphany over at my ESPN space). And you all saw how Djokovic and Serbia went down the tubes in the same competition, with Djokovic essentially collapsing on the court, unable even to complete the match that punched Argentina's ticket to the final.
Thinking about those disparate events, the word that kept popping up in my mind as I thought about Nadal was "implacable." My gut feeling right now is that Nadal wasn't rationalizing or deluding himself when he said he left New York feeling better. Whether or not he can justify those feelings with actions is another matter, but my major takeaway from the events of the past few weeks is that Nadal is not going away any time soon. Any while he hasn't said it (his pal Federer, though, has come danged close to saying it), I'll bet you dollars to donuts Nadal is thinking that this purple streak Djokovic is on simply cannot last. And Nadal plans to be there to punish him when it ends.
I wouldn't rule out Djokovic continuing to play at or near the level he hit this year. For one thing, the guy is a late bloomer, and if anything, the circumstances from which he sprang (as a native of Serbia) could only have held him back, development-wise if not desire-wise. But Djokovic has been somewhat complicated all along, and his towering status, especially at home in Serbia, incorporates plenty of distractions and other opportunities to lose the plot.
If and when he does, Nadal will be there, waiting. Of that, I'm fairly certain. One thing about Nadal, he's honest with himself. Another thing about Nadal, he has an almost unbounded appetite for work; in that sense, his original rivalry was good preparation for what was to come, which has now come.
Down deep, I think Nadal knows that the Federer perplex was not destined to be his outstanding career challenge. One day he may even appreciate that it wasn't.

Rubbish.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline williamchung7

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #191 on: September 22, 2011, 06:44:04 AM »
here's a great article by peter bodo........he is expressing the same thing which i have been saying since the us open final, nadal comments and what one could infer from them.......read on.......

The Implacable



By Pete Bodo
It's been pretty easy to feel for Rafael Nadal since the spring of this year, mainly because of the unexpected and savage way Novak Djokovic shattered the duopoly in men's tennis and, skipping steps that very few people might have deemed dispensable, ripped the world No. 1 ranking out of Rafa's hands.
You can almost envision Nadal standing hunched over in the midst of a howling windstorm, red clay-dust sanding his features and swirling madly all about him, blinking and asking, "What just happened?"
That's how quickly Djokovic established dominion over men's tennis.
But if you take the longer view, you could almost rationalize the course of the past 12 months as a fair example of the workings of fate, or karma. Truth be told, the arc of Nadal's career was a bit too smooth—a bit too nicely tilted in his favor and set-up for success. There's a simple reason for that—the difference in age between Nadal and his original rival, Roger Federer. It's almost exactly five years—just enough to keep them more-or-less within the same generation, but not enough to really put the men on equal career footing. In any number of ways, the Nadal vs. Federer rivalry is/was a straightforward saga of the hunter (Nadal) versus the hunted (Federer), or of the ambitious usurper plotting, scheming, and ultimately dethroning the aging king.
The inevitable—for wasn't the outcome of this "rivalry" just that?—came to pass in an orderly and even predictable way, partly because Nadal's expertise on clay gave him such a firm psychological foundation from which to pursue his intentions. I've always had to smile when contemplating the Federer/Nadal bromance—these two spent a lot of time working very familiar territory, variations of which include the good-cop/bad-cop routine (see the entire series of, what, 34 Lethal Weapon movies) and, to pick a good example from closer home, the Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova rivalry.
One interesting element in this equation is that each party in these partnerships (or rivalries) needed the other in order to make the whole add up to more than a sum of the parts. Rafa and Roger were lucky to have each other, and underneath it all they knew and appreciated it. They even acknowledged it. This kind of rivalry inevitably becomes a kind of orchestrated dance, and therefore can appear a bit studied, ever-so-slightly less satisfying than a more explosive and less predictable show. The moves of each man or woman in these pairings brings out the best in the other. Thus, Federer's light touch and artistic instincts only made Nadal's earthy labors and combative spirit that much more striking—and vice versa. At some point, you may begin to hunger for something different. . . less logical.
The difference in Federer and Nadal's ages also suggested, however subliminally, that somehow Federer begat Nadal. Surely The Mightly Fed would falter one day, and it was convenient as well as fortuitous that when he finally did, we would be left with a net gain. Federer didn't just go away (and he still hasn't). He was replaced by something very different, but of more-or-less equal value in Nadal.
Cozy. That's the word I frequently thought of, contemplating those two.
But that's all different now, thanks to the pestilential explosion of Djokovic across an already cratered and smoldering tennis battlefield. We might have been prepared for this, but at the same time were not. And you could hardly blame us. For one thing, we were focused on the cozy rivalry. For another, Federer and Nadal comprised a whole and closed tennis universe, a yin and yang (what's the word y'all use, "Fedal?") which required nothing more, in fact into which any intrusion seemed something like a buzzkill, or an affront. How easy it was to ignore what was right in front of our noses, that the real, natural rivals really are Nadal and Djokovic.
The brilliance of Federer retarded the development of a Nadal-Djokovic rivalry, and in any event, Djokovic was slower to develop than Nadal (if anything, his evolution into a champion more closely parallels Federer's). It was easy to overlook the rivalry begging to happen, although it's hard to see how when you compare Nadal and Djokovic. They were born within a year of each other, and each was a precocious Grand Slam singles champ. The most telling detail is their head-to-head; they've met five more times than have Nadal and Federer (although six of their 29 meetings were just this year). If each man can play tour level tennis to age 30, they might end up with a H2H based on 60 or 70 meetings.
This might seem like bad news to Nadal fans at the moment, and it certainly will strike some people as cosmically unfair. Why couldn't Nadal, whose longest stint at No. 1 was just over a year, ending this year at Wimbledon, have just a little more time to sit back and smell the roses after having had to work for so many years to catch Federer? Well, because of this thing called karma, or fate. It's as if the tennis gods looked down on Rafa, sitting pleased as punch atop the tennis world, and said: Not so fast, buckaroo!
Or, welcome to Roger's world, Rafa—have you met Novak?
This raises the inevitable question, given the way Djokovic has been shellacking Nadal: will this be a rivalry at all? Or will Djokovic quickly become the third man in the span of fewer than five years whom we nominate and debate as perhaps the Greatest of All Time?
The U.S. Open was not especially encouraging for Rafa fans (nor for Federer loyalists, and for the same reason). I thought that the tennis Nadal played in the third set was the absolute best I ever saw from him, and it's hard to imagine him equaling, never mind surpassing that level. Yet he barely won that set. And it was sobering to see how poorly he finished in the fourth; it was reminiscent of the April day in Miami, when we all sat stunned by the degree to which Djokovic looked just plain fitter and stronger than Nadal. Whoever even thought such a thing was possible?
And when Nadal said in his post-U.S. Open final presser that he was leaving New York feeling better about his chances in the future against Djokovic than when left Wimbledon (where he also lost to Djokovic), I think I actually winced. How delusional, I thought, sitting in that press room.
But. . .
You all saw the way Nadal played in the Davis Cup semifinals just last weekend, humiliating the French team almost single-handedly. That he was able to bounce back from that U.S. Open loss with such resolve (never mind such spring in his legs) told me something about Nadal (you can read the long version of this epiphany over at my ESPN space). And you all saw how Djokovic and Serbia went down the tubes in the same competition, with Djokovic essentially collapsing on the court, unable even to complete the match that punched Argentina's ticket to the final.
Thinking about those disparate events, the word that kept popping up in my mind as I thought about Nadal was "implacable." My gut feeling right now is that Nadal wasn't rationalizing or deluding himself when he said he left New York feeling better. Whether or not he can justify those feelings with actions is another matter, but my major takeaway from the events of the past few weeks is that Nadal is not going away any time soon. Any while he hasn't said it (his pal Federer, though, has come danged close to saying it), I'll bet you dollars to donuts Nadal is thinking that this purple streak Djokovic is on simply cannot last. And Nadal plans to be there to punish him when it ends.
I wouldn't rule out Djokovic continuing to play at or near the level he hit this year. For one thing, the guy is a late bloomer, and if anything, the circumstances from which he sprang (as a native of Serbia) could only have held him back, development-wise if not desire-wise. But Djokovic has been somewhat complicated all along, and his towering status, especially at home in Serbia, incorporates plenty of distractions and other opportunities to lose the plot.
If and when he does, Nadal will be there, waiting. Of that, I'm fairly certain. One thing about Nadal, he's honest with himself. Another thing about Nadal, he has an almost unbounded appetite for work; in that sense, his original rivalry was good preparation for what was to come, which has now come.
Down deep, I think Nadal knows that the Federer perplex was not destined to be his outstanding career challenge. One day he may even appreciate that it wasn't.

Rubbish.

oh monster, I know you will make this comment.   :innocent:


Offline monstertruck

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #192 on: September 22, 2011, 06:59:06 AM »
I like some of Mr. Bodo's articles.
However, after the recent thread re: 'luck' my BS tolerance is a bit low. :paper bag:
CONK da ball!!!

Offline Alex

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #193 on: September 22, 2011, 10:23:17 AM »
I do not like Bodo. However this article is, so, so.

I do agree that Nadal is a very good HC player. If it wasn't for Djokovic he would probably win everything this year. Rafa beat everyone not called Djokovic this year. Ferrer did win that match in Melbourne but Rafa was not well, so I don't really see that as a big thing. He played so many finals. I'm not worried about Nadal. I think he'll be playing many finals with Novak and it's going to be great  :)).

His plan against Nole? I don't know. It's tough. They both move so well, their court coverage is amazing. Nole is just a little bit better right now. We'll see.

Offline tennisfan78

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #194 on: September 24, 2011, 06:16:42 PM »

One thing I noticed Rafa do different against Nole during the US Open final was when pushed on his backhand corner, he slice his backhand to Nole's Backhand.  That strategy did work  sometimes, as Nole couldn't always go on the offense.   But, he wasnt able to consistently slice deep, and sometimes resulted in a short ball and Nole took over the point. 

But I give credit to Rafa, for trying a few new things out.


Offline Start da Game

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #195 on: September 25, 2011, 11:55:38 AM »
yes that's what makes rafa so great........he reads their game inside out and tries to find a solution........he tried a few things in that final and that slice was definitely one.......i am sure he will use it a lot more in their future matches.......djokovic did have trouble against that slice towards his backhand even against fed........dealing with that short slice, he sort of ends up hitting a nothing reply........
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline propstoart

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #196 on: September 27, 2011, 02:30:24 AM »
That short slice better surprise Nole or he will reply with the deep cross-court backhand, that will inevitably decide the point in his favour!! Anyways, why would Rafa wanna invite Nole to boss the point when the Spaniard is scampering like crazy to start with!!

Offline tennisfan78

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #197 on: January 30, 2012, 01:25:24 PM »

Now that the Australian Open is complete, I wonder what you guys think of Rafa's tactics against Djoker.

I thought Rafa played more aggressive on the forehand side than before.

Also, he tried to stay away from the usual Forehand to Djokers Backhand rallies.

Tried to short slice on to Djokovics backhand sometimes.

Even though, he lost I thought he played much better tactically.


Offline williamchung7

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #198 on: January 30, 2012, 05:41:39 PM »
From what I see from Australian open....

Body serve will be the key for Nadal at the moment. This serve is one of several option that allow him to get short return from Djokovic.

Place the ball to Djokovic's forehand side as more as possible and then see the chance to hit his big inside-out forehand. It hurt Djokovic. To do it, Nadal needs to play backhand down the line and good cross court backhand.

Offline FedFanForever

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Re: Rafa's game plan against Djokovic
« Reply #199 on: January 30, 2012, 06:46:46 PM »
Quote
"It's true I had big mistake with 30-15," Nadal said. "But it's not moment to think about that. That's another just moment in an almost six hours match. Forget about that knowing that I really had real, very real chances to have the title and to win against a player who I lost (to) six times last year.
"But I didn't. I never put him in this situation during 2011, all 2011, so that's another positive thing for me."

"I didn't have mental problems today against him," Nadal said. "I had in 2011 all these mental problems. Today I didn't have. I compete with normal conditions against him, no?
"So that's another positive thing. Probably never say that many positive things after I lose."
Read more:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/tennis/01/29/australian.open.turning.point.ap/index.html#ixzz1kzaM4Hhv

Read more:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/tennis/01/29/australian.open.turning.point.ap/index.html#ixzz1kzaGimug


Notice how Rafa is almost desperate to show he's really close to beating Novak. I never saw Roger say such things after close 5-setters against Nadal. Nadal is an excuse machine.
Then we will fight in the shade.