Merriam Webster's definition of Objectivity:
(Adjective) Expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations
- Objectively speaking, i.e. facts: Nadal has played 9 tournaments this year, made the finals of every single one of them, and won 7 of them, including solid victories over Djokovic and Federer.
- In my opinion this is a good year, by far the best year of any top player. His return from being sidelined could not have gone better and he re-established himself as the man to beat on Clay and no slouch on hard courts. Quite possibly could have still ended the year ranked #1, as of yesterday.
- Objectively speaking, i.e. facts: His record for the year is 43-2. That's 45 matches he's played before Wimbledon. Comparable top players, Novak has a record of 33-5 for a total of 38 matches, and Murray has a record of 27-5 for a total of 32 matches.
- In my opinion: Nadal has played more than his rivals and given the history of his weaker knees, this could potentially have taken it's toll. Although that toll was none too evident in his very recent domination of the clay season culminating in a solid 8th French Open.
- Objectively speaking, i.e facts: Since 2010, Nadal has made the finals of Wimbledon twice, the finals of the Australian Open once, The finals of the French 4 times, and has won 6 grand slams and 3 runner up performances. POST 2010, he's won 3 Grand Slams and 3 Runner up performances.
- In my opinion: Since 2010 he's won more grand slams (and possibly masters and other smaller titles - don't feel like looking up stats) than any other player. Post 2010, he's still won more titles than anyone except Djokovic, despite missing a lot of time due to injury. In my opinion this shows he's maintained his level at the very least and continues to perform at a higher level than Federer, Murray and the rest of the tour. I won't make a judgement as to if his performance has dropped but in my opinion it's clearly visible that he has been one of the best and that has not changed. The only folks routinely taking advantage of him are .. Djokovic. And that's it.
Finally, my opinion: For a guy constantly making the worst decisions and lives on the knees of a 70 year old, he's done rather well and the only genuine scare he has, from the field, comes in the form of just one player: Djokovic. Exhibitions, hard-court practice sessions and all are part of the sport, whether it be for popularity, money, or practice, they all serve their own purpose and are undertaken by the player when they believe they have made the best judgement of the consequences. Would skipping that one Exhibition match have turned his 1R exit at Wimbledon to another Wimbledon trophy?? I highly doubt it. What about practicing on hard courts? Would I trust the pre-Wimbledon practice schedule of a 5 time Wimbledon finalist and 2 time Wimbledon champion over that of internet-forum-perusers? I think so.
and my final opinion about his loss today: he was clearly sub-par, and expected to work his way into form, which didn't turn out exactly as he wanted. the scoreline was 6-7 6-7 4-6 and it might very well have been 7-6 7-6 6-4 had a handful of points gone his way, and we'd all be saying "Oh well, he needs to improve, let's see how he does against R2 opponent", just like we did after his dropped sets in the first few rounds of the French Open a few weeks ago. I firmly believe had he won that second set when he had the upper hand, the match would have been a straight forward victory from there on. But that didn't happen - as it can happen to anyone anytime, and Darcis took advantage of the situation. And Darcis was the final component of that equation, he was able to play on par with Nadal and not choke. He played great grass court tennis, not giant-killer worthy on it's own but enough to dismantle a sub-par top player on this day. It was a matter of a few points and unfortunately, those few points didn't go Nadal's ways.
Objective involves addressing the pros and the cons of facts. If you're going to be highly critical with the cons then you have to be highly appreciative of the pros. I like your comments/analysis of Nadal even if they get a little repetitive, and I do believe you're being honestly-critical. And there's no harm in saying that you're a critical fan - that's completely fine, but objective? Please..