Author Topic: Clay Monster's Limitations  (Read 371579 times)

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Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6800 on: February 13, 2009, 04:17:45 PM »
enter the clay monster the ultimate doomsday stroking machine. he withstood 26 aces and some choking of his own today but he does dispatch Tsonga.

he was also not very sharp off the ground. and to make the matters worse, he is still hopeless at the net and still saddled with a miserable slice.

returns are weak on these lightening fast surfaces which allows them to attack.


Offline yellowball

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6801 on: February 13, 2009, 04:22:01 PM »
enter the clay monster the ultimate doomsday stroking machine. he withstood 26 aces and some choking of his own today but he does dispatch Tsonga.

he was also not very sharp off the ground. and to make the matters worse, he is still hopeless at the net and still saddled with a miserable slice.

returns are weak on these lightening fast surfaces which allows them to attack.


You're right Herc, but his "intestinal fortitude" has kept him in there. I thought he'd be gone by now.  I don't quite understand throwing in a 4th surface anyway, seems like they'd require hosts to have one of the three accepted surfaces. I don't get it, never have.

Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6802 on: February 13, 2009, 04:38:29 PM »
enter the clay monster the ultimate doomsday stroking machine. he withstood 26 aces and some choking of his own today but he does dispatch Tsonga.

he was also not very sharp off the ground. and to make the matters worse, he is still hopeless at the net and still saddled with a miserable slice.

returns are weak on these lightening fast surfaces which allows them to attack.


You're right Herc, but his "intestinal fortitude" has kept him in there. I thought he'd be gone by now.  I don't quite understand throwing in a 4th surface anyway, seems like they'd require hosts to have one of the three accepted surfaces. I don't get it, never have.

this type of surfaces are hell on these player`s bodies. more so for the Clay Monster since he has to party without the benefit of a big serve. he is also still not very confiedent at the net. translation: his limitatations on these surfaces keep him on the court for a long time. first match was nearly 2.5 hours. same with his 2nd match. today`s match may have gone 2 hours and 40 minutes or better.

that slice of his, as you saw, was nothing more than an opportunity for Tsonga--- or anybody else that cares to--just blast away.

Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6803 on: February 13, 2009, 04:59:34 PM »
13th of February

What a match!!! For the third time in a row Rafa Nadal was pushed to the limit by another great player, this time around it was French sensation, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga before prevailing in three long sets, 6-4 y 6-7 (5) y 6-4 at the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam.

As all of you already know, Rafa said before the start of the tournament that “Last year I played real bad at Rotterdam, it was my worst tournament during the season and that is why I want to play better here, I just want to give back to the Dutch fans and show them my game and dedication”.

After only 2 weeks of that memorable final in Melboure, Rafa is again in the semifinals of another very important tournament, however, this one is played on a different surface, Indoor hardcourts.

“Tsonga is a very difficult rival, and to me, winning is already a great achievement. Today’s match has been very challenging and I’ve just taken advantage of the chance that I was given at the right moment” , said Rafa after finishing the match.

The next oponent he will face for a place in the final will be the winner of the match between Julien Benneteau and Gael Monfils.

Well done Rafa y good look in the semi-finals tomorrow!


Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6804 on: February 13, 2009, 06:25:23 PM »
enter the clay monster the ultimate doomsday stroking machine. next victim is Monfils.

slightly better performance today but he took too long to put this guy away. so needeless to say but i am not all that happy with his game. he could be a lot sharper off the ground. that is really all he needs to do for now.

STOP PRESS
13th February

Rafa's quarter final at the ABN AMRO WTT Rotterdam saw his best performance of the tournament so far. Desite facing a barrage of aces from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga he won in three sets 6-4 6-7(5) 6-4. This gives him a healthy 3-1 head to head and might actually stop the commentators referring to his one loss.

He will play Gael Monfils tomorrow in the semi final. It is scheduled to start at 19:30 CET, 6:30pm GMT, 1:30pm EST.

Work out times in your time zone with this handy converter.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 06:26:44 PM by hercules »

Offline Flyer

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6805 on: February 13, 2009, 06:35:59 PM »
Boring

Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6806 on: February 13, 2009, 07:08:08 PM »
Boring

what is boring is people like you with absolutely nothing to offer. blind worshippers at every corner here so why am i not surprised.

what is killing you is that the Clay Monster has gobbled up your god Federer.

offer something or your own boredom--which always comes from within--will continue to tear away from you.

was your totally worthless post really necessary?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 07:09:03 PM by hercules »

Offline yellowball

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6807 on: February 13, 2009, 07:09:42 PM »
Boring

Stay away if you don't like Rafa.  :)) 

Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6808 on: February 13, 2009, 10:22:33 PM »
Boring

Stay away if you don't like Rafa.  :)) 

its hard not to like the Clay Monster. i am never happy with him but that is another story. his heroics, guts, fighting spirit, humbleness, and kindness have made him the top global draw in sports. he is too damn humble for my money.

what this poster has a problem with is us talking about the new Warrior King of tennis.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 10:23:08 PM by hercules »

Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6809 on: February 14, 2009, 08:17:47 PM »
enter the clay monster the ultimate doomsday stroking machine. next victim is Murray. it will be a tough day at the office but the Clay Monster made some gains today on this slick, fast indoor hard court. he got a little more used to the surface.

if he can keep the match clean, he can take it tomorrow. he made too many errors today but won the important points. Murray is in better form and he does well in best of 3 sets foremats so its not an easy match by any means.

it canbe done but here is what has to happen:

1. serve well. Murray returns really well on quick hard courts. he tore Ancic`s serve apart for instance. Clay Monster has to take care of his serve.

2. return well

3. pass well

rest should take care of itself. easier said than done but after today`s match, i am giving the Clay Monster the edge. we will just have to see. first set is all important. Clay Monster has to fight and get that 1st set under his belt.

STOP PRESS
13th February

Rafa is through to the final at the ABN AMRO WTT Rotterdam. It was a strange match against Gael Monfils who appeared to still be suffering from the stomach bug he had yesterday. It didn't stop him making some feirce plays but ultimately Rafa won 6-4 6-4.

He will play Andy Murray in the final tomorrow. It is scheduled to start at 2pm CET, 1pm GMT, 8am EST.

Work out times in your time zone with this handy converter.

Offline falcon

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6810 on: February 14, 2009, 08:36:47 PM »
Boring
why? Because he's winning??? Lol....get something better against rafa...I know its very  tough to find anything against him...so go ahead...good luck though


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Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6811 on: February 15, 2009, 09:08:34 AM »
Boring
why? Because he's winning??? Lol....get something better against rafa...I know its very  tough to find anything against him...so go ahead...good luck though

surprise surprise. the moron has ruined his knee again by playing on the worst of all surfaces--fast indoor hard courts. these courts do the most damage to the players.

he doesnt exactly have the luxury of having good knees. every year he has to sit out the part of the year because of pain in his knees. it was over 2 months in 2008.

he wants to double that to 4 months this year. with the brutal schedule coming up where he has to win 8 titles just to defend his points, it wont get any easier unless he backs off at once.

i would at once skip Dubai and make minimal efforts at Indian Wells and Miami Masters. its ok to lose a few points than to lose out on winning the French Open and Wimbledon.

Offline yellowball

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6812 on: February 15, 2009, 11:21:12 AM »
Boring
why? Because he's winning??? Lol....get something better against rafa...I know its very  tough to find anything against him...so go ahead...good luck though

surprise surprise. the moron has ruined his knee again by playing on the worst of all surfaces--fast indoor hard courts. these courts do the most damage to the players.

he doesnt exactly have the luxury of having good knees. every year he has to sit out the part of the year because of pain in his knees. it was over 2 months in 2008.

he wants to double that to 4 months this year. with the brutal schedule coming up where he has to win 8 titles just to defend his points, it wont get any easier unless he backs off at once.

i would at once skip Dubai and make minimal efforts at Indian Wells and Miami Masters. its ok to lose a few points than to lose out on winning the French Open and Wimbledon.

I am anxious to get a report on the knee. Worried. It will be interesting to see if they change their schedule any at all. Of course, it's quite possible that the knee is reinjured to the degree that it will FORCE them to change the schedule.  These smaller tournaments are almost more dangerous than the slams. Playing EVERY day, full tilt -- the way he does -- 2-1/2 to 3 hours is just impossible for him.  The squeaks on the surface are testament to how quickly they are stopping and starting.

He wants to be an all surface player and he is... but I think he feels he hasn't proven himself yet. It appears that hc supremacy is forever going to be impossible for him, and his heart can't pull him through it. He can learn the technique, he can improve his game, but the knees...  :blue:

Offline Flyer

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6813 on: February 15, 2009, 12:28:54 PM »
Boring

what is boring is people like you with absolutely nothing to offer. blind worshippers at every corner here so why am i not surprised.

what is killing you is that the Clay Monster has gobbled up your god Federer.

offer something or your own boredom--which always comes from within--will continue to tear away from you.

was your totally worthless post really necessary?


Good God No - your response is a real side tickler!

To be so pompous and so funny all at once is a rare talent!

Offline Flyer

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6814 on: February 15, 2009, 12:34:59 PM »
Boring
why? Because he's winning??? Lol....get something better against rafa...I know its very  tough to find anything against him...so go ahead...good luck though

surprise surprise. the moron has ruined his knee again by playing on the worst of all surfaces--fast indoor hard courts. these courts do the most damage to the players.

he doesnt exactly have the luxury of having good knees. every year he has to sit out the part of the year because of pain in his knees. it was over 2 months in 2008.

he wants to double that to 4 months this year. with the brutal schedule coming up where he has to win 8 titles just to defend his points, it wont get any easier unless he backs off at once.

i would at once skip Dubai and make minimal efforts at Indian Wells and Miami Masters. its ok to lose a few points than to lose out on winning the French Open and Wimbledon.

I am anxious to get a report on the knee. Worried. It will be interesting to see if they change their schedule any at all. Of course, it's quite possible that the knee is reinjured to the degree that it will FORCE them to change the schedule.  These smaller tournaments are almost more dangerous than the slams. Playing EVERY day, full tilt -- the way he does -- 2-1/2 to 3 hours is just impossible for him.  The squeaks on the surface are testament to how quickly they are stopping and starting.

He wants to be an all surface player and he is... but I think he feels he hasn't proven himself yet. It appears that hc supremacy is forever going to be impossible for him, and his heart can't pull him through it. He can learn the technique, he can improve his game, but the knees...  :blue:

I am sure Nadal will pull from Dubai - it is the only reasonable action to take - especially in a year that started so well for him.

If it is tendons - proper rest should do the trick - he can keep his form by doing other type of exercises - such as in water - to try and de-stress the knees.

Offline Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6815 on: February 15, 2009, 08:46:10 PM »
Boring
why? Because he's winning??? Lol....get something better against rafa...I know its very  tough to find anything against him...so go ahead...good luck though

surprise surprise. the moron has ruined his knee again by playing on the worst of all surfaces--fast indoor hard courts. these courts do the most damage to the players.

he doesnt exactly have the luxury of having good knees. every year he has to sit out the part of the year because of pain in his knees. it was over 2 months in 2008.

he wants to double that to 4 months this year. with the brutal schedule coming up where he has to win 8 titles just to defend his points, it wont get any easier unless he backs off at once.

i would at once skip Dubai and make minimal efforts at Indian Wells and Miami Masters. its ok to lose a few points than to lose out on winning the French Open and Wimbledon.

I am anxious to get a report on the knee. Worried. It will be interesting to see if they change their schedule any at all. Of course, it's quite possible that the knee is reinjured to the degree that it will FORCE them to change the schedule.  These smaller tournaments are almost more dangerous than the slams. Playing EVERY day, full tilt -- the way he does -- 2-1/2 to 3 hours is just impossible for him.  The squeaks on the surface are testament to how quickly they are stopping and starting.

He wants to be an all surface player and he is... but I think he feels he hasn't proven himself yet. It appears that hc supremacy is forever going to be impossible for him, and his heart can't pull him through it. He can learn the technique, he can improve his game, but the knees...  :blue:

I am sure Nadal will pull from Dubai - it is the only reasonable action to take - especially in a year that started so well for him.

If it is tendons - proper rest should do the trick - he can keep his form by doing other type of exercises - such as in water - to try and de-stress the knees.


he just wont learn until he has to pay a very steep price. everybody on the planet from all 4 corners of the world is wondering what he was doing in Rotterdam.

it should be bloody clear now that the hard courts will cut his career short. both he and his team understands this.

greed gets in the way.

Offline tennisfan78

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6816 on: February 15, 2009, 09:42:01 PM »
Boring
why? Because he's winning??? Lol....get something better against rafa...I know its very  tough to find anything against him...so go ahead...good luck though

surprise surprise. the moron has ruined his knee again by playing on the worst of all surfaces--fast indoor hard courts. these courts do the most damage to the players.

he doesnt exactly have the luxury of having good knees. every year he has to sit out the part of the year because of pain in his knees. it was over 2 months in 2008.

he wants to double that to 4 months this year. with the brutal schedule coming up where he has to win 8 titles just to defend his points, it wont get any easier unless he backs off at once.

i would at once skip Dubai and make minimal efforts at Indian Wells and Miami Masters. its ok to lose a few points than to lose out on winning the French Open and Wimbledon.

I am anxious to get a report on the knee. Worried. It will be interesting to see if they change their schedule any at all. Of course, it's quite possible that the knee is reinjured to the degree that it will FORCE them to change the schedule.  These smaller tournaments are almost more dangerous than the slams. Playing EVERY day, full tilt -- the way he does -- 2-1/2 to 3 hours is just impossible for him.  The squeaks on the surface are testament to how quickly they are stopping and starting.

He wants to be an all surface player and he is... but I think he feels he hasn't proven himself yet. It appears that hc supremacy is forever going to be impossible for him, and his heart can't pull him through it. He can learn the technique, he can improve his game, but the knees...  :blue:

I am sure Nadal will pull from Dubai - it is the only reasonable action to take - especially in a year that started so well for him.

If it is tendons - proper rest should do the trick - he can keep his form by doing other type of exercises - such as in water - to try and de-stress the knees.


he just wont learn until he has to pay a very steep price. everybody on the planet from all 4 corners of the world is wondering what he was doing in Rotterdam.

it should be bloody clear now that the hard courts will cut his career short. both he and his team understands this.

greed gets in the way.

Yeah I agree that it is a very poor choice to play at Rotterdam after such a successful start to the year. Health is most important and he should be smarter on managing his schedule.



Offline Redshale

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6817 on: February 15, 2009, 11:23:16 PM »
Thanks Herc and all the others for these thoughts.  On the subject of Rotterdam, I want to pitch in the following thoughts.

Rafa told Krajicek last year that he would come to Rotterdam again this year if he was #1; and that, if he wasn't number #1, he'd play the South American circuit.  I'd surmise from what we know of Rafa that it was less a quality of greed that bade him to the Netherlands, but two other things. 

First, he sticks to his word.  To himself and his tennis, first and foremost -- it's part of what makes him such a great champion and gives him such honest drive to play and to win as much as he can.  "I'm gonna try my best."  (Which is only the understatement of the century when you've seen him battle for break points.)  But I think he takes his word very seriously, if he's learned anything of Uncle Toni's philosophy, it's that.  Indeed, he keeps his word too seriously.  Kracijek would have been happy with two lackluster sets and a sound Murray win.  But not Rafa, he said he was gonna try his best this week.  And that's what makes him the freaking champion that he is.  Don't play too hard?  He's learning, but like playing on hardcourts, not playing too hard's not his natural style.

Second, and maybe more important, the Rotterdam tournament may have seemed logistically sound.  Rafa likes to stick close to home for as long as he can, and Rotterdam's a quick flight from Majorca, where he could stay for a week until Dubai (or, if he skips Dubai, three weeks at home before Indian Wells).  Otherwise he'd have to fly all over South America, go back to Europe(?) for a week, and fly to North America for another month.  Much easier to stay on the continent.  Additionally, it would have seemed to offer him some practise with US Open balls on a fast indoor court, keeping him motivated on the ultimate goal, the summer assault on the calendar slam.  Don't play at all?  Well, they have 4 500 events that are mandatory.  Play one now, then play 2 more at Monte-Carlo (though that one confuses me, does it count toward 500s?) and Barca and he can take it easy after the US Open.  Again, in retrospect it was probably a mistake, but he could not have anticipated the massive effort it took to win the Australian; but he was on a roll, and then, he had given his word.

Dubai is of course a ridiculous prospect, all the more so because of the new, apparently geopolitical ramifications.  The ATP needs balls, but I'm sure Roger's a vocal proponent of the Dubai tourney.

Murray was quoted after the win -- I like Andy's game quite a bit, he's quick and cunning -- as saying that knee pain was something Rafa said he experienced when he played a lot on hard courts. 

According to El Pais (and this is a very loose translation), Rafa said, "It was not my best day.  Effectively, I had problems, but I don't want to talk much on this.  Andy played very well and he beat me...my right knee has been hurting these last days and the pain was more alive during the final.  It hurt to lean on, especially on the service, although I don't think it is very grave.  We will see how it evolves, but I hope I can play in Dubai..."  El Pais then quotes Nadal's doctor, who says Nadal was controlling the pain during the week, and that this injury was an inflammation of a knee tendon, nothing like the sprain he had last fall.  They are treating it with ice and anti-inflammatories.

He was clearly in pain, but from all indications it doesn't seem like a major injury if it's just tendonitis and not a sprain.  Though he hits a nice backhand on one leg, he needs to relax.

Rafa dreams big and always wants to play and he doesn't know what's best for himself; yes, Hercules, he will figure that out one way or another.  Rotterdam, though seemingly a strange choice, made some sense for him if he rationalized it like that.  And finally, yeah, he's been hobbling around since Tsonga, but he'll live to play another day. 

He always wants to prove himself.  He is, in a sense, driven by the narrative we create for tennis players (win the grand slam, play on all surfaces, don't be a clay-court-only-pony); he is, that way, living our dreams.  If only Acapulco had more cachet, no?

Sorry I'm new here and have no avatar yet.  Oh yeah, and, hi tennis people!

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6818 on: February 15, 2009, 11:45:20 PM »
Thanks Herc and all the others for these thoughts.  On the subject of Rotterdam, I want to pitch in the following thoughts.

Rafa told Krajicek last year that he would come to Rotterdam again this year if he was #1; and that, if he wasn't number #1, he'd play the South American circuit.  I'd surmise from what we know of Rafa that it was less a quality of greed that bade him to the Netherlands, but two other things. 

First, he sticks to his word.  To himself and his tennis, first and foremost -- it's part of what makes him such a great champion and gives him such honest drive to play and to win as much as he can.  "I'm gonna try my best."  (Which is only the understatement of the century when you've seen him battle for break points.)  But I think he takes his word very seriously, if he's learned anything of Uncle Toni's philosophy, it's that.  Indeed, he keeps his word too seriously.  Kracijek would have been happy with two lackluster sets and a sound Murray win.  But not Rafa, he said he was gonna try his best this week.  And that's what makes him the freaking champion that he is.  Don't play too hard?  He's learning, but like playing on hardcourts, not playing too hard's not his natural style.

Second, and maybe more important, the Rotterdam tournament may have seemed logistically sound.  Rafa likes to stick close to home for as long as he can, and Rotterdam's a quick flight from Majorca, where he could stay for a week until Dubai (or, if he skips Dubai, three weeks at home before Indian Wells).  Otherwise he'd have to fly all over South America, go back to Europe(?) for a week, and fly to North America for another month.  Much easier to stay on the continent.  Additionally, it would have seemed to offer him some practise with US Open balls on a fast indoor court, keeping him motivated on the ultimate goal, the summer assault on the calendar slam.  Don't play at all?  Well, they have 4 500 events that are mandatory.  Play one now, then play 2 more at Monte-Carlo (though that one confuses me, does it count toward 500s?) and Barca and he can take it easy after the US Open.  Again, in retrospect it was probably a mistake, but he could not have anticipated the massive effort it took to win the Australian; but he was on a roll, and then, he had given his word.

Dubai is of course a ridiculous prospect, all the more so because of the new, apparently geopolitical ramifications.  The ATP needs balls, but I'm sure Roger's a vocal proponent of the Dubai tourney.

Murray was quoted after the win -- I like Andy's game quite a bit, he's quick and cunning -- as saying that knee pain was something Rafa said he experienced when he played a lot on hard courts. 

According to El Pais (and this is a very loose translation), Rafa said, "It was not my best day.  Effectively, I had problems, but I don't want to talk much on this.  Andy played very well and he beat me...my right knee has been hurting these last days and the pain was more alive during the final.  It hurt to lean on, especially on the service, although I don't think it is very grave.  We will see how it evolves, but I hope I can play in Dubai..."  El Pais then quotes Nadal's doctor, who says Nadal was controlling the pain during the week, and that this injury was an inflammation of a knee tendon, nothing like the sprain he had last fall.  They are treating it with ice and anti-inflammatories.

He was clearly in pain, but from all indications it doesn't seem like a major injury if it's just tendonitis and not a sprain.  Though he hits a nice backhand on one leg, he needs to relax.

Rafa dreams big and always wants to play and he doesn't know what's best for himself; yes, Hercules, he will figure that out one way or another.  Rotterdam, though seemingly a strange choice, made some sense for him if he rationalized it like that.  And finally, yeah, he's been hobbling around since Tsonga, but he'll live to play another day. 

He always wants to prove himself.  He is, in a sense, driven by the narrative we create for tennis players (win the grand slam, play on all surfaces, don't be a clay-court-only-pony); he is, that way, living our dreams.  If only Acapulco had more cachet, no?

Sorry I'm new here and have no avatar yet.  Oh yeah, and, hi tennis people!

good post, redshale........welcome to the forums.........i think he has reached the time when he needs to be wise in decision making because he is a responsible world no.1 now.........one can let go a tournament like this, but imagine him skipping wimbledon or us open.........he has a permanent case of knee tendonitis and that should not recur too many times.........the best thing to do for him is to make sure that he spaces his tournaments well enough during the hardcourt season august-april.........clay and grass are easier on his body and doesn't matter for him how close the events there are.........

i am pretty much sure that this early injure(though serious or not) will definitely caution even an idiot.........if still his thinking doesn't change, hell with him.........it's good to be nice, but he is killing himself by being too honest and humble.........this is how he should manage his 4 500 events.........and no montecarlo is a 1000 event but not mandatory..........he can play acapulco, barcelona, hamburg all on clay and the final 500 event can be somewhere on a hardcourt deep in the season, maybe china or japan after the us open..........a long flight to mexico is much better than killing his knees in rotterdam or dubai..........   
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 12:08:01 AM by shankar21 »
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 Clay Death

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Re: Clay Monster's Limitations
« Reply #6819 on: February 16, 2009, 08:52:45 AM »
Thanks Herc and all the others for these thoughts.  On the subject of Rotterdam, I want to pitch in the following thoughts.

Rafa told Krajicek last year that he would come to Rotterdam again this year if he was #1; and that, if he wasn't number #1, he'd play the South American circuit.  I'd surmise from what we know of Rafa that it was less a quality of greed that bade him to the Netherlands, but two other things. 

First, he sticks to his word.  To himself and his tennis, first and foremost -- it's part of what makes him such a great champion and gives him such honest drive to play and to win as much as he can.  "I'm gonna try my best."  (Which is only the understatement of the century when you've seen him battle for break points.)  But I think he takes his word very seriously, if he's learned anything of Uncle Toni's philosophy, it's that.  Indeed, he keeps his word too seriously.  Kracijek would have been happy with two lackluster sets and a sound Murray win.  But not Rafa, he said he was gonna try his best this week.  And that's what makes him the freaking champion that he is.  Don't play too hard?  He's learning, but like playing on hardcourts, not playing too hard's not his natural style.

Second, and maybe more important, the Rotterdam tournament may have seemed logistically sound.  Rafa likes to stick close to home for as long as he can, and Rotterdam's a quick flight from Majorca, where he could stay for a week until Dubai (or, if he skips Dubai, three weeks at home before Indian Wells).  Otherwise he'd have to fly all over South America, go back to Europe(?) for a week, and fly to North America for another month.  Much easier to stay on the continent.  Additionally, it would have seemed to offer him some practise with US Open balls on a fast indoor court, keeping him motivated on the ultimate goal, the summer assault on the calendar slam.  Don't play at all?  Well, they have 4 500 events that are mandatory.  Play one now, then play 2 more at Monte-Carlo (though that one confuses me, does it count toward 500s?) and Barca and he can take it easy after the US Open.  Again, in retrospect it was probably a mistake, but he could not have anticipated the massive effort it took to win the Australian; but he was on a roll, and then, he had given his word.

Dubai is of course a ridiculous prospect, all the more so because of the new, apparently geopolitical ramifications.  The ATP needs balls, but I'm sure Roger's a vocal proponent of the Dubai tourney.

Murray was quoted after the win -- I like Andy's game quite a bit, he's quick and cunning -- as saying that knee pain was something Rafa said he experienced when he played a lot on hard courts. 

According to El Pais (and this is a very loose translation), Rafa said, "It was not my best day.  Effectively, I had problems, but I don't want to talk much on this.  Andy played very well and he beat me...my right knee has been hurting these last days and the pain was more alive during the final.  It hurt to lean on, especially on the service, although I don't think it is very grave.  We will see how it evolves, but I hope I can play in Dubai..."  El Pais then quotes Nadal's doctor, who says Nadal was controlling the pain during the week, and that this injury was an inflammation of a knee tendon, nothing like the sprain he had last fall.  They are treating it with ice and anti-inflammatories.

He was clearly in pain, but from all indications it doesn't seem like a major injury if it's just tendonitis and not a sprain.  Though he hits a nice backhand on one leg, he needs to relax.

Rafa dreams big and always wants to play and he doesn't know what's best for himself; yes, Hercules, he will figure that out one way or another.  Rotterdam, though seemingly a strange choice, made some sense for him if he rationalized it like that.  And finally, yeah, he's been hobbling around since Tsonga, but he'll live to play another day. 

He always wants to prove himself.  He is, in a sense, driven by the narrative we create for tennis players (win the grand slam, play on all surfaces, don't be a clay-court-only-pony); he is, that way, living our dreams.  If only Acapulco had more cachet, no?

Sorry I'm new here and have no avatar yet.  Oh yeah, and, hi tennis people!

good post, redshale........welcome to the forums.........i think he has reached the time when he needs to be wise in decision making because he is a responsible world no.1 now.........one can let go a tournament like this, but imagine him skipping wimbledon or us open.........he has a permanent case of knee tendonitis and that should not recur too many times.........the best thing to do for him is to make sure that he spaces his tournaments well enough during the hardcourt season august-april.........clay and grass are easier on his body and doesn't matter for him how close the events there are.........

i am pretty much sure that this early injure(though serious or not) will definitely caution even an idiot.........if still his thinking doesn't change, hell with him.........it's good to be nice, but he is killing himself by being too honest and humble.........this is how he should manage his 4 500 events.........and no montecarlo is a 1000 event but not mandatory..........he can play acapulco, barcelona, hamburg all on clay and the final 500 event can be somewhere on a hardcourt deep in the season, maybe china or japan after the us open..........a long flight to mexico is much better than killing his knees in rotterdam or dubai..........   

he says that he was very tired when he arrived in Rotterdam. he expended quite a bit of mental, physical, and emotional reserves in snagging the Australian Open title. he was truly worn out and nearly passed out in the locker room after his victory.

now was the time to replenish those reserves and rest and refresh. and he could have worked on his game a little as well.

So Rotterdam was a crucial miscalculation. each of these successive episodes will compound the chronic knee issue to a point where he will have to sit out for longer and longer periods of time.

that can cause a steep drop in ranking and loss of sponsors, let alone handing away slams to Federer.

i dont think he will learn until he has to pay a very steep price for his miscalculations which happen year after year.

just look at what he has to win in such a short period:

1. Monte Carlo
2. Barcelona
3. Rome Masters
4. Davis Cup against Serbia
5. Madrid
6. Roland Garros
7. Queens
8. Wimbledon
9. Toronto

this is madness. he can only do it if he is 100% healthy. it would kill most fit players to pull this off but that is what he is faced with if he wants to continue on this path to greatness and another year at #1.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 10:39:46 AM by hercules »