Author Topic: Clay Monster's Limitations  (Read 381735 times)

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Offline Clay Death

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2007, 12:23:53 AM »
thanks. it is good to be here tennisfan.

i agree. the clay monster does manage to win somehow even when he is not playing his best. he still needs to make the game a little easier for himself.

that said, he just made 21 so he has another 5 years of upside as he continues to improve. i like what hewitt said about him. hewitt said he really likes rafa and his attitude. hewitt also said that rafa is great for the sport.

Offline kuyoungj

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Re: clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2007, 07:45:41 AM »
Quote from: "hercules"
here is a list of clay monster`s (nadal) limitations:

1. serve
2. return of serve
3. slice--it is useless
4. volley/net game--he needs to be more confident at being at the net to close/end points.

of these limitations listed, he can probably do wothout 2 and still dominate. first, he doesnt really need a big serve. if he could return with consistency and be somewhat aggressive with his return game, it will take a lot of pressure off that weak serve of his.

secondly, if you get to go in on your own terms, you dont have to be able to volley like roger or edberg.

he absolutely must develop a more effective slice and he has to find a way to return better. practice makes perfect.


Well I don't really see the difference between his first and second serve
His return of serve is fine, in my opinion. Could you give me an example of why you don't like his returns?
True, his slice is pretty bad. Less spin, more hitting through.
Agreed. I think Nadal himself looks dubious hitting a volley. Definitely more confidence needed.
Federer = monster

Offline Messagesent

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2007, 08:12:46 AM »
First day on here, and I find it amusing to see threads on "the clay monster" :)

Well, his return isn't the best in the world, only because he stands so far back that he opens up the angles for big servers.

I have to say though, in his match against Safin, he did a good job of coming in more on 2nd serves, which is a goal of his this year.  That's a big part of having success on hard courts - punishing 2nd serves, and I thought he did that well last night. . .when Safin wasn't doubling.

It was a point of discussion on the tennis.com board, but I think we all knew that Nadal would frustrate Safin.

Now that I've seen the match, I would probably pick Nadal over Safin any day of the week - I think Nadal is a matchup nightmare for someone with such little mental reserve as Safin.  Safin is the type of player who goes out on the court and sees how it goes - if he's hitting winners, he'll hit them all day.  What he doesn't do well, however, is hit a couple of big shots that should result in points, then hit that 5th one well.  On a level much worse than Federer, he tries for a bigger and bigger shot.

Offline kuyoungj

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2007, 08:18:41 AM »
Quote from: "Messagesent"
First day on here, and I find it amusing to see threads on "the clay monster" :)

Well, his return isn't the best in the world, only because he stands so far back that he opens up the angles for big servers.

I have to say though, in his match against Safin, he did a good job of coming in more on 2nd serves, which is a goal of his this year.  That's a big part of having success on hard courts - punishing 2nd serves, and I thought he did that well last night. . .when Safin wasn't doubling.

It was a point of discussion on the tennis.com board, but I think we all knew that Nadal would frustrate Safin.

Now that I've seen the match, I would probably pick Nadal over Safin any day of the week - I think Nadal is a matchup nightmare for someone with such little mental reserve as Safin.  Safin is the type of player who goes out on the court and sees how it goes - if he's hitting winners, he'll hit them all day.  What he doesn't do well, however, is hit a couple of big shots that should result in points, then hit that 5th one well.  On a level much worse than Federer, he tries for a bigger and bigger shot.


Well I wouldn't say he is at a level much worse than federer, cuz he has the talent, but yeah, he can't control himself.
He hits winner on and on when he can but then plays horribly the important points. He should learn when to hit the big shot and
seal the game.
Federer = monster

Offline Clay Death

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« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2007, 08:52:34 AM »
welcome to tennis4you.com m-sent. nadal not only stands too far back, as you have suggested, when returning serve, he also doesnt quite have the ability to return it with significant length.

that return needs to be a little more aggressive or these top dogs like rger and djokovic can go on the offensive instantly.

also not having an effective sliced backhand really hurts him on returns. you just dont have the time to take that racquet back on some of those serves hit at 130+ mph. gonzo has learned to hit a pretty good sliced backhand so it can be done.

reverse is true also. lendl, when he first started out, could only slice the ball. he didnt have a topspin backhand. ultimately he developed one of the best topspin backhands in the game. learning to slice effectively is a little easier. verdasco too has mastered the slice to some extent. on the women`s side, patty schnyder has a great sliced backhand.

roger is the one to watch if you want a great sliced backhand. he has the best sliced backhand in the business.

Offline Messagesent

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2007, 09:01:11 AM »
Quote from: "kuyoungj"
Quote from: "Messagesent"
First day on here, and I find it amusing to see threads on "the clay monster" :)

Well, his return isn't the best in the world, only because he stands so far back that he opens up the angles for big servers.

I have to say though, in his match against Safin, he did a good job of coming in more on 2nd serves, which is a goal of his this year.  That's a big part of having success on hard courts - punishing 2nd serves, and I thought he did that well last night. . .when Safin wasn't doubling.

It was a point of discussion on the tennis.com board, but I think we all knew that Nadal would frustrate Safin.

Now that I've seen the match, I would probably pick Nadal over Safin any day of the week - I think Nadal is a matchup nightmare for someone with such little mental reserve as Safin.  Safin is the type of player who goes out on the court and sees how it goes - if he's hitting winners, he'll hit them all day.  What he doesn't do well, however, is hit a couple of big shots that should result in points, then hit that 5th one well.  On a level much worse than Federer, he tries for a bigger and bigger shot.


Well I wouldn't say he is at a level much worse than federer, cuz he has the talent, but yeah, he can't control himself.
He hits winner on and on when he can but then plays horribly the important points. He should learn when to hit the big shot and
seal the game.



When I say "on a level much worse than Federer," that's not to say his talent level is much worse than Federer's.  I mean that in terms of patience, Safin has much less than Federer does.

When Federer plays Nadal, even his patience has been greatly tested, and we've seen many examples of him hitting brilliant shots that come back, and Nadal digging those shots, and Federer trying for an even bigger shot next time that results in an error.

I'll say of Federer vs Nadal - Federer is becoming more and more patient during points against Nadal, vs what we saw last year.

Federer is a much better mover than Safin, so against Nadal, it could be that Safin doesn't feel like he can exchange long rallies.

Offline Messagesent

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2007, 09:01:17 AM »
Quote from: "kuyoungj"
Quote from: "Messagesent"
First day on here, and I find it amusing to see threads on "the clay monster" :)

Well, his return isn't the best in the world, only because he stands so far back that he opens up the angles for big servers.

I have to say though, in his match against Safin, he did a good job of coming in more on 2nd serves, which is a goal of his this year.  That's a big part of having success on hard courts - punishing 2nd serves, and I thought he did that well last night. . .when Safin wasn't doubling.

It was a point of discussion on the tennis.com board, but I think we all knew that Nadal would frustrate Safin.

Now that I've seen the match, I would probably pick Nadal over Safin any day of the week - I think Nadal is a matchup nightmare for someone with such little mental reserve as Safin.  Safin is the type of player who goes out on the court and sees how it goes - if he's hitting winners, he'll hit them all day.  What he doesn't do well, however, is hit a couple of big shots that should result in points, then hit that 5th one well.  On a level much worse than Federer, he tries for a bigger and bigger shot.


Well I wouldn't say he is at a level much worse than federer, cuz he has the talent, but yeah, he can't control himself.
He hits winner on and on when he can but then plays horribly the important points. He should learn when to hit the big shot and
seal the game.



When I say "on a level much worse than Federer," that's not to say his talent level is much worse than Federer's.  I mean that in terms of patience, Safin has much less than Federer does.

When Federer plays Nadal, even his patience has been greatly tested, and we've seen many examples of him hitting brilliant shots that come back, and Nadal digging those shots, and Federer trying for an even bigger shot next time that results in an error.

I'll say of Federer vs Nadal - Federer is becoming more and more patient during points against Nadal, vs what we saw last year.

Federer is a much better mover than Safin, so against Nadal, it could be that Safin doesn't feel like he can exchange long rallies.

Offline Messagesent

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2007, 09:02:28 AM »
Quote from: "hercules"
welcome to tennis4you.com m-sent. nadal not only stands too far back, as you have suggested, when returning serve, he also doesnt quite have the ability to return it with significant length.

that return needs to be a little more aggressive or these top dogs like rger and djokovic can go on the offensive instantly.

also not having an effective sliced backhand really hurts him on returns. you just dont have the time to take that racquet back on some of those serves hit at 130+ mph. gonzo has learned to hit a pretty good sliced backhand so it can be done.

reverse is true also. lendl, when he first started out, could only slice the ball. he didnt have a topspin backhand. ultimately he developed one of the best topspin backhands in the game. learning to slice effectively is a little easier. verdasco too has mastered the slice to some extent. on the women`s side, patty schnyder has a great sliced backhand.

roger is the one to watch if you want a great sliced backhand. he has the best sliced backhand in the business.



Good point on the slice backhand.  And with Nadal's speed, blocking serves back is something that would neutralize a lot of serves.

Offline yellowball

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2007, 09:11:58 AM »
Hello to the forum, and to some old friends from a planet far, far away.  ;;)

Kind of amazing isn't it tho' that Rafa wins, when I guess he really has more ares to improve in than many of the players on tour. On clay, his play is beautiful and I can't wait for that to happen on hard courts.

I know he wants to be #1, I know he wants Wimbledon, etc., and I'd like that for him. For myself, I just want to see him on the court.  Everyone talks statistics but I don't even care about statistics. I watch tennis as much for entertainment as for technique and stats. Rafa can make some shots that absolutely bring you out of your seat.

I was exhausted after that first set with Marat. I was on the floor part of the time, I'd cover my eyes and then peek out. I wouldn't even honor the dogs barks to go out and she finally peed on the floor.  ;>)  

Oh, by the way, answering a question, I live just North of Austin, Andy Roddick's home. Hotter than Hell right now, or at least humidity right out of Hell.

 :whistle:

Offline huntingyou

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2007, 09:29:52 AM »
Hey old friends, it felt like home as soon as saw a "claymosnter" thread.......... anyways his return of serve for the most part was excellent, the point is to get it back deep and he did that, part of the reason why he broke Safin 4 times, anyways when was the last time Safin had a big O on hardcourts?

His slice needs work but for now he uses that shot to get back into the middle of the court when he is running towards the corners. I expect his forehand to be more of a weapon for today's match..Nadal has always been a slow starter, he gets better as he gets deeper in a tournament, 23-5 finals record says so.

Offline Clay Death

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« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2007, 10:14:27 AM »
hello old friends huntingyou, yellowball, and m-sent. great to be here. i am headed to hotter n hell in wichita falls by the way yellowball. been doing that 100 mile cycling event for 11 years now.

i guess the talk is clay monster`s limitations. the good thing about this whole deal is that he has about 5-6 years of huge upside so i expect to see him improving for a while. it is interesting to note that he will be even more dominant on clay once he becomes a more well rounded player in terms of skillset.

for contrast, take a look at roger. has no weaknesses at all in any area. lets just take his volley/net game. he has spent the last 4 years working on it and now can volley as well as anybody on the planet.

that said, you can have an average volley and still make it if you get to go in own your own terms. it is much more important for him to develop a bigger return game and that sliced backhand. borg, to this day, says that his success at wimby was because of his return of serve. he did manage to develop a little bigger serve over time as well.

Offline blisteringboom

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2007, 10:22:33 AM »
Loving all the new members and their input.

These forums have always been great, and they continue to grow.
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Offline Dallas

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2007, 10:32:54 AM »
Quote from: "blisteringboom"
Loving all the new members and their input.

These forums have always been great, and they continue to grow.


I agree!  It's great to have fantastic new posters who seem to have great knowledge of tennis!  This is fantastic!  We are continuing to grow.

Question, especially for the Nadal fans.

Last night we saw him running from side to side, getting to every ball, making Safin hit just that one more ball.  I don't care how "in shape" you are - as Nadal seem to be - but by running that much in matches over and over... don't you think that will hurt him later in his career?  I mean, if you watched the match last night - just look at the amount of force and wear and tear he had on his body by going full force every point.  That is great right now and his fans love it but he's young and he has the energy and the stimina.  Do you think Nadal can keep up this kind of effort in - say - 5 years?  Or when he's 30?

Just a question for discussion.

Offline Messagesent

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2007, 10:35:34 AM »
Quote from: "hercules"
hello old friends huntingyou, yellowball, and m-sent. great to be here. i am headed to hotter n hell in wichita falls by the way yellowball. been doing that 100 mile cycling event for 11 years now.

i guess the talk is clay monster`s limitations. the good thing about this whole deal is that he has about 5-6 years of huge upside so i expect to see him improving for a while. it is interesting to note that he will be even more dominant on clay once he becomes a more well rounded player in terms of skillset.

for contrast, take a look at roger. has no weaknesses at all in any area. lets just take his volley/net game. he has spent the last 4 years working on it and now can volley as well as anybody on the planet.

that said, you can have an average volley and still make it if you get to go in own your own terms. it is much more important for him to develop a bigger return game and that sliced backhand. borg, to this day, says that his success at wimby was because of his return of serve. he did manage to develop a little bigger serve over time as well.



Yeah, I agree that it's a nice problem to have when you're the number 2 player in the world, and have three GS titles under your belt to have limitations :)

I've always said though (under the tennis.com board) that a lot of areas where Nadal will improve will be at the expense of what is his current bread and butter.  For example, he doesn't read serve very well, which may not be a skill he's ever great at, so the more he stands in the court, the more succeptable he is to V serving against him.

Also, the more aggressive he is, the less he has a chance of wearing out an opponent during a rally as he does now.  His serve is a great example - he can hit 134 mph bombs, but he can't serve 80% if he does that, and if he doesn't serve 80%, then he's not grinding his opponent from the baseline at the same levels given the advantage he gives up on 2nd serve. . .

Still, I think there is a nice balance between his defensive self and aggressive self that will be great for him.

For Federer, the funny thing is that I think his improvement over the last year has been Nadal specific.  He's playing Nadal better - remember, he only had one victory against Nadal going into last year's wimby, and he's won 4 of their 6 meetings since.  I think there are areas that Fed can still get better in too, just not as many as Nadal.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2007, 10:40:51 AM »
Dang, check out all of the new members!  This is sweet!  Welcome all!!!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
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Offline Messagesent

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« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2007, 10:42:29 AM »
Quote from: "Dallas"
Quote from: "blisteringboom"
Loving all the new members and their input.

These forums have always been great, and they continue to grow.


I agree!  It's great to have fantastic new posters who seem to have great knowledge of tennis!  This is fantastic!  We are continuing to grow.

Question, especially for the Nadal fans.

Last night we saw him running from side to side, getting to every ball, making Safin hit just that one more ball.  I don't care how "in shape" you are - as Nadal seem to be - but by running that much in matches over and over... don't you think that will hurt him later in his career?  I mean, if you watched the match last night - just look at the amount of force and wear and tear he had on his body by going full force every point.  That is great right now and his fans love it but he's young and he has the energy and the stimina.  Do you think Nadal can keep up this kind of effort in - say - 5 years?  Or when he's 30?

Just a question for discussion.



I'm a federer, nadal and Safin fan (as well as a number of other players), just for those who don't know me.

The answer, I think, is no - Hewitt couldn't do it for five straight years, Michael Chang had injury issues, as did nearly every player that did that much grinding.  Borg is the only example I can think of where injuries weren't a major career factor, and he was in freakish endurance shape that I don't think Nadal is in - Nadal is a good sprinter, not endurance athlete.

To that end though, Nadal is trying to do things on fast surfaces that aren't so much grinding - he's beafing up his serve, stepping in on 2nd serves, and I think we see him hitting a lot more winners this year than last, which of course means he's shortening points.

If he can evolve his game to a similar style as Federer in terms of offense/defense combo, his body might make it for a nice long career.

Good question.

Offline Tennis4you

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« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2007, 10:46:00 AM »
I think time will tell, and I think it depends on the person as well.  Hewitt does OK but seemed to burn out a little.  

As much running as Nadal does, have you also noticed that he makes his opponent's run a lot too?
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Offline dmastous

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2007, 10:47:06 AM »
Quote from: "Messagesent"
Quote from: "Dallas"
Quote from: "blisteringboom"
Loving all the new members and their input.

These forums have always been great, and they continue to grow.


I agree!  It's great to have fantastic new posters who seem to have great knowledge of tennis!  This is fantastic!  We are continuing to grow.

Question, especially for the Nadal fans.

Last night we saw him running from side to side, getting to every ball, making Safin hit just that one more ball.  I don't care how "in shape" you are - as Nadal seem to be - but by running that much in matches over and over... don't you think that will hurt him later in his career?  I mean, if you watched the match last night - just look at the amount of force and wear and tear he had on his body by going full force every point.  That is great right now and his fans love it but he's young and he has the energy and the stimina.  Do you think Nadal can keep up this kind of effort in - say - 5 years?  Or when he's 30?

Just a question for discussion.



I'm a federer, nadal and Safin fan (as well as a number of other players), just for those who don't know me.

The answer, I think, is no - Hewitt couldn't do it for five straight years, Michael Chang had injury issues, as did nearly every player that did that much grinding.  Borg is the only example I can think of where injuries weren't a major career factor, and he was in freakish endurance shape that I don't think Nadal is in - Nadal is a good sprinter, not endurance athlete.

To that end though, Nadal is trying to do things on fast surfaces that aren't so much grinding - he's beafing up his serve, stepping in on 2nd serves, and I think we see him hitting a lot more winners this year than last, which of course means he's shortening points.

If he can evolve his game to a similar style as Federer in terms of offense/defense combo, his body might make it for a nice long career.

Good question.


Seems to me most of Borg's tennis (and almost all of his success) was on either grass or clay, and he still retired young.

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Offline Messagesent

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clay monster`s limitations
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2007, 10:51:13 AM »
Quote from: "dmastous"
Quote from: "Messagesent"
Quote from: "Dallas"
Quote from: "blisteringboom"
Loving all the new members and their input.

These forums have always been great, and they continue to grow.


I agree!  It's great to have fantastic new posters who seem to have great knowledge of tennis!  This is fantastic!  We are continuing to grow.

Question, especially for the Nadal fans.

Last night we saw him running from side to side, getting to every ball, making Safin hit just that one more ball.  I don't care how "in shape" you are - as Nadal seem to be - but by running that much in matches over and over... don't you think that will hurt him later in his career?  I mean, if you watched the match last night - just look at the amount of force and wear and tear he had on his body by going full force every point.  That is great right now and his fans love it but he's young and he has the energy and the stimina.  Do you think Nadal can keep up this kind of effort in - say - 5 years?  Or when he's 30?

Just a question for discussion.



I'm a federer, nadal and Safin fan (as well as a number of other players), just for those who don't know me.

The answer, I think, is no - Hewitt couldn't do it for five straight years, Michael Chang had injury issues, as did nearly every player that did that much grinding.  Borg is the only example I can think of where injuries weren't a major career factor, and he was in freakish endurance shape that I don't think Nadal is in - Nadal is a good sprinter, not endurance athlete.

To that end though, Nadal is trying to do things on fast surfaces that aren't so much grinding - he's beafing up his serve, stepping in on 2nd serves, and I think we see him hitting a lot more winners this year than last, which of course means he's shortening points.

If he can evolve his game to a similar style as Federer in terms of offense/defense combo, his body might make it for a nice long career.

Good question.


Seems to me most of Borg's tennis (and almost all of his success) was on either grass or clay, and he still retired young.



I agree, and it's it interesting that Nadal's success is similar?

I do think that Nadal has a good shot at making the transition though to hardcourts.

Offline mogdesai

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« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2007, 11:13:51 AM »
Quote from: "kuyoungj"
Quote from: "Messagesent"
First day on here, and I find it amusing to see threads on "the clay monster" :)

Well, his return isn't the best in the world, only because he stands so far back that he opens up the angles for big servers.

I have to say though, in his match against Safin, he did a good job of coming in more on 2nd serves, which is a goal of his this year.  That's a big part of having success on hard courts - punishing 2nd serves, and I thought he did that well last night. . .when Safin wasn't doubling.

It was a point of discussion on the tennis.com board, but I think we all knew that Nadal would frustrate Safin.

Now that I've seen the match, I would probably pick Nadal over Safin any day of the week - I think Nadal is a matchup nightmare for someone with such little mental reserve as Safin.  Safin is the type of player who goes out on the court and sees how it goes - if he's hitting winners, he'll hit them all day.  What he doesn't do well, however, is hit a couple of big shots that should result in points, then hit that 5th one well.  On a level much worse than Federer, he tries for a bigger and bigger shot.


Well I wouldn't say he is at a level much worse than federer, cuz he has the talent, but yeah, he can't control himself.
He hits winner on and on when he can but then plays horribly the important points. He should learn when to hit the big shot and
seal the game.


This is my firt post on this Forum.
I don't think Safin is at the level of Federer. Everytime he goes on the court, you don't know which Safin is going to show up. Ofcourse he has talents but what good is that if he can not produce it. Against Nadal he played great few times. He just goes out and make tons of unforced errors. He can beat top players just some time but that is it. I don't think he is going to win any GS anymore.