RafaNever has a man of former stature deteriorated as quickly as Nadal. He's a mere shadow of himself two years ago. His poor strokes and lack of athleticism of the former youth are encroaching on him. In the terrible first set against Gonzales today, in which he saved only two set points by Gonzalez, choking, his shots were falling short and he couldn't make any short angles and was hard pressed to beat a journeyman. With his current game, I would imagine a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 finals loss to Federer — if he makes the finals, which I doubt. It reminds me of a commodity market like oil or beans once the white shoe firm gets out of its position.





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13 Comments so far

  1. Nemo Lacessit on September 11, 2009 11:14 am

    I cannot and will not compare my knowledge of "all things tennis" with Vic but in the interest of knowledge I would posit: do you believe his current 'injuries', real or imagined, have anything to do with his lack of athleticism in this latest match?

  2. michael bonderer on September 11, 2009 1:27 pm

    a commentator remarked last weekend about Nadal though, “…that he plays like he doesn’t have any money”. there is a certain scrappyness about the guy that makes people like him.

  3. Murali on September 12, 2009 7:28 am

    If Nadal plays Federer, I expect Nadal to make a match of it. He plays better against Federer. As long as Federer does not manage to beat him in a major event, Nadal still holds the edge.

  4. Steve Leslie on September 12, 2009 10:56 am

    I am a true backbencher when it comes to tennis. I am not sure what athleticism is. Is it like pornography "I can't describe it but I can tell you what it is when i see it." On the other hand a true injury leads to a lack of productivity. I suspect that Nadal's frustration is a confluence of his former injury, leading to rustiness complemented by his current injury that appeared to eminate from his chest. Either way, he has some severe challenges. Should he make it to the finals, and Fenerer is there (pause) he will certainly have an uphill battle ahead of him. Federer didn't win all those matches by just showing up he really brings the goods everytime he plays. He and Tiger Woods are so similar in this respect. They can get "up" for every major match. I believe the true measure of Nadal is how he performs in 2010. This will be the real measure of his tennis future. After all he is still in his mid 20's and don't forget Andre Agassi. Rumors of his early demise were greatly exaggerated. All champions face bitter losses and spaces in their careers. The true measure is how they come back. I heard Pete Carroll give a great statement. "For every team we face, this is there big game. People say that you can't get up for every game. I am not buying it. We do." 89-15 in 9 seasons. This is how a champion thinks.

  5. v niederhoffer on September 12, 2009 2:44 pm

    one is prone to attribute the injuries to the use of things used more commonly in bicycling. vic

  6. v niederhoffer on September 12, 2009 2:48 pm

    one can't but comment that gonzales has the worst service return of anyone who's ever played top tennis. He sets up every return with a lob that any college player could put away. considering his weak slice backhand and completely erratic random forehand, it's amazing he can still keep his ranking up there, and it is sure to deteriorate to bottom 200 in the next two years as he loses in the first or second round of most tournaments. that a player with this many weaknesses, choking to boot, was able to stay with the too strong Nadal for two sets, shows the depths to which the former training regime of the clay court specialist has led. vic

  7. Steve Leslie on September 12, 2009 8:56 pm

    wrapping up the quarters with Nadal vs Gonzalez this appears to be so horribly managed by the officials with all the stopping and starting because of rain delays. How can this be good for the game. It reminds me of how Bud Selig botched the All Star Game when he called it a tie.

  8. michael bonderer on September 13, 2009 12:35 pm


    Serena Williams makes a fool of herself and deserves punishment

    Serena Williams offered no apology and showed no remorse for her behavior during her U.S. Open semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters, 6-4, 7-5. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

    Bill Dwyre,0,5348697.column

  9. michael bonderer on September 13, 2009 12:38 pm

    and particulsrly noteworthy should be the passing of tennis great Jack Kramer, who died this morning at his Santa Monica home. he totally captured the post-war Southern California ethos. RIP.

  10. Steve Leslie on September 13, 2009 3:07 pm

    there are several ways of looking at Federer vs Nadal. Does Nadal have an edge against him? Perhaps he does; I am not sure. I do know that Roger since 2004 has won 14 major titles and 5 runner ups out of 23 chances. Should he win today this will make it 20 out of 24 finals. Save the 2004 French Open he has made it to the semis in every major tournament. That is one unbelievable body of work. Therefore one must ask, when does Nadal have an edge? Of course on clay and he bested Roger at Wimbledon so one may argue he wins when he is at his peak performance yet Roger is always there and Nadal's finals appearances, save the French, are spotty. I contend his injuries are deeper than he wants to dislose and he is still showing lingering effects from his previous injuries.

  11. manuel bravochico on September 13, 2009 4:36 pm

    Nadal's game/movement has alot to do with it. You can see the wear/tear his joints/muscles take. Look at Sampras/Federer, there's no comparison. There's alot less wear/tear on their bodies. Still, we're referencing long term here. To draw a conclusion on Nadal like yours based on one season is not possible. You'll probably be posting an opposite article next year when he gets another major. Keep up the myopic observations, you're good at it.

  12. david higgs on September 13, 2009 8:45 pm

    you can always go to his web site and ask him personally –

  13. Murali on September 15, 2009 1:19 pm


    It is comparitively toughter for a player with a single handed back-hand to counter the heavy top-spin that Nadal generates. Nadal can-or should I say used to?- exploit this edge ruthlessly against Federer.

    Yes, as you said, Federer’s feat of reaching 22 consecutive slam-semis is one record, which I wager, will last for a long time to come.


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