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TOPIC: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King

RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 12 Apr 2011 19:18 #5918

  • NorthernLight
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... Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, BBC Overseas Sports Personality winner, Favourite Son of Manacor, Underwear Model..

The list goes on and on!

Well, with the ATP tour now firmly into the Clay Court season, many of the tournaments will most likely involve a scrap to see who will hae the honour of being beaten by Rafa in the final!

Will Rafa sustain his jaw-droppingly brilliant clay court run?

I would not rule it out - but if he doesn't, I suspect that the number of defeats that he may have will be minimal.

Federer said this of him, earlier today:

"Rafa is clearly the overwhelming favourite for this tournament, even though I haven't seen him play yet. To win the tournament six years in a row, I know I hard it is. I don't think I've ever done it anywhere."


The will to win of the guy is phoenomenal. It brings to mind the response that Mahendra Singh Dhoni the Indian circket captain gave to the question of what he could achieve in the game now that he has achieved everything?

His response: "To repeat it all would be nice"!

Rafa just seems to love winning - again and again and again- irrespective of surface, size of tournament, opponent. Whether it is smaller tournaments in his beloved Spain, the Slams, Davis Cup, the Olympics.

Given that we have threads devoted to Federer, Djokovic and Murray it seems to be a bit of an oversight not to have one for the Rafa fans of the board..

So - please do post your Rafa news, thoughts here.
Last Edit: 12 Apr 2011 19:26 by NorthernLight.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 08:38 #5946

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well i will be doing my annual pilgramage to majorca next month, next year i should try and time it when i think he will be there so i can get a photo!! tbh, feds only chance of beating rafa wont happen until the grass court season begins (i.e wimbledon as fed never plays queens) im gutted djoko pulled out here as whether he canbeat rafa on clay after his exploits on hard this year is the big question onthe tennis communitys lips
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 10:02 #5951

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Great idea for a thread NL

I agree Liam, I don't think Federer believes he can beat Rafa on clay to be honest.
I am disappointed that Nole isn't playing, he has never beaten Rafa on clay and it will be interesting to see if he can carry his hardcourt form onto clay...

I can't wait to see how Rafa does today, he has actually got off to a better start to his year than he did last year so that does encourage me.
I don't believe he will have as good a year as he did last year but certainly on clay he is going to be the best player of the season IMHO...
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 13:48 #6022

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NorthernLight wrote:
...The will to win of the guy is phoenomenal.

Many players share this will to win. It's not like Nadal wants it more because he's the guy who's hunts everything down, even after 4 hours of running. Nadal is very good at breaking someone's will, but that's due to his physical superiority and not because his so called stronger will.
Sure he's a fighter, but like the others: he can fight as long as his body allows him to
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 15:56 #6033

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greasepipe wrote:
NorthernLight wrote:
...The will to win of the guy is phoenomenal.

Many players share this will to win. It's not like Nadal wants it more because he's the guy who's hunts everything down, even after 4 hours of running. Nadal is very good at breaking someone's will, but that's due to his physical superiority and not because his so called stronger will.
Sure he's a fighter, but like the others: he can fight as long as his body allows him to

I don't think someone's mental will is something you can really quantify :unsure:
Nadal just doesn't give up win or lose and I actually don't think there are many players you can say that about...
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 16:04 #6034

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I don't think someone's mental will is something you can really quantify
It's actually pretty proportional to someone's muscles and stamina.

As I had predicted in that Miami final, when both were tired, the one relying most on fitness lost the mental battle and the match.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 16:07 #6035

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Tenez wrote:
I don't think someone's mental will is something you can really quantify
It's actually pretty proportional to someone's muscles and stamina.

As I had predicted in that Miami final, when both were tired, the one relying most on fitness lost the mental battle and the match.

Forgive me if I take those predictions with a heavy pinch of salt...:whistle2:
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 16:31 #6039

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Bigger test for Rafa tomorrow, should be a good match and Gasquet is playing v well at the moment :)
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 17:40 #6043

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greasepipe wrote:
NorthernLight wrote:
...The will to win of the guy is phoenomenal.

Many players share this will to win. It's not like Nadal wants it more because he's the guy who's hunts everything down, even after 4 hours of running. Nadal is very good at breaking someone's will, but that's due to his physical superiority and not because his so called stronger will.
Sure he's a fighter, but like the others: he can fight as long as his body allows him to

It's not just about physical strength, or will to win.

He also is the strongest mentally on the tour.

And also it is not just about mental strength being fortified by physical strength. He has the ability to raise his game at key points in matches - raise his game for the big matches in general - and these are traits that only the champion players have. his ratio of break points saved, for example is usually one of the best, if not the best on the tour.

Yes, yes, the game is more physical than ever - but it is still about more than about someone hunting the ball down. But these days, having a good set of wheels can only get you so far. Ferrer, Davydenko all fit that bill of being able to run things down for 4 hours. However, they will never be as successful as Nadal.

And the player with supreme fitness and strength, who can chase down balls is not new to the game - and it is part of the game's history. Sure there might be more of them than ever now. Doesn't mean that the very best in the game don't richly deserve all of the success that they have. Federer is the amongst first to acknowledge what a great player Nadal is.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 18:59 #6050

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An excellent article on Rafa from Deuce earlier this year:

RAFA'S ROOTS
DEUCE
by Joel Drucker | 11.01.2011

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are great players and ambassadors for the sport.
To become a great, Rafael Nadal learned from former greats. Over the past six years the Spaniard has become a titan of the sport...

Full article here
Last Edit: 13 Apr 2011 19:00 by NorthernLight.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 18:59 #6051

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It's not just about physical strength, or will to win.

He also is the strongest mentally on the tour

We have been there on another thread and I simply disagree. As I said I have yet to see Nadal winning something important when not 120%. As soon as he has a slight physical problem or hasn;t got his muscle coat on like in Fall 09, he simply gets beaten tamely. He even refused to defend his Wimbledon title despite playing pretty decent his last 2 matches before that, including a convincing defeat of Hewitt on clay.

And again he lost on nerves in that 3rd set tie break 10 days ago.

It doesn;t make sense to consider the mental side of the game when the game nowadays is so much based on the physical side.

Like Murray winning convincingly today as if he gathered great mental strength from his previous routing. What I saw today is that he moved much better than in his last 3 defeats. As simple as that.
Last Edit: 13 Apr 2011 19:02 by Tenez.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 19:01 #6052

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Tenez. This is a thread to discuss Nadal, not to denigrate him.

Please understand that.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 19:05 #6053

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As far as I see some here are denigrating his physical side. Clearly this is the core of his game and all his great prowess in tennis are based on that. It is just too obvious to overlook it.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 19:14 #6055

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I think that Rafa is a natural born competitor.. whether it is the will to win or rather the will not to lose. He has admitted publicly that it is the competition that he loves I think he has the ability to play every point like its match point. Fed once said that you never can be sure you have beaten Rafa until you play the last point.
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Re: RafitaWatch: World Number 1, Clay Court King 13 Apr 2011 19:17 #6056

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Tenez wrote:
As far as I see some here are denigrating his physical side. Clearly this is the core of his game and all his great prowess in tennis are based on that. It is just too obvious to overlook it.

den·i·grate (dn-grt)
tr.v. den·i·grat·ed, den·i·grat·ing, den·i·grates

1. To attack the character or reputation of; speak ill of; defame.
2. To disparage; belittle: The critics have denigrated our efforts.


Please stop this. This is not the thread for you.
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