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The Psychological Effect of Nadal

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic The Psychological Effect of Nadal

    The Psychological Effect of Nadal

    Let's discuss William Skidelsky's latest article in his series on Roger Federer, "The Psychological Effect of Nadal"

  • stotty
    replied
    It's a provocative article. No question about that. The problem is it is far too provocative to be taken seriously. I am all for articles that cut Roger down to the same size as Rafa or Novak because that's fair and essentially the truth. The three players simply cannot be split into 1st, 2nd and 3rd...not possible, however which way you do the permutations.

    Roger is certainly not a bully by any stretch of the imagination. The only term I accept in the article is 'aristocratic'. In his early and mid career he was often considered to have a superior and aristocratic way of dealing with those in walks of life below him. I am told that since his 30s he has become much better in this regard. I like the way Roger has evolved in character and become a better person with age. I think that's great and shows an ability to reflect.

    But, no, I cannot take the article even slightly seriously. It's actually a fantastic example that if you conduct yourself in an exemplary manner (as Roger does) it is virtually impossible for anyone to take you down in a derogatory way. Nice try, William, but you will have to do an awful lot better than that to bring the great man down. Try Nick Kyrgios...you'll have way more luck there...
    Last edited by stotty; 01-10-2020, 02:37 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by ten1050 View Post
    Hello,
    A number of years ago, Federer lost a semi-final at the U.S Open to Milan Cilic. It was a terribly disappointing loss because Nadal and Novak were already out of the tournament. When the two men shook hands at the net, the microphone picked up Federer saying "I am happy for you." Does that sound like a bully talking in that situation? We have all seen bullies on the court, Roger Federer does not fit that description. He is not a perfect human being, but he is the finest ambassador this game has ever seen. Imagine for a moment if Federer were five years younger than Nadal. Do you think that Nadal would still hold a commanding lead in head to head matches? The younger generation always benefits and learns from older generations. Nadal and the entire younger generation of players owe much of their success to Roger Federer.

    Norman Ashbrooke
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Norman, It's a provocative article. I tend to agree with you about the bully thing. Great quote with Cilic. But the point that Fed may think his best is always good enough--and that Nadal at times has weakened his resolve, that I think is possibly valid.
    The comments from the book are prematurely written and outdated. With the simple change of a racquet Roger won six our of seven matches since this book was published. The book was released May 23, 2017 and Roger has absolutely pinned Rafael Nadal's ears back in the most impressive run in the rivalry by either player.

    The author is quoting a "friend" about some comments that Roger was some sort of bully because he could dole it out but couldn't take it. It was a weak argument and doesn't hold water. In fact the historical perspective about this rivalry is so fucked up it isn't funny. Fourteen of Nadal's wins have been on clay. The ten other victories came before Roger changed equipment. Roger used a 90 square inch racquet up until 2015 when he change to a more competitive 97 square inch. In effect he was handicapping himself. Stupidly I might add. I was on his case early on and on the case of his coaches for not getting him to switch.

    Roger played Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001 and won a tremendous match where both players were serving and volleying in some really lights out tennis. But right after that they started to monkey around with all the surfaces and radically slowed the game down. All the surfaces were basically playing as slow as clay. Not only that but string technology also favoured the Nadal game as the strings were developed to produce massive spin. All of this worked against Roger Federer's classic one handed game and favoured the baseliner.

    So sorry to break it to the author...his book was outdated at the same time it hit the press. It makes this chapter look like complete nonsense. Of course Roger is not a bully in any sense of the word. He is revered by every player on the tour. The players for years acted like it was a blessing to get their asses handed to them by The Swiss Maestro. Just to go up and kiss his ring after the match.

    If there is a bully in the game it is Rafael Nadal. This excuse for a professional has been one of the worst sports that I have every seen in all of my years of watching tennis. He isn't even subtle about it and everyone cuts him a free pass for all of his nonsense. He is the biggest staller and gamesmanship person that has ever stepped on the court. Maybe Bobby Riggs had one up on him for this. The announcers in the booth of the U. S. Open Final this year were appalled by how he conducted himself against Daniil Medvedev. His antics were just that...they were antics but as usual everyone turns a blind eye to this great imposter.

    As far as him being the finest ambassador the game ever knew...not so sure here either. Certainly with all of the electric gizmos and instant information projected worldwide in seconds he is. But there is a man who traveled down under and across the Atlantic by ocean liner who won the Grand Slam in 1938. A guy that both ten1050 are both very aware of but many are not as it is before their time. Don Budge. That's who. This man was just the epitome of class and being a genuine nice fellow. He amazed me how down to earth he was in person. Just a decent guy. It is not accident that both Don Budge and Roger Federer are in my tennis teaching paradigm along with Harry Hopman and Richard Gonzalez. Roger Federer is the "Living Proof" of all that was truly great about the old Classic Game of tennis. Even his reluctance to switch to a larger racquet speaks of his devotion to the classier side of tennis. Nothing Rafael Nadal is classy. Absolutely nothing. But that's modern tennis for you. Modern civilisation for that matter. A sign of the times.

    Shame on the game of tennis for allowing such a disparity in equipment to have such an influence on an all important rivalry such as theirs. The conditions too. Interesting how several years changed the perspective of this particular chapter of this book. I wonder if the perspective will ever change on Nadal. It never ceases to amaze me how many people revere this idiot. But huge kudos to Federer for changing his equipment on his way out the door. Anybody that can put two plus two together will see that he was the superior player, all things being equal, by far. Not only that but the superior gentlemen by an even wider margin.

    It's interesting how we all see the same thing but from different points of view. That is called perspective...and the ability to discern.

    Leave a comment:


  • kcw1
    replied
    Um, hasn't Federer beaten Nadal in the last few years for a GS in Australia, in Indian Wells (or was it Miami) and at Wimbledon?? I agree that he seemed unusually stressed against Nadal for a number of years, but recently, even at his "advanced" age, Roger seems to come out of the blocks in a champion's mindset and has not let up. This article needs updating! Love them both: imagine if Federer had Nadal's do-or-die grittiness and Nadal had Federer's fluidity and variety? Tennis has been blessed with both players.

    Leave a comment:


  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    Originally posted by ten1050 View Post
    Hello,
    A number of years ago, Federer lost a semi-final at the U.S Open to Milan Cilic. It was a terribly disappointing loss because Nadal and Novak were already out of the tournament. When the two men shook hands at the net, the microphone picked up Federer saying "I am happy for you." Does that sound like a bully talking in that situation? We have all seen bullies on the court, Roger Federer does not fit that description. He is not a perfect human being, but he is the finest ambassador this game has ever seen. Imagine for a moment if Federer were five years younger than Nadal. Do you think that Nadal would still hold a commanding lead in head to head matches? The younger generation always benefits and learns from older generations. Nadal and the entire younger generation of players owe much of their success to Roger Federer.

    Norman Ashbrooke
    i didn't take the article as "when fed was a kid, he was a bully, and would punch you in the face, and take your lunch money"...
    it was a metaphor for his game style...
    ie. a bully is "powerful" when other folks are weaker, but breaks down when the bully faces even a little resistance
    similarly the article is drawing the comparison that when fed's game is firing on all cyclinders, it's beautiful and seemingly impossible to beat... and makes opponents break down... but when someone puts up resistance and fights regardless of being up or down... the "bully" game starts to crack and break down in the face of this persistent resistance

    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    replied
    Norman, It's a provocative article. I tend to agree with you about the bully thing. Great quote with Cilic. But the point that Fed may think his best is always good enough--and that Nadal at times has weakened his resolve, that I think is possibly valid.

    Leave a comment:


  • ten1050
    replied
    Hello,
    A number of years ago, Federer lost a semi-final at the U.S Open to Milan Cilic. It was a terribly disappointing loss because Nadal and Novak were already out of the tournament. When the two men shook hands at the net, the microphone picked up Federer saying "I am happy for you." Does that sound like a bully talking in that situation? We have all seen bullies on the court, Roger Federer does not fit that description. He is not a perfect human being, but he is the finest ambassador this game has ever seen. Imagine for a moment if Federer were five years younger than Nadal. Do you think that Nadal would still hold a commanding lead in head to head matches? The younger generation always benefits and learns from older generations. Nadal and the entire younger generation of players owe much of their success to Roger Federer.

    Norman Ashbrooke

    Leave a comment:


  • nytennisaddict
    replied
    that's an interesting perspective that i hadn't considered before.
    i like fed, but i've always like nadal more...
    to me, fed had the beautiful game that only only genius' are born with...
    whereas nadal was always the gritty one... unconventional (ugly?) lasso fh, and won through sheer desire... nothing "pretty" about his grind... an insult even to the genius of fed.

    Leave a comment:


  • stroke
    replied
    I think the 2008 FO final is somewhere in the mix on the Fed psyche. Fed had already lost the last 2 finals there to Nadal, but in 2008, he was not competitive. Nadal had completely taken over. I really like Fed, as I do Nadal, but this article makes some valid arguments. I also think John may be on to something with his take on why Nadal appears to better deal with adversity in this rivalry, but it is always apples and oranges in this kind of thing as Fed has had way adversity to deal with in this rivalry than Nadal.

    Leave a comment:

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