Nadal is the new Ferrer

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Nadal is the new Ferrer

Postby Emmasa » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:14 pm

Rafa Nadal has been one of the most fierce and athletic tennis players in history, and his fantastic pedigree inevitably puts him among the best ever. Still since 2014 French Open his game has dropped dramatically, more than bookies seem to be prepared to admit. That’s why betting against Nadal in 2017 season can end up to be a profitable choice.

Nadal is not that fantastic player anymore, and those who think he will get back to winning ways are dreaming. At that age (Nadal turned 30 in june 2016) it is very unlikely for a player to regain long-time-ago lost form. Not even talking about winning Majors. Many players are able to be still very competitive at this age: to make an example, Wawrinka is older than Nadal and he jus won the US Open showing the same power, hungry and coolness of a 25 yo top player at the peak of his game. But Nadal peak was reached a few years ago and despite reaching two finals in this first months of competitions, he lost both against players he usually beat.

I think Nadal will not win Grand Slams anymore. Period. So we’ll lay Nadal in every major event excluding clay Master 1000 in Madrid, Rome, Montecarlo, where he was very successful in the past. Still we can’t see him winning more than 1 of those 3 events, at the most. Nadal can win 250-500 events in South America and Europe, but we don’t see him winning titles on any other surface than clay. Last time he won a hard court event was in january 2014. He lost 7 finals out of 7 since then.

Betting against Nadal can be a profitable choice in 2017 as it was in 2016. It’s not about ALWAYS betting against him: of course he will win the majority of his matches, but he will also lose to underdogs. We have to be able to recognise those players who are in a position to beat Nadal. A few years ago you can count 1-2 players. Today there are at least 20 in the top 100 who can beat Nadal if given the circumstances (form, surface, weather, event…).

What is wrong with Nadal game? He just doesn’t bite anymore. He plays shorter than he used to do, and when he tries to be aggressive, he misses. He ’s not confident anymore. His serve is terrible. And also very important, he has no footwork anymore, which means he’s not fast enough with his feet to move around the court and play the forehand. He gets stuck with his feet and plays a backhand instead, which has never been his best shot. That’s what we can see from the outside. My feeling is also that Nadal is not able to manage ATP schedule at his best anymore and he’s probably involved in off-the-court projects (like Nadal Academy) more than it would be recommendable, at least if you wanna be top tennis player. It’s not a part-time job. He’s still a huge power in the sponsors department, which is key to keep Nadal on the court and try to hide as much as possible the fact that he is done. If Nadal retires now, he will lose a huge amount of money because his major sponsors contracts (Nike, Babolat, Hilfinger, and spanish Banks among others) would be broken or renegotiated.

Nadal always suffered big servers. Even when he was dominant, even when he was at the top of his game, he would rather not face players like Isner, Karlovic, Delpotro, etc… It’s kind of a psychological issue. He feels small when he has a far taller guy in front. Nadal is still 188 cm, so he’s not small at all. And he has a dominant record on every big server you can think of. But this is not the point. The point is Nadal TODAY is a lighter version of that player he was. We have to assume we are talking almost about a different player. Nadal has no confidence. And confidence is everything in tennis. With no confidence, you can feel scared out there. Tennis is like boxing, but wounds are inside.

Nadal never liked playing big servers, but he always found a way to win. No more. A big server in a good day will force Nadal to go back, resting 3 mts behind the baseline. He won’t let him touch the ball too much, if he’s able to serve well. He will close the point fast, so Nadal will have no time to get in rhythm. Take Nadal loss to Troicki in Shangai (october 2016). That’s a typical Nadal loss since 2014. Troicki is no genius, no big servers even. Just decent. He’s kind of crazy guy with some good talent. It’s the kind of player Nadal would have broken physically and psychologically even before the start of the match. Now, Troick is a typical Nadal kriptonite-player. Like Querrey.

Troicki Nadal Match Analisis
Nadal was a big favourite here. He had won all 4 previous meetings. And he was playing a Master 1000, so big money and points at stake. No excuses. Troicki had a good price, like most of Nadal rivals out of top ten. What he did to win the match was serving very well since the beginning, giving Nadal no chances to play and to take rhythm. Once upon a time, Nadal would have laughed at it. He would have started to rest deep balls in Troicki feet and pushing him out of the court with his drive at the first chance. No more. With no confidence, every problem looks bigger. You have Troicki on the other side of the court, you know he’s a jerk and he can lose focus/confidence anytime. Still his only weapon (the serve) is now the only thing Nadal sees. He doesn’t see his many weakness, he just sees his only strength.

Troicki holds his first 2-3 serve games. He’s playing Nadal, he knows it would be a big win, it’s fair to see him serving with accuracy and no fear. He’s 30 yo, not a teenager. He also knows Nadal is not that player anymore. So he goes for it. His plan is “go for it”. That is a very weak plan in fact, and most of the times it doesn’t work against top players. But it works against Nadal nowadays 75%-85% of the times. All Troicki had to do was landing 1st serves, holds and wait. Wait for Nadal to start worrying and making mistakes. Hold and wait.

This is more or less what happened against Querrey in Acapulco final. Good serve by Querrey, no rhythm for Nadal. 5 years ago Nadal would have destroyed Querrey in less than 90 minutes.

And that takes us to another kind of player who can beat Nadal today: the players able to take rhythm off a match.

Nadal needs long rallies to warm up, to get into the match, to set the drive and the backhand. He needs rhythm , he needs a guy who put the ball in the court with not much pace and let him build the point. If you take the rhythm out of the match, if you play 3-4 shots points and you succeed, Nadal will start to make mistakes and to feel uncomfortable.

We said Nadal today is a lighter version of what he was. That’s right. It’s like a coffee with no caffeine. But that is not always so clear. Sometimes he start well, takes a break or a set, then start to miss and gets in trouble. As you can imagine, that kind of match-scheme means big markets turbulence and profit chances. Just do not trust Nadal, even if he goes a set up.

Sometimes he can win matches and have deep run, but when it comes to make the final step, he disappears. The final step, of course, is always the most difficult to do. It’s far more difficult to win a final than all 4 matches before that. It’s much more complicated to get from nº3 in the world to nº1, than to get from nº50 to nº10.

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Re: Nadal is the new Ferrer

Postby undertherobe » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:24 pm

Excellent analysis Emmasa but the title confuses me a little?

We all know that Nadal is on the decline but he's reached a Grand Slam final & ATP 500 final in his 3 events so far in 2017.

Ferrer hasn't been in a final for almost 18 months and even at his peak, never came close to matching Nadal (just 1 Grand Slam final and 5 semi-finals)

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Re: Nadal is the new Ferrer

Postby Emmasa » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:02 pm

Thanks undertherobe, what I mean with the title is that Nadal is now what Ferrer was all his life, in terms of titles. A fierce player fighting on every ball, but not winning big events. Ferrer titles are 95% ATP 500 and 250, and that's the kind of titles Nadal is able to win nowadays in my opinion. But not a good title maybe, I was just playing with words

Yes he reached 2 finals and I myself was surprised to see him getting to AO final. Still he lost both.

Getting to the final and then losing, for a player like Nadal, is no good result. Losing to a player like Querrey is just another wound to deal with. Nadal says he's happy he reached the final and he's happy with his game, but it's not true. Nobody is happy losing finals. Nobody remembers the finalist. And if you lost one of those finals to Sam "Frankestein" Querrey, in straight sets, it means to me you are not able to do your move when needed. Nadal is unable to make a statement when needed, in my opinion.

I saw Murray playing Kohlschreiber the there day, a fantastic match. Murray saved 7 mp and literally refused to lose. That's what he's able to do now, refuse to lose against lower ranked players. Like Djokovic during the last 3 years or Federer and Nadal himself in their golden years. Nadal has no more the Elite status, I think, and in the end this is all about betting and making money. Nadal rivals will still have big odds this season and my call is we can beat the bookies if we lay Nadal all season long in , say, 50% of his matches

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Re: Nadal is the new Ferrer

Postby Jack Bauer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Very strange thread title and some bold statements. He probably won't hit the heights he has produced over a great career but you probably said the same about federer who over the last few years has produced the best tennis of his career, which was needed to compete with djokovic and murray. To say people are dreaming to think he will produce the things he once achieved is premature. He was a a break up in the Australian open final, his hands were almost on the trophy. fitting he lost to another player you probably had similar opinions on. I would wait until the clay season is over before putting nails in his coffin, It wouldn't surprise me to see him winning the french open. Comparing Nadal to Ferrer is just ridiculous, he has lost 3 matches all season, querrey would have beaten most players on Saturday the way he was playing.

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Rafa and Fed 1 and 2 in ATP ranking race!

Postby Football DZR » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:38 am

Nadal has been struggling with injury on and off for the last 3 years but seems fitter now than in some time.

Nadal has had the best start to a season a for a long time, he is 2nd in the rankings race and is sure to make ATP end of season finals something which he hasnt always been doing recently.

Nadal has lost 3 finals in 2017, his strength of mind in the pressured points and ability to make the shots on the biggest points is not quite what it was, BUT it is still better than the vast majority and making hard court finals is progress compared to 2015 2016

Nadal has lost 3 times to Federer, but Federer has basically beaten everybody this year , Federer is serving better and with more focus than he has in years, Federer has also eventually conceded he needed to make adjustments to his game tactically VS Nadal , rather than his old approach "i am roger Federer and i just play like this Vs anybody".Yes Roger being owned by Nadal on anything other than grass, indoors or lightling quick hard courts no longer holds true.

Nadal has lost 5 time this year , every time to a great serve, Querry x1 Milos x1 and Roger x3, personally i would try laying Nadal vs the best servers. (although worth noting he also beat Milos twice this year and am sure will beat Querry 9 times in 10 on any courts)

Nadals serve is a problem for him and would always lay Nadal Vs the best in form returners, eg Nadal will not beat Murray or Djokovic in big matches while they are in form.

I may agree with many things you find in Nadals current game, but i also think all that is incorporated in the odds near enough, injury free i even expect Nadal to be marginally profitable this year.

I would look for big odds wins in Nadal loss not due to his slightly diminishing "tennis" but rather in matches and events where his commitment and motivation is questionable, he has turned up with slight niggling injures or just to make appearance /sponsor commitments and lost unexpectedly in the past

WHy are Fed and Rafa 1 and 2 ??????????
maybe as Novak been banned form using his performance enhancing "gluten" free supplements diet :D
"retirement is dying" Arsene 1st April 2017!!! No Wenger killed the club 10 years ago :D

"Remember never trust an all time loser" :lol:

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