Nadalism: Preface

Before I address my main concern, a couple of thoughts on some of the recent tourney action.

We recall that the young Taylor Fritz surprised a few folks in Memphis by reaching the final vs. Nishikori. The following week he laid an egg in Delray Beach R1 vs. American Tim Smyczek 3 and 3. Not ideal, but we’re certainly going to give the kid a break. He’s back in action this week and just advanced over Chardy in three sets in Mexico and has up next the the champion of Quito, 35 year-old Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos. Let’s see the Yankee make a little run here, including a potential re-match with Nishikori in the QF.  #TeamFritz.

The return of Del Potro is tremendous news. He had a nice little showing in Delray, losing to eventual winner Querrey. Querrey? And how about more from the American side as journeyman Rajeev Ram beat Dimitrov to make Delray a fascinating all-American affair. 🙂

How about Kyrgios. He bageled Gasquet, and beat Berdych and Cilic for the Marseille  crown. No doubt we’ve been watching him (sometimes covering our eyes) and will continue to watch this talent continue to develop. Great to see him getting some action in these early season tournaments. In Dubai, he’ll have to get through the likes of Berdych again and Wawrinka for a shot at Djokovic in a final. That would be quite couple of weeks, but this guy has a ton of game.

On the other hand, guys like Tomic, Dimitrov and even Cilic have been pretty underwhelming.

Djokovic continues to shine. I see he has another record on his racquet this week, trying to surpass the great Lendl in straight finals appearances? Something to that extent. He has a few biggins in Dubai that could challenge (Stan and Nick), but that’s a reach. Djoker is in cruise control.

I suppose most of you out there are now coming to grips with Djokovic being all alone. The Nadal-will-find-again-his-form crowd appears to have finally STFUP and the Roger-is-playing-better-than-ever crowd hopefully has finally ducked behind the grandstand and left the building.

The H2H crowd is another dopey collective. Federer and Nadal are absolute shells of themselves. If you don’t quite see it in the case of Federer, I’m not sure what to say to you. Take my word for it: accumulating wins against the Swiss and Spaniard at this point (for the past couple of years if you’re really watching) has been not the most compelling competition. Nadal didn’t just start to look like shit on the court, folks. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I am not trying to subtly call this a weak era. I think you beat whomever they put in front of you: that’s all we can ever ask of anyone.

However, don’t try to artificially lift competitors or entire fields for whatever agenda you’re working-on. In Federer’s case, since 2012 (or earlier) he’s been less of himself and Nadal since his bionic 2013. That’s quite awhile.

And you know what? Good for Djokovic. He’s earned everything coming to him. He has battled those two epically. He’s a classy tennis great. A new chapter of Djokovic defending #1 and defining a new era will be a tremendous watch. We know certainly this is underway. Djokovic is absolutely brilliant right now, but father time is undefeated.

As for Nadal, I guess this will be a teaser here at the end of this post. I’ll return, hopefully tomorrow, to write my treatise on Nadalism.

I am very troubled by this tennis entity. In an exchange with a friend of mine who knows a great deal about tennis, he made a very simple and very profound observation. This Nadal we see now is probably more accurate of his true tennis talent, a top-ten guy, a great competitor. This is more the genuine Nadal, limited for sure, not great by any stretch.

Of course, I have already written pretty extensively in order to destroy the myth that is Nadal (to even fancy him one of the all-timers is sheer lunacy, always has been).

I turn now to address this phenomenon I am going to call Nadalism.

His recent form has been so poor despite no injuries, despite a return to his favorite safe haven, the inferior clay. That more questions aren’t asked, what a shame. Defend this insidious tennis “greatness.” I welcome the discussion, the debate. I have much to say on this matter.  Until then, enjoy the tennis.



2 thoughts on “Nadalism: Preface

  1. RJ

    Informative, entertaining and thought provoking blog Matt. It’s refreshing to read balanced articles compared to the hyperbole of the espn et al peanut gallery.
    Time will tell but these weeks have revealed another step forward for Nick Kyrgios. We Australians love our humble sportspeople so watching his past carry on has been hard to digest. Nevertheless, his tennis when on is exciting and with developed fitness he remains IMO Australia’s tennis hope. Those first serve bombs sorta reminded me of Pete…Will he end up like a Gulbis or push on?


    1. I’m rooting for Kyrgios for sure. His game is “state of the art.” Hard to believe he’s actually younger than Thiem. The later is considered more of the upstart. Kyrgios just needs to keep his act together.

      His attitude will continue to propel and hinder him. He is hitting guys like Berdych off the court, but then did you see him jump and hit a FH from the air? It was great, even if it was a little showboat, but I thought wow, that’s how you injure your back, etc. Was unnecessary.

      My point is this guy is a special talent and what makes him frustrating and, for some, annoying also makes him great. Just keep it together, ole boy and we have ourselves a major contender here.

      Well, wouldn’t you know, Wawrinka just moved on, Kyrgios retiring at 3-6 0-3. I hope he didn’t injure himself with one of those shots. Stan is a beast, so certainly not a bad loss for Nick.

      Thanks for reading and the comment, RJ. I hope you’ll continue to contribute. Tennis is just warming-up. 🙂


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