Unfortunately, I feel rushed to make this argument. What makes this equally as difficult is that I have already made this case with out coming right out and saying that Nadal is a fraud. That’s still tough to actually say, but I can’t really deny this understanding in my own complicated brain.
But the form is so remarkably bad, folks. I have a few readers that comment fairly regularly, bless their souls. Take a look at my 2016 predictions post. I suggested, as I have for a long time now, that Nadal will continue to fall apart. My brethren, like so much of the tennis world (I don’t think I read anyone who predicted doom for the over-rated Spaniard), predicted he would continue to climb back and solidify his top 4 or better position. WTF? Are you looking at Nike ads or tennis highlights?
Ladies and gentlemen, Nadal is a mystery. That is the least you should say. Say it: you have NO IDEA what is going on with this man of mystery.
A year ago today he was 28 years-old. His birthday is in June, so he was a 28 year-old this time last year. Novak is a year younger. Novak is 28 right now. What’s your rationale for the Spaniard’s recent court paella? Look at his form right now. Please. Tell me you see a world class tennis player there. If you do not, where did he go? Come up with an answer. Use a complete sentence, perhaps with an eloquent line of reasoning.
I’m not going to get into a pissing match about his injuries or whatever the case may be. He has always had “problems.” He was done in 2012. He has had issues for as long as I can remember. I documented a lot of this in several earlier posts. If you don’t know, you should check it out; not necessarily my accounts. Any. If you never/rarely watched tennis through the aughts, or you only watched the French Open, you should do some homework.
Granted, he has won a lot of Masters tournaments. The most all time. He has won the FO 13 million times. If you are an objective sports fan, tennis fan, and you know the sport, its history, you know the punchline. Anyone who thinks Nadal is a better tennis player than Pete Sampras is tennis illiterate.
He’s a clay guy, folks.
And even there, per one of my friend’s recommendations, recently, I watched the 2013 FO SF Novak v Rafa again. What a remarkable match. Novak’s form was incredible, his serve not as strong, probably, as it is now, but his ground strokes were lethal, working Nadal all over the clay that day. Nadal simply chased everything down. You want to see defensive tennis? Watch Nadal there. Insane he got all that back inside the lines. Djokovic was brilliant, but Nadal simply survived. He won?
The Nadal FH is what you want to watch there or even at the USO 2013 (coincidentally the same year). Unreal depth, unreal pace, a much flatter shot that matched with this side-to-side defensive tennis became almost impossible to overcome. Of course, his BH has been a big weapon when he’s “on” but this FH sometimes looks simply bizarro, given the context: he’s hanging-on for dear life, about ready to die (though he could probably play for another 4 hours, go figure) and he comes-up with this FH that hits the corner baseline, gone, opponent shaking his head, aghast.
So what happened? Where is this flamenco beast who beat all comers, all year, every other year?
Watching him lose to Thiem or Cuevas looked terrible on the scoreboard. But the tennis was even worse. He looked awful against Almagro in Rio, pulling it off in three sets. He got a W/O vs. Dolgopolov and was still abused by Cuevas in the SF after winning the first set.
Folks, it’s not the scoreboard that should scare you if you like Nadal, believe in Nadal. Watch his tennis. The incredibly mediocre level of play is absolutely unreal for a guy who supposedly lays claim to a pretty boastful legacy.
This is unheard of. I have a comments section. Who has fallen (at 28 years old) like this? Make sense of this tennis dumpster fire. I welcome the discussion. And if you think I’m “hating,” keep trolling blogs and discussion boards with your “Vamos” oriented profiles, talking H2H BS, and all that jazz. I am happy to hear you out and comment very diplomatically. I promise.
Over analyzing his serve, FH, coaching, sexuality, etc., is a waste of time. I have never bought his brand and never will. You want to defend this guy, I wish you would. I have an open mind. I can celebrate all manners of greatness in this great sport that we love.
But Nadal, for me, wears a mask. He wears a scowl. He tries to bully opponents. Those who have stood up to him, have beaten him. Now everyone is beating him. It’s a bit of a shame.
Ironically, there’s shame, imho, in his success, as well.
Next up: Fritz, Kyrgios and Thiem (18, 20, 22)! If you are not stoked for the early season tennis, get the fuck out of here!
2 thoughts on “Nadalism”
This is a good article Matt, and thanks for posting it.
I agree with everything you said, but finished wondering whether you’d been too easy on The Fraud…
Maybe you like the one I just wrote 😉