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06/28/2012

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O

Rafa is wearing down a bit, Nole could be next.

chipnputt

Here is Greg Garber form ESPN on Nadal:

"There was also a tense moment when Nadal -- who usually waits for his opponent to cross his path en route to the changeover chair -- appeared to purposely bump into Rosol at the end of the fourth set.

Nadal showed this same alarming lack of emotional control at the French Open and, going forward, that's concerning if you are a Rafa fan. It makes you wonder if there's something else going on below the surface."

TP points to a sense of entitlement being the problem. Could it be? Or has he become even more tightly wound up than usual as Djokovic's ascendancy and Federer's refusal to "just go away" have increased the pressure on him.

Manal


Rafa made a silent pact. AO = Nole, RG = Rafa, Wimby = Fed (or worst case scenario, Fed in final losing to someone of a lower rank), USO = anybody else possible like Mandy, Delpo, Tsonga, even Ferrer.

Dude

Nadal has always been vulnerable while playing tree-tops. Not sure if it was what he ate for lunch, but Rasol was right in the "zone". Any of the other tree tops could do it too, provided they dont lost it mentally before the match itself. Delpo has already provided the blue-print for taking out Nadal. And it works best on grass & hard courts. Surprised Berdych couldnt do much when he met Nadal in the finals two years back...? mental fraility ? big match nerves.

The signs look ominous for Nadal for the rest of 2012.

Andy

ONE factor?

You're wrong in my opinion TP.

To me it is indeed simply that his opponent played an absolutely amazing (as you say "out of his mind") match that would have been tough for anyone to deal with, AND he did it with a certain attitude/body language that got into Rafa's head.

Again, S%&T happens.

I understand the "allowed it to happen" thing to an extent (certainly the mental part of that played a factor), but your extreme emphasis on that point is misplaced in my view. By just continuing to label Lucas a "Tomato Can" and coming up with more "National Tennis Enquirer" headlines "screaming" about major drops in guard, etc., you continue to miss the very basic concept that winning 5 rounds of a major (even the first few in this day and age), let alone 7, is a very tough task for which we should very much credit the top guys (Rafa included) for doing so consistently.

Jenny

I'm with you, Andy. Re: Treetops, two were felled yesterday both with big serves - 6'10 Karlovic [Murray] and 6'8" de Schepper [Ferrer].

Tim Tucker

Rosol clearly got into his head - as evinced by the complaints to the umpire and the shoulder bump:

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/rosol-shrugs-off-nadals-shoulder-bump-20120629-216j1.html

chipnputt

Andy, every sport has "tomato cans". Here is a bit on Rosol (and Nadal) from the Associated Press: "They're both 26 years old, yet Nadal entered the day with 583 career match wins, and Rosol 19. Nadal owns 50 titles, Rosol zero. In 178 prior Grand Slam matches, Nadal never had lost to a foe ranked 70th or worse. In five previous visits to Wimbledon, Rosol lost every time in the first round of qualifying - not even the main event. Qualifying. This is only the Czech player's second career tour-level event on grass; the first was two weeks ago." Whichever way you cut it, that is a tomato can.

Yes, Rosol played out of his mind but, to some extent he could because Nadal hits a loopy ball that he could tee off on. Have a look that just how few positive points Nadal played even on his own serve. Yes, it's tough to win 7 matches in a best of five format. By the same token, It's also very difficult to beat a better player in a best of 5 sets (as you've said, the larger the sample size, the more things tend to their true probabilities). That is why slams are usually won by the better players, while best-of-three tournaments get more surprises. Rosol beating Nadal does not happen by Rosol's game alone. Nadal was mentally off.

Vinwardo

I agree with most of this Dude, do not forget Soderling, he Delpo and Tsonga have all on occasions been able to swat Raf away with contempt. I do not believe Tommy Berdych actually believes in himself whereas Lukas with no pressure on him at all just swung away. Rafa though has always shown that he can re climb the mountain and this result will have little effect on most of the top 10, it is not as if they can play like Lukas!

Tim Tucker

Just curious - why the phrase 'tomato can'? Where does that come from?

Leon

Chipnputt, I would say it's a matter of taste, but I'm inclined to see smth more serious behind such terms and attitude. And I don't like that. Not a view that should be cultivated, not only in tennis.
[The simplest (but maybe not the worst) consequences are those latest prize money issues...]

Jenny

It's a boxing term Tim. I'm sure our boxing historian Gary will also have something to say.

"Tomato Can : A journeyman fighter, or "professional opponent," who is not good enough to be a champion but provides a good fighter with a good practice session without any real danger to himself. Also called a "ham-and-egger" (for the diner food once consumed on the road by these men), or "palooka."

Andy

Chip, I admit I might be assuming things here, but my guess is that TP is using the expression "Tomato Can" in a lot more derogatory way than any standard definition we will find on the internet (as rumour has it that TP has a PHD in Derogatory Science).

It's the "guaranteed win" part of the standard definition that bugs me here, especially when combined with what I am pretty sure is an emphasis on "poor or diminshed skills" part by TP (even without the comparison factor taht is sometimes inserted in the definitions).

Almost "guaranteed win" sometimes? Maybe. But never guaranteed.

These guys, even at 100 in the world, and even at only 19 wins, can be very skilled and tough players. Just had a drink with my tennis pro buddy and ran this by him by the way. And his response was basically that anyone who thinks these type of lower ranked guys are easy pushovers are nuts. Sure, the greats like Rafa and Roger are going to beat them the vast majority of time fairly readily, but we should not be so shocked that it is not all the time, or even when they occasionally lose to them. Basically my buddy's words (tennis pro since the late '80s), and they pretty well reflect my thoughts on this.

In any event, the question that was posed was "IF you had choose ONE factor...". My point is not that Nadal wasn't off. Sure, it seems he was off. It's just my opinion that the bigger factor on this day was, by far, the performance of the so-called "Tomato Can." Watch the 5th set again from start to finish. The guy was absolutely incredible. Rafa at his best would still have had his hands full.

Gary Moser

"Watch the 5th set again from start to finish"
--------------------------------------------
And when you do, focus sharply
on the 1st point of the 7th game.

Rosol is leading 4 games to 2, Nadal serving.

Nadal works Rosol --- or, Rosol works himself ---
into the left-hand corner of his end of the court,
with Nadal also having moved over towards the
left-hand corner of HIS end of the court.

Nadal then has 2 consecutive opportunities to
whip his forehand down the sideline for an
almost certain outright winner,

Instead, both times he rolls a decidedly casual
cross-court shot to where Rosol is located.
After the 2nd one, Rosol blasts a shot down
HIS sideline for a clean winner.

IMO, no way "Rafa at his best" would've
foregone an opening like this --- an opening
that was big enough to drive a Mack truck through.

[ And I'm not even a Rafa fan... ]

Gary Moser

You've pretty well got it covered, J...

Julio Cesar

One reason:

Nadal fell victim to aeRosol.

Julio Cesar

The next will be Federer, in the weariness order. I think Nole already break for some nap.

Dude

Its the season of fast courts from now on. Traditionally, Nadal has struggled during this part of the season & with so many hungry tree tops in the game, I dont think Nadal can do much. His game is best suited for the clay courts.

Tim Tucker

Thanks Jenny - I never knew that! We don't use that expression in the UK.

Jenny

You're welcome, Tim. You're right, we don't, but my grandfather was a boxer so I kind of knew the term.

Gary Moser

Nadal has cancelled his July 14 exhibition
with Djokovic because of knee trouble.

So...it's the Soderling loss all over again.

chipnputt

After the FO loss to Soderling, Nadal played an exhibition at the Hurlingham Club. He withdrew from Wimbledon after that --

Gary Moser

Which means his knees were hurting him
WORSE this time.......right? :->

chipnputt

Or he's gotten smarter :-)

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