Nadal Loses and Questions Win.

Rafa lost today in three sets to…are you ready for this…Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.  Amazing.  The number 53 ranked player taking Nadal out, on his best surface, hard courts.  Yes, after dominating the U.S. Open as no one ever has, how can a player like that lose his next event (with time off!).  Unlikely?  Impossible?

Perhaps, athletes have down periods, slumps, if you will.  Interesting that Nadal does not slump against top ten opponents at the majors lately.  Until the clay court season this year, Nadal was thumped repeatedly by every player in the top ten for nearly 11 months.  That’s right, check his record leading to the 2010 clay court season.  Suddenly, this summer, he’s literally unstoppable at the slams.  He wins all of them, going away.  Going away.

When Fed was have 3-slam years, he rarely lost to anyone outside the top 10.  He won the other tournaments with a rare hiccup here and there.  He demonstrated remarkable consistence in his results, reflective of his level of play.  Nadal, appears to be incredible, even unstoppable, then between Wimbledon and the US Open, got his butt kicked by everyone, including some of the players he beat like a drum at the US Open.  After the US Open, he promptly gets beaten again.

Maybe he wants to see if he can win without using help.  Maybe he has to cycle off for his general health.  It’s just plain odd.  It’s odd like Sampras suddenly winning his last US Open when he hadn’t won in over 2 years.  All of that is odd.  I am not a Nadal fan, however, I was a Sampras fan, but I cannot help but wonder when players suddenly have one great tournament out of nowhere.  Institute stricter testing and make the results transparent, then I’ll stop asking questions.  There’ll be no questions to ask.


7 thoughts on “Nadal Loses and Questions Win.

  1. rorshack says:

    The paranoia is so thick that you can cut it with a knife. I get that people want Nadal doped and maybe he is doped but let’s give out better arguments, shall we?

    You say in the first paragraph that Nadal was taken out by GGL “on his best surface”. I hope you are talking about GGL, cause HC is DEFINITELY not Nadal’s best surface. That would be clay.

    Then you say “why doesn’t Nadal slump against top ten opponents at majors”? Ever heard of mental strength? Murray was extremely close to Nadal at all times in WB but failed in big moments and got straight setted. Same thing happened in their AO match but in reverse. Fed losing on clay against Nadal is nothing special. Djoker had a extra day to rest and Nadal still had 16 BP’s against him. Plus, Nadal has been in many other GS finals. This was Novak’s first GS final since January 2008, the nerves showed and even on Nadal’s part, he couldn’t really convert, even though he had 16 BP’s if I remember correctly. Who else? Sod got his ass kicked in RG which is no surprise when facing a healthy Nadal. And again, Sod sucks in finals. Sod almost bageled Nadal in first set in WB but got his ass kicked the next three sets. It’s easier for top players to win slams because they have more time to compose themselves should they lose the first set. They are way more vulnerable in two outta three.

    It’s suprising that Nadal lost in Bangkok, it’s how he lost, he had 2/26 BP conversion whereas GGL was 1/1. Nadal won 112 points, GGL 107. This was Nadal not concentrating enough and GGL playing his heart out. Losing in a mickey mouse tournament is nothing unusual, ESPECIALLY after winning a freaking slam. This was a practice tournament for Nadal. He got 1,5 million $ just for entering, did many non-tennis related things(meeting prime-minister,planting trees, playing some tennis with local kids, making merit with buddhist monks) and mostly played for kicks. BTW, none of the top 5 have won a 250 event this year. Federer won AO in emphatic fashion, withdrew from dubai with “lung infection”(probably wanted to rest) and lost to baghdatis in IW in pretty much the same way Nadal did to GGL, not concentrating on the big points(and this was a masters, not a shitty 250 tourney).

    Another argument on this site was Nadal’s serve. Nadal’s serve was kicking in Bangkok for those that haven’t seen it and Bangkok is considerably slower than USO. So his serve has not died down not matter what some other people say. And even with this serve he lost. It was his concentration that let him down.

    The reason why most players “get ready” for a slam is because it’s a slam. Just 4 a year. Winning just ONE means you have made it. If you win ONE SLAM and don’t win any other tourney, you’ve had a good year. And as I have said, the slam format favours top players. Do you see Fed/Nadal/Djoker/Murray losing to journeymen in the top50 in slams, in a three out of five format with a days rest? Meanwhile in most 250,500 and even masters tourneys you play two outta three(gotta stay on your toes at all times) playing consecutive days.

    You also say that Nadal was thumped by top ten players in his “slump”. Now if we accept that Nadal has been doped in 2010 and off dope in 09′, how did he lose to davydenko in doha(having MP’s)? How did he lose to Murray in AO? How did he lose again to Murray in Toronto? He was on the brink of losing to benneteau and wawrinka. He lost to Lopez in Queens. He lost to Baghdatis in Cincy in a close match. Nadal’s losses in 2010 mirror his losses in 2009. Common thing? Most of them were on HARDCOURTS. Nadal has improved on hardcourts but he is no HC god. Everybody is fapping over his USO win but he had a easy draw, a improved serve and the only real HC player he met was in the final, Djoker. Djoker had nerves, so did Nadal and in the end Nadal prevailed. Djoker has NEVER beaten Nadal in a slam. All his HC wins over Nadal have come in a two outta three format on HC. And there is the fact that Djoker had beaten Fed so he got some satisfaction from that. I would be surprised if Nadal gets another USO with Murray or DelPo in the way.

    Another argument which comes up is Nadal’s body. Here he is in Bangkok:

    Now go watch him in USO and Tokio(photos have appeared already from practice sessions) and please tell me how there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in body size.

    I suspect Nadal will treat Tokio more seriously than Bangkok but again, this is more practice for Shanghai and WTF.

    • problemsolvergene says:

      First, let me begin by saying that I agree with tons of what you say in your comment above! You are right about so many things, if someone was saying this stuff about Roger Federer, I’d be saying exactly what you are saying. Sure the big boys lose in the small ones all the time to nobody and mostly view those events as warm ups. Look no further than Serena for real clear evidence of that. Oh yeah, when I said that hard was Nadi’s best surface, I was being facetious. Of course, there are many ill-informed people writing on the internet who might actually believe that, but I am not one of them. My point was that Nadal rolled through the USO (as you call it) only losing one set and losing his serve twice (I believe), something very few, if any other players have achieved. It made him look like the most dominant hard court player ever, at least for one tournament.

      As for wanting Nadal to be guilty, that simply is not true. I have a love and reverence for the game of tennis. It saddens me that I can no longer defend these players. If Nadal is indeed roiding (I have no proof of this, nor do I say that he indeed is doing it, I just present arguments that question him, hence the title of my article: “Questions Win”), it would be a black spot on the sport of tennis unlike any other before. It saddened me that I could no longer defend Bonds, McGwire, or Armstrong. It just dawned on me one day after watching all these athletes that if they play and look like they are on peds, they probably are. Common sense has won the day. Despite the fact that my argument on this one loss is a stretch, it is the overall effect.

      It’s the amount of energy he uses. It’s the fact that he defends other drug accused athletes. It’s the fact that he is inefficient yet gets less tired that others who play more efficient games. It’s the fact that he looked like a 30 year old at 18 and 19 years old (just ask Agassi)–in fact, this same phenomenon makes me wonder about LeBron James too. Boys, who look like men too early, or change suddenly always make me wonder now.

      You are right, my argument here is not the best, however, you have to admit, when Fed was in his heyday, he hardly ever lost to anyone outside the top ten at any tournaments, witness his 92-5 record in 2006 and 81-4 in 2005, where his losses were to, well, mostly Nadal. He lost no series 250 tourneys in 2005 at all! Anyway, you make good points that there are stronger arguments and I respect that. Thanks for taking the time to argue and discuss with me. Please keep it up.

      • Rorshack says:

        Truth be told, I like Nadal and his game but I am beyond the age of fandom so nobody can truly be without suspicion in my book. But many doping fiends have incredibly flawed arguments, many of which can be disproven in a couple of seconds with a quick google search. The only REAL argument for suspicion against Nadal is Operacion Puerto and the fact that they haven’t released names yet. Everything else is EXTREMELY subjective and can be countered. One example: everybody was gravely exaggerating Nadal’s weight loss(many times I read 15 lbs which is 7 kg) due to the cut of his shirt in fall 2009. Sure, I think the guy lost 2-3 kg cause he was getting panicked about the knees but nowhere neat 7 kg. I saw him without his shirt on changeover and there is no fricking way that he lost more than 2-3 kg. Nadal said all throughout that he pretty much had the same weight and if you look at before and after pics(early 2009-late 2009) of shirtless Nadal I am inclined to believe him.

        Another “argument”: the serve. I have read on a lot of sites that Nadal added 20-30 km/h on his serve in USO. Bull. If you look at his average serve speed in WB, they are like 5 mph apart. It’s actually quite simple. At 17 Nadal had huge power. See UBER FOREHANDS vid on youtube. He was a powerful teen and could blow anybody off court but his uncle decided to put that power into spin, citing table tennis as an influence. Thus Nadal went into spin mode to gain consistency. And he started winning more once he did that. What’s crazy about Nadal’s balls is that they come with mega-spin and decent pace. I’ve seen Nadal hit 110 mph forehands(against Ancic I think). I’ve seen him hit 130 mph serves with his old spinny serve. Nadal hitting 120’s regularly with a flatter delivery(different swingpath) is not unfeasable from a physical point of view.
        Also, one has to look at the margin of improvement. Nadal went from having a mediocre serve to having a good one. Now if he went from a good one to Sampras like instantly I would be suspicios too.

        Look at Nadal in Bangkok. His serve was on fire in the first two matches, on a much slower surface than USO. Then in the third, he couldn’t find a good rhythm on serve(expected with a flatter delivery), wasn’t mentally there(2/26 BP conversion versus 1/1) and lost to nr.53 in the world. He also struggled alot today with giraldo, 6-4,6-4.

        Nadal’s new serve was been hyped up way,way,way too much. Federer,who isn’t serving as big as he used to, had 30 more aces than “sampras” nadal before USO SF. What is everybody basing this sampras comparison on? His USO run. Now, I like Nadal, but his draw really opened up. He played nobodies in the first two rounds(and he had trouble, had 3 tiebreaks in those two matches), a gilles simon(huge returner LOL) with one foot one the plane to see his baby, freaking lopez in 4th round(easy peasy player for a motivated Nadal), verdasco in QF on a VERY windy day(and after verdasco had two five setters), youzhny in SF(youzhny also coming after five setters at his age) and djokovic in the final. The only challenge was djoker in the final and Nadal was really shaky. He had 26 BP and converted just 6. Djoker converted 3 of his 4 BP. Nadal’s average first serve speed in the final was 116. For example, in the WB final this year, average first serve speed was 115 mph and that was with the spinned serve. Also, in the final with djoker,after a horrid first set in terms of serving, he reverted to the spinny serve for a while but Djoker messed him up bad when he did that(was up 4-1 in the second I think).

        And your point of reference, Fed, is all wrong. Federer is the EXCEPTION, not the norm. There have been many,many players that won slams or got to nr.1 and lost unexpected matches. Look at this loss in context. Nadal got 1,5 million bucks JUST FOR ENTERING. You can’t tell me that he had immense motivation. He did more non-tennis related things that tennis.
        And it’s not like he was dominated. The stats show that this was a loss because of mental lapse not tennis ability. Nadal had 26 BP, GGL just 1. Nadal won five more points but GGL won the ones that mattered. GGL wanted to win this badly, Nadal just hoped it would fall into his lap(see how he reverted to defense in the end). After the match Nadal sounded more upset about the BP squandered than with the loss itself. If it had been really close, well that’s life but anyone who watched the match knows that Nadal could have bageled GGL in the second, instead it went to a tiebreak where he lost. It’s quite funny if you think about it.

  2. Rikyu Sen says:

    This was in the news today:

    Italian Anti-Doping Agent Ettore Torri: Doping in Cycling Is Unstoppable

    If this is true about cycling, where they do lots of tests, then I shudder to think what is going on in tennis, where anti-doping is a joke. Until the ITF shows that they are serious about stopping doping then I am content to assume that all are guilty until proven otherwise.

    As for Rorshack, your arguments about Nadal’s weight loss as just as weak as some Nadal hater doping arguments. You “think” he only lost 2-3kg? Did you weight him? Come on. That’s weak, my friend. Many commentators, like McEnroe, commented about Nadal looking noticeably reduced.

    • Rorshack says:

      Rikyu Sen, sorry for sounding a little gay, but please google Nadal shirtless pics, say in early 2009 and then compare with shirtless pics in the fall of 2009. You can’t tell me that this is a guy that has lost 7 kg(the 15lbs that are so widely quoted). I’ve seen people that have lost 7 or more kilos. They are quite different in body size. 7 Kg is actually quite a lot of weight to lose, just like 7 kg of weight is a lot of weight to put on.

      Trust me, the cut of the shirt matters. A lot. Nadal dropped the sleeveless look and I’ve heard people say that he slimmed down a bit. Then he wore tighter shirts and I read reports of him bulking up. One example: When Nadal came back after missing WB, sporting polo’s, everybody was like “woahh, Nadal lost weight man!”. I agreed but not with the same degree of jaw dropping. Then I saw Nadal practicing sleeveless with Ferrer in Shanghai, a tourney which was pretty close to WTF, where a lot of pundits said Nadal looked emaciated.

      This was Nadal in Shanghai 2009:

      Watch the whole vid and take a look at the left arm. Slimmed down my ass. Shanghai ended on 18th of October. In Paris Nadal looked pretty much the same as in the vid I posted and Paris was almost a full month after Shanghai. Nadal made SF in Paris, being beaten by Djoker, but beating Tsonga along the way.
      WTF was basically a week after Paris.

      If I believe the 15 lbs story, Nadal lost 7 kg in the space of one month or even less, depending on when you think he lost the supposed weight. That’s a pretty dangerous figure for a normal person, let alone a athlete that’s supposed to stay at certain performance parameters. If you look at interviews with Nadal and his nutritionist, they say that Nadal has almost the same body weight(85 kg), but it varies by a couple of kilos depending on what he ate or how much he practiced, cause of calories burned. If Nadal lost 7 kg, he would be around 77-78 kg. Nadal is the same height as me and I have 75 kg of weight with little fat. Nadal looks bigger than me after his “slimdown”. There is no way Nadal went under 80 kg, and even 80 kg is really pushing it(that would mean a 5 kg loss).

      As I’ve said, we are supposed to think that Nadal slimmed down to save his knees, endagering WTF results not to mention the far more important(to him) DC final. Nadal, supposedly at 77-78 kg, performed badly at WTF and one week later, on clay, tore berdych a new a one. And he wore a loosely cut shirt, just like in the fall of 09′.

      Nadal started 2010, presumably doped up(and bigger), in abu dhabi with the same type of shirt and funny thing is that he freaking looked the same but this time he beat Soderling in straights on HC.

      Nadal in Paris 2009:

      Nadal in WTF 2009: is the slimmest down pic I could find)

      Nadal in Paris 2009:

      Nadal in Abu Dhabi 2010:

      Feel free to look up your own photos from these events if you think I am trying to fool you.
      But you can’t tell me that between these three events, Nadal looked 7 KG lighter.

      And a bonus, Nadal in Doha 2010, one week after Abu Dhabi:

      No one is denying that Nadal played a bit with his weight in the panic to find a balance between his health and his gmae, but the degree is highly exaggerated. I stand by my words, 2-3 kg at most.

      • problemsolvergene says:

        Good points. Again, looking at whole picture, but lots of individual arguments can be disputed easily.

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