Does Rafa Nadal have the wars of the red clay season figured out? - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Does Rafa Nadal have the wars of the red clay season figured out?

Published

on

TENNIS – It’s easy to understand why Rafa Nadal might have appeared to be playing sluggish, tentative and unaggressive tennis at the start of the European clay-court season. It’s total war on red clay. It’s a long war. Maybe too long for one human being to go full speed from start to the finish line. James Beck

 

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

It’s easy to understand why Rafa Nadal might have appeared to be playing sluggish, tentative and unaggressive tennis at the start of the European clay-court season.

It’s total war on red clay.

It’s a long war.

Maybe too long for one human being to go full speed from start to the finish line, although Nadal has made a mockery of that analysis for much of his career.

Even the top horse must pace himself

This battle might be compared to the Kentucky Derby.

If the top horse comes out of the gate too aggressively, the horse is likely to fold before the finish line. Instead, for maximum results, the jockey must pace the horse to some extent. Even the great ones and possible great ones such as California Chrome.

When the finish line comes into focus, aggression and tenacity become critical to success.

Nadal obviously was pacing himself in Monte Carlo and Barcelona where he suffered quarterfinal losses to fellow Spaniards David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro. The ultimate red-clay prize is a week away in Paris.

Nadal is still in his prime at 27 years old, but playing four clay-court events leading into the French Open can drain a player’s intensity, especially one who plays with as much intensity as Nadal.

Is Nadal slipping?

So, is Rafa Nadal slipping? Don’t bet on it.

He almost corralled Australia. Only his back got in the way in the final, along with explosive Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal probably will still be around in late summer in New York City. If he can stay healthy, the odds of Nadal winning a Grand Slam title or two look pretty good after the way he has won three straight three-setters in Rome, the last two coming back from a set down to defeat Mikhail Youzhny and Andy Murray.

Rafa is a totally different player in Rome than the one who started the clay-court season. He’s intense and aggressive.

He’s pulling magic out of his bag, making the type of signature shots that only Nadal in the history of men’s tennis has been able to consistently convert.

Agassi backs up Nadal

I thought it was quite significant a few days ago when Andre Agassi proclaimed Nadal and not Roger Federer was the greatest player ever. This wasn’t just a broadcaster rambling on the air, this was a sincere analysis by one of the most respected tennis players ever to play the game.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the Roger Federer supporters’ claim that Federer is the greatest, when it is impossible to back up that claim with anything other than the number of Grand Slam titles Federer has won. Agassi pointed out that Nadal’s greatness came in the Golden Age of Tennis — the Federer, Nadal, Murray and Novak Djokovic era. Agassi obviously was alluding to the fact that Federer won seven Grand Slam titles before Nadal turned 20 years old.

Of course, there isn’t a way to accurately measure a Nadal or Federer against a Rod Laver. The only thing anyone knows for sure is that they are all among the greatest players ever.

James Beck is the long-time tennis columnist for the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier newspaper. He can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com

See James Beck’s Post and Courier columns at:

http://www.postandcourier.com/section/PC200903

ATP

‘Coronabros Stay In Your Basement’ – John Isner Plays Down Concerns Over COVID-19 Threat

The world No.21 believes players have to ‘learn and adapt’ to the virus.

Published

on

America’s top tennis player have said the world ‘can’t come to a complete standstill’ due to the Coronavirus pandemic as he hit back at criticism concerning an upcoming exhibition tournament he is participating in.

 

John Isner weighed in on the debate following a comment from freelance writer Ben Rothenberg whom on Twitter voiced concerns that Atlanta and West Virginia is staging tennis events with crowds despite a rise in cases. The world No.21 is set to play in the DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta, which will feature the eight top male players in the country. Officials plan to allow 450 people to attend the event on each day, which is estimated to be around 30% of the stadium’s maximum capacity.

“Ben, your concerns are valid, but, as someone who covers our sport for a living it would be nice if you would be supportive of WTT and Atlanta with their efforts to put on safe events instead of posting spooky headlines like this one that are factually incorrect,” Isner said making reference to an article Rothenberg posted.

Other Twitter users have also questioned the decision to allow fans to attend the event. Georgia, which is the state Atlanta is in, officially reported 2946 daily cases of the virus on July 1st. The highest amount within 24 hours since the pandemic began. Furthermore, Reuters News Agency reports that there was a record rise of more than 47,000 cases on Tuesday in America.

Nevertheless, Isner has dismissed calls for the event to be held behind closed doors or even cancelled. Branding his online critics as ‘coronabros’ before saying he wants to go on and live his life.

“You coronabros can stay in your basement all you want. I choose to live my life and play/promote the sport I love in a safe manner,” he said.

Unsurprisingly Isner has now been accused of downplaying the severity of the virus, which has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide. Including 130,000 in his home country alone. Challenged by one Twitter user who said she lost a family member due to the virus, Isner replied:-

“I’m incredibly sorry to hear that. I, in no way, was downplaying the effect of the virus, but I understand that perception can be reality.”

It is not fully understood by what he means with the phrase ‘perception is a reality’. Although he did like one tweet which said ‘the virus is much less lethal than the first models predicted. It’s now close to the flu.’ Although some medical experts have a differnt view on the perspective. White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently said the virus is “very different” from other outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV.

“We may not have a vaccine for a while and the world can’t come to a complete standstill. The reality is, we are going to have to learn and adapt to this virus in the safest manner possible,” he says.

The DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta will take place this weekend.

Continue Reading

ATP

Liverpool Ace Van Dijk Sees Similarities Between Him And Roger Federer

The Swiss Maestro has been praised for his seemingly effortless approach to the sport.

Published

on

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk says he believes his approach to football is similar to that of Roger Federer in tennis.

 

In a recent interview the 28-year-old admitted that he can be perceived as laid back by some people whilst playing. Van Dijk recently helped Liverpool lift the Premier League title for the first time since 1990. The Dutch centre-back has scored four goals during the 2019-2020 Premier League season so far and was also part of the team which won the UEFA Champions League title last year.

Addressing his style of play on the pitch, Van Dijk said he has partly modelled his approach on the demeanour of Federer. Who currently holds the record for most Grand Slam titles won and weeks spent at No.1 on the ATP Tour.

“I have naturally always been a bit laid back, the way I look and the way my presence is,” The Express quoted him as saying.
“I think a good example is in tennis if you watch Federer playing tennis.
“It looks like he’s not even putting in any work and it can frustrate opponents as well thinking they’re trying as hard as they can and your putting on the slippers for example.”

Van Dijk isn’t the first Liverpool player to pay tribute to Federer. During the Swiss Indoors last October winger Xherdan Shaqiri said he can learn ‘so much’ from the world No.4. Shaqiri is also from Switzerland and started his career playing for FC Basel, which has been Federer’s favourite football club since he was a child.

“He’s here at home in Basel, then he’s running well and he’s winning. It went very fast and I’m happy for him,” Shaqiri commented on Federer’s win over Peter Gojowczyk at the Swiss Indoors last year.
“He is no longer the youngest and still plays at a top level, because you can look a lot off.”

Federer will not play any more professional tournaments this year after undergoing a second surgical procedure on his right knee within the last six months. The first was in February. Although he has pledged to return to action in 2021 when he will be 39-years-old.

It is only the second time in his career that Federer has ended a season half way through due to injury.

Continue Reading

ATP

Nick Kyrgios Blasts ‘Selfish’ Zverev Over Viral Party Video

The world No.7 has been blasted for breaking his pledge to self-isolate after playing in the Adria Tour where a series of players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19.

Published

on

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has hit out at Alexander Zverev and the wider tennis community after it emerged on Sunday the German broke his self-isolation pledge to attend a party.

 

The world No.7 was caught attending a party at the Anjuna Plage Private Club in southern France after a video of him surfaced on the Instagram story of millionaire fashion designer Philipp Plein. Two other Instagram accounts also showed Zverev at the event on Sunday afternoon. The German issued a statement less than a week prior saying that he would go into a period of self-isolation after attending the Adria Tour in Zadar. Where Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19. According to standard medical advice, those who have been in close contact with people with the virus should self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially spreading it.

“I will proceed to follow the self-isolating guidelines advised by our doctors. As an added precaution, my team and I will continue with regular testing,” the world No.7 said in a statement last Monday.

Zverev’s video sparked a series of criticism on social media, but Nick Kyrgios is by far the most well known figure in the sport to have spoken out. Releasing an Instagram video, the former top 20 player slammed the behaviour of his rival. Accusing him of being selfish before adding the tennis world was ‘pi**ing him off.’ During the Adria Tour players were seen attending parties and engaging with members of the public which was allowed under local laws.

“So I wake up and I see more controversial things happening all over the world. But one that stuck out for me was seeing (Alexander) Zverev again man, again, again, how selfish can you be? How selfish can you be?” Kyrgios said on Instagram.
“I mean, if you have the audacity to put out a f—ing tweet that you made your management write on your behalf saying you are going to self isolate for 14 days and apologising to f—ing general public for putting their health at risk, at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days. My god.
“Have your girlfriend with you for f—ing 14 days. Jesus, man. It pisses me off. This tennis world pisses me off. How selfish can you all get?”

Kyrgios isn’t the only player to criticise Zverev. Saschia Vickery wrote on Twitter ‘risking lives to dance off beat with no rhythm around hundreds of people how is this real life?’ and British player Katie Boulter said she was ‘speechless.’ Meanwhile, Noah Rubin wrote ‘we are far from being ok’ in reference in Zverev’s video.

French player Lucas Pouille was also spotted at the same party as Zverev. However, he didn’t play on the Adria Tour and has not been self-isolating. He recently withdrew from the United Tennis Showdown (UTS) due to injury.

Neither Zverev or a member of his team have commented on the video so far.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending