Davydenko v. Nadal in the 2008 Miami final.....

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by calitennis127, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    A couple questions about this:
    1. Is Nadal's forehand better than Davydenko's here?
    2. If not, then what explains the difference in success of Nadal's career versus Davydenko's?
    3. Has Federer's forehand ever been as constrained in a final of a hardcourt tournament?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPY5-jTNZYU
     
  2. MikeOne

    MikeOne Club Member

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    this is laughable....

     

    how about instead of focusing on matches where nadal didn't hit many winners, we focus on matches where Federer hit so many fh unforced errors that he lost. Federer has had some awful matches where he has hit his fh like a beginner, missing it all over the place and drowning in unforced errors? Nadal hasn't suffered from his fh disappearing as often as Federer has..

    so let's play this game cali - you continue creating threads of matches where Nadal barely hit fh winners and i will create threads with links of matches where Federer lost due to stinking up the court with an erratic fh? you and i both know, there are plenty of these matches where fed's fh went MIA...

    moral of the story? a shot's effectiveness is winner/UFE ratio... and i would argue NO-ONE IN THE HISTORY OF TENNIS has hit more winners to UFEs with any shot than Nadal with his fh. Yes, at times Nadal's fh doesn't produce a lot of winners (vs fed in eoy ATP final, vs davydenko in 08 Miami etc..) but there are times where his fh produces a high winner count (vs Roddick at IW finals (20+ fh winners), vs Novak at FO 13, vs Murray at two Wimbledon matches, gonzo olympics (frightening) etc..).

    AO 09 was a perfect example. Nadal hit more winners than ANYONE ELSE during the entire tournament and he kept his UFE #'s low. He was hitting ferocious fh winners throughout the whole tournament... and i remember tallying up the stats and not only did he have more winners than anyone else, his UFE count was low.. it was a crazy winner/UFE ratio. Now i know you will point to Verdasco and fed hitting more winners, but over the entire tournament, Nadal's avg was higher and total.

    it's pathetic to point to a few matches where his fh hasn't produced a high winner count when he has had many more where he has hit a lot of winners. Not only this, it's also intellectually embarrassing to ignore UFEs...
     
  3. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Mike, you always bring up this stat of Nadal having the most winners total at the 2009 Australian Open. I must say I am baffled by this argument. Of course he would be among the leaders in winners at that event; he played the most matches of anyone except Federer. But I could say that Wawrinka has a better serve than Anderson or Karlovic because when he plays in the same tournament, he ends up having more aces total after playing 3 or 4 more matches than them. Does that make any sense?

    And yes, unforced errors are significant, but the degree to which Federer can definitively take over matches with his forehand is much greater than what Nadal can do. Nadal can be playing fine by his usual standards but struggle to completely take control of a match or even have an edge because what the opponent is doing is too much for him to stop.

    When you look at the 2008 Miami final or the losses Nadal has had to Del Potro, can you say that he played poorly by his standards? No, he was actually playing well and just couldn't match what the opponent was bringing.

    By contrast, when Federer is playing at his normal level with the forehand, he pretty much always dictates matches.

    (Also, Verdasco didn't just hit a couple more winners than Nadal; the count was 94 to 52).

     

     
     
  4. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    Not sure I get the point... Where are you going with this video?
     
  5. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    I posted this because of the ongoing debate with Mike, Broken, and others about how we should evaluate Nadal's forehand in considering his overall career success. I think they give it too much credit as the reason for his success, they think I give it too little.
     
  6. MikeOne

    MikeOne Club Member

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    Nadal's ability to take over matches with his fh has been one of his traits. Haven't you heard commentators, often say that once Nadal starts moving an opponent around, he doesn't let him off the hook with his fh? Look at Nadal vs Murray in his both Wimbledon matches, Nadal completely took over those matches with his fh. At FO, he has consistently taken over matches wit his fh. On hard courts, it's being mixed. I have seen Nadal completely dominate with his fh on hard courts in some matches but at times, it hasn't been he case. Nadal's forehand is monstrous but it can be somewhat neutralized by an attacking player who takes time away from him. What you fail to understand is not that his fh lacks firepower, it's that some opponents rush him...when they rush him, they don't allow him to completely unleash his full fh swing. Nadal, unlike Murray and Hewitt, is not a counterpuncher...he needs a bit more time to fully unleash on a fh. Nalbandian, Davydenko, Del Potro have been able to take ball early and take time away from Nadal. Its not that they are allowing him to hit forehands but he can't do anything, it's that they re not allowing him to position himself to hit many good forehands. There is a difference. For example, eoy masters match where fed bageled nadal had nothing to do with Nadal not being able to do damage with his fh, Fed just didn't allow nadal to hit comfortable fh's by serving well, attacking. Davydenko didn't let Nadal hit many comfortable forehands either, he was always rushing Nadal by taking ball early; Nadal was hitting a lot of fh's rushed and this is where he is vulnerable, he is not a counterpuncher. He reminds me of Wawrinka in some ways; Stan also needs time to unleash his strokes. See how Stan at times looks so bad on faster courts? but so ruthless on slow hard and clay? when Stan is given time to unleash his strokes, he is deadly..when rushed, he looks pedestrian. Have you ever seen stan do well on indoors? on Cincinatti? fast surfaces? why aren't you creating threads making fun of Stan's low winner counts on these surfaces?

    in summary, some players don't allow Nadal to set up properly to hit many good forehands, this is a tactic which only a few can employ successfully, on some surfaces. When given time, it's one of the greatest, possibly greatest, shot in history.
     
  7. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    It's an elite forehand whether you like it or not.  One of the best running forehands in the history of the game, one of the best inside-out forehands, a great rally shot, incredible topspin...

    Can't follow you on this one Cali.
     
  8. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    I agree with you on the inside-out forehand.....that shot has been money. And you can say that Nadal has won 14 Slams, that he has had a great forehand, and that therefore his forehand is one of the best ever. I guess that if you keep it on the rather banal level the argument is perfectly fine.

    However, if someone asks me this question: why did Nadal win 14 Slams?, I think it is ridiculous to say that his forehand was just that much better a shot than everyone else's. You have to turn to other more nitty-gritty reasons for why he had that scale of success.

     

     
     
  9. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Let me pose this question, Britbox and Mike. Is Nadal's forehand 13 slams better than Del Potro's and 12 Slams better than Wawrinka's and Murray's?

     

     
     
  10. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    It doesn't have to be 13 times better.  Usain Bolt isn't 13 times faster than the next man... he's 2 hundredths of a second faster.
     
  11. MikeOne

    MikeOne Club Member

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    How silly Cali...

    The problem is that your simpleton arguments are just devoid of common sense, logic and careful analysis. Basically, a few matches here and there where Nadal has hit few fh winners pretty much is what you base your opinion on. Do you realize how pathetic this is? You basically ignore the hundreds of matches Nadal has played where he has hit many fh winners and dominated opponents. It would be like me picking  match where Nadal hit 20+ fh winners and claiming this is Nadal's fh day in day out. The fact is that we can pick many more matches where Nadal's fh was spectacular than when it looked pedestrian. In between these two high and low levels, we have the average Nadal fh, which has been an incredible shot. There are SO MANY MANY matches where Nadal has absolutely dominated opponents with ferocious forehands, moving them from side to side and finishing the point. You can't just pick and choose few matches to prove anything, it's disingenuous, at best. For example, you pick the Davydenko match. Okay, well i pick the Gonzalez Olympic final match. If you watch that match you would be frightened cali, scared shitless watching what Nadal did to Gonzo...he hit so many fh winners and pretty much blew Gonalez off the court and we are talking about Gonzo, a huge power player. You point to a Del Potro match and i point you to Wimbledon 2010 Nadal vs Murray match where the headlines after the match read 'Savage forehands', he manhandled Murray with murderous forehands. So we can play this cherry pick game all day long but day in day out, Nadal's forehand, over his entire career, has been at the top of the greatest shots in history.

    Some may hit more winners but they make more UFEs, this isn't very impressive. Federer for sure has had a better hardcourt fh than Nadal but across all surfaces? I don't think so... Nadal's fh on clay is definitely better. Also, Federer's fh has been much more prone to self destruct because with more aggression, comes more errors. We both know there have been matches where Fed has hit a ton of UFEs and gone down in flames. Nadal's fh has been less prone to breaking down and more consistent. Federer has won many matches where his serve has carried him to victory; Nadal has never been able to ride his serve like this with exception of 2010 USO where he served out of his element.

    Across all surfaces and taking into account consistency, winner/UFE ratio, versatility, variety and ability to dictate rallies, there is no other fh i can confidently state has been better than Nadal's.

     
     
  12. Billie

    Billie Nole fan
    Nole's World Moderator

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    Yeah, I don't get the topic either.  So what if some Rafa fans moon over his forehand?  It is very effective and has done a lot of wonderful winning for Rafa.  I can say that Delpotro's FH is the best for me, but that's all, one shot doesn't determine a player and you can't win with only 1 weapon anyway.

    Actually I've always thought that Davydenko having a better, flatter backhand as well as taking the ball very early are the reasons why he got some wins against Nadal.
     
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