Nadal, knees, and the Hard Court Myth

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by brokenshoelace, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    Hard courts are bad for the knees. Too much playing on hards has killed Nadal's career. The ATP should be sued. Or so the narrative would have you believe.

    Yes, we get it, hard courts are harder on the knees, no pun intended. We get it. I promise. Now please, Rafa, Toni and Samson, stop mentioning it (in fairness, the former pair haven't said it in a while. Here's hoping the other one follows suit). But the idea that all would be fine as long as it's clay or grass instead is backed by literally nothing. For starters, Nadal's most severe knee related injury layoffs have come after the clay/grass season. 2009 and 2012 come to mind. Sure, you could argue that Nadal picked up the injury on hards, but that would be ignoring that by almost literally reaching every final on clay and playing 5 clay court tournaments in a condensed amount of time, on a surface where points are longer and generally more physically taxing pushed Nadal's body towards the breaking point. In fact, that argument is undeniable. It's kind of silly to watch Nadal and Novak battle for 4 hours in Madrid in 2009 then blame the knee issues on hards, even if he may have picked up the injury earlier.

    Then there's grass. What's funny is, there is a serious case for this being THE hardest surface on the knees. The ball stays low and players have to bend really low, even nowadays, especially on the backhand wing. This to me, is the biggest difference in Nadal's game on grass between now and when he was making 5 finals in a row. Yeah, he was always vulnerable in the first week. But watching him now, he really struggles to produce anything off his backhand wing on grass. You can see him being marginally slower moving to his forehand side as well.
     
  2. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    I agree BS. And optically you would think that sliding of itself could cause stress on knee joints. My experience of playing a huge amout on hards is that the primary stress I felt was the ankles. Obviously my movement is woefully inferior to an elite athlete like him :cry: , but I've always wondered why we don't hear more about ankle ligament damage
     
  3. Mastoor

    Mastoor Masters Champion

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    I don't even remember when Nadal last complained about his knees. Last year he had a problem with appendix as far as I remember, before that I think he mentioned back-pain at some stage last year not knees.
     
  4. Billie

    Billie Nole fan
    Nole's World Moderator

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    Honestly I think the worst surface to play is clay.  The matches are so long, there are virtually no short points, even aces do not come easy as on other surfaces.  With the hitting power of today's players and with their amazing defensive skills, it has become brutal.
     
  5. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    Yes, this is true. But, with all the doom and gloom recently about Nadal being done, many have brought up how knee injuries hampered his career, which is fair. So I figured it is topical in that regard.
     
  6. isabelle

    isabelle Masters Champion

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    Yes, clay destroyed Kuerten's hip and I guess it destroyed Nadal's knee too
     
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