Anyone else think Nadal's game style is too cautious?


I think he has to start taking chances if he wants to get to the next level. He is young, athletic, and talented; he can afford to be more risky.



Answers:

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I think he's trying to take more chances. He is now hitting the serve with more pace and his first serve percentage has gone down since last year. Keeping his unforced errors at a minimum has helped him win a lot of matches. I agree with you about taking more chances to get to a higher level, especially on the faster hard courts. I wish he would learn to follow his forehand into the net, and finish off points from there instead of retreating to the baseline. He usually has to work so hard to win points. I think he's playing his best when he's going for his forehand, and hitting it really aggressively. I don't think he can stay near the top of the rankings though, if he doesn't continue to improve his aggressive tennis game.

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Well, it's true that he is cautious when it comes to other surfaces besides clay. If you watch him during clay season, he does take a lot of risks...hitting angles, going for drop shots and really showing his power.but on the other, less comfortable courts for him, he tends to wait. His game tends to be more leaning towards tiring out his opponents and then pounce on them in the later sets when they're worn out from running around which sometimes, and for most of his opponents, work for him.

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That's not his game, nor most anyone who grew up on the dirt.

A full Western grip transfers quite a bit of energy into topspin as opposed to power/speed. The only way he can take more chances would be to flatten out his shots and even tweak his grip towards the semi-Western side.

That is never going to happen. You don't get to #2 in the world playing a certain way, then change it just so you have a better shot at beating Federer.

His serve blows, however (relatively speaking), and could really be changed to provide some more free points. You can tweak your serve much more easily than groundies.

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Federer has never beaten Nadal on clay? Nadal has defeated Federer on other surfaces except when it counts like Wimbledon and the US Open.

Other than improving his serve, I see Nadal's game getting better. I can't wait to see him 3-peat the French Open and whip Federer while doing it. Federer can't stay #1 forever.

Who says Nadal can't play on grass?

no

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I would agree his play is rather cautious for someone with his power and talent, but at the same time, he is a baseline player. Although it would be nice to see him with more serve and volley plays, it doesn't his style. Most of the time I've seen him try to come to the net, he hits wide or long. It's almost like he hasn't learned to control the ball on a short shot. He reminds me of Andre Agassi in his early years (minus the frequent underwear adjustments). . . a very powerful baseline game that lacked the finesse on the ball necessary to be consistent all over the court. His physicality and endurance has won him many matches. With a better serve, and learning to serve and volley a bit more, I think he can improve his game immensely. But I also think that he needs to get more comfortable on other surfaces before he can make any changes to a game that is working for him. Many of his recent losses have been the result of injuries or directly after returning to competition after taking time off to recover. With his style of play, you have to be 100% all the time to be able to outlast your opponent.

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