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Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG?

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Emma Jean
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Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « on: May 12, 2013, 10:46 PM »
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Other than Nole of course. Nole has beaten him 3 times since 2011 in all three Masters: Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. But he got beaten by both Federer and Nadal at RG in 2011 and 2012, but he still has the last win over Nadal this year and I feel that's more important. He has also won 7 clay titles and has made 6 clay finals including one RG final appearance so far. So clearly he should be the 2nd favourite come RG and clay has to be his 2nd best surface. He is the first man to beat Nadal on clay at RG.

But him aside - who else has the potential to take Nadal out? I've come up with two more names - Del Potro and Isner - both have pushed Nadal on big occasion and have come very close to take him out. What's more, these are the players Nadal had played the least on clay, so clearly he's least prepared for these two players and will be nervous next time they meet.

The other potential threat for him is someone unknown - like Zeballos or Rosol, albeit the later has yet to beat Nadal on clay but that's not the point. The point is, Nadal is vulnerable in earlier rounds and players like these possess the potential to truly threaten Nadal, so I'd rather Nadal draws someone like one of these players in earlier rounds, than someone he's played a thousand times and knows exactly what to expect. It will have to be a player he's least prepared for.

Of course, in all this, I've left Andy as the underdog. On the other hand, Federer has no chance in hell.

Who else do you think? Has to be someone like Soderling who has the guts and the game or at least can be in a zone temporarily.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 10:47 PM »
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Other than Nole of course. Nole has beaten him 3 times since 2011 in all three Masters: Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome. But he got beaten by both Federer and Nadal at RG in 2011 and 2012, but he still has the last win over Nadal this year and I feel that's more important. He has also won 7 clay titles and has made 6 clay finals including one RG final appearance so far. So clearly he should be the 2nd favourite come RG and clay has to be his 2nd best surface. He is the first man to beat Nadal on clay at RG.

But him aside - who else has the potential to take Nadal out? I've come up with two more names - Del Potro and Isner - both have pushed Nadal on big occasion and have come very close to take him out. What's more, these are the players Nadal had played the least on clay, so clearly he's least prepared for these two players and will be nervous next time they meet.

The other potential threat for him is someone unknown - like Zeballos or Rosol, albeit the later has yet to beat Nadal on clay but that's not the point. The point is, Nadal is vulnerable in earlier rounds and players like these possess the potential to truly threaten Nadal, so I'd rather Nadal draws someone like one of these players in earlier rounds, than someone he's played a thousand times and knows exactly what to expect. It will have to be a player he's least prepared for.

Of course, in all this, I've left Andy as the underdog. On the other hand, Federer has no chance in hell.

Who else do you think? Has to be someone like Soderling who has the guts and the game or at least can be in a zone temporarily.

The closest I've seen take even a set off Rafa is Almagro. He rips the ball through the court and particularly in 2010 it troubled Rafa a lot.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 11:13 PM »
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The closest I've seen take even a set off Rafa is Almagro. He rips the ball through the court and particularly in 2010 it troubled Rafa a lot.

Ferrer took a set off Rafa this week. Nadal is 10-0 against Almagro - 8 on clay. They've played 20 sets on clay and Almagro has taken just one of those - Madrid 2010.  Rafa beat him in straight sets a few weeks later at RG.

I think the only player that could defeat Rafa at RG is Novak and I don't really fancy his chances either. We'll see what happens in Rome.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 11:35 PM »
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If you was to ask me for a line up of people to pit against Nadal in a SF of F at RG with the hopes of beating him, I would probably go in order:

Djokovic
Del Potro
Tsonga
Murray
Federer
Ferrer

And I wouldn't bother picking anybody else.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 11:45 PM »
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I will take both both Ferrer and Almagro out of the equation without giving it much thought. They can only push Nadal and take a set or two even but they don't have the mindset to go all the way and take him out.

Federer doesn't have any chance. He couldn't do it in his prime and he had many chances and now he's getting beaten by regular players. Unless, of course, he plays without the desperation then he may stand a slight chance.

I will happily take Tsonga out as well. He's too erratic and extremely inconsistent on clay and that's the first requirement - to be consistent. Both Berdych and Wawrinka have better chance than Tsonga. But it's true that all these players especially Berdych and Tsogna do have the guts and have the game as well but beating Nadal on clay is another matter.

I don't think Rome will tell us anything. If a healthy Nole meets Nadal in the final at RG, then I am going to lean towards Nole heavily. I am more interested in the draw however. That will tell us a lot more than Rome.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 11:46 PM »
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Not sure really, Djokovic has the blueprint to beat Rafa on clay so I would assume all a player would have to do is follow it, but even Novak has to play it perfectly to beat him, i don't see anybody else as skilled as Novak to beat Rafa on a regular basis but there are a few who could if they played to their maximum level.

There is also the fear factor, many players are already beaten before they step on court because they think it futile to try, one thing Djokovic can say with any conviction is that he does not fear Rafa on clay.

I think we would have to look at the up and coming stars to see a potential Rafa beater, maybe Dimitrov will mature enough mentally to trouble him in the near future he seems to have an all court game, Gulbis if he ever gets his head on straight long enough.

Out of the seasoned players, a few could cause him an upset, Tsonga has the movement, Delpotro the power, the rest of the decent clay courters like Ferrer and Gasquet seem to wilt under the pressure and that leaves Andy. In order for Andy to beat Rafa on clay he would have to be extremely confident in his ability to do so, which i don't think he has currently, even in interviews he kind of hints that it's a tough ask, and unlike novak he doesn't truly believe in his own ability enough on clay to have a real shot at taking Nadal out, but although Andy might not beat him regularly on clay i think he will maybe 1 or 2 times before his career is finished.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 12:13 AM »
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Djokovic only.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 07:06 AM »
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Novak, simps.
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Sabine
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 09:59 AM »
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Obviously Nole.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 11:31 AM »
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I agree with the 3 above....only Novak I'm afraid.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 12:18 PM »
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No one
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 04:26 PM »
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Djokovic.

End of discussion.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 04:53 PM »
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Well saying Djokovic isn't exactly rocket science there as it's a bit too obvious take and that's definitely not the intention here. If I were to ask you the same question before 2011, chances are you would have never indicated Djokovic as until 2011, Nadal led him 9-0 on clay  and so your obvious take would have been 'no one'. So Nole up until then was still an unknown factor and so was Soderling, who took him out in 2009 in four sets.

I won't be too surprised if someone other than Djokovic takes Nadal out of RG. Anyone who has the game on clay and isn't afraid of Nadal can very well do it. And just because it has happened only one time doesn't mean it's never going to happen again.

My top five line-up would be:

Djokovic
Del Potro
Isner
Murray
Unknown
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Emma Jean
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 05:57 PM »
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Not sure really, Djokovic has the blueprint to beat Rafa on clay so I would assume all a player would have to do is follow it, but even Novak has to play it perfectly to beat him, i don't see anybody else as skilled as Novak to beat Rafa on a regular basis but there are a few who could if they played to their maximum level.

There is also the fear factor, many players are already beaten before they step on court because they think it futile to try, one thing Djokovic can say with any conviction is that he does not fear Rafa on clay.

I think we would have to look at the up and coming stars to see a potential Rafa beater, maybe Dimitrov will mature enough mentally to trouble him in the near future he seems to have an all court game, Gulbis if he ever gets his head on straight long enough.

Out of the seasoned players, a few could cause him an upset, Tsonga has the movement, Delpotro the power, the rest of the decent clay courters like Ferrer and Gasquet seem to wilt under the pressure and that leaves Andy. In order for Andy to beat Rafa on clay he would have to be extremely confident in his ability to do so, which i don't think he has currently, even in interviews he kind of hints that it's a tough ask, and unlike novak he doesn't truly believe in his own ability enough on clay to have a real shot at taking Nadal out, but although Andy might not beat him regularly on clay i think he will maybe 1 or 2 times before his career is finished.

Dimitrov can do it and so can Gulbis but the trouble is, it's too big an occasion for them and they are not even top ten players. Of course then you will have to take the likes of Rosol (ranked 100 at the time) who was not at all intimidated by Nadal and Nadal did try to throw him off at change overs. Berdych equals to Soderling for me but his game isn't very well equipped against Nadal's.

Gasquet has far better chance than Ferrer. I don't think Tsonga is that good on clay. Del Potro has to be the 2nd guy out there. he doesn't care who's Federer or who's Nadal. He's just too into winning and that's always a great attitude.

Andy can do it, really but his worshiping of Nadal has always gotten the better of him.
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Re: Who can Realistically beat Nadal at RG? « Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 06:26 PM »
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Well saying Djokovic isn't exactly rocket science there as it's a bit too obvious take and that's definitely not the intention here. If I were to ask you the same question before 2011, chances are you would have never indicated Djokovic as until 2011, Nadal led him 9-0 on clay  and so your obvious take would have been 'no one'. So Nole up until then was still an unknown factor and so was Soderling, who took him out in 2009 in four sets.

I won't be too surprised if someone other than Djokovic takes Nadal out of RG. Anyone who has the game on clay and isn't afraid of Nadal can very well do it. And just because it has happened only one time doesn't mean it's never going to happen again.

My top five line-up would be:

Djokovic
Del Potro
Isner
Murray
Unknown
Have you seen Isner play this year?

He has about as much chance of beating Nadal (on any surface, let alone clay) as I do.
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