Quotable Quotes: Next you’d be telling me he needs a singlehanded backhand.
It must be a tough time for Nadal fans to be in their favourite part of the season and yet, torn between genuine concerns, disappointment, optimism, faith and at times, sheer defiance. But as I alluded to a few posts back, as a Federer fan, it’s been both frustrating and amusing to see the cyclical nature of the discourse on Nadal and Federer.
Just as I drew a parallel between Nadal’s 2011 and Federer’s 2008, I feel like the same headlines that were used on Federer just last year have now become part of the media attention surrounding Nadal: “Old Boss, New Boss” you say? And more amusingly “McEnroe: Nadal must change his game”.
Oh mah-GAH! Nadal must change his game?!
Excuse me while I lapse into a reflection on the profound cyclical nature of tennis as the microcosm of life, or something equally pretentious.
Yes, JMac. Just because ONE guy got such a giant boner from winning the Davis Cup last year and refused to lose for another 5 months, Rafael Nadal must change his game. Never mind the fact that whatever terribly loserish game Nadal now has still works against 99 out of the top 100 on the ATP World Tour.
What next? Should Rafa play right handed? Develop a singlehanded backhand? Marry Xisca and start popping out twin mangoes ASAP?
To be fair to JMac, it was a rather dramatic headline to some undramatic suggestions that Nadal revamp his game plan against Djokovic, namely to get Djokovic on the defence and prevent him from dictating play.
Yeah. I’m sure that’s … err … helpful. Especially when Djokovic is defending as well as Nadal these days, and plays a naturally more aggressive, faster and flatter game.
But I’ll let you be the judge of it all. It’s not in fact a bad read, even if I do keep bursting out into operatic renditions of the Lion King soundtrack worthy of any good shower in the world.
Hakuna matata, I say. Hakuna matata!
John McEnroe believes that Rafael Nadal will have to change his tactics if he faces Novak Djokovic at the French Open, which begins on Sunday. Nadal, who can meet Djokovic only in the final in Paris, had not lost on clay for nearly two years until he was beaten by the Serb in successive Masters Series finals this month in Madrid and Rome.
“Rafa’s going to have to think about changing some of the ideas he may have had before the last couple of matches,” McEnroe said yesterday. “In particular he might have to take a few more chances and try to get Djokovic on the defensive a little bit more.
“It appeared that he was allowing Djokovic to dictate play and was banking on him missing and not being consistent enough. It seemed like he was getting pushed around too much. I’m sure his camp is going to go back to the drawing board and try to make it harder for Novak to step in and be as aggressive as he’s been the last couple of weeks.”
“Nadal came off one of the greatest years in Open tennis history and now all of a sudden he finds himself befuddled and baffled at what to do when he plays against Djokovic. I think this is an exciting time for our sport.”