sendnudesplz12316 hours ago
Guys... Nadal's serve is better than ever... just because it's not 200kph, doesn't mean its not good. Appreciate the fact that Federer's anticipatation skills off as super heavy slice serve off a now faster court and not to mention from a lefty are what you are calling weak honestly...
AO Expert: Nadal's 'three serves'
Rafael Nadal has been dominating in three of the four service categories.
You may not have noticed, but Rafael Nadal has been dominating with three serves at Australian Open 2017 instead of the regular two. Well, sort of.
Here’s the shakedown on the win percentage for Nadal for the four serves that are hit in a match to the quarterfinals in Melbourne this year.
First Serve Points Won = 73 per cent
Second Serve Points Won = 67 per cent
Second Serve Return Points Won = 55 per cent
First Serve Return Points Won = 34 per cent
Nadal has a winning percentage on three of the four serves that are hit in a match. You may as well hit three of the four serves if you own them statistically.
The spectacular number in these metrics is the 67 per cent points won on his own second serve. That leads the tournament this year. Nadal is actually career No.1 on the ATP Tour in second serve points won at 57 per cent. He is currently an astonishing 10 percentage points higher than that.
Stop and think about that for a second. Huge servers such as Ivo Karlovic, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios and his quarterfinal opponent, Milos Raonic, are not in the same ballpark on second serve points won. Raonic is winning a very respectable 57 per cent in Melbourne this year, but that’s still a significant 10 percentage points behind the Spaniard.
Nadal is serving like a man possessed, and also owning the baseline in a similar manner. He is third best for the tournament in baseline points won at 56 per cent (305 of 543). Nadal’s forehand is the engine room of his back court dominance, crushing 72 winners to only 15 off the backhand wing.
The tournament average between forehand and backhand winners so far is 69 per cent forehand winners / 31 per cent backhand winners, but Nadal’s forehand is currently running on high octane, hitting 83 per cent of his backcourt winners.
These are troubling numbers for Raonic.
How do you beat a guy with three serves, and a three-headed monster as a forehand?
Nadal is always looking to reinvent himself, change something slightly to get an improved result. In recent years we have seen him change his grip on his serve to hit it harder and flatter, and also stand much wider in the ad court to primarily take away being hurt by the cross court return.
Now we something else that’s new – the shotgun approach.
In the ad court, Nadal is serving here, there, and everywhere. We expect him to hit his nasty slider out wide almost exclusively, but that simply hasn’t been the case in Melbourne so far.
Nadal ad court first serve directionwide = 52 (34 per cent)
body = 43 (28 per cent)
middle = 58 (38 per cent)
Nadal’s number one ad court first serve location has been right down the middle, directing 38 per cent there. He has also hit 28 per cent at the body. Against Alexander Zverev in the third round, he hit 17 body serves in the ad court, and 20 out wide. Almost the same.
Raonic’s main counter to his opponent’s guile and subterfuge is to simply take the racquet out of Nadal’s hand. The less Nadal gets to hit the ball, the better for Raonic.
Leading up to the quarterfinals, Raonic has played 75 per cent of total points in the 0-4 shot range, 19 per cent in the 5-8 shot range, and just six per cent in the 9+ shot range.
That means that on three out of every four points, the maximum amount of shots in the rally are just two for each player. A serve, a return, and some loose change. If Raonic can keep close to that average against Nadal, then he is in with a real shot.
These two guys are in the quarters for a reason. They can both play ball. They definitely go about it in different ways, and whoever can make their opponent bend more to their own intentions will find themselves in the final four.