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Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
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calitennis127 Offline
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Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
On the youtube channel of a Murray fan with the youtube moniker "Craighateslife87", I recently had the good fortune of finding two great Nalbandian-Murray matches of the past couple years. Watching Nalbandian in these matches is a great diversion from the boredom I often (but not always) experience watching the ATP Tour right now, in this semi-post-Nalbandian age. There are the majority of ATP matches, and then there are Nalbandian matches: a distinct difference.

The first match I found was at the 2010 Paris Masters. If you watch the first set of this match, you see very clearly why I say that when it comes to strictly tennis-playing ability, Nalbandian is even more talented than Federer. Just downright fabulous stuff here (credit to Murray as well for going serve-and-volley in the second set, as the change was sorely needed):





The second match was from Rome last year (2012). In the second and third sets, you see Nalbandian display shotmaking on clay that is only somewhat rivaled by Djokovic. What you see in the second and third sets from Nalbandian - the variety, the angles, the excellent movement, the passing shots, the point construction, the shots on the run, the drop shots, the lobs, the potency off of both the forehand and backhand wings, the changes in depth of shot to move and disrupt the opponent, etc. - really demonstrate just how lucky Nadal is that Nalbandian has frequently been injured and also underperformed in the last 6 years or so. It really is a shame because there is little doubt that Nalbandian had the shots and mentality to beat Nadal on clay over and over (Nadal would have won some of the matches because of his psychological and personality qualities, but tennis-wise Nalbandian would have been better the majority of the time). It's a shame really, but I offer this wonderful video for everyone who loves tennis to enjoy:



(This post was last modified: 20-May-2013 02:45 AM by tented.)
20-May-2013 12:21 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
Yes, as you said, video number 1 convinced me that Nalbandian is more talented than Federer, and video number 2 convinced me that he'd beat Nadal on clay "over and over."
20-May-2013 02:02 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
Nalbandian won these two matches, obviously. Oh sorry, silly me, he lost them.

So of course (and I regret asking this even as I'm typing. Believe me, I'm trying not to type this next question), what makes you think these two losing efforts by Daveed are proof he'd ever beat anyone over and over on any surface anywhere?

And by the way, I'm not hijacking your thread or diverting attention away from the Mozartian tennis: you raised these two vids to show us how much better than Nadal Nalbandian is, something he himself has found problematical in the supply of proof department...
20-May-2013 03:55 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(20-May-2013 02:02 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Yes, as you said, video number 1 convinced me that Nalbandian is more talented than Federer, and video number 2 convinced me that he'd beat Nadal on clay "over and over."



It's not necessarily that he WOULD beat Nadal on clay over and over. It's more so that he has had the game to do it without having to do anything completely extreme or out of character (unlike everyone else). Federer can beat Nadal on clay, but he has to redline his game and execute extraordinarily well.

Gulbis has the game to beat Nadal on clay, but again, even he isn't comfortable going for his shots as much as he needs to.

Djokovic has the game to beat Nadal on clay, but it took numerous failures before he was able to find a route that would work for him.

The difference with Nalbandian is that I don't think he would have had to do anything really out of character to trouble Nadal on clay. If he lost, it would've been because of conditioning and mental stability. But tennis-wise he would have been better off with his natural game than anyone else.

When has Nadal ever faced a shotmaker of the caliber you see in sets 2 and 3 in the Rome match against Murray?

He faced him once, in Sao Paolo, when Nalbandian was pretending to be healthy on a bad hip so he could play Davis Cup.
20-May-2013 10:56 AM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(20-May-2013 10:56 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(20-May-2013 02:02 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Yes, as you said, video number 1 convinced me that Nalbandian is more talented than Federer, and video number 2 convinced me that he'd beat Nadal on clay "over and over."



It's not necessarily that he WOULD beat Nadal on clay over and over. It's more so that he has had the game to do it without having to do anything completely extreme or out of character (unlike everyone else). Federer can beat Nadal on clay, but he has to redline his game and execute extraordinarily well.

Gulbis has the game to beat Nadal on clay, but again, even he isn't comfortable going for his shots as much as he needs to.

Djokovic has the game to beat Nadal on clay, but it took numerous failures before he was able to find a route that would work for him.

The difference with Nalbandian is that I don't think he would have had to do anything really out of character to trouble Nadal on clay. If he lost, it would've been because of conditioning and mental stability. But tennis-wise he would have been better off with his natural game than anyone else.

When has Nadal ever faced a shotmaker of the caliber you see in sets 2 and 3 in the Rome match against Murray?

He faced him once, in Sao Paolo, when Nalbandian was pretending to be healthy on a bad hip so he could play Davis Cup.

Thanks for the videos. I'm not sure what they prove, except to you. If Nadal had a spottier record on clay, it might be worth arguing that the likes of Nalbandian and Gulbis might have done otherwise better against him. But the truth is, the list of players who have beaten him on clay is pretty sparse. I don't think that just positing that others 'had the game' makes a reasonable argument, given Rafa's record. I can see that Nalby had one foot towards the surgeon's table when he finally played Rafa on clay this year in Brazil, but there is also the argument that he never got to Nadal on clay before, so that's his fault.

I know you like to, but you can't really invent match-ups that never happened, or anyway, you certainly can't say that you know how they would have ended up, especially against a player with Nadal's record on clay.
21-May-2013 08:24 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(21-May-2013 08:24 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  I can see that Nalby had one foot towards the surgeon's table when he finally played Rafa on clay this year in Brazil, but there is also the argument that he never got to Nadal on clay before, so that's his fault.

And let's not forget the inconvenient truth that Nalbandian made it to the final even though he was "pretending to be healthy."
21-May-2013 08:49 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(21-May-2013 08:49 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-May-2013 08:24 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  I can see that Nalby had one foot towards the surgeon's table when he finally played Rafa on clay this year in Brazil, but there is also the argument that he never got to Nadal on clay before, so that's his fault.

And let's not forget the inconvenient truth that Nalbandian made it to the final even though he was "pretending to be healthy."

Good point! If Nalbandian's tennis was so superior, he would have won that final. Or at the very least have forced a 3rd set. THEN you hobble to the surgeon's table.
21-May-2013 09:23 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(21-May-2013 08:49 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-May-2013 08:24 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  I can see that Nalby had one foot towards the surgeon's table when he finally played Rafa on clay this year in Brazil, but there is also the argument that he never got to Nadal on clay before, so that's his fault.

And let's not forget the inconvenient truth that Nalbandian made it to the final even though he was "pretending to be healthy."

He pretended to lose, too. In Cali's world, he actually won that match through selective positioning of YouTube videos...
22-May-2013 07:24 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(21-May-2013 08:49 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-May-2013 08:24 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  I can see that Nalby had one foot towards the surgeon's table when he finally played Rafa on clay this year in Brazil, but there is also the argument that he never got to Nadal on clay before, so that's his fault.

And let's not forget the inconvenient truth that Nalbandian made it to the final even though he was "pretending to be healthy."



He did make it to the final. I wouldn't attribute the loss entirely to the state of his hip, but for goodness sake, that is no minor injury either. That is as severe as it gets for a tennis player.
22-May-2013 12:47 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(22-May-2013 12:47 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  
(21-May-2013 08:49 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-May-2013 08:24 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  I can see that Nalby had one foot towards the surgeon's table when he finally played Rafa on clay this year in Brazil, but there is also the argument that he never got to Nadal on clay before, so that's his fault.

And let's not forget the inconvenient truth that Nalbandian made it to the final even though he was "pretending to be healthy."



He did make it to the final. I wouldn't attribute the loss entirely to the state of his hip, but for goodness sake, that is no minor injury either. That is as severe as it gets for a tennis player.

I appreciate that you're not trying to make the loss purely about Nalbandian's gimpey-ness. But you are going for the caveat.

I don't mind your giving Nalbandian the pass on this loss, but, as someone who has twisted himself up into a pretzel to make Nadal seem "untalented," by way of every argument in favor of Nalbandian's losses, to Rafa, and to others, it does seem a bit unfair that you call this one an unfortunate loss due to injury.

Losses due to injury, to lack of concentration, to lack of conditioning, or due to lack of ambition...what is the take-away?

And how many wins does Nadal have to have, in Majors and MS, for you to ever recognize that he has a modicum of tennis talent? At this point, it's becoming silly.
22-May-2013 11:40 PM
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Didi Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
Thanks for the links, Cali.

(20-May-2013 12:21 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  really demonstrate just how lucky Nadal is that Nalbandian has frequently been injured and also underperformed in the last 6 years or so. It really is a shame because there is little doubt that Nalbandian had the shots and mentality to beat Nadal on clay over and over

Even if we take out the injury plagued version of David Nalbandian from the past 6 years, the fact remains that even in his heydays from 2001 - 2008, David made it to a total of six, let me repeat it, six finals of clay court tournaments. Just one of them being a Masters, Rome 2004, the rest Palermo, Acapulco, Buenos Aires, Munich and Estoril. All that in his prime.

And we are seriously supposed to believe that Nadal got lucky? Lucky because David never made deep runs in clay masters in his prime in the first place, never put in the extra yard to iron out weaknesses in cardio, stamina, serve, mental state etc.? As much as I appreciate your general insight in tennis, I really do, there is no way on earth you can seriously justify this argument above. I agree with and share many views you have on Nadal but I don't see how the most dominant player in the history of clay can be lucky that a journeyman never bothered to adress his own shortcomings.
(This post was last modified: 23-May-2013 07:29 AM by Didi.)
23-May-2013 07:25 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: Two great Nalbandian-Murray matches for tennis aficionados....
(22-May-2013 11:40 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  And how many wins does Nadal have to have, in Majors and MS, for you to ever recognize that he has a modicum of tennis talent? At this point, it's becoming silly.

LOL....good grief, Moxie. I have never said that Nadal is not "talented". He obviously is exceptionally gifted compared to the vast majority of professional tennis players.

What I have a problem with when it comes to Nadal is the EXTENT and DEGREE of his accomplishments. For him to have won as much as he has, on clay and elsewhere, his game alone could not have been the determining factor. That is what annoys me about Nadal and what people say about him.

For instance, let me use an example that is non-Nalbandian to illustrate my point. When it comes to grass and hardcourts, is Tsonga 4 Slams less talented than Nadal in terms of tennis ability and shots? I don't think anyone can seriously make that argument. Nadal is a better side-to-side mover (Tsonga exhibits poorly developed footwork a lot of the time, taking steps that are far too short), but Tsonga is himself quite athletic and can hit massive flat forehands in all directions. He also has the best first serve in the game when he is clicking, along with phenomenal touch and athletic range at the net.

So why has Tsonga only reached one Slam final (Australian Open 2008), while Nadal has 4 non-clay Slams and numerous other finals appearances?

The answer is not TENNIS SHOTS or TENNIS-PLAYING ABILITY so much as it is certain psychological qualities.
(This post was last modified: 23-May-2013 03:43 PM by calitennis127.)
23-May-2013 03:42 PM
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