Nadal Has Advantage Because of His Grunt, According to Study

Mr Sinnett said: “The study raises a number of interesting questions for tennis. For example, if Rafael Nadal is grunting and Roger Federer is not, is that fair?”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11458669

It was always pretty obvious to me that Nadal uses grunting to his advantage. The real surprise to me is not the results of the study, but that more players have not used grunting against Nadal themselves. But the problem with that is that it’s not in everyone’ nature to grunt. Someone like Djokovic grunts anyway, so for him to use grunting to counter Nadal’s grunts is OK. But for someone like Roger who doesn’t grunt, it’s probably a bigger liability to start grunting just to counter Nadal’s grunts, compared to just accepting Nadal’s grunting. I have remarked before that Nadal uses a different grunt for different situations. When things get tight he uses a more raw version to intimidate his opponent. To me that is just a bit childish, like something an amateur would do. It shows he doesn’t have enough confidence in his tennis abilities to rely on that alone.

Roger himself have stated that he finds grunting childish. He doesn’t feel like it should be part of the professional game as far as I can gather. I’ve never believed Nadal is a better player than Roger, but I’ve always known it is a tough match up for him given Nadal’s personality. Nadal is two different people off court and on court. He literally transforms from a nice, humble guy into an animal. That explains why him and Roger is good friends off court even though they are so very different on court. Roger on the other hand is pretty much the same on court as off court. Of course he is more intense during a match, but as far as the personality goes it stays pretty much the same. I happen to like Nadal off court. I think he is a great guy. But as soon as he steps on court my like of him transforms about as much as his personality does.

He is the kind of guy that will do anything to win. Morality goes right out the window when he steps on court. Winning becomes everything. This is why people are also speculating about him doping. If he was as well behaved as Roger on court there would probably be no speculation. But the fact that he receives on court coaching, takes questionable injury timeouts, grunts, etc., makes people more suspicious. If I didn’t know Nadal the tennis player, but only the guy that appears off court, I would say no way this guy does anything questionable. But having seen the way he acts on the court makes me suspicious as well. People who have doped in the past is the one’s for whom winning is everything. They will win at all costs. There is this complete obsession with winning, and a very unhealthy one at that.

We know why Roger plays the game. It has always been about about the love of the game and he is always very respectful about the traditions and the people around him. This is why I would be very surprised if he has ever used any forbidden substances. I don’t see Nadal this way. I think he thrives on fear of losing and he is obsessed with winning. The gamesmanship he uses on court is a clear sign of this. This grunting thing is now the latest, and there can be no doubt now that he uses it to his advantage. It is these small, subtle advantages that Nadal have used against Roger to gain the upper hand in the head-to-head which now stands at 14-7. Nadal believes in intimidation, while Roger doesn’t. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that the head-to-head is skewed towards Nadal. It is just the result of their different personalities.

This may sound crazy, but winning isn’t everything for Roger. It’s first and foremost the love of the game. He has his priorities in the right place, because he realizes that no one is bigger than the game itself. Karma will come back to bite Nadal because he acts like he is bigger than the game. People should get this once and for all. This is really the key to the Fedal rivalry. It’s a moral matter, and when Nadal steps onto the court morals go out of the window. He will do whatever it takes to get an edge over his opponent, even if it means cheating or using gamesmanship. This is why Roger will always be better in my eyes. He is the better man. He is truly a great man, because he is prepared to take all the criticism for his h2h with Nadal instead of changing his morals. Roger transcends tennis not only as a player but as a human being as well.

Nadal is just a kid obsessed with winning. As a human being he is nothing special. Talking of karma and Nadal, he just lost in the ATP 250 Bangkok event to unknown Spaniard Guillermo-Garcia Lopez, 2-6 7-6 6-3. I’d day that is a pretty big setback for him after having one of the easiest draws in US Open history and then playing a tired Djokovic in the final. This will also raise suspicion again. Well, I guess the grunting didn’t prevail this time…

Roger Federer


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20 Comments

  1. When does Roger come back? And where? Am looking forward to it, actually. Contrary to popular talk out there, I don’t believe he’s a washed-up old fuddy duddy just yet.

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  2. I love watching tennis because of Roger every movement is just beautiful and he was born with this natural talent. When he plays he doesn’t strain his body it just flows naturally so even if tennis is very strenuous his body can take it, I don’t think he’s doping.

    Roger doesn’t have major injuries other than mono, back pains, etc. and with proper medication you can fully recover that’s why when he goes back to playing it seems like he wasn’t injured at all.
    With injuries like Nadal has, as far as I know it takes sometime before you can fully recover. He improved his game and everything but his movements and his strength is just unbelievable considering his injury, unless he’s into some kind of treatment or he’s got a body of steel.

    For some people Nadal’s grunting is a class act and also his fist pump. Roger is just one of a kind, can’t compare

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  3. Djokovic do not grunt to every shot. But i noticed that If he plays Nadal and Nadal’s grunts gets onto him, then he starts to grunt and Nadal would stop. I reckon the grunting of the opposite player does distract him (Nadal). I have seen a few games of nadal and I do noticed those few instances, not only Djoko but other players as well when playing Nadal.

    Does any great player other than Roger, e.g. Borg, Laver, Sampras grunts? I hope for Nadal to be considered in their league should stop grunting once and for all and to see how his “real” game plays. It is really irritating sometime.

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  4. The thing I dislike about Nadal’s oncourt behavior is how the entire sport is supposed to revolve around him.

    -The matches have to be played at HIS PACE.

    -The match can’t start until HE IS READY.

    -on court coaching should be allowed because it’s a “dumb rule”

    -enforcing the time between points rules is “unfair”

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  5. Tired djokovic? Come on, djoker had two days to recover, he was outplayed by nadal

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Less time to recover than Nadal and more time on court.

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  6. Has this pro-Federer blog been transformed into an anti-Nadal blog? There is suddenly so much negative energy and bad vibrations around here. Is that the best spiritual way of dealing with your deception to finally figure out that the Roger Federer you have idolized and worshiped like a God, is after all, just another exceptionally skilled sportsman who happens to be outplayed by younger athletes at the final stages of his outstanding career? Do we really need cheap arguments about doping and grunting to explain Nadal’s success? That must give addinitonal joy and laughter to his fanbase. As far as I am concerned, I feel thankful for the great moments I have enjoyed as a Fedfan, and hope to have some more. But being a fan of his style and achievements does not force me to be negative about Nadal or any other player on the tour. From a spiritual point of view, I really feel that you should reconsider your way of dealing with Federer losses and Nadal successes. I believe that you have become obsessed by the image you’ve created in your mind about Federer. If you need a new topic for your blog, why not find a positive one? For instance, you love the idea of the GOAT, but you realise that there will never be a unanimous opinion on that. Ru-an, you have great insights and knowledge about tennis, tell us who is the best in doing what, give us your analisis of the different Top Ten players, make your forecast of upcoming tournaments, give us details about RF we want no read. That would keep me motivated to read your blog. C

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Im not obsessed. I just think its worth it to point some things out which ive never really given much attention. I really havent been hard on Nadal in the past. I just think if he wants to be the next GOAT he should be able to take the criticism that goes with it. He may measure up as a player, but as far as a human being goes he is nowhere close to Roger. And i think people should know this. This is very much a spiritual thing, because tennis and life is not all about winning. In spiritual terms winning actually means nothing. But this is tennis after all.

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    ines Reply:

    I think you are absolutely mistaken.I´m a Fed fan and I have stopped reading this blog because at least 6 previous posts were all all praising Nadal.But I love the perspective Ruan put on things and it is perfect in his analysis in this post.No offense,every word is true.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Really? They were praising Nadal? Wasnt aware of that..

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    ines Reply:

    Six posts about or in comparison with
    Nadal.I don´t need to compare Roger with the spaniard to know why I like and love Roger.I have written this in a previous comment.I think that the legacy of each player would be seen at the end of his career not now.To be honest after the USO.I avoid blogs and newspapers,some journos seem to be waiting to see Fed´s face wipe in the dust, only complete humiliation will satisfy them, that´s why I decided to hibernate a bit from tennis.And I told you again we miss your old blog,310.000
    fans waiting for it.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha if there were that many fans waiting i may just post whatever they ask of me. Unless you meant 310? Nadal is Rogers main rival and he has just won 3 slams in a row. Of course im gonna discuss him. That doesnt mean i worship him now and hate Roger. You should know better than that.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ps. I appreciate your loyalty to Roger.

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    ines Reply:

    311.255 fans registered in Roger´s site, the only site to be supported as your blog used to be…Of course I´m loyal,I´m loyal in life too.
    I´m not impressed with Nadal´s Slams Roger has already done the same plus the YEC.At the end of the day people are just behind somebody when they win…it´s so much easier,that´s why we live in a corrupt world. But wait that “THE BEST OF ROGER MAY YET BE TO COME”.

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    steve Reply:

    “I´m not impressed with Nadal´s Slams”

    That’s not fair. He is a great tennis player and has accomplished great things that very few players have done. Only one player of the current era can be put above him in terms of achievements (that’s Roger, of course!)

    It’s not because of numbers alone that we follow Roger anyhow. Grace, class, generosity of spirit, good humor, and beautiful tennis, and the fact that he gives so much back to the tennis community.

    Sampras won more than Agassi, but people loved Agassi more. He was compulsively watchable and without him tennis in the 1990s would have been a lot poorer. He was the ambassador for tennis, an unofficial position that Federer has taken over.

    Roger is even more compulsively watchable, and people still love him, so he has not really lost anything.

    Let the hack commentators and dumb bloviators and infantile haters scream and scream about a “new GOAT,” it will all blow over. It’s all hype to sell papers and get webpage hits anyhow.

    I’m also irritated by how easily everyone jumps on the bandwagon and follows the crowd, but the affection and respect Federer has earned from a worldwide audience is deep and lasting and not so easily shaken.

    One of Roger’s difficulties is his genius as a tennis player almost overshadows his remarkable human qualities. Some people see nothing but the trophies, that’s where the jealousy and envy come from.

    But you have to trust that a great human being and a great spirit will eventually be fully recognized for what they are.

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  7. Like summer, Roger Federer will only be fully appreciated once he’s gone and the chill of winter has set in. Many of those who dislike him now, or are indifferent, will come to miss him when he has left the sport and realize how much he meant to tennis.

    He has set very high standards for future tennis players, not only in on-court performance, but in his sportsmanship, conduct off-court, the grace and class with which he deals with the demands of the media and sponsors, his interest in all aspects of the game (players of all ranks, tournaments, rules, equipment, history), and his appreciation that he is part of a great tennis community and a long tennis tradition.

    He is complete: not just a great champion, but a great statesman of tennis, a great ambassador for the sport, and a great human being as well.
    None of that can be replaced, and it will be a long time till we see all that again embodied in one person, no matter how quick some people are to bury him.

    We’re lucky, very lucky, to have him.

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  8. This article is an absolute joke. Fed fans continue to grasp at straws to explain the comically lopsided head to head. Yes Federer has one of the most decorated and accomplished career’s in sports history but that does not erase the fact that he has been dominated by his main rival. Resorting to saying the grunt factors into it is another desperate move. Do Ferrer, Djokovic, Davydenko and Gonzalez have positive head to heads of Federer? No. That intimidation factor the author refers is integral to any competitive athlete with a killer instinct. I agreed with Wilander when he said Fed plays with “no balls” against Nadal. When matches don’t go his way Federer sulks, cries and disparages his opponents in the pressers with backhanded comments. As evidenced here on this blog unfortunately, the same arrogance the Swiss exhibits on and off the court translates to his fans.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Evidenced by your comment Fedhaters and Nadalfans will deny even a scientifically proven fact to prove that the h2h with Nadal means something. Fact is, slam titles will always be more important that h2h.

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