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Rafa Nadal

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May 21, 2010
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Mellow Velo said:
First name out of the OP hat, Nadal.
bianchigirl said:
Nadal was categorically on the list of OP names submitted to the UCI.
Reputable link, please, that lists his name, not implies or assumes. Thanks.

Oh, and not the French paper he sued. :D

Also, everything else posted here about Rafa doping is categorically false, but you can verify that for yourselves with a little research instead of continuring to post lies. His injury breaks are well documented in the press in graphic detail. If you've ever seen his 2006 RG hug with his father after the hell he went through with his foot after his 2005 breakout year then you will know what that comeback meant to him. Just as his 2010 RG comeback win after his 2009 annus terribilis of knee tendonitis and his parents' divorce brought him to sobbing tears. BTW he's got bandages on both knees now from treatment.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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hrotha said:
Disagree. Even in tennis, you can only put your racket control to good use if you reach the ball comfortably. For that, you need to remain fast throughout the whole game. Endurance and speed. Hmm.

Right... and I guess a defenseman in soccer does not need to reach a ball "comfortably" or does not have to play, at least, once a week (as opposed to once every month for tennis players).

This guy is connecting dots all over the place.

Look guy, just to have you know, soccer players were taking GH, albeit for injury-healing and recuperation purposes, even before bodybuilders. That tells you something.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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luckyboy said:
Wow, he must be clean then.

bianchigirl is right about most things she posts.

Hahahaha.

Parent's divorce having no psychological effect on a kid who loves to be around his family entices no understanding on your part.

Your blind adoration of bianchigirl does, even if there isn't a single article out there (apart from the usual French newspaper insinuations) clearly stating that Rafael Nadal was one of Dr Fuentes' "patients".

Hypocrisy is a big pill dude.
 
May 26, 2009
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The Hitch said:
Doping increases your speed by fractions of a second. This wouldnt really help that much in tennis. A lot of the best players today are over 2 metres tall. They arent fast at all. They dont need to be, speed in tennis is a minor factor.

Are you really sure of that? Doesn't speed help because it can get your body in a better position and provide enough time to hit a good shot, versus just reaching and 'saving' it?
 
Jul 13, 2009
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sars1981 said:
To me the "5th set superman" thing is less indicative of doping than his sheer power. It's a sight to behold just how hard Rafa hit's the ball. He will have men who are 3 inches taller than him and themselves "big hitter" retreating behind the baseline. He obviously has amazing explosive power in his racket swing.

not really. roddick hits the ball much harder than nadal, so does berdych and most of the other big flat ballers. that huge swing of nadal's generates top spin, not power--his balls are heavy not hard. i don't know how to describe it--if you play tennis, you'll know what i mean. he hits junk balls. it's the same as in baseball, the fast ball is the hardest ball, but the junk balls feel really heavy when you hit them, even though they aren't as powerful.

BTW he can only get away with that swing because of the changes in racket and string technology. he has pretty atrocious technique TBH, and would never have been a tennis player of any renown in the days of wooden rackets, which is why a tired nadal gets beat easily by just about everyone; whereas a tired federer is still pretty tough to beat on most days (as long as he isn't in one of his bad moods that results in shank after shank after shank). federer has almost flawless technique--federer would have been a great player in any era.

doping in tennis can make some difference on slow courts, like clay, and in long matches, but if you have a superior clean player playing an inferior doped player, the clean player will almost always win and win easily. the fastest, strongest player on the planet would not have been able to return most of isner's serves in that marathon match between he and mahut.

if i was going to dope in tennis, i'd be taking riddlin and prozac--the first to up my concentration and the second to keep me from having mood swings and getting dejected. tennis is a lot like golf in that respect--your biggest opponent is almost always yourself.

the majority of the matches that federer lost to nadal, weren't lost due to his having being out matched by nadal's endurance, speed, or skill--they were lost because roger let nadal into his head. people have been saying for years now that roger doesn't need a coach to help him beat nadal, he needs a psychiatrist.

the other thing to keep in mind is that tennis players are pretty much solo ventures--most travel alone or with their coach at most; federer's enitre entourage consists of mirka (his wife), his two baby twin daughters, and his masseuse (he has no coach). nadal however travels with half of spain.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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yourwelcome said:
Are you really sure of that? Doesn't speed help because it can get your body in a better position and provide enough time to hit a good shot, versus just reaching and 'saving' it?

no it isn't, not really. if you play "right," you are never out of position, because you immediately move to where you should be after hitting the ball. and you do this with short little steps to the left, right, forward, or backward. on clay courts speed does help some because the ball sits up longer; on carpet, no so much. the ball is moving at over 100 miles per hour--last time i checked no human was that fast.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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spectacle said:
not really. roddick hits the ball much harder than nadal, so does berdych and most of the other big flat ballers. that huge swing of nadal's generates top spin, not power--his balls are heavy not hard. i don't know how to describe it--if you play tennis, you'll know what i mean. he hits junk balls. it's the same as in baseball, the fast ball is the hardest ball, but the junk balls feel really heavy when you hit them, even though they aren't as powerful.

BTW he can only get away with that swing because of the changes in racket and string technology. he has pretty atrocious technique TBH, and would never have been a tennis player of any renown in the days of wooden rackets, which is why a tired nadal gets beat easily by just about everyone; whereas a tired federer is still pretty tough to beat on most days (as long as he isn't in one of his bad moods that results in shank after shank after shank). federer has almost flawless technique--federer would have been a great player in any era.

doping in tennis can make some difference on slow courts, like clay, and in long matches, but if you have a superior clean player playing an inferior doped player, the clean player will almost always win and win easily. the fastest, strongest player on the planet would not have been able to return most of isner's serves in that marathon match between he and mahut.

if i was going to dope in tennis, i'd be taking riddlin and prozac--the first to up my concentration and the second to keep me from having mood swings and getting dejected. tennis is a lot like golf in that respect--your biggest opponent is almost always yourself.

the majority of the matches that federal lost to nadal, weren't lost due to his having being out matched by nadal's endurance, speed, or skill--they were lost because roger let nadal into his head. people have been saying for years now that roger doesn't need a coach to help him beat nadal, he needs a psychiatrist.

the other thing to keep in mind is that tennis players are pretty much solo ventures--most travel alone or with their coach at most; federer's enitre entourage consists of mirka (his wife), his two baby twin daughters, and his masseuse (he has no coach). nadal however travels with half of spain.

The top spin he puts on the ball is directly related to the power and speed in his racquet swing . otherwise you would have to ask why Federer, who has far superior technique, doesn't have that weapon available to him.
I also dont think that Roddick hits the ball harder. He serves a lot faster, but Nadal puts more heat on the ball in general play.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Señor_Contador said:
May I ask you two questions?

1. What nationality are you?

2. Why do you think Spain is the doping capital of the world?

Australia.

I think it has to do with the Spanish governments relaxed standards / semi-complicity in doping.
 
May 26, 2009
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spectacle said:
the ball is moving at over 100 miles per hour--last time i checked no human was that fast.

Hey, no wonder they're doping like mad :p

In all seriousness though... watched Nadal in a ca. 5 hour long match at the Aus Open last year, and a few hours in, I was thinking that some endurance booster might help these guys stay ahead of the mental as well as co-ordination issues that come with feeling worn out.

But yeah, maybe tennis just isn't high enough sustained heart rate for cycling type 'assistance' to work?
 
Like I said, hilarious. You've just got to listen to some tennis commentators like McEnroe, they are amazed by the level of play that the modern stars are able to maintain deep into 5 setters. Endurance is very clearly a factor in tennis, especially in a gs where you play at least every other day for 2 weeks. Players are regularly saying that they're tired from the playing (and travelling) schedules. If endurance isn't a factor why don't the top guys also play the doubles and mixed at gs, there's plenty more money to be made? Why are they sitting out Davis Cup? Because tennis is a lot more than standing there and swinging your arm occasionally. Federer is obviously a more technique-focused player than Nadal but he is still maintaining a very high intensity in long matches, plus anyone's technique will reach a higher standard if they can reduce the fatigue and keep practicing for longer.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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yourwelcome said:
Hey, no wonder they're doping like mad :p

In all seriousness though... watched Nadal in a ca. 5 hour long match at the Aus Open last year, and a few hours in, I was thinking that some endurance booster might help these guys stay ahead of the mental as well as co-ordination issues that come with feeling worn out.

But yeah, maybe tennis just isn't high enough sustained heart rate for cycling type 'assistance' to work?

Yeah. If I was a pro tennis player involved in an epic match id definitely be blasting a wad of meth up my arm during a toilet break.
 
Jul 11, 2010
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Some general observations

* When you hear somebody say the ball is going 100 miles an hour, what this really means is the ball has a momentary velocity of 100 mph right after the moment of contact. The ball continuously loses velocity thereafter, especially after striking the ground. In the case of a spin serve, what started out at 100 mph may be 60-70 mph when it reaches the receiver's racket.

* The farther back you stand in the court, the slower the ball will be traveling and therefore the easier it is to hit. This is especially important if you play with a Western grip like Nadal, since he hits the ball at a tangent so as to impart a lot of topspin. Nadal's topspin has been measured at 4900 rpms, compared to an average of 3000 rpms on the ATP (Federer's is something in the low 3000s).

* The tradeoff to standing so far back is you have to hit the ball that much farther in return, and you must also cover a lot more ground. Therefore, it would help to be arbitrarily strong and fast, like Superman. Until Nadal, nobody has ever combined these physical abilities with the skill and mental strength needed to succeed at the highest levels of the game.

* Nadal is incredibly fast on the court and this is a weapon--it is very difficult to hit a winner against a guy who plays 20 ft behind the baseline and can consistently hit the ball back within the deepest foot or two of the opponents court, with 4000+ rpms so that it curves like crazy and bounces up higher than "normal". And this guy can also run down most drop shots so you cannot win by dinking. The result is, in order to finish off a point against him it may take three or four fantastic shots each of which would be a standalone winner against an average player.

* This nearly impenetrable (on clay especially) defense is very intimidating. It causes opponents to try to go for too much--hitting low percentage shots because "percentage tennis" doesn't seem to work against Nadal.

* Whether Nadal personally takes PEDs or not, there can be little doubt that a player with his very physical style would benefit from anything that improves that physicality, within a given match. This does not constitute proof by any means, but people should not kid themselves that PEDs wouldn't be a great benefit to tennis players.

* More generally, another reason cited for PED use on the tour is to improve recovery. Tennis is more like running than cycling, and probably harder on the legs than running is on a distance-covered basis--due to all the lateral movement, starting and stopping, etc. in tennis. In a Grand Slam tournament, you might have a four-hour match then one day off, then another four-hour match. To win the tournament, you've got to do that seven times in a row. Whatever PEDs can improve recovery here would be a great benefit to any player.

* Someone made a comment about there being a lot of "top players" who are over two meters tall. That is almost 6'7". I can't think of anybody who has ever spent a year in the top 20 who is that tall. There might have been somebody, but it is not common. The advantage of height is mainly for the serve. Being arbitrarily tall is great for the serve. Ivo Karlovic is like 6'10" and his serve is virtually unreturnable. But he's only won a handful of minor tournaments in a decade on the tour because he can't move. Most of the top players, like Federer, Nadal, and Sampras, seem to be around 6'1"--this seems to offer the best combination of height benefit for the serve without sacrificing too much in mobility. My guess is, if you made the overhead serve illegal the best tennis players would be well under 6 feet.
 
Great posts by the more tennis-savvy people here. Thanks.
sars1981 said:
Australia.

I think it has to do with the Spanish governments relaxed standards / semi-complicity in doping.
Unfortunately it's not just a problem with the government or any official institutions. The general public is very unaware of how deep doping goes and is too inclined to believe a cheat when they've been caught. Most people think Valverde shouldn't have been banned.
 
Jul 11, 2010
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Tennis players peak for major events just as much as Cyclists do and while there window is longer it's still relatively short. Some players aren't as reliant on peak physical condition to win majors and can win outside there window, but most like Nadal have to target a part of the year to be able to win so recovery products would help.

Of interest in the current top 10 :

Federer's performance over the past couple of years outside Slams are so detached from what he does in majors that it leaves you asking questions. The fact most of those losses seemingly come from poor preparation physically begs the question whether not caring is actually code name for not doping.

Murray switched to a minor coach with no great history yet turns up super fit 6 months later and has his big career break through, he also admits the only way he believes he can make a difference to his game now is to make sure he's at his best physically...

Soderling picks up an inexperienced coach, in the space of 6 months he goes from a headcase to a Slam finalist on the basis of outrageous power and an improvement in his movement. There were some tenative rumours relating to doping story around him last year at RG, but nothing came about. Bar a tournament in Barcelona 5 weeks before Roland Garros his Clay season was back to his old self, then at RG he repeated what he did last year, while freak break out performances can happen off no form they usually only happen once not in back to back years..

Del Potro was an injury prone 19 year old, he picks up a coach who took Gaudio to a Slam and then in the space of 6 months he's winning 23 matches in a row and 12 months later he can live with everyone physically and has outrageous power...

Roddick is coached by Stefanki who improved by getting him fitter and telling him to be more defensive and it worked, he also did the same with Henman and Gonzalez with similar results. Now either they've been coached by people unaware of the importance of rice cakes or he's up to no good...

Verdasco spent an off season 2 winters ago with Gill Reyes, Agassi's former trainer, then turns from a mid tier player with career going no where into a top player based on improvements physically and especially stamina wise.

Outside the top 10 there's also the 6'10 Karlovic was 0-10 in 5 setters and had a dire Slam record up until spring last year. He then suddenly starts hitting an extreme amount of aces even for him, reaches his first Slam QF, wins his first Bo5 match, hits 77 aces which is 50% more than the best at the time, and then backs it up with a 4R and another 5 set win in Aus. This is also at the age of 30, a time when historically Tennis players are in decline...

There's also another pretty significant reason to believe the Tennis authorities can't deal with doping. Match fixing is as obvious to those people who are around betting markets as doping is in Cycling, it happens at all levels and just about everyone who does doesn't get caught.

The most high profile case came against current top 10 member Davydenko. He didn't just throw the match pre match like some fixers do, he deliberately lost the match from a set up on a TV court clear for everyone to see. The markets at the time also showed his opponent, who would be a massive underdog in normal circumstances, as a a massive favourite even after Davydenko had won the first so it was blatantly obvious it was fixed. He was cleared, just like everyone else is.
 
kokohead said:
*
* Someone made a comment about there being a lot of "top players" who are over two meters tall. That is almost 6'7". I can't think of anybody who has ever spent a year in the top 20 who is that tall. There might have been somebody, but it is not common. The advantage of height is mainly for the serve. Being arbitrarily tall is great for the serve. Ivo Karlovic is like 6'10" and his serve is virtually unreturnable. But he's only won a handful of minor tournaments in a decade on the tour because he can't move. Most of the top players, like Federer, Nadal, and Sampras, seem to be around 6'1"--this seems to offer the best combination of height benefit for the serve without sacrificing too much in mobility. My guess is, if you made the overhead serve illegal the best tennis players would be well under 6 feet.

Everything very good apart from that last point. Ok there arent that many over 200 cm though there are some, but a lot are 195 + . 3 of the top 10 fit this catergory, future star cillic, 2 time gs finalist soderling and us open champion del potro.
Itrs not just the serve. With the ammount of top spin in the game these days being tall is very important, as you can hit balls at a comfortable height.
I saw a graphic in last years rg sf that cibulkova who is small, had to stand a few metres further behind than safina would, because she would not with her size be able to hit the ball comfortably. In the mens game there is a lot more top spin and this is used with great effect against anyone less than 180cm tall.
THis is the advantage for del potro, cillic and soderling. Sure their serves are good. But their forehands are deadly, especially del potro. Why? because of the wingspan and height. The modern topspin troubles people like hewitt, perhaps even federer, djokovic, who have to work harder to deal with it. but for del potro cillic, soderling, it bounces at perfect, height, and they themselves dont need to put too much topspin on the return, since they are hitting it from above the net already.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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sars1981 said:
Australia.

I think it has to do with the Spanish governments relaxed standards / semi-complicity in doping.

Ahhh, I see. Now the blame lies solely on the Spanish government's "relaxed standards", not Spain proper.

Look, the only difference between Spain and Australia when it comes to doping is the fact that Spain does not treat dopers as criminals precisely because the very same compounds that make people run faster save lives by way of their mass-building and recovery-enhancement properties (steroids).

Nonetheless, should you wish to care about doping on a grand scale you ought not leave home. I mean Australia, a country of 22.5 million souls, won 46 medals in the Beijin olympics. THAT, if anything, is as suspicious as it gets.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Se&#241 said:
Ahhh, I see. Now the blame lies solely on the Spanish government's "relaxed standards", not Spain proper.

Look, the only difference between Spain and Australia when it comes to doping is the fact that Spain does not treat dopers as criminals precisely because the very same compounds that make people run faster save lives by way of their mass-building and recovery-enhancement properties (steroids).

Nonetheless, should you wish to care about doping on a grand scale you ought not leave home. I mean Australia, a country of 22.5 million souls, won 46 medals in the Beijin olympics. THAT, if anything, is as suspicious as it gets.

lol. My friend I am Australian by grace of geography but I have no interest in defending my country or portraying it as superior in one way or another. Nor do I claim to have the solutions that might make doping less prominent in Spain. But, realistically, international athletes tend to travel to Spain to consult with their doping advisors more often than they do to Australia. So I think we are in front (or "behind") in that particular battle.

Also, I think our impressive sporting performance on the world stage relative to population has to do with our favourable climate. We are out-doors types in general. But for an antidote to our Beijing olympians, consider our world cup football team. Now THERE is a team that is certainly not doping, and if they are, they need better Doctors.
 
Anyway I've learned a lot from the tennis 'experts' - since endurance isn't a limting factor in tennis I'm looking forward to Wimbledon holding best-of-35-set finals like they have in snooker. The players won't moan about the extra length because all they're doing is standing around.

Also, a good tip for the UCI - save some money by not bothering to test anyone whose parents are divorced, there's no way they'll dope. Actually, Pat McQuaid might well go for that plan...
 
Jul 24, 2009
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R.0.t.O said:
Anyway I've learned a lot from the tennis 'experts' - since endurance isn't a limting factor in tennis I'm looking forward to Wimbledon holding best-of-35-set finals like they have in snooker. The players won't moan about the extra length because all they're doing is standing around.

Also, a good tip for the UCI - save some money by not bothering to test anyone whose parents are divorced, there's no way they'll dope. Actually, Pat McQuaid might well go for that plan...

You gotta laugh at the self proclaimed "experts" - not just in tennis, in any field. They all disagrre with each other as often and as vorciferously as they disagree with the laymen of the land. Thus, I usually hold their claims in about the same esteem I hold the average idiots'.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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sars1981 said:
[...]But, realistically, international athletes tend to travel to Spain to consult with their doping advisors more often than they do to Australia.

Priceless.

Keep piling on. I mean... you guys have no sense of shame whatsoever.

Also, I think our impressive sporting performance on the world stage relative to population has to do with our favourable climate. We are out-doors types in general.

O-H M-Y G-O-D.

:D:D:D:D

But for an antidote to our Beijing olympians, consider our world cup football team. Now THERE is a team that is certainly not doping, and if they are, they need better Doctors.

Exactly, they DO need better doctors. In every sport, there is an agreed-upon silence by all the parties involved so as to make it a level playfield. Just because they bust one athlete or another does not mean all athletes of that nationality are doped. You guys are missing the point big time.

Like I said, if you want to tackle the doping issue all you have to do is put the Australian olympic programme under the microscope and you'll be surprised at what you find.

The big difference: I, a Spaniard, do not point my firget at it. I know the better part of olympians are not clean, including those representing Spain. I am not a hypocrite.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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R.0.t.O said:
Also, a good tip for the UCI - save some money by not bothering to test anyone whose parents are divorced, there's no way they'll dope.[...]

If you're referring to my comment... I'll have you know, since your reading abilities are lacking a bit, that I was saying so from the standpoint of it being a reason for his 3-6 month layoff from tennis, thus the lower level. In doing so I'm merely introducing the personal variable that could very well explain his lower performance last year and beginning of this year. I'm not saying he doesn't dope, I'm just saying maybe there's more to the story than dope.

As to what he (along with the top 5% of tennis players) may be taking, judging by his ever growing hands and his continuous knee problems... he may very well be taking GH, which does not have a test for yet. He may also be taking some steroid to help with the speed and agility along with some EPO derivative, but these are just hypothetics, not specifics.

I certainly wasn't talking about it from a testing standpoint, but since you're in the game of connecting unrelated dots... feel free.

Don't blame me for pointing out the stupid in stupid comments though.