He wants to get to second base, but doesn’t want to leave first base.
He has unequivocally established his dominance on clay. If he continues, he could be the best clay court player ever, if he is not already. GOAT, in his own right, on the red surface.
But to conquer other surface(s), he has to come out of his den, with no guarantees, if he will allowed back in. With the universal slowing of the courts, it is temptingly possible now. But there are no guarantees.
Is this the typical case of ‘one bird in hand is better than two in the bushes’?
Nadal and Aunt Tony have to sit down, and decide a course of action, once and for all, to remove ambiguity and indecisiveness. They have to clearly identify the target, they are going to go after. If the bulls eye keeps moving, the bird in hand will fly away too, without any sight of the bushes.
They also need to figure out how to make the game less demanding physically. He is headed straight for the rocks with current plan – fast. This is the second straight season, that he is falling apart at the half way mark of the tour.
He needs to win quick and cheap points. Serve has to be worked on, feverishly, to improve the number of aces for easy points. Drop shots and coming to the net, are some other useful additions, to remove the predictability of the baseline game, to have the opponents guessing.
With a perfect example of Federer clearly on display, he needs to take a page or two from that book.
If he really really wants it all, he has to start from the ground up, and put in some serious work, to retool his arsenal to win on all surfaces. Maybe like Woods, when he worked on his new swing, and paid the price by winning almost nothing for over an year.
He is not going to get too far with his current game. It is not a matter of twitching some small stuff here and there. The game needs a serious overhaul. Either that, or just stick with your red surface, and not kill yourself trying to over-reach.
He cannot go on like this any longer. Make the decision, and live or die with it, without regrets. If this is not done, the end is not far, and Aunt Tony will have to take the blame, for running a talented pupil into the ground.
Maybe Auntie needs to go home, and hire a professional tennis mind to take over. It appears this is as far as he can go, and the engine is gotten too big and complicated for his limited tennis expertise.
Make the freaking decision instead of dillying dallying about it, NOW.