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View Full Version : If Rafa met Nole in AO 2011 final instead of Andy...


Hitman
12-18-2011, 01:33 PM
The AO changed many dynamics, or at least in some instances planted the seeds for many dynamics to be changed later on in the season. The most famous of all was the rivalry between Nole and Rafa.

By the time they played at IW for the first time this season, Novak was riding an immense wave of confidence, having won the AO, winning Dubai and having three straight wins over Roger, plus stopping the 3 match losing streak he had to Murray in Melbourne. Rafa, despite playing great tennis, was up against a newly improved Novak, who was mentally becoming a rock. But was it already too late at that point for Rafa?

What if Rafa had made the final in AO and had played Novak? Would Novak have had that same confidence? Yes, at the AO he was red hot, but Rafa would be also be red hot, going for the Rafa slam. Could he have stopped himself from being completed dominated and humbled by Novak for the rest of the year, if he could have stopped Novak earlier from gaining momentum?

Hood_Man
12-18-2011, 01:46 PM
I think Nadal would have taken it, and possibly things could have been more even from then on. Novak was playing brilliantly but I think his nerves would have gotten to him. It was Indian Wells where I saw him really "come out of his shell" so to speak, and then cemented that in Miami.

Perhaps getting that breakthrough against Rafa in a best of 5 sets match would have been too much for him, without yet having the added confidence he then gained over the course of the year that led him to the wins at Wimbledon and the US.

kishnabe
12-18-2011, 01:48 PM
I would put my marbles on Nadal not knowing what Djokovic will do this year.

Even If I did know what Djokovic will do this year. I would say Nadal in 4.


Nadal doesn't have the mental problem against Djoker at that time. Also their following matches at IW and Miami went the distance....and Djoker only scraped through those.

If they were to meet in the 2012 AO final...I would say Djoker in 3!

Legend of Borg
12-18-2011, 01:48 PM
TBH, it felt like Nole was unstoppable at the AO. He had some hiccups in the other slams, losing sets to Tomic, Tsonga and that Fed 5 setter at the USO, etc.

At the AO, I don't think it would have been unrealistic to beat Nadal in straights.

I would say Djokovic in straights if they had met at the AO 2011.

I'm saying this with plenty of hindsight, so I probably would not have thought this 11 months ago when Nole was still at 1 slam.

DjokovicForTheWin
12-18-2011, 01:53 PM
Certainly confidence is an important component of tennis, but geez it's not everything. There is a thing called skill and Djoker was not only confident this year, but was playing better tennis too in terms of shot making too. Yes they are interrelated, but Donald Young can have all the confidence in the world, he ain't beating one of the top guys for a slam. He's just inferior in ability. In the same way Nadal was also inferior to Djokovic in ability in 2011.

sdont
12-18-2011, 02:00 PM
Nole's confidence came from winning the DC at the end of 2010.

Nadal would have had much pressure, going for 4 in a row, and being favorite after winning the USO against the same opponent. Add to that the fact that AO is Novak's best surface.

I'd say Novak in 3 or 4. Nadal would just have been 0-7 at the end of the year instead of 0-6.

tennis_pro
12-18-2011, 02:04 PM
Come on, 2011 AO was probably Novak's best tournament this year levelwise, he would dismantle "sick" Nadal in 3 sets.

DjokovicForTheWin
12-18-2011, 02:09 PM
He would have dismantled Nadal no matter what level he played. Even his 2008 clay level.

Clarky21
12-18-2011, 02:20 PM
Nadal would have been massacred. It would have been a total beatdown like none other. Nadal is fortunate he lost early so at least he has avoided one a**kicking by **** this year to go along with the other 6 he has received.

sportsfan1
12-18-2011, 02:33 PM
IIRC, Noel hadn't lost more than a set all AO 2011, and has also historically played well at this tournament. So him still winning even if his opponent were Nadal isn't far-fetched.

Towser83
12-18-2011, 02:40 PM
Tough question because Nadal usually gets beaten before the final (on hardcourt) if he's not playing his best level, or somewhere near and brimming with confidence. If he does make it, he's hard to stop.. But Novak lost one set all tournament which was a tiebreak as well. I think Novak had that confidence and Nadal maybe would have felt pressure to complete the Rafa slam. Given how he's lost it under pressure right from the first meeting with Nole this year, I'd say Nole would have won a tough match with Nadal feeling the pressure of having the chance to hold all 4 mjors at the same time

celoft
12-18-2011, 02:45 PM
I think Nole would have won.

Same if they would have met at the AO final in 2008.

Crisstti
12-18-2011, 03:14 PM
The AO changed many dynamics, or at least in some instances planted the seeds for many dynamics to be changed later on in the season. The most famous of all was the rivalry between Nole and Rafa.

By the time they played at IW for the first time this season, Novak was riding an immense wave of confidence, having won the AO, winning Dubai and having three straight wins over Roger, plus stopping the 3 match losing streak he had to Murray in Melbourne. Rafa, despite playing great tennis, was up against a newly improved Novak, who was mentally becoming a rock. But was it already too late at that point for Rafa?

What if Rafa had made the final in AO and had played Novak? Would Novak have had that same confidence? Yes, at the AO he was red hot, but Rafa would be also be red hot, going for the Rafa slam. Could he have stopped himself from being completed dominated and humbled by Novak for the rest of the year, if he could have stopped Novak earlier from gaining momentum?

I'm gonna say yes :)

At least his chances would have been quite good, considering how their next two matches (on HC) went, with Novak's confidence just bigger by then.

MichaelNadal
12-18-2011, 03:27 PM
Hard to say, 50/50. Nadal wasn't feeling that great during the tournament, but Novak wasn't unbeatable yet either. After Miami is when the wheels came off the Rafa train.

Mike Sams
12-18-2011, 03:30 PM
Hard to say, 50/50. Nadal wasn't feeling that great during the tournament, but Novak wasn't unbeatable yet either. After Miami is when the wheels came off the Rafa train.

Nah, wheels came off after Wimbledon. Slams have far more precedence over Masters. And Djokovic had never beaten Nadal in a Slam so Nadal still had that Slam Final edge and was a grass dynamo as opposed to Djokovic who wasn't yet convincing on grass.

Hitman
12-18-2011, 03:40 PM
Hard to say, 50/50. Nadal wasn't feeling that great during the tournament, but Novak wasn't unbeatable yet either. After Miami is when the wheels came off the Rafa train.

Nah, wheels came off after Wimbledon. Slams have far more precedence over Masters. And Djokovic had never beaten Nadal in a Slam so Nadal still had that Slam Final edge and was a grass dynamo as opposed to Djokovic who wasn't yet convincing on grass.

I kinda agree with both of you on this. I think that swagger that Nadal had started to evaporate after that Miami loss, and you could see it effect his whole campaign on clay...

However, he did still have the unbeaten streak against Djoker in slams, which surely must have given him some positives. But after Wimbledon, you could see it in his eyes...It just reminded me of Roger a few years back having to accept that someone had overtaken him.

Homeboy Hotel
12-18-2011, 03:55 PM
Same scoreline.

Djokovic's actual form was on FIRE. His serve was 100%, his shots and movement were also 100% and he was on a mission to get that second AO title.

Nadal was ill, sluggish and, well...a mess. This photo sums it up nicely.

http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Rafael+Nadal+2011+Australian+Open+Day+6+I7Iy02v3fB ul.jpg

celoft
12-18-2011, 03:59 PM
This potential final would always go Nole's way. AO is his best slam by far.

MichaelNadal
12-18-2011, 04:28 PM
It's ridiculous how sweaty Rafa was at the AO.

zagor
12-18-2011, 04:44 PM
True Novak didn't have the mental edge over Nadal yet(quite the contrary actually, Nadal won their last two HC meetings one of them being USO final) however given how high his level of play was at AO this year I would have still picked him to beat Nadal(probably in 4 sets).

Personally I don't think Novak played anywhere near as good(in all departments of the game, especially the serve) as he did at AO in any part of the rest of the year (despite how much success he had), a lot of that has got to do with the surface, it really seems to suit Novak's game perfectly.

Eternity
12-18-2011, 04:44 PM
What if Rafa had made the final in AO and had played Novak? Would Novak have had that same confidence? Yes, at the AO he was red hot, but Rafa would be also be red hot, going for the Rafa slam. Could he have stopped himself from being completed dominated and humbled by Novak for the rest of the year, if he could have stopped Novak earlier from gaining momentum?

I don't think Novak would have had the same confidence but I still think he would have won. AO was Novak's most impressive slam run this year.

Legend of Borg
12-18-2011, 04:44 PM
It's ridiculous how sweaty Rafa was at the AO.

Sickness of the mono?

Irrelevant, always love Rafi best class sexi sweaty love.

Homeboy Hotel
12-18-2011, 05:03 PM
Sickness of the mono?

Irrelevant, always love Rafi best class sexi sweaty love.

federerbestclass....that motherf&^*úr

Telepatic
12-18-2011, 05:38 PM
Personally I don't think Novak played anywhere near as good(in all departments of the game, especially the serve) as he did at AO in any part of the rest of the year (despite how much success he had), a lot of that has got to do with the surface, it really seems to suit Novak's game perfectly.

True, tbh, I liked his serving this year only @AO.

tennnnis
12-18-2011, 06:24 PM
I can't say if rafa would won or not at the AO 2011 final but one thing I can sure is that NAVAK would not won any slams in 2011 if Nadal had beat Novak in AO 2011 final.

Just in my opinion indian wells still would not be too late. If Nadal would able to stop novak in indian wells total story for 2011 would changed.