Did nadal benefit from a weak clay era?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dominikk1985, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    You cannot use the highs and lows of a career as proof of a radical difference. Once again, Djoko beat Fed in 2 different slams BEFORE 2011. Why on earth shouldn't that count??? If he hadn't beaten Fed in a slam before 2011, then you would have a point, but he did, twice. So regardless of his career tribulations, no magical transformation actually happened in 2011 in that department (and even when Djoko ended up not beating the big names in slams pre-2011, there is no way you could claim that he was not perceived as a threat).
     
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  2. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO, Djokovic was not really a threat in 2009 or 2010 to actually win a slam. Simply because of the inconsistent results I stated, and the fact that he was destined to lose to one of either Federer or Nadal even if he made it far in a slam. The difference now is if Djokovic is playing well he's the favourite on any surface except on clay against Nadal, (Wimbledon 2012 was an upset by many peoples standards) but if Federer and/or Nadal were playing well in those years they were favoured by a fair bit. His results in MS beating Fed and/or Nadal and winning the WTF are impressive, but he wasn't winning a slam in 2009 or 2010, and many people believed that even in those years.

    It's the same case for Murray. By some chance, if he beat one of Federer or Nadal in a slam, there was no way he was beating the other one.
     
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  3. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    I didn't say he wasn't a threat, but he wasn't on Nadal and Federer's level, at least not at slam level.

    Between his AO 2008 win and his 2011 win

    Nadal - 6 slams from 6 finals
    Federer - 4 slams from 8 finals
    Djokovic - 0 slams from 1 final

    Since and including AO 2011

    Nadal - 2 slams from 5 finals
    Federer 1 slam from 2 finals
    Djokovic 4 slams from 5 finals

    Don't get me wrong, Djokovic was a great player, but he kept losing to players he would never lose to in slams now and if he did face Federer or Nadal most times he lost.(after that AO win he won 1 of 4 matches in slams vs them and in the 3 losses he won 1 set) that's a different picture from now.

    So I say before he was a great player slightly wasting his potential, now he'sa great playing using it.
     
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  4. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Well Its normal to suffer questionable losses when you're still young..

    One thing I think people forget is Djoker had respiratory/breathing/fitness issues. It wasn't until he got that under control did he start to see real success (late 2010 or last year). If he didn't get that under control he would probably still be suffering bad losses left and right
     
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  5. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    i'm not blaming him for his losses, just saying he's taken on the pressures and expectations of a toppayer now. Also I think it's more his head than breathing, I'm sure he had an operation ages ago to help with that
     
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  6. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    I dont know why people consider 04-07 weaker than 08 on. Djokovic has been in, what, 9 finals? winning 5 of them?
    During 04-07, Nadal made 5 major finals, winning 3. Roddick made 3 finals in this period, and played Federer no less than 5 times in majors, including all three finals.

    Hewitt ALSO played Federer 5 times in majors, including a final and a few semifinals. Like Roddick, he lost to Federer each time. This is not surprising considering Federer is..well, Federer. The only reason Nadal didn't lose as much to Federer is because of the 4 finals they played during this period, half were on clay, Nadal's EASILY best surface. It's not surprising that one of the best ever on that surface won both finals against Federer, but was not able to beat him at Wimbledon until 2008.

    Who's to say that Hewitt and Roddick, despite being excellent players in their own right capable of beating past champions, were simply not a match for a man better than them on the surfaces he played them on?

    I mean we've discussed this ad nauseum, that Roddick could have won 4 or more majors without Federer around. Djokovic won 4 of 5 majors after Federer turned 28, and began slowing down. Is it not possible that he was helped out in this way, that Roddick too could have had a career similar to Djoke's at this point had it not been for Federer?

    Why is that so hard to understand as a possibility? But nooo, you all assume "hey, Federer won alot during these years." The simplest explanation is that he was just that much better than everyone during this period (kinda like Djoke in 2011, maybe?), but nooooo, you have to go argue "well obviously the vast majority of players were just weaker for this one random section of time, but once Djoke and Rafa got big wins, the era suddenly became stronger".

    It's dumb logic, and overly complex given the situation.
     
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  7. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    I dont think there is more depth 2008-on.. But the quality at the top the last 3-4 years BLOWS 2004-2007 (the top 4 spots) completely out of the water. Hands down.. You want to win a slam today, you have to go through at least 2 of the big 4. Outside of clay (the opportunities were much greater to assemble a ton of slams and not have to play the top talent in their primes like you would have to play over the past few years. You could get through slams in 2004-2007 playing guys who could barely walk like Agassi during that time
     
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  8. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Federer fans love to play the if Federer didnt exist game to build up Roddick and Hewitt, who anyone who knows the game realizes are at absolute best on par with the typical level of a 1 or 2 slam winner, and placed in most other random eras would not have done any better than that either (there are some eras one or both might have been slamless for that matter, and there are certainly numerous people better than them in every era). As opposed to eliminating Federer place Hewitt or Roddick in any previous era, the Sampras and Agassi era, the Borg and Connors era, the Borg and McEnroe era, the Lendl and Becker and Edberg era, and try arguing how they would win anymore than 1 or 2 majors in those as well. Good luck doing so, especialy as the French Open (where opportunity in some of those beckons) is not even a feasible option for either in any era. However even that flawed logic fails, since if you remove Federer and pretend he never existed, Djokovic could well have 8 or 9 slams now himself, vs the 4 or 5 Roddick or Hewitt might have, so would still be way ahead, just as he already is, with lots of career and likely lots of slams left. Even Murray would probably have 4 or 5 slams, just as Roddick is being given in the hypothetical, if Federer didnt exist, and like Djokovic and unlike Roddick and Hewitt, still has alot of career left, and likely more slams in the future. Nadal of course needs no qualification. The very suggestion Roddick might have won 4, 5, or even 6 slams without Federer only proves the very point of how poor the field must have been then as well, since Roddick with his limited skill set winning that many majors is simply incomprehensible and shouldnt even be possible in the first place. Especialy when the huge serve and huge forehand combination which made him somewhat legitimately formidible lasted all of 18 months into his contending years, and the remainder of his career reverted to a pooshy clay courter forehand and tried to win with defense and grinding when he doesnt even have the foot speed to even logically attempt to play that way, which meant he was essentialy all a huge serve, fight, and some junk from the baseline after that.
     
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  9. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I dont consider Vilas better than Federer on clay at all. Federer has a better FO record, has won more Masters equivalents than Vilas, was more competitive with the greats (the rare ones they even faced) on the surface, was more dominant over the rest of their respective weak clay fields (outside Nadal, Borg, and to a lesser degree Federer and Vilas) than Vilas was. I would rate Federer just outside the top 10 all time on clay, and Vilas barely top 20 all time. What is Vilas's edge over Federer on clay, going to remote parts of the World (alot of times just to hide from Borg) to play tiny tier 3 and tier 4 events and winning them. I expect Mustard to jump in here any second, but this is a sensitive area for him considering the only player in history who rivalled Vilas for mickey mouse event hordeing on clay was his own beloved Muster, so naturally he wants such a thing to be grossly overcredited to what it ought to be. For what its worth, Djokovic by the end of his career will probably have easily surpassed Vilas on clay too, if not quite possibly Federer (if Nadal goes down he almost certainly will surpass Federer also). Vilas also barely got games off the #2 or #3 clay courter all time Borg, while Federer usually got a set before match vs the clay court GOAT Nadal, and prime to prime I would bet on Federer beating Vilas with regularity on clay.

    In the case Vilas, who barely got games off Borg on clay, and couldnt even beat a 17 year old Wilander to win a 2nd French Open after Borg retired, was his biggest competition on clay, and I agree he was, it only emphasizes what a weak clay era Borg played in. Even weaker than Nadal's as I said.
     
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  10. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Imo, you're exaggerating the lack of threat before 2011 and overdoing the threat since 2011. Djoko was never the favorite at RG and still isn't. There has always been only 1 favorite at RG and we know who that is.
    Djoko is not the favorite on grass by a long shot. Not only did Murray win the Olympics and make the W final but he's also won 2 Queen's and he has a higher winning % than Djoko on grass. If anything, 2011 appeared like a freak accident due to the combined effect of Fed's upset and Nadal's block (Nadal's results on grass overall are also vastly superior) . Fed is naturally a massive favorite on grass (even if he has endured a few upsets in the last years, he's still the reference ). That makes 3 players who are still more favorite at W than Djoko.
    That leaves us with the 2 hard court slams and that's where the core of our disagreement occurs. On hard court, Djoko was a threat from day 1. He made his 1st IW final in 2007. He lost to Nadal that time but would beat him the year after on his way to the 2008 title. Immediately afterwards, he beat Nadal in Miami and won the event for the first time. He beat all of Rod, Nadal and Fed to win Canada 2007 and proceeded to make his 1st USO final. By that time, anybody who hadn't understood Djoko would be a major threat on hard was not paying attention. He confirmed in 2008 by winning AO and WTF. In 2010 he added another USO final after upsetting Fed, no less. It is not because he had some struggles with his serve and confidence that he should be relegated to "non entity" for 2 years. And one can be a threat in a slam (or elsewhere) without winning the title. Djoko didn't win USO in 2012, that doesn't mean he was not a threat. I believe on hard Djoko has been a favorite all along. (It is also my belief that if Djoko hadn't suffered some sort of heat stroke at AO 2009 causing him to retire in the quarter, he would have beaten Fed that year and made another AO final.)
    ETA: we could also take Nadal as an example. Nadal hasn't won a slam on hard since 2010. Does that mean he was not a (major) threat at AO 2011 and 2012 and at USO 2011? I'd beg to differ.
     
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  11. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    NadalAgassi with more attacks on Vilas. Vilas has won the French Open, Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg. He also beat Borg on clay in 1980.
     
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  12. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    While Federer has done better at both the French Open, has won more Masters equivalents on clay than Vilas, is about 10 times more competitive with the clay GOAT Nadal than Vilas is with the #2 or #3 clay courter of all time Borg, and dominates everyone not named Nadal in his prime in the clay events he plays much more than Borg as evidenced by all the times Vilas entered the French in his prime and didnt even reach Borg (and it certainly wasnt due to the stellar clay field of the late 70s, lol). You dont even know the meaning of an attack. Pointing out the obvious, Federer > Vilas on clay is not an attack, it is reality.
     
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  13. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    of course NA can't see my post :lol: but looked up Vilas's H2H with Borg and on clay it's 2-11, Fed's vs Nadal is 2-12. I do agree Federer gave better matches though.

    Also Vilas won the US Open on clay. Ok not red clay, but still a type of clay.
     
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  14. Feather

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    Roddick has a positive head to head versus Djokovic. If not for Federer, he would have had 4,5 slams. Weak era theory is pure nonsense.
     
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  15. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    On the topic

    Rafael Nadal would have done good on any era in clay. I really find it hard to believe that a player can be better than him on CLAY.

    He is too good to be true. In my opinion, there never was a player better than Nadal on clay and I don't think there ever will be a player greater than Nadal on clay
     
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  16. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    Nadal would've done well in any era on clay (perhaps not 7+, but at least 5-6). Feddie would obviously kill in any era... took a clay GOAT to prevent him from 20+ slams and multiple calendar slams !!
     
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  17. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks!

    I'll go with 2011 being the start of the strong era. It seems like a safe option. The rise of Djokovic, and now the rise of Murray. Federer still going strong, and Nadal still ruling the red clay.

    2011 saw Djokovic become an all surface champion, and even Murray broke through by being one of a select few to make the semi finals of all four slams in a row. 2012, strengthened that with Murray V Djokovic rivalry really coming into the spotlight, some epic five sets matches between them. And Federer rising to the top to claim W, and Nadal being Nadal at RG. 2011 is the start of the real strong era.

    It can be said that 2005 - 2010 was the Fedal Era. Where it was pretty much a two horse race, and the questions were can Federer break the record, and then can Nadal catch him. 2011, Djokovic becomes the first multi time slam champion while Roger and Rafa are playing, so Fedal era is no more, there is a new elite player in town, and he is beating them both, it is more than just about them. And with Murray maturing last year, becoming Olympic and slam champion, now we have legit competition.

    2011 is the era of the big four - that is twice as many players than the big two of the Fedal Era. Yeah, Djokovic won AO 08, but like I said before, he could have won USO 07, would that have made 07 a strong era year? Besides, he did nothing after that until he finally managed to get a win over Roger in USO 10, a prelude to what was going to happen in the following strong era season. :)

    And yes Novak won a slam in 08, but Safin beat a much younger and primed version of Roger in AO 05. Nalbandian beat Roger in probably the best indoor match of the last 8 - 10 years arguably, and was beating Fedal in Masters events too. But because Roger was still number one, it was weak era. Yeah, whatever.
     
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  18. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Yet you have to admit that Djokovic was a lesser player in 2009 and especially in 2010. He did played well during the 2009 clay masters 1000 season, but after that their is not much. He lost to Kohlschreiber (who is no claycourter) at RG, Haas at Wimby, against Federer at USopen (comfortable win). He did win Paris-Bercy, but anybody win Paris-Bercy. 2010 was awful. He didn't reach a single master final, didn't beat a top 10 before beating Fed in the USOpen. And not because he played well, but because Fed was awful. He lost his 3 next meeting with Federer during the fall, in Basel, Shanghai and WTF. He lost to Melzer and Berdych in slams. A true analysis of his 2010 level shows that it wasn't impressive at all.
     
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  19. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Very true.
     
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  20. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    A determined but physically declining Agassi is a more formidable opponent than an unmotivated meth-head Agassi.
     
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  21. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Ok, now some of you are calling 1 or 2 years as eras :confused:

    Makes no sense!

    There are different time spans within given eras. We are still in Federer's era (maybe you can say Fedal era to give Nadal his deserved credit winning 11 slams); he is still among the top in the game. Until he retires or is not competitive its the Federer era; you would think Federer fans would recognize as much :confused:
     
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  22. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Eras don't matter. What matter is the quality of the field each years. Sometimes, the quality of the field is the same for several years, sometimes it changes from years to years.
     
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  23. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    I think Nadal dominated a weak(er) clay era, but as everybody else has said, most the time the clay era is weak. This doesn't take away anything from Nadal's wins, he just didn't have many consistent threats before 2008.

    The same can be said for Federer from 2006-2007, as Hewitt, Safin, Agassi and to some degree, Roddick had dropped off the radar.
     
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  24. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Always wanted to see a Guga-Nadal match on red clay at the French. Guga's backhand was soooooo good on clay and I'd be curious to see how well he would handle the Nadal's forehand topspin. I would think he would handle it well. I think Nadal would be favored but Guga would win his share. Guga also had a better serve than Nadal. That would be a clay match for the ages.
     
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  25. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I edited this part when I realized my mistake.



    Going into the Wimbledon 2012 SF against Djokovic, everybody knew Federer had a chance, but at the time Djokovic was certainly favoured. At the very least Fed was far from a "massive" favourite. Hindsight is 20/20. Nadal has a matchup problem with Djokovic, and we haven't really seen if Nadal can beat the post 2011 Djokovic on grass. Nadal is more accomplished on grass, but the matchup will make up for a lot, and I would say Djokovic-Murray is about 50/50 on grass. Djokovic has a Wimbledon title (which is where most of their grass matches will be played since the Olympics on grass might not happen for another 100 years or more), Murray does not.


    Yes, this is where we disagree. I am saying that while his MS results were great in 2007 and 2008 he was not really a threat in 2009 or 2010 at slams because he went backwards and looked like he was destined to lose consistently at slams to one of Federer or Nadal, or get upset. He just couldn't bring his best to the slams at that point. He wasn't a "non-entity" exactly. It was just that he was never really favoured to win a HC slam the way he is today. Take this year's AO for example. Djoker is a clear cut favourite which was he never was in 09-10. Federer and Nadal were always 1-2 favourites even on HC in Nadal's case for their consistency. Then there was a gap. Then there was Djoker and Murray and another gap. Personally I never really believed Djoker would actually win a major in 09-10 even though he was in a second tier of favourites, which I guess gives us some indication of how good I believed Federer and Nadal to be, but with that said, they never disappointed me which is part of my belief/perception. But I guess hindsight is 20/20 applies here as well.

    About Nadal, he was always a different case. By the time of the AO 2011 it had been long proven you could never count out Nadal. He had 9 slams including 2 HC ones which was 1 more than Djokovic. Also, if he could get past the field which was probably about a 60/40 proposition on a HC and meet Federer, he had a fair shot at winning. The main reason you could never count out Nadal at any slam is because he had the ability to beat Federer at a slam. Not saying Djokovic didn't as his 1 win during the 09-10 period proves, just saying it was a much less likely scenario.
     
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  26. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    If my argument is flawed, yours is as well. You assume that your opinion (that Roddick is a talentless hack) is true, but that may not be the case. It's easy for you to say Roddick would never win a major in a previous era, but that's not necessarily true. We all know how big prime Roddick could hit, and I don't want to waste my time fleshing out a counterargument to you knowing full well you won't even consider it.

    But the fact is that Hewitt has beaten Sampras on more than one occasion; there's no reason to assume he wouldn't have been able to win as much, if not more, as he has in the mid 90's against players who still played to an extent in a way he was able to beat. Likewise, Roddick was a power hitter, and many men of that type won majors. If a man like Malivai Washington or Todd Martin can make finals, and be as close to winning a major as Martin has been, there's no reason to assume Roddick wouldn't also be capable of it. Stick martin in this era, and I don't see him even making a final.

    For the record, the remainder of your post, meaning the lot about Djokovic and Murray; you actually helped me with the argument that I was making. Yes, take Fed out, and EVERYONE has a better career. But the point was that Federer was most difficult to beat during his prime, from 03-08/09. That is why almost no one besides he and Nadal won majors during that period. By the end of 2009, the only other people than Fedal to win a major since Wimbledon 2004 were Djoke and Delpo. Federer began to decline after that, coupled with Djokovic and Murray's rise.

    My whole point was that while Roddick may not be on the level of a Djokovic (despite leading the h2h, as you Nards always like to harp about), he was better than 1 major. As was hewitt. I won't make an argument about Nalbandian, as he was too streaky for me to consider him winning a major, but guys like the two I mentioned are definitely better than 1 or 2 majors apiece. Just because you think differently doesn't make me wrong. It just means you're very arrogant about your opinions.

    But I doubt you'd consider it a 'weak era' if Federer were removed and Hewitt, Roddick, and perhaps (I'll say perhaps, because at least Roddick was winning sets against prime Fed, unlike Murray in his first 3 major finals) Murray all won multiple majors with Djokovic and Nadal proving a dual heirarchy. It would be very similar to the 90's era, with two men winning the majority of majors (like Sampras and Agassi), and several other players cleaning up the rest (becker, edberg, etc.). This is why I believe the weak era argument holds no water, because the removal of a single anomaly (Federer) makes it almost the same as the previous decade. This turnout of events is easily explained as having a single, exceedingly proficient individual being present rather than a dozen or more pathetic players.
     
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  27. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Great post.
     
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  28. Feather

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    Great post !

    People speak with such authority and certainty when they say that Roddick would never win a slam in so and so era. It's pure nonsense.

    Hewitt, Roddick and Safin had winning head to head against Sampras. They conveniently forget so many things. Of course Sampras was past his best but these guys weren't any joke either
     
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  29. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    this ......especially the essence of the last para sums it up very well .....

    only I do think without federer, safin would've won a slam more at the very least , probably more and nalby probably would win a slam as well ...

    courier's game wasn't that multi-dimensional, but he did win 4 majors .......no reason to think , without an unstoppable force off clay like federer, hewitt/roddick wouldn't have a similar career ( with clearly better longevity in roddick's case )
     
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  30. Cup8489

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    notice how NadalAgassi avoided this thread once I made my argument in more detail. He seems pretty good at that, ditching a thread when he can't refute an argument.
     
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  31. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It really is deceptive to just look at the scorelines of Borg vs. Vilas clay-court matches. They played a very similar style and had epic rallies, it's just that Borg was usually a bit better at everything. This resulted in one-sided scorelines, but they certainly didn't feel like thrashings. Nadal and Federer do not have similar gamestyles.
     
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  32. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Nadal has rarely trashed Federer on clay.
     
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  33. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    When did I say otherwise?
     
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  34. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    It is funny to see from other peoples quotes that people I even clearly identify in my signature as having on my ignore list like Cup8489 and abmk continue to make replies to my posts. What a couple of desperate losers. All I will say is I never said Roddick was a talentless hack, nor did I specifically say he would never win another major in another era. Some people need to learn basic reading skills. I said that a 1 or 2 slam winner, which is what Hewitt and Roddick are, is an accurate measure of their abilities, and that is what they would win in most eras. Aka for those who need it spelled out, they are roughly the same level of other 1 or 2 slam winners of recent times like Rafter, Kafelnikov, Muster, Bruguera, Stich, and the like. The idea they are the caliber of 4 or 5 slam winners and that is what they should be evaluated as with the without Federer excuse line attached (and any second tier top player of their era wins alot more majors with a Sampras, Borg, Laver, or whomever was the Federer and Nadal of their eras removed in some useless hypothetical anyway), and that is what they would win in most other eras, is typical ****om fantasy. End of.
     
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  35. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Silvis, IL
    he doesn't have us on his ignore list. He's replied to multiple posts of mine since i ended up in his 'ignore list', and always with an insult. Sometimes I wonder how he sticks around, when it seems almost every post he makes contains some sort of disrespect.

    He also calls us desperate when he can't refute what we say. Just because we don't agree with the Notion that we should be kissing Rafa's feet or the idea that Federer won his slams in a weak era doesn't mean we deserve to be insulted by a man who can't even do a decent job of hiding his own ridiculous bias. At least I don't go around calling him a *******, though he clearly is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    #85
  36. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,032
    Location:
    shiran
    That's true, Federer has thoroughly dominated Nadal over the years, especially on clay.
     
    #86

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