How impressive are Nadal's 18 Masters titles?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by wangs78, May 18, 2010.

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How impressive is Nadal's record tally of 18 Masters titles?

  1. Absolutely amazing. It's a record, so almost as impressive as Roger's GS record.

    17 vote(s)
    12.4%
  2. Impressive, but far short of any GS record (such as 16 total, 5 in a row at a GS, etc.)

    97 vote(s)
    70.8%
  3. Not very, clearly the result of how the clay court season is structured

    23 vote(s)
    16.8%
  1. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    While I think Nadal's 18 titles are impressive in that he isn't even 24 yet, so he could conceivably win 25 or even more Masters by the time he's done, thereby eclipsing the next highest mark (currently Agassi and Federer at 17), I do think that there are few things that may make this accomplishment less impressive than the numbers may suggest. Note that:

    - 14 of the 18 have come on clay. Nadal's dominance on this surface has been so absolute that it's mind boggling and it's a big reason why his Master's tally is so high. I'm not trying to say that clay should be disparaged at all though. I'm just saying that a player who is particularly good on one surface is more likely to have a high tally of titles than someone who is all-around.

    - The clay tourneys are all clustered together, which enables someone who is a great clay courter like Nadal to come in and sweep them up like he has for the last few years. Hard courts, on the other hand are split between late winter/early spring and then summer, so players who want to dominate hard courts would have a harder time doing so because they need to adjust their game in mid spring for clay/grass and then adjust back again after the FO/Wimby

    - The clay tourneys are in the first half of the year, so players are more likely to be able to achieve per their full potential / ability given injuries generally don't start taking their toll until the second half of the year. In other words, had the clay court been in the 2nd half of the year, it would be a bit harder for Nadal to enter the clay court season every year injury free and ready to dominate.

    Again, I'm not trying to take away from Nadal's achievement. The facts above have been true well before Nadal's time and no one achieved as much on clay as Nadal has (although Borg still has more FO titles of course). But I do think that his Masters tally of 18 got a lot of help from the points I state above.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
    #1
  2. volleynets

    volleynets Professional

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    The fact that 14 of 18 on clay is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it shows he pwns that surface but bad because less than 25% are on any other surface.

    Imagine three grass Masters per year. I estimate Federer would have around 30 MS by now if that were the case.

    It nonetheless is amazing for any sport because he did it at 23 years old!!
     
    #2
  3. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    13 of the 18 have been on clay

    6 Monte Carlo (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
    5 Rome (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010)
    1 Hamburg (2008 )
    1 Madrid (2010)

    On hardcourts:

    2 Indian Wells (2007, 2009)
    2 Canada (2005 Montreal, 2008 Toronto)
    1 Madrid (2005)
     
    #3
  4. egn

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    What is the big deal? 14 of Agassi's came on hardcourts, 1 on clay and 2 on carpets. Fed is I think 12 and 5 split..Your point is valid, but nobody yet has been able to dominate an equal part. It is kind of like majors there isn't a man who has like 4 of each major. In the end almost 9 out of 10 a player will favor a certain surface.

    This is a pro and con. Nadal has also had to skip or come into a tournament exhausted like Hamburg 06 and has to miss it. However then let snot forget 6 of the 9 master series or on hardcourts anyway so they have more room to say drop one.

    The injury thing I see where you are coming from but I don't think that is even fair. Move the clay court season so Nadal's body has to hold out to get to it? Injuries should not really be taken into account when making the schedule, especially not the way which would be most injury likely.

    Nadal's tally of 18 is impressive because it shows that even in smaller tournaments he can still dominate week in and out. The lack of five set finals are the only thing that might hurt him nowadays but how many of those would he have actually lost in five sets? I'm not thinking too many.
     
    #4
  5. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    Good post, I agree with everything.
     
    #5
  6. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Master Series were not required events until 2000. Many top players skipped several during the 90s & didn't get zero pointers. Its sort of a misleading record(just like weeks, years at #1, its sort of strange to dwell on that when the ranking systems have changed so much over the years)

    But the ATP needs these 'records' in order to get fans to care about tennis outside of the majors I guess. Looks like its working.

    I find his 6 Monte Carlo titles & 5 Italian Opens more impressive than the 18 'masters series.'
    Both events have been pretty prestigious historically.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
    #6
  7. nikdom

    nikdom Hall of Fame

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    I think unlike the GS record, the specific number of master's titles is not as important for the reason Moose pointed above - a lot of players did not take those seriously until the last decade.

    That said, what it shows is that Nadal has been a dominant figure in tennis, specially on clay and has also racked up impressive victories away from the surface. He's just not *as* versatile as someone like Roger, but that shouldn't be a reason not to acknowledge Nadal's prowess.

    If the same discussion were about Roger, (as it is in most GOAT threads), Nadal fans will argue and bring up players from the grave to challenge Roger's place in history. As a Roger fan, I don't see any problem in the two achievements standing side by side and not having to be mutually exclusive. Roger too has an impressive Master's record (one less than Nadal).

    As far as age is concerned, you can say in general that its impressive what Nadal has done at his age. A large part of it is that he has been successful on the tour from a young age onwards where his style and left-handedness have served him well from the get go. He has also had more injuries than a typical 23 yr old tennis player will have. Who knows, he may have already peaked as far as his career is concerned, like Roger at 26-27.

    All in all, a commendable milestone. Still think he derives more notoriety because of his success vs Roger on the grandest stages, but that too is an accolade to Nadal's name.
     
    #7
  8. viduka0101

    viduka0101 Hall of Fame

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    what's with the retarded poll options?:neutral:
     
    #8
  9. Tsonga#1fan

    Tsonga#1fan Semi-Pro

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    I voted for......Absolutely amazing. It's a record, so almost as impressive as Roger's GS record........when you consider he may have many more GS titles left in him, and Federer is running out of gas, Nadal may finish up with nearly as many slams AND hold the MS record. Watch out Roger!
     
    #9
  10. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Its very impressive, given the young age. The Masters series in the last decade seems to favor the slower or medium court players like Agassi, while the fast courters like Sampras or Federer excel on majors, which usually are played on faster surfaces. The US Open hard court is very much faster than say the Miami hard court. Nevertheless: The record goes back only to 1990, when the Masters series officially was invented, and is to be measured against Super Nine or equivalents before 1990. There in open era since 1975 Connors and especially Lendl have around 25 Super Nine titles. Mac around 22. Not to speak of older players like Laver or Rosewall, who have well over 40 resp. 30.
     
    #10
  11. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely amazing.
     
    #11
  12. Rippy

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    I think it has to be the middle option. Obviously any record is very impressive, especially Masters titles, which are reasonably coveted titles. But, some titles are more important than others, so it's obviously not as good as a slam record.

    To be honest, I can't see how anyone would choose anything other than the middle option.
     
    #12
  13. MotherMarjorie

    MotherMarjorie Banned

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    Considering that he's only won 4 of 18 masters titles were away from clay, and only 2 of his 6 GS singles titles were away from clay, I find the total number of Masters titles pretty insignificant historically. While it underscores his dominance on clay, it also points to his overall weakness on any other surface except for clay.

    Its similar to the narrative used to describe Margaret Court's total GS singles record...most on grass and in Australia.

    Let Mother Marjorie put it this way...the path to GOAT is not paved through clay tournaments when the majority of tournaments are on other surfaces.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
    #13
  14. Cyan

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    It's impressive because he achieved this at 23 not at 34 like Agassi.
     
    #14
  15. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    Completely agree, Rippy, but as you know there are always a few crazies trolling these boards :)
     
    #15
  16. wangs78

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    Well, without resorting to specific stats and also without turning this thread into a Roger vs Rafa thread, Roger was in many of the clay court finals that Rafa won. So to your point that Roger's masters record is similarly skewed except not to clay but to hardcourts, it should be taken into consideration that Roger has a very successful record at clay court masters that is not apparent from just looking at the number of titles. Rafa, on the other hand, has not been as successful in reaching the finals at hard court masters tournaments.
     
    #16
  17. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Almost as impressive as Fed's 16 GS's, so still 2nd.
     
    #17
  18. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    This is true but it is still skewed. He lost those. Nadal has 4 hard court runner ups and a ton of strong finishes. Since 2008 Nadal has made the quarters or better of every master series exception of 1 which is Cincinatti. Shows that he is quite strong all across the board. Nadal is no slouch on hardcourts and as of late it is safe to say Nadal is about as good on hardcourts as Fed is on clay.
     
    #18
  19. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    It IS a big deal. Winning MS on hc is a lot harder than on clay b/c most players on the tour are far better on hc. There’s more competitive matches in the early and thus more chance for upset. Didn't MC this year ring a bell?? Winning 6 straight MS on clay is possible but do it on hc is out of a question!

    Winning so much MS on clay is equivalent to Federer winning 14 MS on grass(if there were any event). Grass is not as competitive as hc too, and people would say the same to Federer since he’s much better than all the players on the tour. And I’m a Federer fan.

    14 MS on hc >>>>>>>>>> 14 MS on clay.
     
    #19
  20. kournacopia

    kournacopia Banned

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    Actually that kinda makes it less impressive.
     
    #20
  21. SiriusTennis

    SiriusTennis Rookie

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    Um... how?
     
    #21
  22. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    The reason why Rafa has more MS than Federer b/c he played a ton MS clay event(his best surface). Roger never had a chance to play even one MS event on grass(his best surface).
     
    #22
  23. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    lol, I can't wait for the answer. :)
     
    #23
  24. kournacopia

    kournacopia Banned

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    Well what's more impressive, a 14 year old running the 400 m in record time or an 80 year old? I hope you get the gist and do not need further explanations.
     
    #24
  25. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    lol, funny, although unfortunately too obvious. :)
     
    #25
  26. Cassius Clay

    Cassius Clay Banned

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    Only a few corrections:

    Roger has 16 MS not 17

    More Grass MS implies less HC MS (so Federer wouldn't get 30 as someone stated)

    3 Clay MS are not many, having into account that there are 9 of them.

    Federer has as many clay MS as Nadal does HC MS = 5

    Federer should have an advantage in winning MS because 6 out of 9 are played on HC.
     
    #26
  27. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    Bingo you got it right my friend!
     
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  28. Rippy

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    Whilst I believe the excuse-making by TMF is pointless, your final point doesn't make much sense either. More players are good on HC than are "good" on grass and clay, so hardcourt will be the toughest to win Masters on.
     
    #28
  29. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    yes but if you can win all those HC slams then you should be able to win more HC masters right?
     
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  30. Pwned

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    There should be an equal amount of masters on each surface. I have no idea why they cannot see this. Hardcourts, especially given the ability to vary the speed and pace of the courts, is by a large margin the most indifferent surface. A wide variety of players play well on hard.
     
    #30
  31. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    WRONG!!!

    Almost every players can compete well on hc, but on clay there’s only a small percentage of good players on the tour.

    If it weren’t for Spain or Argentina, the clay field is a complete joke!!
     
    #31
  32. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Right. Winning those HC MS is a piece a cake. Much easier than the one in Monte Carlo this year. Is that correct?
     
    #32
  33. big bang

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    you dont seem to get my point! Fed won lots of HC slams, thats a lot harder than HC masters right? IMO he should be able to win more HC master, no?
    if he can pretty much dominate AO and USO year after year, why cant he do the same at HC masters?
     
    #33
  34. kournacopia

    kournacopia Banned

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    Slams and MC's are apples and oranges. See Federer's recent performance in any MC surface and compare that with slams.
     
    #34
  35. inthemisosoup

    inthemisosoup Semi-Pro

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    it's impressive. :) congrats to rafa!!
     
    #35
  36. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    It's very impressive, but I think he will reach far greater heights. 30 Masters titles is very possible if he keeps dominating the clay.
     
    #36
  37. rocket

    rocket Hall of Fame

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    since 2005, Fed's been in all slams finals but 2. i think you'll agree that it takes a lot to reach a slam final, then do it over & over, year after year.

    Fed used to dominate MS too, but as he got older, something's got to give.
     
    #37
  38. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    5 set format would be an advantage for the better player. Everytime Roger step on the court, he’s the favorite. If I was a dominant player, I would rather choose to play a 5 set format rather than the 3. That’s b/c if in case you start out the match slow, there’s time to patience and play your way back into the match. The 3 set format is very dangerous b/c there isn’t much time to find your way back til it’s too late. Take a look at Roger losing in Miami and IW. Had that been a 5 setters, Federer has a better shot of beating Bagdatis and Berdych. Agree?
     
    #38
  39. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    I know that, but a guy like TMF makes it sound like its only possible on clay when in fact Fed could have done the same thing on HC if he cared to.
    noone can convince me that Fed is playing 100% besides slams and matches against Nadal!
     
    #39
  40. big bang

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    sort of agree, but he should still be able to beat these guys best of 3. just look at how many sets he drop during slams, not many useually.
     
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  41. rocket

    rocket Hall of Fame

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    i bet Murray would love to give up all his MS cups for one slam title.
     
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  42. big bang

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    LOL yup! but the closest he will come is GS tennis on Wii:)
     
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  43. kournacopia

    kournacopia Banned

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    I think his only point is that it's easier to do it on clay. Hence arises the term "clay court specialist". Don't see that in HC's, because everyone is a HC specialist.
     
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  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    That’s right. Players like Roger has more drive to play and win GS than MS.

    GS is as attractive as to a hot chic kournikova comparing to Serena(a MS). haha
     
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  45. big bang

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    I know slams is his only goal now, my point is just that if he wanted those HC masters as bad he could have done it..

    But thos CC masters is not a cake-walk or anything, Nadal is just superior to the rest of the field on that surface!
     
    #45
  46. kournacopia

    kournacopia Banned

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    You just answered your own question. Nadal is superior to the rest = The rest are just crappy on clay. On HC's it's a much more even playing field, therefore harder to do.
     
    #46
  47. Polaris

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    Pretty darn impressive, but doesn't compare to the GS record, of course.
     
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  48. big bang

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    dont tell the rest of the field is crappy, Nadal is just the king of clay!
     
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  49. viduka0101

    viduka0101 Hall of Fame

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    of course that's not true, HC have a deeper field but that doesn't imply the clay field is crap
    some people have a problem with logic
     
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  50. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    yep, nadal just makes the field look crappy, even federer himself said that recently. He's been too good for the generation above him (federer, ferrero, davydenko, ferrer), he's been too good for his generation (djokovic, soderling) and he's just waiting to be too good for the next guy on the list-jmdp. :)

    quote from fed:

    "Look, no matter what people say, I never thought my problem was clay. My problem was Rafa. The guy is unbelievable. There are some people who don't want to believe it, but that's the truth, unfortunately for a whole great generation of clay courters."
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
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