Is Nadal-Djokovic the greatest rivalry in world history?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by 6-1 6-3 6-0, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    At the Australian Open this year, we witnessed one of the greatest grand slam finals in world history (with Nadal losing a CLOSE 7-5 fifth set after being up 4-2 30-15), producing 6 hours of exhilarating tennis. It also indicated a turning point in the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry; Nadal had regained the mental edge. At this point, the H2H was a close 16-14 (in favour of Nadal).

    Nadal then went on to beat Djokovic THREE consecutive times, all in finals, including the most historic grand slam final of all time, the Roland Garros 2012 final. If Nadal won (and he did), he'd become the official greatest clay-court player ever with a record SEVEN Roland Garros titles, including an incredible 52 of 53 matches won at Roland Garros in just 8 years of playing there. If Djokovic won, he'd win four majors in a row, matching Laver (almost, since it's not in a calendar year). But it wasn't to be; Nadal ripped his heart out and was the record-breaker that night. They were also the only two players in world history to play in four consecutive grand slam finals against each other.

    By doing this, Nadal extended the H2H to 19-14, just one match away from matching the Sampras-Agassi H2H. When Nadal wins their next encounter, the rivalry will surely be better than Sampras-Agassi.

    Does anyone else see this rivalry as being the most riveting in world history?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
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  2. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    I would say Djokovic Federer is the current best rivalry.
     
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  3. Huanita99

    Huanita99 Rookie

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    uh, oh. easy boy. not even close. they might there one day, but you said in 'world' history. that's a big word. what is the criteria for the best rivalry?

    JMac - Borg is my favorite rivalry.
    Sampras - Agassi is better too
    Nadal - Fed

    btw, you are delusional if you think Nadal has 'an edge' on Djokovic, lol. only on clay.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
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  4. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    But did Federer-Djokovic ever contest a grand slam final as historic as Roland Garros 2012?

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Yes, the 2007 USO.
     
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  6. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    Playing the 2007 USO Final, Federer was aiming to gain a 4th consecutive US Open title and a 12th grand slam. Hardly historic. Djokovic was hoping to gain his first grand slam, not historic, only a personal feat (and something for Serbian tennis fans to feel happy about).

    Whereas in Roland Garros 2012, there was far much on the line for BOTH players. The 2007 US Open final pales in comparison.
     
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  7. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Why isn't that historic? I think 2007 USO final was on par
     
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  8. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    Djokovic aiming to complete a career grand slam AND at the same time win four majors in a row (hasn't been done since Laver in 1969), and Nadal winning a RECORD 7 French Open titles, AND their fourth consecutive meeting in a slam final. Not on par at all.
     
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  9. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    What about when Federer tries to win 4 consecutive in 2007 and 2007.
     
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  10. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    No, it is terrible. Game-wise, they are pretty similar and do not experiment much in matches.

    Then again, Roger, despite all his artistry, finds it hard to overcome the Energizer bunnies in the top 4, and his matches go form the sublime to the unwatchable as a result.

    So it depends on whether you value quantity or quality. For quantity i.e. time per match, these 2 are probably a good bet, slowly being replaced by Murray-Djokovic.
     
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  11. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    But he wasn't aiming for the overall title record (most number of titles). Just a little consecutive streak. He still hasn't got that (the title count record).
     
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  12. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    he was aiming for exactly what Djokovic was aiming for. Four consecutive slam and career slam. It's not Federer's fault Nadal was not good enough to be aiming for the overall title record in 2006/07.
     
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  13. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    But that's just for one player. Roland Garros 2012 was more historic because both players were aiming for two different records, each of which are two of the most important records in world history. And Federer wasn't aiming for four consecutive slams at US Open 2007.
     
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  14. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    Sexi Federer was on his flight of the golden eagle quest to become the first man in history to win Wimbledon and USO double 3 years in the row!
     
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  15. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    Again, still not historically more significant than the Nadal-Djokovic final, since that's just about one player (and the record in question is hardly superior to 7 Roland Garros titles/career grand slam/4 slams in a row).
     
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  16. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    By that definition W2009 was the most important of all since Federer was aiming for the most important record of all, the slam count title.
     
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  17. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    Again, that was only about Federer, not about Roddick. If Federer had lost, the result wouldn't have been particularly historic at all, just another American winning a slam, which has happened plenty.
     
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  18. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Ok so then W2012 was the most important of all since Murray was going for the first slam by a brit in a zillion years and Federer was going for the highest slam total in history of men's open era tennis.
     
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  19. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    Murray winning Wimbledon 2012 is equivalent to Djokovic winning US Open 2007, both only carry personal sentimental value. It's of little relevance, especially when you compare that to winning 4 slams in a row, or the career grand slam.
     
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  20. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Depends on who you ask. Murray winning his first slam and the first Brit to do so, especially at Wimbledon in how many years, is very very historic.
     
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  21. amx13

    amx13 Semi-Pro

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    For a great rivarly to develop, you would need contrasting styles and personalitys, a la Agassi-Sampras...you will never find that with Nadal and Djokovic
     
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  22. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Which is why Nadal-Federer is such a good rivalry.
     
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  23. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

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    at least I don't. a rivalry between the n2&3 or n1&n3 is just not as interesting as n1 vs n2.
     
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  24. Huanita99

    Huanita99 Rookie

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    yeah, it's so good. it is so one sided. disagree with you completely. Nadal simply owns Fed. what rivalry? they are only fun to watch on grass. everything else is so predictable ...Rafa is pounding Fed's BH, Fed is running around his BH to hit FH... boring

    People like their matches because they won so much and for a long time they were dominant players.
     
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  25. MindoverMatter

    MindoverMatter Professional

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    To put it simply, no I don't think it is.

    All of the great, 'historic' matches between Nadal and Djokovic weren't all that great. The 2012 RO final, while admittedly having some significance for both players, was a pretty average slam final and was even a little boring - minus the little internal tennis politics that happened concerning the rain.

    The super long AO final was another bore for me at times as well. Just because a final is really long doesn't make it good.

    If you want a good rivalry with two players with conflicting styles who meet and clash and trade blows, then you don't have to go back very far. Federer-Nadal is a much better rivalry, spanning many more years, than any nadal-djokovic rivalry.
     
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  26. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    No. No contrast in styles. Borg v. McEnroe, Chrissie v. Martina and Pete v. Andre were all more exciting to watch.
     
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  27. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    2011 final

    I thought the Nadal/Federer 2011 Roland Garros final was of better quality than the 2012 final.

    Having said that yes - Nadal/Djokovic is a great rivalry....but not the greatest...it doesn't approach Nadal Federer yet. Actually I think the big rivalry to come is actually going to be Djokovic/Murray.
     
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  28. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    no. Nadal-federer.
     
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  29. Golden

    Golden Semi-Pro

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    Lol no. There are a lot that are greater than the Djokodal rivalry.
    1. Evert - Navratilova
    2. Lendl - McEnroe
    3. Agassi - Sampras
    4. Borg - McEnroe
    5. Clijsters - Henin
    6. Venus - Serena
    That's just tennis rivalries. I'm sure there's wayyyy more interesting rivalries in sports worldwide.
     
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  30. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    No. Boring rivalry. Same patterns of play, defense defense defense, Nadal trying to break down the Djokovic forehand, Djokovic breaking down the Nadal backhand, 10 minute service games.

    Also, UHHHHH!! over and over and over.

    I'll take anyone else.

    And RG 2012 final had larger implications, but wasn't any more historic than USO 2007. Sorry NSK.
     
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  31. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    No. Novak D. had to prove himself with everyone in the ATP ,now that he's a top the ATP again he's more concerned with staying there. I dont think being preoccupied with a certain player gets you to the top of the heap so as to speak, beating them all does,many more times than you get beat, IMO.

    :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
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  32. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    Rivalry. LOL.

    Nadal beat up novak when nole was still maturing.

    Once novak became the "MAN", nadal had no answer on any surface. Nadal lost like a gazillion finals in a row to the same guy on multiple surfaces. LOL . TOTAL DOMINATION.

    This rivalry is only heading one way, and its in novak's direction...
     
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  33. Ico

    Ico Hall of Fame

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    Not that great of a rivalry considering Nadal hasn't beaten Djokovic off of clay since 2010.
     
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  34. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    I agree that match had lot of historical significance but how did you manage to club that with greatest rivalry ?

    The AO final and the FO final were probably the 2 most boring matches ever in the last decade or so for a major final.
     
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  35. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    I'll take Lendl v McEnroe any day.
    Contrast of styles.
    Some intense dislike.
    It's all there.
     
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  36. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL. Nadal is currently on a 3-match winning streak against Djokovic.
     
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  37. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Nadal had a super yr in 2010, then Djoker had a similar run in 2011. 2013 would be a different scenario.
     
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  38. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    It's been one of the greatest rivalries in tennis recently, that's for sure. For the trivia, Djoko has played Nadal 14 times on clay and he is 2-12 on that surface vs Rafa, exactly like Fed who has also played 14 matches vs Rafa on clay and won only 2. Fed/Nadal have played 5 times at RG and 3 times at M-C while Djoko/Nadal have played 4 times at RG and 4 times in Rome. Given how much younger Djoko is than Fed, I expect in the end it will be the bigger rivalry of the 2 on clay.
    On hard court, the main rivalry has been Fed/Djoko. They've played 22 times of which a whooping 5 times at USO and 3 times at AO. By contrast, Nadal/Fed have played only 11 times on hard. I would say Djoko/Nadal is the second best rivalry on hard with 16 encounters in slams, Olympics, WTF and every master on hard except for Shanghai. (Murray/Fed have played 17 matches but a number of them happened in minor events like Bangkok or Doha, so I would still put Djoko/Nadal ahead at this point. )
    Overall Djoko/Nadal have played the most matches: 33 (vs 29 for Djoko/Fed and 28 for Nadal/Fed).
    On grass, Fed has played Murray and Djoko only once.
    The player he's met the most at Wimbledon is Roddick (4 times) although it's hard to call that 4-0 score a gripping rivalry ... He's met both Hewitt and Nadal 3 times but Nadal is the only one who beat him there. Nadal also beat Murray 3 times at W. Djoko and Murray have never met at W.
    Regardless of stats, the Djoko/Nadal matches are often spectacular and intense (AO 2012 and Madrid 2009 come to mind).
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
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  39. Colin

    Colin Professional

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    No, it's boring.
     
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  40. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    The definition of boring was Fed/Roddick. By comparison, the Nadal/Djoko rivalry is a hitchcockian thriller (gamewise and resultwise).
     
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  41. Colin

    Colin Professional

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    You seem to equate unpredictable intrinsically with exciting, and you can certainly make that case. Most Fed-Roddick matches were as predictable as a Lifetime movie (spoiler: the husband was a murderous cad!) They really had only one wildly unpredictable match — that Wimbledon 2009 final — but it made it that more thrilling when Roddick got one. Fed is my favorite, but you still had to root for Andy because of how much of an underdog he was. A few of their closer matches (a couple of the Wimbledons, the U.S. Open final, the Montreal match) were very good quality-wise. Heck, I thought Andy played well in that one AO semifinal that might go down as his worst loss because Fed played at a level unseen before or after. Andy brought out the best in Roger, even if the opposite didn't prove true.

    By contrast, Nadal and Djokovic bring out the worst in each other. Though you weren't sure who was going to win in a Nadal-Djokovic match (and I use past tense because I'm not sure Nadal will ever win again), you knew who was going to lose: the TV viewer. Six hours is a European workday, not an entertainment event. Time-wasting and passive rallies do not alone make an epic, even with the flashes of brilliance buried in the mire.

    This is not to say I don't enjoy watching Nadal or Djokovic, and I'll add Murray in there. But they all have very similar styles of play. So their best matches are invariably against Fed, because I do like contrast. (Which is why Fed can be boring against a great server.) The problem is Roger is the only one with a more aggressive mentality who is consistently able to mix it up with the other top players. Tsonga, Berdych and Del Po would be fine counterpoints if they could be a little more consistent. You just don't feel they're going to beat Nole, Rafa and Andy on a regular basis.

    So, I'd have to go with Djokovic-Federer as the best hard-court rivalry of recent years and Nadal-Federer as the best grass- and clay-court rivalry; even though Roger lost so many on clay, at least he could bring some excitement like few others. That 2008 French Open is probably Roger's worst match ever, but that epic Rome final is probably my favorite clay-court match, and their last Roland Garros matchup wasn't too bad.
     
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  42. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Nole was far from playing his best tennis at the 2012 FO. He finally came awake for a set, then fell back asleep at the wheel. Hardly a great match.
     
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  43. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    ????? Nadal won their last 3 encounters. Totally disagree also about the "passive rallies". Djoko and Nadal are the best at transitioning from defense to offense. So far, at RG neither Fed nor Djoko have found a way vs Nadal but I've enjoyed the Djoko matches more, it seems he pushes Nadal a bit more out of his comfort zone while Fed/Nadal at RG have become annoyingly predictable (just like the Rod/Fed routine you were describing).
     
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  44. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Djokovic was horrendous at RG this year. The fact that he even made the finals was extraordinary in itself. The guy had to save 5 match points against a clay scrub like Tsonga. :lol: Before then, he was lucky even to get through Seppi.
     
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  45. Colin

    Colin Professional

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    Yeah, I agree Nadal began to right things as Nole came down from his 2011, but I wonder if people are underestimating the missed time on Rafa's part. The positives he built up there will be undermined by the knee problems and time off.

    I think it's going to be harder to come back than the last times and that may cause Rafa to lose interest in the sport, especially if he's lower-ranked and runs into Djokovic in the semis or even quarters if Ferrer takes the fourth spot. He's going to have a hard time winning hard-court matches against Nole and Andy and likely even Fed and Ferrer. His best hope is he can find his form for clay. If he hasn't go the confidence, it could be a disaster and I could see him retiring without beating Djokovic again. If he has a great clay and grass season, things could turn around. Hard to say till we see him in action.

    As far as recent French matches, I liked Fed-Nole and Fed-Nadal much better than last year's final, but that's just a preference on style.
     
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  46. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Actually, Djoko had the toughest draw at RG this year, having to play the #5, 3 and 2 in a row. I don't know if you're aware of it but it is pretty rare for players to have to play 3 top 8 in the same event (other than WTF). The toughest draws in recent history have been (all draws with 3 opponents in top 5 and afaik the list is exhaustive):

    1- Djoko: Canada 2007, Nalby: Madrid 2007 and Berdych: Wimbledon 2010: 3, 2, 1 (can't beat that!)
    2- Baghdatis: AO 2006: 4, 3, 1
    3- Djoko: Rome 2009: 5, 2, 1 (+ Gonzalez: AO 2007)
    4- Djoko: Rome/RG 2012: 5, 3, 2 (Also Delpo in Canada 2009)
    5- Djoko: Rome 2011 and Nadal: M-C 2008: 5, 4, 1
    6- Djoko: AO 2012 and Fed: Shanghai 2010: 5, 4, 2
    7- Fed: USO 2007 and Nadal: RG 2011: 5, 4, 3

    I don't know why but Djoko seems to get most of the toughest draws (on paper at least). Whether it's a coincidence or there is more to it, who knows, but it gives even more merit to what he's been able to accomplish so far.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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  47. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Haters in denial, lol.
     
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  48. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    I like the way you write. I feel you are the most creative writer here. It would be interesting to read something that you write other than about Tennis, may be music or movies: things that bring more creativity to words
     
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  49. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    No, because the Safin-Kafelnikov-Sampras trivalry was of greater significance in the pig picture. Still the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry far outweighs the so-called Nadal-Fereder rivalry, which was not a rivalry at all with Nadal being far more dominant.
     
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  50. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Clay

    Only on clay.(Who does have a winning record against rafa on clay anyway?) . Federer and Nadal have an even head to head - 2 surfaces all (federer grass/ indoor, nadal clay outdoor hard). Head to head numbers are not relevant unless you include surface (if you disagree, please first predict what borg and mcenroes head to head would have been if they had played all their matches on clay)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
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