Why do people say Nadal is the undisputed clay GOAT?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dangalak, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. NDFM

    NDFM Rookie

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    woops ;) sometimes sarcism just doesn't come off the right way when you are reading it off a computer screen lol :). Federer is the better player on faster surfaces (in this case faster clay if that's possible) so it doesn't surprise me that he won in that particular fashion
     
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  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Federer would have had 2008 as well. I don't think Djokovic would have beaten him there at that time.
     
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  3. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    He uses formal logic in his argument. Meaning, even though doctors are not perfect, I'll rather ask for their advice when I get cancer than seeking advice from a bunch of carpenters. :D



    Your popularity argument is valid though, because there are other experts out there who might claim Borg is greater/better than Nadal on clay.
     
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  4. Vcore89

    Vcore89 Hall of Fame

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    Rafa is the GOAT of clay! What more is there to say? Roger is the second best clay court player in the era of the clay court king. 'nuff said.
     
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  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Anyone can argue anything but some things, though unprovable, can be stated with a high degree of certainty.

    For example, we can all endlessly debate if Borg at his best with modern equipment and training techniques, could beat Nadal.

    However, there is little to no debate that prime Nadal could beat prime Borg, given the equipment they actually used.

    In addition, when comparing numbers across eras, until tennis becomes less popular worldwide over time (which hasn't happened yet), modern numbers are more meaningful since the pool of Pros comes from a wider pool of Juniors, hence the quality and depth improves over time. Many try to dispute this, but if this was the 100 Yard Dash Warehouse Forum instead of the Tennis Warehouse Forum, the obvious superiority of Modern athletes/tech would be less "controversial".
     
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  6. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    I just wish Nadal would have played a truly GREAT player on clay who exceled the most on that surface as he did. Where that guy was also at his best on the dirt

    Its a shame Guga had all those injuries because that would have been the dream match of the 00's IMO. Guga (outside of Nadal) was the last "great" clay court player.


    The clay from early 00's-present.. We have had some solid guys like Soderling, Fed, Djoker, Del Potro , Ferrer etc.. But nothing even close to the level that we had with Guga just a few years prior. Truthfully, I dont even think of those guys are even as good as Courier or Bruguera, Muster were on clay at their peak much less on Kuerten's level.


    Nadal is definitely the best Ive seen on clay.. But I would have liked to see him truly tested by a great dirtballer. Sampras was tested by some great grass court players.. Agassi tested by many great Hardcourt players.. Nadal not tested to that means because we haven't had anyone truly "great" on clay since Kuerten,

    Guys in previous eras truly knew how to "master" the clay. A lot of guys today just bring their hard court ball whacking, and can't slide as well etc..
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
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  7. AnotherTennisProdigy

    AnotherTennisProdigy Professional

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    You can look at it like this: He has only lost ONE match at Roland Garros since the day he entered the tournament for the first time. I'm not sure what else he can possibly do.
     
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  8. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Yeah I know but once your accustomed to the posters you kinda notice the trends haha
     
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  9. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I agree with this but I feel the same way about Borg. Who was his main rival on clay? Mickey Mouse clay tournament horder Vilas who could only reach a couple French finals during the Borg era even with absolutely no other great clay courters besides Borg and himself, and who couldnt even beat a 17 year old Wilander at the French after Borg was gone. Borg was feeding him more bakery on clay in their matches than an French pastery shop. Then the rest- Eddie Dibbs, Harold Salomon, Manuela Orantes, Adrianna Panatta (the only one who pushed or had wins over Borg on clay amazingly), some competition for the clay GOAT prior to Nadal.

    I would have liked to have seen Borg play a prime Lendl (who way before his prime and in his chokers galore phase took Borg to 5 sets at the 81 French) or some of the great clay courters of the 60s and 90s on the surface as well. Borg had even less worthy competition on clay than Nadal. Atleast Federer and Djokovic can push Nadal hard on clay at times.
     
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  10. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    Nadal is close to unbeatable on clay in a best of five set match. He is so good it hurts. :)

    If Soderling doesn't return, he will likely be remembered for some time just because he was able to take down Nadal at RG.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
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  11. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Replace clay with grass and Nadal with Fed and you could say the same thing for Fed's dominance on grass. Even more so actually considering there are many more good clay courters than there are good grass courters.
     
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  12. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    True, ****s dismiss Nadal on grass like he is some joke, yet he is by FAR Federer's toughest rival on grass in his career, and is by far the 2nd most successful and best grass courter of the Federer era, with nobody else even coming close. So in essence they are admiting what a joke Federer's grass era is more than anyone. :lol:
     
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  13. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Roddick is good on grass. Nadal may have been a tougher rival for Federer, however, Roddick from 2003 to 2005 was not far behind Nadal in terms of ability on the surface. The difference was, one guy was a perfect match for the man in the finals. The other one wasn't and had to deal with his prime form.
     
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  14. roysid

    roysid Professional

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    Why Nadal is clay GOAT because of his absolute dominance on this surface. It's the hardest thing in tennis, to beat Nadal on clay more so if it's best of 5 sets. 8 consecutive MC, 7 French Open, 7 Barcelona and 6 Rome titles are crazy statistics.

    Borg was very very good on clay, but not that absolute dominant. And Borg lost US Open 1976 final to Connors on CLAY.

    Borg won 3 MC and 2 Rome titles only. That means he lost in the years he didn't play. Those two were big titles then also.

    How can Borg be claimed as close to clay GOAT then.
     
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  15. beast of mallorca

    beast of mallorca Legend

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    You are an idiot. That's all there is to it.
     
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  16. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    If you are saying that Nadal using his modern racquet with poly strings would beat Borg with his 70 sq. in. wooden racquet, then of course I agree. Then again, at 50+ with modern equipment, I could probably myself at 18 if my 18 year old self was using my old Jack Kramer Autograph. Point is that is not a valid comparison. I would also generally agree that athletes have gotten bigger, stronger and faster over the years. However, in this case, I think Borg's athleticism is at least equal to Nadal's.
     
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  17. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    They will ignore this..and the fact a Wimbledon never-gonna-be, flat-footed, joke net game Roddick nearly beat Federer in the final of "his" (Federer's) event.
     
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  18. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    You can NOT be serious.
     
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  19. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Are you saying Roddick is some great Wimbledon player? Your counter suggests it...
     
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  20. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    He is a great Grasscourter. He'd have won a good few Ws if it weren't for Federer. And don't comeback with the "weak-era" argument. It simply can not be substantiated. You could call every era a weak-era; whether a player dominates it or if all the dough is shared.
     
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  21. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It seems so obvious to practically be a silly thing to say. However it bears remembering that this comparo is the only true comparison, that is real Nadal to real Borg. Any other comparo: Nadal with a wooden Donnay, Borg with poly strings and cross training, are all huge leaps into the vast unknown, even more unknown than 2010s Nadal vs 1970s Borg.

    Ultimately it is in fact the ONLY valid comparo.

    Your last bolded area is a large part of what I was refering to in the end of my post.
     
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  22. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    If a weak era argument cant be substantiated Roddick winning a good few Wimbledons without Federer also cant be. Nearly every year there were people in the draw who would have had a realistic chance of beating him as well, Phillipousis in 2003, Hewitt in both 2004 and 2005. Even in 2009 he barely won a 5 setter over Hewitt in the quarters with Hewitt injuring himself near the end, with the draw rearranged and they play on a new day he could very well have lost. So saying he would have won a good few Ws if it werent for Federer is purely a guess, it cant be proven. He does not dominate Wimbledon minus Federer, in his prime or in the midst of his final and semifinal runs, he has also lost to Gasquet, baby Murray, and Tipsarevic at Wimbledon.

    As for comparing Nadal to Roddick, Nadal reached the final of every Wimbledon he played from 2006-2011 (missing 1 through injury), Roddick has nothing close to approaching that and it has nothing to do with Federer.

    The possability of winning a good few Wimbledons had a certain great never existed meanwhile could be used for alot of players:

    Ivanisevic- Sampras
    Martin- Sampras
    Agassi- Sampras
    Hewitt- Federer
    Murray- Nadal (and Federer)
    Cash- Becker
    Lendl- Becker (and Edberg)
    Henman- Sampras

    So by that logic every single one of these players must be regarded as a "great" grass courter too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2012
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  23. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Nadal is a better Grasscourter than Roddick; doesn't mean Roddick isn't great on it. Considering the number of Wimbledon finals he's made, the logical guess would be that he'd win some of them if the always-winner wasn't there. Especially in 2009 when he beat prime-Murray. Even if he were to lose all those finals against some other hypothetical great, he'd still be a great Grasscourter. How many players have gotten to more Wimbledon finals than he has?
     
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  24. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Roddick was a solid, good grass court player without a doubt. But I would not ever say hes GREAT on grass. Great players don't end up with 0 slams on that particular surface.. I dont care who else is there he has to play. Guys like Tsonga, Berdych, Nadal etc. beat Fed at wimbledon. I wouldn't call Berdych or Tsonga "great" grass court players by any stretch of the imagination. If that could tear apart Fed at wimbledon, why couldn't a "great" grass court player like Roddick to do so or even win a wimbledon? What about the years Roddick didn't play Fed at wimbledon?

    And when people say well Fed was old when he lost to those guys.. Thats selling Fed short a bit because he just won another wimbledon this year. ROFL


    Roddick was a good grass court player.. But wasn't a great one. He was actually better on hard courts.

    Truthfully, Roddick wasn't "great' at all on anything.. He was just a solid good player which is why he only won one slam his entire career.. If he was "great" he would have won more.. Plain and Simple
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  25. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Federer never lost at Wimbledon in his prime. And the one time Roddick lost to past-prime Federer at Wimbledon, Roddick was past his prime as well. Just because you LOL about Federer winning another Wimbledon this year doesn't mean Federer wasn't old or past-his-prime when he lost to those guys.
     
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  26. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    If Federer is a goat on grass, then everyone has to be behind him, even Roddick. YOu don't have to be the best to be considered great, because there's only 1 player can hold that position. Agassi is behind Sampras in the 90s, is he considered a great player? Is Chris a great player because she's behind Martina? Sure they are.
     
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  27. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest


    That is my feeling too. I do respect Roddick as he was an extremely hard worker and got alot out of himself. I never thought he was one of the greatest natural talents, but look at what he achieved compared to an IMO greater talent like Nalbandian.

    On the other hand one way he did not get the most out of himself was firing Brad Gilbert. That was an incredibly stupid move. Had he stayed with him I think it possible he could have ended up with 3 or 4 slams at careers end. Looking at his tennis in late 2003 and 2004, even though he didnt win a slam
    in 2004, that is by far the best he ever looked. He did look better when he first hooked up with Connors and Stefanki with a resurgent forehand and agression from the baseline but it wasnt sustained.

    Either way I think a more accurate way to assess things is not say "take away Federer" since every era can have a substantial great taken away, but say "put Roddick in another era entirely". In every era he wins from 0-2 slams. He was basically a baseline grinder, with lots of fight and determination, without great foot speed and a huge serve, that was it, apart from about 2 years cummulative of his prime where he had a huge forehand, but the other 70% it was this loopy clay courters forehand. That overall doesnt win many majors in any era. There are players greater than him in every era, he is 1-5 lifetime vs an old Agassi, so needles to say he isnt winning alot of majors in the Sampras-Agassi era, he isnt going to win alot in the Wilander/Lendl/Becker/Edberg era, and so on.
     
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  28. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Chris won 18 majors in her career despite that was dominated by Martina for many years. That is what true greats like Chris though, they find a way.

    Many players besides Federer have won Wimbledon besides Federer since Roddick turned pro, even with all the Wimbledons which Federer won. Roddick just couldnt manage to be one of them.

    Almost every era is the same in what you are saying. Before Federer people had to deal with Sampras at Wimbledon. Before him Becker and McEnroe. Before him Borg. Before him Laver. A virtual free ride to the title where you dont have to beat a dominant all time great (which seems to be what people want for Roddick to have had) never existed other than 1 or 2 year blips.
     
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  29. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    I agree with that assessment as well. If you look all his limitations:

    1. Not the fastest guy
    2. Not a great mover
    3. Not a great BH
    4. Poor transitioning to the net
    5. Pretty poor net game
    6. Not exactly the best athlete
    7. Not the greatest baseline game
    8. Average footwork at best

    etc.. I think he did alright for himself. He maximized the potential he had.. Which I think was limited outside of a big serve and FH. The other elements of his game were missing pretty big which were costly for him.

    He was a fighter and worked hard.. Always commendable in that aspect. But to call him "great". I think thats bit of an overstatement.. He was never great,

    Thats why it always struck me when people were calling him the heir apparent of his american predecessors.. The guy had gaping HUGE holes in his game. That a truly "great' player would seriously expose.. And they were exposed.. Sampras exposed him huge at the USO in 2002, Agassi exposed him every time, Fed exposed him for 20 plus matches.. Along with some others
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
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  30. Murrayfan31

    Murrayfan31 Hall of Fame

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    If Borg knew what the record was, he would've broken it. Unfortuntely, he didn't know a Rafa would beat his record through longevity. Tough luck for Borg who is the more gifted clay courter.
     
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  31. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes which is why Borg retired 1 short of the slam record of Emerson. Borg retired since he:

    1. Couldnt stand McEnroe coming into his prime and dethroning him as top dog. His ego couldnt bear it, and he had never experienced being overtaken by a younger player. His pysche couldnt cope.

    2. He got involved in drug problems and off court legal battles. The book his ex best friend and ex business partner wrote says it all.

    3. Like Nadal he was a grinder for many years and burnt out.

    In your little planet I am sure even Andy Murray is a more gifted clay courter than Nadal, so nobody really cares what you think, LOL!
     
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  32. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Agree with all that but as for the part about him being called the heir apparent of American tennis, they were in fact entirely right on that. Since the Sampras/Agassi/Courier/Chang generation won their final slam with Agassi's 2003 Australian Open title, Roddick has been by FAR the best American mens player since then. No other American man has come even close to what he has achieved, and looking at the current ones it might be a long time before someone does again. He truly was the heir apparent and by far the best hope for the future they had, and even if he didhnt go onto to win as many major titles as people once hoped he would, still proved he was the right and only one for them to have been focusing on of the crowd coming up a decade ago. He atleast gave them someone they could hope to win a major, something they certainly dont have now, and might not have for decades to come. That really speaks to how dire the state of American tennis is now though, when Serena retires (Venus is already finished basically regardless how long she chooses to play) it is going to be downright scary. The big U.S stars Ryan Harrison, Vania King, Jack Sock, and Melanie Oudin, LOL! Probably all years down the road still playing some satellites and challengers as part of their regular tour schedule to even keep the points to stay in the top 100 and on the main tour, as opposed to slam finals.
     
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  33. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Well.. I guess that is true Roddick was the best we had since Andre, Pete, Jim and Michael.. That has to account for something.. But then I consider how american men's tennis totally PLUMMETED since the heyday of the greats of the 80s and 90s.

    Roddick was the least stinky turd in the barnyard. But it was still full of turds. I'm going to need some Zoloft if I continue thinking how pathetic american men's tennis has gotten.
     
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  34. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The state of tennis moving forward is almost depressing. The U.S about to become an irrelevance in the sport once Serena retires. No up and comers for either men or women on the horizon. What will we see, Serena at 37 now in a full time actressing career showing up late to a slam final she was given a bye to play given the death or the WTA playing in high heels and a tight dress as she didnt have time to change, and beating a 31 year old Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in 25 minutes for the titles, then taking off immediately after for another acting gig. 29 year old Agniewska Radwanska completing her 7th straight year as year end #1 in a row, but not getting past the 4th round of any of the slams that year, still slamless, her only slam final still being the 2012 Wimbledon final many years ago, but playing 35 tournaments that year to consolidate her ranking in true WTA style. 38 year old Nadal with huge straps on his knees and 37 year old Djokovic playing a 8 hour Australian and French Open final, complete with 60 stroke rallies and 70 mph serves. Nobody younger than 26 in the top 100 of either the ATP or WTA.
     
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  35. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Except that I personally believe Roddick played better Tennis than Federer in the 2009 final. He totally deserved the win. One of the few times I've felt the loser deserved to win.
     
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  36. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Maybe someone should have taught him to put away a routine net point away in the TB in the 3rd set (which would have put him up 2 sets to 1) and maybe he would have.

    You gotta put those big points away to win. If you dont, you shouldn't win. Roddick had a ton of chances to beat Fed at some majors over the years.. But he failed to capitalize when he needed to.

    Roddick and Murray (though totally different games) remind a lot of one another.. Somehow they could find a way to lose even if they should win many times. (maybe even relatively easily get the win) I think both have major issues with nerves. Like they make the match harder on themselves then it has to be. . (Of course, Maybe Murray breaks through now that the " win a slam monkey" is off his back. We'll see
     
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  37. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I agree with you actually, but he goofed on the big points. That is how you either win majors or you dont. That awful volley in that tiebreak must still haunt him. That is another reason I dont feel his not winning more majors can be blamed just on Roger. Roddick had chances to beat Roger at Wimbledon 2009, real chances in the 2004 Wimbledon match, even some chances in the 2006 U.S Open (despite that the stats overwhelmingly favored Federer). So despite the fact Federer overall is the much greater and more talented player, Roddick still had his chances in some of those matches to win, and yet when he gets to the big points in those matches he found ways to blow it, so it wasnt like he was always facing an impossible task, he just often didnt deliver at crunch time to win those majors.
     
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  38. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    You're talking about instances, key points/shots, and what-ifs in the match. And, really, that doesn't matter at all. You can make Monfils a 10-time Grand Slam champion of you analyze all his matches like that. I'm just taking the match as a whole and giving my opinion on who was the better player in that one match. For instance, it's pretty much a no-brainer that the loser in a 7-6(10), 0-6, 7-6(22) played much better than the winner. It's just that these sorts of score-lines are very rare and it's not all about the score-lines either. A player who played better could still lose 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 (if he was holding serve on love in all his service holds, and losing 1 very tight service game each set, and if he was giving a lot of trouble on his return games, getting a lot of breakpoints, and just not getting there). That's the way I consider matches, anyway. And in the 2009 final, I think Roddick was slightly better.
     
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  39. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    LoL can't blame you, OP's statement was hilarious but sad at the same time.
     
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  40. Down_the_line

    Down_the_line Legend

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    Haven't read through this thread to see if this was mentioned already and if it has I apologize.

    I would say the three biggest clay court tournaments currently are the French Open, Monte Carlo Masters and Rome Masters. Since 2005, Nadal has won 7 of 8 French Open's, 8 straight Mone Carlo Masters titles, and 6 of 8 Rome Masters titles. He also holds 7 of 8 Barcelona Open titles since then.

    Yeah, he's the greatest ever on clay. Just unparalleled domination on a specific surface, at least at the big events.
     
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  41. CMM

    CMM Legend

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    I expect the haters to bring up this topic once Rafa will start losing more on this surface. This will obviously happen if he plays until the age of 30 and it's something that Borg managed to avoid by retiring early. Then they'll start saying that Borg is the clay goat because he was never dominated on this surface and has a better w-l record, etc.
     
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  42. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Weak era
    Are you saying that Nadal fans will get a taste of their own medicine? I hope that when Nadal turns 31, knowledgable Rafa fans of this forum will agree that he's playing the best tennis of his life and won his slams in a weak era.

    Should be fun.
     
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  43. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    The better question is how Fed can be considered the greatest if he keeps losing to Nadal in slam finals?

    Irrational.
     
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  44. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I don't know how can Nadal be even mentioned with the GOATS of the game when he was the first and only person in history to loose 6 consecutive final meetings in a row to the same person (3 of them being slams) and that person was/is not good enough (yet) to be mentioned with the GOATS of the game?

    You see its all relative. And BTW in tennis you compete against hundreds of guys not just 1 other player which is why Nadal spent so long at #2 and not #1.
     
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  45. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Why don't you ask Federer? Roger thinks Nadal is one of the GOATS.....do you disagree with Roger as well?
     
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  46. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I was merely responding to your stupid question about Federer, I never said I dont think Nadal is one of the GOATS.

    Dont ask stupid questions and you wont get stupid responses. Why don't you ask many of the greatest players to ever play the game as many of them have stated that they believe Roger could be the GOAT?
     
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  47. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Well, since Borg and Nadal obviously never played each other, saying one would beat the other, is still speculation.. I guess stacking the deck against Borg artifically probably renders the outcome you prefer to be more likely
     
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  48. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    True but way less speculation than imagining Borg with poly strings and Nadal with a wooden racquet.


    Face it, if you can't handle speculation, then there is nothing for you on this thread, it's all about speculation.

    As far as prime Borg playing prime Nadal, the only type of person who would give the earlier era player a chance would be someone unfamiliar with training & tech progress. Would any rational person speculate that Roger Bannister could beat Sebatian Coe in the mile? Of course not since it is a timed event. 3:49 is always less than 3:59 no matter what. No debate. It doesn't take a lot of life experience to realize that all fields progress over time and that the clay court champ of the 70s would lose to the clay court champ of the 2010s.
     
    #98
  49. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    LOL I seriously cant understand how people can include nadal in the GOAT criteria.
     
    #99
  50. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I dont believe Nadal is the GOAT at this point but this is stupid reasoning. Nadal still has a winning career record vs said player. By your logic no way could Federer be considered the GOAT when he is owned lifetime, espeicaly in slams, by by far his biggest rival, who is also a top 5 player all time. Who else was owned by even one of their main rivals, and had something anywhere near as bad a 2-8 record in slams, not Sampras, not Laver, not Gonzales, not Borg, not Nadal himself. Nadal was owned by Djokovic for 1 year, Federer has been owned by Nadal for almost a decade now.

    You seem to forgotten the rule of thumb that they are the last people who ever want to try building up the importance of head to head are Federer fans. Atleast other Federer fans on this site are good at reminding themselves of that and downplaying all its importance constantly, as nobody is hurt as much by it becoming a topic of conversation as Federer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2012

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