Originally Posted by pds999
You can keep trotting out the same "Djokovic 2011 was unbeatable" argument. What about Nadal 2010 who also won 3 slams (and beat Djokovic in the US Open final pretty comfortably)? The fact is, every player has high points and low points form-wise. Djokovic was excellent in 2011 and figured out how to do damage to Nadal. Nadal changed his game in 2012 and won the next three matches. He simply didn't let Djokovic play at that level. It's an irrelevant argument to say 2011 Djokovic was 40% better. It's also not true. Djokovic lost to Federer at the 2011 French Open but beat him comfortably in 2012 - why was that?
As for "nearly running Nadal ragged" in that French Open final, the only part of the match he had any hold was when the rain came and the court completely changed. Other than that it was pretty much one-way traffic.
Oh and crushed by Verdasco in Madrid? Are you kidding me? I watched that match live and it was one of the worst performances I have ever seen by either player - absolute rubbish tennis, tentative, full of errors and very low on quality. Now I know you are kidding.
I like the way you highlight one or two performances across an entire clay court season (only one of which he actually lost anyway) as evidence he will struggle this season.
Let's talk facts:
22 Masters Series vs 9 (that's poor)
11 grand slams vs 6
19 to 14 head to head record in Nadal's favour (despite that miraculous 2011 run)
Arguably the two players aren't worth even comparing at the moment in the grand scheme of tennis greats. The gap in achievements is as big between Nadal and Djokovic as it is between Djokovic and Murray. In fact Murray is arguably closer to Djokovic than Djokovic is to Nadal.
That's exactly my point though. Nadal's performance against Verdasco showed how error prone he can be. And it was odd because of how dominant Nadal was against Davydenko the day before.
Also the RG final last year was far more competitive than the scores indicate. Nadal allowed Djokovic to swing freely on the ball at times. It wasn't a case of Nadal figuring out how to play Djokovic. Djokovic's level was below par. It wasn't a high quality match from either side but Nadal is a master at spinning and pushing balls in and forcing errors.
Also Federer gave up in that semifinal. He let Djokovic take the win. He didn't want to play Nadal in the final. It was obvious in his play and his temperament that day.
Also, Djokovic has 13 Masters Series Titles. Not 9.
Djokovic has 2 WTF titles and a lopsided H2H in his favor over Nadal on hardcourts.
Nadal is 2-1 against Djokovic on grass.