After Australia 2019, the manner of Nadal's destruction of Djokovic was absolutely neccesary

octogon

Hall of Fame
It shouldn't have been neccesary. Nadal's body of work and superior H2H against Djokovic in Grand Slams, should have spoken for itself.

But tennis is a sport where people, even the journalists, commentators and former pros seem to have short memories. After Djokovic spanked Nadal in the Australian Open final in his pet slam, you could see a shift in much of the tennis media towards Djokovic. Some claimed in excitement that performance was the highest level of tennis ever (no it wasn't. These guys are both past prime) and saw it as an excuse to write off Nadal as being inferior to Djokovic. Doesn't matter what Nadal had done to Djokovic in past slams.....this spanking would be the defining performance of their rivalry for many tennis media ready to declare Djokovic the GOAT-in-waiting.


This is why Nadal destroying Djokovic in the French Open final sends out such a powerful statement. He's reminded these people that Djokovic is not in his head everywhere they play. Just that they are capable of destroying each other on their favorite surfaces and turf. The 90% of tennis media that predicted Djokovic to win the final now have recieved a wake-up call. If they believed Djokovic was inarguably the superior player after that Australia final, that belief has been shaken to it's core by Nadal's astonishing performance.

It wasn't good enough for Nadal to just win to remind these people that Djokovic is not greater than him. A 4 or 5 set victory would not have gotten the point across. That straight sets demolition (complete with bagel) did.
 
Last edited:

Meles

Bionic Poster
It shouldn't have been neccesary. Nadal's body of work and superior H2H against Djokovic in Grand Slams, should have spoken for itself.

But tennis is a sport where people, even the journalists, commentators and former pros seem to have short memories. After Djokovic spanked Nadal in the Australian Open final in his pet slam, you could see a shift in much of the tennis media towards Djokovic. Some claimed in excitement that performance was the highest level of tennis ever (no it wasn't. These guys are both past prime) and saw it as an excuse to write off Nadal as being inferior to Djokovic. Doesn't matter what Nadal had done to Djokovic in past slams.....this spanking would be the defining performance of their rivalry for many tennis media ready to declare Djokovic the GOAT-in-waiting.


This is why Nadal destroying Djokovic in the French Open final sends out such a powerful statement. He's reminded these people that Djokovic is not in his head everywhere they play. Just that they are capable of destroying each other on their favorite surfaces and turf. The 90% of tennis media that predicted Djokovic to win the final now have recieved a wake-up call. If they believed Djokovic was inarguably the superior player after this, that belief has been shaken to it's core by Nadal's astonishing performance.

It wasn't good enough for Nadal to win to remind these people that Djokovic is not greater than him. A 4 or 5 set victory would not have gotten the point across. That straight sets demolition did.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
To be fair, they were picking Djokovic to win the tournament before it began because Rafa was a question mark this time with his form and the new conditons. When they both reached the final, the overwhelming majority picked Nadal. I think you're overthinking it and it isn't that deep. You have some great days and then on the flip side, your opponent may not have a great day and you get AO 2019. The same can be said for today. Rafa didn't have to make a statement at RG. Everybody already knows he is the best there.
 

Kozzy

Semi-Pro
Today's win was great for Nadal, but it does not change all that much in my mind. Djokovic is still an amazing player with a legit claim to being the GOAT, but he is not alone, nor will he ever be. He will always share the stage with Nadal and Federer, and that is OK. The triumvirate of tennis.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
that AO final definitely cast a shadow over this RG, I know it did for me

although I thought Nadal the clear favorite, I still had that match at the back of my mind and kept having these doubts "what if he actually pulls it off, what if he just straight sets Rafa on his own turf"

wasn't even close but that's the effect that recency bias can have on you
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
It was definitely a statement match for Nadal and very impressive to witness, but it won't change anything on HC and grass IMO.
Djokovic barely beat Rafa in 5 sets, 10-8, over 2 days and a closed roof when they last faced at Wimbledon. Rafa could easily have won that match. Djokovic has more Wimby titles, but I don't believe he has any special advantadge H2H with Rafa on grass. Nadal is playing well on grass again, and can push Novak to the limit and beat him.

On most hardcourt surfaces (especially Australian Open), Djokovic has a big advantage, and should always be expected to win. But US Open (and Rogers Cup) really suits Nadal's game, so it's hard to put Novak as a big favorite over Rafa there (more titles and a better H2H than Novak).

The only slam I can't see Rafa beating Novak at this stage of his career is Australia. Every other slam he has a decent to great shot at beating Novak.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
To be fair, they were picking Djokovic to win the tournament before it began because Rafa was a question mark this time with his form and the new conditons. When they both reached the final, the overwhelming majority picked Nadal. I think you're overthinking it and it isn't that deep. You have some great days and then on the flip side, your opponent may not have a great day and you get AO 2019. The same can be said for today. Rafa didn't have to make a statement at RG. Everybody already knows he is the best there.
A lot of tennis media and former pros were still picking Novak to win when they both reached the final, because allegedly "conditions" and heavy balls or whatever. I listened to a podcast with the New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg after the semi-finals, and two out of three "experts" on the podcast picked Novak to win, and said they were more impressed by his level over the tournament than Nadal's. They even tried to make Novak being taken to 5 sets by Stefanos Tsitsipas as an advantage over Nadal, as he had been "pushed".

It was pretty ridiculous. A lot of tennis media had simply started overrating Novak, while underrating Rafa. And now they look foolish because of it.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic barely beat Rafa in 5 sets, 10-8, over 2 days and a closed roof when they last faced at Wimbledon. Rafa could easily have won that match. Djokovic has more Wimby titles, but I don't believe he has any special advantadge H2H with Rafa on grass. Nadal is playing well on grass again, and can push Novak to the limit and beat him.

On most hardcourt surfaces (especially Australian Open), Djokovic has a big advantage, and should always be expected to win. But US Open (and Rogers Cup) really suits Nadal's game, so it's hard to put Novak as a big favorite over Rafa there (more titles and a better H2H than Novak).

The only slam I can't see Rafa beating Novak at this stage of his career is Australia. Every other slam he has a decent to great shot at beating Novak.
The Wimbledon match will be 3 years ago by the time they might play there again though. Nadal could beat Djokovic, but Djokovic deserves favourite status there, and I don't think it will be as close as 10-8 if they do play again. At that time Djokovic was just getting back to being himself after 2017 to mid 2018 as well. He's more confident now. And at Wimbledon, Federer could conceivably beat Nadal again.

And at the USO Nadal has more titles, but in a H2H matchup on a HC you have to favour Novak now. Nadal is simply doing a much better job navigating the field and credit to him, but if he played Djokovic in 2018, 2019, or 2020 I'm almost certain he would lose.

The positive for Nadal after this is that it's clear that Djokovic will never beat him at RG again IMO, but the same isn't necessarily true in reverse (though Novak is a sizeable favourite in a H2H match up at both HC slams, Wimbledon slightly less so)
 
The media are an embarrassment, they bandwagon onto whichever player is currently winning the most with barely any analysis other than “it’s amazing how they’re playing better than ever”.

You could hear how gutted the ITV crew were during the match yesterday. Said it was one of the greatest 6-0 sets of all time.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
The Wimbledon match will be 3 years ago by the time they might play there again though. Nadal could beat Djokovic, but Djokovic deserves favourite status there, and I don't think it will be as close as 10-8 if they do play again. At that time Djokovic was just getting back to being himself after 2017 to mid 2018 as well. He's more confident now.

And at the USO Nadal has more titles, but in a H2H matchup on a HC you have to favour Novak now. Nadal is simply doing a much better job navigating the field and credit to him, but if he played Djokovic in 2018, 2019, or 2020 I'm almost certain he would lose.

It's one of those ones we'll have to wait and see how it plays out if they meet at Wimby or US Open again. Either one of us could be right or wrong.
 
To be fair, they were picking Djokovic to win the tournament before it began because Rafa was a question mark this time with his form and the new conditons. When they both reached the final, the overwhelming majority picked Nadal. I think you're overthinking it and it isn't that deep. You have some great days and then on the flip side, your opponent may not have a great day and you get AO 2019. The same can be said for today. Rafa didn't have to make a statement at RG. Everybody already knows he is the best there.
Was it different in the US? Here in the UK the media were desperate for Djokovic to win and were visibly and audibly gutted Rafa destroyed him.
 

movies99

Rookie
that AO final definitely cast a shadow over this RG, I know it did for me

although I thought Nadal the clear favorite, I still had that match at the back of my mind and kept having these doubts "what if he actually pulls it off, what if he just straight sets Rafa on his own turf"

wasn't even close but that's the effect that recency bias can have on you
The AO performance was a combination of Nadal not well oiled up and Djokovic in good form, look Nadal came back from injury and managed to reach final using his experience and grit but on that night djokovic also went up another level and Nadal could not muster anything. We all know Rafa needs matches under his belt. But what that AO has done is that Rafa has started playing more aggressive. Rafa has a very aggressive game if needed and great hands, he can blow away opponents if needed but he is comfortable in rallying and being counter puncher. But with age and AO experience he is starting to be more aggressive, even in AO he tried to finish matches quickly till final and djokovic level in final was perfect.
I like the gameplay of Nadal now, he hit little flatter and used his forehand more to dictate points in this FO conditions, went back a little to cover djokovic serve. If serve is neutral, Rafa is the best player irrespective of the opponent, that is why he has little problems at Wimbledon first few rounds. We are seeing great evolution of Nadal game. Djokovics game is good but if he has an opponent who is aggressive and playing well, he always has a problem and more players are doing that.
 

duaneeo

Legend
And at the USO Nadal has more titles, but in a H2H matchup on a HC you have to favour Novak now.
No you don't. You can't just say 'HC' when it comes to the slams. Nole is the clear favorite over Rafa at the AO, but Rafa has the advantage at the USO. They have an established history in USO finals, where Rafa (4-1) nearly always stepped up, and Djokovic (3-5) typically didn't.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
No you don't. You can't just say 'HC' when it comes to the slams. Nole is the clear favorite over Rafa at the AO, but Rafa has the advantage at the USO. They have an established history in USO finals, where Rafa (4-1) nearly always stepped up, and Djokovic (3-5) typically didn't.
This is true. Till proven otherwise, Nadal should be given the respect based on their record that he should be the favorite (not neccesarily huge one though) if they meet at the US Open. Novak is not great enough there to act like it's the same thing as the Australian Open.

People have already made this silly mistake by underrating Rafa at RG this year. The man is a 20 time grand slam champion. Give him his due. He's better at 2 slams than Novak, and should be favored over him at those two slams.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
No you don't. You can't just say 'HC' when it comes to the slams. Nole is the clear favorite over Rafa at the AO, but Rafa has the advantage at the USO. They have an established history in USO finals, where Rafa (4-1) nearly always stepped up, and Djokovic (3-5) typically didn't.
I think you do. Nadal beating guys like Medvedev, Berretini and Anderson at the USO is not the same as beating Djokovic. Not even close. Nadal has navigated the field better to his credit, but in a H2H matchup Djokovic has an upper hand on any HC IMO. Nadal's record in finals, and his 2-1 record against Djokovic there is only because they haven't met there in many years where Djokovic was in better form.
 
D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
I think they were playing it safe as weird as that sounds.
Djokovic is No.1, had played and won more events going in, the conditions were said to favor him. He even has an impressive record vs Nadal on Clay, relatively speaking. He had won ten of their last 13 matches.
I said to someone who does not follow tennis media much and was picking Nadal to win, "you do know Djokovic is the favorite in media circles", and my friend basically said Nadal had won 12 titles and was in the final.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
I think you do. Nadal beating guys like Medvedev, Berretini and Anderson at the USO is not the same as beating Djokovic. Not even close. Nadal has navigated the field better to his credit, but in a H2H matchup Djokovic has an upper hand on any HC IMO. Nadal's record in finals, and his 2-1 record against Djokovic there is only because they haven't met there in many years where Djokovic was in better form.

But Djokovic clearly isn't as good on US Open hardcourts as he in on some others. If he was, his record there would be stronger. And Rafa is clearly better on US Open hardcourts than he is on many others. The US Open hardcourts maximise Rafa's hardcourt game and in turn make Djokovic more beatable. The dynamic is not neccesarily the same as on many other hardcourts.

It's not as simple an equation as you make it seem. But as I said, we will only find out who is correct by them meeting again in New York.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
But Djokovic clearly isn't as good on US Open hardcourts as he in on some others. And Rafa is clearly better on US Open hardcourts than he is on many others. The US Open hardcourts maximise Rafa's hardcourt game and in turn make Djokovic more beatable. The dynamic is not neccesarily the same as on many other hardcourts.

It's not as simple an equation as you make it seem. But as I said, we will only find out who is correct by them meeting again in New York.
Yes we can agree to disagree and hope they play in NYC again.
 
D

Deleted member 771911

Guest
It certainly adds a new twist to things.
A humbled Djokovic might make him more likeable, too.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
It shouldn't have been neccesary. Nadal's body of work and superior H2H against Djokovic in Grand Slams, should have spoken for itself.
Devil's advocate:

Novak has almost 2 years more than Nadal while ranked #1.

He leads the H2H (so huge for both fanbases, endlessly used against Fed, so be consistent).

He's won 5 Wimbledon's, the cathedral of tennis.

He has the double career masters 1000 shield (again, Masters 1000's HUGE for both fanbases, be consistent).

Novak has 5 YEC's, Nadal has zero, this is massive unless someone's a blind sparrow.

Djokovic's body of work is superlative and far more varied than Nadal, those are facts. Nadal leads by three slams though, and that's really all that matters. He's still leagues ahead because of the slam differential.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Devil's advocate:

Novak has almost 2 years more than Nadal while ranked #1.

He leads the H2H (so huge for both fanbases, endlessly used against Fed, so be consistent).

He's won 5 Wimbledon's, the cathedral of tennis.

He has the double career masters 1000 shield (again, Masters 1000's HUGE for both fanbases, be consistent).

Novak has 5 YEC's, Nadal has zero, this is massive unless someone's a blind sparrow.

Djokovic's body of work is superlative and far more varied than Nadal, those are facts. Nadal leads by three slams though, and that's really all that matters. He's still leagues ahead because of the slam differential.
Masters are nice. Nobody has ever seriously used them as an argument for superiority, even when Nadal had the most (and I predict Nadal will have the most again at some point, and it still won't mean much). It's always been about the slams. Federer has far less Masters than Nadal and Djokovic, and nobody really cares. That double career masters stuff was just typical hype from Djokovic fans who blow up his every achievement. It's good triva, but has zero effect on the GOAT race.

Nadal has the superior slam H2H, now up to 10-6. In the matches that truly matter, Nadal dominates Djokovic H2H. I'm more impressed by Nadal's 10-4 domination of his slam H2H with Federer, than his owning their overall H2H. Rafa's utter domination of the H2H in slams over Djokovic and Federer is one of his most compelling arguments for being GOAT. Djokovic needs to reverse the slam H2H with Nadal, as it's starting to look ugly for him. A two match lead in the overall H2H won't convince anybody.

A slam is a slam. I don't subscribe to this Wimbledon is the "cathedral of tennis" nonsense. The fact that Nadal had won Wimbledon twice is enough. Novak having more does not give him special privileges, and they don't count for extra in the slam race.

Nadal has Olympic Singles Gold.
 
Last edited:

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
Devil's advocate:

Novak has almost 2 years more than Nadal while ranked #1.

He leads the H2H (so huge for both fanbases, endlessly used against Fed, so be consistent).

He's won 5 Wimbledon's, the cathedral of tennis.

He has the double career masters 1000 shield (again, Masters 1000's HUGE for both fanbases, be consistent).

Novak has 5 YEC's, Nadal has zero, this is massive unless someone's a blind sparrow.

Djokovic's body of work is superlative and far more varied than Nadal, those are facts. Nadal leads by three slams though, and that's really all that matters. He's still leagues ahead because of the slam differential.
A lot of these aren't great points though when you sit and think about them.

The weeks at No. 1 advantage is more of a timing issue than anything. Nadal has more total weeks ranked AHEAD of Djokovic, which as between them is really what matters. It's tough to penalize Nadal AGAINST DJOKOVIC because Nadal was stuck behind peak/prime Fed for years on end (while simultaneously ahead of #3 Djoker). And Nadal isn't really gunning for #1 right now. If he gets there, it will be as a result of winning big titles.

The H2H is razor thin, and in fact is equivalent at Majors/YEC/Masters. Kinda has to be a significant edge there for this to matter.

Wimbledon being the "cathedral" is irrelevant. You could just as easily say that AO is by far the least prestigious major, and that's where Novak has 7 titles. Literally nobody in the abstract would choose to have most of his/her majors coming from Australia.

The Masters are great, but none are so important that each is a must-win. For example, it's not like Nadal's resume is better in the abstract by trading an IW for a Miami. And the post-USO Masters are weak tournaments that lots of players don't care about. Novak loves them because he builds his resume in the less-prestigious post-USO stretch (seriously, compare his numbers in those events to Fed and Nadal).

The YEC is clearly something Nadal hasn't won, but it's also not a "must-win". If you consider it so, then you are de facto elevating it to major status. It's not (same with the Olympic Gold mind you).
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
A lot of tennis media and former pros were still picking Novak to win when they both reached the final, because allegedly "conditions" and heavy balls or whatever. I listened to a podcast with the New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg after the semi-finals, and two out of three "experts" on the podcast picked Novak to win, and said they were more impressed by his level over the tournament than Nadal's. They even tried to make Novak being taken to 5 sets by Stefanos Tsitsipas as an advantage over Nadal, as he had been "pushed".

It was pretty ridiculous. A lot of tennis media had simply started overrating Novak, while underrating Rafa. And now they look foolish because of it.
Yea but, Nadal's level in his semifinal was not that high. So I can understand going only off of that putting Djokovic as a slight favorite, but of course they went overboard.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
A slam is a slam. I don't subscribe to this Wimbledon is the "cathedral of tennis" nonsense. The fact that Nadal had won Wimbledon twice is enough. Novak having more does not give him special privileges, and they don't count for extra in the slam race.
The majors are all relevant to a degree. You still need to play well on all surfaces.

That said, the crowd who elevates Wimbledon to the top also fairly needs to recognize the lack of relative prestige in Australia. And I say this as a gigantic Agassi fan.
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Masters are nice. Nobody has ever seriously used them as an argument for superiority, even when Nadal had the most (and I predict Nadal will have the most again at some point, and it still won't mean much). It's always been about the slams. Federer has far less Masters than Nadal and Djokovic, and nobody really caresm

Nadal has the superior slam H2H, now up to 10-6. In the matches that truly matter, Nadal dominates Djokovic H2H. I'm more impressed by Nadal's 10-4 domination of his slam H2H with Federer, than his owning their overall H2H. Rafa's utter domination of the H2H in slams over Djokovic and Federer is one of his most compelling arguments for being GOAT. Djokovic needs to reverse the slam H2H as it's starting to look ugly for him. A two match lead in the overall H2H won't convince anybody.

A slam is a slam. I don't subscribe to this Wimbledon is the "cathedral of tennis" nonsense. The fact that Nadal had won Wimbledon twice is enough. Novak having more does not give him special privileges, and they don't count for extra in the slam race.

Nadal has Olympic Singles Gold.
Not sure what you're talking about. Today was Nadal's first win over Djokovic in a slam since 2014 after losing the last three encounters, all on different surfaces I might add.
 
A lot of these aren't great points though when you sit and think about them.

The weeks at No. 1 advantage is more of a timing issue than anything. Nadal has more total weeks ranked AHEAD of Djokovic, which as between them is really what matters. It's tough to penalize Nadal AGAINST DJOKOVIC because Nadal was stuck behind peak/prime Fed for years on end (while simultaneously ahead of #3 Djoker). And Nadal isn't really gunning for #1 right now. If he gets there, it will be as a result of winning big titles.

The H2H is razor thin, and in fact is equivalent at Majors/YEC/Masters. Kinda has to be a significant edge there for this to matter.

Wimbledon being the "cathedral" is irrelevant. You could just as easily say that AO is by far the least prestigious major, and that's where Novak has 7 titles. Literally nobody in the abstract would choose to have most of his/her majors coming from Australia.

The Masters are great, but none are so important that each is a must-win. For example, it's not like Nadal's resume is better in the abstract by trading an IW for a Miami. And the post-USO Masters are weak tournaments that lots of players don't care about. Novak loves them because he builds his resume in the less-prestigious post-USO stretch (seriously, compare his numbers in those events to Fed and Nadal).

The YEC is clearly something Nadal hasn't won, but it's also not a "must-win". If you consider it so, then you are de facto elevating it to major status. It's not (same with the Olympic Gold mind you).
agree
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
The AO performance was a combination of Nadal not well oiled up and Djokovic in good form, look Nadal came back from injury and managed to reach final using his experience and grit but on that night djokovic also went up another level and Nadal could not muster anything. We all know Rafa needs matches under his belt. But what that AO has done is that Rafa has started playing more aggressive. Rafa has a very aggressive game if needed and great hands, he can blow away opponents if needed but he is comfortable in rallying and being counter puncher. But with age and AO experience he is starting to be more aggressive, even in AO he tried to finish matches quickly till final and djokovic level in final was perfect.
I like the gameplay of Nadal now, he hit little flatter and used his forehand more to dictate points in this FO conditions, went back a little to cover djokovic serve. If serve is neutral, Rafa is the best player irrespective of the opponent, that is why he has little problems at Wimbledon first few rounds. We are seeing great evolution of Nadal game. Djokovics game is good but if he has an opponent who is aggressive and playing well, he always has a problem and more players are doing that.
Very interesting take. I agree with almost everything except I think 'injury' to some extent was involved in this final and 2019 Aussie when it comes to Djokovic and Nadal respectively.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
It shouldn't have been neccesary. Nadal's body of work and superior H2H against Djokovic in Grand Slams, should have spoken for itself.

But tennis is a sport where people, even the journalists, commentators and former pros seem to have short memories. After Djokovic spanked Nadal in the Australian Open final in his pet slam, you could see a shift in much of the tennis media towards Djokovic. Some claimed in excitement that performance was the highest level of tennis ever (no it wasn't. These guys are both past prime) and saw it as an excuse to write off Nadal as being inferior to Djokovic. Doesn't matter what Nadal had done to Djokovic in past slams.....this spanking would be the defining performance of their rivalry for many tennis media ready to declare Djokovic the GOAT-in-waiting.


This is why Nadal destroying Djokovic in the French Open final sends out such a powerful statement. He's reminded these people that Djokovic is not in his head everywhere they play. Just that they are capable of destroying each other on their favorite surfaces and turf. The 90% of tennis media that predicted Djokovic to win the final now have recieved a wake-up call. If they believed Djokovic was inarguably the superior player after that Australia final, that belief has been shaken to it's core by Nadal's astonishing performance.

It wasn't good enough for Nadal to just win to remind these people that Djokovic is not greater than him. A 4 or 5 set victory would not have gotten the point across. That straight sets demolition (complete with bagel) did.
Hasn't Djokovic won like 19 consecutive sets against Nadal on a hard court and Nadal's last hard court win against him was in 2013? I think the shift was justified.
 

duaneeo

Legend
I think you do. Nadal beating guys like Medvedev, Berretini and Anderson at the USO is not the same as beating Djokovic. Not even close. Nadal has navigated the field better to his credit, but in a H2H matchup Djokovic has an upper hand on any HC IMO. Nadal's record in finals, and his 2-1 record against Djokovic there is only because they haven't met there in many years where Djokovic was in better form.
Djokovic is the better HC player, but more often than not, he doesn't compete as the better player HC player at the USO. Not just against Rafa, but many players. This is reflected in his USO record.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
A lot of these aren't great points though when you sit and think about them.

The weeks at No. 1 advantage is more of a timing issue than anything. Nadal has more total weeks ranked AHEAD of Djokovic, which as between them is really what matters. It's tough to penalize Nadal AGAINST DJOKOVIC because Nadal was stuck behind peak/prime Fed for years on end (while simultaneously ahead of #3 Djoker). And Nadal isn't really gunning for #1 right now. If he gets there, it will be as a result of winning big titles.

The H2H is razor thin, and in fact is equivalent at Majors/YEC/Masters. Kinda has to be a significant edge there for this to matter.

Wimbledon being the "cathedral" is irrelevant. You could just as easily say that AO is by far the least prestigious major, and that's where Novak has 7 titles. Literally nobody in the abstract would choose to have most of his/her majors coming from Australia.

The Masters are great, but none are so important that each is a must-win. For example, it's not like Nadal's resume is better in the abstract by trading an IW for a Miami. And the post-USO Masters are weak tournaments that lots of players don't care about. Novak loves them because he builds his resume in the less-prestigious post-USO stretch (seriously, compare his numbers in those events to Fed and Nadal).

The YEC is clearly something Nadal hasn't won, but it's also not a "must-win". If you consider it so, then you are de facto elevating it to major status. It's not (same with the Olympic Gold mind you).
Thank you for schooling that!
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic is the better HC player, but more often than not, he doesn't compete as the better player HC player at the USO. Not just against Rafa, but many players. This is reflected in his USO record.
Neither one of us is going to know who is right here unless they play at the USO again though. Personally, I am backing Djokovic in any future meetings, but fair play to you if you would back Nadal.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
It was definitely a statement match for Nadal and very impressive to witness, but it won't change anything on HC and grass IMO.
Moya has been developing more aggression in Nadal’s game that should translate very well everywhere and may be a great surprise on grass in 2021 after two years.;)
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Devil's advocate:

Novak has almost 2 years more than Nadal while ranked #1.

He leads the H2H (so huge for both fanbases, endlessly used against Fed, so be consistent).

He's won 5 Wimbledon's, the cathedral of tennis.

He has the double career masters 1000 shield (again, Masters 1000's HUGE for both fanbases, be consistent).

Novak has 5 YEC's, Nadal has zero, this is massive unless someone's a blind sparrow.

Djokovic's body of work is superlative and far more varied than Nadal, those are facts. Nadal leads by three slams though, and that's really all that matters. He's still leagues ahead because of the slam differential.
Well at some point one subtracts slams from Nadal for his imbalance. Rafa 21 to 20 v Fed in slams does not get him GOAT and something that small with Nole falls as well.
 

movies99

Rookie
Very interesting take. I agree with almost everything except I think 'injury' to some extent was involved in this final and 2019 Aussie when it comes to Djokovic and Nadal respectively.
I think he shrugged it off in PCB match itself, he was hitting monstrous forehands in that match and ran like a rabbit, tsitsipas match was barely taxing. Djokovic backhand was down entire FO, I mean he hit winners but didn't use it much. In the final he was not using much of a forehand as well.
 
Top