Best version of Rafa at RG-

DanG7

Rookie
When did Rafa play his best?

What version of Rafa wins?

05-08 span of RG vs 10-14 span of RG vs 17-19 span of RG

I actually back young Rafa. He was quicker and more physical, and just as brutal with the forehand. The older version would be second because of experience and tactical nous.
 

The Blond Blur

G.O.A.T.
2005-2008 to slay :p
images
 

Jonesy

Legend
2017 is the more complete version of Nadal at RG, there is a reason why Fed skipped 2017 clay season. 2008 gets overrated because he blasted his pigeon in the final. Even Ferrer put up a better fight than confidenceless Fed.
 

MeatTornado

Talk Tennis Guru
2017 was deadly but kinda overrated in my mind. Throw in a 2000s Fed or 2010s Djokovic for an opponent and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't rank as high anymore.

That year he was ruthless. Really amped up the +1 forehand instead of playing with his food like he normally does. But that was also to mask his obviously declined movement from his prime years.

But from a highlights perspective it might be my favorite to watch. I love the aggression.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
2008 statistically, but 2012 for playing level. Djokovic was playing some of the best tennis in his career but still got beaten rather comfortably. In 08 Fed did half the work for Nadal by being Federrоr.
 

ForehandRF

Legend
2008 statistically, but 2012 for playing level. Djokovic was playing some of the best tennis in his career but still got beaten rather comfortably. In 08 Fed did half the work for Nadal by being Federrоr.
I would say that his level was higher in 2008 overall and in the 2007 Final than in 2012.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I would say that his level was higher in 2008 overall and in the 2007 Final than in 2012.
Nadal's 2012 level pre-RG was unparalleled. Didn't drop a set and crushed Djokovic in MC and Rome. Even his road to the final in 2012 was more ruthless than any other year, on par with 08. Only difference was what happened in the final. I'm pretty sure Djokovic would've taken a set off even 08 Nadal given his form in the final.
 

ForehandRF

Legend
Nadal's 2012 level pre-RG was unparalleled. Didn't drop a set and crushed Djokovic in MC and Rome. Even his road to the final in 2012 was more ruthless than any other year, on par with 08. Only difference was what happened in the final. I'm pretty sure Djokovic would've taken a set off even 08 Nadal given his form in the final.
I have to agree here and I also think that 2006 & 2007 Fed would have done the same. In a way, Nadal's 2008 level is overrated compared to his other versions due to the beatdown he gave Fed in that final, so you have a strong point overall.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I have to agree here and I also think that 2006 & 2007 Fed would have done the same. In a way, Nadal's 2008 level is overrated compared to his other versions due to the beatdown he gave Fed in that final, so you have a strong point overall.
2006 and 2007 Fed taking a set off 2008 Nadal? I'm not so sure of that, it would take a Herculean effort for Federer to get a set off Peak Nadal - Djokovic would need the benefit of the matchup as well as be at his absolute peak to get a set off 2008 or 2012 Nadal.
 

Sabrina

Hall of Fame
I have to agree here and I also think that 2006 & 2007 Fed would have done the same. In a way, Nadal's 2008 level is overrated compared to his other versions due to the beatdown he gave Fed in that final, so you have a strong point overall.

Lol no. 2008 Nadal against 2006/2007 Fed would end up with something like 6-4 6-3 6-1 for Nadal. Nadal was playing at his 2008 level in the last 2 sets of that 2007 Rg Final. Nothing Fed could do...

Anyways my ranking.

2008
2012
2007
2010
2017

The rest.
 

DSH

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer at Wimbledon and Djokovic in Australia would have been the greatest dominance achieved in a given Major tournament had it not been for Nadal's presence in RG, which clearly beats them.

The Spaniard in Parisian lands is at a level never seen on tennis courts.
It is in another dimension and he can still add one or two more chapters before finishing his career.
:alien:
 

ForehandRF

Legend
2006 and 2007 Fed taking a set off 2008 Nadal? I'm not so sure of that, it would take a Herculean effort for Federer to get a set off Peak Nadal - Djokovic would need the benefit of the matchup as well as be at his absolute peak to get a set off 2008 or 2012 Nadal.
Well, at least 2007 Fed could take a set imo.Not much of a difference between the Nadal of the 2007 Final and the one from the 2008 Final or the 2012 one imo.The only big difference in the first 2 cases was Federer in 2008, who played his worst slam final not only at RG, but of his career.
@Sabrina
 
Last edited:

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
I have to agree here and I also think that 2006 & 2007 Fed would have done the same. In a way, Nadal's 2008 level is overrated compared to his other versions due to the beatdown he gave Fed in that final, so you have a strong point overall.
Nadal destroyed all his opponents until the semifinals and beat a very in-form Djokovic in straight sets. No way his 2008 version can be called overrated, even if Federer was clearly far below his best in the final.
 

DSH

Talk Tennis Guru
Well, at least 2007 Fed could take a set imo.Not much of a difference between the Nadal of the 2007 Final and the one from the 2008 Final or the 2012 one imo.The only big difference in the first 2 cases was Federer in 2008, who played his worst slam final not only at RG, but of his career.
@Sabrina

2008 Nadal would also have defeated any version of Federer in RG in straight sets!
:cool:
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
I would have to say 2005-2008, but specifically 2007-2008. Those two years he was super consistent and moved amazing. Plus it was even better because he faced prime Fed and beat him.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
I would have to say 2005-2008, but specifically 2007-2008. Those two years he was super consistent and moved amazing. Plus it was even better because he faced prime Fed and beat him.
Well, prime Fed didn't exactly show up in the 2008 final. But that's okay, because Djokovic put up enough opposition.
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
Well, prime Fed didn't exactly show up in the 2008 final. But that's okay, because Djokovic put up enough opposition.
This is me personally but I think prime Fed continued into 2008. It’s similar imo to saying 2011 Nadal was prime Nadal, however it was at the very tail end. He still had amazing ball striking and while he doesn’t move extremely fast he could still run around and hit some great forehands.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
This is me personally but I think prime Fed continued into 2008. It’s similar imo to saying 2011 Nadal was prime Nadal, however it was at the very tail end. He still had amazing ball striking and while he doesn’t move extremely fast he could still run around and hit some great forehands.
As a whole, 2008 Fed was still a great player. But the French Open final was one of his worst matches that year. I think only the Indian Wells match against Fish was worse. For me, prime Fed was late-2003 to early-2010. Of course, he's bound to have at least some poor matches during that period. The French Open final was one of those.
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
As a whole, 2008 Fed was still a great player. But the French Open final was one of his worst matches that year. I think only the Indian Wells match against Fish was worse. For me, prime Fed was late-2003 to early-2010. Of course, he's bound to have at least some poor matches during that period. The French Open final was one of those.
Good point. Same thing can be said about Nadal messing up 2009 RG, he was still in prime condition but certain circumstances led him to lose.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Federer at Wimbledon and Djokovic in Australia would have been the greatest dominance achieved in a given Major tournament had it not been for Nadal's presence in RG, which clearly beats them.

The Spaniard in Parisian lands is at a level never seen on tennis courts.
It is in another dimension and he can still add one or two more chapters before finishing his career.
:alien:
PETE at Wimbledon says hi ;)
 

ForehandRF

Legend
Nadal destroyed all his opponents until the semifinals and beat a very in-form Djokovic in straight sets. No way his 2008 version can be called overrated, even if Federer was clearly far below his best in the final.
Overrated compared to his other peak versions, not overrrated in the sense that he wasn't impressive.
For example, do you think that there is a significant difference between 2007, 2008 & 2012 Nadal in those RG Finals ?
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
Overrated compared to his other peak versions, not overrrated in the sense that he wasn't impressive.
For example, do you think that there is a significant difference between 2007, 2008 & 2012 Nadal in those RG Finals ?
He was great during the 2012 clay season, but in RG final his level dropped dramatically. He dropped his serve 7 times in this match and lost 8 games in a row at one point. Terrible weather conditions are not a good enough excuse for me to put it on the same level as 2008. I don't think it's fair to compare both finals anyway, it's better to compare between the matches against the strongest opponent in both tournaments. Was 2012 Djokovic a much better player on clay than 2008 Djokovic? I don't think so.
 
Last edited:

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Nadal's 2012 level pre-RG was unparalleled. Didn't drop a set and crushed Djokovic in MC and Rome. Even his road to the final in 2012 was more ruthless than any other year, on par with 08. Only difference was what happened in the final. I'm pretty sure Djokovic would've taken a set off even 08 Nadal given his form in the final.
Djokovic's form in the final wasn't spectacular.

If not for the weather conditions, Rafa would have straight setted Djokovic.

Fed (not in 2008 form) could also go on a good streak against Nadal in those dump conditions.
 

rUDin 21

Hall of Fame
Nadal's 2012 level pre-RG was unparalleled. Didn't drop a set and crushed Djokovic in MC and Rome. Even his road to the final in 2012 was more ruthless than any other year, on par with 08. Only difference was what happened in the final. I'm pretty sure Djokovic would've taken a set off even 08 Nadal given his form in the final.
2012 was revenge Nadal.He lost almost all of his empire in less than 12 months to Novak, and Rg was his last stand.He was not going to lose that no matter what.
 

NoleFam

Bionic Poster
Djokovic's form in the final wasn't spectacular.

If not for the weather conditions, Rafa would have straight setted Djokovic.

Fed (not in 2008 form) could also go on a good streak against Nadal in those dump conditions.

He was pretty darn spectacular for about 8 games.

And if not for weather conditions, Soderling probably never beats Nadal. That match with Djokovic turned before the weather got seriously bad anyway. Most of Nadal's big matches at RG happened when it was warm and sunny, fortunately for him, because he's not as great in opposite conditions.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
2008 easily. Anyone who picks 2017 clearly didn't watch tennis in 2008. He still had his peak speed/movement and played aggressively. Federer played like crap in that final tho but he would need to be in top form to even win a set. Djokovic played as well as he could in the third set of their SF and still couldn't win and lost in straights too. The other matches were bloodbaths with an average of 2 bakery products per match.

2012 second and it would've been a 50/50 call with 2008 if it wasn't for 8 games lost in a row against Djokovic and being saved by rain.

2017 third maybe but it has a very tough battle with 2007. Since this is clay defence matters more so I would still say 2007>2017.

2010 next because he had a super easy draw and even got pushed by Almagro hard.
 
Last edited:
Top