Djokovic, not Roger Federer, was Rafael Nadal's toughest rival - Toni

Apun94

Hall of Fame
This just proves that Tío Toni can count. Of course the guy who has beaten Nadal 28 times is going to have been tougher than the guy who only beat Nadal 15 times. That doesn't mean Djokovic was the better player though. Lendl was tougher for McEnroe than Borg. Doesn't mean he was better. Heck, Sampras probably found Krajicek tougher than Agassi.

It doesn't mean Djokovic isn't better than Federer of course. Just that H2H is just one indication and had to be taken in proper context. But this example doesn't really say anything more than Djokovic has beaten Nadal more often than Federer has.
Honestly I dont even know why you are bringing this up. That was never the question. This wasnt about who is the better player overall.
 

Towny

Hall of Fame
Honestly I dont even know why you are bringing this up. That was never the question. This wasnt about who is the better player overall.
The quote wasn't. But if you look at the OP's posting history, the agenda is clear: Djokovic is better than Federer
 

Lew II

Hall of Fame
(excluding themselves from the ranking, without walkover wins)

wins over no.1 in the rivalry:

Djokovic-Federer 8-6
Djokovic-Nadal 13-7
Nadal-Federer 14-8

over top-2

Djokovic-Federer 21-16
Djokovic-Nadal 20-18
Nadal-Federer 19-10

over top-3

Djokovic-Federer 22-18
Djokovic-Nadal 20-19
Nadal-Federer 20-10

over top-4

Djokovic-Federer 22-18
Djokovic-Nadal 26-21
Nadal-Federer 21-10

over top-5

Djokovic-Federer 23-18
Djokovic-Nadal 26-22
Nadal-Federer 22-10
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
In an interview to El Confidencial, Rafael Nadal's uncle, Toni, commented on who between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic was the toughest rival for his nephew. The Spaniard leads the head to head meetings 23-15 over Federer, while he is down 28-25 with Djokovic.

"The most complicated was Djokovic", said Toni. "At least to me. I always felt that, if Djokovic played well, he would have been very tough to beat, more than Federer. He was doing everything well, he was able to attack and defend at a very high level.

He was always very competitive. I wanted the maximum from Rafael." But in 2017, Rafael lost all the four matches against Federer. "For a long time, Federer's game was comfortable to Rafael. But Federer changed tactics.

He turned more aggressive and he made the game being quicker, not allowing Rafa to play his tennis. Rafael needs time to win points. Federer goes at a very high rhythm, accepting that he can make mistakes. But he makes less unforced errors than the rest and so it depends on him."
So he is hoping Novak would be injured in this year's French open so rafa can win it again ?
 
Count of majors won by players over 29 <<<<<<< Count of majors won by players 29 and under.

Big 3 are winning majors post 30 only because of the weak era we are in . Your theory that age band of major winners has shifted will have zero meaning once big 3 retire. You can already see all players except big 3 are retiring at 33-35. Federer is the exception not the rule
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you are not very good at arguing about this. The problem is not just that your conclusions are likely wrong. You could be right that Djokovic and Nadal won't win majors at 35 - I have made no particular predictions about that. But your reasoning is poor. It really is. You insist on just looking at a few data points and ignore the great mass of data that the tour is aging. It is not really about who wins majors. The data there is too scanty to draw meaningful conclusions. You get a much more reliable picture if you look all the way down the rankings. There you will see rising ages over much of the last several decades. Federer is not the exception in going on longer. Not by a long shot.
 

tudwell

Legend
In his losses to Federer, Djokovic had an average ranking (geometric mean) of 3.12.
In his losses to Djokovic, Federer had an average ranking (geometric mean) of 2.40.
What happens if you remove their first meeting, the one significant outlier where Djokovic's ranking was outside the top 60?
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you are not very good at arguing about this. The problem is not just that your conclusions are likely wrong. You could be right that Djokovic and Nadal won't win majors at 35 - I have made no particular predictions about that. But your reasoning is poor. It really is. You insist on just looking at a few data points and ignore the great mass of data that the tour is aging. It is not really about who wins majors. The data there is too scanty to draw meaningful conclusions. You get a much more reliable picture if you look all the way down the rankings. There you will see rising ages over much of the last several decades. Federer is not the exception in going on longer. Not by a long shot.
Federer is the ONLY 34+ player to win a major for last 4 decades .

The only other players who can even remotely come close to that are Djoker and Rafa.

So it is not a general trend to say just because Federer does it players like Zverev, Nishikori, Dnitrov , Delpo will all win in their 30’s .

It is not that there is a new trend emerging that players will play phenomenal into their 30’s . What is happening is this is an extremely weak era that Djokovic and to some extent Fedal are taking advantage of . The moment these 3 leave then order will be restored

And while it cannot be denied that this has resulted in Djoker and Nadal having success in their 30’s , it is no guarantee that they will have longevity like Fed and the next gen will continue to suck so badly

You get confused between player longevity and weak era. This matter will get settled in next 2 years
 
Federer is the ONLY 34+ player to win a major for last 4 decades .

The only other players who can even remotely come close to that are Djoker and Rafa.

So it is not a general trend to say just because Federer does it players like Zverev, Nishikori, Dnitrov , Delpo will all win in their 30’s .

It is not that there is a new trend emerging that players will play phenomenal into their 30’s . What is happening is this is an extremely weak era that Djokovic and to some extent Fedal are taking advantage of . The moment these 3 leave then order will be restored

And while it cannot be denied that this has resulted in Djoker and Nadal having success in their 30’s , it is no guarantee that they will have longevity like Fed and the next gen will continue to suck so badly

You get confused between player longevity and weak era. This matter will get settled in next 2 years
You once again ignored my point that focus on major winners is a mistake. Well, persist in thinking what you want, of course. That does not mean that you have good grounds for your belief. You do not. There is definitely a general trend towards older ages all the way down the rankings and indeed in other sports.

Again, whether Djokovic and Nadal win majors at 34 or more cannot prove that longevity is the result of a "weak era." (By the way, actually Federer is the only player to win aged 33+ since 1972 - although there is a roughly 50% chance that Nadal will join him in that group in about two months time. Agassi and Nadal are the only others to win at 32+. I know the stats. I also know that they don't mean anywhere near as much as you want to believe they do).
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
You once again ignored my point that focus on major winners is a mistake. Well, persist in thinking what you want, of course. That does not mean that you have good grounds for your belief. You do not. There is definitely a general trend towards older ages all the way down the rankings and indeed in other sports.

Again, whether Djokovic and Nadal win majors at 34 or more cannot prove that longevity is the result of a "weak era." (By the way, actually Federer is the only player to win aged 33+ since 1972 - although there is a roughly 50% chance that Nadal will join him in that group in about two months time. Agassi and Nadal are the only others to win at 32+. I know the stats. I also know that they don't mean anywhere near as much as you want to believe they do).
Did you watch the interview that Tennis Channel had with Tanko Quitsarevic yesterday after his match at Houston ?

He said the big 3 are an aberration and they are enjoying still when the next gen should have replaced them. He further added this is not a good look for tennis. He added once the big 3 leave the concept of big players, older players will all go out the window.
 

Bartelby

Talk Tennis Guru
Phoni Toni's horse hasn't been able to beat Faderer, so his gelding has now officially run out of puff.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
The weak era is just a term. In reality it DOES NOT EXISTS. You play whoever is on the other side of the net. You win or you lose. PERIOD.
Of course it exists. Facing a young Nadal on clay is not the same as facing freakin Anderson in a major final.
 

3lite

Professional
Yeah. One week later he won the final Davis Cup match for his team, while Nadal did not compete until one month later.

1 month > 1 week.
This one sprouts biased nonsense most times but this post is a banger.
 
Did you watch the interview that Tennis Channel had with Tanko Quitsarevic yesterday after his match at Houston ?

He said the big 3 are an aberration and they are enjoying still when the next gen should have replaced them. He further added this is not a good look for tennis. He added once the big 3 leave the concept of big players, older players will all go out the window.
I did not. Good to know I disagree with him, too.
 
THe list of players retiring bat 34-35 should give you enough clue
Tell me, what is it to do with the top three that:

Karlovic is the first man in the top 100 aged 40 since Connors,
Ferrer and Anderson made their first slam finals at 31,
Isner won his first masters a few weeks shy of 33, his first slam semi at 33, another masters final a few weeks shy of 34,
Lopez won his first 500 level event at 35,
Burgos won his first ATP event at 35,
Almost half the top 100 has been 30+ for most of the past few years,
As of Monday, there will again be two teenagers in the top 100, as for much of the last few years, when in the 80s there were often 3-5 in the top 10?

The tour has aged. You are wrong not to believe it. Wrong.

By the way, your reasoning is not only circular, but also motivated (you believe it because you want to believe it so you can dismiss any challenges to Federer).
 

DerekNoleFam1

Hall of Fame
Nadal was 22-15 over Nole after the 2013 USO, and has only beaten him 3 times since then, so of course Djoker has caused Nadal more problems.
Nobody else could have completely dismantled Nadal at this year's AO the way Nole did, and Nadal probably would have beaten anyone else.
Toni has plenty of reasons to think and say this, and in fact recognised Djokovic was going to be a big problem for Nadal way before his breakout 2011 season.
 
THe list of players retiring at 34-35 should give you enough clue
On another note, you are trying to make two claims that you seem to think are the same as each other, but are in fact not only different but in important ways incompatible. They might both be partially true but they are so in ways that undercut each other. Here they are:

1. Nothing has changed, it's just that Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are still dominant.
2. The tour has aged, but only because of a weak era.

Do you see why the first clause of #2 is making a claim that is incompatible with the first clause of #1?
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Tell me, what is it to do with the top three that:

Karlovic is the first man in the top 100 aged 40 since Connors,
Ferrer and Anderson made their first slam finals at 31,
Isner won his first masters a few weeks shy of 33, his first slam semi at 33, another masters final a few weeks shy of 34,
Lopez won his first 500 level event at 35,
Burgos won his first ATP event at 35,
Almost half the top 100 has been 30+ for most of the past few years,
As of Monday, there will again be two teenagers in the top 100, as for much of the last few years, when in the 80s there were often 3-5 in the top 10?

The tour has aged. You are wrong not to believe it. Wrong.

By the way, your reasoning is not only circular, but also motivated (you believe it because you want to believe it so you can dismiss any challenges to Federer).
No of players 32 and above = 19.

No of players 36 and above = 3 . With Lopez retiring, it would just be Fed and Karlovic.

Lopez winning 500 on a grass event , Karlovic/Anderson cruising with serve has ZILCH to do with age.

Ferrer's peak was 5 years before .

Players are fading after 31-32. Earlier they used to at 29-30. That is about it.

Nadal and DJokovic are enjoying in general due to weak era. Not due to some magic fitness / experience
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Tell me, what is it to do with the top three that:

Karlovic is the first man in the top 100 aged 40 since Connors,
Ferrer and Anderson made their first slam finals at 31,
Isner won his first masters a few weeks shy of 33, his first slam semi at 33, another masters final a few weeks shy of 34,
Lopez won his first 500 level event at 35,
Burgos won his first ATP event at 35,
Almost half the top 100 has been 30+ for most of the past few years,
As of Monday, there will again be two teenagers in the top 100, as for much of the last few years, when in the 80s there were often 3-5 in the top 10?

The tour has aged. You are wrong not to believe it. Wrong.

By the way, your reasoning is not only circular, but also motivated (you believe it because you want to believe it so you can dismiss any challenges to Federer).
Let's be truthful here though.
No of players 32 and above = 19.

No of players 36 and above = 3 . With Lopez retiring, it would just be Fed and Karlovic.

Lopez winning 500 on a grass event , Karlovic/Anderson cruising with serve has ZILCH to do with age.

Ferrer's peak was 5 years before .

Players are fading after 31-32. Earlier they used to at 29-30. That is about it.

Nadal and DJokovic are enjoying in general due to weak era. Not due to some magic fitness / experience
Yep. Lopez hasn't even made a SF of a 250 since winning that title and Ferrer had a cupcake draw never facing a member of the big 4 en route to the final where literally everyone on planet earth knew Nadal was going to murder him and did.
 

GabeT

Legend
No of players 32 and above = 19.

No of players 36 and above = 3 . With Lopez retiring, it would just be Fed and Karlovic.

Lopez winning 500 on a grass event , Karlovic/Anderson cruising with serve has ZILCH to do with age.

Ferrer's peak was 5 years before .

Players are fading after 31-32. Earlier they used to at 29-30. That is about it.

Nadal and DJokovic are enjoying in general due to weak era. Not due to some magic fitness / experience
The average age of tennis players has been rising for decades. It’s not a new phenomenon.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/28/professional-tennis-is-older-than-its-ever-been.html

There are many theories why this is the case, many based on changes in technology. It has zilch to do with any “weak era” which is a mostly meaningless and unprovable concept in any case.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
In an interview to El Confidencial, Rafael Nadal's uncle, Toni, commented on who between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic was the toughest rival for his nephew. The Spaniard leads the head to head meetings 23-15 over Federer, while he is down 28-25 with Djokovic.

"The most complicated was Djokovic", said Toni. "At least to me. I always felt that, if Djokovic played well, he would have been very tough to beat, more than Federer. He was doing everything well, he was able to attack and defend at a very high level.

He was always very competitive. I wanted the maximum from Rafael." But in 2017, Rafael lost all the four matches against Federer. "For a long time, Federer's game was comfortable to Rafael. But Federer changed tactics.

He turned more aggressive and he made the game being quicker, not allowing Rafa to play his tennis. Rafael needs time to win points. Federer goes at a very high rhythm, accepting that he can make mistakes. But he makes less unforced errors than the rest and so it depends on him."
More than obvious.
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
Of course it exists. Facing a young Nadal on clay is not the same as facing freakin Anderson in a major final.
Nope. I don't care who you support or like. You play one match at the time. You get there or you don't. It is simple. Kevin deserved to be in that final. Kudos to him. A young Nadal, what? Rafa is still young and he is doing well. He is ranked #2 in the world, no? Is that bad?

Honestly, I do support all players. I love watching Federer but give me a break.

Let's try to be objective. I think it's important. Focus on tennis, not some BS. This is the only tennis board where I can share my opinions with people all over the world (y).

Let me try this again. You play whoever is on the other side on the net. You win or you lose. I'm not sure why is this concept is so hard to understand. It's simple.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
The average age of tennis players has been rising for decades. It’s not a new phenomenon.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/28/professional-tennis-is-older-than-its-ever-been.html

There are many theories why this is the case, many based on changes in technology. It has zilch to do with any “weak era” which is a mostly meaningless and unprovable concept in any case.
Players retired at 30 before. These days players taper off at 33 and are retiring at 34-35. They may have good years at 30-31 but it will be downhill from there.

The age shift from 30 to 34 for retirement is not because of only modern fitness and diet but mainly due to more money on the tour as compared to past , weak era , easier to travel as compared to before, more structured tour. Ultimately no one beats father time and it takes a toll , unless you are Federer.
 
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GabeT

Legend
Players retired at 30 before. These days players taper off at 33 and are retiring at 34-35. They may have food years at 30-31 but it will be downhill from there.

The age shift from 30 to 34 for retirement is not because of only modern fitness and diet but mainly due to more money on the tour as compared to past , weak era , easier to travel as compared to before, more structured tour. Ultimately no one beats father time and it takes a toll , unless you are Federer.
They are not simply “not retiring”. They are playing and continuing to win. The Big 3 are simply the most extreme version of that but as @helterskelter has said it goes way beyond them. Of course no other players are as good as they are but the average age of top 100 players continues to go up.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
They are not simply “not retiring”. They are playing and continuing to win. The Big 3 are simply the most extreme version of that but as @helterskelter has said it goes way beyond them. Of course no other players are as good as they are but the average age of top 100 players continues to go up.
Just took a quick glance at the top 100 and 2/3 of it consists of players under 30.

Just saying.
 
Just took a quick glance at the top 100 and 2/3 of it consists of players under 30.

Just saying.
But one-third is substantially more than in the past, as looking at the Tennis Abstract records show. OF COURSE aging hits at some point - for everyone, including Federer. But that's not the point at dispute. The point is whether the tour has aged. @tennisaddict's last post admits that it has.

By the way, there are seven men aged 35 or more in the top 100. On Monday, there will be two teenagers (when Shapovalov turns 20). If you look at the rankings for the 1980s or early 1990s, you'll see it was not just the reverse, but more than that. As @GabeT points out, the tour has been aging for decades, slowly but surely.
 
Players retired at 30 before. These days players taper off at 33 and are retiring at 34-35. They may have good years at 30-31 but it will be downhill from there.

The age shift from 30 to 34 for retirement is not because of only modern fitness and diet but mainly due to more money on the tour as compared to past , weak era , easier to travel as compared to before, more structured tour. Ultimately no one beats father time and it takes a toll , unless you are Federer.
So, you admit that the tour has aged. We are agreed, then.

Of course, age will catch up with everyone, eventually, including Federer. He will almost certainly not be a top player ten years from now.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
But one-third is substantially more than in the past, as looking at the Tennis Abstract records show. OF COURSE aging hits at some point - for everyone, including Federer. But that's not the point at dispute. The point is whether the tour has aged. @tennisaddict's last post admits that it has.

By the way, there are seven men aged 35 or more in the top 100. On Monday, there will be two teenagers (when Shapovalov turns 20). If you look at the rankings for the 1980s or early 1990s, you'll see it was not just the reverse, but more than that. As @GabeT points out, the tour has been aging for decades, slowly but surely.
I agree that it is aging slowly. All sports are aging some. I still think Federer is the exception at 37 unless Djokovic and Nadal prove me wrong. Guys are playing longer just because we are evolving like humans have always done. Don't know if it's enough for them to last past 34-35 competitively like he has. Their style is so much more physical than his.
 
Just took a quick glance at the top 100 and 2/3 of it consists of players under 30.

Just saying.
Also, more than 2/3s of the top 100 are now 25 or more. And that's despite one thing that @tennisaddict is right about, which is that this year younger players have been doing better than they did for the last five years or more. So, as of April 2019, 70 of the top 100 are aged 25 or more, and only 30 of the top 100 are aged 24 or less. Here are some historical numbers, for comparison. I can only compare for other age ranges, as Tennis Abstract doesn't differentiate players in the 23-27 range.

April 2019:
20th ranked player aged 30 or more: 51.
20th ranked played aged 28 or more: 40 (half of the top 40 are 28 or more).

End of 2009:
20th ranked player aged 30 or more: 116.
20th ranked player aged 28 or more: 58.

End of 1999:
20th ranked player aged 30 or more: 294.
20th ranked player aged 28 or more: 88.

End of 1989:
20th ranked player aged 30 or more: 324.
20th ranked player aged 28 or more: 135.

These numbers are not outliers. They are replicated almost every year in the vicinity. And there are parallel numbers at the other end of the age range: the number of young players in the top rankings has declined steadily over that 30-year period.
 
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I agree that it is aging slowly. All sports are aging some. I still think Federer is the exception at 37 unless Djokovic and Nadal prove me wrong. Guys are playing longer just because we are evolving like humans have always done. Don't know if it's enough for them to last past 34-35 competitively like he has. Their style is so much more physical than his.
Sure, it is certainly still at best an open question whether Nadal and Djokovic will keep going as longer as Federer. I haven't been predicting that they will. I think Djokovic has a much better chance than Nadal does overall, although it wouldn't surprise me at all if Nadal won several more times at Roland Garros.

Yes, it seems to me no coincidence that the age of sports stars is increasing at a time when life expectancy is increasing and general aging is slowing down.
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
I don't know. The tour has aged if you wish. The part I don't really get is that young players are so bad. It should be the other way around. I'm not so sure what is wrong with them. I love sociology btw but you just can't explain it.

I guess experience is important. Still, I'm wondering what is driving the big 3 to be as good as they are. It's not the money.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Sure, it is certainly still at best an open question whether Nadal and Djokovic will keep going as longer as Federer. I haven't been predicting that they will. I think Djokovic has a much better chance than Nadal does overall, although it wouldn't surprise me at all if Nadal won several more times at Roland Garros.

Yes, it seems to me no coincidence that the age of sports stars is increasing at a time when life expectancy is increasing and general aging is slowing down.
I don't see you posting unreasonable crap, so no worries :D. Djokovic may have a chance to play that long, but I have some serious doubts about Nadal.
 

DerekNoleFam1

Hall of Fame
Players retired at 30 before. These days players taper off at 33 and are retiring at 34-35. They may have good years at 30-31 but it will be downhill from there.

The age shift from 30 to 34 for retirement is not because of only modern fitness and diet but mainly due to more money on the tour as compared to past , weak era , easier to travel as compared to before, more structured tour. Ultimately no one beats father time and it takes a toll , unless you are Federer.
Yeah the crash and burn players like Jim Courier and Lleyton Hewitt seem to be a thing of the past.
Even journeymen are often reaching their career high rankings over 30 years of age.
The likes of Djoker and Nadal could keep winning the AO and RG respectively for another 4-5 years.
 
I don't see you posting unreasonable crap, so no worries :D. Djokovic may have a chance to play that long, but I have some serious doubts about Nadal.
Nadal is definitely more doubtful - both because he started young, so his mileage is high for his age, and because of his injuries. I think he'll run out of chances on hard courts and grass pretty soon. Maybe clay, too, but he has a "cushion" there, so he might be able to win even past his best if he stops playing other events. We'll see. As many of my posts make clear, I have certain wishes relating to Nadal's longevity, but those are a different thing to expectations.
 
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