Djokovic or Nadal, who is the better US Open player?

Who had the higher peak at the US Open?


  • Total voters
    92

DSH

Legend
Ned 10/13 on par with Djok 11/15 and besides that neither guy really has another very high level run although obviously Djokovic destroys him on quantity.
Nadal of 2011 is better is better than any of the finalists Federer faced between 2004 and 2008 at the Open.
:cool:
 

Cortana

Hall of Fame
I think it's obvious that Djokovic is the better USO player, but he has worse results due to bad luck. I mean there would be no question about it if Djokovic won another USO title, which he should have.
 

Tostao80

Rookie
I think it's obvious that Djokovic is the better USO player, but he has worse results due to bad luck. I mean there would be no question about it if Djokovic won another USO title, which he should have.
Bad luck at Slams is par for the course not just for Novak, look at Rafa and the Australian. It is what it is. Rafa, by a whisker.
 

Cortana

Hall of Fame
Bad luck at Slams is par for the course not just for Novak, look at Rafa and the Australian. It is what it is. Rafa, by a whisker.
Same topic. Both should have won more at those events. 1 AO doesn't do justice for Rafas hardcourt game. It lets you think that he is an average HC player, but that's really not the case.
 

roysid

Hall of Fame
A no brainer thread. Winning 3 titles while losing 5 finals mean Djokovic underperformed at US Open.
And it's a non clay slam.

Djokovic overall is more consistent, 8 finals. But Nadal has achieved more.

Also beat Djokovic in 2 finals while losing one.

Peak Djokovic 2011
Peak Nadal 2013
( In 2010 Djokovic was raw so 2013 rates higher)

Btw Nadal rates his 2013 win very highly among his top 3 wins
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Nadal of 2011 is better is better than any of the finalists Federer faced between 2004 and 2008 at the Open.
:cool:
Debatable. Agassi 2005 USO was on par.

But 2011 Nadal wasn't better than several other non-finalists of Federer from 2004 to 2008 :cool:
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Nadal of 2011 is better is better than any of the finalists Federer faced between 2004 and 2008 at the Open.
:cool:
nah. He had one good set in the final. Besides that, he was serveless and his shots weren't nearly as penetrating as they were in 2010. It would have been a very disappointing performance overall if not for that one set which suddenly makes everyone think that the whole match was good. I'd take Agassi 2005 over him tbh, even though he was past-prime and his movement had taken a hit.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
nah. He had one good set in the final. Besides that, he was serveless and his shots weren't nearly as penetrating as they were in 2010. It would have been a very disappointing performance overall if not for that one set which suddenly makes everyone think that the whole match was good. I'd take Agassi 2005 over him tbh, even though he was past-prime and his movement had taken a hit.
Lots of short'ish neutral balls, poor serving etc...great physicality in that third set but he had nothing left in the fourth. Similar level of play to the finalists of 05-07.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Achievements Fed > Nadal > Djoko

Peak level Fed > Djoko > Nadal
Nah, I'd go with peak Nadal over Djoker at the USO (but Fed over both, clearly). 2010 imo was at a higher level than Djokovic's 2011. But Djokovic has the much superior consistency, even if he has fewer titles to show for it.
 

PilotPete

Semi-Pro
Nah, I'd go with peak Nadal over Djoker at the USO (but Fed over both, clearly). 2010 imo was at a higher level than Djokovic's 2011. But Djokovic has the much superior consistency, even if he has fewer titles to show for it.
2010 / 2011 are close, but I'd give a slight edge to Djokovic2011 over Nadal 2010.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
2010 / 2011 are close, but I'd give a slight edge to Djokovic2011 over Nadal 2010.
My main reasoning lies in that Djokovic 2011's serve was pretty godawful in the final, only outmatched by Nadal's even worse serve that day. But he had the groundstrokes nailed. Nadal 2010 had both. Devastating groundstrokes, especially that FH, and it was the best he's ever served. But ofc 2011 Djoker took down much tougher competition.
 

Winner

Rookie
Nadal. He has 4 titles (Nole only 3) and a 2-1 H2H lead. On Nole's best surface. That is huge. Imagine a big clay tournament where Djokovic won more titles than Nadal.

Of course Djokovic is the better HC player, but at USO, Nadal is greater. The argument Djokovic was unlucky doesn't make much sense. Yes he lost to Federer 3 times, but you know that every match starts at 0-0? Nadal, called out for being claycourt-specialist, defeated peak Fed at a HC slam and a grass slam to take his first title on that surface. I know Nole did it as well at AO, but losing to Fed is not unlucky. It's just being outplayed. Also, why is it unlucky to lose to Nishikori and Wawrinka or attaing a lineswoman to get yourself DQ'ed? It's not unlucky. Yes, he underachieved at USO, but to use that as a benefit is very suspect. Also, the easy draw myth needs to be dismantled. Djokovic 2018 draw was not any more difficult than Rafa's 2017.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal. He has 4 titles (Nole only 3) and a 2-1 H2H lead. On Nole's best surface. That is huge. Imagine a big clay tournament where Djokovic won more titles than Nadal.

Of course Djokovic is the better HC player, but at USO, Nadal is greater. The argument Djokovic was unlucky doesn't make much sense. Yes he lost to Federer 3 times, but you know that every match starts at 0-0? Nadal, called out for being claycourt-specialist, defeated peak Fed at a HC slam and a grass slam to take his first title on that surface. I know Nole did it as well at AO, but losing to Fed is not unlucky. It's just being outplayed. Also, why is it unlucky to lose to Nishikori and Wawrinka or attaing a lineswoman to get yourself DQ'ed? It's not unlucky. Yes, he underachieved at USO, but to use that as a benefit is very suspect. Also, the easy draw myth needs to be dismantled. Djokovic 2018 draw was not any more difficult than Rafa's 2017.
H2h doesn't mean much. Nadal beat 2010 Djoko who sucked overall that year. 77% win percentage. 2 titles in China and Dubai. Not in near good enough form and confidence wasn't there. This like Djoko beating Nadal at the FO 15 wich many makes hell of as soon as you mention Djoko beating him there.

Nadal and Djoko has met not even once in the US since 2013.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic:
3x Win
5x Final
3x Semifinal
0x Quarterfinal
2x R16
2x R32
0x R64
0x R126

Win-Loss: 75-12 (86.2%, including the PCB disqualification)

Nadal:
4x Win
1x Final
3x Semifinal
1X Quarterfinal
2x R16
2x R32
2x R64
0x R126

Win-Loss: 64-11 (85.3%)

Nadal has 1 more USO slam and he leads the USO H2H with 2-1. However, general consensus is that Nole's peak play at the USO (2011/2015) was at a higher level than Nadal's peak play (2010/2013) and he has the better overall results (reached the semis or further more often and has a better win percentage). Who do you consider the better US Open player in their peak and over their careers?
I would say peak USO Nole (2011-2015) is comfortably better than peak USO Rafa (2010-2013) and it took some flukes (easy draws for Rafa, Nole being in a slump post RG16 up to Wimby 2018, having to face his stylistic nemesis Wawrinka several times and being disqualified for hitting a line ref) to have Rafa above Nole in the US GS tally.
Fedr.
 

PilotPete

Semi-Pro
My main reasoning lies in that Djokovic 2011's serve was pretty godawful in the final, only outmatched by Nadal's even worse serve that day. But he had the groundstrokes nailed. Nadal 2010 had both. Devastating groundstrokes, especially that FH, and it was the best he's ever served. But ofc 2011 Djoker took down much tougher competition.
I think Nadal's 2010 level is overrated. Djokovic was not playing anywhere near as good as he did in 2011, and YET still got a set off Nadal. I would say 2011 Djokovic would win in 5 sets over 2010 Nadal.
 

topher

Professional
Only a troll would do that. Federer is still the greatest USO player. However, this thread is also a troll thread which tries to bring down Nadal.
I have Jimbo first, 5 titles on three surfaces. That’s unprecedented. Fed is probably 2nd with the 5-peat, although Pete had the impressive finals wins against Agassi.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
I have Jimbo first, 5 titles on three surfaces. That’s unprecedented. Fed is probably 2nd with the 5-peat, although Pete had the impressive finals wins against Agassi.
Lots of people rave about Djokovic's bad luck at the USO, but Sampras probably had it worse. Kept getting those unfortunate injuries around time for the USO.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Lots of short'ish neutral balls, poor serving etc...great physicality in that third set but he had nothing left in the fourth. Similar level of play to the finalists of 05-07.
Djokodal are definitely a bit overrated at the USO in terms of matches played against each other. They have played classics at all of the other 3 slams, but not a single one at the USO.

And Nadal in 2011 USO wasn't even Djokovic's toughest opponent in that event. And Djokovic was Nadal's toughest opponent in 2010 and 2013 mostly on account of having no one else in those draws worth mentioning.
 

RS

Legend
Djokovic is quite underrated at the USO in terms of peak and resume I have to say on this thread. Didn’t expect so many to side with the Rafa here but pleasant nonetheless.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Lots of people rave about Djokovic's bad luck at the USO, but Sampras probably had it worse. Kept getting those unfortunate injuries around time for the USO.
Djokovic's so called "bad luck" is a big myth. He won 3 titles there, and honestly, in what other year he was the best player but didn't win? If anything, he was actually lucky that Federer choked in 2011 and 2015.
 

RF-18

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic is quite underrated at the USO in terms of peak and resume I have to say on this thread. Didn’t expect so many to side with the Rafa here but pleasant nonetheless.
Djokovic is tied as most US open finals in history. Just for perspective he has more US Open finals than Federer.
 

PilotPete

Semi-Pro
Physically I don't think 2011 Djokovic had it in him to go five sets, he was rolling in 80 mph first serves in the fourth set of the final.
That would be true of Nadal too then. In the 4th set he was barely moving. Plus Djokovic is a possum, just like Nadal
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Djokodal are definitely a bit overrated at the USO in terms of matches played against each other. They have played classics at all of the other 3 slams, but not a single one at the USO.

And Nadal in 2011 USO wasn't even Djokovic's toughest opponent in that event. And Djokovic was Nadal's toughest opponent in 2010 and 2013 mostly on account of having no one else in those draws worth mentioning.
AO 2012 is overrated IMO. That was 6 hours of grinding on a very slow hardcourt, and I hardly remember any great rallies from this match. All of their USO matches had more active rallies, even though the matches weren't as close. (but after all, AO 2012 could have easily ended in 4 sets, and had it happened, nobody would think of it as a great match)
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
AO 2012 is overrated IMO. That was 6 hours of grinding on a very slow hardcourt, and I hardly remember any great rallies from this match. All of their USO matches had more active rallies, even though the matches weren't as close. (but after all, AO 2012 could have easily ended in 4 sets, and had it happened, nobody would think of it as a great match)
Honestly, all of their classics could have ended in 4 sets so I guess nobody should consider them as classics anymore.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Djokodal are definitely a bit overrated at the USO in terms of matches played against each other. They have played classics at all of the other 3 slams, but not a single one at the USO.

And Nadal in 2011 USO wasn't even Djokovic's toughest opponent in that event. And Djokovic was Nadal's toughest opponent in 2010 and 2013 mostly on account of having no one else in those draws worth mentioning.
I think all three were good enough opponents, it's just that in Nadal's case there was only one in each draw - so hardly strong on the whole.
 

Winner

Rookie
H2h doesn't mean much. Nadal beat 2010 Djoko who sucked overall that year. 77% win percentage. 2 titles in China and Dubai. Not in near good enough form and confidence wasn't there. This like Djoko beating Nadal at the FO 15 wich many makes hell of as soon as you mention Djoko beating him there.

Nadal and Djoko has met not even once in the US since 2013.
So your argument is that H2H isn't meaningful because Djokovic was bad in 2010? Don't you think being bad should factor in in a discussion who is the greater player?
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is quite underrated at the USO in terms of peak and resume I have to say on this thread. Didn’t expect so many to side with the Rafa here but pleasant nonetheless.
Nadal has surpassed expectations at USO. I would never question his 4 wins there, cuz he plays better than he realistically should. Fair is fair.

Novak started liking the Decoturf less and less since around 2012.
2012 USO was basically 2011 level until the windy conditions in final screwed him up.

His 2015 and 2018 wins are a combination of good form and accessible draw, but he seems much more comfortable on grass than fast HC these days.

Probably a result of going for a more conservative baseline game since 2014, but with an improved serve.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RS

RS

Legend
Nadal has surpassed expectations at USO. I would never question his 4 wins there, cuz he plays better than he realistically should. Fair is fair.

Novak started liking the Decoturf less and less since around 2012.
2012 USO was basically 2011 level until the windy conditions in final screwed him up.

His 2015 and 2018 wins are a combination of good form and accessible draw, but he seems much more comfortable on grass than fast HC these days.

Probably a result of going for a more conservative baseline game since 2014, but with an improved serve.
I would say Novak had a good draw in USO 2015 i would say as he beat Federer in-form and agree about Nadal. He played quite well in 2018 edtion too and the Del Potro final was very impressive.

Agree about Djokovic form in USO 12 and in general. Seems his less attacking game helped him vs Fed and much of the field but hurt him vs Stan he seems to struggle to deal with the sheer attacking barrage in the matches them have in slams post 12/13.
 

ibbi

Legend
I don't think 11 extra wins outdoes the extra title. It's only a debate because Rafa missed those three trips there in years where unlike Novak's missed year he was actually good. I don't put that much stock in the extra finals because unlike say Federer in Paris, he's lost those finals to 4 different guys, so it's not like it's a "If not for ____ what might have been" situation.
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
- highest peak : Djokovic
- better USO player : Nadal, because 4 > 3

Djokovic is quite underrated at the USO in terms of peak and resume I have to say on this thread. Didn’t expect so many to side with the Rafa here but pleasant nonetheless.
Recency bias. I made the same thread about two years ago and almost everyone leaned towards Djokovic.
 

intrepidish

Semi-Pro
However, general consensus is that Nole's peak play at the USO (2011/2015) was at a higher level than Nadal's peak play (2010/2013) and he has the better overall results
No, that's not the consensus I've heard. Nadal in 2010 was insane with that serve and I don't think 2013 Djokovic was much different from 2011, he just faced a considerably better Nadal.

There's also no world in which 4 titles is worse than 3 and some good results. Nadal also did that in fewer attempts.
 
Top