Greatest Rivalry

diggler

Hall of Fame
Statistically, Nadal v Djokovic is the greater rivalry than Nadal v Federer. There are more matches, the score is fairly even and there have been some epic marathon encounters.

I think that the Nadal Federer rivalry captures the imagination more though. The styles are more contrasting. I think there was more anticipation of a Nadal Federer clash than a Nadal Djokovic clash.

I think Nadal Federer is the modern day version of Borg McEnroe while Nadal Djokovic is more Borg Vilas. It doesn't quite have the same ring to it, although perhaps deserves better.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Nadal-Federer was the best and could have been the undisputed rivalry of all time but Federer didn't help the rivalry much by losing too many of their matches. This rivalry used to be so good.
 

SuperHead

Rookie
Nadal-Federer was the best and could have been the undisputed rivalry of all time but Federer didn't help the rivalry much by losing too many of their matches. This rivalry used to be so good.
Why talk in the past? It still is good and always will be.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Why talk in the past? It still is good and always will be.
Because it's quite predictable now. I was rooting for Fed in Rome final but it was disappointing. Fed is old now and it will be a huge upset if he beats Rafa in a Slam again or for that matter any final. We shouldn't expect much from this rivalry anymore.
 

SuperHead

Rookie
Because it's quite predictable now. I was rooting for Fed in Rome final but it was disappointing. Fed is old now and it will be a huge upset if he beats Rafa in a Slam again or for that matter any final. We shouldn't expect much from this rivalry anymore.
You never know- Fed can go back to his old winning days again. :rolleyes:
 

KillerServe

Banned
In addition to their contrast in styles, you also have to consider the very important point that Fedal was so great precisely because Nadal was beating Federer more often than not. That's what catapulted Nadal to such a high view amongst people. If it had been very even then it wouldn't have been so great since Federer would have been considered far greater with all he was winning. But up till 2008, the 6-8 H2H made it really perfect. It only became ridiculous as the H2H became so lopsided after Federer declined so much.
 

6-1 6-3 6-0

Banned
Nadal-Djokovic is the greatest rivalry in world history, but I suspect that Nadal-Murray will elevate itself as one of the great rivalries of the modern era.
 
Statistically, Nadal v Djokovic is the greater rivalry than Nadal v Federer. There are more matches, the score is fairly even and there have been some epic marathon encounters.

I think that the Nadal Federer rivalry captures the imagination more though. The styles are more contrasting. I think there was more anticipation of a Nadal Federer clash than a Nadal Djokovic clash.

I think Nadal Federer is the modern day version of Borg McEnroe while Nadal Djokovic is more Borg Vilas. It doesn't quite have the same ring to it, although perhaps deserves better.
Back then, the biggest rivalries were Borg-McEnroe, Borg-Connors, and Connors-McEnroe. Vilas was also a prime rival, as was the talented Ivan Lendl. I think it will be difficult for Nadal-Djokovic to capture the public's imagination as much as Federer-Nadal, but let's see them play perhaps a epic Wimbledon final! That always boosts ratings like no other event. We need another match like the Federer-Nadal Wimbledon final in 2008. The contrasting styles and personalities of Federer and Nadal seemed to really click with tennis fans. If we see a lot more shotmaking variety from Nadal and Djokovic, that could really help boost the ratings for their matches going forward. Maybe Andy Murray will also help to keep things very interesting on the men's side.
 
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Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
^ That only adds to the anticipation of when Nadal finally faces a Lendl-coached, double major winning Highlander. I think it will be a great battle.

Edit: this post was in response to Mustard.
 

statto

Professional
Analogy time:

Nadal/Federer = McEnroe/Borg
Nadal/Djokovic = McEnroe/Lendl

McEnroe and Lendl faced each other more often, but it was the McEnroe and Borg rivalry that captured the imagination of the public more. I think we see the exact same thing with Fed/Nad/Djok rivalries.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
The Connors vs. Borg rivalry gets sidelined way too much, especially when compared to McEnroe vs. Borg.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Surprised no one has mentioned Agassi-Sampras. They met 34 times compared to 31 for Federer-Nadal. Sampras led with a 20-14 h2h. Somewhat more balanced the the Fed-Nadal h2h. While Federer-Nadal have met 10 times in grand slam events, Agassi-Sampras met 9 times (5 of them were slam finals).

Other pairings in the Open era where rivals met more than 30 times include: Becker-Edberg (35 times), Connnors-Mac, Connors-Lendl, Lendl-Mac, Nadal-Djoko (37 times).

However, the greatest Open era rivalry is Evert-Navratilova who met 80 times. Martina led that h2h 43-37. They met in Grand Slam events 22 times. Other WTA rivalries include: Navratilova–Shriver (43 times) and Graf–Sabatini (40 times). Note that Sharapova-S Williams have met a mere 16 times, while Graf-Seles met 15 times. Graf led that latter h2h, 10-5 (and 6-4 in slam events).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tennis_rivalries
 

Fedinkum

Legend
As a tennis fan, the emotional elements of the Fed-Nadal rivalry overwrites the statistical elements of the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Nadal vs Federer is not a rivalry at all, it is virtually total domination.
Totally not true. The rivalry really took place from 2007 through the beginning of 2009. Fed was #1, Nadal was the young #2. Fed was clearly better overall winning 3 of 4 Slams in a couple of those years and Nadal was the upstart who was giving Fed a lot of trouble in their matchups. This was a very very compelling backstory - incumbent king (who played the beautiful game) versus the brash young prince (who played a game of sweat and blood). Fed was also well on his way to make history (there was wide agreement that he would be the undisputed GOAT if he could maintain his success). The history, the stakes, the contrast, etc. made this a far more compelling rivarly.
 

BrooklynNY

Hall of Fame
Totally not true. The rivalry really took place from 2007 through the beginning of 2009. Fed was #1, Nadal was the young #2. Fed was clearly better overall winning 3 of 4 Slams in a couple of those years and Nadal was the upstart who was giving Fed a lot of trouble in their matchups. This was a very very compelling backstory - incumbent king (who played the beautiful game) versus the brash young prince (who played a game of sweat and blood). Fed was also well on his way to make history (there was wide agreement that he would be the undisputed GOAT if he could maintain his success). The history, the stakes, the contrast, etc. made this a far more compelling rivarly.
Just because Fed was only able to make it super competitive for 2 years doesn't mean thats when the rivalry really took place.

By that logic, Federer/Roddick rivalry really only happened in 2011-2012, where they went 1-1 against each other.

In reality, the rivalry happened since very early in their careers, it just wasn't much of a rivalry. Nadal vs Federer is slightly better, as Fed won 7 more matches than Roddick vs himself(Fed)
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Just because Fed was only able to make it super competitive for 2 years doesn't mean thats when the rivalry really took place.

By that logic, Federer/Roddick rivalry really only happened in 2011-2012, where they went 1-1 against each other.

In reality, the rivalry happened since very early in their careers, it just wasn't much of a rivalry. Nadal vs Federer is slightly better, as Fed won 7 more matches than Roddick vs himself(Fed)
You're missing my logic. I'm saying that Roger and Rafa's rivalry was always compelling but it is at it's height (2007-2009) that it sets itself apart from the Rafa-Novak rivalry. Rafa-Novak even at its height in 2011-2013, I guess, falls short because the stakes just weren't as high and the contrast and history isn't quite the same as with Roger-Rafa.

The Roger-Roddick comparison is just plain stupid.
 

MonkeyBoy

Hall of Fame
Of the top four rivalries, Federer-Murray interests me the most. Both players possess the greatest technical variety of the top guys.
 

fastgrass

Banned
Of the top four rivalries, Federer-Murray interests me the most. Both players possess the greatest technical variety of the top guys.
are you sure murra is in same group of fed.

he is not even close to fed .

if he got good technical variety then why he sitting behind
nole who is considered as less talented than murra.

which type of coaching will require To evolve Murray's
talent fully or he is overrated .
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
Statistically, Nadal v Djokovic is the greater rivalry than Nadal v Federer. There are more matches, the score is fairly even and there have been some epic marathon encounters.

I think that the Nadal Federer rivalry captures the imagination more though. The styles are more contrasting. I think there was more anticipation of a Nadal Federer clash than a Nadal Djokovic clash.

I think Nadal Federer is the modern day version of Borg McEnroe while Nadal Djokovic is more Borg Vilas. It doesn't quite have the same ring to it, although perhaps deserves better.
Agree. I like the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry too, but in the Nadal-Federer matches they were pulling off all kinds of ridiculous shots against each other. It was truly breathtaking in most of their major clashes.
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
Back then, the biggest rivalries were Borg-McEnroe, Borg-Connors, and Connors-McEnroe. Vilas was also a prime rival, as was the talented Ivan Lendl. I think it will be difficult for Nadal-Djokovic to capture the public's imagination as much as Federer-Nadal, but let's see them play perhaps a epic Wimbledon final! That always boosts ratings like no other event. We need another match like the Federer-Nadal Wimbledon final in 2008. The contrasting styles and personalities of Federer and Nadal seemed to really click with tennis fans. If we see a lot more shotmaking variety from Nadal and Djokovic, that could really help boost the ratings for their matches going forward. Maybe Andy Murray will also help to keep things very interesting on the men's side.
Great summation. That's what I meant to say.
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
Surprised no one has mentioned Agassi-Sampras. They met 34 times compared to 31 for Federer-Nadal. Sampras led with a 20-14 h2h. Somewhat more balanced the the Fed-Nadal h2h. While Federer-Nadal have met 10 times in grand slam events, Agassi-Sampras met 9 times (5 of them were slam finals).

Other pairings in the Open era where rivals met more than 30 times include: Becker-Edberg (35 times), Connnors-Mac, Connors-Lendl, Lendl-Mac, Nadal-Djoko (37 times).

However, the greatest Open era rivalry is Evert-Navratilova who met 80 times. Martina led that h2h 43-37. They met in Grand Slam events 22 times. Other WTA rivalries include: Navratilova–Shriver (43 times) and Graf–Sabatini (40 times). Note that Sharapova-S Williams have met a mere 16 times, while Graf-Seles met 15 times. Graf led that latter h2h, 10-5 (and 6-4 in slam events).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tennis_rivalries
I think Sampras-Agassi was just as magical, mainly due to the contrasting styles. Didn't see the other rivalries though.
 

ibbi

Legend
It has nothing to do with how many times they've played, and how close the record is, not for me anyway, not entirely. Federer and Nadal ruled the tennis mountain when there was almost nobody else of real worth on it to steal focus. When it looked in early 2005 that it would take nothing less than the match of a lifetime performance like Safin gave in Australia to beat this man, along comes this kid, and starts pushing him to his limit.

It was about the contrast in styles, both fashion wise, and tennis wise. Like Borg and McEnroe (another rivalry with few matches, but more to it than that) and Sampras and Agassi before them, watching two guys entirely opposite in terms of game, and to some extent personality, adds something more special.

From Roland Garros 2006 to Australia 2009 where they contested 5 out of 8 slam finals, especially at the height of 3 consecutive summers when they would contest a slam final first on Rafa's favourite surface, and then on Roger's, this was a rivalry more captivating than anything Rafa and Novak are accomplishing together.
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
It has nothing to do with how many times they've played, and how close the record is, not for me anyway, not entirely. Federer and Nadal ruled the tennis mountain when there was almost nobody else of real worth on it to steal focus. When it looked in early 2005 that it would take nothing less than the match of a lifetime performance like Safin gave in Australia to beat this man, along comes this kid, and starts pushing him to his limit.

It was about the contrast in styles, both fashion wise, and tennis wise. Like Borg and McEnroe (another rivalry with few matches, but more to it than that) and Sampras and Agassi before them, watching two guys entirely opposite in terms of game, and to some extent personality, adds something more special.

From Roland Garros 2006 to Australia 2009 where they contested 5 out of 8 slam finals, especially at the height of 3 consecutive summers when they would contest a slam final first on Rafa's favourite surface, and then on Roger's, this was a rivalry more captivating than anything Rafa and Novak are accomplishing together.
Darn, that's weird. I meant to say this too, but couldn't find the words.

Edit: Before I forget, it was also the good guy/bad guy thing. Rafa was considered an upstart trying to usurp The King.
 

MonkeyBoy

Hall of Fame
if he got good technical variety then why he sitting behind
nole who is considered as less talented than murra.
Because there's more to tennis than technique and variety. At what he does Nole cannot be beat, but he isn't much when taken out of his comfort zone.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Darn, that's weird. I meant to say this too, but couldn't find the words.

Edit: Before I forget, it was also the good guy/bad guy thing. Rafa was considered an upstart trying to usurp The King.
Totally agree. At the end of the day, it was the storyline that made it great. You had the undisputed #1 / divine king / presumed GOAT perched atop his mountain and soaring ever higher towards the sun but suddenly a youth, a mere mortal, with nothing but brawn, sweat, heart and courage shows up and finds the king's one weakness and takes him down. It's like David and Goliath, Paris and Achilles, Hillary and Everest, and Luke Skywalker and the Death Star all in one.
 

90's Clay

Banned
Sampras-Agassi was the best rivalry. They played at all 4 slams and had a perfect contrasting of styles to make it extremely interesting
 

ScentOfDefeat

G.O.A.T.
Totally agree. At the end of the day, it was the storyline that made it great. You had the undisputed #1 / divine king / presumed GOAT perched atop his mountain and soaring ever higher towards the sun but suddenly a youth, a mere mortal, with nothing but brawn, sweat, heart and courage shows up and finds the king's one weakness and takes him down. It's like David and Goliath, Paris and Achilles, Hillary and Everest, and Luke Skywalker and the Death Star all in one.
I hate Paris/Achilles. It's basically the story of the coward who kills the legend.
 

ScentOfDefeat

G.O.A.T.
Sampras-Agassi was the best rivalry. They played at all 4 slams and had a perfect contrasting of styles to make it extremely interesting
I agree, it's a great rivalry. And for fans of serve & volley, the best rivalry was without any doubt Becker-Edberg, with Becker having the head-to-head advantage, but the Swede beating the German when it mattered the most. Symetrical styles can produce rivalries that are just as exciting as contrasting styles.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
I agree, it's a great rivalry. And for fans of serve & volley, the best rivalry was without any doubt Becker-Edberg, with Becker having the head-to-head advantage, but the Swede beating the German when it mattered the most. Symetrical styles can produce rivalries that are just as exciting as contrasting styles.
Yes, agree, I think a rivalry/story is also enhanced when there are two sides to the argument. To your point, in Becker-Edberg, Becker having the better overall H2H record, but Edberg winning 2 of 3 at Wimby.

For Roger-Rafa, it was Fed who utterly dominated the entire tour and getting beaten by a young lefty with a clearly less versatile game (at the time).
 

10is

Professional
Like I have previously stated - the the H-H argument against Federer in the context of the Federer-Nadal rivalry is rather silly considering that:

1) Federer is 5 years OLDER than Nadal.

2) Nadal only started beating Federer "regularly" outside of clay when Federer had exited his prime.

3) Considering a majority of those losses were on clay against the greatest clay court player of all time in tournament Finals, criticizing Federer for the uneven H-H (especially during his prime 2004-2007) is therefore akin to criticizing him for being the second best player of his era on his weakest and least favorite surface.

4) Hence, critics/trolls are inadvertently saying that Federer would have more of a "legitimacy" to GOAT-hood had he been a worse clay court player and lost prior to facing Nadal on clay, thus ensuring that the H-H would not be as skewed as it currently is.

5) Finally, How many "tennis rivalries" (other than Fedal) have involved two "main rivals" being a WHOLE GENERATION APART in age from one another? Answer: NONE.

Main rivals have always historically been from ones own generation -- from that perspective Federer has a positive H-H record against all his main foes from his own generation. Particularly impressive is how he managed to turn around negative H-Hs against two of his fiercest peers, Hewitt and Nalbandian.

Hence, as far as I am concerned the "true" rivalry H-H ended at a respectable 6-8 (in favor of Nadal due to the clay skew) with the demise of Rogers prime in 2007.
__________________
 
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90's Clay

Banned
Like I have previously stated - the the H-H argument against Federer in the context of the Federer-Nadal rivalry is rather silly considering that:

1) Federer is 5 years OLDER than Nadal.

2) Nadal only started beating Federer "regularly" outside of clay when Federer had exited his prime.

3) Considering a majority of those losses were on clay against the greatest clay court player of all time in tournament Finals, criticizing Federer for the uneven H-H (especially during his prime 2004-2007) is therefore akin to criticizing him for being the second best player of his era on his weakest and least favorite surface.

4) Hence, critics/trolls are inadvertently saying that Federer would have more of a "legitimacy" to GOAT-hood had he been a worse clay court player and lost prior to facing Nadal on clay, thus ensuring that the H-H would not be as skewed as it currently is.

5) Finally, How many "tennis rivalries" (other than Fedal) have involved two "main rivals" being a WHOLE GENERATION APART in age from one another? Answer: NONE.

Main rivals have always historically been from ones own generation -- from that perspective Federer has a positive H-H record against all his main foes from his own generation. Particularly impressive is how he managed to turn around negative H-Hs against two of his fiercest peers, Hewitt and Nalbandian.
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Nadal has been beating Fed on hard courts since he was 18 years old. Historically, Fed's BEST surface, historically Nadal's WORST.

No excuse for the Rog man. They aren't a whole generation apart either. Their careers overlapped. Its not like Sampras/Agassi playing Hewitt, Roddick, Safin etc.. Guys TEN YEARS younger then them
 
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10is

Professional
Nadal has been beating Fed on hard courts since he was 18 years old. Historically, Fed's BEST surface, historically Nadal's WORST.

No excuse for the Rog man
What excuse? The match-up issue is obvious to all and sundry -- that still doesn't change the fact that Federer was nevertheless able to fend Nadal off (more often than not) on surfaces other than clay during is prime.
 

90's Clay

Banned
What excuse? The match-up issue is obvious to all and sundry -- that still doesn't change the fact that Federer was nevertheless able to fend Nadal off (more often than not) on surfaces other than clay during is prime.
Matchup Shamtchup. Nadal had to overcome matchup issues with Nole (and he did so in a season). Fed didn't tweak his game in any way to counteract the matchup problem that was presented. After 10 years, Fed still didn't overcome that issue in any sense of the word


A true "GOAT" would have
Theres guys in the top 30 that Nadal has some matchup issues against and he has a positive h2h against them ALL


How often did Fed "fend" nadal off anyways.. If anything Fed was lucky Nadal was still learning tennis off of clay so he didn't get the rivalry he should have had on other surfaces

We aren't talking a few losses here. We are are talking TWENTY ONE losses in 31 matches. Thats **** poor
 
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bullfan

Legend
As a tennis fan, the emotional elements of the Fed-Nadal rivalry overwrites the statistical elements of the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry.
So true. Fed-Nadal matches were billed based on the contrasting styles. I've never seen a leadup to a Nadal-Djokovic match rival Wimbledon 2008 or AO 2009.
 

bullfan

Legend
Nadal has been beating Fed on hard courts since he was 18 years old. Historically, Fed's BEST surface, historically Nadal's WORST.

No excuse for the Rog man. They aren't a whole generation apart either. Their careers overlapped. Its not like Sampras/Agassi playing Hewitt, Roddick, Safin etc.. Guys TEN YEARS younger then them
Nadal has never been behind Fed in the h2h.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
Nadal has been beating Fed on hard courts since he was 18 years old. Historically, Fed's BEST surface, historically Nadal's WORST.

No excuse for the Rog man. They aren't a whole generation apart either. Their careers overlapped. Its not like Sampras/Agassi playing Hewitt, Roddick, Safin etc.. Guys TEN YEARS younger then them
Borg and McEnroe were also several years apart, and they were considered great rivalry as well. Federer has no excuse for losing to his biggest rival that many times. Nadal has proven over the years that he is clearly the best player of this era.
 

10is

Professional
Borg and McEnroe were also several years apart,
"Several years apart"? :lol: They were less than 3 years apart and closer to two.

EDIT:

No excuse for the Rog man. They aren't a whole generation apart either. Their careers overlapped. Its not like Sampras/Agassi playing Hewitt, Roddick, Safin etc.. Guys TEN YEARS younger then them
Had Federer been "blessed" with Sampras' ability on clay, the H-H would have been more than respectable.
 
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Chico

Banned
Federer-Djokovic is the best. Too bad rigged draws which put them in the same half over and over again, stopped them from meeting in more slam finals.
Nadal-Djokovic is the second best.
Nadal-Federer is way too overrated. You know what is going to happen. CC forehand to OHBH again and again and again is boring to watch.
Djokovic-Murray is underrated and unjustifiably ridiculed by way to many trolls here. Exciting rivalry for years to come. Quite even as well. 11-8 H2H with 2-2 in slam finals.
 
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