How many times has Nadal choked a match?

ADuck

Legend
Thinking about it, it's actually not often Nadal chokes a match away, even though in my opinion he chokes a lot within matches (and gives his fans heart attacks and grey hairs), he is able to keep fighting despite that and eventually win the match anyway.

But what are some examples where he didn't fight back, and we can say with let's say >50% certainty that him choking led to him losing?
 
I blocked this one from memory. Was it a choke or was it Nadal simply running out of stamina? The whole 3rd set I knew that if Nadal didn't finish this soon he was in trouble.
I don't think 3 botched overheads count as lack of stamina, you don't see Rafa missing those sorts of shots 3 times in one game.
By mid set4, yes he was on fumes.
 
It doesn't happen often, but he has lost matches, big and small after being rather close or holding multiple MP's! OTTH, I point out '12 AO, up 4-2 in the 5th set! Rafa also had 5 or 6 MP's up 5-1 in 3rd set TB playing Kyrgios in Acapulco a a couple years ago! :cautious: :oops::rolleyes:;)
Yes, that one slipped out of my memory. Thanks for suggestion, gentlemen.
Check other options as well (I've updated)
 

ADuck

Legend
I don't think 3 botched overheads count as lack of stamina, you don't see Rafa missing those sorts of shots 3 times in one game.
By mid set4, yes he was on fumes.
Yes, a choke, but not a typical choke, because Tsitsipas rightfully won the 4th and 5th sets because Nadal lost all his energy. But you are right in that if he had not choked the 3rd set he wouldn't have lost, so I guess it counts.

Medvedev match at WTF 2020 is a similar story. Weird period Nadal went through there where he would lose intensity from winning positions. His stamina was terrible.
 
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NeutralFan

Legend
I blocked this one from memory. Was it a choke or was it Nadal simply running out of stamina? The whole 3rd set I knew that if Nadal didn't finish this soon he was in trouble.
Very weird match. Nadal didn't face a single BP in first three sets and in 4th and 5th Nadal just forgot to return or was returning off miles baseline. It's choke of epic proportion.
 

NeutralFan

Legend
2012 and 2017 AO finals... up a break in the 5th in both.
2017 can be excused because Nadal's shots lacked bite in the 5th , imo he was gassed and hitting short in the 5th. 2012 can not be excused. he should have won ,2018 Wimbledon semi final can also be called choked, he had so many bps, sometimes even double bps in the 5th.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
Was it AO 2012 or 17 where he missed an easy backhand on serve to eventually get broken back? That one.

2018 Wimby was an absolute heartbreaker too.
 

Underdog

Semi-Pro
I think some remarkable are:
AO 21 QF
AO 17 F
AO 12 F
W 18 SF
ATPF 20 SF
As bad as losing to Tsipas in such fashion is, I don’t mind the first one too much and I know choking is part of the game, everybody is guilty in some extent, but damn, those are some very significant matches right there.
 

ADuck

Legend
Very weird match. Nadal didn't face a single BP in first three sets and in 4th and 5th Nadal just forgot to return or was returning off miles baseline. It's choke of epic proportion.
I kinda stopped watching after the 3rd set because I knew what was gonna happen. That's the only time I can recall thinking Nadal will lose from such a large winning position, but it was because I just somehow knew he had run out of energy.
 

Dominic & Andrey

Hall of Fame
Depends what you call a choke. If we are taking Coria vs Gaudio as our reference point, or Cilic's chokes, then obviously there would be none that embarrassing.
 

Third Serve

Talk Tennis Guru
Miami 2005 vs. Fed

Yeah yeah it was a bad line call that messed him up but he didn’t have to go ahead and lose the next three sets like that.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Miami 2005 vs. Fed

Yeah yeah it was a bad line call that messed him up but he didn’t have to go ahead and lose the next three sets like that.
I seem to recall he was up 2 sets and a break in that match. If it had been Bo3 like it is today he would now have a Miami title to add to his portfolio.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Miami 2005 vs. Fed

Yeah yeah it was a bad line call that messed him up but he didn’t have to go ahead and lose the next three sets like that.
not really. Fed was clutch in the 3rd set TB.
and fed himself had choked away the 2nd set.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
USO 15 vs Fog
AO 21 vs Tpas

no one mentioned 12 Madrid vs Dasco on blue clay yet?
don't recall Acapulco 19 vs Kyrgios that much tbh.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Some people have no clue what choking is defined as, in tennis.

Its not just losing to a mug or him being out of form.

The biggest ones were certainly Wimbledon 18 SF, AO 2012 final, and AO 2017 final.

He seems to be most guilty of 'choking' when hes playing Djokovic IMO. but thats down to several factors, including that Djokovic is going to fight till the end, He has the experience to make Nadal uncomfortable, as well as hes beaten him more than anyone else.

Half of the ones mentioned on here arent chokes. Just bad losses.
 
Some people have no clue what choking is defined as, in tennis.

Its not just losing to a mug or him being out of form.

The biggest ones were certainly Wimbledon 18 SF, AO 2012 final, and AO 2017 final.

He seems to be most guilty of 'choking' when hes playing Djokovic IMO. but thats down to several factors, including that Djokovic is going to fight till the end, He has the experience to make Nadal uncomfortable, as well as hes beaten him more than anyone else.

Half of the ones mentioned on here arent chokes. Just bad losses.
Name some matches you see as actual chokes?
 

BGod

G.O.A.T.
He's way more clutch than several other ATGs and it's pretty clear. But the AO Tsitsipas match, Fognini USO and WTF to Daniil are the big ones to me. Not Slam SFs or Finals. I'd say both 12 & 17 AOs were more his opponent being better.
 

Rafa the King

Hall of Fame
First choke I remember was Wimbledon 06 final second set. Chocked when serving for the set and again in the tie-break.
I'd say he kinda choked Wimbledon 07 too, Fed served better for the tie breaks, but Rafa lost the momentum in the 5th when he was clearly the better player.
Chocked Miami 09 against Delpo after working so hard to gain the momentum after losing the first and being a breakdown in the 5th.
AO 2012 obviously, such a poor game to be broken back from 30-15, after fighting so hard to gain momentum and looking like the better player for most of that 5th set.
USO 2015 might be the biggest choke.
Actually don't think AO 2017 was a choke, his level didn't drop in the 5th and actually was much better than his level in the first three sets especially
Choked a little in WIM 2018, but Novak was the player with the bigger chances in the 5th and after serving to stay in the match on 4 occasions, he eventually faltered. Think the choking lies mainly in him not winning the 3rd when he was the better of the two, rather than not converting a BP in the 5th
Choked big time against Nick in Acapulco in 2019, but all in all didn't play a poor match throughout
Massive choke against Thiem in AO 2020. Really rare for him to play a great level and lose to someone other than Novak or Fed.
Big choke again against Thiem and more notably against Med in WTF 2020. In hindsight, his best chance to win WTF
As big, if not bigger, of a choke against Tsitsipas in 2021 AO. Just fell away after not winning the third, although for some reason it always looked like he was going to struggle if he didn't win that set.
He choked against Novak in RG 2021 too, but I don't know if he could have pulled of the win and then won the final too, given the state of the foot. If he doesn't let Novak in the match in the first set to come back to 5-3, he probably dominates the opening proceedings of the 2nd. Also chocked massively in the third after coming back to 5-5.

He won some epics after choking like WIM 08, RG 13, USO 2019 and this year's AO final. Biggest choke IMO is a bit controversial, but if he could have won 2 of the 5 tie-breaks he lost to Thiem in 2020, I think he either wins AO or WTF.

Unpopular opinion: WIM 2019 was a choke. He was playing as good if not better than 2018 and had he been able to play maybe 10-20% better against Fed, I think he would have won the title. His level was the highest of the Big 3 coming into that SF. Just never got any rhythm against Fed and played without a clear game plan.
 
I blocked this one from memory. Was it a choke or was it Nadal simply running out of stamina? The whole 3rd set I knew that if Nadal didn't finish this soon he was in trouble.
Nadal was injured. After 2nd set when he won he shook his head to his camp. His back had seized and after that his serve was way off.
 
Nadal has never choked. Choking is when a player cannot play his normal level for an entire match. Choking is not missing routine shots at big moments.
Nadal has never really not played his best due to nerves that I can remember. Usually if he is in form and playing well he wins slams anywhere except Wimbledon. Only time I think maybe he could have choked was AO 2019 final but then again Djokovic was unplayable that event so hard to know if Nadal choked or just got a spanking by a guy in the zone.
 

ADuck

Legend
First choke I remember was Wimbledon 06 final second set. Chocked when serving for the set and again in the tie-break.
I'd say he kinda choked Wimbledon 07 too, Fed served better for the tie breaks, but Rafa lost the momentum in the 5th when he was clearly the better player.
Chocked Miami 09 against Delpo after working so hard to gain the momentum after losing the first and being a breakdown in the 5th.
AO 2012 obviously, such a poor game to be broken back from 30-15, after fighting so hard to gain momentum and looking like the better player for most of that 5th set.
USO 2015 might be the biggest choke.
Actually don't think AO 2017 was a choke, his level didn't drop in the 5th and actually was much better than his level in the first three sets especially
Choked a little in WIM 2018, but Novak was the player with the bigger chances in the 5th and after serving to stay in the match on 4 occasions, he eventually faltered. Think the choking lies mainly in him not winning the 3rd when he was the better of the two, rather than not converting a BP in the 5th
Choked big time against Nick in Acapulco in 2019, but all in all didn't play a poor match throughout
Massive choke against Thiem in AO 2020. Really rare for him to play a great level and lose to someone other than Novak or Fed.
Big choke again against Thiem and more notably against Med in WTF 2020. In hindsight, his best chance to win WTF
As big, if not bigger, of a choke against Tsitsipas in 2021 AO. Just fell away after not winning the third, although for some reason it always looked like he was going to struggle if he didn't win that set.
He choked against Novak in RG 2021 too, but I don't know if he could have pulled of the win and then won the final too, given the state of the foot. If he doesn't let Novak in the match in the first set to come back to 5-3, he probably dominates the opening proceedings of the 2nd. Also chocked massively in the third after coming back to 5-5.

He won some epics after choking like WIM 08, RG 13, USO 2019 and this year's AO final. Biggest choke IMO is a bit controversial, but if he could have won 2 of the 5 tie-breaks he lost to Thiem in 2020, I think he either wins AO or WTF.

Unpopular opinion: WIM 2019 was a choke. He was playing as good if not better than 2018 and had he been able to play maybe 10-20% better against Fed, I think he would have won the title. His level was the highest of the Big 3 coming into that SF. Just never got any rhythm against Fed and played without a clear game plan.
AO2012 was a mini-choke. It was one point, so maybe a bit overblown, it could have been the difference but he got broken back twice after that point so how much difference did that really make. It would have been a nerve-wracking affair till the last service game even if Nadal held then.

Holy sh*t I forgot about the Thiem 2020 match. That was horrible. The tiebreaks oh my god, complete choking fest, but Thiem did play really well from behind too. That was like the 3rd set vs Kyrgios in 2019 Acapulco but worse and repeated 3x in a row :-D

Agree with WB2019. The only thing is I wouldn't call it a choke if it happened the entire match, he just played bad and tentative the whole time. The only time he let loose was in the last game of the match when Fed was serving for it, but it was too little too late. If he had won that game though, I think it really possible he could have turned the entire match around and won it.
 
AO2012 was a mini-choke. It was one point, so maybe a bit overblown, it could have been the difference but he got broken back twice after that point so how much difference did that really make. It would have been a nerve-wracking affair till the last service game even if Nadal held then.

Holy sh*t I forgot about the Thiem 2020 match. That was horrible. The tiebreaks oh my god, complete choking fest, but Thiem did play really well from behind too. That was like the 3rd set vs Kyrgios in 2019 Acapulco but worse and repeated 3x in a row :-D

Agree with WB2019. The only thing is I wouldn't call it a choke if it happened the entire match, he just played bad and tentative the whole time. The only time he let loose was in the last game of the match when Fed was serving for it, but it was too little too late. If he had won that game though, I think it really possible he could have turned the entire match around and won it.
First two sets were fine (sure, you're dreaming of a straight-set win, are you? sod). Last two sets I have to agree here... good reflection on how Ned's so-called form flattered to deceive just like at the AO 'cause he'd been facing total mugs (except Nick and he could only escape in tiebreaks where balls left the kyrgichat). Was fun watching Fed dismantle Ned with superior skill after the RG debacle. I mean, that's what it boils down to: Federer was naturally more comfortable with his game on grass than Nadal and was confident in their matchup this time around, Nadal knew he was the one who needed to change something and be proactive to take it and that got to him. No question he could've handled the nerves better anyway, 25% 1st serve for much of the fourth set for one is just lol.
 

ADuck

Legend
First two sets were fine (sure, you're dreaming of a straight-set win, are you? sod). Last two sets I have to agree here... good reflection on how Ned's so-called form flattered to deceive just like at the AO 'cause he'd been facing total mugs (except Nick and he could only escape in tiebreaks where balls left the kyrgichat). Was fun watching Fed dismantle Ned with superior skill after the RG debacle. I mean, that's what it boils down to: Federer was naturally more comfortable with his game on grass than Nadal and was confident in their matchup this time around, Nadal knew he was the one who needed to change something and be proactive to take it and that got to him. No question he could've handled the nerves better anyway, 25% 1st serve for much of the fourth set for one is just lol.
I already gave you my arguments for all this at length a while back, even gave you many points as examples which were considered "highlights' of the match. If I rewatched the match point by point I could go the whole day perhaps. Just wasn't Nadal's best day in my opinion.
 
I already gave you my arguments for all this at length a while back, even gave you many points as examples which were considered "highlights' of the match. If I rewatched the match point by point I could go the whole day perhaps. Just wasn't Nadal's best day in my opinion.
In a way, one may say tennis is a competition to see who fails less. Surely you realise the same fine-combed anal-ysis could be applied to Ned's wins as well. Of course if you believe Nadal's peak to be axiomatically supreme such that the match is always on his racquet...
 
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