Hypothetical Match :- 2016 Djokovic vs 2017 Nadal at RG

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On one hand, we have Djokovic at the height of his achievements & confidence in RG2016, winning the last eluding title in his resume; establishing himself as one of the most complete players ever by winning his own unique NCYGS.

On the other hand, we have Nadal playing at his highest post-resurgence clay level in RG2017, putting on a show throughout the tournament, establishing himself as the clay GOD again after setbacks of 2016, 2015 and to some extent, 2014 as well.

Some Djokovic fans argue that Nadal didn't have prime Djokovic to face at 2017 RG which could be an issue given mental scars, competition was weak for him. While some nadal fans argue that Djokovic was Lucky to win 2016 RG because nadal was injured.

So I leave it up to TTW, discuss your thoughts here.
Please keep respect for each other and players.
Stay tuned, stay connected, love tennis.
 

ibbi

Legend
Depends on the weather. Sunny, Nadal will beat Novak (he might hammer him, I'm not entirely sure Novak was all that good at Roland Garros that year, the conditions were just tailor made for him) if it's moody and wet, Novak will likely destroy Nadal ala the tail end of the first day of the 2012 Roland Garros final.
 
Depends on the weather. Sunny, Nadal will beat Novak (he might hammer him, I'm not entirely sure Novak was all that good at Roland Garros that year, the conditions were just tailor made for him) if it's moody and wet, Novak will likely destroy Nadal ala the tail end of the first day of the 2012 Roland Garros final.
Nadal definately has the better firepower, but nole has defence and mental advantage and probably more stamina if it gets slugfest
 

PerilousPear

Semi-Pro
2016 Djokovic is one of his weaker versions at RG

He was running of fumes in that final, and had a bit of luck that Stan lost in the SF to Murray.

The Nadal in 3
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
11 nole vs 17 nada is unfair.
Novak was at height of his powers in 2011. Nadal wasn't in 2017
Nadal in 2017 played one of the best clay seasons of his career (one loss, 4 titles) and the outright best RG in terms of games lost (didn’t lose a set as well of course).

IMO there is no doubt that the Djokovic who lost to Federer in 2011 would have no big chance against 2017 Nadal.
 
Only 2011 Djokovic would potentially be able go beat a Nadal at his best on clay and at RG. As that year Djoko was in superhuman form. Federer though took him out and played amazing in that RG semi. It’s probably one of Rogers greatest wins, he did prove why he’s still regarded as the GOAT by many that day and still currently is now. Djoko came close in 2013 but when Nadal is at his best or close to it on clay, it’s too much for anyone.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
By the level of play it should be Nadal in straights. However, he has a known mental block against Djokovic, so I guess he would find a way to lose at least 1 set.
 

tudwell

Legend
Nadal in 4, possibly 3. 2017 is up there with his very best runs at the tournament. I’d only put 2008 and 2012 definitively above it myself, though 2007, 2010, and maybe even 2014 are close. And when Nadal’s in that form, no one can beat him. No one.

That said, Djokovic was good in 2016. I think he was better in 2012 and maybe also 2015, but really his level from 2011 to 2016 was remarkably consistent. Hard to really pick a stand-out year in terms of both highest level and lowest level. Things just broke for him in 2016 where they didn’t in other years (like Fed winning in 2009). But as we’ve seen over and over throughout their careers, Nadal at his best is just better on clay – especially in best of five at Roland Garros. I don’t see Djokovic even getting close to winning this.
 
Nadal in 2017 played one of the best clay seasons of his career (one loss, 4 titles) and the outright best RG in terms of games lost (didn’t lose a set as well of course).

IMO there is no doubt that the Djokovic who lost to Federer in 2011 would have no big chance against 2017 Nadal.
Yes but on athleticism and defence, stamina & grind, 2017 nadal isn't better than 2011 nole. That's where most djokodal matches are decided
 
11 nole vs 17 nada is unfair.
Novak was at height of his powers in 2011. Nadal wasn't in 2017
Far from unfair - Nadal of 2017 was very close to the height of his powers and would most likely beat Djokovic of 2011. Nadal of 2011 would have been far more vulnerable against that Djokovic than would Nadal of 2017.
 
Only 2011 Djokovic would potentially be able go beat a Nadal at his best on clay and at RG. As that year Djoko was in superhuman form. Federer though took him out and played amazing in that RG semi. It’s probably one of Rogers greatest wins, he did prove why he’s still regarded as the GOAT by many that day and still currently is now. Djoko came close in 2013 but when Nadal is at his best or close to it on clay, it’s too much for anyone.
I know that net touch while smashing haunts djokofans till date.
Now you can only imagine what it is like 40-15, it's far more painful.
 
I've seen the light and learned from Joker fans that tennis evolves EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Joker won RG in 2016, but in 2017 an improved Joker went out in the QF. Therefore, 2017 RAFA Hulk smashes in straights sets :cool:

Can anyone even beat rafa at RG when he's on?? (One off soderling doesn't count, as God himself decided to enter his body that day)
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Nadal in 3, without a shadow of a doubt. It would have been the fourth victory of Nadal over Djokovic at RG in 3 after 2006, 2007 and 2008. No one was winning a set from Nadal at RG 2017, the second best ever version he has ever displayed at RG after 2008. He was just perfection.

En efecto, el gladiador español habría aniquilado al serbio.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
2017 Rafa was one of the most aggressive versions I've ever seen at RG. He was playing so freely, just teeing off on everything. Would be very curious to see how he'd handle a great defender like Djokovic where the ball is constantly coming back and he has to watch his percentages go down. Would he keep swinging away or start reverting back to his more passive gameplan of years past?

2016 Novak wasn't that great (I'd back any of 2011-15 over 16) but I think he could find a way to steal the 2nd or 3rd set before losing in 4. He's too great a champion to just roll over.
 

Nadal_King

Hall of Fame
Similar story to 2012,2014 matches they had as I feel difference in level is similar infact 2017 nadal was brutal but djokovic 2016 won that year so expect a set for djokovic.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
2016 Djokovic at RG is underrated here. He basically destroyed Murray 1 , 2 and 2 and even Thiem in an identical fashion.

However, 2017 Nadal beats him in 4 sets.
2016 Djokovic at RG is not underrated, he is correctly rated. He lost one set against a player with 0 RG titles like Murray, and Thiem was largely unexperienced in 2016. Thiem improved a lot in the 2017 clay season compared to 2016. In 2017 Dominic was going deep in most clay tournaments and reached his first final of a Masters 1000 in Madrid, and made Nadal suffer a lot to win the Madrid title. Thiem was also the only player to beat Nadal on clay in 2017. Djokovic did not beat prime Thiem at RG 2016, just like Thiem did not beat prime Djokovic at RG 2017.

There is no magical difference between 2016 Djokovic and 2019 Djokovic at RG. He just faced an improved version of Thiem in 2019. Djokovic was #1, the defending champion of 3 Slam titles and was going for his second NCYGS at RG 2019.
 
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NatF

Bionic Poster
2017 Rafa was one of the most aggressive versions I've ever seen at RG. He was playing so freely, just teeing off on everything. Would be very curious to see how he'd handle a great defender like Djokovic where the ball is constantly coming back and he has to watch his percentages go down. Would he keep swinging away or start reverting back to his more passive gameplan of years past?

2016 Novak wasn't that great (I'd back any of 2011-15 over 16) but I think he could find a way to steal the 2nd or 3rd set before losing in 4. He's too great a champion to just roll over.
Nadal was a bit slow to get going in the 2017 FO final, sadly Wawrinka didn't have it in him to take advantage and Djokovic who meekly lost the first set to Murray in 2016 wouldn't either.
 

Martin J

Professional
I could see Nadal losing one close set due to nerves, but that's it. His level was high enough to beat any version of Novak at RG, imo.
Though the posters who claim he was at his best in 2017 clearly hadn't watched him during his best runs (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012).
 
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