Hypothetical Match :- 2019 AO final Djokovic v/s 2012 AO final Rafa

Who wins in this hypothetical scenario??


  • Total voters
    36
Who wins?
How the match would go?
On one hand, we have one of the most dominant slam final performances by Novak at AO19, and on the other hand there's the ultimate fighter Rafa in his prime who was absolutely determined to turn that 2012 final in his favour..
Discuss..
Please explain your opinions as well


P.S. :- Spread tennis and love.
 

Jonesy

Hall of Fame
It's hard to especulate how high Djokovic AO19 level was because he simply had no visible flaws in that match. And the court speed in 19 was faster than 12.
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
In before everybody forgets 2012 shouldn't even have been a 5 setter. Djokovic could have and should have finished in 4.
And he was coming off a mammoth mammoth battle against Murray.

But 2012 Nadal was easily his second best year in AO, we must keep that in mind.


Also 2019 Djokovic played flawlessly but Nadal will just refuse to go away and 2012 Nadal was pretty brilliant defender. I think Nadal will try to make it an out and out physical war like he did in 2012.

But unlike 2012 ,2019 Djokovic won't be afraid to be aggressive and he won't want to drag himself to a physical endurance competition.

Djokovic was hitting insanely well in 2019, and might not let it come to that, but Nadal 2012 as I said , was obscenely good at defending.

So either Djokovic outhits the heck out of Nadal in 4 or it becomes as much of physical battle as it was in 2012. In which case , Nadal might even be favoured.
 

JaoSousa

Hall of Fame
Nadal 2012 would win in 4-5 sets. I don't think 2019 Djokovic was as good as 2011-2015 Djokovic. Medvedev gave him a lot of problems engaging him in long rallies. 2012 Nadal could do that and would have the better endurance to pull off the victory.
Djokovic was at a different level in the final though. IMO, Djokovic 2019 would get it done in 4 very tight sets.
 

Biotic

Rookie
In before everybody forgets 2012 shouldn't even have been a 5 setter. Djokovic could have and should have finished in 4.
And he was coming off a mammoth mammoth battle against Murray.


But 2012 Nadal was easily his second best year in AO, we must keep that in mind.


Also 2019 Djokovic played flawlessly but Nadal will just refuse to go away and 2012 Nadal was pretty brilliant defender. I think Nadal will try to make it an out and out physical war like he did in 2012
.

But unlike 2012 ,2019 Djokovic won't be afraid to be aggressive and he won't want to drag himself to a physical endurance competition.

Djokovic was hitting insanely well in 2019, and might not let it come to that, but Nadal 2012 as I said , was obscenely good at defending.

So either Djokovic outhits the heck out of Nadal in 4 or it becomes as much of physical battle as it was in 2012. In which case , Nadal might even be favoured.
Those are all good points. 2012 Djokovic started off a bit deflated, but the 2nd and 3rd sets were kind of one-sided. Had a chance to wrap it up in 4, didn't go for it.

2019 Djokovic doesn't have the endurance of 2012, the question is would he really need it.

Also, 2019 court was faster by a good margin.

No way to know for sure. One thing I'd like to point out is, as you've said 2012 Nadal was probably the 2nd best he's ever played in Melbourne, can't say the same for Novak.

The damage 2012 Murray has done was obvious in the final, took the wind out of his sails to a certain extent. Even so, I'd rate 2011, 2016 and 2019 level above 2012 (2008 and 2013 comparable?).
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
8 years younger Nadal runs down everything 2019 Djokovic throws at him IMO.
Lets remember Nadals biggest weapon in his youth, was his ability to defend like no other.
He has lost that ability massively nowadays.

Its not an easy victory either way, but I side with 2012 Nadal.
 
In before everybody forgets 2012 shouldn't even have been a 5 setter. Djokovic could have and should have finished in 4.
And he was coming off a mammoth mammoth battle against Murray.

But 2012 Nadal was easily his second best year in AO, we must keep that in mind.


Also 2019 Djokovic played flawlessly but Nadal will just refuse to go away and 2012 Nadal was pretty brilliant defender. I think Nadal will try to make it an out and out physical war like he did in 2012.

But unlike 2012 ,2019 Djokovic won't be afraid to be aggressive and he won't want to drag himself to a physical endurance competition.

Djokovic was hitting insanely well in 2019, and might not let it come to that, but Nadal 2012 as I said , was obscenely good at defending.

So either Djokovic outhits the heck out of Nadal in 4 or it becomes as much of physical battle as it was in 2012. In which case , Nadal might even be favoured.
As agressive as novak was in 2019 final, do you think he's better at offensive game than 2012 roger was??
 

Nadal_King

Professional
Nadal of 2012 would match up far better against attacking version of 2019 djokovic which in 2019 he couldn't do expect a tight match but physical endurance wise 2012 rafa would prevail so he wins in the end.
 

Benben245

Professional
Djoker is taking a page from Andy Murray becoming more defensive later in his career, I am not sure the elongated rallies are good long term.A 2012 Nadal losing to today's Djokovic would just confirm unilaterally what we already know: Nadal's rally forehand is like a ball feed from a coach to a 10 year old junior when playing Novak. He would have to adjust the parabolic arch adding more more variety on it a ala his cross court backhand. ( a deeper ball that doesnt bounce up into Novak's kill zone)
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Djokovic in 2012 wasn’t as good as some people think (he also needed 5 sets against Murray) and Nadal in 2019 wasn’t as bad as some people think (he reached the final without losing a set).

IMO Djokovic wins, and quite comfortably. I don’t know why he should be so special in that 2012 final. It was a great match because it was close, but the quality of for example the 2011 US Open final was higher.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
There are too many hypotheticals to attach to the original hypothetical.

But if you're telling me 2012 Nadal in the form he was in for that final versus the form Djokovic was in versus Thiem?

Yeah, pretty sure Djokovic would have been beaten comfortably in that case (2020).

As for 2019 Djokovic. That's a lot closer. Probably go Djokovic.

But who knows.

One of the more fun hypotheticals to think about at least, so kudos for that.
 
There are too many hypotheticals to attach to the original hypothetical.

But if you're telling me 2012 Nadal in the form he was in for that final versus the form Djokovic was in versus Thiem?

Yeah, pretty sure Djokovic would have been beaten comfortably in that case (2020).

As for 2019 Djokovic. That's a lot closer. Probably go Djokovic.

But who knows.

One of the more fun hypotheticals to think about at least, so kudos for that.
Absolutely agree that 2020 nole would have been massacred.
Though for 2019 nole, my question still stands; was he as effective at offensive game as 2012 federer could be against 2012 nadal??
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
Absolutely agree that 2020 nole would have been massacred.
Though for 2019 nole, my question still stands; was he as effective at offensive game as 2012 federer could be against 2012 nadal??
Not sure, it's so hard to tell how much decline is actually present. All we really have to go on is what our eyes tell us which is often deceiving.
 
Djoker is taking a page from Andy Murray becoming more defensive later in his career, I am not sure the elongated rallies are good long term.A 2012 Nadal losing to today's Djokovic would just confirm unilaterally what we already know: Nadal's rally forehand is like a ball feed from a coach to a 10 year old junior when playing Novak. He would have to adjust the parabolic arch adding more more variety on it a ala his cross court backhand. ( a deeper ball that doesnt bounce up into Novak's kill zone)
Nadal's Rally forehand, which is the most bullying shot in tennis from the back of the court rallying, seems a below par ball to you??
 

victorcruz

Hall of Fame
Not sure, probably Djokovic. I think 2013 Nadal could take him, he actually figured him out at slams that year. But Rafa wasn't back for AO13, so it is what it is.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Nadal 2012 would win in 4-5 sets. I don't think 2019 Djokovic was as good as 2011-2015 Djokovic.
2012 Nadal in four sets. There was nothing special about Djokovic's form at the 2020 AO and he was fortunate he faced a consummate choker in the final. I'll up the ante even more-- 2009 AO Nadal defeats 2020 Djoker 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
 

PeoplesChamp

Hall of Fame
After that rally marathon with Med in 4R, Djokovic was ready to peak for the tournament. The 3rd and 4th set scores don't reflect it, but that's what it was. Nishikori quit early in QF and a perfect storm was created as shown with his total demolition of Pouille. I felt sorry him, honestly losing that bad in a SF. Nadal didn't fare much better. I just don't see that version of Djokovic losing in either scenario. Probably wins in four somewhat lacking sets tbh at worst. 2019 Djokovic was rested and in great form. He was given an opportunity to turn back the clock like 2019 Wimby Fed did by beating Berrettini so easily smack dab in the middle of the tournament. That's how he was able to do it. A good hit around for Fed. These things happen from time to time and break the usual laws of age and form that we're accustomed to. You're Welcome.
 

Benben245

Professional
Nadal's Rally forehand, which is the most bullying shot in tennis from the back of the court rallying, seems a below par ball to you??
Nadal's forehands that routinely land short but kick up high are an abominable snowman for just about everyone on tour. Everyone, not named Novak Djokovic. Your critique implies I think Nadal's 'rally forehand', or neutral forehand, is objectively below par, I never say that nor do I imply it. The punishing RPMs and kick just doesn't give Novak the same sort of problems it gives other players.Djokovic routinely, punishes these types of balls that force other tour players to hit conservative shots back to Nadal where he can then take the offensive. I think as Nadal ages and his footwork slows, we will see a higher frequency of short balls that can be attacked.

(If I had the time, I would try to isolate Djokovic winner's off the Nadal forehand to prove how much of a Bayesian outlier he really is compared to the rest of the ATP when playing against Nadal, I would propose a 3 sigma standard deviation just based off the matches Ive seen)
 
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Nadal_King

Professional
What would be the match's patterns??
I think djokovic will be the agresser and rafa will get each ball back and I think the level that djokovic showed in the match is just the reason I think match will be tight otherwise djokovic in that tournament was not anyway near toh 2011-2015 days so expect a close one but rafa 2012 was too strong in his game then vs now so expect him to prevail.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
I think it has to be taken into consideration that players play to how their opponent is performing.

For all we know, if Djokovic 2019 was playing a peak Nadal, then he very well could've had another level himself to go up.

Impossible to say.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is more defensive in '19. Nadal, just the opposite, more defensive in '12. That matchup would determine the best defensive player of all time.

They run virtual NASCAR race every Sunday now, even broadcast on network TV. Why can't they stage virtual matches among Big 3, from different years? At least we have something virtual, but new, to argue over.
 
In before everybody forgets 2012 shouldn't even have been a 5 setter. Djokovic could have and should have finished in 4.
And he was coming off a mammoth mammoth battle against Murray.

But 2012 Nadal was easily his second best year in AO, we must keep that in mind.


Also 2019 Djokovic played flawlessly but Nadal will just refuse to go away and 2012 Nadal was pretty brilliant defender. I think Nadal will try to make it an out and out physical war like he did in 2012.

But unlike 2012 ,2019 Djokovic won't be afraid to be aggressive and he won't want to drag himself to a physical endurance competition.

Djokovic was hitting insanely well in 2019, and might not let it come to that, but Nadal 2012 as I said , was obscenely good at defending.

So either Djokovic outhits the heck out of Nadal in 4 or it becomes as much of physical battle as it was in 2012. In which case , Nadal might even be favoured.
Irre(gg)levant.
 

Hitman

Legend
People are forgetting one key thing here, Djokovic 2019 attacks Nadal in a very specific way that dismantles Nadal's game. Djokovic AO 2012 didn't have the playbook at that time to really hurt Nadal, he was beating him by matching and going above Nadal's level.

Once Boris came to Djokovic's camp in 2014, Djokovic has not lost to Nadal anywhere outside of clay. That is not just because Nadal has decline, it is because Boris and Novak sat down and devised the blue print to break down Nadal's game, and that is by actually doing what many thought would have been suicide, which is attacking the Nadal forehand.

The Djokovic of 2011 and 2012 had success against Nadal by finding his backhand, but that also hid away the real weakness in Nadal's game, and that is he is vulnerable to hard, wide and flat shots out to his forehand side. The game plan Djokovic started to use against Nadal from 2014 onward is very different, he basically brought in a play that Nadal had no answer to. Having extra speed isn't going to change the fact that Nadal will struggle with those flat, wide and hard balls out to his forehand. And on that court, where Djokovic is king, he would beat Nadal, not because he is physically superior, but because he is mentally and tactically more superior.
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
I agree with Hitman, Djokovic now is much smarter. Then he'd just rely on his talents, sometimes was unprepared and clueless for a big match. That was how he lost the '12 USO to Murray.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
2012 Nadal in four sets. There was nothing special about Djokovic's form at the 2020 AO and he was fortunate he faced a consummate choker in the final. I'll up the ante even more-- 2009 AO Nadal defeats 2020 Djoker 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
We're talking about Djokovic at the 2019 AO final though. Not 2020.
 

Hitman

Legend
I agree with Hitman, Djokovic now is much smarter. Then he'd just rely on his talents, sometimes was unprepared and clueless for a big match. That was how he lost the '12 USO to Murray.
AO 2012 was like watching Rambo. It was mano-e-mano last man standing style of a match, where they were just going at it, and it was about who was going to get that killer blow in.

Djokovic from AO 2019 knows how to tactically play Nadal, and lets not forget that the game plan was devised to deal with a prime Nadal, so the weakness had already been picked up on by Becker back in 2014, meaning it was always there, just no one would have thought that to be the case.

Federer himself has stated that he took pages from the Djokovic playbook on how to play Nadal and incorporated it into his own game plan, which gave him so much success recently.
 
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