I sense a shift in the TIGER debate as Djoker sets aim on Rafa

this is no farm animal debate here...

While I am obviously in Feds corner (think his Tennis resume is indisputable as being the Greatest Ever speaks for itself Regardless), I do think the shift of those trailing has altered significantly.

Rafa has always chased Fed and will continue to do so, but he is clearly catching up at an unexpected pace. I see Rafa shifting his focus from catching Fed to surpassing him and setting his own mark (as any should). I don't mean just slams, I mean the whole thing, the all encompassing TIGER debate.

That being said, I have taken noticed over the past few months that the shift of Djoker fans (to some extent Djoker himself) has changed from catching Fed to catching Rafa.

Those Djoker fans dont seem so friendly towards Rafa anymore. Sense a shift in the "teams" (other than a certain TTW wedding :p ).

Is this the assumption that Djoker is playing for second place? Or that they assume Rafa will surpass Fed as TIGER?

Find it hard to believe a scenario where Djoker takes the mantle if Rafa is setting a new mark. Too little time to share the stage with the incoming youngsters.

Unless these youngsters are the declaring and deafening blow to the weak and destruction of a once high quality tennis tour...


 
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TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
this is no farm animal debate here...

While I am obviously in Feds corner (think his Tennis resume is indisputable as being the Greatest Ever speaks for itself Regardless), I do think the shift of those trailing has altered significantly.

Rafa has always chased Fed and will continue to do so, but he is clearly catching up at an unexpected pace. I see Rafa shifting his focus from catching Fed to surpassing him and setting his own mark (as any should). I don't mean just slams, I mean the whole thing, the all encompassing TIGER debate.

That being said, I have taken noticed over the past few months that the shift of Djoker fans (to some extent Djoker himself) has changed from catching Fed to catching Rafa.

Those Djoker fans dont seem so friendly towards Rafa anymore. Sense a shift in the "teams" (other than a certain TTW wedding :p ).

Is this the assumption that Djoker is playing for second place? Or that they assume Rafa will surpass Fed as TIGER?

Find it hard to believe a scenario where Djoker takes the mantle if Rafa is setting a new mark. Too little time to share the stage with the incoming youngsters.

Unless these youngsters are the declaring and deafening blow to the weak and destruction of a once high quality tennis tour...


Think about how mad the Novak fans will be if Rafa gets more slam than Fed and Novak not.
But us Rafa fans are so used to this, being the middle child with two fan bases against us. That’s been like status quo for many years now. We can handle it!
 

Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

Talk Tennis Guru
The fanboyish side in me considered them to be of similar quality even when there was an 8 Slam gap, felt like Djokovic had the ability to get close to his current tally but was letting himself down too much, he corrected that to a pretty good degree since then.

And I was hoping he would have caught up (with Nadal) by now. Thought it was just a matter of when after French Open three years ago. But Nadal has won one more Major since then. Kudos to him.

I actually like Rafa now more than I did in the past LOL. He's alright. :p Or I am just not invested in the rivalry or the general rivals comparison as much as I used to pre-2015 or so... Probably because the clock is ticking for all three tigers.
 

Tiki-Taka

Hall of Fame
That being said, I have taken noticed over the past few months that the shift of Djoker fans (to some extent Djoker himself) has changed from catching Fed to catching Rafa.

Those Djoker fans dont seem so friendly towards Rafa anymore. Sense a shift in the "teams" (other than a certain TTW wedding :p ).
I can't measure how big the shift in the "teams" has been recently, but at least I have noticed that the statistical Lewalanche is primarily targeting Nadal these days instead of Federer. :p
 

Third Serve

Hall of Fame
Nadal fans are counting on Djokovic to keep Federer from winning any more Slams. Federer fans are counting on Djokovic to make sure Nadal only wins the French Open (i.e slow him down as much as possible) from here on out. Djokovic is the Joker card in the pack for this Slam race. A lot is counting on him.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal fans are counting on Djokovic to keep Federer from winning any more Slams. Federer fans are counting on Djokovic to make sure Nadal only wins the French Open (i.e slow him down as much as possible) from here on out. Djokovic is the Joker card in the pack for this Slam race. A lot is counting on him.
You aren’t speaking on my behalf!
Rafa fans got youngsters and all kinds of players to take out Novak and Fed.
Medvedev and even Dimitrov. Tpas. Players like that.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal fans are counting on Djokovic to keep Federer from winning any more Slams. Federer fans are counting on Djokovic to make sure Nadal only wins the French Open (i.e slow him down as much as possible) from here on out. Djokovic is the Joker card in the pack for this Slam race. A lot is counting on him.
Djokovic and Nadal I still blindly back to make it to a Big 3 match, but Fed has lost randomly quite a few times lately. Djoko losing earlier at RG I could see
 

Yugram

Hall of Fame
You aren’t speaking on my behalf!
Rafa fans got youngsters and all kinds of players to take out Novak and Fed.
Medvedev and even Dimitrov. Tpas. Players like that.
Who could have thought Nadal will OWN NextGen. I’d say 5-6 years ago, when lostgen guys just began to establish and later, when Kyrgios and Coric appeared, there was a narrative of Nadal actually struggling against younger players.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Who could have thought Nadal will OWN NextGen. I’d say 5-6 years ago, when lostgen guys just began to establish and later, when Kyrgios and Coric appeared, there was a narrative of Nadal actually struggling against younger players.
It’s a strength for him that in terms of slam race compared to Novak.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
That being said, I have taken noticed over the past few months that the shift of Djoker fans (to some extent Djoker himself) has changed from catching Fed to catching Rafa.
With Rafa so close to Fed, I don't see how Novak can chase one without chasing the other. At the moment it seems likely that Nadal is soon going to be the slam winner, so pretty soon he's going to be the guy to chase.
 
Djokovic and Nadal I still blindly back to make it to a Big 3 match, but Fed has lost randomly quite a few times lately. Djoko losing earlier at RG I could see
I honestly think USO is the big tourney that will be the turning point next year. Will Djoker or Rafa win? It might change the narrative, or if a young guy takes it, then another narrative will take over.

USO20 is the climax.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
I honestly think USO is the big tourney that will be the turning point next year. Will Djoker or Rafa win? It might change the narrative, or if a young guy takes it, then another narrative will take over.

USO20 is the climax.
With the Olympics probably being a focal point for all Big 3 dudes, I can see a young dude winning the USO.

Young being Murray's age
 
With Rafa so close to Fed, I don't see how Novak can chase one without chasing the other. At the moment it seems likely that Nadal is soon going to be the slam winner, so pretty soon he's going to be the guy to chase.
But does he see it that was right now? And being a Tiger is more than just slams.
 

Yugram

Hall of Fame
I honestly think USO is the big tourney that will be the turning point next year. Will Djoker or Rafa win? It might change the narrative, or if a young guy takes it, then another narrative will take over.

USO20 is the climax.
I think at this point every Slam next year shifts the narrative. Although Djokovic winning AO doesn’t shift it so much, what if Nadal or Federer win? And what if, let’s say, Thiem? Whole different stories going into RG.
 
I think at this point every Slam next year shifts the narrative. Although Djokovic winning AO doesn’t shift it so much, what if Nadal or Federer win? And what if, let’s say, Thiem? Whole different stories going into RG.
Very true. I think Rafa winning AO changes everything and makes this a two way race and probably takes the lead at RG. But I see AO for Djoker and RG for Rafa and WC for likely Djoker.

So this takes us to USO being the shift.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
But does he see it that was right now? And being a Tiger is more than just slams.
I don't think they are looking at tigers, goats, bulls or anything else. The top three are insanely competitive with each other. The thing to keep an eye on is the upcoming AO. Nadal is currently the man with the hot streak. When he is healthy and confident, it's not good for the others. ;)
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I don't think they are looking at tigers, goats, bulls or anything else. The top three are insanely competitive with each other. The thing to keep an eye on is the upcoming AO. Nadal is currently the man with the hot streak. When he is healthy and confident, it's not good for the others. ;)
Come through and slay Gary ;)
 

mika1979

Professional
Think about how mad the Novak fans will be if Rafa gets more slam than Fed and Novak not.
But us Rafa fans are so used to this, being the middle child with two fan bases against us. That’s been like status quo for many years now. We can handle it!
How can Fred be the middle child in this scenario is beyond me
 

Sephiroth

Professional
For me Djokovic's out of the slam race, he will win a slam but I don't see him catching Nadal or Federer. Guys like Medvedev, Thiem, Tsitsipas, Zverev can all beat him if not more than 2/4 of them can push him to the limits for sure these days, Djokovic facing Med and Thiem back to back for example is going to be a nightmare. They don't fear him as much as they do Nadal.

Wawrinka's also a spoiler given his ranking. If Novak catches him early it won't bode well.
 

Marfrilau

Rookie
I don't think they are looking at tigers, goats, bulls or anything else. The top three are insanely competitive with each other. The thing to keep an eye on is the upcoming AO. Nadal is currently the man with the hot streak. When he is healthy and confident, it's not good for the others. ;)
Only if they aren't healthy and confident aswell.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
this is no farm animal debate here...

While I am obviously in Feds corner (think his Tennis resume is indisputable as being the Greatest Ever speaks for itself Regardless), I do think the shift of those trailing has altered significantly.

Rafa has always chased Fed and will continue to do so, but he is clearly catching up at an unexpected pace. I see Rafa shifting his focus from catching Fed to surpassing him and setting his own mark (as any should). I don't mean just slams, I mean the whole thing, the all encompassing TIGER debate.

That being said, I have taken noticed over the past few months that the shift of Djoker fans (to some extent Djoker himself) has changed from catching Fed to catching Rafa.

Those Djoker fans dont seem so friendly towards Rafa anymore. Sense a shift in the "teams" (other than a certain TTW wedding :p ).

Is this the assumption that Djoker is playing for second place? Or that they assume Rafa will surpass Fed as TIGER?

Find it hard to believe a scenario where Djoker takes the mantle if Rafa is setting a new mark. Too little time to share the stage with the incoming youngsters.

Unless these youngsters are the declaring and deafening blow to the weak and destruction of a once high quality tennis tour...


Djokovic fans are definitely not in conflict with Rafa fans nearly as much as Federer fans because Fed has 20x as many of the bad, bandwagon obnoxious fans that Rafa has. That may change when Rafa passes Fed in the next two years because all the fans who follow Fed solely because he’s #1 and they need to attach their identity to that will have an existential crisis lol.

If Rafa gets to 21/22, wins another AO/USO on the way and rips that GOAT title away you’re gonna see an exodus of Fed fans on here.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
This is a great example of TTW being TTW again. When Djokovic won Wimbledon it was, it's only a matter of time until he catches Federer. Nadal win USO, then it's Djokovic is out of the Slam race. LOL. People just never learn really but I have no problem with Rafa being the Slam leader and I don't think most Djokovic fans do either. I think people are too obsessed with this number really and who will lead. Rafa at this point looks primed to pass Federer in Slam count but honestly, he should be wanting to add more weeks at #1 as well. To me, that is a must because if not, he's going to end his career behind Federer, Sampras, Djokovic, Lendl and Connors in that stat. It's going to be hard to be seen as better than every other player if you are not even in the top 5 in weeks at #1. So in conclusion, I say just let everything play out instead of making hasty predictions once again and it totally turning.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
I think at this point every Slam next year shifts the narrative. Although Djokovic winning AO doesn’t shift it so much, what if Nadal or Federer win? And what if, let’s say, Thiem? Whole different stories going into RG.
I agree. I think at this point each new major win by any of the big 3 resets the narrative. The reason I favor Nadal right now - which is very temporary and could flip in a heartbeat - is that he is doing the best of the big 3 at holding up his return stats in conjunction with further refining his serve. I don't see anything Fed can do to advance his service game because that serve is so damned good already. What has shocked me in 2019 Nadal's returning. I remain uncomfortable with his return position off clay, but otherwise he has been very aggressive. I truly believe with Rafa it's all about the body. At some point it's finally going to give out, but people have been predicting the end of his career since 2012.

I don't know what to think about Novak. Anyone who knows me also knows that my playing preferences have nothing to do with my feeling about who of the big 3 is best or who will end up ahead. We have seen predictions here from the past, and how terribly wrong they have been. That's why I prefer to just watch and see how it all plays out.

One thing I stand by is my assessment of games vs winning. If you look at % of games won in each year, it correlates quite well with who is #1 and who wins majors. Novak's return game has been declining, but it's so incredibly strong that on one (apparently) is noticing. With him it's a relative thing. The question at this point is whether or not he can pick up that return at the end of slams. If he has a higher gear now, much like Sampras, he can go on winning majors for many years, if he avoids injuries.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
This is a great example of TTW being TTW again. When Djokovic won Wimbledon it was, it's only a matter of time until he catches Federer. Nadal win USO, then it's Djokovic is out of the Slam race. LOL. People just never learn really but I have no problem with Rafa being the Slam leader and I don't think most Djokovic fans do either. I think people are too obsessed with this number really and who will lead. Rafa at this point looks primed to pass Federer in Slam count but honestly, he should be wanting to add more weeks at #1 as well. To me, that is a must because if not, he's going to end his career behind Federer, Sampras, Djokovic, Lendl and Connors in that stat. It's going to be hard to be seen as better than every other player if you are not even in the top 5 in weeks at #1. So in conclusion, I say just let everything play out instead of making hasty predictions once again and it totally turning.
Rafa is the one of the 3 that has been improving. He had the best year of serve in his whole career 2019, he has also shortened the points. And from what his coach is saying he will try to improve that even more. I don’t have the stats here but think ATP posted it.
Ups @NoleFam I meant to quote @Gary Duane ! Little tired after night shift.
 

NoleFam

G.O.A.T.
Rafa is the one of the 3 that has been improving. He had the best year of serve in his whole career 2019, he has also shortened the points. And from what his coach is saying he will try to improve that even more. I don’t have the stats here but think ATP posted it.
Rafa has improved his serve immensely. He lead the tour in 2019 in second serve points won which is a complete turnaround from earlier in his career. He has improved his serve and offense to compensate for his less mobility. I do think he has added more to this game.
 
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