If Nadal didn't have his own era, then did he have the toughest competition? - 18 slam finals against Fedovic!

Did he?


  • Total voters
    46

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Nadal is often seen as the man sandwiched between two different eras, the era of Federer and the era of Djokovic, but if that is the case, then he was the main rival to both the two dominant champions.

Nadal has played an incredible even 9 times against each of Federer and Djokovic in a slam final, that is a combined 18 slam finals where he faced arguably the two most dominant players in history. Rafa was the glue that kept it all together, making sure each of the two dominant champions had something all the greats need in the eras they stand....a truly worthy rival who stands as their equal.

18 slam finals is a joke. No other player has had that many. You can make an argument for Murray having 10 finals against them, but even that falls short by quite a bit.

So if Nadal didn't have his own true era, as often gets said with the numbers siding against him, then that does mean out of the true greats of the game, he is the one likely who had it the toughest as he was the one that partcipated in the most high profiled, high stakes rivalry of both their eras. 18 slam finals....
 

ffw2

Professional
Federer once again The Great Legitimizer.

Loathed by his detractors (not you, OP)? Yes.

Conveniently referenced as the benchmark and standard for ultimate challenge? Indeed! :giggle:
 

Rudiiii

Rookie
From the other side, number of good clay court players rapidly decreased and other then Nadal there hasn't been clay specialist since 90's. But number of hard court specialists was never greater then now, so Fed and Novak had it harder, no? Consider Djokovic out, Fed would have grabed more slams. Consider Fed out, Djokovic would have more slams. Nadal reached his platoe and that is only truth. IMO everything evened out for them. If Med, Zed, Ccpas, Alcaraz and others don't increase their level next year, and don't make Djokovic run for his money, there can be disquasion about Fed having it hardest, till then, dead even IMHO
 

beard

Legend
So you mean the slam he won the most at, he had to play Fed and Djokovic the most? And that's a bad thing? Ultronians :-D
At 3 slams Novak and Fed won 37 slams playing only in relatively few against Nadal...
But I will stop here... I mean, everyone knows... how... Nadal's... resume... is... heavy... and... I... mean... HEAVY... clay... skewed...
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
At 3 slams Novak and Fed won 37 slams playing only in relatively few against Nadal...
But I will stop here... I mean, everyone knows... how... Nadal's... resume... is... heavy... and... I... mean... HEAVY... clay... skewed...
And like I said, as butthurt as some people are over it, that's NOT a bad thing :cool: the mission to devalue clay on here bc neither Federer or Djokovic have done anything as impressive on their surfaces is weak af :D "but clay".... Yeah he fn MASSACRED on it, please remind us more :p despite the fact that Federer and Djokovic have 3x the chance to win more slams since they are better on HC and grass, and they STILL have 20 slams like Rafa isn't as cute as you'd like to think bestie.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Won the most slams in that period, but can't call it his own era when he was no.1 only sporadically.
The number one thing is the big issue to me....


Lets say Federer era was 2004-2009 = He was year ending number one for 5 out of the 6 years
Lets say Djokovic era was 2011-2016 = He was year ending number one for 5 out of the 6 years

Now lets say Nadal era was 2008-2013 = He was year ending number one for only 3 out of the 6 years, that is half, and there is another guy who had back to back year ending number ones during that period. Nadal won the most slams, because he did have the 2010 year all to himself as Fed had left his best period and Djokovic was yet to enter his, but in the first two years of his reign Rafa split the slams 3-3 with Federer, and the last three years Novak won 5 to Nadal's 4. He wasn't the dominant guy winning the most slams in back to back seasons during this time.

But then that does also mean, he played in two over lapping periods, the Federer era and the Djokovic era, meaning he was the top guy rival to stop the dominant number one of that time period, and hence his faced the toughest competition for the longest period of time? 18 slam finals against Fedovic in total in his career.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
The number one thing is the big issue to me....


Lets say Federer era was 2004-2009 = He was year ending number one for 5 out of the 6 years
Lets say Djokovic era was 2011-2016 = He was year ending number one for 5 out of the 6 years

Now lets say Nadal era was 2008-2013 = He was year ending number one for only 3 out of the 6 years, that is half, and there is another guy who had back to back year ending number ones during that period. Nadal won the most slams, because he did have the 2010 year all to himself as Fed had left his best period and Djokovic was yet to enter his, but in the first two years of his reign Rafa split the slams 3-3 with Federer, and the last three years Novak won 5 to Nadal's 4. He wasn't the dominant guy winning the most slams in back to back seasons during this time.

But then that does also mean, he played in two over lapping periods, the Federer era and the Djokovic era, meaning he was the top guy rival to stop the dominant number one of that time period, and hence his faced the toughest competition for the longest period of time? 18 slam finals against Fedovic in total in his career.
Would never call Nadal's competition the toughest. This isn't 2013 anymore.
 
Ehhh i dont know if he had the toughest competition. Nadal's problem has always been, he wasn't that great off clay. If he was better off clay, Fed or Djoker wouldn't look like that great competition. Its not like Nadal is going to rack up non-clay slams any other era either. LOL. . Hes lucky to have won 2 Wimbledons in this era. He wouldn't have won any prior to the 2000s.

Was he unfortunate to be sandwiched between Fed and Djoker? Sure. And he had tougher opposition than they did since they got to enjoy feasting on chumps many of the times. But.. its also not their fault, Nadal was primarily a dirtballer
 

goldengate14

Professional
He obviously had the toughest competition of any ATG in history. It's not even up for debate.
A guy with 20 slams an Olympic Gold and record m1000s number not havin his own era is perhaps the most desperate thread yet on here and as per usual we have a Nadal thread started by a non nadal fan. The guy has played one match in almost 6 months yet still dominates this forum i would therefore suggest it is still his era. Just lol
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
Nadal had to defeat an older All-Time Top Ten player (which he did relatively easily when they played) then had to try and defeat a younger All-Time Top 3 player (which he managed to do more often than not in slams, if not overall). He also had to face Murray, who would be a 6-8 slam winner in any other era.

Who has had tougher opponents?
 

goldengate14

Professional
Ehhh i dont know if he had the toughest competition. Nadal's problem has always been, he wasn't that great off clay. If he was better off clay, Fed or Djoker wouldn't look like that great competition. Its not like Nadal is going to rack up non-clay slams any other era either. LOL. . Hes lucky to have won 2 Wimbledons in this era. He wouldn't have won any prior to the 2000s.

Was his unfortunate to be sandwiched between Fed and Djoker? Sure. And he had tougher opposition than they did since they got to enjoy feasting on chumps many of the times. But.. its also not their fault, Nadal was primarily a dirtballer
By that logic Mcenroe was not great then as Nadal and Mcenroe hae a paltry 7 Majors off clay.
 

goldengate14

Professional
Nadal had to defeat an older All-Time Top Ten player (which he did relatively easily when they played) then had to try and defeat a younger All-Time Top 3 player (which he managed to do more often than not in slams, if not overall). He also had to face Murray, who would be a 6-8 slam winner in any other era.

Who has had tougher opponents?
That is wht Nadal is widely considered the grestest player to play the game since Laver.
 
By that logic Mcenroe was not great then as Nadal and Mcenroe hae a paltry 7 Majors off clay.
While one can certainly argue Nadal had it tougher than fed and djoker, the homogenized conditions also suited his game which allowed to win slams off clay. So.. While his opposition was tougher, life was easier for him because of the conditions with his style of play. So its a trade off
 

goldengate14

Professional
While one can certainly argue Nadal had it tougher than fed and djoker, the homogenized conditions also suited his game which allowed to win slams off clay. So.. While his opposition was tougher, life was easier for him because of the conditions with his style of play. So its a trade off
Yes true. Have to agree.
 

goldengate14

Professional
You're responding to the guy who doesn't even have Fedal in top 5 all time.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. There is no undisputed greatest. Not yet anyway. Watching Indian Wells the three way battle looks set to go on and on and on. you can see why Murray is so angry.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal was a true rival to Federer and then to Djokovic. That much is true and no one can deny that. The 18 Slam finals against them will be a big part of his legacy. I don't know about that meaning he had the toughest competition though. On the flip side, he played Federer about 5 times in Slam SFs when Djokovic played Federer 11 times because of the way they were drawn, and 4 times in a row at the USO.
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Considering Big 3 as the Greatest Three players in last 20 years , We need to consider all their Semifinal and Final meetings .

As they were ranked (1,2,3) two of them were always destined to meet in slam semis and the remaining one in finals .

Federer and Djokovic met 11 times in Slam Semi Finals and 5 times in Slam Finals .
11+5= 16 .

Those were most important 11 semi finals and those definately decide GOAT result .

So it is not clear how should one decide criteria for judging Toughest* competition among the Big- 3 .
 
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It depends how you evaluate things.

65% of his slams and probably roughly 65% of his achievements are clay based. Clay does not have the strongest competition at all. Djokovic and Federer are his competition there. Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray combined on grass, or Federer, Nadal, and Murray combined on grass as the competition for Djokovic and Federer on grass beats that handily. Then on hard courts, don't even get me started, even Nadal (distant 3rd guy) on hard courts overall is definitely superior to Djokovic or Federer on clay, and Murray arguably is for that matter. Heck Wawrinka or a healthy Del Potro on hard courts isn't much below Djokovic or Federer on clay really.

Now if you evaluate competition by where you weren't winning or what you were denied, Nadal probably comes out ahead there with facing those guys on grass and hard courts. And being they are better than him off clay, he automatically is facing more competition than they are. Is it enough to overcome what I just said though? I think at best he is just similar territory to Federer, and a small margin over Djokovic, in overall competition.
 

Rosstour

Legend
Nadal had to defeat an older All-Time Top Ten player (which he did relatively easily when they played) then had to try and defeat a younger All-Time Top 3 player (which he managed to do more often than not in slams, if not overall). He also had to face Murray, who would be a 6-8 slam winner in any other era.

Who has had tougher opponents?
Age only works in a player's favor until about 26-27 when athletic performance begins to decline. Not coincidentally that is when Fed started to get beat by Rafa everywhere everywhere outside of clay.

And Djok is only younger by one year. Rafa was an early bloomer.
 
I wouldn’t say he didn’t have his own era, it’s just based on when he was born his era didn’t fit neatly into one decade. He was great in the 00’s and great into the 2010’s. His best years were 2008-2013.

That and out of the 3 he definitely had the toughest competition. Right off the bat he had peak Ol’ Rog to go up against. He first reached #1 in 2008, and from Hamburg 08-Madrid 09 was crazy dominant. He scheduled his season extremely poorly in 2009 which led to his knee injury and allowed Ol’ Rog to get back to #1 for almost an entire year. Had he planned better he could and should have finished #1 from 2008-2010.

Obviously Joker did his thing in 2011, but that just means he himself had another peak ATG to tango with while he was close to his best. There’s a reason 2007-2013 is agreed upon as the strongest years in recent memory, and that’s because the Big 3 were all in it close to their prime battling it out.
 
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Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
Why don't we remove all of Fedalovic from top 5 all time while we're at it.
There may well be an argument for that. It would make more sense than the automatic assumption that three players all from the same era were somehow all in the top 5 of the entire history of a sport.
 

Madinolf

Rookie
Djokovic and Nadal had the same competition: only 1 year age difference, both were highly competitive (top3 ranked) from the the age of 19 to the age of 34.
 

socallefty

Legend
The Big 3 were the only real competition for each other as the rest of the Tour was way behind their skill set. So, Nadal had the toughest competition on grass/hard with Federer/Djokovic. Federer had the toughest competition on clay as he had to go though Nadal/Djokovic.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
I love the smell of napalm in the morning :whistle:

On a side note:
Me and Julio looking almost the same now, no?
 

pedro94

Rookie
At 3 slams Novak and Fed won 37 slams playing only in relatively few against Nadal...
But I will stop here... I mean, everyone knows... how... Nadal's... resume... is... heavy... and... I... mean... HEAVY... clay... skewed...
You know Rafa haters are desperate when their best argument is belittling Rafa's 13(!!) French Open titles.. No one else in history doesn't even have double digit slams at any of the slams (and only one on the women's side, Court's 11 AOs, with most of them not even being full-draw slams), to put that into perspective.. --> If you even can put something as mind-boggling as that into perspective! :unsure:
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
Nadal is often seen as the man sandwiched between two different eras, the era of Federer and the era of Djokovic, but if that is the case, then he was the main rival to both the two dominant champions.

Nadal has played an incredible even 9 times against each of Federer and Djokovic in a slam final, that is a combined 18 slam finals where he faced arguably the two most dominant players in history. Rafa was the glue that kept it all together, making sure each of the two dominant champions had something all the greats need in the eras they stand....a truly worthy rival who stands as their equal.

18 slam finals is a joke. No other player has had that many. You can make an argument for Murray having 10 finals against them, but even that falls short by quite a bit.

So if Nadal didn't have his own true era, as often gets said with the numbers siding against him, then that does mean out of the true greats of the game, he is the one likely who had it the toughest as he was the one that partcipated in the most high profiled, high stakes rivalry of both their eras. 18 slam finals....
He did have his own clay era of fifteen years.
By the way, it will be interesting to search which was the win/loss score for those 18 finals, and how many of them took place at RG.
 
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