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

Sunny014

Legend
Maximum times aced on grass for big 3 in a match

Djokovic - 40 times aced by Kev Anderson
Nadal - 37 times aced by Kyrgios
Federer - 31 times aced by Bozoljac
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Simple anwer is that Clay is very pivotal to the Nadal's overall balance and sanity.

Even in his worst period of life he in the back of his mind knew that less than 12 months back I have a won a slam, I am still a force, this helped him a lot for 16 years with doubts never creeping in.

Even in the best years of Federer (05, 06, 07) and Djokovic (2011, 2014, 2019, 2020) Nadal took home the clay slam and that did wonders to his confidence.

Now imagine a scenario where a greater champ than Nadal exists on Clay or someone beats Nadal 2-3 times at his peak on clay ? This would ruin his rhythm outside clay too.

After losing 2009FO his confidence was not back until 2010FO win.
After losing 2015FO his confidence was not back until 2017FO win
After losing 2021FO now there are more doubts on him and it will take until the FO for him to win another slam if at all ...

So you see, he is truly Claydal a 1 trick pony, that 1 trick has helped him perform on some other stages as well. Without that trick he would be 2-3 tiers below, but then he is GOAT on clay and that helped him outside Clay to grab 7 slams, good enough!

Losing pet slam can dent your confidence bigtime, Nadal has never experienced a rival who could break him on clay consistently, Novak himself has not been a worthy rival, Fed was always "impotent" on clay vs Nadal, so thats just it, his clay dominance helped him win slams outside it, had there been an equal level clay courter to take slams from Nadal, he would has won maybe Agassi level slams in his career. I mean assume in an era with another 2 great clay courters with Nadal he takes home 7 french opens only, now how many wimbledons and USOs do you see him winning ?? 1-2 more ?? He would have ended up as a 8-9 slams winner if his Frenchs were 7 in total, those 13 FOs helped his confidence bigtime.
You are being harsh on Nadal here but I agree that winning on clay has helped him gain the mental edge.I mean, he was living rent free in Fed's head after the Hamburg-RG duet in 2008 or in Djokovic's head after that RG SF in 2013 :D
 
What I meant is that he could have focused less on clay once he had the records and focus more on Wimbledon for example.I am not talking about skipping the clay season :D
This is illogical. You know that if Nadal plays the clay season he is going to suceed unless he is in very poor form to begin with or he tanks a lot of matches. How do you suggest he should have been less focused on clay?
 

Rogerer

Rookie
Why is it so hard to believe that Nadal has a negative record against Top 10 in HC? Nadal's core, his meat and potatoes, is the clay season. That is where he expends most of his effort and has gotten most of his results. When he was young (up to about 7 or 8 years ago) he could still afford to spend more energy (when he wasn't injured) and could actually do great things (remember when he sweeped the 2013 summer HC season). He can't do that anymore, and it is unlikely he will ever do it.

To give some perspective, Federer's percentage on clay is only superior to Nadal on HC because he stopped really playing the clay season a few years back. If he hadn't it would probably be in the 40s.

In any case, the importance these percentages are given here is comical. Nadal still is Top 5 all time at the USO, and it looks like some people have yet to deal with it.
People who grew up with nadal overestimate him as do those who grew up with McEnroe. In reality djokovic and Connors are bigger and stronger than nadal and McEnroe
 
He is naturally less talented. You can try to be your best and Nadal has always tried that. It's not in his DNA to hit 20/30 aces on grass.
Nadal is more talented than Djokovic, because he suceeded at a younger age and didn't have to wait until Fed was washed out. I mean, Djokovic can't even do an overhead smash and his volley game is a joke compared ot Fed, for example. Djokovic was nowhere to be found when Fed was in his prime in Wimbledon.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
This is illogical. You know that if Nadal plays the clay season he is going to suceed unless he is in very poor form to begin with or he tanks a lot of matches. How do you suggest he should have been less focused on clay?
Well, playing fewer tournaments once his body aged, just saying.
 
Out of the Big 3 yea since he was sandwiched between both guys. Fed had it nice from 2004-2007. Djokovic had it nice from 2015-present. Nadal was stuck with fed early on on grass while he was still learning the ropes off clay, then as soon as he hits his stride here comes Djokovic like a house of fire in 2011. Fed/Djokovic should have more slams than they currently do all things considered.

Of course, Nadal's constant foot/knee injuries didn't help either. That hurt him in 2009 right in the middle of his peak run
 

Rogerer

Rookie
This is illogical. You know that if Nadal plays the clay season he is going to suceed unless he is in very poor form to begin with or he tanks a lot of matches. How do you suggest he should have been less focused on clay?
Nadal is more talented than Djokovic, because he suceeded at a younger age and didn't have to wait until Fed was washed out. I mean, Djokovic can't even do an overhead smash and his volley game is a joke compared ot Fed, for example. Djokovic was nowhere to be found when Fed was in his prime in Wimbledon.
Nadal is more talented than fed with your argument, djokovic had a better touch than nadal and he wins more than him on (fake) grass the (not more like once time) tecnhical surface.
 
Well, playing fewer tournaments once his body aged, just saying.
So you are saying that Fed should have skipped more hardcourt tournaments to play more on clay, since that is the surface where he has achieved the least? And if not he is not talented enough? Or does your argument only work for Nadal? I remind you that Nadal has 7 slams outside of clay already, and is Top 5 at the USO, ahead of Djokovic himself.
 
Nadal is more talented than fed with your argument, djokovic had a better touch than nadal and he wins more than him on (fake) grass the (not more like once time) tecnhical surface.
I didn't say that. I said Nadal is more talented than Djokovic because Nadal achieved the Career Grand Slam under the same conditions (same generation) as Djokovic. Fed is from a different generation. Nadal succesfully challenged prime Fed on grass and on HC, but Djokovic really didn't. That's why Djokovic had to wait until Fed started exiting his prime to accumulate 95% of his slams. He just couldn't measure up to prime Fed.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
So you are saying that Fed should have skipped more hardcourt tournaments and play more on clay, since that is the surface where he has achieved the least? And if not he is not talented enough? Or does your argument only work for Nadal? I remind you that Nadal has 7 slams outside of clay already, and is Top 5 at the USO, ahead of Djokovic himself.
First, there is no point for Fed to have focused more on clay late in his career because he wasn't going yo beat Nadal there.If he couldn't do it in his prime, then much less late in his career.Second, I am not saying that Nadal's 7 slams outside of clay is not a great achievement, it's that you were saying in the first post I quoted you that Nadal has a negative record on hard courts vs top 10 because he has prioritized clay or something like it, that was the original argument.
 
First, there is no point for Fed to have focused more on clay late in his career because he wasn't beating Nadal there.If he didn't back in his prime, then much less late in his career.Second, I am not saying that Nadal's 7 slams outside of clay is not a great achievement, it's that you were sayin the first post I quoted you that Nadal has a negative record on hard courts vs top 10 because he has prioritized clay or something like it, that was the original argument.
I am explaining the reason for Nadal to have a comparatively poor record against Top 10 on HC, and it is a reasonable argument. Nadal has had some incredible stretches on HC himself, and has some noteworthy achievements on the surface. But I am not surprised that has a negative record against the Top 10, because often his stores have been spent or severely diminished (in the form of energy or physical issues) during the clay season. Also, Nadal's clay game is not optimal for HC, his serve normally is not up to par (compared to Top 10 players), etc. What works for clay doesn't work elsewhere, so seeing Nadal still carry 7 titles outside clay is a huge success. Specially considering he beat Prime fed to win a couple of those, and Wimbledon 2008 is often cited as one of the best slam finals ever played.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
I am explaining the reason for Nadal to have a comparatively poor record against Top 10 on HC, and it is a reasonable argument. Nadal has had some incredible stretches on HC himself, and has some noteworthy achievements on the surface. But I am not surprised that has a negative record against the Top 10, because often his stores have been spent or severely diminished (in the form of energy or physical issues) during the clay season. Also, Nadal's clay game is not optimal for HC, his serve normally is not up to par (compared to Top 10 players), etc. What works for clay doesn't work elsewhere, so seeing Nadal still carry 7 titles outside clay is a huge success. Specially considering he beat Prime fed to win a couple of those, and Wimbledon 2008 is often cited as one of the best slam finals ever played.
Ok, fair enough :)
 

Sunny014

Legend
Out of the Big 3 yea since he was sandwiched between both guys. Fed had it nice from 2004-2007. Djokovic had it nice from 2015-present. Nadal was stuck with fed early on on grass while he was still learning the ropes off clay, then as soon as he hits his stride here comes Djokovic like a house of fire in 2011. Fed/Djokovic should have more slams than they currently do all things considered.

Of course, Nadal's constant foot/knee injuries didn't help either. That hurt him in 2009 right in the middle of his peak run
Since when is 2004-07 nice ?
It might be nice for you or Sampras or Novak or someone but not for Federer/anyone from his gen

Growing up with people and being inferior to them is never nice.

Federer was inferior to Safin, Hewitt, Nalbandian and Ferrero ...

It took him great effort to "earn" that 04-07 slot by bypassing all that ...

It is never easy growing up with guys and being behind them even after they have hit their peak.

On the contrary Novak enjoyed 2015-2021 because he has been beating up kids, these kids did not grow up with Novak, Novak was already a legend by the time these kids arrived and they never got a chance to surge ahead of Novak like Hewitt/Safin already did

I donno how you guys even say that Fed had it easy in 04-07, r u out of your mind? It looks easy to people who never grew up in that generation ... it was a wicked phase of tennis when you grew up in 90s on fast courts and then courts slowed down, had to adapt and then next gen kids from 86-88 age group emerged with more muscles and athleticism due to better nutrition and training ..... Damn, that sucks ....
 

Sunny014

Legend
Difference between 03-07 and 15-21 in rivals is

Fed's gen grew up with him facing same challenges and advantages, they were ahead of him and Fed had to bypass them.
Novak's next gen kids of the 90s did not grew up with him, when Thiem/Kyrgios/DImitrov/Medvedev arrived Novak was already a legend.

There is a big difference in having it easy, beating up your own age group is never easy but beating up unsettled kids who never won slams is easier.
 

Rogerer

Rookie
I didn't say that. I said Nadal is more talented than Djokovic because Nadal achieved the Career Grand Slam under the same conditions (same generation) as Djokovic. Fed is from a different generation. Nadal succesfully challenged prime Fed on grass and on HC, but Djokovic really didn't. That's why Djokovic had to wait until Fed started exiting his prime to accumulate 95% of his slams. He just couldn't measure up to prime Fed.
Djoko had a mental problem before the 2011. I think(and not only me) you are trying to defend nadal in every way
 

nachiket nolefam

Hall of Fame
Nadal is more talented than Djokovic, because he suceeded at a younger age and didn't have to wait until Fed was washed out. I mean, Djokovic can't even do an overhead smash and his volley game is a joke compared ot Fed, for example. Djokovic was nowhere to be found when Fed was in his prime in Wimbledon.
Djokovic net game is not bad at all. His overhead is laughable though. He goes to net much more than Nadal which is proven by so many stats. Would love to see who wins more percentage at net between Djokovic and Nadal. Surgical precision of Djokovic.
 

Rogerer

Rookie
Difference between 03-07 and 15-21 in rivals is

Fed's gen grew up with him facing same challenges and advantages, they were ahead of him and Fed had to bypass them.
Novak's next gen kids of the 90s did not grew up with him, when Thiem/Kyrgios/DImitrov/Medvedev arrived Novak was already a legend.

There is a big difference in having it easy, beating up your own age group is never easy but beating up unsettled kids who never won slams is easier.
Strange argument, but could make sense
 

Kralingen

Legend
I didn't say that. I said Nadal is more talented than Djokovic because Nadal achieved the Career Grand Slam under the same conditions (same generation) as Djokovic. Fed is from a different generation. Nadal succesfully challenged prime Fed on grass and on HC, but Djokovic really didn't. That's why Djokovic had to wait until Fed started exiting his prime to accumulate 95% of his slams. He just couldn't measure up to prime Fed.
This is pretty indisputable I feel. Of course, physical maturity came sooner for Nadal than Djokovic, and the one year difference actually is a big deal in this case. But yes the ability to actually beat peak/prime Federer is something that is a feather in Nadal’s cap forever.

The bizarre part is why he was unable to sustain the AO/Wimby form he showed in those days into his mid 20s, losing to many non-Big 3 players, and why he couldn’t make any inroads at the USO until 2010. But yes in terms of being a prodigious talent Nadal has them all beat. I don’t like when he’s called just an athlete.
 

nachiket nolefam

Hall of Fame
No tennis historian in twenty or thirty years will say that nadal is at the level of djokovic and I love nadal more than him,but it's clear fed>djoko>nadal
Gianni clerici in a old post on republica exalted early 2008 djoko
Nadal for me is a difficult to position but Djokovic for sure is ahead of Federer.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Strange argument, but could make sense
Nothing strange in the argument.

Someone same age as you becoming rank 1 and winning slams before you is like your same aged guy getting a double promotion in your company, bypassing that person without changing the organization would be an insurmountable task. Sameway Hewitt, Safin were both ahead of Federer and it was Federer's supreme talent which saw him through.

However Med-Thiem-Dimi are all losers compared to Novak, they never knew what it means to be ahead of Novak, they were mentally always below him.

But then a big plus point on Novak's resume is that he bypassed Nadal who was already a "legend" before Novak's peak even began, lierally Novak was a 1 time slam winner while Nadal was a 9 time champ aiming for a NCYGS at AO 2011, so that way Novak gets full credit for bypass Nadal.
 

Sunny014

Legend
@nachiket nolefam

GOAThood is a combination of 3 factors

Parameter 01.
Dominating his peak and having ruled his own era, Fed ruled 00s and Novak ruled 2010s, nothing much to separate in numbers. The latest player will have better numbers, that is understood. But then IFs and BUTs come into play on how the games of these athletes would fare in other eras, in that Fed's game translates the best to every era with every equipment.

Parameter 02. Being the greatest icon of his times with most fans, since every fan considers their idol the GOAT, safe to say that every fan is 1 vote, person with most votes is ahead on consensus.

Parameter 03. Being the greatest brand in Tennis also matters because "selling Tennis to audience" is also important, so if Fed sells the most then that means he is the greatest at marketing Tennis, without him Tennis would be dead. IF a joker like Medvedev has no fans after Big 3 retire then won't it affect Tennis adversely ?

All 3 points are very important in a GOAT conversation and thats why Federer remains the GOAT of Tennis for ages to come !
 

Sunny014

Legend
We will see after 2 years what kind of gap Nole creates. Life is great if you are a Nolefam. Join us
If I had started watching Tennis from 2010 or even 2008 I probably might have been a Nolefam.
But then since I have seen all of Federer in the 2000s, it is not possible to rate Novak at 1.

But I will keep him firmly at 2 ahead of that guy who becomes clark kent during the HC season and Grass season and during Clay season magically becomes Superman and then again Kent after that.
 
This is pretty indisputable I feel. Of course, physical maturity came sooner for Nadal than Djokovic, and the one year difference actually is a big deal in this case. But yes the ability to actually beat peak/prime Federer is something that is a feather in Nadal’s cap forever.

The bizarre part is why he was unable to sustain the AO/Wimby form he showed in those days into his mid 20s, losing to many non-Big 3 players, and why he couldn’t make any inroads at the USO until 2010. But yes in terms of being a prodigious talent Nadal has them all beat. I don’t like when he’s called just an athlete.
I feel there are a few different issues going on. The first one is that what makes Nadal's game be so devastating on clay becomes less of an issue to opponents on other surfaces where a flatter, more precise shot is prefered. His serve and his receiving stance also becomes an issue on other surfaces, specially low bounce. His strokes (specially the FH) take longer to set up and longer to recover from. I feel that when he was really young Nadal could make up for these issues (as he did in WB08) because of his sheer athleticism and speed, but it is not until 2010 that he made some changes that allowed him to take the USO (the infamous serve that was really clicking in that tournament). I think it is by 2013 that Nadal truly perfected his HC game. He became much more aggressive, advanced his receiving position, etc. His results in the summer of 2013 confirm that. Honestly, after that I think Nadal has been going downwards outside clay except for specific tournaments, and his surprising results at the USO are simply thanks to the garbage competition.

The other aspect is that even if Nadal is not just an athlete, a large part of his success, due to his style of play, relies on his athleticism, his power and his speed, and this has suffered as he has become older. His inability to rely on a solid serve is also a problem for older Nadal, as this is one of the aspects that older players can rely on compared to other parts of their game.

But the other issue is that I think the clay season has become more of a liability to Nadal as he has gotten older. His success on the extended clay season has become a hurdle for him to do better elsewhere. I think the 2017 and 2018 seasons were his swan song in Wimbledon, and he also was terribly unlucky there, specially in 2018. It would be hard to see Nadal win anything outside clay at this point, but I suppose that, as with every great champion, you should never discount the possibility.
 
Djokovic net game is not bad at all. His overhead is laughable though. He goes to net much more than Nadal which is proven by so many stats. Would love to see who wins more percentage at net between Djokovic and Nadal. Surgical precision of Djokovic.
Djokovic's net game is not of the same caliber as Fed. I also think Nadal has a better percentage, but in general he attacks the net less, except in specific cases. For example, in the Wimbledon 2018 Semifinal, Nadal attacked the net more and had a better percentage than Djokovic. I feel Nadal was the better player in that match also, even if he lost.

Regarding Djokovic's surgical precision, certainly not with his overhead or dropshots, which he tends to abuse.
 

nachiket nolefam

Hall of Fame
Djokovic's net game is not of the same caliber as Fed. I also think Nadal has a better percentage, but in general he attacks the net less, except in specific cases. For example, in the Wimbledon 2018 Semifinal, Nadal attacked the net more and had a better percentage than Djokovic. I feel Nadal was the better player in that match also, even if he lost.

Regarding Djokovic's surgical precision, certainly not with his overhead or dropshots, which he tends to abuse.
What a cheat you are. there are 10s of threads here that have shown Djokovic attacks more net, has more winners. liar with an agenda.
 
What a cheat you are. there are 10s of threads here that have shown Djokovic attacks more net, has more winners. liar with an agenda.
Calm down, Srjdan. I said that in general Djokovic attacks the net more, but I don't think he has a better conversion percentage. Are there reliable cummulative statistics on this? What I told you about the Wimbledon 2018 SF is true, however. Nadal attacked the net more and had a better conversion ratio.
 
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.
Michael Nadal. Still undefeated on TT as of October 2021.
 

Rogerer

Rookie
It's hilarious see how the fedal are objective. They fell in love for the tennis in the 2000s and they are still in the 2000s. If someone try to compare nadal with borg o Connors they talk about slam record, if someone try to compare him with djoko he wasn't in his prime despite he reached 5 slam in a row. Obviously agassi in his mummy form was nearly at his peak why forced fed to a difficult victory(and in his prime lost against Sampras)
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
It's hilarious see how the fedal are objective. They fell in love for the tennis in the 2000s and they are still in the 2000s. If someone try to compare nadal with borg o Connors they talk about slam record, if someone try to compare him with djoko he wasn't in his prime despite he reached 5 slam in a row. Obviously agassi in his mummy form was nearly at his peak why forced fed to a difficult victory(and in his prime lost against Sampras)
Nadal has passed Borg and Connors, it is what it is 8-B
 

aman92

Hall of Fame
Of course he does, both Federer and Djokovic enjoyed stretches where there qas no ATG to compete with them at their peaks... Nadal never had that luxury barring 2010 when he swept 3 slams
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
The strong era is defined by and bounded by Nadal’s prime. He definitely had the hardest competition because he only had a 9 month stretch at his peak where he didn’t have another prime ATG playing well, and of course he rattled off 3 in a row during that time (2010). He ended the Federer era with his MC08-AO09 run and he pushed back the Djokovic surge in 2012-13, going 6-1 against him after getting knocked down hard with 0-7 against 2011ovic. He’s never going to be GOAT by the numbers but he was the constant holding the other two titans of the game in check through both of their eras. He laid down an unbreakable gauntlet during the clay season in the middle of every season ensuring that Fedovic couldn’t just roll through the entire season unopposed the way we saw a much inferior version of Djokovic do this year. The stuff of legends
 

ElisRF

Hall of Fame
Of course he does, both Federer and Djokovic enjoyed stretches where there qas no ATG to compete with them at their peaks... Nadal never had that luxury barring 2010 when he swept 3 slams
Nadal did benefit post prime more than Federer though with 6 slams since 2017 or so . He was also absent in some periods of his prime as well.
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