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
he does not have positive h2h vs nole, but the opposite! and despite the fact that only 4/14 (29%) of all big tournaments are on clay and 9/14 (64%) on HC, they have played the same number of matches on clay and on HC! and in slams they have met each other more times on RG than on the remaining 3 slams together!
All I said that during his prime, Nadal had a positive H2H against Djokovic too, and he still has a positive H2H against Djokovic in slams. It was only in 2016 that Djokovic overtook Nadal after he had his worst year ever (2015). The Nadal-Djokovic H2H was as lopsided once as 14-4 in favor of Nadal. You can't fault Djokovic for taking advantage of his opportunism, though. Nadal has a more extended record of excellence than Djokovic, whereas Djokovic has a more concentrated period of dominance, coinciding with the decline of his two main adversaries.
 
Look at this exaggeration lol. Nadal is a great player, arguably peaked higher than Djok at 3/4 slams. But in terms of consistency and overall he's obviously not as good as they are on HC or grass.
It depends on what you mean by consistency. Obviously Nadal has been very consistent in his best surface, and I believe has the record for consecutive (and total) weeks at Top 10 and at Top 2. I personally think Nadal's Wimbledon peak is higher than Djokovic, and of course not as high as Federer, who shames both Nadal and specially Djokovic on grass.
 

mr tonyz

Professional
Yeah but against Federer Nadal leads in the slam finals only at RG , where he leads 4-0, while they are tied 1-1 at the AO and Fed has 2-1 at Wimbledon.Not bad actually :)

It's bad for Fed at the French though :D
Let's conveniently ignore all those AO Semi-Finals shall we?

I'll always be a Fed Fan, but Nadal simply had the match-up to always be a thorn in Fed's side.

Freddy dropped 5 sets across respective AO finals in '09/'17 & dropped 3 sets in respective WB '06/'07 finals @ his Pet slam during his peak years ...

Beating Nadal off-Clay was never easy no matter the surface.

With all that being said it's finally nice to have a meaningful Fedal H2H Stat in Freddy's favour. That being his 3-2 lead in slam finals off clay. He did really well there :D
 

LETitBE

Hall of Fame
Nadal has a crap serve compared to Fed and Djokovic, 3/4 slams are played outside his favorite surface, and he has had the worst luck with injuries of the 3, but he is still tied in the slam race, and has a positive slam H2H against both. GOAT
you would think that growing up with two majors on hardcourt one on grass and one on clay that a person with a life threatening foot abnormality which could end his playing days at any time,might consider forming his game to the three "serve friendly" surfaces and playing a more attacking style to start with
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
you would think that growing up with two majors on hardcourt one on grass and one on clay that a person with a life threatening foot abnormality which could end his playing days at any time,might consider forming his game to the three "serve friendly" surfaces and playing a more attacking style to start with
May be natural instinct for Rafa was to become legend on clay, not going to fault this but yeah you can't cut points of Fed and Novak being good on two surface.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Let's conveniently ignore all those AO Semi-Finals shall we?

I'll always be a Fed Fan, but Nadal simply had the match-up to always be a thorn in Fed's side.

Freddy dropped 5 sets across respective AO finals in '09/'17 & dropped 3 sets in respective WB '06/'07 finals @ his Pet slam during his peak years ...

Beating Nadal off-Clay was never easy no matter the surface.

With all that being said it's finally nice to have a meaningful Fedal H2H Stat in Freddy's favour. That being his 3-2 lead in slam finals off clay. He did really well there :D
I was talking about the slam finals because that's the only circumstance when a player wins the title for sure in the case he beats his rival and as a matter of fact those semifinal wins didn't mean as much because Nadal didn't lift de trophy.Other than that, I wanted to point out that Nadal leads the H2H in slam finals against Djokovic at another slam, other than RG :D

I agree that beating Nadal off clay was never easy and unfortunately they met at the HC slams only after the damage has been done with that 2008 Wimbledon, a match that changed their rivalry.
 
Last edited:

lucky13

Semi-Pro
I read here that rafa has a higher peak than nole at 3/4 slams? what do you mean exactly, in what universe is it so? nole's highest score is 16950 what is rafas? nole had 4 slams in a row and 3x 3 slams in a row, rafa had 3 slams in a row only once in his career. nole has the highest ELO raiting in history. rafa by far the best year was 2010. next year he played at the same level but lost in 6 big finals on all surfaces to nole (with 7th straight loss in AO 2012)! had it not been for nole 2011, rafa's best year would have been 2011 and not 2010! and finally we have peak performance calculated at UTS:

Peak emphasis: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...ctor=0&performanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0

1. nole
2. fed
3. rafa

Minimalist peak: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...ctor=0&performanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0

1. nole
2. borg
3. mcenroe
4. rafa
5. fed
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
I read here that rafa has a higher peak than nole at 3/4 slams? what do you mean exactly, in what universe is it so? nole's highest score is 16950 what is rafas? nole had 4 slams in a row and 3x 3 slams in a row, rafa had 3 slams in a row only once in his career. nole has the highest ELO raiting in history. rafa by far the best year was 2010. next year he played at the same level but lost in 6 big finals on all surfaces to nole (with 7th straight loss in AO 2012)! had it not been for nole 2011, rafa's best year would have been 2011 and not 2010! and finally we have peak performance calculated at UTS:

Peak emphasis: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...ctor=0&performanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0

1. nole
2. fed
3. rafa

Minimalist peak: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...ctor=0&performanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0

1. nole
2. borg
3. mcenroe
4. rafa
5. fed
It doesn't make sense to me either. How can you peak higher on grass anyway when the other guy has a better serve and a better return? Where did the higher peak happen? Groundstrokes? Because I don't remember him coming in that much on grass. I would say Djokovic came in more overall. So you had a higher peak but the other guy ended up with 3 times the titles? Ok.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
It doesn't make sense to me either. How can you peak higher on grass anyway when the other guy has a better serve and a better return? Where did the higher peak happen? Groundstrokes? Because I don't remember him coming in that much on grass. I would say Djokovic came in more overall. So you had a higher peak but the other guy ended up with 3 times the titles? Ok.
nole grass ELO - 2525
rafa grass ELO - 2401

peak emphasis on grass: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...loRatingFactor=4&bestSeasonFactor=4&surface=G

1. fed
2. connors
3. laver
4. borg
5. sampras
6. nole
...
15. rafa

minimalistisk peak on grass: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...formanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0&surface=G

1. borg
2. laver
3. fed
4. connors
5. nole
...
17-30. rafa
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
It doesn't make sense to me either. How can you peak higher on grass anyway when the other guy has a better serve and a better return? Where did the higher peak happen? Groundstrokes? Because I don't remember him coming in that much on grass. I would say Djokovic came in more overall. So you had a higher peak but the other guy ended up with 3 times the titles? Ok.
More athleticism and better footwork, better ground game, deals with the slice much better etc...I said arguably anyway, which it definitely is in the second week when the grass is firmer and higher bouncing. Nadal at his peak made five finals in a row let's not forget, he just had Fed at his best to contend with. Djokovic has been a lot more consistent for sure and is better overall but their peak matches are comparable IMO.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
More athleticism and better footwork, better ground game, deals with the slice much better etc...I said arguably anyway, which it definitely is in the second week when the grass is firmer and higher bouncing. Nadal at his peak made five finals in a row let's not forget, he just had Fed at his best to contend with. Djokovic has been a lot more consistent for sure and is better overall but their peak matches are comparable IMO.
And those crispy ass Murray matches :love:
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
nole grass ELO - 2525
rafa grass ELO - 2401

peak emphasis on grass: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...loRatingFactor=4&bestSeasonFactor=4&surface=G

1. fed
2. connors
3. laver
4. borg
5. sampras
6. nole
...
15. rafa

minimalistisk peak on grass: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...formanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0&surface=G

1. borg
2. laver
3. fed
4. connors
5. nole
...
17-30. rafa
Hard to use Elo on grass because the season is so short plus it weighs all tournaments the same. I couldn't put Connors over Borg, Sampras or Djokovic. He wasn't as good as those 3. However, Rafa not even being in their ballpark in that ranking is a bit telling.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
More athleticism and better footwork, better ground game, deals with the slice much better etc...I said arguably anyway, which it definitely is in the second week when the grass is firmer and higher bouncing. Nadal at his peak made five finals in a row let's not forget, he just had Fed at his best to contend with. Djokovic has been a lot more consistent for sure and is better overall but their peak matches are comparable IMO.
Athleticism is basically a wash. If he has more athleticism, it's only slightly. I think they're equal. Better footwork, as far nimble steps to get into position, yes. Then, Djokovic can slide on grass, so...lol. Deals with slice better? On his forehand side, yes. Backhand side? Not so much, which is why he runs around it. I'll give that one to him though. Better ground game? Again, maybe only slightly although it's another wash. Nadal could barely do anything with Djokovic off the ground in the 2011 Wimbledon final. Djokovic of 2014 and 2015 was a pure beast off the ground. Nadal was far better off the ground in 2018 and didn't win the match.

I wasn't singling you out when I commented on it btw. Just a general statement. Yea he made five finals in a row but who did he beat in 2006 and 2008 to even make the finals? I don't remember either draw being tough. It's fine if people think his peak is higher, because it's solely subjective based on their eye test, but I just don't understand or see it. I think Djokovic is better than him on grass in almost every category.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NAS

ElisRF

Hall of Fame
Athleticism is basically a wash. If he has more athleticism, it's only slightly. I think they're equal. Better footwork, as far nimble steps to get into position, yes. Then, Djokovic can slide on grass, so...lol. Deals with slice better? On his forehand side, yes. Backhand side? Not so much, which is why he runs around it. I'll give that one to him though. Better ground game? Again, maybe only slightly although it's another wash. Nadal could barely do anything with Djokovic off the ground in the 2011 Wimbledon final. Djokovic of 2014 and 2015 was a pure beast off the ground. Nadal was far better off the ground in 2018 and didn't win the match.

I wasn't singling you out when I commented on it btw. Just a general statement. Yea he made five finals in a row but who did he beat in 2006 and 2008 to even make the finals? I don't remember either draw being tough. It's fine if people think his peak is higher, because it's solely subjective based on their eye test, but I just don't understand or see it. I think Djokovic is better than him on grass in almost every category.
Djokovic wasn’t far worse than a Nadal off the ground in W 2018. I think the returning of Djokovic made the difference and I think you had more rallies on the Nadal serve which helps.

Nadal was better of the ground but never felt it was was a large gap.
 

Kralingen

Legend
If there’s anything between the two at peak grass level, there isn’t much. Nadal certainly better against Federer, surely. Djokovic clearly more consistent and obviously less vulnerable to big servers on faster grass.

Forget Wimby ‘11 or ‘18 THIS is the gold standard match for their grass talent, because this is actual peak Rafa. The ‘07 match as well before Djoko retired was pretty cool. Looks just about equal to me.

 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic wasn’t far worse than a Nadal off the ground in W 2018. I think the returning of Djokovic made the difference and I think you had more rallies on the Nadal serve which helps.

Nadal was better of the ground but never felt it was was a large gap.
Maybe far better is a bit of exaggeration but Nadal was clearly better. Djokovic's ground game wasn't fully back yet after his slump. Djokovic didn't even return that well in that match but you still could see the difference between the two on return. Djokovic's serve, however, was an emphatic weapon.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
If there’s anything between the two at peak grass level, there isn’t much. Nadal certainly better against Federer, surely. Djokovic clearly more consistent and obviously less vulnerable to big servers on faster grass.

Forget Wimby ‘11 or ‘18 THIS is the gold standard match for their grass talent, because this is actual peak Rafa. The ‘07 match as well before Djoko retired was pretty cool. Looks just about equal to me.

This is peak Nadal and Djokovic about 3+ years away from his. I think it's an entertaining match to watch for sure but not sure why this one is the gold standard. It just displays how naturally talented Djokovic was when he was far from finding his best level on the surface. I do like this match though.
 

ElisRF

Hall of Fame
Maybe far better is a bit of exaggeration but Nadal was clearly better. Djokovic's ground game wasn't fully back yet after his slump. Djokovic didn't even return that well in that match but you still could see the difference between the two on return. Djokovic's serve, however, was an emphatic weapon.
Meh I didn’t see it as a clearly difference maybe people expected too much of Djokovic the off the ground. Think some people forget it is easier to win the rallies when more are on your serve.

Djokovic didn’t return his best but had a sizeable advantage which was bigger than the advantage Nadal had from the ground IMHO.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Athleticism is basically a wash. If he has more athleticism, it's only slightly. I think they're equal. Better footwork, as far nimble steps to get into position, yes. Then, Djokovic can slide on grass, so...lol. Deals with slice better? On his forehand side, yes. Backhand side? Not so much, which is why he runs around it. I'll give that one to him though. Better ground game? Again, maybe only slightly although it's another wash. Nadal could barely do anything with Djokovic off the ground in the 2011 Wimbledon final. Djokovic of 2014 and 2015 was a pure beast off the ground. Nadal was far better off the ground in 2018 and didn't win the match.

I wasn't singling you out when I commented on it btw. Just a general statement. Yea he made five finals in a row but who did he beat in 2006 and 2008 to even make the finals? I don't remember either draw being tough. It's fine if people think his peak is higher, because it's solely subjective based on their eye test, but I just don't understand or see it. I think Djokovic is better than him on grass in almost every category.
I think it's perfectly reasonable to think Djokovic is better peak for peak.
 

ElisRF

Hall of Fame
When I think about Nadal's best grass matches I think of the Agassi/Baggy matches in 06, Berdych/Fed in 2007, Murray/Fed 08, Murray/Berdych 2010 and Delpo 2011.
It felt like Nadal dipped big time after set 1 in Murray 2010 to me.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
If there’s anything between the two at peak grass level, there isn’t much. Nadal certainly better against Federer, surely. Djokovic clearly more consistent and obviously less vulnerable to big servers on faster grass.

Forget Wimby ‘11 or ‘18 THIS is the gold standard match for their grass talent, because this is actual peak Rafa. The ‘07 match as well before Djoko retired was pretty cool. Looks just about equal to me.
W h2h:

rafa - fed 1-3 (1-2 in F)
nole - fed 3-1 (3-0 in F)
nole - rafa 2-1 (1-0 in F)
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Meh I didn’t see it as a clearly difference maybe people expected too much of Djokovic the off the ground. Think some people forget it is easier to win the rallies when more are on your serve.

Djokovic didn’t return his best but had a sizeable advantage which was bigger than the advantage Nadal had from the ground IMHO.
Nadal had considerable more winners off the ground. Djokovic had considerable more off the serve. To me, it was Djokovic's serve that won him the match. He wasn't at his best off the ground imo.

Not sure about this one. Djokovic let Nadal off the hook so much in so many service games, but fair enough I guess.
 

President

Legend
4 Wimbledon Finals, 3 of them against Federer just can't be discounted. Yes, Nadal struggled after that in the first week but I think his peak level on grass is still up there with the best.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
When I think about Nadal's best grass matches I think of the Agassi/Baggy matches in 06, Berdych/Fed in 2007, Murray/Fed 08, Murray/Berdych 2010 and Delpo 2011.
Rate them all out of 10 from Nadal :D
 

Kralingen

Legend
on grass - looking forward to an explanation!
How about this

Nadal 1-3 H2H: L in 4 in ‘06, L in 5 in ‘07, W in 5 in ‘08, L in 4 in ‘19
Djokovic 3-1 H2H: L in 4 in ‘12, W in 5 in ‘14, W in 4 in ‘15, W in 5 in ‘19

which set of Federer versions was playing better, do you think? The first, or the second? And remember the original question was about “peak” Nadal and Djokovic, so the ‘19 match is not very relevant here.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
How about this

Nadal 1-3 H2H: L in 4 in ‘06, L in 5 in ‘07, W in 5 in ‘08, L in 4 in ‘19
Djokovic 3-1 H2H: L in 4 in ‘12, W in 5 in ‘14, W in 4 in ‘15, W in 5 in ‘19

which set of Federer versions was playing better, do you think? The first, or the second?
Opinion based?
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
It's fact based lol.
the only fact are 3-1 75% (3-0 100% in F) and 1-3 25% (1-2 33% in F)!

and you try to get it as a player who has 25% wins (33% in finals) against someone is a tougher opponent than a player who has 75% wins (100% in finals) against him!
 
Last edited:

NatF

Bionic Poster
the only fact are 3-1 75% (3-0 100% in F) and 1-3 25% (1-2 33% in F)!

and you try to get it as a player who has 25% wins (33% in finals) against someone is a tougher opponent than a player who has 75% wins (100% in finals) against him!
You need only look at the overall h2h's to see who has been tougher for Federer. The fact that Djokovic has vultured wins over ancient Fed is irrelevant 8-B
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
You need only look at the overall h2h's to see who has been tougher for Federer. The fact that Djokovic has vultured wins over ancient Fed is irrelevant 8-B
and how exactly should overall h2h be better than wimbledon h2h to show who is the tougher opponent of the 2 to fed just in wimbledon?

what's your next move? to watch their RG matches to determine who is better on grass?
 

Kralingen

Legend
the only fact are 3-1 75% (3-0 100% in F) and 1-3 25% (1-2 33% in F)!

and you try to get it as a player who has 25% wins (33% in finals) against someone is a tougher opponent than a player who has 75% wins (100% in finals) against him!
Would you also agree that Dominic Thiem (2-1 H2H at Roland Garros) is better on clay than Novak?

And if that causes issues, then surely you would agree that Thiem (2-0 H2H at the YEC) is better on indoor HC than Djokovic, right?
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
on grass - looking forward to an explanation!

rafa - fed 1-3 (1-2 in F)
nole - fed 3-1 (3-0 in F)
prime djoko couldn't even beat past his prime fed in Wim 12 (prime-ish fed at best)
nadal beat prime fed in Wim 08, stretched him close in Wim 07

fed in Wim 14/15/19 doesn't even come remotely close to fed in 07/08. djokovic got lucky with federer being ~33 or older.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
Would you also agree that Dominic Thiem (2-1 H2H at Roland Garros) is better on clay than Novak?

And if that causes issues, then surely you would agree that Thiem (2-0 H2H at the YEC) is better on indoor HC than Djokovic, right?
in addition to h2h against each other and against fed, nole has 6 wimbledons last time I checked and rafa only 2. noles W% in wimbledon is 88.76% (3rd of all time) and rafas 81.54% (13rd of all time)! there are absolutely no facts that would give any indication that rafa would be better on grass than nole or tougher opponent to fed in wimbledon than nole.
 
Last edited:

abmk

Bionic Poster
I read here that rafa has a higher peak than nole at 3/4 slams? what do you mean exactly, in what universe is it so? nole's highest score is 16950 what is rafas? nole had 4 slams in a row and 3x 3 slams in a row, rafa had 3 slams in a row only once in his career. nole has the highest ELO raiting in history. rafa by far the best year was 2010. next year he played at the same level but lost in 6 big finals on all surfaces to nole (with 7th straight loss in AO 2012)! had it not been for nole 2011, rafa's best year would have been 2011 and not 2010! and finally we have peak performance calculated at UTS:

Peak emphasis: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...ctor=0&performanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0

1. nole
2. fed
3. rafa

Minimalist peak: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistic...ctor=0&performanceFactor=0&statisticsFactor=0

1. nole
2. borg
3. mcenroe
4. rafa
5. fed
ELO is horsesh*t for tennis. the fact that you use blindly says you don't know much about tennis.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
To be fair Federer hit 75 winners to 29 errors in the Wim 14 final and pushed a great Djokovic 5. Maybe we can still call it a ATG level.
 

goldengate14

Professional
All I said that during his prime, Nadal had a positive H2H against Djokovic too, and he still has a positive H2H against Djokovic in slams. It was only in 2016 that Djokovic overtook Nadal after he had his worst year ever (2015). The Nadal-Djokovic H2H was as lopsided once as 14-4 in favor of Nadal. You can't fault Djokovic for taking advantage of his opportunism, though. Nadal has a more extended record of excellence than Djokovic, whereas Djokovic has a more concentrated period of dominance, coinciding with the decline of his two main adversaries.
Apart from 2011 and W2018 most of Djokovic wins over Nadal have been when Nadal was off form or just back from injury. Im thinking 2013 2015 2017 ao 2019 and of course Rg 2021.
Ive always felt Djokovic is a good match up for Nadal if Nadal is movijg well. If though his movement is off then its a bad match up.
That is not a criticism of Djokovic at all but especially in best of five set matches i feel if Nadal is moving well its hard for Djokovic to hit through him.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
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.
Yeah, whole 11 months younger lulz.

They're peers, Novak is not a younger ATG Nadal was facing and Murray is not an ATG no matter how much hypothetical slams he wins in "another era" on TTW.
 

Jonas78

Legend
With 40% of those finals played on clay, its kind of funny Nadal is the one who is considered to have the tough competition. Him being the best clay-courter in history, i would say its just as much the other way around :).

Fedovic have played Nadal 15 times at the French Open!
 
Last edited:
Top