If Nadal, Federer and Djokovic were all born in 1986...

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
If all three were born in 1986, the slam count would roughly be as follows IMO:

Nadal: 20
  • AO x 2 (2009, 2017)
  • RG x 13 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • WC x 3 (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • USO x 2 (2013, 2019)
Djokovic: 16
  • AO x 8 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
  • RG x 1 (2015)
  • WC x 4 (2010, 2014, 2017, 2018)
  • USO x 3 (2010, 2014, 2017)
Federer: 10
  • AO x 1 (2016)
  • RG x 1 (2016)
  • WC x 4 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • USO x 4 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2016)
There are a few matches that would have been 50/50 but in general the slam race would have looked like this - Thoughts?
 

Pete Prime

Semi-Pro
This is really tricky, because as is, Fed only got slams in '09 because Nadal was either taken out by a Savior, or didn't enter the draw. Ditto from Wimbledon 2012 (dismantled by a Savior). He wasn't able to take out Tsonga from up to sets to love in 11 so no reason to think he'd take out GOATing Nole that year either. I think we know for sure Fed never gets RG or Wimbledon in '09. I think we can also safely say that given he was unable to beat Delpo at the 09 Open with his unprecedented confidence from the Vacuum Era that without it he'd stand no chance of snatching that title either. There's also no way he gets Australia or RG from Nolan in '16.

On the other hand, he probably gets Australia in '10 since things worked out for him that year there anyways. That's one. US Open 2012. That's two. Wimbledon 2013. That's three. Wimbledon 2016 is probably going his way. Four. Ditto for 17. Five.
These are the only certainties imo. Given that he's Fed, an extremely talented aggressive baseliner with great anticipation, I think we can safely give him 2-3 more, with the potential for more given fortuitous circumstances, as he is the Fortune GOAT. Overall I'm going to stick my neck out and say 9-12 slams.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
No way Fred takes AO or RG. He also loses 2011 USO 100%. But overall I agree it would be Nadal followed by Djokovic. Fed wins 5-7 slams tops.
I've got Fed winning his sole title at both events in 2016 when 30 year old Rafa and Djokovic are both out of sorts and not in good form. The only other conceivable winner I could have at these two tournaments would be Murray or Raonic at AO and Murray or Thiem at RG. Thiem and Murray are definately a shot but I leaned towards a 30 year old Fed winning both titles.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
how on earth is the equivalent of 2011 Fed supposed to beat 2016 Noel at 2 majors? I suggest you downgrade Fraud to 8.
I might have got this wrong but if all were born in 1986 it would put 2011 Fed up against 2017 Djoker and 2016 Rafa (both out of sorts and form) which is why Fed won three slams that year in this model. Without 2016 he would have only won 7 slams.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Nadal would undoubtedly be twice as good as Federer in Australia, had Federer been younger.

And the Federer who was good enough to take out Sampras, would absolutely lose to Rafa in Wimbledon.

And 10 years past peak Federer, who had 2 MPs against prime Djokovic, would not have a chance had he been in his prime.

The real gem: If Big3 were all were born in 1986, Stan loses RG15 to Novak :-D
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
Nadal would have had zero slams off clay and few or no weeks at #1. Less FOs too given that he'd have to beat Fedovic back-to-back to win it consistently because he'd be #3 all the time.

So the slam count would be something like Fed/Novak~20, Nadal~10.

Overall, Nadal would have ended with a sligthly better career than Agassi.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
If they were born in 86 then Roger never comes up playing with an 85 and later 90 inch racket, and thus doesn't suffer the same fate against Nadal that actually played out.
Federer would play with big frame from beginning. He wouldn't face any matchup problem against Nadal.
Whilst the frame isn't the only reason for Federer's losses to Nadal... it is not Rafa taking most of Fed's slams away in this model:

Taken by others: 12
AO 2004, 2005, 2006 (18 to 20 year old Fed wasn't a slam winner)
RG 2009 (2004 version of Fed on clay wasn't winning this)
WC 2003, 2004, 2005 (17 - 19 year old Fed wasn't a slam winner)
USO 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (18 to 22 year old Fed didn't win at all at the US Open)

Nadal takes from Federer: 2
AO 2017 (2017 Nadal v 2012 Federer)
WC 2008 (22 year old Fed will find peak grassdal much tougher than Philippousis)


Djokovic takes from Federer: 4
AO 2007 (2008 Djoker v 2002 Federer)
AO 2010 (2011 Djoker v 2005 Federer)
AO 2018 (2019 Djoker v 2013 Federer)
WC 2017 (2018 Djoker v 2012 Federer)

So it's more about him being too young to take advantage of the 2003 - 2007 era. The only three slam year I have him down for (which is along the same lines as how he accumulated so many slams so rapidly from 03 - 07) is 2016 when Djokovic and Nadal (both 30 years old - 2017 version of Djoker) are out of form and out of sorts and his competition is severely diminished.
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
Okay let me take a Stab at this, so all of the three are born in 1986.

I will only do relative slams won by each in a time frame, not overall.

To not hurt my head a lot I will only compare possible slams won by each from around 22 years old onwards.(equivalent of 2008 for Nadal , 2009 for Djokovic, 2003 for Federer)

I am taking field equivalence of Nadal's year (That is putting 2009 Djokovic and 2003 Federer in 2008 Nadal's competition)


2008
(2008 for N, 2009 for D,2003 for F)

AO: Tsonga(2009 Djokovic retires, 2003 Federer loses, Nadal 2008 loses)

RG: Nadal(1),

WB : Probably Federer(1)( 2003 is Federer's best, he might shade Nadal and this year he won more return points against big servers than Djokovic 2014-15)

USO: Murray


2009
(2009 For N,2010 for D,2004 for F)

2009 AO: Nadal (2) (cuz destiny)

2009 RG :Soderling

2009 WB : Federer (2)

2009 USO : Federer (3) (2004 Federer from the final might even be winning FH-FH battles with Del Potro)

2010
(2010 for N, 2011 for Novak, 2005 for F)

AO: Djokovic (1)

RG: Nadal(3)

WB: God knows who,each of them at their best (2011 vs 2010 vs 2005 indeterminate) but I like 2011 djokovic more than other two so Djokovic(2)

USO: God knows who each of them at their best(2011 vs 2010 vs 2005 is indeterminate) but I like 2011 djokovic more than other two so Djokovic(3)

2011
(2011 for N,2012 for D,2006 For Federer)

AO Djokovic (4)

RG: Nadal(4)

WB: Federer(4)

USO : Slight edge Federer(5)


2012
(2012 For N , 2013 for D, 2007 for Federer)

AO: Djokovic(5)

RG : Nadal (5)

WB : Federer (6)

USO: Federer (7)

2013
(2013 for N, 2014 for D, 2008 for F)

AO: Wawrinka (djokovic met wawa in both years so)

RG: Nadal(6)

WB: Djokovic (6)

USO : Nadal (7)
2014:

(2014 for N , 2015 for D, 2009 for F)

AO: Djokovic(7)

RG: Nadal (8)

WB : Djokovic (8)

USO : Federer (8)
2015 :

(2015 for N, 2016 for Djokovic, 2010 for Federer)

AO: Djokovic(9)

RG : Djokovic(10)

WB : Murray

USO: Federer (9)

2016

(2016 for N, 2017 for D, 2011 for F)

Vulturer mode engaged.

AO : Federer (10)

RG : Federer(11)

WB : Murray

USO : Federer (12)


2017 :
(2017 for Rafa, 2018 for Djokovic, 2012 for Federer)

AO: Federer(13)

RG: Rafa (9)

WB: Federer (14)

USO : Djokovic (11)

2018:

(2018 for N, 2019 For D, 2013 for F)

AO: Djokovic (12)

RG: Rafa (10)

WB: Rafa(11)

USO: Del Potro

2019

(2019 For N, 2020 for D, 2014 For F)


AO: Djokovic (13)

RG: Nadal (12)

WB: Say Djokovic (14)

USO : Nadal (13) {Djokovic still gets disqualified)

2020
(2020 For N, carried 2020 for D, 2015 FOR F)

AO: Djokovic (15)

RG : Rafa (14)

USO : Thiem.







So in my opinion if each of them are born in same year than in the time frame of 2008-2020,

Djokovic wins 15 slams, Nadal wins 14, Federer wins 14. Neck and Neck.


We can add about 2 WB slams to Nadal , the slams that he will win before 2008.


Big 3 are too much of equals to really outshine each other by a huge margin in any scenario.



@Tennis Analyst @titoelcolombiano what do you make of my picks and be ready to deal with plethora of stats if you simply make snide comments dismissing my post.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
This is, of course, unknowable, but because I see them as roughly equally talented/skilled/motivated, I doubt that there would be big overall differentials among them.

What if they were all born in 1981, and outside of clay, Fed's level was still too high? It's conceivable.

What if they each pursued other sports?
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
This is, of course, unknowable, but because I see them as roughly equally talented/skilled/motivated, I doubt that there would be big overall differentials among them.

What if they were all born in 1981, and outside of clay, Fed's level was still too high? It's conceivable.

What if they each pursued other sports?
Had they been born in 1981, Rafa and Novak would have faced prime Sampras, peak Safin, peak Roddick, peak Hewitt.

We know Djokovic had huge problems with Safin and Roddick. I doubt Sampras would have been any easier.

Nadal's chances in Wimbledon are worse with Sampras and Roddick on board.

I am not sure 2004-2007 field was easier than 2017-2020 field. Actually, I think not.

Given how good Federer has been at 35+, he'd may have an advantage against Rafa and Novak at that age. Hard to tell - if Rafa and Novak are equally good, they can reach slam finals for 4-5 more years. Without new stars, they can win 5+ more slams each.
 

CYGS

Legend
Had they been born in 1981, Rafa and Novak would have faced prime Sampras, peak Safin, peak Roddick, peak Hewitt.

We know Djokovic had huge problems with Safin and Roddick. I doubt Sampras would have been any easier.

Nadal's chances in Wimbledon are worse with Sampras and Roddick on board.

I am not sure 2004-2007 field was easier than 2017-2020 field. Actually, I think not.

Given how good Federer has been at 35+, he'd may have an advantage against Rafa and Novak at that age. Hard to tell - if Rafa and Novak are equally good, they can reach slam finals for 4-5 more years. Without new stars, they can win 5+ more slams each.
The past few years prove that Djokodal played even better than Federer in their 30s, so all these made beliefs about Federer are always proven to be laughable every time.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
The past few years prove that Djokodal played even better than Federer in their 30s, so all these made beliefs about Federer are always proven to be laughable every time.
Always nice of you to use words like "laughable" to make your point. Consistently toxic in your comments.

I said 35+. Rafa and Novak are 33 and 34. Federer was one point away from winning Wimbledon at 38.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Had they been born in 1981, Rafa and Novak would have faced prime Sampras, peak Safin, peak Roddick, peak Hewitt.

We know Djokovic had huge problems with Safin and Roddick. I doubt Sampras would have been any easier.

Nadal's chances in Wimbledon are worse with Sampras and Roddick on board.

I am not sure 2004-2007 field was easier than 2017-2020 field. Actually, I think not.

Given how good Federer has been at 35+, he'd may have an advantage against Rafa and Novak at that age. Hard to tell - if Rafa and Novak are equally good, they can reach slam finals for 4-5 more years. Without new stars, they can win 5+ more slams each.
Federer played Sampras one time - symbolic match, but Sampras was not a great factor by then.

Novak played Safin only twice...and Safin beat him handily...but what if Novak played him when he was five years older (given this hypotheseis)?
Who knows - two matches in, I think, 2007 and 2008 don't tell me much.

Same question with Novak and Roddick. Roddick was up 5-4 (all outdoor HC, from 2007-12). If Novak were born in 1981, maybe they would have met more often. Novak did beat him decisively their last two matches. It's all speculative as to what would have happened.

Andy was a very good player who gets trashed too often by some fans. But he's not remotely in Novak's league (or Rafa's or Roger's). Safin, at some moments, could be a beast, but he had relatively few such moments when his considerable talent, emotional makeup and motivation aligned.

Anyway, I really entered this thread to somewhat rebut the OP. I thought that it was way too slanted to Rafa and unfair to Roger.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Federer played Sampras one time - symbolic match, but Sampras was not a great factor by then.

Novak played Safin only twice...and Safin beat him handily...but what if Novak played him when he was five years older (given this hypotheseis)?
Who knows - two matches in, I think, 2007 and 2008 don't tell me much.

Same question with Novak and Roddick. Roddick was up 5-4 (all outdoor HC, from 2007-12). If Novak were born in 1981, maybe they would have met more often. Novak did beat him decisively their last two matches. It's all speculative as to what would have happened.

Andy was a very good player who gets trashed too often by some fans. But he's not remotely in Novak's league (or Rafa's or Roger's). Safin, at some moments, could be a beast, but he had relatively few such moments when his considerable talent, emotional makeup and motivation aligned.

Anyway, I really entered this thread to somewhat rebut the OP. I thought that it was way too slanted to Rafa and unfair to Roger.
Roddick beat Djokovic four times a row on HC in 2009/2010. One slam, three masters. That's not insignificant. Novak was ranked #3 and #2 in those meetings, if I remember correctly - while Roddick was ranked barely inside top 10. Roddick was terrible towards the end, ranked around 30 and retired shortly after their last meeting.

I think of Safin as a tough cookie for Djokovic. Same type of player but with more aggression and a better serve. Sick mentality at his best. Perhaps he would be more motivated with all these good young players coming for him?

We don't know, for sure. A general tendency is to glorify the past and at the same time believe the now is always best, in many fields. It's not always the truth, as we both have lived long enough to understand :)
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Roddick beat Djokovic four times a row on HC in 2009/2010. One slam, three masters. That's not insignificant. Novak was ranked #3 and #2 in those meetings, if I remember correctly - while Roddick was ranked barely inside top 10. Roddick was terrible towards the end, ranked around 30 and retired shortly after their last meeting.

I think of Safin as a tough cookie for Djokovic. Same type of player but with more aggression and a better serve. Sick mentality at his best. Perhaps he would be more motivated with all these good young players coming for him?

We don't know, for sure. A general tendency is to glorify the past and at the same time believe the now is always best, in many fields. It's not always the truth, as we both have lived long enough to understand :)
We'll never know, as Novak was good at a young age, but not the player he has been the last 11-12 years.

As to your last point, when I grow out of my teens, I'll be able to better relate.
 

blablavla

Legend
The past few years prove that Djokodal played even better than Federer in their 30s, so all these made beliefs about Federer are always proven to be laughable every time.
hey dude, what happened with that DCGS posting after FO 2020?

by the way, how is that bagel? tasty?
are you still eating it?
 

blablavla

Legend
If all three were born in 1986, the slam count would roughly be as follows IMO:

Nadal: 20
  • AO x 2 (2009, 2017)
  • RG x 13 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • WC x 3 (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • USO x 2 (2013, 2019)
Djokovic: 16
  • AO x 8 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
  • RG x 1 (2015)
  • WC x 4 (2010, 2014, 2017, 2018)
  • USO x 3 (2010, 2014, 2017)
Federer: 10
  • AO x 1 (2016)
  • RG x 1 (2016)
  • WC x 4 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • USO x 4 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2016)
There are a few matches that would have been 50/50 but in general the slam race would have looked like this - Thoughts?
time to get a real life buddy
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Federer played Sampras one time - symbolic match, but Sampras was not a great factor by then.

Novak played Safin only twice...and Safin beat him handily...but what if Novak played him when he was five years older (given this hypotheseis)?
Who knows - two matches in, I think, 2007 and 2008 don't tell me much.

Same question with Novak and Roddick. Roddick was up 5-4 (all outdoor HC, from 2007-12). If Novak were born in 1981, maybe they would have met more often. Novak did beat him decisively their last two matches. It's all speculative as to what would have happened.

Andy was a very good player who gets trashed too often by some fans. But he's not remotely in Novak's league (or Rafa's or Roger's). Safin, at some moments, could be a beast, but he had relatively few such moments when his considerable talent, emotional makeup and motivation aligned.

Anyway, I really entered this thread to somewhat rebut the OP. I thought that it was way too slanted to Rafa and unfair to Roger.
Early 20's Roddick would do pretty well against early 20's Novak, IMO.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Federer would be a different player if born in 1986. He'd be forced to switch to the larger racquet from the very beginning if the guys he has to overcome are Nadal and Djokovic. But especially Nadal.

Instead of being the hunted, he'd be the hunter, so he wouldn't be as arrogant as when he was on top given that he wouldn't have the same aura in this hypothetical. He'd actually be more willing adapt and make changes to his game.

But all I'm saying is nonsense anyway. We all know Fraud is an Andy Murray type player in a strong era. That's the actual truth.
 

NoleIsBoat

Rookie
Anywhere from 8 - 12 slams in this era. Nadal benefits from more Wimbledon, Djokovic more USOs.

i think in general, federer will still win 4-5 wimbledon and 3-4 uso. His consistent level there was incredible from 2004-2009 hats off. Djokovic is the best ever but hes had some years where his level was lower there like 2012, 2014.
 

ibbi

Legend
If all three were born in 1986, the slam count would roughly be as follows IMO:

Nadal: 20
  • AO x 2 (2009, 2017)
  • RG x 13 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • WC x 3 (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • USO x 2 (2013, 2019)
Djokovic: 16
  • AO x 8 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
  • RG x 1 (2015)
  • WC x 4 (2010, 2014, 2017, 2018)
  • USO x 3 (2010, 2014, 2017)
Federer: 10
  • AO x 1 (2016)
  • RG x 1 (2016)
  • WC x 4 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • USO x 4 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2016)
There are a few matches that would have been 50/50 but in general the slam race would have looked like this - Thoughts?
I really see no reason to assume Djokovic is going to beat Federer anywhere in particular if they are both the same age. Federer likely isn't winning anything in 2018, that would be the equivalent of 2013. Why would Novak win Roland Garros in 2015, would being a year older help him against Stan?? Not sure Federer gets 2016, I'd probably swap those around. The 2016 conditions were tailor made for Djokovic.
 

-snake-

Hall of Fame
Ned barely won his only AO and you're telling me in this what if reality he would've bagged 2? :-D ATGs (lol) like Ferrerray took him down there, but a younger Fed would've been steamrolled? Hmm, ok.
 
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Krish872007

G.O.A.T.
The biggest assumption that is made in hypotheticals like these is that the Big 3 are able to teleport forwards or backwards in time and bring the respective forms they actually displayed in each year into hypothetical matches against each other. This is a bit different to simply pitting "Nadal 2012 vs. Djokovic 2015" or something along those lines - we are fundamentally redefining the career trajectories of the 3 most impactful players of the 21st Century.

- Very important that the year is specified (in this case 1986), as it does make a difference to how we speculate. A scenario of all three being born in 1981 could be wildly different to all three being born in 1986 - particularly since all other players are held constant in their respective playing periods. This is a case of Federer and Djokovic adjusting to match Nadal's "timeline". Maybe we try and assess each player in turn.

- Starting with Nadal: this is a timeline where he potentially develops without Federer as a dominant #1. No doubts on his early career success on clay but what about other surfaces here? What is driving him to improve? Where does he go?

- Federer: probably impacted the most but in a very unpredictable way. How does he grow up? Would he still have started off as an emotional headcase? Or would he have sorted his head and fitness earlier than he did and become a ATG at an earlier stage? Or would he not sort himself out at all? What about rivals - is there any mental baggage against Nadal or anyone else? Or does he simply grow up playing a different way, with a different approach? Maybe he develops into a complete baseline specialist, who knows. Depends on whether he is a "first-mover" or "second mover" and when / how he can take advantage.

- Djokovic: only 1 year removed from Nadal's default timeline, so maybe he develops a little bit quicker. But what about his true "breakout" year? Does it happen in 2010? Does it not happen at all? I would assume at some point the gluten intolerance issue gets sorted out - but what would be the dynamics with the other two? Is it a rivalry with only Nadal, or both Fedal, or only Federer? Or someone else entirely?

- The Field: a real unknown quantity, determined ultimately by whoever out of the Big 3 develops first and is able to dominate, and where. Slams wins could be spread out amongst several different competitors, for instance.
 
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