Is it a mystery how Nadal has won more US Opens than Djokovic?

daphne

Hall of Fame
Federer prime was actually earlier than that IMO, it started to happen during the clay season, when he reached Rome 2003 final, then from Halle he gained strength.

Nadal Miami 2005 he entered his prime, the reason why Nadal's prime is longer stretched is, unlike Federer he was injured a lot, so there were periods he was just not around.

Djokovic Montreal 2007 enters his prime fully, that event was his true coming out party.
Even though I may agree (mostly) with you - a question! How long do you thing someone's prime can last for? 7-9 years?
 

daphne

Hall of Fame
You're still failing to see what I am saying here. I said Djokovic had to deal with prime/peak Federer from 07-09, Nadal didn't have to deal with prime/peak Federer ever at the USO, because during that time, Nadal wasn't making the finals.

Had Djokovic not faced peak/prime Federer, he could have already been sitting on 3 USO titles BEFORE Nadal even won his first one. Unlike Nadal who only dealt with Djokovic, Djokovic dealt with peak/prime versions of Nadal and Federer.

So, not it is not a bizarre excuse, it is straight forward.

Had Djokovic ONLY faced Federer from 2010 onwards, your point holds water, but he also faced him when Federer was the undisputed king of USO, Nadal never did that. I;ve already made my case on why Novak was winning those titles, and to me he was prime.
This is where I do not agree with you entirely. That is why I asked the question about someone's prime...
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Even though I may agree mostly with you - a question! How long do you thing someone's prime can last for? 7-9 years?
Depends on a variety of things, injuries, wear and tear all play a part in this. For instance, if you are playing 97 matches in one year like Federer did in 2006, that is going to add an extra few miles and wear and tear on your body, than if you lets say played 20 matches less. And injuries can both extended or shorten the prime period, because you can be off for several months such as Nadal was off for seven months between W 2012 and Feb 2013, saving the wear and tear and mileage, getting a chance to heal and come back fresher.

So, it is a changing line for all of them. You cannot be blazing end to end every year or you burn the candle at both ends. But in the modern era, 7 to 9 years in a reasonable amount of time for prime tennis.
 

daphne

Hall of Fame
Novak was prime in 2007? You’re about the only person I’ve ever heard say that...

I could equally make a case that if Murray or Del Po didn’t peak in those 08 and 09 matches against him, he could’ve won against Fed in those finals. I know Fed fans were much happier to see who they did in those finals at the time. But what happened, happened.

I’ve heard exactly the excuses you are making. There are always excuses, but the truth is Novak has just not played as well at the USO overall as Rafa. It’s pretty simple.
That is where I disagree with @Hitman.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
That is where I disagree with @Hitman.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this, but I have always stood by the perception that Djokovic had entered his prime by mid 2007, however his peak didn't come until much later, 2011, a part of that was the lost year in 2010 where he messed up his serving, had bad coaching etc. which caused his regression rather than progression.
 

daphne

Hall of Fame
I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this, but I have always stood by the perception that Djokovic had entered his prime by mid 2007, however his peak didn't come until much later, 2011, a part of that was the lost year in 2010 where he messed up his serving, had bad coaching etc. which caused his regression rather than progression.
Well, you clearly have 2 different definitions for prime and peak and if Djok's prime started in 2007 his second peak would have been in 2016 and after this 2nd peak his prime could not have possibly ended at the same time. Yes he got injured and during that period he rightfully under-performed BUT his level of play in 2019, 2020 and even in 2021 is at least equal to his prime during 2009-2010 period! This is why I disagree with your reasoning.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Well, you clearly have 2 different definitions for prime and peak and if Djok's prime started in 2007 his second peak would have been in 2016 and after this 2nd peak his prime could not have possibly ended at the same time. Yes he got injured and during that period he rightfully under-performed BUT his level of play in 2019, 2020 and even in 2021 is at least equal to his prime during 2009-2010 period! This is why I disagree with your reasoning.
Yes, I have two very clear defintions for prime and peak. I don't agree with the 2019-2020 period being equal and that is because I don't think this Djokovic can do it week in week out the way that Djokovic could. You really think Djokovic can take on a player such as peak Nadal on clay now, three weeks in a row the way he did in 2009?

Djokovic is now "peaking" only for slams, because his body cannot do what he did week in week out back then, that is the difference. It is not just level of play, it is physical recovery to get back and do it the following week, Novak cannot do that anymore, we all know this.
 
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daphne

Hall of Fame
Yes, I have to very clear defintions for prime and peak. I don't agree with the 2019-2020 period being equal and that is because I don't think this Djokovic can do it week in week out the way that Djokovic could. You really think Djokovic can take on a player such as peak Nadal on clay now, three weeks in a row the way he did in 2009?

Djokovic is now "peaking" only for slams, because his body cannot do what he did week in week out back then, that is the difference. It is not just level of play, it is physical recovery to get back and do it the following week, Novak cannot do that anymore, we all know this.
Djok is playing smart (and good) tennis now. It is not about playing 40-80 matches, doing 20-22 tournaments to be considered being in prime. I bet if Djok knew his success in advance (knew his future) that he would have selected fewer comps since 2007 and would not have stopped playing that way. Djok's recovery is good. He recovers faster than many other players considering the level of play he must pull off while consistently playing in SFs and Fs. This is where the higher high is achieved. Going around playing all sorts of Halles and Basels isn't necessary unless one wants to beat 109. Djok will (if he continues to cherry pick) bring home more trophies that matter. Vajda is smart and knows this. Recent losses to Evans and Karatsev do not concern me at all. I will be concerned if he under-performs at RG and WIM this year. I am sure no matter what the majority thinks of him on clay that he will play well in Paris. His family commitments are being addressed at present and we will see a more relaxed Djok towards the end of this month.

There is no way that his 2019-2021 levels of play are equal to 2017-2018 or 2005-2006 or pre and post prime. He is still in his prime. He is #1 and he is breaking world records. The same records NO OTHER man was able to achieve. Only a man in his prime can do that. If he isn't in his prime now others would have been able to do it instead of him. Nadal will die off in the second half of the year. Fedr is gone. Still there are others where Djok (the only other member of the Big 3) has to perform at least on his prime level to keep beating them.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
Eh, breaks of life. Replay it 100 times and Djokovic wins more Open the vast majority of the time. Like it or not Nadal has had some properly fortuitous draws. That’s just how things play out sometimes.
 

The Guru

Hall of Fame
He has timed his runs very well and Djokovic has underperformed and been pretty unlucky at the USO.
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Eh, breaks of life. Replay it 100 times and Djokovic wins more Open the vast majority of the time. Like it or not Nadal has had some properly fortuitous draws. That’s just how things play out sometimes.
In general, yes, as Djokovic played at a good level more often, give him an accesible enough field and he racks up a lot of them like he did in Wimbledon.

Now I do give Nadal some credence for being a bit better in his top two runs, with USO 2010 being a hair better than USO 2011 and USO 2013 being a hair better than USO 2015, though a bit of Djoko underperforming and a mug performance in USO 2012 final had a say in the 4 vs 3.
2012 in particular, he was at the same level as 2011 before Windovic struck.
 

topher

Professional
I've always said Djokovic was prime level in 2007.

Djokovic 2011 was peak level, but his prime started before that.

If Nadal 2010 and 2013 had to deal with Federer 2007, 2008 and 2009, can you confidently tell me that Nadal would be winning those matches. Without any shadow of doubt. I get the excuses you are making also, but its' a fact that you cannot push under the rug that Nadal never dealt with the peak version of Federer, Djokovic did. Had Djokovic played Anderson or Medvedev in those USO encounters in 2007, 2008, I am sure he would be smiling at the prospect.
Novak also never dealt with the peak version of DelPo either, can you confidently say he wins against 09 DelPo instead of 2018 DelPo? How about peak Fed instead of 2015 Fed?

We can play the excuse game all day, but in the end 4 titles over 3 and 2-1 in finals says it all to me.
 

Hokkaido

New User
You're still failing to see what I am saying here. I said Djokovic had to deal with prime/peak Federer from 07-09, Nadal didn't have to deal with prime/peak Federer ever at the USO, because during that time, Nadal wasn't making the finals.

Had Djokovic not faced peak/prime Federer, he could have already been sitting on 3 USO titles BEFORE Nadal even won his first one. Unlike Nadal who only dealt with Djokovic, Djokovic dealt with peak/prime versions of Nadal and Federer.

So, not it is not a bizarre excuse, it is straight forward.

Had Djokovic ONLY faced Federer from 2010 onwards, your point holds water, but he also faced him when Federer was the undisputed king of USO, Nadal never did that. I;ve already made my case on why Novak was winning those titles, and to me he was prime.
And when Federer wasn't in his prime, he lost in USO to... prime Nadal. Really don't get what kind of excuse you're trying to make up here. Djokovic is lucky that he was able to rack up wins in Wimbledon and USO when his competition was out of prime, because back when Nadal and Federer were at full strength he couldn't stand up to them lol.
 

USO

Banned
The difference is Djokovic has THREE more Wimbledon titles, while Nadal has only one extra USO.
And Federer has THREE more Wimbledon titles than Djokovic yet that doesn't stop Djokovic fans from comparing him to Federer there. The fact that Djokovic beat a past prime Federer on grass is irrelevant.
 

BauerAlmeida

Professional
And Federer has THREE more Wimbledon titles than Djokovic yet that doesn't stop Djokovic fans from comparing him to Federer there. The fact that Djokovic beat a past prime Federer on grass is irrelevant.
It is clear that Federer is greater than Djokovic on grass/Wimbledon.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
We don’t know that. Novak Djokovic has exactly the number of slams he deserves.

:cool:
But what we do know is this.

Federer v Djokovic at USO = 6 meetings. More meetings between two ATG at USO than any other pairing. And unless you don't consider Federer to be anything special on HC, that means Djokovic had the tougher competition overall.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
But what we do know is this.

Federer v Djokovic at USO = 6 meetings. More meetings between two ATG at USO than any other pairing. And unless you don't consider Federer to be anything special on HC, that means Djokovic had the tougher competition overall.
Aye, but we don’t know he would have defeated Murray in 08 and Delpo in 09, as you were claiming.

:whistle:
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Aye, but we don’t know he would have defeated Murray in 08 and Delpo in 09, as you were claiming.

:whistle:
I can claim that, you disagree if you want, but what you can't disagree on is the original point I made in answering the question, that a big reason he doesn't have more USO is because he faced peak/prime Federer, in other words tougher competition. Go against that, and you crap on your own guy. ;)
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic would have picked up USO 07, 08 and 09 without Federer standing in his way.
Untestable, therefore unvalid argument. Murray in 2008 and Del Potro in 2012 could have beaten Djokovic. Or maybe not. The point is that it is an untestable remark and thus not valid.
 

Hitman

G.O.A.T.
Untestable, therefore unvalid argument. Murray in 2008 and Del Potro in 2012 could have beaten Djokovic. Or maybe not. The point is that it is an untestable remark and thus not valid.
Read the rest of the thread, I've gone over this already, it doesn't change my original point. :)
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
In general, yes, as Djokovic played at a good level more often, give him an accesible enough field and he racks up a lot of them like he did in Wimbledon.

Now I do give Nadal some credence for being a bit better in his top two runs, with USO 2010 being a hair better than USO 2011 and USO 2013 being a hair better than USO 2015, though a bit of Djoko underperforming and a mug performance in USO 2012 final had a say in the 4 vs 3.
2012 in particular, he was at the same level as 2011 before Windovic struck.
I never thought his 2010 run was as good as advertised. His draw up to the final didn’t test him enough and his rough patches were concealed by the strength (or lack thereof) of his opposition.

Gabashvili: Ranked 98th, career high of 43.

Istomin: 2-24 record against the top 10 on HC, ranked 39th.

Simon: Decent third round opponent.

Lopez: 283-266 career record on HC, two HC titles, lost six of his next seven matches.

Verdasco: 2 career titles on HC, 12-59 record against the top 10/5-41 against the top 5, played two 5-setters earlier in the tournament, lost five of his next seven matches. Was up a break in the first set, gave it away by hitting three UFE’s and two DF’s to hand it to Nadal, and then went away.

Youzhny: Better suited as a 3rd/4th round opponent, played 3-4 hours in his three preceding matches.


Edit: everything above is as of late 2018, this was an old post of mine, a tad altered. So, if the details are very slightly off, that’s why.

19 HC titles between these six guys, none above the 500 level, not one GS final, only three M1000 finals, and his QF and SF opponents were likely fatigued from playing so much tennis. If Federer or Djokovic got through that draw without losing a set no one would bat an eye, especially Federer who has a 53-2 H2H against those six guys.
 
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Sport

G.O.A.T.
Nadal got lucky draws while Djoker underperformed, that's all.
Facing Djokovic, the hard court GOAT, in 3 USO finals, is not a lucky draw. It is literally the toughest possible rival he could have faced.

If Nadal had a lucky draw at the US Open 2017 for facing Del Potro, then so did Djokovic when he faced only Del Potro at the US Open 2018. Unless you display a double standard.

If Nadal had a lucky draw for facing Medvedev at the USO 2019, then Djokovic got a lucky draw for facing Medvedev at the AO 2021. Unless you display a double standard.
 

Phoenix1983

G.O.A.T.
I can claim that, you disagree if you want, but what you can't disagree on is the original point I made in answering the question, that a big reason he doesn't have more USO is because he faced peak/prime Federer, in other words tougher competition. Go against that, and you crap on your own guy. ;)
Federer isn't my guy, as I've told you several times.
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
Federer v Djokovic at USO = 6 meetings
Federer v Nadal at USO = 0 meetings

Djokovic would have picked up USO 07, 08 and 09 without Federer standing in his way. But, it is what it is.

The stupid 2020 incident is all on Djokovic though.
And he would've picked up 2 more if he had beat Nadal in the 2010 and 2013 finals.

The big 3 have all hurt each other and stopped each other.

Messing up several set points in set 1 and a couple more in set 2 in that 07 final is all on Djokovic too. Just like he messed up his chance at 0-40 4 all in the 3rd in 2013.

Overall, Fed had stopped Nadal from a similar amount of glory that he has Djokovic. 17 AO, 06 & 07 WIM vs 3 US Opens and there is considerable doubt Novak would've beat Delpo in that final too btw...
 

Devtennis01

Legend
No. I read the surface of the US Open has a similar impact on the ball as it bounces as clay. Nice and high for Nadal.
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
That comparison is pointless as long as it can change in the blink of an eye. Nadal has only one more title so wait to see if he's gonna end up with more USO titles first.
 

Rosstour

Legend
In honesty, if Djokovic had won that one, it would have been daylight robbery, with two walkovers and one match ending with an injury, Novak sleepwalked his way to the final, and didn't face anyone who could expose his weakened level. Monfils was so pathetic in the semis, that was just embarassing from him. All the in form players, like Murray, Nishikori, Wawrinka, Del Potro etc were all on the other side.
I have a feeling that guys were rolling over for him on purpose.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Three factors:

- Higher peak at the US Open (2010 is a higher level than any of Djokovic's runs imo, and the 2013 run is probably superior to Djokovic's own next-best run)

- Luck of the draw (and I do want to emphasize "luck" here)

- Djokovic's very frequent underperforming there (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
Untestable, therefore unvalid argument. Murray in 2008 and Del Potro in 2012 could have beaten Djokovic. Or maybe not. The point is that it is an untestable remark and thus not valid.
Schwartzman is far more talented.

If Schwartzman had Kyrgios' height he would have won 27 Slams. Conversely, if Kyrgios had Schwartzman's height, he would be ranked outside the top 200.
Untestable claims are only invalid when it suits you, it seems.
 

Martin J

Professional
Novak has lost to four different opponents in the finals he reached at the USO. That doesn't happen by luck or accident and it's obvious that something is bothering him in NYC more than in Australia, for example. The courts that used to be faster, so his defense and return aren't as effective as on a medium paced court, the windy conditions he never enjoyed, the loud crowd or maybe the fact that it's the last slam so the players are usually more exhausted. He's had many chances to increase his USO trophy collection (more than Nadal anyway), but ended up with "only" three majors.
Nadal prefers the USO lively and high-bouncing courts and his offense can be scary if that lethal forehand of his clicks.
 

Martin J

Professional
Djokovic was 3-0 against Del Potro without dropping a set at that point. He knew exactly how to play him, took him out in straights in Rome that year also. And it wasn't like Del Potro was bad at the time of Rome, only a few weeks later, he gives Federer an almighty war at RG. Against Federer, Del Potro had started to get his game to a point where he could hurt him by the time USO happened, Federer barely survived RG....that RG match should have been Federer's wake up call.

I don't think Djokovic has any reason to do what Federer did, or even deviate from the game plan that had worked so effectively against Del Potro. Also keep in mind, Djokovic was far more experienced at this point than Del Potro, having already won the AO title. Del Potro did have good hitting off the backhand wing, but he was still going down in straights against Federer had Federer stayed with the tactic of working him over on that side, instead of mid match changing to forehand exchanges. Djokovic's game wasn't that bad either in 2009, he lost Cincy final to Federer and lost USO 2009 to Federer, it wasn't like he was losing to mugs during that period.

Anyways we can agree to disagree. No problems.
I know we are going into hypothetical areas, but I do think that Djokovic is a formidable match-up for Delpo and probably his toughest opponent on Tour. He feeds off the pace and is like a wall for those big hitters who usually exhaust themselves or eventually miss due to the low-percentage tennis and the insane amount of points in rallies they are forced to play.
It would be very hard for Delpo to beat him in 2009 imo.
 

Martin J

Professional
I never thought his 2010 run was as good as advertised. His draw up to the final didn’t test him enough and his rough patches were concealed by the strength (or lack thereof) of his opposition.

Gabashvili: Ranked 98th, career high of 43.

Istomin: 2-24 record against the top 10 on HC, ranked 39th.

Simon: Decent third round opponent.

Lopez: 283-266 career record on HC, two HC titles, lost six of his next seven matches.

Verdasco: 2 career titles on HC, 12-59 record against the top 10/5-41 against the top 5, played two 5-setters earlier in the tournament, lost five of his next seven matches. Was up a break in the first set, gave it away by hitting three UFE’s and two DF’s to hand it to Nadal, and then went away.

Youzhny: Better suited as a 3rd/4th round opponent, played 3-4 hours in his three preceding matches.


Edit: everything above is as of late 2018, this was an old post of mine, a tad altered. So, if the details are very slightly off, that’s why.

19 HC titles between these six guys, none above the 500 level, not one GS final, only three M1000 finals, and his QF and SF opponents were likely fatigued from playing so much tennis. If Federer or Djokovic got through that draw without losing a set no one would bat an eye, especially Federer who has a 53-2 H2H against those six guys.
Hey, how have you been, bro? Haven't heard from you for ages. Hope you and yours are well and healthy during this pandemic time.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Novak has lost to four different opponents in the finals he reached at the USO. That doesn't happen by luck or accident and it's obvious that something is bothering him in NYC more than in Australia, for example. The courts that used to be faster, so his defense and return aren't as effective as on a medium paced court, the windy conditions he never enjoyed, the loud crowd or maybe the fact that it's the last slam so the players are usually more exhausted. He's had many chances to increase his USO trophy collection (more than Nadal anyway), but ended up with "only" three majors.
Nadal prefers the USO lively and high-bouncing courts and his offense can be scary if that lethal forehand of his clicks.
Facts. Idk why people can't give Rafa a bit more credit here. Djokovic is simply not as comfortable in NY as Australia, and Nadal loves playing on Ashe. The courts there and in Canada really suit his game.
 

Winner

Semi-Pro
Nadal has weaker draws. For example, he played a three-time USO champion in the 2010, 2013 finals, whereas Djokovic had to deal with a 4-time-USO-champion.


Facing Djokovic, the hard court GOAT, in 3 USO finals, is not a lucky draw. It is literally the toughest possible rival he could have faced.

If Nadal had a lucky draw at the US Open 2017 for facing Del Potro, then so did Djokovic when he faced only Del Potro at the US Open 2018. Unless you display a double standard.

If Nadal had a lucky draw for facing Medvedev at the USO 2019, then Djokovic got a lucky draw for facing Medvedev at the AO 2021. Unless you display a double standard.
Saying Nadal's USO17 Del Potro-Anderson is weak is ridiculous. Those two players where the exact finals opponents of Djokovic's two upcoming slam titles. :D
 

Martin J

Professional
Facts. Idk why people can't give Rafa a bit more credit here. Djokovic is simply not as comfortable in NY as Australia, and Nadal loves playing on Ashe. The courts there and in Canada really suit his game.
I guess because the myth that he is just a clay court specialist started to spread at some point, so people couldn't explain how a red dirt expert could find success in HC major, completely ignoring the reality that he won two masters on HC and lost another close final to peak Federer in his breakthrough year.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I guess because the myth that he is just a clay court specialist started to spread at some point, so people couldn't explain how a red dirt expert could find success in HC major, completely ignoring the reality that he won two masters on HC and lose another close final to peak Federer in his breakthrough year.
The myth that Nadal sucks on HC is really tired lol. He only won the last USO he played! o_O
 

ElisRF

Professional
Djokovic was 3-0 against Del Potro without dropping a set at that point. He knew exactly how to play him, took him out in straights in Rome that year also. And it wasn't like Del Potro was bad at the time of Rome, only a few weeks later, he gives Federer an almighty war at RG. Against Federer, Del Potro had started to get his game to a point where he could hurt him by the time USO happened, Federer barely survived RG....that RG match should have been Federer's wake up call.

I don't think Djokovic has any reason to do what Federer did, or even deviate from the game plan that had worked so effectively against Del Potro. Also keep in mind, Djokovic was far more experienced at this point than Del Potro, having already won the AO title. Del Potro did have good hitting off the backhand wing, but he was still going down in straights against Federer had Federer stayed with the tactic of working him over on that side, instead of mid match changing to forehand exchanges. Djokovic's game wasn't that bad either in 2009, he lost Cincy final to Federer and lost USO 2009 to Federer, it wasn't like he was losing to mugs during that period.

Anyways we can agree to disagree. No problems.
Still don't know if Djokovic could sustain it and Cincy was a bit different format USO format and i would not say Del Potro at Rome was the same as at RG so yes agree to disagree.
 

TheFifthSet

Legend
Hey, how have you been, bro? Haven't heard from you for ages. Hope you and yours are well and healthy during this pandemic time.

Ayyy good to hear from you bro. I’m doing well. It’s been a little rocky, I was briefly hospitalized for none other than pneumonia caused by the Rona (26, no preexistings, immaculate health so it came as a bit of a surprise) so that wasn’t fun but I’m fine now. Mom caught it too but somehow despite her advanced age and arthritis fared better than I did which was a blessing. Hope the same for you and nice to see you back here.
 
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