Is Rafael Nadal the best big match player among the BIG 3 ?

Nadal, the better big match player ?

  • Yes

    Votes: 31 40.3%
  • No

    Votes: 46 59.7%

  • Total voters
    77

Thriller

Professional
Many years ago he was. But now he turned into some hell of a choker.
Every great battle scarred player starts to have doubts in the big moments towards the end of their career. Navratilova turned into a terribly nervous player, how she lost that Wimbledon final to Conchita Martinez will remain an all time mystery. Serena, Roger, Pete, Steffi ... all of them towards the end of the career, not quite so clutch. Very unfair to judge an entire career by these moments of weakness.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
No, I think it's Djokovic. He beat Rafa handily in all those big matches in 2011 when they were fighting over No.1. Rafa was in the thick of his prime then and was mentally beat by Djokovic.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
And what happened in 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13 and 14? :D
Well, I certainly think Nadal is a great match player. Much as I think Nadal is better than Federer because of 2008-2009, I think Djokovic pips Nadal because of 2011 and then that 2012 AO final. Those spans are tiebreakers for me.
I rank them in terms of big match player 1. Djokovic. 2. Nadal..........3. Federer.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
Well, I certainly think Nadal is a great match player. Much as I think Nadal is better than Federer because of 2008-2009, I think Djokovic pips Nadal because of 2011 and then that 2012 AO final. Those spans are tiebreakers for me.
I rank them in terms of big match player 1. Djokovic. 2. Nadal..........3. Federer.
You can't really blame Federer for losing his 6th consecutive Wimbledon Final because no other player has come closer to win a slam 6 times in a row in the Open Era.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Every great battle scarred player starts to have doubts in the big moments towards the end of their career. Navratilova turned into a terribly nervous player, how she lost that Wimbledon final to Conchita Martinez will remain an all time mystery. Serena, Roger, Pete, Steffi ... all of them towards the end of the career, not quite so clutch. Very unfair to judge an entire career by these moments of weakness.
Djokovic is 34 and he is mentally stronger than ever. So there are really no excuses for Nadal.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yeah, I do think Nadal is the best big match player of the 3. Defended his turf every time when it mattered and was also able to beat Fedovic on their favorite surfaces, while they were never able to do the same on Rafa's favorite surface.

He also never truly lost a slam final to any lesser player when he was healthy. Fed lost to Delpo and Novak turned Stan and Murray into great players.
 

Tennis_Freak99

Hall of Fame
Yeah, I do think Nadal is the best big match player of the 3. Defended his turf every time when it mattered and was also able to beat Fedovic on their favorite surfaces, while they were never able to do the same on Rafa's favorite surface.

He also never truly lost a slam final to any lesser player when he was healthy. Fed lost to Delpo and Novak turned Stan and Murray into great players.
If Novak wins everything : Oh the era is so weak

If Novak loses to competition : he 'turned' them into great players. Really? How dumb is that.

Fed fans complain about 2003-2007 discussion being brought about and then say stuff like 'Novak turned Stanarray into great players'. Whoever wins, earns the victory. Nobody gifts anything.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
If Novak wins everything : Oh the era is so weak

If Novak loses to competition : he 'turned' them into great players. Really? How dumb is that.

Fed fans complain about 2003-2007 discussion being brought about and then say stuff like 'Novak turned Stanarray into great players'. Whoever wins, earns the victory. Nobody gifts anything.
I truly do think that Novak inflated their careers. Them winning a slam each is ok. But Novak losing multiple slam finals to them is too much, IMO. It's the reason why they are hyped up while Fed's competition gets thrown in the dumpster each time.
 

Tennis_Freak99

Hall of Fame
I truly do think that Novak inflated their careers. Them winning a slam each is ok. But Novak losing multiple slam finals to them is too much, IMO. It's the reason why they are hyped up while Fed's competition gets thrown in the dumpster each time.
That's a false statement. Novak lost to a better player the given day. Anybody who wins a slam final is better on that given day. Also, if GOAT criteria is determined first and foremost by slams, then Novak has to win at least 20 right? Does he think about losing finals 'to make my competition look better'? Of course not lol. These discussions are only on TTW and are nonsensical.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
Everyone at their peaks? Yes.
Currently? Djokovic by some distance.
Not sure about that. FO 2020 was hyped more than any tennis match in history. Nadal just went into God mode. Djokovic totally crumbled. It is why i think Djokovic will never get beyond 2 Majors close to the record. Three away is quite a long way away. 2 away is getting reachable and circle back (thanks Jen) to USO 2019 and how nervous Nadal was and the mindset is different.
Djokovic has pretty much lost every massive historic final or SF. FO 2012 was huge. He lost. FO 2013 was massively hyped he lost. USO 2013 was battle for best player that year he lost. WTF 2016 for YE1 v Murray he lost. FO 2015 v wawrinka after beating Nadal he lost. FO2020 he lost.
FO 2016 is the only historically significant match where there were other factors at play beyond just that event he won.
Rafa by contrast has literally won every huge match. W2008 USO 2010 FO 2013 SF USO 2013, FO 2012, FO 2020, he always delivers when the pressure is at its highest.
AO quarterfinals historically are his krptonite. Murray Berdych ferrer Thiem Tsitsipas. It is bizarre really.
 

Lew II

G.O.A.T.
From 2014 Wimbledon to 2020 AO Djokovic went 14-0 against his Big4 at Slams, almost perfectly distributed across all surfaces:

5 wins at Australian Open
2 wins at Roland Garros
4 wins at Wimbledon
2 wins at US Open

From 2014 Wimbledon to 2016 RG he went 8 consecutive Slams beating them with a total of 10 wins:

2014 WI beat Federer
2014 UO beat Murray
2015 AO beat Murray
2015 RG beat Nadal and Murray
2015 WI beat Federer
2015 UO beat Federer
2016 AO beat Federer and Murray
2016 RG beat Murray

Nadal has a better score against Big4 overall, but it was mostly "play them at RG and then wait for the next RG".
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
I think that Djokovic has surpassed Nadal's mental abilities thanks to the frequent meditation.

The Serb has truly mastered the Ultra Instinct.

Ahahah.
Beats up grandads and next generation mugs.

Very easy to go up two sets to Tsitsipas, choke the next two away and act like you got shot/fake a heart attack/fake SARS (like clockwork for Novaxx) and then beat up on injured weak mug in the fifth, pretending like he’s got balls.

Nadal was beating up a goat candidate in his peak and prime in 5 set thrillers.

Djokovic was busy getting assaulted by prime Federer and then for half prime couldn’t even beat the likes of Murray and Wawrinka (in his PRIME)

Very mentally stronk no?
 
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