Just watched Djokovic's RG presser...

TennisFan3

Legend
I said "if he plays well". He didn't play well for most of the year, and it is far from a given that he can do it now.
Even if plays well, he will be several levels BELOW his best. He's going to be 33. His best days are behind him. He suddenly won't start moving, and hitting his forehand, like he did in 2012/2013 etc.
Let's get used to it, that Nadal is not the best player anymore. Not even on clay. Time has passed by and he would need help from Novak to win RG.
Nothing lasts forever - not even Nadal's F.O record. It's as simple as that.
 

mwym

Rookie
So I think a potential Nadal-Djokovic final depends more on Nadal's level than the other way around.
Nadal is favorite for RG as long as he plays there.

Funny thing is, this RG match of Nadal and Djokovic (if it happens) might be the first that is the other way around - depending more on level of Djokovic.

We saw the best level of Nadal in Rome. We did not see the best level of Djokovic since AO19 SF and F. So, we are left guessing how high it is right at this moment, but so is Nadal.

We all know that on clay, against Thiem or anyone else, Djokovic cannot destroy the opponent in RG SF the way he destroyed Pouille in AO SF. Now, can he display the level oh his game on PC clay so high that it might scare Nadal or make him doubt his win, similar to the way it happened at AO19? It does not seem likely at all. But noone predicted AO19 final the way it happened because - it did not seem likely either.

So, the wise answer is - let's see the result and level of Djokovic in his SF first, against Thiem/whoever. Djokovic will play with alll he's got, at his absolute maximum level, exactly the same as he did at AO19. If he wins SF fast and convincingly, their chances in F will be equal.
 

Sport

Legend
Nadal is favorite for RG as long as he plays there.

Funny thing is, this RG match of Nadal and Djokovic (if it happens) might be the first that is the other way around - depending more on level of Djokovic.

We saw the best level of Nadal in Rome. We did not see the best level of Djokovic since AO19 SF and F. So, we are left guessing how high it is right at this moment, but so is Nadal.

We all know that on clay, against Thiem or anyone else, Djokovic cannot destroy the opponent in RG SF the way he destroyed Pouille in AO SF. Now, can he display the level oh his game on PC clay so high that it might scare Nadal or make him doubt his win, similar to the way it happened at AO19? It does not seem likely at all. But noone predicted AO19 final the way it happened because - it did not seem likely either.

So, the wise answer is - let's see the result and level of Djokovic in his SF first, against Thiem/whoever. Djokovic will play with alll he's got, at his absolute maximum level, exactly the same as he did at AO19. If he wins SF fast and convincingly, their chances in F will be equal.
I don't agree. It still depends on Nadal's level rather than the other way around. If Nadal plays like in Rome, Djokovic has no chance in my view. If Nadal plays like in Montecarlo or Madrid, Djokovic will have his chances.

In addition, you can't extrapolate from the AO because that is fast hard court, not clay. And Djokovic is not as good on clay. He can bring his best as much as he wants. That is not enough if Nadal plays like in Rome.
 
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Hitman

Bionic Poster
Even if plays well, he will be several levels BELOW his best. He's going to be 33. His best days are behind him. He suddenly won't start moving, and hitting his forehand, like he did in 2012/2013 etc.
Let's get used to it, that Nadal is not the best player anymore. Not even on clay. Time has passed by and he would need help from Novak to win RG.
Nothing lasts forever - not even Nadal's F.O record. It's as simple as that.
Djokovic himself is 32, he isn't in his prime either. You don't know if Djokovic can bring that intense level in brought back in his peak like in 2011.
 

TennisFan3

Legend
Djokovic himself is 32, he isn't in his prime either. You don't know if Djokovic can bring that intense level in brought back in his peak like in 2011.
Actually Djokovic has not declined as much as Nadal and Federer. I was looking at some of the highlights of his 2011 matches and watched completely a few matches (Such as 2011 F.O SF, 2011 Wimbledon/UsOpen and AO 2012 SF/F and some on clay as well).

The Novak of 2011/2012 was younger and faster for sure. Probably fitter as well. However, he has made some changes to his game. His serve for one is INFINITELY better than before. I've been shocked on how much better it has become than before. The pace, accuracy, aggressiveness - all of it. As a result, he has a much easier time on his serve than he did before. Also Novak's forehand is somehow even better than before. I really feel that now it can legitimately compare to the best in the game. He just seems to have more control when he hits low balls and can place it deeper and in the corners. His volleys are far better to.

In short, peak Djokovic (2011/2012, 2015/2016) was faster, stronger, fitter, better ROS, better defense, faster on the backhand etc. He used to play every match at 100% which is why he had long stretches where he would not even lose a match.
The current Djokovic is still very fast (way faster than Fedal) - has a FAR far better serve, better forehand, better volleys and generally a much smarter player. One who plays his best in big slam matches and does not waste his intensity. So the current Djokovic in slams might be even harder to beat than before. That is why he is on the verge of a Nole slam and maybe an outside chance of CYGS.

So yeah, Djokovic has been smarter than Fedal, he hasn't declined as much - which is why he is a dominant world #1 and holder of 3 slams and won last 3 slams without even losing a set in the final.
I'd argue that even closing 32, Djokovic is somehow able to play prime tennis. All credit to him. His tennis acumen is incomparable. I think better than Nadal and perhaps as much as Federer.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
If Djokovic wins this FO, he will have 17 by the end of the year and pass Nadal next year.

Djokovic didn’t want to kill himself in Rome after winning Madrid (a week before RG). Nadal, who needed a clay title to boost his confidence, took advantage of that. That will never happen at RG final.
 

Sport

Legend
If Djokovic wins this FO, he will have 17 by the end of the year and pass Nadal next year.

Djokovic didn’t want to kill himself in Rome after winning Madrid (a week before RG). Nadal, who needed a clay title to boost his confidence, took advantage of that. That will never happen at RG final.
Excuses, Nadal defeated Djokovic because he was in top form, not because Djokovic tanked or Nadal "took advantage". How can Nadal "take advantage" when he has 9 Rome titles and Djokovic only 4? By the way, Nadal leads Djokovic 6-1 at RG. So you talking of Nadal having no chance is wishful thinking.
 

duaneeo

Hall of Fame
I'd argue that even closing 32, Djokovic is somehow able to play prime tennis.
Djokovic's best days are behind him as well. He's won the last 3 slams, but not because he's still playing prime tennis, but because of the level of competition. Even Nadal (who is "going to be 33" and whose "best days are behind him") won 2018 RG, nearly won 2018 Wimbledon, and made the final of 2019 AO.

And even during his best days, Nole never played his best at Roland Garros.
 
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Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Excuses, Nadal defeated Djokovic because he was in top form, not because Djokovic tanked or Nadal "took advantage". How can Nadal "take advantage" when he has 9 Rome titles and Djokovic only 4? By the way, Nadal leads Djokovic 6-1 at RG. So you talking of Nadal having no chance is wishful thinking.
I didn’t say that Nadal has no chance. Of course he does. I’m just trying to explain what happened in Rome and that, in my view, Djokovic is the favorite. But being the favorite doesn’t mean you will surely win.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
Actually Djokovic has not declined as much as Nadal and Federer. I was looking at some of the highlights of his 2011 matches and watched completely a few matches (Such as 2011 F.O SF, 2011 Wimbledon/UsOpen and AO 2012 SF/F and some on clay as well).

The Novak of 2011/2012 was younger and faster for sure. Probably fitter as well. However, he has made some changes to his game. His serve for one is INFINITELY better than before. I've been shocked on how much better it has become than before. The pace, accuracy, aggressiveness - all of it. As a result, he has a much easier time on his serve than he did before. Also Novak's forehand is somehow even better than before. I really feel that now it can legitimately compare to the best in the game. He just seems to have more control when he hits low balls and can place it deeper and in the corners. His volleys are far better to.

In short, peak Djokovic (2011/2012, 2015/2016) was faster, stronger, fitter, better ROS, better defense, faster on the backhand etc. He used to play every match at 100% which is why he had long stretches where he would not even lose a match.
The current Djokovic is still very fast (way faster than Fedal) - has a FAR far better serve, better forehand, better volleys and generally a much smarter player. One who plays his best in big slam matches and does not waste his intensity. So the current Djokovic in slams might be even harder to beat than before. That is why he is on the verge of a Nole slam and maybe an outside chance of CYGS.

So yeah, Djokovic has been smarter than Fedal, he hasn't declined as much - which is why he is a dominant world #1 and holder of 3 slams and won last 3 slams without even losing a set in the final.
I'd argue that even closing 32, Djokovic is somehow able to play prime tennis. All credit to him. His tennis acumen is incomparable. I think better than Nadal and perhaps as much as Federer.
I understand your points, but on this surface and especially on this court, Nadal is still the man. Djokovic has a mountain of a challenge trying to do what has never been done, not even by him, and that is defeat Nadal in a RG final.

Nadal IS the favorite for the title, but, Djokovic is a solid contender. In other words, Nadal is not a lock.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
But you think Djokovic is the more likely winner of this match, all things being equal?
I would like your view on it all Hitman. You seem to be able to judge more than most people around here.
Obviously their form would make a prediction easier after a few matches. But how is it looking for you?
 

TennisFan3

Legend
I understand your points, but on this surface and especially on this court, Nadal is still the man. Djokovic has a mountain of a challenge trying to do what has never been done, not even by him, and that is defeat Nadal in a RG final.

Nadal IS the favorite for the title, but, Djokovic is a solid contender. In other words, Nadal is not a lock.
I respect your opinion Hitman. But I've got to say that Nadal's favorite status is based on the PAST. Not the current Nadal.
I've been watching Nadal for 15 years. This year on clay (and even before earlier this year and late last year), he just isn't the same player he used to be.
His movement is not as good. His shots don't have that much of chutzpah. He is late on almost everything, looks loath to take risks and his defense, ROS etc have also declined.
I think his last good year was 2017. Even 2018 he wasn't super impressive but there wasn't anyone to push him.

The 2019 Nadal is a step below even last year. People just point to Rome, but the fact is that Novak almost didn't show up for the final. Had Djokovic been 100% - Nadal would have lost. Even a depleted, B game Novak won a set. Now I'm not saying that Nadal can't play better or CANNOT win RG. What I'm saying is that based on his form this year, it is unlikely that he can turn the clock and suddenly play his best. And in that scenario, Djokovic would be favored. Even on clay.
 

Tennisgods

Hall of Fame
Djokovic has gone favourite for me. I expect both to make the final, comfortably, possibly dropping no sets along the way.
Feels like Djokovic might just have destiny on his side...

Fed would still be the closest thing we have to a GOAT though!!!
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
Giving the winner of 15 GS tournaments zero chance is stupid.
Djoker with a lot of self-confidence and physically fresh has a lot of chances this year, defeat Nadal.
We'll see. I still stand by what I said.

All the accolades in the world mean literally squat against Nadal at RG.
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
Are we getting a little bit ahead of ourselves. We just watched the R1. I don't have a clue what is going to happen. There are so many options. Rafa is still favorite to win, Nole is there and he is determined to fight for his life.

Dominic or Fog might do something great. What about Lajovic :happydevil:? Just an idea. :)
 
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