Nadal - Djokovic H2H skewness... numbers

Is Nadal-Djokovic matches surface distribution skewed?

  • Yes, by big margine

  • Yes, a little bit

  • No

  • No, are you crazy


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blablavla

Legend
I take your "irrelevant" and raise it by one "irrelevant."

Nadal is an all-time great. The greatest clay-courter of all time, who won some non-clay court slams in a relatively weak era. He has also benefited from no one else so focused on clay. He has little competition there whereas there is far more quality competition on hardcourt and at least Djokovic and Federer compete again each other on grass. Not having won an AO or a Wi for ten years is very significant in the GOAT debate. Nadal is so good that he has won 2 US Opens on a very slow hard court that no longer exists. His winning days there are over.
"no one else so focused on clay"?
good story bro
go tell this to Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka and all the Spanish and South American armada

Also in AO, he might not have won in a decade, but how many finals he made there in these 10 years? not bad for a "so focused on clay" guy, isn't it?
also regarding Wim, how many SF he reached in the last 3 years? not bad for a "so focused on clay" guy, isn't it?
 

blablavla

Legend
Funny how you’re supposedly a “RAFAN” and you’re still peddling this BS 8-B Joker was great in 2007-2008, he made changes to his game in 2009-2010 that hurt his game, but that can happen when you change a winning formula. As someone who actually has celiac disease I can tell you emphatically that Joker doesn’t have celiac disease. And if you don’t believe me, you can take the man at his own word (you love to do this for Ol’ Rog).

In 2015-2016 RAFA had losses to his following pigeons and Joker at the schlems and other big events: Berdy at the AO, went the entire clay season without a title including losses to Fog 2x, Joker 2x (including RG where RAFA was dropping sets to Fat Sock), Murray, and Wawrinka. It was in the middle of his Wimby woes, and then he blew a 2-0 lead to Fog at the USO. In 2016 he lost to elder Fiasco in R1 at the AO, withdrew from RG to allow Joker to get his 1 RG. Didn’t play Wimby, and lost to Lucas Pouille who’s done nothing of consequence since then.

Comparing pre-2011 Joker to 2015-2016 Crapdal is about as disrespectful as it gets. But then again I’m talking to one of the biggest trolls here :whistle:
that creature isn't a fan.
it's a hater of anyone who can compete with Novak
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
7 matches in 2015-2016 to 2 matches in 2017-mid 2018 moar than makes up for that.
Debatable, Novak did benefit from not facing Fedal during his slump period concerning overall H2H but Nadal still faced him only once in a slam in that 2015-2016 period.

I just don't see H2H/slam H2H as some argument Nadal has over Novak, it seems like a crutch to me.
 

The Blond Blur

Hall of Fame
Debatable, Novak did benefit from not facing Fedal during his slump period concerning overall H2H but Nadal still faced him only once in a slam in that 2015-2016 period.

I just don't see H2H/slam H2H as some argument Nadal has over Novak, it seems like a crutch to me.
The threads about overall h2h which is why I keep bringing it up. What do you think would have happened had an out of form Joker got to play Fedal in 2017-mid 2018 :unsure:

I never bring up the schlem h2h when talking about Nadovic. It’s not a crutch for RAFA just like the overall h2h isn’t some huge point in Joker’s favor...it’s a measly 2 wins. The Nadovic rivalry has always been surface dependent. Joker is much better on HC and RAFA is much better on CC. Grass is 2-2.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
The threads about overall h2h which is why I keep bringing it up. What do you think would have happened had an out of form Joker got to play Fedal in 2017-mid 2018 :unsure:
I reckon he would have lost.

I never bring up the schlem h2h when talking about Nadovic. It’s not a crutch for RAFA just like the overall h2h isn’t some huge point in Joker’s favor...it’s a measly 2 wins. The Nadovic rivalry has always been surface dependent. Joker is much better on HC and RAFA is much better on CC. Grass is 2-2.
Fair enough.
 

swordtennis

G.O.A.T.
It is but that is life.
One reason i give considerable weight to the 2015 straight set victory over Nadal at the French Open.
I do not care if Nadal was not at his best.
Djokovic was there again in 2016 Nadal was not.
 

mahesh69a

Semi-Pro
Here are the actual numbers (slams only):

Slam
Possible meeting point
Djokovic failed to reach Nadal
Nadal failed to reach Djokovic
Both Failed
Both reached
Winner
Current H2H
Absent/Withdrew. Who?
AO 2005​
F​
1​
RG 2005​
F​
1​
W 2005​
SF​
2​
UO 2005​
F​
3​
AO 2006​
Nadal​
RG 2006​
QF​
1​
Nadal​
0-1​
W 2006​
SF​
2​
UO 2006​
SF​
4​
AO 2007​
F​
5​
RG 2007​
SF​
2​
Nadal​
0-2​
W 2007​
SF​
3​
Nadal​
0-3​
UO 2007​
SF​
1​
AO 2008​
F​
2​
RG 2008​
SF​
4​
Nadal​
0-4​
W 2008​
F​
3​
UO 2008​
F​
6​
AO 2009​
F​
4​
RG 2009​
F​
7​
W 2009​
Nadal​
UO 2009​
F​
8​
AO 2010​
F​
9​
RG 2010​
SF​
5​
W 2010​
F​
6​
UO 2010​
F​
5​
Nadal​
0-5​
AO 2011​
F​
3​
RG 2011​
F​
7​
W 2011​
F​
6​
Djokovic​
1-5​
UO 2011​
F​
7​
Djokovic​
2-5​
AO 2012​
F​
8​
Djokovic​
3-5​
RG 2012​
F​
9​
Nadal​
3-6​
W 2012​
F​
10​
UO 2012​
Nadal​
 
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mahesh69a

Semi-Pro
Slam
Possible meeting point
Djokovic failed to reach Nadal
Nadal failed to reach Djokovic
Both Failed
Both reached
Winner
Current H2H
Absent/Withdrew. Who?
AO 2013​
Nadal​
RG 2013​
SF​
10​
Nadal​
3-7​
W 2013​
F​
4​
UO 2013​
F​
11​
Nadal​
3-8​
AO 2014​
F​
8​
RG 2014​
F​
12​
Nadal​
3-9​
W 2014​
F​
5​
UO 2014​
Nadal​
AO 2015​
F​
6​
RG 2015​
QF​
13​
Djokovic​
4-9​
W 2015​
F​
7​
UO 2015​
QF​
8​
AO 2016​
F​
9​
RG 2016​
SF​
10​
W 2016​
Nadal​
UO 2016​
SF​
11​
AO 2017​
SF​
9​
RG 2017​
SF​
10​
W 2017​
F​
11​
UO 2017​
Djokovic​
AO 2018​
F​
12​
RG 2018​
F​
11​
W 2018​
SF​
14​
Djokovic​
5-9​
UO 2018​
F​
12​
15​
Djokovic​
6-9​
AO 2019​
F​
RG 2019​
F​
12​
W 2019​
F​
13​
UO 2019​
F​
13​
AO 2020​
F​
14​
RG 2020​
F​
16​
Nadal​
6-10​
UO 2020​
Nadal​
AO 2021​
F​
15​
 
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BauerAlmeida

Professional
9) Sampras has more AOs, more Wimbledons, more USOs. His grand slam titles are definitely more evenly distributed than that of Nadals. There are 3 surfaces played on tour, Sampras is more successfull/better at 2 of them. More versatile player as Nadal is only better at one.

10) There is only one clay slam on tour. There are two HC slams on tour. Your argument is therefore invalid.

The count is as follows:

HC Slams: Djoko 12, Nadal 5
Grass slams: Djoko 5, Nadal 2.
Clay slams: Nadal 13, Djoko 1.

Conclusion: Djokovic is considerably better at 2/3 surfaces than nadal while nadal is considerably better at one surface = Djokovic the much more completer player unfortunately.
Not quite regarding Sampras. He has only one more USO than Nadal and only one more AO, that's not enough to compensate Nadal being quite more dominant at RG than Sampras at Wimbledon and him being also much better at Wimbledon than Sampras at RG.
 

mahesh69a

Semi-Pro
Observations based on the actual numbers I posted above:

Out of 16 possible RGs, they met at 8 (Nadal leads 7-1) - so 50% of possible encounters actually happened. Its also 50% of all encounters.
Out of 48 possible other tournaments, they met at 8 (Djokovic leads 5-3) - so only 16.67% of possible encounters actually happened. Nadal failed to reach Djokovic in 14 of these slams and was absent in a further 7.
The skew data can't be clearer.

Edit : The data points to a skew - whether it matters or not is a different question and is upto fandoms, biases etc.

Interesting points in some of the instances where they both failed to reached the meeting point - in UO 2008 and UO 2009 both lost in SF, in AO 2010 both lost in QF.
 
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serve

Rookie
Observations based on the actual numbers I posted above:

Out of 16 possible RGs, they met at 8 (Nadal leads 7-1) - so 50% of possible encounters actually happened. Its also 50% of all encounters.
Out of 48 possible other tournaments, they met at 8 (Djokovic leads 5-3) - so only 16.67% of possible encounters actually happened. Nadal failed to reach Djokovic in 14 of these slams and was absent in a further 7.
The skew data can't be clearer.
and none of that matters ... H2H does not need to align with tour surface distribution. You want to see how skew looks like, check the Borg-McEnroe rivalry. Never heard a Borg fan whine about that ...
 

lucky13

Rookie
Slam
Possible meeting point
Djokovic failed to reach Nadal
Nadal failed to reach Djokovic
Both Failed
Both reached
Winner
Current H2H
Absent/Withdrew. Who?
AO 2013​
Nadal​
RG 2013​
SF​
10​
Nadal​
3-7​
W 2013​
F​
4​
UO 2013​
F​
11​
Nadal​
3-8​
AO 2014​
F​
8​
RG 2014​
F​
12​
Nadal​
3-9​
W 2014​
F​
5​
UO 2014​
Nadal​
AO 2015​
F​
6​
RG 2015​
QF​
13​
Djokovic​
4-9​
W 2015​
F​
7​
UO 2015​
QF​
8​
AO 2016​
F​
9​
RG 2016​
SF​
10​
W 2016​
Nadal​
UO 2016​
SF​
11​
AO 2017​
SF​
9​
RG 2017​
SF​
10​
W 2017​
F​
11​
UO 2017​
Djokovic​
AO 2018​
F​
12​
RG 2018​
F​
11​
W 2018​
SF​
14​
Djokovic​
5-9​
UO 2018​
F​
12​
15​
Djokovic​
6-9​
AO 2019​
F​
RG 2019​
F​
12​
W 2019​
F​
13​
UO 2019​
F​
13​
AO 2020​
F​
14​
RG 2020​
F​
16​
Nadal​
6-10​
UO 2020​
Nadal​
AO 2021​
F​
15​
rafa failed 15 + 7
nole failed 13 + 1
 

duaneeo

Legend
I see it more as Djokovic's fault that he wasn't good enough to face Nadal in AO finals in 2014 and 2017.
Add 2009 as well, as Nole was the defending champion.

Can you guys imagine what would realistically distribute h2h look like?
Actually, the skewness towards clay makes their H2H more fair. Clay is Rafa's best surface, and hard is Djokovic's best surface. If they were to only meet 25/33% on clay compared to 50/67% on hard at the slams/Masters, this would give Nole an unfair advantage.

Federer is the only one screwed, as there is only 1 grass slam, no grass Masters, and Nadalovic have avoided playing Halle.
 

beard

Hall of Fame
Add 2009 as well, as Nole was the defending champion.



Actually, the skewness towards clay makes their H2H more fair. Clay is Rafa's best surface, and hard is Djokovic's best surface. If they were to only meet 25/33% on clay compared to 50/67% on hard at the slams/Masters, this would give Nole an unfair advantage.

Federer is the only one screwed, as there is only 1 grass slam, no grass Masters, and Nadalovic have avoided playing Halle.
Clay is a minor surface in ATP tennis calendar, compared to hard court... So, no. They should play proportionally to surface structure on tour...
Imagine Federer played half of his matches against Nadal on grass... Fair?
Tour is what it is, Nadal specialized minor surface...
 

Antonio Puente

Hall of Fame
Either Djoker's the most complete player ever or he's not. Most complete player ever in smaller tournaments, perhaps.

The real difference: the clay GOAT is always in the RG final while the HC GOAT does not always make the AO or USO finals and loses the USO final more than he wins it.
 

blablavla

Legend
Correct - but on non-clay slams, they met 8 out of 48 times - so out of the 40 times they missed, a majority 21 (14+7) are due to Rafa, 8 (7+1) are due to Nole and 11 instances where they both failed.
you've been beaten with your own numbers
accept it and move on
 

blablavla

Legend
Clay is a minor surface in ATP tennis calendar, compared to hard court... So, no. They should play proportionally to surface structure on tour...
Imagine Federer played half of his matches against Nadal on grass... Fair?
Tour is what it is, Nadal specialized minor surface...
they should and probably would, if Nole wouldn't chicken out like he did for example at USO 2019
can't blame Nadal for going all the way to the final, and facing someone else than Nole during all matches
 

mahesh69a

Semi-Pro
you've been beaten with your own numbers
accept it and move on
I gave details of slam results in my data tables. I don't have a fave in the Big 3.
There's nothing to be beaten - the skew (8/16 on clay vs 8/48 in other slams) is obvious for anyone with even a couple of grey cells.
The interpretation of the skew is up to individuals' biases.
 
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"Surface distribution" to skew H2H? Why not address AGE, when Federer is 5 years older than Nadal and 6 years older than Djokovic? It mattered little 10-15 years ago, but it's been monumental since 2013.
Of course age matters. And Federer who had advantages over aging and weaker players has had it harder with Djokovic and Nadal being younger. So while I do think Federer "feasted" on weaker competition early in his career and Djokovic came up when Federer and Nadal were still in their prime, Djokovic may play long enough to "feast" when hey are retired or older.
 
"no one else so focused on clay"?
good story bro
go tell this to Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka and all the Spanish and South American armada

Also in AO, he might not have won in a decade, but how many finals he made there in these 10 years? not bad for a "so focused on clay" guy, isn't it?
also regarding Wim, how many SF he reached in the last 3 years? not bad for a "so focused on clay" guy, isn't it?
*Sigh* I have said all along that Nadal is an all time great and in the GOAT discussion. He has managed to get to SF and F and yes, even won on hardcourt and grass though mostly a long time ago. My point is that Nadal and Uncle Toni knowing that only 1/4 slams was on clay, chose to focus on the best clay game possible that also fit Nadal's skills. There is no one else in his class who has so focused on clay. So a S American clay courter who is ranked 50th does not change my argument.

You proved my point by bringing up Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Wawrinka who all can play well on clay, but have made their game much broader for other surfaces, Nadal chose not to do that which is his choice. It has made him the greatest clay courter of all time, just not the GOAT.
 

duaneeo

Legend
Clay is a minor surface in ATP tennis calendar, compared to hard court... So, no. They should play proportionally to surface structure on tour...
Rafa made 20 HC slam/WTF/Masters finals that Nole failed to reach. Had Nole done so, they would've met more proportionally to the surface structure on tour.
 
and none of that matters ... H2H does not need to align with tour surface distribution. You want to see how skew looks like, check the Borg-McEnroe rivalry. Never heard a Borg fan whine about that ...
Of course it matters. The amazing thing with the numbers just given is that Djokovic leads Nadal after Nadal's early lead and the many times that Nadal has failed to reach him in grass or hardcourt tournaments.
 
I gave details of slam results in my data tables. I don't have a fave in the Big 3.
There's nothing to be beaten - the skew (8/16 on clay vs 8/48 in other slams) is obvious for anyone with even a couple of grey cells.
The interpretation of the skew is up to individuals' biases.
Well said.
 
I gave details of slam results in my data tables. I don't have a fave in the Big 3.
There's nothing to be beaten - the skew (8/16 on clay vs 8/48 in other slams) is obvious for anyone with even a couple of grey cells.
The interpretation of the skew is up to individuals' biases.
As you said, the skew is there. Nadal fans should argue that skew doesn't matter, not that it is not there. By the way, Djokovic has beaten many more Top Ten players by a large margin than Nadal also.

Back to skew: If skew doesn't matter, answer me this, if Nadal had 20 slams all at RG and 35 wins all at MC, Madrid, and Rome would it matter in the Goat debate? I say of course it does. He is a clay court specialist. The fact that 65% of the wins are at RG rather than 100% and 71% clay at Masters just shows he is not a pure clay court player. Just not as balanced as Federer and Djokovic in his wins.
 
Incorrect. You strategically omitted the Olympics. Novak has 0 wins over Rafa at the Olympics, with the Olympics being an important/big tournament. The Olympics are equally relevant than the ATP finals.
Sure Olympic Gold is a feather in his cap. That is one gold to fFederer's 1 silver, and Djokovic's one bronze. So let's compare that to ATP finals: Federer 6, Djokovic 5, and Nadal O (2 finals). Id much rather have those than one Olympic Gold.
 
Could you imagine what Nadal's record would be if there were 2 clay slams (and 1 hard and 1 grass slam)? The world would be at his mercy
But this argument makes no sense. When he was training, he and Uncle Toni new that there was only 1 clay slam. We could just as easily suggest that what if there were 3 grass slams which there were in the 1960s. Nadal could have altered his play like others who started more as clay court players, and been more competitive on non-clay surfaces. But either they chose not to or maybe Toni encouraged him to change, but Nadal, being a creature of habit, said no.
 

beard

Hall of Fame
Rafa made 20 HC slam/WTF/Masters finals that Nole failed to reach. Had Nole done so, they would've met more proportionally to the surface structure on tour.
Wow, 20 of about 200...great...
But ok, I already answered this "argument" in details, go back if interested...
 

MadariKatu

Semi-Pro
*Sigh* I have said all along that Nadal is an all time great and in the GOAT discussion. He has managed to get to SF and F and yes, even won on hardcourt and grass though mostly a long time ago. My point is that Nadal and Uncle Toni knowing that only 1/4 slams was on clay, chose to focus on the best clay game possible that also fit Nadal's skills. There is no one else in his class who has so focused on clay. So a S American clay courter who is ranked 50th does not change my argument.

You proved my point by bringing up Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Wawrinka who all can play well on clay, but have made their game much broader for other surfaces, Nadal chose not to do that which is his choice. It has made him the greatest clay courter of all time, just not the GOAT.
Don't know about Murray, but Wawrinka's preferred surface is clay and both Djokovic and Federer have said that they grew up playing on clay. If Nadal's breakthrough year was 2005, one year later he made it already into Wimbledon final. Doesn't sound to me as choosing to focus on clay. It's just that he is a natural clay courter. He had to adapt to hard, which he did greatly.

You say there is no one else in his class who has so focused on clay. Well, there aren't that many on his class, right? Federer and Djokovic, and that's it.
You also mention that Murray and Wawrinka have made their game much broader for other surfaces. Nadal's achievements out of clay compared to theirs responds to this argument. And it's not just his wins, but also some of his losses (AO 2012, W 2018, W 2007, AO 2017)
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Nadal and Djokovic met 8 times at Roland Garros .

Nadal and Djokovic met 8 times at Australian open , Wimbledon , US Open combined .

This is not even about who is the Greater player among the two . it's just that If Nadal fans still think that this is balanced slam distribution , I think there is no use of further discussion on this topic !
 

NoleIsBoat

Hall of Fame
If Novak had reached the AO 2009, AO 2014 and AO 2017 finals, they would have faced each other 3 extra times at the AO. Unfortunately, Djokovic is much less consistent at the AO than Nadal at RG. You are penalizing Nadal for being more consistent at RG than Novak at the AO, which makes no sense.

Besides, if Djokovic had won all his WB and USO matches against Nadal, he would lead the H2H in Slams. So not a valid excuse.


Untestable claim, therefore invalid. Plus, it is unrealistic to expect them to face each other the exact same number of times at each Major.
That’s 3 finals Djokovic failed to reach.

Nadal failed to reach Djokovic in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2020 and 2021.

So Nadal was more to blame for there only being 2 AO meetings.
 
Don't know about Murray, but Wawrinka's preferred surface is clay and both Djokovic and Federer have said that they grew up playing on clay. If Nadal's breakthrough year was 2005, one year later he made it already into Wimbledon final. Doesn't sound to me as choosing to focus on clay. It's just that he is a natural clay courter. He had to adapt to hard, which he did greatly.

You say there is no one else in his class who has so focused on clay. Well, there aren't that many on his class, right? Federer and Djokovic, and that's it.
You also mention that Murray and Wawrinka have made their game much broader for other surfaces. Nadal's achievements out of clay compared to theirs responds to this argument. And it's not just his wins, but also some of his losses (AO 2012, W 2018, W 2007, AO 2017)
I am aware that all the players have a lot of clay background. However, I disagree that Nadal is a natural clay courter. He could have developed a much stronger serve for example or chosen to stand closer to the back line to return serves which is a more offensive position and better for hardcourt and grass. My suggestion is that if I taylor my game to ideally fit RG that it is at the cost of not doing as well at other slams and other hardcourt tournaments. Has he done well? Absolutely! He is one of the greatest of all time. Would he have done better if he had focused more on the things he needed to to be stronger on hardcourt and grass. I believe so. Obviously this is speculative. But maybe he would have 25 slams now with only 9 or 10 at RG, but more at the other slams.
 

serve

Rookie
But this argument makes no sense. When he was training, he and Uncle Toni new that there was only 1 clay slam. We could just as easily suggest that what if there were 3 grass slams which there were in the 1960s. Nadal could have altered his play like others who started more as clay court players, and been more competitive on non-clay surfaces. But either they chose not to or maybe Toni encouraged him to change, but Nadal, being a creature of habit, said no.
Please enlighten me and name those fabled clay-court players that achieved the versatility and all-surface success that Nadal (youngest winner of career grand slam) unfurtunately never could ...
 
Please enlighten me and name those fabled clay-court players that achieved the versatility and all-surface success that Nadal (youngest winner of career grand slam) unfurtunately never could ...
No one has achieved the same success, because he specialized in the clay court style and is extremely talented. As has been mentioned, Djokovic, Federer, Wawrinka, and others have started on clay also, but they graduated to a more all-around game than Nadal. It is because of his talent, his never-say-die on every point, and sometimes some luck of the draw (which everyone can have) that he has accomplished as much as he has on other surfaces. I just believe he would have accomplished more if he had broadened his game.
 
By broaden his game I mean things like hit a flatter ball, develop a better serve, return closer to the back line, and volley more. I'd love to hear what tennis coaches have to say. Maybe I am completely wrong.
 

BauerAlmeida

Professional
7 matches in 2015-2016 to 2 matches in 2017-mid 2018 moar than makes up for that.
Nadal's slump was longer, that's why they played more matches in his slump. You're ignoring the early matches when Djokovic was up and coming and Nadal already established. And you're conflating total H2H with slam H2H. Also when they met at Wimbledon Djokovic was still in his slump, Nadal gave him life not closing out the match.
 

BauerAlmeida

Professional
It is 100% untestable. Applying the winning % in the H2H is not a valid measure, because it cannot calculate which player will win X or Y match. It also assumes the winnig % will maintain continuous, when it can change over time.
So we just ignore the MASSIVE difference of seven matches at one's best slam and two at the other's?

The only way to calculate how things would be in evenly distributed encounters is that one.
 

CHillTennis

Rookie
Nadal has a winning head to head against Djokovic at the US Open.

It's not like he's incapable of beating him anywhere outside of Roland Garros.
 

Tony48

Legend
Of course the slam H2H is skewed toward clay. Any attempt to "explain" it is spin, pure and simple. They meet more often on Nadal's favorite surface (of which there is minimal representation on tour) than Djokovic's favorite surface (of which there is greater representation). There's a huge imbalance. Period.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
Nadal and Djokovic met 8 times at Roland Garros .

Nadal and Djokovic met 8 times at Australian open , Wimbledon , US Open combined .

This is not even about who is the Greater player among the two . it's just that If Nadal fans still think that this is balanced slam distribution , I think there is no use of further discussion on this topic !
the OP could have just explained it like this but instead chose the most complicated way possible lol:D
 
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