Nadal's success at the US Open feels even more astonishing now

weakera

G.O.A.T.
2010 was a very nice draw for Nadal, he faced 4 players who played a 5 setter just before, coming back from at least a 2 sets to 1 deficit. 2010 Djokovic was also pretty weak.
2013, his best USO imo, he had a soft draw until the final, but he played this one very well.
2017, i'm laughing at your Del Potro thing, Del Potro was coming back and completely gassed when he faced Nadal. The weakest draw in a long time for a slam winner
2019, it's an ok win, over uprising players, but they were pretty immature tbh, Medvedev gave 2 sets away before starting to play.

The way i see it, Nadal managed usually to avoid tough matches at the USO except some finals, when being fresher from avoiding tough matches before helped him.
Djokovic had a harder time all in all, even considering the considerable luck he had to get to the USO 2016 final and the not so tough 2015 and 2018 draws. At least each times he faced fresh opponents.

2010 - There wasn't a draw imaginable that could slow down Nadal with his neo serve. Nice to see him slay Djokovic in the final.
2013 - Yep, great slam win for Nadal. Nice to see him slay Djokovic in the final.
2017 - You mean the same Del Potro who had just butchered Federer like a ham in the QF? LOL. Face facts kiddo - Nadal had Djokovic's 2018 Final opponent in his 2017 semi. Accept it.
2019 - Yep, great slam win for Nadal. Beat Djokovic's conqueror yesterday after Meddy was on a run of four straight finals, Cincy title (beating Djokovic) and a 12-match win streak.

No luck kiddo, just epicness from Nadal ;)
 
Arguable, his level in 3rd/4th set in 2019 was better than yesterday IMO. Rafa would wail on those dropshots big time and force Med to go for more, he's just a bad matchup for med on most courts IMO.
There was no 4th set yesterday lel.
The third sets were very different in terms of mental situation & opponent level, Medvedev kinda didn't play his best in the yesterday's third set because it was enough. Can't compare straight. 2nd sets seem even and the 1st was better in '21 so there.
 
Yeah Nadal is greater than djoko at us open. It certainly gives a big boost to rafa’s legacy. Plus I feel that might have been Novak’s last chance to win a 4th us open. The next gen players will likely dominate it now. Meddy or Zverev will compete for it next year most likely.
 
People have been denigrating some of his recent US Open wins as "cakewalks". The "Berretini Open", where he best Danil Medvedev in the final was dismissed as an easy title, despite Medvedev being the clear form hardcourt player of that year. .

Yet Medvedev destroyed Djokovic, the "hardcourt GOAT " in a US Open final, in straight sets. Bit hard to dismiss Nadal's last title run now.

Djokovic is a great player everywhere and on every surface, but it's fascinating how the New York hardcourts somehow seem to benefit Nadal more.
I think the USO has slowed the courts considerably in the last 10 to 15 years. Australia has seemed slow for a while, combined with the humidity and heat. I guess of the two, Rafa performs better on slower surfaces? I think Novak was pretty good on fast courts for a time.
 
Yeah Nadal is greater than djoko at us open. It certainly gives a big boost to rafa’s legacy. Plus I feel that might have been Novak’s last chance to win a 4th us open. The next gen players will likely dominate it now. Meddy or Zverev will compete for it next year most likely.
Never say never. Djokovic has less miles on his wheels than Rafa. Both are still a good 5 years younger than Roger and I think both are capable and will in fact win more slams. It will just be more nail bitters and luck thrown in with them giving it everything they've got. It was quite a nice dream to see Roger win a few more at the twilight of his career and I'm sure the other two have a few more in them. At this age it just takes a little more luck to raise that trophy.
 
Never say never. Djokovic has less miles on his wheels than Rafa. Both are still a good 5 years younger than Roger and I think both are capable and will in fact win more slams. It will just be more nail bitters and luck thrown in with them giving it everything they've got. It was quite a nice dream to see Roger win a few more at the twilight of his career and I'm sure the other two have a few more in them. At this age it just takes a little more luck to raise that trophy.
They will both have chances but it depends on the younger guys. Once they truly established they will take over. Being 9-10 years older is massive in tennis terms. It will get extremely difficult for Djokovic or nadal to beat the younger guys going forwards especially when they become established as great on all surfaces too.
 

duaneeo

Legend
Really? You didn't see Nadal had won Canada Open and Cincinnati back to back and was in dominant form? Even tennis reporters tweeted how good Nadal looked in practice sessions. He was the favourite for 2013.
Winning Canada and Cincinnati didn't make Nadal the favorite over the player who won 2011/2012/2013 AO and 2011 USO.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
People have been denigrating some of his recent US Open wins as "cakewalks". The "Berretini Open", where he best Danil Medvedev in the final was dismissed as an easy title, despite Medvedev being the clear form hardcourt player of that year. .

Yet Medvedev destroyed Djokovic, the "hardcourt GOAT " in a US Open final, in straight sets. Bit hard to dismiss Nadal's last title run now.

Djokovic is a great player everywhere and on every surface, but it's fascinating how the New York hardcourts somehow seem to benefit Nadal more.
I am not one of those to dismiss it and I think it shouldn't be dismissed, but you should be aware that the Medvedev of 2021 was better than the one of 2019.
 

Backspin1183

G.O.A.T.
Winning Canada and Cincinnati didn't make Nadal the favorite over the player who won 2011/2012/2013 AO and 2011 USO.
I don't think winning the AO makes one the favourite for USO. It doesn't make sense if someone who wins Canada and Cincinnati back to back isn't the favourite for US Open.
 

duaneeo

Legend
I don't think winning the AO makes one the favourite for USO. It doesn't make sense if someone who wins Canada and Cincinnati back to back isn't the favourite for US Open.
Nole won 3 consecutive AOs, made 3 consecutive USO finals (beating Rafa in 2011), and was 4-0 vs Nadal in HC finals since 2011. It's doesn't make sense that Rafa would be favored over him in the USO final.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
Delpo and Anderson played one decent set between them lol.

Typical of the bullfans to crawl out of the woodwork and to try and conflate 2019/2021 Medvedev lol.
"Crawl out of the woodwork"? I've been posting regularly here as ever the past few months lol, get a grip.

Medvedev didn't play a decent set in the AO final this year, doesn't mean he's not a decent player, Novak was just too good.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
Nole won 3 consecutive AOs, made 3 consecutive USO finals (beating Rafa in 2011), and was 4-0 vs Nadal in HC finals since 2011. It's doesn't make sense that Rafa would be favored over him in the USO final.
I think you have to take into account Rafa's win over Novak in Canada that year. That was a very high quality 3 set match, Novak was not phoning it in, but Rafa still won. It was a clear sign that Rafa and Novak's rivalry off-clay was back.

Their last HC final before that was AO 2012 which was an absolute nail-biter obviously, so by "4-0 since 2011" you're really just saying Novak dominated 2011 - no kidding, but 2013 was not 2011.

I don't blame anyone for picking Novak that year as favorite, but Rafa could've just as easily if not moreso been considered the favorite.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Really? You didn't see Nadal had won Canada Open and Cincinnati back to back and was in dominant form? Even tennis reporters tweeted how good Nadal looked in practice sessions. He was the favourite for 2013.
It didn't look good for Nadal at 4-4 in the third set, 1 set all, and Nadal 0-40 down on serve. Nadal got out of it, broke Djokovic in the next game, and then won the fourth set 6-1.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
"Crawl out of the woodwork"? I've been posting regularly here as ever the past few months lol, get a grip.

Medvedev didn't play a decent set in the AO final this year, doesn't mean he's not a decent player, Novak was just too good.
I wasn't referring to you, just the OP and a few others. Poorly formated that reply I guess.

What's the point of being a "decent player" if you don't play like it? Neither Nadal in 2017 or Djokovic this year were anywhere close to unbeatable.
 

duaneeo

Legend
I think you have to take into account Rafa's win over Novak in Canada that year. That was a very high quality 3 set match, Novak was not phoning it in, but Rafa still won.
And Djokovic had beaten Nadal at 2013 Monte Carlo (in straight sets). That didn't make him the favorite over Rafa at 2013 RG.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
I wasn't referring to you, just the OP and a few others. Poorly formated that reply I guess.

What's the point of being a "decent player" if you don't play like it? Neither Nadal in 2017 or Djokovic this year were anywhere close to unbeatable.
As far as being decent players, it certainly makes the match more threatening. Take the final the other day for instance, Medvedev beat Novak and FAA both in straights. But Novak was tougher because you knew if Med ever let up, that decent player could start playing better and turn the match around.

I'm not calling Rafa's USO 2017 or 2019 a tough draw, but when you look at the draws this year you realize that it wasn't nearly as poor as people make it out to be - at least compared to these years' draws. Compare it to peak Big 3/4 years and of course every draw looks weak.

I believe that's the point of the OP as well.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
And Djokovic had beaten Nadal at 2013 Monte Carlo (in straight sets). That didn't make him the favorite over Rafa at 2013 RG.
No, but it showed he was a contender and the 5 set match at RG 2013 bore that out. I wouldn't have blamed anyone for thinking Novak would win RG that year, and they were very nearly right.

And Novak's record and reputation at the USO is not nearly the same as Rafa's at RG, so all the above is doubly true for the USO that year.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
As far as being decent players, it certainly makes the match more threatening. Take the final the other day for instance, Medvedev beat Novak and FAA both in straights. But Novak was tougher because you knew if Med ever let up, that decent player could start playing better and turn the match around.

I'm not calling Rafa's USO 2017 or 2019 a tough draw, but when you look at the draws this year you realize that it wasn't nearly as poor as people make it out to be - at least compared to these years' draws. Compare it to peak Big 3/4 years and of course every draw looks weak.

I believe that's the point of the OP as well.
I care about what actually happens on the court man. Playing Djokovic in a slam final poses extra mental baggage but the quality of the ball in play matters more unless you're a mental mug imo. I think Nadal's 2017 draw was pitiful tbh, 2019 was ok because Medvedev was indeed decent - but I think he looked more threatening than he should have been due to Nadal's weakness but that's par for the course in this era.

Certainly I don't rate any of Nadal's USO draws as tough though. He's never had to play more than one good/well playing opponent in any of his runs. Plus Djokovic pretty obviously underperformed in those two finals. He has three pretty standard wins at the USO and one weak one imo.

Also the point of the OP is blowing smoke up Nadal's backside lol.
 

topher

Hall of Fame
I care about what actually happens on the court man. Playing Djokovic in a slam final poses extra mental baggage but the quality of the ball in play matters more unless you're a mental mug imo. I think Nadal's 2017 draw was pitiful tbh, 2019 was ok because Medvedev was indeed decent - but I think he looked more threatening than he should have been due to Nadal's weakness but that's par for the course in this era.

Certainly I don't rate any of Nadal's USO draws as tough though. He's never had to play more than one good/well playing opponent in any of his runs. Plus Djokovic pretty obviously underperformed in those two finals. He has three pretty standard wins at the USO and one weak one imo.

Also the point of the OP is blowing smoke up Nadal's backside lol.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Medvedev in 2019 was "indeed decent" to you because Rafa let him back in the match. 2017 Rafa would have finished that match in straights and you'd be calling the exact same Medvedev "pitiful" just like Anderson.

Rafa's draws are ridiculed because he played unrelentingly well and some decent players were under-ranked at the time compared to their level of play.

Novak played no worse in 2010 and 2013 than Rafa did in their 2011 finals, but I don't take credit away from 2011 Novak - he had a lot to do with why Rafa played badly in those finals and the same can be said of Rafa and his USO opponents.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Medvedev in 2019 was "indeed decent" to you because Rafa let him back in the match. 2017 Rafa would have finished that match in straights and you'd be calling the exact same Medvedev "pitiful" just like Anderson.

Rafa's draws are ridiculed because he played unrelentingly well and some decent players were under-ranked at the time compared to their level of play.

Novak played no worse in 2010 and 2013 than Rafa did in their 2011 finals, but I don't take credit away from 2011 Novak - he had a lot to do with why Rafa played badly in those finals and the same can be said of Rafa and his USO opponents.
Don't think Anderson wins two sets versus 2019 Nadal, he was gutless. When I say decent I mean decent, not good. Med was decent and saves 2019 from being 2017 tier. Obviously scorelines are two way and 2017'dal was better, but Med was better irrespective of that imo.

Don't think Nadal was unrelentingly good except for in 2010 either btw. Even in 2013 he had a cushy draw and played passively in the final while Djokovic punched himself out. He was good but it wasn't an ATG run like in 2010.

Agree about 2011 Nadal btw, very overrated the guy had no serve.
 
Last edited:

MadariKatu

Professional
In terms of level of play and strokes, I don't see much difference between 2019 and 2021 Medvedev.

In 2019, he entered the match with no expectations, and once Nadal let him in the match, he was a tough opponent; Nadal was just clutch in the beggining of the last set.

In the 2021 AO final, I think Medvedev had high hopes, and got anxious. He wasn't that far away from Djokovic, who kept saving points, and Medvedev couldn't deal with that. Having beaten Djokovic in previous matches, he probably saw himself with more options than he felt he was having. Later in the match he just gave up, or so it seemed to me.

In the 2021 USO, he was calm and confident. Got no issues with his serve in the first set, and stayed clutch at the beggining of the second. In the third, Djokovic was playing more aggressive and you could tell that being close to winning, Medvedev got a bit tight. The game in the 3rd set to go from 4-5 games, he managed to win (confirmind the double break), but he felt the pressure of the moment, and of the audience, who were chearing more and more for Novak.

The biggest difference in all those 3 matches is the mindset, not the gamestyle, or level of play.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Not all slam titles are created equally. Djoker has faced some monsters at the USO and it’s shocking that he only has 3 titles there. He’s been a bit unlucky. He had face Federer 6 times there.

Wins vs top 10 at the USO:

Lendl 19
Federer 16
Sampras 16
Djoker 14
Mcenroe 13
Connors 7
Nadal 7
7 top 10 wins over his entire US Open career resulting in 4 slam titles must be some kind of record. That's some GOAT-worthy vultering
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
Which makes it obvious 2021 Medvedev > 2019 Medvedev duh.
Oh really...

2019 1st serve = 64% ... 2021 = 58%
2019 Aces = 14 ... 2021 = 16
2019 DF = 4 ... 2021 = 9
2019 W/UE ratio = 75/51 ... 2021 = 38/31

Yeah in your fantasy land it's obvious... in reality it isn't so obvious. He served better in 2019 final and had a better ground game.

The main difference was the level of the opponent... That's what should be obvious given the well known fact that Nadal is a better US Open player than Djokovic..
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
lol I'm always here, plus it doesn't seem like you understand what the word conflate means. What a fail :laughing:
I know exactly what it means...

You have done it for Roddick, Agassi, Hewett etc..

Maybe this is why you're so angry... you're always here... I'd advise you to take a few more breaks from this place, but since you wasted so many years worshipping the Federina I can understand you need to stick around here to console each other for your losses as you watch Novak eclipse nearly every one of his important records...
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
7 top 10 wins over his entire US Open career resulting in 4 slam titles must be some kind of record. That's some GOAT-worthy vultering
He's missed 4 US Opens since 2011 so of course his wins v top 10 are going to be lower...

What should be lower is his number of titles compared to Djokovic... for some reason it isn't... maybe the fact that he's beat him in 2/3 finals has something to do with that...
 

Imperator

Hall of Fame
Another person who thinks players are robots with pre-established program set in them that allows them to perform at the same level constantly. Every match is different, every day is different. 2019 Medvedev was nowhere near the level he played at yesterday and still pushed Nadal to 5, put yesterday’s Medvedev against this Nadal and see how that works out.

Also compare what happened at last WTF to their 2019 WTF match.
 
Oh really...

2019 1st serve = 64% ... 2021 = 58%
2019 Aces = 14 ... 2021 = 16
2019 DF = 4 ... 2021 = 9
2019 W/UE ratio = 75/51 ... 2021 = 38/31

Yeah in your fantasy land it's obvious... in reality it isn't so obvious. He served better in 2019 final and had a better ground game.

The main difference was the level of the opponent... That's what should be obvious given the well known fact that Nadal is a better US Open player than Djokovic..
*snigger* Going by W-UE 2003 F Roddick trumps any Nadal at the USO. Clearly there's more to it than that, which you would easily acknowledge if you didn't choose to be a stubborn mule for no good reason.
I'll grant Medvedev raised his game to an extent mid-3rd set but it's too late in a slam final (and Nadal would've won the fifth set 6-2 anyway if not for a mini-choking episode). At the same time, he never approached the crazy serving of the first set in 2021; if Medvedev serves like that in 2019 he wins the first set (given that Nadal also played a poor game to drop serve early) and then it's a different mental game too. There is a thing called quality of serve or else Nadal would be the best Big 3 server with his superior percentage.
 
In terms of level of play and strokes, I don't see much difference between 2019 and 2021 Medvedev.

In 2019, he entered the match with no expectations, and once Nadal let him in the match, he was a tough opponent; Nadal was just clutch in the beggining of the last set.

In the 2021 AO final, I think Medvedev had high hopes, and got anxious. He wasn't that far away from Djokovic, who kept saving points, and Medvedev couldn't deal with that. Having beaten Djokovic in previous matches, he probably saw himself with more options than he felt he was having. Later in the match he just gave up, or so it seemed to me.

In the 2021 USO, he was calm and confident. Got no issues with his serve in the first set, and stayed clutch at the beggining of the second. In the third, Djokovic was playing more aggressive and you could tell that being close to winning, Medvedev got a bit tight. The game in the 3rd set to go from 4-5 games, he managed to win (confirmind the double break), but he felt the pressure of the moment, and of the audience, who were chearing more and more for Novak.

The biggest difference in all those 3 matches is the mindset, not the gamestyle, or level of play.
Djokovic clearly didn't push Medvedev to his aggression limit like Nadal did, as Djokovic was definitely worse than Nadal in their respective finals, but then the first set is the best Med set in either final with such relentless serving, and it's highly important to have a first set advantage.
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
*snigger* Going by W-UE 2003 F Roddick trumps any Nadal at the USO. Clearly there's more to it than that, which you would easily acknowledge if you didn't choose to be a stubborn mule for no good reason.
I'll grant Medvedev raised his game to an extent mid-3rd set but it's too late in a slam final (and Nadal would've won the fifth set 6-2 anyway if not for a mini-choking episode). At the same time, he never approached the crazy serving of the first set in 2021; if Medvedev serves like that in 2019 he wins the first set (given that Nadal also played a poor game to drop serve early) and then it's a different mental game too. There is a thing called quality of serve or else Nadal would be the best Big 3 server with his superior percentage.
Nope. I'm comparing the same player (Med 2019/2021)...

You are trying to compare different players (Roddick/Nadal)..

You have no way of knowing that Med would've won the 1st set had he served like he did yesterday... nor do you have any substantial argument to back that up. Furthermore, even if he did hypothetically, you have no idea how Nadal would've responded and how the match would've played out.

Med's serving performance yesterday was deceptive anyway given Novak was uncharacteristically both bad off the return and slow to react...

So my original point still holds water... overall, Med had better numbers in terms of serving and ground game in 2019. Coupled with the fact he was playing a better opponent and it was over 5 sets. So again, it's only obvious in your fantasy land that Med was far better yesterday than he was in 2019...
 
Nope. I'm comparing the same player (Med 2019/2021)...

You are trying to compare different players (Roddick/Nadal)..

You have no way of knowing that Med would've won the 1st set had he served like he did yesterday... nor do you have any substantial argument to back that up. Furthermore, even if he did hypothetically, you have no idea how Nadal would've responded and how the match would've played out.

Med's serving performance yesterday was deceptive anyway given Novak was uncharacteristically both bad off the return and slow to react...

So my original point still holds water... overall, Med had better numbers in terms of serving and ground game in 2019. Coupled with the fact he was playing a better opponent and it was over 5 sets. So again, it's only obvious in your fantasy land that Med was far better yesterday than he was in 2019...
In that case, no analysis is possible as we have no clear idea of anything hypothetically. Doesn't stop you from using whatever numbers you can to help your nadalian cause.

I never said 'far better' anyway. Just better, enough that I give him a good chance to take the first set in this hypothetical rather than go down two sets and a break and be at Nadal's mercy not to lose in routine straights like Anderson.
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
Djokovic clearly didn't push Medvedev to his aggression limit like Nadal did, as Djokovic was definitely worse than Nadal in their respective finals, but then the first set is the best Med set in either final with such relentless serving, and it's highly important to have a first set advantage.
I get your point, no doubt it's an advantage... but you are only looking at Med's performance and completely ignoring how bad Djoker was on return... iirc, he only won like 3 points off return in that 1st set... you have got to admit that has more to do with Djoker than it does Meddy, surely... if Novak was switched on, no way Meddy has it that easy on serve. He didn't serve poorly in the 2019 final 1st set either... just that Nadal's return game was much better than Novak's. In fact Nadal's serve in that first set wasn't that great either...
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
In that case, no analysis is possible as we have no clear idea of anything hypothetically. Doesn't stop you from using whatever numbers you can to help your nadalian cause.

I never said 'far better' anyway. Just better, enough that I give him a good chance to take the first set in this hypothetical rather than go down two sets and a break and be at Nadal's mercy not to lose in routine straights like Anderson.
Nadalian cause? What cause would that be?

Like I said, if you're going to talk hypotheticals, you need to have some substantial argument to back it up... in this case you don't have one.
 

MadariKatu

Professional
Djokovic clearly didn't push Medvedev to his aggression limit like Nadal did, as Djokovic was definitely worse than Nadal in their respective finals, but then the first set is the best Med set in either final with such relentless serving, and it's highly important to have a first set advantage.
Agreed in general. I just think higher of Medvedev's 2nd set vs Djokovic, because Novak started returning, and actually caused some trouble which Medvedev manage to overcome by staying calm and clutch.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
No denying that Novak has been a bit unlucky (wouldn't call Nadal lucky because he beat who was in front of him) but it's also true that Nadal has this killer instinct. He enters a final, he pounces. This normally leads to an aggressive mindset which Djoko sometimes lacks, helping him win tight matches Djoko may have lost. Just look at the DTL forehands and backhands he's willing to commit to in those finals
 
I get your point, no doubt it's an advantage... but you are only looking at Med's performance and completely ignoring how bad Djoker was on return... iirc, he only won like 3 points off return in that 1st set... you have got to admit that has more to do with Djoker than it does Meddy, surely... if Novak was switched on, no way Meddy has it that easy on serve. He didn't serve poorly in the 2019 final 1st set either... just that Nadal's return game was much better than Novak's. In fact Nadal's serve in that first set wasn't that great either...
Very objective arguments you've got there, pal. I melt in the face of such undiluted truth.
 
Nadalian cause? What cause would that be?

Like I said, if you're going to talk hypotheticals, you need to have some substantial argument to back it up... in this case you don't have one.
The holy cause of claiming Nadal has the highest level, of course. That's what everything boils down to sooner or later.

The basic observation is that, in the 2021 final, one, Medvedev was placing his serves better , particularly in the first set where he kept hitting the corners and lines (one of the highest serving performances even with 65% because he was hitting most seconds extra hard too), and two, he was significantly more disciplined in terms of not making quick UEs, again particularly on his own serve (besides the first attempt to serve it out, thank the crowd). Nadal would have to rally even more, testing his old legs. He may still pull a rabbit out of his hat, given the matchup, but I wouldn't be so sure lol.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
He's missed 4 US Opens since 2011 so of course his wins v top 10 are going to be lower...

What should be lower is his number of titles compared to Djokovic... for some reason it isn't... maybe the fact that he's beat him in 2/3 finals has something to do with that...
Preach!
 
Top