Nalbandian is a better tennis player than Federer

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Jackuar

Hall of Fame
Until 2003 wimbly, Fed's peak didn't start. Nalby went 3-0 h2h.
Post 2007 FO loss, Nalby was no longer his former self. Fed went 3-1.

The period where both players peak happened, 2003-mid-early-2007, Fed went 8-4.

David definitely made it through the Fed Tsunami of 2003-2008 but he's only the first one of the losers. Or May be third if you count Nadal and Novak.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
That 2HBH was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, his commitment was top5000 level at best, because the talent was huge
 

reaper

Legend
The same Nalbandian who couldn't close out his AO semi final against Baghdatis and effectively didn't show up for his Wimbledon final against Hewitt?
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Putting Safin aside, nalbandian vs fed is a hard one.

Fed is probably the greatest player ever overall, but nalbandian is, to me, up on Mt.Olympus with him. In terms of touch, and court awareness, shot making, he's as good and I would say better than fed.

Like the triangle of combustion though, all the elements have to be there to get flame, and nalbandian was missing self belief deep down. He couldn't find a way to close big matches down, because it wasn't a plausible reality to do so in his mind deep down, so he'd flounder. Fitness is also an obvious one too.

But even with these issues, if you took both at their prime but took away fedbots serve +1, and gave him a serve like Nalbandian's, I'd pick nalbandian to win.
 

Sport

Legend
Until 2003 wimbly, Fed's peak didn't start. Nalby went 3-0 h2h.
Post 2007 FO loss, Nalby was no longer his former self. Fed went 3-1.

The period where both players peak happened, 2003-mid-early-2007, Fed went 8-4.

David definitely made it through the Fed Tsunami of 2003-2008 but he's only the first one of the losers. Or May be third if you count Nadal and Novak.
Federer was not at his peak in 2003, as he did nothing in Grand Slams outside grass. His peak is, in my opinion, 2004-2009 (22-27 years old). Even more physical players like Nadal (2013) and Djokovic (2014) were also in their peak aged 27.
 
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Deleted member 307496

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Federer was not at his peak in 2003, as he did nothing in Grand Slams outside grass. His peak is, in my opinion, 2004-2009 (22-27 years old). Even more physical players like Nadal (2013) and Djokovic (2014) were also in their peak aged 27.
Yet you include (2008) a year where he didn't win any MS titles?! If you're going to include 08 you have to include 03.
 

Jackuar

Hall of Fame
Federer was not at his peak in 2003, as he did nothing in Grand Slams outside grass. His peak is, in my opinion, 2004-2009 (22-27 years old). Even more physical players like Nadal (2013) and Djokovic (2014) were also in their peak aged 27.
That makes 5-0 for Nalby to start with and then 8-2 for Fed where their best days overlapped. Doesn't change the fact he's nowhere near Fed for any claim of any sort.
 
Putting Rios in the same sentence as Safin is insanely overrating him!
Safin is way better than Rios, but people also dont go so far as to say Rios is the uncrowned GOAT as they do Safin. So they are similarily overrated. Overrated is only relative. Federer or Nadal or Djokovic are probably more overrated than Ferrer, only since nobody thinks Ferrer was that good.
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
Funny thread. Nalbandian loved women too. Had he been more disciplined with his diet he could have accomplished so much but he just kinda didn't care enough.

However, when on, Nalbandian was a fantastic player. I loved watching his matches. When playing indoors he was a BEAST. Remember 2007 when he 'trashed' the big 3. That was something. Hitting those angles. It was wow. I still watch some of his old matches. Amazing stuff. Great guy.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Yup, it's such a pity he doesn't have the slams to back up his greatness. :(
But that's such a minor point.
Like with many other things, winning slams in professional tennis require much more than talent and great game. Without the drive, dedication, consistency you cannot win many slams no matter how good you are on a given day.

By the way, I don't think this is about "greatness", as much as about who is better. I see those as two different things.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
Based on the 2005 AO SF when they play close to their best, Safin is better player than Federer.
Federer literally had the first matchpoint. Safin very well could have lost in four. To say that the guy who faced down matchpoint first is better, when his h2h with his opponent is atrocious, is laughable.
 

Nadal_Django

Hall of Fame
Federer literally had the first matchpoint. Safin very well could have lost in four. To say that the guy who faced down matchpoint first is better, when his h2h with his opponent is atrocious, is laughable.
It was tightly contested match between two players in their Peak. Although you can say Fed was closer to his peak than Safin whose true peak was probably in 2000. But nonetheless that match is great indicator about the how close their Peak level are, with Safin peak probably a notch higher.;)
 

Donk

Rookie
Federer literally had the first matchpoint. Safin very well could have lost in four. To say that the guy who faced down matchpoint first is better, when his h2h with his opponent is atrocious, is laughable.
Safin played like crap and was injured in all other matches.

only time they were both at their best, Safin won.
 
It was tightly contested match between two players in their Peak. Although you can say Fed was closer to his peak than Safin whose true peak was probably in 2000. But nonetheless that match is great indicator about the how close their Peak level are, with Safin peak probably a notch higher.;)
The only surface their peak is clsoe is hard courts. On grass and clay Federer's woudl be much higher, especialy grass where there is no comparision. What great tennis has Safin ever played on grass, even in a single match, LOL!
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
Safin played like crap and was injured in all other matches.

only time they were both at their best, Safin won.
Oh, of course; he was injured in all ten of his losses. Even the ones they contested in 2001 and 2002, where Safin was already a major winner, Federer was still just a talented headcase, and the major wrist injury of 2003 had yet to happen. How inconvenient for Safin, yet so convenient for your narrative.
 
Oh, of course; he was injured in all ten of his losses. Even the ones they contested in 2001 and 2002, where Safin was already a major winner, Federer was still just a talented headcase, and the major wrist injury of 2003 had yet to happen. How inconvenient for Safin, yet so convenient for your narrative.
I do think Safin at his best hits the ball cleaner and harder than Federer overall though. Similar power off the forehand, much more off the backhand, probably a bit more off the first serve, definitely more off the return (Federer is a great defensive returner, not the best offensive one). Both can attack the net effectively. He just lacks the movement, variety, and shotmaking ability of Federer though, even when playing his best, but at his best level he probably is close to a match to Federer on everything but grass. Maybe even clay looking at matches like a few of his wins over prime Kuerten on clay, and destroying Hewitt in the 2001 Hamburg quarters. He just cant bring it anywhere near as consistently.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
I do think Safin at his best hits the ball cleaner and harder than Federer overall though. Similar power off the forehand, much more off the backhand, probably a bit more off the first serve, definitely more off the return (Federer is a great defensive returner, not the best offensive one). Both can attack the net effectively. He just lacks the movement, variety, and shotmaking ability of Federer though, even when playing his best, but at his best level he probably is close to a match to Federer on everything but grass. Maybe even clay looking at matches like a few of his wins over prime Kuerten on clay, and destroying Hewitt in the 2001 Hamburg quarters. He just cant bring it anywhere near as consistently.
Agreed. Peak Safin can annihilate the ball off both wings and is probably the best mover of all time for players that height, but Federer's... Federer. I'd say his movement alone puts the matchup in his favor already, to say nothing of the sheer versatility of his offense - while anything Federer was capable of Safin probably was too, he seemed at his most comfortable playing north-south tennis from the baseline, attacking solely with depth and pace. When you consider that peak Safin only showed up once in a blue moon (because he was recovering from injury or simply because the days when you zone are highly variable) you've got the recipe for a 10-2 H2H.
 
If we’re talking about peak play, Safin is on the same level as Federer, possibly a pfffteenth lower (but definitely not above).
and add to that excluding grass (and maybe clay). This definitely does not apply to grass. I am 300% sure Nadal, Roddick, Hewitt, and Djokovic have a higher peak level of play on grass than Safin. To anyone who wants to challenge this please point out the best ever match or tournament Safin ever played on grass, and if you point out something that really really surprises me or show me footage of Safin playing on grass that shocks me to the level he is playing at, I will reconsider. Otherwise it reminds me of some idiots at menstennisforum who argued Del Potro's peak level at the Australian Open was higher than Wawrinka's, and I asked what peak level, what great tennis did Del Potro even play there in his life.
 
and add to that excluding grass (and maybe clay). This definitely does not apply to grass. I am 300% sure Nadal, Roddick, Hewitt, and Djokovic have a higher peak level of play on grass than Safin. To anyone who wants to challenge this please point out the best ever match or tournament Safin ever played on grass, and if you point out something that really really surprises me or show me footage of Safin playing on grass that shocks me to the level he is playing at, I will reconsider. Otherwise it reminds me of some idiots at menstennisforum who argued Del Potro's peak level at the Australian Open was higher than Wawrinka's, and I asked what peak level, what great tennis did Del Potro even play there in his life.
 
That is good, but it still is not enough for me to say he is this amazing grass player whose peak level is up with Federer. This is probably his biggest ever win on grass, and it still is not that great, a win over an out of prime Djokovic (yes Safin was even more out of his prime than Djokovic which makes it a bit better) whose worst surface at that stage of his career was grass by a lot, and who was playing pretty crappy that day (I remember that match). I would need to see some more matches or something more than that to be convinced. Hewitt and Roddick have even had bigger and many more big wins on grass than that.

Honestly the best tennis I ever saw him play on grass was probably the year he made the Halle final and lost to Federer in 3 sets, but Federer lost a set to nearly every opponent that week, and his draw didnt have hardly any good wins. It was very good, but nothing that blew me away.
 
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