Peak Nadal vs peak Borg on clay

Who wins?


  • Total voters
    83

Martin J

Semi-Pro
I always thought Nadal would need to have the same mindset he had against Novak in the fifth set of 2013 SF in order to beat a player like Borg. Borg moved faster and defended better than Novak on clay, and no way he would force him into fatigue/errors, he'll have to go for his shots like never before on the red dirt while facing a guy with the defense (on clay) that he's never experienced.
Borg also hit quite heavy so he had a high margin for error.
I honestly believe they would split their matches at RG.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I always thought Nadal would need to have the same mindset he had against Novak in the fifth set of 2013 SF in order to beat a player like Borg. Borg moved faster and defended better than Novak on clay, and no way he would force him into fatigue/errors, he'll have to go for his shots like never before on the red dirt while facing a guy with the defense (on clay) that he's never experienced.
Borg also hit quite heavy so he had a high margin for error.
I honestly believe they would split their matches at RG.
Nice (y)

Makes a change from the Borg is just gonna roll over like Stan vibe. Mind blown once more. You have done well.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I'm a bit disappointed. Expected a movie quote from you, that dirty cop from the Scary movie would fit perfectly. :D
Stan played like he was bloated, constipated, had a boil on his ass the size of a walnut - you know, the usual when you play the king on clay. But let us not forget that Bjorn was also a king for a long time. It would be really interesting. Time to get working on the old hypothetical time machine again so we can clear Borg's name for good.
 
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Martin J

Semi-Pro
Stan played like he was bloated, constipated, had a boil on his ass the size of a walnut - you know, the usual when you play the king on clay. But let us not forget that Bjorn was also a king for a long time. It would be really interesting. Time to get working on the old hypothetical time machine again so we can clear Borg's name for good.
Hahaha, priceless.

The sad thing is that I'll always think of his SM role whenever I see him acting, regardless of the movie.
 

Third Serve

Legend
Pretty clearly Nadal overall, though I wouldn’t underestimate Borg’s chances. If Djokovic can take Nadal to five in RG 2013 and beat him in 2015, I imagine Borg could do even more damage.

Nadal’s definitely not winning 12 RG’s with Borg around, but I think he’d still end up with like 9-10.
 
Pretty clearly Nadal overall, though I wouldn’t underestimate Borg’s chances. If Djokovic can take Nadal to five in RG 2013 and beat him in 2015, I imagine Borg could do even more damage.

Nadal’s definitely not winning 12 RG’s with Borg around, but I think he’d still end up with like 9-10.
Lol. It's beyond amazing how much Nadal's worst year is used against him. But Federer and Djokovic fans somehow hate it when one mentions their losses when they were in their worst form.
 

Third Serve

Legend
Lol. It's beyond amazing how much Nadal's worst year is used against him. But Federer and Djokovic fans somehow hate it when one mentions their losses when they were in their worst form.
I’m only saying that Borg would have achieved those same results as Djokovic, plus a little extra since he’s a better claycourter.

Unless you want to dispute that Borg would beat Nadal in 2015?
 
I’m only saying that Borg would have achieved those same results as Djokovic, plus a little extra since he’s a better claycourter.

Unless you want to dispute that Borg would beat Nadal in 2015?
Isn't this thread about comparing their peak levels? I believe Borg also had periods when he played worse than usually.
 
Pretty clearly Nadal overall, though I wouldn’t underestimate Borg’s chances. If Djokovic can take Nadal to five in RG 2013 and beat him in 2015, I imagine Borg could do even more damage.

Nadal’s definitely not winning 12 RG’s with Borg around, but I think he’d still end up with like 9-10.
RG 2015 was so far from peak Nadal it isn't even funny. That year should not even be referenced in a trillion years in a peak on peak thread, LOL! It is the equivalent of referencing 1991 Borg almost. RG 2013 is not really peak Nadal either, although it might not be that far off; on clay he was clearly better in 08, 2010, 2012, and probably 07, maybe even 06.

Anyway I voted I don't know since I truly don't. Nadal now is far greater on clay than even Borg, but peak playing level put into the same era is a true toss up.
 

Mike Sams

Legend
What racquets are they using? What balls? What is the surface playing like? High bouncing or low? Fast or slow? Are they playing at altitude? This stuff matters a great deal before picking who would win.
 

JaoSousa

Professional
From this and the Lendl thread it is clear there is an extreme underrating of older greats on this forum.
The issue is that almost nobody on here has ever seen them play.

But the poll does tell the truth. Nadal with modern technology and athleticism would win.
 

Fabresque

Hall of Fame
This isn’t a debate. Nadal. And I’m not even going to address the equipment differences. Give Borg a modern racket and Nadal still wins easy. So does Federer and Djokovic for that matter. Now, put Borg in this era, give him the tools and proper training then yes, it’d be a close match.

People seem to forget the massive mechanical differences in terms of strokes and footwork.
 

shazbot

Semi-Pro
The issue is that almost nobody on here has ever seen them play.

But the poll does tell the truth. Nadal with modern technology and athleticism would win.
The question is bogus to begin with. You cannot compare the two, it's impossible. So, sure, if we don't give Borg any new technology and any of the new training, he will probably lose.

But, how would Nadal do with a 65 inch wooden racquet and having to compete when surfaces were so drastically different throughout the schedule?

If Borg grew up in this era, with all the training and all the new equipment, he would be just as good as Nadal on clay and even better on non-clay.
 

JaoSousa

Professional
The question is bogus to begin with. You cannot compare the two, it's impossible. So, sure, if we don't give Borg any new technology and any of the new training, he will probably lose.

But, how would Nadal do with a 65 inch wooden racquet and having to compete when surfaces were so drastically different throughout the schedule?

If Borg grew up in this era, with all the training and all the new equipment, he would be just as good as Nadal on clay and even better on non-clay.
Completely agree. All I am saying is that if we take 1978 Borg and put him on the same court as 2008 Rafa, he would lose. That is not a terribly controversial opinion. It does not mean that Nadal is better than Borg either.
 
It comes down to me to their physicality as I think adjusted for technology etc they are at similar levels generally speaking and fitness oriented, super heavy high rpm intense baseline games on clay.

Borg was a small bodied guy around 1.80, yes he had out of this world cardio

But,

Nadal is 1.84 and well built, a perfect contemporary day tennis size and a great modern athlete.

(I think both are equally fast and equally fit in terms of cardio.)

I think the difference is in power and explosiveness, Rafas more of a specimen
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Lol. It's beyond amazing how much Nadal's worst year is used against him. But Federer and Djokovic fans somehow hate it when one mentions their losses when they were in their worst form.
Lol, in all my time on this forum I've never seen another poster get continually as rattled as you do whenever that 2015 RG match gets mentioned. It still burns that Djokovic finally got a win over your boy there irrespective of his form, no? :giggle:
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Borg’s 1978 clay season was off the charts. He was 25-0 on clay that year.

He won 64 out of the 70 sets that he played on clay

Of the 64 sets he won, 16 were bagels, and 14 were bread sticks. 47% of his sets won were by a score of
6-0 or 6-1.

At the FO semi, he only dropped 1 game. In the final against world #2 Vilas, the defending FO champ, he stomped him 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

Borg’s peak was truly insane. Borg bagged his 6th FO title just weeks after his 25th birthday.
 
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