RG '08 Rafa vs Nole

Krish0608

Hall of Fame
#1
RG '08 is best known for its one sided, embarrassing loss of Fed against PEAKdal on clay. But the real gem in that tournament in Rafa vs Nole.

The first 2 sets are a blowout. Nole comes to life in the 3rd, coming back from down a break and going toe to toe with the greatest Nadal we have seen on clay. You can see the origins of Nole 2.0 here, in flashes. He had a set point in the 3rd. Just makes me wonder what would have happened had they met in RG '11. The only player who made Nadal dig deep even on clay is Nole.
 
#4
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#6
Only difference it makes is the h2h by one match :rolleyes:
member: 749414"]Don't exactly see why another RG final and beating an in-form Novak would be "better."[/QUOTE]
It might have resulted in Nadal being one more slam behind in the record chase.But that shows the silliness of putting arbitrary records over actual achievement so I'm still keeping the win over Novak.
 
#8
member: 749414"]Don't exactly see why another RG final and beating an in-form Novak would be "better."
It might have resulted in Nadal being one more slam behind in the record chase.But that shows the silliness of putting arbitrary records over actual achievement so I'm still keeping the win over Novak.
Ah. It also puts the onus on Djokovic to take out Nadal for him. Probably wasn't gonna happen.
 
#10
Normally, I find "what ifs" a bit pointless but admit this one is really intriguing. And, I suppose as a Fed fan it might have been "better" for us if that final had happened.

Can't regret it though. Astonishing result after this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/te...-against-Novak-Djokovic-he-was-at-a-loss.html
I’m sure most people think Djokovic would’ve won but I’m also sure most people would’ve thought Novak would’ve won if he didn’t make it to Nadal in RG 2012, 2013 or 2014. You just can’t tell with those kind of matches. Also Federer definitely had his chances in 2011, sad that he didn’t have the mental strength to make more out of it.
 
#11
Appreciate the video, but getting pretty tired of the "Novak did way better on clay than Fed against Nadal, Novak is the only one who made Rafa dig deep nonsense". If this were a final and Nadal's foot was firmly on the gas it would have been a 4, 2, and 2 blowout and nobody talks about the match besides how ridiculous Nadal was. Novak did play very well at the end of the third, he didn't disappear like Federer did, but Nadal still let him back into the match with some errors, if he hadn't, there's really nothing Djoker could have done. Same thing happened in the first set of the 07 semi, where Nadal was up a double break. Federer could have easily scavenged a few more games anyways in the 08 final if he wasn't kamikaze-ing the net. He knew from the baseline his chances of losing were 100% so he tried to change things up more, to disastrous results.

To the general point, last I checked, only one of these guys had match point against him in a B05. Let's not let Novak facing generally inferior versions of Nadal on clay in his own prime cloud our memory. Federer beat a mediocre Nadal on clay both times he faced him, Djokovic just faced that version way more times, thrice in 15-16 alone. If we're talking just 08 Nadal, let's not forget how competitive Fed was in their MC and Hamburg matches despite choking left, right, and center. 08 RG and 07 MC (although the first set was pretty tight) are the only ass-kickings Federer got against Nadal on clay from 05-11 and people act like it was a regular occurrence. Twice in 7 years and 14 matches, all in Nadal's prime/peak. Djokovic got destroyed twice in 2012 alone and three more times in 2007 and 2017, granted he wasn't in the best form due to his grandfather's death in 2012 and not in his prime on clay in 2007 and 2017, but even Federer in 2010 and 2011, past his prime, put up 3 competitive showings against Nadal on clay.
 
#12
I’m sure most people think Djokovic would’ve won but I’m also sure most people would’ve thought Novak would’ve won if he didn’t make it to Nadal in RG 2012, 2013 or 2014. You just can’t tell with those kind of matches. Also Federer definitely had his chances in 2011, sad that he didn’t have the mental strength to make more out of it.
2012, no one would have thought that given their clay forms, but 2013 and 2014 people definitely would have, which is the #1 argument for Nadal still besting Djoker in 2011.
 
#13
I’m sure most people think Djokovic would’ve won but I’m also sure most people would’ve thought Novak would’ve won if he didn’t make it to Nadal in RG 2012, 2013 or 2014.
Not really. Djokovic's form, and more importantly his mentality, were completely different in 2011 compared to those other years you've mentioned. Tbh I find it strange that there are still so many people that don't quite grasp this.
 
#14
Appreciate the video, but getting pretty tired of the "Novak did way better on clay than Fed against Nadal, Novak is the only one who made Rafa dig deep nonsense". If this were a final and Nadal's foot was firmly on the gas it would have been a 4, 2, and 2 blowout and nobody talks about the match besides how ridiculous Nadal was. Novak did play very well at the end of the third, he didn't disappear like Federer did, but Nadal still let him back into the match with some errors, if he hadn't, there's really nothing Djoker could have done. Same thing happened in the first set of the 07 semi, where Nadal was up a double break. Federer could have easily scavenged a few more games anyways in the 08 final if he wasn't kamikaze-ing the net. He knew from the baseline his chances of losing were 100% so he tried to change things up more, to disastrous results.
Nadal made 4 or 5 UE and it was a freckin TB set.
He got more passive and Djokovic started swinging for the fences with everything going it, but Nadal played 100% clean.
Till that point Nadal's pressure was relentless, but then he let Novak take the initiative
 
#15
Nadal made 4 or 5 UE and it was a freckin TB set.
He got more passive and Djokovic started swinging for the fences with everything going it, but Nadal played 100% clean.
Till that point Nadal's pressure was relentless, but then he let Novak take the initiative
I don't know what the official scoring was, tennis abstract has it as 8 UFE in the set, but I looked back and my memory was right. Nadal did not play clean, by his standards, and his intensity off the ground dropped with less depth as you yourself mentioned. At 3-0 Nadal shanks an easy FH and then misses two FH which were not completely straightforward but very makeable, and 08 RG Nadal missing them is a divine act. Then when serving for the match, a terrible drop shot at 30-30 instead of driving a short ball off the BH, and then a BH UFE for the break.

Djokovic played great in that set, way better than Federer, but there's no way that isn't a 6-2 or 6-4 set if Nadal has the intensity he did in the finals.
 
#16
Not really. Djokovic's form, and more importantly his mentality, were completely different in 2011 compared to those other years you've mentioned. Tbh I find it strange that there are still so many people that don't quite grasp this.

Let’s not pretend as if Novak was untouchable on clay in 2011 just because he beat Nadal twice. He could have easily lost to Bellucci in Madrid (?) had the latter not gotten injured. Murray choked in that Rome semifinal as well. There’s a reason he lost to an over the hill Federer at Roland Garros. He wasn’t untouchable.
 
#17
Let’s not pretend as if Novak was untouchable on clay in 2011 just because he beat Nadal twice. He could have easily lost to Bellucci in Madrid (?) had the latter not gotten injured. Murray choked in that Rome semifinal as well. There’s a reason he lost to an over the hill Federer at Roland Garros. He wasn’t untouchable.
Still he best Nadal 2x in a row on clay after 2x in a row on NA HC. It was his best shot before Nadal's form dipped in 2015. I'm not saying he definitely would have won though, wouldn't have been surprised if Nadal triumphed. It's hard to call hypothetical matches, particularly that one.
 
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