Roland Garros 2011 served as a vital ingredient in tilting Nadal-Djokovic rivalry heavily in favour of Djoko in the following years

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
what if djoko had met rafa in that final? on the back of the confidence of beating him in 4 finals already that year in masters events........do you think he would have defeated rafa?

having watched rafa for so long, i don't think so........rafa was in his prime and would have still found a way to beat him over 5 long sets on his favourite court in the world........rafa found his confidence back in the rivalry from the wins of roland garros titles like in 2012 and 2013 and went onto defeat djoko on north american hardcourts too........so i think the story after that would have been different at the three slams that followed after beating djoko at rg 2011........the lack of confidence against djoko wouldn't have been as bad as it is today when he is up against him on hardcourts........

so in a way by beating djoko in the semis, fed helped himself in the slam race........otherwise it would have been over by now........
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
How many times do we have to discuss it? I repeat it again: Nadal was NOT beating Djokovic in RG 2011. He didn't have the game (he really struggled during the tournament, including in the final), he didn't have the confidence while Djokovic was at his absolute best and was full of confidence.

I mean, Nadal even struggled against Federer who was ready to give up at the beginning of the second set in the final. It should have been a routine 7-5 6-2 6-2 win from that moment but Nadal found a way to get him back into the match. There is no way he would have beaten Djokovic.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Rafa in 3 or 4. Federer was playing at a very high level and was plenty aggressive in the final and still nearly got himself straight setted - how much better could Djokovic have played?

Nadal played himself into great form as the tournament went on. Handily beat Soderling and Murray en route.
Lol, this is absolute peak Djokovic we are talking about. Nadal who needs almost 4 hours to beat a choking Federer is not beating him, that is for sure. He didn't have the game and for sure not the confidence. The reason why he struggled so much during the tournament is because he was afraid of Djokovic. That was the second worse RG win for Nadal with only 2014 being worse.
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
How many times do we have to discuss it? I repeat it again: Nadal was NOT beating Djokovic in RG 2011. He didn't have the game (he really struggled during the tournament, including in the final), he didn't have the confidence while Djokovic was at his absolute best and was full of confidence.

I mean, Nadal even struggled against Federer who was ready to give up at the beginning of the second set in the final. It should have been a routine 7-5 6-2 6-2 win from that moment but Nadal found a way to get him back into the match. There is no way he would have beaten Djokovic.
really?

he was close to winning indian wells, miami and australian open, playing that so called below average game and being low in confidence.........we are talking about roland garros of all slams and you see a straight sets thrashing........interesting but i think it wouldn;t have gone novak's way.........
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
really?

he was close to winning indian wells, miami and australian open, playing that so called below average game and being low in confidence.........we are talking about roland garros of all slams and you see a straight sets thrashing........interesting but i think it wouldn;t have gone novak's way.........
What you are doing now is called cherrypicking. In Indian Wells and Miami he still didn't have the mental block while in 2012 he started getting the confidence back. What about Madrid and Rome, and then Wimbledon and USO in 2011? He was extremely low on confidence in all of these matches. But he was somehow going to beat Djokovic in RG?
 

weakera

Legend
Lol, this is absolute peak Djokovic we are talking about. Nadal who needs almost 4 hours to beat a choking Federer is not beating him, that is for sure. He didn't have the game and for sure not the confidence. The reason why he struggled so much during the tournament is because he was afraid of Djokovic. That was the second worse RG win for Nadal with only 2014 being worse.
Yeah, no one's absolute peak beats prime Nadal at Roland Garros. And the reason he struggled early in the tournament is because of faster balls vs. Isner. Nadal otherwise lost 1 set in the tournament, you clown.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, no one's absolute peak beats prime Nadal at Roland Garros. And the reason he struggled early in the tournament is because of faster balls vs. Isner. Nadal otherwise lost 1 set in the tournament, you clown.
He didn't just struggle against Isner. He also had to save 8 setpoints against Andujar. He was very average in the next few rounds as well even if he didn't drop sets. Lost a set to Federer in the final. But he was going to beat Djokovic who totally murdered him in Madrid and Rome?

By the way, Soderling did beat prime Nadal who played better than in 2011.
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
Rafa in 3 or 4. Federer was playing at a very high level and was plenty aggressive in the final and still nearly got himself straight setted - how much better could Djokovic have played?

Nadal played himself into great form as the tournament went on. Handily beat Soderling and Murray en route.
I don't know. But if 2012 Rafael , probably one of the best Claydal,because of slight condition change lost 8 straight games to Djokovic.

A better and physically superior Djokovic ,who had put fear of God in Nadal coming into RG, with lighter balls will definitely push it to 5.

Heck Federer would have had he kept his composure.

Who wins then I don't know .




Conversely, what if Djokovic had beaten Nadal would it change their RG rivalry forever? Would he close out matches like 2013-14?
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
2012 Nadal would have probably beaten 2011 Djokovic in RG, though it wouldn't be easy. 2011 Nadal, not a chance. He was just not good enough for it, and had no confidence.
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
2012 Nadal would have probably beaten 2011 Djokovic in RG, though it wouldn't be easy. 2011 Nadal, not a chance. He was just not good enough for it, and had no confidence.
You sure you are a Rafa fan?

Please Perform this test :

Do you scream Vamos, whenever you get a difficult thing done, no matter how unrelated to tennis? Or do you scream Chum Jezte?
 

weakera

Legend
I don't know. But if 2012 Rafael , probably one of the best Claydal,because of slight condition change lost 8 straight games to Djokovic.

A better and physically superior Djokovic ,who had put fear of God in Nadal coming into RG, with lighter balls will definitely push it to 5.

Heck Federer would have had he kept his composure.

Who wins then I don't know .




Conversely, what if Djokovic had beaten Nadal would it change their RG rivalry forever? Would he close out matches like 2013-14?

Yeah that 1-6 4th set was so close for Federer lol. It was far closer to a straight set loss than anything else for Roger.
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
Yeah that 1-6 4th set was so close for Federer lol. It was far closer to a straight set loss than anything else for Roger.
He was 5-2, set point up wasn't he ? And won the third. That looks much closer to a 5 set from where I am looking at.

But I admit I haven't revisited the much since it aired so don't remember the details.
 

weakera

Legend
He was 5-2, set point up wasn't he ? And won the third. That looks much closer to a 5 set from where I am looking at.

But I admit I haven't revisited the much since it aired so don't remember the details.
So we're extrapolating and assuming the next sets proceed exactly as is if Federer had won the first set? Do you think that makes any sense?

Is that the same first set that concluded with Federer dropping 5 games in a row?
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
I just wish we could have seen Nadal and Djokovic play on clay with lighter balls. I have no idea how the match would go but it would have been interesting.
 

RaulRamirez

Hall of Fame
Of course, we'll never know - such is sports, and life.
Why did Fed have to play such a great SF versus Novak?
To me, both reads seem a out equally plausible, if they would have met in the final.

Novak, riding very high, would beat Rafa and go on to win at least a couple more titles at RG.

Rafa at RG is a whole different level, and he would have taken the confidence of beating Novak to win at least one of their next three slam finals.
 

Feather

Legend
Lol, this is absolute peak Djokovic we are talking about. Nadal who needs almost 4 hours to beat a choking Federer is not beating him, that is for sure. He didn't have the game and for sure not the confidence. The reason why he struggled so much during the tournament is because he was afraid of Djokovic. That was the second worse RG win for Nadal with only 2014 being worse.
LOL @ choking Roger Federer! Probably Roger could have won the first set but that's about it. Roger Federer did play very well. And Rafa raised his level and beat a very well playing Roger Federer. You make it sound like Rafa won ONLY coz Roger choked which is incorrect!

Even if Roger Federer has won the first set , Rafa would have won the match. Roger breadsticked Rafa 6-1 in 2006 RG final and still lost in four sets!

Give some credit to a guy who won 12 RGs.
 
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NADALalot

Hall of Fame
How many times do we have to discuss it? I repeat it again: Nadal was NOT beating Djokovic in RG 2011. He didn't have the game (he really struggled during the tournament, including in the final), he didn't have the confidence while Djokovic was at his absolute best and was full of confidence.

I mean, Nadal even struggled against Federer who was ready to give up at the beginning of the second set in the final. It should have been a routine 7-5 6-2 6-2 win from that moment but Nadal found a way to get him back into the match. There is no way he would have beaten Djokovic.
There is literally no proof that Djokovic would have beaten Rafa in the 2011 Roland Garros Final.
Best-of-3-sets on clay has never mattered to Rafa's chances at Roland Garros, as we keep seeing in his Thiem rivalry....
And Rafa needed 4 sets to beat Federer at Roland Garros in 2005, 2006 and 2007, so it wasn't any closer in 2011....
 

Krish0608

Hall of Fame
Yeah that 1-6 4th set was so close for Federer lol. It was far closer to a straight set loss than anything else for Roger.
How much more pathetic can you get? By this logic Nadal got "straight setted" by Djokovic in USO 2011 finals.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
I think this is overplayed, but heres my opinion.

As some have said, Nadal in his backyard on PC, is a different animal when hes opposing his biggest competitors.

Its all well saying his form wasn't great, or that Djokovic had the beating of him on clay up till then. But a best of 5 isn't a best of 3, obviously.

Lets also remember Nadal wasn't slaughtered in those meetings with Djokovic going into RG.

He lost a final set tie break in the Miami final. He lost in 3 at IW after winning the first set in both.
He just never got over the line.

Then in the clay matches, yes Djokovic won both in straights, but he wasn't blasted off the court like we see nowadays on a HC.
Anything can happen in a 3 set match, and all Nadal had to do was lose serve a couple of times, and bang, the match is over.

I still think Djokovic would've had a mental challenge to get over the line at RG in 2011.
Hell, he made it difficult when Nadal and Federer were non existent in 2015/16.

Id have favoured Nadal, although it was probably 55-45 just.

Djokovic , for me, wasn't clear favourite, and people only say he would've won now because he went on to beat Nadal at Wimbledon and the USO later that year too.
It wasn't so cut and dry going into RG though.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
I think this is overplayed, but heres my opinion.

As some have said, Nadal in his backyard on PC, is a different animal when hes opposing his biggest competitors.

Its all well saying his form wasn't great, or that Djokovic had the beating of him on clay up till then. But a best of 5 isn't a best of 3, obviously.

Lets also remember Nadal wasn't slaughtered in those meetings with Djokovic going into RG.

He lost a final set tie break in the Miami final. He lost in 3 at IW after winning the first set in both.
He just never got over the line.

Then in the clay matches, yes Djokovic won both in straights, but he wasn't blasted off the court like we see nowadays on a HC.
Anything can happen in a 3 set match, and all Nadal had to do was lose serve a couple of times, and bang, the match is over.

I still think Djokovic would've had a mental challenge to get over the line at RG in 2011.
Hell, he made it difficult when Nadal and Federer were non existent in 2015/16.

Id have favoured Nadal, although it was probably 55-45 just.

Djokovic , for me, wasn't clear favourite, and people only say he would've won now because he went on to beat Nadal at Wimbledon and the USO later that year too.
It wasn't so cut and dry going into RG though.
The part in bold is irrelevant. What people forget is that Djokovic in RG 2011 didn't have the pressure of going for the career slam. All he had at that point was 2 AO titles, so the title in RG wouldn't give him any special records, and he didn't have the pressure that he had in the following years. Leave alone the fact that Djokovic in 2011 on clay was many times better than in 2015-2016. (I don't think 2015 Djokovic can beat 2011 Nadal in RG. It's only a comparison between their 2011 versions)

I really don't see a single reason why Djokovic would be afraid of Nadal in RG 2011 final. Nadal was not even the clay GOAT back then. He was a 5 times RG winner who was beaten in RG just 2 years ago. Add the fact that Djokovic destroyed him in Madrid and Rome and it should become clear that Nadal was the one who was afraid of Djokovic back then, not the other way around.
 

TheAssassin

Legend
I don't see either result changing the future significantly, maybe not at all. Nadal was going to return to his winning ways on clay even if he lost in 2011 IMO, while Djokovic was simply on a hot streak that wasn't going to be stopped in 2011 on other surfaces. Even with all his RG dominance, Nadal has rarely won elsewhere, or occasionally at best.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
really?

he was close to winning indian wells, miami and australian open, playing that so called below average game and being low in confidence.........we are talking about roland garros of all slams and you see a straight sets thrashing........interesting but i think it wouldn;t have gone novak's way.........
Are we talking about The Nadal in 2011? If so, getting rolled in the QFs by his Armada buddy Ferrer is far from being close to a win, no?
 

Hitman

Legend
That was the time for Djokovic to get the win over Nadal in a RG final, but Fed decides to spoil the party. The biggest What IF, Djokovic really let that big opportunity go.
 
Ah yes, one of the ultimate Big 3 hypotheticals... (some others being 2011 US Open Fedal final IF Novak’s seemingly desperate FH return blast goes out and even 2010 Fedal US Open final if Fed closes out Djokovic. My intentions are NOT to derail thread, though, by mentioning this lol)

This Nadal Djokovic hypothetical RG final 2011 will surely be argued forever. Clearly, Nadal’s form wasn’t his best, the lighter balls did not help him, he struggled to beat Isner in Rd 1, Novak was literally undefeated and had Nadal’s # leading up with 4, mind you, pretty close H2H wins in finals, two of which on clay, etc.

OTOH, beating Nadal at RG esp. in a final may be one of the toughest things in sports period. Moreover, Fed played by far his best match against that 2011 Nadal in that final and still lost in 4. Tennis is indeed about matchups, though, so discard the anomalous Fedal matchup factor since it’s not super relevant to Nadal Djokovic.

Let me make two points on this issue. First of all, Djokovic was clearly starting to get in Nadal’s head at that point but had not done it yet in a best of five, much less at RG on PC. Anyone who thinks that it’s a for sure thing that Novak would win that hypothetical is somewhat deluded. I realize hindsight is 20/20 and we can now draw from some later matches, where Djokovic was red hot and looking good to win RG but failed in the end. But Strongman’s confidence and his authoritative assertion that Nadal 2011 JUST COULDN’T BEAT 2011 NOVAK is laughable at best.

My second point (and this has been hinted at by Raulramirez and others) is that IF Novak found a way to beat Fed and it was a Nadal Djokovic final, and Nadal got through like he’s done so many times, that mental edge Novak was accumulating would’ve been mitigated quite considerably heading into Wimbledon.

We all remember that the Wimby final 2011 was IME the most mental for Nadal; IOW, Nadal was playing at such a high level on the grass and even in that first set, he was cruising through his service games vs. Novak until that last game at 4-5, where Nadal just missed like 3 FH’s out of the blue.... This was mental more than anything. I’m certainly not suggesting Joker doesn’t have his stellar year if Nadal has beaten him at RG, to be clear.

So had Nadal been given the chance to face Novak on his home court of PC and beat him, the mental and confidence issues he was starting to have with Novak would have been less of a factor. It’s very possible that Nadal could’ve found his way past Novak at Wimby in 2011. The US open is a different story and I agree that despite superhuman efforts to fight and get back into the match, Djokovic won that match without too much concern.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
One of the biggest 'What if' scenarios in tennis. I still have no clue who would have won this hypothetical.

At the time I would have said Djokovic, as he was in Nadal's head big time. But in later years we saw him heading into RG on a winning streak against Nadal, and still losing.
What happened in the following years is not a clear indicator because 2012 and 2013 Nadal was better than his 2011 version. In fact, it's not even close if we compare 2011 with 2012.
 

Fiero425

Hall of Fame
What happened in the following years is not a clear indicator because 2012 and 2013 Nadal was better than his 2011 version. In fact, it's not even close if we compare 2011 with 2012.
I'm thankful Djokovic came along! Never been a fan of Nadal or his game, but if 2011 hadn't occurred, Rafa may have put numbers out of sight! People don't realize or remember that after his 2010, Nadal was making final after final in 2011, but dropped the matches to Nole! If things hadn't gone that way, with the addition of 2012-13, Heaven knows what the record-books would have looked like! That's been the one saving grace of Nadal's tenure outside of that period, he hasn't been able to stay on the court or #1 for even a year due to his body and mind breaking down working so hard to win even early round matches in the smallest tournaments of the tour! :sneaky:
 

bhpower

Semi-Pro
Not sure but Djoker had the moment and the confidence by beating rafa so many times that year.
Besides the court was pretty fast compared to other years.
 

Crisstti

Legend
One of the biggest 'What if' scenarios in tennis. I still have no clue who would have won this hypothetical.

At the time I would have said Djokovic, as he was in Nadal's head big time. But in later years we saw him heading into RG on a winning streak against Nadal, and still losing.
It is one of the biggest "what ifs" in tennis for sure. Had Rafa lost, at the very least it would have meant he would have lost four slam finals in a row to Novak, and who knows how that would have influenced other results. Had he won, he probably doesn't lose the next three he lost.

Everyone talking with such certainty about what would have happened, are not being serious or are ridiculously over-confident in their judgement. Fact is, we cannot know. As you rightly point out, it looked then like he would have lost, but then, he beat Novak there several times after coming off a negative streak against him, most notably in 2012.
 
I'm thankful Djokovic came along! Never been a fan of Nadal or his game, but if 2011 hadn't occurred, Rafa may have put numbers out of sight! People don't realize or remember that after his 2010, Nadal was making final after final in 2011, but dropped the matches to Nole! If things hadn't gone that way, with the addition of 2012-13, Heaven knows what the record-books would have looked like! That's been the one saving grace of Nadal's tenure outside of that period, he hasn't been able to stay on the court or #1 for even a year due to his body and mind breaking down working so hard to win even early round matches in the smallest tournaments of the tour! :sneaky:
With no novak to stop either of fedal. Fed would've taken his records out of the sights of rafa himself. Djokovic did way more damage to roger than he did to rafa.
 

skypadq

Professional
i think djokovic beat nadal in close four set ( two tie break include )
djokovic is nadal 's nightmare in 2011

djoker beat nadal in 2011 IW - miami - madrid - rome - wimbledon - us open final
nadal cannot beat djoker in 2011 even that RG
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
As good as Djokovic was in 2011, clay will always be Nadal’s failsafe. His chances of losing (except 2014-2016) are pretty much close to zero no matter the year.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
The part in bold is irrelevant. What people forget is that Djokovic in RG 2011 didn't have the pressure of going for the career slam. All he had at that point was 2 AO titles, so the title in RG wouldn't give him any special records, and he didn't have the pressure that he had in the following years. Leave alone the fact that Djokovic in 2011 on clay was many times better than in 2015-2016. (I don't think 2015 Djokovic can beat 2011 Nadal in RG. It's only a comparison between their 2011 versions)

I really don't see a single reason why Djokovic would be afraid of Nadal in RG 2011 final. Nadal was not even the clay GOAT back then. He was a 5 times RG winner who was beaten in RG just 2 years ago. Add the fact that Djokovic destroyed him in Madrid and Rome and it should become clear that Nadal was the one who was afraid of Djokovic back then, not the other way around.
But with your analogy , then what happened to Djokovic in 2012, 13 and 14 too ?

He wasn't going for the career slam those years either, but somehow faltered .

He needed Nadal at his worst to beat him at RG ( 2015 ), and he needed Nadal and Federer to be non-existent to finally get over the line in 2016.

And now he cant even reach Nadal.
 
How many times do we have to discuss it? I repeat it again: Nadal was NOT beating Djokovic in RG 2011.
So you think your repeating something enough times will make all people who see things differently eventually automatically agree with you? You must be a Selestial, as that sounds like their logic on things.
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
But with your analogy , then what happened to Djokovic in 2012, 13 and 14 too ?

He wasn't going for the career slam those years either, but somehow faltered .

He needed Nadal at his worst to beat him at RG ( 2015 ), and he needed Nadal and Federer to be non-existent to finally get over the line in 2016.

And now he cant even reach Nadal.
He was. After 2011 he already had wins in all other slams.

I don't think 2015-2016 Djokovic can beat 2011 Nadal in RG, leave alone better versions. But in 2011 he was at his absolute peak, played with no pressure at all and Nadal had a big mental block against him. I really don't see how Nadal would have any chances to win this match given that he lost 6 matches out of 6 against Djokovic that year and given that he was in pretty poor form by his standards in that RG. (he struggled to beat an average Federer in the final, what would he do against peak Djokovic?)
 
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Fiero425

Hall of Fame
He was. After 2011 he already had wins in all other slams.
Trying to be rational with a Nadal fan is like banging your head trying to be reasonable and rational with a Trump supporter! It's a blindside in their make-up that won't allow any dissention in their believes and they can't be dissuaded even with facts and figures! :sneaky:
 

StrongRule

G.O.A.T.
So you think your repeating something enough times will make all people who see things differently eventually automatically agree with you? You must be a Selestial, as that sounds like their logic on things.
That question was discussed a lot of times, and now another thread was made about this.
 
That question was discussed a lot of times, and now another thread was made about this.
Thats cool but you still won't convince people who have held the opposing view forever. FWIW I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I would guess Djokovic does win the 2011 RG if held at gunpoint and forced to pick, but that is aside the point.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
so in a way by beating djoko in the semis, fed helped himself in the slam race........otherwise it would have been over by now........
Not sure what math expert you're consulting, but even had Djokovic defeated Rafa at RG in 2011, he'd be sitting on 18 slams, not 21.

 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
He was. After 2011 he already had wins in all other slams.

I don't think 2015-2016 Djokovic can beat 2011 Nadal in RG, leave alone better versions. But in 2011 he was at his absolute peak, played with no pressure at all and Nadal had a big mental block against him. I really don't see how Nadal would have any chances to win this match given that he lost 6 matches out of 6 against Djokovic that year and given that he was in pretty poor form by his standards in that RG. (he struggled to beat an average Federer in the final, what would he do against peak Djokovic?)
ok, so you mean to say he was under pressure in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as he was going for career slam and that is the reason why he lost........and he would have won in 2011 based on the fact that he wasn't going for a career slam and was not under pressure despite having zero slam finals outside australian open........

did you even watch any of the editions of roland garros mentioned? or is it just an attempt at standup comedy?
 
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