Some of their 3 setters were higher quality than RG 2013 IMO. That was a very up and down match, particularly from Djokovic.
That said, I think AO 2012 was their best. Yes it was excruciatingly long and they bounced the ball on serve a lot, but that match is easily their best for quality of baselining.
I liked Wimbledon 2018 more though, but I would put it second on quality.
I don't think I'd put RG 2013 3rd though. Would probably put a match like Miami 2011 and/or Montreal 2013 above it, but of course RG 2013 is by far the most important of the 3 so really any of these debates should separate slam matches from non slam ones.
I don’t care.
As a disgruntled Fedfan, all I see is that these two have been taking turns to made us miserable denying Federer an additional YE#1 since 2010.
Why don’t they both agree a no show year at the same time?
So many great matches. It really is the defining rivalry of modern, slowcourt tennis without question.
It would be tough for me to narrow down only five matches.
As a starting point, I think we can all agree, RolandGarros2013 and Madrid2009 must be a part of the 5.
As far as pure level of sustained, brilliant tennis, their 2011 Miami final is a personal favourite, but doesn't have the historic significance of matches they have played on the bigger stages (European clay, AO etc etc)
1. Wimbledon 2018 was the top in terms of quality. Not that these guys are in prime form and certainly Nadal on grass post 2011 is typically mediocre but the match itself was insane.
2. Australia 2012 I know a lot whine about the baseline bashing but watching it live was so intense and you wanted the marathon, you really did.
3. 2009 Madrid Here's a match Nadal loses the 1st set 3-6 at absolute peak although perhaps cocky (before Soderling blows him up at RG). He then wins back to back tiebreaks at 7-5 & 11-9 breaking 3 match points. This match lasted 4 hours despite being Bo3. Unbelievable, only reason it's not #1 is simply the stakes.
4. French Open 2013, the thing here is Nadal was just too good. Novak's peak form was obviously 2015-16 and even still lost to Wawrinka. Nadal's 2014 was built on legacy but in 2013 he was still prime on clay. I can't take a match with 6-1 in the 3rd set too seriously.
5. 2010 US Open The first 3 sets were fairly tight and the stakes make me put it above any Masters circumstance
The sad reality is most Novak/Nadal matches are decided before the first serve. One of the two is zoned in which is why we've had so few matches with deciding sets and even fewer fought to the end. Hey 4 epics is pretty good.
That's ridiculous. Nadal lost 0-6 the first set against Thiem at the US Open 2018 and still won the match. Federer won 6-1 against Nadal in the third set of the AO 2017 final. Losing 6-1 one set does not imply that you have played bad the whole match, it implies you have played bad just one set. You can win a match after losing a set 1-6.
Nope. His game fell apart from the middle of the first set till part way through the second, and he was absolutely poor in the third set - so bad the commies thought he might retire. He was poor for solid chunks of the match, he upped his game very nicely at the business ends of a couple of sets to keep in contention and the fifth set was awesome - however the level of play wasn't consistent by any means.
This Wimbledon one really did take the top spot for me pretty comfortably. It's kind of criminal it has that tacky quality of being played over two days, because holy hell it was so good.
I think Madrid 2009 is probably the closest runner up for me in terms of overall start to finish quality.
Nice to see some love for USO 2010 eventually in the thread! For 3 sets it was probably the best overall of their trio of finals there, without any single set being on the level of their 11 or 13 third sets.