Was the AO Final 2017 the most important match in the FEDAL rivalry?

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
I'm not saying it was the best or highest caliber, but I do think that it may prove the most important in the entire rivalry.

Here's why: If Fed loses that match, he may not have even had the confidence to cruise through and win Wimbledon. We all know that Fed, even more than the other guys, thrives on confidence/mojo, and he was practically unbeatable at Wimbledon because his confidence was at an all-time high (or at least a 10-year high).

If Nadal had won that Fifth Set, he'd be sitting on 17 majors and Fed might be at 18 (or even 17 if he hadn't won Wimbledon). Nadal would be five years younger, would have had a commanding edge in the H2H (I seriously doubt Fed would have had the confidence to take down Rafa at IW and Miami had he lost the AO match). Basically, this forum would be an apocalyptic battle right now.

One final note, a certain legendary poaster with an iconic Sampras icon would likely still be with us had Nadal won that match.
 

TennisATP

Professional
It's the most important for Federer because he finally beat Nadal in a slam for the first time in 10 years. Federer finally got some dignity back (obviously not in the full sense of the word, but you know what I mean)...

But the most important in their rivalry was 2008 Wimbledon obviously because it was epic but also because it showed that Nadal can beat Federer on his turf while Federer never was able to beat Nadal at RG in 5 tries.
 

BurchBeer

Rookie
It's the most important for Federer because he finally beat Nadal in a slam for the first time in 10 years. Federer finally got some dignity back (obviously not in the full sense of the word, but you know what I mean)...

But the most important in their rivalry was 2008 Wimbledon obviously because it was epic but also because it showed that Nadal can beat Federer on his turf while Federer never was able to beat Nadal at RG in 5 tries.
thumbs down
 

papertank

Hall of Fame
I would say it actually is the most important match, and I think OP covered the main reasons. The 2009 AO final was also very important. Hard court slams are special for the Fedal rivalry because neither player is too much of a favorite going in, as opposed to clay or grass. If only they had met at the USO!
 

Fedforever

Hall of Fame
I think it was very important for Federer. He must have had some scars from 08-09 and this game and the sunshine double will have definitely healed those to a large extent. I found the whole thing incredibly emotional to be honest, few of us get a second chance to right old wrongs in this way!!

For Nadal, while he would obviously have been delighted to win, the match will have little effect on his future life and feelings about his career.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
That's probably one of two major inflection points that went Fed's way.

The other was RG-W in 2009. Nadal came in rolling and the big favorite to sweep the channel slam. Then he gets injured, loses to Soderling and Fed grabs the channel slam and history. Had Nadal been healthy and swept the channel slam, he'd be at 18, Fed at 17, and Nadal would have 3 Wimbys and Fed 0 RG titles. Now THAT would make for some crazy intense GOAT debate.
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
You mean it could get more crazy and intense???

Of course.

You'd have Nadal on the one hand with the Career Golden Slam, more majors, more Masters and a better H2H.

You'd have Fed on the other hand with more total titles. more weeks at #1, more WTF, but no RG. Also, had Nadal won those two majors in 2009, he'd prob have 50 more weeks at #1 and Fed 50 fewer, so Fed's lead would be ~50 weeks, and leading in YE#1 by only 1 year (soon to be zero).

Man it would be tight.
 

MugOpponent

Hall of Fame
Only for Federer because it was like putting a sandbag against a flood as far as the h2h. AO 2017 was much more important for him than Nadal. A loss there and he's 2-7 in the h2h and almost certainly unlikely to hold off Nadal in terms of slam count.

The loss stung for Nadal but nowhere near as much as it would have for Federer.

The most important match of Fedal is obviously Wimbledon 08 because it proved Nadal could beat Federer on his turf whereas Fed couldn't do the same to Nadal. It was also the greatest match in the history of the sport so there's that as well.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
That's probably one of two major inflection points that went Fed's way.

The other was RG-W in 2009. Nadal came in rolling and the big favorite to sweep the channel slam. Then he gets injured, loses to Soderling and Fed grabs the channel slam and history. Had Nadal been healthy and swept the channel slam, he'd be at 18, Fed at 17, and Nadal would have 3 Wimbys and Fed 0 RG titles. Now THAT would make for some crazy intense GOAT debate.

Good points. Almost aligns with this later AO as well, but I think the 2009 FO or the 2008 Wimby is above that.
 

MugOpponent

Hall of Fame
Roddick sums up the importance of the 2017 AO here at 2:20, he thinks it's the most important match in tennis history:

I think a lot of 2017 AO's importance depends on how the next few years play out. If Nadal gets five more slams and Fed none, it's not going to be viewed with the same level of importance if Fed gets 3 more and Nadal gets 2.

That's why Wimbledon 2008 is so much more important.
 

MeatTornado

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, but only because of how history has played out.

Imo Wimbledon 2008 will forever be the most important. That's the one that changed the dynamic of their rivalry forever. The "what ifs" are just as significant for that match as the ones you laid out for Australia this year. If Federer wins in 08, he never loses the critical mental edge of his rival being able to beat him on his best surface. Losing to Rafa on grass obviously screwed with Fed's head big time, and if he had won it I believe he has the confidence to beat Rafa in Australia the next year too (based on that loss being mostly mental in the 5th). That's two more for Fed and two less for Rafa and the slam count by Australia 2017 is never in reach.

And if you subscribe to this butterfly effect way of viewing things, there's actually an argument to be made that Roland Garros 2005 is the most important. Beating Rafa on that court before ever losing to him there and completing the career slam at such a young age would have significantly changed history.
 

Jaitock1991

Hall of Fame
I actually believe their match in Rome 2006 to be the most important one in their rivalry. At least for Fed. Not being able to close it out there and then losing in the worst possible way after having played maybe the best match of his career on clay. Rafa had already proven to be a very tough match-up for him(even beating him on the fast courts of Dubai that same year), but to me this was the match when Rafa really started getting into his head and the mental block would only grow from there.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Yes, but only because of how history has played out.

Imo Wimbledon 2008 will forever be the most important. That's the one that changed the dynamic of their rivalry forever. The "what ifs" are just as significant for that match as the ones you laid out for Australia this year. If Federer wins in 08, he never loses the critical mental edge of his rival being able to beat him on his best surface. Losing to Rafa on grass obviously screwed with Fed's head big time, and if he had won it I believe he has the confidence to beat Rafa in Australia the next year too (based on that loss being mostly mental in the 5th). That's two more for Fed and two less for Rafa and the slam count by Australia 2017 is never in reach.

And if you subscribe to this butterfly effect way of viewing things, there's actually an argument to be made that Roland Garros 2005 is the most important. Beating Rafa on that court before ever losing to him there and completing the career slam at such a young age would have significantly changed history.
Fed's head was screwed with well before Wimby 08. That match was just the result of that, not where it happened.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
I actually believe their match in Rome 2006 to be the most important one in their rivalry. At least for Fed. Not being able to close it out there and then losing in the worst possible way after having played maybe the best match of his career on clay. Rafa had already proven to be a very tough match-up for him(even beating him on the fast courts of Dubai that same year), but to me this was the match when Rafa really started getting into his head and the mental block would only grow from there.
Yup, I still think this is correct. Rome 06 was the real turning point, and if you really dig deep you can say that from then on, Federer started changing his game to combat Nadal specifically, which hurt him overall (and sure didn't help against Nadal). Slowly, he started to lose the FU bullet forehand and added more spin/net clearance. Rome 06 he basically played his normal game with great tactics and lost. That may have convinced him that his natural game wasn't enough, when that's probably not true because that match came down to a coin flip.

So there's an argument to be made that Rome 06 caused the most collateral damage for Fed's career. In terms of the matches themselves, Wimby 07, Wimby 08, AO 09, AO 17 were obviously the most important.
 

Krish0608

G.O.A.T.
Definitely. It's the last significant chapter of the Fedal. It's the match where Federer denied Nadal GOAThood and claimed his rightful throne. It is this match due to which the GS difference is unmoved at 3. The same difference it has been since 2014. It is the match we will remember years from today and realize how game-changing it was in the context of the GOAT debate. Nadal is not getting to 19. In fact he's not getting to 18 either. This is the match that has caused that to happen. There was an opportunity here for Nadal, that would have tilted the GOAT debate massively in his favour. He squandered it, partly due to the GOAT's brilliance when it mattered the most.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
That's why Wimbledon 2008 is so much more important.

Good point. Had Fed won this match he almost surely would have carried over the confidence and won 2009 AO, which would have been a 2 slam "flip." But their most important match aside from 2017 AO has to be Rome 2006. That's the greatest level Fed has ever achieved on clay and he held two MP's against Rafa but choked 'em both. Had Roger won that, he probably would have won 2006 FO and not have the mental baggage against Rafa. But it is what is is.
 

MeatTornado

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed's head was screwed with well before Wimby 08. That match was just the result of that, not where it happened.
I've always considered that match to be the "final straw" so to speak. Nadal had ruined him on clay by then, but Roger still probably believed he should win at Wimbledon, the place of 5 consecutive titles. Once Rafa showed he could win there too, there was no where left to hide and the floodgates opened. The rivalry was one-way traffic from then until 2017.
 

Federev

Legend
The most important matches between Nadal and Federer were 2008 Wimbledon and the 2009 Australian Open. These are the matches that ended the "Nadal dominates on clay, Federer dominates everywhere else" dynamic that existed before Nadal won 2008 Wimbledon.
2008; Mono-er-er
2009: Old-er-er
2017: Sweeperer
 

GOATzilla

Banned
It's the most important for Federer because he finally beat Nadal in a slam for the first time in 10 years. Federer finally got some dignity back (obviously not in the full sense of the word, but you know what I mean)...

But the most important in their rivalry was 2008 Wimbledon obviously because it was epic but also because it showed that Nadal can beat Federer on his turf while Federer never was able to beat Nadal at RG in 5 tries.

dhMeAzK.gif
 

Federev

Legend
I've always considered that match to be the "final straw" so to speak. Nadal had ruined him on clay by then, but Roger still probably believed he should win at Wimbledon, the place of 5 consecutive titles. Once Rafa showed he could win there too, there was no where left to hide and the floodgates opened. The rivalry was one-way traffic from then until 2017.

He's recovering slowly!...

Fed showed a little "I'm not your biatch" MOJO at IW 2012 - that was an amazing and underrated match he had no business winning. He straight setted Rafa on a MED-slow HC. Went on to Wimby 12 and #1 record at 306 weeks or something crazy like that.

Showed a ton of courage for a guy suffering from extreme Rafalitis.

2013: was bad Backerer but he still fought like a stallion in Cincy.

2014: AO semis - he's crawling his way back from Backerer, but loses the mind game as Nadal goes old faithful on the BH.

2015: Starts to break the chains winning final at Basel. Nadal looks at watch like "when will this guy move on??"

2017: solves BH w 5th set miracle and pretty much flood gates it so far w NID wins at IW (complete thrashing) and Miami (solid straights for the title). What a ridiculously glorious year.

36 years old and now again has a slight edge in HC and grass over the clay king.
 
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Federev

Legend
I'm not saying it was the best or highest caliber, but I do think that it may prove the most important in the entire rivalry.

Here's why: If Fed loses that match, he may not have even had the confidence to cruise through and win Wimbledon. We all know that Fed, even more than the other guys, thrives on confidence/mojo, and he was practically unbeatable at Wimbledon because his confidence was at an all-time high (or at least a 10-year high).

If Nadal had won that Fifth Set, he'd be sitting on 17 majors and Fed might be at 18 (or even 17 if he hadn't won Wimbledon). Nadal would be five years younger, would have had a commanding edge in the H2H (I seriously doubt Fed would have had the confidence to take down Rafa at IW and Miami had he lost the AO match). Basically, this forum would be an apocalyptic battle right now.

One final note, a certain legendary poaster with an iconic Sampras icon would likely still be with us had Nadal won that match.
Feels like it to me.
 

Federev

Legend
Roddick sums up the importance of the 2017 AO here at 2:20, he thinks it's the most important match in tennis history:

Nice of Roddick to set the table so well.

Fed manned up BIG TIME. Stared down the abyss and crushed his fear like never before. Amazing.

I had ZERO hope going into that match. ZERO.

5th set is the best set of tennis I've ever seen in my life - as a Fed fan of course. Happiest all around sports moment for sure.

IW and Miami were just extensions of what happened in that 5th.

All respect to the amazing Bull who's such a worthy competitor for the Maestro. They truly lift each other up in the legend department.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
Yes because it turned the tide in Federer's favor psychologically. The mental stranglehold that Nadal had over him was finally broken. AO 2017 was what turned me from being a Federer fan into a Nadal fan despite the outcome.
 
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The most important matches between Nadal and Federer were 2008 Wimbledon and the 2009 Australian Open. These are the matches that ended the "Nadal dominates on clay, Federer dominates everywhere else" dynamic that existed before Nadal won 2008 Wimbledon.

The dynamic was referring to peak Federer which is true to this day.


On the other hand AO 2017 ended the "Federer cannot win in Majors against a healthy (sic) and playing well Nadal" and "Nadal now dominates Federer on HC as well" dynamics.

Oh the irony, you were one of those people!

Did it at 35 too!

roger


:cool:
 

Federev

Legend
If Fed has lost that match, GOAT debate was settled that very day. Now jury has to wait for sometime.

I think the GOAT debate will go on forever.

Could you imagine many on either side in this forum ever saying "OK you're right. Your guy is the GOAT. I surrender."

People still even argue for Laver or Sampras out there.

There will be no end to it.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
I think the GOAT debate will go on forever.

Could you imagine many on either side in this forum ever saying "OK you're right. Your guy is the GOAT. I surrender."

People still even argue for Laver or Sampras out there.

There will be no end to it.
And Laver does have a good case. It's the quest for a single undisputed GOAT that makes people value some achievements more than others to arrive at some kind of basis. But at the end of the day, Fed, Nadal, Sampras, Laver are all great players.
 

Fedforever

Hall of Fame
Absolutely. Gotta give props to Nova too for doing so well among the GOATS.

Yes
I think the GOAT debate will go on forever.

Could you imagine many on either side in this forum ever saying "OK you're right. Your guy is the GOAT. I surrender."

People still even argue for Laver or Sampras out there.

There will be no end to it.

Yes, there will be no end to it.

Thing is, with the Federer/Nadal rivalry it's a human drama as well as a sporting one. That's why it stands out from other rivalries like Borg/McEnroe or Becker/Edberg. Even the responses on this thread reflect the psychodrama- it's all about who got in whose head. And unlike AO 2012 which you could see as an amazing sporting encounter but not have an emotional involvement, after 2009 AO that wasn't an option. Whether you found it painful to watch and wanted to give Fed a hug or you found it unbelievably irritating and wanted to give him a slap you felt something!!

In 20 years time forums will be full of annoyed tennis purists complaining that Nadal/Joker produced better tennis and was just as significant a rivalry as Fed/Nadal. It doesn't matter - soap opera will always win.
 
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