Where do Federer's 2004 and 2006, Djokovic's 2011 and 2015 rank in the best years of the Open Era

1. Laver 1969
2. Djokovic 2015
3. Connors 1974
4. Federer 2006
5. McEnroe 1984
6. Djokovic 2011
7. Federer 2007
8. Borg 1980
9. Nadal 2010
10. Borg 1979/Federer 2005
That list is almost perfect IMO. The only thing wrong is Connors 1974 is way too high. I would probably bump that way down to 9th, and leave everything else the same.

Maybe switch Federer's 2005 and 2007. I know his 2007 was a much bigger success in big titles, but his 2005 was a much more dominant and higher level overall.
 
Peak Djokovic couldn't beat the 2012/2013/2014 version of Nadal in BO5 on clay, so no way would he beat the 2006 version.
Well in fairness Djokovic 2011 and 2015 are both better than the Djokovic's of those years. And most are pretty sure he would have beaten Nadal at RG 2011 if Federer did not save Nadal by his huge win over Djokovic, we will never know but that seems to be the strong common belief.

Also 2012 Nadal is better than 2006 Nadal on clay by far. 2012 might be his best overall year of clay tennis ever, even over 2008 although 2008 is his best RG ever. 2013 is probably relatively close with 2006, only 2014 is far behind.
 

upchuck

Professional
Without taking a position on whether peak Djokovic would beat 2006 Nadal on clay, I just want to point out that 2012/2013/2014 Djokovic is not the best version of Novak to reference because of his general struggles in big GS matches. 2011 is the opportunity he really let slipped away, suffering an unnecessary loss to Federer. In 2015 and 2016, other years when he was up to the challenge mentally, Nadal was in a slump.
 
2014 Nadal on clay was worse than 2006 Nadal on clay though.
Yes. 2014 Nadal lose to Almagro and Ferrer on clay and had to save 2 MPs to avoid a 3 set loss to Andujar at Rio Open. One of his worst clay season ever, only better than 2015/2016. How he managed to pick up his form at RG that year is still a miracle though.
 

duaneeo

Hall of Fame
Well in fairness Djokovic 2011 and 2015 are both better than the Djokovic's of those years.

Also 2012 Nadal is better than 2006 Nadal on clay by far.
Djokovic reached his peak in 2011, and 2012, 2013, and 2014 are among his peak years. Because he perhaps played below his peak those 3 years doesn't mean those are not his peak years.

And I disagree 2012 Nadal is better than 2006 Nadal on clay. Rafa went 9-0 in BO5 clay finals in 2005 - 2006, beating big-wigs pre-mental-case-against-Rafa-on-clay Federer (3), Coria (2), Ferrero, Gaudio, Puerta, and Robredo.
 
He still was 4-1 vs Federer, 6-0 vs Nadal, so 10-1 vs a prime Nadal and close to prime Federer which is pretty incredible.

I do think it is overrated a bit though as Nadal in 2011 wasnt as strong on any surface as 2008, 2010, or 2013 (minus grass on 2013), and Federer was definitely well past his very peak years.

On another note if Federer beats Djokovic in the U.S Open semis (both 2010 and 2011) it probably just leads to Nadal winning the title both years, instead of just 2010, so I am not sure which scenario is better or worse for Federer. I guess it depends if one thinks Djokovic or Nadal is a bigger threat tot he slam record. Neither particularly help him though.
Totally disagree. If anything Nadal was at his absolute best overall on all surfaces. It was the first time he reached 7 consecutive finals across all surfaces.

Yes Djokovic did dominate Fedal overall, but the point is about slams, the most important events - Djokovic at his all time best lost convincingly against Federer at FO and effectively was lost at USO, against a Federer who was at the end of his prime.

As for Nadal winning 2011 USO if Fed made the finals, disagree again, maybe Nadal would have taken 2010, but not 2011. Fed was playing pretty well, after all he had peakiest peak Djokovic on the ropes.
 
Totally disagree. If anything Nadal was at his absolute best overall on all surfaces. It was the first time he reached 7 consecutive finals across all surfaces.

Yes Djokovic did dominate Fedal overall, but the point is about slams, the most important events - Djokovic at his all time best lost convincingly against Federer at FO and effectively was lost at USO, against a Federer who was at the end of his prime.

As for Nadal winning 2011 USO if Fed made the finals, disagree again, maybe Nadal would have taken 2010, but not 2011. Fed was playing pretty well, after all he had peakiest peak Djokovic on the ropes.
Nadal was better on clay pretty much every single year from 2005-2014 than 2011, the only year you could debate 2011 being better than is 2014. On hard courts he was better in 2008, early 2009, 2010, and 2013. On grass he was better on 2007, 2008, and 2010, 2007 and 2008 by a long ways. Anyway not sure why you are arguing that, as you seem to be arguing against Djokovic but if we go by your statement of Nadal being his best ever on all surfaces, it would only strengthen Djokovic, not weaken him as you seemingly are trying to do.

As for Nadal vs Federer in those U.S Open finals, the Nadal vs Federer match up is nothing like the Nadal vs Djokovic or the Djokovic vs Nadal match ups. Even RG is proof of that since Federer beat Djokovic, Nadal beat Federer, without either even going 5 sets, and in all likelihood Djokovic would have beaten Nadal (probably without a 5th set as well). Federer had not beaten Nadal in a slam since 2007 at that point, and the momentum in that match up was heavily in Nadal's favor. I agree the 2011 U.S Open is atleast a much closer call, unlike the 2010 U.S Open where the chances Federer would have won had he converted his MP in the semis are basically nothing, or Federer winning over Nadal in the RG final that year which again are almost nothing just since it is RG, but the odds still favor a Nadal win I think.
 
Djokovic reached his peak in 2011, and 2012, 2013, and 2014 are among his peak years. Because he perhaps played below his peak those 3 years doesn't mean those are not his peak years.

And I disagree 2012 Nadal is better than 2006 Nadal on clay. Rafa went 9-0 in BO5 clay finals in 2005 - 2006, beating big-wigs pre-mental-case-against-Rafa-on-clay Federer (3), Coria (2), Ferrero, Gaudio, Puerta, and Robredo.
I am pretty sure Nadal's best years on clay go roughly in this order:

1. 2008
2. 2012- 2012 you could even put over 2008 though, I only put 2008 1st since Roland Garros Nadal was insane that year.
3. 2010
4. 2007
5. 2006
6. 2013
7. 2005
8. 2009
9. 2011
10. 2014

We will have to disagree on his 2006 on clay being better than 2012. As for going undefeated, part of the reason is the clay court field in 2006 was pathetically weak which both Nadal and Federer benefitted from to a degree. Coria and Ferrero were 100% done, Davydenko and Nalbandian were never really clay courters, not sure who else to even mention. I think Ljubicic was in the semis of RG and one of the other big clay events that year. Not that it was ever great any of this period, but it was atleast stronger later once Djokovic came into his own, and people like Soderling, Wawrinka, Del Potro and even Ferrer began emerging, with the only negative compared to 2006 is Federer wasnt good on clay anymore after 2012, maybe even after 2011.
 
Nadal was better on clay pretty much every single year from 2005-2014 than 2011, the only year you could debate 2011 being better than is 2014. On hard courts he was better in 2008, early 2009, 2010, and 2013. On grass he was better on 2007, 2008, and 2010, 2007 and 2008 by a long ways. Anyway not sure why you are arguing that, as you seem to be arguing against Djokovic but if we go by your statement of Nadal being his best ever on all surfaces, it would only strengthen Djokovic, not weaken him as you seemingly are trying to do.

As for Nadal vs Federer in those U.S Open finals, the Nadal vs Federer match up is nothing like the Nadal vs Djokovic or the Djokovic vs Nadal match ups. Even RG is proof of that since Federer beat Djokovic, Nadal beat Federer, without either even going 5 sets, and in all likelihood Djokovic would have beaten Nadal (probably without a 5th set as well). Federer had not beaten Nadal in a slam since 2007 at that point, and the momentum in that match up was heavily in Nadal's favor. I agree the 2011 U.S Open is atleast a much closer call, unlike the 2010 U.S Open where the chances Federer would have won had he converted his MP in the semis are basically nothing, or Federer winning over Nadal in the RG final that year which again are almost nothing just since it is RG, but the odds still favor a Nadal win I think.
I'm not arguing FOR anyone. I'm going by the truth. Nadal was at his best overall, that's why I specifically used the word overall. Yes on clay 2011 he wasn't at his all time best, and he was better on grass in 2007, but HC I disagree, he was as good in 2011 on HC as he was in other years. However, overall considering all surfaces and the number of CONSECUTIVE finals he made, it was his highest level overall, pretty much peak.

I never said Nadal vs Fed matchup is anything like Federer vs Djokovic. RG is not the USO. Federer was playing very well at the USO in 2011 as he did at the FO. BUT USO is HC, not clay. Clay is much more in Nadal's favour and still Fed was a couple of points from taking that first set and even being up 2 sets. But it's clay and Nadal wore him down. Can't do the same at USO, don't think Nadal wins there in 2011, and it would be close in 2010.
 
I'm not arguing FOR anyone.
I highly doubt that. :-D

Most of the rest of what you say, especialy Nadal of 2011 being the best ever Nadal on hard courts, is far too ridiculous to waste anymore time on. The only hard court event in 2011 that Nadal even might have played his best ever at is Miami. Also if you really believed 2011 Nadal was the best ever Nadal on hard courts, you wouldnt be saying that you feel with total certainty an old Federer beats him in the U.S Open final, which alone is proof even you dont really believe that (or atleast dont believe 1 of those 2 things) and are talking about of your ass.
 
I highly doubt that. :-D

Most of the rest of what you say, especialy Nadal of 2011 being the best ever Nadal on hard courts, is far too ridiculous to waste anymore time on. The only hard court event in 2011 that Nadal even might have played his best ever at is Miami. Also if you really believed 2011 Nadal was the best ever Nadal on hard courts, you wouldnt be saying that you feel with total certainty an old Federer beats him in the U.S Open final, which alone is proof even you dont really believe that (or atleast dont believe 1 of those 2 things) and are talking about of your ass.
Sometimes the truth hurts I know. Nadal was playing excellently on HC in 2011, Djokovic was simply better. I didn't say Nadal was best ever on HC in 2011 as in that was the only year he played at that level, but it was as good as ever. I do think Federer would have beaten him in 2011, but there are no certainties in tennis.
 

duaneeo

Hall of Fame
As for going undefeated, part of the reason is the clay court field in 2006 was pathetically weak which both Nadal and Federer benefitted from to a degree.
In 2012, Nadal beat Nieminen, Kukushkin, Wawrinka, Simon, and Djokovic to win Monte Carlo.
...beat Mayer, Granollers, Berdych, Ferrer, and Djokovic to win Rome.
...beat Bolelli, Istomin, Schwank, Monaco, Almagro, Ferrer, and Djokovic to win Roland Garros.

Facing this crazy strong clay field, one wonders how Nadal won any big titles in 2012.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal was better on clay pretty much every single year from 2005-2014 than 2011, the only year you could debate 2011 being better than is 2014. On hard courts he was better in 2008, early 2009, 2010, and 2013. On grass he was better on 2007, 2008, and 2010, 2007 and 2008 by a long ways. Anyway not sure why you are arguing that, as you seem to be arguing against Djokovic but if we go by your statement of Nadal being his best ever on all surfaces, it would only strengthen Djokovic, not weaken him as you seemingly are trying to do.

As for Nadal vs Federer in those U.S Open finals, the Nadal vs Federer match up is nothing like the Nadal vs Djokovic or the Djokovic vs Nadal match ups. Even RG is proof of that since Federer beat Djokovic, Nadal beat Federer, without either even going 5 sets, and in all likelihood Djokovic would have beaten Nadal (probably without a 5th set as well). Federer had not beaten Nadal in a slam since 2007 at that point, and the momentum in that match up was heavily in Nadal's favor. I agree the 2011 U.S Open is atleast a much closer call, unlike the 2010 U.S Open where the chances Federer would have won had he converted his MP in the semis are basically nothing, or Federer winning over Nadal in the RG final that year which again are almost nothing just since it is RG, but the odds still favor a Nadal win I think.
No, he was better on clay in 2011 than in 2014. I don't see how that's debatable.
 
No, he was better on clay in 2011 than in 2014. I don't see how that's debatable.
Probably but I think it is close. He nearly lost to Isner at the French, that is pretty awful. OK that is one match but watching him play on clay in 2011 he was very out of sorts.
Yeah lets say probably better than 2014 though so the worst Nadal on clay from 2005-2013 still.
 
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