I know people don't like to hear it for some reason, but the fact is that Djokovic had played two matches vs Shapovalov and Kohlschreiber on Thursday due to rain, a 3 hour plus match against Del Potro on Friday, and a near 3 hour match against Schwartzman on Saturday (all of this off the back of a title winning week in Madrid) coming into the final against Nadal on the Sunday in Rome. He was visibly fatigued and on top of that Nadal brought a good level, especially in the first set. If anything, Djokovic did well to grab a set given the circumstances, and the only reason he was even able to do so was because of the drubbing in Australia that was still playing on Nadal's mind at the time. Even if we ignore the circumstances, I'm not sure one match vs match comparison proves anything. Of course 07-09 Djokovic was capable of fantastic tennis, and had stretches of form which exceed some of the corresponding form he displayed in 18-20. The same can clearly be said in reverse though. There are many cases of players outside of their peaks playing at peak or close to peak level on the odd occassion, and many occasions where players in their prime deliver sub par performances. Overall, I don't see 07-09 Djokovic picking up close 5 slams from W18 to AO20.Keep your opinion.
I'll keep mine.
Btw, 2009 djok went toe to toe with prime nadal on clay for 4 hours.
2019 djok was bageled and breadsticked by non prime nadal