Which Big Three Member has Left the Most Slams on the Table?

Which Big Three Member has Left the Most Slams on the Table?

  • Federer

    Votes: 52 54.2%
  • Nadal

    Votes: 21 21.9%
  • Djokjovic

    Votes: 23 24.0%

  • Total voters
    96
I know this is easy in hindsight, but many people said it at the time too. So which big three member has left the most slams on the table due to stubbornness, unwillingness to change, arrogance or plain stupidity?

Edit: I mean how much have they left on the table via big-picture off court decisions that they got wrong, not by losing any particular match.

Federer: He could have avoided many painful defeats, particularly to Nadal, by switching to a bigger racket earlier.

Nadal: Stuck with a grinding style of play, Uncle Toni and a punishing schedule for too long. Didn't win any slams in 2015 and 2016, and only managed to turn things around with Moya in 2017. Yes he has a congenital foot problem, but he could have had a lot less wear and tear on his body if he had played more offensively earlier in his career and managed his schedule better. This year proved that he doesn't have to play in and win a million clay tournaments before the French Open to win it.

Djokovic: firing Vajda (twice), hiring Pepe, holding off on elbow surgery, no-vax, Throatgate, playing the Olympics last year (and playing mixed doubles on top of singles!).
 
Last edited:

GhostOfNKDM

Hall of Fame
Wow, you joined way back on the eve of AO 2009. The "New User" moniker threw me off.

I don't think Nadal left too many on the table, really. The competition between Fed and Novak, though, is fierce.
Donno what's more impressive - staying away from the forum for over a decade while being a tennis fan, or to remember having a TW account after all this while so they could finally make a post
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
The 2014 Wimbledon final is pretty damn big in hindsight. 17 majors for Federer and 6 majors for Djokovic at the time. Nadal had 14 majors.
 
The 2014 Wimbledon final is pretty damn big in hindsight. 17 majors for Federer and 6 majors for Djokovic at the time. Nadal had 14 majors.

Agree. In the top 5 most important major victories of Djokovic's career imo, and also massive for Federer.

I remember Djokovic after it looking incredibly emotional and it almost looked more like relief than happiness.

An incredible moment.
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
After the 2014 French Open, Federer had 17 majors, Nadal had 14 majors, Djokovic had 6 majors.

After the 2016 French Open, Federer had 17 majors, Nadal had 14 majors, Djokovic had 12 majors and held all 4 at the same time.

After the 2018 French Open, Federer had 20 majors, Nadal had 17 majors, Djokovic had 12 majors
 
I didn't make it clear enough; I meant who had left the most on the table via big picture / off court decisions, not really stuff like 40-15 where someone could or should have done something different in a particular match.

I know Throatgate happened in a particular match, but that was part of a bigger pattern of behaviour which Djokovic had been called out about, and led to the infamous " you guys are unbelievable" press conference. Don't throw rackets and smack balls around (like Nadal) and you won't get DQ'd.
 

Nadal - GOAT

Hall of Fame
Nadal has been the most clinical. He has won 22 of 30 slam finals and has rarely let a lucky break in terms of draw/ early exit from Novak/ fed slip.

AO 14 was probably one slam that got away. AO 12/17 and Wimb 07/18 were very close.

Fed has ofcourse lost some close matches to Rafa/ Novak in slams but still has been clinical against non-big 3 opponents.

Novak I think has left most slams on the table.

2012 USO (loses to Murray)
2014 USO (loses to Nishikori.. wtf!!!)
2015 FO (loses to Wawrinka)
2016 Wimb (loses to querrey)
2020 USO (default) probably the easiest field at USO ever for him
2022 AO (Deported)

He has been clinical against the big 3. Has mainly lost close matches vs Rafa in FO and USO 13. Though he has let many easy opportunities against non big 3 slip.

So most slams left on the table ranking:

1. Novak
2. Fed
3. Rafa
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
Agree. In the top 5 most important major victories of Djokovic's career imo, and also massive for Federer.

I remember Djokovic after it looking incredibly emotional and it almost looked more like relief than happiness.

An incredible moment.
An interesting trend with Djokovic is how much momentum he seems to gain from Wimbledon titles. They seem to spur him on to greater things...

2011: Nadal had a rough first half of the season with Novak but in the Wimby final he could have put that all to bed. Instead Djokovic consolidated his growing mental edge over Rafa in a pretty comprehensive 4 setter - went on to defeat Rafa in the next 2 Slam finals.

(in between this, the 2013 losses at RG/Wimby sent Djokovic into a massive confidence spiral that he never really regained, until...)

2014: Djoko's confidence was all time low, he was looking for a Slam win wherever he could get it. I feel like Roger failed to keep the genie in the bottle here. Obviously 2015 is history and Djoko seemed to become a completely new man after this title.

2018: This is the definitive genie in the bottle moment. Djoko had just come off the worst stretch of his career and seemed done after RG '18. That win over Nadal brought him all the way back and woke up the monster again. I think if Djoko loses that he has a much tougher time at the next two Slams, instead he waltzed to USO '18 and AO '19.

2022 feels pivotal for this reason. If he wins there's only a 1 Slam gap between him and Rafa, CYGS dreams done, perhaps he can build on this going into next year.

If he loses it, especially to Rafa, the Slam race is effectively over.
 

Rafa24

Hall of Fame
If we aren't talking about particular matches/tournaments and just in general I think Rafa left the most on the table by overplaying and thinking he needs tons of match play to be ready when he's shown that isn't the case. The other thing I think he should have brought in another voice a couple years earlier. Moya goes with more analytics and has changed other parts of his game. When djoker was domianting him while he was ultron they didn't try much different. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. Who knows.
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
djoker vultured the most when fed and rafa fell off. but to be fair fed got a lot early before djoker was in his prime and bull wasn't either.

but they've all done amazing and can't win them all. they've all 3 won some they should have lost as well.
Rafa and Novak are the same age. And Novak famously beat Nadal in 7 straight finals across all surfaces when Nadal was 25
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
If we aren't talking about particular matches/tournaments and just in general I think Rafa left the most on the table by overplaying and thinking he needs tons of match play to be ready when he's shown that isn't the case.
When Rafa was younger, I think those victories in smaller tournaments helped his confidence and momentum. And as Rafa is a routine man, the negative of that is that it isn't always easy to see when change is needed.

The other thing I think he should have brought in another voice a couple years earlier. Moya goes with more analytics and has changed other parts of his game. When djoker was domianting him while he was ultron they didn't try much different. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. Who knows.
Rafa with Toni did see off the initial Djokovic monster, by responding from 2012 to 2014 French Open. Rafa was hit with three injury setbacks in 2014. First there was the back injury at the 2014 Australian Open final, which was still bothering Rafa months later (even during the 2014 French Open final). Second there was the late July 2014 wrist injury during a practice session, which forced him to miss the North American hardcourt summer when he was the reigning champion at the Canadian Open, Cincinnati and US Open. Third there was the appendicitis and then the surgery to remove the appendix in late 2014. Rafa was back in 2015, but the approach under Toni seemed to be to mostly double down on the old methods and the old ways, like Rafa had done years earlier. It didn't work, and Rafa seemed unsure of what his body could take physically in tennis matches. Rafa needed a fresh eye by this point, a new dynamic, a new way of looking at things. It took a while for Carlos Moya to come on board.
 
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GabeT

G.O.A.T.
What's your point here?? Rafa beat Novak consistently in back to back meetings till 2010. They were not finals mostly but still he dominated the H2H.

They are of same age but both have had very different trajectory level wise.
The argument that I was responding to was that Novak “vultured” slams when Nadal’s and Fed’s level fell off. This makes no sense even for Fed but at least there there is an age difference. Nadal and Novak are less than a year apart. Nadal was a early prodigy but once Novak took off Nadal’s only real adavantage over Novak was in clay. There was no “vulturing“
 

Mustard

Bionic Poster
The argument that I was responding to was that Novak “vultured” slams when Nadal’s and Fed’s level fell off. This makes no sense even for Fed but at least there there is an age difference. Nadal and Novak are less than a year apart. Nadal was a early prodigy but once Novak took off Nadal’s only real adavantage over Novak was in clay. There was no “vulturing“
And how do you explain the summer of 2013?
 

Nadal - GOAT

Hall of Fame
The argument that I was responding to was that Novak “vultured” slams when Nadal’s and Fed’s level fell off. This makes no sense even for Fed but at least there there is an age difference. Nadal and Novak are less than a year apart. Nadal was a early prodigy but once Novak took off Nadal’s only real adavantage over Novak was in clay. There was no “vulturing“
Yeah fair point. I am not fond of the "vulturing" connotation.

All 3 have had their fair bit of luck with draws and field.
 

Rafa4LifeEver

G.O.A.T.
I know this is easy in hindsight, but many people said it at the time too. So which big three member has left the most slams on the table due to stubbornness, unwillingness to change, arrogance or plain stupidity?

Edit: I mean how much have they left on the table via big-picture off court decisions that they got wrong, not by losing any particular match.

Federer: He could have avoided many painful defeats, particularly to Nadal, by switching to a bigger racket earlier.

Nadal: Stuck with a grinding style of play, Uncle Toni and a punishing schedule for too long. Didn't win any slams in 2015 and 2016, and only managed to turn things around with Moya in 2017. Yes he has a congenital foot problem, but he could have had a lot less wear and tear on his body if he had played more offensively earlier in his career and managed his schedule better. This year proved that he doesn't have to play in and win a million clay tournaments before the French Open to win it.

Djokovic: firing Vajda (twice), hiring Pepe, holding off on elbow surgery, no-vax, Throatgate, playing the Olympics last year (and playing mixed doubles on top of singles!).
Roger
 

Rafa24

Hall of Fame
What's your point here?? Rafa beat Novak consistently in back to back meetings till 2010. They were not finals mostly but still he dominated the H2H.

They are of same age but both have had very different trajectory level wise.
yup. Nadal was the youngest ever to complete the career grand slam.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Nadal has been the most clinical. He has won 22 of 30 slam finals and has rarely let a lucky break in terms of draw/ early exit from Novak/ fed slip.

AO 14 was probably one slam that got away. AO 12/17 and Wimb 07/18 were very close.

Fed has ofcourse lost some close matches to Rafa/ Novak in slams but still has been clinical against non-big 3 opponents.

Novak I think has left most slams on the table.

2012 USO (loses to Murray)
2014 USO (loses to Nishikori.. wtf!!!)
2015 FO (loses to Wawrinka)
2016 Wimb (loses to querrey)
2020 USO (default) probably the easiest field at USO ever for him
2022 AO (Deported)

He has been clinical against the big 3. Has mainly lost close matches vs Rafa in FO and USO 13. Though he has let many easy opportunities against non big 3 slip.

So most slams left on the table ranking:

1. Novak
2. Fed
3. Rafa

So GOATY :D
 

Rafa24

Hall of Fame
The argument that I was responding to was that Novak “vultured” slams when Nadal’s and Fed’s level fell off. This makes no sense even for Fed but at least there there is an age difference. Nadal and Novak are less than a year apart. Nadal was a early prodigy but once Novak took off Nadal’s only real adavantage over Novak was in clay. There was no “vulturing“
USO? Wimbledon 2018 was very close and had the roof rule not been in place(which was changed after it gifted Novak a slam) where Novak said lets finish the match indoors even tho it was beautiful outside he likely would have lost that. 2012 AO final Rafa was up a break in the 5th and missed an easy backhand on serve to go up 40-15 and consolidate. Yes Djoker has beat down rafa some. Rafa has beat down djoker some. And they've played a lot of very tight matches. Slams Rafa has a winning record against him in 2 and djoker has 2.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
And he's won 30 some % of the grand slams he's entered which is GOATY too!

I've been using it a lot this week but it might just have to be the new word to describe him....... Nadal is RIDICULOUS lol
Even if you just look at his Houdini escapes and epic matches in 2022, nevermind the rest of his career lol
 

FRV4

Hall of Fame
It’s either Fed or Djokovic. Nadal doesn’t beat himself. He has had many injuries but don’t know if that counts
 

GabeT

G.O.A.T.
USO? Wimbledon 2018 was very close and had the roof rule not been in place(which was changed after it gifted Novak a slam) where Novak said lets finish the match indoors even tho it was beautiful outside he likely would have lost that. 2012 AO final Rafa was up a break in the 5th and missed an easy backhand on serve to go up 40-15 and consolidate. Yes Djoker has beat down rafa some. Rafa has beat down djoker some. And they've played a lot of very tight matches. Slams Rafa has a winning record against him in 2 and djoker has 2.
We may be debating different things. I responded to a comment that indicated that Novak had vultured slams when Nadal’s level dropped off. That’s not true. If you are making a different point, that Nadal can be a threat to Novak in many slams (and vice versa) then we don’t disagree.
 

MeatTornado

Talk Tennis Guru
I didn't make it clear enough; I meant who had left the most on the table via big picture / off court decisions, not really stuff like 40-15 where someone could or should have done something different in a particular match.

I know Throatgate happened in a particular match, but that was part of a bigger pattern of behaviour which Djokovic had been called out about, and led to the infamous " you guys are unbelievable" press conference. Don't throw rackets and smack balls around (like Nadal) and you won't get DQ'd.
Well in that case if we're talking off-court then it's obviously Djokovic. Besides the infamous DQ and missing AO 22 (potentially USO 22 & AO 23 on the horizon as well), he basically threw away 2 full seasons between 2016-18 by refusing to get the elbow surgery he needed while he got rid of Vajda & Becker and prioritized Pepe. Basically everything in that time period would've been on the table with the exception of RG 2017.

Slams may have also been left on the table during 07-10 if he fixed his health sooner, but it's hard to blame him if he didn't really know, as well as being possible that he doesn't win any in that time period anyway since Fed & Rafa were so strong at the time. Hiring Todd Martin to destroy his serve didn't help either.
 

Whisper

Semi-Pro
know this is easy in hindsight, but many people said it at the time too. So which big three member has left the most slams on the table due to stubbornness, unwillingness to change, arrogance or plain stupidity?

Nadal lost 2012 AO final after being up a break 4-2 in 5th set. Nadal also lost 2017 AO final after being up a break 3-1 in 5th set. Nadal lost 2 tie-breaks in 2007 Wimbledon final and at 2-1 in 5th set had some break points. That’s 3 big slam finals he led in the 5th set. Could easily be on 25 slams now, Djoker 19 and Federer 18 and slam race would be over.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Nadal has left a few Australian Open Titles on the table, but his biggest missed chances were against the two greatest hardcourt players ever who got him in the end, which is some consolation. But realistically he maybe could/should have won Australian Open 2012 and 2017 considering he was up a break in both finals in the 5th sets.
 

octogon

Hall of Fame
Nadal lost 2012 AO final after being up a break 4-2 in 5th set. Nadal also lost 2017 AO final after being up a break 3-1 in 5th set. Nadal lost 2 tie-breaks in 2007 Wimbledon final and at 2-1 in 5th set had some break points. That’s 3 big slam finals he led in the 5th set. Could easily be on 25 slams now, Djoker 19 and Federer 18 and slam race would be over.


I think Nadal's youth and inexperience on Grass is why I don't see Wimbledon 2007 as a missed opportunity, despite what you say being factually correct. It was the performance of a young player who was nearly there, but not quite ready to dethrone the king, which he did the following year. Federer was still the king of grass, so him pegging back Rafa in a 5th set at that stage of their careers on his surface was almost to be expected.

It's only the 2 Australian Open Finals against Djokovic and Federer that I think he really didn't have much excuse to not convert. But again, these are the two greatest hardcourt players ever and the two most accomplished Australian Open champions also, which is probably why those losses aren't even seen as being that bad.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
I think Nadal's youth and inexperience on Grass is why I don't see Wimbledon 2007 as a missed opportunity, despite what you say being factually correct. It was the performance of a young player who was nearly there, but not quite ready to dethrone the king, which he did the following year. Federer was still the king of grass, so him pegging back Rafa in a 5th set at that stage of their careers on his surface was almost to be expected.

It's only the 2 Australian Open Finals against Djokovic and Federer that I think he really didn't have much excuse to not convert. But again, these are the two greatest hardcourt players ever and the two most accomplished Australian Open champions also, which is probably why those losses aren't even seen as being that bad.

Nadal would be on 24 :oops:
 

Whisper

Semi-Pro
And he's won 30 some % of the grand slams he's entered which is GOATY too!

He’s doing better than winning every 3rd slam he enters - 22/64 = 34.3%

Federer is not winning even every 4 slams he enter - 20/81 = 24.6%

Djokovic 20/67 = 29.8%
 

Rafa24

Hall of Fame
I've been using it a lot this week but it might just have to be the new word to describe him....... Nadal is RIDICULOUS lol
Even if you just look at his Houdini escapes and epic matches in 2022, nevermind the rest of his career lol
So true! I want wimbledon this year. He had 2 tough slams this year. Beat the guy who won the last hard court slam down 0-2 after being off basically half a year. Beat the defending champ at RG. I'd be happy to see him get an easy draw at wimbledon and win!!!
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
So true! I want wimbledon this year. He had 2 tough slams this year. Beat the guy who won the last hard court slam down 0-2 after being off basically half a year. Beat the defending champ at RG. I'd be happy to see him get an easy draw at wimbledon and win!!!

Yeah we need a break lol, I want a cupcake draw at the next 2 slams :D

TFNKS.png
 

Entername

Professional
Federer's blown chances:

- 2005 AO (had MP vs Safin; would've played his son Hewitt in finals)
- 2007 RG (was like 1 for 1000000 on BPs vs Nadal)
- 2008 WI (had BP at 4-3 in the fifth set vs Nadal)
- 2009 AO (outlasted by Rafa in fifth set)
- 2009 US (served for the 2nd set for a 2-0 sets lead vs Delpo)
- 2011 US (40-15 vs Novak)
- 2014 WI (had BP at 4-3 in the fifth set vs Novak)
- 2014 US (lost to Cilic when he would've played Nishikori in finals)
- 2015 US (was like 3 for 100000 on BPs vs Novak)
- 2019 WI (40-15 vs Novak)

Nadal's blown chances:

- 2007 WI (lots of BPs in the fifth)
- 2012 AO (up 4-2 in the fifth)
- 2014 AO (got injured against Stan who he was 14-0 against)
- 2017 AO (up 3-1 in the fifth)
- 2018 WI (had 3 BPs at 7-all in the fifth; would've played Anderson in finals)
- 2021 RG (had SP in the third set; would've played Steffy in the finals)

Djokovic's blown chances:
- 2012 US (melted down in fifth set vs Murray)
- 2013 RG (up 4-2 in the fifth before touching the net; would've played Daveed Ferrer in finals)
- 2014 AO (lost 9-7 in the fifth to Stan; would've played injured Nadal in finals)
- 2014 US (lost to Nishikori when Cilic would've been in the finals)
- 2015 RG (lost to Stan in the finals during a 3-slam season)
- 2020 US (hit the lineswoman and got DQ'd)
- 2021 US (lost his chance at the CYGS vs Med who never won a slam before)
- 2022 AO (deported from his pet slam and faces future suspension from Australia)


For now Federer has blown the most chances but Novak will literally be leaving slams on the table if he continues to be banned from entering slams due to his vaccine status (or lackthereof)
 

mahatma

Hall of Fame
Federer's blown chances:

- 2005 AO (had MP vs Safin; would've played his son Hewitt in finals)
- 2007 RG (was like 1 for 1000000 on BPs vs Nadal)
- 2008 WI (had BP at 4-3 in the fifth set vs Nadal)
- 2009 AO (outlasted by Rafa in fifth set)
- 2009 US (served for the 2nd set for a 2-0 sets lead vs Delpo)
- 2011 US (40-15 vs Novak)
- 2014 WI (had BP at 4-3 in the fifth set vs Novak)
- 2014 US (lost to Cilic when he would've played Nishikori in finals)
- 2015 US (was like 3 for 100000 on BPs vs Novak)
- 2019 WI (40-15 vs Novak)

Nadal's blown chances:

- 2007 WI (lots of BPs in the fifth)
- 2012 AO (up 4-2 in the fifth)
- 2014 AO (got injured against Stan who he was 14-0 against)
- 2017 AO (up 3-1 in the fifth)
- 2018 WI (had 3 BPs at 7-all in the fifth; would've played Anderson in finals)
- 2021 RG (had SP in the third set; would've played Steffy in the finals)

Djokovic's blown chances:
- 2012 US (melted down in fifth set vs Murray)
- 2013 RG (up 4-2 in the fifth before touching the net)
- 2014 AO (lost 9-7 in the fifth to Stan)
- 2014 US (lost to Nishikori when Cilic would've been in the finals)
- 2015 RG (lost to Stan in the finals during a 3-slam season)
- 2020 US (hit the lineswoman and got DQ'd)
- 2021 US (lost his chance at the CYGS vs Med who never won a slam before)
- 2022 AO (deported from his pet slam and faces future suspension from Australia)


For now Federer has blown the most chances but Novak will literally be leaving slams on the table if he continues to be banned from entering slams due to his vaccine status (or lackthereof)
All entries below finals don't really qualify. Lot can happen playing the finals I feel.
 

Nadal - GOAT

Hall of Fame
Federer's blown chances:

- 2005 AO (had MP vs Safin; would've played his son Hewitt in finals)
- 2007 RG (was like 1 for 1000000 on BPs vs Nadal)
- 2008 WI (had BP at 4-3 in the fifth set vs Nadal)
- 2009 AO (outlasted by Rafa in fifth set)
- 2009 US (served for the 2nd set for a 2-0 sets lead vs Delpo)
- 2011 US (40-15 vs Novak)
- 2014 WI (had BP at 4-3 in the fifth set vs Novak)
- 2014 US (lost to Cilic when he would've played Nishikori in finals)
- 2015 US (was like 3 for 100000 on BPs vs Novak)
- 2019 WI (40-15 vs Novak)

Nadal's blown chances:

- 2007 WI (lots of BPs in the fifth)
- 2012 AO (up 4-2 in the fifth)
- 2014 AO (got injured against Stan who he was 14-0 against)
- 2017 AO (up 3-1 in the fifth)
- 2018 WI (had 3 BPs at 7-all in the fifth; would've played Anderson in finals)
- 2021 RG (had SP in the third set; would've played Steffy in the finals)

Djokovic's blown chances:
- 2012 US (melted down in fifth set vs Murray)
- 2013 RG (up 4-2 in the fifth before touching the net; would've played Daveed Ferrer in finals)
- 2014 AO (lost 9-7 in the fifth to Stan; would've played injured Nadal in finals)
- 2014 US (lost to Nishikori when Cilic would've been in the finals)
- 2015 RG (lost to Stan in the finals during a 3-slam season)
- 2020 US (hit the lineswoman and got DQ'd)
- 2021 US (lost his chance at the CYGS vs Med who never won a slam before)
- 2022 AO (deported from his pet slam and faces future suspension from Australia)


For now Federer has blown the most chances but Novak will literally be leaving slams on the table if he continues to be banned from entering slams due to his vaccine status (or lackthereof)
Good list. Agree with most of it.

For Novak, why would you not include 2016 Wimb? He was the favorite going into the tournament and had an early exit to Querrey. Murray won the tournament eventually who would have been a tough opponent. But still I would back Novak based on the form then.
 

Entername

Professional
Good list. Agree with most of it.

For Novak, why would you not include 2016 Wimb? He was the favorite going into the tournament and had an early exit to Querrey. Murray won the tournament eventually who would have been a tough opponent. But still I would back Novak based on the form then.
He had already won the Nole Slam so I think he was less focused in 2016 Wimbledon. Plus who's to say he wouldn't get taken out later in the tournament as eventually he was gonna lose at a major especially after winning 4 in a row
 

Nadal - GOAT

Hall of Fame
All entries below finals don't really qualify. Lot can happen playing the finals I feel.
Fair point. Especially in the case of USO 11 for Fed where he would have played Rafa had he converted the MPs. But some cases should count. USO 14 for instance.
 
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