Which of the following represents the highest clay level?

Which of the following represents the highest clay level?

  • Fed 06

    Votes: 21 32.8%
  • Fed 09

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Djokovic 2011

    Votes: 26 40.6%
  • Wawrinka 2015

    Votes: 7 10.9%
  • Lendl 1984

    Votes: 6 9.4%
  • Wilander 1988

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    64
Johnny botted from the tree tops that day with those balls :D and he wasn't the only player to be able to bot like that that tournament. If you remember, quite a few players were not happy with the change. Nadal was totally caught off guard there but pulled it together after that. Not much difference really than 2006 Nadal being pushed hard on clay by Hewitt who had like a 63.8% winning percentage on clay and never even made a clay Masters final, or being pushed hard by Mathieu. I think it balances out really. At the very least it could be said those two years are on the same level, although I would disagree because I feel 2011 was a notch up on a competitive level compared to 2006, but I don't see how 2011 Nadal was worse than 2006.
You don't win 7-2 TBs by botting, man. Isner played some great breakers in his career but Nadal losing both TBs like that says something about his confidence. And I'll tell you Nadal wasn't any better in 2R-3R 2011 than 3R-4R 2006, but Andujar and Veic (who?) are nowhere near Hewitt and even Mathieu in that match so ended up with nothing to show for it. Andujar in fact nearly breadsticked Nadal, I think he had a SP and then choked in horrible fashion like Fed in Hamburg 08 final.

At any rate, on both occasions Nadal got better in later rounds so it didn't matter that much. Nadal looked more in control in 06 RG but faster 2011 conditions didn't help either. Don't lean one way or the other... Nadal's RG level isn't straightforward to assess since he can win way off his best.
 
So 2015 is Peak Fed then? ;)



I do think 2006/2011 Nadal are on roughly the same level, however Hewitt basically redlined for two sets to make it a little close and Mathieu played at a ridiculous level - actually ridiculous level of hitting from him. Don't know if even Federer in the 2011 final played as well Mathieu did there tbh.
2015 Federer was 33/34 not 25. Lol.

So did Isner. Are we just going to ignore his level that day with those balls? Come on dude, he was good but let's not get carried away. :D
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
2015 Federer was 33/34 not 25. Lol.

So did Isner. Are we just going to ignore his level that day with those balls? Come on dude, he was good but let's not get carried away. :D
Yes but that's a different discussion, you were pointing to the stats :p

I don't think I am getting carried away man, I rewatched it recently, the guy was clobering the ball like 09 Sodering - crazy performance.
 
You don't win 7-2 TBs by botting, man. Isner played some great breakers in his career but Nadal losing both TBs like that says something about his confidence. And I'll tell you Nadal wasn't any better in 2R-3R 2011 than 3R-4R 2006, but Andujar and Veic (who?) are nowhere near Hewitt and even Mathieu in that match so ended up with nothing to show for it. Andujar in fact nearly breadsticked Nadal, I think he had a SP and then choked in horrible fashion like Fed in Hamburg 08 final.

At any rate, on both occasions Nadal got better in later rounds so it didn't matter that much. Nadal looked more in control in 06 RG but faster 2011 conditions didn't help either. Don't lean one way or the other... Nadal's RG level isn't straightforward to assess since he can win way off his best.
He pretty much did bot though and served and volleyed on clay no less with great success. The balls allowed this which would have never happened with heavier balls. I didn't see the Andujar match but Nadal won his next 5 matches in straight sets including against Soderling and Murray until the final. Pretty much business as usual. Not entirely out of the ordinary for Nadal to lose sets at RG in some years early on. It was out of the ordinary to go 5 sets but I think him getting used to those conditions against a servebot caused that.

I don't really weigh it down to RG only. I was talking about his level on clay in general and to me, he was not better overall on clay in 2006 than he was in 2011. I've actually never felt that way either. I would agree that 2011 and 2006 RG are about the same level.
 
Yes but that's a different discussion, you were pointing to the stats :p

I don't think I am getting carried away man, I rewatched it recently, the guy was clobering the ball like 09 Sodering - crazy performance.
But what does those stats have to do with 2015 Federer? I can assure you without looking that his return stats on clay in 2015 are considerably worse than 2006. Serve stats probably are a bit better since his serve improved, but that's the trajectory of Federer in his later years. No way would 2015 be better than 2006 though.

Lol. I will have to watch that again but I am skeptical right now. :giggle:
 
Nadal is the undisputed highest level clay, so I assume you mean of the lesser clay players/matches/seasons who played better respectively. I think Fed 06 or Djo 11could be argued. Everything about 2009 clay was convoluted with Nadal not being there mentally and leaving doors open.
 
Step your game up @Lew II and you're making me do your work for you. :p

2006 Nadal on clay
-- 66.0% service points won, 84.2% service games won
-- 45.9% return points won, 40.2% return games won
-- points dominance 1.35 || games dominance 2.55
2006 RG final -- 25 winners/28 unforced errors/45 forced errors

2011 Nadal on clay
-- 66.4% service points won, 83.4% service games won
-- 47.3% return points won, 43.9% return games won
-- points dominance 1.41 || games dominance 2.64
2011 RG final -- 39 winners/27 unforced errors/48 forced errors (bigger 1st serve in this RG and 2nd serve is about the same as 2006)

So although Nadal lost two matches on clay in 2011 compared to 0 in 2006, this suggests he was a better player on clay in 2011 than 2006. An athlete will always be physically stronger at 25 than he is at 20 anyways. So it's easy to downplay 2011 and say Nadal was not that good just because he didn't go undefeated when it isn't necessarily true.
I like what you did here. People on the board wax poetic about "young" Nadal (from 2006), assuming that youth immediately means superior athleticism, vigor, etc., but 2011 Nadal was only like 25, not exactly old! I'd say Nadal's peak is basically 2008-2012.
 
I like what you did here. People on the board wax poetic about "young" Nadal (from 2006), assuming that youth immediately means superior athleticism, vigor, etc., but 2011 Nadal was only like 25, not exactly old! I'd say Nadal's peak is basically 2008-2012.
I try to give them all credit where I think they deserve it, beyond my slight Djoko bias of course. :giggle: But seriously, yea 2006 Nadal was amazing but a bit too much of a myth on here as if he could not be defeated. Federer had match points against him in 2006 and he was pushed in other matches as well. I personally don't think that was his peak. To me, Nadal in 2008 and 2012 is the highest level. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that 2012 is the highest level overall based on what I've seen and his stats. He lost one set on red clay that year. RG 2008 is the highest level at that tournament.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
But what does those stats have to do with 2015 Federer? I can assure you without looking that his return stats on clay in 2015 are considerably worse than 2006. Serve stats probably are a bit better since his serve improved, but that's the trajectory of Federer in his later years. No way would 2015 be better than 2006 though.

Lol. I will have to watch that again but I am skeptical right now. :giggle:
I was talking generally about his 2015 stats which measure up very nicely with his best years going by the metrics you picked out.

It's worth watching again even ignoring our discussion, very entertaining match.
 
I was talking generally about his 2015 stats which measure up very nicely with his best years going by the metrics you picked out.

It's worth watching again even ignoring our discussion, very entertaining match.
Not really. I just checked and his return game stats on clay were 32.9% in 2006 and 25.2% in 2015. That's a huge difference and brings him down. Games won is 59.4% in 2006 and 57.3% in 2015 so that's a decline. If I flip it around, 2006 Nadal's games won stat was 62.2% in 2006 and was 64.6% in 2011, so there's definitely a difference. I think what can be a little misleading are Federer's dominance ratios in those years since they are basically the same even though he wasn't as good in 2015. The improved serve kind of gives an illusion I guess.

Is it on Youtube?
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Not really. I just checked and his return game stats on clay were 32.9% in 2006 and 25.2% in 2015. That's a huge difference and brings him down. Games won is 59.4% in 2006 and 57.3% in 2015 so that's a decline. If I flip it around, 2006 Nadal's games won stat was 62.6% and in 2011 it was 64.6%, so there's definitely a difference. I think what can be a little misleading are Federer's dominance ratios in those years sine they are basically the same even though he wasn't as good in 2015. The improved serve kind of gives an illusion I guess.

Is it on Youtube?
You're not understanding me, I'm not talking about Federer 2015 on clay - I'm talking about his HC/grass numbers in say 2015 vs 2004-2007. I hope even the likes of Lew and ABCD wouldn't try to argue Federer was at his best on clay in 2015.

No, there's only highlights on YT. I've got the match but not planning on uploading it just so it can be deleted...
 
You're not understanding me, I'm not talking about Federer 2015 on clay - I'm talking about his HC/grass numbers in say 2015 vs 2004-2007. I hope even the likes of Lew and ABCD wouldn't try to argue Federer was at his best on clay in 2015.

No, there's only highlights on YT. I've got the match but not planning on uploading it just so it can be deleted...
Oh well you should say so. I can't read your mind. :laughing: Probably the same situation to be honest though. Return stats are worse and serve stats are slightly better. I would think games won would go for 2006. Grass is a much smaller sample size though.

Oh ok. I probably could find it.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Oh well you should say so. I can't read your mind. :laughing: Probably the same situation to be honest though. Return stats are worse and serve stats are slightly better. I would think games won would go for 2006. Grass is a much smaller sample size though.

Oh ok. I probably could find it.
I thought it was obvious, though maybe that's just how it felt from inside my own head aha. IIRC 2015 comes out ahead of 2004/2005 on games won, just below 2006. The problem with these sorts of stats is that not all points, games etc...are worth the same.
 
I thought it was obvious, though maybe that's just how it felt from inside my own head aha. IIRC 2015 comes out ahead of 2004/2005 on games won, just below 2006. The problem with these sorts of stats is that not all points, games etc...are worth the same.
True but Federer played a really high level in 2015. You at least have to concede this. He made 2 Slam finals for the 1st time since 2009, made 3 Masters finals and the WTF final. His level from Wimbledon to USO was out of this world, so the stats are reflecting that. Take away Djokovic and it's a 2017 year. Now he was a better athlete at 25 compared to 34, but he still played very well in 2015.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
True but Federer played a really high level in 2015. You at least have to concede this. He made 2 Slam finals for the 1st time since 2009, made 3 Masters finals and the WTF final. His level from Wimbledon to USO was out of this world, so the stats are reflecting that. Take away Djokovic and it's a 2017 year. Now he was a better athlete at 25 compared to 34, but he still played very well in 2015.
There's nothing for me to concede, I've said many times that Federer played at a high level in 2015 - he was ruthlessly efficient but lacked the explosive physicality of his youth which he needed against GOAT'ing Djokovic in the biggest matches.
 
Federer '06
Federer '09
Djokovic '11
Wawrinka '15
Lendl '84
Wilander '88
Wilander 1988 lost five sets.
Lendl 1984 lost three sets.
Wawrinka 2015 lost three sets.
Djokovic 2011 lost four sets (en route to losing in the semis to Fed).
Fed 2009 lost six sets.
Fed 2006 lost five sets.


Nastase lost zero sets in 1973.
 
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Might do. Need to upload it somewhere as I want to chart that and the Hewitt R4 match - though I'm happy for you to do the Mathieu match if you fancy it. Don't want to bite off more than I can chew while I try to get back into charting.
I'm going to resume working on Big 3's GS matches again soon hopefully, so yes if you can upload I'd like to do that one, gotta see how the hell Mathieu of all people could hang with Nadal at RG.
 

mike danny

Talk Tennis Guru
I try to give them all credit where I think they deserve it, beyond my slight Djoko bias of course. :giggle: But seriously, yea 2006 Nadal was amazing but a bit too much of a myth on here as if he could not be defeated. Federer had match points against him in 2006 and he was pushed in other matches as well. I personally don't think that was his peak. To me, Nadal in 2008 and 2012 is the highest level. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that 2012 is the highest level overall based on what I've seen and his stats. He lost one set on red clay that year. RG 2008 is the highest level at that tournament.
I just don't see any Djokovic beating 2006 Nadal at RG.

Other clay masters maybe. Although it would have been 100 times harder thanfacing Berdych and old Fed.

RG? Don't see it.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I'm going to resume working on Big 3's GS matches again soon hopefully, so yes if you can upload I'd like to do that one, gotta see how the hell Mathieu of all people could hang with Nadal at RG.
Sure I'll get round to it at some point. Plan is to finish of the 2002 Wim SF finally this weekend while my gf is away. Been sleeping on that one for months.
 
I just don't see any Djokovic beating 2006 Nadal at RG.

Other clay masters maybe. RG? Don't see it.
I was talking about him supposedly being unbeatable on clay in general in 2006 not just RG. Federer breadsticked Nadal at 2006 RG. Nadal at his absolute best does not get breadsticked by anyone on clay including Djokovic or Federer.
 
The guy that I'm picking is going to be the guy that won the FO title that year. This eliminates 2006 Fed and 2011 Djoker.

Stan played great against Djoker. But that 1 match basically made his clay season. Stan is out.

1988 Wilander played a bunch of nobodies in 1988 at RG. Lendl had a pulled pectoral muscle during that tourney, which caused a scrub to end his streak of 4 straight FO finals. Lendl was injured for the majority of 1988.

This leaves 2009 Federer vs 1984 Lendl. Kudos to Fed for beating Nadal in Madrid. But I think Lendl was better at RG. Federer was pushed to 5 sets at RG by Delpo and world #63 Haas.

1984 Lendl only dropped 1 set until the final, which includes a straight-set stomping of Wilander in the semis.

Lendl takes this one for me. My money is on 1984 Lendl.
 
You certainly missed the part where winning the second set in BO3 is easier than in BO5 against a difficult opponent.
No I didn't miss anything, you didn't even say that. You messed up by not paying attention to what I said and now you are pretending by twisting it into a "well mentally it might have been more difficult for him to have won the 2nd" blah blah game.

Using that logic, winning the 1st set in a B05 is harder as well against an opponent like Nadal mentally.

Djoko just handles Nadal better on clay period than Federer. Some fans won't admit this and come with all these weird debatable qualifications that we get mired in.

I will agree that b05 is tougher in general vs. Nadal especially on clay, but if it isn't for anyone it would be Djokovic at least not in terms of fitness. (I question some of Djokovic's patience over a long clay match if he's losing.) What I would say is Nadal a different beast at Roland Garros.

But that is very far from comparing Masters results and not considering Novak's win in 2011 as significant compared to Federer's losses over the years because they were B03 vs B05. That was the context this whole thing started in!
 
No I didn't miss anything, you didn't even say that. You messed up by not paying attention to what I said and now you are pretending by twisting it into a "well mentally it might have been more difficult for him to have won the 2nd" blah blah game.

Using that logic, winning the 1st set in a B05 is harder as well against an opponent like Nadal mentally.

Djoko just handles Nadal better on clay period than Federer. Some fans won't admit this and come with all these weird debatable qualifications that we get mired in.

I will agree that b05 is tougher in general vs. Nadal especially on clay, but if it isn't for anyone it would be Djokovic at least not in terms of fitness. (I question some of Djokovic's patience over a long clay match if he's losing.) What I would say is Nadal a different beast at Roland Garros.

But that is very far from comparing Masters results and not considering Novak's win in 2011 as significant compared to Federer's losses over the years because they were B03 vs B05. That was the context this whole thing started in!
The point was that it was more difficult to beat Nadal in Rome 06 final than Rome 11 final because of BO5, even if he played at the same level in both matches. Sure, Djovak's game is better suited against Nadal so he may have won in BO5 as well, or not, it's all speculation.
 
Fed's Rome 2006 level is the best clay level of anyone on that list. And 90% of people here never saw either Lendl or Wilander play, but both of them are very high as well.
 
The point was that it was more difficult to beat Nadal in Rome 06 final than Rome 11 final because of BO5, even if he played at the same level in both matches. Sure, Djovak's game is better suited against Nadal so he may have won in BO5 as well, or not, it's all speculation.
No that was a side issue stemming from comparing Djok 11 to Fed 06.

Djok 11 steamrolled Nads in both masters 4-0 in sets , Fed lost fairly easily in Monaco 06 and then in Rome 06 tight 5 setter.

Simple.
 
Peak Nadal was Djoko's 2011 pigeon even on clay and it took greatest servebotting Fed's performance ever to take out Novak at FO.

Novak 2011 vs Rafa 2011 at FO would have been just as painful as their RG 2015 encounter.
Djokovic was Nadals clay pigeon from 2006-2011. He waits for Fedal to decline, jumps on special supplements, then everyone claims hes the best ever :-D
 
Wilander 1988 lost five sets.
Lendl 1984 lost three sets.
Wawrinka 2015 lost three sets.
Djokovic 2011 lost four sets (en route to losing in the semis to Fed).
Fed 2009 lost six sets.
Fed 2006 lost five sets.

On the other hand Nadal lost zero sets in 2008, 2010, and 2017.
Borg lost zero sets in 1978 and 1980.
And Nastase did the same in 1973.
Nadal is not in the poll for a reason. He's obviously the highest level. It's basically a contest among other guys besides Nadal and Borg.
 
This is getting frustrating as you keep changing subjects and moving the goalpost. I never said he did (although he beat him in MC 13 also in straight with a dominant 1st set)
So even if I grant Djokovic Madrid 11 > Federer MC 06, that's not really telling since Federer at Hamburg/Madrid >> Federer at MC and Nadal at MC >> Nadal in Hamburg/Madrid. Comparing like to like, I don't see either being obviously better than the other vis-a-vis Rome and RG 06 vs 11.
 
So even if I grant Djokovic Madrid 11 > Federer MC 06, that's not really telling since Federer at Hamburg/Madrid >> Federer at MC and Nadal at MC >> Nadal in Hamburg/Madrid. Comparing like to like, I don't see either being obviously better than the other vis-a-vis Rome and RG 06 vs 11.
RG fine.

Rome, I don't see how you can say that but to each his own.

And you dodged the point that Novak steamrolled Nads in MC 13 anyway. It's not like he even won more convincingly in Madrid than in Rome 11 lol...
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
RG fine.

Rome, I don't see how you can say that but to each his own.

And you dodged the point that Novak steamrolled Nads in MC 13 anyway. It's not like he even won more convincingly in Madrid than in Rome 11 lol...
Nadal was garbage at MC in 2013 though, way worse than in 2006 or Madrid 2011.
 
Nadal was garbage at MC in 2013 though, way worse than in 2006 or Madrid 2011.
It is frustrating because we are getting into endless tangents here that are like debatable back and forth and get nowhere. Now I have to defend if Nadal was garbage or not and get mired in that. When it was just a response to someone saying the Madrid 11 win apparently doesnt count because Nadal isnt as good there as MC. So you can't win no matter what... goalpost to goalpost.

As I just said in the last post Djoko's win was no less impressive in Rome than Madrid in 2011 anyway.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
It is frustrating because we are getting into endless tangents here that are like debatable back and forth and get nowhere. Now I have to defend if Nadal was garbage or not and get mired in that. When it was just a response to someone saying the Madrid 11 win apparently doesnt count because Nadal isnt as good there as MC. So you can't win no matter what... goalpost to goalpost.

As I just said in the last post Djoko's win was no less impressive in Rome than Madrid in 2011 anyway.
My point has no barring on the rest of the discussion you're having really. Just saying that Nadal in the MC 2013 F was pretty poor - especially in that first set (where Djokovic was admittedly fantastic as well).
 
I don't recall Djokovic playing Nadal in 2011 MC. Nadal is far greater at MC than Hamburg/Madrid btw.
@AnOctorokForDinner and @NatF (just tagged you Nat for your opinion as well my friend )

In regards to your claim yes Nadal is obviously better at Monte Carlo than Madrid (he's better there than pretty much anywhere)

Let's compare Nadal at Rome to him at Madrid (which was also part of the discussion) and actually in fact was the place where Fed's highest level match is you're using to compare to Djokovic in 2011 to.

Nadal has 5 Madrids, but one was the HC match vs Ljubicic in 2005; it switched from hard court to clay in 2009. There have been 10 Madrids contested on clay since then. Nadal has won 4 of them. 1 of the losses was actually the infamous "blue clay", so it's really 4 of 9 if we're talking about Nad's level on the traditional red clay, as it was in the 2011 match. Credit to Federer for being the only blue clay champ ever though. ;)

Nadal has won 5 Romes in that time.

Is that such a difference we can't even include Madrid in the conversation?

Anyways yes Nadal is more comfortable at Rome due to normal altitude etc.

But as I said anyway Djokovic in 2011 Rome is a direct comparison to Fed 2006 Rome.

Also the Rome win was similarly if not more so convincing than the Madrid one in 2011, so it's just simply more corroboration as to the level in those wins over Nadal, rather than something to be discounted because "Nadal isnt that good at Madrid" or whatever...
 
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