Why does Nadal lose to non-Big 3 in Slams

McEnroeisanartist

Hall of Fame
Since the start of the first season of the Big 3, 2008, there have been 27 Grand Slams played.

Nadal has won 11, Djokovic 7, and Federer 5.

Nadal has had 13 Grand Slam losses, with 10 coming against players other than Federer/Djokovic.

Compare that to Federer who has had 22 Grand Slam losses, 10 coming against against players other than Federer/Djokovic.

Djokovic has had 20 Grand Slam losses with 9 coming against players other than Federer/Djokovic.

It is surprising that given how many slams Nadal has won, and how superiority over Federer/Djokovic, that he would have so many losses to players outside the "Big 3." Why do you think this is?
 

BevelDevil

Hall of Fame
The main reason is that when he loses to low-ranked players, he would have lost to top players but never progressed that far into the tournament (if it's a masters/major) for that to happen. When he loses in sub-1000 tournaments, especially lately, his game isn't "peaking", so he also would have lost to high-rank players, but they are absent from that tournament.

In addition to that is the match-up issue with Federer. While he lost to Kyrgios, he might have beaten Federer if the draw allowed that to happen.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Agreed. The reason Nadal doesn't lose in late rounds is because he's in good enough form to get to late rounds. When he loses early, he'd probably have lost to a high ranked player, but we'll never know because it never happens.

When on, he's one of if not the best in the world. When off, he's not. It's pretty straightforward. He doesn't often win ugly on any surface but clay.
 

giggc

New User
i would rather say rafa is unlucky to face those players with big serve in wimbledon in past 3 years. outside wimbledon, he performance is not bad indeed
 

Netspirit

Hall of Fame
Facing a strong opponent motivates him a lot.

He essentially built his entire career looking up to Federer's accomplishments (with Toni challenging him with Federer's example). He still gets that fire in his eyes when he plays Federer, he is like Viagra to him.
 

Mick

Legend
Nadal doesn't have a big serve like Federer and Djokovic have.
While Federer and Djokovic usually can win their service game easily, Nadal has to rally to win his service games. If he is unlucky and overhits one or two shots, his opponents could break him and win the set. That's why Nadal lost all the 1st set in the four matches that he played at Wimbledon.
 

andrewski

Semi-Pro
Since the start of the first season of the Big 3, 2008, there have been 27 Grand Slams played.

Nadal has won 11, Djokovic 7, and Federer 5.

Nadal has had 13 Grand Slam losses, with 10 coming against players other than Federer/Djokovic.

Compare that to Federer who has had 22 Grand Slam losses, 10 coming against against players other than Federer/Djokovic.

Djokovic has had 20 Grand Slam losses with 9 coming against players other than Federer/Djokovic.

It is surprising that given how many slams Nadal has won, and how superiority over Federer/Djokovic, that he would have so many losses to players outside the "Big 3." Why do you think this is?
Yes, there are damn lies and statistics.

Answer is in numbers you gave.

Nadal won 65% of his GS on clay, where he does not loose very often till this season.

He won 5GS outside clay in his 9-10 year career.

Unless he is playing at his max physically and retrieves well, on other surfaces than clay he is much more vulnerable to lesser players unlike Roger and Novak.

I will get abused again for saying this, but he is just much less rounded player than Fed and Novak, as losses in Wimby since the age 25 to players ranked 100 or less clearly show.

If it was not for homogenisation of surfaces between GSs post 2002, Nadal would never had won Wimby.

If he did not win against Federer in 2008 Wimby (thus impacting his confidence), I am not even sure he would had his single AUO title.

He would still be greatest even clay court player with some extras.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Yes, there are damn lies and statistics.

Answer is in numbers you gave.

Nadal won 65% of his GS on clay, where he does not loose very often till this season.

He won 5GS outside clay in his 9-10 year career.

Unless he is playing at his max physically and retrieves well, on other surfaces than clay he is much more vulnerable to lesser players unlike Roger and Novak.

I will get abused again for saying this, but he is just much less rounded player than Fed and Novak, as losses in Wimby since the age 25 to players ranked 100 or less clearly show.

If it was not for homogenisation of surfaces between GSs post 2002, Nadal would never had won Wimby.

If he did not win against Federer in 2008 Wimby (thus impacting his confidence), I am not even sure he would had his single AUO title.

He would still be greatest even clay court player with some extras.
hate and delusion is strong with you...
 

andrewski

Semi-Pro
hate and delusion is strong with you...
well, what is your explanation then?

Advance some argument to challenge my opinion instead of talking about hate.

I do not hate Nadal, I just think, unlike some people on this forum who claim he is a goat material, that he is less rounded player then some others, who achieved great success buy maxing out the attributes he has, benefitting from Fed match up on BH side and being the greatest (or one of) competitors ever.

I am not the one who accuses Nadal of moon-balling etc.

Just because I disagree with other people's opinions, if backed by at least some facts, it does not mean I hate a player.

Get some perspective, this is tennis not war, people die in many countries, frequently due to hate, at the moment...
 
Nadal is (and so is Murray) more vulnerable to anyone having a hot day because he is a defensive player. Simple as that. The more aggressive Federer and Djokovic are much more masters of their own fate.

This is one of the reasons it is so stupid to bring up head to head. You have to play very well to beat Nadal or Murray, but most top 100 players can do it at their best. Djokovic and especially Federer have only a couple bad match ups that can beat them at anything near their best, and it shows. Nadal has winning head to heads against Fed and Djoko, but lacks their consistency- and Murray's is pretty respectable against all but Nadal, especially considering he is easily the least accomplished of the four.
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
It's a curious one. I suspect the answer is a bit more complex. I suppose the real question underneath it is if when not playing well and losing to those also rans would he have beaten one of the big 3 or 4 if he had actually won those games despite not playing well?

Well case by case basis: Nadal has 2of those to Murray. In both cases Murray played very well so I don't think these can really be included nor his loss to Del Potro in 2009. However, his 3 loses at Wimbledon early on show a poor surface adjustment and a vulnerability to big hitters early on. Whether that would continue to the latter stages I don't know. I suspect if he's somehow managed to squeeze into the final Djokovic would have had him and maybe even Fed if they'd met. But that's Wimbledon. As for US well, it's only Murray and Del Potro there so he's not losing to mugs outside of the big 3. So then we have the french. Well the stats here are biased as of course Fed and Djoko are losing to Nadal and Nadal lost one freakish game to Soderling. He doesn't lose early there particularly either.

Finally the Australian. Tsonga in 2008 - well Nadal wasn't fully adjusted to hards then. Murray 2010 - Murray is a big four player and played excellently. No particular issue there. Ferrer 2011 - Ferrer played excellently but yes possibly another issue here. I think Murray would have beaten him next round as Nadal was poor at the time. Stan 2014 - Stan was on fire. No particular issue.

So some of the defeats are explained by the opposition. There is definitely a surface adjustment issue to grass in part due to the flat shot trajectory and also the lack of practice you get on it after his intense French exertions. He has a few bad loses on hards that seem poor particularly Ferrer Oz 2011 and maybe the straight setting by Del potro (although he played great that day). Again the surface may be a bit uncomfortable for him but I suspect it's a big hitters thing for him on surfaces he's not as comfortable on. Here's his loses:

Murray * 2
Ferrer
Soderling
Tsonga
Del Potro
Wawrinka
3 bad losses at Wim.

Of them the 3 bad ones at Wim and Ferrer are the ones that suggest an additional problem against also rans compared with the other big 3.
 
Nadal is similar to Serena their concentration is higher when they play other top players. Nadal and Serena are vulnerable early in a slam. If you want to beat Nadal and Serena do it early.
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
Nadal is similar to Serena their concentration is higher when they play other top players. Nadal and Serena are vulnerable early in a slam. If you want to beat Nadal and Serena do it early.
well that's the question though isn't it. We don't actually know that. A counter perspective is that he has high peaks and can't sustain it and goes out (as well as the other surface adjustment issues I highlighted above). The point is even if he managed to squeeze past say those at Wimbledon he lost to last 3 years he may well have lost to the other big 3 or 4. He may simply not have been at a high level. I suspect there is some truth in both arguments but we can't know.
 

octobrina10

Talk Tennis Guru
... Here's his loses:

Murray * 2
Ferrer
Soderling
Tsonga
Del Potro
Wawrinka
3 bad losses at Wim.

Of them the 3 bad ones at Wim and Ferrer are the ones that suggest an additional problem against also rans compared with the other big 3.

Murray - USO 2008 - Rafa was very tired after winning the Olympic gold medal
Murray - AO 2010 - Rafa got injured in the middle of the match and retired (MRI and ultrasound tests showed a small tear at the back part of the right knee).

Ferrer - AO 2011 - Rafa got injured in the beginnig of the match (a left hamstring injury)

Soderling - FO 2009 - Rafa had chronic tendonitis in both knees (he skipped Wimbledon)

Tsonga- AO2008 - Rafa wasn't good enough on the hard courts

Del Potro - US 2009 - Rafa had a right abdominal muscle injury (he got injured in Cincinnati and the tear was getting worse)

Wawrinka - AO2014 - Rafa got injured during the warm up (a back injury)

Wimbledon 2012 and 2013 - Rafa had knee problems
 

burn1986

Banned
I don't think its much of a mystery. He has a target on his back when he plays these other guys. And, he just has a hard time getting motivated for these lower matches.
 

helloworld

Hall of Fame
Nadal is the best of this era when motivated and only the very top guys are good enough to motivate him. He couldn't motivate himself when playing against nobodies.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
He's right you know. Nadal have defend FO and other clay tournaments endlessly, but never defend a title off clay.:shock:
No he's not right!

like you, he is ignoring the obvious; Nadal's great undulations in health/injury and Federer and Nole's great 'luck' (or however you want to put it) in being relatively injury free (acute injury).

and defending a title off clay is just another Nadal-hater, arbitrary, pointless distinction that means little to nothing!

going by surface, Nadals grand slam resume is arguably more balanced than either Federer's or Nole's because he has won multiple times on each surface! the same cannot be said for either of his two contemporaries :rolleyes:
 

dh003i

Legend
Facing a strong opponent motivates him a lot.

He essentially built his entire career looking up to Federer's accomplishments (with Toni challenging him with Federer's example). He still gets that fire in his eyes when he plays Federer, he is like Viagra to him.
There is something to this, and it is extremely frustrating. No matter how bad Nadal is playing, he always finds his best tennis -- or at least best tennis when needed -- versus Federer. Period. He's never played a bad match for him vs. Federer, except indoors or on carpet.
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
No he's not right!

like you, he is ignoring the obvious; Nadal's great undulations in health/injury and Federer and Nole's great 'luck' (or however you want to put it) in being relatively injury free (acute injury).

and defending a title off clay is just another Nadal-hater, arbitrary, pointless distinction that means little to nothing!

going by surface, Nadals grand slam resume is arguably more balanced than either Federer's or Nole's because he has won multiple times on each surface! the same cannot be said for either of his two contemporaries :rolleyes:
Lol you crack me up. Take away each of their best events in the majors:

Nadal has 5 majors
Djokovic has 3 majors
Federer has 10 majors.

Well rounded my butt. The major deficit shrinks by 5 between Nadal-Djokovic and Federer GAINS ground by 2 majors. Get educated.
 
Because he was injured, no?

Nadal has cited injury right before, during, or after 14 of his last 18 Grand Slam losses (with a possible 15th pending...we'll see come summer HC season).
 

Cup8489

G.O.A.T.
What you wrote:
Murray - USO 2008 - Rafa was very tired after winning the Olympic gold medal
Murray - AO 2010 - Rafa got injured in the middle of the match and retired (MRI and ultrasound tests showed a small tear at the back part of the right knee).

Ferrer - AO 2011 - Rafa got injured in the beginnig of the match (a left hamstring injury)

Soderling - FO 2009 - Rafa had chronic tendonitis in both knees (he skipped Wimbledon)

Tsonga- AO2008 - Rafa wasn't good enough on the hard courts

Del Potro - US 2009 - Rafa had a right abdominal muscle injury (he got injured in Cincinnati and the tear was getting worse)

Wawrinka - AO2014 - Rafa got injured during the warm up (a back injury)

Wimbledon 2012 and 2013 - Rafa had knee problems
What I read:
Murray - USO 2008 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Murray - AO 2010 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Ferrer - AO 2011 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Soderling - FO 2009 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Tsonga- AO2008 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Del Potro - US 2009 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Wawrinka - AO2014 - Rafa had blah blah excuse.

Wimbledon 2012 and 2013 -Rafa had blah blah excuse.
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
Murray - USO 2008 - Rafa was very tired after winning the Olympic gold medal
Murray - AO 2010 - Rafa got injured in the middle of the match and retired (MRI and ultrasound tests showed a small tear at the back part of the right knee).

Ferrer - AO 2011 - Rafa got injured in the beginnig of the match (a left hamstring injury)

Soderling - FO 2009 - Rafa had chronic tendonitis in both knees (he skipped Wimbledon)

Tsonga- AO2008 - Rafa wasn't good enough on the hard courts

Del Potro - US 2009 - Rafa had a right abdominal muscle injury (he got injured in Cincinnati and the tear was getting worse)

Wawrinka - AO2014 - Rafa got injured during the warm up (a back injury)

Wimbledon 2012 and 2013 - Rafa had knee problems
given that I excused 6 out of 10 of his losses to others as against decent players or before he'd adjusted to the surface then I find your attitude rather biased. I'm certainly not an anti-Nadal person. He's a great player and probably the co-goat of his era. Why not admit that he has some issues with this? Ahhhhhhhh was he tired after the olympics in 2008 was he? Didn't seem to stop murray in 2012 at the US open after winning the olympics and who also played the wimbledon final too. these are elite athletes. Federer won in his prime 3 slams out of four years 3 times. No excuses there. Nadal has a winning h2h. No excuses there. Nadal is brilliant. But you can't put your hand up and admit Nadal's weaknesses. Sad.

grow up with fake excuses. and also his style is clearly of his own making in terms of both longevity and "injury". Most of the time I don't think it's injury. I think his all action style hits probably the highest peaks I've ever seen but naturally he can't sustain it. Hence early defeats compared to more consistent players without the ups and downs.
 
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SpicyCurry1990

Hall of Fame
Because Nadal does not have near the level of consistency that either Fed or Nole do. His floor level is one of the worst in history for a top tier GOAT, but his average level is one of the best.

This leads to things such as horribly skewed head to heads in his direction because he never plays top players when he isn't at least his average level because Nole/Fed still make it to the Nadal match a decent amount of the time even when not at their best due to a high floor level.
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Because Nadal does not have near the level of consistency that either Fed or Nole do. His floor level is one of the worst in history for a top tier GOAT, but his average level is one of the best.

This leads to things such as horribly skewed head to heads in his direction because he never plays top players when he isn't at least his average level because Nole/Fed still make it to the Nadal match a decent amount of the time even when not at their best due to a high floor level.
You're on fire today SpicyCurry! :)
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Lol you crack me up. Take away each of their best events in the majors:

Nadal has 5 majors
Djokovic has 3 majors
Federer has 10 majors.

Well rounded my butt. The major deficit shrinks by 5 between Nadal-Djokovic and Federer GAINS ground by 2 majors. Get educated.
perhaps you're ignorant of the fact that two slams are played on hard court!

therefore your trivial 'take away each of their best' slam nonsense is tripe and irrelevant...
 

Mayonnaise

Banned
perhaps you're ignorant of the fact that two slams are played on hard court!
It seems you are, considering you are using that to say, "oh, Nadal has multiple Slams on each surface!" Not hard to do when you get twice as many shots on your weakest surface.[/QUOTE]
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
given that I excused 6 out of 10 of his losses to others as against decent players or before he'd adjusted to the surface then I find your attitude rather biased. I'm certainly not an anti-Nadal person. He's a great player and probably the co-goat of his era. Why not admit that he has some issues with this? Ahhhhhhhh was he tired after the olympics in 2008 was he? Didn't seem to stop murray in 2012 at the US open after winning the olympics and who also played the wimbledon final too. these are elite athletes. Federer won in his prime 3 slams out of four years 3 times. No excuses there. Nadal has a winning h2h. No excuses there. Nadal is brilliant. But you can't put your hand up and admit Nadal's weaknesses. Sad.

grow up with fake excuses. and also his style is clearly of his own making in terms of both longevity and "injury". Most of the time I don't think it's injury. I think his all action style hits probably the highest peaks I've ever seen but naturally he can't sustain it. Hence early defeats compared to more consistent players without the ups and downs.
Nadal was born with foot abnormalities that affected his knees before he even turned pro!

deal with it!

his fans most certainly have :rolleyes:
 
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octobrina10

Talk Tennis Guru
given that I excused 6 out of 10 of his losses to others as against decent players or before he'd adjusted to the surface then I find your attitude rather biased. I'm certainly not an anti-Nadal person. He's a great player and probably the co-goat of his era. Why not admit that he has some issues with this? Ahhhhhhhh was he tired after the olympics in 2008 was he? Didn't seem to stop murray in 2012 at the US open after winning the olympics and who also played the wimbledon final too. these are elite athletes. Federer won in his prime 3 slams out of four years 3 times. No excuses there. Nadal has a winning h2h. No excuses there. Nadal is brilliant. But you can't put your hand up and admit Nadal's weaknesses. Sad.

grow up with fake excuses. and also his style is clearly of his own making in terms of both longevity and "injury". Most of the time I don't think it's injury. I think his all action style hits probably the highest peaks I've ever seen but naturally he can't sustain it. Hence early defeats compared to more consistent players without the ups and downs.
Facts are facts. It doesn't matter that you don't think it's injury.
 
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DRII

G.O.A.T.
It seems you are, considering you are using that to say, "oh, Nadal has multiple Slams on each surface!" Not hard to do when you get twice as many shots on your weakest surface.
[/QUOTE]

yea, you still have mayo on the brain :rolleyes:

imagine if two slams were played on clay, as was the case for a brief period of time, then Nadal would be even more successful.

same could be said for Federer if 3 of the slams were played on grass as in the past.

point is Nadal is utterly dominant on one surface (clay) and fully competitive overall on the other two slam surfaces! its not his fault that the same can not be said for Nole and Federer.
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
point is Nadal is utterly dominant on one surface (clay) and fully competitive overall on the other two slam surfaces! its not his fault that the same can not be said for Nole and Federer.[/QUOTE]

Both Federer and Nole have a better W/L% than Nadal on 2/3 surfaces.
 

andrewski

Semi-Pro
Well that's one way of justifying Nadal's deficiencies! :)
typical, illogical bul***it from Nadal's fans.

So Nadal is so thick that he can not understand that by winning against lesser opponents, he will face his equals later in the tourney and then he wins.

Nice try, but why could he do it in other tournaments?

In networking where I work, you would not solve many problems using this sort of logic, but being obsessed blinds you...

I am sure this last statement can be used against me :)
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
point is Nadal is utterly dominant on one surface (clay) and fully competitive overall on the other two slam surfaces! its not his fault that the same can not be said for Nole and Federer.
Both Federer and Nole have a better W/L% than Nadal on 2/3 surfaces.[/QUOTE]

so therefore your point is only 2/3's relevant :rolleyes:
 

Jam

Semi-Pro
point is Nadal is utterly dominant on one surface (clay) and fully competitive overall on the other two slam surfaces! its not his fault that the same can not be said for Nole and Federer.[/QUOTE]

this point is true and overly biased Fed or Nole fans shouldn't deny it. He's a 5 time off clay champion and an 11 time off clay at least finalist. He's excellent off clay and a goat contender. But fed at the moment is ahead although it could change.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
typical, illogical bul***it from Nadal's fans.

So Nadal is so thick that he can not understand that by winning against lesser opponents, he will face his equals later in the tourney and then he wins.

Nice try, but why could he do it in other tournaments?

In networking where I work, you would not solve many problems using this sort of logic, but being obsessed blinds you...

I am sure this last statement can be used against me :)
not solve many problems :confused:

really?

it seems Nadal has solved more problems than any other player when it comes to winning slams since 2008 (the original topic of the thread)!

same can't be said for others...
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
not solve many problems :confused:

really?

it seems Nadal has solved more problems than any other player when it comes to winning slams since 2008 (the original topic of the thread)!

same can't be said for others...
Why can't he solve problems against much lower ranked players then?
 

eldanger25

Hall of Fame
Higher highs, lower lows - relentlessly operatic career trajectory. Never has figured out that holding the throne is as sacred a challenge as securing it.

Goya-esque losses. Miro-esque, geometry-bending triumphs. Some good-a*s tennis.
 

Mayonnaise

Banned
imagine if two slams were played on clay, as was the case for a brief period of time, then Nadal would be even more successful.
Too bad Nadal is all-time great only on 1 surface. Federer is all-time great on 2 ;)

same could be said for Federer if 3 of the slams were played on grass as in the past.
Not really. Federer, unlike Nadal, is good enough to dominate 2 surfaces.

point is Nadal is utterly dominant on one surface (clay) and fully competitive overall on the other two slam surfaces! its not his fault that the same can not be said for Nole and Federer.
What? :lol: Federer is dominant on two surfaces, and fully capable on the other. Nadal, on the other hand, has an abysmal record on Indoor Hards for an all-time great.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Why can't he solve problems against much lower ranked players then?
as has tried to be explained to you :rolleyes:

Nadal has been affected far more by injury than Federer or Nole. that explains many of his so called shock losses (like to loser rosol in 2012 or Delpo USO 2009 - although he may have still lost to him even if fully fit that year, in many ways Delpo is the natural antilog to Nadal).

either way, point is Nadal has been the most successful, no matter how his detractors would like to parse and irrationally make up irrelevant distinctions...
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Too bad Nadal is all-time great only on 1 surface. Federer is all-time great on 2 ;)

Not really. Federer, unlike Nadal, is good enough to dominate 2 surfaces.

What? :lol: Federer is dominant on two surfaces, and fully capable on the other. Nadal, on the other hand, has an abysmal record on Indoor Hards for an all-time great.
no slam is played on indoor hard and therefore is a distinction not remembered by most!

deal with it!
 
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