Why was Federer incapable of beating Nadal at RG, unlike Djokovic?

McEncock

Semi-Pro
Yup - Fed playing with a 90sq in racquet that was more appropriate for 1980s style of play was a huge disadvantage against Rafa on clay. How he got that OHBH to hit Rafa’s topspin FH is beyond me.
Real Fraud former headsize : 92.5 sq inch (not 90)
Real actual djoko frame : 94.5 sq inch

Djoko's actual frame, with a tight string pattern, a bigger swingweight, is atleast as demanding as Fraud's former racquet.

Nadal dominance over Fed at RG has very little to do with racquet headsize.
He is just a far superior player on a surface that demands brain.
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Djokovic vs Nadal atleast somewhere close to prime form: 07, 08, 12,13,14,20 : 4 sets in 6 matches (Djoko too young, not top 10 in 2006)
Federer vs Nadal atleast somewhere close to prime form: 05,06,07,08,11,19: 4 sets in 6 matches
This with Djokovic getting 2 sets vs Nadal in RG 13 to his credit.
The problem with this method is that it's not exhaustive.

Djokovic still had 3 more prime runs other than 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014. It's pretty easy to assume that he takes at least one set off a prime Nadal in his 2011, 2015 and 2016 forms, perhaps more.

Federer has 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011. He only had 2009 where he was in his prime, but didn't face Nadal. Takes 1, maybe 2 sets, assuming Nadal plays like the actual prime Nadal.

Djokovic simply has more prime level runs than Fed. One more anyway, but slightly better longevity, so he was bound to catch Nadal off guard at some point.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Would would would. Keep track of wins adjusted by (your estimate of) opponents' levels all you want man, I'm not getting stuck in that loop. I just hope that two wins over Bull and a couple of RGs can at least partially make up for the suckage of never beating someone like 2009 Del Potro in your book.
Mine was a response to this:

Because Federer saves his best tennis for hypothetical matches.

Not that even that matters in this case. Nadal in a wheelchair would beat the guy at Roland Garros 10 times out of 10.
Fed's displayed a high level in actual matches including beating high level opponents.
If you can't deal with your hypothetical nonsense being exposed, don't make such statements in the first place.

As it is, this place has been over-run this year in particular with insane garbage from many Djoko crazies. Don't pile on it.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
The problem with this method is that it's not exhaustive.

Djokovic still had 3 more prime runs other than 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014. It's pretty easy to assume that he takes at least one set off a prime Nadal in his 2011, 2015 and 2016 forms, perhaps more.

Federer has 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011. He only had 2009 where he was in his prime, but didn't face Nadal. Takes 1, maybe 2 sets, assuming Nadal plays like the actual prime Nadal.

Djokovic simply has more prime level runs than Fed. One more anyway, but slightly better longevity, so he was bound to catch Nadal off guard at some point.
You could argue 10 as well for Fed. half a step behind at worst.
I agree it isn't an exhaustive method.
I agree that with Djoko's little better longevity, he was bound catch Nadal off guard at some point.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
simple, nole is much better and much more successful player on clay than fed!

- RG titles: 2-1 (100% better)
- masters: 10-6 (67% better)
- all clay masters at least 2 times vs no rome or MC
- clay titles: 17 - 11 (55% better)
- W% on clay: 81% vs 76%
- h2h on clay vs rafa: 8-19 (30%) vs 2-14 (13%), on RG 2-7 (22%) vs 0-6 (0%)
 
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maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
He would also have a chance simply by drawing Nadal in 2015. Instead he draw Stan, who dismantled Djokovic in the final.
Ofcourse .
I am not even talking about Djokovic .

Rafa's is too strong for any One Handed player .

Let's say Djoker and Soderling lost all their matches against Rafa on Clay , but still 2 handed backhand players would give lot of competitive matches against Rafa on Clay .
Soderling-Schwartzman-Djokovic .

With Federer's Goat Forehand and Serve and 2 handed backhand ,he would have made almost every match competitive against Rafa on Clay !
 

UnforcedTerror

Hall of Fame
Yeah but bull can outplay Djokovic...

All Djoko could do was wait for bull to play crap... he could never beat bull when bull was playing decent tennis...
Bull can outplay Djokovic on dirt of course but not all the time like he does against Fed. Bull enjoys feasting on 1HBH, it's no coincidence that all Bull's losses at RG were against 2HBH players.
 

bnjkn

Semi-Pro
Federer has a 0-6 record against Nadal at RG, never took more than 1 set off him in a match. Djokovic has a 2-7 record and 1 of those losses was an extremely close 5 setter that he could have won. Why was Federer so poor against Nadal at RG, whereas Djokovic has done reasonably well?
05, 06, 07, 08, 11 Nadal >>>>>> 15, 21 Nadal. Prime Nadal destroys Djokovic on that court. Plus Nadal has been Federer's kryptonite.
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
The simplest answer is most often true. When they were in their primes, Federer wasn't a good enough tennis player on outdoor courts to defeat Nadal with any regularity, on the big occasion. On Nadal's favourite surface he was practically helpless. Like a fish flopping around out of water, gasping for breath. It was almost painful to watch.
 

Adman

Rookie
So, now we read that the player who until 5-0, first set semifinal in FO 2021 had won 14 straight games (that's almost a triple bagel), was a virtual lock for every bookmaker in the world for the title, thought invincible by all pundits was, after all, a shadow of himself, yeah, just like the 2015 version.
 
Federer has a 0-6 record against Nadal at RG, never took more than 1 set off him in a match. Djokovic has a 2-7 record and 1 of those losses was an extremely close 5 setter that he could have won. Why was Federer so poor against Nadal at RG, whereas Djokovic has done reasonably well?
Because Federer never played old washed up Nadal anywhere near his own prime, unlike Djokovic. The same way he never really played Fed at Wimbledon near his prime. Djokovic won his first slam years after Nadal, and he has been running on that advantage and a more efficient playing style ever since, not to mention his advantage over Federer. Djokovic is infinitely inferior to Nadal at RG and to Federer at Wimbledon, he is an opportunistic champion at those two slams.
 

Oceans II

Rookie
Please explain how Djokovic beat Nadal at Madrid11, Rome11, MC13 and Rome14? Federer only has Hamburg07 if we are counting Nadal's RG winning seasons.
 

junior74

Talk Tennis Guru
Ofcourse .
I am not even talking about Djokovic .

Rafa's is too strong for any One Handed player .

Let's say Djoker and Soderling lost all their matches against Rafa on Clay , but still 2 handed backhand players would give lot of competitive matches against Rafa on Clay .
Soderling-Schwartzman-Djokovic .

With Federer's Goat Forehand and Serve and 2 handed backhand ,he would have made almost every match competitive against Rafa on Clay !
Stan outplayed Rafa in Rome just weeks before RG. Rafa was out of sorts, and could lose to anyone. Lost two times in a row against Fognini that year, too...

I understand your point in general. But 2015 for Rafa is like 2017 for Novak.
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Djoker never beat a good version of Nadal at RG and never beat a good version of Fed at Wimbledon. He is good at hanging around and vulturing, though. Give him credit for that.
Yep. And I am not even considering 2015 version of Nadal.

I am just of the opinion that ,if Fed had Two handed Backhand he would be lot more competitive Vs Nadal on Clay and even would have won a few times , given he always had Goat FH and Serve !
 

Biotic

Hall of Fame
Djokovic ventured into hyena's den more times than anyone did.

True, Federer never faced average Nadal (apart from 2004 and 2009 where he faced no Nadal), but he was no longer a serious contender after 2011/2012 (2019 was very good for his age have to admit), while Djoko kept giving himself another chance each year deep into his 30s. 2015 Federer wasn't beating even 2015 Nadal.
 

The_Order

G.O.A.T.
Well then Bull never beat the best of Djokovic at RG. ZERO wins against him in 2015, 2016 and 2021 when Djokovic showed his best. Even including 2011, still 0 wins for Bull. Beating well below his best Djokovic proves jack ****.
Yeah 2006 - 2014 bull was so lucky that 2015, 2016 or 2021 Djokovic wasn't there to stop him...

I mean 2021 Djokovic was soooo much better than 2012 Djokovic and 2006 Federer... he had 9 more years of experience!!!

Lucky, lucky bull...

EDIT: Also, just realised with your impeccable logic... Djoker has never beat Hyeon Chung at the AO when Chung showed his best... confirmed Chung goat..
 

ibbi

Legend
Nadal is a bad match up for Federer, not so much for Djokovic. The smaller racquet he wielded for all but one of their matches there can be added on as an accentuation of that.

Nadal was probably a better pure clay courter for most of the years he was beating Federer there. Already by 2008, certainly 09 and 10 (as a reaction to Djokovic in 11/12 it has probably continued further, and to get back on top continued more since 2017) he was changing the way he played. It's a little thing, but I think it's a thing. He still won more titles without dropping a set after this point than he did before it, but we're talking about the specific match up. The more aggressive you are, the more chances you offer your opponent. Federer got none.

If Federer, even by 2011, got to play 2015 Nadal he'd likely beat him there. If Federer got to play all those matches between them between 05 and 11 under the lights he'd like his chances in all of them except maybe 08 too.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Djoker never beat a good version of Nadal at RG and never beat a good version of Fed at Wimbledon. He is good at hanging around and vulturing, though. Give him credit for that.
Right

Healthiest versions of Federer and Nadal were from 05 till 10, Novak arrived in 11 when both had started to dip, the downtrend was sharp "physically" while for Novak it was an uptrend physically
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Very valid question.

@InsideOut900 and other Novak fans need to answer why a guy so dominant at the Plexi is so weak on Deco Turfs ? Novak has lost 3x to Fed, 2x to Nadal, 2x to Stan, 1x to Murray and 1x to Medvedev, what does this tell us ???
1) I don't remember calling Djokovic the combined AO + USO GOAT ever. He is the AO Goat and a great USO player.

2) I explained it well enough in the past why he lost so many times. Because sh*t happens. He isn't that good on fast HC as he is on medium and medium-slow. So he can't just lock in wins, but he is insanely consistent at making the latter rounds, so he just losses a lot.

Nadal has almost half the finals at USO and all his 4 winning draws were weak.

Nadal also has 7 good years at Wimbledon and only 2 titles. Djokovic has 8 good years at Wimbledon, but 6 titles. Same reason why that happened.

Yes, better to sweep the USO under the rug.
Because you were talking about sth else.

You said Nadal at RG and Fed at Wimbledon. I said Djokovic is at least better at vulturing compared to Fedal not beating Djokovic at his pet Slam even once. (except for AO 07).

USO is legit the sole thing you can cling to right now. The desperation to prove your point is unreal, so you just can't be honest and need to deflect :D
 
Because Djokovic had to wait for Nadal to be at either his lowest psychological point in 2015 or playing missing a foot like in 2021.

Even with all the conditions that supposedly favor Djokovic like in 2020 with the roof closed, colder climate, low bouncing ball, etc. he got bageled.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Please explain how Djokovic beat Nadal at Madrid11, Rome11, MC13 and Rome14? Federer only has Hamburg07 if we are counting Nadal's RG winning seasons.
Nadal 09 > Nadal 14 by some distance on clay
Fed beat Nadal at Madrid 09.
Nadal won Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona and made Madrid final in 09.
Just because Soderling GOATed and Nadal wasn't at his sharpest in that one match doesn't change that.
In 14, Nadal was losing left right on clay before RG.
Only a biased/clueless Djoker fan can put 14 Nadal over 09 on clay

Basically Djokovic has 3 wins over prime Nadal on clay - Madrid 11, Rome 11 and Monte Carlo 13
Fed has 2 wins over prime nadal on clay - Hamburg 07 and Madrid 09
 

Thetouch

Professional
Because Federer never played old washed up Nadal anywhere near his own prime, unlike Djokovic.
Federer played Nadal when he was the best tennis player in the world and in his so called prime 2005-2008 and still lost 4 times in a row. That alone destroys any argument.

The only thing we know for sure is nobody beat Nadal when he was healthy and in his prime years. I also think Nadal was to Federer what Agassi was to Becker. Nadal was not necessarily the better player but he mentally blocked Federer a lot, just like Agassi did to Becker.
 

Antonio Puente

Hall of Fame
Because you were talking about sth else.

You said Nadal at RG and Fed at Wimbledon. I said Djokovic is at least better at vulturing compared to Fedal not beating Djokovic at his pet Slam even once. (except for AO 07).

USO is legit the sole thing you can cling to right now. The desperation to prove your point is unreal, so you just can't be honest and need to deflect :D
Djoker is very good in Melbourne, but Djoker fans make him out to be much better than he is at the other slams. At 3 of the 4 slams, he never came close to the highest level ever played. In the scenario sunny posted recently about peak versions of Nadal, Fed, Djoker and Pete playing at the same time, I'm not sure how well Djoker would do. He's consistent and hangs around and vultures slams here and there. Credit to him for that.
 

Oceans II

Rookie
Nadal 09 > Nadal 14 by some distance on clay
Fed beat Nadal at Madrid 09.
Nadal won Monte Carlo, Rome, Barcelona and made Madrid final in 09.
Just because Soderling GOATed and Nadal wasn't at his sharpest in that one match doesn't change that.
In 14, Nadal was losing left right on clay before RG.
Only a biased/clueless Djoker fan can put 14 Nadal over 09 on clay

Basically Djokovic has 3 wins over prime Nadal on clay - Madrid 11, Rome 11 and Monte Carlo 13
Fed has 2 wins over prime nadal on clay - Hamburg 07 and Madrid 09
So, now form matters over the eye test for a specific match? Do you think Nadal was fatigued for the Madrid09 final after his physical semi against Djokovic? I hope you (and others) are consistent with your arguments.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
So, now form matters over the eye test for a specific match? Do you think Nadal was fatigued for the Madrid09 final after his physical semi against Djokovic? I hope you (and others) are consistent with your arguments.
Nadal wasn't good by prime level in the specific match - Rome 14 final either, pal. Both form and eye test for specific match fail in that regard in 14.
Nadal was playing Madrid on clay for the first time, struggled to some extent vs verdasco and then for atleast first set and half vs Djoko.
Fed simply played the big points better in the Madrid 09 final. 2/2 on BPs while Nadal went 0/4 on BPs.

Murray played 3.5 hrs vs Raonic at WTF 2016, came out and straight-setted Djokovic in the final. Its not necessary that a player be fatigued after a >3 hr match although it is a possibility.
 

socallefty

Legend
Federer is not careful about his diet and according to his fans has not been in his prime since something like 2008. So, he has not had many chances to play Rafa when he was in his prime. Djokovic in contrast takes care of his body like a top athlete should and keeps extending his prime years until Rafa was wheeled out on a wheelchair according to his fans to play Novak in 2021. If Federer had played Rafa this year, he would have beaten him as he wins all hypothetical matches.

Federer’s real BH was never good enough to beat Nadal at RG. His hypothetical BH is mythically awesome though. Djokovic in contrast had a GOAT BH which allowed him to beat Nadal 8 times on clay including twice at RG.
 
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UnforcedTerror

Hall of Fame
Yeah 2006 - 2014 bull was so lucky that 2015, 2016 or 2021 Djokovic wasn't there to stop him...

I mean 2021 Djokovic was soooo much better than 2012 Djokovic and 2006 Federer... he had 9 more years of experience!!!

Lucky, lucky bull...
That's your logic. If Djokovic only beat below his best Nadal then Bull only beat only below his best Djokovic. Djokovic's best form at RG was in 2015, 2016, 2021 and 2011.
 

AO13

Rookie
In the end, Djokovic will have (at least) 2 wins on RG against undeniably greatest ever clay court player in the history of mankind as long as it exists, while Federer has none.

That's a fact and it is what it is, deal with it.
 

Daniel Andrade

Hall of Fame
Federer has a 0-6 record against Nadal at RG, never took more than 1 set off him in a match. Djokovic has a 2-7 record and 1 of those losses was an extremely close 5 setter that he could have won. Why was Federer so poor against Nadal at RG, whereas Djokovic has done reasonably well?
Wasn't Djokovic 0-6 at some point?
 

D.Nalby12

G.O.A.T.
One hander. Yet once he came close beating Nadal on clay in Bo5. OTOH Djokovic has best backhand when it comes to handling high topspin balls and redirecting it to DTL. So it neutralises Nadal' favourite pattern. It's something Federer couldn't do in his career. His topspin backhand is made for low bouncing courts and he can't drive his backhand in style of Kuerten or Ljubicic. Give him topspin backhand of either one of above two - he will give lots of trouble to Nadal on clay.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
So much reinvention in this thread and twisting things just to not give Djokovic credit. Even without 2015 and 2021, when he beat Nadal, he went toe to toe with peak Nadal in 2012 and only won 9 less points than him in that match, and almost beat him in 2013. Federer does not have a match at RG that is on that same level when he was that close to Nadal so it's more than him not getting versions that weren't prime.
 
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