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

Djokovic beat the worse version of Nadal in 2015 whom Federer never had the luck to play and beat a Nadal literally playing on one foot aged 35 this year whome 34 year old Federer would not have needed 4hours to beat.
if in any doubt who is the better clay court player between Federer and Djokovic watch their SF in 2011 at Rg. The best ever version of Djokovic vs 30 year old past prime Federer and Federer routined him.
LOL if you look at how Federer was playing at RG from 2012-2015 (aged 30-33) you are kidding yourself to think that 34 year old Federer would have ever beaten this years Nadal at RG, as subpar as he was. No freaking way.

Federer would.have won that in still conditions.
Obviously dealing with someone completely delusional here.


I do agree Djokovic's win over Nadal in 2015 means squat all mind you. You are right on that much. Djokovic's match with Nadal at RG 2013 is the one that marks him the clearly tougher opponent compared to Federer at RG, despite losing. That and all his wins over Nadal in clay Masters from 2011-2014.
 

goldengate14

Semi-Pro
LOL if you look at how Federer was playing at RG from 2012-2015 (aged 30-33) you are kidding yourself to think that 34 year old Federer would have ever beaten this years Nadal at RG, as subpar as he was. No freaking way.



Obviously dealing with someone completely delusional here.
Has Nadal ever hit over 50 UFEs v Federer on a clay court?
 

Djokodal Fan

Hall of Fame
I don't understand you and other Djoker fans. Do you guys actually believe that Federer had mono had ZERO impact in his game? Or it's a fake story? Come on man. If you watch tennis in 2008 you can see many signs that he was dealing with illness. He was far away from his normal form in 2007.

Fact that he did had mono. Players had mono before him(i.e. Ancic). If you believe his story was a lie is downright sad.

Djokovic didn't beat a healthy Federer that day. He was lucky being at the right time. If he was really good enough to beat a fit Federer, then he shouldn't have lost to Roddick the next year. He also lost to a healthy Federer in 2008 and 2009 USO.
great, continue to use your excuses. Fact is this: Federer beats peaking Djokovic at FO 2011, baby Djokovic schools Federer in straight sets at AO 2008. You can’t argue the results.
 

reef58

Semi-Pro
I admit I am not that well versed with Fedal clay lore, but watching 2007 and 2011 RG F, I felt no reason why Federer couldn't actually beat Nadal at RG once, especially a Nadal having a bad day or a bad year.

Each of 2005,2011 and 2007 could have gone 5.


However I don't see Federer beating Nadal 3 times like Djokovic. And Federer's longevity on clay fades in comparison to Djokovic as well.
Don't you understand if Nadal loses according to the gurus here he is injured or not in "prime". funny how his "prime" skips years. Heck his prime even skips games and sets. Nadal was looking pretty good up 5/0 in the first set this year, but then his "prime" went away, he was injured, there was a tornado and maybe even some locusts.
 
Regardless of mono, 2008 was not a peak year for Federer. That should be clear by his results. Even 2009 was a far better year for him than 2008, and 2010 was probably a better year overall. So I wouldn't put that in the category of beating a peak Federer when it was about his 8th or 7th best year ever, and when had a string of better years right before and right after.

On topic of the thread though while Djokovic's wins over Nadal at RG aren't that meaningful given where they were, especialy 2015, Djokovic is a tougher opponent for Nadal on clay. And in fact a tougher opponent for Nadal in general, and hands down on anything but possibly grass. That doesn't mean in anyway he is better than Federer, just that for Nadal he is a tougher opponent. I didn't know that was even a question in the first place. It is like debating who is tougher for Wawrinka, Federer or Djokovic, LOL!
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Just how many times do I have to educate y'all lemmings on this? Simply put neither Fedovic is beating any RG-winning version of Rafa on his home turf IRL. Would be more doable if we were talking an old-fashioned H2H series a la the pre-OE pro tours, but that's why I added the "IRL" qualifier.

Here's the why in more detail (focuses mostly on Novak, but also applies to Fed vs. Rafa):


Now compare (late) Rafa's #s with Fedovic's:


Not even close. However you slice 'em the clincher is that Fed or Nole still couldn't get the job done against '06 (Rome) or '13 (RG) Rafa who was most likely the weakest of his RG-winning iterations, while peak Lendl, Kuerten, Bruguera and Courier (plus Wilander, depending on his strategy) probably finish him off in 4 or at least in a relatively routine 5-setter. Yes Novak does have those Masters Ws over Rafa, but that's because Bull rarely brings his A game except to RG. It's no coincidence that his GW% tend to rise by an eye-popping margin at his pet Slam vs. the rest of the CC season, whereas Nole's %s usually remain steady, indicating a clearly lower peak than not only Rafa but most of his fellow multi-FO champs.

If you insist on hairsplitting Novak does "match up" better vs. Rafa than Fed, but that's because he's the superior dirtballer, not because of this silly 1HBH-2HBH talking point you mugs keep recycling as the go-to explanation. I mean even midget Gaudio's 1HBH handled Rafa's topspin just fine, but you jokers seriously think Lendl's and even Guga's wouldn't be up to the task? JFC
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I suspect that the French chefs cook his Barilla pasta too much and don’t chill his Moet and Chandon champagne enough. All these small things matter to a finely tuned ballerino-like divo.
 

Flint

Hall of Fame
because Djokovic got a really crappy Nadal at RG 15 and a well below prime level Nadal at RG 21.
Fed never got a Nadal close to that.

Every time Djokovic got prime level Nadal, he's lost - 07,08,12,13,14, 20 (leaving out 06 when djoko was young)
Only 13 was close.
This
 

CremoCream

Rookie
I don't understand why Djoker is being touted as some kryptonite against Nadal on clay.

It must be recency bias from RG 2021 because you all must have collective amnesia from all the times he got rinsed by Nadal in multiple RG encounters including at least a couple finals.

Edit: As someone mentioned, his longevity on the surface is far greater which means he's gotten more chances at taking down Nadal but let's not pretend he's gonna be the favorite against him in any clay court match in 2022.
For perspective...
Nadals 19-8 against Djokovic on Clay
Djokovic is 20-7 against Nadal Hardcourt

Nadal 14-2 against Federer on Clay
Federer 11-9 against Nadal on Hardcourt

Nadal has 43 losses on Clay and djokovic accounts for 8 of them. Nearly 19% of Nadals losses on Clay have come against Djokovic. He's the closest thing to kryptonite against Nadal we've seen.. and has been more dominant on his favorite surface against Nadal as well.
 

Sunny014

Legend
great, continue to use your excuses. Fact is this: Federer beats peaking Djokovic at FO 2011, baby Djokovic schools Federer in straight sets at AO 2008. You can’t argue the results.
Even Tipsarevic schooled Federer at the 2008 Aus open bvy stretching him to 5 sets to the limit before Novak beat Federer, easy to school sick people.

Specimens like you would do well to remember that Novak was "inferior" to Federer till 2010, he was got thrashed thrice at the US Open by Fed, even Roddick thrashed Novak at the AO, that 08 run of Nole was a fluke aided by Fed's mono.

Check the year 2008 to see all sorts of nobodies beating Federer that year, even Giles Simon schooled Fed in your own words, so your hero's win is worthless, such schooling over weak sick men are useless.....
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
There's quite a difference in their baseline games. And clay is a baseline surface, whereas grass is a serve-return surface.
 
Djokovic is actually a very good clay court player, and if not for Nadal he would've racked up a few French Opens. It was a surface that was fairly natural for him, from what I've read. Djokovic also faced an older or out of form Nadal when he won there.
 
Actually over 3 sets you are right. Iber 5 sets Federer has troubled peak Nadal far more than Djokovic did.
Who is "peak Nadal"? To my mind, the Nadal of Roland Garros 2012 is on a par with any Nadal other than 2008 and better than any Nadal other than 2007, 2008, 2010, or 2017, and Djokovic pushed Nadal at least as hard at Roland Garros 2012 as Federer did any of those versions.

I think that the Nadal of 2006, whom Federer did push pretty hard, was still improving and some way shy of his best. If Nadal of Roland Garros 2013 wasn't "peak Nadal," nor was Nadal of Rome 2006 "peak Nadal."
 

goldengate14

Semi-Pro
Who is "peak Nadal"? To my mind, the Nadal of Roland Garros 2012 is on a par with any Nadal other than 2008 and better than any Nadal other than 2007, 2008, 2010, or 2017, and Djokovic pushed Nadal at least as hard at Roland Garros 2012 as Federer did any of those versions.

I think that the Nadal of 2006, whom Federer did push pretty hard, was still improving and some way shy of his best. If Nadal of Roland Garros 2013 wasn't "peak Nadal," nor was Nadal of Rome 2006 "peak Nadal."
On clay post 2010 Nadal was never as good..he became much better on hard but on clay and grass he was much weaker
 

maratha_warrior

Hall of Fame
Federer’s BH is not a GOAT-level shot and he can’t win long crosscourt rallies against a FH in the GOAT-level discussion like Nadal’s lefty FH especially on a slow surface like clay where the server’s advantage is mostly neutralized. Slicing a lot with short angles doesn’t work well as a return strategy or BH staple on a slow, high bouncing surface like clay.

Djokovic has a GOAT BH and can rally comfortably with Nadal on both wings. Djokovic also has a GOAT return which is still effective on clay unlike Federer’s serve. He could comfortably hit DTL and change point patterns to the Nadal BH corner.

It is not complicated when you watch them play live. Discussions of prime years, age, mono etc. is not required.
Excellent comment.
 
I felt in 2012 Rafa looked very slow compared to 2010. I actually thought his career was over after 2012 FO. What he did past 9 years is insane given his physical issues.
Look at the scores and opponents of RG 2012 vs 2005 or 2006 and you will see how he was clearly better. Plus the video footage that is even still up, but the scores and opponents of those scores makes it pretty obvious. Remember in 2005 and 2006 he could still be pushed hard by the likes of Grosjean, Mathieu, Puerta, and many like that, who are dangerous but not even close to true elite.

He may have been speedier in 2005 and 2006, I agree, but there are more facets than speed at hand. Nadal improved in a lot of other areas as time went on, even though his fastest was probably his youngest.
 
oh look, Djokomad haplessly ignorant guy thinks 07 Nadal wasn't peak on clay. LOL.
07 RG Nadal would crush your boy Djoko twice over - any version of Djokovic, pal.

05-06 Nadal on clay was also prime.
Why this guy is always soo mad!? :rolleyes: Lol
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
Djokovic is more capable than Federer of beating Nadal at RG. He's also more capable than Nadal of beating Federer at Wimbledon.

Neither of them is capable of beating him at AO.
 

lucky13

Semi-Pro
For perspective...
Nadals 19-8 against Djokovic on Clay
Djokovic is 20-7 against Nadal Hardcourt

Nadal 14-2 against Federer on Clay
Federer 11-9 against Nadal on Hardcourt

Nadal has 43 losses on Clay and djokovic accounts for 8 of them. Nearly 19% of Nadals losses on Clay have come against Djokovic. He's the closest thing to kryptonite against Nadal we've seen.. and has been more dominant on his favorite surface against Nadal as well.
and 67% of his losses on RG!
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
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.
Rain and clay mud was the only reason Djokovic won the third set in 2012. When it was sunny out, he was steamrolled by Nadal. Peak for peak, Nadal generally owned Djokovic at RG (not necessarily on clay).
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
Rain and clay mud was the only reason Djokovic won the third set in 2012. When it was sunny out, he was steamrolled by Nadal. Peak for peak, Nadal generally owned Djokovic at RG (not necessarily on clay).
Yeah I’m not about to give credit to Novak for DFing on 3 separate break points including f-ing Match Point lol.

At the same time what good is being a Clay GOAT if a little rain ruins your entire game? Nadal lost 8 games straight and was 1000% going to lose that match if they hadn’t stopped it.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
Yeah I’m not about to give credit to Novak for DFing on 3 separate break points including f-ing Match Point lol.

At the same time what good is being a Clay GOAT if a little rain ruins your entire game? Nadal lost 8 games straight and was 1000% going to lose that match if they hadn’t stopped it.
What other RG match in pouring rain did they allow to continue as long as 2012 final?
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Rain and clay mud was the only reason Djokovic won the third set in 2012. When it was sunny out, he was steamrolled by Nadal. Peak for peak, Nadal generally owned Djokovic at RG (not necessarily on clay).
There was never any sun out in that match. Lol. It was raining from 2-1 in the 2nd set and Djokovic still lost.
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
I guess history, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder nowadays.
I mean, when I think pouring rain, RG 2012 is not generally what comes to mind.

grey skies to a drizzle to light rain during 2nd/3rd sets, certainly. Pouring rain is reserved as a descriptor for more severe climatic events.

An example of pouring rain would be this year in Rome when you could visibly see the droplets on TV. The RG ‘12 final was light to medium rain - still too much to play in imo, but far from pouring.
 

Biotic

Hall of Fame
Fed never got:
1: A hobbling Nadal with conditions suiting Djokovic. 2021
2: An out of form Nadal with forehand issues losing to nobodies. 2016
Even if that were true, it's Djokovic's consistency and longevity on clay that gave him so many shots (9) at Nadal, with a respectable 2-7 h2h.

He won RG at 34. Federer stopped being a factor on clay post 2012 (at 30-31). At Djoko's current age, (2015) Federer wasn't beating 2015 Nadal, or 2021 for that matter.
 
Even if that were true, it's Djokovic's consistency and longevity on clay that gave him so many shots (9) at Nadal, with a respectable 2-7 h2h.

He won RG at 34. Federer stopped being a factor on clay post 2012 (at 30-31). At Djoko's current age, (2015) Federer wasn't beating 2015 Nadal, or 2021 for that matter.
They never played on clay duh.
 
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.
If the gap is as stark as you mention, how did Fed beat Nadal in Hamburg 2007 and hold 2 championship points in Rome 2006?

Reality is more complicated and nuanced. Nadal is period better than Fed on outdoor clay but Federer was a great claycourt player as well.
 

Tony48

Legend
because Djokovic got a really crappy Nadal at RG 15 and a well below prime level Nadal at RG 21.
Fed never got a Nadal close to that.

Every time Djokovic got prime level Nadal, he's lost - 07,08,12,13,14, 20 (leaving out 06 when djoko was young)
Only 13 was close.
LOL, so Nadal was prime in 2020 then 6 months later he was garbage. You are a clown.So salty that Federer could never do what Djokovic could.
 
LOL, so Nadal was prime in 2020 then 6 months later he was garbage. You are a clown.So salty that Federer could never do what Djokovic could.
He was injured at RG 2021. That isn't speculation, it is fact.

That said I do think his level was still decent enough at RG 2021, so being it is the clay GOAT it was still a huge win. However given the injury your "6 months" thing is really meaningless.

Not a fan of any of Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic btw.
 

Tony48

Legend
He was injured at RG 2021. That isn't speculation, it is fact.

That said I do think his level was still decent enough at RG 2021, so being it is the clay GOAT it was still a huge win. However given the injury your "6 months" thing is really meaningless.

Not a fan of any of Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic btw.
At what point during RG 2021 was it apparent that Nadal was carrying an injury?

It's so funny that of all of the tennis players, it's always Djokovic that gets Nadal during an injury crisis. How convenient and not suspicious at all.
 
At what point during RG 2021 was it apparent that Nadal was carrying an injury?
So he just coincidentally has played only one small tournament since then, citing his injury? Even after RG 2009 which was a far more shocking and crushing defeat (and when he was also injured) he kept playing almost every tournament remember.
 
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