Who is the true goat in Tennis ?

Remove this Banner Ad

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,708
23,602
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
To win any award or competition multiple times you would need to prove your longevity would you not? That’s part of the whole numbers thing - Borg is probably the exception as he won his titles in an incredible compressed timespan but everyone else with lots of titles has demonstrated their greatness by doing it for a long time

Thanks for the discussion.. pleasant.. enjoyed it.

Chat about football some time.
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
32,892
35,772
AFL Club
Geelong
How niche is the clay surface compared to the other 3.. Nadal grew up on it.. 13.. he was always gonna Odyssey Travolta it. Are the other 3 an even playing field?


It’s not niche though is it? Most Western European players favour it, South Americans favour it, and there is a season for it that goes beyond just a token warm up for the French Open. It’s a long way behind hardcourt for prevalence but it’s a big enough product that it’s beyond ‘niche.’

It also brings players into the equation who otherwise would not be - the genuine one court specialists like Kuerten or JCF and Brugera. The fact that no player from that mould has someone been able to nick a title from Nadal is indicative of his quality (and the quality of the other two for that matter that they consistently have beaten the specialists)
 

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,708
23,602
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
It’s not niche though is it? Most Western European players favour it, South Americans favour it, and there is a season for it that goes beyond just a token warm up for the French Open. It’s a long way behind hardcourt for prevalence but it’s a big enough product that it’s beyond ‘niche.’

It also brings players into the equation who otherwise would not be - the genuine one court specialists like Kuerten or JCF and Brugera. The fact that no player from that mould has someone been able to nick a title from Nadal is indicative of his quality (and the quality of the other two for that matter that they consistently have beaten the specialists)

Quote from Bolletierri.. a gift re.. enjoy..

Screenshot_20220201-170009_Gallery.jpg
 

Log in to remove this ad.

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
32,892
35,772
AFL Club
Geelong
Quote from Bolletierri.. a gift re.. enjoy..

View attachment 1319935


I don’t know what that shows that everyone doesn’t know. He doesn’t have a weakness it’s dead right. He has the most chink-free armour in the game. Nadal has the least, out of the three: his serve is a weakness. He also has the best return, the best court coverage, and by far the highest ratio of impossible shots.

Being bereft of a weakness does not makes one’s strengths more impressive
 

boncer34

Formerly "Dos23"
Jul 11, 2005
55,929
64,047
Baghdad
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Melbourne Storm
How niche is the clay surface compared to the other 3.. Nadal grew up on it.. 13.. he was always gonna Odyssey Travolta it. Are the other 3 more of an even playing field?
Clay, hard and Grass have equal weighting for me. GOAT of tennis isnt about who's best including/excluding a surface. It's about who can play the sport well regardless of the surface.

I also think doubles plays a part but it's largely irrelevant now because the best don't play it.
 

Walter H White

Team Captain
Nov 22, 2014
544
765
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Liverpool
I often think ‘the best tennis I’ve ever seen from anyone is Federer at his peak’ and then I have to remind myself that at his peak Nadal came along and started beating him. I tend to agree now that Federer is the ‘worst’ of the 3 if there is such a thing. As someone said earlier I think if there were more big tournaments/slams on clay, there wouldn’t even be an argument. The fact that Nadal has surpassed the number of the other two, with only one slam on a slow surface, is mind boggling

But surely the alternate also applies? If more tournaments were on grass (like there were for most of the history of the sport), there wouldn't be a discussion and Federer would be the greatest. As it is, there are far more big tournaments (1000s etc.) on clay than on grass. This is before we take into account the slowing down of grass and hard court surfaces that have favoured Nadal more than any other of the big 3 (watch Federer vs Agassi 2005 US Open Final and look at the speed of the courts then versus now).

To me they all have their benefits over each other and there is no clear no.1:

Federer: Most aesthetically pleasing to watch, would be easily the best of the the Big 3 if they played in another era (wooden racquets, faster courts, serve and volley game, flatter groundstrokes etc.). Can play at an elite level in his late 30's and potentially early 40's due to his style of play. Paved the way and set the standard for the others to match.

Nadal: Obviously the best of all-time on clay, and no player has ever been as dominant on one surface. Brought a new level of physicality and fitness to the game and possesses one of the most dominant shots in the history of the game (top spin forehand). One of the greatest fighters in any sport.

Djokovic: Statistically the best of the three. Will probably end up with the most slams assuming his anti-vax stance doesn't cost him further. The best of the three across all surfaces (hard, grass, clay) and the most suited to the "modern" game - movement, baseline, stamina - whilst also having no real weaknesses (unlike Federer and Nadal).
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
32,892
35,772
AFL Club
Geelong
But surely the alternate also applies? If more tournaments were on grass (like there were for most of the history of the sport), there wouldn't be a discussion and Federer would be the greatest. As it is, there are far more big tournaments (1000s etc.) on clay than on grass. This is before we take into account the slowing down of grass and hard court surfaces that have favoured Nadal more than any other of the big 3 (watch Federer vs Agassi 2005 US Open Final and look at the speed of the courts then versus now).

To me they all have their benefits over each other and there is no clear no.1:

Federer: Most aesthetically pleasing to watch, would be easily the best of the the Big 3 if they played in another era (wooden racquets, faster courts, serve and volley game, flatter groundstrokes etc.). Can play at an elite level in his late 30's and potentially early 40's due to his style of play. Paved the way and set the standard for the others to match.

Nadal: Obviously the best of all-time on clay, and no player has ever been as dominant on one surface. Brought a new level of physicality and fitness to the game and possesses one of the most dominant shots in the history of the game (top spin forehand). One of the greatest fighters in any sport.

Djokovic: Statistically the best of the three. Will probably end up with the most slams assuming his anti-vax stance doesn't cost him further. The best of the three across all surfaces (hard, grass, clay) and the most suited to the "modern" game - movement, baseline, stamina - whilst also having no real weaknesses (unlike Federer and Nadal).


But grass IS a niche surface. There isn’t a single tournament on it that’s not related to Wimbledon. And at any rate, since Rafa learned how to play away from clay, Federer has only won Wimbledon three times in 14 editions. Nadal has been able to match and beat him. It’s not like clay is a niche surface, it’s got an entire season dedicated to it, a third of major tour tournaments are held on it so there are dozens of players at any one time who hone their game for it, prepare for it and thrive on it specifically and none have made a dent.

Yes hardcourts have slowed but they still suit two of the three more than they suit Nadal. Let’s say there were 2 majors each on clay, grass and hardcourt Nadal at various stages would have snagged, as he has in the current reality, less slams than the other two on grass and hardcourt but way more than they would manage on clay.
 

Walter H White

Team Captain
Nov 22, 2014
544
765
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
Liverpool
But grass IS a niche surface. There isn’t a single tournament on it that’s not related to Wimbledon. And at any rate, since Rafa learned how to play away from clay, Federer has only won Wimbledon three times in 14 editions. Nadal has been able to match and beat him. It’s not like clay is a niche surface, it’s got an entire season dedicated to it, a third of major tour tournaments are held on it so there are dozens of players at any one time who hone their game for it, prepare for it and thrive on it specifically and none have made a dent.

Yes hardcourts have slowed but they still suit two of the three more than they suit Nadal. Let’s say there were 2 majors each on clay, grass and hardcourt Nadal at various stages would have snagged, as he has in the current reality, less slams than the other two on grass and hardcourt but way more than they would manage on clay.
But you raised the point that if there were more tournaments on clay, then there wouldn't even be a conversation. That's true. But the reverse is also true. And grass wasn't always a niche surface. It was the dominant surface for the majority of the history of the sport. The changes in this era have suited Nadal more than the other two (more clay, less grass) and slowing down of traditionally fast surfaces (hard/grass). I'm not convinced Nadal would have won anywhere near as many slams/1000s on hard courts/grass if they weren't slowed down. Djokovic perhaps benefitted from this as well but he has proven himself to be an exceptional grass court player (and on all surfaces if we are being honest - if it wasn't for Nadal he would probably be one of the greatest clay court players of all-time) and I think he still would have won many titles on faster courts.
 

mcgarnacle

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 2, 2003
9,198
3,502
AFL Club
Sydney
And yet, despite less apparent weaknesses to his game, having more court surfaces favourable to him, and having a superior run with injury, Djokovic has less grand slam titles.

Can't be the goat in light of this.

Weird logic - So Novak's adaptability in more events across the planet means he is a worse player all-round.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
32,892
35,772
AFL Club
Geelong
Weird logic - So Novak's adaptability in more events across the planet means he is a worse player all-round.

How is that his logic?

That’s not what he’s saying at all.
He’s saying Djokovic’s game is lent towards more adaptability and capability of winning on surfaces that suit his game and more of them and he still has less crowns.
Saying the Wimbledon centre court suits Wayne Arthurs’ game perfectly doesn’t mean he’s a better player there than Rafael Nadal so I don’t know why you would draw that conclusion from the comment you responded to
 

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,708
23,602
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
4 > 2 Head to head GS record (exc Odyssey)

Djokovic

Wimbledon 2011. US 2011. AUS. 2012, 2019.

Nadal

US 2010, 2013.

I rest my case.
 

PonsfordMagpie

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2013
10,025
19,609
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Chelsea
Federer = 7 out of 20 slams = Defeated Nadal and/or Djokovic along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). Wimbledon 2006 (F) vs Nadal
  • 2). Australian Open 2007 (4R) vs Djokovic
  • 3). Wimbledon 2007 (F) vs Nadal
  • 4). US Open 2007 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 5). US Open 2008 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 6). Wimbledon 2012 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 7). Australian Open 2017 (F) vs Nadal
Nadal = 14 out of 21 slams = Defeated Federer and/or Djokovic along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). French Open 2005 (SF) vs Federer
  • 2). French Open 2006 (QF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 3). French Open 2007 (SF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 4). French Open 2008 (SF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 5). Wimbledon 2008 (F) vs Federer
  • 6). Australian Open 2009 (F) vs Federer
  • 7). US Open 2010 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 8). French Open 2011 (F) vs Federer
  • 9). French Open 2012 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 10). French Open 2013 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 11). US Open 2013 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 12). French Open 2014 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 13). French Open 2019 (SF) vs Federer
  • 14). French Open 2020 (F) vs Djokovic
Djokovic = 14 out of 20 slams = Defeated Nadal and/or Federer along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). Australian Open 2008 (SF) vs Federer
  • 2). Australian Open 2011 (SF) vs Federer
  • 3). Wimbledon 2011 (F) vs Nadal
  • 4). US Open 2011 (SF) vs Federer and (F) vs Nadal
  • 5). Australian Open 2012 (F) vs Nadal
  • 6). Wimbledon 2014 (F) vs Federer
  • 7). Wimbledon 2015 (F) vs Federer
  • 8). US Open 2015 (F) vs Federer
  • 9). Australian Open 2016 (SF) vs Federer
  • 10). Wimbledon 2018 (SF) vs Nadal
  • 11). Australian Open 2019 (F) vs Nadal
  • 12). Wimbledon 2019 (F) vs Federer
  • 13). Australian Open 2020 (SF) vs Federer
  • 14). French Open 2021 (SF) vs Nadal
To win slams, Nadal and Djokovic have had to beat one another + Federer the majority of the time.

65% of Federer's slams occurred without him having to play Nadal and/or Djokovic along the way, therefore paving the way for him to have an easier draw.
 

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,708
23,602
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
👌 sized the greats re

Head to heads

1. Djokovic 14/20
2. Nads 14/21
3. Express Train 7/20

Djokovic > Nads > Express Train

A quintessential victory for Djokovic.

Mbravo re.
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
32,892
35,772
AFL Club
Geelong
In 100 per cent of Richard Krajicek’s grand slam titles he beat Pete Sampras.
And did it in straight sets every time.

He is the best player of the 90s
 

Dominic03

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 28, 2020
5,417
5,374
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Federer = 7 out of 20 slams = Defeated Nadal and/or Djokovic along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). Wimbledon 2006 (F) vs Nadal
  • 2). Australian Open 2007 (4R) vs Djokovic
  • 3). Wimbledon 2007 (F) vs Nadal
  • 4). US Open 2007 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 5). US Open 2008 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 6). Wimbledon 2012 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 7). Australian Open 2017 (F) vs Nadal
Nadal = 14 out of 21 slams = Defeated Federer and/or Djokovic along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). French Open 2005 (SF) vs Federer
  • 2). French Open 2006 (QF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 3). French Open 2007 (SF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 4). French Open 2008 (SF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 5). Wimbledon 2008 (F) vs Federer
  • 6). Australian Open 2009 (F) vs Federer
  • 7). US Open 2010 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 8). French Open 2011 (F) vs Federer
  • 9). French Open 2012 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 10). French Open 2013 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 11). US Open 2013 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 12). French Open 2014 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 13). French Open 2019 (SF) vs Federer
  • 14). French Open 2020 (F) vs Djokovic
Djokovic = 14 out of 20 slams = Defeated Nadal and/or Federer along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). Australian Open 2008 (SF) vs Federer
  • 2). Australian Open 2011 (SF) vs Federer
  • 3). Wimbledon 2011 (F) vs Nadal
  • 4). US Open 2011 (SF) vs Federer and (F) vs Nadal
  • 5). Australian Open 2012 (F) vs Nadal
  • 6). Wimbledon 2014 (F) vs Federer
  • 7). Wimbledon 2015 (F) vs Federer
  • 8). US Open 2015 (F) vs Federer
  • 9). Australian Open 2016 (SF) vs Federer
  • 10). Wimbledon 2018 (SF) vs Nadal
  • 11). Australian Open 2019 (F) vs Nadal
  • 12). Wimbledon 2019 (F) vs Federer
  • 13). Australian Open 2020 (SF) vs Federer
  • 14). French Open 2021 (SF) vs Nadal
To win slams, Nadal and Djokovic have had to beat one another + Federer the majority of the time.

65% of Federer's slams occurred without him having to play Nadal and/or Djokovic along the way, therefore paving the way for him to have an easier draw.
Federer at his best and in his prime, early to mid 20s.

2004-2008
23 years old in 2004 and in 2008 he was 27.

That was the peak of his powers. He played Rafa then, Rafa was very very good very very early. Novak was one that wasn't "That good" early. Rather got better with time, after he figured out his breathing issues and so on.
 
Last edited:

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,708
23,602
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
Exclude the Odyssey.. Djokovic had a period of complete and utter dominance over Nads in GS finals appearances b/n the 2. Nads. No.

Winning streak

Djokovic v Nads

2011 Wimbledon, US.
2012 AUS.

Nads broke the streak of 3 at the Odyssey where he's got the Tony Manero down pat.. growing up there and all and that re.. may as well own the joint mate.. that's it mate.. forget about it mate.
 
Last edited:

mcgarnacle

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 2, 2003
9,198
3,502
AFL Club
Sydney
Federer = 7 out of 20 slams = Defeated Nadal and/or Djokovic along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). Wimbledon 2006 (F) vs Nadal
  • 2). Australian Open 2007 (4R) vs Djokovic
  • 3). Wimbledon 2007 (F) vs Nadal
  • 4). US Open 2007 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 5). US Open 2008 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 6). Wimbledon 2012 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 7). Australian Open 2017 (F) vs Nadal
Nadal = 14 out of 21 slams = Defeated Federer and/or Djokovic along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). French Open 2005 (SF) vs Federer
  • 2). French Open 2006 (QF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 3). French Open 2007 (SF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 4). French Open 2008 (SF) vs Djokovic and (F) vs Federer
  • 5). Wimbledon 2008 (F) vs Federer
  • 6). Australian Open 2009 (F) vs Federer
  • 7). US Open 2010 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 8). French Open 2011 (F) vs Federer
  • 9). French Open 2012 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 10). French Open 2013 (SF) vs Djokovic
  • 11). US Open 2013 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 12). French Open 2014 (F) vs Djokovic
  • 13). French Open 2019 (SF) vs Federer
  • 14). French Open 2020 (F) vs Djokovic
Djokovic = 14 out of 20 slams = Defeated Nadal and/or Federer along the way to win the slam.
  • 1). Australian Open 2008 (SF) vs Federer
  • 2). Australian Open 2011 (SF) vs Federer
  • 3). Wimbledon 2011 (F) vs Nadal
  • 4). US Open 2011 (SF) vs Federer and (F) vs Nadal
  • 5). Australian Open 2012 (F) vs Nadal
  • 6). Wimbledon 2014 (F) vs Federer
  • 7). Wimbledon 2015 (F) vs Federer
  • 8). US Open 2015 (F) vs Federer
  • 9). Australian Open 2016 (SF) vs Federer
  • 10). Wimbledon 2018 (SF) vs Nadal
  • 11). Australian Open 2019 (F) vs Nadal
  • 12). Wimbledon 2019 (F) vs Federer
  • 13). Australian Open 2020 (SF) vs Federer
  • 14). French Open 2021 (SF) vs Nadal
To win slams, Nadal and Djokovic have had to beat one another + Federer the majority of the time.

65% of Federer's slams occurred without him having to play Nadal and/or Djokovic along the way, therefore paving the way for him to have an easier draw.

Feds been quite the whipping boy for the two greats!
 

BringouttheGimp

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2015
19,708
23,602
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
PAOK of SALONIKA LIVERPOOL
Losing matches after holding at least one match point:

1. The Express Train - 22
2. Nads - 8
3. Djokovic - 3

More evidence for Djokovic's GOATness.
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad