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DuncanIdaho
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:01 am    Post subject:

Terrible for Djokovic as he looked in prime position in his favorite tournament.

Rafa has to be the strong favorite now, right?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:32 pm    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
Terrible for Djokovic as he looked in prime position in his favorite tournament.

Rafa has to be the strong favorite now, right?


Djokovic actually admitted in the post-match interview that he "tore" something, and cast serious doubt as to whether or not he could even take the court against Raonic tomorrow. At this point, I'm guessing that he can't. He was talking about how special the achievement of winning against Fritz was given his injury, and that it will go down as one of the proudest moments of his career.

Medvedev was the betting favorite over Nadal to get through his half of the draw and reach the final (Djokovic was obviously the overall tournament favorite) before the injury. They took the odds down for now. I'll try to post an update on that when I get the chance. If Joker is out of it as expected, it's wide open now. Nadal has to smell blood; if he can pull off this title, just his second in Australia, and then win yet another French Open, he'd pull two clear of Federer and five clear of Djokovic in the major count, strengthening his already-strong GOAT argument. Thiem would have a real shot at back-to-back majors, as he is in Djokovic's top-half of the draw. Medvedev has to be thinking this is his time to break through. Or perhaps Zverev, who would have had to face Djokovic in the quarters and now may get a reprieve and could face Thiem in the semis. Hell, the way he played last night, why not Karatsev? (I'd be shocked if he can keep it up, but his tennis last night was as good as you will see, it really was.)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:48 pm    Post subject:

Medvedev was up 2 sets to none, dropped the 3rd and 4th sets, but bageled Krajinovic 6-0 in the 5th to advance.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:12 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Terrible for Djokovic as he looked in prime position in his favorite tournament.

Rafa has to be the strong favorite now, right?


Djokovic actually admitted in the post-match interview that he "tore" something, and cast serious doubt as to whether or not he could even take the court against Raonic tomorrow. At this point, I'm guessing that he can't. He was talking about how special the achievement of winning against Fritz was given his injury, and that it will go down as one of the proudest moments of his career.

Medvedev was the betting favorite over Nadal to get through his half of the draw and reach the final (Djokovic was obviously the overall tournament favorite) before the injury. They took the odds down for now. I'll try to post an update on that when I get the chance. If Joker is out of it as expected, it's wide open now. Nadal has to smell blood; if he can pull off this title, just his second in Australia, and then win yet another French Open, he'd pull two clear of Federer and five clear of Djokovic in the major count, strengthening his already-strong GOAT argument. Thiem would have a real shot at back-to-back majors, as he is in Djokovic's top-half of the draw. Medvedev has to be thinking this is his time to break through. Or perhaps Zverev, who would have had to face Djokovic in the quarters and now may get a reprieve and could face Thiem in the semis. Hell, the way he played last night, why not Karatsev? (I'd be shocked if he can keep it up, but his tennis last night was as good as you will see, it really was.)


Im sorry Nadal as the GOAT is a farce. Its Djokovic and I dont even like the guy. Nadal is clearly third best on any surface other than clay. Given no one dominates one surface like Nadal does clay but on any other surface, he is clearly inferior to Djokovic and Federer. Nadal winning this event is a joke and I think unlikely. Its a shame Thiem likes conditions exactly the same way Nadal does because then he would be the clear favorite. Medvedev I dont think mentally is all the way there to beat a fully motivated and fit Nadal. Thiem however would be a 50-50 match or even 55-45 Thiem if those two were to meet
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:15 am    Post subject:

1995Lakers wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Terrible for Djokovic as he looked in prime position in his favorite tournament.

Rafa has to be the strong favorite now, right?


Djokovic actually admitted in the post-match interview that he "tore" something, and cast serious doubt as to whether or not he could even take the court against Raonic tomorrow. At this point, I'm guessing that he can't. He was talking about how special the achievement of winning against Fritz was given his injury, and that it will go down as one of the proudest moments of his career.

Medvedev was the betting favorite over Nadal to get through his half of the draw and reach the final (Djokovic was obviously the overall tournament favorite) before the injury. They took the odds down for now. I'll try to post an update on that when I get the chance. If Joker is out of it as expected, it's wide open now. Nadal has to smell blood; if he can pull off this title, just his second in Australia, and then win yet another French Open, he'd pull two clear of Federer and five clear of Djokovic in the major count, strengthening his already-strong GOAT argument. Thiem would have a real shot at back-to-back majors, as he is in Djokovic's top-half of the draw. Medvedev has to be thinking this is his time to break through. Or perhaps Zverev, who would have had to face Djokovic in the quarters and now may get a reprieve and could face Thiem in the semis. Hell, the way he played last night, why not Karatsev? (I'd be shocked if he can keep it up, but his tennis last night was as good as you will see, it really was.)


Im sorry Nadal as the GOAT is a farce. Its Djokovic and I dont even like the guy. Nadal is clearly third best on any surface other than clay. Given no one dominates one surface like Nadal does clay but on any other surface, he is clearly inferior to Djokovic and Federer. Nadal winning this event is a joke and I think unlikely. Its a shame Thiem likes conditions exactly the same way Nadal does because then he would be the clear favorite. Medvedev I dont think mentally is all the way there to beat a fully motivated and fit Nadal. Thiem however would be a 50-50 match or even 55-45 Thiem if those two were to meet


It's not a farce at all. He and Federer are tied in the major count (which is the first thing anyone looks at as most important), and while you are dismissing his dominance on clay, can't it be argued the other way? That his best on any one surface is so clearly, clearly superior to anyone else who has ever played on any other surface ever? Can't that be argued as a plus? While Djokovic has a winning record against Nadal and Federer both, it's not by much, and Nadal's chief argument against Federer, assuming he ends up winning the most majors, is that he has a 24-16 record against him in his career. Yes, on clay, Nadal has absolutely owned him to the tune of a 14-2 mark. But on outdoor hard courts, Nadal actually leads 8-6 as well. (Federer has dominated him on grass and indoor hard courts.) Nadal is 10-4 against him in Slams, too. When it comes down to Nadal vs. Federer, you can cite Federer's better consistency and more titles and more years at #1 and all of that, but in a one-on-one, individual sport, when one guy has a clear advantage over the other when they've played each other, I think you have to side with the guy who is doing most of the winning, I'm sorry.

I do think that Djokovic, since he seems to have the most steam left in his career, has a chance to overtake both and end up with the best resume. But as we stand right now, right this second, I can't put him over either one since he's 3 majors behind both. Heck, if Nadal can win the AO and then win yet again at the French, you're talking about a 5-Slam lead over Djoker, which would then mean he has a lot of work to do to catch him. That's a big difference.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:28 am    Post subject:

Berrettini wins over Khachanov in 3 consecutive tiebreaks, in a match that lasted exactly 3 hours. Late in the 3rd set he needed a medical timeout for an injury to his side, but it wasn't as severe as that of Djokovic. Hopefully he's OK in two days for what should be a great matchup in a quarterfinal against Tsitsipas, assuming he's physically OK.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:38 am    Post subject:

Four American women have advanced to the Round of 16: Serena, Brady, Rogers, and Pegula. I was aware of who the owners of the Buffalo Bills are, but I had not made the connection that Pegula is the daughter of the Bills' owners. She's playing really well.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:24 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
1995Lakers wrote:
ChickenStu wrote:
DuncanIdaho wrote:
Terrible for Djokovic as he looked in prime position in his favorite tournament.

Rafa has to be the strong favorite now, right?


Djokovic actually admitted in the post-match interview that he "tore" something, and cast serious doubt as to whether or not he could even take the court against Raonic tomorrow. At this point, I'm guessing that he can't. He was talking about how special the achievement of winning against Fritz was given his injury, and that it will go down as one of the proudest moments of his career.

Medvedev was the betting favorite over Nadal to get through his half of the draw and reach the final (Djokovic was obviously the overall tournament favorite) before the injury. They took the odds down for now. I'll try to post an update on that when I get the chance. If Joker is out of it as expected, it's wide open now. Nadal has to smell blood; if he can pull off this title, just his second in Australia, and then win yet another French Open, he'd pull two clear of Federer and five clear of Djokovic in the major count, strengthening his already-strong GOAT argument. Thiem would have a real shot at back-to-back majors, as he is in Djokovic's top-half of the draw. Medvedev has to be thinking this is his time to break through. Or perhaps Zverev, who would have had to face Djokovic in the quarters and now may get a reprieve and could face Thiem in the semis. Hell, the way he played last night, why not Karatsev? (I'd be shocked if he can keep it up, but his tennis last night was as good as you will see, it really was.)


Im sorry Nadal as the GOAT is a farce. Its Djokovic and I dont even like the guy. Nadal is clearly third best on any surface other than clay. Given no one dominates one surface like Nadal does clay but on any other surface, he is clearly inferior to Djokovic and Federer. Nadal winning this event is a joke and I think unlikely. Its a shame Thiem likes conditions exactly the same way Nadal does because then he would be the clear favorite. Medvedev I dont think mentally is all the way there to beat a fully motivated and fit Nadal. Thiem however would be a 50-50 match or even 55-45 Thiem if those two were to meet


It's not a farce at all. He and Federer are tied in the major count (which is the first thing anyone looks at as most important), and while you are dismissing his dominance on clay, can't it be argued the other way? That his best on any one surface is so clearly, clearly superior to anyone else who has ever played on any other surface ever? Can't that be argued as a plus? While Djokovic has a winning record against Nadal and Federer both, it's not by much, and Nadal's chief argument against Federer, assuming he ends up winning the most majors, is that he has a 24-16 record against him in his career. Yes, on clay, Nadal has absolutely owned him to the tune of a 14-2 mark. But on outdoor hard courts, Nadal actually leads 8-6 as well. (Federer has dominated him on grass and indoor hard courts.) Nadal is 10-4 against him in Slams, too. When it comes down to Nadal vs. Federer, you can cite Federer's better consistency and more titles and more years at #1 and all of that, but in a one-on-one, individual sport, when one guy has a clear advantage over the other when they've played each other, I think you have to side with the guy who is doing most of the winning, I'm sorry.

I do think that Djokovic, since he seems to have the most steam left in his career, has a chance to overtake both and end up with the best resume. But as we stand right now, right this second, I can't put him over either one since he's 3 majors behind both. Heck, if Nadal can win the AO and then win yet again at the French, you're talking about a 5-Slam lead over Djoker, which would then mean he has a lot of work to do to catch him. That's a big difference.


Hey ChickenStu, all your points are valid and true. To me at least in the past 4-5 years or so, Nadal is clearly inferior to the other 2 in any court other than Clay as you mentioned Federer's outdoor hard court record against Nadal as 8-6 but lets also keep in mind prior to the magical 2017 Australian Open run by Federer, that outdoor record was 8-2 in Nadal's favor and that 23-10 head to head became 24-16 with that 1 loss being the French Open, meaning Federer figured him out starting from that point on other than on clay. As a Fed fan from my eye test, I dont fear Nadal at all anymore (other than on clay) and I am confident of a Fed victory as the 3 keys to Fed turning it around against Rafa are the aggressive backhand, Rafa's clear loss of mobility in tracking down balls (which you can see from comparing the 2009 Rafa at the Australian to any Rafa starting from 2015 onward on hard surfaces), and most importantly, body language as the 2017 Australian Open and the subsequent Federer demolition of Nadal at Indian Wells and Shanghai gave Federer belief that he was now superior to Nadal.

Djokovic is a different story. Against him Fed has a terrible habit of choking in tight moments such as tiebreakers and when Djokovic decides to focus and not lose. He causes Federer to make mistakes and unfortunately, both players know this. The mental block that he had against Rafa is now against Djokovic but objectively speaking, the shot tolerance, return of serve, defense, backhand and well above average serve and forehand makes me crown Djokovic as the best.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:20 pm    Post subject:

^
I think that Djokovic has a chance to end up as the GOAT, but I just can't put him there right now. He missed a golden opportunity to add to his Slam count at the U.S. Open where he was the overwhelming favorite, and now this injury may do the same here in Australia. The fascinating part of the argument is that I think all 3 men can stake a claim to GOAT status in some way. Federer can say he is tied for most majors won, most weeks at #1 and has the record for consecutive weeks at #1, most titles other than Connors, and that streak from 2004 Wimbledon to 2010 AO where he made the semifinals or better in every major. As you pointed out, he has made the margin less worse against Nadal later in his career, that's true. But overall, his record against him is what it is, and he's also 23-27 against Djokovic. Not awful, but collectively, it's a big negative for him that he has a losing record against both of his chief competitors.

I already laid out the argument for Nadal, basically, and he's almost evened up the ledger against Djokovic, going 27-29 against him in his career. Djokovic is dominant against him on hard courts, while Nadal is dominant against him on clay, and they are tied on grass in their few meetings there.

Djokovic, even if he missed that US Open opportunity and maybe this AO due to injury, does seemingly have the most juice left in the tank and, thus, the best chance to add to his already impressive career resume. He's actually tied with Sampras, not Federer, for most years ending the season at #1, with six. He'll have a good shot to overtake Federer for most weeks ever at #1. He's won the most Masters events ever. As mentioned, he's the only one of the 3 with a winning record against the other two, although it's not by overwhelming margins. I'm not saying that he has to at least tie the other two in the major count, but I do think that he has to come close. Closer than three, in my book.

I really do think that the major count is by far the most important aspect of this debate, by the way. This is an individual sport where you control everything. This isn't like basketball, let's say, where I think LeBron can craft a serious GOAT argument over Jordan even if he doesn't pass him (or tie him) in championships. As much of an effect on a game as one great player can have in basketball, with just 4 other teammates, one guy still can't control everything. In tennis, well, it's all on you to beat the other person across the net from you. So I do think that how many majors you won is by far the most important factor in this debate, especially since these 3 guys' careers pretty much overlapped. Yeah, you can say that Federer started to really get it going when Nadal and then Djokovic were just starting out as great players on all surfaces, but by the same token, you can say that the other two have had more left in the tank as Federer's career slowed a bit in his late 30's. These 3 guys have basically competed against each other for their whole careers, all at their best, which is great.

If the major count is very close, then you have to go to other factors, which is what I've tried to do when I think about this. Another question I have tried to ask myself is, well, which player would you say would win when each guy was at their absolute peak? Because when a GOAT debate is close, I try to ask myself whose greatness was greater than anybody else's. Even that answer isn't so simple. On clay it's clearly Nadal. On grass it's clearly Federer. On hard courts, it has to be Djokovic, even though both he and Federer have 11 hard court majors, a record. (Djokovic's winning % at the AO and US Open is better than Fed's, and he's advanced to two more finals than Fed has at those events, despite being considerably younger.) I'd say Djokovic's best on clay was better than Federer's best on clay (Novak and Fed both advanced to the same number of French Open finals, but Novak has 2 more semifinal appearances there), that Federer's best on hard courts was better than Nadal's best on hard courts, and that Djokovic's best on grass was better than Nadal's best on grass. In that sense, despite Nadal's strong record against Federer, it does show that he needs to stay solidly ahead of Djokovic in the major count to keep up the GOAT argument against him. As for Federer, he may be in the weakest position of the three, since he seemingly is in the worst shape to add to his legacy, and since he does have that clear losing mark against Nadal.

As far as remarkable individual years, Federer captured 3 majors in the same year three different times, while Djokovic has done it twice. Nadal did it once. (It should be pointed out that Federer did this before 2008, before Djokovic had even won a major and had turned 20 and before Nadal had become a threat on any surface other than clay.) However, Rafa has won at least 2 majors in 5 different seasons, the same number as Djokovic. Federer has done that 6 times, although only 2 of those came after 2008. Djokovic is the only one to have won 4 consecutive Grand Slam titles.

How about their records in the Grand Slams, not counting the 2021 AO? Djokovic is 296-45, for an .868 winning %. Federer is 362-59, for an .860 winning %. Finally, Nadal is 282-39, for a winning % of .879, the best of the three, and that 100-2 mark at the French really pops out at you. Nadal is 20-8 in Slam finals, also clearly the best winning % of the three. Federer is 20-11 in Slam finals, while Djokovic is 17-10, clearly the worst mark of the three.

I currently have it Nadal-Federer-Djokovic, in that order, but it's absolutely subject to change, and I do think that Novak has a strong chance to end up with the best argument when it's all said and done. But Nadal really has an opportunity over these next 2 majors to put some distance between he and Djokovic.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:50 pm    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
^
I think that Djokovic has a chance to end up as the GOAT, but I just can't put him there right now. He missed a golden opportunity to add to his Slam count at the U.S. Open where he was the overwhelming favorite, and now this injury may do the same here in Australia. The fascinating part of the argument is that I think all 3 men can stake a claim to GOAT status in some way. Federer can say he is tied for most majors won, most weeks at #1 and has the record for consecutive weeks at #1, most titles other than Connors, and that streak from 2004 Wimbledon to 2010 AO where he made the semifinals or better in every major. As you pointed out, he has made the margin less worse against Nadal later in his career, that's true. But overall, his record against him is what it is, and he's also 23-27 against Djokovic. Not awful, but collectively, it's a big negative for him that he has a losing record against both of his chief competitors.

I already laid out the argument for Nadal, basically, and he's almost evened up the ledger against Djokovic, going 27-29 against him in his career. Djokovic is dominant against him on hard courts, while Nadal is dominant against him on clay, and they are tied on grass in their few meetings there.

Djokovic, even if he missed that US Open opportunity and maybe this AO due to injury, does seemingly have the most juice left in the tank and, thus, the best chance to add to his already impressive career resume. He's actually tied with Sampras, not Federer, for most years ending the season at #1, with six. He'll have a good shot to overtake Federer for most weeks ever at #1. He's won the most Masters events ever. As mentioned, he's the only one of the 3 with a winning record against the other two, although it's not by overwhelming margins. I'm not saying that he has to at least tie the other two in the major count, but I do think that he has to come close. Closer than three, in my book.

I really do think that the major count is by far the most important aspect of this debate, by the way. This is an individual sport where you control everything. This isn't like basketball, let's say, where I think LeBron can craft a serious GOAT argument over Jordan even if he doesn't pass him (or tie him) in championships. As much of an effect on a game as one great player can have in basketball, with just 4 other teammates, one guy still can't control everything. In tennis, well, it's all on you to beat the other person across the net from you. So I do think that how many majors you won is by far the most important factor in this debate, especially since these 3 guys' careers pretty much overlapped. Yeah, you can say that Federer started to really get it going when Nadal and then Djokovic were just starting out as great players on all surfaces, but by the same token, you can say that the other two have had more left in the tank as Federer's career slowed a bit in his late 30's. These 3 guys have basically competed against each other for their whole careers, all at their best, which is great.

If the major count is very close, then you have to go to other factors, which is what I've tried to do when I think about this. Another question I have tried to ask myself is, well, which player would you say would win when each guy was at their absolute peak? Because when a GOAT debate is close, I try to ask myself whose greatness was greater than anybody else's. Even that answer isn't so simple. On clay it's clearly Nadal. On grass it's clearly Federer. On hard courts, it has to be Djokovic, even though both he and Federer have 11 hard court majors, a record. (Djokovic's winning % at the AO and US Open is better than Fed's, and he's advanced to two more finals than Fed has at those events, despite being considerably younger.) I'd say Djokovic's best on clay was better than Federer's best on clay (Novak and Fed both advanced to the same number of French Open finals, but Novak has 2 more semifinal appearances there), that Federer's best on hard courts was better than Nadal's best on hard courts, and that Djokovic's best on grass was better than Nadal's best on grass. In that sense, despite Nadal's strong record against Federer, it does show that he needs to stay solidly ahead of Djokovic in the major count to keep up the GOAT argument against him. As for Federer, he may be in the weakest position of the three, since he seemingly is in the worst shape to add to his legacy, and since he does have that clear losing mark against Nadal.

How about their records in the Grand Slams, not counting the 2021 AO? Djokovic is 296-45, for an .868 winning %. Federer is 362-59, for an .860 winning %. Finally, Nadal is 282-39, for a winning % of .879, the best of the three, and that 100-2 mark at the French really pops out at you. Nadal is 20-8 in Slam finals, also clearly the best winning % of the three. Federer is 20-11 in Slam finals, while Djokovic is 17-10, clearly the worst mark of the three.

I currently have it Nadal-Federer-Djokovic, in that order, but it's absolutely subject to change, and I do think that Novak has a strong chance to end up with the best argument when it's all said and done. But Nadal really has an opportunity over these next 2 majors to put some distance between he and Djokovic.


I like this discussion and as a Fed fan if we were to take each player at their very best. At Australia, 2016 Djokovic is the best player I have ever seen at that event where he legitimately outclassed Federer and everyone else. French - door shut closed Nadal and take your pick but to me the best Nadal at the French was 2008 where again, I have never seen Fed more easily destroyed than during that French final no matter Fed going through mono at the time.

Wimbledon is hard for me because I believe Fed was going all out and in impervious form during Wimbledon 2014 and 2015 and he still lost to Djokovic and the result was very fair - my eye test showed me Novak was slightly better by the slimmest of margins. In 2014, Djokovic played great but had doubts as he was on a losing streak in finals and thats why he blew the 4th set and yet he still won the 5th. 2019 Federer was outplaying a "B" version of Djokovic and still managed to find a way to choke and lose. His form in 2014 and 2015 to be honest was not at all below those years that he won consecutively. The semifinals vs Andy Murray in 2015 where Fed entered as an underdog might have been his greatest performance ever on grass and he entered the finals much fresher and in better form than Djokovic who had a 5 setter with Kevin Anderson. I know Fed has won more Wimbledons but at the current state of the grass (and not like the early 2000s and before when it was almost impossible to return serve giving Federer the advantage over Djokovic....actually Djokovic/Nadal would never win Wimbledon if the grass was like what it was during the Sampras era), I would actually give Djokovic the advantage over Federer and specifically the 2015 Djokovic that produced a masterclass 4 set win vs Fed.

US Open is close....2007 Darth Fed vs 2010 Rafa vs 2015 Djokovic. Here I might actually go with my guy Federer and really the only competition is with 2010 Rafa but again eye test wise, that 2007 Fed at the US Open just seemed like the most dominant player at that event essentially straight setting everyone including a young Djokovic and nobody really came close.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:04 pm    Post subject:

^
Next part of the discussion, let's try to take results completely out of it and just focus on what they do as players. Strengths, weaknesses, etc. I actually think that Djokovic is the most complete player of the three. I just don't see a weakness. Strong serve, including second serve. Outstanding volleyer. Greatest returner of all time. Fantastic off both wings, with a superb backhand. Remarkable mover, and along with that, remarkable defensive skills.

For Nadal, he's so unique in the way his ball is so heavy, particularly the forehand, with that crazy spin and power. Now add that he's a lefty, and that makes his serve even tougher, though I'd say his second serve isn't as strong as the other two. Of course, his movement at his peak was second-to-none, and even now it's still fantastic. Like Novak, the defensive skills are impeccable as well. He is a wonderful returner, though not at Novak's level; Nadal gets a ton of balls back, but at times he resorts to standing way back and he does put himself at a disadvantage in the point a bit too often. An underrated part of Nadal's game is that he is an incredible volleyer; John McEnroe puts him up against anyone, including Federer, there. Heart of a lion, also.

Now, Federer. There's a grace and elegance to his game, and while he wasn't quite on the level of Djoker or Rafa as a mover, he was still a great mover in his prime, with the defensive skills to match. Amazing volleyer. Amazing forehand. He did have a tendency to spray his backhand or mis-hit it quite a bit, particularly before he finally ditched his old racket that was much less forgiving. Really good server, of course. I think that as racket technology improved, thus improving players' odds from the back of the court, it became harder for Federer to just impose his will at net. As you noted, even at Wimbledon, the grass became less fast and the balls were changed as well, and when you throw the racket technology stuff into it, heck, not even Federer was serving-and-volleying all the time at Wimbledon after a while. He only won Wimbledon twice after 2009, after all, and he actually won the AO 3 times in that same time span.

With the racket technology changing, physicality became more a part of the sport for sure, so that meant that movement on the court really became of paramount importance. This is partly why Novak and Rafa have had so much success; in addition to everything else that's great about them, they simply cover the court insanely well, with the great defense to match. (I mean, Tiafoe moves amazing, but his defensive skills once he gets to a ball are not even in the same zip code as guys like Rafa and Novak.) It also explains why a player like Andy Murray had as much success as he did, because he was every bit the equal of Novak and Rafa as a pure mover.

What's the greatest weapon among these 3 players? Is it Rafa's forehand? Fed's forehand? Novak's return of serve, or that he has the best total package? I think that's so hard to answer. One thing I'm certain of is that these are the 3 greatest players to ever play, and that it's truly close between all 3.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:10 pm    Post subject:

Osaka saved two match points down 3-5 in the third set in a great clash with Muguruza, and eventually prevailed 7-5 in that final set. She'll next face Su-Wei Hseih, one of my favorites. I think I heard them say that all of their matches have gone to 3 sets, and Osaka specifically said that she was not looking forward to playing her. Hseih likes the pace, and blunts that pace with redirected shots without much spin and it's awkward for many players to deal with. Of course, Osaka will pick on that second serve, but I'm looking forward to that matchup, even if Naomi isn't!

Djokovic is still said to be uncertain of whether he will play tonight against Raonic, though Darren Cahill noted that ATP trainers seem optimistic that he will at least give it a go.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject:

Serena just took the first set against Sabalenka, and looks much better than her last round. She likes the pace and big hitting, I think, and seems to be in a much better rhythm. There were no breaks until the final game, when at 4-5 Sabalenka got broken.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:45 pm    Post subject:

Great match, as Serena came through in 3 sets to pull out a 6-4 win in the third. She was up 4-1 in the third and Sabalenka broke back to even it at 4-4, but Serena ended up breaking her to close the match.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:59 pm    Post subject:

The story of the unheralded Russian qualifier continues! Karatsev was down 2 sets to none against FAA, and I just figured he probably hit the wall. Yet he mustered a comeback to beat the 20th-seeded Canadian. I'm sure FAA is quite disappointed to not close it out, but what a story for Karatsev. He has earned $400K with the win, nearly equaling his career prize money up to this point. And given that he's 27 and given that you have to pay for your own travel expenses when you are out there on the Challenger circuit, his career earnings up to this point didn't amount to much. This is a gigantic payday for the guy, and if he keeps playing like this, he should make a nice living for a few years.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:58 am    Post subject:

Thiem just got absolutely destroyed. Dimitrov is on fire!

And in other news, Kenin just lost to an Australian playing in her second professional match in a WTA main draw, who has a career high ranking of 988.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:23 am    Post subject:

DuncanIdaho wrote:
Thiem just got absolutely destroyed. Dimitrov is on fire!

And in other news, Kenin just lost to an Australian playing in her second professional match in a WTA main draw, who has a career high ranking of 988.


Thiem looked absolutely gassed out there. I guess that 5-setter with Kyrgios sapped all of his energy. Dimitrov actually got down an early break in both the first and second sets, but turned it around and then Thiem basically tapped out in the third. A strong, comprehensive win for Grigor, who has a pretty good record Down Under. (I remember him playing an absolute classic against Rafa in a semifinal in 2017.) He gets Karatsev next, but he better not underestimate him.

As for Kenin, yeah, I'm guessing that she would like to get on the next plane out of Australia lol.

Halep just had a nice comeback win over Swiatek, who had easily defeated her at the French Open last year. Swiatek started off on fire, but started making a slew of unforced errors at the start of the second. From the start of the second set to the beginning of the third, Halep took 8 of 9 games at one point. The third set did tighten, but Halep maintained a break advantage for the last few games to take it 6-4. She gets Serena next, and although the fast conditions may help Serena, recall that Halep played the match of her life at the 2019 Wimbledon final to beat Serena with ease. Serena looked much better today than she has in a while, but I still feel like she is liable to crack at any time.

With Thiem out, the top half of the draw is really interesting if Djokovic is compromised. He goes on court next. If he's actually able to overcome this injury, he has to be a gigantic favorite to get to the final, since Zverev is the highest seed remaining there and with Thiem out.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:37 am    Post subject:

Two games in, and Djokovic is moving well out there. There's no way his injury was a tear, I can tell you that.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:27 am    Post subject:

Tied at one set apiece, and Djokovic, though he's still moving OK, does look like he's wincing a little bit now. Hasn't called the trainer yet. Raonic actually had a medical timeout early in the 2nd set and had his ankle taped, and broke serve shortly thereafter. Djokovic still hasn't broken serve; he won a first set tiebreak.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:28 am    Post subject:

Djokovic wins in 4 sets. He had more than enough movement tonight, though he's clearly not 100%. We'll see if he has enough left to get through 3 more matches.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:15 pm    Post subject:

Chiming in on the greatest discussion...

Almost everything has been said in the argument for each of the three. I will try to add things I didn't read (possibly bc I skimmed some).

I don't think Federer gets enough credit for how he kept showing up on clay, even if he ended up losing ultimately to Rafa and the one time to Soderling. To me, Federer is one of the greatest clay court players of all time. Nadal, Borg, Kuerten, Djokovic, that's probably it that are better than him on clay. That means top 5 clay all time. I can't see others who won multiple Frenchs better than him. I give both Federer and Djokovic a lot of credit losing in late stages at the french to Nadal, the best by miles on a given surface, far better than Federer, Sampras, Djokovic, and Borg on grass, or anyone on hardcourt. (Yes, likewise for Rafa at Wimbledon facing the other two).

I also think Federer has played the most beautiful game to watch in the past, meaning the most magic has come from his racket vs the other two. Just shotmaking. His longevity is amazing a la Lebron. He broke ground in doing so at every step as time passed. Credit for that.

That said, he really benefited from relatively weaker competition in getting Slam count up early before young Nadal came up, then Djokovic. On the other hand, he gets credit for being dominant right after Sampras as the next guy with the target only on him for years before Nadal came around.

Might sound like I think Federer's the GOAT, but no. Never again. I do not see him winning any Slam but Wimbledon, and I think it's unlikely he does. At most, maybe one of those more to add to his Slam total. It's Nadal right now and either he or Djokovic will end up the GOAT in my eyes. I think Nadal is more likely because I think he will more likely end up with additional slams, widening the gap between he and Novak. I do not see Djokovic winning this one this next week, nor the French, and I see Thiem, Zverev and Medvedev taking wins this year and beyond. Thiem and Medvedev in particular do not fear Djokovic on hard courts, or Nadal. Then Sinner will be developing. And Rublev and Tsitsipas, maybe other guys will be in the mix taking cracks at them too. Will get tougher.

So to me, I think Fed won't win any more slams. Nadal has a 3 slam lead over Djokovic that might be four in a week, and Djokovic with diminishing chances to add to his total bc of younger top guys, though he will add I believe 2 or 3. Since I see Nadal adding at least two more French's that gap maintains or doesn't shrink enough for Djokovic to catch him. I think if he DID tie or beat Rafa with most titles, Djokovic would be the GOAT, not only bc of the Slam totals, but bc 4 slams at the same time, all Masters 1000s, not once but twice, beating these two guys repeatedly, and a dash of being the least popular of the 3 by far and even other players, constantly fighting crowd support too.

I think this year is going to be Covidweird too, but this year will be the first where Big 3 era is clearly closing. Next year (which I truly hope to be nonCovidnormal) the younger guys will win at least two of the Slams, maybe all four if Thiem wins the French. Basically, I see likelihood of Nadal winning French more than Djokovic winning hardcourt Slams to the extend that he catches up with Nadal from 3 or 4 behind. If young top guys with more power were not in Djokovic's (and Nadal's) way, I would say Djokovic would definitely end up with most Slams and GOAT status. Plus there are more young guys who can take a piece of these geezers in earlier rounds; even if geezers do win in that round, they will suffer later.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:28 pm    Post subject:

As a Fed head it is a real disappointment that he isnt in this Australian because the 2017 Federer is easily better than anyone in this tournament and TBH the 2018 Federer would probably win this right now as is.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:37 pm    Post subject:

1995Lakers wrote:
As a Fed head it is a real disappointment that he isnt in this Australian because the 2017 Federer is easily better than anyone in this tournament and TBH the 2018 Federer would probably win this right now as is.

I mean you are right because Djokovic and Nadal are hurting. 2017 Federer (and Nadal) got the spoils of Djokovic's loopy injured goofy hiatus, but a mentally-typical Djokovic would have handled them both back then. Other than the French that year, both guys would not have won another Slam, and Djokovic might have had 3 more than he does. Also, 2018 Fed, 2018 Aussie Fed at least, had five setters vs Nishikori, Stan, and Nadal.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:06 pm    Post subject:

focus wrote:
1995Lakers wrote:
As a Fed head it is a real disappointment that he isnt in this Australian because the 2017 Federer is easily better than anyone in this tournament and TBH the 2018 Federer would probably win this right now as is.

I mean you are right because Djokovic and Nadal are hurting. 2017 Federer (and Nadal) got the spoils of Djokovic's loopy injured goofy hiatus, but a mentally-typical Djokovic would have handled them both back then. Other than the French that year, both guys would not have won another Slam, and Djokovic might have had 3 more than he does. Also, 2018 Fed, 2018 Aussie Fed at least, had five setters vs Nishikori, Stan, and Nadal.


Everything true regarding Djokovic. Nadal is Federer's pigeon now outside of clay so him I would actually want to be there to even out the h2h
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:58 pm    Post subject:

1995Lakers wrote:
focus wrote:
1995Lakers wrote:
As a Fed head it is a real disappointment that he isnt in this Australian because the 2017 Federer is easily better than anyone in this tournament and TBH the 2018 Federer would probably win this right now as is.

I mean you are right because Djokovic and Nadal are hurting. 2017 Federer (and Nadal) got the spoils of Djokovic's loopy injured goofy hiatus, but a mentally-typical Djokovic would have handled them both back then. Other than the French that year, both guys would not have won another Slam, and Djokovic might have had 3 more than he does. Also, 2018 Fed, 2018 Aussie Fed at least, had five setters vs Nishikori, Stan, and Nadal.


Everything true regarding Djokovic. Nadal is Federer's pigeon now outside of clay so him I would actually want to be there to even out the h2h

Yeah, I was surprised by that when you mentioned it earlier and looked it up. Glad you pointed that out. Had no idea Fed has been dominating him lately. Well I suppose lately is the wrong word since haven't seen Fed in a long while.
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