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Can anyone stop Nadal?

French Open
by PTRH83 (U12002922) 18 May 2008
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I have to confess before I start that I am a huge Roger Federer fan. It is with that in mind that I write this article. I have no doubt that Federer is the greatest Tennis player of all time and will sooner or later collect the grand slams reflect this. My question is once he has who can stop Nadal catching him.

It is Federer misfortune that he didn't wrap up a French open win before the man from Majorca arrived on the seen. After the loss in Hamburg I just can't see Federer beating Nadal in a 5 set match on clay. He seems to have a mental block. That being said if Federer can't do it, who can? Djokovic is a hell of a player and his rivalry with Nadal will probably join Federer's in producing some of the great tennis matches of all time. But on clay I suspect he like Federer will be found wanting. I actually suspect Novak may be Federer main competition at the other majors. More good news for Pete Sampras I would imagine.

So this is the real issue. While Nadal is down to Fed on grass (0-2) and Hard courts (2-3) he is so utterly dominant on clay itís hard to see him ever losing at Roland Garros. If that is the case he could win 14 grand slams with out ever winning another major. Letís face it he will eventually win another major. He's too good a player not to. With that in mind, Nadal's utter dominance on clay may see him go on to break whatever total Federer goes on to set. In the end Federer's prowess across all surfaces may fail to stack up against Nadal on the dirt.

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posted May 19, 2008

Remember one thing - Nadal, as great a clay court player as he clearly is - is actually little more than that.
Therefore, if he has to win 15 majors or more, he will have to play for 15 years or more.
He will never win Wimbledon - granted he took Federer to 5 sets last year, but Fed's performance was way below his best and it was still good enough.
He will never win Australia or US, as the surface is too bouncy for him and he cannot cope with it.
Take nothing away from him though, he is a master on the red stuff and a joy to watch.
his number 2 ranking will soon be in bother, as Djokovic will surely catch him. I would even go as far as to say that Novak has more of a chance of beating Federer - as he is more of an all-court player.
What is great is that there are players like Nadal and Djokovic that are continually challening Federer, which is a joy as this continually raises standards.
Anyway, Federer for the French - Nadal will lose in the quarters to someone like Canas, Ferrer or Ferrero.
You heard it here first!!

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comment by PimBo (U1657321)

posted May 19, 2008

For the slam counters:

for a long time the Australian Open was just not frequented by the top players. Reasons were low prize money, long journeys, even then high temps and especially a scheduling during December (Christmas time in fact...) from 1977 until 1985. An effective death of the tournament was prevented by moving back to January and from grass to hard court in a new and up-to-scratch stadium.

IMO it is obvious that both Borg and McEnroe could have added considerably to their GS tally - they just did not bother visiting this grass tournament in their peak years (exception for Mcenroe 1983 - but he had Lendl and winner Wilander to contend with).

GS counting is something relatively new in tennis and was not a goal per se before Sampras made 14. Using the number of GS won to determine the greatness of a player is invalid when comparing players active before 1988 with the ones after.

As often, Wikipedia has most of the facts.

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posted May 19, 2008

A few points:

1. It is, in my opinion, extremely tough to win even 1 grand slam. Counting on a person (Nadal) to win a sepcific tournament for over 10 years in a row is wishful thinking. More likely Nadal can win a few more RG, not even in a row, and maybe 1-2 other slams - making his total around 7-8. I predict Nadal will also have a short Career, based on his type of play, and may retire much before reaching 30.
2. Djokovich has the potential to win around 7-8 GS too, although that will also be extremely tough -as Djokovitch is not as reliable and far better than anybody on any surfaces as Nadal is on clay. I do predict he will swap Nadal as number 2 this year, but may not hold this spot for a long time.
3. Something that no one has commented on - I DO think Nadal has the potential to be the greatest holder of masters cup and beat Agassi's record of 17. He has 11 already, and can win up to 3 on clay every year (monte carlo, rome and hamburg - if the last one will hold its status as a masters tournament). This, for my money, is the safest bet - safer than betting Federer to achieve 14 slams.
4. I am a great Federer fan, and it's tough for me to see the decline in his ability. Last year, after the US open, I predicted he may not win another GS and retire sooner than any of us think. I'm not sure about this - He may just be able to clinch the magical number 14, and maybe beat Agassi's masters titles (he has 14 by now) - but as I said, only for Nadal to surpass his masters record in the years to come. If indeed he will win 14 or more GS, this will remain the record for a long time and no one of the current active players will achieve the same (none of them will reach even 10, in my opinion).
5. As somebody already commented, I think there may be a surprise in RG this year. It's possible for Nadal to lose on the way, since he doesn't seem 100% fit. Still, althoguh I REALLY want Fed to take it, it may be some third party to benefit - like Djokovitch, for example.

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posted May 19, 2008

I am quite tired reading these one sided (oh how wonderful Federer is - so why hasn't he won anything so far this year? Are you Fed fans forgetting one thing, he hasn't won anything this year, except a tier 2 tournment handed to him by Davydenko. So not only is Federer's confidence low for not having ligitimately won anything so far this year, this clearly will be on his mind, but he lost Hamburg to a below 100% fitness King of Clay. I do find you Fed Fans so one sided and would say anything and if you could, do anything to get Nadal out of the way. But face facts, he is hear to stay. I don't understand why? Due to Nadal, you're actually seeing some wonderful Tennis, Nadal against Djokovic (on Saturday) and Federer (on Sunday). Nadal is an exciting player. Amazing, he is only 21 years old and he has been a runner up at Wimbledon for two consecutive years. Any other players who have been a finalist at a grand slam are considered excellent player (Tsongo, Baghdis, even Nalbandian for winning Madrid and Paris). Imagine, Nalbandian has never won a grand slam, yet you mention him as if he is so great and could demolish the Clay court King (oh if only he wasn't injured, I read, come on!). I would like to see Nalbandian and all the others you would like to drum up prove they can beat Nadal. Despite all the injuries of Nadal, he still wins tournaments, even against the World best. So why don't you Fed Fans especially grown up, look at the wider picture and stop being so one sided. Just simple enjoy a great tennis player who will only get better - 21 year old (where are the other 21 year olds, where are they ranked?

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posted May 19, 2008

Djokovic has a shot, if not quite yet then in a year or two, I think.

Fantastic though Nadal is, I think both Fed and Djoko have the game to dominate him in spells. There's absolutely no doubt that Fed has this ability, because he has done so on many occasions now, but he's always had concentration problems and so hasn't been able to sustain the brilliance for long enough. It seems too late in his career to expect that to change now.

Djoko's best is currently almost as brilliant as Fed's, probably enough to dominate Nadal, and (I think, but not certain) his concentration levels are better, so he's more likely to be able to sustain it for long enough to win a match. I think his fitness is currently a slight issue (against Nadal, in a marathon, not against general opponents) but I would expect that to continue to improve.

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comment by slasher (U7328591)

posted May 19, 2008

SupaLauraGee, I happen to respect nadal a lot and think he is an excellent player, never did I say he was not a great player. However I think Djokovic and federer are better all round players. Also regarding nalbandian, you should look at your stats, they have met twice both meetings in the past 6 months and nadal has never even won a set off him!! in fact the scorelines were:

6-4 6-0 and 6-1 6-2

If you cared to look at other stats, nalbandian has reached at least the semis of all four grand slams including the french so he is hardly a slouch.

I do think if nadal wants to be a great, he needs to win a slam other than the French

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posted May 19, 2008

There really can be no argument, if Nadal is to be considered great he has to win more than RG end of story. Greatness comes from what you've done as well as what you do supalauragee, Sampras had bad spells as well an he is a tennis legend. Most people on this thread have commented about facts when talking about Fed and Rafa not speculation.

I'm sure Rafa has and will improve on other surfaces but it may be too late. Djoko is a more rounded player than Rafa and is also younger. Personally i'm not a massive Rafa fan but i do admire his fighting qualities and i hope that Djoko's personality doesn't let him down in the future, right now in some circumstances it certainly does.

As for RG who knows, it won't be Roddick winning it! Whatever happens i hope it produces some spectacular tennis as the top 3 are all capable of moments of magic.

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comment by PTRH83 (U12002922)

posted May 19, 2008

Have to say I was a bit suprised by the SupaLauraGee comments. Haven't read anything disrespectfull about Rafa. I have to say though I do think if he only one won the French open he could still be a legend if he won it enough times. Besides I think he'll get at least one Wimbledon title.

That being said given Federer had glandular fever at the start of the year I think he's doing pretty well. He's made to master finals on clay. Yes he lost but to Nadal. Theres certainly no shame in that. He's also beaten Djokovic (I know he retired but he was beaten by then).

Overall This has been one of the best 606 debates. Quite often they do degenerate (epsecially when Nadal and Federer are involved) into to camps of fans saying the other one sucks. For the most part here everyone seems to agree Nadal is the greatest clay court tennis player of all time. Many have disagreed with my suggestion he could rack up a ridicous GS tally based almost entirely the french. The person who brought up the Masters titles record made a good point. He will certainly take that. Hamburg is supposed to lose its status but I believe madrid is being switched to clay to keep the numbers even.

I would quite like to see a Fed v Nadal double header again at the French and Wimbledon. I'd like Federer to win but there is no denying it will be a great match either way. If they won each others they'll be talking about this rivalry for centuries.

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posted May 20, 2008

my opinion is:

1)both Fed & Nadal are no quarantee to reach the final, let alone them playing each other. but if they do meet in the final, my money is on Nadal, despite i also want Fed to win the French open once.

2)i think every players will have their so called "low" period in their career. don't think Fed & Nadal will finish just yet, as a players on the summit, i think both of them could bound back and be stronger and even more lethal.

3)as for djokovic, he is a good player, young, powerful, but on my point of view, he is not consistent on court. maybe it will takes one or two years for him to steady up his play and consistently challenging Fed & Nadal on their favorite surface.

4)for murray, sometime i have a feeling that he will end up like another Tim Henman. extreamly high hope on him to carry the british flag but yet he could justify himself as the potential GS winner. i won't court him out, but so far i don't see where he is heading.

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posted May 20, 2008

federer and nadal are great players of thier time with djokovic comming up,as for RG I dont see federer wininig it if he will meet nadal in final,federer has the game to win but lack mind and confidence to do for nadal his chance too of RG is not that so certain because i think that he will not be 100% fit by then and can be suprised by old clay couters like ferrero that were resting since.
as for winbledom nadal can go out ealier than you people expected this year.the highest GS that nadal will win can be 8 or 9 nothing more than that.but in conclusion federer is still far better by comparison in thier record.

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