« 2019 Australian Open trophy ceremony with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal | 2019 Australian Open. | Main | Novak Djokovic press conference (Final) | Australian Open 2019. »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Rafa didn't say much, made it sound like they played a chess match, not tennis, which in their case is probably a good extrapolation of what happens. But, one thing that filtered out was the movement. He clearly said Novak was moving unbelievable and that's 90% of it. Movement.


Maybe it's movement or maybe it's his long limbs. Federer and Rafa can almost forget about beating Djokovic on non-clay. Djookovic's talent, in no uncertain terms, is off the charts. Not only does he have the power and speed, he actually produce the most ideal shots easily.

The ideal shots maybe the opposite to Rafa's topspin curve shots. It's nearly a straight line shot, with possibly the the least spin. People don't play or maybe don't even imagine these shots, because maybe they won't clear the net or they won't land in. Djokovic's straight shots have no problem clearing the nets, landing in with torrential speed. They are powerful and deep, that automatically push people back, and make them miss. I saw Rafa swing at a shot coming to him at the baseline at miss the ball by probably inches. It wasn't a bad bounce.

I'd like to enjoy someone beating Djokovic, but I do enjoy this match very much too, together with the AO17 match. On FO clay with the heavy balls, Rafa's topspin shots are probably more ideal.

Gary Moser

"I saw Rafa swing at a shot coming to him at the baseline at miss the ball by probably inches. It wasn't a bad bounce."
The ball actually bounces SEVERAL FEET INSIDE THE BASELINE, with good-but-not-extraordinary pace.
[ And, agreed, it doesn't appear to be a "bad bounce" --- fairly LOW, but not bad ]:



Thanks for the video, Gary. It almost looks like an ordinary shot, but it's so difficult. Even if Rafa returns it, I can understand why he would probably lose most of rallies.


If DjokoBOAT does this to Nadal, now what? Novak calendar slam? 25+ GS titles? Federer's 20 record won't last even a decade?


If Federer dares reach a final against this monster, should we let Fed have the doubles alleys?


You have to hope that djoker gets in his own way with some sort of mental lapse. Hes like michael Phelps who has the perfect swimming machine for a body.


Let's not get carried away with this match. Yes, Novak played at unreal level but I don't think that's sustainable. He was in the zone, it won't always happen. Will he win more slams? Of course. Will he eclipse Uncle Roger? I give it 50/50 chance at best. Don't forget, to get to 21 Novak will need 6 more slams. That a career total of certain Rafael Nadal at all non-clay slams. That's a combined career total of Murray and Wawrinka. I'm not saying it's impossible but it's still very, very difficult.


If he was 5 years younger he'd be a slam dunk to top 20. IMHO. Right now, I think it's... sheesh, I don't know... 30:1 or something. He's got to at least take Wimbledon and USO this year or the odds drop way down. If he takes the FO and one other, I think Rafa drops to #3. Ya know, we (and I include myself in this group) come down hard on Rafa because so many of his big wins are on clay (Masters are even "worse" than slams) but half of Pete's were on a surface that lots of people play on twice a year.


federer lost to Djokovic three slams and three WTFs, he never had much of a chance. Rafa lost some slams too. Now it's much worse, Federer missed a few semis in slams.


Maybe we can add Bencic and two against one, maybe that could be enough?


Give Rafa three years, give Djokovic three years, we assume both can reach 20 maybe easily. Let's see if they do it, and let's see if Federer adds a couple of slams.


In a way it would be great if they all finish their career at 20 or 21 slams each. Same number.


If there is a difference of only a couple majors for each player, I doubt that that will prove a compelling GOAT argument. That's when WTF titles and number of weeks at number 1 et. al will come into play.


I'm wondering if someone got to Rafa. All this talk about off court betting and a Spanish player orchestrating it. Even Johnny Mac and the other comms remarked that never before had they seen Rafa not try for a ball. Sure, Nole was good , but there were balls well within Rafa's range that he didn't try for.Trying and really making a superhuman effort was his style. Sunday he was not Rafa. Nobbled IMO to use English vernacular

Gary Moser

"but there were balls well within Rafa's range that he didn't try for"
...coupled with all the ones THAT HE DIDN'T NEED TO TRY FOR
[ i.e. - was in position in plenty of time ] that he nonetheless kept mis-hitting badly...


Agree Rafa was hobbled. I compared the first two games Rafa-Tiafoe and the first two games Rafa-Djokovic. Rafa looked normal in the former. He CLEARLY looked hobbled in the latter. 1st game Djokovic serving, 2nd serve 2nd point to the forehand, there was nothing on the serve. A real Rafa forehand would be all over that serve topspin, instead he sliced the little serve underspin? Djokovic returned another softball to the forehand? Again nothing was on it, Rafa immediately missed it? Within the very first game, the points went super fast with Rafa missing. When Rafa didn't miss, he didn't move his legs. Instead, he hit the balls by reaching out his arm. Hence he won one point within the first 12? To me, this one resembles the finals between Rafa and Stan, except Rafa concealed his injury this time, probably because he wouldn't be popular since at AO alone I can't count how many times he was injured.

Gary Moser



Chris Evert: 34 Slam Finals...won 18, lost 16... [ 8 losses in 2 sets, 8 losses in 3 sets ]

Martina Navratilova: 32 Slam Finals...won 18, lost 14... [ 3 losses in 2 sets, 11 losses in 3 sets ]

Serena Williams: 31 Slam Finals...won 23, lost 8... [ 7 losses in 2 sets, 1 loss in 3 sets ]

Steffi Graf: 31 Slam Finals...won 22, lost 9... [ 5 losses in 2 sets, 4 losses in 3 sets ]


Roger Federer: 30 Slam Finals...won 20, lost 10... [ 1 loss in 3 sets, 5 losses in 4 sets, 4 losses in 5 sets ]

Rafael Nadal: 25 Slam Finals...won 17, lost 8... [ 1 loss in 3 sets, 4 losses in 4 sets, 3 losses in 5 sets ]

Novak Djokovic: 24 Slam Finals...won 15, lost 9... [ 2 losses in 3 sets, 6 losses in 4 sets, 1 loss in 5 sets ]

Ivan Lendl: 19 Slam Finals...won 8, lost 11... [ 4 losses in 3 sets, 5 losses in 4 sets, 2 losses in 5 sets ]

Pete Sampras: 18 Slam Finals...won 14, lost 4... [ 2 losses in 3 sets, 2 losses in 4 sets, 0 losses in 5 sets ]


I didn't say Rafa was Hobbled. I said Nobbled -- British slang for " paid or persuaded to take a dive "


"""paid or persuaded to take a dive""" - oh, would've been unthinkable scandal if true? OTOH, he is clearly hobbled. It explains everything, and it fits his pattern of running out of steam in slams. Rafa's running game takes some toll on the body, late changes to his game may take a big toll as well. It looks very clear from the first few points nobody of his statue would be missing shots like that if his legs were close to normal. Djokovic will be overtaking Rafa very soon.


Either the proposal is totally out of whack with everything I think or I don't know something.... which is certainly possible. What would it take just to make it worthwhile to a "normal" person? Assuming that normal person thinks he can win it all, it would have to be way more than the purse. 10 million? Rafa isn't normal. He's … uh... quite wealthy. So for him money is worth less, so to speak, and risk much more important in the decision. And the risk is mega-substantial. His legacy... poof. From zillions of adoring fans to … well... not many. Then add the legal implications. Personally, for what it's worth, he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who just loves money for money's sake. (I know he's got a millionaire's lifestyle, but I've heard he doesn't even handle his money... that's his uncle's job.) Then, there's just Rafa. Look at him compete. This guy doesn't like losing. "Hey... Rafa… you want enough money to keep you rich the rest of your life?" I think he's already got that covered. I think 20 trophies would be worth everything to Rafa. And it's a final and he's got a realistic chance of changing 17 to 18?? With the FO around the corner? In short … MEGA risk, essentially no meaningful reward.


He made a deal with Djokovic to split this year's grand slams: AO and USO to Novak, RG and W to Rafa.


The camera showed his team from the 2nd game? Did they all look quite sad? They all knew he was injured?


Tinkering with his serve and playing style this late in the game has big risks, his body may not like the new serve and new style. If anything, it could hasten his retirement. He was a sure thing to reach 20 if he kept on going for more FOs. With the new game and new ambitions, it's not all that certain perhaps.


Ok... then shift everything I said about Rafa over to Novak. That guy wants THREE!! Or, what the hell... four. And right this minute, right or wrong, I doubt Novak sees Rafa as his biggest obstacle at W or USO. Plus, there's a couple other guys who might get to vote.

Gary Moser

"He (Nadal) was a sure thing to reach 20 if he kept on going for more FOs."

He's 2-and-2 over the last 4 years, detailing out thusly:

2015: drubbed in Q/F by Djokovic...

2016: wins 2 matches, then forced to withdraw with injury...

2017: wins the tournament --- after Dominic Thiem drubs a sub-par Djokovic 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 in their Q/F...
[ Thiem is clearly the best clay-courter of the younger brigade --- but Novak getting only 3 of the last 15 freaking games?!?!? ]

2018: wins the tournament --- after an unseeded Marco Cecchinato puts Djokovic out in 4 sets...
[ Y'know...the Marco Cecchinato who had never won a single Grand Slam main-draw match in his life before this tournament ]

If I was forced to place a medium bet on whether Nadal will win 0, 1, 2 or 3 more FOs before he retires...I go with 1.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)