Rafael Nadal Is Now No. 1 In The 2013 Points Race, Ahead Of Novak Djokovic!
by Tom Gainey | May 20th, 2013, 11:47 pm
  • 94 Comments

There’s a new leader for the year-end No. 1 ranking, and his name is Rafael Nadal. After missing the first month of the year, Nadal has stormed back to the tour winning six titles in eight events including his last three in Barcelona, Madrid and yesterday in Rome.

All the titles have finally moved Nadal, almost unimaginably, past Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and into the sole lead in the 2013 ATP points only rankings.

Nadal is now ahead of Djokovic by 690 points. And he’s almost tripled rival Roger Federer’s point total! Federer, though, did have a nice bounce from 11 to No. 6 after reaching the Madrid final.

Nadal has won 5,000 of a maximum 5,500 points, losing only in the Vina Del Mar and Monte Carlo finals.

Also moving up were Benoit Paire 11 spots to No. 17 and Jerzy Janowicz leaped 41 places to No. 44.

2013 Points Only ATP Rankings (May 20)
1 Nadal, Rafael (ESP), 5,000
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB), 4,310
3 Murray, Andy (GBR), 2,910
4 Ferrer, David (ESP), 2,880
5 Berdych, Tomas (CZE), 2,405
6 Federer, Roger (SUI), 1,860
7 Wawrinka, Stanislas (SUI), 1,670
8 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG), 1,605

9 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA), 1,600
10 Gasquet, Richard (FRA), 1,495


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal Just 130pts Behind Leader Novak Djokovic In 2013 ATP Ranking Race; Federer At No. 11
Rafael Nadal Overtakes Novak Djokovic For No. 1 In 2012 ATP Rankings Race
Rafael Nadal Is The First Player To Qualify For The London Finals, Leads Djokovic In 2013 By 2K Ranking Points
Novak Djokovic Increases No. 1 Lead Over Roger Federer In 2012 ATP Points Race
Rafael Nadal Now Leads The 2014 ATP Points Race

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94 Comments for Rafael Nadal Is Now No. 1 In The 2013 Points Race, Ahead Of Novak Djokovic!

WTF Says:

It was the clay season, what do you expect? Add to this that he played more clay tournaments than he normally does.


Nadalista Says:

It would be different if certain others had lived up to their billing during the HC season. Rafa lives up to his billing on his favorite surface. If the HC Specialists had lived up to their billing on their favorite surfaces the Race would be a different story, no?


Michael Says:

No surprises over there !! Nadal has made a fabulous come back and the most surprising thing was his winning Indian Wells with ease. Once again he is proving his Greatness and is putting his stamp of authority on his most favoured Clay courts. On the other end, Novak is looking a little shaky despite winning three tournaments this year. His Monte Carlo win against Nadal must be his most treasured victory and I see him posing a big threat at Rolland Garros. As regards Andy, his season starts only with Wimbledon. He has more or less boycotted Clay. The less said about Roger, the better. He is looking totally out of sorts and is living up to his age. Roger obviously cannot fight against Nature as he too is a product out of it.


alison Says:

Michael just wondering as fan of Novaks,do you find his domination on the HCs boring?especially given that the CC season is so short and the HC season so much much longer?no harm or foul just interested?


RogKing Says:

@Michael

Nadal winning Indian Wells with ease?

it wasnt easy wins against gulbis, berdych and del potro.


Thomas Says:

Ah, but novak doesn’t dominate the HC events the way rafa does on clay. He is clearly the best hard court player in the world right now, but he doesn’t dominate like Rafa does on clay. So the 2 situations are not congruent.


alison Says:

Thomas im not sure i get what your driving at here?but having said that it doesnt really matter to me,my question was to Michael been a fan of Novak,is he happy with Novak cleaning up titles on HCs or would he like more competition,just wondering?


gonzalowski Says:

May 13, 2013 (before Rome 2013)

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/articles/2013-05-13/201305131368459791587.html
Borg: ‘Nadal is an artist!’

I said exactly that here, during the USO final which Nadal won, and I was called “furious Rafan”. :-)

Encouragement to Oklahoma


alison Says:

Gonzalowski thankyou nice link,and it makes a refreshing change to here Rafa desribed as an artist instead of beast,warrior or fighter,which are all great to here,but when you here words like artist it is indeed giving him credit for playing quite beautiful tennis,which some people dont actually very often recognize that hes capable of doing.


RZ Says:

Agree with many of the comments above – no surprise that Rafa is in the lead. I’m just glad that Fed finally moved up in the points race!


courbon Says:

@ Alison: Let me answer to question that you posed to Michael ( I hope is not rude to do that ?)
Nobody is ever bored if his favorite is dominant and clears up all tournaments.If you are a real fan, you can only wish for that.So, for not Rafas fans its certanily boring a bit but to you guys?Offcourse not. And Thomas is right-Novak does not dominates HC as Rafa clay.I wish he did…


Faleye o kehinde Says:

Let’s wait and see what happens in RG as from sunday


Humble Rafa Says:

Some people’s ego seem deflated. Did something happen?


rafaeli Says:

alison, djokovic has never dominated hardcourts as such!!!!!!!! Except for his phenomenal year in 2011.


Ben Pronin Says:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/05/federer-not-one-toni-nadals-french-favorites/47525/#.UZvK4qyHPFw

Far from being some of the more mean-spirited things Toni has said, but what is with all the “we”? Was he playing doubles with Nadal against Ferrer or Gulbis or did I miss something?


Giles Says:

Uncle T is part of the team, no? Hence the “we”, no?


RZ Says:

It sounds like Uncle Toni was responding to a direct question about his views of Federer’s chances of winning the French. r

I like Jon Wertheim school of picking slam favorites – you cannot count out a 17-time slam winner among your list of contenders.


Giles Says:

^^^ Most times I think the bookies have a better gauge on sports matters than some of the pundits. Fed’s odds for winning the French are 16/1.


Ben Pronin Says:

Tennis isn’t a team sport. There was no “we”, there was only Rafa.


Giles Says:

^^^ If you read Uncle T’s interviews on a regular basis you will observe that he uses “we” more often than not!!


Okiegal Says:

@Gonzalowski, thanks for the support. The great state of Oklahoma is going through a tough time right now. I am a first time poster on this forum. Read the comments daily. Oh, and I’m a Rafa Nut!! LOL Thanks again for your concern.


gonzalowski Says:

And I realise that he uses the ‘we’ for negative aspects (almost losing with ferrer, or with Gulbis), but he uses the ‘him’ for positive aspects of his playing, or leading the Points race…

By watching on tv, it doesn’t seem to me that any of Nadal’s environment looks for / needs some attention… although his sister could achieve it easily ;-)


Rumble Says:

Ferrer is one of the top 3 favorites ahead of Fed? Agreed, Fed has a really slim chance – but more than Ferrer!!

Toni is full of sh&%. What a jackass!


Rumble Says:

Ferrer’s never even made a slam final, and Toni feels he has a better shot at winning the French than Federer.

Haha


Rumble Says:

“We” think Toni Nadal is crazy, no?


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah I have to agree with that, too. Ferrer is not the favorite at any slam anywhere ever. Especially not ahead of Federer. Definitely some bias there.


skeezer Says:

^whats more hilarious is Rafa fanatics trying to twist into something that makes sense. LMAO!

Love how aunty Toni tries to chime in on Rafa’s glory, like he was the one hitting the ball on court. WTF?

#auntietonifootinmouthdisease


Rumble Says:

Ferrer has perhaps lost as many slam semis as anyone else, without even reaching the final. Reminds me of Henman.

He can beat a lot of players, give a lot of players a hard time, beat almost everyone on clay, but he can’t beat Nadal, Djoke or Fed. Not even on clay. In fact, Federer has a better record on clay against Ferrer than Nadal!!


skeezer Says:

Clay season is hilarious and dumb. Look how many points you can get here. Rafa typically dominates this surface, thus bolstering his ranking and points. As an example, if the Grass season had so many 1000 masters etc etc Fed would have piled up mega points and always cruised to #1. Clay season on the whole season is a greatly skewed point mongerer unfairly calculated to the ranking system. We all know that, no?


Thomas Says:

Ferrer has a massive mental block against Federer. His record against him is shockingly bad. If they face off in paris, I think Federer will beat him with ease.


contador Says:

@Thomas

I agree. Ferrer has a mental block vs both Federer and Nadal. Whichever one, Nadal or Federer, gets Ferrer in their half, is lucky.


Rumble Says:

I agree skeezer. Someone like Nadal can potentially mop up 5500 points from just the clay season, just guaranteeing them a top 4 ranking, and hence a better chance of going deep in all other tournaments.

On grass, its usually a max of 2500 points. Less than half of clay. there are 3 masters on clay, none on grass.

That’s been Nadal’s play every season. He will struggle being top 10 if it weren’t for clay.

Oooh, I said something to upset nadalphiles now, I can see the venom coming….


skeezer Says:

^nadalphiles….lol awesome ;)

Let the venomous vile spewing commence….


Rumble Says:

If Nadal wins the French this year, he would have collected 6,000 points just from clay. Pretty much a lock on a top 4 ranking.

To have good competition, matches, different styles of play, they should spread the tournaments a bit more equally across the 4 surfaces – clay, grass, outdoor hard, indoor hard. Let the most versatile player get the most points, rather than a very one-dimensional player. Vareity is good – otherwise it gets to be what it is now – a bit monotonous and predictable.

We all know who would like more even distribution of surfaces and who wouldn’t!!!


Michael Says:

Alison,

Ofcourse I will get bored if Novak wins 8 consecutive Rogers cup, Cincinnati, Shanghai, US and Australian.


Rumble Says:

Even as a Fed fan, I found some of his win streaks a bit boring. The good thing there was that at least we were seeing amazing, artistic, all court play with a great vareity of shots.

With Nadal, even that is not true (the artistic and vareity part). He is very effective, especially on clay, but he largely wins ugly. Look at the UE count – he wins by making other play badly more than by hitting beautiful winners. So its not even that much fun to watch that moonballing to backhands.

care to disagree? I think not.


nadalista Says:

So, Rafa’s opponent racks up the UEs and it’s Rafa who is playing ugly???

Try another one………I dare you.


Aon Says:

@ rumble

calm down !


Alex Says:

Nadal doesn’t Win matches…Its the opponent’s that lose them lol. How else do you win a tennis match without hitting any winners?

He just hits back and waits for errors, so boring.

Anyone saying this is beautiful tennis etc knows diddly fiddly squat about tennis. In an age of fast courts Nadal would have nothing…nothing!

#whahahhahawahahahaha


nadalista Says:

Okay, so he does not play ugly tennis afterall, it’s just……….. boring.

So looking forward to the coming yawn-fest….

Wonder what some of you guys will be doing in lieu thereof? I mean, you will not possibly be watching the bore!


Skorocel Says:

@nadalista: How can you explain the fact that Nadal had the same amount of winners (or maybe even less) than Fed in that recent Rome final, YET he won it 6/1 and 6/3?

Say what you want, but Nadal = Barcelona in football. In other words, (despite having that wicked topspin FH) the highest priority for him is still to NOT commit an error whilst doing the utmost to squeeze it from the opponent – just like it is the highest priority for Barcelona to hold the ball and NOT allow the opposing team to score. Everything else (in this case hitting the winners or scoring the goals) comes only second…

Or how can you explain the fact that a guy like Nadal, whom many consider the greatest clay-court player ever, could stand 3 m behind the baseline on almost EVERY SINGLE Federer’s 2nd serve in that Sunday final in Rome? Can you imagine this with someone like Djokovic, or even Ferrer?


gonzalowski Says:

Skorocel, you have no idea about soccer… I don’t like FC Barcelona much, but nowadays’ Barça is considered one of the best teams of history in terms of football quality, just similar to Brasil’70, or Cruyff’s Holland; in Barcelona’s case is because of his great midfielders, principally (although his defense was incredible, too)

I’m Rafan, but I would consider more Fed as nowadays’ Barça: the best of History.

And let’s simply repeat the recent Borg’s words: “Nadal is an artist”. Coming from 2nd History’s clay courter is not bad.
Artist is not like “ugly”, or “boring”.

Agree I’d put my money on Fed rather than Ferrer.


Margot Says:

But Rafa does what he has to do, in order to win. Isn’t that what sport is all about.
And “ugly” wow, what a subjective term.


Michael Says:

Ugly or beauty ? That depends on individual perception. What is needed in sport is success and Nadal is reaping a whirlwind. There have been a series of allegations that he is a one dimensional player, a defensive player who waits for opponents to commit errors blah blah. But, what is the strong point of Nadal is that he knows his limitations and he plays according to a well designed plan. He adops different strategies against different players. Against Roger especially, he targets that one handed back hand with is vicious forehand and he knows that works quite well. For me, Nadal is not ugly and he is quite watchable. It is not that he is always defensive. If shots are directed at his Forehand especially, he makes some of the best attacking shots and he is also very strong at Net. Infact I am quite surprised as to why Nadal just doesn’t force the issue by storming the net. May be, he knows that his defensive skills are there to protect him.


rafaeli Says:

Rudolf Nureyev would have been lost on a tennis court.


rafaeli Says:

I suppose shanking is beautiful in the eyes of the deluded.

What’s pleasing to the eye
In the delusion of my sight
Is not what I find when I reach into the light
I have lost my mind
I’m walking through time
Deluded as the next guy
Pretending and hoping to find
Beauty in shanking


alison Says:

Michael nice post,i really dont think he gets enough credit for actually been the very talented player that he is,his skills at the net are very good too,and i do wish he would go there more often,im just thinking maybe he is a beautiful tennis player to watch?surely BB,Graf,Seles,Hewitt to name but a few cant all be wrong?but hell what do i know diddly squat about tennis apparantly?


madmax Says:

skeezer Says:
Clay season is hilarious and dumb. Look how many points you can get here. Rafa typically dominates this surface, thus bolstering his ranking and points. As an example, if the Grass season had so many 1000 masters etc etc Fed would have piled up mega points and always cruised to #1. Clay season on the whole season is a greatly skewed point mongerer unfairly calculated to the ranking system. We all know that, no?

May 21st, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Skeezer,

it is factual, for sure, that there are more clay tournaments, but also fed is arguably the second best clay courter (superseded by Novak now, me thinks), but fed was. Even so, I wish also there were more grass tournaments, on fed’s favourite surface, as clay is rafa’s.

Why tournament organisers can’t get the grass growing around the world for more than 3 months a year from Halle to Wimbledon, I don’t know.

I guess to play on hard/clay is easier in terms of upkeep and maintenance.


nadalista Says:

@Skorocel says:

@nadalista: How can you explain the fact that Nadal had the same amount of winners (or maybe even less) than Fed in that recent Rome final, YET he won it 6/1 and 6/3?
…………………………………………

Explanation: Rafa kept the ball in play and Federer obliged by shanking. You see, if you shank, the point is awarded to your opponent(a winner for your opponent, harsh but true).

So, to answer your question. The scoreline was as it was because Fed put the ball in the tramlines or the crowd more often than in court, gifting Rafa the points.


alison Says:

Rafa has won 11 GS,completed a career GS,won a singles gold medal,holds the record for masters titles,in case people didnt realize 4 out of those 11 GS were off clay,4 finals on HCs winning 2,5 finals on GCs winning two,so its not as if he has never won anything off clay,he actually won a GS on 3 different surfaces in 2010,yet because most of his GS are on clay hes considered one dimensional,just wondering if clay is regarded as been less important than winning Wimbledon or the other slams,then why does Nole want to win it so badly?simple because its the one slam he wants to win to complete the set,as its much a surface as any other otherwise why bother to try?and im sure Roger would love another FO to complete another career GS,all in all i really dont know why Rafa plays tennis TBH been as he seems to be regarded as such a failure.


James Says:

Wow! So many saying Rafa is boring, doesn’t hit enough winners blah blah. I find Rafa’s game very interesting. I prefer a base line player any time over a serve and volley. I prefer long rallies over quick points. Of course it’s always good to see powerful serves going over 120mph.
In tennis as in any other sport, you are responsible for your UEs. Of course your opponent makes it hard for you to the play your normal game but you gotta find a way to hit winners and not gift them easy points. Rafa normally doesn’t give away easy points, he makes you earn for it. And I appreciate that. That’s what others should do too.
Sometimes in tennis your opponent with their style of play can make it tough for you to play as agressively as you’d like to. It shouldn’t frustrate you but maybe in such situation you play a little more sensibly. Maybe you need to play with a little less agression, maybe it calls for longer rallies. Go for it, change your tactic. I find that many players including Roger (in Rome) do not want to play long rallies with Rafa and as a result end up making many UEs looking for quick points.

As for Federer-Ferrer, Federer any time. I like Ferrer for his hardwork but he just doesn’t have enough weapons in his game to beat the big four. He is sadly just a ball retriever.


rafaeli Says:

If they wanted the winner in tennis to be the guy with more winners and less errors than his opponent, they wouldn’t have structured it the way it is, i.e 4 points to a game and first to win 6 games in 10 games to win a set, and if there is a tie of 5:5 the set is extended to 12 games, if there is still a tie at 6:6, then they play a tie-break for best of 12 points, if there is still a tie then the winner of the set is the one to win 2 consecutive points. The match is also decided in best of 3 or 5 sets.

Clearly, in tennis, it’s more important to know how to win the big points.


rafaeli Says:

So many people eating sour grapes over Rafa’s success since his comeback. Some people thought he’d be losing left right and center on his return from injury and they just can’t take it.

Tough!!!!!


rafaeli Says:

Borg:

“There’s no-one better than him on this surface [clay]! People don’t realize this – maybe the public has been spoilt to a certain extent. Rafa’s quite simply an artist when it comes to clay!”


alison Says:

What does Borg know anyway?after all hes only an 11 time GS champion(sigh).


gonzalowski Says:

About Grass, it’s a long time now since nadal dominates Federer on it.
Last year Federer was lucky about knee problem / Rosol issue.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal’s not the first one to focus on forcing errors from his opponent. It’s clay, that’s what you do. That’s how it’s always been played. Borg did the same thing.

If someone would put up the stats of Nadal’s matches in Indian Wells I’m sure they’d look different. No way did he hit only 13 winners in his match against Gulbis over there. And on grass, too, Nadal is a lot more aggressive, tries to stand closer to the baseline, etc. Tennis isn’t about hitting winners, it’s about constructing points to optimize your chance of winning said points. Nadal constructs his differently from Federer. I don’t prefer Nadal’s tactics, but he’s so far from being the first one to employ them it’s hilarious. He’s just happens to be the best at it, mostly due to his forehand.

Another thing, though, about tennis that makes it the weirdest sport in history is that you don’t even have to win more points than your opponent in order to win the match. Against Gulbis in Rome, Nadal actually won less points overall than Gulbis. So Gulbis isn’t entirely wrong in saying he was the better player throughout. In any other sport, if you win more points than your opponent you win the game and you were decidedly better. Tennis is weird in that sense, but that’s also why it’s easily the toughest mental sport.


nadalista Says:

Rome final Winners/UEs ratio:

Nadal: 12/8;
Federer: 15/32

Net Points Won:

Nadal : 4/5
Federer: 9/19

@Skorocel, the question you should be asking is this: How can anyone hope for Federer to have won after posting such dismal ratios? If Fed is a victim then he is of his own poor play. Trying to blame Rafa for that is embarrassing.

C’mon, it’s not like Fed made Gulbis-like winners in terms of numbers………


Giles Says:

I think Rafa went a bit AWOL in the second set serving for the championship at 5-1. Had he held serve it would have been an even bigger massacre so the fed fans should be grateful for small mercies. I think Rafa gifted fed that game so as not to embarrass fed with the scoreline!
#VamosKing
#20-10


gonzalowski Says:

agree with up Giles.
But after that I was a bit scared about Fed getting back in the match.


Giles Says:

^^^ Hahaha. Yeah, me too.


Simon Says:

I think rafa’s game has athletic grace but lacks aesthetic grace that Federer, Dimitrov, Gasquet, Rios, Edberg, Mecir, (Graf,Justine, Higis on the women’s side have.

This is no knock on nadal. It is what it is. As much as winning is important, it is also equally important regarding how the win was achieved. To build on Skorocel’s analogy, if you look at South American football teams play, they bring a unique joy which none of the other countries in the world can bring. Maybe France/Spain/Netherlands on and off. It is called flair/chutzpah. If you have to rank the top 4 on the basis of flair, nadal would unequivocally be last. Personally, Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Nadal is how I would rank them.

This is why Federer is such a huge icon in sports. He brings together absolute grace [both athletic and aesthetic] and combines it with genius and brilliance and out-of-this-world shot-making. Very rarely do you see Federer getting out-gunned 60-20 in the winners department like Gulbis did to Nadal.

I guess rafa fans will like a game with least unforced errors or most defensive brilliance, but most tennis fans and most fans in any sport will favor a champion who can win with flair and audacious shot-making or game patterns – in football, that would be shots on goal. The team that has most shots on goal doesn’t always win the game, but you can bet your last penny that majority of the football fans would be rooting for that team to win over a defensive football team.

South American football teams and Federer will always be more popular across the world than defensive teams or players. Take it to the bank!


Okiegal Says:

If Roger or Joker was winning all the clay court titles, most everyone would think that be wonderful! Rafa boring………….not. He is the reason I even started watching tennis again. Bring on the French Open and am hoping Rafa gets the Win!!! Rafa Nadal, you da MAN!! Vamos


Okiegal Says:

that would be…..


skeezer Says:

^Yes, it would be.

short attention span? There is a reason Roger has so many fan fav awards. Yes, he not boring! How could he be? He could hit from the backcourt with excellence, with variety and pace. Is movement and grace is unmatched in his prime. He has a fantastic transition game and one of the creators of the modern day defensive game. Just because he is getting old Rafa fans want to jump and stomp on the guy. Sorry, the tennis historians won’t bother with your antics and I as a fan will never worry about it. It won’t make what he has accomplished “go away”. You can say you were attracted to Rafa and started watching him because he is hot, I get that with the Ladies. But Fed has elevated the game ridiculously with THE standard of play and is a role model for all players who want the “complete game”. Ask any of them.

It is ridiculously hard to be a complete player and win Slams on all surfaces and have the most of them. Pete, who when he hit 14( for those padawans who weren’t around ) was hailed by the greats as the greatest ever with his Slam count vs. the great Rod Laver(although there were whispers that he did not get an Slam on Clay ). There was talk back then that the only player who could come along would have to surpass him AND win a Slam on Clay, of which he could never did.

Fed did that and more. Rafa has 7 Slams on one surface(soon to be 8).

But……Rafa has only 4 Slams on other surfaces. Fed has 10 if you count Grass has his “one’ surface.

Overall this is a skewed one man one surface player when history will look at it. As good as he is, his greatness will be judged now on what he can do outside of Clay, not on it. Everyone in the world knows he is the best Clay courter ever. His game is tailor made for it(ode to Colbie Caillat for Rafans).


skeezer Says:

Okiegal,

Post wasn’t intended to be so much at you but a general response to the Rafa fanatic kingdom and so many posts of such, just fyi….;).

You’re man will surely get his 2013 RG title!


Rumble Says:

Nadalista, Giles, and others.

Can you show me ONE match between Nadal and either djokovic or Federer, where Nadal won by hitting MORE WINNERS?

He may have done it occasionally against lesser players, but by and large, he keeps putting the ball back in play, even moonballing, until the opponent makes a mistake. Perhaps against Ferrer his might hit more winner, but that’s a pigeon he is playing against.

I am not saying what Nadal does is easy. Its pretty darn tough. Its just real ugly and boring. He keeps getting the ball back, and has the stamina and speed to keep going for 5 hours, and then the opponent loses patience and makes mistakes.

I am not saying running marathons is not important. But sprints are something different. The question is – where do you slot tennis, and what do you think it SHOULD be and was SUPPOSED to be when the sport was invented on grass courts? And what is more enjoyable to watch?

I would argue what most enjoyable is a mix of everything – some long points, some short points, some serve and volleys, lots of beautiful winners, fewer unforced errors.

Of course, being a Nadal fan, you might just prefer a game of attrition where all that matters is who is left standing after long points and ugly errors.

Again, can you show me a SINGLE match, on any surface, where Nadal beat either Djokovic or Federer by hitting more winners? He has 39 wins against the two combined (perhaps 25 are on clay) – but he always wins by committing a lot less errors.


Michael Says:

Alison,

Let me put out this way. Nadal is the most consistent player around even greater than Roger in his prime. Novak once said that if you wake up Nadal at midnight and ask him to play Tennis, he would play exactly in the same way he will be doing in a match. That is the hall mark of consistency that he is gifted with. Take his first serve consistency, match after match it would be anywhere around 65-70%. No player has been able to maintain that. He is also tenacious and strong willed. To put it one word, he is born for Tennis. Let us give him what is due. He is not my favourite player, but yet I greatly respect him.


Michael Says:

All majors have their own importance. There was a time when Australian open was considered inferior. We had big players like Borg, Mcenroe and Connors boycotting it for most part of their career. But today, it is different and is one of the most prestigious tournaments around. Although Wimbledon is considered the most glamarous yet the other majors are of no less importance as all carry the same number of points.


okiegal Says:

@Skeezer…..Where in my post did I say I was attracted to Rafa Nadal because he was hot?? I was channel surfing one day back in 05′ or 06′ and happened on the French Open final and saw a very young guy from Spain win it. I was hooked. I love his fight, passion, focus and his mental toughness. I just think he is a great athlete….along with Roger and Novak. Love watching all the great matches these top guys have played. Hope I see more. Didnt intend to romp and stomp on Roger, I apologize. And about my short attention span…I had a a mini stroke July 19. 2008 and yes my attention span isn’t as good as it used to be, neither is my typing!! LOL I guess we could all agree to disagree about our favs, but heck, that would be very boring. I will probably continue to remain in my Rafa fanatic Kingdom and you can remain in your Federer fanatic Kingdom and I bet we both will be very happy campers, no?


skeezer Says:

Michael,

Its not that they are not all equally important. Winning any Slam is a important, of course. But…. there is a difference in one’s career when you win repeatedly the same Slam, and one surface, and don’t have any quantitive measure on others. As an example, Rafa’s 11 Slams. Fantastic. However, 7, yes 7, are on 1 tournament.

He only has 4 on other Slams that are on other surfaces.

In comparison, Fed, who’s big wins were on Grass, still has 10 Slam titles outside of his “home” surface. Yes. 10.

To be hailed as great, and as a COMPLETE player, you have to measure what your records are on all surfaces, all Slams. It is the ultimate benchmark in tennis, bar none.

Surely Rafa has proven he is one of the best , if not the best on Clay. But he is very far from proving, imo, that he qualifies so far as to one of the very best all time complete players in the history of tennis.

That story has yet to be written.


Rumble Says:

Michael,

Nadal is consistent. Nobody argues that. He consistently returns balls and consistently makes other play badly. His game is consistently ugly, and consistently potent on clay.

Lots of consistency.

Skeezer – no point arguing with these guys. Nobody argues that Nadal is not a top 10 player in the open era. But he won’t make my top 5 list. HIs game and record is too one-dimensional.

And at the end of the day, no point for anyone to argue. 17>11. Until Nadal reaches 17 slams, there isn’t even an argument.


okiegal Says:

@Rumble

“Until Nadal reaches 17 slams, there isn’t even an argument’…….

Here we go again, whose the best???? I think this forum has beat that horse to death…..or should I say GOAT. The never ending saga goes on and on and on. Enough already.


Aon Says:

^^^ calm down .


James Says:

People forget Rafa Nadal also won Olympics gold medal, something Federer has only dreamt of. Rafa also has the best career winning % of all time on all surfaces!
I’m not saying Rafa is better than Roger. Even Rafa says Fed is the best ever to play tennis. I agree with him that Roger as well as Djokovic are slightly more gifted than him. That’s why I like Rafa because he works out ways to beat his opponents irrespective of how good they are. And if there’s anyone to dethrone Fed as the GOAT, it is the Mallorcan. He probably needs 3-4 more slams for it, not RG, maybe USO, Wimby or AO would do.


Rumble Says:

James,

Nadal as won the Olympics, but so has Nicolas Massu. Its best of 3, crammed in between tournaments. Its not even at par with Masters in terms of points in tennis.

And Rafa DOES NOT have the best winning % of all time on all surfaces – that is factually incorrect. He only has it on clay.

Nadal is a damn good player, certainly a top 10 player in the open era. But when I look at Sampras or Borg (other than of course Federer), I have a tough time placing Nadal next them, given their dominance of multiple surfaces and many other stats.

Nadal hasn’t won even a single YEC so far (a tournament which is next only to slams in terms of points, and has double the points of an Olympics gold).

I have a hard time looking at a player with 4 slams outside of French, no YEC, and then saying he should be in the GOAT discussion.

Great? Yes. GOAT? No way.

And guys, not to burst your bubble over and over again – but he’s 27 years old in about a week. Start preparing for some disappointments after the French Open.


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Michael

“Nadal is the most consistent player around even greater than Roger in his prime”

Don’t agree with this… Nadal has no doubt been a consistent player but there is no way he can be regarded more consistent than Federer….Let me highlight some of the fact and figures for evidence:-

1- Roger holds the record for most consecutive semis of GS in a row.

2- He is on a 32(maybe 33) consecutive quarter final appearances streak.

3- Roger and Rafa both have been top players for the last decade and they have landed in different halves of the draw for majority of the time.. Therefore, their only chance to meet each other have been in finals… If u look at their h2h record, they have met 50% of the times on clay(15 out of 30) whereas the clay season is only 25-30% of the season in terms of the no of tournaments played. Roger has been able to consistently make it to the finals of clay which can be regarded as his least favorite surface… Rafa on the other hand has not made it to that many finals on other surfaces which comprise of 75% of the season.

4) The era of 04-07 is regarded by many as a boring era … It was solely because of Fed’s dominance left right and center..He had virtually no competition in every tournament he entered… He had a 92-5 year ( 2006 maybe ) where 4 of his 5 defeats were against Nadal .. He was boringly consistent…

So I would say that Nadal is certainly consistent, in fact super consistent on clay but Fed’s consistency is just matchless on every surface…


alison Says:

Id like to make it clear,Never i repeat never was i saying at any point in any of my posts that Rafa was greater than Roger,more talented than Roger,has better records than Roger etc etc,and going over the posts i dont see any claiming Rafa is the GOAT so i dont know exactly where that argument came from?why does there have to be a comparison with Roger?everyone with a brain knows his records will never be broken,everyone with half a brain also knows he is the GOAT no one was saying otherwise,the only thing i ever wanted was for Rafa to be given credit for what he has achieved rather than getting pulled to bits for what he hasnt,is that too much to ask?Seles,Graf,Hewitt enjoy watching Rafas game and BB says hes an artist,maybe his game doesnt suit everybodys taste but surely thats a matter of opinion?and surely we cant all be wrong?11 GS 4 off clay,regarded as one not THEE but one of the GPOAT,god strewth Rafa is such a failure,why does he even bother to play tennis(sigh).


Rumble Says:

I would love to see Nadal win a match against Federer or Djokovic by hitting more winners rather than by making less errors. That would be the day.

Until then – he is very effective on clay, but plays an ugly game. What he does is terribly difficult, but it is terrible too at the same time. Just because he can do something very rare doesn’t mean it is pretty or nice.

He won’t do it – but if he is smart, Nadal should just do what he did this year every year – just play the full clay season including South America, play wimbledon and call it a day for the year. He could get enough points to maintain top 4 ranking, and really extend his career and slam tally.


alison Says:

Michael as a Rafa fan he has been pretty consistent,16 GS finals winning a GS for 8 straight years,is a fabulous record in itself,and i hope he gets the 9 years consecutive record,although i have to say im with Ahsan Najeeb in that Roger has to be the most consistent ever,with the records hes mentioned in his posts.


alison Says:

Nadal is certainly a top 10 player in the open era,just wondering why thats not considered good enough then for some people?as a fan thats good enough for me :).


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

Absolutely agree with you Alison….So much is made of his clay dominance and less achievements on other surfaces…. If Sampras can be regarded as the top 5 player of all time when he has never even made it to RG final , then why can’t Rafa be regarded as top 10 player of all time when he has won 2 slams on grass and two slams on hard already… Plus a lot has been said about his ugly game style… I am myself not an admirer of his style but that is purely a subjective assessment of each and every individual.. That does not put a doubt on his greatness status…

I do agree though that he needs to win YEC because that is a vital championship missing in his resume…. I would rather have that and miss out on Olympic gold.


James Says:

Rumble,

As a matter of fact, Rafa does have the best career winning percentages of all time on all surfaces, 83.31% (can change for better or worse when he finally retires), 2nd is Bjorn Borg with 82.72% followed by Jimmy Connors with 81.78% (taken from wiki)
When you talk about hard courts or grass courts alone, Rafa isn’t on top but when you combined them all, he does.

As for the Olympics gold, hasn’t the great Roger Federer always wanted it? Thought ’tis one reason he wants to continue playing tennis ’till 2016. Just pointing out that Rafa has achieved that which Roger couldn’t. I wanted him to win it last summer but he failed yet again.

GOAT, now I never claimed Rafa to be it. I only said that if there is anyone to dethrone Roger as the GOAT it’s got to be Rafa. But only if he wins 3-4 more slams outside of Paris. Maybe another Wimby + 2 USO or AO. Can he do it? I think so. Will he do it? I don’t know. For all I know, he could get injured again and may never play pro tennis again. Or he could surprise everyone and go on to win some more (not RG) slams. Also let’s not forget that Rafa has a superior head to head against all top players of his time, something even the great Roger can’t claim.

As a tennis fan and player (pretty sure 100 times worse than ATP players), I try to learn more from Roger than Rafa as I am right handed and prefer to use my single backhand (something my coach doesn’t encourage). And we know Roger has a better serve than Rafa. I like Roger too but you gotta give credit to Rafa for what he’s achieved so far and still going strong.


alison Says:

Ahsan Najeeb bang,bang,bang thankyou so much that was sound of nails been hit on the head(sigh),as alot of the time i feel my posts seem to be falling on deaf ears,so its refreshing when a fan of another player sees things from the other angle for a change,one GOAT one GREAT,is,has,and always will be good enough for me.


alison Says:

James no sensible fan was claiming Rafa to be the GOAT EXACTLY,i dont know where that one came from TBH,strange that some people are trying to look for an argument thats not even there.


James Says:

As for consistency, I don’t think Rafa or Novak ever dominated tennis or ever will like Roger did. He was so dominant you could always tell he’d be in the final of any Slam, grass, clay or hard. I also believe that if not for Nadal, Roger would have won at least 3-4 RGs or maybe more. Roger in his prime was highly successful on clay too. It was just that Rafa was and has been extraordinary on clay.
Also agree with those saying Rafa should win a YEC. Maybe he should focus on that this year besides the slams.


alison Says:

James i would love for Rafa to win a WTF,before he retires as its the only major thing he hasnt won.


James Says:

Alison, I know it would be so wrong to call Rafa the GOAT. Roger has 17 GS and dominated tennis for good 3-4 years. I don’t think anyone can take that away from him. I like Rafa a lot but have always thought and maintained that Roger is, well technically, the better player or at least more elegant. I’m just more into Rafa’s fighting spirit. So proud to be his fan because the guy doesn’t let you down for backing him even in defeats.


James Says:

Alison, I’d love to see him win WTF too. He’s got a good chance this year. Hope he has an amazing season.


alison Says:

James i would love him to do it at least once,just to complete the set,whether he will or wont i dont know?all i know is if hes in the top 8 he will always have a chance,i just hope he can remain injury free for the rest of the year win or lose,that would be my only hope for him these days.


Skorocel Says:

Why so much fuss about the YEC? A tournament where everybody’s pretty much tired and thinking about the holidays instead of playing…


skeezer Says:

^errr…maybe cause only the top 8 players in the world can play, and they have to play each other?


Ahsan Najeeb Says:

YEC is like UEFA league in soccer…Only the best are allowed to play to determine the bestest of best.. It is one of the best tournamemts to watch cuz every match is quite close and unpredictable…I am sure the players enjoy it too… Plus there are plenty of points up for grabs… Dont think any player takes it lightly.


James Says:

YEC however cannot and shouldn’t be compared with a gold medal in the Olympics. Ask Roger Federer, most tennis players would prefer gold in the Olympics over YEC. YEC/WTF happens each year while the Games only take place once in 4 years. Plus you’re representing your nation on the biggest sporting stage in the world.

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