Rafael Nadal Has A Winning Record Over Everyone In The Top 36! [Chart]

by Staff | August 21st, 2013, 11:44 am

The ATP Tour posted a chart this morning of Rafael Nada’s winning record against players in the Top 30. We took it a step further and included the next ten players to make it the Top 40, which still keeps Nadal without a losing record against anyone!

The highest ranked player to have a winning record over Rafa is No. 41 Nikolay Davydenko who leads the Spaniard 6-5. No. 45 Lukas Rosol is the other player to have an edge vs. Rafa (1-0).

Digging deeper, Rafa has a 260-59 (82%) record against his Top 40 brethren. Of which half of them have never beaten Nadal (Pospisil and Nadal have never played).

Against his fellow Top 10 players, he’s 126-44 (74%). Against the other Top 5ers, he’s 69-27 (72%). And he has 20+ wins over Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer.

With the exception of 1-1 Ivan Dodig, Djokovic (15-21, 42%) has the best career mark against Nadal of the Top 40.

Here’s the chart of Rafa’s remarkable head-to-head record against the Top 40 (as of August 19, 2013):

Novak Djokovic 21 15 0.58
Andy Murray 13 5 0.72
David Ferrer 20 4 0.83
Tomas Berdych 15 3 0.83
Juan Martin del Potro 8 3 0.73
Roger Federer 21 10 0.68
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 8 3 0.73
Richard Gasquet 10 1 0.91
Stanislas Wawrinka 10 0 1.00
Milos Raonic 4 0 1.00
Kei Nishikori 5 0 1.00
Tommy Haas 5 0 1.00
John Isner 4 0 1.00
Jerzy Janowicz 1 0 1.00
Nicolas Almagro 10 0 1.00
Gilles Simon 5 1 0.83
Fabio Fognini 2 0 1.00
Marin Cilic 2 1 0.67
Kevin Anderson 1 0 1.00
Janko Tipsarevic 3 0 1.00
Tommy Robredo 6 0 1.00
Andreas Seppi 4 1 0.80
Mikhail Youzhny 10 4 0.71
Philipp Kohlschreiber 10 1 0.91
Feliciano Lopez 9 2 0.82
Benoit Paire 2 0 1.00
Grigor Dimitrov 3 0 1.00
Sam Querrey 3 0 1.00
Fernando Verdasco 14 1 0.93
Juan Monaco 4 1 0.80
Jurgen Melzer 3 1 0.75
Ernests Gulbis 6 0 1.00
Julien Benneteau 3 1 0.75
Dmitry Tusunov 3 0 1.00
Jeremy Chardy 1 0 1.00
Ivan Dodig 1 1 0.50
Alexandr Dolgopolov 3 0 1.00
Vasek Pospisil 0 0 0.00
Jarkko Nieminen 7 0 1.00

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220 Comments for Rafael Nadal Has A Winning Record Over Everyone In The Top 36! [Chart]

Giles Says:

Keep it that way Rafa.

Vvx Says:

Spectacular domination!

82% versus the Top 40!!!

Very few players in history have posted those kind of numbers against the ENTIRE FIELD never mind just the ELITE!!

The guy is incredible and yet oddly still so underrated by so, so many …..

josh Says:

Wow. This is incredible. Many people think Roger is the greatest of all time, but I feel Rafa can challenge Roger on this in the years to come. I mean, how can Roger be the greatest, when he doesn’t even have a winning record against his biggest rival! I know Grand Slams are important, but Rafa’s got a few years left, if his knees hold up, and I feel he can challenge Roger’s 17. I also feel that Roger deep down knows Rafa has a chance to challenge his 17 grand slams, and will continue to play until he gets at least one more slam to make it harder for Rafa to catch him. He has been on the record saying that winning the most slams was his biggest goal, and of course he wants that record for himself.

Brando Says:

He came. He saw. He conquered.

Perfect fan Says:

After generations to come..nobody’s gonna remember the h2h..but the no. of GS won will be immortalized..
I don’t see anybody coming closer to fed’s record in this regard, forget nadal…the maestro will be the benchmark for generations to come.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

I have never really cared about the H2H argument,usually some of my fellow Rafa fans use it as a counter against Federer to undermine his greatness, which i think is greatly unfair on Federer,having said that its a fantastic record to have over that many players,he surely will have to go down as an all time great if ever there was any doubt.

Krishna Says:

Is this another lopsided stat because of all the clay court wins against the top 40? :D

Alex Says:

Funny how Nadal fanatics think that as long as Rafas knees hold up he will win everything. When he loses its the knees, when he cant be no1 its the knees. Don’t you guys have it easy in the excuse department. Knees knees knees knees, its all you hear.

By the way, being no1 is very important, Nadal the Greatest at being no2, yes. You cant be Goat if you were no2 for most of your career…oh wait, the knees! Seems like the Nadalites are constantly trying to rewrite the rule book, they keep telling us what defines greatness. Winning 90 percent of your slams on clay, having bummed knees that you can blame for every defeat or any accomplishments he cant obtain.

Sorry, if you have to bring up knees in your claims to Goathood hahahha, you’ve lost already.

Its more likely that Djokovic will overtake Nadal than Nadal overtake Fed, if you look at the numbers. Nadalites can’t understand this. And will bring excuses from knees all the way to bad rum. At the end of the day you will hear statements like ‘oh oh, Federer never had to beat prime Djokovic when he was winning all those slams, so Nadals should count for 2, or Nadal has a better H2h which proves if hes knees held up he would of won many many hard court slams, no1 ist important cause look at Nadal”.

Its like a rotten campaign over here and its laughable.

Brando Says:

@Krishna: nah, this Is another lop sided stat where he faced players who couldn’t cut it against him on the day! It’s not Rafa’s fault that the other players couldn’t produce the goods.

Alex Says:

By the way,

Nadalits say they are so humble, there player is so humble yada yada yada. Yet all they do day in day out is try convince us his the greatest and his soooo much better than everyone.

Seriously, who are these people?

The kinds that tell someone there shoes are not nice and then go buy the same pair, the level of contradiction is staggering, bordering on complete illogical manipulative thinking.

No matter what you say and how long you say it,

Fed has longest period at no1.
Most slams.

This is what defines greatness in tennis.

So instead of shoving self serving biased information down our throats, why not shu* up?

If Nadal gets there you can fill the comment section up all you like. For now you’re sounding more like a bunch of spoiled kids than someone with any kind of sane opinion. Give it up already.

Alex Says:


I wish more Nada fans would be like you(lots around in real life, not here), right now tennis-x seems like a cesspool of Nadalite backwards thinkers.

Then again your a Nadal FAN, thers a big difference between you and other Nadalites. They are not fans of tennis.

Legend Says:

Alex Says:
“Funny how Nadal fanatics think that as long as Rafas knees hold up he will win everything. When he loses its the knees, when he cant be no1 its the knees. Don’t you guys have it easy in the excuse department. Knees knees knees knees, its all you hear”


“skeezer Says:
Rafa hands down winner,,,,,,, unless he comes up lame from playing too much on the HC with his knees.”

Since when skeezer is a Rafa fan ?

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Alex im not undermining Rogers greatness in any way, shape,or form,as i would look like an idiot if i did that,he is the greatest ever,till Rafa or anybody else for that matter surpasses him,but the thread topic is Rafas H2H against the entire field,and that is what he has,but that is not for me taking anything away from Rogers legacy,Rafa has indeed some way to go before he can even think about that,so its all irrelevant.

Eric Says:

This seems like a really fantastic stat — and there’s no doubt that Rafa is absurdly dominant against other excellent players — but it’s a bit meaningless since a lot of these matches will have been before the player in question was necessarily in the top 40. This would only be worth doing if you had access to the ATP results database in computable form, but it would be interesting to see what the % would be summed up tournament-by-tournament over Rafa’s career. (Also, what’s Fed’s corresponding number? Probably a fair bit lower, I’d think.)

Anyway, call no man happy until he’s dead and all that. The grand retrospectives on this era should wait until it is over.

James Says:

This is why he’s feared and respected so much by his peers.
Now unless he messes up the rest of the season, he’s gonna be the YE #1 for the 3rd time in his career.

Eric Says:

Also, when did Rafa lose all those times to Ferrer (other than the AO), Tsonga, Berdych, and Delpo? Don’t remember that at all…

Giles Says:

Hey @ Alex. Ranting much today, wotz up?? Lol

Alex Says:

@Hippy chick

Sure, though you don’t have to respond to my post as if I meant you. You see, Ill use words like Nadalites, Rafafanatics ect. This is my attempt to separate the normal pleasant Nadal fans from the rest (Nadalites ect) of the herd. None of my remarks are aimed at Nadal Fans. I see a big difference between Fans and pests. Though there are sooo many now, its just becoming unpleasant reading. No point visiting a site when all you get is biased unintelligent posts flooding the comment section every day. This place is heading for the sewers I tell you :).

Vvx Says:

@hippy chic

“Alex im not undermining Rogers greatness in any way, shape,or form,as i would look like an idiot if i did that,he is the greatest ever ………Rafa has indeed some way to go before he can even think about that,so its all irrelevant.”

two more slams ought to be enough. at 14 he moves in to 2nd place on slam count (Sampras doesnt have a French Open title).

we then have the situ where the guy with the most slams has a terrible H2H with the guy 2nd on the all time list (especially in Grand Slams) who also has more Masters, more Olympic titles, more Davis Cup wins and quite possibly the greatest win:loss record in history versus the entire field.

at 14 slams if not the outright GOAT, Nadal will definitely be in the conversation.

Vvx Says:


at 14 slams with those other stats, if not the outright GOAT, Nadal will definitely be in the conversation.

Alex Says:

Hahah @Giles.

No idea, was at work and had a quick peek and just got irritated with some of these people. Anyways, I see you’re still going strong, your comments are also much more pleasant. I wish you and your fav all the best. Like Ive said many times, I have no problem with Nadal :).

SG1 Says:

“By the way, being no1 is very important, Nadal the Greatest at being no2, yes.”

Being number 1 is important. But, like all things related measuring performance, it is just a statistic. Having an 82% winning percentage against the best of your peers is also a statistic. Both are incredible achievements. I don’t know that one is necessarily more important than the other. Only an elite player could answer this some may value one more than the other.

In my mind, I’d rather own my competition. If I’m doing that, I’m probably winning all the big stuff. Michael Chang (…I think)and Marcelo Rios were number 1’s. Chang has one major and Rios had none.

I suspect that if you gave the top guys the choice of being No. 1 or having 20 slam victories (and nothing else), they’d take the latter. Winning slams means beating the elite contemporaries when it matters most. Being No.1 does not necessarily correlate to this.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Alex yeah fair enough,for what its worth i agree,i would like to think of myself as a fan of tennis as a whole, more than been just a fan of Rafa,i have never thought of one particular player been bigger than the sport itself.

SG1 Says:

I agree. If Rafa gets to 14 or 15 slams then he is in the GOAT discussion. 12 isn’t enough yet. But having comparable slam numbers, playing in a tougher era for a longer period than Federer and owning his competition over the period he has played? How can anyone argue that Rafa is not in the GOAT discussion? To oppose this is to show your tennis bigotry. Just because Fed’s game is prettier than Rafa’s, doesn’t mean it’s better.

Alex Says:


More brain farts, 14 does not equal 17. Do you care to list the amount of records Fed has, no?

Cause you have no idea, just another biased poster.

Weeks at no1, Grand slam consistency, dominant years in secession, Slam finals, and on and on. These are all things that mean nothing to you, just another Nadalite.

Love the way you just proved my point.

Cant spend all my time on Pest control!


Alex Says:


Now this is even more funny. So some don’t believe Nadal is gonna reach 17.

What do they do?

Now they invent a number and proclaim “when Nadal reaches 14 he is Goat”.

Im sorry, you cant argue with people like this,

Its like Nadalite-extremism .

Vvx Says:


11 doesnt equal 17 either and yet Laver is still in the conversation after all these years.

there is more to greatness than just slam count or consecutive 2nd round appearances at slams or whatever the latest meaningless stat that the desperate want to trot out.

you have to look at the whole career and not just cherry pick the bits that suit your particular favourite.

Ben Pronin Says:

Chang was never number 1.

I do think being number 1 has been grossly overlooked when comparing to the majors. Nadal wants to be number 1. Federer loved being 1. Sampras made a huge deal to be number 1. It matters. It means you are the best in the world. Even though there have been some crummy number 1s, there have only been a few for the most part. I don’t think it’s just another statistic. It means you are the undisputed best over a 52 week period. You’d think with Nadal’s overwhelming h2h he’d have been number 1 a lot longer. So something’s amiss, no?

Alex Says:


Was not referring to your post@1:48

As far as I know, Nadal is already one of the GOAT’S. Just not the GOAT :). Maybe one day, wait and see.

Hamza Says:

Roger Federer is great, one of the greatest. His game is effortless but is he THE GREATEST ? I have my doubts.

The problem is that even if Nadal gets say 18 slams, by winning 5 french opens and 1 of the Hard court majors or 4 french opens and 2 other majors, Tennis pundits and Federer fans will still pick on the fact that his record is too lop-sided despite flashing the 17>12 record today.

What I find strange is that nobody tries to build a strong case about how weak the field was from 2004-2007 when Federer won 11 majors. Federer’s game has been effortless but then that should’ve resulted in a period of greater domination. Yet after 2007, he’s won 5 majors in a span of 5 years when the field has gotten evidently tougher with a mature Nadal, a rampant Djokovic and the ever-improving Murray and not to mention the DelPos and Berdyies and Tsongas.

So not only to be considered the greatest Nadal has to beat the strongest in the field, he has to get more than 17 majors and he also has to do something about the lop-sided clay record (which I find extremely irritating because the guy has proven himself on all other surfaces).
So even if he gets 18 slams, if 14 of them are on clay, Fed fans would still keep harping on that.

I think the argument about a weak field needs greater emphasis. Bulk of Roger’s majors came in that time. And the one place where he faced competition – which was clay – he couldn’t win a single major. I therefore think that for Roger to be considered the greatest, just like Nadal, he needs to win more majors in today’s field. Please do not flash the age card. Roger’s game is effortless – as we all agree – and it should not be beyond the realm of possibility for him to win more majors.

Here’s another criteria to judge the two in which we keep the field the same: as of today, if Roger wins atleast half of what Rafa wins till say 2016 or whenever we want to put the cut-off date, he would’ve made a strong counter-argument to the weak-field argument. Until he does that, there is no doubt in my mind that Roger benefited immensely from a time period when Safin went off the boil, Nadal hadn’t matured, Hewitt was over-hyped and Roddick wasn’t talented enough.

With the above stated facts, I rest my case.
In closing, I want to say that I have immense respect for Roger Federer as one of the greatest players to play the game. I just don’t think he’s the greatest.

Alex Says:


If Slams are the most important measure of GOATHOOD plus no1 ranking. Why don’t you roll out those stats in your “unbiased” argument. Like you said,”over a whole career, no cheery picking”. Then you tell me whose looks better. Forget second round.

And yes Vvx, Slams are the way we measure greats. It was like that before Nadal came along and it will be like that when hes long gone.

So if you wanna bring an argument, show me some data to prove Nadal is better in the Slams than Fed. As it stands Fed still has more titles on 3of4 Slams.

Alex Says:

Agree with Ben completely. I cant see anyone in the Goat discussion who hasn’t spent a considerable amount of time at the top.

Ben Pronin Says:

Hamza, the weak field arguement has been brought up countless times.

I think it’s pretty easy to make the case for today’s field, too (that it’s weak).

Bom Kelvin Says:

Oh dear…. greatest of all times are said and admitted by most of the legends of tennis including Nadal knows about more tennis than all Nadal fans. Their words are more official than all nadal fans personal opinions. Greatest of all times does not mean most perfect of all times. It literally mean best and most consistent in overall performance and records. No legend is perfect. They all have holes in their careers. Eg. Sampras never won French, Borg never won Aus and US open, Nadal never won WTF and did not stay at the top long enough, Ivan Lendal never won Wimbledon so as Federer has losing records against Nadal and so on. So nobody has perfect records. But based on overall consistent performance at the top, grand slams and all courts , Federer is considered GOAT not by ordinary fans but by Most legends , current players and professional critics. Sorry Nadal fans. Unless Nadal can perform well in all courts like at least 5 finals in all slams and stay at the top for long , he will not be GOAT.

Alex Says:


Ive heard your weak-field theory many times before, I don’t really care for it.

If Nadal has 18 Slams and spends equal amount of time at the top, sure hes the Goat.

How can you say,

“With the above stated facts, I rest my case.”

So you invent some story that “if” Nadal reaches 18, Fed fans will still say his not Goat, Ok. Then you go on to list it as a fact, which played an important role in your decision making.

Seems very flawed. You’re make assumptions, and then turning them into facts to support your case.

That’s not the way the games played.

Anna Says:

If your Verdasco, Kohlschreiber, Almagro, Gasquet, Ferrer, and Wawrinka numbers like this have to hurt. These are players that Rafa grew up with and he’s owned them from day 1. It must feel like a death sentence to see there name in the same quarter as Nadals.

Steve 27 Says:

With double career gs would be a possible GOAT?

Ben Pronin Says:

I was gonna say when the hell did Gasquet beat Nadal, but he didn’t. There should be a 0 in the loss column next to Gasquet’s name.

Hamza Says:

Alex: So you’re saying if Nadal does get 18 by winning say 6 French opens – just a hypothetical scenario to understand your position – you will not associate any ifs and buts when somebody says 18>17 ? If so, I appreciate that. I hope you don’t say yes just because you think that’s not going to happen. I don’t know if 5 years from now, we’ll have the opportunity to revisit some of the things that we’re saying right now.

I just said that because Nadal’s slam count even if – again an if – he does get to 18 will be lopsided towards clay. There are countless times when I’ve had discussion with Fed fans where they keep pointing to Nadal’s deficiencies and when he does overcome them (Wimbledon win against Roger, Australian open win against Roger), they move to something else. I feel there is a subjective bias against Nadal, a deep resentment in quite a few Fed fans if not all. I feel the same is going to be done with the 18>17 if – again an if – that happens. Are my fears unjustified ? I guess we’ll have to wait.

Why am I bringing the 18>17 ? Just to be on the record. If it never happens and Federer leads the slam count at the end of their respective career, I’ll gladly concede Roger beat him on the slam count and tennis pundits are well within their right to consider him the greatest. But at the same time, I’d expect the same sort of honesty from Fed fans which in my experience quite a few do not exhibit.

The fact is that Federer won 11 slams from 2004-2007 and 5 slams from 2008 to 2013. Now we might have different explanations for that i.e aging, field getting tougher etc. and that’s why I argued that what these two achieve from here on in the next couple of years matters. Sure at the end of the day, we are going to look at the slam counts but for those who do want to continue to focus on Nadal’s lopsided record on clay, this particular exercise is for them.

Hamza Says:

Ben: Yes sure but from what I see, Roger Federer in 2008 was not a whole lot different from the Roger Federer we saw in 2007 or 2006. And the Roger Federer of 2010 wasn’t a whole lot different from the one in 2008. Roger has had an injury-free career , something to be admired. What changed ?
The field is much tougher than it was back then, something most of the top 10 players today thing who were present in that time period. You can disagree with me but this is how I feel today and this is what I felt back then.

James Says:

Thanks for the article @steve. I’m not going to downplay his chances at the Open. He needs to win more slams if he wants to be considered greater than Federer.
Go for it, Rafa! Vamos!

hawkeye Says:

Listen, GOAT is pure subjectiveness. To each his or her own. GOATness is not necessarily only slam count, years at No. 1 nor h2h to everyone. It’s a matter of opinion. Fed’s legacy is pretty much over (unless he can add another slam or improve his peer h2h). Rafa has significant time to add to his.

John “Extreme Nadalist” McEnroe says:

“This guy is to me, I think you can make an argument right here and now, the greatest player that ever lived,” McEnroe said. “If you look at his record against [Andy] Murray, [Roger] Federer, and [Novak] Djokovic, it’s way better than that. He won the Olympics. He’s got Davis Cups, which Roger doesn’t have. I have always said Roger Federer to me was the greatest player that ever lived, certainly the most beautiful player. But I’m going to tell you right here and now there’s a definite argument, I’m starting to lean toward Rafa.”



Brando Says:

Dolly the sheep is GOAT.

AD Tennis Says:

Federer post 2008 was nowhere near the dominant force he was in 2004-2007. The field has not really changed a lot. If you take away the top 4, even ferrer at 5 has 0 wins against Federer to date.

I am sure Nadal would rather have 300 weeks at No.1 than these H2Hs. If you look closely you see him having those records because he plays hlaf his career on clay.

If Federer played half of his matches indoor and other half on fast surfaces like wimbledon/uso/cincinnati. he would have a similar record.

It is a great record to have, however. So Kudos to Rafa!

jamie Says:

Nadal will win the USO but will not win the WTF this year. He’s got everything *right* atm but after September he will slump for the remainder of 2013. 10 titles(including USO) for Nadal this year.

James Says:

“If Federer played half of his matches indoor and other half on fast surfaces like wimbledon/uso/cincinnati. he would have a similar record.”

If he did he might not have been #1 and less Slams. No RG, no Career Grand Slam.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Its a great record to have no doubt and kudos to Rafa for that,however the GOAT topic is a completely different issue and thats without shadow of a doubt Roger,its two completely different arguments,its apples and oranges IMO.

hawkeye Says:

I’ve watched tennis over the last 40 years. Got bored watching from about 2002-2006.

When Thomas Johansson can win a major (2002) and Ivan Ljubicic can be the World No. 3 in 2006, and virtually no one can beat one player in between we are in The Weak Era.

That said, I love watching Fed play. Was very disappointed when I learned I wouldn’t see him play again in Montreal. Cincy was a fantastic match between him and Rafa regardless of who won. They combine for the most exhilarating tennis of all time IMO. There will never be another player like him again. He is a one off amazing player.

Ben Pronin Says:

Hamza, I think a lot of people forget that Federer had a lung infection in 2010. Recall he played great winning the Australian Open to start then year then his results fell off big time. He only kind of got his game together in the second half othe year but his level of play was quite poor by his standards. Is it related? I have no idea, but it could have been. We also saw his back issues flare up seriously for the first time in a while in 2009. That could also explain his inconsistent results throughout the year.

Something definitely changed and it’s definitely with Federer. Did the field catch up? Somewhat, yeah. But what about when we say “look at Federer turn back the clock”? What does this imply? That he’s playing at the level he used to play when he was on top and that, reaching that level again, he’s winning again. Right?

Giles Says:

Nadal – Gasquet H2H. 10 – 0 to Nadal.

Steve 27 Says:

In aesthetic issues do not get involved, but the technique is a target attribute and that Rafa is far superior to Roger. The handle of Rafa (and Murray or Nole) is much more technical than Roger (simple continental), so Rafa can hit the ball that topspin unique and therefore can play so far from the bottom and despite all master points. Roger is the best player ever natural with Sampras: unique hand-eye coordination, flexibility, strength and physical provilegiado: but Rafa (and Nole or Murray) are much more technically and tactically worked and the proof you have that the three have evolved a lot while Roger is still playing as always great service and forehand, mediocre backhand, disastrous tactical sense. Do not confuse “aesthetic” with “technical” are different things.

Giles Says:

Look who’s watching Rafa practice! Lol

Steve 27 Says:

Giles, Andy knows that a hurricane named Rafa Nadal comes for him.

AD Tennis Says:

Once it is more than oncourt achievements, Rafa is nowhere close.

Awards – Laureus, Sportsmanship, ATP fan favorite [10years in a row] and then endorsements and so on.

Nadal atleast got H2H if you stick to achievements. Outside the court Nadal is 2nd to Sharapova, forget Roger!

Nadal just doesn’t have the universal popularity Roger has. His legacy is now, beyond tennis. With Woods’ shooting himself in the you-know-where, Federer is the biggest icon in the sport. Unfortunately ATP can’t compete with the money PGA offers.

I would advise Nadal fans to stick to the H2H and Masters titles. That is their best bet, take a cue from Mcenroe, guys.

Giles Says:

Fed has been too used to the good life and now……

Steve 27 Says:

AD Tennis, Federers speak perfect english, Rafa has improved his English but never speak like a native. It is understandable that the Anglo-Saxon world has adopted it as his prodigal son and protect him incredibly, after all in the marketing matters more to sell than to know the content.
Oh, how can you compare Rafa with Maria, is like asking why there are more female than male prostitution.

Hamza Says:

AD Tennis: Yup and that won’t change. But that shouldn’t bother Nadal fans. As great as Roger is, I would much rather prefer Nadal having a 30-10 head-to-head against Roger at the end of their careers than the universal popularity which Fed has always enjoyed. Fed speaks english fluently, and he speaks multiple languages. His tennis can be termed as classic in genre. He’s just a better ambassador with a universal appeal as you said. But I believe most Nadal fans don’t really care about that. We want his tennis achievements to excel. We want his tennis to excel. We want him to be considered by everybody, yes everybody, as a player who beat the best on any surface regularly on the main stage. Most Nadal fans just want Nadal to stack up enough tennis credentials that by the end of his career, on purely tennis terms, he’s considered the Hercules of tennis whose tales are told for decades to come. Tales that would make even Zeus jealous :)

Fantasy aside, the fanship has done wonders to tennis. Prior to the Fedal rivalry, I would only focus on Wimbledon to see Sampras throwing aces down the middle of the T.

Hamza Says:

Oh I just noticed Alex said: “18 slams and equal amount of time at the top, ”

Dear Lord, till this day, of all the discussions I’ve ever had, nobody brought the “equal amount of time at the top” condition. Just proves my point that no matter what Rafa does, there will always be something Fed fans will pull out. So even if Rafa gets 20 slams, for Alex he still can’t be considered comparable to Fed until he stays over 300 weeks on top.

Sorry guys, I concede. The demands of Fed fans are just too hard for us to meet. While we are at it, why not just say that until Rafa breaks all of Fed’s records, he simply cannot be considered the greatest :). Since that’s practically impossible, we would’ve resolved the GOAT question once and for all.

Sorry for this rant, I just looked at it and had to say something.

Humble Rafa Says:

Like every other discussion, this is not complete until Skeezer gives his verdict. Let’s wait for his no-nameness to arrive.

Alex Says:


“18 slams and equal amount of time at the top, ”

Before you start jumping to assumptions again…

You made the point. That even if Nadal gets more slams etc. Fed fans would still say his not GOAT.

So I made a point of saying, for the purpose of being fair, if he were to equal those records(or surpass them)I would not have a problem with him becoming GOAT. Thereby disproving your theory(which you claimed was a fact).

So first you say Fed fans will not except Nadal as GOAT, even if he surpasses Federer’s achievements. Then when I Say the word, “equal”. You become angry, saying my demands are to much. Now you revert back to saying,”oh, it doesn’t matter what Nadal does, Fed fans will never see him as Goat.”

Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

James Says:

@Hamza, how about Fed can’t be the GOAT until he achieves a positive h2h vs his biggest rival Nadal, beat Nadal at RG and win Olympic singles gold? Lol

Hamza Says:

I suppose I should’ve read your post carefully. You basically stated two conditions, I missed the latter one. I kept focusing on the former condition. Fed fans always bring up the 17>12 and not the 300 weeks on top. It’s always seen the 17>12 one-liner that they put in whether it be youtube, Bleacher report, tennis-x etc.. I found it interesting that you slipped in the ‘equal amount of time at the top’ which I missed when I first replied. That’s what I was pointing to.

The 300 weeks at top is an impressive record but so is Nadal’s head-to-head against top 36 players. Which record should be considered in the GOAT debate and which shouldn’t ? Who is to decide ? What is to become of a player who wins 4 majors a year vs someone who wins 9 masters a year and no majors ? Who would be better ? The latter player would be ranked number 1 at the year end. If this happens 5 years in a row, the former player would’ve had 20 majors and would’ve been ranked 2nd under the current ranking system.

What’s my point ? The 300 weeks condition is not a whole lot important in this debate. Surpassing the major count seems fair. The second condition is something I’ve haven’t heard before. It just feels downright sneaky.

Hamza Says:

James: Now that would be too painful :)

Hamza Says:

@Alex: The post on ‘August 21st, 2013 at 6:04 pm’ is a reply to your earlier post.

Alex Says:


“Which record should be considered in the GOAT debate and which shouldn’t ? Who is to decide ?”

What’s my point ? The 300 weeks condition is not a whole lot important in this debate.

Well if you’re gonna ask and answer your own question… :)

Makes sense that a prerequisite of being named GOAT, comes with spending a long time at the top.

Alex Says:


Left out quotation marks on the second part.

About the conditions,

I don’t know who is to decide, but logic dictates Slams and time spent at the top are most important. Makes sense when you think about it. These are the two things every Tennis player in the world wants most.

Hamza Says:

@Alex: I agree about the slams but not so about the time spent on top. Take any player in the world and ask him which of the two records he’d like to have, most number of slams or most number of weeks spent at top and he’d/she’d go for the slams. Why ? (again answering my own question ) Do you think Wozniacki would’ve gotten more respect had she won a slam and had been number one half the time she actually was ? I sure think she would’ve.

You’re a Roger fan. Let me phrase a question for you: Would you prefer Roger to spend 200 more weeks on the top without winning a slam or would you prefer to see him win two more slams without being number one assuming you can’t have it both. I’m waging you’ll go for the slams.

Ben Pronin Says:

Hazma, you raise an interesting (mind blowing even) scenario with the slams vs masters thing. But if that were to ever happen, I think there’d be a huge debate about it, too.

Let’s look at it this way. In the last 10 years, we’ve had 3 number 1s. Just 3. Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. It’s shifted between only these 3. We hear about how these 3 have dominated the slams outside a few surprises. But that’s the thing, someone can surprise and win a slam. No one can surprise and claim number 1. Not in this era, anyway. Murray, for example, holds 2 majors, and is no where close to being number 1. The bar was set with Federer’s unprecedented throughout the entire year. Hard courts, clay, grass, indoor, outdoor, helicopter pad, you name it. Federer was a contender or champion at every single event. Nadal followed suit and adapted his game well enough to do the same. And then Djokovic followed their lead. Is being number AS important, for history’s sake, as winning a slam? Pretty much no. But to say it’s not a huge thing to consider when determining who the GOAT is is simply unfair to the guys who busted their asses to get there. Including, and maybe even especially, Nadal.

Of course there have been crappy number 1s, but there have also been crappy slam champions. So, that’s not really a valid counter.

Dan Martin Says:

I have some decent photos of Rafa (and Isner) up at http://tennisabides.com

Legend Says:

For any GOAT discussion all of the below listed parameters (and something more) are taken into consideration:

Olympic gold
Weeks at No.1
Yrd end No.1 finishes
Win-Loss record against the main rivals
Win-Loss record against the field
Davis cup
ATP 500s
ATP 250s

skeezer Says:

Slams has always been THE benchmark of greatest. Foesn’t mean other titles/and/or titles don’t matter. The criteria in the future could change, but Slams will always carry the most weight. They historically have been the most difficult titles to win.

Humble Rafa Says:

Humble: I was with 2 goats and a dog yesterday.

Skeeze: Technically not possible, since there is only one goat.

Humble: I have no words. Sorry.

Steve 27 Says:

jamie, who will win the Open, Vika or Serena?

Steve 27 Says:

Sugarpowa withdraws from the US Open.

Bom Kelvin Says:

Sorry Nadal fans. It is a shame that Sampras, Lendal, Becker, Agassi, Laver, Wilander ,Courrier and Borg never ever said Nadal is greatest. So no matter what u bring , Nadal will not be recognized as equal as Roger. Only title he will get is greatest clay courter . That is it.

Hamza Says:

Bom Kelvin: Yup you’re right because they knew if they said so, Fed fans will say “17 > 12” which nobody denies. 17 is definitely greater than 12 :)

skeezer Says:



skeezer Says:

“are taken into consideration:”

and what aurlthority is this? oh….legendary, an authority of the game. LMAO.

Steve 27 Says:

Fed has a classical game and thats why he promoted by the old establishment,along side with some old fart commies.

Teeg Says:

I am an ardent Rafa fan, but this is beyond ridiculous. You guys constantly bickering over who is GOAT. I mean, come on. Yes, Rafa has had an amazing career, and a spectacular comeback from knee injury. Who would’ve thought he’d have won Indian Wells, then Montreal-Cincinnati b2b, beating Novak, Roger, &DelPo (among others) along the way? But if we’re really being honest with ourselves can we really say that Rafa has had a better career than Roger? The numbers just dont correlate. And dont even start with the “weak era” argument. Is it Roger’s fault that the guy across the net was no match for him? After all, he can only play who’s across the net. We (Rafa fans) should thank God that Rafa exists to stop what would’ve been just utter domination from Roger. If it weren’t for Rafa, Roger would’ve won every major from the 2005 FO – 2007 USO. That’s 11 consecutive Majors including 2 Grand Slams. Additionally, i think Roger fans should be greatful for Novak’s rise because if it were not for him, Rafa might well have won every Major from the 2011FO – 2012 FO. Thats 5 consecutive Majors including the Grand Slam. Isn’t it remarkable that Rafa is even in the conversation? I sure think so. Tennis Channel even ranks him 6th and I think as the 4th guy on the list behind Roger, Laver, and Sampras (but ahead of Borg, Lendl, Agassi etc.) So, right now, Roger’s ahead. But Rafa has the luxury of time on his side, so long as those pesky knees hold up.

Teeg Says:

@Bom Kelvin

Then what does 21-10 suggest.

He is more than his equal. He beats him every 2/3 times they face-off. And dont give me the crap about h2h skewed because of clay. They’ve played 15 times on clay and Rafa has rightly dominated 13-2. And they’ve met 13 times on hard courts. Shouldn’t Roger have dominated on this surface if he is so superior on it than Rafa? Fact is that Rafa is leading even on hard courts 7-6.

So what does all this show I as you?

pogi Says:

lets just reserve our discussion till those two retires, otherwise it will be no ending battle… end of discussion… peace everybody…

courbon Says:

Ah. nothing like a good, old fashion, GOAT debate…

skeezer Says:

there is no “reserving”. that is just a never ending hole. Fed is the greatest all time as of now and has been in 2 eras. When Rafa’ s career has come to its end , then all can judge him against the all time greats. Obviously, he is already an all time great.

loved your post 11:23 and a sane one!

Hamza Says:






Krishna Says:

Wow Sharapova out of the US Open! :O

Michael Says:

Of all the players, only Davydenko has a positive H2H against Rafa and that gives you an indication of how well he has dominated the tour. I am not sure what Davydenko did better than the other players. Nevertheless, he has a positive record and he can be proud about it. May be, the rest of the players have to get counsel from Davydenko as to how to play Nadal. Especially players like Berdych, Ferrer, Wawrinka who just have no clue when they play Rafa. Just looking at those statistics gives us an insight of Rafa’s prowess and his impeccable consistency which has heralded him as one of the GREATEST on tour. See the way he has dominated a Great player like Andy ! If there is any achievement in his stellar resume, Rafa can be proud about, this is the one.

Hamza Says:

@Michael: Probably because he stays on the baseline and takes the ball really early thus taking away time from Rafa to reposition himself. Nevertheless, 5-6 H2H isn’t that bad.

pogi Says:

pointless arguments…unless Nadal overtakes Rogers records… Roger is the GOAT… that’s the fact

Skeezer Says:


Michael Says:


For me, of all the players, Novak plays Rafa better than anyone else. The only reason for that favourable 21-15 H2H is because Rafa dominated Novak on clay courts. On Hard courts, Novak is leading 11-6 and on Grass it is 1-2. I think Novak can be proud about this particular achievement of besting Rafa on hard courts what many cannot do.

Michael Says:


The discussion was not at all about GOAT. It is about Nadal’s domination of the tour and that is an incontrovertible fact which nobody can deny.

Hamza Says:

@Michael: I agree and I hope Rafa can narrow that gap against Nole on the hard courts if not completely bridge it. And Nole’s hold on the Oz open in the past couple of years has been nothing short of remarkable.

Okiegal Says:

Agree with Hamza regarding the weak era issue.

tennisfan Says:

The one reason why rafa has that winning record against all the top players is because…While he has been able to utterly dominate them on clay courts, they have never been able to decisively dominate him on hard and grass courts.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Michael i agree with your post@2.07am,in that this thread was supposed have been about Rafas H2Hs against the top 36 players,and not a GOAT debate,Rafas record against the 36 players in question is amazing,and Rogers the greatest ever male singles tennis player,but the two topics are completely different,completely unrelated.

roy Says:

love davydenko, top guy.
played well against del potro in cincy. hopefully can make some rounds at the usopen.

also davydenko, despite being disparaged by every tennis commentator since forever, is 5 on the list of active masters winners, the top guy after the big 4. not bad.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Teeg great post 11.23am August 21st,as a Rafa fan i completely agree,Roger is the greatest no doubt,but Rafas record isnt too shabby either.

ding dong Says:

Put Giles, Steve 27 and Hamaz in one room and what do you get. Thats right. One brain cell.

Hamazonian, it is always to argue from that point of more Grand Slams, Davis Cup etc etc. But try to dissect the whole performance over the entire performance period (career) to get a clearer and objective analysis.

Point is simple. During 2004 – 2007 was Federer so dominant that the rest of the field looked just plain and simple ordinary. Hence 11 GS during this time. Fact of the matter is that Federer started to peak off at 2008 as is the case with most tennis players. Look at Djoko and soon Rafa will follow. Lets us not even go the clay route of Rafa. It is entirely skewed.

John Mac’s anti-Fed sentiment is simply because Fed didnt buy into his comments some years ago of how he should approach the Nadal clay puzzle.

Let us now look at Nadal: Since 2005 and the exception of 2008 and 2010 did he only manage to win one Clay Slam per year (till 2013 excluding 2009 when he couldnt handle his parents divorce (sorry Soderling to sacrifice your achievement), hence his “so-called” successful record in successsion. If he was so dominant why not a similar 2004-2007 Federer period for him.

His Davis Cup glory was done on clay with a strong clay representation from Spain in the form of Almagro et al.

His knees seem fine to me now. Wonder what the next excuse will be.

He has only one weak US Open title where Novak was not even at his peak in the finals.

Give credit to his Australian Open Final.

He is the best on clay no doubt.

Put his entire career in perspective to really give weight to his achievements on surfaces other than clay ( and lets please consider his gamemanship and on-court training).

Michael Says:

Alison @ 5.12,

Certainly. To tell you honestly after a serious introspection, I have lost faith in this GOAT debate. I do not think we can call any accomplished player as GOAT including Roger, despite his monumental achievements. For me, Roger is the most successful player of the current generation and Rafa is the next best player. They two are the pivots around which the current generation of Tennis evolves and they have been inspiration for their successors.

Pogi Says:

The discussion was not at all about GOAT. It is about Nadal’s domination of the tour and that is an incontrovertible fact which nobody can deny.

… Yeah , but youre insinuating that h2h is far better than the other stats that Roger already achieved… Lets just talk about the present ok…

Steve 27 Says:

ding dong, besides being a tremendous ignorant, repeat the same fallacy that only Nadal wins on clay. Look, brainless, Rafa Nadal with Wilander is the only to win at least 2 majors on clay, grass and hardcourt, but you worshiped Swiss never could achieve. Nadal also beat him in Wimbledon, something we can not say of Federer at Roland Garros. But you hold that 2004 to 2007 was an era of great players. Yes, that liubicic and Blake forming part of top 4 says much of what strong era it was. Roddick and Hewitt have been good but limited players, the trouble is that the supposedly stronger opponents of the old Swiss was the playboy Safin and undisciplined nalbandian. They should the Djokovic and Murray of Federer but never had the ambition and perseverance of the great champions, they were only birds of passage.

but you as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Belinda Barbosa, Sarah Imhoff are all ding-dongs!

Vvx Says:

@skeezer 9:22 “slams have always been the benchmark of the greatest”

Yes, when compaing the careers of players from different eras. How else can you compare Sampras with Tilden, Laver or Borg without comparing their records.

It is different when comparing contemporaries when we can see the relative qualities just by observing their matches and seeing who comes out on top.

Let me give you an example. Lendl has eight slams and McEnroe has seven. There is no one who would say that Lendl was the better player if he had a 10 – 21 H2H with his greatest rival. One extra slam would not be enough to compensate for that level of ownership.

Thankfully for Lendl, his head to head with McEnroe is 21-15 and most knowledgeable commentators (if sometimes grudgingly) accept that Lendl was the better player, even if McEnroe had the prettier game.

If Nadal can get to 14 – 16 slams with a better Masters record, Olympic Gold, magnificent Davis Cup record and most importantly a 21:10 record that implies comprehensive ownership of an all time great like Roger Federer, he will be he GOAT in my eyes and many others I suspect.

If Nadal gets to 17 slams then the question is dead. He is the undisputed GOAT.

James Says:

I see, the good old GOAT debate is still on.
Federer fans, don’t take this GOAT thing too seriously. Nadal fans, let your fav some more slams.
Isn’t the US Open draw to be out in a few hours? Can’t wait.

James Says:

*win some more slams, I meant

Michael Says:


Do not put words into my mouth. Where did I insinuate or sully Roger’s accomplishments ? I can never do that. To put it straight, I am a great fan of Roger. I was only responding to your comment that unless Rafa overtakes Roger, he cannot be GOAT. That is non-sequitir in this context. Everyone know that Nadal is much behind Roger at the moment in terms of achievements. So, there is no point in comparing them at this stage especially when Nadal is just 27 years and still has some good years left and Roger is at the evening of his career. Such comparisons should be made when they both finish their career. It is then we will get a correct picture to evaluate the record of both.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

James didnt realise that the draw was out today,fingers crossed that Andy and Rafa are on opposite sides,from a selfish point of view,the tomorrow the global tennis bracket challenge,will you be taking part?same question goes to Michael too?

Michael Says:


“Lendl was the better player, even if McEnroe had the prettier game”

I cannot agree with this since Mcenroe was not just a singles player, he was a great doubles player too which Lendl obviously is not. He is one of the most talent player in the circuit. Although he won just 7 majors which is an under achievement for his flowing talent, the way he dominated the tour is unparalleled. In my opinion, Lendl was lucky to win 8. He had a walkover by Edberg in the Australian Open final and his win against Rolland Garros was a fluke when Mcenroe was up two sets to love and was a break up in the third. One bad line call in the midst of the match changed the contours of momentum swing and Lendl took full advantage of Mcenroe’s lapse in concentration to win that particular final. Also note that Lendl has never won Wimbledon which is a must to be adjudged a Great player.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

^Sorry then tomorrow,duh these type Os^

Michael Says:


May your wish come true and let Andy and Rafa be on different draws. By the way what is that Global Tennis bracket challenge ? Can you elaborate on that ?

James Says:

Yes @hippy chic, it’s out today at 5-5:30 pm UK time (12-12:30 pm EST). I wish to see Rafa and Andy on opposite sides too :)
I’m afraid, I’m as clueless as Michael re global bracket challenge. Is it like you predict or pick winners each round?

Giles Says:

@James. Draw scheduled for 4 pm local time.

Kimberly Says:

Where do you guys want to do bracket challenge? Global tennis or try racquet bracket on tennis Chanel again? Let me know!

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Kimberly the global tennis one was much easier for me personally,as it was much more user friendly,and easier to navigate.

Giles Says:

@James. Reading tweets draw scheduled for 11 am local time.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Michael Kimberly puts up a link for the bracket challenges for the GS and Masters 1000 series,the Masters series are , the brackets she organised herself,its actually called Kimberlys bracket challenge,the Global one is well with people all over the world,but has a section for Tennis-X posters i believe(although people can correct me if im wrong),anyway you pick out which players are going to progress from each round till the final,and get points for each pick that you get right,its all just a bit of fun too,my explanation is probably as clear as mud though,Kimberly could probably explain it better than me lol.

Kimberly Says:

I will set up global tennis for us today!

Michael Says:


Can you please provide me the link to participate in this challenge ?



Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Michael watch this space.

Vvx Says:


“I cannot agree with this since Mcenroe was not just a singles player, he was a great doubles player too which Lendl obviously is not.”

no question at all that McEnroe was a better doubles player than Lendl but singles player, no way!

“He is one of the most talent player in the circuit. Although he won just 7 majors which is an under achievement for his flowing talent, the way he dominated the tour is unparalleled.”

What? McEnroe was World No. 1 for 170 weeks, Lendl for 270 weeks. I dont understand your logic. If you are referring to 1984 (82/3) that was one year. You have to look at the whole career.

“In my opinion, Lendl was lucky to win 8. He had a walkover by Edberg in the Australian Open final and his win against Rolland Garros was a fluke when Mcenroe was up two sets to love and was a break up in the third. One bad line call in the midst of the match changed the contours of momentum swing and Lendl took full advantage of Mcenroe’s lapse in concentration to win that particular final.”

Lucky or not, he won eight slams and (which is my point) dominated McEnroe in their H2H. You can be lucky in one match maybe but in 21 matches out of 36? If anyone beats me 21 times out of 36, that player is a bit better than me. Anything else is just deluding myself.

“also note that Lendl has never won Wimbledon which is a must to be adjudged a Great player.”

McEnroe never won the French Open or Australian Open either and made the French Open final fewer times than Lendl made the Wimbledon final. Lendl’s grass court record is definitely better than McEnroe’s clay court record, by far.

If you prefer McEnroe’s style of play or think he was more naturally talented than Lendl that’s OK but the record shows unequivocally that Lendl was the better player.

simba Says:

I am sick and tired of 17 GS arguments. Nadal wins more Masters, more Davis Cup, more gold medals, has best winning percentage against top 30 than Roger. OK? They are slightly less than half a generation (in tennis terms) apart. In principle, Roger should have dominated Nadal when Nadal is younger than 23-24 and Roger was in his prime. He did not and let Nadal dominate him. Nadal beat Roger in three out of GS surfaces, including Roger’s best at Wimb. I want Roger to be in Nadal’s quarter this year USO so he can complete his own Federer Slams.

Computer rankings only appears in the 70’s. If that is a big factor, Rod Laver would never be in the picture. All it says is Federer has an injury free career to pad his records. Ironically, it will magnify Nadal’s achievements more because it says that Nadal is more efficient when he is ready to play. Nadal’s winning percentage is more astounding.

Roger’s talent is supreme, but Nadal’s drive to compete is able to achieve a respectable records if you put it against Fed. Add to it that Roger’s H2H is clearly inferior. The scale just tips slightly in Nadal’s favor.

Normally, GOAT is hard to judge with players in different eras. It is not the case here. If you proclaim to be GOAT, how can you lose two out of three match-ups against your rivals.

hawkeye Says:

Fed has a losing record against TWO of his main rivals with 20 or more matches played so his GOAT status is scratchy as is the “match up” excuse.

On another note, look for Murray to be drawn into Rafa’s half of the draw (Rafa’s half, I like the sound of that).

CBS will want the more entertaining matchups on Super Saturday. That would give potential SFs of Fed vs Nole and Rafa vs Muzz.

The last thing CBS wants on Super Saturday among the potential ex-“Top 4” combos is a Muzz-Nole match. They would rather see that combo not appear until the Monday final when ratings are lower.

That will put Fed in Ferru’s quarter and Nole’s half.

Delpo in Nole’s quarter also a “hunch”.

jamie Says:

@Steve 27

I don’t follow WTA that much and I’m too lazy to check all of their info.. to see who’s got everything *right* atm in the months of late August/September.

Alex Says:


Being the Goat doesnt mean how many times you have beat Nadal.

Davis Cup is a team sport. Gold medals, seriously? lmao.

You know how meany Records Fed has that Nadal doesnt?

Who cares if NAdal beats Fed at US, hes freaking 32. Lets see what Nadal is doing when his 32, You think Nadal is gonna be winning a Slam at 31?

See this all goes into Goat discussion. And its not really a discussion, at the moment Fed is Goat, thats a fact. So you can be as peeved as you like, complain till the morning, tell us all how Nadal has a Gold Medal, Davis Cup(Team sport). Just because Nadal has Fed beat in the h2h department, does not mean he has achieved what Fed has. Cant you understand this simple fact? I am soooo damn sick of people like you, talking rubbish. Fed is Goat, deal with it.

hawkeye Says:

^^^ should read not appear (if at all) until the Monday final when ratings are lower hoping that it will instead be Rafa-Nole, Rafa-Muzz or possibly even Naderer at the USO for the first time.

hawkeye Says:

Sorry Alex, that is yours (and many others) opinion, not a fact.


Ben Pronin Says:

Simba, Nadal didn’t dominate Federer until 2008.

Murray is slightly ahead in the h2h against Federer, but he also matches up well with him. Federer’s always had trouble against great defenders (Hewitt, Nalbandian).

Nadal does not have more gold medals than Federer. In fact, Federer has more Olympic medals than Nadal.

So Federer’s lack of injuries through his career has allowed him to PAD his records? That’s a new one. Maybe if Nadal moved better he wouldn’t have so much trouble with his knees and would have been able to “pad” his own records, too.

I also don’t see why Nadal fans flat out ignore the clay heavy resume. It’s not a knock on Nadal and we obviously know that he can play well and win on hard and grass courts. But he’s never dominated those surfaces. He’s done well enough to prove himself. There’s a difference between being the greatest all around player and being the greatest on one surface. I don’t think Federer is the greatest of any single surface (except maybe hard but it’s hard to tell, no pun intended). But his results and consistency across the board are unparalleled. Nadal is far and away the greatest clay court player but that doesn’t mean he’s the best across the board.

Look at some of the 1 or 2 or 4 losses he’s had against this top 30 and you’ll see they were on hard or grass courts. Hell, look at his record against Nieminen. Not that I’d ever give Nieminen a chance at beating Nadal on clay, sand, cement, helipad, or whatever, but 5 of the 7 matches were on clay. His domination is very clay heavy.

Alex Says:


Its subjective that such a thing as a goat even exists. If there is one, it has to be Federer. You cant say, because Nadal has a better h2h, Fed cant be Goat. Thats just stupid logic. Its not called Greatest against Nadal.

Ben Pronin Says:

I also love this knock on Ljubicic and Blake.

Blake’s a great player who under achieved. He also used to own Nadal. And he JUST beat the vastly overrated Jerzy Janowicz.

Ljubicic, at the ripe old age of 147, beat Nadal in 2010, by far Nadal’s best year. Are Gasquet and Wawrinka really better than Ljubicic? Didn’t Wawrinka just lose to Hewitt at Wimbledon? Remember Hewitt? From Federer’s “weak” generation?

The weak era argument is so hilarious. Especially considering how so many older players are still having so much success. Haas, Ferrer, Robredo, Fognini. I mean give me a freaking break. The top 10 right now is an absolute joke. Outside of the Big 4, you have one of the greatest collections of choke masters in any sport. Plus the complete lack of capable young players.

Even Mardy Fish is from Federer’s generation. And before his heart complications, he was well in the top 10 and probably still would have been.

And most importantly, in this so called “strong era”, Federer reached number 1 and held it for about half a year. This is the first year where Federer has played like utter crap the entire time. Maybe this is how it’ll be for him, but maybe it’s just a blip. Unless you’re a fortune teller, we have no idea what will happen.

Alex Says:

Only Nadal extremists cant except Fed as Goat. You don’t go to the muslim brotherhood and try make them believe in Christianity, do you?

Point being, 99% see Fed as Goat, those who cant smell the coffee must just drink there Tea. You cant flog a dead horse. You also cant teach a mentally disabled person how to solve a rubik’s cube in under a minute. There will always be that small number, that anomaly. When you grow fruit, its a fact of life, that some will be rotten and discarded, or used for alcohol.

Have you seen what happens to those monkeys once they eat that fruit? oh boy…

Klaas Says:

The goat discussion is one hopeless bore. Enjoy the matches while they are still playing, folks!

Skeezer Says:


nadalista Says:

Insults are not arguments. When people resort to insults and personal abuse, they have run out of logic. Thank goodness the tennis-x posting guidelines discourage such forms of “communication”.

nadalista Says:

……one hour to go before the draw…..

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Alex im not a mentally disabled person,but i still cannot solve a Rubiks Cube in under a minute lol.

Giles Says:

Andy in Joker’s half would be good no?

Kimberly Says:


Lets do it everyone! Bracket challenge. Sign up for group. Chat, compete in a friendly manner and be merry!

nadalista Says:


Praying to the tennis Gods that happens!


courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic: I can note solve Rubic cube in 2 hours, never mind 1 minute…

hawkeye Says:

Wow, where to begin?

Ben Pronin Says:
Simba, Nadal didn’t dominate Federer until 2008.

Yes, he was about equal to Fed from age 16-21 before 2008 with an 8-6 record.

Since he has matured, Rafa has gone 13-4.

Ben Pronin Says:
Federer has more Olympic medals than Nadal.

GOAT debate ain’t about doubles and second place.

Ben Pronin Says:
Are Gasquet and Wawrinka really better than Ljubicic?

I’m sorry, didn’t realize that they were former Number 3’s.

Ben Pronin Says:
Federer reached number 1 and held it for about half a year.

Yep, did it largely with Rafa injured. What else is new?

Gotta run. Alex, you’re next.


Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon no me neither,my late mother bought me one for christmas when i was a teenager,and the best i could do was one side,anyway so looking forward to the USO,and would love to see you also doing the bracket challenge please will ya?its alot of fun.

Ben Pronin Says:

So Nadal is excused because he was young but Federer isn’t excused when he’s old?

The h2h is still clay heavy.

Why doesn’t a doubles gold count, exactly?

Federer reached number 1 at the last tournament that Nadal participated in. That means he did it while Nadal was fit and playing. He actually lost the number 1 ranking during Nadal’s absence. So the correlation is incorrect.

courbon Says:

@ Hippy Chic-Me, 4 sides!!Who is the daddy?A? A?
Ok, after such a uplifting message from Kimberly ( she sound like a Santa Helper…) and your insisting, I will try to do it. Last time I was to dumb to figure it out (Ok, bottle of Bordeaux that night did not help either )but I will give it a try tonight.

@ Kimberly:You are so positive and mery that I would ashamed not to try at least…

Alex Says:

lol @hawkeye

”Yep, did it largely with Rafa injured.”

Excuses, escuses, escuses…

”GOAT debate ain’t about doubles and second place.”

You think, you can decide what the Goat debate is about?

So its about injury is it!

And Nadal has been no2 for most of his career, but hey that means nothing Mr rule maker.

No one gave a hoot about Olympic tennis till Fed made a big deal out of it.

Just cause Nadal has one Olympic Gold you think its sooo important. Grow up. Just cause Nadal has it doesn’t make it the benchmark for Goat discussion.

If Nadal needs to run like a rabbit to win titles(breaking his knees), its his fault he cant maintain no1 in the world. Its the way he plays, not an excuse to be used for his shortcomings.

If your gonna bulk up for a100m sprint competitions, dont expect to win marathons. Its easy to say, ”if I had less muscle mass I could of won sooo meany long distance running competitions.”

Did you read my post where I mention Monkeys and fruit?

Please don’t respond to my post. Your arguments are to illogical, full of excuses and self serving ridiculous decelerations.

I cant argue with a brick wall.

Giles Says:

Rafa draws Ryan Harrison first round

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Would love for Murray/Nadal to be on opposite sides of the draw,for a possibility of a 1st time final between the two,also from a selfish point of view as they are my two favorite players.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Courbon 4 sides wow,whos the daddy indeed lol :-))..

Giles Says:

@nadalista. Guess what? Murray in Joker’s half! :-)))

Ben Pronin Says:

It’s 2010 all over again. Nadal handed a cake walk draw. Tennis’s insistence on making 0 sense on the use of seeds continues.

nadalista Says:

RT @BenRothenberg: “#USOpen draw: Projected QFs: Djokovic-del Potro, Murray-Berdych, Ferrer-Gasquet, Federer-Nadal. Fedal could have first ever USO match in QF.”

nadalista Says:


Thank you, tennis Gods! And Fedal projected for quarters.


Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

Novak and Andy are on the same side i believe,Andy will play Llodra 1st round.

the DA Says:

Projected QFs: Djokovic-del Potro, Murray-Berdych, Ferrer-Gasquet, Federer-Nadal.

I know who has the cupcake.

Giles Says:

@nadalista. Rafa has Isner in his quarter. Rafa just beat him no?

Teeg Says:

Thanks Giles for the update. This is the worst possible quarter for Roger.

… , who is Rafa’s projected 3rd round opponent?

nadalista Says:

@Giles; yes he did, but me no likey! Izzy is such a nuisance, those TBs can go either way………..Here’s hoping Izzy has used up his A-game…

courbon Says:

S**t…Novak has to be Del Potro, Andy and Nadal to win? I guess there is AO coming in couple of months….

courbon Says:

What’s up Giles, Christmas came earlier?

Teeg Says:

I think Tomas has a good shot against Andy this time around.

the DA Says:

@ courbon – I guess both sets of fans will have to be content with a slam each this year ;) That said, a lot can happen before the QFs as we found at Wimbledon.

skeezer Says:

Federer in Rafa’s side? YES! Bring it ;)

James Says:

Rafa’s potential 4th round opponent is Isner! Big John beat Djokovic and Nadal struggled to break his serve in their Cincy final clash. Then 5 time USO champ Federer in QF. Not so easy draw. Hope Rafa can go all the way.

Teeg Says:

Looking at the draw, Gulbis actually has a real shot to go deep this year. He’s in Ferrer’s section and I think he has a real shot to make the semis (just going off the names). Rafa has a potential 2nd rd against Davydenko, but I think he should take care of him. Isner is Rafa’s potential 4th rd opponent. That could be dicey for Rafa.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

As a Rafa fan,i know Davey is a shadow of the player he once was,but for some reason as a potential opponent for Rafa it makes me nervous.

Teeg Says:


Yes, Rafa didn’t break John, while Novak managed one break of the Isner serve. However, Rafa never lost his serve, while Novak did. So its all relative. But no doubt, that would be a very difficult match for Rafa.

Ben Pronin Says:

Really, James? Again with the useless stat of previous championships by Federer?

Teeg Says:

@Tennis x Happy chic

Yes, me too. He is just not intimidated by Rafa and actually said as much. He likes playing (and beating) him. So it could get interesting. But I think at this stage in their careers, Rafa is just a level up from him.

James Says:

I’m sure Rafa can handle Davy at Flushing. Roger cannot be taken lightly. We saw how good he played in Cincy against Rafa. If they both reach the quarter finals, I hope Rafa tries to dominate right from the word go.

Teeg Says:

The two names I didn’t want to see in Rafa’s section were Isner and Janowicz. And he ended up with Isner. I was praying he drew Nishikori…lol.

Tennis x Hippy Chic Says:

They havent played each other in a long time though,the last time was in 2010 i believe Doha i believe,Rafa even had match points in the second set,and still went on to lose that set on a tie break,and then lose the match in the third set,still best of 5 sets,is a different animal to best of 5 sets,so heres hoping for the best if that clash happens.

nadalista Says:

Davydenko in the 2nd round? Me Likey! Gives Rafa the opportunity to right that pesky H2H, currently standing at 6/5 Davy…..

Then wait patiently for Rosol………..

Teeg Says:


Of course Roger is never to be underestimated. He played very aggressively in Cincy as was 2 points away from being able to serve it out (4-4, 30/30). But his best just wasn’t good enough. And at this stage, he if doesn’t blitz Rafa completely, playing lights-out tennis and going up 2 sets, I feel Rafa will still ultimately win. Over the course of 5 sets, Rafa has a clear advantage.

James Says:

Rafa’s route (potential) Rd1 vs Harrison, Rd2 vs Pospisil, Rd3 vs Davydenko, Rd4 vs Isner, QF vs Federer, SF vs Ferrer/Gasquet, F vs Djokovic/Murray/Delpo

hawkeye Says:

Alex Says:
You think, you can decide what the Goat debate is about?

Why not, everyone else here seems to play that way. I tried by saying GOAT is pure opinion and then everyone else put in absolute rules.

Alex Says:
Just cause Nadal has one Olympic Gold you think its sooo important.

Just responded to the general statement that Fed had more medals than Rafa. But since you asked, yes, I think Fed would trade his multitude of medals for that one Gold in Olympic Singles Mens Tennis. Why, yes, yes I do quite frankly.

Alex Says:
If Nadal needs to run like a rabbit to win titles(breaking his knees), its his fault he cant maintain no1 in the world. Its the way he plays, not an excuse to be used for his shortcomings.

Nope. Again, didn’t say that. You are putting words in my mouth. Please read more carefully. What I DID say is that Fed achieves when Rafa ain’t around either through injury or early exit. (see 2007 and earlier major titles, 2009 FO, 2012 Wimby etc.).

Alex Says:
I cant argue with a brick wall.

Funny, I just did!


Teeg Says:

@Tennis chic

They played in Madrid last year I believe on the slippery blue clay. Rafa won in the 2nd rd.

James Says:

@Teeg, Sure Rafa’s the favorite vs Fed, but Rafa should try to win in 3. Don’t give any hope to Fed by losing a set. He may be 32 but he’s still very good and former 5 time US champ.

gonzalowski Says:

Possible Nadal’s rivals:

Ryan Harrison – not easy
Pospisil – not easy?
Great Davy (glup?)/ Verdasco
Isner (hip problem?)
QF Federer (…)
SF Janowicz, Gulbis, Raonic, Ferrer, Gasquet, Tursu.

James Says:

Here’s a good opportunity for Nadal to win his 2nd US Open trophy. Vamos Rafa!

hawkeye Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
Nadal handed a cake walk draw. Tennis’s insistence on making 0 sense on the use of seeds continues.

Is Fed’s draw any less of a cakewalk than Rafa’s (besides their potential QF matc-hup, that is)?

Teeg Says:


The best of 5 set format is a clear advantage for Rafa. Roger’s only chance is to completely overwhelm Nadal by going on the constant attack, all-out aggressive tennis. And that is highly risky tennis. Roger knows this, which is why the first set and a half in Cincy were so successful for him. But the moment doubt creeps in, in the form of errors or lapse in concentration, Rafa pounces, and that what happened in Cincy. I think, if he’s gonna beat Rafa it has to be in str8 sets or in 4, because the longer the match goes on, Rafa will always be the favourite.

Hamza Says:

Federer should be overall happy with the draw. I mean what did Fed fans want ? He doesn’t have any serious threat till the Quarter finals while Rafa does. If somebody takes out Nadal, he’ll probably have Ferrer in the semis. If not, then he’ll have the opportunity to prove that he can beat Rafa in faster conditions.

Davy and Isner, hmmmm like all other posters , not particularly comfortable with having these two but hopefully Rafa can get past them with his A-game. I’m actually more fearful of Davy than Isner. He seems to be one of those players who elevates his game when he sees Nadal on the other side of the net.

Nole’s got DelPo and Murray’s got Berdych. Before QFs, I guess the only guy who can trouble him a bit is Dimitrov but I don’t expect him to take more than a set off from Nole. Murray seems to have a smooth ride till the Quarter finals.

Ferrer’s quarter pisses the hell out of me.

Teeg Says:


I completely agree. The only notable names in Roger’s section are:

Querrey (big serve, but that’s about it)
Robredo (good fighter, but really?)
Nishikori (beat him on clay in one of Roger’s worst performances of the year).

So, in all, Roger has a pretty nice draw.

nadalista Says:

Rafans, we all agreed Rafa had a nightmare Cincy draw and look how that panned out?


Ben Pronin Says:

I barely look at the early rounds because if the guy is upset, oh well, otherwise it’s easy pickings for the top players. From quarters onwards is where the tournament really starts. Of the big 4, Nadal has the easiest path from QF to win.

Teeg Says:


I don’t even expect David to make the semis. I really believe if Gulbis gets his game together, I see him coming through. But that is the most open section. Gasquet and Ferrer have played awful this summer.

hawkeye Says:

Isner’s by far Rafa’s biggest obstacle prior to the finals.

Like skeezer, can’t wait for the Naderer QF. Feddy’s draw is pretty soft in the first four rounds having just one career h2h loss against everyone else in his bracket before then and that was on clay.

Nole has the toughest potential draw by far…

skeezer Says:

^LOL “Believing” is not going to help Rafa win his Tennis. Only Rafa can do that.


Teeg Says:


I always believe in Rafa. Its in the early rounds where he just looks so vulnerable. But once he gets to the latter stages, I know what a beast he becomes. Its all about getting through that first week.

skeezer Says:

^That was for nadalista, my “little friend” ;)

skeezer Says:

Draws have not been to kind to the world #1 as of late, no?

hawkeye Says:

So Ben essentially what you are saying is that Rafa has an easier potential QF matchup than Federer on the USO fast hardcourts.

I agree with that position.

nadalista Says:

Buzz off @skeezer. I thought you’d grown and quit making fun of people. But of course you must be happy with Fed’s cakewalk draw to the quarters.


hawkeye Says:

skeezer Says:
^LOL “Believing” is not going to help Rafa win his Tennis. Only Rafa can do that.


I don’t think that’s what nadalista said, no?


hawkeye Says:

I suspect that all the commies will be buzzing about how Fed’s awesome form prior to the quarters.


nadalista Says:

@hawkeye, don’t pay any attention to skeezer. He has a PhD in twisting words to suit himself, especially when Fed gets a cakewalk draw……..to the quarters…..

Teeg Says:


“I suspect that all the commies will be buzzing about how Fed’s awesome form prior to the quarters.



madmax Says:

Why is it that so many of you talk about cake walk draws? Nothing is easy in a slam. You play to win, you have to beat the guy opposite you.

No match is a cake walk. Ask Rafa at Wimbledon, round 1?

With Roger now at No. 7, he will certainly not be taking any match for granted and nor should he. Anyone who thinks any match is a cake walk, needs to rethink their tennis knowledge, or lack of it.

nadalista Says:

RT @linzsports: “Hah! RT @4AllSurfaces: Guess who I just found practicing together. Rafa and Ryan Harrison.”


nadalista Says:

Why is it some people take what’s said on tennis blogs so seriously? Anyone who thinks anything said on tennis blogs is serious, needs to rethink their sense of perspective, or lack of it.

courbon Says:

@ DA: You are right-anything is possible.Novak had relatively easy draw for Wimby but did not win it.Same in Cincinati.
If he wants to win, he has to beat all of them and that is the point of number 1 champion…
The way he played lately, I have doubt he will pass QF or SF.

Giles Says:

It seems there is a lot of cake in this draw. Rafa loves cake, no?

nadalista Says:

Hahaha, @Giles 2:05 pm! Good one……..

skeezer Says:

“Why is it some people take what’s said on tennis blogs so seriously? ”

I’ve never ever taken you seriously. That would be dangerous. ;)

nadalista Says:

“I’ve never ever taken you seriously. That would be dangerous. ;)”

Too good……….

Told you @hawkeye, @skeezer’s in a good mood……must be the damn draw…….

the DA Says:

@ courbon – Yes. Conversely, Andy had the harsh draw at Wimby. Who could’ve forecast what happened? In the last couple of months tennis has become a little unpredictable. As for Fedfans, I don’t see why they’re being so despondent this early. If Nadal slips up – a BIG if, I know – his path looks pretty good. As long as he maintains the form he found in the Cincy QF. Our guy’s half is so loaded.

If Andy hadn’t won the USO and Wimbledon, I’d be a wreck right now. I’m relatively calm and resigned to the fact he might falter in his quest to defend the title.

Alex Says:

Oh dear, so soon…

I see chimp invasion has started, Ill respectfully withdraw to my living quarters and let them eat bananas. Flinging the peels at each other, and catching! with looks of joy…


hawkeye Says:

Well looky here at the new oddsmaker’s favourite to win the USO…


Mmmmmm, bananas!!!!!!


Rick Says:

Fedthugs are full of shits! LOL

WTF Says:

He has a chance to play Davydenko in the 3rd round and square that H2H leaving one less person he has a negative H2H against, and Rosol the only one in the top 50 with a positive record against him.

Nadalista Says:

@WTF, no wonder Tarzan’s jealous! Hehehe!


Michael Says:


But did Lendl win the Wimbledon, the Premier Championship ? He came to the finals twice, but he never won it. Whereas Mcenroe won it thrice !!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Still looking at Rafa’s overall records, he had the upper hand against his main rival Novak on clay. On HC, he still trails him by a good margin.

Things could change for Rafa in next 2 years or this could be his career best year and he may fold from next year.

Rafa has not had two great consistent years. If he could win USO, this would be his best post Wimbledon season in his career.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

What is surprising about Rafa’s record is his time spent at the top.

He has the most number of masters, great record against his rivals, but trails his two rivals in terms of being No 1 in the world.

That’s something is very critical for all the great players.

Most of the great players have dominated their field and has reflected it in their rankings. But that’s not been the case with Rafa.

Reason.. it has to be his not so great run post wimbledon in his career. Is it because his rivals were better or he was physically not good enough to compete at the top through out the year. In both cases, it does not sound good.

Vvx Says:


Since when has Wimbledon been worth more than the French Open?

Admittedly in history, the Australian Open wasnt always taken as seriously as the other three due to the length of travel involved but the US & French Opens + Wimbledon have always been the gold standard.

Lendl won two French Opens, McEnroe none.

Furthermore, outside of the slams,

Prize Money
Lendl: $21 million
McEnroe: $12.5 million

Number of Titles
Lendl: 94
McEnroe: 77

I doubt you can find any area at all where McEnroe’s numbers are better than Lendl’s. In any case I grew up watching their matches and watching them play other players and there is no question whatsoever in my mind that Lendl was the better player, by quite some distance as they both moved into their physical peak.

I don’t think stats necessarily tell you the whole story but when they are as overwhelming as this, I really don’t see how anyone trying to be objective could pick Mac over Lendl.

Polo Says:

I have a feeling this discussion as to who will meet who in the later rounds will completely change after the first two rounds. Remember Wimbledon?

Polo Says:

Lendl is a far better player than McEnroe but the latter is American and so beloved by the press that put him at a pedestal undeservedly higher than Lendl’s.

Ben Pronin Says:

Lendl is definitely a greater player but McEnroe is remembered for his tremendous talent. Not unlike Federer (hmm).

But McEnroe also basically played half a career.

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