in the past yes, but now clearly Djokovic is the best one with Nadal, one SF won by Fed in RG doesn't compensate what Djokovic had done in Madrid and Roma
Here I have to disagree with the context on which your conclusion is based Mr. Duong
If we can't count what's happened in the past and we are judging now, then only someone who has just won is best.
Of course that's a semi-nonsensical thing to say. But arbitrarily limiting the past is also a bit of nonsense as well.
One should take the entire
record into account, and then look at recent form (I'll define recent form arbitrarily as the last 2 months, even that may be too long). So if we are talking about recent form on clay, only the players playing in South and Central America possess it, and that probably makes David Ferrer the clay court player with the best recent form.
Since recent form on the surface isn't present regarding the characters mentioned, we should take the entire record as a basis for judgement. Historically speaking, amongst active players, Rafael is the best player on clay and at Roland Garros bar none, and there is no doubt that Mr. Federer is clearly second best at Roland Garros, winning once and losing to Nadal in 4 finals and 1 semi, not to mention winning several other titles on clay in the past. Novak Djokovic has yet to make a final at Roland Garros, being beaten in the SF in 2011 by Federer, 2010 in the QF by Jurgen Melzer, 2009 in the round of 32 by Philipp Kohlschreiber, etc.
Djokovic did manage to win other clay tournaments as you stated in 2011 winning against Nadal in Madrid and Rome, no doubt aided by his winning streak and the confidence he picked up at IW and Miami, while Nadal still won on the slower clay of Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. Other than those 2 tournaments in 2011, Djokovic took 1 more Masters on clay in Rome in 2008. That's it as far as clay titles go, except a couple of minor 250's. I'd hardly call that a record to justify putting him side by side with Nadal on clay unless you arbitrarily isolate history to only count the spring of 2011. Even then, losing to Federer at the biggest clay tournament isn't a plus in his column, no matter his 2 masters wins. We have to ask this question, given a choice, would he have rather beaten Federer to have a chance at beating Nadal in the final at Roland Garros, or be happier with the 2 clay masters?