Is the Nadal-Federer rivarly the greatest ever? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is the Nadal-Federer rivarly the greatest ever?

abraxas21
07-28-2009, 06:06 PM
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are professional tennis players engaged in a storied rivalry that many consider to be among the greatest in tennis history.[1][2][3][4][5]

They have held the top two rankings on the ATP Tour since July 2005 and are the only pair of men to have ever finished four consecutive calendar years at the top. Federer was ranked No. 1 for a record 237 consecutive weeks beginning in February 2004. Nadal, who is five years younger, ascended to No. 2 in July 2005 and held this spot for a record 160 consecutive weeks before surpassing Federer in August 2008.[6] As of 6th of July, 2009, Federer is ranked No.1 and Nadal No. 2, largely due to Federer winning the 2009 French and Wimbledon titles. Nadal lost in the early rounds of the 2009 French, and withdrew from Wimbledon because of knee tendonitis.

Nadal leads their overall head-to-head series 13–7.[7] Because tournament seedings are based on rankings, 16 of their matches have been in tournament finals, including an all-time record 7 Grand Slam finals.[8] From 2006 to 2008 they played in every French Open and Wimbledon final, and then they met in the 2009 Australian Open final. Nadal won five of the seven, losing the first two Wimbledons. Three of these matches were five set-matches (2007 and 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian), and the 2008 Wimbledon final has been lauded as the greatest match ever by many long-time tennis analysts.[9][10][11] [12] They have also played in a record 8 Masters Series finals, including their lone five hour match at the 2006 Rome Masters which Nadal won in a fifth-set tiebreak.


Nobody has beaten both Nadal and Federer in the same Grand Slam. They are the only men to defeat each other in Grand Slam Finals. Nadal hasnt lost a French Open (4) and Australian Open (1) Final, while Federer is undefeated in US Open Finals (5). Both of them have won Grand Slam events on three different surfaces, simultaneously (2008 French Open, 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian Open for Nadal and 2008 US Open, 2009 French Open, 2009 Wimbledon for Federer).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federer%E2%80%93Nadal_rivalry

rocketassist
07-28-2009, 06:11 PM
Koellerer-Hernandez.

Goldenoldie
07-28-2009, 06:12 PM
Maybe, but I would mention
Sampras-Agassi
Borg-McEnroe
Rosewall-Laver

Burrow
07-28-2009, 06:18 PM
lmao no

jonathancrane
07-28-2009, 06:23 PM
Djokovic - Murray is greater

MalwareDie
07-28-2009, 06:34 PM
No, it is not even a rivalry.

FedFan_2007
07-28-2009, 06:42 PM
No, unless Federer can eventually make it a lot closer like within -2. Basically Federer has to win the next 4 in a row(including a couple of GS finals) to make it a real rivalry.

However, what it goes to show that a player doesn't need to have the most fantastic rivalry ever to become GOAT. Despite being utterly pwned by Nadal, Roger won 15 + CGS.

BlueSwan
07-28-2009, 06:49 PM
Yes, it is the greatest rivalry ever. I like the idea that both are standing in each others way of complete dominance. It's perhaps not quite the same now that Federer finally won Roland Garros, but up until then Nadal was the ONLY blemish on Federers record with the poor Head-to-Head and Nadal standing in the way of Federer completing the career grand slam, and indeed the elusive calendar grand slam. On the other hand, Federer is the one who is keeping a great champion like Nadal somewhat in the shadow. Nadal would have been #1 for 4 consecutive years right now if it hadn't been for Federer. Likewise, Federers results across all surfaces, are making Nadals amazing history making results look somewhat ordinary.

I think the only but about it, is that Nadal-Federer matches are rarely very good tennis-wise (with a few notable exceptions). Federer rarely plays anywhere near his best tennis against Nadal, which is partly due to mental issues, but mostly due to Nadal being a horrific match-up for him.

Burrow
07-28-2009, 06:50 PM
At the end of the day, who cares about head to head, it makes no difference. It's what you've accomplished.

oranges
07-28-2009, 06:53 PM
Thankfully, no

Everko
07-28-2009, 07:03 PM
It is.

Sampras/Agassi better? No way. That was more domination than anything. and who really wants to see a match that goes like
6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6?

for those of you who say no, than what is? What other tandem has had 3 straight great Wimbledon finals? 2 good Frnehc Open finals and 5 setter in australia. plus some memorable matches in masters series.

habibko
07-28-2009, 07:27 PM
matchup wise, H2H record and quality of tennis produced, I'd say Federer/Nalbandian is the greatest rivalry in modern tennis.

history and career wise, the Fedal is obviously the most famous.

Certinfy
07-28-2009, 07:31 PM
Any rivalry with Federer losing the H2H is epic imo.

BIGMARAT
07-28-2009, 09:04 PM
nope!!!

MacTheKnife
07-28-2009, 10:04 PM
My greatest rivalries: Records not great on 1st two, but the amount matches these guys played is ridiculous vs modern tennis.

Laver - Rosewall - Played approx 130 matches, (62-49 Documented favors Laver)
Gonzales - Hoad - Played 87 matches, (51-36 Gonzales)

McEnroe-Lendl - 21-15 Lendl
McEnroe-Borg - 7-7
McEnroe-Connors - 20-14 Mac

Sampras-Agassi - 20-14 Sampras

Black Adam
07-28-2009, 10:27 PM
It's too one sided. I'd in with Agassi versus Sampras for the intensity and longevity. In the 90's, to basic fans, tennis was about Pete versus Andre.

Corey Feldman
07-28-2009, 10:32 PM
It's too one sided. I'd in with Agassi versus Sampras for the intensity and longevity. In the 90's, to basic fans, tennis was about Pete versus Andre.13-7 isnt so one sided IMO, i mean you approve of Samp-Agassi rivalrly and that was 20-14

one sided would be 19-2, for example

Black Adam
07-28-2009, 10:38 PM
Crying like a baby doesn't sound like rivalry material. It sounds more like pwnage. Many people agree that until Federer gets more wins, it can't be called a rivalry.

Corey Feldman
07-28-2009, 10:39 PM
Crying like a baby doesn't sound like rivalry material. It sounds more like pwnage. Many people agree that until Federer gets more wins, it can't be called a rivalry.yeah, pwnage like he got on him in the Madrid final - on his surface - infront of his own crowd

GOATS know how to cry, look at Pete when he was losing to Courier at the AO all those years ago

Nadal and Agassi have no need to cry coz they know their place - as the worthy 2nd best of the era's

Corey Feldman
07-28-2009, 10:48 PM
At the end of the day, who cares about head to head, it makes no difference. It's what you've accomplished.One of your more sensible posts TBF

lessthanjake
07-28-2009, 11:21 PM
Crying like a baby doesn't sound like rivalry material. It sounds more like pwnage. Many people agree that until Federer gets more wins, it can't be called a rivalry.

It is not that one-sided. Federer has beaten Nadal in 2 Grand Slam finals.

Yes, Nadal has beaten Federer in 5 GS finals, but robbing someone of 2 Wimbledons is a big deal too. Furthermore, two of Nadal's victories over Federer were epic 5 set matches. Hell, Federer actually won more points than Nadal in their Australian Open final. How is that uncompetitive? It really wouldnt have taken much for Federer to be up 4-3 in GS finals instead of down 2-5.

guga2120
07-29-2009, 12:30 AM
Right now, I wouldn't say its better than Agassi/Sampras. They have had some great matches, but overall Rafa, has owned him.

Bargearse
07-29-2009, 12:32 AM
It is not that one-sided. Federer has beaten Nadal in 2 Grand Slam finals.

Yes, Nadal has beaten Federer in 5 GS finals, but robbing someone of 2 Wimbledons is a big deal too. Furthermore, two of Nadal's victories over Federer were epic 5 set matches. Hell, Federer actually won more points than Nadal in their Australian Open final. How is that uncompetitive? It really wouldnt have taken much for Federer to be up 4-3 in GS finals instead of down 2-5.

Nadal's 2 losses came at Wimbledon in 2006 and 2007 in closely contested matches right in Federer's backyard. Ever since the end of 07 with the exception of one match, Madrid 09, it has been one way traffic in Nadal's favor.

I'm going to sit on the fence for the time being because things could swing in favor of Federer.

MacTheKnife
07-29-2009, 12:44 AM
Nadal's 2 losses came at Wimbledon in 2006 and 2007 in closely contested matches right in Federer's backyard. Ever since the end of 07 with the exception of one match, Madrid 09, it has been one way traffic in Nadal's favor.

I'm going to sit on the fence for the time being because things could swing in favor of Federer.

As with most rivalries it has gone back and forth, Nadal went 6-1 the 1st 7 matches, Federer went 5-2 in the next 7, and Nadal is up 5-1 in the latest matches.

DJ Soup
07-29-2009, 12:51 AM
matchup wise, H2H record and quality of tennis produced, I'd say Federer/Nalbandian is the greatest rivalry in modern tennis.

history and career wise, the Fedal is obviously the most famous.

Sure, the Federer/Nalbandian rivalry is awesome on the professional level. These matches always produce the most beautiful and amazing tennis ever displayed. But it stays on the professional level, it isn't historical, it isn't media-induced.

As a tennis fan who loves "control tennis", having the 2 best players at it playing each other is just eye candy, and I'll call it one of the most beautiful rivalries in terms of gameplay.
Federer respects Nalbandian as one of the VERY few that can legitimately defeat his best game, but his head is on Nadal.

Action Jackson
07-29-2009, 01:48 AM
No.

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
07-29-2009, 02:07 AM
no,

its the most boring rivalry ever

who wants to watch nadal hit top spin FHs to Fed's BH all day long????

nadall fans obviously

Everko
07-29-2009, 02:19 AM
Right now, I wouldn't say its better than Agassi/Sampras. They have had some great matches, but overall Rafa, has owned him.

Sampras owned Agassi more. :rolleyes:

Ozone
07-29-2009, 03:23 AM
If tennis was just as popular as any other sport world-wide, then yes, probably.

gulzhan
07-29-2009, 03:26 AM
Certainly.

kyleskywalker007
07-29-2009, 06:39 AM
It's not even a good rivalry. In fact, it's quite one sided if you ask me...

Mimi
07-29-2009, 07:07 AM
My greatest rivalries: Records not great on 1st two, but the amount matches these guys played is ridiculous vs modern tennis.

Laver - Rosewall - Played approx 130 matches, (62-49 Documented favors Laver)
Gonzales - Hoad - Played 87 matches, (51-36 Gonzales)

McEnroe-Lendl - 21-15 Lendl
McEnroe-Borg - 7-7
McEnroe-Connors - 20-14 Mac

Sampras-Agassi - 20-14 Sampras
great post :D

Nidhogg
07-29-2009, 07:36 AM
who really wants to see a match that goes like
6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6?

Oh yeah, that match in particular was so poor. Players holding serve clearly indicates lack of quality and entertainment.

Really.

leng jai
07-29-2009, 07:46 AM
I actually LoL'ed.

HattonWBA
07-29-2009, 08:08 AM
I believe it is although the head to head suggests there has been better rivalries

fast_clay
07-29-2009, 08:09 AM
It is.

Sampras/Agassi better? No way. That was more domination than anything. and who really wants to see a match that goes like
6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6?

for those of you who say no, than what is? What other tandem has had 3 straight great Wimbledon finals? 2 good Frnehc Open finals and 5 setter in australia. plus some memorable matches in masters series.

worst post for some time...

lessthanjake
07-29-2009, 03:24 PM
Nadal's 2 losses came at Wimbledon in 2006 and 2007 in closely contested matches right in Federer's backyard. Ever since the end of 07 with the exception of one match, Madrid 09, it has been one way traffic in Nadal's favor.

I'm going to sit on the fence for the time being because things could swing in favor of Federer.

All that says is that Nadal owned Federer in 2008. In 2009, their record is 1-1. Granted Nadal's win at the AO is worth more than Federer's Madrid win, but from a strictly head to head perspective, they are equal this year.

So basically, your point was "Since THE END of 2007, Nadal has won everything." That's not true. They are equal this year; Nadal just owned Federer in 2008.

Echoes
07-29-2009, 03:28 PM
It is.
and who really wants to see a match that goes like
6-7 7-6 7-6 7-6?


I do

Echoes
07-29-2009, 03:34 PM
GOATS know how to cry, look at Pete when he was losing to Courier at the AO all those years ago


He won that match and eventually lost his coach ... :rolleyes:

Rafa = Fed Killa
07-29-2009, 03:40 PM
He won that match and eventually lost his coach ... :rolleyes:

To a Fedtard crying over the death of your coach and crying because you got beat like a little girl are the same thing.

They are not very sane or logical people (things) it seems.

lessthanjake
07-29-2009, 03:41 PM
Also, to answer the question, I think it IS possibly the greatest rivalry ever.

I do not think that Sampras/Agassi comes even close because they honestly had their peaks at different times. While Sampras was dominating, Agassi was frequently out to lunch for years at a time. By the time Agassi really got into things again, Sampras was starting to be past his prime. At the end of 1994, as well as 1995, and 1999 both players were playing really well. Those are really the only times where they could be called the best two players in tennis.

On the other hand, Nadal and Federer have been the undisputed top 2 in tennis for 5 straight years. To me, that makes the rivalry more meaningful.

I think Borg/McEnroe is a good one because their rivalry really signaled and basically created McEnroe's rise and Borg's fall.

shmeeko69
07-29-2009, 03:43 PM
I don't think the their rivalry is that intense. Rodger has peaked & is beginning to look beatable & Rafal is gettting better & still to reach the top of his game. Great rivals that come to mind is Johnny Mac v Connors/Borg & Lendl & Sampras v Agassi.

Mark :)

r2473
07-29-2009, 03:57 PM
Yes!!! Greatest!!! Ever!!!

(well, until the next greatest ever....which happens every generation :rolleyes:).

lessthanjake
07-29-2009, 04:47 PM
Very rarely do two truly great rivals peak at the same time.

- Nadal started to peak last year, precisely when Federer was losing a step and no longer in his prime.
- Sampras was in his prime from 1993-1998. During most of that time (with the exception of late 1994 as well as 1995), Agassi was out to lunch. He then peaked from 1999-2003, after Sampras was already fading.
- Borg retired after 1981, which meant he never played McEnroe at his true peak, which came a couple later.
- Lendl peaked from 1985-1989, a time in which McEnroe did not win a grand slam title because he was past his prime.
- Connors was at his peak in the mid-late 1970s, during which McEnroe was not really a factor.


Connors and Borg are the only players I can really think of who peaked at basically the same times, though Connors possibly peaked slightly earlier than Borg.

Basically, though, Nadal and Federer are about as close to peaking at the same time as any other set of rivals.

Bargearse
07-29-2009, 11:28 PM
All that says is that Nadal owned Federer in 2008. In 2009, their record is 1-1. Granted Nadal's win at the AO is worth more than Federer's Madrid win, but from a strictly head to head perspective, they are equal this year.

So basically, your point was "Since THE END of 2007, Nadal has won everything." That's not true. They are equal this year; Nadal just owned Federer in 2008.

Who said 'Nadal has won everything'?:scratch: You must have been reading a different post. Here is the quote again for the sake of clarity.:rolleyes:

Ever since the end of 07 with the exception of one match, Madrid 09, it has been one way traffic in Nadal's favor.

Nowhere in this post do I indicate that Nadal has won 'everything'. I clearly state that Federer has won 1 match since the end of 2007 and Nadal has won 5, 3 of them slams on 3 different surfaces. So yes, pretty much one-way traffic or an indisputable case of Federer being 'owned' by Nadal as you suggest.

I will continue to sit on the fence because this 'rivalry' isn't over yet. Although Federer has been 'owned' in recent times by Nadal, the momentum could change in Fed's favor.

Owned: one of the most overused words on the MTF along with haters, clowns, mugs, tards...

2004 1-0 Nadal
2005 1-1
2006 4Nadal 2Federer
2007 2Nadal 3Federer
2008 4Nadal 0Federer
2009 1-1

JediFed
07-30-2009, 12:23 AM
No.

It has the potential to become the greatest open-era rivalry, but it's not there yet.

Lendl/McEnroe had more finals contested.
Edberg/Becker had more matches between the two and more finals
Sampras/Agassi had more matches between them as well.

I'd rank Connors/McEnroe up there as well.

McEnroe/Borg? They only had 14 matches against each other, although 4 were GS finals.

Fed/Nadal have 3 French finals, 3 Wimbledon finals and an Australian open for 7.

lessthanjake
07-30-2009, 12:36 AM
Who said 'Nadal has won everything'?:scratch: You must have been reading a different post. Here is the quote again for the sake of clarity.:rolleyes:



Nowhere in this post do I indicate that Nadal has won 'everything'. I clearly state that Federer has won 1 match since the end of 2007 and Nadal has won 5, 3 of them slams on 3 different surfaces. So yes, pretty much one-way traffic or an indisputable case of Federer being 'owned' by Nadal as you suggest.

I will continue to sit on the fence because this 'rivalry' isn't over yet. Although Federer has been 'owned' in recent times by Nadal, the momentum could change in Fed's favor.

Owned: one of the most overused words on the MTF along with haters, clowns, mugs, tards...

2004 1-0 Nadal
2005 1-1
2006 4Nadal 2Federer
2007 2Nadal 3Federer
2008 4Nadal 0Federer
2009 1-1

My point was that this year is even. You said it has been one-sided since the end of 2007. Since this year is even, all that tells us is that 2008 was one-sided. One year being one-sided doesnt make it a bad rivalry.

MacTheKnife
07-30-2009, 01:31 AM
I just don't understand how this can possibly be called the greatest rivalry ever when there are two guys that played approx 130 times, and two more that played over 85 times. In equally as big a stages. But that's just me, to each his own..

federersforehand
07-30-2009, 02:30 AM
Worst post ever, you know how impossible it would be for fed to vs nadal 100 times these days??

MacTheKnife
07-30-2009, 02:53 AM
Exactly.

miura
07-30-2009, 03:04 AM
lmao no
Thanks for this incredibly useful reply to this topic.

How about getting some friends :wavey:

lessthanjake
07-30-2009, 03:07 AM
I just don't understand how this can possibly be called the greatest rivalry ever when there are two guys that played approx 130 times, and two more that played over 85 times. In equally as big a stages. But that's just me, to each his own..

Equally as big of stages? Let's just be honest here. In the 1950s and 1960s when players played that many times, the only people who saw almost every one of those matches were those that were in the crowd AT the event, which was typically not very many people.

When Federer and Nadal play, thousands, sometimes millions of people from all over the world watch it. The stage is much bigger.

MacTheKnife
07-30-2009, 03:20 AM
I said to each his own. It's just to me that Laver-Rosewall will always be the greatest rivalry ever. And believe it or not, tennis was played and was big before the 90s. I just can't ignore history because of technology. If you can, then have at it.

lessthanjake
07-30-2009, 03:40 AM
I said to each his own. It's just to me that Laver-Rosewall will always be the greatest rivalry ever. And believe it or not, tennis was played and was big before the 90s. I just can't ignore history because of technology. If you can, then have at it.

Well I mean I dont really care cause as you said it is just your opinion, but to me it is also a matter of straight up popularity of the sport in the past.

I mean, I wouldnt say that sports players in every sport played on smaller stages in previous decades. For instance, Babe Ruth or Joe Dimaggio were probably more well known in the United States when they played baseball than any baseball player is now. The World Cup in soccer was as big a stage decades ago as it is now. Joe Louis or Mohammed Ali boxed on far larger "stages" than anyone does now.

Tennis was NOT as popular in the 1950s and 1960s as it later became.

The best analogy I can come up with in terms of sports is basketball. Basketball became big in the 1960s when Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain played. Everyone (in the US at least) knows who those guys are. In the 1950s, the undisputed best player in the world was a man by the name of George Mikan. Very few people would know who he is, though, because the sport was simply not that popular when he played. The games weren't really televised, the crowds who went to games were relatively small, and it wasn't exactly frequently front page news. This is the same as tennis in the 1950s and 1960s. It was not televised much, the crowds who saw it live were relatively small, and it wasn't front page news. The result is that people do not really remember the players from that era. Non-tennis buffs probably know who Rod Laver is (provided they are not too young), but almost certainly do not know of anyone else from that era. On the other hand, normal people know who McEnroe, Borg, Connors, Sampras, Agassi, Federer, and Nadal are. This greater exposure is a direct result of the greater popularity of the sport, and to me, makes matches nowadays a bigger stage than matches back then, just as the NBA championship in the 1960s onwards was a way bigger deal than it was in the 1950s.

Clay Death
07-30-2009, 03:54 AM
I said to each his own. It's just to me that Laver-Rosewall will always be the greatest rivalry ever. And believe it or not, tennis was played and was big before the 90s. I just can't ignore history because of technology. If you can, then have at it.


affirmative. it cant get much better than the rocket vs muscles rivalry.

MacTheKnife
07-30-2009, 04:05 AM
Well I mean I dont really care cause as you said it is just your opinion, but to me it is also a matter of straight up popularity of the sport in the past.

I mean, I wouldnt say that sports players in every sport played on smaller stages in previous decades. For instance, Babe Ruth or Joe Dimaggio were probably more well known in the United States when they played baseball than any baseball player is now. The World Cup in soccer was as big a stage decades ago as it is now. Joe Louis or Mohammed Ali boxed on far larger "stages" than anyone does now.

Tennis was NOT as popular in the 1950s and 1960s as it later became.

The best analogy I can come up with in terms of sports is basketball. Basketball became big in the 1960s when Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain played. Everyone (in the US at least) knows who those guys are. In the 1950s, the undisputed best player in the world was a man by the name of George Mikan. Very few people would know who he is, though, because the sport was simply not that popular when he played. The games weren't really televised, the crowds who went to games were relatively small, and it wasn't exactly frequently front page news. This is the same as tennis in the 1950s and 1960s. It was not televised much, the crowds who saw it live were relatively small, and it wasn't front page news. The result is that people do not really remember the players from that era. Non-tennis buffs probably know who Rod Laver is (provided they are not too young), but almost certainly do not know of anyone else from that era. On the other hand, normal people know who McEnroe, Borg, Connors, Sampras, Agassi, Federer, and Nadal are. This greater exposure is a direct result of the greater popularity of the sport, and to me, makes matches nowadays a bigger stage than matches back then, just as the NBA championship in the 1960s onwards was a way bigger deal than it was in the 1950s.


Well your just basing your whole opinion on the level of popularity and that's great. I think in the 60s-70s it was just more popular than you think and that was the time the Laver-Rosewall rivalry was it's most intense.
I guess you just had to live it. Unfortunately for me, I was learning tennis and playing competitively in the 60s so it's much more familiar and intense for me that most of the younger guys.
But trust me on this, Fed-Nadal is not close, not even in the same league as that rivalry. Now I guess if your going to use Nielsen ratings as a measure, then sure they did not get the exposure and did not make the money, but that by no stretch of the imagination makes the rivalry any less intense.
Haven't you noticed that the guys on mtf that really know the history of this sport are not even posting in this thread.. I guess it's time for me to move on too cause you youngsters seem to be hell bent on ignoring this history of this sport in lieu of tv ratings and dollars.

lessthanjake
07-30-2009, 04:15 AM
Well its not about Nielson ratings, but to me "greatest rivalry ever" is defined by what rivalry is most famous, transcends the sport, and becomes something that non-tennis fans remember as a symbol of the sport. It is like Magic-Bird, for example. That rivalry transcended basketball and it is something that even a person who does not like sports is aware of.

In that vein, I dont know if Federer/Nadal is the greatest rivalry, but it is greater than Laver/Rosewall. I think we are defining "greatest rivalry ever" differently though, as you seem to be most concerned with how intense and high quality the matches between the two were. That's a fine way to define it too; it's just not the way I was thinking about it.

Bargearse
07-30-2009, 07:40 AM
My point was that this year is even. You said it has been one-sided since the end of 2007. Since this year is even, all that tells us is that 2008 was one-sided. One year being one-sided doesnt make it a bad rivalry.

I never indicated Nadal and Fed weren't 1-1 for 2009. My reasoning was not confined to a calendar year - I didn't know that it had to be. :shrug:

So the point you're trying to make is that a new year (2009) is a clean slate and any head to head stats from previous years do not count or are in effect null and void. Alright let's play it your way and look at year end head to head stats from 2004.

Just for the sake of clarity, I'm leaving 2009 out because the year isn't over yet.

2004 1-0 Nadal
2005 1-1
2006 4Nadal 2Federer
2007 2Nadal 3Federer
2008 4Nadal 0Federer

Looks like the balance is tipped in Nadal's favor. Oh, but this must be incorrect and I'm sure you'll show me the error of my ways.

Bargearse
07-30-2009, 07:44 AM
I just don't understand how this can possibly be called the greatest rivalry ever when there are two guys that played approx 130 times, and two more that played over 85 times. In equally as big a stages. But that's just me, to each his own..

I didn't even indicate it was the greatest rivalry. I just said I'd sit on the fence and see how it plays out because Nadal and Fed haven't retired yet. When I look at the stats at present, I see it in Nadal's favor but the Fedwagon just won't accept it.:shrug: They keep moving the goal posts.

kooties
07-30-2009, 08:43 AM
McEnroe / Lendl or Becker / Edberg

FairWeatherFan
07-30-2009, 10:12 AM
It isn't even close to being a good rivalry, let alone the greatest ever. They don't play good quality tennis against each other generally because Fed's topspin backhand turns to rubbish against Nadal and that isn't enjoyable to watch.

Once again on this board, a present-day player/event gets vastly overrated on the spectrum of tennis history by fanboys who started watching the sport yesterday

Echoes
07-30-2009, 11:15 AM
I also think the Laver/Rosewall rivalry is one of the greatest ever, if not the greatest. But the fact that they met more than 100 times is due to the context of the Pro Tour prior to the open era.

Rosewall and Laver had most of their meetings in 1963 (a third of them). That year they did big tours in Oceania with Hoad (and another one?) and in America with 4 other players: Ayala, Buchholz, Gimeno and McKay. So of course they were bound to meet many times.

And I think the Major Pros were 16-man tournaments. So it was easier for them to reach the final, as they were the two best players from that era.

Andre'sNo1Fan
07-30-2009, 12:08 PM
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are professional tennis players engaged in a storied rivalry that many consider to be among the greatest in tennis history.[1][2][3][4][5]

They have held the top two rankings on the ATP Tour since July 2005 and are the only pair of men to have ever finished four consecutive calendar years at the top. Federer was ranked No. 1 for a record 237 consecutive weeks beginning in February 2004. Nadal, who is five years younger, ascended to No. 2 in July 2005 and held this spot for a record 160 consecutive weeks before surpassing Federer in August 2008.[6] As of 6th of July, 2009, Federer is ranked No.1 and Nadal No. 2, largely due to Federer winning the 2009 French and Wimbledon titles. Nadal lost in the early rounds of the 2009 French, and withdrew from Wimbledon because of knee tendonitis.

Nadal leads their overall head-to-head series 13–7.[7] Because tournament seedings are based on rankings, 16 of their matches have been in tournament finals, including an all-time record 7 Grand Slam finals.[8] From 2006 to 2008 they played in every French Open and Wimbledon final, and then they met in the 2009 Australian Open final. Nadal won five of the seven, losing the first two Wimbledons. Three of these matches were five set-matches (2007 and 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian), and the 2008 Wimbledon final has been lauded as the greatest match ever by many long-time tennis analysts.[9][10][11] [12] They have also played in a record 8 Masters Series finals, including their lone five hour match at the 2006 Rome Masters which Nadal won in a fifth-set tiebreak.


Nobody has beaten both Nadal and Federer in the same Grand Slam. They are the only men to defeat each other in Grand Slam Finals. Nadal hasnt lost a French Open (4) and Australian Open (1) Final, while Federer is undefeated in US Open Finals (5). Both of them have won Grand Slam events on three different surfaces, simultaneously (2008 French Open, 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian Open for Nadal and 2008 US Open, 2009 French Open, 2009 Wimbledon for Federer).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federer%E2%80%93Nadal_rivalry

No way its way too one sided to be considered a rivalry. Nadal has almost double the amount of wins Federer has and just recently Nadal has won all the important matches. There are many more close rivalries than this.

buzz
07-30-2009, 01:05 PM
Maybe if they keep playing each other frequently in gs finals/semis in the next 5 years

Burrow
07-30-2009, 02:06 PM
It isn't even close to being a good rivalry, let alone the greatest ever. They don't play good quality tennis against each other generally because Fed's topspin backhand turns to rubbish against Nadal and that isn't enjoyable to watch.

Once again on this board, a present-day player/event gets vastly overrated on the spectrum of tennis history by fanboys who started watching the sport yesterday

I agree.

LEGENDOFTENNIS
07-30-2009, 09:35 PM
It isn't even close to being a good rivalry, let alone the greatest ever. They don't play good quality tennis against each other generally because Fed's topspin backhand turns to rubbish against Nadal and that isn't enjoyable to watch.

Rome 2006
Shanghai 2006/7
Wimbledon 2007/2008

All great matches to watch. Federers improved his backhand. Its not as strong as it was in 2006 but its better then it was in 2008 by miles. Watch the Madrid game, his backhand held up well. When his backhand holds up, Nadal can't do anything, watch Madrid/Shanghai 2006 his backhand was awesome, held up so well.

FairWeatherFan
07-31-2009, 12:32 AM
Rome 2006
Shanghai 2006/7
Wimbledon 2007/2008

All great matches to watch. Federers improved his backhand. Its not as strong as it was in 2006 but its better then it was in 2008 by miles. Watch the Madrid game, his backhand held up well. When his backhand holds up, Nadal can't do anything, watch Madrid/Shanghai 2006 his backhand was awesome, held up so well.

Rome 2006 is the only really great match they've played against each other. Wimbledon 2007/2008 - drama often makes a great tennis match, but alone it isn't enough. The quality of tennis in their Wimbledon finals was not high; Nadal still topspinning to the Fed backhand and Fed spraying balls as a result - that does not make good tennis, no matter how many times Wertheim and other journalist hacks call the Wimbledon 2008 final the greatest match of all time. Fed played well in the Shanghai matches, but they were hardly all-time classics for the ages...

To be the greatest rivalry of all time, would need a fiercely competitive rivalry which has produced many classic matches. Sampras-Agassi, as an example, produced much higher quality tennis with a similar level of drama as Federer-Nadal.

Action Jackson
07-31-2009, 12:40 AM
It isn't even close to being a good rivalry, let alone the greatest ever. They don't play good quality tennis against each other generally because Fed's topspin backhand turns to rubbish against Nadal and that isn't enjoyable to watch.

Once again on this board, a present-day player/event gets vastly overrated on the spectrum of tennis history by fanboys who started watching the sport yesterday

Agreed.

Everko
07-31-2009, 12:57 AM
I disagree.

lessthanjake
07-31-2009, 01:00 AM
Federer/Nadal is possibly the greatest rivalry ever if you define the greatest rivalry to be the one that is most significant to the sport. They have played in more grand slam finals than any 2 players; they have been #1 and #2 for longer than any two players, and Nadal's positive head to head against Federer is the ONLY real knock on his resume as the greatest player ever, which alone makes the rivalry quite important. They also have been involved in at least 3 grand slam finals that were filled with immense amounts of drama and will be remembered for quite some time for that reason.

However, if you define the greatest rivalry as the one that produced the best quality tennis, then it is not the best rivalry. Federer does not play his best against Nadal (probably for mental reasons).

Action Jackson
07-31-2009, 01:11 AM
No, it's not the most significant in the sport, maybe for those who have followed since 2005.

MacTheKnife
07-31-2009, 01:15 AM
No, it's not the most significant in the sport, maybe for those who have followed since 2005.

:yeah: It's not even close and really not worth typing anymore about it.

lessthanjake
07-31-2009, 01:32 AM
No, it's not the most significant in the sport, maybe for those who have followed since 2005.

I said it POSSIBLY is.

There is certainly a good argument for it being the most significant.

1. Grand slam tournaments are BY FAR the most significant tournaments in tennis and the only ones that normal people remember, and these two have played against each other in more grand slam finals than any other two players.
2. People remember players frequently by how they were ranked at various times. These two were ranked #1 and #2 for longer than any other duo of players.
3. Normal sports fans, even those not obsessed with tennis, always like to debate who is the greatest ever in a sport. The Federer/Nadal rivalry has shaped the GOAT debate in tennis by providing the main argument against Federer's GOATdom.
4. People remember matches that they watched that were memorable and drama-filled. Wimbledon 2007, Australian Open 2009, and definitely Wimbledon 2008 all qualify as matches that will be remembered by non-tennis nuts for years.
5. Not many people care that much about Masters Series 1000 tournaments, but they ARE the most significant outside of grand slams, so I guess it is again significant that they have met in 8 Masters Series 1000 finals. I cant be bothered to look it up to make sure, but I bet that is more than any other duo of players (though that is partially because those tournaments weren't always mandatory).

So Federer/Nadal has created the most history in Grand Slam finals. They have dominated tennis rankings for longer than any duo. The rivalry has shaped the GOAT debate. It has provided three of the most memorable tennis matches ever for the layperson, and they have been very significant in terms of Masters 1000 tournaments.

To me that is a very good argument for most significant rivalry ever.

out_here_grindin
07-31-2009, 02:21 AM
No, it's not the most significant in the sport, maybe for those who have followed since 2005.

On the flip side it seems like several people here are disregarding it as if 2005 onward isn't signifigant at all.

Jōris
07-31-2009, 02:34 AM
He won that match and eventually lost his coach ... :rolleyes:

You ripped his argument to pieces. :lol:

Action Jackson
07-31-2009, 02:43 AM
On the flip side it seems like several people here are disregarding it as if 2005 onward isn't signifigant at all.

Far from it, there is the overall factor, tennis is existed before Fed and Nadal and will after they retire, too many forget this.

NicolasKiefer44
08-01-2009, 11:08 PM
Greatest ever? Evert Navratilova. No one compares either Male or Female.

CyBorg
08-02-2009, 12:44 AM
It was a fun rivalry for a while, but fizzled out big-time in 2008.

Har-Tru
08-02-2009, 01:03 AM
A good one? yes. One of the best? Yes. Best ever? LOL.

Sapeod
08-02-2009, 01:36 AM
A good one? yes. One of the best? Yes. Best ever? LOL.
Agreed. Great rivalry but nowhere near the best ever.

Sunset of Age
08-02-2009, 01:38 AM
Greatest ever? Evert Navratilova. No one compares either Male or Female.

So true. :yeah: :worship: :worship: :worship:

Raf-Rog isn't too bad either. If they are able to compete for a couple more years to come, on the same level, that is. :)

leng jai
08-02-2009, 01:43 AM
The GOAT rivalry is MTF vs making sense.

MacTheKnife
08-02-2009, 02:00 AM
The GOAT rivalry is MTF vs making sense.

But wait, doesn't it have to be close to be a real rivalry. :haha:

leng jai
08-02-2009, 02:01 AM
But wait, doesn't it have to be close to be a real rivalry. :haha:

No, it just has to be entertaining :wavey:

MacTheKnife
08-02-2009, 02:25 AM
No, it just has to be entertaining :wavey:

Well then this is it by a country mile.. :cool:

tangerine_dream
10-15-2009, 03:00 PM
Agassi piles on more pressure for Murray. :lol:

Agassi sees end of Federer-Nadal reign in tennis

HONG KONG (AP)—Andre Agassi says Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s domination of the men’s game is coming to an end, tipping Scotsman Andy Murray as the most likely successor.

“Now we have possibly the changing of the guard. You have those top two who are now losing ground to the likes of (Novak) Djokovic and Murray and (Juan Martin) del Potro,” Agassi told reporters in Hong Kong by phone from Las Vegas.

Nadal has struggled with injuries since his stunning exit in the fourth round of the French Open. Federer won the French and Wimbledon, breaking Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams, but was beaten in the U.S. Open final by 21-year-old Argentine del Potro. It was the first Grand Slam won by a player other than Federer or Nadal since Djokovic won the 2008 Australian Open.

Agassi, who preceded Federer in winning all four grand slam tournaments over his career, believes the Swiss “still has the chance to do some more special things,” but the 28-year-old’s chances are diminishing with age.

Agassi, who was promoting his upcoming exhibition match against Sampras in the Chinese gambling enclave Macau on Oct. 25, worried that Nadal’s injuries may be chronic.

“If you’re struggling with your knee, it tends to be recurring and not to be easy to do, so I got to believe he’ll struggle with it probably for his career,” Agassi said.

Agassi said the 22-year-old Murray is the man most likely to be the dominant figure over the next few years. The world No. 3 is still seeking his first Grand Slam title.

“From a talent standpoint, Murray is a person who should win multiple Slams,” Agassi said.

“When I look at his game compared to the other players, he has what it takes to win and to win against anybody on any surface.”

Aenea
10-15-2009, 03:06 PM
As if Murray and Del Potro are not struggling with various injuries in the last years :rolleyes: Even now they both have wrists issues.

phelbyn
10-15-2009, 03:13 PM
My greatest rivalries: Records not great on 1st two, but the amount matches these guys played is ridiculous vs modern tennis.

Laver - Rosewall - Played approx 130 matches, (62-49 Documented favors Laver)
Gonzales - Hoad - Played 87 matches, (51-36 Gonzales)

McEnroe-Lendl - 21-15 Lendl
McEnroe-Borg - 7-7
McEnroe-Connors - 20-14 Mac

Sampras-Agassi - 20-14 Sampras

Great stats! It is among the best, but it's hard to judge something as "BEING THE BEST" while it is still happening. When they are done their careers, and a head-to-head and list of accomplishments can clearly be stated, then they might have a case. The stats in the quote above are phenomenal... especially the Laver vs Rosewall stats.

It's easy to say YES when it is such a recent rivalry... and then again, tennis was such a different sport even 10 years ago...

rocketassist
10-15-2009, 03:14 PM
Pete v Andre >>>> Federer v Nadal

Aenea
10-15-2009, 03:21 PM
Pete v Andre >>>> Federer v Nadal

Sure. No one is bigger than Americans.

USA - Land of the free and the brave and the great etc

Elena.
10-15-2009, 03:29 PM
No way !There's no spice :zzz:

thrust
10-15-2009, 04:23 PM
nope!!!

ROSEWALL-LAVER- Over 100 matches played by 2 of the all time greatest!

CONNORS-MC ENROE
SAMPRAS-AGASSI
FEDERER-NADAL
LENDL-MC-ENROE

Echoes
10-15-2009, 04:36 PM
As I said you can't compare the Rosewall/Laver rivalry with the open era rivalries. Rosewall & Laver played one third of their matches in 1963 in the Pro Tour when they did long tours with 4 or 5 players, which means they were bound to meet many times.

thrust
10-15-2009, 04:48 PM
I said to each his own. It's just to me that Laver-Rosewall will always be the greatest rivalry ever. And believe it or not, tennis was played and was big before the 90s. I just can't ignore history because of technology. If you can, then have at it.

Besides, when Ken and Rod played their Pro and Open Era fianls both were hungry, as their winnings was peanuts compared to today's or the 90's winnings. Nadal-Federer is a great rivalry, but they haven't played enough to be the top rivalry. Their tennis though, is fantastic!

Ichiban1920
10-15-2009, 04:55 PM
Sure. No one is bigger than Americans.

USA - Land of the free and the brave and the great etc


Any sane tennis fan would agree that the rivalry between Sampras and Agassi was far better rivalry played in a far better era.

Only glory hunting Frauderer and Nadull-fanboys would think otherwise.

JoshDragon
10-15-2009, 05:13 PM
No, unless Federer can eventually make it a lot closer like within -2. Basically Federer has to win the next 4 in a row(including a couple of GS finals) to make it a real rivalry.

However, what it goes to show that a player doesn't need to have the most fantastic rivalry ever to become GOAT. Despite being utterly pwned by Nadal, Roger won 15 + CGS.

It's as much of a rivalry as the Sampras/Agassi one was.

Any sane tennis fan would agree that the rivalry between Sampras and Agassi was far better rivalry played in a far better era.

Only glory hunting Frauderer and Nadull-fanboys would think otherwise.

What about the late 90s through early 2000's? If any era should truly be called a mug era, that would have been it.

rocketassist
10-15-2009, 05:19 PM
Sure. No one is bigger than Americans.

USA - Land of the free and the brave and the great etc

Read my past posts and you'll realise it's just not my opinion at all. Pete and Andre was a better, closely contested rivalry, and the pair combined are greater than Fedal (Pete and Fed are class, but Nadal should be kissing Andre's feet.)

So Sampgassi > Fedal

rocketassist
10-15-2009, 05:20 PM
It's as much of a rivalry as the Sampras/Agassi one was.



What about the late 90s through early 2000's? If any era should truly be called a mug era, that would have been it.

Sampras, Agassi, Safin, Hewitt, Kuerten, not exactly mug like plus one of the better clay court periods in the game.

Elena.
10-15-2009, 05:26 PM
CONNORS-MC ENROE
LENDL-MC-ENROE

These are rivalries ! :eek:

JoshDragon
10-15-2009, 05:30 PM
Sampras, Agassi, Safin, Hewitt, Kuerten, not exactly mug like plus one of the better clay court periods in the game.

In the late 90s Pete was past his peak and at the end of his prime. Agassi, was completely erratic until 1999 and then Hewitt and Safin were very young at that point and neither one were in their prime years.

Also, the late 90s early 2000s were not a good time for clay court players. Yes, Kuerten was good but he was one of the only ones who was good. Andre's game was poorly suited to clay, and Pete sucked on that stuff. Chang was past his prime and then Costa and Moya were pretty mediocre.

Aenea
10-15-2009, 08:30 PM
Read my past posts and you'll realise it's just not my opinion at all. Pete and Andre was a better, closely contested rivalry, and the pair combined are greater than Fedal (Pete and Fed are class, but Nadal should be kissing Andre's feet.)

So Sampgassi > Fedal

I have read enough of your posts to know that very often your opinions are clouded by hatred. You know nothing firsthand about professional tennis but you are making conclusions and statements as if you were a pro and knew everything from the tennis pro kitchen.
As for those rivalries why should I read your posts to know what others think about that matter? Why do I have to take somebody's opinion that Laver-Rosewall (who have played like in the Stone Age for me) rivalry was any better than Federer-Nadal? What makes their rivalry better? They have played on only 2 surfaces for God's sake. What easier than that? Maybe only playing on 1 surface all the tournaments throughout the entire season. Imagine it was today and the surface was clay :) I'm pretty tired of all this "You remember what it was in 1986 or 1969. Great tennis, just great". Come-on this has been in another century. Everything changes - players, styles, surfaces, tournaments, rivalries. Everything. I don't like Sampras' playing style. He might be a great tennis player, has won a lot and still I don't like watching him. This makes me a lesser tennis fan in your eyes? Good. I care not.

thrust
10-15-2009, 09:48 PM
I have read enough of your posts to know that very often your opinions are clouded by hatred. You know nothing firsthand about professional tennis but you are making conclusions and statements as if you were a pro and knew everything from the tennis pro kitchen.
As for those rivalries why should I read your posts to know what others think about that matter? Why do I have to take somebody's opinion that Laver-Rosewall (who have played like in the Stone Age for me) rivalry was any better than Federer-Nadal? What makes their rivalry better? They have played on only 2 surfaces for God's sake. What easier than that? Maybe only playing on 1 surface all the tournaments throughout the entire season. Imagine it was today and the surface was clay :) I'm pretty tired of all this "You remember what it was in 1986 or 1969. Great tennis, just great". Come-on this has been in another century. Everything changes - players, styles, surfaces, tournaments, rivalries. Everything. I don't like Sampras' playing style. He might be a great tennis player, has won a lot and still I don't like watching him. This makes me a lesser tennis fan in your eyes? Good. I care not.

Your problem is ignorance! Rosewall and Laver played on grass, clay, carpet, cement and probably even wood on the pro tour. In the Open Era they played on grass, clay, cement and various indoor surfaces. The problem with people like you is that you base everything on the Slams, which as hurt tennis in general, IMO. The reason the R-L rivalry was so special was that they played so many times. I think the question was greatest rivalries of ALL-TIME, not just the Open Era.

Sunset of Age
10-15-2009, 09:50 PM
^^ I would really like to know how many posters on MTF have actually seen Laver and Rosewall PLAY (live, telly). ;)

Come on, show yourselves, who are the REAL oldies over here? :D

JediFed
10-16-2009, 02:25 AM
It's probably the greatest ever rivalry on clay. I can't think of any of the big matchups where you have 3/4 finals and 4/4 sfs/fs between two players. The only comparable one would be between Wilander/Lendl wrt to clay.

Overall, it's a good rivalry but McEnroe/Lendl, Sampras/Agassi were both better. They just haven't played each other enough times yet.

guga2120
10-16-2009, 03:39 AM
It's probably the greatest ever rivalry on clay..

It has not been a good rivalry on clay at all since, 2006. Rafa's, best rival on clay is Djokovic.

SetSampras
10-16-2009, 04:47 AM
It's probably the greatest ever rivalry on clay. I can't think of any of the big matchups where you have 3/4 finals and 4/4 sfs/fs between two players. The only comparable one would be between Wilander/Lendl wrt to clay.

Overall, it's a good rivalry but McEnroe/Lendl, Sampras/Agassi were both better. They just haven't played each other enough times yet.


Not sure why I would even call Fed-Nadal on clay a rivalry.. But more or less a complete beatdown, at least where it mattered most at the French where Fed has never beaten Nadal.

Sampras-Agassi was better IMO due to the fact that the rivalry spanded about 12 years. They played their first USO final in 1990 and then their final in 2002 where Pete retired.. That is some serious longevity there. Fed-Nadal have given us some complete domination over the field. But fact of the matter is its been pretty one sided one will have to agree. Now many it wouldnt have been if Nadal could have been the USO final once or twice where Fed could have beaten him. Sampras couldnt take Andre at the French or AO. But Andre couldnt handle Pete on the faster courts. So that made it more compelling. But the thing is both Andre and Pete faced each other at every slam as well. Fed-Nadal havent.


And really Pete didnt really beat Andre to a pulp. People forget their h2h was 20-14 in favor of Pete. Edge to Pete but not a huge beatdown overrall.

guga2120
10-16-2009, 04:53 AM
Not sure why I would even call Fed-Nadal on clay a rivalry.

This is the truth. It was a great match in 2005/6, when Rafa, was a teenager, but since then their matches on clay have sucked.

Overall, I agree that Agassi/Sampras usually produced much better tennis.

Aenea
10-16-2009, 08:39 AM
Your problem is ignorance! Rosewall and Laver played on grass, clay, carpet, cement and probably even wood on the pro tour. In the Open Era they played on grass, clay, cement and various indoor surfaces. The problem with people like you is that you base everything on the Slams, which as hurt tennis in general, IMO. The reason the R-L rivalry was so special was that they played so many times. I think the question was greatest rivalries of ALL-TIME, not just the Open Era.

Are you taking me for the female version of Duncan McCloud? :) Sorry I am not. Yes I admit I might be some ignorant about old tennis and I haven't lived long enough to study the tennis history that deep, don't have the time I only studied the GS history. I only watched some old footages of a Laver match and it looked so umm ... different to me to say it politely. And yes I'm not that much into old tennis. Have you been witness to Laver-Roswell rivalry? No wonder we have different tastes for tennis.
Many of you are speaking about the longevity of the rivalries. It's not only about the longevity but its intensity as well, excitement and so. I find Rafa-Roger rivalry very interesting and exciting. The problem is their big age difference. Sampras and Agassi are almost the same age only 1 year difference and that's what made their rivalry longer. Federer is 28 already and Rafa is still 23.

HKz
10-16-2009, 08:45 AM
I think statistically and the range of matches they have played would conclude that it is the greatest rivalry of the open era..

However, emotionally for many people it may not be because McEnroe vs Borg had a huge personality difference which made it very exciting for many to watch, however they only played a total of 14 times and none on clay. Sampras and Agassi had their own little fued but I don't know, Sampras was never a favorite of mine so I couldn't really comment. His personality on court, how he hit certain shots and how he cheered for winning big points, honestly he seemed to be a huge geek in my eyes, didn't really generate that "strong athletic" aura that many big name athletes give.

Scotso
10-16-2009, 08:47 AM
Greatest ever? Evert Navratilova. No one compares either Male or Female.

Seconded.

HarryMan
10-16-2009, 10:42 AM
I have watched tennis only from the early 90's so my opinion is based from that time period only. In my books, this is the best rivalry ever. I mean, Federer was absolutely thrashing the field during his prime and here comes a young spaniard who just wouldn't go away and eat away some of Fed's success and in the process creating his own legacy. If Nadal wasn't there, Federer would have won almost 3-4 RG's and well as great as that achivement would have been, it still won't be like how it was this year when he finally won the RG (it was extra special because of all the previous failures at the hands of one man).

Nadal has proven to be one of the greatest warriors this sport has ever seen and Federer is one of the most talented players to play this sport. I love the fact that both are playing almost at the same time, and I am able to watch these two legends live during my time.

Corey Feldman
10-16-2009, 10:45 AM
Evert v Navratilova, overhyped

name any other stand out woman from middle 70's till middle of the 80's - none

those 2 won everything, ppl praising their rivalrly are the same ppl who probably moan about weak era in men's

Echoes
10-16-2009, 11:02 AM
Your problem is ignorance! Rosewall and Laver played on grass, clay, carpet, cement and probably even wood on the pro tour. In the Open Era they played on grass, clay, cement and various indoor surfaces.

They surely did. Wembley Pro and Coubertin were on wood. And I certainly agree on the fact that tennis is not just GS.

And Har-Tru will add that Wimbledon's, Kooyong's and Forest Hills' grass were VERY different kinds of grass. :lol:

Echoes
10-16-2009, 11:03 AM
^^ I would really like to know how many posters on MTF have actually seen Laver and Rosewall PLAY (live, telly). ;)


Why live? Aren't Youtube videos sufficient? :p

superslam77
10-16-2009, 11:30 AM
It has not been a good rivalry on clay at all since, 2006. Rafa's, best rival on clay is Djokovic.

MTF's biggest myth right here :rolleyes:

9-0 clay vs Nole
9-2 clay vs Roger

Overall.
14-3 Nole
13-7 Roger

Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic
(8 - 4)

2-1 on clay

Djokovic is a poor's man Federer.

Aenea
10-16-2009, 12:01 PM
Why live? Aren't Youtube videos sufficient? :p

And how exactly do you get into a rivalry by only watching few youtube vids? You can't feel the atmosphere and the spirit of that rivalry. IMO all that one can get from watching such vids is info about the playing styles from that time, racquets they've been using, outfits etc you just increase your knowledge about tennis at that time. But to judge how big a rivalry really was you have to have been a witness. From that point I only can talk about Rafa-Roger and about Sampras-Agassi to some degree.
Besides there is no such thing like Greatest of all time. Greatest of its time, yes but of all time :rolleyes:

Action Jackson
10-16-2009, 12:05 PM
And how exactly do you get into a rivalry by only watching few youtube vids? You can't feel the atmosphere and the spirit of that rivalry. IMO all that one can get from watching such vids is info about the playing styles from that time, racquets they've been using, outfits etc you just increase your knowledge about tennis at that time. But to judge how big a rivalry really was you have to have been a witness. From that point I only can talk about Rafa-Roger and about Sampras-Agassi to some degree.
Besides there is no such thing like Greatest of all time. Greatest of its time, yes but of all time :rolleyes:

But you dismiss anything that happened before Sampras-Agassi as tennis didn't exist before then.

Johnny Groove
10-16-2009, 12:10 PM
Federer needs to step it up if this rivalry is to reach historic levels.

I don't recall Sampras ever crying after losing to Andre or Mac after losing to Borg or Lendl.

Aenea
10-16-2009, 12:13 PM
But you dismiss anything that happened before Sampras-Agassi as tennis didn't exist before then.

How exactly?

rocketassist
10-16-2009, 12:19 PM
No WTA rivalry should even be thought about.

Action Jackson
10-16-2009, 12:20 PM
How exactly?

Rosewall and Laver played on a lot more than 2 surfaces, helps knowing your tennis history if you are going to refute certain points.

How is Federer/Nadal so special as a rivalry? What makes it great?

Aenea
10-16-2009, 12:32 PM
Rosewall and Laver played on a lot more than 2 surfaces, helps knowing your tennis history if you are going to refute certain points.

How is Federer/Nadal so special as a rivalry? What makes it great?

Who cares about small tournaments played in some village in 1968 with 10 men entry list? And why should I know tennis history when asking what is it that makes Laver-Roswell rivalry greater and more special than any other? :scratch: Some people having watched few youtube vids are claiming this rivalry was great and I have to take their opinions :rolleyes: Yeah sure. Only because they played more matches between themselves doesn't make it a better rivalry.

For the answere of your question read HarryMan's post.

Action Jackson
10-16-2009, 12:40 PM
Who cares about small tournaments played in some village in 1968 with 10 men entry list? And why should I know tennis history when asking what is it that makes Laver-Roswell rivalry greater and more special than any other? :scratch: Some people having watched few youtube vids are claiming this rivalry was great and I have to take their opinions :rolleyes: Yeah sure. Only because they played more matches between themselves doesn't make it a better rivalry.

For the answered of your question read HarryMan's post.

In other words you don't have a clue. I asked your own words, not HarryMan, not rocketassist, not Bonnie the Cat, not the John the Bookie, not Alex Ferguson. Your own reasons as to why this is such a great rivalry?

No, you are trying to rip other arguments when different names have been thrown up, but not aware of the facts that existed in that particular timeframe, then attempting to judge something that was a long time ago through modern eyes, when conditions aren't the same at all for many differing reasons.

Believe it or not, there have been people on this board, who realised tennis existed before Federer/Nadal, Sampras and Agassi as well. Therefore to suggest there are people who only went outside your two choices because they saw them on youtube is lazy to the extreme.

Aenea
10-16-2009, 01:03 PM
In other words you don't have a clue. I asked your own words, not HarryMan, not rocketassist, not Bonnie the Cat, not the John the Bookie, not Alex Ferguson. Your own reasons as to why this is such a great rivalry?

You could put in another 10 names :lol: it would have impressed me more you know. Why should I repeat somebody's post with my own words when s/he has same reasons like me. I just quote it say ditto and move on. It's not my mistake he posted first and expressed the same reasons for liking Federer-Nadal like mine. My mane reason is because I can feel it and watch it live. It gives me excitement and entertainment I enjoy watching their matches - with so different playing styles both of them beautiful and exciting in its own way. I don't feel anything when watching some vids from 50 years ago :rolleyes:

No, you are trying to rip other arguments when different names have been thrown up, but not aware of the facts that existed in that particular timeframe, then attempting to judge something that was a long time ago through modern eyes, when conditions aren't the same at all for many differing reasons.

No, I am not. I am not judging anything. I also asked what makes Laver-Roswell so special and all I got was "They played more matches" Well ....

Believe it or not, there have been people on this board, who realised tennis existed before Federer/Nadal, Sampras and Agassi as well. Therefore to suggest there are people who only went outside your two choices because they saw them on youtube is lazy to the extreme.

I believe that.

yellowboy906
10-16-2009, 01:30 PM
i got 3 words for people who think nadal-federer is the greatest rivalry ever. greatest my ass.

Echoes
10-16-2009, 07:03 PM
IMO all that one can get from watching such vids is info about the playing styles from that time, racquets they've been using, [...]


Precisely. Then I've got results and some readings and testimonies from that time. Can't get much more.


Besides there is no such thing like Greatest of all time. Greatest of its time, yes but of all time :rolleyes:

I've never named a GAT on this forum, so I don't know why you're talking about that.

Who cares about small tournaments played in some village in 1968 with 10 men entry list?

Are you thinking of one in particular?

Some people having watched few youtube vids are claiming this rivalry was great and I have to take their opinions Yeah sure.

Again. you've got results at your disposal on the net (Internet is so great for that). You've got texts as well. Testimonies. Don't be so arrogant please.

Only because they played more matches between themselves doesn't make it a better rivalry.

I'll tell it for the 3rd time. There's a pretty good reason for it. They played long tours when they were professional notably in 1963. Only four of five players were to play in this tours. They had a third of their meetings in that year 1963. So no ! This has never been one of my arguments (by the way I've never given any and I didn't intend to have a debate with you on that issue). Don't mix anything and make me say what I did not say.

Corey Feldman
10-16-2009, 07:52 PM
Federer needs to step it up if this rivalry is to reach historic levels.

I don't recall Sampras ever crying after losing to Andre or Mac after losing to Borg or Lendl.No he only cried when he was 2 sets down to Courier to throw him off his game

MrChopin
10-16-2009, 08:01 PM
Federer needs to step it up if this rivalry is to reach historic levels.

I don't recall Sampras ever crying after losing to Andre or Mac after losing to Borg or Lendl.

Nadal could have done his part and not gotten steamrolled so early and so often in hardcourt majors.

rafa_maniac
10-17-2009, 06:31 AM
I've only really followed two "eras" of men's tennis, the latter part of Sampras-Agassi in the 90s and now Fedal, so I obviously have a limited view of the matter. This topic though is almost as futile as the GOAT debate for several reasons
1. The nostalgiatards will immediately dismiss anything modern as entering an "all time" debate
2. Likewise those who started watching tennis yesterday and know nothing of the history of the sport have no context to place it in
3. The rivalry ISN'T OVER YET!!!
On top of that, I think you'd struggle to find many Federer fans/apologists who appreciate this rivalry, and as they make up the largest fan base....

Personally speaking I find it hard to script a better rivalry superficially speaking. Two completely contrasting players; one graceful all courter vs warrior of mind and body; at home on grass vs at home on clay; righty vs lefty; two hander vs one hander; cool, calm and reserved vs fiery and explosive etc... Together they've combined to completely dominate the sport 5 years running, barely giving up a GS to anyone else, nor time at #1 or #2 in the world, they've met in numerous Slam finals on all surfaces. In terms of how each has affected the other, obviously Nadal has kept Federer from Calender Slams and for a long time Career Slams, knocking him off his #1 perch, ending his grass and HC streaks, being the thorn in the side of his GOAT legacy, while Federer denied Nadal of Wimbledon for years, has kept him at #2 and in his shadow for most of their rivalry and ended his record surface streak. Together they've raised the profile of tennis, and really given it its identity in the general public view this decade. So statistically and historically speaking it's a true all time rivalry contender...

However whats MISSING from all this is the QUALITY of the rivalry. Obviously Nadal's superior H2H means it has been rather one sided at times (though many of those wins were tight and on Nadal's favourite surface). They also haven't played near as much as other duos have in the past, and most of all they've played very few truly great matches against each other. Rome 2006 and Wimbledon 2008 are as good as it gets. Below that Dubai 2006, Shanghai 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Oz Open 2008 were all very good matches, but some of those lacked a sense of occasion. The rest? Middling. Their numerous clay encounters have mostly been dull affairs with Federer keeping it together for a stretch of games or a set at a time, making the scoreline respectable and usually taking a set, but a Nadal victory never in much doubt, and they simply haven't played near enough on HC.

Boris Franz Ecker
10-17-2009, 09:45 AM
It's too one sided. I'd in with Agassi versus Sampras for the intensity and longevity. In the 90's, to basic fans, tennis was about Pete versus Andre.

No, Agassi was most of the time out of top 5.

Boris Franz Ecker
10-17-2009, 09:50 AM
Looking into the details... it is.

only 20 matches, but ... look at borg - mcenroe, only 14.
4 years in a row among the top 2 players..

look at agassi - sampras... agassi was only no 2 for relative short periods and even out of top 10 for some years -> no comparison

one-sided?
no.

Look at agassi-Sampras. That was one-sided with Sampras winning all the important matches apart from australian territory where Sampras (and all the others) came directly from holidays. Australian tournament was Agassis solution, but not really _the_ tournament.
Federer - Nadal is much closer.

gusavo
10-17-2009, 12:30 PM
Despite being utterly pwned by Nadal, Roger won 15 + CGS.

thats not what 13-7 is...

sawan66278
10-17-2009, 12:46 PM
I've only really followed two "eras" of men's tennis, the latter part of Sampras-Agassi in the 90s and now Fedal, so I obviously have a limited view of the matter. This topic though is almost as futile as the GOAT debate for several reasons
1. The nostalgiatards will immediately dismiss anything modern as entering an "all time" debate
2. Likewise those who started watching tennis yesterday and know nothing of the history of the sport have no context to place it in
3. The rivalry ISN'T OVER YET!!!
On top of that, I think you'd struggle to find many Federer fans/apologists who appreciate this rivalry, and as they make up the largest fan base....

Personally speaking I find it hard to script a better rivalry superficially speaking. Two completely contrasting players; one graceful all courter vs warrior of mind and body; at home on grass vs at home on clay; righty vs lefty; two hander vs one hander; cool, calm and reserved vs fiery and explosive etc... Together they've combined to completely dominate the sport 5 years running, barely giving up a GS to anyone else, nor time at #1 or #2 in the world, they've met in numerous Slam finals on all surfaces. In terms of how each has affected the other, obviously Nadal has kept Federer from Calender Slams and for a long time Career Slams, knocking him off his #1 perch, ending his grass and HC streaks, being the thorn in the side of his GOAT legacy, while Federer denied Nadal of Wimbledon for years, has kept him at #2 and in his shadow for most of their rivalry and ended his record surface streak. Together they've raised the profile of tennis, and really given it its identity in the general public view this decade. So statistically and historically speaking it's a true all time rivalry contender...

However whats MISSING from all this is the QUALITY of the rivalry. Obviously Nadal's superior H2H means it has been rather one sided at times (though many of those wins were tight and on Nadal's favourite surface). They also haven't played near as much as other duos have in the past, and most of all they've played very few truly great matches against each other. Rome 2006 and Wimbledon 2008 are as good as it gets. Below that Dubai 2006, Shanghai 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Oz Open 2008 were all very good matches, but some of those lacked a sense of occasion. The rest? Middling. Their numerous clay encounters have mostly been dull affairs with Federer keeping it together for a stretch of games or a set at a time, making the scoreline respectable and usually taking a set, but a Nadal victory never in much doubt, and they simply haven't played near enough on HC.

Excellent post. However, I think the criticism of the quality of matches is not as significant. How many other rivalries had matches of the highest quality? Not many. You just need a few epics...to lead to excitement and a whetting of the appetites. You have that with Rafa/Fed.

Think Borg/Johnny Mac...how many epics did they play? Two, three?

stebs
10-17-2009, 12:46 PM
A rivalry that is overrated in the media for the most part but on MTF heavily underrated. The thing is, it is always going to be the medias job to stir things up and show the hype so that is expected. On here, it is like nostalgia central and as time passes people tend to forget the mediocre and remember the great. What this means is that while people remember matches like the Mac-Borg Wimbledon as incredible it was actually an error fest in patches too just like the Fed-Nadal Wimbledon match that the media hyped ad infinitum.

Truth is, it is always going to be such a subjective thing because in terms of personaly preferences people will pick rivalries there favourites are involved in. If you want to make it objective the only way is via stats and the definition of the world rivalry. Statistically and in temrs of importance it's hard to disagree with the Federer-Nadal thing due to the many big matches they played but this is open era only because measuring things about the pre open era rivalries is very difficult and quantifying results is troublesome as well.

Lets just say that they have a great rivalry, have had great matches with drama and at times (though not too often) incredible tennis. From a historical point of view, it is one of the most important. To say the greatest though? I don't think you can give that to any rivalry with any conviction and probably never will be able to.

rafa_maniac
10-17-2009, 12:54 PM
Excellent post. However, I think the criticism of the quality of matches is not as significant. How many other rivalries had matches of the highest quality? Not many. You just need a few epics...to lead to excitement and a whetting of the appetites. You have that with Rafa/Fed.

Think Borg/Johnny Mac...how many epics did they play? Two, three?

Fair point, all you really need is a couple. People will probably point to the back-to-back 07/08 Wimby finals as the hallmark of their rivalry.

rocketassist
10-17-2009, 12:56 PM
No, Agassi was most of the time out of top 5.

Because other players than Sampras/Agassi were better than other players besides Fed/Nadal...

stebs
10-17-2009, 01:02 PM
Because other players than Sampras/Agassi were better than other players besides Fed/Nadal...

That's not really the reason for Agassi being out of the loop for much of his career.

SetSampras
10-18-2009, 02:32 AM
Looking into the details... it is.

only 20 matches, but ... look at borg - mcenroe, only 14.
4 years in a row among the top 2 players..

look at agassi - sampras... agassi was only no 2 for relative short periods and even out of top 10 for some years -> no comparison

one-sided?
no.

Look at agassi-Sampras. That was one-sided with Sampras winning all the important matches apart from australian territory where Sampras (and all the others) came directly from holidays. Australian tournament was Agassis solution, but not really _the_ tournament.
Federer - Nadal is much closer.


Agassi won quite a few important matches himself though.. Yes it was one sided by Pete on the faster surfaces, but not everywheres. Agassi took 2 big time matches which stopped pete from getting at least two more slams.. 1995 and 2000 AO. Not to mention Andre stopped pete from "possibly" getting a French Open in 1992 I believe though I doubt Pete could have seriously won it that year with Courier around but who knows. Courier was Pete's whipping boy for the most part and Pete knew how to beat him not to mention Pete does hold a French Open win over Courier. And Andre had a big advantage all year in 1995 and it took Pete stopping Andre at the end of the year in 95 to take over #1. Not to mention the longevity of the fued with spanded many years. Moreso than Nadal and Fed or Borg and Mac

Action Jackson
10-18-2009, 02:53 AM
Lets just say that they have a great rivalry, have had great matches with drama and at times (though not too often) incredible tennis. From a historical point of view, it is one of the most important. To say the greatest though? I don't think you can give that to any rivalry with any conviction and probably never will be able to.

So using stats, then the matches in the 90s indoors must have been great, because there were hardly any unforced errors.

The rivalry is far from underrated on this place, but yes it is in the media.

Benny_Maths
10-18-2009, 07:43 AM
Because other players than Sampras/Agassi were better than other players besides Fed/Nadal...

Alternative: Because Sampras/Agassi were not good enough to dominate the rest of the field to the same extent as Fed/Nadal.

stebs
10-18-2009, 11:04 AM
So using stats, then the matches in the 90s indoors must have been great, because there were hardly any unforced errors.

Stats can give the wrong impressions sometimes but without them this is only a discussion about preference and nothing else.

Corey Feldman
10-18-2009, 11:05 AM
Davydenko v Nadal is my fave rivarly

Action Jackson
10-18-2009, 11:08 AM
Stats can give the wrong impressions sometimes but without them this is only a discussion about preference and nothing else.

So 3 good matches out of 20 means it's a great rivalry?

Il Primo Uomo
10-18-2009, 11:49 AM
First of all, they matchup each other really BAD.
And what rivalry are you talking about? Last I checked, healthy Nadal owns Federer's sissy self.

Sophocles
10-18-2009, 12:37 PM
If you restrict "rivalry" to head-to-head, then the story is that of an inferior player benefiting from a favourable match-up, particularly on slower surfaces. There have been 3 great matches and a few good ones. This doesn't obviously trump Borg-McEnroe or Laver-Rosewall. If you expand "rivalry" to encompass competition for ranking & comparative success in tournaments, there's more of a case, but Borg-McEnroe was more memorable & Laver-Rosewall were competitive for longer than Federer-Nadal so far have been.

Everko
05-13-2010, 02:59 PM
It's my favorite rivalry because I have been elated at the resukt more than upset.

tennis.guru
05-13-2010, 03:12 PM
yes its the best ever, nothing comes close to the quality of their matches.

oranges
05-13-2010, 03:31 PM
The worst matchup among any significant rivalries I can remember of the top of my head. I struggle to think of a genuinely good match other than Rome

Johnny Groove
05-13-2010, 04:23 PM
Yeah, people complain about the h2h disparity, how badly Fed plays vs. Nadal and the supposed low-quality matches between the two.

Federer and Nadal will only get the recognition they deserve when they've both retired.

Sophocles
05-13-2010, 04:35 PM
The worst matchup among any significant rivalries I can remember of the top of my head. I struggle to think of a genuinely good match other than Rome

Wimbledon 2007 & Wimbledon 2008 were also fine matches (though the latter is grossly over-rated). The other good matches were Masters Cup 2006, Australian Open, Dubai, & Miami 2005. The rest, apart from the 2 beatdowns (R.G. 2008 & Masters Cup 2007), are ordinary, spiced with a few great moments.

Iceman778
05-13-2010, 04:38 PM
thanks for the info

JoshDragon
05-13-2010, 07:49 PM
My greatest rivalries: Records not great on 1st two, but the amount matches these guys played is ridiculous vs modern tennis.

Laver - Rosewall - Played approx 130 matches, (62-49 Documented favors Laver)
Gonzales - Hoad - Played 87 matches, (51-36 Gonzales)

McEnroe-Lendl - 21-15 Lendl
McEnroe-Borg - 7-7
McEnroe-Connors - 20-14 Mac

Sampras-Agassi - 20-14 Sampras

Have you seen those matches? Where can you find them?

andy neyer
05-13-2010, 08:02 PM
@MacTheKnife

Laver - Rosewall - Played approx 130 matches, (62-49 Documented favors Laver)
Gonzales - Hoad - Played 87 matches, (51-36 Gonzales)

Quantity doesn't amount to quality.

I'm not saying those were bad matches.. I have never seen any of those, tbh. They were most likely great for their time but I think racquet technology has changed the game for the better and I much prefer see today's tennis than the tennis that was prevalent in Pancho Gonzáles' era.

Billups85
05-13-2010, 09:41 PM
Greatest rivalry in tennis history. No doubt about it.

a) 7 Grand Slam finals.

b) 8 Masters 1000 finals.

c) 16 finals in 20 games on all surfaces. (Borg - McEnroe never met on clay)

d) High quality in their matches. Some were really epic (longest final at Wimbledon and AO)

Action Jackson
05-13-2010, 11:56 PM
Yeah, people complain about the h2h disparity, how badly Fed plays vs. Nadal and the supposed low-quality matches between the two.

Federer and Nadal will only get the recognition they deserve when they've both retired.

It will still be overrated in my eyes.

Mjau!
05-14-2010, 12:09 AM
This rivalry is only hot on grass. They have like 2 memorable matches out of 17 on HC/clay. :shrug:

Persimmon
05-14-2010, 12:47 AM
I doubt it. The difference in the number of slams won 16 vs 6 is way too lopsided to be considered the greatest rivarly ever. Borg vs McEnroe was the greatest.

Mjau!
05-14-2010, 12:50 AM
13-7 & 6-2 is also a bit too lopsided, imho. Can it even be called a rivalry? More like domination.

Persimmon
05-14-2010, 01:04 AM
13-7 & 6-2 is also a bit too lopsided, imho. Can it even be called a rivalry? More like domination.

Indeed:o

Sunset of Age
05-14-2010, 01:33 AM
One of the best ever, imho, 2nd best after Navratilova-Evert. :worship:
Oops, that was WTA. :angel:

Federer and Nadal will only get the recognition they deserve when they've both retired.

Yep. Sad but true.

Sunset of Age
05-14-2010, 01:33 AM
13-7 & 6-2 is also a bit too lopsided, imho. Can it even be called a rivalry? More like domination.

Indeed:o

16 - 6 seems rather lopsided, too.

Ibracadabra
05-14-2010, 01:41 AM
Santoro and safin was a fantastic rivalary

Billups85
05-14-2010, 07:41 AM
I doubt it. The difference in the number of slams won 16 vs 6 is way too lopsided to be considered the greatest rivarly ever. Borg vs McEnroe was the greatest.


The Borg-McEnroe rivalry had a 11-4 difference in Grand Slams titles when Borg retired and they never met on clay. No way this rivalry is better than Fedal.

Persimmon
05-14-2010, 12:22 PM
16 - 6 seems rather lopsided, too.

Without a doubt. Biggest slam difference between 2 rivals. Sampras/Agassi and Borg/McEnroe wasn't so lopsided.

Corey Feldman
05-14-2010, 12:29 PM
13-7 & 6-2 is also a bit too lopsided, imho. Can it even be called a rivalry? More like domination.hardly, Sampras was +6 over Agassi and that was seen as a pretty great rivalry

away from clay its still something like 5-5 and 2-2 in GS finals

MisterQ
05-14-2010, 01:29 PM
In my opinion, the specific win-loss numbers are not as important as the fact that two players meet repeatedly in important events and play competitive matches. There's a cultural/historical aspect to this, too, something that goes beyond statistics. Federer and Nadal are the defining players of their era.

Every major rivalry has its numerical quirks, and it's hard to generalize about what numerical patterns make a rivalry great. Evert-Navratilova was one of the great rivalries, but it was actually quite lopsided at times. Evert once won 8 matches in a row against her rival; Navratilova once won 13 in a row. I'm sure at times it felt like no rivalry at all!

Numbers, while accurate, can be misleading at a glance. Sampras and Agassi had a relatively unstreaky rivalry in a sense: Sampras once won four matches in a row (1996), but other than that, neither player ever won more than three in a row against the other. 20-14 sounds like a massive lead, but if Agassi had won three more of those matches, it would be 17-17. It's not as huge a gap as it sounds. At the end of 1995 they were at 9-8. By August 2001 they were at 17-14. Was their rivalry made less respectable by the fact that they played three more times after that, with Sampras winning and widening the divide? I'd say no -- to the contrary, those last three matches were an important final chapter which included one of their greatest matches (USO 2001).

I'd say Federer-Nadal is right up there with the greatest rivalries we've seen.

-Valhalla-
05-14-2010, 01:51 PM
In my opinion, the specific win-loss numbers are not as important as the fact that two players meet repeatedly in important events and play competitive matches. There's a cultural/historical aspect to this, too, something that goes beyond statistics. Federer and Nadal are the defining players of their era.

Every major rivalry has its numerical quirks, and it's hard to generalize about what numerical patterns make a rivalry great. Evert-Navratilova was one of the great rivalries, but it was actually quite lopsided at times. Evert once won 8 matches in a row against her rival; Navratilova once won 13 in a row. I'm sure at times it felt like no rivalry at all!

Numbers, while accurate, can be misleading at a glance. Sampras and Agassi had a relatively unstreaky rivalry in a sense: Sampras once won four matches in a row (1996), but other than that, neither player ever won more than three in a row against the other. 20-14 sounds like a massive lead, but if Agassi had won three more of those matches, it would be 17-17. It's not as huge a gap as it sounds. At the end of 1995 they were at 9-8. By August 2001 they were at 17-14. Was their rivalry made less respectable by the fact that they played three more times after that, with Sampras winning and widening the divide? I'd say no -- to the contrary, those last three matches were an important final chapter which included one of their greatest matches (USO 2001).

I'd say Federer-Nadal is right up there with the greatest rivalries we've seen.

Well said. And I would add that a compelling contrast in playing styles and personas is also a vital component of a truly great rivalry [eg. Nicklaus-Palmer, Ali-Frazier, Borg-Mac, Chrissie-Martina, Fed-Nadal].

Sophocles
05-14-2010, 02:25 PM
In my opinion, the specific win-loss numbers are not as important as the fact that two players meet repeatedly in important events and play competitive matches. There's a cultural/historical aspect to this, too, something that goes beyond statistics. Federer and Nadal are the defining players of their era.

Every major rivalry has its numerical quirks, and it's hard to generalize about what numerical patterns make a rivalry great. Evert-Navratilova was one of the great rivalries, but it was actually quite lopsided at times. Evert once won 8 matches in a row against her rival; Navratilova once won 13 in a row. I'm sure at times it felt like no rivalry at all!

Numbers, while accurate, can be misleading at a glance. Sampras and Agassi had a relatively unstreaky rivalry in a sense: Sampras once won four matches in a row (1996), but other than that, neither player ever won more than three in a row against the other. 20-14 sounds like a massive lead, but if Agassi had won three more of those matches, it would be 17-17. It's not as huge a gap as it sounds. At the end of 1995 they were at 9-8. By August 2001 they were at 17-14. Was their rivalry made less respectable by the fact that they played three more times after that, with Sampras winning and widening the divide? I'd say no -- to the contrary, those last three matches were an important final chapter which included one of their greatest matches (USO 2001).

I'd say Federer-Nadal is right up there with the greatest rivalries we've seen.

Good posting. Obviously in the vast majority of rivalries one player will have a lead in the H2H. This in itself is no reason for saying the rivalry's shit, even when the lead is quite big - e.g. Becker-Edberg was a good rivalry, even though Becker led it 25-10, as a lot of the matches were competitive & Edberg won some of the most important matches. Of course there are limits: 19-2 disqualifies Federer-Roddick as a serious rivalry, but 13-7 doesn't disqualify Federer-Nadal. It's more a question of the quality of the matches, which has often been ordinary.

But as I've said before, you can't restrict a rivalry to the matches the 2 players play against each other. They're also competing for ranking points and titles, as well as wins against each other.

thrust
05-14-2010, 04:36 PM
@MacTheKnife

Laver - Rosewall - Played approx 130 matches, (62-49 Documented favors Laver)
Gonzales - Hoad - Played 87 matches, (51-36 Gonzales)

Quantity doesn't amount to quality.

I'm not saying those were bad matches.. I have never seen any of those, tbh. They were most likely great for their time but I think racquet technology has changed the game for the better and I much prefer see today's tennis than the tennis that was prevalent in Pancho Gonzáles' era.

Well, between 1960-1970, they were the two top players in the Pro and Open eras. The 1972 Dallas final, which I saw on TV, was a great match. According to Laver, they played even better matches than that in past.

Everko
05-16-2010, 06:00 PM
Well said. And I would add that a compelling contrast in playing styles and personas is also a vital component of a truly great rivalry [eg. Nicklaus-Palmer, Ali-Frazier, Borg-Mac, Chrissie-Martina, Fed-Nadal].

I agree