Originally Posted by IOFH
IW: After No2e figured it out the difference in class was evident, Nadal was left bemused in the 3rd
Madrid: straights, relatively close but No2e in dominating and Nadal (again) left bemused at the end
Rome: the same but higher quality
Wimby: First 2 sets a thorough beating, then it reduced into a tight, choking error-fest from both.
USO: Probably the biggest space in level all year, No2e just disassembling almost a comically frustrated Nadal for 2 and a half sets before encountering shoulder issues etc., even then it took a monumental effort from Nadal to get that 3rd set, so much so that he got fed a breadstick from No2e lobbing 90 mph 1st serves in the following sets.
The scorelines don't perhaps indicate hammerings but the actual matches did.
IW loss: In no world is a 3 set loss a hammering. Also, Nadal's serve disappeared in the third - that had nothing to do with Novak.
Miami/Rome: Is every straight set loss a hammering?! There was a break in each set - Nadal had his opportunities too. Rome was a closer match than Madrid. In no way am I saying they were equal players - Djokovic was better both times but that doesn't equal it being a hammering. He wasn't blown off the court 6-2, 6-2.
Wimby: I said that was the most one-sided - Nadal totally disappeared in the match - don't know if it was nerves, foot, Novak - everything - but that's closest to a hammering.
US Open: Novak had to work VERY hard to win that match. Nadal served atrociously most of the match yet and struggled to hold serve - but also broke Novak a number of times. The level in the third set was insane. In the 4th set Nadal was tired and dead so it didn't matter what Novak was serving. A match in which the winner himself looks dead cannot be a hammering.
To me losses prior to 2011 e.g. Cincinnati, to Novak, were more hammerings than any of the losses last year. They were psychologically tough blows but people underestimate how hard it was for Novak too - he can't just waltz on court and beat Nadal.