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Has there ever been a similar situation to Roger Federer's?

Roger Federer is widely accepted as the greatest tennis player of all time for the moment being.

However, while he holds the GOAT reputation, he's been outclassed in his head to head matches by Rafael Nadal when it comes to the grand slams as well as their overall h2h in general.

Has there ever been a similar yet strange situation where there's an athlete, team, that's labeled as a GOAT, but have a losing h2h against a rival?
 

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Could you even imagine calling someone the greatest swimmer, golfer or runner of all time while that person had a losing head-to-head with his greatest rival? This greatest ever thing is a fraud.
 

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Outclassed? Latest outclassing was their London-meeting. Point is that Nadal has an edge on slow courts. It's a matchup thing due to Feds 1H BH and Nadal being left-handed and able to cross-court and put pressure on Feds BH in almost every rally. Eventually it cracks. This has been discussed in like 1000000 threads here but maybe ppl feel for another round.

But as a tennis player he is way greater and more complete than Nadal can ever hope for. Even Nadal himself knows that
 

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Outclassed? Latest outclassing was their London-meeting. Point is that Nadal has an edge on slow courts. It's a matchup thing due to Feds 1H BH and Nadal being left-handed and able to cross-court and put pressure on Feds BH in almost every rally. Eventually it cracks. This has been discussed in like 1000000 threads here but maybe ppl feel for another round.

But as a tennis player he is way greater and more complete than Nadal can ever hope for. Even Nadal himself knows that

Just from the eye test, one can see that federer is a superior tennis player to nadal. But, the catch is when these two play each other, nadal is the superior player. Quite an awkward situation.
 

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I think the difference in tennis compared to most sports is that player A consistently beating player B doesn't mean player A is better than player B.
 

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Could you even imagine calling someone the greatest swimmer, golfer or runner of all time while that person had a losing head-to-head with his greatest rival? This greatest ever thing is a fraud.
you dont need to beat every person 100 times, win every single race/match win every title to be the greatest ever otherwise no fucking sportsman would be the greatest ever.
 

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Yes. Roberto Duran for example. He record against Leonard (1-2) , Hearns (0-1), and Hagler (0-1), are all negative and still 99% of the boxing experts will put him in an all time p4p list above all of them.

Overall accomplishments will always have more value than h2h IMO

cheers
 

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There is no such thing as perfect career. Sampras had the inability to win big on clay, Federer has Nadal, and now seemingly Nadal has Djokovic

Imagine if Nadal had not been around. Back to back calendar slams 2006-2007. Federer having 5 of each grandslam. It would have an insane domination that tennis would've become really really boring. Nadal, as much as I don't like his brand of tennis, kept the game interesting by being the antithesis of Federer and keeping Federer from a full on domination.

But the thing is, if you ask Federer if he would trade 6 of his slams for a positive H2H against Nadal, I don't think he will say yes. And if you ask Nadal if he will trade his positive H2H against Federer for 6 slams, I think he'd say yes in a heartbeat. In the end, results are still more important in gauging who is really the greatest. That said, Federer's ability to lose against Nadal, even when he is not really being outplayed - just the general mental block of the thing makes me really put a question mark on his GOAT-ness. Tennis is a very mental game, and a mental midget cannot be the GOAT. He is still the most successful but there is no GOAT after this.
 

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Valentino Rossi (The motogp Federer), Casey Stoner (Nadal), Jorge Lorenzo (Djokovic), Pedrosa (Muzza)
This is actually surprisingly apt, had never really considered it before. Kind of works out both in terms of results and style too.
 

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Federer wins the matches Nadal doesn't care about.
 
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