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So who is it?

  • Djokovic

    Votes: 18 66.7%
  • Nadal

    Votes: 9 33.3%
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Right now? djokovic, that's why he keeps winning. Rafa has been the best defensive player in the last decade though.
 

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Right now Nole.. But Nadal is on the steady decline because of the mileage factor. So its to be expected. HE essentially has "4 more tennis years" on his body then Nol does.. Of course he isn't going to be better defensively right now.
 

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Mammoths
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At the moment they both defend extremely well and get to about an equal number of balls, more or less. What do they do with the ball when they get there though?

Nadal's defense of the forehand side is probably slightly superior; he has an uncanny knack of looping it high and deep into the opposite corner of the court even when fully stretched and seemingly completely out of position. Nole isn't bad at this at all but Nadal's capacity to return deep loopy nothing balls right back deep into an opponents corner is brilliant. He is also more capable of flashing ridiculous winners on the full stretch with his forehand than Nole, though Nole is excellent at counter-punching cross-court with his forehand in extended stretched out rallies.

On the backhand though it's a different story, and Djokovic's defense comes up trumps here not just because of his movement but the impressive reliability of his stroke. His footwork on his backhand side is impeccable and he is able to return the ball flat, deep and with considerable interest even on the full stretch on his backhand side, sometimes even being able to flash impressive counter-punching winners out of the blue. By contrast, Nadal's backhand defense is also impressive but not so dangerous; he cannot turn defense into attack with his backhand in the manner that Djokovic manages to do on a consistent basis. Nadal tends to moonball with his backhand down the line when he's on the full stretch and does have an unusual ability to 'moonball banana slice' down the line *extremely* accurately on his backhand side; this is an ability Nole doesn't really have.

Both these guys deal with blistering pace directly at their feet or constant power barrages from hard-hitting opponents about equally, but Nadal is more likely to flash a half-volley winner than Djokovic on his forehand side.

In short then:

Speed and anticipation - about equal

Forehand - Nadal

Backhand - Djokovic

Ability to deal with direct blistering pace - more or less equal
 

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honestly I think Nadal has better defense. everyone seems to say Djokovic these days, but what I think you are mistaking is that in a defensive position he has the tendency to hit winners. What I mean by that is that Djokovic often translates his defensive play into offense; i.e. he hits winners off the defense. Nadal (at least of late) I would say is a better defensive player because he essentially just gets balls in and goes for it much less. Nadal > defense, Djokovic > offense = 2011
 

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honestly I think Nadal has better defense. everyone seems to say Djokovic these days, but what I think you are mistaking is that in a defensive position he has the tendency to hit winners. What I mean by that is that Djokovic often translates his defensive play into offense; i.e. he hits winners off the defense. Nadal (at least of late) I would say is a better defensive player because he essentially just gets balls in and goes for it much less. Nadal > defense, Djokovic > offense = 2011
This ! ;) @
 

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Mammoths
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Keep forgetting that you make every damned thread that has ever existed in MTF. Hopefully a mod will merge the threads.

Peak for peak (movement/defense wise) I have no doubt *at all* that Nadal was (and possibly still is anyway) superior in defense.
 

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Djokovic is better at everything then Nadull.
 
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