Pretty insane to think
A speculation, with 85.71% (6/7) chance of happening, if not with 97.89% (93/95) chance of happening.I agree with @Jolyon that he was the second best in all the AO finals that he lost. Both AO 12 and '17 would have been cases of the opponent losing from a winning position if Rafa had won. I think he was building up nice form in RG '16 before his unfortunate withdrawal. He had won MC, had set points in both sets in the Rome loss against Djokovic, and I personally believe he would have beaten Djoko in that RG had they met. But it's all speculation.
The biggest 'if only he had...' instance that would cemented goathood is actually undoubtedly that of Fed at 40-15 in WB '19. Even we Rafa fans would agree.
That's exaggerated.If Federer never choked he'd have ~27 slams and be the indisputable GOAT forever lol.
Never should have lost AO 05, WB 08, AO 09, USO 09, USO 11, USO 15, WB 19. May have even beaten Nadal at RG once had he converted MP in Rome 06 and fueled self-belief.
... As I said immediately after Djokovic's default the ball is in Rafa's court even if Djokovic wins the French anyway ... and also the Australian Open.None of the AO finals he lost, he deserved to win. He tried and he failed.
However, I care about the chances he did not give them a try. He could have been GOAT by winning 2016 RG and by winning 2020 USO.
The biggest fuck up would be 2020 RG, if that happens. 2020 RG is still in his hands. The future is still in his hands, he'd better handle it better.
Wimby 2019 was the real significant one. The real GOAT debate is between Federer and Djokovic anyway. Specialist is just an impostor whose resume is so vastly different from Djokerer that you can't compare.The AO17 final was arguably most important GS match in history, especially the 5th set. One could feel that they were playing for the GS record, for history. A few years passed and it's significance waned a bit - it seems that Nadal will at least equal the record anyway. However If he fails to catch Fed then AO17 final will forever remain the key moment of their rivalry and tennis history. Wimby19 final may prove to be an even bigger historical match but it depends on how many slams Djoko can add.
I agree mostly, but there is one minor thing that we forget. Rafa would have met Djoko in the SF that year. Also, it was one of the wettest RGs in recent times. That's why I refrain from outrightly saying that Rafa would have won. But even if he hadn't won, he would have tired down Djoko and Murray would have had an RG. I think it was undoubtedly a big piece of fortune for DjokoA speculation, with 85.71% (6/7) chance of happening, if not with 97.89% (93/95) of happening.
In 2014, Rafa lost in Monte Carlo, lost in Barcelona, won Madrid, lost to Djokovic at Rome, went on to win RG beating Djokovic in the final in 4 sets.
In 2016, Rafa won Monte Carlo, won Barcelona, lost Madrid, lost to Djokovic at Rome, would have gone on to win RG beating Djokovic in the final.
I compare 2016 with 2014, and Rafa was in better form in 2016 than in 2014, during the European clay season. Also, if Djokovic had lost a set to one-time finalist, Murray, in that 2016 RG final, he could have lost 3 sets to 9-time champion, Rafa.
Rafa has not lost a match at RG since 2015, a year during which he won no MC, no Barcelona, no Madrid, no Rome, and of course, no RG. To beat Rafa at RG is the biggest challenge there is, in any sport; or at least, there was, at that point in time, since we do not know what form Rafa is in going into this year's RG. Fingers crossed.
That 2016 RG SF between Rafa v. Djokovic would have been the real final, just like 2013 RG SF. Rafa never lost an RG semifinal (12/12) and a RG final (12/12).I agree mostly, but there is one minor thing that we forget. Rafa would have met Djoko in the SF that year. Also, it was one of the wettest RGs in recent times. That's why I refrain from outrightly saying that Rafa would have won. But even if he hadn't won, he would have tired down Djoko and Murray would have had an RG. I think it was undoubtedly a big piece of fortune for Djoko
Point is that tennis-wise Federer was at least slightly better than his opponent in all those matches but wasted that by poor mental play on big points. There have of course been matches where Federer was worse tennistically and won by perseverance and clutch, but only once in a slam that he won - Agassi in USO 04. So the score is 7 titles missed for being unclutch vs just 1 grabbed by extra clutch. Sad.That's exaggerated.
To my mind only USO 09 and WB 19 were obvious chokes that he should have won. USO 09 not even a choke but a bad match tactically.
The rest of the finals were close matches with some missed opportunities by Roger but he never was really close to winning them and one might argue the opponents were just better than him in these matches whether it was better mentally or purely tennis-wise doesn't matter at the end of the day.
USO 11 is completely different - he should have closed it out but it was not even a final...