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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi!

Yesterday, I watched the film "Strokes of Genius" recounting the 2008 Wimbledon final and reviewing the level of the 2 protagonists, I asked myself again this question: In his entire career, which Nadal was the most impressive?

In his early days, he had a lot of technical deficiencies with his backhand and a poor service. However, it compensated for its weaknesses with speed of execution, incredible defence and unfailing responsiveness.



Now he has made huge progress on serve, his backhand has almost become a strong shot, he is much more technically complete BUT he has lost speed, he is less responsive, and these few lost seconds make him more often late on his shots and we can more easily private him of time knowing that his defense is less strong than before. This "deficiency" seems to have appeared around 2012.

So, which Nadal is the most impressive for you? The one from the beginning of 2008-2011 or the one we had after that? What about the surfaces? As much on clay, I think there is no doubt about it when I say that he reached his best level in 2008 just like on grass. But on hard? More like AO 2009, USO 2010 or 2013?


Tell me everything!
 

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2008, 2010, 2012-2013, 2018

Quick, nothing else answer.

Will explain when I got the time.
 

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I like young, swashbuckling Rafa with his long hair and bulging biceps and sleeveless tanks. Maybe not the best Goatdal (although he did have that crazy clay win streak back then) but definitely the coolest goatdal
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2008, 2010, 2012-2013, 2018

Quick, nothing else answer.

Will explain when I got the time.
You speak in general or for a specific surface? Because he was huge on clay and grass on 2008 but not on hard. May be his peak on AO 2009, his best level on hard? He was huge at USO 2010 with his best serve but an easy draw. 2012, he was huge at AO I think. 2013 also. But difficult to choose one year or one tournament for hard.

For me, it is a dilemma. Now, he is more complete in his game but he is less fast than before (few secondes but that make the difference in his timing).
 

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I watch highlights from older matches regularly because sometimes you don't always remember how the match actually unfolded in it's entirety.

Well anyways my view is 2013 Nadal would have crushed any version since. 2010 Nadal would have annihalated the versions before 2010. So it's either 2010 or 2013 for me. Since he was beating a very good and fit Novak in 2013, you'd have to say 2013 Nadal trumps all other Nadals. 2010 Nadal was not much different to 2011 Nadal and we all saw how Djokovic handled him then.

2013 wins out in this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I watch highlights from older matches regularly because sometimes you don't always remember how the match actually unfolded in it's entirety.

Well anyways my view is 2013 Nadal would have crushed any version since. 2010 Nadal would have annihalated the versions before 2010. So it's either 2010 or 2013 for me. Since he was beating a very good and fit Novak in 2013, you'd have to say 2013 Nadal trumps all other Nadals. 2010 Nadal was not much different to 2011 Nadal and we all saw how Djokovic handled him then.

2013 wins out in this one.
On hard or in general? Because in 2010, if you speak in general, he had his performance on grass. But it is difficult to compare AO 2009, USO 2010 and 2013 because draws were difficult and may be AO was hardest.
 

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2010 USO. Watch the final against No1e for reference.
 

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Hardcourt peak - AO 09 and 2013.

Claycourt peak - 2008

Grasscourt peak - 2008

His backhand was definitely better than most other backhands because he is a right hander (a Tio Toni masterpiece)
Overall best - torn between 2008 and 2013.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hardcourt peak - AO 09 and 2013.

Claycourt peak - 2008

Grasscourt peak - 2008

His backhand was definitely better than most other backhands because he is a right hander (a Tio Toni masterpiece)
Overall best - torn between 2008 and 2013.
I’m totally agree with you. Between AO 2009 and hard 2013 I am not able to make a choice. Yeah, his backhand is huge now. But after that, he was able to compensate with his speed, reactivity etc.
 

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2008 for clay, 2010 USO for hard. Maybe 2008 also for grass.
2013 is just a close second for hard.
 

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2010 clay season Nadal...he was bageling and breadsticking people af. It was scary, total dominance, he wanted that RG back so badly. Respect.
 

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At no point in his career was Nadal ever 'complete' (hardly anyone except probably Nole has been) in terms of major strengths and weaknesses in his game- but he has been unbeatable for quite a few stretches, even apart to clay. Grassdal and Hardal 2010 might not have faced the highest ranked opponents, but he still was head and shoulders above any other player in the draw. 2013 second half Hardal also deserves a mention On clay, 2008, 2012 and 2017 look like his best years gamewise - very few weaknesses.
 

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At no point in his career was Nadal ever 'complete' (hardly anyone except probably Nole has been) in terms of major strengths and weaknesses in his game- but he has been unbeatable for quite a few stretches, even apart to clay. Grassdal and Hardal 2010 might not have faced the highest ranked opponents, but he still was head and shoulders above any other player in the draw. 2013 second half Hardal also deserves a mention On clay, 2008, 2012 and 2017 look like his best years gamewise - very few weaknesses.
Hardal 2010 won 2 hardcourt events - a slam and a 500 (or was it 250?).
Hardal 2013 was way better.
 

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I like young, swashbuckling Rafa with his long hair and bulging biceps and sleeveless tanks. Maybe not the best Goatdal (although he did have that crazy clay win streak back then) but definitely the coolest goatdal
This.
2005 RAFA is my favourite RAFA.He could pass all they long from each wing. And he seemed fearless, and never choked. With current RAFA, you always fearhe might fail to close out sets or matches or choke them altogether.
 

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I watch highlights from older matches regularly because sometimes you don't always remember how the match actually unfolded in it's entirety.

Well anyways my view is 2013 Nadal would have crushed any version since. 2010 Nadal would have annihalated the versions before 2010. So it's either 2010 or 2013 for me. Since he was beating a very good and fit Novak in 2013, you'd have to say 2013 Nadal trumps all other Nadals. 2010 Nadal was not much different to 2011 Nadal and we all saw how Djokovic handled him then.

2013 wins out in this one.
They were pretty different. 2011 version lost the good serve and moonballed the BH, 2010 version had a good, flat BH.
 

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Clay: 2008
Grass: 2008
Hard: 2013, although 2010 had the big serve at USO, i think 2013 groundstrokes were better. It'd be an interesting match between 2010 Nadal vs 2013.

Now if you're talking best over an entire year it's 2010.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Interesting. Nobody speaks about his level at AO. He was huge and he had a more difficult draw than his USO 2010. USO 2010 was for his huge service. So difficult to choose. 2013, yeah he was impressive with his good run also.

Complete in terms of his main weakness like backhand.
 
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