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Regardless of achievements, who was superior on clay at their peak?

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I happen to think Federer is still head and shoulders superior to all other players of this generation on clay, except for Nadal. With 5/6 FO titles potentially frustrated alone by Nadal (the most dominant clay player in history), as well as incredible battles like the 2006 Rome Final, competing against peak Nadal.

Federer's nominal achievements on clay don't reflect how good he truly was on this surface. Massive respect for him.

Similarly, I feel Djokovic is the clear 3rd best clay player of this era, although substantially behind Federer in greatness at his peak. Djokovic's peak clay form the past few years hasn't been enough to beat a massively diminished Nadal. Imagine if he had to face the Nadal of 2006-2008 on clay. Not a chance in my opinion. And that's unlikely to change even if Djokovic finally (with the Law of Large Numbers and Nadal's further decline on his side) wins RG one or even a few times.

Which goes to show you that relative strength of competition is very important in determining actual greatness.
 

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Clay: Peak Nadal > Peak Federer > Peak Djokovic.

Peak Federer beat Peak Djokovic, Peak Nadal used to beat peak Federer on clay. /Thread.
 

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I wasn't aware that Federer was ever underrated on clay. Anybody who has watched tennis regularly over the last 12 years would say he was a brilliant clay court player. You don't take out 2011ovic on clay in a Bo5 if you were rubbish.
 
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Peak Roger is superior, but not by a massive margin. He's just unlucky he had to face the greatest clay courter of all time at his best on the surface.
 

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I wasn't aware that Federer was ever underrated on clay. Anybody who has watched tennis regularly over the last 12 years would say he was a brilliant clay court player. You don't take out 2011ovic on clay in a Bo5 if you were rubbish.
Nadal should thank Federer for taking out Djokovic.
Nole had massive psychological upper hand against Nadal in that 2011.
 

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I wasn't aware that Federer was ever underrated on clay. Anybody who has watched tennis regularly over the last 12 years would say he was a brilliant clay court player. You don't take out 2011ovic on clay in a Bo5 if you were rubbish.
Not underrated by me. But some people seem to believe Djokovic is much better simply based on his wins to substandard Nadal.
 

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Nadal should thank Federer for taking out Djokovic.
Nole had massive psychological upper hand against Nadal in that 2011.
You can argue he even had a bigger psychological upper hand in RG 2012 (3 more slam finals that nadal lost to Djokovic on a row), but it didn't help him.

I actually posit that Federer did Djokovic a favor by taking him out in the SF and sparing him an embarrassing loss to Nadal, therefore breaking his streak and nullifying his psychological upper hand, which might have changed the course of the remaining 2 slams.
 

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Similarly, I feel Djokovic is the clear 3rd best clay player of this era, although substantially behind Federer in greatness at his peak. Djokovic's peak clay form the past few years hasn't been enough to beat a massively diminished Nadal. Imagine if he had to face the Nadal of 2006-2008 on clay. Not a chance in my opinion. And that's unlikely to change even if Djokovic finally (with the Law of Large Numbers and Nadal's further decline on his side) wins RG one or even a few times.
If Djokovic wins RG, he'll be head and shoulders above Federer
 

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If Djokovic wins RG, he'll be head and shoulders above Federer
I respectfully disagree. Nadal is a shadow of his former self. Just because Nadal's level goes down eventually to a point that even Djokovic can beat him up and win RG it doesn't mean that Djokovic is greater than Federer on clay.

To put things in perspective, both Federer and Djokovic have a similar record against Nadal on RG at this point. The difference being that, for Roger, most of the losses took place against peak Nadal, whereas Djokovic has lost most of his to Nadal Light.
 

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I respectfully disagree. Nadal is a shadow of his former self. Just because Nadal's level goes down eventually to a point that even Djokovic can beat him up and win RG it doesn't mean that Djokovic is greater than Federer on clay.

To put things in perspective, both Federer and Djokovic have a similar record against Nadal on RG at this point. The difference being that, for Roger, most of the losses took place against peak Nadal, whereas Djokovic has lost most of his to Nadal Light.
Of course it does. Djokovic beat Nadal convincingly everywhere except here. And even at RG played Nadal closer than Fed ever did. Djokovic also won all and multiple clay masters, defended a clay masters - the only thing missing is RG, if he gets it, he will be above Federer beyond any doubt.
 

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Of course it does. Djokovic beat Nadal convincingly everywhere except here. And even at RG played Nadal closer than Fed ever did. Djokovic also won all and multiple clay masters, defended a clay masters - the only thing missing is RG, if he gets it, he will be above Federer beyond any doubt.
That only makes sense if you think that Nadal post 2012 on clay has anything to do with Nadal on clay 2006-2010.

Watch the Rome 2006 final and marvel at the game of prime Nadal and prime Federer on clay. Djokovic can't touch that.
 

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That only makes sense if you think that Nadal post 2012 on clay has anything to do with Nadal on clay 2006-2010.

Watch the Rome 2006 final and marvel at the game of prime Nadal and prime Federer on clay. Djokovic can't touch that.
Djokovic already beat prime Nadal on clay in 2011. And he has more clay masters than Federer, more wins vs Nadal on the surface. Only thing missing is RG title. Stop trolling.
 

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