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Discussion Starter #1
There is so much on the line here. So much to gain, and so much to lose.

* If Novak loses, he will have pushed very hard in 2020 (the strain showed in NY) and yet won only 1 slam. He would be 3 behind in the slam count, and that would realistically make it 2022 at the earliest that he would tie with the others. His current phase of domination (since W 2018) is already longer than his great streaks of the past. He has all the appearance of a man who knows he needs to get it done now. If he loses to Rafa, he falls behind 10-6 in the slam H2H. This is quite likely the last slam final they will contest. If Djokovic loses, he will feel that he can never catch up to the others, no matter how fast and hard he runs.

* If Rafa loses, there is a very real possibility he gets stuck on 19 slams. If he loses an RG slam final now, what better proof of his decline could there be? Despite the conditions and the balls, he has had a dream run to the final. But if he loses now to Djokovic, it is hard to see him beating Djokovic again. There will be RG again next year of course, but then Rafa will have turned 35, and there is no guarantee he will be fit and confident. Losing to Djokovic on Philippe Chatrier in the final of a FO would complete a painful process that has been ongoing since 2011.

These guys have bounced back before of course. That's what champions do. But this time they're old.

I think we see a KO punch on Sunday. But I don't know who's going to throw it, and who's going to hit the canvas hard.
 

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I think a lose would be harder for Rafa than Nole. But it's also a huge chance for him. If Rafa wins tomorrow I can even see him winning another Grand Slam outside of Roland Garros.

For Djokovic it's different. He would just have won 1 Grand Slam in 2020 but he reached other things. He has the most Masters titles, soon the most weeks at No. 1. Obviously also for him a huge chance tomorrow to achieve the DCGS. But a lose wouldn't be so hard for him than Rafa.
 

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I wrote a brilliant thread along the lines of "will Nadal retire soon if he doesn't win Roland Garros". It got a lot of traction in a short space of time but was deleted by the mods. My conclusions were that if Nadal didn't win the French he would be extremely unlikely to win another slam before the next French Open. If he lost again at the French in 2021 he would retire at the end of the season - the writing would be on the wall. My contention was that the French Open 2020 was absolutely pivotal for his confidence in competing with Djokovic and the other players who can blast him off the court at the other slams. If the aura goes on clay it could be a fairly precipitous decline.
Novak is too competitive at the other slams for that to happen. Defeat would hurt but I don't think it'd be as consequential - in the short term at least..
Great thread by the way.
 

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Federer last Slam was with 36 years old. Nadal has 2 more chances to win RG in habitual conditions.

Djokovic could win 2 GS by year, in 2021 and in 2022. The next generation is still one step behind.

Both, regardless of Sunday's result, will reach Roger's 20 GS, they have risen from heavy defeats and their goal of being the best of their era is very clear.
 

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This is quite likely the last slam final they will contest.

Assuming that 9 of the last 10 slams were won by 1 of 2. That the only one who escaped is when Djoko DQ and Nadal absent, it is too early to see the loser broken, and if this is their last final between them, it is not very serious for the near future, it does not limit not so much their short-term slam perspective
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wrote a brilliant thread along the lines of "will Nadal retire soon if he doesn't win Roland Garros". It got a lot of traction in a short space of time but was deleted by the mods. My conclusions were that if Nadal didn't win the French he would be extremely unlikely to win another slam before the next French Open. If he lost again at the French in 2021 he would retire at the end of the season - the writing would be on the wall. My contention was that the French Open 2020 was absolutely pivotal for his confidence in competing with Djokovic and the other players who can blast him off the court at the other slams. If the aura goes on clay it could be a fairly precipitous decline.
Novak is too competitive at the other slams for that to happen. Defeat would hurt but I don't think it'd be as consequential - in the short term at least..
Great thread by the way.
Cheers. I agree that if Rafa lost tomorrow and at RG 2021 that he would retire soon thereafter. I don't think he enjoys hard court tennis at all, and I'm not sure he'll want to protect his ranking on hard courts all year just to face disappointment at RG.

But ... if we wins tomorrow, then he would go into RG 2021 with huge confidence.

Tomorrow's match will have big ramifications.
 

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just don’t think Nadal is arrogant enough to be broken by a loss to Djokovic. He probably doesn’t even see himself as the favorite, he will be fine. Djokovic will be fine too, since it’s RG, maybe his last chance at this particular tournament, but otherwise he will be fine.
 

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Don’t think it breaks either of them to be honest.

I don’t see Nadal as finished outside of RG even if he loses tomorrow. Realistically only Djokovic starts as heavy favourite against him at the other slams and, besides Thiem, I think Rafa deals with nextgen better than Djokovic. A scenario where a Tsitsipas or Medvedev take out Djokovic but lose to Rafa in the final is very likely at USO or even AO.

Both players are big champions who have bounced back from many heartbreaking defeats and would expect the same to happen tomorrow. Djokovic will still be the best player on everything non-clay and Rafa will still be 2nd or 3rd off clay and 1st on clay.


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I completely agree with you on Djokovic. It will be a huge blow for him to end such a year with only one slam when he possibly could win 3. It could be the end of him.

Nadal though, it won't matter for him that much. He knows he's close and there will be always another RG next year. Sadly, even if he loses to Djokovic tomorrow, I can see Bull win the next RG easily. Him being 35 won't stop him because he's still too good. Federer made these two believe they can play at a high level until late 30s so watch them do it, especially Bull at RG.
 

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It's not gonna be a travesty for any of them.

Djokovic is a lock to break Federer's weeks at #1 in 2021 and he is certainly enjoying it. Not to mention he will be in the list of favourites at every Slam next couple of seasons.

As for Nadal, he will know he didn't lost on dry, summer and bouncy conditions and 2021 edition will be completely different

So you are overreacting here.
 

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I completely agree with you on Djokovic. It will be a huge blow for him to end such a year with only one slam when he possibly could win 3. It could be the end of him.

Nadal though, it won't matter for him that much. He knows he's close and there will be always another RG next year. Sadly, even if he lost to Djokovic tomorrow, I can see Bull win the next RG easily. Him being 35 won't stop him because he's still too good. Federer made these two believe they can play at a high level until late 30s so watch them do it, especially the Bull at RG.
I don't agree with most of your post but it's nice to see someone recognizing Federer's role as a pionneer of records and for the way to lead a GOAT carreer for the other two. He does not get enough credit for that.
 

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Neither of them follow MTF logic so the loser will be fine I imagine. If it's Novak, it will be his first loss to a player/completed match all year, so still plenty to feel good about. Rafa as well, if he loses, he still made a GS final after not playing tennis practically since February and the conditions will suit him much more in the next year(s).
 

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As if rafa would lye down and accept just 19 majors should he lose. In fact they are both going to beat feds tally and they are both going to play until late 30's. Both will be neck and neck soon enough and neither of them would retire before the other unless they were severely in terminal decline. Even then, you could have a situation where Nadal comes out of retirement to win that extra FO on his 40th birthday to claim back the slam record from Nole. Would not be surprised if rafa took 9 months off at some point before retirement if he is in decline and focuses purely on RG. These two guys are not going anywhere until: A) They hold the slam record tally and B) The other player retires first
 

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Federer's role as a pionneer of records and for the way to lead a GOAT carreer for the other two. He does not get enough credit for that.


Well I think he gets a lot of credit on the contrary, he must be the most mentioned player in the threads, at 39, having played only one tournament this year in January.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I completely agree with you on Djokovic. It will be a huge blow for him to end such a year with only one slam when he possibly could win 3. It could be the end of him.
Djokovic is burning a lot of (mental, physical, emotional) fuel right now. He's trying to seize his destiny right now.

If he ends the season three slams behind both his rivals, then it damages him.
 

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A Nadal upset would be a big blow for sure.

I don't see why Djokovic would be broken though. He did very well making the final, which is realistically the best possible result. He blew a huge chance at the US Open, not here.
 
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