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Take away Djokovic's backhand, which I think neutralizes Rafa's cross-court forehand, that troubles most players on the tour. Rafa will be able to dictate the play and produce better results vs. Djokovic.

Rafa is up against the best backhand in the history.
 

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Take away Djokovic's backhand, which I think neutralizes Rafa's cross-court forehand, that troubles most players on the tour. Rafa will be able to produce better results vs. Djokovic.
Don't forget the Djokovic forehand, all the times he won vs Nadal on clay it was on fire.
Also all the times he won vs Federer it held up nicely. Probably the most underrated shot of 2010's and beyond.
 

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Don't forget the Djokovic forehand, all the times he won vs Nadal on clay it was on fire.
Also all the times he won vs Federer it held up nicely. Probably the most underrated shot of 2010's and beyond.
Well, a relatively weak or shaky backhand will put Rafa in an advantageous position in the rally (in the leftie's cross-court forehand and the rightie's backhand exchange) and enable him to dictate the play. Like in the case of Pre-2017 Federer's backhand. 👇

 
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It´s absurd to speculate about not reading Djokovic´s game at this point, Nadal, Djokovic, Federer they all can play exceptionally good tennis but in the end, those little mental margins are the ones that make the difference.

Maybe Djokovic got too confident when he entered his prime and he saw he was playing Nadal and Federer at the same level and they had their own slumps, that might have given him that small mental edge needed to win more often than lose throughout all of his career.

His game is the same as it always has been, there´s nothing new to "read"
 
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Faker’s game hard to read? Is this mofo serious? All he does is hit the ball deep to the middle of the court and retrieve endlessly until his opponent gives up and goes for a low percentage shot and misses.
 

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Safin is a player who was hard to read. It was hard to say if he was going to tap into his well of talent or underperform. Tsonga is another example of this.Talented players are hard to read because you don't know what type of performance is coming from them.

Federer is another player that is hard to read. You don't know if he'll put in a Jesusfed performance or become Federror.

Against Joe and Nadal, the difficulty for the opponent is not the unpredictability of their game but rather executing a winning strategy for the duration of the match.

Everyone knows how to beat Nadal on clay yet only Soderling could do it. Similarly against Joe its about holding your nerve and winning the big points once he gets his teeth into the match.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
It´s absurd to speculate about not reading Djokovic´s game at this point, Nadal, Djokovic, Federer they all can play exceptionally good tennis but in the end, those little mental margins are the ones that make the difference.

Maybe Djokovic got too confident when he entered his prime and he saw he was playing Nadal and Federer at the same level and they had their own slumps, that might have given him that small mental edge needed to win more often than lose throughout all of his career.

His game is the same as it always has been, there´s nothing new to "read"
Funny how they ‘had their own slumps’ almost always at the business end of tournaments vs Nole after cruising thru rest of the field 🤔
 

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Funny how they ‘had their own slumps’ almost always at the business end of tournaments vs Nole after cruising thru rest of the field 🤔
That´s not true, after "slam" Federer, that is after RG 2009, he was losing to Delpotro, Berdych, Tsonga and the likes, it had nothing to do with Nole and yes, Nole took advantage and pushed Federer slump further because Nole entered his prime just a few of months after Federer started declining.

That chronology certainly affected both player´s physique for the rest of their careers but it´s not like Nole was the main reason, if anything, it was Federer´s overall decline that might have motivated Djokovic and made him win against Federer more ofthen
 

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Funny how they ‘had their own slumps’ almost always at the business end of tournaments vs Nole after cruising thru rest of the field 🤔
It's not like Djokovic didn't cruise through the field and fall apart to Wawrinka at the tail end of the grand slams. Was he like 1-4 H2H vs. Wawrinka in his last 5 grand slam matches, and the lone win coming in a 5-setter? For most players, there will be some player somewhere who can handle them better; such a situation has an ugly name, called "match-up issue."
 

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It's not like Djokovic didn't cruise through the field and fall apart to Wawrinka at the tail end of the grand slams. Was he like 1-4 H2H vs. Wawrinka in his last 5 grand slam matches, and the lone win coming in a 5-setter? For most players, there will be some player somewhere who can handle them better; such a situation has an ugly name, called "match-up issue."
Djokovic has played a lot more HC slam 4R/QF/SF rubbers vs Stanimal than finals (six HC rubbers 3:3 since 2013, just one final USO'16), unlike Nadal who had always managed to escape Stan/Djok's at HC slams, as he escaped Djok/Fed's HC half of the draw since USO'07 final till 2012.

Consequently, Djokovic has played dozen of HC 4R/QF/SF rubbers vs peaking Fed and then peaking Stan, whereas Nadal has played zero HC QF/SF rubbers vs peaking Fed & Djok till 2012 and zero vs peaking Stan & Djok since 2013.
 

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Djokovic has played a lot more HC slam 4R/QF/SF rubbers vs Stanimal than finals (six HC rubbers 3:3 since 2013, just one final USO'16), unlike Nadal who had always managed to escape Stan/Djok's at HC slams, as he escaped Djok/Fed's HC half of the draw since USO'07 final till 2012.

Consequently, Djokovic has played dozen of HC 4R/QF/SF rubbers vs peaking Fed and then peaking Stan, whereas Nadal has played zero HC QF/SF rubbers vs peaking Fed & Djok till 2012 and zero vs peaking Stan & Djok since 2013.
Rafa escaping Stan on hardcourts? Good joke. Sure, Stan defeated Rafa in an Australian Open final and defeated Federer in a Monte Carlo final once, but it doesn't mean he can trouble Rafa or Federer anywhere, consistently. Stan is a non-issue to Rafa, on any surface, and a non-issue to Federer, outside clay.

Stan became Stanimal mainly due to being Djokovic's nemesis and beating Djokovic in their most recent grand slam matches.
 

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Rafa escaping Stan on hardcourts? Good joke. Sure, Stan defeated Rafa in an Australian Open final and defeated Federer in a Monte Carlo final once, but it doesn't mean he can trouble Rafa or Federer anywhere, consistently. Stan is a non-issue to Rafa, on any surface, and a non-issue to Federer, outside clay.

Stan became Staninal mainly due to being Djokovic's nemesis and beating Djokovic in their most recent grand slam matches.
Stan was a non-issue to Rafa at HC slams only because they met just once during 2013-2017 period, and as was the case vs Djokovic, they could've met in the final only.

If Stan had always landed in Nadal's AO/USO quarter & half instead of Djokovic's, Nadal would've had a big issue, victories including because of an accumulated tiredness, and Djokovic would've had a lot less of an issue.

Nadal's resume vs Stan at RG or masters meant nothing, because Djokovic is 10:0 vs Stan at the masters level and 5:0 since 2013 (only one lost set), but is 3:3 at HC slams since 2013.
 

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That´s not true, after "slam" Federer, that is after RG 2009, he was losing to Delpotro, Berdych, Tsonga and the likes, it had nothing to do with Nole and yes, Nole took advantage and pushed Federer slump further because Nole entered his prime just a few of months after Federer started declining.

That chronology certainly affected both player´s physique for the rest of their careers but it´s not like Nole was the main reason, if anything, it was Federer´s overall decline that might have motivated Djokovic and made him win against Federer more ofthen
Hate to break it to you bro but Novak's been beating Fed in slams and masters ever since he became a top 10 player all the way back in 2007, that's 14 years ago.
 

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Hate to break it to you bro but Novak's been beating Fed in slams and masters ever since he became a top 10 player all the way back in 2007, that's 14 years ago.
And I hate to break it to you bro but Novak has beaten Federer only once in slams before 2010 and it was his breakthrough slam win, he would not win another slam until 2011, still Federer had a comfortable lead in the h2h and specially at slams.

Djokovic was already hyped back then like so many others but no reason to fear him. Djokovic would not beat Federer more than once in a row until 2009 and even then it was not in slams. He only started to be a real threat for Federer in 2011 even if he was already becoming dangerous in 09, just the year when Federer´s slump started after RG
 

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Stan was a non-issue to Rafa at HC slams only because they met just once during 2013-2017 period, and as was the case vs Djokovic, they could've met in the final only.

If Stan had always landed in Nadal's AO/USO quarter & half instead of Djokovic's, Nadal would've had a big issue, victories including because of an accumulated tiredness, and Djokovic would've had a lot less of an issue.

Nadal's resume vs Stan at RG or masters meant nothing, because Djokovic is 10:0 vs Stan at the masters level and 5:0 since 2013 (only one lost set), but is 3:4 at HC slams since 2013.
Rafa vs. Wawrinka career H2H 19-3; out of those 3 wins 2 wins were on HCs and 1 win on Clay. On the other hand, an out of form Wawrinka dumped Djokovic out of US Open in 2019 as well.
 

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Take away Djokovic's backhand, which I think neutralizes Rafa's cross-court forehand, that troubles most players on the tour. Rafa will be able to dictate the play and produce better results vs. Djokovic.

Rafa is up against the best backhand in the history.
Funny that's more like describing Nadal if you took away his forehand, what is he left with ? he'd be a mediocre player trying trying to break in the top 100. Also you're wrong on so many levels. Novak isn't even reliant on one particular shot in his arsenal like nadal with his forehand, he's great on both sides everyone knows this. He's probably the greatest player ever with no glaring weakness in his game. Novak's forehand is better than his backhand and a more dangerous shot in my opinion and one of the main reason he has a an advantage against Nadal,
 

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Rafa vs. Wawrinka career H2H 19-3; out of those 3 wins 2 wins were on HCs and 1 win on Clay. On the other hand, an out of form Wawrinka dumped Djokovic out of US Open in 2019 as well.
Outside slams Nadal is 16:2 vs Wawrinka, Djokovic is 15:2 (including 14:0 stretch 2007-2013 and 5:0 at the HC masters+YEC level since 2013), but since 2013 Djokovic has played five HC slam rubbers in his half vs HC Stanimal, Nadal has played zero.
 

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And I hate to break it to you bro but Novak has beaten Federer only once in slams before 2010 and it was his breakthrough slam win, he would not win another slam until 2011, still Federer had a comfortable lead in the h2h and specially at slams.

Djokovic was already hyped back then like so many others but no reason to fear him. Djokovic would not beat Federer more than once in a row until 2009 and even then it was not in slams. He only started to be a real threat for Federer in 2011 even if he was already becoming dangerous in 09, just the year when Federer´s slump started after RG
You're talking specially about 2 matches, within in a 2 year period in the BEGINING of a rivalry spanning 14 years! like that somehow define it.

His breakthrough slam win against Fed was only they 2nd time they met in a slam and they only met twice after that before Novak won AGAIN and preceded to go 12-1 for the rest of their careers. You must have forgotten, highly doubt it since Novak is smashing fed records left and right
 

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You're talking specially about 2 matches, within in a 2 year period in the BEGINING of a rivalry spanning 14 years! like that somehow define it.

His breakthrough slam win against Fed was only they 2nd time they met in a slam and they only met twice after that before Novak won AGAIN and preceded to go 12-1 for the rest of their careers. You must have forgotten, highly doubt it since Novak is smashing fed records left and right
You´re only confirming my original point, Novak was not a real threat to Federer until 2009-2011 and they had played a lot more than 2 matches and more than 2 matches at slams too.

I won´t ignore the fact that Djokovic was still in the making and I´m not saying Djokovic would not have a better resume those years if in his prime but the fact is, Djokovic started his prime AFTER Federer´s decline when Federer won RG and lost motivation and most of those 14 years of rivalry took place afterwards. Federer had worst losses against other inferior players right after 2009.

This situation of starting as the less achieved underdog against the older, back then, undisputed GOAT in decline (and I add Nadal in the equation even if the timings and situations were different to Federer´s) helped Djokovic´s psyche a lot throughout all his later career and specially his later rivalry against Federer.
 

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You´re only confirming my original point, Novak was not a real threat to Federer until 2009-2011 and they had played a lot more than 2 matches and more than 2 matches at slams too.

I won´t ignore the fact that Djokovic was still in the making and I´m not saying Djokovic would not have a better resume those years if in his prime but the fact is, Djokovic started his prime AFTER Federer´s decline when Federer won RG and lost motivation and most of those 14 years of rivalry took place afterwards. Federer had worst losses against other inferior players right after 2009.

This situation of starting as the less achieved underdog against the older, back then, undisputed GOAT in decline (and I add Nadal in the equation even if the timings and situations were different to Federer´s) helped Djokovic´s psyche a lot throughout all his later career and specially his later rivalry against Federer.
Mate you don't have a point that much is clear. Saying Novak was not a threat to Fed until 2009 is not only ridiculous but inaccurate. He beat Fed in 2007 Montreal Masters finals and challenge him in 2007 USO F and beat him 2008 AO.SF. so you're very much wrong. That was all within less than year of him being a top 3 player. So it's clear as day Novak was always a threat.

Before 2009 the rivalry had barely started, it was maybe a year and half old, So you saying "until 2009 " as if there is anything to really go off before that The bottom line is. Fed has failed time and time again when it comes to big matches against Novak. You cherry picking that small time period makes no sense when they played another 12 years and fed got beat constantly

Right, Fed declined conveniently started at ripe age 27-28 when Nadal and Novak started Rising. What a coincidence
 
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