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Murray playing at his absolute peak level (i.e. both of his stints with Lendl, in my view) had some absolute battles with both Federer and Djokovic when they were both also playing at a very high level.

However, I don't think Peak Murray really came up against Peak Nadal at any point. Certainly not during the slams, anyway. Maybe the odd time in clay tournaments during his second stint with Lendl, but even then, I'm not sure if Nadal was at his highest level.

Or does anyone think there were a couple of examples of Peak Nadal vs Peak Murray in smaller tournaments? Genuinely interested to know.
 

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Murray was already very good in 2008, Nadal had won the olympics that year and was in the form of his life at the 2008 FO.. Try watching their 2008 USO match where Murray won on a medium fast court.
 

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WTF'10 semi was a great match.
 

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Yeah WTF match both guys played at an incredibly high level.

Also mentions to USO 2008 and Tokyo 2011, 2 of Murray's best matches of his career, Nadal didn't play badly here at all, just played a guy in the zone and really took it to Nadal, I wish Andy had played that aggressively much more in his career. .
 

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Its definitely 2010 WTF.


Murray and the journos afterwards debated if Murray had ever played better in a loss and if he would have beaten any other player with the performance but Nadal.

Rafa was damn flat and tired '08 USO. Said so himself.
 

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They did miss each other during some of Murray's best periods in 2012-13 and 2016 (other than the clay masters season that year, which were pretty great matches) due to them seeming to trade off being injured while the other won a lot. But they played plenty of good ones when their primes overlapped back in the day, Murray may not have reached his best results yet but he was still great in the 2008-2011 period.

As far as individual matches go the WTF 2010 match is probably the collective highest quality between the two of them. Other than those already mentioned I'd give a shoutout to Monte Carlo and Madrid 2016, and bizarrely Rome 2014. At slams, there aren't as many examples of matches that were considered great performances from both (and as mentioned they mostly avoided each other at slams in later years) but USO 2008 is probably the best example with one of Murray's best performances and Nadal in one of his peak seasons. Their three 2011 GS semifinals also obviously had both near their primes and were of good quality overall but probably no single match stands out as particularly brilliant.
 

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'08 US Open certainly wasn't a Nadal peak. After sweeping the clay and grass seasons and the Olympics and Roger's Cup, Nadal didn't enter that US Open semi in the best physical shape and Murray ran the legs off him. It was certainly a great match for Murray, but Nadal wasn't quite on his game.
 

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Murray put up a damn fine performance in the 2011 RG'SF, but Nadal was just too good on clay at that point.
 

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Its definitely 2010 WTF.


Murray and the journos afterwards debated if Murray had ever played better in a loss and if he would have beaten any other player with the performance but Nadal.

Rafa was damn flat and tired '08 USO. Said so himself.
It was a weird debate then considering that Federer easily beat Murray in the very same tournament.
 

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It was a weird debate then considering that Federer easily beat Murray in the very same tournament.
It was probably federers best non-Slam tournament ever. He beat all other 3 big-4-members b2b. The only time he has done so. Federer was channeling his peak again in this tournament and in the upcoming Doha event. Sadly Even more strange then his sudden drop of form at the Australian open resulting in the loss to djokovic...
 

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2010 or 2011 at Wimbledon perhaps. That was peak Nadal on grass anyway given he kept on making Wimbledon finals in that period (starting getting knocked out early the next year) while Murray was always getting to semi finals so not quite peak on that surface but near enough.

Wimbledon is most relevant slam with them meeting 3 times there but nothing since July 2011.

They only met twice at AO, memorable match in 2007 and then a bit of anti climatic 2010 quarter final meeting when Nadal had to retire early in I think the third set.

Only twice at US open with again last in 2011.

Just one grand slam meeting between the two since 2011, the 2014 RG beat down.

Considering the big 4 for a spell were always the semi finalists at the slams Nadal-Murray and Murray-Federer match ups weren't seen as much as they probably should've been.
 

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Murray put up a damn fine performance in the 2011 RG'SF, but Nadal was just too good on clay at that point.
Straight sets to naked eye looks pretty comfortable but from memory Murray had 10 + BPs and hardly won any of them so either Nadal being incredibly clutch or Murray getting the Federer jitters and just patting balls back into play for Nadal to knock winners down the line.

Will have to re read the match report on that to get a better picture, can't even remember if I actually watched that match and that's rare for me not to remember when Murray was very deep in a slam.
 

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Straight sets to naked eye looks pretty comfortable but from memory Murray had 10 + BPs and hardly won any of them so either Nadal being incredibly clutch or Murray getting the Federer jitters and just patting balls back into play for Nadal to knock winners down the line.

Will have to re read the match report on that to get a better picture, can't even remember if I actually watched that match and that's rare for me not to remember when Murray was very deep in a slam.
Yes, I think at the time it was the most BP chances anyone had generated against Nadal at RG, just a shame about the conversion rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone - some fantastic responses. I only really got into tennis in a big way from 2011 onwards. Before that, I mainly just watched that latter stages of Wimbledon.

Will go and check out some of the matches mentioned, most of which were before then.

It's a shame Murray and Nadal never met in the semis or final of Wimbledon after Murray really hit his stride. Centre Court can apparently play more like clay in the second week due to poorer condition of the grass at that point, so I think it could have been really competitive.
 

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It's a shame Murray and Nadal didn't meet at their peak in any big finals in a grand slam, atp finals or masters. Yes they played in Indian Wells and Madrid but each of those finals were pretty one-sided to one player. Murray - nadal slam final would have been quite nice to witness. probably the WTF semi was the most epic match they had. USO 2008 semi was great from murray's perspective but Nadal wasn't quite at his best i would say.
 
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