- So it happened, and it was always on the cards given that Djokovic is simply a more complete and dominant player than Nadal ever was. Nadal was always the most dominant player ever on clay, but that’s as far as it went. He was never a true number one. He could not dominate the tour for extended periods of time because he depended so much on clay and put so much strain on his body through the way he played.
- I would say Nadal was the best ever number two, but not nearly the best ever number one. Djokovic is already a better number one and I think he will surpass Nadal in overall greatness. And by that I don’t necessarily mean he will surpass him in slam titles won. Slams are not the only measure of greatness. It is just the most important, and there are many other factors to take into account.
- A big mistake people make when having the GOAT debate is acting like slams are the only thing that matters. By this logic Nadal would be the GOAT if he won 18 French Opens, only clay titles, and never spent any time at number one. And that is sheer nonsense. One of the most important criteria of the GOAT debate is versatility and completeness as a player.
- Nadal is reasonably versatile but compared to Roger he doesn’t come close. Djokovic is also more complete and he will keep proving it. Spending more time than Nadal at number one is just one proof. If he wins the French Open, which I believe he eventually will, then there be very little doubt left as to who is more complete and versatile. Djokovic has already won more hard court slams than Nadal(6-3).
- He is now equal with him in grass court slams(2-2) and it is very likely he will surpass Nadal there too, especially given how much his serve improved of late. He has also won 4 World Tour Finals already compared to Nadal’s 0. You can already argue he is a more complete player since he has a better indoors and hard court record, and it is just a question of time before he has a better grass court record too.
Well played Troll Tennis…well played
- But if you just look at their respective game styles it is already obvious who is more complete. Djokovic has a better serve, returns, backhand, and attacking game than Nadal. In movement they are about equal, while Nadal has a better forehand and perhaps slightly better volleys. Djokovic is also much more adaptable to different surfaces than Nadal.
- And this is simply because he is a better offensive player than Nadal. Djokovic is also more talented. By my estimation he will end up being greater than Nadal, regardless of the slam count. Nadal is quite overrated in the GOAT debate because people put too much emphasis on slam count and not enough on versatility and completeness as a player.
- Djokovic is becoming one of the most complete players of all time himself but Roger is still the gold standard. His dominance from 2004-2007 is unequaled of and may never be equaled or surpassed. You have to wonder how long can Djokovic still stay in the top position. As Troll Tennis hilariously illustrated he has a long way to go to reach the gold standard.
- You wouldn’t put it completely beyond him given he has not turned 28 yet and is a late bloomer, but it will be difficult. If he does stay number one that long he could well surpass Nadal’s slam count too. Anyway I thought this was another big milestone for the Djoker to reach but the big one for him is still that French Open title. Once he achieves that he moves up a few more brackets in the GOAT debate.
- He could well do it this year, even if it means someone else has to eliminate Nadal for him the way Soderling did in 2009 for Roger. Tomorrow Djokovic will be in action as well as Thiem. The other match I’m looking forward to is Verdasco vs Dimitrov. I kind of like Verdasco’s chances, but who knows. So it looks like Fedal will play on Wednesday which should be another very interesting day!
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