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After today's Wimbledon I have concluded Nadal is the GOAT

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Era discussions. 

We used to have these a lot on here. But it was usually comparing Federer to Pete.  The Sampy Gang would argue Fed benefitted from the weaker era in the beginning of his career.    Pointing to the likes of hewitt, Roddick, OLD agassi that he was facing in the beginning there.

Fedster's pointed at Pete's lack of all court success, weak competition years throughout his career and disappointingly consistent losses to people such as Guy Forget, etc.

Today's Wimbledon Final cemented one thing for me though.

NOBODY has endured a harder era than Nadal.

When Nadal started off his career he had none other then the current 17 major record holder Roger Federer there to combat him at every step.  Federer brought a new type of consistency to the game never seen, and unlike in old era's, it meant that virtually EVERY tourney went through this guy for the better part of 6-7 years. 

Nadal not only dominated Fed in every h2h statistical category you can think of, including beating Fed at his Prime (27) at his house (Center Court) in what many think is the greatest tennis match ever, but he has had to deal with Djokovic.

Think about that. 

Nadal has NEVER had even a minute off.  Federer has been there his entire career, and once Rog starts to get a WEE bit old, Novak rolls into his prime and onto the all time greats list with 7 (and counting) finals

And Nadal owns them both in H2H and in Grand Slams.

Riddle me this - when do you ever remember someone winning 2 grand slams, being to the final in another... within the last year and losing the #1 ranking? 

Uhmmm....   Never!

I use to be a huge proponent for Fed against the weak era theory.  Not because I thought the beginning of Fed's career was overly strong, but because I think Pete endured more then a few weak years in his era.

But one thing is for certain.  Nadal has never had it easy.

Prime Federer to start off with, rolls into Prime Djokovic and even a Prime Murray in the latter stages.

Congrats to Djoker fans.  I think Novak is going to roll after this.  Rafa even alluded to the fact him and fed can't last forever.  I think Nole's hard work and patience are soon to pay off and he will soon join the double digit GS winner club.

I don't believe in THE GOAT....but several GOATS! I'm just proud of what Roger has accomplished and I know he's ONE of the GOATS!!!

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He definitely is. 

This wasn't a 'shot' at Rog.  Rather a compliment to him.

I was just thinking to the old 'weak era' theories that plagued Roger though, and this final cemented in my head that it is impossible to use that theory against Nadal.  YOu could also say Novak has endured a tough time (with Rafa and Rog there the whole time) but he hasn't done enough to be part of the GOAT convo yet. 

Today's final nails it down though.  Never have we seen someone as consistently awesome as Roger has been for this many years.  Novak is already a legend and only going to keep climbing the ladder.

Rafa has built his entire Resume, 14 slams, one at every GS, multiple GS on every surface, etc, during these two's  primes.

Nobody else can attest to having such difficult and consistent competition there every step of the way for so long.

Nadal is no doubt his own phenomenon as a competitor. His return from injury last year was just incredible. Though I think this debate still varies based on what it is you favour in quantifying 'greatness'.

We still have yet to see exactly how the careers of Federer and Nadal will compare when they're both retired. But at the moment, people who lean toward the Federer side like to look at the length and breadth of achievement in the way he has peppered the record books with his name, navigated significant changes in the way the game is played over a long period of time, and their mitigating case with Nadal is in the way clay (or rather, it's absence; or his absence) plays into some of the numbers.

With Nadal it's more about head to heads (there isn't a single player with a notable winning record against Nadal, right?) in a very strong era, relative strength in competitiveness, Masters 1000 numbers, Golden Career Slam, unprecedented domination of favoured slam etc.

I don't think any case can be made that Federer would be a comparable direct competitor to Nadal on a court. He's not been that dominant a player outside his own generation (of which is domination was pretty absolute). Djokovic & Nadal were the following generation, and we're waiting to see how the next line of young players will picture as Nadal's generation ages (and how that affects their highly physical approach to the game).

For me Nadal's greatness is currently concentrated in specialized areas. A year or 2 ago, people thought the latter stages his career could be heavily restricted by his health and the way he has pushed himself physically. We're not entirely sure how things will play out in the next few years. If he can keep it going past 30; if the next generation is a flop or is just taking longer to mature. I want to see how things are when his career said and done. I'm very curious to see how he manages decline.

Nobody of note has a favorable h2h over Nadal.

imho - I don't think he just has a 'strong' era.  He has -> the STRONGEST era ever faced by a single player.   What I mean by this, is that maybe another 'era' could be considered stronger (debateable) but the players within that era never had it as hard as Nadal. 

Nadal  is one of few who have won multiple GS on every surface (grass - 2, clay - 9, hards - 3).  The mighty Sampras never won at RG of course, and Federer only won one there. To call nadal a specialist is to call every one else (borg, fed, sampras, lendl, mcenroe) even bigger specialist.  Only Laver joins Nadal here.

The "herculean feats" angle.

He beat Federer in his prime on Center Court. The same Roger who is tied for most wimbledon's ever and is largely considered to be the greatest grass court player of all time... in his prime.

of his 14 slams, he has beat roger 6 times ( WOW ) in the finals and beaten Novak 4 times in the finals to earn.

Who else can claim to have beaten two of the best players EVER in their respective primes a combined 10 times in Grand Slam finals???

No one.


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