Rafael Nadal: Novak Djokovic’s Current Form Surpasses Prime Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal: Novak Djokovic’s Current Form Surpasses Prime Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal has been through a lot of intense battle with his Serbian rival Novak Djokovic, yet he can’t deny the fact the no.1 player in the world is currently playing in a level higher than Roger Federer reached at his prime.

Nadal, after receiving a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Djokovic in the finals of Qatar Open, told reporters that his rival is simply at his very peak right now.

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“I played against a player who did everything perfect. I know nobody playing tennis like this ever. Since I know this sport, I never saw somebody playing at this level.” Nadal said of Djokovic via USA Today. “When I say perfect, it’s not one thing in particular. It’s everything. If not, it’s not perfect.”

After winning three of the four Grand Slams last year, the Serbian star opened the new season with a flourishing start as he demolished his opponents on his way to claiming his first title of the year in Qatar. His excellent form was punctuated by virtuoso performance in the finals, in which he won 79 percent of his first serves and 73 percent of his second serves.

Nadal’s remark on Djokovic’s top-notch form drew mixed reactions from tennis pundits, including Tennis writer Chris Chase of USA Today. Chase believed comparing Djokovic’s current run to Federer’s historic run in 2006 is like ‘apples and oranges,’ though he agreed that the Serbian has the numbers to back up his claim.

“Overall, he’s [Djokovic] 97 for his last 103. Federer’s best run saw him winning 136 of 142 and he’s had others similar to Djokovic’s 97-6 mark,” Chase opined.

Djokovic, Nadal and Federer will likely cross paths down the road in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. The Australian Open 2016 will start on January 18 through 30 at Melbourne Park.

  • igortimurov10

    Who the hell cares about Chris Chase ? I mean what credentials does Chris Chase have ? He’s not even an authority in sheep counting let alone tennis. Fed’s competition in 2006 was laughable. The only worthy opponent he had was Nadal. Compare that to Djokovic who has to face Nadal, Murray, and Federer. The competition Djokovic has faced is far superior to what Fed faced in 2006.

    Chris Chase hah ! There’s a reason he’s considered the most incompetent blogger in the entire US.

    • Danilo Bonina

      Still with the weak competition bullshit theory… clearly you weren’t following tennis in the 2000’s. If that were the case, then I argue that the current era is weak, since there is one guy winning everything that matters, and who’s his competition when the fight for the number 2 spot is between a 34 and a half years old guy and another one who no longer plays like before his back surgery. Both of them at half the ranking points of the number 1!! Where is Djokovic’s competition?! where is the new generation? really I see no challenge for him besides the usual suspects, meaning Fed on fast surfaces, Wawrinka on a day of inspiration, and Murray when Djoko is off. That’s about it! please tell me who these super strong players are today, besides the old wrecks in the top 5, and how they compare with the wonderful generation of Hewitt, Ferrero, Agassi, young Nadal, Safin, Gaudio, Black, etc. Just out of curiosity, have you ever watched prime Ferrero or Safin play? Last but not least, Nadal was there from 2004, and Djokovic and Murray were already in prominent position already in 2007, so they were all around in the middle of Fed’s prime.

      • Tammo

        @Danilo: “Nadal was there from 2004, and Djokovic and Murray were already in prominent position already in 2007, so they were all around in the middle of Fed’s prime.”

        Regarding Federer’s competition, you said above. Nadal in 2004 was either 18 or 19 years old and Djokovic & Murray would have been in 2007 19 or 20 years old. It does not take much research to find that male tennis players tend to reach their peak level at about the age of 22 years old. It is rare for a 19 year old male tennis player in this era to win Grand Slam.

        You also listed Agassi as his competition. Agassi was born in 1970 so in 2004 he would be 34 years old. FedFans keep saying that Roger is old at 34 1/2.

        There is a web site that does a very good job on showing the competition Federer had early his career and it determine that it was weak. I agree.

        • Danilo Bonina

          Yes, but you have to consider that Nadal has all the reason to say something like that. Nadal never had a problem against Federer because of technical match-up reasons. Today, he has absolutely no chance anymore against Novak. He will win less and less games in their next matches. He has to give himself a justification for a player who has now a positive H2H against him, it’s almost saying to his sponsors “hey guys it’s not me going down, it’s Djokovic playing the best tennis ever, not my fault!”. Tennis is not an exact science in which 2+2 is always 4. Nadal was incredibly precocious! He was already giving a hard time to the top of the field when he was 17-18. Agassi was playing amazingly in his 30’s! Australian Open title at age 33 and Us Open Final at age 35 (only lost because of Fed). Agassi at 36 played better than Federer will in 2 years, trust me! Federer had a nice come back after is horrible 2013, but still, not even close to his level of 10 years ago, he’s not a reliable player now. You find an article that shows Fed’s competition was weak and you take it as the ultimate truth just because you agree with it?! sorry if I laugh… but you can find many more articles that crush that argument. If you tennis troglodytes started watching the game a few years ago because of Djokovic and Nadal, then your ignorance is not my business. During Fed’s prime there were lots of really strong players, and they were fantastic to watch, but people just don’t remember them because Federer was as dominant as Djokovic is today. This is the reason why you could use the same exact argument for today’s era and call it weak. But is it really weak? or it looks like that because of Djokovic? you have to ask the same question for the 2004-2007 period.

          • Dragan Rajic

            There is a difference. Nowadays three players have 41 Grand Slams combined, and they are legends in their own right + Murray and Wawrinka, capable of beating anyone. Federer was just another class in his era, but based on the achievements, this era is stronger – we are talking about 17, 14, 10, whether they will catch each other…unimaginable then.

          • Tammo

            Regarding which is the weak era, only a FedFan would call this era weak. Everyone else would say this is the golden age of tennis. Since FedFan like to say GS titles is everything and they use to say HtoH was everything, I will give you some statistics. In the last 6 yrs or since Federer was 28 he has won 2 GS about the same as Murray and Wawrinka. The Federer HtoH numbers are not so good with Nadal and will only get worse with Djokovic. I know your defense is that Federer is old but you are indicating that Agassi was great when he was older and real competition for Federer. You need to take your Federer glasses off and see the tennis world as it really is.

      • Dragan Rajic

        How about HIM making them look like that, as Federer likely did to his generation? Nobody underestimates Federer as his fans while trying to underestimate Novak, when mentioning 34. The guy is playing a fantastic tennis and is the only one capable of beating THIS Novak. Enjoy tennis.

      • Gordana

        Not that Djokovic is playing in a weak era but that he is so much more superior to any other player (even Fed and Nadal in their peak) that it makes the competition look weak. You are looking at the glass half empty when in fact it is half full. If Nadal makes comments about Djokovic’s level of play who are you and what are your credentials to argue that. He is not the only one who is in awe of how far Djokovic has lifted the bar. Sorry that Djokovic doesn’t happen to be your favourite player but it is so obvious you have built the argument around defending you prefered player but it just doesn’t hold. The funny thing is that most commentaries during Fed’s games of lately talk about how is playing even better than the vintage Fed and most people have been expecting he will win in the finals. Nope! Djokovic is far more superior to all others and has set the bar even higher than ever before.

  • Dragan Rajic

    Chris Chase, one thing is to worship your idol, another one is to see it as what it is – it is not only numbers: when we speak of Federer’s 2006 we mention numbers, but are shy to state that he did not manage to beat Nadal anywhere on clay. When we mention Novak’s 2016, we mention only one thing: Stan Wawrinka. It tells everything, like it or not.

  • webattorney

    I believe Nadal more; he doesn’t BS and tells it like it is. Even if Djoko ends up short on Majors number, I am 100% sure that Djoko has played tennis at the highest level I have ever seen.

  • Hariom Ahlawat

    Enough of this “weak era – strong era” bullshit**
    If that is the case than Why a 34 years old from so called weak era is ranked at No2 / No3 in your strongest era?
    How can a 34 year old guy (not in his prime) from the weak era can beat the No 1 player of the strongest era (even that in his prime) 3 times out of 6 times in 2015?