Someone asked this same question about a year ago, so with the knowledge we have now do you think Nadal will go down as the greatest? Considering that the new benchmark to beat could be Federer with around 17 GS when it’s all said and done. Barring injury I don’t see anyone beating Nadal at the French…
no unless he wins a “hardcourt” grand slam: either the US open or the australian open. he’s a great player, no doubt
That is such a difficult question, and one that has been nagging at me for a while. Here’s my impression. Raffa has an unbelievable stroke, probably the best backhand I have ever seen – and I’ve seen quite a few, and a good forehand to boot. He’s as tough as anybody on the tour and if a match turns into a marathon, he’ll win, no question. The problem I have with Raffa is that I don’t see genius in his shots the way I do with Federer. He can knock the hell out of the ball, but what does that really mean. Now Federer is vulnerable because everybody knows he CAN be beaten, so they are going to be gunning for him, and where once they may have walked on the court knowing they were going to lose, now they know they have a shot. Still there are times during a match when you are just awestruck with some of the shots he comes up with.
What then constitutes “the greatest player ever”? If you go purely on win-loss and win-loss grand slam, I think Raffa has a better than even chance of surpassing both Sampras and Federer given his age and remarkable physical shape. But is that all there is? What I mean is that the game changes over time, so can there really be one definitive “Greatest Player Ever”? Conners and several others, for instance, played in very few Aussie Opens because it just didn’t have the stature it does today, and that affected their Grand Slam record. Others like Michael Chang succumbed to injuries before we really saw what potential they had. Before the 1960’s professional players couldn’t even play at tennis’ most prestigious events, so they were shut out of showing what their true potential was. What would Jack Kramer and Don Budge have been able to do with graphite composite racquets and modern athletic training techniques. And can we forget the women? True they don’t have the power and endurance that men do, but have we truly been reduced to the point where tennis is nothing more than a competition to see who can hit the ball the hardest? Certainly talk of who may be the greatest ever can’t exclude Althea Gibson. So if we settle on a definition of win-loss record and win-loss record in majors as being the Greatest Tennis Player ever then I think yes, Nadal will probably get there, but I’m not entirely comfortable with that definition so I think I’ll just settle for the pat answer I always give when someone asks me who the greatest football player or baseball player or golfer in history is and that is: I will tell you I think the top several are in no particular order.
Well, Rafael Nadal is already king of clay. He is one of the greatest tennis player of his generations. Certainly, any record would be adding to his previous achievements. There is some shrewdness in his game which makes his opponents hard to tackle him. But his career has been prone to injuries quite frequently and that makes him unavailble for many tournaments. He is yet to win wimbledon, althought owing to his young age, he has a long way to go and more years to come but he is very much defeatable. Irrespective of the seedings and ranking in any tournament, the results are not always expected to be in favor of rafa. So he is little behind the tag of being greatest of all times.
I personally LOVE Nadal but I’m going to have to say no to this. I don’t think a player like him will be put in the same sentence as Federer, Sampras, Borg, Agassi, Laver, or any tennis great of the past in like 20 years. He may have seemed like he’s accomplished a lot at a young age but he’s also been injured a LOT more than most other players. His playing style puts a ton of pressure on his joints and because of this, he will never win a hard court Slam. Unless he learns how to crush his opponents and make it look effortless like Federer, he won’t last long. Federer can tear opponents apart with half the effort of Nadal. Don’t get me wrong, Nadal is EXTREMELY exciting to watch and we love it, but Nadal probably doesn’t. He’s leaving his heart out there on the court in every match.
Nadal’s knees or ankled are going to give in in a few years. His greatest advantage, which is his fitness, will become useless in a few years when younger stronger players come out. If you think about it, that’s what happened to Federer this year. Federer in his prime and Murray in his prime, I’m going to have to put my money on Federer.
Basically, he won’t be able to stay at the top spot for as long as the legends of the past and his titles won’t be as diverse as Federer or Agassi. Nadal can win quite a few more French Opens, maybe one or two Wimbledons but when it comes to the other two Slams, he just can’t do it.
absolutely. He has a am easy shot at career grand slam. It is just a matter of time before he takes Aussie open and US Open.
I should add that I am Roger Federer’s fun. I stopped watching tennis when Pete was a reigning champ. I started watching it again when I saw Roger in Wimbledon 2002. It is such a pity that Rafa stood in Roger’s way in Roland Garros. If it weren’t for Rafa Roger would have had a real Grand Slam (all 4 in one year) and there would have become an unquestionable GOAT. But Alas.
No Nadal will be like Andre Agassi; he will be able to win all the types of slams. But he will never get more than federer. Federer is like sampras, he will get the most amount of slams, but he will never get the french
i don’t think he’s even close now. but to ask that question LAST year? LOL. ok well he hasn’t won a major on a hard court or been to a final on a hard court. and as for what his record ends up being at the end well that’s where he’s at a big disadvantage; because he has an extremely physical game; a muscle game. he can keep that up til he’s 24 i think. but he wont be able to play this way when he’s roger’s age. he finished this year with fatigue and an injury. and as for his record against federer. i don’t think its so simple as “he beat him so he’s better”. i think the way rafa and fed’s games match up is very awkward for federer. a single handed backhand has trouble returning a top spin forehand (rafa’s only weapon in my opinion). and rafa has exploited this fact for awhile, to great effect in the wimbledon and french finals.
Actually, if Rafa surpasses the 6 French slams by Bjorn, he will be the greatest clay court tennis player of all time and that has yet to come. But to be THE greatest tennis player ever remains to be seen. Anyway, Nadal is only 22 (23 come June) and he is still on track with Borg’s record.
We all have to wait till he eclipses that 6 of Bjorn on clay to decide. And that’s when the issue of being the greatest player ever comes in.
As it is now, we can only speculate and predict and thats what makes tennis fun and exciting.
Nadal is relying on his youth go win. He hits every shot with force alone and players will eventually catch up. If he is going to become an all time great, he will have to become a cerebral player i.e. Borg, Graf, Federer, Sampras, Williams (2), Agassi (later in his career), Henin ( I hate that she retired), and Hingis etc. His youth and power is not going to last forever and he needs to realize this. Well, if he “wants” to be considered an all time great. Tennis just may be a hobby for him.
I sure hope so, even with his nagging knee injuries, he will purse 5 more French Open, so 9 Rolland Garros, a few more Wimbledon. He will collect minimum of 3 or 4 hard court Slams ? We are in the same ballpark as to the Slam numbers. If Rafa stays healthy, meaning no other added injuries, could collect more.. who knows ? We can only hope and speculate. Yes, yes, I shall dream of Rafa stand as the BEST tennis player ever walked on this planet, for he desrves to be the all time greatest for his humility, honesty, integrity, and superb sportsmanship !!
Good grief ! Mandy, I also got 4 thumbs down, absolutely undemocratic tennis lovers are on this site. Can’t I just express my opinion civilly ?Goodness !
Its possible, but highly unlikely. I like nadal, but i just dont think this is something thats gonna happen. First of all, id say 17 is kinda high for federer, so lets put it at 15. And 4 more roland garros sounds good, and 2 for wimbledon. That gets him 11. So then he’d need 4 more of australian and us. open. Unfortunately for him, there both hardcourts. That is nadals very weak style. And with up and coming playings like djokovic and murray id say nadal would be lucky to win 1. Hed have to make a lot of changes to his game to have success like that on hard courts. But thats just something i dont see happening.