Exactly a year back I mentioned that its pretty inconceivable how Roger can come up short against Nadal everytime on clay. There is only one thing i can say about that now, I eat my words.That was a faux pas, something I realised even before yesterday’s final. Rafael Nadal has been so dominant to almost to the highest superlative possible this clay court season that its time that we started thinking about the other GOAT, the one on clay and thats probably a touch easier to answer than the case with federer.
The drubbing that Djokovic took was probably the first indication of the rout that took place in yesterday’s final.I have always believed that Djokovic is closer to dethroning Nadal than Federer has ever been.Yet it was almost ridiculous at times to see Roger fold up. When he played the second set well i wondered for a second what would happen if miraculously Roger goes on to win the title? He would be annointed the best of all time, after that mauling in the first set? That would have been a big shame. Thankfully, that never came even somewhere near close.
For the first time in three years there was a discernible change going into Sunday’s final. All along people have debated why federer loses to nadal on clay, yesterday it was more like what should he do to win. Nadal was the hot favourite win, and win he did in a ruthless fashion.Its uncharacteristic to see the player most people believe to be the GOAT take a beating like that. Roger is farther from that pantheon now more than ever. Nadal is probably the best world number two in history, who could probably never go on to become number one.
I dont see Nadal upset in clay for a while
Roger Federer will lose at wimbledon before Nadal does on clay.I have an uncanny feeling that this year wimbledon will see a new champion. It would take a monumental effort to quell Federer though, but much less than what it might take to beat Nadal on clay. If Nadal or Djokovic are serious about winning at Wimbledon , this year is the best to herald the change of guard. Roger has looked more vulnerable than he ever has. Mind you, he might still go on to lift the title there, afterall how many times we have seen Sampras do that inspite of an off colour season before and after the grass court championships.
I dont believe that Roger Federer is the GOAT.
For me that belongs to Pete Sampras. Federer is undoubtably more talented with a better all round game than Sampras. But Sampras was more lethal, more effective and perhaps in a match up in their primes Sampras would have won 6 to 7 times out of ten on any surface except clay. The reason for that being is that it was almost impossible to beat him on his serve. No one could, I dont think Roger can. You cant stop a guy from firing down aces down the middle of the court. And opponents prayed that Pete never missed his first serve because his second was better than the first.
The serve and charge game was so effective that it lead Pete to dominate arguably the most competitive era in men’s tennis.
For roger federer Roland Garros is the holy grail.maybe a federer win there would be like how Ivanesevic won at wimbledon. Unexpected, past his prime.And of course provided miraculously Nadal folds up.(Figure out how thats possible.)
Watch out, by the year end we may have a new world number one and two.