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Rafa Nadal settles ages old GOAT debate once and for all

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Post by socal1976 Sun 10 Jan 2016, 5:52 pm

Few could sense the tectonic shifts in the tennis world that took place at the historic Doha Open. Some might say Doha? Well yes, just like you may have said Gettysburg? on July 1 or 2nd of 1863 when a few confederate soldiers looking for shoes went to a small town in Pennsylvania and stumbled on the advanced guard of the entire Union Army, who could tell that this seemingly non-descript farm town would be the stage for what would become the location of the biggest battle in the western hemisphere and signal the end of human bondage for a whole continent. Similarly, no one could have guessed that the age old GOAT debate, which has raged across the interwebs like a raging inferno would be so unequivocally resolved.

"Well, for the match is easy to analyse," Nadal told reporters.

"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."


The man who first handed witness Fed at Rome 2005 and at Wimby 07 and 08, the man himself who ran roughshod over the same opposition in 2013 to seemingly regain the thrown,  has now stated unequivocally that no one has ever played at the level that Novak is currently playing at EVER. Or for as long as he has been in the game. This statement clearly includes himself and Federer. Well ladies and gentleman all of us who argued Fed or Nadal for so long were equally wrong, at least according to one of the chief guys in the fight the answer is neither, its GOATOVIC. I am sure somewhere right now Hawkeye is in deep despair and mourning.

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Post by HM Murdock Sun 10 Jan 2016, 9:18 pm

I did spare a thought for Hawkeye when I saw that quote from Rafa!

Rafa's words seem a bit hyperbolic but the current level of Novak probably really is the toughest match up that he has ever faced.

It's not helped by the fact that that Rafa is not at his best but I think even 2008, 2010 or 2013 Rafa would find 2015/16 Novak a tough match up.

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Post by paulcz Sun 10 Jan 2016, 9:21 pm

If Novak stays healthy, I can see a lot of mourning and lamenting everywhere.

Nadal’s statement really surprised me and I wonder why he said it. Is behind it his disbelief to beat Novak?  Nadal just feels that Novak’s current level is superior and his current game can’t balance out to Novak’s game. It is hardly accepted by any sportsman and Nadal as winner of 14GS surely did not say such a strong statement just to praise his the strongest opponent. We must give a credit to Nadal as he said it openly and he never gives up.  
As to Novak’s game, his FH side has improved visibly as well as his volleys. His timing and feeling for a ball is unbelievable. His overall game looks like an armored vehicle. There is no weakness, but he still works on some details for sure. Amazing man.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Sun 10 Jan 2016, 10:03 pm

Good Lord the only time Rafa gets credit is when he is praising Novak will wonders never cease !!!! done something right then RAFA you cant appease the Fed fans so try Novak's !!!! They will be accusing you of false humility next

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Post by socal1976 Sun 10 Jan 2016, 10:13 pm

HM Murdock wrote:I did spare a thought for Hawkeye when I saw that quote from Rafa!

Rafa's words seem a bit hyperbolic but the current level of Novak probably really is the toughest match up that he has ever faced.

It's not helped by the fact that that Rafa is not at his best but I think even 2008, 2010 or 2013 Rafa would find 2015/16 Novak a tough match up.

I don't know why it would seem a bit hyperbolic to say that about a guy who has played in every final he has entered for 12 months. I am not saying I agree with Nadal but I don't think it seems hyperbolic his statement. And I am sure when he is talking about ever seen in the game he probably remembers how good he was and Fed was in their respective heydays. I think Nadal has always been self deprecating but I also think he has always been pretty honest and blunt as well remember how up front he was about his loss of confidence.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 10 Jan 2016, 10:16 pm

paulcz wrote:If Novak stays healthy, I can see a lot of mourning and lamenting everywhere.

Nadal’s statement really surprised me and I wonder why he said it. Is behind it his disbelief to beat Novak?  Nadal just feels that Novak’s current level is superior and his current game can’t balance out to Novak’s game. It is hardly accepted by any sportsman and Nadal as winner of 14GS surely did not say such a strong statement just to praise his the strongest opponent. We must give a credit to Nadal as he said it openly and he never gives up.  
As to Novak’s game, his FH side has improved visibly as well as his volleys. His timing and feeling for a ball is unbelievable. His overall game looks like an armored vehicle. There is no weakness, but he still works on some details for sure. Amazing man.

Paul he was frighteningly good on the FH in this match and most of the week in Doha, I think we still have to see if Novak's FH clicks like this consistently to say he has improved it, it was pretty good to begin with although coming into the year you felt that the one area he still had room for big improvement would be the ability to finish a point with one or two big swings on the FH and to do it safely over and over again. Yes, look for this place to get really gloomy if Novak keeps this up for an extended period of time nothing annoys many on here more than Djokovic dominance.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 10 Jan 2016, 10:21 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:Good Lord the only time Rafa gets credit is when he is praising Novak will wonders never cease !!!! done something right then RAFA you cant appease the Fed fans so try Novak's !!!! They will be accusing you of false humility next

Haddie I don't think any of us Novak fans have criticized Nadal, at least I know I haven't. Frankly, I don't know if I agree with him as of yet but I think his comment is interestingly. Clearly he references everyone he has seen in the game and puts Novak's current level higher at least that is meaning of his quote, I can't judge his veracity but I have seen Nadal to be pretty honest in his interviews and maybe less rehearsed than most other guys they interview.

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Post by lags72 Sun 10 Jan 2016, 11:08 pm

socal1976 wrote: .................................................

.........................................


...............................


Yes, look for this place to get really gloomy if Novak keeps this up for an extended period of time nothing annoys many on here more than Djokovic dominance.

Do you really think so ...? Hmm... I'm not so sure myself.

Personally I am far from convinced that there are "many" here who get more annoyed than anything by Djokovic's dominance in the way you describe. I happen to think that lots of people have lots of respect & admiration for his stellar achievements, even if there has been a certain level of ambivalence towards him as a sporting personality.

I would say, however, that there are a good number of us who are very keen to see some new faces coming through and making a serious tilt at the bigger events. But the current lack of attention-grabbing progress by younger players is no fault of Novak per se.

That said, anyone who dominates the game for a sustained period invariably becomes the target of criticism from some quarters - and I guess the potential for such criticism (however unwarranted or biased) increases in direct proportion to the longevity of that dominance. Djokovic has now amassed around 180 weeks at the top spot, and it seems perfectly feasible that he could even exceed Federer's record of 302. So who knows what sort of acerbic comment that monumental milestone could potentially generate .....?? Some people were so troubled by the Federer dominance that they vented their annoyance by constantly referring to it as a weak era or rollover generation, and those same people could very likely target the Djokovic dominance in the same way.

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 10 Jan 2016, 11:48 pm

lags72 wrote:

Do you really think so ...? Hmm... I'm not so sure myself.

Personally I am far from convinced that there are "many" here who get more annoyed than anything by Djokovic's dominance in the way you describe.
I know someone who is very annoyed. Me.

Djokovic's dominance is getting hugely irritating. He keeps winning, and unlike some others he doesn't have a degenerating knee of a 90 year old woman, so there's no reason for it to stop.
Seriously considering setting up tents like Occupy did. Enough of the 1% winning everything, he needs to start sharing. There are suffering people from Spain who haven't had their teeth bite anything because of this man.

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 10 Jan 2016, 11:51 pm

Thought this was quite funny:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAXl5AQozk3/
Read the explanation on the side if you don't figure what's going on.

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Post by hawkeye Mon 11 Jan 2016, 1:42 am

socal. I can understand your excitement but you are taking Rafa's words out of context. This is what Rafa said in a little more detail

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on the match? What are your biggest takeaways from the week and from this match?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for the match is easy to analyze. 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.

So just congratulate him and that's it. I know I can do a few things better, but the real thing is with these conditions playing during the night and with the feeling of the ball here, it's so difficult to have chances against him playing like this. Is probably impossible.

But the real thing is I had a positive week. I am playing well, and I gonna keep working hard to try to be ready for Australia. And I think I will be. I am motivated for it.

Q. You said that you're pleased with the way things are going from your side. But when you see a lot of positive things on your side and then you step on the court against someone who is, like you said, playing perfect, is there any sense of frustration or you're able to not feel that way?
RAFAEL NADAL: If you get frustrated for somebody that is better than you, it's stupid. The real thing, no, is I always think that if you are frustrated because somebody knows how to do something better than you, you are too arrogant or you are not smart enough. No, that's it.

When somebody is better than you, you accept and you work to try to improve yourself. That's it. No, no, for sure I am not frustrated. I look the things very clear, and I am always honest. Today he's better than me without a doubt.

We will see during the whole season. No, no, that's all. Today? He's better than me. We will see in two weeks or we will see in five months. The only thing that you can do is wait that the opponent is not playing like this all the time. That is difficult to play like this all the time, it's obvious. And I gonna wait my moment.

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=115813

And to be fair a quote from Novak too  Smile

Q. Congratulations. Rafa told us that he thought that your level was stratospheric and that he's never seen a tennis level like what you showed. Is that how you feel about the way you played today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why, I thank him for the compliments. Obviously it's flattering to hear something like that from a great champion like Nadal.

It did feel as close to perfection as it can get. Obviously from the first to the last point I managed to impose my own tactical approach and strategy and what I have kind of prepared myself for, and the conditions were played to my favor. I just came out on the court with the right intention, with the right intensity, and with a great deal of confidence, as well, that I carried from the last season obviously playing against him in the last couple of matches as well winning in straight sets. That gave me that, you know, even greater incentive to actually try to repeat that and play as well as I did in the previous encounters.

Easier said than done. You know, Nadal is one of the greatest competitors this game has ever seen, but, you know, everything was going well. You know, I could swing freely. Especially in the second set I felt like, you know, from both corners any, you know, any shot that I hit just felt so comfortable.

There are those days when you see a tennis ball as a watermelon, and I guess this was that kind of day.

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=115812

Novak played a great match as he said it was one of those days when he saw the ball as a watermelon. Rafa acknowledged that Novak was playing at a level he hadn't seen but then said that the season is long and we will have to wait and see how it turns out. Nice of him to give credit where it is due but Rafa doesn't appear convinced that Novak's career should be judged on that one performance.

Interesting that Federer was asked about the Doha final. He admitted to being a little surprised by the result and was quick to give Novak credit but he also said this

"These results happen like we've seen at the [ATP] World Tour Finals when we've seen blowouts between the top guys as well," Federer says. "That's because these kind of courts sometimes allows that to happen— whoever takes the upper hand from the baseline then destroys the other guy...

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/01/federer-surprised-djokovic-smoked-nadal-doha-final/57200/#.VpMHhlKQno

Fast courts best of three...

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 6:17 am

@Lags, my post is not directed at everyone lags, Djokovic has his fans and critics on here. But I have been here after Djokovic slam wins and you hear a large segment talking about how he is dull, that he can't volley, how the game is in trouble when a grinder is dominating etc. I don't have a problem with it people can like who they like but the contingent that moans and groans after Djokovic slams wins may have more moaning and groaning to do. Look Fed had weak competition early on but made up for it later on by competing and winning many matches and titles against stronger competition. That is my opinion you think it is crazy I think it is well based in a strong and convincing rationale basis that has not in anyway been refuted.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 6:24 am

@Hawkeye, I don't know what you hoped to accomplish with that long post. I didn't quote Nadal out of context the plain meaning of the man's quotation is clear. It is being reported by many outlets I didn't make it up or spin it. He says in plain English Novak is playing at level he has never witnessed in the game. It is obvious that he doesn't mean just today that is how he has been playing. I mean he has lost like 11 sets in a row a number of them with lopsided scorelines. He clearly when he says I have seen means himself and Federer and other players he has seen. Now I don't think there is much debate about the meaning of his statements, I mean you might disagree with his opinion or say maybe he is just being nice but I don't buy that because of the run of results he has had against Novak what is that 9 of the last 10.

And of course one can say that after 2011 when he lost 7 in a row he came back, yeah but in 2011 and 2012 he wasn't losing as often to other players he was just losing to one guy and getting to almost every final. Clearly in this matchup Nadal is not up to his best while Novak arguably is playing better than ever including how he played in 2011.

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Post by AdamT Mon 11 Jan 2016, 12:41 pm

I have always been a huge Rafa fan, but Novak is certainly playing at a level I have never witnessed before. He is so mentally strong now.

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Post by Jahu Mon 11 Jan 2016, 1:42 pm

Well, while socal can enjoy the fruits of Djoko trashing NAdal, I think in this 2016 I will have to admit that by the end of Djoko's career, he will be second GOAT after Fed.

Sad, but true.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 3:29 pm

Well Adam, it is interesting that he would say that because I can't see how it helps him psychologically to think like that and to let Novak know that you believe that. I think if anything this helps Novak's confidence. Or is he playing the old game of piling on the pressure and expectation onto Djokovic hoping that, or is he just being honest and saying what he feels? Its an interesting comment, I think he is being sincere considering how big the gap in points is right now between Djokovic and the rest of the tour I don't think Nadal is being devious or playing Mourinho like psychological games. Still, I don't think it helps him in this matchup to vocalize these type of things.

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Post by Matchpoint Mon 11 Jan 2016, 4:45 pm

Someone REALLY got carried away, haha. Rafa Nadal didn't settle anything. He just talked and talked. But talk is cheap. Be patient, the titles will decide, accordingly and ultimately, thank you.

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Post by lags72 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 5:36 pm

I think it was a tricky situation for someone of Rafa's standing when expected to speak to the media immediately after such a comprehensive defeat. He had, after all, played very well himself at times - only to see his best efforts prove totally ineffective in remotely troubling Novak.

So, he could either :

a) talk about the fact that - on the indisputable evidence of the Doha Final - he is seemingly further away from Novak, rather than getting closer to him, or
b) focus more on the near-invincible level at which Novak is currently performing.

He (understandably IMO) chose the latter. I'm not implying that it was some sort of pre-meditated strategy ; but when he does manage his next victory against him (and it will come, surely .....?) then the sub-text for Rafa could well be that I'm now good enough to beat the very best I have seen throughout my time as a pro.... so you won't be having it all your own way while I'm still around .....

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 5:43 pm

Matchpoint wrote:Someone REALLY got carried away, haha. Rafa Nadal didn't settle anything. He just talked and talked. But talk is cheap. Be patient, the titles will decide, accordingly and ultimately, thank you.

Come now this is like Einstein coming out and saying that you are much better at math and physics than he is publically to millions of people. It is the type of statement that one would take notice of, I wonder when we should hold a torch passing ceremony for GOATOVIC, does he get to wear a crème colored-leisure suit with his initials on it to Wimbeldon now?

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 11 Jan 2016, 5:48 pm

Cat ..... Wink

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 5:59 pm

lags72 wrote:I think it was a tricky situation for someone of Rafa's standing when expected to speak to the media immediately after such a comprehensive defeat. He had, after all, played very well himself at times - only to see his best efforts prove totally ineffective in remotely troubling Novak.

So, he could either :

a) talk about the fact that - on the indisputable evidence of the Doha Final - he is seemingly further away from Novak, rather than getting closer to him, or
b) focus more on the near-invincible level at which Novak is currently performing.

He (understandably IMO) chose the latter. I'm not implying that it was some sort of pre-meditated strategy ; but when he does manage his next victory against him (and it will come, surely .....?) then the sub-text for Rafa could well be that I'm now good enough to beat the very best I have seen throughout my time as a pro.... so you won't be having it all your own way while I'm still around .....

Yes, Lags I actually can agree with this post for once we are in agreement. He does have to come up with something when people remind him that he has lost double digit sets in a row to the same guy and he is trying to rebuild his own confidence. I think an element of this type of statement could be motivated by spinning his own failure to beat the guy in a very long time.

However, I do think he is being sincere when he says this. I don't think he is as subtle a politician as maybe we would like to give him credit for. To me I was struck by both Rafa's attitude and the attitude of his box during this match. I mean there was little fire, hope, or belief really from the get go. It seemed to me that somehow this lack of belief and resignation seemed to permeate down from Rafa into his team. They kept showing his box and they weren't even worried or agitated really, it was like they knew this would happen and weren't looking forward to the occasion but like a root canal its just something unpleasant you have to get out of the way.

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Post by TRuffin Mon 11 Jan 2016, 6:01 pm

For years, many Nadal fans have claimed Nadal is the most pure and truthful sportsman there is- except when it came to GOAT talk- their way of explaining away Nadals passionate claims that Federer is GOAT. I guess they feel he is doing the same thing here...........

However, Rafa said very similar things about Federer after the WTF final thrashing a few years ago. I'm not sure where the transcript would still be, but I can vividly remember arguing with Nadal fans on Bleacher report because they were claiming Nadal was just being the humble good sport he was when he was saying Federer played a perfect match, level beyond anyone else, etc... It was very similar if not exact type claims. Perhaps this is Nadals way of psychologicaly coping with a thrashing at the hands of one of his two main rivals.

Have to agree with Hawkeye though- it seems clear to me at least from my understanding of context that Nadal is speaking more to Djokovics current level- maybe even for the week- but at best recent level vs. a statement of Djokovic as a career Goat. Djoko may get there, but no one can realistically claim he's there yet.

It is certainly a valid opinion if Nadal says Djokovics recent run is as great a level as tennis has ever seen, but I think you could point to most of the Goat group and find similar runs at a high level. Federer, Nadal, Laver, Sampras, even McEnroe could have valid claims to reaching those heights.

Heck from a tournament standpoint if that what Nadals speaking of- old man Federers Master 1000 Cinci tourney a few years ago where he didn't get broken once and whipped Djokovic in the final is a more impressive tournament run than a 250 level beating a declining Nadal on hard courts. I think Fed even matched that last year at Cinci though the final wasn't a thrashing.

In the end, I think it's clear Djokovic is well on his way to being the best player of his generation and and end up as the 2nd best all around player of all time behind Federer, or even lay claim to being the best ever. I would have no problem with that as he amasses all around records that reach what Federer has done.

Lets give it time though.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 6:14 pm

@ Ruffin Very well reasoned and good post. I actually agree with a lot of it. I don't think Novak played that amazing in this tournament till the final. Berdych gave him a run, but I do think in the final he played a blinder. I also would not crown Djokovic as GOAT as you say I think he has some miles left to tread and it certainly will be some hard yards if he is to get to that level.

The one point I disagree with is this connotation that Nadal just meant on the day or just this week. I mean this wasn't Wawrinka just going beast mode for a couple of rounds at grand slam. When you take into consideration the context of the year Novak had last year I think it leads us to assume that he is talking about a bit more than well Novak's level was great at Doha(while not taking into consideration the other ten sets in a row he has lost to the guy many with one sided scorelines?) but his general level of the last year or so. So I think it is logically unlikely to assume that he just meant Novak played the best I have ever seen just today or just this week. With the context of the year Djokovic had and Nadal's recent results against the man I think that this assumption is probably unlikely to be true. I mean if he did say well Novak was just great today, the logical follow up would be well what about the fact that you lost 10 sets in a row to the guy on other days as well.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 11 Jan 2016, 6:43 pm

TRuffin wrote:For years, many Nadal fans have claimed Nadal is the most pure and truthful sportsman there is- except when it came to GOAT talk- their way of explaining away Nadals passionate claims that Federer is GOAT.   I guess they feel he is doing the same thing here...........

However, Rafa said very similar things about Federer after the WTF final thrashing a few years ago.  I'm not sure where the transcript would still be, but I can vividly remember arguing with Nadal fans on Bleacher report because they were claiming Nadal was just being the humble good sport he was when he was saying Federer played a perfect match, level beyond anyone else, etc...     It was very similar if not exact type claims.   Perhaps this is Nadals way of psychologicaly coping with a thrashing at the hands of one of his two main rivals.

Have to agree  with Hawkeye though- it seems clear to me at least from my understanding of context that Nadal is speaking more to Djokovics current level- maybe even for the week- but at best recent level vs. a statement of Djokovic as a career Goat.   Djoko may get there, but no one can realistically claim he's there yet.

It is certainly a valid opinion if Nadal says Djokovics recent run is as great a level as tennis has ever seen, but I think you could point to most of the Goat group and find similar runs at a high level.  Federer, Nadal, Laver, Sampras, even McEnroe could have valid claims to reaching those heights.    

Heck from a tournament standpoint if that what Nadals speaking of-  old man Federers Master 1000 Cinci tourney a few years ago where he didn't get broken once and whipped Djokovic in the final is a more impressive tournament run than a 250 level beating a declining Nadal on hard courts. I think Fed even matched that last year at Cinci though the final wasn't a thrashing.

In the end, I think it's clear Djokovic is well on his way to being the best player of his generation and and end up as the 2nd best all around player of all time behind Federer, or even lay claim to being the best ever. I would have no problem with that as he amasses all around records that reach what Federer has done.

Lets give it time though.

Nadal has always claimed that Federer was the best player at that time and that he would never be as good as him he was certainly happy to walk in his shadow for a very long time. .. and he believed it simply because Uncle T repeatedly told him that..  if you have ever read Rafa's autobiography you would know it to be the case..  You surely know the old saying that if you are told something often enough you will believe it bearing in mind he has coached Rafa since he was four years old and Rafa thinks he knows best... and this may well be what he is doing again.  I would not put that past Uncle T he is capable of it. Rolling Eyes

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Post by lags72 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 6:45 pm

socal wrote:

Yes, Lags I actually can agree with this post for once we are in agreement. ...................

For once ....... chin Really ?

I actually think I'm offended by this, socal.

You must have agreed with my many pearls of wisdom more than just the once ......surely .....??

(what about when we both remarked on the weather on the middle Saturday at Wimbledon being exceptionally hot one year .......?)

PS I did read the main thrust of your post too ! Interesting stuff.

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Post by TRuffin Mon 11 Jan 2016, 7:41 pm

socal1976 wrote:@ Ruffin Very well reasoned and good post. I actually agree with a lot of it. I don't think Novak played that amazing in this tournament till the final. Berdych gave him a run, but I do think in the final he played a blinder. I also would not crown Djokovic as GOAT as you say I think he has some miles left to tread and it certainly will be some hard yards if he is to get to that level.

The one point I disagree with is this connotation that Nadal just meant on the day or just this week. I mean this wasn't Wawrinka just going beast mode for a couple of rounds at grand slam. When you take into consideration the context of the year Novak had last year I think it leads us to assume that he is talking about a bit more than well Novak's level was great at Doha(while not taking into consideration the other ten sets in a row he has lost to the guy many with one sided scorelines?) but his general level of the last year or so. So I think it is logically unlikely to assume that he just meant Novak played the best I have ever seen just today or just this week. With the context of the year Djokovic had and Nadal's recent results against the man I think that this assumption is probably unlikely to be true. I mean if he did say well Novak was just great today, the logical follow up would be well what about the fact that you lost 10 sets in a row to the guy on other days as well.

Well- he very well may be speaking about the run Djoko has had in the past year, but like I said- I think there would be a strong argument that others have reached the same heights for similar, even longer lengths of time.      I see what you are saying in terms of it being silly if Nadal was talking about just that match or the week- but look at what he actually says and the question he was answering.........

The question is specific to this match and the whole week... So Nadal is answering in that context.  Clearly- he is answering a certain question.

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on the match? What are your biggest takeaways from the week and from this match?


Then Nadal even prefaces the answer which is a clear indication of context.. he says "for the match.............    player who did everything perfect.     Under any written speech or spoken rules that shows he is answering the question and talking about the match they just played..

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for the match is easy to analyze. 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.


The first part about being perfect is clearly prefaced and linked to his "for the match".....  the next part- I know noboday playing like this....   this level..etc could be argued he's talking in a broader sense- a longer length of time, but given that his other words were specific to the match and week,  it's also just as likely he's still on that road.

Then later he clearly says that this week isn't an indicator that Djokovic can keep that level up the whole season.  Nadal even specifically say TODAY, he's better than me.

We will see during the whole season. No, no, that's all. Today? He's better than me. We will see in two weeks or we will see in five months. The only thing that you can do is wait that the opponent is not playing like this all the time. That is difficult to play like this all the time, it's obvious. And I gonna wait my moment.


So he's also putting it into context that this isn't a level he thinks is Djoko's normal sustainable level.

Bottom line is we all can see Djokovic is at a level far ahead of everyone else.  Probably only Federer and a here and there Stan on most surfaces can really realistically match those levels in a match, and Federers lack of foot speed and stamina is becoming more apparent and probably relegates his level to be able to match Djoko for a set or two.   Nadal on clay might get back to a point where he can as well.   Djokovic has a clear road of dominance ahead and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Federer said before the season-  "it's up to the rest of us to raise our level and nip at his heels. that's the only way to lower his confidence. It happened to me before, and it will eventually happen as that's the nature of sport"  Nadal is saying something similar towards the end of his statements. They all know that there is a peak and a drop.

Djoko has set a high bar for sure.


Last edited by TRuffin on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 7:42 pm

lags72 wrote:
socal wrote:

Yes, Lags I actually can agree with this post for once we are in agreement. ...................

For once ....... chin Really ?

I actually think I'm offended by this, socal.

You must have agreed with my many pearls  of wisdom more than just the once ......surely .....??

(what about when we both remarked on the weather on the middle Saturday at Wimbledon being exceptionally hot one year .......?)

PS I did read the main thrust of your post too ! Interesting stuff.

Oh don't be offended by any of my humble and tame offerings on the thread, save your indignation when I say something that really annoys you. And thank you for the nice comment, you are not as often wrong as you once used to be, so our views may occasionally match up. It is not the first and probably not the last time.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 11 Jan 2016, 7:49 pm

I think these players would make could politicians when they retire
Its not what they say but more what they don't me thinks Wink
I think they are becoming well schooled in avoiding a direct answer as I believe they should

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 7:49 pm

TRuffin wrote:
socal1976 wrote:@ Ruffin Very well reasoned and good post. I actually agree with a lot of it. I don't think Novak played that amazing in this tournament till the final. Berdych gave him a run, but I do think in the final he played a blinder. I also would not crown Djokovic as GOAT as you say I think he has some miles left to tread and it certainly will be some hard yards if he is to get to that level.

The one point I disagree with is this connotation that Nadal just meant on the day or just this week. I mean this wasn't Wawrinka just going beast mode for a couple of rounds at grand slam. When you take into consideration the context of the year Novak had last year I think it leads us to assume that he is talking about a bit more than well Novak's level was great at Doha(while not taking into consideration the other ten sets in a row he has lost to the guy many with one sided scorelines?) but his general level of the last year or so. So I think it is logically unlikely to assume that he just meant Novak played the best I have ever seen just today or just this week. With the context of the year Djokovic had and Nadal's recent results against the man I think that this assumption is probably unlikely to be true. I mean if he did say well Novak was just great today, the logical follow up would be well what about the fact that you lost 10 sets in a row to the guy on other days as well.

Well- he very well may be speaking about the run Djoko has had in the past year, but like I said- I think there would be a strong argument that others have reached the same heights for similar, even longer lengths of time.      I see what you are saying in terms of it being silly if Nadal was talking about just that match or the week- but look at what he actually says and the question he was answering.........

The question is specific to this match and the whole week... So Nadal is answering in that context.  Clearly- he is answering a certain question.

Q. Can you give us your thoughts on the match? What are your biggest takeaways from the week and from this match?


Then Nadal even prefaces the answer which is a clear indication of context.. he says "for the match.............    player who did everything perfect.     Under any written speech or spoken rules that shows he is answering the question and talking about the match they just played..

RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for the match is easy to analyze. 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.


The first part about being perfect is clearly prefaced and linked to his "for the match".....  the next part- I know noboday playing like this....   this level..etc could be argued he's talking in a broader sense- a longer length of time, but given that his other words were specific to the match and week,  it's also just as likely he's still on that road.

Then later he clearly says that this week isn't an indicator that Djokovic can keep that level up the whole season.  Nadal even specifically say TODAY, he's better than me.

We will see during the whole season. No, no, that's all. Today? He's better than me. We will see in two weeks or we will see in five months. The only thing that you can do is wait that the opponent is not playing like this all the time. That is difficult to play like this all the time, it's obvious. And I gonna wait my moment.


So he's also putting it into context that this isn't a level he thinks is Djoko's normal sustainable level.

Bottom line is we all can see Djokovic is at a level far ahead of everyone else.  Probably only Federer and a here and there Stan on most surfaces can really realistically match those levels in a match, and Federers lack of foot speed and stamina is becoming more apparent and probably relegates his level to be able to match Djoko for a set or two.   Nadal on clay might get back to a point where he can as well.   Djokovic has a clear road of dominance ahead and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Federer said before the season-  "it's up to the rest of us to raise our level and nip at his heels. that's the only way to lower his confidence. It happened to me before, and it will eventually happen as that's the nature of sport"  

Djoko has set a high bar for sure.  


Yes I got those temporal references but as you yourself noted in the post some of his references to today or time period of Djokovic's level, does mention that he doesn't know if he can (paraphrase) keep it up for months more. I think when you see that the time references he uses days but he also uses months. I can concede how you can see from the direct texts of the quote a basis for the way you and HE are reading it. But I think you can't take text in isolation of the recent history of the two. Every statement, has a point of reference in time that is the nature of it. And again my point would be that Novak has put a lot of lopsided sets on Nadal in particular and has won 9 out of 10. So Nadal's statement must also be referencing their recent history and not just on this particular day in January he was unbelievable. The language he uses as you state yourself cuts both ways but the recent history of both players and this matchup is obviously the context of the statement, because again one would respond ok you say that today he played perfect, what about when he whipped you straight sets at RG? That win was probably more lopsided? Or the other 10 sets in a row he has won. My point being that no quote can be taken in isolation of the recent facts and history.

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Post by CAS Mon 11 Jan 2016, 7:52 pm

I personally took it as Djokovics performance on the day was the best he'd ever seen, which he's entitled to his opinion. It's a question of match up, I think we've all see Federer play at that crazy level too but Rafa is able to stop him doing it while he can't stop Novak doing it. If you asked Federer I have no doubt he would say the best performance against him was a match against Rafa because he can't stop Rafa doing it, he can however due to match up stop Novak doing it. It's a fascinating rock paper scissors.

I can find you quotes very quickly of Federer saying things about Nadal like he was in awe of him, I could find Novak saying things about Federer where he was stunned with what he was doing, and now Rafa to Novak, it's all match up in my opinion. Rafa has no where to go against Novak, he does with Roger. Rogers slice is 10x more affective against Novak, Rafa just eats it up. "Styles make fights".

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Post by socal1976 Mon 11 Jan 2016, 8:05 pm

@CAS I don't think anyone denies that the matchup dictates a great deal of it. But Nadal says his level was perfect and comments about how his level is the best he has ever seen bringing up all of Nadal's opponents indirectly going back into history. Again, I think for Nadal it is quite logical if you were to pick between yourself, Novak, or Roger as the highest level you have seen to pick Novak. I mean he beats Roger most of the time and now loses to the other most of the time. So from his perspective in the matchup his statement is probably pretty honest and sound.

My biggest beef with this type of statement is that I honestly don't believe it helps him to turn things around. I don't think you want to pump up your opponent and concede that much in the matchup. I don't think you want to say that your opponent "is better than me" like he goes on to say. I mean saying someone is better than you means something a bit different than saying he is playing better than me right now. To me, I don't think it has helped him making public all these doubts.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Mon 11 Jan 2016, 8:19 pm

I think you are making far too much of it socal... Rafa is a naturally self depreciating person and has been all his life.. that is how he operates.
He is allowing Novak to take centre stage.....for the moment !!!
One of the world's greatest men once said "The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain"
And he was a world leader not  tennis GOAT Wink

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Post by CAS Mon 11 Jan 2016, 8:35 pm

Socal I'm pretty sure he's referring to the performance and why wouldn't he, got to be the biggest thrashing in his career.

I think when you're on the end of feeling absolutely helpless I'm sure it does feel like it's the highest level he's seen because who has been able to do that to him? No one.

I personally have gasped more in other matches I've watched but certainly can see why Rafa would say that

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Tue 12 Jan 2016, 4:51 am

Not the biggest thrashing; he suffered some at the hands of Nalby in 2007 at Madrid and Paris. Also, Fed gave him a thrashing at WTF in 2011, beating him 6-0, 6-3.

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Post by CAS Tue 12 Jan 2016, 7:59 am

Personally think from start to finish that was his biggest thrashing, was never in the match. Wasn't indoors either like against Nalbandian.

That being said Rafa definitely isn't playing at the same level. I'm not convinced Novak is playing better than Rafa did in '13, just different circumstances.

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Post by LuvSports! Tue 12 Jan 2016, 11:52 am

Youzhny beat him 6-0 6-1 in 2008 in Chennai.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:15 pm

was his biggest thrashing

Oh dear Rafa hang up your racquet.. your finished Rolling Eyes

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Post by CAS Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:23 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:was his biggest thrashing

Oh dear Rafa hang up your racquet.. your finished Rolling Eyes

I also said Djokovic isn't playing better than Rafa at 13, sometimes feel you can't have an opinion against someone's favourite player on this forum.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:31 pm

Yes of course you can but you are being criticised purely for your exaggeration not your opinion .. this is not the GOAT debate but rather the GLOAT debate. Even Federer said that this happens good lord Rafa gave him a thrashing at the French Open didn't he ??.. but it happend and it passed.. Given the rubbish year Rafa had 2015 he got to another final.. must be good news in my book

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Post by CAS Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:31 pm

In regards to the match in Chennai, he played Moya the day before winning 6-7 7-6 7-6, called the trainer because he was struggling to move against Youzhny, he was so exhausted.

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Post by CAS Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:33 pm

A gloat debate? I don't dislike Rafa, if anything I wanted him to win so there's more of a rivalry again. Clearly because I like Federer I must be digging Nadal? I also said Federer has said things about Rafa implying he is the best he's ever seen too.

I've never seen Rafa look so helpless. An opinion isn't an exaggeration.

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:35 pm

No CAS the whole thread was intended to be a gloat but not by Federer fans.. Wink

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Post by CAS Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:50 pm

Federer fans and Nadal fans have had some great highs, I don't mind a Novak fan enjoying some of it too.

I would say enjoy it while it lasts as we've all seen it change very very quickly. I think we'll know in retrospect how good they all were, in the moment everyone gets swept off their feet.

Novak has to win the FO to get a head of even Sampras in the pecking order before we starting saying he's with Federer, Nadal and Laver. He's giving it one hell of a chance though, it's quite incredible really. Doesn't seem that long ago at all he was struggling with his serve, retiring a lot, then a switch went off.

I think Rafa is improving constantly again, he's getting his forehand back which will always give him a shot of beating anyone, even Novak.


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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 12 Jan 2016, 12:56 pm

CAS wrote:Federer fans and Nadal fans have had some great highs, I don't mind a Novak fan enjoying some of it too.

I would say enjoy it while it lasts as we've all seen it change very very quickly.  I think we'll know in retrospect how good they all were, in the moment everyone gets swept off their feet.

Novak has to win the FO to get a head of even Sampras in the pecking order before we starting saying he's with Federer, Nadal and Laver. He's giving it one hell of a chance though, it's quite incredible really. Doesn't seem that long ago at all he was struggling with his serve, retiring a lot, then a switch went off.

I think Rafa is improving constantly again, he's getting his forehand back which will always give him a shot of beating anyone, even Novak.


CAS  if you see my post above I said

One of the world's greatest men once said "The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain"
And he was a world leader not  tennis GOAT Smile

.
I think if you read between the lines, Rafa was saying as much

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Jan 2016, 1:04 pm

You said or the man said? Headscratch

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Tue 12 Jan 2016, 1:39 pm

CAS, I certainly had seen Rafa being more helpless in that AO2008 SF vs Tsonga! Rafa even was smiling wryly during that match.

This Doha final couldnt be worse than that AO match. I would think if its a BO5 match, Rafa would do better in the third set.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Tue 12 Jan 2016, 1:56 pm

Actually Rafa was working on his BHDTL too, hit some nice ones at Abu Dhabi and Doha, just not able to hit that shot in the final. Its still a WIP imo. I feel he really needs that shot if he wants to counter Novak's game, as he's no longer young and cant run around his BH to hit his FHDTL all the time when his footspeed slows down with age.


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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 12 Jan 2016, 3:22 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:You said or the man said? Headscratch


I think he said what YOU want to read into it lk.. and we know what that is Rolling Eyes

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Post by Guest Tue 12 Jan 2016, 3:37 pm

Haddie-nuff wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:You said or the man said? Headscratch


I think he said what YOU want to read into it lk.. and we know what that is Rolling Eyes

Eh?

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Post by Haddie-nuff Tue 12 Jan 2016, 4:09 pm

Oh for goodness sake.. look at the title of this thread... it has SETTLED nothing.. its not the first" THRASHING" that a top  player has received at the hands of the champion.. what has been read into Rafa's response is totally without  basis for such a conclusion ..and Rafa would be foolish if he were to take the limelight off Novak.. but he has moved on because he knows tomorrow is another day...................next !!!! notworthy

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