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Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
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Denisovich Offline
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Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Not yet in terms of prizes obviously, but Djokovic is much more competitive against the King of Clay than Federer. Judged on his game, isn't Djokovic better? Thoughts?
21-Apr-2013 02:16 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Novak has a good record on clay, but so far he's only made one FO final. Roger was far in advance of this, by the same age, although his record against Nadal wasn't so good. I never feel that Roger has a shot of beating Rafa when it matters, whereas Novak can stare down Rafa on clay, which is some achievement.

But so far, I'd have to say that Roger's overall record clay is better than Nole's...
21-Apr-2013 02:23 PM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Right now? Of course. Career wise? Numbers are on Roger's side, though Novak's game in general at times seems more suited. With that said, I don't think how each one has done against Nadal should be the measuring stick, but it definitely counts for Novak that he's a serious threat to Nadal at the FO (and all clay tourneys for that matter). For now though, it doesn't count as much as actually winning the FO, something Roger has done. We could be speaking differently in less than two months though, as Novak has a serious shot again this year.
21-Apr-2013 02:40 PM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
No, even taking into account his victories against Rafa...the record is still 3-12; not far from Roger. Stylistically he matches more better to Rafa than Roger ever has BUT one match-up a career doesn't make. Roger's claycourt prowess from 2005 to 2009 is only bested by his rival Rafa.

People seems to forget tennis open new CHAPTERS every tournament.......Roger's record book is full of excellent chapters which Novak doesn't posses. Frankly, at his age time is running out to make a name for himself on clay at the heights Roger has.
21-Apr-2013 04:04 PM
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Mastoor Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 04:04 PM)huntingyou Wrote:  No, even taking into account his victories against Rafa...the record is still 3-12; not far from Roger. Stylistically he matches more better to Rafa than Roger ever has BUT one match-up a career doesn't make. Roger's claycourt prowess from 2005 to 2009 is only bested by his rival Rafa.

People seems to forget tennis open new CHAPTERS every tournament.......Roger's record book is full of excellent chapters which Novak doesn't posses. Frankly, at his age time is running out to make a name for himself on clay at the heights Roger has.


You don't honestly believe this?
21-Apr-2013 04:17 PM
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kskate2 Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Not yet
21-Apr-2013 04:28 PM
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Postpre Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
In addition, Djokovic (when he's been successful) has faced the 2011-2013 Nadal, while Federer (in his prime) faced the 2005-2010 Nadal. While the differences may be slight, they are significant. I'm not convinced that Djokovic today could have taken down prime Nadal on clay. Fed was pretty darn good on clay from 2005-2009.
(This post was last modified: 21-Apr-2013 04:49 PM by Postpre.)
21-Apr-2013 04:47 PM
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Garro Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Djokovic is better on clay against Nadal than Federer for sure. By any other measure, Federer is the better clay court player career wise.
21-Apr-2013 05:23 PM
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atttomole Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 05:23 PM)Garro Wrote:  Djokovic is better on clay against Nadal than Federer for sure. By any other measure, Federer is the better clay court player career wise.
I think that is the best way to put it.
21-Apr-2013 05:38 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 04:47 PM)Postpre Wrote:  In addition, Djokovic (when he's been successful) has faced the 2011-2013 Nadal, while Federer (in his prime) faced the 2005-2010 Nadal. While the differences may be slight, they are significant. I'm not convinced that Djokovic today could have taken down prime Nadal on clay. Fed was pretty darn good on clay from 2005-2009.

An excellent point regarding when all of these guys have been facing each other in respect to their primes.

While it's undeniable that Novak had significant success against Rafa on clay twice in 2011, and now in one match in 2013, that doesn't compare to what Roger faced from 2005-2009, when Rafa was at a significantly higher level than he is today.

And then there are the numbers, which are in black and white:

Djokovic:
8 titles -- 4 of them were 250s, no RG, and only one RG final.

Federer:
10 titles -- 6 of them were MS1000s, 1 RG, and 5 RG finals. I feel like I should also include his 10 clay-court finals which he lost to Rafa, as additional proof that Roger was the second most dominant force on clay for many years. As he once put it, "I don't have a clay problem; I have a Rafa problem."
21-Apr-2013 05:59 PM
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Mastoor Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 05:23 PM)Garro Wrote:  Djokovic is better on clay against Nadal than Federer for sure. By any other measure, Federer is the better clay court player career wise.

Sure, won FO thanks to the consequences of the 4 hour match between Nole and Rafa. What other achievements on clay he has that No1e doesn't have? They both have 4 Masters 1000 titles on clay. And don't forget they are not the same age.
21-Apr-2013 06:03 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 06:03 PM)Mastoor Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 05:23 PM)Garro Wrote:  Djokovic is better on clay against Nadal than Federer for sure. By any other measure, Federer is the better clay court player career wise.

Sure, won FO thanks to the consequences of the 4 hour match between Nole and Rafa. What other achievements on clay he has that No1e doesn't have? They both have 4 Masters 1000 titles on clay. And don't forget they are not the same age.

Wrong: Federer has 6 MS1000s on clay.
21-Apr-2013 06:08 PM
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Denisovich Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 05:59 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 04:47 PM)Postpre Wrote:  In addition, Djokovic (when he's been successful) has faced the 2011-2013 Nadal, while Federer (in his prime) faced the 2005-2010 Nadal. While the differences may be slight, they are significant. I'm not convinced that Djokovic today could have taken down prime Nadal on clay. Fed was pretty darn good on clay from 2005-2009.

An excellent point regarding when all of these guys have been facing each other in respect to their primes.

While it's undeniable that Novak had significant success against Rafa on clay twice in 2011, and now in one match in 2013, that doesn't compare to what Roger faced from 2005-2009, when Rafa was at a significantly higher level than he is today.

And then there are the numbers, which are in black and white:

Djokovic:
8 titles -- 4 of them were 250s, no RG, and only one RG final.

Federer:
10 titles -- 6 of them were MS1000s, 1 RG, and 5 RG finals. I feel like I should also include his 10 clay-court finals which he lost to Rafa, as additional proof that Roger was the second most dominant force on clay for many years. As he once put it, "I don't have a clay problem; I have a Rafa problem."

I get that in terms of results Federer is better. But I don't agree with you that Federer faced prime Nadal and Djokovic did not. 2010 was Nadal's top season, in 2011 he was still very much at the same level, but just outclassed by an out of this world Djokovic.

Moreover I wanted to address the question in terms of their game. Federer's game is much better suited for faster surfaces. If you look at Djokovic's game, he is far more consistent in longer rallies, handles heavy top spin balls (very important on clay) much better from both wings than Federer, and is able to be extremely offensive from the backhand side. That matters on clay as you can keep the court much more open. Clay is so much slower you need the extra room to make points, otherwise everything comes back. I am not saying that Federer is not an amazing clay court player, just that Djokovic his game is better in that regard.
21-Apr-2013 06:19 PM
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Mastoor Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 06:08 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 06:03 PM)Mastoor Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 05:23 PM)Garro Wrote:  Djokovic is better on clay against Nadal than Federer for sure. By any other measure, Federer is the better clay court player career wise.

Sure, won FO thanks to the consequences of the 4 hour match between Nole and Rafa. What other achievements on clay he has that No1e doesn't have? They both have 4 Masters 1000 titles on clay. And don't forget they are not the same age.

Wrong: Federer has 6 MS1000s on clay.
I checked again, you are right 6, but still difference is only in 1 FO and 2 Masters, which No1e can equal in next two months.

(21-Apr-2013 06:19 PM)Denisovich Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 05:59 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 04:47 PM)Postpre Wrote:  In addition, Djokovic (when he's been successful) has faced the 2011-2013 Nadal, while Federer (in his prime) faced the 2005-2010 Nadal. While the differences may be slight, they are significant. I'm not convinced that Djokovic today could have taken down prime Nadal on clay. Fed was pretty darn good on clay from 2005-2009.

An excellent point regarding when all of these guys have been facing each other in respect to their primes.

While it's undeniable that Novak had significant success against Rafa on clay twice in 2011, and now in one match in 2013, that doesn't compare to what Roger faced from 2005-2009, when Rafa was at a significantly higher level than he is today.

And then there are the numbers, which are in black and white:

Djokovic:
8 titles -- 4 of them were 250s, no RG, and only one RG final.

Federer:
10 titles -- 6 of them were MS1000s, 1 RG, and 5 RG finals. I feel like I should also include his 10 clay-court finals which he lost to Rafa, as additional proof that Roger was the second most dominant force on clay for many years. As he once put it, "I don't have a clay problem; I have a Rafa problem."

I get that in terms of results Federer is better. But I don't agree with you that Federer faced prime Nadal and Djokovic did not. 2010 was Nadal's top season, in 2011 he was still very much at the same level, but just outclassed by an out of this world Djokovic.

Moreover I wanted to address the question in terms of their game. Federer's game is much better suited for faster surfaces. If you look at Djokovic's game, he is far more consistent in longer rallies, handles heavy top spin balls (very important on clay) much better from both wings than Federer, and is able to be extremely offensive from the backhand side. That matters on clay as you can keep the court much more open. Clay is so much slower you need the extra room to make points, otherwise everything comes back. I am not saying that Federer is not an amazing clay court player, just that Djokovic his game is better in that regard.

That too, they talk of 2005 - 2009 as his prime which is not true, especially 2009 was terrible for both Nadal and No1e and Fed used it very well.
(This post was last modified: 21-Apr-2013 06:24 PM by Mastoor.)
21-Apr-2013 06:21 PM
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imjimmy Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
I don't think it's close yet. While Djokovic has been impressive against Nadal, Federer, in general, has performed MUCH better against the rest of the field than Novak has. He's made numerous French Open finals in relatively straightforward fashion and even won once. Djokovic's made one final and had his problems against a lot of players over the years. In a 1:1 matchup, he can stylistically hurt Nadal, but clay is definitely not his strongest surface, and there are others who can beat him here. Same is true to a bigger extent on grass.
21-Apr-2013 06:59 PM
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Billie Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Denisovich, people here are a bit, how shall I say this politely, reluctant to give Nole any kind of advantage or say that he is better in something than Federer and Nadal. Nole is not yet 26 years old and they compare his results to the results of somebody who is well over 31 and had more time before Rafa came to the scene.

Nole won his first tournament on clay...in 2006, he already has 4 masters 1000 and for 3 of those he beat a healthy Rafa convincingly all in finals. He additionally has few more clay masters 1000 finals that he lost to Nadal. He also lost 4 or 5 times to Nadal in RG, which is no shame, but I am sure that his first win at RG will be against Nadal, I doubt he will be so lucky not to have to face Nadal there.Wink

With this win today, he has now won each Masters 1000 on clay at least once, but I don't think he is done winning at all. So yes, I think that Nole is better clay court player than Federer and that in few years his results will be much better than his.Smile

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21-Apr-2013 07:38 PM
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Postpre Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 06:21 PM)Mastoor Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 06:08 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 06:03 PM)Mastoor Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 05:23 PM)Garro Wrote:  Djokovic is better on clay against Nadal than Federer for sure. By any other measure, Federer is the better clay court player career wise.

Sure, won FO thanks to the consequences of the 4 hour match between Nole and Rafa. What other achievements on clay he has that No1e doesn't have? They both have 4 Masters 1000 titles on clay. And don't forget they are not the same age.

Wrong: Federer has 6 MS1000s on clay.
I checked again, you are right 6, but still difference is only in 1 FO and 2 Masters, which No1e can equal in next two months.

(21-Apr-2013 06:19 PM)Denisovich Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 05:59 PM)tented Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 04:47 PM)Postpre Wrote:  In addition, Djokovic (when he's been successful) has faced the 2011-2013 Nadal, while Federer (in his prime) faced the 2005-2010 Nadal. While the differences may be slight, they are significant. I'm not convinced that Djokovic today could have taken down prime Nadal on clay. Fed was pretty darn good on clay from 2005-2009.

An excellent point regarding when all of these guys have been facing each other in respect to their primes.

While it's undeniable that Novak had significant success against Rafa on clay twice in 2011, and now in one match in 2013, that doesn't compare to what Roger faced from 2005-2009, when Rafa was at a significantly higher level than he is today.

And then there are the numbers, which are in black and white:

Djokovic:
8 titles -- 4 of them were 250s, no RG, and only one RG final.

Federer:
10 titles -- 6 of them were MS1000s, 1 RG, and 5 RG finals. I feel like I should also include his 10 clay-court finals which he lost to Rafa, as additional proof that Roger was the second most dominant force on clay for many years. As he once put it, "I don't have a clay problem; I have a Rafa problem."

I get that in terms of results Federer is better. But I don't agree with you that Federer faced prime Nadal and Djokovic did not. 2010 was Nadal's top season, in 2011 he was still very much at the same level, but just outclassed by an out of this world Djokovic.

Moreover I wanted to address the question in terms of their game. Federer's game is much better suited for faster surfaces. If you look at Djokovic's game, he is far more consistent in longer rallies, handles heavy top spin balls (very important on clay) much better from both wings than Federer, and is able to be extremely offensive from the backhand side. That matters on clay as you can keep the court much more open. Clay is so much slower you need the extra room to make points, otherwise everything comes back. I am not saying that Federer is not an amazing clay court player, just that Djokovic his game is better in that regard.

That too, they talk of 2005 - 2009 as his prime which is not true, especially 2009 was terrible for both Nadal and No1e and Fed used it very well.

Only Madrid (possibly, lost to Fed 4 & 4) and Roland Garros were terrible for Nadal in 2009. Other than that, he dominated Djokovic in Monte Carlo and Rome. From 2005-2009 Rafa's movement was better than today (you can probably extend his prime on clay to 2010).
21-Apr-2013 07:44 PM
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Billie Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
Hi nehmeth! Now Nadal is past his prime as wellBlush No wonder Nole wins, has no competition really.Big Smile

I added you, herios and Mastoor to buddy list. I don't know what that really means and what it does, so when you have time, can you email me the explanation please? Thanks!

If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world. NT
(This post was last modified: 21-Apr-2013 07:58 PM by Billie.)
21-Apr-2013 07:54 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
I think Nole has every opportunity to pass Roger on clay, and he just might, but for now, I think Roger has a bit of an edge. I would not under estimate 5 RG finals. There have been so many great clay court specialists in the open era like Guga, Burgeira , Muster and even they could not make it to 5. Granted, Roger lost 4 of those , but to the GOAT of clay. Not too shabby.
Nole CAN get there though...he is solid on clay.

21-Apr-2013 08:04 PM
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Postpre Offline
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RE: Is Djokovic a better clay court player than Federer?
(21-Apr-2013 07:51 PM)nehmeth Wrote:  
(21-Apr-2013 07:44 PM)Postpre Wrote:  From 2005-2009 Rafa's movement was better than today (you can probably extend his prime on clay to 2010).

2011 Rafa was 25 years old... if he hadn't run into Nole he would have won Madrid and Rome and you would be saying 2011 was still prime Nadal. 25 is not over the hill or past his prime. He was beaten by an on fire Serb. 2012 at 26 Rafa ran the clay table again, so....

At this point in their careers Federer has the better clay court results... some of those wins thanks to the brutal semifinal matches Rafa had with Nole.

I hear you, Nehemeth. Yet, I still can't affirm that once Nadal lost a bit of his sublime movement on clay (sometime after 2010, maybe even after 2008) he was still in his "prime" prime years. He's still a beast post 2010, just not with the insane movement that accompanied the rest of his game. These days he often tries to make up for it with aggressiveness--and he often goes for too much at inopportune times.

By the way, when did Rafa/Nole have any brutal semi matches at Roland Garros? From 2006-2008 they were all pretty straightforward 3 set victories. However, you may be right that falling on Nadal's half prevented him from reaching a final (still questionable though considering Federer was probably the superior clay courter from 2006-2008).
(This post was last modified: 21-Apr-2013 08:33 PM by Postpre.)
21-Apr-2013 08:27 PM
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