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just a simple 6 times GS champ doing the best he can

May 17, 2010

I don’t partake in WHO IS THE GOAT? discussions! They’re just not relevant to my interests (in any sport). But here are two arguments that involve a player who IS relevant to my interests and that I don’t get –

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Matt Cronin goes with the same-old on twitter after Madrid: How is that the so-called GOAT Federer has a 7-14 record against his primary rival, Nadal? A back mark in an otherwise stellar career

Retweets these as responses:

emmamctee: Are you seriously going down that route? Matchup, clay, all issues. Rafa is epic but let’s talk when he wins 10 more slams.

yourvolleyssuck: Because the majority of those matches were played on clay…early on Rafa couldn’t make the finals of hard

1. “but let’s talk when he wins 10 more slams.” Why? The fact that Rafa definitely ISN’T a GOAT contender, (and most likely still won’t be, even after he wraps up his career) yet leads the h2h shouldn’t be the whole point?

2. “early on Rafa couldn’t make the finals of hard courts” … and? This is basically transferring the onus of proving Roger is GOAT from Roger to Rafa. “It’s his fault! He sucks and can’t make it far enough to meet Roger anywhere but clay, Roger does his part!”

If Roger had won Miami 2004, Dubai 2006, Wimbledon 2008 and AO 2009, his h2h with Rafa would stand at a neat 11 – 10. shrugs

I have the feeling people have a knee-jerk reaction to transform this GOAT discussion into Federer x Nadal, when it really isn’t. It’s Federer x Rod Laver x Pete Sampras x whoever the fuck.

But that whoever the fuck is not Rafa.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2010 8:06 pm

    Matt Cronin is an absolute idiot and I can’t believe he has the audacity to charge people for his tennis ‘articles’ on that 1999-looking website of his. And I think that looking at the H2H and considering it makes Federer’s argument for GOAT weaker is looking for something to criticize.

    However, I do think it is a valid point to mention that the reason their H2H is so lopsided is because the majority of their matches were played on clay, where the match up between the two is even more exploited in Rafa’s favor. Should Federer have won those matches you mention? Yes. But it’s noteworthy that he only has a small window to correct his H2H while Rafa has (had) the entire clay season.

    • loltennis permalink*
      July 16, 2010 3:14 pm

      But it’s noteworthy that he only has a small window to correct his H2H while Rafa has (had) the entire clay season.

      But those were also opportunities for Roger. A 2 – 10 h2h for a guy who IS very (*) good on clay (and the GOAT) is poor, even with the match-up issues. Especially since many of their 12 encounters took place when Roger was at his peak and Rafa, while good, was not as good as he became later. (Kuerten gave an interview a while ago saying how he would take a crack at 2005/06 Rafa on clay, no problem. But that in 2007 and 08 it would be “a little harder”.)

      (*) This was, from what I could understand, one of the (many) reasons Roger was ahead of Sampras in GOAT discussions even before he’d matched/surpassed Pete in # of Slams. Roger can play on clay. In fact, if it weren’t for Rafa, he’d probably have as many RGs trophies now as AOs. So we could say that he’s actually quite a clay GOAT himself.

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