The Last Match of Rafael Nadal's Prime


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47 comentarios:

Raz Ols
Raz Ols:
I noticed a lot of varying opinions on Rafa's prime, which was expected, so let me tell you guys how I look at it. Prime, for me, is a player's highest CONSISTENT level in his or hers career. The level doesn't only take titles into account, but also the so called eye test - the level of play you judge by actually watching the matches. For me, Nadal's consistently high level across all surfaces (important, not only one surface) was from 2008 to 2014. 2008 was his breakout year on all surfaces, reaching SFs at both hard court Grand Slam tournaments, winning Wimbledon beating Federer and also displaying probably his best clay court tennis at Roland Garros. He clearly developed his game from 2007 and imo thus reached his prime in 2008. Up to 2014 he performed consistently well at Grand Slam tournaments and Masters tournaments. He claimed two US Open titles and reached an additional final, an Australian Open title and two additional finals, one Wimbledon title and an additional final, as well as winning RG every year except 2009. So what happened after that RG final in 2014? After losing in Wimbledon to Nick Kyrgios (19 years of age at the time), he barely played in the rest of the year and once he did, he didn't reach a final. 2015 and 2016 I hopefully don't have to explain to people following tennis.

So what about 2017 to 2020 you might ask? Well, there's a couple of reasons I don't consider that Nadal's general prime. First of all, the competition throughout those years is in my opinion nothing compared to the level of tennis displayed through 2008-2014. During those 6 years we had a still very great Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic in his prime, Murray in his prime, Del Potro doing great in 2009 and 2013, Davydenko, Söderling, Berdych etc etc. Nadal played good in US Open 2017 but faced an over-dramatically happy Kevin Anderson in the final. The result was expected. The point is; Nadal's level in the 2017 and 2019 US Open wins, while good, weren't prime performances in my opinion. Compare that to what he displayed against prime Djokovic in the 2013 US Open final.

What I do agree on is a SECOND prime period on CLAY for Nadal, and particularly at Roland Garros. Nadal's level during the four last editions has been incredible, but on other surfaces the level hasn't been as high and the results isn't there either - even though the competition is worse than it was before. So that's my opinion guys: sure, talk about a second RG prime, but in general, Nadal left his prime in 2014.
Utkarsh Pant
Utkarsh Pant:
His prime passed 7 years ago, yet winning RGs without dropping a set.
TheBigSquirrel 50
TheBigSquirrel 50:
If this is what you consider the end of Rafa's full prime, you telling me that *DUSTIN BROWN WAS THE START OF THE END?*

(Rafa's next match was the Gerry Weber Open vs Dustin for those that don't know.)
Olly Paton
Olly Paton:
After 2015-16, I never thought I would see Rafa close to this level again. How he came back from that phase, I’ll never know
Ertugrul Körpinar
Ertugrul Körpinar:
One of Nadals best ever forehand performances. Absolutely ridiculous
Francesco Masella
Francesco Masella:
For Roger the 2010 Ao Final
For Rafa this match
For nole the 2016 RG Final
CM Production
CM Production:
Idk if I agree with this one, I think rafa came back on his prime in 2017 and if I had to pick the last match of his prime, I would probably choose the US Open final against Anderson of that year. but if we consider "prime" as a continuous streak of time without interruptions (so not like it happened in 2015-2016 when Rafa wasn't playing at his best), then it's a great choice
Thang Hua
Thang Hua:
I totally agree that this is the last match of his prime. The inside out and down the line forehand in this match were just unreal and phenomenadal!!! After Wim 14 lost to Nick, I thought I would never see him winning again....I was so sad and hopeless but thanks God he has been fighting till now. Now I don't have anymore high expectations of him winning every match or tournament he plays because I know that time had passed, it's just the pure joy and happiness to see him playing and fight with the same passion he's been having since 2004. And I am so proud to be a Rafan. Vamos Rafa and thank you so much for this amazing video. Cheers.
Anthony Burman
Anthony Burman:
Wonderful combination of ferocity and brilliance. If you leave someone of extremely high stature flat footed, your game is at an exceptional level. I'm not really a Djokovic fan but the big three in fairness have that same ability, to soar way and beyond their opponent. Credit to the three of them.
He will always be in his prime in RG lol
2017 : Allow me to introduce myself
You can't pinpoint the end of someone's prime down to the match, it's not like he lost something after this match and was never the same or better again.
Touseef Khan
Touseef Khan:
Thank you I waited for long time to see this match in english commentary as there was none before this video on you tube
Nurul Ansari
Nurul Ansari:
I hope he serve well and hit massive forehands in RG 2021
Sajib Mukherjee
Sajib Mukherjee:
What was 2020 RG then? Without his supreme best, do you really think one can bagel Djokovic in a GS final?
Jimnosnow 4
Jimnosnow 4:
Tbh his prime ended earlier imo but Rafa has to win Roland Garros if he’s not injured so he still won this
CJ Ever
CJ Ever:
PRIME - Consistent domination in Slams and Rankings.
I don't think Nadal and Djokovic ended their Primes, they're still dominating in Slams. Federer's Prime really ended in AO 2010.
Justin Webster
Justin Webster:
for Federer I'm assuming it's either 2009 Wimbledon or 2010 Australia?
Snigdha Yadav
Snigdha Yadav:
2020 French open final was one sided djokovic lost 6-0 ist set and in straight sets to rafa in 2014 djokovoic still played better. 😆
Alexander Kings
Alexander Kings:
Nadal's prime ended in Australia 2014.
sneha singh
sneha singh:
Totally agreed, that was his prime! Can never achieve that level of course 1of the reasons being age!
He still got it.
Yussepi G
Yussepi G:
Interesting theory. I think the main thing was his Wimbledon prowess went awol from 2013. After 5 finals in a row to nothing, just bizarre. The Kyrgios loss was forgivable but those others ? Wtf!
Thankfully after 2 years of horrible form Rafa 2.0 turned up and slowly those Wimbledon results are improving again. Will be interesting to see what happens.
It’s a bit silly to call his current version his ‘clay peak’ because he’s a strong favourite in New York also.
So last Djokovič prime match was French Open 2016 final?
Utkarsh Pant
Utkarsh Pant:
14:21 Too late to realise, don't hit on Rafa's forehand side
Kev R
Kev R:
His top 4 tourneys in my opinion...

2008 French
2017 French
2020 French
2010 US open
Deepak Gulrajani
Deepak Gulrajani:
you could also mention a streak before injuries as prime? bit tought as novak / roger and rafa have all come back from injuries. 2011 was nadal last appearance in wimbledon´s final and since then he´s be a game or two away from championship including some terrible defeats with weak opposition in their great days. It´s hard to pinpoint primes for these 3. Next gen only getting better everyday but still think at GS level and if rafa and novak are fit, they would just share the GS again this year. Wimbledon, novak as favourite. RG. Rafa. USO maybe daniil can have his summer streak back? tough to say.

Have to go tournament by tournament. Rafa´s victory in BCN will make him player better tennis not to mention how he fought until the end with Stefanos who´s playing unbelievable in clay. Have to see how Thiem comes back but probably will not reach the final rounds as not much clay competition time.

The good thing about these top 3 guys is that we can chat forever. Just appreciate greatness as we probably will never see this happen again.
Nadal's prime ended during AO 2014. There is no way it was prime Nadal during the 2014 clay season. It was way worse than his 2005-2013 clay seasons.
Mark Madonna
Mark Madonna:
I thought he was untouchable in the last French Open.
The Joker
The Joker:
If that was nadal’s last prime then you clearly didn’t see his match last year at RG final when he destroyed Djokovic
Lucky Luke
Lucky Luke:
I think his absolute prime was ended before Wimbledon 2012 injury. He was not the same anymore and can not push his foot and slide in the backhand side anymore and has to play slice defence.
Wattanai James
Wattanai James:
80%Rafa still enough to win on clay.

Because he's too good on clay.
Asier Gonz Buruchaga
Asier Gonz Buruchaga:
I think the most accurate title would be "Rafael Nadal's FIRST Prime" ;)
Урош Раца
Урош Раца:
Silly title of the video. Rafa was still in prime in 2019. But it seems like him and Novak are finally beginning to slow down. They will still peak at times but their most conquering days seem to be behind them. Then again, you can never write legends off. The 3 goats are miracle workers.
Last time we saw Rafa's Forehand in all its glory.
More like, the last match before Nadal was allowed access to PEDs again in 2017. 😂
onur çakır
onur çakır:
well said, agree
Strawberry Shortcake.
Strawberry Shortcake.:
14:23 why's noone talking about this
Did you not see RG 2017, that was just scary
Honestly I feel Rafa never really pass him prime. What a player.
Alejandro González Quezada
Alejandro González Quezada:
Y que del año pasado cuando lo humilló como a su pinche perro que es.
Asa Yagami
Asa Yagami:
Clickbait title! Rafas still crushing people left and right
Typhlosion TM
Typhlosion TM:
Sorry but I'm french and I don't understand the meaning of "Prime"
Steven Chalouhi
Steven Chalouhi:
Read the pinned comment before commenting,
Romain Mj
Romain Mj:
This story of prime are a little bit boring ! Some People says it is prime Nadal that match thrn the next it no more prime of is just a word to say a player is at his best during a match ! We can talk about prime Federer 2004-2010 but there are matches after that period were Federer clearly played jis best ! Same Nadal and djokovic ! Even in 2019 and 2021 we had some matches with best version of Nadal and djokovic
What a lame match by Nole, never competitve but with Federer in Wim 14 did not miss a single shot...
Definitely, no. Last Rafa’s prime was RG 2020 final. But nice video