Nadal doesn't dominate Federer, he plays better on breakpoints

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JennyS, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. JennyS

    JennyS Hall of Fame

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    Save for the 2008 French Open final, Nadal doesn't really dominate Federer in their individual matches. He plays better on break points. Consider these stats in the other Grand Slam matches....

    1. 2009 Australian Open final...
    Federer was 6 for 19 (31%)
    Nadal was 7 for 16 (43%)
    Overall, Federer won one more point in the match

    2. 2008 Wimbledon final...
    Federer was 1 for 13 (7%)
    Nadal was 4 for 13 (30%)
    Overall, Nadal won only 5 more points in the match

    3. 2007 French Open final
    Federer was 1 for 17 (5%)
    Nadal was 4 for 10 (40%)
    Overall, Nadal won 17 more points, but won two more sets

    4. 2006 French Open final
    Federer was 3 of 10 (30%)
    Nadal was 4 for 12 (33%)
    Overall, Nadal won 12 more points in the match, but won two more sets

    5. 2005 French Open semifinal
    Federer was 6 of 12 (50%)
    Nadal was 9 of 13 (69%)
    Overall, Nadal won 11 more points, but won two more sets

    It's amazing how close in points the 4 set French Open matches were. That means that per set, Nadal was only winning a few more points than Federer, but he managed to win almost all of the important ones.

    So THE key for Roger is converting breakpoints.
     
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  2. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Nadal doesn't have a big serve, so people are always going to get breakpoint chances against him. These stats don't mean a whole lot.
     
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  3. Aabye

    Aabye Professional

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    Then he dominates him in the mental department...what is your point? Haven't you ever heard of playing the big points better? If you can't do that you can't win.
     
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  4. fps

    fps Legend

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    that's an incredibly defensive reaction to a reasonable post....
     
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  5. JennyS

    JennyS Hall of Fame

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    My point is that people make it seem like Nadal is winning most of the matches in dominant fashion. Even most of the clay matches have been close in terms of points won.
     
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  6. Omega_7000

    Omega_7000 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah besides the FO '08 final, Fed has missed a lot of BP chances in almost all of them...
     
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  7. JennyS

    JennyS Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! I was trying to show two things:
    1. Fed actually plays well against Nadal overall
    2. Nadal plays MUCH BETTER on the big points.

    I would bet that in most lopsided rivalries the total points won differential is much bigger. Will look into it later after work:D
     
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  8. World Beater

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    the biggest problem for federer is nadal's swinging serve in the ad court followed by the nadal fh straight into the bh.

    federer's weakest shot is not his bh against nadal.

    it is his bh return in the ad court specifically. he cannot/will not take it aggressively on the big points. this allows nadal to just corner him and eventually win those pts.

    nadal has the advantage of swinging the serve to most players in the ad court...all the big points ad points are played on nadal's terms against most players.
     
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  9. tennisMasta1

    tennisMasta1 New User

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    JennyS, your analysis is excellent. There is another point here: Not only has Rafa not dominated Roger, but you could make a point that Roger has dominated Rafa - even on clay.

    Take the 2007 French as one example. Roger gave 10 break chances on his serve and obtained 17 break chances returning Rafa's serve. From Rafa's perspective, he gave a whopping 17 break chances on his serve and only obtained 10 break chances returning Roger's serve.

    Clearly what that means is that Roger dominated Rafa on both serve and return games - on clay in Roland Garros finals. No one notices that since Roger ended up losing the match he should have won.

    The reason is very obvious to me. Their games couldn't be different. Roger plays an aggressive game and takes lots of chances. Rafa plays an extremely tight and safe game and takes no chances.

    But on breakpoints their games seem to completely reverse. Roger suddenly becomes tentative, chipping the return (instead of coming over it) is content simply rallying, and gives up control of the point to Rafa. Whereas Rafa suddenly becomes a Roger on breakpoints. He takes big chances right from get go and even comes to the net.

    All Roger has to do on breakpoints is to play exactly the same aggressive game that gets him those tons of breakpoints. It is stunning to me that neither he nor his camp have observed this.

    I have also discussed this topic on Bleacher Report.
     
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  10. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    Whaaa? Your post is as ridiculous as that "Serena is a better clay courter than Henin" thread.
     
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  11. richjohn

    richjohn New User

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    So prove it

    Maybe you are right, so please give us your analysis here....

     
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  12. valiant

    valiant Hall of Fame

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    Isn't that what is required to win ie you break your opponent. Well fed must help himself and try to break him. Simple.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Statistics are an after-thought.

    Rafa dominates Roger in the head, due to a snowballing sequence of events: a lefty spin on the ball, an ability to get balls back which Roger's other opponents could not, and the collapse of Roger's backhand on the high balls. The technical reasons cause mental problems, and vice versa, till it becomes difficult to separate cause and effect.
     
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  14. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    The first time they met was a beatdown from Nadal.

    Other than that, most matches have been tight, yes.
     
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  15. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

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    I'd say the '08 French Open final was a beatdown as well.
     
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  16. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    When you break it down to the pure numbers like this you will indeed find that the difference between these wins and loses are hairs!

    That is tennis for you, you have to have the highest concentration because one slip and it is over!

    Roger is amazing, Nadal is just a little bit more amazing. However after many years all those numbers add up.
     
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  17. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    JennyS are you trying to set a record for stupid threads with a "waah waah dont say anything against Roger ever" undertone. It is posters like you that makes it easier to dislike Roger.
     
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  18. VivalaVida

    VivalaVida Banned

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    Take a chill pill. You are the opposite of JennyS. You make nonsensical threads against Federer all the time calling "overrated", mental midget etc. Posters like you make it much easier to dislike sampras tards like yourself. As a matter of fact, JennyS is better than you because he doesnt run like a ***** when people give him heat. Who can forget your cowardly escape after you started those "Federer loses to Soderling" like a moron and than ran away when it was time for repercussions. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
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  19. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Nadal isn't a mental chicken like Fed. He doesn't go away in the 5th set as soon as the opponent offers a little resistance...
     
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  20. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    A bit harsh but the topic of this thread is kinda outrageous nonetheless. Nadal play the bigger points better, he defends BPs but he also goes out and forges his own BP opportunities. And I hardly see how Nadal playing bigger points better lends any credibility to Federer "dominating" Nadal.
     
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  21. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Nadal's going to play the BP's on his own serve better than Federer because he is a lefty and is the better player on the ad-court.

    That, and he's very strong mentally and plays breakpoints quite excellently.
     
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  22. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Federer doesn't dominate Roddick, he just wins more match points
     
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  23. Baikalic

    Baikalic Semi-Pro

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    But 19-2 does count for something...
     
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  24. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    so does 13-7, no?
     
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  25. Baikalic

    Baikalic Semi-Pro

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    13/7 = 1.86

    19/2 = 9.5

    No. There is a huge difference.
     
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  26. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

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    Exactly. 10 chars.
     
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  27. AllDownTheLine

    AllDownTheLine Rookie

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    It's posters like you that make it easier to dislike posters like you!
    Do you have posters in your room of Nadal? Do you doodle "I love Rafa" on your notebook in your 8th grade science class? Why so touchy?
    You sound like a Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus fan who would freak out if someone posted anything that you don't like about them.
    JennyS makes an excellent point in her thread. What did she say to make you type "waah waah........"?
    Chill out, do your homework, clean up your room, and grow up and be nice or we won't let you play with us anymore.
     
    #27
  28. bruce38

    bruce38 Banned

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    This is circular logic. If people always get break points on him then Nadal would not win so much. i.e. more break points in the long run WILL equate to more breaks. But this does not happen. It's the fact that MOST people do not get so many break points on him because of his incredible ground game. Exception is Fed.
     
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  29. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    I think Federer lost it mentally against Nadal in many matches, Rome 2006, Monte Carlo and Hamburg 2008, FO 2005, 6, 7, Australian Open 2009, Wimbledon 2008, Dubai 2006. All matches listed above are matches I believe Federer lost due to not being mentally strong enough when he was ahead/ had a big point.

    Lets imagine if Federer had won those bigger points, or stayed the course when he had a lead, he would have a whopping 16-4 h2h advantage against Nadal. As a big Federer fan I find it very frustrating knowing that. I think in particular the Rome 2006 match was the one that really started to turn things in Nadals favour. Federer was winning that match, up a break in the 5th, 4-2, 40-30 ahead, he wins that one point and he gets a chance to serve for the match. Then he had two forehand shanks on match points, well not shanks, more like losing his patience because Nadal just started pushing and Federer went for a winner when he really shouldn't have.

    I think had he won that match, the h2h would look a lot different down. Never the less, I think that Federer is one of the mentally strongest players on tour, he loses, gets put down, has his heart broken, but he's still out there winning GS's, and proving everyone wrong again and again. Meanwhile Nadal is getting his ass handed to him at the FO, not turning up to Wimbledon under suspicious circumstances, Djokovic hasn't done anything, same for Murray. So while all his rivals are coming, going, and failing, Federer is still there, winning.
     
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  30. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Stop being a troll, your drakulie's lapdog who agrees with everything he says. Form your own opinion.
     
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  31. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    So in order to have an opinion I'm forbidden to agree with anybody else, good to know.
     
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  32. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    Wow...really? i mean...Really? Trying to argue against numbers and statistics? REALLY? no es bueno...
     
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  33. Tyrus

    Tyrus Professional

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    That's why they call it the "Ad" court. Lefty's always get the advantage on that.

    It also seems that Roger tends to get more conservative on a break point and the raging bull is ready to attack.
     
    #33
  34. sunny_cali

    sunny_cali Semi-Pro

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    Man.. I am a fan of both Fed and Nadal, but find Fed's game more aesthetically pleasing. Do you have to make so many excuses for Fed ? I mean, is it so difficult to just accept that Nadal is a bad match-up for Fed ? Woulda's / coulda's don't cut it in sport. Nadal has been the better player in most of his matches against Fed -- he raised his game when it mattered, Fed could'nt do the same. And whats with the drug accusations ? Do you have any proof ?

    And, no I don't agree that if Fed had won the Rome match the h2h would have been far too different. On clay Nadal is just better, period. Wimbledon is too close to call. On hard Fed should do better, but has'nt. At any rate, they hardly meet often on hard. So, how exactly is Fed going to improve the H2H ?
     
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  35. tennisMasta1

    tennisMasta1 New User

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    It will be enlightening to see the scores when they lose. Rafa usually loses in straight sets and rarely has chances in the matches he loses. On the other hand Roger usually loses in four/five sets, has many chances to win in those losses including set/match points, and the matches are very very close. The last US Open is a case in point. Rafa is beat convincingly 2-6,2-6,2-6, whereas Roger loses in five 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 6-7, 2-6 where he was serving for second set and was a break up in the fourth.

    It is also enlightening to see the scores when they win. Except on clay, Rafa grinds out wins in long four/five sets. Roger on the other hand wins in straight sets. Even on clay, Rafa wins most assuredly, but the matches are still grinds. Scores show that.

    What that tells me is that when Roger is playing well he dominates his opponents and wins very very convingly. When he is having a bad day or has an injury he is still in the game fighting to the very end of a close match some of which he loses.

    When Rafa is playing well he believes in his ability to grind down the opponent in a war of attrition and wins matches as such. But when he is having a bad day or an injury he obviously will have no belief in engaging in a war, so folds quickly.
     
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  36. bruce38

    bruce38 Banned

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    15-6 is domination.
     
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  37. bruce38

    bruce38 Banned

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    Wrong, no one will remember 6-2. We only remember 15-6.
     
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  38. tennisMasta1

    tennisMasta1 New User

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    Forgot to mention one more point. Away from clay, even when Rafa is playing well his game can be neutralized easily and then be becomes completely powerless. The US Open semi-finals looked like a man playing against a boy. Djokovic easily took care of the high backhands at Cincinnati. Even at Roland Garros, Soderling's power completely neutralized Rafa's clay court prowess.

    That is, even when Rafa is playing well an aggressive player who is on his game can take down Rafa - anywhere.

    That is not the case with Roger. Because he is more powerful, more aggressive and a bigger stoke maker than anyone on the tour.
     
    #38
  39. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Does everyone remember JMac had a 3-1 record against Borg at the slam? NO! But they remember 11 GS >>>>> 7 GS.
     
    #39
  40. film1

    film1 Semi-Pro

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    sepreration

    I used to play a guy in high school I could beat about every 5th or 6th time we played.
    It was usually very close but in some of the games but too often he would win the break points and I would not even though I had the bigger serve.
    After High School I quit tennis for about 25 years because I had been burned out for years and only played during he season.
    He went on to play tennis in college and later the satellite circuit (with very little success.)
    Much of tennis is between the ears, focus and believing deep down and expecting to win those break points.

    If someone has your number you might get it back but you might not.
    That very small edge separates the better players. They have another gear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
    #40
  41. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Demolition :)

     
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  42. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    ok this is odd. First the australian and wimbledon are obviously close matches since they both went 5 sets. Only trolls would say nadal "dominated" those matches and no need to pay attention to those guys and gals.

    Next those 3 FO matches were decent contests. I wouldn't say nadal dominated any of them yet they are more like routine match wins where one player is good enough to take a set but not good enough to take even 2 or 3 out of 5 sets.

    Also you have to be careful about just aggregating all the points from all the sets like that to show whether a match is close. For example in the 2005 FO nadal won some of those sets quite comfortably (1 and 4 IIRC) but at the start of the 2nd federer was cranking winners left and right and dominated for a stretch. So when you aggregate up all the points over the match like you do it might seem like there is little difference between the two players even though across sets there was a larger difference.

    Next without knowing how many total points were played in a match how can you say whether the point differential was big or not? Notice that in the wimbledon 2008 match they played more than 400+ points but in the 2005 FO match it was only 200+ points. So in fact although there is only 7 point difference in ponts won for nadal in those two matches, nadal won a significantly larger % of the points in their 2005 FO match.

    Finally as other posters have pointed out it doesn’t make much sense to say that “if federer just played the break points better……”. Obviously nadal/most servers up the ante on breakpoints and federer is probably just not good enough on clay to keep up with him. Since energy/concentration are scarce resources managing these resources to get the maximum returns at crucial points is an important aspect to winning. Your statement minimizes this aspect of a tennis match.
     
    #42
  43. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    He got scared in Hamburg 2008 and early parts of Wimbledon 2008, but not much to be done about the rest of these matches. Nadal just breaks federer down, not much federer can do really.
     
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  44. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Roger sucks on converting BPs. He doesn't return well, or makes a quick unforced error most of the time. If he could improved that he'd be winning more matches against everyone, including Nadal.
     
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  45. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    If we list the TMF's weaknesses, the BP conversion is definitely goes right at the top. Not only he doesn’t return well or prone to hit errors, he’s not aggressive enough or taking chances(that’s including the 2nd serve). He played too defensive by waiting for the other player to hit an error.
     
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  46. shabby

    shabby Rookie

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    Nadal is stronger mentally than Fedy.
     
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  47. Baikalic

    Baikalic Semi-Pro

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    This doesn't make sense. The thread is addressing the particular matchup between Federer and Nadal, and how Nadal has a heads up on Fed on breakpoints. The thread is not not addressing their legacies in the game, whose memory will be determined largely by Grand Slam count.
     
    #47
  48. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

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    Which is why Federer isn't, and never has been, a great match player. He's a great tennis player for sure, one of the greatest ever, but not one of the greatest match players. Can't blame him, he almsot never has to fight for a victory because he just dominates almost everyone. This year we've seen a new side of Federer, a fighting side.
     
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  49. Baikalic

    Baikalic Semi-Pro

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    Here we go again, Nadal "getting his ass handed to him at the FO, not turning up to Wimbledon under suspicious circumstances" has nothing to do with the mental game matchup between Fed and Rafa.

    Good post; the stats don't necessarily properly outline a matchup, as there are ebbs and flows within a match. The general observation I'm seeing is that Federer has plenty of chances to swing momentum his way, but for some reason often fails to do so, leading to the implication that he loses his nerve at pivotal points in matches against Nadal. This leads to the conclusion that either Nadal brings his mental game up when it counts, Federer's mental game wilts when it counts, or both.

    However, I don't know how important Federer's "weakness" is anymore, since he won their last meeting, and so many things have changed in Federer's career since that meeting that I think anything can happen in the next meeting, which I hope will be soon :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
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  50. bolo

    bolo G.O.A.T.

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    It's like a little crutch because the Nadal/Federer H-H is just too much for their brains to handle. :)
     
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