Originally Posted by bruce38
To compare the level of a player is not just looking at the results. Sure Fed made 3 and 4 finals in 2008 and 2009 respectively, but the manner in which he made them was not the same as in previous years. For people who actually watch the matches, one can easily see Fed's level has dropped off quite dramatically. His results still being as good as they are, are a testament to how much better he actually was than the rest of the field, including Nadal. It is only now with Fed's level no longer the same that Nadal can have a fighting chance at winning non-clay majors.
I agree he was pushed at both FO and Wimbledon but that happened last year as well.
IMO he's playing smarter tennis this year.Sure,he isnt going to be playing at his peak level but its a lot better in 2008 when he really couldnt move well at all and was just really struggling to find his range.
He played some good tennis in patches but thats been the case this year too.
Overall I think him being in better shape this year has helped him to play better than last year though he is nowhere close to his best.