Originally Posted by David L
Did Nadal in 2008 benefit from Federer's illness, subsequent loss of fitness/preparation and back problems? Works both ways.
IMO, no. The only one that benefited is Djoko. I will give you the fact that Fed was below his usual level for 2008's first 3 months. He was fine during the clay season though (made tons of finals) and better than fine during the grass season (won Halle with the best stats ever). Rafa beat him in both slams fair and square. The back injury didn't happen until fall 2008 so I don't see any way it could have affected Fed's play several months beforehand!