Originally Posted by timnz
Do we view Federer's losses to Nadal on Clay (being the majority of matches they have played against each other) in a more positive light? After all Federer lost to the best player of all time on the surface! Hence, he isn't doing at all bad playing Nadal hard on all but one of the matches (I am only aware of the French Open 2008 being the only time that Nadal completely overwhelmed Federer on that surface). Keep in mind that Clay is Federer's worst surface. So playing the best clay player of all time on your worst surface - not so bad if you lose. And to get a couple of wins - well that's just cream.
My feeling is that it is exactly the same case with Borg and McEnroe - if the majority of matches they had played had been on clay (as it turned on, they didn't even play one). McEnroe might have just 1 victory on clay against Borg at most.
It could very well be that clay is his best surface. He said he grew up on it. Without Nadal, people today would probably say CLAY is federer's best surface. He probably would have had 6 FOs and truckloads of masters on it.