Originally Posted by pc1
But there are also questions on how good Nadal was when he was starting to beat Federer on clay. Nadal was a teen when he was defeating Federer on red clay. My opinion is that Nadal is a superior player on clay now to his teen years. I think he has a better serve, backhand, volley and he hits harder. So how do we judge Federer's performances against Nadal in the early days when he would on occasion defeat Nadal on clay?
I am of the opinion that Rafa's peak level on clay was 2005-2008. After that, his footspeed has started to decline bit by bit. Today is he still very fast but certainly not in the same ballpark. That footspeed was what enabled him to withstand peak federer on clay. As a Nadal fan I truly believe that if you put peak federer on clay today, he would destroy Nadal. Both Bruguera and Moya recently claimed that in 2005-2006 they thought Federer was the better claycourter but Nadal's speed and movement and the never give up attitude was what enabled him to come out on top. It wasn't until 2007 they started believing Rafa was the better one on the red dirt.
Nadal in 2005