Federers backhand vs Rafa

lrdrdy

New User

I am watching these highlights of the 2007 french open final, since I didn’t watch it live. And I notice the same pattern the entire time. Nadal just hitting to Federer’s backhand until it breaks down, he finds Federers backhand from any position, a serve, backhand, typically his forehand, and just keeps going to it until it misses or he stretches federer out wide enough for him to attempt a winner down the line. Its almost unreal how often this seems to happen. I think nadal is a really adaptable player, he wins majority of matches on clay even against players with good backhands like Djokovic, Murray, Thiem, Wawrinka, etc. But here against Fed, he rarely needs to do anything aside from hit to the backhand and go from there.

Why does Federer let this happen? If he lost to Nadal 4 straight years at French open then surely he must decide a change is needed at some point. Federer is not a dumb player, and is surely aware of Nadals gameplan, and aware of his own weaknesses. I am actually frustrated watching Fed get abused on his backhand even though I am not a fan, because it seems wrong for such a player to get beaten with some simple strategy. Yes, Nadal has all the tools to execute this strategy, but it is still relatively simple.

Why did Federer not make some adjustment in the time from 2005 rg to 2008 rg? Instead Nadal exploited his game even more by the end. Like i said I didnt watch this stuff live so forgive me if im missing something obvious.
 

socallefty

Legend
Federer is arrogant or dumb in the sense that he refused to accept that his BH is a weakness against Nadal on clay and just played against him the same way he played against lesser players. He is the same guy who would hit mainly to DelPo’s FH just to prove a point in his own mind that he can trade FH rallies against DelPo and win even though DelPo’s BH is much weaker - watch the 2009 USO final for even more stupid tactics than the FO finals he lost.

Federer also did not have the confidence or ability to hit DTL BHs often against Nadal’s high bouncing FHs even in his prime to change the pattern of play during a point unlike others who beat Rafa more often on clay like Djokovic. When he does hit DTL, he doesn’t hit as close to the sidelines as Djokovic does and many times Rafa gets there and hits inside-in FHs back to Federer’s BH.
 
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Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame

I am watching these highlights of the 2007 french open final, since I didn’t watch it live. And I notice the same pattern the entire time. Nadal just hitting to Federer’s backhand until it breaks down, he finds Federers backhand from any position, a serve, backhand, typically his forehand, and just keeps going to it until it misses or he stretches federer out wide enough for him to attempt a winner down the line. Its almost unreal how often this seems to happen. I think nadal is a really adaptable player, he wins majority of matches on clay even against players with good backhands like Djokovic, Murray, Thiem, Wawrinka, etc. But here against Fed, he rarely needs to do anything aside from hit to the backhand and go from there.

Why does Federer let this happen? If he lost to Nadal 4 straight years at French open then surely he must decide a change is needed at some point. Federer is not a dumb player, and is surely aware of Nadals gameplan, and aware of his own weaknesses. I am actually frustrated watching Fed get abused on his backhand even though I am not a fan, because it seems wrong for such a player to get beaten with some simple strategy. Yes, Nadal has all the tools to execute this strategy, but it is still relatively simple.

Why did Federer not make some adjustment in the time from 2005 rg to 2008 rg? Instead Nadal exploited his game even more by the end. Like i said I didnt watch this stuff live so forgive me if im missing something obvious.
What the hell do you expect him to do about that tactic? He’s playing a best of 5 on slow high bouncing clay with a one hander against the best grinder of all time with the best lefty forehand of all time. He tried to change it up in 2008 with stupid net approaches and got butchered. Wawrinka has arguably the best one handed topspin drive of all time and Nadal butchered him on that wing. Federer had to basically redline and blast winners at will for 3 full sets with no dips to win.
 

socallefty

Legend
After all these years I’m finding that Fed was a very dumb player.
Very aggressive players usually are dumb in terms of tactics as they rarely change their tactics against any opponent or to adapt to court speeds - it is true at the rec level also and is true for Sampras, McEnroe, Federer etc. They believed in keeping it simple and it usually worked on most surfaces except when facing ATGs on clay. Their sense of invulnerability is actually a source of strength in most cases.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Federer is arrogant or dumb in the sense that he refused to accept that his BH is a weakness against Nadal on clay and just played against him the same way he played against lesser players. He is the same guy who would hit mainly to DelPo’s FH just to prove a point in his own mind that he can trade FH rallies against DelPo and win even though DelPo’s BH is much weaker - watch the 2009 USO final for even more stupid tactics than the FO finals he lost.

Federer also did not have the confidence or ability to hit DTL BHs often against Nadal’s high bouncing FHs even in his prime to change the pattern of play during a point unlike others who beat Rafa more often on clay like Djokovic. When he does hit DTL, he doesn’t hit as close to the sidelines as Djokovic does and many times Rafa gets there and hits inside-in FHs back to Federer’s BH.
I agree, it was very dumb/arrogant of Federer, I could say dumbness induced by some extreme levels of arrogance, when we are arrogant at the apex due to our monumental narcissism then we tend to get blind, we cannot see what is right infront of us.

This is where Novak and Rafa score over Roger, they don't think too highly of themselves in their own mind to be so arrogant that they can not see what is right infront of them.

Federer was too dumb in the late 2000s and in the early 2000s, it was a dark phase for Federer guided by a loser called Annacone., Federer was too much drunk in his GOAThood after Media declared him the GOAT in 07 itself....

This was Federer vs Nadal in 1 Pic from late 00s till mid 2010s

 

Sunny014

Legend
What the hell do you expect him to do about that tactic? He’s playing a best of 5 on slow high bouncing clay with a one hander against the best grinder of all time with the best lefty forehand of all time. He tried to change it up in 2008 with stupid net approaches and got butchered. Wawrinka has arguably the best one handed topspin drive of all time and Nadal butchered him on that wing. Federer had to basically redline and blast winners at will for 3 full sets with no dips to win.
He could have changed his freakin Racquet in 08 itself, what did he benefit by not doing it ??? The slams he won from 08 (uso08, fo09, w09, ao10) he would still have won with his new racquet, he didn't benefit by being stubborn, lost a lot instead.

He could have hired an ATG coach like Becker or the great Ivan Lendl himself who was the original pioneer of big racquets and power hitting, was federer the GOAT with 12 slams in 07 too lordly to take the help of lesser players ????
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
He could have changed his freakin Racquet in 08 itself, what did he benefit by not doing it ??? The slams he won from 08 (uso08, fo09, w09, ao10) he would still have won with his new racquet, he didn't benefit by being stubborn, lost a lot instead.

He could have hired an ATG coach like Becker or the great Ivan Lendl himself who was the original pioneer of big racquets and power hitting, was federer the GOAT with 12 slams in 07 too lordly to take the help of lesser players ????
Becker and Lendl aren’t doing anything to combat Nadal on clay. Sometimes you just have to admit another individual is just better on another surface and has your number. The racquet change would have helped his backhand consistency but it also hurt his forehand big time. I’ve just accepted that against a peak Nadal on clay at RG the only way he’s winning is by redlining for 3 hours with no dips and blasting winners. That’s just too much to ask.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Becker and Lendl aren’t doing anything to combat Nadal on clay. Sometimes you just have to admit another individual is just better on another surface and has your number. The racquet change would have helped his backhand consistency but it also hurt his forehand big time. I’ve just accepted that against a peak Nadal on clay at RG the only way he’s winning is by redlining for 3 hours with no dips and blasting winners. That’s just too much to ask.
He should have sacrificed a part of his forehand for greater consistency on his backhand and also should have focused on improving his core strength and upper body strength by rigorous training, tour was getting grindier and players who were teenagers in the early-mid 00s were now grown up in the late 00s and they were all beasts, to counter them he needed to do this.

He refused to change, just because Nadal is the GOAT on the surface doesn't mean you don't try to steal a win or 2 there and instead do the same thing again and again to get spanked...... Shameful.
 
Ahhh the mythical Peak Fed. :love: The guy who wouldn't lose a game if he had played in the current era. The good ol' times when everything was just better.(y)
 

Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
He could have changed his freakin Racquet in 08 itself, what did he benefit by not doing it ??? The slams he won from 08 (uso08, fo09, w09, ao10) he would still have won with his new racquet, he didn't benefit by being stubborn, lost a lot instead.

He could have hired an ATG coach like Becker or the great Ivan Lendl himself who was the original pioneer of big racquets and power hitting, was federer the GOAT with 12 slams in 07 too lordly to take the help of lesser players ????
I don't think you could call Lendl's racket big in any way.
 

Sunny014

Legend
I don't think you could call Lendl's racket big in any way.
I meant that he changed racquet strings in his time and he was an expert at adapting to new equipment.
An ATG like him coaching Federer to solve the Nadal riddle would have been good.
Federer was too rigid to move outside his comfort zone.
 

lrdrdy

New User
What the hell do you expect him to do about that tactic? He’s playing a best of 5 on slow high bouncing clay with a one hander against the best grinder of all time with the best lefty forehand of all time. He tried to change it up in 2008 with stupid net approaches and got butchered. Wawrinka has arguably the best one handed topspin drive of all time and Nadal butchered him on that wing. Federer had to basically redline and blast winners at will for 3 full sets with no dips to win.
Federer has beat Nadal on clay several times, during this era, and even bageled him. In best of 5, he also went as far as having match points in Rome 2005 or 2006 i think. You make it sound like he had no chance from the start, but given these results, and that he won a set in the 05-07 rg matches, I think he was not really that far from nadal.

This year nadal got tired against Djokovic in the 4th set, and lost 6 straight games because of it. Nadal didnt get tired though until after 3 and a half hours, but he still did. A younger Nadal will have more stamina, so lets say it takes 5-6 hours to make him tired, I think this is fair but you can say he will last a bit longer if you think so.

At french open, there is no tiebreak at the end of the 5th set, there must be a break of serve and win by two. Thus, if Federer is serving at his best, and Nadal is unable to break, the match will keep going. Along with this, lets say that Federer has made adjustments to his backhand, and it is more consistent, and he uses it to make Nadal run more and “grind” way longer. By the end, I think Federer will have withered him down and won the match. Even if the final score is like 30-28 in the 5th, this I think is a realistic scenario, there have been longer matches in history.

So why couldnt Fed have tried something like this, surely it would have worked better than going in with the same old plan and losing again. If i can come up with this plan in 2 minutes than experienced Federer and his coaching staff could have perfected it certainly. I am not sure but it is disappointing he did not even try.
 

RaulRamirez

Legend
Sports (especially, to me, football, basketball and certainly tennis) is often about who can impose their style of play on the other. Especially with two equal players/teams that prefer different styles.

To simplify, it is easier for Rafa to do this on clay, and Fed to do this on faster, lower-bouncing surfaces.

This doesn't preclude Roger from winning on clay or slower HC, or Rafa from winning at Wimbledon or indoor HC, but ...
 

lrdrdy

New User
Federer could have committed very heavily to running around his backhand and hitting a forehand all time. This years US open, Jack Sock and Sasha Zverev played, and Sock was always trying to get to his forehand and hit a winner. This worked and he won the first set and might have continued if he did not get injured.

Jack Sock also played a very close match against Nadal this year, and almost beat him. He has also taken a set off of him at the French open, so his gamestyle is viable against Nadal.

Federer has a better forehand than Jack Sock, he has better movement, he is also fitter and will be able to last longer. So I think, if Federer decided not to play into Nadals patterns, and instead made it a priority to find his forehand and hit winners like Jack Sock, he could have won vs Nadal at the French open. Maybe not the first time, but in 4 attempts, he would surely win one.
 

lrdrdy

New User
One of the issues is that if Federer goes around his backhand and hits an inside out forehand and Nadal gets to it, he leaves a lot of space open. So if Nadal hits into that space, Federer must run for it and is out of position.

Del potro is someone who is good at hitting forehands on the run. In fact he generates a lot of power and hits good angles with his forehand, even though he is not set and is actually running for the ball. He has even done this against Federer.

Federer can not hit as hard as Del Potro, but he is the closest out of anyone. He also has very good “feel” and can find hit spots well, like with his serve. Maybe Federer can change things up by actually baiting Nadal to hit to the open space, and Federer will come in and rip a forehand like Del Potro, Nadal will not see it coming and will play less freely because of the possibility of that happening again.

This alone will not win him the match but it is a good tactic to include in his gameplan
 

lrdrdy

New User
Stan Wawrinka has a one handed backhand, and hits it really well. He has beat Nadal in the Australian open Final, and in Rome, and his backhand is very “penetrating” it can also hit winners. This does not always work against Nadal, he has bad losses against him too. But when he goes “Stanimal” he is really on fire and tough to beat.

Maybe Federer can take some tips from his swiss friend, and make his backhand more “penetrating” and able to hit more winners. And if he also takes some advice to improve his “mentality”, he too can go “Fedimal” mode and really turn the tide against Rafa.
 

lrdrdy

New User
Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios are good players. They are also tricky and use unique tactics, like underarm serves, and “tweeners”.

Federer is a talented player who is capable of hitting these shots. His “tweener” is very good, and he can develop a good underarm serve quickly I think. Maybe if he uses some of these during the match, Nadal will be confused or upset, and play worse. Nadal is very honorable, and maybe he will even forfeit, because some people think the underarm serve and “tweener” are not fair shots to use. This is an extreme scenario, but it is good to have a plan B if the gameplan does not work.
 

lrdrdy

New User
Sorry for the Spam guys, I am just brainstorming things that Federer could have done to beat Nadal at the French open, and not lose in the same way over and over. Do you think these ideas could work?
 

abmk

Bionic Poster

I am watching these highlights of the 2007 french open final, since I didn’t watch it live. And I notice the same pattern the entire time. Nadal just hitting to Federer’s backhand until it breaks down, he finds Federers backhand from any position, a serve, backhand, typically his forehand, and just keeps going to it until it misses or he stretches federer out wide enough for him to attempt a winner down the line. Its almost unreal how often this seems to happen. I think nadal is a really adaptable player, he wins majority of matches on clay even against players with good backhands like Djokovic, Murray, Thiem, Wawrinka, etc. But here against Fed, he rarely needs to do anything aside from hit to the backhand and go from there.

Why does Federer let this happen? If he lost to Nadal 4 straight years at French open then surely he must decide a change is needed at some point. Federer is not a dumb player, and is surely aware of Nadals gameplan, and aware of his own weaknesses. I am actually frustrated watching Fed get abused on his backhand even though I am not a fan, because it seems wrong for such a player to get beaten with some simple strategy. Yes, Nadal has all the tools to execute this strategy, but it is still relatively simple.

Why did Federer not make some adjustment in the time from 2005 rg to 2008 rg? Instead Nadal exploited his game even more by the end. Like i said I didnt watch this stuff live so forgive me if im missing something obvious.
Wrong. Fed's BH held up pretty well in RG 07 final. Nadal had to go FH DTL quite a bit to adapt.
In RG 08 final, fed did change up tactics with more net rushing, but execution was really bad against Nadal at his best.
 

lrdrdy

New User
Wrong. Fed's BH held up pretty well in RG 07 final. Nadal had to go FH DTL quite a bit to adapt.
In RG 08 final, fed did change up tactics with more net rushing, but execution was really bad against Nadal at his best.
Well I am just telling you what I saw from highlights, it was Nadals main strategy to go to backhand. If this was a good backhand performance from Federer than I guess he did not really have much of a chance anyway.
 

lrdrdy

New User
@weakera well he has lost 3 times before, and Soderling hits the ball hard, like Federer, so I think theres more to it.
 
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Nole_King

Professional
Federer has beat Nadal on clay several times, during this era, and even bageled him. In best of 5, he also went as far as having match points in Rome 2005 or 2006 i think. You make it sound like he had no chance from the start, but given these results, and that he won a set in the 05-07 rg matches, I think he was not really that far from nadal.
I dont think you can term 2 as several
 

Pandora Mikado

Semi-Pro

I am watching these highlights of the 2007 french open final, since I didn’t watch it live. And I notice the same pattern the entire time. Nadal just hitting to Federer’s backhand until it breaks down, he finds Federers backhand from any position, a serve, backhand, typically his forehand, and just keeps going to it until it misses or he stretches federer out wide enough for him to attempt a winner down the line. Its almost unreal how often this seems to happen. I think nadal is a really adaptable player, he wins majority of matches on clay even against players with good backhands like Djokovic, Murray, Thiem, Wawrinka, etc. But here against Fed, he rarely needs to do anything aside from hit to the backhand and go from there.

Why does Federer let this happen? If he lost to Nadal 4 straight years at French open then surely he must decide a change is needed at some point. Federer is not a dumb player, and is surely aware of Nadals gameplan, and aware of his own weaknesses. I am actually frustrated watching Fed get abused on his backhand even though I am not a fan, because it seems wrong for such a player to get beaten with some simple strategy. Yes, Nadal has all the tools to execute this strategy, but it is still relatively simple.

Why did Federer not make some adjustment in the time from 2005 rg to 2008 rg? Instead Nadal exploited his game even more by the end. Like i said I didnt watch this stuff live so forgive me if im missing something obvious.
watching this match did you also notice the 1/17 BP conversion? :unsure:
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Federer also did not have the confidence or ability to hit DTL BHs often against Nadal’s high bouncing FHs even in his prime to change the pattern of play during a point unlike others who beat Rafa more often on clay like Djokovic. When he does hit DTL, he doesn’t hit as close to the sidelines as Djokovic does and many times Rafa gets there and hits inside-in FHs back to Federer’s BH.
Yeah. Why would anyone pretend that switching up DTL is an easy task when faced with Nadal's FH on clay?

Not only that lining up a BH DTL with a 1 hander is hard enough, but doing it against peak Nadal on clay is even harder and not even that rewarding because of the court conditions.

It's better to just be patient, not give him angles to switch directions up and wait for an opportunity to hit with the FH.
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
Federer could have committed very heavily to running around his backhand and hitting a forehand all time. This years US open, Jack Sock and Sasha Zverev played, and Sock was always trying to get to his forehand and hit a winner. This worked and he won the first set and might have continued if he did not get injured.

Jack Sock also played a very close match against Nadal this year, and almost beat him. He has also taken a set off of him at the French open, so his gamestyle is viable against Nadal.

Federer has a better forehand than Jack Sock, he has better movement, he is also fitter and will be able to last longer. So I think, if Federer decided not to play into Nadals patterns, and instead made it a priority to find his forehand and hit winners like Jack Sock, he could have won vs Nadal at the French open. Maybe not the first time, but in 4 attempts, he would surely win one.
This is just idiotic. You’re comparing Jack Sock playing a 35 year old injured Nadal on hard court to Fed playing a 21 year Nadal at his peak at RG? There are no special tactics Federer can use to avoid having to hit above shoulder high backhands. The only solution is to go 100% aggressive and paint lines with his forehand for 3 hours. I’m not sure why it’s hard for people to understand that a one handed backhand is an obvious weakness on the highest bouncing surface against the best lefty topspin of all time.
 

InsideOut900

Hall of Fame
Federer could have committed very heavily to running around his backhand and hitting a forehand all time. This years US open, Jack Sock and Sasha Zverev played, and Sock was always trying to get to his forehand and hit a winner. This worked and he won the first set and might have continued if he did not get injured.
Nadal hit with more depth back then.

He kind of forced you to hit a BH if he wanted to because of his directional control, as well as the depth of shot on clay.
 

sasho

New User
which one Is this racquet

He could have changed his freakin Racquet in 08 itself, what did he benefit by not doing it ??? The slams he won from 08 (uso08, fo09, w09, ao10) he would still have won with his new racquet, he didn't benefit by being stubborn, lost a lot instead.
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
Come tar me with feathers for this opinion, but aside from a few epics I find that a lot of the so-called “greatest tennis ever” Fedal matches are visibly gimmicky, and just result in “I hit the topspin to his backhand, no” over and over and over again.

I prepare to be banned for this statement.
 

ffw2

Semi-Pro
Come tar me with feathers for this opinion, but aside from a few epics I find that a lot of the so-called “greatest tennis ever” Fedal matches are visibly gimmicky, and just result in “I hit the topspin to his backhand, no” over and over and over again.

I prepare to be banned for this statement.
You've finally come around, eh? :sneaky:

What brought about the acknowledgment of the predictable nature of the bulk of those match-ups?
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Come tar me with feathers for this opinion, but aside from a few epics I find that a lot of the so-called “greatest tennis ever” Fedal matches are visibly gimmicky, and just result in “I hit the topspin to his backhand, no” over and over and over again.

I prepare to be banned for this statement.
And the majority of Djokodal matches are straight set, one-sided affairs despite the talk of their contests being gladitorial, epic etc...I imagine most rivalries when viewed with this sort of lens have more underwhelming matches than epics.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
Come tar me with feathers for this opinion, but aside from a few epics I find that a lot of the so-called “greatest tennis ever” Fedal matches are visibly gimmicky, and just result in “I hit the topspin to his backhand, no” over and over and over again.

I prepare to be banned for this statement.
It's indeed a mismatch. Only on Federer's turf does it become interesting.
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
And the majority of Djokodal matches are straight set, one-sided affairs despite the talk of their contests being gladitorial, epic etc...I imagine most rivalries when viewed with this sort of lens have more underwhelming matches than epics.
I have very similar issues with Djokodal (can you name one match, aside from Wimbledon 2018, that you've actually enjoyed in the past 6 years?)

They were unlucky with Rafa's end of 2014/2015 struggles coinciding with Djokovic's peak year and then Nadal's 2017 resurgence coinciding with Djokovic's pepe/injured years.

These mugs barely play important matches anymore and when they do they feign 'surface difference'. It's gotten so bad that Rafa barely tries during fall/AO season, Djokovic until this year was basically a bum in clay season, and they alternate years for deep runs at the USO. It's like they had a closed-doors meeting and decided to split the tour in half.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
I have very similar issues with Djokodal (can you name one match, aside from Wimbledon 2018, that you've actually enjoyed in the past 6 years?)

They were unlucky with Rafa's end of 2014/2015 struggles coinciding with Djokovic's peak year and then Nadal's 2017 resurgence coinciding with Djokovic's pepe/injured years.

These mugs barely play important matches anymore and when they do they feign 'surface difference'. It's gotten so bad that Rafa barely tries during fall/AO season, Djokovic until this year was basically a bum in clay season, and they alternate years for deep runs at the USO. It's like they had a closed-doors meeting and decided to split the tour in half.
Djokodal were pretty fun until 2013 RG semi
 

Sunny014

Legend
The Aus Open 2017 was a pleasant surprise and matches after that between Federer and Nadal brought me great joy as a Fed fan.

Till AO 2017 Federer had almost always disappointed me whenever I watched him play Nadal, almost always Fed was struggling to Nadal's forehand, it looked disgusting and angering.

Federer did great injustice to his fans by being so clueless everytime we saw him play.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
I have very similar issues with Djokodal (can you name one match, aside from Wimbledon 2018, that you've actually enjoyed in the past 6 years?)

They were unlucky with Rafa's end of 2014/2015 struggles coinciding with Djokovic's peak year and then Nadal's 2017 resurgence coinciding with Djokovic's pepe/injured years.

These mugs barely play important matches anymore and when they do they feign 'surface difference'. It's gotten so bad that Rafa barely tries during fall/AO season, Djokovic until this year was basically a bum in clay season, and they alternate years for deep runs at the USO. It's like they had a closed-doors meeting and decided to split the tour in half.
Wow TTW is really getting to you :eek:

Rafa always gives a good effort in AO but sometimes things don't line up
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I have very similar issues with Djokodal (can you name one match, aside from Wimbledon 2018, that you've actually enjoyed in the past 6 years?)

They were unlucky with Rafa's end of 2014/2015 struggles coinciding with Djokovic's peak year and then Nadal's 2017 resurgence coinciding with Djokovic's pepe/injured years.

These mugs barely play important matches anymore and when they do they feign 'surface difference'. It's gotten so bad that Rafa barely tries during fall/AO season, Djokovic until this year was basically a bum in clay season, and they alternate years for deep runs at the USO. It's like they had a closed-doors meeting and decided to split the tour in half.
What's an example of a good rivalry that deserves it's reputation?
 

Kralingen

Hall of Fame
You've finally come around, eh? :sneaky:

What brought about the acknowledgment of the predictable nature of the bulk of those match-ups?
well it's more of an inkling that I've had since I watched Wimbledon '07 and then all of their 2008 matches - Roland Garros '08 was especially bad. Of course I was a child at that point in time and barely understood tennis but I am still a human with decent pattern recognition skills, after all.

I think everything gets over-nostalgized here, tbh. The Fedal rivalry had an amazing peak, probably the best I have ever seen, but after AO '09 it became a little stale. I will admit that Rome '06 and Miami/Dubai 05/06 were incredible though. Those are maybe a bit underrated, actually.
 
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