I read this Wall Street Journal article with interest: http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2011/01/13/federer-nadal-same-story-new-hemisphere/ Particularly: "On hard courts, the surface at play in Melbourne, Federer and Nadal rank one and two, in that order. Federer’s lead on hard courts is almost as great as Nadal’s overall; he has 7,915 points on hard courts, to 5,390 for Nadal, over the last year" So even though Nadal has a dominant overall points lead over Federer (12,390 points to 9,245), Federer has 1.5 times as many points on hard courts. He clearly is the best hard court player. In terms of catching up and overtaking Nadal: "Nadal’s edge over Federer last year between the Australian Open and the summer hard-court season was an astounding 6,255 points" So after the Australian Open Nadal has a lot of points to defend and Federer doesn't. Okay, so this all assumes - 1/ Federer can retain the Australian Open - no straight forward assumption 2/ Federer does really well after the Australian Open and significantly better than Nadal - again, no straight forward assumption at all.