Match Stats/Report - Nadal vs Federer, Wimbledon final 2008

#1
Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 in the Wimbledon final 2008 on grass.

Nadal had lost the two previous Wimbledon finals to Federer and this was his first Slam title off clay, while the result denied Federer a record breaking 6 consecutive title at the oldest Slam of all

Nadal won 209 points, Federer 204

Serve Stats
Nadal....
- 1st serve percentage (159/218) 73%
- 1st serve points won (110/159) 69%
- 2nd serve points won (35/59) 59%
- Aces 7 (1 second serve), Service Winners 6 (1 second serve)
- Double Faults 3
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (56/218) 26%

Federer...
- 1st serve percentage (131/195) 67%
- 1st serve points won (93/131) 71%
- 2nd serve points won (38/64) 59%
- Aces 26, Service Winners 10
- Double Faults 2
- Unreturned Serve Percentage (66/195) 34%

(Both players had 1 non-clean ace, which I give to balls that get the thinnest of snicks on the racket frame)

Serve Pattern
Nadal served...
- to FH 23%
- to BH 68%
- to Body 8%

Federer served...
- to FH 46%
- to BH 54%

Return Stats
Nadal made...
- 126 (52 FH, 74 BH), including 5 runaround FHs
- 4 Winners (1 FH, 3 BH)
- 31 Errors, comprising...
- 9 Unforced (3 FH, 6 BH)
- 22 Forced (12 FH, 10 BH)
- Return Rate (126/193) 65%

Federer made...
- 158 (56 FH, 102 BH), including 18 runaround FHs and 1 return-approach
- 44 Errors, comprising...
- 22 Unforced (14 FH, 8 BH), including 8 runaround FH attempts
- 22 Forced (9 FH, 13 BH), including 2 runaround FH attempts
- Return Rate (158/215) 73%

Break Points
Nadal 4/11 (5 games)
Federer 1/13 (8 games)

Winners (including returns, excluding aces)
Nadal 49 (25 FH, 16 BH, 1 FHV, 2 BHV, 5 OH)
Federer 59 (35 FH, 5 BH, 10 FHV, 7 BHV, 2 OH)

Nadal had 13 passes (4 FH, 9 BH).
- 7 of the BHs were cc (including a return and a slice), 1 dtl, 1 inside-out/down the line
- the 4 FHs were 1 cc, 1 inside-in, 1 dtl, 1 inside-out/dtl

- 1 BH return winner was not clean but has been included as a judgment call. 1 other BH return was a ball that kept low and went under Federer's attempted groundstroke

- on non-passing shots, he had 20 FHs (6 cc, 4 dtl, 10 inside-out) and 6 BHs (2 returns, 3 cc, 1 dtl)

- 2 drop shots (1 FH, 1 BH)

- 1 OH was the first volley of his sole serve-volley effort

Federer's FHs were 1 at net, 1 longline into open court, 1 inside-in, 14 inside-out, 6 dtl, 8 cc
- he also had 3 FH passes (2 cc, 1 dtl)

- Federer's BHs were 1 at net and 2 dtl. He had 1 BH pass (dtl)

- 3 winners on serve-volley points - 2 first volleys (1 FHV, 1 BHV) and 1 second volley (1 OH)

- 1 FHV was a swinging shot and 1 BHV was played from well behind the service line and not a net point

Errors (excluding returns and serves)
Nadal 77
- 31 Unforced (19 FH, 12 BH)
- 46 Forced (22 FH, 21 BH, 1 BHV, 1 BHOH, 1 Tweener)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 46.5

Federer 99
- 64 Unforced (30 FH, 25 BH, 6 FHV, 3 BHV)
- 35 Forced (13 FH, 14 BH, 2 FHV, 1 FH1/2V, 4 BHV, 1 BH1/2V)
Unforced Error Forcefulness Index 45.5

(Note 1: all half-volleys refer to such shots played at net. Half -volleys played from other parts of the court are included within relevant groundstroke counts)
(Note 2: The 'Unforced Error Forcefulness Index is a measure of how aggressive of intent the average UE made was. 60 is maximum, 20 is minimum. This match has been scored using a four point scale - 2 defensive, 4 neutral, 5 attacking, 6 winner attempt)

Net Points & Serve-Volley
Nadal was 18/28 ( 64%) at net. He was 1/1 serve-volleying (a first serve point) and 1/4 when forced back from net

Federer was 41/73 (56%) at net. He was 7/14 (50%) serve-volleying - 4/9 (44%) off first serves, 3/5 (60%) off second serves. He was 1/1 return-approaching and 0/1 when forced back from net
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Match Report
I rewatched this match for the first time recently and was struck by subtle differences from how I remember it.

My memory of the match was Nadal was the stronger player and Federer was probably lucky to take the match to 5 (rather than unlucky to lose it there). Rewatching it now, I'm inclined to say Federer was if anything the slightly better player but tended to choke at key points.

Look at the break point stats -

Nadal 4/11 in 5 games
Federer 1/13 in 8 games

I imagine it would be fairly rare to see the winner of a match having break points in so many fewer games than the loser and what's even more surprising is that Nadal was hardly banging down aces when break point down. Down break point, Nadal hit 1 winner and forced 4 errors (1 with the serve), while Federer made 6 unforced errors (3 on return). There was a particularly bad pair of consecutive points where he dumped gentle second serve returns into the net that had the commentators (let alone the spectators) groaning

Where Federer loses out in this match is in his disinclination or inability to be aggressive with the return. The predictability with which Nadal serves to the BH is stunning and of course, Nadal's serve is not overwhelming. Federer doesn't try to attack it much with his BH - and this is a weakness. His only course of attack is to hit runaround FHs, but he makes errors as often as not when trying this

Federer takes to attacking the net early in the match, which shows that he had at least put some thought into changing things up because from the baseline, Nadal is clearly the stronger player. Initially, he's quite successful but as the match goes on, Nadal starts finding his range on the passing shots and net charging seems a bigger risk than is worth it

But still, staying at the back isn't a reasonable winning option. If the whole match were played from neutral starts at the baseline, clearly Nadal is far superior. Significantly safer in his shots and at least as dangerous (probably more, actually). So the onus would have been on Federer to see to change that dynamic

On serve, he can do this with the strength of his serve to give him a strong initiative. And he does, winning many cheap points and setting up commanding third ball plays
On return, he fails to do this... and given the nature and predictability of Nadal's serve, this ploy was very much executable
And he tries to mix it up with net rushes. Nadal's passing shots are amazing in this match and Federer was up against an awful lot in the forecourt

From Nadal's point of view, a stunning performance. His returning, groudgame and mental strength all stand out.

Federer serves excellently throughout - and to get the return in play (much less neutralize the server's advantage) - is no mean feat. I doubt anyone else at that period could have done as well. Off the ground, he looks to hit FHs crosscourt, but on the grass, that doesn't lead to the regular flow of Federer BH errors as it would on clay. But it clearly puts a cork in Federer's ability to take the initiative... and that's all Rafa needs. He's not one to let up with loose errors when he's in charge from the baseline - or even when he has a thin edge

Summing up - keys to the match were

- Nadal's return - excellent, and against excellent opposition
- Nadal's superiority from the baseline - which would force Federer to do something different to come out on top overall
- Federer's inability to attack the relatively weak Nadal serve (which would have been that 'something different' he needed)
- Those key moments - where Nadal held up a bit better and Federer was prone to lose the plot
 
#2
Well typical Fraud outdoes Ralph in every stat yet loses the match.

Brilliant analysis by the way.

People actually get offended when someone says Federer wasn't at his best here but that's the reality.
It isn't a disrespect to Nadal or his ability to beat Federer on grass. As in 2007 for 4 sets he outplayed a better Federer and should have won the match.

The story surrounding the match leads people to overrate it tbh.
 
#6
The problem is that the Federer who played in his shell had all the BPs, though only converted one, while the believer had 2 or 3 only over an equal length of play.
Just imagine if he had the mindset that Djokovic had in 2011 Wimbledon, where he converted I believe 5 out 6 break points, because he had the mental advantage against Nadal.

Converting only one BP, then what was it? Losing five straight games in a row to lose a set he was leading 4-1 6-4, not good. To me that was a Federer within his shell, later on he was holding serve better and only started to struggle as the light diminished.
 
#7
Just imagine if he had the mindset that Djokovic had in 2011 Wimbledon, where he converted I believe 5 out 6 break points, because he had the mental advantage against Nadal.

Converting only one BP, then what was it? Losing five straight games in a row to lose a set he was leading 4-1 6-4, not good. To me that was a Federer within his shell, later on he was holding serve better and only started to struggle as the light diminished.
If only Wimbledon had a roof back then.
 
#11
56% at net seems pretty low for Fed. Pretty Surprised to see him only have 34% of serves unreturned.
Official stats had Fed with 52 ue's, guess you graded a bit harder.
There were some sh*tty approach shots from Fed in this match, probably his 3rd worst in terms of transition game vs Nadal after RG 08 and Rome 13. And of course Nadal's passing shots were excellent.
34% of serves unreturned is on par considering Nadal returned Federer's serve better than most (and better than he returned very good servers on an average) and of course was in top form.
 
#12
Net Points & Serve-Volley
Nadal was 18/28 ( 64%) at net. He was 1/1 serve-volleying (a first serve point) and 1/4 when forced back from net

Federer was 41/73 (56%) at net. He was 7/14 (50%) serve-volleying - 4/9 (44%) off first serves, 3/5 (60%) off second serves. He was 1/1 return-approaching and 0/1 when forced back from net
Source to that claim? No source, no credibility.

These are the real net stats of the Wimbledon 2008 final:

Federer Net Approaches Won 42/75 (56%)
Nadal Net Approaches won 22/31 (71%)

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Wimbledon_Championships_–_Men's_singles_final
https://www.burgundyasset.com/wp-content/uploads/Winning-by-Not-Losing-WEB-October-2016.pdf
 
#13
@Waspsting :

you have Federer with 88 UEs total (2 DFs, 22 on the return and 64 apart from serve&return). Official one is 52 UEs. that's way too much of a difference.
Did you make a typo and mix the unforced and forced on the apart from serve& return part ? You have 35 forced and 64 UEs for fed there.
you have Nadal with 43 UEs (3 DFs, 9 on the return and 31 apart from serve&return). Official one is 27 UEs. that's a big difference as well.
 
Last edited:
#14
#15
Break Points
Nadal 4/11 (5 games)
Federer 1/13 (8 games)
3 more games in which he had break point, 2 more break point opportunities, yet broke 3 fewer times. That was the match. As you said, it’s not often in matches when you have those set of numbers, but for Federer returning under pressure the lefty serve that AD side...typical.

Dominance Ratio: Federer, 1.02. It was the 4th match Federer won the dominance ratio and lost the match (Dubai, Wimbledon, Australian Open, Rome); Nadal hasn’t ever been able to win a match against Federer while losing the dominance ratio.
 
Last edited:
#16
People actually get offended when someone says Federer wasn't at his best here but that's the reality.
I've never heard any Federer fan say he was anywhere near at his best here. Nadal fans claim this for obvious reasons, but Fed was easily 15% off his 2006-07 Wimbledon form.

He was awful and tentative the first two sets and not especially good in the fifth set either. He choked a sitter FH at 4-3 in the fifth which would have given him a BP (this elicited the biggest negative reaction I've ever seen from Lynette Federer). Fed had been mentally eviscerated by Nadal the previous month at the FO and was scarred by that mauling until January, 2017. He brought no topspin BH to the contest and was pathetically passive until late in the third set. By the fifth set he was again reverting to weakly countering Nadal's second serves into the bottom of the net with slice BH's. All credit to Rafa, but Fed was mentally a little lamb during this match. This little lamb fragile mentality continued unabated into the 2009 AO final.
 
#18
Well typical Fraud outdoes Ralph in every stat yet loses the match.

Brilliant analysis by the way.

People actually get offended when someone says Federer wasn't at his best here but that's the reality.
It isn't a disrespect to Nadal or his ability to beat Federer on grass. As in 2007 for 4 sets he outplayed a better Federer and should have won the match.

The story surrounding the match leads people to overrate it tbh.
To say that Federer was not as his peak at Wimbledon 2008 is equally unobjective as saying that teenager Nadal was not at his peak at Wimbledon 2006 and Wimbledon 2007.

Just excuses from some (not all) Federer fans who can't accept that Nadal defeated Federer at his favorite Grand Slam. Thus, the need to put excuses.
 
#19
All I remember is two Federers playing this match, the one that played within his shell for the first two sets and a half, and then the one who started to believe when Nadal began to choke.
What's weird was it seemed he was was nervous about winning than scared of losing. He seemed tentative and Nervous whenever he had a chance to break, then facing defeat he suddenly starts playing more freely. Nadal helped him out by choking a bit. Then in a 5th where he has the momentum and serving first and got the chance to win, he gets tentative again. This pattern also happened in the AO final where he should have gone 2 sets to 1 up
 
#20
To say that Federer was not as his peak at Wimbledon 2008 is equally unobjective as saying that teenager Nadal was not at his peak at Wimbledon 2006 and Wimbledon 2007.

Just excuses from some (not all) Federer fans who can't accept that Nadal defeated Federer at his favorite Grand Slam. Thus, the need to put excuses.
Ah but people DO say Nadal wasn't at his peak during Wimbledon 2006 and 2007, the term baby Nadal is often applied to these matches.

The fact is all 3 matches featured both players playing pretty well. In my opinion 2007 is the best mix of both players playing well followed by 2008 and 2006. Nadal played great in 2007, but a lot of Nadal fans don't even count this because he lost. He outplayed Federer for stretches of the match, a better Federer than the 2008 version, the big difference is he mentally cracked in the 5th set and Federer dug deep to pull away. In 2008 Nadal had better mental strength in 5th set.

In 2008, Federer played well, but he was mentally beaten by Nadal's recent wins, not only the drubbing at RG, but the losses in Hamburg and MC where he actually played well and had his chances. Hamburg he should have won. He's also been beaten at the AO by another young usurper (Djokovic), and had several bizarre losses in the season to players like Fish and Roddick as he struggled to maintain his usual form. Still he played well at Wimbledon, but Fed was under serious pressure to put right his faultering season and Nadal had him mentally broke. And you know what? That's perfectly fair! Nadal had earned that mental advantage. A bit like Nadal playing well at the USO in 2011 but ultimately being weighed down by losses to Djokovic that season.

So while Fed played well, he choked big time any time he had a chance to break. In the 3rd and 4th sets he pulled himself together though he was aided by Nadal himself choking when he saw he should win this final easily. Nadal really had it in him to win that match in straights which would have been similar to the 2013 final where Djokovic had chances in every set but lost them all.

So Fed played well, but his best? No. You might see that as an excuse, but no one is ever going to play their best all the time and Nadal earned his mental advantage and still had to contend with a player playing great tennis. But if you want to believe Nadal beat the absolute best Federer, then I'm gonna have to disagree. Maybe it's important for some people to believe that a 2 time Wimbledon champ at his best is better than an 8 time Wimbledon champ at his best, and saying that maybe his A+ form was just good enough to beat the greatest grass player on their A- form is not praise enough. It's a bit like saying that Nadal was his best at RG 2009 and 2015 and just lost to better players. Hell if Djokovic won the semi with Nadal in 2013, it would be ridiculous to say that was Nadal at his best losing to Djokovic, but reasonable to say he was a bit below it.

Federer is the grass GOAT, and while Nadal certainly can beat him on grass somewhere near his best, but at his very best? Sorry I'm picking the guy with the vastly better resume
 
#21
To say that Federer was not as his peak at Wimbledon 2008 is equally unobjective as saying that teenager Nadal was not at his peak at Wimbledon 2006 and Wimbledon 2007.

Just excuses from some (not all) Federer fans who can't accept that Nadal defeated Federer at his favorite Grand Slam. Thus, the need to put excuses.
Yeah but what is your point? Nadal has been beaten at his favourite slam by and all the accompanying clay masters by a whole range of people from djokovic to federer to a bunch of mugs. 2009 Nadal was clearly peak and still got beaten in his pet slam by a guy who won nothing on clay let alone a clay slam

Similarly Nadal has been beaten in every single tournament including nadals favourite tournament by Djokovic who clearly has a superior level at all tournements than nadal does since he beat peak nadal on all occasions and this is including nadals favourite tournaments RG and the clay masters. Nadal is of course unable to beat novak at his favourite slam and likely never will now
 
#22
To say that Federer was not as his peak at Wimbledon 2008 is equally unobjective as saying that teenager Nadal was not at his peak at Wimbledon 2006 and Wimbledon 2007.

Just excuses from some (not all) Federer fans who can't accept that Nadal defeated Federer at his favorite Grand Slam. Thus, the need to put excuses.
Oh geez. Maybe the same excuses from some (not all) Nadal fans who can't accept Stan defeated Nadal at his "to be Double Carrer Slam" chance. I have read more excuses on that than anything else.
 
#24
Ah but people DO say Nadal wasn't at his peak during Wimbledon 2006 and 2007, the term baby Nadal is often applied to these matches.
(...)
In 2008, Federer played well, but he was mentally beaten by Nadal's recent wins
I do not use the term "baby Nadal". I prefer to use the term "peak Nadal" to refer to 2006 and 2007 Nadal at Wimbledon. I don't like double standards, If I "demand" Federer fans to accept that Federer was at his peak at Wimbledon 2008, I do the same with Nadal at Wimbledon 2006 and 2007.

I agree with the mental advantage of Nadal over Federer at Wimbledon 2008. And Nadal also had inexperience and was a bit nervous in the first set of Wimbledon 2006, his first Wimbledon final.

I mean, for sure there are little differences between the level of Fedal in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But for me the 3 finals are essentially peak Fedal with minor differences. It is only the fans who make the peak/non-peak arguments.

If an objective observer rewatchs the highlights of Wimbledon 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Wimbledon 2008, he will see no significant difference in the level of play of the 3 finals.
 
#25
I do not use the term "baby Nadal". I prefer to use the term "peak Nadal" to refer to 2006 and 2007 Nadal at Wimbledon. I don't like double standards, If I "demand" Federer fans to accept that Federer was at his peak at Wimbledon 2008, I do the same with Nadal at Wimbledon 2006 and 2007.

I agree with the mental advantage of Nadal over Federer at Wimbledon 2008. And Nadal also had inexperience and was a bit nervous in the first set of Wimbledon 2006, his first Wimbledon final.

I mean, for sure there are little differences between the level of Fedal in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But for me the 3 finals are essentially peak Fedal with minor differences. It is only the fans who make the peak/non-peak arguments.

If an objective observer rewatchs the highlights of Wimbledon 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Wimbledon 2008, he will see no significant difference in the level of play of the 3 finals.
That's absolutely fine, just dont have double standards and accept peak nadal got beaten in RG 09 and 15 and peak nadal has also repeatdly been crushed by djokovic and others outside of RG in clay masters and multiple clay finals
 
#26
That's absolutely fine, just dont have double standards and accept peak nadal got beaten in RG 09 and 15 and peak nadal has also repeatdly been crushed by djokovic and others outside of RG in clay masters and multiple clay finals
How did I ever forget mentioning Nadal's RG 2009 loss excuses? Getting old for sure. Still Nadal's AO 14 loss excuses makes the icing of the Excuses cake.
 
#27
I do not use the term "baby Nadal". I prefer to use the term "peak Nadal" to refer to 2006 and 2007 Nadal at Wimbledon. I don't like double standards, If I "demand" Federer fans to accept that Federer was at his peak at Wimbledon 2008, I do the same with Nadal at Wimbledon 2006 and 2007.

I agree with the mental advantage of Nadal over Federer at Wimbledon 2008. And Nadal also had inexperience and was a bit nervous in the first set of Wimbledon 2006, his first Wimbledon final.

I mean, for sure there are little differences between the level of Fedal in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But for me the 3 finals are essentially peak Fedal with minor differences. It is only the fans who make the peak/non-peak arguments.

If an objective observer rewatchs the highlights of Wimbledon 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Wimbledon 2008, he will see no significant difference in the level of play of the 3 finals.
Really ?

If 2008 Federer was peak because of age and form in previous years, then thank you for confirming that Peak Nadal of 2010 would get bludgeoned 7-0 in finals by Peak Djokovic. Lucky Djokovic decided to peak a year later.


See the flaw in your logic? We all kinow 2011 Nadal was 75% of his 2010 self in clay and Hc season.
 
#28
Really ?

If 2008 Federer was peak because of age and form in previous years, then thank you for confirming that Peak Nadal of 2010 would get bludgeoned 7-0 in finals by Peak Djokovic. Lucky Djokovic decided to peak a year later.


See the flaw in your logic? We all kinow 2011 Nadal was 75% of his 2010 self in clay and Hc season.
his logic is fine. Peak Nadal was indeed crushed at RG in 2009 and 2015 and in general humiliated 7-0 7-0 by djokovic multiple times and lol dont forget all the 2nd round mug losses peak nadal has had every year since well start of his career... a few routnie loses to mugs while peak are routine
 
Last edited:
#30
I do not use the term "baby Nadal". I prefer to use the term "peak Nadal" to refer to 2006 and 2007 Nadal at Wimbledon. I don't like double standards, If I "demand" Federer fans to accept that Federer was at his peak at Wimbledon 2008, I do the same with Nadal at Wimbledon 2006 and 2007.

I agree with the mental advantage of Nadal over Federer at Wimbledon 2008. And Nadal also had inexperience and was a bit nervous in the first set of Wimbledon 2006, his first Wimbledon final.

I mean, for sure there are little differences between the level of Fedal in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But for me the 3 finals are essentially peak Fedal with minor differences. It is only the fans who make the peak/non-peak arguments.

If an objective observer rewatchs the highlights of Wimbledon 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Wimbledon 2008, he will see no significant difference in the level of play of the 3 finals.
I never said you personally used the term baby Nadal but lots of people do just like lots of people claim Federer was too old.

I agree 2006, 2007 and 2008 were all high quality matches with both players close to their best and of course individual levels varied a bit year to year. Nadal had a very nervous start to 2006 absolutely. It's actually fascinating how the dynamics changed in each match and it was largely down to mental strength.

Agree with your post

Personally I like the ideas of prime and peak, prime being a period of years in which a player is at a very high level and potential and peak is near their absolute best. In this case I'd say all 3 were prime years for both players although Nadal's peak would be 07/08 and Fed 06/07. Generally Federer's peak years were 2004-2007 but his prime is more like 2003-2010. Nadal's prime for me would be 2005-2013 but his peak level of play actually came in random years and different years depending on surface. Federer's peak seemed to be all surfaces for back to back years. On grass Nadal seems to have been prime in 06/07/08/10 and 11, but I'd say 07/08 and 10 were his highest levels
 
#32
I do not use the term "baby Nadal". I prefer to use the term "peak Nadal" to refer to 2006 and 2007 Nadal at Wimbledon. I don't like double standards, If I "demand" Federer fans to accept that Federer was at his peak at Wimbledon 2008, I do the same with Nadal at Wimbledon 2006 and 2007.

I agree with the mental advantage of Nadal over Federer at Wimbledon 2008. And Nadal also had inexperience and was a bit nervous in the first set of Wimbledon 2006, his first Wimbledon final.

I mean, for sure there are little differences between the level of Fedal in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But for me the 3 finals are essentially peak Fedal with minor differences. It is only the fans who make the peak/non-peak arguments.

If an objective observer rewatchs the highlights of Wimbledon 2006, Wimbledon 2007 and Wimbledon 2008, he will see no significant difference in the level of play of the 3 finals.
Pretty much this. Fed reached the final in 08 without dropping a single set and only having had his serve broken twice(iirc, he also straight-setted Halle without dropping serve). To even suggest Fed was in poor form at this time is redicilous. He was probably mentally scarred specifically againat Nadal and there are indications his performance was slightly hindered at times because of this, but as @Towser83 already pointed out this is a mental advantage that Rafa earned fair and square.
 
#33
Personally I like the ideas of prime and peak, prime being a period of years in which a player is at a very high level and potential and peak is near their absolute best
Facinating idea. I still think 2006 Nadal was at his full peak at Wimbledon 2006 and Federer at his full peak at Wimbledon 2008.

Federer's prime (it's only my opinion) would be more like 2010-2012, or even 2010-2017, if by "prime" we understand just good shape. I mean, in 2015 and 2017 he was in good form, and his game is more technical than physical, so he still could play so insanely great. In 2018 he didn't play as good as in 2017.

Federer's peak would be approximatelly 2004-2009 (excluding the first 2 or 3 months of 2008). In 2004-2009 he was 22-27 years old, so at his full physical peak.

For Nadal, I would say 2006-2013 for peak level (on hard courts in 2008). Nadal's prime would be 2016-present.
 
Last edited:
#34
Pretty much this. Fed reached the final in 08 without dropping a single set and only having had his serve broken twice(iirc, he also straight-setted Halle without dropping serve). To even suggest Fed was in poor form at this time is redicilous. He was probably mentally scarred specifically againat Nadal and there are indications his performance was slightly hindered at times because of this, but as @Towser83 already pointed out this is a mental advantage that Rafa earned fair and square.
Yeah Fed had been in poor form all year but was playing better in grass season and looking like getting back to the Federer of old. Against Nadal though he knew he had something to prove and that effected his performance. Eventually he did start playing more clutch tennis and Nadal started to feel the pressure which allowed Fed back in the match but in the 5th set he got too cautious again like he was waiting for Nadal to make the error.

Fed still played great tennis, he just played badly at key times and it's only compared to his previous Wimbledon finals that his play seemed off form. We're talking small margins here and from the 07 final to the 08, Nadal improved his mental toughness a a tad and Fed got worse a tad and that's all that's needed to change the outcome

With regards to the mental hold Nadal earned, I always felt Fed had the problem of clay season being first and that if it wasn't right before Wimbledon or was the other way around it would have been interesting to see what effect it would have. I think what was really tough was playing Nadal generally 3 times in clay season in close succession. Then again on the plus side it gave Fed a chance to figure out Nadal's game and he never really used it. In 2006 he almost got him at Rome and it looked like he may have used that to his advantage when he won the first set of RG 6-1, but then it slipped away and even a chance to take it to 5 went away. In 2007 he won in Hamburg but failed to take his chances in RG. And then in 2008 he should have won Hamburg and even MC he was in charge in both sets. That failure there is possibly the reason he lost Wimbledon. Or even had he lost before the final at RG, maybe he'd have played without the mental scars at Wimbledon. But that's tennis for you and part of why it's such a great sport
 
#35
Facinating idea. I still think 2006 Nadal was at his full peak at Wimbledon 2006 and Federer at his full peak at Wimbledon 2008.

Federer's prime (it's only my opinion) would be more like 2010-2012, or even 2010-2017, if by "prime" we understand just good shape. I mean, in 2015 and 2017 he was in good form, and his game is more technical than physical, so he still could play so insanely great. In 2018 he didn't play as good as in 2017.

Federer's peak would be approximatelly 2004-2009 (excluding the first 2 or 3 months of 2008). In 2004-2009 he was 22-27 years old.

For Nadal, I would say 2006-2013 for peak level (on hard courts in 2008). Nadal's prime would be 2016-present.
Yeah I guess with Federer it's also weird, because I think last year he played an unexpectedly great season which was like a prime year but I know physically he wasn't in his prime anymore and had to take a shorter season to do that. In 2014 and 2015 he played really well though I think maybe he had less competition around this time.

With Nadal I don't think he's in his physical prime anymore either but he's managed to pick his tournamants and do well where he has been in good physical shape.

Both have had a few years where they were playing poorly for several reasons and come back to greatness again. Maybe we just say they were prime years but for various reasons they didn't play near to their best.

But yeah I agree 2006-2008 were all there or there abouts their top form. Not many Nadal fans would say that about Nadal in 2006 though, so fair play to you
 
#37
The 2008 Wimbledon final was Federer's 6th best form at Wimbledon versus Nadal's best ;)
Unfalsifiable claim, thus irrelevant. Unfalsifiable = can't be proved false. Unfalsifiable claims should not be accepted in serious tennis discussions, just like untestable claims are not accepted in science.

It is impossible to create a time machine to put 2008 Wimbledon Federer playing against 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2009 Federer. So your claim "Federer was at is 6th best form at Wimbledon 2008" is unfalsifiable, and it doesn't necessarily mean it is true. The claim "unicorns exist in alternative universes" is also unfalsifiable and it doesn't mean it is true.

Fact is, Federer reached the Wimbledon 2008 final without losing a single set, something he had not achieved in many of his peak years. So he was obviously at his absolute peak.
 
#38
Unfalsifiable claim, thus irrelevant. Unfalsifiable = can't be proved false. Unfalsifiable claims should not be accepted in serious tennis discussions, just like untestable claims are not accepted in science.

It is impossible to create a time machine to put 2008 Wimbledon Federer playing against 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2009 Federer. So your claim "Federer was at is 6th best form at Wimbledon 2008" is unfalsifiable, and it doesn't necessarily mean it is true. The claim "unicorns exist in alternative universes" is also unfalsifiable and it doesn't mean it is true.

Fact is, Federer reached the Wimbledon 2008 final without losing a single set, something he had not achieved in many of his peak years. So he was obviously at his absolute peak.
Exactly.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
#39
Unfalsifiable claim, thus irrelevant. Unfalsifiable = can't be proved false. Unfalsifiable claims should not be accepted in serious tennis discussions, just like untestable claims are not accepted in science.

It is impossible to create a time machine to put 2008 Wimbledon Federer playing against 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2009 Federer. So your claim "Federer was at is 6th best form at Wimbledon 2008" is unfalsifiable, and it doesn't necessarily mean it is true. The claim "unicorns exist in alternative universes" is also unfalsifiable and it doesn't mean it is true.

Fact is, Federer reached the Wimbledon 2008 final without losing a single set, something he had not achieved in many of his peak years. So he was obviously at his absolute peak.
By that same token you can't deny 2015 was the best Nadal on clay. No time machine to make him play 2008 Nadal herp derp.

:rolleyes:
 
#41
Unfalsifiable claim, thus irrelevant. Unfalsifiable = can't be proved false. Unfalsifiable claims should not be accepted in serious tennis discussions, just like untestable claims are not accepted in science.

It is impossible to create a time machine to put 2008 Wimbledon Federer playing against 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2009 Federer. So your claim "Federer was at is 6th best form at Wimbledon 2008" is unfalsifiable, and it doesn't necessarily mean it is true. The claim "unicorns exist in alternative universes" is also unfalsifiable and it doesn't mean it is true.

Fact is, Federer reached the Wimbledon 2008 final without losing a single set, something he had not achieved in many of his peak years. So he was obviously at his absolute peak.
Fact is Nadal too reached more final across the year in 2011 than 2010.

Hence no excuse
2011 Nadal was peak Nadal and therefore fact is peak Djokovic >>>>> Peak Nadal
 
#43
Unfalsifiable claim, thus irrelevant. Unfalsifiable = can't be proved false. Unfalsifiable claims should not be accepted in serious tennis discussions, just like untestable claims are not accepted in science.

It is impossible to create a time machine to put 2008 Wimbledon Federer playing against 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2009 Federer. So your claim "Federer was at is 6th best form at Wimbledon 2008" is unfalsifiable, and it doesn't necessarily mean it is true. The claim "unicorns exist in alternative universes" is also unfalsifiable and it doesn't mean it is true.

Fact is, Federer reached the Wimbledon 2008 final without losing a single set, something he had not achieved in many of his peak years. So he was obviously at his absolute peak.
Even if it's true, Federer is a player who has won 8 Wimbledon titles and made a total of 11 finals - even his 11th best Wimbledon form is pretty damn good and relatively speaking not that far from his best. We're talking about fairly small margins here. For Nadal to defeat arguably the best grass player of all time (certainly one of them and the best of this era) in the midst of his best years is a massive accomplishment and it doesn't matter if he was his absolute best or a shade off it. I think clearly Federer was better in other years but he was still playing a high level which would have got the job done against most players on most days, Nadal still had to play very well to win it.

The fact he didn't lose a set doesn't have to mean he was in better form than in some years he won but dropped sets though. I could equally say in every year he won he was obviously better because he didn't lose in the final. Unless we're saying he was better in 2008 in the rounds up to the final but in the final was worse than years he won.
 
Top