Reasons Why Nadal Dominated Federer During Their Prime?

Devin

Semi-Pro
Why the hell are 15 year olds even allowed on this forum. I'm taking a screen capture of your age so that I can post it in response to every moronic thing you post.
He claimed he was 31 on his Tarutani account. Perhaps in his next reincarnation, he will say he is 7 years old.
 

YellowFedBetter

Hall of Fame
There's a very interesting article here called "Federer as a 15 year old" http://www.tennisgrandstand.com/tag/roger-federer-excerpts-rene-stauffer/ (you have to go half way down the page to get to it) which discusses his quest for perfection at that age and says that he almost regarded his opponents as collaborators in that aim rather than as people to be defeated.

I've always wondered if that's where some of his issues with Nadal came from - that Nadal made no secret of doing what he had to do to beat Federer rather than trying to play a perfect game himself. It's only been relatively recently that he's seemed to give Nadal the respect he's earned - maybe it's taken maturity to understand that very different approach to the game.

Before anyone jumps on me I recognise this is pretty speculative but I think his resentments against Nadal seemed to come from something other than just getting beaten - although no doubt that was unpleasant as well!!
Thank you, this is a very interesting point.
 

Harvey

Banned
So I am a Federer and Nadal fan, originally just a Federer fan but then I learnt to appreciate what Nadal has done over time.

So this is a comparison from when they were in their best years. I think around 2010 onwards, Federer's greatest form had gone for good, and Nadal was beating him all during 2011-2015 easily but that was after Federer had lost his greatest form. Similarly now in 2017, Nadal over 30, he has lost half a step of one of his greatest assets - his speed. So this is a comparison when they were both in their prime.

It was quite amazing when Nadal emerged, Federer was dominating everyone, yet somehow from the very start Nadal was winning against Federer. Most interesting was Nadal was able to compete and beat Federer on Federer's best surface.

Consider Wimbledon 2007 and 2008. 2007 was probably Federer's greatest ever form in his best years, and Nadal was able to play to 5 sets in 2007, and beat him in 2008. This is the greatest grass court player of all time in his greatest years we are talking about which Nadal managed to beat.

2008 Wimbledon Federer was playing amazing, I was watching the whole tournament. He hadn't lost a set till the final and I don't think any player in the history of tennis could have beat 2008 Federer at Wimbledon. No Sampras, Borg or Prime Djokovic because he was playing that good. This is the reason why most experts in the world of tennis consider Wimbledon 2008 as the greatest final of all time, because of the level of tennis being played by both players - and the game still amazes me to this day from both players.

So what were the reasons that Nadal was so comfortable during their best years?

I think Federer's game matched up well for Nadal, Federer hits with amazing amounts of spin (just a bit below Nadal's spin rates), which is why he dominated the field except Nadal. But the combination of Nadal's amazing speed, and his extreme low to high racquet action meant he was always in the rally even when Federer would go for his classic winners - which Nadal could get back into play.

The Nadal forehand to Federer backhand was a factor of course. Federer did not have a weak backhand, he won many grand slams because of his backhand, neat, powerful and deadly accurate. Nadal would target around 70% of his shots to Federer's backhand and it gave him good success.

Nadal's passing shots were crucial as well. I have never seen a player in history hit passing shots like Nadal did in his prime. Federer for some reason approach the net against Nadal at the worst times and would always get passed during those years. It was painful to watch at times as a Federer fan. We have to remember Federer is probably the greatest at serve and volley in this current generation.

What do you think?
It's much more simple. Nadal moved the game on to a higher level that Federer never quite got to.
 

masao

New User
✖ Reasons Why Nadal Dominated Federer During Their Prime?

〇 Reasons Why Pre-Prime Nadal Dominated Prime Federer ?
 

Wilander Fan

Hall of Fame
A couple of things. Being a lefty gives Nadal a huge advantage on break points. He can serve on his deuce side (compared to a right handed player serving ad on those points) which is almost always the stronger serve for players because they can hit that sharp wide serve to the backhand. You can see the crazy failed breakpoint conversion stats by Fed against Nadal and its because he would constantly win the ad point on deuce and then lose the break point. The second thing that ties into this is that Nadal can sweep the slice with his FH better than anyone. Federer has a great slice and used to use it almost exclusively on his BH return. For most players, a deep sliced return results in a neutral rally but Nadal's extreme vertical FH swing really loves that low, skidding ball because it gives him time and he can combine the back spin with his own topspin for even more extreme topspin. This was also a problem for Federer on rallies. He uses that slice BH to neutralise big shots and reset points better than anyone. He often uses the slice to set up a winner but Federer just could not do this with Nadal since a slice CC goes right into Nadal's FH sweet spot and Nadal has the speed to run around a slice DTL.

If you have watched their recent matches, Federer almost stopped slicing his returns altogether against Nadal and rarely slices during their rallies unless purely defensive; and he has become very good at driving the BH returns and BH shots deep into Nadal's FH with pace. Thats been the difference. Nadal has to protect that side now and opens up the court for Federer.
 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
Ducked him on real surfaces, and on clay, the roids were too big an advantage to overcome. That's why they're illegal. A rule tragically only enforced if you're not an ATP or WTA meal ticket.

Nadal's entire career is a sham.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
2008 was one of Fed's worst years ever. Check out the stats. Just because he didn't lose a set before the final is meaningless. He also didn't lose a set at Wimbledon at age 36. Nadal also didn't lose a set before being destroyed by Soderling. That it happened in the 4th round is irrelevant, because no version of Nadal was ever going to beat Soderling playing at that level.

Fed's form in 2008 was horrendous compared to his peak. Fed even had said the Wimbledon loss was influenced by the loss at the FO. You'd think Nadal with his form that year would have beaten Fed even more easily, yet it still took 9-7 in the 5th to take out Federer, and required darkness.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Fed's vulnerable OHBH to Nadal's FH + Nadal's insane speed which allowed him to reteieve even the impossible Federer shots.

I wonder if the bigger racquet would have made a difference for Fed at that time, at least to win one of the Wimb and AO finals.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
It has to be said that Nadal not giving Fed a single chance to turn around the match-up in 2009-early 2010 by not showing up didn't help matters.
 
I'm like you, a Federer fan who didn't start to appreciate and respect Nadal until after that W 2008 final.
Nadal was a highly motivated, young, and bullish player who wasn't afraid of Federer and he had the game pattern to take it to Federer in those days, i.e. lefty high forehand to Federer's weaker backhand wing. Plus, Nadal had incredible movement and was one of the best athletes if not the best the game has ever seen. Throw in the fact that Nadal really gained a mental advantage over Federer because they met on Nadal's preferred surface (clay) so many times early on and that's that.

It was what it was and Nadal really knew how to take it to Federer in those days. It's as simple as that and people have to accept it. However, things have changed more recently because Nadal doesn't have the cushion of those clay beatdowns as they are only meeting off clay and Federer has FINALLY changed his backhand strategy against Nadal. It only took 10 years! :rolleyes:
Same here but I still remember when Nadal was out for almost 6 months and then came back to Aus Open and easily beat Fed. All he had to do was keep it to Fed's backhand and like clockwork it would break down. Lost respect for Fed after the crying at the 2009 AUS Open.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Were Nadal truly the better player in those conditions, he would have beaten Federer more convincingly given the mental differential, rather than edging out close matches.
I see it the opposite. If Federer were truly the better player, he would have won the most important points. The important points are usually the moments where the better player is revealed. Aside from some epic choking, tennis is usually won that way.
 

Milanez82

Rookie
Federer was 22-0 in sets on grass until he faced an out of this world Rafa in that Wimbledon final.
Sounds like someone recovering from mono??? ... When will Fedites simply accept the fact when he was playing great, a certain someone was simply better that day, that tournament. Stop with the excuses.
Certainly an ultimate achievement by Rafa.
And Fed couldn't even come close at Rolland Garros.
 
I see it the opposite. If Federer were truly the better player, he would have won the most important points. The important points are usually the moments where the better player is revealed. Aside from some epic choking, tennis is usually won that way.
Yeah a minority of points determine the better player, what is this idea lul. We know Nadal has traditionally been strongly disciplined under pressure while Federer has been rather inconsistent in that regard, allowing the former to happily collect chokes from all and sundry and the latter to bleed them. Yet your dull hubris is such that you like to assert the choke collector is the better player by virtue of being the best at collecting chokes, hohoho.
 
Federer was 22-0 in sets on grass until he faced an out of this world Rafa in that Wimbledon final.
Sounds like someone recovering from mono??? ... When will Fedites simply accept the fact when he was playing great, a certain someone was simply better that day, that tournament. Stop with the excuses.
Certainly an ultimate achievement by Rafa.
And Fed couldn't even come close at Rolland Garros.
Need an AO 2019 reminder, do you? "Sounds like someone recovering from injury?"
 

alexio88

Hall of Fame
Need an AO 2019 reminder, do you? "Sounds like someone recovering from injury?"
1. Ты ж сам говорил что крайне неверно приводить пример из другого матча чтобы защититть какую-либо позицию которая выгодна тебе..однако щас ты делаешь это с удовольствием 2. Как же 2007 год? Если б все дело было в моно тогда какого хрена он одолел испанца еле-еле безо всякого моно...вполне логично что год спустя надаль был злее голоднее и зрелее достаточно чтобы наконец-то взять этот титул и плюс до этого уничтожил его как каток в париже, что тоже сыграло свою большую роль в матче на траве потом, 0-2 по сетам классное начало..и плюс если б моно решало тогда почему тогда он вернулся после этого в матч, конечно надаль тоже задрожал в важный момент, тоже ведь человек..но все-таки думаю с большим влиянием моно закончилось бы все намного раньше, т.к. федерюня б знал что у него моно да еще и дьявол сука надаль на пике рвет и мечет там бегает (наложилось все одно на другое)..и сломался бы очень быстро как результат
 
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SonnyT

Semi-Pro
Has anyone mentioned this possibility? During any stretch of his fabulous career, Federer always had a nemesis that he never could beat in the most important matches. From '04-15, it was Nadal. From '11 on, it was Djokovic.

People kept saying it was because Federer's backhand couldn't handle Nadal's high bouncing balls. But in his prime, Federer's backhand was the very best in tennis, and he was very adept at hitting the balls on the rise. And remember Djokovic never had trouble backhand-knocking Nadal's balls on the rise, albeit he has 2 hander.

Was it really the answer? Or was it an easy, but not correct, answer? I think Federer just has a lot of trouble with clutch players, because he knows he's not clutch himself. So in those moments, he waits for disaster to strike! So the trouble was always with Federer's head.
 
1. Ты ж сам говорил что крайне неверно приводить пример из другого матча чтобы защититть какую-либо позицию которая выгодна тебе..однако щас ты делаешь это с удовольствием 2. Как же 2007 год? Если б все дело было в моно тогда какого хрена он одолел испанца еле-еле безо всякого моно...вполне логично что год спустя надаль был злее голоднее и зрелее достаточно чтобы наконец-то взять этот титул и плюс до этого уничтожил его как каток в париже, что тоже сыграло свою большую роль в матче на траве потом, 0-2 по сетам классное начало..и плюс если б моно решало тогда почему тогда он вернулся после этого в матч, конечно надаль тоже задрожал в важный момент, тоже ведь человек..но все-таки думаю с большим влиянием моно закончилось бы все намного раньше, т.к. федерюня б знал что у него моно да еще и дьявол сука надаль на пике рвет и мечет там бегает (наложилось все одно на другое)..и сломался бы очень быстро как результат
А я и не сказал, что всё решил мононуклеоз - знатный эффект домино вышел. Однако ярым фуфоглорам надо давать отпор так или иначе. А вообще ситуацию можно сравнить с тем же Надалем-2011 и его клиентством у Нуваче - не исключено, что разница между 2010 и 2011 во многом ментальная. Оба сезона начал с проигрыша Коле в Дохе и последующей микротравме на АО, после чего проиграл также ИУ и Маяму. Но в 2010 среди соперников тоже шла чехарда, и никто не мог помешать Руфусу набрать на песке конкретный конфиденс, с которым потом и следующие два шлемака взял; в 2011 же доминировал Нуваче, победами в ИУ-Майами установивший над Надалем шефство и последовательно его развивавший, не позволяя гишпанцу поднять яйца. Чем не нарратив?
 
Has anyone mentioned this possibility? During any stretch of his fabulous career, Federer always had a nemesis that he never could beat in the most important matches. From '04-15, it was Nadal. From '11 on, it was Djokovic.

People kept saying it was because Federer's backhand couldn't handle Nadal's high bouncing balls. But in his prime, Federer's backhand was the very best in tennis, and he was very adept at hitting the balls on the rise. And remember Djokovic never had trouble backhand-knocking Nadal's balls on the rise, albeit he has 2 hander.

Was it really the answer? Or was it an easy, but not correct, answer? I think Federer just has a lot of trouble with clutch players, because he knows he's not clutch himself. So in those moments, he waits for disaster to strike! So the trouble was always with Federer's head.
There's an element of truth to this. But one can't fault Federer entirely, I think it is mentally more exhausting to be in tight matches and pressure situations over and over again when you play Federers style.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Yeah a minority of points determine the better player, what is this idea lul. We know Nadal has traditionally been strongly disciplined under pressure while Federer has been rather inconsistent in that regard, allowing the former to happily collect chokes from all and sundry and the latter to bleed them. Yet your dull hubris is such that you like to assert the choke collector is the better player by virtue of being the best at collecting chokes, hohoho.
*Yawn* Obviously Nadal wins the majority of points still, but nice try with the strawman. If you can't win the points when the pressure is turned up the absolute max, then most of the time you're not better than the other player, it's as simple as that. Tennis isn't played by robots, so players will know consciously or subconsciously when they're playing a point how important it can be, and if you constantly choke under that pressure, it means you doubt your own ability against that player. Doubting your ability against specific players is learned. You could also argue Federer's aggressive style is more prone under pressure than Nadal's. Either way, it affects your hero's ability to win important points, and by consequence affects his ability to win important matches. That's seems like a pretty big flaw, and one you are trying to separate from his "actual tennis," in order to fill your cognitive bias that Federer must be better than Nadal. I don't envy your position bro, either Federer is simply worse than Nadal in those matches, or he was a choker. Pick your poison.

AO09 was an incredible match btw
 
*Yawn* Obviously Nadal wins the majority of points still, but nice try with the strawman. If you can't win the points when the pressure is turned up the absolute max, then most of the time you're not better than the other player, it's as simple as that. Tennis isn't played by robots, so players will know consciously or subconsciously when they're playing a point how important it can be, and if you constantly choke under that pressure, it means you doubt your own ability against that player. Doubting your ability against specific players is learned. You could also argue Federer's aggressive style is more prone under pressure than Nadal's. Either way, it affects your hero's ability to win important points, and by consequence affects his ability to win important matches. That's seems like a pretty big flaw, and one you are trying to separate from his "actual tennis," in order to fill your cognitive bias that Federer must be better than Nadal. I don't envy your position bro, either Federer is simply worse than Nadal in those matches, or he was a choker. Pick your poison.

AO09 was an incredible match btw
Yeah like I haven't been lamenting Fred's chokery for years, ha. And yet it frequently took Djokodal five excruciating sets to nake use of his choking abilities, and taking then so long to equal his accolades that they still haven't done it, being 33/34 themselves. What does it tell us? That Fedalovic are all overrated and tennis is pretty overrated in consequence. Sad but true.

Fred being evidently more prone to self-doubt than Djokodal, while painfully annoying on court, at least serves to demonstrate that he is intrinsically less arrogant than "you don't like the good tennis" and "me against the world", yet loving hordes gladly believe RAFA is divinely humbull, or (notwithstanding recent events) Nolé is a gentle misunderstood soul, entirely unlike the arrogantеrer. But what does it tell us about where the true arrogance lies?

At least I'm not denying Nadal (or Djokovic) supremacy should he take the bean count lead. Despite the current sad era, he's done quite enough over career and Federer bears significant fault for sustaining too many close losses. You and your like minds, however, go a sweet step further by asserting superiority on both fronts of career and peak, and anything in-between accordingly. I fancy you must be enjoying this act of putting the weak era vulture in his rightful last place quite a bit, feels great to have your narrative apparently validated. Because that's what it comes to per the inevitable force of logic: if Djokodal are better both ways, then all Federer seemingly has over them yet is nothing but a product of vulturing, as the humble prophets of your goatbases have been saying all along. Beautiful, brilliant, bold. All hail the triumphing ugliness.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Yeah like I haven't been lamenting Fred's chokery for years, ha. And yet it frequently took Djokodal five excruciating sets to nake use of his choking abilities, and taking then so long to equal his accolades that they still haven't done it, being 33/34 themselves. What does it tell us? That Fedalovic are all overrated and tennis is pretty overrated in consequence. Sad but true.

Fred being evidently more prone to self-doubt than Djokodal, while painfully annoying on court, at least serves to demonstrate that he is intrinsically less arrogant than "you don't like the good tennis" and "me against the world", yet loving hordes gladly believe RAFA is divinely humbull, or (notwithstanding recent events) Nolé is a gentle misunderstood soul, entirely unlike the arrogantеrer. But what does it tell us about where the true arrogance lies?

At least I'm not denying Nadal (or Djokovic) supremacy should he take the bean count lead. Despite the current sad era, he's done quite enough over career and Federer bears significant fault for sustaining too many close losses. You and your like minds, however, go a sweet step further by asserting superiority on both fronts of career and peak, and anything in-between accordingly. I fancy you must be enjoying this act of putting the weak era vulture in his rightful last place quite a bit, feels great to have your narrative apparently validated. Because that's what it comes to per the inevitable force of logic: if Djokodal are better both ways, then all Federer seemingly has over them yet is nothing but a product of vulturing, as the humble prophets of your goatbases have been saying all along. Beautiful, brilliant, bold. All hail the triumphing ugliness.
1. Doesn't necessarily prove he is *intrisically less arrogant* than either of them. Everything seems to be either this or that for you. Black or white. Nah, it's entirely possible people who are intrinsically more arrogant are far more prone to self-doubt. Or, lets assume not, it's also just a possibility the he is equally prone to self-doubt as Nadal and Djokovic are and yet performs worse than them because he's under more pressure against them. All possibilities.

2. Somehow the original post of mine trying to give Nadal his due for matches he actually wins are turned into me enjoying taking a crap on Federer? Too much reading into things.
 

victorcruz

Hall of Fame
He was his kryptonite. Fed has put on his kryptonite blocking suit since, and the tides have turned except on clay, which looks like will always be Rafa's domain.
 
1. Doesn't necessarily prove he is *intrisically less arrogant* than either of them. Everything seems to be either this or that for you. Black or white. Nah, it's entirely possible people who are intrinsically more arrogant are far more prone to self-doubt. Or, lets assume not, it's also just a possibility the he is equally prone to self-doubt as Nadal and Djokovic are and yet performs worse than them because he's under more pressure against them. All possibilities.

2. Somehow the original post of mine trying to give Nadal his due for matches he actually wins are turned into me enjoying taking a crap on Federer? Too much reading into things.
Genuine arrogance is obviously linked to self-surety... A person may act arrogant and obnoxious to cover for insecurity too, so an outsider may not tell the difference, but point is, that'd be deliberate acting, not the natural unthinking brimming confidence. Unless you operate on some considerably different concept of arrogance than one of an unreasonably strong feeling of personal superiority.

The due you want seems to be an admission of Rafi's superiority, is it not? Of course he played pretty damn well, otherwise he wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to 'extract chokes' from prime Federer/Djokovic in the first place, sure they're no pushovers. That isn't in doubt. If it's not enough, that you must want more...
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Genuine arrogance is obviously linked to self-surety... A person may act arrogant and obnoxious to cover for insecurity too, so an outsider may not tell the difference, but point is, that'd be deliberate acting, not the natural unthinking brimming confidence. Unless you operate on some considerably different concept of arrogance than one of an unreasonably strong feeling of personal superiority.

The due you want seems to be an admission of Rafi's superiority, is it not? Of course he played pretty damn well, otherwise he wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to 'extract chokes' from prime Federer/Djokovic in the first place, sure they're no pushovers. That isn't in doubt. If it's not enough, that you must want more...
The whole point is that an arrogant person overrates their own abilities, and takes great pride in what they percieve them to be. So put them in a situation where their self-perceived ability or image is put to the test, and a lot of self-doubt might come flooding in pretty fast. The more arrogant, the worse it might be. I shouldn't have to say this, because this is clearly a separate discussion, but I don't claim to know or assume the inner-workings of Roger Federer's mind.

Btw, I don't know how much research you've done on the topic, but a simple google search yielded this website which gave a pretty good rundown on the two types of arrogance: https://blog.cognifit.com/arrogance/

The due you want seems to be an admission of Rafi's superiority, is it not? Of course he played pretty damn well, otherwise he wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to 'extract chokes' from prime Federer/Djokovic in the first place, sure they're no pushovers. That isn't in doubt. If it's not enough, that you must want more...
Bruh, I'm not even of the opinion Rafa is the superior player when it comes to a general context, but when Rafa won an important match against prime Federer, it was because he was overall the superior player from the beginning of the match till the end of the match. Pretty simple stuff.
 
The whole point is that an arrogant person overrates their own abilities, and takes great pride in what they percieve them to be. So put them in a situation where their self-perceived ability or image is put to the test, and a lot of self-doubt might come flooding in pretty fast. The more arrogant, the worse it might be. I shouldn't have to say this, because this is clearly a separate discussion, but I don't claim to know or assume the inner-workings of Roger Federer's mind.
Insecurity-based arrogance is an act, fake airs, not real arrogance so to speak. Believing your abilities is the opposite of doubting them.

Federer's propensity to lose close matches has been constant throughout his career, since early years well before Nadal. For a while Nadal was obviously the only one good enough to regularly capitalise on that, but the cause has never been about him.

You seem happy to point out this is theorising but so are all our observations of another's mental processes since telepathy doesn't exist. I think I've a good idea since I watched a lot of Fred and care about the topic.

Bruh, I'm not even of the opinion Rafa is the superior player when it comes to a general context, but when Rafa won an important match against prime Federer, it was because he was overall the superior player from the beginning of the match till the end of the match. Pretty simple stuff.
Barely so for W08 - Federer forked up big time losing the first set with such superior DR, could've gone differently from there but oh well. Nadal lost the fourth set with better DR and MPs so that mostly evens out. Obviously not so for AO 09 given Federer won 1 more point despite the terrible fifth set. Massive failure at the end of the third set, exacerbated by such unsightly ending. It still counts for a pretty great match, sure, like AO 05 counts even if Fred lost it in an unclutch manner as well, that's on him.
 

ADuck

Hall of Fame
Insecurity-based arrogance is an act, fake airs, not real arrogance so to speak. Believing your abilities is the opposite of doubting them.

Federer's propensity to lose close matches has been constant throughout his career, since early years well before Nadal. For a while Nadal was obviously the only one good enough to regularly capitalise on that, but the cause has never been about him.

You seem happy to point out this is theorising but so are all our observations of another's mental processes since telepathy doesn't exist. I think I've a good idea since I watched a lot of Fred and care about the topic.
Look dude, to wrap up, I don't agree that you can measure a person's arrogance by looking at how often they choke in a tennis match, and make comparisons like "oh this person is less arrogant than that person because he chokes less." And since you're of the opinion we can't read peoples minds then I don't know why you would actually think that. In fact, I don't think you believe that, and you're just using this discussion as a way of making known your interpretations of the word "arrogance." Not that that's a bad thing man, I'm just bored and just want this part of the discussion to end.

Barely so for W08 - Federer forked up big time losing the first set with such superior DR, could've gone differently from there but oh well. Nadal lost the fourth set with better DR and MPs so that mostly evens out. Obviously not so for AO 09 given Federer won 1 more point despite the terrible fifth set. Massive failure at the end of the third set, exacerbated by such unsightly ending. It still counts for a pretty great match, sure, like AO 05 counts even if Fred lost it in an unclutch manner as well, that's on him.
The fifth set counts equally as much as the other sets unfortunately. And since you're pointing out points won, I can points out games won, and sets won. So unless I thought that tennis should just be one massive tiebreaker, I'm going with Nadal. One point isn't gonna change my mind.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
So I am a Federer and Nadal fan, originally just a Federer fan but then I learnt to appreciate what Nadal has done over time.

So this is a comparison from when they were in their best years. I think around 2010 onwards, Federer's greatest form had gone for good, and Nadal was beating him all during 2011-2015 easily but that was after Federer had lost his greatest form. Similarly now in 2017, Nadal over 30, he has lost half a step of one of his greatest assets - his speed. So this is a comparison when they were both in their prime.

It was quite amazing when Nadal emerged, Federer was dominating everyone, yet somehow from the very start Nadal was winning against Federer. Most interesting was Nadal was able to compete and beat Federer on Federer's best surface.

Consider Wimbledon 2007 and 2008. 2007 was probably Federer's greatest ever form in his best years, and Nadal was able to play to 5 sets in 2007, and beat him in 2008. This is the greatest grass court player of all time in his greatest years we are talking about which Nadal managed to beat.

2008 Wimbledon Federer was playing amazing, I was watching the whole tournament. He hadn't lost a set till the final and I don't think any player in the history of tennis could have beat 2008 Federer at Wimbledon. No Sampras, Borg or Prime Djokovic because he was playing that good. This is the reason why most experts in the world of tennis consider Wimbledon 2008 as the greatest final of all time, because of the level of tennis being played by both players - and the game still amazes me to this day from both players.

So what were the reasons that Nadal was so comfortable during their best years?

I think Federer's game matched up well for Nadal, Federer hits with amazing amounts of spin (just a bit below Nadal's spin rates), which is why he dominated the field except Nadal. But the combination of Nadal's amazing speed, and his extreme low to high racquet action meant he was always in the rally even when Federer would go for his classic winners - which Nadal could get back into play.

The Nadal forehand to Federer backhand was a factor of course. Federer did not have a weak backhand, he won many grand slams because of his backhand, neat, powerful and deadly accurate. Nadal would target around 70% of his shots to Federer's backhand and it gave him good success.

Nadal's passing shots were crucial as well. I have never seen a player in history hit passing shots like Nadal did in his prime. Federer for some reason approach the net against Nadal at the worst times and would always get passed during those years. It was painful to watch at times as a Federer fan. We have to remember Federer is probably the greatest at serve and volley in this current generation.

What do you think?
As a Djokovic and Nadal fan, it has been a privilege to watch these two legends play. Their dominance together at the top of the game took tennis to another level of physical prowess and mental tenacity. Their 2012 Australian Open final was the greatest match of all time, just insane shotmaking, unrelentingly high quality, and both players showing a willingness to suffer as much as it took to win the title. It was simply amazing to see Djokovic fight to his absolute limit and triumph over his great nemesis, especially after his brave performance in defeat at the US Open 2010 final.
Even though Federer has the most Grand Slam titles and dominated the longest, Nadal and Djokovic will always have a special place in my heart because they made tennis worth watching for me.

- Topspin FH to Federer's backhand prevented him from executing his gameplan
- Insane court coverage and fitness allowed him to defend against Federer's aggression much better
- After about 2008, the mental block became a huge factor too. Only once Nadal declined physically post-2014 could Federer regain the confidence that he could beat Nadal.
 
Look dude, to wrap up, I don't agree that you can measure a person's arrogance by looking at how often they choke in a tennis match, and make comparisons like "oh this person is less arrogant than that person because he chokes less." And since you're of the opinion we can't read peoples minds then I don't know why you would actually think that. In fact, I don't think you believe that, and you're just using this discussion as a way of making known your interpretations of the word "arrogance." Not that that's a bad thing man, I'm just bored and just want this part of the discussion to end.

The fifth set counts equally as much as the other sets unfortunately. And since you're pointing out points won, I can points out games won, and sets won. So unless I thought that tennis should just be one massive tiebreaker, I'm going with Nadal. One point isn't gonna change my mind.
If you universally equate winning the match with being the better player the statement is a tautology and there's no discussion indeed.
 

msc886

Professional
I think its because Nadal neutralises Federer’s game.

Federer’s game is based of winning points from attacking and hitting winners.

Nadal first neutralises this by going for Fed’s backhand with heavy spin. Fed finds it difficult to attack with his backhand when it kicks high so it makes it difficult. However when his backhand is working like WTF10 or AO17, then he does better.

Nadal is also fast so it makes it harder for Fed to hit winners.

Not just Nadal but guys who do well against Fed past and present have good movement and knows how to pepper Fed’s backhand.
 

ForehandRF

Hall of Fame
I think its because Nadal neutralises Federer’s game.

Federer’s game is based of winning points from attacking and hitting winners.

Nadal first neutralises this by going for Fed’s backhand with heavy spin. Fed finds it difficult to attack with his backhand when it kicks high so it makes it difficult. However when his backhand is working like WTF10 or AO17, then he does better.

Nadal is also fast so it makes it harder for Fed to hit winners.

Not just Nadal but guys who do well against Fed past and present have good movement and knows how to pepper Fed’s backhand.
The higher the bounce, the more Fed struggled on the backhand side and I really think that he was unlucky because they met mostly in those conditions, the only notable exception being Wimbledon.Had they met more in the second part of the year, in those times when the USO was faster, I think their rivalry could have been different.Just imagine Fed playing Nadal at the USO, in the 2000s, just as many times as he played Djokovic.
 

Zebrev

Hall of Fame
Federer has blasted him off the court since 2015, so I think the difference was mental. Nadal was the first guy to challenge Federer for number 1, and I think his superiority on clay probably caused some kind of Mental block for Federer which bled into the 2008 and 2009 finals.
 
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