Why the Nadal/Federer H2H is bogus


It had to be an essay because it's a comprehensive analysis of several stats. The analysis is pretty straightforward and demonstrates that Federer was significantly more consistent than Nadal in reaching their projected matches when conditions favored the opponent.
A comprehensive attempt at cherry-picking facts in order to suit a fan-biased agenda.

Am I right or am I right, Fedfan?


I actually copied the original thread title that the original poster made lol, I should have updated it to a more "Nadal friendly" title.

In the end though I'm merely showing the stats to us Nadal fans that Federer is indeed better on grass and hardcourt. This really goes without saying

The stats say 24:16 or 10:4 whatever you like. If you cared about grass and hc you would have chosen a different title Mr. Nadal fan lmao


Hall of Fame
Why ludicrous?

No second serve in other racket sports...

Two serve is what's ludicrous. Or why not give give baseliners a chance to repeat a FH or BH?

The point is two serves are part of the game and have been so since its inception. It can be changed. But that is very different from the defiance of already established rules to favour certain players. So the question remains, what would the H2H be if the rules as they are now, were actually enforced?


H2H is very subjective often due to numerous circumstances. Some include older player facing younger player who is entering the prime of their tennis career or a "green" inexperienced player taking losses against an established player as Djokovic suffered four early losses to Federer as he was moving up the ranks. However, this entire thread is a bit bogus.

Nadal is 12-5 against Federer in best-of-five sets. This includes 3-1 in the Australian Open and he also has a winning record in "Outdoor" hardcourts (8-6). They never played a best-of-five set match on indoor HC so who knows how the 2010 ATP Final would've ended? In addition, Nadal defeated a prime Fed in 2008 Wimbledon and Federer never got one win against Nadal in RG (0-6). Moreover, Nadal got wins in faster deco turf courts as Dubai and Cincy while also enjoying wins in Laykold (Miami) and Plexiplave (Indian Wells). Sure, if they played more Grass the H2H might be different, but the fact remains that Federer lost many key matches on surfaces OUTSIDE of clay.

Federer is 12-23 against the other "big three" in best-of-five sets while Nadal is 23-12 and Djokovic is 18-18 against the other "big three." Finally, imagine if we had Green Clay (Har-Tru) as a second slam as the US Open in the mid-1970's or as a M1000 then Nadal may have a more favorable H2H against Federer. Their match distribution was 20 HC, 16 Clay, and 4 Grass. Federer avoided Clay courts often which kept Nadal at 14-2. Federer should've played the QF at RG in 2021.

To rate Sampras higher than Nadal is preposterous. Considering that Sampras never won RG (not even a final) and he didn't accomplish as much in national representation (Olympics, Davis Cup). Nadal is 29-1 in Davis Cup (only loss in Carpet as a teenager) and he won 2 Gold Medals in Hard Courts (1 Singles, 1 Doubles). Finally, Nadal has the highest best-of-five set winning pct of all time 88.44% (329-43) compared to Sampras at about 81 pct.
Nadal had losing h2h till recently not sure he still has.
Please post the stats that show Rafa having a losing H2H against the top 10. Would love to see this.

He defended 1 HC title over a 17 year career

Firstly, it is a faily obscure stat that has to be dug up to discredit the guy leading the slam count. Not even sure what it is achieving considering he has as many hardcourt slams as Agassi and one less than Sampras and a winning slam HC H2H over Federer. Secondly, there have been a few ocassions where Nadal didn't enter a tournament as the defending champion due to injury. Considering he is the slam leader despite the injury plagued career is quite the achievement.


Nadal is the only one of the "Big three" to have 20 or more titles in two or more surfaces. Ivan Lendl won 28 or more titles in three surfaces (Carpet, Clay, and Hard Courts). Guys like Mcenroe, Connors, Borg, and Laver all have done 20 or better in 2 different surfaces. Laver also won multiple five-set-finals in five different surfaces (Wood, Clay, Grass, HC, and Carpet) so using the multiple surface paradigm may not always reflect positively on recent players. The modern player has 3 surfaces played mostly in best-of-three set matches. Even Davis Cup and ATP Finals no longer include best-of-five set matches. Yet, we must deduce that the "big three" are by default superior to Laver, Gonzales, and Borg.
Just read this --- not sure why you aren't getting this through your tiny skull, but Fed is again MUCH superior to Nadal on grass and hardcourt, and please don't give me their H2H again which has continued to narrow over the last decade or so. If Nadal was superior, he'd have more hardcourt and grass titles. Fed completely dwarfs him in that area

If you even read the first sentence I simply copy and pasted what someone else wrote. Secondly, all you had to do was read the "overall" points at the top to see the summary, which clearly concludes Fed is a better grass and hardcourt player than Nadal (which is quite sad that it even needs to be said in the first place considering this shouldn't be a shock to anyone)

How is someone superior with a 1 - 3 H2H deficit at hardcourt slams?

Let's take into consideration also that Nadal's game had matured to the point of being able to win slams outside of RG from 2008 onwards (Nadal turned 22 years old that year). Let's look at Fed's hardcourt slam wins before and after that point:

2003 - 2007: 7 slams (AO 2004, 2006, 2007 & USO 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007)
2008 - 2022: 4 slams (AO 2010, 2017, 2018 & USO 2008)

Fed won 63% of his slams before Nadal's game had matured on hardcourts at slam level. Of the four won after that, Nadal would have been the favourite at the 2010 AO had he not succumbed to injury and Djokovic would have been heavily favoured to win in 2018 had he not had injury issues. In other words, he vultured two of the other four slams he won on hardcourts.

Let's leave the issue of vulturing aside though and look at a Nadal / Federer comparison:

From 2008 - present Fed has won four HC slams (I chose that time period for reasons previously stated). During this time period Federer was aged 27 - 41.
From 2013 - present Nadal has won four HC slams. During this period Nadal was aged 27 - 36 (comparing against Fed in the same age bracket).

Four titles each and Nadal leads the H2H 3 - 1. For the last time no, Fed is not superior to Nadal on hardcourts. He benefited from a vacuum in power between 2003 and 2007 and then played third wheel to Djokovic / Nadal since.