Fan’s View: Why Can’t Roger Federer Beat Rafael Nadal?

by on March 7th, 2015
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Another chapter in the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry was written in the semifinal of the 2012 Australian Open.

Yet again, Nadal defeated Federer and pushed his all-time record in the matchup to 18-9 in Nadal’s favor. In Grand Slam events Nadal leads 8-2, including 6-2 in Slam finals. Their semifinal match this year was just their second ever Grand Slam matchup outside the finals; Nadal defeated Federer in the semifinals of the 2006 Australian Open.

Federer has always had difficulty against Nadal, possibly due to playing surface, as well as the tournament and age.

In Grand Slams, Federer has only defeated Nadal at Wimbledon. From 2003 to 2009, Roger Federer reached the finals of every Wimbledon tournament. He won every year from 2003-2007, and in 2009. Federer and Nadal squared off in the finals each year from 2006 to 2008. Federer was champion in 2006 and 2007, while Nadal was victorious in 2008. The 2007 final against Rafael Nadal resulted in a five-set match that took nearly four hours, with Federer coming out on top. Not be outdone, the following year the pair matched up for possibly the greatest match in Wimbledon–if not tennis–history, with Nadal coming out on top in five sets.

Since Federer’s victory over Nadal in the 2007 final, Federer hasn’t beaten Nadal in any Grand Slam matches.

Federer is the better on grass courts, but Nadal holds the advantage on other surfaces. Federer is 2-1 against Nadal on grass, but 2-12 on clay. Both are considered the greatest clay court players of the era, but Nadal is clearly superior. Federer is 0-5 against Nadal at the French Open, losing in four finals to him.

On hard surfaces, Federer is 4-0 at indoor courts, but Nadal is 5-1 while outdoors. While the records even out to 5-5, it favors Nadal, since the Australian Open and U.S. Open are both held outdoors. The ball moves slightly quicker inside. which favors Federer. Outdoors, Nadal is better equipped to handle the slightly varying conditions.

One factor to also consider in their rivalry is age. Federer is currently 30, five years Nadal’s superior. Federer was in his prime from 2004-2009. but his overall performance has dropped in recent years. He hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the 2010 Australian Open, and he has only reached a single Grand Slam final over his past eight major tournaments. Since 2008, the rivalry has been dominated by Nadal. They have matched up 13 times. and Nadal was victorious in 10 of those.

Federer is still a great player, but he just can’t seem to match up with Rafael Nadal anymore. Clearly. he is one of the best of all time, but Nadal has been the superior player for the past few years.

This author has been a tennis aficionado for the past nine years.

Source: John Pye, Nadal stops Federer, Daily

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