Hi Fedfamily, I hope you are all doing just great. I have done posts about the Fedal rivalry in the past but it never seems to get old. It is just such a complicated and intense rivalry that there is so much a can write about it. The Fedal rivalry became a big talking point once again after their semi-final meeting in Melbourne. Ever since I have mentioned it a lot in my writing, to the dismay of some. So I think it is a good time to look at the rivalry again and get it out of the way. For now anyway. I personally felt the meeting in Melbourne was quite a telling one. When Roger destroyed Nadal at the Masters Cup at the end of last year I thought he had finally gotten the monkey off his back, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as they met in a really telling match it was all too obvious how deep Nadal was in R0ger’s head.
I think from here on it will be very hard for Roger to beat Nadal in a major. Maybe he will have some chances at Wimbledon and the US Open, but it’s a long shot. The match up issue in the mental, physical, and tactical department all counts against Roger. First of all Nadal is more of a fighter than Roger. He is also more clutch. I can already hear some people getting their knickers in a twist over that statement, but it is simply a fact. Nadal’s fighting mindset means he must exert himself a lot physically and mentally, which means he will not have the same longevity as Roger. In the physical department Nadal is clearly stronger than Roger as well. Something I have noticed in their last few matches is how Nadal out muscles Roger. He is simply stronger. And we all know about the tactical department.
The fact that Nadal is left handed and hits with huge topspin from the forehand side means that he can exploit Roger’s less-then-perfect one-handed backhand. That is the central point of the tactical match up. There are more things of course, like the fact that Nadal runs down every ball imaginable until Roger’s gets frustrated. As you can see, this is the worst possible match up for Roger. Literally everything counts against him. This is why the head-to-head doesn’t bother me too much. I don’t know if there ever has been or ever will be a perfect tennis player. For me Roger is as close as they come. So there is no need to keep harping on the fact that he can’t figure Nadal out. Like I said, Roger may not be as much of a fighter as Nadal, but that has it’s up side as well. Nadal will eventually burn out mentally and physically, while there is no telling how long Roger can still play for.
It is just not Roger’s personality to grind and win ugly. This is something my readers brought up after my last post as well. It is something that bothers me sometimes, but in the end I prefer it that way. We will leave the grinding and ugly winning for Nadal. Why should Roger change his personality to become more like Nadal, just because it is a bad match up for him? Roger is the one with all the records, not Nadal. Head-to-head is clearly a lot less important that the kind of records Roger has. I think for Roger to overcome Nadal he may have to change his personality, but it is clearly not worth the effort. As long as he ends up with the most slams I don’t care about the head-to-head. Nadal’s resume isn’t very balanced anyway. He has won only two hard court slams so far and will struggle to win more with Djokovic around.
As far as I’m concerned he is simply not GOAT material. He has far too many limitations. He is essentially a one-dimensional player. He is mainly a defensive base liner who excels on clay. He has done very well to adapt his game for faster surfaces, but it will never be his strength. Indoors for instance he has a poor record comparatively. He also hasn’t spent nearly enough time in the number one spot to be GOAT material. So even though Nadal owns Roger in the head-to-head, it doesn’t matter much. The people who say Roger can’t be the GOAT because of a bad match up don’t know what they are talking about. Roger is still the most complete player in history with the most impressive records. That is the exact criteria for GOAT status and Roger is comfortably ahead of the rest in those regards. RF forever!