Mr. CD, I know this thread is regarding Federer, but I respect your observations regarding Mr. Nadal, as you have obviously been focused on him quite a while. Why do you think he is running around his backhand? Is this some strategy for trying to match up better with Djokovic?
he is a creature of habit general masterclass. when faced with a little confrontation, he always tries to climb inside his little comfort zone.
the problem is that now too many players can take advantage of the court he leaves open when he is running around his backhand.
there are 4 other problems associated with this:
1. he is not as fleet footed as he once was so he cant cover that open court when he is in his backhand corner trying to hit forehands.
2. players knows exactly what he is going to do in those various situations so they are expecting it
3. his forehand lacks the velocity that it once had. so he is not doing the damage we are used to see him do with his topsin forehand of death
4. the more he runs around his backhand, the worse it gets in any particular match. he starts to return more poorly off that wing and he loses even more confidence in that stroke.
finally he doesnt listen to anybody. he is just going to do things his way and that is one of the reasons why his game has shown zero improvements in 15 months.