Originally Posted by evilmindbulgaria
Please, quote a post of mine where I claim to "know better". By not adjusting his game I meant the following:
When Federer lost their first meeting at Roland Garros in 2005, he went for his shots, tried to keep the points short and, as a result, made a huge number of UEs. After this match Federer has had 4 more chances to play Rafa at Roland Garros and he employed the same playing strategy, even saying in the process (ironically, before the 2008 Final if I am not mistaken) that he is getting very close to beating Rafa in Paris. How so, nothing really changed. Even worse, Federer became very passive (so untypical of him)on break points, especially on Rafa's weak second serves.
I am not a tennis specialist so I can't be certain what adjustments would have helped Federer. I, and pretty much any commentator during their matches, am merely observing that Federer played "his game" over and over again with the same result. If I were to offer a suggestion, I would say go for broke on Rafa's slow second serves, cover entirely your backhand side when Rafa is serving from the Ad-court and let him beat you with a serve on the Tee. That, of course, does not guarantee anything, but could result in Federer breaking Rafa more and having a greater chance to win.
I don't think Fed didn't think about adjustments, I think at some point of his career he even hired a coach specifically to improve on clay. It's just Rafa is too good on clay, Fed beat him 2 times out of 14, it's not much, but I don't know if you can find someone who's beaten Rafa consistently on clay. I think everyone must accept that Rafa is the best on that surface. Maybe winning Rome finals in 2006 wouldn't have hurt and would have given Fed a win over Rafa on clay BO5 (memo for Fed: match points have to be taken!)
On the remaining surfaces H2H is slightly in Fed's favour (8-6). I think the worst thing in his H2H are 2 losses on HC at the Australian Open. Surface is slowish, but I think Fed should have found a way to win one (especially in 2009). I still don't get how he crumbled in the fifth set (to be honest he should have found a way to win before that but still).
They never met at the USO when Fed won his 5 titles there, so we'll never know what would have happened when Fed was at his best there. That's not Rafa's or Fed's fault BTW.
Anyway I think it's obvious H2H will remain in Rafa's favour by a lot of wins (at least 5+).