I believe the OZ's assumption is a bit off, coz lively balls doesn't equal automatic Rafa advantage in my book.
Lively balls means more advantage for serve and flat striking, while slower balls means more retrieved balls and less serve advantage, which is what the main guys' advantage comes from.
More lively balls sounds to me as advantage for serve bots, aggressive players and technical shot makers, so Todd's assumption might be actually wrong.
If i had to chose the balls to play a solid retriever, i'd take the fasted balls possible, so i can put him under pressure starting with the serve and take advantage a bit easier from longer rallies, where taking the BH on the rise puts him a bit in uncomfortable position.
coz with fluffier dead balls there's nothing an attacking player can do against a very good retriever.
You're confusing lively balls with fast balls man. I think Todd Woodbridge, a doubles legend with multiple grandslams has a litte more clarity on this than you and I can vouch for it.
It's quite ironic, what you've said in bold is "EXACTLY" the "OPPOSITE" to how matters actually are. Fluffier balls mean it requires a greater amount of effort to generate revolutions on the ball. You cannot put much topspin on a tennis ball that has fluff around it because the fluff surrounding the balls surface makes the ball less "aerodynamic". This basically means whilst it's travelling in a circular (Revolutions) motion through the air, doing 360 degree spins over and over, the fluff sticks out and catches the air slowing the ball's rotations down. Fluffy balls may allow player's with a less attacking game to grind out points, but they're not good for those that use huge amounts of topspin. Again, lively refers to the amount of action the ball has when making contact with the surface with spin on it. They don't refer to how fast the ball travels through the air which would help those with flatter groundstrokes.