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Good old times, I remember Federer turning around several of these rivalries very well (Hewitt, Agassi, Naldbandian, Henman...).

This'd be my biggest gripe with Fred's strategy on return of 2nd serve, he'd just hit a bland slice in the middle of court, which gave Nadal the initiative. I'd really like somebody to analyse the break point opportunities for Fred in RG 2005-2007, I'm wondering how many of break points ended with the combination of "Nadal's serve AD wide, Fred hits a slice, Nadal hits a forehand".
Yep, from my memory it was basically that together with Nadal often mixing it up and going to the FH on break point.

I think a general case can be made that Federer's 2nd serve return on the backhand (you may add to that Nadal's sliced first serve back then, especially the one out wide, because it was basically no more than a good second serve) is the main reason his returning isn't up there with the absolute best. His issue with playing Nadal is just the most glaring example of this hampering him; he has had inconsistent days on his backhand throughout his career, but his returning has often made things more difficult for him than necessary (e.g. BP conversion...) and has been bugging me a lot more personally.
 

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