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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Replay was just on Tennis Channel. What a great match. Way better than those boring Wimbledons labelled "best match ever". Federer was the better player and should have won that

Federer should go back to the 90in racket, he had so much more pop on his groundstrokes
 

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Overrated. 05 final was better. Strong username to thread topic ratio though.
 

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I still feel like that match was a bit of a turning point. Sure, Federer was struggling with Nadal from the very beginning of their "rivalry" in 2004, but after that Rome match it was like Nadal REALLY got in his head and Federer lost confidence that he could beat him, at least on clay (but to some extent also on other surfaces). Over the next couple of years Federer would often dominate patches of their matches on clay only to lose it all (like in the RG final a few weeks later), which is generally uncharacteristic behaviour of him and a sign that his confidence was shot against Nadal.
 

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Yes. His FH was lethal with the 90in racket. But he has improved his Volley with the new racket. But I would prefer him to play with the old racket, just for the FH
Yeah his forehand looked way better back then (especially his inside out one in my opinion, went from godlike to just average now). But I think he just isn't able to generate the same kind of shots anymore right now. His footwork and timing seem to have deteriorated too much for him to have perfect contact with the ball every time, making hitting with a 90in very difficult.
 

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Federer vs Nadal in a nutshell. Federer brilliant, easy, magnificent..but when it got tight, he would be the one that falters first.
 

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I just saw this on Tennis Channel a few hours ago, too.

Fed had double match point :haha:

Anyway, the match was really good. I still think the Wimbledon match was better; Fed's backhand was a lot more dangerous. In Rome, either he didn't hit it with much authority, or it just didn't have as much penetration. The only time his backhand actually looked dangerous was in the 5th set.
 

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They showed just before that the Coria/Nadal final from the year prior, which was equally great, especially from a sort of classic clay court tennis perspective, for whatever that's worth. The use of the court in that match was outstanding.

Really blows me away how people can look at matches like these and contest that Nadal had no competition on clay back then.

Even more amazing are those who genuinely believe Nadal has played better on clay in any of the last five years. Principally, he's the same player on clay now that he was back then. But back then, the errors were few and far in between, the gameplan was very disciplined, the footwork and movement were explosive, and the confidence was at a high. His game still topped off between '08 and '09, but some of those early clay expositions were among his best.
 

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Really shows how good Federer was in clay :) to be able to challenge best clay player off all time (with Borg) Without Nadal, he might be the king of clay, crazy :eek:
 

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Federer played as well as he did in this match on clay against Nadal. 1st set tiebreak was literally perfect by TMF and then Nadal; in his swashbuckling prime edged the next 2 sets. Everybody thought Federer couldn't find another gear in the 4th set, but he did in some style taking 6-2. Federer had all the momentum in the 5th set leading 4-2, 2 MP at 6-5, 5-3* in TB but couldn't reach the finish line.

Ironically what led Federer down in those important moments was his FH which was the very reason he got into those positions.

Compared to Monte Carlo 2006, his backhand stood up much better. Federer employed the tactic when in defensive position in BH side is to slice as close to the line as possible (force nadal to hit his BH side) and avoid the cross court reply as much as he can. This worked well for the 1st half of the match until Nadal adjusted by anticipating and running with the fearhand.

However, the biggest reason why Federer came so close to beating Nadal was his main playing style that day was like the prototype to the tactics employed at RG 2008 and AO
2014 by coming to the net as much as possible. It seldom failed that day even with the prowess of Nadal's passing shots.





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Really shows how good Federer was in clay :) to be able to challenge best clay player off all time (with Borg) Without Nadal, he might be the king of clay, crazy :eek:
Fed king of clay?:haha::haha::haha: He isn't better than Djokovic who defeated Nadal at every clay Masters:wavey::spit: Let's not even start talking about RG-11 in a sense that peak Djokovic was stopped by 29 y.o Fed because peak Fed was ROUTINED by half-injured Kuerten:lol::bigwave:
 

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Fed king of clay?:haha::haha::haha: He isn't better than Djokovic who defeated Nadal at every clay Masters:wavey::spit: Let's not even start talking about RG-11 in a sense that peak Djokovic was stopped by 29 y.o Fed because peak Fed was ROUTINED by half-injured Kuerten:lol::bigwave:
I don't think anyone is claiming that Federer is better than Djokovic on clay these days, but he certainly was for a very long time. Without Nadal, Federer would have been the big favourite to win RG every year that Nadal won it up to Djokovic hitting his prime in 2011 (where, ironically, Federer beat him at RG). In that sense he would have been "the King of clay" for that period in time, although I'm sure no one would ever regard him as a clay specialist in any shape or form.
 

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I don't think anyone is claiming that Federer is better than Djokovic on clay these days, but he certainly was for a very long time. Without Nadal, Federer would have been the big favourite to win RG every year that Nadal won it up to Djokovic hitting his prime in 2011 (where, ironically, Federer beat him at RG). In that sense he would have been "the King of clay" for that period in time, although I'm sure no one would ever regard him as a clay specialist in any shape or form.
Yeah, this is my opinion too.
 

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Do not forget that Rafa did not have all those clay titles in Monte Carlo,Rome,Hamburg,FO or Barcelona when he played Federer in 2005,2006,2007 and Federer was so dominant everywhere. As Tio Toni said if it was not Federer Nadal could be #1. That was in Tio Toni'head. Fed to stay at #1 needed to get to all those F' on clay to gain points so you have their H2H. Media/press ,J McEnroe said many times Nadal is the real #1. When Fed lost at W08 he could play
somewhere else just to keep his #1 but he did not but Fed was in 3 GS' F' this year and won only USO.Then in 2009 he was in all 4 GS'F' and won two of them . In 2010 he won AO and then all at once
he stopped to play in any F of GS. In 2011 he tried to win FO again
in 2012 he won Wimbeldon . in 2014 he was in F in Wiimbeldon again
 
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