I just can't believe my eyes when I watch Roger Federer play Tennis. If Federer is playing anyone other than Rafael Nadal, he is every bit the King of Tennis we've come to expect of him. His shot making & confidence defy believability. As a beginning Tennis Enthusiast, Roger Federer has risen the Bar to levels even my favorite Andre Agassi couldn't comprehend and yet when Rafael Nadal is standing on the opposite side of the Court, who is this guy?
He transforms into a player that even I feel at times could mount a formidable challenge against. Now many would state, Nadal's shots are so extremely heavy with top spin which shoot away from you instead of at you which is what we normally contend with, that anyone will look like an Amateur against Nadal.
Problem isn't what Roger has to deal with, what I question are his tactics when playing Nadal. Roger's aggressive play level drops significantly. His Net play appears without technique and commitment. Roger Federer, approaches his matches against Nadal with seemingly total lost of confidence in execution and executing shots is absolutely what you must do. From point number one, you must play with determination to win every point possible.
You must work to keep yourself in Offense at all times and yet time after time, I see Roger Federer putting himself in a position that immediately sets forth a Defensive position and once you're on defense with Nadal, you've just lost the point.
Rafael Nadal does not beat himself at any moment of a Match. Rafael Nadal plays each & every point as if the Match depended on the outcome. Roger Federer impressed me the absolute most when he played Andre Agassi in the Men's Finals at the US Open. He played an incredible match against Agassi who played better than I'd ever seen him play in the past. Not even the great Pete Sampras could have beaten Andre on that day and I doubt Nadal would have either but there was Roger Federer who took the pounding that Agassi gave him and added more of his own.
Well that Federer is not the guy who plays Rafael Nadal. From the French Open lost in 2008, he has been a very different Roger Federer and I'm starting to wonder if that beating permanently altered what history will write about Roger Federer from this juncture on.
The guy that's been playing Nadal in the Finals is not the guy who's going to break records. This guy is going to render himself as 2nd Best in the World on all surfaces as it would seem.
Conclusion: Roger Federer may break Pete Sampras' record of total Grand Slam wins but until he learns to dominate Rafael Nadal on the Courts of Public Opinion, Rafa not FedEx will go down in History as the GOAT