Can Federer dent Nadal’s dominance?

Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer will compete on Friday at Roland Garros. They are the two best players, without a doubt, and maybe someone else will pass them. 

But not now, because not only are they so intelligent, on court, they are also brilliant when they decide which way they will go.

They both have a bundle of assets: their heavy serves, their smart returns, their famous forehands, how they can slide, and they put it away on the net. 

But, it has been different on clay, in Paris. Nadal has beaten Fed five times at Roland Garros. The last time was in 2011, when the Spaniard knocked off the Swiss 7-5 7-6(3) 5-7 6-1. That was a good contest, because the other four matches on the dirt in Paris, Nadal beat him fairly easy. 

Now, obviously Federer is much more comfortable on hardcourts, and he has beaten Nadal five times in a row from 2015-2017. At the 2017 Australian Open at the beginning, Federer had finally improved his backhand, where before, Nadal would just push him back, with a very dense topspin, and deep, and the Swiss couldn’t move forward. Federer finally would put his head down. However, on the AO, he began to leap early with his backhand, before the ball jumped up, so he could flatten it out, down the line, for a winner. Federer won 6-3 in the fifth. He was thrilled.

But that was totally different. On the hardcourt, or on grass, the Swiss is more positive. Federer is almost always confident, on every thing, which is why he was won 20 Slams. But he has never found out how to shake Nadal on clay. After all, Mr. Rafa has won 11 majors at RG. He has been the most dominant player. 

Both men have lost one set, in the first five matches. Both of them have played excellent ball, overall. Federer has won this tournament once, in 2017. Can he do it again and stop Nadal on clay? It is possible, if he can push himself hard. But Nadal has beat him 23 times, and Federer has won 16 matches. Does that prove that the 17-time champion Nadal is a better player? Overall, it might be a toss-up, but on clay, Nadal locks in and he out-hits Federer. In the semis, Nadal will win in four tough sets.

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