A lot of arm-chair Nadal fanboys keep touting the stat that in Grand Slam Finals, Nadal has a 5-2 head to head record against Federer and hence Federer hasn’t “dominated” Rafa.
But these guys completely miss the point (which all tennis legends like Sampras, Agassi, Laver, Mcenroe and Becker accept):
Nadal didn’t even make ONE U.S. Open final during Federer’s reign!!!
ZILCH. ZERO. Not ONE SINGLE final in the 5 YEARS Federer won.
Why should we bother about Federer losing to Nadal, if we don’t scrutinize Nadal losing to weak players in US and Aus Opens? In fact, Nadal lost to way lower ranked Soderling in 4th round of his FAVOURITE surface after winning 4 times. Federer has lost ONLY in the finals of Wimbledon since his 1st win in 2003 and NEVER lost US Open after he first won it in 2004.
Nadal is extremely inconsistent in Hardcourt Slams. (Update: 27/Jan/2011, Nadal has crashed out of Aus Open in Quarters! )
Considering Roger’s awesome hardcourt Slam record, the head to head would easily be in FEDERER’s favour of at least 8-5 (4 US Open wins and 2 Aus Open wins in Federer’s prime).
By refusing to acknowledge Nadal’s miserable hard court slam record, and refusing to see Federer’s total dominance in US Open, the head -to-head stat supporters are PUNISHING Federer for his CONSISTENCY in reaching FINALS of ALL slams, and REWARDING Nadal for his failure in U.S.Open and Aus Open.
Absolutely ridiculous. Basically Nadal fanboys have been devastated by Federer’s French open win and the fact that he has been declared the Greatest Tennis Player of ALL Time by none other than Sampras, Agassi, Lendl, McEnroe etc etc.
The right way to check slam dominance, is to take up ALL THE SLAMS in which BOTH Nadal and Federer participated and check the winning percentage you find that Nadal is way inferior to Federer than Agassi was to Sampras (and not otherwise as Nadal fanboys love to believe). When you add the 2 Wimbledons, 4 Aus Opens and 5 US Opens that Nadal and Federer haven’t met in, but Federer won 2 , 3 & 5 of those Slams respectively, you get the TRUE picture.
Over time, Federer will dominate sports history books, while Nadal may remain a footnote (unless he starts winning 10more slams…)
To quote a fellow tennis enthusiast & blogger (see comments section below): “…Roger leads (Rafa) 29-20 and 35-23, in the Same Tournament Entered and the Titles in Total Tournaments Available, respectively. On top of that Roger leads 12-6 in the Same 21 Grand Slams Played.”
This is an awesome stat and once and for all makes the lousy “Roger didn’t dominate Rafa” argument completely untenable. Read the full analysis here which debunks the popular myth that Roger never dominated Rafa. A better and more statistically valid data set to measure GOAT and true Grand Slam head to head is the above mentioned “Same 21 Grand Slams Played”. Click here to read more: There’s More to Nadal and Federer Than Head-To-Head Meetings
Update: May 30, 2010
To put all debates to rest, Nadal himself now admits Roger Federer is better with simple, cold logic in an interview. Read the article here : Roger’s still better, says Nadal
“If someone says I’m better than Roger, I think they know nothing about tennis,” Nadal said…
“You see his titles, you see my titles. There’s no comparison.
It’s difficult to compare Roger with me right now. He has 16 Grand Slams, I have six. Roger’s records might be impossible to beat.”
Despite Federer’s more tightly-packed trophy cabinet, Nadal has a 14-7 head-to-head record against his rival and has won six of their last seven encounters.
The 24-year-old Mallorca man, however, believes that is indicative of nothing more than the Spaniard’s famed ability on clay. “I am number two in the world for five years now,” he said.
“I think I am a good number two. Sure, I can beat him, number two can beat number one. I can beat him, but I beat him a lot of times on clay. I’ve played with him more times on clay than on the rest of the surfaces.”