For long now it had been considered that Federer wasn’t able to beat Nadal because of the apparent mental block he had against the spaniard. Federer’s early encounters with Nadal were mostly played on clay, something that affected Federer’s approach to playing him even on other surfaces, a fact that even Federer agrees to.
Uncharacteristically, Federer used to go on the defensive against Nadal, allowing Nadal to play the game at his pace and dictate terms from the baseline. He tried to mix things up later in their rivalry but till then the mental block and turned it a big black boulder.
But the last 3 occasions against Nadal have been different. When you sometimes face an opponent too often and go down against him too often, you stop thinking clearly. Time off the court and time off Nadal helped Federer reassess his strengths and weaknesses with respect to him(Nadal). And that is the major reason that Fedal 2.0 belongs to Roger Federer.
He has enjoyed the long break in their rivalry because that has helped him treat Nadal like a new player all together, and not look at him from the lens of the old Federer that was so often tormented by Nadal. Tonight was the third time he beat Nadal in a row, this time completely sweeping him off court with his strong baseline play. In less than an hour Federer romped to a 6-2, 6-3 win and with Djokovic knocked out by Kyrgios and Murray making an early exit, it seems Federer could have his name on that elusive Indian Wells trophy.
This is how Twitter reacted to Federer’s sweet, sweet victory over Nadal.
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