By now what's happened is this: EVERYTIME Nadal is able to engage Federer's backhand, it registers as an insult in Federer's fast vanishing marbles. His EXTREME attempt to ensure he forehands EVERYTHING makes that spectacle even more hurtful AND conspicuous AND public.
It's as close to losing a set everytime he is denied forehanding - at this point.
And this BS about "I am looking forward to the challenge of facing Nadal" is just that. BS. You have crossed that freaking bridge when you were in your cheap dirty diapers by now. Today, you can guarantee that Federer's heart sinks just by the mere mention of Nadal's name - ANYWHERE. To actually have him in your half of the draw is like being drained of 50% of your motivation. To actually play him is now stark humiliation - even before the match starts, that is.
For Nadal, this is the time to vent all frustration Federer's comments on the schedule, his 'one-dimensional' game, Mowgli likeness, refusing Diana any access to Nadal, Wimbledon loss......have evoked in the past. Even though Federer may have drained most of the juice from a Nadal win today based on his record lately, the history between the two fails to deter either one from inflicting the most pain possible. There IS no forget and forgive when you are both after the most Slam record - the ultimate determining factor for GOAT status.
What works for Federer?
Surface? Federer has not only defeated Nadal on the surface, he has dished bagels and breadsticks. Of the ten wins against Nadal, six have come on this surface.