Eras in Federer’s career

by thriding

2004-2007

It is a universally-accepted truth that Federer’s peak years were 2004-2007. These four years’ 16 slams:

  • Federer 11 titles
  • Nadal 3 titles
  • 1 each for Safin and Gaudio

During this period Federer beat Nadal once on clay (Hamburg) once on outdoor hard court (Miami) and twice on grass (Wimbledon)

2008-2011

During the following four years Federer bobbed around the top 3 rankings. The 16 slams were divided up:

  • Nadal 7 titles
  • Djokovic 4 titles
  • Federer 4 titles
  • Del Potro 1 title

Federer continued to beat Nadal indoors, but had no victories over him on outdoor hard courts or grass: the 2009 Madrid final on clay was the only outdoor success.

2012

Given Federer’s losses at the Australian Open and the French Open we cannot say we have seen a return to the 2004-2007 version, but we can at least note two things about 2012:

  • he beat Nadal on an outdoor hard court at Indian Wells 
  • he won a slam title while beating his highest-ranked rival in the process. 

He acheived neither of these things in the 2008-2011 period.

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