After hearing the news that Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon, I was dissapointed as much as I was excited. On the one hand, Federer has improved his chances by fifty percent; on the other hand, he has been deprived of bettering his head to head record against Nadal.
It seems as if Nadal has always managed to time his head to head against Federer. Earlier during their Rivalry, they rarely met except on clay. This enabled Roger to effortlessly collect his grand slams, but to always come up short on clay. All their other matches were also played on clay, allowing Nadal to significantly boost his record.
Then, as Nadal started improving on other surfaces, Federer was diagnosed with mono. During this weaker period of Federer's, they kept bumping into each other on surfaces such as grass and hardcourts allowing Nadal to improve the record once more.
Now, suddenly, as Federer is coming into something of a resurgence in creativity, Nadal goes into hiding once again, first by losing in the fourth round at the French, then by pulling out of Wimbledon when Federer obviously has the mental advantage.
Their rivalry has a wave like formation, yet it seems as if their head to heads have come at a time that benefits Nadal rather than Federer. Look at the way Federer could have taken revenge after Wimbledon at the US Open.
Where was Nadal? He didn't turn up. And then at the Australian Open, he turns up once again just at the right time to plant those demons in Fed's head.
Federer did a good thing ultimately at the Australian Open. As uncomfortable as it may have been to watch, he exorcised his demons right there in front of the crowd. Months later, he beat Nadal in Madrid and then then of course, took the French Open.
If this rivalry is to ultimately determine their greatness, then why does Nadal only show up when it's convenient to him?
In the end, these two champions can't be judged on their head to head. Federer's greatness can't be judged based on his ability to beat Nadal and Nadal's greatness can't be judged on his ability to beat Federer's records. No two lives are equal.