I'm going to see the Rome final again so I can report on Nadal's backhand. Excellent! It'll be interesting to hear your analysis of stroke mechanics and tactics.
I've got it downloaded but didn't really look for the BH in particular at the time.
Quite a match.
Overall Nadal's BH looked good but it didn't bother Djokovic much.
The accuracy of the BH was very good.
Almost any player would have made a good share of UE's against it, but Djokovic was just as consistent.
Nadal seeing how the BH wasn't very effective started to moonball some, it did work for awhile as Djokovic didn't put the usual pace on returning it but besides that he was able to get it back effectively.
After awhile Djokovic started zeroing in on those moonballs and put quite a bit of pace on returning them, some were quite short but even though they were short they seemed to work early.
A player like Fed would have a terrible time with these on his BH side BTW.
On the BH side Nadal just had nowhere to go, nothing worked and even flattening out the BH didn't give it enough pace to bother Djokovic. The moonball was a way to mix things up and a last resort, but didn't work either after Djokovic adjusted to it.
Nadal was just outplayed, with consistency and pace. No traces of mental demons coming from Djokovic either, even after giving up a break immediately at one point.
I can't see anything seriously wrong with Nadal's BH, it seems to have consistency and pace as before, I have to retract my earlier statement.
Nadal has to find a way to put more pace on the BH and FH, without doing that Djokovic can get to almost everything and return it with at least the same consistency of Nadal and more pace.
Nadal always could get so many points just by using the topspin and clearance over the net to draw UE's, amazing that Djokovic is matching the consistency of Nadal and with more pace with less net clearance.
Djokovic's court coverage is even better with Nadal as his topspin shots give more time to get to the ball.
Nadal can't rely anymore on Djokovic's inconsistency, mental demons from past results, endurance problems and getting down on himself when broken.