Not quite...he's not rolling directly his way into a match against Fed or Nole. He has been struggling with his movement throughout.
I don't think now Rafa has a problem only against Nole....the title of this thread should now read "rafa's game plan in tennis". He is really not finding his rhythm. Its frustrating to watch.
Rafa has now lost this year to 1) Djokovic and 2) Federer. Really frustrating to watch huh? He's been just the same in all his matches leading up to those losses.
Not enough to actually be bothered by anyone yet. The closest he came to being bothered was against Berdych and we know Berdych can give anyone fits for a set or two and that's exactly what happened. Nadal was just as impressive if not more so than Roger in that Australian Open and of course we know what happened there - he was up a break and one game from beating Djokovic and winning.
I'm not saying he's unbelievably in form but if we stop holding our players up to their VERY PEAK standards (Fed 2006, Djokovic Jan-Sep 2011, Nadal March - Sep 2010) then we're always going to find fault with everyone. Each one of these players has hit a certain peak that, in hindsight, is good enough to destroy his main rivals today but that's not how tennis works. To say Rafa has been struggling
with his movement is pretty far-fetched, the guy is still very much the number 2 player in the world despite Fed's recent surge, he's still a favorite over EVERYONE but Djokovic and even then, with Novak's 2 losses on hard-courts this year, Nadal is easily the favourite on clay - you can't do this with struggling movement.
You can say things like he isn't moving like he's used to moving on clay, or back when he won Miami two years ago, or he isn't hitting his backhand with the same authority that he did in 2010, but you can't say he isn't finding his rythm or has lost his game plan because as far as I am concerned the match against Fed was the only one this year where he seemed a little questionable. He even had Djokovic on the ropes at the AO, you can't say he's had a terrible game plan or hasn't had any rythm.