Actually, Nadal did pretty good in 2011 on hard-court given that it's his least natural surface. Heíd made 4 hardcourt finals (1 Major final, 2 Masters and Tokyo) after all but only got beaten by the likes of Nole, Andy etc., who happen to be very natural on this surface. But otherwise he was clearly the 2nd best player in 2011 and had Nole not seen a super rise to his highest level, Nadal would have been the winner of 14 slams. So Nole did do considerable damages to Nadal but thatís how the competition goes. Nadal had claimed quite a few Slams over Federer as well to be fair. Itís a two way street. You have to deal with whoever is in front of you. In fact, Iíd like Nadal to come back and deal with Nole on a Major surface other than clay. His last win over Nole was on clay so thatís not saying much. If heís really the better player and was the best player in 2012 as masterclass suggests based all 3 wins over Nole on clay, then he should be tested on other surfaces as well to make it a fact. For all we know, he got ousted by a player who was ranked 100 at the time in a major tournament like Wimbledon, where he was one of the favourites. We did not get to see how Nadal was going to fare against Nole on other surfaces. Had he won the AO over Nole but got beaten by Rosol, you could have still argued that perhaps Nadal was the best player, but still, there are far too many elements and variables that we need to take into account before we make such a sweeping call based on 3 wins on Nadalís best surface over Nole.
Donít get me wrong. Nadal is truly a great player and one of the greats of all time, but thatís not the point. The point is, whether he was the best player in 2012 as well, and judging by all that above, he clearly wasnít. You simply canít look at a flat river and assume the world is probably flat too.