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Good post Jude,
I believe that had Rafa played at Wimbledon it would have meant another Nadal/Federer final ( it was a real crackerjack of a Mens Singles Final in 2008 between them )
It would have been no different if both had got to the Mens Final this time round - taking nothing away from the Federer/Roddick Final this year ( another crackerjack ).
2010 will be the year for Rafa to regain his dominance of the mens game.
Rafa plays hard and doesn't spare his body. That means that unfortunately he might not last very long in top slot or even top-but-one slot, due to injury. What makes Federer such a force is that he has always played in a physically harmonious way: he plays within his physical capabilities, and finds amazing heights without taxing his frame. Rafa battles his physical limitations to achieve the same thing. Proof? Federer has never sustained a major injury, in more than a decade of very high-intensity tennis. Nadal is already struggling with his knees.
So on balance my vote is for Federer to be longer lasting and more consistently excellent. But good luck to Nadal; he's a firecracker to Federer's smooth rocket.