What in my opinion, makes it truly spectacular is the fact, that in past matches you could get the feeling, that Roger Federer just could not maintain the pressure of facing tenacity his most feared opponent and didn’t always fight until the end. This time it was different and he even bounced back in the last set from a break down. This time it was different and he mentioned in the press conference after the match, that throughout the match he always believed there is a chance to win the match and what made the difference is that for this match, the strategy he laid out with his coaches was to play the ball, much rather the opponent. Which means he focused on the process much rather than the outcome. Which reminds me of the Muhamad Ali fight against George Foreman from 1974 coined Rumble in the Jungle where Muhamad Ali figured out a way to win despite his opponent being the superior boxer in that fight. Finding a way to win.
In addition to that, I like the fact, that this match challenges the conventional wisdom of the necessity of competition and getting match practice, Roger Federer hasn’t played any tournaments for half a year.
He focused on recovery from an injury and training to get in the best possible shape for competition.