Federer's record against his nemesis makes for bleak reading. He now trails the Spaniard 8-2 at grand slams and has not beaten him on the biggest stage since Wimbledon 2007.
Federer says Nadal, 25, finds a way to raise his game when they meet.
"We have had good matches over the years. I enjoy playing him. The crowd really gets into it, which is nice," Federer said.
"I always think he plays a bit better against me than against other players, but that's good for him."
Nadal did not agree he plays better against Federer in slams, just that the best-of-five sets format made him "more calm".
Nadal added: "I don't play my best tennis because it's Roger. I play my best tennis because I'm ready to play my best tennis."