1. Are you talking about the strike at 5'01 ? Coz it's a dropshot, and I'm standing almost 5 meters from the baseline... I almost never get caught by the short slices of the CPU coz I try to always step in a bit after a good acceleration ; it can happen though if I'm not focused enough.
2. I did 25 net approaches in that set, with a 6/2 score. Is that what you call "some occasional net approaches" ? Actually, it's more than Fed did in most of his sets on clay ; I should have made more winners from the baseline to be closer of its style. This recording was done with v1.0b, and since v1.0c it is actually easier to hit such winners.
I play not aggressively enough in the 1st few games and get stuck in long tiring rallies, having globally a tough time, and then get my game together to play a lot more aggressively toward the net to finally dominate Nadal to win the set. Surely looks like Fed on clay to me...
I don't know what tennis you "watch", but here for example : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3TktrWPMls
. Fed stands often about 3 or 4 meters after the baseline in his standard position, and come near of the baseline during his attack phases, or closer of the baseline when Nadal plays a bit shorter.
And there's 1 difference between my player & Fed : Fed is able to take the ball early, mine not. Only the Counter has such ability and I had a puncher. Other play styles can't do that efficiently for gameplay balance.
3. I stand far from the baseline on return coz it's easier for me, but some other players with better reflexes can stay closer of the baseline without much problem (and at Pro-5, it's easy enough to do that) ; if you can't, don't blame the game coz you don't have Fed's reflexes. Or you'd like an automatic return system where you have nothing to do ?
Also, still from the few Fed's returns on the video I linked above, you can see he's standing about 2 meters from the baseline and he's doing some steps to catch the ball.
4. It's not about high ball, it's about raising ball ; and average ball length is slightly higher in TE than in real life, it helps to give a smoother gameplay (ie: less based on the luck to get a longer than usual ball). I may tune that for future editions though (ie: not TE2011), but it's quite a sensible area.
Anyway, maybe you should try to lower Nadal's topspin skill, it may give you a more enjoyable experience, letting you play closer of the baseline.
Or maybe you can try to set your play style to Counter, even if it doesn't really match Fed's style.