“A Match With Adrenaline”: Rafael Nadal Reminisces Historic Battle With Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Published 10/14/2021, 2:37 PM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in the Men’s Singles Semi Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)


Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who shares an epic rivalry with Roger Federer over the years, has recently talked about the Swiss Maestro’s inexplicable legacy on grass and their intense battle in the 2008 Wimbledon finals.

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Nadal and Federer have been two of the greatest to ever set foot on a tennis court. While they share the healthiest of rivalries, it’s Nadal who comfortably leads the head-to-head with 24 wins opposed to Roger’s 16.

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Rafael Nadal talks about the 2008 Wimbledon final against Roger Federer

The one that comes to mind is the 2008 Wimbledon final. I felt like I was having the best moments of my career during the match, and he must have[too]”, explained Nadal when asked about his most memorable moment with Federer.

Federer got the better of Nadal for two straight years (2006, 2007), but the Spaniard was a favorite in 2008 as he had a 23-match win streak and also won his first-ever grass court title that year.

After winning the first two sets against the Swiss, Nadal went on to lose the next two as the match went into a fifth set. In a neck-to-neck battle in the decider, it was the Spaniard who emerged on top and won his first-ever non-clay court title.

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As we all know, I’m not very good at turf courts. It was special to be able to overcome it and win. I imagine I could beat Roger Federer on the turf. It was a match with adrenaline”, said the Spaniard.

In terms of head-to-head, before 2017, the Spaniard clearly dominated Roger on-court, but the latter’s resurgence that year has managed to bury the deficit to some extent.

Federer and Nadal had to struggle this season due to injuries

Looking at both their performances this year, the Spaniard managed to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, where he lost to eventual champion, Novak Djokovic. After a brief appearance on the US hard-court season, Nadal called off the remainder of his season to recover from a foot injury.

On the other hand, Federer, who played only a handful of matches, reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals and was defeated by Hubert Hurkacz. Immediately after the tournament, the Swiss Maestro announced his decision to undergo a third knee surgery.

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Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer during a press conference after losing his quarter final match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz Pool via REUTERS/Joe Toth

While the Spaniard might hit the practice courts sooner or later, Federer’s rehab will take a long time owing to the surgery he underwent. Even though the Swiss Maestro didn’t reveal much regarding his comeback, he surprised fans by turning up unannounced at the Laver Cup this year.

With Novak Djokovic equaling Federer and Nadal’s record of 20 majors each, there is more excitement amongst tennis fans regarding the 2022 season as the fight for supremacy continues among the Big-3.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

466 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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