‘Never Really Feels the Heat’ – Roger Federer Once Reprimanded Good Friend Rafael Nadal for Slow Play at Wimbledon Championships

Published 06/21/2022, 9:32 AM EDT

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal share one of the most intense rivalries in sport. The duo has met on the biggest of stages fighting it out for over two decades. They have met 40 times in the past, with Nadal leading the head-to-head with 24 wins.

However, Federer and Nadal have also had their fair share of controversy in their careers. One of the instances include a back and forth exchange between the two ahead of their widely popular 2008 Wimbledon final.


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Roger Federer livid with Nadal’s delayed play

In 2008, Federer was coming to Wimbledon after a brutal loss against his arch-rival at Roland Garros. Ahead of their rematch in the final at SW19, Federer delivered his thoughts on Nadal’s “slow play” during matches.


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The Swiss was quoted as saying, “It’s obviously a fine line. I think until he gets into position to serve, he takes his 20 seconds, and then he takes another 10, 15 seconds until he really serves.”

“The unfortunate part is the umpire will always give him a warning, but he will never give him a point penalty. I’m not saying he abuses it, but he never really feels the heat that much,” Federer added.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 19: Rafael Nadal of Team Europe speaks with teammate Roger Federer during a practice session ahead of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo on September 19, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Nadal also hit back at Federer’s comments in his press-conference ahead of the final. He said, “Well, everybody is free to say what they want. I’m not one (to) say if it’s true or not. We have an umpire (to) decide what’s happen on the court, no?”

Nadal eventually prevailed in the final against Federer in a gigantic battle winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-7(8-10), 9-7.


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Will Rafael Nadal continue his magical form at Wimbledon?

After confirming his participation at the Wimbledon Championships next week, the Spaniard is an automatic favorite to win a hat-trick of Grand Slams in 2022. With sensational wins in Melbourne and Paris, Nadal has stunned the world with his resilience and never-say-die attitude.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts in his Men’s Singles semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland during Day eleven of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Watch this story- Andy Murray and Martina Navratilova react to the legendary Wimbledon presenter stepping down this year


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However, a recurring foot injury has kept him on radiofrequency ablation treatment (RFA) ahead of his participation next week. Will Nadal do the unthinkable and win a 23rd Grand Slam in London this year? The Wimbledon Championships begins from 27th June this year.



Mario Fernandes

169 articles

Mario Fernandes is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his graduation in Mathematics, followed by a Post Graduation Diploma in Journalism. Mario has been a sportsman and a sports fan from a very young age and has represented his school and college in sports like soccer, tennis, and cricket at the district level.