Rafael Nadal Opens Up on His Epic Rivalry With Roger Federer Ahead of Australian Open 2021

Published 01/26/2021, 9:54 PM EST
Rafael Nadal of Spain congratulates Roger Federer of Switzerland on winning their Men’s Final as Roger Federer holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup match on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The legacy of two 20-time Grand Slam champions of tennis has become immortal. The Roger Federer – Rafael Nadal rivalry will always be one of the greatest stories of their incredible careers. Adding to this, the 34-year-old Spaniard recently talked about his and Federer’s journey until now.


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Rafa is presently in quarantine in Adelaide for the Australian Summer. In an interview with Rafa, the interviewer quoted Federer from the time he had said that it was great to have this competition because Nadal and he pushed each other to more and more heights.

The Spaniard couldn’t disagree and said, “It’s true. We have been here for such a very long time. Since 2005 we are competing.”


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From the 2004 ATP Masters 1000, Miami, till today, the ultimate clash has happened 40 times. And it has favored the ‘King of Clay’ 60% of the time, given his 24-16 record against Federer.

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 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

However, nothing ever beats the feeling of just being part of the sport for Rafa. He loves competing, and he will continue to do so at the upcoming Australian Open 2021. He said, “I am proud and happy to be a part of this moment of our history of our sport.” 

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The Mallorcan has won the ‘Happy Slam’ only once in his career in 2009. It came to Nadal after a brutal battle with none other than his arch-rival.

But disheartening many fans and Nadal as well, Federer withdrew from the Australian Open. He underwent two knee surgeries last year, and so he couldn’t get fully fit in time.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the match point during their final singles match daring day 10 of the ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

For the World No. 2, the chances of winning a hard-court major title aren’t that great. Out of his 20 Grand Slams, Nadal has won a record 13-times on the clay court of Roland-Garros.


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Even though his records might not show it, the Spaniard is quite the competitor regardless of the court. Apart from his 2009 glory, Rafa has played four other finals in Melbourne Park.

As scheduled, the 34-year-old will start in Adelaide at an exhibition match alongside Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem. Then he will begin his season with the ATP Cup and the Australian Open.

Hopefully, he will steer past his difficulties with hard courts and get himself another Happy Slam.


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Purav Joshi

930 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.