Tennis with its high speed aces, long rallies, winners, and of course, glamour is a game that attracts a lot of fans. What makes it even better is a strong rivalry between two players owing to close, long and frequent matches. Arguably termed as the best sporting rivalry of all time, Federer-Nadal matches has provided for the best quality tennis for fans and has perhaps been the most charismatic as well. The two have dominated the men’s game for more than a decade which reflects in their career statistics. Roger Federer now has 19 Grand Slams and Rafael Nadal just behind at 16.
The reason behind Federer-Nadal being the biggest rivalry in tennis is the extensive record between them. Here is a list of the respective head-to-head records these stalwarts hold against their major rivals:
(45) Novak Djokovic : 22-23
(36)Rafael Nadal : 14-23
(27) LLeyton Hewitt : 18-9
(24) Andy Roddick: 21-3
(25)Andy Murray : 14-11
Rafael Nadal :
(49) Novak Djokovic : 24-26
(36)Roger Federer : 23-14
(30)David Ferrer : 24-6
(23)Tomas Berdych : 19-4
(24)Andy Murray : 17-7
Here are the some facts about this iconic rivalry that you probably didn’t know about before:
First Federer-Nadal Meeting
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played their first match in March of 2004. It was at the third round of Miami Masters and looked pretty one sided match on paper. At the time Nadal was just 17 years old and ranked number 34 in the world. However, the teenager played some of his best tennis to score an upset win over Federer in straight sets 6-3 6-3.
The next Federer-Nadal meeting in 2005 in Miami. Another victory looked on cards for the Spaniard as he was up 2 sets to love. The Swiss, however, managed to get back to his best and secure a comeback victory in 5 sets. The score being 2-6 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-1.
And hence began a rivalry that has not only inspired thousands of budding tennis players to be like them, but has also made an entire generation root for either of them in the years to come. Because of their prominence, tennis as a sport gained viewership like never before.