The 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has featured in some of the greatest matches of all time. Many of those epic matches have been in Grand Slam finals against his arch-rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
But during the first decade of his career, Federer also shared an intense rivalry with Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, and David Nalbandian among many others.
Interestingly, Safin’s sister and 3-time Grand Slam champion Dinara Safina recently shared an old photo on her Instagram story. Terming the picture as a memory from 16 years ago, it had Federer and Safin shaking hands after their epic semifinal match at the 2005 Australian Open.
Safin won that monumental match 9-7 in the fifth set despite Federer having a match point in the fourth set. Following the extraordinary battle, Safin defeated Hewitt in the finals to lift his second Grand Slam trophy.
Hence after watching Dinara’s story, Safin reposted her picture on his own Instagram story and thanked his sister for reviving the memories.
The Russian wrote on his story about Federer being the last man standing from their generation and hopes the Swiss Maestro keeps on winning matches.
“Sister, tnx for the memories. Rogelio, last one standing from our Gen! Keep on kicking asses! Respect, bratha,” wrote Safin.
The duo played 12 matches against each other, with Federer having a 10-2 in the head-to-head meetings. They last played in the third round of the 2009 Australian Open, a match which Federer won in straight sets.
In fact, Safin retired after the 2009 season with his last tournament coming at the ATP Paris Masters in November. On the other hand, Federer’s longevity has been jaw-dropping despite making his debut just a year after Safin.
Having not played for over a year because of a knee injury, Federer will return to action at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha next month.