In the wake of winning his 100th career title, USA Today, conducted a telephonic interview with Roger Federer. The Swiss tennis star spoke on a variety of subjects, ranging from his 100th victory and his reaction to important achievements to his rivals.
One of those subjects was his rivalry with Spanish star, Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer considers Nadal’s as one of his biggest rivals in his entire career. The 32-year old currently leads their head-to-head rivalry 23-15.
To this effect, the Swiss ace was queried on why Nadal has been such a thorn to his side. Further elaborating, the 37-year old Swiss player was also asked to speak of his other important rivalries.
Federer responded, “I think his playing style has been the most challenging for me with the one-hander (Federer’s one-handed backhand). I think he’s been pretty tough. From the beginning it was extremely exciting and right away, right off the bat, we had great matches and a lot of finals, from the beginning of his career (in 2003).”
He reminisced the ‘epic’, as he puts it, referring to the pinnacle match in 2008 at Wimbledon. Nadal went on to clinch the match and the title 6–4, 6–4, 6–7, 6–7, 9–7. Roger Federer also brought up the Australian Open 2017 against Nadal in the final. This time, it was Federer who won the title 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, in another epic clash. He mused that both their games-styles match up well together.
Moving on to his other rivalries, Roger Federer spoke to USA Today about reigning number 1, Novak Djokovic. According to Federer, The Serbian would be second in this generation. He also admitted to having fond memories of his rivalries with the likes of Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin among others.
Roger Federer is currently appearing in the Indian Wells Masters and is vying for his 6th title, a record in itself. However, he will have to contend with Djokovic, who is also gunning for his 6th title.
The two first met back in 2004 in the third round of the Miami Open. That day, a then 17-year old Nadal stunned the reigning World Number 1 in straight sets. A year later, they had a rematch, this time in the final, with Roger Federer triumphing.