’We Fought for the Same Thing” – Rafael Nadal Opens Up on Rivalry With Roger Federer in New Documentary

Published 05/29/2021, 5:38 AM CDT
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 8 : Roger Federer (R) of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal (L) of Spain play a tennis match at Cape Town Stadium as part of an exhibition game held to support the education of African children, on February 8, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Over close to two decades, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have carried this tennis forward. Together, they have produced some of the most memorable moments in the sport. Their battles are highly regarded not just in tennis, but are spoken about largely amongst the sporting community.

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Recently, Nadal spoke about the rivalry he shares with the Swiss ace. He felt it was their duty to set a good example amongst fans and youngsters since there are a number of individuals who get influenced by these amazing athletes. Although they have been rivals, they have maintained a healthy relationship and have always spoken positively about each other. 

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 07: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace at the net after their mens singles semi-final match during Day thirteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The 13-time French Open champion spoke on this and stated, “It is our duty to set a good example,” says the Spaniard. And we two speak the same language. We pursue our dreams, have fought for the same things for a long time. Life is happier if you can appreciate your rivals.” (translated via Google translate)

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal rivalry began in 2004

Having played against each other first in 2004, Roger and Rafa have come a long way. As of today, they both are tied on 20 Grand Slam titles each. The hunger and desire these supreme athletes still have are commendable.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: 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 July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

Speaking about tennis played this season, Rafa was first seen at the Australian Open, but lost in the quarterfinal rounds. He then returned during the clay-court events, beginning in Monte Carlo. The Spaniard had decent luck these past few weeks, winning the titles in Barcelona and Rome. 

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Roger Federer returned on Tour after 14 months

On the other hand, Roger made his return on Tour after close to 14 months. He participated in the ATP 250 event in Doha. It was his first competitive match after a lengthy duration. He then featured in the ATP 250 event in Geneva last week but performed below average, indicating his lack of match practice. 

As of today, both, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are in Paris, ready to compete at the French Open 2021. Interestingly, the Big 3 have been grouped in the same half of the draw, which has never happened in the past. It will be interesting to see how these guys perform once the French Open 2021 begins on the 31st of May.

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Rohan Kollare

719 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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