Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal personal an unforgettable assortment of on-court contests — together with 9 Grand Slam finals — and a wholesome retailer of mutual off-court appreciate for every different.
“I saw him grow, right in front of my eyes,” Federer stated in an interview with The Associated Press closing yr. “I always feel like he’s one of the guys from tennis — players — that I could call up and, if I told him something, it would be a secret between the two of us. And I appreciate that we were able to build a relationship like that.”
Each has performed extra fits in opposition to Novak Djokovic, who leads his head-to-head sequence in opposition to the opposite participants of the Big Three.
Yet it’s Roger vs. Rafa that appears to be the contention that stands above others. Perhaps as a result of they’re these days Nos. 1-2 for many males’s Grand Slam titles. Or most likely as a result of of their epic 2008 ultimate at Wimbledon, the match meant to be taking place now however canceled as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic.
The dynamic between Federer, 38, and Nadal, 34, has shifted.
“We went in phases a little bit. In the beginning, he was so extremely shy and he was so — how do you say? — like, looking up to me, that he just said, ‘Whatever you say, Roger, I agree with you. Because you’re so important to the game. And I know you want the right thing,’” Federer advised the AP.
“And over time, he became himself, the dominant player he became, and he started to build his own strong character. … And then, of course, the rivalry started building.”
Some best males’s tennis rivalries in the Open generation, which started in 1968:
RAFAEL NADAL VS. ROGER FEDERER
Meetings: 40 (Nadal, 24-16); Grand Slam Finals: 9 (Nadal, 6-3)
Highlights: Federer received 3 of 4 Wimbledon conferences, however their most famed matchup is Nadal’s 9-7 fifth-set victory in the 2008 ultimate; Nadal’s 6-1, 6-3, 6-Zero win in that yr’s French Open ultimate, essentially the most lopsided Grand Slam loss of Federer’s profession; Federer’s comeback from 3-1 in the 5th on the 2017 Australian Open, their most up-to-date Slam ultimate.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC VS. RAFAEL NADAL
Meetings: 55 (Djokovic, 29-26); Grand Slam Finals: 8 (Tied)
Highlights: Exhausted, they rested in chairs right through the trophy rite after Djokovic’s 5—hour, 53-minute victory in the 2012 Australian Open ultimate; Nadal’s 9-7 fifth-set win in the 2013 French Open semifinals used to be a factor of gorgeous attrition.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC VS. ROGER FEDERER
Meetings: 50 (Djokovic, 27-23); Grand Slam Finals: 5 (Djokovic, 4-1)
Highlights: Last yr’s remarkable fifth-set tiebreaker at Wimbledon, with Djokovic successful after saving two championship aspects; Djokovic’s two-match-points-saved wins in the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Open semifinals; Federer’s two-tiebreaker, four-set win on a dismal, dank day in the 2011 French Open semifinals to snap Djokovic’s 43-match successful streak.
JOHN MCENROE VS. JIMMY CONNORS VS. BJORN BORG
McEnroe-Connors: Meetings: 34 (McEnroe 20-14); Grand Slam Finals: 2 (Tied)
McEnroe-Borg: Meetings, 14 (Tied); Grand Slam Finals: 4 (McEnroe, 3-1)
Borg-Connors: Meetings, 23 (Borg, 15-8); Grand Slam Finals: 4 (Tied)
Highlights: Borg’s 8-6 fifth-set win in opposition to McEnroe after losing a tiebreaker 18-16 in the 1980 Wimbledon ultimate; Connors’ five-set victory over McEnroe on the All England Club two years later; Borg getting the simpler of Connors in two Wimbledon finals, with Connors taking their two U.S. Open finals.
STEFAN EDBERG VS. BORIS BECKER
Meetings: 35 (Becker, 25-10); Grand Slam Finals: 3 (Edberg, 2-1)
Highlights: The most effective males to stand every different in 3 consecutive identify fits on the All England Club, with Edberg successful in 1988 and 1990, Becker in 1989.
PETE SAMPRAS VS. ANDRE AGASSI
Meetings: 34 (Sampras, 20-14); Grand Slam Finals: 5 (Sampras 4-1)
Highlights: Sampras received their lone Wimbledon ultimate, in 1999, and the closing tournament he ever performed, in the 2002 U.S. Open ultimate; four-tiebreaker assembly in the 2001 U.S. Open quarterfinals used to be riveting.
ANDY MURRAY VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC
Meetings: 36 (Djokovic 25-11); Grand Slam Finals: 7 (Djokovic, 5-2)
Highlights: Nothing intended extra to fresh British tennis fanatics than Murray’s win over Djokovic in the 2013 ultimate to present the host nation its first male champion at Wimbledon in 77 years.