Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal personal an unforgettable assortment of on-court contests — together with 9 Grand Slam finals — and a wholesome save of mutual off-court respect for one another.
“I noticed him develop, right in entrance of my eyes,” Federer stated in an interview with The Associated Press last yr. “I always really feel like he’s one of many guys from tennis — players — that I might call up and, if I informed him something, it could be a secret between the 2 of us. And I respect that we have been in a position to construct a relationship like that.”
Each has played more matches against Novak Djokovic, who leads his head-to-head series against the opposite members of the Big Three.
Yet it’s Roger vs. Rafa that appears to be the rivalry that stands above others. Perhaps as they’re at the moment Nos. 1-2 for many males’s Grand Slam titles. Or maybe due to their epic 2008 final at Wimbledon, the tournament imagined to be taking place now however canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The dynamic between Federer, 38, and Nadal, 34, has shifted.
“We went in phases a bit of bit. In the start, he was so extraordinarily shy and he was so — how do you say? — like, trying as much as me, that he simply stated, ‘Whatever you say, Roger, I agree with you. Because you’re so necessary to the sport. And I do know you need the appropriate factor,’” Federer informed the AP.
“And over time, he grew to become himself, the dominant player he grew to become, and he began to construct his personal robust character. … And then, after all, the rivalry began structure.”
Some prime males’s tennis rivalries in the Open period, which started in 1968:
RAFAEL NADAL VS. ROGER FEDERER
Meetings: 40 (Nadal, 24-16); Grand Slam Finals: 9 (Nadal, 6-3)
Highlights: Federer won three of 4 Wimbledon conferences, however their most well-known matchup is Nadal’s 9-7 fifth-set victory in the 2008 final; Nadal’s 6-1, 6-3, 6-Zero win in that yr’s French Open final, probably the most lopsided Grand Slam lack of Federer’s career; Federer’s comeback from 3-1 in the fifth on the 2017 Australian Open, their most up-to-date Slam final.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC VS. RAFAEL NADAL
Meetings: 55 (Djokovic, 29-26); Grand Slam Finals: 8 (Tied)
Highlights: Exhausted, they rested in chairs through the trophy ceremony after Djokovic’s 5—hour, 53-minute victory in the 2012 Australian Open final; Nadal’s 9-7 fifth-set win in the 2013 French Open semifinals was 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 unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker at Wimbledon, with Djokovic winning after saving two championship points; 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 darkish, dank day in the 2011 French Open semifinals to snap Djokovic’s 43-match winning 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 against McEnroe after dropping a tiebreaker 18-16 in the 1980 Wimbledon final; Connors’ five-set victory over McEnroe on the All England Club two years later; Borg getting the higher 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 only males to face one another in three consecutive title matches on the All England Club, with Edberg winning 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 won their lone Wimbledon final, in 1999, and the last match he ever played, in the 2002 U.S. Open final; four-tiebreaker meeting in the 2001 U.S. Open quarterfinals was riveting.
ANDY MURRAY VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC
Meetings: 36 (Djokovic 25-11); Grand Slam Finals: 7 (Djokovic, 5-2)
Highlights: Nothing meant more to latest British tennis followers than Murray’s win over Djokovic in the 2013 final to present the host nation its first male champion at Wimbledon in 77 years.