Sunday, October 2, 2022
HomeTennisFederer's Epic Rivalries With Nadal, Djokovic

Federer’s Epic Rivalries With Nadal, Djokovic

Lengthy certain for the historical past books, Roger Federer’s epic rivalries with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal can now be considered of their totality because the Swiss pens the ultimate pages of his storied ATP Tour profession.

A triumvirate internationally referred to as the Massive Three, the sporting legends have dominated tennis’ greatest levels, taking the sport to an unprecedented stage. The three most embellished gamers of all time have solid their careers in parallel, with 63 Grand Slam titles between them thus far.

On his highway to greatness, Federer lifted his recreation within the presence of his two best rivals. He confronted Nadal, 5 years his junior, 40 instances. He met Djokovic, six years youthful, on 50 events. takes a glance again at some key moments in Federer’s two greatest rivalries on tour.


Federer vs Nadal Rivalry

H2H: 24-16 Nadal
Grand Slam encounters: 10-4 Nadal
Grand Slam Finals: 6-3 Nadal
Nitto ATP Finals encounters: 4-1 Federer
ATP Masters 1000 encounters: 12-7 Nadal
ATP Masters 1000 finals: 7-5 Nadal
Encounters in finals: 14-10 Nadal

Some rivalries transcend their sport and it’s not possible to ponder trendy tennis with out Roger Federer’s rivalry with Rafael Nadal. At a time when he was the dominant pressure and undisputed No. 1, Federer discovered himself confronted with a brand new rival with the breakthrough of Nadal, who had been prepared since adolescence to go away an indelible mark on the circuit. In whole, the 2 gamers met 40 instances, taking tennis to new ranges of excellence and recognition.

The impulsiveness of the Spaniard at all times offered the right foil to the pure expertise of the Swiss, a conflict of kinds that produced an attractive spectacle. The pace of Nadal, a participant as bodily sturdy as he’s tactically adept, contrasted with the magic arms of Federer, who was capable of put the ball wherever on the courtroom.

Nadal by no means feared the good Federer, whom he beat in an unforgettable first match. On the courts of Miami within the 2004 season, earlier than turning 20, Rafa emerged as a tactical conundrum for Roger. With a looping left-handed forehand straight to Federer’s backhand above his shoulder, the Spaniard was prepared to interrupt down the Tour’s dominant pressure. The Swiss, who was pressured to enhance his backhand wing to compete with Nadal, responded by profitable the 2005 Miami closing in 5 units on the identical stage. He received the win, however he additionally knew that he had discovered a particular nemesis.

Nadal was able to problem Federer’s supremacy, and indicators of a giant rivalry got here shortly. Earlier than Federer might lengthen his mastery to clay, the Spaniard made certain he stamped his authority. Though the Swiss was the person to deliver an finish to Nadal’s 81 consecutive wins on the crimson grime – the longest streak on one floor within the Open Period – Nadal was at all times fiercely dominant throughout this stretch of the season. He would take out Federer in three consecutive Roland Garros finals between 2006-08.

“If one in all us didn’t exist, the opposite would have been extra profitable,” Nadal admitted. “Nevertheless it’s additionally true that the rivalry has benefitted our worldwide attain, as a result of it has made the sport extra enticing to folks. When a participant wins on a regular basis, it could be good for the participant, but it surely’s not essentially good for the game. On the finish of the day, what’s good for the game should be good for each of us.”

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, 2017 Indian Wells
Picture Credit score: Clive Brunskill/Getty Pictures
Having already contested two consecutive finals at Wimbledon, Nadal and Federer crossed swords as soon as once more on the London lawns for the third consecutive season in 2008. In one of many best matches within the sport’s historical past, Nadal overcame the Swiss, the champion of the grass Grand Slam for the previous 5 years. The Spaniard’s five-set triumph confirmed that their rivalry would lengthen far past the confines of clay. A race towards time had begun, it was historical past within the making.

By the point historical past repeated itself on the 2009 Australian Open, Nadal’s first main trophy on laborious courts, their rivalry was in full circulate. “God, that is killing me,” admitted a crushed Roger in the course of the trophy ceremony.

When the world appeared resigned that Grand Slam finals between these two greats had been a factor of the previous – their final having come at Roland Garros in 2011, Nadal and Federer discovered themselves within the decider on the 2017 Australian Open. There, with the burden of historical past on his shoulders, the Swiss produced a five-set win for the ages because of a stinging backhand and new racquet, chosen partly to defend towards the Spaniard’s forehand that had tormented the Swiss for thus a few years. Unexpectedly, Federer had one other main, after a five-year drought, and one other epic chapter towards his most iconic rival.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, 2017 Australian Open
Picture Credit score: Scott Barbour/Getty Pictures
With impeccable professionalism, Federer resisted the passing of the years regardless of a stunning profession already underneath his belt, profitable the final 4 finals he performed towards Nadal on Tour. Removed from resigning himself to a altering of the guard, the Swiss’ competitiveness prolonged this once-in-a-lifetime rivalry.

Their final two conferences couldn’t have been extra becoming. A win for Nadal at Roland Garros and one for Federer at Wimbledon, the levels the place these two legends had constructed the foundations of their respective legacies introduced their joint masterpiece to an in depth.

“I’ve at all times had the utmost respect for my pal Rafa as an individual and a champion,” stated Federer. “My rival for a few years, I feel we have now pressured one another to be higher gamers. I’ve seen many hardworking and galvanizing gamers, however in my view you had been essentially the most influential of all. You helped me change into the participant I’m right now.”

Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic

H2H: 27-23 Djokovic
Grand Slam encounters: 11-6 Djokovic
Grand Slam finals: 4-1 Djokovic
Nitto ATP Finals encounters: 3-3
ATP Masters 1000 encounters: 11-9 Djokovic
ATP Masters 1000 finals: 5-3 Djokovic
Encounters in finals: 13-6 Djokovic

In one other epic rivalry that introduced equal measure of pleasure and heartbreak, Federer battled Djokovic extra instances than some other participant on Tour, with a complete of fifty astonishingly intense clashes of their ATP Head2Head collection. Djokovic is the one participant to have crushed Federer in any respect the majors and the Swiss is the one one to have performed likewise to Novak.

Whereas Federer got here out on high of their first 4 encounters, taking 10 consecutive units from a youthful Djokovic in 2006-2007 throughout a time when he was the undisputed No. 1, the Serbian channelled the expertise into probably the most intense assaults the game has seen.

From that second on, they occupied a number one position within the struggle to be the perfect on tour, solely crossing paths when the most important prizes had been at stake. The next 46 clashes that made up their rivalry included solely semi-finals, finals and the Nitto ATP Finals, with Djokovic claiming a 27-23 edge total.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, 2016 Australian Open
Picture Credit score: Scott Barbour/Getty Pictures
Their two semi-finals on the US Open, the place the 2 gamers pushed each other to their limits in 2010 and 2011 and the beautiful survival expertise of Djokovic had been in full impact, will stay on lengthy within the recollections of tennis lovers. In each five-set matches, at one in all Roger’s happiest looking grounds, the place he had claimed 5 consecutive titles (2004-2008), Novak dug his heels in, saving match factors underneath the floodlights of New York.

The 2011 season was an particularly intense one for each gamers. In probably the most astonishing seasons of all time, Djokovic prolonged his profitable streak to 43 matches, a historic run that ended within the semi-finals of the French Open. There, with a chance to underline his authority, Federer got here out on high of one in all their most epic encounters, lifting a finger to the sky as soon as victory was his, a reminder that the No. 1 spot was maybe not the unique property of the Serb.

In a rivalry that travelled all over the world, London performed an important position. Djokovic claimed the Nitto ATP Finals trophy towards Roger in 2012, 2014 and 2015, an indication of each gamers’ potential to face out on indoor courts, and the 2 would change into the good trendy dominant forces of the match that caps off the season. Roger’s closing win there, within the group stage in 2019, underlined his potential to sq. off towards the strongest gamers at the same time as he approached his 40s.

England’s capital can be residence to the lawns of Wimbledon, the place they’ve produced some unforgettable battles on the most conventional occasion on the Tour. When Federer gained their epic five-set semi-final in 2012 earlier than reclaiming the No. 1 spot, Djokovic’s response was resounding. The Serbian is the one participant who has crushed the Swiss in three Wimbledon finals (2014, 2015, 2019), conquering the wonderland that Roger had made his personal.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, 2014 Wimbledon
Picture Credit score: Al Bello/Getty Pictures
The final of these clashes, throughout which he saved two match factors on the return, and which reached 12-12 within the deciding set, was one of many pinnacles of their rivalry. With a ninth Wimbledon trophy inside his grasp, the defeat was arguably the hardest second within the Swiss participant’s profession.

The best levels have offered the backdrop for his or her historical past collectively on courtroom. A complete of 20 ties at ATP Masters 1000 occasions, wherein they’ve confronted one another at each one of many class’s occasions bar Madrid, took their rivalry to each nook of the globe. They performed finals in Indian Wells, Shanghai, Canada, Rome and Cincinnati (4 instances).

“We’ve performed some unbelievable matches,” acknowledged Federer. “Each time I am going on courtroom towards him, the match is brutal. It’s thrilling as a result of it goes past the match, it transcends the game.

“Novak performs completely on each floor. He at all times brings an especially excessive stage, to beat him it’s a must to play your finest. He strikes splendidly and I’ve nice coordination so we’re a very good match for each other.

“Rivalries are necessary in sport. I feel they assist make it extra well-liked. You at all times want somebody with whom you possibly can have a very good rivalry. Happily, I used to be capable of have one with Djokovic. We introduced the perfect out in each other.”

from Tennis – ATP World Tour



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments