Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: their rivalry with the Spaniard and the best games they have played in

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: their rivalry with the Spaniard and the best games they have played in

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Nadal and Federer during the 2009 Madrid Masters 1000 awards ceremony. REUTERS / Susana Vera.

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Roger Federer has announced his retirement from professional activity. Tired of having to deal with his physique, which has made him mistreated for the past three years, he has announced that he will end his career in Cup washer, which will take place from 23 to 25 September in London.

In this way, tennis loses a player with unique class and unrivaled talent. A true legend. He has won 103 ATP titles, including 20 Grand Slams, 28 Masters 1000s and six ATP Finals. She accumulated 310 weeks as number 1 and won two Olympic medals (gold in Beijing 2008, in doubles with Wawrinka and silver in singles in London 2012).

Undoubtedly, you will be able to look back and feel the satisfaction of the work done. He has left many victories and great titles, but also recognition from colleagues and fans. There is also the memory of one of the most iconic rivalries of all time, with whom he acted Rafael Nadal.

The faces were seen 40 times in the ATP circuit, being the third most repeated duel in the Open era. They are only overcome by the clashes that Djokovic has had against both: the Serbian has played 59 times against the Spaniards and 50 against the Swiss. Symptoms of an era dominated by Big three.

However, the rivalry between Roger and Rafa is not only notable for the number of fights they have disputed, but because it was amazing to see such a clash of styles. In tennis in the strict sense, but also for the personality of one and the other and for their different ways of channeling emotions on the court.

Ice and fire. That metaphor that was used to describe the crosses between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the late 1970s and early 1980s applies perfectly to what Federer and Nadal generated on the pitch.

If one was pure elegance, a tennis robot that sweated little and had a unique ability to generate winning shots from any position, especially with the forehand, the other stood out for its claw, for never giving up a ball, for that. push so unorthodox as strange that it ended up overhead. His Majesty against La Fiera, Superclásico tennis.

As a matter of generation, Federer reached the top first. When he won his first major title, the 2002 Hamburg Masters 1000, Nadal was 15 and had only played two games in the main draw of an ATP tournament, both in Mallorca.

In March 2004, just over a month after their debut as number 1 in the world, the Swiss met for the third round of the M1000 in Miami. Nadal was 17 and one of the great promises of the circuit, but he had not yet raised any trophies and had not achieved great victories on hard courts.

Despite this, against all odds, he played the best game of his career, as he himself described it at the press conference, and won convincingly: double 6-3 in an hour and ten minutes.

With the low profile that has characterized him throughout his career, he affirmed it “I was afraid he would beat me 6-1 6-1, but I wanted to play this match against number one. I came out with a positive attitude and he didn’t play at his highest level, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it I didn’t have a chance . “

What they didn’t get Andy Roddick, Marat Safin and Leyton Hewitt, among many others, was starting to be joined by Nadal, although it took him a long time. Only in 2008, after the Elvezi established the records 237 weeks straight as number 1the “eternal number 2” managed to climb to the top.

Six years passed, between 2005 and 2010, before the take-off of Novak Djokovic in 2011, when they dominated tennis in an overwhelming way. They won 21 of the 23 Grand Slams during that time, with the exception of the 2005 Australian Open (Safin) and 2008 (Djokovic) and the 2009 US Open (Del Potro). And in those years they raised 31 Masters 1000 titles.

As if that weren’t enough, they came face to face in sixteen major tournament finals, if you add the Masters Tournament in 2010. Overwhelming.

The rivalry has continued over the years, up to the semi-final clashes of Roland Garros and Wimbledon 2019 (shared victories). They played 40 times (24-16 in favor of the Spaniards) and left behind some of the most unforgettable battles in tennis history. A review of the three most emblematic matches between the two.

Wimbledon 2008 – Final: Nadal d. Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7 and 9-7.

The best game in history. It had all the toppings. Federer was looking for his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title, something no one had achieved in any Grand Slam; Nadal, taking revenge on the finals he lost there in the previous two years, winning his first Major outside of Roland Garros and reaching number 1.

It all started favorably for Rafa, who won the first two sets and performed perfectly the backhand high drive that bothered Roger so much. Two breaks due to rain, still without the retractable roof in the central All England stadium, e a match point saved in the tiebreak of the fourth set with an unforgettable backhand pass They added even more excitement to the meeting.

In the second interruption, with the score of 2-2 in the fifth set, Tony Nadal He was surprised to hear his nephew tell him in the locker room that he felt calm and that he knew he wasn’t going to fail mentally. So it was and after the victory he fell on the side of the Balearic Islands 4 hours and 48 minutes of game.

Australian Open 2017 – Final: Federer d. Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3.

the title of Australian Open 2017 it was very likely the biggest feat in Federer’s career. He returned to the circuit after six months off the track after overcoming a left knee injury.

The 2016 season was the first in which he has not raised any titles since winning his first trophy at ATP Milan 2001 and that inactivity earned him get out of the Top 10 for the first time in fourteen years.

That’s the way it goes, arrived in Melbourne as number 17 in the world and was placed in the final after beating Melzer, Rubin, Berdych, Nishikori, Mischa Zverev and Wawrinka. Nadal was waiting for him, who also came from difficult times and his presence in the final was a real surprise.

Without the long rallies of previous years, with the Swiss constantly trying to shorten the points, they have given away a cinematic final. “I played the most perfect 25 minutes of my tennis life, catching up in the fifth set,” recalled His Majesty, who prevailed from 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3 in three hours and 37 minutes.

Rome 2006 – Final: Nadal d. Federer 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 2-6 and 7-6

The best Nadal against the best Federer faced the final of the Masters 1000 in Rome. The favorite was the Spaniard, who was already establishing himself as number 2 and mastered the brick dust with ease and pleasure. I already had a Roland Garros and two M1000s on that surface, but Roger was the one who knew how to complicate the most.

“It was an unforgettable match, an incredible comeback for me in the fifth. The standard was very high. We both had our chances of winning the game, “explained the Spaniard.

“I remember the five hours of battle, the crowd was incredible. I also think the level of the match was very high; Rafa and I were at the top of our games“, the Swiss recalled in an interview for the ATP website.

It was 4-1 in the fifth set, then 5-6, 15-40 with a double match point, but Nadal, at that moment, always found an escape. And he did it to win his championship twice in the Italian capital.

Source: Clarin

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