'We couldn't stand each other...': Federer on personal relationship with Nadal | Tennis News - Hindustan Times

'We couldn't stand each other...': Roger Federer reveals personal details about relationship with Rafael Nadal

Aug 05, 2023 01:53 PM IST

Roger Federer revealed details about his personal relationship with Rafael Nadal.

With 2024 expected to be Rafael Nadal's final year in competitive tennis, it will mark an end to a brilliant career. The Spaniard won 22 Grand Slam titles, including a record 14 French Open trophies. The 37-year-old had an epic rivalry with Roger Federer, who retired in 2022. The Swiss legend won 20 Grand Slams, with a record eight Wimbledon titles.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the 2022 Laver Cup.(REUTERS)
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the 2022 Laver Cup.(REUTERS)

The duo met each other 40 times, with Nadal leading 24-16. They held the top-two rankings on the ATP Tour from July 2005-August 17 2009, when Nadal fell to no. 3 position and ANdy Murray climbed to no. 2. Once again from September 11 2017-October 15 2018, until Novak Djokovic became no. 2.The duo are the only pair of men to have ever finished six consecutive calendar years at the top.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Also Read | Jessica Pegula cruises into the DC Open quarterfinals

During an event, Federer opened up about his relationship with his rival. He said, "We started respecting the rivalry. We almost miss it, playing each other every weekend. Back in the day we couldn’t stand each other probably for that. He’s a great man. I wish he can come back one more time but he has shown the tennis world and the fans how good he is."

Opening up on their age difference, Federer said, "I’m five years older than Rafa, so when I came on tour I saw young, junior Rafa come through and he was extremely good, very young. He was incredibly respectful and also very shy, he had an unbelievable respect for me - not that he doesn’t have that now anymore, it’s just different because we’re friendly."

"He was very in awe of me and everything I wanted to do with the tour and my ideas, he was like: ‘You’re right’, then I saw Rafa grow into his personality, get more confident, he obviously had his own ideas and we started playing each other almost every other weekend.

"Obviously it was intense but always good and we always got along well, not just the two of us but also our teams, my parents and his parents, my coaches and his coaches, his sister and my sister - like the whole surroundings were very respectful and very good.

"Then as we got older and we knew maybe time was ticking and we’re about to not see each other so much - I had family, that changes someone anyway - we started to talk about all different things in life. More on injuries, more on kids as he is also a father now. The conversations change and in the process we also respect the rivalry that we used to have", Federer further added.

On grass, Federer has a 3-1 winning record against Nadal, and 11-9 on hard courts. But on clay, Nadal leads 14-2. The pair have also faced each other 24 times in tournament finals, including an all-time record nine major finals (tied with Djokovic-Nadal matches). They last took on each other at the 2019 Wimbledon, where Federer won to enter the final.

Share this article

    At HT Sports Desk, passionate reporters work round the clock to provide detailed updates from the world of sports. Expect nuanced match reports, previews,reviews, technical analysis based on statistics, the latest social media trends, expert opinions on cricket, football, tennis, badminton, hockey,motorsports, wrestling, boxing, shooting, athletics and much more.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On