The ‘Fedal’ Rivalry: History And Epic Encounters

The most captivating rivalry of sport is back again to give a strong sense of nostalgia to all the fans of Tennis. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would yet again meet on court, but this time in a semi-final. The duo have made it to the semi-final of the biggest Tennis extravaganza-Wimbledon 2019.

The rivalry that spans over 15 years has always had fans reeling. When the two have got on court, there is always high drama, emotions, and ofcourse competition. The two have been involved in some epic clashes in all Grand Slam tournaments. Let’s take a look at the journey.

Head to Head

Nadal and Federer have played each other 39 times. Rafael Nadal leads the head to head record with 24 wins. Federer has managed just 15 wins in those. When it comes to the finals, the two have met on 24 occasions and Nadal has had the edge here as well, winning on 14 occasions and Federer has managed 10 wins.

Nadal- 24

Federer- 15

Head to Head in finals:

Nadal- 15


Grand Slams

In Grand Slam tournaments, Nadal has a 100% record over Federer in the French Open. Nadal also leads the Swiss master in Australian Open with a 3-1 scoreline, but when it comes to Wimbledon, Federer has had the laugh, winning 2 of the 3 games against Nadal. Federer and Nadal’s rivalry is yet to be seen in the US Open.

First game of the rivalry

Federer and Nadal met for the first time at the Miami Open in 2004 at the quarterfinal stage. Little did one know back then of this rivalry potentially coming this far.

Federer was the number one in Tennis ranking back then and in great form, but Nadal stood tall and produced one of the finest performances of his career, winning the game in straight sets.

They met again in the final of Miami Open in 2005 and Federer had revenge on his mind. He displayed magnificent skill and maturity to avenge the defeat.

The rivalry in Grand Slam tournaments is more intense and grave and while there has been stern competition, both have had their share of dominance on different set of courts.

Federer-Nadal on Clay Court

Nadal has proved time and again that he is the finest player on clay court in the history of Tennis. His dominance in French Open is incredible and unthinkable.

The rivals met on clay court on 16 occasions and Nadal has had the lion’s share of wins with 14 in his bag, while Federer has just 2 wins to show for.

In French Open, Nadal has a 100% record, winning 6 out of 6 games against Federer, albeit in 2006, Federer showed a tough fight against Nadal, taking the game to the 5th set, but unfortunately had to go down. In 2006, Federer and Nadal played the longest match in the history of their rivalry. Th game continued to five hours and five minutes and is the longest game the two have played against each other.

The game was decided after a tiebreaker.

Federer produced just two wins on clay court which came in 2007 and 2009.

Their last meeting in the French Open this year was another show of Nadal’s dominance. Nadal won it for the 6th time and remained unbeaten against Federer in French Open.

Federer-Nadal on Grass Court

Federer and Nadal have come against each other on grass court thrice. They played each other in the Wimbledon final in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Federer has the edge here, winning 2 games of the 3.

Just what Nadal is to clay court, Federer is to grass. He is one of the finest grass court players in Tennis history and has gone on to break Pete Sampras’ record of 7 Wimbledon titles.

In 2006, Federer finished the game in four sets, however Nadal gave a tough time to Federer in 2007, when the game was stretched to five sets.

Nadal then put in an even improved show in the 2008 Wimbledon final, beating the Swiss, however, Federer’s supremacy has been for everyone to see. The game lasted four hours and forty-eight minutes and Nadal won it in the fifth set by 9-7.

Federer-Nadal on Hard Court

This rivalry was on display on the grass court 20 times but the interesting point is that they have never met in the US Open. Most games have been played on outdoor hard courts. We have seen their last rivalry in Australian Open 2017, where Federer beat Nadal in five seats.

In 2009 Australian Open Final, Nadal produced an outstanding performance to beat Federer to clinch his maiden Australian Open title.

On indoor courts, these rivals met last in 2017 Shanghai final. Federer won it in straight sets.

Who’s favorite on Friday?

These rivals will meet for the 40th time on Friday and for the 4th time in Wimbledon. Federer has won 2 times out of 3 against Nadal, however, form is with Nadal.

Though Federer is the finest players on Grass court and maybe because of his record, favourite in this game, but this game has in it to spring a surprise.

Nadal beat Federer last on grass court in 2008 and may find it hard to repeat the feat 10 years on.

Can he deliver yet again? We shall have the answer on Friday.

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