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Federer vs. Nadal: 3 Unique Facts of their Rivalry!
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In the Californian desert, the stage was changed because the two adversaries had contrasting approaches towards the match – while Federer was happy to be a part of the contest because he was suffering from severe back spasms, Nadal was trying to make a statement that all was well with his knees, and he was ready to take back his much deserved place alongside the three members of the holy quartet called the ‘Big 4’.
Still, it’s tough to match the pool of expectations every time these titans bump into each other. The clash was a gentle reminder of their glory days when their aura was enough to create ripples in the minds of their challengers as they stood alone on top of the tree, and the others lagged too far behind.
TennisEarth traces their journey as the two fiercest challengers on the rectangular arena and offers you three distinctive truths about their classic opposition. Have a look at some of the interesting essentials of the two of a kind.
1. Federer is the only man who has bageled Nadal on all three surfaces: The magician is the only player on the men’s circuit who has bagged a 6-0 set against the mighty Majorcan on all three facades – hard, grass and clay. The fascinating feat kicked-off at what Federer calls his ‘first home’ – the sacred lawn of the Centre Court at the All England Club in 2006.
After losing the French Open final to the left-hander, Federer got his chance for an immediate revenge as the tenacious Capri wearing muscular boy surprised everyone by making it to the championship clash at the ‘Big W’. Roger played picture perfect tennis in the opening set as he showed that his was the emperor of the lush green grass as he reeled off six straight games in 25 minutes.
The 17 times Major victor then stunned the King of Clay a year later on his preferred red brickish veneer in the final at Hamburg, when he routed the then world no.2 to claim his 13th Masters crown. The maestro completed his trifecta of bagels over the southpaw when he steamrolled him 6-3, 6-0 at the year-end Barclays World Tour Finals in London in 2011.
2. Nadal is only one of the two teenagers that have beaten Federer since 2003: The reigning French Open champion is among the two men who had destroyed the ‘Greatest of all Time’ long before, when they were young boys. Rafa initiated his rampaging run versus the talisman right from the word go as he overwhelmed his great rival in straight sets as a 17 year old at Crandon Park a decade ago, and followed that performance with a similar showing two years later as he overcame the stiff resistance of the then world no.1 in the semifinals of Roland Garros in a rain delayed four-setter.
In 2006, the ‘greatest hard-worker of all time’ aged just 19 accumulated four successive victories over the ‘King Royale’ as he bagged titles in Dubai, Monte Carlo, Rome and Paris. Surprisingly, that year Fed lost only five encounters and apart from Nadal, the
other competitor that had flattened him was a teenager too – Andy Murray had knocked him out of the third round of the Cincinnati Masters a week before the US Open.
3. Federer is the sole guy who has defeated Nadal at least twice on clay, grass and hard courts: ‘Mr. Tennis’ remains to be the only bloke that has nailed the 26 year old no less than two times on the three different types of surfaces currently in use in tennis. While, the superlative grass-courter had trounced him in back to back finals at SW19, he had annihilated the man from Spain in trophy clashes on the slow bouncy clay of Hamburg in 2006 and again in front of Rafa’s home fans in Madrid in 2009. Federer’s eight other triumphs over the present world no.4 have been on the cemented courts, with most of them coming at the prestigious 8 man Masters Cup in either China or London at the tail-end of the season.
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