Why I love… Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

I love Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. They are two of the greatest tennis players who have ever lived and they are my favourite players. I am one of those people who likes and supports both of them, no matter who they are playing. When they end up playing each other I’m often torn because I love them both and never really know who I want to win, but I do know their matches will be incredible.

Theirs has been a rivalry that’s been going for thirteen years now. They’ve played each other 37 times so far, with Nadal leading with 23 wins to Federer’s 14 wins. Probably their most famous match is the Wimbledon 2008 final. It was pure magic and one of the first tennis matches I remember being riveted by, it was an example of phenomenal tennis. They’ve made each other improve their game and have set so many records individually and together. They’ve each had their problems and injuries and for them to come back in 2017, with Federer 36 years old and Nadal 31, and win the four major Grand Slams between them is incredible. This year Federer won Wimbledon for a record eighth time, and met Nadal in the Australian Open where he won in five sets. While Nadal won the US Open and he won his tenth French Open title (another record) and firmly cemented himself as the King of Clay.

Last month was the inaugural Laver Cup, a tournament organised by Roger Federer in the style of golf’s Ryder Cup, with Team Europe playing against Team World. It was an event that had its critics before it started as it doesn’t affects any players standings and was seen as more of an exhibition tournament more than something players want to win. Doubters were proved wrong as everyone involved was desperate to play their best and to win.

One of the highlights of the tournament was that Federer and Nadal, both playing for Team Europe, played a doubles match on the same time – the first time they’ve ever played together like that. It was a thrilling match and their opponents from Team World, Sam Querrey and Jack Sock, put up a fight, especially in the second set but Nadal and Federer went on to win the match, even if there were some slight mishaps where they were unused to playing together. Team Europe went on to win the tournament after Roger Federer defeated Nick Kyrgios, when in his excitement Rafa went and jumped into Roger’s arms!

The Laver Cup really highlighted how these two sportsmen not only respect each other, but how well they get along off the court. They are some of the fiercest rivals in sport ever but they have also become almost friends. It was wonderful seeing them on the same side, supporting each other and the younger players on the team. To be honest I don’t think I’d ever seen Rafa smile and laugh as much as he did that weakened, especially whenever he was with Roger. It was such a great tournament – and being able to watch their doubles match live was the best £6.99 I’ve ever spent (I got a Sky Sports 24 Hours Pass on Now TV).

They are both getting older, and they will have to retire at some point, but until then I’ll enjoy watching them play – both against one another, and against anyone else. I could write even more about Rafa and Roger and why I like them so much, but really it can be narrowed down to two things that applies to them both. 1. They are very talented tennis players and 2. They seem like generally nice, charismatic people. I could say so much about them, using their own quotes to describe each other, but I don’t want this post to be even longer than it already is.

I love them both and I’ll finish this post with a video from the Laver Cup someone highlighting Federer and Nadal’s friendship. Though I also have to mention this video, where Roger and Rafa are supposed to be filming an advert for a charity match and they cannot stop laughing – if I’m ever feeling down I watch this video and it always makes me feel better.

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5 comments

  1. Nice piece.There’s been an incredible emotional reaction to the whole thing. I guess because their matches have had such an incredible human drama in them (watch the AO 09 closing ceremony although not without a box of tissues) and people are just touched to see them laughing and giggling. In case you haven’t seen these, watch this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS08tlAJpVc for the last thirty seconds of Fed looking like a five-year old telling you about their first goal and this one
    ://twitter.com/hpfarrell/status/916000035300679680 (the tweet gives you the time to look for) to see how exactly their body language is mirroring – shame the cameraman didn’t go into a closer focus.

    All the best

    1. I hadn’t seen either of those videos so thanks for sharing!
      The 2009 Australian Open Final was so good for so many reasons, but like you say, I can’t watch their speeches without tissues on hand. Their rivalry is spectacular but the fact it seems they actually like and respect each other makes it a lot more interesting to me, compared to other sporting rivalries, past and present.
      There’s just something special about Rafa and Roger.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  2. It’s refreshing to see someone openly say that they love BOTH players. We forget that in a few years neither of these great players may not be playing the game. Therefore we should both enjoy it whilst we have it. I’m an open Federer fanatic, however I value Nadal an incredible amount.

    1. I think I got the love of both of them from my mum as she’s never been able to choose between them either. As you say, it’s a pleasure to watch the two of them play and who knows how many years we’ve got left with them at the top of their game.

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