After competing alongside Roger Federer in his farewell match, Rafael Nadal has spoken on the El Partidazo de COPE about various things including Federer’s 2009 French Open victory. The Federer-Nadal rivalry was at its peak during 2006-2012. While Nadal has dominated their rivalry for most of the years, he was at his best against Federer during his early 20s.
Federer was in his ultimate prime from 2004 to 2009. In 2006 and 2007, he reached all 4 major finals and except for Roland Garros, won all 3 in both years. He made it to the Roland Garros final in 2006, 2007, and 2008 but unfortunately, lost to Rafael Nadal in all three of them. Before the 2009 French Open final, Federer had won 13 major titles but was yet to win the French Open even once.
Due to Nadal’s dominance, Federer wasn’t able to win Roland Garros even once and hence was yet to complete the career slam. But when Nadal lost in the Round of 16 of the 2009 French Open, Federer became the favorite to win and finally had the chance to acquire the only missing piece of silverware.
‘I honestly didn’t want Roger to win but ended up crying because he deserved it’: Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer’s 2009 Roland Garros triumph
In the 2009 Roland Garros final, Federer defeated Robin Soderling, Nadal’s slayer, and his emotions showed what he meant to him. He became a 14-time major champion and finally completed the career slam.
In the podcast, Nadal revealed how initially, he didn’t want Federer to win because the No.1 ranking was on the line but after realizing how close Federer was in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, he finally was happy that Federer won it. He said that he ended up crying for his greatest rival and friend because he totally deserved it.
“I honestly didn’t want Roger to win at first because I had chances to be world no. 1 and his win was bad for me in that sense. But he was so close in 05,06,07 and 08 and when he finally got it I ended up crying, because he deserved it,” Nadal said.