Roger Federer will play his farewell match at the 2022 Laver Cup with Rafael Nadal as his doubles partner on the first day of the 3-day tournament against the American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. But the rivalry between Federer and Nadal is one of the greatest rivalries in the history of tennis.
Toni Nadal, uncle and former coach of Rafael Nadal, claims that the Federer and Nadal rivalry is way much greater than the rivalry between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman which is also known as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle‘. He said “Foreman and Ali are two timeless giants but they were not against each other like this for so many years. Tennis is an individual sport where there is never anywhere to hide at any time. With them, I have seen up close pure sport: a battle until the final breath without ever losing respect for their rival and, above all, the game.”
He further added that “Also in the most incredible and tense matches, each one of them tried with their individual style to overcome the other with always the same spirit – no shortcuts, only tennis. It was not a simple rivalry, it was an example to admire.“
“It was an example to admire,” Toni Nadal on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s rivalry over the years
Federer and Nadal are fondly referred to as “Fedal” by their fans are known to have one of the greatest rivalries of tennis on the courts where they have played against each other 40 times, with Nadal leading 24–16 overall, including 14–10 in the encounter in the finals. The last time they both played was in the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2019 where the Swiss had defeated the Spaniard in four sets.
Nadal has won 22 singles major titles and leads the list of the most number of singles Grand Slam titles won by men in the Open era whereas Federer is the third player on the list with 20 major titles. With passing times, they both have turned to be great friends outside the court as well and share a special bond. Nadal has dedicated one of the two luxury suites at ‘Rafael Nadal Academy‘ in the name of Federer.