When did Rafael Nadal first played against Roger Federer?

The two icons of the sport- Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer first met at the 2004 Miami Masters where a young Nadal got the better of Federer.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

The on court rivalry between the two legends of tennis, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, is second to none. The duo have faced each other for a whopping 40 times, with Nadal leading the head-to-head record comprehensively by 24-16. Few have been the contests that have remained one-sided in this legendary rivalry, and on most occasions have lived up to their billing in providing a tennis masterclass.

It is hard to fathom the fact that their on-court chemistry started 17 years back! It is safe to assume that many of you would know that it was Nadal who opened the account in their first head-to-head encounter, but few would know how it took place. Continuing the series of knowing the King of Clay Rafael Nadal a little more, here we will try to tell you about the first encounter between the 35-year old Spaniard and his arguably the greatest rival, Roger Federer.

First Match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: A Few Insights

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

The iconic rivalry between Nadal and Federer commenced in 2004 at the third round of the ATP 1000 Miami Masters. Nadal was just 17 years old back then and ranked 34 in the world, without having a single Grand Slam title. Quite opposite to this, Federer was World No.1 at that moment. However, the rankings were of little significance on that historical day, as Nadal shocked everyone including himself to notch up a straight-set 6-3, 6-3 win over Federer.

Nobody would have ever imagined in the wildest of their dreams that the two icons would go on to face each other 39 times more. The rivalry is far from over as none of the two athletes have retired, and it would be interesting to see whether Federer would be able to make a comeback in the head-to-head record which he trails 16-24.

Also read: ATP Mallorca Open 2021: Men’s Singles Draw Preview, Analysis and Predictions