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Throwback: WATCH Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal playing each other for the first time; 17 years ago

The great rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal started 17 years ago today at Miami Masters.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are probably the most loved players on tour and have an absolutely iconic rivalry which started in their 20s, with the pair’s contrasting styles making for some incredibly absorbing contests on the court.

Federer and Nadal- Fedal, jointly own the record of most grand slams,20. Considered one of the greatest-ever tennis rivalries, Federer and Nadal have played each other 40 times, with Nadal leading the head to head 24–16. Of their 40 matches, 20 have been on hard court, 16 have been on clay, and 4 have been on grass.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal

As tournament seedings are based on rankings, with the top two seeds placed on opposite sides of the draw, 25 of Nadal and Federer’s 40 matches have been in tournament finals, including an all-time record nine Grand Slam finals and 12 ATP Tour Masters 1000 finals.

Nadal and Federer first played against each other 17 years ago today

Federer and Nadal played their first match in March 2004 at the third round of the Miami Masters. Nadal, only 17 years old and ranked No. 34 at the time, surprised many by beating the then No. 1 in straight sets 6-3,6-3.

The rivalry has declined over the past few years. They have played just thrice since the 2018 start. They last played at the 2019 Wimbledon semi-final in 4 sets.

It will be highly unlikely to see much of Federer-Nadal rivalry to be seen in future because of Federer’s age and his longevity. Having said that, whatever more we could see of the duo on tour, will be a treat to the eye and fans all around the world would cherish it!

Relive- The epic 2008 Wimbledon Federer-Nadal final

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