The Facts sponsored by Rafa Benitez

The Facts: Federer vs. Nadal

Federer vs Nadal is one of the greatest tennis rivalries of all time (I’m leaving that one open for any Venus vs. Serena fans). Their matches have defined an era of tennis. Here are The Facts about Fedal before they meet for the 38th time (before their 2017 Shanghai Open Final meeting).

  • Fedal’s H2H is currently 23-14 to the Spaniard but Federer has won 4 of the last 5 meetings.
  • They’ve played 1,094 sets since 2004, including 22 tiebreaks.
  • The closest their rivalry has ever been is 1-1. Federer has never taken the lead.
  • Between them, they’ve won 35 Grand Slams, 56 Masters titles and 168 professional singles titles in total
  • Federer (93) is 3rd on the all-time titles list, behind Lendl (94) and Connors (109)
    • Nadal (75) is fifth on that list, 2 behind McEnroe (77)
    • Federer and Nadal have spent 452 at #1 between them (that’s over 8.5 years)
    • 23 of their 38 meetings have come in tournament finals.
      • Nadal leads 14-9 in this mini H2H but his last final win over Federer was back in 2013
        • However, Nadal’s last finals win over Federer came in the ATP 1000 in Rome back in 2013
        • Nadal and Federer hold the longest streaks in history on clay and hard
        • Nadal has been seeded 1st in 10 Grand Slam tournaments, 4 of them consecutively.
          • Federer has been seeded 1st in 23 Grand Slam tournaments, 19 of them consecutively.

Nobody expected Fedal to return or with such ferocity. For their 2017 meetings to have all come in finals harks back to the glory days of 2006-2008 when they were at their most dominant. Much is owed to the Djokovic and Murray’s absences but let’s not take away Fedal’s inherent dominance.  They came back from injury to get back at the top in a time when they should be “past their peak” under normal circumstances. But these two aren’t normal players. Their rallies defy the laws of physics and leave you emotionally wrought. My heart lives permanently in my mouth when I watch these two. It’s fantastic to see two tennis legends continuing to push the boundaries in their 30s.

(Thank you to Steve G Tennis and Google for the stats)

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