Alex Perl | July 11th, 2019
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the two greatest tennis players of our generation. If you ask most people, the term greatest of all time is just a debate between them. July 12, 2019, is the date that will mark their 40th meeting vs one another. The tournament is Wimbledon, which will be their fourth overall meeting in this tournament and the tournament’s semi-final match. With Federer holding the 2-1 advantage in this tournament, and Nadal holding the better overall record, the excitement and audience views for this matchup will more than likely surpass the number of viewers for the actual final. This just shows how big and important this matchup will be.
For almost every great athlete in history, there was a rival or someone nipping right behind them to glory. Magic Johnson had Larry Bird, Muhammad Ali had Joe Frazier, and now Federer has Nadal. Nadal from Spain holds the advantage over the Swiss superstar Federer, with an overall record of 24 wins for Nadal, and 15 wins for Federer. Nadal, also the younger man is currently four years younger than Federer at 33, although Federer is approaching his 38th birthday next month.
Federer holds the advantage with more major titles, a Tennis record 20, while Nadal is closely behind and second all-time with 18. Federer is also second all-time in total wins while Nadal is currently fourth. Despite the overall wins of Nadal, recently the rivalry has almost been one-sided, with Federer winning the last six of seven meetings, although Nadal did win the most recent meeting which was in the French Open.
The numbers put up by both of these superstars is one that is pretty complicated, to say the least. Despite the overall winning record of Nadal, the one thing that stands out is his struggles outside of playing on clay courts. Nadal the so-called “King of Clay” has a record of 14-2 vs Federer on clay courts. Of his 18 major title wins, 12 have been on the clay courts of the French Open.
Federer holds the advantage on grass courts with a 2-1 record vs Nadal, which is what they will currently play on for the Wimbledon final, despite this, Nadal won their last matchup on grass which was over 10 years ago in the same event. Nadal holds the edge on outdoor hard court wins vs Federer with 8-6, but Federer holds a record of 5-1 on indoor hard courts vs Nadal. Diving into these numbers shows it’s a lot closer in some ways and a lot wider in others, it’s always hard to call a clear winner.
Despite the on-court rivalry, the two have the utmost respect for each other and their games. Nadal has been quoted stating “if he is playing good, I have to play unbelievable.” Federer has also been quoted stating “he made me maybe rework my game and go back to the practice courts and think about what I could change.” Despite all of the respect they have for one another, the Wimbledon final will be just like every other meeting they have had in the past, which will be hard-fought and no favorite among them. Sure the Wimbledon trophy will be raised on Sunday, but the real match the world will be watching will be indeed the match prior.
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