Tennis Icon Roger Federer Reveals Details About His Relationship With Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer has shed light on his personal relationship with Rafael Nadal.


Roger Federer, right, and Rafael Nadal react during their Laver Cup doubles match last year.

'King Of Clay' Rafael Nadal stated that the year 2024 could be his final year in competitive tennis and he could bring curtains down on a brilliant career. The Spaniard has won 22 Grand Slam titles that includeds a record 14 French Open trophies. (More Tennis News)

Along the way, it was his duels with Roger Federer, who retired in 2022, that set the tennis stage on fire. The Swiss legend won 20 Grand Slams, with a record eight Wimbledon titles.

The iconic duo met 40 times in their professional career, with Nadal winning 24 times. But their matches went beyond numbers. The tennis and drama they produced was magical and held millions in thrall. Federer was the effortless, uber elegant right-hander, Nadal the grinding, fist-pumping left-hander. They also held the top-2 ranking in world tennis from July 2005 to August 2009. Furthermore, Federer and Nadal are the only pair in professional tennis to have ever finished six consecutive calendar years at the top.


Cited as 'Fedal' by many of their adoring fans, Federer spoke about his relationship with Nadal during an event, admitting that at one stage they couldn't stand each other. He said, "We started respecting the rivalry. We almost miss it, playing each other every weekend. Back in the day we couldn’t stand each other probably for that. He’s a great man. I wish he can come back one more time but he has shown the tennis world and the fans how good he is."

Opening up on their age difference, Federer said, "I’m five years older than Rafa, so when I came on tour I saw young, junior Rafa come through and he was extremely good, very young. He was incredibly respectful and also very shy, he had an unbelievable respect for me - not that he doesn’t have that now anymore, it’s just different because we’re friendly."


"He was very in awe of me and everything I wanted to do with the tour and my ideas, he was like: ‘You’re right’, then I saw Rafa grow into his personality, get more confident, he obviously had his own ideas and we started playing each other almost every other weekend.

"Obviously it was intense but always good and we always got along well, not just the two of us but also our teams, my parents and his parents, my coaches and his coaches, his sister and my sister - like the whole surroundings were very respectful and very good.

"Then as we got older and we knew maybe time was ticking and we’re about to not see each other so much - I had family, that changes someone anyway - we started to talk about all different things in life. More on injuries, more on kids as he is also a father now. The conversations change and in the process we also respect the rivalry that we used to have", Federer further added.

On grass, Federer has a 3-1 winning record against Nadal, and 11-9 on hard courts. But on clay, Nadal leads 14-2.