Fedal Wars: Today Is The 10 Year Anniversary Of The First Federer-Nadal Match [Video]
by Tom Gainey | March 28th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Today marks the ten year anniversary of the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry. Then just 17, Nadal beat the then 2-time Slam winner Federer 63, 63 in the third round of Miami.

“It was a tough tournament,” said Federer looking back at the player he knew little about. “I came off of sunstroke in Indian Wells after beating Henman in the finals. I was in bed for four or five days, and then came here.”

“He played great and I was impressed with what I saw,” he added. “Everybody thought he was just a clay courter, and he proved that he was probably going to be more than just that,” the Swiss added. “He went on to have this great career that many expected him to have.”

Nadal has continued his reign over Roger now leading the Swiss 23-10 in their long history. Their most recent meeting came in January also won by Nadal.

The Federer-Nadal rivalry numbers:
Overall: Nadal leads 23-10
All finals: Nadal leads 14–6
Grand Slam matches: Nadal leads 9–2
Australian Open: Nadal leads 3–0
French Open: Nadal leads 5–0
Wimbledon: Federer leads 2–1
Grand Slam finals: Nadal leads 6–2
Clay courts: Nadal leads 13–2
Hard courts: Nadal leads 9–6
Indoor: Federer leads 4–1
Grass courts: Federer leads 2–1
Best of five set matches: Nadal leads 12–3

* Only pair in Open Era history to have met 8 times in Grand Slam finals
* Only pair in Open Era history to have met 4 times in finals at one Slam (at the French Open)
* Record of 5 matches played against each other at the French Open (shared with Djokovic-Nadal rivalry)
* Record of 20 finals played against each other on the ATP tour
* Record of 10 finals played against each other in Masters 1000 (shared with Djokovic-Nadal rivalry)
* This rivalry is ranked seventh in terms of matches played.
* Record of most Grand Slam matches played (tied with Djokovic-Nadal and Federer-Djokovic)

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37 Comments for Fedal Wars: Today Is The 10 Year Anniversary Of The First Federer-Nadal Match [Video]

Slice Tennis Says:

“I came off of sunstroke in Indian Wells after beating Henman in the finals. I was in bed for four or five days, and then came here.”

Master of excuses.

Daniel Says:


Seems the Nadal x Djoko rivalry will surpass this one in matches in Grand Slams and Masters finals pretty soon. But 8 times in Grand Slam finals will be hard, will see, maybe they can surpass that as well, they have 6 right now. If they made one more RG final will surpass the RG encounters.

Slice Tennis Says:

“Seems the Nadal x Djoko rivalry will surpass this one in matches in Grand Slams and Masters finals pretty soon.”

In terms of the quality they have already surpassed this (non)rivalry.

Giles Says:

Hope to see many more Fedal matches in the future with my fave winning of course.

Daniel Says:

Slice Tennis,

In term of quality, the Federer x Djokovic surpass them all, hands down!
Hardly we ever see a loopsided contest as it happened many times before with Fedal (from both sides, Fed won a few easy ones and so has Nadal, more of course as he has more wins).

Slice Tennis Says:

In terms of the result this rivalry is too boring.
But its quite good in terms of the entertainment.
Some samples:

Slice Tennis Says:

If you are not a fan of anyone then fedal matches are the best because of the strokes produced.
For fed fans obviously it is a nightmare. Even for Rafa fans it is getting a bit boring since we always know the end result.
But they play some unbelievable shots against each other.

Daniel Says:

SLice is,

Same can be said about Fed x Djoko. Overall I think they play better matches, but the contrast between Fedal is what brings the extra to it, and the fact they will probably end their careers are the 2 best players of all time.
But as Nadal shown his point: my style to prevent you from playing your style won 2 out of 3, plus the mental aspect it created kind of diminishes the rivalry quality wise. I don’t even remember when was the last good match between this two. I think was one Fed lost in third set, but it was close.

Slice Tennis Says:

2013 Cinci was good. It was not a blowout. Rome 2013 was one the worst.

Hippy Chic Says:

Basically the same old drum beat,GOAT,H2H,weak era,GOAT,H2H,weak era,GOAT,H2H,weak era,GOAT,H2H,weak era,round and round in circles,nothing to see here move on.

Rafa better than Roger Says:


It is 1-0 then 1-1 then 12-6 then 18-9, then 23-10 then 30-10 if roger does not retire. It is a great straight line to dominance, not of a journeyman player, but a former No.1,, much ballyhooooed goat cheese.

In fact, I am one of those fans who likes roger to keep on playing till 35 — to highlight what a non-goat he is, winning in a documented weak era of hewitt, roddick, safin, aging agassi,

Whereas Rafa is the undisputed GCCOAT, the greatest clay court tennis player of the world, roger cannot even claim to be geate st of any.


There is that pesky 23-10.


Rafa better than Roger Says:

Here is the quality of Rafa’s achievements vs. Roger’s quantity

Rafa has 62 overall titles to rogers 78. But 21 of 78 total are mickey mouse 250 atp events!!!! Subtracting rafa’s 7 and adjusting the total, roger only has 64 — and to think he had 3 year headstart.

Now, let us see Rafa’s count — a quality record of 26 atp1000s, a quality record atp500 and 13 slams beating who??? 8 times in the grandest grand slams??

First to make the Channel Slam since Borg, youngest career Slam and here iz the most painful — whereas roger won 3 slams in a year, Nadal won it in a calendar year, consecutively … and what else? In 3 different surfaces!!!


Qed buf more to come.

Rafa better than Roger Says:

Don’t get me wrong. I like roger, a lot because I like to hear directly from him that RafA is the greatest.

Oopz, I think roger already said — Rafa is better than him, (roger).

Rafa better than Roger Says:


Why did you leave out the Outdoors stat? Yes managed to squueze indoors?

How about tie-breaks stat?

jatin Says:

Old boring stuff as usual. Same guys belittling fed and his achievements. It makes me laugh now.

Rafa better than roger Says:

Same boring 17 gs stuff, federling?

These are what roger fans had to deal with through the years since 2004.

1. Rafa is just a claycourter. Cannot beat Roger in grass or hard. See above.. Record is 1-2 and 9-6 or 10-7 combined.
Argument debunked … Easily

2. Rafa plays too far out in no man’s land against heavy hitters. Will be bamboozled. Reality? Against Isner, karlovic, soderling, raonic, roddick, and every dick and harry.
What is the h2h record? Lol.

3. Rafa will not win in grass. 2008 dethroned roger in the best tennis match of all time. Loser? Roger

4. Rafa will not win in hard. Gold in olympics hard. And who cried losing in 2009 Aussie Open? Enough said.

5. The way rafa plays, he will not last … As if roger is the only one who can play till 32! Such myopic im eciles!!!

But true, nadal missed a lot of grand slams because he gets injured a lot, … Since 2004. But still managed to get 13?
Just impressive!

What is that 17 again?

Jose Felciano Says:

when all is said and done, Roger has been world class, with one woman, his family, multiple titles and overall dominance for many years….and, still playing for the love of the game = this may be his greatest testimony…very few champions keep playing after they are no longer #1…

jatin Says:

Aren’t you tired of saying the same things over and over again ?
Many of us are fed fans because of the way he plays( not because of what he has achieved ). His enormous fan base speak for itself.

jatin Says:

My post was directed to @ Rafa better than roger

Rafa better than roger Says:

Jp and jatlin,

Try again. One woman,??? The way he plays — lame subjective assessment. As oposed to 17??

So funny!!

That 17 will soon be a non-entity and gs count is a goner argument.

So we base it on one woman???

Way too lame

A Tango Lad Says:

I must have missed the point in society that staying with one woman deserved such high acclaim when it should be expected.

Jose, please show me the plethora of players who quit after dropping from No. 1. I can’t think of a single example.

jatin Says:

Rafa better than roger
Ok . Shall me move on then :)

Polo Says:

13 vs 17. I’ll go with 17, whoever he is.

Rafa better than roger Says:

Polo, sure … For now.

Because, before it was roger 13, rafa 5. An 8 differential.
Then roger 17, rafa 11
Then roger 17, rafa 13.

Then roger 17, Rafa 20 perhaps?

See that trend?

The dread of that prospect must be killing federlings each second of the day.

By then, the only argument left is. …. Because Roger had twin girls from one woman!


Rafa better than roger Says:

Stat alert:

Outdoors: NADAL 22>6, could it be that huge 16 differential is the reason it was left out of the list? Much better than 23-10.

Tie-breaks: NADAL. 11-10.


Polo Says:

When it’s 18 vs 17, I will go for 18, whoever he is.

Polo Says:

When the numbers get stalled at 17 vs 17, subjectively, I will pick Federer; objectively, I will pick Nadal.

Rafa better than roger Says:

My mistake, it is 10-8 Nadal, grass and hard combined not

Oh well, but 10>8, no?

Rafa better than roger Says:

Polo, deep down, regardless of Rafa’s eventual advantage, you will, subjectively still pick Roger.

But by then, it is really not the Roge’s fans judgment that matters.

It is Roger’s admission that he is not the greatest, goat or otherwise, because when, not if that time comes, it is Rafa hands down — deeply entrenched in roger’s head.

There is nothing wrong with being a loyal fan of roger. As others have been loyal to becker.

Polo Says:

Rafa better than Roger, what I said about subjective and objective picks at 17 apiece stands at that number. Beyond that, as I previously stated, at 17 vs 18, I will go for the one with the higher number, regardless of who he is. There will be no room for subjectivity when one number is greater than the other.

Rafa better than rafa Says:


Rafa better than rafa Says:

And when it is even, 23-10 does not matter?
Isnt that Sports 101?


Rafa better than rafa Says:

Numerically, 23>10 but not objective enough?

Polo Says:

I only take the slams in consideration to make it simple. At equal number of majors, there’s where there’s still subjectivity. I can inveigh to include other factors such as number of weeks at number one, number of year end number ones, number of year end championships when only the top 8 compete, etc, etc. As I said, subjective, you who like Rafa, can use other factors.

skeezer Says:

When a player holds various all time records, he stands alone at the top, all others chasing and looking up. Slams by far carry the obvious most weight. Most players say the Slams are by far the most important, I posted the “stands alone” resume of the Maestro on another thread. It’s impressive. It’s undeniable. The King.

Hippy Chic Says:

Why do people always want to belittle Roger in favour of Rafa,and vice versa,these type of threads just cause more anymosity,both are amazing players,lets just leave it at that??

Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrogant One is a great champion. I am proud to own him and call him my goat. When he retires, i will always miss those 30-40 moments on his serve.

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