Roger Federer Knew 11 Years Ago That Rafael Nadal Was A “Legend In The Making”
by Tom Gainey | March 21st, 2015, 5:02 pm

The 34th edition of “Fedal” didn’t happen today in the Indian Wells semifinals, but Roger Federer praise for his rival Rafael Nadal yesterday shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Federer, who is down 23-10 to Nadal, spoke of how important rivalries are to the sport.

“I think it’s nice and it’s good for the game to have rivalries, preferably a few, but you can only always focus on a couple probably,” Federer said Friday. “But what I like about tennis is that you can have great careers side by side. If you looked at what happened the last ten years or so, Novak, myself, Rafa, also Murray and all the other guys, there are so many guys who did such great careers and we achieved so much, and at the same time.”

Federer then talked about his first meeting with Nadal, a 63, 63 loss in the 2004 Miami third round. And he said he knew then the kid would be something great.

“In the beginning clearly I tried to fight it, to not accept it that he was my rival, that I did have a rival, because I was playing so well in 2004 and then ’05. But very quickly did I realize of course when he beat me the first time in Miami that this wasn’t just a fluke. This was, you know, probably a legend in the making.

“You know, he’s been around forever. He’s created things that are just mind blowing. You know, Monaco record, French Open record, and many others. Yeah, I think it’s been actually very cool playing against him over all these years, and I’m sure it’s made me a better player throughout. I hope I did a little bit of the same against him.

“But for me, definitely I had to try to come up with different game plans, maybe practice with more lefties as I went along in my career, and that helped me to improve certain things in my game, for sure.”

Nadal has since dominated Federer winning 23 of 33 meetings including nine of 11 in Grand Slam play.

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9 Comments for Roger Federer Knew 11 Years Ago That Rafael Nadal Was A “Legend In The Making”

Hippy Chick Says:

These two have such respect for each other,damn shame about the fans….

Okiegal Says:

Roger Federer, one smart guy!!

metan Says:

Roger is so sweet.

Alexandra Says:

So nice that these guys can appreciate each other’s careers. It won’t last forever.

Giles Says:

Well done fed acknowledging Rafa’s greatness as he does yours. Just for that I will be rooting for fed today!

Hippy Chick Says:

Shame very few people here seem interested in what Rogers saying here about Rafa,Rafa and Roger share a mutual respect for one another,given the way many Fed fans feel about Rafa i cant say im entirely surprised,as nobody seems interested in positive Rafa headlines or thread topics only negative ones….

Okiegal Says:

@Chick 3:09

Are you really surprised? I’m not…..

Okiegal Says:

@Chick….I missed part of your post…..should have read it closer……you said you weren’t surprised. I’m sorry to be an echo……lol

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger has been appreciative of Rafa and his other rivals for a long time. I know he was a bit frustrated during 2008-09, when he had to go thru few physical ailements and had to relinquish his No 1 ranking. But once he settled down, he has been very forthcoming in his appreciation of his rivals.

Infact during the 2007 Wimby finals ceremony, he even quoted about how happy he is to get this one, since Rafa would be taking them all going forward.

@HC, no point in blaming Roger fans alone. I believe it’s the same with few Rafa fans too. Ofcourse, you have been a terrific neutral fan.

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