5 amazing tennis facts about the careers of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Federer and Nadal have the most Grand Slam titles, most Grand Slam match wins and most Masters 1000 match wins in the Open Era. The duo also own the most titles on all three surfaces prevalent in the game today.
Federer has the most titles on hard court (71) and grass court (19) while Nadal is the all-time title leader on clay (56). Nadal (82) and Federer (77) also have the most outdoor titles of any player in the game.
The two arch-rivals and close friends (not an oxymoron) own the longest-ever win streaks on all 3 surfaces. Federer's 65 consecutive wins on grass (2003 Halle to 2008 Wimbledon) and 56 on hardcourt (2005 Rotterdam to 2006 Dubai) are the most by any player on the surface.
Meanwhile Nadal's 81-match win-streak on clay (2005 Monte Carlo to 2007 Hamburg) is the longest on any surface, ahead of Federer's 65 consecutive wins on grass and John McEnroe's 65 consecutive wins on carpet.
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Incidentally, all 3 streaks on the 3 surfaces came to an end at the hands of the other player. Federer's 65-match grass court win streak (2008 Wimbledon final) and 56-match hard court win streak (2006 Dubai final) were both ended by Nadal. The Swiss maestro returned the compliment by bringing Nadal's stunning 81-match winning-run on clay to a close in the 2007 Hamburg Masters final.
The duo hold the records for the most weeks in the top 3 positions of the men's singles rankings. Federer has the most weeks at No. 1 (310 weeks) and No. 3 (210 weeks on the week starting 3 November 2019) while Nadal's 332 weeks at No. 2 is also a record.
While these are some of the most prominent feats of the game's most recognizable duo, let us have a look at five other lesser-known but still amazing facts about their respective tennis careers.
#1 Federer and Nadal have the most number of Slam-winning seasons in the Open Era
While Federer (20) and Nadal (19) have the most Grand Slam titles of any player in the Open Era, the duo also possess the most number of Slam-winning seasons.
The two all-time Grand Slam titlists have together swept all 4 major titles in a season on 4 occasions (2006: Federer-3, Nadal-1; 2007- Federer-3, Nadal-1; 2010-Federer-1, Nadal-3; 2017 (Federer-2, Nadal-2).
Federer won a major title for 8 consecutive seasons (2003 to 2010), before tallying 3 more in 2012 and 2017-18. Nadal's 10 consecutive major-winning seasons (2005 to 2014) is an Open Era record, while the Spaniard has also won Grand Slam titles in 3 other seasons (2017-19).