Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Probably the greatest rivalry in sporting history. The two players have played some extremely thrilling encounters amongst themselves.
Their rivalry began in the year 2004 with Nadal upsetting Federer in Miami, 6-3, 6-3. Since then, they went on to face each other 37 more times, their latest encounter coming at Shanghai last year, which Federer won in straight sets.
Overall, Nadal leads the head-to-head 23-15, however, despite that, the two players have put on a great show whenever they have stepped out on court.
Let's take a look at the top 5 encounters between the two superstars:
#5 Australian Open 2017 Final
Both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal defied the odds to reach the final in 2017. Federer had come back from a six-month layoff and was ranked no. 17. Nadal, on the other hand, was not in great form coming into the tournament. However, the two players battled their way into the final and had an epic encounter.
The match began with Federer gaining the upper-hand in the first set with extremely attacking tennis, thus leading to an early break for the Swiss Maestro. Federer held on to his serve and grabbed the first set.
Nadal came back fighting to win the second set and was about to grab an early break in the third, however, Federer held on to his serve in the first game and then broke Nadal twice to take the third set. However, Nadal came back fighting to win the fourth and grab an early break in the final set.
After saving many break points, he was finally broken in the sixth game. Federer did not look back from there and broke Nadal in the eighth game and served out to win the match and his first Grand Slam in five years and his 18th title overall.
Result: Roger Federer def. Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3