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Federer's 5 most lopsided wins over Nadal

Rafael Nadal (left) and Roger Federer.
Rafael Nadal (left) and Roger Federer.
Modified 23 Mar 2020

Roger Federer has been a shining testament to sustained excellence and longevity during the course of his illustrious 22-year ongoing professional career which has seen him become the first player after Jimmy Connors (109 titles, 1274 match wins) to win over 100 singles titles (Dubai 2019) and record over 1200 match wins (1242).

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has the most wins at Grand Slam tournaments (362) and the season-ending ATP Finals (59) than any player while he is one of 3 players, the others being Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, to have appeared in 50 Masters 1000 finals.

Federer became the first player to play the final at all 4 Grand Slam tournaments at least 5 times when he reached his 5th Roland Garros final in 2011 where he lost to his arch rival and good friend Nadal for the fifth time in as many meetings at the claycourt major.

The Federer-Nadal rivalry is one of the great all-time rivalries of the Open Era. The duo has met 40 times on the tour, with 24 meetings going the way of the younger Spaniard. Nadal is one of only 7 active players, 26 overall, to have a positive head-to-head record against the 38-year-old Swiss legend.

Nadal and Federer have met on the grandest of stages on most occasions, as is evidenced in all but 2 of their clashes materialising in the top-3 tiers of tournament category on tour - 14 in Grand Slams (Nadal leads 10-4), 5 at the ATP Finals (Federer leads 4-1), and 19 times at Masters 1000 tournaments (Nadal leads 12-7).

On that note, let us have a look at Federer's 5 most lopsided wins over his great rival.

#5. 2017 Shanghai Final: Federer beats Nadal 6-4, 6-3

Federer lifts his second Shanghai title in 2017.
Federer lifts his second Shanghai title in 2017.

A ruthless Federer conceded only 7 games in the 2017 Shanghai Masters final against his great rival Nadal to win his 6th title of the season in 7 finals and record the 700th hardcourt match win of his illustrious career.


In his fourth match of the season against the Spaniard, the 36-year-old employed an aggressive gameplan to perfection which had served him well in the pair's three other meetings in the finals of the Australian Open and Miami and the fourth round at Indian Wells.

Federer rode a lone break of the Nadal serve and an impressive 83% of first serve points won to take the opener 6-4. Refusing to let go his momentum in the second, a stunning drop volley helped him break the Spaniard for 3-2. Four games later, the Nadal serve cracked under more onslaught from Federer, with the Spaniard hitting a forehand into the net to end the contest.

With the win, Federer won 5 consecutive matches against Nadal for the first time in the pair's rivalry as the then 19-time Grand Slam champion moved level with Ivan Lendl (94) for most singles titles on the ATP Tour, behind all-time leader Jimmy Connors (109).


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Published 23 Mar 2020, 23:28 IST
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