French Open 2019: 5 things you must know about Federer-Nadal rivalry
#5 The last time they met at a grand slam was in 2017
And what a match that was! The build up to this match was even more exciting.
Roger Federer was returning to the tennis circuit after six months - the longest break in his career so far. The break came after a semifinal loss to Milos Raonic during the 2016 Wimbledon. His knee was in such a bad state that he had to forego the following season including 2016 Summer Olympics to prolong his career.
Rafael Nadal had an equally miserable 2016. After a first round exit at the Australian Open, he had to withdraw from the French Open midway and opt out of the Wimbledon that year due to a wrist injury. He also lost his fourth round match at the US Open, and failed to win a single medal at the Olympics.
Even with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray exiting before the quarterfinals, both players had to get through a host of tough opponents before setting up a final for the ages. While Nadal beat the likes of Marcos Baghdatis, Alexander Zverev, Monfils, Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov before the final; while Federer also had to face the heat from the likes of Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Mischa Zverev and Stan Wawrinka before facing Rafa.
This encounter was their first Grand Slam meeting after exactly three years, as Nadal beat Federer in the semifinal of the 2014 Australian Open. With the emergence of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, and their own ageing, a Grand Slam final between the two was as good as a dream come true for tennis fans.Published 07 Jun 2019, 08:44 IST