French Open 2019: 5 things you must know about Federer-Nadal rivalry
- Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play their 39th match - 13th time in a Grand Slam, 6th time in French Open and the first time since 2017.
The battle for the ages is here. One of the biggest and most anticipated rivalries in sport is all set to take place at Roland Garros on Friday. Two of the most loved and decorated players in men's tennis (Federer has 20 singles Grand Slam titles while Nadal has 17) are ready to face each other yet again.
Many fans of both Roger and Rafa must have given up on the idea of the two playing each other in a grand slam many years ago. Even the 2017 Australian Open final - their most recent encounter in a grand slam - came after years of missing arguably tennis's biggest rivalry on the big stage.
The 2017 Australian Open final itself turned out to be a match for the ages, with the game going into the fifth set. Although Roger conceded a service game early in the fifth set, he came back with a bang - to win five consecutive games, and the match in the process.
The most amazing thing about that match was that it came at a point when it was unexpected. Roger was coming back from a six-month injury layoff, while Nadal was not in the best of touches leading up to the tournament. In a way, that match was the revival of the Federer-Nadal rivalry as both players equally shared all the four Grand Slam titles in 2017.
While a lot has passed between that match and this one, there is a lot of history between these two champions that is worth looking for all tennis fans. Let us have a look at the most significant statistics going into their upcoming encounter at the semifinal of the 2019 French Open.