Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have played each other 40 times over a span of 16 long years. Such is the quality of the rivalry that most of these encounters can claim to be among the finest tennis matches of all time.
There have been several matches where both Nadal and Federer have fought tooth and nail over practically every single point. The 2009 Australian Open final was one such high-octane match, which saw Rafael Nadal outlast Roger Federer over five sets of high-quality tennis.
Recently, the Twitter handle called Fedal Tennis paid tribute to one of the most electrifying rallies in that match by turning it into an eerily accurate animation.
It took the artist over 50 hours to animate Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were World No. 1 and World No. 2 respectively during the 2009 Australian Open. While Federer had won the 2008 US Open, Nadal was bolstered by the fact that he had beaten the legendary Swiss in arguably the greatest tennis match of all time - the 2008 Wimbledon final.
The match in Melbourne began in emphatic fashion, with both pulling off one magnificent winner after the other. Roger Federer raced to a 4-2 30-15 lead in the first set, but Nadal produced a string of exceptional shots to come back and win it 7-5.
The match saw a total of 121 winners being hit, with 71 of them coming from the racquet of Roger Federer.
The point which was animated, however, was a winner which came from the forehand of Rafael Nadal.
The score was poised at 7-5 3-6 7-6 2-2 (deuce) in favor of the Spaniard at that stage. Roger Federer was serving at a precarious position, as he couldn’t afford to go down by two sets and a break.
The Swiss eventually lost the point as Nadal unleashed some mind-boggling defence which totally blunted Federer’s attack.
The point can be seen at the 23:49 mark in the video below:
The person behind 'Fedal Tennis' is a fan of both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They love to compiles videos of the legendary duo and post them on social media.
On this occasion, they went a step further by devoting more than 50 hours to create an inch-perfect animation and replicate the point played by Federer and Nadal in the 2009 Australian Open final.
As can be seen in the animation, Federer could have won the point many times over given his advantageous court positioning. Rafael Nadal, however, kept tracking everything down before unleashing the final winner.
Nadal has arguably been the toughest competitor in the history of tennis. No point is truly over till the Spaniard has his final say on the matter. And the final scoreline of 7-5 3-6 7-6 (3) 3-6 6-2 in favor of the Mallorcan, proved just that.