Federer vs Nadal: Top 5 Grand Slam matches between the LEGENDS

  • Federer and Nadal have played some epic encounters in their storied rivalry, and here's a look at the 5 best of them at the Slams.
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Feb 2019, 12:11 IST

3. 2009 Australian Open final

Nadal and Federer at the 2009 Australian Open final
Nadal and Federer at the 2009 Australian Open final

Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2

Match Stats:

Time Duration: 4 hrs 19 minutes

Points Won: 174-173 (Nadal)

Aces: 11-4 (Federer)

Winners: 64-44 (Federer)

Unforced Errors: 58-67 (Nadal)


Nadal was the No. 1 player at the end of 2008 with the Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles as well as the Olympic gold medal, and so was seeded first at the Australian Open. Federer was seeded No. 2.

Nadal reached the semis without dropping a set, but Federer had a tough five-set match against Tomas Berdych in the 4th round. Federer had easy straight set victories in the quarters and the semis to reach the final.


Nadal had to face his compatriot Fernando Verdasco, who was in the form of his life. The two Spaniards had an epic match which lasted more than 5 hours but in the end Nadal set up another Slam final against Roger.

The Match:

The first set started with both men breaking each other's serve, then again breaking each other's serve in the 6th and 7th games to reach 5-all. In the 11th game, Nadal broke again and then held his serve to win the set.

The first 4 games of the second set went with serve and the next 2 saw breaks. In the 7th game, Federer held his serve and in the 8th broke Nadal's on the 5th break point of the game. Federer leveled the match by winning the set 6-3.

The third set also went with serve early on, with both players holding till the 8th game. In the 9th game, Nadal was 0-40 down on his serve, but miraculously held on to keep the set level.

The 11th game saw the same story as Nadal again saved 3 break points to stay alive in the set, which then went into the tiebreak.

The first 6 points in the tiebreak made it 3-3, but the next 4 points were won by Nadal, who went on to take a 2 sets to 1 lead.

The fourth set began with Federer taking the first two games and then Nadal won the next two to level the set. In the 5th game, Federer saved 5 break points to stay on serve and then broke Nadal's serve, going on to win the set to level the match again.

Nadal completely dominated the 5th set and broke to win the it 6-2, and with it his first hard court Grand Slam. Federer was so disappointed with the loss that he broke down during the post match speech.

Published 20 Feb 2019, 20:37 IST
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