The Miami Open 2020 has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The tournament is the 2nd Masters 1000 of every tennis calendar. In the past it has given the tennis fans many great contests. One such amazing contest was long back in 2004. It was the 1st time when Federer And Nadal met on a tennis court. The match marked the start of this great rivalry famously known as FEDAL. It has become the most talked about and the greatest rivalry in Men’s tennis. We rewind back to that exhilarating match which laid the foundation of this great rivalry.
The Road To Collision
Federer came to Miami in 2004 as a top seed and World Number 1. He has already won the Australian Open and Indian Wells Masters 1000 that year. The Swiss great till then had lost only one match in 2004. Nadal on the other side was still announcing himself on the tour. He was just 17 years old and was seeded 32nd in the tournament. Both of them were placed in the top half of the draw and in the same section.
The top seeded Federer had a relatively tough 1st match against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia. The contest went to 3 sets with Roger coming out victorious. He broke the Russian’s serve in the late stage of the 3rd set. Nadal on his side had an easy 1st match again Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic. The Spaniard won the 1st set before the Croat decided to retire. This set the stage for first ever clash between Federer And Nadal.
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The Federer And Nadal Rivalry Starts
It was in the 3rd round of the Miami Open that Federer And Nadal met for the 1st time. Federer was a strong favorite being the top seed and the world’s best male player at that time. The next 69 minutes however made the tennis world see a different picture. The Spanish teenager with a Greek God like physique made the World Number 1 feel every inch of the court. Nadal’s raw power, athleticism and hitting were something Federer had never tackled before.
The then World Number 1 was taken by surprise and tennis commentators by a sense of shock. In an hour and 10 minutes Spain’s Rafael Nadal had outwitted, outsmarted, outguessed, out-powered and simply outplayed the great Roger Federer. The Swiss admitted after the match that he had met an exceptionally talented teenager. He also quickly predicted that Nadal had the potential to be a great player.
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The Epic Federer And Nadal Rivalry Continues
It has been 16 years since that great match in Miami. Even today Federer And Nadal enthrall the tennis world whenever they meet on the tennis court. The two have been rated as the greatest ever male tennis players to pick up a racquet. They also are beyond doubt the two most popular and admired tennis players in the history of this sport along with being great ambassadors of the game.
Federer and Nadal have so far played 40 matches amongst themselves. The Spaniard currently leads this great rivalry by 24 wins to 16 losses. The Swiss has however of late been able reverse the tide by winning 6 of the last 7 matches. The two greats have played at least 2 finals in every Grand Slam with exception to the US Open. They have surprisingly never met till date in New York. The two legends also deserve the credit of making tennis an immensely popular sport.
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Federer And Nadal are both in the later stages of their career. Having an astonishing collection of 39 Grand Slam trophies together they both admit it will now be very few occasions when they get a chance to play each other. The latest was an exhibition match in February in Cape Town that drew a record 50,000 audience. We are privileged as tennis fans to live in the time of this great rivalry known as FEDAL.