Top tennis rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are still at the top of their game.
Rodger Federer, 38 and Rafael Nadal, 33, first went up against each other in 2004 at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami. On that momentous occassion, 17 year old Nadal beat the then Number 1 Roger Federer. It was to be the first of many tussles.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal hold numerous records. In the Grand Slam stakes Federer is currently leading by one with 20 major titles to Nadal’s 19.
The rivalry between these two top players has inspired and influenced both Federer and Nadal to push harder and play better, and we the fans are consistantly treated to exquisite tennis matches every time we see them play.
Pushing to play better and harder, is it possible for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to be friends?
17 year old Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in Miami in 2004
Ultimate Tennis Professionals
When Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal face each other on the court, they are ferociously focused, spookily accurate and rarely make mistakes.
The pre-match build-up is exciting. You witness remarkable shots in each game and remain on the edge of your seat, as a small lapse of concentration by either player can see the result soar in either direction.
Federer and Nadal have had their share of injuries, with speculation that they may be out of the game for good. However these critics have been proved wrong. Their commitment and love of the game sees them playing with as much intensity as ever.
Roger Federer still holds the record for being Number 1 the longest with a total of 310 weeks. Incredibly Roger also has the record for the longest streak with 237 consecutive weeks. To put this in perspective and show what an outstanding feat this is the next player at Number 2 is Pete Sampras with a total of 286 weeks as Number 1 and a streak of 102 weeks.
Supporting One Another and Philanthropy
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal both want to use their successful positions to help others.
Both men have their own philanthropic Foundations.
In 2016 Roger Federer was in Mallorca to support Rafa when he opened his Rafa Nadal Academy. Rafa often supports Roger by being a big draw card in charity matches for the Roger Federer Foundation.
The Rafa Nadal Foundation and the Roger Federer Foundation both work to promote education and self-improvement, specifically in Spain and India for Nadal and Switzerland and Africa for Federer.
Roger Federer wrote a very interesting article for The Blog of Bill Gates entitled "What tennis and philanthropy have in common" click to learn more
Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer at the 2016 opening of the Rafa Nadal Academy Mallorca, Spain
Greatest Rivals or Best of Friends?
It may be true that Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal would have had a much easier time scooping up major tennis titles if the other one had not been around, however both agree that having to compete against each other inspired them to become better tennis players.
When Roger Federer first came up against Rafa, he found the hard-hitting, left-handed Spaniard particularly frustrating.
All fans of tennis and sport in general, love watching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal battling it out on the court. As time has gone by, these two top professional tennis players have adapted and fine-tuned their craft and have a lot of respect for one another.
It very heartwarming however, to see that off court, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have developed a great friendship.
According to Roger Federer, “Rafa and I really show that the biggest rivals can be also friends.”
We think you will enjoy these 'behind the scenes' that show the friendship that has developed between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal can't stop laughing
During this behind the scenes filming for a tennis tournament, watch a very relaxed Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal as they just can't stop laughing.
Rafa played in this tournment for the Roger Federer Foundation, and then Roger repaid the favour by playing in a tournament for Rafa's Foundation in Madrid.
Team Europe versus The Rest of the World
It is very rare to see great, top tennis players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play together competitively.
The Laver Cup is a unique tournament where players combine from various countries to form two teams being either Team Europe or The Rest of the World.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have combined forces to play together for Team Europe.
This has given us the opportunity to see these tennis greats in action both on and off the court.
Take a look at this next video to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in behind the scenes action of the 2019 Laver Cup.
Funny moments of the 2019 Laver Cup
Laver Cup team mates for Team Europe, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal give each other lots of encouragement and support and also have a lot of laughs!
Next Roger and Nadal have a turn behind the microphone and interview one another.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play hosts
Take a look at Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal behind the microphone interviewing each other.
And lastly, if you enjoyed that, take a look at more funny moments behind the scenes, this time during The Laver Cup 2017.
Friendship and funny moments from 2017
Did you enjoy this story?
Join our newsletter and for more fun you are invited to join our Nifty over Fifty Facebook Group.