How Roger Federer finally learnt to dominate Rafael Nadal

- 12/23/2018
It is one of the fiercest rivalries not just in tennis but in sports as a whole. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer faced each other a total of 38 times in their career, with Nadal leading the head to head with 23 wins over federer's 15.
roger federer and rafael nadal rivalry

But the tide has changed in recent times. In fact, the last time that Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer was way back in 2014 at the Australian Open semifinals. After that, the two legends have faced each other in five hard-court matches, with Roger winning in all of them: 2015 (Basel) 2017 (Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai).

According to an insider on Nadal's team, the Spaniard had pretty much learnt all the tricks of his rival, until the Swiss changed things up.

Speaking to NRC Rafael's uncle, Toni, admitted that the rivalry with Federer changed in some ways. 'Roger's game had no secrets for Rafa, it was much less complicated than clashes with Djokovic. Until that painful loss at Melbourne in 2017, their first meeting since 2014.
tennis player roger federer
Federer has won 5 of their last matches

The Swiss maestro is known for mixing up his game, to the confusing detriment of his opponents. And once again, facing his arch rival, Federer delivered a new tactic, that immediately gave him a Grand Slam title. He was once again an example for everyone. At 35 years Roger improved himself, in 2017 he was better than Rafael', said Toni. Nadal's mental strength is an example for all the tennis players, which is the result of the big work done at a young age: 'I do not understand how people can live without passion and intensity.

Toni Nadal went further to explain what makes his resilient nephew thick. Rafael knows it better. I taught him the desire to win. And that in life everything starts with hard work. Rafael forgot his water bottle? Cool, you train with no water. Was it too hot under the sun for him? Okay, he will hit hundreds of balls under the sun.
roger federer grand slam wins
Roger Federer discovered new ways to beat Rafael Nadal

It certainly paid off. So you help your mindset. Why should you complain if you can play the sports you want?', concluded the 57-year-old.

Many believe that if not for Nadal, Federer's Grand slam wins would have been much more than his current haul of 20.

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