Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni Nadal recalled an instance when Roger Federer showed his respect to his nephew after winning the Masters Cup finals in 2011. Toni recalled that his nephew didn’t celebrate his 2008 French Open win against Roger Federer by not falling to the ground.
Federer repaid the gesture of respect when he didn’t celebrate much after winning the 2011 Masters Cup Finals against Nadal.
Federer and Nadal shared a great rivalry with each other and played some of the biggest matches of the sport, including the 2008 Wimbledon final, which the Spaniard won.
Federer and Nadal have faced each other 40 times on the ATP tour in which the balance is title in favor of the Spaniard, who rules head-to-head with 24 wins to the Swiss’ 16 victories.
“The only Roland Garros final that Rafael has not celebrated by falling to the ground was the one in 2008 against Federer, in a final won in three sets, quite unpredictably,” Toni Nadal said.
“Only three years later, in 2011, Roger had the opportunity to reciprocate with manifest consideration,” Toni said. “It was in the impressive O2 in London, during the Masters Cup, when after getting rid of Rafael in a short hour with a convincing 6-3 and 6-0, he threw the last ball that Rafael sent out to the public. With totally atypical behavior for a player who has just won such an important match, he lowered his head and did not raise his eyes from the ground until he ran into his defeated rival at the net to shake hands and give a warm pat on the chest.”
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have always shared a great mutual respect for each other. Both of them have shared a great rivalry over the years but they are great friends off the court.
Both of them will be seen representing Team Europe in the Laver Cup, which will begin on 23rd September in London.