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Top five biggest rivalries of Roger Federer

Published at :September 25, 2022 at 5:44 PM
Modified at :September 25, 2022 at 5:44 PM
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These players have been strong competitors during the Swiss veteran's career.

The Swiss veteran is set to bid goodbye to tennis on 23rd September 2022 after combining to play with Rafael Nadal in doubles at the Laver Cup 2022 in London. Roger Federer's first victory in an ATP tour match at the 1998 Grand Prix de Tennis de Toulouse in France where he beat Guillaume Raoux 6-2 6-2 as a qualifier. Back then he was aged 17 and was ranked ATP 878 in the singles category. Fast forward 24 years he is set to play his 1750 match.

Over 3 decades, he has set up many rivalries. In this article let's look at the top five H2H records.

Lleyton Hewitt

H2H (18-9) Federer

Both Hewitt and Federer turned pros in the same year with the former being one of the greats Australian tennis has produced to date. Hewitt won the first battle between the two in France but Federer came back stronger winning 15 matches on the trot from 2004 to 2010.

Hewitt couldn't continue to play for a longer time due to injuries but has played the most number of matches with Federer after Nadal and Djokovic.

Del Potro

H2H (18-7) Federer

Del Potro of Argentina won his first ever Grand Slam in the 2009 US Open beating Roger Federer in their 7th encounter. Before this match, Federer had won all their previous matches losing for the first time at the US Open. Since then the rivalry has been intense. Federer holds 18 wins to his name in the 25 matches they have played.

Apart from the 2009 US Open, the 2012 Olympics Semi Finals match was a closely contested one. Federer battled from a set down to win the marathon match 2-1 ( 3-6, 7-6,19-17). The last set suggests how long the game could have gone.

Andy Murray

H2H (14-11) Federer

The Swiss-Britain duo first met in 2005 at an ATP tour in Bangkok with Federer winning the match comfortably. Roger Federer did not have much success with Murray post the first win but came back strong at the latter end of his career. Federer has won 14 times overall with a 56 per cent success rate.

The 2012 battle between the two was the highlight where Feder won the Wimbledon Championships and Andy Murray in return won the 2012 London Olympics on the same centre court where he lost the finals.

The last time these two met was in 2015 since then both have been battling injuries.

Novak Djokovic

H2H (27-23) Djokovic

Grand Slam (11-6) Djokovic

After the Federer-Nadal rivalry, the Federer-Djokovic rivalry can be rated the second best in Open Era tennis. Federer was off to a great start against Djokovic winning the first four battles comprehensively. Djokovic was quite new to the circuit and required time to settle. Djokovic's first win against Federer came in their 5th meeting at the Canadian Open.

In total, the pair have contested 50 times with Djokovic leading with 27 wins. One of their best tennis matches was at the 2019 Wimbledon finals. Federer was a game point away from winning the Wimbledon Championships but couldn't hold on to the point and lost the finals in a 5 set encounter.

Rafael Nadal

H2H (24-16) Nadal

Grand Slam (10-4) Nadal

Federer-Nadal is one of the best sporting rivalries in tennis history. The duo have met each other 40 times and Nadal leading with 24 wins. They have played each other in all the French and Wimbledon Open finals from 2006 to 2008. In specific the 2008 finals were an epic match which is considered to be one of the best in the history of tennis.

The rivalry between them started when Nadal first beat Federer at the Miami Open in 2004. At that time Nadal was below 20 and was ready to take on Federer who is five years elder. The last time both contested a Grand Slam final was at the Australian Open in 2017 where Federer won the match in 5 sets.

Apart from these five major rivalries, Roger Federer played good tennis matches with his countrymen Stanislas Wawrinka and David Nalbandian. Federer and Wawrinka both combined to win the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold one of their best matches together.

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