Infotainment Factory: The spellbinding rivalry that has changed tennis

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Friday, 12 July 2019

The spellbinding rivalry that has changed tennis


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It was 11 years ago that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal last met on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in the match dubbed as one of the greatest ever.

Back in 2008, both Federer and Nadal were undoubtedly in the prime of their respective careers, so to expect the encore from the veterans to be anything close would be a mistake, or so we thought.

However, the latest installment in what has become one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports left fans both inside the arena and watching all over the globe spellbound again.

Federer and Nadal are both visibly different. Nadal, the man who sported slick long hair back in 2008 is now balding, while Federer has the wrinkles of a man that has been chased by everyone in the sport for the best part of two decades.

Nevertheless, while both are advanced in age, their games continue to grow from strength to strength.

Roger Federer celebrates match point during his match against Rafael Nadal on day 11 at the All England Lawn and Croquet Club.

There was no better testament to that than this semi-final clash, with the duo taking part in rallies that simply seemed to defy the laws of physics.

Rarely has Federer, a man who holds 20 Grand Slam titles, reacted with such emotion after a mere semi-final win, but even the great Swiss Maestro was swept up in the moment.

“It lived up to the hype, especially from coming out of the gates, we were both playing very well," he said after the win.

“Then the climax at the end with the crazy last game, some tough rallies there. It had everything at the end, which was great. I’m just relieved it’s all over at this point.

“But it’s definitely going to go down as one of my favourite matches to look back at because it’s Rafa, it’s at Wimbledon.”

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal

Like all great sporting rivalries, there is no doubt that both Federer and Nadal are a major cause for each other's respective success.

Just a month out from his 38th birthday, athletes aren't supposed to be as sharp as Federer still is, and that in itself a testament to Nadal's greatness.

If the Spaniard isn't relentlessly chasing Federer's Grand Slam record, who knows whether the GOAT is still out there?

However, while Federer was happy to have kept his great rival at bay for at least one more Grand Slam, Nadal was cognisant of his own lost opportunity.

“I am sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity,” Nadal said. “But at the same time I created another opportunity to be in another final of a Grand Slam.

“Just accept that was not my day. I played a great event. I take this in a positive way.

“At the same time, today is sad because for me I know chances are not forever. Last year I had chances here (he lost in five sets to Djokovic in the semi-final), I had another one, and I was not able to convert to win it one more time here.”

The way both Federer and Nadal have captivated fans all over the world over the last decade has inspired an entire generation of tennis lovers.

The monetary value the two giants bring to the game is immeasurable, and the duo caused the world to stop yet again.

https://twitter.com/rodlaver/status/1149795183090737152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfwhttps://twitter.com/DonnieWahlberg/status/1149814348967239686?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfwhttps://twitter.com/gugakuerten/status/1149774988481847302?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

These days, given their respective ages, you can't help but think 'is this the last time?' when Federer and Nadal take the court together.

But given the way these two are currently playing, Father Time has the same chance a first-round opponent has of toppling the two modern day behemoths

It was 11 years ago that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal last met on the hallowed Wimbledon turf in the match dubbed as one of the greatest ever.

Back in 2008, both Federer and Nadal were undoubtedly in the prime of their respective careers, so to expect the encore from the veterans to be anything close would be a mistake, or so we thought.

However, the latest installment in what has become one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports left fans both inside the arena and watching all over the globe spellbound again.

Federer and Nadal are both visibly different. Nadal, the man who sported slick long hair back in 2008 is now balding, while Federer has the wrinkles of a man that has been chased by everyone in the sport for the best part of two decades.

Nevertheless, while both are advanced in age, their games continue to grow from strength to strength.

Roger Federer celebrates match point during his match against Rafael Nadal on day 11 at the All England Lawn and Croquet Club.

There was no better testament to that than this semi-final clash, with the duo taking part in rallies that simply seemed to defy the laws of physics.

Rarely has Federer, a man who holds 20 Grand Slam titles, reacted with such emotion after a mere semi-final win, but even the great Swiss Maestro was swept up in the moment.

“It lived up to the hype, especially from coming out of the gates, we were both playing very well," he said after the win.

“Then the climax at the end with the crazy last game, some tough rallies there. It had everything at the end, which was great. I’m just relieved it’s all over at this point.

“But it’s definitely going to go down as one of my favourite matches to look back at because it’s Rafa, it’s at Wimbledon.”

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal

Like all great sporting rivalries, there is no doubt that both Federer and Nadal are a major cause for each other's respective success.

Just a month out from his 38th birthday, athletes aren't supposed to be as sharp as Federer still is, and that in itself a testament to Nadal's greatness.

If the Spaniard isn't relentlessly chasing Federer's Grand Slam record, who knows whether the GOAT is still out there?

However, while Federer was happy to have kept his great rival at bay for at least one more Grand Slam, Nadal was cognisant of his own lost opportunity.

“I am sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity,” Nadal said. “But at the same time I created another opportunity to be in another final of a Grand Slam.

“Just accept that was not my day. I played a great event. I take this in a positive way.

“At the same time, today is sad because for me I know chances are not forever. Last year I had chances here (he lost in five sets to Djokovic in the semi-final), I had another one, and I was not able to convert to win it one more time here.”

The way both Federer and Nadal have captivated fans all over the world over the last decade has inspired an entire generation of tennis lovers.

The monetary value the two giants bring to the game is immeasurable, and the duo caused the world to stop yet again.

https://twitter.com/rodlaver/status/1149795183090737152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfwhttps://twitter.com/DonnieWahlberg/status/1149814348967239686?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfwhttps://twitter.com/gugakuerten/status/1149774988481847302?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

These days, given their respective ages, you can't help but think 'is this the last time?' when Federer and Nadal take the court together.

But given the way these two are currently playing, Father Time has the same chance a first-round opponent has of toppling the two modern day behemoths

https://ift.tt/2GawQKG
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