Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will renew their epic rivalry in a must-see Wimbledon semi-final on Friday. The pair last met at the All England Club back in the 2008 final, with the five-set encounter going down as one of the best Grand Slam matches of all time. The Swiss and Spanish stars have met a total of 39 times during a 15-year period, with Nadal leading the head-to-head record 24-15. So ahead of their last four encounter at Wimbledon, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the best meetings between the two from years gone by.
2005 Miami Open Final
In the pair’s second-ever meeting, Federer came out on top in a five-set thriller in the 2005 Miami Open final. The Swiss star went two sets down to Nadal, who was just 18 at the time, before emphatically overturning the deficit. Federer eventually won 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 in three hours and 43 minutes.
2005 French Open semi-final
Later that year, Nadal inflicted revenge on Federer, booking his spot in the French Open final with a dominant performance. It was Nadal’s first-ever French Open outing, and the Spaniard won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, before defeating Argentine Mariano Puerta in the final.
2006 Monte-Carlo Masters Final
Nadal stretched his impressive run over Federer with a Monte-Carlo Masters final victory in 2006. The Spaniard won 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in three hours 50 minutes, taking a 4-1 lead over the Swiss star in their five meetings.
2006 Italian Open Final
Later that year, Nadal again came out on top against Federer as their rivalry started to flourish. Nadal won the Italian Open in a five-set thriller, winning 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6. The match lasted five hours and five minutes, which to this day, is the longest meeting between the two greats.
2006 Wimbledon Final
The pair met at the All England Club in 2006 for the first time. Federer, who lost his previous five to Nadal before the meeting, raced into a two-set lead before Nadal edged the third. The Swiss star then won the fourth, defending his Wimbledon crown for a fourth consecituve year.
2007 French Open Final
Nadal and Federer met five times in 2007, with the third encounter coming in the French Open final. The Spaniard, who was the defending champion, prevailed in four sets, claiming his third Roland-Garros title in a row.
2007 Wimbledon Final
The two greats once again met in the Wimbledon final in 2007. Federer won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 in three hours and 45 minutes, winning the Grand Slam for the fifth year in a row. Many described the meeting at the time as one of the best Wimbledon finals since Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe’s clash in 1980, however, the two greats would go onto meet in one of the best matches ever the following year.
2008 Hamburg Masters Final
Nadal has dominated on clay against Federer over the years, and that trend continued in the Hamburg Masters final in 2008. In a best of three meeting, the Spaniard won 7-5, 6-7, 6-3, with each set lasting almost an hour each.
2008 Wimbledon Final
Nadal finally ended Federer’s historic run at Wimbledon in 2008. The Spaniard raced into a two-set lead before Federer won two tense tie-breaks to set up a deciding set. Nadal then took the final set 9-7, with the match lasting four hours and 48 minutes in arguably the greatest match of Grand Slam tennis of all time.
2009 Australian Open Final
The pair had to wait five years after their first meeting to face off in an Australian Open final, but it was definitely worth the wait. The two greats are known for their five-set thrillers, with the Melbourne final also going all the way. Nadal eventually won 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 over his great rival in four hours 23 minutes. It remains the Spaniard’s only victory at the competition.
2010 ATP World Tour Finals
In the first ATP World Tour Finals meeting between the two, Federer and Nadal met in the final. The Swiss star won the encounter in London 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, with Federer claiming his eighth win over the Spaniard in the process.
2011 French Open Final
In their fourth French Open final, Nadal once again came out on top. Federer made the Spaniard work for his sixth Roland-Garros title in seven years, with the clash ending 7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 in Nadal’s favour.
2012 Australian Open semi-final
In a rare Grand Slam semi-final, the pair put on another eye-catching display. After going a set down, the Spaniard won the next three to defeat his great rival 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-4. However, Nadal would then go on to lose a five-set final to Novak Djokovic days later.
2015 Swiss Indoors Final
Federer beat Nadal in their only meeting at the Swiss Indoors Championships. An emotional Federer came out on top 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 to the delight of the home crowd.
2017 Australian Open Final
Federer won all four meetings between the pair in 2017, with the first coming in a thrilling Australian Open final. The match again went all the way, with the Swiss star winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 37 minutes.