Roger Federer

ROGER FEDERER VS RAFAEL NADAL REBOOT A CLASSIC

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“Familiarity breeds contempt.”

That was certainly the case for two tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the early 2000’s. They saw way too much of each other with the net between them in the hottest rivalry in men’s tennis at that time.

But time dimmed the lights and a friendship grew. In fact they came together on a project that was true to both their hearts, the future of the game. Federer attended the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening of Nadal’s tennis academy.

“I was blown away by that academy and by what Rafa was able to build there,” Federer said.

Now these two opposed one another for the 2017 Australian Open Final and all eyes were upon them once more. The stories were inspiring. Federer leaving the sport for six months to tend to his health and he showed he could learn from Nadal in his comeback from knee surgery.

“I thing is Rafa’s always been unbelievable at comebacks,” Federer said, “I think maybe on this occasion, he’s going to lead the way for me, to show how it’s done.”

He has also re-invented himself, altering his game to more of a net aggressor. Nadal, the Spanish splinter in Federer’s hand for twelve years leads the series 23-11. No one else did as well against the best in tennis. They are the only men to finish in the top two for six straight years. Together they have won 31 Grand Slam titles.

That’s what makes this match so tastefully surreal. You know what you are going to get. Nadal has won all three finals against Federer. Until now. It was close and competitive as it always is with these two. But this time Federer pulled out the five set classic as they traded the first four sets until finally the rebranded Federer rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win 6-3. And they are still friends.

RAFAEL NADAL WINS HEARTS IN FUNDRAISER

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The Tennis world is very familiar with Rafael Nadal. The Spanish star from Mallorca has been a fixture at the top of the tennis world since he exploded onto the pro scene at seventeen, a force at nineteen. He has held the number one position five times and his fourteen Slam titles are second all time tied with Pete Sampras and trailing only Roger Federer (17).

Though only 29, Nadal has fought through injury woes recently but is looking to do big things at this years U.S. Open.

“I feel well, now I need to win.”

Nadal explained,

“I have to be patient and wait for my moment.”

He sees how unique his rise at an early age was, something he sees not as easy to duplicate. “My feeling is not at all. It’s because something changed,

It was a period of time with me and Roger (Federer) but not every generation is the same.”

We learned about these at the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. John McEnroe invited him and Nadal showed his character by coming without a fee while also serving verbal lessons to younger stars like Nick Kyrgios, whose mouth has made waves in the tennis world recently. “He’s done me a huge favor coming here and I owe him big time.” John McEnroe said.

“Rafa has been a class act for many years on the tour.”

As a result, he was removed from a doubles match that had Kyrgios as partner and moved into a singles match with Lleyton Heweitt. Nadal entertained the crowd with smiles and at times hints of world class shotmaking in his single set win.

“I think I recovered alot of the things I lost, namely intensity and passion.”

Its those emotions that fueled Nadal in his early years and its that which has been tempered by time and health yet Nadal feels he is starting to regain some of his form. The U.S. Open will test that idea from the start. “The passion is there. I have my ups and downs.” Nadal said,

“During the season there are moments that change the dynamic. My feeling is I am playing better most of the time.”

The fundraiser Nadal took time to appear in has been a boon for inner city children as John McEnroe has been working dilligently to find the next stars that are hidden in the United States. “You can see how inspired the kids are in Spain because of Rafael and my goal is similiar as all the money will be going to that cause to help out as many kids as possible.” McEnroe shared. Nadal agreed,

“Its a great inspiration for the rest and a great example for the next generation.”

Nadal added.

Nadal is also doing his own work in providing facilities in Spain for young kids, something that appeals to him and as he noted other sports fail to pursue.

“I want to give something back to the kids.”

Nadal said, “I want to give them the benefit of my experience.” Nadal is a role rodel for Latino youth and the world at large and if he returns to the top or not, his legacy is intact.

“He is a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest effort players I have ever seen.”

McEnroe points out,

“He is one of the best two players ever.”

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