Anyone who knows anything about recent tennis history is familiar with the Federer vs Nadal story, or “Fedal,” as it has been labeled.
Roger Federer and Rafael “Rafa” Nadal could arguably be called the best players in the game’s history. The audience loves when they play against each other. They know that they are witnessing possibly the greatest tennis history rivalry.
So, who is the greatest, Federer or Nadal? You will find the statistics and facts we’ve gathered for you below, so you can make that decision for yourself.
Federer vs Nadal Head to Head
How does the duo match against each other? Take a look at the direct Nadal and Federer head–to–head record below.
|Wins H2H||24 (60%)||16 (40%)|
|H/W||6’1”/187 lb||6’1”/187 lb|
Federer vs Nadal Game Statistics
The game of tennis involves playing on one of the multiple surfaces — the traditional hard one, clay, and grass. In addition, both of the mentioned players have their distinct styles of play. Let’s break down how they match further.
Nadal vs Federer Wins by Surface
Nadal dominates the clay surface, and not surprisingly, is called the king of clay. But on the other surfaces, Federer leads the match-up.
|Surface||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer|
Roger Federer’s Playing Style
Federer’s style can be described as classy. Touch, sensitivity, precision, and fantasy play a significant role, and classic tennis fans call his style a beauty. Additionally, his one-handed backhand makes life difficult for his opponents.
Rafael Nadal’s Playing Style
Federer vs Nadal, in terms of styles, are very different. Maybe that’s why their matches are so exciting. While Federer is classy, Nadal is all about speed and power.
In addition to power, Nadal relies heavily on tactics and is a mastermind at it. His defense from the baseline plays a significant role in his success. His trump card? His forehand. He can create some crazy curves and spins that are impossible to defend.
Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer Records
The pair of players share many tennis records and epic moments. Read below for some hand-picked highlights of their prestigious careers.
Highlights of Federer vs Nadal Grand Slams and Epic Moments
- Both players have won Olympic gold medals in mens’ doubles — Federer in 2008 and Nadal in 2016. Nadal has won a singles’ medal as well (2008).
- Between Wimbledon 2003 and the French Open in 2011, the duo won 26 out of 32 Grand Slam titles.
- There have been nine Federer vs Nadal grand slam finals, the most between any two players.
- From the 2005 French Open and 2007 US Open, the pair won 11 consecutive Grand Slam Titles, the only No.1 and No.2 ranked duo to do so.
- Federer vs Nadal stats show that Nadal has ten Grand Slam wins against Federer, more than any other player.
- Between 2005 and 2008, they won all of the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open triples.
- Nadal and Federer Grand Slam titles are the same, with 20 each. That is the most in the history of the sport. Novak Djokovic is trailing behind with 18.
- Since turning 30, Federer has won four Grand Slams and Nadal six.
- Roger Federer has been No.1 in the ATP tennis rankings for 310 weeks, with a record 237 consecutive weeks.
- Rafael Nadal has been No.1 for 209 weeks.
- Combined, these two players have been No.1 for 519 weeks, almost ten years.
Nadal vs Federer Awards and Honors
Both men have seen plenty of success. While both share the No.1 place for Grand Slams wins, they have won many other major honors. You can find some Nadal vs Federer highlights in detail below.
The Most Important Sports Honors
Combined, both players have been No.1 for almost ten years. That is an astonishing amount of time. In that period, they’ve picked up quite a few honors in the sport.
We will begin the Roger Federer vs Nadal highlights with the Swiss. For starters, he’s won ATP #1 five times. Take a look below for some other essential honors.
- ATP #1: 5x (2004–07, 2009)
- ITF Player of the Year: 5x (2004–07, 2009)
- L’Equipe Champion of Champions: 3x (2005–07)
- World Sportsman of the year: 5x (2005–08, 2018)
- Comeback Player of the Year (2018)
- ESPY Best Male International Athlete Award (2007)
- Swiss Athlete of the Year: 7x (2003–04, 2006–07, 2012, 2014, 2017)
- ITF Player of the Year: 5x (2004–07, 2009)
- I.T.W.A. Player of the Year and Ambassador for Tennis: 3x (2004–06)
- Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: 13x (2004–09, 2011–17)
The Nadal vs Federer comparison continues with some of the similar awards won, such as ATP #1, but let’s get into the details.
- ATP #1: 5x (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)
- ATP Newcomer of the Year (2003)
- Most Improved Player of the Year (2005)
- ESPY Best Male International Athlete Award (2008)
- L’Equipe Champion of Champions Award: 2x (2010, 2013)
- Sportsman of the Year (2011)
- Comeback Player of the Year (2013, 2014)
- Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: 4x (2010, 2018–20)
The Most Important Personal Awards
Even outside tennis, the Federer vs Nadal comparison continues. Many organizations outside the sport have recognized both players. Let’s take a look.
- Humanitarian of the Year: 2x (2006, 2013)
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year: 3x (2004, 2006–07)
- Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athlete of 2020
- GQ “International Man of the Year” (2005)
- One of 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine (2018)
- Swiss of the Year (2003)
- GQ Most Stylish Man (2016)
- ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite: a record of 18 consecutive years (2003–2020)
In the Federer vs Nadal battle, Nadal might not be the ATP fans’ favorite. Still, he’s been recognized for many other awards:
- Humanitarian of the Year (2011)
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year (2010)
- Gold Medal for Merit in Work from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (2015)
- Grand Vermeil Medal from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (2015)
- Honorary doctoral degree “Doctor Honoris Causa” from the European University of Madrid
- Gran Cruz de la Orden del Dos de Mayo, Madrid’s highest award (2020)
- Prince of Asturias Award (2008)
- The flag bearer for Spain at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Social Media Popularity
The Federer and Nadal head–to–head comparison is also very close regarding social media. In today’s world, social media plays a significant role. Many people get their news, ideas, inspirations, and influence from social media.
|Social Media||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal|
|8.1 million||10.6 million|
|18 million||14 million|
|12.7 million||15.6 million|
Outside the Court — Lifestyle & Activities
What’s their life like outside the tennis court? Where they live and what they do besides playing tennis are some of the questions fans ask about their favorite players. We will list some of their charity work, like the Rafa Nadal Academy, and other interesting facts.
Both players are actively involved in helping those in need and improving people’s lives. We will break down some key charities and charitable activities of each player.
- Founded the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003, invested over $50 million in it, reaching over 1 million children.
- Teamed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to raise money for education in Africa.
- Federer and his rival on the court, Nadal, donated $250,000 towards Australian bushfire relief.
- Played an exhibition match with Nadal in 2020 in South Africa, raising over $3.5 million for his foundation.
- In 2020, Federer donated $1 million to families in Switzerland and $1 million to families in South Africa affected by COVID-19.
- Founded the Rafa Nadal Foundation in 2008 and was presented with ATP ACES for Charity grant in 2011 and 2020.
- Launched Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in 2016.
- Donated $1.2 million (€1 million) and opened an academy for the victims of the 2018 Mallorca flood.
- Teamed up with NBA star Pau Gasol to encourage donations for people affected by COVID-19, raising over $17 million (€14 million).
- Launched Rafael Nadal Tennis School in India in 2010, Rafa Nadal Tour in Spain (2014) and Australia (2019), Rafa Nadal Tennis Center in Greece and Mexico (2019), and Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait (2020).
Fun Facts About Roger Federer
- Speaks English, French, German, and Swiss-German
- His father is Swiss, and his mother is South African
- Supports the FC Basel soccer club
- He is the first living person featured on Swiss stamps (2007) and coins (2020)
- President of ATP Player Council (2008–14) and member (2019–22)
- He has a street named after him, the Roger Federer Allee in Halle, Germany, something no Federer rival can say
- Ranked No.2 on the Reputation Institute’s 2011 study of the world most respected, trusted, and admired personalities behind only Nelson Mandela
Fun Facts About Rafael Nadal
- He’s afraid of dogs
- An asteroid has been named after him
- Big fan of Real Madrid FC and hopes to be the president of the club one day
- His uncle played for FC Barcelona and represented Spain in three world cups
- He appeared in Shakira’s video for the song “Gypsie” in 2010
- Member of ATP Player Council (2010–12, 2019–22)
- In 2017, Center Court at Barcelona was renamed after him
Brands and Endorsements — Who Makes More, Federer or Nadal?
Being a top professional athlete comes with lucrative endorsements and payouts. Each tournament pays out prize allocation money that increases with the finished position. Read further below to learn more about the sources of the players’ income.
How Much Does Each One Earn?
Both players earn money from prize winnings and endorsements. Take a look at the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal head–to–head chart below.
|Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal|
|Salary/Winnings: $6.3 million||Salary/Winnings: $14 million|
|Endorsements: $100 million||Endorsements: $26 million|
|Career Prize Money: $130 million||Career Prize Money: $121 million|
Brands And Endorsements
According to Forbes, Roger Federer was the highest-paid athlete in 2020. Rafael Nadal was ranked as No.27. But which companies endorse these top athletes?
Roger Federer’s Endorsements
When it comes to the Federer vs Nadal endorsement battle, there is one winner. Let’s see where it comes from:
- $300 million deal with Uniqlo, signed in 2018, which replaced the previous ten-year deal with Nike worth $120 million.
- Federer signed a ten-year deal with Credit Suisse in 2009, believed to be around $2.7 million a year. The bank also contributed to Federer’s foundation.
- Federer makes about $9.25 million per year from Rolex and $7.4 million per year from Mercedes-Benz.
Rafael Nadal’s Endorsements
While losing the Federer vs Nadal head–to–head endorsement battle, Nadal does have some substantial endorsement deals:
- Rafa has been associated and playing with Babolat rackets since he was nine years old.
- Nadal recently renewed his contract with Nike with estimated earnings of $10 million per year.
- Nadal wore a $1 million Richard Mille watch at the 2020 French Open. He’s been sponsored by the company since 2010.
Strokes of Genius — Nadal vs Federer Wimbledon 2008
Strokes of Genius is a 2008 book that inspired a 2018 documentary (of the same name). It retells the day of the 2008 Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer, referred by some as “the greatest match ever played.”
The Match That Inspired the Movie
- The movie was released for the tenth anniversary of the match.
- The game lasted almost seven hours due to rain and delays. In the end, Nadal won after three tiebreakers.
- At the beginning of the match, Federer was ranked No.1 for 231 consecutive weeks (almost 4.5 years).
- Federer and Nadal Wimbledon record was contrasting — Federer was the five-time reigning champion. At the same time, Nadal had not won the tournament yet.
Why the Match Is so Important
- It was the most-watched tennis match until then, with over 13 million viewers in the UK alone (in comparison, the Champions League final drew in 14.3 million viewers).
- Since then, TV ratings have increased by 100%, according to the ATP.
- Multiple newspapers, such as the New York Times and USA Today, featured the match on the front page.
- It was featured on the front page of the Sports Illustrated magazine. Federer vs Nadal was the first tennis-related front page in years.
Fedal in Literature
- There are over 20 books written about Federer.
- “The lives and careers of two tennis legends” is a book dedicated to the Federer vs Nadal rivalry and their careers.
- Nadal wrote his autobiography, called “Rafa,” with John Carlin in 2011.
Fedal XXXV — Federer vs Nadal at the Australian Open in 2017
The Australian Open in 2017 was the 35th meeting between the two players, and it was labeled Fedal XXXV.
It was a significant event. Federer was coming off a six-month injury. Also, Nadal hadn’t reached beyond Grand Slam quarter-finals in almost three years due to injuries.
As mentioned, Roger Federer vs Nadal at the Australian Open in 2017 was their 35th meeting. That was 13 years after their first meeting, 12 years after their first Grand Slam meeting, 11 years since their first Grand Slam final, and six since their last one.
Quick Review and Fun Facts
Let’s take a look at a few interesting facts about the Australian Open in 2017:
- The Federer vs Nadal final was a battle between the winningest Grand Slam champions in history (Federer with 18 and Nadal with 14, tied with Pete Sampras).
- The women’s final was between the winningest active champions — Serena Williams (22) vs Venus Williams (7).
- Roger Federer was the oldest Grand Slam finalist since Ken Rosewall in 1974.
- It was the first time in Open history that all four finalists were over the age of 30.
- The odds of a Federer vs Nadal and Serena vs Venus final was 5000/1.
- The same two finals were played at the memorable Wimbledon in 2008.
Everyone Wanted to Be a Part of It
The Australian Open drew in a significant amount of interest. TV ratings soared and saw record numbers. While it wasn’t the Super Bowl, the most-watched sporting event in the U.S., it attracted millions of viewers.
In Australia, the Roger Federer vs Nadal final was watched by 4.4 million viewers, the highest in ten years. In Europe, the game was watched by a record 16 million viewers.
Even travel benefitted — Grand Slam Tours, a Vermont company specializing in high-end tennis travel, reported a 25% increase in demand.
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal — Rivalry, Friendship, and Respect
While their rivalry is famous, both players respect each other and have teamed up for various causes.
- They teamed up and donated $250,000 towards Australian brush fire relief.
- Played a charity match in South Africa in front of the largest crowd in tennis history (51, 954) and raised $3.5 million for the Roger Federer Foundation.
- There have been Federer and Nadal doubles. They played together in the Laver’s Cup, a tournament between Team Europe vs Team World. Both players enjoyed playing alongside each other.
In March 2019, the two players met and discussed whether to re-join the player’s council. The reason was the council’s decision, led by Novak Djokovic, to oust the ATP chief. Both felt that no explanation was given.
Nadal and Federer supported the chief, while Djokovic was pushing for his replacement due to “a conflict of interest.”
What Do They Say About Each Other?
In Federer vs Nadal history, there is nothing but respect. Both players have said many superlatives about each other such as:
“If anyone says I am better than Roger, then he doesn’t know anything about tennis.” — Rafa Nadal.
“If he’s playing very good, I have to play unbelievable. “ — Rafa Nadal
“I’m his No.1 fan, I think his game is simply tremendous.” — Roger Federer
“There are no draws in tennis, but I would have been happy to share this trophy with Rafa tonight.” — Roger Federer
What s Nadal’s record against Federer?
In the 40 meetings between the two players, Nadal leads with 24 wins vs 16 for Federer.
How many Slam Singles titles have Federer and Nadal won to date?
Both Federer and Nadal have won 20 Grand Slam Singles titles to date. Nadal’s last title came in the French Open in 2020 and Federer’s in 2018 in Australia.
(ATP Tour)(ATP Tour)
Are Federer and Nadal friends?
While they respect each other, Rafael Nadal claims that they are not close friends. However, he does say they’ve become closer as the years have passed by, and they often talk.
What is the Nadal vs Federer record in Grand Slam victories?
The results for the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon for when Federer and Nadal met are:
They have never met in the US Open.
Nadal vs Federer, who is better?
There is no clear answer to the question. There are some statistics to remember:
- Both players have won 20 Grand Slam titles
- Nadal leads the direct battle with 24 wins vs 16 for Federer
- Federer has won 103 career titles, compared 86 for Nadal
- Federer has 1,243 career wins vs 1,008 for Nadal
We’ll let you decide the answer to this question for yourself.
Wrapping It Up
Chances are we might never see a greater rivalry than Federer vs Nadal in tennis. For almost 20 years, they’ve been the best at what they do and have astonished fans from all around the globe. Their rivalry is compared to Messi vs. Ronaldo in the world of soccer.
Their match-up has created some of the most memorable moments in tennis history and will remain known as two of the best players that have ever played the game of tennis.
While we can’t decide who’s better, everyone has their favorite. In other words, whoever you pick, you wouldn’t be wrong.
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