Ten years later, Federer recalls first battle with Nadal

by: Kamakshi Tandon | March 27, 2014

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

AP Photo

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are marking ten years since their first-ever meeting—at the 2004 Miami Masters—with Federer recalling the unassuming beginning of their legendary rivalry.

An under-the-weather Federer lost 6-3, 6-3 to the 17-year-old, who then took a two-set lead against Federer in the final a year later before losing in five. They have played another 31 times since then, with Nadal holding a 23-10 overall edge.

Federer recalls being impressed with what he saw in their third-round encounter ten years ago.

"I came off sunstroke in Indian Wells after beating [Tim] Henman in the finals. I was in bed three or four days, and then came here," he told reporters in Miami. "I beat [Nikolay] Davydenko somehow 7-5 in the third, then started feeling better and played Rafa, who was a new guy on the tour.

"I remember it was one of those matches...never really got into the match. Still maybe a bit tired but he played great."

Nadal's victory received only limited attention back then, but provided a sign of the challenge he would soon pose for the then-world No. 1.

"I was impressed with what I saw. Don't remember going into the match what the buzz was around him...but anyway, that was clearly for him a big arrival on the scene, especially on the hard courts as well. I was world No. 1 at the time as well...I think everybody thought he was just a clay-courter, and he proved he was probably going to be more than just that.

"Went on to have this great career many expected him to have," remarked Federer.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

More Stories

Your chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Australia

Enter for a chance to win airfare, accommodations and tickets to the 2019 Australian Open.

A Clijsters devotee, Belgium's Mertens nears her own Aussie Open final

The unseeded 22-year-old upset No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-0.

Kyle Edmund tops No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov for first Grand Slam semifinal

Edmund was the only British male player in the draw.