Top 10 On-Court Moments of 2017: The Resurgences of Roger and Rafa

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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played each other four times in 2017, with the Swiss winning each time. (AP)

With the destination of the Davis Cup determined, the professional tennis season has come to a close. Thus, we begin our look back at 2017, a memorable year on and off the court. Our Top 10 On-Court Moments, and our Top 10 Off-Court Moments, will remind you of everything that transpired.


It was a familiar sight, but still a big surprise: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both coming back from extended injury layoffs, recommencing their reign of the ATP tour, just like old times.

With three of the other multi-Slam winners—Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka—injured for much of the season, Nadal and Federer's alternating dominance took hold. Between them, they won all four of the Grand Slams, more than half the Masters 1000s and four other titles.

What's more, they did it by adding new facets to their already legendary games. Federer, wielding a new and improved drive backhand, found better court positioning that allowed him to be more offensive more often. Nadal introduced more variety and attacking play, particularly when serving and on the backhand side. 

And their dual revival was more than just two individual comebacks—it was also the rekindling of a rivalry that has captivated the sport, as it did again with their thrilling five-setter at the Australian Open. Federer won all four of their contest in 2017, while Nadal finished the season No. 1. Champions in arms.


Towering figures on tour for more than a decade, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal may have outdone even themselves with their play in 2017:

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