How Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal Built Tennis’ Friendliest Rivalry

By
at Internationaled.org

Published: October 21, 2016

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The Rafael Nadal Academy by Movistar opened in Mallorca, Spain, with all the trappings of a lavish tennis center, featuring fitness, education and more than a few trophies that celebrate its eponymous superstar. It is infused with the promise of its creator to help the youth of tomorrow.

But the ambitious vision could only be christened by Nadal and a generous appearance from his great rival and friend, Roger Federer.

"I've been around the game 17 years," Federer said, per ATP World Tour. "I've seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players, but you've been the one in my opinion who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today."

Nadal was equally effusive in sharing the moment with Federer to attend. After more than a decade since they created the “Fedal” tennis rivalry, they have continued to share abiding respect and admiration through their mutual understanding of what it has meant to be human ambassadors.

Their tennis styles differ, but their work ethics and values are one and the same. They understand life is much greater than being perhaps the greatest players to play their sport.

Their camaraderie grows as they slip into the twilight of their careers, but they have left indelible footprints in the sands of yesteryear.

          

Swiss Chocolate or Spanish Paella?



Tennis’ golden era arrived when teenage Nadal showcased his relentless fire to vanquish the mighty Federer in the 2005 French Open semifinals.

Fierce and methodical, the Spaniard introduced a bludgeoning forehand that produced his whirly, devilish topspin. He was architect and gladiator; he could grind through long rallies and matches like he was the spiritual descendant of Bjorn Borg—the original king of clay.

Indeed, Nadal was the lionhearted answer to Federer&rs...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Tennis

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