We get the idea of their supremacy by just realizing that they have played most of their tennis in the same era and still they share 31 Grand Slams between them and counting. We have not just enjoyed their individual careers but their rivalry as well which we can easily say that is also amongst the best of the best.
However, one gets astonished after looking at their head to head record which is 23-10 in favour of the Spaniard. All of us know that Nadal, the record nine times French Open champion, is the greatest clay courter of all time and the slowest surface is Federer’s weakest so we hear many people say that Nadal’s 13-2 winning record against Federer on clay has helped the Spaniard in building this huge head to head lead over the Swiss Maestro.
On the other hand, Federer is far better player on indoor hard courts and neutralizes Nadal’s clay advantage by having a 4-1 record on his own favourite surface. Now coming to the outdoor hard courts, with nine Grand Slams on this surface being under his belt compared to Nadal’s three, Federer is considered the all time best on this surface.
However, one gets amazed after realizing that Nadal also enjoys a commanding 8-2 head to head lead over Federer on the outdoor hard courts as well.
Just by looking at these numbers you can understand that it’s not that Nadal built this lead after Federer’s prime but Nadal maintained his domination over Federer on outdoor hard courts throughout the course of their rivalry.
Rather, Federer and Nadal’s very first meeting was on outdoor hard courts at the Miami Masters in 2004. The Swiss Maestro was reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion at that time and Nadal was a 17-year-old rookie but the latter won in straight sets.
Federer fought back from two sets down to take his revenge in the final of the same tournament exactly one year later but then he had to wait for eight long years to get his second win over Nadal on the outdoor hard courts, losing their seven meeting in between.
Nadal has defeated Federer in all three of their outdoor hard court meetings at the Grand Slam with all three of them coming at the Australian Open. In the first one, Nadal had to win a five set thriller at the 2009 Australian Open which brought Federer to tears during the presentation ceremony.
Second one was at the 2012 Australian Open and was decided in four sets but the latest one at this year’s Australian Open was a walk through the park for the Spaniard as he won in straight sets. Overall, Federer and Nadal have faced each other in three finals on outdoor hard courts and the latter has won two of them.
We have already mentioned about the 2005 Miami final and 2009 Australian Open title match. Third one took place at the 2006 Dubai final which Nadal won in three sets. ALSO READ: Roger Federer: ´I Know What I Want to Win This Year, My Schedule Could Change´ Toni Nadal Criticizes the Spanish Davis Cup Team: ´Players Didn´t Put Enough Effort´ .