The most accomplished tennis players of all time, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have won 38 Majors and 63 Masters 1000 titles combined, pushing each other to always seek more in the last 15 years. Their first meeting out of 40 came in Miami 2004 when the 17-year-old Spaniard took down the newly-promoted world no.
1 in straight sets, battling for the most notable titles and on the most prominent tennis arenas year after year and forging one of the greatest rivalries in the history of sport in general. Starting from Roland Garros 2005, Roger and Rafa have played 14 encounters at Majors, with the Spaniard leading 10-4 after sharing the semi-final triumphs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year.
Besides that, they had some memorable matches at almost every Masters 1000 event in the calendar and also at the ATP Finals, leaving the US Open as the only Major tournament that has not seen the ultimate Federer vs. Nadal clash.
The Swiss claimed five straight titles in New York between 2004-08, losing in the final in 2009 to end the winning streak and never lifting the trophy again. In his prime years, Roger would have been the favorite against Rafa in New York but that match never happened, with Nadal losing in the semi-final in both 2008 and 2009, missing the opportunity to challenge Federer after suffering losses against Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal took charge from 2010, winning titles in 2010 and 2013 without facing Roger who lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, squandering a chance to finally meet the great rival in the title encounter. In 2017, we were one match away from the dream duel and it didn't happen once again, with Federer losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-final in four sets, unable to stay that long in the tournament a year ago after a surprising fourth-round exit to John Millman.
Two great champions will have the opportunity to set that first meeting in New York in two weeks time, entering the last Grand Slam of the season as the 2nd and 3rd seed and sharing the practice court for a couple of minutes on Monday.