2020 could be the decisive season to understand who between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will win the Slam Race. The Swiss holds the record of 20 Slams in men's singles, Nadal follows him with 19 Majors. As we have already explained in other previous articles, Nadal could have had time on his hands.
But who between the Swiss and the Spaniard could have more regrets at the end of their career? I believe Federer may have some regrets if his record will be broken by the Spaniard. Looking at the past seasons, the Swiss wasted more chances than his rival to now have more Slams in his collection.
The latest is the defeat in the Wimbledon final, when Federer wasted two match-points on his service, then yielded the victory to Novak Djokovic. That success could have ended the games. Instead, only two months later Nadal triumphed at the US Open, taking only one Slam away from his rival.
On the lawns of the All England Club Federer wasted two more chances: in 2014, in the final lost at the fifth set against Novak Djokovic and in 2008, in the epic final lost in five sets against Nadal. To these defeats it should also be added the one in the 2009 US Open final against Juan Martin del Potro, the one against Raonic in the 2016 Wimbledon semifinal and the one against Marin Cilic in the 2014 US Open semifinal.
Considering Nadal's style of play, it can be said that the Spanaird has not overcame many chances. The defeat against Robin Soderling at Roland Garros 2009 is perhaps the most sensational. The final lost against Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open 2014 was conditioned by a serious back problem.
Finally, the defeat with Federer at the Australian Open 2017 can be considered a chance thrown away. On the scales, perhaps, Federer could have some more regrets than the Spaniard, if he were to lose the record. However, 2020 will perhaps give the definitive answer to this long-standing dilemma.
There is only one thing left to say: both will remain the two greatest tennis players ever, regardless of who will end their career with the Slam record.