Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: a grass-clay-courts clash

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: a grass-clay-courts clash

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: a grass-clay-courts clash. The Swiss and the Spaniard in comparison: Federer with Wimbledon, Nadal with Roland Garros. To understand the global dimension of these two sport titans we will examine six equal factors for each of them, and we will see the differences between Roger Federer at the All England Club and Rafael Nadal in Bois de Boulogne.

The titles. Let's start with the simplest data: Roger Federer won 8 titles at Wimbledon, the last of which in 2017, beating Marin Cilic in three sets. Thanks to that victory, the Swiss became the record holder of the Championships titles, surpassing William Renshaw and Pete Sampras, both with 7 titles.

Nadal won 12 titles at the Roland Garros. An absolute record, both in the men's singles and in the women's singles of all the Majors: nobody has ever won the same Slam 12 times. Only Margaret Smith won the Australian Open 11 times.

The matches won. Federer won 101 matches at Wimbledon, Nadal won 93 matches at the French Opon. The distance between the two is 8 matches, so basically there is a lot of balance in this statistic. Federer is five years older than Nadal, who could match and exceed this number.

Top-10 wins. Roger defeated 19 top-10 in London, Nadal 12 top-10 in Paris. Nadal's dominance on the the Roland Garros clay-courts was unprecedented: from 2005 to 2019, Rafa did not win the title only in 2009, 2015 and 2016, often beating his top-10 rivals such as Federer or Novak Djokovic.

The other three parameters

Age at the first Wimbledon / Roland Garros title. The Swiss won its first Wimbledon title at the age of 21 in 2003, beating Mark Philippoussis in the final in three sets with the final score of 7–6 (5), 6–2, 7–6 (3).

Nadal won his first French Open in 2005, at the age of 19, beating Mariano Puerta in the final for 6–7 (6), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5. Longest winning streak. Roger Federer's Longest winning streak was of 40 at Wimbledon; Rafael Nadal's longest winning streak at the Roland Garros was of 39.

So a parameter in substantial balance. Partecipations at Wimbledon and at the Roland Garros. Roger Federer participated 21 times in Wimbledon: the handover took place in the 2001 edition, when he defeated Pete Sampras in five sets.

Rafael Nadal participated 15 times in Roland Garros, writing the history of the Parisian tournament, as did Roger Federer with the London Slam.