In 2005, Rafael Nadal joined Roger Federer at the top of men's tennis, winning 11 ATP titles like the Swiss and establishing himself in the top-2. Federer and Nadal shared three Majors and eight Masters 1000 titles that year, leaving all the opponents far behind and creating one of the greatest rivalries in the game's history.
Federer won 77 matches by Bangkok, suffering only three losses by that point and none since the Roland Garros semi-final! Reducing his schedule after Paris, Federer played only five tournaments in the next four months, winning them all and hoping for more of the same during the European indoor swing.
Instead, Roger sprained his right ankle while practicing on October 11 at home in Basel and withdrew from Madrid, Basel and Paris. Nadal wasn't at his best in the season's closing stages either, suffering from knee tendonitis and skipping Vienna ahead of the home Masters 1000 event in Madrid.
Rafael Nadal spoke about Roger Federer's injury in Madrid 2005.
Dealing with slight pain, Nadal scored four victories to advance into the fifth Masters 1000 final in front of the home fans, passing Roger's number of wins that season and seeking the 11th crown in 2005.
In the semis, Rafa prevailed over Robby Ginepri 7-5, 7-6 in an hour and 41 minutes for the 78th win that season. Nadal grabbed three breaks and scored nine points more than Ginepri to move over the top and secure his 12th ATP final that year!
After the match, Rafa spoke about his rival, potential opponent in the final, knee and biggest opponent. The Spaniard admitted that he talked to Roger a few days ago, revealing that Federer should recover from an injury and be ready to compete at the Masters Cup in Shanghai.
"I talked to Roger the other day on the phone, and he told me he would play in Shanghai, which would be good for us all. I asked him how he was feeling with his ankle; he was still wearing crutches, but he hopes to be in Shanghai.
Roger and I don't talk that often; I congratulated him on Wimbledon and the US Open, and we spoke now during the Madrid Masters. We have a good relationship; he is No. 1 and a great person, calm and quiet," Rafael Nadal said.