Toni Nadal reveals Team Rafael Nadal was grateful to Roger Federer for keeping it very respectful after dismantling the Spaniard at the 2011 ATP Finals. In the 2008 French Open final, Nadal crushed Federer with a 6-1 6-3 6-0 score.
At the time, it was Federer's third consecutive French Open final loss - with the losses in 2006 and 2007 also coming against Nadal. After crushing Federer in the 2008 French Open final, Nadal decided to keep it respectful toward Federer.
“The only Roland Garros final that Rafael has not celebrated by falling to the ground was the one in 2008 against Federer, in a final won in three sets, quite unpredictably,” Toni wrote for El Pais.
Toni: Federer was respectful toward Nadal in 2011
During the group stage of the 2011 ATP Finals, Federer dismantled Nadal 6-3 6-0.
After easily beating Nadal, Federer was very respectful. Toni says Team Nadal certainly noticed Federer's classy act. “Only three years later, in 2011, Roger had the opportunity to reciprocate with manifest consideration.
It was in the impressive O2 in London, during the Masters Cup, when after beating Rafael in a short hour with a convincing 6-3 and 6-0, he threw the last ball that Rafael sent out to the public and with totally atypical behavior for a player who has just won such an important match, he lowered his head and did not raise his eyes from the ground until he ran into his defeated rival at the net to shake hands a warm pat on the chest,” Toni added in his column.
Throughout their careers, Federer and Nadal have had a very fair and correct relationship. Their rivalry will forever me remembered as one of the best in tennis history, but being rivals never affected how they looked at each other. Nadal is expected to be present at the Laver Cup, where Federer plans to retire from tennis.