Toni Nadal issues big claim on how Roger Federer impacted Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon

Toni Nadal addresses Nadal's Wimbledon title number and rivalry with Federer.

by Dzevad Mesic
Toni Nadal issues big claim on how Roger Federer impacted Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Toni Nadal says Roger Federer's presence helped Rafael Nadal elevate his game but probably also left him with at least one less Wimbledon title. 

When Nadal impressively became a Grand Slam champion as a teenager in his 2005 French Open debut, Federer already had won every Grand Slam except the French Open. While Federer was already a very dominant force on faster surfaces, Nadal's 2005 French Open win signaled that there was also someone who would dominate on the dirt for many years. 

In the next few years, Nadal established himself as the absolute menace on clay but learning to play on grass was a big challenge for the Spaniard and he didn't have an answer for Federer there. On the other side, Federer was dominating Slams on faster surfaces but he just finding a way to beat Nadal at the French Open. 

Then after losing to Federer in back-to-back Wimbledon finals in 2006 and 2007, Nadal finally made his breakthrough at The Championships after beating the Swiss 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7 in one of the best tennis finals seen in the 21st century. 

A bit disappointingly, after meeting at Wimbledon for three consecutive years between 2006 and 2008, Nadal and Federer didn't meet at The All England Club again until 2019 - when the Swiss won their semifinal match with a 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 scoreline.

In the end, Federer finished with an all-time record of eight Wimbledon titles while Nadal has two Wimbledon titles in his collection.

"My nephew is very talented  because he is the player who has hit the best in uncomfortable positions, although he does not have the elegance of Federer," Toni Nadal said on  Diarios de Bicicleta, via ESPN Argentina

"What is truly extraordinary is that the three best in history have coincided at the same time. It has helped them but the competition also took away their trophies. If Federer had not been there, Rafael probably would have won one more Wimbledon."

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse

What Nadal said after beating Federer for his first Wimbledon title?

After losing to Federer back-to-back Wimbledon finals in 2006 and 2007, Nadal also entered the 2008 Wimbledon final as the underdog. But this time, Nadal had a little bit more of experience and that helped in finally going over the hump versus Federer on grass. 

And moments after beating Federer for his first Wimbledon title, Nadal appeared to be in pure disbelief.

"It's impossible to explain what I felt in that moment. I'm very, very happy. It is a dream to play on this court, my favorite tournament, but I never imagined this," Nadal said after winning his first Wimbledon title in 2008.

After revealing his emotions, Nadal also showed some major respect for Federer by highlighting he was still the man at Wimbledon.

"I must congratulate Roger. He's still the No. 1, he's still the best, and he's won five times here. But now I have one, and that's very important to me," Nadal said at the time.

In 2009, Nadal wasn't able to defend his Wimbledon title due to a knee injury. But when Nadal returned to Wimbledon in 2010, he avoided meeting Federer and took the advantage to lift his second title at The Championships after beating Tomas Berdych in the final

After winning his second Wimbledon title, Nadal said: "More than a dream for me, always a dream to play in this final. To have this trophy in my hands, amazing."

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer © Getty Images Sport - Pool

What Nadal said after his fourth and last Wimbledon meeting versus Federer?

As mentioned above, it took 11 years after the 2008 Wimbledon final for Nadal and Federer to meet again on the grass courts of The Championhips. 

That year, Nadal was playing great at Wimbledon and he reached the semifinal with just one dropped set. And going into the Federer match, Nadal was probably given a bigger chance than ever to beat the Swiss at Wimbledon. 

But it didn't happen, and after losing to Federer in four sets, Nadal didn't hide his disappointment. 

“I’m sad for the loss because for me it was another opportunity,” Nadal said after losing to Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon semifinal. 

“But at the same time I created another opportunity to be in another final of a grand slam. I just have to accept that was not my day. I played a great event. I take this in a positive way.

“At the same time, today is sad because for me I know chances are not forever. Last year I had chances here, I had another one, and I was not able to convert to win it one more time here.

“It was a tough one. He played a little bit better than me, I think. Probably I didn’t play as good as I did in the previous rounds, and he played well. So he deserves it. Congratulations to him.”

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

After 2019 Wimbledon, Federer started experiencing major knee issue and he and Nadal never played against each other again.

Toni Nadal Roger Federer Rafael Nadal