In a recent press conference, Rafael Nadal explained what made his rivalry with Roger Federer special. The Spanish player appreciated every moment he spent so far on the same tennis court with the Swiss.
'It's special always to play against him and have these matches, for sure very important matches for both of us in our careers: finals of Roland Garros, finals of Wimbledon, of Australian Open, a lot of finals of Masters 1000s.
So important matches for our careers, no? So that makes our careers probably more special for both of us', said Nadal. 'Seriously, I think we always had the big respect for each other. We are closer than before, like friends, because we spend a lot of time together with exhibitions, with the council of the ATP.
We have a fantastic relationship, no? This rivalry, I think everybody looks at it like rivalry. For me, it's like really special thing when we play each other. When I go on court against him I feel it's a really special match, especially because we play always really important matches.
Very few times we played in semifinals of one tournament. Only I think in two Masters Cups in Shanghai and one time here in 2004 second round, something like this. The rest of the matches are finals and important for big titles.
That makes the rivalry very, very special. I don't know if rivals in the rest of the history of tennis played a lot of the matches, as many matches as we played. I don't know how many matches played McEnroe/Borg or Sampras/Agassi, but we played a lot a lot times.
So that makes the match really special always.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title