Ever since their first Grand Slam clash at Roland Garros 2005, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were there to push each other into the unknown waters, never reached by anyone before them. Over the years, Roger and Rafa have forged incredible rivalry, fighting for the most notable tennis titles all over the world and forcing each other to seek constant improvements and add new elements to their already well-balanced game.
At the age of 38 and 33 respectively, Federer and Nadal are still at the top of men's tennis world together with Novak Djokovic, with the famous trio sharing the last 12 Major crowns to extend their dominance over the rest of the field and stand alone in the GOAT race.
In 2019, Rafa and Novak shared all four Major titles, moving closer to Roger who is still the leader of the pack with 20 trophies from the most significant tennis scene. The Spaniard claimed the 12th Roland Garros title in June and the fourth US Open crown in September, moving just a step behind Roger and hoping to catch and pass him in the next nine months.
Still, Rafa admitted he never thought about Roger's Major record, staying on his path and doing the same regular stuff on and off the court as in the last 15 years. Like all other athletes, Nadal has dreams and goals but tries to keep them tamed and under control, thinking only about the upcoming matches and tournaments.
Rafa, Roger and Novak should fight for the trophy in Melbourne from January 20, together with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem. "I had never thought about Roger Federer's 20 Major titles, and I don't think about it today.
I'm here to make my way, take care of things in the best possible manner regularly and keep fighting over the same things as I have been doing for the last 15 years! I'm just one Major behind Roger at the moment but that was never an obsession for me or an ultimate goal.
To have plans and ambitions is always fine as long as you keep them under control; if you exceed them, it can bring frustration and become dangerous. You have to be satisfied with your achievements, especially if you claim a Major title as it is not easy to accomplish."