Rafael Nadal took away a record from Roger Federer. Although far from direct confrontation on the court, Roger and Rafa continue to chase each other, catch each other, fight each other in the world tennis record books. Until Sunday the Swiss was the only player to have played at least 12 finals in three different tournaments on the ATP Tour Roger succeeded in Wimbledon, Halle and Basel, three of the most imperious strongholds of the very Swiss champion.
At the Championships, Federer reached the final act 12 times, winning the title eight times; on the grass in Halle, on the other hand, 13 finals have been played, while as many as 15 (absolute record in the Open Era) that played in the home tournament in Basel.
By playing, and winning, the final in the Masters 500 in Barcelona against Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nadal thus took away this particular primacy from his friend and rival Federer. Of course, Manacor's left-handed forts are all on clay: Roland Garros, Monte-Carlo and, indeed, Barcelona.
Rafael Nadal took away a record from Roger Federer
At the 13 finals of Roland Garros - accompanied by as many victories - the 12 conquered both in the Monegasque 1000 and in the Catalan 500 keep company. The first six positions of this special ranking that counts the finals played for each single tournament see, therefore, only two names appear: Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
A further demonstration, if needed, of the total domination that these two champions have been able to impress on world tennis over the past 15 years. The two could hypothetically find themselves against each other at Roland Garros, an appointment in which Roger should participate.
In 2019 Rafa defeated Roger with a clear 3-0 in Paris, before the rematch enjoyed by the Swiss a month later, always in the semifinals, on the meadows of Wimbledon. In the week of Barcelona, whose central court has already been named after the strongest Spanish tennis player ever - Pista Rafa Nadal -, the Majorcan reached another, yet another, monstrous figure in terms of tennis played on crushed brick : beating the Japanese Kei Nishikori, in fact, Nadal has filed the victory number 450 on the red courts, streak then extended to 452 after the success in the final.