Roger Federer gets brutally honest on if he misses playing against Rafael Nadal

Federer met Nadal 40 times during his astonishing career.

by Dzevad Mesic
Roger Federer gets brutally honest on if he misses playing against Rafael Nadal
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Roger Federer suggests he "does not really miss playing against Rafael Nadal" mainly because clashing against an all-time great like the Spaniard was always "nerve-wracking." Federer, the ultimate tennis icon, created one of the greatest sporting rivalries with Nadal.

Against Nadal, Federer clashed 40 times on the main level. Nadal had more success in their head-to-head, winning 24 times against Federer and losing 16 times. Their last meeting came in the 2019 Wimbledon semifinal, when Federer beat Nadal in four sets.

During an appearance on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast, Federer was asked if he misses playing against Nadal. “I haven't thought about it, to be honest, if I miss playing Rafa. Not really, you know. Maybe more so happy not to play, just glad I'm not in that tough match where you stare down a Centre Court match with one of the greats.

It’s nerve-wracking you know. I had it so often that it's good not to have it anymore, I guess," Federer said.

Federer recounted beating Nadal in the 2017 Shanghai Masters final

Last week, Federer flew to Shanghai to be honored as "The Icon Athlete of the 2023 Shanghai Masters.

In Shanghai, Federer won two titles during his career. After beating Gilles Simon for his first Shanghai title in 2014, Federer collected his second Shanghai title three years later after ousting Nadal 6-4 6-3. In his return to Shanghai, Federer said he was happy that he got a chance to play Nadal in Shanghai.

"I have played Rafa on so many occasions, almost, almost... Not on every court or every tournament I have played but almost in all the big matches all around the world. And I'm happy we could do it here, I think not just once but maybe even three times.

And of course, even more special, if it's in the finals. I thought I played extremely well in that match. I felt like Rafa was a little bit banged up with his knees and maybe a bit tired, but I played a fantastic tournament in a fantastic year in 2017 when I came back with my knee problems," Federer said in Shanghai.

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal