Facing each other for the first time in Miami 2004, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal created one of the biggest rivalries in the world of sport that is still alive and kicking. Sharing 39 Major titles and numerous records that will take some beating in the future, Roeger and Rafa have been the fearsome rivals who had prevented each other from achieving even more, especially in the years when Novak Djokovic was still behind them.
Federer and Nadal shared 22 ATP titles in 2005, dominating over the rest of the field and staying among the best players in the world ever since, with 310 weeks on the ATP throne for Roger and 15 years for Nadal spent in the top-10 without leaving the elite group.
Battling against each other in 40 official ATP matches, the Swiss and the Spaniard have been protagonists of the greatest matches of all time, pushing each other to the limits and always drawing the best from the other side of the court.
Alongside their official meetings, Roger and Rafa were more than ready to share the court during the exhibition encounters, playing in back-to-back days in 2010 in Zurich and Madrid and helping each other to raise funds for their Foundations.
Ten years after their first Match in Africa clash, Roger and Rafa were the rivals in the sixth edition on Friday night in Cape Town, gathering the crowd of 51,954 and setting the world attendance record while gathering $3,5 million for the Roger Federer Foundation.
The Swiss celebrated victory in three sets and both players were thrilled with the organization and the number of people that came to watch them. Before the match, Federer shared one enjoyable anecdote, saying that Rafa admitted he was crying when Roger lifted the trophy at Roland Garros 2009, beating Robin Soderling in the final and completing a Career Grand Slam.
Also, the Swiss legend said it would be o.k if Rafael Nadal matches his Grand Slam record, praising his great rival and repeating that they all achieved much more than that could have imagined at the beginning of a career.
"The good thing about this match tonight is that Rafa can't catch my Grand Slam tally," Federer joked. "Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and I are very happy for everything we have achieved, with careers that exceeded all our expectations.
In my dreams, I never dreamt this far; I only hoped to win one Wimbledon and I did much more. If Rafa catches me, it is o.k; he is a fantastic player and deserves nothing but the best."