Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship, there’s a deep and enduring love story at the heart of it all.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal may have gone to war during the 2012 French Open final, but their romance has never been a question mark.
When they met in the summer of 2004, at the start of Nadal’s meteoric rise to become the GOAT — the Greatest of All Time — Federer was a relative unknown in his homeland.
Rafael Nadal and his French partner, Richard Gasquet, in the final round of the 2004 French Open, defeating Andy Roddick and Thomas Johansson
Nadal was on a tear back then, and Federer had no idea that his countryman was the man to watch, let alone follow, as he rose up through the ATP rankings to become World No. 1.
The two tennis stars met at the Madrid Open, where Nadal would go on to win five titles, and it was clear that Nadal was going to play with Federer in this partnership, and win.
A decade into their partnership, after winning the French Open in 2009 and the US Open in 2011, it all comes out: The friendship. The love story.
To celebrate what would be Nadal’s 10th French Open title and Federer’s first, the two tennis superstars posed back-to-back as they won their third grand slam singles title and fifth in a row in the same tournament.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the press room during the US Open, where they teamed up to defeat Nicolas Mahut and Ernests Gulbis in the final (AAP)
“You have the right to be angry, and I’m not angry, because we were together 10 years and you’re the one who asked” Nadal told French news daily L’Equipe in an interview