Rafael Nadal has played some of the most exciting matches in tennis history, always giving his 120% and pushing opponents to the limit at every point. The Spaniard has won 20 major titles and 36 Masters 1000 crowns, being in the top 10 for more than 16 years and still eager to pursue notable titles despite many setbacks with injuries. One of the games Nadal will never forget is Miami’s 2004 clash against newly crowned No. 1 Roger Federer, when the 17-year-old toppled the men’s tennis king 6-3, 6-3 in 70 minutes. A week earlier, Roger claimed the Indian Wells title and had only a few days to physically recover and prepare for Miami, feeling signs of illness and fever and never looking good on the court. We must not take anything away from Nadal’s triumph, since he certainly was impressive, playing without signs of nerves and doing almost everything well on the court. Rafa did massive damage with his topspin forehand that bounced high and caused damage on Federer’s shots, as the Swiss never settled into his usual rhythm. The Spaniard’s defense was already one of the best on the circuit, building a fortress around the baseline that was nearly impossible to penetrate. However, he did not rely on that alone, attacking whenever he could and playing well-built points at the net. Although Nadal struggled with his backhand, that couldn’t hurt him much as Roger played below his level and experienced a somewhat unexpected defeat.
Federer is hoping to learn to ski
Roger Federer was recently interviewed by Schweizer Illustrierte. The Swiss maestro was first asked if there was anything more he wanted to achieve in tennis. “Take a close look at the flowers of the Japanese cherry trees in Tokyo, be part of the big season finals of NBA, NHL or NFL, without always having to ask me, is the long flight in it, does this fit into my training plans? These will be completely new experiences,” he added. “Discover beautiful parks all over the world with the children – Mirka and I have longed for this for a long time. And that’s really close now.” He is also hoping to learn to ski and scuba dive despite being a “bit of a scaredy-cat”. “I would like to learn a new instrument again. I played a little piano, now I would like to play the saxophone,” he said. “I also want to learn how to ski in deep snow. I never could, and then I stopped 12 years ago when I had mononucleosis. Now I want to seriously try again. I’d also like to try my hand at snowboarding. I love scuba diving. But to be honest: I’m a bit of a scaredy cat.”