If football has a classic pair of collisions between Messi and Ronaldo, the top tennis village also has a pair of Federer and Nadal. And after years of searching, Rafael Nadal has caught up with Roger Federer on the number of Grand Slam titles throughout his career (20).
After Nadal beat Novak Djokovic, Federer immediately sent heartfelt congratulations to his rival. Federer has always maintained that Nadal and he are friends. And in fact, for many years, the two have always given each other a respectful manner.
But rivalry is still competition, Federer’s fans are hardly pleased to see Nadal balance the seemingly unparalleled record Federer has accomplished.
More than 10 years ago, when Federer won the 16th Grand Slam (2010 Australian Open Championship), Nadal was only still “squishy” in the sixth title. And when Federer was 20 at the beginning of 2018, Nadal already had just 16 Grand Slam championships.
But for now, most fans agree that Federer will soon be overtaken by Nadal
It was a miracle at the age of 39 that Federer was still playing at the top. In the last 7 Grand Slam tournaments Federer played, the final was only reached once (lost to Djokovic at Wimbledon 2019).
Meanwhile, looking at how Nadal killed any opponent in Roland Garros this year (without losing any game), there is reason to expect that Nadal will win at least 1 or 2 of those titles in the future.
Federer left both the US Open and Roland Garros this year due to injury. A long break may be an advantage, but it may also be a drawback for Federer as he reaches 2021. Federer’s supporters should also look forward to Djokovic and Dominic Thiem to avoid Nadal.
With 17 Grand Slam titles and a younger generation, Djokovic will be likely to overtake both Nadal and Federer in the future. Djokovic’s success chart is even higher than the two competitors as, on average, he finishes two Grand Slam finals a year.