French Open Nadal Federer 2019 shake hands

‘Roger Federer is one of the greatest men in the history of sport,’ says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal as described old rival Roger Federer as ‘one of the greatest men in the history of sport.’

Federer and Nadal built one of the most iconic rivalries in tennis in the early part of their careers, although that relationship has now mellowed to one of deep mutual respect and friendship.

And, as far as Nadal is concerned, Federer’s quality transcends tennis.

“Roger Federer is one of the greatest men in the history of sport,” Nadal told Corriere Della Sera

“He was my great rival; and this has benefited both of us, and tennis a little too.

“In some things we are alike: we care for tranquillity, for family. In others we are different.”

When Nadal was quizzed on exactly how they are different, he said they wre different characters almost down to the core.

“Well, he’s Swiss, I am Latin. We have different characters, cultures, ways of life,” he said.

The rumour mill has always claimed that their relationship changed when Federer visited Nadal’s academy in Mallorca, but he says that one isn’t true.

“Nothing has changed, because relations were already good; otherwise he would never have come.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.