One of the great rivalries in tennis was renewed on Saturday as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played as part of a team tennis match at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) tournament. The crowd at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi watched in captivation as the tennis champions met in two one-set encounters, with Nadal representing the Indian Aces and Federer playing for the UAE Royals.
Before the two faced off in men’s singles, Nadal teamed up with Rohan Bopanna to play the men’s doubles set against Federer and Marin Cilic with the Aces up 18-10 after three sets before Nadal and Bopanna took the fourth 6-4, giving the Aces a 24-14 lead after four.
Federer and Nadal battled in a back-and-forth fifth set, with the Spaniard breaking the Swiss to open before holding serve to take a 2-0 lead. Federer won the third game before breaking Nadal to tie it at 2-2. Nadal broke back for a 3-2 lead and then the players held serve the next four. When Nadal served for the set and match at 5-4, Federer broke back to even the set and force a shoot-out.
The Spaniard would take the shoot-out, winning the final set 6-5 and closing out a 30-19 win for the first-place Aces. Nadal won 68 percent of his first serve points and hit 12 winners to Federer’s 57 percent and 10 winners. Nadal owned a 23-11 record over Federer entering the match.