The rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is arguably one of the greatest not only in tennis but in the history of sport owing to it continuing even today — 14 years after they played their first match against each other.

The duo have dominated men’s tennis for over a decade with no player coming close to their achievements. Federer and Nadal have a combined 36 Grand Slam titles between them and they are showing no signs of slowing down.

The Swiss ace is currently ranked number one in the world and his long-time rival is ranked number two just 150-points behind. They are comfortably ahead of the chasing pack and they have already alternated between first and second place five times since July 2017.

Despite their long standing rivalry Federer and Nadal share a cordial relationship off-court and are continually praising each other’s achievements. However, the Swiss ace admitted he misses coming up against his rival on a regular basis.

Federer and Nadal faced each other 33 times between their first meeting in 2004 and 2014. And since then, the two have come face-to-face on just five occasions with four of them being in 2017, when Federer won all encounters.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (C) and Roger Federer share a cordial relationship despite their long standing rivalry. In this picture, Nadal, Federer and Bjorn Borg of Team Europe enjoy a joke during previews in Prague, Czech Republic, Sept. 20, 2017. Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup

Their rivalry was such that of the 38 encounters they have had thus far, only five of them are outside the semi-finals or the finals of tournaments. Nadal has a better record against Federer in Grand Slam tournaments, but it varies when compared on individual surfaces.

The 36-year-old believes it is due to their revised schedules that they are not playing against each other anymore. Federer did not play the entire clay court season in 2017 and 2018, while Nadal was injured in the latter part of last season and for three months at the start of the current campaign.

“We don't play each other that often anymore because we don't play as many tournaments,” Federer said, as quoted by the Express. “Especially in the recent years, me not playing the clay and him also being injured quite a bit in the last year and at the beginning of this year.”

“We missed each other again on the tour playing each other. But it is always wonderful for both of us, you know, in the twilight of our career to have so much success,” the Swiss ace added.

Federer is currently playing the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, as he continues his preparation for the Wimbledon Championships. The Swiss ace is looking to win his ninth title on the hallowed grass of SW19.

Nadal, meanwhile, is currently taking a break after a hectic clay court schedule which culminated in him winning his 11th French Open title at Roland Garros to add to the three other titles he won on clay this season.