Reliving Tennis History: Federer and Nadal’s Epic Showdown in the 2005 Miami Open Final

Roger Federer recently expressed nostalgia after stumbling across a highlight reel of his 2005 Miami Open final against Rafael Nadal, who was just 18 years old back then.

Nadal vs. Federer 2005 French Open Semi-Final | Highlights - YouTube

Federer and Nadal together accounted for tennis’ most popular rivalry over the last two decades. The two players faced off 40 times on the ATP tour, with some high-quality championship matches at the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon defining their epic rivalry.

Although the Swiss maestro lost to the Spaniard in 24 of their encounters, he became increasingly fond of the 22-time Major winner as the years passed by. It all started with their second career meeting in the championship match of the 2005 Miami Open, where the then-World No. 1 was taken to five sets by a teen Nadal.

Roland Garros 2019: Nadal y Federer: una rivalidad de 15 años con varias fisuras |

Roger Federer went down memory lane on Sunday (March 24), reposting TennisTV’s video documenting his famed Miami title clash with Rafael Nadal on Instagram. He captioned the post: “Feels like just yesterday @rafaelnadal”

Roger Federer: 'Win over Nadal at 2005 Miami showed I had great character'

At 1-3 in the first set of the 2005 Miami Open final, the Swiss maestro served big and hit accurate groundstrokes before coming to the net at deuce, but the Spaniard’s relentless defense allowed him to hit a down-the-line forehand passing shot winner to earn break point.

Wimbledon semis are the perfect place for the Federer vs. Nadal rivalry -

During another point in the second set, Roger Federer had to come up with some aggressive play to win a long rally against the 18-year-old, who was ranked 31st at the time. The second set was decided in a tiebreaker, in which Rafael Nadal got ahead at 3-2 with some dextrous shot selection.

Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer at Roland Garros: What's on the line

The Spaniard won the tiebreaker convincingly and led 4-1 in the third set before the top seed got the break back. He would come up with some gutsy backhand passing shots and volleys to win the third set in a tiebreaker.

Federer and Nadal's Wimbledon Rematch Showed Just How Alike the Two Greats Have Become | The New Yorker

The then-four-time Major winner eventually wore Nadal down with his deep forehand, taking the next two sets comfortably to register a 2-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-1 win. During their embrace at the net, the two players shared good camaraderie, a sign of things to come.

Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal rivalry: 22-hour marathon on ESPN

The duo met in the semifinals of the 2005 French Open a few months later. However, this time around, Rafael Nadal had risen to a then-career-high ranking of No. 4 and would beat his older opponent in four sets en route to his maiden Major title.

Federer vs Nadal is a captivating but lopsided rivalry

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