Tennis

Rafael Nadal, right, and Roger Federer with their trophies after their thrilling 2008 Wimbledon final.

Five of the best matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will face each other in a mouth-watering Wimbledon semi-final on Friday.

The last-four clash will be the 40th meeting between the two over a 15-year period, with Spaniard Nadal currently leading 24-15 over his Swiss counterpart.

Here, we take a look at five of their most memorable matches.

2005 Miami Open final - Federer won 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1

This was only the second time the two greats had met and there was a sense of the unknown when they stepped out onto the court.

Nadal, just 18 at the time, was the youngest finalist in Miami history, but it did not show as he confidently took the first two sets.

However, experience paid dividends for Federer in the end, and his world number one status was protected, as he kept himself in the match in a third-set tie-break before comfortably winning the last two.

2006 Italian Open final - Nadal won 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 2-6 7-6

The early promise shown by Nadal in Miami had continued throughout the year, as he quickly became the number two to Federer going into this latest meeting between the two.

With the Spaniard in form and playing on his strongest surface, there was only going to be one winner.

Federer had to fight from 2-1 down to make it to a fifth set which turned out to be a cracker. Coming from 4-2 behind and saving two match points, Nadal came out on top to make it five wins out of six against the Swiss.

ATP Masters Series - Rome

2007 Wimbledon final - Federer won 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2

In the second of the duo’s three consecutive Wimbledon finals, Federer was looking for his fifth straight victory at SW19.

After four tight sets, including two tie-breaks, Federer proved too strong once again in the fifth with a comfortable 6-2 victory.

But in three hours and 45 minutes of exhilarating play, in contrast to the previous year’s relatively one-sided win, Nadal had given a taste of what was to come.

2008 Wimbledon final - Nadal won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7

Nadal finally recorded his first Wimbledon title in a match that somehow topped even the previous year’s drama.

With rain delays prolonging the contest over the course of seven hours, Federer had to come back from two sets down to take it to a fifth via a pair of tie-breaks, but the tables turned in Nadal’s favour when he needed it the most.

Spain's Rafael Nadal (R) is congratulate

It took until 9-7 in the final set, but a new Wimbledon champion was finally crowned after what John McEnroe described as “the greatest match ever played”.

2017 Australian Open final - Federer won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

Nine years on, there was still plenty on the line for the two greats of the game.

Nadal, having been plagued with injuries, had not won a Grand Slam since the French Open in 2014, while Federer’s last success came at Wimbledon in 2012.

Another close-fought five-set contest unfolded, although not on the level of their other classic meetings.

Nadal twice battled from a set down, but Federer always had enough in the tank and tearfully celebrated his 18th Grand Slam title.

Topics:
Australian Open
Wimbledon
Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal
Tennis

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