Federer: “I really enjoy watching Rafa and it’s been tough against him” [VIDEO]

Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images

Roger Federer was asked at a Q&A in Perth for the Hopman Cup who he regarded as the toughest opponent he’s ever had to face and here’s what he said:

Yes, I would have to pick Rafa Nadal. I think the way he played – and plays – against me has always been extremely difficult for me.

Plus, I think I’ve played way too many clay-court matches against him. That’s kind of scarred me I think!

He’s beaten me a lot of times in those finals – time and time again – and he just showed me what he could do.

That’s why I hope for him that he can come back extremely strong again because I think the world of Rafa and his game. I think it’s quite extraordinary, actually.

His fighting spirit and his professionalism that he brings to the game… I really enjoy watching him and it’s been tough against him.

Every match I won against him almost counted double for me.

Source: Eurosport, Video: Hopman Cup


  1. Roger and Rafa what great gentleman you both are.

    I am so glad you are both in Australia, and may you have fitness, renewed strength, and achievements.

    ALL the best for Brisbane Rafa, after a big sleep from Abu Dabi,

    and Roger all the best in Perth at the Hopman Cup.

    We are blessed here in Australia to now have a sold month of tennis,

    Love and prayers,


    • For me, they are and always were The Big Two.

      Paul Annacone, Fed’s former coach, said, “Roger and Rafa have been the cornerstones of greatness for so long, it’s shocking to the system when they are not there.” [The NYTimes, Nov. 12, 2016, Christopher Clarey]

      I have vivid memories of Rafa, in what the media dubbed his “pirate outfit,” and Roger in his ponytail, duking it out on court. Heart stopping, nail biting, nerve wracking excitement that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Yes, they are a little older now, but the passion and love of tennis is still there. As long as they have that, they will be with us fans.


      • Just the most exciting tennis ever…I don’t want it to ever end. I love that picture…I think Roger was sobbing and Rafa had to comfort him. They both are global icons and will be forever in printed in tennis history.

      • Yes, that was the 2009 AO when Rafa was comforting Roger: cajoling him to calm down and getting him to crack a big smile. I was just so proud of Rafa and remember thinking what a sweetie. I confess that I was dying to know what was said to have elicited that big smile from Roger.

  2. 😭❣️. This is why I call myself this bizarre name Fedallica even if I admit that I have different feelings for those two. Rafa touches my heart in a different, deeper way – but Roger as a player has been the one who brought me the passion for tennis. They represent the most respectful era that I have ever witnessed in sports.

    On the other hand I am in a bad mood since I just read that TennisTv will NOT show Brisbane and Sydney. 😩 Panic! i was looking forward to this so much. No idea now how to watch Rafa from Switzerland even if I have a VPN client which allows me to switch to other countrys IP adresses.

    • Tennis Channel Everywhere (offered by another fan last week) Live stream?

      365bet (which shows Switzerland for live streaming) You don’t have to bet to see the game (live streaming I think)

      Pete Sampras was an early investor in Tennis Channel. If we bombard him with requests for help, just maybe…

      And tournament owners/directors wonder why Tennis takes a back seat to other sports events.

      • Tennis channel sucks! They have been playing rewind for weeks..the same old matches over and over . Some of the fans said to go on live stream tennis and I was able to see the Abu Dhabi Rafa matches… not live but I did get to watch him play.! Like I said ..tennis is the least favorite spot in the US … Football, basketball baseball, golf and then I think tennis is last !

      • I don’t know what Rafa said to Roger to make him smile… But I remember Roger said something like.. God it’s killing me. Poor Rafa apologized to him for winning! Although I was thrilled to death that Rafa won ( what a battle it was! ) I was crying too… I can’t help it, I cry when I see anyone crying!

    • If no one on RNF can help, can you try a Federer fan site? The Twitterati? Facebook? David Law and Catherine Whitaker of TheTennisPodcast are both on Twitter.
      Best of luck Fedallica (great screen name, not bizarre).

      • Thank you so much!😘
        I will try this out. Have never heard of “tennis chanell everywhere”-option before. Great hint! (and maybe accessable with my vpn, will see).🙏🏼👍🏼 I will/must find a way if work won’t keep me from watching live. I like tennis chanell because there is a replay option, too. But now they really disappoint me. 👎🏼

      • Edit: tennis tv i meant🙈 Tennis chanell i could never watch here in my country so I don’t know.

      • 😆 Merci! things ar getting hopeful again…& not expensive👍🏼. Will try to subscribe immediately. Do you know if there is a replay- option on the eurosport player? Thank you RNF and happy new year to you, too!

  3. I don’t think what Roger said in this interview about Rafa is because he is a gentleman. Roger is known for speaking his mind.
    Both of these Titans of Tennis admire each other and have a deep respect for each other. And, they are friends. They don’t take away from each other, they have given and still give to each other. May their friendship last into their twilight years when they can reminisce about their on-court battles and derive pleasure from doing it.
    Providing both stay healthy, I don’t see another match as impossible.


  4. It has always been a privilege to witness the play of Roger and/or Rafael. They exemplify tennis, on and off court. Who is more graceful than Roger? As Rafael has stated, “Sport, for me, is about passion.” The results speak for themselves.
    Watch the attendance soar at tournaments, and even at practice courts when either player is present. Enjoy-this is a golden era👑🏆others grandstand and
    whine; we will listen when you have matched their records👍

    • Haha, so very true. Great assessment of these two remarkable men.
      I feel the same about the whiners of which we have our share here.


  5. Rafa [9], and Roger [16], are separated by 1,170 points. Pandemonium would break out for tickets if these two friends and Titans of the tennis world were to meet again on court. Would there be room enough to hold all those wanting to see such a match? Doubtful.
    With both returning from injury, what a treat it would be to have a Fedal match. Maybe 2017 can bring that about.


  6. When it comes to putting 100% effort in play, none can beat Rafa. Yes when others compete at 100%, he puts more than 100%. Well, if he still lost the match, he would compliment the opponent but would come back with renewed effort and competitive spirit. That is the reason, I became his fan. But Roger is a thorough gentleman and the best tennis professional. None can take away Roger’s glory and achievements in tennis!

  7. Roger you are always a gentleman, I think Rafa would have said exactly the same , I just love your special relationship and am so happy that we have you both for a few years yet.

  8. Roger has been asked that question ad hominem. One may wonder if the media hope to get a different response.

    “It is because of Rafa that I am became a better player. He has challenged me on many fronts, because the way he plays he is so unlike anyone else.” This, coming from a 17-time Grand Slam champion. What a great compliment to Rafa.


Leave a Reply