Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet for the 39th time on Saturday when they clash in the semi-finals at the ATP Indian Wells Masters
Federer trails Nadal in their head-to-head series, 23-15, but he’s won their last five meetings and that adds a nice twist to the tale. The Swiss master has also won two of the pair’s three meetings in Indian Wells, but Nadal, who has won three titles at Indian Wells, will try to even the score.
With their last battle taking place 17 months ago in the Shanghai Masters final, Federer believes the slate will be wiped clean on Saturday.
“A lot of time has gone by. A lot has happened in those 18 months… you can’t just copy/paste and play exactly the same thing again,” said Federer. “He’s at a higher level than he was at the Australian Open… especially in a place like Indian Wells, where he feels comfortable, he’s clearly very tough to play.”
Federer added: “The way we go about it is very different, but yet we both find a way to excel. The way he came up was very clay-court based, and I was apparently very grass-court based, and we both found our ways on other surfaces…I think it all adds to the cool rivalry that we’ve had. And then you add all the foundation stuff we have, promotional things we have done for the tour, political things, whatever it has been, it’s been quite a journey with Rafa side by side.”
A quick look at their rivalry by the numbers:
This will be the fourth time Federer and Nadal have played at Indian Wells, with Federer winning 2 of the prior 3
Federer has won the last five matches between the two – the most recent in the 2017 Shanghai Masters final
Nadal and Federer have played eight times in the United States, with honors even at 4-4
This will be the 10th time Federer and Nadal have met in a semi-final, with Nadal winning 6 of the prior 9
Nadal has won 17 sets more than Federer in their 38 matches (67-50)
Nadal and Federer have met 20 times on hard courts, Federer holding an 11-9 edge
Federer and Nadal have played 21 tiebreakers over the course of their careers, Nadal holding an 11-10 edge in those deciders
The number of finals they have played, with 14 wins for Nadal and 10 for Federer
Federer has held in 31 straight service games against Nadal
Federer and Nadal have won 37 Grand Slam titles between them, Federer with 20, Nadal with 17
The number of matches the two have played against each other, with 23 victories for Nadal and 15 for Federer. It’s the third most matches in an Open Era rivalry behind the 53 between Nadal and Novak Djokovic and the 47 between Federer and Djokovic
The number of ATP Masters 1000 the two have won. Nadal holds the record with 33, Federer has won 27
The number of weeks at world number one (Federer 310, Nadal 196) the two have spent atop the world rankings.