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Taking the rivalry to a new level

31.01.2009 | Off Court

Sunday's match between Roger and Rafael Nadal will be their 19th encouter as professional tennis players. But the final of the Australian Open will take their rivalry to another level. The two have never met Down Under before. And it is the first time that Nadal will enter the court as world number one.

 

Roger has been defeated 12 times in 18 career meetings. The question now is whether Rafa can beat Roger on hard courts. This will be the Spaniard's first major final on the surface he has found hardest to master and on which Roger has ruled for five years. Roger won both matches they played on hard courts so far: 2006 and 2007 at the Tennis Masters in Shanghai. Our champ has won eight of his 13 Grand Slam titles on hard courts and has certainly proved that he is in great shape with impressive displays in Melbourne.

 

Roger is moving forward in many aspects of tennis history. With this weekend's final he is just one shiy of Ivan Lendl’s unprecedented 19 major final appearances. And a win would lift him into a tie with Pete Sampras for 14 Grand Slam titles. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity for me, not being No. 1 anymore, trying to beat No. 1 in the world and getting the 14th Grand Slam,” Roger said.

 

 
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03.02.2009 | 06:13
Roger you can beat Nadal, believe in you and in the fantastic tennis you have, i´m proud of you , love for ever!!
03.02.2009 | 04:29
Hi Roger,
I am a great fan of yours. Sunday's Australian Open fianls was brilliant. But could not see you break down. I just want to say that you are The Number 1 player. Had it been Verdasco in the finals, you would have taken him in 3 straight sets. E
03.02.2009 | 03:42
Dearest Roger,
As long as u still hold the eagerness to be stronger,to achieve ur dream,u will succeed!Believe that u still have to talent and potential to win,it's not an end of championship,but rather it's a new start 4 u.Nadal or whoever is going to b
03.02.2009 | 02:57
I have been a silent fan of tennis since 2005. I have been following all the Grand Slams. A couple of talented players such as you Roger, Nadal or Djokovick give the beauty to that sport. What's makes a champion is not his wins but his losses and how he r
02.02.2009 | 17:03
u r always the best player! u r the champ in our mind. me and my husband will always support u! u will beat him once again! we have faith in u! love u forever!
02.02.2009 | 15:05
I watched your match with my classmates.
We support you forever.
I go to the web in our CHINA of your Chinese fans.You can't imagine how warm.
We all are together with you.It will pass.
No one can keep succeeding.You have done so wonderfully.
I have
02.02.2009 | 14:49
Come on, Roger, you can do it!
Tomorrow is another day!
02.02.2009 | 14:46
I am sure you can do it! Go,Roger!
We love you always!
02.02.2009 | 13:09
Quite an interesting and amazing guy you are.

First, forget all your strongest weapons - service and consistent forehand - to court; then, get all the weapons you newly acquired - your eyes and the AM's tennis approach - during the week.

What an
02.02.2009 | 03:02
Roger...even when you lost..i still adore and love you. never give up! i know it's hard to face this reality. but life goes on. perhaps you can try to play a lot better next time and win another grand slam? come on...i couldn't stand looking at Rafa takin