Rafael Nadal’s crucial advantage over Roger Federer
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have reached 125 Major semi-finals since Wimbledon 2003. Federer and Djokovic are the only players with 40 Major semi-finals, but that’s not enough to keep them safe from Nadal’s charge.
The Spaniard has been the most efficient player when a Major battle reaches the last four, winning 52 out of 67 encounters in the semi-finals and finals! Thus, Nadal has turned 37 Major semi-finals in 22 titles, leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on 20 after a perfect start to 2022.
On the other hand, Federer is the leader of the pack with 46 Major semi-finals. The Swiss made a great start and claimed 22 wins in his first 25 Major semi-finals between Wimbledon 2003 and the Australian Open 2010. Federer could not keep that pace since the US Open 2010, winning nine semi-finals and experiencing 12 losses.
Roger is 20-11 in Major finals but has missed too many chances to reach more final battles in the past 12 years.
Rafael Nadal has won 52 out of 67 matches in the latter stages at Majors.
Unlike him, Rafa has grabbed most of his opportunities after entering the last four, suffering only 15 defeats and conquering 22 trophies.
Nadal played in 27 Major semi-finals between Roland Garros 2005 and 2018, dropping only three of those! The Spaniard claimed 17 titles from 24 finals during that span, which is hard to match. Since Wimbledon 2018, Rafa has experienced four Major semi- final losses.
He has advanced into six finals in that period and claimed five titles to increase his tally to 22 and overpower Djokovic and Federer. Nadal is 14-0 at Majors in 2022, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros for the first time in the same season .
Dealing with foot issues, Rafa has been able to keep the pain away at the most significant tournaments and earn two notable trophies that place him above his greatest rivals in the GOAT race. Nadal is 4-0 since the semi-final stage at Majors this year, enduring two challenging obstacles and claiming both titles.
Rafa trailed 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 against Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final before performing one of his most remarkable comebacks in a career and claiming a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4 , 6-4, 7-5 triumph in five hours and 24 minutes.
Nadal overcame his left foot issues in Paris to extend the Major streak, overpowering Alexander Zverev in the semis, as the German had to retire after an incredible battle in the opening two sets. The final was always on Nadal’s racquet against the young Norwegian Casper Ruud .
Rafa beat his good friend 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 18 minutes for the 22nd Major crown and a brilliant 28-1 score after passing the quarter-final mark in Paris.