The rivalry between the two will be discussed for many years to come, but what was completely unexpected was that they would emerge as better players once again and split the Grand Slam titles this season. Nadal, with his victory at the US Open on Sunday and the French Open title in May, has 16 major titles in his name. Federer is only three away and is sitting at a very precarious 19, helped greatly by his Australian Open and Wimbledon titles this year.
Federer’s victory at Melbourne Park was the first time he lifted the winner’s trophy in a slam since 2012 and came after spending months off the court recovering from a knee injury. Nadal was recovering from a series of knee and wrist injuries for two years before his Roland Garros title in 2017, his first since 2014.
It seemed that the clock had turned, tennis was going through a period of rebirth. With a combined age of 66, Nadal and Federer now sit at the No. 1 and No. 2 World Cups for the first time since 2011. Both were pitted as underdogs at the Australian Open but finished favorites at the US Open.
And your opponents? A series of mysterious wounds seems to be sick on the men’s tour and has not left Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – the other two big ones in the Big Four – unharmed. Djokovic, who has challenged Federer and Nadal on multiple occasions, has been grappling with a surprising fall this year. Murray, who was billed to fill that void, failed to capitalize on a brilliant season in 2016, where he finished No. 1. Both failed to reach the final of any Grand Slam event this season.
And the next generation? Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios – the entire cohort wasted its chances at an openly open US Open this year. After defeating Mikhail Youzhny in the second round of the US Open, Federer doubts about the time when the next generation will actually take over. “I think it’s going to be very interesting, the change of the guard is going to come at some point, it could very well be next year, but I still anticipate it will take a few more years,” he said.
Until then, a generation of tennis fans will continue to celebrate two of the best players in the game.happy wheels
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