Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and the Issue of Legacies

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Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and the Issue of Legacies
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It was at the 2005 French Open that the clay court reign of King Rafael Nadal began. Less than 10 years after, it may be argued that his tennis legacy already exceeds that of Roger Federer.

It was at the 2005 French Open that Rafael Nadal for the first time announced himself to the wider world of sport and began his clay court reign, which has continued to this day.

An impressive semifinal win over Roger Federer set Nadal on his way to his first of currently eight Roland Garros titles and signaled the beginning of something potentially special in the making.

In the months leading up to Roland Garros that year, the then unknown Nadal had brought back the type of excitement that had left tennis not long after fans cottoned on to the fact that neither Lleyton Hewitt, nor Marat Safin, or the likes of Andy Roddick had it within themselves to elevate their levels and push Roger Federer to his limits.

For both Nadal and Federer, it was clear from the early stages of their respective careers that both had the makings of future Grand Slam champions, but no one could have predicted how far they would go.

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