Federer had just won the world's seventh best tennis player, Japanese Kei Nishikori. Journalists at the press conference led the Swiss to understand that Nadal is waiting for the Wimbledon Semifinals.
– What is the biggest challenge for Nadal? asked the reporter.
"I do not expect your first day of work. So, like me, you know everything about Nadal, Federer joked.
The Swiss are eloquent. The 37-year-old politely responds to journalists. In English, French and German. In many ways he is the face of tennis outside.
Federer has been described as "Mr. Perfect".
– He would like to say "check, check, check" everything. He gets an almost too good idea for someone, says Eurosport tennis player Christer Frank.
But everything is not perfect for the Swiss. Against Nadal he had serious problems earlier.
"The best tennis match for the time"
"It was a struggle that no one deserved to lose," wrote Aftenposten in 2008.
Wimbledon's finals between Federer and Nadal 11 years ago became a long and intense battalion.
The settlement passed over five sets: 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7.
"I remember they were fighting well. It was a fight with "all". The 9-7 final in the fifth place made it very special, says Frank.
The game lasted 4 hours and 48 minutes. Finally, Nadal won.
– It is believed to be perhaps the best tennis match of all time. The drama they had, the length and the way they played. It was unique. It was a struggle that had everything, says the commentator.
The duel continued for so long that the darkness had sunk in London.
– Many said he was approaching the end
The semi-finals on Friday will be the 40th match between the stars of tennis.
- Nadal leads 24-15 on mutual meetings.
- Nadal heads 10-3 in Grand Slam tournaments.
- Federer leads 5-1 on the last six settlements.
- Federer heads 20-18 in the number of Grand Slam titles
The first meeting took place in March 2004. In the third round of Miami Masters, 17-year-old Nadal shocked. A world number 34, he defeated the then Worldwide owner in a straight series.
– They are probably the biggest and most prestigious competitors in the history of tennis. Unique, they are still so good after all these years. The fact that they will meet again in 2019 would be utopia if we look back at the fight in 2008, says Frank.
Many thought the duo's world domination had been successful after Wimbledon 11 years ago. Federer took the opportunity to send a cross to the critics at the press conference on Wednesday.
– It's impressive to see how good Rafa is. Many said it was close to the end of 2008. The same goes for me. We are still here, so it's good to play again, "Federer says.
Many great games in top sport are based on hate and dislike. Mohamed Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Barcelona vs Real Madrid and Pit Sampras vs. Andre Agassi are three examples.
With Federer and Nadal, respect for the other is too great for him to dislike.
– I play against the best tennis player of all time. I know I have to play the best way to win, "said Nadal of Federer after the quarter-final victory against Sam Querry.
In February, Federer will play a battle in South Africa to raise money for his own charity. There Nadal wanted to stand up as an opponent to help the Swiss.
– He has a golden heart. We'll try to beat the Cape Town record for my charity. I look forward to it so I thank Rafa, "Federer said recently in an interview with Vogue.
Frank believes this is proof of the greatness of the stars of tennis.
Although Nadal is hungry to record the Federer's Grand Slam record, they speak positively for each other. This is a "war" in the midst of the battle, but it is also mutual respect. It's not like two boxers trying to kill each other, Frank says.
PS: The semi-final will be shown to Eurosport Norway on Friday afternoon.