Published: 11:28 | 12/10/20

Federer congratulates 'greatest rival' Nadal


Roger Federer has congratulated Rafael Nadal on equaling his open era record of 20 grand slam singles titles.

Nadal claimed his 13th Roland Garros title and 20th grand slam overall with a straight sets victory over Novak Djokovic on Sunday and, in doing so, drew level with the Swiss legend on 20 grand slam singles titles.

Nadal was imperious as he swept aside the challenge of Djokovic on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday, easing to a 6-0 6-2 7-5 victory and Federer was among the first to congratulate his old friend and rival.

"I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion," he tweeted.

"I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us.

"As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players.

"Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th grand slam victory. It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport.

"I also congratulate his team because nobody can do this alone. 

"Well done Rafa. You deserve it."

The 34-year-old Spaniard, who has lost just twice in 16 years at Roland Garros, responded: "As everybody know we have a very, very good relationship and we respect each other a lot and at the same time I think he is happy when I am winning and I'm happy when he is doing things well.

"In some ways it means a lot, the positive relationship we have together because we have been going through a great rivalry for a very, very long time."

Image: Getty

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